Tuesday 28 December 2010

Spicy Cake and a 20 year Celebration

Normally I had planned to post my Daring bakers post, but I guess that one will have to wait for a week more.
Today I want to post a Special good news.
Today we are celebrating Our 20 th Wedding Anniversary.
Looks like years have just flown.
Ofcourse as most of the marriage we have had Good times and Bad Times. But it is the plenty of Good times that I want to celebrate.

And we indeed are celebrating today with our family with a small party, I was telling hubby dear why did we get married on  this month as there is so many parties in this short time that no one would want to eat anything anymore :-) But I guess we have not trouble in clebrating with good family, food wine and good food.
Now I din't make this cake especially for today.
This is my christmas cake but I thought as it is a celebration I would post this Delicious Spicy Christmas Cake. I made this last year and I loved it so much and this has ended up beeing my sisters and friends favourite recipe and mine too as I made them again this year.
I did add some 150 gm more fruit than the original recipe and soaked the fruits for almost 3 weeks and then made the cake and left it to mature for another 2 weeks. Before wrapping up the cake for maturing poked witha tooth pick on top and poured 2 tabp of Brandy.
I coverd the cake with Marzipaan and the snowman and the snow flakes I did with Royal Icing.

Thursday 16 December 2010

Chocolate Rice Krispie

Today it Has been such a dull weather, but still Hubby and I went to Brugges City for doing frw Christmas Shopping and the worst things was while we were there it started pouring down. And I was saying that it is not a good weather to go nside and out to the shops. The best thing about shopping on a rainy morning is that there is not that much people in the shops and one can look to things without people looking over you.
Now to the recipe, this is not the firs time I makes these delicious Rice Crispies, I have made them before, but didn't get achance to take a picture .
This I made last month and send a box full with Shyama for her friends. And thekids they loved it , S said it was finished in a flash and even a kids who don't like chocolate ate it .
If you want to give home made gifts this would be excelent.
The original recipe is from  What the Fruit Cake here
Chocolate Rice Krispie
45g Unsalted Butter
280g Marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies
400g Dark Chocolate
Wilton pink food color or any color and brand you like.
200 to 250 gm chocolate as mine had a real thick layer of chocolate on top.
Butter a 9"x9" dish or line with parchment paper I used foil and overlapped the sides .
This is her Tip; Tip: I prefer using parchment as it's easier to remove the treats by lifting them out by the parchment overhang which makes it easier to cut into portions once it's out of the dish
In a low heat in a saucepan, melt the butter .
Add the marshmallows and stir until melted
Stir in the food color.
Remove from heat
In a large bowl, combine the Rice Krispies  with the melted marshmallow mixture

Stir until thoroughly combined. I ;ust say this took a bit of stirring as it is stick a bit.

Tip: This is the really sticky part and if you're in a cooler climate it's best to do this with your bowl over simmering water so that the marshmallow stays warm, I agree as i used this tip and it worked for me very well.
Press into your prepared dish
Tip: Her Tip :I found it best to use a small piece of buttered parchment paper to spread and press the mixture a clever tip use it as it really helps.

Leave to set while you prepare the chocolate
Melt the chocolate in a heat resistant bowl over simmering water. I did in the MW.
Pour the chocolate over the Rice Krispies and tilt the dish a little in each direction so that the chocolate moves around and coats the top evenly or spread with a spatula
Allow the chocolate to set.
I have ;ade this twice and i usually am in a hurry so i put the tray in the freezer for a while and the take it out and cut in squqres with a sharp knife.


Monday 13 December 2010

Gingerbread Men/Woman

Gingerbread dates back to the 15th century, and figural biscuit-making was practiced in the 16th century.
The first documented instance of figure-shaped gingerbread biscuits appearing was in the court of Elizabeth I of Egland.She had the gingerbread figures made and presented in the amazing likeness of some of her very important guests
Most gingerbread men share the same roughly humanoid shape, with stubby feet and no fingers.
Many gingerbread men have a face, though whether the features are indentations within the face itself or other candies stuck on with icing or chocolate varies from recipe to recipe.
Other decorations are common; hair, shirt cuffs, and shoes are sometimes applied, but by far the most popular decoration are shirt buttons, which are traditionally represented by gum drops, icing, or raisins.

