Cinnamon wheat cake/cupcakes

So...What do you on a cold, sultry day like this ?

You bake, of course!

I haven't made a christmas pudding yet as the h is not a big fan,but this 'you-cant-believe-its-eggless' recipe of a spiced up wheat cake hits just the right festive notes! Though the basic cake mix recipe was a non boozy version, I've adapted it to make it 'christmassy' somewhat and use it to make yum cupcakes as well ! The cupcakes in fact,are just the right bitesized vehicle for the christmas 'spirits' and the calorie watching, and if you like me, spend more time picking out raisins and currant shreds from a christmas cake than eating it,these spice flavoured morsels are the perfick substitute!! As I've had the recipe for the basic wheat-spice cake mix for so long, I'm not sure anymore of its origins, but thanks to the author nonetheless!
Below is the recipe for the basic cinnamon wheat cake mix and instructions for cupcake conversions as well - the batter is quite substantial so I like to bake a cake in my 8 1/2 " cake tin and use the rest of the batter for around 8-10 cup cakes, which can be decorated individually as well! Bon appetit!

Ingredients for the basic wheat-spice cake batter

2 metric cups (300gms) wholewheat flour/durum
2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 metric cups(400gms) finely grated jaggery/brown sugar/palm sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 metric cup of yoghurt
3/4 metric cup of water
2/3 metric cup of cooking oil(avoid olive oil,or other strong flavoured oils.Vegetable oil or sunflower oil works well)
*Walnuts/raisins/figs-optional! (pre soaked in brandy/rum to avoid burning)
1.5 tbsp Spiced Rum for mixing into batter(I use Captain Morgan's)
2 tbsp rum (for spiking the cake when done)

For cake : Bake for 40 mnts at 200 deg C /400 deg F (170 deg C/ for fan assisted oven).
For cupcakes: Bake for 20 mnts at 180 deg C/ 350 deg F ( 160 deg C/325 deg F for fan assisted ovens)
(Joanna's blog lists a ready reckoner for over temp. conversion chart for those who use gas mark measures, thanks Joanna!)
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Blend the yoghurt,water,oil and rum together in another bowl. Then mix the dry ingredients into this bowl and blend well. Bring it to dripping consistency, adding more water (or more rum!)if needed.
Oil/spray the bottom of a cake tin and bake for 40 mnts( for the cake) or use prepared muffin trays lined with bought muffin cases, or handmade ones (like in the pic) and bake for 20 minutes for cupcakes. I quite like the brown paper ones for the artisanal note to my spice cupcakes :)

Allow to cool on wire rack before cutting/spiking/serving. To spike, just drizzle the alcohol over the upturned cake bit by bit and allow it to absorb. The cupcakes can be spiked too, but are just as great without and quite moist nonetheless! As with any boozy bakes, flavours develop better if the cake(s) are left overnight to mature.
The cake slice pic seen above, is a version where I used half of the measure of rum, and half orange cointreau, added orange juice instead of water, and grated orange rind instead of the raisins/currants time - in goes some grated milk chocolate as well :)

Just heard…”u don’t get fat on food you pray over”. Hence,I shall say grace this day on.Bring on the christmas indulgence !

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Invoking Goddess Caffeina : Tiramisu

Finally, I start my blog..something which I've been meaning to do for quite some time now, and has taken the warmth of some gorgeous mulled wine and generally the spirits of the holiday season to get me started.

And what better an ode to all fellow coffee fanatics than a way to drink your french press brew and eat it too ! I was looking for something I could make and stash away in the fridge, ready with magic dust(read: cocoa), to just get out at midnight for my partner's birthday. And this Quick Tiramisu recipe from BBC food seemed just the thing! Though traditional Tiramisu uses raw eggs(so does the below version), BakingandBooks gives a detailed version where the use of raw eggs is omitted.

I used coffee from my Bodum, instead of the recommended espresso crema, hence had to be very careful with the dipping of the Savoiardi biscuits (yes, no more than 2 secs!) so that the fingers didn't soak up excess water.
I also made my coffee more concentrated than the usual to get a fuller coffee flavour. I didn't have dessert glasses ready to go, so couldn't do a knockout presentation with edge-to-edge chocolate shavings or cocoa (due to glasses not being wide rimmed), but some impromptu sugar work and cherry towers did the trick! I found they weren't chilled and firm enough at the end of 2 hours, so I'd suggest keeping atleast 4-5 hours in hand for chilling. Happy eating :)!!

Quick Tiramisu (from BBC Food)


3 cups of strong black coffee, preferably espresso, cooled
3 tbsp caster sugar
6 tbsp Amaretto liqueur
2 eggs, separated
250g/8¾oz mascarpone cheese
250ml/8¾ fl oz whipped cream
cocoa powder, to dust
1 packet of Savoiardi (sponge lady finger biscuits)


1. Place the cold coffee in a bowl, add three tablespoons of the Amaretto and put to one side.
2. In a separate bowl beat together the egg yolks and sugar for about three minutes until thick and pale.
3. Add the mascarpone and beat until well mixed. Fold in the whipped cream gently with a metal spoon.
4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites quickly but gently into the cream mixture. Add the remaining liqueur, taking care not to loose the volume.
5. Dip each biscuit into the coffee liqueur mixture for about two seconds on each side and shake of the excess.
6. Cover the bottom of an eight individual 8cm/3in dessert glasses. Spread some of the cream mixture over the biscuits and then repeat the process again, using up the biscuits and finishing with a cream layer.
7. Smooth the surface and dust the top with the cocoa powder.
8. Refrigerate for about two hours or until firm. The longer it is left, the more the flavours will develop.

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