Apple Cake for the Monthly Mingle

We dont eat very healthy at home…What? YOU KNEW????? Is it that obvious????
Well, I dont wanna hear the answer to that one, so Im just gonna get to the point…
The point being that although fruits are NOT a regular part of our diet, we do consume it in its most unhealthy avatar- desserts! Yes I LOVE fruit desserts- You’ve probably seen the Apple Cheesecake, the Mango Upside down , the Pineapple Cake and various others I have already raved about.

This APPLE CAKE is another deliciously fruity cake I had bookmarked eons ago…
source:smitten kitchen

6 apples cored and chopped into chunks
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a pan and keep aside. Toss the apples with the cinnamon and the 5 tbsp sugar and set aside.
Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Mix to blend all the ingredients.

Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.

This one goes to Monthly Mingle whose theme this month is Fruit in Baking this month. Monthly Mingle is the brainchild of the wonderful Meeta from What’s For Lunch, Honey and hosted this month by my fav blogger Deeba of Passionate About Baking!

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti


I usually love books that have recipes in them…though I must confess that the ‘love’ stems from only the very few I’ve actually read.
Giulia Melucci’s I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti. was however a disappointment as far as good story go, though it fares as a fantastic source of recipes….

Daughter of Italian immigrants , Giulia is a journalist who has had her heart broken umpteen times but never had an empty stomach (”I can count on my breasts the number of times I have missed a meal”) She strongly believes that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but in her case it never proves true.
The book is basically about her numerous failed romances and how her boyfriends lead her not to the altar but to the kitchen.
If you are looking for a strong storyline dont bother reading the book…. Melucci , towards the end comes across as so desperate ..I mean I couldnt even relate to her. She was ready to date ANYONE young and old alike…drunks, druggies, cartoonists, writers.she loves and loses them all…Can one really get so desperate….she really lost me there….Also she clearly has food-emotion issues.She seduces men one meal at a time.

But here’s what I did like..it seemed brutally honest..a very brave book for her. There are also some nostalgic parts about her family and past which I thought were well written. But the best part about the book are the recipes(although most are ‘adapted’ from various sources.Yet all simple no-frill recipes originally written.

Parts of the book are originally funny …especially the titles of the recipes such as No Nookie Gnocchi”, “Pear Cake For Friends With Benefits,“Ineffectual Eggplant Parmigiana” (“Serves the two of you plus the three people you wish were there to keep the conversation going”)and the F***You Cakes -they totally cracked me up:)

Read it for the recipes , if not for much else!

Varo

Its no secret that I LOVE to bake; but did u know that I can barely make a decent cuppa tea. I usually throw my hands up at the mere mention of regular cooking- NOT because I dont enjoy it but because It almost never turns out the way its supposed to be:(

Which is why I was mighty thrilled to make the desi praline- VARO.

Many of us South Indians have had a version called Chikki. My love for these nutty sweets were stroked after my father in law started bringing home some everyday for my sis-in-law and me , almost everyday after his morning walks. Crunchy, sweet and nutty…this is without doubt a lovely sweet!

Thank you Alka for a great recipe..you can find the original recipe here.and thank you Srivalli for the Indian Cooking Challange that lets me learn new things.

Varo – Sindhi Sweet Treat (Diwali Special)
Ingredients:

Assorted Nuts (I used Almonds, Pistachios and Cashew nuts) – 1 Cup
Poppy Seeds / Khus Khus – 2 tbsp
Cardamoms – 4 -5
Sugar – 1 Cup
Ghee Clarified Butter – 1 tbsp

Method:

Slice all mixed nuts into medium sized pieces. Powder the Cardamom seeds.

Grease a flat plate or the back of a plate.

In a heavy bottomed pan, add ghee and sugar. On low heat melt the sugar without stirring too much until it turns light and then a deep brown shade. Working fast add in the nuts, poppy seeds and the cardamoms. Mix until the nuts are well coated(just a couple of seconds) and transfer the mixture to the prepared plate. Flatten using a rolling pin.
Let cool and harden.

Cut into pieces using a knife..it might be a bit hard to break but u can use the rolling pin to hammer in the knife..

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