Monday 31 December 2012

**The Wedding Cake**

My sweet friend’s daughter was getting married and I thought what would be better than a handmade sweet gift on this special day : )
This cake seemed to be perfect for the delicate bride and as I knew she had chosen a white and red dress for the ceremony I thought this Red Velvet Cake would be the best!
I have already uploaded the recipe of the normal size cake, but for those who ever plan to make this Wedding Cake of 6 kilo, I will write the measurements for this too.
I would like to mention here that it is best to use the brand ingredients for this as it does make a difference if we use any other equal product in place. This is my experience especially for the cream cheese and shortening!
If you want the frosting to be firm and that it stays firm really long use the best brands.
I had refrigerated this cake the whole night but on the Wedding it was in the hall in the room temperature around 2 hours but the cream and the shape of the flowers were exactly the same even after that : )
I have made this cake thrice so I must say now I add ingredients without any accurate measurements, I just feel and know it will be okay, but I will try to write more or less the exact here for you all : ) You can follow the process as mentioned in the recipe on my Birth-Day Cake.
Here’s what I did:
-I baked 3 cakes, 2 large sheet cakes and 1 half sheet cake.( A normal oven’s baking sheet)
-Let the cakes cool down completely only then they are ready for the heavy frosting.
-After layering the 2 large sheet cakes, I inserted 6 straws in the middle before I placed the half sheet cake on the top. This is important so it can hold the weight of the top most layer, or else after a short time it will sink in the middle and spoil your whole cake.
-In the end i inserted 5 more straws from the top till the bottom to hold all tightly. Just cut the extra length with a scissors.
For the large sheet cake:
(The same ingredients but baked twice, and the half of it for the small half sheet)
 2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cup oil
3 eggs (M)
1 ½ cup butter milk
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 tsp Vanilla essence
1 ½ tsp red powder color (more for more brightness if needed)
1 tbs Vinegar
Baking time 30-35 minutes on 170°C preheated oven
Insert a tooth pick to check if done, don’t increase the heat as the red color will burn into brown!
Grease the sheet tray and dust with flour so the cake will slip out very easily.
Cool all three at least 2 hours till you feel they are really cold!
The cream Cheese frosting:
*I used butter in my first cake, it was good enough but it melted a bit sooner as I was decorating my cake. The color was also a bit yellowish in the end, so I wanted a really white icing and I read somewhere that the shortening is best for this purpose.
*I used the full fat Philadelphia cheese cream as it has no water contents and the cheese stay firm.
In my second cake I had used a similar cream with no brand and it had some watery effect and the cream turned a bit soft while whisking so important to use a full fat cream
** For this cake I took:
750 gram Mascarpone cream ( 3 small tubs)
800gram Cream Cheese (full fat from Exquisa a 200 gr)
400gram Biskin shortening (2 packets)
450 gram castor sugar (more if you feel the frosting is soft, 2 ½  box)
4 tsp Vanilla essence
This made a great amount, but I needed this for the sandwich, the sides, the top and then the flowers.
I did one coating and kept it in the fridge over night, so next day it was even and I could cover up the whole cake easily
I made the frosting and kept it in the fridge over night so it was very smooth and firm to do decorations the next day! You can also freeze the left over and just mix in some more castor sugar if it is watery.
So you can follow the method according to the recipe.
I think I will take a long pause before I make it again as I have already made it thrice in this one month and that is really too much : )
Good Luck if any of you plan to make this : )

Here’s the link which I molded accordingly:

For the Frosting

Sunday 30 December 2012

*Cheeeeezy Spinach-Potato Casserole*

This was my ultra yummmy Lunch  :)
Me being a pasta Lover, make it too often, it takes less time and is so heart warming that you just can't hold your hands back :)

 Get is coming closer.....and closer..... and there you have it in your mouth..ummmm tasty ain't it :D
I made a small casserole of it and you really don’t need much for it, normally we have all things at home. I had 2 boiled potatoes, and fresh spinach and that’s all we need for this quick and delishhhh dish : )
Make it today if you want to and you... will be surprised to see how fast all goes: )
This is very mild only then you can feel the different tastes of everything in it, the spinach tastes so natural good and the cream makes it so silky : )
You need:
2 big boiled potatoes
400gram fresh spinach
1 pack of Crème Fraîche
200 gram grated cheese
1+1 tbs butter(for spinach and greasing)
Spices according to your taste and choice:
Red chili
Cumin powder
*wash the spinach, cut roughly
*boil water in a broad pot and add the spinach to it and let it boil 3-4 times
*drain the water, the spinach will reduce in volume
*put in a bowl and drop butter on it and cover it so it stays soft
*slice the boiled potatoes a but thicker as usually
*grease a small casserole with butter
*Sprinkle some of each spice directly on it
*lay half the boiled spinach in it, cover with half of the cream fraiche
*lay the potato slices on it, season again
*another layer of spinach-spice-.cream-potato
*now sprinkle the grated cheese all over
*place it in a preheated oven on 170° C
*bake till the cheese melts and spreads and turns into a lovely gentle soft gold color.
*important is not to let it burn, it may turn bitter..
There you have your yummy lunch, so quick, so fast yet super delicious!!!
Happy cooking : )


Chicken in Tomato and Spring Onion Sauce

The name seems too long : ) but this was the easiest way to describe it. It has been cooked mainly in these two so I thought to name it that way, of course it is actually a type of karahi too, but I did not use many karahi ingredients in it.

