Sunday, December 20, 2009

MOCHA - CHOCOLATE CHIP POUND CAKE & THUMBPRINT COOKIES to celebrate my fave season :)

" It's Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air."
W.T.Ellis



I just got back this morning  from a one day trip to Cochin...still SO groggy :)  Did a bit of my trousseau shopping + loads of baking -goods shopping! :) Must say, not much energy left! :)



I LOVE this season and now that Christmas is around the corner I thought of doing a double-post, yes 2 recipes! :) These 2 are my current favourites. Trust me, the cookies are mighty delicious and the cake...sinful ! :) 

MOCHA CHOCOLATE CHIP POUND CAKE
Recipe source: My Mom
Ingredients:
Flour-240g
Regular butter-240g
Powdered sugar-240g
Eggs-240 g ( 6 large eggs)
Vanilla-1tsp
Baking powder-1 tsp
Instant coffee powder- 2 tbsp
Boiling water- 2 tbsp
Milk-1/4 -1/2 cup (optional)
Chocolate chips-3/4 cup

Method:

  • Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
  • Grease, dust and line the baking tin.
  • Sift flour with baking powder.
  • Cream butter and powdered sugar till light and fluffy. 
  • Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.
  • Mix coffee powder in boiling water.
  • Add coffee + vanilla extract to the batter.Add the flour which has been sifted with baking powder.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips which have been coated with some flour.
  • If, the batter is too thick, add some milk to loosen it.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven for 50-55 mins or till done.

I am a huge jam- treat fan! You would have seen it in my Buttery Jam Tarts  and Jam Filled Cookies . So here is one more to add on to the list :)

THUMBPRINT COOKIES
Recipe source : Southern Living -Cookbook of Cookies

Ingredients:
Butter/Margarine-1 cup
Powdered sugar-2/3 cup
Egg yolks-2
Vanilla essence-1/2 tsp
Flour-2 1/4 cup
Salt-1/4 tsp
Mixed fruit /Raspberry jam- 1 cup ( or as needed)

Method:
  • Beat butter at medium speed until creamy; gradually add sugar,beating well.
  •  Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
  • Combine flour & salt;add to creamed mixture , mixing well. Chill dough at least for 1 hour.
  • Shape dough into 1" balls; place about 2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. 
  • Press thumb in each & bake at 350 degrees for 15 mins *. Spoon preserves & bake for 5 more mins.
  • DO NOT brown. Cool on wire racks.

* It took me 20 mins in my oven.


Thank you for stopping by!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

MAHOGANY CAKE with FUDGE FROSTING ~ with 4 tablespoons of Cocoa ~


Recently I recieved an order for a birthday cake. While the cake baked and the house was wrapped in it's aroma, I had my brother pestering me for a slice of it :) He knew he wouldn't get a piece from my hands, so he pinched a bit from all 4 corners of the cake...he made sure that they were very even looking so that I wouldn't doubt him! LOL! And I did doubt him :) But they were too tiny and could be filled with a ganache.

And I had never-ending requests for a chocolate cake since then. Unfortunately I ran out of my stock for cocoa powder, which rarely ever happens in our house! But when I digged into my precious li'l cupboard wherein all my goods for baking are stocked, I found an almost empty packet of cocoa. And when I measured it, it had just 4 tablespoons of cocoa. Now, I shall somehow try and bake him a chocolate cake :) And I DID! :) Look what a loving sister he had! And that too with a frosting! :)

He was sleeping while I baked. And when he woke up he had this huge grin because he could get the smell of the cake. He ran towards it with a knife, and I ran from the opposite side and hugged the cake! LOL! Remember my rule? No one in my house ever gets a piece until I finish my photosession :) And so he waited...patiently ! :) 

MAHOGANY CAKE with FUDGE FROSTING
Recipe source for the cake: Geetha aunty
Recipe source for the frosting: Beeji aunty

Flour- 1 1/3 cups
Eggs-2
Boiling water- 1/2 cup
Cocoa powder-2tbsp
Instant coffee powder-2tsp
Powdered sugar-1 cup
Unsalted butter-150g
Baking soda-3/4 tsp
Vinegar-1/2 tsp
Salt-1 tsp [Omit if using salted/regular butter]
Vanilla extract-1 tsp

Method:

  • Pre-heat  the oven to 180 degrees.
  • Grease ,dust and line a baking tin.
  • Dissolve coffee powder in boiled water. Add cocoa powder to it and stir well.
  • Sieve flour with baking soda and salt[if using unsalted butter].
  • Cream butter till light and almost white like. Add sugar and beat till fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, and beat till well combined.
  • Add vinegar & vanilla. [The mixture might look curdled, but do not worry, it will be alright once you add in the flour]
  • Add flour alternating with coffee-cocoa mixture. Beat after every addition.
  • Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour.

