Recipe – DEVIL’S FOOD CAKE

Today is a special day as ‘plateituprecipes’ celebrate its 1st Blog Anniversary. A big thank you to all my subscribers, followers, readers who take time in visiting and motivating me for further progress. It has been a truly amazing journey and a great learning experience. As I embark on my second year of blogging journey, I ask for your continued support and encouragement.

For the celebration, I baked Nigella Lawson’s Devil’s Food Cake. This cake is incredibly delicious, rich with tender crumb and luscious frosting; ah! so very chocolatey.  Combine the batter and do not overbeat it.  The icing takes little time to thicken; in case if you are short of time, do the icing first. Also, it thickens faster in warm weather.

Yields : 10-12

for preparing the cake batter :

50 grams best-quality cocoa powder (sifted)

100 grams dark brown muscovado sugar

250 ml boiling water

125 grams soft unsalted butter (plus some for greasing)

150 grams caster sugar

225 grams plain flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

for the frosting :

125 ml water

30 grams/2 tablespoons dark brown muscovado sugar

175 grams unsalted butter (softened)

300 grams best-quality dark chocolate (finely chopped)

decorative sugar (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Line the bottoms of two 20cm / 8inch round sandwich tins with baking parchment and butter the sides.

Put the cocoa and 100g dark muscovado sugar into a bowl and pour in the boiling water. Whisk to mix, then set aside.

Cream the butter and caster sugar together, beating well until pale and fluffy.

Stir the flour, baking powder and bicarb together in another bowl, and set aside for a moment.

Dribble the vanilla extract into the creamed butter and sugar – mixing all the while – crack 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, then finally mix and fold in the cocoa mixture, scraping its bowl well with a spatula.

Divide this batter between the 2 prepared tins and put in the oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Take the tins out and leave them on a wire rack for 5–10 minutes, before turning the cakes out to cool.

But as soon as the cakes are in the oven, get started on your frosting:

Put the water, muscovado 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 is hit with heat, then leave for a minute to melt before whisking till smooth and glossy.

Leave for about 1 hour, whisking now and again – when you’re passing the pan – by which time the cakes will be cooled, and ready for the frosting.

Set one of the cooled cakes, with its top side down, on a cake stand or plate, and spread with about a third of the frosting, then top that with the second cake, regular way up, and spread the remaining frosting generously over the top and sides, swirling away with your spatula. Sprinkle with decorative sugar, if using.

My observations/notes :

  • can use brown sugar if muscovado sugar is unavailable

 

Recipe – Çoban Salatasi (choban salad)

Çoban Salatasi/choban salad or ‘Shepherd’s salad’ in turkish is a very popular salad in Turkey. Simple, light, refreshing, healthy and easy to prepare salad is great for summers, also complements main courses and makes a great snacking option between meals. The key here is to use ripe, juicy tomatoes and fresh ingredients. It has a tendency to become soggy soon, so dont make it in advance. Have kept it the authentic way; sometimes, I love to add feta cheese, a teaspoon of sumac for tangy flavour and also sop up the juices with pieces of bread. This colourful and delicious salad is great for picnics and buffet too.

prep time : 15 mins, serves : 4-6, cuisine : turkey, author : gloria

Ingredients

3 nos ripe tomatoes (de-seeded/chopped)

1 English cucumber (peeled/chopped)

1 red bell pepper (de-seeded/chopped)

1 red onion (sliced)

½ bunch parsley (chopped)

for the dressing :

hand-squeeze juice of 1 lemon

generous amout of extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Method

Wash the vegetables and drain them. Chop tomatoes cucumber, red bell pepper and parsley. Slice onion finely. Place it in a large bowl; mix nicely and refrigerate.

Combine ingredients mentioned under ‘for the dressing’ in an empty jar and shake well. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad; allow it to rest for 10 mins to bring out its delicious flavour .

Enjoy!!

my observations/notes

  • use ripe juicy tomatoes
  • can use cilantro instead of parsley
  • can sprinkle a large pinch of sumac, if required
  • can add crumbled paneer

Recipe – PINEAPPLE PULISSERY (pineapple in yogurt gravy)

Pulissery is a traditional authentic dish from Kerala and is one of the many dishes served at Onam sadhya (grand feast). Prepared in many malayalee homes, it has a lovely combination with subtle flavours. The sweetness from the pineapple, spice from green/red chillies and sourness from curd topped with tempering/tadka makes this curry refreshingly light and incredibly delicious.

