Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Cheesy Soda Bread | Perfect for the lazy weather

I had tried Irish Soda bread long back and when I saw a cheesy version of soda bread at KingArthurFlour.com, that was all I needed to pull me out of lethargy thanks to the  lazy weather we are having in Bengaluru. I halved the recipe spiced it up a bit and there it was a perfect pick me up for the weather.

All Purpose Flour: 1.25 cups
Baking Powder: 1 tsp
Baking Soda: 1/2 tsp
Salt: 1/4 tsp

Cold Unsalted Butter: 2 tbsp

Sharp Cheddar grated: 3/4 cup
Chilli Flakes: 1/2 tsp

Butttermilk: 10 tbsp 
Egg: 1/2 (3/4 pkd tsp of energ + 2 tbsp of water)

In a big bowl, mix together flour,soda,baking powder and salt.Add cold cubed butter, working it into the flour until you get a crumbly mixture. 

Fold in grated cheese and chilli flakes.

Mix together butter milk and egg and add to the dry mix ,stirring until everything is moistened and you get a wet sticky mass.

Scoop the dough into a lightly greased /lined 8" square dish and spread it to the edges. 

Bake in a preheated oven at 190C for 40-45 minutes until the tester inserted into the centre  comes out clean.

Remove from oven, loosen the edges with a knife, after 5 minutes, turn the bread onto the rack and let it cool for atleast 20 minutes. Cut into squares and serve hot if needed with tomato sauce/dip. 

I had it with as such and it was over more quickly than the time it took to bake. Texturewise it was slightly softer than the regular soda bread- almost like sandwich bread- due to the addition of cheese.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Salted Caramel Pots de Crème | Baking Partners June '15

A break when extended for too long will make you rusty. Thats exactly what has happened to me. The rusty lazy holiday feeling aggravated thanks to the lazy weather in Bengaluru. But nothing could stop me from trying out the salted caramel pots de crème suggested by Tamy of SavoryKitchen Table  which was this months challenge for Baking Partners by  Swathi

Pots De Crème is the French name for Custard. And custard is something which is simple yet can go wrong . But with custard powder its hard to fail. Custard powder makes it all the more easy and thats exactly what the doctor ordered. Though two choices were there I chose the salted caramel version. Since my family is not very big on caramel though I am, I decided to experiment the recipe and also use the custard powder instead of using the eggs. Still the below given measurements are guestimates as I improvised at some steps.

Sugar: 8 tbsp + more for custard
Water: 2 tbsp
Sea Salt: a big pinch
Whipping Cream: 1 1/4 cup
Custard Powder : 3 tbsp  
Milk: 3/4 cup
salt: 1/2 tsp (For garnish)


Preheat the oven to 160 C/ 325F. Adjust racks of the oven and prepare ramekins on a baking dish. Add enough water in the baking dish to go go halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

In a saucepan add sugar, salt and water. Heat until sugar completely dissolves, stirring. Increase heat and bring the mixture to a rolling boil.
Boil for 8 minutes until you get a deep amber color. 
At the same time in another saucepan heat about 1/2 cup of milk adding around 3-4 tbsp of sugar and cook stirring until the sugar dissolves and it comes to a boil. 
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining milk and custard powder into a paste. When the milk +sugar mix boil, reduce the heat and stir in the custard paste. Continue cooking till the sauce thickens. And then remove from heat and let it cool for a while. 

Meanwhile whip the cream with powdered sugar till soft peaks form. Once the custard mix is cooled a bit, fold in the cream to this.

Put the caramel back on fire at low heat and add in the cream+ custard  mixture whisking well so that it flavours the custard properly and we get a brownish thick sauce. 

Remove from heat and sieve into a bowl. From the bowl pour into ramekins. Bake the ramekins for 35-40 minutes until the edges are set and centres become jiggly.

Cool completely on wirerack. Cover with a plastic wrap//saran and chill for atleast 4 hours before serving garnish with more salt.

Mine was a perfect pot de crème texturewise . But tastewise it was a bit more bitter than I expected. Maybe the sugar needs to be adjusted next time. 

Hopefully this will set the ball rolling for more posts.. Lets see how others did the challenge.

Friday, June 12, 2015

SkyLit Rooftop Lounge- Citrus Hotels | Romancing Nature

Sitting under a starry sky enjoying a cool breeze looking down as the world hurries past, your loved ones with you, and a perfect gourmet spread.

If you feel this is how you should unwind after a hard day's work, then Skylit Rooftop at Citrus Hotels is the place for you to be.

The blue lit lounge offers a perfect view-from top of Bengaluru thanks to the central Location of the Citrus Hotel at Cunningham Road.The lounge is open only for your evening pleasures and I had the opportunity to visit it on a breezy  night after rains.

