Friday, April 8, 2011

Celebration: Devil's Food cakcupcakes with an Oreo icing

After an year of studying for and dreaming about my post-graduation I have finally managed to secure admission to MICA! I was am still ecstatic and can't believe I will be moving out in around 2 months.

I knew I had to celebrate, even though I am supposed to be studying for my exams. Celebration is equivalent to baking for me, and my new muffin tray was calling out to me to be used. Also the fact that Oreos are now cheaply available here, and have caught my recent fancy, meant that I just had to bake cupcakes with something Oreo.

I decided to bake a Devil's Food cake cupcake with a Butter Cream Oreo icing.

For my cupcakes I used my trusty-never-fail-go-to-guy, Sanjeev Kapoor. Here's the recipe from his site.

The baking time for cupcakes was around 20 minutes. It really depends on your oven. They were the softest cakes i have ever had/baked. they felt like cotton when I took them out. 

A good thing about them is that, post refrigeration they get your slightly dense cupcakes consistency. Also, I think if the cakes are so soft you can go ahead and add hidden surprises in the cupcakes, like mini-oreos, chocolates, chocolate chips without altering the recipe at all. 

I made the Butter Cream Oreo Icing myself. 

As you all can see I suck at icing. I couldn't find my piping bag and any ziplock bags, so had to be content with smearing icing onto them with a spatula. 

Here is the recipe:

7 oreos (or 1 small packet)
100 grams salted or unsalted butter (I used salted)
4 tbsps of icing sugar (I am sure normal powdered sugar will do just as well)

  • Cream the butter and sugar till they are creamy and light
  • powder oreos in your mixer/food processor/beat them by hand to desired crumbliness
  • Mix Oreo and butter mix 

It really is that simple. This icing is really rich. If you want a lighter one you can add egg whites to it. 

My family and friends gobbled them up in no time. 

I also got a big envelope (they couldn't find a bag) full of assorted chocolates from my friends. I guess they know what exams do to me. 

I can't wait for the farewell parties to begin. ;)

So, what are your recent food obsessions?

P.S: A shoutout to Siddhartha for the header. I will send a lot of cupcake love your way. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Red, chai and chocolate covered digestives

This is going to be an apology post for this month. My exams start on the 18th. They aren't just any ordinary end of the year exams, but they are my final year university exams. So I have to study, which means less cooking, less blogging and more eating and cramming my head with eco stuff.

There are a few saving graces to my situation. The first I spotted while out grocery shopping with my mum.

These gorgeously red and plump chillies caught my eye and I just had  to buy them. They look like something out of Nigella's kitchen. I really don't know what to do with them. I know Nigella used them in an omlette once, but I feel they deserve a better fate. They can't be that hot, being so plump, I am open to any suggestions except pickling them. 

Being a coffee hating Tamilian (I know, also let me assure you I am not the only one. My Best Friend, Paro also happens to be one) I survive on tea. I am not addicted to it no, just like to have one or two huge mugs a day. After, my recent purchase of cinnamon powder, I have started adding it to my tea as well. 

Guess who is best friends with cinnamon tea? Digestives of course! I like Mcvite's much more than Brittania because of its crumbly texture. 

I am sure all fellow fans of Love Actually will remember Hugh Grant asking for chocolate biscuits. Well according to Vir Sanghvi he was asking for chocolate covered digestives (check a month or two old HT Brunch for confirmation). Now, I didn't know they even existed, not being a big fan of shopping at international stores because they make me want to buy everything, so I was pleasantly surprised. I proceeded to make my own chocolate covered digestives by melting dark chocolate in a double boiler with some butter. They are cooling in the fridge now. 

I also would like to leave you all with a list of things you can expect next month:
  • culinary adventures in Coorg
  • a post on the Irani cafes in Bombay
  • the best chaat in Navi Mumbai
I will try to post more this month, but studies are priority. 