My mum would make pulissery with semi-ripe fruits like mango, kerala banana (nendranpazham) and pineapple along with spicy stir fries. Fond memories of my childhood brings the light of other days around me, each time I prepare this dish. Knowing that it is one of my favourites, mum would ladle generous amount of this curry over the rice and yours truly gobbling down with additional servings of rice, some crispy poppadums heartily.

Here in this recipe, I have used freshly grated coconut, sour curd/yogurt and fresh semi-ripe pineapple. If the curd or yogurt is not sour, leave it on the counter-top at room temperature. The yellow colour of the curry is due to the presence of turmeric being added. The use of green and whole dried red chillies gives a spicy touch. Warm water is added so that the coconut mixture is grounded into a fine smooth paste. Serve it with boiled rice, poppadums and your favourite choice of spicy stir fry – Heavenly!!

prep time : 20 mins, cooking time : 15 mins, serves : 6-8, cuisine : kerala, author : gloria

Ingredients

1 medium sized semi-ripe pineapple

1 tsp ground turmeric

2-3 green chillies (slit)

1 ½ cup curd/yogurt (lightly beaten)

salt to taste

to grind into a smooth paste

200 gms grated coconut

3 green chillies

2 curry leaves

¾ tsp cumin seeds

for tempering

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

8 nos fenugreek seeds

4 whole dried red chillies (broken)

few curry leaves

Method

Using a sharp knife, cut top and bottom portion of the pineapple. Cut off the skin and centre core; remove brown spots with the help of a paring knife. Chop it into chunks.

Tip into a saucepan, adding little water, turmeric, slit green chillies, 4 curry leaves and salt. Allow it to cook with lid till soft and tender.

Meanwhile, grind ingredients mentioned under ‘to grind’ into a fine smooth paste adding little warm water.

Once the pineapple is cooked, add the ground coconut paste mixture. Keeping the heat on low, cook for 2-3 minutes. Season to taste and switch off heat.

Now, add the beaten curd/yogurt and combine everything together.

Finally, let’s do the tempering/tadka. Add coconut oil in a small pan. Reduce heat to low and tip in mustard seeds; once it splutters, add curry leaves, fenugreek seeds and broken red chillies. Stir for few seconds; pour it right away to the prepared curry.

Enjoy it with rice, poppadum, pickle and your favourite choice of stir fry.

KORI GASSI (manglorean style chicken curry)

Kori Gassi or manglorean style chicken curry is a traditional and popular dish made with an array of aromatic spices, chillies, curry leaves, tamarind and coconut milk – having loads of depth, flavour and aroma.

The use of fresh coconut and spices is important in preparing this curry. The coconut and spices are first dry roasted separately and blended together into a fine smooth paste. Towards end of the curry, fresh coconut milk is added to enhance its taste. A delicate combination and sweetness from the coconut milk balances the heat from the chillies. Adjust heat as per preference. This curry can be prepared with vegetables, mutton and prawns too. Back home, I had prepared this curry with country chicken – simple bliss! Enjoy this deliciously lip-smacking curry with rice, dosa, rotti (rice wafers), sannas, appams or pundi (rice balls).

prep time : 30 mins, cooking time : 45 mins, serves : 6-8, cuisine : mangalore, author : gloria

Ingredients

1 kg chicken (cut/washed/drained)

½ tsp ground turmeric

sea-salt to taste

1/2-1 cup thick extract of coconut milk

½ cup thin extract of coconut milk or water

marble sized tamarind

2 sprigs of curry leaves

coconut oil/ghee

for the masala paste :

10 byadagi chillies

5 dry bird’s eye chillies

1 ½ tbsp whole coriander seeds

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp fenugreek seeds

½ cup grated coconut

1 medium sized onion (sliced)

4 big garlic cloves (chopped)

for tempering/tadka :

1 cinnamon stick

2 cloves

1 small onion (chopped/sliced)

few curry leaves

Mise en place

Marinate the cleaned chicken with sea-salt and turmeric. Reserve.

