Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hummus-The Easiest One, Served With Rustic Bread Made With Helen's Brilliant Bread Mix

Can you imagine your pasta without bread, or breakfast without toasted slice of bread? How boring the tea-time will be without sandwiches? Would you like to have you favourite tomato soup without toasted bread? Bread- brown or white, with or without nuts, sweet or savoury, soft or rough- whatever- but it is the only perfect partner for any main course.

Baking bread from starch is a tedious task and I generally stay away from the recipes that have tons of steps to follow and lots of ingredients to use. But no one can deny the fact that -home cooked bread is the best- the texture, the colour, and the aroma-all blissful and satisfying. Thus recently when I was sent Helen’s Bread Mix for review, I was so excited to use it- all you needed was 2 minutes to mix and 3 ingredients to add. The recipe called to use loaf tin, but I am not a huge fan of loaf breads, I like the ones that has rustic and rural feel to it; hence I baked in rough oval shape; but I am sure it will be awesome if baked in a loaf pan. The instructions were easy to follow and the overall process was so much fun -it took 40 minutes for the bread to bake. Soft from inside and hard crust outside- perfect!!

Next time when you are having a party or a get-together, keep few packets of Helen’s bread mix in your kitchen pantry. The process is simple and saves lot of time; you can serve the bread with roasted cherry tomatoes as bruchettas; or accompany with red wine pasta; or toast and serve with burnt chilli tomato soup. Or if like me you are in summery mood, pair it up with hummus- the classic Mediterranean dip.

When you think of summer, what comes in your mind? How about a quick dip with splash of olive oil and dash of lemon juice? Hummus has it all- the flavours, the zing and the touch of sunshine. It is the most popular dip in the Middle East (and now in the world) and is prepared using chickpeas/garbanzo beans and is served with bread.  The authentic hummus recipe needs tahini (paste of sesame seeds and olive oil) but I did not use it and it was still smooth, velvety and tasty- just like authentic ones.

Everyone have their own way and recipe for making hummus- with our without garlic, with or without thaini, with or without olive oil. This is my way- with lots of olive oil, green chilli, garlic, roasted cumin powder, sea salt and lemon juice- all blended to rich and silky dip. For the perfect finish serve with roughly broken toasted bread.

2 cups boiled chickpeas/garbanzo beans/chole
2 cloves garlic/lehsun
1 green chilli/hari mirchi
1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder/kali mirch
1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder/bhuna jeera powder
Juice from 1 lemon
Sea salt to taste
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon water

In the grinder/food processor add in chickpeas, 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder, lemon juice, garlic, 4 tablespoons olive oil, water, green chilli, salt and black pepper powder. Blend to smooth paste.
Take a wide bowl and spread the grinded paste in it. Make swirls with spoon and drizzle remaining olive oil and roasted cumin powder. Serve.

You can also use canned chickpeas. Make sure to wash and drain well.
Use any salt, but sea salt does give the best taste.
Always use good quality olive oil. I used this one . If in India, you can use this one.

Serving ideas:
I served with roughly broken toasted bread, to do the same- put in the preheated oven at 180C for 10 minutes.
For health conscious people- serve with carrot and/or cucumber sticks.
You can also serve with crackers or biscuits.
Moreover you can make the whole serving platter. Serve on a large tray with vegetables kebabs, baked salted crackers and some salad.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or told to write positive review. The post is based on my experience and is unbiased. Thanking Helen's for sending Brilliant Bread Mix to review.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tomato Soup With Smoked Chilli- Good Bye To The Old One

What does soup mean to you? Boring? Pale? For me, Soup means warmth and comfort. I like the one that is infused with flavours; the one that is hot; the one that calms you and soothes your soul. Weather has been pretty nasty these days and with such gloomy weather I can only think of warm cup of soup. Soup is a lot like a family. Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own characteristics; and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavour. To bring the best outcome in the soup I always prefer roasting some elements, like roasted tomato garlic soup that I prepared during last winter was peppery and aromatic; or the roasted bell pepper basil soup that I posted was mildly sweet with strong flavours.

