Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year...

A wee bit early.
Better than a wee bit late.
Here's too all you lovely readers who came and spent a few minutes,to those who stayed and noted and maybe noted and tried out a few of the recipes.
Here to you all ,who felt happier having walked this way.
Lots of hugs and happiness to you and your families.
Heres to the new year....lets chase away the demons,show all conspiracy theorists the door and believe in a happier tomorrow.
Cheers...and I hope you toast with a little more than coke.

Here's to a happy 2012!

So what are you baking today???

Friday, December 30, 2011

Spinach Rolls....Everbake Shalimar Bagh Revisited.

I miss not living in Delhi.
I miss the hustle and bustle and craziness and the food available in Delhi.
In the blistering cold that Delhi endures, you will still find people selling steaming hot street food…Ranchi disappoints. If you brave the cold and venture out for a drive in search of HOT street food…you are greeted with people selling littis…a “sad “cousin of the Rajasthani Baatis.
At least the Baatis have the Dahl as the dipping sauce, the littis have mashed potatoes.
Not happy…
Not happening…
So looking for comfort food…

Anything nice will do…

Any dream will do…
Jason Donovan just disappeared after Neighbours –He didn’t even last the ninety’s. Yes, we did know what happened way back in Australia and on Aussie TV too.
He was so long ago, I even forget the grade I was studying in, his girlfriend Kylie Minogue did make it a little big, though.

Back to warm food ,not too high in calories ,but comforting stuff though.

In Shalimar Bagh ,Delhi, there is a big bakery called Everbake that opened way back in 2002. That was the time we realized that Shalimar Bagh was happening…because people from all over north Delhi(which is by far the most boring place to live in) were flocking to Everbake to enjoy all the baked goods, same variety and quality as that available in the bakeries of south Delhi. We those who lived walking distance (or cycle rickshaw distance…why walk when you can take a “RICK”)from Everbake had arrived.

This is the sight in the morning in most localities in Delhi...its an act defying gravity..and the traffic laws set by Delhi Police..Well ,we never tried these stunts...only 2 per RICK!

The best things they had to offer were loaded in calories and cheese. The spinach rolls were the lesser evil…at least you get fewer empty calories.(the pureed and twice cooked spinach was indeed loaded with vitamins)

Well, as usual the first thing I heard when I spoke of “bespoke” spinach rolls…was EEugh! I’d rather have cheese Bread!
The  lord and mighty had spoken, It was to be cheese bread and spinach rolls. Sweet child had been forced to take part in the school annual sports day, fruitful for those whom sport is a little more that  the exercise s the thumbs partake when they move the various buttons on the analogue controller.(the complicated joystick like thing for the play station).The cheese bread was bribe for Tiffin.

Single task and dual result…

We’ll start with the basic dough for the


You need

4 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 ½ tsp dried yeast
2 tsp + 1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp mustard paste/ powder
1 tbs shredded cheddar.
2 tbs chopped herbs(I used basil, dill, coriander and mint all together)

All aboard the food processor

And then kneaded  with the hand hot water.
Once the dough is done then add the 1 tsp extra olive oil and lightly remove to a large plate.

The extra oil makes it easy for you to remove the dough ,else loads of it just sticks to your hands.

On the plate, cut into two parts. The first we’ll use to make the simple cheese bread and the second half we’ll use for the spinach rolls.
The easy bit first…

Cheese bread...

The half portion of dough
75 Gms shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp garlic chopped.
Sesame seeds,Flax  seeds to sprinkle
1 tbsp milk

 Just blend the cheese and chopped garlic into to dough and shape into a roll and place on a sheet of Al Foil. Just brush with the milk after the loaf has doubled.
Pre heat oven at 220C/430F and pop the loaf in. You can also do both breads together.

For the

Spinach rolls...

You need

½ cup spinach puree
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp milk
25 Gms shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Seeds to sprinkle(and increase the health factor.)

Blanch  225-250 Gms spinach. Squeeze the extra water and then purée the spinach.
Season the puree with salt ,red chili flakes, maybe something extra….

Sprinkle some flour on your work top and roll out the dough to a 12 inches by 8 inches rectangle.

First brush the dough with olive oil.

Spread the pureed and spiced spinach on the rectangle leaving the sides. You don’t want messy rolls.

Now roll along the breadth…I also sprinkles a wee bit of cheese.

i.e. your spinach roll is a log about 12 inches long.

Sharp knife,8 pieces.

If you have a muffin tray use that after greasing the cups, I used a Pyrex  dish. 8 rolls spinach side up and  down.

Brush with the milk and Sprinkle with the cheese(I just anted to hide the spinach).
Finish with the flax and sesame seeds and let this also rest till the dish is filled up.

Pop into the oven with the cheese bread ,when both breads have been risen..that tells you that your yeast ROCKS!That was the cheese bread after resting for an hour.
Together forever...and never to part....they went into the oven together...
And came out shiny and tempting...