Soak a marble sized tamarind in half cup warm water for 15 mins or until it becomes soft. Mash it using your fingers; strain it in a fine sieve and discard seeds, if any. Keep aside.

Method

Tip a teaspoon of oil/ghee in a skillet; reduce heat and roast the spices separately until fragrant and changes colour. Remove and transfer it to a bowl.

Now, add the grated coconut into the same skillet and roast on a slow heat till it reaches light brown colour. Once, it changes colour, tip in the onion and garlic. Sauté for few minutes. Switch off heat and allow it to cool completely.

In a blender, grind all the roasted masala ingredients into a fine smooth paste, adding very little water.

Into a pre-heated oil/ghee, tip few curry leaves and add the prepared masala paste; sauté till oil emanates at the edges.

Add the marinated chicken; mix till all the masalas are well coated to the chicken.

Now, add the 2nd extract of coconut milk or water; stir and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat; cover with a lid and cook till the chicken is tender.

Uncover and add the tamarind pulp. Simmer for few more minutes and pour in thick extract of coconut milk. Adjust seasoning and switch off heat.

Let’s do the tempering/tadka. Add ghee or coconut oil in a small pan. Reduce heat to low and tip in cinnamon and cloves; stir for few seconds. Add curry leaves. Once splutters, add the chopped/sliced onion. Sauté till it reaches golden brown in colour. Add this mixture to the prepared curry.

Garnish and serve hot over rice, sannas or pundi.

Recipe – 100% WHOLEWHEAT BREAD (atta bread)

Baking your own bread is therapeutic and rewarding experience; the smell of a warm freshly baked bread wafting through the room is divine.

I love making bread and trying out different variations. It is easy to get a fluffy and soft texture with flours but when it comes to making a 100% wholewheat bread (atta bread), it is a challenge.

Since I want to bake a sugar-free bread using 100% wholewheat flour (chakki atta) for hubby dear, this recipe is simply perfect. I love to do it in the old-fashioned way. It does not have all purpose flour, eggs or sugar. I have made this bread recipe with sugar too; add 1 tbsp (if using it); the bread was more fluffy and light. The gluten powder was given to me by one of my friends; thought to use it for this bread recipe.

My toddler loves to baste the bread as he has done in all my previous bread recipes. You can baste with water or plain milk, however, it is optional. I basted my bread to keep my little chef happy.

The bread had a soft, light and pleasantly chewy texture.  You can tell the bread is cooked by tapping underneath. If it sounds hollow then it is cooked and if it doesn’t you have to put it back in the oven for little longer. Uncover the bread and allow it to cool completely; it is hard to resist cutting a slice of fresh warm home-made bread – so go ahead and enjoy!

Have a peep to my other bread recipes 4 braid bread, Simple Irish Soda bread and Turkish bread.

recipe source : my own

total prep time : 3 hrs/20 mins, cooking time : 25 mins, serves : 1 loaf, author : gloria

Ingredients

400 gms + 50 gms for dusting wholewheat flour*

2 tbsp gluten powder

1/4 tsp ground ginger

3 tsp milk powder

1 ½ tsp fine salt

2 tbsp vegetable oil

350 ml lukewarm water or milk of your choice

basting with plain water or milk (optional)

Method

Combine wholewheat flour, gluten powder, ground ginger, milk powder and salt in a large bowl.

Make a well in the centre and add vegetable oil and lukewarm water or milk.

With the help of a wooden spoon, mix everything nicely. At this stage, the dough would be sticky. Dust little wheat flour onto the surface area and transfer the dough.

Using the extra wheat flour*, rub your hands and begin to knead the dough for a longer duration until it becomes silky and elastic.

Place it in a greased bowl, cover and allow it to rest in a warm spot for 2 hours to leaven.

After the 1st rise, remove from the bowl and gently punch the dough down.

Shape into a loaf tucking the edges and place seam side down in a generously greased loaf pan (9×3 inches).

Cover loosely with a plastic wrap and allow it to rise further for a second time undisturbed for 60 minutes. Baste it with plain water or milk.

Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 220º C and bake for 25 mins or until golden brown.

Once slightly cooled, remove it from the pan and place it on a wire rack uncovered to cool completely.

Enjoy your home-made freshly baked atta bread slathered with butter or in your meals.  Makes a great sandwich too.