Friday, December 17, 2010

May's Christmas Cake.



The cake's baked and yes, it is named after me. I know I am late in baking the X'mas cake, but am glad that nevertheless I managed to bake it before a week. I hunted around quite a bit for the perfect recipe. There were so many to choose from, so finally what I did was use my judgement based on all that I had read and turned out with my very own X'mas cake. It has turned out awesome, am afraid that it will not last beyond 2 days, let alone christmas. Knowing my family, I luckily baked two....one to distribute to friends and the other for us!! Hopefully they do not start digging into the second one....
     I thought I would do the posting tonight itself, lest I forget what went into the recipe. To begin with, I soaked the raisins and peel in rum for a good whole two months!! Yes, they went into soaking in October..:) Here's how they looked after soaking in all the rum.


So here's how I went about.

Ingredients:

  • 500 gms raisins
  • 300 gm citrus peel
  • 250 gm candied cherry
  • 500 ml rum or brandy
  • 300 gm butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 and a half cup flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apricot or plum jam
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dry ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds
Method :
  1. Combine raisins, peel and candied cherries in a medium sized bowl. Pour in brandy or rum and leave at room temperature overnight, a week, a month or more..:)
  2. Grease a loaf pan or round tin with 2 layers of parchment paper. Drain soaked fruits reserving the liquid. 
  3. Sift flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and baking powder into a bowl. Preheat oven to 150 degree celcius.
  4. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture and jam. Beat until well combined.
  6. Stir in the soaked fruits and almonds or walnuts. Mix well.
  7. You can divide this mixture into two tins(as I have done) or bake a whole cake. Spread the mixture into prepared tin. Bake in oven for 90 minutes or till a wooden pick comes out clean.
  8. Allow cake to cool in pan. When cooled, remove cake from pan. Peel off parchment paper. Brush reserved liquid all over the cake. Wrap with parchment paper followed by aluminum foil. Seal cake in food storage bag and allow to age till christmas..:) Brush cake once a week with rum or brandy.
Note: As of now, quarter of our cake is over. So it looks like, I will be following step 8 to the cake which is reserved for presenting.


The above picture is after applying the rum marinade. This cake is wrapped and stored in the fridge till christmas. Will post some more pictures in a week, once the cake is cut.

Linking this post to the december carnival on  The Key Bunch. Come and see what all the fun is about!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Cake Blondies.

    
How does the spirit of Christmas feel in your home?? This side it is getting crazier by the day..... Decorating, choir practices, ensembles, entertaining, plays and not to forget baking!!! So, without any story telling, here's what I prepared over the weekend in anticipation of my cousin's visit. The recipe is from the christmas collection of Good Housekeeping magazine.

You need :

  • 2 cups mixed dried fruit, bigger pieces chopped(raisins, currants, sultanas, apricots, figs, citrus peel, candied cherries)
  • 1 cup rum or brandy
  • 1 and a half cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 150 gm unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips( I used white chocolate cut into small pieces)
  • 3/4 cup chopped almonds or walnuts.
Method:

  1. Marinate dried fruits in rum, stirring now and then, for at least 6 hours or overnight (I soaked for 24 hours).
  2. Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius. Meanwhile grease and dust a 9 inch square baking tin.
  3. Drain fruit and reserve marinade; set aside.
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  5. Cream together butter and both kinds of sugar until pale and thick, about 6 minutes with an electric whisk. Beat in egg, then yolk; whisk for 1 minute. Mix in chocolate chips, nuts and fruit. Fold in flour mixture until just combined -DO NOT BEAT!
  6. Spoon into prepared tin and bake for 40-50 minutes or until top is golden brown and centre done but just moist.

7. Cool tin on wire rack for at least 30 minutes, before cutting into 16 squares. To serve, pour reserved rum marinade over as sauce and garnish with chopped dried fruit.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Eat like a German...Zimtsterne


Snow has fallen, X'mas trees decorated, lights are up......and I am sure, the german homes have begun baking too( I do get the aroma of freshly baked cookies when walking by some homes). As I had mentioned in my previous post, I am keen on preparing a few german goodies. The supermarkets are all loaded with oh so many baking ingredients, it would be a pity if I never tried out something different.  When this particular recipe came up on the Live like a german website, I thought it would be the ideal cookie to start with.

