Caramel Drizzle Wattalapam Cake

Having celebrated Iftar with Muslim family friends since I was a kid, Ramadan season is a special month at home especially since my mother starts making Iftar themed treats.

One of the special treats she concocted this month is the Caramel Drizzle Wattalapam Cake, a cake twist on the traditional Wattalapam pudding dessert from the Malay cuisine of Sri Lanka. Wattalapam, a popular Sri Lankan dessert, is a steamed pudding made from coconut milk, eggs and jaggery (palm sugar).

cake slice

Hope you try out a slice of this tasty cake! Ramadan Mubarak!

I am bringing this cake over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday #125, co-hosted this week by Elaine@Foodbod and Quinn@Dad What’s 4 Dinner and for the first time over to Saucy Saturdays #50, hosted by The Flavor Bender, La Petit Chef, Mid-Life Croissant, Take Two Tapas.

Caramel Drizzle Wattalapam Cake

  • Servings: 4 or 5
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: average
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Ingredients:

  • Coconut milk – 1 cup, thick
  • Jaggery – 1 cup, crushed
  • Eggs – 2
  • Margarine or butter – 1/2 cup
  • Semolina – 1 cup
  • Flour – 1 cup
  • Baking powder – 2 tsp
  • Baking soda – pinch
  • Crushed cardamom – 1 tsp
  • Vanilla essence

Caramel drizzle:

  • Sugar – 3 or 4 tbsp

Method

  • Sift the flour and add the baking powder and soda.
  • Whisk together the butter, milk, jaggery and eggs.
  • Add the vanilla essence and crushed cardamom.
  • Add the flour mix to the wet ingredients bowl and mix.
  • Bake for approx. ½ hour at 150C.

oven fresh

  • Transfer cake to serving tray and let it cool, while you prepare the caramel syrup.
  • Heat the sugar over low heat till it caramelizes.
  • Drizzle the caramel syrup over the cake.

Loaf cake

  • Slice and serve with a cup of Sri Lankan tea.

cake slice

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Breuder

During Christmas season, the popular cake/ bread that is ordered from bakeries in Sri Lanka is the breuder. This is a speciality of the Burgher cuisine of Sri Lanka. I had been trying for some time to find someone to contribute a home-made recipe of this delicious bread. I was delighted to finally come across another blogger and invited him to share his family recipe on this blog as well. Here is the guest post of Paul van Reyk, from My Buth Kuddeh food site, with his introduction to his family tradition of baking breuder and his recipe. Wishing you all a merry Christmas!

No Christmas at our house in Sri Lanka was complete without my grandmother’s breuder. It’s basically a cakey bread, based on a yeasted dough but with the sweetness of a sponge cake, related to Italian pannetone. It’s a direct entry into Sri Lanka cuisine via the Dutch Broodtulband named for the fluted ‘turban’ shaped mould used to make it. Further embedding the Dutch connection, brueder is traditionally eaten in Sri Lankan Burgher households in slices covered in butter and topped with a thick slice of Edam cheese. There is something very festive about that red waxy ball which sliced open reveals a pale European sun yellow cheese. Making the breuder, I am transported back to the kitchen of my childhood, watching my grandmother knead the dough, having the thrill of buttering the mould and pressing sultanas against the sides anxious that they stay in place, full of expectation as it was taken to my uncles house across the road as we didn’t have an oven, and then the excitement of un-moulding this magical transformation of so few ingredients hoping desperately that it comes away cleanly. The smile on grannie’s face when it does was more rewarding almost than the first bite into its soft, crumby heart.

breuder

Breuder

  • Time: 3 hours + overnight dough-proofing
  • Difficulty: difficult
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Ingredients:

  • 500gms plain flour
  • 50 gms butter
  • baker’s yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • water
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 250 gms caster sugar
  • 125 gms currants or sultanas or raisins or a mixture of them

Method:

