Mallow Fudge – A Gift for all Seasons!

It is 2016 and January has already gone! So much has
happened in this one month that just flew by. Never mind, I am a positive
person and I believe in looking forward to what’s coming… Like, my wedding anniversary!

But even before that, is the beginning of the Chinese New Year! Did you know
that Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival? For any New Year,
the 3 F’s are a must – Fun, Frolic and the most important one, FOOD! All of us
just need a reason to celebrate happiness and give gifts to each other. So, I
thought, why not make li’l jars of absolute heaven for gifting – Marshmallow
Chocolate Fudge! You can gift it to people when they visit you or the other way
round… You can also serve it as a dessert over ice creams!

The recipe below is all yours. Do try and let me know if your friends and family like it.

To make 8 small jars, you will need:

  • 500 gms Dark Chocolate (use 70% Cocoa Content as that gives a better flavour)
  • ¾ of a Tin of Condensed Milk
  • 1 Cup Nuts (Mix bowl of dry roasted nuts
    like Peanuts, Hazel Nuts, Almonds; anything that is available at hand)
  • 175 gms Mini Marshmallows (you can even use the bigger ones but I prefer the mini size)
  1. Line a rectangular/square baking dish with parchment paper and keep aside.
  2. Take a saucepan, pour in your condensed milk and add in your chocolate (broken into small pieces).  
  3. Put your saucepan on low heat and allow the chocolate to melt. Keep stirring
    occasionally because sugar burns very quickly and you do not want to ruin these
    blissful bites in making.
  4. Once the chocolate has melted, stir well so the condensed milk is well combined with the chocolate. You will now notice the fudgy consistency.
  5. Remove the saucepan from heat and cool for a minute. Keep stirring the fudge. Add in your roasted nuts and marshmallows. Mix well.
  6. Pour the fudge into the lined dish and spread it evenly. Refrigerate the dish for
    about an hour and a half.
  7. Take the dish out and turn it over a chopping board and remove the parchment paper from all sides. Divide the fudge into equal portions and cut into small pieces
    (as you like it). I personally like small pieces as I enjoy that tiny bite
    leaving me craving for more.
  8. Pack into decorative jars or gift boxes. Depending on the temperature outside, store
    in a cooler place till you gift these.

 

 

Isn’t the recipe easy? And believe me, it is even easier to make it. So, here’s wishing all my friends, fellow bloggers and readers, a very Happy Chinese New Year! Welcome the new morning with a new spirit, a smile on your face, love in your heart and good thoughts in your mind.

One a Penny, Two a Penny, Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns

One a penny, two a penny…

Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns!

I took this nursery rhyme literally and baked these lovely buns. Traditionally
spiced with Cinnamon, these are sticky glazed fruit buns with pastry crosses. 

To make 10 average sized Hot cross Buns, you will need.

  • ¼ Cups Refined Flour
  • Tsp Salt
  • Tbsp Dry Yeast
  • Tbsp Castor Sugar
  • ½ Cup Luke Warm Milk
  • 30 Gms Butter
  • ½ Cup Tutti Fruity (Candied Papaya)
  • Tsp Cinnamon Powder
  • Tbsp Sugar for the glaze
  1. Sift the flour, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in luke warm water with a tsp of sugar. In a separate bowl, dissolve
    the remaining sugar in a little water. Add both mixtures to the sifted flour
    and mix.
  2. Add the luke warm milk, a little at a time, till all of it is incorporated into
    the dough. Add butter and knead till the dough is soft and smooth. Cover
    with damp cloth and set aside till it doubles in size.
  3. Preheat the oven to 240 degree Celsius. Grease a baking tray and line it with
    some parchment paper.
  4. Knock back the dough and add the tutti fruity. Shape into 10 round buns,
    marking a cross on the top with the back of a knife. You can also cut very thin
    strips of dough and place them in a cross shape on top of the buns.
  5. Place on the greased tray and set aside to rise for another 15 mins. Bake for
    15 mins, till well risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven. 
  6. To make the glaze, mix the sugar with 1 tbsp of water and heat gently till the sugar
    dissolves. 
  7. Brush the buns with the glaze immediately on taking them out of the
    oven.

