Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownies

When will I get over my brownie fixation,oh I wish I knew.I try hard not to bake brownies often because I know my diet(or the lack of it)will go right out of the window the moment brownies are out of the oven.Wait a minute,even before they are baked,I love to spoon some batter into my mouth in the name of taste test.Got to confirm I didn't add salt in place of sugar,isn't it?
This brownie started off as another recipe but in between I realized I didn't have enough chocolate,or rather Twix bars to make it a Twix Candy bar brownie.Nevertheless,it tasted delicious.Too rich,someone said.But that didn't deter me from chomping off one piece after the other.

Though the recipe is a bit different from the one I follow regularly,which actually made me apprehensive if I'd end up with a cakey brownie,I needn't have worried.The texture is perfect;chocolaty,with a hint of coffee,fudgy and a perfect crust with a surprise taste of twix bars in every bite.
Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownies
Recipe adapted from Edible Garden,Original recipe-Recipegirl


Butter - 1/2 cup/100gms
Milk chocolate - 2oz/60 gms
Dark chocolate - 6oz/180 gms
Instant Coffee powder - 2 tsp
Flour - 1/2 cup+1 tbsp
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Eggs - 3
Vanilla extract - 2 tsp
Sugar - 1 cup
Twix Candy Bars(fun size)-4-5,you can use more


Preheat oven to 180C.Grease and line an 8' brownie pan.
Melt the butter and chocolate in a microproof bowl for 2 minutes,stirring once in between till it becomes smooth and glossy.Mix in the coffee powder and stir.Let it cool.
Sift(or stir)together flour,baking powder and salt.
Beat together eggs,vanilla and sugar till creamy and fluffy.
Mix in the cooled chocolate-butter mix and beat again.
Now add in the flour mix and with a spatula,stir till no specks of flour remain and you get a smooth batter.
Stir in the candy bars,you could reserve some for the top too.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with a few crumbs attached.
Take care not to over bake,the brownies keep cooking while cooling down,so it is better to under bake than to over bake.
Let it cool down completely.Refrigerate for an hour or so before cutting so that you get smooth squares.
Serve on its own or with a scoop of Chocolate ice-cream.
  • If you do not have Twix bars,you could try the same recipe using 5 star.(which is what I am baking next!)
  • You could reduce(or skip)the coffee powder since I feel the flavor is too strong(for kids and coffee haters!).But the coffee combined with the chocolate is what elevates the brownie to a different level.
  • Even though it is difficult to wait,refrigerate the brownie before cutting it,overnight is recommended but at least 1 hour of cooling is necessary to get neat squares.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I love your Blog - Passionate About Baking

I am sure ALL of you know whom I am talking about.Yes,none other than Deeba Rajpal who blogs at Passionate about Baking and who has been mesmerizing readers with her wonderful blog posts and tempting pictures.You just cannot stop ogling at her pictures and the way she styles them in a manner which is so unique.
I stumbled upon her blog when searching for a Pound cake I guess,or was it Vanilla cupcakes,I am not very sure.It is hard to keep track when her blog is choc-a-bloc of goodies.Be it cakes,brownies,breads or anything related to baking,her blog is a baking bible.

It is extremely difficult for me to zero in on recipes/pictures for this feature so I am really choosing in random.
Deeba loves baking with fruits and layered cakes are her special treats.Here,she has made an Old-fashioned Chocolate cake,eggless at that and layered it with a cream filling with Strawberries and topped it with chocolate ganache with a piping style which she describes to be a simple one but takes quite a while for others to master!!
She uses ingredients easily available in India as we struggle to find exotic stuff here,or else makes her own!Her post about making different kinds of cheeses at home was a winner by all standards.Learn to make Mascarpone,Quark and Ricotta cheese at home with simple ingredients and with minimal effort.
You'd think a baking goddess like her would be willing to bake anything at a drop of a hat.But she says she's intimidated by macarons.Not those eggy coconut macaroons as I'd assumed earlier but those delicate French Macarons which takes some skills to master.She churns out different flavor combinations each month for her MacTweet blog event and I just cannot see why she's terrified-have you seen such perfect Macarons before?
It is not only sweet bakes,she is a master of savory baking too.Be it Sweet and Savoury Scones,Anzac Biscuits,Savoury Cheese&Garlic Pull-apart rolls,Garlic&Herb Whole wheat crackers or this Cherry Tomato & Onion Tartlettes.

