Coffee Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce and Ganache

coffee cake
Whenever I’ve looked up ‘coffee cake’ on Google, the results are almost always about cake you eat with coffee. So what’d I do? I just made one with coffee in it. It’s pretty basic and hard to get wrong. It did turn out a little stronger than I’d thought, but I’m not complaining. This isn’t the cake you have with your coffee. This IS your coffee!coffee cake

 

Ingredients:

Flour - 1 cup

Butter at room temperature - 1/2 cup

Sugar - 3/4 cup (I ran out of brown sugar so I used regular white)

Eggs - 2

Baking powder - 1.5 tsp

Instant coffee powder (I used Bru) - 2 tbsp mixed in 2 tbsp hot water

Vanilla - 1 tsp

Salt - 1/4 tsp (only if you're using unsalted butter)

coffee cake

Method:

Preheat oven at 180C.

Whisk butter and sugar till light and fluffy.

Add eggs and whisk some more. Add vanilla.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Add the coffee and water mixture to the egg mixture and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and gently fold. Don't beat or over mix, else the cake will turn out hard.

Grease and line your baking tin with butter paper. Pour the batter in and bake for 35 mins. Do the toothpick test to see if it comes out clean. If not, bake for another 5 mins.

Let the cake cool before you top with salted caramel and ganache. They're optional though. You could simply dust it with icing sugar and serve.
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Smoked Mutton Bafat Curry

The last time I made bafat was with pork, a few months ago. This time I wanted it with mutton. Not only that, I wanted it smoked. Who doesn’t love a good smokey flavour, right? Thankfully, the ironing guy had his shop open right beside my house. I got a couple of pieces of coal from him and used it to smoke the mutton curry. It turned out pretty smacking good. The smoke sure did seep through the curry and into the meat. This was lunch, and by dinner the curry got even better. You can find the recipe for bafat powder here.

mutton curry

Ingredients:

Mutton on the bone - 600 gms

Onions - 2 sliced

Green chillies - 2

Bafat powder - 4 tbsp (2 tbsp if you don't want it too spicy)

Tamarind pulp - 1 tbsp if it's a strong paste, 2 if it's juice from the pulp

Garlic - 4 cloves crushed

Ginger - 1 inch piece sliced

Ghee - 2 tbsp

Salt to taste

For smoking:

A katori (small bowl) and 2 tsp of ghee

mutton curry

Method:

Heat oil in a pressure cooker and saute sliced onions till lightly browned.

Add green chillies, ginger and garlic. Saute some more.

Now add the mutton pieces, bafat powder, tamarind pulp, salt and water just enough to cover the meat.

Put the lid of the cooker on without the whistle and when you see the steam escaping the nozzle, put the whistle on. Cook on high till the first whistle is out. Then cook on low heat for 15 to 20 mins.

Let the pressure drop on its own before you open the lid.

Now open the lid, place the small bowl with the hot coal in it in the centre and pour 2 tsp of ghee on it. It will immediately emit smoke and you need to put the lid back on. Let it sit like that for 15 mins. No need to move it else the coal might end up in your curry. Take the lid off and remove the bowl with the coal. Reheat before serving.

I served this with peas pulao. You could serve with plain rice, jeera rice or any other kind of rice.

 

 

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Roast Chicken with Dill Baby Potatoes

I love me some roast chicken. Particularly the charred bits. The fact that it’s a no fuss, quick fix dinner makes it a winner (didn’t mean for it to rhyme)! Marinades can vary but the idea of searing it on a pan and then letting it cook in a hot oven remains. This time I roasted some baby potatoes along with the chicken. I didn’t make a sauce as such but a creamy yoghurt dip worked great with this.

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Ingredients:

Chicken – one whole leg with thigh on the bone

Chilli garlic paste – 1 tbsp

Onion powder/paste – 1 tbsp

Lemon juice – 1 tsp

Salt – to taste

(Marinate chicken in above ingredients for a couple of hours or overnight)

Baby potatoes (or regular potatoes cut into cubes) – 1 cup halved

Dill – 1 tbsp chopped

Olive oil – 1 tbsp for searing chicken and 1 tsp to drizzle over potatoes

Yoghurt – 1/2 cup whipped

Herbs – 2 tbsp (dill, mint, coriander)

Paprika/chilli powder or paste – 1 tsp

Method:

Sear the marinated chicken leg in hot olive oil for a minute on each side so it browns well.

