Gift Strawberry Macaroons on Valentine’s Day

It’s well said, “Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own.” I completely agree with this saying. Do you? You can do anything to see your baby smile. Gift your valentine, something that’s original, homemade and your creativity. Isn’t that a great idea? I’m sure it’s gonna win the heart. Nothing would be better than gifting soft, lite pink strawberry macaroons made with your whole heart and soul. The best part is that you can add in any cream filling, keeping in mind the choice of your partner. Hope you liked my crazy Valentine’s Day ideas. For now let’s start with this sweet affair.

Yummy Macaroons!
Yummy Macaroons!

Ingredients:-

4 large egg whites,

1/3 cup caster sugar,

1 1/2 cups icing sugar,

4 teaspoons almond meal,

Food coloring as per choice.

Preparation Method:-

1. Preheat the oven to 150 D.C. Place egg whites and caster sugar in a bowl. Beat with blender until stiff enough to turn the bowl upside down without it falling out. Continue to whip for 2 more minutes.

2. Add gel or powdered food coloring and continue to mix for a further 30 seconds. Sift the almond meal and icing sugar and salt twice, discarding almond lumps.

3. Add the egg white mixture. Pipe onto trays lined with baking paper. Prefer heart shape if you are gifting.

4. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Check if one comes off the tray clean, if not bake for a little longer.

5. When cool, taking two, add in the cream of your choice. I prefer strawberry cream. Enjoy!

Happy Valentine's Day
Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Happy Holi With Malpua

The highlight of Holi certainly begins with Rabri and Malpua. Hope you liked the delicious rabri recipe that we shared last time. Malapua is a popular sweet served on the religious festival, Holi. Malapua is an pancake served as a dessert or a snack. Let’s have a look at this sumptuous Indian dessert.

Yummy Malpua
Yummy Malpua

For the Syrup:-

1 cup sugar,

1 cup water,

Saffron strands,

1/2 tsp cardamom powder.

For the Malpua:-

500 gms all purpose flour,

1/2 tsp baking powder,

400 gms sweetened condensed milk,

Slivered almonds and pistachios to garnish,

Clarified butter.

Preparation Method:-

1. Mix milk and 1 cup of sugar in a thick-bottomed pan. Cook to reduce it to a fourth of its original volume while stirring frequently.

2. Remove it from the fire, allow cooling and then chill it in the refrigerator. Mix equal quantity of sugar and water in a pan. Boil it until a single-thread consistency is obtained.

3. Add cardamom powder, saffron threads and mix well. Keep it aside to use later. In a large mixing bowl, blend the condensed milk, flour and baking powder together to form a smooth batter.

4. Meanwhile heat enough clarified butter in a deep frying pan to cook the malpuas. Pour the batter into the clarified butter to form circles about 4 inch in diameter.

5. Cook till golden brown. Remove from the clarified butter and put directly into the sugar syrup. Remove after 3 minutes and drain on a wire rack.

6. Now to serve, place 2 malpuas in a plate, spoon rabri over them and garnish with slivered nuts.

Happy Holi....
Happy Holi!!!

Enjoy Holi with delectable malpua!!

Rabri Recipe and The Festival of Colors (Holi)

Holi is one of the major festivals of India and is the most vibrant and colorful of all the Indian fests. Holi symbolizes the dawn of the spring season. It is celebrated in many parts of South Asia, covering Nepal as well. The Holi celebration start with a Holika bonfire, which is held on the night before Holi. The coming morning is free for all carnival of colors. People are involved in merry making by applying colored powder at each others.

Rabri Yummzzz!!!
Rabri Yummzzz!!!

Everyone plays and chases each other with dry powder and colored water. Some also carry water colors guns and small colorful water filled balloons. The festival also includes ‘matki phod’ (breaking the pot) competition. People sing and dance on the regional or Bollywood songs. “Dhol” or drum adds to the party mood. Rabri and malpua is the best dessert combination served on the auspicious occasion of Holi. So let’s welcome the Festival of Colors with the Rabri.

Ingredients:-

10 Cups milk,

4 Tablespoons sugar,

4 Pieces green cardamom seeds,

4 Drops of kewra essence,

1 Pinch of green cardamom powder,

1 Pinch of pistachio powder.

Preparation Method:-

1. Take a deep pan and add milk. Bring it to boil.

2. Add the sugar and cardamom seeds. Leave it to simmer over a low heat for 2 hours until the milk is reduced to one quarter.

3. Remove from the heat and add the kewra essence. Kewra essence is concentrated oil made from pandanus flowers used in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine.

