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Just beat it!

Harini Naidu, Dec 6 2017, 10:40 IST
Chef Gnanakshi Ganesan.

Chef Gnanakshi Ganesan.

I was always a foodie. Since my childhood, I had always liked food. My dad was my inspiration. I used to always go with him to all possible food outlets in Bengaluru. This connected us more and I started enjoying the process of exploring new cafes and shops with him. Together, we used to taste different kinds of food. You could say that the love for food is in my genes.

We had a catering business at home and I grew up seeing how it was done. Education wise, I never thought I would choose the culinary field. I went for the CET, but eventually, I felt that I wanted to do something in the creative field. I was also interested in photography. For quite a few years, the only thing I could cook was Maggi Noodles. Then I got my first oven and I tried my hands on baking a cake, which was a total disaster.

Until that day, baking was not my cup of tea and the oven was left untouched after that episode for almost a year. Then I decided to enter the culinary field and became proactive. I joined baking classes conducted by a home baker. What started as fun was becoming a serious affair.

When I started taking classes, I thought 'Damn! This is great fun'.

I was at that time working as a manager in a music academy. But soon, I quit the job. I took a solid six-month break again to practise baking at home. My baking teacher asked me if I wanted to attend a workshop in Trivandrum. This was a huge opportunity for me and I agreed to it instantly. Here, I understood how home tutoring happens. This also made me realise that it is the culinary field that I wanted to be.

Initially, my brother was a bit apprehensive but he supported my decision as he saw that this was what I aspire to be. I decided to do a full-time diploma course with Lavonne.

Once I was good, I wanted to see how my products sold. I tried to sell few items like whole wheat bread and brownies on my 'BeLikeCake' Facebook page, which was a huge hit.

This boosted my confidence further and I got motivated. I list out eateries and make sure that I go there and try out the food. My list keeps growing every day. This also helps me improve my cooking skills.

Food has been something I loved exploring since childhood but understood that this is what I wanted to do recently. My favourite dish is 'Biryani' and chocolates and whenever I feel down, I still need chocolates.

I am sharing with you, one of my favourite recipes which is 'Banana-walnut cake with yoghurt-lime sorbet'.
Banana-walnut cake with yogurt-lime sorbet

Banana-walnut cake

Ingredients

*Walnuts: 50 gm
*Flour: 120 gm
*Castor sugar: 60 gm
*Baking powder: 1/2 tsp
*Baking soda: 1/8 tsp
*Salt:1/8 tsp
*Eggs: 50 gm (one large egg)
*Butter(melted): 55 gm
*Banana(ripe): 120 gm
*Vanilla extract/essence: 1/2 tsp
*Milk: 5 gm

Method

*Sieve the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl.

*Mix the chopped walnuts into the above dry mixture.

*Crack the eggs and add the vanilla essence to it.

*Add sugar to the eggs, little at a time and simultaneously beat the eggs. Make sure the mix is fluffy.

*Fold the flour into the egg mixture. Be gentle in folding so you don’t beat out the air in the mixture.

*Add melted butter to the batter.

*Add mashed bananas and fold it into the batter.

*Lastly add in the milk and fold gently.

*Transfer the mix into a baking pan.

*Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 25-30 minutes.

Yogurt-lime sorbet

Ingredients

*Water: 50 gm
*Corn syrup: 15 gm
*Granulated sugar: 25 gm
*Pectin: 1 gm (approx 1/4 tsp)
*Greek yogurt: 125 gm
*Lemon juice: 4 gm (approx 1 tsp)

Method

*Mix the sugar and pectin in a bowl.

*Heat water and corn syrup

*Once the liquid reaches 65 degree celsius, add sugar and pectin mixture.

*Bring this mixture to a rolling boil and let it boil for one minute.

*Cool this mixture till it reaches room temperature.

*Add the Greek yogurt and lemon juice and transfer into an ice cream churner.

*Churn to desired consistency.

The banana-walnut cake and yogurt-lime sorbet are ready to be plated. You can optionally garnish them with almond crumble, caramel whipped cream and microgreens. Go creative with your plating!
Chef Gnanakshi Ganesan

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