Monday, September 01, 2014

3 ingredient Peach 'Dump' Cake - So Easy!

31st August 2014: This cake/crumble/whatever you call it is ridiculously easy to make and so outrageously tasty. You just need a few ingredients and you just 'dump' the ingredients just like the name suggests and bake for about 45-55 minutes and you are done! No chilling, whisking, melting, mixing required. 
With Durga Puja coming up in less than a month, the rehearsals for the cultural programs are on full swing. The husband and I have been gently 'coerced' into performing a two-minute piece (more on that later!) and whenever there are rehearsals, there is food! Loads of it. Today, it is going to be a 'Chaat' Potluck Party. Since I did not have any 'chaat' ingredients on hand and was too bored to go looking for some, I volunteered to take desserts. No party is a party without dessert, I say!

3 ingredient Peach 'Dump' Cake - So Easy!

Now I needed something that would be enough for about 20 adults, and since I had not been feeling too well for the last few days, I wanted to make something easy and quick! A quick search on the internet (this recipe is inspired by Ree Drummond's Dump Cake, followed by a quick trip to the grocery store, a quick assembly of ingredients and 55 minutes later I ended up with this beauty. Okay, it might not look very pretty... but it is oh-so-good! The husband did not show much enthusiasm about the peachy dessert, neither did the almost 5 year old (I can't believe it is his birthday in a just 3 weeks!). One taste later they were converted!

3 ingredient Peach 'Dump' Cake - So Easy!

Ingredients
  • One box of yellow cake mix. 
  • 2 15 oz Cans of peach in heavy syrup 
  • Butter - 1 stick (1/2 Cup), chilled (it will just be easier to cut)
  • Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Brown Sugar - 2 tbsp (optional)

3 ingredient Peach 'Dump' Cake - So Easy!

Yup! This is all you need. And you can totally skip the brown sugar and cinnamon. Since I wanted to taste a bit and take few photos (and did not want to dig into the dessert I would be carrying for the potluck), I set aside a wee bit to make some in 2 ramekins which took about 30 minutes to bake. I made it in an oven-proof 8x6 inch glassware but you can bake the entire thing in a 13x9 inch pan. 

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease your pan with some butter. 

3 ingredient Peach 'Dump' Cake - So Easy!

Drain the syrup from one can and reserve it. Dump the peaches of both the cans + the liquid from one can into the pan you are baking the 'Dump Cake' in. I arranged the slices of peach just because I felt like - you can totally skip that. Throw in the box mix and using your hands or the back of a spoon, smooth it over the peaches. Do not mix. Slowly drizzle the reserved syrup on the layer of box mix. Slice the butter and arrange pats of it on the box mix layer. Whisk the brown sugar and cinnamon together (if you are using) and sprinkle it on top. Bake for about 45-55 minutes or till the top starts browning a little and you are done! Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice-cream or as it is! 

3 ingredient Peach 'Dump' Cake - So Easy!



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Refreshing Ginger-Ale

August 25th: The last few days have been really hot! And as much as I love the sunny summery days, I do not like the 'heat factor'. To make things worse, the air-conditioning conked off last night. I put in a maintenance service request first thing in the morning and the maintenance guy came in the afternoon, tinkered around and said that it was just a few blown wires in the air-conditioning unit and that he had fixed it. He advised me to keep the AC on and warned me that it will take time for the apartment to cool down (about one degree Fahrenheit per hour). So I waited. When the husband came back from work and complained that it is still hot, I brushed aside his allegations, quoting the maintenance guy. It was only around 9 pm that it hit me that the AC was not actually not working (duh!), the vents were blowing warm air so while the husband went out to buy a stand fan, I sat down and wrote a LONG service request (yes, it was almost as long as my blog-post!!). I was flustered. I was losing my cool. Because my almost 5 year old who is usually asleep by 8-8:15 pm on school-nights, couldn't sleep and he was getting bouts of cough. A dose of Benadryl helped with his coughing and the tired little being fell asleep even before his father returned with the fan.


I agree that the heat here is nothing compared to the sweltering heat of the summer months in Kolkata, but then again the apartments here are designed for air-conditioning and though we have a ceiling fan in each room, those hardly helped. All day I had been craving cool drinks. I craved Masala Thums-up. I craved Limca. I craved all the things cool but not available here, at least not easily. My only reasonable craving was for ginger-ale and I immediately remembered that my friend, PeeGee had posted a recipe few days back on her blog. So once it got a little cooler (around 10 pm), I set off to make the syrup for the ginger ale. I know I'll have to wait till morning to drink it, but tomorrow I'll be ready to take on the heat well-equipped with the stand-fan and a glasses of minty fresh and chilled ginger-ale.

Refreshing Ginger-Ale

August 26th: Zingy Ginger-ale made. Consumed. Refreshed. AC Unit still not working - apparently the compressor needs to be replaced which will take couple of days time. Maintenance came and installed a window unit in one of the rooms.

Ingredients:

  • Grated Ginger - 1/4 Cup (I used about 3 inches of ginger)
  • Brown Sugar - 1/2 Cup
  • Lime juice - 1.5 or 2 tbsp
  • Water - 1 Cup (8 oz)
  • Salt - a fat pinch
  • Mint Sprigs - 2 or 3 (optional)
  • Club Soda or Seltzer Water - 1 Cup (8 oz)
  • Ice-cubes - a handful
Refreshing Ginger-Ale

In a saucepan bring to boil 1 cup water, along with the brown sugar, grated ginger and pinch of salt. Once it comes to boil, lower the heat, add the mint sprigs and let the concoction simmer for 10 minutes. Take it off the heat, add the lime juice and let it come to room temperature. Chill the ginger syrup in the fridge for few hours or overnight.
Before making the ginger-ale, strain the concoction and store the ginger syrup in a clean glass jar. You may discard the mint leaves and save the ginger pulp to snack on later. PeeGee was right, it does taste a bit like candied ginger.
To make the ale, pour 4 tbsp of ginger syrup, top it off with about 4 oz of seltzer water and throw in a handful of ice-cubes. Garnish with lime wedges, mint leaves and serve chilled.

I am thinking a splash of vodka (or more) will do wonders! 

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