I make chicken with many many variations, sometimes it’s only a mix max for all what i have at hand or what I thin...k will turn into some dish : )
 This here is a very simply yet so fresh and different in taste. I usually use fresh tomatoes for all my dishes except one or two, as some time the taste of tin tomatoes is very nice and tangy mixed with our spices.

I make it in the wok and it’s a work of hardly 30 minutes! The color is really extra rich and bright as you see here : ) I bought this very delicious soft butter naan from the Turkish shop, they make it fresh in the Tandoor in front of us and wow the baking aroma of it drives you really crazy.
Here’s how I make it, no fuss just easy and fast with a Super outcome : )

500gram chicken
¼ cup oil ( 50 ml)
5-6 curry leaves (karhi pattay)
1 big tin of pizza tomatoes (they are in small cubes)
1 bunch of spring onions (around 5-6 in a bunch)
2-3 tbs lemon juice
1 ¼ tsp salt or to taste
¾ tsp red chili
½ tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp turmeric (haldi)
½ tsp fenugreek powder (methi powder)
1 tsp ginger/garlic paste
-open the tomato tin and pour all out in a bowl
-now mix all the spices (except the lemon juice and the GG paste) in it
-wash and dry the chicken pieces so they don’t leave too much water while frying
-wash and cut fine rings of the spring onions both parts green and white!
-heat the oil in a wok or any non stick broad pan
-throw the curry leaves and just fry for 2-3 seconds till crunchy
-now put the spring onion in it and fry very light brown, don’t let burn!
-next, add the chicken pieces and mix and stir gently on a medium heat
-sprinkle the lemon juice, this helps to keep the meat firm
-stir till the meat starts changing color
-add the GG paste and stir well
-the meat will cook slowly and change into a light gold color
-now pour the spices mixed tomato on it , mix all well and cover half and let it cook
-the tomatoes will become softer and mix up with the spring onions into a thick sauce.
-just stir off and on so all chicken pieces absorb the gravy too
-it takes around 30 minutes till all is set and mixed up in the sauce
-sprinkle some more fenugreek powder and cover
-this gives your dish a special yummy touch, very fresh and spicy : )

Note: I don’t add any coriander powder nor the fresh one, the methi (fenugreek) gives it a very nice aroma, so that should stay!
No extra green chilies as it is light and complete with the spices.
Of course you can add them according to wish, for me it is a must so I eat them separately : )

Enjoy Cooking!

Thursday 20 December 2012

Happy Birth-Day to ME : )

The Lady in Red : )
The Red Velvet cake
So again another year passes by leaving lots of good memories and lots of uncompleted wishes and work… But Thanks to the Almighty God for granting me another year of health happiness and the support and love of my Family!

I had planned to make something different on this day, usually I don’t bake extra cakes for myself, my daughter does this part…but I was quite curious to know the taste of the so world famous Red Velvet Cake and set my hands on it : )
I am glad I made it and I must say it has a very unique taste, many may say it seems unbaked but this IS the Red Velvet feeling!!

It is moist, it is juicy, it is soft.. The light cocoa flavor gives a special taste to the tongue, it may seem like  a brownie at times : ) The shocking silky red color is the main high light and sandwiched with snow white cream it IS the Cake one would love to have at least once!
The process seemed too long as I first read all ingredients on different sites, some use butter some use shortening and I used oil! I thought when I will add the tons of butter and cheese to my frosting, then I can at least save some calories of butter in the batter : )

I have no special recipe; I just had a read through many recipes, I came across and I tingled mingled and made this here : )
Here’s the link which I molded accordingly:
For the Frosting:

