Category Archives: Baked goods – cakes

A Greek and Turkish excuse… and then a Sugar High!

I’ve been away. To Greece and Turkey for nearly three weeks. That’s why no posts…

(Phew! I’m so glad to have a decent excuse this time!)

But I have been on a glorious holiday, and needless to say, the two countries were a foodie’s delight. Say Greece and Turkey, and feta cheese and olive come to my vegetarian mind. But after the holiday, I also dream about apricots, hazlenuts, vine leaves stuffed with rice and cheese pides! I have plenty of stories and nearly a thousand photographs. Its going to need a lot of pruning before I came make all these memories and images blog worthy. But to start off, a small collage of our holiday diet; the stories will follow one day at a time.

feta, olives, and all things nice

Overwhelming, eh? It was. From small town bakeries, cheese shops, olive shops, tiny cups of Turkish coffee,slender cups of apple tea, beautiful ovens, and tooth achingly sweet sweets, every meal yielded up surprises. From the very start I wanted to truck olive oil, cheese and apricots back to India, but had to be content with eating my heart’s fill in these past weeks. But more on these stories later.

Today’s post is about Sugar High Friday – an event I have been eyeing for actually a year now, but never got around to participating. This time the theme is citrus, and I have just the entry for it – Lemon cake! Not very fancy, and not the prettiest cake on the continent either (especially when it stand next to the beauties that get entered for such events)! But as a recipient/ taster once called it – it has an old Parsi aunty kind of feel to it. And that, I take it, is a good thing.

The recipe itself is not new (I got it from here, one of my favourite food blogs), I baked it quite a few times earlier, but for my Kolkata kitchen, its a first. And not having access to many ingredients, I’ve made some substitutions – like using atta (whole wheat flour) in place maida (all purpose). I want to believe that atta made the cake a tad healthier! A note on the lemons too – I used the local gandharaj (king of fragrance) variety. I’ve never used them before, but have read about how fragrant and wonderful these pear-shaped lemons can be. And while I cannot put a finger on it, the tang is definitely different. So try this sometime – its a cake with a nice crumb, just a hint of lemon, and you’ll find yourself coming back for another slice.

lemon cake

Lemon cake (based on recipe from Orangette)

Ingredients for cake:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup dahi/ curd/ yoghurt

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup sunflower oil

1 tsp lemon zest

2 tsp baking powder

3 eggs

Ingredients for lemon glaze:

Juice of 1 big lemon or 2 small ones

1 heaped tbsp of powdered sugar


Line a 9″ round cake pan, I used an elongated pan of almost the same volume. Pre heat your oven to 180C.

Mix the dahi/ yoghurt, sugar and eggs together. Add flour, baking powder, zest and mix till combined. Add the oil and again mix till the batter becomes smooth and the oil is integrated. Pour into pan and bake for 30 mins. An inserted skewer should come out clean.

Mix the sugar and lemon juice and pour over cooled cake. It will soak in leaving a shiny surface. If you prefer the cake well soaked, make double the quantity of glaze.



Date and walnut cake

I know cakes dont quite calssify as Gujju food, or even Indian food for that matter, but I must post these once in a while because cakes are about the only things I make with confidence! And eggless cakes are a Gujju inspired realm of baking for me, since eggs are taboo in my MIL’s kitchen. So an eggless date and walnut cake recipe…

I’ve been tinkering around with date and walnut recipes for a few years now, but hunted far and wide for an eggless version. I found this recipe on aayi’s recipes while surfing around, and typically it stayed in my bookmarked list for ages. Finally, the cake was tried for my husband’s grandad’s 90th birthday lunch.

eggless date and walnut cake
The recipe here is is a mish mash of two versions I tried, the first attempting to mix in bananas and rum along with the dates, and the second attempting to make to healthier. The recipe reproduced below should enable you to make either, or both.

The Ingredients:
Deseeded dates – 18 OR 9 dates and 1 medium mashed banana
Milk/ Rum – 3/4 cup
Sugar – 1/2 cup Oil – 1/3 cup
Whole wheat flour – 1 cup Vinegar – 1tsp
Baking Soda – 1 tsp
Walnut – 1/2 cup, chopped

Soak dates in warm milk/ rum, and then blend it. I like to leave a few lumps in. If using, bananas add and blend it together now.

Add sugar and oil and mix. Sugar granules should ideally dissolve away. Add vinegar and mix.

Sift together flour and soda. Add to date mixture and mix by hand till blended.

Preheat oven to 180C and butter/ line a 9×5 loaf pan. Pour in the batter and bake for 35-40 mins, or till toothpick poked in comes out clean.

Wait till it cools completely before cutting. Tastes better the next day.