Thursday, August 17, 2017

Coconut Basbousa

If you live in the Middle-East you must have surely tasted or heard about the delicious Basbousa. This delicate semolina and coconut cake is amazingly easy to make and requires very few ingredients.

Recipe - From Friday magazine
Ingredients - Makes one 8X8 inch cake

For The Syrup
250 ml Water
200 Grams Sugar
1 Tsp Lemon Juice

For The Cake
100 Grams Ghee (At room temperature)
1 Tin Condensed Milk (395 Grams)
1 Tsp Baking Powder
320 Grams Semolina
100 Grams Desiccated Coconut plus extra for garnish
1 Cup Water
Nuts like Cashew or Almonds for decoration

Make the Syrup
1. Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer on low for 8 minutes.
2. Turn off the stove and add the lemon juice. Cool completely to room temperature.

Make the Cake
1. Preheat oven to 190 Degree Celsius/350 Degree Fahrenheit. Grease a 8x8 inch square baking tin.
2. In a bowl, mix the condensed milk and ghee. Add the semolina, baking powder, coconut and water. Mix well.
3. Pour into the prepared tin and top with desired nuts. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted is clean and the top is golden brown.
4. Remove from the oven and pour the cooled syrup on top. It may look like a lot but the cake will absorb everything.
5. Garnish with additional coconut, cut into squares and serve.

Happy Eating!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Jalepeno and Cheddar Chicken Burgers

Last night I had a hankering for some burgers and when I remembered this recipe from Annie's Eats I knew I had to make it. These burgers pack a super flavourful punch and are really quick to put together. Though the original recipe serves them with Guacamole don't be deterred if you don't have any on hand or cannot find ripe avocados. These are amazing just as is with some mayonnaise and ketchup as well, or you could try them with sour cream, ranch dressing, salsa etc. I have used chicken breasts below but you can use ground chicken to make things easier. If you don't have a food processor just chop everything finely by hand and mix in a large bowl.

Recipe - From Annie's Eats

Ingredients - Makes 4 Large or 6 Medium Burgers
For the Burgers
500 Gms Chicken Breast (Boneless and skinless)
1 Jalapeno (I used pickled)
1 Medium Red Onion (Peeled and Cut in half)
1 Tsp Paprika
1 Tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
Juice of 1/2 Lime
1/4 Cup Bread Crumbs
2 Garlic cloves
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Coriander
1/2 Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese

To Serve
Burger Buns

1. Place the onion, garlic, coriander and jalapeno in a food processor. Pulse till finely chopped.
2. Add the chicken breast and process till finely ground.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse till the mixture comes together.
4. Divide the mixture into 4 or 6 portions and form patties.
5. Heat 1 Tsp oil in a non stick frying pan and cook the patties, flipping once, till cooked through.
6. Toast the buns, add the patty and the toppings as desired. Serve and Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pinacolada Cheesecake Bars

Ola! These bars are one of my new favourite things to eat and I am so glad to share the recipe with you. The original recipe is from Not Quite Nigella and while she made it as a pie I chose to go the bar route for easier transportation and distribution. There are four layers here and each layer gives a different texture to the bar.

Even Jimbo Loves them (NOT!)
Though there are a lot of steps in the recipe the end result is sooo worth it. The pineapple and coconut taste really comes through and make it taste just like a pinacolada! So lets make some bars.

Recipe - From Not Quite Nigella

For the Base
375 Grams NICE coconut biscuits
105 Grams Unsalted Butter (Melted and Cooled)
For the Pineapple layer
530 Grams Tin of Pineapple in syrup
1/2 Cup Sugar
4 Tbsp Cornflour/Cornstarch
For the Cheesecake layer
375 ml Whipping Cream
375 ml UHT Coconut Cream
375 Grams Cream Cheese
6 Egg Yolks
3/4 Cup Castor Sugar
2 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence
For the Topping
100 ml Whipping cream
100 ml UHT Coconut Cream
Additional Tinned pineapple
Sweetened Shredded Coconut

Make The Base
1. Line a 9x13 Rectangular dish with foil. Grease the foil with butter. Pre Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/180 Degree Celsius.
2. Crush the biscuits to a fine powder either in a food processor or in a bag with a rolling pin. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Add the melted butter and mix well.
4. Press the mixture on the prepared dish and bake for 10 minutes. Cool Completely.
Make The Pineapple Layer
1. Blend the pineapple with juice to get a smooth paste. Add to medium saucepan and place on medium heat.
2. Add the sugar and simmer for 5 - 10 minutes.
3. Dissolve the Cornflour in a little water and add to the pineapple. Stir quickly until thickened. Cool completely.
Make The Cheesecake Layer
1. Whip the cream to soft peaks. Keep aside.
2. In a separate large bowl beat the cream cheese till smooth. Add the sugar, eggs, coconut cream and vanilla. Whip for 2 minutes.
3.. Add the Whipped cream and beat till the mixture is smooth and voluminous.
Assemble The Bars
1. Spread the cooled pineapple mixture onto the base.
2. Slowly pour the cream mixture on top.
3. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes until the center is no longer liquid. There will be a slight wobble and it will still look liquid but it is done when the top is starting to brown. It will also firm up once it is cooling. If the top is browning too much cover it with a foil.
4. Remove from oven, place on a cooling rack to cool. Cool completely, cover with foil and place in fridge overnight.
Make The Topping and Garnish
1. The next day, whip both the creams together to soft peaks. Cut the cheesecake into required size pieces (I only cut one way and then cut the other way while serving depending on the size of the piece the person wanted).
2. Spread the cream on top, add the pineapple pieces and garnish with coconut.
3. Keep refrigerated. Serve chilled.

Happy Eating!!

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.

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.
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!!