If you have been doing the rounds in the food blogosphere, I am sure you have come across Sinfully Spicy. And if you have come across Tanvi’s site, then I am sure you have stuck around and visited her blog again and again.
It was her Gulab Jamun picture on Foodgawker that had caught my attention the first time. And that’s what I will be sharing with you today onGMT.
In the past whenever I have made Gulab Jamuns, its been from a packet mix. Had I known they would be so easy to make from scratch, I would have never bought a packet.
I am back with Office Thursdays. Office Thursdays was something I started to solve the problem of me baking and then having no one to eat it since V is not fond of sweets. As a result, I would end up eating most of what I baked, and you all know what havoc that does to your body. Of course, I could have just not baked at all- but I love baking and I do crave for the occasional freshly baked good- not what you get in stores but what you get fresh from the oven in your house! So some solution had to be found- one that would allow me to bake but not end up with all the calories that go into it. Thus, the idea of Office Thursdays (at that time I could come up with no better name and so it stuck) came up. Every Thursdays, V has a meeting that he conducts, and several of his co-workers attend it. So, V and I decided that I would bake for these meetings and save for two-four pieces (for the two of us), rest would be served at these meetings.
For today’s office Thursday, since it is cinco de mayo (a Mexican holiday celebrated every 5th of May to commemorate Mexican victory over the French forces in Battle of Puebla, 1862) and a lot of people at V’s office are mexican, I thought of making a traditional Mexican dessert- Tres Leches Cake. Of course, it might have been a very wrong decision- they would know how it actually tastes, so I had to turn to the best-Alton Brown. His measurements were in weights and since I do not own a weighing scale (and I call myself a passionate baker!) , I found a recipe I could work with at Brenda’s blog. Brenda has a beautiful blog and an amazing collection of recipes. Do check her out.
Tres Leches Cake: Tres in spanish means three and leche means milk. So the cake roughly translated is three milk cake. The cake is a sponge like cake that is drenched in a glaze of three different kinds of milk- condensed milk, evaporated milk and half & half. Topped with a whipped cream frosting, you can make several variations to the cake by either adding chocolate, or layering some strawberry whipped cream in between or like Brenda, adding cinnamon to the batter. No matter what you do, you will still be licking your fingers away!
This cake also goes out to one of my blogger friends, Abhi and to the girl who introduced me to his blog (one of my best friends, Elgo), both of whom had their birthday in April! I had promised Abhi a cake, so here it is! I would have made a more extravagant cake- firstly, if I knew how to and secondly, had these guys been here to eat it. Now, Abhi, for whatever reason, does not blog regularly but I have seen the pics of his culinary adventures on Facebook and they all look so mouth watering good. I wish he would blog more often so that I get to learn more from him and not just sit and admire his pictures on FB.
Now, typical to all my new baking adventures I erred here too. I had kept the eggs out in the morning so that they would be at room temperature by the time I was ready to bake the cake in the afternoon. But, when I added them, the eggs were cold, solidifying the butter a bit. Arghh!! What do I do now! I took the bowl and hugged it, hoping my body heat would help the eggs and the butter to come back to room temperature. And well it did work! A hug can melt anyone and this just proved it!
The cake is seriously addictive. While photographing I kept on eating piece after piece. Granted I was hungry after the exercise but one piece would have worked, but I just could not resist! I happily packed these for V’s office- finally there is some one to take these baked goods off my hand!
Puff Pastry dough completely amazes me- you know, how while rolling it’s just a single sheet, and while baking, voila! all the distinct layers puff up into a really flaky, buttery crust. Savory or sweet- the same dough can be used for both, and the results, in both cases, bake out perfect. Each round of rolling and folding results in a thin layer of butter sticking to the dough- thus, creating hundreds of thin layers of dough separated by a film of butter.
With no leavener in the dough, the rise happens when the butter melts in the oven and boils, creating steam which lifts the successive layers higher and higher. At the same time, the heat is cooking the flour, hardening it around those minute air pockets, creating the puff.