Information thanks to Wiki
Every year in December I want to make Gingerbread Men/Woman but I never do something happens or I make something else and the reason for not making them just go on and on.
This year I promised myself I will make the for sure.
And as you can see i kept the promise to myself and made them.
Ok I made them and Shyama helped me to Decorate :-)
Yesterday when she went to college I send the whole lot of these cookies with her , ofcourse before packing them in a box, I took one and shared with three as I wanted to know how they tasted and they indeed taste really good.
I love the ginger taste in these cookies.
I made the mix for decorating the cookies after baking them.
Recipe is from Taste.com.au and you can find it here

Makes 20

Melted butter, to grease
125g butter, at room temperature
100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
125ml (1/2 cup) golden syrup
1 egg, separated
375g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour
1 tbs ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice ( I didn't have it but I had speculoos spice which I used )
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Plain flour, to dust
150g (1 cup) pure icing sugar, sifted
8-10 drops red liquid food colouring ( Use any color you like and I used Wilton color so i just only had to add a little bit not so much as in theoriginal recipe)
8-10 drops green liquid food colouring
Smarties, to decorate


Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush 2 baking trays with melted butter to lightly grease.

Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the golden syrup and egg yolk and beat until combined. Stir in the flour, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Press dough into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

Meanwhile, place egg white in a clean, dry bowl. Use an electric beater to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add icing sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Divide icing among 3 bowls. Cover 1 bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Add red colouring to 1 bowl and stir until combined.
Add green colouring to remaining bowl and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.

Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out until about 4mm thick. Use a 9cm gingerbread man cutter to cut out shapes. Place on trays about 3cm apart. Repeat with any excess dough.
Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Place prepared icings in small plastic bags. Cut a small hole in a corner of each bag. Pipe icing over gingerbread men to decorate. Finish with Smarties.

Thursday 9 December 2010

About Me

I have been thinking to make a special page About Me.But every time I say to myself, there is nothing that special to write about me so that plan just stay like that,
but then as you can see I have done a page :-)

I started Cooking after I got maried, and I discovered I have a passion for Cooking and Baking .
So years ago when I came across some food blogs, I thought why not start one of my own.
I really didn't think that I would keep on blogging for so long, I thought I will start blogging and then after a month or two I will get fed up and give it up.
But as you can see I haven't, it has ended up beeing a passion and something I really enjoy doing.

Photography.Ok now this is something discovered years later after I started blogging. And in the end I bought a medium price DSLR Camera and now I fully enjoy taking pictures , especially food pictures.
Updated. Now I have a 50 mm lens which I love using when I take food pictures.

If you are trying my recipes.Sometimes I think when you cook something you have to feel it.
Like if you make a sauce, even while using a recipe you should feel the way it get thicker, etc....
There are times when I make a recipe I just go with the feeling, like sometimes I might add more water, Cream to a certain dish even though the original recipe has asked less or more.
I always say what ever recipe you try you should make according to your liking and your families.

About My Name

I used Happy Cook when I started the blog as I thought it is a temporary thing this blogging, I never thought it will last  so long, so the name Happy Cook stayed on , untill a year ago I thought I should share my real name Finla with my blog readers, but then lot of my readers wanted me to keep my Happy Cook Name so the name still stays :-)
Edited on 28/11/2012 after all these years of blogging I fully started using my name :-) Finla.

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Tiramisu With Mangoes and Peach Tea

When ever I ask my niece for dinner she ask me would I make Pannacotta for her as she is really crazy for them and always she ask would you make with mangoes.
And I have been doing that each time that for her and when there was a party here at home she asked me are you going to make Mango pannacotta !!!!!!!
And I so much wanted to try another dessert but didn't want to disapoint her made something with mango but then in Tiramisu.
I know magones are out of season, fortunatley we get Mangoes in the freezer section and as the mango pieces had to be soaked in the peach tea, it didn't matter if it was fresh of frozen mangoes.
Of course if it was season I would have gone for fresh mangoes.

Serves 4
4 coconut Macaroons ( i bought from the bakers) but if you want to make your own there are lot of recipes you can find, like from Ina Garten's)
2 egg yolk ( I added only one)
230 gm sugar ( I added less sugar)
100 ml cream
Grated zest of halg orange
300 gm ripe mangoes slin removed and cut in big cubes
3 gm peach tea ( that is one tea bag)
1/2 vanilla stick
1 star anise seed.
In a pan boil 250 ml water with the rest of the sugar, vanilla stick abd the star anise.
When the water is boiling  off the heat,add the tea , close with a lid and leave it for 4 minutes.
Strain the sauce add the mangoes and cook tgem in a very soft fire for 5 minutes.
Let the mixture get very cold.
In a bowl with a fork combine the mascarpone, egg yolks, 100 gm sugar and the orange zest.
Whipp up the cream and coĆ¹bine with the above ingridients.
In each glass dipp one macaroon with the tea/mango liquid and place them int he bottom.
Add a layer of the mascarpone mixture. Add a layer of the mango pieces, then add another layer of the cream, deocrate with few piees of the mangoes.
Keep in the fridge for at least 3 hours before you serve.

