The Big guns… Rum Cake… Or is it Wine cake??

The last ten days of December 2014 have been absolutely crazy. I gave you guys a glimpse of my dessert craziness in the post: Holiday season… Dessert overflow!

Today, I really wanted to talk about one of my best bakes of the season. My Christmas cake – The mammoth task of baking a Rum Cake! A little secret, I don’t like the smell of rum, So we substituted rum with red wine… and the cake to me tasted amazing, and if I could be a little self praising, even better!  🙂

Christmas is not a big thing in our family. But it always gives us enough reason to pamper our sweet tooth. The prep for this cake started early in the morning, mainly because I only thought of baking it at midnight on the 24th. And we had no wine at home to prep the dry fruits ( I am pretty sure we were the first customers of the neighborhood wine shop on the 25th!)

So the task started with collecting all the different kind of dry fruits we had at home, and cutting them into bite size pieces. I must admit, I’ve never seen dry fruits look so colorful!

Colors!

Colors!

And then came the part where we needed to be patient. Soaking these dry fruits in wine. This was ideally supposed to happen over night. But well… we just assumed over night = 6-8 hours and dealt with it 😀

Once the dry fruits were fully soaked… (I have to be honest they smelled divine, but super potent!) I started the process of making the batter. I followed the recipe as per this website: Kerala Plum Cake. I fiddled a bit with sugar quantity as most of the blog recipes have way more sugar quantity mentioned than I can tolerate. Rest all, the instructions were pretty much followed to the T

Here is what the batter looked like, ready to get into the over:

Ready to get into the Oven!

Ready to get into the Oven!

I was very tempted to lick the batter bowl… but I am really scared of raw egg… so refrained.

Another 40 minutes, and staring at the oven every 5mins to see the cake… I finally took this beauty out:

Rum Cake!

The Cake!

A lot of recipes ask you to pour in the left over Wine/Rum from the soaking process onto the baked cake and resting it for half an hour. But we skipped that, and I am glad we did, as the cake was pretty moist in itself.

Moist

Moist

This has to be one of my best bakes! I absolutely loved baking it, and eating it too. I am never buying a plum/rum cake from the store again!

You can find the recipe here: Kerala Plum Cake

So Justine, This is also my entry for the Tea Time #3! 😀 A little boozy and delicious cake to brighten up the tea time!! Hope everyone enjoys it!! (Pulling out the big guns for my first entry to impress the crowd 😉 )

tea-time-medium

The Year of Reason, Tolerance, Healthy Skepticism and Very Low Expectations of Others

This post is my submission for Eclectic Corner #3 challenge. This week’s challenge is “Resolutions”.

Firstly I’d like to apologize for the late entry. In my defense, the holidays got the best of me 🙂

With this week’s topic, I would like to share with you this particular “very” short story I read in the month of October’14. Before getting into the story, I should introduce to you this wonderful page I had discovered on Facebook last year, where I found this story – Labyrinths. Author – Philip John writes a short story every day and publishes on this page. To say the least… I am a big fan!

This story defines what “resolutions” mean to me.

THE NARROW LANE

You turn left from the main road and steer your car into a narrow lane. Immediately, you find another car coming from the opposite direction. There isn’t space for two cars to maneuver past each other in this lane. You both slow down. You are getting late for work. A part of you wants to accelerate and bully the other driver into retreating. But this is an important year for you. You have decided that this is going to be The Year of Reason, Tolerance and Healthy Skepticism. So you decide you will become the bigger person by letting the other person pass. You turn towards the side of the road, roll down your window and signal to the driver in the other car: Go ahead. Pass. I’m waiting. Almost immediately, the other car accelerates. As the car passes yours, you compose the features of your face to form a patient smile. But the driver in the other car drives off without so much as a glance in your direction. You feel like you just emerged from a toilet after a thankless quickie. You feel noble and martyred at the same time. You feel very alone. You tell yourself there is a lot more work for you to do. And you make a mental note to rename this year as The Year of Reason, Tolerance, Healthy Skepticism and Very Low Expectations of Others.

I love this piece of writing. No photographs or additional explanation can describe it any better.

