Sunday, 23 October 2011

Just cake!!! :-)

The first thing I ever baked was a plain vanilla cake.
Simple and Yummy.
My mum used to take cake orders a looong time ago and she always used this recipe. Everyone loved it. Sometimes when she would be busy baking in the kitchen I would go down and watch her. So did my siblings.
We always had an ulterior motive. As soon as she was done with the batter, the three of us kids used to fight over who gets to lick the remaining batter up! The spoons, the mixing bowl...
yes the good ol' days when calories was a word that I hadn't even heard of :-D

For me it was especially nice when mum would add some cocoa to the recipe (for marble or chocolate cake). That was when I would REALLY try and get the mixing bowl which had most of the batter in it!!!
Over the years, this simple recipe has been the most popular.
We sometimes ice it with buttercream or chocolate dropping, but I like it plain.
Plain cake with tea. My favourite :-)

So here I'm going to share the recipe with you.
It's ridiculously easy and NEVER goes wrong. Best of all, it takes a total of an hour maximum from when you enter the kitchen to make the batter to when it comes out of the oven.
Smells amazing, looks amazing and tastes delicious!!

4 eggs
8oz self- raising flour
8oz caster sugar
8oz margarine
Vanilla essence

Preheat the oven at Gas mark 4
Beat the sugar and the margarine with a hand-held mixer until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.
Add in the eggs one at a time and carry on mixing it.
Once the mixture is blended in together, add in the flour in additions.
keep mixing it.
Finally, add a few drops of vanilla essence in to the mixture. Mix it a little more and then pour it in to a greased tin. (I usually also line it with Baking parchment).

You can simply add some cocoa to the batter once its all ready to make it chocolatey. Or you could add cocoa to half the mixture and make it into a marble cake.
You choose. :-)

To prevent the cake from being dry, make sure not to over bake it.

Place it in the centre of the oven and let it bake for about 40 minutes. To check when the cake is ready, pierce it with a skewer. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready :-)

This cake is always a winner and everybody enjoys it. Its perfect for birthday cakes or for any occasion!!

Just enjoy :-)


Sunday, 16 October 2011

Black Magic cake

Last week we were in dire need of some baked goods. Seriously, there was NOTHING in the house- and the Taste tester and I don't really like having ready made stuff anymore. I guess its nice to know exactly what goes in to your food and who makes it. (Thats just a personal preference).
Anyway, since I've started studying again, alongside the freelancing work that I do, things have been crazy crazy!!
I was finally free for an hour and really wanted to bake something quick that I could finish in an hour, so that I could fit in a trip to the gym before the Taste tester got home.
I spent about 10 minutes searching the internet for the quickest recipe I could find and ended up in the Hershey's Kitchen website.
You've probably noticed that many times the recipes I choose to try out are just that, quick and easy.
Every now and again I like to try something complicated or a bit more time consuming- but right now I just didn't have any time for that!

The Black Magic cake is a simple, dark, light, fluffy, gorgeous, coffee-ish, chocolatey cake.
Yumminess :-)
The recipe was ridiculously easy and I had it in the oven in just about 10 minutes- and it spent just about 40 minutes inside. Brilliant.
I wanted a light frosting- something sweet but not heavy and with a hit of coffee in it.
You really need something extra coffee flavoured in the frosting because the cake just by itself is not very sweet and the chocolateyness somewhat overpowers the coffee.
It was worth a try. The Taste tester and his friends were very happy with it...
and that made me happy :-)

p.s excuse the hideous photographs

The texture was almost exactly like that of the
'Perfectly Chocolate'
cake that I made cupcakes out of-
so it would work well as cupcakes too!!

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup Hersheys cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee or 2 tsps powdered instant coffee plus one cup boiling water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk/ sourmilk*
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan. 
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (Batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick 
inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool 
completely. Frost as desired. Yields 10 to 12 servings

* To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup.

For the Frosting, I simply whipped up some double cream with sugar (according to taste), some cocoa powder and ground coffee.
It was perfect :-)
You could use buttercream or any frosting you like. Its totally up to you :-)
I didn't have much time so I just cut the cake in to half, filled the centre with some cream and then covered the whole thing with it after placing the top half on top of the bottom half. No time to be neat but that's how I like it anyway!!
For such a quick recipe, the results were totally worth it!!!


Saturday, 1 October 2011

Banana fritters...and a dedication :-)

I've never understood the concept of a secret ingredient.
Sure, in a large scale production when there is competition between businesses- well that's business!- but in every day home cooking and baking?
One of the nicest, warmest feelings is when you decide to follow a recipe for something that you've really been wanting to make and the final result is a success.
That's why I love NIgella Lawson's recipes, her recipes never fail me!! The results are exactly what you see in the recipe book and what you imagine them to be like.

Anyway, this post is not about Nigellas recipes, its about someone else.

This is dedicated to a very very special cook. Someone who comes up with the most delectable recipes and is so willing to share them to the rest of the world. Helping people become better in the kitchen. Never holding back ANY advise and sharing even the tiniest details, that make such a big difference to us novices in the kitchen.

From the traditional African cuisine that I grew up with, to the modern dishes that you always wished you knew how to make, she has all the perfect recipes!

The other day I came across her recipe (among a million of her other methods) for banana fritters.
Yes, something so simple that is so easy to whip up in the kitchen.
We were planning to go visit a friend, and even though we had decided with such short notice, I really wanted to take a sweet snack for them, and so I chose this recipe.
I have tried making banana fritters before from various other recipes that people have shared with me, but none gave results like this one did.

Light, fluffy and perfectly balanced in sweetness and in flavour, this fritters were amazing!!!
The batter was so simple to put together and I loved the fact that it had to be shallow fried rather than the whole deep frying mess.

I know this is simple and straightforward, but its just one of her many many recipes I have followed that has come up with awesome results.
I have mentioned her on this blog before, but I will once again.
Thankyou Fauzia, in all sincerity...from all of your Page followers who love dabbling in the kitchen. You've taught us a lot..and we're really grateful for that!! 

So here goes the simple and straightforward recipe with yummy results :-)


3 medium ripe bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork then drizzled with lemon juice to prevent discolouration
A quarter cup sugar (more if you like them sweeter but I find this just the right amount coz ripe bananas are already sweet enough and you might drizzle or sprinkle something over them when serving!)
1 egg, lightly whisked
2 level cups flour
1 level tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp rice flour (optional: gives an extra crunch)
quarter tsp salt
half tsp cinnamon powder
half tsp vanilla essence
quarter cup milk


Beat the sugar, egg, vanilla and cinnamon until very nice and frothy. Add the mashed bananas and mix until well incorporated

Whisk the flour with the salt and baking powder, then gently add it into the mixture and stir. Add your milk a little at a time, until the mixture is of a consistency whereby you can pick and shape into balls using a spoon. If you need more than a quarter cup, it's ok...go ahead and add. Don't let the batter get too watery though! :)

Heat some oil in a pan, then gently using two spoons, pick a small amount of batter and ease it into the hot oil. Keep the heat on low coz they get brown very quickly. Try getting the fritters small so that they get done nicely. Once the underside is brown, gently turn them over.

Enjoy these yummy delights..with icecream, fruit, custard..or the way I love it- just as it is!!!
Perfect for breakfast or a yummy evening treat!!!

Check out Fauzia's amazing facebook page here
or check out her brand new blog here- its at its early stages but I am sure it will soon become bigger and successful as ever!!!
Try out her recipes..I guarantee you won't go wrong!!

Enjoy yourselves :-)