Aug 03

Eggless Vanilla Cupcakes

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Baking without eggs is not too easy. To get the right texture and flavour i had to go through many recipes to find the one that works best. when Anuja Sule from Simple baking shared this for her bake along group, I knew it had to be a winner.

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This cupcake is moist, light ad delicious. dressed it 3 ways –

 

  • Vanilla cupcakes topped with chocolate chips.
  • Vanilla cupcakes topped with whipped cream and a Kahlua drizzle.
  • Vanilla cupcakes with an Oreo cookie for the base and frosted with a cookies and cream frosting

one bite and you are transported

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Ingredients:

 

170 grams all purpose flour
15 grams cornflour
240 grams thick curd
170 grams caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/8th teaspoon baking powder
125 ml flavourless oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon water approximately (depends upon the consistency of the curd)
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius and line a 12 cavity cupcake tray with cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium size bowl, sift all dry ingredients, set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream sugar and curd till the sugar is completely dissolved.
  4. Add oil and vanilla, mix well.
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients until batter is smooth. Don’t over mix.
  6. Add water till the batter reaches dropping consistency. Scoop the batter in the cupcake liners and bake for 12-14 minutes.

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Jul 15

Victoria Sponge cake

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One of Britain’s most loved cakes is the Victoria sponge cake that supposedly has been named after Queen Victoria. Its a moist delicious and feather light sponge that is perfect to serve at tea time. Either slather it with cream and strawberries or lightly dust it with some icing sugar. Its absolute heaven when slightly warmed before enjoying it.

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The key to growth is constantly learning new things. Baking is something I enjoy and being part of a baker’s fortnightly baking group is such a treasure trove of recipes and flavours. i have Anuja Sule from Simple Baking to thank again for this wonderful recipe.

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Ingredients

175 grams butter, room temperature (1 cup)
175 grams caster sugar (1 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 eggs, room temperature
175 grams all purpose flour (1.5 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
30 ml milk, room temperature

 

  1. Heat oven to 190 degree Celsius. Grease and flour one 8 inch round cake tin.
  2. Sieve the flour and baking powder.
  3. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla essence into a bowl and beat well to a creamy consistency (about 5 minutes).
  4. Slowly beat in the eggs, one by one
  5. Then fold in the flour and baking powder and mix well.
  6. Add the milk give it a nice stir.
  7. Pour the batter into the cake tin, place into the oven and bake for about 20 mins until risen and golden brown.
  8. The cakes should spring back when gently pushed in the middle. When ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 mins in the tin, before turning out onto a wire rack and cooling completely.
  9. Dust some icing sugar on top and eat warm.

Jul 01

Oregano & Cheese Crackers

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Looks like this week is all about savoury  bakes. And am loving it.

Spicy salty crunchy goodness. Such an easy recipe of oregano and cheese crackers. Make it thin and pair it with a creamy delicious dip or make it slightly thicker and enjoy it as a biscuit.

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I wish I had those little animal cutters, this reminded me of those jeera animal biscuits we used to get. Diff spices but lovely to munch on

Thanks once again Anuja Sule from Simple Baking for your wonderful recipes and always encouraging us to try new things.

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Ingredients:
235 gms all-purpose flour
225 gm grated cheddar cheese, firmly packed (processed cube cheese will do)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
½  teaspoon  salt
½ teaspoon black pepper/chilli flakes
½ cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
½ cup (120 ml) chilled water (approximately) , you may not need all

Spice Topping:
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon  salt
1 teaspoon sugar

Method:

  1. Combine the spice topping and set aside.
  2. Grate the cheese and put in the bowl with flour, oregano, salt and pepper and mix it together.
  3. Add the oil and mix to getl the consistency of wet sand.
  4. Add enough water for the dough to come together.
  5. Form the dough into two disks, wrap with cling film and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  6. Heat the oven to moderate 160°C.
  7. Working with a quarter of the dough at a time, use a rolling pin and roll to appx 3 mm thick.
  8. Cut the strips into cracker shapes or cut out using a cookie cutter.
  9. Transfer to a parchment lined cookies sheet and sprinkle with the spice mixture.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes until medium golden brown.
  11. Store in an airtight container and eat within three days.

Jun 28

Wine & Cheese Straws

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Cakes are all that I seem to bake now a days. And since I started baking, my craving for sweets has completely reduced. Not that I hog on them but just the smell of vanilla and chocolate kind of makes me stay away from eating the desserts I bake.

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At a recent Baker’s meet, we were shown how to make these delicious cheese straws by Anuja Sule from Simple Baking. It was so delicious, cheesy, spicy, crispy and a perfect snack.