Pop it in a preheated oven and cook for 40 minutes along with the baby potatoes sprinkled with dill, salt and drizzled with olive oil.

Meanwhile, add the herbs and chilli powder to yoghurt and keep aside.

Take chicken and potatoes out of the oven and serve with yoghurt dip.

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Grilled Sole with Veggies

After a day’s work, all I want is a good plate of food. Light, simple and easy to cook food. Also, healthy. My go to these days are grilled things – fish and chicken, along with a few veggies I can manage. This time I got a couple of sole fillets. A simple marinade and then on to the pan and into a hot oven with some carrots and broccoli. Comfort in a plate. And tastes bloody good!

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Ingredients:

Fish – 2 fillets (I got sole)

Yoghurt – 2 tbsp

Dill – 1 tbsp chopped

Garlic paste – 1 tbsp (or more if you want it garlicky)

Salt – to taste

Carrots and broccoli (or any other veggies) – 1 cup

Olive oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

Marinate fish in yoghurt, dill, garlic paste and salt for a couple of hours or overnight.

Sear it on a hot pan with olive oil for a minute on each side so it gets that nice brown colour.

Pop the fillets into a preheated oven and cook for 15 mins at 180C, along with the veggies.

Take it out of the oven and serve!

 

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Mango Banana Smoothie Bowl

I’ve cut sugar out of my life and it’s been over two weeks now. The first day of no sugar I could have killed someone. I was that irritable, annoyed and basically frustrated. By the time I got to day three, I felt good. And I’ve realized that when you go long enough without sugar, you don’t miss it anymore. The thing about sugar is that it sneaks up on you through various other foods as well – bread, rice, condiments, and the likes. However, since I do have a sweet tooth (32 of them, actually), I indulge in breakfast smoothie bowls. The fruits help.

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Breakfast bowls are the easiest, quickest and the tastiest. Also, surprisingly filling. The fun part is you get to top it with whatever you want – wheat or ragi flakes, muesli, nuts, dried fruits, chia seeds, flax seeds, the list goes on.

Ingredients:

Mango – 2

Banana – 1

Yoghurt – 2 tbsp

Toppings – More fruit, chia seeds, nuts, ragi flakes

Method:

Cut up one mango and half of another one, along with one banana.

Blend it in your mixer with the plain yoghurt.

Pour it in a bowl and top it with mentioned toppings.

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Zesty Lemon Cake

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So I’m alone at work and it’s almost time to get home. I suddenly crave for something sweet and something tangy. Figured I could bake something myself since it’s been God knows how long since I’ve fallen off the baking wagon. Hopped on to my favorite baking recipes’ website, Joy of Baking. Lemon Bars came to mind but, but I let it pass. Next best thing, Lemon Cake; a spongy, buttery, tangy and delicious lemon cake. Fills your home with a zesty lemony aroma, you can’t help but feel lifted instantly.

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Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 cup butter at room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

¼ cup lemon juice

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

Zest of 2 lemons

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt (if you're using salted butter, then omit the extra salt here)
Method:

First whisk the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Use a balloon whisk for this or an electric whisk to make life easy. 

Now add the eggs, one at a time, whisking continuously. 

Add the zest, lemon juice and vanilla at this point. 

Tip in the flour, salt and baking powder and bring together all ingredients to form a thick batter. 

Pour it into a 9 inch greased baking tin, or a non-stick one like I did. 

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 30 minutes or till done (do the toothpick test). 

Let it cool completely before slicing it up.

For a sugar glaze, simply add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to 1 cup of icing sugar, add more lemon juice or water to make it runnier and pour it over the cake.

For a cream cheese frosting, add 3 tbsp powdered sugar to 1/2 cup cream cheese and whisk till fluffy. Add a dash of fresh cream to loosen it up. Frost on cake.

Summer on a plate is what this is.
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