Thursday, April 29, 2010

Black and White Pound Cake.

A recipe from my Birthday Book. This cake is also called Marble cake because of its distinctive appearance.

You need :-

  • 500 gms semi-sweet chocolate, broken into squares
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 10 eggs
Method :-
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
  2. Line the bottom of a 10" round baking tray with non stick baking paper and grease.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of hot water. Stir occasionally. Set aside.
  4. In a bowl sift together the flour and baking powder. In another bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs, two at a time, then gradually incorporate the flour mixture on a low speed.
  6. Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Stir the chocolate into the remaining batter, then spoon into the pan. With a spatula, swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect.
  8. Bake until a cake tester or a knife comes out clean, about 1 and 3/4 hours. Let stand for 15 minutes, then unmould and transfer to a cooling rack. To serve, dust with confectioner's sugar.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Egg Pulao

The day I read this recipe on Kim's blog I knew it would be an instant hit with my kids!!! They both love eggs and pulaos or biryanis of any kind. So a combination of egg and pulao would make it easy for me in the kitchen and for them to eat. Also as Kim noted it is easy and fast to prepare. Kim's recipe is meant for two and since I needed servings for four I altered the measurements accordingly. For servings of two head over to Kim's blog, for four proceed as follows....

You need :-

  • 8 eggs(boiled)
  • 2 cups rice(my cups are huge, more so mugs)
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1 and a half lime
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tbsps oil
Grind to a paste :-
  • 2 onions
  • 5 green chillies(large)
  • 2 " ginger
  • 1 pod garlic
  • 2 " cinnamon
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 black cardomom
Method :-

  1. Boil the eggs, shell and keep.
  2. Wash rice and soak in water.
  3. Grind the above ingredients to a paste.

4. In a pressure cooker warm the oil and add the ground paste. Fry well till you get an aroma! (I fried 
            for 10 - 12 mts).
        5. To the fried masala, add the rice, mix well and fry some more.

         6. Add 4 cups water, juice of lemon, salt to taste and boiled eggs. Close the cooker and cook till done.
         7. Serve with a chilled cucumber or tomato raitha.

Final verdict : As predicted it was an instant hit!!! Thanks to Kim!!! This pulao will be prepared quite often at our home, what about yours???

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Prawn pulao

Weekends are always hectic..with the grocery shopping for the weekend and week(you see everything is closed from sat 4:00 and whole of sunday), then the ensemble, followed by an outing with the family gives me very little time to be in the kitchen. As far as possible I try to cook on friday night for the following day so that I can do all of the above....  Since fish of our liking is not available, we bring in prawns on a regular basis which are very good in taste. That also means I have to keep on searching for new recipes to prepare them. I sat with my favourite chef Sanjeev Kapoor's Konkan cookbook and found this recipe...Prawn Pulao. The recipe serves four, but I altered the measures accordingly since I wanted servings for 8. The original recipe is noted ..

You need :-

  • 1 cup prawns(cleaned)
  • 1 and a half cups basmati rice
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • half bunch coriander leaves
  • half cup scraped coconut
  • 3 green chillies roughly chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger roughly chopped
  • 7 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 15 fresh mint leaves
  • 3 tbsps oil
  • 1 inch stick cinnamon
  • 4 black cardamoms
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 medium sized onions finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk

Method :-

  1. Soak rice in 3 cups of water for 30 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
  2. Wash prawns, marinate with lemon juice and salt.
  3. Grind green chillies, ginger, garlic, coriander leaves, mint leaves and coconut to a fine paste.
  4. Heat oil in a thick bottomed vessel and add cinnamon, black cardamom, star anise, cloves and cumin seeds. Saute for one minute.
  5. Add onions, saute till it turns light golden brown. Add ground masala paste, stir fry for half a minute and add prawns. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Add soaked rice, stir gently and then add coconut milk.
  7. Add three cups of hot water. Bring it to a boil, stirring once or twice. Cook on medium heat till water has almost dried. Reduce heat, cover and cook till rice is done. 
  8. Serve hot with any raitha of your choice.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Strawberries in Wine!!!

I am not doing justice to this blog. I have a backlog of a month's recipes waiting to be written. Thought I would start with this drink which I made for our dinner on Sunday! I know this is strawberry overload...:), but can't help it. Won't say much, will let my pictures do the talking for once!!!!

You need :-

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 750 gms strawberries, washed and heads removed

For the sunshine we did not have in winter, I now have an overdose in my Kitchen!!!!!
Red and sweet wine!!
Heat sugar, cinnamon, and 1/2 cup wine to boiling. Boil for 2 minutes.
Place strawberries in medium bowl. Pour remaining one and a half cups wine and the wine mixture over strawberries. 
Love the deep red colour!!! Cover and refrigerate 1-3 hours.
Ladle berries with wine into goblets.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sheryl inspired Cake!!!!

