Saturday, October 29, 2016

Indian cashew fudge (caju apples)

This post comes in wake of a monumentous holiday that people in India celebrate. Known as the festival of lights, it is one I could never fully comprehend, but honestly loved when everything in the city I first lived in post-adult (and I still don't think I've grown up) was illuminated with colorful bulbs, dancing people, loudspeaker music and of course, honeyed confections. It can be likened to a Christmas/New Year/July Fourth party, all in same room. Where the sweetmakers/confection artists across the streets of the Indian subcontinent work overtime so people could merrymake a bit more tastily. And really, would you pass by a day that mandated boxes of neatly arranged dessert be parcel to good fortune? That too, people, from a nation unashamed to bust out copious amounts of sweetmeat in salute to public celebrations/personal birthdays/anniversaries/inlaw-coworker-stranger-on-road appeasement, even births of  your neighbor's four children.

Caju, translated cashew, for those of you illiterate in the Indian national language, myself included,  is our Iron chef ingredient today. These snacking nuts are ground to a form, just shy of butter. A powder-soft sift that your Ninja processor helps you achieve, combined with only one other necessary element, turns pliant in your own hands, or if you're like me, again with aid of machine. The results: a thick soft candy made impressively with Just Two Ingredients and can beyond doubt make the world a better place.

Within minutes(no kidding) we see mini-spheres of a super popular package filler, likes of which people spend time and money, to just get in on the spirit.

For the many of whom in no way can fathom how this could taste, I feel for you, but not too long. Think it to be the peanut butter ball, swapping the creamed peanut with an elevated substitute, that of creamed/cooked cashew. Trust you can see this is insane. Taken beyond levels that truly have you envision sugared possibilities transcending all reason.

There are recipes claiming that sugar syrup is absolute prerequisite to mold our dough treats into apple rounds. I may commit heresy now, by proposing that you really don't need that addition of labor. A base, where sugar is mere dissolved, with the powdered nut stirred and combined works in unison to lean forward for equally, maybe more mindboggling worthiness.

Moreover, if you can bring yourself to overlook the the cup and throw of sugar, even replacing white for raw, you may be keen to see the gluten-free/paleo prospect in the making. Health purists, do you hear?  It's gold at the end of a righteous rainbow.

There it is. All done within a few hours. For you to create your own Diwali. Holiday. Memory.

Thus, it may surely light up nightly dessert rotations, outlooks, even lives.

Apple painting. It's therapeutic.
In the name of tastetesting:  I consumed about 10 "apples" in one sitting. No need to mention the Two that share roof with me were not at all pleased.
  • 1 cup cashews (I used roasted, salted)
  • 1-2 strands saffron
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • red food grade gel color
  • handful whole cloves
  • In a food processor, pulse the cashews to a dry fine powder, making sure of it not becoming and oily greasy, butter form. Add saffron stands and pulse 2-3 more times.
  • In a deep set pan add sugar, water. Have it it come to a boil, with sugar fully dissolved, approximately one- two  minutes.
  • Mix in the  powdered cashew. 
  • Stir mixture until it pulls off from sides and becomes thick and glossy. Like fudge.
  • Add ghee. Stir to incorporate.
  • Transfer this dough to a greased sheet pan or parchment and once able to touch(should still be warm) knead a few minutes until dough becomes pliable and smooth. If it stays sticky add drops of ghee, slightly,  one at time and turn dough out until smooth and shiny.
  • Shape into one inch balls. Remember you are food artist. We are thinking baby apples here. So work it to your best.
  • Take the paint brush and dip into red paint to your heart's desire. You can have it resemble your favorite  Braeburn/Jonagold/Honeycrisp. All good.
  • Top with a clove for the stem. Other than looks, you need it. It scents/flavors so very well.
The "kneading" can be in the food processor, after it is combined/ reduced with the syrup. Just pulse until a smooth dough forms.

I have used roasted, salted cashews, not plain raw, which is what more traditional recipes call for. Because. I like it better:-)

Ghee is totally optional. The nuts have natural oils that come through after the processing/kneading.

