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

Monday, 20 September 2010

Macaron With White Chocolate

As most of you know Shyama is going to College soon so, last wenesday She and I went wenesday to the University town, as from wenesday she could access the room she will be staying.
It is a good size room for one person, and they have a huge kitchen which she will have to share with few other kids.
S and I went to the locak supermarket there and stocked up few tinned things, water, cola, cookies , instant noodle pack, tinned soup, the list goes on and on......
But I know the first weeks she won't be cooking there is so much places for young students to eat that she told me she will be trying few of them and also they have a student restraunt were they can eat for reasonable price.
We took few thing and arranged there and she is really thrilled to start her college days.
Good thing is, she will be comming home every friday evening and going back on sunday late afternoon as most of the college kids do in Belgium.

Actually the reality only hit me after I came home that she is going to spread her wings and going to have a semi adult life. I was telling hubby I canot believe she is leaving home and our lifes won't be the same, atleast mine. As I stayed home to look after her and I am used that at certian time she is home from school and then hearing her chatter about what happend at school etc...... while she was having her juice and one of my bakes.
Then I console myself saying I should not complain or moan as she will be comming home every weekend, unlike my sister's son who will be only home after four month or like Asha's daughter Trish.
Saturday we went to put the rest of her things there, and while we three were busy there, in her room some of the senior kids who stays there came to say hello and they were really friendly etc.... that I feel much better knowing that she will have a good group of kids there.
Now to the recipe.
I hardly ever Join in a event as there is so much going around and I can never keep up with anyone, and unlike in the earlier days of my blogging I don't make things just for the event.
So I have to admit I didn't make this especially for the event, I had this Macaron which I months ago but forgot to post it.

So as Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen is hosting I thought it is a good opourtunity to post this Mac.

I use my fully trested Ottolenghi recipe with step by step pictures like all my other Macarons.

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

Whiz the almond flour and icing sugar in the coffee grinder and sift 2-3 timesWhisk 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.

And then filed them with whitle chocolate melted with a bit of cream.
But have to admit i like much more a butter cream filling as the chocolate got hard and I din't like it as much as the butter cream.

We are going to London so will see your delicous post when I come back next week.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake

Saturday I had asked Apolina of Bombay-Bruxelles and Marion of Crumbles et Cassonade for a day to my place. We have been wanting to do that for a while especially in the summer, but summer holidays has been busy so I asked them to my home and they accepted my invitation.
I knew we would have lots of fun, and Indeed we had.

It is always nice to meet other people who have the same passion of cooking and I think the whole time we were talking aobut food etc....
We had lunch in my place and then we went to the shopping street and to the beach, and ofcourse we also did a cooking shop which was really fun.
And ofcourse I have a another cooking book as they gave me this Indian cooking book and Apolina also gave this delicious home made Rgubarb pickle. You woudn't believe how delicous it is.

Marion before the Vodka Cocktail :-) and Tara Apolina's daughter playing with lego as we crazy women were busy in the shop :-)

Having lunch at my place and then having loads of fun in the cooking shop

Now to the recipe, I saw this recipe in the foodnetwork website.
Here they show her programme and I love to watch her cooking.
Recipe from Barefoot Contessa cooking show here

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
One Cup of blueberries ( it wasnot in the recipe i just added)
For the glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans. You may also line the bottom with parchment paper, if desired.
Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan; spoon the lemon syrup over them. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Prawns in Coconut Milk Curry

Remember I told you in one of my earlier post that I celebrated Onam for the first time here in so many years, well and if your remeber I did say it was not a fully traditional one.
And one of the dishes I made for my guest was this Delicous Creamy Keral style Prawn curry.
I have never seen a couple of people snatching the bowl of a dish so fast.
And everybody went for second and third helping. It is always enjoyable to see your guest enjoying the food youhave prepared.

I made this from one of my favourite Kerala blog Kothiyavunu. And as the name say if you go to her place indeed you will be drooling on each recipe.
I just made the name short. The original name is Chemmen Thenga pal Curry/Prawns Coconut Milk Curry Kerala/Thrissur Style.

