30 October 2011

Fizz Pound Cake with Butter Cream Frosting

Today was my sis-in-law's (SIL) birthday and so i baked her a Fizz Pound Cake taking the opportunity to tick off another one from my 'got to bake' list. I need new inspiration especially when a birthday is around, and get a major kick out of baking a birthday cake for a loved one.


My SIL is one sweet-silly-wacko-girly-gurl...very warmhearted, generous and a chatterbox. I love to bake birthday cakes that define the person in some way, and fizz totally suited my SIL's person and so the decision was made and i baked her a Sprite Pound Cake and frosted it with butter-cream. Here's the recipe...

Ingredients:
2 Cups - All Purpose Flour
1 Cup - Veg' Oil
1 Cup - Sugar
3 - Eggs
1/2 Cup - Sprite
1 1/2 Tsp - Lime Concentrate (i used Dabur's Lemoneez)


Method:
  • Preheat oven @ 180 Degree C, grease two baking trays and keep aside
  • Sieve flour and keep aside
  • Cream sugar and oil using a hand held blender
  • Add eggs one at a time to the sugar-oil mixture
  • Add the flour a little at a time and ensure it's well blended
  • Now pour in the sprite and lime juice and give it a good mixing
  • Pour the cake batter into the two prepared pans and bake it for 20 minutes
  • Once done, cool it on the rack while you get the frosting ready
For the Butter Cream Frosting:
Cream 1 Cup butter and 21/2 Cups sugar with 2 - 3 Tbsp milk and 1 Tbsp fresh cream. Add 1 Tsp of dry food color (optional) of your choice and mix it up well. If the frosting is too thick to spread, add milk a tbsp at a time till you get the correct consistency.

I made a 3 layered cake, as you can see in the picture above. It was good!! The birthday girl loved it:). That's all that matters EOD right???? I had fun baking it and assembling it and she and the rest of the family had fun eating it....Happiness... :):)

28 October 2011

Roasted Chicken Thigh

What would my family do without Chicken??? I am a staunch non-vegetarian with more inclination towards Pork and Beef while my hubby is devoted to Mutton. The tragedy is that due to health reason my hubby is advised to abstain Red Meat. Isn't mutton under red mean you ask??? I have the same doubt, but my hubby says it may be red but less fatty so the distinction...am not convinced but whatever...

Good news is, mutton is way to expensive here in Hyderabad and Beef & Pork totally out of the question for regular feasting...that's when Chicken comes to the rescue. Btw we consider Fish part of the veggies so....it really doesn't count as a non-vegetarian dish.


Thankfully, chicken is a very versatile protein and so it's easy to tweak around, As much as i love chicken curries, i love dry dishes even more, and most of all i love baked/roasted chicken a lotttttttttttttttttttttt...yea that's how much i love it :)

Today's recipe is one of those quick fix recipe for days when you want something nice but your energy level low to do the stand and stir ordeal. This recipe serves two.

Ingredients:
2 - Chicken thigh with skin
2 Tbsp - Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp - Chilli Vinegar
1/4 Tsp - Garlic Salt
2 Pinches - Salt
1 Tbsp - Chinese Rice Wine

The marinate will hold good for upto 4 pieces of chicken thigh. 


Method:
  • Dump all the ingredients in a bowl with a tight lid
  • Prick the chicken thigh all over using a fork, dunk it into the marinade, give it a good shake so that thighs are well coated with the marinade, leave it be for atleast 30 minutes 
  • Preheat oven at 200 degree C and grease a baking tray with some oil or ghee
  • Place the chicken thighs in the center and bake it for 1 hour, flipping the thighs to the other side halfway through
It'll be beautifully baked by that time, crisp on the outside but juicy and warm inside... You can pair it with a nice coleslaw of your choice and it's a complete meal. Enjoy!

22 October 2011

Molasses Spice Cookies - Eggless

Lately I'm addicted to baking cookies i must confess :). It use to be 2 and even 3 cakes in a week not so long ago but now cake baking is restricted to 'on-demand' mode ;) and it's trays of cookies from this experimental kitchen...... 

Today's cookie recipe is born out of the need to use up a bag of molasses that has been sitting in the pantry for a long time. Thankfully this new entry was well received in the house...and so i decided to enter the recipe here today.


The cookie batter will be crumbly but fret not! It'll come out just fine, infact great from the oven. Since it is spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, the whole house will be engulfed by the sweet aroma as it bakes. Here's how this one goes...