Roasting is my favorite thing. I have made lemonade with roasted oranges , pasta sauce with roasted bell peppersfennel seeds roasted cherry tomatoes  and even roasted tomatoes chutney. The fact is, when you roast any fruit or vegetable, it releases its own juice and fragrant due to which the overall profile value of it intensifies. Also, after roasting you are left with strong smoked burnt flavour which is so sharp and intelligent that you will be hooked forever.

So keeping up my love for roasting, I prepared the good old classic tomatoes soup but with the hint of roasted green chilli in it. The tang of tomatoes and charred chillies balances the essence of the soup brilliantly. Perfect makeover to old boring tomato soup because with its each sip, you will get the zest smoked chilli which is amazing.  Serve on a rainy lazy day, or cold winter night with bits of roughly broken toasted bread. Nothing more, make your own batch and thank me later ;-)

3 large tomatoes
1 clove garlic
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 green chilli
1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
1 tablespoon corn flour
1 tablespoon butter

In a pressure cooker, put the tomatoes, salt and garlic with 2 cups water. Cook on high heat till 2 whistles.
Mix corn flour with 5 tablespoons water. Make a paste.
On a low flame, burn/roast the green chilli. Do this till chilli becomes black and smokey.
Blend the corn flour paste, roasted green chilli and pressure cooked tomatoes in the blender well. Sieve.
Heat another pan and add in butter. When butter melts, add the sieved soup. Also throw in sugar and cook on medium heat till the soup begins to boil.
Finally garnish with crushed black pepper.

You can also add carrots and capsicum in the pressure cooker with tomatoes to boil.
You make this soup one day in advance before any party and just boil before serving.
It is not compulsory to sieve the soup, but sieving gives rich and smooth finish to the soup

Serving ideas:
Serve with croutons or toasted bread.
You can also serve the soup with crackers or soup sticks.
If you don’t want to serve with bread, throw in some boiled pasta or corn in the soup.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Saturday Snapshots Series #2 -Chillies

Burnt and smoked green chilli shoot for Saturday Snapshots Series #2 hosted by me that is Merry Tummy and Siris Food.

Because, I love the smokey hint
Sending this to Saturday Snapshots-food photography series hosted at Merry Tummy and Siris Food.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday's Tip- How to include Flax Seeds In The Indian diet?

Thank you all for reading and sharing my article about How to reduce salt intake form Indian diet. After that I got an email from the reader Vaishanvi who requested to write if there are more ways that one can include flax seeds in the diet, other than just using as the eggs replacer in the bakes. Well, if you ever struggle to make eggless bakes then you must try using flax seeds-Read more about here.

Just 5 years back, flax seeds became the hero and were in the major limelight due to its health benefits. Everyone seemed to talk about it, write about it and yes consume it. Flaxseeds (also called linseeds) are a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3. The seeds come from flax, one of the oldest fiber crops in the world - known to have been cultivated in ancient Egypt and China. To know more about flax seeds, its type, history please head on to Wikipedia –here

So, why is it important to eat flax seeds?
Because it is a rich source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, flaxseeds protect your body from bacteria and viruses, improving your system's immunity. It reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol content. Including flaxseeds in your diet can help in reducing the risk of cardiovascular issues. Daily intake of flaxseeds improves the blood sugar of people suffering from diabetes. Flaxseed and flaxseed oil act as natural laxatives and give you relief from constipation without having any harmful side effects.  Still not convinced??? Then Google and you will be stunned to know how important it is to have flax seeds.

So, what amount is okay per day? What it taste like?
To get the full health benefits of flax, one to two tablespoons (16g) of ground or milled flax is okay. When using ground flax, because of its high fiber content, add it slowly, starting with about a tablespoon a day and working up to two or more per day. If you are a vegetarian, take 2 tablespoons a day. If you are eating fish regularly, then one tablespoon of flaxseeds will do(source: Live Strong). Taste wise- it is nutty and doesn’t have any strong flavour or smell.

