Daring Bakers March 2011- Meringue Filled chocolate cake

Now that I’ve got my blogging mojo back I figured I just had to be part of this month’s Daring Bakers challenge.

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

The cake, I must tell you was simply delicious and I cant wait to make it again. I halved the recipe so didn’t have enough of the dough to make the pretty circles the rest of my DBers are so beautifully making. But what the heck it was awesome! Trust me.

But before I share the recipe with you here’s something else I wanted to share.

I did mention I’ve forayed into teaching didn’t I?

So far the only little problem Ive faced is one of forgotten basics.I can’t for the life of me remember the (little) grammar I did know in the first place.

So in my quest to brush up on English Grammar I went looking for some grammar books at the local library.

Turns out they did not have that many books on English grammar. But lurking within the Humor section I found Grammar Sucks by Joanne Kimmes. It’s definitely one of a kind and i just wanted to share a small excerpt with y’all.

Interjections

The list of interjections sounds more like words from a porn movie script than words from the English language, for just about any word or utterance can serve as an interjection.Here’s a list of some of the most common interjections, which coincidentally , is the exact same dialog from the classics film Debbie Does Dallas.

ah oh ugh
aha oh no well
help ooh wow
hey ouch yeah

Interjections have their uses , but you need to exercise caution. Peppering your conversation or writing with interjections will make you seem at the least hyperactive, or at the worst an overly bubbly teenager. Because of this , interjections should be used only when necessary(unless, of course you are writing for the sequel: Debbie Does Dallas Again)

You gotta love a grammar book with a sense of humor.

Well, here’s the recipe…

FILLED MERINGUE COFFEE CAKE
Makes 2 round coffee cakes, each approximately 10 inches in diameter
But I halved it.

Ingredients
For the yeast coffee cake dough:

4 cups (600 g / 1.5 lbs.) flour
¼ cup (55 g / 2 oz.) sugar
¾ teaspoon (5 g / ¼ oz.) salt
1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons / 7 g / less than an ounce) active dried yeast
¾ cup (180 ml / 6 fl. oz.) whole milk
¼ cup (60 ml / 2 fl. oz. water (doesn’t matter what temperature)
½ cup (135 g / 4.75 oz.) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature

1/2 tsp cardamom(optional)

For the meringue:

3 large egg whites at room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup (110 g / 4 oz.) sugar

For the filling:


1 cup (110 g / 4 oz.) chopped walnuts
2 Tablespoons (30 g / 1 oz.) granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (170 g / 6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate

Egg wash: 1 beaten egg
Cocoa powder (optional) and confectioner’s sugar (powdered/icing sugar) for dusting cakes

Directions:

Prepare the dough:

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups (230 g) of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast.

In a saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter and heat over medium heat until warm and the butter is just melted. Ria’s version: add the 10 saffron threads to the warmed liquid and allow to steep off of the heat for 10 minutes. This will give the mixture a distinct aroma and flavor and a yellowish-orange hue.

With an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add the warm liquid to the flour/yeast mixture, beating until well blended. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes. Add the eggs and 1 cup (150 g) flour and beat for 2 more minutes.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together. Turn out onto a floured surface (use any of the 1 ½ cups of flour remaining) and knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft, smooth, sexy and elastic, keeping the work surface floured and adding extra flour as needed.
I found that I needed to add more flour to get the desired consistency.

Place the dough in a lightly greased (I use vegetable oil) bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise until double in bulk, 45 – 60 minutes. The rising time will depend on the type of yeast you use.

Prepare your filling:In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar for the filling if using. You can add the chopped nuts to this if you like, but I find it easier to sprinkle on both the nuts and the chocolate separately.

Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue:
In a clean mixing bowl – ideally a plastic or metal bowl so the egg whites adhere to the side (they slip on glass) and you don’t end up with liquid remaining in the bottom – beat the egg whites with the salt, first on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high and continue beating until foamy and opaque. Add the vanilla then start adding the ½ cup sugar, a tablespoon at a time as you beat, until very stiff, glossy peaks form.


