Ria's Collection: December 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Christmas Card

Let me quickly wish you all a Very Merry Chirstmas because we will be busy tomorrow and I am not sure when can I update this little space again :-) Now onto the wonderful dish...I would at any point cringe at the idea of making a Chinese dish with coconut Oil. Infact, one of my friend's mom used to make Fried Rice in coconut oil and to be honest, it was a cross between a very Malayali pulao and something which I couldn't recognise. It was tasty, I agree but I couldn't agree to the fact that it was a fried rice.All said and done, this chicken fry has the most weirdest combo of soy sauce,coconut oil and curry leaves!!!
Chicken Fry
This is the way Amma sometimes made a quick chicken fry for lunch and she always made it with bone-in chicken pieces.Today, I am making it with boneless skinless chicken thighs which is my favourite part of the chicken especially for boneless preparations. The meat,no matter what remains very soft till the end even if you overcook it. I hate chicken breasts to cook with because no matter how careful I am,it overcooks and no flavour gets into it.To be honest, I like dark meat :-D
Chicken Fry
Now that Christmas is just a blink away,we are invited over for  appetizer and dinner parties. Everytime we go over to parties, we volunteer to get something so that it adds one more dish to the big table full of wonderful things.Therefore, I made this chicken stir fry for an appetizer party we are going to tonight. If you want it to be really dry, you can cook for a few more minutes .This is the perfect one pot dish!
Recipe: Amma

1 kg boneless skinless chicken thighs (can use full chicken too), cut small
1 1/2 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1/4 c dark soy sauce (can use regular soy too)
Salt to taste
2 tsp coconut oil
1 sprig of curry leaves
1/2 red onion,chopped fine
1 tomato,chopped fine
Black pepper powder, optional

Take a pressure cooker and marinate chicken pieces in it with red chili powder,turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste, soy sauce and salt to taste. Leave it aside for 10 mins. Pressure cook it for 1 whistle, exact and switch off the heat. Let the pressure go down on it's own.
Open the lid and if there's water in it, let it evaporate on high heat for 3-4 mins. Add the remaining ingredients and saute till the pieces are dry and coated well with sauce.
Add black pepper powder if you think is needed.

We adore this chicken fry, especially Jobin. Also,once you transfer the pieces to a serving bowl no matter how much you scrape the pan you will still have some saucy bits stuck here and there. DO NOT throw that away instead use your fingers to enjoy that goodness! It's just so so so good!! :-) Also, I wouldn't dream of making this in any other oil other than coconut oil :-D If you are not like me, go ahead and use vegetable/canola oil.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Caramel Pudding
Ihave never ever come across anyone who doesn't like this delicious soft,melt-in-the-mouth pudding. I hope I don't, ever! I love this pudding and this would be my comfort dessert,anytime of the day, warm or cold.This is that pudding Amma  makes when unannounced guests comes knocking on the door and I'm sure it's the same with many of you guys.Actually, do we need any excuse to make this deliciousness??
Caramel custard
I've been thinking of making this pudding for sometime now because we both love it and therefore I don't need another reason to make it! I've seen many recipes which uses custard powder,cornstarch ,lots of eggs plus egg yolks but this one is just a basic recipe.I have added condensed milk in the custard which you can clearly substitute with white sugar,to taste.
Caramel Custard

The best part of making this pudding is when you turn it upside down which reminds of an incident which happened in Amma's twin ,Daisy mummy's house. Daisy mummy and Jose uncle runs a homestay in Kothamangalam and once I was there with them when they had about 150 guests for lunch.She made a variety of desserts and Caramel Custard Pudding was one amongst them. I was put in charge of turning the pudding upside down onto the serving platter and everything went fine except for the last one. No matter what I did,it never turned upside down and this being a delicate dessert I was worried about tossing it back and forth. She was in a hurry fixing other stuff and attending her guests but I had to call her. She came in and I told her the problem and she tried her hand at it. Nothing changed, it still fell the other way round, the caramel was at the bottom.  Finally,we caught the culprit...the maid who was in charge of wiping the pudding moulds buttered that particular tin! So lesson learnt...never butter the mould for a Caramel Custard!
Caramel Custard

I was very careful to remember that,just in case ;-) The bowls you see in the photographs were sent to me by Wayfair for a product review. They are really good to bake with and it releases the baked goods very easily. They look pretty as is.

My own recipe

2 c whole milk
1/2 c sweetened condensed milk
5 tbsp white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F/ 180C .
In a saucepan,add milk, condensed milk and 5 tbsp sugar and bring to a boil.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs till well blended. Drizzle hot milk into it while beating all the time.
Strain the mixture to avoid any egg white lumps in the custard.
In a pan, on medium heat, caramelise 1/2 c sugar till golden brown and pour it into the pudding mould. Swirl to coat the sides. Pour the milk-egg mixture into the moulds.
Place the moulds into a baking tin with tall sides and pour hot water just so that the bowl are immersed halfway. Bake for 40 mins or till the centres are still jiggly and when a knife inserted comes out smooth.Let it cool for half an hour.
Release from the sides and invert onto the serving platter.Serve warm or chilled.

Did I convince you enough, for you to make some of these? Go and bake away! If you want it a bit more firm, bake it a little more, about 5-8 mins.

Sunday, December 18, 2011



Iknow some of you must have been wondering about my absence here. Well, I gather that up from the e-mails and msgs I have been recieving for the last few weeks. Everything is alright,it's just that our personal computer is out for servicing so,I rarely get the time to sit with his computer to upload pics and blog about it.Now that I am back, it's time for some yummy Chocolate Mousse Cake! Don't you all know my love for a good Chocolate Mousse?

