Today I'll share a cake decoration tutorial first time on my blog...

      I love baking and I love to do decorative cakes as and when I get a chance to make one. I do birthday cakes for all in my family. I am an amateur and still learning. But I know practice makes all perfect. So I never miss a chance to practice.


 This train cake I made on my twin sons' birthday this year who love trains. This year it was just family function and I was in short of time to make a elaborate birthday cake. But I had to fulfill their demand too. So, I made a train cake which needs very less time to make and assemble.

   I made an eggless and butterless lemon sponge cake. You'll get the recipe here. You can also make an eggless Vaanilla flavoured sponge cake too, get the recipe here. You can also opt for a Chocolate cake too. Here is the recipe for Chocolate cake(eggless) and chocolate cake(with egg). For making this cake, you need 2 8-9" loaf cake.


Now for the decoration and assemble part :

1. First I made two cakes in loaf form. Then cut in small rectangular portions to make the compartments of the train.
2. I made a buttercream frosting and coloured with different colour and then assemble them in a shape of a train.
3. Then I decorated them with colored Gems and other colored goodies. For wheels I used Oreo cookies.


How to make buttercream frosting :
  • 21/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened in room temperature
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tblsp. milk or as needed 
  • food color for coloring the frosting
 How To :
  • In a bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter electric mixer on low speed. Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk.
  • Gradually add just enough milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar. 

How To Assemble :
  • Make the cake beforehand and cool. It should be in room temperature. Now cut the cake into small pieces for train compartments. 4 to 5 is enough or you can add more if you want. I made For the engine, I took a big piece and cut a small triangular piece diagonally from the front. 
  • Divide the frosting into 3 to 4 parts and add few drops of different food color to color each frosting. Now apply different color frosting to train compartments.
  • Now assemble all pieces on a serving tray. First put the engine pieces at the front. Then put one train compartments (rectangular pieces) on top of the engine at the back side. Then arrange other compartments(rectangular pieces) one after other in a row. Now your structure is ready and it's time to decorate the train with some goodies kids love.
  • I pasted two Oreo cookies on both sides of each compartments as wheels. Then arranged some colored Gems candies on to of each compartments as train is carrying some goods. You can decorate the train any way you want with other stuffs kids like. I put two yellow Gems as a headlight of the train. And we are done. 
  • It was not very good looking train but I tried my best to decorate the train within 30 mins. time. 
My kids and everyone present in the party enjoyed the cake and that matters the most. If you like the cake or have made this cake using my tutorial, then let me know.

Happy baking and creating wonderful food !!!!!!


   This week, as a part of Kolkata Food Bloggers event, we are posting something on the theme based on "Chef's Challenge", i.e., we are featuring our favorite chef and his/her recipe on our blog. The theme is given by our fellow blogger, Kamalika Chakraborty who blogs at Silence Sings, who happened to be the founder of Kolkata Food Bloggers. She is such a creative person and an amazing photographer too. She runs a homebased bakery and always trying her best to take Kolkata Food Bloggers to a new height. As a blogger also, she posts very useful and easy-to-make recipes. Visit her blogs for some amazing food photos and recipes.

As, we have to feature our favorite chef's recipe for the event, I am featuring Mrs. Tarla Dalal as my favorite Chef. I am following her recipes for long and adapted many in my daily cooking. She has a huge lists of traditional recipes along with some international recipes which are easy-to-follow and healthy too. Here I have found some info about her :   
   "Tarla Dalal (June 1936 – 6 November 2013) was an Indian food writer, chef, cookbook author and host of cooking shows. Her first cook book, The Pleasures of Vegetarian Cooking, was published in 1974. Since then she wrote over 100 books and sold more than 3 million copies. She also ran the largest Indian food web site, and published a bi-monthly magazine, Cooking & More. Her cooking shows included The Tarla Dalal Show and Cook It Up With Tarla Dalal. Though she wrote about many cuisines and healthy cooking, she specialized in Indian cuisine, particularly Gujarati cuisine and Bengali cuisine. She was awarded the Padma Shri by Government of India in 2007, which made her the only Indian from the field of cooking to have been conferred the title. She was also awarded Women of the Year by Indian Merchants' Chamber in 2005. She died on 6 November 2013 following a heart attack.
Over time, her popularity grew and she became a household name, with housewives and chefs swearing by her recipes. Tarla Dalal is credited with introducing and popularising foreign cuisines to the masses. She made vegetarian versions of a lot of non-vegetarian recipes from foreign lands. She revolutionised the cooking industry and is the most sold cookbook author in India. Her books have been translated into languages like Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Dutch and Russian. She also published cooking magazines. In 2007 she started her 'Total Health Series' cookbook series." Source : Wiki.

