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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Chocolate Cupcakes (Eggless & Butterless) with Whipped cream frosting

Chocolate cupcakes are my elder son's favorite.Chocolates drive kids crazy and even adults like me too:) How about a chocolate cupcake with lesser calories??None can say no to these cute little butterless & eggless ones.I had tried out the Eggless Chocolate cake sometime back,I have almost used the same recipe in this recipe just a few modifications here & there.These cupcakes are very simple to prepare and require no advanced gadgets just a wire whisk can do the work.A dollop of ice cream or whipped cream makes it even more delicious & heavenly.They are very soft,moist and perfect for any kitty party.Try & enjoy!!!

for cupcakes
all purpose flour 1 cup
cocoa powder 3tbsp
granulated sugar 3/4 cup
baking powder 3/4tsp
baking soda 1/4 tsp
oil 1/3cup
salt 1/4 tsp
water ;warm 3/4 cup
vanilla 1/2 tsp
vinegar 11/2tsp

for whipped cream
heavy whipping cream 1 pint
vanilla essence 1tsp
sugar granulated 2-3tbsp

  • Sift the flour,cocoa,sugar,baking powder,baking soda and salt twice.Keep aside.
  • Mix the vanilla extract,warm water,oil.Add this to the dry flour mix.Mix well to incorporate.
  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin tray with baking cup liners.
  • Add the vinegar just before you scoop it in muffin cups,mix well.In each cup,add the mix upto 2/3 rd of the cup.
  • Tap the tray on the counter 3-4 times to pop the air bubbles that appear.Place it in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.(I finished at 27minutes)
  • Cool on wire rack and cool completely before frosting.

Stiff peaks of Whipped cream (left pic)

  • Place the bowl and the whisk blades  in the freezer for 15 minutes before you whip the cream.
  • Pour the cold cream in the bowl thereafter and start whisking for 3 minutes.Add the granulated sugar and vanilla essence ,continue to whisk until you get stiff peaks.
  • Scoop it in a bowl and cover.Refrigerate until further use or pipe over muffins in your desired shapes.

Servings~ 11-12 muffins

* You can add lemon juice instead of vinegar too.
* The amount of sugar to be added in whipping cream depends on your sweet tooth.The cupcakes are sweet and so I wished a mildly sweet frosting and so I used 3tbsp of sugar.
* You can have these cupcakes without frosting too.

See u guys after a short break :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Kalan | Kaya Kaalan | Raw Plantain Curry (Kerala Style)

Nendrakai Kalan is a rich delicious curry mainly served in sadyas(vegetarian traditional feast) during Onam,Vishu or marriages.This is a coconut & yogurt based curry that serves best with steamed rice.The main spice flavors in this curry is from the pepper powder and green chillies.There are many variations to kalan like kurukku kalan ,katti kalan,etc.I love all coconut & yogurt based curries with rice ,its a complete satisfying meal and so is this recipe.As Keralites have Vishu(Kerala festival) coming up next month,this recipe can be a helping guide to many who wish to prepare their own at home.Enjoy making this at home !!!

plantain 2
pepper powder 1 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
ghee 2 tsp
fenugreek powder 1/4 tsp
sour yogurt 2 cups
to grind
coconut grated 1 cup
green chillies 3
cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
to temper
mustard seeds 1 tsp
dry red chillies2-3
curry leaves
coconut oil 2 tsp

  • Peel and chop the plantains in cubes,leave soaked in water.
  • Mix the pepper powder in 1 1/2 cups water and sieve the mixture.Pour this mixture in a pan and add turmeric powder.
  • Add the chopped plantain and bring to a boil.Let it cook till tender about 7-8 mins.Add few curry leaves.
  • Add salt once it gets cooked and simmer the heat.Add in the yogurt and mix well.(Keep stirring or else will curdle)
  • In the meantime,grind the coconut,cumin seeds & green chillies to a smooth paste.Add this paste to the pan and let one or two bubbles appear at the surface.Put off heat,add in the fenugreek powder and ghee.
  • In another pan,heat oil.Splutter mustard seeds.Add the curry leaves and dry red chillies.Put off flame and add the seasoning to the curry.
  • Serve warm with rice!!

