RSS Feed

Category Archives: cakes

Hearts in the Right Place – An Appeal for Help & Heart (y) Centered Cupcakes

The hoopla for Valentine’s day is hard to miss. I’ve never believed in making monuments of days and dates. I would like to, like a lot of people, turn my nose up at a lot of what is now the genius of the guys up at marketing who manage to put the pressure on everyone to express your love with diamonds and roses and other such stuff…. but i couldnt this year. What with my writing for a newspaper and all… i had to do a valentine’s day special and i brought out the pink hearts with a vengeance!

On the sharing love bit… if you like me have been inactive (blogwise that is) you may/maynot have heard of the fund raiser drive by this very dear blogging friend called Siri for Vaidehi Ashram in Hyderabad. She is like a woman possessed and it is so inspiring to see how her passion to really make a difference has resulted in this ashram recieving donations from bloggers and readers accross the world. For me who feels emotional even about inanimate objects, i cannot even imagine being alone in this world and not having anyone or anything to call my own. Vaidehi Ashram in Hyderabad is a safe place for girls where they are provided  an environment to live and study and given some semblance of family and community.  The world as it is, is a harsh place, add to that the knowledge that you have been abandoned for whatever reasons, is reason enough to feel battered. But here is a place that will help you and care for you. And then there are people like Siri who dont just sit back and wonder why something cannot be done, but actually do it. Several bloggers are sponsoring beautiful prizes for the raffle and there is really a wide variety to choose from. plus its all for a good cause… You can get all the details about the Fundraiser here and please click here to buy a raffle ticket. 

What can you to to help?

Its as easy as buying a raffle ticket. Each Ticket for the raffle ticket is for $10 (INR 500). Buying multiple tickets will give you a better chance of winning the prize you want.

How can you Buy the Raffle Ticket/s

There is an easy to use link to make your payment. All you have to do is make a payment via Paypal or credit. 

You could also email Siri at info(dot)siri(at)gmail(dot)com to check about making donations in indian rupees.

When you have completed the donation process, please email Siri at  info(dot)siri(at)gmail(dot)com with confirmation of your payment and specifying the raffle prize you are interested in.

Escapades is making a small contribution to this fund drive. A Box of assorted handcrafted Chocolate Truffles made by me. there are 10 boxes to be won and shipping is within India. Code is RF3.  

If you are not a resident, you can nominate an indian resident to receive the chocolates. Chocolates have literally changed the way i think about work, and yes i do this for a living, but i know each piece is carefully handmade and will put a smile on the face of the person who will taste its pure indulgence. I really hope you will be moved enough to do your bit….you have until Feb 25th to participate in the raffle. Goodluck!

Handcrafted Chocolate Truffles (10 boxes to be won) the raffle code is RF3

Back to Valentine’s Drama… and if you forget all the hoopla, these beautiful cupcakes are so pretty, that i couldnt get myself to eat them without feeling bad! if pink and hearts dont rock your boat, please try it with any other colour or shape….

this is a basic cupcake recipe that i tweaked a bit.

Heart Centered Cupcakes

Butter – ½ cup (unsalted at room temperature, if using salted butter, skip the salt)

Sugar – 1 cup (powdered in a blender)

Eggs – 3 (at room temperature)

Baking powder – 11/2 teaspoon

Baking soda – ½ teaspoon

Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon

Salt – 1/4 teaspoon

Maida – 1½   cups

Milk – ¼ cup

Red food colour – 1 teaspoon


In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar till pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well till completely mixed. Add the vanilla and beat some more.
Sift the Maida with the salt (if using) baking powder and baking soda. Mix in the Maida and the milk alternately, 1/3 quantity at a time. Mix this lightly and do not over mix.
Take ¼ of this batter and mix in the food colour. Spread this into a flat baking tin and bake at 180 C for 20 minutes or till a tester comes out clean. Cool this cake, when completely cool, using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out hearts and set aside. You can use the scraps for a trifle pudding or cake pops.Line a cupcake mould with liners, using a round spoon, put about 11/2 tablespoon of batter in the liner, stick a baked heart into it and add 1 tablespoon of batter over it. Repeat till all the batter is used. Bake at 180 C till done (about 20 minutes).

