Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dobos Torte - Daring Bakers Challenge - Aug 09

This is my second entry to the Daring Bakers Challenge and it has been an exciting journey so far and I do want to continue participating.

The August 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular DobosTorte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers' cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

Dobos torte is a famous Hungarian cake, famous also in Slovakia, invented by and named after a well-known Hungarian confectioner, József C. Dobos (1847-1924) in 1884. It is a five-layer sponge cake, layered with chocolate butter cream and topped with thin caramel slices. The sides of the cake are sometimes coated with ground hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts or almonds but the original cake is without coat, since it was a slice of a big cake. Dobos's aim was to make a cake that would last longer than other pastries, in an age when cooling techniques were limited. The caramel topping helps keep the cake from drying out. The cake is also often called 'Dobos-torta' or 'Dobostorta'. Source: Wikipedia

This is an amazing dessert to present for a gathering, party or just on a special occasion. I have tweaked this recipe based on my comfort infact made it much easier.

· 6 eggs, separate yolks from whites
· 2/3 cup sugar
· 1 tsp vanilla essence
· 2/3 cup Whole Wheat flour + 1 tbsp
Chocolate ButterCream:
· 1 cup sugar
· 2 tsp water
· 1 cup butter
· 3 tbsp cocoa powder
Caramel :
· 2/3 cup Sugar
· 1 tsp of sugar
· 1 tsp water


  • Beat the egg yolk and set it aside.

  • Now beat the egg white along with the 1 tbsp of Wheat Flour.

  • Now add the sugar (Powdered) into the egg white mixture till stiff.

  • Slowly incorporate the egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture.

  • Add the vanilla essence.

  • Pour this mixture into a flat baking tray in a thin layer.

  • Bake it in a preheated oven (150 Deg C) for about 8-10 minutes. You can use butter paper for better results.

  • Now prepare the chocolate buttercream by melting the butter, water and the sugar together. Once they melt let cool and then add the cocoa powder and combine to a smooth consistency.

  • The cake needs to sandwiched between a layer of this chocolate buttercream.

  • Now reserve the top most layer of the cake since this needs to have the carmel topping. You may need to cut in trainagular shapes and arrange it on a flat tray.

  • Caramlize the sugar with a tsp or two of water on medium heat. You may need to add a few drops of lemon juice to stop the sugar from crystallizing.

  • Now when the sugar is caramelized this mixture needs to be poured on to the top most layer.

  • You can serve the cake immediately or may be keep it in the refrigerator for sometime before serving it.
  • Sunday, August 23, 2009

    Modak - Food of Gods

    Today we celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi or Chavati with great love and devotion towards the most intellectual of Gods among the Hindu Gods and Godesses.

    Now everyone makes different types of sweets to entice him and each part of India has a special sweetmeat made for him. For he is supposed to be one great foodie among all the gods :)
    As kids we used to wait for this day and would enjoy it thouroughly and feast on all the delicacies made by our aunts and grandmas.

    In Western India there are mainly two sweets prepared as an offering. One bieng Appo and the other being Modak.

    Appo is more like the Indian version of the Danish Æbleskiver made with Wheat Flour, Jaggery, Coconut and Cardomom. I will post the recipe to make this soon. Oh! there is a savoury version of this Appo too but that is made for breakfast and not for offering.

    I usually prepare Modak as offering. So that is the story behind this blog post.

    Now there many different variants for preparing modak. One is the steamed version prepared with rice flour and the other is the deep fried version which is what I made this time.

    The ingredients are as follows:

    • Wheat Flour - 1 1/2 Cup
    • Chiroti Sooji (Semolina) - 1/2 Cup
    • Grated Coconut - 1 cup
    • Jaggery - 3/4 Cup
    • Cardomom - 1 pod powdered
    • Clarified Butter or Ghee - 1 tbsp
    • Water - 1/2 cup
    • Cashewnuts -5-6
    • Raisins -10-12
    • Oil for frying


    1. Mix the Wheat Flour and the Semolina along with water and make a stiff dough.
    2. Add some oil to this and knead till it is pliable dough. Set aside.
    3. Now take the Ghee in a wok and one it is how add the coconut, Jaggery and the cardomom mixture to this and fry till the jaggery melts.
    4. This may take a while. Once done add the broken cashewnuts and raisins and mix well.
    5. Turn off the heat and let this mixture cool.
    6. Now take a small portion of the dough and roll it into a poori. Basically you need to get the round shape which will fit in your palm.
    7. Take a little bit of the coconut mixture and keep it right in the middle and now seal the ends by pulling the edges towards you. The photograph above may help you decipher that.
    8. Once done you will need to take oil in a wok and once the oil is hot enough fry these modaks in oil till they are light brown.
    9. Modaks are ready to be served or offered.


