Ria's Collection: May 2009

Sunday, May 31, 2009

White Chocolate Mud Cake

I always get something else when I search for something else :D I'm sure many would agree with this!! :)) So this time's mission impossible was searching for chocolate chips in "MY" drawer in our pantry ( yes yes! I emphasised "MY" because it's my haven!! :) I have all my precious stuff like cookie cutters, chocolate slabs,food colours, my share of cocoa powder :D,coloured sprinklers,almonds,cashewnuts, parchment paper,baking tins, icing set,cookie press,essence...soooo many rite!! No wonder I can never find what I want...but don't think its a mess... its the most well kept drawer ! 100% better than my clothes cupboard!! :D

So instead of finding the chocolate chips, I found a small packet of white chocolate slab securely bound with a rubber band... How did I forget that?? Luckily it wasn't spoilt!! :)

Now that I laid my hands on it I HAVE to do something. And my search ended when I found this recipe. It sounded good! But again no guarentee :) But I was all set to go ahead and try! And trust me I'm glad I did!! :)

White Chocolate Mud Cake:

Recipe adapted from RecipeZaar

250 g butter
200 g white chocolate
200 ml water
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
125 g butter
125 g white chocolate, melted
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon thickened cream

1.Heat butter, chocolate, water and sugar in a saucepan stirring until melted and well combined.
2.Sift flours together into a bowl and blend in chocolate mixture, eggs and vanilla Pour into a greased and base lined 20cm round cake tin.
3.Bake in a moderate oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes until cooked when tested.
4.To make icing cream butter, blend in remaining ingredients.

I din't ice the cake as I was in no mood for an extra dose of butter ( for a change! ;D ) Instead I melted some dark chocolate and piped out some designs using a plastic baggie ( with the ends snipped off).

This recipe for sure is a keeper. The texture is a bit mushy (the name says it all- MUD!!) but tastes really good!! Luckily I felt there was no need for that extra dose of butter because the cake would have been TOO sweet otherwise.

I am sending this as an entry for the event on my own blog Let's Celebrate! Hope to see many more entries other than just mine!! ;D


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Apple Strudel - Daring Bakers Challenge for May 09

Words like 'It's all about technique' & 'Apple Strudel' was enough for me to sit & stare at the comp screen for atleast half a minute.. must admit that I was slightly disheartened thinking whether I could EVER get that PAPER THIN dough! :( I have never made nor ever ate a strudel before... so it was completely new for me except for the recipes and videos I have seen :) Should say that those videos were the culprit for me being scared! :D

But I didn't join DB to be scared!!! And BIG DEAL if mine doesn't turn out as good as others because I feel that DB's are a very kind lot and they are sweet enough to accept each others mistakes and give suggestions as to how to improve on them. DB is all about learning and less of competition. So I must admit that it's all because of my fellow DB's that I decided to move on!! And I'm GLAD that I did!! :) It was a wonderful experience!!! :) And guess what??? I made 3 versions!! :D

1.Apple Strudel(sweet)
2.Apricot & Mango Strudel(sweet)
3.Potato & Paneer Strudel (savoury)

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

Apple strudel from “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml)Golden rum
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml)Raisins
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (80 g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick / 115 g) unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups (350 ml) fresh bread crumbs
  • Strudel dough (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml, about 60 g) coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 pounds (900 g) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch-thick slices (use apples that hold their shape during baking)

1. Mix the rum and raisins in a bowl. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in another bowl.

2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the breadcrumbs and cook whilst stirring until golden and toasted. This will take about 3 minutes. Let it cool completely.

3. Put the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large baking sheet with baking paper (parchment paper). Make the strudel dough as described below. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the remaining melted butter over the dough using your hands (a bristle brush could tear the dough, you could use a special feather pastry brush instead of your hands). Sprinkle the buttered dough with the bread crumbs. Spread the walnuts about 3 inches (8 cm) from the short edge of the dough in a 6-inch-(15cm)-wide strip. Mix the apples with the raisins (including the rum), and the cinnamon sugar. Spread the mixture over the walnuts.

4. Fold the short end of the dough onto the filling. Lift the tablecloth at the short end of the dough so that the strudel rolls onto itself. Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet by lifting it. Curve it into a horseshoe to fit. Tuck the ends under the strudel. Brush the top with the remaining melted butter.

