Monday, July 21, 2014

CLASSIC BUTTERMILK PANCAKES

Pancakes are fluffy, round cakes prepared from a starch based batter and cooked on a hot surface such as frying pan / griddle or sometimes on a hot oven. These are delicious served with butter and syrup on top with strawberries and whipped cream for a real treat. I had uploaded my Banana Pancakes and strawberry pancakes when i was in Banglore. But this Classic buttermilk pancakes are my family's Favorite.


How to make Classic Buttermilk Pancakes ?
Preparation time : 20min

Makes : 8pancakes
Serving size : 2pancakes
Calories : 174cal

Ingredients :

All purpose flour / Maida : 1Cup / 130g
Baking powder : 1tsp

Baking Soda : 1/4tsp
Sugar : 2tbsp
Butter Milk* : 1Cup
Egg : 1, Slightly beaten (Vegetarians can omit the egg and add 1tbsp thick yogurt)
Salt : 1/4tsp
Melted Butter : 3tbsp 



*Butter milk Substitute :

1. Add 1tbsp vinegar to 1 cup of milk and stir well. Let it stand for 10minutes. Viola!!! the perfect buttermilk is ready
2. Add 3tbsp Greek yogurt / any thick yogurt to 1cup water. Mix well and use in any recipe.



Method :


1. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Keep aside.

2. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, sugar, melted butter and Egg.

3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.

4. The batter will have some small lumps, but do not try to over mix it. Mix gently with a rubber spatula by scraping the sides of the bowl.


5. Heat a griddle / frying pan on medium flame and add 1sp butter / brush with butter using a pastry brush. Now pour the batter on the hot griddle (almost 1/4Cup) and cook for 2-3mins on each side until light brown in color.

6. Serve hot with corn surup / honey / maple syrup.

Enjoy!!!
Lena


 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

CHEESE CROQUETTES

Croquette is an oval / cylinder shaped deep fried starter which has has a unique creamy texture in the filling because of the main ingredient - white sauce. The name 'croquette' came from the French word, 'croquer',  which means "to crunch". I had uploaded my Egg croquettes recipe earlier, which is a hit in my family.



How to make the perfect Egg croquettes?

Cooking time : 30min
Serves : 4 


Ingredients :


Mozzarella cheese : 1/2cup++ , Shredded
Parsley : 1tbsp Chopped
Green chillies : 2 Chopped
Onion : 1 Chopped
bread crumbs : 1/2Cup to 3/4Cup


White Sauce :
Maida(Flour) : 2 1/2 tbsp
Butter : 2tbsp
Milk : 1Cup
Salt & Pepper to taste

Coating :
1 Egg beaten
3/4 Cup Dry bread crumbs
(If you are a vegetarian, mix 2tbsp of maida with 4tbsp of water and make a batter to substitute the egg coating)




Method :


1. Heat butter in a sauce pan and add Onion. When it turns to translucent add flour. Stir continuously (medium heat) until flour turns light brown.


2. Remove from heat and gradually add milk (2 to 3 tbsp in the beginning and mix well, then add the remaining), stirring continuously so as not to form lumps.


3. Put the sauce pan back on fire and cook till the white sauce turns thick and starts leaving the sides of the pan. Add salt and pepper. Remove from heat.


4. Add to the white sauce, Mozzarella cheese, parsley, onion, chillies and 1/2Cup bread crumbs. Mix well and cool the mixture.  Now  refrigerate the mixture for a 30 minutes.


5. Shape the mixture into 14 croquettes. (oblong rolls with flat sides).Dip each croquettes in beaten egg and coat well with bread crumbs. Deep fry the croquettes on high heat till golden brown.

6. Serve hot with homemade Mayonnaise / Ketchup.

Tips for making the perfect crusted starter :

Use the smallest shallow vessel to the save the amount of oil you use while deep frying. Let the oil become hot and add 2 to 3 cutlets / croquettes at a time. If you are adding more, the edges will touch each other and it will become a mess. I use my 'Appachatti' / 'smallest kadai'  fry my croquettes / cutlets. Make sure the oil is really hot before adding your cutlet / croquette, else it will absorb oil. Only when one side is browned, turn to the other side, otherwise cutlet / croquette will break.

Enjoy!!!
Lena





Wednesday, June 18, 2014

NADAN CHAMMANTHI PODI / Kerala Style roasted coconut chutney powder




How to make Kerala style chammanthi podi?