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Attempted them today and super happy with the result.

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Ingredients

120 gms All purpose flour

80 gms chilled Amul butter

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/4 tsp salt (lesser is fine too as cheese and butter both have salt)

1/4 tsp garlic powder

100 gms grated parmesan cheese/cheddar/processed

30 ml chilled white wine (or any liquid like water/milk/balsamic vinegar/egg)

Wash – 1 egg white/milk

white and black sesame seeds

 

  1. Sieve the all purpose flour and cut the butter in to it using a scrapper. Avoid use of hands as that will transfer body heat to the mix.Cut it and mix to make pea size crumbs in the flour.
  2. Add the salt, garlic powder, chilli powder, cheese and mix it with the scrapper.
  3. Add the wine (or any liquid that u are using) spoon by spoon and bring the dough together. Do not knead. Just scrape from outside and bring it in. Once all the liquid is added, use your hands to gently tighten the dough by cupping the dough together to form a mound.
  4. Cling wrap and keep it in the fridge for half hour.
  5. After half hour, roll the dough (thickness of a stuffed paratha) to a square shape and cut lengthways strips to 1.5-2″ thickness. u can alternatively gently roll to make pipes with your fingers and give a design of your choice.
  6. Line your rack with a silicon mat or a tin with parchment paper and place the strips on it, twisting it slightly from the centre to give it a shape.
  7. Place the strips in the fridge for another half hour.
  8. Preheat your oven to 150C.
  9. Remove the tray from the fridge and give it an egg/milk wash. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on it.
  10. Bake on middle rack, with top & bottom rod on for 25 – 30 mins. Keep an eye out, once golden brown shut the oven else will get too brown. Leave it in the shut oven for another 4-5 mins and then remove to cool. Store in airtight container.
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Jun 26

Spinach Soup

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It’s a lazy lazy Sunday. The skies have opened up and it’s that kind of day where u want some comfort food without too much effort.

A friend had dropped in for dinner and since I was making lasagna asked her to get some bread to go with it. But we never landed eating it as the lasagna was quite filling. The idea of a cheesy pull apart bread popped in my head and I decided to keep the bread in the fridge for a rainy day.

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It’s so easy. No brainier absolutely. And so delicious and fattening 🙈🙈, though it’s better to opt for a harder denser bread. This one was a butter bread so quite soft and flaky.

If there’s rain and bread to go with it then there should be some piping hot soup. Strangely I never posted my spinach soup on the blog and I decided to make it along with the pull apart.

Isn’t this an awesome Sunday meal. 😋

cheese bread

Ingredients

1 big bundle chopped spinach

1 chopped onion

6-8 chopped garlic

6-7 peppercorns

1 bayleaf

2 cups water

1 cup milk

1 tsp jeera powder

(Optional – 2 Maggi veg/chicken cubes. Amazing flavour. But avoid this when someone is unwell)

 

  1. Heat 1 tsp oil, add the peppercorns and bay leaf.
  2. When it sizzles, add the onions and garlic.
  3. Let the onions turn pink, add the spinach. Cover and cook. Shut the gas when cooked
  4. Throw away the bay leaf and bit zit in the mixer
  5. Heat the 2 cups water, add jeera powder (if using Maggi cubes, add them now)
  6. Add the puréed spinach and adjust seasoning. Let it boil for a few minutes.
  7. Lower the gas and add the milk. Bring it to a boil and shut the gas.

 

Jun 26

Cheese pull apart bread

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It’s a lazy lazy Sunday. The skies have opened up and it’s that kind of day where u want some comfort food without too much effort.

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A friend had dropped in for dinner and since I was making lasagna asked her to get some bread to go with it. But we never landed eating it as the lasagna was quite filling. The idea of a cheesy pull apart popped in my head and I decided to keep the bread in the fridge for a rainy day.

 

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It’s so easy. No brainier absolutely. And so delicious and fattening 🙈🙈, though it’s better to opt for a harder denser bread. This one was a butter bread so quite soft and flaky.

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If there’s rain and bread to go with it then there should be some piping hot soup. Strangely I never posted my spinach soup on the blog and I decided to make it along with the pull apart.

