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Preview: Tangerine's Kitchen

Tangerine's Kitchen

Recipes from a kitchen where the belly rules the mind...

Updated: 2014-03-11T19:35:45.651+05:30


Crackers for the Daring Bakers!


A more than thousand of us daring bakers would be posting our trials with lavash crackers.Lavash crackers was picked by Shelly and Natalie for the month of September. The challenge was gluten free/Vegan. The recipe for Lavash Crackers is from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice (pp 178 - 180).The challenge was to make lavash crackers and make a dip/spread or a salsa to go with it. I liked the freedom of choice in toppings and the dips, the only condition being it has to be vegan/gluten free.What you need for 1 sheet pan of crackers1 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour or gluten free flour blend 1/2 tsp salt1/2 tsp instant yeast1 Tb agave syrup or sugar1 Tb vegetable oil1/3 to 1/2 cup + 2 Tb water, at room temperaturePoppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, or kosher salt for toppingsIn a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt yeast, agave, oil, and just enough water to bring everything together into a ball. You may not need the full 1/2 cup + 2 Tb of water, but be prepared to use it all if needed.For Non Gluten Free Cracker Dough: Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for about 10 minutes, or until the ingredients are evenly distributed. The dough should pass the windowpane test (see for a description of this) and register 77 degrees to 81 degrees Fahrenheit. The dough should be firmer than French bread dough, but not quite as firm as bagel dough (what I call medium-firm dough), satiny to the touch, not tacky, and supple enough to stretch when pulled. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.or2. For Gluten Free Cracker Dough: The dough should be firmer than French bread dough, but not quite as firm as bagel dough (what I call medium-firm dough), and slightly tacky. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.Ferment at room temperature for 90 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size. (You can also retard the dough overnight in the refrigerator immediately after kneading or mixing).For Non Gluten Free Cracker Dough: Mist the counter lightly with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. Press the dough into a square with your hand and dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Roll it out with a rolling pin into a paper thin sheet about 15 inches by 12 inches. You may have to stop from time to time so that the gluten can relax. At these times, lift the dough from the counter and wave it a little, and then lay it back down. Cover it with a towel or plastic wrap while it relaxes. When it is the desired thinness, let the dough relax for 5 minutes. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment. Carefully lift the sheet of dough and lay it on the parchment. If it overlaps the edge of the pan, snip off the excess with scissors. or4. For Gluten Free Cracker Dough: Lay out two sheets of parchment paper. Divide the cracker dough in half and then sandwich the dough between the two sheets of parchment. Roll out the dough until it is a paper thin sheet about 15 inches by 12 inches. Slowly peel away the top layer of parchment paper. Then set the bottom layer of parchment paper with the cracker dough on it onto a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Mist the top of the dough with water and sprinkle a covering of seeds or spices on the dough (such as alternating rows of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, kosher or pretzel salt, etc.) Be careful with spices and salt - a little goes a long way. If you want to precut the cracker, use a pizza cutter (rolling blade) and cut diamonds or rectangles in the dough. You do not need to separate the pieces, as they will snap apart after baking. If you want to make shards, bake the sheet of dough without cutting it first. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crackers begin to brown evenly a[...]

