Custard Cookies


Custard Cookies – soft, melt in the mouth and a delightful treat for kids snack box. This recipe is inspired by Chef Venkatesh Bhatt’s OTG special episode in the show ‘Samayal Samayal’. Instead of buying biscuits and cookies from the store Mr Bhatt suggested we bake them at home for our little ones, and that’s exactly what I did. These cookies are very hard to resist, but I am still keeping my hands off the cookie tin and saving it for my kids snack box 😀

Makes: 50-60 cookies (If you make it in a round shape of 1 inch diameter), 150 cookies (If you make small star shape cookies)

Ingredients

  • All purpose flour – 300 g
  • Confectionary sugar (Powdered sugar) – 175 g
  • Custard powder – 75 g
  • Butter – 350g – 375g (The more you add, the softer the cookies – I added around 370g)
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Finely chopped almonds for decorating the cookie

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Mix the flour, sugar, custard powder well
  • Add the butter to the dry ingredients and leave it in the bowl until the butter melts
  • Once the butter melts, gently knead to a smooth dough
  • Shape the cookie into any desired shape using a cookie cutter or shape it into flat round shape using your hand. I shaped it to a round shape with my little one’s help
  • Top each cookie with the chopped almond(s) and line on a cookie sheet
  • When using 2 cookie sheets, position a rack in the upper and lower thirds of the oven (assuming a regular, non-convection oven). Place one cookie tray in the upper rack and place the second cookie tray after 5 minutes. Rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back after around 10 minutes. Check the cookies on both the sheets after 15-20 minutes
  • Allow the cookies to cool on a cooling rack for a sufficient time
  • Once cooled store in an air tight container

These cookies have a great shelf life, so you can store them for 2-3 weeks :), that is if they last 😀

Bread Roll

Try this soft melt in your mouth bread roll that is a perfect snack for tea time !!!


Ingredients

  • Bread flour – 2 1/2 cups
  • Warm milk – 1 cup
  • White butter – 2 1/2 tbsp
  • Fresh yeast – 1/2 tbsp
  • Sugar – 2 tsp
  • Poppy seeds – 1 tsp
  • Salt – 3/4 tsp
  • Ghee – 1 tsp

Method

  • Mix 1/4 cup warm milk, yeast and sugar well. Leave aside for 5 minutes until the yeast mixture is frothy
  • Mix the bread flour, salt and the yeast mixture well. Add the rest of the milk, butter and mix well to make a smooth dough
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  • Cover and keep aside in an oiled vessel and place it on a saucepan with warm water to aid the dough to rise well
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  • After 1 1/2 hours, the dough will rise to almost double
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  • Knead the dough again and divide into twelve equal pieces
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  • Roll each piece into a rope, twist into a circle and tuck both ends in
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  • Place the rolls aside on a greased tray and keep aside for half an hour to allow the rolls to rise again
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  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Apply melted ghee on the rolls and sprinkle poppy seeds
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  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on one side
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  • Bake the other side for another 5 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool

Bread rolls are now ready 🙂

Baked Aloo Tikki

My aunt Banu Chithi makes amazing Aloo Tikki. Tikki is a very popular snack in North India. I was missing the Delhi chat especially Aloo Tikki topped with Chole. I tried out my aunt’s recipe and it turned out yummy ! I baked the Aloo Tikki following some tips given by my aunt, baked Aloo Tikki tastes as good as the shallow fried one. 


Makes : 20-25 tikkis

Ingredients

  • Potatoes, large – 2
  • Ginger, 1 inch piece
  • Green chilly – 1 to 2
  • Garlic, 2 cloves 
  • Bread – 2 slices
  • Corn starch – 1/4 cup
  • Bread crumbs – 1 cup or more to coat the Tikki
  • Salt to taste 
  • Water as needed to make the corn starch paste 

Method

  • Steam the potatoes in a rice cooker or a steamer on stove top. The important fact is potatoes must not be cooked by immersing them in water but rather steamed. This is to cook the potatoes well and at the same time keep them dry. The potatoes should be thoroughly cooked ( if they mash easily it means they are well cooked )
  • Mash the potatoes well and keep aside 
  • Grind the ginger, green chillies and garlic to a coarse paste ( do not add water while grinding )
  • Mix the corn starch and water well to form a paste of dripping consistency
  • Mash the bread slices along with the mashed potatoes. It is best to use a stand mixer or food processor to mix the bread and potatoes so that you get a smooth Tikki base. Mix in the ground ginger chilli garlic paste and salt.
  • Shape the potato bread spice mixture into medium sized circles, and dip in the corn starch paste 

  • Roll the coated Tikki in bread crumbs 

  • Grease a cookie sheet with oil and place the tikkis 1 inch apart 
  • Preheat the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes
  • Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • After 10 minutes, turn the tikkis to bake the other side for another 10 minutes. The first side must be golden brown in color, if not bake for some more time before turning the side 
  • Once both sides are baked store the Aloo tikkis in a hot pot or casserole until ready to serve 
  • Serve hot with chutney or Chole 

Layered Corn Cake

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Corn layer cake is a yummy snack that is a perfect snack for a tea party or a yummy evening treat for kids !