How to use flax seeds- whole or milled?
Although they’re small, flaxseeds have strong outer shells that are hard to crack just through chewing. You’ll derive more of the nutritional benefits by grinding them and then adding them to foods. I buy the milled ones- but do check the label, you must buy good quality ones. I use this organic Linwoods Organic Flax.

Moving on to the request.  How to include flax seeds in the Indian diet?
  • Main course: I add 1 teaspoon of it in dough- be it for chapattis, kulchas or even stuffed parathas. I also add in my chillas, dosa and idli batter. I have also use in cooked rice/pulav and even in pasta.
  • Drinks: Oh yes, that’s the best way. Sprinkle teaspoon or so in lassi, buttermilk, juice, smoothies, milk-oh you name it.
  • Breakfast: I always include a dash of it in the breakfast cereals with fruits and milk or yogurt. My husband also sprinkles a lit on cooked upma or poha. Why not add a little in pancakes batter or in the stuffing’s for sandwiches or parathas.
  • Sides:  You can add in the subjis, chutneys, patties, tikkis or even on salads. I have also used in soups and riata.
  • Desserts: Sprinkle a little in the halwa/sheera-it will give you that extra nutty flavour. On Janmasthmi I made kheer and I added 1 teaspoon it it, the kheer was not only tasty and but became thick as well.
Other tips:
  • Ground flaxseeds will lose the nutritive value if exposed to air or sunlight. Therefore, it should be stored in an airtight container and kept in a dark cool place. It is best to buy whole flaxseeds and grind a little at a time, say whatever amount is needed for a week and then store it in the fridge.
  • When initially starting to use flaxseeds, use small amounts to make sure you are not allergic to it. Pregnant and lactating ladies and children should consult a physician before opting to include flaxseeds in their diet.
  • Drinking plenty of water throughout the day when you take flaxseeds is essential, because of its fibre content.
  • Flaxseeds absorb water 10 to 14 times its weight because of its high fibre content- this makes it great choice for thickening the soups or gravies.
  • If you dont like the taste, just roast it on pan on a low heat.
  • I always buy the milled ones, as I am too lazy to grind it myself at home. You go ahead an buy whichever one you want.
  • Put a note in kitchen to remind you to use flaxseeds. I always stick up a note near the stove.
  • Flaxseed is commonly known as Alsi (Gujrati, Hindi Punjabi), Jawas (Marathi), Tishi (Bengali) and Agasi (Kannada). You can buy flaxseeds in India from HERE

Hope you like this article. If you have questions or requests email me. Do you have any other ideas to include flax seeds? 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Spring Onion And Cheese Cakes, With Shloer Pink Fizz To Celebrate

What’s your definition of celebration? Do you wait for some occasion to celebrate or you like partying anytime? But hey, don’t you think that no celebration is complete without some fizz? That’s our definition of celebration- some friends, a comic movie, shots on dartboard, something spicy to nibble and ofcourse a bottle of fizz.

On weekend we had friends over at our place and it was more like a potluck party; and as always I was responsible to make starter and drinks. Oh well, I had to keep in mind the kids and one pregnant friend of ours before I decide about the drinks. Plain old lemonade or ice tea was sounding boring and dull; suddenly something perfect happened- the postman delivered a bottle of Shloer Pink Fizz from their celebration range. The elegant looking glass bottle with the touch of silver warp and party style popping cork- I knew it was going to be the star of the day.

My pregnant friend was so excited and thrilled to have a drink that tasted like champagne but was not alcoholic or contained any artificial flavours. Pink Fizz is bubbly, fruity and sparkling drink that can be paired with any spicy snack, but you won’t regret sipping it all alone too. And by the way, if you are planning to throw a baby shower party or need to celebrate without alcohol please look at their wide collection of drinks here It won’t disappoint you.

