Tuesday, 25 December 2012

All In One Holiday Bundt Cake


Merry Christmas!!
Christmas holidays is all about baking. This is the only season when we enjoy baking to the fullest. The three months of joy; of coldness and of coffee :) The aroma of hot hot cakes coming out of the oven is a stress-buster in itself. It helps relaxing one's mind and body after  the whole day's work.

This is a great cake and it's got all the ingredients and flavors you want for the season; pumpkin, cranberries,apples, pecans, cinnamon and nutmeg ,too. Add the icing and you'll get maple as well. I didn't do the icing as we couldn't wait for that. It was that delicious and irresistible. Its too soft for handling. I froze mine for about 1 1/2 weeks and this picture was clicked after thawing.



Ingredients:
Adapted from Baking With Dorie (CulinApp, 2011)

Time: 90 minutes, plus cooling time

Unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons)
All-purpose flour 2 cups
Baking powder 2 tsp
Baking soda 1/2tsp
Ground cinnamon 2tsp
Grated nutmeg 1/4tsp
Pinch salt
Grated fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon ginger powder) 1 1/2tsp
Granulated sugar 1cup
Packed light brown sugar 1/2cup
Large eggs, at room temperature 2
Pure vanilla extract 1tsp
Canned unsweetened pumpkin purée 1 1/4 cup*
Apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped 1 large
Cranberries, halved or coarsely chopped 1 cup
Pecans, coarsely chopped 1 cup

Maple icing (optional)**

Method:

1. Heat oven to 170degrees celcius with a rack in the center. Butter a 9- to 10-inch (12-cup) Bundt pan.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and ginger powder, if you’re using it instead of the grated ginger.

3. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the remaining butter and both sugars at medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 or 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

4. Reduce the speed to low and add the pumpkin, apple and grated ginger, if using it. Don’t be concerned if the batter looks curdled. Add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. With a rubber spatula, stir in the cranberries and pecans. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.

5. Bake directly on the oven rack for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding, then cool to room temperature on the rack. Serve in thick slices.

Yield: 12 or more servings.
*I made pumpkin puree at home. Scoop the seeds out of 1/4 of a pumpkin, roast it at 200C for about 1/2 an hour, cool it, peel it and make puree . Its easier if you can get the canned one.

**For maple icing, sift 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Add syrup little by little, until you have an icing that runs nicely off the tip of the spoon. Put the cooled cake on wax paper and drizzle the icing from the tip of the spoon over it. Let the icing set for a few minutes.

Note: Wrapped well, the cake will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days, at which point it’s good for toasting; or freeze for up to 2 months.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Strawberry & Lemon Loaf Cake with no sugar & no white flour


What more can we ask for than a healthy snack or goodie during this holiday season. Kids feel more hungrier during holidays and they keeps on demanding snacks or goodies every now and then. Atleast my kids do. And we mums are worried about the whites in the ingredients in all those bakes. This post offers you one such recipe which you can serve your kid with no such worries. Neither sugar nor white flour is used here. The one thing you should take care is that to choose sweet berries, atleast no-sour ones. You can use any berries,peaches,nectarines etc. for this cake. Agave syrup is in the original recipe, but I used maple syrup as I didnt have the former. I think, you can use honey either. 






Ingredients:

Whole wheat flour 1 1/2 cups
Salt 1/2 tsp
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
Baking soda 1/2 tsp
Baking powder 1/2 tsp
Butter 75g
Agave syrup/Maple syrup 2/3 cup
Lemon Zest,finely grated 1 tbsp
Vanilla Essence 1 tsp
Egg 1
Buttermilk 3/4 cup
Strawberries 1-1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries,sweet
Sugar 1tbsp

Method:

Preheat oven to 200C. Grease a  loaf tin.

Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.





In a large bowl, mix butter and agave/maple with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add lemon zest, vanilla extract and egg and mix until well combined. Now stir in the buttermilk. Add the flour mixture in several batches and stir until just combined. 

Pour the batter into the cake tin, leveling the top. Scatter the strawberries evenly over the top and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for about 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean of the center of the cake. Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.






Linkin this to Kids Delight originally hosted by Srivalli



Monday, 10 December 2012

Chocolate Cake-The Best (Cakes & Cakes only)




Its time for something chocolatyy... I've always been lazy to type cakes. Its time consuming and needs lots of patience, which is now impossible with my toddler roaming around. But the demand for simple and not-so-complicated chocolate cakes have been accumulating in my inbox since months. Its only then that I realised that I haven't posted any simple chocolate cake recipe yet. So here it goes...  Its simple and delicious. I've been researching on chocolate cakes since 2 months for THE BEST recipe and I found it here. I'm sure you are gonna love this. It is buttercream frosting in the original recipe, but I've frosted it with whipped cream to make it simple.









Its time for something chocolatyy... I've always been lazy to type cakes. Its time consuming and needs lots of patience, which is now impossible with my toddler roaming around. But the demand for simple and not-so-complicated chocolate cakes have been accumulating in my inbox since months. Its only then that I realised that I haven't post any simple chocolate cake recipe yet. So here it goes...  Its simple and delicious. I've been researching on chocolate cakes since 2 months for THE BEST recipe and I found it here. I'm sure you are gonna love this. Its buttercream frosting in the original recipe, but I've frosted it with whipped cream to make it simple.



Ingredients:


Unsalted Butter 1/2 cup
Sugar  2 cups
Eggs. 2
Vanilla Essence 2 tsp
Buttermilk*1 3/4 cup
Cake Flour** 1 3/4 cup
Cocoa Powder 1 cup
Baking Soda 2 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Strong Brewed Coffee 1/4 cup


For Whipped Frosting

Whipping Cream 2cups
Caster sugar 1/2 cup or more (adjust to your taste)
Vanilla essence 1/2 tsp
Cocoa Powder 3-4 tbsp

Whip cream to soft peaks.Add sugar and other ingredients qnd beat again to stiff peaks.

**Its really hard to whip up your cream in a place where room temperature is too high. What I do in my place is that unpack cream into the whipping bowl and refrigerate it for about an hr or more before whipping.

I refrigerate my beaters also.

Or else, you can keep the whipping bowl on a big bowl of ice while whipping.




Method

1. Preheat your oven at 170c. Grease your baking pan.

2. Sift cake flour, cocoa powder,baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well after each addition.

4.Add the flour mixture. 

5. In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and coffee. Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined. Pour the batter in the prepared pans.

