Birthday cake with strawberry cream and chocolate lace border; Paneer makhni and yeasted roti

Last weekend was the husband's birthday. It had been a very long time since I made a nice decorated cake. This was the perfect occasion for a nice cake.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I saw a video for Strawberry Charlotte on the Joy of Baking youtube channel. I liked the look and I loved the strawberry cream topping. I am totally in a strawberry phase. We have gone through 8 lbs of strawberries in the last month (Some of them are in the freezer, but I am sure they won't last long).

I followed the recipe for the Strawberry Charlotte almost exactly. The sponge cake was made exactly the way it was shown in the video. The folding techniques are quite useful. Since the air whipped into the eggs and sugar is what makes the cake fluffy and you do not want to deflate the batter when folding in the dry ingredients.
I halved the strawberry cream as I wanted it to be more like cake with frosting rather than being tart like with a lot of strawberry cream filling. The ratio of cake and cream worked out perfectly for us. I absolutely loved the strawberry cream stabilized by gelatin. I could have eaten the cream by the bowl but the cake and cream went together so well. Really light and fluffy with great strawberry flavor.
I, obviously made some changes in the way I decorated. I really wanted to do a chocolate lace border because that is something I have never done before. It is so easy to do and looks really impressive. There are many how-tos on the web for this.
I cut a piece of parchment paper the height and length required to go around the cake. Melt some chocolate chips in the microwave and put them in a bag and cut out a tiny hole in one corner. Pipe the melted chocolate on the parchment paper in a random design. Let it set up a bit till it is no longer liquid. The chocolate will not look as shiny at this stage. That's a visual clue if you don't want to keep touching the chocolate to check it. It took me almost 2 hours for the chocolate to reach that stage but I read somewhere that it took only 30 minutes. Wrap the parchment paper around the cake carefully. I left it overnight in the fridge to set up. In the morning, I peeled off the parchment paper and decorated the top with a strawberry and leftover chocolate squiggles.

For lunch, I made paneer makhni and yeasted roti.
I used this makhni masala recipe for the paneer makhni base. It turned out exactly like a good restaurant's paneer makhni. I just halved the recipe and added a 14 oz block of cubed haldiram's paneer (which I soaked in hot water first). I had a little bit of kasuri methi left in the box so I dumped it in the gravy but it was about 1 tablespoon instead of the 1/2 tablespoon that I needed. I had to add a teaspoon of sugar to balance the bitter. This is soo rich and creamy. Definitely a special occasion treat!

I based the yeasted roti on this naan recipe. This time I did not have a banana so I left it out and added some sugar instead but the banana works really well in this recipe. I also used the whole wheat roti flour instead of bread flour. I also rolled out the rotis thinner like regular rotis so they cook faster. This was a nice change from normal rotis or parathas to go with a special paneer gravy.

While I am out here throwing out recipe links, let me throw out this Nawabi Pulao that I made on the husband's last birthday.
I followed the recipe with a few changes (obviously). I skipped the cream in the Nawabi curry. I skipped the canned fruits in the shahi pulao part and added a few dried berries instead. It was quite tasty and didn't need anything else to go along with it.


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