     Zimtsterne or Cinnamon stars are classic German Christmas cookies. The mixture of almond and cinnamon dough are rolled out and cut into star shapes and maybe topped with white sugar icing. I was a apprehensive when trying these out, cause it was my first time with cookies. To my surprise they turned out awesome(though they didn't look as good, got to improvise on it though..)


Ingredients :

  • 300g almonds with skin
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 250g powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Powdered sugar for rolling
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar or few drops vanilla essence
Method :
  1. Grind the almonds with skin to a fine powder.
  2. Beat the egg whites along with the lemon juice till very stiff.
  3. Gradually add the sugar, mixing well until fully dissolved.
  4. Reserve three fourth of this mixture aside.
  5. To the remaining mixture, fold in the ground almonds, cinnamon and vanilla essence.
  6. Cover and allow to sit in a cool place for 30 minutes.
  7. Heat the oven to 150 degrees celsius. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Sift powdered sugar over a working surface.
  9. Roll out half the dough to approximately quarter inch thick.
  10. Cut into stars using a star shaped cookie cutter.
  11. Place the stars on the baking tray. Brush them with the set aside egg white mixture. Take care that it does not dribble down to the sides.
  12. Bake stars on the lower and middle racks for 25 minutes, switching the sheets about halfway through baking time.

The above recipe makes 36 cookies. If you have a family like mine who gobbles up the cookies the moment they are out from the oven, then you need to definitely bake more or time your baking accordingly.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Walnut Cake

I have begun my hunt for Advent recipes. Unlike last year, where I was over come with sorrow because of the move, this year I am in high festive spirits and intend to prepare both Indian and German sweets for X'mas.

Imagine my surprise when leafing through the pages of the Good Housekeeping magazine, I found this recipe listed as a traditional Indian Christmas recipe. All the while I thought that the rich plum cake was the Indian traditional  recipe.  Anyway, I didn't bother to do further research on the topic and thought to myself "Well Mr. Walnut cake, I am not gonna wait for X'mas to bake you!! I am gonna bake and we are gonna eat you now!!! :D" Funny that I called a cake Mr. :)


Ingredients :
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 250g sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 250g flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 300g walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 5 drops vanilla essence
  • 50g walnuts, halved



Method :

  1. Cream butter and sugar till fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and keep creaming.
  2. Sieve together flour and baking powder
  3. Fold chopped walnuts into the flour mixture. Add to the creamed butter and fold in. Add vanilla essence too.
  4. Line 8-inch cake tin with butter paper. Pour in batter. Arrange walnut halves on top(optional). Bake at 180 deg celsius till golden brown. Insert toothpick; if it comes out clean, cake is ready.
  5. You can replace walnuts with mixed nuts, or mixed/dried candied fruit and peels - spike them with some rum or brandy if you like. Line with butter paper when packing.


So, what do you think?  Does this qualify for an X'mas cake without the rum and spice???

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Chilly Chicken


Chilly Chicken.....this dish in itself transports me back to my childhood. Back then, we cousins always looked forward to travelling to Mandya (a small town 50 kms from Mysore). Our mom's elder sister, Aunty Crecy along with our cousins lived there. My aunt is an excellent cook and all of us had our favourite dishes which she would prepare just for us. One of them being chilly chicken!! I remember traveling in the rickety red KSRTC buses(i cannot imagine stepping into one now), a good 8 hour journey and all the way long we would just be talking and imagining digging into aunty's awesome preparation. Too bad I have no shots of us all surrounding the plates, digging into the chunks of soya marinated chicken, putting our parents to shame as though we had arrived from no man's land where there was not a morsel to eat!!!! :D

           Post marriage, hubby and I loved going out to eat. RR Restaurant on Church Street road, Bangalore was one of our favorite places to eat and guess which dish we loved the most......you are right!!! The only difference being the dish was prepared more so to suit the Andhra palette( I think there were more than 15 green chillies involved in the recipe!!!!). With each morsel we had to down a glass of water, but that never stopped us from wanting to eat more, always.....

