KULFA: The Cheat’s Version

This past week has been all about surviving the heat of summer.

Despite the short outbursts of rain here and there, it’s been SO hot.

The kind of hot where all you feel like doing is blasting on the air conditioner, putting Netflix on, and devouring mint chocolate chip ice cream (recipe coming soon!).

Kulfa: rich and creamy. Chuck-everything-into-the-blender easy!

It was on one particularly hot day that I was craving something cold, something creamy when I decided to hunt down a recipe that didn’t require much of my energy or time. Going through my huge recipe stash, I found this magical recipe. A Shireen Anwer classic I remember jotting down in my journal years ago.

Kulfa: rich and creamy. Chuck-everything-into-the-blender easy!

 

Kulfa or kulfi is a popular street food here in Pakistan. Its a frozen milk based dessert, perfect for a hot summer day. The authentic recipe calls for cooking down milk and sugar for hours and hours till its reduced to half. It’s a slow and tiresome process. The cheat version, however, is so much quicker and so much better!

Kulfa: rich and creamy. Chuck-everything-into-the-blender easy!

It’s rich, creamy, and sweet…not to mention delicious. And it is SOOO Easy to make. Chuck-everything-into-the-blender easy!

Try this cheats version, you won’t be disappointed.

Kulfa

Ingredients:
2 slices of white bread, soaked in some milk
1 teaspoon cardamom powder1, leveled
2 Tablespoon almonds, roughly chopped
2 Tablespoon pistachios, roughly chopped
1 pack (200 ml) heavy cream, chilled
½ a tin (200 g) of condensed milk, chilled
1 small tin (210 g) evaporated milk, chilled
Directions:
Blend all the ingredients in a blender till well combined. Pour the contents into an airtight container.2 Seal the top and place in the freezer overnight.
When ready to serve, wrap a warm kitchen towel around the container for a few seconds. Run a knife around the sides. Overturn the container onto your serving platter. Cut into slices. Sprinkle some chopped pistachios and almonds on top and enjoy.
Notes
1.       I made my own cardamom powder by grinding just the seeds of some cardamom pods. Wasn’t very fine, but I liked that it was a bit coarse.
2.      You can use ice cream or ‘kulfi’ molds.
Recipe source: Shireen Anwer

Kulfa: rich and creamy. Chuck-everything-into-the-blender easy!

Death by Chocolate Cake + World Chocolate Day!

4 years of college. Over and done with.
More on that later…

LET’S HAVE CAKE TO CELEBRATE.

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

It is World Chocolate Day after all. And it’d be rude not to indulge in chocolate (not that I do it everyday? Those last 4 jars of Nutella. Nop. Not me.)

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

This is hands down the best chocolate cake you will ever taste.

It is super easy to make; no fancy equipment, no complicated ingredients needed. Just two bowls and a whisk (a mixer, if you’re me).

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

I went for the naked cake look because my family isn’t too big on frosting. Also, I think naked cakes look prettier.

I used my rusty 6-inch cake pan for a taller cake. And topped it all off with some of these beautiful flowers from the garden.

Some tips to make sure your cake turns out perfect every single time:

  • Make sure the eggs and milk are at room temperature. Makes a world of difference! Trust me

  • DIY Buttermilk: 1 cup whole milk (at room temperature) + 1 Tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice

  • Butter at room temperature for a smooth, cream frosting is a MUST. It should be soft but not too soft that’s its melting and has an oily sheen to it

  • No, sugar crushed in a grinder will not work for the frosting

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

Try this cake for the next birthday party, anniversary, World Chocolate Day — it’s a show-stopper!

Death by Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:
Chocolate Cake
·         1 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
·         1 and 3/4 cup granulated sugar
·         3/4 cup cocoa powder
·         1 tsp baking powder
·         2 tsp baking soda
·         1/2 tsp salt
·         1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature1
·         1/2 cup vegetable oil
·         2 large eggs, at room temperature
·         1 tsp vanilla extract
·         1 cup freshly made strong hot coffee2
 
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
·         3-4 cups icing sugar
·         3/4 cup cocoa powder
·         3 Tbsp. heavy cream
·         3-5 Tbsp. whole milk
·         1 tsp vanilla extract
Ganache for the drip
·         1/2 cup  cream
·         1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Fresh flowers for the top

 

