Thursday, 28 January 2010

Banana Walnut Muffins

It is rarley that I make something and post in two days. Mostly it takes time for me to post unless if itis made for a event.
These muffin I made this tuseday so that I can use the New Camera I got from hubby dear on Monday.
One of the blog I go always if I want to make something sweet is Deeba's place Passionate about Baking.

On her side bar I saw this recipe for Chocolate banana muffins, but when I clicke to it the link was blanck, so I went to twitter hopping she will be there, I guess I was lucky, she was there and I told her about it and she fixed it in seconds and I could get the recipe.
I printed the recipe and fast went to the kitchen and made these muffins.
My daughter hated bananas, she theink they are slmiy fruit.
But add them in baking she loves it.
She was onverjoyed when she came home and saw these delicous muffins.

Last week hubby had gone to US, so my sis send this pack for me, he didn't go to their place, she send the pack in post to the place he was staying.
Got some 16 wilton colours and three sparkling powder and other baking goodies. Ifyou scroll down you will see few of the things she send me.
Aren't sisters great to have, especially when they send you things you love to have :-)

Check here for the recipe from Deepa and her other wonderful bakes. I have baked few of her bakes and it has always been excelente. And these muffins are so easy to make thatyou would be surprised.
I do have step by step pictures , i will add them later.
I followed the recipe fully except I added chocolate chunks instead of chips and aslo sprinkled chocolate chunks on top.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Curried Chicken in Cardamom infused Coocnut milk

Who woudn't want to have a good chickenb curry. I do make lot of variety of food here at home. But after a week or so I need my delicous curry. And I am always looking for making some new ones.

One of the blogs I often visit is e.curry and I love Soma's recipes and her pictures are just inspiring and dishes are sensational.

According to her this hot steaming curry, used to be placed at the center of the table, & all us little kids eyed it with utmost enthusiasm, while waiting for our turns.
I have to admit she is correct, that is what happend here too. Hubby and daughter coudn't wait to digg into this when I made a week or so ago.
And I am sure this is one dishe which is going to be on my family table often.
Want to see how Soma's delcious curry looks like , then pop over to her place
4 Chicken Breasts Boneless, Skinless & cubed in to 1″ pieces
2 Medium sized Potatoes Peeled & Cubed
2 medium Onions Cut into half and sliced thinly into half moons
2″ piece of Ginger peeled and ground into paste
5 cloves of Garlic mashed
1/2 Cup Tomato Puree mixed with 1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon Turmeric
3 Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder (Optional)
4 Cloves
8 Small Green Cardamoms
2″ Cinnamon stick
3/4 Cup of Coconut Milk
5-6 Tablespoons of Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
1/2 Cup Chopped Cilantro ( i used less)

Grind the seeds of 8 Green Cardamoms and mix it with the Coconut Milk and Keep aside.
Heat Oil in a deep Pan. Add the Cloves, & Cinnamom Sticks. When they start to sizzle, add the sliced Onions & the sugar. Fry till they are glazed & slightly brown.
Add the cubed chicken, salt, Turmeric & Chilli Powder & fry the Chicken tossing them often till they are light brown on almost all the sides.
Add the Potatoes, mashed Garlic, the ginger paste, & Tomato Puree fry at medium heat till the oil starts to bubble up and the mix leaves the sides of the pan. Be careful to scrape off the bottom of the pan often to prevent it from burning. If you feel the bottom is sticking too often, feel free to add few spoons of water.
Add the coconut milk with cardamom and potaoes; cook till the chicken pieces are tender. Switch off the heat and garnish with chopped cilantro.
I added 2 tsp of garam masala 5 minutes before the chicken was fully cooked. ( Optional , but i love it)
I have been making the chicken few times so made this today again and thought will add anew picture.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Challah- Artisan bread in five minutes a day

Who would have thought that one will be able to make bread with out kneading etc....... I discovered about this facinating book in January 2008 and I have made few sweet breads and loved all of them.
There is no kneading in none of these breads, just mix them ,
Have made Sticky peacan rolls, Brioched filed with chocolate Gnache, and then there was this European peasant bread.

This time I thought why not make a Challah bread.
This is the bread traditionally served in Jewish households at the start of the Sabath on Fridat nights.I got the information from the book.

