Sinful Khari Puff


I read a quote recently”Remember the tea kettle – it is always upto it’s neck in hot water, yet it sings” That is exactly what I have gone through for the last couple of months. It was a tough time managing my commitments and keeping the heart in high spirits. Then the laptop gave in to completely shut down my connections with the blog world! I had the other gadgets in my vicinity. However, it was no fun when the tiny screens opened up only a portion of the world.  Well, I am glad my laptop is back and can be with it to one happy blogger:) Do check out the kettle I have used as a prop in my photograph. I am lucky to know Surabhi from Surabhi ka Pitara. She has an amazing collection of handpainted products. Do visit her and don’t forget to order her Christmassy stuff!!khari puff

This morning, I got the news that my laptop is on the mend and will be handed over to me by the evening. That was a such a respite! On one hand I was desperate to blog post my khari puffs for bakethon and on the other hand I had so many other blogs to visit which I missed out for one reason or the other. Fingers crossed, this laptop does not go poorly again and I keep posting as many dishes as I churn in my kitchen.

This post is about the indulgent khari puffs which I had for years in India with my tea. These melt in mouth, butter snacks have been everyone’s favourite. Bought either in the bakeries in every street or even in the humble tea stalls at an bus station or train platforms.

I cheated by using a ready store bought puff pastry sheet. Since I was yearning for something spiced, I used some chopped red and green chillies and my favourite khobre-lasun chutney(dry coconut and garlic) and chopped curry leaves. You may use any herbs or spices of your choice.

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For this you need:

A sheet of puff pastry

Finely chopped red and green chillies as many or as much you wish

Khobre-lasun chutney(optional) 2 tbsp

Chopped curry leaves 1 twig

Black pepper crushed 1 tbsp

Salt

Method:

Preheat oven at 180 degree.

Roll out the puff pastry. On to this spread all the ingredients enlisted and press lightly.

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Cut into thin strips lengthwise and then cut to the size of a finger snack.

Twist each piece into a bow and lay on a greased baking tray.

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Bake at 18o degrees for 10 mins until lightly brown.

Enjoy these morish snacks with a piping hot tea.

This is my second post for Bakethon 2013. Do visit the other bloggers taking part in this event at Champa’s space.

Chocolate cake with caramalised salted peanuts and Ganache frosting


Here comes December when the weather gets crisp and chilly and now the snow is on its way for parts of the country with a cold snap taking hold!! It can be very dull and depressing as the days get very short and I spend most of our time laden with layers. This is the time when my oven is very busy as I get busy with Bakethon. This is my third year that I am particpating in Bakethon. Champa had started it . Earlier we baked for every day in December. However, this year I plan to do it twice a week. The reason being my other commitments both at work and home.

Last weekend, I baked a simple chocolate sponge, however decided to do a different frosting(kind of getting bored of buttercream and fondant icing). I loved the ganache I made for my son’s birthday in October. I thought of making it thicker by using extra thick double cream and whipping it.

To cut down the sweetness, I added in caramalised salted peanuts in caramel sauce made with extra thick cream. This coated my salted peanuts with toffee !! Loved it. This I sandwiched and topped in my sponge.

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Suji/Rava Cake with mincemeat


I remember my aji(granny) mention about ravyacha cake when I was a kid. I however, never made any attempt to ask more about ask how it was made or what was the taste like. But ever since, I am going through Kamalabai Ogale’s Ruchira book, I was waiting for the right opportunity to bake one of her bakes…ravyacha cake. I added a tablepoon of mincemeat which the kids had made at home couple of days back. The original recipe asks for 1.5 cups of semolina, however, I used  equal quantities of all the ingredients.  The cake turned out to be very soft and moist, sweet yes, next time I plan to reduce it’s sugar quantity because mincemeat added an extra sweet taste too!!

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So here we go, I used…

Semolina

Curds/Yoghurt

Milk

Sugar

I used 1/4 cup of each of the ingredients mentioned above.

¼ tsp of baking powder

¼ tsp of baking soda

Mincemeat/ candied peels 1 tbsp

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Mix in all the ingredients but the raising agents. Beat well and cover. Set it aside for couple of hours. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees. To the mix add in the raising agents. Mix well. Place this mixture in a greased cake tin and bake till golden brown.

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When done, transfer on a cooling rack after 10 mins. This is my last but one post for Bakethon. Check out the other bakers in bakethon: Champa, Srivalli, Priya, Sumana, Veena and Jayshree.

