Sunday, December 30, 2012

Molten Chocolate Cake

With festivities happening all around us, I couldn't resist posting one more of holiday recipes from my draft; though I myself is not in  any shape to enjoy any of these. I am surviving for the past few days on kanji, apples and Horlicks. Yet I wanted to post this for the sake of my friends and well-wishers. Wishing and hoping for a better tomorrow - both for you and me!
Wishing you all a  new year which is better than  any so far.
Recipe source:Joy of Baking
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 ounces (170 grams) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar

Molten Chocolate Cakes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Generously butter and flour  four - 6 to 8 ounce (180-240 ml) molds, ramekins, or custard cups.Place the prepared molds on a baking sheet and set aside.
In a heatproof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate. Remove from heat and set aside while you beat the egg yolks.
Beat the egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar until thick, pale, and fluffy. (When you slowly raise the beaters the batter will fall back into the bowl in slow ribbons.) Beat in the vanilla extract and then fold in the melted chocolate mixture.
In another clean bowl whip the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to whip until soft peaks form. Gradually add the 1 tablespoon of granulated white sugar and whip just until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula or wire whisk gently fold the beaten whites into the chocolate mixture, just until incorporated. Do not over mix or the batter will deflate. Divide the batter between the prepared molds. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the outside edges of the cakes are set but the middle still looks a little wet and wobbly. You may have cracks on the top surface of the cakes.

Immediately remove from oven and let them rest for a minute or two. You can serve the cakes in their molds or you can run a palette or sharp knife around the edge of each cake and then invert onto the center of each serving plate. Carefully remove the mold. Sprinkle the top of each cake with confectioners sugar and place a dollop of softly whipped cream, clotted cream, creme fraiche, or vanilla ice cream on top of each warm cake.

Note: You can prepare the chocolate mixture several hours ahead of time. Simply make the recipe, pour into the prepared molds, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.  Bake just before serving. When the batter is cold the cakes may take a minute or two longer to bake.

Makes four Molten Chocolate Cakes.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Holiday Ginger Drink

Holiday Ginger Drink is a non-alcoholic, spicy-sweet and sour drink perfect for the cold climate. This is an ideal substitute for alcoholic beverages that can be served at parties for kids and teetotalers. As prepared, this is of syrupy consistency. Some may like to have it as it is, but I prefer adding an equal amount of water or soda.
(This is Jay posting Vidhya's Ginger Drink recipe on her behalf - she is still out sick. Any queries, wait for her to be back in action)
Ginger chopped fine- 250 gms
Sugar- 750 gms
Water- 2 1/4 litres
Dry Red chillies- 3-4
6 limes (extract the juice)
Peel and wash the ginger and cut into thin slices. Make lime juice and keep aside. Put all the above ingredients together with the water and bring to boil. Boil for at least 15 minutes  first on high then on low heat till it is  slightly thick. Let cool. Strain the mixture and add the lime juice. Now bottle it and use as required. I love adding equal amount of soda and having it to wash down a rich meal.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Peppermint Bark

Hope you all had a great X'mas. For us we had unexpected and unwanted guests namely Flu and cold who played spoiled sport. I am yet to recover though Aishwarya and Jai are feeling much better.
Aishwarya and I made this peppermint bark to give to her  friends on the last day of school  before the Christmas break. It is so easy to put together and will be done in no time. If you are a peppermint lover you sure would love this.
Crushed candy canes, to yield 1 cup
2 pounds white chocolate
Peppermint flavorings, optional-1/2 tsp
Place candy canes in a plastic bag and hammer into 1/4-inch chunks or smaller. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Combine candy cane chunks with chocolate (add peppermint flavoring at this point if desired.) Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet layered with parchment or waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or until firm. Remove from cookie sheet and break into pieces (like peanut brittle.)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Vattayappam /Steamed Rice Cake

Vattayappam is a steamed rice cake which  is a Christmas delicacy in Kerala where I am from. But if you want to have a bit of Christmas all year round, you can still make this.This makes a delicious breakfast or an any time snack.
Wishing all my friends best of joy  and best of cheer!
Raw rice( Sona masoori)– 2 cups
Idlli rava– 1/2 cup ( Cooked  Rose matta /matta-1 and 1/2 cups)
Grated coconut/Thick coconut milk – 1 and 1/2 cup
Active dry yeast – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1 cup
Salt – a pinch
Roasted Cashews and Raisins – as needed (Optional)
Cardamom-  4 powdered
Method :
Soak the rice in water for 5-6 hours and drain it. Pressure cook idlli rava using one cup of water for 5 minutes or till cooked.  Grind one and half cups of this cooked idlli rava  with grated coconut,sugar and socked rice adding just enough water to a smooth batter.Be careful while adding water,the batter should not be very watery,it has to be in the consistency of dosa batter.Add the yeast and salt  to this batter and mix well .Cover it with a lid and keep it in a warm place for to ferment or till it doubles.I kept this in my oven with the light on and it doubled in 3 hours .
Add cardamom powder if you’re using and gently stir .Grease a flat pan or idly mould with little oil or butter and spoon in the fermented batter.Steam this for 15 minutes,if you're using cashew and raisin you can add them when its half done.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Fruit Cake