I just assembled 2 of my favourite components together to make this dessert. A sponge cake and some Instant Eggless Chocolate Mousse. Yes,it's that easy and hardly takes anytime! I made this for a potluck Chritmas party last night and the kids loved it, more than the adults :-)
Old Fashioned Fruit Cake

Black & White Torte

Remember the Cake Recipes I was talking about to you guys,which was featured in Vanitha? I finally got hold of a copy,actually the folks at Malayala Manorama sent me a copy. When I blogged about it saying I haven't seen it yet,I get an e-mail from my reader Shani with an atttachement which was nothing but an entire e-copy of Vanitha! I am so grateful to you all,for such wonderful connect !
Brown Butter Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

Flourless Mocha Truffle Cake

So after I won the Pachakarani title, I recieved a call from Vanitha Magazine's office asking if I could bake some cakes for their December issue and tihs was just a few days before I left to US after my long holiday in Kannur. Inspite of all the crazy packing and last minute things happening at home, I found sometime to bake and decorate these cakes: Old Fashioned Fruit Cake,Black & White Torte, Brown Butter Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting & Flourless Mocha Truffle Cake. Even though it might sound cliche, I have to say, each one of them tasted so good! Amma, the cake hater in my family & Appan loved the Black & White Torte the most. The remaining portion was carefully packed and taken for a small family get together we had that evening and the Mocha Truffle Cake was the star, there! My lil brother,Ritchie,dug into it rightaway! I'll be posting the recipes for each one here, in the coming days...so stay tuned!
Instant Chocolate mousse CakeINSTANT CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE
Recipe for the cake: Amma
Recipe for the mousse: Nigella Lawson

For an 8 inch cake,you need:

1 batch of Chocolate Sponge
1 batch of Instant Chocolate Mousse
1/2 batch of soaking syrup

Cut the sponge into 2 horizontally and place it on a springform tin.Soak it with the soaking syrup and top it off with the Chocolate Mousse. Let it set in the fridge for 1 hour and then top with remaining cake,crumbled up and drizzle some melted chocolate over it.
Serve chilled.

The winners for the giveaway are :

1. Fruit Cake : Divya Vikram
2. Gingerbread Man:Nina Matthew
3.IPad cover:Jayz

Congratulations!!!!Please send me your postal address as soon as possible to airmathew AT gmail DOT com.

So, are you all waiting for the Santa to come down the chimney? I sure am! :-)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Mini Aunty's Chocolate Cake
It doesn't usually happen this way...Jobin asking for a cake because there will be some cake at any point in our house,any time of the day. We ran out of cakes which means we were out of desserts after every meal! We don't need anything fancy, all the time but sometimes yes. When he asked me for a dessert the other day, I asked him what he wanted and he said that cake I made when newly-weds G &J came home for dinner. I knew it! He loves that cake and any cake made along that line.Finally we settled for a chocolate cake .
Mini Aunty's Chocolate Cake

So Chocolate Cake, huh? Hmm,I have umpteen choices in that one thing. Which one do I bake? Which one is my all time favourite? Which recipe  needs another try? Whose recipe should I try? Cookbook recipes or family recipes? Yes! Family recipe, it is!

Mini Aunty,Tia's mother,is one of my most favourite aunts! She is a fantastic cook! I love her cakes, savory pies,manga pacchadi,moru curry,meen curry,cheemmen fry ,beef olathiyathu and oh! how could I forget her paper thin ghee dosa's and thenga chammanthi! She made me a Dosa convert!
She is Amma's brother's wife and all their kids and we were of the similar age,so we all got along very very well! Infact all our vacations were spent together, we still do if we get a chance. This time, in September, right after her daughter's wedding,we went to visit Jobin's sister in Kashmir. That way, I'm so happy to have spent some quality time with her, after one and a half years!

Mini Aunty's Chocolate Cake
While I was studying in college, they lived in Bangalore for almost 3 years and I lived with them even though I was paying rent elsewhere :-) The power of lovely people and yummy food attracted me to their house. Mini aunty used to bake cakes once in a while and her chocolate cakes were really tasty. I got this recipe from her, long ago and she is very generous in sharing recipes, unlike a lot of other people who I personally know of! :-)
Mini Aunty's Chocolate CakeMini Aunty's Chocolate Cake 

1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c butter, at room temperature
1 c warm milk
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F and line a loaf tin.

Sieve flour, salt and baking soda together. Reserve.
In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 c warm milk with 4 tbsp cocoa.
In another big bowl, on high, beat together butter and sugar for a minute. Add the eggs and beat till light and fluffy.Add flour and 1/2 c milk alternately and beat until fluffy. Add the cocoa-milk mixture and vanilla and beat for a minute. Pour into the tin and bake for 45-50 mins or till done.


So I'm finally back baking with our baking group : A Sweet Punch. I have been away for a long time now and I hope this cake bring me back to baking with the group regularly.

This is just a good old cocoa cake. I love it and infact I really think you all should try it sometime as it is going to be your favourite too! You can slice it horizonatlly into 2 or 3 and then sandwich it with some yummy chocolate fudge frosting and then cover it with some more. Sprinkle some sprinkles and then stick a candle or two to make it into a birthday cake! :-) Plus, if you are looking to give something exciting for your lil one this season, maybe you could take a look at these kids kitchen play sets!

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