Dec 28, 2012

Coconut Banana French Toast

                     Its a healthy power packed breakfast. Whole wheat bread, eggs, milk, bananas all put together in make simply delicious breakfast for you. If you like french toast you must try this tropical flavored  french toast.
                                 IF you dont eat eggs or dont like eggs, just omit the eggs and you can enjoy vegetarian french toast.
Serves 2 (12 pieces)
  • 6 slices of brown bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of fresh coconut
  • 2 small bananas
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • butter/ cooking spray/ oil
  • Cut the coconut in small pieces and make paste with very little amount of milk in a blender
  • Add chopped pieces of banana, sugar, cinnamon and beat till you get smooth puree
  • Add milk and eggs and just beat till all the mixture comes together, for about 5 secs.Transfer the mixture to a large shallow bowl.
  • Cut each slice of brown bread into two triangles
  • Heat the skillet on medium high, add butter/ oil or use cooking spray to coat the skillet
  • Dip the bread slices into the coconut banana egg mixture, making sure the bread is well coated on both the sides
  • Place them on the skillet.cook till the underside is golden brown (about 3 min). Flip and let the other side cook till it is golden brown.( about 2-3 min )
  • Serve them hot drizzled with some honey/ maple syrup/ butter

Dec 27, 2012

Cheese Stuffed Pizza Crust

        Who doesn't love Pizzas... Ya, I do agree its a very healthy option. But its OK to indulge sometimes and enjoy the warm golden crusted freshly baked pizza with toppings of your choice... and to top it pizza crust is stuffed with cheese,,, more cheese...This unique thin crust pizza has a ring of cheese baked into the edge , so that you can enjoy cheese in every last bite of the slice.
       Neil demanded me to make a Yummy Yummy Pizza for him.. Nowadays he has his own demands. He is growing independent and is in the phase of "The Terrible twos".. Sometimes he is very very understanding to an extent that even if I cough, he runs to kitchen and gives me a glass or water. he will wipe my tears with towel when I cut onions and will run to tell his dad that his mom is sad and is crying. And there are times when he wont agree to anything I say, he will be stubborn without any reason.. That's well , I guess, how the kids grow, passing through various stages in life. Now lets get back to the pizza Neil demanded. now Neil was an extremly good boy that day. So decided to make a special pizza with the extra Cheese,, Oh havent I told you before, he looooooooooooves Cheese.
    For stuffed crust pizza, I have used a very very simple technique using cheese slices which are commonly available in India. I have used plain cheese slices, but you could used, cheddar cheese slices or red chilli cheese slices,, basically any kind of cheese slices that you love...
    For all those of you who love non veg, try rolling up a ham slice or chicken ham slice along with the cheese slice for great twist to your regular pizza base.
Serves : 4 small stuffed crust pizzas
For the stuffed crust pizza dough
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/ tsp sugar
  • 1 1/ tsp active instant yeast
  • 1  tsp salt
  • pinch of baking powder
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • little more that 1 cup warm milk
  • 12 cheese slices (3 for each pizza)
For the pizza sauce
  • tomato puree
  • chopped fresh basil
  • dried oregano
  • salt, sugar and black pepper to taste
  • sliced mushrooms
  • sliced green olives
  • sweet corn
  • paneer cubes
  • red pepper cubes
  • yellow pepper cubes
  • sliced onions
  • sliced jalepenos
  • shredded mozzarella chesse 
  •  Mix flour, sugar, yeast, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Add 2 tsp oil and rub the flour to incorporate all the oil. 
  • Slowly add warm milk and knead to form a smooth soft dough for about 10 min. Now use the rest of oil to gently coat the dough. Cover the dough and let it rest in warm place till it double for about and hour.
  • After the dough has risen, punch the dough and knead once again to a smooth ball. Divide the dough into 4 balls.
  • Using a rolling pin roll a dough ball into a circle. Cut the cheese slice into two halves. Roll half cheese slice and place it around the edges of the flattened pizza dough. Similarly use rest of 5 half cheese slices to complete " The Circle of Cheese"
  • Now bring the ends of the dough over the cheese and press it down well until it encloses the cheese well. Make sure its a tight fit.

