Friday 30 December 2011

2011 Wrap-Up

Another year comes to an end and it’s time to look back and see how the year was.... 2011 was a fantastic year for my little blog as It got its own domain, a year I blogged the maximum; 100 posts this year from me!, featured four times on the Foodbuzz Top9, a year many of you tried my recipes in your kitchen and send me feedback via comments, messages and e-mails about how you and your family enjoyed those dishes; I got maximum messages for my Kerala Christmas Fruit Cake and Wines...... I am thankful to all of you for trying these recipes and also to all who have suggested my recipes to your friends, readers and family members.... This year I tried out a lot of new recipes and techniques, and took a major step by joining Daring Bakers which opens a window to try out completely new and intricate recipes. I hope next year also I will continue this spirit of blogging...... I am thankful to all my readers, friends and family for having faith in me and encouraging me to come up with more recipes..... This year I thought as a wrap up I will post some of your favorites based on comments I received and some of my personal favorites......

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Sourdough, Letting Nature Do the Work ~ December 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge

Our Daring Bakers Host for December 2011 was Jessica of My Recipe Project and she showed us how fun it is to create Sour Dough bread in our own kitchens! She provided us with Sour Dough recipes from Bread Matters by Andrew Whitley as well as delicious recipes to use our Sour Dough bread in from Tonia George’s Things on Toast and Canteen’s Great British Food!

I am pretty good at baking yeast bread at home, but never tried Sourdough bread. Sourdough is made without adding any yeast or leavening, so we’ll be fermenting our own sourdough ‘starters’. The natural yeasts in the flour do the work of making a lovely loaf of bread. It is a 4+day process and I tried French Country Bread. My starter smelled yeasty and bubbling on the 4th day.... I baked two loafs of French Country Bread and we had it with Shepherd’s Pie... Loved this month’s challenge as it was a completely new technique for me to make your own starter at home and then bake the bread.... I will try this recipe again as somehow I felt it didn’t come out perfect... Thank you Jessica for the challenge :)....

French Country Bread

(Servings: 1 large loaf plus extra wheat starter for further baking

Wheat Starter - Day 1:
4 1/2 tablespoons (70 ml) (40 gm/1 ½ oz) stoneground breadmaking whole-wheat or graham flour
3 tablespoons (45 ml) water
Total scant ½ cup (115 ml) (3 oz/85 gm)

1. In a Tupperware or plastic container, mix the flour and water into a paste.
2. Set the lid on top gently, cover with a plastic bag, to prevent messes in case it grows more than expected!
3. Set somewhere warm (around 86 F if possible). I sometimes put mine on a windowsill near a radiator, but even if it’s not that warm, you’ll still get a starter going – it might just take longer.

Wheat Starter - Day 2:
4 1/2 tablespoons (70 ml) (40 gm/1 ½ oz) stoneground breadmaking whole-wheat or graham flour
3 tablespoons (45 ml) water
scant 1/2 cup (115 ml) (3 oz/85 gm) starter from Day 1
Total scant cup (230 ml) (6 oz/170 gm)

1. Stir the flour and water into the mixture from Day 1, cover, and return to its warm place.

Wheat Starter - Day 3:
4 1/2 tablespoons (70 ml) (40 gm/1 ½ oz) stoneground breadmaking whole-wheat or graham flour
4 teaspoons (20 ml) water
scant 1 cup (230 ml) (6 oz/170 gm) starter from Day 2
Total 1⅓ cup (320 ml) (230 gm/8-1/10 oz)

1. Stir the flour and water into the mixture from Day 2, cover, and return to its warm place.

Wheat Starter - Day 4:
3/4 cup plus 1½ tablespoons (205 ml) (120 gm/4 ¼ oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup less 4 teaspoons (100 ml) water
1⅓ cup (320 ml) (230 gm/8 oz) starter from Day 3
Total scant 2⅔ cup (625 ml) (440 gm/15½ oz)

1. Stir the flour and water into the mixture from Day 3, cover, and return to its warm place. At this point it should be bubbling and smell yeasty. If not, repeat this process for a further day or so until it is!

