Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Daring Baker - Swiss Swirl Icecream Cake

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.

This challenge was such a joy cause I got to share with some amazing people. The first ones to have it were Vibha, Vivekji[Her husband], my sister and I..... We hopped over to their house after dinner with iceboxes full of dessert lest it melt by the time we got there. We had a great time chatting up. Left some of the dessert for the kids Tarini and Karan.

I made the challenge in 2 variations as the flavour combinations were different. The first one was Chocolate Swiss roll with Vanilla Icecream, Chocolate Fudge Sauce, Cherries and Chocolate Icecream.
The second one was Vanilla Swiss roll with Lemon Icecream, Chocolate Fudge Sauce, Cherries and Belgian Chocolate Icecream.

I said, Show me some love...... and love is what I got.... :)

The next set of people to enjoy the dessert were Nivritti, Bennifer, Snigdha and my mom[not in the picture].

What a poser....
ok fine... Before Snigdha kills me for calling her a poser.... I made her pose with it... :)

We came back from a yummy Sushi Dinner and went ballistic having fun with the desserts... giggling n having super fun in general. The girls were shocked to see how much goes into clicking pictures and making the icecream which they gobble up in 5 seconds.....

Swiss Roll Ice Cream Cake
To download a printable .pdf of the entire challenge with step by step instructions, click HERE!

The Swiss Rolls:
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 10 - 12 minutes
Rolling and cooling time: at least 30 minutes
Filling: 5 - 8 minutes
Filling and rolling: 5 - 10 minutes

6 medium sized eggs
1 C / 225 grams caster sugar /8 oz + extra for rolling
6 TBS. / 45 grams/ a pinch over 1.5 oz of all purpose (plain) flour + 5 TBS. /40 gram / a pinch under
1.5 oz of natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted together
2 TBS. /30 ml / 1 fl oz of boiling water
a little oil for brushing the pans
For the filling:
2 C / 500 mls/ 16 fl oz of whipping cream
1 vanilla pod, cut into small pieces of about ½ cm (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
5 TBS. / 70 grams / 2.5oz of caster sugar


1. Pre-heat the oven at 200 deg C /400 deg F approximately. Brush the baking pans (11 inches by 9 inches) with a little oil and line with greaseproof baking paper. If you have just one pan, bake one cake and then let the pan cool completely before using it for the next cake.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and sugar and beat till very thick; when the beaters are lifted, it should leave a trail on the surface for at least 10 seconds.

3. Add the flour mixture, in three batches and fold in gently with a spatula. Fold in the water.

4. Divide the mixture among the two baking pans and spread it out evenly, into the corners of the pans.

5. Place a pan in the center of the pre-heated oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes or till the center is springy to the touch.
6. Spread a kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle a little caster sugar over it.

7. Turn the cake on to the towel and peel away the baking paper. Trim any crisp edges.

8. Starting from one of the shorter sides, start to make a roll with the towel going inside. Cool the wrapped roll on a rack, seam side down.

1. Cut the Swiss rolls into 20 equal slices (approximately 2 cms each).

2. Cover the bottom and sides of the bowl in which you are going to set the dessert with cling film/plastic wrap.

3. Arrange two slices at the bottom of the pan, with their seam sides facing each other. Arrange the Swiss roll slices up the bowl, with the seam sides facing away from the bottom, to cover the sides of the bowl.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till the slices are firm (at least 30 minutes).

4. Soften the vanilla ice cream. Take the bowl out of the freezer, remove the cling film cover and add the ice cream on top of the cake slices. Spread it out to cover the bottom and sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till firm (at least 1 hour)

5. Add the fudge sauce over the vanilla ice cream, cover and freeze till firm. (at least an hour)

6. Soften the chocolate ice cream and spread it over the fudge sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4-5 hours till completely set.

7. Remove the plastic cover, and place the serving plate on top of the bowl. Turn it upside down and remove the bowl and the plastic lining. If the bowl does not come away easily, wipe the outsides of the bowl with a kitchen towel dampened with hot water. The bowl will come away easily.

8. Keep the cake out of the freezer for at least 10 minutes before slicing, depending on how hot your region is. Slice with a sharp knife, dipped in hot water.