Fudge Frosting

Ingredients:
Cocoa-2 tbsp
Milk-3tbsp
Butter-50 g
Icing sugar-225 g
Caster sugar-75g
Vanilla-1/2 tsp

Method:

  • Mix cocoa and icing sugar in a medium sized bowl.
  • Melt butter, caster sugar and milk together till the sugar dissolved on meduim flame.
  • Once it is melted, bring to a roaring boil and pour over the cocoa-icing sugar mixture.
  • Stir well with a wooden spoon till well mixed and fluffy.
  • Stir till the mixture cools down a bit.
  • Pour over the cake and level it.


This icing hardens very soon, so just in case you  are new to decorating cakes, keep a bowl or warm water next to you. So that in case the frosting hardens, dip your offset spatula/spoon/ knife into the warm water and wipe it clean with a kitchen towel and level the frosting. It will give you a good finish. You can also use the hardened frosting to pipe rosettes on the cake.


This cake was a HIT at home. It is real soft & moist.Once you try this, I am sure it will be your favourite! My brother finished 3/4th of the cake by night and I am having the remaining bit now, while I type this post out. Mmmmmmmmm....



Monday, December 14, 2009

ULTRA MOIST FRUIT CAKE


I have eaten many a fruitcake, but never baked any. And I have never liked homemade ones so much until I tasted this...which was almost a year ago. My aunt Rita, is a fab baker and she gave me this really dark wonderfully moist fruit cake to snack upon when I visited her for NY's. And I fell in love with it instantly! :)

I think I have said this before, I never let go of a chance to write down a good recipe from a trusted source.And my blog is a collection of all those :)

I have had my readers requesting for a good fruitcake recipe . I did not want to post it earlier because fruitcake has always been very 'christmasy' for me :) So I waited all these days...and finally I baked my first fruitcake ! :)


We were having our Christmas Carol group from our Parish visting us last evening...so I had another reason to bake this :) LOL! As if I ever needa reason! :)

ULTRA MOIST FRUIT CAKE
Recipe source: Rita aunty

Ingredients:
Ghee/Clarified butter -250 g
Flour-200g
Nuts-100g,powdered [I used a mix of almonds and cashewnuts]
Roasted semolina-50g
Cinnamon- 6, 2 " sticks powdered
Cloves-12 nos, powdered
Jam/marmalade- 2tbsp
Eggs-5, separated
Granulated sugar- 5tbsp
Caramel syrup-9 tbsp
Vanilla extract-1 tsp
Baking powder-1 tsp
Fruits* soaked in rum/brandy-750 g   [I soaked my fruits along with 4 tbsp of caramel syrup for 6 months]
Brandy-2tbsp
Milk-1/2 cup
Orange juice-1 cup

Method:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
  • Grease and line a baking tin.
  • Sift flour with baking powder, semolina ,powdered nuts and spices.
  • Beat egg yolks and sugar. Add ghee/clarified butter and beat well.
  • Add milk,orange juice, vanilla, jam,caramel syrup and beat well.
  • Fold in the flour mixture. Add the soaked fruits(coated with some flour) and brandy.
  • Beat egg whites stiffly and fold into the batter.
  • Pour into the prepared tin and bake till done.[It took 1 hour 10 minutes for me.]
  • Cool and cut into pieces.
  • You can wrap this cake in foil & store  in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.
*It included golden raisins,sultanas, dried fig, glaced cherries, glaced apricots, prunes & tutti-fruti. My cousin tried baking this cake with fruits that were soaked just for 5 days...and it was perfect! 

Frosting:

Ingredients:
Powdered sugar
Food colurs
Water

Method:

  • Make a thick, piping consistency mixture of sugar and water. 
  • Add 2 -3 drops of food colour to it.
  • Fill a baggie, snip of it's ends and decorate the cake.


Will it be too difficult for you to believe if I said, 'This is the world's best fruitcake?' ;) It is really an amazing one! The flavours mature very well as days go by. Try it and then you will realise that, after all it was not that hard to believe Ria :) I am going to bake this every year from now on! 
I am sending this post as an entry to Priyanka's It's time to jingle again...event!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

MELTING MOMENTS ~A summer in your mouth!~


This is a season of baking at home and I LOVE it! I was alone at home the other day and had absolutely lots to do  nothing to do :) So I thought of browsing through my 3rd book fat recipe collection diary. And that's when I came across a recipe which my cousin shared with me.

Me and Roshini, we talk only about food.Every text message that we send across has food as the main topic :) And when I went to stay with her in September we had a blast trying out new stuff :) Well, is this season all about being nostalgic? Maybe, yes...after all it's a month of family get-togethers!
So here is the recipe that she shared with me and I am so thankful for that! It was really worth noting it down :)

MELTING MOMENTS
Recipe source :Roshini who in fact got it from Good Housekeeping 

Ingredients
Butter-100g
Flour-125g
Sugar-75g
Egg yolk-1
Vanilla extract-1/2 tsp
Cornflakes, crushed-for coating

Method:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
  • Beat butter and sugar. Add in the egg yolk& vanilla extract and beat well.
  • Add the flour and gently gather it together to form a ball.
  • Divide them into 15 portions.
  • Roll them on crushed cornflakes and bake for 20-22 mins.
  • Cool them on wire racks and store in an air-tight container.