Though I expected it to be closed thanks to the rains and the nearing monsoons, I was surprised to see the beautifully lit rooftop with alfresco as well as beautifully covered seating area along with an inner lounge area for those who who need more privacy and a separate bar area that adds to your romance.

If you are already impressed with the ambience then youll be all the more once you start sampling the neverending starters.

The lounge serves 16 kebabs and grill specialities - veg and non veg -from all over the world. Starting with the lavash bread and three varieties of dips - one Italian, two Indian on your table, the spread  includes Tulsi Tangdi Kebab, Ajwaini Macchi, Cajun Grilled fish etc for the meat lovers, and Subji Seekh Kebab, Paneer Peshawari, Cheesy Mexican Nachos, Cottage Cheese satay,Veg Fajitas, assorted grilled Vegetables, Khumb Da Bhutta ( masala marinated grilled mushrooms and babycorn) etc for vegetarians.I loved the khumb da bhutta and Paneer Peshawari while the family vote went for humble seekh kebab perfectly flavoured with fennel seeds.

The main course includes assorted vegetables including rare gravies, Indian breads , salads, rice varieties -Pulaos, Biryanis , Fried Rice etc which is authentic and tasty.I love my main course but that night thanks to the tasty and filling starters, I just nibbled on the mains and then jumped to the colourful dessert section.

Desserts included walnut brownies, assorted pastries, rasogullas, assorted barfi, mango cheesecake ,gajar ka halwa (carrot halwa) along with fresh fruits and icecream. We loved the pastry and I can vouch the authenticity of gajar ka halwa.

The mango cheesecake was no-bake one and I felt it had very less mango flavour except for drops of mango jam on top.And yes this was  the only negative point I could find in an otherwise excellent dinner.

Overall the Ambience was great - perfect for a loving night out. The service was perfect. We also met F&B Manager Mr. Gagan Thapa who explained to us the essence of the bar and live kitchen lounge.

I had my fill and I am leaving few pics for your eyes and tastebuds. If these make your mouth water then tonight make sure your reserve your table at 

Skylit Rooftop Lounge,
Citrus Hotels,
34,Cunningham Road,
Vasanth Nagar

WebSite: CitrusHotels

Cost: Rs.750/- per person (with alcohol)
Type of cuisine : Barbeque & Grill Indian & Continental

Rekindle the Romance in your Life Citrus Way!!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Elvis' Favourite Vanilla Pound Cake - Eggless Experiment | Baking Partners May 2015

Its good to be back after some rest and recuperation. Did nothing much for few days and now slowly settling back into the old routine all thanks to school . Anyways once the schools reopened, the first thing I baked was the Baking Partners May challenge Pound cake - that too Elvis Presley's favourite adapated from Gourmet.com thanks to Swathi. I further adapted it by making it eggless and halving it ..


Unsalted Buter: 4 tbsp soft + more for buttering
Sifted Cake Flour: 3/4 cup ( 1 cup cake flour = 14 tbsp all purpose flour + 2 tbsp cornstarch)
Salt: 1/6 tsp
Sugar: 10 tbsp
Egg Replacer Eggs: 2 (1 packed tbsp of Ener G + 5 tbsp of water)
Vanilla: 1 tsp
Cream: 4 tbsp

After making cake flour at home, sift it 5 times and then add salt and sift again.

Beat together butter ad sugar with mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy for about 5 minutes.

Add in the eggs one at a time or Ener G eggs beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

Add in half of the cake flour then cream and then the remaining flour, mixin well after each addition at a very low speed.

Beat in at medium high speed for about 5 more minutes scraping the sides of the bowl until the batter becomes creamy and satiny.

Transfer to a buttered and floured pan and tap it twice to eliminate the air bubble.

Place the pan in a cold oven and switch it on to 350F/ 150 C. Bake until golden and a tester comes out with a few crumbs when inserted in the middle for about 1-1 1/4 hours.

Mine took roughly 2 hours. Some vegan dishes take time to reach the correct texture and consistency. In between the top started turning brown, so I covered it with aluminium foil. Continue baking at 150C till the tester in the middle comes out with cooked crumbs.

Cool cake in pan for 30 minutes on a rack. Run a knife around the edges of cake and then invert the rack over pan and invert the cake onto rack and cool completely.

Serve as slices anytime especially with tea. 

Dunno whether Elvis had tried or even thought about eggless or vegan goods when he enjoyed the cakes, but yes, he would have definitely given a thumbs up. 

The taste was excellent but the texture was a little dry. Despite 2 hours, it still needed extra time  I felt. This could be because I sliced it before cooling completely. Anyways it was an experiment which I would be repeating again with more baking time.

Thanks for visiting my Blog

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