Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Eggless Orange Flavored Cake...Yummy!


Holiday season is always full of gatherings, lots of fun and food. Specially the sweets and baked food. This year was no different. I baked a couple of different cakes, made muffins and rasmalai too. My cousin and family came in from houston and we had lots of fun last 4 days. It's not over yet, I am again packing for our trip to FL on New Year's. :)

Before I get busy again, I do want to post the recipe for this awesome eggless orange cake that I baked on the Christmas day. I found this recipe on Pratibha's Blog and decide to make it right away.

I doubled the recipe and tweeked it a little bit to make it a little healthy. Outcome was delicious. The cakes was spongy and super soft. You won't even miss the eggs.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
2 1/2 Cup Flour ( I used 1 1/4th of Maida(All Purpose) and 1 1/4th of Whole Wheat)
3/4 can Sweetend Condensed Milk (I used Fat Free)
1 cup Melted Butter (I used 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup oil.)
1 cup Orange Juice
7 tbsp powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
2 tsp Orange Essence
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp baking soda

Method:

1. Preheat the Oven @ 350 F.
2. Line and grease a baking tray/pan. I used the rectangular pan.
3. Sift the flour with baking powder and baking soda into a bowl and keep it aside.
4. In another bowl mix well with a hand whisker melted butter,oil,condensed milk,orange juice,powdered sugar,vanilla essence and orange essense until everything is mixed well.
5. Make a well in the sifted flour mixture and pour the whisked wet ingredients mixture in the center and gently mix the mixture until you get a smooth and uniform mixture without lumps.
6. Pour the mixture into the baking tray and tap it twice to remove the air bubbles formed if any.
7. Place this pan in the center of the oven and bake it for 30-35 mins until the crust is golden brown in color or if the tooth pick comes out clean when inserted into it.
8.After 10 mins remove it from the pan and let it cool on the wire rack.Cut into square wedges and serve.

Store it in the air tight container.

Adding this to WYF:Tea Time Snack Event and to Cakes and Cookies Event

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Madeleines-- Cookie or Petite Cakes?


I love Madeleines. Whenever we used to go to Coscto, I would pick up a box of these. They look like cookie but actually they are petite cakes that are perfect to go with tea/coffee or afternoon snack.

This time I decided to make this heavenly small cakes/cookies a try at home. So I started to look for the recipe and got a perfect one at JoyofBaking. Putting this recipe out here for you to follow.

Try them out and I bet you will love them. Very Easy and Quick to Make.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Note: If you make miniature madeleines, reduce the baking time to about 5-7 minutes.

Method:
1. First, melt the butter and allow it to cool while you make the batter.
2. In a small bowl place the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk until well blended.
3. In the bowl beat the eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until the mixture has tripled in volume and forms a thick ribbon when the beaters are lifted (about 5 minutes). Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine.
4. Sift a small amount of flour over the egg mixture and, using a spatula, fold the flour mixture into the beaten eggs to lighten it. Sift the rest of the flour over the egg mixture and fold in being sure not to overmix or the batter will deflate.
5. Whisk a small amount of the egg mixture into the melted butter to lighten it. Then fold in the cooled melted butter in three additions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes until slightly firm.
6. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease the madeleines pans. (Make sure the pans are well greased or the madeleines will stick and be hard to remove.)
7. Drop a generous tablespoonful of the batter into the center of each prepared mold, leaving the batter mounded in the center. (This will result in the classic "humped" appearance of the madeleines.)
8. Bake the madeleines for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the centers spring back when lightly touched. Do not overbake these cookies or they will be dry.

PS: You can buy the Madeleines pan at Amazon or Bed Bath and Beyond.

Adding this to Cake and Cookies Event.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hola!! Enjoy Enchiladas and Chile Relleno....with Refried Beans, Guacamole and Sour Cream on the side :)


This is the first time I tried making Mexican at home. Turned out awesome! Chili Relleno takes a little more time and effort but it's worth it.As we are vegetarian, I made Onions Cheese Enchilladas.