Over a period of time, I happened to mention to a neighbor of mine about our fondness for the dish, and she said that she had one of the best recipes and that we would indeed love it. Her preparation was easy and quick to make. It also sounded like a combo of both my aunt's and RR preparation. And trust me, to this date it has been a family favorite especially Markie's who wouldn't mind eating it on a daily basis :D

Ingredients :

  1. 1 kg chicken cut into small pieces( I cut mine medium as I had no more patience to cut it further)
  2. 1/2 bunch of spring onions(both bulbs and greens)
  3. 8 green chillies slit( more can be used depending on the level of tolerance to spice) 
  4. 2 inch ginger finely chopped
  5. 3 tblsps soya sauce
  6. 1 tblsp tomato sauce
  7. 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  8. 1 tblsp cornflour dissolved in water
  9. salt to taste
  10. 5 tblsps oil.

Method :
  •  In an Indian kadai or chinese wok, heat the oil.
  • Drop in spring onions, green chillies and ginger and fry on a high flame for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Drop the chicken pieces and continue to fry on a high flame till colour changes. Be careful, not to burn.



  • On frying well, add the soya, tomato sauce and pepper powder. Stir well, till the sauce has completely coated all the chicken pieces. 



  • Cover and cook on a low flame till chicken is tender or well cooked. 
  • Before turning off the heat, add cornflour dissolved in water. Cook on a high flame for a minute or two, stirring continuously till the sauce thickens. 
  • Remove from heat.
  • Serve hot with fried rice or noodles.



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Cake


For quite some time I have been receiving mails or being asked as to why have I stopped blogging? Some were curious to know whether I had stopped cooking or baking altogether!!!! It feels good to know that somewhere, out there, somebody is reading what I write...:)

      After having returned from our home trip, it has taken me awhile to get back into a routine. Also, when you have enjoyed tasty, home cooked meals for 6 weeks, it does take some time to get your act together in the kitchen. 

Right now in Germany, we are flooded with apples. If you happen to come down to Deutschland in the month of September, you will be greeted with sights of red, luscious apples smiling at you from trees!!! Unfortunately, I did not get to really go to an orchard this time, but had the opportunity last year to go to one and pluck some like Adam's Eve( though my Adam was not too glad about it) :D The picture above was taken then and I was going gaga at the sight of these sinful beauties. 

      In the market place you see so many apples, that at some point you get fed up of eating them. I used to always wonder, how best could I use this fruit here, knowing that it is available in surplus!!! So when I stumbled upon this recipe in The Good Life, I immediately got into action cause I wanted something new.


Here's how the recipe goes :

For Filling :

3 apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1 cup water

For the batter:

2 cups self raising flour
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
180 gm softened butter
2 tsp baking powder

Method :

  • Grease a baking tray and preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  • In a pan, mix all the filling ingredients till apples are soft. Drain and keep aside.


  • Sieve the flour, cinnamon and baking powder together.
  • Beat eggs till fluffy. Add the butter and sugar and beat till creamy.
  • Slowly add the sieved flour and beat well.
  • Pour half of this mixture in the baking pan.
  • Top with the apples and then pour the remaining batter to cover well.
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

  • The cake goes well with a cup of piping hot tea or coffee.... Am off to get a cuppa for me..:)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sonya's Buttermilk Banana Nut Muffins

Who is Sonya? She is a new friend I have made through the world of blogging. Sonya, an American expat living in the Netherlands blogs on Home Cooking with Sonya. It's hard not to fall in love with her blog(Go, take a look and you will know what I am saying). Her writing, pictures, recipes, I look forward to them everyday. She has been a guiding force for me, encouraging me with her comments on my blogs. Our countries are neighbors and I hope maybe someday we will meet.