Assemble the Coffee Cakes:

Line 2 baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper.

image from Ria-just using it for indicative purposes.

Punch down the dough and divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, working one piece of the dough at a time (keep the other half of the dough wrapped in plastic), roll out the dough into a 20 x 10-inch (about 51 x 25 ½ cm) rectangle. Spread half of the meringue evenly over the rectangle up to about 1/2-inch (3/4 cm) from the edges. Sprinkle half of your filling of choice evenly over the meringue (ex: half of the cinnamon-sugar followed by half the chopped nuts and half of the chocolate chips/chopped chocolate).Do not lay it on too thick or it may ooze out when you are rolling it up.

Now, roll up the dough jellyroll style, from the long side.II found it rather difficult to roll it completely so just picked up the other end and completed the roll:)

Pinch the seam closed to seal. Very carefully transfer the filled log to one of the lined cookie sheets, seam side down. Bring the ends of the log around and seal the ends together, forming a ring, tucking one end into the other and pinching to seal.(or just leave it loaf like-like I did)

Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife (although scissors are easier), make cuts along the outside edge at 1-inch (2 ½ cm) intervals. Make them as shallow or as deep as desired but don’t be afraid to cut deep into the ring.

Repeat with the remaining dough, meringue and fillings.

Cover the 2 coffee cakes with plastic wrap and allow them to rise again for 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Brush the tops of the coffee cakes with the egg wash. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until risen and golden brown. The dough should sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from the oven and slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheets onto the table. Very gently loosen the coffee cakes from the paper with a large spatula and carefully slide the cakes off onto cooling racks. Allow to cool.

Just before serving, dust the tops of the coffee cakes with confectioner’s sugar as well as cocoa powder if using chocolate in the filling. These are best eaten fresh, the same day or the next day.

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The River House- Margaret Leroy

When I picked up Margaret Leroy’s The River House I assumed it was a murder mystery.

Wrong I was.

While the murder is central to the novel, the narrative and voice is why you will absolutely love this book. Its definitely why I did.
More so if you are a woman as the novel touches on many of the internal struggles that mothers face.

Ginnie Holmes is a 40-something psychologist stuck in a dull, passionless marriage and about to bid goodbye to her daughter who is moving out of home for college.She meets Will Hampden on work related matter and finds herself transformed by the intense passion that she feels for him. An otherwise smart and sensible woman, Ginnie finds herself risking her family and children as she loses herself in this tempestuous affair.

One Thursday( the lovers meet every Thursday noon in an abandoned boathouse near the Thames), she spies a man through the river house window, hurriedly walking along the river path. Later when that man’s wife’s battered body is fished out the river Thames, Ginnie finds herself torn between calling the police as she is a potential witness and preventing the grief and destruction of two families that will come with her disclosure.

This brilliant novel creates a gloomy but ethereal atmosphere. Leroy almost effortlessly manages to pull the reader into Ginnie’s head and life with all her domestic and parental worries …all the small intimacies of ordinary day to day life. The agonizing emotional tension and moral dilemma that Ginnie faces is so tragic and and expertly put….no easy task that..
The writing is just hauntingly beautiful and dreamy and although the story may not be original the authors superior quality of writing makes it an exquisite book.

I cant wait to pick up her other titles.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Did you wonder if I’d fallen off the face of this planet.

Hell NO!

I’m still getting used to life in Kochi……parents, in-laws….need I say more!

But whats really been keeping me occupied has been an errrr…’assignment’ that I’ve taken on. My latest avatar is as an e-tutor-basically I have to be up at the crack of dawn ungodly hours to teach kids why ‘She and I have to go to the park’ and not ‘She and me’….yup English…and Grammar at that!

