You Too Can Cook Like A Great Indian Chef: A Lesson from the Master Himself

 

We’re Talking About: Aspire to venture into the food industry? Here are some tips and insights for people wanting to become Chefs or aspiring to own a restaurant someday. Chef Bali shares his valuable experience after training Chefs at The Oberoi for nearly two decades.

 

Whether the rupee rises or falls, people aren’t going to stop eating! They may switch to cheaper options or home-cooked meals, but the food business is one that is considered somewhat immune to changes in the economy. People today are getting attracted to the food business like moth to flame, some believe it is a creative job, others think food industry is always in business and some are just drawn into it being the natural requirement of humankind. What’s there to understand in something that comes so naturally? After all anyone with a heart to cook and feed people can be in the culinary business! Tiffin aunties, bawarchis and home-cooks here’s a key to the attitude you need to become a great Indian Chef.

 

Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development (OCLD) has given us some of the finest Indian Chefs around the world. Celebrity Chefs like Chef Vineet Bhatia and Chef Atul Kochhar, who trained as Chefs at OCLD have even earned the prestigious Michelin Star for their restaurants and for world-class culinary representation of Indian food. What is the key to success in the culinary business in India? We find out in an Exclusive-Interview with the Chef Parvinder Bali as he moulds the Chefs of the future. Also learn about 5 Star Restaurant-kitchen techniques and a recipe from a Luxury Hotel kitchen.

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Chef Bali

Chef Parvinder Bali is a Hospitality Educator and a Culinary Programme Manager with OCLD. He is a Certified Professional Chef from the Culinary Institute of America who specializes in Bakery and Pastry. He has been practicing ‘Cheffing’ (you know what I mean!) for nearly two decades. You might spot him judging chocolate sculpting competitions around the world.

 

Chefs today are entrepreneurs, celebrities and even ambassadors representing the country around the world, yet even a decade ago, wanting to become a Chef was not taken seriously in our country. Cooking was for women, bawarchis and Sanjeev Kapoor, and there was little hope for Chefs in a world of doctors and engineers. My first question to you Chef Bali, what was it like, wanting to become a Chef thirty years ago?

 

Chef Bali: I went to do Engineering because I could not get selected for medical science. When I left engineering to become a Chef, you should have seen my mother’s reaction. She thought that no girl was going to marry me and that I will end up only washing dishes in the kitchen.

She actually felt ashamed of me (laughs).

 

And that is not the case with most parents anymore, the identity and the value of a Chef has changed.

 

Chef Bali: We have something called as STEP programme in our hotel (The Oberoi). In this programme we take students who have just completed their 10+2. Earlier there used to be a small percentage, only 20 people or so applying to be a chef but now for the past 2 years or so 90 percent of the students apply to become chefs. We even had to change our recruitment strategy to incorporate such demands.

 

Being a Chef comes across as a very creative and a glamorous profession, but is it as easy as it looks? Does it get mundane and frustrating like other jobs too?

 

Chef Bali: ‪Well, nothing is easy in the beginning.

Initially, when you are trying to get your feet on the ground. You will have to practice a number of times to master a particular thing so that you can work effectively from your subconscious mind. So yes, it can be said that it gets mundane in the beginning but then perseverance is important, because its only after some time that you would actually get involved in strategic planning and the creative process.  One has to be patient to enjoy such rewards.

 

What does it take to be a good Chef?

 

‪Chef Bali: Lots of passion, quality to stick and commit to the job and knowledge about the subject and ingredients. Also, one needs to be people oriented because I have seen a lot of good chefs who ended up damaging their career because they were not a ‘people’s person’. A chef should be humble and ready to share his knowledge and at the same time accept criticism in a positive manner.

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Are the jobs growing at the same pace as the number of people aspiring to become chefs, or is there saturation in this sector too?

 

Chef Bali: ‪In the food business, there never was such saturation and there will never be. The only problem is the way we think, we all want to work in 5 star hotels, and yes there is saturation there. Now there are opportunities to work in free stand-alone restaurants, fast food chains.

We don’t mind working in Pizza-Hut or McDonalds but take offence to working in a Sagar-Ratna or Haldiram. We believe it will not look good on the CV. Everyone is in a rat race and hence the so-called saturation.

In India we still need hospitality people in large numbers.

 

Is the food business in India on a rise according to you?