Chocolate Almond Nut Cake *Baking Partners*


My home is gearing up for the season ... the tree is up, the gifts packed, the cakes and other goods being baked, packed and sent....Among the routine baking orders, here's what my daughter and I baked to take a break.. she from her exams and me from Rachel.From this month onwards, I am baking with the Baking Partners Group and there were three recipes in keeping with the festive season. I chose to do a Brazilian Nut Cake inspite of Brazilian Nuts being unavailable in India. I chose to use Almonds instead. Am sure there will be a mighty difference in flavour between the two nuts... but trust me this cake was different and nice... I halved the recipe. So here's the recipe: Ingredients 1-1/2 cups Brazilian nuts (about 7 oz) I used Almonds 6 OZ semisweet chocolate, chopped ¾ cup Sugar ¼ cup all purpose flour ½ tsp baking powder ¾ cup (6 oz) unsalted butter slightly softened 6 eggs separated, room temperature ¼ tsp cream of tartar Choolate Honey Frosting ½ cup whipping cream 6 oz. semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped 6 tbs (3 oz.) unsalted butter, slightly softened but still cool 3 tbs+ 1 sp-honey Garnish ¼ cup Brazil nuts (Almonds )chopped Cake Preheat oven to 350F(175C). Toast nuts in a shallow baking pan in the oven for 10 minutes. Transfer nuts into large strainer.Rub nuts against the strainer with a towel and remove most of the skin and keep aside. Melt chocolate in double boiler or heatproof medium bowl over hot, not simmering, water over low heat, stirring occasionally until smooth, remove and set aside to cool. Butter 9”x3” springform pan, line base with parchment paper and grease and flour the sides of the pan Grind the nuts with 2 tbs sugar into a fine powder. Transfer into a bowl and sift flour and baking powder and mix thoroughly. Cream butter and 6 tbs of sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add one egg yolk at a time and beat till all 6 are blended and pale. Stir in the melted chocolate. In another bowl beat egg white and cream of tartar in medium speed until it forms soft peaks. Gradually beat in the remaining 2 tbs of sugar and beat till white are stiff and shiny but not dry. Gently fold in 1/3 of the white into the chocolate flour mixture, repeat folding in batches until batter is blended. Transfer batter into prepared pans and bake for 40 minutes or till the tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Using a spatula go around the cake gently and invert onto a cake rack and allow cooling completely. Frosting Bring cream to a full boil in a small saucepan remove from heat and immediately add the chopped chocolate. Stir quickly till the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Cool to room temperature. Hip this at high speed till it thickens and becomes pale.Cream butter in a medium bowl until it is soft and smooth, gradually add the chocolate mixture and honey and beat well Using a long spatula spread frosting evenly on the side and top of the cake. Fill the center with flaked almonds Subscribe to my space![...]



Since I don't want to neglect this very dear space of mine... being a part of a group of homebakers will now be my motivation to keep this space alive. Here's a little something about the group:Baking Partners: A new Baking GroupA group of home bakers helping each other to achieve perfection.Baking a home made Baking a homemade bread, cake or cookies will give the best outcome. However in order to achieve the best results, a perfect recipe and right techniques are required. We are a small group of home baker friends, who love and want to learn more about the nook and corners of baking.  We are planning to try out recipes from books/magazines and cooking shows.  Every member gets a chance to present their choice of recipe and share important points with the rest of the group. Main purpose of this group is to learn the techniques, critic the procedure if there are ways to improve, and to eat a delicious food. Rules are simple, we will choose one recipe and send it out to the group by 16th of every month and the reveal date will be 15th of the next month. On that day we will blog about it. A linky tool will be open during that time and each member can link their post. First month we are going to do a recipe, 2nd and 3rd month will be a theme and the 4th month we will be back at a recipe. By doing in between recipes, we will able to learn more. All enthusiastic bloggers interested in baking are welcome, please email Swathi  of Zesty South Indian Kitchen  at We will appreciate the use of logo or worded link that will help to spread the word.  A bunch of thanks to Tina for designing this beautiful logo If you   want to make it a gluten or vegan free diet, you can do those modifications also. Do join in... Am sure it will be a lot of fun....Subscribe to my space![...]



I know this sapce has been negelected for quite a while now.. Unforgiveable I know.. A huge thank you to all who wrote in enquiring whether I was ok.. made me feel I was missed! Here is what I have been upto!

A few months back two of my homemade desserts were chosen to be served at restaurants. A lemon blueberry yoghurt cake was served at Sandy's Fresca, Chennai and Lamingtons at Ox and Tomato, Chennai. That was a dream come true seriously and I did wish for something like this to have happened some day.. but this was lady luck truly! Gradually, as orders started trickling in, I have been baking now from home.
Last month, I was a part of the home bake sale at Crimson Chakra and it was a marathon baking of sorts. A good sale it was indeed and that was truly an encouragement from the visitors who came in. If you are keen on what I have been upto , visit my page here, TangerinesKitchen and you could also order for some of my home baked goodness. This and my work of designing sarees again displayed here at Rachel are what is taking up most of my time now. Enjoying all the work while it lasts...