And Soft and smelling yummy!
Reliving memories...

A word of caution, have the rolls WARM, fresh out of the oven, for the Everbake like experience.
If you are not ova-avoiding…try this with an egg sunny side up….and smile.
Happiness takes you HOME!

The bread stays as long as you can keep the fridge maybe 2-3 days ,wrapped in cling film.

Next time you are near Delhi, try Everbake-to tell yourself that your version was better.

So what are you baking today???

Enjoy your new years party and come back and eat healthy!
Coming up wholewheat help you welcome 2012.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Royal Icing...


hm mm, never thought so many traditional Indian skills would come to fore.
Something that the world is crazy for.
Something that we take for granted.
Henna Tattoos.
Simply put...Mehendi...more eloquently  Henna.
With which we adorn our hands and feet at every festive occasion.Or just Ainvi....for no reason.

Same technique,same principles...only this time we do it with sugar and EAT it!
Make pretty stuff like candy canes and stockings and snowflakes and whatever takes our fancy...or in my case wherever the squiggly frosting was yay!
My friend Ritu Sharma is really good at the frosting stuff,her cookies were neater,but then with three colours they ended up looking gorgeous.
For the
Royal Icing...

All you need is

3 egg whites at room temperature
4 cups plus a few tsp extra sifted icing sugar
few drops of lemon Juice
food colouring optional
And a  beater....if you don't have one ,become an angrier version of our very own Amit Ji(The quintessential angry young man Amitabh Bachchan)

Start with the egg whites in a bowl.Truth be told,I deleted the pictures of the frosting I made last week,so I made a tiny portion of the frosting today for this blog post .Such is my love.I ♥ my readers.

Basically beat the egg white and the sugar,the colour will be a dirty yellowish pale colour you may not want to use for frosting.
But then,there's some magic.A few drops of lemon juice....and yellow becomes white.Pearly white.That's why you always buy Surf Excel! Lalita ji!!
just a few drops,don't over do the lemon,or the frosting will be runny.

Beat it to incorporate enough air,the frosting will begin to thicken and look pipe-able. Test with a ribbon-as in just lift the beater blade and let it form a ribbon...if the ribbon stays about 5 need to beat more.My Fabulous Cakes And Bakes said 8 seconds...since I tried this for the first time...I didn't want it to come back and bite my butt...or to have to eat humble, I was more interested to let the cookies get bitten.

So I beat the frosting till the ribbon stayed 8 seconds.As this was the batch for the was tiny and now it  rests frozen. Ready to use when the next moment arises.

OK,I used disposable frosting bags,If you don't have any ,make small cones with plastic sheets or with butter paper-just like the cones for mehendi or henna.
I divided the frosting into 3 parts...rather filled the first cone with white ,and the remaining I tinted -you guessed it PINK.
so the second cone was pink...and to the remaining we added blue to make purple..didn't want to add yellow to pink....
That was mission "pipe".

After you frost the cookies...let them be.And cover any royal Icing you don't use,as it hardens on exposure to air.
The frosted cookies need to be left to their own devices...alone can decorate them with tiny sprinkles or silver balls.We had 1 bottle of silver balls that I wanted to use on the cake and this being Ranchi we Pearl-"ised" the frosting.White looks awesomely Pearly.
This was the lot of cookies after 3 days...the cookies were made by the local bakery ,I did ask for the recipe ,but you know that they will never give you the right I did not even bother.

All I do know is that we had a great time doing up those cookies,You can try too..with almost minimum effort let out the creative genius...maybe pipe some paisleys,some mangoes ..whatever ,don't tint your frosting PINK.
Don't get me wrong ,I totally ♥ Pink...but I'm up to my gills with this colour.

Try it out and tell me about the fun you had when you realised you wanted to frost all in sight...
Soumya Shenoy and Jiya Gupta Sawhney.....while you are frosting the cookies...try some on the unsuspecting hubbies....
Have fun...

So What are you baking today???

Monday, December 26, 2011

Rose Carrot Cake....Microwaved

Carrot cake....
Not very enthusiastic I was....
But I really wanted to try out this new silicone mould that I had....Only thing silicone I would try out(many others are regretting their decision to befriend silicone...)
And chocolate would not have been rose enough...I mean the petals would not be I decided to go for a carrot cake.
Then in a moment of madness,I tinted it pink....too pink, I think.
So un petit word...of advice-Don't Pink it!...maybe yellow...
OK silicone...Chinese to its core.
Didn't want to put it into the convection oven...too scared I was...So it had to be microwaved.
Another cannot unmould the cake have to wait for the cake to cool down and you need to grease the mould WELL! I mean WELL...not oil but butter.