        Last month in one of her posts, I had commented that I would try out one of her recipes and would blog about it. Well today is the day. The kids were hungry for muffins, and Sonya's blog had plenty to choose from. With the over ripe bananas lying in the fruit basket, I chose to go ahead with the Buttermilk Banana Nut muffins. Sonya's measures were in cups. I have mentioned before that my cups are more so mugs. So, what I did was transferred all her ingredients from cups into a measuring bowl to make it simpler for my readers. Here goes the recipe:

     Ingredients :

  • 500 gm flour
  • 100 gm sugar
  • 150 gm brown sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  •  250 ml buttermilk
  • 250 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ripe bananas mashed
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

     Method :
  1. Line a muffin tin with liners. Preheat oven to 180 deg celsius.
  2. Sieve flour and baking powder together and keep aside.
  3. In a bowl combine buttermilk, oil, vanilla and egg. Beat well till thoroughly combined. Add sugar and continue to beat. Add mashed bananas and mix well.
  4. Slowly add the sieved flour to the mixture and mix well.
  5. Drop in spoonful of batter into the muffin holder. Sprinkle nuts(I crushed them with my hand) on top.
  6. Bake in oven for 20 - 25 minutes or until done(An inserted toothpick should come out clean). Makes 24 muffins.
  7. Serve warm with tea or coffee.

Sonya didn't warn me in her blog about the heady aroma of baked bananas my house would be filled with. True to her words, they were the softest and moistest muffins we have tasted. It has been pretty hard keeping Anna away from them. Seeing her eat, I am reminded of the Indian advertisement with the slogan "NO ONE CAN EAT JUST ONE". Thanks Sonya for the recipe. I am gonna try many more...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Celery-Apple Salad.


A quick refreshing salad to beat the summer......

Ingredients :

  • 1 head celery or 1 cup carrot julienned(cut into long thin strips)
  • 3 red apples
  • 3 tbsp store bought eggless caesar salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise 
Method:
  1. Wash and finely chop the celery.
  2. Dice apples and mix celery and apples with the salad dressing. Add the mayonnaise. Chill
  3. Before serving, stir in the walnuts.
In Germany, searching for an ingredient can be a treasure hunt in the super markets. Not finding Caesar salad dressing, I knew I would have to make it on my own. Hubby googled the recipe, so I am clueless as to which site he got it from. Here's what you need:
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp worchestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Blend all of the above in a blender.


Pictured above is celery apple salad and Broccoli fish bake(yet to do the posting).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cappuccino Walnut Cake.


Do you have those days where you have disasters in the kitchen?? Well, I had one today and the worst part was it being my daughter Anna's 8th birthday. I had decided upon the cake two weeks ago. Flavour wise, it was something i had never tried before and the best part was it had to be decorated with flowers.
  
           I baked the cake a day ahead and decided to decorate it today. I got up with all the enthusiasm i had, having already envisioned the cake decorated pretty with chrysanthemums. Having followed the recipe to the T, the preparation of the icing seemed to be going on well, until it separated into water and lumps of icing(the whipped cream had not expired). I was devastated, to add to the disaster i had no extra whipped cream. The worst part about living in Germany is, if you need anything at all, there isn't a single store, not even a single store open for you.

Having never faced disasters I had to come up with some decoration. She was waiting to cut her cake. After quickly googling recipes, I narrowed on a chocolate icing which too didn't turn out the way it was supposed to. It's a mystery as to what went wrong. Nevertheless, I was exhausted with the disappointment, chaos, what with my kitchen being transformed to an utter mess and me sweating like hell(the kitchen right now is a furnace, what with temparature's touching 37 deg celcius), I proceeded with the chocolate icing and finally ended up with the above cake. My chrysanthemum's are still in the flower pot. So, while I go and do a post mortem as to what went wrong, here is the recipe from good Housekeeping magazine. a point to note: The cake in itself was awesome with the combo of coffee and walnuts!!

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 100 gm maida
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 125 gm sugar
  • 1 and a half tbsp instant coffee dissolved in a little milk
  • 3/4 cup walnuts finely chopped
For the decoration:
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
For the icing:
  • 200 gm white chocolate
  • 4 tsp instant coffee dissolved in a little milk
  • 500 gm whipped cream
For the garnish:
Fresh edible flowers or petals.



Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 190 deg celsius. Grease two round cake tins and line the base of each with a circle of greased butter paper. Sift together the flour and baking powder.
  2. Beat eggs and sugar in a bowl, over a pan of barely simmering water for 3-4 minutes until fluffy. Remove from heat, beat till cooled.
  3. Fold in butter, coffee, walnuts. Sift and fold the flour in small amounts carefully but quickly with a metal spoon. Pour into tins. Bake for 20 minutes or till done. Let it cool.
  4. To make the decoration, whiz the walnuts in a food processor with the sugar and cinnamon until finely chopped. Do not overdo it.
  5. For the icing, melt the white chocolate by putting it in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Meanwhile, beat coffee and whipped cream until smooth. Slowly beat in the melted chocolate.
  6. Spread 1/3 icing on top of one cake, sandwich with other cake. Smooth remaining icing on top and sides. Scatter nuts around the sides of the cake. Decorate with flowers.


