February 22, 2007


Eversince I saw Asha's post about scones,I was wondering if there was a way I could make savoury scones.Our local store named Somerfield brings out a great magazine every month with lots of recipes and meal ideas,though I cannot use them all as most are based on non-vegetarian ingredients.But I found a great recipe for a savoury scone,the recipe of which I had pinned into my file of recipes.I tried them out recently and they came out great.So without much ado,here is the recipe:

Ingredients:175 gms Self rising flour

1.5 tsp Baking powder

1 tsp chilli powder(not in the original recipe:just my addition)

50 gms butter

60 ml milk

1 egg(I omitted the egg, added a little more milk)

50 gms Grated mature cheddar cheese

50 gms Finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes

Method:Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas mark 6.

The butter should not be too soft.Cube the butter into small pieces and rub into the flour until you get the consistency of fine bread crumbs.

Add the milk to the flour(if you use egg,beat it with the milk before adding to flour) along with the grated cheese and the chopped sun dried tomatoes.Mix well until you have a smooth dough.

Roll into a round about 3 cm thick(I rolled it out thinner and it came out fine).

Cut into scones using a round cutter ,or if you donot have a cutter,use a knife to make either squares or triangles.

Place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake for about 15 mins until well risen and golden brown.

Serve warm.I served these sliced,and warm with some tomato sauce on top.This is yummy,for a quick breakfast or a snack.

My Notes:The original recipe yield is 6 scones but with the thickness recommended,I would have got about 3-4 3 inch scones.

I rolled out the dough a little thinner and the scones were great!I also omitted the egg and used a little more milk,about 2 tbsp more.

This is very yummy served warm and freshly made.But I stored them in air tight boxes and these were great reheated in the microwave for a few seconds.

You could serve these with any sauce of your choice.Enjoy!

This is my entry to Coffee's MBP event.I just hope she is going to excuse my lateness!

February 17, 2007


Tiramisu literally means,"Pick me up" in Italian.It is traditionally made using Marsala,or any other wine.Sometimes coffee liqueur is added to it to bring out the coffee flavour.There are thousands of recipes for Tiramisu.Originally,it is made using whipped raw egg whites.There are versions where Kahlua or Tia Maria are also used to flavour it.You can read more about Tiramisu HERE.

When I was newly married,living in New Jersey(USA),we used to have weekly potlucks-just the ladies and kids.So one day we decided to have a grand potluck party for the husbands as well.I tasted Tiramisu for the first time when one of my friends' husband had made it specially for the partySince then,I have always wanted to make it.The creaminess of the custard and the whipped cream along with the coffee-soaked sponge fingers is absolutely delicious.

So started my search for the recipe.And I found loads of them.There was only one major hurdle-the wine.One time I bought Tiramisu at one of the stores here, and it had Marsala wine in it.I then found out that I did not like the taste of wine at all.I started thinking what to do.The next ingredient that was hard to find was mascarpone cheese.So with a little help from HERE
I put together some mascarpone cheese.

A little inspiration from HERE,the use of templates to dust the cocoa powder helped me to create a gorgeous looking dessert at home.Thanks,Archana!
Ok Ok,I'll stop the blabbering now and take you to the recipe straightaway:

Ingredients:20 Savoiardi fingers/sponge fingers

1 tbsp Instant coffee dissolved in 1 cup hot water

568 ml whipping cream or, double cream(UK)/heavy whipping cream(US)

For the Custard:1 cup milk

2 teaspoons custard powder/cornflour(UK)/cornstarch(US)

3/4 cup sugar

For the Mascarpone cheese:

450 gms of mascarpone cheese


350 Gms Medium fat cream cheese

1 tbsp unsalted Butter

1/4 cup double cream(UK)/heavy whipping cream(US)

For assembling:Either one 9 inch springform pan or small individual bowls.

Method:First,make the custard.Now normally this recipe uses a zabaglione,which is a custard made by adding beaten egg yolks to milk and then stirring it over a double boiler until it thickens.I don' normally make egg custards,so I took a shortcut here.I used normal custard powder.If you donot find custard powder(although with so many Indian all over the world now,I doubt it)you could use cornstarch to thicken your milk.If you are using cornstarch,add 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence to flavour the custard.

Cool it a little(say,2-3 mins,not more) and then lay a piece of baking parchment on top of the custard and put it in the fridge until cool.Please donot use wax paper.You could also use cling film/plastic wrap although I don't recommend it cos I donot think plastics coming in touch with hot food make it safe enough for consumption.This is to prevent a layer forming over the custard.

Now,for the mascarpone cheese:If you can find mascarpone cheese,well and good.Otherwise,this version works very well.It was really close to it.Let the butter and cream cheese come to room temperature.Beat well to combine both, then add in the heavy/double cream.Mix until incorporated.Donot whip.

Once the custard is cool,take it out of the fridge and add the mascarpone cheese into it and mix well.

