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Monday, 24 December 2012

"Xmas Plum Cake"

I am keeping my promise to share the recipe of Rich Plum cake to celebrate this Christmas. Its Christmas eve and its time to open some sparkling wine or champagne with rich plum cake slices.
I hope you all had soaked dryfruits in Rum as per my previous pre cake update and ready with your ingredients now.
So lets not waste more time and get started with the cake preparation. I made these today and trust me they look so delicious that I cant wait to dig in post midnight ;)
Hope you like the recipe and prepare this for Christmas tomorrow and enjoy with your friends and family.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas . Have a beautiful Christmas :)

" Xmas Plum Cake"


Pre soaked dry fruits and spices ( please follow my previous recipe on the same)
2 cups flour
2 cups powdered sugar
200 gms butter
2 tsp baking powder
6 eggs
2 tbsp vanilla essence
salt a pinch
2 tbsp orange juice
Few tablespoons of Brandy or Rum

  •  Preheat the oven at 177*C for ten minutes before baking
  • Sift the flour,salt and baking powder together. Mix the soaked dry fruits in the flour nicely
  • Beat butter and powdered sugar together till light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and keep whisking till the batter is mixed properly and smooth
  • Add vanilla essence and orange juice to the batter and mix properly
  • Add the liquid batter to the flour mixture slowly and mix well to avoid any lumps.
  • Add a tsp of brandy and mix well.
  • Pour the batter in greased or lined cake mould and bake for 45 minutes. ( I could make two cakes with this batter so try distributing it in two small cake moulds)
  • Check with a knife or toothpick if it comes out clean. Remove cake from oven. Immediately sprinkle two tbsp of brandy or rum to enhance the flavour and increase the lifespan of the cake.
  • Slice and serve. Store the remaining cake in an airtight container. Keep in refrigerator if storing for a little longer

Note : You can skip adding more brandy or rum if you dont want additional liqour in the cake. You can also more mixed spices powder in the batter to enhance the flavour.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

"Dates & Figs Cake - Eggless"

Christmas day is coming nearer and nearer and so is the excitement to celebrate :)
I am sure you all are busy preparing cakes and muffins for the big day so I thought of sharing a quick and delicious recipe of Dates & Fig cake. This cake is dense, rich and eggless which makes it perfect to enjoy on   a Christmas day. Another good thing about this cake is that you can enjoy its warmth in this chilly weather as dates and figs are perfect fruits for the winter season.
Enjoy the recipe and keep sending your posts and feedback :)

"Dates & Figs Cake - Eggless"

Ingredients :

1 cup chopped dates ( seedless)
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
1 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tin condensed milk 
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda bi carb
1/2 cup oil
Few cashewnuts for garnishing

  • Preheat the oven at 150*C for ten minutes before baking 
  • Chop the dates and figs finely and put in a deep pan. Add 6 tbsp of water and heat gently together on low flame for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add soda bi carb. Mix well and keep aside for 15-20 minutes
  • Sift flour and baking powder together in a mixing bowl.Mix dates mix with the flour. 
  • Beat oil and condensed milk together till smooth and add vanilla essence. Mix well.
  • Pour this liquid to the flour mixture and mix well till the batter becomes smooth and of dropping consistency.
  • Grease a small cake or loaf tin and put butter paper to prevent cake from sticking. 
  • Pour the batter in the tin and garnish with cashew pieces.Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Check with a knife before removing the cake if its done or not.
  • Slice the cake and serve warm with coffee or tea.
Note : You can frost this cake with whipped cream before serving. Store this cake in an airtight container for longer shelf life. This cake will be little dense and heavy so you need to grease the tin well or use butter paper before baking. Decorate the cake with cashew or walnuts for additional flavour/taste.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

"Sponge Fingers with Strawberry Coulis"

Its the season for Strawberries. I love the rich red colour and the aroma of this beautiful fruit. Eat it like that or convert it into jams, sauces, pulps or icecream. You can enjoy this luscious red fruit in any and many ways.
Christmas season is about guests and family gatherings and celebrations. The whole idea of celebration revolves around good food and wine :) Listening to carols and chitchatting with your friends and family,you will not get enough time to prepare massive desserts. So I am sharing a quickfix dessert for you which you can serve for coffee or after dinner. Prepare the sponge cake and sauce in advance and store it in an airtight container and you can prepare this dessert in a jiffy without putting in much effort ;)
Hope you enjoy this simple and delicious recipe. Happy Baking !!!!!

" Sponge fingers with Strawberry coulis"

Ingredients :

For Sponge cake please follow my Eggless Tea Cake or Britannia Fruit Cake recipe. You can also use a readymade vanilla sponge for this dessert

For Coulis :

250 gms fresh strawberries
80-100 gms castor sugar ( as per your sweet tooth)
1 tbsp of lemon juice
some fresh strawberries to decorate
Icing sugar for dusting

  • Rinse the strawberries and remove the leaves from berries.
  • Put the berries and sugar in a pan and put on low heat. Simmer softly for around ten minutes or till the fruit has become soft. Let it cool.
  • Once its cooled down blend it together. Seive the syrup to get a smooth sauce.
  • Add lemon juice and mix well.
  • Chill the coulis before serving
  • To serve, cut slices of the cake and arrange on a plate. Drop some spoonfuls of coulis all around and over the slices. Decorate with freshly cut strawberries and dust it with some icing sugar. Serve chilled
Note : You can store this coulis for upto a week in an airtight container in the fridge. Just like strawberries you can make this sauce with Raspberries, Blueberries,etc for different taste and colours. 
If you want to experiment more then try using chocolate cake slices with the coulis and enjoy the sinful taste:)
Also, you can decorate the dessert with other freshly cut fruits like bananas or oranges. I also like to pour a littlt hot chocolate sauce on the plate to add more dimension to this dessert. There are way too many options to add to this simple cake and coulis and make it extraordinary so keep trying new versions and do share them with us. 

