Sunday, 27 October 2019

Indian Biscotti - Cardamom, Pistachio and Almond Cake Rusks

Indian Biscotti Aka Cake Rusk


Happy Diwali to all of those celebrating today, festivals and celebrations are always the perfect time to reminisce about past times. All the traditional things you have grown up doing and all the new traditions you create for your own family.


We don’t celebrate Diwali in a huge way, but try to always go to the Gurudwara to light a candle and spend the rest of the day eating with family. The kids aren’t really into fireworks, happier at the moment to watch them from behind the window.


These biscotti are a posher version of the traditional indian cake rusks you can purchase from indian grocers and most mainstream supermarkets now. I grew up eating so many of these, especially when visiting my grandparents house, always dipped into a cup of tea.


Ingredients 

115g Stork
115g Caster Sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
125g Plain flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp cardamom 
25g Pistachios
25g Almonds


Method

1.Preheat the oven to 160c fan and grease a 8inch x 8inch tin.
  1. Cream together the stork and sugar in a stand mixer for around 4 minutes.
  2. Peel the almonds and pistachio and chop coarsely.
  3. Whisk the eggs and add in, mix for 2 minutes.
  4. Add in the vanilla
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder and cardamom in.
  6. Add in nuts and place into baking tray smoothing out the top. 
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack 
  9. Slice into 4inch by 1/2 inch slices 
  10. Turn oven down to 150C fan.
  11. Arrange cake slices onto a baking tray and bake for a further 20 minutes. 
  12. Cool and enjoy, best served with Masala Chai







Thursday, 24 October 2019

Chocolate Baklava Cupcakes



Spiced Chocolate Baklava Cupcakes with Cinnomon and Honey Filo Buttercream


I present to you all a warming spiced chocolate sponge filled with a baklava filling, melted chocolate and topped with a cinnamon and honey buttercream. For the final touch a sprinkle of crushed pistachios and adorned with honey filo pastry shards. 


The cupcake of dreams ..... 


This is not one of my quick, get the kids involved bakes, it has 4 separate stages. It will make a lot of dishes and a lot of mess in your kitchen .... but your first bite will be worth it.


Sweet, spicy, rich, nutty, creamy, sticky, crunchy and delicious all mixed into one.


Perfect to make over the coming festive season to show a loved one just how much you care about them. 


To save time, I cheated and used a ready mix for the chocolate cupcakes, you could do the same or make this mixture from scratch too using a basic 12 chocolate cupcake recipe. 


The mix I used is from https://wrightsbaking.co.uk/shop/chocolate-fudge-2/, a really high quality chocolate mix without that rubbery texture that you often get with ready made mixes.

Ingredients 

Cupcakes
1 packet wrights Chocolate mix
200ml Water
60ml Vegetable Oil
1 tsp ground Cinnamon 
1 tsp ground Cardamon
1 tsp vanilla extract 

Filling
50g Walnuts
50g Pistachios
2 tbsp Caster sugar
1 tsp ground Cinnamon 
50g Milk chocolate
20g Dark chocolate

Topping 
125g Icing Sugar
110g Unsalted Butter
1 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
30g Pistachios

Garnish
2 sheets of Filo pastry 
15g Unsalted butter
2 Tbsp Honey


Makes 12 
Preheat oven to 170fan or Gas mark 5 

Method:

  1. Pour out cake mix into a bowl, add cinnamon, cardamon, water, oil and vanilla. 
  1. Whisk by hand until smooth.
  1. Place 12 muffin liners in a muffin tray.
  1. Using an ice cream scoop divide mixture equally.
  1. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through.
  1. Cool on a cooling rack completely

7.Whilst they are cooling, in a food processor whizz together the walnuts, pistachios, sugar and cinnamon.


8.Melt the milk and dark chocolates down.
9.Reset over to 160/ gas mark
 10.Melt the butter
11.Place out sheets of filo and brush until fully covered with the melted butter
12.Cook for 20 minutes, allow to cool. 
13.Once cool drizzle with honey.
14.Once cakes are cool, core the centre using an apple corer, or I used a pastry tip.
15.Place a small amount of the nut mixture, followed by melted chocolate and topped with more nut mixture until the core is filled again.




16.In a stand mixer combine unsalted butter, icing sugar, cinnamon and honey and mix on a high speed for 4-5 minutes.
17.Place into a piping bag




18.Pipe buttercream onto the cupcake.
19.Crush the remaining pistachios and sprinkle over.
20.Break filo pastry into shards and insert into buttercream for the final touch. 


Saturday, 19 October 2019

Crispy Onion, Courgette Potato and Spinach Pakoras

Crispy Onion, Courgette, Spinach And Potato Pakoras






This is the second time I am writing up this post, the first entry I used an app for and guess what it alll deleted just before I posted it, so I will try and take a deep breathe and attempt this all again in my trusty simple and basic Notes App.

A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of these mini pakora bites and my DMs blew up not only for the recipe but also for what I used to cook them in.

Well the secret behind them ...... is an appe/appam/paniyaram/Dutch pancake pan.


My mum brought mine from India, but you can just as easily order one from amazon, or try local Indian shops in Wembley and southall. 


I first saw this at my wonderful neighbours house, who made me delicious idli bites. Which I have tried to recreate along with sabudana( tapioca pearls) bites in the past. Another great recipe for this festive time of year, vegan and gluten free that you can find on my grid. 


The main reason I love this pan, is it gives the same effect of deep frying Indian food, without actually doing so. Despite how much I love the taste of fried food, I very rarely deep fry because:

  1. It’s unhealthy

  2. The smell

  3. I’m too scared of a huge pot of oil exploding on me

The pan is also great for baby led weaning recipes as the bite size pieces are perfect for little hands to hold, my kids love crunchy mashed potato bites made it in. 

So without further ado, please see below for this long awaited recipe.


Ingredients 


1 onion finely sliced
2 spring onions finely sliced 
1 courgette finely grated
2 small potatoes finely grated 
3 cups of spinach finely chopped
Small handful of corriander finely chopped
1 green chilli finely chopped (remove if for kids)
1 inch of ginger grated
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp dry mango powder
1 tsp ajown seeds
5 tbsp Gram Flour
1 tbsp Corn Flour
3 tbsp of Oil to cook
1/2 tsp chaat masala

Method


1.Chop, slice and grate all the ingredients and combine with spices and flour
2. The water from vegetables should be enough to mix the flours in to form a batter but if too dry add a splash of water


3. Heat a small amount of oil in each hole in the pan





4.Add a heaped teaspoon of the mixture to each hole 



5.Allow to cook for a few minutes on a medium heat before using a chopstick to flip it over and cook the underside

6.Serve with chutney/ketchup and enjoy whilst still hot and crispy, sprinkled with chaat masala.