Sweet Child has just managed to find TREE HOUSE OF HORROR XXII....The Simpson's Halloween episode from last year. The episode where Daniel Radcliffe plays the part of Edward Cullen....
One line "They say vampires live for hundreds of years,but I DIE every day of embarrassment".....
Sweet child has been commenting..."Me TOO!My parents embarrass me too!"
The cake was too pink and girlie for him...that was why it was slathered with chocolate sauce.
But that pink colour didn't stop him devouring the entire cake.

This was a special day...met up with my school friend ,My Namesake...Shalini Verma Vikrant after 4 years.
It was fun and made me nostalgic the whole day.Reminded me of the song Purani Jeans. Many ,Many memories associated with her and this song.
Do you have a song that makes you all nostalgic?

Another word of advice....when you lift the mould make sure you keep it on a plate and then lift it.The mould is WOBBLY!

The cake turns out pretty and it was great to eat...and healthy. Low in Fat too. And soft...the trick is the milk and the vinegar. The original recipe is from my Fabulous Cakes And Bakes, I tweaked the recipe a bit...adding vinegar and microwaving it.
Quick snack or dessert.

for the

Rose Carrot Cake....Microwaved...

you need

90 mils vegetable oil/melted butter (I use sundrop)
3/4 cup sugar (granular or whatever)
2 eggs
1 1/4 flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder(omit  the baking powder and salt if you use self raising or cake flour)
1/4  tsp bicarbonate of soda(meetha soda...look it will be somewhere languishing in your kitchen cabinets)
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp finely chopped ginger(optional)
1/4 cup milk +1 tsp vinegar (Mix)
1 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup glace cherries(sweet child takes offence to raisins,This was another Tweak I did)
1/4 cup cashew nuts(he also hates walnuts and almonds...cashews are quite neutral so he generally does not notice them!)

The eggs and the sugar,blend till the sugar almost dissolves.If you use butter,the order changes.
Beat butter,add sugar ,combine then add eggs one at a time.

That's the milk and vinegar(BTW together they do the work of buttermilk!That's what makes your cakes SUPER SOFT)

This is when I added the pink with the vegetable oil...

The flour,salt ,baking powder,bicarb of soda and cinnamon...sifter together in the background!The book...well I was also supervising sweet child study time...

Flour and milk blended in in three batches.That was the consistency...not very different from your regular cake.

These and the healthy bits being sneaked in...carrots,glace cherries,cashews and ginger.Now Folded in.

The mould ,on a platter

That was the batter.

At 70% power in your microwave for 20 minutes WITH the glass of WATER.
Skewer came out clean.

The wait was the worst..Almost an hour.Overturned on a plate,and the gently peeling off the reveal...Voila...
That gentleness reminded me of the gentleness that one would accord to a baby while changing its clothes.
I was cooing and talking to it,only it did not giggle back!

Nice plate...drizzled generously with JUST DESSERTS-Easy Chocolate Fudge Sauce-you can find the recipe by clicking on the link below.

Well...what do I say,It did not live to see another day.
But I'm sure it was digested well.
If you do not have this mould use a regular bowl...same time and power in the microwave,for a regular oven...170C for 55-65 minutes.

Pink or not...this cake will leave you feeling Tickled Pink...and healthier.You need it in this season of being too drenched in sugar.

So what are you baking today???

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas...

Merry Christmas to all in blogosphere..

Been away lately only because I've been busy ,and busy being ill.
I've had the mother -in-law of a cough(PS she's always partial to the daughter...ROFL)
I wish I knew how to put smileys on the blog ,but somethings just don't work for me.
Enough said...this holiday season was all about bringing good cheer and happiness and smiles to  people.This time to some Special Children.
Dr Madhuri Kanitkar,the ever smiling and ever shining beacon of happiness went all out to spread some good cheer.She hosted a Christmas party for children from Deepshikha School,Ranchi.

Yours truly decided to go all out and add a wee bit of wow factor  to their evening.Roped in friend Ritu Sharma(yup, the ova-avoiding friend....who bakes the egg less cakes ) to help jazz up some cookies and cupcakes.
 This was the view from the roof...err the other side of the table.

This is where I used the coloured sugar...liberally...
And we tried snow dusted Christmas trees..
A little close up..

These are a few pictures of the food we did and of the children.
Santa's little and Ritu...cookie frosting in process...the kids ate quite a few..
We were Tired...but love made us go on...

The cookies...

They sang songs and danced and I do hope they had a good time...
I'm not always the only snap happy Photographer...

One big thank you to Dr Madhuri Kanitkar,you never cease to inspire and amaze us!

Felt great doing something sweet for someone other than friends and family.
Feel warm,smug,snug and satisfied.
That's what Christmas is supposed to do right?
Cheers and Joyeux Noel and happy holidays!
Spread some joy ...

So what are you baking today???

Lots more to come...Rose Carrot cake...microwaved -no less,Garlic Bread ,Spinach Rolls....

Until the next

Until the next


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