Mince pies for holiday fun


Christmas break is always a time to have fun. It is the time when we get together with our friends in UK, extended families..catching up with the times missed as a family, getting up late, movies, cooking, baking and loads of chattering and laughter. Yes, that is what is happening at Isingcakes home!! I have a bunch of teenagers breaking into laughter in the middle of the night, volleyball in a bedroom, storming down the stairs to catch each other ..reminds me of all the fun I had as a kid:)

Last day, I asked them to make me something nice for Christmas. Mince pie was decided and the ingredients shopped. They checked Joy of Baking’s recipe for homemade mince meat. They have done a good job indeed following each and every step.  Here is the recipe from Joy of Baking, with a few tweaks in ingredients and use of apple juice more in quantity instead of rum and cognac. For the original recipe check here.

4 tablespoons (55 grams) butter

1.5 cup (240 ml) unsweetened apple juice

2 large apples, peeled, cored, and grated

1/2 cup each of dark raisins , golden raisins, dried currants, dried cranberries, dried figs, chopped

3/4 cup (120 grams) candied mixed peel

Zest and juice of one orange

2/3 cup (140 grams) packed dark brown sugar

3 tsp mixed spices

1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all the ingredients and cook together on a low flame for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The liquid starts evaporating. Cool and let it sit overnight. Till then let the wafts make you think about the amazing pies you will have the next day!

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For the pastry they followed the same website:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

 

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

1 tablespoon granulated white sugar

 

1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into pieces

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The original recipe asks for cold water, but here, the pastry was held together quite well. This was refrigerated for 20 mins. The dough was then rolled and cut into small circles with cookie cutter. This was then placed in cupcake tray. A teaspoon of mincemeat was placed in each of these cut pastry placed in the tray. A star shaped pastry was placed on top to cover these pies.

This was then baked in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 20 mins. I just loved peeping through the oven glass door to see the berry mix bubbling in the hot temperature!! I felt absolutely like a child waiting for the pies to come out of the oven!

A quick dust of icing sugar and these mincepies well gobbled away in no time!!! Very proud of my teenage team at home!!

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This is for Bakethon that I post for my dear friends Champa, Srivalli,  Priya,Veena, Jayshri, Sumana. Do let me know what you think of my little wonders:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Candied Daisies


My second Bakethon post is about the cute little daisies I baked using the same dough I used for Cinnamon rolls. These is apt for teatime snacks and are favourite amongst the people who like their cookies a less sweeter.

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1.5 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup castor sugar

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup melted powder

1 egg

Candied peels

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Method: Cream the butter and sugar. Add in the egg and beat well. Sieve the dry ingredients apart from the cinnamon powder. Add the dry ingredients and make a soft dough. Use a little milk if need be to bring the dough together. This dough is sticky. Cover this dough and keep aside for half an hour.

Using any cutter, cut small cookies. I used daisy cutters and placed a candied peel in the centre.  Preheat the oven. These are then baked at 180 degrees at 5-8 mins.

A quick snack for Bakethon !!Check out the other bakers too.

Chickpea cookies with sesame ..another trial:)


Here is another trial with sesame seeds to create a combination apt for Sankranti. For the main recipe, you may refer the post I posted couple of days back for Bakethon. To this recipe, I added 2 tablespoons of crushed sesame seeds and see what a difference it made to the cookies!! Unfortunately, I just have one picture to show you all :( However, I promise, when I make more of these, I will upload pictures on this post.

So, here you go for the variation in the recipe:

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1 cup of chickpea flour

3/4 cup soft brown sugar

1/4 cup butter

2 tablespoons of crushed sesame seeds

1 tablespoon of whole sesame seeds

Mix all the ingredients together and make a dough.  Spread some sesame seeds on a plate. Roll out small balls and press onto the whole sesame seeds. Place on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for about 20 mins. These cookies I bet have the best crunch, the treacly taste of jaggery and sesame seeds just gives it’s taste a new dimension.

