Yudhika baking

Christmas countdown…cake!

Spicy Fruit Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

Spicy Fruit Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

I have never made a Christmas cake ahead of time and followed the ritual of pouring brandy over it every week….the cake just gets gobbled up by the gremlins in my family…and when they are tired of cake…they pull of the almonds on the cake!  Some things run in the family!  I used to do just that when I was a kid and it’s a little like karma coming back to bite!

 

Most families have a traditional fruit cake recipe that is served at Christmas.  I love the aromas of Christmas cake…the brandy with spices fill a home with festive cheer!

 

Tried and tested sometimes or should I say almost always works best…I do sometimes feel that I should try a new recipe which generally ends up in a disaster.  I can bake…I am mean I can REALLY bake…..a few years ago I tried a recipe from a really flash cookbook….and it was one of those really expensive one too….the cake looked like a rather large over-baked Ouma rusk!  I was devastated and got teased about it for months!

 

I find following a recipe pretty difficult and my mom was the queen of fruit cakes…this is her recipe with a few tweaks here and there…I love spicing up a fruit cake and have added cardamom to my recipe as well!

 

I sometimes also use a good glug of Jack Daniels to this recipe instead of the brandy!  You can serve this cake with brandy butter or custard.  I just have a large slice with a good cup of coffee! Oh and I make this cake a few times during the year…so calling it a Christmas cake doesn’t come easily!

 

A big congratulations to Lalisha Singh on winning the KitchenAid stand mixer competition!  She joins our Tania Joy Fredericks, Renuka Lallbahadur and Natasha Ramlugan as well as Kay Straightfill and Krivani Pillay in our winners hall of hame!!! Stay tuned for more competitions on the blog with great prizes from AMC cookware, KitchenAid and Spar!

 

Light Christmas Fruit Cake

 

Ingredients

375g soft butter

300ml brown sugar

6 eggs

500g Safari Cake Mix

250ml mixed nuts (I love pecans)

750ml cake flour

15ml baking powder

10ml cinnamon

10ml mixed spice

5ml cardamom

2ml nutmeg

2ml salt

125ml milk

75ml brandy or whisky

100g whole almonds, blanched

 

 

Here’s how

Pre-heat oven to 170°C.

Grease and line a 10 inch round cake tin with baking paper. Sift flour, salt and baking powder and add the spices. Place dried fruit and nuts in a mixing bowl. Toss together 30ml cake flour and the dried fruit and nuts. The dried fruit should be lightly dusted with flour to prevent the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the cake.

Mix together the milk and brandy. Sift the dry ingredients.

Cream butter and gradually add brown sugar until light and fluffy. The sugar crystals should also dissolve slightly – I used the KitchenAid mixer for this!

Add eggs one at a time with a teaspoon of cake flour to prevent curdling.

Add half the flour to the butter and egg mixture followed by half the liquid. Repeat this process and lastly fold in the dried fruit and nuts.

Arrange the blanched almonds on top of the cake and press them into the batter gently.

Bake for 70 – 75 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean. Turn out on a wire rack and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.

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Adventures of Supermom….

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Tanvi, my 11-year-old daughter, is the best assistant I could ask for! She packs up my paperwork at the end of the day, makes roti, frosts cakes. She even works the credit card machine when Holi Cow is busy and can work the La Sam Marco coffee machine…not perfectly, but nearly!

Most of my friends and colleagues have met little Tanvi – she is a pleasure and when I am just in need of a few extra nimble fingers, she is only too pleased to help out. We spend lots of time together, and when we are not working, we are most likely at Hyde Park shopping centre or maybe Sandton City…fashion watching! We both love clothing….and often talk about what we like/don’t like about designs. Tanvi often accompanies me to wardrobe fittings with Vanya and Thando Mangaliso at Sun Goddess, or obsesses over the dresses from Arwen Swan! It was only quite recently that I realized that I created a fashion monster!

Tanvi was invited to her first ever grade 6 Spring Dance (a little early, in my opinion) and she, had her very own idea of what she wanted to wear! The first step was to google the weather report….I confess, I google almost everything! Cold fronts, prediction of snow and icy wind and Tanvi still insisted that she wanted me to make her a party dress! I just couldn’t refuse her request…I had to make the dress and it needed to be perfect, poofy and a tulle underskirt was not negotiable…I have Arwen Swan to thank for the high expectations!

It was going to be pretty challenging to do a frock for Spring when the weather had turned nasty but I was determined to give it a bash! I chose the fabric (couldn’t resist the cherries), sketched out a pattern (it took lots of time since I have never been to a sewing class), and proceeded to cut and tack the pieces in place. Hetal, my 14-year-old daughter, was intrigued by this design and hauled out the sewing machine only to find the presser foot missing! I was devastated and completely distraught! The search for the missing presser foot ended up as a Spring cleaning operation which left everyone feeling tired and rather frustrated!