Thursday, 6 December 2012

"Pre Christmas Plum Cake Preparation"

Traditional Christmas Plum cake calls for a month long soaking of dry fruits and spices in Rum or Brandy. So keeping this lovely and delicious tradition in mind, I have done my Plum cake preparations and I am already looking forward to a rich,yummy and delicious Xmas cake.
Have you all started the Christmas preparations yet ???
Get ready for Christmas and soak some nuts tonight :)

I will share the Christmas plum cake recipe before the festival. Till then Happy Baking !!!!! 

"Pre Christmas Plum Cake Preparation"

Ingredients :

1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1/2 cup tutti frutti
1/2 cup candied cherries
1/2 cup black currants
1 tbsp powdered cinnamon
few orange and lemon peel
1 cup Rum or Brandy


Mix all the dry fruits and spices and soak in Rum/Brandy in an airtight container and keep in the fridge till Christmas. 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

" Banana & Carrot Muffins - Eggless "

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Let your heart be light,
From now on our troubles
Will be out of sight.

Christmas is coming nearer and the excitement to celebrate the festival has already begun. Rum cakes preparation is going on, carols are playing and everyone is looking forward to the party season. So what are we waiting for??? Lets start the month with some yummy sweet treats and enjoy with our family and friends.
Today I am sharing a simple yet yummm Banana & Carrot Muffin recipe. Its eggless and has the goodness of whole wheat ( pssst less calories ;) ) ..
Will post more yummy Xmas recipes this month and I hope you all will like them. Enjoy the season and have a beautiful December. Keep Baking :)))))

" Banana & Carrot Muffins - Eggless"

Ingredients :

3/4th cup whole wheat flour
3/4th cup self raising flour
1and 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp soda bi carb
1 cup grated carrots
2 tbsp raisins
1/2 cup butter - softened
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup powdered sugar
2 ripe bananas - mashed or blended in a mixer
1/3 cup milk ( approx)

Preparation :
  • Seive both the flours in a bowl with baking powder and soda bi carb.
  • Add carrots and raisins and mix well. 
  • Beat butter, vanilla essence and sugar till light and fluffy.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture slowly and mix well. You will get a thick lumpy batter
  • Add banana puree to the mixture and mix. Add little milk and mix well. You need to add as much milk that will give you a smooth cake batter. 
  • Preheat the oven at 160*C for ten minutes before baking
  • Line muffin moulds or cupcake moulds with butter paper. Add the muffin batter to each mould till 3/4 full. Bake at 160*C for 30 minutes till golden and cooked. 
  • Garnish with grated carrot and serve warm
Note : You can frost these muffins with fresh cream or butter icing and then decorate with grated carrots and serve. The texture will be little soft and dense as we have used whole wheat in the recipe. 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

" Creamy White & Saffron Ladoos/ Rounds"

How was your Diwali people ... Mine was superb and really enjoyed all the festivities. But, as the week long festival is still not over, I thought of sharing another quick, simple and light sweet recipe today. If you need to treat your brothers tomorrow with something light and tasty, then you should make this one and enjoy it :)
This recipe is of Creamy White and Saffron Ladoos / Rounds or Pedas. 
Enjoy the rest of the festival with some delicious sweets !!!

" Creamy White & Saffron Ladoos/ Rounds"

Ingredients :

1/2 cup condensed milk 
250 gms cottage cheese
food colour - saffron - 5 drops
Rose Water few drops
Cardamom Powder

  • Mash the cottage cheese and make it smooth by rubbing with the palm of your hands or blend it in a mixer for a smooth & creamy consistency.
  • In a non stick pan, add the cottage cheese and condensed milk and mix well. Cook on a low flame till the mixture thickens and leaves the pan sides.
  • Remove from fire. Add rose water and mix well.
  • Remove little mixture potion separately and add food colour and mix well. Keep aside to cool.
  • Remove the remaining mixture in a plate and let it cool completely.
  • Shape the entire white mixture in small round balls. Shape the yellow mixture in small tiny round balls.
  • Now as shown in the recipe pic, press the yellow ball on top of the white one and shape it like a cap or cone. You can always make any other designs of your choice to make it look more attractive. 
  • Stick cardamom powder on top of the rounds.
  • Arrange the laddos ( rounds ) in a plate and serve fresh.
Note : Another option is to fill the yellow mixture inside the white mixture and then shape it in a round. To serve cut it in half and serve it like an egg sweet. If you want a complete saffron coloured ladoo then add the food colour to the entire mixture and then shape them.You can decorate with almonds,pistachios and rose petals.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Chocolate & Milk Almond Fudge Rolls

Happy Diwali !!!!

The beautiful festival has finally arrived and I am busy preparing for the festivities. Lights, decoration, colours and sweets are all around me and I am loving every bit of it. 
Sweet distribution is one of the most common practise in Diwali. When you visit your loved ones, you bring in a box of sweets presenting your good wishes. The market is flooded with so many coloured sweets but I was little reluctant in buying them considering the amount of adulteration that goes behind in bulk orders.
I made this recipe for my cousin so that they can enjoy the goodness of homemade sweets guiltfree :)

This is a chocolate and milk almond fudge roll that I made for Diwali. Its a very simple recipe and tastes delicious. I was supposed to make Barfis ( squares) but landed up trying a new variation. 
Do try this recipe and share it with your family and friends and stay assured that will vanish off in a jiffy after you serve them :)

"Chocolate & Milk Almond Fudge Rolls"

Ingredients :

250 gms Khoya ( dried whole milk)
100 gms sugar 
1 tsp ghee ( clarified butter)
50 ml water
3 tbsp cocoa powder
few almonds chopped