 

Chef Bali: ‪Food business has always been on the rise. More and more people are busy with their lives, and less people cook at home, so the food business is really on a high. After a few years you will see people cooking at home only to de-stress or for family time.

 

Any tips for aspiring Chefs?

 

Chef Bali: ‪Yes many,  but first and the foremost tip is, don’t practice the speed of slicing an onion but first learn to cut the slice correctly.

Speed will build up with practice. The students must learn the right way of doing things because with practice, good habits become a part of your attitude and then they always stay with you.

 

How can we learn to cook restaurant like Indian food? Is there a technique from a 5 Star Hotel kitchen or a recipe that you can share with us?

 

‪Chef Bali: Well of course, home cooks can make three gravies at home, an Onion &Tomato masala, Makhani (tomato based gravy) and white gravy (nut-based). You could combine these in different proportions to create restaurant-like food.

Although, even in hotels there is a lot of demand of home-cooked food,

Corporate clients and long-stay guests cannot eat the rich food everyday.

 

Here is a 5 Star Hotel Recipe that I would like to share with the readers. This recipe has an interesting technique, it is very popular around the world and is available in restaurants. Now you can learn to make it at home, and eat as many as you like!

 

Soft centered Chocolate Pudding/ Chocolate Lava Cake

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Ingredients

 

Dark Chocolate, chopped     250gm

Butter, salted             250gm

Egg, whole                  4 nos.

Egg, yolk                     4 nos.

Castor Sugar              75gm

Refined Flour             75gm

 

Method:

 

Preheat the oven at 240 degree Celsius.

 

Grease with butter and dust the pudding moulds with flour.

 

Take chocolate in a glass bowl and place it over another pan with hot water so that it fits. Then whisk the chocolate and melt it slowly. Now add in softened butter and whisk the mixture.

 

Add in the eggs, egg yolks, refined flour and sugar. Whisk all the ingredients together and mix them well.

 

Pour this mixture into the prepared pudding moulds and bake at 240 degree Celsius for 8 minutes only.

 

Demould the pudding by lightly loosening it from the rim and serve it with vanilla ice-cream and chocolate noodles.

 

How to Make Chocolate Noodles?

 

Melt 200gm compound chocolate and fill into a butter paper, piping cone.

Cut open the tip of the cone, and by holding the cone at a height of 10 inches, squeeze out the melted chocolate into a glass containing ice-cold water. The thin strands will immediately chill to form lace like noodles.

Strain it from the water and elegantly top your vanilla ice cream with these to give it that Five Star dessert look!

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6 Wicked Ways To Drink, Pair & Cook with Whisky; The Johhnie Walker Tasting at ITC Maratha

Whisky and kebabs on a chilly evening, ahh! That’s what makes winter worth the wait. Few close friends, a dinner with colleagues or just an evening in front of the television calls for a drink, and in India we like to drink whisky. Not just any whisky, Scotch whisky. So I decided to bring in the season of celebrations with a Johhnie Walker whisky tasting at ITC Maratha, Mumbai. The whisky was paired with food from China and food from Japan by Chefs at the Pan Asian restaurant for China Japan debate on a plate.

More than wine, whisky is something we already know and love. In fact one of our prominent politicial leaders carries around his bottle of Johhnie Walker Black Label wherever he goes to dine! I know so many of my friends, even my father’s friends who like to stick to their favourite brand of whisky wherever they go. It is safe to say that whisky has been in my blood for generations. If you too love the flavour of whisky, here are 6 ways to enjoy whisky in every way. Drink, pair & cook with whisky!

1)   Cocktails

It’s not easy being the guy everyone wants to party with! Have fun being the bartender this season and mix some charming new drinks. Classics like Rob Roy are made with vermouth, angostura bitters and Scotch whisky, or Whisky Sour (Whiskey with an E*) with lemon juice and sugar have always been on the list, why not come up with new custom-made classics for your party this season.

Here is something that you could try. Adding a theme to the cocktails, like tropical, Spanish or Japanese flavours. Here’s how Johhnie Walker made their cocktails borrowing some ingredients from the Oriental kitchen.  We were welcomed with two interesting cocktails made with Johhnie Walker Black Label. The Rising Sun cocktail with a mélange of sweet, sour and spicy Japanese and Chinese flavours like wasabi and pomegranate made it very suitable for the Indian palate, it had the charm and excitement of a paani puri. The other cocktail was one called the Mao’s Tipple served in a Martini glass and made with Oolong tea and Sichuan Pepper syrup flavours.

