Friday, January 31, 2014

French Chocolate Gateau

French Chocolate Gateau

This cake is for all those passionate chocolate lovers out there. There is a general enthusiasm for chocolates treats and it is an integral part of every happy occasion.Can you imagine any happy occasion without chocolate? I am an ardent chocolate fan and so is my kid. We both share the same passionate fondness for chocolates.

Rich and luscious chocolate cake like Gateau, will definitely top the list as the most favored chocolate desserts. What richer and more delicious taste can you think of than a rich and gooey chocolate cake.This French classic is impressive and surprisingly easy to make cake.The moist interior of this chocolaty cake is due to the generous quantity of chocolate and butter.
I am so glad I tried this French chocolate gateau/Gateau au chocolat and the texture was wonderful..gooey,moist and tender cake..absolutely divine chocolaty goodness. This cake is flour less, double chocolate cake and is definitely worth a try. It is ideal as a party dessert or afternoon tea cake.Try this,you will surely love it.

Recipe source is from here and here

Butter- 1 stick
Sugar- 1 cup
salt- a pinch
Chocolate finely chopped- 2 cups
Cocoa powder- 1/3 cup
Coffee powder/espresso- 1 tsp
All purpose flour-  1 tbs
Rum- 1tbs
Vanilla essence- 1 tbs

For the frosting
Semi sweet chocolate- 6 oz.
Heavy cream- 1/2 cup
Caramel sauce- 1 tsp (optional)

Pre heat oven to 350 degree F and prepare cake tin by greasing and dusting with flour ( use spring form pan 8 inch)
Heat butter and chocolate in a double boiler and when the chocolate melts add cocoa powder and coffee powder, a pinch of salt and whisk till it combines. Allow this to cool.
Using a stand mixer/hand mixer beat eggs and sugar till it is light and fluffy and double in volume for 3-4 minutes.Add vanilla and one tbs flour and mix.
Pour in the chocolate mixture and gently fold in without deflating the egg. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 45 minutes or till the tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. ( it will pull out crumbs but not sticky). Allow this to cool for ten minutes. Gently run knife along the edges and loosen the ring of the spring form pan. Allow this to cool.
Heat heavy cream till it is nice and warm. Pour over finely chopped semi sweet chocolate. Let it stand for a minute and whisk till it is smooth. Mix in the caramel and lightly stir (optional)
Place cake over a wire rack with a pan in the bottom.Pour this chocolate over the cake. Cut and serve.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Middle Eastern Jeweled Pilaf with Chicken

Middle Eastern Jeweled Pilaf with Chicken

This pilaf is aromatic and flavorful one pot dish, which brings in the exotic flavors of east.This rice and chicken dish is popular in Turkey and Jordan. It is called jeweled rice because it is garnished with shining raisins,dates, almonds, pistachios and pomegranates. Fried onions and saffron take this dish to a new level. I saw this recipe in a cook book and instantly loved it. Tried it as our Sunday lunch and my family enjoyed. This is a two step recipe. First you cook the chicken and then you cook the rice in the chicken broth and finally layer it with rice,nuts,fried onion and chicken. Try this,you will surely love it.

Recipe Source:Tom Kime, Street Food: Exploring the World's Most Authentic Tastes, DK Publishing,London.

Chicken- 1 medium chicken, cut into large peices
Basmathi rice/long grain rice- 2 1/2 cups
Cinnamon sticks-3
Green Cardomon-6
Olive oil- 3 tbs
Pepper corns- 1/2 tbs
Onions finely chopped-2
Tomato juice- 1/2 cup
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Ground cinnamon- 1/4 tsp
Ground Cardamon- 1/4  tsp
Sumac- 1/2 tsp
Butter- 11/2 tbs
Almonds- 10-12
Raisins-1/3 cup
Pistachios- 10-15
Chopped dates- 3 tbs
Saffron a few strands
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Or use the broiler,heat until medium hot.
In a heavy pan add olive oil and when hot add cinnamon sticks,cardamon pods and whole peppercorns and stir until fragrant. Add one third of the onion and fry till it is golden brown. Add tomato juice and allow to simmer for two minutes. Add turmeric and chicken pieces and fry till it changes color. Add two cups of water, season with salt and pepper and simmer in medium heat for about 8-10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the broth and sprinkle with Sumac and half of the ground spices. Bake in the oven turning once till the chicken is slightly brown.
Measure the amount of broth and  then add water. You will need 5 cups of liquid. Add the rest of the ground spices and saffron,cover and cook till the rice is cooked and all the liquid is absorbed. Make the rice fluffy and then let it sit closed till it is ready to be served.
In a frying pan melt butter and fry the nuts till golden and then raisins and dates. Remove from fry and the stir fry the onions till golden brown. Mix half of the nut, raisins and onions with the rice and use the rest for garnish. Place rice on a dish,spoon fried onions on top and then the chicken and scatter the fried nuts,fruits and pomegranate seeds.

