Williamsburg Orange Cake

It's been sometime since I have baked a cake. After the birthday cake fuss, I haven't had the motivation to bake anything!! I was going through my recipe book the other day and found few pending cake recipes. One among them was the Williamsburg Orange Cake. This recipe was jotted down from the newspaper along with the Applesauce spice squares last month; but it had to wait for so long to see the limelight.... I have baked cakes out of mangoes, apples, strawberries and so on but this is the first try with oranges and believe me it was the best among the others!! The cake was so flavorsome and tastes better as it ages, though sadly in my house cakes normally don't last for more than two days!!

I have made few changes in the original recipe. The original recipe uses 1 cup golden raisins and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. However, I didn't add those as we like a plain cake.

Recipe Source: The Hindu

All purpose flour - 2 1/2 cups
Sugar - 1 1/2 cups
Butter - 3/4 cup, softened
Orange juice - 1 cup
Curd - 1/2 cup
Orange peel - 1 tbsp, grated
Baking soda - 1 1/2 tsp
Vanilla - 1 1/2 tsp
Eggs - 3

  • Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • Grease and flour a bundt cake pan.
  • Beat the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy.
  • Then add in the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
  • Add in the orange juice, curd, orange peel, baking soda and vanilla and beat well.
  • Add the all purpose flour and beat well until incorporated.
  • Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for an hour or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool on a wire rack.

Like I said, if you want a very tasty orange cake, wait for a day or two!!!

The juice in the glass needs a special mention. That's a juice brand from Sachin Tendulkar under the name "Sach"... I found it recently in Big Bazaar, though I haven't seen it anywhere else...


Sunrise Crush

Hope the photos below speak more than the words!

Ingredients & Equipments:
Recipe Source: everyday smoothies and juices by Parragon Books

Ripe Pineapple - 1
Oranges - 4, halved
Ice cubes
Juicer, Cocktail Shaker and Squeezer (not included in the picture above)

  • Slice the bottom of the pineapple and stand the pineapple upright on a board. Remove the spiky skin then cut into six long pieces.
  • Puree the pineapple in a juicer.
  • Squeeze the oranges with a squeezer. 
  • Pour the juices in a cocktail shaker and add some ice cubes. Shake well.
  • Pour into a glass and serve.

The juice all ready to be poured into the glasses.

And here it is the "Sunrise Crush", to kick-start your day or to un-wind after a long tiring day!


A Healthy Breakfast Drink from my kitchen

Normally, I don't like pumpkins, especially the ripe ones. So, if they are used in sambhar or avial or made as erissery, I am fussy! But that's not the case with the raw ones.... I love raw pumpkins and papaya...Raw pumpkins are good for salads (especially their skin) and juices; and raw papayas make a good thoran. It was my papa who introduced me to these juices made out of raw pumpkins and they tasted yummy.....He used whatever fruits and veggies that were available in his garden for the juices....The main ingredients, however were pumpkins, carrots and apples, with a few additions or subtractions in the ingredients. I always prefer to stick with pumpkins, carrots and apples without any sugar and we, including my little fussy-eaters love it.

Recipe Source: My own

Raw Pumpkin - 1/2, peeled and cubed
Apple - 2, cored and chopped
Carrot - 1, peeled and chopped

  • Place the chopped pumpkin, apple and carrot in a food processor or blender and process.
  • Pour into a glass and add ice cubes and serve.


Apple Smoothie

The summers are becoming unbearable; the sun is shining down in its full glory. I have started skipping my evening tea or coffee with something cool. I normally go in for cold water or some cold fresh juices. My kids too have started skipping their hot milk for milkshakes or cold milk.

Though I have had smoothies from cafes or restaurants, I am not a great lover of those as they are calorie-laden drinks. But, I wanted to try out smoothies for my kids. I searched for a healthy smoothie recipe for kids and found out many on Food Viva. Since I had few apples in hand, I tried out the Apple Smoothie, to begin with.....

Recipe Adapted from: Food Viva

Fresh Apples - 2, cored and chopped
Milk - 1 cup
Curd - 1/2 cup
Honey - 2 tbsps
Ground cardamom - a pinch
Golden raisins - few, to garnish

  • Put the chopped apples, curd, ground cardamom and honey in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Add milk and blend it again for a few seconds.
  • Pour prepared smoothie in a serving glass and serve with ice cubes.

  • You could blend ice cubes along with milk but optional especially for kids.
  • You could use ground cinnamon instead of cardamom.

Sending my smoothie for Aparna's Black and White Wednesdays...


An idea can change a crumbled cake!

Remember the crumbled cake about which I had mentioned in the earlier post! With the pieces of crumbled cake and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of each piece, I made a delicious dessert and had it after our dinner....*smiles*.....Well, I was able to cut two decent triangular pieces out of the crumbled pieces for the photo sessions...*winks*...

