Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas!!!!

"May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love".

"WISH YOU ALL A MERRY CHRISTMAS"
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Thursday, 18 December 2008

Rich Fruit Christmas Cake Recipe

Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home. ~Carol Nelson
My mom used to make this cake at Christmas and I always looked forward to it!!! I follow her tradition and every year it comes out well…..but its more than just that special taste…..I miss that special experience of baking with my mom….miss those days when we used to sit together and chop all the fruits and nuts…..keeping awake the whole night to bake batches of cakes as unexpected and intermittent power cuts makes it difficult to bake during the day in Kerala ..…then comes my brothers job of distributing it to our neighbors and relatives….miss those childhood days spent at home….to recreate that spirit of Christmas , this year also I made fruit cake here at home and I dedicate my mom's best Christmas Fruit Cake recipe to all my fellow bloggers..…

Ingredients:
All purpose flour-250gm
Powdered Sugar-250 gm
Eggs-6nos
Butter-250gm
Mixed Dry Fruits-875gms (I use dates, raisins, currents, cherries, mixed fruits, orange peels, apricot, prunes etc)
Cashew nuts- 50gm
Caramel syrup- 1/2 cup
Rum/ Brandy- 1/2cup - 3/4cup
Baking powder- 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda-1/4 tsp
salt- 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon powder-1/4 tsp
Clove powder-1/4 tsp
Nutmeg powder-1/4 tsp
Vanilla essence-1tsp


Method:

  • Chop all dry fruits and cashew nuts finely and soak them in Rum/Brandy for minimum one week. (I recommend soaking the fruits months or a year in advance, the more the tastier).
  • Heat 8 tbsp sugar in a heavy bottom pan stirring continuously. When it becomes dark brown add 1cup hot water, boil until it becomes 1/2 cup, keep aside to cool completely.
  • Pre heat oven to 160C/320F. Prepare the cake pans by lining the inside with two layers of greaseproof paper.
  • Sieve together flour, baking power, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg power and keep aside.
  • Cream butter and powdered sugar; add egg, one by one and beat well till light and fluffy.
  • Add vanilla essence and caramel syrup and beat well.
  • Add flour slowly alternating with prepared fruits to the cream mixture. Gently fold the mixture with a wooden or rubber spatula after each addition, folding in until fruits are evenly distributed.
  • Spoon the batter in to prepared pans, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Bake in a 160 degree Celsius oven for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Test cake after1 1/ 2 hours; if cooked it should be evenly risen and beginning to shrink from the sides of the tin. When gently pressed with the fingers it should spring back. If not cooked, return to the oven and test again at 30 minute intervals, or bake till a wooden skewer inserted in centers comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.
  • Prick holes in the top of cake with a skewer then sprinkle a teaspoon or two of Rum/brandy over cake, let it sink in for a few minutes then wrap well in aluminum foil for storage. Every two weeks, drizzle another teaspoon or two of Rum/brandy over the cake. Aim to keep it nicely moist but *not* soggy!


  • Make cake two months in advance or at least one week ahead.


Enjoy your Christmas Cake with home made wine!!!!

I am sending this to:
Happy Cook of My Kitchen Treasure's Home Made Christmas Gifts
Purva Daawat's Christmas Feast Event
JZ of Tasty treats Santa's Holiday Challenge Event
Vandana's Baking for Beginners Event

Other Christmas specials:

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Sunday, 14 December 2008

Dates Wine / Khajoor Wine Recipe

Khajoor WineMy mom and my aunt were the best wine makers in our family....and I too have inherited some of their talent ....so far I have experimented with a large variety of wines from different fruits and vegetables.....and most of the experiments were a success .....so here I am sharing with you one such success to celebrate the Christmas season.....Christmas celebrations are simply not complete without Fruit cake and wine....Enjoy this Christmas with Dates Wine!!!!!

Dates Recipea
Ingredients:
Dates-2 kg
White Grape Juice-250 Grams
Citric Acid-25 Grams
Sugar-1 kg
Water, boiled and cooled-4 liters
Yeast-1 table spoon


Cooking with dates
Method:
  • Sterilize all equipment before use.
  • Chop then boil the dates gently for 1/2 hour with 2 litres of water.
  • When cool, strain in a bharani/ bottle and add in the grape juice concentrate. Add the citric acid, yeast and top up the water to around 4.5 liters with cool water. Keep the bottle air tight.
  • Wait until fermentation is compete, for 21 days. Stir this mixture every day with a wooden spoon. Strain this mixture using a cheese cloth or muslin cloth, into a clean dry vessel on 21st day and leave to clear.
  • Rack into clean bottles when completely clear and stable. Store for up to 2 years.

    Dates Wine Recipe




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Monday, 1 December 2008

Crustless Quiche

Ingredients:
Egg-1
Milk-1/3 cup
Chopped vegetables of your choice-1/2 cup, (I used onion. carrot, capsicum, tomato)
1 Slice bread, crusts removed and cubed
Salt to taste
Black pepper powder to taste
Cheddar Cheese-2 tbsp, shredded

Method:
Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C . Beat eggs and milk with wire whisk until well blended. Add bread; mix lightly. Stir in remaining ingredients until well blended. Pour into a greased baking dish. Bake 20-25 min. or until center is set and crust is lightly browned. Serve hot with tomato ketchup.



