Sweet Potato Pound Cake with salted butter caramel sauce” Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
George Eliot

Sweet Potato Pound Cake with salted butter caramel sauce.  Autumns here. There’s a nip in the early morning air, and the nights are getting cooler each passing day. The weather’s changing and suddenly earthy, warm, spicy feels good. I love the way one season gives way to another, inspiring you to move from one ingredient to ingredient, light spices to moorish ones. Fall is in the air. With it cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, mace all dance in the air with heady aromas.Sweet Potato Pound Cake with salted butter caramel sauceThe tin of pumpkin pie spice calls my name come October. It’s a strange connect and a warm one too. Felt like a Pumpkin Pie Spice and Walnut Loaf Cake with Buttermilk Frosting was to be baked again. I did shift gears suddenly. All thanks to a rather late discovery over the past couple of years, the sweet potato. This very humble root vegetable, earthy, flavourful, unassuming, surprisingly sweet and quite delicious, offers immense possibilities.Old DelhiSweet potatoes are also a quintessential part of Old Delhi, especially in winter. Street carts piled high with sweet potatoes roasted in coal, that taste is quite unparalleled, best enjoyed then and there. Chopped up and tossed in lime juice and a typical chaat masala, or spice mix, I don’t bother recreating that at home. It’s the ambiance of the old city that adds to the flavour! So at home it is often a salad, tikkis, oven roasted fries {absolutely delicious}. Then 2 days ago, this cake happened. Sweet Potato Pound Cake with salted butter caramel sauceI tried to keep it a whole food cakesweet potato puree + brown sugar + whole wheat flour + homemade sweet butter. An experiment with fingers crossed. An experiment off an earlier wholegrain pound cake recipe. You will notice optional walnuts in the ingredients listed. I was never really sure how edible the cake would turn out to be, so I skipped them. It turned out unexpectedly delicious. Moist, full of flavour and even better the next day. Was even good cold out of the fridge. An earthy rustic treat!Sweet Potato Pound Cake with salted butter caramel sauceThe deep dark salted butter caramel sauce made a good experiment better! That I am addicted to it is all the fault of the Cookaroo. She swears by this sauce from Smitten Kitchen and is never far from deliciousness. It’s  fabulous to store in the fridge. Drizzle over just about anything to add to the oomph. Reminds me  of the chewy taffy that the nuns used to sell at the tuck shop at school in Bangalore. Also of the gooey insides of the 5 Star bars that fascinated and tempted the sweet tooth when young.  The salted edge is what makes this sauce a winner. Must warn you that it is very addictive, and can burn the greedy tasters tongue. Pairs beautifully with cakes and especially fall flavours – pears, apple, pumpkins,walnuts …
Wild figs goolar

Autumn produce - Sweet Potato, Wild figsDid I forget figs? With fall here, the produce is changing. Exciting times ahead as far as food goes. I am having a field day literally! With the camera my trusted companion, this cannot be a better time of the year for moody shooters like me. From buying up sweet potatoes like there’s no tomorrow, to foraging wild figs {goolar}, autumn is keeping me busy.Sweet Potato Pound Cake with salted butter caramel sauce

[print_this]Recipe:  Sweet Potato Pound Cake with salted butter caramel sauce
Sweet Potato Pound Cake with salted butter caramel sauce

Summary: Sweet Potato Pound Cake with salted butter caramel sauce. A whole food cake – sweet potato puree + brown sugar + whole wheat flour + homemade sweet butter. The cake turned out unexpectedly delicious. Moist, full of flavour and even better the next day. Even good cold out of the fridge. An earthy rustic treat!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • Sweet Potato Pound Cake
  • 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 250g sweet potato puree {I boiled and mashed 2 small ones}
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4tsp baking soda
  • 150g whole wheat flour
  • 50g walnuts, chopped {optional}
  • Deep dark salted butter caramel sauce
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 70g salted butter
  • 60g low fat cream