Flourless Chocolate Rum Cake

Recipe Source: Pastry Affair

Dark or semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped - 1 cup (6oz)
Butter, cubed - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Eggs, large - 4
Vanilla extract - 1 1/2 tsp
Cocoa powder - 1/2 cup
Rum or Water - 1/3 cup

  • Preheat oven to 190 C. Grease an 8" tin and keep aside.
  • In a small saucepan over low heat, melt together the chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth.
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl and mix in the sugar.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth between each additions.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract, cocoa powder and rum until well mixed. 
  • Pour batter into the pan and bake for 35-40 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with few crumbs. Do not over-bake the cake else the cake will become dry.
  • Allow the cake to cool in pan for 5 mins before inverting onto a serving plate.


Happy Birthday to Me!!

Yes, it's that day of the year which is exclusively for me!!! I grew a year older, which also means a year lesser to the graves....*smiles*.....This year too I received my quota of presents and wishes...And had a great cake cutting ceremony early in the morning...... *smiles*...(Little joys of life)

So, what is a birthday without a cake!!......Remember my last year's b'day cake!! This year too I decided to bake my own birthday cake. But this time, it was a quite a disappointment for me!!! Actually, I had pinned down on Deeba's (of PAB) Coffee and Vanilla Bean Layered Cake months back....But unfortunately, had to change it at the last moment as my little one was not keeping well.....JJ insisted on buying a cake but I was so adamant on baking my own birthday cake....Moreover, these days, I don't like the bakery baked cakes as they are very sweet and full of flavors! So, I searched for a recipe which required less preparation time as I had to cater to a sick child  in between.....I choose to bake the Flourless Chocolate Rum Cake from Pastry Affair.....Everything went on fine; from the preparation to the baking and cooling of the cake....Suddenly, things went wrong when I de-moulded it to a cake plate.....The cake tore into pieces and I was so shocked! There was nothing much to do about it except to just stare at it! Disappointed and not knowing what to do next, I sat in front of the TV, switching channels....I had only my eyes glued to it but mind wandering for a solution.....And that is when I remembered about a cake recipe, which I had read about long back.....I immediately hoped on to Suma's blog Cakes and More and searched for  her birthday cake, the Coffee Cream Gateaux.....The recipe required less ingredients and time to bake the cake, so in I go to my kitchen with my laptop and started off the preparation to bake the cake....I had to finish the cake within an hour before the power goes off and so I was in a rush that I missed a vital part of the cake preparation....But, finally I had a Birthday cake!!And thankfully, my little one slept off peacefully all this time......{And I am not including the pictures of the entire cake as the decorations on the cake were somewhat childish!} 

The method below explains how I prepared this cake. For more details on this sponge cake please visit Suma's blog.

Coffee Cream Gateaux
Recipe Source: Cakes and More

For the Coffee Sponge
Eggs - 3
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Plain Flour - 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence - 1 1/2 tsp
Instant coffee powder - 1 tbsp

For the Coffee Cream
Sweetened whipping cream - 2 cups (I used 1 sachet of  instant whipping powder)
Instant coffee powder - 1 tbsp
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp


Preparing the Coffee Cream
  • Chill the beater and bowl in the freezer.
  • Prepare the whipping cream as mentioned on the package. To this add the essence and instant coffee. Whip the cream and refrigerate the cream for frosting.

Preparing the Cake
  • Grease, line a 8" cake tin, flour lightly. Keep aside.
  • Preheat oven to 190 C.
  • In a large bowl, take eggs, vanilla essence, sugar and instant coffee. With an electric beater, whip the eggs for ten mins till thick and mousse like. Beat at low speed and then move to medium high speed. {This is where I made the mistake and that is the reason for my thin cake. The volume of the cake depends on how well it is beaten. So, immerse the bowl in a pan of simmering water and beat until it has tripled in volume and mousse like}.
  • Sift the flour over the egg mixture in 3 additions. Fold in the flour very gently but thoroughly with a spatula.
  • When all the flour has been incorporated, transfer the batter to the tin.
  • Bake for 35-40 mins or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean. {Do not open the oven for the first 20 mins of putting the cake}.
  • Once done, leave the cake in the tin for 10 mins. Run a knife along the sides to release the cake.. Turn onto a wire rack and cool completely. 
  • Once completely cooled, spread the coffee cream using a spatula. Frost the cake on all sides with the cream. Chill the cake and decorate.

Now, if you are wondering what happened to the first cake, you need to wait for the next post.... After all I live in a country where "An idea can change your life"....*smiles & winks*......


Mango Milkshake

Before I begin this post I would like to wish all the readers of Cakes and Tales a belated "Happy Easter"....Hope you had a scrumptious feast.....I had plans of making some desserts for the Easter but nothing happened, as usual!!

It's mango season once again and I love this season coz mangoes are my favorite, be it ripe or raw....Last year, I had tried out few recipes with mangoes like the Mango Loaf Cake and the Mango Vanilla Verrines....

I was going through the recipe index of Cakes and Tales, when I found out that I haven't posted a Mango Milkshake though I had made it many times.....

Recipe Source: My Own

Mango - 1, big
Milk - 2 cups, chilled
Sugar - 2 tsps (optional, depending on the sweetness of the mango)

  • Peel the mango and cut them into small cubes.
  • Put the mango cubes, chilled milk and sugar in a blender and blend them until smooth.
  • Transfer it to a serving glass and serve immediately.

And of course, wishing everybody a Happy April Fool's Day... ;)