I am posting this post a day later than the scheduled Bakethon day..thanks Champa for allowing me this time. Check out the other bakings from Champa, Priy=, Srivalli and Sumana :)

Chickpea-Sesame cookies


Last night, as I lay in my bed, I was thinking about the next post in Bakethon. I did not wish to bake any cake or bread instead something different and smaller in quantity. Just as I decided not to think about it till I was back from work, my husband quipped”what about Til-gul”(sesame and jaggery which is eaten in a form of vadi/bars!! I said” of course, I will make them, but for Sankranti”..to this he replied, no bake them!! I just chuckled and said”how could you bake sesame and jaggery together, it needs some medium to combine?” but before, I could get any solution to this, all I heard was snoring!!:)

However, this combination kept bothering me through out the day. My mind was trying to encorporate these two ingredients in various media(flour) to create something edible! I tried thinking of plain flour, semolina and chickpea flour. I am tired of the white flour to the limits! Recently, I had made Kamalabai Ogale’s semolina cookies, this time, I wished to use chickpea flour all on it’s own. I kept my fingers crossed as the small cookie dough, rose, swelled, spread and baked in the oven!! I just wished they came off well..To avoid any calamity in the kitchen, I used soft brown sugar instead of jaggery. Yes, they did..I just loved the sweet nutty flavour of besan in combination of soft brown sugar and sesame seeds.  I wish, I had encorporated some crushed sesame too!! There is always a next time right? If you do that, please let me know how they taste:)

This is how I put these ingredients together:

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1 cup Chickpea flour

3/4 cup soft brown sugar

1/4 cup butter

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

Sesame seeds a tablespoon to sprinkle on top

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Mix all the ingredients(apart from the sesame seeds) in a bowl. Roll into small sized balls and place on greased baking sheet. Sprinkle and press the sesame seeds on top of each ball. One point to note here is to place the dough at a distance from the others as these cookies spread all around.

Bake in a preheated oven at 150 degrees for 15 minutes. These are soft when baked, but as soon as the colour changes, these need to be taken out. After cooling these cookies get their crunch!!

Meet the other bakethon bakers Champa, Priya, Srivalli, Sumana, Jayshree and Veena.

Quick Homemade Granola


Ever since, R has been feeling tired and weak, I had in my mind to give him something healthy to snack between his meals. Homemade Granola seemed the best one to start with. Since winter has set in quite well and we have had temperatures dipping well below freezing, I thought, I could use dry fruits in this granola. These, I thought will help in increasing body heat in this freeze! It is a simple recipe which I did not bother about checking around on the net.

It includes:

Granola

1 cup of oats

1/4 cup each of dry fruits and berries of your choice(I used cashews, almonds, raisins)

1 tbsp of sesame seeds

1 tbsp of olive oil

2 tbsp of honey

1.5 tsp of dry ginger pd(optional)

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a microwave safe bowl, mix in the oil and honey and microwave for 30 seconds. Pour and mix the oil-honey mixture on to the dry mix. Spread this mix on a greased baking sheet. Place the tray in a preheated oven and bake at 170 degrees for 15 mins.  Just be careful as the mix just needs to toasted or else it might burn.

Cool the mixture and store in an air tight container. This lasts for several weeks.

This is my contribution for ongoing Bakethon. Please check others who are with me: Priya, Champa, Srivalli, Veena, Jayshri and Sumana.

 

Chai Masala-Coffee drizzle cake


Remember Last year’s Bakethon? It was loads of fun with baking everyday/evening and posting in our blogs. I was very lucky to be associated with the like minds of Champa, Veena and Priya. This year Srivalli and Sumana have joined in too. The rules are the same, however, the pattern differs. Last year we posted each day, however, this year we are doing it thrice a week. So look out folks the days we post this month are 1st, 3rd,5th,7th,10th,12th,14th,17th,19th,21st,24th,26th,28th and 31st !!

Chai masala-coffee drizzle cake

My first contribution towards this Bakethon is Chai Masala-Coffee Drizzle cake which I baked last weekend.

To make the streusel:

Flour 175g

Butter 100g

Soft brown sugar 100g

Chai spices 1 tbsp(blend of  cinnamon, pepper, cloves, fennel, star anise, dried ginger)

Mix all these ingredients till coarse and crumbly. Set this aside.

Bake a normal base cake using the measures:

Plain flour 220g

Soft Brown Sugar 220g

Butter 220g

Eggs3

Baking powder 1.5 tsp

Baking Soda 1/2 tsp

Greek Yoghurt 3/4 cup(I used Total Greek Yoghurt)

In this case I added coffee extract

Sieve the flour with the raising agent.Keep aside.

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat.

Add in a part of yoghurt followed by the sieved flour spoonful at a time and fold.