Luckily, the flavor of the cake was yummy and the family relished it, inspite of me ending up with a different icing altogether!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Choco-Chip muffins!!


Thursday is generally a busy day for the kids and me. What with the three of us having our respective music classes followed by Deutsch lessons late in the evening. Our tutor Frau Maria is a wonderful teacher and am glad that she is able to motivate and teach the children their german lessons well. Right from the start, Maria and I developed an instant rapport and i enjoy the small chats we have in between the classes.


       Maria is a teacher in W├╝rzburg, she teaches by day and tutors expat children till late in the evening. To get to us she needs to spend two hours on the road. I know how tiring it must be for her considering the fact that back home, i was in the teaching profession too, but not tutoring. She comes pretty tired, but her spirit is always high. She is cheerful and has the maximum level of patience with the kids. 



Most of the time I try to bake cakes on thursday knowing that she comes hungry after a tiring day, if not, we manage with some treats from the bakers. I made a simple choco-chip muffin today which she relished so much. I had to convince her that she would not put on any extra kilos if she ate a few!!


Ingredients :-

  • 250 gm flour
  • 100 gms cocoa powder
  • 250 gms brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 gms butter
  • 1 and a half tsp baking powder
  • chocolate sauce
  • half cup chopped almonds 
  • few choco chips
Method :-
  1. Sieve flour, cocoa and baking powder together and keep.
  2. Beat the eggs till fluffy. Add sugar and beat well.
  3. Add the butter to the mixture and keep on beating.
  4. Add the sieved flour little by little and keep mixing well.
  5. Grease a muffin tray and preheat oven to 150 deg celsius.
  6. Drop spoons of batter into the muffin tray, sprinkle choco chips and bake for 20-25 minutes or until done

       


(This was the second batch, forgot the choco chips)

Let the muffins cool for a while. When ready to serve, drizzle some chocolate sauce and sprinkle chopped almonds. The above recipe makes 18 muffins. Enjoy!!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

May's Choco-Walnut Cake.



This posting is for my good friend in Bangalore, pretty Preety!! Her name is Preety and she is very pretty!! Love to call her that! When I began this blog, Preety wanted a recipe for Walnut cake and am sure she must have got fed up waiting for one. Now here's the best part...
                 I have reached a stage where I have begun experimenting with baking, with no help from recipe books. I am proud to say that the end result turns out delicious as ever.  I thought it fitting to name this cake after me...:-) Here goes the ingredients which I have measured carefully and noted down.
Ingredients :-

  • 250 gm self raising flour(maida)
  • 100 gm cocoa powder
  • 250 gm sugar
  • 1 and a half tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 gms walnuts
  • 200 gms butter
  • powdered sugar for dusting
Method :-
  1. Sieve flour, cocoa and baking powder together and keep aside.
  2. Grind walnuts to a coarse powder.
  3. Beat eggs and sugar together till fluffy.
  4. Add butter and continue beating.
  5. Now slowly add the sieved flour little at a time and continue beating and mix well.
  6. Finally add the ground walnuts to the batter and mix well.
  7. Grease a baking tray and pre heat oven to 160 deg.
  8. Pour batter into the tray and bake for an hour or until the cake is done(to test, poke a knife into the cake and if it comes out clean, the cake is done).
  9. Once the cake is cool, dust it with powdered sugar and serve with tea or coffee.
P.S :- Didn't go for a fancy photograph of the cake, since my daughter declared that all the cakes look the same. So, that's my presentation for the day!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Egg Korma.

This post is in continuation with my last week's posting. I had served my hubby a scrumptious lunch to give him a break from the cafeteria food. Since then, his company has been kind enough to send him to work an hours distance away, hence he hasn't come home for lunch :D (I do love him coming home though).


