Friday, 20 October 2017

Eggless Honey Cake 🍯 🎂


Honey Cake...a cake drenched in sugar syrup with jam and coconut frosting... Our childhood special cake in bakeries. Bit over sweet yet a yummy moist cake.

This one was in my to-do cake list for a long time... As this is my Husband's favourite cake (surprisingly, he does not eat over-sweet goodies).

Now... Now... Now... It's his birthday today. So if there is a day to bake this cake... Then it is today.... Right? 😉😄

Yessssss....I baked it today...No eggs, no butter, and no beater. A simple whisk-it-all process.

Okay, how did I get this recipe? The answer is very simple. I googled and directly hopped in to one of my favourite kitchens... "Raks Kitchen ".  I believe in her recipes blindly. Last night I decided to bake this cake... And with no prior trials, I made the cake with great confidence today.  The taste was not too sweet and the cake turned out perfect.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR 🎂 😄

Fine... Now to the recipe...

INGREDIENTS:

For the cake:
Maida/flour - 1¼ cup
Condensed milk - 14 tbsp
Oil - ½ cup
Orange juice (I used water)  - ½ cup
Powdered sugar - 3 tbsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking soda - ½ tsp
Lemon Juice (I used ACV) - 1 tsp
Vanilla essence (I used orange essence) - 1 tsp

For the syrup:
Water – ½ cup
Sugar – 2 tbsp
Honey – ¼ cup
Vanilla essence - ½ tsp

For the frosting:
Mixed fruit jam – 4 tbsp
Powdered Sugar – 1 tsp
Orange red food colour - a pinch
Desiccated coconut – as required

METHOD:

For the cake:
1. Seive maida, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl and mix well. Set it aside.
2. In another bowl add the remaining ingredients and whisk well.
3. Now add the maida mixture to it and whisk gently till everything combines well.
4. Pour the batter into a greased and lined baking pan and bake it in a preheated oven @ 180°C for about 30 mins or till the cake is done.
5. Remove the cake from the baking pan, invert it and remove the lining paper. Let it cool.

While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup and frosting and let it cool.


For the syrup:
1. Mix sugar and water and let it boil till the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
2. When the syrup is WARM, add honey and vanilla essence and mix well. Let it cool.

For the frosting:
1. Mix jam, powdered sugar and food colour and heat it in low flame and keep stirring it to melt to a smooth paste. It just takes a minute. Remove from heat.

I trimmed the top and then inverted the cake for frosting

Cake assembling:
1. Maintain the cake in inverted position (bottom side as top),  as it gives a flat surface to frost easily.
2. Now prick holes all over the flat surface using a toothpick.
3. Spoon the sugar syrup slowly and generously on top, for the cake to absorb it through the pricked holes.
4. Over it, spread the jam paste and top it with dessicated coconut.


My tips:
1. My 1 cup measures 240 ml.
2. For the cake,  I didn't have orange juice in hand, so I used water and orange essence instead and avoided the vanilla essence.
3. I substituted lemon juice with equal measure of ACV.
4. For the frosting,  my jam was brown in color, so I added a pinch of orange red food color.
5. I baked ¾th of the measurements in a loaf pan for 30 mins.
6. Finally I trimmed the sides of the cake to give a neater look.



Sunday, 8 October 2017

7 Cup Burfi



Yes... 7 Cup Burfi, the ingredients sums to 7 cups totally. Its taste is combo of Mysore Pak and Coconut Burfi.  A simple, humble and yummy recipe. Perfect for any special occasion and can be prepared in a jiffy.

Ingredients:
Besan flour - 1 cup
Dessicated coconut - 1 cup
Sugar - 2 cups
Milk - 1 cup
Nuts (cashew & almonds, powdered) - 1 cup
Ghee - 1 cup
Yellow food colour - a pinch (optional) 


Method:
Note: Maintain low flame for the entire recipe.
1. Heat a non-stick pan and add the besan flour and dry roast it for a couple of minutes. Keep stirring to avoid it from changing to brown color.
2. Add all other ingredients one by one (coconut, sugar, milk and nuts), and stir well continously. Finally add the ghee.
3. Cook till the mixture leaves the sides and when you start seeing small white bubbles, immediately switch off the stove.
4. Transfer the mixture into a ghee-greased tray and level it.
5. Using a knife, slice it while it's still WARM.
6. An instant burfi is ready.

MY TIP:
1.  For half measurement,  my tray size : 22 cm * 12 cm. 