French Country Bread
Stage 1: Refreshing the leaven
1 cup less 1 tablespoon (225 ml) (160 gm/5 ⅔ oz) wheat Leaven Starter
6 tablespoons less 1 teaspoon (85 ml) (50 gm/1¾ oz) stoneground bread making whole-wheat or graham flour
1 cup plus 2 teaspoons (250 ml) (150 gm/5 ⅓ oz) unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup (120 ml) water
Production Leaven Total 2¾ cups plus 4 teaspoons (680 ml) (480 gm /1 lb 1 oz)

1. Mix everything into a sloppy dough. It may be fairly stiff at this stage. Cover and set aside for 4 hours, until bubbling and expanded slightly.

French Country Bread
Stage 2: Making the final dough

3/4 cup less 1 teaspoon (175 ml) (100 gm/3 ½ oz) stoneground breadmaking whole-wheat or graham flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (510 ml) (300gm/10 ½ oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons (7½ ml) (7 gm/¼ oz) sea salt or ⅔ teaspoon (3⅓ ml) (3 gm/⅛ oz) table salt
1 ¼ cups (300 ml) water
1 ¾ cups (425 ml) (300 gm/10 ½ oz) production leaven – this should leave some (1 cup) for your next loaf.
Total 6 cups less 2 tablespoons 1415 ml (1007 gm/35 ½ oz/2 lb 3½ oz)

1. Mix the dough with all the ingredients except the production leaven. It will be a soft dough.

2. Knead on an UNFLOURED surface for about 8-10 minutes, getting the tips of your
fingers wet if you need to. You can use dough scrapers to stretch and fold the dough at this stage, or air knead if you prefer. Basically, you want to stretch the dough and fold it over itself repeatedly until you have a smoother, more elastic dough.
See demonstration here:

3. Smooth your dough into a circle, then scoop your production leaven into the centre. You want to fold the edges of the dough up to incorporate the leaven, but this might be a messy process. Knead for a couple minutes until the leaven is fully incorporated in the dough. See my demonstration here:

4. Spread some water on a clean bit of your work surface and lay the dough on top. Cover with an upturned bowl, lining the rim of the bowl with a bit of water. Leave for an hour, so that the gluten can develop and the yeasts can begin to aerate the dough.

5. Once your dough has rested, you can begin to stretch and fold it. Using wet hands and a dough scraper, stretch the dough away from you as far as you can without breaking it and fold it back in on itself. Repeat this in each direction, to the right, towards you, and to the left. This will help create a more ‘vertical’ dough, ready for proofing. See my demonstration here:

6. Heavily flour a banneton/proofing basket with whole wheat flour and rest your dough, seam side up, in the basket. Put the basket in a large plastic bag, inflate it, and seal it. Set aside somewhere warm for 3-5 hours, or until it has expanded a fair bit. It is ready to bake when the dough responds to a gently poke by slowly pressing back to shape.

7. Preheat the oven to hot 425°F/220°C/gas mark 7. Line a baking sheet with parchment, then carefully invert the dough onto the sheet. I like to put the baking sheet on top of the basket, then gently flip it over so as to disturb the dough as little as possible. Make 2-3 cuts on top of the loaf and bake for 40-50 minutes, reducing the temperature to moderately hot 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6 after 10 minutes.

8. Cool on a cooling rack.

Sunday 25 December 2011

Fondant Icing Recipe (Eggless)

"May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,

The gladness of Christmas give you hope,

The warmth of Christmas grant you love."

Merry Christmas to all.....

