Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Vanilla Spritz Cookies

  • Flour : 2 cup
  • Butter : 1 cup
  • Granulated white sugar : ½ cup
  • Vanilla essence : 1½ Tsp
  • Egg yolk : 2 large
  • Salt : ¼ Tsp

Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Beat the sugar and butter till it turns fluffy, for 2 to 3 min. Then add egg yolks and vanilla essence into this and mix it with the butter mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl in between. Then add the flour and salt into this and mix it well.

Transfer the dough into a cookie press. Then press out the cookies into a greased baking tray, spacing about 2 inches. If the dough is too soft, chill it for a few minutes and use it again. Decorate the cookies with nuts, sprinkles or colored sugar. Bake it for 12 to 15 mins or until the edges of the cookies turn lightly brown. Remove it from oven and cool it completely. Then store it in an air tight container.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Kerala Fruit Cake

For soaking:
  • Mixed fruits : 3 cups
  • Rum : 1½ cups
For Caramel :
  • Sugar : ½ cup
  • Water : 1 Tbsp
  • Warm water : ¼ cup
For spice powder :
  • Cloves : 2
  • Cardamom : 2
  • Cinnamon : small piece
  • Nutmeg : small piece
For Cake :
  • Flour : 2 cup
  • Baking powder : 1¼ Tsp
  • Baking soda : ½ Tsp
  • Sugar : 1 cup + 2 Tbsp
  • Butter : 250 g
  • Egg : 4
  • Vanilla : 2 Tsp
  • Jam : 1 Tbsp

I used a mix of raisins, sultanas, dates, cashews, walnuts, almonds and candied orange peel for soaking. Roughly chop the dry fruits and dates. Then soak it in rum and keep it in an airtight container. I soaked it for 1 month. The longer you soak, the better. For the caramel syrup, heat the sugar and 1 tbsp of water in a pan. When it melts and turns to dark brown colour, remove it from fire and pour ¼ cup of warm water into this. Again, boil it for a few minutes. Then remove it from fire and cool it completely. For the spice powder, add all the ingredients into a grinder along with little sugar and powder it well. Keep it aside.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Grease the cake pan and keep it aside. Drain away the liquid from the soaked dry fruits. Take 4 tbsp of drained liquor and keep it aside. Toss the drained fruit in 3 tsp of flour. Sieve the flour with baking powder and baking soda twice. Then powder the sugar and keep it aside.

Next, separate the eggs and beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Then beat the egg yolks with softened butter till smooth and creamy. Slowly add powdered sugar into this and beat well. Then pour vanilla essence and cooled caramel syrup followed by spice powder. Again beat it and  add the flour in two batches and mix well. Add jam and combine all the ingredients well. Fold in the egg whites in two batches and slowly mix it with the flour till no streaks are visible. Finally, fold in the soaked fruits and 4 tbsp of liquor. Transfer the batter into cake tin and bake it for 40 to 45 mins.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Carrot Pickle

  • Sliced carrot : 1 kg
  • Sliced ginger : 2 Tbsp
  • Sliced garlic : 2 Tbsp
  • Sliced green chilly : 1½ Tbsp
  • Curry leaves : as rqd
  • Mustard seeds : 1 Tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds : ½ Tsp
  • Gingely oil : ¼ cup or as rqd
  • Eastern pickle powder : 4 Tbsp
  • Vinegar : ½ to ¾ cup
  • Salt : to taste

Peel off the carrot skin and slice it into thin pieces. Heat gingelly oil in a chatti (kadai) and splutter the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. Then add sliced ginger, garlic, green chilly and curry leaves. Stir it for a few mins and put the sliced carrots. Saute it for 2 to 4 mins and reduce the heat. Then add pickle powder into it and mix well. Remove it from fire and pour required amount of vinegar and salt. Combine well. Keep it aside and allow it to cool completely. Transfer it into a clean air tight container. The pickle can be used from very next day.

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