  1. Sweet Potato Pound Cake
  2. Grease well 1 X 6″ and 2 mini heavy duty bundt tins {or a 7″ spring form tin}
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  4. Place butter, sugar and sweet potato puree in  a big bowl and beat well at high speed until smooth, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Beat in vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and baking soda.
  6. Beat in eggs one by one.
  7. Fold in the walnuts if using, and whole wheat flour in 4-5 lots.
  8. Turn into prepared tins.
  9. Bake at 180C for 35-40 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
  10. Cool in tin for 10 minutes, then turn out gently onto a rack to cool.
  11. Pour over about 1/2 cup of salted butter caramel sauce, and top with walnuts if desired.
  12. Deep dark salted butter caramel sauce
  13. Place the sugar in a deep heavy bottom saucepan and melt over medium low heat until dark amber. Swirl around if needed.
  14. Add the cream and butter together. Be careful as it will splutter at first before it comes together. Stir to combine. Pour into a jug once warm else store in a jar. You might need to heat it gently before serving as it tends to harden in the fridge. {Can be made ahead}


Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

“Chocolate is natures way of making up for Mondays”

Almost Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Cake Almost Flourless GF Bittersweet Chocolate Cake … just one of those thoughts you wake up with and possibly one of the easiest cakes to bake. One of the most indulgent as well, if you love intense, deep, dark chocolate that is. The cake tastes better the next day as it chills in the fridge, and the flavours mature.Almost Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate CakeSorry I keep going missing from the blog ever so often. Life seems to be on some kind of race track. Even though I don’t feel like I’m doing much, the months are galloping by. Bat an eye lid and you’re into the next month. I have dozens of unposted blogs in my drafts folder, all waiting in the sidelines for want of images to be processed. I promised myself in the beginning of the year that I would be better organized, blog more often, and what not.Clearly that didn’t happen! It’s simpler bakes like this that I feel the immediate need to share, like something that everyone should bake. It uses kitchen staples, minimal ingredients, is minimum fuss and quite delicious to serve up. If you don’t have ground oats, use normal ones. The texture might vary slightly. oats If you don’t have oats at all, think different flours. Wholewheat flour {aata} will work if GF is not your concern. Alternatively, you could use buckwheat flour {kuttu ka aata}, amaranth flour {rajgira}, even almond meal or walnut meal. If using different flours, please begin checking for doneness 45 minutes after you pop the cake in. Different flours, nut meals etc have different liquid absorption ratios. We wouldn’t want an over baked, or for that matter, an under baked cake, would we? Chocolate walnut gateauBaking with alternate grains and nut meals is always fun. Here’s a  Chocolate Walnut Gateau I baked with walnut meal and oats a short  while ago for Fit Foodie. It’s gluten free and quite moorish. You can find the recipe here. This Almost Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Cake is a twist on the first cake I ever baked for Saffola Oats at, one that was shot for Food Food channel too. Saffola recipes collageThe engagement was one of the best I had as it’s pushed me to experiment like never before. The collaboration continues and is a really enjoyable one.

[print_this]Recipe: Almost Flourless GF Bittersweet Chocolate Cake
your picture

SummaryAlmost Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Cake … one of the easiest cakes to bake. One of the most indulgent as well, if you love intense, deep, dark chocolate that is. The cake tastes better the next day as it chills in the fridge, and the flavours mature.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

  • 210g bittersweet couverture chocolate {70%}
  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 25ml honey
  • 5eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 20g good quality cocoa powder
  • 20g oatmeal
  • 15g brown sugar for top


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Line the base of an 8″ dessert ring {or loose bottomed tin} with parchment paper, then wrap foil around.
  2. Place chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and simmer over boiling water until the chocolate has melted {else microwave for one minute at a time on high}. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Whisk in the brown sugar, honey, vanilla extract  and egg yolks.
  4. Fold in the cocoa powder and oatmeal.
  5. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold in 2 tbsp to loosen the chocolate mixture, then fold in half of the remaining beaten whites, then the rest.
  6. Turn batter into prepared tin, tap gently to level out, sprinkle over the remaining 15g of sugar.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes to one hour, or until done. Tester should come out clean.
  8. Allow to cool completely in tin.
  9. Serve with salted butter caramel sauce, unsweetened single cream, ice cream, seasonal fruit or as is.
  10. The flavours mature after the cake sits overnight.


Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

“Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.”
Anthony Bourdain

Ptasie_mleczko or Birds Milk Cake Ptasie_mleczko or Birds Milk Cake …my adaptation. With a name as intriguing as that, I quickly jotted it down as my Ukranian friend translated it out of her mothers cookbook in Sydney earlier this month. There is an eternal charm in handwritten recipes of times gone by, this recipe book is from the 1960’s. Neat, and well explained, the recipes all written In Ukrainian, talk to you, explaining each step. The measures are often in glasses from the Old Soviet Union, standardised at 200ml, a measure my sweet friend continues to use as her mother once did.

Ptasie Mleczko (Polish) is a soft chocolate-covered candy filled with soft meringue (or milk soufflé). In Russian it is called ptichye moloko (птичье молоко) and in Romanian lapte de pasăre. All these names literally mean “bird’s milk” or crop milk, a substance somewhat resembling milk, produced by certain birds to feed their young. However, this is not origin of the name; rather, ptasie mleczko is also a Polish idiom meaning “an unobtainable delicacy”. In Poland, Jan Wedel, owner of the E. Wedel Company, developed the first Ptasie mleczko in 1936. Wedel’s inspiration for the name of the confectionery came from his voyages to France, when he asked himself: “What could bring greater happiness to a man who already has everything?” Then he thought: “Maybe only bird milk.”

Ptasie_mleczko or Birds Milk Cake This must be one of the quickest birthday cakes I’ve ever made. And yet another very very delicious one. You can find my coffee take on it at the bottom as Ulyana decided to bake one for us the night before we were due to fly out. No pictures of the cake in Sydney as we were racing against time. I didn’t get too many pictures of the cake I baked here too as coming home after a vacation is always far too busy. It was however tasty as hell!!

Sydney 2015

Sydney 2015 Our trip Down Under was great fun! All trips there always are! Sydney has been one of our fave places to go when possible, and this was our fourth trip. Like every earlier trip, this too was packed and flew by like a heartbeat. This trip was short, just a week ‘long’, but we had a great time. With hosts as good as ours, the days went by driving from mountains to beaches, with great food and drinks thrown in. Mindless banter, endless shopping what with the daughter with us, too much food,  overindulgence … ad before we knew it, time to fly back.

Sydney 2015 We flew in comfortably, sleeping all the way on Cathay Pacific, with a short stopover in HKG. There too the daughter shopped till we dropped for 3 whole hours.Hong Kong Hurriedly dug into some delicious street food, raced back to the hotel, showered and hopped onto the Sydney flight. A long 9 hour flight, some great food, Aussie wines too, Pamela’s book kept me entertained and nostalgic as we landed there into a crisp 4C at 6am. We were really blessed to see great weather the few days we were there.

Blue Mountains, Sydney 2015

Blue Mountains, Sydney 2015We’ve done most of the iconic must see places on the earlier trips covering The Rocks, Opera House, Botanical Gardens, Tiranga Zoo {to date one of my sons fave places}, Butterfly Park, Harbour Bridge, Harry’s original van at Wooloomooloo, the Blue Mountains … and so much more. Yet a visit to the Blue Mountains is a quintessential part of Sydney for us, and that’s where we headed pretty soon. It as a freezing COLD day but we managed to stop by some breathtaking spots, taking in the gift that only nature can offer. Knocks your breath A W A Y!

Blue Mountains, Sydney 2015 We went off piste, little walkways dot the Blue Mountains, each with a signboard telling you how long it takes to get to the destination, level of ease …and more! There’s loads to do. Did I mention stunning beaches? Yes those too!Maroubra Beach, Sydney 2015Beautiful beaches, birds, crabs, shells, nature, left over pizza from the Italian pizzeria from the night before, chilled beer though not as chilly as the cold winds, great company … couldn’t have asked for more.Maroubra Beach, Sydney 2015 Of course I shopped some too. It’s always good to know the ‘right’ people, who in turn know the right places…and a Sunday morning market later, I was back a happy camper. There was loads I could have gladly bought to ‘prop’ up the blog, but sense had to prevail. It was a struggle I tell you!Food Prop shopping, Sydney

Food prop shopping Sydney 2015No trip to Sydney for me is complete without a visit to Victoria’s Basement. Though short on time, we did a quick walk through, a near impossible task in itself given the treasure trove you can find under a roof! I shopped a wee bit more here and there, constantly thinking of how much I could stuff back into suitcases. You know! Oh the choices we have to make!