A Yeasted Chocolate Banana Loaf


What do I do when I see mushy bananas on the counter. Bake a banana bread. And to make it more exciting throw in some chocolate shavings. No exciting enough? Then get making this and am sure the aroma of chocolate and banana and a yeasty bread baking will sure get you all craving to cut into the loaf and serve yourself some.

The recipe is from "Bread" by Sara Lewis. Get this book if you haven't already. There's lots of good recipes in there and drool worthy pictures too! Every recipe comes with the method to follow if you have a bread machine. And yes, the best part of baking a bread for me is the kneading to get all the stress out and also to watch the dough rise. It is an awesome feeling to see the dough rise. Gives you a sense of feeling that all's well with the dough.

This recipe makes a large loaf.
300g/1+1/4 C bananas
2t Lemon Juice
500g/4+1/2 C All Purpose Flour (The recipe says strong white flour)
2 T White Milk Powder
1/2 t Salt
2 T caster Sugar
2 T Butter
1+1/2 t Fast action dried yeast
200 ml /1 C Water ( I didn't have to use water cos without water the dough came together)
175 g milk chocolate
icing sugar/cocoa powder to decorate

Peel the bananas and mash them. Work in the lemon juice. Into a bowl, add flour, milk powder, salt and sugar. Add butter and rub it in to get a breadcrumb like mixture. Stir in the yeast and mashed bananas. Mix in enough water to make a soft dough. There was no need for me to add water. It turned a soft dough otherwise. Knead for about 5 mins until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover and let it rise. 

Onto a lightly floured surface, tip the dough and knead well. Dice the chocolate and work it into the dough. Grease a loaf tin and put the dough into it. Leave for the second rise.

Remove and bake in a preheated oven (200 degree C/400 degree F) for 35 - 40 mins until the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Do check if there is overbrowning. If so, then cover with foil and continue baking.

Once the bread is baked, transfer to a wire rack and dust with icing sugar and cocoa powder and leave to cool.

As for me, no more just ordinary banana bread, but chocolate banana bread it is until I find another alternative.

This bread is yeastspotted.

Strawberry Icecream Pops


Although it is unusually cooler this time of the year in my city, there's no reason to say a NO to icecream. And what better way to spend time at home making some with your child. And I did just that one morning. Her only want was that the icecream should be a pink hue. But as we mixed in our strawberries,she insisted that this wasn't the colour that she wanted. So in went a lil food colouring and she didn't complain. Am guessing this was the hue she wanted. The recipe is what I normally follow.

What you need are:

Milk-1 C
Egg-1(yolk and white separated)
Fresh Cream-1 cup
Sugar-1 cup
Strawberries-100g (pureed and strained)

 Mix cornflour, sugar and a pinch of salt in 1/4 cup of milk. Heat the remaining milk. Remove and stir in the cornflour mixture. Whisk the egg yolk over a pan of simmering water until thick and set aside to cool. Add the cooled egg yolk into the milk. Add the strawberries. Whip the egg white to stiff peaks and fold them into the milk. Whip the cream and fold it in as well. Pour in a  container or molds and freeze. Beat once every two hours for the first 6 hours of freezing if freezing in a pan/container. Freeze until firm.

Book Review "Gujarati Kitchen''; Murghanu Shaak (Chicken Curry)