Thursday 2 December 2010

Battenberg Cake

The origin of the name is not clear, but one theory claims that the cake was created in honour of the marriage in 1884 of Queen Victoria's granddaughter to Prince Louis of Battenberg , with the four squares representing the four Battenberg princes: Louis, Alexander, Henry and Francis Joseph.

Battenberg cake is a light sponge cake. When cut in cross section, displays a distinctive two-by-two check pattern alternately coloured pink and yellow. The cake is covered in marzipan and, when sliced, the characteristic checks are exposed to view. These coloured sections are made by dyeing half of the cake mixture pink, and half yellow, then cutting each resultant sponge into two long, uniform cuboids, and joining them together with apricot jam, to form one cake. Established variations are for coconut flavouring to the sponge cake and lemon curd or raspberry jam in place of apricot jam.

You can make this cake without the special pan, but then you just have to slice them .
And me and slicing never go that good, as I know for sure I would not slice properly so I have been waiting to buy this pan for a while.
This time I made Vanilla flavoured cake and colored one half oink, next time I am gonna try diferent flavours like Vanilla and Chocolate too.

I used the recipe which was there together with the pan.
175 gm (60 ozs ) butter
175 gm (60 ozs) sugar I used only 130 gm sugar3 eggs
175 gm (60 ozs ) selfraising flour
2 tsp vanilla essence
Few drops of pink colouring
6 tbsp Apricot jam
350 gm Marzipan
Sugar for dusting

Pre heat the oven to 180° c ( 350 F) Gas mark 6; grease and flour the Battenburg pan.
Cream together the butter and sugar and vanilla untill light and creamy.
Gragually add the beatern eggs.
Fold in the flour.
Divide the mixture into tow equal halves.
Put a few drops of pink color into one of the mixture and gentley mix intill an even colour is achieved.
Spoon the pink mixture into the two section of the tin, and the plain mixture into the other two sections.
Place in the center of the oven and bake for approximatley 30 - 35 minutes or untill evenly coloured and firl to touch.
Allow the cake to cool in the tin.
If the cake has rissen above the tin, use a sereated knife to cut accross the top to remove the excess cake. Remove the cake from the tin.

When completley cold, brush the abpricot jam onto the side and  join one plain and one pink slice together and then one pink and one plain on top creating a chequered pattern.
Now brush the apricot jam over the long sides.

Roll out the marzipan on some sugar making a rectangle approx 20 x 30 cm. Neaten the edges.
Place the cake into the marzipan so the one edge is lined up to the edge of the marzipan and completley wrap the marzipan around the cake.
Trim away any surplus marzipan to make a neat cake, just trim bith ends with a clean knife.
For me covering the marzipan was the most difficult part of making this cake.

Saturday 27 November 2010

Crosata filled With Pecan and Caramel - Daring bakers November 2010

I so much wanted to make a savoury tart this month as we could choose our own filling, and in the foroum iI dod see so many savoury delicious creation, and if I had made a savoury one my dear hubby would have been really Happy B.
But the sweet lover in me went and did the sweet any ways :-)

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of  briciole .She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

•1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon [105 ml, 100 g, 3 ½ oz] superfine sugar (see Note 1)
or a scant 3/4 cup [180ml, 90g, 3 oz] of powdered sugar
•1 and 3/4 cup [420 ml, 235 g, 8 1/4 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour
•a pinch of salt
•1 stick [8 tablespoons / 4 oz. / 115 g] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
•grated zest of half a lemon (you could also use vanilla sugar as an option, see Note 2)
•1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl

1.Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.

2.Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice
3.Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use).
4.Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg mixture.
5.Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.

6.Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.

7.Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.

Now, you can roll out the dough then fit into the tartlet tins. Or, pinch about 1 -1/5 tsp of dough and press into the tins to distribute the dough evenly. Just remember not to create a very thick shell.

Grease the tartlet shells. You can roll out the dough then fit into the tartlet tins.
Place the tart tins on a baking tray. Bake these tartlet shells for 10-12 mins at pre-heated oven of 350F (170c) or until lightly golden. Cool. When the tins are cool enough to touch, squeeze each tin gently with your thumb and forefinger, turn it upside-down and let the tartlet shell drop into the palm of your hand.

