Madeleines

Madelines are these soft, pillowy and buttery little french cakes. They are best eaten the same day which is not a problem when the kids are home. The lemon peel adds so much flavour. They get a little dry after 2 days. But dunk it in tea and take a bite and they taste so good.

You need a special pan for this. I had one pan and bought two more. It is worth getting the pan as it is great to make if you are inviting people for tea or coffee.

They are so easy to make and looks really fancy!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon peel
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions

  • Melt butter in a pan and cool slightly
  • Mix flour, salt, baking powder and lemon peel
  • Beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer for about 3-4 minutes till the mixture is thick and pale in colour
  • Add the butter, vanilla extract and mix
  • Add flour mixture and mix by hand. Do not overmix
  • Cover and refrigerate for atleast 4 hours or upto 2 days.
  • Heat oven to 375ºF (190ºC)
  • Generously butter the pans and dust with flour
  • Place one tablespoon of batter in the middle (do not spread) of the pan
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes
  • Tap the pan and remove the madelines
  • Dust with powdered sugar. I use a tea strainer to dust the madeleines with sugar
  • Serve warm

Rose Cookies and Swedish Rosettes

When I think of Christmas, I think of Rose Cookies. Rose cookies (also called acchappam or acchu murukku- acchu meaning mould) is usually made by the christians in South India. When I was a kid, I would wait for my friends to bring a plate of rose cookies. Of course now it is available year round in stores.

I always presumed this was made only in India. Until I found the mould in Sweden. I also learnt this year that it is made in Mexico and a colleague of Polish descent said they made it in Poland too. I wonder where this originated?

The difference between the Indian rose cookies and the swedish rosettes is the flour and the liquid. The indian version is predominantly made with rice flour and coconut milk and the swedish version is made with all purpose flour and milk. They taste quite different.

These were a big hit. Merry Christmas!

Indian Rose Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • oil for deep frying
  • rose cookie mould

Directions

  • Mix flour, baking soda, salt
  • Beat eggs
  • Mix eggs, coconut milk, cumin and flour to make a batter
  • The batter should be almost like a crepe (or dosa) batter consistency.
  • Heat oil in a pan( 180C/ 360F)
  • I do not have a thermometer but put a drop of batter in the oil, if the batter bubbles and rises to the top, oil is hot
  • Place the mould in the hot oil (This is an important step)
  • Take it out of the oil, dip it in the batter and then back to the hot oil
  • Give it a light tap or use a fork to get the cookie into the oil
  • Once brown, it is done in a few seconds, remove the cookie and drain on a paper towel
  • Store in an airtight container
  • Enjoy!

Swedish Rosette

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk or half and half (I used almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • powdered sugar for garnishing
  • rosette iron

Directions

  • Combine all purpose flour, sugar, egg and milk and mix well
  • Heat oil in a pan ( 180C/ 360F)
  • I do not have a thermometer but put a drop of batter in the oil, if the batter bubbles and rises to the top, oil is hot
  • Place the mould in the hot oil (This is an important step)
  • Take it out of the oil, dip it in the batter and then back to the hot oil
  • Give it a light tap or use a fork to loosen the rosette into the oil
  • Once brown, it is done in less than a minute, remove the cookie and drain on a paper towel
  • Dip in powdered sugar or sprinkle powdered sugar on top and store in an airtight container

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Sprinkle of Sea Salt

One day, I was sitting at work and craving for some dark, chewy chocolate cookies.I came home and realised that I had no dark cocoa. It had to wait till I go buy dark cocoa. The idea of those cookies stayed in my mind till I made it. It was worth the wait. I made a batch and froze the dough and made it a week later, it was as good. The recipe I usually use are from the Nestle website. But I found this recipe on https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/. There are some really good recipes there. I replaced the all purpose flour for whole wheat flour. I also used almond milk.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour or atta flour
  • 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp almond milk (or regular milk)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate chips
  • sea salt for sprinkling

Directions

  • Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda
  • Beat the butter till creamy. Add both brown and granulated sugars and mix well until creamy.
  • Add egg and vanilla and mix well
  • Add the flour mixture, chocolate chips and milk and mix. The cookie dough will be sticky. Cover with aluminium foil and let it sit for 3 hours in the refrigerator
  • Let it sit for 20 minutes at room temperature
  • Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC)
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Roll doughs of balls and place on pan. Sprinkle with sea salt
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Serve as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Roasted Rainbow Carrots

One day, while I was grocery shopping, I saw these ‘rainbow’ carrots. They were carrots of different color. It piqued my interest and I bought a bag. The lighter colored one was not as sweet and had a mild taste of radish. You could make this with regular carrots too. It is really easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (1/2 kg) carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425F (220C)
  • Peel carrots
  • Cut into half lengthwise approximately the same size
  • Toss carrots with oil and spices
  • Spread on a pan in a single layer
  • Roast for 20-30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes
  • Serve hot as a side

Sweet Potato Toast

One day, while I was grocery shopping, I saw a box of sweet potato slices in the frozen section. I decided to try it at home. It is easy to make, healthy and for those who are on a low carb keto diet, whole 30, have gluten or dairy allergy or just want to eat less carbs, this is great. I had just made sundried tomato pesto and used that as a spread. I also added avocado on that and made my version of avocado toast, which is the ‘in’ thing to eat. My son commented that I was eating like the millenials. I had some baingan bharta which I used as a spread too. Top it whatever catches your fancy.

Ingredients

  • 1 Sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC)
  • Slice sweet potato , 1/4 inch thick
  • Place on a pan in one layer
  • Drizzle with olive oil
  • Bake for 15 to 20 mins
  • If you do not have an oven- parboil teh sweet potato, slice and pan fry with a little oil.
  • Top with whatever you want and have it as breakfast, snack or as dinner.

Cauliflower Steak

This is a really simple dish that looks like you spent a lot of time. Makes a great side or a main. I served it with tomato chutney, sun dried tomato pesto and yogurt sprinkled with some spices.

I roasted this on the oven but you can roast it on a grill or a pan.

Ingredients

  • 2 big cauliflowers
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • a mixture of 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp pepper

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425ºF (220ºC)
  • Cut cauliflower in half lengthwise
  • Cut 1 inch thick slices. The outer slices will fall apart. You could save them for another dish or grill them too.
  • Drizzle olive oil
  • Sprinkle the seasoning mixture on both sides and place on pan.
  • Bake 15 minutes each side
  • Serve as a side or a main dish