After my really long blogging break, my daughter really started missing my unforeseen delicacies that I make at home for her now and then. She has become so used to my blogging that this morning when I made her a peanut butter nutella sandwich and passed on her little pink plate, she threw a quizzical look at me. “Mom” she queried, “Arent you taking a picture???” I could`nt help smiling….”No sweety”, I quipped….go ahead and have your sandwich…She had been wanting to have my eggless cakes in a long time. So this afternoon, I decided to surprise her with a Zebra Cake, which I know had been making its rounds in the foodie blogsphere. I guess the name really hit off with her, I decided, as she came back for second and third helpings….
I did not have dark chocolate, but I generously used Hot chocolate Mix, specially made and packaged in tin containers, for the holiday season, that I found at Costco. I guess I can say that it was delicious and spongy, at the same time not too sweet. We all enjoyed it with a hot cup of tea and saved some for snack the following day.
2 cups All Purpose Flour / Maida.
1 3/4 cup Whole Milk .
1/2 cup Oil.
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cup Sugar ( Preferable a little more than 1 1/4 and a little less than 1 1 /2!!!)
1 tsp vanilla essence.
Cocoa Powder / Dark chocolate Powder / Ground Bournvita as needed.
1 Tsp Baking Soda.
1 Tsp Baking Powder.
Preheat the oven to 350 F and line your cake pan with butter spray, butter, oil or flour.
In a bowl, measure out the dry ingredients – Flour, Baking Soda, baking powder. Mix and keep ready.
In another mixing bowl, start with the milk and add oil, sugar, and whisk well to dissolve any lumps. Take caution NOT to over mix as this may rob the cake of sponginess.
Slowly add the dry ingredients little by little and incorporate them together.
Remove half of this prepared batter and put in another vessel.
To one portion, add 1 tsp of vanilla essence and mix it in.
To the other half, add 3-4 spoons of dark chocolate powder or dark cocoa powder. The darker the powder, the better the chocolate rings.
Now take the greased ake pan and add exactly one ladle of chocolate batter.
Next take a ladle of plain vanilla batter and add it to the centre of the chocolate batter.
Repeat now again with the chocolate batter, to follow with the vanilla batter.
The repeated layers of alternate batters spread slowly to fill out to the ends of the cake pan.
Complete both the batters and sprinkle some broken cashew/almond nuts on the top of the batter.
Set it inside the pre-heated oven for 35 minutes or until a toothpick thats inserted comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool and enjoy delicious Zebra Cake with your family!!!
Sending this cake to SHOW ME YOUR CAKE event hosted by Divya of Dil Se. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a wonderful and prosperous new year.
Many times, the menu for dinner or lunch is completely directed by the ingredients in the pantry. Most vegetables are bought from the store, with a particular preparation in mind, and most of the times, never really gets in to the Most Wanted Dish!!! I would have selected fresh spring onions to make spring rolls or chinese noodles, but end up using them in soup instead, or even a kootu!!! Pudina would have been carefully selected, wrapped and stored to make spicy pudina rice, but could conveniently end up becoming a side dish in the form of Pudina Chutney for Dosa or Idlis!!! Last week I had got fresh capsicums to make Capsicum Subji that my husband loves, but ended up in a one pot dish for this Quick Fix Paneer Capsicum Rice!!!
1 1/2 Cups of Fragrant Basmati Rice cooked with 3 cups of water.
2 Fresh Capsicums sliced thin.
1/3 cup of Panner Cubes .
1 spoon of Ghee.
A Pinch of Garam Masala.
1 spoon of Somph/ Shahi Jeera.
8 Green Chillies slit vertically.
1/2 Spoon of Jeera
1 0r 2 Bay Leaves.
A few Broken Cashew Halves.
Take a wide mouthed kadai and add 2 spoons of ghee. Allow to heat.
Add the seasonings one by one – Cloves, Shahi Jeera, Jeera, Cashews, slit green chillies and curry leaves. Allow to saute for a few minutes and for the aromas to waft. This is important as at this point the spice of the chillies sink in to the oil.
Add the chopped capsicum pieces and mix in well with the seasonings. Add sufficient salt for the capsicum.
Keep the cooked rice spread out on a plate so it removes the starchiness from them.
In a few minutes the capsicum begins to sweat and reduce in size and quantity.
Add the cooked rice, salt for the rice, a pinch of your favourite garam masala and mix in well.
Now at this stage, add the chopped paneer and finish up the rice by adding a garnish of chopped cilantro.
This rice preparation is very simple and very flavourful as the main aroma comes from the seasonings and the chillies.
There are a hundred different ways of making one vegetable root – the potatoe. There cannot be anyone who does not relish this versatile root. I have already posted one Alu Fry in my posts earlier which is a little spicy and comes strong on the flavours. For those days when you want to sit back and make a quick and easy side, the Alu Podimas is the one. This version is a tad healthier as the potaotes are steamed and then garnished with spices. This takes 5 minutes to prepare once the potatoes are cooked.
4 Medium Potatoes.
1/4 cup of dessicated Coconut
2-3 green chillies.
Bengal Gram, Mustard seeds and curry leaves.
Wash and peel the skin off the potaotes and cook them with salt in a pressure cooker for about 10-12 mins. No need for weight. Alternatively you could wash, peel and pop the potatoes in a pot of boiling water.
Once cooked, remove, cool and mash it in to slightly bigger chunks.
In a kadai, add 2 spoons of oil and when hot, add bengal gram, mustard and curry leaves. When the mustard splutters, immediately add the mashed potaotes.
Add hing and a little more salt if necessary and stir it well.
In the mixer jar, pulse 3 green chillies and the coconut and add this to the cooked alu in the kadai.
Mix well and serve garnished with chopped cilantro.