Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dark chocolate and cashew nut brownie

Hi everyone...Sorry for being so irregular....Last weekend was a very hectic and happening one....It is birthday and anniversary month in our family and one of my twin sis was here with me for her b'day....We had a blast with her and her hubby and missed the other twin....Love you Tanu .....We went to Vegas, did wine tasting and lot more fun....I made a black forest gateau for her birthday, but before I could take the pics, the cake was all gone....

There is one more happy news for me and my blog....I have been chosen as the notable newbee of this week by Blogadda...The email said..

Hi Neha,

Congratulations! You are now a Notable Newbie at BlogAdda! :)

Neha, you are now featured on the homepage at If you are on Twitter/Facebook, do let us know your id/URL. We would like to  use that while we promote you on our social media channels. You may wish to inform your blog readers or friends about the same.

We have attached Notable Newbie badge with this mail which you can upload on your blog.

Keep up the good work and keep blogging!

Thank You.

I am really thankful to blogadda for choosing my blog to be featured on their home page....It is a great boost up for me....

It's time for blog hop wednesday again...As you know, it is an event started by Radhika of this week , I am paired with Priya of has a beautiful space , with a lot of interesting recipes.....I chose to make this brownie, as it's my birthday today and I made a cake just last week...So this brownie looked like a perfect dessert to celebrate my day....She made this brownie from JOYTHEBAKER....The only change that I did was the addition of cashew nuts to the batter....It gave a nice crunch to the chewy and fudgy brownie...

All you need is

Dark chocolate-125 gms { chopped }
Unsalted butter-80 gms
All purpose flour-1\2 cup and 2 tbsp
Baking powder-1\2 tsp
Salt-1\4 tsp
Cashew nuts-1\4 cup  { chopped }
Vanilla extract-1 tsp

Method of preparation

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
Grease and line a 9" square pan
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt
Melt chopped chocolate and butter in a double boiler or microwave
Keep aside
In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and vanilla extract till light and fluffy
Add the chocolate and butter
Mix till combined
Add flour and cashewnuts and mix
Pour the batter in the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes
Remove from the pan after 5 minutes and cool on cooling rack
Cut into small pieces

Monday, November 21, 2011

Honey and wheat loaf

Life without internet could be so boring, I realised this week....My lappy ditched me and left me all alone...And on top of it , Mohit was not here to comfort me...What an awe full week it was....To use my time constructively, I tried this honey and wheat loaf from Goodhousekeeping magazine which I borrowed from the library sometime back {Thankfully}.....It was very easy to make and had a crispy crust and soft and chewy interior....While the bread was in the oven, the house smelt divine with the smell of freshly baked bread......

All you need is

Whole wheat flour-250 gms
Hot water-150 gms
Warm milk-100gms
Honey-2 tbsp
All purpose flour-150 gms
Salt-1 tsp
Yeast-11\2 tsp

Method of preparation

Mix hot water and wheat flour together and cover and keep the dough for an hour
Add milk, honey, all purpose flour, salt and yeast and knead to form a soft dough
If the dough looks very soft, add some more flour and if it looks too hard, add little milk
Knead the dough for 5-6 minutes with the heel of your palm
Oil a big bowl and keep the dough in it
Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and keep in a warm place for an hour
Punch the dough and roll in shape of a log
Keep the dough log in an oiled bread pan
Cover the pan and keep aside for one and half hour
I kept it in a plastic cover
Pre heat the oven to 425degrees
Place the pan into the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 375 degrees
Bake for 40-45 minuted 
Rotate the pan once in between , so that the bread is browned evenly
Take out from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes
Remove from the pan and cool on wire rack

You can keep this loaf in an airtight container for up to a week....Enjoy with a spread of jam or butter....

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kebab Mourgh

Hey everyone...Hope you all had a wonderful weekend....I had a lovely one too...We went on a lovely drive on the pacific coast with the ocean just next to us......It was a beautiful sight to see the vast ocean so close and sea gulls flying along with us...It was also for the first time in my life that I dared to eat sea food....I had some reservations for sea food and never gave it a try....And now I am wondering WHY?????????

Coming to today's recipe,it is for Saji of from her 50 recipes from 50 countries in 50 days event...Her blog is a year old and she is having a giveaway , in which we have to post a recipe from her collection.....I chose to make this kebab from her lovely collection of recipes from all over the world....

All you need is

Chicken breast-2 {cut into small pieces }
Lemon juice-3 tsp
Salt to taste
Garam masala-1\2 tsp
Red chili powder- 1 tsp
Yogurt-2 tbsp
Saffron-1 pinch
Butter- 1 tbsp
Oil-3 tbsp
Green bell pepper-1

Method of preparation

In a bowl ,mix together chicken, lemon juice, salt, garam masala, red chili powder, 2 tbsp oil and yogurt
Marinate for 4-5 hours
Melt butter in  a bowl and add saffron and 1 tbsp oil
Cut bell pepper and onion into small cubes
Thread the chicken ,bell pepper and onion onto the skewers
Brush with saffron butter
Grill on a grill pan or barbeque till the chicken is cooked
Serve hot with lemon and onion rings

I have made chicken kababs before, but never added saffron to it...Addition of saffron gave it a very unique flavor which was pleasant to the palate...Thnx Saji for this wonderful recipe....