Over and above this very intense resolution, I have another set of fun ones. On my birthday last year, I made a list of my “50 Things”. Wondering what that is? Let me explain:

50 Things:

Take a sheet of paper, and your favorite pen (being all techie here is no fun… give that old pen and paper a shot). Also give your self a timeline (nothing more than a week). Now start jotting down things you want to do/accomplish in this life. These things could be as simple as getting your hair colored, or as extensive as doing a world tour, or even as deep as becoming a more patient person. The trick is, to write 50 things! No less.

Sounds simple doesn’t it? Trust me its not. The first 15-20 things are a breeze. The crazy part comes after that, where you really need to think. I used to keep this list in my wallet, and add stuff to it on the go. For example – Shopping for tomatoes one day, I had this sudden urge of having my own kitchen garden… so voila! scribble scribble..

The reason we give it a timeline is to get that sense of urgency. To make sure we force ourselves to think.

The best part comes when you have those 50 things ready. every few months revisit that list. See what you can accomplish immediately, and work towards it. I know it sounds stupid. But here is the thing. This list is the reason I blog frequently now, or bake frequently… or for that matter finally bought my car last year..

Resolutions

Resolutions

This year, I plan to target a couple of other items on my list..

Happy new year!

Eclectic Corner #2 Decadence

So, the Eclectic Corner #2 Challenge is out, and it is very different from the first one. Here is how Justine describes the seconf challenge:

“This week I have focused on the word “Decadence” and provided a quote to go with this.

I would like to invite you to work with this quote and focal word and to photograph something that in your opinion depicts this word and supports the quote.”

Aah… Interesting… I can feel my Devil horns popping up as I try to decipher this topic for myself. Before I present the quote or the photograph of my choice, here is a little something which would make it very clear what my idea of decadence is:

c2cb86eef4dfd42178f8991954590bef

“Great food is like great sex. The more you have the more you want. -Gael Greene”

It’s hard to explain what it feels like to have a good piece of dessert. Imagine this –

The perfect piece of chocolate cake topped with the perfect layer of chocolate ganache. Moist enough to melt in your mouth. Warm enough to have a shiny top. That first spoon, which perfectly cuts through the entire piece… That first bite which awakens all your senses. A bite which vanishes as soon as it entered your mouth, but still leaves its essence behind. The essence which makes our eyes roll…

Lets be honest, We’ve all had that one perfect piece of chocolate cake…

Chocolate cake with Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate cake with Chocolate Ganache

Guess Game #1 – Wrinkles….And the answer is….

This is a follow up blog to the Guessing Game started by Justine on Eclectic Corner. I am a little late in posting my answer, Apologies, I’ve been traveling a bit.

As expected, mine was not a tricky image, and in fact got guessed in the first few hours of the blog post itself.. But, it was so much fun!!. Specially trying to figure out what other’s had posted. I have rolled up my socks and am waiting for the next topic rather eagerly.

So here is what my photo for the topic “Wrinkles” was:

Who am I?

Who am I?

desleyjane was quick to guess it as leather, and that’s what it is. It is a leather handbag.. To let you in on a little secret, This is a handbag I take to work daily, and I clicked this pic with my Iphone (5s) as soon as read the topic :D. Here is a full image of the handbag:

Here you go!

Here you go!

This is a great way to get over the post-photography 101 blues. Thank you so much Justine for having organized this. Looking forward to the next topic!!

Guessing Game #1 : Wrinkles

After the end of Photography 101 program the sudden silence of word press community was really getting to me. It feels so good to finally find something new to take part in. The best part of it being, I get to interact with the same lot as before!

Thank you so much Justine for initiating this Guessing game challenge!

The rules are pretty simple, and the interaction just increases, as you not only have to upload an image as per the challenge topic, But you also have to guess what others have uploaded.

Here is an explaination as per the challenge page:

“The challenge is to photograph something that depicts the subject matter of‘wrinkles’.

The aim of the photograph is that firstly the person guessing does have a chance of getting it right but not too easily.

Try to see if you can take a photograph that will need the least editing possible.  The idea being to use angles, light, shadow & to perhaps find something even mundane that one can make look extraordinary or complex.

The end result being that when the guessing is finally over those trying to work  out will slap their thigh and say “I can’t believe it was something so simple, I just couldn’t see it, but now it’s obvious”.”

So first topic is – Wrinkles. Here is my entry into the challenge:

Who am I?

Who am I?

My entry is not as challenging the ones I’ve seen on other blogs, But well it’s a start…

Can you guess what it is?

Eclectic Corner #1