Spiced Apple Muffin

In India, monsoon season is welcomed with something fried and something chatpata accompanied with a hot cup of tea (or like in my case coffee :P) , and .. It’s like a natural instinct for me..whenever the rain starts, my mind starts thinking of having those crispy onion and potato pakodas with chatpati pudhina chutney…Ohh!! my love for the green chutney..!!!

Oh well, before I get engrossed in my thoughts of having pudhina chutney and end up making one.. Let me tell you what this post is all about..

spiced apple muffins , cinnamon, apple, muffins, cloves

Well this post is not about pakodas or green pudhina chutney or a cup of coffee, this is about my want to have something different also.. (Though I would never give the chance of having those fried crispy finger food in rainy season).I wanted to bake something that can also go great with the season.

Spiced apple muffins are the perfect choice for the season. It has a little spiciness with clove and dalchini(cinnamon) and the freshness of apple, and on the top of it, the whole wheat flour makes it healthy too 🙂 .It’s one of those food with that I can imagine myself sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee and enjoying the rain with this muffin.

Let’s have a little change in the monsoon menu this rainy season with this spiced apple muffin  🙂

spiced apple muffins , cinnamon, apple, muffins, cloves

Recipe for Spiced Apple Muffin-

  • Ingredients :
  • ½ tin or 200 gm of condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp of powdered sugar
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 2 crushed cloves
  • ½ cup of oil
  • ½ tsp of vanilla essence
  • 1 small apple – chopped in small pieces.

Method :

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degree F or 180 degree C for at least 10 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, sift flour with baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon powder.
  3. Beat condensed milk with sugar. Add vanilla essence and oil and beat again.
  4. Add crushed cloves.
  5. Add the dry ingredients (the flour mixture) and gently fold the mixture with a spatula.
  6. Sprinkle a tbsp of flour on the chopped apple and fold it into the batter.
  7. Grease the muffin tray or you can also use paper cups with the muffin tray.
  8. Fill each cup with about ¾ only.
  9. Bake them for 20-25 minutes. Check a muffin by inserting a toothpick in the center . If toothpick comes out clean then they are ready.

Do try them and share your experience :)

spiced apple muffins , cinnamon, apple, muffins, cloves

 

Homemade tutti-fruity

15th August Special.. 🙂

tutti fruity Independence Day India

15th August is Indian Independence Day , So first of all…

Happy 70th Independence Day.. Jai Hind 🙂

This post is my way to show respect and love for my country.. I am a proud Indian 🙂

So, let’s roll..

Tutti fruity.. Small brightly colored sugared candied pieces that we all love in our desserts.. Tutti fruity is used in so many desserts and bakes.. tutti fruity ice cream, tutti fruity cakes, muffins, sweet tutti fruity buns and breads and many more..

tutti fruity

Well, I love tutti fruity in my bakes and desserts…I love the way it brings colors to the food. The only problem.. it is not easily available in the supermarket near my home though I have found a certain shop that have these, but there also it is not available always..So, some months back I had gone through some sites to check if I can make these at home and Voila, I got to know that they are made from raw papaya.. Since then, on my every visit to the vegetable market I was looking for raw papaya and this fortunate Saturday, I found one seller selling these beautiful raw papayas.

So, I set on my cooking mode, and made these delicious tutti fruity in three colors -orange, green , blue to celebrate our independence day . From now on, I don’t need to depend on the store for tutti fruity..

Recipe for tutti fruity –

Ingredients :

  • 500 gm of raw papaya
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2.5 cups of water + water for blanching papaya.
  • Color for tutti fruity (any of your choice)
  • Few drops of vanilla essence.

Method :

  1. Peel the papaya, remove seeds and chop into small pieces as shown in the picture below.
tutti fruity , raw papaya

peel the papaya and remove the seeds.

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chop the papaya in small pieces.

2. Boil water in a pot and add the chopped papaya in the boiling water. Cook for 3-4 minutes and then switch off the gas and let the papaya sit in the pot for 5 minutes. Take the papaya pieces in the strainer.

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Blanched papaya.

