Thursday, June 16, 2011

Checkered Cookies and Cherry Cake

Hi to all.I tried these cookies for kids as they begin their '79 days' of vacation :) 

I had bookmarked these crisp beauties long back, from Dyann Bakes.

 Checkered / Checkerboard Cookies
Checkered n In Baking Tray

Baked n bit successful in checks :)

This is a combination of Vanilla Shortbread and Chocolate Shortbread, which gives a wonderful output, pleasing to eyes and our palettes of course!!

Ingredients for Vanilla Shortbread :
150 gms butter softened
1/3 C granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon (right not tsp) Vanilla essence
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 C APF (maida)

Method : 
In a bowl, beat butter and sugar till fluffy. Tip in yolk and vanilla essence, beat well. Add flour in tiny lots and beat till combined. Turn out and knead on a flat surface, pat to a rectangular block, cling wrap and refigerate for 1/2 an hour.

Ingredients for Chocolate Shortbread :
100 gms unsalted butter softened
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 tsp Vanilla essence
1 large egg
1 1/2 C APF (maida)1/2 t baking soda
1/3 C cocoa powder (best quality)
1/8th tsp salt

Method :
Sift flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt together and set aside.
Beat butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla essence, beat well. Add the flour-cocoa mixture in divided lots, till combined. Turn it out on a flat surface, knead well, make a same sized rectangular block, cling wrap and refrigerate for 1/2 an hour.

The egg white from 1st set of ingredients can be used as egg wash during assembling.
Please watch Dyann's video for accurate idea of assembling or layering this. 

Assembling :
Once done, preheat oven at 170C. Lay a cookie sheet with parchment, place cookies one inches apart from each other and bake for 10-11 mins till we get lightly golden edges. Cool on wire racks, place in airtight containers, enjoy!! Makes manyyy cookies depends on how you cut it, I have kept the remaining two logs in cling wrap, refrigerated, got 48 cookies from remaining dough! :) 

Enjoy with tea/coffee or simply snack on them !!

Coming up next,  is a light crumb cake, very moist. Uses sliced glaze cherries. Family and Friends liked it alike. 

The recipe's from Tasty Food Lovers

Cherry Cake


 Ingredients : 

150 gms + 1 Tbsp All Purpose Flour (maida)
150 gms unsalted butter-softened
150 gms caster sugar
 1/2 tsp baking powder
 3 eggs
 1 tsp vanilla essence
50 gm almond -ground
6 tbsp glaze cherries (multicolor would do, I chose red)

Method :
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line and grease a loaf pan.
Sieve 150 gms of flour and baking powder. Set aside. In another small bowl, mix 1 Tbsp flour to sliced glazed cherries and set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar, till fluffy. Add one egg at a time and beat well after each addition. Add the vanilla essence. Now fold the flour, gently in lots till combined. Mix in the cherry-flour mix and lastly combine the ground almond. Pour this mix into a prepared loaf pan and bake @180C/40-45 minutes.

Cool on rack and slice it. Store in an airtight container.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting & A No-Bake Cheese Cake To Begin With!

Dear Friends, who keep visiting me with a ray of hope of some update, here I am, today, finally without any shubh-muhurat, finding a foothold after a long gap~ few pushes from my dear fellow bloggers n family to shape up to it. :D Please do pardon or point out any flaws as still there's a thick fog on the mind as I type this out after sooooo very long.

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all, new horizons, new ambitions and pleasant memories is what I wish for all!

I will begin with a Carrot Cake which I baked way back in November for my daughter. It is a simple tasty cake, meant for less sweet eating world, nutritious and can be pepped up for Kiddos with any kind of sweetest frosting making it fit for a sweetest tooth! Leaping to the recipe.


Ingredients :
Carrots Grated - 1 1/2 C
Eggs beaten - 2 
Oil - 1/2 C
Walnuts - 1/4 C
All purpose flour (APF) - 1 C
Sugar - 1 C
Baking Soda - 1/4 t
Baking Powder - 1 tsp

For Cheese Frosting :
Butter - 25gms
Cream cheese-  50gms (used Mascarpone Cheese)
Icing sugar sifted- 3/4 C
Vanilla essence-  1/4 tsp

Colors - yellow, blue,red and brown (gel)

Method : 

Grease & flour a 9" round spring form pan. Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and mix sugar, combine well.
In another bowl, take the beaten eggs, shredded carrots and oil, beat till blended. Add it slowly to the dry ingredients in large bowl until combined well.
Pour in the prepared pan, bake @180°C for 35-40 mins. (mine got done by 30th minute.)
An easy video help that I referred to for shaping and decoration is here.
Cool on a rack, and frost with the cream cheese and sprinkle some walnuts. (I skipped walnuts as my kids do not like nuts in their cake.)
Method for cream cheese : Bring the mascarpone to room temperature. Beat at the lowest speed for a minute, not more, and add the butter, once combined, add the sifted icing sugar. The frosting is ready. Divide into small bowls and then add color gels as per your choice and shape and frost the cake.
* Those who donot like the cheese and frosting, this cake is good all by itself. Its low on sweetness too.