Don't forget to suggest what I should do with those chillies. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sugar and Spice cookies

Studying for exams is like preparing for an impending doom. Especially when it is the Mumbai University which turns all thinking students into rote-learning answer spewing automatons. So while I study the most boring aspects of finance, I knew I just had spice up my life. 

I had this recipe stashed in my one-note (pure awesome isn't it?) folder since long. I don't know who it is by, if you recognise it drop me a line I will link back to you. 

The recipe called for brown sugar, all the stores nearby happened to run out of it at the same time, so I just substituted with normal caster sugar and added two tablespoons of maple syrup for the wetness provided by the brown sugar. You can also sub maple syrup for honey. I was supposed to use molasses, which I doubt you will get in India, so just use maple syrup or honey instead. 

Recipe for Sugar and Spice cookies, as adapted from the net

1 cup caster sugar (or brown sugar)
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup (not needed if using brown sugar)
1/2 cup butter (i used a mixture of unsalted and salted butter)
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 cups flour (maida)
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp ground cloves (or nutmeg, I used cloves)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (not needed if using salted butter)

1. Sift all the dry ingredients except the sugar
2. Beat the butter sugar and vanilla till light and fluffy 
3. beat in the egg till it is creamy
4. Beat in the dry ingredients till combined
5. Refrigerate the cookie dough after covering it for a while before rolling it out on a floured surface and then cutting it

6. Bake in a 180C oven for 15-20 mins or till the bottom of the cookies become golden in colour

Let the cookies cool before you eat them. My home is full or dough eating monsters. Cookie dough is heavenly, but don't eat too much. 

You can also sprinkle the cookies with sugar and cinnamon before baking them. You can easily make around 3 dozen cookies with this recipe. 

The cloves add the right amount of spicy hit which makes this cookie amazing. My finance blues are gone!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A lesson learnt

A belated Happy Holi to all!

Holi is essentially a North-Indian festival. We South Indians don't have any dish that we make on Holi like gujiya. So, when I came to know that we were having a family do at my grandmother's and everyone was bringing something, I decided to bake brownies. I was a bit apprehensive when My mother informed me that they had to be eggless. I shy away from eggless baking, but I gathered my courage and recipe books and decided to venture on.

The recipe I chose was from Sanjeev Kapoor's Cakes and Bakes. He has never failed me ever.

What failed me was my 2 hours spent dancing in the water under the hot sun and very tired head. So I had processing problems and when I was to beat the sugar into the chocolate and butter mixture i didn't. A tiny part of my head kept insisting I should, but the sleepy part won. So, i am sure you know what happened. for those of you who don't I have pictures.

A tiny part of me dies inside. The brownies were crumbly. They did taste good though! 

Here is a picture of what we had to eat last night. 

 Here is the menu:
Semiya bagalabhaat - that is just roasted vermicelli soaked in milk then mixed with curd and diced cucumber.
Bisibella bhaat - Made by my grandmother. It is rice cooked with yellow lentil (tur daal) and with vegetables. My personal favourite.
Apple Sheera - roasted rava cooked with lots of ghee and dry fruits.
Pav Bhaji - mashed potato with other vegetables cooked in a tomato base. Served with Indian bun
Brownies - Do i need to describe them? They were served with ice cream so weren't seen. they did taste good though.

So it was evening well spent with family and good South Indian food. So what are your favourite home dishes? And what culinary disaster's have you come across?

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Exam time is here. Not for me. My exams are still a month away, but when you have your final year university exams you have to start studying. And as everyone knows, studying is synonymous with stress eating and weight gain.

I always cook the most during exams. All of a sudden I barge out of my room into the kitchen to fulfill my craving of the hour. So you can see why we all look all rosy cheeked and plump post exams.

This time I decided to make Hummus. Having read countless recipes online and being a big fan of Garlic, I had to make it.

