Ria's Collection: March 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Cauli Rice Pizza
That's the same expression I had on my face when I read about this Pizza.Yup, this pizza has Cauliflower. By the way, it's not the pizza topping that's made using Cauliflower.It's the pizza crust that has the veggie a lot of people hate. Please don't include me in the Cauli-hater gang,I adore Cauliflower. It's one veggie you will always find in our veggie tray. My most favourite way of eating it is in the form of a Gobi Manchurian. I'm afraid now that this Pizza has taken over it. Yes, this is to die-for! ;-)
Cauli Rice Pizza
There's absolutely no trace of flour in this pizza base. It's made using grated/food processed Cauliflower which is cooked without a trace of water and then blended along with a few wonderful things and then baked into this very good pizza crust. Isn't it such a great way to reduce the intake of refined flour, when you have such a great option? It's a great way to include veggies too, in your diet.
Cauli Rice Pizza
Do you need a pizza under 30 mins from scratch? Here's your answer! The great Cauli Rice Pizza. Cauli Rice, now what's that? You need to make that first inorder to make this wonderful pizza base.It's very simple. Buy some cauliflower, clean it, grate it, cook it, squeeze out the water and that's it. That's the Cauli-Rice for you.Thank you,Megan!You've given me a chance to love Cauliflower, once again.
Cauli Rice Pizza

Cauli Rice Pizza Makes one 8 inch pizza

1 medium head cauliflower
1 egg
1/3 c grated mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Pizza sauce of your choice
Pizza toppings of your choice

Method: Preheat the oven to 450F. Prepare a baking stone/ baking sheet for baking the pizza.
Clean the cauliflower and separate them into florets. Discard the hard stem. Dry the florets completely. You can either grate the florets or run through a food processor/blender and process it until fine and rice like. Transfer this to a microwave safe bowl,cling wrap it tightly and cook for 7 mins.Let it cool. Transfer the cooked veggie onto a tea towel and squeeze out as much water as you can. There will be lots! It should be as dry as possible. Or else, the crust will be soft.
Add the egg,cheese, oregano, salt and black pepper to it. Stir well and spread it out thin with your fingers onto the baking surface and bake for 15-18 minutes or until crisp and golden with some brown spots here and there.Top with your favourite stuff and broil until the cheese melts.
Slice and devour!

We absolutely loved this pizza. You really need to try it to see what I am talking about. The crust is unbelievably good.It holds up so well when cut and lifted. It bends and folds like a regular pizza crust. If you share this with someone who doesn't know what went into it, they will never know. It's that good. I hope you get the point ;-)
 From the time the crust was baking,our Little Man was restless. These days I've noticed that he wakes up from his deepest sleep if he smells something good. It could be a Meen Vevichathu or a Pork Vindaloo or anything that smells good (yeah! even a noodle soup!). Noises like a working blender or my standmixer doesn't seem to bother him.But a good aroma, oh yeah! So,yes, I allowed him to lick the pizza sauce off my fingers. And of course, he wanted more. Nothing new ;-)                             

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


By now,most of you all might know that I love cakes with a twist and I like the twist to be revealed when the cake is cut into. It could be a simple twist like my Checkerboard cake or a slightly crafty twist like my Hearts & Roses Cake. I cannot tell you the fun I have in crafting such cakes and the anticipation I have when I cut into it.My search for such cakes never ends. I need some fun in the kitchen when I play with flour, sugar, eggs and butter!
This time the search time ended at Mabel's blog. Language can never be a barrier for me when it comes to food,baking in particular.Everything can be translated with a click of a button,so why worry?

So what's special with this cake? Did you look closely enough to see the 3 layers? Those 3 layers came from one batter. Yes, the cake is made using a single batter but when baked, it separates itself to create 3 layers. The first layer resembles a good sponge cake, the middle layer is like my favourite firm custard and the bottom layer is a much more firmer custard which lets us slice into the cake beautifully and lift the slices off the serving plate.


Isn't that a smart idea to wow your guests ? Isn't that a smart idea to impress yourself? Isn't that a smart idea to get 3 textures from one cake batter? Isn't this cake MAGICAL? :-) Yes! It clearly justifies it's name. This is a Magic Cake.