6.Bake in a 170c oven for 40-50minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean.

7.Cool cakes on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from the pans. Cool thoroughly on wire racks before frosting. (If you like, wrap unfrosted cake layers individually in plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for up to 2 days before using. Double-wrap if layers are to be frozen for later use.)

8. To assemble, place one cake layer on a serving plate. With a thin metal spatula, spread the frosting.Place second cake layer on top of first layer. Frost top and sides with the whipped frosting.Chill in refrigerator for atleast 1 hr before serving.Makes 16 servings.


*Buttermilk - Remove 1 1/2 tbsp from 1 cup of full-cream milk and add 1 1/2 tbsp of vinegar to it. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Do not stir in between .This makes 1 cup of buttermilk.
**Cake flour- measure 1 3/4 cup of all purpose flour, take 3 tbsp of flour from the measure and add 3 tbsp of cornflour to it.




I




Thursday, 6 December 2012

Neipathal/Neipathiri (Rice Puri? :)






Neipathal is one of the traditional treats seen in Malabar Muslim households. It is deep fried pathiris made of rice, coconut, fennel and shallots. You may call it as rice puri as it looks like a puri-a coarse ground or crispy rice puri.

This is usually served with beef fry (varattiyathu) or any other meat delicacies. The ingredients used here is same as that of aanapathal (kozhipidi); but the method of cooking is entirely different. Back home, people uses the giant grinders or tabletop grinders to grind this dough and they may or may not use any rice flour for this recipe. But this is not possible these days as most of us dont have such equipments with us these days, neither we ve so much of time to spend in kitchen. I shall try to explain the method of preparing the dough using tabletop grinders and juice machines.



Ingredients:

Parboiled rice/U.S style rice 3 cups
Coconut,grated 2 cups
Rice Flour (arippodi) 1 cup or more
Fennel seeds (saunf or perumjeerakam) 2 tsp
Onion 1 big
Water 2 cups
Oil to deepfry





Method:

Soak parboiled rice in warm water for 3-4 hours or overnight.

Drain rice through a strainer. (You can avoid this step; I'm doing this just to give you the exact measurement of water to be used .)

Now mix all other ingredients except rice flour and oil.

Its time to grind rice.

Table top grinders

If you have a table top grinder, then no need to add rice flour. Increase the quantity of parboiled rice to 4 cups and then coarsely grind the rice mix using minimal water. The dough should resemble that of roti dough or slightly tightier than that.

Juice machine grinders

You can coarsely grind the rice mix without using water in this and finally add some water . Then mix with rice powder to make the dough.

Juice Machines

Here we use the big jar, the usual one we use to grind dosa maavu or to blend any juices. I've Panasonic steel jar (bought from India) the one similar to Sumeet or any other indian brand. Its too good for grinding rice . In this we can grind rice by adding too little water. We need coarsely ground rice here. For that just pulse for 30 seconds each time; ie; once we put in the rice,coconut,onion and water in the jar , pulse it for 30 seconds and then you are done.

Mix this coarsely ground paste with rice powder using salt to make the dough similar to rotis/chappathis or slightly tightier than that .



Take a kadai/chinese wok or any other deep bottomed vessel and heat oil in it enough for deepfrying.

Now take a piece of cloth or plastic sheet on which the pathiri is rolled. Make balls out of the dough and then flatten on the piece of cloth or plastic using your fingers . The pathiri should be 2 or three inches in diameters and 1/2 inch thick.

When the oil is too hot, you can sink in the pathiris just like we do for puris. This will puff up and once it is done in one side, turn it upside down and fry the other side too till it turns crispy brown.

Serve hot with beef fry, kadai chicken or any other non veg thick gravies.



Wednesday, 5 December 2012

CAKES & CAKES ONLY -Dates and Carrot Cake

The very hot summer is pretty much over. The long summer days went by,thankfully, and longer winter nights have arrived. The woollen clothes are out of the cupboards and we get to see exclusive jackets and boots everywhere. These three months are definitely a festive season for us. The pleasantly cool weather, moderate temperatures all day long.. I'm loving it! The very thought of grabbing in steaming hot coffee helps me jump out of my bed these days. 

National Day Celebrations comes in this season. December 2 and 3 is celebrated as UAE's National Day to commemorate the union of all seven emirates   to form United Arab Emirates. I remember it as a festival of lights in UAE before, all buildings were decorated with lights and flags; but now this has turned upto nationwide fest where residents celebrate whole day and night with fireworks, spraying foams and strings , dressing up fancily, decorating the cars etc. Streets, malls and residential areas are decorated with the colours of the UAE flag. Flags fluttered in the breeze all over the nation.

This year celebrations continued for four days as this holiday came alongwith the weekends. The whole nation was eagerly waiting for this special day when we were not so excited. We were missing someone or rather one family who is not with us to join this time. Last year, we had so loads of fun together that this time it was hard for us to think that they were not with us. My cousin, who passed away 3 months back ( whom i mentioned before) and his family were not with us this time. 

But, the show must go on .. Another cousin of us landed up here for vacation and we were forced to go to Corniche to show her the fun. We all were busy acquainting her with the parks, malls and other landmarks here. 
Apart from holidays, the most exciting aspects of winter is baking delicious goodies for family and friends. Cakes, cookies or desserts, my sweet cravings is not gonna end for the months ahead. So I'm thinking of posting CAKES & CAKES only during this whole month of December. Right from some delicious holiday bundt cakes to easy and yummy birthday cakes, you can expect a lot more.. 

Starting with my Mom's signature Cake Recipe- it's a Dates & carrot Cake with Nutty goodness and rich in spices. This is the first ever cake baked by me. I just can't live without dates. All my diet plans fail just because of them. Recently I had to stop buying them and substituted figs for dates for health reasons, but still, its not a tedious task for me to get hold of them. Being in middle east, they cant run away from me nor can I. 

Ingredients:


Dates 1 cup
Carrots grated 2 1/2 cups
Flour 2 cups
Baking soda 2 tsp
Salt a  pinch
Sugar 3/4 cup tp 1 cup
Brown sugar 3/4 cup ( can use caramelised sugar instead)
Walnut/cashewnut 1/2 cups
Nutmeg 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon 2 tsp(optional)
Eggs 4
Oil 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence 1 tsp

Method:











Preheat oven at 170 c and grease the cake pan.

Grate carrots and chop dates and nuts. Mix all these in 2 tbsp of flour taken from the measured cups.

