24 September 2010

Cottage cheese cake - Paneer Cake : Perfect tea-time treat

A trip to Madras is incomplete without a drive to Pondicherry. Once, we took up a homestay and stayed over for a couple of nights - walking around the lovely streets in the French quarter, peering into some bookshops, boutiques, incense and candle shops while we were there. During a peek into one such bookshop I came across this little book on baking called Baking Delights by Aruna Sheth with the kind of recipes my mother's generation would make at home. The sections include breads, biscuits, cakes, multi-purpose meals, puddings & pies and snacks.

I have a liking for all things old-fashioned and so I got this home. After reading those quaint old recipes many a times - I fell in love with one Cottage cheese cake, the recipe of which had no butter or oil. With my slight modifications, I turned this into a faux mava cake, using the Mixed Fruit essence and some tutti frutti - a total 70s style cake, perfectly simple to make, and just right with that cup of tea / coffee - feels like a treat but not like a sinful indulgence.

So here is the recipe for Cottage cheese cake with Tutti Frutti

Makes 2 small square cakes or 1 loaf

1/2 litre milk, 1 tbsp white vinegar - to make paneer
1.5 cups atta
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar, or slightly less, ground with seeds from 3 cardamoms
4 tbsp milkmaid
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp vinegar
1/4 cup tutti frutti in any colours
1/4 cup milk (if required)

  1. Bring the milk to a boil, add the vinegar and stir till milk splits to give paneer and clear whey. Filter out paneer and save the whey.
  2. Preheat oven at 180 C.
  3. Line 2 square tins of 12 cmX12 cm with foil or a loaf tin. Grease the foil with some oil.
  4. Sieve the flour with the baking soda and baking powder.
  5. In a large bowl, mash the paneer well with the oil, milkmaid. Add 1 tbsp vinegar, sugar-cardamom mix to this and half the whey water.
  6. Add the flour in batches into the whisked wet ingredients. Use the reserved whey water and extra milk if required to get a batter consistency.
  7. Fold in most of the tutti frutti, reserving some to decorate on the top of the cake.
  8. Divide the batter into the two square tins or a single loaf tin, sprinkle remaining tutti frutti on the top.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes (in case of two small tins) or 45-50 minutes for loaf at 180 C reducing the temperature after 20 minutes to 160 or so in case of square tins to prevent excessive browning of the tops.
  10. Remove, cool in the tin itself for 15 minutes and remove out with the foil. Slice and serve warm.
Food-shopping in Hyderabad
Where to buy Tutti-Frutti - Branches of Heritage- Fresh, QMart-Banjara Hills, branches of Ratnadeep
Disposable aluminium foil baking containers available at most supermarkets - eg. Balaji Grand Bazaar in Road.1


    Lavanya said...

    OOH! I have eaten the most amazing Cottage cheese cake in Pondy aeons back and your post brought back memories of it. Will try out your recipe at the soonest - will have to use glace cherries instead of tutti fruitti cos I dont think I can get them here. Shall try the Asian shops.
    Thanks for the recipe, girl!

    The knife said...

    Hey great to see you blogging again. After a while (?) I admire people who can 'make' bread. A celestial experience in my scheme of things.

    Latha said...

    Absolutely delish looking. Book marking it.

    Cool Lassi(e) said...

    I love this cake! I so wanna make it. But I have a question -- I have ready-made Cottage Cheese(american, not Paneer) and how much of it should I use to make this cake? Please let me know ASAP.

    Anjali said...

    The paneer has made it nice and moist.

    Anita said...

    I love this recipe! Only 1T oil per cake - awesome!

    Global Tastes & Travels Inc. said...

    I love using Paneer in desserts. I have a dessert I do, which is basically bread pudding, but with paneer instead. I marinate the paneer first in coconut milk and rose paste and everyone loves when I make this.

    I am def. going to try this cake.

    Priya said...

    Cake looks absolutely delicious, soft and super spongy..

    Srivalli said...

    Nandita, that looks delicious..Its the same vinegar you are referring for making the paneer and for the cake?..will have to make this..

    Miri said...

    This is retro indeed - haven't seen tutti frutti for a very long time now but at one time it used to be in everything -from cakes to ice cream!\

    Why don't you send this to Anita's Mad Tea Party?


    Mystical allure! said...

    wow ! looks delicious ! cant wait to try !

    Nandita said...

    Miri - it was very much on my mind but I thought the date was up.

    Valli - it is vinegar in the cake itself apart from the one mentioned to make the paneer.

    Mirielle- Love your idea of the pudding!

    Cool Lassie - that would be just under 1/2 cup paneer - do let me know how it turns out.

    Lavanya - where do you blog from?

    Thanks for the comments friends, do let me know if anyone of you tried this.

    Desigirl said...

    gah! That comment by Lavanya was me btw - thought you'd recognise from FB!!! :D

    Jayashree said...

    Droolworthy cake!!! I love tutti frutti in cakes.

    Anu said...

    I had a recent ingredient misadventure with cream cheese and tried paneer instead. Not so bad! So am all for trying this delectable looking tea time treat! Thanks for sharing.

    tables said...

    This is a very nice recipe here. Never tried paneer so this is going to be very interesting to me.

    Jayashree said...

    Nandita, this is in the oven right now as I type.....will let you know how it turns out....

    veena krishnakumar said...

    Nandita..i tried this and came out perfectly well.
    thank you for the lovely recipe


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