Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dorie's Salted Butter Break-Ups



Ever since I have set my eyes on these cookies on Purplefoodie's blog I haven't been able to keep my mind off these. I have been dreaming about these with my eyes open and sometimes I feel I can just taste them but haven't had the chance to make them!

Now, I have to usually get books shipped to India which becomes way to expensive and so I don't know a lot of cookbooks that I would love to - I have added Dorie's Around the French Table to it obviously... also, with her recipes you don't seem to go wrong and they somehow come together perfectly and all the ingredients complement each other to form some of the tastiest of treats!

Now, like I mentioned I have read the recipes a couple of times but haven't been able to get my hands on "fleur de sel" and have been on the look out for it for a long time... I thought that it would have added the extra bit of zing to my recipe but since I haven't been able to find it - I had to settle for baking it with regular salt and they were I must say scrumptious and once you started eating them you couldn't put them down!

It was a weekend and I hadn't been able to get much sleep as my toddler who is still sleeping with us kept kicking me all night and I could hear some loud blaring truck horns on the road (yeah, thats what you get for living face the Gurgaon-Faridabad highway). So I got up at around 4am to make the dough and at about 6am to bake it. By the time my help was in making my morning coffee the house was smelling full of scrumptious (yes, I am using it again to describe these) biscuits and my son literally followed his nose to the kitchen.

Once you get your hands on this recipe - you should go give it a try and not even think about waiting for any extra days or leaving it on the backburner... all the ingredients are most definitely going to be in your pantry - tea time will be a treat, your kids will love it and coffee breaks will be a delight. So go ahead and try it.

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (I added 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
2/3 cup castor sugar
9 tbsp cold butter
3-5 tbsp cold water
2 tsp salt (I didn't have fleur de sel) and more for sprinkling

Glaze:
Egg yolk with water - but i used fresh cream

Recipe:
Put the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and give it a quick mix.

Add the butter and start rubbing it in the dry ingredients till it forms coarse pieces - pea sized and bigger is fine.

Now add some cold water and start getting the dough together to form a ball. (I had a very soft dough even after chilling - maybe coz I did it with my hands). Wrap the dough in plastic and let it chill for an hour.

 Preheat the oven to 350F/ 170C.

Remove the dough and roll it out with a rolling pin into a rectangle. She has recommended putting a criss cross pattern with your fork on it but mine was too soft to get a pattern - so I just put a glaze. Also I rolled it in two of my fluted pastry tins so it got a nice pattern around the edges which was later hardly seen.

I then baked it in the oven for about 40 minutes and they were more golden than they should have been - I guess I should have pulled them out a little earlier.

I liked mine really crisp but they were buttery and soft inside and I cut them into triangles and they were perfect with my morning cuppa and a magazine on a lazy Sunday morning...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crepes, a regular on my breakfast table


A little time back I did a post on Crepes (click, for recipe), a great simple dish to put together whether you want a chic dessert or want to given in to a special craving or want to cook something special for your loved one. I didn't seem to get pics on my camera...so they are some on my phone that I haven't been able to transfer yet! But, these seem to have been a regular on my table nowadays. I like them with fruit and honey and fruit of the season as usual is "Strawberry" - am sooo sure you are tired of being snowed down in a pile of strawberries from my blog but they seem to have become my weakness (umm, after Chocolate, ofcourse!).

I would have loved to drizzle this with some icing sugar and chocolate sauce and added a hint of strawberry jam inside the crepes to sweeten the slightly tart strawberries but as you see I have decided to keep it simple... no maple syrup also - only Honey!

Now, a little while back I chanced upon a brilliant blog called What's For Lunch Honey and I have been wanting to participate in the Monthly Mingle forever... it is a great event and gets hosted by a different blogger each time! It helps you meet new bloggers and brings to you a variety of new recipes to feast your eyes on. This month's mingle is being hosted by Maison Cupcake and this blog is a must visit too. Now, when I looked at the Think Pink theme - I was left wondering about what is something that I haven't already created with strawberries this month and I had something like a writer's block and couldn't think of something very innovative. Also, my son seemed to be in a mood of pancakes and I have been trying to be on a so called health trip so thought about re-creating these crepes and they made a perfect Sunday brunch!


