Monday, 27 April 2015

Saturday Snapshots #9 (No recipe Post)

Linking this to Saturday Snapshots Event hosted byMerry Tummy and Siris Food.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Chocolate/Strawberry Donuts



These little cuties are so heavenly delicious that you won't go again to Dunkin or Krispy Kreme for donuts again. I got this recipe from a tv programme , but made my own adjustments and improvised the recipe after 4 attempts. I love this version more. You can play with your own imagination on the toppings. There are lots and lots of varieties. Chocolate, strawberry and icing sugar are few famous ones, which I've mentioned below.







Ingredients:

(Yields: 12)


1 ½ tsp Instant Yeast
250g White Flour (1 1/3   cups)
1/4 cup Milk Powder
 ½tsp Baking Powder
2 tbsp Caster Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
50 gButter, melted (4 tbsp)
1 Egg
Lukewarm water to knead (125 ml approximately)*

 Chocolate Icing:


1 cup Icing Sugar
1 tsp Butter
1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
2 tbsp Water

Strawberry glaze:


1 cup Icing Sugar
2-3 tbsp Water
2 drop Strawberry essence
1 drop Pink Color










Method:


1. Mix yeast in lukewarm water and keep it aside until froth appears on top just like in the second picture in the collage below.



click the picture for clear view
2. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and milk powder together.

3. Make a well in the centre and pour the yeast mixture, slightly beaten egg and melted butter to it. Mix well in circular motion and turn into a dough using enough water.


4. Spread little oil on top and wrap with a cling film. Let it rise into double the size. It took about an hour for me though it depends on many other factors like the kitchen temperature, humidity etc.

click the picture for clear view




You can see how my finger impressions came out on the dough when it had risen.

5. Now, punch down the dough and knead well. Punching down helps to deflate the dough and let the air bubbles come out of the dough which was formed by the yeast during rising.


6. Take a small portion of the dough, flatten into 1/2 inch thick. cut out into donut shapes using donut cutter or 2 cookie cutters or even 2 bottle caps of different sizes.

7. Keep these cutouts on a tray and let it rise for about an hour or so till it doubles. Otherwise, you can keep in oven to rise. Preheat oven to 200C for about 15 minutes and switch off the oven. Place the donuts tray inside and leave it there for a few minutes till donuts double in size. Don't forget to turn off the oven before you keep the donuts.



click the picture for clear view



8. Fry these risen donuts in medium-low heat oil till they turn brown. Drain on tissue paper and let it cool before icing is done.



Chocolate/Strawberry Icing:


Sift icing sugar and discard the solids. Heat all the ingredients in a pan until sugar melts nicely. Dip donuts one by one into the icing (chocolate/strawberry)  halfway through , take it out and keep it on a tray. Sprinkle chocolate vermicelli ,sprinkles or walnut chunks on top of that if you wish.


Alternatively, for sugar coated donuts; dip these donuts in melted butter and then coat with icing sugar mixed with a pinch of cinnamon powder.








 Notes:

- * The measure of water mentioned here is just an approximate amount. It varies depending on humidity, size of the egg etc.

-The icing thickens easily. If so, heat it again till it melts . You can add more water if needed.



Linking this to Let's Cook for Easter


Thursday, 5 March 2015

Mushroom & Peas Pulao




Mushroom and Peas Pulao is a complete dish and can be eaten as a complete meal on its own. A bowl of your favourite raita, achar and pappad is all you want. I always make it sure to add those vegetables which are my kids' favourite to make sure that they don't complaint. Mushrooms are my son's favourite whereas girls love peas. 


INGREDIENTS:
Courtesy: Shehzad Husain
Serves: 6

Basmati Rice      2 1/2 cups
Mushrooms    100 gm/ 1 1/2 cups
Green peas(fresh or frozen)    1/2 cup
Vegetable oil      2 tbsp
Cinnamon sticks     2"
Black Cardamom       2
Kalonji/ Black Cumin/ Karinjeerakam 1/2 tsp
Garlic cloves     3,chopped
Tomato    1 medium
Water    4 cups
Salt    2 tsp



Method:

1. Wash the rice atleast twice and set aside in a sieve(strainer).

2 In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and add the spices, garlic and salt.

3. Add the sliced tomato and button mushrooms and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. 


4. Now add the rice and peas and gently stir around, making sure you do not break the rice.
5. Add the water and bring the mixture to the boil. lower the heat, cover and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes.







Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Doll Cake

'Ipoh' inspired Doll Cake

You may all be wondering what the hell happened to me or where did I disappear? Well, making excuses of kids, how they keep me busy ,their exams etc. have now become a habit these days ; but believe me, this time it's not them. It has nothing to do with any one else other than ME !

I'm sure many of the bloggers might have experienced this stage when we get so much into blogging that we have no control over our lives and it's the blog that controls it. We think, we shop for it, we cook for it, we click for it ... whatever we do, it's all for the blog. I was too much involved in doing so that somewhere I felt like I was forgetting to live for me, my kids or for my entire family. I wanted to take back that control to my hands and give a new direction to life. Setting my priorities and not to lose the purpose of life! It was not so simple; but yet.. now everything is at place. My mind is at peace, I have no hurry thinking about next post, photoshoot, etc. which occupies 3/4th of my mind; checking blog stats umpteen times a day etc. These days,I even forgets to check my blog daily. Now I have a control on all these as these comes only after ME, my religion, kids, family and friends.





How did I do this? Well, first of all I stopped checking social networks frequently, mainly fb and blog. First 2 weeks went like that and spent those free time with kids. It felt so good that I eventually forgot about them-my fb friends, blogs etc. Then started reading Quran, tried to learn it, joined online courses to learn Arabic and so on. I bet, that's the best decision I've ever made. It helped me grow as a person and my mind is at peace now. I started enjoying life and now I don't spend my time on tvs, fbs or movies. I don't enjoy watching them as I've one beautiful life from God to enjoy . I know it's just 4 months, but still I have learned to forgive others, not to harm anyone even in thoughts and be nice as a human being.




Nawal named it Ballerina and so the arms up in the air!
Beauty lies in the mind;inner-soul. Peace of mind and happiness are what everyone long for, and these are the ways through which people can have a good life and find complete happiness and joy. At times, people forget the purpose of life, many of them terminate their lives without hope.  When the human being realizes the purpose of life, an ordinary person can become a means of spreading guidance to hundreds of thousands of people. There are diamonds, gold, silver and pearls to be discovered inside human heart. So take a pause from your usual life, think about your goals, purpose or what you want from your life and go ahead. If you are on the right track, nothing to worry :) .. Think about how you were 10 years ago . If you are still the same, then  you will have to work on it.  We should grow as a person, learn to live, be happy, wipe off the negativities in life and take a U turn. Look at the kids and see how happy they are.. with no worries, no hatredness, love for others, excitement.. that's the inner self. that's how we are.. all these jealousies, hatredness etc. are our outerselves which we do not need actually. Snatch them out from our selves and live this life beautifully.


Smile and smile forever! :) Spread Love and no Hatred!  



This is a 'no-recipe' post as I have shared my  favourite chocolate cake before also. Girls were so happy to see this cake. It was made in a day; from dawn to dusk I must say; for my nieces who were leaving the same day. I was so busy that I couldn't take step by step pictures to share with you all the techniques behind this cake. 





Monday, 22 September 2014

X-Box Cake




I know how Moms go crazy planning their kids' birthdays.  I had been planning since two weeks before the day. I do not usually throw a party or make it a big affair; but  try to make them feel special; feel loved. This time I had something else in mind. I wanted to celebrate his birthday with his dearest and one and only friend, Achal. Both share birthdays on the same week. They are best of the buddies. Football or cricket they have their team of two and no 11. They came to this world on the same week, joined playschool together, has been going to school in the same bus since 6 years, play together and the most interesting thing is that we have never witnessed them fight or disagree or debate. Masha Allah! They complete each other. If one is childish, the other is matured; one is interested in sports and the other in intellect games. Their schoolmates complain that Razin sits disconnected with the world when alone and as soon as Achal gets into the bus, he rules the bus. That's their friendship is about and we love them and wish that they may stay connected like this for their entire life.. Aameen!