Cool completely before serving the heart surprise cupcake! Cut to reveal the heart if needed.

As I write this, there has been an outpouring of grief amongst the blogging community over the untimely passing away of Raji, better known as Miri of Peppermill. I admit that i didnt know her personally. I came accross her blog (it was hard to miss) but i didnt intereact with her much. Never once thought she was ill. She leaves behind a 6 year old daughter and her husband. I wish them the strength to bear their grief. Through all the tributes, I have gathered that she was a vivacious lady who faced life with a beautiful smile and not once let on about her health issues. When I wallow in self pity, I hope to be strengthened by her and her life…. not knowing her, is purely my loss…. RIP.

Eggless Baking ~ Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Cake

Posted on

My life is currently held captive by an 8 week old pooch who has no consideration for the fact that i am not a morning person and i dont like my ankles bitten into by razor sharp teeth. Despite all the mayhem around here (Read Sage’s story here), who could not fall in love with this face?

Meet Sage Sizzler Iyer. His sombre Sagacious look made K decide he should be called Sage, also scored high with me for the foodie connotation. (K was petrified i would give the pooch a sissy (according to him) name like basil or pepper). Since he’s anything but sagelike when he gets fortified with food, i went in for a second name as well!

Early morning wakings (at insane hours, even for my board exams i didnt wake up as early as Sage makes me these days) means that i have more time on my hands and browsing begins at a much earlier hour for me.

You can’t ignore the assault of beautiful pictures at 5 a.m when you are just wanting the milk to heat up and boil already so that you can have some caffeine in your blood stream and begin to resume your humanly functions. Its like the lowest resistance to anything. and so yesterday morning, rudely shoved out of bed at 5 a.m to feed the resident pooch baby food, I was waiting for the milk to boil, i saw this piece of cake on foodgawker and i was smitten. I had a bag of frozen blueberries stashed away in the freezer that i bought all glassy eyed at the supermarket the other week, from the imported foods aisle at hypercity. but am sure this recipe will work well with any other fruit cut up real small.

I looked thru my pantry and gathered all the things i needed. I made it eggless as we were expecting guests dinner who dont eat eggs. it was convenient that i had an egg replacer on hand, else I’d have used powdered flax seeds. I used a 9 inch tart pan to bake it and not as a loaf. Also swapped the All Purpose Flour for my regular multi grain chapati flour.

i had this baking in the oven even breakfast was made. it smelt heavenly as it baked. The flavour of the blueberry with the lemon syrup was very unique and it was served warmed up after lunch as dessert.

Here is the original recipe. below is my version with the changes.

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon Multigrain Wheat Flour (you could also use Whole Wheat flour or all-purpose flour), divided

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (I used home made, made with toned 2% fat milk)

1 cup sugar

3 teaspoons Orgran Egg Replacer mixed with 3 tablespoons of water or use 3 large eggs

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed ( I used frozen)

For the Lemon Syrup:

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/3 cup sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of one 9 inch round cake tin or 9 x 5-inch loaf pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, (I did this in a blender jar used the mixer) whisk together the yogurt, sugar, egg replacer, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Pour it into the dry ingredients and slowly with a gentle hand, incorporate them to make a batter.

Sprinkle the reserved flour over the blueberries and toss them. Gently fold into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared cak tin pan and bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.

Make the lemon syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat; set aside.

Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the warm loaf. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cake cool completely.

The original recipe even has a lemon sugar glace, but I omitted this. I liked the tartness that the lemon syrup gave the cake. It was wonderful warm, am sure will taste fantastic when paired with vanilla icecream too. This is a moist cake and leftovers should be stored in the fridge. I think it will keep for 3-4 days. Ours was all gone the same day I baked it though!

Mango Cardamom Pound Cake (Eggless) and The Baking Club

Posted on

Am the last to post this fab cake we made as a result of some chatting with friends on facebook. A few weeks ago, my namesake and I were chatting. Its a ritual that we catch up even if its only online…. infact thanks to blogging, this is a friendship for keeps. i was in the midst of some heavy baking and was keeping her updated with my progress when she said all this baking talk made her want to bake too. I was just too happy and asked her to keep me company and bake alongside. So what if our kitchens were in Hyderabad and Singapore respectively! small difference it made.

