Friday, July 15, 2016

Baking | Pear and Almond Cake with Dark Chocolate Chunks



I keep disappearing. I know this. And honestly, I am not proud of it. But circumstances were such that I was finding it difficult to even pick up my camera. Uninspired and exhausted all the time, this was really not something I wanted to do at all.

I'll get into whats wrong later, but for now, I think I am ready to make a comeback. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I haven't been cooking - I have, it's just the styling and taking pictures - was just something I wasn't able to do.

But last week, as I shopped at my local vegetable vendor, I spotted a glut of gorgeous red pears perched on another cart close by. My heart did a quick flip and I knew I just needed to eat those buggers. I bought a few kilos from the guy, washed one in the car and chomped down on it all the way back home, juice dripping down my chin and all. They were just spectacular.



While I threw a few into a salad, used a few in my smoothie bowls and then decided to use up the rest in a cake that I had been aching to make. This Sicilian Pear and Chocolate Cake from Not Quite Nigella stole my heart when I saw it last year.

I had chocolate. I had pears. What I didn't have enough of was flour. But when I rummaged through and my pantry I found lots of almonds. So I decided to go ahead and make this cake with almonds flour and then eyeball as I went ahead.

The turned out to be moist and decadent. In fact the husband said that it was perhaps the best cake he's ever eaten. So yay!

So here's my version of the Sicilian Pear Cake with lots of almonds, lots of chocolate and lots of pears.




Pear and Almond Cake with Dark Chocolate Chunks
Adapted from this recipe by Not Quite Nigella

Ingredients

1 1/3 cup sugar
1 cup almond flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3 tblsp corn flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 pears diced into small pieces
1 cup dark chocolate chunks
3 pears halved and cored

2 tsp icing sugar for the topping

Method

1. In a bowl mix together sugar, almond flour, all purpose flour, corn flour, salt and baking powder.
2. In a separate bowl mix together mix together the oil, vanilla, eggs and milk
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until combined.
4. Add in the diced pears and chocolate chunks and mix well.
5. Pour into a greased and lined baking tin and then arrange the remaining halves of pear on top.
6. Bake at 180 degree centigrade for 45 minutes to 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
7. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve warm with a cup of coffee.





Friday, February 12, 2016

Dessert | Tiramisu Cake




So just as I posted the recipe for Roasted Purple Carrot and Goat Cheese, my friend Sangeeta had just posted her recipe for the Black Carrot Soup with Feta on her blog as well. What a wonderful coincidence.

You see, we've had a glut of purple carrots this year. I mean I've never seen them last this long ever. Strange, but so good no? Therefore how can one resist not making something seasonal and delicious with them?

I roasted these bad boys a lot this winter and then topped the with thyme and goat cheese and ate them as is. Then I made a purple carrot cake, which I'll post later.

Meanwhile the big V-day is making its way towards us and as much as I love strawberries, I've been dying to eat something non-chocolate and non-fruity for a while. The toss up was between caramel and coffee and coffee won hands down, when I saw a cake Chandrima Sarkar had posted.


I used Deeba's foolproof sponge cake recipe - 3 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar. 1/2 cup flour - and made a nice dry sponge and finally used plenty of mascarpone to make a filling and topped it with some coffee whipped cream.

To be honest, this was a simple cake to make on a busy day, since I was able to bake, cool and fill in less than an hour and and a half and let it chill till the night, when we decided to cut and eat.

Oh this cake was delicious, and it totally made my day! I loved the tang from the mascarpone and the booziness from the Kahlua and rum. I loved how nicely the cake soaked up the juices and I love the how beautifully the coffee cream just brought it all together.

This is a must make cake, its stunning, easy and super delicious.



Tiramisu Cake
Serves 8

Ingredients

For the cake
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 flour

For the mascarpone filling
100 grams mascarpone
50 grams cream
1 tsp instant coffee
1//3 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

For the soaking syrup
1/3 cup freshly pressed coffee
1/3 cup rum
1/4 cup Kahlua (optional) or 3 tblsp sugar

For the coffee cream
200 ml whipping cream
1/3 cup icing sugar
a pinch of salt
2 tblsp freshly pressed coffee

Method

1. Start with the cake. Preheat the oven at 180 degree centigrade. Line a 5 inch tin with butter paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff keep aside.
3. In another bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and frothy and nearly tripled in size. Fold in the flour.
4. Gently fold in the egg whites. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 25 minutes or until done. Keep aside till cool.
5. Prepare the syrup by mixing together the coffee, rum and Kahlua or sugar.
6. To make mascarpone filling, whisk together all the ingredients until smooth. Keep aside
7. Make the coffee cream by whipping cream until stiff and add the coffee, icing sugar and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.
8. To assemble the cake: Cut the cake in half horizontally. Brush one half of the cake with half the syrup. Top with all the mascarpone filling. Top with the other half. Brush with remaining syrup. Now, ice the cake with the coffee cream, covering it completely. Refrigerate for 4 hours until set.



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