Directions:
1.       Preheat oven to 180C degrees. Grease & flour three 6 inch round cake pans3, and line them with parchment paper.
2.      For the cake: In a bowl, whisk together hot coffee and cocoa till a thick mix forms. Set aside to cool.
3.      Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
4.      In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar till a bit pale in color. Mix in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low. Add the coffee cocoa mixture. Mix until combined.
5.      Divide the batter into prepared baking pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
6.      For the frosting: In a large bowl, sift together the icing sugar and cocoa powder.
7.      In another bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and pale in color. With the speed on low, add in half of the sugar and the cocoa powder. Beat till combined. Then add in the rest of the sugar/cocoa mix. Turn mixer to medium speed and add the vanilla, cream and milk tablespoon by tablespoon. Turn the mixer to high speed and beat for 1 minute. Add more icing sugar if too lose or add more milk if too thick.
8.     For the ganache: In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a simmer (or microwave till hot). Remove from heat and add chocolate. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Allow ganache to cool and thicken for about 30 minutes.
9.      Assemble the cake: Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a plate. With a palette knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, spread with frosting. Place the third layer on top, plain side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Scrape off the excess frosting for the ‘naked cake’ look I went for. Place cake in the fridge till cool to the touch. Then, pour over the top the chocolate ganache, let it drip round the edges. Top with fresh flowers, and enjoy!
Notes
1.       DIY Buttermilk: 1 cup whole milk (at room temperature) + 1 Tbsp. white vinegar or lemon juice
2.      I use 1 cup boiling water + 1 tsp instant coffee
3.      You can use two 8-inch or two 9-inch cake pans instead too

 

 

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

Baked Pasta

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy… the ultimate comfort food!

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

 

Stress is mounting high people. So much to do, so less time:

  • Looming college applications

  • Cursed personal statements

  • Corporate law stress

  • People problems

  • Diet fiascos

…amidst other stuff has me sleeping 8 hours straight, hoarding up on chocolate and peanuts, and procrastinating like it’s the end of the world!

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

pasta tossed in a rich meaty Bolognese sauce, loaded with a béchamel sauce aka white sauce, and then topped with loads of cheese.

pasta tossed in a rich meaty Bolognese sauce, loaded with a béchamel sauce aka white sauce, and then topped with loads of cheese.

Times like these call for comfort food. And nothing can trump pasta when it comes to comfort food. Not in my house.

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

Loaded with cheese and a rich sauce…this baked pasta is hearty and meaty and deliciously satisfying!

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

It involves tossing pasta in a rich meaty Bolognese sauce, loading it up with béchamel sauce aka white sauce, and then topping the whole thing with loads of cheese.

Delicious, right?

I’ve made this pasta over a bazillion times now. At dinners and gatherings, whenever friends are over, or just on days like these…sad gloomy miserable days.

One pan makes about 8 servings, perfect for parties. You can prepare it ahead of time and freeze it until you are ready to bake it.

pasta tossed in a rich meaty Bolognese sauce, loaded with a béchamel sauce aka white sauce, and then topped with loads of cheese.

If you guys love this recipe as much as I do, and most importantly make it yourselves, please let me know. Take a picture and tag it #spatulainmypocket on Instagram. I’d love to see what you guys come up with!

 

Baked Pasta

Serves 6-8
Ingredients:
Tomato-Meat Sauce
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste, heaped
1 carrot, chopped
½ kilo ground beef
1 teaspoon red chili flakes, leveled
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, leveled
½ cup tomato paste
½ cup sliced mushrooms
White Sauce
2 Tablespoon butter
4 Tablespoon flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white or black pepper
½ teaspoon mustard powder
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
2 Tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese
The rest
1 packet of pasta, prepared according to package directions
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Dried Oregano

 

Directions:
1.       In a pan, heat oil. Fry the chopped onion till it changes color and becomes soft. Add in the ginger garlic paste and fry till golden brown. Add in the carrot. Mix. Then add in the beef and mushrooms. Mix well on high heat for a few minutes. Then add in the; chili flakes, salt, and black pepper. Keep mixing till meat changes color. Then add in a cup of water along with tomato paste. Mix, cover, and leave to cook on low heat for 30-40 minutes.
2.      While sauce is simmering, cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain.
3.      Add drained pasta to the meat sauce, mix and turn off heat. Put the pasta mixture into a large casserole dish and set aside.
4.      For the white sauce: In a small saucepan, heat the butter. Once melted, take the pan off the heat and add in the flour, salt, black pepper, and mustard powder. Mix well using a wooden spoon and bring back to heat. Cook for a minute before adding in the stock and milk. On low-medium heat, mix continuously till the sauce thickens. Remove off the heat and add in the cheddar cheese.
5.      Pour the entire sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and oregano on top.
6.      Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 25-30 minutes.