Try this,
Hope you will all enjoy!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fish Vindaloo

Fish Vindaloo

I love the hot and spicy vindaloo curry, the popular Goan delicacy. Fish is an integral part of our meal and recently I have been trying a lot of recipes with fish. Vindaloo curry is often made with meat (pork/beef) cooked in spices and vinegar.I tried cooking fish in vindaloo paste and it tastes yummy. You can use any meaty/thick flesh fish like king fish or tuna.

Tuna/king fish- 1 1/2 lb
Onion finely chopped- 2 medium
Kashmiri chilly whole- 8
( adjust according to spice tolerance)
Turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp
Pepper powder- 1/3 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Ground Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
Ginger- 2 inch thick piece
Garlic- 7-8 pods
Vinegar-3 tbs
Thick coconut milk- 1/3 cup
Sugar -  a pinch
Cinnamon stick-1 inch thick
Oil and salt

Take off the seeds ( if you want it less spicy) from the dry chilly and soak it in vinegar and coconut milk for about half an hour.
Make a fine paste of this along with ginger and garlic,mustard seeds,cumin seeds, clove and cinnamon.
Combine pepper powder,turmeric powder, salt and  sugar. The marinade is ready.
 Marinade the fish with this masala,cover and refrigerate for about 2-3 hours.
Pick out the fish from the marinade and gently fry them on all sides in hot oil and keep aside. ( note this step is optional, frying will ensure that the pieces will remain intact)
 Do not discard the excess marinade.Once you finished frying the fish add two more tbs oil and add whole clove and cinnamon. Add chopped onion and continue to fry for another two to three minutes till the onion becomes golden brown. Pour the left over marinade and saute till oil separates. Add enough water and when it comes to a boil add fish pieces and simmer and cook till the fish is soft and the gravy thickens.  Serve this with rice or naan or chapati.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Neipayasam/Sharkara payasam

Neipayasam/Sharkara payasam

Today's recipe is a sure treat for all those who love payasam. This payasam tastes divine and no wonder it is made as neivedhyam in temples. In temples it is called kadum payasam because it is very sweet. We make  Sharkara payasam or neipayasam at home on special occasions. This is a flavorful and rich payasam made with rice, ghee and jaggery/molasses. It has thicker consistency than the normal payasam. Try this you will surely love it.

Raw rice/payasam rice- 1 cup
Jaggery syrup - 1 1/2 cup
Water- 3 cup
Ghee- 1/3 cup
Grated coconut- 3/4 cup
Cardamon powder- 1/2 tsp
Ginger powder- 1/2 tsp
Cashew nuts and raisins- 1/4 cup

Wash the rice and strain.Cook this rice in a pot with 3 cups of water. You can also pressure cook the rice.
Meanwhile powder jaggery and bring it to a boil with 2 cups of water. Strain to take out the impurities. Transfer into a heavy bottom pan and simmer till the jaggery becomes thick syrup.
(Note I took around 350 gram jaggery for this recipe)
Make sure that the rice is cooked and soft. Add the jaggery syrup to the rice and allow the rice and jaggery to simmer and thicken for about 5-6 minutes. Next add the grated coconut and little of the ghee and mix well. Continue stir and simmer and add ghee in intervals to avoid sticking to the bottom. When the payasam starts leaving the edges of the pan add cardamon powder, ginger powder, cashew nuts and raisins. Switch off the flame when the payasam reaches desired consistency. The payasam will thicken as it cools down.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Kofieebroodje/Dutch Coffee Buns

Kofieebroodje (Dutch Coffee Buns)