Here is my recipe:

1 1/2 cups of chickpeas (chole) 
8 pods of gralic (we love garlic here)
50ml of Olive Oil
salt and red chilli powder to taste

Soak the chickpeas for 12 hours in water and then cook it in a pressure cooker. 
After the cooked chickpeas has cooled, put it in the mixer/food processor with the other ingredients and blitz away. 
Keep adding water. I use the water the chickpeas were cooked in.
Add oil periodically till it becomes the required consistency.

That's it. Eat.

I didn't want mine too oily and not too thin. So it was pretty thick. You could spread it easily on Garlic bread. (that is how much we love garlic at home, No we don't smell of it. probably keeps the vampires at bay).

It can also be eaten with veggies. Healthy snack! To keep you from putting on that exam weight. 

What are your exam remedies? 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Candies, Pali Hill. A Review

Everyone who is a student in Bombay, knows about Candies or has been there. We (myself and my group of friends) went there yesterday to celebrate a friend's 21st.

The first thing that strikes you about the place is the ambiance. It is apt for people who want sit outside, in the Bombay sun and not feel hot, there are shades and trees you see. You have to climb a many short stairs to get to the various levels. It has a an old Bombay Villa feel. There are Beatles tile mosaics, brightly coloured doors, quirky lanters and secluded seating areas.

Cozy location and quirky wall fixtures
There are also these hidden tables for two, which are ideal for dates. I know I want to go there.

Table for two
Now about the Food. I had the Salad Bar (Rs.120) which is a selection of salads and you can load as much onto one plate.

They give you only one serving, so make the most of it
The salad bar has the usual macaroni, potato, corn, green salads. There was also the waldorf salad. What they could have done was provide more salad dressings and also stand alone salad vegetables. 

The pre-cooked mini meals at Candies are a complete disaster. They pre-cook them, so I guess you get the picture. They cost Rs.150 each and come with a serving of salad and tiny pieces of Garlic Bread. We had the Spinach and Mushroom Canneloni, Macaroni and Veg Bake and American Chopsuey. The first two Italian meals were terrible. Made with white sauce that had kind of split and re-heating it just pisses you off. 

I reccomend the salad bar and the sandwiches, which they have to freshly prepare. 

We had a few coolers there. 
Clockwise from top left: greengrass cooler, Pink lemonade and Bombay Blue
They were priced at Rs.50 each. the Pink Lemonade was too sweet with strawberry jelly in it. The Bombay Blue and Greengrass cooler were nice and refreshing.

The desserts
They have an extensive menu. And they are very cheap and taste amazing. 
Top to bottom: the array of small choclates and tarts. The Red Velvet cupcake. The chocolate eclair with custard.
We had the Red Velvet cupcakes (small for Rs.20 and the medium one for Rs.30), the Chocolate Eclair with custard (Rs.40) and the mini tarts (Rs.6 each). The cupcakes are divine. The Eclair was nice as well. Though i though the custard could have been better. The jam tartlets are tiny and so cute! They were so small that I felt bad asking my friend for a bite, as they are smaller than a bite.

The red velvet bouquet
Now the best thing about the dessert display were the cupcake bouquets. Anyone who wants to woo me ditch the flower bouquets, get me one of these.

So if you love to hang out and have ample time, not an ample budget, this is the place for you. Also it is so pretty that if you are a sucker to facebook, then you can take millions of pictures here.

So the final Ratings:
Ambience: 5/5
Variety: 3/5
Taste: 2/5 (we only had the mini meals)
Dessert: 4/5
Value for money: 4/5

This blogger is not paid to review and reviews anonymously.

I got Featured!!

Simple Indian Food : An Easy Cooking Blog has been around for years now.
EC is a stalwart in the tasty world of Food Bloggers. Check out her blog here

She has an ongoing feature called "Budding Bloggers" where she features upcoming bloggers. So it is like a society debut. 

And I got featured today! Check out the link here

And pardon the title of this post. I am just so very excited!