Saturday, 26 May 2012

My Beautiful Breakfast Buns..

Baking is something I love to do.. its a passion with me and I keep on trying to get that specific taste and look - that will make me fall in love... with the baked goods of course :) 

These beautiful buns are - to date - my best ones... sharing gladly since the experience of munching into a soft, butter bun should not be withheld from anyone :) 

500 gm/ 4 cups flour
14 g/ 2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup warm water
2/3 cup warm milk
60 gm/ 4 tbls ghee

Heat milk and water to finger-bearable. Add sugar and yeast and mix. Let rest, covered, till frothy. Around 10 minutes.

Sift flour and salt together. Add the ghee and mix with ur fingers to rub it well in.

Pour in the yeast mixture, and make a soft dough. Dont use the machine, u wont get a feel for the dough. It will be sticky to start with, just keep mixing with a light hand.. the end result should be soft and very slightly sticky. Cover and let rise for about 1 and half hour.

Place dough on a floured surface and knead well, firmly but not in a rough manner.. with a gentle hand.

Shape the form u want and place in a tray. Sprinkle some flour over it, spray water, and cover. Let rise 15 minutes.

Make a dent in the middle, right down to the base. Spray some more water and sprinkle flour on them.

Place a round dish with water on the base of the oven.

Bake in preheated oven at gas mark 1, for around 10 to 15 minutes. Go according to ur oven. Switch heat off from below, spray water on the buns once more and turn grill on. Bake till golden.

Remove from oven, cover loosely with a cloth till neeeded.

Friday, 25 May 2012

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake



Introducing THE ultimate CHOCOLATE CAKE.. with a touch of COFFEE.. and GANACHE to fight for...lol...

Honestly, if I say so myself, I have NEVER baked a cake this good.. and I've tried a LOT of chocolate cakes.. and the amazing thing is, this could have gone SO wrong.. because it's a 'self-made' cake.. means, my own creation.. and Alhamdolillah I am very happy about it :)

I'd asked you all and the most votes were for the buttermilk chocolate cake... so here it is:

3 cups flour (100 grms each)
2 & half cups ground sugar (unground each cup 170grms)
1 cup cocoa powder (70grms)
1 & 1/3 cup oil (170 ml)
1 & 1/2 buttermilk (1&1/2 cup milk, mix with 1 tablsp white vinegar, stand 5 mins)
1 & 1/2 to 2 cups HOT coffee - less is more subtle.. u can add more if you wish.
2 eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

I've written the measurements in grms but just for info, I used the same cup for everything..

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and cocoa, stir to mix

Add oil, buttermilk and whisked eggs

Make a smooth batter with the hot coffee. It will be a bit runny, but nevermind..

Fill in two pans equally and bake in a preheated oven at 175 for 20 mins. Please adjust according to your own oven temp. It doesnt take too long and should not be overbaked, will turn dry otherwise.

Cool, decorate with ganache..

Ganache
1 bowl chopped chocolate
1 cup cream

Heat the cream till almost boiling. Take from heat. Add chopped chocolate. Stir until combined and keep whisking until all choc is melted and the ganache looks smooth.

Let it cool a bit and then beat well to thicken.

Cover the cake with as much as you can save from your children, or yourself :)

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Ultimate Carrot Cake!



I love carrot cake... really. Seriously love it. And I have always made miserable terrible carrot cakes. Which my kids, ever loyal that they are, have eaten smilingly. And yet in the depths of my heart and tongue, I have known - that was a blooper!

So, imagine my utter joy at making this one.. and I will say no more.. bake it and eat it.. and then tell me about it...

250 gm brown sugar
50 gms white sugar
3 eggs
300 ml oil
300 gm plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 and 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 full tsp cinnamon powder
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
6 to 7 medium carrots, grated finely
1 full cup walnuts, crushed

- cream together sugar and eggs, adding eggs one by one
- add oil and vanilla, beat in some more
- sift together baking powder, baking soda and salt with the flour, sieve it over
- add the carrots and walnuts
- pour in 2 tins evenly
- bake in preheated oven at gas mark 1, around 190 C. for 20 to 25 minutes.