 

Slather the buns with butter and serve with a cup of hot tea! Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did making it!

Arabian Loaf Nights

Arabian Loaf – a rice and potato based bake-dish is a favorite in my house. I learnt how to make this at Mrs. Alim’s finishing school course I attended in 2002 (I still haven’t figured out why it’s called Arabian Loaf but it is)! It’s been 14 years since, and every time I’m back home in Kolkata (India), my family and my friends insist that I make it at least once. I’m glad to share this delightful recipe
with you. It’s yummy to the extent that you might just bite off your finger!

To make about 1 round 9″ tin bake:

For Rice Base:

  • 2 Cups of Boiled Rice (left over works just as fine)
  • 1 Cup finely chopped Onion
  • ½ Cup finely chopped Capsicum
  • 2 Green Chillies – finely chopped
  • 1 Cup of ground Cashewnuts
  • 1 Cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 250 ml Milk
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp of Red Chilli Powder
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • Some Chopped Coriander
  1. Heat oil & butter together in a pan & saute the onions, chillies and capsicum.
  2. Add the rice, salt, pepper, chili powder, lemon zest & mix well. Saute for
    about a minute.
  3. Put the ground cashew and bread crumbs and again saute for a min.
  4. Add milk and mix well. I suggest that you use milk a little more than the given quantity as the bread soaks it up. 
  5. Adjust the condiments as per taste and take the rice off  heat.

For Potato Mash Topping:

  • 4 large Potatoes – boiled and mashed
  • 2 tbsp of softened Butter
  • ½ Cup Warm Milk
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Mix the mash potatoes well with the butter and milk. Add salt & pepper as per
    your taste. [Use freshly cracked pepper for a nice peppery punch]

Assembling the Bake:

  1. Grease the bake dish with butter/cooking spray
  2. Layer the rice evenly to get about an inch and half thickness
  3. Top it with the potato mash (about ¾ of an inch or may be 1 inch thickness)
  4. Spread some melted butter on top and bake at about 180 degrees for about 10 mins and then grill for 15 mins to get a golden color on the potato top.
  5. Garnish with some fresh coriander and serve piping hot

 

 

Tip: For Non Vegetarians, substitute the cashew nuts with minced lamb/mutton meat.

Since it’s a full meal in itself, a bowl of light soup compliments it perfectly. Trust me, you make it once and you will have to cook it all your life on popular demand!  

Bran Muffins – Breakfast Satisfaction

The French call it “Moufflet”, the Germans call it “Muffe” and the Americans call it
“Muffin”! An individual bite sized quick bread, can be sweet or savory, you can bake it with a lot of options.

I have a full time job and like all of us I’m busy meeting the deadlines, and later completing household chores and attending to my family. Many days there’s hardly any time to prepare a good breakfast. And breakfast for me is the most important meal of the day. I want my day to start with healthy yet delicious food! 

Wheat bran muffins with Cinnamon and Raisin, a cup of hot tea and I’m ready to take to take on the world. 

For about 16 Muffins, you will need:

  • 1 cup wheat bran
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1tbsp cinnamon powder
  • 135 gms melted butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 1 lightly beaten egg
  • 1 cup butter milk
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degree Celsius. 
  2. Line the muffin mold with muffin cases and grease with some butter
  3. Mix together the melted butter, brown sugar and raisins. Whisk well for about 5 mins. Add the egg and beat with the whisker for another 5 mins.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl. Add the wheat bran and Cinnamon powder, mix well.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter and mix well. Add little butter milk at a time
    and mix well. Adjust the consistency so the muffin batter is lumpy. These will
    give you dense muffins, just the way it should be.
  6. Spoon the batter in the greased cases – fill up to 2/3rd of the case leaving space for the muffins to rise. Bake for 15 mins at 180 degrees and
    the lower the temperature to 150 and bake for another 15 mins. I always play safe cause I have no control over my OTG. You never know when it starts acting funny 😉
  7. Once cooked, turn off the oven and take them out once they have cooled off, dust with some icing sugar and garnish with raisins. 

I usually make these muffins at night, so I can get those extra 30 mins to sleep!

 

 

Work or no work, healthy bran muffins are always a thumbs up for me! And muffins, we all know, can brighten anyone’s day.