Although this comes a lil late, here's wishing all my readers the best for the New Year. And I am back this New Year with yet another review. And the book reviewed is Gujarati Kitchen by Bhanu Hajratwala. I have had many a Gujarati friends and have had their typical Gujarati food  from their lunchboxes. I always assumed all Gujaratis to be vegetarians until I scanned through this book which denoted otherwise.The book starts off on a very interesting read about the author's culinary journey throughout the world, her inspirations and so on and also on cooking authentic Gujarati cuisine despite the limited availability of ingredients. Following her Introduction comes three very important section which is beneficial to any amateur cook. It explains preparing and washing of Dals, meat, seafood, vegetables and so on; equipments and utensils and their uses; different spices and their uses. She even has a separate section on the preparation of different spice masalas. So those of you who prefer making masalas from scratch, this is the book for you. Then comes the recipes that are sectioned from starters to mouth freshners to end the meal. Very neatly put together, they are easy to replicate. I expected better pictures but the illustrations are much appreciated.The recipe that I chose to do is from the non vegetarian section. Marghanu Shaak / Chicken Curry was my choice.The chicken curry on its own is very mild compared to the Chicken curries of Kerala that my palate is so accustomed to. This curry makes use of very little spices but this curry can make you lap up every last bit of its remanants on your plate.What you need for the recipe are:  900 g Chicken, cut into serving pieces1/3 C Oil4x1" stick Cinnamon8 Cardamoms8 Curry Leaves or 4 Bay Leaves1 Onion, Chopped2 T Fresh Masala (For the recipe, find under fresh spice blends on pg 45 in the book. I made mine and have stored some in the refrigerator and also have freezed some)1 t Chilli Powder1 T Turmeric Powder2 t Salt1C Water2 potatoes, quartered1 tomato, diced1 T Garam Masala2T chopped Coriander Leaves1T garlic greens, choppedTo hot oil, add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, curry or bay leaves and brown lightly. Add onin to this and sauteuntil a light brown. Stir in the fresh masala, chilli and turmeric powders . Add chicken and cover and cook until the chicken turns colour. Add water and cook for a further 5 mins. Add potatoes, tomatoe and cook covered until the potatoes are tender. Stir in garam masala, coriander leaves and the garlic greens. Serve hot.This review is a part of the [...]

Dinner Rolls


Taste & Create Event was a regular event on this space of mine. Somehow along the way, the event was ona low and last month Min mailed me asking if I would want to join in again and sure I did. I was paired with a blog that is dear to me, The Life & Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch. I was paired earlier too with the same blog and I had done her Nanny's cookies. This time around I chose her Dinner Rolls. Just like she proclaimed, the rolls were light and delicious.

I followed her exact recipe. The only changes I made were the generous sprinkling of sesame seeds.

2 T sugar
1 package active dry yeast (about 2-1/2 teaspoons)
2/3 cup warm water (100 - 110 degrees)
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1-3/4 all purpose flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
cooking spray
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

Dissolve sugar and yeast in 2/3 cup warm water in small bowl; let stand 3 minutes. Stir in butter.

 Combine 1-1/2 cups flour and salt in a bowl. Add yeast and stir until a soft dough forms.  Knead until smoth and elastic and add remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Place dough in a large bowl and cover and let rise . Punch dough down rest for 5 minutes.

Divide dough into 12 equal portions, shaping each into a ball. Place 1 dough ball in each of 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 20 minutes or until doubled in size. Using a sharp knife, cut across the surface and sprinkle sesame seeds.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush the surface with egg yolk.Bake at 400 for 15 mins or until browned.

Thse rolls are easy to make and win handsdown when compared to storebought rolls.