½ cup (100g) castor sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup heavy cream, room temperature
½ cup pecan, toasted and chopped
2 tsp honey
Put sugar un a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally with wooden spoon until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium high and cook, without stirring, until the sugar caramelized with nice dark color. Turn off the heat, add butter, then, cream. Stir until everything blends together. Stir in the chopped walnuts and honey white the cream is hot. Cool for at least 30 mins, then spoon about 1 tsp of filling into each baked shell.

Thursday 18 November 2010

Raspberry Fruit Tart

Each time I talk to my sister she is going on telling me I should post something savoury or a pasta dish. And I have been telling her I will do them . And yesterday when we were skyping, I told her I will add today a savoury dish,

But then Today morning when I went to FB and saw Deeba's Status saying
Anyone Baking with Fruit this month? You got until the 22nd of November to send it to Meeta's Monthly Mingle which I am guest hosting,
So i went and looked in my collection of pictures and there was this Raspberry Tart which I made in May.
Can you imagine I had this delicious looking Tart and I didn't post it.
To be honest I still have some more delicious stuff to post, just that I am so lazy to write the recipe etc....
But theb Deeba is a dear friend and I love her baking so I really wanted to join in the event she is guest hosting.

The Original recipe is from BBC food

90g/3½oz butter, softened
65g/2½oz caster sugar
3 free-range egg yolks
200g/7oz plain flour plus extra for dusting

Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until well combined, then beat in the egg yolks, one at a time until full incorporated into the mixture.
Mix in the flour until the mixture comes together as a ball of dough.
Tip the pastry out onto a floured work surface and knead briefly until smooth.
Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for 30 minutes. Alternatively, it can be frozen for use at a later date.

Roll out the pastry, using a little flour if necessary, to form a round shape turning the pastry as you go. Roll it as thin as you dare.
Roll the pastry around the rolling pin and lay over the tin.
Using your hands and being careful not to stretch the pastry ease it gently into the edges of the tin. Leave the trimmings to hang over the sides.
Make a circle of greaseproof to cover the inside of the tin by folding a square of greaseproof paper into 6 and tearing the edges.
Put the paper into the tin and add baking beans/rice and place in the fridge to rest for at least 10 minutes.
Place in a preheated oven 200C/400F/Gas6 for 15-20 minutes. After 10 minutes remove the paper and beans and return the pastry case to the oven to brown the base.

For the filling.
400 gm Raspberries
500 ml thich-k cream
Vanilla essence 1 tbsp
Few tbsp of powder sugar plus if you want to dust on top of the tart
Pistachios for sprinkling ( optional)

Whip the cream with the essence and the sugar till soft peak.
Assembling the tarts
Fill each tart shells with whipped cream , arrange the raspberries on top if the cream, sprinkle with powder sugar and the pistachios.
Enjoy with a cup of tea/coffee

Sunday 14 November 2010


When I was home and from the time I can remember, most of the time when my mom went out for shopping, paying the electric bill, visiting her family or anyother things, she always came back home with a small packet from the Bakkery.
And we three girls knew that she would always have something, like a Ladoo, Jalebi ( that is what we call this in Kerala at least what we call ) but it is normally called Jengiri.

Can you imagine kids beeing really happy now a days because their mom brought them goodies from the bakers.
Isn't it funny as kids we were so happy with these small things a least we kids were.
Now to makes kids happy one has to spend so much money.

The christmas is not yet there but we get now itself folders from the shops what ll new toys and games are there and they all cost so much.

Now to the recipe this is one of my favourite Indian sweet and from the time when I saw in Rak's Kitchen I have been wanting to make it, but then I am always so lazy to grin dal etc.... but then 2 weeks back priya was asking in FB what sweets to make for Diwali and I told her make this from Rak's place and the temptaion for me was too much, I went straight to te Kitchen soaked urid dal and in few hours was munching on these delcious sweet with a cup of tea.

I did exactly as Rak's did the only difference I did was, I made double the quantity of sugar syrup as I wanted the jengiri to be soaked really good.

Whole white urad dal 3/4 cup
Rice flour 1 tsp
Orange food colour
pinch Salt
Oil for frying

For Sugar syrup ( I doubled up the below quantity of the ingrients of the syrup, which is given below)
Sugar 3/4 cup
Just to immerse the sugar
Lemon juice 1/2 tsp
Rose essence 4 drops
Orange food colour

Soak urad dal for 2 hrs and grind with very little water .
The batter should be fluffy and smooth.
Mix a pinch of salt,food colour and rice flour and mix well.

Heat the sugar with water just to immerse it and after it starts boiling,let it boil for 3-4 minutes.Add lemon juice,food colour and lastly essence and mix well and switch off the stove.

Take a pastry bag cover and make a tiny hole.

Fill the pastry bag with the batter and first practice doing in a plate .