Think Pink Monthly Mingle Event


Monday, March 28, 2011

Oat Scones with Strawberries



The heat has set in and the temperatures are soaring in Bombay and Delhi both. Feel like eating something sweet but light and dreamy without the calories (ofcourse!) 'coz summer clothes do not hide pounds! I saw an Oats and Maple Syrup scones recipe on the SmittenKitchen page and ever since then I haven't been able to think about baking anything else... there is something about healthy food that has me obsessed but the 160gms of butter used in this recipe doesn't make it very healthy! Ever since I have been a child hooked on to Enid Blyton books - I have always dreamed of munching on scones for tea like the Secret Seven or Famous Five. When I went to London with my parents I kept looking for scones. Little did I know that one day I could actually be able to bake them in my kitchen and without much running around with simple ingredients on hand. If you have ever read Nigella's recipes, she always like to use cream of tartar to add an extra lightness to her scones but for the life of me I have no idea about how to get my hands on it in Gurgaon!

Anyways, I was hooked on to the idea of baking the scones but was almost out of maple sugar and didn't want it too sweet so googled a few recipes and came across one very nice one from www.marthastewart.com - a mish mash of both recipes is what I am going to present here and it tastes mighty good except my lil toddler didn't seem to like it (Not sweet enough, Mom!). With the hubby away - I have about 8-9 scones to eat my way through and am enjoying each and every bite I must say :)!!!!!

I had this done and in the oven in about 15 minutes and it was great way to start the day knowing that the hubby is away for the week. I am hoping they last in the fridge and don't taste too stale tomorrow but I have been warned...

You can serve these with clotted cream, whipped cream, jam or butter or have as is with just a sprinkling of powdered sugar. How do you like your scones?????

Ingredients:
13/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
1 heaped tablespoon baking powder
1 heaped tablespoon caster sugar
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup cold butter cut into cubes

Recipe:
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Mix the dry ingredients together. Now you can add the butter to the dry mixture and rub it with your hands till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs or you can pulse it together - apparently both work equally well.
Then add the milk to this mixture and work it together into a dough softly.

Now, I divided the dough into two equal halves and brought it together. In one 1/2 of the dough I added some chopped strawberries that brought a lovely sweet and tart flavor to the scones. The other ones I left as is.

You can be fussy and cut it out with a a round pastry cutter or shape the dough into a large rectangle or square and then just cut it into traingles... that worked for me! Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes after giving the tops of the scones a quick wash of milk, cream or egg whites.

I must say with a cup of coffee, my breakfast was divine. And with a sprinkle of icing sugar and some jam it was a lovely after lunch treat!

Now I am sending my entry to the Oats Recipe Event - though my scones are not 100% oats - you can look up the event at http://myeasytocookrecipes.blogspot.com/2011/03/oats-recipes.html

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Am back...


As promised I am back with my pictures...

The first one I have updated is the Gondh and Atta Ladoos, especially for my users who are not Indians who may have never seen what is a ladoo - hope you decide to try it. The process is laborious but really worth it.

I shall try uploading more pics over the weekend... and the one above is one of my cakes that didn't ice and photograph well but it was over by morning so all the night pics don't look that great!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Vegetables cooked with spices...

I wanted to give my readers visiting me from different countries a taste of what it is to eat vegetables in India. Vegetables, usually don't just form a "side" but are part of the main dishes in India. So, instead of a soup, salad or sandwich an average Indian may be eating Indian flatbread (roti / parantha) and a curry or lentils with a vegetable for a meal.

I think lentils are pretty much easy to make and you have some darned good recipes out there on allrecipes.com, nigella.com (She even does chick peas really well...) but I feel that no one seems to do vegetables the Indian way! Now, I must warn you that each state (over 20) have their unique style and each household has their unique style.. so I will give you a few basic recipes from my "Mom's Kitchen" and if you like it, I will give you some more. Again, I am sorry, pictures will have to follow later as I am blogging from my Mom's place and don't have access to my pictures... but I promise some this weekend.