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Parsi Mawa Cake



Ingredients:
Flour - 1¼ cup
Baking powder - ½ tsp
Cardamom Powder/Essence - 1/4 tsp
Khoya / Mawa (unsweetened) - 100 gms
Butter - 6 tbsp
Sugar (powdered)  - 1 cup 
Eggs - 2
Milk - 6 tbsp
Almonds & Cashews (chopped finely) - To garnish

Method:
1. In a bowl add maida and baking powder. Mix well and set aside. 
2. In another bowl add sugar, butter, khoya and cardamom powder and beat till light and fluffy. 


3. Add the eggs one by one and beat it for a couple of minutes.
4. Slowly add the maida mixture little by little and milk and beat till everything is mixed well. Don't over beat.  


5. Pour the batter into a greased and lined baking tray. 
6. Sprinkle cashews and almonds on top. 


 7. Bake it for 35-45 minutes or until the cake is done. 


Note:
1. I used half of the measurement of all ingredients to make this cake.
2. My 1 cup measures 250 ml for this recipe. 

Friday, 1 September 2017

Marshmallows - The easy and best recipe



I've already posted a marshmallow recipe. But I have to frankly accept that this is the easiest, quicker and best recipe. So here comes the recipe... 

Ingredients:
Sugar - 180 gms
Water - 60 gms
Gelatin - 12 gms
Water - 60 gms
Pineapple essence - ½ tsp
Yellow color - a few pinches
Cornflour - for dusting


METHOD:
1. Soak gelatin in 60 gms water in a glass bowl for an hour.
2. Mix sugar and water (60 gms). Bring to boil to a thick syrup consistency (soft ball stage - 240°F). Switch off fire.
3. Pour this mixture drizzling slowly to the soaked gelatin and beat with an electric mixer starting from slow speed and gradually to high speed.
4. After a couple of minutes, add the essence and color and beat the mixture till soft peaks are formed.
3. Pour this into a greased tray using a spatula. And let it set overnight at room temperature.
4. Remove the set marshmallows from the tray and place it on a cutting board dusted with cornflour. Coat it with flour on all sides. 
5. Cut into squares and dust with corn flour.
6. Store it in air tight containers. Stays well for 2-3 days in room temperature.

NOTE:
1. Use scissors or pizza cutter to cut the marshmallows. Dust it with flour before using it.
2. My tray size - 10 inches * 6 inches.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Chiffon Cake



A light, airy, spongy chiffon cake.

Ingredients:
Eggs - 4 (small, separated)
Flour - 100 gms
Sugar - 100 gms (powdered)
Oil - 3 tbsp
Milk - 4 tbsp
Vinegar - 2 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Flavouring essence - 1 tsp


Method:
1. In a bowl, add the eggs whites, essence, vinegar, salt and beat till frothy. Add in sugar little by little and beat till stiff peaks are formed.
2. In a separate bowl, mix egg yolks, oil,  milk and flour, and whisk it well to combine without any lumps.
3. Slowly add the stiff egg whites little by little (in 3 parts) to the flour mixture and fold gently. Don't beat or whisk. GENTLY FOLD. The batter should be foamy.
4. Pour the batter in a greased and lined baking pan. Gently shake and tap the pan on a flat surface twice to remove any air bubbles.
5. Bake it in a pre-heated oven @ 170° for 30 minutes.
6. Once done, remove it from oven immediately and with mild force tap the pan 2-3 times on a flat surface to avoid the cake from sinking.
7. Run a knife along the edges of the cake, and remove it. Allow it to cool.

Chiffon cake is ready.

My tip:
1. I baked in a loaf pan (¾th of the given measurement). Traditionally chiffon cakes are baked in bundt pans.
2. I prefer strong flavouring essence like pineapple to vanilla. So I added pineapple essence and yellow colour to the batter.


Friday, 11 August 2017

Easy Pan Release - for baking pans

Easy Pan Release 

Convert all your normal baking tins to non-stick with this easy homemade pan release mixture. No more greasing... No more dusting... Yay!!! 

Yes.. With this simple recipe, you can make a mixture which effortlessly releases the cake in shape. 



Ingredients:
Flour
Oil
Butter/shortening 

Recipe:
1. Take all 3 ingredients in equal ratio (1:1:1)
2. Mix the ingredients well together without any lumps. Done!!! 


 3. Just coat the baking pan with this mixture, before pouring the cake batter. 

The cake was released easily

And the pan is clean ☺️

The Cake 🎂... In Perfect Shape ☺️ 
 To save more time, this can be made in small batch and stored in fridge in an airtight glass container. 