Thinking about a theme for the cake, X-Box came into mind as both love Xbox and play for hours on weekends.  I started making figurines  a week ago. This was my first experience with gumpaste and I've no artistic background with which I could make caricatures or resembles them in some way. For this I love Anna Austin and her cakes. Hats off to the lady! I wish you were somewhere here in this desert. :) So, coming to the cake , the first figurine was ok. The second one I tried with a half sleeve and something somewhere went wrong and it showed some feminine features. I was upset and no energy or time to redo everything. It already took 3-4 hours. When Naw came in,  I asked her whether she knew who were they on the couch. She said yes, Razikkaka( Razin bro) and Mom ! :( I was really sad. Even the 3 year old could recognize the femininity in that figure. I thought of changing the theme to either Mom n son or Sis n Bro... But still, I was upset as he would be more happier if it was Unni (Achal). So I asked suggestions from a few friends of mine and changed a bit here and there. This time it was much better. The cake decors out here can find many flaws in this.. but I was happy and so were the kids. Now I learned what is gumpaste and I'm sure I can make a better figurine next time, Insha Allah! Both were so happy and couldn't control their laughs; while my small one could recognize at the first glance and shouted its Unnikkaaka and Razikkaka.



This cake has 4 layers of which 2 are of vanilla flavor and 2 chocolate flavored; filled with chocolate buttercream and covered with dark chocolate ganache. I have shared this cake recipe many a times; but sharing again here in this post



For Vanilla cake, use this same recipe and for chocolate cake, take away 1/2 cup of flour and add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to it.

Ingredients:
courtesy: Martha Stewart

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 170 C degrees. Butter and flour two 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.
  3. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.
  4. Place one cake, bottom side up, on a cake stand. Tuck strips of parchment paper underneath. Using an offset-spatula or table knife, spread top with Whipped Frosting. Top with remaining cake; frost top, then sides.

Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 50g Cooking chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • milk, to loosen


  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. (Do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the surface of the water.)
  2. Beat the butter in a bowl until soft, then gradually beat in the icing sugar. Add the vanilla extract and fold in the melted chocolate until smooth (add a few drops of milk if the mixture is a little stiff).

 chocolate ganache

  • 300ml double cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter
  • 300 plain chocolate


Heat the cream, vanilla extract, butter and chocolate in a heavy-based pan. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk the mixture until smooth and thickened.



Monday, 27 April 2015

Saturday Snapshots #9 (No recipe Post)

Linking this to Saturday Snapshots Event hosted byMerry Tummy and Siris Food.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Chocolate/Strawberry Donuts



These little cuties are so heavenly delicious that you won't go again to Dunkin or Krispy Kreme for donuts again. I got this recipe from a tv programme , but made my own adjustments and improvised the recipe after 4 attempts. I love this version more. You can play with your own imagination on the toppings. There are lots and lots of varieties. Chocolate, strawberry and icing sugar are few famous ones, which I've mentioned below.







Ingredients:

(Yields: 12)


1 ½ tsp Instant Yeast
250g White Flour (1 1/3   cups)
1/4 cup Milk Powder
 ½tsp Baking Powder
2 tbsp Caster Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
50 gButter, melted (4 tbsp)
1 Egg
Lukewarm water to knead (125 ml approximately)*

 Chocolate Icing:


1 cup Icing Sugar
1 tsp Butter
1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
2 tbsp Water

Strawberry glaze:


1 cup Icing Sugar
2-3 tbsp Water
2 drop Strawberry essence
1 drop Pink Color










Method:


1. Mix yeast in lukewarm water and keep it aside until froth appears on top just like in the second picture in the collage below.



click the picture for clear view
2. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and milk powder together.

3. Make a well in the centre and pour the yeast mixture, slightly beaten egg and melted butter to it. Mix well in circular motion and turn into a dough using enough water.


4. Spread little oil on top and wrap with a cling film. Let it rise into double the size. It took about an hour for me though it depends on many other factors like the kitchen temperature, humidity etc.

click the picture for clear view




You can see how my finger impressions came out on the dough when it had risen.

5. Now, punch down the dough and knead well. Punching down helps to deflate the dough and let the air bubbles come out of the dough which was formed by the yeast during rising.


6. Take a small portion of the dough, flatten into 1/2 inch thick. cut out into donut shapes using donut cutter or 2 cookie cutters or even 2 bottle caps of different sizes.

