Category Archives: Dessert

Chicken Biryani

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Coming from a vegetarian background it was a completely new world for me learning about my Husband’s favorite dishes forget about the delicacies…I didn’t even knew the difference between chicken and Mutton (lol). Eventually when I started cooking Non Veg I had to try my hand on hubby’s favorite Chicken Biryani. Tried many different recipes however this version of Aditya Bal from Chak le India show struck out to be the best as per my family’s taste buds.

Preparation time – 30 min (marinating time – 8 hrs)

Cooking time- 30 min

Serves – 6

Ingredients-

Biryani basmati rice – ½ kg

Chicken- 1 kg

Onions – 2, chopped

Saffron – ½ tsp

Milk- 1 cup

Juice of 1 lemon

Chopped coriander

Sliced Green Chilli – 4

Chicken Marinade

Ginger-garlic paste -2 tbsp

Turmeric powder -1 tsp

Curd-1 1/2 cup

Red chilli powder-1 tsp

Salt to taste

Cloves-4

Cinnamon- 1″

Bay leaf – 1
Green cardamoms -2

Black cardamom-1

Cumin seeds -1/2 tsp

Spices for Rice

Cloves – 2

Cinnamon – ½”

Green Cardamoms – 2

Salt – As per taste

Dough- made from wheat flour and water

Vegetable oil- 2 tbsp

Process-

Grind all the chicken marinating spices, marinate the chicken and keep it for minimum four hours or eight hours. Deep fry the chopped onions and add them to the marinate and let it marinate for next ½ hour. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes drain and wash the rice, in a cooking vessel add rice, spices for rice and requisite amount of water. Cover and cook till water is absorbed (till the rice is half cooked only).In a big Handi (or Dutch oven) add oil, heat it and then add the marinated chicken. Cook it on high flame till the oil separates and chicken takes good brown color. Now lower the flame, and layer the rice on top of chicken. Meanwhile make a dough from wheat n water. Warm milk in a pan and add saffron. Keep aside. After layering the rice pour in the saffron milk. Add chopped coriander and chopped chillies on top and then add lemon juice. Apply the dough firmly on the edges of the vessel and cover it with the lid. Cook on slow flame for 15-20 minutes. (the time might vary depending on your vessel). The seal will harden after 15-20 minutes. Take it off the heat. Wait for some time and then carefully cut through the seal. Serve the Biryani with Raita or Chicken Chaap.

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P.S- As you cannot stir the Biryani while it is cooking sealed with dough, there are slight chances that the chicken might stick to the base, if possible give the vessel a slight shake around mid cooking time.

Banana and Walnut Muffins

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After a long break from baking and closing of neighbor bakery gave me a huge excuse to get up and start baking again. Entered my third trimester and everyone’s focus has zoomed in now on my eating…so  better keep baking all that I savor and love to eat.

Preparation Time – 5 min
Baking time- 40 min
Yield- 10 muffins
Ingredients –
Flour- 2 cups
Eggs- 2
Ground cinnamon powder- ½ tsp
Baking powder- ¾ tsp
Baking soda- ¼ tsp
Ripe bananas – 3 med size
Brown sugar- ¾ cup
Walnut kernels- 10
Butter- ½ cup
Milk- ½ cup

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Method-
Soak the walnuts in milk for 10-15 minutes. Sift together flour, soda, baking powder, cinnamon powder in a big bowl. Melt butter and mix sugar. Puree the bananas and beat the eggs separately. Make a well in the dough ball and stir in eggs and butter. Then add the banana puree, add milk if required. Pre heat the oven at 180°C. Line the muffin tray with muffin liners or grease lightly with butter. Pour the batter upto 1/2 of capacity and place the walnut kernel on top. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool on wire rack.
PS- I soaked the walnuts so as to avoid them getting dry from top.

Red Velvet and Nuts cake with Warm Cocktail syrup dressing

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Cakes just need an excuse to be baked, and what more of an excuse seeing my younger SIL joining her alumni as Sr Manager. This definitely called for a cake. As my family prefers to stay away from heavy icing cakes, choose to combine Moist Red velvet and Dry Fruits cake. Also had a tin of Cocktail fruits along with some rum handy…they all had to combine …..yayay.