This is an alcohol free Christmas fruitcake that can be made with little advance planning. Typically for making fruitcakes you need to soak the fruits in rum at least  for 24 hours. But as this one doesn't use any rum, this can be enjoyed by teetotalers or even kids.
So if you were putting off starting the preparation for the Christmas fruitcake, and is panicking that now there is not enough time to get that perfect soak for the fruits, there is an alternative for you.
Recipe Source:Edible Garden
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup chopped cashewnuts
1/4 cup black raisins
1/2 cup mixed dry fruits (dates, cherries, orange peels)
1 + 1/2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup butter, at room temperature
3 eggs
1 clove + 1 cardamom pod + small piece of cinnamon + a pinch nutmeg (pound together to powder)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
In a pan on medium heat, melt 1/2 cup sugar slowly. It will first melt and then turn dark brown . Keep stirring and let it turn a deep dark caramel color. Don't let it burn. Turn off heat and add about 1/4 cup water. The sugar will harden. Turn the heat back on and slowly heat the mixture until the sugar crystals dissolve. This will take around 10 mins. Let this cool and set aside.
Pre-heat oven to 350F / 180C.
 Add 3 tbsp flour to the dry fruits and nuts and completely coat the nuts and fruits with flour. This is done to prevent  them  from sinking to the bottom of the cake  while baking. Set aside.
Mix the remaining flour and baking powder, spices, and salt until well combined.
Beat the butter and 1 cup sugar until fluffy - about 10 mins by hand, 3-4 mins with an electric beater. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Add 1 egg and beat. Then add a bit of the flour mixture and fold. Likewise, alternate between the eggs and flour mixture until they are used up.
 Add the cooled caramel  fold in and finally add dredged fruits and gently fold in. Pour batter into a greased cake pan and smooth the top.
 Bake for 50-55 mins until the top turns a dark brown and when a skewer inserted into the cake comes out with dry crumbs. You can start checking from 45 mins on wards The top will look like it's overdone but don't worry, make sure the inside is also completely cooked.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gobi Manchurian

This is one of the universally loved Indo-Chinese dishes. I haven't come across anyone, vegetarian or non-vegetarian, who doesn't like this. The beauty of this is that you can have it as an appetizer/starter or as a side-dish that goes well with fried-rice, noodles or any of the Indian breads. Even though this involves deep frying, for those health-conscious friends of mine there is another option. Instead of deep frying the fritters, you can bake it at 400 degree F in an oil sprayed baking tray. Just make sure that you add a tablespoon of oil in the batter before dipping the cauliflower to get crispy fritters.
1 Cup Maida or All purpose flour
1 Cauliflower
1/4 cup Corn Flour
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 tbsp Oil
3 tsp Tomato Sauce
3 tsp Chilli Garlic Sauce
1/2 tsp Soya Sauce
1 tsp Vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped Onion
1/4 cup Spring Onion
2 tsp Garlic
1/2 tsp finely chopped Green Chilli
1 green pepper sliced
1 tsp Corn Flour
1 tsp Sugar
To make Fritters
Mix allpurpose flour and corn flour, black pepper, salt, in a bowl ,add water, stir well and make a medium thick batter not too thick or too thin.
Cut florets from cauliflower, dip florets in batter and deep fry till they turn golden color.
For Sauce : The amount of sauce given is for a dry version if you want a more saucier version double or triple the ingredients.
Heat  oil, add chopped onion and saute till onions becomes translucent. Add green chillies and garlic. Saute for 30 secs. To this add black pepper, tomato sauce,  chilli garlic sauce / chilli sauce , vinegar, soya sauce,green pepper, sugar, salt to taste and mix well. Add fried cauliflower fritters, coat well with sauce.Garnish with spring/green onion

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kaw Soi Dok -Burmese Noodle Salad

What I love about California other than the wonderful climate is the fact that its a melting pot of different cultures. Because of this I am able to get authentic recipes from all around the globe. A few days back a friend of my friend shared this recipe from her native Myanmar. This is the first time I am trying Burmese cuisine, though Myanmar is a neighboring country of India.
This noodle salad tastes good either hot or cold.
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion sliced and fried in oil till crispy
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 cloves of garlic
1 cube taste maker or  (1 tsp dried shrimps, pounded into floss)
1 limes, quartered
2 tbs tamarind pulp or to taste
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tbs red chilli paste(sambal paste)or dried chilli flakes
2 tbs soysauce or fish sauce
4 hard boiled eggs
shredded cabbage,sliced deep fried tofu,scallion and bean sprouts (optional)
 Boil  fresh  or dried Chinese noodles as per instruction.Heat oil add the crushed garlic cloves  along with turmeric.Add the noodles along with all the sauces and mix well. Add a teaspoon of crispy onions,some sliced boiled eggs and cilantro.  Finally sprinkle chilli flakes and squeeze some lime juice, and mix well. It should be salty, sour and spicy. To add more zing you can add shredded cabbage,sliced  deep fried tofu,scallion and bean sprouts.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Strawberry Crumble

