Monday, May 30, 2011

Can you put the spider’s web back in place
That once has been swept away?
Can you put the apple again on the bough
Which fell at our feet today?
Can you put the lily cup back on the stem,
And cause it again to grow?
Can you mend a butterfly’s broken wing
That you crushed with a hasty blow?
Can you put the bloom again on the grape
And the grape again on the vine?
Can you put the dewdrops back on the flowers
And make them sparkle and shine?
Can you put the petals back on the rose?
If you could, would it smell as sweet?
Can you put the flour back in the husk
And show me the ripened wheat?
Can you put the kernel back in the nut,
Or the broken egg in the shell?
Can you put the honey back in the comb
And cover with wax each cell?
Can you put the perfume back in the vase
Once it has sped away?
Can you put the silk back on the corn,
Or the down on the catkins gay?
You think that my questions are trifling, friend,
Let me ask you another one:
Can a hasty word ever be unsaid
Or an unkind deed undone?

SOULAND ESTATE - Valnur, Coorg
This is a poem that i found in an old book with no cover in the attic of the house ( pictured above) that i grew up. Amongst a whole bunch of old mags and books - this brilliant piece of poetry was found n we put the same paper in a frame. something so nice - something to ponder .... ...............

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Vanilla cake layered with Chocolate Ganache

This is a very very basic,simple & easy to bake vanilla cake recipe...I use it all the time and can make it even in my sleep.:) The measures are too little, ideal for beginners - once you master this recipe - it will be something u could call a "quick fix". So, here we go........

Ingredients :

1 cup All purpose flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
4 Eggs 
1 cup Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Essence
1 cup Vegetable Oil
A pinch of salt to taste

1. Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature.
2. Sieve flour & baking powder together - 3 times ideally.
3. Beat eggs,and salt using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment on medium speed.
4. While beating add sugar to the egg & increase to high speed.
5. Add Vanilla essence to the egg - sugar mix. (I use essence because that is the only this available in the place where i live)
6. Beat until the mixture reaches a pale creamy texture. At this point reduce speed and add oil. Now, oil could be corn,sunflower,canola etc. I am happy with the sunflower oil results.
7. Once the oil has mixed in well,stop and remove the bowl off the mixer.
8. Now, with a ladle or a spatula - mix in the sieved flour & baking powder spoon by spoon. I say this- so that you don't stir in so fast that it loses out all the air.
9. Pour into prepared pan. Put into preheated oven to bake at 180 degrees for about 45 minutes.
10. Important tips :
i. Since this is a layered cake, you could slice the cake into equal sized layers. what i did was i baked it in separate pans -  therefore the 5 layers as shown in the picture.
ii. Always grease the pan - either flour dust it or lay a wax paper to play safe.
iii.Oven temperatures differ gadget to gadget, always better to leaf through the instruction manual to ensure the details. I use a gas oven and this set temperature works just fine for me. if nothing else works, set oven to the lowest temperature, this would take a longer baking time - yet would give perfect results.Always preheat oven & for the first 20 minutes do not open the oven door.
iv. As the baking is on - there would an aroma of vanilla - do not assume that the cake is done at this point, wait for the aroma to fade away & then open the oven.Prick the cake at the center with a toothpick/skewer. If it comes out clean - the cake is done !

Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack.Now prepare the Chocolate Ganache........ 

250ml Heavy cream
200gms Baking Chocolate
1tsp Butter 

1. Chop chocolate into chunks and melt it in a double boiler. make sure no moisture seeps into the chocolate while it is melting.
2. In a saucepan heat cream to boiling point.
3. Pour the hot cream into the melted chocolate & keep stirring till the chocolate & cream mixes well.
4. Stir in butter  - this will add glaze to the ganache.

SUGAR SYRUP: In saucepan,stir in 1 cup of sugar in 1cup of water till it dissolves completely, remove from heat when it reaches boiling point.Let it cool. 

Step 1:
Place the first cake slice on a plate. With a brush dab  the sugar syrup on the cake & see that its moist all over. Pour ganache over the cake until it spreads all over.

Step 2:
Place the second cake slice on the ganache and dab with sugar
syrup to make it moist. Pour ganache over it and spread.

Step 3:
Repeat the process through each layer. When you have reached the last layer - dab with sugar syrup and pour the entire batch of left over ganache on it - so that it covers all over the cake.Allow it to set for an hour or so.
Alternately - if u have buttercream on hand - crumb coat the last layer and pour the ganache over it. This is how it will look when it is ready to eat :)) 
Trust me - this is YUM! YUM! YUM!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Beginning !

I am a regular follower of several blogs ,but the thought of creating one for myself crossed my mind very recently. I know I lack the discipline of a blogger - would try however to keep this going.I did a lot of search for an appropriate name and finally concluded with "A Portion to Share" :)

My focus is to write on food and recipes, maybe add a little bit of this and that too. I love to cook and baking is truly a passion which i now think has become addictive. I call this post The Beginning as i seem to be wishing all the luck in the world to myself ........:))