It’s hard work. I left my brain behind in the maternity ward 7 years ago and getting it to kick-start is not easy.

And waking up that early is a HUGE effort too. Over the last few years the bed and I have cemented our love for each other. Even if my house were to explode I’d still have to consider if it’s really worth getting out of bed.

So then my dad asked me ‘Are you really enjoying yourself?’

WHAT????????? I have enough trouble living the moment..now I have to enjoy it too????????

Here’s a whole wheat cookie I tried the other day. We are suckers for cookies and these were GOOd..even if I say so myself:)

Whole Wheat Oats Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe Source- Deeba(passionate about baking)

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup granular sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups oats, powdered (cuz thats the only way my kids will eat ’em)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Method:

In a bowl, stir together the dry ingredients – flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, chocolate chips, walnuts.

In another big bowl, cream the butter and sugar till fluffy. Next beat in the egg and vanilla extract.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Drop a tablespoon of dough into a lines cookie sheet and gently flatten.

Bake at 180C for 18 minutes, until golden brown.

Remove from oven, leave to cool on trays for 1 minute, then remove to cooling racks and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight box.

This recipe goes to the ongoing Oats Recipe Event here.

Elliott Hall – The First Stone

The first of Elliott Hall’s dark futurology trilogy, I found The First Stone to be an impressive debut.

Set in an America that is poised to be swept away by Christian fundamentalists , after terrorist attacks have destroyed Houston along with an ongoing war with Iran, the protagonist Felix Strange does not have much going for him. The war veteran turned private eye, he is now damaged goods, having contracted a nameless disease that threatens to kill him.

When the high profile Christian big-wig and founder of the fanatical group ‘The Crusade of Love’ Brother Isaiah is killed, Strange is given the task of investigating the murder. What follows is a non-stop action filled maze involving politicians, corporates and religious leaders.
T
he book is chillingly convincing and very readable especially if you are a fan of crime and noir genres. Hall’s world- building is just ingenious and his writing style is witty yet powerful , like when someone says something really funny with a straight face. Pick it up for his writing style if not anything else.

A No-Title Post

Just wanted to say I’ve arrived at Kochi, alive and unscathed(almost).Thanks all of you who wrote in to wish me luck on the move.

One of the first things I did was to go to my fav library Eloor , at Convent Junction. Just standing there gave me a burst of happiness that I so badly needed. The next thing I did was to at the Talwalkar Gym neary(I do hope I lose more than just money *fingers crossed*).

I’ve also attended 2 weddings and have been invited to 3 others in the span of 7 days that I have been here- what do I say- Thats Kerala for you!!!!

Before I forget… Happy New Year all of you..May all your wishes come true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stollen

First the blog checking lines out of the way…

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book………and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

Its been aN UNBELIEVABLY tiring week. I am utterly exhausted and think I have two brain cells left, and they are barely puttering around in there.
Its also been a week of non-stop packing and goodbyes and for the next few weeks my life will be in boxes….

For now I’m going to leave you with this most amazing bread. The STOLLEN is a traditional German Christmas Bread and one I am so glad I made inspite of my crazy life.Although I am nearly always yeast-challenged, this one was absol-wonderful. Just delicious!

Here I must thank Aparna for the parcel of candied fruit that she parceled to me….thank you thank you thank you.!!!

Ingredients
¼ cup (60ml) lukewarm water (110º F / 43º C)
2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) (22 ml) (14 grams) (1/2 oz) active dry yeast
1 cup (240 ml) milk
10 tablespoons (150 ml) (140 grams) unsalted butter (can use salted butter)
5½ cups (1320 ml) (27 ozs) (770 grams) all-purpose (plain) flour (Measure flour first – then sift- plus extra for dusting)
½ cup (120 ml) (115 gms) sugar
¾ teaspoon (3 ¾ ml) (4 ½ grams) salt (if using salted butter there is no need to alter this salt measurement)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 grams) cinnamon
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (very good) vanilla extract
1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon extract or orange extract
¾ cup (180 ml) (4 ¾ ozs) (135 grams) mixed peel (link below to make your own)
1 cup (240 ml) (6 ozs) (170 gms) firmly packed raisins
3 tablespoons (45ml) rum
12 red glacé cherries (roughly chopped) for the color and the taste. (optional)
1 cup (240 ml) (3 ½ ozs) (100 grams) flaked almonds
Melted unsalted butter for coating the wreath
Confectioners’ (icing) (powdered) sugar for dusting wreath