Saturday, 17 June 2017

Minimalist Drawing - Mom n Me



An idea from Pinterest... Minimalist Drawing - Mom n Me

Classic Walnut Brownie



Brownie... Who doesn't like a slice of fudgy, chocolaty, chewy, intense rich decadent Brownie underneath a crispy crust.  It is meant to be like that. Otherwise it would be just a Chocolate cake. 

So, here it is... A simple but perfect BROWNIE. Period. 



Recipe adapted from Maureen Callahan's Intense rich brownies. 

Ingredients:

Maida - 3/4 cup
Cocoa powder - 3/4 cup
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 1 cup
Brown sugar - 1/2 cup (packed) 
Salted butter - 6 tbsp (melted) 
Semi-sweet chocolate - 85 gms (1/2 cup) 
Milk - 1/3 cup
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Eggs - 2 (large) 
Walnuts (chopped) - 1 cup

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 175°.
2.Grease and line a 10"x6" rectangle baking pan.
3.In a double boiler over low heat/microwave (for 30 seconds), melt chocolate with milk and remove from heat.
4.In a separate bowl, combine the first 5 dry ingredients. Mix the walnuts in it. 
5.When the chocolate has cooled, whisk in the melted butter, eggs and vanilla.
6.Add the dry ingredients and fold gently to combine.
7.Pour batter into prepared baking pan.
8.Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. 
9. Let it cool completely for a couple of hours. 
10. Slice and serve. 



Tips:
1. My 1 cup measures 240 ml. 
2. Leave enough extra lining paper to overhang on the 2 long sides of the baking tray, so that you can grab the edges and use it as a sling to remove the brownies.
3. Use a serrated plastic knife to mark the squares and then just run over a pizza cutter to cut the brownies perfectly. 
4. I got brownies of 1 inch thick. 





Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Instant-no dal Sambhar



A very simple and fast-to-cook side dish. It's tasty too 😋. 

Recipe adapted from Yummytummyaarthi

Ingredients:
~~~~~~~~
Oil - 5 tblspn
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Asafoetida - a pinch
Onion - 1 (medium, chopped finely or sliced) 
Tomato - 1 (large, sliced) 
Green Chilli - 1 sliced
Besan flour - 2 tblspn
Chilli Powder - ½ tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder - ½ tsp
Sambhar powder - ½ tsp (optional) 
Potato -  2 (medium sized, boiled with a pinch of turmeric powder +½ tsp salt) 
Water - 2 cups or as needed
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1/4 tsp
Tamarind - 3 pods
Coriander leaves - 5 sprigs (chopped finely) 

Method:
~~~~~~
1. Heat oil in a kadai, temper with mustard seeds, curry leaves and Asafoetida. 
2. Add onions and green chillies. Saute for a couple of minutes. 
3. Then add tomatoes and saute till the oil starts to separate slightly. 
4. Reduce the flame. Add besan flour, coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder and sambhar powder. Stir well for a minute. 
5. Add water. Slightly mash the potatoes with fingers and add it. Finally add salt, tamarind, and sugar, and let it boil. 
6. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve. 



Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Chicken Egg Balls



Chicken egg balls... A recipe from a cookery show... Tried and tested by my Mom,  with a bit of help from me. It turned out really yummy 😋 

Ingredients:
Eggs (boiled) - 3
1 whole egg and 1 cup bread crumbs for coating
Oil as required for deep frying

Outer crust ingredients:
Finely minced/ground chicken - 250 gms
Big Onion (finely chopped) -  1½
Green chillies (finely chopped) - 2
Garam masala - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Salt - as per taste
Coriander leaves


Method:
1. Mix all the outer crust ingredients. 
2. Divide the mixture into 3 equal balls. 
3. Take 15cm *15 cm aluminum foil. Place a ball at the centre and press gently. Now place an egg in it and wrap it around using the aluminum foil. Avoid touching the outer crust mixture with bare hands. The aluminum foil does not stick to the outer crust mixture,and that helps us to easily wrap it around the egg avoiding the clumsiness of sticking. 
4. Next crumb coat the balls by first dipping it in egg and then coating it with bread crumbs. Roll the balls gently to a perfect egg or ball shape. 
5. Finally, heat the oil and deep fry the balls in low flame till golden brown. 


