Monday, May 9, 2016

Black Forest Cake

Recipe for chocolate cake -
This recipe fills one 9 inch round pan.
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2 Tbps cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 1/2 stick butter 
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tbsp Baking Soda
Pinch of salt

Grease a baking pan with butter and flour and preheat oven to 350 deg F.
Mix all the above ingredients ( wet + dry) in a bowl and beat well , either in a stand mixer or electric mixer, on medium high for 3 mins, making sure that you scrape the sides of the bowl at regular intervals.
Spread the cake mixture evenly in the baking pan and bake at 350 F for 45-50 mins or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Remove on a cooling rack and let the bake cool completely.

Whipped cream for the Black Forest Cake
4 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract

Keep the Heavy cream chilled in the refridgerator until you are ready to whip it. I also keep the mixing bowl and the whisk in the fridge for 10 mins before using. This makes sure that the cream develops soft yet stiff peaks.
In the chilled bowl, add the chilled cream and vanilla extract and using either an electric beater or whisk attachment of your stand mixer, beat the cream on medium high for 1 min. Then slowly add the icing sugar 1 cup at a time and beat on high for 2 mins or until you see nice stiff peaks. Do not over beat as this will curdle the cream making it into butter.

Remove the whipped cream in a bowl and place in fridge until you are ready to frost the cake.

For assembling the cake
1 9 inch cake
Whipped cream
1 can/bottle of Maraschino Cherries. ( You can easily find a bottle in any grocery store)
Chocolate shavings. ( Grated chocolate bar)

Divide the cake into 3 parts using a serrated knife. Level the top portion of the cake and reserve the top uneven layer . Remove the liquid from the cherry bottle. Brush the cake with this liquid so as to make it soft. Alternatively you can also use sugar syrup to make the cake wet.
Then add some whipped cream on the top of one layer and a few cherries.
Then place another layer of cake , repeating the above step.
Do this for all the layers.
Frost the cake with the remaining whipped cream . Crumble the cake slice we have reserved and gently pat it on the sides of the cake. Place this cake in the fridge for 15 mins so that the crumbs dry out and stick to the sides.
Then decocrate the remaining cake and add grated chocolate and a few cherries. Keep refridgerated until ready to serve.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ragi-Atta Barfi / Gul Papdi

Here is my take on the traditional gujurati mithai - Gul Papdi. The authentic Gul Papdi is made using simple 3 ingredients - atta , ghee and jaggery. I tried to make it more nutritious by adding Ragi (Nachni flour) and Mixed Nut powder.

1 cup atta ( Whole wheat flour)
1 cup ragi flour
1 cup ghee
1 1/2 cup grated jaggery (I used Indian Kolhapuri )
1/2 cup mixed nut powder ( dry roast almonds , pista and cashewnuts and grind to a fine powder)
2 tbps desicated coconut
1 tsp cardamon powder
A pinch of nutmeg
Poppy Seeds for garnishing
Greased Plate

1. In a heavy bottom pan, add ghee , atta and nachni and roast on low flame for about 20 mins or until the raw flavor is gone.
2. Now add the nut powder and desicated coconut , cardamon powder and nutmeg.
3. Roast again for about 5 mins,
4. Now switch off the flame and add the grated jaggery. Mix well until all the mixture has well combined and the jaggery has almost melted.
5. Immediately remove the mixture on to the greased plate and using the back of a spatula spread evenly. Do this very carefully as the mixture will be very hot.
6. Sprinkle the poppy seeds and cut into desired shape when the mixture is still hot.
7. Initially the barfi will be very crumbly, but once it cools down completely , you will have melt in the mouth gul papdis.
8.This recipe yields approximately 35 barfis.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Chocolate Marie Truffles

1 packet Marie Biscuits
1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
2-3 Tbsp Condensed Milk
1 Tbsp Desicated Coconut
1 tbsp melted unsalted butter

6 Ounces Chocolate Chips
1 tsp Shortening

1. In a food processor, grind the marie biscuits . Add the cocoa powder and pulse again.
2. Remove the mixture in a bowl and add the desicated coconut and mix
3. Now add the melted butter and then the condensed milk, 1 tbsp at a time and mix well using your hands. The condensed milk will help bind the mixture and everything will come together in the form of a semi-soft dough.
4. Roll small balls and place them on a greased dish.
5. You can eat them as it. They are super yum. Only a few made it to the next stage. Many were jusy gobbled up my us.
6. Refridgerate the balls for atleast an hour.
7. Using a double boiler method, melt the chocolate and add the shortening. You can skip the shortening, but adding it gives a nice shine.
8. Bring this chocolate to room temp.
9. Now dip the truffles, one at a time into the melted chocolate. Remove it using a fork. Tap the fork twice or thrice , so that the extra chocolate drips back into the chocolate bowl.
10. Place it on a wax paper or a greased plate. You can use a toothpick to slide it down on the wax paper.
11. Sprinkle some decicated coconut while the chocolate is still wet.
12. Place all the truffles in the fridge for at least 1 hour before consuming.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Murg Methi Malai

A flavorful and fragrant chicken entree .

