Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes-Daring Bakers March Hidden Veggies

Every body's got a dark side...Do you love me??? Can you love mine???
No body's picture perfect, but we're worth it...
Will you love me??? Even with my dark side???
                                                   Kelly Clarkson-dark side

Those words coming from a plain and simple zucchini...
and the dark side???
Chocolate!



















Daring Bakers threw quite a challenge this month....hidden veggies!
And where were you supposed to hide the veggies???
In a cake or a cookie or a pudding...
I saw suggestions of turnip and spinach filled cakes...
Pumpkin, can be pie"d"...but who is to piper the pumpkin pie???
We tried to hide beet roots in a red velvet cake ...but the velvet was not even pink and tasted foul....
I'd almost given up when I spotted Zucchini Cupcakes in Rose Levy Brenanbaum's The Cake Bible ....
The chemist to the rescue...
If she says its a cake ...so it must be a cake...
But ginger and cinnamon still made zucchini visible...
So dump the ginger and add some magic...the dark side...Chocolate -cocoa powder!
Yes my little zucchini...I will still love you...with your dark side...you see you will melt with all the power the dark side has over you...
And no one will even know you were there...Hidden!
See...not a trace...

I know you don't believe me...
so read on!

Blog-checking lines:  Ruth from Makey-Cakey was our March 2013 Daring Bakers’ challenge host. She encouraged us all to get experimental in the kitchen and sneak some hidden veggies into our baking, with surprising and delicious results!

I tweaked The cake lady's recipe a bit....
to yield some extra special magic!!!!!

for the

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes-Daring Bakers March Hidden Veggies...

you need

2 cups grated zucchini
1 1/2 cups(less tbsp) plain flour
3/4 cup caster sugar-if you do not intend to frost these cuppies,add another two tbsp sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 heaped tbsp cocoa powder'
1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 eggs

One bowl cake-simple...
These cuppies do not rise too much..so you will get around 16-18 cup cakes or a doz extra mini muffins...
Oven on at 175C/350F
Start with a humble zucchini...One was enough for 2 cups...
Peeled and grated.
Sift the flour,cocoa powder,salt,soda bi carbonate and the cinnamon powder once and set aside...
In another bowl, add the eggs,oil and the sugar. I had 2 egg yolks left over from my royal icing, so I reduced the oil by a tbsp and added the yolks...did not want left over yolks in the fridge...

The whisk was unnecessary...in fact a wooden spoon would have done it....
Add in the sugar and the zucchini...
See the veggies...two cups full!
Now add in the dry flour mix...simple!
The batter was a little wet...and needed to be poured a bit carefully...the grated zucchini was falling out...but I added only 3/4 full...
The cuppies did not rise...maybe because of the zucchini...but it melted...there was no sign of the veggie!
And they tasted OK straight out of the oven..

.but after an overnight rest...they were...FAB!!

The texture was soft ...spongy and ready to french the frosting...I only stuck the royal icing roses...with a wee bit of royal icing...
Tell me the roses are pretty...
Tell me!
Almost real...



















I frosted...and piped and made roses...overnight ...left to dry...
A perfect contrast to the chocolate and the dark side...
Thank you daring bakers for a wonderful challenge...

So what are you baking today???


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies with Candy

                     Cookies are made of butter and love.  
                                                ~Norwegian Proverb

Cookies and Candy...
Dished out together...
Spell love backwards or forwards...
Only when you love so much,can you put so much chocolate into a cookie.
And I also added m&m 's and Snickers Bars...
Little coloured bits of goodness and chocolate!
Added to the chunks of chocolate that are just about melting in your mouth... then there were some with cut up snickers bars in their centres...
Mush and more!
I'd hoarded a packet of m&m's and some fun size snickers bars for a while now...trying not to eat them because of the calories they contain...
And then I thought...WTH- I can do a few more rounds of yoga...
There were the aromas of melting butter and warm chocolate and melting caramel and peanuts...
My whole house was brimming with the goodness...
Sweet Child was trying his best to study for his last exam -science...all that chemistry and those chemicalk reactions going on in the oven were wrecking havoc with his chemistry lesson...
Well...
These too were important!
Chocolate and candy always is!
These were a wee bit healthy too!

for the 

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies with Candy...

you need

225 gms or 1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups ground sugar
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup plain flour
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup chocolate chips( I used semi sweet dark chocolate and white chocolate)
2 tsp soda bicarb/baking soda
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup m&m's and 5 fun size bars snickers or whatever candy you have or ...dont!