Strawberries are flooded in supermarkets!!! Lush, juicy red strawberries!!! I cannot stop myself from buying these beauties. And each time I buy them, I know I have to innovate and make something different. When it comes to baking a cake, no problem, but when it comes to decorating a cake, it always ends  in disaster.
          Last month, I saw the pictures of two beautifully decorated cakes made by my friend Sheryl. She also sent me the link to Betty Crockers videos!! which helped her make the cakes. I did view them and thought that I would first try a no frill cake. I just envisioned these strawberries lying on top of  a cream laden sponge cake in a neat fashion. I set out on my task and aptly named my cake..... Sheryl inspired Cake!!
Ingredients :-

For the cake :-

  • 4 eggs
  • 250 gms flour
  • 250 gms sugar
  • 200 gms butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
For the cream :-

  • 2 cups whipped cream
  • 2 packs whipped cream stabilizer
  • 2 packs vanilla sugar                        

Method :- 
  1. Beat sugar and eggs together till fluffy. Add the butter and continue to beat.
  2. Sieve flour and baking powder together.
  3. Add the sieved flour to the egg mixture slowly and keep beating.
  4. Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
  5. Grease a baking tray, pour the batter into it and bake for approximately 45 minutes or till golden brown and springy to the touch
  6. When done, let it cool.
  7. Beat the whipped cream, stabilizer and vanilla sugar together till it doubles in quantity!!
  8. Spread this cream on top of the cooled cake and refrigerate for an hour.
  9. Wash and halve the strawberries
  10. Layer the cake with strawberries and serve. Enjoy!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lamb Chops with Roasted Potatoes

Lamb is something of a rarity here in Germany!! I do not know why, but this meat is hard to find. We had a pleasant surprise on Saturday when we saw these chops staring at us in E-centre. Without any hesitation we got half a kilo to try it out the first time!!!

                            Good Housekeeping magazine was a part of my life in Bangalore. I love all their articles..home keeping, creativity, ideas, stories, recipes...There was nothing that I didn't like to read. I have the entire collection right from the time they began publishing in India in 2004, except for now...... So the first  thing I did, when I knew we would be moving, was to lovingly go through each magazine and pick out those with recipes I could prepare here in Germany... So our lunch on Sunday was Lamb Chops with Roasted Potatoes from Good Housekeeping.

Ingredients :

  1. 500 gms potatoes, cut into fingers
  2. 2 tbsp extra-virgn olive oil
  3. 15-16 fresh sage leaves or sprigs of rosemary or 1 tsp dried rosemary
  4. 1 and a half cups chicken stock(made with stock cubes)
  5. 1 tbsp grainy mustard sauce
  6. 500 gms lamb chops
  7. 1 tbsp soy sauce
  8. 1 tbsp butter
  9. 3 tbsp minced spring onion
  10. 2 tbsp parsley or coriander chopped
  11. half tsp lemon juice
  12. half tsp Worcestershire sauce
  13. salt to taste

  • Heat oven to 230 deg. Toss potatoes with 1/2 tsp oil, sage and salt in a shallow pan. Roast 25 minutes, tossing occasionally until crisp and golden.(Or you can fry the potatoes).
  • Meanwhile boil chicken stock in a saucepan, until stock is reduced to half cup, stir in mustard sauce, reserve.
  • Rub chops with soy sauce and half tbsp oil.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non stick pan; add butter, swirling pan to coat it. Add chops one by one; sear on each side until cooked on medium heat. Set aside.
  • Saute spring onion with drippings in pan till translucent. Pour stock, parsley, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Return chops to pan to coat. Serve with Roasted potatoes.

Note :- Pictured above also is a warm mushroom salad

Friday, April 9, 2010

Strawberry Conserve.

Its been quite long since I did a posting. With Good Friday, Easter Egg painting, church services and day trips with the family, I had very little time to update my blog!! This is what I just now made.
These strawberries have been lying in the refrigerator for the past 5 days. Tis the strawberry season, it is hard to resist not buying these juicy strawberries. But somehow, the family seems to be done eating them. Luckily for me, there were hardly three of them spoilt, the rest were still firm and juicy. For once, I thought of trying something on my own, no cookbooks to assist me. Here it goes.....

I halved the strawberries(750 gm) and tossed them along with 400 gm sugar(if you like it sweet, more can be added), 100 ml vinegar, 100 ml water, 5 pieces cinnamon and 3 star anise. I also added just a pinch of chilli powder.
I Cooked on slow flame for an hour and a half till all the strawberries were mashed and cooked thoroughly!!! Poured it hot into sterilised bottles( made 2 bottles).  It can be refrigerated and kept for about a month. The strawberry conserve may be used in sponge rolls, bread sandwiches, also with some vanilla ice-cream!! Enjoy!!!