If you want to try them out with Johhnie Walker Black Label at Home, here is how you can make them

Oriental Flavoured Cocktails

Rising Sun

Johnnie Walker Black Label – 45ml

Fresh Lime Juice – 20ml

Pomegranate syrup / Grenadine syrup – 15ml

*Soy and wasabi mix – 5ml

Fresh Egg white – 10ml

Shake all ingredients well and strain into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with a side of Japanese pickled ginger.

* Soy and Wasabi mix –

Combine equal parts by weight of light soy sauce and grated wasabi root / paste and Mirin (optional). Eg. 100gms soy to 100gms wasabi to 100gms mirin.

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Mao’s Tipple

Johnnie Walker Black Label – 45ml

*Oolong Tea and Szechuan pepper syrup – 15ml

Sweet vermouth – 20ml

Stir all ingredients well and serve in a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a light sprinkle of oolong tea leaves and cracked sichuan pepper.

*Oolong Tea and Sichuan pepper syrup.

2 tbsp of loosely cracked Sichuan peppers

2 Oolong Tea bags 4gms each

500ml hot water

500gm of caster sugar

Add tea and pepper to hot water and let it seep for 10 minutes. Remove tea and pepper from the brew and add in sugar. Stir until all the sugar dissolves. Do NOT boil tea and pepper in water. Do NOT boil to dilute sugars.

It is hard to give-up the straight drinks of whisky, neat and perfect, yet every once in a while it is fun to mix it up! For those that enjoy the subtle notes of whisky but not the harsh taste of alcohol, here is a simple and homely recipe you can experiment with.

Bumchums

 

Scotch Whisky           1 measure

Lemon                        Squeeze half a lemon

Orange Juice  ½ measure

Mint                5 leaves, muddled

Himalayan Pink Salt (Sendha Namak)       a pinch

Sparkling water cracked ice

Garnish with a spiral of lemon

Method: Stir in all ingredients except ice in a tall glass.

Fill the bottom half of a martini glass with cracked ice.

Pour the drink into the martini glass, garnish with a spiral of lemon.

2)   What’s the Best Temperature for Drinking Whisky

The Whisky guru from Diageo, Raveen told us, ‘when it comes to drinking whisky, it’s all about temperature’. For instance the light smoky flavour of Johhnie Walker Gold Label along with notes of cocoa are best communicated when it is served ice cold. We were served Gold Label with ice water, but without a dark chocolate truffle, which it is best paired with.

Richer whisky such as the Johhnie Walker Platinum Label and Johhnie Walker X.R 21 have more intense flavours with deep fruity notes, and these are more pronounced at room temperature.

In whisky drinking you can nose the aromas 15 degrees Celsius onwards, so sipping at room temperature for richer blends where you want to relish the aromas is a good idea. Whisky tastes different at different temperatures, and it is a good idea to read the label on the bottle to drink it right.

3)   Pairing Scotch Whisky with Hot or Cold Food

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It is not only the temperature of whisky itself but also the temperature of the food that it is served with, that adds to its flavour. This is a lot like smelling coffee beans when you’re trying out different perfumes. When you sip the whisky at room temperature and alternate it with a cold dessert, the flavours are clean in every sip. The contrasting temperatures amaze and alert your senses each time.

For instance we really enjoyed the way the cold wasabi ice cream that hits the nose and at the same time intensifies the deep flavours of Johhnie Walker XR 21 that was served at room temperature. The sharp flavour of wasabi also makes the fruity notes in the whisky definite, and that’s the beauty of a whisky drinking experience, isn’t it?

4)   Pairing Whisky with Cuisines

Japanese Seafood Soup

Japanese Seafood Soup

Juicy kebabs, spicy curries and naans with whisky are the perfect desi combination. I find Scotch whisky to be the perfect desi pairing with Indian food. Pairing is really about personal taste, you can even pair French fries and ketchup if you prefer. There’s no wrong, yet depending on the light citrusy or fruity flavours of a whisky certain foods add to the experience.

Whisky is believed to enhance the flavour of food due to its wide flavour profile. Our Indian palate is used to bold flavours like those in Sichuan style of Chinese cooking, and we enjoy our whisky with Chinese food because of the contrasting bold and subtle notes and its familiarity factor. I’d say it pairs well with Japanese food, because due to the subtle taste of this cuisine, the taste of the whisky is boosted and easier to identify and enjoy.

