July 26, 2007


Scones are a favourite breakfast treat in England and Scotland.The First scone recipe I made was a savoury one.Then recently I found another recipe for scones which are made on a griddle or tava.I was so happy that I did not have to preheat my oven.Most important,these can be whipped up in a very short time.

Ingredients:225 gms plain flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cream of tartar

25 gms margarine/butter

25 gms white granulated or caster sugar

150 ml milk

Method:Heat a griddle/tava on medium heat, and smear some butter/fat over it to keep the scones from sticking to the griddle.

Now,mix the flour,baking soda,and sugar well.Add the margarine/butter and rub with your fingers till it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Add the milk and mix with a fork to a soft consistency where it holds together.

Flour your counter or a chapathi rolling board.With floured hands,divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.Take each piece and knead lightly on the board and flatten it to about 1 cm thick,about 3-3.5 inches in diameter.Place on hot griddle.Cook on medium heat until each side is golden and the scone is puffed up.Don't cook on high heat or the scones will collapse upon removing from heat, and the insides may still be raw.Best eaten fresh but can be stored and reheated for the next day as a snack or even breakfast.

My Notes:These tasted exceptionally good warm,freshly made, with some butter.I used soya milk in place of milk since I am lactose intolerant.They still turned out good.If you donot have cream of tartar,don't panic.

Instead of the plain flour and cream of tartar,you can also use self raising flour with 2 tsp baking powder.I have made these using both ways and they turned out good either way.

And now,what holiday,you ask?Well,the last three months have been more than agonising for me since we were not able to plan our yearly vacation to India.Well finally the gods decided to smile upon us, and we travel this saturday to India!So,it is a short goodbye from me to all of you, and see you again in September.I donot know if I will have much access to internet at all once I leave Hyderabad,so I can't promise that I will be around much.I will try though, and hopefully,come back rejuvenated with lots more recipes to share with you all.I will also be able to try out many of my favourite recipes from you all after I come back as I am planning to get some much needed kitchen stuff this time.Wish me luck,friends.See you soon then.These scones are all that I have had as breakfast all of this week since I started packing and cleaning before leaving for India.That is how fast you can make these-it takes literally 20 mins from start to finish!

July 20, 2007


As I write this post,I am biting into a yummy nankhatai that I made yesterday.Years ago,when we were young kids(5-6 yrs old),my mother used to have a round oven with a glass top manufactured by Paramount and which came with a recipe book.The first thing that she made was Nankhatai.And I can never forget its melt in the mouth texture and taste.The taste of that nankhatai still lingers in my mind and recently it started enticing me even in my dreams!so much so I had to make the nankhatai instead of just dreaming about Mummy's nankhatai.But I did not have that particular recipe which used butter instead of ghee.So I had to search for an authentic recipe.Vaishali's recipe came to my rescue.I made a few modifications though,so here is the recipe:

Ingredients:1 cup all purpose flour

1 & 1/4cup wholewheat flour(chapathi atta in plain terms)

1 &1/2 tsp baking powder

12 tbsp ghee

1 cup sugar

Seeds from 12 pods of green cardamoms

Method:Grind the sugar along with the cardamom seeds in a food processor until very fine.

Mix the two flours,ground sugar and cardamoms and the baking powder.Mix well with a fork or a whisk so that the baking powder is distributed evenly.

Now add 5-6 tbsp of solidified ghee to the flour mix, and mix with your hand to form a mixture with the texture of fine breadcrumbs.

From this point on,add ghee by the tablespoon,judging how much would be needed to make a pliable soft dough that holds together.The dough should hold its shape and not look dry.

At this point,what I did is to shape small balls out of this,about 1 inch in diameter and arranged them on lined baking sheets,spaced atleast 2 inches apart.I also flattened them a little.Then while the oven was getting heated,I put them in the fridge for about 15 mins.I baked them directly from the fridge.By this time,they were cool enough to hold their shape well in the heat of the oven and yet puff up like buttons.

I baked them at 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4 for 20 mins until they were lightly browned at the edges.

My Notes:These tasted so yummy ,that by now I have gobbled up atleast 15 of these little beauties in a matter of two days!

Now for the Meme that Sunita tagged me for:

  • Mathematics as for so many if us, is not my best subjects.I was never good at it and infact,was quite ashamed of the fact as long as I was in school.Only when I was in class Tenth,I was lucky enough to get a very good teacher who gave me the confidence to try my hand at maths.But I never ventured into that after my High school finals.I chose to do what I was good at-Literature.
  • I was afraid of the dark until I was almost 17 yrs old.As a child I had a bad attack of measles and psychologically as well a physically took very very long to recover from it.I used to feel that there is a huge lion which is going to pounce upon me from behind whenever I went into the dark.A lot of self discipline finally helped me overcome it,but it wasn't until recently that I read that severe illness can cause these fears and phobias too.

  • I used aspire to be a writer some day.I remember there used to be broadcast a teleserial by famous Marathi actor and director Amol Palekar which had 3 sisters as the main characters.I used to identify myself a lot with the second of the three as I am also the second of three girls, and like that girl in the serial,loved reading.I used to dream that I would have a big library of books which I would read all my life.

  • I was not mentally prepared to marry until I was 25.I had always wanted to study and get a good job.I also wanted to stay back and look after my parents.But right then,my dear hubby stepped into my life and boy,has my life changed since December 2000!

  • I never had much confidence to do all those co-curricular activities when in school.My sisters were both quite good but for some reason,I preferred to hide my face behind books.