Mix the instant coffee granules into hot water and let cool.

Whip the cream until soft peaks form and keep in a cool place(Do this last so that you can use it as quickly as possible without melting it.

The Assembly:You could use the whole sponge fingers as they are,just dip them very quickly into the coffee and lay in the bottom and sides of the pan.I made individual ones,so I sliced the fingers into two and then again cut them into half to fit my serving bowls.These fingers become soggy very quickly so if you find that your cookies are absorbing too much liquid by the dunking method,use a pastry brush to coat them with the coffee.I sliced my sponge fingers and they were thinner so I brushed my sponge fingers with the coffee.

Now,layer 2 tbsp of the mascarpone cheese-custard mix onto the first layer of the cookies(for individual servings or half of the custard for a 9 inch pan.Top with some whipped cream(a thin layer will do:In fact,most recipes do not have the whipped cream in the first layer).Now,prepare another layer of the cookies by dunking in/brushing with coffee.Lay them on the whipped cream evenly.Once again,layer the remaining mascarpone cheese-custard mix over the cookies and then again top with the whipped cream.

Put some cocoa powder into a small tea strainer and use it to dust the top of the tiramisu.Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

You could sprinkle grated chocolate instead of the cocoa powder too.

My Notes:I made it the very first time for V Day and it turned out very good indeed.

I have only made it in individual servings and it yielded me 9 very generous servings.If you like smaller portions,make it in one big pan so that you can take out smaller portions.Although once you start eating it,you will not stop until it is all finished.

It took me close to 2 hours to prepare the whole thing:right from the custard,the mascarpone cheese to the assembly.

You could even make the custard one day and assemble the whole thing the next day.

I used medium fat cream cheese and part skimmed milk as that is what I had at home.Full fat cream cheese and whole milk would be great.

Tired of reading the whole thing?But you will be in 7th heaven after those 6 hours.I assure you.So go ahead,give it a try.Pamper yourself a little.After all,you can afford a nice treat once in a while,can't you?

Added on 18th Feb:This may look very difficult to make but once you get all your ingredients ready,then it is really easy to do it.I wanted to bring some beauty to the way it looks,which is why I piped my whipped cream.You could just spread it plainly with a knife or spatula.Making the custard using custard powder really makes the job easier.I would love to hear how it turned out for you!

February 14, 2007

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!Some tears,some Tiramisu and some chocolate mousse,And- loads of kisses for my little one!

Happy Valentines day To you all,dear friends.I hope you all had a nice and memorable time with
your valentine.

I was making plans to celebrate this special day when yesterday, my little one fell and had a head injury.She required some stitches and I was in no mood to go ahead with the celebrations.The way she cried and the injury she got,put me off of everything else.Fortunately for me and her,she slept well last night and played as usual today.

Looking at her bubbly and cheerful self made me think that she deserves a special treat for the sweet one she has been.She amazed me yesterday by not crying even once when the doctor was putting the sutures on her scalp.She proved the doctor wrong!That's my brave little girl!

So to make her feel special and loved even more,I made a special dessert for her which she loves-Chocolate mousse with grated chocolate on top.

And for my Valentine,my dearest Hubby V,I made Tiramisu.

I also decided to send this as my entry to Trupti's Little Chefs in the Kitchen series.Here is my little one helping me mix the cheese for the Tiramisu:
I will be updating my blog with the recipe for Tiramisu very soon but for now,enjoy the photos!

This is also my entry to Pooja's Valentines special.

February 12, 2007


I first blogged about murukku when I started this blog. But the recipe that I used that day was a little different .Try as I might,I did not get the perfect spiral shapes out of the dough-the dough kept breaking off.So I delved into my faithful friend-my recipe diary and fished out this recipe.Here it is:

Ingredients:1 cup/200 gms Urad dal

3 cups/400 gms Raw rice

2 tbsp butter

2 tsp Jeera/Cumin seeds

1 tbsp Sesame seeds

2 tsp salt

2 tbsp chilli powder

500 ml of vegetable/canola oil to deepfry the murukkus.

Method:Soak the raw rice in water for 2 hours.Drain the water and grind to a smooth batter to the consistency of dosa dough.

Meanwhile,dry-roast the urad dal in a skillet until the dal emits a nice aroma and turns a nice light brown.

Cool until lukewarm and then grind to a fine powder using your mixer.

Now Heat the oil in a deep and wide skillet/kadhai.

While the oil is heating,add the finely ground urad powder to the rice paste,and then add the other ingredients from butter to chilli powder.Make a soft and pliable dough ,using water only if needed.The dought should form a nice ball without cracking.Keep it covered with a wet papertowel as the dough has the tendency to dry out.Whenever you feel it dries out,add a few drops(only drops,no more) and knead well with your hand.

