Thursday, May 31, 2012

Is that beer in my cake?

Guinness and Chocolate Cake by Bombay Foodie

I don't drink beer. Even in London, where there is a pub at every corner (one right inside my school in fact!), I refuse to touch ales, stouts or lagers. But then I saw this cake on Valerie's website and was hooked. It's guinness and chocolate cake, people and there is a nutella and cream cheese frosting to go with it.

I still might have given it a miss - buying guinness here means buying at least 4 bottles and what would I do with the rest! But I showed my flatmate the pictures and she showed up the next evening with guinness all purchased and waiting to be turned into a cake.

I made this for a girls' night out and it was a total sell out. The texture is different from your typical cake but the guinness makes it so moist. And the frosting...well, if I wasn't taking this cake out for company, I just might have eaten the whole bowl. It was that good!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My favourite salad

My favourite salad by Bombay Foodie

Since I eat this salad at least twice a week ever since I came to London, I thought I might as well tell you about it. It's pretty easy to assemble too - all the effort really happens at the grocery stores.

First the leaves. I am happy for you to pick any of the designer packages of salad leaves. Just make sure it contains some form of rocket. Rocket (or arugula), let me repeat, is a must. In fact, sometimes I do this just with plain arugula. The one you see in the frame above is called baby salad leaves. A couple of months back, my absolute favorite was a brand called Steve's Leaves that sells pea shoots and baby salad leaves.

Once you've washed a couple of handful of leaves and plonked them onto the salad bowl, halved cherry tomatoes are next. Again, the supermarkets have at least 3-4 varieties to pick from over here. But the ones I like best are called baby plum tomatoes. They are sweetish and a great match for spicy leaves.

Next, enough crumbled parmesan to make you happy. Some salt, a couple of twists of fresh ground pepper and finally, a dash of the best balsamic vinegar you can find. I use the one that's aged 5 years. You can find older vinegars but they tend to be too sweet and are best kept aside for an occasional dipping pleasure.

That's it; a perfect lunchtime salad!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I went to a cake decorating class...

Rose Cupcake by Bombay Foodie

Sometimes you need to do certain things before you believe you don't need to! Take cake decorating. I always look wistfully at beautiful cake displays and sigh at the lack of my piping skills.

Now you know I am a self taught cook. If I can't figure out a technique from a recipe or a blog, there is usually a youtube video out there to help. But cake decorating and those neat flowery cupcakes were just not happening for me. So I decided to go to a cupcake decorating class.

London has loads of these 2-3 hour classes and the one I picked was from Sugarshack. It's a lovely way to spend 2 hours. You are given some buttercream, then shown techniques to pipe shells, stars and swirls. Also in the course, the way to color and tint buttercream and make it sparkly.

Once the lesson's done, we were given four cupcakes each to decorate and take home. The one you see above is my pride and joy. I piped in the rose, then sprayed it with pearl lustre spray for that sparkly finish. In fact, I went quite overboard on the bling and covered all cupcakes in glitter and gold dust.

Then I brought the cupcakes home and ate them. And well! they didn't taste half as great as they looked. And with all the buttercream, they were way too sweet for me. That for me is a lesson learnt. I'm going to appreciate these decorated cakes from a distance now. They're great obviously; but they're just not for me!