Tuesday, 7 December, 2010

Techno Coffee Cake - Eggless!

This is Techno Cooking. Where a laptop is an essential part of the kitchen appliances. My roommate and I decided to extend our cooking skills beyond the adhoc breakfast mess, which in spite of being delicious, is not a legitimate recipe. Or so some food snobs insist. We were perusing through several recipes online when we came across this one. This cake is Heroin in the world of coffee addicts.

To explain the incredible taste of this particular Coffee Cake you need to know that Raashi is a model. Which means her per day calorie intake would put an Ethiopian refugee to shame. Which is a waste as she is a great cook. Her rampaging sweet tooth is deprived of every micro particle of sugar, chocolate, cream, butter and all things essential to make this cake. I on the other hand belong to a highly selective and widely criticized cult called 'people who do not like sweets.' I by my own free will under no threat and pressure OR misguided enthusiasm for dieting keep away from sugar, chocolate, cream, butter and all things essential to make this cake. This cake hence symbolizes the meeting of two very different worlds who sighed over it's gooey coffee goodness. My point is, Make This Cake.

One cup flour (Maida) mixed with one cup sugar. We used powder sugar and strained it to make it fine, as granular sugar takes longer to melt. It's a pain of a process though.

Create a concentrated coffee liquid by adding 2 tablespoons of instant coffee crystals to hot water.

Here is the reason the laptop was invaluable. The recipe called for 1 egg, we were making an eggless cake. Eggless cakes as a norm turn out substandard because of unsuitable substitutes like applesauce, milkmaid, banana and a mixture of complicated recipes. The formula below is the simplest and most effective egg substitute:

2 tbsp of water + 1 tbsp of cooking oil + 2 tbsp of baking powder = 1 egg. Mix this in a separate bowl and keep aside.

Melt an obscene amount of butter over low heat . The original recipe said 2 sticks. We cut an approximation of that which was a bit too much as you can see.

Pour the concentrated coffee liquid into the melted butter.

Swirl it around a couple of times, it looks beautiful.

Let it boil for about 10 seconds, turn off the heat and set is aside for a minute.

Now make half a cup of buttermilk. Curd + water and add a dash of limejuice

Pour it into the egg substitute mix.

Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Beat with a fork and set aside.

Now pour the butter/coffee mixture into the first bowl of flour sugar mixture . Keep folding the mixture for several minutes till it cools and thickens. It takes a little while for the batter to thicken. If like me this is the first time you've made cake, do not panic and dump more flour into your. batter. Raashi held me back by brandishing the fork.

As it begins to cool and thicken, pour the egg mix into it and fold. ( This time Im not copying TLC, the recipe said fold)

Have patience, keep folding the batter gently, do not whip it in frenzy when you get impatient. Again, Raashi had to keep me at forks length. She sent me away to pre heat the oven to about 180 degrees cel.

When it FINALLY begins to look like legitimate coffee batter, grease a baking dish with enough butter. Then dust it with flour. Grease it well, because the coffee batter is one helluva sticky mix and you do not want your cake glued to the dish.

For some inexplicable reason all we had was one heart shaped baking dish. Heart shaped coffee cake it was!

Pour it out evenly and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. You need to keep checking once a strong coffee cake aroma starts emenating from the oven. Raashi the Wise said if you poke a toothpick into the cake and it comes out crumb free, it's done.

And it was! It was moist, gooey and filled the kitchen with rich coffee aroma. At this point you can just eat it like this and do away with the frosting.

It tastes that complete. Strong, bittersweet and wonderfully soft. You can soak the cake in rum if you want, this cake is like sponge! We were too lazy to step out and buy some.

But the recipe showed a wonderful frosting and against our better judgement we went and made one sinfully, decadent frosting with our own additions. The next part is something the cake can totally do without if you like how it tastes plain. Crush 2 chocolate biscuits. We used Pure Magic Vanilla. (optional)

Mix 1 and 1/2 sticks of butter with half cup sugar. As usual we used too much butter again which does not matter in a cake but ruins icing.

Add a tbsp of instant coffee crystals and 2 tbsp of heavy cream.

Dump in the broken biscuits. ( optional)

Whip the whole thing. We did not have a whipper? blender? whatever appliance it is that you need to whip stuff, so we used a fork. But it is hard work and doesn't result in the same fluffy consistency that a whipper?blender ?whatever it is you need to whip stuff does. It is good enough though.


Spread the icing over the cake gently. The recipe called for freezing the cake and it does look better frozen, But it tastes way better when it is warm and gooey.

Frankly our icing overpowered the cake a little. The cake is not meant to be THAT buttery and sugary, esp for 2 girls who a) cant eat b) don't like - butter and sugar.

If you are the type who likes a sugar kick though, go for it, else let the plain, strong coffee cake be.

Thursday, 2 September, 2010

Food Photography - Delicious Breakfast Mess

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

-Robert A. Heinlein

......And so this blog will now also, occasionally as and when the writer cooks, feature some food photography. Years of hostel food and PG food and dabba and tiffin.. the minute I got an apartment and a roommate who could teach me how to cook, I cooked.

This is simply called.. The Delicious Breakfast Mess. It is an invented recipe - were Tomatoes, Red and Yellow Peppers, Green Chillies, Jalapenos, Onions,and a batter made of Chickpea and Rice flour and Mint leaves and Cheese were included in the fun.

Do not be daunted.. it takes merely 15 min to make.

I love food with colour. The more colourful and messy, the better it tastes. Think of all the food you like.. tell me if it isn't true Jalepenos, Onions, Peppers all roughly chopped.. you don't want anything neat here.. messy is the key. Heat olive oil and butter and a thwacked piece garlic when it's all melted. When the wonderful buttery garlic smell comes slide in the onions and wait for them to sizzle. Ignore the escaped piece of pepper.. When things sizzle, good things happen and I get excited and sloppy.
See see.. it's turning brown
Thats when you dump in the green chillies
and the bell peppers and then the tomatoes and jalapenos Stir for a few minutes. Let it get juicy and wonderful then sprinkle some cheese.. cause you're worth it cook till the cheese starts giving off this deadly aroma and finally...add the batter made of 4 spoons of chickpeas flour, 2 of rice flour a few mint leaves and salt. I also added oregano, basil and chilli flakes, but then I have this OCD to add and toss ingredients randomly. It tasted wonderful in the end anyway.. so.. go ahead add what you want. when it gets slightly gooey and firm, sprinkle the cheese... again, because you're worth it. Keep folding it , remember, not stir, not mash.. fold. ( I heard that on TLC) You wanna cook the heck outta this... don't be afraid to brown it Once crisp and spongy .. :) :) slide it onto a pretty plate and pat it into shape. Admire the colours peeping out Trust me , you want to get it this crisp. Sprinkle fresh corriander leaves if you want, to make it more colourful and joyful! You can use whatever sort of garnishing makes you happy. I love the fresh green colour... It's all about the colours. Gorgeous This was the first time I made this so Im not sure what is the consistency to aim for. This was wonderfully spongy and could be cut into pieces to share IF one wanted to. Sigh.... by this time I was too busy eating to correct the fuzzy light. Make this today!