Category: Sweets

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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First post of Twenty Twelve: Pumpkin Trifle with Caramelized Pecans

If it didn’t Bring you Joy,
Just Leave it Behind.

Let’s Ring in the New Year
With Good Things in Mind.

Let Every Bad Memory Go
That Brought Heartache and Pain.

And let’s Turn a New Leaf
With the Smell of New Rain.

Let’s Forget Past Mistakes
Making Amends for This Year.

Sending You These Greetings
To Bring you Hope and Cheer!

-Author unknown

A very, very happy new year! Hope you had a blast welcoming 2012 and wish it brings with it beautiful moments that you will cherish for years to come.

V and I had an amazing new year eve.

There was a small get together at home with friends.

There was dancing.

Laughter.

And, drinking- a lot of that actually.

There was also food- lots of that too (which I could not savour since ‘someone’ had a little too much to drink!).

Overall it was a good, good night!

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Garam Masala Tuesdays: Gulab Jamun from scratch!

If you have been doing the rounds in the food blogosphere, I am sure you have come across Sinfully Spicy. And if you have come across Tanvi’s site, then I am sure you have stuck around and visited her blog again and again.

It was her Gulab Jamun picture on Foodgawker that had caught my attention the first time. And that’s what I will be sharing with you today on GMT.

In the past whenever I have made Gulab Jamuns, its been from a packet mix. Had I known they would be so easy to make from scratch, I would have never bought a packet.

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Recipe Swap: Not “that” fattening Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

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August Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Candylicious!

I am warning you before you start reading- this post is going to be long and its going to be sweet- very sweet!

There’s going to be chocolate.

Lots of it.

There’s going to be tragedy.

Plenty of it too.

And there are going to be cavities!

You bet! A lot of that too!

This is the exact kind of post my dentist would disapprove of.

And that is exactly why, my friends, dentists and I could never be friends!

The August 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Lisa of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drive and Mandy of What the Fruitcake?!. These two sugar mavens challenged us to make sinfully delicious candies! This was a special challenge for the Daring Bakers because the good folks at http://www.chocoley.com offered an amazing prize for the winner of the most creative and delicious candy!

The challenge this month was to try our hand at bonbons, truffles, chocolate bark, pate de fruits, honeycomb and any other candy we would like to make.

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Garam Masala Tuesdays: Atte ka Halwa

Yesterday was Janmashtami, a Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Krishna, an avatar of the god Vishnu.

Sri Krishna taught us Karma Yoga. He strongly dictated in Gita that a man is bound to get the fruits of his actions. If he has done good actions/deeds throughout his life, he will get good results. Karma yoga is action (karma) performed without expectations or thought of reward. This selfless service of karma yoga is the path by which the mind is most quickly purified and its limits transcended.

Growing up as a Sikh, Janmashtami was just another holiday for me. But for V, a Hindu, its always been an important festival. His parents keep a fast the whole day on Janamasthami, only breaking it after offering prayers to Lord Krishna around midnight.

Though I did not keep a fast, I did not eat anything till I took a bath and first offered some food to the idol of Lord Krishna (I know that’s no feat but I thought I’ll mention it nonetheless 🙂 ). Sweets and desserts are the most preferred dishes for Janamashtami offerings, because Lord Krishna was known for his sweet tooth and generally some kind of kheer or Halwa is offered to him.

So, I took upon myself to make Halwa (pronounced hull-wa).

Halwa is a popular Indian dessert made from various kinds of fruits, vegetables, grains and lentils. If using fruits in Halwa, they are grated finely and fried in ghee and sugar. Nuts and milk may also be added. Halwas have the consistency of a very thick pudding.

My trials with halwa making haven’t been too great. In the past I have tried making Sooji Halwa (made from semolina), one of V’s favorite desserts. The first time was a disaster and the timing of it couldn’t have been more perfect (read about that disaster here). Of course now I have a failproof recipe for Sooji ka halwa.

This time I thought I would make halwa from whole wheat flour- atte ka halwa (atta/atte is the hindi word for whole wheat flour). Personally, I prefer the whole wheat one to the semolina one, probably because that was generally what my mom made and carries with it a lot of memories.