Sieve together the remaining flour, baking soda,spices ( nutmeg and cinnamon if using) and salt.

Beat eggs, oil and both sugars until well incorporated for about 2-3 minutes. 

Fold in the flours sieved earlier.

Mix the dates,carrot and nuts mixture.

Pour this in the pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the skewer comes out neatly when poked. Overbaking makes it dry, so be careful.











Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Chicken Chukka

Chicken Chukka is a spicy 'dry-gravy' chicken dish which is very popular all over India. Don't know about the origin or nativity of the dish; but its found equally enjoyed by all Indians. Now, this recipe is my mom's and we love as it is. You can play with your own ingredients to please your tongue and hey,, you are the boss of your kitchen; who's gonna ask? ;)


Ingredients:

Chicken 1 (I used of 800gm)
Red Chilli powder 2 tsp + 1/2 tsp
Vinegar 1 tbsp 
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Onion 500gm (3 cups)
Tomato 1 3/4 cups
Ginger garlic paste 1 + 1 tsp,
Green chilli 3 or more to taste 
Garam masala 1/2 tsp,
Pepper powder 1+1/2 tsp
Curry leaves 1 sprig & 
Coriander leaves 1/4 cup
Oil 1/4 cup

Method:


Marinate chicken in red chilli powder(2tsp),salt,pepper(1/2tsp) ,ginger garlic paste(1tsp)and 1 tbsp of vinegar for atleast half an hour. 

Fry those marinated chicken pieces in oil.

Take out the chicken. Now in the same oil, saute onions  . Add  ginger garlic paste and saute  till onion turns slightly brown

Throw in tomatoes  & green chilli .. Saute for a few more minutes till the tomato is cooked.

Now add the spices; ie; red chilli powder (1/2 tsp) and turmeric.Saute for a few seconds so that the raw smell disappears.

Add chicken to it alongwith 1/4 a cup of water. simmer till the water dries up.Check the seasoning and make variations according to ur taste..  You can add 1 or 2 tsp of lemon juice if needed. Throw in curry leaves (i sprig) and coriander leaves to garnish.



Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Bangalore Chicken Kebab






  • I feel so lazy to blog these days and my broken cameras and slow-slow laptop added to the core. Yes, my cameras :( its more than four months now since i've dropped them.  Actually I do all these photoshoots in a hurry that both my cameras fell from my hands to broke. That too in a week. The photos I post here these days are either from my drafts or mobile clicked. I browse net through my phone or IPad. But blog editing is not possible in that. I don't know why. If anyone of you can resolve it , please let me know.

    Chicken Kebab is a famous dish of Bangalore , I guess. My brother-in-laws, who studied there, has always been a great fan of these kebabs. These are not the usual north-indian kebabs made of meat mince, but deep-fried chicken pieces. This one is my Jeeju's special. He tried this recipe and as this turned out to be so delicious that he clicked a pic and sent it to me for my next post. So here is the recipe for you guys.. Enjoy and let me know how it turned out !






    Ingredients



    Chicken 1 kg, cut into  8 pieces

    Marinade :


    Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
    Yogurt 2 tbsp
    Garam Masala ½ tsp
    Cumin powder  ½ tsp
    Orange color pinch
    Turmeric pinch
    Chili powder 2 tsp
    Coriander crushed or powder 2 tsp
    Salt 1 ½ tsp
    Vinegar 1 tbsp
    Egg 1
    Corn Flour 4 tbsp


    Method

    Marinate chicken with all the ingredients except oil. Keep for a minimum of 2 hours. Deep fry these chicken pieces untill it turn lightly brown and crisp outside and tender inside. Serve with onion rings.




Friday, 16 November 2012

Sausage Masala





Ingredients

Olive oil
Sausages 4-5 
Carrots 1/2
Onion 1 large
Ginger 1 tsp
Garlic 1 1/2 tsp
Tomato 1 large
Green Chillies 3-4
Red Bell Pepper (capsicum) 1/2
Green Capsicum 1/2
Carrots p
Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
  


Method:

Cut the sausages into 1" pieces and vegetables into square pieces.

In a small bowl, mix Red Chili, Coriander and Turmeric powders with Ginger paste and 1-2 tablespoons of water.    You can also use 1-2 teaspoon of Curry Powder in place of Red Chili, Coriander and    Turmeric powders

    Heat a little olive oil and fry sausages till golden brown. Remove from the pan and fry the bell peppers (capsicums) and carrots. Dont overfry it, crispiness should be there.Keep them aside with the fried sausages.

    Add more oil, if required, add the finely chopped onions and fry till golden brown. Add the big pieces of onions with garlic and green chilies. Saute for 1-2 minutes.

    Add the spice mixture (paste) in the pan and fry for another 2-3 minutes.

    Add Tomatoes, saute for 1-2 minutes and cover the pan till the tomatoes are mushy and leaves oil from corners.

    Add all the vegetables with Sausages, give a nice stir, add the salt and water. Cover the pan till the gravy becomes thick and all the vegetables are completely cooked.
    • Serve hot with plain Rice or Chapati.












    Wednesday, 7 November 2012

    Green Devil

     Being a child is the most beautiful and wonderful phase of one's life. They are all about having fun. No worries about the future, no regrets about the past; but always keen to explore a new world of their own everyday.

    We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it -George Eliot.

    Its true that we all still miss our childhood. If I ever get a chance to own a Time Machine, I would have asked it to take me back to those carefree childhood days. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

    Life has moved on.. we grew up, got jobs, married, have kids but still there's a corner in our minds where we still adore our childhood memories. I like to go back to those days in my mind on a relaxing afternoon.

    Those special bond and relationship we have with the toys that shared our childhood with us is amazing. How we protect them from other naughty boys ,how we snatch them from the guests' kids who wanted to take them along and how we showed it to others to make them jealous. I still remember when once my cousins and sisters shared a bundle of toys brought by my uncle from B'lore and there was a small one left for me. I felt so upset and when my uncle saw this he scolded them for not asking his permission before sharing them and that he bought all those for me. Hurray!!! I was so happy that I took all of them and I still remember my sisters' faces.lol !! ( I hope they won't read this). Those were a small carrom board, a wooden ring toy and other two. All these memories still bring a smile in our faces.

