Easy chocolate glaze recipe

egglessvcake

I have been mentioning this glaze recipe a lot. So finally I thought it deserves a post on its own, with step by step pictures.

This is a very easy to prepare glaze from Hershey’s. You can add more sugar to make it thick or more milk/water to thin it down.

Chocolate Glaze : Hershey’s

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 cup powdered sugar/icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Melt butter in a pan over low heat.
  2. Add cocoa and water and cook till smooth and slightly thick. Don’t let it come to a boil.
  3. Take off the heat and add the sugar, vanilla extract and mix until smooth and shiny.
  4. Spoon over the cooled cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

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Melt butter in a pan over low heat.

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Add cocoa and water and cook till smooth and slightly thick. Don’t let it come to a boil.IMG_0319

Turn off the heat, add one cup powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until it’s smooth and shiny.

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Ready for use!

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Hot Milk Cake with Step by step pictures

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I don’t remember how I stumbled on this recipe, but now it’s become one of my most used recipes for cake. The main reason for me liking this recipe is that there is no beating the butter and sugar.

I LOVE recipes where butter is melted…saves the hassle of beating it with sugar.

This recipes gives two slightly thin 9″ cakes or three tall six inch cakes. I usually make three cakes and freeze two of them for later use.

I have gifted them plain and with a glaze on top another time. I have made this cake to go under fondant also. This makes a great snack cake as well.

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Recipe Source: The Family Baking Book, by America’s Test Kitchen

Makes : three 6″ cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter (I use 100 gms)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs

Method: 

  1. Heat the oven to 180C. Grease three 6″ pans. Here I have used a 9″ pan. The rest were made into cupcakes.
  2. Cut the butter into cubes. Heat it with milk until it’s very hot. The mix shouldn’t boil. Take off the heat and add vanilla.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Keep aside.
  4. In a big bowl, beat the sugar and eggs using a hand mixer. Add the milk-butter mix and beat once again.
  5. Tip in the flour mix in 3-4 batches until no lumps remain.
  6. Pour into the prepared pans (until 2/3rd full) and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes free of crumbs.
  7. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then run a knife around the edges of the cake and flip it down to a cooling rack. Let the cake cool for at least 2 hours before serving.
  8. I suggest mixing the batter before pouring it into the pan for baking. If you are doing multiple cakes (say three 6 inch cakes), then mix and pour the batter into the pan only when it is ready to go into the oven.

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Gather the ingredients.

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Cube the butter and heat it with the milk until its very hot and the butter has melted. It shouldn’t boil.

 

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Turn off the heat and add the vanilla.

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Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a smaller bowl.

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In a big bowl, add the sugar and eggs.

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Beat, using a hand mixer until its combined, about a minute.

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In low speed, add the hot milk mix to the egg mix and beat for 1-2 minutes.

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Beat in the flour in 2-3 additions, until just incorporated.

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Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until  a skewer comes free of crumbs when inserted in the middle. Let the cake cool in the pan for ten minutes. Flip it upside down to a cooling wire rack and let it cool completely before icing/slicing it.

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Eggless vanilla Icecream

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It’s summer time. No time more perfect to make some delicious ice cream!

I always thought making ice cream was a time-consuming, laborious task. It wasn’t, actually. All you need to do is boil milk and sugar, along with corn flour after some point.

Making ice cream was a lot easier than taking a picture of it. It was melting before I even took the camera out and that’s when it really strikes to you….it’s summer, baby!