As a tradition every year, I make Christmas Fruit Cake and decorate it with icing. Earlier I have posted another fondant icing recipe and in the last couple of years I was using the same icing for my Christmas cake. But a lot of my readers expressed concern about using raw egg white and so this year I thought of using another recipe I found in Vanitha magazine, which has no egg in it. It came out very well …. Also please note that I am not a trained cake decorator and have not taken any cake decorating courses ….. So my cake decorations are not perfect … :D

Fondant Icing Recipe (Eggless)

Gelatin-1 tsp
Water- 1 oz
Liquid Glucose- 1 tbsp
Glycerin- ¼ tsp
Icing sugar- 300-400 gms

  • In a saucepan mix liquid glucose and water. Add gelatin and keep the pan over a big pan of boiling water and melt this mixture.
  • Remove and add glycerin and icing sugar and make a smooth, soft and pliable dough.
  • Add desired colour according to the design you want to make.
  • Always keep the fondant dough in an airtight container.

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Banoffee Slice Recipe

Recently on a visit to a book shop, I grabbed a copy of Australian Women’s Weekly… I am a huge fan of AWW and I couldn’t resist this "Little Squares and Slices" book which has a collection of heavenly indulgences, some are very rich and some are very healthy ....  All are completely irresistible recipes.... and as you know, naturally, I will go for the rich desserts first... So I made this Banoffee Slice, as I love Banoffee Pie which I have posted earlier.... both these two recipes are almost same, the only difference is in the method of making Dulce the Leche .... If you have not yet decided on what dessert to make on Christmas, this will be a perfect dessert to include in your menu .... after all it’s Christmas and you can overload yourself with this rich, luscious and decadent little slices without any guilt ;) ;).....

Sunday 18 December 2011

Diamond Cuts Vilayichathu / Diamond Cuts coated with Sugar Syrup

This is another snack Kerala Christians make during Christmas time. It is a diamond shaped deep fried snack coated with cardamom flavored sugar syrup. It was a regular snack at home when we were kids; and I always used to pick up and eat the ones that are fully drenched in the sugar syrup :)..... Even without coating in sugar syrup it is a great snack especially with drinks....

Friday 16 December 2011

Tips for making Homemade Kerala Wine

Homemade Kerala Wine

Since I get a lot of messages and e-mails expressing doubts and seeking clarifications on wine making, I thought of sharing these tips that should help while making wine at home. I am not a trained wine maker or chemist...... These are tips learned from books and several years of wine making......

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Homemade Nellikka Wine Recipe / Amla Wine / Indian Gooseberry Wine Recipe (with out yeast)

How are your Christmas preparations coming up? Have you made any wine or baked your Christmas cake yet? I plan to bake my fruitcake tomorrow... Today’s recipe Nellikka / Gooseberry wine is very familiar to most Keralites.... It is a very common wine like Grape wine back home.... Like my earlier Grape Wine, this is also a “No Yeast” wine.... so it is very mild.... if you desire you can add 1 teaspoon of yeast to make it strong..... However since gooseberry has a lot of medicinal value I prefer to avoid using yeast...  I made this just before Christmas last year.... so it’s got a really nice colour with age.... Do try it if you get hold of gooseberries.....

Sunday 11 December 2011

Erachi Unakkiyathu / Sundried Beef with spices & Unakka Erachi Chammanthi Podichathu (Thoran)/ Dry Beef Chutney Powder

Unakka Erachi or Sun dried beef is a specialty of Kerala cuisine especially among Kerala Christians but not as popular as unakka meen / sundried fish that is easily available in shops. My grandmother and aunt used to sun dry beef and we used to always get a share of it. With that mom used to make these awesome side dishes that goes very well with boiled rice and kanji (rice gruel) which is undoubtedly an ultimate comfort food. Also these Unakka Erachi side dishes are excellent as short eats with alcohol and Kallu (Toddy)..... I am sure if I have any male readers, they will totally agree with me on this :).....

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Bakery-Style Cinnamon Bursts Recipe

Whenever I ask my son what would he like to have when he gets back from school, I always get an answer like cinnamon rolls or doughnuts! He loves cinnamon flavored buns/ rolls..... So I am always on the look-out for similar recipes..... When I saw these cute Cinnamon Bursts at Betty Crocker’s site I knew he would love them.... it’s tastes very similar to the Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread I posted earlier..... Kids will love this cute flowery shaped buns..... Ideal for a kid’s birthday party..... If you plan on trying these for a birthday party I would suggest making them in 24 muffin cups instead of 12 in the original recipe.....
I was not able to participate in the Sweet Punch challenge for the last couple of months. This month’s Sweet Punch challenge was to bake your choice and I selected this Bakery-Style Cinnamon Bursts as my entry :).... 

