Saturday, September 25, 2010

* My Mom's Vanilla Chiffon cake

          This is an  amazing cake that my school n college friends  can vouch for.I call it  Vanilla Chiffon Cake for its texture. Baking this  cake  and  eating  ,,takes  me  back to my University days.When I used to go back to hostel after  vacation,,all my friends  invariably knew that I  will have a  box of cake in my  side pocket of my bag and before I enter my room the cake box will be  already open, sometime they  try to  be formal and wait  until I open the box.I wanted  everybody get a bite,,sometimes the box  gets  over  before  everyone  come to my room  for  a  bite.So later I used to  hide  some  for those who didn't  show up first and  some for the evening chit chat in  my room with friends,S,R and M,miss you guys.Same was the case  in my  younger brother's hostel :) so this  was  the favorite of  all the  friends.I gave this cake couple of tries,,but  my husband always says its  not  like  Mom's  cake.So I  kept trying and  now  I got it right after I jotted  down step by  step process from my Mom when I talked to her  over our long weekend chats.It is a simple recipe,but I don't know what went wrong every time  I gave it a try .Whenever I made in last couple of years  she was always  around,so I never  went wrong so I was  very confident, but  I always messed  up in all  my attempts.Couple of months back I made this  cake for  our anniversary and we  both loved it.When I was searching  a box to keep the left over,,he said,,,don't bother about the box now,,you will  need a box if something will be left  at all..And  he was right.we finished the whole cake in a day :)
So  now  comes the recipe.This will make   one  bunt cake ring.

1. Eggs - 4
2. All purpose Flour         -  1.5 cups
3. Granulated white Sugar - 3/4 cup
4. Vegetable Oil                -  1/2 Cup
5. Vanilla Extract               - 1  tb sp(Use the original  vanilla extract for a  better  flavour)
6.  Honey                          - 1  tb sp
7. Baking Powder              -1 tsp


 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit before you  start the process.

2. Use  eggs in room temperature for  more volume in the batter.I used a hand  blender here  but you can  use an egg beater  and beat with your hand,,it takes  a long time  and  you really need muscle power :) .Now to my relief I have a  hand  blender  which is handy to use  and  doesn't take a  lot of  space.My mom uses  the manual egg beater until now.I'm  planning to  gift her one  on my  next visit :)

3. Mix all purpose flour and  baking powder and  sieve  this mixture couple of times.(You  can use  pre-  sieved flour)

4. In a  big  bowl blend  granulated sugar and  4 eggs very well,The texture should  be something like  shown in the picture and pale yellow in colour.

5. Pour 3/4 cup of  Vegetable oil to the mixture and  beat  for 1 minute with the electric  blender.

6. Then  add the flour and baking  powder mixture slowly and  mix with a  spatula until the flour is   completely incorporated.If you  feel  at this  point  the  mixture is thicker than required then  add  some  milk and  bring it  to  the consistency where you  can smoothly pour the batter in the  baking mold.

7.Add 1 tbsp honey and  vanilla extract and  mix well.Mom says while  mixing do it in one direction don't change  directions (May be that lets the air bubble to escape and the cake  wont be as  soft and  fluffy)

8.Spray the  mold with  some cooking oil or  you can  spread some  oil with your  hand and  dust some  all  purpose flour to completely coat the  surface.

9. Pour  the  cake  batter on the  mold(I  used a bunt  cake  mold ,but  any  cake  mold  would  do) and  slide in to the  pre-heated oven.Bake  for  about 30 minutes in  350 degree Fahrenheit.

10. Now its  time to   test if  the  cake  is  done , Pierce  a  knife or a skewer. If it comes out clean then   remove from the oven immediately and let it cool for  15 minutes.Once  cool down  it is  easy to take the  cake out of the mold  after some time.

11.When  I flip the cake in to a plate,,,,it  just looks a nicely baked golden cake ring.the cake  stays  fresh  outside for  about a week.You can  refrigerate. It becomes  a little hard inside the refrigerator,but you  can  microwave for  5-10 secs and  have a bite anytime,it  stores up to a month.