Ingredients:
1 Cup - All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup - Molasses (grated)
1/2 Cup - Veg' Oil
1/4 Tsp - Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp - Ground Nutmeg
1 Tsp - Baking Soda
1 Tsp - Vanilla Extract
A Pinch - Salt

Method:
  1. Sieve all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and keep aside
  2. Preheat oven at 180 Degree C
  3. Grease 2 baking trays and keep aside
  4. Add the remaining ingredients into the flour mixture and mix it up with your hand
  5. When it is well combined, smoothen it into a ball and keep it aside covered for 5-10 minutes
  6. Take enough batter to make a regular sized cookie, flatten and shape it round on your palm and arrange it on the prepared baking trays, ensuring you leave enough space for the cookies to expand ( and it will, don't be fooled by the crumbly texture)
  7. Once all the batter is used up, bake it for 12 minutes
  8. Allow it to cool for 3-4 minutes, loosen the cookies using a spatula and enjoy this sugar cookie

Store the cookies in an airtight container. It is best when paired with green tea. Enjoy!!

19 October 2011

Banana Oats Cake/Bread

It really is getting very difficult to feed my fussy toddler, it makes me wonder whether i was this fussy when i was at his stage...i bet i wasn't :) ;). Noodles, Pasta, Biscuits, Cakes, Rice & Dal, Upma, Roti and Saabji etc..etc..Bread, Oatmeal..and the blahs...just not working these days. He has resigned from the cake-pot nickname and i am so lost at to what to feed him. Thankfully...he drinks his milk. 


This week the tod'ler asked for bread and banana...so we bought a bunch of banana and after having one banana that day, he now refuses to even hold it in his hand..arrrrr*#@`*!! This morning got up to find out that the bananas are going soft...the hot weather definitely not helping :(, so i decided make a cake.


Lately i have been tweaking, surfing to find various ways to incorporate oats into out diet, other then the regular oatmeal and this morning came across this banana-oats recipe in tumblr, just what i wanted, unfortunately didn't bookmark the page so no idea of the original source..but who ever it was..bless him/her.

Unlike other banana cakes...this one is really light and just lovely..the toddler had a bite too :) happiness!! Here's how this one goes..

Ingredients:
1 Cup - All Purpose Flour (original recipe  11/2 Cups)
1/2 + 1/4 Cup - Quaker Oats (original recipe 1/2 cup)
1/2 Cup - Sugar (original recipe used 1 cup)
1/2 Cup - Veg' Oil (original recipe used butter)
3-4 -  Overripe Bananas
1 Tsp - Maple Syrup
1 Tsp - Baking Soda
1 - Egg (original recipe 2 eggs)


Method:
  1. Preheat oven at 180 degree C, grease a baking pan and keep aside
  2. Combine flour, oats, sugar and baking soda in a mixing bowl and keep aside
  3. In another bowl mash the bananas properly using a fork or use food processor if you must
  4. Add the oil and maple syrup to the banana puree and mix it up well
  5. Pour over the banana mixture into the dry ingredients and blend it well
  6. Transfer batter in to the greased baking pan and bale it for 30-35 minutes
  7. Cool it for about 3-4 minutes in the pan, invert cake, cut and munch away
It should be crunchy on the top but light and fluffy inside...what i love about this recipe is the abundance of goodness in its simplicity.

Enjoy!! 

14 October 2011

Lamington de Australia

Lamingtons reminds me of my Pre-University days back in Shillong, a beautiful hilly town in the North East India.    A piece, rather a cube of this cake use to cost five INR back in those days, around 1999-2000, and i was addicted to this cake and the best part was that it was sold only in one cafeteria, five minutes away from the hostel i was residing in :), it did dig one big hole in my pocket ;). After i moved to Bangalore for my Degree, i searched in all the popular pastry shops BUT sadly not one of them had even heard of this cake. I was devastated and shocked actually.


This cake, as it turns out, is a traditional Australian cake and i got to know about this through my favorite TV program 'Masterchef Australia', my craving for this cake was once again awakened and so i goggled and decided to bake it for my hubby's birthday. I didn't have time to cut and dip and roll the traditional way so this is what i made for him last year...


Boy! was he excited :), and i was super thrilled that my first attempt was a huge success, it was really good. I followed the exact recipe from joy of baking, one truly great site for baking enthusiasts i must say. This cake definitely is one of our common love and so two days back, when hubby told me that we were having his American colleague over for dinner, i went ahead and made this cake the original way. Our guest loved it and said it was the first time he was having lamingtons :D, i pat myself and told myself 'job well done'. It's great when your effort (esp in the kitchen) is appreciated :).


Chocolate and Coconut truly is a lovely combination...try it to believe it:).

9 October 2011

Anzac Biscuits - Eggless

Lately I've been interested in traditional cakes and cookies. Today's post is one of the recipe I've bookmarked  for quite a long time and finally decided to make it this evening. It's interesting to note how certain cakes and cookies came about. ANZAC biscuit is associated with WW-I and Anzac quite literally stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, more about the history of the biscuit here.


The exciting part, for me, about this biscuit is the use of Oats and Coconut. Days like today, when i am out of eggs and have no motivation to step out of the house...recipe like this is really a Big Deal coz all the ingredients are easily, almost always, available in the house and it is so easy to make and absolutely lovely to devour.