Ingredients :

  • 5 eggs(boiled)
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds.
  • 2 tomatoes(chopped)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
Method :
  1. In a bowl mix the powders along with some water and the paste. Keep aside.
  2. In a vessel heat oil. When hot add the cumin seeds.
  3. As they splutter, add the paste from the bowl and fry on a low flame.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry well.
  5. Now add the coconut milk and a little water only if required.
  6. Add slit eggs(or whole) and let it boil till done.
  7. Add salt to taste.
  8. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  9. Serve hot with roti or rice.
      

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Scrambled Cottage Cheese.


Didn't mean to do this post, but the plate looks colourful, so I thought let me proceed. Hubby declared yesterday that henceforth he would like to come home for lunch( I think the german potatoes in the cafeteria got to him). I was very glad cause it meant the kids and I would have an hour to chit chat with him and spend time during lunch. He assumed that it would be burdensome for me if he came home. I would not say that, but i do have to alter my schedule now. More so because the kids and I would manage lunch with a quick made meal than an elaborate one. So the more time i spent in the kitchen would be for dinner.

             Today being day 1, I got to working. I made a simple Indian meal for him which the entire family relished. Chapati's with egg korma, spicy chick peas(kabuli channa) and scrambled cottage cheese(paneer burji).

The first time I got cottage cheese from the market in Lohr was in February. I proceeded to cook it and upon tasting it had this horrible sour taste. The kids refused to eat it and so it was goodbye to cottage cheese. I later came to know that it is made from goats milk but have no clue as to why it is sour. Now the dumbo in me had forgotten that in India i used to make paneer at home. I came to realise it only yesterday when the milk had spoilt(thank goodness, it means the weather has gotten warm) and voila it was flashback for me to my  paneer making days.

         Here's how it goes. Add fresh milk(however much you like) to the spoilt milk and keep it for 24 hours. Then bring it to a very good boil. Strain onto a muslin cloth and tie it up tight so as to drain the whey completely. When done, it is reduced to a lump of cottage cheese. Cut it into cubes or scramble it if you like. Since I did not intend to do a posting, I have no pictures.

Finally here's how the scrambled cottage cheese goes....Chop an onion, capsicum, and tomato. Heat oil in a shallow pan. Drop the chopped veggies along with the cottage cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low flame till done. Serve hot with chapatis.


  

Friday, June 11, 2010

Vegetables in Spicy Garlic Butter.


Ingredients :
  • 200 gm mushroom
  • 200 gm broccoli
  • 200 gm baby corn
  • 2 red or yellow capsicum
  • 1/2 cup minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp pepper freshly ground
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • salt to taste

Method :-
  1. Combine garlic, pepper, salt and butter. Beat well and set aside to infuse.
  2. Wash vegetables and cut into bite sized pieces.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Stir in 1 tbsp salt. Add baby corn, cook for 1 minute, strain and set aside. Blanch broccoli in the same water, strain.
  4. Toss vegetables in the butter mixture and bake, steam or microwave for 5-7 minutests till crunchy but cooked.
  5. Serve with grilled chicken and Mini Jacket potatoes(to be posted later)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rich Dark Chocolate Cake.


I am back to browsing through my Good Housekeeping magazines. This particular recipe caught my eye, because the ingredients didn't look like the usual ones we use. This recipe does not use any flour at all. I was curious to try it out and see the outcome. I followed the ingredients in the recipe to the T with an alteration in the baking time .....

Ingredients :

  • 8 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp coffee powder
  • 12 tbsp water
  • 1 and a half tsp vanilla or rum essence ( I used rum)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 slices slightly stale bread
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 200 gm butter preferably white
  • 300 gms sugar
  • 8 eggs seperated

