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Friday, July 31, 2015

Quinoa Sago Kheer(Payasam) | Healthy Protein Desserts

Quinoa (pronounced 'kinwa') is one of the healthiest foods,very rich in protein and is vegan.I have become a strong fan of this tiny seed with tail and have started incorporating this as much as possible to our tastes.My kids are not very fond of their share of milk everyday and neither are they fans of milk based shakes,lassi is an exception though.So,I always try to tweak in milk in one or the other forms that they love to have.This is one such recipe that I found it convenient as a filling after school meal altering the sweetness slightly if they don't like it very sweet like payasam.Sago(tapioca pearls) and condensed milk gives the desired thickness and consistency to the payasam.The tapioca pearls are very good to chew, and are bubbly,gelatin like balls once cooked.The draining of water from quinoa reduces the nutty flavor along with the addition of cardamom flavor and tastes yumm.My family loves this payasam very much but thinking about calories from condensed milk for grown ups,you can't frequently relish this payasam.Once in a while,you will definitely enjoy this healthy dessert,try it out and awaiting to hear the feedback from you,guys !!




Preparation time ~10 minutes
Cooking time ~20  minutes
Serves~4
Recipe source~ own
Ingredients
quinoa,uncooked 1/3 cup
sago/sabudana/chaviri 1/4 cup
water 3 cups
whole milk 3 cups
condensed milk 1/2 tin
cardamom powder 1/2 tsp
cashews 2 tsp
raisins 2 tsp
ghee 2tsp


Method
  • Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan or cooker.Fry the cashews followed by raisins,drain on a plate.
  • Boil the milk(3 cups) in another pan and leave covered.
  • In the remaining ghee,add the sago and quinoa.Roast on low flame for 3-4 minutes and then add water(3 cups).Cover and cook for 10 minutes on medium flame until quinoa gets cooked and sago is 3/4 th cooked(when you try to bite through the tapioca pearl(sago),it may be chewy on the outside and slightly hard inside.Switch off flame and drain the water by pouring it through a strainer.
  • Now,add the cooked sago and quinoa in the same pan and add the boiled milk.Let the mixture come to a soft boil and then add the condensed milk(though I have mentioned 1/2 tin,I used only 1/4 tin as my family loves a mildly sweet payasam).Cook for another 3-4 minutes and then add cardamom powder.Finally,add in the fried raisins and cashews.
  • Serve warm or chilled(if you are fond of chilled payasam,then reserve half a cup of milk from the payasam to add when you serve the payasam else it becomes thick when chilled).

NOTES
* You can use 2 cups of water to cook the sago and quinoa so that the water gets partially absorbed and the starch and quinoa flavor is retained (but I personally don't like that and so drained out the starch and quinoa flavor).Retaining starch from sago gives a much more thicker payasam but I found cooking it 3/4 thand then adding to the milk,cooks it full and adds a mild thickness to the payasam.
* You can even cook sago and quinoa separately.

* Use more ghee for flavor if you love that way.
* If you have no access to quinoa,then use only sago to make sago kheer if you love that way.In that case use 1/2 cup of sago.
* If you have saffron,then use for a mild flavoring and color.
* You can even garnish with sliced almonds and pistachio for a richer payasam.I made it very simple though.

More quinoa recipes that you can give a try-
Quinoa Idlis
Quinoa Veg Pulao
Quinoa Yogurt Parfait


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Kerala Style Chicken Fry | Nadan Kozhi Varuthathu

Chicken recipes are always our family favorite and this one is one of the most preferred one esp to tickle the tastes from Kerala.I don't make chicken fry often and usually land up making thattukada chicken fry(don't forget to try this out),easy chicken curry,chicken roast or any other form.However,I do make this once in a while and this last time when I made it,my kiddo enquired if I had posted this in my blog.And its then,I realized this is missing from this space.But I ran out of curry leaves when I finally decided to make this fry and curry leaves does add a unique nadan flavor to the chicken when fried and added at the end.The restaurants do add color to give that appeal but here I have used kashmiri chilli powder which gives the natural color.And so,you might wonder if the kashmiri chilli powder is high in the recipe but that's apt for this quantity of chicken.If the quantity of chicken is more,then you can deep fry the chicken but here I have shallow fried.Shallow frying requires time and frequent flipping.Do give this a try if you love kerala chicken fry,am sure you will love it !!