Note: If you don’t want to use alcohol, double the lemon or orange extract or you could use the juice from the zested orange.

Directions:

Soak the raisins
In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the rum (or in the orange juice from the zested orange) and set aside. See Note under raisins.
To make the dough

Pour ¼ cup (60 ml) warm water into a small bowl, sprinkle with yeast and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast completely.

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup (240 ml) milk and 10 tablespoons (150 ml) butter over medium – low heat until butter is melted. Let stand until lukewarm, about 5 minutes.

Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl and add lemon and vanilla extracts.

In a large mixing bowl (4 qt) (4 liters) (or in the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment), stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, orange and lemon zests.

Then stir in (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) the yeast/water mixture, eggs and the lukewarm milk/butter mixture. This should take about 2 minutes. It should be a soft, but not sticky ball. When the dough comes together, cover the bowl with either plastic or a tea cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.

Add in the mixed peel, soaked fruit and almonds and mix with your hands or on low speed to incorporate. Here is where you can add the cherries if you would like. Be delicate with the cherries or all your dough will turn red!

Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing with the dough hook) to distribute the fruit evenly, adding additional flour if needed. The dough should be soft and satiny, tacky but not sticky. Knead for approximately 8 minutes (6 minutes by machine). The full six minutes of kneading is needed to distribute the dried fruit and other ingredients and to make the dough have a reasonable bread-dough consistency. You can tell when the dough is kneaded enough – a few raisins will start to fall off the dough onto the counter because at the beginning of the kneading process the dough is very sticky and the raisins will be held into the dough but when the dough is done it is tacky which isn’t enough to bind the outside raisins onto the dough ball.

Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling around to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Put it in the fridge overnight. The dough becomes very firm in the fridge (since the butter goes firm) but it does rise slowly… the raw dough can be kept in the refrigerator up to a week and then baked on the day you want.

Shaping the Dough and Baking the Wreath

1. Let the dough rest for 2 hours after taking out of the fridge in order to warm slightly.
2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
3. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
4. Punch dough down, roll into a rectangle about 16 x 24 inches (40 x 61 cms) and ¼ inch (6 mm) thick.

Starting with a long side, roll up tightly, forming a long, thin cylinder.Transfer the cylinder roll to the sheet pan. Join the ends together, trying to overlap the layers to make the seam stronger and pinch with your fingers to make it stick, forming a large circle. You can form it around a bowl to keep the shape.

Using kitchen scissors, make cuts along outside of circle, in 2-inch (5 cm) intervals, cutting 2/3 of the way through the dough.
Twist each segment outward, forming a wreath shape. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Proof for approximately 2 hours at room temperature, or until about 1½ times its original size.
Bake the stollen for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue to bake for 20 to 30 minutes. The bread will bake to a dark mahogany color, should register 190°F/88°C in the center of the loaf, and should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

Transfer to a cooling rack and brush the top with melted butter while still hot.
Immediately tap a layer of powdered sugar over the top through a sieve or sifter.
Wait for 1 minute, then tap another layer over the first.
The bread should be coated generously with the powdered sugar.
Let cool at least an hour before serving. Coat the stollen in butter and icing sugar three times, since this many coatings helps keeps the stollen fresh – especially if you intend on sending it in the mail as Christmas presents!

When completely cool, store in a plastic bag. Or leave it out uncovered overnight to dry out slightly, German style.

