Triple layer veggie and fruit cake

Today, I will share one of my mother’s latest cake experiments. She got very much caught in her fruit cake series that she wanted to bake this triple layer cake. I call it the cake extravaganza and it very much reminded me of Tian-Tian’s birthday cake with the many ingredients put into it and the time taken. It did taste good, though personally I would have preferred each of the three layers as a separate cake.

Triple layer cake

Triple layer veggie and fruit cake

Time taken: 1 ¾ hours

Serves 15 to 20

Slice of triple layer cakeIngredients:

  • Layer 1 (bottom layer): Beetroot – ½ cup, steamed
  • Layer 2 (middle layer): Apple – ½ and Guava – ½ , Mint leaves – 3 or 4
  • Layer 3 (top layer): Carrot – 1 large, steamed
  • All-purpose flour – 1 ½ cups ( ½ cup for each of the layers)
  • Sugar – ¾ cup ( ¼ cup for each of the layers)
  • Oats – ¾ cup ( ¼ cup for each of the layers)
  • Vegetable oil margarine – ¾ cup ( ¼ cup for each of the layers) + 1 tbsp (for icing)
  • Banana – 3 tbsp, mashed (1 tbsp for each of the layers)
  • Water – ¾ cup ( ¼ cup for each of the layers)
  • Baking soda – ¾ tsp ( ¼ tsp for each of the layers)
  • Baking powder –  1 ½ tsp ( ½ tsp for each of the layers)
  • Vanilla essence – 3 tsp (1 tsp for each of the layers)
  • Lime juice – 5 tbsp + 1 tsp (for icing)
  • Green food colour – 1 tsp (for second layer)
  • Orange food colour – 1 tsp (for third layer)
  • Icing sugar – 4 tbsp (for icing)

Method:

  1. Steam the beetroot and carrot for about 10 mins.
  2. Separately blend the steamed beetroot and carrot in a processor.
  3. Next, finely chop up the apple and guava. Grind a few mint leaves.
  4. Cream ¼ cup margarine and ¼ cup sugar each in three mixing bowls.
  5. To the first bowl, add the pureed beetroot to the mix and to the third bowl, add the pureed carrot to the mix. To the second bowl, add the finely chopped apple and guava together with the ground mint leaves.
  6. Add ¼ cup of oats and 1 tbsp of mashed banana to each of the three bowls and mix well.
  7. Stir in the lime juice (2 tbsp each for the first and third bowl and 1 tbsp for the second bowl) and 1 tsp vanilla essence each, together with ¼ cup of water, to each of the three bowls and beat the respective mixture well.
  8. Add a tsp of green food colour to the second bowl (apple and guava mix) and a tsp of orange food colour to the third bowl (carrot mix)
  9. Divide the flour into three ½ cup flour piles. Sift each with ¼ tsp baking soda and ½ tsp baking powder. Add a sifted ½ cup flour mix to the mixture in each of the three bowls.
  10. Whisk the cake batter until smooth.
  11. Transfer the beetroot cake batter to the baking tray and spread the batter evenly.
  12. Then, transfer the apple, guava and mint cake batter to the baking tray and spread the batter evenly over the beetroot mix to form the middle layer.
  13. Transfer the carrot cake batter on top of the apple batter and spread it evenly.
  14. Bake the cake at 170⁰C/ 338⁰F and bake for 45 mins – 1 hour.
  15. Whisk together 4 tbsp icing sugar, 1 tbsp vegetable margarine and 1 tsp lime to make a light icing and spread it thinly over the cake, after it has cooled.
  16. Slice the cake into 15 or 20 pieces and serve with a cup of plain or fruit tea.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

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Raisins and Walnut cookies

Since there were still some fresh walnuts left at home, my mother decided to bake some of her heart healthy cookies. So, here’s the recipe for her raisins and walnut cookies.

