Thursday, April 26, 2012

Two awards. One guest post and some lemon cake


Sunshine in my pocket ©Cookaroo
You don't really get lemons in India. Not the kinds you see in the US. Here the lemons are more like limes but are really not limes either. They are sort of the a cross between the two. With a limey zest but a lemony pungency. So you can imagine my rage when a recipe calls for Key Lime. Hullo! We don't get any! What about Meyer Lemons? I say fugetaboudit. What about Kaffir Lime. I am just going to snort. (but at least my grocer stocks it sometimes).

Whatever it is, we got to work with what we have. So when a recipe asks for lemon, I reach out to whatever's lying in my refrigerator. 

As much as I love citrus, I can't beat my husband's affection for it. He can eat a dozen oranges in one go. Drink up a whole litre of lemonade, eat half a lemon cheesecake in one sitting. Heck, he even prefers even his bathing products citrusy. 

That said, I'm always anxious about making lemon-based desserts, because (oh-horror of horrors) I find they can be a little too eggy. Actually too-yolky to be exact. I love a good lemon-souffle but the mouth-ful of eggy custard is really off-pudding (pun intended). Lemon curd scares me. But most of all, I am truly mortified of a lemon cake. 

It always seems like the perfect recipe for disaster. Egg yolks! Not enough vanilla! And not citrusy enough. Bottomline is, I hardly ever make it.

But this time, I had left over batter sitting on my counter. The batter wasn't enough for a big cake, it was perhaps ok for a 1/2 cake. But I had these mini moulds lying around the house. And a bagful of lemons, which my grandmother sent me from our garden in Chennai. And it all made perfect sense. Because - there were no egg yolks in the batter! So there was no way this cake would turn out eggy.

So I added some zest, fresh juice, a tiny drop of lemon extract and some yellow food colouring to the batter. It didn't smell eggy. It didn't taste eggy. Perhaps then, I had won over the battle with the lemon cake. 

And I couldn't have been more right. The cake turned out moist, tangy and citrusy. The lemon drizzle accentuated the flavours and I was a happy camper. 

This is a happy cake. Happier more for people who can't stand eggy cakes. And happiest for those who are allergic to eggs.


Happy cake ©Cookaroo


Lemon cake with lemon drizzle

Adapted from Rose Levy Bernabaum’s The Cake Bible. Available in India, US and UK
Ingredients


For the cake
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/3  cup milk, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cups cake flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 tsp lemon extract
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
½ tsp lemon zest
2 tsps lemon juice
5 drops yellow food colouring

For the lemon drizzle
 1/ 2 cup icing sugar
1 tblsp lemon juice


Method
For the cake

1. Get your baking tins ready. Spray and line them.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Whisk together egg whites, vanilla, and three tablespoons of the milk.

3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and the remaining milk. Mix til the dry ingredients are moistened, then raise the speed to medium and beat for 90 seconds, scraping down the bowl.

4. Gradually add the eggs on a slightly higher speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface evenly with a small offset spatula.

5. Add the lemon zest and the lemon juice. Pour in the batter into the prepared tins

5. Bake til golden brown for 22 minutes, a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, and the cake springs bake when pressed in the center. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after  removal from the oven, remove gently from the pan, and cool completely.

For the glaze

1. Sift the icing sugar in a bowl. Add lemon juice and stir till it thickens.

2. Glaze the cooled cakes with the same

Note: You can do the same treatment for an orange cake. I promise it’ll not smell eggy and will be citrusy

Allo Allo ©Cookaroo
Meanwhile I've done a quick guest post for my cousin Malvika's blog. Malu's blog isn't so much food related but it's a very good blog. You, see Malu looks like she's stepped out of the pages of Vogue and her blog is all about how YOU can do the same. Inspiring and spot on with the trends - she's doing an awesome job juggling her two kids, a job and this awesome blog. Do read. 

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnndddddddddddd... I've got two awards. How can I ever ever thank these guys. So much love <3 .





Here's a shout out to both the bloggers who've given me the awards - Renuka from Pinch of Salt and Aparna from Square Meals. The problem with virtual awards is that it's hard to send a special package saying thank you. So instead am sending plenty of good food vibes :)

Rules for both the awards are pretty much the same

  • Thank the person who nominated you for this Award and link them back
  • Then state some 5 random facts about you.
  • Spread the joy by nominating fellow bloggers, it is a way of appreciation.
  • Finally inform the bloggers about the awards.

5 Random facts about me:
  1. I cook when I'm stressed. I bake when I'm happy. 
  2. I hate cauliflower. But I've just started enjoying a good gobi ka parantha.
  3. I love being a hostess. I love feeding people and love pandering to requests. That's why we have an embargo on the number of dinner parties at home.
  4. I am also a sloth. Given a choice, I prefer lolling at home. And I wish that's all I had to do.
  5. I have an aversion to authority. I am almost always the rule breaker.
Here are the people I'm giving these awards to, in no particular order:

1. Shivani of Shoestring Style
2. Prachi of Purple Homes
3. Malvika of Mbellished Life
4. Marsha of The Harried Cook
5. Pratibha of Cook-ezee
6. Charis of Culinary storm

16 comments:

  1. Ruchira Hoon - I think I'm going to get fat just looking at your blog ! This post is just so good. I love the pictures - reminds me of that cake you made for us one time . and thanks so much for that award :)

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    1. Shiv! Thank you good to know my pix are getting better. Tell me when you want another cake :)

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    2. when are u making your next ? I'll drop by !

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  2. Hi! Thanks so much for the award! The blog is Culinary Storm, though! Can you please change that in your post :)

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  3. Hey Ruchira, just started feeling the good food vibes you sent out :-). The cake look absolutely yumm! Will definitely try it.

    Aparna

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    1. Hahaha Aparna, good to know that - now better start baking :)

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  4. Hey Ruchira! Thanks a ton for the award... very honored to receive it :) The lemon cake looks really delicious! Like your husband, I am a total pushover for anything citrusy... Love the lemony yellow color of the cake too... a very happy cake, indeed! Thanks again! :)

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    1. I'd have sent you some had I known :) Anyways when I come to Chennai next month I'll totally get you some lemons from our garden

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  5. Totally enjoying reading your blog..its funny and its about food, whatte combination :) This piece of lemon cake looks delicious enough for me to try my hand at it soon.

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    1. KPB, you totally made my day! Thank u so much

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  6. Can i come & live with you for a month (maybe more) so that i can learn how to cook & bake like you!
    So want to meet up with you & Snehesh so that I get to sample (read: wolf down) one of those delectable treats you concoct!

    Love your blog!
    Nishatha Abraham Bijeesh
    (we met at a wedding once, remember?)

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    1. Nishatha! Ofcourse I do... please come whenever u're free, love to have you over. Why are u called Cleo?

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  7. aah that :) My best buddy from childhood named me Cleo after I got a haircut with bangs :) It was very flattering (the name), so held on to it :P And why "cookaroo" & "honey macarooney"?

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    Replies
    1. hahaha that's quite funny... Well behind my two names are actually two fun stories, I should really blog about them in the about me section. But Hooney Macarooney because I was called Hooney all my life and I loved Macaroons so ya thus

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