StorageThe more rum and the more coatings of butter and sugar you use the longer it will store.
The following is for the recipe as written and uses the 45 mls of rum and two coatings of butter and icing sugar
1. Stollen freezes beautifully about 4 months
2. The baked stollen stores well for 2 weeks covered in foil and plastic wrap on the counter at room temperature and
3. One month in the refrigerator well covered with foil and plastic wrap.

And Before I forget….

MERRY CHRISTMAS….
and Have GREAT NEW YEAR!
See u in 2011……..

I’m Ranting…Again.


image source:click here

I’m beginning to feel the heat of my impending move to Kochi, and it fills me with a myriad of emotions. Happiness , yes. Im going to be living near my parents now .so that’s a good thing. But Goa has been my home for over 7 years and I doubt if we will ever get a chance to come live here again. I love Goa so much it is home to me.

But Kochi too is home. I was born in Kochi and spend a substantial part of my life there.

But I find myself suddenly apprehensive about moving back.Most of my concerns stem from the fact that Kochi has treated me(and many other women , Im sure) very shabbily.
Im taking about eve-teasing( though I feel the word ‘teasing’ really downplays the severity of the action, making it sound almost comical and trivial).

Do you think I’m over reacting? I don’t think so. I have been leered at jostled, poked, pinched and grabbed by men young and old. It has happened at the theatre, on buses, on my walk back from college and even in the temple.

With these incidents come a tsunami of emotion-Grief, extreme anger and hopelessness. And now that Im moving back to Kochi, it annoys me that I will have to always be careful as to what I’m wearing(she shirt shouldn’t be even the wee bit transparent or short for that matter, the dupatta needs to be in place!).I will also think a million times before traveling alone. Feminists have called these incidents ‘little rapes’ and they are, aren’t they?

Even as I write this my blood boils and given a chance I would love to pummel the bejesus out of these shameless perverts but this rarely translates into action (for me)and I often find myself frozen at that moment. Yet I feel sad that we talk of a progressive society but ignore the basic need to respect each other and very strongly feel that only a public humiliation will get these perverts to think twice before they touch or tease a girl without her permission.

Truly Delicious CHOCOLATE GENOISE CAKE with MOCHA MASCARPONE


There are food blogs and there are FOOD BLOGS.
I have never come away from Deeba’s blog feeling anything less than mind boggling awe and extreme hunger..and that wee bit of envy of course.

This visually stunning space is packed with a whole lot of delicious bakes and this genoise cake was one I had my eyes on for a long time.

I was also super thrilled to finally make Mascarpone cheese at home. Trust me, its not all that complicated and you are just two ingredients away from Mascarpone heaven.Once you’ve eaten homemade you will never ever want the store made variety.

This is one truly spectacular dessert that will have swooning with delight!

CHOCOLATE GENOISE CAKE with MOCHA MASCARPONE

Ingredients:

1 chocolate genoise sponge (recipe below)
1 portion of Mocha Mascarpone Cream (recipe below)
Coffee syrup
Dark chocolate shavings, flakes & coffee beans etc to garnish
To assemble:

Make a strong coffee syrup with 1/4 cup of hot water, 2-3 tsps sugar & 2 tsps coffee powder. Cool.
Cut the genoise into 2 horizontal layers.
Place one layer on the cake platter. Brush well with the coffee syrup. Sandwich with a little less than half the mocha mascarpone.
Top with the second layer, & brush that well with the coffee syrup
Frost the top & sides of the cake with the remaining mascarpone. Grate dark chocolate over the top, edge with coffee beans, & sift cocoa over the edges.
Chill for 3-4 hours.

