Chequered Cake and some meaty Gaga

I don’t hate Lady Gaga , on the contrary I think she is one of the most theatrical performers of our age and while I have blogged about her outlandish dress sense in the past , her latest ‘meat bikini’ is taking it a bit too far , don’t you think.Ewwwwwwwww….

To get over the meaty taste that pic has left you with here is a very interesting cake that I made for my son’s 3rd birthday (it was last month).I first saw this gorgeous cake on Sunita’s blog knew I just HAD to try it. However I ended up using her recipe. Its a pretty straightforward recipe and while its a wee bit time consuming , the end result was just lip-smaking good!!!!!!Check out her website for detailed pics…

Chequered / Checkboard Cake( without a special pan)
Ingredients:

For yellow sponge :
3/4 cup All purpose flour
2 Eggs,at room temperature
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup powdered Sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp baking powder

chocolate sponge:1/2 cup Refined flour/Maida

1/4 cup Cocoa powder
2 Eggs,at room temperature
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup + 2tsp powdered Sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp baking powder

Filling
2 cups thick cream
1/2 cup powdered Sugar

Sugar Syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar

Method:

Yellow Sponge:
Line a 9″ round tin with a baking paper and grease it with oil and as well the sides of tin.
Sift flour and baking powder together.
Separate egg whites from the yolks.
Beat egg whites in clean dry bowl till fluffy.
Add Sugar gradually,beating till thick,fluffy and retains shape.
Beat in the yolks and essence till thick and fluffy again.
Add oil gradually,beating till thick again.
Fold in flour gently with a wooden or metal spoon,by sprinking evenly in 2-3 batches.
Pour mixture into tin and level the top.Tap the tin gently to get rid of any large air bubbles.
Bake in preheated oven at 180 deg for 20 mins.
Insert knife or skewer in the center of cake,if it comes out clean ,remove tin from oven.After 5 mins,remove cake from tin onto a wire rack and let it cool.Cool the pan completely before proceeding to make the chocolate sponge.

Chocolate Sponge:Follow the same procedure as the yellow sponge cake just that add cocoa powder and sieve all the ingredients in the second step.

Sugar Syrup
Boil water along with sugar until it forms a nice syrupy liquid.Keep aside.,

Cream Filling
Beat the cream on medium speed till thick.
Only after it turns thick,then add powdered sugar and continue beating on high speed till you get the soft peaks.Chill it for some time.

Assembling the cake:

Level the cake gently using a knife(to cut) to form a uniform surface.
Based on the size of your cake take 2-3 cutters which form similar symmetric hollow circles gives 1″ width for each circle.You can use anything from the lid of steel containers to large cookie cutters to obtain similar results.

Gently press the cake with the cutters to get different symmetric circles and place them aside .
Place a chocolate sponge on the serving platter.Apply plain cream to the inner circles of the cake and apply cream again.Do the same with the remaining 1-2 circles to form first layer of the cake.Follow the same procedure to make the second layer and keep it aside.
Pour the sugar syrup mixture all over the cake to make it enough moist.
Apply a thin layer of cream and place the second layer of the cake.
Pour the sugar syrup mixture all over the cake to make it enough moist.
Apply the plain cream all over the cake and make sure that it is uniformly applied all over and on the sides.
Unleash your creativity and decorate(unlike me).
Chill it in the refrigerator and slice it gently and serve chilled.

I Finally Found what Im looking for…


Here’s the other recipe I tried out from our Book Club’s January selection Climbing the Mango Tree.
I must admit that this too I found kinda bland…but i upped the spice quotient and it was simple yet delicious.

Chicken Cooked in a Yogurt-Almond Sauce (Murgh Korma)

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

One 2 ½ -inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
4-5 good-sized cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons blanched, slivered almonds
1 ½ cups plain (nonfat) yogurt
1 ½ teaspoons garam masala (see below for Madhur’s recipe)
1 tablespoon ground coriander
½ – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
1 ½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons peanut or olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into fine half-rings
Two 2-inch sticks of cinnamon
8 whole cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
3 ¼ pounds chicken, cut into 8 pieces (see headnote)
2 tablespoons golden raisins (sultanas)
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS

Put the ginger, garlic and ¼ cup water into a blender. Blend until you have a smooth paste. Add the almonds and another 2 tablespoons water. Blend again until you have a smooth paste.

Put the yogurt in a bowl. Whisk it lightly with a fork or whisk until smooth. Add the garam masala, ground coriander, cayenne and salt. Stir well into mix.

Put the oil into a large, preferably nonstick sauté pan and set it over medium heat. When it is hot, put in the sliced onions. Stir and fry for 10-12 minutes, turning the heat don if necessary, until the onion slices are reddish brown. Remove the onion slices with a slotted spoon, squeezing out as much of the oil as you can with the back of a second spoon, and leaving that oil back in the pan. Spread the onion slices over a paper towel-lined plate.

Put the cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaves into the same pan over medium heat. Stir once or twice. A minute later, put in the chicken pieces, only as many as the pan can hold easily in a single layer. Brown the chicken lightly on both sides, removing them to a bowl when done. Do all the chicken pieces this way. Add the golden raisins. Stir a few times and then add the paste from the blender. Stir and fry for two minutes. Now put the contents of the bowl with the chicken, including all the accumulated juices, the contents of the yogurt bowl and the fried onions. Stir to mix and bring to a simmer, still on medium heat. Cover, turn the heat to low, and cook gently for 25-30 minutes, stirring gently now and then, until the chicken pieces are tender. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and serve.


To Make Punjabi Garam Masala used in Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe:

Put in a spice grinder
1 tbsp of cardamom seeds
1 tsp of whole black peppercorns
1 tsp of whole black cumin seeds
1 tsp of cloves
1/3 of a nutmeg
2″ stick of cinnamon

Grind finely and store in an air tight jar. This makes about 3 tbsp of Garam Masala

BTW ..WHAT was Lady Gaga wearing at the Grammy’s??????????????????Definitely Out-of-this-world!!!!!

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