Then heat a broad,flat bottomed pan(keep the flame in low) with only little oil say 1 inch depth.
The oil should notget fully heated,when it starts forming small,small bubbles in the bottom,then draw jangris in the oil,repeat the same to make many.
Once the jangris gets cooked and becomes light,turn over and cook till crisp and then take out carefully and transfer to the sugar syrup.

Dunk the fried jangris in hot sugar syrup for 1-2 minutes and take out carefully and arrange it a plate. Wait for half hour before serving.
I have stp by step oics but tghe loader of my old camera canot be found so when i findh it i will post the making of the jangri.
Sending this to Mina for complete my Thali event which she is hosting, which was started by Jags of Joy of Cooking.

Sending this to M

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Brownie Buttons

It was a long weekend here and Shyama was home for four days which was a delight.
And in these four days we had party four evenings well I have to say I can't stand anymore special food, after eating so much for days.
And hubby is on a week of holiday so I am sure we will be opening up bottle of wine here at home or in the evening go to my inlaws place and then MIL will say shoudn't we have a glass of wine and we will tell her sure and then won't stop after one glass.

Oh and I bought baking stuff online today morning which was absloutley a delight , but have to admit I love buying things from a shop than online, I like to feel and see the things I buy, but alas I coudn't resist the temptaion for buying online.
These cute looking Brownie Buttons are made from one of my favourite book Baking from My Home to yours from Dorie Greenspan. i love her book, everything which I have tried from this book have come out perfect and delicous just like these brownies.

Grated zest of 1/2 Orange (optional)
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1/4 cuo plus 2 tablespoon all purpose flour.
Pinch of salt
1/ stick ( 4 tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 1/2 ounces bitterswet chocolate, coarsley chopped
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
For the Glaze ( optional)
2 ounce of white chocolate , finley chopped

Getting ready.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
Lightly butter two miniature pans each with a dozen cups, and place them on a baking sheet.
If you are using the orange zest, combine the zest and sugar in a small bowl, rubbing them inbetween your finger tipsto blend, set aside.
Whisk together the flour and salt.

Melt the butter , chocolate and brown sugar in a medium pan over low heat, stirring frequently with a heat proof spatuala and keeping an eye on the pan si nothing over heats or burns. When the mixture us smooth remove fro the heat and cool for a minute or two.

Stir the vanilla, egg and the zest , if you are using it, into the chocolate mixture,
When the mixture is well blened, add the flour and stir only untill it is incotporated. You should have a smooth glossy batter.
Spoon thte batter into the cups, to fill each cup three quaters full.
Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or untill the tops of the buttons spring back when touched.
Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 3 minutes before carfully removing them.
Cool to room temperature on the racks.
To make the optional glaze:
Melt the chocolate in a smal heat proof bowl set over a saucepan with simmering water.
Stir constantly and don't leave the chocolate even for a minute - white chocolate scorch easly? As soon as the chocolate is smooth remove from the heat.
One by one, dip the tops of the buttons into the chocolate, twriling the buttons so that you get a swril at the center of each one.
Refrigerate the buttons for 15 minutes to set the glaze.

I will be busy till 11 th, so will come and visit your delicous blogs after that or inbetween when I get time.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Let's Go Nuts for Doughnuts October 2010 DB

Even before one realize it is time for .
The days are just flying by so fast that I have the feeling, I just sneezed and a whole month passed in that one sneeze.

When I saw the Challenge this month was, I really was excited as I have never made doughnuts at home. Well not the fried ones, have made the baked version some time ago.

I never do the challenge fast as I wait till some of the other group members have made it as when they finish doing the challenge they upload a picture in the Forum and also give tips.
And I am really greatfull for the tip Audax gave in the Forum.
He is always so fast in doing the challenge, mostly he do them the same day the recipe is posted in the forum, now isn't that fast.
And he gave a tip , he mentioned how ever soggy the dough is don't be tempted to add more flour. And I must say I am happy that I read the tip otherwise when I saw how soggy the dough was I would have gone on adding more flour, so if you do this recipe don't be tempted to add more flower it will all come together after the raising time etc...

