After a very long time off from the blog we are BACK !
Well what can I say, many of you have asked WHY ?? the absence, wondering if I have stopped cooking ???? Never, it has just been a tricky few years and my editor (husband) was very busy, so there have not been any new posts, however hopefully you will see more regular entries. So as a peace offering I am going to share a chocolate fudge cake recipe 😉
This chocolate fudge cake recipe I saw on a TV show some years ago and since have made it several times of course with my modifications. When I saw Phil Vickery make the cake, I thought to myself I had to try it, as I love the simple desserts that he makes and shows on various TV shows. One of the other reasons I wanted to try it was to see how it would turn out when using very little condensed milk, and much to my surprise the cake is moist, spongy and has a very nice chocolatey taste. It is such a simple recipe that this time, as can be seen in the picture, it is made by my son. He measured all the ingredients, mixed, and poured the batter into the tin, which he prepared by placing the grease proof paper before hand. I only assisted by placing the cake in the oven for baking, once cooled he cut the shape he wanted and decorated it to how he wanted it.
Oh I cannot tell you how proud it makes me feel to see him make the cake all by himself – he has grown up so much that he is using all of his skills and learning more at the same time as making the cake. Of course the most obvious being maths – weighing and measuring the ingredients, then the other bit of learning, which you would not normally associate with cooking is science. When mixing the oil & milk, and the effect of mixing the two ingredients to emulsify them together. He even said as he was mixing it, lets see what happens when we mix the light (oil) liquid with the heavy (milk). As he whisked the two ingredients together, he noticed the change from being separate layers to big bubbles and then eventually coming together. It is only when we think about these things do we realise how everything is connected and how we use core subjects like maths and science in everyday life without thinking about it. In effect we are enforcing what is being taught at school in a fun practical way, and of course the most important skill/ lesson learnt is cooking – being able to make something. I urge you to try this recipe, it is a very rich, moist cake. Each time I have made it, the cake is eaten on the day and there hardly ever is anything left over. Everyone who has tried it loves it and I have taught two other people how to make it already.
Continue reading “We are back !!!!!!!!!!!!! Chocolate Fudge Cake”
I came up with this recipe as I really wanted to incorporate some dried fruit with a normal / traditional barfi. I also wanted to try and make a healthy sweet, using natural sugars from the fruit and very little ghee. Traditionally Indian sweets are full of calories because of the amount of sugar and ghee that are used, so I wanted to create some thing which used the bare minimum of these ingredients. The other criteria I was trying to fulfil is to make a simple, easy and quick recipe. I chose apricots because of their taste and texture, not to mention the health benefits. Dried apricots are an excellent source of iron, vitamin A, high in fibre, potassium and low in fat. Apart from perhaps warding of cancer, heart disease and protecting eyesight, apricots also help increase the immune system as it is a good source of iron, which is essential for the renewal of red blood cells. These cells oxygenate the body, helping to stop feeling lethargic and tired. This is essential especially as the cold weather is setting in and days are starting to get shorter, we need to have feel good foods:)
Having decided on the fruit I started thinking about how to encase it and what other ingredients, if any, to add. So I visualised the colour of the fruit and what other colours would go with it and what shape to give it etc. I just wanted to use the ingredients I had at home at the time. So I added some chocolate chips (which I now feel can be left out) and thought I would coat it with the barfi mixture with added flavour of cocoa. The triangle shape came about because this summer one of my husband’s aunties had given a gadget to make shaped mithai, which I wanted to use so that is why the shape is a triangular. The gadget is essential a V shaped long metal strip with a less than 90 degree bend along its length. Although the final shape I ended up making was by pressing roll of the mixture by hand into a triangle shape, so the strip of metal did not help in making the final shape. Everyone who has tried this sweet/mithai has loved and enjoyed it, so I am glad I thought out of the box and experimented with this sweet for diwali.
