Butterscotch cake!

Hello all! After a lot of thinking and having had conversations with many regarding what special cake should be the birthday cake this year for my toddler who turned 2 over the weekend, I settled for the ever yumm butterscotch cake! There are so many fond memories to this flavour of cake. It once used to be a favorite of mine! I started looking for recipes.. Quite surprisingly this search wasn’t an easy one. There is so little on butterscotch on the internet I felt, and most were rather time consuming and detailed recipes. What I was after was the butterscotch, i.e., the combination of sweet, crunchy vanilla and nutty bits that would just melt away in your mouth – simply the butterscotch that we grew up enjoying !!

After some pretty intense look out over the internet, I managed to find this blog. The writer has very simply demonstrated the cake as well as the butterscotch recipe on her blog and it was very easy to follow, plus there was nothing unusual that I would have had to run to the supermarket for. Here is my version of this beautiful cake. I have had to amend the original recipe to accommodate for 24cm cake tin and used self raising flour instead. The recipe for the butterscotch cupcakes will follow shortly. For now, I give you one of the beautiful and delicious cakes – butterscotch!

Have fun!

Sadaf

 

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Ingredients

For the cake:

Eggs – 5
Sugar – 200g
Vanilla essence – 2 tsp
Oil – 5tbsp
Self raising flour – 200g
Baking powder – 1/2 tsp

For the butterscotch

Granulated sugar – 170g
Butter – 4-5 tsp
Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
Crushed cashewnuts – 2 tbsp
Crushed almonds – 1tbsp

For the butterscotch syrup

Sugar – 4 tbsp
Water – 1 cup
Vanilla essence – 1/2 tsp

For the frosting

Whipped cream – 500ml
Vanilla essence – 2 tsp
Powdered sugar – 5 tbsp
Almond flakes – to cover the sides of the cake (optional)

 

Directions

For the sponge cake

Heat the oven to 160 degrees and line the base and sides of a 24cm spring form tin with baking paper.

Sift the flour and baking powder together thrice and keep aside. This is an important step, as this helps make the batter more airy.

Crack 5 eggs and start beating using electric mix on high speed. Add in the sugar and beat until the mixture turns about triple in volume, pale in color and has attained the ribbon stage. This took me about 10 mins on high.

Add vanilla essence and oil beat for another 1-2 mins.

Fold in the flour and baking powder in three parts very carefully so as not to deflate the batter.

Pour the batter in the prepared tin and bake for about 35 mins. Check the cake by inserting a skewer; if it comes out clean, the cake is done! otherwise let it bake in for another 5 mins and check again.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it sit out for about 5-10 mins. Carefully take it out of the pan and let it cool on rack.

Once the cake is completely cooled, you can wrap it tightly in cling film and refrigerate over night to use the next day. To use the cake on the same day, stick it in the freezer for 15-20 mins at least, so it is just about firm to slice into layers.

For the butterscotch

Now, for the yum crunchy bits!

Grease a baking sheet and keep aside.

In a thick bottom pan on low flame, add sugar and butter.

Gently stir the mixture from time to time. The butter will melt first and then the sugar. I got a bit confused, as the sugar absorbed all the butter and I thought something had gone terribly wrong as I could only see all dried up sugar. But then after waiting for another 2 mins, the sugar now golden (due to all the butter), started melting and soon turned into a beautiful golden brown liquid.

Let this mixture boil for another minute or so and then just about the right time – not too thick nor too runny, take off the flame and quickly mix in the vanilla essence and crushed nuts. Spread it onto the greased sheet.

Let it cool completely and then crush into bits. Keep aside.

For the butterscotch syrup

In a pan, boil water and sugar with the vanilla essence. You can adjust the sugar for the syrup according to your taste.

Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.

For the frosting

Chill the beaters, bowl and the whipping cream in the fridge for about 30mins to 1 hr.

Start whipping the cream on high, adding powdered sugar and vanilla essence. Continue beating until soft peaks are formed. Use immediately or cover using cling film and stick the bowl into the freezer for about 10 mins to firm if required.

Assembling the cake

Slice the cake horizontally into 2 layers (or 3 if you can).

Gently place one layer on the serving plate cut side up. With a help of a tablespoon, spread the syrup evenly on the cake.

Spread a layer of whipped cream. Sprinkle a layer of butterscotch generously over the top.

Place the other half of the cake on top,with the cut side facing up.

Spread the syrup,  then the cream evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Sprinkle butterscotch all over the cake and almond flakeson the sides (optional).

Let the cake cool in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

Done.

 

Some more pics!

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Here is a delicious slice of the cake!

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Here, I stuck a couple of hand made Spider-Men on top of the cake for some childish attraction from my son. …And it worked! :)

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Towards the end of this post, I realise the cake post from last year is still sitting in my drafts.. (booo.. I know. ). But here is a quick view of the cake pics and the cake recipe can be found on my blog here.