I  have adapted many of her recipes in my kitchen and I have posted also in my blog. Today I'll share another one of her recipe. Safed Paneer or Paneer in white gravy is a regular in my kitchen and it is one of my daughter's favorite recipes of Paneer. There are many versions of this recipe available, but I found this extremely tasteful and also not so rich. Let's move on to the recipe......



You Need :
Paneer : 1 cup, cubed
Milk : 2 tblsp.
Fresh Cream : 1 tblsp.
Garam Masala : 1/2 tsp.
Salt to taste
Oil/Ghee : 1 tblsp.

To be ground into a smooth paste
Onion : 1 cup chopped
Cashewnut : about 1/3 cup
Garlic : 3-4 big cloves
Green Chilli : 1-2 nos.

How To :
  • Dunk the paneer cubes in a bowl of lukewarm water. No need to fry them. 
  • Heat ghee or oil in a pan, add the prepared paste. Saute in medium flame for 2 minutes. Add the garam masala and salt. Now add milk and cream, cook for another 2-3 minutes stirring continuously.
  • Now add paneer and slowly mix. Add 1/2 cup of water and cook on a medium flame till gravy thickens. 
  • Serve hot with roti or any Indian flatbread.
This was a small tribute to the great chef Mrs. Tarla Dalal.

This is going to be a part of Kolkata Food Blogger's Chef's Challenge event.

    In today’s busy life, there comes often the moment when we thought if we could have gotten just an extra hour in a day, so that we could have completed some office work or studies or something very important. On those days when 24 hours are not enough, we need some one-pot wonders, so that we can save some time by cooking just one wholesome dish and we are done cooking and one pot to clean so there also we can save some precious time.
      I always look out for one-pot meals so that I can save some time to finish some important chores. Today I’ll share an one-pot Mexican Pasta for that you just need a big pot, a lid and a ladle. That’s all. And off course need some pasta, veggies or chicken too. So let’s proceed to the recipe……


You Need : 
Pasta of your choice(Penne, Fusilli, Macaroni, Rigatoni etc.)
Vegetables(carrots, potatoes, bell peppers, corn etc.)
Chicken Breast/chicken sausage: cut into bite-size pieces
Tomato : 3, pureed
Onion : 2, sliced
Garlic : 4, big cloves, chopped
Paprika or red chilli powder : 1-2 tsp.
Cumin powder ; 1 tsp.
Chicken broth : 2 cups
Milk : 2 cups
Cheese : ½ cup, grated
Salt and black pepper to taste
Oil : 1-2 tblsp.
Taco seasoning : 1 tblsp. (if available)

How To: 
  • Take a deep and wide pan, heat oil, add chicken breast stripes/chicken sausages and in medium heat sauté for 2-3 minutes with salt added from all sides. In the same pan, add sliced onion, sauté for a minute, then add potatoes and carrots and sauté for another 2 minutes. Lastly add capsicum/bell peppers and corn. Saute for just a minute.
  • Now add chopped garlic cloves and tomato puree, Paprika or red chilli powder, cumin powder, mix it all well. Then add chicken broth and uncooked pasta. Let it boil in medium heat till broth dries up.The pasta, chicken and veggies will be almost cooked by now.
  • Now lower the heat to low, and add milk slowly into the pan. Do not increase the heat, as milk can curdle. In slow heat, let pasta cook some more. Add grated cheese, season with salt and black pepper according to your taste.
 