Checklist for cooking any Vegetable Indian Style (just a few things you should have on hand when starting out)
1.  A large wok or deep pan (non-stick)
2. Onions - I prefer Red but White would do to
3. Tomatoes
4. Potatoes
5. Ginger
6. Garlic
7. Cumin Seeds (if you have it great... otherwise just cook those veggies any way)
8. Tumeric Powder (Yellow color - has antiseptic properties and gives a nice warm color to the veggies)
9. Red Chilli Powder or Paprika
10. Coriander Powder - if you can lay your hands on it otherwise no worries
11. Salt - any kind you have :)
12. The veggies we usually cook - Okra or Lady Fingers, Bottle Gourd, French Beans, Cauliflower, Brinjal or Eggplant, Green Bell Peppers

Recipe 1:


Cauliflower and Potatoes
You will need  1 Onion chopped thin and fine, 1 Potato chopped into about 8-10 pieces and 1 small cauliflower chopped into medium sized pieces (about the same size pieces as the potato but the size of the cauliflower should be about 2-3times that of the cauliflower ), 2 pods of garlic chopped finely and the same amount of ginger and spices

Steps:
1. Add about 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok or pan and add the cumin seeds if you have and let them splutter else start from Step 2

2. Add the finely chopped ginger and garlic to the oil and saute for about 30 seconds. Add the thinly sliced onion to this and coat the oil evenly around this. Now sprinkle a little bit of salt on this - it helps bring out the water in the onions and they want burn easily, instead they will soften.

3. Add the potatoes (you can use slightly boiled potatoes to save time) into the wok after the onions are slightly brown. Add salt (as required), 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp paprika, 2 tsp coriander powder and mix it well. Now add 1 tablespoon water and cover the wok. Keep stirring to make sure this doesn't burn.

4. After about 5 minutes, add the chopped cauliflower florets and mix well. Add a little water (2-3 tablespoon) if your vegetables are sticking to the bottom of the pan and cover the vegetables so they can cook in their own steam. Once the potatoes and cauliflower have softened and can be broken easily with a butter knive - they are ready to be served. Make sure you dry the water in the vegetable.

5. Serve as a side garnished with coriander or can be eaten in a panini with onions and tomatoes.

Note: If you want to shorten the process, you can always steam the cauliflower and use slightly boiled potatoes (both these should take only a couple of minutes in the microwave).

Use spices that you are comfortable with and have tasted before.
You could easily substitute the coriander powder for oregano - but then the Indian flavor would not be found in the dish. You can also use a bit of "garam masala" powder or 1 tsp of curry powder if that is more easily available.
In this recipe you can substitute cauliflower for any green beans (chopped finely), small eggplants (quartered), green leafy vegetables like spinach (chopped finely and boiled), fenugreek leaves, green bell peppers (chopped into similar size pieces as the potato) or just the potato itself. The method will remain exactly the same.

Recipe 2:

Okra or Lady's Fingers

When I first went to the US to study I had no idea that Ladyfingers are long thin biscuits used to make tiramisu and I kept wondering how could okra taste soo yummy in a tiramisu till I discovered the real secret ;)! Outside of the US, Okra is commonly known as Lady's fingers or Bhindi and it is one of my favorite vegetables. It is time consuming to cut and I would often use the frozen variety when putting together a meal in a hurry.

You will need about 1 pound okra - washed and chopped into small pieces. 1 large onion or 2 medium sized onions thinly sliced. Spices as required.

Steps:
1. In a large wok  add 2-3 tablespoons of oil (any oil will do). Add cumin seeds if you have them or skip to step 2.

2. Add the onions and sprinkle with a little salt and saute.

3. When the onions are soft add the chopped okra. Add salt, turmeric, paprika and coriander powder. Stir well and cover.

4. This vegetable tends to stick to the bottom of the work easily - so you have to keep stirring it. If it is burning - add 1-2 tablespoon more oil (yeah it's not as healthy as the other vegetables)

5. You cannot add water to this recipe. Keep stirring till okra is cooked (softened) and serve as a side or main dish with tortillas or Indian flat bread.

