Thursday, 31 March 2011

Trifle a la mode

I have made this trifle before by following chef Rahat's mango trifle video but I thought it's better if I write the recipe too, because one can't possibly watch the video every time one has to make it.

This recipe makes 8-10 servings.

The basic measurements for
custard are quite simple and easy to remember. For 6 cups of milk, you will need 6 tablespoons custard powder and 6 tablespoons sugar.

Now to prepare the custard. First dissolve custard powder using cold milk, in a small bowl. Heat remaining milk & sugar on low flame. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Cook for a while till milk approaches boiling point. Add dissolved custard powder gradually to heated milk while stirring/whisking continuously, to avoid the formation of lumps.

Then pour prepared custard in a bowl and cover it with a plastic wrap or cling film, so that no crust is formed as the custard cools down. Prick some holes to let the steam out.

The next thing that needs to be prepared is

But first, slice any plain cake or sponge cake. Any flavor will do like: orange, vanilla or even chocolate. Lay down the slices in a serving dish. Make sure the slices are of medium thickness and they are so placed that there is some gap between them. Sprinkle some orange juice or fruit cocktail syrup.

Then prepare jelly by following the instructions on the pack. Two packets of jelly will be enough and any flavor will do. Try to keep it thick, like boil 1 cup water instead of 2 cups and add the jelly powder. Stir and dissolve it completely. Pour hot jelly liquid over the cake slices. Next spread the fruits ( chopped peaches, mangoes, bananas, or fruits from canned mix fruit cocktail) and then pour remaining hot liquid jelly. Leave it to cool and set.

For the final assembling whip some cream ( 1/2 cup or 1/4th cup). Beat well. Add 3-4 tablespoons of cream to cooled custard. Then pour it all over the fruits, covering the corners first. Decorate with remaining cream and few pieces of chopped fruits. Refrigerate and serve very well chilled.

Note: Once the cream has been added to the custard, the trifle becomes quite perishable and should be consumed within a day or two.

Oh and by a la mode I don't mean to say it's to be served with ice cream. :P This trifle recipe is just in fashion at our home these days. :) And, if it's chilled well enough it might even taste like ice cream.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Halo treat

It has been almost 3 months since I blogged. Seems like ages to me. I hadn't been making any desserts and no baking at all, so I had nothing to post. Sad!

I don't know why but dessert/baking recipes are much more dear to me than everyday cooking recipes (or any other type of recipe for that matter).

I feel it's really difficult to find any authentic baking or dessert recipe and when we do come across such a great recipe that gives excellent results each time, and that too without much effort, it ought to be treasured and most importantly, shared with the rest of the world for the greater good.

So here's my favorite recipe of doughnuts, or donuts as they are referred in the US. It makes around 24 doughnuts. I would recommend making half the recipe (i.e. 12 doughnuts) always, as it gets pretty tiring to fry 24 doughnuts. Trust me on this when I say 'tiring' because I tried it with my sister few days ago and my hands started to ache while frying. Don't be scared though, it's really fun otherwise. Credit for this amazing recipe goes to chef Rahat.

Sugar-coated Doughnuts

4 teaspoons instant yeast

3 and 3/4th cup flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

50g butter

1/4th cup sugar

1 and 1/2 cup (or less) milk

Mix together above ingredients to form a sticky soft dough. Start by mixing together flour and sugar. Add soften butter and try to mix well by using a fork. Add the eggs. Lastly add yeast and gradually add milk to form the dough. Stop adding milk as soon as the dough becomes sticky.

Cover the dough and leave it to rise for half an hour or more.

Knead dough to remove air from it, sprinkling some dry flour, until the dough is one smooth ball. Roll it out but make sure it's not too thin neither too thick, just medium thickness-wise.

Now you can use a doughnut cutter or simply an empty tin can to cut out the outer round shape of the doughnut. I usually invert a glass and use it for cutting out the doughnut shape. And to cut out the center, use any small circular object like a bottle cap.