When she wrote about this on fb, remembering another occasion where she and nandita had baked together, both Aparna and another namesake (yes, there are three of us… with differently spelt names mind you!) thought it would be fun to do something like a baking club, get together and bake together.

Since mangoes are in abundance, we decided to make a mango cake, zeroed in on a mango pound cake. Each one was free to choose a recipe of their own choice.

I went with the same recipe that Raaga chose, from Divya’s blog. Which i am told is from Deeba’s blog…. if you are confused with all the names, let me just say, i have been fortunate to find like minded friends in the blogosphere….and these are people i would keep in touch with even if i were to stop blogging.

So here goes. We were supposed to post on the 7th. but i was too busy celebrating my new car, a hectic weekend, and some fun stuff including chaperoning a couple of 10 yr olds to watch Kung Fu Panda -2. Excuses aside, here is the cake. Mine was a little underbaked but still yummy. the only change i  made was to make  mine eggless.

Eggless Mango Cardamom Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour / Maida
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cardamom, Powdered
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
2/3 cup Sugar
3 tablespoons thick curd / or 2 eggs
100ml Buttermilk (add 1 tsp white vinegar to 100 ml room temp milk, leave for 10 mins till it curdles and use)
1/2 cup Mango Pulp
1 cup mango pieces chopped small
Icing sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F. Prepare a cake tin with butter and dust it with flour (i skipped this cos i used a silicon bundt pan)
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Cream the butter with the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the curds (or eggs if using) and beat well. my mixture curdled a bit at this point.
Add the buttermilk, mango pulp and cardamom and beat again.Add the dry ingredients into the batter, a little at a time.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a knife/ tester inserted into the cake comes out clean.
My tester came out clean at 40 mins, but i think i needed to increase the baking time to 50 mins
Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan. Dust with icing sugar, slice and serve.
This is the first time i am baking with mango and cardamom. i loved the combination (yeah i know it is classic, but i am slow like that). I used 1 cup of mango pulp but in the recipe i have written 1/2 cos the liquid was too much in the batter. I also reduced the sugar to 2/3 because i found the original of 3/4 cup a bit too sweet. If you like your cakes sweeter, add all the sugar in the recipe. I’d also skip the dusting with sugar, this was for purely cosmetic value!

Eggless Multigrain Nutmeg &Honey Cake Recipe

For the last year, most of my baked goods, especially cakes and muffins are made almost exclusively using whole wheat flour (the regular chapathi/ roti flour). To be honest, I have stopped buying and using refined flour / maida. When I bake for friends, I am not sure if everyone will be happy with the healthier flour, so use refined/ all purpose flour.  A few months ago, we completely switched to multigrain flour for our daily rotis. It was an easy way of introducing the benefits of various grains like jowar, bajra and ragi in our daily diet apart from whole wheat flour that we generally use. I have been wanting to use it to bake cakes and muffins, but shied away wondering if K would be able to detect it and refuse to eat it. worse still, would it be inedible and thus mean a wastage of the other precious ingredients that are used. I need not have worried. This cake turned out to be absolutely moist with a beautiful texture. It was a little too sweet for my taste, but am giving here the original quantities i used because i know most people prefer a cake to be … well, sweet.

Try it, the flavours of the honey and nutmeg blend so well, that i think this is my new best cake. move over chocolate, i think you were always overrated! here comes the nutmeg!

Eggless Multigrain Nutmeg & Honey Cake

Makes one 7 inch cake

1 cup multigrain flour (you can substitute with maida/ all purpose flour

a pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 level teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup melted butter or oil (I used oil)

1/2 cup thick curd/ yogurt (make sure it is not sour)

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon finely powdered dry ginger

1/2 teaspoon powdered nutmeg

3-4 tablespoons finely sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. butter and line a cake tin with greaseproof paper or aluminium foil

Mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, powdered sugar and nutmeg and dry ginger powder thoroughly with a whisk or a fork.

In a medium bowl, mix together the yogurt, milk, oil/ melted butter and honey.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid ingredients. mix together lightly with a whisk or a fork. Do not overmix.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. Sprinkle the slivered almonds on top and bake for about 30-35 minutes. Check for doneness with a skewer or a knife till it comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before removing the cake liner and slice.

this cake tastes best after sitting overnight. the flavours burst out when you bite in. This is a beautiful cake to serve at tea time.

