Monday, December 13, 2021

Carrot Fig & Pecan Cake With Cream Cheese Glaze



December came so fast this year.  So many changes came our way.  We all learned to live a new lifestyle from last year  and got accustomed to that.   When companies decided to bring the workforce back to office, we were not ready for that change.  






This year I got the chance to work with the TV channel Asianet in their cooking show.  I never had anything like that in my dreams to do a cooking show.  But still it happened.  I made this cake for the show and thought to blog it to keep it as a record for myself to refer back.  Also I am so glad to share it with you.  Bake this cake for your Christmas party and enjoy with your family and friends!



Yields - 9'' round cake / two 8'' round cake / large bundt cake


Ingredients

Dry ingredients 
2 1/2 cups - all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp - baking powder
1/2 tsp - baking soda
1/2 tsp - salt
1 1/2 tsp - ground cinnamon, cloves , nutmeg powder mix

Other ingredients
2 cups - grated carrots
3 - eggs
1 cup - oil
1 1/2 cup - granulated sugar
1 tsp - vanilla extract
1 cup - chopped dry figs
3/4 cup - chopped pecans

Caramelized sugar syrup
1/2 cup - sugar
1/2 cup - hot water

Glaze
3 tbsp - softened cream cheese
1 cup - powdered sugar
1/4 cup - milk
1/4 tsp - cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg powder mix
1/2 tsp - vanilla extract

Topping
1/2 cup - chopped candied pecans

Directions:
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 ° F.
  • Take a heavy bottom pan and melt 1/2 cup of sugar over medium heat.  When the sugar starts to melt and become dark brown, lower the flame and carefully add 1/2 cup of  hot water and boil till the sugar crystals melts completely and forms slightly thick syrup.  Keep it aside to cool.
  • Sift the flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt to aerate the dry ingredients and remove any lumps.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar with a whisk attachment till fluffy.
  • Add the caramelized sugar syrup and oil and beat till its mixed well.
  • Remove the whisk attachment and use a paddle attachment at this point.  This step is only needed, if using stand mixture.
  • Add the grated carrots and mix well.
  • Slowly add the flour mix into the wet mixture in batches till everything is mixed well.
  • Fold in the chopped dates and chopped pecans into the cake batter.  
  • Pour into a  greased (use non stick cooking spray with flour) 9'' Bundt pan or a regular cake pan lined with parchment paper.  Run a butter knife through the batter to remove any air bubbles.
  • Bake the cake for 50 - 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when tested at the center of the cake.  Let the cake cool completely before unmolding.
  • Meantime prepare the glaze by mixing all the ingredients listed under  glaze using a spoon in a bowl.
  • Candied pecans -  melt 2 tbsp of sugar in pan and add 1/2 cup of whole pecans to it and mix well till all the pecans are coated well.  Turn off the flame and transfer the pecan to a parchment paper and let it cool.  Chop them into small pieces.
  • Once the cake cools down, pour the glaze over the cake and top them with candied pecans.
Notes
  • Make sure that you use greased parchment paper to line the pan for the easy release.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and wrap with aluminum foil and store in air tight container.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Sun Dried Tomato Pickle


My love for pickles developed during my hostel days.  Those who have the hostel days experience can probably relate well to that.  I had the sun dried tomato pickle from one of my friends.  Her mom packed her the pickle with some dosa to bring back to the hostel.  We all devoured the pickle.  I still remember the lip smacking taste of that pickle.


I had tried many tomato pickle recipes, but they were all made with fresh tomatoes and never tasted the same.  Couple of years ago, when I got a good yield of tomatoes from my summer garden, I started sun drying the well ripe ones to avoid wasting them.  I used them in my pasta and they tasted really good.  So I thought to try the pickle with sun dried tomatoes since they tasted delicious.  They turned out to be really good.  But it was not the same as what I had before.  The next time, I tried with sesame oil and it tasted the same way as I had before.  In this recipe, I am using less oil, but  the more the oil you use, the longer it will last.  But trust me, they will disappear fast because of its taste.


Yields - 16 oz mason jar

Ingredients

2 cups - Sundried Tomatoes (refer notes)

1 cup - boiled water

10 - cloves big  garlic sliced

2 tbsp - ginger chopped

2 - dry red chili

1 tsp - chili powder

2 tsp - Kashmiri Chili powder

1/2 tsp - turmeric powder

1/4 tsp - fenugreek powder

1/2 tsp - mustard seeds

1/4 tsp - asafoetida

1/2 cup - boiled water

2 tbsp - vinegar

2-3 - sprigs of fresh curry leaves

1/4 cup - sesame oil

salt to taste

Directions:

  • Add the boiling water to sun dried tomatoes and let it sit for 15 minutes for them to get softened.
  • In a heavy bottom pan, splutter the mustard seeds and add the sliced garlic and ginger and cook till light golden brown.
  • Add dry chili and lower the flame.  Add turmeric powder, chili powder, fenugreek powder and asafoetida and cook till the raw smell goes away.
  • Add the soaked tomatoes (along with the water if any) and the additional 1/2 cup hot water to the pan.
  • Let everything come to a boil.  Add salt to taste and vinegar.  Add curry leaves and let it cook on low flame for another 5 minutes.  Turn off the flame when the tomatoes are softened well.  Let it cool.
  • Transfer to a sterilized bottle and store in the refrigerator.
Notes
  • Use tomatoes those are well ripe.  Cut them into slices if using big tomatoes and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Sprinkle kosher salt or sea salt on top of each slices and sun dry for 2-3 days depends on the heat.  You can store them in a clean glass bottle till ready to make the pickle.  Make sure not to over crowd the baking sheet.
  • Alternatively you can use 2 pints of well ripe cherry tomatoes.  Cut them into halves and place on 2 baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Sprinkle Kosher/sea salt over them.  Bake in a pre-heated oven at 250 F for 2 hours 30 minutes or till the tomatoes are dry.


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