Glaze with 300g icing sugar and 200 gms cream cheese. Mixed well. Dont let it be too thin, it should be thick. Place both cakes ontop of each other with this glaze/icing in between and cover on top with remaining as u wish.

*** you could use the full amount of brown sugar instead of white if u prefer***

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Chicken Masaledar

 

This is a recpe I really love to make and I'm pretty sure you will too, once u've had it :)

 Warqi Paratha

3 cups flour
3 tbls oil
1 tsp salt
warm water

Knead a smooth but firm dough. Cover and let it rest at room temp for at least 2 hours.

Mix together
2 tbls flour
2 tbls ghee
1 egg white

Make small peras out of the dough. Let them rest, covered, for 20 minutes.

Roll out to medium thickness. Spread this flour/egg/ghee paste all over, like you would for paratha. Sprinkle flour over it.

Fold the paratha first in one third. Overlap with the other side, to create a strip. Then fold one side to the half and overlap with the other side to make a square.

Roll it out carefully without pressing too much and taking care to keep the square form.

Place on HOT tawa. Let the first bubbles rise. Spread normal ghee over it lightly and turn. DO NOT use any more ghee. Just turn it around, from side to side once or twice to fry from all sides.

Enjoy with curries, yoghurt or just plain tea :)

Chicken

1 kilo boneless chicken, in cubes
1 tbls GG paste
1 cup yoghurt
1/2 tsp haldi
1 level tsp or to taste salt and red kashmiri mich powder
1 level tsp dhani and zeera powder
juice of one small lemon

Fry the chiclen cubes, adding lemon juice and GG paste
Once browned and done, mix all spices in the dahi and pour over the chicken
Add a glass of water, cover and let cook till gravy is as u like it.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

My Trifle



I guess this is one of the easiest desserts there are.. and yet so rich and satisfying .. and fattening of course  but we're not thinkning laong those lines :)

So, I had to whip up dessert and had a few items lying around.. but it can be made from scratch as well.. only, if you have these items at hand and you dont make it, you have no one to blame but urself for missing this treat :)

You'd need some cake - home made sponge or pound is best.. any flavour - I had vanilla, though I'm thinking chocolate would be just as yummy.. 

A bowl of custard, here too, flavour of your choice.. a bowl of whipping cream, some jelly diamonds or more and fruit of ur choice. I combined apples and mangoes.. yummmm

If the cake is dry, pour over some milk and let it soak, but only SOME - dont drench it.

Layer cake, custard, fruit, cake, custard, fruit and top with cake and custard. Finally, add a few dollops of cream and decorate as u wish. You can of course be totally indulgent and lather cream in each layer too but, I guess there IS such a thing as TOO much cream...:) 



Chill and devour

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Mirchi Chutney Potatoes.. or, Potato Snack :)


Ok I'd asked on my FB page, what to do with boiled potatoes.. and so Insiyah Abid suggested that I put mirchi chutney in between slices of potato... anf fry. I had intended to defrost some green chutney I had in the freezer - but then lunch had to be served in a hurry.

So, I boiled eggs (10 mins) and sliced them.

While I was making the rotis, inbetween, sliced the boiled potatoes. Plopped some imli chutney on one slice of potato. Put a slice of egg on it and covered with another slice of potato.

Beat besan (chick-pea flour) with salt and my chole and achar mix powders. Made a semi thick batter. You can of course use any spices you feel like.. just make it spicy. I used these cos they were handy :)

Dipped each 'sandwich' first sideways and then top and bottom in the besan batter. The batter should be thick enough to stay stuck..

And then fry in hot oil. If the oil is cold, it will fall off. So keep it hot. Everything is cooked it just needs to get crispy na. So hot oil.

Fry golden and serve.. 



The kids loved it and even HD who isn't such a fan of potatoes, liked it very much..