Note:
They are other ways to cook okra which is much easier and tastier but uses up a lot of oil is - Okra Fry
Cut the Okra lengthwise into pieces about half the size of your finger. Add turmeric and paprika to this and mix well. Now heat oil in a work and fry the okra in batches. After it is deep fried - remove, add salt, mix well and enjoy!


I hope this tempts you to try a new side for your dinner table or next party and if not you can ask me any amount of questions about it before you decide to experiment! These are must haves for any vegetarian as it gives a new twist to the vegetables!

For my Indian readers.. I am sure your mom's have different ways of making the same recipes and would love to hear about any innovative techniques they use while cooking to save time!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Gondh & Atta Ladoos - Holi Sweetmeats

Like I mentioned earlier, I am away from home and blogging from my parents computer, so pictures are going to be seen only after a week. But I thought I should keep blogging as it keeps me connected with everyone and sharing my thoughts always makes me feel better!

I thought 2011 has been a tough year for me but Japan has faced a great tragedy this year - the biggest natural disaster ever recorded in history and is still fighting strong.They are stories of hope and bravery and strength and sadness everywhere...

This year Holi - the festival of color in India, would have just passed me by, had it not been for my toddler who has just begun to understand what is a water gun, water balloons and color. He wanted to try all 3 and me not being a "Holi" person - he pulled my hubby and my brother along and went down with his water gums and drenched them and all the plants... after that he managed to throw about 20 or so water balloons as various plants or in different places in the garden and got such pleasure from this simple task that he clapped his hands with glee when each one burst... which, made me realize if we could only enjoy and cherish each moment of our life that gives us joy, we would all be happier people.

Holi is celebrated with a lot of festivity in India with the women in the house preparing all sorts of traditional Indian sweets... I am afraid this time around I don't have those recipes but I have a recipe for some really yummy  ladoos which are Indian sweets shaped like small round balls and made of whole wheat flour and nuts and really healthy for the children in winter. I wouldn't make them in the summer as it is too hot to eat them in India.

Gondh Atta Ladoos

1 cup whole wheat flour / atta
1/4 cup gum crystals / gondh
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup almonds
11/2 tablespoon ginger powder / saunth
1 cup jaggery / gud or sugar
1/3 cup pure ghee

Recipe:

Dry roast the atta in huge brass wok / kadai and let it turn light brown. Remove and keep aside. Dry roast the walnuts and almonds and keep them aside too. Now take a couple of tablespoons of ghee and shallow fry the gondh in it and remove as soon as it fluffs up or it will turn bitter. Keep aside. Add the remaining ghee to the kadai and add the atta and further roast it in the ghee for a couple of minutes. Roughly grind the almonds and walnuts in the mixie - you can fine grind them if you are giving it your children and you do not want them to taste the nuts in the ladoo. Add the nuts and gondh to the roasted atta in the wok and mix together. Now add the jaggery and mix till it's completed melted. Add the saunth. At this stage you can also add elaichi / cardamom powder to give the ladoos extra flavor but my son doesn't like it. Mix this all together and remove this mixture in a big plate. As soon as it is cool enough to handle, start make round balls about the size of a table tennis ball and keep asia in a plate. Once cooled it should be stored in an air tight container.

My son would love eating it with his roti or parantha (India bread) but you can just enjoy as is... and it has many a health benefits...

So, finally here is the picture!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Puff Pastry Samosa's...

2011 has been a roller coaster already and it's only March! Just before New Year's I had a severe back problem and was again ill in Jan. Feb saw me down with typhoid and currently I am in Bombay dealing with the loss of a grandparent... also, Japan is dealing with a great loss and we don't even know the extent of this as yet.

I am hoping the rest of the year goes by peacefully and we see a lot of cheerfulness and happiness comes everyone's way to make 2011 an year to remember!

I am posting a simple recipe for you without any pictures... will be back in another week with some recipes and pics for you.