Preparation time~ 15 minutes
Marination time~2hours -overnight
Cooking time ~40-50  minutes(less if deep frying)
Serves ~8 pieces

Ingredients
chicken  1kg/2lb (I used 8 drumsticks)
kashmiri chilly powder 1.5tbsp
pepper coarsely powdered 1tsp
ginger garlic coarse paste 2tbsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
coriander powder 1tsp
garam masala 1tsp
fennel powder 1/2tsp(if not in masala)
corn starch /rice flour 1tbsp
salt as required
oil to fry


Method
  • Wash and clean the chicken,de skin and rinse under running water 4-5 times.Drain water and leave in a colander.Cut gashes on the pieces if using chicken thighs or drumsticks.If using boneless chicken skip this step,you can cut in bite size pieces(NB: chicken breast doesn't work good for this recipe). 
  • Make a paste of the marination ingredients or add directly to the chicken and marinate.If marinating,overnight then skip adding corn starch or rice flour then and add just before frying.


  • Heat a wok or pan depending on how you are frying.I preferred shallow frying,in that case heat oil in  a pan and add chicken pieces wiuthout over crowding.
  • Cover and leave on low medium flame for 5 minutes until the water spluttering gets over and then fry uncovered by flipping all sides.It takes 15-20 mins to get one batch fried on medium flame until its crisp and browned.
  • Repeat the same step,add oil if required.Drain the chicken pieces on paper towel and then finally add curry leaves,fry until crisp and add to the chicken pieces.Serve with steamed rice or parotta !!'


NOTES
* Rice flour or corn starch adds crispiness to the chicken.I prefer corn starch.
* Squeeze a slice of lime on top at the end just before serving to give a tangy flavor too if you prefer.
* Always add salt slightly more than usually required as frying reduces salt.
* I marinated for 2 hours but usually prefer overnight marination as the chicken becomes nicely coated with masala.
* Try to use kashmiri chilli powder for the color.If using other hot chilli powder,reduce the amount used.

Don't forget to check these out and try on-
*Thattukada Chicken Fry
*Spicy Chicken fry with Roasted coconut
*Nadan Kozhi Curry
*Kurumulakitta Kozhi
*Chicken Roast
*Easy Chicken Curry
*Popcorn Chicken
*Tandoori Chicken


Monday, July 27, 2015

Ragi Poori | Finger Millet Puri | Diabetic Friendly Recipes

Pooris(Puri) are my kids favorite breakfast but I occasionally make them due to the oil overload.Ragi pooris are a healthy alternative to the regular pooris as this is a low carbohydrate meal and also these pooris have all the health benefits of ragi.This is one of the best liked recipes of ragi so far and am happy that some way or the other I can sneak in this flour.Though ragi is gluten free but pooris require some gluten to roll them out like pooris and so its mixed with wheat flour.I found this as the best proportion of ragi and wheat flour after a few trials.Semolina in the dough acts to hold the poori puffy and crispy slightly longer than usual pooris.Try these out if your kids are reluctant to taste this millet in any form.Am sure they will love these,enjoy !!




Preparation time~25mins
Cooking time~30mins
Serves~20-25 pooris
Ingredients
ragi/panji pullu flour 1 cup
wheat flour 1 cup
rava /sooji/semolina 2tbsp
salt a pinch
water 1/2 cup



Method
  • Sift the flour,semolina and add salt.Add water to the flour and knead with water to form a dough like for chapathis.Leave the dough rested for 20 mins.
  • Then,pinch out small balls smaller than chapathis or large gooseberry size ones.Roll them out like for chapathis by dusting flour.Arrange a batch(10) on a plate/white paper(no news paper please) and keep covered so that it doesn't dry out.And repeat this step until you finish rolling all balls.

  • Heat oil in a wok upto 2" deep oil and wait till oil is hot.Slide each pooris in the hot oil and wait for the bubbles to form.Now,flip the other side and gently press the pooris with the slotted spoon so that it puffs up evenly.Flip and turn both sides until it turns slightly crisp and brown.Drain with a slotted spoon and place on thick paper towels.
  • Repeat the same step until you finish making all pooris.Serve warm with potato masala(poori masala).