  • Lastly, add taco seasoning if you have, otherwise just skip it. When milk dries up and pasta, chicken and veggies are cooked and you have a creamy pasta, remove from heat. You can sprinkle some chilli flakes if you want just before serving.
  


Bon Apetit !!!!!!!!!!! 
 Sending this one-pot wonder dish to Kolkata Food Blogger's Online event, theme : One Pot Meal, theme is brainchild of fellow KFBian, Chitrangada who blogs @Colors and Spices, an amazing food blogger and photographer. Visit her blog for many such wonderful  recipes and visual treats.
 

     There is no better feeling than baking a bread for your family. We Indians, mostly prepare our meals at home which is fresh and off course healthiest rather than eating in a restaurant. With that if you can also make bread for your family, there is nothing like that but unfortunately, in today's busy life it is quite impossible to make every food we eat at home.
      But recently, when I read an article that the bread we are buying from market, adds an additive to prolong its shelf life, is cancerous, I've decided to bake my bread at home whenever we feel like eating it and also making more Indian breakfast fresh at home. Nowadays, people are being slow-poisoned everyday from every food we buy from market.
      In this verge of making bread at home, I was one day looking for an easy bread-making recipe which needs no yeast proofing, as I was out of it. And my good luck, I found an easy bread making video on YouTube which was a life-saver for me. It was just like we make our chapati dough, put the dough on oven and bake. You'll get a healthy loaf in no time without much hassle.
     I found the recipe really easy and helpful for many, so thought of sharing with you all. As I was making the bread for first time, I didn't take the step-by-step pics but next time I make, will definitely update this space with pics. You can check the recipe video here : https://www.youtube.co/watch?v=O5nCeq05cis
  

You need:
All-purpose Flour : 1 and 1/2 cup
Whole-wheat flour : 1 cup
Milk : 2 cups(in room temperature)
Vinegar : 1-2 tblsp.
Milk powder : 2 tblsp.
Sugar : 1 tblsp.(powdered)
Salt : 1 tsp.
Baking Powder : 1 tsp.
Baking Soda : 1/2 tsp.
Butter/oil: 1-2 tblsp.

How To :
  • Take both the flours in a large bowl. Sieve 2 times before you proceed. In the milk,a dd vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes. You'll see milk is curdling, this is nothing other than buttermilk. when milk totally curdles, give a good stir with a spoon and keep aside.
  • Then in the wide bowl, add baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and milk powder( milk powder makes the bread taste really good). Mix all well. Now slowly add prepared buttermilk little by little and try to bind the flour. Use the whole milk and make a sticky dough. lastly add 1 tblsp. oil in the dough and knead again. The dough will be a sticky gooey after you use the whole milk. Knead for another 2-3 minutes. 
  • Now prepare your baking pan, I used a load pan, grease it with 1/2 tsp oil or butter and then dust with flour. Shake off the excess flour. Now your baking pan is ready. 
  • Preheat your baking tray at 180 degree C. Pour your sticky bread dough carefully in the baking pan, dab a little oil on the top of the dough and cut the center of the bread dough lengthwise with a knife, so that bread bakes well from the center.  Now first bake it in the middle rack for 20 minutes in 180 degree, then lower the temperature to 170 degree and bake for another 25-30 minutes. 
  • Once your bread is done, let it rest for 10-20 minutes. Then apply little melted butter over the top of the bread to keep the bread moist. When it comes to room temperature, remove from baking tray and cool on wire rack until it completely cools down.
  • It is best to use the bread next day, that means cool it overnight and use it the next morning. 

 If anyone has any queries regarding this recipe, then write your questions in comment section. Try this recipe and a special thanks to the person in the video.


     This is one of the most favorite dishes of Bengalis which is completely vegetarian that means no onion and no garlic added in making gravy or making these lentil cakes. Dhoka is a shallow fried cake made from two types of lentils(dal) and then cooked in a curry with potato and very little spices, sums up Dhokar Dalna. Dalna, is a cooking term that means any vegetables or eggs cooked in a medium thick gravy seasoned with ground spices, specially with Garam masala and a touch of ghee.