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Isn’t this an awesome Sunday meal. 😋

Ingredients

1 round bread loaf (dense if avl)

10 – 12 Britannia Cheezza sticks cut to 1″ thickness and about 2″ in length. (pizza or mozzarella cheese)

2-3 Chopped Chicken salami slices or bacon strips (optional)

1/2 cup Bagels Chilli garlic butter (or make your own by mixing garlic, room temp butter and salt and chilli flakes)

2 tsp chopped spring onions

Aluminium foil

 

  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Make diagonal cross slices in the bread being careful not to go right to the bottom as we need the base to hold the bread together.
  3. Apply butter generously in all the cross sections, ensuring all the slits are well coated.
  4. At each cross, insert a mozzarella stick and ensure that there is cheese at equal intervals.
  5. Put the chopped salami/bacon (optional) in the rest of the gaps.
  6. Wrap the bread in aluminium foil ensuring that the top can be opened at a later stage.
  7. Put it in the oven with bottom and top rod on and bake for 20 mins.
  8. Open the top foil and brush the bread with more butter and sprinkle spring onions.
  9. Put it back in the oven with top rod only for 5-10 minutes till u get a golden brown crust
  10. Serve hot.

 

Jun 23

Harry’s Brookies

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My favourite cooking show is Masterchef Australia. I don’t really like the other country versions that are on air. They seem TRP focused, while the Australia one is warm, delicious and u connect with the judges as well as participants.

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The episode where Nigella and Matt wake up the participants for a midnight snack was superb. Harry made these Brookies and I just wanted to jump into the TV and share a midnight snack with him. Both the Brookies and Harry looked scrumptious. This is my layout for a midnight snack with Harry 😋

brookies

Finally made these and they are to die for. Made 2 lots. One bigger and with less cooking time, they were chewy like a brownie and then these ones with the mentioned cooking time which were crunchy. Both though were simply delicious.

Recipe from http://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/masterchef/recipes/dark-chocolate-brookies (with a few inputs & changes)

Ingredients

350 gms pure dark chocolate (i used 50% Van Houten)

45 gms Amul Butter

210 gms Caster Sugar

80 gms Cornflour

1 tsp baking powder

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp Nescafe powder

ChocoChips for decoration

 

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Place chocolate and butter in a bowl and microwave for a minute. Stir to melt and combine. If not completely melted then microwave at 10 seconds interval. Remove and set aside to cool until needed.
  3. Sieve the cornflour, sugar, coffee powder and baking powder and mix it well.
  4. Add the eggs, Vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add cooled chocolate butter mixture and mix until well combined.
  6. Let it rest for 15-20 mins.
  7. The mixture is wet, so fill it in a piping bag and pipe it on a silicon mat or baking paper.
  8. Dot the top of the cookies with the dark chocolate chips, pressing gently into the dough. Bake for 10-11 minutes in the preheated oven. Shut the oven and leave it in for 3-4 mins. Then remove from oven and set aside to cool.

(Cooking for a minute less or more will change the texture of the brookies. Lesser will make it soft and chewy like a brownie and longer will give u a crunch. Both taste yum This batch will give a huge amount of brookies so experiment with both textures)

Jun 15

Crunchy Chicken bites

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My mom and sis decided to come over for lunch after ages. And being the chef in the family, I couldn’t get over with dal rice or Maggi. Blame it on this crazy weather that’s sucking the energy out of me.

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First I made elaborate plans to go and buy some fish or prawns and cook up something yum. Then my lethargy won and I didn’t step out. So had to rack my brains for something special.

I had some boneless chicken in the freezer and left over chicken stock from Sunday’s fried chicken. So used the stock to make some flavoured rice and to go with it, made these crunchy chicken bites. Full jugaad recipe but it was really delicious that I had to quickly click pictures to feature it on my blog.

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INGREDIENTS

500 gm boneless chicken (marinated in salt and chilli powder for 1/2 hr)

1 big chopped onion

1 tbsp chopped coriander

1 tbsp Chings Shezwan chutney

4 tbsp butter

3 tbsp maida,

1/2 cup milk,

3/4 tsp salt,

1/4 tsp red chilli flakes

Coating – 1 egg, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1/2 cup crushed cornflakes

 

  1. Heat butter and fry the marinated chicken. When nearly cooked add the shezwan chutney and mix well. Cool and shred it to fine pieces. Keep aside
  2. In the same pan, add chopped onion, sauté till soft
  3. Add coriander and sauté.
  4. Add maida and stir on low heat. Remove from fire
  5. Gradually add milk, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Ensure that the final paste has no lumps
  6. Put the pan back on the fire and add salt and chilli flakes. Cook till the sauce turns thick and leaves the side. It should look like a slightly wet dough
  7. Remove from heat, add shredded chicken. Mix well and cool
  8. Shape the mix into round tikkis or any shape u want
  9. Beat the egg, add salt. In a separate plate sprinkle breadcrumbs and in another bowl keep crushed cornflakes.
  10. Coat each tikki in egg batter and the roll in bread crumbs. Dip again in egg batter and cover with crushed cornflakes.
  11. Pan fry with little more oil till golden crisp.

