Is it November already?!

And just like that we are in the month of November!

We’re officially a month away from Christmas and it’s getting real cold and dark now. And that can only mean one thing. Its time to get my bake on!

Here are a few things I baked in the past week.

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Schwarzwalder Torte

Or just Black Forest gateau¬†to you and me! ūüôā Back home in my hometown in India, this cake is by far the most popular and quite literally flies off the shelves for birthdays, Christmases and what have you. I have been fed quite a few Black forest cakes (far too many to remember!) in my time and quite naturally wanted to master it when I took up baking after getting married and moving to the UK. So what followed was a barrage of BFCs everytime a cake was needed and I ended up putting off hubby and myself of it for a few years. Last week I was looking at some old photographs on my laptop and realized that I hadn’t made the cake in almost 4 or so years! So I decided to bake it on a whim last week and gosh¬†did it turn out well!

I even got sonny boy to help…

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The cake isn’t hard to bake or assemble in any way. What’s important however is that you need a really soft and good chocolate sponge cake as a base for it. Your gateau will only be as good as your sponge base, so if you’ve got practice baking decent fatless chocolate sponges, you’ll have no trouble getting this cake right. I went with my trusty chocolate chiffon cake recipe as always and baked it in a 9inch tin. From here on, it’s just a matter of sandwiching the layers of cake with tinned or fresh cherries and freshly whipped cream. Now you can splash a bit of Kirsch (cherry brandy) on to the layers if it is solely for adults. Or you can just use a simple sugar syrup in its place which will work just fine. I skipped both in an attempt to tone down the calories; plus I was really lazy that day! I also didn’t bother covering up the sides with whipped cream, well cause I didn’t enough left to do that. It still tasted wonderful. Considering that no where in the cake I had used butter and just decorated with cherries and unsweetened cream, this cake is actually not that bad as a diet breaker. It is far less calorific and tastes lighter¬†than most other cakes. Here’s the instruction for the assembly¬†I followed aside from my usual recipe for the chocolate chiffon cake

Apple and Bread Pudding

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This is a first. Owing to my dislike for butter and cheese I had never previously attempted a bread and butter pudding in my kitchen. I was forced into finding a recipe¬†to use up a loaf of stale bread I had knocking around and ended up stumbling upon this recipe on the internet. I altered the recipe considerably in the end and didn’t use any butter at all. To my surprise it turned out very well. Here’s my take on the recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 to 10 slices of stale bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Handful of raisins
  • 2 to 3 cups of apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons of oil (or use butter)

Method

  1. Toss together torn/cubed bread, sliced apples and raisin in a bit of oil or melted butter and transfer to the baking dish
  2. In another mix, mix together the egg, sugar, cinnamon, milk and vanilla. Pour over the bread and apples in the baking dish.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven at 175 C for about 45 minutes or until brown.


That is all from the baking department for now. On to something more exciting.

Homemade Playdough!

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It would seem that I’ve arrived on the homemade playdough scene a bit¬†too late! On googling, I was hit million and one ways to make playdough and it all seemed a bit too much for me! Clearly all the homemaking mamas in the world think it’s a big hit with their kids and have gone on to make tonnes of tonnes of this stuff. I nearly decided against making a playdough but thought I’d try a small quantity for starters.

The recipe for the dough is in the collage/picture I have put up above. Or if you, like me, think this is all a bit too much and want to go for an even simpler recipe. Just mix any flour with water, knead and hand it to your child! I remember playing with ‘chapathi‘ dough every time my mum would make it for dinner, as a little girl back in India. I’d make cute little cups and dishes with lids, paint it and let it harden in the sun. So there’s no reason for you to buy another tub of expensive playdoh from the shops again.

Here’s a small selection of interesting playdough recipes I’ve come across so far

I made my batch of playdough in orange and pink and sonny boy had a lot of fun playing with it.

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What have you been upto recently in the kitchen or with the kids? Let me know if there’s anything interesting I could possibly try out too. In the meantime, enjoy the last two months of the year. My family and I will be moving to a another house hopefully, so¬†I have a busy November ahead of me. See you on the other side.

Sharmila

A couple of my cakes…

I’ve decided to show off my baking skills today, and to start with¬†here’s a picture of the first cake I ever baked

A Black forest cherry cake for my Husband on his birthday

 
A chocolate cake made in a flurry


A chocolate ganache cake for a friend who just had a baby


Another Blackforest gateau I made for Christmas

Finally and the most recently made…


A vanilla strawberry cake for my Valentine

I haven’t bothered putting up any recipes for these cakes solely because there are just gazillion of them everywhere on the internet. But if you would still like my versions of any cake shown above, leave a comment or send an email by using the form below