4. Sprinkle with the cardamom and pistachio powders and serve hot or cold with malpua.

Enjoy Rabri on Holi...
Enjoy Rabri on Holi…

Enjoy the festival of colors with sumptuous dessert!!!

King Cake Recipe and Mardi Gras Festival

All set for the Mardi Gras Festival?? Invite your pals and relatives and offer them fruit cakes, doughnuts and spend quality time. Wanna have more fun?? Participate in the parade and design colorful parade floats. There are special Mardi Gras Parade tickets available for active participation and full fledged enjoyment. The events will boost up the festive mood. You’ll love the colorful beads, hats, masks, stuffed toys and much more.

Mardi Gras Parade Float
Mardi Gras Parade Float

Hope you liked our previous recipe, “Rich Peach Cobbler“. Today we’ll bring you with the most easy homemade recipe of “Kings Cake”, since Mardi Gras Festival is incomplete without it. The simplest of all the cake is a ring of twisted cinnamon roll-style dough. It is topped with icing sugar or cream that is purple, green, and golden in color, denoting the traditional Mardi Gras colors.

Ingredients for Cake:-

2 tablespoons butter,

1 teaspoon vanilla extract,

1/3 cup light brown sugar,

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon,

8 ounce cans reduced-fat crescent rolls,

4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese,

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar.

Preparation method for the Cake:-

1. Preheat the oven to 350 D. F. Coat round pizza pan approximately 10-inch with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Separate the crescent rolls at perforations into 16 slices. Place slices around prepared pan with points in center. About halfway down from points, press the seams together.

3. In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Spread on dough in center where seams have been pressed together.

4. In another small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon with fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over cream cheese. Fold dough points over filling, then fold bottom of triangle over points forming a circular roll like a king cake.

5. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly and drizzle with colored Mardi Gras Icing.

King Cake
King Cake

Ingredients for Icing:-

1 cup confectioners’ sugar,

1-2 tablespoons skim milk,

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract,

Yellow, green, and purple food color

Preparation method for Icing:-

1. In small bowl, combine all ingredients, except food color. Divide the mixture into three bowls.

2. In first bowl, add a few drops of yellow food coloring. In second bowl, add a few drops of green food coloring. In third bowl, add equal amounts of drops of purple food coloring.

3. Drizzle over baked cake.

Enjoy the cake and the fest!!!

The Desert Festival and Dal Baati Churma

The Desert Festival is one of the major festivals celebrated in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan (India). It falls in the month of January or February. This year the festival was held from 12th February to 14th February. The zest of the festival is to bring out rich culture and heritage of the beautiful state, Rajasthan. The major attractions of the fest are Rajasthani folk dance, snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats, camel dance, polo, camel race and other local performances. The dance and drama reflects heroism, romance and tragedy of the folk heroes. As any festival is incomplete without food, Rajasthani food is incomplete without the traditional dal baati churma, the perfect Indian food. Panchmel dal is the grams curry. Baatis are small, flaky, round breads that are baked over firewood. Churma is the traditional dessert of Rajasthani. Here is the sumptuous recipe to delight you.

Desert festival
Desert festival

Ingredients:-

For the Panchmel Dal:-

1/3 cup split Bengal gram,

1/3 cup pigeon peas gram,

1/3 cup split green gram,

1 tbsp split black lentils,

1 tbsp whole green gram,

3 tsp chilli powder,

1/4 tsp turmeric powder,

1 tsp coriander powder,

1/2 tsp hot spice,

3 cloves,

2 bay leaves,

1 tsp cumin seeds,

2 green chillies,

1 pinch of asafoetida,

2 tsp dried mango powder,

2 tsp tamarind pulp,

3 tbsp clarified butter,

salt to taste

For Baatis (10):-

1 cup whole wheat flour,

1/2 cup semolina,

2 tbsp Bengal gram flour,

8 tbsp milk,

4 tbsp melted clarified butter,

salt to taste

Dal Baati Churma
Dal Baati Churma

Preparation method:-

For the panchmel dal:-

1. Clean and wash the dals (grams and lentils) and add 4 cups of water. Pressure cook for 3 whistles or till the dal is cooked.

2. In a bowl, combine the chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, hot spice with 3 tablespoons of water and mix well. Keep aside.

3. Heat the clarified butter in a pan and add the cloves, bay leaves, cumin seeds, green chillies and asafoetida.

4. When the cumin seeds crackle, add the prepared masala paste and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cooked dals, amchur, tamarind pulp and salt and simmer for 7 minutes.