This Baked Pasta is creamy and cheesy,  and is the ultimate comfort food!

 

Sindhi Biryani

Biryani.

The mere name conjures up images of steaming piles of desi goodness, all yellow and white and heavenly. Your brain teases with memory of the spicy aroma and your heart leaps in anticipation.

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it. Recipe on the blog.

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it.

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it. Recipe on the blog.

Today I am going to share the recipe that’ll make you the master of biryani too.

DSC04520

Over the years, I have tried more than 15 different biryani recipes with varying degrees of success.

This one is my baby. So read carefully and follow each step to the book.

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it. Recipe on the blog.

If it seems like too much work… Well then, you are simply not ready yet. You can start with the easy peasy chicken karahi :p

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it. Recipe on the blog.

I’ve tried to explain each and every step in the recipe as clearly as I could but here are some extra tips that make all the difference:

  • Slice onions as thinly as possible. The thinner the onions, the crispier they’ll be. If your onions aren’t thin enough, they won’t brown evenly and will turn soggy. You want the onions to be nice and crunchy so that you crush them up easily and not have big onions bits in your biryani.

  • Don’t skimp on the whole spices. All the different spices that together make up what we call ‘garam masala’ are essential to the aroma and taste of agood biryani. It might be frustrating to collect and add all the bit (and you might hate biting onto a piece of illachi) but trust me when I tell that you it’ll be worth it!

  • The secret is in the masala. Use red, ripe tomatoes, ½ kilo of them which is around 4 large ones. The riper they are, the better the masala ends up being. Together with the green chilli paste and ginger garlic; MIX MIX MIX. Mix till oil appears on the surface

  • Have patience. Cook the chicken low and slow. Cook the rice till al-dente. This step is something which I always mess up and so get my mom to do it for me

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. That’s what mums are for

 

DSC04541

So, one fine Sunday why not ditch the store-bought biryani masalas and make this delicious authentic Sindhi Biryani from scratch. Its rich and spicy and filled with herbs and succulent meat and potatoes. A family favorite at my house and will become your’s too InshaaAllah 💜

Sindhi Biryani

Prep Time: 30 minutes                                                                        Serves: 8
Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Ingredients:
½ kg Basmati rice, soaked for 30-60 mins
6 +4 whole green chilies
4 Tbsp fresh coriander leaves 1 cup yogurt, whisked till smooth
½ cup cooking oil
2 large onions, sliced thinly
4 large tomatoes, sliced
1 Tbsp whole mix spices1
2 Tbsp ginger garlic paste, heaped
2 tsp chili powder, heaped
2 tsp salt, leveled
1 kg chicken cut into 12 pieces
2-3 potatoes, cut into quarters
1 cup yogurt, whisked till smooth
½ tsp garam masala powder
10-12 dried plums soaked in warm water
3 medium onions, sliced thinly
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Fresh mint leaves
¼ tsp yellow food color
Directions:
1.      Boil rice in water + 2 Tbsp salt + ½ tsp black cumin + a bay leaf. Cook till rice is 3/4th of the way done. Drain and set aside.
2.      Grind together 6 green chilies along with the fresh coriander. Add just a splash of water to help the grinder going. Set aside.
3.      In a pan, heat the oil and fry the sliced onions, constantly mixing, till dark brown. Take out the fried onions and spread them on some paper towels. When dry, crush them coarsely with your hands.
4.      In the same pan used before, add the tomatoes, ginger garlic, the grinded chili coriander mix, the whole spices, red chili powder and salt. Constantly mix with a wooden spoon. When the tomatoes turn mushy and oil appears on the surface, add in the chicken pieces, potatoes, and half cup water. Mix. Cover the pan and leave to cook on low heat.
5.      When the chicken is half done, add the yogurt, fried onions, garam masala powder, and the 4 whole green chilies. Mix well, cover and leave to cook till both chicken and potatoes are tender.
6.      Grease the bottom of a bigger pot with a spoon of oil. Transfer half of the boiled rice. Top with the entire chicken mix. Spread it. Sprinkle the fresh coriander and mint leaves + the dried plums. Top it off with the rest of the boiled rice. Spread it and press the rice with the back of your spoon.
7.      With the end of your wooden spoon, make holes in the rice, going ¾ of the way down. In these holes spoon in the yellow food color mixed in some water.2
8.      Cover with a tight lid and place on very low heat for about 15-20 minutes to steam.
9.      Mix and serve immediately with mint raita and fresh cucumber salad.
10.  Enjoy!
Notes
1.      Whole spices include: 1 bay leaf (tayz pata), 2 cinnamon sticks, 4-6 black cloves, 4-6 black peppercorns, 3-5 green cardamom pods (hari illachi), 2 black cardamom pods (bhari illachi), 1 tsp cumin seeds (sabat zeera)
2.      This is optional, it’s the way I do it. Alternatively, you can just pour the food color mixed in little water, in just one go over the rice.
Recipe source: The amazing Shireen Anwer