Her birthday Cakes are a treat to look at-perfect eye candy.
Chocolate and Strawberry Cream Cake

Quark Mousse Cake with Roasted Balsamic Strawberries

Chocolate Orange Almond Gateau

Here are some of the recipes I tried out from her blog.Though not as pretty as hers,these treats turned out to be fabulous and I regard her as my baking guru as PAB was the only reliable baking blog I found when I took baby steps in baking!

Chocolate Orange Gateau

Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake

Vanilla Cupcakes

Mango Buttermilk Pound Cake 

Strawberry Vanilla Bean Conserve

Lime Buttermilk Pound Cake

Eggless Chocolate Walnut Cake

Disclaimer - All pictures published with the bloggers permission.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Karathe Saglen - Spicy Bittergourd Coconut Masala

Time for yet another Konkani recipe.Yeah,ever since I posted the Batata Upkari,I've been trying to post at least one Konkani dish here on a regular basis.It is strange because,I cook the same on a daily basis.But before I post it on the blog,I have to measure the ingredients,note the cooking time and then post because these dishes are cooked with eyeballed ingredients.
Bittergourd is not my favorite vegetable.Especially the ones we get in Chennai.Dark green in colour and very bitter compared to the ones we get in Kerala.I believe curries like these were created to mask the strong bitter flavor.Fried bittergourd by itself is so tasty,so imagine dunking it in a coconut based curry.Divine!

Karathe Saglen - Fried Bittergourd in Spicy Coconut Masala


Bittergourd - 2-3,medium sized
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry

For the Masala

Grated Coconut - 5 tbsp
Roasted Red chillies - 2-3
Tamarind - pea sized piece
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp

For the seasoning

Coconut oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig


Chop the bittergourd into small pieces,apply salt and keep aside for 10-15 minutes or till you get everything ready.
In a kadai add 1/2 tsp of oil and roast the coriander seeds and urad dal till they start turning brown in color.Remove from the pan and let it cool.
Grind a masala paste using coconut,red chillies,tamarind and roasted coriander and urad dal.
Add enough oil in a kadai too deep fry the bittergourd.Squeeze the bittergourd well and sprinkle it into the oil.You can fry the bittergourd all at once or in batches.Drain to a kitchen tissue and keep aside.Remove excess oil in the kadai.
Meanwhile,in the same kadai add 2 tsp oil and splutter mustard seeds and add curry leaves.
Mix in the ground masala,enough salt to taste and around 1/4 cup of water and let it boil.Simmer for 5-7 minutes or till the curry becomes thick.
Mix in the fried bittergourd and switch off flame.
Serve hot with rice and dal.
  • Though it is named a curry,it is more of a side dish.The bittergourd absorbs most of the gravy and becomes a thickish curry.
  • It is best served with some dal based gravy on the side.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Chunky Apple Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

When it comes to breakfast,we are very old school.It has to be rice-based-Idli,Dosa,Puttu,Idiyappam etc.These days,trying to incorporate some healthful breakfast dishes into our menu,I have started cooking with Oats too.But to be very honest,if I don't have our usual breakfast fare,I start getting hungry by 10 or so.Which makes me crave for more food. IMG_1702
However,I have never been able to accept Muffins as breakfast food.Maybe the looks or maybe the ingredients which go into it,for me it is always a dessert.Yes,even if it has fruit in it and even if it pairs well with a glass of cold milk!