Book Review,The Tuleeho! Book of Cocktails and three types of cocktail


  Blogadda  sent me the Tuleeho! book of Cocktails for review. A book on cakes, bakes etc have been reviewed on this space but a book on alcohol is the first here for the sole reason that I don't drink. My husband on the other hand does. So this book was welcome because I now get to mix him a drink. I have always been fascinated by the mixing and the stirring of the drinks but never knew where or what to  start with. This book is quite apt for a novice like me. Three different types of cocktails were made as per what was available with the husband. So read below the talk that took place during the making. The recipes are included within the talk."Would you like to have a drink?" my wife asked as I got home last Saturday afternoon.OMG, another fuse wire waiting to be lit. I pretend not to have heard it."I got to do a review on a book on cocktails".All right, this looks relatively safe. "Sure""You will have to make it, I will give you the proportions", said my wife." Whisky 40 ml, Guava juice 100 ml, Tabasco 6 drops into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well, strain into an old-fashioned glass with salt on rim and slit green chilli as garnish. After I take the photographs, you can drink it and tell me how it tastes".OMG! I don't like Guava juice. Silence helps in maintaining the status-quo.Got myself some Indian Whisky and found a tetra pack of Tropicana guava juice in the fridge and had the drink strained into the glass in less than 300 seconds. The wait for the photo session was painful."Is it good?" asked the wife."Hmmmm. By the way, what is it called?""Old School"Is she pulling my leg? "It is great".The truth is that it is a fairly good drink before lunch. And it can be fixed real quick. It makes guava juice taste better. I would'nt mind another drink."Lunch is ready". she called out soon."So am I"."After lunch, pick up some fresh cream for me""What for?""I want to make another cocktail in the evening".God bless blogging and book review. It has been raining in Chennai for the past two days and the evenings were quite chilly. An hour or so has passed since the sun has set and still no news of the cocktail."So what are we making tonight" She pretends not to hear me."I am going to my friend's place for a drink"."Brandy Alexander", she said.The name sounds good."What all do you need""Brandy and Crème de Cacao", said the wife."I am ready""Into the ice filled shaker, pour 60 ml brandy, 30 ml fresh cream and 15 ml Crème de Cacao. Add a bit of nutmeg powder and shake well. Strain into a glass".I am getting used to the photo session.  "How is it?""It's great".The warmth of the brandy makes it a good drink for a chilly evening. The taste of the concoction does not justify the use of Courvoisier. Next time should try this with an Indian brandy. A definite ace in your hand for the Christmas season."What is the book called?""The Tulleeho! Book of Cocktails""Do we get to keep the book?""Yes"."Good".  Sunday afternoon, she asks me, "Can you try a ladies cocktail?""Why not? I think a vodka based one would be a popular choice""Try Caipiroshka", she said."What!""It is the Russian counterpart of the famed Brazilian Caipirinha, using vodka instead of cachaca as the base spirit", she rattled out.Can one book make an expert out of her?, I thought to myself,"Ok. Shoot"."I will make this one. If you want to know, here is how it is made", she said confidently. "Put 6 lime chunks, 1 tsp brown sugar, 5 ml lime juice, 10 ml sugar syrup and muddle in a glass. I hope you know what that means", she asked nonchalantly;"I do". "Next pour 60 ml vodka, top glass with crushed ice and stir once""You have not crushed the ice"."Do you want it or not?""It looks good. Can I taste it?""In a minute".  The photograph session got over even before I finished admiring the drink in the glas[...]

Tomato Rice...a trial


(image) I grew up in a home where there was no kind of variety rice made. We did have biriyanis and fried rice and the like made but never lemon rice, tomato rice and so on. Until I moved to a city from a hillstation was where I had my first taste of the array of variety rice at one specific lunch hour at junior school. My classmate or several of them would bring yellow coloured rice with potato fry. I knew not then that the yellow coloured rice was lemon rice. The classmates in turn were fond of my sandwiches and rice and vegetables and so on. So likewise that is how I got to taste all the variety rices. As I grew up I started asking for lemon rice to be made at home. Only lemon rice because that had become my favourite. But to tell you the truth I still miss the lunch box rices. They were all of a different taste.

Now when I visit vegetarian restaurants, I ensure I order variety rice and this rice is a result of of one such visit. A trial at tomato rice and this tastes almost like the restaurant one. It was pretty good. How else can you explain a picky eater when it comes to tomatoes asking for more. This was a trial and do correct me if this isn't how a tomato rice is made.


Basmati Rice: 1 C halfcooked and strained
Onions-1 chopped
Tomatoes-2 chopped
Green Chillies-4-Slit
Chilli Powder-1+1/2t
Turmeric Powder-1/2t
Coriander Leaves-a fistful chopped

Saute onions in oil. Add green chillies. Add in the powders and once the raw smell leaves, add in the chopped tomatoes. Saute until it turns to a dry masala. Add in the rice and mix in slowly so that you don't break the rice. Season with salt. Cover and let it cook on a slow fire for a few minutes. Add some chopped corainder leaves and they are ready to be served. Served with raita this is an ideal one pot meal.