5)   Flaming Food – How to flambe food with Whisky?

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This is all drama, drama & more drama! Because flaming food with alcohol is done just before serving and right in front of the guests, you can imagine the impact it creates. This lends great flavour to food too. It works best on meats and desserts. The food, sauce or cake gets the flavour of whisky and the alcohol is burns when you light it. It adds more character and depth to the flavour because the food caramelizes or chars lightly when flambé it.

Flaming sauces is an old school gimmick for fancy French restaurants. The way we like to do it here, is make flaming kebabs.

How to flambé your kebabs?

What you simple need to do is take alcohol in a ladle, carefully light it up and then pour the flame on to 90 percent cooked kebabs on a stone tile that doesn’t break, or a cast iron plate will also work well.

This does two things, one, it flavours the kebabs with whisky and secondly, it lightly caramelizes the kebabs and makes the flavour deeper.

If you do want to go about flambé-ing sauces in the traditional way, it is a great way to flavour meat and dessert sauces and here’s how you do it in two simple steps.

Two Steps to Flambeing you sauces with Whisky.

Step 1: Make your sauce, so you sauté the shallots for you steak sauce, add in the mushrooms, sprinkle paprika and stir in the cream.

Step 2: Then lower the heat, and slowly add in a cap of whisky by pouring it along the sides and stirring into the sauce. Be careful, and make sure no one, including you is standing close enough to catch fire. (Have a fire extinguisher ready, kidding!). If you do want to create more drama though, (have a fire extinguisher ready, not kidding), increase the heat on the pan, move back and pour a cap of whisky along the sides of the pan, make sure the sauce is on that side of the pan. The sauce will flame up directly for just a second, and longer if you pour more alcohol and the heat isn’t too high.

This is really all about experience, once you do it at home safely a couple of times, you’ll have the confidence to showcase your skills at a party too.

6)   Flavouring Food with Whisky

Whisky has a great flavour spectrum, with the flavour of oakwood, citrus and even herbs that enhance the flavour of the food. In fact it is believed that whisky in many ways acts like salt in its ability to enhance the flavours in a dish. I just love adding in that X factor to my food.

This is a great way to spruce up even a simple vanilla ice cream.

Foodmantra for Whisky Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice cream       4 scoops

Scotch Whisky           3 tablespoons

Honey             4 tablespoons

Almonds, sliced          6-8

Cinnamon Powder    ½ teaspoon

Method:

Mix in the whisky, honey, almonds and cinnamon into softened vanilla ice cream.

Freeze to desired consistency and enjoy!

Foodmantra for a Whisky flavoured Meat Sauce

Once you are done grilling or roasting meat in a pan, pour 3 tablespoons of whisky and deglaze the pans with the remaining tit bits. Add in some grilled/ roasted shallots and mushrooms (you can roast them on the side when your meat is cooking), add in fresh herbs and parika and sour cream to the pan. Lightly heat it up and pour the sauce to be served on the side.

You can also add in leftover marinade from the grill or the roast if you like.

The Johhnie Walker Scotch Whisky tasting was a delight. It was great to know so more about drinking whisky and pairing it up with the right food. I’m a Japanese food lover and inclined towards seafood. Whisky is said to bring out the aromas of the sea in seafood, so my food went nicely with the beverages that were served that evening. While I loved the modern Japanese appetizer of steamed river sole roulade with prawn coulis and miso, the main course of Atlantic salmon and a special kind of ginger called Hajikami (or something!) was only average. I was just missing my wasabi hints in the food and also sushi, which I love. Nonetheless, modern Japanese food was a good experience if you treat it as French instead Japanese cooking. The cherry tart was very appetizing but the wasabi ice cream was a winner for me, especially with that Johhnie Walker XR 21.

I did not opt for any of the Chinese dishes, because I was in the mood for something above the usual. I did try some of the garlic prawn appetizer that tasted a lot like bhajiyas, the fried rice with the main course meat looked very, desi, spicy yet appealing because of the fragrant spices and the fried ice cream reminded me of ice cream pakoras in Sharma uncles’s son’s shaadi. This so-called chinese dessert was very gharelu (home-style) for me, but if you like it, you like it. The sizzling fried rice was very dramatic as Chef Liang poured the sizzling sauce on to the rice. Every grain of rice was crispy, like puffed rice crispy and with it was a sweet and spicy sauce that reminds you a lot of american chopsuey! This dish is great for kids. Overall, the whisky was good and the food was decent, that turned out to be a lovely evening.

