Baking | Whole Wheat Lemon Tres Leches Cake … & Your Wish is My App #Indiblogger #Nokia #NDTV

“Sometimes things become possible if we want them bad enough.”
T.S. Eliot

Whole wheat Lemon Tres Leches Cake 1Whole Wheat Lemon Tres Leches Cake … a healthier, whole grain version of an international favourite. The cake was as delicious as it was simple and rather plain in appearance. A healthy makeover, a cake I was inspired to make a while ago with leftover ‘tres leches‘ or 3 milk syrup from a Daring Bakers challenge. Then I had made a much fancier layered Mango Pastel de Tres Leches or Mango Three Milk Cake.

Mango Pastel de Tres LechesI forgot to share the whole wheat version until the other day when I was trying to dream up some app ideas for an Indiblogger event I attended. One thought led to another, and also took me back to the Whole Wheat Lemon Tres Leches Cake which I had forgotten to share as promised.

Mango Pastel de Tres Leches But first a little introduction to the event that inspired me to ‘wish‘! It was an interesting evening which launched Season II of the Your Wish is My App meet with Indiblogger and Nokia Lumia. It promised to be an entertaining evening with a live wire bunch of folk on stage. The line up included New York based, Michelin starred celebrity chef Vikas Khanna, TV anchor and  super gadget guru Rajiv Makhni, and someone best known as the father of the Indian gaming industry, Vishal Gondal.

Your Wish is My App Indiblgger NoikaThat it would be entertaining was expected; that it would be side splitting funny, hysterical laughs and packed with madness and mayhem wasn’t. The trio kept us in splits, a 100% engaging and interactive. The crowds loved them, especially Vikas Khanna who wears his heart on his sleeve. The attendance crossed 300 and for a while the stage shuddered under the weight of almost everyone who wanted to be ‘there with the guys’!

Photo courtesy Vj Sharma @ Photo Journey

Photo courtesy Vj Sharma @ Photo Journey

With sound touching the ‘are you crazy‘ levels, it was an entertaining evening of ‘Apps and Blogging‘ alright. Have you ever thought to yourself “I wish there was an app for this! ” was the question asked.

Healthy food makeoverI did have some app-etising thoughts in my head, but very enthusiastic techies present in large numbers overtook my confidence pretty soon. Food bloggers were few, the techie majority hungry for bytes. My ideas just didn’t flow. On the drive back however I suddenly had a head full of possible ‘wishes’ ! Apps that would bring together a local farmer/produce community in touch with buyers … a farm to table app!

fresh pumpkin pureeApps that would encourage the use of local produce, suggest indigenous substitutes for international recipe, and also give a nutritional analysis of a recipe, maybe a possible calorie count too. An app that would make us think differently perhaps, support a local food and farmer community, encourage us to lean towards healthier food habits, and analyse our plates to see what we eat.

Roasted bell peppers
Roasted bell pepper pesto

Why apps? With over 2200 million mobile handsets being sold in India each year, the numbers are only set to grow. With mind boggling numbers of 130 million users who access the internet via smart phones, it only makes business sense to step into apps! Season I at Nokia saw 38000 app ideas being offered, out of which 1200 have already been converted into apps.

Here’s one that would be on top of my wishlist for a food community at large. Since all of us aren’t recipe developers and experimenters, how about an app that offers a healthy alternative to a normal recipe? Not sure if it’s achievable, or if it’s a hair brained non tech idea, but I love the very thought. While I have the time to experiment, substitute, indulge in my hobby / obsession, a lot of food lovers might not be on the same plate.

Healthy food

Maybe call it a Glocal Healthy Recipe App? It would need to offer healthier substitutes for recipes, locally available alternates, a calorie count, nutritional info if possible etc. The idea is to try and stay local even with global recipes, Glocal if you like. That in turn reduces out carbon footprint, makes us support the local farmer and producer community, encourages us to think out of the box; more than anything else, experiment!

