A B'day Cake

Yes! My little girl turns 2 today....*smiles*...Can't forget the day, when the doc told me "It's a girl"...To be frank, I was actually shocked!!!I expected a boy again....But now, I am happy having my little princess since her love and affection towards me is totally different from my boy's....*smiles*.....Oh Oh!! time surely flies, especially with kids...they grow up so fast that you don't even seem to notice it, until their next b'day.....*winks*

Now, for her birthday, I wanted to bake a cake...I had planned it months before and was searching for a cake recipe...I zeroed in the Red Velvet Cake with Mascarpone Cheese Cream Frosting...I stocked up with all the necessary ingredients for the Red Velvet Cake except for one small and the most important item - the red color!! I searched every department stores and bakeries in my place for a red color, but in vain!! So, I had to think about something else and that's when I happened to see Nigella's Kitchen on TLC (re-telecast) and she had prepared this cake and it was quite tempting (Nigella surely know how to play with words and sometimes you fall for it too, like me for this cake)....I got the recipe for the cake from her website and was all prepared for baking it....

So here it is

Devil's Food Cake 
My Little Angel

Though the name sounds strange, the cake was truly "Heavenly"......The cake was so soft and delicious; the frosting was just luscious (as Nigella says)...The cake with the frosting was truly 'chocolatey' and it was the best chocolate cake I ever had......I would call this cake "A Rich Chocolate Cake".....A perfect cake to bake for any celebrations except for its name *winks*....

I have made few alterations here and there, so the below ingredients and method are what I used and followed for baking the cake. For the original version, you could visit the link mentioned below.

Recipe Adapted from: www.nigella.com

For Cake:
Cocoa powder, sifted - 50 gm
Brown sugar - 100 gm
Boiling water - 250 ml
Unsalted butter, soft - 125 gm
Caster sugar - 150 gm
Plain flour - 225 gm
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Vanilla essence - 2 tsp
Eggs - 2

For Frosting:
Water - 125 ml
Brown sugar - 30 gm
Unsalted butter - 175 gm
Dark chocolate, finely grated - 500 gm


For the Cake:
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Line the bottom of a baking tin with parchment paper and butter the sides.
  • Put cocoa and brown sugar into a bowl and pour in the boiling water. Whisk to mix and keep aside.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together and set aside.
  • Cream butter and caster sugar together in a big bowl, beating well until pale and fluffy.
  • Add vanilla essence into the creamed butter and sugar, mixing all the while. Add in 1 egg, quickly followed by a scoopful of flour mixture, then the second egg.
  • Keep mixing and incorporate the rest of the dried ingredients for the cake.
  • Finally mix and fold in the cocoa mixture, scraping its bowl well with a spatula.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin and put in the oven for about 55-60 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Take the tin out and leave it on a wire rack for 5–10 minutes, before turning the cake out to cool.
For the Frosting:
  • Put water, brown sugar and butter in a pan over a low heat to melt.
  • When this mixture begins to bubble, take the pan off the heat and add the chopped chocolate, swirling the pan so that all the chocolate melts with heat. Leave for a minute before whisking. It will take time for the frosting to become smooth and glossy.
  • Put the frosting in the fridge for a while before frosting the cake.
  • Once the cake is cooled completely, place the cake on a cake stand or plate and spread the frosting over the top and sides, swirling with a spatula. 

Linking to:

Bake Fest hosted by FOODOMANIA

Ada Pradhaman

Wishing All My Readers a Very Happy, Tasty and Prosperous Onam

Hope everybody had a filling Ona Sadhya along with tasty Payasams...Here at my home we had almost 15 curries for the Sadhya and Ada Pradhaman in the end.... Usually, it used to be Semiya Payasam. This was my first try on Ada Pradhaman and it was a success....*smiles*

Recipe Source: My Papa

Ada - 200gms
Thin Coconut Milk - 4 cups
Thick Coconut Milk - 400 ml
Jaggery - 3, large
Ghee - 3 tbsps
Cashewnuts - 8-10
Raisins - 2tbsps
Cardamoms - 3-4 crushed