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurio

Yeast Doughnuts:
Preparation time:Hands on prep time - 25 minutesRising time - 1.5 hours totalCooking time - 12 minutes
Yield: 20 to 25 doughnuts & 20 to 25 doughnut holes, depending on size
Milk 1.5 cup / 360 ml
Vegetable Shortening 1/3 cup / 80 ml / 70 gm / 2.5 oz (can substitute butter, margarine or lard)Active Dry Yeast 4.5 teaspoon (2 pkgs.) / 22.5 ml / 14 gm / ½ oz
Warm Water 1/3 cup / 80 ml (95°F to 105°F / 35°C to 41°C)
Eggs, Large, beaten 2
White Granulated Sugar ¼ cup / 60 ml / 55 gm / 2 oz
Table Salt 1.5 teaspoon / 7.5 ml / 9 gm / 1/3 ozNutmeg, grated 1 tsp. / 5 ml / 6 gm / ¼ ozAll Purpose Flour 4 2/3 cup / 1,120 ml / 650 gm / 23 oz + extra for dusting surface
Canola Oil DEPENDS on size of vessel you are frying in – you want THREE (3) inches of oil (can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)
Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. (Make sure the shortening is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter.)
Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.

Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.
Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.

Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.

Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch (9 mm)thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).
Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch (22 mm) ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.
Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown (my doughnuts only took about 30 seconds on each side at this temperature).
Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired
I glazed with dark and white chocolate and sprinkled sprinklers.

Thursday 21 October 2010

Pink Macarons with a Ginger and Chocolate

Pink October a month dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness and Deeba and Jamie have choosed for the Mactweets Pink.
I have to say mine don't look pink , I used the pink color but i think i used a little bit too much.
As you know I have written in my earlier post that my hubby is never that thrilled to see me making Macarons.
But I think his opinion is changing, as I sneakly try to use exciting fillings in them.
So have to say these ones he really enjoyed.

As always I use my favourite Macaron recipe.
And for the filling I used a dark chocolate gnache and I mixed into the gnache crystalized ginger. And we all loved it.

Saturday 16 October 2010


From the first time I found out about the World Bread Day, two years back I loved joining in, especially as I made this Celebration bread and then last year I joined up with these Soft Buns with Seeds and I have to admit, I have been so much waiting for Zorra to announce it this year too.
I didn't know what I was going to make this year and was going through one of my bread books and I saw a sweet bread which we ( hubby) always buy for sunday fresh from the bakers.
Here in Belgium at least in Flanders there is this tradition were sunday morning everybody goes to the bakers and buy fresh Pistole, Croissant, Raisin Cookies etc...... and ofcourse this Chocoladekoek too.

Literally translated this Chocoladekoek would mean Chocolate cookie, but then that would be not correct, maybe I should call them Chocolate Buns??

I fell in love with this Chocaladekoek years ago when I first ate them, and every sunday I ask hubby to take this for me , my passion for this koek as rubbed onto my daughter too as she also ask hubby to bring this for her every sunday.

I would say making this bread would take time and this is my first attempt to make them at home and I am happy that it worked and tasted really good, but I would say I still need some improvment as in rolling into thiner layers etc...

Click the picture for a larger view

For making the basic dough go here and there is step by step pictorial how to make it.

Makes 8 to 10

1 portion of Gerezen Bladerdeeg there is a pictorial how to make them.
18 to 10 pieces of Dark Chocolate. ( I would recomend to use dark chocolate, I only had milk so I used that, but I woudl not use them , next time I will make sure I have dark chocolate)

Roll the dough till it is 3mm thick.
Cut the side so it is a perfect square.
Now cut Squares of 10 cm/8 cm.Fold the chocolae pieces they way show in the above pictirial.
Lay with the closing side on the bottom on a butterd tray and cover with a kitchen towel and keep in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1 hour till it is raised.

Preheat the oven for 220°c .
After the small beads are raised for a hour give a egg wash ( egg yolk mixed with a bit milk)

Bake then for 15 minutes.
When it is cooled sprinkle with powder suage and enjoy.

Gerezen bladerdeeg / Raised Puff Pastry

This is a basic Dough from which you can make Various kind of sweet breads.

Here it is called Gerezen Bladerdeeg. I don't want to give a wrong translation that is why I am using this word. If i translate my self I would call it raised puff pastry.
But as hubby is not home he is gone to Cologne, so I will have to wait till he is back to ask him.
I translate the recipe from a Flemsih Cooking book , which is not that easy as I always to think twice before I write them down.
The dough below will make 8 to 10 Chocoladekoek

For 8 to 10 pieces.

250 gm flour
15 gm fresh yeast
120 gm water or milk ( I used water)
25 gm sugar
5 gm salt
12 gm butter
90 gm really soft butter ( this we use it for folding on the rolled dough)

Click the picture to have a larger view.

Add the flour into a huge bowl.
Add the fresh yeast to the milk and pour into the middle of the flour ( make a well int the middle and then pour)
Mix now 3rd of the flour with the milk and yeast mixture, Add the sugar, salt and the 12 gm of butter and mix everything together.
Knead the dough till you get a soft dough which will take a while if you are using your hands.
But then if you use a machine it will be done in a very short time.
Don't add more flour while you knead the dough even if it is sticky it will all come together while you knead the dough for a while.