5. Bake the strudel for about 30 minutes or until it is deep golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Use a serrated knife and serve either warm or at room temperature. It is best on the day it is baked.

Strudel doughfrom “KaffeehausExquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers

  • 1 1/3 cups (200 g) unbleached flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons (105 ml) water, plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1. Combine the flour and salt in a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the water, oil and vinegar in a measuring cup. Add the water/oil mixture to the flour with the mixer on low speed. You will get a soft dough. Make sure it is not too dry, add a little more water if necessary.Take the dough out of the mixer. Change to the dough hook. Put the dough ball back in the mixer. Let the dough knead on medium until you get a soft dough ball with a somewhat rough surface.

2. Take the dough out of the mixer and continue kneading by hand on an unfloured work surface. Knead for about 2 minutes. Pick up the dough and throw it down hard onto your working surface occasionally.Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a plate. Oil the top of the dough ball lightly. Cover the ball tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to stand for 30-90 minutes (longer is better).

3. It would be best if you have a work area that you can walk around on all sides like a 36 inch (90 cm) round table or a work surface of 23 x 38 inches (60 x 100 cm). Cover your working area with table cloth, dust it with flour and rub it into the fabric. Put your dough ball in the middle and roll it out as much as you can.Pick the dough up by holding it by an edge. This way the weight of the dough and gravity can help stretching it as it hangs. Using the back of your hands to gently stretch and pull the dough. You can use your forearms to support it.

4. The dough will become too large to hold. Put it on your work surface. Leave the thicker edge of the dough to hang over the edge of the table. Place your hands underneath the dough and stretch and pull the dough thinner using the backs of your hands. Stretch and pull the dough until it's about 2 feet (60 cm) wide and 3 feet (90 cm) long, it will be tissue-thin by this time. Cut away the thick dough around the edges with scissors. The dough is now ready to be filled.

Tips- Ingredients are cheap so we would recommend making a double batch of the dough, that way you can practice the pulling and stretching of the dough with the first batch and if it doesn't come out like it should you can use the second batch to give it another try;- The tablecloth can be cotton or polyester;- Before pulling and stretching the dough, remove your jewelry from hands and wrists, and wear short-sleeves;- To make it easier to pull the dough, you can use your hip to secure the dough against the edge of the table;- Few small holes in the dough is not a problem as the dough will be rolled, making (most of) the holes invisible.

Apricots & Mango Strudel:
Recipe: My own

Dried Apricots-200 g(soaked in water for minimum 6 hours)
Ripe mangoes-1 chopped into small pieces
Sugar-4-5 tbsp
Butter-1/2 cup

  • Mix soaked and stoned apricots and mangoes together.
  • Add the chopped walnuts and sugar.
  • Proceed like how the apple strudel was made.

Potato & Paneer Strudel
Potato & Paneer Strudel
Recipe : My mom

Paneer/Cottage cheese -200g
Potato-300 g
Green chilli-2 , finely chopped
Onion -2 medium sized, finely chopped
Garam Masala- a pinch
Salt & Pepper-as needed.

  • Wash,boil,peel and mash the potatoes.
  • Crumble paneer.
  • Mix everything together.
  • Proceed with stuffing same as the apple strudel.
I had a lovely lovely lovely time! The dough worked like a charm...it stretched so well! Sweet & savoury filling works equally well! It was an absolute crunchy,crackly,yummy sweet affair! :) Thank you Courtney & Linda for making our life sweeter!! :)

Verdict: The paneer & potato filled strudel got over in less than 30 mins FLAT!! :D Everytime my dad passed by the strudel, he went on commenting saying 'It's too good!! '
When I made the apple & apricot-mango strudel, only my dad was home then. He was suprised to see the triangle shaped strudels. So he took both the flavours... when I asked him 'How is it Appa?? " he was silent for a while, looked at both of them and said ' Onnu onninodu mechham' - which means... one is better than the other and he doesnt know which one is the best! :D Ahhh!! That was a proud moment for me :D

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Chocolate & Nut Bricks and a sweet memory!