NOTES
* If you use lesser oil to make poori,then drop only one poori at a time and using the slotted spoon,pour hot oil on top of the poori taking from the sides.This helps to puff up the pooris well.Also apply gentle pressure on the pooris on the puffed sides,so that everything else gets puffed up.Flip both sides to get even browning.
*If you don't like making a batch of rolled pooris then make as a single one,put in oil and fry.But in this case,the oil gets smoky hot in between so I don't prefer this method unless you have a helping hand.

Related Posts with Finger Millet(Ragi/Panji Pullu)-
Ragi Idiyappam
Ragi Dosa
Ragi Peechappam
Multi Grain Laddus


Friday, July 24, 2015

Uppilitta Manga | Uppu Manga | Brined(Salted) Tender Mango

I was overwhelmed to see these small raw mangoes just at the start of mango season in the Indian stores and quickly picked them up.On seeing these mangoes,I felt all the nostalgia which filled my heart with all those good old memories in Kerala.My mouth was filled with water and rekindled my taste buds.The first thing I did after reaching home was to brine those mangoes so that they get ready at the earliest.But to my despair after fifteen days,the skin was as tight as a rock and no changes except for the color.I left these out for another fortnight, the inside was good and nothing changed much to the skin.I assume that the mangoes available here have a tough skin.The mangoes had spice and salt flavors seeped in perfect to serve with kanji or curd rice or just like that to quench the thirst.


 Everything got over in the next couple of days and I wished had a little more.This is a simple recipe that our great grandmothers and grand moms did to preserve mangoes for the season when its not readily available.Our vacation time was always mango time may that be raw or ripe.But these days,our kids hardly get to see mango trees in backyards.The mangoes that we buy from market never taste the same and are sprayed with pesticides.You can use these brined mangoes to make chutneys,pickles in the off season if you have left overs.



Preparation time~25 minutes
Cooking time~5 mins

Ingredients
tender mangoes/raw small mangoes/kannimanga 1 lb(450g) / 15 mangoes
green chillies(ideally bird eye chillies) 10-15
water 4 cups(or as needed)
salt 3-4tbsp


Method
  • Wash the mangoes under running water,don't remove stalk if they have.Wipe them dry with a kitchen towel and keep ready.Cut the chillies in vertical and mix with the mangoes.
  • Heat a pan and add water.Boil the water with salt  for 5 mins and switch off flame.
  • Add the boiled cooled salt water.Mix well and check if the water level is slightly above the mangoes(if not add more boiled cooled water).


  • Pour this in clean dry bottles or bharani(earthern pot).Tie the mouth of the bottle tightly with a string and cloth or cover with a tight lid.Leave undisturbed at room temperature for fifteen days.
  • After fifteen days,check the mangoes.If not done give another couple of days and serve with kanji, curd rice or rice or just like that.


NOTES
* Use clean dry bottles to preserve mangoes and also clean dry spoons to take out the mangoes.

  Related posts
* Nellikka and Loovikka Uppilitta

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Vazhakka(Kaya) Thoran | Raw Plantain Stir Fry(with coconut)

We love the simple comforting homely meals and everyday lunch is truly traditional Kerala menu.The menu may vary as per vegetables available in the pantry.Though they say rice is a big source of carbs and so must be cut down,but eating rice in small portions is healthy.And if diet and exercise can be balanced,then all food items can be had but in moderation.How many of you prefer this kind of a lunch??Today's post is a simple stir fry made with raw plantain which is very filling and delicious.Plantain stir fry(Kaya thoran) is another healthy stir fry from Kerala that has all the flavors of plantain,coconut and coconut oil.I prefer to eat this stir fry just like that without any rice accompaniment too.We had it with mambazha pullissery and pappadam.Do try this out if you find it interesting.



