Sunday 27 January 2013

Chocoflan Cake / Chocolate Flan Cake

Chocoflan cake or Chocolate Flan cake, a Mexican dessert, is a chocolate cake on the bottom with a flan/ caramel custard on top. It is also known as impossible cake or Magic Cake.  You pour the caramel, then the chocolate cake batter and the flan on top, then get it in the oven and during baking process these two switch places and it comes out with the beautifully baked custard at the bottom and the cake on top!! Impossible right?? But it’s true.... I had my own doubts while baking, whether actually they switch places or the cake and flan mix together and comes out in a mess.... but it baked beautifully.... And I got an awesome looking magic cake which is a sure showstopper! This is a great dessert for parties, as this cake has to be made a day ahead before you want to serve it, It makes a stunning presentation and it is very tasty and you will get at least 15 servings with the total amount. I only made half the amount of the cake in my 6 cup capacity bundt pan.  I also added little nutmeg powder and a teaspoon of caramel sauce to the flan mixture to reduce the eggy smell.... You can completely omit that.... Do try this cake to impress your guests or your better half or your valentine and don’t forget to send me a thank you note  ;) ;).... 

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Tuesday 22 January 2013


I am Swapna,a stay at home mom and the author, cook / baker behind Swapna’s Cuisine. I hail from Kottayam, a bustling town in south central Kerala, famous for its 3L’s, Lakes, Latex and Literacy.  Located on the Malabar Coast in south west India, Kerala is a top tourist destination and referred to as God’s Own Country. I am a Home Science graduate and I started cooking during my college days. After graduating, I married and moved to Northern India before relocating to Kuwait where I currently live with my husband and son. I have several hobbies including cooking, stitching, crocheting, embroidery and fabric painting. My passion for cooking which started during my childhood was inspired by my mother and besides the traditional Syrian Christian fare, I particularly love baking and wine making. 

In 2008, I started this blog and I used to do everything by myself. But now it is collaborative effort since my photography loving husband Mickey took over the job of photo shooting. Well, cameras and I were never good friends! I always prefer to be in front of the camera than behind ;). Now I concentrate on the cooking and food styling, Mickey takes care of the photography which gives me more free time for my other passions cross stitching and crocheting.

The recipes I publish here are a reflection of my Syrian Christian origins, culinary tastes acquired during my stay in North India and the Middle East and evidence of our gastronomic preferences. All recipes I have posted here are a collection from my family members, friends, cookery books or other blogs with due credit or link back. All the recipes are tried and tested by me and I have only posted the successful ones. I try to give correct measurements but please adjust to suit your personal taste especially chilies’ in the Indian fare. While I make every effort to share successful recipes, sometimes some recipes may not work out as well as you hoped. If anything like that happens, please let me know what exactly went wrong and I will try my best to answer, but please appreciate that sometimes it is impossible for me to fathom what went wrong in your kitchen. I am not a trained chef or expert, just a home cook who learned by trial and error.  All I can say is please read the recipes carefully and try not to deviate from the method especially while baking and/or if you are a novice.  Believe me, once you gain confidence you can surely play with the ingredients successfully.

Right now I am living in a country where some stuff like pork, poppy seeds, alcohol etc are prohibited. I get a lot of messages or comments pertaining to where I get these ingredients for some recipes. Please assume that I might have made it while I was in India or I may have ways and means best left out of the public domain ;). I am sure those of you who are or have lived in these countries would have an idea! ;) ;)

My World of Stitching, a blog I started to showcase all my cross stitch, crochet, paintings and all other artwork done over the years. All the patterns in cross stitch and crochet are copyrighted by their original designers and I got them by buying their original designs. I request you not to ask me to send the patterns as it would violate copyright regulations. If I got the pattern free from the net published originally by the designer I will definitely add that link in the post. Thanks for understanding.

Camera, Photography and Copyright:
In the beginning I was using a Sony Cybershot point and shoot camera and then we upgraded it to Canon 450D (Rebel Xsi) and currently we are using a Canon EOS 7D with a EF 50mm f / 1.4 USM lens. All the pictures are shot in our home in natural light with post processing by and large restricted to cropping and watermarking only.