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Book review-The tulleho ! Book of Cocktails

This is a totally different post for me on my blog and I’m just elated writing it here... Around 10 days back blogadda contacted me to review the book “The tulleho! Book of cocktails” I just jumped on the opportunity and had my free book delivered last weekend... More than me, Mohit have been eager to get the book as he just loves cocktails and making new drinks… So thanks to blogadda for making me a part of this review

The tulleho! Book of cocktails has a great appearance and feel to it and has catchy instant karma and anarkali on the cover; the picture just feels in your taste buds! The author has demystified the complexity of making and serving cocktails in very easy manners…..From a large selection of desi to contemporary mixes, this book has it all....

The book has covered all the basics like explaining the various alcohols available and their use, the tools and utensils used to make cocktails right from the smallest long spoon to the larger ice crusher, which is great for anyone starting to learn; specially with the pictures accompanying the description.. It then goes on to explain the glassware to use for different drinks; again which is just great for any newbie in this field... Even if you are not planning to make a cocktail,it’s just great to know about these basics if you are going to a booze party or just the bar.. You never know this might just help you to start conversations with someone special or just boast knowing the stuff...

With a large collection of cocktail recipes under different headings like Diwali recipes, Valentine’s Day special, monsoon special, dessert special, Christmas special,ladies special and many more, this book is a must have for all the cocktail lovers....

I was confused which one to try from all the amazing looking drinks ,But then settled on Caipiroska, which is a Russian cocktail, with Vodka as the base spirit…..It came out really good…Very easy to make and yet looked very fancy....

All you need is

Vodka-60 ml
Soda-50 ml
lime chunks-6
Brown sugar-1 tsp
Lime juice- 5ml
Sugar syrup-10 ml
Crushed ice-To top up the glass

Method of preparation

Muddle the lime chunks and brown sugar
Add vodka, lime juice and sugar syrup
Add soda
Top the glass with crushed ice
Stir once and serve immediately

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Basic chocolate sponge cake to a beautiful rose cake

It is our anniversary today....I have spent the best 7 years of my life with Mohit....He has always been there whenever I needed him and stood like my backbone for whatever I did...He have very patiently handled my temper tantrums and given me his credit cards for my shopping sprees... lol.......And moreover he was the one who encouraged me to write this blog and sat with me for hours to  make my space.....I am truly blessed to have him as my life partner......What better way to celebrate this wonderful day with a beautiful cake....I have bookmarked the rose design from sometime back and decided to do it for this day....The chocolate cake is my very old basic chocolate sponge recipe....

All you need is

For the chocolate sponge

All purpose flour-1\3 cup
Cornflour-1 tbsp
Cocoa powder-2 tbsp
Granulated sugar-1\2 cup

For soaking syrup

Water-1\4 cup
Sugar-1\4 cup
Rum-2 tsp

For the frosting

Heavy whipping cream-4 cups
Confectioner's sugar-2 cups
Vanilla extract-1 tsp
Method of preparation

For the chocolate sponge

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
Grease and line a 9" cake pan
Sift together all purpose flour, corn flour and cocoa powder
Beat eggs and sugar till light and fluffy
Fold in the flour
Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes
Take out from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes
Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack
Cut into 2 layers

For soaking syrup

Mix water and sugar in a pan and boil till sugar is dissolved
Add rum when the mixture is cooled
Refrigerate till use

For the frosting

Add whipping cream, vanilla extract and sugar and whip till stiff peaks are formed

Assembling the cake

Put one layer of the cake on the cake board
Brush with soaking syrup
Put 2 cup of whipped cream and spread on top
Keep another layer of cake and brush with soaking syrup
Give a crumb coat to the cake
Cover the cake with the remaining cream and decorate as desired

Monday, November 7, 2011

Guacamole bruschetta

Guacamole is just a year old to me...Last year Mohit went to the US and he ate this lovely dip in a Mexican restaurant ....When he came back, he wanted us also to try it, but there aren't many Mexican restaurants in India...So I thought of making it at home...I did not know that it is so easy to make yet so tasty....Now that we are also in LA, I still prefer making it at home as we have started liking the flavor of the homemade one than served in any restaurant.....To make it a little different from our regular eat with tortilla chips, I topped it on a slice of toasted Baguette and made a Guacamole bruschetta....