I found the cheesecake easy to make, ahead of time and it involved no baking at all! It tasted chocolatey-rich. Do give it a try.


Ingredients :

For the base :
150 gms digestives (McVitie's)
 1 Tbspn cocoa powder
50 gms butter at room temperature
10 gms sugar (2 tsp)

Method : Pass the digestives through processor till they look like crumbs, and add cocoa powder, butter and sugar in the same and pulse for a minute or two till combined well.
 Take an 8" round springform (its a must) and press this mixture at the base with the help of a spoon or flat based steel bowl. Refrigerate it for 30 minutes.

Ingredients for Cheesecake :
100 gm castor sugar
120 ml cream (fresh)
200 gms cream cheese (mascarpone at room temperature)
200 gm dark chocolate (mine was carrefour brand)
1 Tbsp gelatin
2 Tbsp cocoa powder

Method :

Cream the cheese with the help of a spoon ( beating too much will spoil the texture of cheese) in a large bowl.Add sugar and keep mixing with spoon for another minute or two till well blended.

In a small bowl, beat the fresh cream  till its fluffy.

In a microwave safe  medium sized bowl, add the chopped dark chocolate, and melt on high. First 50 seconds,mix well, then for 10 seconds. ( melting time varies for microwave so be careful) Allow to cool a bit.

Dissolve gelatin in 2 Tbspn of cold water and MW for 30 seconds till it dissolves completely. (Small bowl # 2)

Add 2 Tbspn of warm water to 2 Tbspn of cocoa powder,  dilute well and keep aside.
(Small bowl # 3 )

Combine the whipped cream, cocoa solution into the dark melted chocolate with a low speed beater until all is well blended. Pour this mixture in the mascarpone cheese and sugar mixed bowl, beat well on low speed for less than a minute, add the gelatin till combined.
Pour this mixture in the 8" spring form pan evenly on the biscuit base. Refrigerate for 3 hours , overnight is best. It sets in two hours. Tastes best the next day. Decorate with chopped strawberries, piped cream or chocolate as per your choice.

A Cheesy-chocolatey goodness to devour! 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Spinach-Feta Puffs for 'Adaptation: Blog Bites #3'

Spinach Feta Puffs as Appetizers

Puffpastry squares ready to be filled-spinach feta mix alongside.

Squares ready with filling to be popped into the oven

Had made up my mind about taking part in the event hosted by Nupur of One Hot Stove, Blog Bites # 3 - ADAPTATION.

Most of us due to many reasons surely adapt a recipe from blog and for me, Blogs, ever since I have discovered them, have been my cooking bible - nothing hardly goes wrong from a tried and tested recipe.

This recipe below is from Asha of Foodies Hope/Aroma from one of her thousands of recipes! We had dined out and I was amazed at the use of Feta-Spinach in rolls which appealed to my kids, making me try this lovely Spinach and Feta Pockets by Asha (incase you feel lost, its at the end of the post, in the link alongside).

I have chosen this many times tried recipe because it fits Nupur's theme perfectly. Asha has used crescent whereas I have used puffpastry squares. My family loves the filling and daughter even has the filling with chapatis. Just a perfect recipe for me.

SPINACH N FETA PUFFS (click here for Asha's Recipe)
Yields : 12 pcs

Ingredients :
10-12 cubes of frozen spinach(approx one cup)
100gm Feta cheese (I used Almarai Full cream Feta Cheese)
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Italian herbs
Tiny pinch of red chili flakes
1/4 tsp pepper powder
salt to taste
12 frozen squares of puff pastry (I used Sunbullah brand)

Method :
In a microwave (mw) safe dish, on high power, mw the frozen cubes for 5 minutes. (Mw till all the water has evaporated and spinach looks dried, take care not to burn it. Mw it for 10 seconds everytime and check if it has not got done in 5 minutes.)
Cool it. Add the garlic powder, herbs, flakes, pepper and salt, mix well.
Combine the cheese with a spoon in the spinach mixture.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C (that was as per instructions to bake on the puff pastry wrapper)
Line a roasting tray or baking tray with parchment. In each square, place a tablespoon of the mix and pinch the sides. (Remember: If the spinach filling is watery, it will make the puffs soggy, hence ensure a dry mixture.) I pinched the opposite edges of the square with light touch of water as in above image. Place with an inch of spacing on the prepared tray and bake for 10-12minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot.

Tips :
1. While making these, I experimented with mw to bring the frozen puff squares at a room temperature. I placed two squares from freezer on a plate and mw'd on a high for 10 seconds, one square for 5 seconds. It works fine if you have forgotten to thaw the squares.

2. Divide the filling to 12 portions or just place a tbspn each. If you have some spinach feta filling as left over, have it with chapatis, Chapati roll with spinach-feta : good lunch box idea for kids.

Enjoy these Puffs as Appetizers or even as Snacks.

Off the post goes to Nupur for Blogbites # 3, hope my entry is valid for your lovely event.