Nutella Swirl Cake


It's been pretty quiet here for a while now. This cake could never go not being mentioned about. At the Cake Slice, since we are finished doing cakes from Lauren Chatteman's Cake Keeper Cakes book, this month we are baking any recipe that we choose to. Since I am a big fan of Nutella for its rich chocolatey gooness, this had to be the choice. The recipe require you to layer the bottom of the pan with cake batter. Follow by a layer of nutella. Follow by another layer of batter-nutella and batter to finish with. Give it a swirl. Post baking, I expected a rippled cake. It remained an expectation because the swirl I gave wasn't deep enough. Certain parts of nutella had hardened It tuened out to be a layered cake but a very moist cake with full of nutella goodness. The author suggests serving this with coffee icecream but I think that would be a little over the top.Recipe For the Cake1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting4 large eggs (room temperature)2 t pure vanilla extract3/4 t baking powder1/4 t salt2 stick(s) unsalted butter, softened1 1/4 cup(s) sugar1- 13-ounce jar Nutella Preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, tapping out any excess flour. In a glass measuring cup, lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk the 1 1/2 cups of flour with the baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer at medium-low speed, gradually beat in the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating at low speed between additions until just incorporated. Continue to beat for 30 seconds longer. Spread one-third of the batter in the prepared pan, then spread half of the Nutella on top. Repeat with another third of the batter and the remaining Nutella. Top with the remaining batter. Lightly swirl the Nutella into the batter with a butter knife. Do not overmix. Bake the cake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a wire rack, turn it right side up and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Cut the cake into slices and serve. Subscribe to my space![...]

Vanilla cupcakes with a chocolate ganache frosting


Given the choice between a a regular cake and cupcakes, I would prefer the latter. Probably because I'm very bad when it comes to sharing and also I love when pretty liners are used. I enjoy the plain vanilla ones to the array of flavours possible. Cupcakes are a regular at home but this was the first time I had made a huge batch for my daughter's birthday party. At first it seemed a daunting task but then as the d-day got closer, it went pretty fast. My daughter was ok with any flavour as long as they were served in bright liners.

Martha Stewart's recipes have never failed me to date and so it was her recipe for the cupcakes. There are about hundreds of recipes for vanilla cupcakes. The irony is that all the recipes have the same no. of ingredients. Only the quantity differs. The only change was instead of the fluffy vanilla frosting, I chose to dip the cakes in a chocolate ganache. And so 5 dozen cupcakes were made and a dozen remained of which I could get hold of only two to click pictures. The chocolate ganache gives you a glossy effect and hardens on refrigeration which is what you see in the pics. Moist and flavourful, it was a pleasant sight to see the young girls enjoying it. After all little girls cannot lie when it comes to food. They either like it or they don't!

For the cupcakes -makes 3 dozen, adjust as per the need (recipe from here)

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Beat butter and sugar until pale.. Add eggs one by one. Add in the flour and milk. Spoon into the lined muffin tray and bake in a 180 degree C preheated oven for 20 mins or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove and cool completely before frosting.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies


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Ajwain Potatoes for Arusuvai Friendship Chain II


I am embarrassed for three reasons. a) I received a package on two months back to be precise from Nisa as part of the Arusuvai Friendship Chain. b) I did not know what the ingredient was. I had to ask her for it. I have an excuse, I have heard about Ajwain, never seen or used them until now. Fair enough? c) Although I made something a month ago with the so -called ingredient, it took this long for me to do a post! Sad isn't it.Nisa also sent me some wonderful homemade chocolates which were devoured the very same day. That is how good they were. The revival of the ever popular Arusuvai by Sayantani am sure is a tremendous task at hand. The chain initiated by Latha, Bharathy and Srivalli, was fun then and it was nice of Sayantani to invite me to the second edition. I enjoyed being a part of the chain then and now as well. Read all about arusuvai here All my trials regarding a particular ingredient are done on potatoes. Somehow they all work together. I could never say no to a dish of potatoes with a novel ingredient because when they are fried the taste, no matter good or bad is masked by the spud. In this case, the novel ingredient to me was the use of Ajwain.Ajwain paratha is something that I wanted to try but considering how bad I am when it comes to making rotis and their counterparts, it was best left at that.  Ajwain as a herb brings along with it several benefits. It is known to be effective in treating stomach disorders.The method I followed for these are the usual favoured recipe of mine. The only difference being the addition of Ajwain. I did read that Ajwain when used in its raw form can overpower the dish. Hence I roasted a teaspoon of the herb in ghee before adding them in. The herb did work for me in this form and will definitely be used in my cooking. Subscribe to my space![...]