3. In another pot add sugar and water for sugar syrup. Add papaya pieces in the pot once the sugar has dissolved completely. Cook the papaya pieces in the sugar syrup until the sugar syrup starts to gain a single thread consistency.

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papaya cooking in sugar syrup.

4.  After that switch off the gas and add few drops of vanilla essence.

5.In different cups , add some orange, green , blue or any other color of your choice and then add equal amount of papaya pieces along with the sugar solution in these cups. Let it sit for 10-12 hours.

tutti fruity

Colored tutti-fruity dipped in sugar syrup

6. Now, sieve the papaya pieces on the wire net. This will help remove the extra sugar syrup from the papaya pieces.

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Ready to dry.. 

7.Keep the pieces in the open till the sugary stickiness goes from the papaya pieces. I kept the pieces for a day in the room under the fan and then under the sun outside for a day (for outside I covered it with a sieve to prevent it from the birds or animals).

And Voila your tutti –fruity are ready to use..

tutti fruity

 

You can also try my tutti-fruity whole wheat cake .. 🙂

Please do try it and share your experiences  ..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eggless Chocolate Cake with whole wheat flour

Eggless Chocolate cake , whole wheat

It was my parent’s 29 marriage anniversary some months back and I had planned to make a cake to celebrate the occasion. So, this cake is very special to me ,as first it was made as one of my gifts for Mom and Dad and secondly ,it was my first cake with icing.

So, the preparation began on full swing and for the complete week I went through various blogs, YouTube videos to get ideas for icing along with chocolate decorations. After completing my “research”  😛 , I was full on ready to make the cake.

So, after coming from office on Friday, I got all my ingredients for the cake and after the quick mixing set it in the oven for baking. Now came the hard part, the icing. As it was my first attempt I decided on thick chocolate ganache icing along with some chocolate decorations. For chocolate decorations, I made squares of white and dark chocolate designs and cut out some hearts with dark chocolate and wrote 29 on them. As I made all this in hurry on Saturday morning(The D-Day) I couldn’t take the pictures of the making of chocolate decorations, but I will try put the procedure of the same very soon.

Chocolate cake, Chocolate ganache, eggless, Whole wheat

Recipe for the Egg-less Chocolate Cake –

Ingredients for Chocolate cake :

  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour.
  • 2 tbsp of cocco powder.
  • 1 tsp of baking powder.
  • ½ tsp of baking soda.
  • ¾ cup of condensed milk.
  • ½ cup of unsalted butter.
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence.
  • ½ cup of water.

Method –

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degree F or 180 degree C for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Grease a round cake pan well with butter or oil.
  3. Take dry ingredients (Whole wheat flour, cocco powder, baking soda, baking powder) in a bowl.Mix them well till they get incorporated.
  4. In another bowl take melted butter and /add condensed milk. Beat it well.
  5. Add water and vanilla essence  Whisk it well.
  6. Add dry flour mixture to wet mixture.
  7. Whisk well and make sure there are no lumps.
  8. Pour the batter into prepared cake pan.
  9. Bake into pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes. Check the cake by inserting a toothpick in the center . If toothpick comes out clean then cake is ready.
  10. Let the cake cool on the rack. After the cake is cooled , keep it in the fridge overnight. Cake should be completely cooled before icing.

I completed the cake with chocolate ganache icing and some chocolate decorations..

Chocolate cake, eggless , Whole wheat , Chocolate ganache

Any bakes or dishes close to your heart.. ? Please do share .. 😀

 

Singhal (Semolina Banana jalebi)

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Uttarakhand, described as the land of Gods is known for its beautiful landscape and rich culture and  heritage ..and today i will add a little about its delicious cuisines also. I am blessed that I belong to this place and needless to say in love with it.. Well we basically belong to a place near Ranikhet… a small town which has flourished a lot with time.. but one thing that still makes the place charming is its simplicity… simplicity in people’s heart, in their conversations and in their food..