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11. November 2014 by Sadaf Ansari
Categories: Baking, Desert | 3 comments

Fruit Trifle

I’d been craving a desert since some time now.. and finally decided to make a  fruit trifle. This desert needs a little prep and the rest is assembling and then resting it in the fridge to set before indulging! I browsed the internet to find variations to this recipe, and I did find some interesting ones on there. Some recipes called for pouring the prepared jelly straight into the serving bowl/s along with the other items of the desert and let it set in the fridge. Some include fresh whipped cream and others ice cream, some required the cake to be soaked in syrup and others in some form of alcohol and so on.

I ended up making this simple recipe that I have seen MiL make many a times. And it is liked by all. So here it is.

Have fun!
Sadaf

fruittrifle

Ingredients

Sponge cake – 1 ( I baked my own)
Custard – 3 cups (prepared)
Jelly – 2 packs
Fresh/canned fruits – 3 cups
Dried fruits (chopped) – 1 cup
Strawberry jam  or preserve – 100g
Ice cream – for the top layer.
Chocolate sauce optional

Directions

Prepare

Bake your sponge cake the night before or you can always get a ready one from the supermarket. Cut the cakes into about 2 – 2.5″ chunks.

Prepare the custard. I used the store bought custard powder and prepared as per the instructions on the pack. You will need 3 cups, more or less.

Prepare the jelly according to the instructions on the pack. I used strawberry flavoured instant set jelly. Preferred using the red colored one so it stands out in the layers of the desert.

If you are using fresh fruits, dice them up into bite sized chunks. Or drain out the syrup from the canned fruits.  I used a can of mixed fruits as well as fresh apples, pears and banana.

For the syrup to soak the cake pieces into, I dissolved the strawberry preserve in a couple tbsp of warm water.

Assembling the trifle

Arrange the cake pieces to make the first layer. Pour the prepared syrup over the cake, making sure you cover all cake nicely.

Pour in custard, again making sure it is a good layer. Sprinkle dried fruits and then arrange the fruit chunks.

Place the jelly over the fruits, followed by a thinner layer of custard.

Make another set of layers, – cake > syrup > custard > dried and fresh fruits > jelly.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours. Top it off with a generous serve of ice cream and crushed nuts. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

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24. October 2014 by Sadaf Ansari
Categories: Uncategorized | 2 comments

RAMADAN 2014

date-ramadan-debut-ramadan

Here’s wishing all my friends a blessed month of Ramadan. I hope you all make the most of this holy month. Though it is a busy tiring routine as is with most of you this month, I will try to post some Iftar specialities on here. Make lots of prayers and watch out this space!

~Ramadan Mubarak~

Peace,
Sadaf

04. July 2014 by Sadaf Ansari
Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PANEER FRIED RICE

A flavourful fried rice variant – Paneer fried rice. I made this fried rice the other day in a jiffy and it tasted delicious! A few very common ingredients and you can add or adjust the ingredients as you please. So here is the recipe!

Enjoy!:)

Sadaf

Cuisine: Indian-Oriental | Cooking time: 10 mins | Serving: 2 people

paneerfriedrice

Ingredients

Cooked rice – 1 cup
Frozen veggies – 1/2 cup
Paneer cubes – 1/2 cup
Tomato sauce – 2 tbsp
Chilli Sauce – 2 tbsp
Salt – according to taste
Oil – 2-3 tbsp
Egg – 1 (optional)
Potato cubes – 1/4 cup (optional)
Green chillies – 2 (optional)

Directions

Heat oil in a frying pan or a wok. Scramble the egg and keep aside – (optional).

Add the green chillies and then all the veggies and fry for about 1 – 2 mins and then add the paneer cubes and fry for another minute until the cubes turn slightly golden on sides.

Break the rice to separate the grains and add it to the pan. Toss well with the veggies, egg, paneer. Add the sauces and adjust salt and pepper if required.

Serve with choice of your sauce.

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19. June 2014 by Sadaf Ansari
Categories: Vegetarian | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Butter Chicken

Butter chicken is every body’s favorite! It has always been no.1 take-away dish in my family when we were little. In the early days of my cooking, I came across heaps of butter chicken recipes floating everywhere on the internet. I was never tempted to try them as they would be lines and lines of recipe.. and even more, the lengthy, tedious task of cooking was not worth the experiment, until I stumbled across the Sanjeev Kapoor Youtube channel, where the chef (not Sanjeev Kapoor),  puts together this awesomely delicious looking dish with very little effort. I had to try making this once, no matter how long I spend in the kitchen :) . That was it. This was my very first attempt at Butter Chicken and after getting very positive reviews, I made this again and again and is still a favourite at the dinner table and with guests.

