Thursday, November 25, 2010

French fruit cake

Baked this cake last Sunday, for a birthday party.

Wanted to surprise all with a different cake than my usual one. I was planning a cake with lots of decoration using the fondant icing. Since I did not have enough knowledge about it,  was little afraid to take a risk on a birthday cake. When I was talking about this with my husband, he suggested me to use some fresh fruits in the cake, because he likes my Pineapple upside down cake a lot. This kindled some idea and planned to decorate the cake with colorful fresh fruits.

Birthday means colorful, fun and joy. So I did colorful cake. Double layer Chocolate cake, white color frosting cream, and fresh fruits on top, sliced almonds with skins on sides.

Ingredients :

For Cake recipe
 2 1/2 cup -- All purpose flour
 1/2 cup -- Cocoa powder
 1 tin -- Condensed Milk
 1 cup -- Butter
 3/4 cup -- milk
 2 tsp -- Vanilla essence
 2 tsp -- Baking powder
 1 tsp -- Baking soda
 1 cup -- Chopped nuts and Raisins
 7-8 -- Sliced Pineapple rings**

For Decoration
 2 box store bought whipping cream
 Fresh strawberries halved**
 canned Orange**
 Sliced skinned almonds

--- Pre-heat the oven to 350 F, and grease the 2 nos of 8"pan. If you are having only one, not to worry  grease one pan and keep it ready. Once a cake is baked we can bake other in the same.
--- Melt the butter and cool it. Add milk, condensed milk and mix thoroughly.
--- Shift all the dry ingredients. APF, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder.
--- Add the dry ingredients in batches to the wet ingredients along with Vanilla essence.
--- Mix well and make sure there are no lumps. Now add the nuts and raisins to the cake batter and fold the batter from the center to mix the dried nuts and fruits.
--- **I wanted a layer of pineapple in between the cakes, so in one pan I arranged the pineapples rings on the bottom.
--- Pour the cake batter in both the pans. Eyeball measuring half quantity in each pan.
--- Bake the cake in 350 F for 35 - 40 minutes. If using two pans, keep changing the pan in the racks in equal time interval for even baking. If using one pan, bake a cake first, cool completely then take the cake out. Wash the pan, grease it and follow the same procedure.

--- Once both the cake are done, cool the cake completely.
--- Mix the whipping cream with a dry spatula and keep it ready.
--- With a knife cut the top bulged portion of the cake. Apply a little cream in the center of the plate or board in which you are going to mound the cakes. This is to avoid the movement of cake on the board or plate.
--- I kept the pine apple cake as a down layer. If you are doing without that, keep any of the cake. Upside cut portion to be kept down. Now apply the cream on the top.
--- Take another cake and place it on the cake with the frosting, make sure you are keeping the cut side down. Again like upside down.
--- Using a clean big spatula, apply generously the icing cream on the sides and then gradually move to the top. If you feel the icing is little too jelly to handle the icing on the cake. Keep the cake into the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes and then work again.
--- If you see some dents and marks on the icing, no problem. We are going to apply a nice nutty layer on the sides which will cover everything.
--- Take handful of sliced almonds and pat it down on the sides.
--- On top of the cake, according to your desire decorate with strawberries and oranges.
--- You can use any fruits and decorate. No STOP sign for your imagination


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pocket Sandwich

I wanted a day off from cooking and cleaning, so my Husband promised me to take out for lunch one day. So last weekend, we planned to go out for lunch. From the time we woke up, we both were sitting and watching  movie. My kutti friend, Kirthana also joined us, but we both enjoyed some music in Youtube.
Since the movie was very interesting, we both canceled the lunch and decided to go for dinner.  But it was drizzling and was very windy and chilly that we lost all will to make the 20 mile drive to our nearest restaurant.

So we dropped that plan totally. Since I was not in a mood to cook, we bought some ready to eat Indian food. I picked a new dish called Babu's Pocket Sandwich from the frozen section. It was very good and different. I wanted to try the same in my kitchen and the result, taddan... Pocket sandwich

It is a stuffed roti at heart, but more sandwich-y in thickness. Don't want to confuse you people a lot. Straight away I am going to the recipe.

Ingredients :
For Roti, you all know.
-- Wheat flour
-- Salt
-- Water
**I had a bunch of fresh methi, so I added the same. Also added wheat bran.