Having a huge stock of Apples to finish before we stocked up on the King of fruits,I was searching for ways to bake with it.Last time it was Apple Crumb Cake and let me tell you,I can keep on baking that cake and never get tired of it.The streusel on top elevates the cake to a totally different level.
apple muffins 
It is with this combo of Apples and Streusel that I set out to make these muffins.A simple batter is made and chunks of apple are added and baked in cupcake tins with streusel on top.It might sound very plain jane but the taste is  delicious.Maybe I can binge on this as my in-between meals snack:)

Chunky Apple Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
Recipe source - Allrecipes


All purpose flour - 1 1/2 cups
Sugar - 3/4 cup(I pulsed the sugar in my mixer for 10 seconds)
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Ground Cinnamon - 1 tsp
Oil - 1/3 cup(I used Saffola)
Egg - 1
Milk - 1/3 cup
Apples - 2,peeled cored and chopped

For the Streusel(I followed the same recipe which I used here)

Butter - 5 tbsp(approximately 70 gms)
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Flour - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Walnut - 1/2 cup,chopped


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C)
Grease six muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.I made 6 medium sized muffins and 6 small muffins using the batter.
Stir together flour,sugar, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. 
Mix in egg,oil and milk. 
Fold in apples. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling till 3/4 full.

For the Streusel-Mix together all the ingredients for the crumb topping,except the walnuts.Use a pastry blender or a fork or pulse it in a food processor.Mix in the chopped nuts.Refrigerate till needed.
Top the muffins with the prepared streusel and bake for 20-25 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Chunky Apple Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
  • This is a very simple recipe wherein you just need to mix and bake.Be careful about not over mixing the batter though which might result in tough muffins.Mix until no specks of flour remain.
  • The muffins remain soft and moist even after refrigeration,but is best eaten warm out of the oven.
  • Though the recipe says 6 muffins,I got 6 medium and 6 small ones.It depends on the size of your muffin tray.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Baking supplies in Ernakulam(Kerala)-Staines&Co

One of the most searched keywords I find for this blog is 'staines'.I have mentioned about the store a couple of times in here on my baking posts,so it was only fair that I did a detailed post for anyone who wants to know more details regarding the same.
Staines&Co is a small shop tucked away on Jews Street,off M.G.Road,adjacent to Padma Theatre.They deal in wholesale Bakery supplies and Bakeware.

We've been buying stuff from this shop ever since I can remember.Only after I started baking did I notice the vast array of baking supplies these people stocked.One thing to keep in mind when you are in the shop is to ASK.You may be surprised by what you get in return.The shop is quite well stocked and it is tough to locate stuff on your own.The staff is very friendly and will guide you through.
Items to look out for
  • Baking tins and trays-in all shapes and sizes-Cake pans,Cupcake trays,Sheet pans,Ring molds,Tart pans/molds,Shaped pans etc.
  • Cupcake liners,silicone molds,non-stick liners etc.(sold in 500 liners per pack)
  • Silicone spatulas,brushes
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Dough scrapers(bench scrapers)
  • Cookie cutters
  • Chocolate molding trays in many shapes
  • Turntables
  • Cake pop sticks,Kulfi sticks
  • Ice-cream scoops-Plastic and aluminium
  • Kulfi molds-plastic and aluminium
  • Icing guns-plastic,aluminium and brass
  • Icing nozzles-plastic,stainless steel and brass
  • Piping bags-disposable,cloth bags
  • Fondant shaping tools
  • Cake mixes,Muffin mixes,Bread Mixes(in 1kg packs)
  • Whipping cream and ready to use whipping cream powder
  • Vital wheat gluten
  • Gelatine(sold in 1/2 and 1 kg packs)
  • Sugars-Caster sugar,Dark brown sugar,light brown sugar,Demerara sugar,icing sugar etc
  • Self raising flour
  • Liquid glucose
  • Maple syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Golden syrup 
  • IMG_0468
  • Nuts-Cashewnuts,Almonds,Figs,Walnuts,Pistachios-Sold in wholesale prices
  • Spices-Good quality Cardamom,Clove,Cinnamon,Star Anise,Pepper,Mace,Nutmeg etc
  • Candied cherries,tutti frooty and caramel syrup for Fruit Cakes
  • Candied Pineapple,Amla,Ginger etc
  • Instant Yeast,Dry Yeast(Mauripan,Ab|Mauri)
  • Good quality Vanilla extract-Sold in 200ml and 1ltr bottles(IFF brand)
  • Good quality food colours(IFF brand,Naturals brand)
  • Chocolates-Morde,Selbourne,Lotus(sold in 500gms blocks)
  • Cocoa Powder,Cocoa pastes-Morde
  • Chocolate wrapping foil papers
  • Aluminium foils,cling wraps etc
  • Chocolate sprinkles,Chocolate chips,Butterscotch chips etc
  • Cake toppers-Silver dragees,colorful sprinkles etc
  • Cake gels and emulsions
  • Ready to use cake frosting(conveniently sold in tubes with nozzles)
  • Pie fillings-Cherry,Strawberry and Raspberry
  • Canned Fruits-Pineapple,Peach,Mango,Cherry,Mixed Fruits etc
  • Maraschino cherries in syrup
  • Soy sauce-Light and dark
  • Olive Oil(sold in 500 ml&1ltr bottles)
  • Olives
  • Pasta-Lasagne Sheets,Spagetti and regular pasta(Penne,Macaroni etc)
  • Curry pastes - Red and Green
  • Soup concentrates
  • Mustard sauces-Pizza Pasta sauces
  • Mayonnaise
  • Tomato Puree,Ketchup(sold in 1ltr containers)
  • Fruit crushes-Strawberry,Mango,Pineapple,Guava,PinaColada,Pomegranate,Green Apple,Mint syrup,Rose syrup and many more
  • Custard powder,Jelly mixes,Ice-cream mixes,Doughnut mixes etc
  • Jams and conserves 
There are many more items which are not related to baking,but comes much cheaper than in supermarkets like
  • Ghee
  • Tea/Coffee Powders
  • Badam Milk/Rose Milk/Pista Milk mixes
  • Coconut Milk and Powder
  • Milk powder
  • Dessicated coconut(sold in 1kg packs)
  • Breakfast mixes-Appam Podi,Puttu Podi,Idiyappam podi
  • Sambhar Powder
  • Semiya Payasam,Gulab Jamun mixes etc
  • Noodles-sold in 1kg packs(hakka)
  • Pickles of many varieties(sold in 1kg bottles) 
I have covered most of the items,will keep updating the list.
      Phone number - 0484 2355742,2353950,4021700,4031700

      Store is open Monday through Saturday.Shop timings are 9am to 9pm.

      There is another shop next to Staines named Bakers Traders,which stocks almost the same items mentioned here.

      More Baking

      Disclaimer-This is NOT a paid review.

      Sunday, May 13, 2012

      Dates Kheer-Happy Mother's Day

      When it comes to cooking for a special someone in your life,you want it to be nothing short of perfect,isn't it?It is with this thought in mind I set out to make something for my amma.Yes,it is Mother's day and I decided to post something I made exclusively keeping her taste palates in mind.
      As I've mentioned many times before,she doesn't have any special favorites as such.Whatever we like,becomes special to her too.There would be days where she cooked as many as 4 curries and stir fries and sometimes,it wouldn't be her favorite at all.She'll take some rice,curd and pickle and rejoice in the wonderful meal and we'll not spare that too,demanding a taste from that!

      I prepared this simple but delicious Dates Kheer today for her.It is mildly sweet,with no sugar added and a perfect after meal dessert.
      Dates Kheer
      Recipe minimally adapted from Mahanandi,Original recipe from Sukham Ayu


      Dates - 10-12,chopped fine(I used Lion Seedless Dates)
      Almonds - 10-12,powdered fine
      Milk - 2 1/2 cups
      Ghee - 1 tbsp
      Cardamom powder - 1 tsp(freshly crushed)

      In a thick bottomed kadai add ghee and saute dates and almond powder for 2-3 minutes.
      Mix in the milk and let it boil,simmer now for 5-10 minutes or till the milk reduces and becomes thickish.
      Add cardamom powder and serve hot or let it come to room temperature,chill and serve.
      I pureed the kheer at this stage and served with chopped almonds on top.
      • The kheer is mildly sweet so if you are looking for a sweet dessert,mix in some sugar,jaggery or honey while the milk boils.
      • The original recipe calls for Nutmeg which I didn't add.I feel Cinnamon would go well too.
      • You could puree the dates along with almonds and then cook it with milk.
      Sending this bowl of Kheer to Nithu Bala of Nithu's Kitchen who is hosting the event Cook.Eat.Delicious.Desserts-Dates.

      Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
      Pin It button on image hover