  1. Make the dough the night before. Take as much yeast as is recommended for your particular yeast for making bread with 500 gms of flour (it can vary so read the packet or ask when you buy it), add the yeast and the sugar to a little hot water to get the yeast started. It will froth slightly. When it’s bubbling happily, add this to the flour and mix in well. Now slowly add water and keep mixing until you have a lump of dough that lifts easily out of the bowl or off the board. Knead it for 10 minutes or so. Put it in a bowl, cover the bowl with a damp tea-towel and leave it in a warm place to rise overnight.
  1. The next day, take the dough and add to it the butter, egg yolks and sugar. Add the first three yolks separately and mix in well each time. Then add the others also one at a time alternating with dollops of the caster sugar till it is all used up. What you will have now is a very thick wet doughy batter.
  1. Butter a turban mould. Put a good sprinkle of whatever dried fruit you are using on the bottom. Squish some dried fruit against the sides of the mould, too. Pour in the batter. Sprinkle more of the dried fruit on top of the batter. If you like, and I do, you can mix some dried fruits into the batter, too.
  1. Leave this in a warm place, the mould covered with a damp cloth, for 1 or 2 hours until it rises again (it won’t rise as much as the dough did overnight).
  1. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to very hot – around 220C.
  1. When the dough has risen the second time, put the mould in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Check at that stage that the breuder is cooked by poking a bamboo skewer or similar into the dough. If it comes out clean, your breuder is ready. If it doesn’t, give the breuder 10 – 15 minutes more.

Tip: Putting some baking/greaseproof/brown paper on the top will reduce the likelihood of the dried fruit burning.

  1. When it’s cooked, take it out of the oven and leave it to cool in the mould. You should then be able to give the mould a good thump and have the brooder come cleanly out of it.

Resist all temptation to ice or otherwise muck around with the breuder! Just slice it up and have some butter and Edam or cheddar cheese to have it with. But you are allowed to make summer pudding with the left over breuder if you like, or indeed any of those bread pudding dishes.

Recipe source: Paul van Reyk

Surprise Delight

This week’s recipe is from Trevor Martil, who shares another of his mother’s favourite recipes – a dessert she named ‘surprise delight.’ I am bringing this recipe together with some lovely songs, from a country I visited three years ago, to Fiesta Friday.

While there were several highlights of my trip, the most inspiring was the visit to Robben Island. And yes, I was also introduced to some south African music while there. Today’s music features some of the South African music that I enjoyed starting with Mama Afrika – Miriam Makeba.

The other clip for today is from the Soweto Gospel Choir.

Hope you enjoyed the music and do send me your feedback if you try out the recipe given below! 🙂

Surprise Delight

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 1 - 2 hours
  • Difficulty: average
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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons low sugar mixed fruit jam
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed fruit cordial
  • 1 can cocktail fruits
  • 1 tablespoon condensed milk
  • 2 cups cake crumbs
  • 60g cashew nuts
  • 60g sugar
  • 3 dessertspoons corn flour
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin or agar-agar
  • 1 packet strawberry jelly (jelly, 2 cups water, 15g china moss)

Method:

  1. Mix cake crumbs with mixed fruit jam, cashew nuts and press into shallow dish. Leave to set.
  2. Add cordial, water, corn flour, gelatin to a pan and cook till it thickens.
  3. Take off heat, add condensed milk and stiffly beat in egg whites.
  4. Mash mixed fruits, spread over cake crumbs.
  5. Pour the cordial custard over it.
  6. Make the jelly.
  7. Once set, chop the jelly and spread it over the custard.
  8. Sprinkle nuts.
  9. Chill and serve.

Recipe source: Trevor Martil.

Peanut Chocolate Cake

Today, I wish to re-post a delicious chocolate cake recipe of my mother that I had posted last year.

Today’s music features Arabic pop. The first clip is a song, by Samira Said and Cheb Mami, that has special meaning to me. Sometimes when I am stuck in my writing process, I turn to music to clear my head and focus. The type of music that helps me at one time does not necessarily help at another time so I usually experiment with a few before I come across the right one for the particular writing. One of the times I faced a writing block was during the writing of my master’s thesis. After several non-productive days and many music listening hours later, I found myself listening to an online Arabic pop radio stream. From the moment, this song came on, I felt very much energized and focused and soon started working on my writing. This was the song that pulled me through the subsequent weeks of thesis writing and as such, I retain a fondness for it.