Jun 13

Kulfi Chicken

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When a friend called and said ‘Am unwell, make something to make me feel better’. I was left flummoxed. What to make now. Something new for sure. Searched my saved recipes and liked one but then this friend messages to say make kulfi chicken.

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KULFI CHICKEN! What in the world is that. I was like no way am making something so weird. He was like no u see the recipe, it’s nice. I thought he was joking that there is a dish like this but when I surfed the net, found quite a few recipes for it.

Combined 2-3 recipes to finally experiment on this dish. If u like cheesy creamy flavours, then this is the dish for u. Super easy recipe and can be used with paneer too.

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Ingredients
1-1.25 kg chicken pcs with bone

1 box Britannia curd

1 pkt Amul Cream

15 cashew nuts soaked in 1/4 cup warm milk

2-3 Green Chillies, finely chopped

10 cloves garlic

1 inch Ginger

5-6 cubes grated cheese

Salt

1 tsp Chilli powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1/4 tsp garam masala

1/2 lime

Aluminium Foil for baking

1-2 tsp olive oil

 

  1. Hang the curd for an hour to remove the water.
  2. Make gashes with a knife and prick the chicken with a fork. This ensures that the pieces are marinated well.
  3. Grind ginger, garlic and green chillies together.
  4. Soak Cashew nuts in warm milk for 20 min. and grind it into a smooth paste.
  5. In a bowl mix all the ingredients – Hung curd, Cream, grated Cheese, Cashew paste, ginger-garlic-chilli paste, chilli powder, salt, garam masala, lime, cumin powder.
  6. Add Chicken to this marinade and marinate it for minimum 4 hours. It can be kept overnight.
  7. Put the chicken pieces with all the marinade on an aluminium foil and drizzle some olive oil on it.  Place another sheet of foil on top and fold it like a parcel sealing it well.
  8. In a preheated oven at 220 degree Celsius, bake the chicken for 25-30 min.
  9. Serve hot. Maybe with some sriracha sauce on the side if u want a spicy kick.

Jun 10

Armenian Nutmeg & Walnut Cake

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I love baking and am mostly self taught. I enjoying reading new recipes but sometimes I feel too lazy to attempt them. But when u have company, that encourages u to try new things. So a group of us bakers try out new recipes and it’s so much fun gorging on bakes u never would have attempted before. Thanks again Anuja Sule from Simple Baking for another amazing recipe.

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When I made this cake I was so confused as the recipe is so different from a regular cake. The base mix is dry and the rest so watery. I was worried how it would bake but the end result was a chewy delicious base with a light cake on top. Such an interesting combination. Was polished off so fast, I was shocked.

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ARMENIAN NUTMEG CAKE – Anuja Sule (Simple Baking)
Ingredients:
1 cup (240 ml) milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups (280 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups (400 gm) brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup (170 gm) butter, preferably unsalted, cubed
1/2 cup (55 gm) walnut pieces, may need a little more (I used pistachios)
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg (try to grate it fresh yourself; the aroma is enchanting)
1 egg

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to moderate 175°C.
  2. Mix the baking soda (not baking powder; that’s for the next step) into the milk. Set it aside.
  3. Sift together the flour and the baking powder into a large bowl. One sift is fine.
  4. Add the brown sugar. Go ahead and mix the flour and brown sugar together.
  5. Toss in the cubed butter. Mash the butter with a fork into the dry ingredients (you can also use your fingers if you want). You’ll want to achieve a more-or-less uniform, tan-colored crumbly mixture.
  6. Take HALF of this resulting crumbly mixture into your springform (9”/23cm) pan. Press a crust out of it using your fingers and knuckles. It will be easy.
  7. Crack an egg into a mixer or bowl. Toss the nutmeg in with the egg. Start mixing slowly with a whisk attachment and then increase to medium speed, or mix with a hand whisk if you’re doing it manually.
  8. Once it’s mixed well and frothy (about 1 minute using a standing mixer, or about 2-3 minutes of vigorous beating with a whisk), pour in the milk and baking soda mixture. Continue to mix until uniform.
  9. Pour in the rest of the crumbly mixture. Mix that well, with either a paddle attachment, or a spatula. Or continue to use the whisk; it won’t make much of a difference, since the resulting batter is very runny.
  10. Pour the batter over the base in the springform pan. Gently sprinkle the walnut/pistachio pieces over the batter.
  11. Bake in a preheated moderate oven for about 30-40 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the top is a golden brown, and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  12. Allow to cool in the pan, and then release. Enjoy!

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