5. Adjust the consistency of the dal before serving and if required by adding some boiled water.

 For the baatis:-

1. Mix all the ingredients and knead into a firm dough. Knead well for 7 minutes. Divide the dough into 10 equal portions and shape each portion into an even sized round.

3. Flatten the rounds lightly using your thumb to make an indentation in the centre of the baati. Boil water in a broad vessel and drop the baatis in the boiling water. Cook for 20 minutes over a high flame.

4. When the baatis are done, drain and keep aside. Heat a gas tandoor (Indian oven) and put the baatis on the grill of the tandoor. Cook them on a medium flame for 25 minutes.

5. Cooking the baatis over a medium flame will ensure that the baatis are cooked on the insides also. Arrange the baatis on a serving plate, break each baati into two pieces and pour melted clarified butter on the baatis.

For Churma:-

2 cups whole wheat flour,

4 tablespoons semolina,

1 cup clarified butter,

3/4 cup powdered sugar,

1/4 teaspoon green cardamom powder,

10 chopped cashew nuts,

10 chopped almonds,

10 chopped raisins

Milk as required

Preparation method:-

1. Mix flour and semolina in a bowl. Add half cup of melted clarified butter and mix well. Add milk as required and knead into a stiff dough.

2. Divide the dough into twelve lemon sized balls. Heat sufficient clarified butter in a wok and deep-fry the balls on medium heat, till they are well done.

3. Drain and place on an absorbent paper and cool. Coarsely grind the wheat balls in a mixer. Add powdered sugar, cardamom powder, cashew nuts, almonds and raisins and mix.

4. Serve churma with daal baati.

Tasty Churma
Tasty Churma

Enjoy the Desert Festival..

Valentine’s Day Special Red Velvet Cookies

Wanna surprise your Valentine on this special day? Let’s prepare an easy recipe called soft-baked red velvet cookies. The mushy, creamy taste will drive your love crazy. Red color symbolizes love, so it is a perfect treat for Valentine’s day. These can be stored and consumed later. Each bite he takes, he’ll certainly remember his love. Chocolate chips can be used optionally to boost up the romantic mood. So here we have Valentine’s day special, red velvet cookies for our loved one’s.

Valentine's Sugar Crush
Valentine’s Sugar Crush

For Red Velvet Cookies:-

1 large egg,

1/2 teaspoon salt,

2/3 cup brown sugar,

1/3 cup white sugar,

1/2 cup unsalted butter,

3/4 cup sour cream,

2 cups all-purpose flour,

1/2 teaspoon baking soda,

1 tablespoon red food coloring,

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips,

1 ounce squares unsweetened baking chocolate

 For Cream Cheese Frosting:-

1/4 cup unsalted butter,

4 ounces cream cheese,

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract,

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Preparation Method:-

1. Preheat oven to 375 D F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

2. Break the chocolate squares into chunks, place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high until the chocolate melts, about 90 seconds.

3. Stir the chocolate until smooth and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until light and fluffy; pour in the egg and beat until smooth.

4. Mix in the red food coloring and chocolate, scraping the bowl down regularly, until evenly blended, about 30 seconds.

5. Add half of the sifted dry ingredients, stirring until well incorporated. Beat in the sour cream and mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls of the dough 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.

6. Bake one sheet at a time in the preheated oven until they spring back when pressed, about 9 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

7. For the cream cheese frosting, whip 1/4 cup butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth. Blend in the powdered sugar in half cup portions until the frosting reaches the desired consistency.

8. Add into cookies and serve.

Valentine's Delight
Valentine’s Delight

Enjoy the sugar crush date!!!

Chikki with Lohri – Festival of North India

Lohri is one of the major winter festivals of North India. It is celebrated every year on January 13, to mark the day of Uttarayan or sun’s journey towards north. Indian markets are flooded with “Chikki” throughout winter. Chikki is a traditional ready-to-eat Indian sweet generally made up of groundnuts, dry fruits and jaggery. There are several different varieties of chikki like sesame chikki, dried chikki Maewo, peanuts chikki, gram dal chikki etc.

Chikki is very beneficial to health. It contains proteins and iron. Jaggery helps in cleansing the body and acts as a digestive agent. It satisfies the sweet tooth completely. On this joyous night, sing heartily, dance merrily on the dhol(drum) beats around the bonfire with your family and friends. Say goodbye to winter and welcome Lohri with Groundnut Chikki.