I was de stressing...
Making dough when all the people at home had gone to sleep...working in a sinisterly,whispery,quiet way...tip toeing around the kitchen...
Fortunately, my kitchen is a good 20 yards away from the bed rooms...so even the falling lids and stuff dont disturb ...the only thing I'll abstain from is baking...the aromas fly!
I had company, sweet dog Romeo kept me company all throughout...baring his uneven denture and licking his lips when he smelt the candy and the butter and the chocolate...I did drop some cookie dough...just to keep him happy!
Well, I thought Id be able to cream the butter and sugar with my whisk...hands are better...
That btw is powdered sugar...
Add in an egg at a time and the vanilla and whip in...
It will be smooth and creamy...
Now to plop in the flours...
And now mix it together into a soft dough...and divide into two...
One part...add in the chocolate chips and the m&m's...

ANd now bring it all together by kneading the sweet  stuff into the cookie dough...
And ideally shape the cookies now...whether you intend baking now or freezing them and 



ANd now bring it all together by kneading the sweet  stuff into the cookie dough...
And ideally shape the cookies now...whether you intend baking now or freezing them and baking later...I made a roll...and I had to shape the cookies the next day...pointless!
So the next day...
Just in case ...the m&m's looked sooooooo cute!
I chopped the snickers bars into three and kneaded  the chopped white chocolate into the second part of the dough...
The snickers I enclosed into the cookie dough...
Got 12 cookies filled with snickers and 12 with m&m's...Dumped in the fridge over night.

Next morning...
Oven pre heated to 180C/350 F...
I did not wait for the cookies to come to room temp...just laid them bare on the cookie trays and ....
Cookie trays in and cookie trays out...

15 minutes...and out at the soft stage...The cookies should be soft and just a wee bit undercooked...they cook while cooling too!
Lift them off with a metal spatula and Cool on a wire rack...
I drizzled some melted milk chocolate over the the still warm snickers cookies...
Proof!
Dunked in milk or without!!!!!!

And thanks to Kanchan Bhartari for the pretty sprinkles...
They will add the pretty oomph factor...
And make some little girls very happy!!!!!!!
I managed to make 24 cookies in all...the same size as the cookies available at cafe coffee day!

Soul satisfying!!
Left over candy or no...
These are fun to make and fun to share...
Make em!

So what are you baking today???







Monday, March 18, 2013

Schezuan Stir Fried Chicken and Veggie Noodles and a contest

This post is a part of Healthy & Tasty Recipe Contest with Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil & BlogAdda.com
A contest!
OK, so I am in all probability the last...but in no way am I the least!!

Desi Beats...
Desi Chinese with Noooooodles...
Long, long strings that promise a burst of flavour...
Topped with a lusciously silky gravy ...drenching slivers of fried chicken...
So the slurp...
And a bite...
And a contest!!
Yay!
I love Contests...
And I love Chinese...
With an Indian tadka...
And the promise of less fat content and low cholesterol!
All thanks to...
I tried this oil for the first time yesterday...generally only use refined vegetable oil for deep frying and baking only-hubby dear is a mustard oil and desi ghee purist.
Food cooked in Refined Oil is a big no no!
So whenever we do Italian or Chinese, we use olive oil or Saffola...
This oil left no after taste...and was absorbed less...
Saffola is good too,but there is that taste and smell...
I bought a litre of Fortune refined rice bran oil...
And this was the first try...In a non stickpan...less than a quarter cup of oil...two dishes...The chicken and the noodles...

