Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Chocolate Tiramisu Cake



It was my sister’s birthday on the  weekend and since she was with me this time I decided to make it special for her. I asked her to choose the cake and she wanted a chocolate cake which is soft like a pastry/dessert cake with some fresh cream or something similar. I brain stormed for a while and then came up with this Tiramisu cake which she happily approved. I have made Tiramisu as a  dessert several times with sponge fingers and that’s one of my favourite desserts and I knew if it’s a Tiramisu cake it will be even better and I was right. It was utterly delicious and she absolutely loved it and we all finished the cake even  before I could take a picture of the cut slice to show you all the beautiful thin layers which I was really proud of.To be honest  it was the first time my hands was so sturdy to cut such thin layers to make the 4 layered cake.

 Recipe source  for sponge- BBC good food
Recipe for fillling - My Tiramisu dessert and here

Ingredients  - serves ( 8-10)
For the chocolate sponge ( I use 200 ml cup)
Plain flour- 100 gm( 1 tbs less than I cup)
Sugar – 140gm ( ¾ cup)
Butter – 50 gm /1/4 cup (melted)
Cocoa powder – 25 gm
Eggs – 4 large
Baking powder – ½ tsp
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Salt – pinch

For the filling( cooked egg version)
Egg yolks – 3
Caster Sugar – 2 tbsp + 1 tbs
Icing sugar / powdered sugar – 8 tbs or as per your sweetness
Tia maria or any coffee liqueur – 4 tbsp( 2+2)
Coffee-  ½ cup( dissolve ½ tsp instant coffee in ½ cup of boiling water)
Whipping cream – 500 ml
Mascarpone cheese- 250gm
Grated chocolate – 1/3 cup
Vanilla extract – 1tsp

Method
Making the cake
  • Measure flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt in a mixing bowl and keep it aside.
  • Beat eggs with sugar and vanilla extract until its thick and trebled in volume for about 5-8 minutes.
  • Sieve the dry ingredients from mixing bowl to the egg mixture and fold in gently.
  • Add in the cooled melted butter and gently fold in.
  • Divide and pour the batter into two 8 inch cake tins and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree Celsius for about 10-12 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Cut  each layer horizontally into two and you will get 4 layers of cake.

Making the coffee
  • Dissolve ½ tsp of instant coffee powder in ½ cup boiling water, add 2 tbs of coffee liqueur, 1 tbs of sugar, vanilla extract and keep it aside.

Preparing the filling
  • In a heat proof bowl place three egg yolks, add 2 tbs of sugar and 2 tbs of coffee liqueur and place it over a barely simmering pan of water and beat with and electric beater for about 5-8 minutes or until its thick and volume has trebled.
  • Remove from heat and let it come to room temperature and then add mascarpone cheese and beat.
  • Whip double cream with icing sugar until soft peaks are formed.
  • Fold the whipped cream to the cheese egg mixture.

Assembling the cake
  • Place the first layer of cake on a cake board and brush it with prepared coffee, let the cake soak the coffee.
  • Spread the filling on top of it and sprinkle some grated chocolate on top.
  • Repeat the same for the other 3 layers.
  • Decorate the cake as you like. I placed some sponge fingers on the side and did a small piping on the border and centre.
  • Chill the cake until its ready to be served.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Malai Kofta



All the good times fly quickly and then I wonder where did the time go? My sister and family were here with me all these days and the house was filled with fun and laughter and when they left today it’s all quite again. I am in no mood do anything and was staring through my FB page going through all the updates which became boring after few minutes so just to keep my mind occupied I decided to scribble something here. Even as a child I used to hate when we leave our ancestral home after spending  summer holidays  back to the hustle and buzzle of city where my father used to work. We used to live in Kochi for a long time and many of our cousins and relatives from Kannur visit us often and when they go back I used to feel the same way but back then there was hopes that someone or the other is going to visit us soon, but now living so far from home we don’t have much family here and that’s what I miss the most here.

Coming back to the topic, I made this Malai kofta for my sister. I did pamper her with all the good foods and she liked this one in particular and she want to try this  herself in her kitchen, so I am sharing this recipe especially for her. Malai Kofta is a bit time consuming but sometimes to eat something really delicious we need to spend some extra time in kitchen and this  falls into that category. If not for the time I would have made this often as it’s a truly delicious and everyone who tasted this has loved it.


Recipe adapted from here
Ingredients
For Kofta
Paneer – 250 gm (grated)
Potato – 3 medium
Carrot – 1 small (grated)
Cauliflower florets (grated) - ¼ cup
All-purpose flour/Maida – as required
salt
Oil for deep frying