    Now, its our time to cherish our kids' childhood days so that they might bring a glow to their faces whenever they think about them. Time passes by and we never realize that they are not gonna be with us for entire life and its only their Bachpan (childhood) that we can spend with them. Bubbles in the bathtub , freshly baked brownies, a good movie with a pack of chips, offering 2 bucks to go to the groceries to pick up anything they want or a surprise visit to the ice cream parlour.. this is all what they need and you can see that glow you need on their faces.




     I wanted to post this recipe for Halloween; but missed it. This is such a wonderful recipe that I can't wait for the next one ;) The photos didn't come out well as I dropped both my cameras and this is clicked with my mobile.

    The chilli twist in this recipe is just wonderful. Avocados are so healthy as it provides 20 essential nutrients. It keeps a check on cardiovascular diseases as well.  Choose a well flavored avocado, such as a knobbly, dark-skinned Hass, for this slightly spicy, hot and sour smoothie. Cucumber adds a refreshing edge, while lemon and lime juice zip up the flavour, and the chilli sauce adds an irresistible fiery bite. This is one little devil that is sure to liven up even the most lethargic days.

    Ingredients:
    Courtesy: 75 smoothies by Suzannah Olivier
    (Makes 2-3 glasses)

    Avocado 1 small ripe
    Cucumber 1/2
    Lemon juice 2 tbsp /30 ml
    lime juice 2 tbsp/30 ml
    Caster sugar 2 tsp
    Salt a pinch
    Apple juice or water 1cup
    Sweet chilli sauce 2-4 tsp
    Ice cubes
    Red chilli curls, to decorate (optional ) avoid for kids


    Method:

    Halve the avocado and use a sharp knife to remove the stone (pit). Scoop the flesh from both the halves into a blender or food processor.

    Peel and roughly chop the cucumber and add to the blender or food processor, then ad the lemon and lime juice, the caster sugar and a little salt.

    Process the ingredients until smooth and creamy, then add the apple juice or mineral water and a little of the chilli sauce. Blend once more to lightly mix the ingredients together.

    Pour the smoothie over ice cubes. Decorate with red chilli curls and serve with stirrers and extra chilli sauce.

    Sunday, 4 November 2012

    Chocolate Muffins- Dark & Chocolatty


    Someone has said somewhere ' Without children, your house is clean and your wallet is full; but your heart is empty'. It's absolutely true. I can't think of a day without children. When they were off to grandma's place for vacations, we were found rattling around the cottage having very little things to do or no work to finish off. The empty nest would rather eat us, even if the situation is not going to be the same for so long-not more than a week or two. It may take a few days to get used to not hearing the sound of your child's footsetps in the house or that silence at the dinner table. It is then that we realize the importance of children in our life and that they are the most beautiful gifts one can ever have in his life.

    In India, Childrens Day is celebrated on 14th of November, the birth-date of Jawaharlal Nehru (the first Prime Minister of India). I've never thought of celebrating  or never gave importance to this day other than wishing my kids, whereas  they did never forget to give me a card on Mothers Day. So this year I wanted to plan something special for them on that day. Insha Allah ! A mere hug can bring smile on their lips as a result of which their eyes light up and their face gives off a glow that is expansive enough to reach you and effortlessly make you reciprocate a sense of well-being. So what if we could offer a handful of surprises on their very special day. Who else is there to join me? I'll be posting a few wonderful kids-friendly recipes these 2 weeks and hope you'll defenitely send me your feedback and suggestions regarding this.





    Its a must try recipe from  Ina Garten . The texture and flavour of these cupcakes can help you win the hearts of your li'l ones on their very special day coming up.


    Ingredients


    • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
    • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
    • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
    • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup good cocoa powder
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt


    • Method:


    Preheat the oven to 170 C. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.

     Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well.

     In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee.

     In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

     On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it's completely blended.



    Divide the batter among the cupcake pans (1 rounded standard ice cream scoop per cup is the right amount).

    Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.





    Wednesday, 24 October 2012

    Raspberry & Vanilla Macarons Cake

    Eid Mubarak!! I know this can't be an Eid dish; but I'm too busy to type another post as this was pending in the drafts since last June. So here's a collection of Eid recipes from past posts:








     Somethings are worth the effort and this really was. A simple cake it was; but what made me happy was that  I could manage to find out the taste of my family after years of baking. Yes, they need everything light and less sweet- no cream and no chocolaty.. Whereas , I'm a dark chocolate person, loves cream in anything including my coffee and yeah less sugar is the only thing when i can say them 'hey i'm there with u'...
     Here I took quarter cup lesser sugar than the original recipe for them, filled the bottom layer with jam, top layer with meringue frosting and then coated with the same and glazed with chocolate. I was about to make three colored and four layered cake; orange cake was also baked the previous day along with the raspberry ones; the smell that burst out of orange zest and juice was so captivating that we couldn't wait more. When Razin asked, who is also an orangeholic,whether he could taste a bit.. i said yes- took the whole large cake, cut into pieces and gulpp.. thats it.
     I'm using chocolate glaze for the first time and didn't know that its gonna set as soon as we pour it on top. So that part turned out to be a little messy. But Wallah! the cake was delicious and finger licking good. 
     The home-made macarons on top added to it.  I haven't posted the recipe of macarons yet; but Insha Allah will do it soon! Those plain shells of  macarons were filled in with raspberry jam ; the flavor of raspberry is deliciously infused into the shells.


    I've followed the same recipe, devided the batter into two, then mixed one half of the batter with 1 tbsp of fresh raspberry puree and red colour. The other half was mixed with 1 tbsp of Orange juice,a tsp of orange zest and orange color. (I added orange color accidentally to raspberry cake and red color to orange cake which spoiled the entire look :(

    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.


    • Whipped Frosting

    • 3 large egg whites
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1/3 cup water
    • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    Method:

    In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites, sugar, salt, and water. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved (or mixture registers 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high until glossy, stiff peaks form (do not overbeat), about 3 minutes; reduce speed to low, add vanilla extract, and beat just until combined. Use immediately.


    Cook's Note

    Reserve the egg whites left over from the cake for the frosting. If you don't have buttermilk, substitute plain yogurt or sour cream (not fat-free).

    Tuesday, 25 December 2012

    All In One Holiday Bundt Cake


    Merry Christmas!!
    Christmas holidays is all about baking. This is the only season when we enjoy baking to the fullest. The three months of joy; of coldness and of coffee :) The aroma of hot hot cakes coming out of the oven is a stress-buster in itself. It helps relaxing one's mind and body after  the whole day's work.

