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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Candied Fruit Cookies

This month Priya had chosen Sharmis Passion for the Tried and Tasted event.  So when I read Sharmis Passion, the first thing that came in mind was the "Tutti Frutti Cookies". They look so yum in her photos I wanted to try it. And since the time of the year was also so apt for trying out these cookies, I made them for these Christmas. I made three batches of biscuit and I just got the 3rd batch for the photographs, all others vanished in no time.

And so they were very tasty and were hassle free to be made. Took very less time for preparation work and the baking time is also very less. "These Tutti-Fruitty cookies are sure worth a try".

I just followed the same recipe as Sharmis, just used Candied fruits instead of Tutti Fruitty since they were not available here nearby.




Ingredients

Maida - 1 cup
Candied Fruits - 1/3 cup
Powdered Sugar - 1/2 cup
Butter - 6 tb.sp (room temperature)
Milk - 1 - 2 tb.sp (only if and as required)



Method
  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, till light and fluffy.
  2. Use of a hand wisk is enough, no need of any machines for the mixing.
  3. Mix together Maida and the Candied Fruits.
  4. Add milk little by little to make a soft and little sticky dough.
  5. Roll it in a wax paper and freeze it. You can dust the wax paper with maida if needed so that the dough will not stick to the paper.
  6. Freeze the rolled dough along with the wax paper for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees C.
  8. Remove the dough cut into even slices and place them on a butter paper lined tray.
  9. Bake it for 10 to 15 minutes.
  10. Once the sides start browning a little, remove it and cool it on a wire rack.
  11. Once it cools down it will become crisp.
  12. Store it in a air-tight container.

Points to remember
  • Use milk carefully since adding more milk will make it very sticky.
  • Freezing is necessary. If you are not planning to bake it immediately then keep it in the fridge.
  • Be careful of overbaking, since they tend to get burnt soon.














Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mysorepak

Mysorepak is a traditional south indian sweet which has a porous and melt in the mouth texture. It is made using a generous amount of Ghee. It has just three ingredients and takes just about 20 to 30 minutes to prepare it. The traditional Mysorepak has three beautiful layers, the top and bottom layers are light brown in colour and the middle layer is little dark brown.




The beauty of Mysorepak is that even after we have poured it in the greased plate its cooking process in not over. Because of the heat which gets trapped inside it the cooking process continues. Many a times people face lot of problems with the preparation of this traditional sweet. Its just that the art of making it has to be perfected.  Here I have tried to explain the procedure as far as possible.  For making a perfect Mysorepak first you will have to perfect the art of sugar syrup and its stages.  Thats it and life becomes easy as far as Mysorepak is concerned. And please try to use a non-stick pan as far as possible.

The tamil version for this recipe is here in my other blog Classic Chettinad Kitchen.

Ingredients

Gramflour (Besan) - 1 cup
Ghee - 1 + 1/4 cup
Sugar - 1 1/2 cup
Water - 1/4 cup
Milk - 1 tb.sp




Method
  1. Sift the gramflour so that it becomes free of lumps.
  2. Grease a tray and keep it ready.
  3. Heat 1/4 cup ghee in a non-stick pan. Heat just till the ghee melts and the gramflour and roast till you get a nice aroma. Roast it on medium or low heat.
  4. Add sugar in a non-stick pan and add water till it just covers the sugar. Maybe about 1/4 cup or little less should be enough here.
  5. Heat it over medium heat till the sugar dissolves. 
  6. Side by side heat ghee in another vessel in low heat.
  7. Add the milk to the sugar syrup and allow the scum to surface up, remove it with a help of a ladle. Reduce the heat and make a sugar syrup of one string consistency. Here is a nice post on stages of sugar syrup written by Chitra of Ratatouille - Anyone can Cook, which will be very useful here.
  8. At this stage add the roasted flour and keep stirring, do not stop stirring or distract your attention from the pan.
  9. Once the flour gets incorporated well with the sugar syrup add 1 the ghee one ladle at a time.
  10. Every time you add the hot ghee it will become frothy and go back to its normal stage again. 
  11. In the whole process never stop stirring.
  12. When you are finished with the last ladle of ghee. Keep stirring, it will become frothy and set back. Again after a few seconds it will froth again and move around in a single mass. It will also slightly start changing its colour. This is the right stage you have to pour it in the greased tray.
  13. Smooth the surface without pressing it to hard, because this is the time when the air bubbles form in between to make it porous, so don't press it too hard. 
  14. If you like sprinkle some sugar crystals on top and cut it into pieces.
  15. Don't remove them from the tray at this stage, let it cool down and then remove it from the tray and serve. 