Whole wheat Lemon Tres Leches Cake Here’s an example of a healthy makeover. This Whole Wheat Lemon Tres Leches Cake is a whole wheat version of the Tres Leches Cake {or a “three milks cake”}. Incidentally, the basic cake is also a healthier whole grain version of the pound cake. Whole wheat Lemon Tres Leches Cake The Tres Leches is a light cake, with many air bubbles. This distinct texture is why it does not have a soggy consistency, despite being soaked in a mixture of three types of milk. Enjoy it!

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The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking | Chocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles … a coffee high!

“To me, the smell of fresh-made coffee is one of the greatest inventions.’
Hugh Jackman

Chocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream TriflesChocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles. The deep, sensual aroma of coffee steeping won me over! Are you devastated by the smell of fresh bread or cookies baking? Or onions in gently frying in butter? Roasting garam masala? Fruit stewing with vanilla beans? Or maybe coffee beans roasting? Fresh herbs? Freshly plucked tomatoes? I absolutely am. It’s an olfactory explosion of sorts.

smells 2When I was young I often woke up to the delicious smells of onions frying, a chocolate cake baking, a clarified butter/pure ghee dal tadka … but the most vivid memory was of the smell of wet earth after the first monsoon showers. To this day, the smell of wet earth takes me back to those childhood days when we used to race out to play in the rain. Pure nostalgia!Whole wheat coffee dark chocolate pound cakeNow more than ever before, my world is ruled by food aromas. Does your nose lead you to the kitchen? At home here, all day long, you’ll find folk following their nose into my kitchen. It’s the most happening place in the house. I baked a chocolate cake 2 days ago. Yet this coffee pound cake was on their mind. ‘Why didn’t you bake another coffee cake?’. The  teens pestered me! Annoying? Yes!Chocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles I’m an out-and-out coffee sort of person! The family is too. Fresh coffee beans roasting … nirvana. Takes me back to days down south. Every house would roast their own coffee. Ours did not, but the neighbours generously shared the aromas. What a beautiful heady feeling to wake up to. Instant upliftment.

Vanilla beans in bakingI’m also a vanilla sort of person, mostly paired with fruit. The fragrance of splitting a plump vanilla bean and scraping the insides makes my day. That morning was good! Once the thermomix got down to making the creme patisserie {7 minutes is all it takes}, I had ample time to sit and take in the fragrance. My hands smelt so good.

Balsamic Vanilla Basil StrawberriesTry reducing fresh strawberries and vanilla bean for a compote. The whole house smells beautiful. Seriously … never underestimate the power of smell. Walk into a good coffee shop and if you’re like me, you’ll fall into a trance! 
hocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles So to cut a long story short, I was MAD that my chocolate cake didn’t go down well. I counselled myself a little. I knew what went wrong. I had tweaked a good recipe and added more baking soda than necessary. Extra baking soda always plays spoil sport. Note to self : BEWARE in future!hocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles I almost trashed the cake yet knew the crumb was light. It was a good cake basically, so trifle was on my mind. I love it when cake obliges with neat little squares. Two minutes later, I was in coffee creme patisserie mode. Time to win the coffee lovers back! Pastry cream that smelt like heaven, felt smooth as silk. Asked the daughter to check for sweetness. She couldn’t wouldn’t stop spooning it into her mouth! Just one last spoon, she begged!

Chocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles Trifles are great make ahead desserts. Also a lovely way to use up leftover cake. We love fruit trifles and we loved these Chocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles too. Deep coffee flavours, great pairing with chocolate, nice play of textures. The cake cubes soaked in a coffee syrup. A swirl of whipped cream might have completed the trifle. CoffeeSo tell me dear reader, is your life is ruled by good food aromas? What are the smells that awaken your senses? Are you convinced that if something smells divine, it must taste even better? Do you eat with your eyes first? And do you believe, like me, that the sense of smell, sight and taste are all interlinked to make our world more delicious?