 For stuffing, your choice. Below is what I made today.
-- 2 boiled Potatoes
-- 3 boiled Carrots
-- 1/2 Bell pepper
-- 1 medium size onion
-- Small tomato
-- 3 tsp Tomato Puree
-- some Raisins
-- 1 tsp Garam Masala
-- 2 tsp Oil
-- Salt and chili powder according to taste.
-- 1 tsp butter

-- First make the stuffing part ready.
-- Heat the oil in pan and saute the onions, once it is soft add bell pepper and tomatoes.
-- Don't add any water, just close the pan and cook. Once it is soft add the boiled carrot and potatoes, tomato puree, raisins along with the chili powder and salt.
-- Mash all the vegetables and cook for 5 minutes.
-- Before turning off the heat, add Garam masala powder, butter and mix it thoroughly.
-- Your stuffing is ready now. Let it cool completely. So that you can work easily later while stuffing.
-- As usual make the roti flour and roll it thin.
-- Brush some oil over one side.
-- Take 3-4 tbsp of the prepared stuffing and place it in the middle of the oiled side. Make it like a little rectangular block in the middle.
-- First close the small side in both direction and crimp the edge and then close the other two lengthy side in the middle. Take the water in your finger and apply as glue at the edges to make it adhere.
-- Uncooked sandwich is ready.
-- Heat a non stick pan and grease it with oil. Place the sandwich and cook.
-- Cook for 3 - 4 minutes in medium heat and flip the other side carefully and cook for another 2 minutes.
-- You can see the sandwich will be in golden brown color.

Pocket sandwich is ready to serve. Since we stuffed all good things inside the roti, we no need to go for a separate side dish. Simple tomato sauce will go great with this.

This is an easy recipe for a good lunch, evening snacks and for a dinner. You can use your own imagination for inside stuffing and enjoy this pocket sandwich. In my opinion, this will be great time saver for parties and get-togethers. You can prepare the uncooked sandwich ahead of time and refrigerate it. You can cook it just before the party and serve hot and tasty.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Moroccan spaghetti

'Who does not love Pasta ?' Oh, no I am not asking the question to you, this is asked by DK in Chef in You, under her recipe Moroccan Spaghetti . The answer is Me. Once upon a time I was not a big fan of Pastas, but now it is directly opposite. All credits goes to DK.

I love to browse foodie sites a lot, one day when I was doing so I came across this wonderful colorful recipe. Specially the photo was eye catching. So I read the whole recipe and found it was very simple, hence decided to give it a try. The very next day went for shopping and searched for Spaghetti's in the Pasta section. Since it was first time me and my husband looked almost all the brand in the aisle and took a whole grain pasta pack. It was a funny nice experience. I even posted a blog about this, If you would like to read about that, click on Fun and Dreams blog.

Let me cut short the story and come directly to the recipe.

Multi grain / Whole wheat Spaghetti -- Approximately 1/2 lb or less
Cherry Tomatoes -- 1 cup
Onion -- 1 medium Size
Chick Peas -- 1 cup cooked
Cut Vegetables (carrot, Potato, Bell pepper) -- 1 cup**
Tomato Paste -- 2 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste -- 1 tsp
Olive oil -- 1/4 cup
Chili Powder -- 2 tsp
Salt -- as per taste
Cilantro --  few bunch
Saffron -- a pinch

** I used a cup of vegetables, not used in the original recipe.

-- Cook the spaghetti as per the instruction given on the pack
-- Until that cooks, in a pan saute the onions till it become soft. Then add the garlic and cook for a minute. This is to avoid the burning of Garlic.
Here is a quick tip. In case if you don't like garlic, you can put the whole garlic and cook for some minutes and you can take it out from the pan. before adding other ingredients.
-- If using vegetables, add them now and cook it until the veggies become tender or else you can even add the cooked veggies. If you are not using, skip this step and jump to next step.
-- Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and add them to the pan along with the chili powder, salt and tomato paste.
-- Mix the saffron in little water and add the water to the paste. This is the one of a key ingredient which gives nice texture and aroma to the recipe.
-- Cook the above mixture for 5-8 minutes and add the cooked chick peas and cook for few minutes.
-- Now add the cooked spaghetti to the veggie pot and mix well.
-- That's it colorful Moroccan Spaghetti ready.
-- When serving add the cilantro and garnish them.

Isn't that dish so easy.

I am sending this recipe to Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes for the event 'Tried and Tasted - Chef In You'

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bournvita Milk cake

Here comes another sweet treat for Deepavali...

Its again my Mom's recipe, in which I made a small twist to make it little more delicious. She will make yummy cake for Deepavali. Most of the time, she call me or my sister to help in this, as this cake gives a good exercise to our hands and shoulders.

I enjoyed making this cake today, because I did a lot of workout after a very long time. Hard work always pays off. The amount of work you put in making this dish will yield a fruitful result. Ok, let me straight away come to the recipe now.

--- 1 cup Maida / All-purpose Flour
--- 3/4 cup Bournvita / Sweetened cocoa / Drinking Chocolate
--- 1/2 tin Condensed Milk
--- 3 cup Sugar
--- 1/2 cup Ghee
--- 1/2 cup Roasted nuts ( I used Cashews)


First Stage --- In a sauce pan add ghee and Maida and fry it for 10 - 15 minutes, until a nice aroma fills the whole kitchen. Exactly it will be like a freshly baked biscuit from a nearby bakery shop. If you want to taste the mixture, don't hesitate go and give it a try, it will taste like biscuits. Don't get too absorbed by aroma, because you might burn the mixture. Once it is done, keep the mixture aside and let it cool.