  • Mash the khoya . Cook it in a non stick pan on with ghee till it turns light pink in colour.
  • Once it leaves the pan sides remove it in a metal bowl.
  • Dissolve the cocoa powder in 1 tbsp of water or milk
  • Bring the water to boil in a pan and add sugar. Dissolve the sugar and stir for a little while till it gets little thick and you get a two to three wire consistency ( take a little syrup on the back of the spoon and leave it. You will see a three wire consistency)
  • Add cocoa liquid to the sugar syrup and stir.
  • Add the sugar mix to the khoya and mix well for even chocolate colour consistency.
  • Spread in a greased plate and let it cool for a while. You can chill it for an hour in the refrigerator.(Once fully cooled and set you have an option of cutting it in squares and serving it like chocolate burfis)
  • For making the rolls, take a big wide spoon and scoop a small section of the mixture. Shape it in a roll with your hands and garnish with chopped almonds. Repeat the same process with the entire mixture to make all the rolls.
  • Store it in an airtight container. You can consume it the same day or if any left then refrigerate the rolls for the next day. 
Note : You can make simple khoya rolls too if you dont like chocolate flavour. The same can be used to make different coloured rolls by adding few drops of food colour to the khoya mixture.
Add pistachios instead of almond for different taste and textures. The rolls will soft resembling a fudge so taste great when eaten fresh. If you dont want to use ghee ( clarified butter) then use 1 tsp of unsalted butter.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

"Pinwheel Cookies"

Diwali is approaching and its time to distribute sweets and gifts amongst family and friends. One of most beautiful and brightest festival brings in lots of joy, happiness, celebration and good food to make everyone happy. So when we are talking about distributing sweets to others, we should not limit ourselves to the staple sweet shop boxes with milk and dry fruit sweets. This time try your hands on something different and personalize your gifts to make them more special. I suggest boxes of cookies of any type. Decorate the box nicely and it will become the most beautiful gift one can receive this Diwali.
Today I'll share the recipe of a pinwheel or vanilla and chocolate cookies which can be a perfect gift item for you and your loved ones. 

"Pinwheel Cookies"

Ingredients :

200 gms butter
150 gms powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence 
1 egg
300 gms plain flour
25 gms cocoa powder

  • In a bowl, whisk the butter and sugar together till light and fluffy.
  • Add vanilla essence and egg and keep whisking to form a smooth batter
  • Add flour and mix well. Knead the mixture in a dough ( use little more flour if its greasy)
  • Cut the dough in two halves. To one half, add cocoa powder and knead well for even brown consistency
  • Wrap both the doughs in clingfilm and chill for half an hour
  • Roll out each dough in oblong shape separately to an inch thickness. Put the chocolate dough on top of the plain dough.
  • Roll up the dough length ways like a Swiss roll. Wrap in clingfilm tightly and chill for another half an hour
  • Preheat the oven at 180*C for ten minutes
  • Slice the chilled dough into thin slices like black and white coins.
  • Place the cookies on a greased baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  • Cool for sometime before storing in an airtight container

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Choco Muffins -- Eggless

I love making muffins and cupcakes. The round tiny fluffy muffins are a delight to eat be it plain or frosted. My favourite are chocolate and blueberry muffins and I can polish as many as I can manage with a cup of coffee. 
This time I prepared an eggless chocolate muffin recipe. I used bits of white chocolate in the centrer just to add an additional taste. You can add dark chocolate chips as the molten texture will lift the wonderful chocolatty taste of these beauties. 
Enjoy the recipe i'll wait for your feedback and comments.

" Choco Muffins -- Eggless "

Ingredients : 

3/4th cup flour
1/4th cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp soda bi carb
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 cup buttermilk (mix 3/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup curd)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 bar white chocolate or 1/2 cup chocolate chips

  • Sift flour, cocoa powder,baking powder and soda bi carb together in a bowl
  • Beat butter and sugar till soft and fluffy. Add vanilla essence and mix again
  • Add buttermilk to the above butter mix
  • Add flour mix slowly and keep mixing till soft and smooth. 
  • Add chocolate chips or milk chocolate pieces and mix well.
  • Grease muffin or cupcake cups with little butter and flour. Pour the mix in these cups till 3/4th full
  • Put chocolate chips or milk chocolate pieces on top 
  • Bake in preheated oven at 180*C for 25 to 30 minutes till done. Insert a toothpick or knife and check
  • Let them cool. Remove from the cups and serve plain or frosted
Note : You can use white or dark chocolate as per your choice. These muffins will be little soft and moist due to buttermilk. 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

"Celebration Cake"

Birthdays and Anniversaries are incomplete without a CAKE. Imagine having a birthday party without the birthday cake .. Impossible. With the amount of cakes available nowadays at each shop, you tend to get confused as to which one is the best one. Chocolate, Oreo  tiramisu, pineapple,butterscotch,vanilla,fruity,cheesecake and so on. The list is endless and we might have to celebrate 365 birthdays every year to try all the types of cakes available :)
So let me share an excellent and exquisite recipe of an Eggless Celebration Cake. I made this cake for my hubby's birthday last weekend and trust me it was really special. There is a bit of hard work involved but if you want to gift something special to your loved one, then do try this cake for the next special occasion. 

Enjoy the recipe and I'll wait for your feedback !!!

"Celebration Cake"

Ingredients :

For the Cake Base - 

200 gms flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda bi carb
1/4th cup milk
1 and 1/4 cup yogurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup butter
3/4th cup powdered sugar

Preparation for the base :
  • Line a round cake tin with butter or baking paper. Grease with butter and dust with a little flour. Keep aside
  • Preheat the oven at 190*C for ten minutes before baking
  • In a bowl, Seive flour , baking powder and soda bi carb. Keep aside
  • Beat sugar and butter together till light and fluffy. Mix yogurt and lemon juice.Add the flour mix gently and keep mixing. Add milk and mix well.You will see that the mixture will turn smooth and light and starts doubling in quantity. Do not over mix.
  • Pour the mix in the greased tin and bake for 30 minutes till browned and done. Check with a knife if its fully baked or not.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool for sometime before removing it gently from the cake tin.
  • Place on a serving plate or tray and keep aside
For the icing :

200 gms whipping cream ( you can use double cream as well)
1 tbsp butterscotch essence ( if not available, use vanilla essence)
1/4th cup sugar boiled with 1/2 cup water for soaking the cake

For the caramel praline and nougat : 

1/2 cup regular sugar
1/4 cup roasted peanuts

For decoration :

Coloured fresh fruits - 
1 apple
1 kiwi
few pieces pineapple
cherries or strawberries  ( You can use any types of fruits as per ur taste or choice)

