Saturday, March 11, 2017

Fun Fun Funfetti Cake


So January is the month of resolutions, February is the month of love and March is the month of colours! 

Its the month of spring, the flowers are almost about to bloom everywhere making this planet a more beautiful place to live in. Then comes in the Indian festival of Holi with splashes of colour everywhere. Soon enough there's Easter with kids going on a hunt for pastel coloured eggs. And lets not forget the Irish festival of St Patrick's day when people chase rainbows and pots of gold.

You get the picture- colour, colour and more colour. The vibrance, the joy, the energy, the love, the vitality, the zest and the flavours that these beautiful colours represent come alive in the month of March and so my second colourful indulgence for this month was A FUN FUN FUNFETTI CAKE. 



Do you see the splash of colours in and on the cake! I was instantly in love with this! This funfetti loaf cake is so easy to make, is moist with a dense tender crumb and tons of sprinkles with a glaze of white chocolate ganache. Simple but its a sight to behold, isn't it?! Lets get making it then, shall we! Just one glitch though, I seemed to have lost some pics from the making of the batter but hopefully you'll be able to follow my instructions clearly. In case of queries, you know what to do. Leave me a comment or email me and I'll get back to you asap 


Complexity: **

Time taken: 2 hours (including cake cooling time)

Serves: (I'd be happy eating it alone!)


You'll need

2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tbsp of baking powder
2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp brown sugar 
1 cup butter
1 cup of yogurt/ sour cream
3 eggs at room temperature
2 tbsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp sprinkles (more if you like) 
Pinch of love

For the glaze

2 cup white chocolate 
1 1/2 cups cream
2-3 tbsp butter (to make it glossy)
Food colouring (preferably gel in purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, pink)


Method

Preheat your oven to 350F or 180C 

Grease your loaf pan and I like to line the bottom with parchment paper to prevent cake from sticking

In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar till the sugar is all melted and butter turns fluffy



Crack in the eggs and add the vanilla too



Then add the sour cream or yogurt whichever you choose and whisk again till the mixture is light and frothy (No pic, use your imagination!!)

In a separate bowl, mix the flour and the baking powder thoroughly. Bring the combined mix to the wet ingredients and gradually add it while mixing everything together. 

Lastly when the mixture is all combined, then add the funfetti sprinkles to the cake batter. 



Transfer the batter from the bowl to the loaf pan and bake for 45-55 mins or till the time a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cooking time varies from oven to oven. If you feel like your cake is browning too much on the top, then you can use a foil to cover the top and let the cake bake. 

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for 10 mins before removing the cake from the pan. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for about 30-40 mins. The cake is ready for the glaze after that 



Meanwhile lets make the ganache. In a glass bowl, add bite sized pieces of white chocolate and the cream. I always heat this on a double boiler on the gas to heat the chocolate properly. Microwaving it has sometimes caused the chocolate to seize so I tend to avoid that. 

When the chocolate has melted, remove the ganache from the gas and add in the butter. Stir it in so the butter melts and makes the ganache shiny. The consistency of the ganache should be relatively thin so its easy to drizzle on the cake. Divide the ganache in 6 equal portions and add the different colours to the ganache. I used liquid colours but you can use gel too. 

How pretty do these colours look! Don't they just invigorate your life!! 



Now for the fun part! Drizzle the ganache on the cake. Make it like a rainbow. Make it pretty!! You can swirl the colours, you can do the tie dye effect, you can stripe it horizontally or vertically or diagonally, you can dot the cake....do anything that catches your fancy and see how happy it makes you 




Tell me you won't love this colourful little thing right here!! That drizzle- I just want to run my finger through the side of the cake and taste all the colours at once (ofcourse its all white chocolate but you never know. This cake's magical!)



Lets take a peek inside. That crumb!! Moist and tender and those sprinkles!! 



Fun fun fun!!! 




Indulge! And have a Hap hap happy March my dear peeps! 









Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Malpua/ Fried Indian Pancake


Vivid cloud of colours
Pink, green, blue and purple
Smeared on the skin of all nigh
Mirroring all the hearts of joy

India's festival of holi is such a beautifully vibrant festival, no less vibrant than any other festival but unique in its own celebrations. This is the time when you get together with your friends and neighbours and play with colours- dry and wet both. There's so much of fun and frolic. 