The next clip is a recent release of Diana Haddad, another Arabic pop singer that I used to listen to.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy this cake!
Peanut chocolate cake

Peanut Chocolate Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 50mins
  • Difficulty: average
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Peanut Chocolate Cake
Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil margarine – ¾ cup + 1 tbsp (for frosting)
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Banana – ½ , as an egg substitute
  • Wheat flour – 1 ½ cup
  • Soya milk – 1 cup
  • Peanut – ½ cup, coarsely ground + 2 tbsp (for frosting)
  • Vanilla – 2 tsp
  • Cocoa powder – 2 tbsp + 1 tsp (for frosting)
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – ½ tsp
  • Icing sugar – 2 tbsp, for frosting

Method:

  1. Sift the dry ingredients – the wheat flour together with the cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda – and keep aside.
  2. Mash the banana in a bowl. Add the margarine and sugar to the bowl and whisk them together.
  3. Gradually add the soya milk and continue whisking.
  4. Stir in the coarsely ground peanuts and vanilla essence.
  5. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients.
  6. Pour the cake batter into a greased tray and bake at 190⁰C/374⁰F for 40 mins.
  7. Whisk 1 tbsp margarine together with 1 tsp cocoa powder, 2 tbsp icing sugar and 2 tsp ground nuts to make the frosting.
  8. Spread evenly on surface of the peanut chocolate cake, after the cake has sufficiently cooled.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Mango Saffron Cake

I wanted to bake a special cake today to celebrate the birthday of a close friend undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and glaucoma. As there was a ripe mango in the fridge, I decided on a mango cake. Thinking of the spice that I could mix with mango in a cake, I decided to try saffron as I had recently tried out kesari in my muffin loaf and had also enjoyed the Cornish saffron bread that I had baked a couple of months back. Therefore, while both my exotic muffin loaf and this mango saffron cake look outwardly similar, the taste is different.
DSC01231 Of course, on this special day, I wish to feature a very special singer – K.S.Chitra whose birthday coincidentally happens to be today as well. One of my favourite singers, Chitra has won six Indian national awards during her 35 years of playback singing as well as was awarded the Padma Shri in 2005. She has had extensive training in Carnatic music.

As I had already shared her first award-winning movie song in the post featuring music composer Ilayarajaa, I will share a beautiful song clip from her devotional song album, Krishnapriya (2005).

The second clip is a lullaby she sang for the Craft (Center for research in assisted reproduction and fetal therapy) hospital and research center. The center shares this song for downloading from their website with the message, “For our emotionally stressed women and men we hereby give a small gift- A Lullaby of hope that will go straight to your hearts- soothe you and transcend you virtually to the wonderful world of parenthood.” Chitra lost her eight-year old daughter in 2011 and resumed her singing with this track.

The last song clip is her award-winning movie song from Cheran’s movie Autograph (2004) featuring actress Sneha and the Comaganin Raaga Priya orchestra. The music was composed by Bharadwaj and performed by the special blind orchestra while the lyrics was written by P.Vijay (who also won an award that year) and sung by Chitra. The clip I chose to share here has roughly translated subtitles (courtesy of YouTube user Antony Rajabala).

Hope you enjoyed today’s music by one of my favourite singers and the lovely cake!
DSC01233

Mango Saffron Cake

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 45mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Roasted semolina – ½ cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – ½ tsp
  • Salt, pinch
  • Vegetable oil margarine – 100g
  • Sugar – 6 tbsp (can add more, as per your taste)
  • Milk (non-fat or vegan substitute) – ½ cup
  • Saffron threads – ¼ tsp
  • Vanilla essence – ½ tsp
  • Mango – 1, chopped
  • Cashew nuts and raisins, to sprinkle

Method:

  1. Heat the milk with the saffron. Once bubbles start to form, remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool.
  2. Sift the flour together with baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the roasted semolina to the dry ingredients bowl and keep aside.
  3. Chop up the mango and add the vanilla essence to the chopped mangoes in a separate bowl. Let the fruits soak in the essence.
  4. Whisk the margarine and sugar together until creamy.
  5. Stir in the saffron milk and continue whisking.
  6. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients bowl, continuously stirring.
  7. Fold in the chopped mangoes and transfer to lightly greased baking pan.
  8. Sprinkle chopped cashew nuts and raisins.
  9. Bake the cake at 170⁰C for around 30 mins. The time will vary depending on the oven.
  10. Let the cake cool off before slicing and serving with a hot cup of Sri Lankan tea. Enjoy!