Chicken Dry Roast



Chicken dry roast... It's my Mom's recipe and one of my favorite dish from her cooking. It's so simple and very yummy. Goes with anything or nothing 😋... Yes you can indulge with a bowl of this just like that. I do that 😜. 
Happy to share the recipe with you... Here it goes... 

Ingredients:
Chicken - 1/2 kg
Gingelly oil - 3 tbsp
Sunflower oil - 3 tbsp
1 sprig curry leaves
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Sambhar powder - 1/2 tsp 
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/4 tsp
Fennel powder - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon powder - a pinch
Cornflour - 1/2 tsp
Salt - as per taste
Coriander leaves for garnishing 


Method:.
1. Clean and wash the chicken. 
2. Heat oil in a non-stick Kadai. 
3. Add the chicken, curry leaves and salt. Close the Kadai and cook the chicken in low flame stirring occasionally. 
4.Cook the chicken till the soup water (which oozes out from the chicken)reduces to 2tbsp, then add Ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute. 
5. As the oil starts separating, add all the masala powders and saute for a few minutes. 
6. Sprinkle the cornflour and saute for minute. 
7. Turn the stove to high flame, and finally saute the chicken for just 1 minute till it gets roasted. Switch off the stove. 
8. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. 

Easy and delicious chicken dry roast is ready to serve. 


Friday, 3 March 2017

Udipi Sambhar



Sambhar... My Husband's favorite. So I keep hunting for different varieties for him.  Found one different version called Udipi Sambhar. It tasted really yummy 😋. So here it is..

Recipe adapted from Hebbar's kitchen

Ingredients:

For masala:
1 tsp oil
1 tsp coriander seeds
¼ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp urad dal
⅛ tsp methi seeds
3 dried red chillies (long)
¼ cup coconut (I used desiccated)

Main ingredients:
2 tsp oil
15 shallots (small onions, peeled and chopped finely/whole)
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp chilli powder
½ cup tamarind extract (4-5 pods soaked in water)
few curry leaves
½ tsp Jaggery (crushed)
salt to taste
½ cup toor dal

For tempering:
2 tsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 dried red chilli
few curry leaves
¼ tsp Asafoetida


Method:

1.  For the masala, heat oil in a pan and roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, methi seeds and red chilies. Lastly add the coconut and sauté for a few seconds. Remove from heat and let it cool. Then grind it to a paste (not to smooth) adding 1/4 cup of water.
2. Heat a pressure cooker and add oil. Then add the shallots and curry leaves and sauté to the shapes turn golden brown.
3. Next add turmeric and chili powder, and stir for a couple of minutes.
4. Then add the jaggery and tamarind water/extract. Allow it to boil.
5. Add toor dal and 1 ½ cup of water. Let it boil. Then close the cooker and cook for 6-8 whistles or till the the dal is done.
6. For tempering the sambhar, heat oil in a tadka pan and add mustard seeds, dried red chilli, asafoetida and curry leaves. Let it splatter.
7. Pour it over the prepared sambar and mix.
8. Transfer it to a serving bowl and serve it with crispy dosa or hot piping idlizzzz.

Notes:

For this recipe, my 1 cup measures 240 ml.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Viennese Rosettes



With basic ingredients, you can simply mix and bake these lovely rosettes. And they'll just melt in your mouth. Yum!!! 


Recipe adapted from Pepper, Chilli & Vanilla

Ingredients: (Makes ~ 35 cookies) 
125 gms butter (@ room temp)
125 gms maida 
50 gms icing sugar 
25 gms corn flour 
1\2 tsp essence
1 tbsp milk 

Method:
1. Sieve maida and cornflour together.
2. Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy.

3. Add Vanilla essence and maida-cornflour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix well. 
4. Add milk and mix till the dough becomes thick, but still sticky.

5. Fit the piping bag with star nozzle.

6. Pipe the rosettes on a baking tray,  lined with parchment paper and bake at 180 ° Celsius for 12-15 mins.

7. Remove from the baking tray and place on wire rack to cool.



My Notes:
1. The cookies were mildly sweet, so I sandwiched them with buttercream.

2. If you want to have them as plain cookie, you may add more sugar. 

3. My cookie batter/dough was quite thick and so it was difficult to pipe the rosettes. You can add more milk to get the right piping consistency and use a bigger nozzle. 

4. I'd like to try this one too... 
http://www.premascook.com/2011/06/vienese-fingers.html 
Will update soon... 




Thursday, 9 February 2017

A Special Cake for my Junior!!!