7. Keep these cutouts on a tray and let it rise for about an hour or so till it doubles. Otherwise, you can keep in oven to rise. Preheat oven to 200C for about 15 minutes and switch off the oven. Place the donuts tray inside and leave it there for a few minutes till donuts double in size. Don't forget to turn off the oven before you keep the donuts.



click the picture for clear view



8. Fry these risen donuts in medium-low heat oil till they turn brown. Drain on tissue paper and let it cool before icing is done.



Chocolate/Strawberry Icing:


Sift icing sugar and discard the solids. Heat all the ingredients in a pan until sugar melts nicely. Dip donuts one by one into the icing (chocolate/strawberry)  halfway through , take it out and keep it on a tray. Sprinkle chocolate vermicelli ,sprinkles or walnut chunks on top of that if you wish.


Alternatively, for sugar coated donuts; dip these donuts in melted butter and then coat with icing sugar mixed with a pinch of cinnamon powder.








 Notes:

- * The measure of water mentioned here is just an approximate amount. It varies depending on humidity, size of the egg etc.

-The icing thickens easily. If so, heat it again till it melts . You can add more water if needed.



Linking this to Let's Cook for Easter


Thursday, 5 March 2015

Mushroom & Peas Pulao




Mushroom and Peas Pulao is a complete dish and can be eaten as a complete meal on its own. A bowl of your favourite raita, achar and pappad is all you want. I always make it sure to add those vegetables which are my kids' favourite to make sure that they don't complaint. Mushrooms are my son's favourite whereas girls love peas. 


INGREDIENTS:
Courtesy: Shehzad Husain
Serves: 6

Basmati Rice      2 1/2 cups
Mushrooms    100 gm/ 1 1/2 cups
Green peas(fresh or frozen)    1/2 cup
Vegetable oil      2 tbsp
Cinnamon sticks     2"
Black Cardamom       2
Kalonji/ Black Cumin/ Karinjeerakam 1/2 tsp
Garlic cloves     3,chopped
Tomato    1 medium
Water    4 cups
Salt    2 tsp



Method:

1. Wash the rice atleast twice and set aside in a sieve(strainer).

2 In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and add the spices, garlic and salt.

3. Add the sliced tomato and button mushrooms and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. 


4. Now add the rice and peas and gently stir around, making sure you do not break the rice.
5. Add the water and bring the mixture to the boil. lower the heat, cover and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes.







Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Doll Cake

'Ipoh' inspired Doll Cake

You may all be wondering what the hell happened to me or where did I disappear? Well, making excuses of kids, how they keep me busy ,their exams etc. have now become a habit these days ; but believe me, this time it's not them. It has nothing to do with any one else other than ME !

I'm sure many of the bloggers might have experienced this stage when we get so much into blogging that we have no control over our lives and it's the blog that controls it. We think, we shop for it, we cook for it, we click for it ... whatever we do, it's all for the blog. I was too much involved in doing so that somewhere I felt like I was forgetting to live for me, my kids or for my entire family. I wanted to take back that control to my hands and give a new direction to life. Setting my priorities and not to lose the purpose of life! It was not so simple; but yet.. now everything is at place. My mind is at peace, I have no hurry thinking about next post, photoshoot, etc. which occupies 3/4th of my mind; checking blog stats umpteen times a day etc. These days,I even forgets to check my blog daily. Now I have a control on all these as these comes only after ME, my religion, kids, family and friends.





How did I do this? Well, first of all I stopped checking social networks frequently, mainly fb and blog. First 2 weeks went like that and spent those free time with kids. It felt so good that I eventually forgot about them-my fb friends, blogs etc. Then started reading Quran, tried to learn it, joined online courses to learn Arabic and so on. I bet, that's the best decision I've ever made. It helped me grow as a person and my mind is at peace now. I started enjoying life and now I don't spend my time on tvs, fbs or movies. I don't enjoy watching them as I've one beautiful life from God to enjoy . I know it's just 4 months, but still I have learned to forgive others, not to harm anyone even in thoughts and be nice as a human being.