The important thing is to take care of the quantity of the baking soda and baking powder, I did not measure the flour to each point, I poured the butter milk according to my feeling, the batter must not be to runny and neither too thick, you can take the basic outline and just play around with it, as this is what I really did : )
I used ¾ cup oil in it.
 I used half brown sugar and half white refined sugar.
I took only 1 tbs of cocoa
I used the normal all purpose flourI used both baking agents in it
Baking soda and baking powder.
I used the red food color in powder form as it gives a far more fresh and bright color!
Oh and I forget to add salt and the Vanilla essence, but honestly it dint make a great difference : )
For the frosting:
I mixed 2 different cheeses with butter for the frosting:
-Mascarpone (200gram)
-Philadelphia (200gram)
-Butter (120 gram)
Castor sugar (220 gram makes 2 cups)
I just made simple Rostte as Deco mixing a touch of red color in the white cream and sprinkled dry coconut mixed in red color too. I like it this way :)
I am quite happy with the outcome and the lovely outlook of this cake, it is in fact a *melt in mouth* cake no doubt!!!
My Special thanks to “Cookies, Cupcakes, and Cardio”


Tuesday 18 December 2012

**Cookies Baking Fun Time**

I name it „The Cookie Adventurous Evening”
Winter time is the exact time when you want to bake with heart and soul. And I am so passionate about baking biscuits in winter, the aroma spread in the whole house, the atmosphere, the preparing of dough and the best part I love is the shapes of the cookies!!

It is such a genuine hand work art, different shapes  not so perfect rounds : ) This IS the real fun, It is simply indescribable….
My friends and I decided to bake together this year.. We all gathered at my station and we had the best time ever!! It was so much fun and joy in the air. One of the friends lives just one floor below us, so we took control of her oven too : )

Running up and down stairs and giggles and laughs made the whole so enjoyable. Each of us had decided to make their speciality and in the end we had tins and tons of cookies, along with piles of trays but still the jolly tones and smiling faces with endless stories to tell each other  : )
I would like to thank my lovely friends and my sweet daughter for making the day a memorable one!!
Thank you Susanne, Katharina and Hani darling!!!



Susanne made the Jam Hearts and Stars, Hani made the Cranberry Cookies and Katharina and I made the Date Rings!! We also made some Cinnamon Cookies, actually we just rolled them out as Susanne’s hubby made it easy for us and had prepared the dough for us a day before : )
It is a real treat to have a cookie a day with my daily tea : )

Link to the Date Rings and the Cranberry Cookies:


Monday 17 December 2012

*Lamb Qoorma*

Qoorma is a very delicious and divine dish on all special occasions, it actually comes from the Mughals, is made with heavy cream, yoghurt and coconut milk….yummmzzz and to top it’s richness we add, almonds and cashews in it too : )
I made it on Eid-ul-Azha, in a very different way using so less spices and having a great outcome it taste extreme good with Polau. You don’t have any heavy feeling after it but you don’t miss the rich ingredients in it too : )

The color of this dish should be a fresh reddish one not a burnt brown and as I was done cooking it , it turned out really great! Cinnamon is the most important thing in Qoorma.
For Qoorma you need to take meat with bones as it brings out the real taste of it.

This is how I made it:

750 gram lamb meat
3 large onions, fine sliced
2 sticks of cinnamon
2 ½ tsp cinnamon powder
3-4 big cardamom
1tbs GG paste (ginger/garlic)
1 ¼ tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp red chili powder
200 gram thick yoghurt (10% fat)
¼ cup clarified butter ( Ghee)

-heat the ghee and put in 1 stick of cinnamon and the big cardamoms
-just fry till they give an aroma, and then add the sliced onions
-fry till crispy golden brown NOT dark brown, as this is spoil the color!
-Now add in the meat and stir well
- add the GG paste and stir on medium heat
-as you see the meat changing a bit white color, sprinkle 1 tsp of cinnamon and keep mixing
-now add the salt and red chili, stir again
-you’ll see a nice reddish color coming out
-whisk the yoghurt well that no lumps are to be seen
-pour it over the meat and mix al well
-just cover the lid and let it cook
-I add no drop of water as the yoghurt leaves so much water that it gets cooked very well!
-this will take around 25-30 minutes
-do check once in between and stir all
-sprinkle some of the cinnamon powder again and close lid
-as you see the ghee showing on all sides and the meat is tender to break, it is done!
-sprinkle the rest cinnamon powder and cover so the cinnamon smell spreads all over in the pot


On Qoorma we don’t garnish with any fresh chili or coriander, it has its own taste and aroma, but of course it is up to you if you want too : )

I do make the thick Qoorma every so often when I make Naans, this here is good for Polau. Do try and you will definitely see that there is no difference in the aroma and taste : )

Tuesday 4 December 2012

**THE Fruity Christmas Cake**

             This master piece is a gift from my very
                        sweet friend Patricia: )

I fell in love with her cake nearly 6 years back, and since then the darling remembers me and bakes me her special cake each year  : )
It’s so scrumptious and delish with those ahhh so yummy fruits and nuts..ummmm…
Each bite is a pleasure I tell you : )  Thank you my dear Patricia, you are such a sweet heart !! 
I hope you will reveal the secret of this recipe soonest : D