The goodness of butter (;D), the crunch of oats and the sweet and lovely flavor of the coconut culminating to one absolutely lovely, and mind you..healthy dessert, snack of whatever you want it to be....aah! life is good...even in the absence of eggs! :)


This recipe is adapted from Julie Duff"s book cakes from around the world. Here's how this one goes....

Ingredients:
1/2 Cup - Butter, Sugar, Flour, Brown Sugar, Oats, Dessicated Coconut
1 Tbsp - Golden Syrup
2 Tbsp - Boiling Water
1/2 Tsp - Baking Soda

I became aware of Golden Syrup through Nigella Lawson. Does she really eat the way she projects it to be on TV? Anyway, by all means substitute the golden syrup with honey if it's not in your pantry.


Method:
  1. Preheat oven at 180 degrees C. Grease a baking tray and keep aside
  2. Melt butter with the golden syrup in a thick sauce pan and keep aside
  3. Put the baking soda into the boiling water, mix it up and pour it into the butter
  4. Bring together the rest of the ingredients in a big bowl, make a well and pour the buttery mixture into it and mix it up till well combined
  5. Take about a Tbsp of the batter at a time, roll into a ball, flatten it in your palm, arrange it into the prepared trays and bake for 15 minutes
  6. Cool it for 2 - 3 minutes and only then, take it out of the trays and cool it further in the wire racks...Enjoy the crunchy goodness :)

My toddler gobbled down two as soon as i kept it out on the table ;). It is a sweet-crunchy bomb so pair really well with a hot cuppa green tea.

4 October 2011

Coconut Pie

This Family is one that avoids coconut in the curries but looooovessss it when it comes wrapped in cakes and cookies. The newest love is this Coconut Pie. Hubby and I share a common disinterest for dough pie base, am sure junior also will join the gang, and so when i came across a a pie using coconut and without the need for a dough base...i said Hallelujah!


The thing is, i have a really strained relationship with yeast dough...it never works for me :( i haven't given up but definitely apprehensive. And yea you may argue that this is not a typical pie, and NO it is not but it's Okay...the original recipe called it a PIE and so it is a pie for this family :D. And i can happily tick off 'to make a pie' from my long 'to-do' list :). You can get the original recipe here


I love eggs but am not comfortable about using too much in my baking and so i followed the method of making this to the T but reduced few of the ingredients  and so here is how i made it.

Ingredients:
13/4 Cups - Milk
1 Cup - Dessicated Unsweetened Coconut
2 - Eggs
1 Tsp - Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup - All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup - Sugar
5 Tbsp -Veg' Oil

Due to the oil content in the coconut flakes, i feel you can reduce the oil further, also the next time i make it I'll reduce the sugar as well.

Method:
  1. Preheat oven at 180 degree C, grease a pie mold or any flat round cake pan and keep aside 
  2. Put everything in the blender and blitz till smooth, it will look watery but no worries
  3. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30 - 35 minutes in the preheated oven
  4. The pie is done when the top turns golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean

The Toddler enjoying the Pie
Yes! it is as easy and simple as that. Don't you just love easy but tasty recipes??? Both father and son loved the pie...and so definitely a keeper.

1 October 2011

Rasam - Easy-Breez Recipe

I love rasam for it's simplicity with a burst of great flavors in the mouth. Each family has their own unique ways of preparing it....where you are from also define what goes into the making of this beautifully savory dish.


And so my family also has quite a few ways of making it. Today's recipe is one that is quick and easy to make and yet deeply satisfying. Pair it with deep fried fish and you cannot refrain yourself from going for 2nd and 3rd servings....

Ingredients:
Tomatoes - 4 medium sized, chopped into four each
Onion - 1 medium sized, diced
Veg Oil - 2 Tbsp
Garlic - 5 Pods
Red Chilli Powder - 2 Tsp
Rasam Powder - 2 Tsp 
Tamarind Pulp - 1/3 Cup
Gur Chini/ Molasses - 1/2 Tbsp or a little more
Water - 11/2 Cups
Haldi Powder - 1/4 Tsp
Salt - as per taste

For Tempering:
Ghee - 1 Tbsp
Curry Patta/ Curry Leaf - 1 Stem
Dry Red Chillies - 5
Garlic - 4 Pods
Rai/Mustard Seed - 1 Tsp


Method:
Heat oil in a pot, once hot, flatten the garlic pods and toss it into the hot oil and saute till lightly brown and aromatic
Add the onions and fry till lightly brown, then squeeze the diced tomatoes and put it into the pot
Add all the other ingredients
Bring it to boil and cook it in medium-low flame till the tomatoes are cooked and the flavor is to your liking
Once its cooked, bring flame down to simmer and pour in the tempered ingredients

Tempering:
Heat ghee till hot, put in rai and let it start crackling
Flatten the garlic and put it in and saute till lightly brown
Now add the red chilli and curry patta
Let the chillies be slightly burnt
Put off flame and pour it over the rasam.

Like mentioned...fry some fish as a side dish and you have one complete and truly lovely South Indian meal.