Giusto odio dignissimos Olimpedit quo minus

March 29, 2009

Aloo Paratha

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I LOVE CURRY!!! Whether its from Thailand, Malaysia, Japan or China -- I'll eat it and I would eat it everyday if i could. My favorite curry is from India... maybe its due to the fact that my father was born there and as a kid, I grew up eating it. I usually eat curry with rice or noodles. Rarely do I eat it with bread... that's cause I usually dont have the Indian bread. I can always ask my dad to get me some bread from the Indian market but it's not the same.

I decided to make some this weekend! And not the usual roti (which is similar to a tortilla). I wanted paratha and not just a plain one -- i wanted aloo paratha: bread stuffed with potato and onions!

Makes 6

Stuffing:
2 boiled potatoes
1 small finely chopped onion (optional)
Coriander leaves finely chopped
1 teaspoon ginger (very finely chopped or grated)
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
Mash the potatoes and combine with all the stuffing ingredients, and set aside.

Dough:
3 cups wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat flour for dusting
2 tablespoons oil or butter
Enough water to make dough

5-6 tsp butter for frying paratha
Salt to taste

Making the dough:
Combine flour, salt, oil or butter and add water, a little at a time. Knead into medium soft dough. Dough should not be very tight. Set aside.

Rolling & stuffing parathas:
Divide the dough and stuffing into 6 equal balls. Take a ball of dough and make into a small disc, by flattening between your hands. Place a tablespoon of the potato stuffing into the center of the dough and close it from all sides, covering the stuffing entirely by the dough. Gently pat the stuffed disc between your hands again. Apply some flour on both sides and roll it out gently into a paratha.

Now with a hot, oiled frying pan (cast iron is good) cook your paratha, about 5 minutes per side -- nice brown spots will appear. Serve with butter, yogurt, or in my case -- CURRY!


Yes, this is time consuming -- but its so worth it!
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March 28, 2009

Mini Banana Loaves

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During the week, I usually have toast, a bagel or a muffin for breakfast -- and its not something I make myself -- I usually buy from my local supermarket. Instead of the usual, I wanted something homemade & portable. Banana bread sounds like something wholesome & delish, doesn't it?

The ingredients listed fit into a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. For portability I made mini loaves and the batter divided up perfectly to yield 8 mini loaves.

Ingredients
¾ cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
4 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter pan.
  • Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk and cinnamon.
  • In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mix by hand just until flour disappears.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake.


For a 9x5x3 loaf the recipe says to bake for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For my mini loaves, I only needed to bake them for 25 minutes.

Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.



The banana bread did come out more savory than sweet... for me, the saltiness of the bread complemented the sweetness of the bananas. To make is more on the sweet side, I would increase the sugar by 1/4 cup and cut the salt by half.
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March 26, 2009

Broken Glass Jello

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Recipe courtesy of JustJenn

Ever wanted to make jello that was too pretty to eat?
Well... NOW you can!
This is fun & super easy to make.

ingredients:
4 three ounce packages of jello (use a variety of colors & flavors)
i used berry blue, lime green, orange and cherry
2 packets of unflavored gelatin (Knox brand)
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
water

Dissolve each box of jello seperately with one cup of hot water. Pour into individual containers and chill for 3 hours or overnight.


After chilling, cut them into blocks, carefully mix up the colors and place the jello into a larger pan, like a 9x12 pyrex dish. I had a storage container that was approximately 9x12 so i just used that.

Featured in foodgawker.com, entry # 21016

You can dump the cut up jello back into the refrigerator to chill some more while you take on the next step. In a seperate bowl, dissolve 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water. Allow gelatin to "bloom," about 1-2 minutes. Add the gelatin to 1 1/2 cups of hot water and dissolve. Stir in condensed milk and cool.

Pour cooled milk mixture over jello, gently stir and chill overnight.




Cut & serve.
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March 25, 2009

Oatmeal Applesauce Cookies

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Recipe from Martha Stewart's Cookies
I received this book for Christmas from a dear friend. I thought it was about time that I tried one of the 175 cookie recipes.

My mom has been nagging me to make oatmeal cookies for Megan because they both love oatmeal cookies. "Don't forget to add some raisins!" said my mom, even though she knows I dont like raisins --- but this wasnt for me to eat, it was for them. Recipe says "makes about 2 1/2 dozen." I used a big 2" cookie scoop and came out with 15!

ingredients:
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup chunky applesauce
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats (not the quick 1 minute oats)
1 1 /4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt (i used kosher)
1 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper (or use silpat).

Put sugars and butter in bowl of electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on low until combined. Add egg & applesauce; mix well, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix in raisins.

Using 1 1/2 inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheet, spacing 2" apart.