Eggless Tutti Fruiti Cake Recipe

Posted on

I can’t remember the last time K asked me to bake something for him. Usually he hates the way the house smells when I am baking!! weird i know… but then… that’s him… quirks and all… So when a few days ago he asked me to bake “that kind of cake you get in these small bakeries, with the coloured tutti fruiti” I was determined to make it the best damn cake he’s eaten in that category! After all I had a point to prove… “ask and you shall receive … don’t just turn your nose up at my baking….” Is this making sense? I thought not…. Anyways then, over to the cake, I browsed a few recipes and then decided, pound cake it was going to be. I usually bake with vegetable oil, but since K asked, I was going to use “real butter”. I recall a pound cake calling for equal quantities of everything… so i just went ahead and made it up.

The batter was simple enough to make, but horror struck me when 10 minutes after popping the cake into the oven, the power went off!! i sent out an SOS to three baking pros. They all responded with a “let it stay in the oven, the texture may suffer and may sink a bit, but other than that no major damage”. So much for wanting to do all of this for K!! anyways, an hour later the power was back on and i extended the baking time by 5 minutes. The cake turned out fabulous. The texture was crumbly and yet rich with all that butter, I tasted and realised I’d really forgotten what baking with real butter tastes like!! I would definitely reduce the amount of butter tho, because it was too much for me!

K came back late that evening and forewent his dinner for a big piece of cake, and the next morning he wanted it for breakfast. I will surely be making this again considering the response it got! Try this one out…. its a winner!!

Eggless Cake with Tutti Fruiti -(makes 8 -10 slices)

(I made a really small portion, but feel free to double the ingredients)

1 cup All purpose flour (maida)

tiny pinch of salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 teaspoon baking soda

Sift all of the above together

2/3 cup butter at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar, powdered

1 teaspoon vanilla extract i made my own from this recipe

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed mixed with 2/3 cup warm water

1/2 cup milk at room temperature

2/3 cup mixed tutti fruiti and glaze cherries, chopped small

In a mixer or manually with a whisk and a bowl, Cream the butter and the sugar till smooth and fluffy, add the flaxseed mixture, vanilla extract and mix thoroughly. Add the flour in about 2-3 portions alternate with the milk, mixing well to incorporate it. Add the tutti fruiti and mix with a spoon or spatula. Grease a 6 inch baking dish (i used a bundt / tube pan). Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for 20-22 minutes in a preheated oven at 185 degrees celcius. Check at 20 minutes with a cake tester and increase baking time by 4-5 minutes if required. Mine was done in 22 minutes. Cool in the pan completely on a wire rack (i forced mine out and hence it didnt come out clean). Slice and serve. i suppose this can be stored in the refrigerator, mine did not last for even 24 hours!!

Sinfully Awesome – Double Chocolate Butterscotch Fudge Brownies Recipe

ok that’s a mouthful….and dont let the pictures deter you. This is by far the best brownie i have made/ eaten…and that’s saying a lot, Since the family favourite is this one……

I did a chocolate class on saturday…. had a blast and had some leftover melted milk chocolate that i needed to use up. Normally, most people are chocolate crazy…. in my house, its ghar ki murgi dal barabar… since its so easily available… there are hardly any takers… so i knew keeping the chocolate as is would be a waste….after lunch, i logged in to check my mails, and saw my namesake’s status – double chocolate almond butterscotch brownie…. i knew i had my calling….

i have this habit of keeping unused stuff till it cries and dies, my packet of butterscotch chips, went from chips to slab all because i’d left it unused for ages longer than i should. It was in the fridge, each time i opened to get milk or something else, i’d guiltily look away… now this was a brownie that promised to make up… so i got the recipe from her blog….and read it… then decided that i could remember it and needn’t write it down…

When i got to the kitchen all i remembered was 2 eggs and 1/2 cup melted butter…. i decided to use just one egg as i cant stand eggs in cakes/ bakes…. funny cos i love eggs otherwise!! lets just say that was the end of following a recipe… too much chocolate cant be bad for anyone right? so i made up my own… and boy oh boy… is it fabulous or what… weight watchers, just look at the picture and leave… cos there is serious sugar coming your way!!

