Friday, March 10, 2017

1-2-3-4 cake or Sponge cake or Basic Vanilla Cake

Happy 8th Birthday "Lemon n Spice"

In this happy occasion i am sharing my favorite sponge cake ever. Vanilla cake is also known as 1-2-3-4 cake which means, 1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups flour and 4 eggs. You can Half this recipe easily to make it an Evening tea cake. This is a standard cake in my house as it works perfectly for any fondant cake. Butter flavor from a vanilla cake with a light and fluffy texture makes it the base of any birthday or celebration cakes.  



Basic cake or 1234 cake or sponge cake
How to make a simple Vanilla Cake / Basic Sponge Cake Recipe for Beginners:


Ingredients : 

Unsalted Butter : 1 Cup, at room temperature
Granulated White Sugar : 2 Cups (I usually take 1 3/4 Cup)
All purpose flour/ Maida3 Cups
Large Eggs : 4, at room temperature
Milk : 1 Cup, oom temperature
Baking Powder : 1 tablespoon
Vanilla Extract : 2 teaspoon
Salt :1/2 teaspoon

Recipe for the fool proof Vanilla Cake: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) with rack in center of oven. 

2. Butter or spray the bottom of  two 9-inch x 2 inch (23 x 5 cm) cake pans. Then line the bottoms of the pans with parchment or wax paper, then spray the paper.

3. In a bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt three times.

4. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter until soft and creamy (about 1-2 minutes). Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). 

5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture (in three additions) and milk (in two additions), beginning and ending with the flour. 

6. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans, smoothing the tops with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Bake 27 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in center. 

7. Place the cakes on a wire rack to cool, in their pans, for about 10 minutes. Then invert the cakes onto a greased rack. Remove the parchment or wax paper and re-invert cakes so that tops are right side up. Cool completely before frosting.

Happy Cooking,
Lena

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

How to make Padavalanga Thoran



Padavalanga thoran recipe Kerala style

Recipe for Kerala Padavalanga / Snakeguard thoran
Cooking time:15min, preparation time:5min, Level: Easy, Cuisine: Kerala
Ingredients :

Snakeguard / Padavalanga: 1, medium sized / 2 cups chopped
Coconut oil: 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Urad daal: 1/4 tsp
Dry red chilies: 2
Salt

To Coarse Grind: 

Shredded coconut: 1/2 cup
Curry leaves: 1 spring
Shallots / kunjulli: 3, peeled
Garlic: 1 clove
Green chilly: 2
Cumin seeds/ Jeerakam: 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp


Directions for Kerala Dry Padavalanga thoran without daal / Parippu:

1.Wash and scrape the snake guard / Padavalanga. Cut it lengthwise and discard the seeds and soft parts with a spoon. Now cut each into small cubes and keep aside.

2. In the small jar of the mixer, combine all ingredients listed under "to coarse grind" and crush together without water. 

3.  Heat coconut oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When it splutters add the dry chilies and Urad daal. Stir well until Urad daal changes its color to golden brown. Add the chopped snake guard / Padavalanga and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

4.  Now combine the ground cumin-coconut mixture with the snake gourd / Padavalanga. Give a quick stir and add the salt. Cover and cook till the veggies are done.

5. Serve hot with matta rice, curd, pickle, and pappad.

Enjoy!!!
Lena


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Rithika's Lego Friends 7th Birthday Party

Homemade lego friends birthday party
We had finalized an  "Ariel " themed birthday party months before. Based on this  I had gone ahead and designed a blue underwater-themed cake and ordered the moulds and related stuffs from Amazon really early. My daughter Changed the Birthday theme from " Ariel" to "Lego friends" three weeks before the birthday. I had no idea how to pull it on time. Luckily I was able to assemble the party one brick at a time. 

Homemade lego friends birthday party

I started the preparations one week before the party. Garland, tassels, and Tissue paper pom-Poms were the first on the list. My husband did the Backdrop - 3D Lego friends logo and the photos.

Lego friends birthday Party invitation by her dad

Chocolate topped Rice Krispie Treats 
Lego friends themed Birthday Cupcake with Lego men Chocolate candy

Lego Moulded Chocolate candies

Rithika's Lego Friends 7th Birthday Party cake 

 Lego birthday party activity: DIY Lego necklace making Kit

How to make DIY Lego necklace activity kit for a birthday party: We bought thin pink blocks from Lego shop along with special elements. Thread and clasp were from my daughter's jewelry making kit. Made a hole on Lego with a hobby drill. Put 10 pieces in each goodie bag for the activity. Kids loved it.

Our Birthday girl 
Another photo of the homemade Lego friend's birthday party cake for my daughter

Lego birthday party goodie bags
Rithika's Lego Friends 7th Birthday Party 


Enjoy,

Lena




Thursday, January 12, 2017

Restaurant Style Mushroom Dry Masala


Mushrooms are known as "The Taste of Earth". Healthy, versatile mushrooms are an excellent addition to your plate. They’re fat-free, low in calories-about 20 calories per one cup sliced—and high in vitamins and minerals. Today I am uploading my most favorite mushroom recipe. I believe, it tastes better than any non-veg dry fry I have ever made.


Restaurant Style Mushroom Dry Masala
Recipe for Restaurant style mushroom dry masala / Mushroom stir fry with indian spices
cooking time :20 minutes, serves : 4, Vegetarian side dish for Roti / Chappathi

Ingredients:

Button Mushroom : 400g, chopped
Ginger garlic paste : 1tbsp ( ginger 3/4 inch piece and Garlic 3 medium cloves)
Onion : 1 medium or 1Cup, finely chopped
Tomato : 1, finely chopped
Bay leaf : 1
Cinnamon stick : 2 inch piece
Clove : 2
Cardamom : 2
Chilly powder : 1 tsp
Cumin powder : 1 tsp
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder : 1 tsp
Garam Masala : 1/2 tsp
Cilantro / Malliyila : 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Salt
Oil : 1 tbsp

For Thadka / Seasoning

Butter : 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder : 1/4 tsp
Garlic : 3, finely chopped 

Directions for Restaurant style Mushroom dry Masala / Mushroom dry fry:

Restaurant Style Mushroom Dry Masala

1. Heat oil in a kadai and add whole spices- bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom. Now add in the onion and saute till they become translucent. Fry the ginger garlic paste. 

2. Add Tomato and saute till the water evaporates and the raw taste goes off.. Add the salt and spice powders - Chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala. Saute for a minute or two.

3. Add the washed, cleaned and chopped mushrooms and combine with the masala. Cover and cook in medium flame till the gravy is thick.

4. Meanwhile, Heat butter in another thadka pan and add the cumin seeds. When it splutters, add finely chopped garlic and give a quick stir. Add the pepper powder and stir fry for a minute.

5. Pour this over the Mushroom masala and dry roast till the gravy/masala coats on mushroom pieces and oil comes on top. garnish with cilantro and turn off the flame.

6. This Mushroom Dry masala goes very well with Chappathi / roti / pulao and ghee rice.

Similar Recipes using Mushrooms,
Enjoy!!!
Lena