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.

Peach Cobbler

I bought some beautiful peaches from the farmer’s market. I used some for salads and made a dessert with the rest. It is a really easy dessert to whip up. I don’t know why I never made this before. This recipe has no eggs, so a good dish to make if you want an egg-free recipe. I had this recipe in a recipe book which I wanted to try but never had peaches. When I got the peaches, my cook book was packed up. I remember the picture in the book, it was beautiful; peaches sliced perfectly and laid out perfectly. My dish is more rustic, may not be a great photograph, but really tasty. This recipe was inspired by tastesbetterfromscratch.com


Ingredients

3 peaches (I would try it with ripe mangoes too)

¼ cup sugar

1 tbsp brown sugar

A pinch of cinnamon

A pinch of salt

3 tbsp butter (could substitute a vegan butter)

For the batter

½ cup whole wheat flour

½ cup sugar (I used 1/3 cup brown sugar and the rest white sugar)

1 tsp baking powder

¼ cup milk (I used almond milk)

a pinch of salt

1 tsp cinnamon powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C)

Place peaches in a pan of boiling water for a minute. Immerse it in cold water and peel the peaches or use a peeler

Slice into wedges

Add it to sugar and cinnamon and salt in a pan and cook till sugar dissolves, 4-5 minutes

Chop butter and put in an 8 inch pan. Place in oven till butter melts

Take the pan out

Mix ingredients for the batter except the cinnamon. Add batter to the pan, over the melted butter and spread it

Spoon the peaches and the juice into the pan

Sprinkle with cinnamon on top and bake for 40 minutes. The batter rises to the top giving a rustic look

Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream or just as is.


Decadent Dark Chocolate Cake

This is one of the best chocolate cakes I have eaten. I have made this cake many many times, sometimes just sprinkled with powdered suagr and sometimes with a glaze. The recipe says that only dutch-process cake works. I have tried with both and they both work. This recipe is from a magazine Cooking Pleasures, January 2002 issue. My picture does not do justice to the cake. I cut a piece after people started tucking into it.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa (substitute regular cocoa powder and add 1/4 tsp baking soda)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 tsp instant espresso coffee powder (I sometimes use instant coffee powder)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
Directions
  • Heat oven to 350ºF (180ºC)
  • Grease an 8 inch deep pan. Line with parchment paper and grease. (If using non stick spray, you do not need parchment paper)
  • In a large bowl sift flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside
  • In a bowl combine buttermilk, coffee powder and vanilla. stir till coffee has dissolved
  • In a large bowl, beat butter till creamy. Add sugar and beat. Increase speed to medium high and beat for 4-5 minutes till light and fluffy
  • Add eggs and beat well for about 2 minutes
  • On low speed, add flour and buttermilk mixture alternating and ending with flour mixture. Do not overbeat, make sure all ingredients are incorporated
  • Pour batter into prepared pan
  • Bake for 45 to 55 minutes till a skewer comes out clean
  • Cool cake for 10 minutes and turn over and cool.

Glaze

  • Melt 3 tbsp butter in a saucepan
  • Add 1/3 cup cream, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup dutch process cocoa and a pinch of salt
  • Mix and cook over medium heat until smooth and hot but do not boil. Whisk constantly
  • Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Refrigerate until slightly thickened
  • Pour over cake
  • Stand until firm

Watermelon Slush

This summer has been oppressively hot and unbearable. The tendency to drink something cold has made me make fresh watermelon juice and have it in the fridge instead of store bought sugary ones. There are days when I long for ice cream, being lactose intolerant keeps me away from them. So here is a substitute, a healthy and tasty one, which will surely keep you cool and happy.

I also tried making granita/ watermelon ice. Once it was frozen, I scraped it with a spoon to form an ice. It does take a long time to do that and I prefer the slush, which takes much less time to do. It is super-easy to make with just 2 ingredients. I did not add the sugar but if you want it sweet, go ahead and add it.