Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Snickers Cake


 
I love snickers in any form (ice cream, cake, cheesecake or cupcakes) and this combination of peanuts, nougat and chocolate is simply perfect. Although I made the cake exactly like the recipe from Brown Eyed Baker I have given my own changes below which I will incorporate when I will make it again. Because all the four components of the cake are on a sweet note the overall taste tended to be a little too sweet for  many of the tasters though some were going gaga over the cake like little children with candy.

This cake requires some time and effort but everything is very easy to make and comes together quickly once all the components are ready. The nougat filling tastes exactly like the inside of a snickers. I was planning to make the fluff from scratch but luckily I got the fluff jar in Lulu Barsha and the filling was super easy to make.

Recipe Source: Cake and Nougat Recipe Given as is from Brown Eyed Baker with my changes in red.

Ingredients - Makes one 8 inch square or round 3 Layer cake

For the Cake
2½ Cups + 1 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
3 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 Cup + 1 Tbsp Dutch Process Cocoa Powder (I used regular cocoa powder)
1 Tbsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 Tsp Salt
3 Eggs (Large, at room temperature)
1 1/2 Cups Buttermilk (at room temperature) (I used milk and vinegar substitute)
1 1/2 Cups Strong Black Coffee (hot)
3/4 Cups Vegetable Oil
4 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract (I used vanilla essence)

For the Nougat Filling
4 Tbsp (57 Grams) Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Evaporated Milk
1 1/2 Cups Marshmallow Fluff
1/4 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Cups Salted Peanuts (Roughly chopped)

For the Frosting (what I plan to use when I make the cake again)
453 Grams (16oz) Full Fat Cream Cheese, Softened But Still Cool
1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Cup Cold Heavy Cream
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence

 For the Dark Chocolate Ganache
226 Grams (8 ounces) Dark Chocolate (70%) , finely chopped
1/2 Cup (4 ounces) Heavy Cream

 For the Assembly & Garnish
1 Cup Salted caramel sauce 
Chopped peanuts

Make the Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the insides of the pans, tapping out excess; set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or large mixing bowl if you're using a hand mixer), sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 20 seconds (the batter will be very thin).
4. Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.
Make the Nougat Filling
1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and evaporated milk, stirring until dissolved, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2.  Remove the pan from heat and add the marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, and vanilla extract, stirring until completely smooth. Fold in the peanuts. Let the nougat mixture cool to room temperature before using it in the cake. You can do this leaving it at room temperature or you can pop it into the refrigerator to speed up the process. Be sure to give a stir occasionally as it cools.
 
Make The Frosting
1. Sift the powdered sugar and add the cream cheese to the bowl of your mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat them thoroughly until fluffy and completely smooth/lump free.
2. In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream to nearly stiff peaks, then add the whipped cream into the cheese mixture, scrape down the sides of your bowl and quickly and briefly beat to combine. Do not over beat.
 
Assemble The Cake
1. Place one layer on a cake board, and place it on a turntable. If the tops of the cakes are domed, level them.
2. Spread 1/2 of the nougat filling on the cake and top with 1/2 Cup salted caramel.
3. Repeat with second layer of cake, remaining nougat and caramel. Place the third square on top.
4. Cover the cake with the frosting and chill in the fridge till the ganache is prepared.
 
Make The Chocolate Ganache
Place the chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm until it just comes to a boil. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Begin whisking the mixture in the center, gradually working your way outward until the ganache is completely smooth. Set aside to cool, whisking occasionally, until it has thickened to spreadable consistency.
 
Garnish The Cake
1. Cover the cake with the ganache, drizzle some additional salted caramel sauce over the top and side of the cake, and top with chopped peanuts. Keep the cake refrigerated, removing it from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to serving.
 
 Happy Eating!! 
 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Kheema Crêpe Parcels

 
This is the first time I ever tried making French crêpes and this fail proof recipe from Smitten Kitchen is guaranteed to turn out perfect every time. Indeed the recipe was super easy to whip up and each crêpe took just a minute on the stove. 15 minutes later I had beautiful crêpes ready for some tasty fillings. One helpful tip I got from one of the commentators was to use two non stick pans at the same time. When one side of the crêpe is done you flip it onto the second pan. This way you can cook them faster. Stack them up on a foil and when ready to eat just reheat in the oven.

 
I was inspired to make these parcels from a similar recipe made by my friend who had filled them with a chicken filling. I decided to go with kheema (spiced minced meat) and some mayonnaise.
 
I would love to try doing a sweet variation next time with nutella and strawberries or coconut and sugar. Crêpe party, here I come!