Let these cut out shapes rest for about 10 minutes on a flour dusted tray or plate. This step is important so make sure you don't skip it otherwise you doughnuts won't be light and fluffy when you fry them.

Deep fry. Oil should not be too hot. Fry slowly on medium heat. Give the doughnut a gentle turn when it gets light golden from one side and fry the other side. Be patient and attentive, you don't want the doughnuts to get a dark color.

When the doughnuts are still hot, dip them in a bag of powdered sugar. Seal the ends of the bag and give it a shake to coat the sugar. Now you're done!

Store refrigerated.

Most of the pictures here are by my sister. I have enhanced some of them using the online photoshop editor.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Chicken Corn Soup

I was talking to my cousin the other day when she started telling me about this soup. It sounded so easy and fun to make that I tried it as soon as I got the corn.

There are no measurements as such for the ingredients. Everything can be added as per one's taste.

It's really simple. Here's what you need to do: Boil a piece of chicken with a little ginger garlic paste, salt, black pepper, and corn. After the chicken is fully boiled, take it out, shred it to small pieces, and add it back to the soup. Discard the bones.

Add dissolved cornflour to the soup till it reaches desired thickness.

Now comes the fun part. Beat an egg. Add it to the soup while stirring constantly and it'll get all cooked! And it gives the soup it's typical ghastly look. (I never knew this)

Apart from corn other vegetables that can be used are: peas, carrots, and/or cabbage.

1/2 cup boiled pasta can also be added or add pasta at the beginning so that it gets cooked along with the chicken and vegetables.

Drizzle some soy sauce and hot sauce when serving.

These days I'm making this soup every other day as it's lovely to have it in winter.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Weekend tea party

We had some guests over the weekend for tea so we made peach trifle and chicken patties, along with some other snacks.

Peach Trifle

Things that need to be prepared are custard and jelly primarily, the rest is mere assembling.

There are some amazing technical tips
for custard preparation and cooling that can be seen in the video for Mango Trifle (by chef Rahat) here. The idea of adding fresh cream to custard is simply awesome!

First lay down cake slices. Any plain sponge or butter cake will do. My mom says chocolate cake is the best choice as it gives a superb taste when combined with peaches in the trifle.

Soak the cake slices with fruit cocktail syrup or orange juice, for a few minutes.

Next lay down the peaches,
finely chopped. (either fresh or canned)

Slightly beat the prepared jelly with fork and spread it over the fruit.

Lastly spread the cooled custard and decorate with fresh cream (beaten) or peach slices.

Chicken Patties

I used ready made puff pastry. The recipe for the filling is by chef Rahat.

For the filling

1 cup boneless chicken, finely chopped and fully boiled

2 pinches salt

1/4th teaspoon red chilli powder

1 medium onion, finely chopped

Saute onion with 1 tablespoon butter and mix it with the above ingredients.

Place about 1 tablespoon filling in each puff pastry square. Fold and bake.

Filling makes around 15 patties.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Orange tarts... On an autumn's day

Autumn is here at last! And a pleasant one it is so far. The wind is blowing without any traces of dust. This change in weather is making us all the more hungrier than ever before.

I had bought butter and cream cheese to make these tarts but instead I used the butter to make the Peach Upside Down cake first.

I had to shoot the tarts in an emergency once again, as we couldn't keep our hands off of them when they came out of the oven.

They have an extremely delicious taste owing to the cream cheese. The recipe I used is from here. The pastry is very soft and delicate. It melts in your mouth when you take a bite.

A tart for breakfast or one after lunch is just heavenly!

For the Pastry

1/2 cup (113 grams approximately) butter, softened

1/3rd cup sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1/4th teaspoon vanilla essence

1/4th teaspoon salt

1 and 1/3rd cups flour

For the Filling

8 ounces (220 grams approximately) cream cheese, softened

1/4th cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

2 teaspoons orange juice

Beat all pastry ingredients except for flour.

Add flour. Mix to form dough.

