Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cream cHEESE cupcakes



i just luv cheesecakes. but of late have started feeling guilty about having them. but at the same time cant really get out of the habit of having them, the white dream like body always lures me, beckons me and all my resistance towards avoiding it breaks like a fragile boundary.
but at last i do not need to feel guilty. actually the thing is, since the cheesecakes turn out to be big in size so i eat more. now i have devised a way of making them small, and thus end up eating in small amount. yes folks, u guessed it right. m again back with my eternal love for cupcakes. there is something a stress-buster which i always feel while baking them. i know this is a repetition but thats the truth. the very needed relaxation after a hectic warm sunny day, is just about t 10 steps away from my room, in my kitchen.
i follow this blog called yumsilicious bakes, from where i got this recipe. so here goes the original recipe




42 cream-filled sandwich cookies, such as Oreos & dark fantasy, 30 left whole, and 12 coarsely chopped
2 pounds [4 8oz blocks] cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup [240 g] sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
Pinch of salt

Instructions -

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line muffin pam with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined. Mix in vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Beat in sour cream and salt
  3. Stir in chopped cookies by hand, or they might break up too much.
  4. Divide batter evenly among cookie-lined cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes.
  5. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.

put the cookies in a plastic bag, seal the mouth and then bash with your rolling pin . but not too much. we want them coarser & smaller chunks and not like some powdery mass for rolling things before frying. the chunks peep out from the sea of cheesey mixture and touch your tatse buds when you are deep in the cheesey body. this hide & seek, is the main character of this cupcake. i luved it. and even before i could distribute it amonf friends & family, i d always hungry soul had conumes all most half of these babies. size does matter, and becuse in this case the size is small so the guilt is also small. but as always, certain changes had to be made. i didnt have sour cream, so had added full fat cream. and i did not refrigerate.
try it people!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

CHRINGRI MACHER MALAI CURRY(prawn malai curry)


hey frnds, m back. wishing all of u subho noboborsho, i.e.bengali new year. yas it was bengali new year, lst week. but that is not whts keepin me busy. m terribly worried & f***** up with my final collection. but amidst all of these not-so-happening incidents i did take out time to cook something. these days m often being tagged & cursed by my friends & family only for baking, & not "cooking", in the real sense of the term. but how do i distinguish, while cookbooks contain recipe for both"cooking" & baking. any ways, since it was a noboborsho, mainly a bengali affair, i decided to make something which is a traditional bengali dish.

i had read about this recipe many a times, have tasted at various occassions but have never really made it, since the sumptous dish always looked pretty difficult & complicated to me. but never mind. but i recipe i followed was from a book called" The Calcutta Cookbook" by Minashie Das Gupta- Bunny Gupta-Jaya Caliha. thye book not only deals with the various kind of cuisines calsutta is known for, with special emphasis on the bengali cuisine, but describes in detail the evolution of such cuisines. it talks about the evolution of bengali cuisine and its various age old recipes which are almost extinct today. the book also gives an interesting account of the various kinds of religious & stately communities who have made our kolkata their home. and yes together with all these diversified flavours is my united & unique kolkata. the book also supplies loads of recipes which are authentic, easy to make & tasty.
from this book, i came to know about the evolution of this malai curry.  Malai Curry or Malay curry as it is referred to in many old cookbooks, is originally from Malaysian, but i must say a very tasty adaptation from the malaysian cuisine. the name of this has definitely changed over the last 100 years, wuith so many changes taking place in kolkat's lifestyle. once "out of fashion" but now has make a successful unlike many ystryear actresses, & like many old fashion silhouettes.
now lets have a look @ d recipe.

ingrediants


  • coconut milk                    150ml
  •  large prawns                   500gm
  • onion                               2nos
  • bay leaf                           2nos
  • cardamom                       2nos
  • salt                                  to taste
  • cinnamon stick                1"stick
  • green chilli                        5-6nos
  • cloves                             4nos
  • turmeric powder              1/2tsp
  • red chilli powder              1tsp
  • mustard oil                      3tbsp
  • ghee                                3tbsp


method:

  • wash & de-shell the prawns.
  • paste the onions and half of the green chillies separatly.
  • now saute them in ghee(clarified butter) until they get a lovely golden colour.
  • add the remaining oil to the kadai and add the cardamoms, cloves & bay leaf.
  • now add the onion paste and fry till it attains a slightly brown colour.
  • now add turmeric-chilli powder , green chilli paste and cook for sometime, till it leaves oil from the sides.
  • now add the coconut cream/milk and mix well. 
  • add seasoning. and cover it and cook on sim.
  • once the mixture comes to a boil, add the fried prawns. with a final stir, and a tsp of ghee on top, your dish is ready.
  • garnish with green chilli & serve.


well, well, there are additions and subtractions like all the other recipes. i had put in a bit of ground ginger & garlic while frying the onions, but not much. and i had also added a bit more of red chilly powder, since i like spicy food. you can also replace the ghee(clarified butter) with mustard oil. but remember to use a gud quality mustard oil, as it enhances the flavor of the dish. and keep the head on the prawns, it looks good while serving.
i hope even you people will love the dish as much as i do. and generally jumbo prawns are used for this dish, but since it wasn't available at the nearby , market on the day of poi-la-boisakh, so had to manage with normal big size prawns.try it.....

