Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mini Vanilla Cakes with Chocolate-Mascarpone Cheese

This week was really busy, and on top of that, I hurt my hand and found it a bit difficult to type. My hand is still hurting but I was feeling a little guilty about not posting a recipe for so long.

I made this cake last week and, as usual, we finished it off in no time. They looked cute and the flavours of vanilla and chocolate together were just great. 




Ingredients


3/4 cup - whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tbsp - sunflower oil
1/3 cup - dark muscovado sugar (or any other sugar)
1/4 tsp - bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp - baking powder
3 tbsp - low fat yogurt
1/3 cup - water at room temperature
a pinch of salt
1/2 - vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped 

Icing

dark chocolate (melted and cooled) and mascarpone cheese, mixed vigourously, until smooth and glossy.

Sorry for not providing the exact measurements for the icing. I was so preoccupied that I forgot the amount of chocolate and mascarpone I used in the icing.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degree C and grease 3 ramekins.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the sunflower oil, sugar, yogurt,vanilla seeds and water.
  3. Mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt in an another bowl.
  4. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and mix lightly with a spatula. Do not overmix.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the greased ramekins, filling three quarters.
  6. Place the ramekins in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. 
  7. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Carefully cut the cakes horizontally through the middle and roughly spread the chocolate-mascarpone icing in between and on the top. 
  9. Serve immediately. 



Sending this to EFM Cakes and Bake Series of Srishkitchen. 



Enjoy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Beet-Carrot-Tomato Tikka.

Beet, carrot and tomato juice is an integral part of my lifestyle. I have had this juice by the litre, over years and years because of an iron deficiency, and still do. It is one of the most nutrient-full and healthiest things around - and with a little rock salt and a few drops of lemon juice, tastes pretty well too!

When I read about the beetroot recipe event, I thought, may be I could come up with a different recipe, which would at the same time be healthy, taste and look good, and best of all, use up the leftovers from the juice. The result was this tikka recipe. Its really healthy, easy to make and looks simply stunning.




There are some recipes which make one feel really good and this one, without any doubt, belongs to that category. Make it to believe it :-)


Ingredients for the juice

1 - beet-root, medium size, peeled and chopped
2 - carrots, medium size, peeled and chopped
1 - tomato, chopped
1/4 tsp - rock salt
2 inch - ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup - water, approx
salt to taste
lemon juice to taste

For the tikka

1 pod of garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp - chaat masala
1/4 tsp - garam masala
handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup - bread crumbs (more or less)
1/4 cup - flattened rice (poha), soaked in a little water for 5 minutes 
1/4 tsp - red chilli flakes (more or less)
salt to taste
1/4 cup - green and yellow pepper, cut into squares
1/4 cup - onions, cut into squares
olive oil to pan fry
rock salt, dried mint leaves and lemon juice to sprinkle on the tikkas

Method
  1. Add the beet-root, carrots, tomato, ginger and water in the mixer and blend well. Transfer onto a muslin cloth and squeeze out the juice in a bowl. Add rock salt, salt and lemon juice and serve.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a pan and saute the onions and peppers and keep aside.
  3. Squeeze out the excess water from the flattened rice. 
  4. Add the juice leftover in a bowl. Add the squeezed flattened rice, bread crumbs, garlic, mint, masala, salt and red chilli flakes and mix well. 
  5. Take a little portion of the juice-extract mixture and shape into a small ball. Flatten it gently and pan fry on a medium flame. 
  6. Take a skewer and insert a pepper, tikki, onion chunks and then again a pepper and repeat in any order until the skewer is full. 
  7. Sprinkle a little rock salt, lemon juice and dried- crushed mint leaves and serve immediately with a dip of your choice. 



    I was in complete awe of this beautiful colour and the amazing taste of the tikka. 



    Sending this to Healing Foods-Beetroot, hosted by Priya of Mharo Rajasthans recipes and event started by Siri

    This recipe also becomes a part of "ONLY" Low-Oil/Low-Calorie. Event hosted by Priya of Mharo Rajasthans recipes, and started by Pari of Foodelicious.


    Have a lovely weekend.
    Enjoy!

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Oktoberfest, Obatzda and some photos...