I give back credit to all the recipes I posted here and I would appreciate if the favor is returned. All the pictures here are taken either by my husband or by me. Kindly do not use it without our permission or proper credit or link back to the original post. Plagiarizing is not welcome and will not be tolerated. Please understand that there is a lot of time and hard work behind each recipe I publish here; kindly respect that and ask permission first.

Commenting and Common Courtesy:
I would love to hear from you, if you find the recipe useful as well as your opinions, queries and requests. You can either comment in the post or use the Contact Me form. Constructive suggestions, criticism and feedback are always welcome and appreciated. But unnecessarily rude comments or comments containing links to commercial websites or blogs will be deleted.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I enjoy bringing them to you. If you like to receive notifications in your inbox please subscribe to the site by entering your e-mail id in the subscription form. Also you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook , Google Plus and Pinterest.

Thank you for stopping by.
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Friday 18 January 2013

Nadan Kozhi Mappas / Chicken Mappas / Kerala Chicken Curry in Creamy Coconut Sauce

Nadan Chicken Mappas

Kozhi Mappas or Chicken Mappas is a typical Syrian Christian delicacy, which is very common in Kerala Christian homes....Chicken cooked in a spiced creamy coconut milk and served with Palappam or Vellayappam is a regular breakfast in Christian families especially on occasions like Christmas, Easter and is also one of the items in ceremonies like Othukalyanam (Engagements), Weddings, Baptism etc... Back home we used to add potato and carrot along with the chicken and these veggie pieces cooked along with chicken in the gravy tastes delicious! You can make different versions of Mappas by substituting chicken with egg, mutton, beef, fish, duck or with vegetables like Broccoli, cauliflower, ladies finger, bread fruit etc…. Chicken mappas can be served with Palappam, Vellayappam, Chapathi, Idiyappam, Puttu or even with plain boiled rice with spiced yogurt.... 
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Friday 11 January 2013

Kerala Mathi (Chala) Achaar / Sardine Pickle

Chala Achaar

Amma used to make fish pickle but she always used big fishes like King Fish (Motha), Seer Fish (Neimeen) etc.... Recently someone told me Mathi Pickle is very good and last week when I got some Mathi / sardines I tried it with a small batch.... I have adapted the recipe from B.F Varghese’s book and it came outwell..... You can either cut mathi into small pieces or use as a while fish like I did... A good side dish with rice, moru kachiyathu and thoran....
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Sunday 6 January 2013

Marshmallow Fondant Icing Recipe / MM Fondant Icing Recipe

Every year I decorate one of my Christmas cakes with fondant icing and this time I made Marshmallow Fondant.... I got the recipe from Spicyana girl Archana sometime back.... I adore her cake decorating skills and the beautiful cakes she makes.... so once when she mentioned on FB that she uses homemade MM fondant, I asked her for the recipe and she immediately sent it to me with the links and a lot of tips.... I got a chance to try it at Christmas.... it is so smooth and pliable and tastes great too.... Only thing is you have to knead it really well... In Archana words “knead for some 10 minutes, in a stand mixer using the dough hook and then knead for a good ten minutes or more by hand. Be sure to liberally smear the hands and the hook with shortening. The longer you knead the better and hand- kneading is the most important part. Make the fondant the day before, and keep it in a ziploc bag at room temperature. This "resting" part is also important. Also, when you roll out the fondant, thinly smear the surface and rolling pin with shortening”. I followed all these instructions and I got a perfect fondant!!!....  Thank you so much dear for the recipe and the tips.... I know my cake won’t come anywhere near as beautiful as your cakes, but I hope one day I will able to :):) .....I made half amount of the fondant for one cake....
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Wednesday 2 January 2013

Mango Truffles

Mango Truffles Recipe

It’s the beginning of a new year and I wanted to start off with something sweet :).... I have already tried many truffles and mango truffles was in my mind for a long time, even tried once which did not turn out as expected ....  so this Christmas I tried these again and it came out pretty well..... I used the basic recipe of Pumpkin Truffles..... The only problem was to shape the ganache to a perfect ball.... the ganache was so fragile you need to freeze them before and after shaping it..... also you have to rub your hands with powdered sugar very well.....  May be using a chocolate mould will make the whole process little more effortless; I have to try that next time..... Mango puree should be thick and I used frozen Alphonso mango puree....

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