A Special Anniversary Cake

Torta de Cielo (Mexican Almond Sponge Cake)

Every year, June 26 is a special day for me---The day when my parents got married and this year they celebrated their 32 years of togetherness...

                                   "Happy Anniversary Pappa and Mummy"


Though I couldn't be there at home to celebrate it with my parents, I thought of baking a cake back here at my abode....Now, which cake and what cake? I wanted to make something truly special, something which is not so common!! I had two cake recipes in my mind; the Tres Leche and the Torta de Cielo.....I planned of baking the Tres Leche but somehow at the last hour, I changed my decision!! And it was a good decision indeed as the cake was just delicious; tasted quite different too!!! No wonder it is called as "cake of heaven".



Ingredients:
Recipe Source: Baking...made simple by Parragon Books

Unsalted Butter, at room temp - 1 cup
Whole almonds, in their skins - 1 1/4 cups
Sugar - 1 1/4 cups
Eggs, lightly beaten - 3
Almond extract - 1 tsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
All-purpose flour - 9 tbsps
Pinch of salt


Method:
  • Lightly grease an 8 inch/20cm round cake pan and line it with a parchment paper.
  • Process the almonds in a food processor to form a mealy mixture. Set aside.
  • Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl, until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, almonds and both the extracts until well blended. Stir in the flour and salt and mix briefly, until the flour is just incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C, for 45-50 mins, or until the cake feels spongy when gently pressed.
  • Remove from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool.

To serve, you could dust with confectioner's sugar and decorate with toasted silvered almonds. I made a sugar frosting for the cake, which I feel was a mistake as the cake was too too sweet. I had to literally peel off the sugar frosting when serving, as none at home liked it. So, go in for a simple decoration (dusting the confectioner's sugar).


Sugar Frosting
Recipe Source: Baking...made simple by Parragon Books

Ingredients:
Confectioner's sugar - 2 cups
Water - 3-4 tsps
Vanilla extract - 2 tsp

Method:
  • Sift the sugar into a bowl and mix with enough water and vanilla extract to form a soft frosting. 
  • Lay the frosting over the top of the cake. {You could trim the edges of the frosting, but I let mine to flow down}.




 

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Vegan Mango Ring Cake

Another mango recipe....probably my last one too with mangoes!! Frankly, I love having mangoes as such, rather than in a cake or verrine....I had plans of making a Mango Cheesecake too, but I kinda dropped that plan....Maybe next mango season...Lets see!


I found this recipe in Nag's Edible Garden while searching for vegan recipes. Any idea as to what is vegan???(Kindly let me know, if u have any clue....)


Ingredients:
Recipe Source: Edible Garden

All purpose flour - 1 1/2 cups
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp*
Mango puree - 1 1/2 cups
Oil - 1/3 cup*
Granulated sugar - 2/3 cup
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp


Method:
  • Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom powder together.
  • In another bowl, whisk the mango puree, oil, sugar and vanilla until well combined. Add this to the flour mixture and fold till no traces of flour is left. Use only a hand whisk or a rubber spatula.
  • Transfer the batter to a greased ring/tube pan and bake in the pre-heated oven until the cake is cooked through, around 40-45mins or till a skewer passed through it comes out with a few crumbs in the end.
  • Cool on a wire rack and dust icing sugar on the top.
*I used cinnamon powder and olive oil.



 

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Mango Vanilla Verrines





I had bookmarked two mango recipes long back when mangoes were not available in the market! First, the Mango Yogurt Verrine from Swapna's Cuisine and the Mango and Vanilla Custard Verrines from Sharmi's Passion. Now, when the mangoes were available, the yogurt for the verrine was missing! And so, I  combined both the recipes; used vanilla custard instead of yogurt and the resulting product is the Mango Vanilla Verrine or Mango Custard Verrine!!! A simple, easy-to-make calorie-rich dessert; so dieters stay away *winks*....


