Saturday, July 31, 2010

Caramel Cake

Yet another cake. this one goes into my best cake list. easy to make and cost effective. (i'm actually tired. i forgot to announce the birth of our second daughter alicia sara george. she's a month and a half old and really adorable. and i could afford to delay passing on the news. oh yeah that's how bad i can be.) back to the cake. it's almost over the day i baked it. an excellent tea time cake choice.

maida-1 cup
butter-100 gm (room temp)
powdered sugar-1/2 cup
granulated sugar-1/2 cup
baking powder-1 heaped tsp
soda bicarb-1 tsp
really hot water-1/2 cup
milkmaid (condense milk)-1/4 cup
butterscotch essence-1/2-1 tsp (absolutely optional)

Sift the maida, baking powder and soda bicarb together and keep aside. caramelise sugar first. melt the half cup granulated sugar in a tough pan. when it browns (dark brown in fact) add the half cup of hot water to it. turn off the burner and cool thoroughly. lightly beat the butter in a bowl and add the powdered sugar and beat well. add the milkmaid and beat again. using a blender beat the five eggs thoroughly till it's soft and lathery (is there a word like this; hope you get what i mean). add half of this egg mix to the butter-sugar-milkmaid mix. add maida. beat moderately. add the final half of the egg very slowly to the batter and mix with a wooden spoon. add the caramel syrup slowly into the mix and beat finally to get a good consistency (the recipe doesn't ask you to beat; but i like to beat everything beatable in a cake recipe.). pour the batter (which is surprisingly thin; don't worry it turns out just fine.) into a cake tin and bake at 170 C for 30-45 min.

I baked for 40 min and it browned gorgeously. i tasted the batter before i put the essence and i found it better than with the essence. but the cake did not have the strong taste of the essence. i added only half a tsp. sheba, this is going to be quite a find for you.

Courtesy: Lakshmi Nair

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cream of Onion Soup

In case you don't have chicken at home and you quickly want to fix an equally tasty soup, follow the recipe below.

onion-1 cup chopped fine
spring onion-1 stalk chopped fine (optional)
garlic-3-4 flakes chopped fine
butter-3 tbsp (don't try and reduce this!!)
maida-2 tbsp
milk-2 cups
water-3 cups
maggie instant chicken taste maker-1/2-1 packet
maggie instant soup powder (any flavour)-1 tbsp
grated cheese or cheese slice or cheese spread-2 tbsp
pepper and salt-as per requirement

Melt butter in a pan. add onion and garlic and leave it to brown. add maida and fry for two minutes. add the milk-water mix. on low flame add the taste maker and soup powder, pepper and salt. add the spring onion. of course the onion goes into the frying and at this stage you add only the chopped shoot. stir on high flame till it thickens. turn off the flame and add the cheese. serve hot.

The quantity serves 5-6 people. i used paneer ka pani or whey instead of water. the taste is not at all affected and you have added nutrition too.

When you add salt in both the soups consider the fact that the taste maker, the instant soup powder and the cheese are salty.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chicken-Cheese soup

Don't you love the sight of those slivers of butter melting in your pan and isn't the fragrance divine when you add some onions and garlic to it. i'm reminded of the scene in the movie Julie & Julia where meryl streep orders a baked fish off the menu and delights in the waft of butter that seeps into her butter-craving system. i felt so happy too making this soup; the heavenly smell kicking my hormones (i don't know, endorphins come to my mind though it's hardly endorphins in action here!!). the subsequent built-up in the soup looked promising as and when the ingredients were added. and the final product was an excellent monsoon a la carte soup. we enjoyed it with plain buns topped with a petite slice of cheese warmed in the oven. i loved those moments. let me share the recipe with you.

butter-3 tbsp
garlic-4-5 flakes chopped fine
boiled chicken-3-4 good meat pieces
onion-one big chopped fine
spring onion-one small stalk chopped fine (optional)
celery-one small stalk chopped fine (optional)
maida-2-3 tbsp
milk-700 ml
water-500 ml
grated cheese-1/4 cup
maggie extra taste chicken powder-11/2 packets
maggie instant soup powder (any flavour)-2 tbsp
pepper powder and salt-as per requirement

Boil the chicken pieces with pepper and salt and reserve the stock. i didn't follow any particular measurement for this. reserve the stock that you end up making. heat the butter in a pan and add the onion and garlic to it and brown. add the celery and saute. add the maida and fry it for two minutes. add the water (which includes the chicken stock too), milk, taste maker, soup powder, chicken pieces, pepper and salt and stir on high flame till it boils. it thickens only as it boils. so if you keep stirring you can put it on high flame which avoids curdling. switch off once the soup thickens or once it boils and then add the cheese. sprinkle some pepper and celery as garnish.

I used amul cheese slices and another time i used cheese spread. they were both yum.

This fills ten average sized soup bowls. so i suggest you don't go for a smaller quantity because you sure can't stop with one bowl!