Typically I don't cook anything for breakfast. When it is the cold months, I can't have cereals with cold milk - and warm milk and cereals are not a combination I like. So being the fruit lover that I am, discovering this recipe was a god-send for me. Once I get this prepared and has it ready in the refrigerator, I can relax the next few days. Just scoop out a few spoonfuls and a quick minute or two in the microwave and I have a hot, wholesome, healthy breakfast ready. And the added attraction is that this is a very delicious dessert too, with a scoop of ice cream to go with it.
Recipe Source: Paula Dean
4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
¾ cup quick-cooking oats
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350ยบ F.
In a large saucepan, combine strawberries and sugar. Let stand for 30 minutes. Cook strawberry and sugar mixture, stirring frequently, over medium heat for 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water until blended. Stir cornstarch mixture into strawberry mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil for 1 minute or until mixture is thickened. Spoon mixture into 6 (5 ounce) ovenproof ramekins.
In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, oats, flour and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.Mix in the almonds. Divide mixture evenly over strawberry mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Serve warm.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Spinach Orzo Soup

It had been raining the last few days. One of the problems of rainy days is that I feel like munching something all the time, with the obvious consequences. The solution I found for this was simple. Keep some healthy soups handy in the refrigerator. This is a soup that can be had by itself and tastes so good either fresh out of the pan or re-heated.
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic cloves, smashed or minced
1 large onion
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (or more, depending on your taste)
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained of excess water
1 1/2 cups orzo
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 eggs
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp turmeric
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven. Cook the garlic and onion over medium heat until fragrant and slightly translucent. Turn the heat to medium high and add  turmeric,red pepper flakes, spinach, and orzo. Cook for about a minute, then add the broth.
Bring to a light simmer, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 12 minutes, or until the orzo is just barely tender. Take the soup off the heat and let it cool down for a moment or two.
Whisk eggs in a bowl,  Add a small ladle full of the soup broth to the eggs and whisk vigorously. (If you want to be really sure not to curdle the eggs, take a ladle of soup and cool it a bit before tempering the eggs.) Whisk in two more ladles of soup broth, whisking each well and letting them cool.
Add the egg mixture to the soup pot, whisking very well. Return to very low heat, add the lemon juice and keep stirring the whole time. Cook carefully over low heat until the soup has thickened slightly. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley and Parmesan if desired.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Triple Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

There is something about this season that makes you indulge in baked goodies and chocolates. At least it is so for me. It may be because of festive mood that is in the air or the fact that the year is about to end and your new year resolutions doesn't hold good any more. Or could it be that with the new year around and a new set of resolutions to make, this may be the craving to go for a last binge? Whatever be the reason, I find myself tempted to make more of such treats.
But this time around, when I wanted to make some chocolate brownies, to reduce my guilt, I thought of going for a healthier alternative using  black beans . Even though there are brownies made with black beans alone, I didn't dare venture that far.These brownies tasted just like the regular ones and till I told them, my tasters couldn't tell them apart.
Recipe source: Joy the Baker
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup black beans, rinsed and pureed in food processor
1 1/3 cups white sugar
2 eggs plus 1 egg white
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder (Hershey’s Special Dark)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Walnut chunks and coarse sea salt for topping (optional)

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving 2-inches of overhang on all sides.  Butter and flour the parchment paper as well.
Fill a medium sauce pan with 2 inches of water.  Bring the water to a simmer.  Place butter, semi-sweet, and unsweetened chocolate in the bowl.  Place the bowl over simmering water and stir until chocolate and butter are melted and combined.  Remove the bowl from the simmering saucepan.
Allow the melted chocolate mixture to cool for a few moments.  Whisk in the eggs and white, one at a time, until mixture is glossy. Whisk in the sugar.  Whisk in the bean puree and vanilla extract.
In a small bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and sea salt.  Add the dry ingredients, all at once, to the chocolate mixture.  Use a spatula and fold to incorporate.  Once thoroughly combined, pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Top with walnuts and sea salt, if using.
Bake brownies for 25-28 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with just a few chocolate crumbs on it.  The center may seem undercooked, but it will cook further as it cools.  Brownies are better slightly underdone than overdone.
Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.  Use the overhanging parchment paper to remove the brownies from the pan and slice.
Cut brownies into 9 or 12 generous pieces.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...