 

sas

The Return of the Blog + BUTTERMILK PANCAKES WITH STRAWBERRY COMPOTE

Hello world!

A lot has happened since I last talked to you.

For starters, I am well into the 3rd week of final year at college. Weeeeirddd. I know.

They aren’t joking when they say that your college years fly by, are they?  First year feels like just yesterday. Nothing has changed – except that a lot has changed.

Most of you might know that I’ve been gaga over donuts for the last three months or so. What started off as a class project has now turned into (dundundun) my life. Nuts about Donuts, a small homebased business selling artisan style donuts.

I’ve made over 500 donuts since I started Nuts about Donuts o.o (Check out its insta and Facebook and give it some love) 🙂

dsc03080

 

My life has been pretty much donuts all day every day. I legit don’t have time for anything else. And that my lovelies is why I have been missing from Spatula for so long.

dsc04158

I first started food blogging to share my love for food but over time it started to feel like a chore. The editing, the photography, the writing; all started to become too planned and systematic. It felt like too much for me to handle, what with the donuts and school work. This blog was all about doing and sharing something that I love.

dsc03559

I took a self-proclaimed 5 day holiday from Nuts about Donuts just yesterday, announcing on the page ‘we’re closed for a bit’, just so I could do something else, like STUDY maybe!

And it’s during this so-called break that I decided that I shall return back to thy blog.

I MISS YOU GUYS. 😥

And what better way to make a grand return then on NATIONAL PANCAKE DAY.

If you’ve been following along for a while, you might have noticed that there is a fair share of pancake recipes on this blog.

Make use of the fresh strawberries this spring to jazz up your pancakes. Leftover compote is delicious drizzled over ice cream.

These pancakes are made using the same recipe I shared a couple of posts ago.

Make use of the fresh strawberries this spring to jazz up your pancakes. Leftover compote is delicious drizzled over ice cream.

Top those soft fluffy pancakes with a simple 3 ingredient strawberry compote and you have a killer combination.

pancakes

The homemade strawberry compote is super simple. Just three ingredients and a few minutes simmering on the stove-top. You can puree the compote for a smoother consistency or you can leave it chunkier as it is (like I did).

Make use of the fresh strawberries this spring to jazz up your pancakes. Leftover compote is delicious drizzled over ice cream too.

Make use of the fresh strawberries this spring to jazz up your pancakes. Leftover compote is delicious drizzled over ice cream.

Tomorrow I’ll be making biryani. Recipe to be posted veeeery soon, I know a lot of you have been waiting for it since ages.

See you in a month then. Just kidding. I’ll try and post a new recipe each week.

Love to you all. ❤

Buttermilk Pancakes with Strawberry Compote

Yields: 13-15 pancakes
Ingredients:
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk1
1 egg
1 Tablespoon melted & cooled butter or vegetable oil
For the Strawberry Compote
250g strawberries, diced
1 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
 
Directions:
To make the strawberry compote: combine strawberries, sugar and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened, about 6-10 minutes. Keep warm; set aside.
For the pancakes: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Whisk in the buttermilk, egg and melted butter, just until all mixed together (small lumps are fine, DO NOT OVERMIX).
Heat a large, nonstick pan over medium-heat and lightly brush with oil or butter. Using an ice cream scoop (or any large spoon) add the batter to the pan. Cook the pancake for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bubbles begin popping on top of the pancake and it’s golden brown on the bottom.
Slide a thin, wide metal spatula underneath the pancake and gently but quickly flip it over. Cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until the other side is golden as well. Repeat with the remaining pancake batter.
Serve pancakes immediately topped with strawberry compote. Enjoy!
Notes
1.  DIY Buttermilk: 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp vinegar. Mix and let it sit for 10 minutes. Mix well and use.               
*To achieve smooth brown pancakes, don’t grease the pan after every single pancake. Grease it after every third pancake. Hope that makes sense.

