13 November 2018

Whole Orange Cake -- Sicilian Orange Cake

Winter is here, peeps! The days are shorter, nights colder, the morning air crisp and cool, and the winter skin is dying from dryness. But no worries! Oranges from Nagpur are here aplenty to resurrect the withering skin and soul. My home town, Tamenglong district, is know for its juicy oranges within the Manipur state. We even celebrate a state level Orange Festival in the month of December. I'm crazy over oranges in the fall/winter season as much as I go bonkers over mango in summer. I enjoy baking with oranges, and I'm always in the look out for cake recipes that uses a whole orange. I've found the perfect, most moist, most orangy recipe ever in today's Sicilian Orange Cake. I bumped upon this recipe here. It so happen that the original source and I share the same first name. I guess I'm just meant to bake this cake and eat it too!๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜Ž

About the photo, somebody had a bite off it before I could get a decent picture of the whole cake๐Ÿ˜ž It sure is a delightful cake, this one -- soft, sweet, and tangy. The wonderful part is that it's such an easy, no fuss cake. The first time around, I followed the recipe to a T and found the sugar too overpowering. So, for today's recipe I reduced the sugar quantity both in the cake and the glaze -- it was just perfect!

Also, I used Kinnow orange for the cake and the Nagpur orange for the glaze. While this cake pairs well with chai, I enjoy it best with cho cham/green tea/ lal chai. Care for some orange cake? Let's bake!!

1/3 Cup - Curd/ Yogurt
1/3 Cup - Butter, softened
3 Large Eggs
1 3/4 Cup - Flour
2 1/2 Tsp - Baking Powder
1 Cup - Sugar
1 large Kinnow Orange, washed and cut into pieces (with the rind, minus the seeds)

Juice of one Nagpur orange
1/4 Cup - Sugar

Preheat oven to 175 degree C

In a food processor, process the whole orange until it is almost pureed.

Prepare an 8" making pan, springform pan, preferably. Oil or butter the baking pan, best to line the bottom if you're using regular pan. Keep aside.

Place the sugar and eggs in a large bowl and beat with a mixer until it double in size.

Sift the flour with the baking powder and add to the wet mixture a little at a time along with the softened butter. Continue to mix until completely blended, then stir in the curd.

Now, add the pureed orange to the cake mixture and stir until evenly combined, then put the batter into the prepared tin.

Bake for 40 minutes (depending on your oven), or until the center of the cake is firm and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Make sure the cake is done before removing from the oven. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes, then remove the side of the springform pan. If you're using a regular pan, make sure the bottom of the cake is cool to your touch before removing, else the cake will tear at the bottom.

Prepare the glaze by melting the sugar in the orange juice and allow to simmer for a few minutes, just until the liquid has a syrupy consistency. Brush over the top of the cake and allow to cool completely. Then cut a big piece, close your eyes, and dream of orange heaven. Enzoy!!!

30 October 2018

Wai Wai with Bacon and King Chili ~ Memories of hostel life

Why Wai Wai? Because this thing was a life saver during those hostel days when hostel food had the power to send you into a deep and dark depression. And guess what? My relationship with this packet isn't over yet -- in fact, the love for it has been passed on to the next generation. The son loves it too! For days when you're too tired, too lazy, too uninspired to cook something, anything...wai wai continues to be a life saver.

I have so many fond memories of enjoying wai wai in hostel with my girlfriends -- stealing vegetables from the hostel pantry, bully/beg the cook to boil some hot water, pleading with him not to inform the Mess Manager๐Ÿ˜… We've had wai wai in various ways; some really delicious, some utterly disgusting if one were to recreate it now๐Ÿ˜† With this thoughts come the realization that I'm not in touch with many of them now. Girls with whom I have had many food memories. Isn't this the magic of  food? A certain taste, a certain aroma, and it jog ones memory afresh.

So today I'm rounding off my last post for the month of October with this simple dish (my favorite way of enjoying a bowl of wai wai these days) reminiscing about the past. Do you also have interesting memories associated with wai wai? Or, a favorite wai wai recipe?

1 packet - Wai Wai
1 - Raja Chili
3-4 - Bacon strips
1 Tbsp - Coriander or Spring onion

Cook the noddles as per your preference. I love soupy, so I normally add water till the entire noodles is submerged.

As you wait for the the water to heat up, take a pan and brown the bacon on both sides. Make sure you don't crisp it up too much -- control the heat so that it's hot enough just to brown the bacon and remove some oil from the fat. Keep aside.

Once the water come to a rolling boil, you embody Nigella Lawson. Take a kitchen scissor and snip up the bacon and raja chili into the pot. I suggest you use just the skin of the chili and not the seeds. This way you get to enjoy the refreshing taste of the king chili without your tongue and lips going numb.

Continue cooking till the water reduces a tad bit. Turn off heat, chop up any green herbs you have, give it a good mixing, and your yum yum wai wai is ready. Enjoy!!