Makes four 1 pound loaves. The recipe is easily doubled or halfed.
1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp salt
4 large eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup unsalterd butter, melted, plus more for greasing the cookie sheet.

1. mixing and storing the dough: Mix the yeast, salt and eggs, honey and melted butter with the water in a 5 quart bowl, or a lidded ( not airtight) food container.

2: Mix the flour without kneading, using a spon , a 14 capacity food processor ( with the dough attachment) or a heavy duty stand mixer( with the dough hook). If you're not using a machine you may need to use your wet hands to incorporate the last bit of fflour.

3: Cover( not airtight) and allow to rest at toom temperature untill the dough rises and collapse ( approximatley 2 hrs).

4: The dough can be used immidietlyafter the intial rise, though it's easier to handle when cold. Refriderate in a liddded (not airtight) container and use over next 5 days. Beyond 5 days freeze in 1 pound portions in a aritight container for up to 4 weeks. Defrost frozen dough onvernight in the fridge before using. Then allow the usual rest and rise time.

5: On baking day, butter or grease a cookie sheet oe line with partchmejnt paper ( i use a bread tin) .
Dus tthe surface of the refigerated dough with flour and cutt of 1 pound piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly qhape it into a ball by streatching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on al four sides, rotating the ball quater turn as you go.

6: Divide the vall into thirds, using a doug scraper or knife. Roll the balls betweek your hands ( or on board), streatching to form each into a long, thin rope. If the dough resists shaping from the center and working to one end. Turn the loaf over, rotate it and braid from the center out to the remaining end. This produce a load with a more uniform thickness when braideed from end to end.

7: Allow the bread to rest and rise on the prepared cookie sheet for 1 hour and 20 minutes ( or just 40 minutes if you are using fresh, unrefirgerated dough).

8: Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds.

9: Bake near the center of the oven for about 25 minutes. Smaller or larger loaves will requier adjusment in baking time.
The challah is done when golden brown, and the braid near the center of loaf offer resisitance to pressure. Due to the fat in the dough, challah will not form a hard, crackling crust.

10: Allow to cool before slicing or eating.
I did a double layer. So you will have to cut 2 potions from the dough. The dough is a bit sticky than the normal bread dough for handeling, but then jsut use a bit flour on your hand and the surface when you handle the dough.

Sending this this to event which was started by Zorra of Kochtopf which is hosted this month by Jamie of Life's a feast and she had choosed the theme, Baking bread for a birthday party. So if you want to join in her b'day bash do send in her your delicous breads.

Monday, 18 January 2010

My Name and a Chocolate Dipped Madeleines

When I started this blog in the middle of 2007, I would have never in a million years thought that I would really get into this blogging madness ;-).

Here my family and I too thought this was one of those crazy things I do, start something and then give it up in few weeks or even maybe afterr couple of months.
I was surprised myself when the blog turn 1.
Now after couple of years I think it is time that I wrote here my real name.

The only reason I took Happy Cook was because I am really happy when i am baking or making something special in my kitchen and also as I mentioned before I didn't thik this would last so long.
So now I do think I should share my real name with all my friends and readers.
I would post still in Happy Cook as huby and daughter think Happy Cook is such a catchy name ;-).
So here it is My Name it's Finla, some of my friends here know my name, but lot of you don't know.
So now you know why the friends who knows me write F in their comments.
Now to the baking

I think Madeleines are really yummy with a cup of tea/coffee.
I had made them before, used the same recipe .
This time I coated them with chocolate.
For the chocolate covering, melt some chocolate with 2 tbsp butter and dipp them. Leave them to dry and enjoy these madeleines with a cup of Tea like we do here at home.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Karkady Macarons wih Cassis butter cream

Can you imagine it took me four tries ,this time to get feet for my Macs. If you scroll down you will see all my disasters.
Last week there was lot of disapinting grumbles coming from my kitchen.
I tried the first batch with my precious Macha Tea and they didn't hadno feet, then tried chocolate No feet, then I thought while i am anyway busy will try marble effect adding the colours last, but no feet.
Each time when hubby came to the kitchen hearing me moaning about no feet and the macs not looking good, he coudn't understand at all.
He was saying these look good to me and I was like they don't have feet and hubby I don't know what you are talking aobut , so I took him and showed one of my earlier Mac post and said that is what I mean by feet and these ones which came out from the oven don't have any and still he didn't get what all the fuss was about.