Ingredients

  • 3 cups potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 1 cup steam mixed vegetables (Beans, carrot, green peas)
  • 1 cup cooked sweet corn
  • 4 slices of bread (white or brown)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp ginger-green chilli paste
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala ( I used freshly powdered garam masala, the recipe for the same will follow soon on my blog )
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup tomato ketchup

Method

  • Steam the mixed vegetables and add some salt. Keep aside
  • Steam the corn and add some salt. Keep aside
  • Soak the bread in little water for few minutes. Remove the excess water and mash the bread slices. Keep aside
  • Take the mashed potatoes in a vessel and add the vegetables, mashed bread, half of the corn, the ginger – green chilli paste, salt, sugar, lemon juice and garam masala. Mix everything together thoroughly
  • Take an 8 or 9 inch cake pan, line it with parchment paper and grease with the oil
  • Sprinkle bread crumbs at the bottom of the pan until the circumference is fully covered with bread crumbs
  • Take half of the potato-vegetable-corn mixture and spread it well
  • Spread the tomato ketchup and remaining corn
  • Make the second layer of the potato-vegetable-corn mixture and spread it well
  • Sprinkle bread crumbs on top
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Place the corn layer cake inside the oven and bake for around 30-40 minutes
  • Once done, allows the corn layer cake to cool on a cooling rack for 15-20 minutes and then invert on a serving plate

Serve hot with tomato ketchup 🙂

 

Dates & Honey Bread

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Honey, dates and sesame seeds, a wonderful combination for a delicious and soft bread that you can enjoy with your morning coffee or with a spread of your favorite fruit jam !

This recipe is adapted from the recipe “Date and Honey Loaf” from the book “Kitchen Library Baking” by Parragon Publications. The original recipe calls for a combination of white bread flour and brown bread. However, I have used regular all purpose flour and whole wheat flour. The original recipe also calls for white sesame seeds, since I ran out of the same, I used black sesame seeds, but the bread still turned out tasty !!!

Ingredients

  • 9 oz all purpose flour
  • 2 3/4 oz whole grain whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 sachet active dried yeast ( 7 g or 1/4 oz sachet )
  • 200 ml warm water ( Temperature around 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit )
  • 3 tbsp oil (Any cooking oil – canola, vegetable oil that’s safe for baking at 425 degrees Fahrenheit )
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 3/4 oz dried and chopped dates
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds ( black or white, I used black )
  • Butter for greasing the bread loaf tin, and some extra flour for dusting and kneading

Method

  • Preparing the tin
    • Line a loaf tin ( I used a 9 in x 5 in loaf tin) with parchment paper and grease it with butter. Dust with flour and tap gently to evenly spread in the tin
  • Note: I used a stand mixer for the following steps, to make my dough
  • For the dough
    • Sieve the all purpose flour and wheat flour into the stand mixer and stir in the salt and the yeast
    • Pour in the warm water, oil and honey and knead together on a medium speed to form a dough
    • Once the dough comes together, dust with additional flour and knead on medium speed for 5-7 minutes until the dough is smooth
    • Place the dough in a greased bowl. Place the greased bowl over a small saucepan of warm water, and cover. This step will aid the dough to double in size
    • Leave the dough aside for at least an hour until it is doubled in size
    • Knead in the dates and sesame seeds, using a spatula or wooden spoon, shape the dough and place it in the tin
    • Place the tin over a small saucepan of warm water for further 30 minutes until the dough is springy to touch
  • Baking instructions 
    • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes
    • Bake the bread in the preheated oven for around 30 minutes until a light crust is formed and the bread passes the following tests :
      • Test by lightly touching the centre of bread when minimum cooking time is up. If no imprint is left, the bread is done
      • Pierce a fine skewer in the centre of the bread , if it comes out clean, it is done
  • Transfer the bread to a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely

Slice the bread and enjoy along with your morning tea or coffee !

Eggless Raisin Cake

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Wishing all of you a very Happy New Year. A special recipe on my blog for this occasion is an eggless raisin Cake. This is a different type of fruit cake. This recipe is adapted from Chandri Bhatt’s recipe for Sultana cake. I served the cake with a butterscotch cream cheese icing, but the cake will taste yummy without any icing as well

Ingredients

  • All purpose flour  – 2 cups
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Mixed spice powder – 1/2 tsp  ( You can use a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves  or store bought mixed spice powder )
  • Butter – 1/2 cup
  • Black or golden raisins – 1 cup
  • Orange zest from 2 large oranges 
  • Milk – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 1/2 cup
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup for the cake, plus 1/4 cup for the orange peel candy powder 
  • White vinegar – 1 tbsp
  • Baking soda – 1 1/2 tsp
  • For the topping : Jaggery and oats powder 