Preparation for Frosting and Decoration:
  • Whip the cream with butterscotch essence till firm peaks are formed. Refrigerate
  • For making the praline, grease the kitchen surface with little oil. Add sugar to the non stick pan. Spread it out evenly in the whole pan and keep on medium heat for 2-3 minutes without touching the sugar.
  • When the sugar starts to melt and turn golden just stir the sides a little and swirl the pan till the sugar melts completely. Let it become light golden in colour.  
  • Immediately pour some designs from a spoon to the greased surface. You can make any abstract thin designs. ( Remember to do it fast ). These will look like praline shards as given in the pic below.
  • Let them cool for few minutes completely and they will harden and become solid. Gently lift them and place on a tray and keep in the fridge

  • To the remaining sugar in the pan, add the roasted peanuts and mix well. Pour on the greased platform and let the mixture cool down completely. Once it becomes hard, crush them roughly and keep aside. They will look like rough breadcrumbs. Nougat is ready.Refer to the pic below. 

  • Cut the fruits in some designs like apple leaves, kiwi baskets and pineapple flowers or any other form of your choice
Arranging the cake :
  • Cut the cake in two layers. Place one layer of cake on the serving plate. Soak with few spoons of sugar syrup. Put few dollops of whipped cream and spread evenly. Sprinkle some nuts nougat and put the second layer of cake on top. Press gently.
  • Soak with the sugar syrup.Cover with cream on top and on all sides evenly. Use a big knife or spatula to even the cream on all sides. Clean the plate with a tissue to wipe the cream fallen outside. Refrigerate for 30 minutes
  • Stick the nuts nougat on the cake sides generously. Remove the fallen mixture from the sides.
  • Decorate the fruits in the center of the cake. Insert the praline shards around the fruits creating a design. 
  • Sprinkle some remaining nuts nougat on top.
  • Chill the cake and serve for the party.
Note : The base of the cake is soft and fluffy and once you soak it in sugar syrup it will become more mushy and as good as a bakery product. You can change the fruits and design as per your liking. 

Sunday, 14 October 2012

"Classic Bread & Butter Pudding"

There seems to be a lot of confusion on the intake of white bread when it comes to healthy eating. One school of thought states that you should only consume whole wheat brown bread to avoid unsaturated fats and the other school of thought states that white and brown bread has the same qualities and demerits. 
Well, you know what, who cares, eat what you think is right and will keep u healthy. My school of thought is  eat everything but in moderation :)
So lets enjoy a classic Bread & Butter pudding recipe that can be made in a jiffy and will taste delicious at any time. Serve it little warm with a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy the comfortness of this delicious recipe.

"Classic Bread & Butter Pudding"

Ingredients :

Raisins and Black currants - 1/2 cup soaked for few hours
1 egg
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp custard powder
one glass or 350 ml milk
1 tbsp vanilla essence
1 lemon zest
4 tbsp cream cheese ( optional) or fresh cream
25 gms soft butter
5 slices white bread
2 tbsp jam ( mixed fruit / pineapple/mango/apricot)
icing sugar for sifting

  • Beat the egg and sugar together till light and fluffy. Whisk in the custard powder until the mixture is smooth
  • Warm the milk a little and then add it to the egg mixture slowly. Keep whisking till the mix becomes smooth and to avoid curdling
  • Add vanilla essence, lemon zest and mix well. Let it rest for half an hour
  • Add the cream cheese or fresh cream and whisk well
  • Strain the custard through a sieve to get a smooth consistency
  • Grease a pudding bowl or tray with some butter.
  • Spread butter and jam on each bread slice. Cut the slices into 4 triangles. Lay the bread triangles in the dish with the jam side facing upwards.
  • Scatter some raisins on top. Pour half the custard mix and leave to soak for 15 minutes
  • Preheat the oven at 180*C . Take a baking tray, Place the pudding bowl in it. Pour the remaining custard on top of the bread and press the slices a little.Spread the remaining raisins as well.
  • Fill the baking tray with a little water before placing it in the oven.
  • Bake at 180*C for 20 minutes and then at 190*C for another 5 minutes till top is crisp and golden.
  • Serve it warm with fresh cream and sift some icing sugar on top.
Note : you can use any jam of your choice for the pudding. 

Sunday, 30 September 2012

"Rich Coca Cola & Chocolate Cake" -- Eggless

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I had a really busy and fun weekend with friends and family. For dessert I prepared a dense and rich Chocolate and Coco Cola cake.The tempting flavours of Chocolate and Cola makes this cake irresistible and you want more with every bite. If you prefer having an eggless cake then you will surely love this one. 
Have a great week and keep baking .

"Rich Coca Cola & Chocolate Cake"

Ingredients :

1 can milkmaid ( condensed milk) - 400 gms
6 tbsp sugar - powdered
100 gms butter
250 ml aerated drink ( Coca Cola/ Pepsi/Thumsup)
5 tbsp cocoa powder
225 gms plain flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp soda bi carb

  • Preheat the oven at 150*C for ten minutes before baking
  • Take a big cake tin and grease with butter or oil. Dust with flour and line it with a baking or butter paper
  • In a bowl mix butter,sugar and condensed milk till smooth
  • Add sifted flour,cocoa,soda bi carb and baking powder in the above mixture slowly and keep mixing to avoid any lumps. Mix till it becomes smooth.
  • Add coco cola to the mixture and mix well. Transfer the mix to the cake tin and bake in the preheated oven at 150*C for an hour. Check with a knife or toothpick by inserting in the cake, if it comes out clean, cake is done.
  • Let the cake cool down before removing it out from the tin.
  • Slice and serve. 
Note : I served this cake with a chocolate glaze icing. You can try using any other icing or topping of your choice to make this cake more fancy. 

