Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

japanese cotton cheesecake

A cake I absolutely adore and that’s saying something since am not a cheesecake lover. I waited months for my birthday to come just to order this from a baker friend and relished it. So when I saw this challenge posted by my baker friend Anuja I did the happy dance.


Now there are many recipes out there but u are always left in doubt if it would work or not. So when ur handed a tried and tested recipe on a platter, you have to give it a shot.


Everything went as planned but I did make a huge error. I made a mistake of not going as per my ovens heating temperament and followed the recipes instruction. The middle rack created havoc with the cake and I had to wing it with the rest of the baking time. Thanks to Mani Vinaik who kept advising me. I would have given up if it wasn’t for u. The cake is good but I feel could have been softer and that’s because I didn’t bake it as it should have been.

But I do know what not to do the next time. And yeah. I do make everything look pretty

japanese cotton cheesecake

Recipe from Anuja Sule’s http://www.simple-baking.blogspot.in


125 grams cream cheese

110 grams amul fresh cream

3 egg yolks (room temperature)

3 egg whites (room temperature)

70 grams caster sugar

40 grams all purpose flour

30 grams cornflour

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 th teaspoon cream of tartar (or salt)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract



Preheat your oven at 160 degree celsius. Line a 6 or 7 ing baking pan with parchment paper. No need to grease it. Set it aside.

Sift the all purpose flour and cornflour, set aside.

Melt cream cheese and cream over a double boiler (or in a microwave) . Cool the mixture.

Once the cream cheese mixture is partly cooled, add in the egg yolks, vanilla extract, lemon juice and mix until incorporated.

Add in the sifted all purpose flour and cornflour. Mix well until incorporated. Run the mixture through sieve once, to get rid of any lumps.

Make the meringue, whisking egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. You can beat with a stand mixer or handheld mixer. Add in the sugar and whisk until SOFT PEAKS form.

Take 1/3rd of the meringue and fold into the cheese mixture, then fold in another 1/3rd of meringue. After that,  fold in the remaining 1/3rd meringue. FOLD GENTLY. Once you are done, if the total volume of the mixture is almost unchanged while it’s texture is foamy and smooth and free of bubbles, then you have got it right.

Place the baking pan into a large baking tray (with high sides) and pour hot biiling water into the tray, upto 1/2 the height of pan.

Place it on central rack of your oven and bake at 160 degree Celsius for 40-50 minutes, until the cake top is golden brown. Then lower the temperature to 140 degree Celsius and continue baking for 20-30 minutes more.

Once the cake is baked, turn off the oven, slightly open the oven door and leave the cake inside for about 15 minutes. The cake will shrink a little and pull away from the sides of the pan. Now you can take it out of the pan, remove the parchment paper and let cake cool completely on the rack.

Refrigerate the cake for atleast 4 hours or overnight,  before serving.



# If the cake rises too high and sinks in the oven, that means the baking temperature or upper heat is too high, or cake is placed too close to upper heat.

# If the cake doesn’t rise or is too dense or chewy, it happens due to improper beating if eggs or wrong folding technique that deflates the air bubbles.

# It’s normal that the cake will shrink about 1/2 inch to 1 inch after cooling. If the cake rises, yet shrinks significantly after being taken out of oven, then it means that it is under baked or another reason is, over mixing the egg white mixture with the cream cheese mixture.

# If there are cracks on surface, it happens due to lack of sufficient water in water bath, or too high upper heat. But don’t worry, most if the cracks will settle down once the cake cools down.



Prawn Pulao

prawn pulao

Today being a holiday, I woke up late and around 11 am thought – let’s try a new dish. I haven’t made any savoury recently and I also had prawns in the freezer.

I didn’t want to make the regular dishes with prawns so thought why not try a pulao. Messaged a few friends who were generous enough to share their recipe. Am gonna try them soon too especially Mafrin’s Aunts Parsi prawn pulao.

prawn pulao
My friend khurana was kind enough to share this recipe by Nagina Hassan and I decided to give it a shot. I prefer short and easy recipes, this one was kind of elaborate though the final product is yum.

prawn pulao



1 kg cleaned deveined prawns

2 cups washed basmati rice

4 sliced big onions

5 big tomatoes chopped

4tbsp. ginger garlic green chilli paste

2 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp turmeric

whole spice – 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 4 green cardamom, 1 stick cinnamon, 2 black cardamom, 2 bay leaf, 1 star anise, 6 cloves