Make use of the fresh strawberries this spring to jazz up your pancakes. Leftover compote is delicious drizzled over ice cream.

NUTELLA CINNAMON ROLLS

Bread, in any form, always has a special place in my heart (ok belly). Be it:

This hearty, moist banana bread dotted with ooey gooey chocolate chips

This easy braided chicken bread

-Or these sumptuous pumpkin muffins swirled with Nutella

I could eat bread all day long.

This light fluffy dough, is filled with Nutella and butter and cinnamon, then baked until gooey and brown, and topped with drizzles upon drizzles of cream cheese glaze and more molten Nutella.

And there’s nothing more satisfying than making your own bread, your own dough, from scratch. Especially tear and share breads. Especially cinnamon rolls. Especially “Nutella” Cinnamon rolls!!

This light fluffy dough, is filled with Nutella and butter and cinnamon, then baked until gooey and brown, and topped with drizzles upon drizzles of cream cheese glaze and more molten Nutella.

This light fluffy dough, is filled with Nutella and butter and cinnamon, then baked until gooey and brown, and topped with drizzles upon drizzles of cream cheese glaze and more molten Nutella.

Yes, I put Nutella IN the rolls and ON the rolls.

There’s no such thing as too much Nutella in my world. :3

This light fluffy dough, is filled with Nutella and butter and cinnamon, then baked until gooey and brown, and topped with drizzles upon drizzles of cream cheese glaze and more molten Nutella.

These rolls are best fresh from the oven, but they also keep for a few days in an airtight container in the fridge.  Just place one on a plate and microwave for 10-15 seconds, and they’ll be just as good as the day they were made.

This light fluffy dough, is filled with Nutella and butter and cinnamon, then baked until gooey and brown, and topped with drizzles upon drizzles of cream cheese glaze and more molten Nutella.

These cinnamon rolls are what dreams are made of! They’ll leave you scraping the plate clean and wanting more.

This light fluffy dough, is filled with Nutella and butter and cinnamon, then baked until gooey and brown, and topped with drizzles upon drizzles of cream cheese glaze and more molten Nutella.

Make these for friends and family, or just because it’s Tuesday and you’re wacked out —you won’t be disappointed.

Nutella Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time: 40 minutes                                                                        Yields: 12-14 rolls
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
Ingredients:
DOUGH
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 envelope instant yeast (approx. 2 1/4 tsp)
1 egg, at room temperature
FILING
2/3 cup Nutella
2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
CREAM CHEESE ICING
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp. milk (if needed)
NUTELLA DRIZZLE *optional
1/3 cup Nutella
Directions:
For the Rolls:
Combine milk and butter in a bowl. Heat in microwave, for 1 minute, then remove and stir. Continue heating in 20 second intervals, pausing after each to stir, until the butter is melted and the milk is warm to the touch but not hot. If needed, let the milk mixture sit for a few minutes until it is warm but not piping hot.
In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 cups flour, sugar and salt until combined. Add in the yeast and the milk mixture. Mix till combined. Then knead dough onto a floured countertop till it forms a soft pliable ball, add ¼ cup flour at a time if dough is sticky.
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.
When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured work surface. Then use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 14 x 9 inches in size.
Use a knife or spoon to spread the Nutella1 evenly over the top of the surface, leaving a 1/4-inch border at the bottom of the 14-inch edge (so that the Nutella doesn’t ooze out). Sprinkle the cinnamon evenly on top of the Nutella.
Beginning at the top 14-inch edge (the edge with the Nutella spread clear to the border), tightly roll up the dough. Then give the final seam a little pinch so that it seals. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces.
Place each of the cut cinnamon rolls into a greased pie plate or 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Then cover again with a damp towel, and leave the dish in a warm place to rise for 30-40 minutes.
When the rolls have risen, uncover the dish. Then place on the center rack of the oven and bake at 180 degrees C for 20-30 minutes, or until the rolls are golden and cooked through. Remove and let cool for at least 5 minutes. Drizzle with your icing and Nutella and serve warm.
For the Cream Cheese Icing:
In mixing bowl, whisk butter and cream cheese together until combined. Then whisk in powdered sugar until combined. If the icing is too thick, add a tablespoon or two of milk to thin.
For the Nutella Drizzle:
Warm Nutella in the microwave for a few seconds to help make it more spreadable. Then use either a piping bag to pipe it onto the cinnamon rolls, or use a fork to drizzle it on.
Notes:
1.       Microwave Nutella for a few seconds to make it easier to spread.
Recipe source: Gimme Some Oven

These cinnamon rolls are what dreams are made of! They’ll leave you scraping the plate clean and wanting more.

