Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Eggless French Yule Log/ Buche de Noel

  Yule Log cake is one of the most popular traditional cakes made for Christmas. This is commonly referred to as Buche de Noel. The alternate term for the Yule log cake is Buche de Noel, which is French and indicates that the cake has its origins from France, one of the culinary capitals of the world. The term translates to the literal term "Christmas Log". Christmas logs or Yule logs were placed in the fireplace hearth and burned centuries ago as part of the holiday tradition for Christmas, commonly on Christmas Eve.
The tradition of actually burning a log began to disappear with the arrival of small stoves and the disappearance of large hearths. The big log was replaced by a smaller branch that was set in the middle of the table and surrounded by little "friandises" (sweets, delicacies) that were given as treats to guests. It is this branch that was eventually transformed into the cake we know as the Bûche de Noël.( Information from Net)
Traditional Bûche is made up of sponge cake. It is baked in a shallow pan, filled with chocolate buttercream and rolled in to a log. It is frosted again with chocolate buttercream, refrigerated and served cold. This is my first attempt and it came out well.

Maida – 1 cup(200 gms)
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Unsalted Butter- 1/2 cup (125 ml)
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Milk - 1 tbsp (just for brushing the top)
For Simple syrup
Sugar -1 tbsp
For the filling:
whipping cream-1 cup
granulated sugar-2tbsp
vanilla extract-1 tsp
For the topping:
Bitter Sweet Chocolate-300 gm
Cream-1 cup
Vanilla-1/2 tsp
1. Take Maida, Baking Powder, Baking Soda together. Sieve it in a large  bowl.
2. Take a deep bowl or container and pour melted butter in it. Add condensed milk to it and stir it nicely with a wooden spoon or a hand mixer. Then add milk and mix for another 2 minutes.
3. To this mix add the sieved dry contents. Add the Vanilla essence and give it a good stir for a minute so that everything is uniformly mixed.
4. Keep a cake baking pan greased with butter and dusted with flour ready before starting to make the cake batter. Pour the cake batter into it. Insert the cake pan into preheated oven. Bake the cake at 180 degree C for 20-25 min.
5. While the cake is baking, spread out an impeccably clean kitchen towel on a counter space and sprinkle it with cocoa powder.
6. To ensure that the cake is done, insert a tooth pick into it. The tooth pick has to come out nice and clean. Switch off the microwave.
7.. When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately run a sharp knife along the edges of the pan to loosen the cake hen quickly flip the pan on top of the cocoa-powder-topped towel.
8. While the cake is still warm, gently roll it up using the towel, so that the cake doesn’t stick to itself but is rather rolled up with the towel where filling would be and Let it cool, rolled up, for about 30 minutes.

Simple syrup
While cake is cooling make simple syrup with equal amount of sugar and water and set aside.
Whipped cream filling
While the cake cools, prepare your whipped cream filling and topping. Start with the whipped cream. In a chilled mixing bowl, vigorously whip 1 cup whipping cream, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble the cake.
Rich chocolate frosting
Make the ganache topping next. In a medium saucepan, heat 2/3 cup of cream over medium-low heat until it reaches a low boil. Stir every now and again to prevent it from scalding. Once it reaches a low boil, remove from heat. Add the chocolate to the cream mixture and stir until smooth. Let the chocolate mixture stand until it begins to firm, about 30 minutes, before icing the cake.
Assembling The Log
Unroll cake carefully, and remove towel. Brush the simple syrup over the cake. Then spread whipped frosting evenly over cake; roll up cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least1 hr.
Take cake roll from refrigerator and place it on cooling rack; frost cake. Using the rest of the ganache, ice the cake on the sides (and if desired, on the ends, or you can keep them un-iced) and all over the stump. Gently drag the tines of a fork along the surface of the ganache to give it a “woody” appearance. Let stand 15 minutes. Transfer cake to serving platter. Slice it up and serve.
Happy Christmas  to all my friends and readers…

Monday, December 23, 2013

Papaya Halwa

Yesterday my relatives came for lunch. Instead of making payasam for a change I made Papaya Halwa for a dessert. Halwa in any form is a inviting and mouthwatering one .The halwa was damn good and my guest eat it first time and get surprised to know that it's made up of papaya. It gives me much pleasure. I didn’t add any food color.The papaya itself will give natural color. This Papaya Halwa is delicious, nutritious and easy to prepare! So try this recipe and enjoy!