I strongly recommend you try this once. It will not fail! So follow the recipe as below:

 

Cheers

Sadaf

 

Cuisine: Indian | Cooking time: 60 mins | Serving: 6 people

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Ingredients

Chicken – 1 Kg
Lemon Juice – 2 tbsp
Red Chill powder – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Butter

For the Marinade:

Yoghurt – 1 cup
Salt – to taste
Garlic Paste – 2 tsp
Ginger Paste – 1 tbsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Red Chilli powder – 2 tsp
Lemon Juice – 3 tbsp
Mustard oil – 3 tbsp

For the Gravy :

Butter – 150g
Tomatoes – 800g
Green Cardamom – 4-5
Mace – 1-2
Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Green chillies – 5-6 chopped
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Garam Masala – 1 tbsp
Cashew paste – 10-12 cashews
Kasuri Methi – 1 tsp
heavy Cream – 1 cup

Directions

For the Chicken:

Make incisions with a sharp knife on the pieces of chicken.

Apply a mixture of red chilli powder, lemon juice and salt to the chicken and set aside for about 1 hour.

Hang yoghurt in a muslin cloth for 15 mins to remove extra water. Add red chilli powder, salt, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, garam masala power and mustard oil to it.

Apply this mixture to the chicken pieces and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours. Cook moderately in a preheated oven (200 deg C) until almost done. Baste with butter and cook for another 10 to 15 mins or until done.

Remove and set aside.

For the Gravy:

Heat some oil in a pan and add butter. Toss in green cardamom, mace and 1 tbsp of garlic. Add chopped tomatoes.

Cook until the tomatoes are soft and done and then cool and grind to a smooth paste. Strain to get the puree.

Heat about 3 tbsp of butter and add ginger paste and chopped green chillies. Add the tomato puree, salt and red chilli according to taste. Cook for about 10 mins.

Add cashew paste. Cook for another 2-3 mins

Add chicken and let the gravy simmer. Add kasuri methi and cream, simmer for another 2 minutes.

Serve with Butter Naan or plain rice.

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17. April 2014 by Sadaf Ansari
Categories: Curry, Non-Vegetarian | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Bulghur Wheat Tomato Pilaf

I have been desperately wanting to shift from white rice and take a healthier route in terms of consuming different cereals. In no time did I realise that my somewhat dislike towards white rice has turned me into an experimental person these  recent days. I got busy browsing internet for options and comparisons between various grains and millets on offer – most which I have only seen on the TV and ignored as never having to eat or to be too healthy to try. But here I am, quite amazed at the super market shelves which have these variety of options, which I am yet to explore in my own cooking. So, after a little research before heading out shopping, I picked up a packet of Organic Bulghur Wheat from the super market shelf and carefully put it into my shopping cart, all the time thinking if this shelf was always there in the same place! How ignorant could I’ve been to walk away without noticing all these healthy nutrient packed stuff!

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And so, I brought this interestingly healthy stuff home with plans of making a healthy replacement (of rice) for lunch the next day. I again took to the internet and browsed for interesting and quick recipes. The very popular recipe that made use of bulghur wheat found was – (1) Tabbouleh, (2) Salad, (3) Upma, (4) Pilaf, in the order. After scanning through these recipes and quite a lot more, I decided to make “Tomato pilaf”, replacing the rice in the original recipe with bulghur wheat. At the end of it, looking at a successful dish I pulled off, I felt very good. In fact I am looking forward to make more interesting recipes with Bulghar Wheat, so watch this space!

Here is the recipe for Bulghur Wheat Tomato Pilaf.

Enjoy!

Sadaf

Cuisine: Oriental| Cooking time: 30 mins | Serving: 2 people

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Ingredients:

Blughur Wheat – 1 cup
Tomatos – 2 (chopped)
Onion – 1 Small (chopped)
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves – a sprig
Salt – according to taste
Green chillies – 2 (slit)
Red Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp (optional)
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1/4 tsp
Frozen veggies – handful
Water – 1 cup
Oil – 2 tbsp

Directions

Heat the oil in a non stick pan and add mustard seeds. Add the curry leaves and green chillies when the mustard seeds start to crackle.

Add the chopped onions and saute until soft, then add ginger garlic paste and turmeric powder. Fry a little and then add chopped tomatoes. Saute until the tomatoes are soft.

Add the frozen veggies and fry for about 30 seconds. Add seasoning – salt,chilli powder (optional) according to your taste. Pour water, stir to mix well and then cover until begins to simmer.

Now, add the bulghur wheat a tbsp at a time while stirring so it doesnt form lumps. Mix well and then cover again and cook on low flame for about 15 mins. Check the grains and if required cook further (you can add water if required).

Fluff the wheat once done and then dish it out to serve.

Done.

 

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16. April 2014 by Sadaf Ansari
Categories: Vegetarian | Leave a comment

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