I almost gave up and then Deeba posted her Mac and she used a different recipe and I thought why not give it a try. While in Twitter she gave advice to use different batch so tht if the first one didn't had feet then you can reduce the oven temp for the next batch.

So you can imagine when I saw in my first batch itself feet. The elderly couple who live above us would have thought hearing my screams seeing the feet than I am having wild sex ;-)

I was so excited seeing the feet in the first batch that i fast sprinkled karkaday which we bought from Aswan when we were in Egypt. on top of the next batch.
I was very pleased that I added the powdered karkady as it gave a nice tnagy taste .

Three Disaster bunch

Recipe from Deeba: Adapted from Ottolenghi - The Cookbook
110gm icing sugar
60gm almond flour
60gm egg whites (of 2 eggs) ( I aged the eggs for a day)
40gm castor sugar
Few drops of any food colour
Karkade powder for sprinkling

Whiz the almond flour and icing sugar in the coffee grinder and sift 2-3 times
Whisk the egg whites and castor sugar till it forms a thick aerated meringue, firm but not too dry.
Turn the nut mixture into the bowl, and fold gently to get a lava type batter.Hold the tray firmly and tap the underside firmly. This should help to spread and smooth out the macarons.
Leave out, uncovered for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 140C (the original recipe has 170C).
Bake in preheated oven for about 12-13 minutes. They are ready when they readily leave the paper when liften with a palette knife. Remove from oven as soon as this happens, and leave to cool completely.

Vanila Butter Cream: Source Tartlette
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Few tbsp of Cream Cassis (Blcak currant) liqueur

Put the sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes.
The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like marshmallow cream.

Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat the meringue on medium speed until it cools and forms a thick shiny meringue, about 5 minutes.
Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth. Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutesAdd the casis liqueur to the buttercream and fold with a spatula until fully incorporated.
If not using right away, refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to 1 month.
Want to join in the next Mactweets

Monday, 11 January 2010

Cranberry upside down cake

Weekend just flew.
Saturday evening we went for seeing Sherlock Holmes. I did enjoy the movie it was totally different but I still love the old Brittish Sherlock Holmes series........
And I took this cranberry cake to my inlaws place for sunday cofffee and then late afternoon MIL opened up two bottle of bublie to celebrate Newyears ,with her mom as her mom goes every year to celebrate with her eldest daughter.

Made this cake yesterday for afternon coffee , it is the same recipe as the upside down pear cake which I made few weeks afo, but this time i made with cranberries.
Only thing is instead of the cranberries beeing on the bottom; they were floating on top, so I don't know if it is really a upside down cake :-)
Th butter was stuck in the bottom, when i flipped the cake upside down, so i scraped the butter and melted in a pan and poured over the cranberry top.
I am sedning this to Sudeshna of Cook Like A Bong who is the guest host for this months Monthly Mingle.

50 gm butter
300 gm Sugar
225 gm fresh or frozen cranberries
200 gm plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs
200 ml butter milk
75 ml sunflower oil/vegetable oil
To serveSoftly whipped cream

Preaheat the oven to 180° c.
Melt the butter in the ovenproof pan.
Stir in half the sugar and cook over a gentle heat for approximatley 2 minutes. Add the cranberries and set aside.

I melted the butter in a pan and then poured it on to my baking pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add the remaining sugar, the butter milk and oil and mix together.

Pour this mixture into the dry ingridients and whisk to form a liquid batter.

Pour the batter over the pears in the pan.Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or untill the cake feels firm in the center.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning the pan and plate over together in one quick movement.
Serve warm or at room temperature with the whipped cream.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Jam Roll

Days are just flying by. It is just like yesterday I was holding my tiny daughter and to say this year is her last year of school.

At the moment there is always talk at home with her what she wants to do, which university she is going to choose and which city.
And inside me I am hoping she will choose close by. I was telling hubby my stomach gets in knots when I tink about my little girl ( not so little she is taller than me)going and staying alone in a small apartment and taking care of herself and making all the decesions etc.......there are times when I think why here they don't have hostels like we have in India.

Good thing is where ever she choose to learn in belgium she will be home on weekends :-)
I don't think I should start moaning now itself as still there is months and months to go before we reach the time for all this.