Filling:

3-4 medium boiled potatoes
1/2 cup peas
Masala: Salt, Red Chilli Powder, Dhania Powder (Coriander) or any All Spice Mix (for my expat or foreign reader's)
1 tablespoon oil

For the pastry:
I used ready made Puff Pastry which is available at Modern Bazaar - Gurgaon & Delhi

Recipe:
Saute the potatoes in the oil and then add the peas. Add all the masalas / spices and about 2-3 tablespoons of water - cover the pan and let it simmer till the peas are cooked. Taste the filling - it should be saltier than usual so that it doesn't taste less salty inside the puff pastry. (Variations: You can added grated beetroot or grated carrots to the Potato filling to make it healtheir. You can also make this filling with Cottage cheese - just use your imagination and ingredients in the pantry - it is supposed to be a throw it together kinda recipe for people who have puff pastry sitting in their freezer)

Roll out the puff pastry about 1/4inch thin and cut out medium sized circles. Add about  1 tablespoon filling and close the puff pastry over the filling to form a semi-circle. Seal with a fork and brush with cream, milk or egg white to get a nice brown glaze.

Now put it into the oven for 20-30 mins at 200 C and your have yummy snack ready to serve while your guests are sipping their tea or lemonade. This melt in your mouth flaky pastry is very hard to turn down.

These can also be made in advance and stored in the fridge or freezer in an air tight box.

A lovely recipe to bring a smile on your friends faces...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bombay Bhel Puri - perfect for that chaat craving?




Who doesn't get the odd chaat cravings, especially when you're away from home! Bhel puri has always been one of my favorite fast foods and whenever I am visiting my parents I am a regular at my favorite chaat haunts. I have tried and tired really hard I must say to find (in Gurgaon & Delhi) the BHEL PURI that I used to eat while walking down from Nariman Point to Chruchgate Station or near Mitihibai College or in the by-lanes of Santacruz (any Mumbaitie would be familiar) with these places... ohh, how I would give anything to go back to the old times for a day...

Recovering from typhoid, I have been craving food at all times and satisfying those hunger pangs is causing me to put on some weight. So, I was looking for a healthy option to munch on through the day and something versatile enough to not get bored of. I thought of all the street food that I have been really craving and bhel puri always tops my list!!! So hear is the recipe...

Ingredients:
3 cups puffed rice / murmure
1 cup peanuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup roasted gram /chana lentil
1/2 cup find sev (they look like small dried yellow rice noodles made of gram flour)
a pinch of turmeric / haldi powder
olive oil for sauteing
salt, pepper, chaat masala and red chilli powder to taste

Saute the puffed rice in a tablespoon of oil in a large wok and keep stirring it continuously till lightly browned. Add a bit of turmeric and salt and saute some more. Leave in a bowl to cool. In the same wok, add 1/2 a tablespoon of olive oil and the peanuts and saute them till lightly browned. If not salted, add salt and then add to the bowl in which the puffed rice is cooling. Now add the 1/2 cups almonds and saute them in the oil till nicely toasted and after sauteed crush some of them with a rolling pin and add to the bowl. When all the ingredients of the bowl are cool enough add the roasted gram lentil and sev and store in a clean air-tight jar.

This can be eaten as is or you can take it up a notch by removing the quantity you want to eat in a bowl. Add some spices as per your taste - chaat masala, red chilli powder and a teeny bit of salt. To this I added finely diced onions and tomatoes and some finely chopped coriander. You can also add some seeds of pomegranate or chopped peaches (which I didn't have at hand) to give it a slightly sweet touch which will be missing as we are not adding any sweet tamarind sauce to this dish. Since, I haven't added any chutneys / sauces in the dish, it makes this street food extra healthy and the fruits and veggies added to it would give us an extra boost!