CHOCOLATE GENOISE
As adapted from this recipe @ Baking Obsession

Ingredients:
3 tbsp clarified butter/ghee
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
4 large eggs (I used 5 as the eggs were smallish)
2/3 cup fine granulated vanilla sugar

Method:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line, grease & flour an 8-inch round cake pan.
Sift the flour and cocoa together three times; reserve.
Bring some water to a boil in a large pan/griddle & reduce to simmer. Place eggs & sugar in a large bowl, whisk constantly over the simmering water, heat the eggs to lukewarm (about 105F). Remove the bowl from the pan; leave the skillet on the stove but turn off the heat. With an electric mixer, beat the egg mixture at high speed until it has cooled, tripled in volume, and resembles softly whipped cream, about 5 minutes in a heavy-duty mixer or longer with a less powerful mixer.
Meanwhile, set the bowl of clarified butter/ghee and vanilla in the skillet of hot water, with the burner off, to keep it warm.
Sift about one-third of the flour and cocoa over the whipped eggs. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the mixture-quickly but gently-until combined. Fold in half the remaining flour and cocoa, then fold in the rest. Remove the warm butter mixture from the skillet. Scoop about 1 cup of the batter into the bowl with the butter and fold together until completely combined. Use the large rubber spatula to fold the butter mixture completely into the remaining batter. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and tilt to level.
Bake until the cake beginning to shrink slightly around the edges and the top springs back when pressed with your finger, about 40-45 minutes. Cool the cake completely in the pan on a rack.
To unmold, run a small knife or spatula around the inner edges of the pan. Invert it onto a rack and remove the parchment liner. Turn the cake right side up. The génoise can be wrapped and refrigerated for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

MOCHA MASCARPONE FROSTING

Ingredients:

12oz Mascarpone Cream (recipe below)
200ml low fat cream (25% fat- Amul)
1 tsp coffee powder
2-3 tbsps ground sugar (according to taste)

Method:

Beat mascarpone cheese with a wooden spoon till smooth. Fold in the rest of the ingredients & mix with the spoon till smooth.

HOMEMADE MASCARPONE CREAM
as adapted from Baking Obsession

Makes about 12 oz
Ingredients:

600ml low fat cream (25 %) pasteurized cream
1 tbsp fresh lime juice

Method:

Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a wide skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the water is barely simmering.
Pour the cream into a medium heat-resistant bowl, then place the bowl into the skillet. Heat the cream, stirring often, to 190 F.I dont have a candy thermometer so I heated it for about 15 minutes.

Add the lime juice and continue heating the mixture, stirring gently, until the cream curdles. Do not expect the same action as you see during ricotta cheese making. All that the whipping cream will do is become thicker, like a well-done crème anglaise. It will cover a back of your wooden spoon thickly. You will see just a few clear whey streaks when you stir.

Remove the bowl from the water and let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve. Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface (be patient, it will firm up after refrigeration time). Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (in the sieve) overnight or up to 24 hours.

The Easiest Dessert Ever- From Portugal


I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not sure

I’m a typical Libran. Most qualities that apply to the Libra Zodiac usually match mine. And one that certainly stands out is my indecisiveness;my friends and family will vouch for it I’m sure!

I suck BIG TIME at making decisions. Seriously. Ask me to choose between A and B and maybe we’re OK, but ask me to choose between A,B and an infinite number of other choices and boy! are we in a Buridan’s ass situation

First i want this, and then i want that …and then i want this again….i can do it all day long.

Sourse: CartoonArt

To chose one dessert off Portuguese Cuisine put me in such a quandary. I had so many I wanted to make…there was the Portugal Leite Creme – Egg and Milk Custard, then i decided to make the Bolo Rei – a traditional Portuguese cake/bread. Finally it came down to deciding between Bolas de Berlim which are plump little ovals of fried dough–white flour tanned by the ovens heat and filled with custard(YUM!!) and the Bolo De Bolacha– Chocolate Cake Roll.

What I finally did make was the Queijadas Economicas or simply Milk Tartlets . I finally chose these because they seemed ridiculously easy to make. It was so easy that i JUST HAD to try it out.