For the gravy
Shahi Jeera ( Black  cumins) – 1 tsp
Tomato – 2 blanched and pureed
Onion – 3
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbs
Chilli powder – 1 ½ tsp
cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
coriander powder – 1 ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Garam masala- 1 tsp
Cashew nuts – 1 fistful ( soak and grind to paste)
Cream - 1/3 cup ( use  more if you like )
salt
Method
  • Pressure cook the whole potatoes with skin on for 1-2 whistles , peel the skin and grate.
  • In a tawa/pan add a little oil and stir the grated carrots and cauliflower tills its slightly cooked and all the moisture is gone. 
  • Transfer  this to a mixing bowl and add grated paneer and grated potato.
  • Add salt and mix again and roll them into balls. 
  • In a plate take some flour/maida and rol the balls in it and deep fry the balls until golden brown.
  • In a saucepan add some  oil and add the shahi jeera and when it gives a nice aroma add in chopped onions.
  • Saute the onions till its slightly brown.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and cook until the raw smells goes.
  • Add chilli powder, turmeric powder, corainder powder,cumin powder, salt and cook until the raw smell of the masalas goes.
  • Add the tomato puree and cook for a minute or so. 
  • Finally add the cashewnut paste, fresh cream and  garam masala  and bring it to boil ane remove from fire.
  • Add kofta balls and chopped corinader leaves and serve hot !

  

Enjoy with Roti/ chapathi/ Naan or even rice !

Note - Add Kofta balls to the gravy only while serving as it might loose its shape.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Chocolate cake with fresh cream frosting


It’s almost the end of our summer holidays and I am dreading the thought of morning rush and busy weekdays. The summer here has already ended and it almost feels like autumn with grey skies and rain, but I am glad that we had a good summer this year which helped me in not missing India badly as we usually go home during this time of the year. We went for a coastal holiday to Cornwall and had a good break there. It was a perfect holiday in every sense and then came my little sister and family from Ireland. We are busy taking them in and around London and days are flying. She is still here and I have few more days to enjoy before we all get back to our routine J. Onam ( Kerala’s festival) is around the corner and this time we are going to prepone it a little bit and have a family Onam before my sister leaves. I will try and post few recipes which I cook for our sadhya/feast before Onam.

I made this cake for a group of friends celebrating their friends birthday ( how sweet ) and it was a last minute request so even though I couldn’t do justice to the look of the  cake I got a good feedback for the taste which is what matters after all J.


Ingredients ( for cake)
Maida / All Purpose flour - 225 gm /  roughly 2 cups
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Cocoa powder - 1/2 cup
Boiling water - 250 ml
Unsalted butter (softened )- 125 gm 
Vanilla extract - 2 tsp
Dark muscuvado sugar - 100 gm ( tighly packed 1/2 cup) 
Caster sugar - 150 gm ( 1 1/2 cup )
Eggs - 2 large (at room temperature )

Method

  • Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and keep it aside.
  • In a bowl measure cocoa powder, dark brown muscuvado sugar, boiling water and whisk. Keep it aside.
  • Cream butter and sugar until soft and creamy.
  • Beat one egg at a time and beat well ,add a  tbs of  sifted flour and beat for few seconds, break the second egg  and beat well.
  • Add vanilla extract and  beat.
  • Add  the rest of the sifted flour and beat.
  • Finally add the cocoa mixture and fold in.
  • Pour the batter into two 8 inch greased cake tins and bake them in a preheated oven at 180 degree celcius for 30 minutes.

Ingredients for frosting
Whipping cream/ Fresh cream – 600ml
Icing Sugar – 4tbs or as per your sweetness
Vanilla extract – 1tsp

Method
Whip everything together in a bowl until soft peaks are formed.

Assembling the cake
Place the first layer of cake on cake board and spread the frosting on top, place the second layer on top of it and repeat the same and also on the sides and then decorate it with fruits of your choice.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Garlic Naan



Since last few days I have been missing blogging very badly and when I looked in drafts I was disappointed as  there was no recipe to post and thats the reason why I posted  some random summer pictures last time...but I must say that it  wasn’t satisfying as doing a recipe post so I had to cook something specially for blogging. So after quick brainstorming   here I am back to business with my tried and tested Naan recipe !  I have been making this for a long long time now, and it’s very much appreciated by my friends and our small family especially my lil boy. As soon as it comes out of the oven it goes straight into our tummy and that’s why this recipe never found its way to my blog. The trick for a good Naan is a very sticky dough which I learnt from Vahreh Vah chef. This weekend we have been lazing around at home so I managed to take a video with hubby’s help (though its not a prefect one ).

I should tell you that photographing the pictures was  quite challenging as my lil boy was behind my lens waiting impatiently to grab one Naan, he even threatened me that if he is not getting his share quicky he will eat my camera ! I hardly got few seconds to shoot it, so pictures might not be appealing as it tasted but I assure you this recipe is a keeper.

Recipe adapted from here and here

Ingredients
Maida/ Plain flour – 3 cups
Milk – 1 cup
Instant Yeast – 1 ½ tsp
Sugar – 1 1/2 tsp
Yogurt -3 tbs
Oil – 3 tbs
Salt – 1 tsp
Gralic cloves - 6 (crushed)
Butter - 3 tsp (optional)

Method
  • Dissolve 1 ½ tsp yeast and 1 ½ tsp sugar in a cup of warm milk and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Measure 3 cups of flour in a bowl.
  • Add yogurt, oil , salt, yeast – milk mixture and knead with a spoon or with your hands roughly.
  • Cover it with a damn cloth or with a cling film  and let it sit for 2 hours or until its double in size.
  • Divide the dough into six equal balls ( use flour to dust if required)
  • Apply little oil on your hands and stretch the dough between your palms as shown in the video or roll it into oval shapes .                                                                                  
  • Sprinkle the garlic on top. Let it si for 15 minutes.
  • Place the Naan into a a preheated oven( maximum tempetarure) for 6 minutes or until its slightly brown on top.
  • Spread butter on top and serve hot with curry of your choice !

