Monday, March 31, 2014

Plain Vanilla Cake with Tutti-Frutti

My darling friend from work, ‘S’, was kind enough to lend her hand blender to me last Friday so that I could bake some delights and test it at the same time. Her Oven is dead for the past few weeks and she told me to keep it for a month at least, till she fixes her Oven! YAY!

I do not remember when I last baked a Cake and had almost nothing fancy in my stockpile, hence decided to bake a Plain Vanilla Cake, found some Tutti-Frutti left from the last batch of Biscotti, hence dusted them in some plain flour and added them too, it gave a lovely look to the end product.

(I was impatient when I flipped the cake and was tapping the cake pan too hard, which made that crack, excuse me please)

Here is what you will need to make my Plain Vanilla Cake with Tutti-Frutti:

·         All Purpose Flour : 1.5 cups
·         Granulated White Sugar : 1 cup
·         Pure Vanilla Extract – 2 tsp
·         Butter : ½ cup – at room temperature (I used salted Butter, as I did not have unsalted one, hence I did not add Salt to the batter)
·         Eggs : 2 – at room temperature
·         Baking Powder : 2 tsp
·         Milk : 1 cup – at room temperature
·         Tutti-Frutti : a handful (optional)

Here is the method to bake my Plain Vanilla Cake with Tutti-Frutti:

·         Preheat the Oven to 180C / 356F
·         In a big missing bowl, cream the Butter and the Sugar, beat till a good amount of air goes into the batter, till fluffy
·         Add the Eggs one by one, beat one in then add the second one
·         Add the Pure Vanilla Extract and mix one more time
·         Mix the All Purpose Flour and the Baking Powder and beat in to the batter little at a time, keep the speed of the blender low, else your face will be covered in Flour
·         Add the Milk and beat it in, once the flour is added, beat as less as you can as the more you beat at this stage, the harder your Cake will get
·         Grease the Cake pan with Butter
·         Dust the Tutti-Frutti with a tsp of flour so that when added to the batter, they do not sink to the bottom
·         Fold the Tutti-Frutti into the batter
·         Pour the cake batter into the cake pan
·         Bake at the same temperature for 40 minutes or till a toothpick inserted to the center of the cake comes out clean
·         Let it cool down on a cooling rack for about 10 mins
·         Loosen up the sides with a butter knife and turn it upside down onto a plate
·         You can let it cool or eat it warm, with a little ice cream, some topping or some whipped cream, as you like it :)

Creamy Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

Weekends are a complete mess these days, Saturday goes mostly in shopping and Sunday goes in preparing for the next week. As the temperature shoots up to a searing 40 degrees, we are living off fruits, coolers, iced tea, cold coffee, squashes, crushes, ice-creams and  when it comes to eating a meal, it is mostly a lentil soup, some rice accompanied with a slice of a fried fish. After two days of staying indoors and eating these plain-Jane meals, it was time for us to indulge into something nice and light, not full of rich spices but something simple. I had a Chicken Breast sitting in the freezer (I usually get a few Chicken Breasts and boil them with a pinch of salt to 5 whistles, shred them and store them, so that I can throw them in into any dish that I am making, they come in very handy when I am making noodles, pasta, fried rice or sometimes even use them for sandwich filling) and had some Spaghetti Pasta too so decided to make this incredible Creamy-Cheesy-Chicken- Spaghetti. This tasted so wonderful that I had to post the recipe. It needs only a few ingredients and can be on your week night menu, always :)

Here is what you will need to make this Creamy-Cheesy-Chicken- Spaghetti:
Serves – 2

·         Chicken Breast – 1 – shredded (I used my hands to shred it)
·         Spaghetti – 200 gms
·         Garlic – 4 cloves - grated
·         Onion – 1 medium – finely chopped
·         Green Bell Pepper – 1 small – finely chopped
·         Fresh Cream – 200 gms (I used 1 tetra pack)
·         Tomato Chili Sauce – 1 tbsp
·         EVOO – 2 tbsps
·         Cheese – 1 Cube – grated, I used 1 cube from a Mother Dairy pack
·         Salt to taste
·         Pepper to taste

How to make Creamy-Cheesy-Chicken- Spaghetti:

·         Cook the Spaghetti as per instructions on the pack to al-dente and set aside.
·         Heat the EVOO; add the grated Garlic and sauté.
·         Add the Onion and Green Bell Pepper and sauté for a minute or two.
·         Add Salt and Pepper and stir.
·         Add the Tomato Chili Sauce for a little bit of tang (optional).
·         Add the cooked shredded Chicken and mix well.
·         Add the Fresh Cream and mix, let it simmer for a minute, don’t let it dry out, it should be able to coat the Spaghetti’s properly and should be thick.
·         Taste the sauce, add more Salt and Pepper if needed.
·         Turn off the gas, add the Spaghetti and mix with a tong softly.
·         Serve into a plate, top it with grated Cheese and enjoy!