Tips: You can add  dry fruits or cocoa powder for  variation.But this time I wanted to bake the original recipe that  I  have been eating for  years.I will post  some variation  later point of  time.For now  happy reading  and  thanks  for visiting my blog.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

* Red Bean Flower Buns

            I had these  red bean buns in  one  of the Chinese bakery.Chinese  bakeries always  have  many  variety of  buns,breads,cookies.Buns are  widely  two types steamed and  baked with as many types of fillings you can think of,,,beef pork,chicken,veggies,beans.As  I love baking so  I thought of making the baked came out  good and is a nice  breakfast,snacks  option if you make it  ahead of time,But nothing can  beat   any fresh baked good for  sure.The filling stays  good in refrigerator  for a long time  so you can  make  ahead  and whenever you have time can  make  different stuffs,,After I made  these  buns I was left with  some red bean paste  and  I had tried  stuffed parathas(Indian  stuffed  flat  bread) and they  also  came out well,,,tasted kind of puran poli.So you have  endless options with the paste.

Here I'll  divide the making process into two parts: 
  • Red bean paste making 
  • Bun  making

This recipe makes 10 buns.

Red Bean Paste :

Ingredients  for  Red Bean paste:

1. Kidney beans - 1 cup (soaked  overnight)
2. Sugar - As per your taste(I used approx  1/2 cup)

Procedure  for Red Bean  paste:

1. Once the kidney  beans  are  nicely  soaked in water over night you  put in on a  blender  and make a        
    thick  fine  paste as  shown in picture.
2. Heat  a  pan  and  pour the bean paste ,Keep stirring,I used a non-stick pan  so was  easy.Once the  bean
    paste  thickens, add  sugar and  adjust to your taste.You will know Bean paste is ready, when you can 
    draw a line in the  pan.
3. Let the bean  paste  cool down a  little bit until you  can form  balls  from the  paste.Apply some  oil in 
   your  palms and  make small  balls. Keep them aside.
                                You  can put the paste in a  zip lock  and  keep in refrigerator  for  about  1-2  weeks and   can use  in any  other recipes as well.

Bun making :

 The  Bun is  made  from the regular  yeast  dough.
Ingredients for  the Bun :

1. All purpose flour : 1  cup
2. Milk Powder      : 1/8 cup (Optional )
3. Yeast                  : 1 tsp
4. warm water         : 1/2 cup (you can substitute milk)
5. Sugar                  : 1/2 tsp  (for  yeast to be active)
6. Salt                     : 1 pinch  (for  yeast to be active)
7. Egg                     : 1 (for  egg wash--Can be replaced  by milk if you want a  complete  vegan  version)
8. Sesame seed     : 1  tb sp(Optional for  decoration)

Procedure for  buns:

The  entire process  takes  around 1hr 30 mins  to 2 hrs.Plan  so as to fit in your  other chores in between so that you don't feel its  a  time consuming stuff.

1. In bowl of warm milk/ water mix in the yeast,sugar and salt and  leave it for  about 10 minutes.You  should  see  frothy stuff,,if  at the end of  10 minutes its  not frothy then its no good.throw it and  start all over  again.The reason  why the yeast wont react is  may  be the  milk is too hot to  kill the  yeast .And sometimes the yeast is very old and not good to use any more then throw that and buy a new packet.
2.Make a  dough  using this yeast mixture to the flour.And keep it aside  for  1  hour in a  warm  place.

3. After  1 hour  the  dough  would  have  risen  to double the  original size. Punch the  dough and keep another 10 mins. 

4. Then make  small balls with it and keep it covered  with the  kitchen towel so that they won't dry out.

5. Take a  ball of the dough  and  put the red bean  paste  ball in  it and  wrap  to make  the bun and  keep in the baking sheet  with the seal side down.Repeat  this with all the  balls and let it sit for  10 more minutes.Now switch on your  Oven ,so that it reaches the baking temperature when  you slide in the buns.

6. Now the Flower  part comes.To give the shape of  a flower as the  name says, cut  the  sides  with a pair of   scissors as shown in the picture.

7. Beat the  egg and   brush the bun top with a pastry brush and  sprinkle  some sesame seeds on top.

8. Slide the tray into the preheated oven   and  bake in 350 Degrees for  about 30 minutes.You can see nice golden brown colour on top.

Now these beauties are ready to  munch one.

Thanks for visiting  and  happy cooking.