Continue reading “Golden Triangles”
I have lots of fond memories of Easter when I was young because we would go away for short breaks to lake Malawi. Then when we moved to Birmingham from Malawi, Easter would mean coming over to London to visit relatives. All of us getting together, keeping in touch and having wonderful food, with lots of chocolate of course!! So exchanging easter eggs became a new tradition for us. After the initial binging on the easter eggs we would find creative ways of using the remaining chocolate.
Recently we went visiting relatives and in a conversation we were having, as the children were given easter eggs, was – “how much we pay for a hollow egg – just chocolate ! It should be filled ??!!”. My cousin (Raju) and I were talking about it and she mentioned a conversation she had with her son Rushil about how to make a filled easter egg. So this recipe is his patent idea! I loved his idea of making pistachio barfi and then coating it with chocolate. As I got thinking about it more, I thought let me give his idea a go and this year give everyone home made easter eggs. So I made orange flavoured barfi then coated them with chocolate and placed them on crunchy nests made with chocolate covered cornflakes. The result – wonderful fun thing to do with children over easter and the taste match made in heaven – orange and chocolate 🙂
Continue reading “Barfi Easter Eggs on Chocolate Cornflakes Nests”
I made these for breakfast on valentines day, thought it would be a good way to start the day – with a treat 🙂
I was planning to make some plain muffins with just blueberries, and some with chocolate. However as I was mixing the batter I saw some passion fruit which needed to be eaten and thought passion! – the correct ingredient to add to the chocolate muffins. I liked the combination from eating them with pancakes as mentioned in a previous recipe. It turned out to be a good experiment. I used some fresh passion fruit and some from the Easiyo squirt packet, which is normally used to flavour yoghurt. The taste of the fruit in the muffins was subtle but there were parts that had a very good tangy and sweet taste, with a little crunch from the seeds. So I guess my little experiment goes to show that you can add any kind of fruit, fresh, dried or jams to your taste, of course you may need to change the amount of sugar accordingly. In the past I’ve added blueberries, blackberries and cherries.
Because there are no eggs in this recipe, they don’t keep as well and have to be eaten within the week – although you may not have many left. The smell and taste when eaten warm out of the oven is something else 🙂
Continue reading “Chocolate Chip Muffins”
I still remember when we were young and my older sister had baked a cake for the first time and iced it saying ‘Happy Holidays’. My mother would get us to try out new recipes, just so as we would learn, she knows and cooks so much, yet until last year she had never tried to make a cake. Being vegetarian, it is always essential to learn to make things without eggs and if you don’t have the correct cake recipe then it can be too dry and not at all spongy. Like with everything else in life ‘practice makes perfect’ and my younger sister has perfected the art of baking the perfect cake. Everyone who has had this cake will know that it is the BEST eggless chocolate cake ever. My younger sister has surpassed both me and my older sister in making the best cakes. This recipe has been adapted from the Tarla Dalal’s recipe and the slight changes that have been made make all the difference in making a soft and moist sponge. This is the basic recipe that my sister has used to make various cakes for all our birthdays. At a future date we will show you a collection of different ideas on decorating and presenting cakes that we have done. Give this recipe a go and let me know how you like it.
Continue reading “Eggless Chocolate Cake”
This is a very simple Indian dessert, which I grew up making with my mother. We would sit with a large tray of the barfi mix that my mother had made and we would press it down with the back of a bowl, then top it with slivers of almonds and pistachios. We felt quite important as that was the finishing touch to the sweet. 🙂
This sweet is similar to fudge in texture and there are many different versions you can make out of it. Here I have added some desiccated coconut and dry chopped cranberries, topped with chocolate. This year I made these for Diwali and got my son to help with mixing the ingredients into a crumble. He really enjoyed getting his hands ‘soft and sticky’ as he put it. So life is a full circle, what my mother passed on to me I am passing on to my son.
In the past I have also used fresh blueberries and that tastes good too. I have also been sent a recipe by my cousin sister, which has mango in it. I cannot wait to try that out, once I do I will post that on as well. Later I will also post another recipe which is a layered/sandwich barfi, which tastes and looks very good too. These sweets are good to give as food gifts, if you are going for a dinner party or over the festive period for friends and family.
Continue reading “Barfi”