Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Carrot & Pineapple Cake with vegan Fondant Icing


For my Wilton course 3 class 2 , I had to take a cake and fondant icing.But Fondant icing that we get in store is not a vegetarian, so was in a big dilemma as to do what?Just buy the fondant icing and cover it on Styrofoam or bake a cake and try vegan fondant. I found a recipe for vegan fondant and bought all the ingredients too. Since i didn't know the consistency of the fondant I took that to the class. My instructor was happy with it and said a little more powder sugar should do the trick.Hurray!I was happy. But working with fondant is not as easy as it looks. My hands were sour the day i made fondant at home because it demands lot of kneading.

I felt my fondant was not that stretchy as it has to be, may be because I used Agar flakes instead of powder.Will try powder and see it next time. That's why it was breaking apart. But I could eat the cake with no guilt, I was happy for that. Fondant icing looks very neat and natural compared to other icings that's what I felt.

Carrot and Pineapple Cake was something I wanted to try for sometime now.So I made it for the class and I turned out very tasty with a little pineapple chunks in each bite.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Brown sugar
2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups finely-shredded carrots
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup applesauce (i used crushed Pineapple with juice)
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 egg substitute (Ener-G) (I skipped this as I was using lot of Pineapple and juice)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnut)

Method:
Stir together dry ingredients.Mix in the carrots, oil, crushed Pineapple with juice(if u think the juice is too much then pour a little bit at a time) and vanilla.Beat about 2-3 minutes , until well mixed.Stir in the nuts, if used.Bake at 325 F for about 40-50 minutes , or until a toothpick comes out clean.Cool on a wire rack.

It was very moist and yummy!

Vegan Fondant Icing(I found the recipe here)
For fondant icing, the ingredients are:

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (I used agar agar flakes)
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup Glucose (There is a glucose mixture that Wilton sells, but you can use light corn syrup, you'll just get a softer fondant)
2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon Glycerin
8 cups sifted confectioner's sugar (about 2 lbs.) -- 8 cups is a lot, plan on using more like 6. The 8 really makes it stiff and dry/cracked.
Icing color and flavoring, as desired.


Method:

Combine agar flakes and cold water; let stand until thick. Place mixture on stove and boil 5 minutes, or until dissolved. Remove from stove add glucose and shortening, and mix until shortening dissolves. Add glycerin, flavoring and color. Cool until lukewarm (should happen pretty quickly). Next, place 4 cups confectioner's sugar in a bowl and make a well. Pour the lukewarm agar mixture into the well and stir with a wooden spoon, mixing in sugar and adding more, a little at a time, until stickiness disappears. Knead in remaining sugar. Knead until the fondant is smooth, pliable and does not stick to your hands. If fondant is too soft, add more sugar; if too stiff, add water (a drop at a time). Use fondant immediately or store in airtight container in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate or freeze. When ready to use, knead again until soft.

This recipe makes approx. 36 oz., enough to cover a 10 x 4 in. high cake.

Note:Try using Powder instead of flakes or soak it in hot water for couple of minutes and wait till the water cools down, flakes didn't dissolve really well and i could see some flakes on my fondant.
Once the fondant is done try to store them in a close container and use a little bit at a time as they dry up very soon. Roll them and cut in desired shape and decorate it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Apple-Date Swirl Cookies


This is my 50th post and so wanted to do something sweet, so here is a very Delicious cookie I ever had.I found this recipe in a small book by Betty crocker called "Fall Baking". It has some wonderful recipes, which are simple but quite interesting recipes. I have altered some of the ingredients according to my family tastes but have the original recipe here. I felt it was a little sweeter, so u can reduce the sugar content for the cookie. The filling is the best part in this cookies, its very soft, chewy,delicious and perfect for Christmas. Kids love them as its sweet and chewy.

Ingredients:

Filling
1cup Chopped Dates
3/4cup finely chopped peeled apple
1/4cup granulated sugar
1tsp grated orange peel
1/4cup orange juice

Cookies
1/2cup granulated sugar
1/2cup packed brown sugar
1/2cup butter(softened)
1/2tsp vanilla
1 egg(i used applesauce)
12/3cup All purpose flour
1/2tsp Baking soda
1/4tsp salt
1/4tsp cinnamon powder

Method:
In a pan mix filling ingredients, cook over medium heat,keep stirring until it boils and thickens(for about 5 mins).Set aside and cool. In a bowl, beat sugars, butter, vanilla and egg(applesauce) with an electric mixer on medium speed till well blended.Stir in dry ingredients.
Put the dough in between plastic wrap and roll it with a rolling pin into a rectangular shape.[I rolled it a round shape and my cookies were oval shaped]. Remove the top cover and spread the filling over dough.Roll the dough with filling inside, separating the plastic cover.Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 2-3 hrs or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 375*F. Cut the roll into 1/4th inch slices. Bake them for about 8-12 mins.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Crochet Puff Stich black Scarf

This is a pretty cool scarf which i loved the first time i saw it and was the first priority on my to do list forgetting all my other projects. I did wanted to finish before this winter begins. As u all have observed by now that i do crochet by following a YouTube video, which makes me learn and finish my project faster than learning from a book. This one also is from a YouTube video and I am a big fan of the lady by name Teresa, who makes wonderful designs and makes videos that any beginner can do and finish it with full confidence and pride. Thanks Teresa for all the hard work put behind by your team.

You can find the video link here and written text here in her blog. Just follow that, i added few more rows to make it a little bigger and added few embellishments to make it fancy and i also added 3 rows of single stitch and strings/tazzles to end it. A matching hat is under process, actually wanted to put both together but 'am tied with other things now and might not be able to finish it any soon, so will post once i am done with it.

Here is the pic and video of Puff stitch hat.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cabbage Pakoda

Its similar to Onion Pakoda.

Ingredients:

1.5 cup Shredded Cabbage
1/2cup onion
1tsp Cumin seeds
1tbsp Besan flour
1tsp Rice flour
a pinch of hing and turmeric powder
1-2tsp Red chili powder
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Method:

Mix the onions(cut them into long thin strings, like you would usually do for onion pakoda) and cabbage in a bowl and sprinkle salt on in and mix well and keep aside for about 5 mins. Water starts to separate from onion. Now add Besan flour, rice flour, chili powder, cumin seeds, turmeric powder and hing and mix well. Make equal portion of balls and deep fry in oil and serve warm with chutney or sauce.

[Note: U can add finely chopped ghee chillies too if you like the pakoras spicey]

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Carrot Halwa


Ingredients:

2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup Evaporated milk
1 cup Sugar
2tbsp Condensed Milk/Khova
a pinch of cardamom powder
few saffron(optional)
2tsp each Cahew nut and Raisins
1tsp Ghee(purified butter)

Method:

Put the shredded carrots in a non-stick/hard anodized pan(as it dosent stick to the pan and there is not wastage and no need to add lot of ghee).Add Evaporated milk and let it boil till it thickens. Now add sugar and condensed milk and mix well till it reaches the halwa consistency. Finally fry the cashew nut and raisins in a spoon of ghee and add it to the halwa with cardamom powder and saffron. The Halwa can be served hot or chilled, it can be even served on top of a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

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