Papaya pureed: 1 cup
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Ghee: 3 tablespoons
Cashew nuts: 1 tablespoon
1.Wash,peel and remove the outer thick skin of papaya. De-seed and cube into pieces
2.Cut into small cubes and grind it in a blender without adding water
3. Heat 1 tsp of ghee in a pan and fry the cashews and keep it aside
 4.In the same pan heat 1 tablespoon of ghee and add 1 cup of papaya puree and fry for a couple of minutes
5.Now add 1/2 cup of sugar and stir well  in medium flame.
6. Then Add ghee little by little and Keep stirring until most of the liquid content evaporates and all the content form a single mass and comes of the sides of the pan then switch off the flame.
7.Garnish with fried cashews and serve hot .
Note:There is no need to add any food color.The papaya itself will give natural color
Increase or decrease the sugar based on the sweetness of the papaya.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Bread Upma

Bread Upma:
Today I am home alone and everyone left home early so  no mood to cook for me. So In leftover bread I made very simple, easy and yummy upma for myself... This is a very tasty and it can be made in a jiffy. I tweaked it a bit to include more veggies and made healthy & colorful with seasonal vegetables.

Ingredients -
Bread - 1/2 packet
Onion - 1 medium chopped
Capsicum - 1/2cup cut into small cubes
 Beans - 5 chopped
Green peas - 1/4 cup
 Tomato - 2 medium chopped
 Green chilies - 3
  Salt asper taste
  Ginger - 1/2 inch
  Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  urad dal - 1/2 tsp
  Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
  Curry leaves - 5
  Oil - 3 tsp
  Lemon- 1tsp
  Cilantro 1 tbsp to garnish
 1.Cut the bread slices into cubes. (Remove the brown part) .
 2. In a pan heat oil, add mustard seeds,urad dhal let them splutter and add curry leaves, green chilli. 
3. Add  chopped onion pieces and saute them till they are transparent .
 4.Then Add chopped  tomato  and saute till they well cooked and mushy . Then add veggies and saute  for   few min.Then Add salt , Red chilli, turmeric pd, cumin, coriande powder  and mix well.
5. If the mixture is too dry you can add few tbsp's of water.
6.Add the bread slices and stir till it is nicely covered with all the masala's.  
7.Add lemon Juice-garnish bread upma with coriander leaves to garnish and serve hot.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Pal Payasam

Pal Payasam is a traditional dessert .It is prepared on special occasions and festivals. This recipe of the pal payasam or the kheer is very simple to prepare and  very tasty recipe The best  taste for Pal Payasam is when the raw rice is cooked in milk on slow heat in heavy bottomed vessel or in pressure cooker which turns out very light pinkish in color finally. I usually prepares it by boiling the rice in milk over stove top which is very time consuming but it adds a nice creamy taste .There are two ways of making it. First, one where you reduce the milk to half by heating it and then adding sugar.The second one is where you reduce the milk a little and then adding condensed milk which makes it thicker and tastier.When you are using condensed milk there is no need to add sugar. . But now a days I prepare PalPayasam in Pressure cooker.


Milk    -   1lr/ 6 Cups

Rice     -   1⁄4 Cup

Sugar   -  1 Cup


 Pour the milk into cooker and bring it to boiling be sure that the cooker is only 1/2 or little more than 1/2 filled and not fully filled.
Add washed rice into this and stir well.
Now close the cooker with the whistle! And leave the flame in Simmer for exactly 20 min and turn the gas off. (Don’t have to worry about the number of whistles.)
Open the cooker after the steam is released completely.
Keep it on stove with full flame and allow boiling for 5 min.
 Once rice gets cooked now add sugar and mix for 2 mins till the sugar is dissolved stir it well.
 Delicious palpayasam is ready to be served .Garnish with aromatic spices.

Note: Adjust the quantity of milk and sugar given here as per your taste.. You can add sugar anytime if you feel the sweet is less.