*Funfact: Whiskey with an ‘e’ stands for Whiskey from Ireland and the United States, while whisky stands for Scotch, English, Wales, Canadian and even Japanese whisky.

Modak Hunt in Pune City; Exciting Pictorial Depiction of Ganpati

The Kasba Peth Ganpati Mandir

The Oldest Ganpati Temple in Pune. Shivaji’s mother Jijabai began worship in this mandir and the same orange colour idol in the picture has been there ever since.

Modak HUNT – Traditional Varieties of Modak Available. 

Exciting Sights on The Way

Shreemant DagduSeth Halwai Ganpati 

Popularised by Lokmanya Tilak for Political reasons during the freedom struggle. Ganpati became a universal festival when Lokmanya Tilak started celebrations and worship at Dagduseth Ganpati. The most popular Ganpati Mandal in Pune.  This year’s Theme was the Chamundeshwari Temple of the South.

How to Make Ukadiche Modak? Follow Link

https://foodmantras.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/indulge-in-lord-ganeshas-favourite-modak-2/

Baby Steps to Making Eggless Modak Cookies with Chocolate Center (Sugar Free)

We have been serving the same old traditional Modaks to Ganpati Bappa for so many years. Don’t get me wrong, I love traditional modaks but I believe in giving some variety to Bappa. It’s been few days since Ganesh Chaturthi began and his belly is loaded with traditional modaks. How about taking 20 minutes to make this Eggless Modak Cookie for Lord Ganesha this weekend?

Eggless Modak Cookies with Chocolate Center (Sugar Free)

 

This is an orange flavoured modak with chocolate center. It is a pure vegetarian cookie. This No egg cookie recipe is made with sugar free. If you wish to use regular sugar replace it with the same quantity of powdered sugar.

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For 6-8 Cookies

 

Ingredients

 

Refined Flour              100grams

Sugar Free Sweetener  30grams

Butter, softened          50grams

Orange Peel (use only the zest)          7grams

Cold Water few drops

Dark Chocolate, cut into pieces (use buttons)           50grams

Vegetable Oil to grease mould

 

You Will Need

Modak Mould

Baking Sheet

 

Method:

 

1) Preheat the oven at 200 degree Celsius.

Sieve the flour and the sugar free together for proper mixing. Take this mixture on a flat surface rub in the butter into the flour using your fingertips, until the texture becomes like breadcrumbs.

 

2) Use a zester to only grate the outer layer of the orange peel. Be sure not to get the inner, white layer since it is bitter. Add the orange zest to the mixture and mix well.

 

3) Sprinkle cold water on the mixture just to bring the mixture together. It will still be crumbly but do not knead the mixture at all. Once you bring it together, cling wrap it and pop it to chill for 20 minutes.

 

4) Remove the mixture from the cling wrap and divide the dough into 6 equal parts (depending on the size of your modak mould). Save a little extra dough on the side.

 

5) First, take a bowl full of water with a tablespoon of vegetable oil mixed in it. Apply this water and oil mixture properly on the inside of the modak mould. Apply this water oil mixture on your hands. Take a lemon size portion from the dough mixture and round it up in your palm. Put this portion of dough inside the modak mould.

 

6) Make a cavity in the center of the dough with your thumb. Press the dough evenly with your fingers, on the sides of the modak mould, making a large cavity in the center. Add a small cut pieces of chocolate in the cavity and fill up the cavity completely. Take another small piece of the dough kept aside and seal the modak from the bottom, making it flat and even on the base. Open the mould and remove the modak. Finish the entire dough by making even size modaks.

 

7) Line the baking tray with a baking sheet. Place the cookies on the sheet and pop the tray into the oven for 10-12 minutes at 200 degree Celsius.

 

8) Remove the cookies from the oven and keep them to cool for 20 minutes before lacing them in your cookie jar.

 

 

 

4 Steps to Making Tiramisu with Homemade Cheese!


This is my version of the classic Italian dessert, made with ingredients that are easily available in the Indian supermarket.