Monday 5 December 2011

Mutton Biriyani Recipe / Atterachi Biryani Recipe


There are plenty of ways to make biriyani and every household has their own unique recipe for the same. This recipe was used by my mom and I have always followed it for mutton or beef biriyani. It’s easy, can be prepared ahead of time and baked just before serving. It’s a great dish especially when hosting a party or if you are cooking for the weekend ahead of time like me…

Friday 2 December 2011

Homemade Potato Gnocchi with Tomato Cream Sauce & Fresh Mozzarella

I first tried Gnocchi during our recent visit to Italy and fell in love with it … after coming back I searched for the recipe and tried a couple …. but nothing came close to the taste we enjoyed in Rome & Venice… finally I found this recipe in Lucy’s Hungry Carvings which tastes exactly like what we ate in Italy! In the last 4 months I have tried this recipe several times and every time I got soft pillow like gnocchi… Uncooked Potato Gnocchi’s can be make ahead of time and frozen…

Monday 28 November 2011

Sweet Cheeda / Maduramulla Cheeda

I took a picture of cheeda for changing a picture from an old post. Then I realized I had made sweet cheeda this time; so I thought of posting the recipe …. Aamma used to make both the sweet and unsweetened versions while we were small….. This is one of the snacks Kerala Christians make during Christmas time and can be stored for almost a month.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Sans Rival – Daring Bakers Challenge November 2011

Catherine of Munchie Musings was the November Daring Bakers’ host and she challenged to make a traditional Filipino dessert Sans Rival cake. And for those of us who wanted to try an additional Filipino dessert, Catherine also gave us a bonus recipe for Bibingka which comes from her friend Jun of Jun-blog.

I chose to make Chocolate Sans Rival and I only made quarter batch of the recipe. My daquoise and buttercream came out really nice, though the butter cream quantity was a little less. I suppose it really depends on individual taste; but this particular dessert did not find favour with my family; may be due to the overpowering taste of egg.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

White Chocolate Terrine

I made this White chocolate terrine recently for our guests..... It’s an easy dessert that can be made and frozen ahead of time and you only need to remove it from the freezer 15 minutes before serving...  You can cut this into neat slices and can serve with fruit coulis of your choice......

Thursday 17 November 2011

Homemade Rice Wine / Ari Wine

Have you all started your Christmas preparations? Making wines, soaking fruits for Christmas cake etc.... to be frank this year I have not even soaked the fruits for my Fruit Cake which I used to do in Sept/Oct every year.... now I have just started chopping fruits and will have to finish it in a couple of days.... but I am happy that my wine stock is ready..... I have five different types of wine in stock; most of them are only a bottle each and are left over’s from last year.... I experiment making different types of wine in small amounts and this Rice wine was one such trial.... It has a very unique taste and aroma..... just after making, this wine looks white in color and after a couple of months it will attain this clear light golden color like in the picture.... so kick start your holiday season by making this wine at home.... I will be posting my other wine experiments soon....So stay tuned :)....

One more thing before we proceed to the wine recipe; if you are looking for a nice Christmas Fruit Cake do try the cake I posted last year ....I use that recipe every year and I can guarantee that you will thoroughly enjoy it :) ......

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Black and White Wednesday ~ Rice Wine

My first ever entry to Susan’s Black and White Wednesday - A weekly culinary photo event.