When I get into the 'cooking mood' (which I am 24/7-- OR minus my sleeping time ;D ) I need everything ready on hand right THEN! We had our relatives dropping by on Thursday and the aunty had mentioned about some chocolatey biscuitey stuff to Amma. Amma listened very carefully but blame it on her age (oh no! can't be! she is just 46! :D ) or her busy schedule conducting cookery classes... she just couldn't recollect that recipe! And the worse thing was she had mentioned about the 'RECIPE' when I called her from office ( I call her minimum twice a day...just like that! ;D ) And I was all ready to try it the moment I reached home...BUT all I could get from her was...edi,it was an easy one...just biscuit,butter...err..BLANK!!! :(

I sat down for a while thinking whether I should call aunty and get the recipe because they had already left from our house. But I HAD to! :D So I called her up and scribbled down everything! And after I hung up...I wrote it down very neatly in my recipe book (this is my most 'well kept' book LOL! ) because I knew this is for keeps!

Chocolate & Nut Bricks
(must say I had to re-name it because I just couldn't understand its real name over the phone! LOL!)

Plain/glucose biscuit -100g broken up ( I used Parle-G...ooo I have a story behind that!! will tell ya'll)
Powdered sugar-100g
Broken cashewnuts-100g
Butter-100g ( I used 50g salted & 50 g unsalted butter)
Cocoa powder-3 T
Vanilla -1 t

  • Cream butter and sugar. Add cocoa and beat so that it's mixed well.
  • Add biscuits,nuts & vanilla and mix well till combined.
  • Take a fairly large square piece of parchment paper and pour this in the centre of the paper.
  • Flatten it into a square shape using a spatula.
  • Fold the paper from all 4 sides and cover it.
  • Freeze it for 1-1.5 hrs.
  • Cut it into squares and ENJOY!! :)
The story behind Parle-G:

This incident happend when I was a kid say 3 or 4 yrs old! :D I still clearly remember that I was sitting on our bed when Amma got me a packet of Parle-G to munch on. But Baby Ria ;D was not in a good mood then! I said NO NO! and Amma Susy showed me the girl on the packet and said... "she will eat the biscuits if you don't!" :D And do I need to say more?? I snatched the packet from her hands and gobbled it up! Smart Amma Susy!!! The child on the cover remains the same till date! Dumb baby Ria! LOL!!!

Perfect story for an ad! :) And yeah perfect memory too! ;)

Even now, whenever I see that girl smiling at us from any supermarket shelf, the whole story plays back in my memory! And when Amma sees that grin on my face... she knows what I'm thinking of! :)

I am sending this as an entry to Tasty Tools : Hand and Stand Mixers hosted by Joelens
Check this out for another biscuit entry of mine (My first entry...sorry...no pic! Dumb Ria! )
This is my entry for the CLICK hosted by Jugalbandi.

Happy Sunday everybody!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Whole Wheat Pancakes with Nutella & Mangoes

...go go go Radio Mango

Radio.. Radio Mango...

That's the jingle for a local FM station RADIO MANGO :) and it is so apt for the season now!! We have a constant supply of mangoes from our estates every summer and also from our neighbours, relatives visiting ..yeah... I have a HUGE family of 72 members (still growing strong!!) and so who ever passes by Kannur drops in at our house & would bring in a share of their mango crop... So in this season... our work area in the house is full of mangoes with various shades of green and yellow :D And some of them does turn BLACK too!! :P
My mom had gone for a small holiday with my brother last week to her home in Kuttanad,Alleppy. Our house there is beautiful with a minimum of 4 mango trees surrounding the house...So I knew she would bring back some more!! :)
Usually it's Amma's job to cut up mangoes to gorge after lunch :) And since she wasn't at home and I was at work... the mangoes missed Amma and they started rotting!! Uh-Oh!! I had to do something!!
So I peeled some and left it in the fridge. And knowing my Dad, who will never cut himself a mango (You spoilt him Amma!!!! )I chopped some ,made a lipsmacking dish for the DB (hold on! it will up on my blog soon!! ) and with the remaining made a filling for these pancakes for breakfast!

We finished a bottle of Nutella looooong back and was hesitant to stock one since me n my bro loves it and since he at home full time now cos of holidays and it's all NO WORK & ONLY X-BOX! it's absolutely not a good idea! :D But I just couldn't resist it when I saw them in the supermarket. So I gave up!! :D and did a mix 'n match of pancakes, mangoes & nutella! Loved the end result!!