As a kid, I remember, we weren't permitted to play holi in the school for safety and hygiene reasons but you know how kids are. We used to sneak in colours in school, hide them in our lunch boxes and then after the lunch break was over, we'd hide them in small pits around the school to be dug out later after school just so we could play holi with our school mates. What a thrill it all was! I just hope my teacher's are not reading this! It might mar my image of the perfect student ;) 



My parents were never in favour of us playing holi just because the colours can sometimes be harmful to the skin. Thankfully now though there are organic colours made with vegetables and turmeric and flowers. That makes playing holi tons more fun. Invariably, the day of holi was celebrated with my grandmom passing over these Malpuas or fried pancakes to us. Indian festivals all come with their own speciality of sweets and malpua is most often associated with Holi. There are a lot of other delicacies like ghevar, gujiya, puran poli depending on your own family traditions and personal taste. But for me, Holi is synonymous with Malpuas. 




You might be wondering what Malpuas actually are. They are fried pancakes sweetened with jaggery/ cane sugar or sometimes just sugar, flavoured with fennel seeds, cardamom powder, rose water or kewra essence or sometimes even saffron and then dunked in a saffron or rose infused syrup where they become oh so deliciously juicy and so indulgent. They are usually swerved with 'Rabri' or thickened condensed milk which is made by boiling and reducing milk for hours and hours so much so that the milk becomes almost creamy in texture and changes colour from white to yellow. The Rabri too is flavoured with almonds, pistachios, raisins and cashews and saffron or rose flavours. 



Do you see a theme here? Basically Holi is 'get fat day' after playing out for a few hours with friends. Can life get any better?!

So lets make Malpuas today then, shall we! 




Complexity: ***

Time taken: 1 hour (includes batter resting time)

Serves: 8-10 malpuas


You'll need

1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
1/3 cup of jaggery (shaved for convenience) 
5-6 cardamom pods coarsely powdered
2 tbsp fennel seeds
1/3 cup of unsweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp rose water
water as required to make pouring consistency of batter 
Flavourless oil for frying
Pinch of love

For sugar syrup

1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 cup water
10-12 strands of saffron


Method

In a bowl, take the all purpose flour, jaggery, cardamom powder and fennel seeds. You see that I have a lump of jaggery here and I needed much more elbow grease to melt it all properly and blend it with the batter. Its would be better if you grate or shave the jaggery instead. Optionally, you could also take the jaggery in a separate bowl, add a couple tbsp of water and let it melt in the bowl and then add it to the flour. Makes life a lot easier. 



To this bowl, add some condensed milk



Next goes in the rose water. Oh how I love this combination of flavours. Takes me straight down the memory lane and the flavour palate is so quintessentially Indian. 



Now pour in about a cup of water gradually and slowly while whisking in the batter. We want a shampoo like consistency- you know its not too flowy nor too thick. Now cover the batter and let it rest for atleast 30 minutes before we are ready to fry them.



Meanwhile, we'll make the sugar syrup. In a pot over medium high heat, add the sugar, water and bring it to a boil. We want to bring this syrup to a 'one- thread' consistency. That is when you stretch the syrup between your forefinger and thumb, you'll see it forming a single thread which is perfect. Turn down the heat to the lowest when you reach that consistency and add the saffron strands to the syrup to infuse it with the aromatic goodness. 



To fry the malpuas, heat oil in a frying pan or you can shallow fry it too if you want things less greasy. I prefer frying them properly because then they have these amazingly crispy edges that don't really go soft even after being dunked in the sugar syrup. Thats my favorite part of the malpua.

As the oil heats up, take a whisk and whisk the batter for around 5 whole minutes. This aerates the batter making the malpuas light and they puff up while frying. Ready to fry now! 

Take a ladle and pour some batter in the oil very carefully. The batter will first submerge in oil 



and within 5 seconds it will start floating up. If it doesn't float up, the oil wasn't at the right temperature. See how its puffing up! Flip the malpua over after frying it for 10 seconds or till its golden brown on one side. 



Fish it out of the frying pan once both sides are evenly golden and immediately dunk it in the warm sugar syrup for atleast 15-20 seconds so it absorbs the sugar-y saffron-y goodness. I forgot to click this step. La di da! 

Repeat the process for the rest till all your batter is gone. To serve the malpuas, I garnished them with rose petals, spooned over some leftover syrup and scattered some slivered almonds and pistachios over it. How pretty do they look and soooooo yumm!! 



Wish you all a very Happy Holi!!! May your lives be as colourful and bright! 



Indulge!!