2 tsp garlic paste

3 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp garam masala




3 tbsp. fried onion

2 tbsp. mint

pinch saffron



  1. Marinate the prawns for an hour.
  2. Cook rice till about 60% done, drain and leave to dry.
  3. Take a big vessel, pour oil and add the whole spices.
  4. When it sizzles, add the onions and saute till brown.
  5. Add the paste of  ginger garlic and chillies. Let it fry a while.
  6. Add the dry powder masalas and mix well till it leaves oil.
  7. Add the tomatoes and cook it till its soft and the masalas leave oil.
  8. Add 1/2 glass water, mix well and add the par cooked rice and mix.
  9. Meanwhile in another pan, add oil/butter and fry the prawns till they turn slightly pink in colour
  10. Add the prawns to the rice and mix well.
  11. Now garnish with mint, fried onions, saffron, garam masala, red chilli, ghee.
  12. Now put it on dum for 15-20 mins. serve hot.


Eggless Oats & Cranberry Cookies


A delicious eggless cookie with a wonderful sweet salty chewy flavour. A wonderful mix of oats, cashews and cranberries makes this cookie hard to put down. This recipe is courtesy Anuja Sule who runs a Facebook group called Simple Baking’s happy bakes and shares some wonderful recipes to attempt.





113 grams cashews, toasted and coarsely chopped

113 grams dried cranberries

170 grams butter, room temperature

210 grams light brown sugar

260 grams Quaker Oats

105 grams all purpose flour

30 ml milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until creamy and smooth, then add milk and vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, salt, soda and cinnamon powder. Add the flour mixture to this and beat to incorporate.
  4. Then stir in the chopped nuts, oats and raisins and mix everything together.
  5. Use a large spoon (or an ice cream scoop) to make the balls of the dough and place it on the baking sheet about 1.5″ or 2″ apart. Now press the balls slightly by your fingers to flatten them.
  6. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until the sides are golden brown in colour (mind you, it will still be a little soft in middle. It will harden once it cools down).
  7. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them on a wire rack to cool completely.


Note –  You can refrigerate the batter, while baking in batches. At any point you feel that the batter has become loose because of the heat/humidity, just keep in fridge till the butter in it hardens a little and then use it.

Recipe courtesy – Anuja Sule from Simple Baking



Eggless Coffee Cake


There are so many recipes out there. Some look perfect but when attempted are a dismal failure.

Now I love coffee cakes and have made a few but all egg based. So when I get an order for an eggless coffee walnut cake for this weekend I readily said yes and then sat in a tizzy wondering what recipe should I try.


Most people shy away from eggless, yes that used to be me at a point but when u have a dear friend who asks “eggless hai kya” plus live in an area that prefers eggless, the need of the hour is a good eggless recipe.

To my luck a fantabulous baker Priyanka Arora Nayak (urf Baker Rani) from Polka Dots Cake Academy posted this recipe and I didn’t wait a day before eagerly attempting a trial batch. It was so yum that I saved some just to photograph it. All the other pieces were gobbled up.



140 gms All purpose flour

30 gms Cocoa powder

1 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Baking soda

150 ml yoghurt

165 gms castor sugar

1/2 cup oil

3 tsp coffee powder mixed with 1 tbsp. hot water

1 tsp Vanilla extract

3 tbsp. milk

1/4 tsp salt

On the side whipped cream and a rum cinnamon sauce (Optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 160C and line a 7″ tin.
  2. Combine coffee and hot water
  3. Sieve the dry ingredients – APF, Cocoa, BP, BS and salt.
  4. Beat yoghurt and sugar till well blended.
  5. Add coffee mix and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  6. Add oil very gradually, while beating continuously.
  7. Mix dry ingredient mixture in 3 instalments and gently mix the batter. Avoid over mixing it.
  8. Add milk and mix gently. Pour into the greased tin. Tap 2-3 times to remove the air bubbles.
  9. Bake at 160C for 45-50 mins or until a skewer comes clean.

Recipe courtesy – Polka Dots Cake Academy


Bhuna Ghosht


Mutton cravings were reaching a peak. Especially home cooked mutton. I was desperate for done but my kids don’t enjoy and have been procrastinating to cook for the two of us.