Baking partners challenge for this month is a sticky and sweet raisin pasty bun. Thanks to Swathi  and Kaveri for suggesting this beautiful recipe.Kaveri send two Dutch recipes to try- Kofieebroodje/coffee bun and Apple tart. Both are beautiful recipes, but I decided to try the Dutch coffee buns.
Bread or buns with toppings are common for Dutch breakfast.But coffee time which usually around 11 am and 7 pm is special time to indulge in rich pastries along with hot coffee.These type of pasty bun have rich filling of cream,custard or fruits and are integral part of Southern Dutch cuisine. The coffee bun are soft and buttery and filling  is vanilla pudding and raisins.Thank Kaveri for sharing this recipe. The recipe source is from here

All purpose flour – 3 cups
Instant Yeast – 7gm/1 pkt
Milk – 1 ¼ cup (lukewarm)
Butter – 3 tbsp
Sugar – 4 tbsp
Vanilla – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Raisins – 1/3 cup
For the cream
1 pkt French Vanilla Pudding
1/3 cup of sour cream
(you can use pastry cream instead)
For the glaze
Apricot Jam – 2 tbsp
Warm Water – 1 tbsp

Soak the raisins in warm water and set aside for 15 to 20 minutes,drain and keep aside.
In a wide bowl, mix salt, sugar . Now add the butter and the vanilla. Cut in and blend the butter with the flour using a pastry blender. Mix in the yeast.Now add the milk little at a time and knead into a smooth dough. Cover and allow it to proof until doubled in size (40 to one hour)
In the meantime make the filling. Mix the pudding with 1/3 of the the required amount of liquid. Stir in the sour cream. Allow this to set.
When the dough proofed to double its sized, place on a floured work space and punch the dough and smooth it. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions.On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into approximately 12x12 inches square.Spread the vanilla pudding, leaving an inch on all sides.Sprinkle the soaked raisins over the pudding.  Now roll the dough to form a cylindrical shape. Place the seam down and cut the roll into equal slices of about an inch and half. Place the slices on a lined baking sheet.Cover and proof for another 20 to 30 minutes.
Pre heat the oven to 350 F. Brush the rolls with butter and bake them until golden brown, around 25 minutes.
For the glaze mix jam with warm water and brush the rolls after taking them out of the oven.  Brush them again, before it cools down completely.Serve warm with a cup of coffee.

Try it
Hope you will all enjoy!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Orange Ginger Loaf

Orange Ginger Loaf

A quick fruit bread with the zesty flavor of ginger and orange. I love baking quick breads as you can experiment with different flavors and ingredients.This spongy loaf  is a perfect  breakfast option around the holidays or just a snack with hot cocoa. Use nuts,dried fruits or cranberries to give a real festive look. I had some candied ginger and decided to  try baking with it. Try this you will surely love it.

All purpose flour- 3 cup
Butter- 1/2 stick/4 tbs
Baking powder- 1 1/3 tsp
Baking soda- 3/4 tsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Sugar- 3/4 cup
Candied Ginger- 1/3 cup (chopped)
Orange juice- 3/4 cup
Orange zest- 1 tsp
Vanilla essence- 11/2 tsp

For the glaze
Juice of one orange
Sugar- 1/4 cup
powdered ginger-1/3 tsp
Shredded candied ginger- 1 tsp

 Pre heat oven to 375 degree F and grease and prepare loaf tin.
In a bowl mix together flour, baking powder,baking soda,salt and set aside.
Whisk butter and sugar till it is light and fluffy. Add egg and beat till thick and pale. Add mashed banana,orange zest, orange juice and vanilla extract and mix.
Note : make sure the bananas are really ripe and mash it nicely. If you are using frozen bananas allow it to come to room temperature before adding to the batter.
Now add the dry ingredients and candied ginger and  fold in. If you feel that it is a thick batter adjust consistency by add the juice of one orange.
Pour into prepared loaf tin. Add some grated candied ginger and bake for 35- 40 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow this to cool in the pan/loaf tin. While the cake is still warm make the glaze. Heat sugar, orange juice,powdered ginger and candied ginger. Heat slightly till the sugar dissolves. Poke holes in the loaf before pouring the glaze on top. Run a knife around the edges to loosen the loaf. Allow it to cool down completely before slicing.

Try this
Home you will all enjoy!

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