Thursday, September 27, 2012

Classic French Vanilla Madeleines

Call it a cookie or call it a cake, this Classic scalloped French dessert  is sure to please your palate...I tried Madeleine for the first time in the US....I was introduced to them as Costco cookies....Ever since I tasted this light as feather and just the perfect sweet dessert, I wanted to make it at home....Then luckily found a Madeleine pan in a local baking supply store , did some research on the recipe and look I've already made 3 batches... The recipe I came up with is a mix and match of various recipes I found on the net....It's a breeze to make and this recipe works every time...Do give it a try....

All you need is ( Makes 14-16  cookies )
  • Butter-1\2 cup
  • Eggs-2 ( large )
  • Sugar-1\2 cup
  • Vanilla extract-1\2 tsp
  • All purpose flour-1 cup
  • Confectioner's sugar to dust

Method of preparation

Make a  beurre noisette .
( Unsalted butter is melted over low heat and allowed to separate into butterfat and milk solids. The milk solids naturally sink to the bottom of the pan and, if left over gentle heat, will begin to brown. As the milk solids reach a toasty hazelnut color, the pan is removed from the heat. Beurre noisette may be used in its liquid state, or cooled to a solid form. It has a nutty flavor and is particularly included in the batters for madeleines and financiers) by wikipedie
Cut butter into small pieces
Melt the butter in a heavy bottom pan
Swirl the butter every now and then, until it has browned and you can smell a nutty scent
Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes
Strain and keep aside
Grease a madeleine mold and keep aside
Whisk sugar and eggs in a heat proof mixing bowl
Keep the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk until the mixture is warm to touch ( approx 3-4 minutes )
The bottom of the mixing bowl should not touch the water, otherwise the eggs will be cooked
Remove the mixing bowl from heat and beat with an electric blender for 5 minutes on high speed, until the mixture is light and fluffy
Gently blend in the butter and vanilla extract
Add flour and gently mix it in the batter
Take a zip lock bag and fill the batter in it
Let the batter rest for an hour
Pre heat the oven at 350 degrees F
Make a small cut at the end of the zip lock and pipe the batter in the prepared pan
Pipe in the center of the pan and the batter should be enough to fill 3\4 th of the cavity
The batter will automatically spread once heated
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until you see the sides browned
Remove from the oven and immediately take out the madeleines from the pan and cool on a wire rack
Repeat with remaining batter
Dust with confectioner's sugar

Friday, September 21, 2012

Chocolate Whiskey Bundt Cake

To be very frank, me and Mohit are not big fans of chocolate....So I would not have made this cake if it was for us...But a lot of my readers asked me for more chocolate dessert recipes...It's the most liked flavor for dessert hands down...What if ,we don't like it...But I am glad I made it...It was deliciously rich and dense and the bitterness from whiskey  was the key feature....I realized, it tasted much better the next day....The cake keeps well for 4-5 days in the fridge....So here is the recipe....

All you need is ( recipe adapted from )

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder-1 cup plus 3 tbsp
  • Brewed coffee-1 and 1\2 cup
  • Whiskey-1\2 cup
  • Unsalted butter-1 cup
  • Sugar-2 cups
  • All purpose flour-2 cups
  • Baking soda-1 and 1\4 tsp
  • Salt-1\2 tsp
  • Eggs-2
  • Vanilla extract-1 tsp

Method of preparation

Pre heat the oven to 325 degree F
Grease a 11 cup bundt pan and dust with 3 tbsp cocoa powder
In a large pan, heat coffee, whiskey and butter and whisk till butter is melted
Remove from heat and add sugar
Whisk till sugar is dissolved
Keep aside
Whisk all purpose flour , remaining cocoa powder, salt and baking soda in another bowl
Whisk eggs and vanilla extract in another bowl
When the mixture is cooled, add egg and whisk well
Add the flour and whisk until just combined
The mixture will be bubbly
Pour the mixture in the prepared pan and bake for 50-60  minutes, till a knife comes out clean
Remove from the oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes
Remove the cake from the pan and cool on a wire rack
This cake tastes best, when kept for a day
Cover the cake with a cling film and leave on the counter overnight
Can be refrigerated for 4-5 days

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rice pudding ( kesari kheer for Lord Ganesha )

A very happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all my reader....May the blessings of  Lord Ganesha always be upon you....

Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival celebrated by Hindus, all over the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha...We  also decided to celebrate it with friends and have pooja and dinner together...Since it was a potluck, I chose to make rice pudding ( kesari kheer ).....When after my marriage, I made this pudding, I always got confused with the amount of rice required for the given amount of milk...My pudding used to be either very thin or sometimes I had to add another liter of milk to make it edible....By practicing and making it a lot of times now, I've got the exact measurements......The end result is a very creamy and delicious pudding, with the crunch from the dry fruits....Do give this recipe a try...

All you need is ( serve 6-8 people )

  • Full Cream Milk- 6 cups
  • Rice-1\4 cup ( long grain or Basmati )
  • Saffron strands- a pinch
  • Sugar- 1\4 cup
  • Coconut flakes-1\2 cup
  • Green cardamom-5-6 ( crushed )
  • Almonds and cashew nuts ( chopped )
  • Pistachios for garnishing

Method of preparation

Soak rice in water for 5-6 hours
In a heavy bottom pan , add milk
When the milk comes to a boil, add rice and saffron strands
Add coconut flakes and cardamom
Simmer the gas and cook for an hour stirring in between
When the rice is nicely cooked and mushy mushy, add sugar
Add almonds and cashews
Garnish with pistachios and saffron

Monday, September 17, 2012

Indian spiced pan seared Salmon with yogurt mint dip

It's almost end of summers, but it is still very hot in California....So instead of taking a stroll at the beach, we decided to stay home and cook something together....I had a Salmon steak lying in my fridge , so we thought to grill it...But then who wants to step out in the heat..So it was pan seared and we had it with an apple and pecan salad and stir fried beans...The fish was delicious with nice and flavorful Indian spices and the yogurt dip added just the right touch....Do give it a try...

All you need is

For the fish

  • Salmon-750 gms
  • Olive oil-2 tbsp and for shallow frying
  • Ginger garlic paste- 2tsp
  • Red chili powder-1 tsp ( can increase according to your taste )
  • Lemon juice-4 tbsp
  • Garam masala-1 tsp
  • Salt- 1tsp
  • Black pepper powder-1\2 tsp

For the dip

  • Yogurt-1\2 cup
  • Mint-2-3 sprigs ( finely chopped )
  • Olive oil-1 tsp
  • Salt
  • Black pepper powder-1\4 tsp

Method of preparation

For the fish

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl
Rub the paste on both sides of the fish
Cover with a cling film and refrigerate for 3-4 hours
Heat oil in a pan
Shallow fry the fish from both sides until slightly browned and cooked
Serve hot with the yogurt dip

For the dip

Whisk the yogurt until it is smooth and creamy
Add the other ingredients
Refrigerate for 2-3 hours for flavors to blend

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chicken and broccoli Alfredo with home made fettuccini

This pasta recipe is an all time favorite in our household and is super easy to make....Ever since I've started making pasta ,fresh at home, I really don't relish the idea of using store bought ones...But if you are on a time crunch , go ahead and pick yours from the stores....The sauce is to die for....Do give it a try...

All you need is
  • Fettuccine pasta-250 gm ( Look for the home made fettuccine recipe here )
  • Olive oil-3 tbsp
  • Garlic cloves-3-4 ( crushed )
  • Broccoli florets-2 cups
  • Chicken breast-2
  • All purpose flour-2 tbsp
  • Milk-1 cup
  • Fresh cream-1 cup
  • Chicken stock-1 cup
  • Parmesan cheese-1 cup
  • Pepper powder-1\2 tsp

Method of preparation

Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees
Add little olive oil and salt to broccoli florets and keep in the oven for 20 minutes
At the same time brush both the sides of the chicken breast with olive oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper and keep in the oven
After 20 minutes, take out the broccoli florets and keep aside
Turn the chicken breast on the other side and again keep for 20 minutes
Keep in the oven a little longer till chicken is browned from both the sides
Remove from the oven and cut into small pieces
Keep aside
Boil the pasta as directed and keep aside
In a pan, heat olive oil
Add garlic to the oil
Fry till golden brown
Simmer the heat and add flour to the pan
Fry for a minute
Add chicken broth and milk
Try not to make any lumps
Add fresh cream, chicken pieces, broccoli and pasta to the pan
Add the Parmesan cheese and pepper powder
Give it a nice mix
Serve hot

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Chicken stuffed buns

Bhavye has started with his grade 1...He is enjoying his new school and making all the possible efforts to make new friends....It's wonderful to listen to all his stories when he gets back home....I made these buns for Bhavye's lunch and they were a hit...He loved them and asked me to make them again...  You can substitute the filling with any of your choice and can make vegetarian stuffing as well....Do give this recipe a try....

All you need is ( yields 14-15 buns )

For the buns

All purpose flour-3cups
Vital gluten - 2 tbsp

You can also use bread flour instead of APF, but then omit vital gluten

Active dry yeast-2 tsp
Milk-1 cup ( warm )
Sugar- 2 tsp
Salt-1 tsp
Oil-4 tbsp
Sesame seeds for sprinkling on the buns
Milk for brushing on the buns

For the filling

Chicken breast- 4 ( minced ) or chicken mince-2 cups
Onion-1 ( finely chopped )
Bay leaf-1
Olive oil-5 tbsp
Garlic cloves-3-4 ( finely chopped )
Garam masala-1\2 tsp
Red chili powder-1\2 tsp
Fresh coriander- 3 tbsp

Method of preparation

For the buns

In a bowl, add yeast, milk and sugar
Keep aside for 10 minutes
Add salt and olive oil to the yeast mixture
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour and vital gluten if using.
Add yeast mixture to the flour, little by little and knead to form a soft dough
Knead the dough for 10-12 minutes with the heal of your hands, until it becomes soft and elastic
If using a stand mixer, knead for 8-10 minutes on medium speed
Oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl
Oil the dough and cover it with a damp towel and keep aside for 1 hour, until it doubles in size

For the filling

Heat oil in a pan
Add garlic, onion and bay leaves and fry till onions are translucent
Add chicken and fry till chicken is dry and well cooked
Add salt, garam masala and red chili powder
Cook till all the water is evaporated and the filling is dry
Add chopped coriander
Keep the filling aside

To make the stuffed buns

Gently punch the dough and make 14 -15 equal balls
Dust and roll the ball to a 5-6 cm disc
Fill 3 tbsp of filling in the center of the disc and bring the edges together to make a ball
Do the same for all the balls and arrange the buns in the baking tray ( grease the baking tray with oil )
Place the buns a little apart as they rise a little bit during baking
Cover the buns with a damp cloth and keep aside for 45 minutes to 1 hour
Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees
Brush the buns with milk and sprinkle sesame seeds on top
Bake the buns for 15-18 minutes, until browned
Serve hot

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Balsamic strawberry jam mini bundt cakes

Hey Folks..I am back after a long long break from the blogging world.....Last few months were really busy for me and my family......I did a trip to New York , to see one of my sister and her new born son...Then we went to India to see her twin and her 3 months old son and my sister in laws 10 days old son...It was pouring babies in our family :)......
How much I miss the babies after coming back here :(.....

Our no more a kindergartner, is going to start his new school session from this 5th.....Time flies so fast...He was born just a few days back and before we could realise, he is already in grade 1.....I am really looking forward to the school reopening which will keep him occupied for some time and give me some time to myself....Strawberries are one of his favorite fruits and incorporating them in muffins makes a good breakfast option....To try something new, I made a strawberry jam with little balsamic vinegar in it, and it really popped the flavor....Do give this recipe a try....

All you need is ( yields 12 mini cakes )

  • Fresh strawberries-500 gms ( chopped )
  • Sugar- 3 tbsp and 1\2 cup
  • Balsamic vinegar-1 and 1\2 tbsp
  • All purpose flour-1 and 3\4 cup
  • Baking powder- 1tsp
  • Baking soda-2 tsp
  • Salt-1\2 tsp
  • Yogurt-1 cup
  • Unsalted butter- 6 tbsp ( melted )
  • Eggs-2
  • Vanilla extract- 1\2 tsp

Method of preparation

Add strawberries, 3 tbsp sugar and balsamic vinegar in a pan and bring to a boil
Simmer the heat and cook till strawberries had thickened into a jam ( approx 20-25 minutes )
Keep aside
Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees
Grease a mini bundt pan or a muffin tin
Mix all purpose flour, 1\2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl
In another bowl mix yogurt, butter, eggs and vanilla extract
Add balsamic strawberry jam to yogurt mixture
Pour mixture over the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula just until moist
Scoop the batter in the pan and bake for 13-15 minutes
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes
Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack
Sprinkle with some powdered sugar

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