Made full use of the Independence Day holiday and invited my family over for lunch with the joint purpose of celebrating Rakhi too

Prepared Bhuna Ghosht which is a simple, light and flavoursome Hyderbadi preparation and it was paired with an aromatic Mangalorean ghee rice. Bliss



1 kg mutton

1.5″ cinnamon stick

3 green cardamoms

2-3 thinly sliced big onions

8 chopped garlic

1 heaped tbsp ginger garlic chilli paste

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1-2 tsp red chilli powder

oil salt

1 tbsp all purpose flour (maida)

chopped coriander


  1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add the cinnamon and cardamom, wait for a minute and add the onions and garlic. Fry till golden brown.
  2. Add the ginger garlic chilli paste and fry till the raw smell goes off.
  3. Add salt, turmeric, chilli and mutton pieces. Fry on medium heat mixing constantly till the pieces have a well fried look.
  4. Add 3/4 cup water, give one whistle and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let the pressure drop by itself.
  5. Remove heat and check if the meat is done. Add maida and mix well.
  6. Dry any excess water but ensure that you are left with enough gravy. garnish with coriander

recipe – Nita Mehta with a few personal touches.



Orange & Cranberry Cake


I had an order today for boozy tea cakes. 4 diff flavours. Now I do use alcohol in some of my birthday cakes (if the client demands) but usually I soak them or mix in the ganache. Never tried to booze up a tea cake

When the client asked for 4 diff flavours, the bewdi 🙊 in me started thinking of cocktail combinations and this is what I came up with
Kahlua & coffee
Lemon almond & tequila
Orange Cranberry & Vodka
Banana walnut & dark rum

As I wanted to taste the combinations made a little extra of each flavour for me. I have already featured the other flavours in my blog, but not this one.

So here it is. Orange & Cranberry tea cake. Look at that crumb 😍




225 gms room temp Amul butter

200 gms Granulated sugar

2 Eggs, at room temperature

2 tbsp fresh Orange juice

1.5 tsp Orange zest

190 gms All purpose flour

2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 cup Milk , at room temperature

1/4 cup Dried cranberries


  1. Preheat your oven to 170 C.
  2. Grease a 9 x 3 inch loaf cake pan well and dust with flour.
  3. Sieve the flour and baking powder.
  4. Mix the dried cranberries with a tablespoon of the flour mixture. Keep aside.
  5. Rub the orange zest and sugar for a minute or two.
  6. Beat the zested sugar and butter using an electric mixer for a few minutes until light , fluffy and creamy.
  7. Beat in the eggs and orange juice.
  8. Add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the milk in two additions . So , 1/3 of the flour- 1/2 of the milk -1/3 of the flour- 1/2 of the milk- 1/3 of the flour. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  9. Fold in the floured cranberries with a spatula.
  10. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle a few cranberries on top.
  11. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the cake spring back when touched or a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  12. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove from pan to cool completely, right side up on a wire rack.

(the recipe is taken from the blog http://www.floursandfrostings.com/orange-and-cranberry-butter-cake-recipe with some minor changes as I made them. U can also follow the exact recipe as mentioned in the blog link)

Eggless Vanilla Cupcakes

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Baking without eggs is not too easy. To get the right texture and flavour i had to go through many recipes to find the one that works best. when Anuja Sule from Simple baking shared this for her bake along group, I knew it had to be a winner.

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This cupcake is moist, light ad delicious. dressed it 3 ways –


  • Vanilla cupcakes topped with chocolate chips.
  • Vanilla cupcakes topped with whipped cream and a Kahlua drizzle.
  • Vanilla cupcakes with an Oreo cookie for the base and frosted with a cookies and cream frosting

one bite and you are transported

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170 grams all purpose flour
15 grams cornflour
240 grams thick curd
170 grams caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/8th teaspoon baking powder
125 ml flavourless oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon water approximately (depends upon the consistency of the curd)
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius and line a 12 cavity cupcake tray with cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium size bowl, sift all dry ingredients, set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream sugar and curd till the sugar is completely dissolved.
  4. Add oil and vanilla, mix well.
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients until batter is smooth. Don’t over mix.
  6. Add water till the batter reaches dropping consistency. Scoop the batter in the cupcake liners and bake for 12-14 minutes.

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Victoria Sponge cake

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One of Britain’s most loved cakes is the Victoria sponge cake that supposedly has been named after Queen Victoria. Its a moist delicious and feather light sponge that is perfect to serve at tea time. Either slather it with cream and strawberries or lightly dust it with some icing sugar. Its absolute heaven when slightly warmed before enjoying it.


The key to growth is constantly learning new things. Baking is something I enjoy and being part of a baker’s fortnightly baking group is such a treasure trove of recipes and flavours. i have Anuja Sule from Simple Baking to thank again for this wonderful recipe.