Here is what you need
1 lb chicken breast cut into cubes
1 medium onion , pureed in the mixer 
4 medium Roma tomatoes , finely chopped
1 tbsp ghee 
1 tsp ginger paste 
1 tsp garlic paste
1/2 cup Kasuri methi soaked in warm water for 10 mins
2 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tap white pepper powder ( can substitute for black pepper )
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp jeera powder 
1 tsp garam masala 
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup greek yogurt 
A few cashewnuts soaked in water . 
Salt to taste 

1. Marinate the chicken with greek yogurt , 1 tsp red chilli powder , ginger garlic paste and garam masala for atleast 2 hours 
2. In a non stick pan , heat Ghee and add the onion paste. Saute well and cook on low flame till the onions become light brown in color
3. Add the finely chopped tomatoes and saute well. Cool until soft .
4. Drain  the water from Kasuri methi and add the Kasuri methi to it. This will
Ensure that the bitter taste of Kasuri methi is gone. Add the remaining spices .
5. Add the marinated chicken and saute well.
6. Add 1.5 cup of water and cook on low until the chicken is fully cooked and tender.
7. Blend the cashews into a fine paste and add to the chicken.
8. Add salt to taste .
9 . Garnish with finely chopped fresh cilantro and serve hot with rotis / naan / steamed rice . 

Goda Sheera

Whenever I made fresh Ghee at home , I cannot stop myself from making Goda Sheera , just because it requires a lot of ghee. My mom makes the best sheera. Soft yet not mushy. I have been following her recipe and it has never failed.

Here is what you need-
1 cup Course Sooji/ Rava
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup Ghee , melted
1.5 cup Milk
1 Cup Water
A few Saffron strands
1 tsp Cardamom
A pinch of Nutmeg
A pinch of Salt

1. In a heavy bottom vessel , heat ghee and add the rava.
2. Roast on  medium high for 2 mins and then reduce the heat to low.
3. Roast the rava for about 15 mins or until you can smell roasted rava ( You might not get the smell, ask others in the house if they can smell it )
4. Set aside
5. Boil water and milk together,
6. Put the roasted rava back on the flame and add saffron , cardamom and nutmeg. mix well.
7. Add the hot milk + water mixture. Carefully mix , the mixture will froth after you add the liquid. . Keep mixing or else you may have a few lumps.
8. Once the mixture has absorbed all the liquid , add the sugar .Mix until the sugar dissolves. The sheera will look a bit liquidy. Add some chopped nuts if you wish
9. Cover the vessel and cook on low flame for a good 10-12 mins , mixing the sheera after a few intervals to avoid sticking to the bottom.
10. Now the sheera is ready to enjoy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mushroom Matar Masala

My variation on the classic punjabi Mushroom Matar Masala . I add a secret ingredient which gives the dish a distinct tomatoee  (if at all that word exists ) flavor

Here is what you need 
1 large onion finely chopped
3 large Roma Tomatoes chopped
1 cup frozen peas
8 oz mushrooms . sliced
1 Ginger Garlic Paste  
2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Jeera Powder 
1 tsp Pav Bhaji Masala
1 tbsp Tomato Ketchup ( My secret ingredient)
Salt to taste 
Chopped Coriander

Here is how you make it :

1. In a non stick pan , heat 1 tsp oil and 2 tsp ghee.
2. Add the onions  and sauté well. Cook the onions until they turn light brown . This step requires some patience . It takes about 15 mins on low flame. 
3. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook again,
4. Add the tomatoes and sauté well. Cook well again for 5 mins on medium flame. 
5. Now add the dry masalas and sauté.
6. Add the mushrooms and peas and mix well. 
7.Add 2 cups water and cook covered for 10 mins or until the mushrooms are soft and cooked. 
8. Now add salt and ketchup and mix. Adding ketchup gives a nice tomatoee flavor and a nice red color. 
9. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with Rotis or rice. 

Burnt Garlic Lemon Coriander Soup

A simple , soothing , delectable soup.

What you need
For the stock :
6 cups water
1/2 roughy chopped onion
1 cup roughly chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery sticks
1/2 cup chopped lemon grass
1 cup roughly chopped coriander

In a stockpot , add water and the rest of the ingredients and boil for 15 mins.
Cool for a bit and then remove the veggies by straining the water. The water is the stock you need.

For the Soup:
4 cups stock
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup diced mixed vegetables ( carrots /french beans/peas)
Juice of 1 Lemon
Salt and White pepper to taste
Chopped Spring onions
Chopped Coriander
Burnt Garlic ( Fry chopped garlic in oil until they turn dark brown)

In a stock pot , add the vegetable stock . Once it comes to a boil , add the mixed veggies  and mushrooms. Cook until soft. Add salt and white pepper to taste . Add juice of 1 lemon and switch off the flame.
Add the spring onions , coriander and 1 tsp burnt garlic just before serving the soup.