Still, the presser foot was not to be found! After finally tracking down the Husqvarna dealer in Jozi, I was promised they would ring back….its over a week later….still nothing! I rushed off to Bernina at Cedar Square….I had the most amazing experience! Great staff and service and the new machine was delivered to me in a couple of hours! I opted for a pretty basic one but it works like a charm!

Yudhika Sujanani - Foot down on the new Bernina sewing machine

Yudhika Sujanani – Foot down on the new Bernina sewing machine

The fitting....smiles and happiness

The fitting….smiles and happiness

It was time to get stitching….and it was an incredibly fun experience for us girls! I had fashion tips and suggestions from both girls and I became the seamstress and designer while Tanvi and Hetal argued with me endlessly on the hemline! ‘Shorter Mom….Shorter!!!!’ I can see that the next few years are going to be pretty bleak….’Knees are not beautiful things’, I argued! Eventually, we just compromised!

Big hair...big dress....Tanvi Sujanani

Big hair…big dress….Tanvi Sujanani

Party girl...Tanvi Sujanani.....the apple doesn't fall far from the tree....

Party girl…Tanvi Sujanani…..the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree….


Tanvi looked like a princess in her dress! She insisted on wearing my Lanvin shoes…I was inconsolable…my little girl fitting into my shoes! I am just not emotionally ready to share my shoes or to let her grow up!

We dropped her at the dance, her little bag was searched at the entrance, and then she dashed off with her friends…I felt sad and suddenly lonely! And yes, I did get a few comments about buying a shotgun! No need for that…I, like most Indian mothers, am certain that I will be able to turn any household object into a weapon….just like my mom and grandmother did! A regular bedroom slipper was something to be feared and so was the wooden spoon or clothes hanger!

My trusted rolling-pin...

My trusted rolling pin…

Here are the cupcakes we baked for Spring….creating more special memories with my family! Even after treating myself to a few of these delicious cakes, I am still not ready to share my shoe collection!

Spring Cupcakes by Yudhika Sujanani

Spring Cupcakes by Yudhika Sujanani

Carrot Cupcakes

3 eggs
250g brown sugar
275ml sunflower oil
5ml vanilla essence
300g cake flour
5ml baking powder
5ml bicarbonate of soda
5ml ground cinnamon
Large pinch of salt
300g grated carrots

Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius.
Line cupcake tins with paper cups.

Beat eggs in a mixer until light and fluffly – they should triple in volume.
Add brown sugar gradually and continue beating until the sugar dissolves and the mixture leaves a trail on the surface.
Add the sunflower oil and vanilla essence, then beat until combined.
Sift the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and fold.
The mixture should be thick and free from lumps.
Add the grated carrots and stir well.
Scoop the mixture into paper cups.
Bake for 20 – 22 minutes – I use a skewer to check the cupcakes.
Leave to cool.

Spring cupcakes...deliciously light carrot and cream cheese frosted cupcakes by Yudhika Sujanani

Spring cupcakes…deliciously light carrot and cream cheese frosted cupcakes by Yudhika Sujanani

Cream cheese frosting
120g soft butter
375ml icing sugar
230g plain cream cheese (I used Spar Cream Cheese)
5ml Vanilla paste or extract
Pecan nuts , to garnish
Fresh edible flowers, to garnish (I used lavender from the Holi Cow herb garden)

For the frosting:
Cream butter and gradually add the icing sugar until light in colour.
Add the cream cheese and continue beating.
Add vanilla essence.
Continue beating until smooth – do not over-beat as the frosting can split.

To complete:
Spread the frosting over the cool cupcakes, top with pecan nuts and garnish with edible flowers.

Raspberry Cream Cake….

Raspberry Cream Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

Raspberry Cream Cake by Yudhika

A perfect recipe to kickstart Spring….its a combination of a deliciously light, slightly buttery sponge, decked with luscious thick cream, studded with raspberries!  This recipe is dead easy and if you are like me and hates pic perfect icing…this one is for you! 

 

It’s been a crazy week at the Holi Cow, with new recipes being developed and I am celebrating the busiest week in our seven month trading life!  With no time or energy for a night on the town (and rather large cocktails), I have been feeling pretty smug!  

 

The Holi Cow cooking classes for September…

 

Holi Cow Cooking Class Update: Cooking Class Update: The Curry Trail – learn how to use your spices to make curries from around Asia….Lamb Vindaloo, Sri Lankan Chicken Curry, Thai Green Prawn, Paneer in Almond Sauce, Rotis and Coconut Creme Brulees. The duration of the class is two hours and is followed by a sit down lunch. Bookings essential.