Smells of everyday

Food,  ingredients, aromas, the folk, the garden, the venue, memories, the ambiance … the entire connect weaves a delightful ‘spread’!
~For Indiblogger and Ambipur  … ‘Smelly To Smiley!’ ~

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Baking | Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake … a splash of pink in December!

“Cake is happiness! If you know the way of the cake, you know the way of happiness! If you have a cake in front of you, you should not look any further for joy!”
C. JoyBell C

Lime & Strawberry Cream CakeLime & Strawberry Cream Cake … a very simple cake made in the Philips AirFryer a few days ago. 15 minutes was all I could manage that day. There have been no desserts of late and the kids were beginning to make strange unhappy sounds. There’s been barely any ‘free time’ what with final exams on for both teens which are well underway. The cake came out surprisingly nice. Lime & Strawberry Cream CakeDidn’t take pictures of it once made as it was slightly domed and I didn’t have time to pretty it up. One bite down and I thought it was really nice. Lime and strawberries pair well. The second round of the strawberry season has finally begun here in North India. Can’t have too much of this delicious fruit.

Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake The sponge was soft but not moist as always because I whisked in the flour instead of folding it in G E N T L Y. So I didn’t get a ‘light as air’ sponge. Still it was quite soft. Interesting!

Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake The easiest way to get cake moist is to give it a good soaking with a simple sugar syrup. Love doing that when I make my pineapple cream cake. If you are doing a black forest cake, you can always reduce the syrup the cherries are canned in, and add a dash of Kirsch or lime juice to it to moisten the sponge.

Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake I thought the Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake was nice enough to share, a quick easy cake, make ahead, light and delicious. A slice was hidden away for a picture opportunity while the rest of the cake was devoured by the happy family. Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake Then late that evening the bell rang. It was the courier with the Samsung Netbook that I had won at the Del Monte recipe contest hosted at Indiblogger.  My entry was the Tropical Cream Pie. Much excitement followed and we found a candy pink gizmo. Even though I’m not a pink person, the netbook is really pretty and very handy! I ♥ it!!

Seems to be an early Christmas over and over again. I am feeling quite pampered … maybe too pampered! First the Philips AirFryer, then Finla spoilt me silly, next Mr PAB got me a Samsung S3. My sister sent me more stuff as her better half was visiting … and just when I thought I had everything and more I could ever ask for, PINK came into my life!

Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake December’s here already. A clutch of days to fly through, a year that’s been packed to the gills. So much happening in this foodie world. Oh, I forgot to tell you that I was pleasantly surprised with some fabulous tea from a beautiful tea company in China. Yes China! And yes tea! Teavirve Blurberry TeaIt’s funny because I am a 100% coffee addict and never drink tea. My first foray into tea was at the Aussie MasterChefs breakfast meet where Sangeeta talked me into sipping some lavender tea. It was wonderful. Then she got me some beautiful green tea from Darjeeling from a recent visit. Teavirve TeaThis herbal and green tea from Teavirve was a nice coincidence. In the bag were samples for green tea, and for Blueberry Fruit Tea and Apple Awakening Fruit Tea. The green tea was similar to others that I have recently sampled, but it was the Blueberry Fruit Tea that was amazing, and stole my heart. Beautiful aromas and subtle flavours of blueberry, black currant, roselle and grapes. The teen is in love with this tea!

Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake The Apple Awakening Fruit Tea is really refreshing too … teasing the palette with an intriguing combination of apple and lemon.  With such an extensive selection which can be shipped across the world, Teavirve is a great gifting option. Green, white, black, Oolong, Pu-erh, herbal, fruit, ice, organic, flavoured … the variety is endless.Teavirve Blurberry TeaTo make the range complete, Teavirve offer a stunning range of teaware too. {They offers worldwide free shipping for orders over $30 … you should check out there collection.}

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

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