Crunchy Carrot Cake (Eggless)

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I have been absent from blogging for a long time now because of some downs on the personal front. I am now slowly gearing to get back to make up for the lost time. With Diwali here, people will be busy making traditional sweets like Mysorepa, Laddoo, Burfi etc. To bring a change to the traditional sweets, I made this cake – a healthier and a yummier option.

My son loves carrots. And he love cakes too. To satisfy his taste bud, I tried of combining both Cs – Carrot and cake. To make it crunchier I added almonds to it. And I got triple Cs – Crunchy Carrot Cake. It is yet another eggless cake (festive time – eggs prohibited!). I added a little wheat flour to make it healthy and tasty.

This is yet another pressure cooker style cake but the water in it safeguards the life of the cooker.

So without further ado, let’s get to this recipe. Your comments and suggestions are welcome to help me cook better.

Ingredients –

Maida – 3/4 cup
Wheat flour – 1/4 cup
Grated carrot – 1/2 cup heaped
Curd – 3/4 cups (200 ml)
Cooking oil – 1/4 cup (60 ml)
Milk – 2.5 tablespoon
Granulated Sugar -1/2 cup
Vanilla essence – 1/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon powder – 1/4 teaspoon
Baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Baking Soda – 1/2 teaspoon
Salt -1/4 teaspoon
Almonds chopped – handful

Method –

1. Sieve in flour, wheat flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl.
2. Make a hole in the middle and mix in curd, oil, cinnamon powder and sugar into it. Stir well.
3. Fold up the grated carrots, vanilla essence, pinch of salt and again mix it evenly.
4. Now fold in the chopped almonds. Your batter will be ready to pour into the tin or dish.
5. Meanwhile, grease the cake tin with oil or butter.
6. Pour the batter in and spread evenly.
7. In a pressure cooker, add water and keep a cup inverted or stand into it.
8. Now place this cake tin / dish over this inverted cup. First 5 minutes cook in high flame then reduce the flame and cook it in medium flame for 45 – 60 minutes.
9. Keep checking after 30 minutes by inserting a knife in the middle. When it comes out clean, it means your cake is ready.
10. Once done take it out and while it is still warm, take out the cake from tin to a plate. And serve.

Your crunchy carrot cake can be served as a dessert to your meal. Enjoy!

Wish to get your comments to help me write and cook better. Will get back soon with another interesting recipe. Happy cooking!
And wish you all a happy, safe and prosperous Diwali 2014!

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Eggless Chocolate cake –

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February is the month of love – and a round shaped cake signifies it as love goes round and round. So this month, I tried making Eggless Chocolate cake.

I have baked cakes in pressure cooker quite a few times. And now after trying the Pillsbury cooker cake mix where we steam the cake mix, I got an idea to try our normal cake recipe with this steaming method. My earlier method of using pressure cooker is not recommended for every-time use as it hampers the life of the pressure cooker. So, I decided to look for a compromise. Since as of now, I don’t have a convection or a combination oven, pressure cooker was the only solution.
Whichever way, a cake is a cake and it tastes just the same – fabulous!! And the cake gets over in no time.

Without further ado, let me take you to this lip smacking chocolate cake recipe. Tried icing here with this eggless cake to make this special cake (after taking out 1 piece as my son was not ready to wait for icing to get done)!

Ingredients –
2 cups Maida (all-purpose flour)
1 + 3/4 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1.5 teaspoon baking soda
0.5 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk

Method –

1. Grease the base of the cake dish with little oil and dust either with Maida or sugar till well coated.

2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder and transfer into a mixing bowl.

3. Add the salt, sugar, oil, vanilla essence and water. Beat the mixture using a wooden spoon or a beater till well blended.

4. Add the milk to the cake batter and beat till smooth. The batter looks almost glossy when done.

5. Pour the batter into the dish and keep the dish above an inverted cup in the cooker filled with 3-4 glasses of water. Steam it in a pressure cooker for 40-60 minutes.

6. Keep checking in between by inserting a knife into the centre. Once it comes out clean, it means your cake is done.

7. Let this stand for five minutes then take cake out of the tin. Slice it and enjoy as it is or do the icing as shared here and then enjoy.

href=”https://mealisready.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/without-icing.jpg”&gt;without icing

For icing the cake –

Ingredients:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3-4 tablespoon milk
1 packet gems for decoration (optional)

Mix everything (except Gems) till you have a thick glazed texture.

Once ready, pour over the cake and spread it using spatula. Decorate it with gems on the top.

with icing

Serve as your eggless chocolate cake is ready to enjoy. Serve hot or chilled. It’s just yummy!!
Wish to get your comments to help me write and cook better. Will get back soon with another interesting recipe. Happy cooking!

Banana & Chocolate Upside down cake –

cake

You smell ripe bananas at home and wonder-how to use them? You could do the usual – a banana shake, or a fruit custard. But if you are looking to try something new, like me, then you are at the right place – yes, I am making banana and chocolate upside down cake.

I initially made this in an oven. My friends in India wanted to know whether this can be made in a pressure cooker, and so I tried that as well. Blogs like edible garden and wiki-how helped me. Both cakes came out well – from the oven and from the cooker. The recipe remains the same, and I shall discuss both the methods here separately.

