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)
- 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.
- Preheat oven at 180 C.
- Line 2 square tins of 12 cmX12 cm with foil or a loaf tin. Grease the foil with some oil.
- Sieve the flour with the baking soda and baking powder.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fold in most of the tutti frutti, reserving some to decorate on the top of the cake.
- Divide the batter into the two square tins or a single loaf tin, sprinkle remaining tutti frutti on the top.
- 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.
- 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 RatnadeepDisposable aluminium foil baking containers available at most supermarkets - eg. Balaji Grand Bazaar in Road.1