Goll the dough 1 cm thickand cover in a plastic foil and keep int he freezer for 45 minutes.

After the 45 minutes take out the dought from teh freezer add the 90 gm soft butter in one half of the dough.
Fold the dough as shown in the pictorial.
Now turn the dough ( 3 0'clock side) and roll to a long square of a thickness of 4 mm.
Fold the dough in 4 , this is called first toer ( don't know the exact translation)

Cover this dough in a plastic foil and keep in the fridge for 35 minutes.

After the resting take out the dough trun again towards 3 o' clock and roll , to a long square to 4 mm thickeness. and fold the dough in 3 , look to the pictorial , this is calle second toren.

Cover the dough again with plastic foil and rest in teh fridge for another 35 minutes.
After this the dough is ready to make various kind of Sweet small breads.

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Raspberry Cup Cakes

When I make something and if I have the time to take a picture I do take, and then down load to the computer, but after that I am so lazy to write the recipe and then post it in my blog.
Well this is one such picture and recipe which has been hanging around .
I made this cup cake in summer but never got the chance to post it.

And anyway now a days in the shops you find fruits when they are not even in season and I thought I better post it now rather than waiting till next summer .
But thtere is another problem, I have no idea from which book I or blog I made this recipe.
I know If it is from a book I will find it out one of these days and if it is from a blog I will see the printed recipe in my pile of recipes which I have printed every time I see something good.
So don't worry when I find out from were this recipe came I will post it here soon.
Finger Crossed.

Thursday 7 October 2010

Sticky Honey Spicy Chicken Wings

As I told you in my earlier posts that I make some snack when hubby and daughter come home friday evening after their rehersals so this is what I made for them last week to their utter delight.
It was the first friday evening S was home after a whole week of College.
So when she got down in the train station she rang me to tell she is almost home.
So as we live in the ground floor, I was peeping through the window and guess what S told me.
She said you gave me a heart attack as she suddenly saw this looney woman looking out showing her full teeth and smiling and waving :-)
The Original recipe is here from the blog Foodess.

Ofcourse I added more chillies etc... which I am noting below in the ingridient list.
I will really take her tip on layering the pan with the foil unless if you don'twant to clean up for the next few days as the honey get really caramalize and get dark.
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce ( I had normal soy sauce, so I used a little bit of lesser amount)
3/4 cup honey
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh minced ginger.
1 tsp sesame oil.
1 tsp chillie powder
1 heap tsp chillie flakes.
6 fresh chillies finley chopped.
2 green onions, finely chopped
3 lbs chicken wings ( I always remove the skin as much as possible)

Marniate the aboce ingridients over night or atleast for couple of hours.
Double line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. ( I wouls do this i trippled it )

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Remove wings from marinade and spread in a single layer on foil-lined baking sheet. Reserve marinade. Bake wings for 35 minutes, brushing with sauce twice (after 10 minutes and 20 minutes – but not during last 10 minutes of cooking because the marinate will not have long enough to cook properly, having touched raw chicken).
In the original recipe she had written to boil the remaining sauce to syrupy but as I used less soysauce I didn't use this step.

Monday 4 October 2010

Garlic Scampi's Rolled with Zucchini

End of September we went to London and then from there straight we went to Leave Shyama to her college in Leuven.

So she is not home for the weekdays ( she comes on friday and leave on sunday evening) .
Why I wrote the above information is to say that I have not baked anything at all from that time on wards.

Usually I bake something home made every few days so that when S comes from school in the late afternoon she can have freshly baked Cupcakes, Macarons, Cake etc......

But nobody is there to come home these days late afternoon saying I am hungry and what is there for snack.

So no baking, but here comes the good news, I have told S when I come and visit her on Wenesday I am bringing her some baking goodies ( I have been going to see her on Wenesday as her lessons are finished earlier ) so I go to her place and talk with her , she talks I listen as she has so much things to say what happend in the lessons and how intresting everyhting is.

And after listening to her I am asking, why is not your bed made and she replies fast well i just left like that for Airing :-)

Then we go out and have early Dinner together and then I take the train back home.

I am going this wenesday too, but I am sure soon she will tell me I don't have to come as I am the only Mom who comes and visit the daughter there and it is not good for her Image. :-)

Now to the recipe, this is a easy but really yummy Scampis, that I served when I gave drinks for a party.

I prepare them earlier and serve them cold.