  • Wash the ada in water.
  • Boil water and add ada to it, along with a pinch of salt.
  • Once the ada is half-cooked, drain it in a strainer. Pour some cold water to the ada and keep aside. {The same way as you would cook spaghetti}
  • Melt the jaggery, by adding little water. Filter it.
  • In a pan, boil the thin coconut milk and the jaggery (melted and filtered) together.
  • Add the half-cooked ada to the milk and jaggery mixture and let it cook on medium heat. Keep stirring the mixture in between. {It took almost 30 mins for the ada to cook properly}.
  • Meanwhile, heat another pan with ghee. Roast the cashewnuts and raisins till they turn golden. Keep aside.
  • Once the ada is cooked and becomes soft, turn off the heat. Add the thick coconut milk. Add some crushed cardamoms and a tablespoon of ghee and stir.
  • Add the roasted raisins and cashewnuts.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot or cold.

  • All the ingredients and method described above, are what I followed for preparing this payasam. 
  • I used store-brought coconut milk for preparing the payasam.
  • The amount of jaggery used truly depends on your preference.


Strawberry Milkshake

Strawberry milk, especially the store-brought ones always awaken nostalgic feelings in me…I was a fussy-eater during my childhood and I just hated drinking hot milk with malt-based products!!…So, my dad used to get me packets of Digdaga or Al-Rawabi’s plain or flavored cold milk….Among the flavored ones, I loved strawberry...yum yum.... The taste of that strawberry milk still lingers in my mouth…it was truly delicious!! (memories are coming back, so I better stop the tale here)

Even now, I would go for a strawberry milkshake (if it’s available) every time we dine out…And if ever I buy strawberries at home, a milkshake with those is definite since even my kids too love it!!!

I know it is ridiculous to have a milkshake in a wine glass…Well, it was my son’s weird idea….*smiles*

Recipe Source: CJ

Strawberry - 10-12
Chilled Milk - 1/2 cup
Strawberry essence - 1 tsp (optional)
Sugar - 4 tsp

  • Add the chilled milk, strawberries, essence (if you are using) and sugar in a blender and blend until smooth and frothy.
  • Transfer to a serving glass and serve immediately. 

Note: I used strawberry milk essence to give it a rosy color, but its completely optional...


Walnut Brownie

It’s been quite a while since I have baked anything. For the past few weeks, I didn’t feel like baking anything, though my kids kept on poking me for a cake. Finally, last week I managed to bake this wonderful brownie, which I had seen on Nestle Milkmaid's FB account. The picture was quite tempting and I couldn't help myself from baking it.

Now, every time I set out to bake a brownie something goes wrong somewhere….Don’t know why!! But, always the end result would be just great….

This time also there was no exception; I finished preparing the batter and poured into the tin and was about to keep in the oven and suddenly the electricity goes off!! I waited for 1,2,3 hours and still there was no sign of power coming back…Finally after 4 hrs it came back and by the time I preheated the oven, there it went off again….*arrghhh*…I got so irritated…and by this time I lost hope in my brownie….Again I waited and after an hour or so, the power was back….With no much hope, I popped the tin into the oven and baked for 30 mins…..When the timer rang, I checked it and was shocked to see that there was no change in the batter; it was as it is!!!Again with no much hope decided to bake it for another 20-25 mins…..But, after 25 mins, viola! I was surprised to see the brownie in the desired shape; with the center well cooked and it sprang back when lightly pressed…..Like I said earlier, the end of a brownie baking is always a happy ending *smiles*...........

Recipe Source: Nestle Milkmaid Sweet Moments

Condensed Milk - 1/2 tin (200g)
Milk - 1/2 cup (75 ml)
Butter - 125 gm
Maida - 125 gm
Cocoa powder - 50 gm
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Sugar, powdered - 75 gm
Eggs - 2
Walnuts, chopped - 1/2 cup


  • Grease and dust the baking tin with maida. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • Sieve together maida, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
  • Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
  • Fold in the sieved mixture, alternating with milk and condensed milk.
  • Add the chopped walnuts. Mix well and pour into the greased tin.
  • Bake for 25-30 mins or until center of the cake springs back when lightly pressed.
  • Allow to cool in tin for 5 mins and remove onto a wire rack. Cut as desired.

Now, who could resist a piece of brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream; topped with chopped walnuts and chocolate syrup!!! (my all-time favorite dessert)...yum, yum, yum.....makes me want some...so sad I didn't have ice-cream at home when I baked this!