Monday, April 11, 2011

crinkly snowy cookies



haven't baked anything for a long time, so was looking for an opportunity. at last i manged to get one. a very close friend of mine was going for a vacation. and it has been an eternal habit to give sum thing to people who are going for a vacation, and specially by train. since childhood i have always linked train journeys to loads of food, whether munching on homemade cookies, chanachurs, cakes, snacks or something purchased from shop. the bottom line is food. though i hate the pantry car food which they serve in train. so this was for that friend, not only because it was yummy, bt also becoz its damn easy. since i had only a few hours and this hardly takes any effort.
there was another reason also for baking this,. i had a huge fight with mom. so to calm her down and to resolve the differences what better than a plate of freash warm home baked chocolate cookies. it can make the strongest of men and the best of women weep for more. its like a craving which never ends. it s sumthng which gives you guilty pleasure.
so here is the recipe for all of you to derive the same pleasure that i get.

ingrediants:


1/2 cup [50 g] flour
1/4 cup [25 g] unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 to 1/2 cup [55 - 90g] castor [superfine] sugar - Depending on preference
2 tbsp [25 g] butter, diced
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp cherry brandy or fresh orange juice - I used orange juice
1/2 cup [50 g] icing sugar [for rolling]
before mixing the dry ingrediants

this is after the diced butter is nixed with flour, sugar & cocoa & the mixture has becum crumbly

coat the mixture with icing sugar & then place in the preheated oven


Instructions -
  1. Preheat oven to 200 C [400 F]. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and sugar
  3. Rub in the diced butter until the mixture begins to resemble breadcrumbs.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the egg and juice/brandy, and add to the flour mixture.
  5. Roll into a flattened circle, cover with cling wrap, and refrigerate for atleast 30 minutes.
  6. Now, spread out the icing sugar in a flat dish. Make walnut-sized balls of the dough, and roll in the icing sugar, covering completely.
  7. Lay out on the baking sheets, these cookies spread a bit, as you can see in the pictures.
  8. Bake for about 10 minutes. They will seem soft, but will harden on cooling on a cooling rack.
i cudnt use orange juice, since i didnt have that. i had substituted it with normal lime juice. and i would also like to tell you people to use a bit of vanilla extract, coz some people told me that they could faintly smell egg.so y take a risk, jsst sit back and njoy. 
nd if u r looking for ways to spend some more time with your companion, and luking for ways to indulge in sum sensous activity, then this is it. jsst think, the warmth when both of ur hands touch each other beneath the flour , sugar and cocoa-powder, while mixing it with diced butter.the chocolate (cocoa-powder) adds to d temptation.
awesumm feeling!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

C@rr0t cUpc@kes


hello friends,
so how did u people celebrate India's world cup victory? m sure in a personalized & special way, because whethr u r a game watcher or not(am not), but we all must have felt so overwhelmed after the victory.i wasn't very sure about how to celebrate. at last yesterday i came up with the idea of making this carrot cupcakes.

now one can ask y carrot? because our Indian boys(read Indian team) needs to be a lot more fit. and carrot as a veggie is pretty healthy. along with that these days scientists constantly advice to include more of colorful veggies in the diet. and the prime reason was that since winter is almost on the verge of bidding adieu, so i thought of celebrating these last warm winter days with one of its prime ingredients.
this was easy. much easier than than the others. i took this recipe from Rachael Allen. here goes the recipe:

Ingredients
  • • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • • 2 cups sugar
  • • 3 cups finely shredded carrots (a food processor is great for this)
  • • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • • 4 large eggs
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1tsp vanilla extract 




  Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
  • Line cupcake pans with paper liners if desired.
  • Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  
  • Mix at low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly while mixing.  
  • Mix at high speed for 3 minutes, scraping bowl every minute.
  • Pour batter into cupcake liners until they are 1/2 to 2/3 full.
  • Grate some fresh nutmeg on top of the batter.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool 10 minutes in pans then move to wire rack to cool completely.





the best part is that i did all the mixing by my hand. in most of the earlier cupcakes i have used the mixer for that. but mixing becomes so comforting with the rubber spatula. nd that i have added ground star anise, in place of ground cinnamon.thats y, i always say that there is no need to be so paranoid, if you miss out on one ingrediant. replace it with one of your favourite and easy available ones. trust mw, it works & how!!!!!!! guys it really tastes gud. trust me!!!!! 
its not only gud to treat friends, but you can ensure yourself that you are giving people, who are soo close, something which ultimately adds to their good healthy. the feeling itself is enough to get you out of the cozy couch and get started for baking the next batch of these comforting babies. 
c u nxt tym!!!!!!! bye! mmuuaahhhhhhhhh....................