    This is a great cake and it's got all the ingredients and flavors you want for the season; pumpkin, cranberries,apples, pecans, cinnamon and nutmeg ,too. Add the icing and you'll get maple as well. I didn't do the icing as we couldn't wait for that. It was that delicious and irresistible. Its too soft for handling. I froze mine for about 1 1/2 weeks and this picture was clicked after thawing.



    Ingredients:
    Adapted from Baking With Dorie (CulinApp, 2011)

    Time: 90 minutes, plus cooling time

    Unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons)
    All-purpose flour 2 cups
    Baking powder 2 tsp
    Baking soda 1/2tsp
    Ground cinnamon 2tsp
    Grated nutmeg 1/4tsp
    Pinch salt
    Grated fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon ginger powder) 1 1/2tsp
    Granulated sugar 1cup
    Packed light brown sugar 1/2cup
    Large eggs, at room temperature 2
    Pure vanilla extract 1tsp
    Canned unsweetened pumpkin purée 1 1/4 cup*
    Apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped 1 large
    Cranberries, halved or coarsely chopped 1 cup
    Pecans, coarsely chopped 1 cup

    Maple icing (optional)**

    Method:

    1. Heat oven to 170degrees celcius with a rack in the center. Butter a 9- to 10-inch (12-cup) Bundt pan.

    2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and ginger powder, if you’re using it instead of the grated ginger.

    3. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the remaining butter and both sugars at medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 or 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

    4. Reduce the speed to low and add the pumpkin, apple and grated ginger, if using it. Don’t be concerned if the batter looks curdled. Add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. With a rubber spatula, stir in the cranberries and pecans. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.

    5. Bake directly on the oven rack for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding, then cool to room temperature on the rack. Serve in thick slices.

    Yield: 12 or more servings.
    *I made pumpkin puree at home. Scoop the seeds out of 1/4 of a pumpkin, roast it at 200C for about 1/2 an hour, cool it, peel it and make puree . Its easier if you can get the canned one.

    **For maple icing, sift 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Add syrup little by little, until you have an icing that runs nicely off the tip of the spoon. Put the cooled cake on wax paper and drizzle the icing from the tip of the spoon over it. Let the icing set for a few minutes.

    Note: Wrapped well, the cake will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days, at which point it’s good for toasting; or freeze for up to 2 months.

    Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    Strawberry & Lemon Loaf Cake with no sugar & no white flour


    What more can we ask for than a healthy snack or goodie during this holiday season. Kids feel more hungrier during holidays and they keeps on demanding snacks or goodies every now and then. Atleast my kids do. And we mums are worried about the whites in the ingredients in all those bakes. This post offers you one such recipe which you can serve your kid with no such worries. Neither sugar nor white flour is used here. The one thing you should take care is that to choose sweet berries, atleast no-sour ones. You can use any berries,peaches,nectarines etc. for this cake. Agave syrup is in the original recipe, but I used maple syrup as I didnt have the former. I think, you can use honey either. 






    Ingredients:

    Whole wheat flour 1 1/2 cups
    Salt 1/2 tsp
    1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    Baking soda 1/2 tsp
    Baking powder 1/2 tsp
    Butter 75g
    Agave syrup/Maple syrup 2/3 cup
    Lemon Zest,finely grated 1 tbsp
    Vanilla Essence 1 tsp
    Egg 1
    Buttermilk 3/4 cup
    Strawberries 1-1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries,sweet
    Sugar 1tbsp

    Method:

    Preheat oven to 200C. Grease a  loaf tin.

    Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.





    In a large bowl, mix butter and agave/maple with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add lemon zest, vanilla extract and egg and mix until well combined. Now stir in the buttermilk. Add the flour mixture in several batches and stir until just combined. 

    Pour the batter into the cake tin, leveling the top. Scatter the strawberries evenly over the top and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for about 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean of the center of the cake. Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.






    Linkin this to Kids Delight originally hosted by Srivalli



    Monday, 10 December 2012

    Chocolate Cake-The Best (Cakes & Cakes only)




    Its time for something chocolatyy... I've always been lazy to type cakes. Its time consuming and needs lots of patience, which is now impossible with my toddler roaming around. But the demand for simple and not-so-complicated chocolate cakes have been accumulating in my inbox since months. Its only then that I realised that I haven't posted any simple chocolate cake recipe yet. So here it goes...  Its simple and delicious. I've been researching on chocolate cakes since 2 months for THE BEST recipe and I found it here. I'm sure you are gonna love this. It is buttercream frosting in the original recipe, but I've frosted it with whipped cream to make it simple.









    Its time for something chocolatyy... I've always been lazy to type cakes. Its time consuming and needs lots of patience, which is now impossible with my toddler roaming around. But the demand for simple and not-so-complicated chocolate cakes have been accumulating in my inbox since months. Its only then that I realised that I haven't post any simple chocolate cake recipe yet. So here it goes...  Its simple and delicious. I've been researching on chocolate cakes since 2 months for THE BEST recipe and I found it here. I'm sure you are gonna love this. Its buttercream frosting in the original recipe, but I've frosted it with whipped cream to make it simple.



    Ingredients:


    Unsalted Butter 1/2 cup
    Sugar  2 cups
    Eggs. 2
    Vanilla Essence 2 tsp
    Buttermilk*1 3/4 cup
    Cake Flour** 1 3/4 cup
    Cocoa Powder 1 cup
    Baking Soda 2 tsp
    Salt 1/2 tsp
    Strong Brewed Coffee 1/4 cup


    For Whipped Frosting

    Whipping Cream 2cups
    Caster sugar 1/2 cup or more (adjust to your taste)
    Vanilla essence 1/2 tsp
    Cocoa Powder 3-4 tbsp

    Whip cream to soft peaks.Add sugar and other ingredients qnd beat again to stiff peaks.

    **Its really hard to whip up your cream in a place where room temperature is too high. What I do in my place is that unpack cream into the whipping bowl and refrigerate it for about an hr or more before whipping.

    I refrigerate my beaters also.

    Or else, you can keep the whipping bowl on a big bowl of ice while whipping.




    Method

    1. Preheat your oven at 170c. Grease your baking pan.

    2. Sift cake flour, cocoa powder,baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

    3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well after each addition.

    4.Add the flour mixture. 

    5. In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and coffee. Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined. Pour the batter in the prepared pans.

    6.Bake in a 170c oven for 40-50minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean.