Made some Lemon Ice cream too by adding lemon zest and lemon juice to the vanilla icecream. This tang was just so delectable.... everyone enjoyed it.... Though what one needs to be careful about is that the tangy taste enhances itself while sitting in the refrigerator.... So if you are making this ahead of time adjust the zest and lemon juice accordingly.

Ahhhhh... How can I stop at one...... Swiss rolls were some of the first few things I had tried when I began baking... have no pictures though but it was a joy...... had done Strawberry and Lemon ones.... Chocolate was missing from the trio.... Check.... Designs.... Check.... I just had to do this...... It's very simple....

1. Pour most of the batter[prepared with the recipe above] into a Swiss roll tin lined with parchment paper or baking liner and keep about 2 tablespoons batter for later use. Spread out the batter in the baking tin evenly and smooth the surface.

2. Add about a spoon full of Cocoa powder to the left over batter and combine gently, taking care not to release the air from the batter.

3. Place leftover 2 tablespoons batter into a plastic bag and snip off a bottom corner. Squeeze the batter to draw parallel lines on the surface of the batter. Then use a skewer/toothpick to line vertically in alternate directions. A leaf-shaped design will be formed.

The leafy design Swissroll had me dancing around when it came out clean.... Baking is a-d-d-i-c-t-i-v-e.... Get it Right and the RUSH is greater than any DRUG..... Get it Wrong and the LOW is worse than anything else..... The icecreams did bother me a bit due to the H-O-T and H-U-M-I-D weather in Delhi.... But then chilling the desserts for a day and serving them quickly in an a/c room at night did the trick....

These just flew off the plates... The girls could hardly wait for me to take picures of them.....

Each separate recipe of the dessert were simple but putting together the layers in this heat was bit of a task for me as I just couldn't work in the day. Had to spend the nights on my weekends working on this.

The icecream recipe is something I got right only the second time round while making the 'Belgian Chocolate Icecream' where i added Coffee and extra Cocoa. Vibha's comment on it was "The icecream wuz absolutely amaaaaaazing, have to give it to u!"

The Lemon Icecream... was my personal favourite as I love the 'Lime Ice Soda' at Nirula's and even their Lime n Lemon Icecream......

Nivritti loved the layer of cherries in the dessert.

The overall effect of the Swiss Swirl Icecream Cake was dramatic and tasted D-E-L-I-S-H....

Monday, July 19, 2010

Thank You Vibha... Total Gratitude... Orange Cookies

What better way to thank someone than to make them 'Orange Cookies' :)
Made these Orange Cookies topped with Chocolate Ganache for Vibha and the kids.... Had made Haroun n the Sea of Stories , Hoopoe Lemon Cake for Vibha....She is a total treasure. Have done cakes for her kids, Chocolate Blackout Cake for Tarini and a football cake for Karan.

She sent across a book for me...... I was over the moon... How thoughtful of her... :)
Have been watching Nigella's shows for a while now.... A Nigella recipe which I tried was To Die for 'Banana Chocochip Muffins' and then went on to make these as parshad too with a different garnish and filling at a huge scale[almost 300 people over a weekend] Banana Walnut Chocochip Muffins.

Watching her show was a 'Sign' when I was so nervous about the Chocolate Pavlovas n Mango Mascarpone Mousse for the Daring Baker Challange last time.

Thank you so much for all the encouragement, Vibha.....

So readers, what's your encouragement story?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mango Buttermilk Cake for Geetu's Birthday

Today is Geetika's birthday, my cousin sister...... Happy Birthday Sis :) We fondly call her Geetu...... We've had loads of fun growing up and at weddings of cousins....

She stays in Jaipur ans was visiting Delhi at the same time as my brother Chetan from Australia and Gautam was over from Mumbai....... We gave her a surprise by landing up at Kanika's(Geetu's sibling) place in Gurgaon at some 1am with a Mango Cake.

It was so much fun meeting up after 5-6 months... We catchup from where we left off..... All of us put together is a Mad-Mad-Mad party... :)

Poor Gautam had such a long day.... Up since 4 am and on his feet till 3am the next day and beyond cause he got locked out of his cousin's house where he was suppose to spend the night... It was hilarious..... We tried waking up Abhinav(Gautam's cousin) from the window and ended up waking his parents n the neighbours at some 3am.... still laughing at how funny it was....

Geetu's an extremely talented person who along with working with her dad also paints and makes candles..... A glimpse of her work...