For starter it had to be spicy and summery- so I concluded to prepare Spring Onion And Cheese Cakes.  Some handful of spices, sharp flavours of spring onion and oozy cheese, all when combined is very delightful in taste and lovely to look at. What more, have it with a dollop of green chutney or sprinkle of lime juice and a fizzy drink-ah such a perfect way to enjoy summers.
Here is the recipe

2 large potatoes boiled
1/2 cup of spring onions chopped
1 green chilli chopped
2 tablespoon coriander leaves chopped
1/4 cup of mozzarella or Halloumi cheese grated
1 teaspoon of black pepper powder
1 tablespoon corn flour
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons butter for roasting

Mix everything together (except butter) in a bowl. With the help of a fork keep mashing the potatoes.
When everything is combined, divide the dough in 10 equal balls and flatten into disc shapes.
Heat a non stick pan on low flame and spread one tablespoon of butter. Put the cakes on the pan and let it roast on one side till golden brown in colour. Turn the cakes, spread the butter and cook again the other side till golden.
Serve hot.

For better results, deep fry the cakes. I prefer this healthier way.
If roasting, make sure that flame is on low heat. On high heat you will get the golden colour but spring onion, cheese and corn flour will be raw.
Shape the balls and keep in the fridge, start roasting 10 minutes before serving.
You can also form cylindrical, oval or heart shaped cakes.

Serving ideas:
Serve with yogurt, chutney or ketchup.
You can also use these cakes in tortilla wraps or pita pockets with some salad and dressing

Disclaimer: I was not paid or told to write positive review. The post is based on my experience and is unbiased. Thanking Shloer for sending Pink Fizz Bottle  for review.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Kothimbir Vadi/ Coriander Leaves Steamed Dumplings- With Some Me-Time

I am a social person, who loves to meet out people, talk on phone or be among friends. But now days I have started enjoying my own company. You know a little ‘’me time’’ is so important. Spending some alone time helps you understand and develop certain abilities. Finding some me time is not indulgence; it is the necessity-a time to unwind stress. So next time to get spare time- enjoy your favorite hobby, go for a hike, take a bath, read a book, listen to music, or best is to do nothing at all.—use this time to take care of yourself in whatever way you choose.

Yesterday while I was having some me-time and reading newspaper, I read about so much negativity and crisis around the world. The disastrous and shattering situations in Iraq, Gaza and Libya and the outbreak of deadly Ebola have taken many innocent lives. The more you read about their pain, their sufferings the more you will be thankful for life, for what you possess, for what you have achieved and finally how good your life is.

So ladies, spare some me-time, as there are certain situations in life when you just need to talk to yourself and no one other than your conscience can help you. Hmmm! So as it is said, ‘“The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.” :-)

My me time is a good reading material, a cup of green tea and something to nibble. At times it is a plate of Suji Dhokla, or baked mathri. Sometimes sweet vanilla cookies or nutty brownies- but no tea is complete without a snack. How about Kothimbir Vadi? The spicy, steamed dumplings with the crunch of sesame seeds and boost of curry leaves. Well that is exciting-isnt it?

Kothimbir Vadi is the most popular Maharashtrian food, well ofcourse after vada pav. Coriander (Cilantro) is mixed with chick pea flour, green chilles, ginger and spices. There are plenty of variants of this dish- deep fried, some stir fried and some steamed. I like to steam the dumplings and finally adding the tempering and cook on slow flame so that the favours are absorbed.

So here is how you can make crispy, spicy and healthy Kothimbir Vadi

For vadi:
1 cup of chickpea flour/gram flour/besan
1 cup finely chopped coriander leaves/cilantro/dhaniya
1 tablespoon of green chilli paste
1 tablespoon ginger paste/ adrak
1/4 cup yogurt/dahi
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi
Salt to taste
Water as needed

For Tadka:
1 tablespoon oil
Pinch asafoetida/hing
1 teaspoon mustard sees/rai/sarso
1 teaspoon sesame seeds/ til
5-6 curry leaves
1 green chilli stilted

Keep your steamer ready.
In bowl mix gram flour, coriander leaves, green chilli paste, ginger paste, yogurt, turmeric and salt. Knead to dough. If needed add water.
Divide the dough in two parts and shape each portion in to cylindrical log. Arrange on grease tray and steam it for 20-22 minutes. Cook till toothpick when inserted comes out clean.
When steamed, cut the dumplings into roundels.
Heat oil in pan, when hot add in mustard seeds and curry leaves. Let it crackle. Bring heat on low.
Finally add in sesame seeds, green chillies and vadis. Cover and cook for 8 minutes.
Serve hot.