Second Stage --- Now comes the chocolate part, mix the bournvita and the condensed milk. Its a little messy work. To make it easy, first mix the bournvita in little warm water and make the cocoa batter without any lumps. Now pour this mixture to the condensed milk and mix it. No need to mix thoroughly, anyways we are going to put all these into a giant pot.

Third Stage --- Grease the pan or plate and keep it ready.

Final Stage --- Take a heavy bottom pan. Add sugar and 1/2 cup of water. Make sugar syrup with a single string consistency. Don't keep the burner in high flame, have it in medium flame and cook. Now add the roasted Maida and mix thoroughly. After few seconds add the Bournvita, milk mixture. That’s it all in one pot. Now comes the arm exercise. You have to constantly stir the mixture till it thickens. This is to avoid the mixture sticking to the bottom. Once the mixture starts leaving the sides of the pan add the roasted nuts in to it. Turn off the mixture and transfer it to the greased pan.

--- Though the mixture tempts you, please don't attempt to put your fingers in to it. Experience talk, I burnt my finger today.
--- keep aside the tray for cooling, meanwhile when the cake is warm, take a greased knife and cut the cake according to desired shape. Let the cake cool completely before taking from the pan.

Share the joy and happiness along with the bournvita sweet treat...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Coconut Ladoo

Happy Deepavali to all...


My mom will make delicious sweet for Deepavali. When we were kids, me, my sister and brother all three will sit and help her. We do Somasi, Jeera puri, Ladoo, Mixture, Thattai, Jamuns, Halwa, Badhusha, burfi, the list go on and on...Oh God, I am missing her a lot.

When ever she get Milkmaid, condensed milk me and my sister will cut the wrapper and send them to the given address to get recipe books. Though we will not cook we were so excited to see the recipes. We both sit and enjoy seeing the preparation and the presentation of each and every recipe. We used to dream to make and present such yummy dishes. We still have all the recipe books at home.

One main recipe, which we liked was Coconut Ladoo. Since I didn't have those books now, I found this sweet ladoo recipe from Dhivya Kudua's Easy cooking.
When I saw the recipe, remembered all the days which I spent seeing the ladoos in the 2 D picture.

Its very simple, easy and tasty recipe.All we need is only 2 main ingredients :
--- 1 tin Condensed Milk
--- 31/2 + 1/2 cup grated coconut

Preparation :
--- Take a heavy bottom pan mix the condensed milk and the grated coconuts
--- In a medium flame, cook the above mixture for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture thickens and leaves the sides of the pan.
--- That's it, the ladoos are ready to roll now. Once the mixture is warm, grease your hands with little ghee, roll them into small balls. Then roll the balls in the 1/2 cup coconut to give a nice coating.

More sweets are yet to come... Enjoy !!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chocolate Cake Balls

Happy Halloween.
Isn't the cutie nutty balls are attracting you to grab one ?

Last Thursday, we went out for a 3 day trip to Smoky Mountains with couple of our friends. For any trip, I always take our foodie bag with lots of food which can stay for a couple of days. This time my husband wanted me to make Choco cup cakes for the trip. Since we planned to start in the evening, I spent the whole day in cooking. I had the Choco cakes as a last item in my list, because it will take only 30 - 45 min.

The clock flashed 4.00 and I tuk, tuk grabbed all the ingredients and made the choco cake batter. Turned the oven on to 350 F and poured the batter into the tray and baked it. Once done, took the tray and kept aside for the cakes to cool. The cup cakes were looking exactly the same as I baked last time. Meanwhile I was getting ready and packing all the baggage.

I was so happy and excited to take those cup cakes out from the muffin tray, unfortunately I couldn't :((
Those cup cakes were not coming out of the tray. Think, I forgot to grease and flour the tray in a hurry. Though the cake was fluffy and nice, I was able to take only the top part not the whole cake. Sad story !
Didn't have anytime to think about the cakes, wrapped the tray and placed it in the fridge and went. We were back from the trip on Monday. Wanted to do something out of the cake, which is lying in the fridge for 4 days.

While searching for a recipe to fix, found this Cake balls recipe, for a moment I went ..... speechless. Next second, felt so happy and relived from a great tension.
This is the best recipe when we have cake leftovers. Easy to make and tasty to eat.
Here comes the recipe...

Required Ingredients
--- Left over cake (I had chocolate cake with lots of nuts and choco chip)
--- 1 box Frosting cream (I used store bought Pillsbury, Vanilla cream)
--- 1 pack Mini Chocolate chip ( I used Semi sweet)
--- Nuts (optional)

--- Scratch the cakes into very small pieces.
--- According to the cake quantity, add the frosting cream and mix thoroughly.
--- Make small balls.
--- Line all the cake balls in the cookie sheet and refrigerate it for 3-4 hours
--- Once the cake balls are harden enough, Melt the chocolate chips and dip the above cake balls.
--- Again refrigerate all the balls.
--- You can serve these balls with chocolate coating or else you can roll them over the nuts and also form a nutty layer on top.
--- Either way the balls will be delicious to eat.


Sending this chocolate treat to Madhuri Kumar's, Cook-Curry Nook for her 1st Anniversary celebration.