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

"Saffron Modaks"

"Happy Ganesh Festival"

There is nothing more beautiful and fulfilling then celebrating festivals. Today the eleven day long Lord Ganesh festival has started. With the arrival of Lord Ganesha, every lane and house is filled with festive air and each person gets busy celebrating the sacred time.
To celebrate the arrival of this festival and to welcome Lord Ganesha, I prepared Modaks yesterday which is considered as one of his favourite sweets.
There are varied types of Modaks (sweet dumplings ) made in Maharashtra which are offered to the God during this festival. Steamed ones made with rice flour and filled with coconut and jaggery filling, fried ones made with flour and filled with nuts, coconut and jaggery and then there are the khoya ( dried whole milk) modaks which are soft and yummy in taste. 
Today I am sharing the recipe for Saffron Khoya Modak. This week Ill share one more recipe of fried modaks which I prepared last year. 
Indulge in some sweet treats and enjoy the festival :)

"Saffron Modaks" - Sweet Dumplings


250 gms Khoya ( Dried whole milk)
100 gms - powdered sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder
few strands of saffron soaked in little warm milk
1 tsp ghee ( clarified butter)

  • Heat ghee in a non stick pan and saute the khoya till it turns light pink and  you can get the roasted smell
  • Remove from heat and let it cool
  • Add sugar, cardamom powder and soaked saffron to the cooled khoya and knead the mixture
  • Keep it in the fridge for an hour so it becomes firm and easy to shape
  • Make small round balls of the mixture and shape them into modaks ( Refer to the pic above). You can use a modak mould too to shape them. 
  • Chill for an hour and then serve. 
Note : You can use crushed pistachios, almonds or any other flavour to make different styled modaks using the above recipe. You can even add grated chocolate and make choco modaks. 
To add some more style to the modak, I used a toothpick and made fine lines around it. You can use your own creativity and decorate the modak. 

Friday, 14 September 2012

"Sticky Fruit Loaf"

Am in the mood to share another eggless cake recipe today. We always land up baking goodies with a lot of eggs to add texture and fluffiness. So am taking a break from eggs and using them only for breakfast items :)
This cake is called as Sticky Fruit Loaf. Its sticky because its loaded with dry fruits and nuts which adds a lot of richness to this cake. Also this is made with vinegar and baking soda which will act as a substitute for eggs to make this loaf nice and fluffy.
Do try loaf this weekend and enjoy with coffee or icecream.
Happy Baking !!!!

  "Sticky Fruit Loaf"

Ingredients :

175 gms flour
3/4tsp mixed spices ( nutmeg/cinnamon and clove powder) -- this is optional
125 gms powdered sugar
100 gms butter
1/2 cup milk ( at room temperature)
1/2 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda bi carb
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp black raisins
4 tbsp chopped cashews
2 tbsp candied cherries
2 tbsp candied fruit ( red/yellow/green)

  • Preheat the oven to 190*C before baking
  • Prepare a loaf tin by greasing with a little butter and dusting with little flour
  • Sift flour with mixed spices in a big bowl. Rub flour and butter together ,till the mixture is crumbly ( Do not over mix)
  • Add baking powder and sugar and mix lightly. Add raisins,nuts and fruits to the mixture
  • Divide milk in two equal parts. To one part add vinegar
  • Warm the other part of milk slightly and add soda bi card. Now mix both the milk portions together
  • The milk will start foaming. Add vanilla essence and pour the milk in the cake mix very quickly.Mix fast and well to a smooth batter
  • Pour the batter in the loaf tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 150*C and bake for another 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, let it cool and then remove it from the loaf tin
  • Slice and serve the cake with coffee or icecream.
Note : You can use any other nuts or dry fruits of your choice in the batter. You can even sprinkle some on top for decoration before baking. This loaf slice will taste nice as warm or even after being chilled. 

Monday, 10 September 2012

"Nankhatai Cookies"/ "Eggless Shortbread Cookies"

Going nuts about cookies ... 
This weekend was another fabulous time to bake a set of mouthwatering cookies for my loved ones.. I have already shared some recipes of butter and chocolate cookies before . Today I'll share the old time granny recipe of a shortbread cookie which is popularly known as "Nankhatai" in India. 
This cookie is a classic when it comes to taste and looks. Round cookies with crunchy exteriors and soft interiors baked to perfection are an absolute delight.They are eggless and made with clarified butter which adds to the richness of the texture. Try one of these cookies with tea or coffee and you will keep asking for more :)

Enjoy this recipe and do share your thoughts and feedback

" Nankhatai Cookies / Eggless Shortbread Cookies


1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup semolina
1/2 cup gram flour
a pinch of soda bi carb
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 cup clarified butter ( ghee )  / unsalted white butter
2/3 cup powdered sugar

  •  Seive the flour,semolina,gramflour and soda in a bowl
  • Add cardamom powder and sugar
  • Melt the clarified butter and add it to the flour mixture
  • Now knead the mixture in a soft dough with hands till its smooth and not crumbly
  • Wrap it in a cling film wrap and keep it aside for 2-3 hours to rest
  • Preheat the oven to 180*C for ten minutes before baking
  • Grease a baking tray with butter 
  • Now make small round balls and put them on the baking tray. Press the balls slightly with your fingers to make them look like a cookie ( Do not flatten them )
  • Keep space between cookies as they will expand while baking
  • Bake in the oven at 180*C for 15 minutes or till the top is slightly brown ( refer the picture in the recipe)
  • Remove from the oven and let them cool ( when you touch the cookies in the oven they will feel a little soft. Do not over bake thinking they are not cooked as they will become hard after cooling down)
  • Once cooled, store in an air tight container and enjoy them with a hot cup of tea or coffee
Note : I have given an option of using unsalted white butter if you cant find clarified butter. You can also make them look more pretty by putting cashew and pistachio pieces on top before baking. 

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

" Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato relish"

Italian food is one of the most beautiful form of Baked or Light savoury dishes.The use of vegetables, meat with a combination of herbs and olive oil makes it highly nutritious and delicious. A simple pasta and a glass of wine can be the perfect evening meal for your special occassions. Nothing can be more romantic than serving an Italian meal to your loved one on that special day. 
This weekend I made Spinach Pasta with Baked Aubergines. Today I am sharing the recipe of Baked Aubergine with cheese and tomato relish. 
Surprise your loved one with a little bit of jazz, a glass of wine and Baked Aubergine with Pasta dish.

