Mini Eggless Victoria Sponge Cake

Victoria Sponge Cake is a versatile cake that used to be Queen Victoria's favourite , hence the name !
Its such a simple cake that is prepared with equal measures of Egg weight,butter,sugar and flour. The cake is perfect to accompany tea and anytime .

Two weeks ago was the Day - the day for roses, day for chocolates , day for pink , the day of love ! The Valentines 's Day. This post was intended for Valentine's day , but my boy's celebrate their birthday on the 13th and their celebrations get me lost doing a lot of other special delicacies. I baked their chocolate birthday cake ,gajar ka halwa | the carrot pudding for dessert which was very well received by everyone and an array of dishes for two parties encompassing the Valentine's day. It was only over the weekend , I took an opportunity to create a Heartfelt treat with Hartley's Strawberry Jam for my valentines - my two lil bunnies and H.

A bag of exciting goodies were hand delivered. The excitement and titillation we ( my daughter and self) have when a parcel comes your way is really high. Miss S will be buzzing around the house, looking for a baby scissor to help mama cut open the packet.Once I open them carefully, S was screaming aloud " Wow" has come. Anything new, anything nicely packed/decorated is "WoW" for her. Isnt that cute?

Delicately, we unveiled the contents one after the other and they were all carefully handpicked. Hartley's Strawberry Jam, Heart shaped moud, Heat changing love mug and a Letter imprint mould. They were all chosen to make the day special. Thank you Hartley's Jelly and Havas for sending them my way and challenging me try something special. The first thingy that came to my mind was a Victoria Sponge Cake, but it had to heart shaped.The mini heart shaped egg moulds could be used to create the shape and an idea took shape.I went on to create a mini Eggless Victoria Cake.Its easy and worth creating for special occasions.


Prep Time: 10 + 15 Min | Baking Time: 20-25 Min


100g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
100g Self Raising Flour
100g Caster Sugar
½  Cup of Yogurt
2 Tblspn of Milk
½ Tsp Baking Powder
50g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
35g Icing Sugar
½ tsp of Vanilla Extract
3-4 Tbsp. of Hartley’s Strawberry Jam
Some icing sugar for decoration





  •  Preheat the oven to 190 C, gas mark 5. Line a rectangular brownie tin with parchment paper, in a way it comes over the sides.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together all the ingredients until you get a smooth and a soft batter.
  • Pour the cake mix into the tin and spread it flat with a spatula on the top. Bake for about 20-25 min, until skewer inserted come out clean. Turn over a cooling rack until the cake cools down. Using a heart shaped mould, cut 3 pieces out and keep it aside.
  • To make a buttercream filling, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Gradually include the icing sugar and keep beating. Add in vanilla extract and give a good beat.
  • To assemble them, Spread the buttercream icing on top of one sponge, layer it with some jam and top it with the second sponge. Follow the same pattern and top the third and final sponge. Dust with some icing sugar and serve. 

Note: In this recipe I have used 2 tbsp. of Milk, but I would recommend to reduce it by a tbsp. or may be null it. Since we are using yogurt as an egg replacer, there is enough liquid content to enable moisture. This cake was super moist and extremely spongy !!

 Sending in my entry to Saturday Snapshot #8, where the theme is HOLDING food. Though unplanned, my daughter pitched in and wanted to participate.

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Gajar ka Halwa with Condensed Milk | Carrot Pudding

Gajar ka Halwa is always associated with festivals , occasions and autumn. There is a story weaved with every preparation , a sense of strong connection to roots and lots of memories. My amma ( as I call my mother) used to make them religiously every year, as long as we were in Mumbai growing up. Good long 15 years !! Probably when we ( my brother and me ) grew up to 8 years and 10 years , as I vaguely remember , Amma would wash and peel the juicy red carrots and then ask us to take turns to grate the carrots in the box grater on the coarse side. We would do 2-3 carrots each and make up reasons for not doing it. Start complaining of arm ache or getting our fingers bruised while grating and many more.Compassionately Amma would sort us out, still get us do our share. In minutes after that, she would grate them all in a stride. I can totally relate to those teeny weeny silly reasons. My elder one , now 7 has got 100 such reasons when you ask him to do anything , against his will . But thats childhood ! That is being how you are .. completely true , expressing it in many ways .

