Make your own “storebought” Marzipan Cake (1st try)

After the cake discussion with mihl in the commentary to my boyfriend’s birthday cake, I decided to try converting the “shake & bake” recipe to a marzipan cake à la readymade Dr Oetker. So I subbed the coffee with rice milk and used 150g of marzipan instead of the 150g ground nuts. Since marzipan already contains sugar, I only added about 245g sugar instead of the 300g the original recipe calls for. Then I realized that in all probability the little chunks of marzipan wouldn’t really mix with the rest of the batter, so I tried blending them in with the hand-held mixer. It didn’t make a lot of difference, so I just baked it as it was (note: it only took about 50 minutes rather than a full hour!). You can see the result in the slice picture below – even the individual little chunks of marzipan (sorry about the injured sugar butterfly!). It tasted really good, but it could still use some additional choc chips or something. Next time I’ll try using margarine instead of canola oil; maybe I can blend the margarine, marzipan and sugar first and add the remaining ingredients later and thus achieve the perfect pseudo-storebought marzipan cake. ;)

I Heart Fesenjan!

On Friday, Kris and I went to the Indian grocery store and found a new spice to try out: Anardana powder, which is made from dried pomegranate seeds and pulp. Of course we immediately decided to buy some and do some creative cooking the next day.
Here’s a picture of what I bought (and yay, I finally have Sriracha!!):

So last night, we made bazu‘s recipe for Fesenjan (Pomegranate Stew). Okay, we cheated a bit and used ground walnuts (for lack of a food processor), but it turned out lovely!
Since we couldn’t get pomegranate paste (we checked!), we used 2 tsp. Anardana powder mixed in with 1/4 c. pure pomegranate juice. The powder adds a lot of tanginess while still preserving the unique pomegranate taste, so it probably works better than lemon juice. I made some fresh seitan to use in the Fesenjan, and this is the yummy, yummy result:

Kris and I both agreed: Food (in general) should be exactly this colour and consistency. We both love the complex warm and tangy flavours, too. So we vote this the perfect comfort food. Thanks, bazu (and bazu’s grandma)! :D