The end result was really nice. It didn’t have great texture or anything but tasted delicious…comfort dessert, if i may….

The addition of cinnamon gave it beautiful flavour and I was extremely pleased with my decision.So were my kids:)

The recipe I found here.Its a lovely blog with lots of great recipes.

And Hey! Have you ever noticed that Libra is the only inanimate sign of the zodiac, all the others representing either humans or animals? Doesn’t that make us most unique and desirable ????What say you?

Ingredients

300 gr/ 2 cups sugar
50 gr/ about 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
0.5L/ 2 cups milk
150 gr/ 1 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs

Preparation
Mix all the ingredients well well then pour into greased muffin pans.

Bake at 375 º for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, dust with a mix of cinnamon and icing sugar.Serve warm(I did!)

This quick and easy dessert goes to the A.W.E.D event started by DK of Chef In You and hosted this month by the lovely Priya.

Teaser Tuesdays

teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

I dont want to boast- but apart from that one purchase i do incredibly well over the next couple of days.The only things i buy are a really nice chrome flask to take coffee into the office(and some coffee beans and an electric grinder-because theres no point taking crappy instant coffee, is there?)and some flowers and champagne for Suze.

p 82, The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinselia

Custard Biscuits

Custard Biscuits

This is one biscuit recipe that you can NEVER go wrong with. It’s completely no-fuss and a definitely safe tea-time eat. The measurements given make maybe 3 dozen biscuits so perhaps you could half them if you want.

3 cups self-raising flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup custard powder
3 eggs, beaten
250 grams butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla essence

In a large mixing bowl , combine all the dry ingredients.
Make a well in the center and pour in the vanilla, the beaten eggs and the melted butter. Mix well using a wooden spoon, but if you prefer it the old-fashioned way do what I did-use your hands.
Knead it into a ball until all the flour and custard is blended in. If you feel the dough is still too dry, you may add a little bit of milk to make the dough soft.
Roll into small balls and press. Bake at 160 C for around 20 minutes.

Note: It is always advisable to test the baking time. Roll out one cookie and check how long it takes to bake until golden. Remember cookies harden as they cool. So let cookies cool for around 5 minutes before you check for crispiness.
Happy Baking!

These go off to join the tea party at Meeta’s Monthly Mingle hosted this month by Awesome Aparna

Paneer Burji

“How do you manage to remain so waif-like?” I once asked a friend. I mean, she was stunning, and slim and a mother of one. “You Mallus eat way too much rice”, she said… “I hardly ever eat rice”. I opened my mouth to disagree, but couldn’t say anything, and no, not because my mouth was stuffed with food, but because I had nothing to say. I just had to agree with her.

Come to think of it, most of our meals are rice based; Idlis, Dosas, Appam, Puttu..the list is ENORMOUS. And the quantity of rice we consume for lunch can almost feed a small nation.

At my parents place the only non-rice meal we have is at dinner. “What shall I make with the chapattis?” is a common refrain as my mom always runs short of side-dish ideas for chapattis. Its almost always dal or paneer,so a Paneer Burji is what I’m posting today esp for the Side Dish Event , hosted by Viki’s Kitchen…and I’m excitedly waiting for the round-up so I can expand my repertoire of side-dishes.

side dish-paneer burji
This is similar to scrambled eggs and tastes just as good.
Paneer – 1 cup crumbled
Onions – ½ cup chopped finely
Tomatoes – ½ cup chopped
Ginger – 1” piece chopped
Green chili – 1, chopped
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – one pinch
Chili powder – ½ tsp
Oil and salt

Preparation:

• .
• Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan; add the cumin seeds, chopped onions and the ginger garlic paste fry till brown.
• Add the chillies and tomatoes and fry till they are soft and pulpy.
• Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, salt and little water so that all the masalas are well combined.
• Add crumbled paneer and fry for 5 minutes till the paneer blends into the masala.
• Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot.

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