Preparation time~25 minutes
Cooking time~25minutes
Serves ~5-6 servings
Ingredients
raw plantain 2 chopped small
onion 1 medium sized,chopped fine
garlic cloves 2-3 sliced 
chilly powder 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
salt to taste

to coarsely grind
coconut 1/2 cup grated
shallots 2
cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
chilly 2

to temper
coconut oil 2tbsp +1 tsp
mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
boiled rice 1tsp


Method
  • Wash,peel the skin of plantain lightly(apply a little oil in your palms to prevent staining) and then chop them small.Add in a bowl of water and leave like that till you use in stir fry else it changes color(You may also use kanji vellam(rice soup) to soak the chopped plantain).Rub it in the water to remove stains and use(don't do this step till you are ready to use in stir fry).
  • Heat a pan with oil,splutter mustard seeds followed by boiled rice.Wait till it pops up,then add curry leaves.Now,add the onion and garlic cloves.Saute until onion turns translucent.
  • Add in the spice powders and saute until raw smell disappears.
  • Then finally add the drained plantain pieces.Toss well,add salt.Add 1/4cup water(to cook plantain) and cover.Cook covered for 5-6 mins on low medium flame.
  • In the mean time,coarsely grind the coconut ,shallots,green chilly and cumin seeds without adding any water.
  • now,uncover lid and add the coarse coconut paste.Mix well,check salt and if the plantain is half cooked.Check if more water is required to cook(if required,add 2-3 tbsp of water).
  • Cover again and cook till its done,dry out any moisture left out.Pour a tsp of coconut oil on top.Keep covered for 10 mins and mix well,serve warm with steamed rice.



NOTES
*Adding green chilli to coarse paste is optional else increase the heat of chilly powder.
* Ideally shallots is used in place of onions.In that case use 6-7 sliced shallots.
* Though you can use other raw bananas too to make this stir fry but raw plantains gives the taste.
* Use coconut oil for authentic flavors.

More recipes that uses raw plantain,check out if interested-
Kaya Mezhukuparetti
Kaya Kalan  
Upperi (Kaya Varuthathu)
Sharkara Varetti
Nurukku Upperi

 
We had vazhakka thoran with steamed rice,mambazha pullissery & pappadam,Enjoy !!



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Dosa Waffles | Quick Breakfast | Kids Friendly

Waffles make quick breakfast recipes and they are easy to tweak in all healthy flours by adding leavening agents that give it a crispy outer cover and soft inner layer.But this is different from the usual waffle batter and is made with a well fermented dosa batter without any other leavening.This is an  healthy alternative to dosa and a filling one too.This tastes like uthappam with all veggies and takes up hardly any time to make breakfast unlike regular dosas.My kids love this kind of fusion breakfast and am happy to sneak in veggies too.These waffles can be made without egg too  and I have tried that too.The only disadvantage of not adding the egg is that the batter sometimes remain stick to the waffle maker and there by makes it messy.Adding an egg solves the problem and egg for breakfast is a filling one too.If you are a hard core vegetarian,then try without adding egg.Try using the veggies of your choice and enjoy the yumm breakfast with idli milagu podi or any chutneys !!



Preparation time~15 mins
Cooking time~3-4 mins for each set
Recipe source ~own
Serves 5 waffles in a 13" round waffle maker

Ingredients
dosa batter 2 cups
* egg 1
capsicum/bell pepper finely chopped 1/2 cup
carrots 1/2 cup finely chopped
onion 1/2 cup finely chopped
asafoetida powder/hing/kayam podi a good pinch
grated ginger 1/2 tsp
green chillies 2-3
mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
chana dal 1 tsp
oil 2 tsp
salt to taste



Method
  • Heat a pan and add oil.Splutter mustard seeds followed by chana dal.Add in the asafoetida powder,then chopped green chillies and grated ginger.Now, add in the onions.Add all other chopped veggies.Saute until done or onions turn translucent(leave out a little crunchiness).Switch off flame and leave to cool.
  • In the meantime,add the lightly beaten egg and salt(if required) in the dosa batter.
  • Heat the waffle maker,apply oil liberally and wait till its hot.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of batter in each waffle slots,spread evenly.Cover and cook for 3-4 mins or as per manufacturer's instructions until golden brown.
  • Remove with a fork and serve warm with tomato chutney.


NOTES
* Use your favorite veggies and chop very fine.
* Adding egg is optional,you can even try adding only white too.This is to help the waffles to comeoff the waffle maker with ease.The first time I tried was without adding an egg,the taste was all good but the some of the waffles got struck in the waffle maker and so tore apart.Try and see if you get it correct.


