Holidays on Board- Fig Earl Grey Cake With Honey Mascarpone

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I know by now¬†you guys are used to long absences now and then in this space. Nothing new this time, work trips one after the another, couple of deadlines three months ran in a jiffy. ¬†Just in a day I’m starting for my long holidays back home. My excitement level is building up, to feel the warmth, meet all my friends and eat day in and out …oh some bit of shopping as well ūüėČ

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This cake is from my Japanese friend’s sister who owns a patisserie shop in Japan. I fell in love with the simplicity of the cake, freshness from earl grey tea and moisture in the cake was just way too perfect. I remade this cake couple of time, but last time since it was a birthday celebration, I topped with honey mascarpone to make it more special…trust me it was total winner.

Ok folks, i’m off for another six weeks, this space will be inactive until then, but you enjoy your holidays/Christmas time!

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Simple things! – Apple, orange in honey orange juice – Breakfast

Good morning world!! One of my most favourite breakfast is fruits, soaked almonds, milk and yoghurt! This is staple during my week days. On special days, where sanity prevails by not storming through the kitchen, neither alarmed by reminders nor there is confusion of accessories and shoe (morning blues) these fruits gets treated with generous squeeze of tangy orange juice and glossy viscous honey.  
This simple breakfast brightens my day, if it charms you as well, slice apple and orange (add in any fruit you want) squeeze one full orange, add one table spoon of honey and finally sprinkle the nuts and/or few tender leaves of mint. Thats the little heaven in your plate!

New Lessons – Peach Lemon Cake

Occasionally¬†downcast days, breezy evenings,¬†lots of jasmine flowers,¬†endless amount of mangoes and tender coconuts, doesn’t my days sounds relaxing? It is such a pleasurable time in Coimbatore. I have just started my car driving lessons, traffic, clutch, break, gear and accelerator everything is new but still exciting. I wish there were¬†automatic cars in India it would have been easy, but my master says its better to learn from manual car. Ladies who is already driving any interesting¬†stories¬†on driving lessons? Mine is yet to come as of now, i’m still working on gear and¬†clutch.

This is totally a fruity cake topped with fresh mascarpone cream cheese, truly a winner. Girls in south India do we get mascarpone cream cheese here? or is there any alternatives, feedback please? ¬†I’m back to¬†business¬†of cake baking, hopefully i will be regular here as well :))

Ingredients
Recipe adapted from here (Thank you Sue for the wonderful recipe)
100 ml Vegetable oil
3/4 cup Castor sugar
3 Eggs
1/2 tspn of Vanilla extract
3 tspn Lemon zest
2 tbspn Yogurt
1 Cup All purpose flour
1 tspn Baking powder
3 Peaches diced to small cubes
Procedure
Preheat the oven to 160 degree.
Butter, flour and line the bottoms of three 9cm round cake pan.
Combine flour and baking power, sifted.
In a separate bowl, beat sugar and egg yolk until creamy, next add in vegetable oil.
In another separate bowl beat in white egg to soft peaks.
To sugar, yolk and oil mixture add in lemon zest and yogurt.
Next very gently fold in  flour and egg whites alternatively to yolk mixture until well combined.
After well combined add in diced fruit to the cake batter.
Pour the cake batter to prepared cake pans and bake for about 20 Р25 mins till the toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool the cake to room temperature before creaming the cake.
Mascarpone Whipped Cream
250 gram Mascarpone cream cheese
300 ml Whipping cream
1tspn Vanilla extract
100 grams of sugar
Pulp of 2 Fresh Peaches
Few drops of peach food colour
Method
Combine sugar and cream and beat until single stiff peaks are formed. Very carefully whip the mascarpone cheese till they are smooth on low speed. Gently fold in mascarpone and fruit pulp into the cream till well smoothly combined.

Another method is combine cream cheese, whipping cream and  sugar beat on low till soft peaks are formed, be careful not to over beat them! 

Assembly

On a cake stand, first layer of the cake, spread good amount of cream cheese filling. Follow this for next two layers. Frost the last layer with remaining cream cheese filling and pipe cream as flowers uniformly. The cake is ready to serve!

I need cheese – Passion fruit cheese cake

Its beautiful time here in my city, thought it is¬†freezing¬†cold (will be reaching – 30 C this week), no complaints, ¬†i’m enjoying the¬†scenic¬†beauty with thin layer of ice on trees, which makes the place look gorgeous, just like star studded trees when few rays of sunlight falls on them. Wish I could take few pictures, but I don’t dare to do it, after one¬†experience¬†of¬†burning¬†my fingers. Anyways, as always winter time is always high¬†calorie¬†food for me. Bowl of soup I’m never happy, there should always be something to bite or¬†cheesy¬†that could make me feel warm.
We had a wonderful¬†Asian¬†fusion dinner party during weekend, yet again I was doing the dessert my fav!¬†Sometime back I was in Porvoo a beautiful old city in Helsinki, my friend had passion fruit cheese cake, the cake looked¬†extremely¬†gorgeous that I some wanted to redo it at some point, couldn’t find any better day.¬†Though that cake was baked version, I went for unbaked version.¬†I didn’t intend this recipe for blog post, unexpectedly¬†it turned out be fantastic that I¬†dare to post with a bad picture. Passion fruit gives beautiful¬†freshness¬†and¬†flavor¬†I’m falling in love with it!¬†¬†One year old baby couldn’t stop eating she was jumping on the table to eat more. Please ignore the pic and go head with it, butter, biscuit, cheese, cream, crunchy passion fruit seeds and winter…. with some margarita may be? …perfectly cozy!