Preparation Time : 30min & Cooking Time : 30 min
Serves : 1medium bottle
Shelf life : 3months or 6months in refrigerator

Ingredients :


Grated coconut : 1 large coconut or 3/4 bag of frozen coconut

Tamarind : a small lemon size ball or 1 1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
Dried Red chili : 20 or 1tbsp-1tbsp Red Chilly powder
Pepper Corns : 1tsp
Coriander seeds : 1 table spoon

Curry leaves : 3Springs
Salt

Cumin Seeds : a Pinch*
Shallots / Cheriya Ulli  : 2 table spoon, chopped*
Ginger chopped : 1 inch piece*

(Notes : Ingredients marked with "*", Cumin, Ginger and shallots are used in the traditional chammanthi podi, but i personally feel it will bring down the roasted coconut flavor. So i didn't use it this time)

 


Method : 


1. Heat a kadai / heavy bottom vessel in low-medium flame and dry roast the grated coconut till light golden in color. Now add all other ingredients except salt and tamarind and stir fry.
  
2. When the coconuts are evenly dark golden brown add tamarind and Stir fry for 2 minutes to absorbe water from tamarind. (If you are using chilly powder instead of red chillies, add now and give a stir for 1 minute). Switch off the heat and allow to cool. 
  
3. Add salt and grind it into a coarse powder in a coffee grinder or food processor. Spread it on a paper / plate and allow to cool for another 10minutes and store in an air tight container. 

4. Serve this nadan chammanthi podi with rice / Kanji / with idli & Dosa.

Note : Do not use oil while roasting.  Otherwise you can't store this nadan chammanthi podi more than 3 days.

Enjoy!!!!
Lena 



Thursday, June 12, 2014

POLKA DOT CAKE - Buttermilk Pound cake with Butter cream Frosting

This was a Surprise 5th birthday cake for Rithika's best friend Sanjana. I made a Buttermilk Pound cake one day before and was thinking which icing should i use?? Chocolate ganache / Butter cream / Whipped cream. Finally i decided to do it with butter cream frosting and homemade marshmallow fondant polka dot decorations. 


 My first attempt at baking was in 2008. I saw a simple sponge cake recipe and followed it, but instead of ending up with a spongy cake I ended up with  a burnt cake with gooey center. Yup, it was a mess. When i had a chat with Vrinda of "Sankeerthanam" and Swapna of "Swapna's Cuisine", (who is the biggest inspiration for me to start a blog), i understood where i went wrong. During the 30min of baking, i opened the oven door for 10 - 15times :) and after baking i forgot to take the cake immediately and it was there for another 25min. I tried the recipe again, and it was far better.. i tried several recipes and i learned how to make a perfect cake.  Then i started with icing. I found chocolate ganache is the best for beginner, but i never could make a neat cake with butter cream  / whipped cream. Top was never leveled, several patches, crumbs comes to top of icing etc. Again i approached my baking guru - Swapna, and she asked me to keep the cake in freezer as it is easy to do icing on a firm cake.  I tried again and again and i became a better baker. So im dedicating this cake to Swapna, who helped me to create the passion in baking, who was always available to answer for my silly doubts.. Thanks Swapna :)

Vanilla Buttermilk Pound Cake
Recipe Source - Swanpa's Cusine
I halved the recipe and baked the cake in an 8” pan 

Ingredients:

All purpose flour : 21/4Cup / 240g
Baking powder : 1tsp
Baking soda : 1/2tsp
Salt : 1/2tsp
Unsalted butter : 2/3Cup / 150g, room temperature
Sugar : 1 1/4cup
Eggs : 3
Buttermilk {or substitute recipe below} : 130ml
Pure vanilla extract : 1tsp
 
To make buttermilk substitute
Take 130 ml milk at room temperature and add 1 tsp white vinegar. Let it stand 5-10 minutes. When it curdles, it’s ready.

 
Method :

1. Grease and flour the sides of two baking pans. Line the bottoms and sides with parchment paper.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F

3. Sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Reserve.

4. Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.

5. With beater on low add the flour and buttermilk alternately in three lots.

6. Divide the batter between the two pans.

7. Bake for 50-60 minutes till golden brown on top and the tester comes out clean. Cool completely.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Recipe Source : Swapna's Cusine

Ingredients : 

1cup Unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened (but not melted!) Ideal texture should be like ice cream.
3-4 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar, sifted
A small pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream 

Method:

1. Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed.
 
2. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter.
 
3. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.

4. Divide frosting into 2 bowls.

To assemble the cake, torte each of the cake layers horizontally into two thin halves. Sandwich the cakes with a light spread of butter cream and cover the cake with a thin layer of butter cream. Now keep the cake in freezer for 10minutes and then, give a neat coating of butter cream.