Friday, July 11, 2014

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

There are 3 reasons why I'm posting this


Numero 1) The other day, on my birthday, I ended up recreating the magic of one of my most precious food memories. 

I'd made a chocolate chip cookie which was then topped with caramel ice-cream aka the Pizookie. 

That was so much loved by my family and friends that I thought why not use the same recipe and make a cake out of it! 

Reason numero 2) I bought myself the most stunning cake stand. I know it might not be a big deal at all for some of you out there, but I'm in love!! Its made out of rich wood and the finish is impeccable. The best part is that it suits my style of cooking. I have a Rustic Gourmet kind of a thing going on... So you see, I HAD to make the cupcakes, you know just to show off my new tall dark handsome beauty. 

Numero 3)Have you heard Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling are expecting a baby?! Given how much I love Ryan Gosling, I really needed something to boost my neurotransmitters. You get my drift, don't you?! 

I'm such a wise, smart, clever girl, aren't I??! Always successfully finding ways to gorge on yummy food. Its genetic, so no accusations! 

Coming back to this fabulous fabulous oh-so-fabulous cake... This doesn't have any choco chips in it but even better, its topped with silky sensual looking chocolate Ganache. Dunking the cupcakes in the ganache bowl was one of the most erotically satisfying experiences of my life. 

Try not to judge my erotic experiences based on that statement. 

But these cupcakes, they are bite-your-bottom-lip-delicious and you'd probably be licking your lips for quite some time to clean up the messy luscious ganache. Enough sexy talk for today though. Lets make these cupcakes! 





Serves: 12 Cupcakes 

Complexity: ***

Time taken: 45 mins


You'll need (these measurements are for 12 cupcakes)

(Note**- I was making cupcakes and a cake so please don't just follow the pictures. Make sure you read the instructions carefully)


1 1/3 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup Brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup condensed milk
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
1 1/5 tbsp baking powder
2 eggs
2 tbsp water (optional)
Pinch of love 

For Ganache

1 cup semi sweet chocolate of your choice (use choco chips or choco bar broken in chunks)
1 cup cream 

Cherries to garnish

Method

Preheat oven at 180C or 350F.

Have your cupcake tray ready with liners





In a large bowl, put in the softened butter





Add the brown sugar to it





Cream the butter and sugar together. It is therapeutic to whisk a cake batter manually, so please do it instead of using an electric one.





Next add in the eggs 





Whisk till it all becomes frothy and air is incorporated in the mix approximately for 2 minutes. 

Add the vanilla





And the condensed milk. You can barely see it here because it sank right to the bottom of my bowl. 





In a separate bowl mix in your dry ingredients. First throw in the flour, the coffee granules and the baking powder.





Dump the dry ingredients in the bowl of the wet ingredients along with  pinch of your love and whisk till everything is properly combined. Although I'd suggest not to over whisk and mix as that leads to altering the cake's texture. 





Look at how glossy and rich the texture is...Now if it looks too heavy or dry, add in a couple tbsps of water. I didn't need to do it. Don't let the mixture become runny though. 





Spoon the batter into the liners. I went for 2 heaped tbsps in each mould. Could have gone with slightly less though. 





When all the moulds are filled, tap the tray gently 3-4 times on a plain surface, so that there are no air bubbles and place the tray in the oven. This is almost 5-7 minutes after. See how beautifully the cupcakes are rising. 





Give them a toothpick test to check their doneness in about 15-17 minutes. Please bear in mind that all ovens will fluctuate. Take them out and let them cool for a couple minutes in the tray.





After a couple minutes, take them out on a wire rack to let them cool till you get your ganache ready. 





For the ganache I used a chocolate bar that I broke into smaller chunks





Pour in the cream





Microwave this for 40 seconds and give it a stir. Your luscious silky ganache should be done. 





Take each cupcake and dunk the tops of the cupcakes into the ganache bowl so that it coats the top nicely. I dunked them in once quite stingily





This is after redunking them. Don't these look so perfect!! 





Garnish with sweet red cherries. Place cherries on top when the Ganache is still setting. 






Hello lover! I have two btw- the new cake stand and these cupcakes! Ryan Gosling who?! 





Since I made cupcakes and a cake as well, here's the cake.





Take a peek inside. The cake is so soft and slightly crumby.... 





Sheer Perfection. Indulge! 








Thursday, July 10, 2014

Loaded Veggie Chow-mein

Amidst the cravings of my favourite cuisine, Italiano, strikes the craving for yet another favourite of mine- Chinese!! 

Do I love Chinese or do I love Chinese?!

Especially more since the time I learnt to use the chopsticks. Slurping the chowmein albeit borders on playing with social etiquette but I rather love doing it! I love how the flavours play on my tongue and the gentle heat I feel on my palate once the chowmein is all gone. Its like a love story.... Heroine loves Chinese food, she makes Chinese food, she eats the food she's made and she lives happily ever after...

A big sap I am. Love I try to find everywhere. 

So the other day I wanted to make something quick and easy. Chinese cuisine is something that plays a lot with flavours, simple flavours but it always packs a punch. So here I present to you, Loaded Veggie Chowmein





Serves: 4

Complexity: **

Time taken: 30 mins including prep


You'll need

500 gms Noodles
1 red onion sliced into half moons
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thinly(use other colours too if you want)
1 carrot, julienned
1 zucchini, diced
1 cup string beans cut into halves
1 cup shredded cabbage
1" pc of ginger, finely minced
10 cloves garlic, finely minced (garlic cloves I use are quite small, use less if you will)
2-3 dry red chillies, broken into 2
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp chili sauce
2 tbsp Sweet chili sauce
pinch of salt
3-4 green onions separated into whites and greens
Coriander to garnish (optional)
roasted sesame seeds
3-4 tbsp of Peanut oil
Pinch of love


Method

To prep, cut all the veggies as per directions. Have everything ready and in place. We want to very quickly just stir fry the vegetables which doesn't take longer than 3-4 minutes once the oil is heated. 