Celebrate Lohri with Chikki
                                                 Celebrate Lohri with Chikki

Ingredients:-

250 grams of peanut seeds,

250 grams Jaggery,

1 1/2 teaspoon Ghee/Clarified butter

Preparation method:-

1. Roast peanuts until brown. Do not roast in the microwave for more than 2 minutes. Peel off skins on cooling.

2. Put a teaspoon of ghee in a frying pan and heat.

3. Prepare the jaggery syrup. Allow the jaggery to melt in the frying pan for 4 minutes or until the completely melted and frothy.

4. Now add peanuts and mix well for around 3 minutes. Grease the plate with clarified butter. Add the mixture.

5. Cut into diamond or square shape when warm with the help of sharp knife.

6. Preserve in glass jars when cool.

Enjoy Lohri with friends!!!
                                                  Enjoy Lohri with friends!!!

Say Happy Lohri with your favorite Chikki!!

Almond and Berry Berry Blueberry Tart Recipe

Berry Berry Blueberry and Almond Tart Recipe
Berry Berry Blueberry and Almond Tart Recipe

With the golden crust, crisp crunchy almonds and blueberry blend, here we have one of the prime desserts for Christmas, Blueberry and almond tart. Blueberry tart is a showstopper! The dish is eye tonic for the foodaholics. Not only ultimate satisfier for the taste buds but filled with the health nutrients, this delectable dish is best for people of all age groups.

According to U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, blueberries have more antioxidants than any other fresh fruits or vegetables tested. They lower the risk of age-related muscular degeneration. Lot of minerals are present in almonds which include calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc. These nuts are rich in vitamin E. Filled with taste and nutrients, Blueberry and Almond Tart is something that cannot to be missed especially on the auspicious occasion of Christmas.

Ingredients:-

85 grams softened butter,

175 grams caster sugar,

175 grams ground almonds,

2 Pcs eggs,

125 grams punnet blueberries,

2 Pcs-24 cm cooked shortcrust pastry tart case,

icing sugar for dusting,

few drops almond extract.

Preparation Method:-

1. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Beat together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy, about 1 minute.

2. Stir in the almonds, egg and almond extract. Stir in half the blueberries and spoon into the pastry case.

3. Smooth the top using the back of a metal spoon, then scatter over the remaining blueberries, pressing them in lightly.

4. Bake for 50 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden, and the filling is golden and feels firm to the touch.

5. Cool the tart for 10 minutes in the tin, then lift onto a serving plate.

6. Dust with a little icing sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.

Santa Enjoying Blueberry Tart
Santa Enjoying Blueberry Tart

Enjoy the Christmas Treat!!!

Dish of the Day – Red Velvet Cake

This satiny smooth Red Velvet Cake is traditionally a layered cake which has dark red or reddish brown color with mushy cream set in between each layer. Originated in the United States, the cake is pitch dark red due to the reaction of mixing vinegar and butter milk in it. The food color further intensifies its crimson hue making it even more appealing to eyes.

It is indeed one of the most luscious American bakery products. It is a common highlight of serving tables on various occasions like wedding, birthday parties, get-togethers, etc. Owing to its unique color and cocoa flavor, it is gaining immense popularity all over the world. White or cream cheese frosting is used for topping which is in contrast to the dark red color, giving it a heavenly appearance. Also have a look at red velvet cookies.

Red Velvet Cake
Red Velvet Cake

Ingredients

2-1/2 cups cake flour,

1 teaspoon salt,

1 cup unsalted butter,

1-1/2 cup granulated sugar,

2 eggs,

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder,

1 ounce red food coloring,

1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla,

1 cup buttermilk,

1 teaspoon cider or white vinegar,

1 teaspoon baking soda.

Method

1. Preheat the oven at 350 D. F for twenty minutes before baking the cake.

2. Take a bowl and mix salt and flour. Keep it aside. In another bowl, mix sugar and butter. Keep on beating until the mixture is fluffy. Add eggs and blend well. 

3. Take a small bowl. Add cocoa powder, vanilla extract and food color. Mix it with the butter and flour mixture. Now add butter milk and blend well.

4. After this take a small cup and add baking soda and vinegar. Stir this fizzy mixture to the batter and beat well.

5. Put the cake mixture in the oven and bake well for 30 minutes until the cake is brown. Test with the help of knife. If it comes out to be clean, our cake is fully baked.

6. Allow the cake to cool. Cut the cake into three layers, horizontally. On each layer, add icing. Use any flavored cake icing of your choice.

7. Vanilla is a perfect flavor. One can also add white or cream cheese frosting.  

Slice of Red Velvet cake, the heavenly dessert
Slice of Red Velvet cake, the heavenly dessert

Enjoy the creamy velvet like cake.


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