Filled Meringue Cake-3 versions *Daring Bakers*


It is the last week of March and time sure flies. And the end of a month is Daring Bakers time. This is my 32nd month with the group and I have learnt and tried several many techniques and recipes , most of them having moulded me a better baker.Coming back to this month's challenge, the hostesses this month are Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. And the challenge was to to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake. And yes it does not contain coffee, at leastI didn't use the flavour although it could be a possibility soon. Coming to the recipe, the dough was easy to work with. It rose well. I would say the best dough I have worked with so far. The recipe called for meringue and that was a hesitant factor considering I wanted to do a savoury version as well.  The meringue melted beautifully into the dough probably resulting in the great texture of the cake/bread.There was so much one could do with fillings when it comes to this and I decided to work beyond my boundaries in this unknown territory of an yeasted cake. I made a medium sized wreath, a crescent and a large wreath. Two sweet versions and a savoury. The meringue was divided into two. One was beaten with sugar and vanilla and the meringue for the savoury had no sugar in it. The large wreath has a layer of unsweetened meringue. Chopped onions, tomatoes, green chillies were sauteed in olive oil . With dried herb seasoning, salt and pepper they followed the meringue layer. Pickled jalapenos followed next. The dough was then rolled, snipped and baked for a nice warm meal.The medium sized wreath contains a sweet meringue layer topped by semi-chocolate chips, cinnamon, and praline. I had a tough time rolling the dough and pinching the seams well to get a beautiful wreath. This however didn;t work but the resultant coffee cake was purely divine.With the chocolaty gooeyness and the hint of cinnamon, this was a very distant relative to the above savoury one. What you see above was a crescent filled with meringue, cream cheese and chocolate chips. I'd say this was better in flavour compared to the former owing to the presence of both the sweetness of the chocolate chips and the sweet yet slight tanginess of the cream cheese. This was my favourite among the three.And yes I am a huge fan of yeasted cakes now. And this recipe cannot fail you like so many have to me.Recipe:FILLED MERINGUE COFFEE CAKEMakes 2 round coffee cakes, each approximately 10 inches in diameterThe recipe can easily be halved to make one round coffee cakeIngredientsFor the yeast coffee cake dough:4 cups (600 g / 1.5 lbs.) flour¼ cup (55 g / 2 oz.) sugar¾ teaspoon (5 g / ¼ oz.) salt1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons / 7 g / less than an ounce) active dried yeast¾ cup (180 ml / 6 fl. oz.) whole milk¼ cup (60 ml / 2 fl. oz. water (doesn’t matter what temperature)½ cup (135 g / 4.75 oz.) unsalted butter at room temperature2 large eggs at room temperature10 strands saffron for Ria’s version (Saffron might be hard to find and it’s expensive, so you can substitute with ½ - 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom or ground nutmeg. Or simply leave it plain like Jamie’s version)For the meringue:3 large egg whites at room temperature¼ teaspoon salt½ teaspoon vanilla½ cup (110 g / 4 oz.) sugarFor the filling:Jamie’s version:1 cup (110 g / 4 oz.) chopped pecans or walnuts2 Tablespoons (30 g / 1 oz.) granulated sugar¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon1 cup (170 g / 6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolateRia’s version:1 cup (130 g / 5 oz.) chopped cashew nuts2 Tablespoons (30 g / 1 oz.) granulated sugar½ teaspoon garam masala (You can make it at home – recipe below - or buy from any Asian/I[...]

