Couch to 5k-week 4- update

Yay!!! I did it!

When I saw the week 4 plan, I was sure I wouldn’t be able to complete it. 5 minutes of running continuously? Are you crazy? I knew I would either collapse or give up.

But you know what? I did it!!! and I am surprised that I am alive enough to write it blog post after running a total of 16 minutes with some walking in between. I hope I continue to keep up the momentum. *fingers crossed*

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Recipe: No-Bake Eggless Mango Cheesecake- What a feast!

I wanted to bake something with mangoes before the season ended and what better than this awesome cheesecake.

I loved making this cheesecake… not only because it was my best recipe to-date but also because I had so much fun making it. I was helped in great measure by a dear friend who I miss very much and we had a ball of a time. The end result was awesome, as you can see from these pictures.

Mango cheesecake in all its glory

So without further ado, presenting the recipe which I adapted from various sites.

Nags‘ and  glaze recipe from Anushruti’s awesome blog.

Ingredients:

Cream cheese – 1 block (250gm, Philadelphia Cream Cheese)- I used Britannia Cream Cheese

Cream – 170 gm – I used Amul 25%fat

Sugar – Half a cup (I used a little more since the mangoes weren’t exactly the sweetest ones available)

Mango puree – 3/4 of a cup (I used 1 cup)

Gelatine/ Agar – 1 Tbsp

Hot Water – 1/4 cup

Digestive biscuits (1.5 100gms pack plus 4-5 Oreo cookie biscuits minus the cream- gives a lovely and subtle chocolate flavor to the base- idea courtesy Monika from sinamontales.wordpress.com)

Unsalted butter, melted – 75 gm (about 1/3 of a cup)

How I Made It:

 1. Crush the biscuits in a food processor. Add melted butter and whiz again until the mixture comes together. Press into the bottom of an 8″ springform pan that’s lined with aluminium foil or use individual glasses. Refrigerate while preparing the rest of the cheesecake, preferably for around half an hour

 2. Mix the cream cheese, cream, and sugar in a bowl until well combined. You can do it by hand or use a whisk.  No need to use an electric beater.

 3. Add the gelatine to the hot water and stir till it completely dissolves. Remember to ensure that the water is boiling hot. You need to have some patience and keep stirring, don’t be afraid if it forms some lumps. They even out eventually. Heat the water again if it gets cold while mixing the gelatin in. Add the mango puree and stir well. Keep about 1/3rd this mixture aside and add the rest to the cream cheese mixture. Stir gently until well combined.

 4. Pour on top of the biscuit base. Please be generous with your cream cheese layer. I used only a 150gm block of cream cheese and it was too thin. Try and make the layer atleast 1.5-2 inches thick. Refrigerate for 2 hours or so.

 5. Now Nag’s recipe asks to pour the rest of the mango mixture as the third layer. But for some reason I wanted it to be more glazy. So I used the glaze recipe from Anushruti’s blog- Divine taste (refer to link above and check her photos- they are awesome!)

For the Mango Glaze:

 1/3rd portion of the mango-gelatin mixture

2 tbsp water

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp lime juice

Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Let it boil, and then cook on low flame for 3-4 mins. Switch off the gas and let it cool to room temperature. Spread over the cheesecake with a spatula. Dont worry if it seems too less, once it starts spreading it will fill the surface area. Keep the layer thin, since it has a strong flavor.

 6. Refrigerate overnight, take out, slice and serve! Enjoy!

Go on… have a slice!

Recipe: Eggless Choco Walnut Brownies

My nephew, Father in law and co-sister were here visiting us last week. We were to have a dinner at home, and I was to make the desert. However, I wasnt feeling up to it and cancelled it – in hindsight a good decision coz Praveen had come back home from a long trip that evening and we were all too tired to partaayy….

Anyway, to compensate for it, I decided to make these delicious eggless brownies the next day so they carry it when them back home.

Sinful fudgy brownies

Source: Adapted from various sources on the internet with modifications of my own

Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour, 1 cup
  • Buttermilk, 1 cup (OR 1 cup of milk mixed with a tablespoon of white vinegar OR 2 tablespoons of yogurt and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice dissolved in a cupful of water)
  • Powdered sugar, ¾ cup
  • Cocoa powder, 1/4 cup
  • Butter, 5 tbsp. (melted)
  • Chocolate chips, 1/4th cup.
  • Pieces of dark cooking chocolate (for the fudgy effect)
  • 2 Tbsp Nutella (melted to runny consistency in the microwave)
  • Walnuts/ hazelnuts, 2 tbsp. (slivered)
  • Instant coffee, 1 tsp. (mixed in a tablespoon of water)
  • Baking soda, 1 tsp.
  • Salt, a generous pinch.
  • vanilla essence/ extract – 1/2 tsp

Procedure
Grease a square baking pan (i used an 8  by 8 inch pan). Cover it with foil or butter paper – makes it easy to remove the brownies and turn them onto a place. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius. In a large bowl sieve together all the dry ingredients Flour, Baking soda, salt, sugar, cocoa powder.

