Welcome aboard!

Indian cuisine is a riot of colours, flavours, and spices. Every state has its own unique culture- ingrained taste bud. And, to many of us staying within familiar tastes is a sacrosanct act. Of course an occasional trip to a speciality restaurant that serves another fare is ok. But, as a matter of routine ...at home...NO!

One of the benefits of being born to parents who dared an interstate marriage (am talking about India of the 70's) was being able to widen a regional taste bud to accept, experiment and, relish eclectic cuisines :-)

I love food! Be it traditional or fusion, cooking is all about turning out fare that is tasty and healthy.I welcome all lovers of good food to come on aboard and share your kitchen adventures.

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Happy cooking!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dairy free, eggless, Black Forest Cake with Coconut Cream topping

My little one is allergic to dairy fat. Now, coming from essentially a South Indian background this was one fact that was really hard to assimilate. My childhood was fed on home grown cow's milk, yoghurt, milk sweets, ghee, butter what not. And, we are led to believe, from then, that there is no proper sustenance for a child without dairy intake. So, when I made the association between Abhi's (my lil one) colic and adenoid inflammation to milk fat intake, it triggered nothing short of a  mini earthquake in the immediate family circle. Someone even said , " It is because you are too hygenic about baby care", " You dont add salt into the rice you feed her", etc etc and power struggles with people (even close of kin) who refuse to give up on gifting her huge milk chocolate bars, ghee laced Indian sweet dubbas, cream biscuits etc. Well, well, well.. all in the game. Found this easy diary free, eggless  Black Forest Gateau recipe on Essential Vegan and wanted to try it for my daughter's birthday. I made my own tweaks to the original recipe, reduced teh sugar drastically, replaced all purpose flour with whole wheat flour etc etc. The daughter loved the cake and thought she was eating cream cake just like all her friends and that is all the appreciation I ever need :-)

Ingredients for Cake

Raw granulated brown sugar - 50 gms
Whole wheat flour (fine ground) - 170 gms
Unsweetened cocoa powder - 3 dessertspoons
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon (evened out to remove extra)
Baking powder (aluminium free) - 1 teaspoon
Sunflower oil - 60 ml
Apple cider vinegar - 2 teaspoons
Cold water - 200 ml

Ingredients for Topping

Unsweetened coconut milk - 1/2 tin
Castor sugar - 50 gms
Syrup preserved Maraschino cherries - 250 gms bottle (you will need all of the liquer in which the cherries are soaked plus as many cherries you need for decoration)

Mix the oil, sugar, and cocoa with a ladle so that the sugar granules start dissolving. Add the rest of the ingrdients and mix using a wooden ladle into a batter without lumps (do not use the electric mixer).
Preheat oven to 180 °. Pour batter into a proofed cake tin, ideally spring form tray since this cake will be very airy and can break on rough handling.
Bake for 1/2 hour at 150 °. Check with a fork to see if done or let be for another 10 mts. Remember oven tempretures differ and what works on my basic OTG might not be the exact time on your machine.

Topping prep work

Store the coconut milk tin in your freezer for atleast an hour. Place your castor sugar in a mixing bowl and keep it in the fridge too until time for assemble.

Assembling the cake

Remove cake onto a serving tray or plate only when completely cooled.Keep rough side up. Keep the cake in the fridge for about 15 minutes. take out and carefully pour the cherry liquer all over it, in batches so that it is all absorbed.
Take out and open teh coconut milk tin. You will find the thick coconut cream has risen and solidified as a top layer. Scoop it out into the bowl with cold castor sugar. Whip them up using a large fork.
Layer the cherry liquer soaked cake with the coconut milk cream and decorate with cherries. Cover and refrigerate for another 10 minutes or until serving time. Remember to take cake out only when it is time to serve.
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