Saturday, 31 May 2014

Pina Colada cupcakes

Pina Colada cupcakes

The other day a post about mocktails and cocktails started me thinking about my favourite mocktail: Pina Colada. A lovely combination of pineapple juice, coconut cream and vanilla ice cream. MMMMMMM!!!! So how about some Pina Colada Cupcakes? They combine the same flavours in the form of a cupcake.


12/3 cups flour
½ tsp baking powder
 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup butter, melted
1 large egg
½ cup pineapple juice
½ cup coconut milk
2 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat the oven at 170 degrees Celsius.
Sieve the dry ingredients together.

Beat the butter and then add the brown sugar and granulated sugar. Beat well.

Add the egg and mix well. Add pineapple juice and coconut milk and vanilla essence. Beat well.

Fold in the flour. Pour the batter into individual cup cake moulds and bake for 15-20 minutes.

The cupcakes were ready and then I started thinking about the frosting. The most hassle free frosting is the whip cream. 
However, I wanted to add some other element to it. The problem as I didn’t have any other element. Some fruits would have been nice. So I raided my son’s cupboard and came up with these strawberry jelly candies. 

I took a handful and blended them into a rough paste with the help of some milk. These I added to the whipped cream and Yeppee!! My element was ready.

For Frosting
1 cup whipping cream
10 strawberry jelly candies
2 tbsp milk
Few more for garnishing

Blend the jellies and milk into a rough paste. You want the strawberry jelly bits to come into your mouth. Whip the cream to stiff peaks. Add the jelly paste. Frost designs on the cupcakes. 

Savoury Egg Muffins

Savoury Egg Muffins

Mothers are devious creatures by nature. They have to be when they have to force health and goodness down their kids’ throats everyday. 

I fail to understand why my son does not realize that if he eats fruits and vegetables it is not going to benefit me in any way. I am not going to have better eyesight, sharper mind or fitter body if he ingests fresh and healthy food. On the other hand those junk foods are  a burden on the pocket now and will be later if he has to face childhood obesity, diabetics and what not.

These Savoury Egg Muffins are a good way to sneak in all that your child detests. This being the summer month I didn’t get carrots or beans. So I made do with spinach and corn. Since I was making it solely for him I also added some cheese. You can avoid cheese if you wish.


2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup spinach, chopped
¼ cup corn, boiled
¼ cup cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Beat the eggs and add rest of the ingredients to it. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius. Pour the egg batter into moulds and bake for 20 minutes.

Friday, 30 May 2014

How To Make Almond Praline

How To Make Almond Praline

1 cup sugar
1 cup Almonds with their skins

To prepare the praline

Place the sugar in a pan and scatter the almonds over it. Then put the pan on medium heat to allow the sugar to melt.

 Do not try to mix or stir the sugar. You can swirl the pan around very gently so that the almonds are well coated. The sugar will start bubbling and will get a caramelized look. 

Turn off the heat and tip the whole thing onto a tray lined with parchment paper. Leave it like that till it is completely cool. 

Do not try to touch it because caramelized sugar is very very hot. Once it is cool break it into pieces and whiz in a mixture. 

Your praline is ready. 

Eggless Mango Custard Flan

Eggless Mango Custard Flan

Custard ideally means a combination of eggs and milk. However for those who do not eat eggs a variation can be made. There is a big difference in cooking when you omit the eggs. Also eggs give stability and volume to the flan. However the eggless one turned out pretty well. It had a wobbly feel and it is better to refrigerate it before unmolding. Since I was experimenting I used very less quantities. However I made sure the measurements were such that they can easily be doubled or tripled. This produced one large flan (or two small ones)


½ cup hung curd
½ milkmaid
½ cup mango puree
½ cup fresh cream
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cornflour

Whisk all together to a smooth mixture.

For the caramel

½ cup sugar
2 tbsp water

Put the sugar and water on medium heat and wait for it to brown. Once it caramelizes take off the heat and add 1 tbsp water. Take care while adding the water to the hot caramel because it will start sizzling. Mix the water well. Pour the caramel in the mould and swirl around a bit. Now pour the mango mixture.

Prepare a water bath.
Preheat the oven at 170 degree Celsius.

Put the mould in the water bath and bake for about 50 minutes. Since there is no egg here the flan will be a bit wobbly. 

Cool it on a rack and then put in the fridge for half an hour. It will unmould easily now.

Mango Shreekhand

Mango Shreekhand

And the mango mania continues. Mango and curd – two awesome to welcome the summer and the other to beat the heat. The tanginess of the curd with the sweetness of the mango .

2 cups hung curd
4 mangoes, pureed
1 cup castor sugar ( you can add or lessen as per your taste)
1 tsp green cardamom powder

Wrap the curd in a muslin cloth and hang it for 3-4 hours so that the water drips out. Now blend all the ingredients well with a hand blender. 

Chill and enjoy. 

Penne in White Sauce

Penne in White Sauce

Something creamy, cheesy and mouthwatering. A very simple and basic pasta preparation but yet an all time favorite.


2 cups boiled penne
4 tbsp butter
2 flakes garlic, crushed
2 tbsp flour
1 ½ cups milk
¼ cup cream
1 cup grated cheese
1/2 cup American corn, boiled
4 sausages, cut into roundels ( optional)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Oil the boiled penne and keep aside so that it doesn’t lump together.