Thinking Why I am going on about Uttarakhand? 😛

As I have mentioned in my previous posts, I am a part of lots of food groups on facebook.. and one of them being “ChefAtLarge” , This group is full of creative people and has a great blend of amateurs to professional chef’s . It also has lots of events happening..and today morning i stumbled upon on one of the events that is for Independence Day.. For this we have to post a entry for breakfast dish that belongs to our native place or any other traditional Indian breakfast..So, I decided to make a dish from my native place too, “Singhal” was suggested by my mom as my nani use to make this a lot for their breakfast and also on their birthdays. So I decided to go for this as having singhal may bring back lots of childhood memories for her..

Singhal, is a sweet dish usually prepared on any auspicious occasions in Uttarakhand with many other things…it is like a semolina banana jalebi..

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Recipe for Singhal:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of semolina (sooji)
  • 1 cup of curd
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp of saunf (Aniseed)
  • Ghee/oil for frying
  • water , if needed.

Method:

  1. Beat the curd in a bowl. Add semolina, mashed bananas, sugar and mix well.
  2. Add cardamom powder and saunf. Mix well and add 2 -3 tbsp of water if required. The mixture would be thick.
  3. Cover the bowl and let it rest for about one hour.
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    Batter after 1 hr.

  4. Take a muslin/cotton cloth and fold it in equal four part. Make a cut of about 1 cm in the center of the cloth. Now pour some of the mixture in the cloth ( same way it is done for jalebi, though this mixture will be very much thicker than jalebi mixture.)
  5. Heat the oil in the frying pan(kadhai) and with the help of the cloth pour batter in frying pan(kadhai) in spiral shape..
  6. Cook till brown in color.

IMG_20150815_201731[1]Happy Independence Day India .. Enjoy these with a cup of tea/coffee 🙂

Rasabali (A sweet dish from Odisha)

As per wikipedia.. Rasabali is a sweet dish from Odisha, India. Rasabali is offered to Baladevjew, and originated in the Baladevjew Temple of Kendrapara. It is one of the Chapana bhoga of Jagannath temple.

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Well, according to my teammate in office , Rasabali is one of the dessert to die for, one of the delicacy of his native place that he truly miss and always wish that he could find the same taste here…

Last week in the office, we decided to order some evening snacks..the usual pakodas, pyaaz kachori and imerti from the very famous Om sweets of Gurgoan.. As usual we all enjoyed it, but my friend here was not at all happy with the imerti,.. He was complaining about the texture, sweetness etc etc.. and how much he misses his home and the food there. So, sitting there and having those pakodas we discussed about the desserts of Odisha, he explained them in so much detail , told me each and every key points of different dishes of Odisha that made me want to try my hands at this very famous Rasabali.

After having the dish, I can now understand why he was in love with these sweet fried cheena balls.. They are sweet, soft and melts in your mouth.. Give it a try 🙂

Recipe for Rasabali –

Ingredients –

For cheena-

  • 1 litre of milk
  • 1-2 tablespoon of lemon juice/vinegar

For Rasabali balls:

  • 1 cup of cheena
  • ¼ tsp of baking soda
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • 2 tsp of semolina(suji)
  • ¼ tsp of cardamom powder
  • Oil for frying

For Sweet Kesar milk:

  • 1 litre of milk
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • ¼ tsp of cardamom powder
  • Few strands of saffron

Method-

Method for Sweet kesar milk syrup:

  1. Soak about 8-10 saffron strands in about a tbsp of warm milk for about 15 minutes. The saffron will give beautiful orange colour and lovely smell and taste to the milk syrup.
  2. Bring the mil to boil, slow the gas flame and reduce the milk till it thickens while constantly stirring it for about 30 minutes. Add the cardamom powder and sugar. Keep stirring the mixture. Add the saffron stands mix.
  3. You can add chopped almonds, cashew nuts if you want.

    Sweet Kesar Milk syrup

    Sweet Kesar Milk syrup

Method for Rasabali balls:

  1. Bring the milk to boil. Add 1-2 tbsp lemon juice gradually in the milk and keep stirring the milk till the milk mass and the whey separates completely. Filter the milk mass in the sieve. Wash it with water so that all the lemon sourness is gone. Now, put the milk mass in the muslin cloth and hang it to get rid of extra liquid.
  2. Take the chenna and rub it with fingers and palms till the mixture starts to give out fat..
  3. Add sugar, baking powder, cardamom powder, and semolina in the cheena and make dough with the chenna mixture.