Now break off a lime sized ball of dough and place into the murukku maker.Press our murukkus onto pieces of parchment/wax paper.I cut 4 inch by 4 inch squares of baking parchment and pressed my murukkus onto them.Carefully transfer them into hot oil. This is the murukku maker I used.

Test the oil before putting your murukkus in:Put a small piece of dough into the oil and see how it reacts.If it sizzles and comes up immediately,oil is ready.But if the dough browns too quickly,reduce the heat.Medium heat is best for making crisp,light murukkus.

Depending upon how wide your pan is,you can add upto 5 or 6 murukkus.I pressed out murukkus of 3 inch diameter.Fry till they turn golden brown.Drain on paper towels and store in air-tight tins.

My Notes:I used Sona Masoori rice.I have made these with Basmati rice in the past and they came out a little softer.I also find that with new rice,the murukkus are not so crispy,they turn softer after cooling down.

The butter is essential as it make the murukkus light and they melt in your mouth.

You could adjust the chilli powder according to how hot you would like it.I generally use less chili because my daughter won't eat anything with chillies in it!

February 08, 2007

My New Cake Decorating Project

After my daughter's birthday party,quite a few of my friends wanted to learn how to make the cake that I had baked for my daughter.So today I was busy with that and I taught my friends how to make the cake.My friend Ruchi wanted me to decorate the cake as well,so that is what I did this evening.here is the cake I decorated today:I was not entirely satisfied though,because the writing got a little irregular.But I am learning...

The only difference is that for both my daughter's birthday cake as well as this cake ,I used margarine instead of butter.This cake was baked in a 9 inch square pan and I increased the proportions too.This is quite an easy and versatile recipe which can be adapted to any flavour.Here are the proportions I used today:

25o gms of self rising flour

250 gms of margarine

250 gms of sugar

5 eggs

1/2 tbsp vanilla essence/extract.

The original recipe for the cake ,mixing method and the temperature for baking the cake can be found HERE.

February 05, 2007


Hello dear friends,

I am back!We had a grand party yesterday.It was a lunch party.Ananya loved the cake and was very very eager to open her gifts as well.She has got beautiful gifts from all of her friends here.The party went well and everyone enjoyed the food.

I had prepared Coconut rice ,Navratan Korma,Sambar,Bobbatlu(Puran poli),Curry puffs and DahiVada.My friend Mahua made my work easier by taking on the task of making PalakPaneer(and might I add,she makes the best palak paneer I have ever tasted).There were a total of 25 guests and 9 kids.

All of my friends pitched in to help me while I was making the preparations for the party.Some helped in decorating the room while others helped me while I was preparing the vadas for the Dahi Vada.One of my friends helped me make the coconut rice,so all in all,it was a great time we had together.

I am thankful to all of my friends who helped me.Here are some pictures of the food:

Cupcakes for the kids:
The Party Platter:

Clockwise in the bigger plate:Coconut rice,Curry puffs,Navratan Korma and Palak Paneer.

Clockwise in the smaller bowls:Sambar,Puran Poli,Cake,Dahi Vadas.

The Birthday Cake was a Strawberry,Vanilla and Chocolate layer cake sandwiched with a thin layer of buttercream and iced with buttercream flavoured with a strawberry extract and a few drops of red food colouring to give it a nice pink.I could not take a better picture of the cake,as you all know how it is with a nervous birthday girl surrounded by her friends all eager to get the cake cutting underway and having the cake.I am hoping some of my friends might have a better picture of the cake so as soon as I get a nicer picture,I shall post it here.And of course,there was the ubiquitous Coke and the Fanta.

I made the cupcakes for the kids as most were about 2 or 3 yrs of age.I tried a little experiment by making three layer cupcakes, and thankfully,they came out well.One of my friends told me that even though they are for kids,they were great.I guess,all Mums might have had a taste of the cupcakes too.You all know,that kids are interested in cake so long as there is cream, and the leftover is always for Mom to finish off!

I am glad that the party was a success and we all had a good time together.I was very very tired at the end of the day,but the best thing was that my friend Deepa brought us some freshly made hot coffee in the evening when all the guests had departed.It freshened us up a bit but most importantly,made me realise that life is no good without the affection of loved ones.I will remember this party to the end of my life because not only did I cook for 25 people,but also without all the help from my friends,I would never have been able to do it.Through out the week when I was busy shopping for the party(the veggies,disposables,gifts for kids)I would leave my daughter with my friends and they took care of her for me for a few hours every day.Even on the day of the party,I left my daughter at my friend Deepa's place until I had finished some preliminary work.I cannot tell you how blessed I feel I am to have such good hearted friends.And I am glad to have you all too,to read your wishes and comments for Ananya and appreciation for me makes me feel so proud.Your comments on the heart shaped cake I made for Ananya boosted my confidence a lot and this time,even though I made 3 layers and larger amounts of the cake,it was literally a breeze.Thank you All of You,for being with me all the time!God Bless you all and keep you happy.