Divide the dough equally in 12 portions to be placed in a 12-cup muffin/cupcake tray. The tray does not need to be greased.

Press pastry on the bottom and sides of the cup with finger tips.

Preheat oven to 375ºF/ 190ºC.

In a bowl beat all filling ingredients. Using a spoon place the filling over the pastry in each cup.

Bake for 15 - 20 minutes. Pastry should be light brown around the edges.

Cool completely and refrigerate.

Monday, 4 October 2010

French delight

This sour cream dish can be a main course for lunch. It can also be had at tea-time or brunch.

Bake it in a 12 regular sized muffin/cupcake tray to serve it as an appetizer.

This recipe I got from my neighbor.

I baked it for lunch time. We were eager to have it straight away so I had to get a picture of it in quite an emergency.


200 grams Puff Pastry

200 grams sour cream

2 eggs

1/4th teaspoon salt

1/4th teaspoon back pepper

1/4th teaspoon red chilli powder

1 tablespoon flour

2 tablespoons mushrooms, finely chopped

2 tablespoons tomatoes, finely chopped

Roll out pastry and fix in baking pan.

Beat all ingredients except mushrooms and tomatoes.

Add mushrooms and tomatoes. Mix well.

Other options for the topping are some finely chopped capsicum or spring onion.

Pour mixture over the puff pastry.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 175
°C. Broil or bake from top for 3 minutes for a light brown color.

Serve warm.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Yummy Peaches

Here's what you do with too many peaches: Make a peach cake! This recipe is by chef Rahat. The best part about this recipe is that it requires no intense beating. The mixing is all done with spoon.

I love to take pictures of food. I was really excited to shoot this slice as luckily the sunlight was absolutely gorgeous that day. I took loads of pictures and finalized with this one below.

Peach Upside Down Cake

3-4 large peaches, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4th cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1 tablespoon flour

1/4th cup butter, melted

Grind the sugar. In a bowl, mix all of the above ingredients with spoon.

Grease any oven proof glass dish or cake-baking pan. A glass dish is preferable though, as it will be easy to cut out slices from it later.

Pour the fruit mixture into the greased dish.

This picture was taken when the cake was fresh out of the oven

For the cake

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

1/4th cup milk

1 or 2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 210
°C/425°F /Gas mark 6 for 10 to 15 minutes. Grind the sugar.

In a clean dry bowl mix flour, baking powder and sugar with spoon. Make a well or depression in the center. Add butter, egg and milk (a little more than 1/4th cup ). Close the well with spoon and mix it till smooth.

Pour the batter on the fruit prepared above. Level the top with a slightly wet spoon.
Bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm and upside down.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Take two at carrot cake

This cake I baked with carrots unlike the last time when we did not have any carrots. I used the same recipe as before which is here but for the icing I followed instructions from here.

The icing is not compulsory but I had to do it because this cake was primarily meant for guests.

I liked this icing more. The only drawback associated with fresh cream icing is that it is perishable even if refrigerated. Hence it needs to be consumed as quickly as possible which is not a problem considering that it tastes better than the one done with icing sugar.

It's always a good idea to keep the serving size small.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Muffins or Cupcakes? Yes, there is a difference!

Our new found love: Cupcakes! :)

My sister made batches and batches of cupcakes during Ramadhan from Betty Crocker's French Vanilla cake mix.

I managed to get a few pictures of them before they vanished.

There's actually a difference between cupcakes and muffins.

Cupcakes are basically mini-cakes so you use any cake's recipe and bake cupcakes out of it. Simple as that!

Their bake time is around 20 minutes at 175
° C.

They are sweeter, lighter in weight and smaller in size than muffins. They are a special occasion delicacy because of their fancy decor (icing).

Muffins on the other hand come from the family of bread. Unlike cakes their inner texture is not very soft. They are sweeter than bread though.

They are plain on the outside and usually have some filling (fruits or nuts) inside.

They require no icing and make for an ideal breakfast. They are best served warm with a little butter perhaps.