Whole Wheat Pancakes with Nutella & Mangoes
Recipe adapted verbatim from Meeta K

Basic pancake Recipe
Makes 4 pancakes

150g whole wheat flour
350ml milk
Pinch of salt
2 eggs

Baking the pancakes

  • In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, milk and salt to a smooth mixture.

  • Set aside for 15 - 20 minutes, allowing the batter to soak through.

  • Then add the eggs and incorporate into the batter.

  • To bake the pancakes allow a teaspoon of butter to melt in a hot non-stick pan. Add enough of the batter to cover the base of your pan. Bake for a few minutes until the top sets, then using a spatula flip. Bake this side until golden, then flip again to bake the other side.

  • Make sure you give your batter a good whisk before you bake it.

  • Cover each pancake after you have baked them in some foil to keep them warm.

A jar of Nutella

1 large ripe, juicy mango, cut into chunks

Pistachios, chopped ( I din't have it in stock )

Assembling the pancakes

  • Place one of the pancakes on a chopping board and generously smother one side with Nutella. If the pancake is still warm the Nutella will start to melt slighty, which is what we want.

  • Place a few mango chunks on one half of the pancake and cover with the other half making a sandwich. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios.

Perfect Pancake Pointers:

  • Everyone can bake pancakes, but a few tips will give your pancakes the right elasticity, a gorgeous golden color, make it crispy and low in extra fat and calories.

  • Beat the hell out of them! For great spongy texture whisking your pancakes is absolutely vital. While your whisk is beating the batter, the gluten in the wheat has a chance to unfold, allowing the gaps between it to be soaked up with liquid. So the more you beat it the more elastic and spongy your pancakes will be.

  • Take a beak! For 15 to 20 minutes you have time to enjoy a cup of tea, because it takes this amount of time for your batter to soak through. During this time the the flour soaks itself up with liquid so that you have a smooth, homogeneous mixture.

  • If you want your pancakes to be light and spongy add a bit of aerated water to the batter. The gas in the water acts like a propellant and guarantees lovely fluffy pancakes.

  • Use a non-stick pan to bake the pancakes. It is easier to flip the pancakes without them sticking and you use less fat to bake them. A tiny spoon of butter is more than enough. Furthermore, as a non-stick pan hinders the pancake from burning fast - you do not need to wipe it clean after each pancake.

Hmmm... it was a nice way to save the mangoes! Quick & easy :) Absolutely lipsmacking!!!

Stay tuned for more mangolicious stories :D

I'm sending this entry for Lori's Mango Recipe Challenge
In the meantime...buck up and send me some of your lovely dishes for my event Let's Celebrate before 21 June!! :)


Monday, May 18, 2009

An event - Let's celebrate!!

Dear Friends,

This the first event I'm hosting and it's all about 'Celebration'.

About the event:

I chose this as the theme since I am a Gemini and will be celebrating my birthday soon! :D So let's all celebrate together!!

There are no hard and fast rules, you just need to follow the theme and get your creative juices flowing :)

On 21 June ,another blogger who is celebrating their birthday in June will be selected randomly from the entries and he/she can continue hosting this event as a part of their birthday celebration [only if they wish to host though...no compulsion] .So make sure you send me your zodiac sign along with your lovely entries.

Cakes: Since "celebration" is the theme, let it be a decorated cake...but then again plain cakes are whole heartedly welcome!! Let it be colourful & vibrant just like Gemini's are :D And oh yeah! I love Tiered cakes !! :)

Cookies:You can make cut out cookies, pressed cookies, dropped cookies,pizza cookies... anything at all!! Let it be colourful!! Make sure you dress them up for the occassion :)

Cocktails: Ahh.. Do I need to explainmore?? But if you prefer mocktails to cocktails ...you can definately send them in too!! Make it colourful and let it bust the heat around us!! :)

  • You can choose your flavours, shapes,colours etc...
  • Make sure you send in your entries latest by 21 June. The round up will be on the following weekend. You can send in as many entries as you want.
  • Please use the label and link your entry back to the event. You can use an archived recipe too but please re-post it with a link to the event.

While sending your entries make sure you send it along with the following details:

Subject: Let's Celebrate

Your Name :
Blog Name :
Blog Url :
Dish Name :
Dish Url :
Picture of the dish & Your zodiac sign

Non-bloggers kindly mail me your recipes and pictures and I shall include them in the round-up.

Once you have typed in all that info mail it over to airmathew[at]gmail[dot]com

Looking forward to all your lovely entries!!

Join in & LET'S CELEBRATE!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bread Making + an Award = Pure Bliss

Bread Making was not something I was ever interested in... I found it very boring for some unknown reason ...maybe beacuse I love colours and breads are usually pale/white. And I always felt " Is it something worth the effort when you just have to pay Rs.15 for loaf! " LOL! That was the lazy Ria! "D

But recently I'm completely smitten by Deb's Smitten Kitchen :) While browsing through her recipe index, I came across the bread section and there was this 'BEST CHALLAH' recipe which seemed to have a very straightforward method and simple ingredients and lovely braiding instructions... Now I know why I am in the Textile Industry ... for the love of colours and the interest in interlacing of yarns! :) All through the braiding process I really felt like I was weaving out something... because the instructions said.. 2 up 1 down sorta thing which is so like the weaving procedure on a loom :D Am I boring you all?? ;)

So let's get back and take a look at my steps for bread /Challah making :D

The dough all set to rise
The wonderful , absoultely elating braid. My dad was at home yesterday because of a public strike so I asked him to read out the braiding instructions :) and he being a perfectionist we almost ended up fighting.. he was like.. that's not of the same size as this... its thin in the middle thick at the ends.. what's this.. blah blah! LOL! I was answering back for everything... actually back answering :D Then my mom also joined us! Poor thing... it took some time for her to actually understand the braiding steps... :)

O! how I love her!

We made one big braid as you saw on top and several small ones with the other half of the dough...there was plenty of dough... Amma & me had an amazing time brading them... on the whole it was a family bread making day!!
Ahh! you must make one for sure to know how it feels when the braiding is done and when you see the dough rising! It's sooo rewarding! :)
Out of the oven! Pure bliss!!
Enjoying on the lawns :D

Look at my beauty! Am I being too hyper?? Maybe! :D

Best Challah (Egg Bread) : Verbatim from Smitten Kitchen

Adapted from Joan Nathan and adapted again from Smitten Kitchen :)

The secrets to good challah are simple: Use two coats of egg wash to get that laquer-like crust and don’t overbake it. Joan Nathan, who this recipe is adapted from, adds that three risings always makes for the tastiest loaves, even better if one of them is slowed down in the fridge.
Time: about 1 hour, plus 2 1/2 hours’ risingYield: 2 loaves

  • 1 1/2 packages active dry yeast (1 1/2 tablespoons)

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the bowl

  • 5 large eggs1 tablespoon salt

  • 8 to 8 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup raisins per challah, if using, plumped in hot water and drained

  • Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling.

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water.

2. Whisk oil into yeast, then beat in 4 eggs, one at a time, with remaining sugar and salt. Gradually add flour. When dough holds together, it is ready for kneading. (You can also use a mixer with a dough hook for both mixing and kneading, but be careful if using a standard size KitchenAid–it’s a bit much for it, though it can be done.)

3. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Clean out bowl and grease it, then return dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size. Dough may also rise in an oven that has been warmed to 150 degrees then turned off. Punch down dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour.

4. At this point, you can knead the raisins into the challah, if you’re using them, before forming the loaves. To make a 6-braid challah, either straight or circular, take half the dough and form it into 6 balls. With your hands, roll each ball into a strand about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Place the 6 in a row, parallel to one another. Pinch the tops of the strands together. Move the outside right strand over 2 strands. Then take the second strand from the left and move it to the far right. Take the outside left strand and move it over 2. Move second strand from the right over to the far left. Start over with the outside right strand. Continue this until all strands are braided. For a straight loaf, tuck ends underneath. For a circular loaf, twist into a circle, pinching ends together. Make a second loaf the same way. Place braided loaves on a greased cookie sheet with at least 2 inches in between.

5. Beat remaining egg and brush it on loaves. Either freeze breads or let rise another hour.

6. If baking immediately, preheat oven to 375 degrees and brush loaves again. Sprinkle bread with seeds, if using. If freezing, remove from freezer 5 hours before baking.

7. Bake in middle of oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. (If you have an instant read thermometer, you can take it out when it hits an internal temperature of 190 degrees.) Cool loaves on a rack.

Note: Any of the three risings can be done in the fridge for a few hours, for more deeply-developed flavor. When you’re ready to work with it again, bring it back to room temperature before moving onto the next step.

Verdict: Mine can definately beat the store bought ones! That's what our family tester (My bro) said! :) What more do I need? :D This is my first attempt & the best thing is I don't find bread making boring!! Instead...I'm thinking of serious business!! :D Need to explore the bread world in detail :)

And to add more to the excitement I have been awarded by my very good blogger friend Smita of Saffron Apron! Thank you soooo much Smits!! :D

There are some rules to the award:
1) Add the logo of the award to your blog.
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs (Only if you like).
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog.
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blog

Here goes my nomination! :)

Thank you so much for being an inspiration for me :) Love your work and your passion towards it! :)This Challah is my entry to Bookmarked recipes
You can spot it at Yeastspotting too!

Have a nice week everyone! :)


Thursday, May 14, 2009

A beautiful result of an inspiration - Marble Cake

I am no one big to be inspired from but still when someone in doubt asks me to share my lil knowledge with her... I definately will try and possibly give her all the details she needs :) Manju , my friend, my neighbour, and my super super senior in school asked me for my help! That's actually the first time someone is asking a help from me with regard to cooking! I am an amateur but I was thinking ... "So what! I can still share whatever I know!"
And that's how the whole thing started. We exchanged many many e-mails starting from what pans ,equipments etc should be bought prior to starting the adventure with baking from scratch. I told her its wise to get the basic shapes for the tins,to invest in measuring spoons, weighing scales, spatula, etc... And she was very excited that they were moving to Singapore and they had an oven there :) I must say even I was excited!!!

She did her share of wise shopping and I did my share of compiling few simple recipes I could lay my hands onto. The first recipe that she baked was the American Brownie .It was a huge hit at her place and her hubby Anand took a share of it to his office!! You cannot imagine how happy I was when she told me all this!! :D Aahhh ..........
She always wanted a marble cake recipe because her sons Yash & Harsh loved them! And I kept promising that I will send it across and somehow it slipped my mind and the request was granted last Saturday! :D Bad Girl Ria!!!! :P

So finally let me unveil the Inspirational Marble Cake: The clicks were sent to me by Manju and I edited them ( just added the title :D)

Marble Cake:
Recipe source- My mom

Maida/|All purpose flour 120g
Butter 120g
Sugar 120 g
Eggs 3 big or 120 g ( 1 egg is approx 45-50 g)
Cocoa powder 1 tbsp
Baking powder 1/2 tsp
Vanilla essence 1/4 tsp
Hot water 4 tbsp
  • Dilute cocoa in water and make a lump free paste.Keep aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the other ingredients together and beat well.Divide it into 2. In one , add the cocoa mixture.
  • Take a baking tin.. pour the 2 coloured batter alternately..one spoon of brown..one spoon of white... its all left to your imagination :)
  • Then take a toothpick/skewer.. and give it a swirl so that it creates a marbled effect .
  • Pre heat the oven for 5 mins.Bake it at 180 C for 20 mins or till a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean :)
  • Tada!!!! :) Marble cake is ready!!!!! :D
  • This cake will yield around 500 g ( u need to add the weight of the main ingredients used) Its an equal proportion cake.
Here's some more of her baked goods: Recipe source Joy of Baking
Pound Cake-My tummy is growling!!! :( I want a piece of it as 'Gurudhaskina' :)

Chocochip Muffins: Recipe source Joy of Baking

She is an express... can give Nigella a tough competiton!! :D She baked the cake last evening and this morning when I opend my inbox I saw that lovely mail of hers which is the reason behind this post! She sent me her lovely clicks of the marble cake she made!! Only if I wasn't in my office then... I would have been screaming with joy!!! All I could do now was to have a BIG smile on my face!! :D You made my day Manju Chechy!!!!
Verdict: I copied & pasted it from the e-mail she sent me this morning
"marble cake turned out yummy n soft! very tasty. i shud have measured sugar properly. wud have been even better if there was a bit more of sugar. anand wanted to take whole thing to office, i said no way. my boys will love it. they havent seen it. made it after they slept last night! thanks a lot for all the tips dear... will show yash when he's back from school. i also sen these in his snack box. i like the fact that its home made n i know what exactly has gone into it! do share more recipes coz ur my inspiration! (That's a magical word!! :D )
And one more thing!!! I took a screen shot of her family pics from Orkut, edited them and used it .. Sorry Manju Chechy.. I had to make it a complete suprise!! Don't worry! I will not hack your profile :D
Hopefully I could put in my excitement all throughout the post :) I'm sure it's not conveyed completely though :D
P.s. This post is a gift from me (virtual LOL) for your love & interst in baking. That reminds me of my grandmom, she used to gift me Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate everytime I cooked something good while I was growing up! She is no more... maybe I take after her this way :) Miss you mamma!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stuffed Green Chilli Pickle - The very first pickle I made

Ooooo it would be hot!! That's probably what you all might be thinking but I can assure you it's not so! :) . When I opened the 'Bharani'-an eathernware used to store pickles [shown in the pic above ] I was so suprised to see the once 'sturdy & strong' chilies have all aged and lost all its original strength to other ingredients like amchur :D

I learnt this pickle from a preservation class conducted during my graduation in Home Science from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore. It was a 2 day course as a part of our curriculum and we were taught various preservation methods in the form of jams,jellies,crushes,squashes,pickles etc. From the whole lot of what they taught us, I liked this the best! :) It is definately a North Indian pickle because of amchur which is very rarely used in South Indian cuisine. Nevertheless I do have a special liking for North Indian pickles especially because most of them are made in mustard oil! I just LOVE that! I got a hang of this @ Maria Sadan... our hostel... OH NO!! memories are flooding back!! How I miss that place!!! :(

Okay! enough! Let's get back to the post :) This is the pickle I had mentioned in my previous post on Matri.

So here's the recipe:

Stuffed Green Chilli Pickle:

Green chillies - 1 kg ( My veggie vendor gave me a 'glare' LOL! )

For the stuffing:

Mustard powder-5tsp

Jeera/Cumin powder-5tsp

Methi/fenugreek powder-5tsp

Turmeric powder-5tsp

Amchur /Dry mango powder -100g


Gingelly oil-500 ml


  • Wash,wipe and slit the chillies. Mix the powders together and stuff the chillies. ( you can use gloves to make sure your hands dont have a burning sensation after the stuffing process. But I did it without any :D and trust me it din't burn a bit! :D )
  • Mix amchur & salt together.
  • Now you need to layer them. One layer of stuffed chillies & then sprinkle over them generaously with amchur & salt. Continue. The last layer should end with amchur & salt mix. I used 'Bharani' for it but you can use any other similar eathernware or cleaned & wiped glass bottles.
  • Heat oil. Do not let it smoke though. Pour over the layered chillies. It will cover the layers and you can see some excess too. The excess oil must be there to ensure that the pickle doesn't get any fungal attack :)
  • Close the lid and forget about it for atleast for 2 months ( do you want to eat raw chillies?? then eat them straightaway!! :D )

I kept mine aside for 3 yrs! I must shamefully admit that I actually forgot about them :D

Serving suggestions:Can serve as an accompaniment for matri,chapathis,paratas ... actually even with bread ;)

Hope you all enjoyed this spicy post right after a Chocolate Pistachio Fudge affair!! ;D

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Chocolate Pistachio Fudge

I never knew chocolate & pistachio combo could be so delectable! It's actually very addictive! :) Whenever I get free time at office, I let myself have a peek-a -boo on Nigella's videos on Youtube! I find all her videos very fascinating ... the main reason being every single sound is captured well.. the soothing sound of choco chips falling... MMMMMMM... it tempts me very very much! I almost end up being too close to the screen! :D So when I saw the video for this recipe... that was it!!!! I couldn't hold on any more... actually who can when u see the fudge being taken out of the fridge and cut into squares!!! Too much I say ;D So the moment I reached home from office... went straight into our store room, grabbed a tin of condensed milk, a slab of dark chocolate and a bag of unsalted pistachios & then the magic happend!! :) TADA!!! :)

Chocolate Pistachio Fudge:
Originally published by Nigella Lawson

350g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), chopped
1 x 397g can condensed milk
30g butter
pinch salt
150g pistachios
Serving Size : Makes 64 pieces of rich fudge


1.Put the chopped chocolate, condensed milk, butter and salt in a heavy-based pan on a low heat, and stir to melt.
2.Put the nuts into a freezer bag and bash them with a rolling pin, until broken up into both big and little pieces.
3.Add the nuts to the melted chocolate and condensed milk and stir well to mix.
4.Pour and spatch this mixture into a foil tray 23cm square, smoothing the top.
5.Let the fudge cool, and refrigerate until set. You can then cut it into small pieces approx.
6.3 x 2.25cm. Cutting 8 x 10 lines in the tin to give 64 pieces best achieves this.

