April 30, 2008


Pear Tomatoes
in all it's natural glory is my entry to "Click-Au Naturel" which Jai and Bee of "Jugalbandi" blog are hosting this month. Thanks to you both and all the judges too!:)

First, let me say that it feels great to be back after 5 weeks' long hiatus. I still have lots of work to do, so I will be blogging and visiting you all just 3 days a week from now on (Mon., Wed., Fri.) and will be participating in very few events if I can, as there are so many events going on these days. Right now, I am glad I have managed to post these, my last minute entries! :)

Pear Tomatoes:
I grew few Pear Tomato plants last Summer, loved and enjoyed each and every fruit of these beautiful tomatoes.They were not only gorgeous to look at, very sweet and juicy to eat too, excellent to make Summer salads. Hopefully, they are few seeds still scattered in my garden patch waiting to sprout up for this Summer's bounty, keeping my fingers crossed! :)

Pear Tomatoes

Camera I used: Sony Cyber-Shot 8.1 Mega Pixels


Microwaved Orange Streusel cake is my entry to "Microwave Easy cooking", which is hosted by Srivalli of "Cooking 4 all seasons" with a theme of "cakes" this month. Thanks for hosting Sri!:)

I am giving you a fabulous tasting and a very fragrant Orange cake with Streusel topping, baked in a microwave!! Can you believe it? Of course, microwave cakes will never be as soft and fluffy as the oven baked cakes but look like quick breads, not bad at all for a cake made within 10 mins, instead of 1 1/2 hrs for a cake baked in the oven when the craving hits you!! :D
This recipe came from an old yellowing microwave cookbook I bought long time ago. Orange cake is really delcious and quick to make in 6-7 mins after the initial prep of the batter. It will taste like a quick bread but lot more delcious than a bread. Read the whole recipe before you start on the cake please, hope you try!:)

Microwave Orange Streusel cake:

A slice for you! :)

Step by step photos, click to enlarge:

Bowl: Prepare the microwavable ceramic bowl about 8" in diameter. Spray no-stick oil or butter inside. Cut a round wax paper to fit into the bottom of the bowl inside and spray again on it to make the cake come out of the bowl easily after cooking.

For Streusel topping, you need:
1/4 cup plain flour,
1 tsp Cinnamon powder,
1 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa pd,
(I used Ghirardelli Cocoa,Hershey Cocoa will do too)
1/4 cup chilled Butter,cut into pieces,
1/4 cup fine brown sugar,
Mix all these with your fingers until it has a texture like coarse bread crumbs,chill in the fridge until needed.
Or you can use the commercial chocolate frosting on top instead of Streusel for topping.

For Microwaving the cake, you need:
To cream:
1/4 cup Butter, softened,
2/3 cup fine textured white sugar,
1 large Egg.
Liquid mix:
5 tbsps Orange Juice,
6 tbsps whole/2%Milk or half and half,
1 tsp Orange flower essence,
1 tsp grated Orange rind or zest.
Dry mix:
1 1/2 cup Plain flour,
2 tsp Baking powder,
1/8 tsp salt.

How to:
1. Make Streusel topping first, chill it until needed.
2. In a stand mixer or processor, beat butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy on high speed. Stop and add 1 egg, beat gently until creamy.
3. Add liquid mix to it, mix on low speed. Add dry mix to it slowly until everything comes together to a thickish batter. Do not over mix.
4.Pour into the prepared bowl, tap the bottom of the pan gently on the counter top to make the top even and to take the bubbles out.
5. Cook it in the microwave for 3 mins. Take it out, sprinkle the Streusel topping, press it gently on top and microwave it again for 2 more mins.
6. Insert a wooden skewer or knitting needle in the middle to test the doneness. If it comes out somewhat clean, it's done. If very wet, microwave for just one more minute, but not more than that.
7. Take it out, loosen the sides with a knife, shake the bowl gently to loosen the bottom. Invert it on a plate very carefully as to not crush the Streusel (or try to take it out from the bottom i you can), invert again on a cooling rack to cool. Store in a air tight plastic bag or cake stand.
8. Serve a slice with cream if you like and dust with cocoa powder.

Note: Don't worry if you feel that it's still a little moist in the middle of the cake, it will cook as it cools. If you feel that it's not completely cooked, you can always microwave for 1/2 to 1 minute but DO NOT OVER COOK it or else it will be become dry and crumbly.
If that happens ie if it's very dry, prick the top with skewer, drizzle a tbsp of cream or Orange juice in the holes to make it moist again. Each Microwave differs in power, so use your judgment regarding the time for cooking after the first 5 minutes. Enjoy!:))