I decided to make her a Mango Buttermilk Cake made out of real mango pulp and not any synthetic essence. This picture may look like I've done some photoshop work on it.... But believe me.... The mangoes were so luscious n pulpy that I didn't have to do any processing on the pictures... They are just-as-they-were-clicked.

Mango Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from Bright Morning Star

Mango Custard
[I halved the quantity of these to get 1 tin]

5 yolks + 2 whole eggs
2 cups sugar [ d mangoes i used were pretty sweet, so if using tart mangoes you may need to decrease or increase as per taste]
75 grams salted + 50 unsalted,at room temperature [ you could use all unsalted butter and add a pinch of salt ]
3 cups mango puree with juice of 1 little lime.

1. Simmer a large pan of water

2. Place a glass/ steel bowl[that fits into the pan just right to make it a double boiler] with 1 cup of sugar and 100 gms of butter [ mix of both if using both]. Simmer whisking well till butter and sugar dissolves.

3. Whisk till sugar dissolves and cool a bit.

4. Add 5 well whisked egg yolks and 2 whole eggs to the puree and whisk away.

5. Add to the butter and sugar and whisk again and Keep the bowl back on the flame on the pan of simmering water.

6. Keep stirring till its real thick and sticks well to the spoon and it took me almost 2 hours for this quantity.
But you could keep it directly in the pan , instead of double boiler, but never let it boil , and let the flame be really low. Watch it carefully.

7. The consistency , will be thicker than that of Lemon curd, clings very thickly to the spoon.
Almost Custardy than liquidy and very wobbly , as if its set kinda.

How to check its Done?
What i did,and it quite worked ,is that, pop in a few little bowls in the freezer when u begin , and as and when u think its getting done, heap a nice Teaspoon full into the bowls and pop back in the freezer for a few seconds:-)
Well check the consistency and flav, and yeah u can add a bit more sugar if u want too ,too:-))

Mango Buttermilk Cake
[I halved the quantity of these to get 1 tin]

5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1/2 cup for sprinkling
4 large eggs [or 6 if u skip the mango curd]
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract [i used 3 whole vanilla beans]
Finely grated zest of 4 lemons (for lemon cake, but i do love what it did to the mango cake]
Juice of 1 lemon (for lemon cake-optional]
1.5 cups Buttermilk
1.5 cups Mango chunky mango bits with juice
[as i chopped a few mangoes, i had pieces from the cups and thick puree from the seeds]
3/4 cup mango curd

Mia's Notes
~~~this quantity makes quite a bit of cake, i halved it and still had lods of cake
~~~if making a few cuppys too, tip the tops with some mango Curd ...delicious!
~~~love the crust that forms atop with the sprinkled sugar:-)
~~~the original called for 6eggs but since i had mango curd ,i cut it down to 4:-))


1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour two 10-inch round cake pans.
[I buttered a heart shaped cuppy cake too.[post coming up later for this one :) ]
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2.In another bowl, cream the butter and 4 1/2 cups of sugar until fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in the vanilla or scrape the vanilla seeds into the batter.
Add the lemon zest and juice and the cubed mango pieces and puree mash.

3.Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, alternating with the buttermilk and mango curd.
Scrape batter into prepared cake pans.
A few cakes , were half filled, a mango slice/puree in between and then covered with batter again!

4.Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of the sugar on top of the batter or a mango slice if u want too or both! [I didn't do this as the mangoes were already very sweet]

Bake until set, when a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean (about 1 hour).

5.Let the cakes cool in their pans, and then invert them onto a rack.

Delicious and butterly so.....flavor sure develops the next day, as per Rashmi Aunty(Geetu's mom) who ate it in Jaipur the next day.

A buttery mango batter with a layer in between and topped with mango mango batter and some mango curd.
This wonderfully crumbly and textured cake is sure to make any Mango loving person go into raptures of delight....

Happy Birthday, Geetu..... All the best.....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lunch and Wonton Making Class at Empress of China Intercontinental Eros

We were invited to Empress of China at Intercontinental Eros, Nehru Place for lunch and a Wonton making class with Chef Peter. We were accompanied by Sid of Chef at Large. The 'We' was friends from office Madhurima[whose take all the pictures in this post], Sravanthi, Jharna and me.

We chatted up till all of us arrived and had yummy Kimchi salad while we waited... It's flavours were delicately balanced...