I had recently made this cake for my son's birthday. I was so happy with my work, I felt I ought to share this creation of mine with you guys.

This cake is actually a chocolate chiffon cake. It has then been iced with whipped cream frosting. These delicious looking roses are piped with whipped cream frosting as well. The cake is bordered with my son's favorite chocolate twisted wafers.

Happy Baking!!!

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Bitter Gourd Thokku



Bitter Gourd Thokku

It's a spicy, tangy thokku with a hint of sweetness. A yummy way to eat the "BITTER" bitter gourd. 

Ingredients:

Bitter gourd - 1 (big) 
Small onions - 25 gms 
Tomato - 1
Garlic - 3 cloves 
Tamarind - Half lemon-sized
Warm water - 150 ml
Salt - 1 tsp + ¼ tsp (divided) 
Oil - 5 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp 
Green Chillies - 1
Fennel seeds- 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Jaggery - 10 - 15 gms 
Chilli powder - 1/2 tbsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Fennel powder - 1/4 tsp

Method:

1. First, slit the bitter gourd, discard the seeds, and chop it finely. Add 1/4 tsp salt to it, mix well and keep it aside for 10 mins. Soak the tamarind in warm water for 10 mins. Mash the garlic slightly. Chop the onions and tomato and slit the green chillies. 
2. Later wash the bitter gourd and drain any excess water. Add chilli powder, Coriander powder, turmeric powder, fennel powder and 1tsp salt to it and mix well. 


3. Heat the Kadai, add oil, mustard and fennel seeds. Let it splatter. Next add onions, garlic and green chilles and cook till the onions turn golden brown. Then add the bitter gourd mixture and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add in the chopped tomatoes and stir for 5 minutes or until the raw smell goes and oil separates. 
4. Next filter and add the tamarind extract water and let it boil for 5 minutes. Finally crush and add the Jaggery, and let it cook until the mixture thickens and oil separates. 


Note:
1. My 5 tbsp oil is a mixture of groundnut oil and gingelly oil. 



Sunday, 29 January 2017

Rusk Halwa



Rusk halwa

 When I was doing my PG in Madurai, I had a couple of Sourashtrian friends. Whenever they returned back to the hostel, after attending a marriage or some other function, they would pack a tiffin container full of this Rusk halwa. It's a dessert they make for all special occasions. Those days I just ate, ate and ate the delicious halwa but never thought to get hold of its recipe. Actually they call this as Bun halwa. The taste is halfway between our gulab jamun and the traditional thirunelveli halwa. Then, what else more to say, it's an absolute yummy dessert.

 A few years ago , I was mentioning about this halwa and its taste to my aunt. She immediately grabbed a pack of buns, dunked it in milk, sugar and ghee.... Stirred everything together and made a sweet (???!!!). Yes,it was not halwa, the taste and texture was terrible. I had to put on a smiling face and had a bowl of that. But I told her it was not of the same taste. Finally my uncle came to my rescue. He asked my aunt to discard it. Phew!!!  

Then after many years, I got in touch with one of the PG friend "S" . I asked her for the recipe and she immediately mesaged it to me. Thanks Dear 😊. 

When I read the recipe, and there... I found the secret... Though it's called Bun halwa, it's main ingredient was Rusk and not Bun 😂😝. 

So, here is the recipe for the yummy 'Rusk' halwa, mostly adapted from my friend's. I slightly changed the measurements and the preparation method according to my taste. 


Ingredients:
Rusk powder - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Sugar - 2/3 cup
Ghee - 1/3 cup
Cashews - 15 (broken) 
Raisins - 10 (optional) 


Method:
1. Heat all the ghee in a non-stick Kadai.  Fry the cashews and raisins, drain, remove and keep it aside. 
2. Next roast the rusk powder in the same kadai nicely for 2-3 mins in low flame. Do not let it to get burnt, keep stirring gently and continuously. 
3. Then add water little by little stirring continuously to avoid lumps 
4. When the ghee separates from the mixture, add the sugar little by little stirring continuously. 
5. Stir well so that all the sugar melts, add the fried cashews and raisins. Cook till the mixture leaves the sides and ghee separates. Remove from heat. 

Simple n yummy halwa is ready. 

Note:
1. My 1 cup measures 240 ml .
2. Using a good quality non-stick vessel makes cooking this halwa an easy job. 
3. I used cardamom flavoured rusk. If using plain rusk, you can add a few pinches of cardamom powder before adding the sugar.
4. Ghee and sugar can be added more or less according to your taste.