Preparation time- 30 min

Cooking time- 60 min

Serves- 6

Ingredients-

Dry Nuts Cake –

  • Chopped Dry Fruits (almond, walnuts, raisins, dried apricots, Cashew, Dried Figs) – 1 cup
  • Orange juice / Rum – 1 cup
  • Eggs- 2
  • Butter- ½ cup
  • Sugar- ¾ cup
  • Flour- 1 ½ cup
  • Vanilla essence- ½ tsp
  • Baking powder- 1 tsp
  • Baking soda- ½ tsp
  • Salt- a pinch
  • Yellow food color- ¼ tsp

Red Velvet cake-

  • Butter- ½ cup
  • Sugar- ¾ cup
  • Eggs- 4 separated
  • Vanilla essence- ½ tsp
  • Baking powder- 1 tsp
  • Baking soda- ½ tsp
  • Cocoa Powder- 2 tbsp
  • Salt- a pinch
  • Red Food color
  • Buttermilk- 1 cup
  • White Wine Vinegar- 1 tbsp

Rum – 1/2 cup

Chopped fruits- 1 cup / 1 can – cocktail fruits

Seedless grapes (optional)- ½ cup- sliced in half

Method

Dry Fruit cake– Soak the chopped dry fruits in orange juice / rum for min 30 minutes. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy, gradually add eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla essence. In a separate bowl sift together flour, salt, baking powder n soda. Add the chopped dry fruits to the flour, mix, add the food color and then fold in the egg batter. Preheat the oven to 180°C, grease a round cake tin and pour the batter. Bake for 20 minutes or till the skewer comes out clean.

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Red velvet cake– Separate the eggs, beat the butter and sugar till they are light and fluffy, add the yolks, mix well and then add the vanilla essence. Sift together flour, cocoa powder,salt, baking powder and soda, add food color and mix in the egg batter. Meanwhile start beating the egg whites till the mixture is very fluffy. Add white wine vinegar and red food color to the flour batter and then fold in gently the egg white mix. Preheat the oven to 180°C, grease a round cake tin and pour the batter. Bake for 20 minutes or till the skewer comes out clean.

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If using the canned fruits- heat the syrup and add rum to it. Soak the red velvet cake and place the dry fruit cake on top. Arrange the sliced grapes and when serving pour the warm syrup with fruits on the top.

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Orange cake with Marmalade Glaze

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Meeting friends over dinner Is special, but meeting them after 23 years makes it Just oh so special. So when an old school friend dropped in by after 23 years had to make something special. As the dinner planned was heavy on palate decided to go with fresh orange flavor. Made fluffy orange cake and gave a glaze of homemade marmalade.

Preparation Time- 10 minutes

Cooking time- 55 minutes

Ingredients –

Fresh Orange juice – 1 ½ cup

Orange zest – 1 tbsp

Flour- 2 cups

Butter- ¾ cup

Brown Sugar- ½ cup

Eggs- 4

Vanilla essence – ½ tsp

Baking powder- 1 tsp

Baking soda- ½ tsp

Salt- a pinch

Star anise- 1

Sugar- 1 tbsp

Orange marmalade – 2 tbsp

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Method –

Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy, add eggs one at a time beating till all are incorporated and batter is light and fluffy, add vanilla essence, orange zest and mix. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda. Fold in gently with the egg batter, add 1 cup juice and mix. Grease the cake pan and preheat the oven at 180°C. Bake for 45-50 minutes or till the skewer comes out clean. Place the cake on serving tray , heat orange juice, star anise, sugar in a pan, boil it for 2-3 minutes and then add marmalade. Stir and once the marmalade melts remove from heat and pour over the cake. I served it along with Chocolate and Hazelnut ice cream (store brought) and Sauvignon Blanc.

Apricot Upside Down Chocolate Cake

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It’s again birthday month in my family. Today is my husband’s official birthday (sounds funny lol) and two days back was my brother in law’s birthday. On 10th is my sis in laws bday so yes another cake is in pipeline. This cake I had made on my brother in law’s birthday but my husband missed it so made it again today. He is really fussy when it comes to eating fruits, so fruits in dessert are the only way I have been able to sneak up fruits in his diet. I replaced brown sugar with Jaggery Sugar for the sticky taste, it definitely worked.