  •  Pour some of the pizza sauce and spread it around till the edges. For the pizza sauce, I added tomato puree to the pan and added some chopped fresh basil, dried oregano. Sprinkle some salt, pepper and brown sugar and boiled it for some time.
  •  Added lots of toppings. We like our pizza to be filled with toppings.
  •  Grated some mozzarella cheese.
  •  Baked in a preheated oven at 400F/ 200 C for 15 min on a wire mesh. The wiremesh made lot of difference to pizza. the pizza was cooked uniformly and had a golden brown crisp base. I used the Cookamesh.

Dec 17, 2012

Hokey Pokey

Hokey pokey...
Cinder toffee...
Sponge toffee....
Sea foam
   You can call this toffee by any name you wish... But you must must must try this simple toffee which is light with sponge like texture and melts in your mouth... It just requires three ingredients and you are ready to please any kid who walks in to your home..
       You need sugar, some golden syrup/ corn syrup/ glucose and baking soda to whip up this golden magic. The thermal decomposition of the baking soda releases carbon dioxide. The lattice structure is formed while the sugar is liquid, then the toffee sets hard.
                       Just sprinkle on your vanilla ice cream to taste the famous Hokey Pokey ice cream from New Zealand.
Source:Nigella Lawson's How to be a domestic goddess

  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3 tbsp of golden syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • Measure the baking soda and sift it before you start the recipe. you surly do not want clumps of baking soapy soda in your toffee.
  • Put the sugar and syrup in a saucepan, a saucepan which larger as the syrup sizzles up almost thrice the volume at the last stage. Stir the syrup and sugar just once after you place it on the gas stove.
  • The mixture first melts, then starts turning gooey and then starts bubbling and turning to golden amber color. It took me about 2 min for that stage to reach. Do not stir the mixture at all. If you feel teh edges are turning brown you can swirl the pan. Stirring is not recommended, but swirling is permitted... Now that's how Nigella puts it and I could'nt resist jotting it down.
  • Now switch off the heat and add the baking soda and whisk it up and you will see the mixture foaming up and forming gold cloud. Pour this mixture on a parchement paper or silicon mat.
  • Leave to rest for 15-20 min allowing the candy to harden.
    Don't spread the mixture after you pour it on the parchment - just pour it and leave it.

    Read more:
    Don't spread the mixture after you pour it on the parchment - just pour it and leave it.

    Read more:
                             Bash the candy to get glittering golden pieces of Hokey Pokey candy.. drizzle these pieces over the vanilla ice cream and enjoy New Zealand style Hokey Pokey Ice Cream, that is if you have some leftovers after you put one in your mouth to just taste them....

Dec 11, 2012

The Ultimate Chocolate Brownie

Whats a Brownie............ 
The warm dense chocolatety fudgy brownie with little pecans peeping at you under the dry cracked crust is the your instant ticket to Chocolatety heaven....
 Trust me..
One bite into this and you will be the happiest person in the world...
Ya... its that goood.
           I have tried many many versions of brownie, but none of those recipes gave me the brownie that could me do the HAPPY DANCE. The brownies were too cakey, or didnt have crust or were dry and overbaked...
                                Finally I tried the brownie from joy of baking and they were spot on the best brownies I had in a long long time... they were fudgy and dense with a perfect crust and were loved by all. The recipe is simple and just uses one bowl and hand whisk
Just be very very cautious with the baking time, check towards the end of the baking time, you want some moist clumps clinging to the toothpick when you insert in the center of brownies. You do not want the toothpick to be clean as this means the brownies have been over baked.

Serves: 16 pieces
  • 5 ounces (150 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons (15 grams) cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (125 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)  I used pecans, you could use walnuts as well
  • 3 large eggs

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a nonstick cooking spray) an 8 inch (20 cm) square pan, and line the bottom of the pan with parchment or wax paper
  • Melt the chocolate and butter in a large stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. I just placed the chopped bittersweet chocolate and butter in a large glass bowl and melted them in microwave for 1.5 mins, stirring after every 30 seconds. I would suggest to use dark chocolate, it really gives THE RIGHT TASTE
  • Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa powder and sugar . Next, whisk (with a hand whisk as we do not want to incorporate air in the batter) in the vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally, stir in the flour, salt and chocolate chips (if using). I used silicon spatula to stir the flour and added chopped pecans.
  • Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a little batter and a few moist clumps clinging to it. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
  • Once the brownie is cooled to room temperature, cut the brownie in 16 pieces and its ready to be served as it is or with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle of warm chocolate sauce.