Categories
Recipes

Fruit & Nut Rum Cake

We can all hear Christmas bells ringing which means lights, gifts and decorations, but another tradition that has always been a must is this alcohol soaked rum and fruit cake! Our celebrations remain incomplete without it.

Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour, 275 gm
  • Brown sugar, 275 gm
  • Butter, 275 gm
  • Orange zest, 1 tbsp
  • Nutmeg and cinnamon powder, ½ tsp each
  • Powdered almonds, 100 gm
  • Chopped pistachios and cashews, ½ cup.
  • Soaked nuts*, 1 ½  cup
  • Baking soda, 1 tsp
  •  Flaky salt, ¼ tsp
  • Eggs, 4

Method:

  1. In a sieve in all-purpose flour, powdered almonds, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon powder. Keep it aside.
  2. Soften the butter until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add brown sugar and keep whisking until you get a light and fluffy texture.
  4. Add the eggs one by one to the mixture and keep mixing.
  5. Add in the orange zest, chopped nuts and the soaked nuts.*
  6. Fold in the dry ingredients to the wet mixture.
  7. Transfer the cake batter to a well-greased cake tin lined with parchment sheet.
  8. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 1500 for 80-90 minutes

Notes:

  • Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature
  • These are mixed nuts, I have used blueberries, cranberries, tutti-frutti, cashews, prunes, almonds and dry apricots, soaked in rum for at least 3 weeks.
  • While adding the nuts be careful to drain out extra alcohol if any.
  • Don’t over mix the mixture as it leads to formation of gluten which in turn makes the cake chewy.
Categories
Recipes

Eggless Chocolate Cranberry Cake

by Pallavi Ahuja

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup fresh Cranberries (you can use frozen ones, if fresh are not available)
  • 1 cup Brown sugar/White Normal Sugar
  • 2 tablespoon sugar for coating cranberries
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Butter
  • a pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon Baking Soda
  • 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
  • 1-1/2 All Purpose Flour/Any Baking Flour

METHOD:

  1. Firstly, take a pan and put cranberries to it. Mix 2 tablespoon sugar and let it melt. This is to sweeten the tangy flavor of cranberries. When the sugar melts, cranberries get a thick puree kind of consistency. Switch off the flame.
  2. Take a bowl. Add butter and sugar. Use a cake beater to beat this mixture. Now add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and baking powder through a sieve, so that there are no lumps in the mixture.
  3. Beat the mixture again properly for about 2 minutes. Now add apple cider vinegar and milk. Vinegar helps in rising the cake even more. If the mixture is too thick, add more milk to it. Beat again well to make a good consistency batter which is not too runny.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to about 180° C temperature. Grease a baking tray with butter or oil. Set the cake batter into it. Add the cranberry puree layer on top of the batter. Spread it with the help of a spatula gently.
  5. Now keep the tray into the oven and bake it for about 35 minutes. Do the tooth pick test to check if the cake is baked completely. Once you take the tray out of oven, let it cool down and take out on a plate. There is no need for frosting for this cake, as the upper layer is of cranberries.

Categories
Columns

The Top 10 Foods We Stress Eat

A couple of days ago, I asked folks on Chef at Large what they ate when emotionally stressed. That post received over 750 responses of all sorts, though a pattern was more or less apparent on going through the responses.

Our stress eating usually based on childhood conditioning and remnants of our evolutionary past. Childhood conditioning is usually about repeating patterns inculcated during our childhoods, when we were given foods to placate our childhood selves, and we continue eating the same foods when stressed, as adults. Evolutionary remnants are about our heading for sweet, salty or fatty foods, behaviour that used to be a part of our survival instincts aeons ago, and still survives within us.

Interestingly, the second most quoted response was ‘Nothing’, which was quite nice to see, as in some of us beating the urge (or not experiencing it at all) to stuff ourselves when upset, which is always a nice thing to see.

The Bottom Five

10 Butter – At the very bottom, we have butter, a food this country loves and reveres. Thankfully, in this context, it wasn’t as a food, but as part of a dish. This includes butter chicken, peanut butter, toast and butter and aloo ka paratha with butter among others.

Butter is closely followed by:

  • Pizza
  • Cheese
  • Chicken and
  • Cake

The Next Three

The usual instinct I’ve seen is to eat something, but quite a few folks prefer drinking (#4) something after an argument or other stress inducing activity. It could be a hot drink, such as tea (#3) or coffee (#5), or it could be alcoholic. Regardless, drinking as opposed to eating definitely seems to be a preference amongst a significant number of us.

The Top Two!

The second most popular refuge for the emotional eaters amongst us is… you’re right, ice cream! This could also be a social outcome of the dozens of movies where a tub of ice cream is shown as the ideal refuge for a bad mood.

The #1 food eaten in an emotional state is, and you’re right again, chocolate! But then, you already knew that, yes?

So, that’s the list. If any of you are curious about the original comments that led me to this conclusion, here it is. What’s your stress-eating go-to? Leave a comment, okay?

If you’re facing a weight problem that stress eating is partially responsible for, click here.