We had a look at the menu and found a wide variety of Chinese dishes. We ordered Lemon Coriander Soup, West Lake Chicken Soup and Prawn Hargao (Marinated Prawns steamed inside a translucent wrapper) as starters.

Our main course consisted of Deep Fried Duck in Pineapple Lemon Sauce, Drunken Chicken (Wok fried chicken with bamboo shoots in spicy beer sauce), Kong Po Chicken (Diced chicken with cashew nuts and dry chilli), Stir Fried Chinese Greens and Butter Garlic Rice in Clay Pot.

What we all have raved about was the Deep Fried Duck in Pineapple Lemon Sauce. All the dishes we had were very nice but this one... It was exceptional. All off us voted this as our favourite... :)

After the spread of lunch, We began our wonton making class with the Chef Peter.
Each region of China has its own variations of wonton, examples include Beijing, Sichuan, Hubei, Jiangnan, Jiangxi, Guangdong (Cantonese), Fujian etc.

Cantonese cuisine
In Cantonese cuisine, shrimp filled wonton is most commonly served with thin noodles to make wonton noodles. It may also be consumed with red vinegar. The soup is made from boiling shrimp shells, pork bones and dried flounder to give it a distinct taste. MSG may be added to enhance the flavor. Hong Kong wontons were introduced to the area after World War II as street food and later indoor eateries.

Sichuan cuisine
In Sichuan, semi-pentagonal wonton are known as chāo shǒu (lit. "crossed hands" ) since after initially folding the wonton skin into a right triangle, each end of the hypotenuse are pressed against the middle of opposite sides, creating an impression of crossed arms/hands. These are often served in a sesame paste and chili oil sauce as a dish called "red oil wonton".

Shanghai cuisine
In Shanghai and its surrounding area (Jiangnan), Wonton filling is most often made with minced meat and bok choy served in chicken soup; however, Shanghai cuisine makes a clear distinction between small wontons and large wontons. The former are casually wrapped by closing the palm on a wrapper with a dab of pork and vegetable filling as if crumpling a sheet of paper. These are popular accompaniments to breakfast or brunch fare. The "large" wontons are carefully wrapped (often resembling a large tortellini) and a single bowl can serve as lunch or a light dinner. They are available with a large variety of fillings; a popular Shanghai fast food chain offers more than 50 varieties. One popular variety in Shanghai which is said to have originated in Suzhou is "three delicacies wonton" (san xian hun tun)which contains pork, shrimp and fish as primary ingredients. Wontons in Jiangnan are also made with Shepherd's purse if the recipe does not use Bok choy.

Ningbo cuisine
Ningbo Wonton has two types, steamed Wonton and Wonton soup. Both are filled with pork and shrimp.[Source: wikipedia]

While Chef was explaining the ingredients to us... We had Sravanthi taking down the ingredients diligently. The filling were of 2 types, the non-veg one was Minced Chicken and the vegetarian one was coarsely diced Ginger, Cabbage, Mushrooms, Onion and Carrots. They were flavoured with Sesame oil and Soy sauce. You can select filling of your choice from beef to prawns to anything you fancy that can be minced or shredded.

Now presenting Chef Nachiketa.... yipppeee... We had such a ball wearing the chef caps and were a bunch of giggly kids learning the craft of wonton making..... The only thing bothering me were the gloves.... me with tiny hands n feet.... the smallest gloves were also floating in my fingers and making delicate folding a huge task....

The first roll we did were spring rolls..... This one I was a natural at cause I've made them before in school :)

That's Madhurima, Jharna and Sid trying their hands at rolling and filling the wontons.... It was exciting....

The next ones were the momos.... Gosh how many of these would I have eaten over the years without realizing the intricate art of crimping.... I have new found respect for people who can do this so neatly.....

That's me rolling out and folding the wontons... totally delighted at the well done ones and the Chef wondering why on earth is she so excited...

We spent the whole afternoon chatting with the Chefs, rolling, wrapping and pinching the wontons......

The yellow wrappers are the egg based skins. These skins are easily available in most super markets now. Here's a video I found with easy instruction on folding wontons. Another one on cooking them.

Last but on the least, we had dessert just as the kitchen was closing. They indulged us and got us one of the yummiest chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream with a strawberry coulis, topped with a chocolate wafer.