Squeeze out water from coriander leaves.
If the dough becomes too sticky and soft, add more gram flour.
If you want you can deep fry too, I like this way.

Serving Suggestions:
A great party snack can be made ahead, just reheat before serving.
Also good for tiffins and lunch box.
Pair with chutney, dip, raita or ketchup.

Ladies, remember-Me –time won’t appear magically, you will have to plan it.  All the best :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday's Tip- Easy Ways To Avoid/Reduce Salt From Indian Diets

Love salt? Well who doesn’t, after all it is an important ingredient of our diet, any food without salt seems pale, boring and tasteless. If weight loss, glowing skin and healthy regime are your choices then think again about your salt intake. Salt is everywhere- dumped in canned food; loaded in the bag of chips; spooned in cereals; stuffed in salad dressing.

Is salt really bad??
Besides adding flavour to our food, salt actually plays important roles in the body. It is the most common source of sodium and chloride ions, which cannot be made by the body itself and so need to be consumed through our food intake. In particular, it regulates volumes of fluid in the body. It also aids the uptake of various other nutrients into cells.

So, how much salt do we actually need??
According to the doctors, dietitians and researchers in the UK, Europe and USA, an adult needs 6 grams of salt per day. 6 grams means 1 teaspoon of salt. As per the Food Standards Agency (UK) the human Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) of salt should be: Age 7-10 years-5grams per day; Age 4-6 years-3grams per day and Age 1-3 years-2grams per day. That means, with you, your kids are having more salt then they need.

Why excess salt is bad??
Excess sodium increases blood pressure because it holds excess fluid in the body, and that creates an added burden on the heart. Too much sodium will increase your risk of stroke, heart failure, osteoporosis, stomach cancer, thyroid and kidney diseases. In addition to it, salt intake will make your skin dry and age faster-who wants that?? The last thing you want is puffy under eye bags and bloated face.

So, here are 5 easy ways to reduce/avoid salt intake?

Have you ever read the label of tomato ketchup bottle- a 200 grams bottle contains 47% of salt? Shocked??? That’s why dump those dips and chutneys that you get in the market- make healthy alternatives-coriander mint chutney, hummus, apple cider vinegar dressing. Ditch those salty pickles , instead make your own chilli or mango pickle. Researchers in the UK have proved that one slice of bread, contains equal amount of salt that is in a bag of crisps- Upsetting??? Well, cooking at home from scratch not only is hygienic but you have the control while adding salt.

I understand no Indian meal is complete without our rotis. As per the survey 82% of the Indian ladies add salt in their dough, but do you really need salt in it?? Think again, you are going to pair the rotis with any side subji, pickle or chutney- which already has salt. Even when having stuffed parathas, the stuffing already contains salt, why add more to the dough-right?? That’s the easiest and healthiest way to avoid salt.

Again, why are you ruining your healthy colourful salad by adding salt? Vegetables have their own taste-like carrots are sweet, cucumber is juicy, onions are sharp, chillies are spicy and tomatoes are tangy-why add salt and mess up with their individual taste. If you are still not keen on having raw salad, how about a pinch of black pepper, or spoon of yogurt? But avoid those salt loaded salad dressing, mayonnaise or mustard-that’s a big no no.

If not rotis then rice is our beloved-well mine too. But never ever add salt while cooking rice. Again, you will have rice with already salty things like daal, pickle, riata or curry –which will finally balance the taste. The same applies to your dosa/idli batter also. Ofcourse there is no chance that you wont accompany dosa with chutney or sambhar. So think again!

How about plain nuts instead of those over salted nuts? How about a bag of plain crackers in place of salted chips? How about fresh noodles instead of instant one? How about fresh fruits and vegetables in place of canned ones? Always read the labels, before you pick anything from the supermarkets-there are many alternatives that are low in sodium-choose smartly.