1 Zucchini cut very thin. ( I use a peeler to get really thin slices)20 Scampis peeled.
Few tbsp of olive oil
1 onion finely chopped.
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tsp chillie flakes
Few tbsp of fresh parsley
2 tbsp of Lime juice
Peper and Salt for taste

Extra oil for grilling the Zuchini slices
First brush the Zuchinni slice with oil and grill in a pan andkeep aside.

Heat the oil in a pan , add the onion and fry for few minuted add the garlic, chilli flakes and fry for 2 more minutes, add the Scampis, salt and peper and fry for some 5 minutes not more other wise they get rubbery.
Add parsley and sprinkle with the lime juice.
Take 2 scampi's and roll them with a Zucchini slice.

Monday 27 September 2010

Decorated Sugar Cookies Daring Bakers September 2010

The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.
Of course there was a condition, we had to make a cookie decoration acording the Sepember theme.
And as it was Ganesh Chaturthi a Hindu Festival and I was seeing so much post every where
about the festival and what they made, and I got inspired to make these Elephant cookies.
Ofcourse as Shyama is going awayto college I made heart shape and then it was so fun in cutting the cookies I did buterfly etc.....
Shyama helped me to decorate a she is far more better ( I must say when it comes to drawing that girl have talent, when ever there is free time she starts painting etc) .

Basic Sugar Cookies:Makes Approximately 36x 10cm / 4" Cookies
200g / 7oz / ½ cup + 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
400g / 14oz / 3 cups + 3 Tbsp All Purpose / Plain Flour
200g / 7oz / 1 cup Caster Sugar / Superfine Sugar
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
5ml / 1 tsp Vanilla Extract / Or seeds from 1 vanilla bean

Directions• Cream together the butter, sugar and any flavourings you’re using. Beat until just becomingcreamy in texture.• Tip: Don’t over mix otherwise you’ll incorporate too much air and the cookies will spread duringbaking, losing their shape.•
Beat in the egg until well combined, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.Add the sifted flour and mix on low until a non sticky dough forms.•

Tip: I don’t have a stand mixer so I find it easier to switch to dough hooks at this stage to avoidflour flying everywhere.• Knead into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 pieces.• Roll out each portion between parchment paper to a thickness of about 5mm/1/5 inch (0.2 inch)• Refrigerate for a minimum of 30mins.•

Tip: Recipes commonly just wrap the whole ball of dough in clingwrap and then refrigerate it for anhour or overnight, but by rolling the dough between parchment, this shortens the chilling time andthen it’s also been rolled out while still soft making it easier and quicker.•

Once chilled, peel off parchment and place dough on a lightly floured surface.•
Cut out shapes with cookie cutters or a sharp knife.• Arrange shapes on parchment lined baking sheets and refrigerate for another 30mins to an hour.•

Tip: It’s very important you chill them again otherwise they’ll spread while baking.• Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up.•

Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan Assisted) / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.•
Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-15mins depending on the size of the cookies.• Tip: Bake same sized cookies together otherwise mixing smaller with larger cookies could result insome cookies being baked before others are done.•
Tip: Rotate baking sheets half way through baking if your oven bakes unevenly.• Leave to cool on cooling racks.• Once completely cooled, decorate as desired.•

Tip: If wrapped in tinfoil/cling wrap or kept in airtight containers in a cool place, un-decoratedcookies can last up to a month.
Royal Icing:
315g – 375g / 11oz – 13oz / 2½ - 3 cups Icing / Confectioner’s / Powdered Sugar, unsifted
2 Large Egg Whites
10ml / 2 tsp Lemon Juice
5ml / 1 tsp Almond Extract, optional

• Beat egg whites with lemon juice until combined.•

Tip: It’s important that the bowls/spoons/spatulas and beaters you use are thoroughly cleaned andgrease free.• Sift the icing sugar to remove lumps and add it to the egg whites.•

Tip: I’ve listed 2 amounts of icing sugar, the lesser amount is good for a flooding consistency, and the larger amount is for outlining, but you can add even more for a much thicker consistency good for writing. If you add too much icing sugar or would like to make a thinner consistency, add very small amounts of water, a few drops at a time, until you reach the consistency you need.•

Beat on low until combined and smooth.•

Use immediately or keep in an airtight container.• Tip: Royal Icing starts to harden as soon as it’s in contact with air so make sure to cover containers with plastic wrap while not in use.

Decorating Your Cookies:

Flooding“Flooding” a cookie is a technique used when covering a cookie with Royal Icing.1. You outline the area you want to flood which helps create a dam2.

Then fill or flood inside the area you’ve outlined