Now I will stop moaning and go to the recipe.
Back at home this cake is calle Jam roll. You will see them in most of the bakkery there these rolls and we kids used to love them.

Click the picture for a bigger view

This recipe is a keeper for sure. The best jam rolls I have ever made. And I am sure going to make them with other fillings too.
For a baking plate from 40 x 30 cm (mine was a bit smaller)
For the cake
4 eggs
120 gm sugar
60 gm flour
60 gm cornflour
20 gm melted butter

For the filling
300 gm any kind of jam. ( I used red currant jam)
Almond slices for decoration.
Preheat the oven to 220°c

Grease and baseline the tin.
In a heat proof bowl add the eggs and sugar and whip them up on top of hot water. ( boil water in a pab and keep the bowl on top , bowl should not touch the water) till they are really creamy pale.
Sieve the flour and the corn flour and fold into the pale mixture.
Add the melted butter and give another fold.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Make the top smooth.
Bake them for 8 minutes.

Spread a clean tea towle and sprinkl on top sugar and when the cake is done band into the towel upside down. Don't remoce the tin leave it like that for cooling down. This just take less than ten minutes.
When it is cooled remove the tin and the baking paper, spread the fruit jam and roll them up.
Spread on top of the cake a bit of jam and sprinkle sliced almonds.
Cut rolls into 4cm.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Spicy Christmas cake

Wishing all my friends a Happy 2010
Here at home we had a wonderful holiday period.
I hosted the Christmas eve dinner in my place and then went to my in laws place for Christmas day itself.
As always my in laws did the New years even party in their home.
Oh yeah got some loveley present for my kitchen.
Daughter gave me this beautiful cake form and she also gave me a creamic plate for making quiche , when i was opening up my present she told me I rememberd you telling once you wanted to make quiche and she saw this in the shop and thought why not buy thi. Well mom is not complaning at all :-)
One of the gifts hubby gave was a tray for my new oven .
And from one of our good freinds we got a gift card for a romantice dinner , we can choose from 40 diffferent restraunts in whole of Belgium, well that is all the gifts i got which is food related.

My Christmas eve table,crackers made by my daughter

Kitchen presents

New years eve table at my in laws place

I had planned to post this Christmas cake before I took the break, but then I was so busy I didn't had any time to decorate the cake and take the picture. So as I promised in my earlier post here is my christmas cake.

I used to make the traditional English christmas cake, but none of my family like them, they all say it is too heavy with so much fruits etc in it. So i had stopped making those cakes.
Last year I made this cake which I absloutley loved, still the rest of them family like it but they didn't like it so much as i did.
So this year I made this cake, from the Vanithat Magazine and the christmas day when I took to my in laws place and MIL sliced and everybody took a bite they all said togehter this is the best christmas cake I have ever made. So you all already know every year I am sure gonna make this cake.

My daughter who is not a fan of cakes with dried fruits in them, even ate two slices so that itself says how delicous they were.

Now to the recipe:
Dry fruits 450 gm ( I added raisins,prunes,apricot,crystalized ginger,cherries,walnuts,almonds) all cut in small pieces.
Rum 16tbsp
Mix the above ingridients and keep in a sterilized bottle for at least a week.
Butter 160 gm
Vanilla essence 1 tbsp
Sugar 240 gm ( I added 180 gm)
Eggs 160 gm
Flour 240 gm
Baking powder 1 tsp
Soda bicarbonate 1 tsp
Cardamom 1/4 tsp
Ginger powder 1/4 tsp
Cloves 1/4 tsp
Five spice powder 1 tsp
Caramel 40 gm
1 tbsp molases

Preaheat the oven to 150°c.
Grease and baseline a 20 cm springform tin fitted with a flat base.

Cream the butter , sugar, vanilla till they are fluffy. Add then eggs one by one and beat each time.
Now to this mix add the flour, baking powder, soda bi carbonnate, and all the spic powder and then carmal water and molases. Don't beat the mixture too much just fold in till everything is mixed well.
Now to this mixture add the rum soaked fruits and fold gently.
Bake for 1 hr and 30 minutes or till the cake is baked.

I keep the cake for atleast a week before i decorate with marzipan . The taste seems to get better if you keep them for maturing for at least a week..
Sending this to Cakes 'n cookies event which is hosted by Sara's Corner and also to Asankhana its Time to jingle again