    This weekend saw the start of the famous Oktoberfest. It is a 16 day to 18 day festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It is the largest folk-festival in the world and one of the most popular annual events in Germany, with some six million people attending every year.

    Oktoberfest means a lot of beer, people dressed in beautiful traditional bavarian dresses and lots of food and fun. On the Theresienwiese (the fair ground) one can find a lot of rides, for both children and adults, lots of food stalls, and a number of beer tents, built just for the fest. They also serve traditional bavarian delicacies like Hendl (chicken), W├╝rst (sausages), Weisswurst (white sausages), Brezn (pretzels), Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes), Sauerkraut and also Obatzda (a fatty, spiced cheese concoction) and a lot of other traditional hearty fare.




    You can read more about the Oktoberfest here.

    To go with the fever of Oktoberfest, I decided to make the famous bavarian cheese delicacy Obatzda. There are several ways to make it and this recipe here is my take on it. Obatzda is usually eaten with bread or pretzels and is a classic example of Bavarian biergarten food.

    I have tried and made a (comparatively) healthier version. Hope you like it. 

    Here are some Oktoberfest photos.





    Pepole at the U-Bahn (Tube) Station, trying to get to the Theresienwiese.


    The famous statue of Bavaria.


    A view from the top- with beer tents, rides, food stalls and thousands of people. 

    Obatzda

    Ingredients

    100 gram - goat camembert, cut into cubes at room temperature
    cottage cheese made from 1 1/2 cup of low fat milk, see the recipe here.
    2 tbsp - sunflower oil
    2 tbsp - low fat yogurt
    1/4 tsp - cumin seeds
    1/8 tsp - pepper powder (more or less)
    1/4 tsp - red chilli powder or paprika powder (more or less)
    salt to taste
    1/8 cup - onion, finely chopped, to garnish
    pretzel to garnish
    chives, finely chopped, to garnish

    Method
    1. Combine camembert, cottage cheese (cooled to room temperature), sunflower oil, yogurt, salt, pepper, red chilli powder and cumin seeds in a bowl of a food processor.
    2. Transfer the well blend cheese mixture into a bowl and chill for 2-3 hrs.
    3. Garnish the Obatzda with chives, onions and pretzel and serve. 

    We had Obatzda with Rye bread, greens and bavarian potato salad. It was a hearty fare indeed :-)

    Prost!

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Cherry Elderflower Sorbet

    Hope you all had a lovely weekend! I had a great one, spending the whole saturday watching movies, chatting and hogging with a very good friend of mine. It was lovely!

    Sunday wasn't bad either - the star of this Sunday were these Cherries, well, unfortunately probably the last of this season. After gobbling some, I thought of making this Sorbet. The weather complemented it very well too - it was one of the very few warm and sunny weekends this washed out summer.




    The sorbet is easy to make, refreshing and a good blend of sour and sweet. It was just perfect for a lazy sunday!

    I mixed a little elderflower syrup into the sorbet which gave an interesting side taste, with an added hint of flowers and sweetness. Hope you like it too.



    Ingredients

    250 gram - cherries, pitted
    3/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp - lemon rind + to garnish
    3 tbsp - elderflower syrup
    1/3 cup - water
    a generous pinch of citric acid

    Method
    1. Add the cherries, 3/4 tsp lemon rind, elderflower syrup, water and citric acid in a pan and cook until cherries softens. Remove from the heat.
    2. Let it chill in the fridge for an hour.
    3. Puree the cooked cherries in a mixer.
    4. Transfer the pureed cherry mixture in a container, cover and let it freeze in the deep-fridge.
    5. Mix the half set cherry sorbet with a fork and freeze again. Repeat this process 2-3 times.
    6. Garnish the sorbet with lemon rind and serve immediately.
    Serves - 5


    Enjoy!

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Crispy Cashew Coated Carrot-Pea Patties!

    Last year, when I visited India, I talked quite a bit to my MIL about our very favourite topic - FOOD. She mentioned these patties, which she had had in a restaurant and liked very much. She wasn't sure of the coating but she said, the patties tasted really really good and the highlight of the patties was the crust, which she thought were cashews, very very finely crushed.



    These patties have been on my mind ever since, and last week they made it to our platter, too. I obviously improvised (well, some habits are hard to die) - I mixed some carrots too in there, and the coating was done with coarsely crushed cashews rather than really finely crushed ones. And, they not only looked elegant but also tasted great.