    Kids really love this. Try it ;-)

    Friday, August 7, 2009

    Peanut Butter Cookies

    I found that preschoolers have a keen sense of what is new, always relate the adverts with stuff on sale on the supermarket shelf.

    In fact even though they are all in the process of learning to read, anything that has "Free" written on it gets their attention first and they are bent upon convincing us to buy these freebies. Again I blame all the ads for their liberal use of "Free" for this phenomenon.

    Now one such item that came up in recent time was the introduction of peanut butter by a very popular oil brand. The advert showed a child with lot of strength enough to pull huge table. Okay so much for that. Now this is the precursor. Since this kind of prompted by son to get me into buying this thing.

    We ended up buying it and after a couple of weeks into it I found he just got over this advert and his interest to eat it as well. Sadly it was only available in medium jar only leaving me with lot of peanut butter to eat. As I am not one of those gifted with amazing metabolism I was not keen on having it anyway and thought of various alternatives that can be possible.

    That's when I came across these cookies. I have tweaked the original recipe slightly. This cookie I found to be more of a cross between the granola bar and the normal cookie. It is healthy, tasty and chewy. My son unknowingly had to have it anyways and he did enjoy having them.
    Now for the ingredients:

    o 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
    o 1/2 tsp baking powder
    o 1/2 tsp baking soda
    o 1/4 tsp salt
    o 1/2 cup Jaggery Powdered
    o 1/2 cup sugar
    o 2 tbsp Ghee
    o 1 large egg
    o 1/2 cup peanut butter
    o 1/4 cup mashed banana
    o 1 1/2 -2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
    o 1/2 Cup Raisins


    1. Preheat the oven to a 175 Deg C.
    2. Mix all the dry ingredients first.
    3. Now one by one add the wet ingredients and fold it into the dry mixture. This can be done by a spatula and you do not need any other kitchen aid.

    4. Once done you may need to check the consistency of the batter. It should be good enough like a Puri Dough. If it is liquid add more oats or Flour. If it is very dry add a few drops of milk till it binds well.
    5. Now make it into small balls and drop them onto the baking sheet flattening it slightly.
    6. Bake it for about 10-12 minutes or till the edges are brown.
    7. These cookies I found will not be so crisp as the rest of them but will have a certain chewiness about them.
    8. Perfect as a munch. Healthy and tasty! Enjoy!

    Sunday, August 2, 2009

    Mint Tomato Chutney

    I seriously did not get any time to post leisurely as I usually do and hence this entry. This is a quick chutney that I came across sometime back and is a instant success within my family and friends.

    The ingredients are easy to find and voila there you have it!! A quick fix to "what should I be having with chapati or rice". Since it goes well with both.

    Not to mention that you can use it as a dip for any of your veg or non-veg starters. So much for its introduction.

    Now for the ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp til white (dry roasted)

  • 1 bunch of mint leaves

  • 8-10 garlic pods

  • 1-2 red chillies

  • Salt

  • Jeera (2 tsp)

  • Tomatoes (2- Medium sized)

  • A marble sized ball of tamarind or equal amount of Yogurt

  • Oil (1 tsp)

  • Method:

  • Heat oil in a wok. Add the jeera and once it splutters add the garlic pods and the Red chillies. Fry for some time.

  • Now add the washed,chopped mint leaves. Fry till they wilt. Add the tamarind into this and fry for some time.

  • Once done add the tomatoes and fry till they are cooked. That will take a few minutes. At this point in time you may add some salt. It is always advisable to add some more later after tasting the chutney.

  • Now let this mixture cool.In the meanwhile grind the dry roasted til into a fine powder.

  • Add the cooled mixture and pulse for a couple of minutes. Your Tomato mint chutney is ready