Category: Baking

June Daring Bakers’: Battenberg Cake

Being Indian I hate wastage. Of any kind. One of the reasons why I gained weight when I came to US (besides, the cliched that I got married) was that I was so used to finish everything on my plate, whenever we went out to eat, I ended up finishing the ridiculously huge portions of food served in restaurants here. Since we stay 4 hours away from all restaurants, doggy pack or to-go was not an option,  and since I had the habit of not wasting, I ate everything. That’s why this month’s Daring Bakers’ challenged proved to be double the challenge it was.

Mandy of What The Fruitcake?! came to our rescue last minute to present us with the Battenberg Cake challenge! She highlighted Mary Berry’s techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease.

I have missed the last two challenges. Although I did a part of the April challenge, I could not get it posted because I was busy with my in-laws visit. Hopefully I should be able to post the recipe soon. ( I seriously have huge backlog!)

Now, I have been eyeing this cake- the Battenberg cake for a while now, ever since I was introduced to the Great British Bake Off cookbook. I don’t have it yet, but amazon’s site has a preview of the book and in that they show pictures of the cake. Since then it’s been on my mind. So when I saw this month’s Daring Bakers challenge, I knew come hay or sunshine, I would make it.

And make I did. Not one but two.

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Cooking with the Books: KAF’s 100% Whole-Wheat Bread

I seriously don’t enjoy eating Ethoxylate Mono and Diglycerides, Calcium Peroxide, Datem (or uncommonly known as Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Ester of Mono- and Diglycerides), Ammonium Sulfate or even Azodicarbonmide? Like, seriously don’t like it.

You might be wondering why am I listing all these unpronounceable words.

Well, if you are eating store bought breads, and enjoying them then most probably you do enjoy eating all those long sounding ingredients I just mentioned.

And not that I want to scare you or anything (really, I don’t) but calcium peroxide (something common in lots of bread brands out there especially the white flour kinds) is a chemical that can also be used as a fertilizer. Tasty, right?

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Hungarian Roasted Pepper and Paprika Chicken

Isn’t fire roasting the most wonderful thing in the world?

Doesn’t it take everything up a notch?

Like, normal eggplants are good. They taste absolutely fine. But roasted eggplants. Well they are just great! *yes, Baingan ka bharta, I am talking about you!*

And while I know V isn’t gung-ho over bell peppers. Roast them and serve them as a sauce or in hummus, he is always begging for more!

Roasting red peppers not only intensifies their flavor and sweetness but also imparts them with a touch of smokiness.

Of course you could use canned roasted red peppers. But, when roasting red peppers at home can be so easy, why not give it a try once?

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Garam Masala Tuesdays: Roasted Masala Cauliflower

Sorry for being MIA. Haven’t been feeling too much love for the laptop and technology, keeping myself busy with other things. Of course, as a result, the blog always suffers! And since one of the ways I have been keeping myself busy is cooking, it also means recipes piling up in my folders! But, hopefully I should be taking care of them soon.

Luckily, I have GMTs to pull me out of my technology-detoxifying sessions. 🙂

When my in-laws were here, my mother-in-law made this roasted masala cauliflower dish for us. Its a fairly straight forward and easy to make dish and was a welcome change from the usual cauliflower dish I make. So I thought I will share it with you for this week’s Garam Masala Tuesdays.

If you have been following the past few GMTs, I have been cooking a lot with whole spices. If you haven’t become a convert yet, I hope you do soon. Whole spices opens a new dimension of flavors for you and will make you wonder why you didn’tcook with them earlier.

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Garam Masala Tuesdays: Chicken Tikka Pasties

This post has been in my folder for a long time and what’s a better day to post it than at the end of the four four-day celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee!

If you have been watching the coverage on TV of the the celebrations, I am sure you have been enamored by the grandeur that they were. Of course critics have argued that at such tough economic times do these celebration seem befitting. To avoid any debate, I will just stay clear off that topic(although there is a part of me that agrees, but this is a food blog and I want to keep it that). But I do understand that it is a big deal and maybe at such times you do need a reason to celebrate, even if it seems frivolous.

Nonetheless it was fun. It was like watching Kate and William’s wedding all over. And as befits a big British occasion, the rain  was persistent and relentless.