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Thursday, 27 November 2008

White Sauce

Ingredients:

Butter -2 tbsp
All purpose flour/ Maida -2 tbsp
Milk -1 cup
Pepper powder -1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste

Method:

Melt butter in a saucepan, stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Whisk in milk and cook, stirring, over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until mixture thickens. Turn off flame and add salt and pepper to taste.
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Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Fish n' Chips

Ingredients:
500gms Sole Fillet, skinned
Lemon juice
Salt and white pepper
1/4 cup flour
Oil for frying
Batter:
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp oil
3/4 cup beer
1 egg white
pinch of sugar
Method:
  • Cut each fillet diagonally into 2 piecesWash fillet in lemon and water. Season with salt and pepper. Chill while you prepare the batter.
  • Sprinkle yeast over warm water. Let stand until dissolved.
  • Place flour in a bowl with the salt and sugar. Make a well in the center. Add the dissolved yeast, oil and 2/3 of the beer. Stir with a wooden spoon just to combine. Stir in remaining beer. Let the batter stand, covered, in a warm place for 30-35 minutes, until it has thickened and become frothy.
  • Dry fish with paper towels. Stir together remaining flour, pepper and salt in a plate.
  • Heat the oil.
  • Whip egg white until it forms soft peaks and fold into batter.
  • Coat fish with seasoned flour, patting so they are evenly coated. Shake off excess flour. Using a 2 pronged fork, dip the fish into the batter. Lift it out and hold it over bowl 5 seconds to drip off excess batter. Carefully lower the piece of fish into the hot oil and deep fry, turning once, until golden crisp.
  • Serve the fish drizzle with fresh lemon juice, french fries, tartar sauce and tomato sauce.

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Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Dark Chocolate cake with Butter Icing


Dark Chocolate cake with Butter Icing
(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens "Cooking for Today Cakes")
Ingredients:
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¾cups granulated sugar
⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½cups water
¾ cup cooking oil
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla essence

Method:
  • Grease and lightly flour two 9 inch baking pans. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add water, oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixture on low to medium speed till combined. Beat for 2 minutes on medium to high speed. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake in a 350°F /180°C oven for 30-35 minutes or till a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks. Arrange the cake in to desired shape and frost the cake with butter icing or fill and frost the cake with whipped cream.

Butter Icing
Ingredients:
Butter-100 gm
Icing Sugar/ Powdered sugar-200 gm
Vanilla Essence-1/2 tsp
A few drops of food colouring
Method:
  • Beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
  • Then add the remaining icing sugar and vanilla essence and beat until creamy.
  • Add the food colouring and mix well. 4. Add extra icing sugar to thicken or 1-2 table spoon milk to make more runny if necessary.
Other cakes I made following the same recipe:
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Friday, 7 November 2008

Cat Shaped Birthday Cake

Birthdays have always been associated with joy, cheerfulness and smiles. Birthday parties, cakes, gifts, songs, there is a long list of all the things, which can make a birthday celebration all the more joyful and blissful.


My 4 year old son wanted to cut a cake for his mom's birthday and mom made a Cat shaped Chocolate Cake and decorated with Butter Icing.......

"All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much."

P.S- I promise I will come up with the recipe in a couple of days....

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Sunday, 2 November 2008

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vinegar

Method:
Mix all of the ingredients well with a mixer. It should be brown and smooth. Free of lumps. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes. Cupcakes will turn out moist and delicious.
Buttermilk or milk may be substituted for water. Melted butter may be substituted for oil.




Recipe Source: COOKS.COM
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Sunday, 26 October 2008

Brinjal Dip/ Baba Ghannouj/ Moutabal

Ingredients:
1 large aubergine (Brinjal)
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons tahini (Sesame paste)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons natural yoghurt
2 teaspoons olive oil, for garnishing
Juice of half a lemon, for garnishing





Method:


  • Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF) for five minutes. Place whole Brinjal on a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes until outer shell is crisp and inside is soft. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes.

  • Split open the brinjal by cutting in the centre, and scoop out the flesh into a medium sized bowl. Discard the skin.

  • Next add the garlic, salt, lemon juice, yoghurt, tahini and mash by hand until a smooth puree is achieved, or place in a blender and pulse for 5 seconds.

  • Spoon onto a serving dish. Garnish with olive oil and lemon juice. Decorate with parsley, olives or paprika. Serve chilled or at room temperature with pitta bread.