Related Posts
* Whole Wheat Chocolate Waffles
* Eggless Oatmeal Waffles




Monday, July 20, 2015

Pizza Pin Wheels | Veg Pizza Rolls | Appetizer Recipes

If you are tired of the same old fashioned pizza and would like to try out something different(that has the flavor of pizza but tastes totally distinct),then this is the right one to try.Anything with the flavors of pizza,my family totally loves it.I generally end up making the regular pizza or pizza muffins or the pizza pull apart bread (that I tried sometime back).I have used black olives,corn in this recipe.The choices of veggies or toppings can be changed as per your likes.Puff pastry sheets are used in this recipe for the base and so its quite easy to assemble.This can be served as an appetizer or as a quick snack too.If you are using other veggies like bell peppers,onion,pineapple then try to chop them very small else it may not be easy to roll.Try these addictive ones and enjoy!!!

Few Pizza based recipes,check the links below-
* Dossiza
* Chicken Tikka Pizza
* Whole wheat Pizza with Tofu
* Apple Pizza
* Homemade Puff Pastry Sheets
* Pinwheel Dates Cookie 


Preparation time~ 45mins+20 mins(if refrigerating)
Baking time~20 mins
Serves~18 pin wheels
Recipe source~own
Ingredients
*puff pastry sheet 1
frozen corn(thawed) 1/2 cup
olives sliced 1/2 cup
pizza sauce 2-3tbsp
parmesan cheese 1/2 cup
mozarella cheese 1/3 cup
pizza seasoning/oregano 1/2 tsp


Method
  • Thaw the puff pastry sheets as per packet instructions or for 45 mins.
  • Now,spread out the puff pastry sheet(after thawing) and roll out if any hard creases.Poke the sheet with a fork all over so that it doesn't puff up.
  • Spread the pizza sauce(leaving behind 1/2" space) and then add the cheeses.Now add in the chopped veggies(toppings) followed by seasoning.
  • Now,starting from the longer side,tuck the sides tightly and roll in a cylindrical shape(dip fingers in water and spread on the finishing ends to secure).If you feel the puff pastry sheets are to soft at room temperature and butter starts to melt down,then refrigerate the rolled sheets for 30 mins before cutting out the discs(helps to cut out better),else you can directly cut out 1/2" slices and gently place them on the prepared tray.
  • Pre heat oven to 400 degreesF and line a tray with parchment paper(I ran out of parchment paper and so used aluminium foil but had a tough time to scrape them out )
  • Place in oven and bake for 15-20 mins until the pin wheels are slightly browned and crisp.
  • Serve warm with ketchup or just like that!!


NOTES
* I have used the Pepperidge brand of puff pastry sheets.However,if you would like to use your own homemade puff pastry sheets,then here is the link to that.
*Feel free to use your desired veggies as per likes.
* You can use your favorite cheese too.I generally use parmesan and mozarella cheese.

More puff pastry recipes,if interested-
* Vegetable Puffs
* Sweet Moong dal Puffs
* Sweet Puffs
* Nutella Palmiers
* Apple Toaster Strudel
* Pin wheel Dates Cookie
* Egg Puffs
* Chicken Puffs
* Tuna Puffs
* Chocolate Croissants
* Fresh Cherry Tartlets
* Umm Ali 
* Goat Cheese Tartlettes



Friday, July 17, 2015

Opera Cake | French Pastry Cake(Step by Step Pics)

Baking partners challenge for this month is a french pastry cake also known as opera cake.Opera cake is made with layers of almond sponge cake also known as 'jaconde' in French.The jaconde is soaked in coffee syrup and the layers are alternated with coffee butter cream and chocolate glaze.This recipe was suggested by Savitha @Savitha's Kitchen and is inspired from here.The cake requires lot of efforts to put in to make but its all worth the efforts.The almond sponge should be liberally soaked in coffee syrup.I haven't mentioned any preparation time for the cake as I prepared the cake in two phases.You can even prepare this cake in three phases/three days.I made the almond sponge on first day and then made the remaining butter cream,coffee syrup,ganache and glaze the following day.The cake was really soft melt in mouth texture with coffee flavor and all loved it.Kids have demanded to make it again.Th sides should be trimmed off the excess chocolate which I omitted as kids wanted the chocolate covered piece.The first pic is the original look of the pastry without chocolate covered on the sides.The original recipe was double the measures but I made half the cake and have mentioned the half cake recipe measures.When you have everything ready at hand,then its easy to assemble.This is a perfect dessert for any occasions.Hope you understood the reason behind my post of blanched almonds,almond flour just before this post.Try and enjoy for your loved ones !!