Don’t you feel disappointed when the Chef on TV shows us how to make those amazing desserts, cause you can’t actually make them? Take Tiramisu for example, in India, mascarpone cheese or Lady fingers (Savioardini Biscuits) are not easily available. Even if you do manage to find mascarpone cheese in one corner of the city, it is expensive. This is simple version of Tiramisu made with homemade cheese and other readily available ingredients.

Ingredients

Serves 6

Amul Cream 300 ml (approximately 1 ½ Amul Cream 200ml Tetrapack)

Eggs 3, separated

Sugar 1 ½ + ½ tablespoon

Cheese Spread 2 tablespoons

Whipping Cream ¾ cup (Use heavy cream with a tablespoon of powdered sugar and vanilla essence, if whipping cream in unavailable)

Chocolate Muffins 6nos. (Use 200g chocolate slices)

Coffee 1 ½ tablespoons

Brandy 2 tablespoons (Optional)

Cocoa powder 1 tablespoon

Method:

Step 1

Making the Cheese

You need:

Amul Cream 300ml

Lemon Juice 1 tablespoon

Muslin Cloth (MalMal)

Heat 300ml Amul cream in a pan and add one tablespoon lemon juice to it. Stir, cook the cream for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and put the cream onto a muslin cloth. Hang the curdled cream in the muslin cloth and let it stand for 30 minutes. This cheese will be used to make the Tiramisu.


Step 2

Making the Sabayon

You Need:

Egg yolks 3

Sugar 1 ½ tablespoons

Wide Bowl full of warm water

In an empty steel bowl add in the egg yolks and the sugar. Keep the steel bowl over the bowl full of warm water and whisk the mixture till is thick, dropping consistency. The mixture should coat a wooden spoon.

Step 3

Incorporating, cheese, Egg whites and Cream

You need:

Homemade Cheese

Cheese Spread 2 tablespoons

Egg White 3

Whipping Cream ¾ cup

Add in the homemade cheese and the cheese spread into the sabayon (egg mixture) and whisk for 2 minutes. Once the mixture is smooth, shiny and lump free, keep it aside.

Note: Cheese spread helps you get that smooth, shiny texture and the right consistency for tiramisu. In small quantities, it does not disturb the taste of the dessert.

Add in the egg whites into an empty steel bowl and whisk while holding over warm water until it starts forming soft peaks.

Fold the eggs gently into the cheese mixture, mixing by ling the sides and folding in, so that you don’t lose the volume.

Whip up the cream to medium peak and fold it into the mixture. Mix by ling the spatula along the sides and then folding it in.

Note: Whipping cream (non dairy) available in supermarkets has a long shelf life. You can use a small account and freeze it for several months upto 1 year.

Step 4

Assembling the Tiramisu

You Need:

Chocolate Cake cut into Thick slices (to present in glasses) or fingers (to present in a bowl)

Coffee mixed with ½ tablespoon sugar and brandy (or few drops of water)

Tiramisu Mixture

Cocoa Powder with a pinch of coffee


Line the glass with a thick slice of chocolate cake.

Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of the coffee mixture on it. Add in one big round spoonful of tiramisu mixture.

Make 3 layers like that. The top layer should be a spoonful of tiramisu mixture. Even it on top with wet fingers.

Put some cocoa powder with a pinch of coffee in a sieve, sprinkle lightly on the top layer.

Serve Cold.

BASIC Cake Recipe

Everyone’s making cakes. Birthdays, Wedding Anniversary, Christmas, New years Eve, the indulging season is here again. Recently, many people have asked me how you go about making a Basic Cake. Well, there are two methods. The first Basic Cake recipe does not require an electric hand-mixer. The second Basic cake recipe involving a creaming method may require an electric hand-mixer (although in my days in the catering college, we struggled while creaming the fat with our palms!). To check whether the cake is cooked, insert a fork in the centre, if the fork comes out clean, the cake is cooked. While mixing the cake ingredients, be sure to mix in one direction, either clockwise or anti clockwise direction, to make the cake light and fluffy.