This is also my entry to "Eat Fast Food, Not Fat Food" - I hope they like it!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Happy Birthdays - featuring two cakes - Strawberry Yogurt & Cream Cheesecake and Chocolate & Strawberry Cake


I wanted to do something fuss free for my birthday as my energy levels seem really down nowadays... and I can't even drink a cappuccino outside but I didn't want this to dampen my spirits and I still wanted it to have some excitement. I want to thank all my friends who took the time out to come over for my lunch party... made me feel special and the icing on my cake was my husband, who was out of town, walking into the house quietly to surprise my toddler and me. Oh, how perfect can some days get!!!!

So, coming back to my cake, I wanted something with strawberries and chocolate to bring out the goodness of fresh berries you always need to have some fresh cream or mascarpone... after a lot of thinking I thought I will make a No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake for myself. I had some hung yogurt lying in the fridge, to that I added half its quantity of low fat cream and about 200 grams strawberries and pureed it all together. Added some agar-agar to set it and just poured it over a base of crushed chocolate biscuits that had been setting in the freezer. And yes, that's it. The small tiny sliver in the left hand side corner of the collage is the only pic I managed to get of the cake but he at least got a piece of my Birthday cake :)!

For the kids I made my "Most sinful Chocolate Muffins" sans the chocolate chips. I had some leftover buttercream frosting and made some mascarpone and chocolate frosting... and used it to frost the cupcakes for all the kiddies... I think they enjoyed it as they aren't any cupcakes left and they aren't any pics of it!

Another cake that you will see featured in this post is my friend Preeti's birthday cake, which was a day after mine. Her kids wanted some totally chocolate but I know she prefers something lighter - so I wanted to incorporate some fruit in the cake. I made a vanilla buttercream frosting and used it and some strawberry pie filling to sandwich two chocolate yogurt sponge cakes! A chocolate mascarpone icing on top with fresh strawberries and toasted almonds around the sides to hide all the imperfections... I still have to get feedback on this one and hope it is fine!

We also had some snackies & lunch which I am going to leave for a later post - please email me if you need exact measurement for any recipes and you can contact me if in Delhi or Gurgaon to place any orders :)!

Monday, March 7, 2011

OTT (Over the top Chocolate Cake) with tons of chocolate filling & frosting and toasted almonds for a crunch!

Recently, for a a friend's hubby's Birthday I asked her what should I bake him and she replied " An OTT (over the top) Chocolate Cake".

I was pondering over it for about a week about how should I make a chocolate cake with different layers so that it didn't taste too sweet and you could differentiate the layers of chocolate and the difference in the chocolate so it didn't taste like a sludge of brown layers...

I chose to do a chocolate yogurt layer as the yogurt gives it an extra moistness and I didn't want the cake to be too dry (which sponge cakes usually are). I did a Chocolate Buttercream filling with Hershey's Chocolate for the filling and brushed the layers with a mixture of cocoa powder, sugar and water so that the cake layers became even more moist. The frosting was the toughest - I wanted it to enhance the taste of the chocolate cake and so I used mascarpone cheese and about half a box of store bought Pillsbury Dark Chocolate frosting (yeah, I was getting a bit tired with all the baking since I am still recovering) - whirred it all together and used it to the frost the cake. It was perfect and slightly tangy and not overpoweringly sweet. Now I wanted to add some nuttiness to the cake to enhance the flavors of the chocolate and suddenly hit upon the idea of toasted almonds. I just toasted them in the pan with a bit of olive oil and whirred some of them in the grinder to have coarse almonds to add on the frosting... their saltiness totally enhanced the cake and everyone said it took the cake to a totally different level.

I tried to make a small cake and a big cake but I am not sure if you can differentiate the layers in my pictures. I also made five cupcakes with some leftover batter I had and decorated it with the chocolate buttercream frosting for the kids... a total hit!

Recipe with exact measurements to follow soon. For now, please enjoy the pictures... which I could give you a picture of the slice... but the cake just melted into the mouth...


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ottelonghi's Olive Oil Crackers - healthy snacks options for the munchies!


Like I mentioned earlier, this is the year of event participation for me, especially since I can't venture out too much nowadays - all I can think of our healthy and fun things to bake and eat and send out to all the special people out there who have helped me while I was under the weather.

