Plum and Peach Hand Pies!

If you are an Indian then you know them as Gujiyas. Only these Gujiyas are filled with fruit and baked not fried.The best way to make these Hand Pies is to make the dough from scratch.For the dough:

  1. All purpose flour: 1 1/2 cups
  2. Cold butter cubed: 1/2 cup
  3. Cold water with ice cubes: 1 cup
  4. Vinegar: 1 tbsp

Take the flour and butter and blend them in a mixer. Leave some lumps of butter in there. They will melt and give it a flaky texture. Add in water two tbsp a time and use only the tips of your fingers to get the dough together. Once it starts taking shape add in vinegar. It will make it extra flaky.Don’t overdo the doughJust fold it into a ball and wrap it up in a cling film. Keep it in the fridge overnight. That is the best way to make these pies. Make the dough a night before and you will have less work to do the next day.For the filling:Take one cup of Plum and cut them into tiny pieces. Take a non stick pan and add in one cup of sugar to the plums and keep stirring till they leave their juices. Take two big peaches and cut them into thin slices. We will bake them inside the pie. Once the juices have dried

Eggless Chocolate Marble Cake with chocolate chips!

This is s new recipe that I tested only once in my kitchen. But I think it’s come out well. If you think it needs some rendition do ping me and let me know.

  1. Nestle Milmaid: 1 can
  2. Cadbury dairy milk chocolate: 120 gms
  3. Morde Chocolate chip: dark chocolate and white chocolate
  4. All purpose flour: 2 1/2 cups
  5. Sugar: 2tbsp
  6. Milk: lukewarm 1/2 cup
  7. Yogurt: 1/4 cup
  8. Vinegar 2 tbsp
  9. Vanilla essence: 1 tbsp
  10. Cocoa : 4 tbsp
  11. Olive oil: 3/4 cup

Now this is an olive oil cake and let me tell you all my cakes have olive oil. That’s why my cakes are super soft even two days later.Ensure all your ingredients are at room temperature.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Mix milkmaid, olive oil and vanilla essence. Sift all the dry ingredients together. Add in sugar to the wet mix and then add in the dry ingredients with milk and Yogurt. In the end add in Vinegar to the mix. Take a seperate bowl and take out half the mix add in Cocoa to the other half. Take a 9 inch removable bottom pan grease it with oil and dust it with flour. Pour the white batter on one side and Cocoa batter on the other end. Take a spoon and make swirls. Now add in Cadbury chocolate but we need two cubes each and spread them over the batter and the using a spoon push them in. Sprinkle white and dark chocolate chips and bake it for 35 minutes or till the skewer comes clean. Don’t keep it in the oven for more than five minutes. That will make the cake dry.

Serve it with caramel sauce or chocolate ganache.

Coconut Ladoos!

I think this is the easiest recipe for making Ladoos. You will be done making them in fifteen minutes. How good is that. And best part they are so fresh and melt in your mouth Ladoos made with just three ingredients.

Pro tip- get coconut whose husk has been removed. It’s tough doing it at home. I asked my local fruit vendor who was kind enough to do that for me.

Removing the outer shell is a bit tricky. All you need to do is keep hitting it with a small hammer that will loosen up the coconut inside. Then just use a knife and push the coconut out.

Ingredients:

  1. Coconut: 1 makes 9 Ladoos
  2. Milkmaid: 1 can
  3. Cardamom pods: 3
  4. Coconut dry powder: 1 cup

Remove the cardamom seeds from the pods and gently using a rolling pin make rough powder. Store the unused cardamom pods for use in your tea. Goes so well with these Ladoos.

Use a mixer to make grind the coconut. Cut it into tiny pieces that way it will be very easy to blend them. Don’t overdo the blending. We want it in powder form. Too much and it will go mush.

Remove it from the blender and transfer it to a deep pan. Add in 1/4th cup milkmaid. You can add according to taste. Add the powdered cardamom seeds. Put the pan on the stove at low heat and keep stirring till the mix starts to gather into a shape.