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Preparation time- 10 minutes

Cooking time- 40 minutes

Ingredients-

Apricots- 250 gm

Brown sugar / Jaggery Sugar- ½ cup

Star anise- 1

Butter- 1 cup

Castor sugar- ½ cup

Vanilla essence- ½ tsp

Eggs- 3

Flour- 2 cups

Cocoa powder- ½ cup

Espresso Coffee powder- ½ tbsp

Baking powder- ½ tbsp

Milk- 2 tbsp

Method-

Line the cake tin with parchment paper; preheat the oven to 180°C. Wash the apricots, remove the stone and slice them. In a saucepan add apricots, sugar, ½ tbsp butter and star anise. Make a caramel with occasional stir till bubbles form on the surface and apricots are completely coated in the syrup. This will take 5-8 minutes. Remove the star anise, line the apricots in the cake tin as per the design you wish on the cake top and pour in the caramel. I did in circular motion (requires a lot of patience). Cream butter and sugar and then add eggs gradually to a fluffy mix. Add vanilla essence; sift flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder and baking powder together in the egg mix. Fold together and add milk if required to loosen the batter. Transfer to the apricots lined cake tin and layer the batter smoothly. Bake for 25- 30 min or till the skewer comes out clean. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Get the cake out on the serving plate carefully as the juice and caramel would spill out once inverted on the plate. Make sure the serving plate is the edged one to contain the caramel and juice.

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Cherry Cinnamon Cake

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This happened to be my first attempt with a cake that had crumble topping. My inspiration was -http://www.bakeorbreak.com/2009/07/blueberry-crumb-cake/
where i had to replace blueberries with cherries for 2 reasons ; a) no access to fresh or even frozen blueberry at that time b) had two boxes of fresh cherries at my disposal 🙂
My first attempt.. i still remember offering the first slice to my hubby and his happended to have the only one of the few unpitted cherry. OMG, crack came the sound and i got that “Confused, angry, surprised’ look. Thankfuly he asked for 2nd helping (and nothing had happened to his teeth..phew) which was a proof to say he liked it. But he definetly proceeded with caution this time :p. Since then i have made this cake many time, made it from canned cherries during winters when my sis inlaw came to visit for the first time :).

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Ingredients

For Cake-

Flour- 1 cup

Baking Soda- ¼ tsp

Baking Powder- ½ tsp

Cinnamon Powder- ½ tbsp

Brown sugar- 1/3 cup

Eggs- 2

Milk- 4 tbsp

Butter- ½ cup

Fresh De seeded Cherries / ¼   tin canned cherries

For Crumble Topping-

Flour- 1/3 cup

Cinnamon powder- ¼ tsp

Brown sugar- ¼ cup

Butter Diced- 25 gram

For Liquor Topping

Fresh pitted cherry- 250 gm/ ¾ of the remaining canned cherry

Sugar- 1 cup

Rum- 2 cups

Method-

For Cake-

Preheat the oven at 180°C, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon powder in a bowl.  Beat butter, sugar and eggs to light fluffy batter, add milk and then mix the flour. Pour in a greased cake tin and layer the top with cherries. Press them a bit in the batter.

For the crumble topping mix all the mentioned ingredients, rub in the butter with your fingers to make crumb like mixture till it comes together in pea – sized pieces. Or you can also blitz all together in food processor. Layer this crumble on top of the cake batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes or till the skewer come out clean.

Allow the cake to cool. Then add cherries and sugar in a pan, keep on swirling so as to avoid burning of sugar, allow cherries to soften up and leave the juice. Cook for 4-5 minutes, then add rum/ brandy and remove from flame. Cover it for 30 sec and then pour it on top of the cake. Serve 🙂

 

Mango Muffins

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Preparation time-  15 min

Cooking time- 20 min

Ingredients-

Mango pulp- 1 cup

Flour- 2 cups

Baking  powder- 1 tsp

Baking soda- ½ tsp

Vanilla essence- ½ tsp

Eggs- 2

Butter- ½ cup

Castor sugar- ½ cup

Salt- ½ tsp

Milk- ½ cup

Melted chocolate / Strawberry drizzle (optional)

Method-

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and keep aside. Purée mango pulp and add baking soda to it. Blend butter and sugar light and fluffy; add vanilla essence and then 1 egg at a time.  Add the mango pulp to the flour mixture, mix thoroughly and then gradually fold in the egg batter. Preheat the oven at 180°C, grease muffin tray and pour the batter up to two third of the capacity. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

 

P.S-   These muffins are not going to be light but sure packed with Mango flavour. They will have a soft center, do not over bake them as the mango pulp stays a bit dense. You can add chocolate chips, dried prunes to add zing to the flavour.

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