Recipe - Crêpes from Smitten Kitchen

For The Crêpes
45 Grams Unsalted Butter
1 1/4 Cup (295 ml) Milk (Room Temperature)
4 Large Eggs (Room Temperature)
1 Cup (125 Grams) All Purpose Flour
Two pinches of salt

For The Filling
750 Grams Minced Meat (Beef/Mutton)
To Marinate
2 Tbsp Ginger and Garlic Paste
2 Tbsp Yogurt
1 Tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
1 Tsp Garam Masala Powder
2 Tsp Cumin Powder (Zeera)
2 Tsp Red Chili Powder
2 Tsp Coriander Seeds Powder (Dhanya)
Salt To Taste
To Cook
3 Tbsp Oil
1 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
4 Green Chillies (Finely Chopped)
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Coriander Leaves
1.4 Cup Finely Chopped Mint Leaves

For Assembly
Mayonnaise as needed
Paste made with water and flour for sticking
 
Make The Crêpe Batter
1. Melt the butter in a medium bowl. Do not let it get too hot or it will scramble the eggs.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. There will be a lot of lumps and that is ok.
3. Cover and refrigerate for one hour or upto 4 Days.
 
Make The Filling
1. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl. Add the meat and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for two hours.
2. When meat is marinated, heat the oil in a large pot and add the onion and chillies. Sauté till the onion is translucent. Add the marinated meat and stir well to break down the clumps of meat.
3. Cook the meat on high till done and adjust spices according to taste. If any water is left in the pot keep cooking till it evaporates.
4. Turn off the flame and add the coriander and mint leaves. Cool Completely before using as filling.
 
Make The Crêpes
1. Remove the batter from the fridge and give it a quick stir. If you think it is a bit thick add a splash of milk.
2. Place a 8-9 inch non stick pan/skillet on medium flame. I like to use two pans on two burners to speed the process.
3. Lightly butter pan with a tissue and pour in 1/4 cup batter. Quickly rotate the pan to spread the batter evenly all around.
4. Once the edges have set, using a non stick turner or your fingers gently flip the crêpe. I flip mine onto to the second pan and continue to pour more batter on the first pan. Repeat to make more.
5. When the bottom is slightly golden remove crêpe onto a foil or wax paper. Cool Completely.
 
Assemble The Parcels
1. Place one crêpe on a plate and add 1/4 Cup of kheema in the center with 1 Tsp Mayonnaise.
2. Fold the two sides on the filling and then fold the bottom side upwards Apply the paste of flour and water to the top side and gently fold it downwards to make a square parcel.
3. Heat a skillet and place the prepared parcels on it. Cook till light golden on both sides.
3. Serve hot with Ketchup.
 
Happy Eating!!


Monday, June 13, 2016

An Iftaar Treat - Chicken Bread Rolls

 
Ramadan Kareem to all of you. The month of fasting is here once again and I have a new recipe to share. This recipe is very easy and comes together in a pinch. A good thing about these is that they are not deep fried. A quick toasting on the pan gives them a crispy exterior.

Recipe
Ingredients
For The Stuffing
200 Grams Boneless Chicken - Boiled and shredded
150 Grams Potato - Boiled and mashed
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Onion
4 Green Chilies (Finely Chopped)
2 Tsp Oil
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Coriander
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Mint Leaves
1/4 Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
Salt To taste
1/2 Tsp Pepper

For The Roll
10 Bread Slices (Use white bread for best results)
10 Tsp Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Water
4 Tsp Ghee for frying

Make The Stuffing
1. Heat the oil in a pan and Saute the onions and green chillies till the onions are translucent.
2. Mix all the stuffing ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste and add more seasoning if needed.

Prep the Bread
1. Cut the sides off the bread slices (save them for breadcrumbs).
2. Place each slice on a flat surface and roll it flat with the help of a rolling pin. We want to get it as flat as possible as this helps in easy rolling.

Make the Rolls
1. Take one slice and place two tablespoons of filling in the center. Add 1 Tsp mayonnaise across the top. Wet the bottom edge of the bread with a little water and start rolling the bread from the top edge. Seal well and repeat with all slices.
2. Heat the ghee in a frying pan and place the rolls in the pan. Keep turning gently till all the sides are well toasted.
3. Serve hot with Ketchup.

Happy Eating!!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sticky Toffee Pudding

 
Oh Sticky Toffee Pudding ! How I love thee... This is hands down one of my favourite desserts. Not only me but everyone whom I have ever served it to goes all crazy when they take their first bite. Sticky Toffee pudding is a British dessert made up of a date cake with a simple toffee sauce. This recipe is from David Lebovitz and is absolutely perfect for entertaining as it is very easy to make requiring minimal no fuss ingredients.
 
 
Though he recommends baking the pudding with the sauce at the bottom I always bake it without the sauce as on most occasions I have to travel with it and cannot serve it straight from the oven. My preferred method is to bake the cake, poke some holes all over it and  then pour the sauce. A quick reheat just before serving ensures a moist and decadent treat.
 
Recipe Source - David Lebovitz with very few changes.
 