In another bowl, mix together all the wet ingredients buttermilk, butter, nutella, coffee solution, vanilla. Add the wet solution to the dry bowl and mix well with a spatula.Fold in the chocolate chips, nuts and the pieces of dark chocolate.

Pour into the baking pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20-25 mins.

Tip: After 15-18 mins, open the oven door and give the baking pan a tap. This will release the air being formed inside the brownies because of the baking soda and make them nice and fudgy.

Take it out after its done, let it cool completely and then take it out of the pan.

Result: It was awesome! Dark, fudgy, nutty and very very sinful. Have fun baking them. Oh and they are best enjoyed with a scoop of ice-cream and chocolate sauce…

With ice cream and chocolate sauce…

Recipe: Eggless Orange-Yogurt Cake – Yum is the word!

I had thought I would start this blog with my very popular Mango Cheesecake recipe. I have made it several times with different varieties of mangoes and with great success. Moreover the pictures are absolutely droolicious and I thought it would be an apt beginning to my blogging experience.

However, yesterday was Praveen’s star birthday and I got a request from him yesterday morning for a cake. I hadn’t baked much since coming to Pune, and when I got that request, I couldn’t help but fulfill it.

Then started my research on the cake that I could possibly make for him. He doesn’t like chocolate too much and prefers fruit in his cakes. As I was going through my favorite blogs for some inspiration, I came across this, Suma’s absolutely wonderful blog and this yummy looking recipe. I had some oranges that were begging for attention and loads of yoghurt waiting to be consumed. I said, why not! But, look, it needs an egg as well.

Now I am not fond of eggs and don’t consume them in any form unless there are in cakes and bakes. I try to avoid using eggs as much as possible, and since my in-laws and Praveen’s extended family are pure vegetarians, sometimes it becomes a compulsion to make everything eggless. Moreover, I didn’t have eggs in stock yesterday.

So I decided to make it eggless. And it turned out absolutely yum, egg or no egg.

What do you think? Isnt it drool-worthy?

Here is the recipe the way I tweaked it. I have mentioned how it is different from the original in brackets

Ingredients:

Makes an 8 inch round cake.

  • Unsalted butter, softened, for pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp powdered sugar(I decreased by 3/4 of a spoon since I increased the orange juice a bit)
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar (for dusting the cake) (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda (I added 1/2 tsp since I didnt use egg) 
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest, plus 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 large egg (instead i took 1 tbsp orange juice in a 1/4 cup measuring bowl and topped the rest of the bowl with yogurt, i.e. 1/4 cup yogurt-orange juice mix)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large oranges (1 zested into thin strips, both segmented) (I needed to use only one large orange for the zest as well as the juice. another one was used to zest into thin strips. )

Directions

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius(350 F). Butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Sift flour, 1/2 cup plus 1 and quarter tbsp sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt. Whisk together yogurt, oil, orange zest and juice, and vanilla in a bowl. Fold in the flour mixture into the wet mixture. Pour into pan. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, mine was done in 20-22 minutes. Let the top brown a bit (a light brown).  Let cool on a wire rack.  Dust one tbsp sugar on top of the cake(optional)

The cake doesn’t need any frosting or dusting. But I went ahead and made some glaze, which wasnt necessary. Although it gave a fresh flavor to the cake, it made it a lot more sweeter than I had intended it to be.  If you would like to make the glaze, reducing the sugar in the cake batter by another 2 tbsp will correct the sweetness I think.
The method for making the glaze (adapted from here)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice, or as needed
 Whisk sugar with orange zest and orange juice in a small bowl until smooth.
The result was a soft, spongy, moist cake which was full of orangy, zingy flavor. Will definitely make this again sometime

Hello world!

Welcome to my little foodie world! I am Preeti, I live in Pune, and I love food!  I love to talk about food! I love exploring new restaurants, watching food shows, reading food related magazines.

The last few years have seen a sort of explosion in the Indian food industry- new restaurants with cuisines from all over the world are opening up. Food shows that showcase food made by not only chefs from all over the world, but also amateurs who want to try their hand at world cuisines are being made and telecast. Social Media has helped a lot of home business related to food open and flourish. Food magazines are exploding and finding renewed readership- its just a foodie world out there! and I am loving it!

The last few years of being on a baby break has had its pros and cons for me. While the constraints have been in terms of being unable to go restaurant hopping like I would have without a baby in tow, I have since discovered a side to me that I didnt know before- the baker in me. I love to bake- sweets, savories, breads- I just love ’em all! So do my well-wishers who I love subjecting to my crazy baking experiments.

This blog is an attempt to chronicle what I havent done so far- my baking experiments, my thoughts around food (and maybe other things) and restaurant/ food joint reviews whenever I can manage to go to any. Oh! I also have a little daughter and a husband ofcourse! and they are certain to find mentions on the blog!