175 grams butter, room temperature (1 cup)
175 grams caster sugar (1 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 eggs, room temperature
175 grams all purpose flour (1.5 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
30 ml milk, room temperature


  1. Heat oven to 190 degree Celsius. Grease and flour one 8 inch round cake tin.
  2. Sieve the flour and baking powder.
  3. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla essence into a bowl and beat well to a creamy consistency (about 5 minutes).
  4. Slowly beat in the eggs, one by one
  5. Then fold in the flour and baking powder and mix well.
  6. Add the milk give it a nice stir.
  7. Pour the batter into the cake tin, place into the oven and bake for about 20 mins until risen and golden brown.
  8. The cakes should spring back when gently pushed in the middle. When ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 mins in the tin, before turning out onto a wire rack and cooling completely.
  9. Dust some icing sugar on top and eat warm.

Oregano & Cheese Crackers

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Looks like this week is all about savoury  bakes. And am loving it.

Spicy salty crunchy goodness. Such an easy recipe of oregano and cheese crackers. Make it thin and pair it with a creamy delicious dip or make it slightly thicker and enjoy it as a biscuit.

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I wish I had those little animal cutters, this reminded me of those jeera animal biscuits we used to get. Diff spices but lovely to munch on

Thanks once again Anuja Sule from Simple Baking for your wonderful recipes and always encouraging us to try new things.


235 gms all-purpose flour
225 gm grated cheddar cheese, firmly packed (processed cube cheese will do)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
½  teaspoon  salt
½ teaspoon black pepper/chilli flakes
½ cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
½ cup (120 ml) chilled water (approximately) , you may not need all

Spice Topping:
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon  salt
1 teaspoon sugar


  1. Combine the spice topping and set aside.
  2. Grate the cheese and put in the bowl with flour, oregano, salt and pepper and mix it together.
  3. Add the oil and mix to getl the consistency of wet sand.
  4. Add enough water for the dough to come together.
  5. Form the dough into two disks, wrap with cling film and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  6. Heat the oven to moderate 160°C.
  7. Working with a quarter of the dough at a time, use a rolling pin and roll to appx 3 mm thick.
  8. Cut the strips into cracker shapes or cut out using a cookie cutter.
  9. Transfer to a parchment lined cookies sheet and sprinkle with the spice mixture.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes until medium golden brown.
  11. Store in an airtight container and eat within three days.

Wine & Cheese Straws


Cakes are all that I seem to bake now a days. And since I started baking, my craving for sweets has completely reduced. Not that I hog on them but just the smell of vanilla and chocolate kind of makes me stay away from eating the desserts I bake.

straws 1
At a recent Baker’s meet, we were shown how to make these delicious cheese straws by Anuja Sule from Simple Baking. It was so delicious, cheesy, spicy, crispy and a perfect snack.

straws 2
Attempted them today and super happy with the result.

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120 gms All purpose flour

80 gms chilled Amul butter

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/4 tsp salt (lesser is fine too as cheese and butter both have salt)

1/4 tsp garlic powder

100 gms grated parmesan cheese/cheddar/processed

30 ml chilled white wine (or any liquid like water/milk/balsamic vinegar/egg)

Wash – 1 egg white/milk

white and black sesame seeds


  1. Sieve the all purpose flour and cut the butter in to it using a scrapper. Avoid use of hands as that will transfer body heat to the mix.Cut it and mix to make pea size crumbs in the flour.
  2. Add the salt, garlic powder, chilli powder, cheese and mix it with the scrapper.
  3. Add the wine (or any liquid that u are using) spoon by spoon and bring the dough together. Do not knead. Just scrape from outside and bring it in. Once all the liquid is added, use your hands to gently tighten the dough by cupping the dough together to form a mound.
  4. Cling wrap and keep it in the fridge for half hour.
  5. After half hour, roll the dough (thickness of a stuffed paratha) to a square shape and cut lengthways strips to 1.5-2″ thickness. u can alternatively gently roll to make pipes with your fingers and give a design of your choice.
  6. Line your rack with a silicon mat or a tin with parchment paper and place the strips on it, twisting it slightly from the centre to give it a shape.
  7. Place the strips in the fridge for another half hour.
  8. Preheat your oven to 150C.
  9. Remove the tray from the fridge and give it an egg/milk wash. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on it.
  10. Bake on middle rack, with top & bottom rod on for 25 – 30 mins. Keep an eye out, once golden brown shut the oven else will get too brown. Leave it in the shut oven for another 4-5 mins and then remove to cool. Store in airtight container.
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