Category Archives: Baking

Blueberry and Sour Cream Loaf | The Novice HousewifeAmidst packing at my parents’ place and cleaning the refrigerator- attempting to use left over sour cream and a batch of blueberries, and flipping through the recipes July’s Indian issue of Good Housekeeping, this moist and flavorful Blueberry and Sour Cream Loaf was made.

When I told a friend of mine that I was posting the recipe for this loaf on the blog today, the question arose what is the difference between a sweet loaf and a cake. While I answered the doubt to the best of my knowledge, I wondered what the web had to say about it and did a quick google search to find the exact difference.

The most obvious difference is the tin used to make the baked good in question. Loaf cakes are always baked in a loaf pan, whereas cakes in other square or round tins. And even though both cakes and loaf cakes share similar ingredients, the ratio of flour, fat, sugar and the mixing methods are different and make a difference in the final product.

Blueberry and Sour Cream Loaf | The Novice Housewife

While quick breads (like banana bread, scones and muffins) are made by combining the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in the other and then mixing the two till just combined with few lumps, cakes are made by creaming the butter and sugar together (or by folding whipped egg whites into flour, sugar, yolks mixture- the chiffon method), lending a finer crumb to cakes. Thus, cakes are generally lighter than loafs and other quick breads. Kind of like the difference between a muffin and a cupcake, a cupcake being a mini cake and a muffin being a type of quick bread.

The Kitchn explains the difference between a cupcake and a muffin fairly well, and best to my knowledge that would be the difference between a cake and a quick bread (or sweet loaf).

Also generally, comparing various recipes, loafs are always with some kind of fruit in them, whereas cakes can be with fruit or not. 

Read More →

 Triple Layer Hazelnut Mocha Chocolate Mousse Cake | The Novice HousewifeOne of the most requested recipes by my family is the triple layer chocolate mousse cake I have posted before on the blog. And seriously, what’s there not to love about this cake. Its every chocolate lover’s dream dessert. Three different layers of chocolate in different forms- a dark chocolate mousse sandwiched between a rich flourless chocolate cake at the bottom, and  white chocolate mousse for the top.

So its not a biggie that every time I have made it, it has been appreciated a lot and thats why whenever I am at my parents, and we have company over that’s the first thing my mom suggests me to make.

A week back we had some guests over, so my mom wanted me to make the triple layer mousse cake again. I did not have access to white chocolate, but for long I have been toying with the idea of a mocha flavored mousse layer for a long time, so thought it would be the perfect occasion to finally try it out.

Since my dad is retiring and my parents are permanently moving to Punjab, my mom asked me to make use of ingredients in the refrigerator in an attempt to clean the fridge before packing it up. She had a bit of cream cheese left and I thought instead of a mascarpone mocha mousse (which was what I had initially planned) I should try a cream cheese based mousse recipe. I found a recipe on the Taste of Home website, and thought it was perfect.  Only change I made to the recipe was increase the amount of instant coffee called for in the recipe and adding gelatin to the mixture, since the original recipe called for it and I wasn’t sure whether the mousse would hold up in a cake form without the gelatin.

 Triple Layer Hazelnut Mocha Chocolate Mousse Cake | The Novice Housewife

I had a little apprehensions about how the cake would turn out, since it was the first time I was making this version. The cake turned out perfect. My sister-in-law who has had both versions commented that she actually liked this one more. Well, who doesn’t love coffee and chocolate together!

This is a great dessert, and being fairly easy to make, a perfect way to impress your guests with your baking abilities. One of my sister-in-law’s friend has also made a mango cake version of it, with excellent results, which you can read about in the comment section of the original post.

And since I am posting today, I will also throw it out there that two days back was my Blogiversary. I completed four years of blogging! Yay!! Something that started of as a way to just kill time in the beginning and not really with an intention to have it being read by anyone has grown up to mean something so much more for me. This blog has given me an independent identity, its my creative outlet, and made me discover so much about me that probably would have remain hidden had the blog not been there. I have learnt so much because of this blog and I know I will continue learning so much more. The blog has also introduced me to such inspiring talents out in the blogging community and even though the past few weeks I haven’t been able to catch up with the blogging community, these bloggers continue to be an inspiration to me everyday. And I know I have been slacking with responding to you comments, but I really am grateful to everyone who reads this blog, comments on my posts, or silently keeps a track of my posts, likes me on facebook, follows me on instagram or twitter. It truly means a lot. Thank You and hope you enjoy this recipe :)

Read More →

Amritsari Kulchas with step by step photographs | The Novice Housewife Amritsari Kulchas with step by step photographs | The Novice Housewife

Before my grandparents moved to Mohali they were living in Jalandhar, a city in the northern indian state of Punjab. About ten minutes from our house in Jalandhar was this Gurudwara (the holy place where Sikhs worship) that my grandparents would go to regularly. Every afternoon, just a few feet away from the Gurudwara, a guy would come with his mobile cart and sell these amazingly thin, crispy yet soft Amritsari Kulchas. He would only come in the afternoon with the dough and filling prepared at home and would stuff and bake the kulchas in front of us, serving them in plates with his famous spicy chickpea curry. Our summer vacations were full of foodie adventures and my grandparents loved feeding us. These amritsari kulchas were a must on each of our visits.

Every afternoon, people would come during their lunch break and line up for a plate of this guy’s delicious Kulchas. He always came alone and stuffed the dough in front of you and baked it in his mobile tandoor to serve the dozens of people waiting next to his cart. Since he baked then and there, we would get piping hot kulchas laden with oodles of butter that would immediately start melting once placed on the kulcha. Not only were his kulchas to die for, but he made a delicious spicy chickpea curry and gave homemade pickle on the side. Eating them fresh out of his tandoor was the best option but generally we would get them packed for the whole family and eat at home. And stuff ourselves crazy. No wonder my brother and I would gain 5-6 kilos easily during the months of May and June.

Read More →