Nawal named it Ballerina and so the arms up in the air!
Beauty lies in the mind;inner-soul. Peace of mind and happiness are what everyone long for, and these are the ways through which people can have a good life and find complete happiness and joy. At times, people forget the purpose of life, many of them terminate their lives without hope.  When the human being realizes the purpose of life, an ordinary person can become a means of spreading guidance to hundreds of thousands of people. There are diamonds, gold, silver and pearls to be discovered inside human heart. So take a pause from your usual life, think about your goals, purpose or what you want from your life and go ahead. If you are on the right track, nothing to worry :) .. Think about how you were 10 years ago . If you are still the same, then  you will have to work on it.  We should grow as a person, learn to live, be happy, wipe off the negativities in life and take a U turn. Look at the kids and see how happy they are.. with no worries, no hatredness, love for others, excitement.. that's the inner self. that's how we are.. all these jealousies, hatredness etc. are our outerselves which we do not need actually. Snatch them out from our selves and live this life beautifully.


Smile and smile forever! :) Spread Love and no Hatred!  



This is a 'no-recipe' post as I have shared my  favourite chocolate cake before also. Girls were so happy to see this cake. It was made in a day; from dawn to dusk I must say; for my nieces who were leaving the same day. I was so busy that I couldn't take step by step pictures to share with you all the techniques behind this cake. 





Monday, 22 September 2014

X-Box Cake




I know how Moms go crazy planning their kids' birthdays.  I had been planning since two weeks before the day. I do not usually throw a party or make it a big affair; but  try to make them feel special; feel loved. This time I had something else in mind. I wanted to celebrate his birthday with his dearest and one and only friend, Achal. Both share birthdays on the same week. They are best of the buddies. Football or cricket they have their team of two and no 11. They came to this world on the same week, joined playschool together, has been going to school in the same bus since 6 years, play together and the most interesting thing is that we have never witnessed them fight or disagree or debate. Masha Allah! They complete each other. If one is childish, the other is matured; one is interested in sports and the other in intellect games. Their schoolmates complain that Razin sits disconnected with the world when alone and as soon as Achal gets into the bus, he rules the bus. That's their friendship is about and we love them and wish that they may stay connected like this for their entire life.. Aameen!

Thinking about a theme for the cake, X-Box came into mind as both love Xbox and play for hours on weekends.  I started making figurines  a week ago. This was my first experience with gumpaste and I've no artistic background with which I could make caricatures or resembles them in some way. For this I love Anna Austin and her cakes. Hats off to the lady! I wish you were somewhere here in this desert. :) So, coming to the cake , the first figurine was ok. The second one I tried with a half sleeve and something somewhere went wrong and it showed some feminine features. I was upset and no energy or time to redo everything. It already took 3-4 hours. When Naw came in,  I asked her whether she knew who were they on the couch. She said yes, Razikkaka( Razin bro) and Mom ! :( I was really sad. Even the 3 year old could recognize the femininity in that figure. I thought of changing the theme to either Mom n son or Sis n Bro... But still, I was upset as he would be more happier if it was Unni (Achal). So I asked suggestions from a few friends of mine and changed a bit here and there. This time it was much better. The cake decors out here can find many flaws in this.. but I was happy and so were the kids. Now I learned what is gumpaste and I'm sure I can make a better figurine next time, Insha Allah! Both were so happy and couldn't control their laughs; while my small one could recognize at the first glance and shouted its Unnikkaaka and Razikkaka.



This cake has 4 layers of which 2 are of vanilla flavor and 2 chocolate flavored; filled with chocolate buttercream and covered with dark chocolate ganache. I have shared this cake recipe many a times; but sharing again here in this post



For Vanilla cake, use this same recipe and for chocolate cake, take away 1/2 cup of flour and add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to it.

Ingredients:
courtesy: Martha Stewart

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 170 C degrees. Butter and flour two 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.
  3. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.
  4. Place one cake, bottom side up, on a cake stand. Tuck strips of parchment paper underneath. Using an offset-spatula or table knife, spread top with Whipped Frosting. Top with remaining cake; frost top, then sides.

Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 50g Cooking chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • milk, to loosen


  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. (Do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the surface of the water.)
  2. Beat the butter in a bowl until soft, then gradually beat in the icing sugar. Add the vanilla extract and fold in the melted chocolate until smooth (add a few drops of milk if the mixture is a little stiff).

 chocolate ganache

  • 300ml double cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter
  • 300 plain chocolate


Heat the cream, vanilla extract, butter and chocolate in a heavy-based pan. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk the mixture until smooth and thickened.