Ginger Date Cake

As today is my eldest sister’s birthday, I felt like sharing one of her recipes today. I decided to bring one of the cakes she enjoys making to the Fiesta Friday together with some lovely music. The recipe is given below after the music fest.

DSC01177The featured musician today is Hariharan. He trained in both Carnatic and Hindustani music though he is foremost a prominent ghazal singer and has released lots of ghazal albums. While Hariharan started his playback singing in the late 70s in Hindi movies, he was introduced to the south Indian movie world only in the early 90s by A.R.Rahman. Since then, he has been awarded both state and national awards for some of his songs. Hariharan was awarded the Padma Shri award by the Indian government in 2004.

I first chose to share a ghazal piece from the launch of the album Hazir 2, Hariharan’s second one with tabla maestro, Zakir Hussain.

The second clip is from a concert where Hariharan sings with Chitra one of their songs from the movie Love birds, the soundtrack of which was composed by A.R.Rahman.

While selecting the last clip to share here, I was trying to decide between two songs. One used to be very popular on Sri Lankan television in the late 90s, Krishna Nee from the self-titled Colonial Cousins album of the music duo – Hariharan and Leslie Lewis. The other was a Bathiya and Santhush single with Hariharan. Finally, I decided to share the one with the Sri Lankan musicians.

Hope you enjoy the music as well as the cake!

DSC01176

Ginger Date Cake

  • Time: 45mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 250g self-raising flour (optional: can reduce the amount of flour and add roasted semolina ensuring that the total is 250g)
  • 250g margarine
  • 250g sugar
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 250g dates
  • 100g ginger preserve
  • Vanilla essence

Method:

  1. De-seed the dates and chop them up roughly before letting them soak in a bowl of hot tea.
  2. Chop up the ginger preserve separately and keep aside.
  3. Whisk together the margarine and sugar.
  4. Add the egg yolks and the vanilla essence and continue beating the mixture.
  5. Then add some of the flour, chopped dates and ginger preserve, egg white and mix well before repeating the process till all the ingredients have been mixed well.
  6. Bake at 180⁰C for around 25 minutes.

Vegan Christmas Cake

Last week, my mother decided to bake her special vegan christmas cake. While I was initially planning to share this recipe on the 25th, I am sharing it ahead at my mother’s request. It is a delightful cake and I am sure you will enjoy it, if you do try it.

Christmas cake veganVegan Christmas Cake

Vegan christmas cake slicesTime taken: 3 hours

Makes 20 slices

Christmas cakeIngredients:

  • Dates – 1 cup, chopped
  • Raisins – ½ cup
  • Cashewnuts – ¼ cup
  • Almonds – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Caramelized peanuts – ½ cup
  • Cherry – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Chow chow (choko) – ½ cup, chopped
  • Ginger preserve – 1 tbsp
  • Puhul dosi (pumpkin preserve) – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Lemon rind – 1 tsp
  • Orange peel preserve – 1 tbsp
  • Mixed peel – ½ cup
  • Coconut treacle – 4 tbsp
  • Caramel syrup – ¼ cup
  • Almond oil – 3 tbsp
  • Vegetable oil – ¼ cup
  • Mixed spice (Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves) – 2 tsp
  • Thick tea – 1 tbsp
  • Semolina – ½ cup
  • Flour – ½ cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – 2/3 tsp
  • Rose essence – ¼ tsp

Method:

  1. Chop all the ingredients mentioned above (dates, raisins, cashewnuts, peanuts, almonds, chow chow, lemon rind, orange peel preserve, mixed peel, ginger preserve, cherries and puhul dosi/ pumpkin preserve) and mix together in a bowl.
  2. To the bowl, add the liquids stirring them in as you do so. Add the honey, caramel syrup and thick tea and let it soak for about ½ hour.
  3. Mix well before adding the vegetable oil and almond oil. Add the rose essence and cinnamon, cardamom and clove mixed spice to the bowl.
  4. Gradually stir in the semolina.
  5. Sift the flour with the baking powder and soda and add the flour mix to the bowl.
  6. Whisk the contents of the bowl together so that there are no flour lumps anywhere.
  7. Transfer the cake batter to the baking tray and bake at 120⁰C/248⁰F for 1 to 1 ½ hour till the cake is browned at the top and the cake is baked through.
  8. After the cake cools, cut the cake into pieces and wrap the pieces into Christmas wrappings.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.