Serves ~6 pieces
Ingredients

For the Almond Sponge (Joconde)
egg whites 3,at room temperature

granulated white sugar 1/2oz/14 g /1 1/8tablespoon
blanched almonds 4 oz / 3/4 cups
powdered sugar 1/2 cup /113g(sieved )
large eggs 3
all purpose flour 1/4 cup+ 2 tsp
clarified butter 1.5 tablespoon  (melted )
vanilla extract 3/4 tsp

For French Coffee Buttercream
coffee powder 1tbsp
boiling water 1 tsp
egg yolks 3
granulated sugar 1/2 cup(113gms)
water 1/8 cup
unsalted butter(at room temp,just pressed down on touch) 1/2 pound/250g/2 sticks
vanilla extract 1 tsp

For Ganache
bittersweet Chocolate 4 oz/150g
heavy cream 4 oz/ 1/2 cup

For Coffee flavored syrup
granulated sugar  1/4 cup
water 1/2 cup
instant coffee powder 1.5 tbsp

For Tempered Chocolate
semi sweet chocolate  3 oz/ 100g
unsalted butter  1 oz 2 tablespoon




Method



Making of Joconde(Almond Sponge)
Melt the butter in microwave. Let it cool. Powder the sugar in a blender and ieve the powdered sugar well ,without any lumps.Make the almond flour as mentioned in this link,using blanched almonds. Pre heat the oven 425 F. Grease a 12"* 8" sheet pan or regular pan with melted butter.Cut parchment paper exactly to the size of the pan.If it is too long, it may make the corners jagged.Now take a mixing bowl ad add the eggs(at room temp). To the eggs, add sieved powdered sugar. Start whisking the eggs with the sugar,till it becomes pale yellow color.The sugar should have been incorporated well with the eggs.The mixture would have increased in volume.Now,add the powdered almonds and all purpose flour to the egg mixture. The mix should not have any lump.




  • Separate the egg whites from egg yolk.Reserve the egg yolk in refrigerator until use for making butter cream.

 
  • While the almond mixture is incorporating , lets prepare the meringue.Take a grease free,oil free glass bowl or stainless steel bowl.Beat the egg whites, till it reaches soft peak. Now add the granulated sugar and beat again, till it reaches stiff peak. Don't over beat the meringue ,then it may become flat. Now fold the meringue into the almond mixture in 3 batches(remember to only fold in the meringue else the cake will become flat,no over mixing).Finally,add melted butter and vanilla extract to the batter. Now our batter is ready.

  • Grease the parchment paper with melted butter again. Pour the batter into the pan and spread it using a spatula. Take care to spread the batter on the corners. Corners are the culprits for not getting even sized sponge. Bake the sponge for 5 - 7 mins ,or untill the sponge is springy to the touch(don't over bake,then the sponge will become hard).Turn the sponge over a parchment paper and let it cool. Once one side is cooled,turn it over and peel the parchment paper and let the other side cool completely.  

For coffee syrup-
Once the cake is made, let us make the simple coffee syrup for the cake. Take sugar and water in a pan and let it get reduced to half the volume.Add coffee powder and let it dissolve into the hot water. Turn off  and let it cool.



For making French Coffee Buttercream
Dissolve the coffee powder in hot water and set it aside. Take the reserved egg yolks in a mixing bowl .Beat it till it becomes foamy,for atleast 3 mins.In the meantime,let us prepare the sugar syrup. Take sugar and water in a pan. Let it reach 238 degeree F or a *soft ball stage. The mixture will be bubbling hot.When the sugar is hot,immediately pour the syrup to the yolk little by little(don't pour it in a hurry and shouldn't touch the walls of the mixer,else the sugar will become crystals).So,pour a tsp then mix and then pour again and mix.Whisk the egg yolk mixture,till it becomes cold or freeze for 10 mins.  


