Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Green Apple Fizzy Smoothie

Anyone who follows me on instagram would probably know that I am a huge sucker of cafes. I like to try out cafes, the petite ones, the cozy ones, the classy ones. What I love the most about cafes is fresh food. Unlike Costa, Starbucks or any other big cafes, these not-so-famous cafés will serve you fresh food.  Whenever I enter into very famous cafes I miss that personalized touch, that homely feel; above all food rolled in cling film which is later re-heated and served is a big no-no for me.

Living with me for 7 years I guess Mr. Husband has also fallen in love with little cafes. Together sometimes we will go and have a laid back lazy kind of a lunch. On rainy days we would explore another café in some narrow street and try their coffees, hot chocolate or something sweet like crepes, pancakes or waffles. Oh not to forget-soup of the day is another favorite thing about cafes.

If you are wondering why am I ranting about cafes then this why? Probably like a year back we had fizzy smoothie on a sunny day when we went to Lake District. A fizzy smoothie-yes! A perfect thirst quencher, I must say. Recently when I was sent to try out Sparkling Ice sparkling water I knew I had to make a fizzy smoothie.

First created in the Pacific Northwest in the early 1990’s, Sparkling Ice® makes a portfolio of Refreshingly Bold TM sparkling waters, teas and lemonades. Bursting with real fruit flavour and just the right amount of fizz, Sparkling Ice delivers 19 irresistible fruit combinations, without all the calories. I used Peach Nectarine to make this smoothie. What’s the difference between peach and nectarine? It doesn’t matter, because they took the best of both and made sweet, juicy bliss.

I feel that there is a perfect balance or fruity taste, sweetness and zing. What’s more, with Sparkling Ice alone containing only 12 calories and packed full with victims and antioxidants - it also fits the bill for those who are trying to watch their well being.  To add in more nutrients I present before you a healthy Green Apple Fizz Smoothie.

Green Apple Fizzy Smoothie is a perfect on-the-go smoothie, I confess. Just put everything in the blender and you are good to go. If you are more on sweeter taste then add honey. Feel free to add in any flaxseeds, almonds, oats, chia seeds to boost the health benefits.

Makes: 1 tall glass

1 green apple
1 cup of Peach Nectarine
Pinch of black salt
Lemon wedge/slice to garnish

Chop apple into small pieces. Take 2 tablespoons of apple cubes and keep aside.
In a blender, blend salt, apple, sparkling peach nectarine and blend.
Serve in any tall glass. Garnish with chopped apple and lemon wedge.

Make sure that sparkling water is chilled before use.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or told to write positive review. The post is based on my experience and is unbiased. Thanking Sparking Ice and Wcommunications  for sending Sparkling Water  for review.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Ultimate Full Proof Best Eggless Chocolate Sponge Cake

With Valentine’s Day coming soon I decided to make yet another chocolate cake in my kitchen. Those of you follow my blog would know that I am a chocolate person; give me anything with chocolate and I would eat it. For me it doesn’t matter whether its white, milk or dark- I love chocolate.

Like me if you are a chocolate fan then you must know how to bake a good chocolate sponge cake. I have already shared a recipe for the Ultimate Best Chocolate Cake (with eggs) before and today I share with you the Ultimate Full Proof Best Eggless Chocolate Sponge Cake recipe.

Many of you asked for an eggless chocolate cake recipe that is easy and is tried and tested, well then here it is.

When baking an eggless cake, always make sure that:
1.Ingredients are at room temperature.
2.Ingredients are measured properly. Please invest in measuring cups and spoons if you like to bake.
3.Pre-heat the oven for at least 20 minutes.
4.I know some of my friend who will use drinking chocolate instead of cocoa powder and then blame the recipe for a bad cake, please use unsweetened cocoa powder only.
5.Baking soda is not same as meetha soda or eno. Please use baking soda only.
6.Do not freak out if cake doesn’t rise much. Since the cake is eggless it will not rise a lot.
7.Eggless cakes aren’t as moist as the one with the eggs. I recommend using sugar syrup (equal parts of water and sugar mix) when you frost the cake. Sprinkle the syrup on the cake before frosting.

Rest with patience and practice you will understand your cake batter every time. Here is the recipe

1 ½ cups all purpose flour/maida
3 tablespoons cocoa powder unsweetened
1 cup condensed milk (also known as milkmaid in India)
¾ cup butter
1/4 sugar sugar
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup water
¼ cup coke

Preheat the oven at 180C for 20 minutes.
Prepare the pan. I used 9 inch round pan. Grease the pan with butter.
In a bowl sieve all purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Keep aside.
In a large mixing bowl beat sugar and butter for 2 minutes. Butter should become creamy and light in colour.
Mix in condensed milk and beat again for 4 minutes. Add vanilla essence and mix.
Keep adding 4 tablespoons of dry ingredients and mix. When the batter starts to get dry add 4 tablespoons of water. Keep doing it till the dry ingredients and water is finished.
Lastly add coke and mix the batter for 30 seconds.
Pour the batter in the pan. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or till a toothpick or knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool the cake on the wire rack for 10 minutes. Then take the pan out of the pan and let it cool on the wire rack completely.
Ice the cake with your favourite frosting or serve plain with tea or coffee.

There is a separate post on icings or frostings you can use on this cake. I just took 1 bar (100 grams) each of milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Chopped into pieces and microwaved for 30 seconds. Later I threw in 2 tablespoons of butter and microwaves again for 12 seconds. Mix and let it cool. Frost on the cake directly or cut the cake into layers and then frost.

Final Touch:
I used white chocolate shavings and decorated on the frosted cake. Serve.

 More Valentine's Day recipes:

Thursday, February 2, 2017

2 Minute Cheese Yogurt Dip

A quick yogurt and cheese dip happened in my kitchen. How quick you ask, well I will say 2 minutes. Thanks to Primula Cheese tubes I prepared this dip in just 2 minutes. I love the idea of cheese in tubes-so easy to use. I have already tried Primula Cheese before and I was hooked even then. Previously I have made Cheese Biscuits using Primula Cheese.

This time they sent for me Light Cheese. Cheeses are a great way to add calcium, folic acid and protein in your diet but not to forget cheese are full of fat (calories) as well. That’s where Primula Cheese makes life better, as it is delightfully cheesy with 40% less fat.

Next time if you are carving for some good cheese, but the high calories are stopping you; then, think about Primula Light Cheese. Spread over a toasted bread, swirl on salted crackers, top it up on salad or squeeze a bit on pasta-the ideas are endless.  To expand it a bit, create this super quick 2 Minute Cheese Yogurt Dip.

This dip is spiked with green chillies and red chilli flakes. It is flavoured with oregano and basil. You can serve this dip with almost anything. Think kebabs, patties, chips, potato wedges, and sandwiches. Wrap it up in tortilla or pita with salad.

5 tablespoons yogurt
2 tablespoons cheese (Primula Light Cheese)
1 green chilli, finely chopped
Red chilli flakes to taste
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of dried basil
Salt to taste

In a bowl, whisk yogurt and cheese properly. The mix should be creamy without any lumps.
Mix all the remaining ingredients and serve.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or told to write positive review. The post is based on my experience and is unbiased. Thanking Primula Cheese and OPR  for sending cheese  for review.