Noodles...are thin and bunched Chow Chow that you generally get in east India...only wheat flour and water,no egg, no salt and no colour. Cook in two minutes and absorb all the flavours without getting soggy!
Perfect!
Schezuan Stir fried chicken is a rip off from the Fujiya (Malcha Marg Delhi) menu. My family and I have been visiting that restaurant since the 1980s...and little has changed...the food is still amazing and leaves you feeling happy and Chinese full!
This is not lamb...a little problem getting fillets of lamb to slice, so chicken breasts had to do!

for the

Schezuan Stir Fried Chicken and Veggie Noodles and a contest...

you need

500 gms chicken breasts, sliced thinly
3 tbsp cornflour
1 egg white
salt ,pepper,red chilli flakes to taste-optional a pinch or two aji no moto(I did'nt use it)
3 dried red chilies
1 spring onion sliced
1 green/red /yellow capsicum-cut into squares
1 tbsp sesame seed oil
3 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp finally diced ginger
2 tsp or more vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 cup Fortune Refined Rice Bran Oil

Chicken should be sliced and marinated for a few hours. 20 -25 minutes if you are short of time.
Just add the salt, pepper, red chili flakes, 2 tbsp cornflour and the egg white to the chicken and mix well.
This is proof that an egg separater is a must have...slime has no behind!
Cover and set aside.
Heat the 1/4 cup Fortune Refined Rice Bran Oil in a non stick pan and add a third of the chicken at a time and cook till the chicken curls and looks cooked.
Beware the splattering oil!
Drain on a kitchen towel and set aside, from prying m\noses and eyes..you want the chicken in a gravy , not eaten up as a snack even before you have begun!
You will be able to save about half the oil. Remove to a bowl and return only 1 tsp of the oil back to the pan.
In the bowl that you marinated the chicken in, place the ketchup, ginger(save a pinch or two), vinegar, soy sauce, sesame seed oil and mix well. Add the remaining cornflour and a cup of water.I added a dash of tabasco to make it spicier...
Into the hot pan, add the chillies and the saved ginger and let them change colour. See any oil??Hmm?Hmm??
Pop in the peppers/capsicum and the diced spring onions and toss to coat the flavoured oil.
Add the chicken and toss,toss to combine and let the flavours amalgamate. I just toss to improve my tossing skills. Awesome-not a drop on the counter.

Not withstanding the attacks on the chicken....
Now sauce mix in...

Stir ,allowing the sauce to coat the chicken and the peppers....just a minute and we are done...
What I love about Chinese, desi style ...flavours, colours and a burst of textures...
And the drama...

In the meanwhile 3 litres of water was bought to a rolling boil for the noodles.
So now the Veggie Noodles...
The famous Chow Chow noodles!


Veggie Noodles...

4 bunches chow chow noodles(If you can manage chow chow-maggi without the taste maker is good too-or regular hakka noodles)
left over Fortune Refined Rice Bran Oil from frying the chicken
salt,pepper,red chilli flakes to taste
pinch aji no moto-did'nt use again
2 cups assorted chopped veggies-(sliced onions, 1 carrot,6-7 beans 1/2 cup shredded cabbage and 1 sliced capsicum)
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp vinegar

When the water boils tip in the noodles and pay close attention to them. Make sure you leave a bite-a little al dente like pasta.
Drain through a collander and ensure you rinse them well with cold water to stop the cooking and to ensure that the noodles are excess starch free.
Fortune Refined Rice Bran Oil -leftovers into a wok.
Add in the veggies one by one-onions, beans, carrots ,capsicum and the cabbage.
Toss and mix in the salt and pepper.
Now the soy sauce and then in with the noodles...
Mix well on high heat taste.
Add in the vinegar and adjust the seasonings...
Ready in a jiffy!

Serve with the Schezuan Stir Fried Chicken and enjoy the meal-knowing its high in fibre and heart healthy!
Crisp Chicken and crisp Veggies in yumm noodles...
Hardly and left overs and some satisfied tummies....
Super Shiny and glossy and easy on the palette...
Simple and healthy!

So what are you baking today???



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