    7.Cool cakes on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from the pans. Cool thoroughly on wire racks before frosting. (If you like, wrap unfrosted cake layers individually in plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for up to 2 days before using. Double-wrap if layers are to be frozen for later use.)

    8. To assemble, place one cake layer on a serving plate. With a thin metal spatula, spread the frosting.Place second cake layer on top of first layer. Frost top and sides with the whipped frosting.Chill in refrigerator for atleast 1 hr before serving.Makes 16 servings.


    *Buttermilk - Remove 1 1/2 tbsp from 1 cup of full-cream milk and add 1 1/2 tbsp of vinegar to it. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Do not stir in between .This makes 1 cup of buttermilk.
    **Cake flour- measure 1 3/4 cup of all purpose flour, take 3 tbsp of flour from the measure and add 3 tbsp of cornflour to it.




    I




    Thursday, 6 December 2012

    Neipathal/Neipathiri (Rice Puri? :)






    Neipathal is one of the traditional treats seen in Malabar Muslim households. It is deep fried pathiris made of rice, coconut, fennel and shallots. You may call it as rice puri as it looks like a puri-a coarse ground or crispy rice puri.

    This is usually served with beef fry (varattiyathu) or any other meat delicacies. The ingredients used here is same as that of aanapathal (kozhipidi); but the method of cooking is entirely different. Back home, people uses the giant grinders or tabletop grinders to grind this dough and they may or may not use any rice flour for this recipe. But this is not possible these days as most of us dont have such equipments with us these days, neither we ve so much of time to spend in kitchen. I shall try to explain the method of preparing the dough using tabletop grinders and juice machines.



    Ingredients:

    Parboiled rice/U.S style rice 3 cups
    Coconut,grated 2 cups
    Rice Flour (arippodi) 1 cup or more
    Fennel seeds (saunf or perumjeerakam) 2 tsp
    Onion 1 big
    Water 2 cups
    Oil to deepfry





    Method:

    Soak parboiled rice in warm water for 3-4 hours or overnight.

    Drain rice through a strainer. (You can avoid this step; I'm doing this just to give you the exact measurement of water to be used .)

    Now mix all other ingredients except rice flour and oil.

    Its time to grind rice.

    Table top grinders

    If you have a table top grinder, then no need to add rice flour. Increase the quantity of parboiled rice to 4 cups and then coarsely grind the rice mix using minimal water. The dough should resemble that of roti dough or slightly tightier than that.

    Juice machine grinders

    You can coarsely grind the rice mix without using water in this and finally add some water . Then mix with rice powder to make the dough.

    Juice Machines

    Here we use the big jar, the usual one we use to grind dosa maavu or to blend any juices. I've Panasonic steel jar (bought from India) the one similar to Sumeet or any other indian brand. Its too good for grinding rice . In this we can grind rice by adding too little water. We need coarsely ground rice here. For that just pulse for 30 seconds each time; ie; once we put in the rice,coconut,onion and water in the jar , pulse it for 30 seconds and then you are done.

    Mix this coarsely ground paste with rice powder using salt to make the dough similar to rotis/chappathis or slightly tightier than that .



    Take a kadai/chinese wok or any other deep bottomed vessel and heat oil in it enough for deepfrying.

    Now take a piece of cloth or plastic sheet on which the pathiri is rolled. Make balls out of the dough and then flatten on the piece of cloth or plastic using your fingers . The pathiri should be 2 or three inches in diameters and 1/2 inch thick.

    When the oil is too hot, you can sink in the pathiris just like we do for puris. This will puff up and once it is done in one side, turn it upside down and fry the other side too till it turns crispy brown.

    Serve hot with beef fry, kadai chicken or any other non veg thick gravies.



    Wednesday, 5 December 2012

    CAKES & CAKES ONLY -Dates and Carrot Cake

    The very hot summer is pretty much over. The long summer days went by,thankfully, and longer winter nights have arrived. The woollen clothes are out of the cupboards and we get to see exclusive jackets and boots everywhere. These three months are definitely a festive season for us. The pleasantly cool weather, moderate temperatures all day long.. I'm loving it! The very thought of grabbing in steaming hot coffee helps me jump out of my bed these days. 

    National Day Celebrations comes in this season. December 2 and 3 is celebrated as UAE's National Day to commemorate the union of all seven emirates   to form United Arab Emirates. I remember it as a festival of lights in UAE before, all buildings were decorated with lights and flags; but now this has turned upto nationwide fest where residents celebrate whole day and night with fireworks, spraying foams and strings , dressing up fancily, decorating the cars etc. Streets, malls and residential areas are decorated with the colours of the UAE flag. Flags fluttered in the breeze all over the nation.

    This year celebrations continued for four days as this holiday came alongwith the weekends. The whole nation was eagerly waiting for this special day when we were not so excited. We were missing someone or rather one family who is not with us to join this time. Last year, we had so loads of fun together that this time it was hard for us to think that they were not with us. My cousin, who passed away 3 months back ( whom i mentioned before) and his family were not with us this time. 

    But, the show must go on .. Another cousin of us landed up here for vacation and we were forced to go to Corniche to show her the fun. We all were busy acquainting her with the parks, malls and other landmarks here. 
    Apart from holidays, the most exciting aspects of winter is baking delicious goodies for family and friends. Cakes, cookies or desserts, my sweet cravings is not gonna end for the months ahead. So I'm thinking of posting CAKES & CAKES only during this whole month of December. Right from some delicious holiday bundt cakes to easy and yummy birthday cakes, you can expect a lot more.. 

    Starting with my Mom's signature Cake Recipe- it's a Dates & carrot Cake with Nutty goodness and rich in spices. This is the first ever cake baked by me. I just can't live without dates. All my diet plans fail just because of them. Recently I had to stop buying them and substituted figs for dates for health reasons, but still, its not a tedious task for me to get hold of them. Being in middle east, they cant run away from me nor can I. 

    Ingredients:


    Dates 1 cup
    Carrots grated 2 1/2 cups
    Flour 2 cups
    Baking soda 2 tsp
    Salt a  pinch
    Sugar 3/4 cup tp 1 cup
    Brown sugar 3/4 cup ( can use caramelised sugar instead)
    Walnut/cashewnut 1/2 cups
    Nutmeg 1/4 tsp
    Cinnamon 2 tsp(optional)
    Eggs 4
    Oil 1/2 cup
    Vanilla essence 1 tsp

    Method:











    Preheat oven at 170 c and grease the cake pan.