Monday 14 November 2011

Chicken Seekh Kebab

Kebab (or kaabaaab, kabob, kebap) is a wide variety of meat dishes. Kebab includes grilled, roasted, and stewed dishes of large or small cuts of meat, or even ground meat. The traditional meat for kebab is lamb, but depending on local tastes, it may be beef, goat, chicken, pork; fish and seafood; or even vegetarian foods like falafel or tofu. (wiki)
These kebabs can be served as an appetizer along with a dip / Chutney or as a side dish with Indian breads. It can be served as a wrap too…. You can either grill or bake these kebabs; I grilled using a toaster grill ……

Thursday 10 November 2011

Checkerboard Cake

It’s been a week since I updated this little space of mine…. Even though I have several recipes ready, I was not getting enough time to type and post…. It’s been a very busy week as we are in the middle of a 9 day Eid break which we are enjoying to the maximum in this lovely weather. Two days ago it was my birthday and I made this checkerboard cake. I didn’t have any checkerboard pans with me, so I made 4 different cakes from the batter and assembled it…. Cake recipe was adapted from Joy of Baking…. it’s an easy one bowl cake….

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Pork Veenjaali

This is a delicious Pork curry that goes very well with Sanna, Palappam, Vellaappam, Indian flat breads or Indian spiced rice… It’s similar to the famous Pork Vindaloo….and in our view it tastes better…

Saturday 29 October 2011

Povitica ~ A Swirly Deliciousness! ( My First Daring Bakers Challenge)

I always wanted to join Daring Bakers.... but somehow never did till finally last month I signed up. My first challenge Povitica, which I had never heard of nor eaten in my life.... Daring Bakers October 2011 challenge was hosted by Jenni, of The Gingered Whisk.

Povitica (pronounced po-va-teet-sa) is a traditional Eastern European dessert bread that is traditionally served during the holiday season. It is also known as Nutroll, Potica, Kalachi, Strudia, just to name a few. Family recipes, and the secrets on how to roll the bread so thin, were passed down through generations of families. The traditional filling for this bread is an English walnut filling, but other typical fillings also include apple/cinnamon, apricot preserves, and a sweet cheese (like cream cheese).

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Rasgulla / Roshogolla ~ Cottage Cheese Dumplings in Sugar Syrup for Diwali

Rasgulla / Roshogolla is a famous traditional Bengali sweet dish. I first tasted Rasgulla in Calcutta soon after my wedding and that time I was more fascinated with other Bengali sweets like Chum Chums, Sandesh (Shondesh) and Mishti Doi. Those days I used to buy Rasgullas only to take back home in Kerala to distribute it to relatives. I once tried to makes this and failed terribly. Recently after so many years when I craved to have some Rasgullas, I tried it out again and this time it came out really well. Kneading of paneer / cottage cheese to a smooth dough is very important. I used my food processer to knead the paneer. So here is how I made this soft and spongy delicacy.....

Sunday 23 October 2011

Orange Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Mango Sauce

Panna Cotta, a creamy and delicious Italian dessert which can be whipped up very easily and served with fruit coulis / sauce of your choice..... A dessert you will get addicted to and with which you can wow your guests....... Recently when we had guests for dinner I made this Orange Buttermilk Panna Cotta adapted from Jungle Frog ...... original recipe was with lemon instead of orange and I just served this with some thick alphonso mango pulp...... We all loved the orange flavor......

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Oatmeal, Coconut and Almond Cookies

On a recent hunt for some healthy cookies I come across Miryam’s Oatmeal, Coconut and Almond Cookies... I loved the recipe as it has all the healthy ingredients.... oatmeal, whole wheat, almonds and no egg.... We really loved the coconut, almond and oatmeal combination and will be baking it regularly..... Do try these eggless, healthy and tasty cookies.....

Sunday 16 October 2011


I had posted this Lasagna recipe during my early  blogging days. We had guests over this weekend and this was one of the dishes I made for them. While clicking pictures of other dishes, I thought of taking some pictures of Lasagna as my earlier pictures were really terrible ;)

Saturday 15 October 2011

"100 Yummy Diwali Recipes" E-Book is available for download

IndusLadies has compiled an eBook for this Diwali consisting of "100 Yummy Sweets & Desserts recipes", contributed by various Food Bloggers! Go ahead and download it. Feel free to share it with your family & friends. You can find my Rasmalai recipe too:)
Click on the picture to download the e-bbok....