Showing me some love in ways that extend beyond our dialogue here would be greatly beneficial, especially since I belted out three posts in The Month Of October. I don't have a load of  happening social media, but we can change that ;- ) If you like it here, do like it there, Instagram, FB, even rev up the almost defunct twitter feed.  So, follow on. Like up.
Without getting too creepy in the process:-)
Exotic holiday mood? Try this~
Vermicelli pudding
Jackfruit kheer
Jesus. True Light. Never disappoints. Never leaves. He "keeps my lamp burning"(Ps 18:28), enlivening, illuminating, guiding, enlightening.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men." (John 1:4 KJV)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fanta cake

It is not uncharacteristic of myself to have on estimate 12 browsers open (ranging from how-to-food I need so badly, varieties of face packs, DIY bathroom tiling-in-24 hrs, to who is liking my posts(?)) this together with skimming 400 mail/texts/foodstagrams, all during the dedicated time I commit to  recipeblogging. 

This, should be where I mention sheer obliviousness to those persistent pleas of that pesky duo, The Afterschoolers, who've really not been granted much blessing from my kitchen for long stretches of hungerpanged moments. It's an irony that haunts me every single day, that where my children are begging for a snack as I lyricise on the magnificence of food swank. 

It was one such incident where Child One, her who is actually two years shy of being Adult, petitioned for cake, the moment-like several, where she could simply not live without one (ahh, a mother's work..never done..) It could be a subject BFMK archives  have no dearth of.  But. Fast? Now? Where? How? Que in to when Google liberates. And generously gifts me with what I have on display this very moment.

To meticulously go through all the confection announcements, lengthy articles where I've shown up cake/baked goods in a certain way, certain order, with reliable elements is one which negates today's monologue; easiest ever schemes to cake. And have it become epic than most. 

Is then your attention with me, please?

Should so be, because not only is it a ridiculous easy baking experiment, it belongs to those upper ranks of Delicious, where simple things reach levels we can't quite comprehend. 

Fanta cake, otherwise known as German Fantakuchen, could also alias under Orange Crush Cake is the greatest delight I have experienced, after the birth of my children(?). And truthfully, on most days,  this could also be reconsidered.

That it may surprise you the orange-ish-not tasting soft drink, that we see in soda aisles across the world, yields results so astounding is now not so surprising to me. Each fizz of gas renders that poundcakeish moist texture, without peaking towards a terrifying amount of sweet. The pale crumb, soft, with right amount of give, exponentially raises the creamsicle flavor bar, while having you regret nothing in the process.

Much after I took these pictures of Fanta cake, I thumbed through a feature that Food52 did on cakes comprising stranger ingredients than our flush-colored Sunkist. While I am still to fully wrap my head around things like tomato soup cake, for real people, I think it's no shock that flour, fat and egg dialogues can be elemented with several anomalous options.

And not bragging but if you desire to glance at the stupendous pastry art I am performing with one hand, be not intimidated! That also can be done. In rhythm, concentrically to the left one circle and then to the right one circle. Alternating to end in  and show off a much desired ruffled chic look.

What say you? Am I hearing shrieks in unison? 

So, are we ready, then, to CAKE IT LIKE A BOSS?

Orange fizz on its way to a brighter future.
Seven ingredients. So very simple. There really is no excuse not to make it famous in your own kitchen.
Took me less than a couple hours to get this presentable and click worthy. Of course it always helps to listen to some native tongue melody and rhythm it on.

That project where you will not have to undergo a single fail as you tread way to victorious destiny.

 You spin me right round💫
Who would have thought pastry with a soft drink as it's chief leavening ingredient could be brought in from them who gifted the world bratwurst, sauerkraut and more than a gazillion pages on the internet to laud it all? 

