Chocolate Truffles

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Chocolate Truffles

And finally all is done……

Have a Wonderful Christmas Everyone!

Christmas Plum Cake

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Christmas Plum Cake

Some people make plum cakes look so simple! I stepped into my Aunt Joyce’s place to take a pic of her famous Bibinca..However since it was just  baked and crisply hot, it couldn’t be sliced for the much required layers. But fortunately for me, I didn’t go back disappointed as there were several other goodies already on display. I took a shot of the neatly iced Christmas Plum Cake with the cute marzipan snowman.

Watch this space for more..

Melting Moments

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Melting Moments

This is a recipe inspired from Ms. Julia Taylor: Contestant at the Masterchef Australia 2012 series. The cookies are typical sweet and crusty that melt as soon as popped in. Makes for good tea time biscuits, can be even mixed with jam, marmalade or fresh cream.

Marzipan Ornaments

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Colored Marzipan

Good morning guys! Sorry if I was a bit shaky in this photograph..yesterday I was carrying an overloaded knapsack on my way home and stopped to remove loose change from it at the bakery. When I swung (not sure if I swung makeself or the bag now), I sprained my back muscles a bit…or maybe too much not sure. Lol! I could barely bend or sleep last night, and I seemed to need a stand support while taking the picture, instead of the camera…guess I won’t be able to enjoy walking tonight 😦

Anyways, something about the picture: Its simple nut-flavored (70% almonds, 30% cashews) marzipan, formed and colored in various moulds. Since they are quite sticky to touch, icing sugar had to be dusted over it most of the time. Its already the 19th, and there’s still a lot more to prepare – including cakes, truffles and toffee! Will keep you posted.

Indian Butter Cookies

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Beautiful start of the day in Abu Dhabi…pouring rain! and how much better can it get with the aroma of baking cookies and brewing coffee?

Winters are much desired in this part of the world, mainly due to its ever-short life span in a year, and even more is rain. As I mentioned earlier, cafes and restaurants make the most of this awesome weather conditions. The lucky villa residents get their BBQ equipment outdoors too…and the corniche is full of happy woollen families scattered in bunches about the lawns.

About the dish: In India, this is commonly known as Nan-Khathai and is available almost throughout the year in your local grocery or by your ‘Khariwala’ (biscuit-seller). Mostly a salty accompaniment to your daily ‘chai’ (tea), we prepare these minus the salt and serve as a Christmas cookie-goodie. Truly, on a romantic weather day like today, these gems will just melt in your mouth!

Besan Ladoos

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Besan (chick pea flour) ladoos

Yummy Besan laddoos too!

Kal kals

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Kal Kals: An indo-portuguese treat

I know its been a long while since I blogged & no I haven’t been bored yet, just busy. Work schedules, Christmas preparations, sister’s examinations, they all came together…however, we haven’t stopped cooking. Will be uploading all the christmas traditional desserts. We have a tradition of making one everyday until Christmas Eve…where finally they are served on a platter to friends, relatives, colleagues & neighbors on Christmas day. See you then!

Kaiserschmarrn

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Kaiserschmarrn

The UAE National Day weekend was a huge hit. The celebrations were so sensational! We couldn’t be everywhere, but we tried our best to attend some function, amidst the gliterrati.
Its not often that it rains in Abu Dhabi; and when it does the people see God in the rain. They come out, take pictures or simply enjoy the downpour. Cafe’s feel blessed with an outpouring of customers and people for once turn off the air conditioners and prefer the natural cold breeze. Pure bliss is when you have a wonderful sister who starts baking releasing the aroma all around the house (and probably beyond!). Her dish of the day was Kaiserschmarrn ; the link will introduce you to the brief history associated with this Austrian delicacy. The best about it is that it takes just 20 mins to prepare and works well even on a tight budget as a breakfast / dessert.

Recipe:6 eggs
1 tbspn butter
200gms flour
50 gms sugar
225 ml milk
1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)

For garnish: (optional )
Rum soaked raisins
Icing sugar, sifted
Chocolate sauce

Separate egg whites and yolks. In a clean bowl whip egg yolks,milk,sugar and vanilla essence
Gradually fold in the flour till it forms a thick batter.

Beat egg whites and a pinch of salt till its stiff and peaks are formed.

Add egg whites to the main batter and fold in slowly.

Heat a non stick pan and dab it with a little butter. Pour a part of the batter onto the pan when heated and swirl it so that the mixture spreads evenly. Let it fry on one side. Turn the pancake and with a spatula break the pancake into bite size bits. Cook till slightly brown.

Take off the heat and serve with your favorite topping. Traditionally served with dusted icing sugar.

Bread Pudding

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Bread Pudding

What happens to excess bread about to turn hard and toasty? You turn it into a golden bread pudding! Its 1:00 AM as we’re about to overturn the pudding on to the plate – finally! Even at this hour it was too tempting to resist. Surprisingly the recipe is simple and quick..
1 egg beaten
1 cup milk (low fat)
1 tsp vanilla essence
4-5 tbsp sugar (depends on the amount of caramel required)
Bread

The quantity of bread will depend on the consistency of the pudding. For thicker, firmer puddings around 4-5 slices are required. I like my pudding softer and more pillowy, so we used less. You will also need two utensils – a smaller one where the pudding gets cooked, and a larger one which incorporates the smaller along with some boiling water.

Mix all the ingredients together except sugar, allowing the bread to soak into the liquids for 5-10 mins. In the smaller utensil heat the sugar till it caramelizes into a dark brown color. Then add the above mixture and close the lid tightly. Insert this utensil into the larger utensil containing boiling water, and seal. Allow it to steam for 45-50 mins. Before closing the heat, check the firmness of the pudding – it should be firm like cheesecake. Cool the pudding for a good one hour before overturning to avoid it from breaking.

Courtesy: Ofcourse, my sister.

Biscotti

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Biscotti

Its the first week of Advent – a time we prepare for Christmas, and my sister wanted to do something reminiscent of the season. I believe that festivals should be celebrated spiritually than pompuously, so I try to keep it simple. Our food preparations during this time are mostly homemade, and quantities large enough to share with everyone around us. The aim is to come together & spend hours assisting with the cooking, packing, decorating…its a family thing that can’t be explained & it does feel awesome. Our first dish of the season: Biscotti
3/4 cups almonds, chopped coarsely and roasted on a pan
3 large eggs, whisked
250 gms flour
150 gms sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp almond essence
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
To prepare the dough start with mixing together flour,sugar, salt and baking powder.
In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and essences.
Pour this egg mixture into the powder mix and add chopped roasted almonds. Mix together till it forms a thick dough.
Take the dough and place it on the baking sheet prepared. Flatten it to a loaf with your hand roughly till its about a 1/2 inch thick.
Let it bake for 35-40 mins or till its firm to touch.
Take it out from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes. Using a sharp knife cut slices as per the thickness required.
Place these slices back on the baking tray and let it bake once more till crisp and brown. Bake till required. The longer the better it tastes.

Tip: add any sort of stuffing such as pistachios chopped, chocolate chunks, fruit bits etc.since these biscuits can be stored for long, ensure they are stored in an air tight container.

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