Enjoy this recipe and I'll wait for your feedback and comments !!!

" Baked Aubergine with Cheese and Tomato relish"

Ingredients : 

Aubergine/ Big Brinjal - 500 gms ( cut into round slices )
Cornflour 3 tbsp
Salt and black pepper to taste
Olive oil  4-5 tbsp
Onions 2 finely chopped
Garlic cloves 6-7
Tomato puree 1 cup or 3 finely chopped tomatoes
Mozzarella or processed cheese 1 cup grated
Italian seasoning or Oregano 1 tbsp
Chilli Flakes 1 tbsp

  • Preheat the oven at 180*C for ten minutes before baking
  • In a wide bowl mix cornflour with salt and pepper to taste. Add water and make it in a thick paste.
  • Heat olive oil in pan. Dip the Aubergine slices in the cornflour paste and fry in the hot oil till crisp and brown. Remove on a kitchen paper and keep aside
  • Add garlic to the pan and fry for a minute till it browns a little and the aroma comes in. Add onions and fry till light pink in colour. 
  • Add tomato puree and stir well. Add salt as per taste ( remember that even aubergine& cheese has salt so adjust accordingly)
  • Once the puree becomes thick add oregano/italian seasoning and chilli flakes. Mix well.Remove from heat
  • Now in a ovenproof dish, put a little tomatoe sauce on the bottom. Arrange the fried Aubergine slices on top of the sauce. Pour the remaining sauce on top of the Aubergine slices. Garnish with grated cheese on top.
  • Bake in the pre heated oven for 15-20 mins till the cheese has melted.
  • Serve hot with pasta of your choice.
Note : This goes well with Fussilli or Penne pasta. If you dont intend to fry the Aubergine and looking for a more healthier version then bake the slices in the oven for 40 -45 minutes. You will have to drizzle olive oil and salt on the slices and cover it with foil and then bake to get crisp and fully cooked slices.

Friday, 24 August 2012

"Baked Vegetables with Cheese"

Continental cuisine is one of my favourite things to make and eat at all times. Every multi cuisine restaurant survives on a mix of continental and theme food.  The dishes are superbly baked and dressed with beautiful sauces and herbs. The flavours of continental cuisine are not overpowering, not spicy and not bland at the same time. They are a perfect balance of different ingredients which act wonderfully together.We can call this type of cuisine as light & heart which is loved by both vegetarians and non vegetarians.
I like to make a continental dish as a side when I am serving curries and spicy food to guests to balance the flavours. Today, I'll share the most common and preferred dish from the Continental world. 
This is the recipe for Baked Vegetable with cheese. You might know it as Vegetable au Gratin or simple baked vegetables or continental vegetables. The main ingredient for this dish is the White Sauce which is also known as the Bechamel sauce.

"Baked Vegetable with cheese"


For the white sauce :
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp plain flour 
2 and 1/2 cups milk - slightly warmed
salt and pepper to taste

For the vegetables :
8-10 french beans - diced long
1 carrot - diced in round pieces
6-7 florets of cauliflower - cut small
1/2 cup cabbage - shredded
1/2 cup shelled peas
1 potato - cut into small cubes
1 small capsicum - chopped
8-9 baby corns
2 green chillis - chopped ( optional - if you like spicy )

For topping :
1 cup grated Parmesan or processed cheese
1 tomato sliced

  • Preheat the oven at 180*C for ten mins before baking
  • To prepare the sauce melt butter in a thick bottom pan, add flour and keep stirring on slow flame till it becomes little pink in colour
  • Add the milk slowly and keep stirring to avoid any lumps. (You can use a whisk to make it smooth)
  • Keep stirring and cooking till it becomes thick and gets a smooth consistency.
  • Add salt and pepper powder and mix well. Keep aside.
  • Wash all the vegetables and boil them in a pressure cooker ( one whistle) / a deep pan filled with water for 10 mins  / in a microwave for around 5 minutes till they become soft and slightly cooked 
  • Seive the vegetables and once dried add them to the white sauce and mix well. ( Do a salt check at this time as the quantity has increased after adding the vegetables. Add more salt and pepper if required). Add green chillis and mix well.
  • Remove the mixture in a oven proof dish.
  • Top it up with the grated cheese and decorate with tomoto slices.
  • Bake for around 15 minutes in the preheated oven till the sauce bubbles and the cheese has melted
  • Serve hot with garlic bread or as a side dish.
Note : 

You can choose and try this recipe with other forms of vegetables as well. The other option is to add pasta or macaroni to make it a complete filling dish. 

Monday, 20 August 2012

"Classic Swiss Roll"

After a short dose of Indian sweets and desserts, I am back to what i do best - Baking :)
This time I tried my hands on Swiss Roll. Its a beautiful rolled cake which is so soft and tender that it makes you want more and more with every bite. The round slice which looks like a ribbon roll filled with creams and colours is an absolute rich and beautiful creation.
I made the classic swiss roll recipe with cream & jam filling and it tasted absolutely divine. So, here's the recipe and I hope you will make this simple yet gorgeous baked delight.
Happy Baking !!!!

"Swiss Roll"

Ingredients :

75 gms flour plus extra for dusting
3 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla essence
90 gms caster sugar plus extra for dusting
3 tbsp strawberry/raspberry/apricot/mango jam ( you can use any fruit based jam or reserve )
300 ml whipped cream
2 tsp warm water
little melted butter for greasing