The name might sound odd during winters but this cookies definately creates a summer in your mouth :D It truly lives upto it's name :)
Hope y'all had a very pleasant weekend!

I am sending this post as an entry to Susan's  Eat Christmas Cookies Season 3 event. You can check here for the round up!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

ZEBRA CAKE ~ absolutely worth it! ~

I have always been fascinated about this cake.There is nothing complicated though,but still :) And I did venture once, not with the below mentioned recipe, but another one  :D It ended up looking like a flower! LOL! Nevertheless it tasted good :)


Yesterday while I was blog hopping,I was in a mood for a cake, a simple one. I don't know why, but I suddenly had an urge to correct my flower into an animal ;) And within 10 mins the cake was in the oven!
I didn't want to cut it till this morning because I was unable to click pics then. For your kind information: No one in my house is allowed to even take a bite unless I finish my photosession :D But this time my dad broke my rule! :) My mom is out of town now, so I forgave him ;) How can I be strict then? LOL!


ZEBRA CAKE
Recipe as adapted from Farida's blog

Ingredients:
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup oil
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp dark cocoa ( I used Dutch-processed)

Method:
You can check Farida's blog for her step-by-step tutorial 

For all those who haven't yet tried this as yet, give it a shot! It is truly worth it! I was almost breathless when I cut into the cake : 

*I wasn't sure I would get the 100% Zebra effect
*It was so BEE-YOU-TI-FUL! :) *bliss*

Have a great weekend, lovelies! :)





Wednesday, December 9, 2009

CHOCOLATE COVERED BISCUITS...perfect for the season!

"DECK THE BLOG WITH BOUGHS OF HOLLY  FA.. LA.. LA.. LA.."
 Twinsy Rachel (my reader)

I am so in love...with this season. I love everything about it! And moreover this is the season of baking in our house. I am pretty sure even our neighbours know it ;) We supply cakes to each one of them for X'mas every year :)


One of my readers, Sona called in 2 days ago. It is definately an 'experience' to meet one among them, getting to know them and listening to how they thought they would never meet the one behind the blog that they have been reading constantly :) It feels really good...and we connected very well!


We have been planning this meet for days together and finally we met. I had made a few goodies to welcome her home :) This was one of them...  I made some Vanilla cupcakes with a delicious frosting and she gorged on them...and I loved her for that! :) Because of which she couldn't eat these :D So I packed it for her and her hubby. Needless to say, her hubby ate it all and all she got was' just a bite! ' :D

CHOCOLATE COVERED BISCUITS

Ingredients:
Milk/Dark Chocolate - 150 g [I liked the milk chocolate coating better]
Marie biscuits- 18 nos.

Method:
  • Melt the chocolate in a microwave oven or by double boiling.
  • Dip the biscuits one by one and coat them with chocolate.
  • Use a fork to lift them up, tap once or twice so that the extra chocolate will drip off.
  • Place them very carefully over a wax paper/parchment and let them dry on the counter itself.
  • Wrap in colour paper and store them in an airtight container.
  • You can refrigerate them, but mine didn't last for so long! :)

So who else wants to come home?? C'mon! Give me a reason to bake people! :)

Try this out, it is very simple but  very rewarding! :) Pop them into a box, fasten the box with a satin ribbon and give them away to your friends and family! They will be so thankful...and will eagerly wait for the next X'mas! :D

Sunday, December 6, 2009

CHOCOLATE CHIP OATMEAL COOKIES...with a Dough to GO!

I don't drown my sorrows; I suffocate them with chocolate chip cookies.  
Author Unknown

Cookbooks
are an addiction for me and my friends know that very well. Everytime I go shopping, I need to stop by Crosswords to check out the new books. I love Crosswords, you can sit on those soft sinking cushioned chairs , grab a book and just read on...no one bothers you!

Vasu, my best friend from college went to USA in 2007 on an educational tour got me a cookbook. I must admit that I have never baked anything from that book for her! ;) Now talking about the book...it is a winner!

CHOCOLATE CHIP OATMEAL COOKIES
Recipe as adapted from Mrs.Fields I LOVE CHOCOLATE! COOKBOOK
Yields: About 4 dozen

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter,softened
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans/walnuts
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips

Method:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder and salt.
  • In another medium bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars.
  • Beat in eggs and vanilla.Gently beat in the flour mixture; then stir in the pecans/walnuts and chocolate chips.
  • Turn half the dough into a wax/parchment paper. Shape into a log 2 inches in diameter. Roll up the log of dough in the wax paper and twist the ends closed. Repeat with the remaining dough. Chill until firm.
  • The cookie dough can be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for 6 months stored in an airtight plastic bag.
  • To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 300 deg. If using frozen dough, let it soften slightly at room temperature, then cut the dough log into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
  • Place the slices on a cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 22-24 mins or until set.

This recipe is a keeper and the best part is that we can freeze the dough and bake it whenever we feel like! Isn't that a blessing for an all-time chocolate craving person like me? :)

Hope you all are having a beautiful season now! This is my fave month of the year! Love everything about it! :)




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