Method :
  1. Mix together the cocoa, coffee, water, essence and cinnamon powder. Stir to a smooth mixture. Set aside.
  2. Process the bread to fine crumbs in a grinder or mixer. Pour some boiling water over the almonds and slip off their skins. Process to fine crumbs as well but seperately.
  3. In a bowl beat the butter and sugar till fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Add the powdered almonds and chocolate mixture. Stir in the breadcrumbs.
  4. Beat the egg whites till they form soft peaks. Fold into the cake mixture.
  5. Grease and line a large 14 inch cake or two smaller ones.(I used a large round tin)
  6. Bake in an oven preheated to 160 degrees. Bake at 40 minutes or till done. The smaller cakes take less time.( This is where I made the change. I baked a good hour and a half since the centre of the cake was still undone after an hour too).
  7. Before serving, pile on ice cream attractively at the top.
  8. You may also add some chopped fresh or tinned fruit.
  9. If you prefer, substitute the ice cream with fresh, whipped cream.
  10. For an exotic touch, drizzle over some of your favourite liqueur - coffee flavour goes wonderfully          ( Thats what I did, I used cherry liqueur, though the kids preferred to have it as it is.)

 Note : The batter turns out to  be quite liquidish, so I was wondering if it would finally turn out to be a cake. I was relieved it did and it turned out to be one of the moistest cakes I had ever made.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pineapple Upside-down Cake

May 13th was Father's day in Germany!! It seemed to be a busy week for the kids with both mother's and father's day in close succession. They say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach!! So, there I was in the kitchen, baking a Pineapple upside down cake while the kids were busy with their cards!!

Ingredients :-
  • half cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 can pineapple slices drained
  • 4 eggs separated
  • pinch of salt
  • half cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
Method :- 
  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
  2. Melt butter in a pan. Add the brown sugar and stir until blended.
  3. Pour this mixture into a 10 inch diameter baking tray.
  4. Place the drained pineapple slices on top in one layer and set aside.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1 tbsp butter until smooth.
  6. With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with salt until stiff. Fold in the sugar, 2 tbsp at a time Fold in the egg yolk mixture.
  7. Sift the flour and baking powder together. Fold into the egg mixture in 3 batches.
  8. Pour the batter over the pineapple and smooth level.
  9. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  10. While still hot, place a serving plate on top of the baking tray, bottom side up. Flip cake over. Serve hot or cold.
Final verdict : Anna was surprised to see the gooey texture on top and didn't like the look of it!! For the first time in her life, she refused to eat cake:-(  Dad was very happy and loved it!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Black Forest Cake!!!

As I mentioned in my post here, Wednesday was a cause for celebration at home. And I chose to bake the family's favourite!! The Black Forest cake. Though I had seen the recipe many months before, I had not understood this particular sentence....sprinkle cake with Kirsche. Now I know that Kirsche is cherry in Deutsch and since the cake is a wet cake, we are supposed to soak it in a cherry liquid. I tried the dictionary, google translator but none could help me as to what the liquid is called. Not knowing who to ask, I just let it be.

       Since the past 2 months, we have had Maria come home to tutor the kids in the German language. Maria and I love to discuss and share information about our respective countries. I happened to share with her my new found passion for baking and asked her about Kirsch. Not only did she tell me what was it, she wrote it down for me and explained in length where I would find it in the supermarket.
 It is called Schattenmorellen.
The recipe I saw was for a very large cake. I was not confident of trying in such large measure, so I proceeded on my own and will share what I baked.

Ingredients :
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 gms sugar
  • 350 gms flour
  • 100 gms cocoa powder
  • 200 gms butter
  • 1 and a half tsp baking powder
For the filling and topping :
  • 1 bottle cherry conserve(cherries soaked in sugar water)
  • 2 and a half cups whipped cream
  • 3 packs whipped cream stabilizer
  • 3 packs vanilla sugar
  • grated chocolate
  • fresh cherries for decoration

Method :
  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Grease a square baking tray.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder together and keep.
  3. Beat eggs and sugar together till frothy.
  4. Add butter and continue beating.
  5. Add slowly the sifted flour, continue beating and mixing well.
  6. Pour batter into the greased tray and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or insert knife and check if it comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cake to cool well.
  8. When completely cooled, slowly remove out from tin and slice  the cake through in between to form 2 layers.
  9. Prick each layer slightly with a fork, then sprinkle with the cherry water. 
  10. Whip the cream along with the stabilizer and sugar in a bowl until it starts to thicken.
  11. To assemble, spread one cake layer with cream and then cherries. Then place the second layer cake, on top of it cream and then cherries.
  12. Spread the remaining cream all over the cake. Press grated chocolate on the sides and on top and decorate with cherries.

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