     You all must be wondering why this dish is called "Dhokar Dalna". I am not sure how this highly addictive lentil cakes got its name as Dhoka which literally means "Cheat". But I have a theory. I think, from outside you won't realize how awesome this dish tastes. When you will taste, you will be surprised, in a good way, off course. When you are bored with your regular cooking, try this dish out. It's a mouth watering dish...may be I am little overboard....bec' I love this dish.
      This is one of the niramish(veg.) dish of bengalis. For bengalis, niramish or completely veg. means not only no meat, no fish, no egg, but also no onion and garlic. Specially, in fasting days or on some puja days, there will be no onion cooking at homes. This is one of the recipe which is cooked on those puja days. In Bengali Cuisine, most of the veg. dishes are without onions and cooked with very less oil and less spices to make vegetable more nutritious.


Now to the recipe.............................

You Need :
For making Dhoka/Lentil Cake :
Cholar dal (chana dal/bengal gram) : 1/2 cup
Matar dal (yellow split pea) : 1/2 cup (if you don't have matar dal, only cholar dal also works fine-then take 1 cup of it)
Ginger Paste : 1 tsp.
Green chillies : 1-2 or as much you want
Salt to taste
Sugar : 1 tsp.
Roasted cumin seed  powder : 2 tsp.(take 1 tsp. cumin seeds and roast them on a tawa until light brown and grind them into powder)
For the curry :
Potato : 1 or 2, parboiled and cubed
Tomato : 1, medium, chopped
Ginger : 1" (grated)
Green chillies : 2
Turmeric powder :1 tsp.
Chilli powder : 2 tsp.
Cumin powder : 2 tsp.
Coriander powder : 1tsp.
Ghee/clarified butter : 1 tsp.
Oil : 3-4 tblsp.
To Temper :
Bay leaf :1
Cardamom :2-3
Cinnamon stick :1 (1")
Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp.
Garam masala : 2 tsp.

How To :
  • Wash and soak two types of lentils overnight. Drain water and grind the lentils with 1-2 green chillies to a paste with very little water (as needed) in a mixer.
  • In the lentil mixture, add 1 tsp. ginger paste, season with salt, little sugar, if you like add little chilli powder (optional) and roasted cumin seed powder. Mix all of them well.
  • Now heat a pan, pour 1 tblsp. oil, pour the lentil mixture over it and in low flame stir it until all the moisture evaporates and lentil mixture looks dry and sticky but not completely dry.
 
  • Grease a wide plate with little oil. Pour the lentil mixture evenly on the plate and spread it with the back of a spoon in about 1 inch high. Press lightly with your spoon so that it sets properly. Cool and cut into square or diamond shapes. These dhokas set in about 30-40 minutes.
 
  • Heat 2 tblsp. of oil and fry the dhokas in medium flame to light brown on both sides. Do not over-fry them, then the curry won't go inside the dhokas and don't fry so little then dhokas will break easily in the curry. Remove and keep aside. Fry the potatoes in the same oil with little salt to light brown and keep aside.
 
  • To make the gravy, heat a pan with 1 tblsp. oil, add bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and cumin seeds. when all the whole spices turn little brown, add rest of the ginger paste and tomatoes together. Stir till tomatoes turn soft.
  • Add turmeric, chilli, cumin and coriander powder and mix well with tomatoes. when masala is cooked and oil separates from the spices, add potatoes. Then add about two small cups of water and salt. When the potatoes are half-cooked, then add the dhokas and simmer for 4-5 minutes. (Note : do not stir so often and vigorously, dhokas will break)
  • Potatoes will be cooked by then and gravy will be also thick after 5 minutes, now sprinkle garam masala powder and little ghee over it. Cook for another minute or two in low flame and take the pan off the heat. Dhokar dalna is ready to serve.

  • Serve with plain rice or chapati or puri. Try this out when you want to eat something light yet delicious food or in your fasting days. You'll be hooked to this dish, that I can guarantee.......

Hi All!!!
This post is to inform you that Recipe Junction hos moved to its own domain. We have just moved from riappyayan.blogspot.com to www.recipejunction.in
Don't worry. If you have bookmarked any recipes to previous address, all will work properly. Keep visiting me and supporting me like before. Thanks in Advance....................



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