After my 10th standard exams, my dad got posted to Delhi. Now 10th and 12th are crucial years for Indian students- the Board exam years. So when my dad got posted to Jaisalmer, (Rajasthan) during my 12th standard, in the middle of the school year, my mom decided to stay back with me in Delhi, and join him after I was done with my exams.

Now, like me, my mom used to get lazy to cook elaborate meals with my dad not there. Plus, I was fine with eating easier to cook one dish meals like parantha, and rajma chawal. And for dessert, almost everyday, both she and I would have atte ka halwa. She would just make enough for the two of us, with each serving consisting of 5-6 bites. But she would make sure it was made properly, with no skimping on the amount of ghee. It was a thing my mom and I shared and I will always treasure those afternoons for the fun we used to have eating and enjoying the halwa she made.

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Oreo & Peanut Butter layered “Cakelets”

Barring a few little frustrating events that happened, yesterday was a good day. It started with the wonderful news that my parents’ Canadian visa got through just a day before their flight. Had it not, they would have been with me this weekend, but at a cost of losing a few hundred dollars in flight cancellation, re-booking, etc. My mom’s parents and her brother stay in Canada and my parents’ plan was to first visit them and then come visit me. They have a ten year US visa but they needed a Canadian Visa. Never thinking that their Canadian Visa would pose any problem, they had booked their tickets some time back. But the Visa did cause a lot of last minute panic, and only a day before their flight to Canada did their passport arrive with the Canadian Visa stamped.

Happy with the news and excited that my parents will be visiting me two weeks from now, I left for the baby shower we were throwing for the mommy-to-bes. It was a triple baby shower and all three of the ladies are having boys, that too only a week apart from each other!

It was a fun filled baby shower with great food. We, bunch of ladies, could open a great restaurant with all the talented cooks we have. On the menu was  chicken enchilada, olive  mozarella salad, linguine pasta, homemade bread (which was really good), olive, pickle n ham on a stick, (taking a break to breath and wipe off the drool) BLT sandwiches, pakodas, jello snicker rice krispies, chinese noodles, lettuce and french dressed avocado and my contribution lentil samosas and mini oreo sandwich “cake”.

After a great time catching up and seeing the three mommy-to-bes tear up after opening their presents, I was back home to Target greeting me as soon as I opened our gate.

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Recipe Swap: Triple M Sandwich Cookies- Molasses, Masala & Marshmallows

About two weeks back I stumbled upon Christianna’s site, and not only did I find a great blog, I also found out about this thing that she has going on, called the Recipe Swap.

The idea for the Recipe Swap was born out of a Vintage cookbook find by Christianna. Christianna decided to make her own recipes inspired by those in the cookbook. She also got a bunch of talented bloggers in on the idea and now, the recipe swap has been on for eight months, each month the bloggers dishing out absolute delights that showcase their creativity.

I am thankful to Christianna to let me be a part of this really talented group and to push me into being a little more creative every month!

Do visit the other Recipe Swappers: Dennis, Toni, Christianna, Alex, Lora, Lindsay, Mari, Crissy and Lauren, Pola, Jamie, Claire, Shari, Joy, Monique, Linda, Priya, Rachel, Alli, Katy, Emily, Krissy and Jaclyn. In case you want to know a little more about everyone and the Swap do visit the swap page.


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Learn how to turn a kitchen failure into a Success: Macaron Cake

Some are good at finance.

Some are better at marketing.

Some have an artistic bent.

I, on the other hand, have been struggling to find out what I am good at it.

And till recently, I was clueless.

I know I am a decent baker, but to say I am great at it, would be a stretch right now.

Thanks to this blog though, I have realized what my thing is.

My thing is…

*drum roll*

.

.

I am a problem solver!

Yup that’s my thing and that’s why God, the Almighty, keeps throwing these problems at me.

He is like,  

(For actual effect, imagine a figure in an angelic white robe with an ethereal aura talking in a god like tone saying this)

“Child, I know you are good at this and that’s why I give problems to you.”

.

.

So, you see, that’s my thing.

God keeps giving me problems. And I keep solving them :)!

Case in point:

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Celebrating First Blogiversary with tartlets & a Giveaway!

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