Carrot cake to perfection

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Got it to perfection for christmas

After few successful b’day and Christmas cakes, I have somehow perfected my recipe of the fruit and nut cake.  So, this Christmas, I had decided on baking a carrot cake, which I had fallen in love with ever since we started ordering evening cakes from Chaayos, a tea and cake vendor in Delhi.

I searched for a proper recipe online. Finally I found one someone shared in facebook. I modified the recipe as per the availability of the ingredients here in Delhi and came out well. In fact, I had a bunch of testers in my house that day to review and approve. So, here is the recipe for that.

Ingredients:
2 cup plain flour
1.5 cup caster sugar (can be less as per your taste)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cup grated carrots (3-4 carrots)
3 eggs
Powdered spices – 1 clove + 1 cardamom pod + small piece of cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
Few drops of vanilla extract
A pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F / 180ºC.
  2. Combine the flour and baking powder, spices, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Beat the eggs and sugar until fluffy. Next, add vegetable oil and beat.
  4. Add the grated carrots to the mixture and mix well.
  5. Add vanilla extract to the above mixture.
  6. Now, add a spoon of flour mixture and fold. Once it is used up, add the remaining flour mixture spoon by spoon so that no lumps are formed.
  7. To a tray greased with butter and flour sprinkled over, pour the batter and bake for 45-50 minutes until the top turns brownish. Insert a skewer into the cake; if it comes out clean, your cake is done.
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Finally, a successful ‘Fruits and Nuts Cake’…

My mom makes the best cake in the world! B’days, Christmas or some special guests coming over, our house used to fill with this amazing fragrance of her cake… People have taken the recipe from her and I really don’t know if anyone got success in matching her’s…

Its a fruits and nuts cake with lots of nuts and cherries and I have been trying the recipe for years, always been unsuccessful… Even i  tried with an old style electric oven, the kind of oven my mom uses…. Yet, it didn’t change anything…. So many disasters, one among was an awful Christmas cake!!!

Ok, then came yesterday, my friend Meera’s b’day eve… The decision to bake a cake for her was bold as it would be the cake for the birthday… I had to get it right!!! It was one of my lucky days i say, eventhough the day drove me crazy because of few people in my life… So, getting a recipe work, after so many attempts…. i call it a moment!!!

The cake was a success, eventhough i was not happy with the fact that it could have burnt and got a lil’ dry…. I was happy when i saw the cake getting over, piece by piece taken away… A chef’s satisfaction…

From oven.... to the final bits!!!!

From oven…. to the final bits!!!!

So here I am sharing this amazing recipe…. with few changes from my mom’s original recipe….

Ingredients:
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup chopped cashew nuts, black raisins, cherries
1 cup caster sugar (can be slightly less than 1 cup)
2/3 cup butter
3 eggs
Powdered spices – 1 clove + 1 cardamom pod + small piece of cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
Few drops of vanilla extract
A pinch of salt

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F / 180C.
2. Add 2 tbsp of flour into the nuts and dry fruits and mix them well. Set aside.
3. Combine the flour and baking powder, spices, and salt. Set aside.
4. Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Next, add the eggs one by one and beat.
5. Add vanilla extract to the above mixture.
6. Now, add a spoon of flour mixture and fold. Once it is used up, add the remaining flour mixture spoon by spoon so that no lumps are formed. Add the nuts and dry fruits mixture to this and combine them well.
7. To a tray greased with butter and flour sprinkled over, pour the batter and bake for 45-50 minutes until the top turns brownish. Insert a skewer into the cake; if it comes out clean, your cake is done.

Notes:

1. I usually fry the cashews slightly in butter. Fried, crispy cashews in the cake, to me, tastes better.
2. Keeping the fruits and nuts mixture in flour is important. This is to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the batter while baking.

Don’t call me a foodie….. I am a culinarian….

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I am a foodie of a different kind…

Using the word ‘foodie’ is controversial… mostly because different people have different perspectives regarding that terminology… Most of the times, it’s considered a word to represent someone who overeats… not someone who loves and enjoys food…

Even if it’s tagged with people who love food, i cannot call myself a foodie… my love for food is not always the ‘eating’ part… ofcourse, i love a good meal, cookies, and more cookies, and occasional treats… But, i enjoy food more in ways such as cooking, and food photography…

So i came up with this term that would describe my love; culinarian… Yes, love food in my own ways…

Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy. It’s not about nutrients and calories. It’s about sharing. It’s about honesty. It’s about identity.

Kitchen Queen…

Where do i start… i polished my culinary skills while i was in University of Hyderabad…. the birthday parties and friends coming over for after match parties, everybody has to be a chef… I started inventing and experimenting with recipes during these parties… it was fun fun days in kitchen…

During those days, my favourite TV channel was the travel and living channels and the favourite show for a long time was ‘Top Chef’… i can watch the cookery shows all day… they provided more inspiration and i began treating cooking as an art…

"Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colours, there are only so many flavours - it's how you combine them that sets you apart."

“Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colours, there are only so many flavours – it’s how you combine them that sets you apart.”

Food photography…

Ahh… how i love being a shutterbug… even though my peak photography days were in the past, i still love clicking now and then, here and there, for Instagram mostly… food being something i would never miss… A well-set plate, a colourful dish in the pan… food have such vibrant colours and my camera loves all those…

Making a simple nachos and salsa looking awesome...

Making a simple nachos and salsa looking awesome…

People always judge me by my food-related photo uploads and my interest in cooking… it’s all the ‘how’ and ‘why’ i get from people, especially my old Hyderabadi pals who know exactly what kind of ‘foodie’ i used to be… How can someone who does not enjoy eating food can have interests related to food!!

Well, i don’t have an explanation either… I just love what i do… because i am a culinarian….

What I’ve enjoyed most, though, is meeting people who have a real interest in food and sharing ideas with them. Good food is a global thing and I find that there is always something new and amazing to learn – I love it!

                         – Jamie Oliver