Thursday, July 14, 2016

A quick fix Choco-Banana cake

You want to bake a cake but you are in no mood of doing it from scratch? You can always opt for a cake mix & then innovate on it with some ingredients from your pantry.  Initially I was apprehensive about using a cake mix but during the three months of my stay in Sherbrooke, Canada this was the only way to avoid buying huge packs of flour & baking powder. I have been living a life out of a suitcase for the last six years so in order to keep my passion for cooking alive, I do use a lot of short cuts. One of the recent additions to the short cut methods list is using a cake mix as a base for baking.
   I bought a Betty Crocker super moist chocolate cake (Devil's food) mix from Walmart. I must say that Walmart does have a wide range of cake mix, thus making it difficult to know which one to choose. I landed the above said mix in my cart by sheer instinct.

Now for my form of innovation with the cake mix.

I baked a Choco-Banana Cake & of course was quite satisfied with the final result, if not I would not be sharing this recipe.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

6 things I did to support France for the Euro 2016 final

Well I may not be in Paris the day when the French team will face Portugal in the final of the Euro at Stade de France in Paris (this unfortunate absence is due to our 3 months' sojourn in Quebec which coincided with the Euro, and must mention that hardly anyone expected the French team to make it so far).  But can I possibly stay far from it? Here is a list of crazy things I (and Mitra) did the day before the France-Portugal final.

1) First the very common cliché, collecting blue, white and red nail-polishes. The day France plays in a final of a major football tournament, only 3 colors exist in the spectrum, Blue-White-Red. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Macarons of Paris : The delicious creamy ganache concealed in brittle almond shells

Wikipedia states that the macaron is a  French sweet meringue-based confection made with egg white, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food colouring. These tiny delicious sugary shots are roughly 3 to 5 centimeters in diameter and popular variants exist in many regions of France. People often confuse them with the macaroons more popular in the English speaking world. No, this blog is about French cakes and French delights and anywhere in France un macaron, s'il vous plait, will simply fetch you creamy fillings encrusted by brittle flavored almond shells.
Even in France variations of the macarons exist and you may well end up with only the brittle shell without the creamy filling if you try them in cities like Séderon or Sault. The macarons I am talking about here were supposed to have originated in the city of Boulay in the 1850s and were made popular in Paris a century ago. And the city moved on, the metro and electric cars filled its streets, tourists started pouring in and with it changed the city's taste, cuisine, restaurants and bakeries, but the little sweet gourmands still remain the same. Now in almost all alleys and corners of Paris, one may find boulangers and pâtisseries which often brand macarons as their specialities and something which can well be used to identify Paris. Not going into further details and descriptions I will rank three of my favorite places in Paris where one can taste these pleasures for the sweet teeth.