For Guacamole

Onion-1 {finely chopped }
Tomato-1 {finely chopped }
Salt to taste
Lemon juice- 3tsp
Cumin powder-1\2 tsp
Red chili powder-1\2 tsp
Garlic-1 clove {crushed }
Fresh coriander-1 tbsp { chopped }
For Bruschetta

Olive oil-2tbsp
Garlic clove-2-3

Method of preparation

Take out the pulp from the avocado
With the help of a potato masher, mash it
Add the remaining ingredients
Mix  everything
Pre heat the oven to 450 degrees 
Cut baguette into thin slices
Heat for 4-5 minutes in the oven
Take out from the oven and rub garlic on it
Brush with olive oil
Keep a spoonful of guacamole on top
Serve hot

Friday, November 4, 2011

Italian Coconut cake with Coconut and Cream cheese frosting

For me,the most difficult part of blogging is to decide what to make next...I have so many recipes bookmarked from so many places but when the time comes to cook , I am all confused.....So many concerns suddenly pops up and make decision making all the more difficult....My latest concern is to finish the stuff, lying in the kitchen cabinets before going back...I have a special attachment to coconut....It gives a nice crunch and flavor to the recipe.....And I had some leftover which I wanted to put  to good use....So while surfing for some recipe that had coconut in it, I landed on this beautiful blog by Christi loved the way she has presented the cake....For me presentation is a big part of cooking...I always try to make my recipes look good and I was sold out when I saw this beautiful creation.....So here is the recipe...

All you need is

For the cake

Butter-2 oz
Vegetable oil-1\2 cup
Sugar-1\2 cup
Eggs-3 { separated }
Vanilla extract-1 tsp
Coconut flakes-1\2 cup
Flour-1 cup
Baking powder-1\2 tsp
Baking soda-1\2 tsp
Milk- 1\2 cup
Lemon juice-1\2 tsp

For soaking syrup

Sugar-1\4 cup
Water-1\4 cup
Vanilla extract-1\2 tsp

For the frosting

Unsalted butter-2 oz
Cream cheese-8 oz {You can also use hung yogurt instead of cream cheese. Just hang the yogurt in a muslin cloth for 6-8hours, so that all the water is drained out }
Vanilla extract- 1tsp
Confectioner's sugar- 1lb
Coconut flakes-1\2 cup

Method of preparation

For the cake

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
Grease and line, two 9" cake pans
Add lemon juice in milk and keep aside { The original recipe called for buttermilk,but as buttermilk is not available in India, I always substitute it with this combination of milk and lemon juice }
Mix flour with baking soda and baking powder
Beat egg whites till they form stiff peaks
In a bowl, cream butter, sugar and oil till light and creamy
Mix in egg yolks, vanilla and coconut flakes
Add half of the flour to this mixture and mix
Add half of the buttermilk and mix
Repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk
Fold in the egg white
Pour the batter in the prepared pans
Bake for 20 minutes
Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes
Then take out from the pan and cool on a wire rack

For coconut and cream cheese frosting

Combine butter, cream cheese, vanilla and sugar and cream till light and fluffy
Add coconut flakes and mix

For soaking syrup

Boil sugar in water till dissolved
Add vanilla extract

Assembling the cake

Keep one of the cake on the cake board
Brush the cake with soaking syrup
Cover with some frosting
Keep another cake on top of this and brush with the soaking syrup
Cover with the remaining frosting
Decorate as you want to

The cake turned out wonderful.....It was very soft and moist with the amazing flavor and crunch of the coconut....Do try it out....

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Strawberry Cream Gateau

It's time for blog hop again.....This is a wonderful event started by Radhika of
The event  has already completed it's 3 months and now we have a new set of blogger friends to visit....This week I am again paired with of Divya of I told you before , she has a beautiful blog and the recipes are amazing.....I tried this gateau from her collection and it came out great.....
All you need is

For the cake

Flour-105 gms
Baking powder-1\2 tsp
Sugar-125 gm
Butter-7 gms {melted }
Boiling water-55 ml

For the Soaking syrup

Sugar-1\4 cup
Water-1\4 cup
Rum-2 tsp

For the frosting

Heavy whipping cream-3 cups
Confectioner's sugar-1cup

Method of preparation

For the cake

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
Grease and line an 8" pan with parchment paper ( baking time will increase or decrease depending upon the size of pan used )
In a bowl, whisk together, flour and baking powder
Beat eggs and sugar till light and fluffy with a hand held electric blender ( approx 3-4 minutes )
Fold the flour in the eggs with a silicon spatula ( do not over mix at this stage )
Fold the melted butter and water
Pour the batter in the pan and bake for 20 minutes
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes
Take out from the pan and cool on the wire rack

For the soaking syrup

Mix water and sugar and boil till sugar is dissolved
Add rum to the cooled syrup

For the filling 

Whip the cream and sugar till stiff peaks are formed
Chop 5-6 strawberries and add them to 2 cups of whipped cream
Keep the remaining cream as it is

Assembling the cake

Cut the cake in to 3 layers
Put one layer on the cake board and brush 1\3 rd of the soaking syrup on it
Cover with half of the cream with strawberries
Put another layer of cake on top of this
Brush with 1\3 rd of the syrup and cover with remaining cream with strawberries
Cover with the third layer of cake
Brush with the remaining syrup
Cover the cake with the remaining whipped cream
Decorate as you like

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