This goes to Chutney / Dip Mania at Mane Adige

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Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Fried Meat balls in Sweet and Sour Sauce


Ingredients:

For Meat Balls:
11/2-cups Pork/ Beef/ Chicken minced
2tblsp garlic minced
1tesp ginger paste
1 egg beaten
1/4tesp salt or to taste
1tesp Soya sauce
1/2tesp Ajinomoto
1/2tesp pepper powder
1tesp roasted sesame powder
1 1/2tblsp cornflour
Oil for deep-frying

For the sweet and sour sauce
2tblsp oil
2 1/2tblsp sugar
2tblsp vinegar
1/2tesp Soya sauce
1/4tesp salt or to taste
1 1/2tblsp tomato ketchup
1/4tesp cornflour
3tblsp spring onions chopped
1tesp ginger minced
1/8-cup water



Method:

  • Heat 2 tblsp oil, add all the sauce ingredients and boil till thick. Remove and keep aside.
  • Combine the minced beef and all other ingredients together and mix well with the hand till soft.
  • Make walnut size balls out of this mixture.
  • Heat the oil, deep-fry the beef balls, turning frequently for even color. When light brown, remove from oil and drain.
  • Before serving, reheat the oil until very hot and fry the beef balls once again until golden brown. Drain on paper and serve with the sweet and sour sauce.



You can serve this dish as a short eat with sweet and sour sauce as a dip. Alternatively you could convert it into a curry by adding sufficient water and fried meat balls to the sauce mix and boiling till the gravy is thick. This dish is very good with chinese fried rice and noodles or you can even serve this with chapati.

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Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Cheeda


Ingredients:

Maida-1/2 kg (500gms)
Roasted Rava/ Semolina-1/2 cup
Dalda / Vegetable Shortening(melted)- 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Vegetable Oil for deep frying

Method:
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Gradually add water to this and knead well to get a soft dough. Divide dough into small balls. To shape cheeda, slightly grease the prongs of fork and hold it in one hand, with the other hand spread one small ball of dough over the greased prongs and roll the piece. Remove from the fork and keep aside. Repeat the process with all dough and deep fry the cheedas in hot oil. Keep the cheedas in airtight containers.

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Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Sponge Cake



A long time ago a teenager attempted to bake a cake with the help of her mom. That cake came out very soft, spongy and tasty. That was the first attempt in baking a cake for this teenager and it gave her a great deal of confidence. Now that teenager has become a more experienced baker and is confident enough to experiment with more complicated recipes. This cake is from her list of favorites .....yesterday I made this cake again after a very long time and it tasted better than in all previous attempts…. may be because of the memories associated with it…some of my best years that I spent with my mom …I got this recipe from my mom and as October is her birthday month, this one is dedicated to her.





Kerala Sponge Cake / Ghee Cake
(Recipe Source ~Mrs.K.M.Mathew's recipe from Malayala Manorama )
Ingredinents:
Maida / All purpose flour-250gm
Baking Powder-1 tsp
Baking Soda-1/4 tsp
Butter/Ghee-250gm
Powdered Sugar-250 gm
Eggs-4 no. (separate yolk and white)
Grated Lime/ Lemon Zest-1/2 tsp
Fresh Lime/Lemon Juice-2 tbsp
Milk- 1/2 cup
Granulated Sugar-2 tbsp
Vanilla Essence-1 tsp

Method:

  • Sift together Maida, baking powder and Baking Soda. 
  • In a large bowl, beat together butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. 
  • Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add lime juice and lime zest and beat 1 minute longer. 
  • With the mixer on low speed, alternately add flour and milk to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour.
  • In another bowl whisk egg whites stiff, then gradually add 2 tbsp sugar and vanilla essence and continue to beat until stiff. 
  • Fold egg white mixture in to butter mix and mix well.
  • Turn in to a well greased pan and bake in a pre heated oven of 180C for 50-55 minutes, or a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
Nags this post goes to your event "The Saas, Bahu Aur Sensex Contest"
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Monday, 6 October 2008

Red Velvet Cake with White Velvet Icing



Red Velvet Cake with White Velvet Icing
(Recipe Source~ 365 Great Cakes and Pies)
Ingredients:

1 stick (4 ounces) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 (1-ounce) bottle liquid red food coloring ( I used only 1tbsp)1 tsp vanilla essence
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp distilled white vinegar

Method:
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease two 9" round cake pans. Line bottoms with wax paper; grease paper. Dust pans with flour; tap out excess.
In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in red food coloring and vanilla.
Sift together cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. With mixer on low speed, alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour, just until blended. Dissolve baking soda in vinegar and stir thoroughly into batter. Turn into pans.
Bake 30-35 minutes, or a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean and cake comes away from sides of pan. Let cakes cool in pans 10 minutes, then unmold onto wire racks and remove wax paper. Invert layers again and let cool completely. Fill and frost cake with White Velvet Icing.





White Velvet Icing
Ingredients:

1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tap Vanilla essence

In a small saucepan, whisk flour and 1/4 cup milk until smooth. Gradually whisk in remaining milk until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Boil, whisking, 1 minute. Remove from heat and let stand, whisking occasionally, until completely cool, about 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and salt and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat in thickened milk mixture, 1 tbsp at a time, until icing is very light, smooth, and spreadable.


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