Last week……

 

img_4834-copyRight now, my kitchen counter top is completely messed up with spinach, onion and green garlic trimmings.  I have put palak to simmer on low gas, plants have been watered.  Breakfast table still needs clearance.  Grocery bag has been lying on the floor.   Actually, there are hundred of such  morning things that needs to be taken care of but I decided to put myself in a completely different gear..  img_4911

Semal trees have crowned with gorgeous flowers; lifeless mulberry trees have got the life back.. new leaves have began peeking through; mangoes  have started appearing on the cart; golden light has overshadowed every other color on the universe; mornings air began to feel pleasant on the face; jackets and coats have been packed in though light sweaters are still rolling in and out.     Transition from winters to summer has never felt different yet it is so endearing.   img-20170219-wa00061Last week,   my brother and sister-in-law came over to stay with us.  Though the length of the stay was very short yet we managed to caught up on almost everything.

We went out shopping, ate simple home cooked food, enjoyed some freshly baked desserts, talked about international tours where they had been, planned a family tour next January; we discussed our children and grandchild.  I am so looking forward to meeting Carina, in January next year.

In the picture above: the couple were seen clicking and appreciating a flower which they were keen on planting  in the back yard of their home.  I was told that they have an apple and plum tree in their garden.  I can imagine how wonderful it feels to pluck your own fruit and eat it.  dsc_0046

Last week, we also had the privilege of attending a  25th wedding anniversary of a friend with whom we had been friends for 14 years.   After my parents, I consider them as the second best parent in the world.  They really, really have raised their girls so well… their manners, behavior, education, jobs…everything is just so perfect.  I really wish the girls very best for their future endeavors.

For some time Virat has been insisting on buying  speakers for our desktop So yesterday we  brought two bright red color speakers home and later we all enjoyed  “Kapoor and Sons” on Amazon prime.  It was a lovely experience.img_3322

Today I am not sharing the desserts I made for my precious guests instead I am sharing a cake recipe which I made for my niece on her birthday, last November.  I was told that she really loved the cake.img_3319

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

Recipe adapted from Barbara Bakes

Ingredients

  • Whole wheat flour – 3 cup
  • Sugar – 2 cups
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – ½ cup
  • Baking soda – 2 tsp
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Oil – ¾ cup
  • Hot water – 2 cups
  • White vinegar – 2 tbsp
  • Coffee powder – 1 tbsp
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tbsp

Readymade cherry filling – ½ cup

For ganache
• Dark chocolate – 250gns
• Unsweetened single cream – 200ml
• Liquid glucose – 1 tbsp

For frosting
• Whipped cream – 1/2 cup
• Vanilla essence – 1 tsp

For sugar syrup
• Water – ½ cup
• Sugar – ½ tsp

Method

For cake

Preheat ove  at 180 degree C. Oil and line two 9” baking tins with baking paper.  Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  In another bowl combine water, oil, vinegar, instant coffee, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk just until combined. Divide batter between pans, then bake for 35 to 40 or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cakes on a rack for 15 minutes, then invert them onto the rack 

For ganache
Take chopped chocolate, liquid glucose and cream in a bowl and microwave for about 1 or 2 minutes. Stir to combine. Now put this in the freeze for half an hour to make it thick or of spreadable consistency.
For frosting
Take cream in a cold steel bowl. Add vanilla essence. Now beat this until stiff peaks formed.

For sugar syrup
Add sugar to the boiling water and wait until it cools down.

Assembling
Level the cakes. On a cake board, put the cake upside down. Sprinkle some sugar syrup. Now apply a thick layer of whipped cream.  Spoon some cherry filling over the cream.  Now put another cake over (again up side down). Again sprinkle some sugar syrup. Now cover the cake with ganache.  Pipe some rosette with leftover ganache.  For decoration, use gems and crushed cashews.

 

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