    Grate carrots and chop dates and nuts. Mix all these in 2 tbsp of flour taken from the measured cups.

    Sieve together the remaining flour, baking soda,spices ( nutmeg and cinnamon if using) and salt.

    Beat eggs, oil and both sugars until well incorporated for about 2-3 minutes. 

    Fold in the flours sieved earlier.

    Mix the dates,carrot and nuts mixture.

    Pour this in the pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the skewer comes out neatly when poked. Overbaking makes it dry, so be careful.











    Tuesday, 27 November 2012

    Chicken Chukka

    Chicken Chukka is a spicy 'dry-gravy' chicken dish which is very popular all over India. Don't know about the origin or nativity of the dish; but its found equally enjoyed by all Indians. Now, this recipe is my mom's and we love as it is. You can play with your own ingredients to please your tongue and hey,, you are the boss of your kitchen; who's gonna ask? ;)


    Ingredients:

    Chicken 1 (I used of 800gm)
    Red Chilli powder 2 tsp + 1/2 tsp
    Vinegar 1 tbsp 
    Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
    Onion 500gm (3 cups)
    Tomato 1 3/4 cups
    Ginger garlic paste 1 + 1 tsp,
    Green chilli 3 or more to taste 
    Garam masala 1/2 tsp,
    Pepper powder 1+1/2 tsp
    Curry leaves 1 sprig & 
    Coriander leaves 1/4 cup
    Oil 1/4 cup

    Method:


    Marinate chicken in red chilli powder(2tsp),salt,pepper(1/2tsp) ,ginger garlic paste(1tsp)and 1 tbsp of vinegar for atleast half an hour. 

    Fry those marinated chicken pieces in oil.

    Take out the chicken. Now in the same oil, saute onions  . Add  ginger garlic paste and saute  till onion turns slightly brown

    Throw in tomatoes  & green chilli .. Saute for a few more minutes till the tomato is cooked.

    Now add the spices; ie; red chilli powder (1/2 tsp) and turmeric.Saute for a few seconds so that the raw smell disappears.

    Add chicken to it alongwith 1/4 a cup of water. simmer till the water dries up.Check the seasoning and make variations according to ur taste..  You can add 1 or 2 tsp of lemon juice if needed. Throw in curry leaves (i sprig) and coriander leaves to garnish.



    Wednesday, 21 November 2012

    Bangalore Chicken Kebab






    • I feel so lazy to blog these days and my broken cameras and slow-slow laptop added to the core. Yes, my cameras :( its more than four months now since i've dropped them.  Actually I do all these photoshoots in a hurry that both my cameras fell from my hands to broke. That too in a week. The photos I post here these days are either from my drafts or mobile clicked. I browse net through my phone or IPad. But blog editing is not possible in that. I don't know why. If anyone of you can resolve it , please let me know.

      Chicken Kebab is a famous dish of Bangalore , I guess. My brother-in-laws, who studied there, has always been a great fan of these kebabs. These are not the usual north-indian kebabs made of meat mince, but deep-fried chicken pieces. This one is my Jeeju's special. He tried this recipe and as this turned out to be so delicious that he clicked a pic and sent it to me for my next post. So here is the recipe for you guys.. Enjoy and let me know how it turned out !






      Ingredients



      Chicken 1 kg, cut into  8 pieces

      Marinade :


      Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
      Yogurt 2 tbsp
      Garam Masala ½ tsp
      Cumin powder  ½ tsp
      Orange color pinch
      Turmeric pinch
      Chili powder 2 tsp
      Coriander crushed or powder 2 tsp
      Salt 1 ½ tsp
      Vinegar 1 tbsp
      Egg 1
      Corn Flour 4 tbsp


      Method

      Marinate chicken with all the ingredients except oil. Keep for a minimum of 2 hours. Deep fry these chicken pieces untill it turn lightly brown and crisp outside and tender inside. Serve with onion rings.




    Friday, 16 November 2012

    Sausage Masala





    Ingredients

    Olive oil
    Sausages 4-5 
    Carrots 1/2
    Onion 1 large
    Ginger 1 tsp
    Garlic 1 1/2 tsp
    Tomato 1 large
    Green Chillies 3-4
    Red Bell Pepper (capsicum) 1/2
    Green Capsicum 1/2
    Carrots p
    Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp
    Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
    Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
      


    Method:

    Cut the sausages into 1" pieces and vegetables into square pieces.

    In a small bowl, mix Red Chili, Coriander and Turmeric powders with Ginger paste and 1-2 tablespoons of water.    You can also use 1-2 teaspoon of Curry Powder in place of Red Chili, Coriander and    Turmeric powders

      Heat a little olive oil and fry sausages till golden brown. Remove from the pan and fry the bell peppers (capsicums) and carrots. Dont overfry it, crispiness should be there.Keep them aside with the fried sausages.

      Add more oil, if required, add the finely chopped onions and fry till golden brown. Add the big pieces of onions with garlic and green chilies. Saute for 1-2 minutes.

      Add the spice mixture (paste) in the pan and fry for another 2-3 minutes.

      Add Tomatoes, saute for 1-2 minutes and cover the pan till the tomatoes are mushy and leaves oil from corners.

      Add all the vegetables with Sausages, give a nice stir, add the salt and water. Cover the pan till the gravy becomes thick and all the vegetables are completely cooked.
      • Serve hot with plain Rice or Chapati.












      Wednesday, 7 November 2012

      Green Devil

       Being a child is the most beautiful and wonderful phase of one's life. They are all about having fun. No worries about the future, no regrets about the past; but always keen to explore a new world of their own everyday.

      We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it -George Eliot.

      Its true that we all still miss our childhood. If I ever get a chance to own a Time Machine, I would have asked it to take me back to those carefree childhood days. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

      Life has moved on.. we grew up, got jobs, married, have kids but still there's a corner in our minds where we still adore our childhood memories. I like to go back to those days in my mind on a relaxing afternoon.

      Those special bond and relationship we have with the toys that shared our childhood with us is amazing. How we protect them from other naughty boys ,how we snatch them from the guests' kids who wanted to take them along and how we showed it to others to make them jealous. I still remember when once my cousins and sisters shared a bundle of toys brought by my uncle from B'lore and there was a small one left for me. I felt so upset and when my uncle saw this he scolded them for not asking his permission before sharing them and that he bought all those for me. Hurray!!! I was so happy that I took all of them and I still remember my sisters' faces.lol !! ( I hope they won't read this). Those were a small carrom board, a wooden ring toy and other two. All these memories still bring a smile in our faces.