Would like to thank the staff at Empress of China, Intercontinental Eros for their wonderful hospitality and Sid for arranging it. The visit was a total pleasure.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Banana Walnut Chocochip Muffins and Cherry Brownies for Parshad

That's Babaji and Radhika didi...... It was Radhika didi's turn to give parshad in Mall Rd.... She asked me to make it instead of ordering at a store.... Yippeee.... This is very very special for me.... Have done Parshad earlier for my birthday, had made 'Cappuccino Tiramisu Cheesecake' and 'Ragu and Olive Pasta Primavera'.
That's babji and me.... Making parshad is a difficult task as it needs lots of planning in terms of shortlisting what to make, it must be easy to transport, ingredients should be easy to get, should withstand the weather, easy to eat in a crowded place and most of all easy to make cause if there are too many steps then making 300 individual servings and keeping it fresh is a issue from a home kitchen....

Another aspect is to think of Sugarfree parshad too. Most diabetics crave chocolate as all the store bought things are done with fruit and custard or paneer based indian sweets....... My challenge was to make something chocolate with Sugarfree, with aftertaste of the artificial sweetner like splenda.

My belief is that while making parshad, if the attitude is 'I am the Doer' the obstacles are many.... if the attitude is 'I am the instrument', all obstacles are overcome.... Something which Priya didi taught me when i made parshad last time... It worked really well this time.....

To zero in on what to make, I made samples of To Die for 'Banana Chocochip Muffins' for Radhika didi, which would qualify all the criteria I mentioned above. She wanted them with walnuts and chocolate... made another sample batch, which had what she described[she wanted cocoa in them] and another with my version....... made her taste both without telling her which one was which...... She liked the improvisation which I had done... :)
Hence I came to the conclusion...
In most cases the consumer doesn't always want what they are saying... We need to know the strain of concern and then use our tasting/baking skills to create products which match their taste...... and sometimes be firm about the final product to work within the given deadline :)

These muffins were clearly 'Objects of Desire'..... given that they had no butter and very very little oil [I used sunflower oil, a healthier option without compromise on taste :) ]......
The monkey's totally tell my tale.... it was very hard for me to resist popping a muffin each from every lot I made. Very Very Tempting.......

My selection for the sugarfree parshad was 'Sugarfree Cherry Brownies'. Just that I made it loaded with cherries and used 1.5 times more chocolate.... worked like magic..... :)

I had taken over my sister's entire room for mixing and packing & drawing room for ovens as that's the only place which had high power sockets and noone would go in cause the room would be really warm due to the ovens running the entire day..... We worked on Friday from 7pm in the evening to 4am in the morning, Saturday from 10am to 2pm at night, Sunday from 11am to 3pm. By the end of it I had a bed full of 265 muffins[2 special ones for Daksayani with no chocolate n nuts] & 50 Brownies and 1 Bowl of eggless Mango Fool for Geetika[She's allergic to eggs] as parshad and lots of boxes of muffins to give for friends.... :)

These moist yummies have been a delight to make, it's such a forgiving recipe and not very exacting..... But the sheer hard, back breaking work for getting to the 300 mark was something else.....

Everyone really enjoyed them.... Babaji said they were really tasty. Vibha, Gunjan, Richa, Bhaskar, Sravanthi, Hitesh, Sukhpreet, Sumit, Nikhil, Kirti, Madhurima, Bhawna, Vibhore, Vivek, Pushpanjali, Anuraag, Rimjhim, Gunjan and lots more people said they were lipsmakingly delicious.....

Gunjan had a field day with chocolate.... :)

As long as she was unaware she's being clicked, I got natural pictures n the minute she was aware of the camera.... full on posing happened....

hey nachi,
tnx a trillion to u n neelu for the bonus brownies. I'm savouring them by putting a large chunk of my homemade choc fudge on top n microwaving it for 30 secs! Oh! It tastes like bliss! AWESOME!

Arunima: Thanks a ton...The muffins were just awesome :) Everyone loved those :D

Punee Bagai: nachi the muffins were awesome thanx a ton hope u got our sms too. The boys loved them...

Hey Nachi,
What a lovely surprise to get the yum yum muffins- monsoon showers, cool breezes and now this - our welcome to Delhi couldn't have been better!
Thanks much much,