Ingredients
For the Pudding
180 Grams Pitted Dates (Roughly Chopped)
1 Cup Water
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 1/4 Cups (175 Grams) All Purpose Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
4 Tbsp (55 Grams) Unsalted Butter
3/4 Cup (150 Grams) Granulated Sugar
2 Large Eggs (Room temperature)
1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
 
For The Sauce
1 1/2 Cups (375 ml) Heavy cream
6 Tbsp (67.5 Grams) Demerara Or Muscovado Sugar
28 ml Golden Syrup (Approx two tablespoons)
A Pinch of Salt
 
Make the Pudding
1. Grease a 8x8 Cake pan. Pre-heat the oven to 190 Degree C (350 Degree F).
2. Place the dates and water in a small saucepan and bring to boil. As soon as the water starts boiling turn off the flame and stir in the baking soda. Keep aside to cool.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
4. In the bowl of a mixer cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla.
5. Mix in half the flour, then the date mixture and then the remaining flour. Stir gently and do not overbeat.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
 
Make the Sauce
1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan on a medium flame. Stir till the sugar is melted.
2. Lower the heat to a simmer and stir every 5 minutes till the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
 
To Serve the Cake
1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 Degree C (350 Degree F).
2. Poke holes all over with a skewer and pour 1 Cup of the prepared sauce all over. Scatter the chopped walnuts all over. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
3. Serve hot drizzled with extra sauce and Vanilla ice cream.
 
Happy Eating!!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Chicken Kheema Pakora


These Chicken kheema pakoras are deep fried crunchy bits of goodness. The ingredients for these are pretty simple and the mixture comes together in a pinch. I made these for an iftaar party last year and they make a good quantity to feed a crowd. One thing to keep in mind is to fry them low and slow. If you fry them on high they will brown too quickly and remain raw in the middle. A medium flame is best to get the crunch on the outside.


Recipe Source - Adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor's Kheema Pakora

Ingredients

500 Gms Chicken Mince
1 Cup Finely Sliced Onion
4 Green Chillies (Finely Chopped)
2 Tbsp Besan (Chickpea Flour)
2 Tbsp Rice Flour
1 Egg
1 Inch Piece Ginger (Finely Chopped)
1 Tsp Red Chili Powder
1 Tsp Cumin Powder
1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 Cup Finely chopped Coriander leaves
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Mint Leaves
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
Salt to Taste
Oil for Deep frying

1. Pour oil for deep frying in a wok and heat till ready.
2. Mix all the remaining ingredients in a bowl. The mixture should hold its shape when pinched. If its too wet add more besan; if its too crumbly or dry add an additional egg or a splash of milk.
3. Take small portions of the mixture and place gently in hot oil.
4. Fry the pakoras on medium heat till golden brown. Do not fry on high as they will remain raw from inside.
5. Remove on a paper towel and serve hot with green chutney and tamarind chutney.

Happy Eating!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Seven Layer Bars

Seven Layer Bars are an amazing combination of digestives, chocolate, coconut and condensed milk.  I baked a batch to take to work with me and within an hour the entire box was gone. The recipe contains very simple ingredients and is super easy to put together . It is also a great project to make with kids.
   

Though I loved the bars as is, next time I would love to add a salty element to it like pretzels or crushed Ritz crackers. You could also use salted peanuts instead of the pecans.

Recipe Source - Brown Eyed Baker

1 1/2 Cups Crushed Digestive Biscuits
113 Grams Unsalted Butter (Melted)
1 Cup Chopped Pecans/Walnuts
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter Chips/Butterscotch Chips
1 Cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
 
1. Line a 9X13 (or two 8x8 square pans) Baking tray with aluminium foil with an overhang on both the sides. Grease the foil with butter , making sure to go up the sides.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3. In a medium bowl, mix the crushed digestives with the melted butter. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. There is no need to press it in as this is not a crust.
4. Next add a layer each of the pecans, semi sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and coconut over the biscuit layer.
5. Pour the entire can of the condensed milk all over the pan. Do not press any of the ingredients.
6. Place on the middle rach and bake for 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Cool in the pan on a wire rack till the bars come to room temperature.
7. Remove the bars using the foil handles and cut into bars. Store in an air tight container.

Happy Eating!!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Cheesecake Bars


Cheesecake is one of my favourite desserts but sometimes you just want to eat it and not wait one full day for the cheesecake to bake and cool. These cheesecake bars are super easy to make and needs only an hours chilling in the fridge. I served them with a simple strawberry sauce made by macerating strawberries in sugar and mashing with a fork. They can be served plain or along with a variety of toppings and sauces like blueberry sauce, chocolate sauce, crushed Oreos, caramel etc.


The original recipe calls for a 9X13 pan but I made them in a slightly smaller pan to get thicker slices.
 
Recipe Source - Given as is from Joy of Baking

Ingredients
For the Crust
2 Cups Crushed Digestive Biscuits
113 Grams Unsalted Butter, Melted
For the Filling
454 Grams Cream Cheese (At room temperature)
1/2 Cup Granulated White Sugar
1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Lemon zest
2 Large Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
 
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Have ready a 9 x 13 x 2 inch (23 x 33 x 5 cm) baking pan that has been lined with aluminium foil across the bottom and up two opposite sides of the pan. Lightly butter or spray the foil with a non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  4. Add the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. 
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, as needed. 
  6. Pour the cheesecake filling over the graham cracker base and bake for about 18 - 20 minutes or until the cheesecake batter is just set.
  7. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Cover and place in the refrigerator for several hours to make the squares easier to cut. To cut into squares - place on a cutting board, remove the foil, and with a sharp knife, cut into 2 inch squares. Have a damp cloth on hand to wipe the knife between cuts. Garnish with fresh berries, if desired. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Happy Eating!!