It will take 5 minutes. After that it will take another 3 minutes to get the water to dry. Don’t overdo the mix. Keep some moisture in it. The Ladoos will become dry if you overcook the mix. Test it in between your fingers. If no water comes out on pressing bu it still feels sticky then it’s done. Remove the pan from the heat.

Take some of the still hot mix in between your palm and gently roll it into a ball shape. Then roll it in the dry coconut powder. That’s easily available in grocery stores. Decorate it with cashew or nuts of your choice. Don’t store it in the fridge otherwise it will become hard. Store it at room temperature. Finish them in a day or two.

Eggless Chocolate Cake!

This recipe is very simple and doesn’t require much of beating the batter. Just using simple ingredients you can prepare the cake batter in ten minutes.

Ingredients for the cake

  1. Yogurt: 1 1/2 cup
  2. All purpose flour: 1 1/2 cups
  3. Castor Sugar: 3/4 cup
  4. Olive oil: 1/2 cup
  5. Baking powder: 1 tsp
  6. Baking soda: 1/2 tsp
  7. Vanilla essence: 1 tsp
  8. Cocoa: 1/2 cup

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Mix sugar and Yogurt and beat till the sugar is dissolved. Add in Baking powder and soda to the mix and let it sit for 4 minutes. The bubbles will start forming. Add in oil, vanilla essence and mix. Sieve in flour and cocoa and use a spatula to fold in the dry ingredients. Don’t overmix. If your mix is a bit thick and not of dropping consistency the add in a few tbsp of Yogurt to it. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or till skewer comes clean. Keep in oven for five minutes and then remove.

Semolina Halwa aka Suji ka Halwa!

If you are an Indian my bet is that you have had some version of this Halwa cooked by your mother’s and grandmothers when you were small. This Halwa is rich in Iron and a very good source of energy for kids and elders alike.

The best way to cook this dessert is to keep in roasted Semolina handy. That is if you like the dish and want to keep making it in winter months the best way would be to store some dry roasted Semolina in an air tight container.

Ingredients for the Halwa!

  1. Suji aka Semolina of a fine variety ( smaller granules) : 1 cup
  2. Clarified butter or Ghee: 5 to 6 tbsp
  3. Bura ( in case you can’t get Bura use Normal sugar) : 1/2 cup reduce or increase as per taste.
  4. Cardamom powder: 1/2 teaspoon
  5. Saffron: A pinch
  6. Nuts : Almonds , Cashews , Kishmish
  7. Water : 1 glass

Roast the Semolina in a non-stick kadai or deep pan for 15 to 20 minutes on medium heat till it turns golden brown. Reduce the heat and add in ghee. Roast for a minute or two. Add in sugar and immediately add in water. Keep a bit away from the stove as the mix will bubble. Increase the heat to medium and keep a lookout the Halwa will start to come together. Take it off the flame when you think it’s holding its shape as you stir it around. Don’t overcook it otherwise it will become dry. If you want to serve like I did just grease a bowl with ghee and fill it up with hot Halwa. Then take a plate and keep it on top of the bowl and slowly invert the plate. Now the bowl will be on top. Tap it a few times and gently lift it up. I decorated it with fresh rose petals from my garden, some Kishmish and saffron on top. On the bottom I used Chironji that’s easily available in any supermarket. Serve it hot!

Chocolate Brownie Cake with Peaches!

Oh this happens to be the best combination ever. Those Peaches in the end give it such a refreshing punch. Don’t believe me than go ahead and make this cake.