For the cake~
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups Fanta orange soda
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
For the cream cheese frosting~
  • 16 ounces cream cheese(softened at room temp)
  • 10 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3- 4 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp milk
For the vanilla buttercream rose~
  • 1 stick salted butter, softened
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioner's powdered sugar (should be more stiff to hold rose shape)
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • orange gel coloring
For the cake~
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter and flour two 9inch round cake pans.
  • In a large stand mixer bowl, beat, on medium-high, eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil until pale yellow and fluffy.
  • Add in flour and Fanta to the batter. Mix for another minute. Stir in baking soda, beat until incorporated.
  • Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes.
  • Reduce oven heat to 350°F and bake for a remaining 18-25 minutes.
For the cream cheese frosting~
  • Beat the cream cheese and butter until light, fluffy.
  • Beat in vanilla
  • Gradually add the confectioner's sugar by cupfuls, beating well after each addition
  • Add milk by enough spoonfuls and continue beating for desired consistency and flavor.
For frosting the cake~

After cakes are thoroughly cooled, place one layer flat side up on a flat cake pan or stand. Spread 2/3 cup of the frosting evenly over the top.  Place second layer on this and use remaining frosting for top and sides.
Note~If you desire to crumb coat (i.e.. adding a thin layer first before fully covering), double the amount of frosting.

For buttercream flower~
  • Do the same as for the cream cheese frosting, omitting the ingredient of cream cheese, beating up to 4 cups sugar in. 
  • Add gel color to desired amount and shade.Using Wilton tip 125, work from the middle in opposite circular motions. Or just look here.
Sidenote~ For moistness and more flavor, evenly drizzle the cakes with a few spoons of Fanta before icing. 
Flowing in some Fall.

**Can you see what I see? The header has changed! And for it I thank my very creative friend, Brittany Alloway, graphic designer extraordinaire, who did one spectacular job on ornamenting the peak of BFMK with a much desired, way prettier title banner. With ease and amazing creativity, she delivered things superquick even after my gazillion mind changes/ onerous reworkings in between. And look how she cartoon-glammed me up?  You like? I certainly do :-)**

If you want to see more of her inspiring work, check out Brittany's website, and portfolio over at Tough and Tender or on Etsy.

2012~Mille Feuille


Friday, October 7, 2016

Swiss roll cake

That September up, packed and left me at the door infuriates me no end. Ninth month, where did you go? And how have you forgotten to take this script with you?

Is it me or has it been way too soon for the third season of the year to have whooshed it's way here? Blink.Blink.

For the some who may deem today's theme unfit for brand new cardiganweather( those of us in Desert/Skinmelt terrain, translate to midlength shorts, paired still with min. SPF50 ),  it's a guideline to a perfectly attainable superhero cake sans hero effort, any season you set your mind to.

Once I'm finished I'll have, hands down, won any argument you'd made up in your mind. So, then hear me through on this, if anything, it may very well solve your dessert dilemma for the night. 

Bakeries, that displayed The Geometric, equalsided petit fours, brilliant spiralled rounds, better yet, bright, bean -shaped buttercream sponges were places I considered of high reverence. Honestly speaking,  I ate my way through young adulthood, with a craving for pastries that would delight the eyes as well as my ever-increasing physical form. This would be that era where the 5-8(kg)  item intake, depended on mood, circumstance and how much moneyinpurse were THE determining factors of how gluttonous a day would turn out, hoping much that the dimension of my thighs would go unaffected( I was poster child for The Motivated Youth).

Several years and countless pounds later, I believe it is my calling to extol upon the virtues of just this. The only cake that would have me back for more. 

So, here we have the venerable Swiss roll, beauteous baked thin sponge, rolled and plugged, with fillings which would not only have you spin cake, but do it with a furiousness that might spin orbits as well.

Naturally, then, our next question might go like this(?): could you/ would you roll up perfectly good cake?