Raisins and Walnuts cookies

Time taken: 35 mins

Makes 22

Walnut cookiesIngredients:

  • Multi-purpose flour – 1 ¼ cups
  • Oats – ½ cup
  • Raisins – 1 tbsp
  • Walnuts – 1 tbsp, chopped
  • Vegetable margarine – ¾ cup
  • Sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Milk or Water – ¼ cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp

Method:

  1. Heat the margarine and sugar in a saucepan over low heat and melt the margarine.
  2. Add ¼ cup of milk or water to the sauce pan and stir well.
  3. Remove from stove and cool.
  4. Add 1 tsp baking powder to the flour and oats. Mix.
  5. Add the flour and oats mix, vanilla essence, raisins and chopped walnuts to the slightly cooled melted margarine sauce. Mix well to ensure that the mixture comes together as cookie dough. Add a little more flour, if the batter is still slightly watery.
  6. Divide the dough into 22 balls and flatten slightly before placing on baking tray.
  7. Bake at 220⁰C/428⁰F for 20 mins.
  8. Cool before serving.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Pomegranate cake

As an amateur cook, I tend to use recipes and follow them precisely. My mother, on the other hand, simply mixes ingredients at hand and whips up delectable stuff. I doubt that she has ever used a written recipe. So, this week, while I have been trying to perfect the baking of challah bread, my mother has been baking different kinds of delicious fruit cakes.

Today’s recipe is for the pomegranate cake she made this week. My mother has labelled it the heart healthy cake.

Pomegranate cake

Time taken: 1 hour

Serves 8

Pomegranate cakeIngredients:

  • Pomegranate juice – ¾ cup (made from 1 cup of pomegranate fruit blended with water; the seeds can be reused by heart patients)
  • Lime juice – 1 tsp
  • Lime rind – 1 tsp
  • Raisins – ½ cup
  • Oats – ½ cup
  • Walnuts – ¼ cup, roasted and chopped
  • Vegetable oil margarine – ½ cup
  • Sugar – ½ cup
  • Multi-purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – ½ tsp
  • Rose essence – few drops
  • Red food colouring – drop or two

Method:

  1. Sift the flour with baking powder and soda and keep aside.
  2. Whisk the margarine and sugar together with 1 tsp lime juice and the lime rind, in a bowl, till creamy and smooth.
  3. Add the pomegranate juice to the bowl and mix well.
  4. Fold in the oats, raisins and walnuts.
  5. Add few drops of rose essence and a drop or two of red colouring. Mix well.
  6. Stir in the flour mix to the bowl and beat till smooth batter is obtained.
  7. Transfer the batter to baking tray and bake for 35 – 45 mins at 170⁰C/ 340⁰F.
  8. Let the cake cool before sprinkling with castor sugar. Serve warm.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Chocolate chip and cashew nut cookies

Given that lots of people in my family have diabetes, my mother has taken to making her own sugar-free cookies or cookies with minimum sugar. Today’s recipe is her recipe for chocolate chip and cashew nut cookies.

Chocolate chip and cashew nut cookies

Time taken: 35 – 40 mins

Makes 12

Chocolate cookiesIngredients:

  • Oats – ½ cup
  • Wheat flour – 1 cup
  • Margarine – ½ cup
  • Milk – ½ cup (dairy or coconut milk)
  • Cashew nuts – ¼ cup, roasted and chopped
  • Chocolate chips – ¼ cup
  • Brown sugar – ¼ cup
  • Baking powder – ½ tsp
  • Baking soda – 1 tsp

Method:

  1. Whisk the brown sugar and margarine till it is creamy and smooth.
  2. Add the oats to the creamed sugar and margarine and mix.
  3. Sift the wheat flour together with the baking powder and soda and add to the cookie mix.
  4. Add the milk gradually, kneading the cookie mix into a slightly batter-like dough, not too firm and easy to mold into little balls.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips and chopped cashew nuts.
  6. Divide the dough into little balls and leave them on the baking tray, for about 5 – 10 mins, before putting them in the oven.
  7. Bake the cookies for about 15 – 20 mins at 220⁰C/ 428⁰F.
  8. Remove the baking tray from oven when the cookies are golden brown and let them cool before serving.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.