  1. All purpose flour :1 1/2 cups
  2. Sugar: brown 1/2 cup white 1 cup
  3. Peaches: 5 big ones cut into thin slices
  4. Baking powder: 1 tbsp
  5. Salt : pinch
  6. Butter:1/2 cup
  7. Olive oil:4 tbsp
  8. Eggs:3
  9. Vanilla extract: 2 tbsp
  10. Cocoa: 1/2 cup
  11. 4 tbsp warm milk

Sift the dry ingredients together. Mix butter,oil and sugar. Don’t overbeat. We don’t want too much air in the batter. Add in one egg at a time and just beat till smooth. Add in flour and use a spatula to fold in the batter. Add in milk. You can add more milk if your batter is not smooth,but ensure the batter is thick. Take a parchment paper and line the baking pan use a sheet pan for this. Place the Peaches in a line. Pour the batter over the peaches. It wont be much so spread it using a spatula.Bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. Don’t leave it in the oven for more than five minutes. Serve it with dollops of Vanilla ice cream. I used Amul Vanilla ice cream.

Snickers Chocolate Cake!

This is the most moist and decadent chocolate cake with rich American buttercream frosting.

For the cake you will need:

  1. All purpose flour: 2 cups
  2. Baking powder: 1 1/2 tbsp
  3. Baking soda: 1/2 tsp
  4. Olive oil: 2 tbsp
  5. Butter: 1/2 cup
  6. Eggs: 4 large
  7. Cocoa: 1/2 cup
  8. Salt: pinch
  9. Buttermilk: 1 cup
  10. Castor sugar: 2 cups

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

Beat eggs first then add in sugar one spoon at a time beat for three to five minutes till the sugar is incorporated. Add in butter and oil to the mix and beat. Add in Vanilla and beat for thirty seconds. Sift the dry ingredients. Now gently pour in the wet ingredients and fold using a whisk. Add on buttermilk slowly. Don’t put the whole batch at a time. Some of it will be left in the end. Just add till the ribbons form in the batter. How to tell that take your whisk over the mixing bowl and if your batter is falling smoothly back into the bowl in a ribbon shape then it’s done.

Pour the batter into the greased pans. I used two six inch pans. Bake for 35 minutes or till the skewer comes clean. Let it stay in the oven for five minutes then remove it. Put it in the fridge overnight when they cool down . Take a serrated knife and cut through the cakes to form equal layers.

For the American buttercream:

It requires equal parts butter and icing sugar. So I used 400 gms of butter and 400 gms of icing sugar. Yes that’s a bit much but you need it to cover a three layer cake. With half a cup of Cocoa. Beat in butter that’s at room temperature but still holds its shape add in sugar one at a time. The lastly add Cocoa. Take a piping bag with Wilton tip 2 D to pipe the cake.

For Caramel Sauce!

Take one cup of sugar. Half a cup of cream and 1 tbsp of salted butter. Put the cup of sugar in a pan. Add just enough water to cover it. Put it on stove to cook at low heat. Once all the sugar has dissolved add in half a lime. It will start to bubble up and as soon as it turns honey colour remove it from the stove. Add in butter and cream and whisk an transfer it immediately to a new bowl. This way your caramel won’t crystallise. Let it come to room temperature before you use it on the cake.

For Ganache. Take 50 gms of semi sweet chocolate and one tbsp of salted butter and melt it in microwave for 10 second bursts. Add in 2 tbsp of warm milk in the end to make it smooth. Pour it over the cocoa sticks.

Put layers of buttercream on top o the first cake layer. Then take atleast five Snickers and cut them down. Distribute them over the cake equally. Put the second layer of cake and repeat. The last layer of cake add in buttercream on top and start working it downwards. Smooth out the sides with additional buttercream. Take Waffy Cocoa sticks and put them on the buttercream frosting. They will stick to the fresh buttercream. Now make ribbons using tip 2 D on the top. Just on the sides. And a huge blob in the middle. Put 3 mini Snickers cut into pieces in the centre. Take roasted peanuts and sprinkle them in the middle of between the Snickers and the frosting.

Take a spoon and spread the chocolate ganache over the cocoa sticks. Add caramel sauce over the peanuts and your cake is ready.