    IMG_20150625_190849

    Chenna mix ready to make the dough.

  4. Take small amount of the dough and make small balls for the rasabali.

    IMG_20150625_192221

    Make small balls of the dough

  5. Heat the oil in the frying pan and carefully add the rasabali. Fry it till it become light brown in color and take it out on the tissue paper.

    Fried Chenna balls

    Fried Chenna balls

  6. Add the Rasabali balls in the hot milk syrup and let it stand for about 15-20 minutes, So that the balls soak the milk syrup.

    IMG_20150625_195015

    Rasabali dipped in the milk syrup

  7. Put in the fridge for cooling.
  8. Garnish with chopped dry fruits before serving 🙂
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Enjoy the Rasabali.. 🙂

Vanilla Checkerboard cake – Republic Day Special :)

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26 January 2015 , India celebrates its 66th Republic Day..Every Indian celebrates the day with great enthusiasm and patriotism .Being brought up in a family of military officers (my grandpa and uncle both served for Army),this day holds a lot of excitement for us..Every year, we all wake up early and have breakfast watching the Republic Day parade.. Till 12 , all of us always remain glued to the TV , feeling a sense of pride with every marching platoon, beautiful jhankis and dances that are performed at Vijay Chowk, New Delhi. 

This year was no different..Around 11 mum served some fried chips with coffee. There was something special about those fried chips that made me want to make this cake.. Guess what?? Well , they were tricolor chips ..

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After having those chips , I decided on making a tricolor checkerboard cake.. with saffron(orange), white(plain)  and green vanilla cakes to celebrate our Republic Day.. 🙂

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For cake:

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups of maida
  • 1 cup of full cream milk
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 3 tbsp of oil
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • Food color (orange and green color)

Method:

  1. Sieve maida, baking powder, baking soda in a bowl.
  2. Add the sugar in the milk and mix well.
  3. Add the dry mixture in the milk mixture, combine everything to make sure there are no lumps of any dry ingredient.
  4. Add vanilla extract and oil and again mix well.
  5. Add 1 tbsp lemon juice and mix everything well.
  6. Divide the batter into three parts. Add green food color to one part and orange color to the second.(No color is required for the third)
  7. Grease the microwave safe dish with oil and pour anyone of the batter in it. Keep it in microwave at 720W (80% power setting) for about 4 minutes.
  8. Cool the first cake and put the second one in the microwave. 
  9. After making the three cakes, reassemble the cake.

For the chocolate ganache:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Dark chocolate
  • 1 cup of Heavy cream

Method:

  1. Pour the cream into a small pan and place it over medium-low heat for a few minutes. Keep an eye on the cream , it’s not necessary to boil or simmer it. It just needs to get hot. The cream is ready when you can place a finger in the cream and keep it there for 3 to 4 seconds. 
  2. Chop the chocolate in small pieces and add the chocolate in the cream. Stir the chocolate through the cream and let it sit for a few minutes 
  3. Mix the ganache and keep stirring untill it comes together.
  4. Cool the ganache before using.

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Assembly of cake:

  1. Cut each cake into three circular parts. I used a cookie cutter for the centre part (smallest one) and a small plate for the medium one.
  2. After getting all the three parts for each cake ,start with the assembling. Place the outer circular part(largest part) green color cake first and layer with chocolate ganache in the insides of the cake. Place the second piece of the white color cake and again layer the inside of the white cake with chocolate ganache. Now, place the third and smallest piece of orange color cake in the centre. Layer the whole top of the cake with chocolate ganache.
  3. Swap the cut outs between the layers.Pile the cake one on top of the other, alternating the colors.
  4. Make sure to add frosting between the layer ..
  5. Layer the cake with chocolate ganache in the end.
  6. Slice the cake and serve 🙂

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