Here is the step by step recipe
Ingredients:-
For Guacamole ( You can either use fresh Guacamole or get the ready made one from store)
Ripe Large Avocado- 2
Minced Onion- 1/4th
Lemon Juice- 2 Tsp
Serrano Chiles- 2 Minced
Coriander- 1 Tsp Finely Chopped
Sour Cream- 2 tbsp
Salt- To Taste

For Enchiladas
Oil- 2 Tbsp
Tacos - Either Corn or Flour is fine.
Onion- 1 thin long sliced
Shredded Cheddar Cheese- 1 Cup
Jack Cheese- 1/2 Cup
Enchilada Sauce- Either Red or Green, heated ( I used the store bought and added some more spices to it to modify it our taste)

For Chile Relleno (I made the eggless batter for the Chile Relleno)
Oil to fry.
4 large chiles (Anaheim, or Poblano work well)
1/2 cup flour
2 Tbsp- Corn Starch
1/4 Tsp- Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp salt
3/4 th to 1 Cup Buttermilk ( I used milk with vinegar added to it)
Cheddar & Jack Cheese- Either thin sliced or shredded is fine.
Sauce- Either Red or Green, heated
Deep fryer or a large pan with 2 inches of oil
Paper towels for draining
Ziploc bag- For Steaming the Chiles

Method:
Guacamole
1 Cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avocado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl. 
2 Using a fork, mash the avocado.
3. Add the chopped onion, chiles, cilantro, lemon juice, salt and pepper and mash some more.
4. Add the sour cream and mix well.
Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Sour Cream helps in preventing the guacamole to turn brown or dark in color.

Chile Relleno 
  1. Roast the chiles- Insert a sharp knife into the top of the chile, just under the stem and slice downward about half way down the chile.This avoids the chile to burst while roasting. Roast each chile on the gas griddle or in the oven using broiler setting until they turn black and develop blisters. Immediately after roasting put the chiles in a ziploc bag closed for 10-15 minutes to steam. Peel each chile and let them cool.
  2. Remove the seeds-If you like your chiles hot, leave this step. Otherwise, Using a spoon or a knife, scrape the seeds and the white membrane out, without tearing the chiles flesh.
  3. Stuff the chiles-Place either the shredded or the sliced cheese inside the chile. Fill it nicely without tearing the chile apart. Don't overstuff and make sure the open edges of the chile still come together.
  4. Prepare batter- Take the flour, corn starch, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix it well. Add in the buttermilk slowly and whip the batter well. Make sure there are no lumps. The consistency should be of like pancake batter.
  5. Cook chiles- One at a time, dip the stuffed chiles into the batter and then into the hot oil.  Cook until batter is a crisp golden brown.
  6. Drain excess oil-Remove chiles from the oil and drain on paper towels. 
  7. Put the chile on the serving plate/tray and top it with the enchilada/mexican red or green sauce and some shredded cheese. Sauce should be hot. It helps in melting the cheese right on the chile.
Onion Cheese Enchiladas
Preheat oven to 400 degree F 
1. Heat 1 tbsp of Oil in a pan. Stir fry onions until lightly browned. Keep them aside.
2. In a pan take 1 Tbsp of oil and heat the Tacos on it lightly from both sides. Just enough to make them soft.  Overheating can make them hard. Keep the heated Tacos aside.
3. Pour some sauce at the bottom of baking dish/casserole.
4. Dip each taco in the sauce and lay it flat on a working board, plate. Add Cheese (both Cheddar and Jack) in the middle of the taco and some onions. Roll it up and place it on the baking dish/casserole with seam side down. Do this process with every taco and place it on dish. Depends on how many enchiladas you want to make.
5. Top the enchiladas with the rest of the sauce. Add more grated cheese on the top.
6. Bake it in the oven for 15 minutes or until cheese on the top is melted and the sauce on the sides of dish starts to bubble.

Serve Hot with Guacamole, Refried Beans (I used canned ones) and Sour Cream on the side.
PS: Multitask and save time.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yummy Chocolate Cinnamon Cake



I am posting a recipe after 10 days today. My husband and I went to Smoky Mountains to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary. It was great. I can't believe it's been an year. You don't realise how time flies when you are enjoying life and having fun.

