Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Evil chocolate cake Redux

This was formerly, Mint Chocolate Cake with Strawberries and whipped cream. After moving here, the recipe had to be adapted to unavailability of fresh strawberries and dark chocolate. The result.

Cinnamon Raisin Scones

Yes. Really. Like Gerald Durrell and Enid Blyton.

I grew up hearing/reading about these things, and never et a one, even when I visited old Blighty. This week a friend got me into a baking mood, so I made Mushroom and Potato Quiche, and now tried scones. No idea if this is what they should be like, but melikes! also, SUPREMELY unhealthy!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Veggie Cheese Pasta

Random recipe I keep making up as I go along, but figure I should write it down.

  • Pasta
  • 2 bundles of spinach, shredded
  • 10-15 cloves of garlic, depending on how you like it, crushed
  • 100 g cheese of choice (you can tone it down or up), grated
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 bag mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 small peppers (I like red and yellow), diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 300-500 ml milk, depending on how you want the sauce
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 4 tbs flour, pref wholewheat
  • salt to taste
Boil pasta according to directions.

Fry onions and garlic in olive oil till onions are translucent. Add spinach, basil, oregano and salt. Cover and cook till the liquid dries up. Set aside to cool. Cook peppers and mushrooms till liquid dries up, if you like put some garlic in too! Salt to taste. When the spinach mixture has dried, puree it.

White sauce: Melt butter in a pan and cook flour in it until it smells like it's cooked - a bit like pie crust. Slowly stir milk in till lumps disappear. Add salt to taste. As it comes to a boil, stirring occasionally, add grated cheeses. Once it boils, turn off

Add spinach puree. Stir in veggies and pasta. Serve!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Apple Cake

The sister brought me a bundt pan, so I've been going a leeeetle nuts. Heh.

  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into pieces
  • 1 tsp powdered cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g flour (wholewheat always works best)
  • 100g melted butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 200 ml milk
  • 150g sugar (brown for preference)
  • 1 tbs sugar for caramel
Heat over to 250C. Beat eggs and sugar together. Add melted butter. Add milk, and then flour, cinnamon and baking powder. Beat till you see bubbles in the batter. Sprinkle sugar in the bottom of the bundt pan, and sprinkle some water on it. Heat over medium flame till sugar caramelises. Put apple pieces in the bottom, and pour batter on top. Bake for 30 min or so, test with knife. I didn't caramelise the sugar first, so it result was less than lovely. This recipe is also a good basic cake recipe!

Honey Spice cake with Caramel frosting

For the cake
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups wholewheat flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon (toss 2 cloves in when you grind if you can)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbs butter (salted)
  • 1 tbs orange zest
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
Preheat oven to 250C. Combine butter and zest in a saucepan over medium heat, until butter sizzles. Beat eggs and sugar together till fluffy. Add honey and then butter-zest mixture. Keep whizzing. Add milk. Now mix all the remaining ingredients in a bowl and fold them into the wet mixture, by hand. (This bit I forgot, maybe that's why I ended up with something resembling dough?) Bake in greased pan for 30-40 min. Remove from pan and cool.

For the icing
  • 1/4 cup butter (salted)
  • 1/3 cup milk (original called for heavy cream, none in house, I v lazy...)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup icing sugar (I used powdered white sugar and it's a little too sweet)
Mix butter, milk and brown sugar in pan over medium heat. Keep stirring as you bring to a boil. Once it's bubbling nicely, take off fire and set aside for 5-10 min. Whisk in the icing sugar. Pour over cake, and put in fridge to set.

The cake is from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, and the icing from Taste and Tell.
Both have been slightly adapted.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Momma's Special Deepavali Chocolate Barfi

Every year this barfi was the highlight of our lives. Seriously. Bouncing around the kitchen in unbearable excitement so we could eat the scraping and poke the goo before it set. This year I got her to direct me to make it and voila! Le recipe. I am told it is also called 3 cups barfi, and you can replace the cocoa with ground almonds, cashews, anything you want.

1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
2-2.5 cups sugar (depending on how sweet you want it and whether the milk powder is sweetened)
1 cup milk
.25 - .5 cups milk powder
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup ghee

equipment: 1 thick bottomed kadhai (wok), nonstick is possible but we make it in stic, with a big metal ladle for scraping so think about it.
big ladle/spatula the round kind with holes in it
a wide metal plate with a lip

Mix the milk powder into half the milk, and the cocoa into the other half. Set aside. Grease the plate with ghee and set aside. Mix the besan and sugar together in the kadhai, then add the ghee and mix it up well. Put it on a medium flame and keep stirring. The ghee will melt and the sugar will dissolve and eventually it'll become a smooth paste. Add the milk powder mixture. Keep stirring. In about 7-8 minutes, add the cocoa mixture. Keep stirring. (There's a LOT of stirring!) The mixture will start getting lighter, thicker and much heavier. Stir and stir, lifting from the bottom and turning it over.
Yes it will hurt. you think halwais are born with those biceps?

You'll see that the residue on the kadhai is turning light and crumbly. Around now, the mixture will start to come together, and when it's like a gooey ball it's done. Take out into the greased plate and flatten - we use the bottom of a cup similarly greased with ghee. Cut into diamonds/squares and allow to cool.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Kitteh made a Quiche (Spinach and Mushroom)!

Wow long time.

Serves 4

For the Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I used wholewheat, but use whatever)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup butter (the more the butter, the flakier the crust)
  • Ice cold water as needed
For the filling:
  • 1 packet mushrooms (in india now so those be the measures)
  • 2 bunches spinach
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • grated cheese to taste
  • garlic, salt and spices to taste (I used oregano and basil, but paprika would also go well)
To make dough:
Put the flour and butter in a deep, wide bowl and begin to slash with a knife or two, so you end up with a mixture that looks like crumbs. I swear I never thought this would work, but it does! Add cold water bit by bit to form a soft, but not sticky dough. Roll it out into a circle, to fit your pie-dish. Remember it has to go along the sides too. Place in the dish and prick all over with a fork. Bake at 250C for 10-15 min depending on browning and how sure you want to be that the bottom is COOKED. Remove to cool.

To make filling:

Slice mushrooms. Set aside. Finely chop onions. In a skillet, heat some olive oil (or whatever), and add garlic (crushed. I used paste) and onions and brown slightly. Add mushrooms, salt and spices, and toss nicely. Cook covered for a few minutes. Once the mushrooms start leaking liquid, cook uncovered, tossing occasionally. Wash spinach and remove stalks - unless you like them. Tear or chop - doesn't matter much cos it shrinks so much - and add to mushrooms. Toss about and cook till liquid evaporates. Meanwhile, beat egss, milk and salt in a bowl, and add grated cheese. Once veggies are over, add them to eggs and milk, and pour entire mixture into pie shell. Bake at 200C for 30 min. Test with a knife to see if it comes out clean, if not bake till that happens. Remove, allow to cool a bit, slice and serve!

Alternate fillings: Sausage and cheese, ham and cheese, random veggies, mushroom and potato (substitute one large potato peeled and sliced for the spinach. Add early on so it cooks soft.)