Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Cake

Hello Friends….. How are you all doing?? Am so busy here  :( that I dont get time to look into any of your blogs :(   But I wanted to prepare something for this Holiday Season. Somehow found some time over the weekend, got all accessories to prepare the cake and yeah.. I am back to baking after a while….  Yeahh…. I am trying to bring a “Blog-Work” balance  :) which I hope to achieve very soon…

Wish you all a Merry Christmas & a Happy and Prosperous New Year !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last and not least let me thank my friend, who help me do this post this with his great photographic skills..

Christmas Cake 7


           Dry Fruits & Nuts  Mix  --   1 ½ cups
           Rum                                  --   ¼ cup (optional)
           All Purpose Flour       --   1½ cup
           Baking Powder            --   1½ tsp
           Granulated Sugar       --   1½ cup
           Butter                               --   1 cup
           Eggs                                  --   4 
           Vanilla Essence           --   1½ tsp
           Cinnamon Powder     --   ¼ tsp
           Cardamom Powder   --   ¼ tsp
           Nutmeg powder          --   ¼ tsp
           Cloves Powder             --   ¼ tsp
           Dry Ginger Powder    --   ¼ tsp
           Salt                                    --   ¼ tsp

For the caramel:

           Granulated Sugar       --   ½ cup
           Boiling water               --   ½ cup

Christmas Cake 9


Preparation of the Cake:

Soak the dry fruit and nut mix (I used chopped cashews,almonds,walnuts,raisins,cranberries and dates) in rum for minimum of 24 hours – 3 weeks or more.  The more they are soaked the better. You can avoid this step to make it non-alcoholic.

Heat a heavy bottom pan on medium flame. Add the sugar to caramelize along with a teaspoon of water. Do not stir, but rotate your pan to prevent sticking. The sugar will melt first and then turn brown, to a thick syrup. When the syrup turns dark brown, pour in the boiling water. Be careful while handling as the caramel syrup is really hot. Keep on the low flame and stir well until it is well combined and then let it cool. You will have about three-fourth a cup or less of caramel.

Christmas Cake 1    Christmas Cake 2

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour an 8x8 inch or 9 inch pan and keep aside.

Sift together the all purpose flour and baking powder at least 2-3 times. 

Now stir in the powdered spices and the drained soaked fruits to 2 –3 tbsp of  flour. Mix well with a spatula until the dried fruits are completely coated and keep aside.

Beat butter @ room temperature and powdered sugar, until light and fluffy. I managed to do it with a wooden spatula. It is easy to do it with a mixer. Add the vanilla essence.

Add the eggs, one at a time to this beaten butter-sugar mixture. Mix well. Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of flour after adding each egg, in case the batter looks too watery while mixing.

Christmas Cake 3Christmas Cake 4


Add the remaining flour to the butter mixture, alternating with caramel syrup. Just fold in the mixture.

Christmas Cake 5

Stir in the dried fruits just to combine. Do not over mix.

Pour it into the prepared pan and bake for about an hour or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Mine took 55 min.

Christmas Cake 6

Enjoy your cake….

Christmas Cake 8

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fish Curry

Fish Curry 5
           Fish                                --  ½ kg ( I used tilapia fillets)
           Shallots                        --  ½ cup
           Tomatoes                    --  1 small
           Turmeric powder    --  ½ tsp
           Whole red chilly       --  5-7
           Cumin Seeds               --  ½ tsp
           Pepper corns              --  ½ tsp
           Fennel seeds               --  ½ tsp
           Coriander seeds        --  1 tsp
           Ginger                           --  1 inch
           Garlic  cloves                --  4-5
           Tamarind                    --  small ball
           Mustard seeds           --  ½ tsp
           Curry leaves               --  2 springs
           Coconut milk              --  1 cup
           Oil                                    --  2 tbsp
           Salt                                  --  to taste
Preparation Of Fish Curry:
Soak the tamarind in water for 15 minutes and extract the juice out of it.
Grind the red chillies, cumin seeds,pepper corns,fennel seeds,coriander seeds,ginger and garlic with tamarind juice and keep aside.
Fish Curry 1
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add chopped onions and curry leaves and saute till onions are translucent. Add the finely chopped tomatoes and fry until they are mashed up.
Fish Curry 2    Fish Curry 3
Pour in the grounded paste, turmeric, and salt and let it boil.Stir in coconut milk and bring it to simmer. Gently slide in the fish pieces and cook till done with the pan closed.
Fish Curry 4
Serve hot with rice.
Fish Curry 6