  • Preheat the oven  to 190*C for ten minutes before baking.
  • Lightly grease a Swiss roll tin with butter and arrange a butter or baking paper covering the base and sides.Grease the paper slightly with butter and flour.
  • Beat the eggs with an electric hand mixer or beater till light and fluffy. Add sugar and keep beating till it has increased in volume and becomes smooth and pale.
  • Add warm water and vanilla essence. Add flour in small quantitiles and fold it very gently using a metal spoon or rubber spatula, trying not to knock out the air whisked in already.
  • Pour the mixture in the prepared tin evenly
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes till its well risen,golden brown and the top springs back when touched. Insert a tooth pick and check if its cooked from inside
  • Place a large sheet of baking or butter paper on the kitchen slab. Dust it with lots of caster or icing sugar.
  • Slowly invert the cake tin on the paper and leave for few minutes. Now lift the tin and paper slowly from the top of the cake
  • Cover the cake with a damp towel for 20 mins till it cools down. This will prevent it from cracking.
  • Whip the cream with little caster sugar and make it smooth and fluffy. If the jam is hard and brittle, soften it with little warm water before spreading
  • Once the cake is cool, spread jam on the top of the base. Spread a layer of whipped cream . Make sure both these layers are not covering the corners or sides of the cake. Leave some space on all four sides while spreading
  • Now with the short paper side towards you,start folding the cake slowly till it becomes a complete roll. Hold the paper and press the cake with it to avoid any cracks or breakage.
  • Lift the roll and place it on the serving plate, dust it with icing sugar.
  • Chill for few hours, slice it and serve.
Note : Important tips while making the Swiss roll : Beating eggs and sugar properly helps in making the cake and well risen. While rolling the cake you need to hold the paper tightly and press and push the cake slowly. The cream needs to be firm and smooth, if its runny, it will cause problems while rolling and will ooze out of the roll completely. 
If you dont get double cream or whipped cream, then you can use the tetra pack cream ( Amul ). The trick is to put the pack in the fridge for 2 hours. Remove , cut the top of the pack, drain the water which forms at the base of the pack, remove the cream in the bowl and place it in the freezer for half an hour before whisking. Add caster sugar and it will becomes firm and smooth for filling in the roll.
You can use any filling of your choice, fresh fruits whipped with cream and sugar, chocolate ganache icing,nuts and berries, etc. 

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


"Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge... At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom".
Jawaharlal Nehru

15th of August, Indian Independence Day. Patriotism celebrated with flag hoisting ceremonies, National Anthem and traditional festivity. On this Independence day, I am sharing a sweet recipe which is loved by every Indian , Rasgullas.
Soft and mushy white Rasgullas which are filled with the sweet & mesmerizing flavours of India.

Do try this recipe and enjoy it with your family and friends. 
Happy Independence Day !!!!!


Ingredients :

4 cups milk
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 cups water
2 and 1/2 cups sugar
few drops of rose essence
few saffron strands

  • Boil milk in a heavy bottom pan, add lemon juice and stir it till it curdles completely ( the cheese will seperate completely from the transparent liquid)
  • Drain it in a sieve and wash the paneer/cottage cheese with running cold water thoroughly
  • Dry the mix in a muslin cloth or sieve for an hour
  • Knead the cheese in a soft and smooth dough and make small round balls of the mixture and keep aside. Ensure the balls are crackfree and of a smooth consistency.
  • In a pressure cooker, add sugar and water and bring it to a boil
  • Add saffron strands and paneer/cheese balls and close the lid.
  • Give one whistle and then let it cook on slow heat for another 7-8 minutes.
  • Remove the cooker from the gas and let it cool
  • Once cooled, remove the rasgullas in a bowl with the syrup and add rose essence. 
  • Chill it for few hours before serving

Note : you can replace lemon juice with vinegar for making the paneer/cottage cheese. The most important part of this recipe is making sure that the cheese balls are smooth and not crumbly. You can add cardamom powder to the recipe for an additional flavour.Garnish it with almonds, pistachios and rose petals before serving.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Festive Delights -- Gram Flour Ladoos & Saffron Shrikhand

Festival time is just another reason to enjoy sweets. Tomorrow we celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna. 
The day is marked with prayers, decoration, festive atmosphere and food. 
In Indian houses, there is an array of sweets made out of coconut,pulses,coriander and milk products. Its believed that Lord Krishna loves milk based sweets so its considered auspicious to prepare some on this festive day.
Today I made some Besan Ladoos ( Bengal Gram flour rounds) and Kesar Shrikhand ( saffron flavoured yoghurt)
Both these desserts are simple to make and delicious to taste. Keeping the milk based tradition in mind, I have used by products of Ghee and curd in these sweets.
Enjoy these recipes and have a beautiful Janmashtmi.

"Besan Ladoo"/ "Bengal Gram Flour Rounds"


1 cup gram flour (besan)
3/4th cup powdered sugar
4 tbsp ghee ( clarified butter)
1 tbsp cardamom powder
few roasted almonds - chopped

  • Heat ghee in a thick bottom vessel ( preferably non stick) and roast the gram flour on low heat till the colour changes and you can smell the cooked flour. Avoid burning it.
  • Add sugar and cardamom powder and mix properly. 
  • Remove in a plate and let it cool slightly
  • Grease your hands with ghee 
  • Shape the mixture in small round balls ( ladoos) or flatten them as pedas.
  • Decorate with almonds and serve.
Note : Overcooking or undercooking the flour may lead to problems while shaping them. If the mixture is too dry, you can add a little warm ghee and shape them. If the mixture is too wet and greasy then you can add few tsp of roasted gram flour and shape them.


" Kesar Shrikhand" / "Saffron Flavoured Yoghurt"

1 kg thick curd
3/4th cup powdered sugar
a few strands saffron
2 tbsp warm milk
2 tbsp cardamom powder
Pistachios and almonds for garnishing

  •  Hang the curd in a muslin cloth or in a sieve for 4-5 hours till all the liquid/whey has drained out
  • Dissolve the saffron in warm milk 
  • Mix the hung curd,saffron milk,sugar,cardamom in a bowl. You can whip it or blend it by hand or use a hand mixer till it becomes soft and smooth
  • Place in individual bowls and garnish with chopped nuts and saffron strands
  • Chill in the refrigerator for few hours before serving

Note : You can replace saffron with any fruit pulp like mango, strawberry,raspberry,etc. to enjoy different flavoured yoghurts.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

"Mixed Pulse Squares"

As promised, here's another delicious recipe for your festive occasions. 
Today, I am sharing a recipe of mixed pulse squares.As the name suggests its made with easily available pulses in every Indian household. Apart from the rich and delicious taste, its nutritious and a delight for you and your family. 