Chocolate Cream Pound Cake


The choice of the Cake Slice Bakers from the book, Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman is a Chocolate Cream Pound  Cake. I do not really like pound cakes unless it contains either chocolate or citrus. Plain and rich buttery cakes do not work with me. However the recipe does not call for a pound of ingredients as a normal pound cake recipe would ask for. The cake was rich in terms of flavour and colour owing to the use of Dutch processed cocoa. I love the intense brown colour further enhancing the presence of chocolate in a cake.The crumb was neither too dry nor was it too soft but sufficiently moist. Overall there is nothing great or nothing bad about this cake. Chocolate Cream Pound cake(Recipe from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman)  6 tbsp unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder¼ cup heavy cream1 cup plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour¼ tsp baking soda¼ tsp salt½ cup (1stick) unsalted butter, softened1½ cups sugar3 eggs1 tsp vanilla extract Heat the oven to 325F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and dust with flour.Sift the cocoa powder into a heatproof bowl. Place the cream in a microwavable bowl and heat for 30-60 seconds until just boiling. Pour the hot cream over the cocoa and stir and mash with a spoon to make a thick paste. Set aside to cool.Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl.Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bow once or twice as necessary. Beat in the cocoa powder paste until smooth.With the mixer on medium-low speed add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture, ½ cup at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Add the last addition, mix for 30 seconds on medium speed.Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake the cake until it is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Invert it onto a wire rack and then turn it right side up on the rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.Meanwhile, do take a look at the other Cake Slice Bakers' take on this cake. Subscribe to my space![...]

Buttered and Baked Potatoes and a Book Review


Vegetable markets to me are a delight. There is so much that you can find in a market rather than what is displayed on the shelves of any supermarket. At most times, when I buy the packaged vegetables off the shelves, I am in a surprise when I cut the package open. Under all that good looking vegetables that are made to line the exterior of the package, they have decaying ones on the inside. This is so with all vegetables and fruits , especially with boxed strawberries. Plump red ones stand on the top and when you look on the underside, they box is covered with leaves. I always fall for the berries only to come home and find minuscule and decaying berries underneath. And the price I end up paying for them, let's not even go that way.  align="left" frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="height: 245px; padding-left: 10px; padding-top: 5px; width: 131px;">Anyways, I had planned to grill chicken for last night's dinner and there was a request for potatoes as a side dish for it. Of late ever since I received a review copy from Sellers Publishers, the Big Book has been helping me with such requests. Talking about the book, it contains about 125 recipes all categorized under salads, pasta, vegetables, fruits etc. The author, Rick Browne, the host of Barbecue America presents recipes that he had tasted on his pilgrimage across the American heartlands and also some of his mom's cooking notes. He also encourages us to try his recipes but adapt it to our taste. And that is what I did with these baked potatoes. The only downside about this book would be the absence of photographs which would have been a treat if present of those lovely recipes.What you see is a bowl of buttered and baked potatoes. A very simple recipe but a flavour that would liven up any meal. Fresh rosemary sprigs is what the recipe asks for, but since I wanted to adapt it to our palate, I added crushed garlic and lots of black pepper. When these are baked, they can be sinfully delicious.And now I can figure why this starchy spud still continues to be our favourite. Buttered and Baked Potato (From the big book of barbecue side dishes)Serves 41/2 a kg of small potatoes ( I halved each for the flavours to seep in better)3 T butter (Do not substitute)SaltPepperGarlic- 5 cloves, crushedPreheat the oven to 375 degree FScrub the potatoes under water. Use them whole or halve them or cut them too.Place thes in a casserole in one layer.Toss in the crushed garlic.In another bowl, mix butter, rosemary sprigs as the author used and salt. Pour this over the potatoes. Bake until tender.Remove, season with pepper, remove the rosemary sprigs if using and serve. Note that the potatoes nned to be browned. The skin would crinkle. Butter and the slow cooking lend these spuds a flavour good enough to experience.And yes, get this book if you can because it has a lot to offer.Subscribe to my space![...]