      Now, its our time to cherish our kids' childhood days so that they might bring a glow to their faces whenever they think about them. Time passes by and we never realize that they are not gonna be with us for entire life and its only their Bachpan (childhood) that we can spend with them. Bubbles in the bathtub , freshly baked brownies, a good movie with a pack of chips, offering 2 bucks to go to the groceries to pick up anything they want or a surprise visit to the ice cream parlour.. this is all what they need and you can see that glow you need on their faces.




       I wanted to post this recipe for Halloween; but missed it. This is such a wonderful recipe that I can't wait for the next one ;) The photos didn't come out well as I dropped both my cameras and this is clicked with my mobile.

      The chilli twist in this recipe is just wonderful. Avocados are so healthy as it provides 20 essential nutrients. It keeps a check on cardiovascular diseases as well.  Choose a well flavored avocado, such as a knobbly, dark-skinned Hass, for this slightly spicy, hot and sour smoothie. Cucumber adds a refreshing edge, while lemon and lime juice zip up the flavour, and the chilli sauce adds an irresistible fiery bite. This is one little devil that is sure to liven up even the most lethargic days.

      Ingredients:
      Courtesy: 75 smoothies by Suzannah Olivier
      (Makes 2-3 glasses)

      Avocado 1 small ripe
      Cucumber 1/2
      Lemon juice 2 tbsp /30 ml
      lime juice 2 tbsp/30 ml
      Caster sugar 2 tsp
      Salt a pinch
      Apple juice or water 1cup
      Sweet chilli sauce 2-4 tsp
      Ice cubes
      Red chilli curls, to decorate (optional ) avoid for kids


      Method:

      Halve the avocado and use a sharp knife to remove the stone (pit). Scoop the flesh from both the halves into a blender or food processor.

      Peel and roughly chop the cucumber and add to the blender or food processor, then ad the lemon and lime juice, the caster sugar and a little salt.

      Process the ingredients until smooth and creamy, then add the apple juice or mineral water and a little of the chilli sauce. Blend once more to lightly mix the ingredients together.

      Pour the smoothie over ice cubes. Decorate with red chilli curls and serve with stirrers and extra chilli sauce.

      Sunday, 4 November 2012

      Chocolate Muffins- Dark & Chocolatty


      Someone has said somewhere ' Without children, your house is clean and your wallet is full; but your heart is empty'. It's absolutely true. I can't think of a day without children. When they were off to grandma's place for vacations, we were found rattling around the cottage having very little things to do or no work to finish off. The empty nest would rather eat us, even if the situation is not going to be the same for so long-not more than a week or two. It may take a few days to get used to not hearing the sound of your child's footsetps in the house or that silence at the dinner table. It is then that we realize the importance of children in our life and that they are the most beautiful gifts one can ever have in his life.

      In India, Childrens Day is celebrated on 14th of November, the birth-date of Jawaharlal Nehru (the first Prime Minister of India). I've never thought of celebrating  or never gave importance to this day other than wishing my kids, whereas  they did never forget to give me a card on Mothers Day. So this year I wanted to plan something special for them on that day. Insha Allah ! A mere hug can bring smile on their lips as a result of which their eyes light up and their face gives off a glow that is expansive enough to reach you and effortlessly make you reciprocate a sense of well-being. So what if we could offer a handful of surprises on their very special day. Who else is there to join me? I'll be posting a few wonderful kids-friendly recipes these 2 weeks and hope you'll defenitely send me your feedback and suggestions regarding this.





      Its a must try recipe from  Ina Garten . The texture and flavour of these cupcakes can help you win the hearts of your li'l ones on their very special day coming up.


      Ingredients


      • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
      • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
      • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
      • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
      • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
      • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
      • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
      • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
      • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1 cup good cocoa powder
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt


      • Method:


      Preheat the oven to 170 C. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
      In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 2 sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.

       Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well.

       In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee.

       In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

       On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it's completely blended.



      Divide the batter among the cupcake pans (1 rounded standard ice cream scoop per cup is the right amount).

      Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.





      Wednesday, 24 October 2012

      Raspberry & Vanilla Macarons Cake

      Eid Mubarak!! I know this can't be an Eid dish; but I'm too busy to type another post as this was pending in the drafts since last June. So here's a collection of Eid recipes from past posts:








       Somethings are worth the effort and this really was. A simple cake it was; but what made me happy was that  I could manage to find out the taste of my family after years of baking. Yes, they need everything light and less sweet- no cream and no chocolaty.. Whereas , I'm a dark chocolate person, loves cream in anything including my coffee and yeah less sugar is the only thing when i can say them 'hey i'm there with u'...
       Here I took quarter cup lesser sugar than the original recipe for them, filled the bottom layer with jam, top layer with meringue frosting and then coated with the same and glazed with chocolate. I was about to make three colored and four layered cake; orange cake was also baked the previous day along with the raspberry ones; the smell that burst out of orange zest and juice was so captivating that we couldn't wait more. When Razin asked, who is also an orangeholic,whether he could taste a bit.. i said yes- took the whole large cake, cut into pieces and gulpp.. thats it.
       I'm using chocolate glaze for the first time and didn't know that its gonna set as soon as we pour it on top. So that part turned out to be a little messy. But Wallah! the cake was delicious and finger licking good. 
       The home-made macarons on top added to it.  I haven't posted the recipe of macarons yet; but Insha Allah will do it soon! Those plain shells of  macarons were filled in with raspberry jam ; the flavor of raspberry is deliciously infused into the shells.


      I've followed the same recipe, devided the batter into two, then mixed one half of the batter with 1 tbsp of fresh raspberry puree and red colour. The other half was mixed with 1 tbsp of Orange juice,a tsp of orange zest and orange color. (I added orange color accidentally to raspberry cake and red color to orange cake which spoiled the entire look :(

      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.


      • Whipped Frosting

      • 3 large egg whites
      • 3/4 cup sugar
      • Pinch of salt
      • 1/3 cup water
      • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

      Method:

      In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites, sugar, salt, and water. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved (or mixture registers 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high until glossy, stiff peaks form (do not overbeat), about 3 minutes; reduce speed to low, add vanilla extract, and beat just until combined. Use immediately.


      Cook's Note

      Reserve the egg whites left over from the cake for the frosting. If you don't have buttermilk, substitute plain yogurt or sour cream (not fat-free).