A day before leaving for Smoky's, I made this awesome Chocolate Cinnamon Cake. I was just sitting and surfing net when I came through the blog of Divya who had bookmarked this recipe from Deeba’s blog who in turn made it from Mary-The Food Librarian’s blog. 

The Cake looked so delicious and inviting that I couldn't stop myself and decided to bake the cake right away. I didn't had the bundt pan.....so i baked it in the regular pan and trust me bundt or no bundt....It's the cake that matters to me ...hehe..that too Chocolate Cake.

So here I am posting this recipe and I agree with Divya that Cake tastes better the next day when the Chocolate and Cinnamon flavored has seeped in well. My mouth is watering as I write. Need to bake this cake again very soon :)

Ingredients

Butter – ½ cup
Water – 1 cup
Vegetable oil – ½ cup
Cocoa powder – 5 tbsps[I used Hershey's]
Plain flour – 1 ½ cups
Wholewheat flour – ½ cup
Sugar – 1 ¾ cups
Salt – ½ tsp
Buttermilk – ½ cup ( I didnt have buttermilk so i used 1/2 cup of milk and 1/4th tsp Vinegar added to it. Keep it for 5 min)
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Eggs – 2,lightly beaten
Cinnamon – 1 ½ tsps
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Grease a large regular pan or bundt pan with cooking spray.
3. Put butter, water, oil, and cocoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.
4. Meanwhile, whisk together both flours, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl.
5. Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well.
6. Then, add the buttermilk and baking soda.
7. Mix together the eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla in a small bowl, and add to the batter. Pour batter into prepared pan.
8. Bake it for 25-30 min. Mine took around 28 min.
9. Let it cool completely before you cut.

Enjoy this yummy gooey Chocolate Cinnamon Cake and send me some for tasting and approving ;) ..LOL

Adding this to WYF: TEA Time Snack Event

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Garam Garam Pakore/Bhajiya - Tea Time Snack



It's a blessing to have Garam Garam Pakore (Called Bhajiya in Mumbai) with Tea in a cold or rainy weather. Spicy Pakore with Chutney/Sauce are perfect as a snack for any evening. They can be made of Potatoes, Onions, Bread, Chillies, Spring Onion, Paneer, Gobhi or mix pakora..pretty much anything!

Very simple and quick to make, here's adding the recipe and adding it to the WYF:Tea Time Snack Event

Ingredients:
Oil- To deep fry
Besan/Gram Flour- 2 cups
Water- To make paste
Ajwain- 1 Tsp
Green Chillies- 4 (Chopped)
Red Chilli Powder- 1 Tsp or to taste
Salt- To taste
Garam Masala- 1/2 Tsp
Potatoes- 1 (Sliced thin either long or oval)
Onion 1 - Sliced
Gobhi- 1/2 cup- chopped bite sized
Spring Onions- 4-6

PS: You can take any vegetable or any quantity you want to make

Method:
1. Keep the oil in a kadai/pan on medium heat.
2. While the oil is getting heated, lets prepare the batter for pakoras
3. Take Besan/Gram Flour in a bowl and add chopped green chillies, salt, red chilli powder, garam masala and mix. Then add water slowly, stirring it well making sure there are no lumps.
4. Add enough water to make a smooth, medium thick batter. It shouldn't be watery or very thick.
5. Now dip each vegetable in the batter so that it gets well coated and then deep fry in the oil
6. Fry till the pakoras turn golden brown from each side. Don't fry on high flame as it will then get fried fast from outside but inside it won't be cooked properly.
7. Take out in a paper towel so that all the extra oil gets soaked in the towel.

Serve Hot with Chutney/Sauce along with Hot Tea or Coffee.





Friday, December 4, 2009

Arbi ki Sabzi/Taro Root Vegetable

Some people may not know what Taro Root/Arbi is. Not a lot of people I have heard cook Arbi/Taro Root.
It is a starchy, potato-like tuber with a brown, fibrous skin and gray-white (sometimes purple-tinged) flesh and looks like this-  

Well to inspire you to cook and eat Taro Root, Here are some nutrition facts:

It  is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber.