Sydney 2015With travel comes food, and most good memories are tied to taste! Knowing the right folk is great! It’s satiating to explore a country through it’s cuisine, and then comes the added bonus of exploring the flavours they brought from their native lands. So we were spoilt. Ukranian cusine filled our days alongside Aussie quintessential. Gourmet sausages on the barbeque that made the tastiest hotdogs, slow cooked {read dropping off the bone good} lamb-shanks with chickpeas and spinach, Caesar salad galore, smoked Polish sausages and cold cuts, Ukranian potato latkes with garlic and sour cream, artisan pizzas, more Aussie reds, red wine too, pancakes for breakfast with whipped cream and local preserves, cheese in every avatar to die, then more local artisanal unripened cheese as if that was not enough …Ptasie_mleczko or Birds Milk Cake Sweet stuff too, though no pictures. Fresh cherry strudel, macadamia and caramel ice cream, divine coffee gelato, berry gelato too, and then of course this beautiful Birds Milk Cake flavoured with the organic lemon from the yard the night before we flew out. I dreamt of the cake as I slept on the flight back home. I knew I just had to make one soon, my pet flavours dancing in my head.

Ptasie_mleczko or Birds Milk Cake That’s just what I did the next day for the son’s birthday. As we melted into a sizzling North Indian summer at 45C, desperately trying to hang on to memories of 12C, the crisp and beautiful Aussie winter we left behind, Ihit baking mode. This cake bridged the gap beautifully, and that is what good food & travel is all about. Makes you come full circle, flavours and memories sharing a plateful! What a delightful {and delicious} journey this food business is!

Recipe: Ptasie_mleczko or Birds Milk Cake
your picture

Summary: Ptasie_mleczko or Birds Milk Cake finds it’s roots possibly in the Old Soviet Union. A preparation for the light as air filling quite as intriguing as the name ‘birds milk’, it’s a moist and delicious cake that takes well to added flavours. Make ahead and chill for the flavours to mature. It tastes wonedrful as a fresh tray bake as originally intended to be too. Serves 8

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour {plus cooling and chilling}

  • Cake
  • 130g butter
  • 200ml / 1 glass brown vanilla sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 200ml / 1 glass all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • Filling
  • 150g butter
  • 400ml / 2 glasses milk
  • 100ml/ 1/2 glass sugar
  • 3 tbsp semolina /suji
  • 2tbsp instant coffee
  • 1 tbsp Kahlua {optional}
  • Topping
  • 50g dark couverture chocolate
  • 100ml low fat cream
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • White chocolate shavings to garnish


  1. Cake
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line 2 X 8″ round baking tins with parchment paper.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt. Reserve.
  4. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one, ten the vanilla extract.
  5. Slowly fold in the dry mix. Turn batter into tins and bake for approximately 30 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Cool in tins for 15-20 minutes then cool completely on rack.
  6. Filling
  7. Make this while the cake is baking {or a few hours before too}
  8. Place the sugar, semolina, coffee and milk in a heavy bottom pan. Stir over low heat until the mixture thickens. Leave to cool completely.
  9. When the cake is ready and cool, make the remaining filling.
  10. Place butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the coffee semolina and Kahlua if using.
  11. Assemble
  12. Place one layer on serving platter and keep in place with an 8″ dessert ring. ladle over half the filling and top with second layer. Top with remaining filling, cover and refrigerate for a few hours {or overnight} for flavours to mature.
  13. Take the ring off gently, top with chocolate ganache {recipe follows} and white chocolate shavings.
  14. Chocolate Ganache
  15. Place ingredients in a heat proof bowl and microwave 1 minute at a time until the chocolate has almost melted. Stir until smooth and glossy. Cool to room temperature before use.

Don’t miss a post Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

%d bloggers like this: