Ria's Collection: June 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Thanks to all who attended my Birthday Party!! :) Round up for the event 'Let's Celebrate '

Whoa! I never expected to receive so many entries for my very first event Let's Celebrate! I hosted it as a part of my birthday celebrations :) I definately had a lovely birthday!! How can I not have when I was sent across so many goodies!!!! :)

Click on the picture to see the details! :)

So let's cut the cakes first!!


Was that too sweet for you?? Lets go to the cookie section then...
Cookies & Doughnuts

Time for celebration!!!


Audax & Maria!! Thanks for trying and that meant a lot to me ! There's always a next time lovely people!!! :)

And here is my cake for y'all! :)

Thank you DivyaKudua,DivyaRao,Lori,Ivy,Rachel,Meghna,Priya,Swapna ,Pooja,Rahin,Ning,Yasmeen,Tina,Parita & Manju. It wouldn't have been a success without y'all :)

And if I have missed out any of your entries please leave in a message...will fix it! :)

Thank you so much Swapna for your mindblowing 8 entries, Yasmeen for your delicious 3 entries and Ivy for your beautiul 2 entries!!!
I din't get any entries from Cancerian's so this won't be continuing for the month of June BUT if any of you are interested to host please leave in a message :) Preference to the above mentioned lovely guests! :)

Thank you Cake
Hershey's 'Perfectly Chocolate' Chocolate Cake with Mocha Butter Icing. You can find the recipe for the cake here.

Mocha Butter Icing:

Powdered sugar -75 gms
Butter - 25 g
Coffee powder - 1-2 tsp
Water -2 tsp

  • Beat sugar and butter togther till light and fluffy.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  • Ice the cake as desired :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Chicken Chilli Fry - Mamma's signature dish :)

I was 'home alone' yesterday and I had to cook something for myself if I din't want to starve ( me and starving?????and the too on a Sunday???? no way!! :P ) So before my mom left she told me that there was half a chicken left in the freezer and I could do whatever I wanted to :)

My bro had gone to play and I knew he wouldn't be back home till lunch time...so I spent hours in front of the system hoping atleast one of my friends would come online on GTalk so that I could kill my time :P But no one came! :( So the only other option was to cook something and keep myself engaged :) I was not in a mood for experimenting since there was only 'half' a chicken left :D And therefore went ahead in making this aromatic, thick gravy-ied (is there a word like that?? ) chicken curry! :)

Don't get confused with the chinese chilli chicken! It's not that! Not even a wee bit! :P My grandparents were in Malaysia for quite a few years when my dad was young, and Mamma claims that she learnt it from the 'kokie' ( cook) there :) So here's another eazy breezy dish from Mamma :)
Chicken Chilli Fry
Recipe source My grandmom

Chicken 1 kg ( can use pork, beef etc)
Ginger garlic paste -1 tbsp
Tomatoes -4 medium
Onions -6 medium
Salt-as required
Red chilli powder - 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp [depending on the type used i.e; Kashmiri chilli powder etc]
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Oil-5-6 tbsp ( we use coconut oil)
Water -as required ( if needed)

  • Puree tomatoes and onions together.
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add ginger garlic paste and saute till you get a nice aroma.
  • Add the puree to it and fry for a good 8-10 mins on low flame. ( do not reduce the time because it will taste raw and the curry will taste BAD! ) Edited on 10 Feb 2012: After receiving a negative comment (the very first of it's kind here),I cannot stress enough on how you need to saute this puree for a good 8-10 mins...or make it more, saute till you can see the oil separate as I don't want your efforts to be wasted. This is really a good, mild curry but the only place you can go wrong is this step as I have gone wrong many times, whenever I took a shortcut :) If this curry wasn't good, it wouldn't have been on this blog or categorized as my family favourite! Also, if you are cooking on an electric stove, low heat is just a waste option, increase it to medium or medium high.
  • Add the powders and salt to taste. Fry for 3-4 mins.
  • Add the chicken. Stir well. Close the lid and cook till 1 whistle comes . If using beef or pork cooking time will vary accordingly. Pork is best cooked the normal way in a kadai or any other open vessel and not in a pressure cooker.
  • If you think you need more gravy add water accordingly and give it a boil.
  • Check for salt.
  • Serve hot with rice, chapathi ,porota .

This is another family favourite dish :) I'm sure all you 'tomato-onion combo' lovers would love it :)
I am suprised that I have some of the curry left... will have it for dinner tonight! My parents will be back home in the evening... they can have a share of it :) I know it will not be sufficient for the 4 of us... but still :)

Eggless Hazlenut & Dates Cake... and a lesson learnt!

I never had the courage to make an eggless cake before until I saw Hetal & Anuja bake one at Showmethecurry.com. I just couldn't make myself believe that they will have the same texture as the ones with the eggs. I mean ...I was taught in my Food Science classes that eggs give body to the cake! BUT this recipe proved it otherwise :)

I must also not forget to mention that I have very lil patience when it comes to waiting for the food to be cooked :D I always fiddle with it...and you are seeing one such attempt of mine :D
The cake had a lovely crumb and it has a real rich flavour of the dates, nuts and the condensed milk. It can really capture your heart! This is going into my 'collections' list :D as I know this recipe is for keeps! :)
Eggless Hazlenut & Dates cake
Recipe adapted from Showmethecurry.com and they inturn recieved it from their reader Annam.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 8-10


Dates - 20 (5oz or 150g)
Water - approx 1/2 cup, for soaking
Walnuts - 1/4 cup (30 g), chopped ( I used Hazlenuts given to me by my sweetheart Jobin)
Sweetened Condensed Milk - 14oz can (396g)
Unsalted Butter - 1 stick (4oz or 113g) [I used salted]
Baking Soda - 1 1/2 tsp
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
All-purpose Flour - 1 1/4 cups (183 g)


1. Soak the Dates in warm water for about 30 minutes just to soften them.
2. Sift the All Purpose Flour along with the Baking Powder and the Baking Soda.
3. Press down on any lumps.
4. Make a paste of the Dates using as little water as possible either in a blender or a food processor.
5. Melt the butter so it is soft and mix it to the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda & baking powder).
6. Mix in the Dates paste and the Sweetened Condensed Milk. Mix well.
7. Fold in the Walnuts as well.
8. Spray/Grease a baking pan and pour the batter into it.
9. Bake in a pre-heated oven (180 degrees C/350 degrees F) for 40 minutes in the center of the oven.
10. Once done, take the cake out and allow it to stand for 5 minutes before taking it out of the pan.
11. Loosen the edges and flip the cake onto a cooling rack.
12. Serve hot or cold.

Annam’s tips:
1. Replace the dates with fruit - pineapples (sounds good)!
2. If you are planning to frost the cake, allow it to cool all the way thru.
3.When the oven door is open in-between according to the temperature some oven will need 50min to bake.
4. When too much water is added to dates while grinding,ihe cake tends to sink.

It's incredibly nutty,rich and moist! :)
It is an healthy option too since dates are a rich source of Iron & fibre.
LOL! look what I made out of that cake!! I just couldn't wait for it to cool down! I had to see the results soon!! I knew that I would spoil the shape and I knew I would regret it later... but sometimes (in my case everytime :P ) we just can't resist the urge to get it out rite! :D

So the lesson learnt is - Try and have some patience atleast when it comes to getting the cakes out of the tin! :P

Hope y'all had a great weekend!!


Friday, June 26, 2009

Daring Bakers goes back in time - Bakewell Tart...er...Pudding

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.

I must say that I have never seen nor eaten one before :) But I have read about it in Nigella Lawson's FEAST ... my Fiance sent a copy all the way for me from USA on my birthday!!! :) It was a lovely gift! :) The recipe was simple and straightforward so I found it easy to work with! :)

Bakewell Tart…er…pudding

Makes one 23cm (9” tart)

Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin

One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Bench flour
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds

Assembling the tart
Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it's overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200C/400F.

Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.

The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.

When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.