4 eggs,separated at room temperature
150grams sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick unsalted butter,melted
115 g flour
500 milliliters / 2 cups warm milk
Method:Preheat the oven to 325 F and lightly grease an 8 X 8 inch square or an 8inch round tin.
In a large bowl, beat  together the yolks,sugar,water and vanilla.Add the melted butter to it and beat to mix. Add the flour in 3 batches and beat till incorporated. Add the warm milk and stir well.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until firm but not dry. Fold it into the batter in 3 batches. The batter will be very very runny and it will be impossible to fold in the whites without having some lumps floating around. But that's OK. Go ahead and pour the very runny batter into the tin and bake for 60 minutes (My oven took only 45 minutes) or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 3 hours.Dust with confectioners sugar before serving.
The key here is to look out for the golden brown colour for the cake. It will be soft and lightly giggly in the centre when pressed. That's how it should be. That's what becomes the custard centre.

So now, what are you waiting for? Take a note of the recipe and go bake one! This cake is delicious. I like things with custard in it so I really loved it.Ian Vaava as usual was my kitchen assistant and I really think he pays good attention to what's happening around him. So once the cake was left in the oven to bake, we sat in front of the telly catching up with some shows. The timer was set for 45 minutes just to be sure we don't over bake the cake. When the timer ticked off,Ian Vaava turned around to see what's happening and he looked at me as if to tell me,'Amma, I think it's done!'

So he was promptly rewarded with a small share of this cake. Not to mention how he drooled over it. I gave him only the soft set custard from the centre and he was bending over the cake tin to have more!

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Biscuits au beurre faux
Do you know how I spend my time these days? I browse cookbooks and websites and drool over all the yummy stuff people create. And ask me what happens after that.Nothing! I feel full. I feel I've eaten everything. I feel happy and sad at the same time thinking I should have done something about it and write about it on my blog. See,I have a LOT of free time these days!
Biscuits au beurre faux
So during one such free time, I thought of searching for cookies. Found many pictures of them and everything looked like a modified chocolate chip cookie,to me. Either they were way too buttery or they had too much frosting or they had too much sugar or they made a lot of cookies. I don't know whether it's the butter or is the amount of refined flour or refined sugar in a recipe which turns me off. I really wonder how people,those people who makes sugary cakes covered with even sugary frosting (I've even read 8 cups of confectioner's sugar in a frosting recipe)live. Maybe they bake it for someone else.If so, how do they cut into it and show us the slice? Hmmm...too many questions and no answers to it. Well,now getting back to these Faux Butter Cookies. My search got modified into Indian cookies and it lead me to various blogs carrying similar recipes for butter cookies but Sum's recipe grabbed my attention.It made butter cookies without butter! Yes, without butter.It called my name and I baked it.We devoured it. Heaven was right in between my fingers then. Yum. It was totally yum.

Biscuits au beurre faux Yields 20 nos.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar/ finely powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of salt
Scant 3/4 cup vegetable oil

Method: Preheat the oven to 350F/180 C and line a cookie sheet.
In a medium bowl,whisk the dry ingredients together. Drizzle in the oil little by little until the dough looks crumbly, like a tart dough. Do not add any more oil. Form small lime sized balls and roll it out smooth in between your palms.It may look hard to roll but if the dough is made properly,it smoothens into perfect round balls. Place them on the prepared baking sheet,1inch apart from each other and bake for 15-18 mins. Mine were done at 17 minutes. Take it out and let them cool completely on a wire rack.Store in an airtight tin.

These are really really good and made me think of a cookie we get in a bakery in Kannur. They have a melt-in-the mouth feel and also have a soft powdery texture over it. It sticks to your fingers making you want to lick it off after the cookie is done with.So as soon as the cookies came out of the oven, I set them out to cool. When they were cooled, we both, Amma and Vaava thought of taste testing it. He absolutely loved it. No doubt about his Amma too.

So just now,before I photographed it,he woke up from his sleep and found the cookies sitting pretty in the bag. You will not believe the fuss he made until I broke one and shared it with him. He was at his best behaviour after that :-)
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