Take a pan and melt the butter. Add the crushed garlic and sauté. Add the flour and mix vigorously. Cook on low heat till the flour starts browning a little. Remove from fire and add milk a little at a time mixing well so that no lumps remain. 

Add salt, pepper, oregano and parsley. Return to fire and cook for two minutes till it starts coating the back of a spoon.

Add the cheese and mix well till the cheese melts.
Keep the sauce aside. Heat some butter and toss the penne, corn and sausages in the butter.

 Now mix the penne and white sauce. Garnish with some chopped olives.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Mango Custard Flan

Mango Custard Flan

I wanted to make some basic caramel custard flan when I spied the overripe mangoes sitting on my table. So after making shreekhand, cheesecake, pudding, shake etc I thought why not some mango Custard Flan?


1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp water
1 cup mango puree
½ can milkmaid/condensed milk
2 tbsp cornflour
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk

First step: Open the can of evaporated milk and have a tablespoon..Ahhhh that is bliss!!!!

Well that not being an actual step in the recipe we can now move on!!:)

First make the caramel. Put the sugar and water in a pan on high heat. Stir a little and let the sugar melt and start to brown. Once it caramelizes pour the caramel into 4 individual moulds. This recipe is good enough for four flans. Swirl the caramel around a bit and then set aside.

Mix together milkmaid, milk, beaten egg, cornflour and mango puree. Beat well with a hand mixer. I had some caramel left over and I added it to the batter. 

Now scoop the batter equally into the four moulds.

Preheat the oven at 170 degrees Celsius.
Take a large shallow pan and fill it halfway with water. Put it in the oven while it is being preheated.
Now place the four moulds in the pan with the warm water. This is a water bath. The water will provide moisture while baking ensuring that the flan does not become dry.

Bake for about 40 minutes. 

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Maccher kalia

Maccher kalia

This maacher kalia or fish curry is absolutely apt for hot summer days. The onion based gravy is light and aromatic. The fish curry tastes best with hot steaming rice.


500 gm fish
2 onions, pureed
2 tomatoes, pureed
2 potatoes, cut lengthwise
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tsp kalonji/nigella seeds
1 tsp chicken masala
1 tsp coriander powder1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
3 green chillies, slit
Salt to taste
½ cup chopped coriander leaves
¼ tsp cinnamon powder
¼ tsp green cardamom powder
Salt and turmeric for the fish

Apply salt and turmeric to the fish and keep aside for half an hour. Heat some mustard oil. Fry the fish pieces. Drain and keep aside. 

Add the kalonji and slit green chillies in the same oil. 
Add the potato pieces. Fry till the potatoes start becoming golden brown. 

Add the ginger and garlic paste. Sauté. 
Add the onion purée. Fry till the mixture becomes dry. Add the tomato purée. Fry some more. 
Add the chicken masala (or 1 tsp cumin powder if you don’t have chicken masala), coriander powder, salt, turmeric and red chilli powder. Sauté till oil starts leaving the sides. 

Add 1 ½ cups of water and bring to a boil. Now add the fish pieces and lower the flame. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. The gravy will thicken a bit. Add the cinnamon and green cardamom powders and mix. Serve garnished with chopped coriander leaves. 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Utterly Butterly Cake

Utterly Butterly Cake

This is a fine textured Butter Cake. It’s simple and lovely, as most simple things in life are. The key element here is beating the butter and sugar really well. Keep tasting as you beat and soon you will feel the difference in the texture of the sugar. From gritty it will go down to super fine. This is the point where you have to use a lot of muscle power. I creamed the butter and sugar for a good ten minutes. 

I learnt a few tricks while baking this cake. I will describe them as I go along.


2 ¼ cup cake flour (Don’t worry we will make cake flour right in our kitchen)
300 gms butter, unsalted, room temperature
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup fine sugar
4 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla essence

First step is to make cake flour. 

Cake flour has starch added to it. So the substitution is easy. For 1 cup of cake flour take 1 cup of all purpose flour, take out 2 tbsp from the flour and add 2 tbsp cornflour to it. 

So here I measured out 2 cups of all purpose flour, took out 4 tbsp flour and added 4 tbsp cornflour. For the rest ¼ cup I simply replaced ¼ tbsp flour with cornflour. Another important step here is to sieve the flour mix at least 5 times because you want the flour and cornflour to mix really well.

Take a large pan and beat the butter well. Now add the sugar and pull up a chair because you have to really work on it. Whip the butter and sugar well for about 10 minutes. The mix should look like little white clouds. 

Now add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

This you can do gently only making sure that the eggs are mixed properly. Add the vanilla essence.

Fold in the flour gently.
Preheat the oven at 160 degrees Celsius.
Pour the batter into a greased pan. Smoothen the top with a spatula.

Now when I finished pouring my pan I realized that the pan was almost full and the cake might spill over during baking. 

That is when I decided to use this super trick I recently learned. I folded two sheets of newspaper into four folds, wrapped it around the tin and stuck it together with a cello tape. 

This prevents the cake from spilling over, keeps the texture soft and doesn't allow doming of the cake. I must say I was really happy with the result.

Bake for 70 minutes. After the first 20 minutes I gently placed a foil on top of the cake to prevent overbrowning from the heating rods on top.

Cool the cake and enjoyyyy!!!!

Banana Walnut Choco Chip Cake

Though I bake everyday, it has been ages since I posted anything new on my blog. Last year saw lots of changes ...