We would talk about school, talk about how the english teacher got annoyed at the class for not behaving, how we were punished for not getting to school on time and so forth. As years past , as we grew from kids to teenagers , things changed and time changed . For stress burster exercise, Amma would pull me off books and ask me to help her with her chores. Reluctantly I would . She would take me for a little stroll to the market , treat me to my favourite chat and as we graze by the streets or waiting for the bus , we would have a friendly chat about everything ! Those were times.

Now when I have stepped into the motherly shoes , I can trace back to those days, see them all repeating with my little ones. Talk to my  just turned 7 years lad , he would be standing in the front line to confront .
Well this Gajar ka Halwa was for dessert for the boys birthday party.  We had a quite celebration with my English neighbours and their lovely kids. Vedant and Andrew are a year apart , but its lovely to see the boys have their games .
On the menu was Paneer Butter Masala , Chole Masala , Dal Tadka with Phulka's and Pulav Rice. Gajar ka Halwa for dessert. Sara and Rob , the beautiful couple enjoyed it !! And I was one happy host.

Gajar ka Halwa or call it Carrot pudding is prepared in autumn/winter with the juicy red carrots as its naturally sugar laddened. It doesnt mean , one cannot make them with the orange carrots , always available in the markets and super grocers. January end  until mid February is a celebration at home here as we are blessed with a series of occasions and birthday celebration on the very same day.

This dessert can be made a numerous ways - Traditional way with just milk and sugar or with milk and condensed milk , milk and khoya / paneer and more. There is already a recipe the traditional way in my blog - Gajar ka Halwa - the Indian Carrot Pudding


Prep Time: 15 Min | Cooking Time: 1 Hour roughly


1 kg Carrots
400 ml Full Fat Milk
¾ Cup of Granuted Sugar  ( 168g)
1 Can of 400 ml Condensed Milk
½ Tsp of Cardamom Powder
3 Tblspn + 1 Tblspn of Unsalted Butter
Handful of chopped Nuts for garnishing


  • Heat a deep bottom non-stick pan, melt the butter until it begins to clear and fry the grated carrots for approximately 5 minutes until they begin to soften.
  • Pour the milk over the carrots and cook over medium to high heat, stirring frequently , till the carrots are done and the milk has reduced to less than half the original quantity. Add the sugar and let them simmer together until they have reduced nearly.
  • At this stage, you can pop in the entire can of condensed milk over the reduced carrot mixture, stirring once. Add the cardamom powder and cook until all the liquid in the halwa has evaporated, making sure the halwa is still moist but not wet and flowing. 
  • Once you add the condensed milk , very frequent supervision and nearly continuous stirring is required in order to avoid the pan catching and burning the halwa.Set it aside, top it with garnishing and serve it with ice cream when warm or serve it on it one when cooled down. 
  • For garnishing, heat a tbsp. of butter. Once they clear and begin to separate the solids, add the chopped cashewnuts and sliced almonds. Fry them in low flame until they are light brown in colour and set aside. In this case I have just used fresh crushed cashewnuts to be topped over on each serving. Apprximately 12 servings is what we can have from this proportions , but it all depends on the size too.

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Bread Pakora with Coriander Spinach Chutney

I have actually had a little sit with my good old laptop for editing and writing after nearly two months.Phew ! A batalion of drafts was lined up to keep my blog up from December until now. There is soo much to share, soo much write , so much to ramble and more but there was hardly any zeal left with within me to pick my camera and do the pictures. A fantastic and an extremely buzy India trip, much more than I imagined !! A collection of props and fabrics - from here & there and I am all excited to share it with all..

  Props !

