Red Wine Chocolate Cake

Finally, the Red Wine Chocolate Cake.....This cake recipe was in my mind for sooo long and I wanted to bake it the very next minute I got the recipe, but somehow it got delayed due to some or other reasons....."Better late than never" and I am glad I baked it....I would say this was the best cake that I had ever baked and taste-wise--it was the best!! *smiles*...

I had a bottle of homemade wine which my Papa had given me for last Christmas (to soak the fruits for the Christmas cake)….The wine was a bit sweeter and so I used it for this cake…..The wine gave a rich flavour to the chocolate cake…In short, the cake was too delicious and it got even more better the next day, when all the flavors of the cake matured….

Recipe Source: The Pastry Affair

Butter - 1/2 cup (softened)
Light brown sugar - 3/4 cup
Granulated sugar - 1/3 cup
Egg, large - 1
Red wine - 1 cup
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
All-purpose flour - 1 1/4 cups
Cornstarch - 3 tbsp
Cocoa powder - 3/4 cup
Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp

  • Pre-heat oven to 165 C. Grease a bundt form pan or a loaf pan.
  • Sieve together flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Reserve.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla essence and beat until smooth. Beat in the red wine.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wine mixture slowly, mixing until just incorporated.
  • Pour batter into the baking pan and bake for 50-60 mins.
  • Allow to cool for 10 mins in the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.
  • Transfer to a cake plate and dust some icing sugar and serve.
  • The original recipe uses 1/4 cup plain yoghurt also. Since I didn't have yoghurt, I used 1 cup of red wine instead.
  • The red wine I used is homemade and it was quite sweet. So, I skipped the granulated sugar. Taste your wine before adding the sugars.
  • For those who don't prefer wine, you could use buttermilk instead.
  • Lastly, though the cake uses wine, it can be equally consumed by kids too. (No probs with my kids...*winks*)


Banana Cake with Chocolate Glaze

I wanted to bake a banana cake badly the other day, and so searched for one and found out this recipe from Nigella’s site.....What I liked about the recipe was it used rum instead of milk and essence....And I love cakes made of liquor; be it brandy or rum or even wine.....Well, stories apart.....On to the recipe....I have made few alterations to the original recipe......
Recipe Adapted from: Nigella Lawson
Butter - 100gm
Castor sugar - 175 gm
Salt- 1/4 tsp
Eggs - 2 (at room temp)
Lemon zest -1 (grated)
Rum - 3-4 tbsp
Ripe bananas - 3 (mashed)
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Flour - 250 gm
Baking powder - 2 tsp
  • Sift flour and baking powder together and keep aside.
  • Butter a baking tin and it line with a parchment paper.
  • Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl.
  • Add the eggs and beat until the mixture become light and fluffy.
  • Add the grated lemon zest and rum.
  • Next, add the mashed bananas and lemon juice. Once the bananas are mixed in, the mixture looks curdled. {Don't worry! Nigella's assurance}.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the above mixture and combine.
  • Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 75 mins in a preheated oven at 180 C.
  • Once baked, remove and cool completely before frosting with the chocolate glaze.
Chocolate Glaze
Recipe Source: Pastry Affair
Semi-sweet chocolate - 2 cups
Butter - 100gm
  • In a double boiler, melt the semi-sweet chocolate and butter together, stirring until smooth. The glaze will thicken slightly.
  • Remove from heat, allow it cool slightly and frost the cake before the glaze hardens. {If the glaze hardens, melt it again via a double boiler}


Shahi Zafarani Sharbat

These days the climate has changed and its getting more cooler with occassional rains. Though we were not directly affected by "Nilam", its effect was felt in our place too. It was quite windy and pouring yesterday....Now, who can say no to a warm drink with some hot snacks on such days??Well, not me anyways!! I was going through last month’s Good Food India magazine, when I came across this warm sharbat by Shayma Saadat. The moment I read about it, I knew this would be the perfect drink for the day…..By the way, Shayma Saadat is from Pakistan and she is the author of the award-winning heritage food blog- The Spice Spoon….Hop on her blog to find out more Pakistani recipes...
Recipe Source: Good Food India, October 2012

Saffron strands - 1/2 tsp, crushed in a pestle and mortar
Whole milk - 1 ltr + 3 tbsp
Heavy whipping cream - 300 ml
Cardamom - 6 pods, deseeded
Sugar/Honey - 2-3tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Pistachios, unsalted - crushed, for garnish

  • Crush saffron threads in a pestle and mortar and transfer it to a glass. Add 3 tbsp milk to it.
  • Beat the cream in a chilled bowl with a whisk or an electric beater just until it holds a loose peak. Store in the refrigerator until the sharbat is ready to serve.
  • Place milk in a saucepan on medium-low heat. Add cardamom seeds and bring to a simmer.
  • Pour the milk through a sieve into a glass vessel and discard the cardamom seeds.
  • While the milk is still warm (it should not be very hot), add saffron milk, sugar and cardamom powder. Stir well.
  • Transfer to serving glasses and add a dollop of cream.
  • Sprinkle with crushed pistachios before serving.

  • You could serve the sharbat either warm or chill.
  • Use fresh saffron strands. Moreover, if you need a deep yellow color, use more saffron strands. (The original recipe uses 1 tsp of saffron strand).
  • The original recipe uses honey instead of sugar.


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Katharine Hepburn Brownies

Finally.....after a month, I'm back into my baking mode....*smiles*.....These holidays can do magic to your life---they can refreshen us and they can make us lethargic too!!Well, for me it was the last one....continuous holidays (first was my son's term break and then came the Dussera and Pooja hols) made me lazzzier.....Come next week and it's time for Diwali holidays...oh oh oh.....and a month later it's Christmas hols.....
Well...I don't blame the holidays for my laziness...there are other reasons too that made me stay away from baking and the most important was the frequent power failure....We had to face 8-10hrs of power-cut in the last month....Not that the situaton has changed, but it has improved...thanks to the Rain Gods.....
Now, once in baking mode, I decided to bake a brownie.....This time I didn't have to search for recipes, since I had this in my mind.....

Recipe Source: Baking-From My Home to Yours
All-purpose flour - 1/4 cup
Ground cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Butter - 100gms
Cocoa powder - 1/2 cup
Instant coffee powder - 2 tsps
Eggs, at room temp - 2
Castor sugar - 1 cup
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Walnuts, chopped - 1/2 cup
Chocolate, chopped - 115 gms

  • Preheat the oven to 325 F/160 C.
  • Butter a square baking pan and line the bottom with a parchment paper. Butter the paper and dust it with flour.
  • Sieve the flour, cinnamon and salt together and keep aside.
  • Put the butter in a saucepan and place it over low heat.
  • When the butter starts to melt, sift the cocoa over it and add the instant coffee powder.
  • Continue to cook, stirring, until the butter is melted and the coffee and cocoa are blended well.
  • Remove from heat and let it cool completely. Transfer the contents to a large bowl.
  • Using a whisk or rubber spatula, beat the eggs into the bowl one at a time.
  • Stir in the sugar and vanilla, followed by the dry ingredients, nuts and chopped chocolate. {Don't beat the batter too vigorously as it would add air to the batter.}
  • Scrape the batter into the baking pan.
  • Bake for 30-45mins. Once done, the brownie will be gooey but the top will have a dry papery crust.
  • Let the brownies cool for at least 30 mins.
  • Turn the brownies onto a rack and peel away the paper. Cool completely before cutting the brownie.




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