Points to remember


  • Very important point to remember is that once you start with the process do not divert your attention till you are finished with it.
  • As far as possible try to make it in a non-stick pan.
  • The stage of the sugar syrup is very important. If  you are a first timer with making sugar syrups then maybe you can have a trial session of the stages of sugar syrup with about 1/4 cup of sugar before you begin with the process. It will be worth the effort and lot of knowledge will be gained.
  • Keep all the things measured and ready and then start.
  • Remove it as soon as it starts changing it colour otherwise the mysorepak will become very dark in colour and give a burnt taste.
  • Last but not the least, follow each and every step to the wee bit.











Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Vanilla Cup Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Back to my passion of baking after a very long time. Have been baking for quiet sometime now but couldn't manage to get a click.  

This Vanilla cup cake is very simple and the delicious chocolate frosting will keep you licking. 








Ingredients for the Basic Vanilla Cupcake


200 gms Butter
8 oz Castor Sugar
8 oz Maida
1 tb.sp baking powder
4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

Milk about a tb.sp


  1. Sieve the dry the ingredients and keep it aside. 
  2. Line the cupcake pans with the cases.
  3. All the ingredients should be at room temperature. 
  4. Preheat the oven at 180° C.  
  5. Beat the butter lightly and then add the castor sugar and beat well.
  6. Incorporate the eggs one by one.  
  7. Add the vanilla essence. Mix and add the dry ingredients.  And fold in.  
  8. Add milk as required and only if required. 
  9. The batter should be of dropping consistency and not pouring consistency.
  10. Spoon the batter in the cupcake cases.
  11. Bake for 15 to 20 min at 180° C.
  12. Remove and cool on a wire rack when its done i.e. the skewer comes out clean.












Ingredients for the Chocolate Frosting :

2 tbsp cream
100 gm Chocolate
50 gm Butter
100 gm Icing Sugar

In a pan heat butter add the chocolate and cream, stir till combined. 
Remove from heat and add in icing sugar, stir till smooth.
Fill it in a piping bag attached with a star nozzle. And pipe it on the cooled cupcakes.



Monday, October 15, 2012

Khasta Kachori

Khasta Kachori is a deep fried snack of North India. These kachoris are given a spicy moong dal filling.

Khasta means flaky. And these flacky Kachoris originate from Rajasthan and very famously known as Rajasthani Kachori. It is a very famous road side snack in Bombay. In Bombay they are served with a filling of dahi, sprouts, sweet chutney and a spicy chutney. Those kachoris used to be bigger in size and was a very filling snack. I was a great fan and a great addict to these Kachoris. There was a famous Kachori wala in a small lane near the Mulund Railway station. There used to be always lot of rush for his Kachoris and we had to take coupons and wait for our turn.

I am posting this recipe for the Indian Cooking Challenge - September conducted by Srivalli in her blog Spice Your Life.

You can find the recipe for it here.










Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cauliflower Fritters - Indian Version

Cauliflower Varuval, well, that is how we call them. Cauliflower Fritters are everybody's favourite. In most of the Chettinad marriages and functions you can find this Cauliflower Varuval. People of all ages love it. I make it for my children whenever Cauliflower is in season. They eat it up without murmuring or making  fuss. Today prepared this for their lunch box. Both of them were very happy, early morning their face lit up like 100 watts bulb as soon as they saw it in their lunch box.

 Normally they are made using just using Besan i.e. Kadalai Maavu, Bengal gram flour. Here I have made some changes. It is very versatile, just add or remove any of the ingredients keeping Cauliflower as the base veggie.



Ingredients
Cauliflower - 1 big sizes (Cut into small florets)
Haldi / Turmeric Powder - 1 t.sp
Red Chilli Powder - 1 to 1 1/2  t.sp
Besan / Kadalai Maavu / Bengal gram flour - 1/2 cup
Rice Flour - 3 to 4 tb.sp
Makai Flour / Corn Flour - 5 to 6 tb.sp
(Note : This is not the usual Cornflour which we get, this is just corn grinded to a little coarse powder)
Salt - As per taste
Oil for deep frying



Method

  1. Boil water in a pan add salt to it. Put in the cauliflower florets. And put off the gas. Let the cauliflowers be in the water for about 3 to 4 minutes, depending upon the size of the florets.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add salt here also.
  3. Drain the florets, remove the excess the water completely.
  4. Add them to the mixed flour. Carefully mix them together. Add water very slowly as required.
  5. Important : After mixing it the florets should be well coated with the batter. The batter should not be dripping from the florets and it should also not coat the florets very thickly.
  6. Deep fry them in oil till done. Remove them on kitchen tissues or tissue paper so that it absorbs the excess oil.
  7. Serve it hot with Tomato Sauce or Pudina Chutney or Vara Milagai Chutney or Tomato Chutney.

For Homemade Tomato Sauce please have a look here.