I came across a very unique event at Torview - it is a blog with wonderful recipes ranging from breads, pilaf's, baked goods to savory snacks all adpated to fit the Islamic dietary restrictions and full of wonderful pictures. As the logo mentions below mentions it is all about cooking something Brown... everything I cook in my Indian household is kinda brown... our curries are reddish brown, the roti's or Indian bread we eat is light brown, we eat a lot of whole wheat bread sandwiches - all brown and consume a lot of chocolate cake & cookies... so the choice was tough.

I needed  something different yet healthy with less oil so that I could feast on it myself... I have a pretty limited diet currently and was not allowed to eat even chips till a week back. I was really craving some healthy crackers when I came across the Ottelonghi Olive Oil Crackers on Passionate About Baking but I had to put a healthy twist to them to make them brown! They are made with all purpose flour but I used half wheat flour to make them.

The ingredients are simple and always readily available in your pantry I am sure...

250g all purpose flour (I used 125g all purpose flour and 125g whole wheat flour)
115ml water
25ml olive oil
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt & pepper
Toppings - as per your liking - I used flax seeds, cayene pepper, oregano seasoning

Brings the dough together by kneading together the flour, water and oil. Intuitively, one feels more the flour the drier the dough shall be but I realized this by making a small blunder... I found my dough really sticky and added a bit of extra flour to it and it seemed to get stickier as I kneaded it. Adding a bit of oil to it saved it and bought it all together once again.

Rest it in the fridge for an hour. Then make 25 balls and roll them out in tongue shapes as mentioned in the cookbook (which I would love to own) or roll it out and cut it with a pastry cutter as mentioned by Deeba. I made them into different shapes as you can see but all of mine didn't come out too crsip. I would roll out the dough as thin as possible and and I had to bake it for almost 12 minutes unlike the 6 minutes mentioned. Remember to sprinkle your toppings and brush it with olive oil before baking!



Thursday, March 3, 2011

Kid's Delight (Recreating Restaurant Food) - YUM- O Everyday Chocolate Snack Cake


I have long been wanting to participate in various Blog Events but something or other is always happening in my life and I am very bad with deadlines... so this year I have made a resolution to participate in as many interesting ones as possible.

March has been an interesting month and full of events that seem such fun. Also, I get to read and ogle at yummy pics from various gorgeous blogs. The event, Kid's Delight is usually hosted at Srivalli's Blog ( a very interesting blog with tons of informations ranging from parenting to kid's recipes, recipes for bachelor's and daibetic's) but this time is being guest hosted by Versatile Vegetarian Kitchen - a beautiful blog full of vegetarian delights. The brief was simple to re-create a restaurant or store recipe that is your kid's favorite.

My toddler is crazzzzyyyy about chocolate cake and cannot resist a store bought or bakery cupcake or slice of chocolate cake. It becomes a little hazardous for me to take him everywhere 'coz we can see one of his 'terrible two' tantrums underway...  So this is going to definitely become my snack box favorite.

I am usually a bake from scratch kinda person, but I have been down with typhoid and just recovering... energy levels are low - so I wanted something that I could put together in under 30 minutes (including baking time). I had a box of Pillsbury Rich Choco Cake Mix sitting in my pantry. So I just followed the instructions to  T with my own little substitutions to make it healthy.

The box read - Add 1/4 cup oil, 3/4 cup water and 2 eggs to the cake mix. I did this recipe two ways and both ways was a winner...

1 Box Rich Choco Cake Mix
1/4 cup olive Oil
3/4 cup home-made yogurt (1/2 cup yogurt + 1/4 cup water)
1 egg (I also made this by omitting the egg and adding 1/4tsp of baking soda)

I just mixed together everything using a fork and popped it into a loaf pan. It called for baking in a square or round 8-inch pan for 20-25 minutes at 170 but my cake was very dense and required at least 45 minutes at 175.

The result was a very light and healthy chocolate cake. It didn't taste even slight sour 'coz of the yogurt and I carry a slice whenever I have to go anywhere near a bakery or cake shop and my toddler is too busy chomping on this instead of asking for any other treats.

Hope your kids enjoy this as much!


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