Looking forward for your feedback and comments . Enjoy the recipe !!!!

"Mixed Pulse Squares"


1/2 cup split bengal gram ( chana dal)
1/2 cup split yellow gram ( yellow moong dal)
1/2 cup dried whole milk ( mawa/khoya)
1+1/4 cup sugar
5 tbsp ghee ( clarified butter)
1 tbsp cardamom powder
chopped mixed dry fruits for garnish
1/4 cup water

  • Soak both the pulses for atleast 4 hours
  • Drain the water and coarsely grind the pulses ( you have an option of making it in a fine paste)
  • Heat the ghee in a non stick deep pan and add the pulse mixture to it
  • Fry the pulses on a low flame till all the water evaporates and u get a grainy flour texture. Switch off the gas.
  • Make the sugar syrup with three threads consistency ( In a pan heat water and sugar together, keep stirring till the back of the spoon gives you that consistency)
  • Add it to the pulse mix, stir well, add cardamom powder and mawa ( dried whole milk).
  • Mix properly for a smooth consistency
  • Remove the mixture on a pre-greased plate/tray and leave to set.
  • Garnish it with dry fruits 
  • Once cooled and set ( firm), cut into square or diamond pieces and serve

Note: Its important to use a non stick pan for cooking the pulses to retain the original flavours, avoid sticking and burning of the mixture.

Monday, 30 July 2012

"Quick Icecream Sandesh"

The month of August is arriving bringing in a  host of beautiful festivals. 
I decided to give my oven a little break and share some quick mouthwatering indian sweet recipes that will enchant you and your families during these celebrations.
These are easy to make with simple ingredients that are available at home and absolutely fantastic to taste.

The first recipe is called Icecream Sandesh. A healthy and yummy light sliced pudding recipe. 

Hope these recipes add an extra dash of sweetness to your festive celebrations. 

"Quick Icecream Sandesh"


2 cups of fresh cottage cheese / paneer
4 tsp of sugar ( powdered)
2 tsp of vanilla essence
1 tbsp butter
dry fruits for garnish

  •  Blend the cottage cheese with sugar and vanilla essence in a blender. 
  • Grease a microwave oven container with the butter and put the mixture into it.Flatten it to form a smooth layer
  • Microwave for 8 mins at 100% power
  • If you dont want to use a microwave then you can steam it in a steamer or in a pressure cooker.
  • Once its cooled down, put it in the refrigerator for two hours
  • Cut it into pieces ( square or diamond) , decorate with rose petals or fry fruits
  • Serve chilled

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

"Jawbreaker Cookies"

"Cookies baking in the kitchen
The smell floats through the air
She is baking Cookies
with her usual merry flair"

I have dedicated this week to cookies and would like to share another recipe today. 
These Jawbreaker cookies are delicious and crunchy. They are usually made on Easter at my place & goes well with coffee or icecream.
Hope you all like this recipe. Enjoy the cookies and do send your feedback.
Happy Baking !!!!

"Jawbreaker Cookies"


1/2 cup butter 
1/2 cup superfine caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 egg,seperated
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup black currants
1 tbsp mixed chopped candied peel (optional)
1-2 tbsp milk

  • Preheat the oven at 200*C for 10 mins before baking
  • Lightly grease two baking sheets with little oil and flour and keep aside
  • Cream together butter and sugar till light and fluffy, then add and beat in the egg yolk.
  • Sift the flour,cinnamon in the above mixture and fold in the currants and candied peel.
  • Add sufficient milk to make it in a fairly soft dough.
  • Turn the dough on a floured surface from the bowl,knead lightly until just smooth
  • Roll it with a rolling pin to about 1/4th inch in thickness.
  • Cut the dough in circles using a cookie cutter.
  • Transfer the circles to the baking sheets and bake for 10 mins
  • Beat the egg white,then brush over the hot cookies. Sprinkle with caster sugar and return to bake in the oven for another 10-15 mins until golden and firm.
  • Using a metal spatula transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
  • You can store them in an air tight container for days. 
  • Serve as a snack with tea or coffee or make it a dessert combination with Butter Scotch/ Chocolate Ice Cream.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

"Butter Cookies"

The smell of baking cookies, the smile on your face.
Your little hands reaching, “eat dough” they say.

You reach for the spoon, you take a bite,
your face is covered in chocolate and delight.

The timer rings, you jump and run,
little hands clapping, for such a sweet treat.

The time has come, your hand reaches out,
oh, the delight of sweet cookies and milk.

I simply adore cookies and biscuits.They are a saviour for your sudden hunger pangs and sugar cravings.
A batch of fresh homemade cookies with a cup of tea or milk are a delight. You can make a big batch of these cookies and store them in an airtight container for weeks ( if any left to store for that long).
This recipe is of simple Butter Cookies that can be made easily at home.
Do try this recipe and share your feedbacks and experiences. My blog will get more richer with your feedback and comments. Keep Baking :)

"Butter Cookies"

150gms butter
200gms caster sugar
1/4tsp vanilla essence
1 small egg, beaten
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
grated rind of 1 lemon
15gm almonds ( grounded)
150 gms plain flour
Dark chocolate or chocolate chips

  • Preheat the oven at 190*C for 10 mins before baking
  • Lightly oil 2 baking sheets and keep aside
  • Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl.Add vanilla essence and mix
  • When light and fluffy beat in the egg with the cinnamon,lemon rind and ground almonds.
  • Sit in the flour and make a firm dough by mixing all the ingredients together.
  • Knead lightly on a floured surface until smooth and free from cracks.
  • Shape the dough into two blocks and wrap in cling film or butter paper and chill for atleast 2 hours
  • Roll the dough with a rolling pin and cut into cookie shapes of about 1/4th inch thickness.
  • Place on baking sheets and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 mins or until firm and browned.
  • Remove from the oven,cool on a wire rack.
  • When completely cold, you can decorate them by piping melted dark chocolate or putting chocolate chips with the help of melted chocolate. 
  • Store in an airtight container once cooled.