In a wok or a deep skillet, add the peanut oil and keep the heat on medium high. 





When the oil starts to shimmer, add the red onions, the whites of the green onions. Give it a stir and saute for 30 seconds or so till the onions turn translucent. 





the minced garlic and ginger. You should hear them all sizzle. The aroma that hits you is insane!!





Next throw in the carrots and the beans along with the zucchini. Give them a stir and let them cook for another minute 





Add the broken red chilies next. Look at those lovely hot seeds sprinkled on the vegetables...mmm spicyyyyy!! 





Add in the shredded cabbage





Throw in the sliced yellow bell pepper next. Keep tossing the veggies





Add in very quickly the chili sauce





The soy sauce





The sweet chili sauce. Now adding this sauce just adds a sweet depth of flavour. It doesn't make the chowmein sweet, but its like when you add a pinch of salt to the pancake batter to let all the flavours of the pancake pop. Same way the sweet chili sauce brings out the flavours of all that goes in here. 





Meanwhile, before you put your wok on the heat, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and season it with salt. Add your noodles in it along with a few drops of oil. By the time you cook your veggies, your noodles will be done as well. Most noodles take 3-4 minutes to cook. Do not overcook them or else they will become sticky. I've had that happen to me tons of times. When they are done, drain them and drizzle 1 tbsp oil on them again and toss. 

Throw in the noodles with the veggies.





Give it a good toss till everything's all combined. Sprinkle in your pinch of love. 





Place noodles in a bowl and garnish with coriander leaves and the greens of the green onions. Scatter some toasted golden sesame seeds and serve piping hot! 





How lovely those look! They taste even better! Indulge!! 









Friday, July 04, 2014

Steak Fries/ Roasted Potato Wedges

Potatoes are my bread and butter. No, I don't mean that I earn a living by selling potatoes, I just mean I eat them as frequently as I do bread and butter.

Darn it! I think the analogy doesn't quite work. But you'll have to make do with my okay-ish words today just because the food I bring to your tables today is spectacular and it makes up for my okay-ish words. 

Steak fries are called steak fries cause they usually were served as an accompaniment to steak. 

But I eat them even without the steak

I like to live my life like a rebel. 

YOLO!! 

(Apologies for the 'yolo' shoutout. I should know better)

So steak fries! Yes! These are amazing roasted potato wedges. Sprinkled with a beautiful dash of herbs and spices that will make your day brighter and more special. They are smokey and crispy on the outside and soft n fluffy on the inside. Just so dang perfect! 





Serves: 4

Complexity: **

Time taken: 20 mins


You'll need

2 large potatoes (washed and scrubbed clean)
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian herb seasoning
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
Salt to taste 
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 tbsp butter
Olive oil for drizzling (use any other oil if you want to)
Fresh basil leaves to garnish
Sprinkle of love

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 180C or 350F

Take your clean potatoes. I don't even remove the skin on them. When we roast these, the skin turns crispier. I love that! Cut them into half like this





Slice the half further into halves so now you have quarters 





Take those halves and slice them up further into wedges like this. So each potato will give you 8 wedges and we're done with the mathematical quotient for today. 





Now you can either boil these wedges or cook them in the microwave which I did. Cooking them in the M/W actually keeps them dry and takes a lot less time. If you do boil them make sure you dry the excess water as the moisture that the potatoes retain won't let them crisp up. 

Take a large bowl and put all the wedges to it. Microwave for about 8 minutes. Take a fork and pierce the wedges. The fork should go in without resistance. Your potatoes are done. If not, then give it 2 more minutes. (I had more than 2 potatoes, what can I say, everyone in my home loves'em those sexy things!)





Take them out of the microwave. 





Add the tbsp of butter to it. The butter will melt because of the heat of the potatoes. Drizzle the olive oil.





Add the garlic powder





The Italian herbs. You can choose to go for just rosemary- we know rosemary and potatoes are a match made in heaven. 





Add in the smoked paprika. Smoked Paprika is a magical ingredient which adds a depth for flavour and a certain je na sais quoi that immediately transports you to the unicorn island where you're surrounded by rainbows. 





Sprinkle in your salt. Remember, potatoes need salt. 





Freshly cracked black pepper and your pinch of love. 





Give them a good toss. 





Take a baking tray and line it with foil or parchment paper. It makes for an easier clean up. Line the potato wedges carefully on the tray. Space them out evenly like so.





Place them in the oven. This is around 5 minutes in the oven.





Take them out of the oven after about 7 minutes or so, when one side turns golden. Turn them around so the other side gets a chance to crisp up.Place again in the oven for another 7-8 minutes. See how the one side has gotten crispy and charred n smokey n intense and beautiful! Its crucial to be patient at this point. Although I did sneak a couple of wedges from the edges! Shhhh......





When they're done they'll look something like this. Gawwwgeous...You rock my world baby!! 





Let them cool for a couple minutes before serving them up. I snipped up some basil chiffonade over it to lift up the flavours. mmm mmm mmmmmm 





These crispy delights will amp up your mealtime! Indulge!