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SRC: Berries & Cherry Walnut Oatmeal Bars

The first week of the month is generally busy for me- what with the Recipe Swap post going up the first Sunday of the month and the SRC post going live the first Monday of the month. As a result, the weekend is always spent working on the posts and since I am a big time procrastinator, I end up baking/cooking, editing photos and blogging two posts in one day. I know, I really should plan things better!

Anyway yesterday proved to be doubly busy as I finally made myself a Facebook page for the blog! Yay!

After toying with the idea for months, I finally decided its time to face my fears. When asked by V why I wouldn’t get a Facebook page, I would give him the excuse that I am too scared that no one will like my page and also a big reason for no FB page was that I as it is struggle with my own profile on Facebook- a blog page will be a lot of commitment in terms of updating status and making sure they are good, etc., etc. But I knew I was just being lazy about it. So, I took the plunge and set up a page.

Since I was getting all tech savvy for the blog, I made myself a twitter account too! Woo hoo! I have to admit, I have no clue what to do with it, but I am sure I’ll learn along the way.

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Garam Masala Tuesdays: Chicken Samosas

Samosas are the quintessential Indian tea time snack. Everyone loves samosas, and when ever you crave one in India, only a few blocks away from you you will find be a guy scooping out some fresh samosas from a big pot of hot oil. Needless to say, that option is not available where we live. So when I am craving one, I have to make some on my own.

My favorite are of course the regular potato kinds – about which I have posted in the past. But since I make them every time for any potluck where non-Indians are concerned, I thought I would try a different filling this time.

This time I went for a non vegetarian filling.

Generally, the non vegetarian filling that my mom uses is made from lamb meat, but since I was cooking for my non Indian friends, I decided to go with chicken as the filling. From my experience I have realized that Americans (or at least the ones I have come across) are not too fond of lamb preparations. Maybe that’s why none of the grocery stores in a 100 mile radius of where we stay carry lamb meat.

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Pudding à la Catastrophe

I am sure if you have been around the food blogging word, the Zebra cake is something you would have come across and ooh’ed and aah’ed over. (And at the same time thought, why could I have not thought of such a thing!)

A unique take on the marble effect, I got introduced to this cake via this site. And I just had to make it.

And I did.

And it turned out really well. I served it when I had coffee for my friends at my place, and everyone was impressed by how the cake looked and tasted. V too loved the cake, but by the time he got to eat it in the evening, only a piece of it was left. So, I made it again (because it really is that simple to make). Once again it came out wonderful. But I did not blog about the cake, because I was not too happy with the pictures. I knew I would make it again and that’s when I would share it with you all.

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Oven baked Rutabaga Fries, a Review & a Giveaway

So after more than a month of no blogging, I am back and plan to keep it that way. I could give you the reasons for not blogging, but I realize I will just end up whining. And that is something I just don’t want to do, especially today.

Since I have been away for so long I thought I would come back with not only a recipe but a giveaway as well.

A few weeks back Ariosto seasonings sent me some samples to review.  (Do understand that even though these samples are free, I have not been paid for the review and the opinion I share today is unbiased, or as far as being unbiased goes)

Ariosto seasonings have been very popular in Italy for over 47 years. They have an excellent range of Italian seasonings which combine the right amount of specially selected herbs, spices and Sicilian sea salt to perfectly flavor meat (chicken, beef, pork and lamb), fish and side dishes. The seasonings use herbs such as rosemary, sage, juniper, bay, oregano, garlic, thyme, sweet marjoram, basil, coriander, onion, parsley, carrot and celery to create traditional Mediterranean mixes. All the seasonings are natural as they don’t contain preservatives, colorings or MSG.

I received several packages of Ariosto seasonings. One was for poultry and meat, one for tomato sauces, one for roasted or fried potatoes, one for fish, and one with garlic and chili pepper.

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Tish Boyle’s Luxe Pound Cake

I think I’m still a kid and no I do not mean the “young-at-heart” kind of way (though I wish I did). But, in the way that I need my mommy (no, that’s not what I call her) whenever things just seem a little too difficult to handle.

Well, uhm… kid would be putting it mildly. Baby would be the correct (although harsher) term, but let’s just be kind and think of me as a kid.

So the other day, my ankle (the very ankle that had gotten sprained months back) started swelling again, making working in the kitchen kind of difficult.

If that was not enough, I get a huge bump on my head thanks to me hitting it against a real sharp edged table. How did that happen? Let’s just say that I am really clumsy.


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