Monday 10 October 2011

Lemon Truffles

We are a huge fan of truffles and it’s been quite some time since I made any…. We had a guest for dinner last weekend and I made Lemon Truffles … These truffles are very easy to make and not difficult to handle or roll… I halved the recipe and got almost 30- 35 small truffles… also I used powdered sugar to roll the truffles not cocoa powder like in the original recipe….

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Chakkakuru Mezhukkupuratti / Stir- fried Jackfruit seeds

Like I mentioned in a previous post I brought a packet of chakkakuru /jackfruit seeds back from Kerala and this is another popular dish with chakkakuru/ Jackfruit seeds. It is one of my favorites and the most difficult part of making this dish is cleaning the jackfruit seeds. When I was young my grandmother used to prepare this dish for us and Amma only had to stir-fry it in coconut oil. It’s been ages I had this dish and my maid very patiently cleaned the jackfruit seeds for me with a warning not to bring it from Kerala anymore :D

Friday 30 September 2011

Indus Ladies recipe E-book

Indus Ladies is the largest online community for Indian Women. Indian Women from around the world visit Indusladies to ask questions, get help, read and write blogs, engage in a dialogue and along the way build authentic and enduring friendships. Now they are compiling a Diwali E-book featuring 100 lip-smacking desserts by bloggers. I have contributed my Rasmalai recipe for the E-book. If you have a great dessert recipe and would like it to be part of the E-book please send in your entry to IndusLadies asap.  

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Kuzhalappam Vilayichathu~ A traditional deep fried snack of Kerala

Kuzhalappam, another famous Kerala delicacy my aunt made for me when I was in Kerala. It is a traditional snack of Kerala which can be made in bulk and can be stored for a couple of months. Nowadays it’s common to get Kuzhalappam in bakeries and my home town Kottayam is very famous for Mammi Cheduthi’s Kuzhalappam and Churuttu (another Kerala snack). Usually the store bought ones are made of maida / all purpose flour and are whiter in colour and homemade ones are made of rice flour and are of brown in colour. The kuzhalappams can also be coated with a light sugar or jaggery syrup.

Saturday 24 September 2011

Setting Sun!

An unusually colorful sunset in Kuwait…..

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Chakkakuru Manga Curry / Jackfruit Seed and Mango Curry

I brought a big packet of chakkakuru from Kerala this year. Side dishes with chakkakuru are my favorite and I have already made Chakkakuru Manga Curry and Chakkakuru Mezhukkupuratti out of it….. This Chakkakuru manga curry is a traditional vegetarian side dish of Kerala….. A plate of boiled rice with this charu curry, a piece of fish fry and some mezhukkupuratti / stir fried vegetable or thoran is a bliss for lunch!

Monday 19 September 2011

Rasmalai ~ A sweet treat to celebrate a new beginning :)

Hope all of you have noticed the new address of Swapna’s Cuisine J…. Yes we have moved to our own domain and I am thankful to all my readers, friends and family for the love and support you gave me all this time and I hope to get the same in future too…. This Rasmalai recipe I had posted during my early days of blogging and last week when I made it, I thought of taking a decent picture and reposting it… I also wanted the first post on my own domain to be a sweet dish……… It’s one of the easiest Rasmalai recipes to make….

Tuesday 13 September 2011

Chakka Upperi / Jackfruit Chips

Either my grandmother or my mom’s sister would keep a packet of chakka upperi for me whenever they make it at home. This time also I got a big zip-lock packet of upperi when I went to Kerala…. So the credit to the hard work behind this upperi goes to my aunt and not me ;)… only credit that comes to me is munching it while typing and clicking photos… here is how she makes this Chakka Upperi/ Jackfruit chips…

Friday 9 September 2011

Gothambu Payasam / Broken Wheat Payasam

Wishing all my readers a Very Happy Onam!

Tuesday 6 September 2011

I am back after my summer holidays…..