To the finished mix add the coffee extract.

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Preheat the oven at 180 degrees.

In a greased pan, add in half of the batter. Top this with a part of streusel. Spread the rest of the batter on the streusel. Finally, spread the rest of the streusel and bake the cake at 180 degrees for an hour.

Cool on a cooling rack.

Brew a tablespoon of coffee and mix with 1/2 cup of icing sugar. Drizzle on the cooled cake. Enjoy it with any beverage you love….this cake with warm spices is apt for the subzero temperatures here in UK!!

DSC_1005Check out Sumana’s , Priya’s, Srivalli’s, Veena’s and Champa’s posts

I a linking this to Priya and Divya’s ongoing  event  too.

I would like make an announcement..we have a Blogger’s Event coming up soon in February 2013 in London. One of our sponsorer is no one other than Total Greek Yoghurt!!!Check out our Event Blog for more details about the event and the sponsorer:)

Baked Karanji(parcels) for Diwali


Karanji is a speciality snacks for Diwali. These are also called as Gujiya in North of India. These are usually made of a kind of pastry with a mix of semolina and flour. The filling is either grated fresh coconut cooked with sugar or at times jaggery. The parcels are made and fried in oil.  I had prepared these during Diwali last year(you may refer to the old post). My son does not fansy fried/oily stuff hence had a baked version of Karanji.

Ruchira book suggests 5 types of Karanjis’

Type 1: Using fresh coconut and sugar as filling

Type 2: Using dessicated coconut and confectioner’s sugar

Type 3 :This is lengthy process where in 2 cups of semolina is soaked 1 cup pf rice for 3 days. This is then spread and dried. The mix is then pounded and sieved to get the pastry flour!!

TYpe 4 : Indradhanushi Karanjya, where the pastry is coloured rolled into sheets. These are then rolled into a tube just like swiss rolls and cut. Each  chopped pastry ball is rolled with a rolling pin the cut side and filled the same as the other karanji:)

Type 5: Here she suggesting baking them.using vistav(coal/wood).Bhajlelya karanjya..I feel like giving her a hug here. Imagine…in her times using the minimal resources when ovens were not prevalent in Indian kitchens!!

I adapted a simple Type 2 and Type 5 versions.

For this you will need:

Pastry/dough

3/4 cup Fine Semolina
1/4 cup Flour
Pinch of salt
4 tsp. Ghee (Clarified butter)
Milk to knead the dough(1/2 cup)
Mix in all the ingredients, using milk knead into a semi soft dough. Keep it covered with a damp cloth at least for 30 mins. Divide into equal portions and shape them into balls. Keep them covered with a damp cloth.
For the filling:
2 cups of dessicated coconut
1/2 cup Dry Fruits finely chopped.
1 tin of Condensed Milk
1 cup Milk Powder
1 tablespoon of rose water
Mix all the ingredients apart from the  rose water. Microwave the mixture for 2 mins and stir. Cook in the microwave for another minute and stir. Repeat the process till the mixture thickens. Once done, add rose water  and mix. Let the mixture cool down.
For baking the Karanjis':
Pre-heat the oven at 180°C. Take one ball of dough and using rolling pin, roll it flat in a circle. Place stuffing on the flattened dough proportionately and fold the circle to form a semi circle (karanji). Fold and press the edges of the karanji. You may either fold the edges or use a fork to press. Prepare all the karanjis’ in this fashion. Place all karanjis on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil. Bake them at 180°C for about 30 mins or till the karanjis’ get light golden brown colour from both sides. If you are frying them, heat oil in a pan and place these karanjis and fry till golden brown.

You may fill in the parcels/ karanji with any stuffing you like. I sometimes like to make fresh Karanjis’ with fruit fillings. Here is a picture of spiced pineapple filling. I used canned cubed pineapple and lightly spiced it with mixed spices. This was cooked to get a thick jammy filling with 1/2 cup of sugar.

Savoury is much enjoyed at tea time. Use greenpeas cooked in spices, crushed ginger garlic and chopped coriander and dash of lemon juice. Enjoy it with a tangy tamarind chutney or even a green chutney…

The baked versions are the healthy ones, hence am adding them as my entry to the event at my space: Healthy Finger Food which I am hosting for Priya.

Sending this as entries to the following event:

To my friend Nupur Who is celebrating Indian Sweets

Priya’s 60 Days of Christmas…