I have enjoyed every part of this cake – making, baking, serving and most of all eating it. I hope you will love this as much as I did and let me know how it turned out for you. Let’s get to the recipe without further ado. Comments are always welcome.

Ingredients –

For the topping:

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (60 g) brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 ripe large bananas
A few drops of lemon juice

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups (210 g) self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (30 g) melted butter, salted or unsalted
2 medium eggs
1/2 cup banana puree (about 1 banana mashed by hand or mixer)
2 tablespoons yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (80 g) chocolate chips or chopped chocolate pieces

Method –
Making it in the oven:
1. To make the topping, place the brown sugar and water in an 8-inch (20 cm) square / round cake pan.

Warm the pan directly on the stovetop over low heat, stirring until the sugar is thoroughly moistened.

Simmer the mixture for about 45 seconds. (It won’t melt to become completely smooth, and there may be a few bare spots, which is normal.) Let cool to room temperature.

2. Peel and slice the bananas in 1/4-inch (1 cm) slices or rounds. Arrange them in slightly overlapping rows over the melted brown sugar. Sprinkle with a few drops of lemon juice.

3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

4. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl, making sure there are no lumps. Mix in the granulated sugar.

5. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, eggs, banana puree, yoghurt, and vanilla.

6. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients until almost combined. Do not over-mix. Gently fold in the chocolate pieces.

7. Scrape the batter into the pan over the bananas, then use a spatula to carefully spread the batter over the sliced fruit.

8. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake feels just set in the center when you touch it or check it with a toothpick – it should come out clean.

9. Cool the cake for about 20 minutes, then run a knife along the edges of the cake to help it release from the pan. Invert the cake onto a serving platter.

Serving Suggestion:
The cake is best served warm with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or by itself as a snack.

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Making it in pressure cooker:

1. To make the topping, place the brown sugar and water in a round cake pan or any bowl which will go inside the cooker. Make sure you use a cake pan (please do not use non-stick ones; aluminum works best, even stainless steel was OK as I used that here.) that fits comfortably in the pressure cooker without the sides touching.
Warm the pan directly on the stovetop over low heat, stirring until the sugar is thoroughly moistened.

Simmer the mixture for about 45 seconds. (It won’t melt to become completely smooth, and there may be a few bare spots, which is normal.) Let cool to room temperature.

2. Peel and slice the bananas in 1/4-inch (1 cm) slices or rounds. Arrange them in slightly overlapping rows over the melted brown sugar. Sprinkle with a few drops of lemon juice.

3. Preheat the pressure cooker with a plate having a stand on it (like an idli plate) and minus the gasket and weight on the cooker lid, on high heat for 2 minutes. [You can even use sand in the pressure cooker in place of the plate. It is just to ensure that the bottom of your cake bowl should not touch the base of the cooker directly as otherwise the bottom of cake will cook very fast as compared to other sides]. Do not add water to the cooker, otherwise you will end up steaming the cake.

4. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl, making sure there are no lumps. Mix in the granulated sugar.

5. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, eggs, banana puree, yoghurt, and vanilla.

6. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients until almost combined. Do not over-mix. Gently fold in the chocolate pieces.

7. Scrape the batter into the pan over the bananas, then use a spatula to carefully spread the batter over the sliced fruit.

8. Use a pot-holder to keep the cake pan inside, since the cooker will be hot because of the pre-heating.

9. After placing the batter in, close the lid and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes and then lower the flame to just a simmer. The cake, depending on the size of your cake pan and pressure cooker, will take anywhere between 40 minutes to 1 hour to bake.

10. Keep checking until the cake feels just set in the center when you touch it or check it with a toothpick – it should come out clean.

11. Cool the cake for about 20 minutes, then run a knife along the edges of the cake to help it release from the pan. Invert the cake onto a serving platter.

Serving Suggestion:
The cake is best served warm with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or by itself as a snack.

cake slice

If made an hour or so in advance, it can be inverted on the serving platter, and left with the cake pan over it, to keep it warm. Otherwise it can be rewarmed in the microwave, or can even be enjoyed at room temperature.

Storage: The cake can be made up to two days in advance, although it is best the day it’s made. To freeze it, wrap it securely in a plastic wrap; it can be frozen for one to two months.

Notes

1. In case you don’t have self – rising flour, you can substitute it with all-purpose flour + 1 teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt. Rest remains the same.
2. Do not use gasket and weight on the pressure cooker while using it for baking a cake.
3. Use a pressure cooker that is at least 3 liters, but I recommend 5 liters if you have it available.
4. The main object of placing sand or plate with a stand inside the cooker is to help distribute heat evenly, In case, you don’t have any – then you place the pressure cooker on a flat griddle or tawa and cook the cake. It’s just an insulation between the flame and the bottom of the cooker to protect the cake.
5. Do not add any water to the cooker as we are trying a oven-like base for baking just using a pressure cooker. If you use water, it will be like steaming the cake.
6. The heat generated in pressure cooker will be enough to cook / bake a cake.
7. Make sure you use a cake pan that fits comfortably in the pressure cooker without the sides touching the cooker.
8. It’s probably best not to do this in a non-stick pressure cooker since dry-heating a non-stick surface without water or oil is not advised.
9. Baking in a pressure cooker reduces the life of the pressure cooker i.e. the safety valve and so regular baking is not recommended. Anything like once or twice a year is fine..