Bake until golden and just set, 13-16 minutes, rotating halfway through. Cool on sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack set over parchment paper. Cool completely.



The applesauce makes this cookie very moist & cake-like. I even ate the raisins!
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March 24, 2009

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

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My first time making Swiss Meringue Frosting. It’s a little tricky to make, but once you get the technique down, it's super easy. And the best thing: it’s not as sweet as the standard butter + powdered sugar frostings. It’s silky, light and fluffy; it has a whipped cream consistency. LOVE IT!!!

Ingredients
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup melted and cooled semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions
Put egg whites and sugar into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees).

Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes.



Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until frosting appears thick, about 3 minutes.

Reduce speed to low; add vanilla extract, chocolate and cocoa and continue beating 2 minutes to eliminate air bubbles.

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March 23, 2009

Chocolate Matcha Cupcakes

| 3 comments
I made Bakerella's Bundt Cake into cupcakes.

Yields: 12 cupcakes

Chocolate Mixture
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cocoa
¾ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt


Matcha mixture
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. matcha powder
¾ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt


Wet ingredients
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
¾ cup + 2 tbsp. milk, room temperature
½ tsp. vanilla

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin pan w/paper liners.
  • With a wire whisk, mix the dry ingredients for the chocolate mixture in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In another small bowl, do the same for the matcha mixture.
  • Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Divide the creamed mixture evenly in two separate bowls.
  • Slowly add the chocolate mixture to one half of the creamed mixture and mix thoroughly.
    Then, add the matcha mixture to the other half of the creamed mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Drop one tablespoon of each mixture into the prepared pan, until it's about 3/4 full.
    For a marbled effect, gently run a knife through the two batters in a swirling motion. (Once or twice will do the trick.)
  • Bake for about 18-22 minutes.
Wrapped, frosted with Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream, recipe to follow.


Unwrapped


Cut open


THE VERDICT: "WOW!" This is a keeper! The green tea-chocolate flavor is intense. The cake is moist & delicate. I didnt even eat it with the frosting. All you need is a hot cup of green tea or a glass of milk.
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March 17, 2009

Piping

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A lot of you have asked me what tip i use to make the swirl of frostings on my cupcakes.

I recommend Wilton's 1M (No. 2110 Open Star Decorating Tip) tip for starters -- that's what i started with.... and Wilton's instructions for "how to make the swirls" can be found here.

Other tips I love to use can be found in this Ateco set.

These tips are larger than the Wilton tip. I love the open star & closed star tips, which is what I use the most. Also needed, but not necessary (because you can use a gallon-size ziploc bag to hold the frosting) is a pastry bag.... whether it's a disposable one or a reusable one, i do recommend nothing smaller than a 16" bag.
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March 16, 2009

Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

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Makes 18

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line muffin/pan. On medium speed, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs to the creamed mixture and beat well. Add the bananas and mix well. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add all the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix until completely integrated. Add the milk and vanilla. Mix for 1 minute on medium speed. Fill cupcake liners one-half to three-quarters full with batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

Vanilla Buttercream
1 stick butter, softened
1 tb. vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tbs. milk

With an electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat, on low speed to combine. DO NOT REFRIGERATE!!!
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March 15, 2009

Cupcake Courier

| 2 comments
Would you believe it if I told you I have TWO cupcake couriers? Both were gifts and both came in the knick of time. Cupcake orders have been coming in like wildfire and it's the best thing to use to carry 3 dozen cupcakes, except now... i can carry 6 dozen!

Here's my yellow one:


Here's my blue one:


One of the best things I love about it is the spacing between the trays. There's just enough space so you dont smoosh your frosting.... unless you pile it on really high.


And you go from this:


To this:






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March 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Arielle!!!

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::Sunday, 7:00 a.m.::
Day 2 of my cupcake weekend!

Arielle's Mommy ordered 3 dozen cupcakes for the birthday party. In addition to Red Velvet, she ordered Chocolate Cupcakes with Lilac Vanilla Buttercream.





On display at the party:


The Birthday Girl


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March 09, 2009

Baby Shower Cupcakes

| 6 comments
::Saturday, 7:00 a.m.::

Task:
make 3 dozen cupcakes by noon

Results:
Tower of Cupcakes


Vanilla Cupcakes with Blue Vanilla Buttercream

Featured in foodgawker.com, entry # 20363

Red Velvet with Green Cream Cheese Frosting


And I got a chance to use my Super Duper Cupcake Carrier


Packing them up


Reference:
Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
Red Velvet Recipe
Cream Cheese Frosting
Cupcake Courier

Vanilla Buttercream
1 stick butter, softened
1 tb. vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tbs. milk

With an electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat, on low speed to combine. DO NOT REFRIGERATE!!!
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