Method 

  • For the orange peel candy powder :
    • Grate the skin off the oranges and kept the zest aside
    • Grind the orange zest with 1/4 cup sugar in a mixer or blender and keep aside
  • Sift the all purpose flour with salt and the spice powder 
  • Add the butter to the flour mixture and mix lightly. I used a stand mixer on low speed for the same 
  • Stir in the raisins and the orange peel sugar powder 
  • Combine milk and water and dissolve 3/4 cup of the sugar in it 
  • Add vinegar and baking soda to the sugar , milk and water solution
  • Add this liquid to the flour mixture and mix until uo get a smooth batter 
  • Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Spray the interior of an 8 inch cake tin with cooking spray or grease the tin with butter. Lightly dust the tin with flour over the cooking spray or butter. Turn the tin upside down and tap gently to remove excess flour
  • Pour the batter in the tin and give a gentle tap to spread the batter evenly. Sprinkle the jaggery and oats powder on top
  • Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around 40 minutes until the cake passes the following tests : 
    • Test by lightly touching the centre of cake when minimum cooking time is up. If no imprint is left, the cake is done
    • Pierce a fine skewer in the centre of cake, if it comes out clean, it is done
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  • Top the cake with any icing of your choice or enjoy the plain cake as it tastes yum without any icing too. I used a butterscotch cream cheese icing. I followed the recipe for buttercream icing by Emeril Lagase from Food Network: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/pumpkin-patch-cakes-cupcakes-with-butterscotch-frosting-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Enjoy 😊

Plum Cake

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I always look forward to baking during Christmas time. The aroma of the cookies, fruit cake fills the entire home with a scent of celebration. I had a lot of fun baking a plum cake for this Christmas. This is a treasured recipe passed on to me by my Mom. Typically for a plum cake , the dry fruits and fruits are soaked in rum or brandy, but myself and my Mom have been baking a version where we soak the fruits in coconut water. The cake turns out rich, yummy and flavorful

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year 2016 !

Ingredients

  • 250 gms butter
  • 250 gms castor sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 250 gms flour
  • For the candied peel
    • Mixed candied peel from one orange and lemon – (Instructions for making the candied peel follow below)
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 cup water
  • For the caramalized sugar
    • 3 tbsp sugar
    • 1/2 cup water
  • 150 gms raisins ( I used black California raisins )
  • 200 gms finely chopped black grapes
  • 100 gms fresh chopped dates
  • 40 g dried craisins ( dried cranberry raisins )
  • 40 g finely chopped figs
  • 40 g finely chopped apricot
  • 30 g dried berry mix (currants , blueberry )
  • 100 gms golden raisins
  • 50 gms finely chopped cherries
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut water
  •  1/2 cup of nuts to powder ( walnuts or cashewnuts )
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Method

  • How to make candied peel
    • Peel one orange and one lemon with a peeler so that the white part is not included. Cut it into long slices
    • Heat 1 cup water and add Â˝ a cup of sugar. Heat it for 5 minutes, till the sugar dissolves
    • imageAdd the peel and keep it on low flame till the quantity is reduced to a quarter (Takes around 45 minutes to an hour). Keep an eye on the candied peel and keep stirring it in between to prevent burning
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  • How to caramalize sugar
    • Take 3 tbsp sugar, heat it till it becomes brown.
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    • When it becomes brown and liquidy, add half a cup water immediately. Sugar will become rock solid if you add water before it is brown and watery after it becomes very dark. Keep a watch on the sugar and add water accordingly to get the best result
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    • This is how the final caramalized sugar looks like ( You should see a light brown color syrup )
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  • Beating Eggs
    • Separate the egg into egg whites and egg yellow
    • First beat the egg whites well adding 1 tbsp sugar until it is nice and frothy
    • Now, add the egg yellow and beat it lightly until the mixture is nice and frothy
    • Place the mixture in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes and then beat it again. This step will give a creamy mixture and also enhance the texture of the final cake. This is my Mom’s tip and has also worked wonders in all cakes
    • Keep the eggs aside 
  • Clean, de-seed and de-stalk fruit. Chop up finely. Sprinkle one tablespoon cococonut water and mix well. Place the fruit mixture at room temperature for 4-5 hours and refrigerate for at least days ( or more until you are ready to make the cake )
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  • Make the candied peel just before you are ready to bake, as it will harden when cooled. You can discard the remaining water in the candied peel mixture and just add the peel
  • Beat butter and castor sugar till amalgamated and light
  • Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition
  • Add the caramelized sugar to the egg, sugar mixture when cool and beat it
  • Roll fruit  and candied peel in powdered walnuts
  • Halve the flour and fold in one half into the batter
  • Fold the fruits into the mixture
  • Fold in the remaining flour
  • Add 1 tbsp of coconut water and a teaspoon of essence
  • Line a 9 inch diameter cake tin with double greased paper. Also grease the tin with both flour and butter or oil
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  • Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes
  •  Bake in the oven for about two hours or until a skewer comes out clean
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Enjoy and wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year once again !