Once cut, it can be kept in the freezer – no need to thaw just eat straight away.

I made mine in a slightly bigger tin, so it turned out thinner. And as you can see in the pic above my fudgies just couldn't bear the heat and humidity at this side of the world :) Nevertheless they tasted fantastic with the pistachio giving a nice small break into the otherwise very chocolatey condensed milk fudge. Will definately make again... much MORE!! :)
I'm sending this post as an entry to 15 Minute Cooking @ Mahimaa's Kitchen

Have a great week!!


Monday, May 4, 2009

Gobi Manchurian

One of my favourites and the food I eat with great care ( rather scrutiny for the fear of eating fried.. hehe..u all know that ;D ) No matter how many news/stories I hear about people being attacked by the cauliflower 'wrigglies' ;D I can never resist this wonderful crispy,juicy,saucy dish.This is a definate 'order' for our every meal @ a hotel. I have tried making it many a time at home but this recipe fits in perfectly. The main reason being, the fried flowerets do not stick to each other unlike the other recipes which I happen to try out and it remains crunchy till the last bite. I always wash cauliflower using a bit of turmeric powder and salt.

Gobi Manchurian: My Amma's version
A very famous Indian street food

Cauliflower-500g (separate the flowerets into bite sized pieces)
Egg white-1
Soya sauce-2 tbsp
Pepper powder-1 tsp
Salt-to taste
Corn flour-1 cup
Flour-1 cup
Oil for deep frying

Mix cauliflower with salt and microwave it for 2 mins.
Add rest of the ingredients to it and mix well
Keep it aside for 30 mins.
Deep fry till crisp.

For the dry gravy:
Onions-2 medium
Green chilli -2
Ginger garlic paste-2 tbsp
Tomato sauce-2 tbsp
Soy sauce-1 tbsp
Vinegar-1/2 tsp
Salt & pepper-to taste
Coriander leaves- a small bunch

Heat oil. Add ginger garlic paste and fry till a nice aroma come.
Add onions, green chillies & sauté till transparent and soft.
Lower the flame and add the sauces.
Mix well. Add vinegar. Check for salt and pepper.
Add the fried cauliflower flowerets.Stir well to coat all over.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve hot! (it hardly has a gravy, it will be thickly coated. If gravy is needed… dilute 2 tbsp corn flour with 1 cup of water and add to it... let it boil and thicken.)

Dry Gobi Manchurian can be served as a starter.
Now, after trying my mom's recipe, I wonder why on earth did I even attempt others when I had such a good one ! :D This recipe is simple & a bit hit wherever it was served!! Thanks Amma!!! This is one of the recipes featured in her cookery classes.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mini Cheese Pasta Rolls

Dear All, this was an archived recipe and I am re-posting it for Poornimas event : My Favourite Things Cheese
Finally .. after waiting for a loong weekend... i got one.. its because Monday is Shivarathri. I have been trying to update my blog for quite sometime nowbut it wasn't that easy after my 6 day week, wudn't want to sit in front of the computer after being with it for 9 hrs!!!
So let me get to the main topic :) I'm indeed very very proud to share this recipe with you all. It was the one that gave me the entry into the finals of Vanitha Pachakarani competition held at kottayam in September 2008 It's a very simple n quick cheesy snack.. very yum...
My family loves it including my brother who eats very less of pasta in any form other than in salads!! ;)

Well, lemme not keep you all waiting .. Here it is..

Mini Cheese Pasta Rolls:

For the pancake:

Maida-200 g

Cornflour -50g


Salt & Pepper- to taste

Make a lump-free batter using the above and make thin dosas. Keep aside. Reserve little bit of the batter for sealing the rolls.

For the filling:

Macaroni boilesd-150 g

Grated cheese-150 g ( i used Britannia's Cheeza)

Garlic- 4 g sliced fine

Spring Onion- 20 g
Soya sauce-4 ml
Salt & Pepper

Mix everything together and prepare the filling.

Final Assembly:

Fill the pancakes with filling ,roll them up and seal it.

Deep fry in hot oil.

Serve hot with a dip of your choice.

Hope you all have an awesome weekend!!

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