Insiyah - this one is a keeper :) Thank you for the idea :)

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Sesame Brittle



Let me start by telling you that I have made such great disasters in this before that I was almost afraid to try again.. but, since giving up is not in my nature, I thought, one more try :)

And Alhamdolillah they turned out so well.. I am really happy :)

I scoured the net for the perfect recipe for making brittle.. and there are so many and all have the right answers.. got me confused. In the end, this is my own 'fankari' and I am glad :)

So, I took 3/4 cup (any cup) sesame. If they're unroasted, just roast them for around 5 to 7 minutes in a good non-stick pan over LOW heat. Keep stirring. Till they are nice and golden.

Then tip them in a bowl and let them cool down. Meanwhile, measure out one cup sugar (same as sesame cup) and put it in a pan with 1 tblsp water.

Reduce heat to LOWEST possible.. and go away. Seriously. If you stand here and wait for it to change colour, u'll be pulling your hair out in no time..

In between, oil a tray (chose one that you don't mind having scratches on) and a broad spatula. Best is keep some oil in a deep plate so u can dip it in if needed.

So, let it be. It will take around 10 minutes.. I wandered into the kitchen and saw that it was nice and melted and dark.. so I removed it from heat and stirred vigorously..

There will be small lumps in it - just keep mixing, they will dissolve.

Once the colour is nice and caramelly, add the sesame and 1 tbls unsalted butter. Mix mix mix.. it will start getting stiff..

Tip it all out on the tray and flatten it with the spatula.. try and get it as flat as possible. The thinner u spread it, the crispier it will be..

Let it cool - around half an hour. Then tip it on a cutting board and either cut in neat squares or just break with ur hands..

Store airtight.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Chicken Mortadella



I'd been looking for ways to make this at home, since its not available in Pesh and my kids love such things.. Scouring the internet only got me recipes which had things like smoke flavour and curing salts and gelatin and what not. Not so much my thing...

So I did it my way...

200 gms boneless chicken
salt to taste
1 level tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper
5 cloves of garlic peeled and pressed
1/2 tsp paprika powder

I put the chicken in the grinder and ground it very fine. Mixed all spices and garlic in it..and mixed well. Formed a roll and wrapped it in cling film.. and wrapped that in a muslin cloth. Rounded the corners and tied them up.

Set the whole 'toffee' in a bowl of boiling water. Boiled for 10 minutes and then lowered the heat to lowest and let it simmer uncovered for half an hour.

Removed from water and opened. The roll must have changed colour and be fim to touch.

If u're using more chicken, then increase the cooking time..

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Use as is, or for great taste, fry it...

Friday, 4 May 2012

Summertime Treat.. Strawberry Cake!


Strawberry Sauce Cake ... Finally :)

Okay so I was so very much wanting to make this cake.. So many lovely strawberries everywhere :)

I actually made the sauce first .. thinking to thicken it and use as cake filling... but, one thing led to another and I left it as is.. which was good.. :)

So, for the sauce, just chop and cook the strawberries with as much sugar as u think is alright for ur sweet tooth. I had around 2 cups chopped strawberries and added 1 full cup sugar plus a few tblsp :) I like it sweet na :)

So cooked it till it almost bubbled over. Let it cool and blend fine. Then in the fridge.

And the cake goes something like this:

2 cups flour
2 level tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 & half cup ground sugar (this is very lightly sweet. Add more if u want it sweeter)
1 cup milk
4 tbls butter
1 cup strawberry sauce

Heat the milk and butter together until almost boiling. Take off from heat.

Mix flour and baking powder, sift well together and set aside

Beat the eggs so they're fluffy..then add sugar. Beat long enough to make it look almost like custard.

Then add in the flour, and while mixing, add the milk and butter mix and the strawberry sauce..

Fill in pan.. and plomp in chopped strawberries.

Now I used a pre-heated stone-oven.. I guess you should bake this at 185.. a bit on the lower side.

I turned the cake over .. which is why the strawberries are all on the top.. Dust with icing sugar.. and enjoy with sauce :)