Hi everybody…. I am back home after a hectic three weeks in Kerala. After our Europe trip we went to Kerala and it’s been almost 2months since I am away from my blog. Even though I had scheduled some posts, I was not able to respond to your comments or queries on time or to visit your blogs ... School re- opened for my son yesterday and I am trying to settle down slowly…. Since I have not really started cooking new recipe posts have to wait for a little while… I have collected some traditional recipes while I was in Kerala… will make all of them as soon as I settle here…. mean while I will post some pictures from our trip…

While I was in Kerala our little Aaryan celebrated his 7th birthday and as usual I made a cake for him and this time he wanted a Mickey Mouse birthday cake… He loved the cake even though I am not too happy with the look of the final product…. It could have made much better if I had some more time and icing tools with me :( … By the time I finished icing the cake it was already evening and no natural light was available to take a decent photo…. Anyways better luck next time right? ;)

On another note after waiting for a couple of months I finally got the "The Big Book of Baking” that I won on Divya’s blog… thank you Divya for sending such a lovely book! It was lovely to talk to some of my close blogger friends like Ria, Maria, Bindu, Mini and of course my college friend cum blogger Bharathy! Even though we couldn’t meet each other it was lovely talking to you all girls :)

Monday 29 August 2011

Spinach and Avocado Salad

Spinach and Avocado Salad
(Recipe Source: Pam’s For the Love of Cooking)

Baby spinach
1-2 avocados, diced
Cherry tomatoes, quartered
Red onion diced
Parmesan cheese, shaved
Simple Vinaigrette (recipe below)

  • Place the baby spinach in a large bowl then top with the avocados, tomatoes, red onion, craisins, croutons, and Parmesan cheese.

1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 red wine vinegar
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sugar
Sea salt and Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • Make the vinaigrette at least 30 minutes prior to serving the salad so the flavors have time to mingle. Combine the ingredients together and whisk well before serving.
  • Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad to taste; toss until evenly coated. Serve immediately.

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Baked Chocolate Cake Doughnuts

This is one of the best baked doughnuts I have had till date.

Tuesday 9 August 2011

Sausage Rolls

Sausage Rolls
2½ cups bread flour
3tbsp+2tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
½ cup milk
120g tangzhong (recipe below)
2 tsp instant yeast3 tbsp butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)

  • Combine the flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the center. Add in all wet ingredients: milk, egg and tangzhong. Fit the dough hook attachment on your stand mixer and begin mixing on medium speed and knead until your dough comes together and then add in the butter and continue kneading.  Keep kneading until the dough is smooth, not too sticky on the surface and elastic, about 18-20 minutes. Each mixer may vary. When the dough is ready, you should be able to take a chunk of dough and stretch it to a very thin membrane before it breaks. When it does break, the break should be form a circle.
  • Knead the dough into a ball shape. Take a large bowl and grease with oil.  Place dough into greased bowl and cover with a wet towel. Let it proof until it’s doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
  • Transfer to a clean surface. Divide the dough into six equal portions. Knead into balls.  Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes.
  • Roll out each portion of the dough to form a long rope.  Take a sausage and begin wrapping the rope around the sausage, starting at one end and ending up at the other end.
  • Place each rolled sausage on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let them rise until double the size, approximately another 40-60 minutes.
  • Beat an egg and brush egg mixture on top to create shiny egg wash finish.
  • Bake at 350°F / 175°C for approximately 30 minutes. The sausage rolls are best eaten hot, when the crust of the bread is crunchy.

1/3 cup  bread flour
1 cup water
  • Mix flour and water together and whisk until it is completely dissolved and no lumps remain.
  • Pour mixture into a small pot and turn on medium heat. Begin stirring constantly as the mixture heats up. It will begin to thicken.  When the temperature of the mixture reaches 65°C, turn off the stove and take the mixture off the stove to let it cool. If you are continually stirring, the mixture will start to have “lines” and then it is done. (You will start to see lines around the same time the temperature reaches 65°C)