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Recipe adapted from : My Diverse Kitchen 

Makes : 1 litre

Ingredients:

  • 1 litre milk (3% would do)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4-5 tbsp corn starch (I used corn flour)
  • 100 gms fresh cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips/ puréed fruits/ crushed cream biscuits (optional, for flavour)

Method:

  1. Keep aside half cup of milk. In a thick bottomed pan, pour the rest of the milk and add sugar to it.
  2. Heat it, stirring in between to dissolve the sugar. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes in low heat.
  3. To the reserved milk, add 4 tbsp corn flour. Mix until no lumps remain and add it to the simmering milk.
  4. Stir continuously to avoid lumps. Cook it for some more time until the milk thickens and starts to coat the back of the spoon. I had to use a little less than a tablespoon of corn flour more (mixed with a little cold milk) to reach this stage.
  5. Take off the heat and let it cool. Stir in between, else you might have a ‘skin layer’ on top.
  6. Once it’s cool, stir in the fresh cream, vanilla essence and whisk until its incorporated well. I used a hand mixer for this. If you are using puréed fruit, you can mix it in now.
  7. Transfer this to a flat container with lid and freeze it until set. Take out and using a hand mixer or a mixie beat the ice cream mix. Freeze it again until its set. Repeat the beating (you can use hand mixer, mixie, blender or even a fork) 3-4 times. This will ensure a creamy ice cream with no ice crystals.
  8. After the last mixing using the hand mixer, you can add the crushed cookies, chocolate chips and mix using a spoon. Freeze till set. I made this at around 3PM, kept mixing it once every 2 hours and then let it freeze overnight.
  9. Scoop out in the morning and serve :-).

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I scream…Ice cream

Sneak peek of the upcoming recipe!

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This post is linked to Black and White Wednesdays, hosted this week by Simona of briciole. BWW was originally created by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook and now managed by Cinzia of Cindystar.

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Eggless Chocolate Cake

eggless_choc_cake

This post is for Bloggers Tuesday at the Home Baker’s Guild.  

Intros have always been tough for me and today also I am struggling for words to get this started.

Hello! I am Rajani – a blogger, baker and a home maker. Thank you for having me as a Tuesday blogger here. I am from Kerala, now settled in Chennai. I worked in the IT field for seven years before quitting to take care of my son, Shreyas.

When our son turned one, we relocated to London. That year marked a lot of changes in my life. For the first time, there was an oven in the house. I was excited and soon started trying out recipes from the net. Not surprisingly, a series of flops followed. Dry cakes, soggy cakes, extremely chewy biscuits,  teeth breaking breads and what not!

The worst was the cake which I fondly baked, beautifully decorated and proudly presented as a birthday gift to my friend…only I didn’t know that it wasn’t cooked properly! Batter oozed out when my friend cut it – can you imagine that!? I was lucky that there was no one else there and that she was a very close friend.

Soon after the cake incident, my friend (yes, we are still friends!) sent across some blog links to me. Slowly I got hooked to the blogging world. More cakes, bakes and flops followed – but I kept trying and my husband kept suffering.

I started clicking pictures of whatever I cooked – more as an evidence that I am not starving my family than anything else. But slowly, a genuine interest in food photography developed.

We came back to Chennai an year later and this time, we bought an OTG. It’s a long time since and my OTG has stood by me through many successes and many flops.

Three years before, I started scribbling my cooking and baking trials in my own space : My Kitchen Trials.

Now, coming to the recipe here, I was looking for an eggless chocolate cake and a good friend suggested this recipe. This has become my ‘go-to’ chocolate cake recipe now. The icing too is wonderful and pairs well with the cake.

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Recipe Source: Maria’s Menu

Makes: One 6″ cake

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup flour (maida)
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup hot coffee (1 tsp instant coffee pwd+1/4 cup hot water)
  • Vanilla essence
  • Sprinkles and candies for decoration (Cadburys shots are perfect for this)

Method:

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Sieve flour and the cocoa powder. This gets rid of all the lumps easily.

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Add sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk until mixed.

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Make a well in the centre and add the wet ingredients one by one. Whisk until everything is incorporated and no dry lumps remain.

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Pour the batter into a greased and lined 6″ or 7″ cake pan.

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Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes free of crumbs when inserted in the middle of the cake.

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Once the cake is baked, take off the oven and let it sit in the pan over a wire rack for 10 minutes.

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Flip it cover and peel off the parchment paper. Let the cake cool completely for at least 1-2 hours before decorating it.

Scroll down for the icing recipe.

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Chocolate icing recipe: (Source: Maria’s menu). You can check out this recipe with step by step pictures here.

  • 1/4 cup hot water (more or less)
  • 100 gm butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder (1/3 cup for deeper chocolate flavour)
  • 2 cups icing sugar  (you can add a bit more, if required)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Syrup:

  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Mix everything well and spoon over the cake before starting to frost it.

Method:

  1. Using a spoon, mix the softened butter and cocoa powder in a bowl. Add a tablespoon of hot water to help with the mixing.
  2. Add 1 cup sieved icing sugar and incorporate it into the butter mix. Again, add one or two tbsp of hot water for mixing, if needed.
  3. Add one more cup of icing sugar (after sieving) and the vanilla extract. Mix again until you get a smooth icing. You can add hot water to get the desired consistency.
  4. You can add a bit more sugar if required, for me this was sweet enough. This amount is enough to cover and fill a 6″ cake.
  5. For the glaze, I took about 2 tbsp of the icing in a bowl, added 1 tbsp cocoa powder and some hot water. I went to add icing sugar to get the consistency required (which turned out to be a bit runny than I wanted :-(! ). For a better glaze recipe, check out this post (Hershey’s recipe).

I have used alpenliebe candies for decoration. I was not able to buy Cadbury’s shots.

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Aloo Bhindi Sabzi

bhindi

I am from Kerala where at the drop of the hat the political parties call for hartal (a strike action by shutting off of all public services, shops, schools and offices. It’s supposed to be voluntary participation, but in reality it never is!). You never know when the next hartal is going to be, and many a times the general public has been caught unaware in inconvenient situations.

Similar to that, I used to do lighting hartals at my place, shutting down the kitchen totally and demanding the poor tired man to take me to a restaurant. In our new neighbourhood(well, now two-year old neighbourhood), the nearest restaurant is about 6-8 km away. So for a while, I used to think twice before calling a strike as the man would be too tired after an exhausting day in the office, to take me out.

My solution came in the form of a North Indian guy who runs the school canteen near by. He takes order from us and door delivers as well. We have ordered this dry aloo bhindi many times from him. It goes very well with rotis and stuffed parathas. The guy deep fries the aloo and bhindi, but my imitation of his curry doesn’t.

And….the kitchen shut downs are back again ;-)!

Read on for the recipe.

Serves : 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 kg Ladies Finger
  • 2 big Potatoes, boiled and diced
  • 1 big tomato, diced
  • 1 big onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp amchur powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)
  • 1 tsp jeera seeds (cumin)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Slice and chop the onions. Dice the tomatoes.
  2. Cut the ladies finger into 1/2″ long pieces. Microwave for 5-6 minutes till cooked and keep aside.
  3. Cook the potatoes till done. Dice.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a kadai. Add jeera seeds and let it splutter. Add the chopped onions, cook till pink.
  5. Add the ginger garlic paste. Saute for a minute. Add the ladies finger. Mix well and then add the diced potatoes.
  6. Tip in the turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and salt. Add the tomatoes as well. Slowly, without breaking the veggies, mix the powders. Cook for 5-6 minutes, mixing now and then.
  7. Add the amchur powder and garam masala. Mix carefully, taste test and adjust the seasoning per taste.
  8. Cook for a couple more minutes and take off the heat. Serve with rotis or rice.

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Mixed Vegetable Curry – Low Fat version

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We South Indians bank on rice a lot. In my home, it appears in our menu right from breakfast to snacks to lunch to dinner. If by some chance there is a dearth of rice in this planet, we are in big trouble. Not big trouble, but BIG BIG BIG trouble.

So to prepare ourselves in case of this eventuality, we make rotis every now and then. The problem with the rotis is always the side dish. The man cannot stomach rotis without a gravy side dish to go with.

Serve a dry side dish with rotis and if you look close, you might actually see tears from the man’s eyes. Serve it with dal and you will see a different disappointed pained expression.

But now, with this new-found single formula ‘one gravy-multi curry’ recipe, the man is safe.

You can replace the mixed veggies with almost any combination of veggies and it still tastes great. It’s low-fat as well. And the best part is that for once in my life, I can actually remember the recipe while cooking and don’t have to come running to the laptop every other minute!

Happy man. Happy me. Happy meal!

(Let’s not talk about the food-allergic kid and spoil it all, OK?)

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Check out another version of Mixed Vegetable Curry here.

Recipe Source: My friend Swapna

Serves : about 4

Ingredients:

  • Mixed Vegetables          :           2 cups, cooked (pressure cooked, steamed or microwaved)*
  • Onion                                  :           1 big, sliced
  • Tomato                              :           1 big, puréed
  • Ginger garlic paste        :           2 tsp
  • Coriander powder         :           2 tsp
  • Chilli powder                   :           1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder          :           1/2 tsp
  • Kasuri methi                    :           1 good pinch, optional
  • Garam masala                  :          1/2 tsp or per taste
  • Coriander leaves            :           2 tbsp, chopped
  • Water                                  :          1/2 cup – 1 cup, depending on the consistency required
  • Oil                                         :          1 tsp (can be skipped for a fat-free version)
  • Salt

*Mixed vegetables : Here I have used a mix of carrot, beans, green peas, cauliflower and potatoes. This can be replaced by cooked chana, cooked rajma (red kidney beans), soaked and squeezed soya chunks or any mix of vegetables. The taste is different for each of the curries, though the basic method is same.

Method:

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Boil the sliced onions on stove top or microwave. Once they are cooked, let it cool. Grind and keep aside.

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Heat 1 tsp oil. Add the puréed tomatoes and ginger garlic paste. If you are using freshly minced ginger-garlic then sauté it in oil for a minute before adding the tomato purée. Once the purée boils, add all the spice powders except garam masala (coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder and kasuri methi as well).

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Keep cooking until the tomato mix reduces in size and most of the liquid has evaporated. If you have used more oil, you might have seen the oil oozing out at this stage.

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Add the cooked/steamed vegetables, salt and about half a cup of water.  Instead of mixed vegetables, you can add cooked chana, rajma, potatoes and peas…almost anything. You might have to adjust the quantity of water according to the consistency desired. Start with half a cup and then add more, as required. I used the water in which the vegetables were pressure cooked.

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Once the curry comes to a boil, add the onion paste. Mix well. Add the coriander leaves, cover and let it cook for 3-5 minutes.

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Cook until the desired consistency is reached. Add the garam masala. Do a taste test, adjust the seasoning and cook for a minute or two. Take off the heat, add some more coriander leaves, cover and keep aside.

Serve with the Indian bread of your choice.

Note:

  • The grinding of onions and tomatoes ensure that the gravy is smooth and not chunky.
  • Boiling of the onion takes off the raw smell and makes it low fat as well.

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Indian Food Odyssey : One state at a time

A recap of the 30 day Indian Food Odyssey. Click the link/picture to go the particular post.

Andhra Pradesh:

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Arunachal Pradesh: Thukpa

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Assam: Simple Lunch Platter

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Bihar : A mini lunch with Sattu ka Bharta 

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Chhattisgarh : Pancharatna Dal 

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Delhi: A glimpse of street food 

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A lunch platter from Goa

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Gujarat : Mini Thali

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Haryana : Halwa Poori Chhole

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Himachal Pradesh : Meetha rice, Madra, Khatta and sweet chhole

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Jammu and Kashmir : A mini platter

 

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Jharkhand: Chilka roti and chana dal ki chutney

       

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Karnataka Oota: Mini Meals

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Kerala : A traditional breakfast

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Madhya Pradesh : Indori Poha, Jalebi and Bhutte ki khees

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Maharashtra: Poori bhaji Thali

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Manipur : Mini meals

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Meghalaya:

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Mizoram: Cauliflower Stalk Bai

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Nagaland: Dal with phool gobi and Naga chutney

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Orissa: Odia thali 

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Pondicherry: Simple Meals

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Punjab da Khana

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The desert state of Rajasthan

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Sel roti from Sikkim

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Pongal meals from Tamil Nadu

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Tripura Khichuri Bhog

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Awadh Mini Thali from Uttar Pradesh

 

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Uttarakhand Mini Meals

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West Bengal: Luchi, Doi dharosh and Tok dal

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Corn Coconut milk Kurma

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Corn is a favourite with the kid. I try to buy the corn cobs whenever possible. But this time, there was an overload with almost 6 cobs in the fridge. So it was time for other avatars of cone.

This curry is my cousin’s recipe and I have made this before. The curry has a slight sweetish taste because of the corn and the coconut milk. May be that is why my son likes it a lot. Paneer blends very well with the curry, and so does potatoes and green peas.

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Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

  • Corn kernels              :    from 1 cob
  • Onion                           :   1, chopped
  • Red chillies                :  1-2, per taste
  • Almonds/cashews  :   2 tsp
  • Coriander powder  :   1 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste :   1 tsp
  • Coconut milk            :   1/2 cup
  • Oil                                  :    1-2 tsp
  • Salt
  • Additional veggies like peas, potatoes and even paneer can be added to the curry.

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a non stick pan. Add the red chillies and onion until it turns pink.
  2. Take off the heat and let it cool. Grind with coriander powder, ginger garlic paste and almonds or cashew nut. You might have to add a bit of water to get a smooth paste.
  3. Steam cook the corn kernels or boil them until done.  If using boiled potatoes or peas or plain diced paneer, tip it in now. Add the ground onion paste and salt and bring to a boil. Add half a cup of water if the curry is dry. Let it cook for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk (I used ready-made powder mixed with milk) and bring to a boil again. Add water to adjust it to the consistency required. Taste test and adjust seasoning. Cook on low fire for 3-5 minutes. Done!
  5. Serve with Indian breads.

corn kurma-002

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Bengal : Luchi, Doi Dharosh and Aamer Dal

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From April first, the Blogging Marathon participants have been traversing through most of the Indian states (and some Union territories) trying out the regional food, one state at a time.

The final stop is at West Bengal and this is what I have prepared for the state. Check out the other Bengali recipes at the end of the post.

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The posts done till now were prepared from the month of February and so all I had to do was schedule the posts to go live on that particular day. But unfortunately for Bengal, I kept procrastinating until the end. So April 30th came and went and I was still clueless about what to prepare.

I had bought some ready made rasgolla with an idea to prepare cheater’s rasmalai and to end the month long marathon on a sweet note. But then some ideas just don’t materialize…in this case, the idea(rasgolla) got eaten as such before I could improvise it as rasmalai.

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The good thing was the rest of the participants did their share of Bengali dishes and I was able to browse through each of them and finalize mine. After ruling out rasmalai and the chanar payesh, which some had prepared, I decided on Vaishali’s Tauk dal and doi dharosh. It’s hardly surprising, given that I have already done three states (Gujarat, Delhi, UP and now Bengal) based on her blog :-).

It was also kind of in line with the lunch platter theme I was preparing for all the other states. So, tauk dal and doi dharosh it is…along with luchis and the left over ready made rasgollas. For the luchis, I prepared a corn kurma as a side dish. It’s not a Bengali recipe.

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The Menu:

  • Doi Dharosh : Okra cooked in yogurt. This is a combination with Tok dal
  • Aamer Dal / Tok Dal/ Tauk Dal : Lentils with green mangoes and tempered with panch phoron.
  • Luchi :  Deep fried pooris made of all purpose flour.
  • Rice
  • Rasgolla : A Bengali sweet prepared of fresh paneer (or chena as it’s called) and soaked in sugar syrup. The ones here are ready made.
  • Corn Coconut Milk Kurma : This dish is NOT Bengali. I served it along with Luchi as there was no potatoes to make aloo dum.
  • Chili and Lemon wedge : on the side.

This is a picture of a Bengali Thali I had prepared two years back :-). Check out here for more pictures and the recipe links. bengali thali

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Some more Bengali recipes in this space:

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