Ingredients:
Recipe Adapted from: Swapna's Cuisine & Sharmi's Passion

Vanilla Custard - 3 cups
Sugar - 3 tbsp (acc to your taste)
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp
Mango puree - 2 or 3 cups (puree of 2 mangoes)
Gelatin - 2 tsp





Method:
  • To Make the Custard: Prepare the custard according to the instructions given on the packet. Allow it to cool completely. Sprinkle 1 tsp of gelatin over 1 tbsp of water and microwave for 10 sec. Mix together with the custard.
  • To Make the Mango Layer: Peel mangoes and puree them in a blender without adding water. Taste and add sugar if required. Sprinkle 1 tsp of gelatin over 1 tbsp of water and microwave for 10 sec. Blend it together with the mango mixture.
  • Assembling the Verrines: In a small glass/bowl, layer the custard mixture and the mango mixture alternatively. Chill them until set. Decorate with chocolate or silver beads.




























 

Sausage rolls - A childhood Favorite

Sausage Rolls, one of my childhood favorites (I still love it!). I decided to bake it at home by using the same recipe of whole wheat garlic pull-apart rolls. And the result is what you see in the below pics..




Though I used both atta and maida, you can use just the maida for the base.....


Ingredients:
Recipe Adapted from Easycooking

Whole Wheat Flour/Atta - 1 cup
All-purpose Flour/Maida - 1 cup
Lukewarm water - 1 cup
Dry yeast - 1 tsp
Sugar - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Olive Oil - 2 tsp


Method:
  • Mix together warm water,sugar,salt and yeast and keep aside for 5-10 minutes to froth.
  • In a bowl, add atta and maida. Pour in the yeast mixture along with olive oil, little at a time and knead the dough to form a smooth dough. (You may not require the entire quantity so add as required)
  • Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes or till the dough becomes smooth and elastic. (Add flour a tsp or two if you feel the dough is too sticky).
  • Coat the bowl with some olive oil and place the dough in it and smear oil around the dough.Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let the dough rise to double its size in a warm place for 45 - 60 mins.
  • Grease a baking tray with some oil and keep aside.
  • Punch down the dough and knead for 2-3 minutes. Divide the dough into six or eight balls and knead.
  • Dust your work space with some flour and roll each into a rough rectangle. 
  • Keep sausage in each rolls and wrap around the sausage. Place it in the baking tray and cover. Allow the rolls to rise for 30-45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes or till the top portion of the dough becomes golden and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.
  • Brush the top of the rolls with softened butter immediately after removing from the oven.





 

Whole Wheat Garlic Pull-Apart Rolls

Finally, I baked the Whole Wheat garlic pull-apart rolls about which I mentioned in my last post. Since this was my first bake with yeast, I was quite anxious!!But at last, everything went fine - the yeast frothed at the right time, the dough doubled before and after applying the spread and the rolls got baked at the right time too......except for the photo sessions (as usual)...





Ingredients:
Recipe Source: Easycooking

Whole Wheat Flour/Atta - 1 cup
All-purpose Flour/Maida - 1 cup
Lukewarm water - 1 cup
Dry yeast - 1 tsp
Sugar - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Olive Oil - 2 tsp

For Garlic spread
Olive Oil - 2tbsp*
Garlic cloves - 4-5 finely chopped
Green chilly - 1 finely chopped



Method:
  • Mix together warm water,sugar,salt and yeast and keep aside for 5-10 minutes to froth.
  • In a bowl, add atta and maida. Pour in the yeast mixture along with olive oil, little at a time and knead the dough to form a smooth dough. (You may not require the entire quantity so add as required)
  • Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes or till the dough becomes smooth and elastic. (Add flour a tsp or two if you feel the dough is too sticky).
  • Coat the bowl with some olive oil and place the dough in it and smear oil around the dough.Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let the dough rise to double its size in a warm place for 45 - 60 mins.
  • To make the garlic filling, mix together all the ingredients mentioned for the filling to a spreadable consistency and keep aside.
  • Grease a loaf pan with some oil and keep aside.
  • Punch down the dough and knead for 2-3 minutes. Divide the dough into two equal portions.
  • Dust your work space with some flour and roll the dough into a rough rectangle, about half an inch thick. Smear half of the garlic spread. Roll the rectangle and cut into two and further into two more, so that you end up with four spirals. Place the rolls carefully into the greased pan.
  • Repeat with the other half of the dough. Apply any remaining garlic spread on top of the dough and brush with some milk. 
  • Cover the loaf pan and allow the rolls to rise for 30-45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes or till the top portion of the dough becomes golden and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.
  • Brush the top of the rolls with softened butter immediately after removing from the oven.
  • Run a knife around the edges and immediately remove the rolls from the pan and cool on a wire rack.