Monday, June 25, 2012

Chocolate Coconut Cinnamon Cookies

Whenever I am upset or in a foul mood, I eat chocolate and it makes me happy and when I am happy, I make a chocolate dish :-) It's something like a virtuous circle.


After a long wait and struggle and putting in a lot of effort, a problem I had been facing for some time now saw a ray of sunshine and it definitely makes me ecstatic. I wanted to share my joy with you all and baked these flavourful, scrumptious cookies. They are awfully easy to bake and taste simply great.


The smell that emanates from the oven, still wafting through the apartment, as I am writing with a big smile on my face now :-) Go and indulge in some happiness!

Ingredients

1/2 cup - all purpose flour (maida)
1/8 tsp - baking powder
a generous pinch of bicarbonate of soda
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp - dessicated coconut
1/2 tbsp - dark cocoa powder
a generous pinch of cinnamon powder
handful of dark chocolate chips
3 tbsp - sugar
4 tbsp - sunflower oil
1/8 cup - low fat milk

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a baking tray with a baking paper.
  2. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the oil and milk.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the liquid mixture. Do not overmix.
  5. Scoop up 1 tbsp of the mixture and shape into balls. Place them on the lined tray, spread well apart, and flatten them slightly.
  6. Place the tray in the center of the oven and bake for approx 12-13 minutes.
  7. Leave to cool in the baking tray for a couple of minutes minutes, then transfer the cookies to the wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bhapa Doi: Traditional Bengali Dessert in 2 exotic flavours: Masala Chai and Chocolate Orange

Bhapa Doi is a very traditional Bengali delicacy, and means, literally translated, steamed yogurt. Also known as Indian cheesecake due to its texture and taste. 



Though I have spent a good number of years in Kolkata and have tasted a load of Bengali sweets, I must admit that I had never tasted Bhapa Doi. I have seen this recipe on a number of blogs but seeing this recipe at Jyoti's blog actually rang a bell. I wondered why haven't I tried out this recipe yet. The simplicity of this Bengal delicacy is it's highlight.


I have (matter of bad habit) played with the recipe a little and tried out 2 new flavours to the steamed yogurt. One of course has to be my all time favourite Chocolate and this time around I have combined it with orange and almonds. And, the second flavour is Chai Masala (Indian Tea spice powder).



This one is especially for my dear sister - enjoy, and go out and get a bowl from the neighborhood sweet shop!

Ingredients

160 grams - sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup - greek yogurt 10% fat
1/2 cup - milk
30 grams - dark orange almond chocolate, melted and cooled
1/4 tsp - zest of an orange + to garnish
1/2 tbsp - blanched almond slivers, roasted, to garnish
1/8 tsp  - cardamom powder
1/8 tsp - clove powder
1/8 tsp - dried ginger powder (saunth)
1/8 tsp - cinnamon powder
a generous pinch of nutmeg powder
a generous pinch of balck pepper powder
a couple of cinnamon sticks, green cardamom and cloves to garnish (optional)
a couple of fresh orange pieces to garnish (optional)




Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C
  2. Mix the yogurt, milk and condensed milk together until smooth.Divide it equally into bowls.
  3. Add the melted and cooled chocolate and orange zest into one bowl and mix well. Fill this mixture into 2 oven proof bowls/ramekins.
  4. Add the powdered spices to the another bowl and mix well. I sieved the mixture and filled it into 2 oven proof bowls/ramekins.
  5. Place the bowls/ramekins in a large baking tray. Fill the tray with enough water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins or dish.Place the tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 35 minutes.(If you are using a large baking dish, it may take longer)
  6. I switched off the oven after 35 minutes and left the yogurt in the oven until the oven was cool. Take the bowls out of the oven and cool to room temperature and then let it chill in the fridge. 
  7. Garnish the chocolate yogurt with fresh orange pieces, orange rind and roasted almond slivers and the Chai Yogurt with the cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods and cloves and serve.

Note

  1. Do not cover the bowls/ramekins/baking dish while baking the yogurt.
  2. Traditionally this yogurt is steamed. One can also steam it in a double boiler or a pressure cooker. 
  3. Instead of greek yogurt one can also use thick yogurt or, traditionally, hung plain yogurt.
  4. Of course, one can add any flavour to this yogurt- fruits, exotic spices, coffee... it's upto your imagination. 
Serves - 4



Cheers!

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