  • I used to hate regular study as a school girl(I know,not a good example at all for my little one, and wouldn't want to tell her until she finishes her education hee hee).So I would borrow lots of story books from our school library and hide them in my history and geography as well as science books.And read them slyly.

  • I am very independent by nature and do not like anybody telling me how to do things .I prefer to learn to do things on my own.I think that is the best way to learn.I learnt reading like that, and cooking too.I started baking on my own when I was in class ninth, about 13 yrs old.My parents also somehow treat me a little different from my sisters.The one thing I am proud of is that everyone in my family thinks that I am much stronger(mentally and emotionally) than anyone else.I have always been bugged by the fact that I was never good at maths and never got a good teacher to teach me the right way.But then,we all have our regrets and God gives us other powers to compensate for what we do not have.I believe I have proved myself amply by determining to learn things that I always wanted to do-cooking gourmet dishes, and most important,cake decoration.I cannot remember for how long I have had the desire to do an exquisitely iced cake.I have not reached that point yet but I am sure I will do it.And all this without any formal classes.I finally feel proud that even though I could not do better at maths,God has given me the ability to learn things on my own.
PS:sorry if I got too elaborate..:)

July 13, 2007


As promised,here is the recipe for the checkerboard cake:

Ingredients:3 oz/85 gms baking chocolate

4 cups/508 gms cake flour

2 cups/400 gms sugar

1 tsp salt

1 &1/3 cup/316 ml milk

1 cup/225 gms butter

1 tbsp Vanilla extract

4 eggs

2 tbsp baking powder

Method:Melt chocolate over hot water and keep aside to cool.

Combine together flour,sugar,baking powder,and salt.Stir with a fork or a whisk until well mixed.

Add the butter and 1 cup milk.Beat until well mixed.You can do this either by hand or a hand mixer.

In a separate bowl,whisk together the eggs,vanilla and the remaining 1/3 cup of milk.Add to the flour-butter mix in 3 parts.Beat well after each addition until the mixture looks homogenous.Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition.

Divide the batter into half and add the melted chocolate to one half,Mix thoroughly.

Grease and flour three 9 inch round pans.Line the bases if you like.

Now,Place the divider in one pan, and pour the chocolate mixture in the outermost and innermost rings.Pour some white mixture into the middle ring.Remove the divider carefully and place it in another pan.Repeat the above step.

Take out the divider carefully and wash it.Dry it well and place it in the third pan.In this one,pour the white batter in the outermost and inner most rings and the chocolate mixture in the middle one.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 mins.Let cool in pans for five minutes and then take out onto wire rack to cool the cakes completely.

Assembling the cake:

Use a thin layer of chocolate buttercream to join the layers together,with the white-chocolate-white cake in the middle and the chocolate-white-chocolate cakes forming the upper and lower layers.

Ice with the buttercream and decorate as wished.

The Chocolate butter icing

85 gms Baking chocolate

6 tbsp/90 ml Milk

3 cups/380 gms sifted icing/confectioners sugar

6 tbsp/90 gms Butter

1 tbsp Vanilla extract

Method:Melt the chocolate on low heat.

Heat milk to boiling and immediately remove from heat.Add confectioners sugar and beat thoroughly.

Add melted chocolate and mix well .Cool to lukewarm.

Beat butter in another bowl until creamy.Add a pinch of salt,vanilla and the cooled chocolate mixture.Beat vigorously until smooth and creamy.Spread immediately.

I use The Perfect Buttercream recipe from Baking911 and it is literally,perfect except that I use only a small quantity of shortening and a major portion of butter.Sometimes I use all butter.

My Notes:I always use margarine for my cakes, and this one is no exception.you can use it too,if you are concerned about your intake of too much saturated fat.

July 03, 2007


Life has become so busy all of a sudden,instead of finding myself time to blog and read more blogs about food,read books and spend my time in a leisurely manner,I am now running out to finish my chores both at home and outside before the kid comes home from the nursery.Coupled with all that,the weather here has been very rainy here and pretty dampening.And so the days passed by until a little bird reminded me that it is hubby's birthday soon.And with that began one more errand of frantic shopping amid plans of what to make!

Finally I decided to make a cake and a very simple dinner.Then comes the kid into the kitchen and says,"Mom,its my birthday today.Can you make me a cake (pronounced "kaik",dutifully in UK accent,learnt at the nursery)please?"So I decided,OK,just a small cake.

Here are the pictures of the cake I made.This first one, a heart shaped one is for Little A,who wanted to cut a cake along with her dad.Her friend Neel helped her cut the cake.

This is a plain chocolate cake,made in two layers and sandwiched with chocolate buttercream.The stars have been piped using whipped heavy cream.They held up their shape beautifully.

This one is the cake I made for dear V.I really am blessed to have him by my side in this life.Apart from being so good to me in general and never complaining,
not once has he grudged when I wanted to buy the numerous cake pans--fancy,plain
et all, the icing sets,the weighing scales and the measuring cups and spoons (which ,however many I have,I am not satisfied)!Now that surely makes me a foodie if not anything else.OK,so back to the main person in this post(
V somehow always admires all the fancy things I do,like decorating cakes, and baking marble cakes and the like.Which is why he was very happy when I made him this:

This cake was made in a checkerboard cake pan set in 3 layers and frosted with chocolate buttercream.My first attempt at dipping the strawberries in white chocolate was not that bad afterall.

The recipe is a very simple one, and can be found online too.I used the recipe that came along with my checkerboard cake pan set.For the heart shaped cake,I used only half the recipe with the chocolate and baked it in two 7 inch heart shaped pans.