Double Chocolate Butterscotch Fudge Brownies

1 cup chopped cooking chocolate ( i used milk, but feel free to use dark/ bitter)

1/2 cup melted butter or oil

2/3 cup whole wheat flour

1 egg

1/2 cup butter scotch chips

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/3 cup sugar (reduce if you dont want it too sweet)

1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

in a heat proof bowl, melt the chocolate and the butter/ oil for 1 minute in the microwave oven. take it out, add the sugar, coffee powder and cocoa powder and stir with a wooden spoon till the sugar has melted and mixed in well. leave to cool for 5 mins. When the butter, chocolate mixture has cooled, beat in the egg. beat this well so that there are no traces of unbeaten egg. Add the butter scotch chips and mix well. slowly add the flour, 1-2 tablespoon at a time till it begins to look like a giant ball of fudge. grease and line a 9×9 inch square baking pan and pour in the mixture, smoothen the top with the back of a spook. Bake for 20-22 mins in an oven at 200 celcius. Check for doneness with a skewer. let it cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares, dust the tops with powdered sugar… serve with whipped cream or plain vanilla icecream, or enjoy on its own.

Verdict: this is a very gooey in the centre, chewy on the top sweet brownie. the butterscotch chips add an extra crunch. you can reduce the amount of sugar if you dont have a very sweet tooth!

Spiced Pumpkin Cake Recipe

spiced2Dear Meeta,

am sure its not rare for people to compliment the food blog you write and take pictures for. And all that exotic stuff you cook up. you have a lot of readers who admire you and your creations and the care you put into each one of them. Do you have any idea however of how all of this ends?? Mostly on our waistlines…and i wonder if you give this a thought. Take for example, your spiced pumpkin cake…. the minute i saw it, my keyboard got drooled on. This is at work and in full view of my colleagues (ok dont ask me what i was doing looking at food blogs while i was supposed to be working!!). I wrote it down hurriedly on my writing pad and came home to make it. I’ve made it 5 times no less already since you posted it on the 29th of oct. Thats once every two and a half days!! Ridiculous!! in my own baking history!! Is there any greater compliment for the love of a recipe? that it can get made that often and it doesn’t serve as dinner? I just wanted to say thanks for this lovely recipe….I sure as hell am “loving it”

Love…. Me!!


Jokes apart… all of the above is true…. this is a versatile recipe. I’ve of course made many changes to Meeta’s recipe. Making it with Whole wheat flour, jagery and of course egg less. I’ve made it with grated pumpkin and carrots, just pumpkin that’s been steamed and blended, just carrots and carrots and apple. It rocks each time!! this recipe is a keeper. what can i say?


Here’s Meeta’s Original Recipe

This is my version:

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda/ soda bi carb

3/4 cup grated jagerry/ palm sugar/ brown sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

4 tablespoons plain yogurt

2 teaspoon garam masala powder/ substitute with 1/2 tsp each of clove, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg powder

1/2 cup orange juice( i used readymade squash and this is sugared, so i reduced the amount of sugar used)

zest of one orange ( i used 2 tablespoons of candied orange peel)

pinch of salt

2 packed cups of grated yellow pumpkin

1 scant cup of grated carrot

2/3 cup cranberries (i used a mix of cranberries and golden raisins)


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. grease a baking pan. Place all the dry ingredients except the grated pumpkin and carrots in a bowl and mix well with a whisk. Beat together the oil, yogurt & orange juice. Mix into the dry ingredients to make a thick batter. Fold in the grated pumpkin and carrot. Bake for 40 minutes or till a tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan  for 10 minutes and transfer to  a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Note: this is a moist cake. it keeps well about 2-3 days in the refrigerator. If it lasts that long that is!

Versions of the same cake:

Instead of grated pumpkin and carrot, peel, cube and nuke the appropriate amounts in the microwave, and mash them. Add this to the liquid ingredients of the cake and blend into the dry.


substitute the pumpkin with small cubes of apple chopped up with the skin. spiced5


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 247 other followers

%d bloggers like this: