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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sponge cake with Chocolate Ganache recipe


I have made this sponge cake way back and it was lying in my draft for a while. So, here it is sponge cake with chocolate ganache. We all like chocolate ganache icing. Do I need to add more about this? Dear daughter made the ganache. Here it is how we made it.






Sponge Cake with Chocolate Ganache
Recipe requirements

Sponge Cake 
  • 2 cups of cake flour/self-rising flour
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 4 heaped tbs of butter spread
  • ½ cup of sunflower oil
  • ¾ cup of castor sugar
  • ½ tsp of baking powder
  • ¼ tsp of baking soda
  • 4-5 tbs of thick yogurt
  •  1tsp of vanilla essence

Chocolate ganache recipe
  • 200 Gms of premium dark chocolate
  • 150 ml of double cream
  • 2-3 tbs of butter
  • 1 tbs of corn syrup

Method
Sponge Cake
  • In a big mixing bowl. Sift flour, add in baking soda and baking powder. Mix well.
  • Now in a separate bowl, mix together butter, cooking oil and sugar well. 
  • Add in eggs, one at a time and whisk in gently or they all are light and fluffy.
  • Now add in vanilla essence. Add in plain yogurt and gently fold in.
  • Now add the flour mixture from time to time to make the cake batter. 
  • Use up all flour mixture to mix in with the above mixture.
  • Preheat oven at 175 deg C. 
  • Prepare the cake tin. Brush butter evenly and then sprinkle flour to coat it well. 
  • Tap the cake tin so that the flour gets distributed evenly.
  • Pour the cake batter in to the prepared cake tin with a spoon and spread it evenly.Tap the cake tin gently on the working area so that they spread out evenly.
  • Bake the cake in the middle rack for about 30 mints or till the centre of the cake is cooked through well. Check by inserting a toothpick, if it comes out clean cake is baked well.
  • Take out the baked cake and let it cool.


Chocolate Ganache icing

  • Put cream and butter in a saucepan over low flame and keep stirring in between. Once they are mixed well and warm, add in dark chocolate.
  • Keep on stirring until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Take it from the flame once the chocolate is melted and mixed well.Add in corn syrup now.
  • Allow it to cool before you put it up on the cake as icing.
  •  Enjoy this luscious chocolatey sponge cake. 
  • You can use milk chocolate in place of dark chocolate if you need to sweeten your ganache a bit more. You can even whip it up after its get cooled to make a light n fluffy frosting.



And here’s wishing my fellow Indians a very happy Independence day.Happy Cooking.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Kibbeh - a Lebanese delight


We tasted kibbeh for the first time way back, many years ago, while we were staying in UK. Kibbeh as we know is a Lebanese delight. But these days you get all sorts of food in any part of the world.UK has fair share of Lebanese restaurants along with Indian restaurants as well. In Malaysia, food lover’s heaven, I haven’t explored middle-eastern restaurant here much, but I can’t rule out that possibility as well.


We really liked kibbeh, as it reminded us of our very own ‘Keema- meat mince cutlets’’. The only variation I can distinguish between both is the covering of kibbeh made with wheat bulgur and usage of pine nuts in the stuffing.
There are various versions of recipes available in net. This recipe has worked well for us. Here is how we made it.

Kibbeh Recipe
(Measurements are approx.)

  • 1 and half cups of cooked bulgur wheat (tightly pressed cups)
  • 400-500 Gms of lamb mince
  • 2 tsp of freshly grounded cumin
  • 1 tsp of coriander powder
  •  1 tsp of garam masala
  • 1 and half tsp of freshly grounded black pepper
  •  1 tsp of salt or as per taste
  • 1 large onion
  • ¼ cup of pine nuts (optional)
  • Cooking oil for frying kibbeh


Method
Soak bulgur wheat in water for about 30-40 mints, or till they are light and fluffy. It will fluff up and swell a lot.

Prepare the covering of kibbeh

  • Divide lamb mince into two portions- one for the covering part and one for the filing. I have used more for the covering roughly about 300 Gms. Finely chop onion.
  • Add in 1tsp of cumin powder, salt, ½ tsp of garam masala and black pepper powder and half of the onion in a big mixing bowl. Now blend all the spices and half of the onion well with bulgur wheat in a blender.Add in water if it sticks. Take out the mixture.
  • Mix in minced lamb with above prepared wheat bulgur with clean hands. This will turn out like soft dough. Keep it aside for about 1 hr. It’s better to refrigerate it. We need cold dough as it helps in shaping the kibbeh.


Prepare the stuffing of kibbeh

  • Now in a separate fry pan, add in 2 tsp of oil, add in half of the finely chopped onion. Add in 1 tsp of cumin powder, salt, and ½ tsp of garam masala and 1 tsp of freshly grounded black pepper. 
  • Add in pine nuts if using it, if you don’t get pine nuts then you can use chopped cashews/almonds/walnuts. But pine nuts are the original nuts used in kibbeh recipe.
  •  Add in rest of the minced meat at this time. Gently stir/fry the mixture for about 10-12 mints or till they turn pale.
  • Take out the kibbeh dough from fridge. Divide evenly in to small balls. This much makes about 6-7 kibbeh roughly. Put the small ball in your palm.
  •  Make a hole from one side, put the stuffing inside and then seal it with wet hands. Keep a bowl of water nearby it helps. Shape the kibbeh with gentle hands. This video will be helpful in knowing the technique of shaping the kibbeh.
  • Now put a deep bottom pan/fry pan on flame, add in cooking oil and let it heat up properly. Test by dropping some cumin seeds, if it sizzles and comes on the top, oil is ready for deep frying.
  • Now put kibbeh slowly into the hot oil, fry the kibbeh for about 7-8 mints at medium flame, turning them once in a while for an even fry. Take out when all the sides are evenly browned. Drain them on kitchen towels so that it soaks up extra oil.
  • Serve it with minty yogurt dip or have it with hummus.


Note

I happen to bake them even. Instead of frying kibbeh croquettes in oil. I brushed cooking oil over them well and baked at a preheated oven for about 15-20 mints.

Happy Cooking Friends

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Blueberry Cake

I have been getting fresh supply of blueberry easily in many super-markets over here, although blueberry is not a local fruit in Malaysia to my best of knowledge. And we do like blueberries a lot, made this cake long ago, but couldn’t post the recipe. So, here it is a simple recipe for blueberry cake.



Blueberry Cake
Recipe requirements
  • 2 cups of cake flour
  • ¾ tsp of baking soda
  • ¼ tsp of baking powder
  •  2 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup of fine granulated sugar
  •  ½ cup of plain yogurt
  •  ½ cup of melted butter
  • 2 cups of blueberry



Method
  • In a big mixing bowl. Sift flour, add in baking soda and baking powder. Mix well.
  • Now in a separate bowl, mix together butter and sugar well. Add in eggs, one at a time and whisk in gently.
  • Now add in vanilla essence. Add in plain yogurt and gently fold in.
  • Now add the flour mixture from time to time to make the cake batter. Use up all flour mixture to mix in with the above mixture. Add fresh blueberries and mix gently.
  • Preheat oven at 175 deg C. 
  • Prepare the cake tin. Brush butter evenly and then sprinkle flour to coat it well. Tap the cake tin so that the flour gets distributed evenly.
  • Pour the cake batter in to the prepared cake tin with a spoon.Tap it gently.
  •  Bake the cake in the middle rack for about 25-30 mints or till the center of the cake is cooked through well. Check by inserting a toothpick, if it comes out clean cake is baked well.
  • Take out the baked cake and let it cool. Enjoy blueberry cake or pack some slices in lunch box.

Other Blueberry recipes 

Pancake with blueberry sauce

Banana Blueberry walnut loaf

Eggless Apple blueberry nutmeg cake

Blueberry Muffin

Blueberry Cheesecake- no bake


Happy Cooking Friends 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Baked Cannelloni Pasta with chicken and cheese



What would I have to say about my vanishing act? You eager souls are wondering what can be the reasons. Oh this and that, then and when etc. …if I ever write my story …I mean ever... although doubtful, some chapters will definitely be on my vanishing act. Anyhow the exact reason is I was not keeping well. So, I didn’t feel like updating the blog. Although I did cook from time-to time, but updating the blog was not a priority at those terrible times. Anyhow slowly I am trying to figure out how to handle things. Hopefully will try to update this space more often. I can keep trying but I can’t promise.


I made this pasta recipe way back, but couldn’t post the recipe on time. This cannelloni pasta recipe was well received by my folks and also by my dear daughter’s school friends. I happen to pick this pasta while doing my grocery shopping and was intrigued. I found working with them little challenging as they tear out on a brink if extra pressure is applied. You have to work with gentle hands and be gentle with them like a true artist holds their paint-brush. Cooking this pasta is of course a piece of art. Anyhow I have used chicken and cheese stuffing for this recipe .Vegetarians don’t get disappointed, you can substitute it with spinach and ricotta cheese- absolutely delish material.

Here is how cannelloni pasta recipe we made

Baked Cannelloni pasta with chicken stuffing
Recipe requirements (serves 3-4 people)
  • 12 – Cannelloni pasta

For the Chicken stuffing
  • Roasted chicken 2 cups- thin and small bite size pieces
  •  1 large onion
  •  1 medium potato
  • 1 tomato
  •  2-3 tsp of dried Italian herb seasoning (can use dried sage and dried rosemary)
  •  3-5 heaped tbs of Pasta sauce

For Béchamel sauce
  • 3-4 tsp of butter
  • 2-3 cups of milk
  • 3-4 tbs of flour
  • White pepper powder
  • Quarter tsp of nutmeg powder
  • ½ cup of mozzarella cheese
  • some more to mozzarella to form the nice brown crust
  • 2 free range eggs
  • Salt as per taste



Method

For béchamel sauce
  •  Heat butter add in flour and stir mix. Add in milk and keep stirring .Add in eggs one by one and mozzarella cheese and keep mixing till it thickens. You can use Parmesan cheese in equal quantity as well like half mozzarella and half Parmesan cheese. This way it adds a nice texture and flavour to the sauce. Adjust salt as per taste. Add in white pepper powder and nutmeg powder.
  • Reserve some portions of this sauce to be used later on while baking cannelloni.
  • Now add in roasted chicken, finely chopped onion, potato and tomato to the above simmering béchamel sauce to make the stuffing . Add in dried Italian herb seasoning.Mix well and cook for 15 mints. This form a thick stuffing for cannelloni pasta….

Bake and Cooking of Pasta
  • Cook pasta al dente for 7-8 mints. Now quickly take out the pasta and let it dry a bit over a plate. Carefully lift the pasta and fill in the stuffing inside of the cannelloni pasta with the help of spoon.
  • Prepare a baking tray. Layer rest of the béchamel sauce first evenly at the bottom.
  • Now place stuffed cannelloni pasta to fill the space in baking tray. Put some pasta sauce over them.
  • Now again put stuffed cannelloni pasta one by one neatly over this layer. Spread some more béchamel sauce if you have any leftover or otherwise you may spread some pasta sauce as well.
  • Bake at 175 deg C for 10 mints...Take out sprinkle mozzarella cheese and bake further 10 mints or till the cheese evenly melted and a nice brown texture is formed.
  • Take out and serve.


Tips

You can use lasagna sheets in place of cannelloni pasta as well. As working with cannelloni pasta can be tricky.

Happy Cooking Friends