Ingredients

180 gram digestive biscuit
50 gram butter
200 ml fresh cream (full fat)
400 gram cream cheese ( philadelphia cream cheese full fat)
100 gram sugar
4 passion fruit.
1 tspn of vanilla essence

For jelly glaze
100 ml water
1 tbspn sugar
Pulp of 1 passion fruit
1 1/2 tspn gelatin powder soaked in 1 tbpn of cold water

Method
Pulp 4 passion fruit and strain the juice out (give more pressure to strain all the juice).
Grind biscuit and butter together. Line the bottom of 18 cm cake pan  with butter biscuit crumbs, gently press them uniformly so that they are firm. Refrigerate it for about 30 mins.
In the mean time combine, sugar fresh cream and vanilla essence and beat them until stiff single peaks are formed. Next soften cream cheese in a separate bowl, very gently, better use hard mixer. If you over do them the cream cheese will become runny.
Now gently fold in fresh cream, cream cheese and passion fruit juice together until they are uniformly mixed.
Spoon the cream cheese mixture and spread evenly on the cake crust.
let the cake rest in the refrigerator

For gelatin glaze
In a heavy bottom pan, add water and sugar let them simmer on medium heat. Occasionally stir them till sugar dissolves, next add in passion fruit pulp and gelatin soaked in water. Bring it to simmer till the gelatin dissolves.
Let the glaze to cool in ice water bath till it becomes syrupy, them immediately pour it on top of the cake. Cover with fresh wrappers and refrigerate it. Serve the cake cold with warm tea or a cock tail!

Wish list – Kashmiri pulao

Hola gente! I had tank list of dreams to chase soon after PhD, like very student have, to do this to do that, my list is still growing. One on the priority is to travel to¬†Spain,¬†Iceland,¬†Athens and once again to Rome to eat all over again and again! let me see how far i can go. When mum was here we planned but couldn’t get them working, winter was too rough on her. But we had gala time with heavy baking and shopping. She flew to India and i’m back to work as post doctorate researcher for short term, not doing much of¬†research¬†work i seriously mean it! You know¬†dissertation¬†hang over, i need full solid holiday to get out of it, which i hardly see any near! There are more than 15 recipes, many trip photos to edit and post, which should be one among the ¬†wish list….so better get active and stop ranting (note to self). ¬†¬†
Lets go to Kashmiri pulao which mum made last year, for my Finnish God parents they¬†thoroughly¬†enjoyed¬†it. Since combination of fruits, nuts and salty rice is something special. Not many may like and i can’t handle pineapple there. The¬†very tiny tinky¬†pineapple in photo was used just for the photoshoot. The use of fruit can be¬†according¬†to ones own choice, make sure to mix the fruit with lukewarm rice just before you serve, to prevent cooking of fruit, if done well in advance pulao may become slushy.

Ingredients 

150 gram basmathi rice
1 tbspn ghee
1 tbspn oil
1 large onion sliced
2-3 green chilies slit 
3 bay leaves 
1 star anies 
2 mace of nutmeg
good pinch of black cumin seeds/shajeera
5 cloves
2 inch cinnamon 
1/4 tspn ginger garlic paste
Salt to taste
Water required according to rice variety ( I used 1 and half glass of water)
Cut fruits 100 gram or more depending on your taste (we used apple, orange, grapes, mango, pomegranate and pear)
Almonds 10 numbers  skinned and fried to golden brown  (to skin soak almonds in water and peal the skin)
Cashews 10 numbers  fried to golden brown 
1 tbspn of finely chopped coriander 
Method
Soak basmathi rice for 30¬†minutes. In a big pot (heat medium high), add oil and ghee. When oil warms up, add in cinnamon, cloves, star anies wait for 30 seconds for them to warm, then quickly add in bay leaves, mace of nutmeg, green chilies. Next onion goes in soon after the spices starts to splutter, fry the¬†onions¬†till they turn transparent or pale pink, don’t fry for too long or colour of rice will change (manage heat¬†accordingly). Followed by quick frying of ¬†ginger garlic paste till raw¬†flavor¬†subsides. Drain the rice and and add in and fry for about 2 minutes. Add required amount of water, salt and cook for 2¬†minutes¬†on high heat, then turn it to medium heat for about 12 – 15¬†minutes. Check after 10¬†minutes¬†if the rice is 75 % cooked and turn the heat to low. (If you are using hot plate turn off the heat) and let them rest for another 10¬†minutes. After which give it a very gentle stir. Mix cut fruit, chopped coriander and fried nuts with lukwarm rice and serve immediately!

To prevent oxidation of fruits squeeze few drops of lemon juice.