Not to forget, very easy to cook and delicious too :)

Here is the recipe:
Ingredients:
5-6 pieces of Taro Root- Boiled, Peeled and sliced in small cubes
1 small onion- finely chopped
2 Tomatoes- finely chopped
2-3 Green chillies- Chopped
1 Tsp- Ginger Paste
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp- Coriander Powder
1 Tsp- Turmeric Powder
1/4th Tsp- Garam Masala
2 Tbsp-Yogurt
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Chaat Masala
Red Chilli Powder- To taste
Salt- To taste
Water- 3/4th cup
1 Tbsp- Oil
Coriander leaves- To Garnish

Method:
1. Toss the sliced Arbi/Taro root in 1 tbsp of Lemon Juice and 1 Tsp of Chaat Masala and keep it aside.
2. In a pan, heat oil. Add cumin seeds and let them turn light brown
3. Put in Green Chillies and Onion. Fry till golden brown
4. Add in the Ginger Paste. Fry for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and let it cook until tomatoes turn tender. Keep stiring
5. Add in all the spices. Mix well and cook till the oil separates from the Masala
6. Add Yogurt and mix well. Let it cook for 1 minute
7. Now add the Taro root/Arbi that we kept aside and mix well
8. Pour in 1/2 a cup of water, put the flame on low and cook until a thick gravy is formed and Arbi is more tender and soft. Keep stirring in between.
9. Garnish with Coriander leaves.

Serve HOT with Naan, Roti or Parantha! :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

RasMalai....Soft and Delicious!



Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: approx 1 hour (in various stages)
Serves: 5-6

Ingredients:
Whole Milk – 8 cups (divided)
Lemon Juice – 2 Tbsp
Water – 5 cups (in a pressure cooker)
Sugar – 2 cup
Saffron – pinch
Cardamom Powder – 1/4 tsp
Pistachios & Almonds – 2 Tbsp, roughly chopped
Sugar for the Ras – to taste

Method:

1. Boil 4 cups of milk in a pan. When the milk comes to a rolling boil, slowly add lemon juice.
2. When the milk curdles (paneer) switch off the stove and strain the paneer in a cheese cloth.
3. Pour a little cold water over the paneer and hang the cheese cloth on the tap for approx 20 minutes to remove all of the liquid.
4. Now boil the remaining 4 cups milk in a non-stick pan (The milk in the non-stick pan needs to be reduced to half the quantity so once it comes to a boil, keep the flame low and keep cooking while stirring occasionally. Grind saffron with a small amount of sugar and add it to the milk while boiling).
5. After 20 min, remove the paneer from the cheese cloth and knead the paneer to make it smooth either by hand or in the food processor. Kneading by hands will take a little longer. So what I do is run the paneer in food processor for a minute or two.(You know its done when it will come together and form a nice smooth roll)
6. Divide the paneer into 10-12 equal portions- a little smaller than the size of a ping pong ball.
7. Roll the portions in your hands until a smooth ball is formed. Lightly press the ball to flatten it a little bit
8. In the pressure cooker with water, dissolve 2 cup sugar and add the flattened paneer.
9. Close pressure cooker lid and cook until one whistle sounds. Switch off the stove and let it sit for 5-7 minutes.
10. After 5-7 minutes, remove the steam of the cooker and open the lid. (Be careful not to burn yourself)
11. You will see the paneer balls have blown to double the size. Let it sit for another 5 minutes in the water. After that, remove the cooked paneer in a bowl and allow it to cool.


12. Meanwhile, the milk in the non-stick pan should have reduced to half. Add sugar to taste, cardamom powder and nuts. Switch off the stove and keep milk aside.
13. Once the paneer is cool enough to handle with your hands, gently squeeze out some of the sugar syrup from the paneer and place the paneer into a serving dish.
14. Pour the prepared reduced milk (Ras) over the paneer and chill in the refrigerator.
15. Garnish with additional chopped nuts.
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