Date: Wednesday, 10th September 2014
Time: 6 for 6.30pm
Cost: R375 per person

 

Cooking Class Update: Curry 101 Hands on Class – learn how to use spices to make delicious spicy meals in a flash….Lamb Rogan Josh, Chicken Korma, Coconut Prawn, Mushroom and Chickpea Curry, Rotis and Chocolate Ganache Cake. The duration of the class is two hours and is followed by a delicious dinner. Bookings essential.

Date: Saturday, 13th September 2014
Time: 10 for 10.30am
Cost: R375 per person

 

 

Love begins with 'LIKE' - click like or follow on facebook, twitter or the blog and leave a comment!

Love begins with ‘LIKE’ – click like or follow on facebook, twitter or the blog and leave a comment!

 

And for those of you who love cooking and baking as much as I do, take a look at our KitchenAid Giveaway…all you have to do is spread the love….share the competition details on facebook or twitter and tag me in on it…with #KitchenAid #mela

 

Mela, the all new Indian show, will air on Sunday, 7th September at 10.30am on SABC 2!  I find watching myself on TV quite strange so I will probably be in the kitchen, making up one of these delicious cakes for dessert!  

 

Raspberry Sponge:

 

 

Ingredients

 

 

85ml hot water

80ml soft butter

250ml self-raising flour

10ml maizena

4 eggs

185ml sugar

5ml vanilla essence

Zest of 1 lemon

 

 

250g Mascarpone Cheese

60ml icing sugar, sifted

50ml fresh cream

300g fresh raspberries

 

 

Here’s how:

 

Pre-heat oven to 180°C.

Grease and line 2 x 20cm cake tins.

Combine the butter and hot water in a small bowl.  

Stir until the butter melts and leave aside to cool.

Sift the self-raising flour and maizena three times.

Whisk eggs in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.

Gradually add the sugar and continue whisking until the mixture leaves a trail visible for three seconds.

Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture.

Add the cooled liquid, vanilla essence and lemon zest and fold to combine.

Divide the mixture between the two prepared tins and bake for 12 – 15 minutes.

Turn the cakes onto a wire rack and leave to cool.

 

Whisk the mascarpone and icing sugar until smooth.

Pour the in the fresh cream and whisk for a few seconds.

Add a little more fresh cream if the mixture is too thick.

 

Place the cooled sponge on a serving platter.

Spread half the cream over the sponge.

Scatter half the raspberries over the cream and sandwich with the second cake.

Top the cake with the remaining cream and garnish with raspberries.

 

 

My hips don’t lie!

Yudhika's Berry Cream Roll

Yudhika’s Berry Cream Roll

How can I possibly resist sharing this recipe with you???

It’s another one of my decadent desserts that tempt me to indulge with wild abandon. ‘Wild abandon’ desserts is probably not what I need right now but you only live once!

There is another busy day on the cards in my world…with a corset fitting in just over an hour at Arwen Garmentry in Parkhurst. But before I head off, I am going to share the recipe and then tuck into a thick slice of luscious berry cream roll. I have to after all give the Corsetiere something to shape, pull at and lace up!

Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie track is going to go platinum today!

Berry Cream Roll

Ingredients

4 large eggs, separated
20ml castor sugar
80ml castor sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
20ml lemon juice
30ml cold water
200ml cake flour
5ml baking powder
Pinch of salt

Filling:
200ml fresh cream
10ml sugar
Drop of vanilla essence
1 punnet fresh berries
Castor sugar, to dust cake

Here’s how:

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius.
Grease and line a swiss roll baking tin.
Place the egg whites into a Kenwood mixing bowl.
Whisk the egg whites and gradually add 20ml castor sugar.
Place the egg yolks in a mixing bowl and whisk with a Kenwood electric beater.
Gradually add the 80ml sugar while whisking continuously.
When the egg yolks are light and fluffy, add the lemon zest and juice.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the egg yolks.
Fold the mixture taking care not to over mix the batter.
Lastly fold in the stiff egg whites.
Make sure the ingredients are well combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin.
Use a spatula to evenly spread the batter.
Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when the sponge is tested.
Remove the cake from the oven and turn out onto a slightly damp tea towel.
Remove the baking paper and trim the edges of the sponge.
Roll the sponge as quickly as possible and leave to cool.

For the filling:
Whisk the fresh cream with sugar and vanilla essence until stiff.

To assemble…
Unroll the sponge and spread a layer of cream over.
Sprinkle the raspberries over and tightly roll the sponge up again.
Dust the cake with castor sugar and serve slices with berries on the side.