Some other points:
  • Always add salt in the last. When you add salt, it releases water, finally water evaporates and you are forced to add more salt.
  • Put a note in the kitchen which says-less salt. This will remind and motivate you to decrease salt intake.
  • Each salt have different minerals and iodine content so alternate the use of salts. Example use regular salt one month, next time use sea salt or rock salt.

I understand that these tips are not easy to follow, but what can be more important than the health? A year back, I noticed puffiness on my skin and under eyes;-I stopped adding salt to dough, rice, salad and even while boiling pasta. Now, we don’t even notice that our rice and rotis are without salt- we are so used to the taste.

Give these tips a shot and I am sure you will find positive changes. Better safe than sorry :-) Take care of your body, thats the only place you have to live in. Well too much of gyan from me.  Let me know how you find my article.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Vanilla And Chocolate Marble Cake, For My Brother

I owe my lovely childhood to you Sanyam-My brother, my friend!

It is the best thing if you have a brother to grow up with. There is nothing better than brother-sister bond. My brother-Sanyam- is just a year younger to me and that’s why we are like mates, buddies and friends. He was the intelligent one, always scoring more grades than me; everyone knew him in the school. At home we fought, we yelled, we complained, we argued and after 5 minutes we patched up. He tried his best to irritate me by calling me stupid names, pulling my hair, spitting on my clothes-oh what not but-If anyone ever tried to scold me, shout at me –he was then a protective possessive brother-always ready to take my side. Only he had the right to annoy me.

Now when I think of childhood days I feel how incomplete my life would have been without those silly childish fights. But old habits die hard-even now when we meet; we argue and quarrel over something, like we never grew up. Even now we make family jokes, gossip about neighbours, share every secret, and have long telephonic conversations.

But it feels we grew up pretty fast-Now he is an Engineer doing very well at work front and everyone knows him in his workplace (just like in school). Whenever he gets a certificate, an award, salary raise-I am swollen with pride. His friends and colleagues say that he is very serious when he is in office/his desk- frankly I don’t believe that-How can my bro ever be serious?? Anyways I am happy and contented that he is a self-made man, working hard every day.

Now Rakhshabandhan is approaching and I miss him even more. It has been more than 5 years when I tied him rakhi or begged him for a nice gift in exchange. No matter how far we are, it is satisfying to know that we will always be there for each other-in happiness or tears. Rakhi is just an excuse to say-you mean the world to me, and you are the best brother I could ever ask for. Stay happy and blessed!

He loves cake and pastries; he never liked Indian sweets growing up, so here is special cake that I prepared for him-Vanilla And Chocolate Marble Cake. I was bit skeptical to try this cake, as I made one earlier and it did not turn out great (Look HERE). But as we say, we learn my mistakes- with practice and care I finally made the perfect marble cake. There's just something so appealing and festive about the beautifully marbled swirl that appears when you cut off a slice.  It is soft, moist and crumbly and is best when enjoyed with coffee or tea.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup cocoa powder
9" x 5" loaf pan

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour the loaf pan. 
  2. Cream butter and sugar together till it becomes light and fluffy.  For about 4 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl sieve the flour, baking powder, and salt .
  4. Add one egg in the butter-sugar mixture and mix till nicely combine. For about 2 minutes. Do same with all the eggs.
  5.  Add 1/3 of the flour to the batter and beat on low speed just until incorporated. Then add 1/2 of the buttermilk and beat.  Add another 1/3 of the flour, and beat, and then the last of the buttermilk and beat.  Finally, beat in the last 1/3 of the flour.
  6. Transfer roughly 1/2 of the batter to a baking tin.
  7. Add cocoa powder with 2 tablespoons of hot water until smooth to the remaining batter. Add this batter to baking tin.
  8. With the help of skewer or toothpick make swirls. Use up and down motion to bring the marble effect.
  9. Place in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes on 180C.  The cake is done when it has browned slightly and a toothpick when inserted in middle comes out clean when inserted into the middle.  
  10. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes and then unmold and let cool completely.