For marinating prawns
Prawns .1/2kg
Garlic paste .1/2tspGinger paste
1/2tsp Coriander powder
1tsp Red Chilly powder
1tspTurmeric powder
1/2tspBlack Pepper Powder ( i would do freshly ground )
1 tspGaram masala
1/2tspSalt or to taste.

For the gravy
Onion 2 medium sliced
Tomato 1 medium Cut fine
Garlic paste 1tsp
Ginger paste 1tsp
Coriander powder 1tsp
Red Chilly powder 1tsp ( I used Kashmiri chilli powder)
Turmeric powder 1/2tsp
Garam masala 1/2 tsp

400 ml tinned coconut milk
Green chillies 2 split or according to your taste
Curry leaves 2 sprigs
Kudampuli 1piece ( it is a typicall S.Indian fruit which is dried and this give a tangy taste to thewhole dish)
Mustard seeds 1/2tsp
Fenugreek seeds 1/4ts
Coconut oil :2 tbsp

Marinate the prawn with the above ingredients and keep it in the fridge for an hour.
Heat coconut oil in a pan,when its hot,add mustard seeds,fenugreek seeds.When it starts splutters.
Add the sliced onions till the onions become soft but not dark.
Then add the green chillies and curry leaves and stir for few minutes.
Now add ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder,corainder powder, gram masala powder,pepper powders and stir till the aroma comes out.
Now addthe chopped tomato pieces along with little salt and staute well till the tomatoes are cooked.
AsI used tinned milk I took few tsp of coconu milk diluted with few tbsp of water and then added to thepan.
Then add the rest of the coconut milk and then add the prawn and cook for 4 or 5 minutes.
Serve with rice.
Don't over cook the prawns, I just cooked them for 5 minutes.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Raspberry Cupcakes

Here kids go for summer job for a month from when they are 16 years.
And when Shyama turned 16 she coudn't go as we went to India for holiday, and she was always complaning that her friends are doing summer job and she coudn't.

So from last year she has been doing summer job in a private owned shop and there are 4 women who works there and they all are really nice to her and they like her a lot.

And this August she also have been working in the same shop and some morning she ask me Mama will you make a cake for me to take for coffee ( the shop is just 5 minutes walk from our home and she comes for lunch) and on a short notice the one thing I always makes are cupcakes as they are easy and fast to make.
And the ladies there just love cupcakes of course S loves it too.So this is one of the cupcakes I made for her to take for afternoon coffee.
A tip I got from my sister, for getting the butter cream shiny add 1 tsp corn syrup)

Took a picture with Shyama's new instrument Viola d'amora (Love violin)

Raspberry cupcake : (Cupcakes by Janet Smith)
18 regulare size cakes

1/2 cup (4 oz/126 g) very soft butter
1/2 cup (4 oz / 126 g) vanilla sugar or normal fine sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp milk
1 cup (4oz / 126 g) self raising flour
1 level tsp of baking powder
hand ful of fresh rasberries plus extra to decorate

For the Vanilla butter cream
3/4 cup ( 7oz / 200 g) soft butter
2 1/2 cups ( 14 oz /400g) icing sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tso corn syrup (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350° F ( 180° c/ Gas 4 ) and put 18 regular paper case into the muffin tins.
Put the butter in a bowl and beat to make sure it is really soft.
Add the sugar, eggs milk, the flour and the baking powder and continue to beat vigourously until the mixture is well mixed and cream.
Fold in the rasberries.
Divide the mixture among the paper cases and bake for 15 to 18 minutes untill nicely risen and golden brown.
Remove the cakes from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.

To ├╣ake the butter cream , put butter in a bowl beat until really soft.
Add the icing sugar and enough milk to make light and fluffy butter cream.
Add vanilla extract .
Swril or pipe onto the cooles cakes and decorate with teh raspeberries.