  • Once it is cooled, remove the whisk attachment and insert the beater attachment  to the mixer. Drop the butter one cube at a time to the mixer. The butter has to get incorporated well into the egg mixture.Mix with the spatula, in between for the butter to get incorporated well. Beat the butter at high speed for atleast 5 mins, till it becomes fluffy an pale.Now,add the coffee and vanilla to the mixture and beat for a minute. This will make the buttercream rich in coffee flavor.
    Preparing the ganache  
    Take the chocolate in a bowl.Heat cream till it almost reaches boiling point.Pour immediately to the bowl.Let it stand for 5 minutes and then mix the chocolate with a spoon,till it melts with the cream. Whisk the chocolate using a wire whisk.Leave it undisturbed for 5 mins.The ganache has to be in a spreadable consistency.If not just heat it again on a double boiler or in a microwave.


    Assembling
    Cut the sponge into 4 equal sized rectangles.Apply the ganache as a thin layer on top of the cake board. This will make sure that the cake comes out clean when we cut it,without sticking to the board(completely optional).Place the first rectangle on the board.Centre the cake so that we have enough space.The up side of the cake,has to remain the upside of the cake(as it has lot of pores,which will absorb the syrup).   
    Soak the sponge completely with coffee syrup. Be liberal in soaking, as the cake has to be melt in mouth. We can also pierce the sponge with fork and soak it with coffee syrup. Now,apply a thick layer of coffee buttercream on top of the sponge. 


    Place the second rectangle of the almond sponge on top of the buttercream.Soak it again with coffee syrup.Spread the ganache on top of the butter cream. Use an angled spatula to cover all the corners.  


    Similarly,place the third sponge on top of the ganache and soak.Check for the evenness of the cake. If it is not even, press it using your palm.The ultimate goal is to make it flat.Apply buttercream on top of the sponge.Now place the fourth sponge on top of the buttercream.Soak it again with coffee syrup.At last,apply a thin layer of buttercream on the sponge. Now comes the glazing part. We can either glaze the cake with melted chocolate or we can temper the chocolate and pour it on top of the cake.I melted the chocolate using double boiler,added butter and poured it on top of the cake(If you wish to temper the cake,then read notes).



    Chilling
    Let the c
    ake set in room temperature for about 10 mins(I ran a fork over the cake to create a rough design look,you can leave it just like that).Now trim the sides of the cake(I skipped this as it looked trimmed and kids demanded the chocolate to be there).I just took 2 small slices without the chocolate sides which are in pics.Plaese don't get confused with few pics showing chocolate sides and few without it.The original pastry is only with the top covered with chocolate and not sides.We should have a neat rectangle part of the cake.Mark the cake with a sharp knife with lines.These lines will help us to cut the cake after chilling,without breaking down the cake.Chill the cake for about 3 hrs or overnight(we served the cake after 3 hours and reserved a few slices the next day.We liked the cake the next day after overnight chilling as the coffee flavor was well distinguished and the cake was literally melt in mouth).While serving,bring the cake to room temperature and cut it.Top the cake with chocolate garnishes and serve.   


NOTES
 *If you are going to freeze the jaconde or almond sponge, then wrap it using a cling wrap and freeze. If you are going to prepare the cake within 2 days, then it can be covered completely and stored at room temperature.
* When you drop the sugar syrup in a bowl of cold water ,the drop of sugar should form a soft ball when held together.That is the soft ball stage. 
* The egg ,sugar mixture has to be cooled down completely which is very important for making butter cream.. 
* for tempering chocolate-Prepare 2 bowls ,with ice water in one and cold water in the other. Take the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, melt it in microwave one minute at a time ,till it is melted completely. Now the chocolate would have reached little over 100 degree F. Leaving the thermometer in the bowl .Pace it on top of the cold water bowl. The temperature would have dropped to 84 degree F. Now take the bowl out and place it on top of the hot water bowl, the temperature would have hiked to 89 degree F. Immediately, mix the butter to the chocolate . Pour the tempered chocolate on top of the cake. 


 
Enjoy making this luscious dessert and have a great weekend ,
Stay tuned  and Happy Eid,friends!!!