The recipe that I've collected after a corroborative effort involves much epic fails, finally leading to , what I believe is this near zero fail. Sylphlike, with a mere 60 grams of fat, it is the one of soft crumb feature, pliable, holding shape under duress, with not much scratch to be seen. While numerous websites insist on the benefits of a preroll, for which I stand against and may receive serious flak for, I believe my ultimate sketch negates the process of folding before filling. Uncomplicated and perhaps a little relaxing( playing with cake can be a therapeutic stress reliever) the whole process of construction and build may have you deliriously giddy, like a kid again.

For the fillings, since I have slacked so long, I was pressed to provide not one but two easy ideas that are of equal splendid choice. Yes, I can be. Generous like that. Of this duo, the first bears reminiscence similar to one of the best cakes in BFMK archival history( at least according to the stats I read, or misread) and the second resembles the glorious Eton mess.

With enough foresight, you can see this confection draping through successfully onto many seasons of life, with fillings as different as wild vision takes you.

After this, let's say, ambition strikes, in pertinence to weather/season/or just plain hungerpangs, your mind, if it's anything like mine, cannot rest without bringing numerous prospects to insanely good cakeroll fruition. So what's stopping you to... Fall it up with pumpkin spice/ sweet cream cheese, freshen the scene in a mint/ chocolate ganache, or  matcha on with green tea/ cream jelly?  Add to list, bacon/buttercream, yes(!!)I am dying to try, and I think I've directed you into some brilliantly creative thinking.

Once you see how uncomplicated swiss rolls are, you may never be able to imagine life another way. Irrespective of filling and gild, the whole show should impress the socks off anyone you serve it to.  

Which if you read and take notes, might just well be too many to count.

This is how we roll.
To perfection. In all its glory. Do we hear angels sing?
(Cake recipe adapted from KitchenTigress]
  • 150 gm egg whites
  • 60 gm sugar
  • 60 gms egg yolks
  • 40 gms cake flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60 gm corn oil
Strawberry/Apricot filling Filling~
  • 1 ½  cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam
Whipped cream filling~
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 4 tbsp sugar
Nutella raspberry filling~
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 8 oz raspberries
For the cake~
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Grease with oil or butter a 13X9" swiss roll pan or baking tray of similar dimension. Line with parchment paper.
  • Using a stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites and add sugar while beating Beat until stiff peaks form. 
  • Add yolks to whites in 2 batches, Whisk on low until evenly mixed.
  • Sift half the flour into batter. Add salt. Mix on low speed until uniform.
  • Sift remaining cake flour into mixture.
  • Stir in vanilla extract and oil.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 375 for 5 minutes.
  • Bring down oven temp, 350°F and continue baking for an additional 7-8 minutes until cake is golden and springy,yet firm to the touch. Allow to cool on wire rack.
  • Invert cake on fresh parchment.  Peel existing paper from bottom of cake.
  • Roll with prepared fillings.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.
Sugar showers. Always and ever a very good thing

Directions for the strawberry jam filling~
  • In a small saucepan add cut strawberries, sugar and water.
  • Allow to boil, then bring down heat, having mixture simmer, while stirring occasionally for 5-8 minutes.
  • Heat until thick. Turn off heat. Stir in apricot preserves. Take off heat. Cool completely.
For the whipped cream~
  • Using whisk attachment of stand mixer, beat chilled cream on high until soft shiny peaks form
  • Add sugar and continue to beat until stiff, yet shiny. 
  • Spread over strawberry layer.
 Strawberry, cream filling~
  • Spread the strawberry filling evenly over cake, leaving a 1/4 inch border on sides.
  • Spread a layer of whipped cream over mixture.
Nutella, raspberry filling~
  • Spread Nutella over cake, leaving 1/4 inch border on sides.
  • Layer raspberries over Nutella.
  • Gently smash/crush raspberries with a spoon.
  • Spread cooled cake with filling of choice.
  • Roll cake from the short end, keeping filling intact, tightly, rolling from end to end firmly. Cover with plastic wrap to together and further keep shape. Chill in refrigerator.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar, top with fresh fruit, if desired.
Cut into 1/2 inch slices with a serrated knife.

Octobers past~
2012~ Banana jam

 “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NASB)