Jasmine’s notes:
• If you cannot have nuts, you can try substituting Victoria sponge for the frangipane. It's a pretty popular popular cake, so you shouldn't have any troubles finding one in one of your cookbooks or through a Google search. That said, our dear Natalie at Gluten a Go Go has sourced some recipes and linked to them in the related alt.db thread.
• You can use whichever jam you wish, but if you choose something with a lot of seeds, such as raspberry or blackberry, you should sieve them out.
• The jam quantity can be anywhere from 60ml (1/4 cup) to 250ml (1cup), depending upon how “damp” and strongly flavoured your preserves are. I made it with the lesser quantity of home made strawberry jam, while Annemarie made it with the greater quantity of cherry jam; we both
had fabulous results. If in doubt, just split the difference and spread 150ml (2/3cup) on the crust.
Annemarie’s notes:
• The excess shortcrust can be rolled out and cut into cookie-shapes (heck, it’s pretty darned close to a shortbread dough).

Sweet shortcrust pastry

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film

225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water

Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.

Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.

Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes


Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula

125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow colour.

The Challenge

Mandatory and Optional Elements

Mandatory element 1: Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
Mandatory element 2: Frangipane

Optional element: Home made jam or curd

I used a store bought Mixed Fruit Jam and it worked just as fine ! Did want to experiment with a peach curd but I ran out of time...had a hectic month travelling quite a bit :)

The tart baked beautifully,only If I had lil patience for the jam to set ...I could have prevented the leak!! :P Everybody enjoyed it thoroughly! I will definaltely make it again!! :)

Thank you so much Jasmine & AnnieMarie for choosing this recipe for us! :) We all had a blast! :)

You can have a look here to see what my Daring Friends have to offer!

To all my dear DB friends-Hope you all had a lovely time baking the tart :) We really are a cool bunch...ain't we?? A big hug to y'all!!!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Molten Lava Cake ...gooey chocolatey goodness!

I love chocolate. I love cooking with chocolate. I love melting chocolate.

If you love all of the above 3 things then this is the recipe for you :) It is so very easy and you can pull it off in 30 mins flat! This is my 2 nd attempt in making this ( the first one was so successful that I din't get a chance to click a pic! ) and I know for sure there will be a 3rd , 4th,5th... :D

I never had ramekins before...bought them when I went to Bangalore 2 weeks ago! Had to actually hunt for it because no one there seem to know the name :) So found it in Arihant Plaza next to Commercial Street :)
I always cook/bake something everyday once I'm home from work :) And my parent's think I'm crazy! It's not that I'm saying that they are crazy... I admit that I am crazy about baking/cooking! I need to spend sometime in kitchen everyday :) I don't know whether I would still like it after getting married when you have so much of other housework to do :) But as I always say 'Make Hay While The Sun Shines '
I don't have a photostudio or any good 'tubelights' at home :( We love the colour of incandescent lamps so that's what we have at home :) So whichever pic I click... it always seem to have a yellow 'unwanted' tone! And recently we bought an emergency lamp...and I got a brilliant idea! I thought I'll use it along with the other lighting :) BUT it was even worse... full of shadows! So I got another brilliant idea!!! I held it up with my left hand (mind you! It's nothing less than 2 kgs!! ) and clicked with my right hand... O! NO! marco mode + shake = blured pics!!!
But nevertheless some were okay and I felt it was worth the trouble :)And as a fee for the whole trouble I let myself indulge in this absolutely gorgeous dessert!! :)I have to be OKAY with these lights because by the time I get home from work and finish cooking... it will be night! :( And I hate waking up in the morning! :P

Molten Lava Cake
Recipe adapted from Showmethecurry.com


Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate - 4 oz (113g)
Butter - 4 oz (113g)
Eggs - 2
Sugar - 1/3 cup (75 g)
All-purpose Flour - 1/4 cup (40g)
Butter - for greasing ramekins


1. In a double boiler, melt chocolate.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat Eggs and Sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Once chocolate is melted, remove pan from heat and add in butter. Mix until the butter melts fully.
4. Add chocolate/butter mixture into the eggs, add all-purpose flour and mix until well incorporated.
5. Butter bottom and sides of ramekins (small glass/porcelainbowls) and pour in mixture about 3/4 way full.
6. Place ramekins on a baking tray and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 C) for 10 - 15 minutes. Shorter for gooey (molten) inside, longer for stiff inside.
7. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.

All I have to say is you will fall in love with this if you ever happen to make it :) It's so gooey inside and an absolute chocolate lover's delight!! :) So try and experience it for yourself :)

I am sending this post as an entry to the CLICK event hosted by Jai & Bee

Happy Friday!!!

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