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Glimpse of our summer !

It has been a busy summer holiday for us and so far this is one of the brightest and hottest summer here. We are out in the sun most of the time getting  our annual vitamin D  dose and getting super tanned too ! I do cook amidst of all the outings but hardly take out the camera, so until I find some time to post a recipe here is a glimpse of our summer life captured in my mobile !!



Rasberry picking




Pond dipping




Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mango rice


Summer is at its peak here now and  temperatures are  high up to 30 degree C which is very unusual for  British summer and it’s really hot. I feel that sun  really burns us  here compared to India and I assume it might be because of the lower ozone layer . I am not complaining though as I love it like this and want to make the most of it. Growing up back home, I always used to wonder why the tourists from other countries are so obsessed with our beaches and weather, but now I know why. There are plenty of beaches here but most of them are pebble beaches and only very  few are  sandy beaches.  Another thing is even on a hot day beaches can be cold if it’s windy and water can be really cold too. I guess that’s why  beaches back home are so special!!

When I think of summer in Kerala, mangoes are  the first thing that comes to my mind. I cannot swear enough how much I love mangoes, be it raw or ripe. If it’s raw I used to cut it and smear it with some salt and chilly powder and enjoy. I used to wait for the  Indian Alphonso mangoes which we get here every summer but sadly  for unfortunate mango lovers like me its temporarily banned here now due to sanitary regulations ! We still get mangoes from other countries but they are not as tasty as our desi mangoes J Coming to today’s recipe, every year when its Vishu (kerala festival ) I buy raw mangoes for Vishu kani( you can read more about Vishu here) and I usually make mango chammanthi or fish curry with raw mango  but last year I saw this mango rice recipe in my friends blog (cook like Priya) and I tried it. Its an absolute comfort food for raw mango fans and we all enjoyed it. Eventhough I wanted to make it again I never did until  another Vishu came. I made it again after a year gap and this time I took pictures to share it with you all. So when mangoes are in reason and you want to fix something quick for lunch/dinner try it out and you will love it.

Recipe adapted from cook like priya

Ingredients
Raw rice - 1 1/2 cup
Oil - 1 tbs
Mustard seeds - 1 /2 tsp
Urad dal/ uzhunnu parippu - 1 tsp
Chana dal/ kadala parippu  - 1 tsp
Whole red chilly - 2 ( broken into 2-3 pieces)
Green chillies- 2 
Curry leaves(few)
Peanuts/ kadala - 2 tbsp
Asofoetida/ hing/ kayam - a pinch
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt 

To grind
Raw mango - 2 ( sliced)
Grated  coconut - 1/2 cup
Whole red chilly -2 
Shallots/ cheriya ulli - 3 
Cumin seeds/ Jeerakam - 1/2 tsp
Garlic pods - 2
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Curry leaves - 1-2 sprigs

Method

  • Cook the rice and keep it aside.
  • Grind all the ingredients under 'to grind' to a paste.
  • In a big pan /wok add oil and sputter mustard seeds, followed by urad dal, chana dal and  peanuts once they are roasted add dry red chillies, green chillies and saute for a minute.
  • Add the ground paste, add turmeric powder, salt , hing and cook everything for 3-5 minutes.
  • Switch off the flame and serve immediately.


Friday, July 11, 2014

English Trifle


Living very close to Wimbledon has definitely rubbed on some serious tennis interest in me. Last Sunday when it was Wimbledon final I was all set to watch the game with a classic English trifle. It was a nail biting game indeed, we were supporting Djokovic and I really jumped out of joy when he won! Now that the Wimbledon is over I am following football religiously. I would have loved to see in Brazil in final but now that they are gone I am supporting Argentina J

Anyway coming back to topic, it’s so easy to assemble this trifle and all you need to cook is   some home -made custard. In case if you don’t want to make homemade custard use custard powder which is also pretty good.



Ingredients (Serves 4 )
Trifle Sponges/ Sponge cakes – 8
Strawberry jam – 8 tsp
Brandy – 2tbs (optional) ( dissolve 2 tbs of  brandy in 2 tbs of water and add 1 tsp of sugar)
Home- made custard ( recipe here)– 2 cups ( thick consistency )
Whipped cream – 300 ml
Icing sugar – 2 tbs
Strawberry and banana slices – 1 cup

Method
  • Slice the sponge lengthwise into two and  spread the  jam and sandwich it back.
  • Place the sponges into a one big  trifle bowl or in individual dessert bowls.
  • Sprinkle brandy (if using ) on the sponges and leave it for 2-3 minutes for soaking.
  • Pour home- made custard on top of it .
  • Spread the fruits slices
  • Finally whip some cream with icing sugar and spread it on top layer.
  • Allow it to set for an hour or 2 and serve chilled !


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