Chutney Dip Serve ware set  was a present from my dear friend Anu when I visited her in Netherlands , last October. The brown tea cups are my picks from an Delhi Haat, few years ago but I just managed to wrap them safe and bring it along. 

The wooden board used in one of the pictures below has a history and is 150 years old. Truly a heritage piece. It’s called Ammai Palahai .In olden days, people used to sit over it, while having their meal. My granny was kind enough to add it to my treasure chest!

We celebrated my dad's 60th birthday in our traditional south indian way - Sastiapthmoorthi. Along with the birthday celebration, the function also included a remarriage ceremony for my parents. That is such a cute and an auspicious moment. Very few people get to witness this ceremony in their lifetime and we were all blessed.
More than just visiting homes and catching up , we decided to do two resort trips with family and cousins. There is a lot of time and enjoyment in the process of planning, journey and then finally when you reach the destination. No cooking involved , no clearing the mess and no time for post tiring !  Perfectly recommended is a place called Mango Mist, where one can choose your day trips or half day trips. We did a three quarter that included a lavish ala carte breakfast ,lunch and tea time . This package also included tickets to a few adventure sports , a coupon for a mocktail ( worth it) - I skipped my tea for it!! , fish spa and Rain dance.  Ooo lala.. This place is located about 30 km or so from Bangalore , in a place called Anekal.

The second trip was to a resort in our ever green Nandi Hills. Still serene, calm and the atmosphere is much cooler than in the city . Highlight was our visit to Bhoganadishwara temple , right in Nandi Hills.  A highly recommended place for its beauty and serenity. Its still clean and mainitained even after its built in 1100AD , I believe. There is absolutely no entrance fee ..! Had such a place existed in UK, it would have been classified under the world heritage site with a heafty ticket for entry. Why dont we work on it and get a status for our heritage sites ???

Before I get writing any further travel stories, let me head straight to the post .. This writeup today is about super easy plain bread pakora's . All it takes is under 30 minutes. When you heat up the oil for frying , you get all your other ingredients mixed and ready. This is exactly what I did too !


Recipe Type:Snack/Starter | Prep Time: 10 Min | Cooking Time: 20 minutes


 For Bread Pakora

1 Cup Gram Flour
½ Tsp Garam masala
¼ Tsp Chilli Powder
½ Tsp Carom Seeds ( Ajwain)
¼ Tsp Turmeric Powder
¾ Tsp Salt ( Approx)
Oil for frying + ½ tsp for the batter
3 Bread slices – Farm house bread

For Coriander Spinach Chutney
Recipe adapted from the book Food of the Grand Trunk Road

½ Bunch Coriander Leaves
10 Spinach Leaves or handful
½ “ Ginger
1 Clove of Garlic
1 Green chilli
4 Tsp Yogurt
½ Tsp Dried Mango Powder ( Amchur )
½ Tsp Cumin Powder
A squeeze of Lemon Juice
Salt to taste

 For Bread Pakora:
  •  Heat the oil in a kadai or a non-stick pan. 
  •  In a large deep vessel, mix all the dry ingredients for bread pakora except for bread . Add water slowly, giving the batter a good stir until desired consistency is achieved. The batter should be neither too thick, nor too thin. 
  •   Slice the bread in to 4-6 pieces triangle. Dip each slice into the batter and slide it in the heated oil. Fry on medium flame until they are crispy and golden brown. Drain the pakora’s on a tissue paper to ensure all the extra oil is absorbed. Repeat the process for the rest of bread triangles. 
  •  Enjoy your hot bread pakora’s this winter with green chutney and some masala chai.
 For greens packed Chutney
  • Wash the greens, ginger - garlic under running tap water. Chop them roughly and place them in a blender along with yogurt and green chilli. Add water just enough, if necessary to achieve a suitable consistency.
  • Add amchur powder, required salt and a squeeze of lemon juice to the chutney. Give it a good mix and transfer it to container to be served.
  • This chutney can be freezed and will still stay fresh up to a week for sure.

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