Servings ~ 4-5 adults

* The yogurt should be sour,otherwise it may not bring out the actual flavors in the curry.
* Adding fenugreek powder enhances the flavors of the curry.
* You can even add chopped yam to this curry.But yam takes lesser time to cook so add accordingly .
* Keep the flame low,once you add the yogurt or else it may curdle.
* Add a piece of yam too if you have, which adds to the consistency and taste.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Gobi Stuffed Paratha | Cauliflower stuffed Indian flat Bread

When we get bored of regular chapathis,I always try out these stuffed parathas.Though aloo parathas are my favorite but I do try out some other stuffings like egg parathas,gobi parathas,carrot parathas & so on.These are very rich and delicious flat bread that can be served with plain or boondi raitha.I love them very hot smeared with ghee.This time I have tried this gobi(cauliflower) parathas,the stuffing can't be shaped in balls but a very flavorful one with the flavor of mint & the mild tanginess of lemon.Try & enjoy!!!

for dough
whole wheat flour 2 cups
salt to taste
water as required

for filling
cauliflower grated 2 cups
onion 1 small or 1/2 of large chopped fine
ginger shredded fine 1 tsp
green chillies 2 chopped fine
cilantro 4-5 sprigs
mint leaves 3-4/ dry mint  1/4 tsp
cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
lemon juice 1 tsp /amchoor(dry mango) powder 1/2 tsp
oil 2tsp

to smear on top
ghee /oil

  • For dough-Mix the salt in the wheat flour well,add water as required and knead the dough as for chapathis using food processor or with hands.Leave it covered.
  • For filling- Heat oil in a pan and crackle the cumin seeds when hot.Add the turmeric powder and add the onions.saute until slightly browned and cooked.Add in the green chillies,shredded ginger and grated cauliflower.Add salt and cook covered on low medium flame for 5 mins.Add the chopped cilantro and dry mint/mint leaves.Give a quick stir.Check if done or else give another 2-3 minutes till the water is evaporated and the cauliflower is 3/4th cooked.(Don't wait till it becomes mushy,retain the crunchiness slightly).Add the lemon juice and mix well,adjust salt.Let the water content completely dry up.Put off flame.Let it cool.
(the stuffing)
  • Make small (but larger than regular chapathi)balls of the dough.Dust with flour and roll in a 3' small circle.Place the stuffing about 2 tsp/1tbsp in the centre and seal the sides by bringing it together.Now dust the ball in flour and place the sealed side up and start rolling again carefully.
  • Heat a tawa/ griddle and place the paratha when it is hot.Flip and cook both sides,and smear ghee on top on both sides and remove from flame.
  • Repeat the same step for other parathas and cook again.Serve hot with raitha !!!
Servings~ 8 parathas

* Adding lemon juice/amchoor powder is optional but it definitely adds to the flavor.
* Adding mint gives a nice aroma and it also helps in  digestion.
* If you have trouble adding the spoonful gobi filling,then add a mashed potato to the filling to shape it into balls if you wish that way.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Wheat flour)

Chocolate chip cookies are my kids favorite cookie,its always a big "YES" to this cookie at anytime of the day.Though its lenten time for us,but kids as always are excluded and so adding eggs for them wasn't an issue.These are very easy drop spoonful kind a cookie.Kids really enjoyed the taste of it and I feel very happy seeing them munching these chocolaty cookies.The recipe goes very simple and anyone could try it.The recipe is adapted from here and I have added wheat flour to it as I like replacing wherever possible.Enjoy these yumm cookies with a cup of milk !!!

whole wheat flour 1 1/4 cup
all purpose flour 1 cup
baking soda 1 tsp 
eggs 2
unsalted butter 2 stick (at room temp)
granulated sugar 3/4 cup
light brown sugar 3/4 cup
vanila extract 1 1/2 tsp
chocolate chip;semis sweet  1 1/2 cups
walnuts;coarsely chopped 1 cup
salt 1 tsp

  • In a bowl,add all the dry ingredients;wheat flour,all purpose flour,baking soda and salt.Mix well/sift twice.
  • In another bowl,add the unsalted butter,brown sugar and granulated sugar.Beat until light and fluffy.Beat in eggs one at a time and until incorporated.Add in vanilla extract,scarpe down the sides.
  • Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F and place the rack in the center of the oven.Line 2 trays with parchment paper.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet batter and mix until incorporated.Add the chocolate chip and chopped nuts halfway through,mix well.
  • For large cookies,drop 2tbsp of batter on the tray and leave a space of 1'' space between each cookie.(as it tends to spread)

  • Bake for about 10-14 mins until the sides are golden brown(I finished at 11 mins).Cool on wire rack and store in air tight container for several days.