Be quick in making the swirls, because you don’t want batter to sit for long.
If you don't have buttermilk, thin some plain yogurt with milk to buttermilk consistency.
I used 2 mini loaf pans. Size: 10cm x 5cm x 3cm

Sending this for The Great Denby Cake Off Contest. Wish me luck :)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saturday Snapshots Series 1

Thank you all for joining in us at Saturday Snapshots. We appreciate that you want to learn and have some fun clicking food.

The first theme of our event was Yellow Fruit/Vegetable. Summers, sunshine depicts the colour yellow very well, so we chose it as the theme. Hope you all liked and enjoyed with playing with the colour :)

Here is my picture.

Love is like a pineapple, sweet and undefinable. - Piet Hein

I am very excited to see your work. Please link below, the linky tool will be open till Tuesday.

Please do share your picture on our FB Group and twitter with hastagSS1 (#SS1)

Sending this to Saturday Snapshots-food photography series hosted at Merry Tummy and Siris Food.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Ice-Cream Cake, With Kellys Of Cornwall

What is your perfect picture of a beach holiday? What is your favourite thing about the beach? May be a flowery loose dress, flip-flops and sun glasses? Or swimming and snorkelling till you are tired?? Perhaps enjoying fish and chips with chilled bottle of beer?? Whatever it may be, but a trip to the beach can cure any mood. When I think of a beach vacation, I visualize myself relaxing on a sun bed, soaking the sun with a book in one hand and ice cream in another. Part of me says ocean, part of me says sky and all of me wants to be on the beach. Just a peaceful way of soothing the soul and gaze at the sky as the world goes by.

This year if you are anywhere around the Cornwall beaches, please don’t forget to gobble on Kellys Of Cornwall ice creams.  They have created a beautiful ice cream excursion map for anyone holidaying in the county this summer. For the first time, the locations of all the ice cream parlours, cafes and hatches across the county that sell Kelly’s famous clotted cream ice cream are plotted on a map. To view and download the map, click here: 

Glimpse of the map-Interesting isn't it??

Look how creamy it is!

It happened 3 weeks back when I was sent the vouchers of Kellys Of Cornwall ice cream and I accepted them without any thoughts. Why? Because last winter they approached me to pair their range of ice cream with any hot dessert and I was blown away with the taste. I paired their clotted cream ice cream with very Indian Gulab Jamuns. And rest as we say is the history, we are hooked on the clotted cream, we buy huge tubs and they are finished really soon.

However this time I planned to make Ice-Cream Cake with it. If baking is not your forte and you still need to prepare a classy dessert; then consider this- Ice cream cakes are not only impressive to look at, but they're also easier to make than you might think. Use any sponge cake- vanilla, chocolate, or lemon and sandwich it between the velvety, creamy and smooth clotted cream ice-cream-that’s it. Oh! Don’t let the pictures intimate you; there is no secret at all.

1 tub of ice cream
1/2 pound sponge cake
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  1. Before making the cake, let the ice cream be on room temperature, so that is soft.
  2. Take any tin or pan you want. I used glass rectangular tin. Grease the tin with butter. Spread the cling film on the tin, such that the cling film is little extra on the edges. Do this step carefully and neatly, as this will become the top layer of the cake.
  3. Next, spread half of the ice cream on the tin. Make sure it is even from all the sides. Freeze for 1 hour.
  4. In the meantime, cut the sponge cake in to pieces. When first layer is frozen, spread the cake pieces over it evenly. Freeze again for 1 hour.
  5. Lastly spread the remaining half of the ice cream on the sponge layer and sprinkle chocolate chips on it. Freeze atleast for 5-6 hours.
  6. Run a sharp knife around the edges and then pull the cling film to unmould the cake. Or you can directly slice the cake in the tin and then serve.

You can also slice the cake as per the shape and size of the tin and then use the whole.
If you wish to make it more rich, then add spread any jam of your choice on the cake layer.
Any dried fruits, nuts, chopped fruits can also be used –for decorating on the top or as layers.
This cake can be made 1 week ahead. Keep in the freezer.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or told to write positive review. The post is based on my experience and is unbiased. Thanking Kellys Of Cornwall for sending vouchers for review.