    I must mention that I used canned peas since fresh ones aren't available at this time of the year. But, next time around I shall make these with fresh peas :-)


    Ingredients


    1/3 cup - carrots, boiled and chopped
    1/2 cup - peas
    1 inch piece - ginger, finely chopped
    1 tbsp - coriander leaves, chopped
    1/4 tsp - garam masala
    1/4 tsp - red chilli powder (more or less)
    salt to taste
    12-15 pieces - cashew, coarsely crushed, for coating the patties


    For the marinade


    1 tsp - all purpose flour (maida)
    2 tbsp - water
    1/4 tsp - sunflower oil
    a pinch of salt
    a pinch of garam masala


    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 200 degree C and line a baking tray.
    2. Mash together the carrots, peas and ginger in a bowl. Add the coriander leaves, salt, garam masala and chilli powder and mix well.
    3. Divide the mixture into 4 parts and make rounds and flatten them slightly.
    4. Mix all the ingredients of the marinade in a bowl.
    5. Brush the patties with the marinade and roll them with the crushed cashews.
    6. Place the patties on the lined baking tray and place the tray in the center of the oven. Bake until the cashews turn a little brown.
    7. Serve hot with a dip/chutney of your choice.

    Sending these patties to Champa's Weekly Bake-Off Event.

    Enjoy!

    Monday, September 6, 2010

    A Happy Occasion!

    Foodista received and reviewed over 1500 recipes and chose 100 odd recipes to be published in a book called "The Foodista BEST OF Food Blogs COOKBOOK" and one of yours truly's recipes has been chosen to be a part of this book. 


    The chosen recipe was the one for Spinach Coriander Chive Bread. The Book is set for release on October 19th 2010. 


    It's not even been a year since I entered this lovely blogging world and this recognition surely boosts up my confidence and, what makes it really special is that this recipe was my first own variation of a bread recipe. 

    "Joy shared is joy doubled", so here I am sharing this happy moment with all you lovely people out there :-)

    Of course, we celebrated this moment with something chocolatey - nothing new, but rather a mixture of two of my old recipes (here and here) - the ingredients for the muffin was the same as for my Gooey chocolaty microwave cupcake - but in the oven the muffins did not fall as in the micro. And, the icing was a simple mix of quark, crushed hazelnuts and nutella. 


    On that happy note... 
    until next time,
    Adios amigos :-)

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    Gooey Chocolaty Microwave Cup Cake!

    What does one do when one is in the middle of a very interesting book and has this sudden urge of having chocolate cake? Well, these cravings are nothing new to me, I face them very often and this Sunday was one such day.

    Chocolate cake! hmmm... but that would take at least half an hour, thought my mind. I should continue reading the book, thought my mind again... Which I really tried with all my concentration but, " I was lost in that world of chocolate cakes" . Finally, I got up, quickly consulted my dear friend, "Google" and ta da da... got this recipe for this microwave cupcake, from here, which I improvised according to the ingredients available.

    When I saw the cake rise in the microwave, my heart did a little jig and dance but then my jaws dropped when I saw it sinking. Apprehensively, I took quick photos, and, had the first bite and, a big smile appeared on my face. The cake was warm, soft, gooey and most important chocolaty...mmmm. So what if it sank, it tasted just awesome and satisfied my craving. So here you go with the recipe.




    And - the best part was - The cake was ready in just 2 minutes!


    Ingredients

    2 tbsp - whole wheat flour
    2 tbsp - muscovado sugar 
    1 1/2 tbsp - cocoa powder (more or less)
    2 tbsp - apple juice
    2 tbsp - sunflower oil
    1 tsp heaped - mascarpone
    1/4 tsp - baking powder
    1/4 tsp - coffee powder
    a pinch of salt
    handful of choco chips

    Method
    1. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a cup. 
    2. Add the liquid ingredients one by one and mix well. (make sure to scrape the corners well)
    3. Place the cup in the microwave, on high, for approx 2 minutes. (time may vary a little depending upon the power of microwave)








    I had it without any topping but you may have it with cream or ice-cream. It would taste as great :-)




    Sending this to Aparna's No Bake Cake! Event



    Enjoy!

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