Servings ~  3 dozen large sized / 4 dozen medium sized

* You can use chopped pecans too instead of walnuts.
* If the dough turns out very soft,cover & refrigerate for 30mins.
* There is no change in taste even if you use wheat flour.But if you are comforatble then replace the wheat flour with all purpose flour/maida.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Whole Wheat Bread using Tangzhong Method :Baking Partners Challenge # 8

Baking Partners challenge #8 comes with another interesting recipe of making your own bread at home.Sound wonderful right??? Yes..I enjoyed making my own wheat bread at home and was very happy at the outcome.Swathi@ Zesty South Indian Kitchen suggested two methods of making bread using Tangzhong method(Asian style) and the Scandinavian method of scald flour.This challenge was a very remarkable turning point in my baking skills and am happy that I tried it.(Though I tried twice making the whole wheat bread suggested by some of our friends and wasn't satisfied with the results).This recipe was suggested and adapted from Christine's Recipes.But this tangzhong method had amazing soft texture just like store brought slices.My kids didn't believe that it was homemade bread.I tried it twice and both results were awesome,soft & delicious bread.The first time I tried making four balls,rolled and placed,baking was just lovely but I couldn't cut out neat slices.So,tried again and this time they are all in pictures.Don't they look store brought?? ;) So,don't hesitate to bake your own healthy bread with no high fructose corn syrup and feel happy !!!

For making Bread
whole wheat flour 150 gm/1 cup/ 16 tbsp) 
bread flour 200 gm/ 1.6 cups /(1 1/2 cups+1tbsp+2tsp)
Tangzhong 100 gm/1/3 cup(refer to below recipe of tangzhong)
sugar 40 gm/2 1/2tbsp
egg 45 gm(I took 1 egg) yolk and white separated, whisked 
milk 1/2 cup/100gm
salt1tsp/5 gm 
instant dry yeast 6 gm /2.12 tsp(I took 2tsp)
unsalted butter, softened at room temperature 40 gm/2.85tbsp

For tangzhong
Bread flour 50 gm/1/3 cup
water(can replace with milk) 250ml/1 cup


For making tangzhong:

  • Mix flour in water well without any lumps.(I used milk) Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking while you cook along the way. 
  • The mixture becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon. It’s done.  If you want to check the temperature of tangzhong it is 65 C/149 F.Remove from heat. 
  • Transfer into a clean bowl,cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up.Let cool.The tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature.Just measure out the amount you need.The left over tangzhong can be stored in frisge upto a few days as long as it doesn't turn grey.If so,you need to discard and cook sone more.(The chilled tangzhong should return to room temperature before adding into other ingredients 
  • The mentioned recipe of bread requires 1/3 cup of tangzhong/100gm. This recipe of tangzhong makes two loafs.

Making of Bread-
  • Whisk the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer (if you are using a bread maker, add the ingredients according to the instructions of your bread maker. Note: use your bread maker only for the mixing/kneading stage/first rise).  
  • Add the milk,egg(reserve the half egg white to brush on top) and the tangzhong.
  • Mix until the ingredients come together, and then knead until it forms dough. Add the butter and continue to knead and medium/high speed until the dough becomes smooth and elastic and no longer sticky. To test the dough, pull it until it forms sort of a thin membrane.  This could take up to 20 minutes. 

  • Place the dough into an oiled bowl or dough rising bucket, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise until doubled. The original recipe said 40 minutes, but my first rise took 1 1/2 hours.
  • On a floured surface, deflate and divide the dough into four /three equal parts and form into balls. Cover with plastic wrap and allow it rest for 15 minutes. 

  • Take each piece and, using a rolling pin, roll out into an long oval shape. Fold the shorter sides of each oval over like an envelope, into sort of a square. Flip the squares over, and roll out into an oval again. Flip them back over, and roll each oval into a roll/cylinder, from one end to the other.  
  • Second proofing-Arrange the rolls in an oiled one-pound bread pan, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise to about ¾ of the height of the bread pan. It took about 40 minutes.Brush the loaf with the egg wash and bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees C/335 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes. (Mine got done at 30 minutes,cover/tent the top of loaf with aluminium foil to prevent over browning at 20minutes) 
  • Remove the loaf from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Let it cool completely.Cut in slices and serve!!


Servings~ 1 loaf (preferably use a 10" bread pan)

*The tangzhong method can be used to make the famous dilkush of our Indian bakeries or any other stuffed ones too.I had my own dilkush recipe in blog which stills runs to be one of the popular ones,so didn't give a try using this method.But you can go ahead and try with this method too.

*The bread should cool down completely before cutting slices otherwise it leaves a sticky kind.
* Though I used wheat flour,the bread turned out more of white probably because I used Ashirwad atta(Indian brand).
*Always keep your rack in the center of the oven otherwise the top or bottom may burn fast.

Sending this to Swathi @ Zesty South Indian Kitchen

Baking Partners