1st Basic (Sponge) Cake Recipe

Ingredients
Eggs 3
Vanilla Essence or Nutmeg ¼ tspn
Sugar 90g
Flour 90g
 Baking Powder (sieved with the flour) ¼ tspn
Butter, melted 60g

Method:

  • Preheat the oven at 180 degree Celsius.
  • Beat the eggs with an egg beater. Slowly incorporate the sugar and beat the eggs and the sugar together, until it foams up. Add in vanilla essence. Do not over-beat, once the foam has formed, lightly beat for 1 minute.
  • Sieve the flour and baking powder together. Incorporate the flour and melting butter part by part.
  • Add in a part of the flour from the side, fold it into the egg mixture from the side, with the help of a flat spoon or spatula. Be sure not to over mix, to keep the mixture light and fluffy.
  • Incorporate one part of butter in a similar manner. Slowly, add in all the flour and all the butter into the egg mixture.
Mix it along the sides, so as to avoid over mixing.

  • Grease a cake mould with fat on all sides and dust it with flour, to avoid the cake from sticking onto the mould OR Line the cake mould with butter paper on all sides.
  • Turn the cake batter into the mould, tap it on the bottom to even it on top.
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes at 180 degree Celsius.
Cool it for ten minutes.
You may loosen the sides with the knife before turning the mould onto a plate.

2nd Basic Cake Recipe (Creaming Method)

Ingredients

Butter 80g (Soften)
Sugar 115 g
2 eggs
Vanilla Essence / Nutmeg ¼ tspn
Flour 115g
Baking Powder ¼ tspn

Method:

  • Preheat the oven at 180 degree Celsius.
  • The butter should be kept at room temperature for sometime and should be soft before use, not melted.
With the help of a hand mixer, cream the butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
Add in the sugar, part by part and cream with the hand mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy.

  • Beat the eggs with vanilla essence and add them into the sugar and butter mixture. Mix it well.
  • Sieve the flour and baking powder together. Add in the flour into the mixture. Do not mix.
  • Fold in the flour into the mixture with a spatula by running it along the sides. Once the flour is incorporated, you can add in raisins or chopped almonds if you like, and fold again.
Mix it along the sides, so as to avoid over mixing.

  • Grease a cake mould with fat on all sides and dust it with flour, to avoid the cake from sticking onto the mould OR Line the cake mould with butter paper on all sides.
Turn the cake batter into the mould, tap it on the bottom to even it on top.

  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes at 180 degree Celsius.
Cool it for ten minutes.
You may loosen the sides with the knife before turning the mould onto a plate.

Variation: For Chocolate Cake, reduce flour by 20gms and add in 20gms of cocoa powder in its place.

For Simple Icing:

Ingredients

Butter 30g
Icing Sugar 70g
Vanilla Essence few drops

Method:

In a mixing bowl, add in softened butter and with the hand mixer, cream it until light and fluffy.
Add in the sugar and vanilla essence and cream it until light and fluffy.
Spread it evenly for icing on the cake.

Eggless Pumpkin Pie

Let’s just say, that I did not overstuff the blender while making this lovely pie, and let’s just say that my sister’s books, her favourite bag were not ruined, and then we can call this the perfect Thanksgiving story. After all that’s what Thanksgiving is for, giving thanks that she hasn’t planned her revenge yet. This is an eggless, Pumpkin pie. It’s as delicious as the traditional thanksgiving pumpkin pie.

For the base/ Simple Eggless Pumpkin Pie Crust

Refined Flour 180g
Powdered Sugar 60g
Baking Powder a pinch
Butter 50g (Vegans can use nut-based margarine)
Cold Water a few drops
For the Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin 350g
Tofu 100g
Powdered Sugar 60g
Cinnamon ½ inch piece
Milk to blend
Method:

Preheat the oven to 190 degree Celsius.
Sieve the flour, baking powder and sugar together. Rub the butter into the flour mixture. Bring the mixture together into dough, sprinkle a few drops of chilled water and bind the mixture. Chill it for twenty minutes in the refrigerator.
Divide the mixture into equal halves. Roll out one half into a round the size of the base of the pie mould. Use the other half to line the sides of the pie mould. Prick the base with a fork. Bake the crust for twelve to fifteen minutes, until the inside of the pie crust is cooked.
To make the filling, boil cut pieces of pumpkin in water. Once the pumpkin is cooked and squishy, peel them. In the blender, add in pumpkin, sugar, tofu, cinnamon and blend it into a smooth mixture. Add a little milk if the mixture is too thick to blend properly.
Fill the pie crust with pumpkin mixture completely. Bake for forty to fifty minutes, till the pie sets. Allow it to cool for thirty minutes before serving.
Happy Thanksgiving!