Meringue Ghosts [Halloween Special]

“By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.”

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

It’s finally Hallow’s eve!

This post is quite accidental to be honest. I hadn’t planned on doing a Halloween special this year what with being swamped with college stuff, cake orders, and buddy nonsense.

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

I had an ignored Chocolate Cake lying in my fridge; plain top, frosted with chocolate buttercream, and chocolate drips on the sides. If you have ever tried my classic chocolate cake, you’d know that you end up with one lone egg white because the recipe calls for 2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk.

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

 

And that one egg white is the reason why we have a Halloween post this year!  😀 It’s nothing like last year’s grand spectacle where we murdered a Red Velvet Cake and loved every minute of it. :3 But its awesome nonetheless!!

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

That one egg white has been used to make ghosts to adorn the cake with. Cute little meringue blobs together with their chocolate ball eyes made for adorable ghost toppers. The whole idea came out exactly as I had pictured.

The meringue ghosts were super easy to make; just three ingredients, four if you want to stretch it. The only thing I’d impress upon is ‘patience’. Patience when:

-beating the meringue to make it stiff and glossy, takes 3-5 minutes.

-baking the meringue till it easily peels off the parchment paper, round 60-90 minutes

-letting the meringues dry, round 2-3 hours

Other than that, they’re a breeze to make. This recipe only makes 10-12 meringue ghosts, just enough to top a cake with. But you can easily double the recipe to make more. Just remember the meringue code; for each egg white, use 1/4 cup caster sugar.

That is, if you’re using:

  • 1 egg white: ¼ cup sugar

  • 2 egg whites: ½ cup sugar

  • 3 egg whites: ¾ cup sugar

  • 4 egg whites: 1 cup sugar

And so on…

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

 

Do give these tiny ghost buddies a try. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

Happy Halloween!

Meringue Ghosts

Prep Time: 10 minutes                                                                        Yields: 10-12 cookies
Cook Time: 60-90 minutes
Ingredients:
·         1 large egg white
·         Pinch of cream of tartar, optional
·         1/4 cup caster sugar
·         1/4 tsp vanilla extract
·         Mini chocolate chips
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 105°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg white, cream of tartar and vanilla on medium speed until frothy.
  3. Gradually add in sugar and increase mixer to medium-high speed. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; about 3 minutes.
  4. Spoon meringue into a piping bag fitted with a round tip.  Pipe a blob on blob of meringue onto prepared baking sheet (three blobs in total). Add mini chocolate chips for eyes.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for about 1.5 hours or until the meringues are dry and crisp to the touch. Turn off the oven and allow the meringue ghosts to continuing drying in the oven for a few hours.
  6. Ghosts will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Meringue Ghosts. They’re crunchy on the outside, and soft and mallowy on the inside.

Dhaba Dal

Eating out is fun and adventurous. You get to try yummy new dishes without the hassle of cooking, table setting and washing up. It’s exciting to dress up and watch the waiter go by with trays laden with food that isn’t yours.

But sometimes the overpriced plates of pasta drowning in white sauce just don’t cut it. Sometimes what you need is good ol’ dal chawal.

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.

It’s perfect for vegetarians and meat eaters (especially after Bakra Eid) alike.

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.

 

 

If you’re a newbie to lentils, fear not. This was the first dal recipe I ever made, and I’ve made it a dozen times since. It’s super easy to cook. It involves none of that pressure cooker hassle. I’ve never used a pressure cooker and never intend to use it in the future either. That thing gives me the jeepers! Its the fault of all the horror stories told about the pressure coolers exploding.

Lentils cook beautifully well by simply boiling them in spiced water.

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.

There’s two parts to this recipe: the cooking of the lentils and the tempering. I’ve tried to explain each one of the steps involved as clearly as I could.

It’s a classic Shireen Anwer recipe (bow down for the queen). So you can’t go wrong with that!

Do give this recipe a try. It’s spicy, creamy, and reminiscent of the dal you get served on the roadside restaurants.

Coupled with roti hot off the tandoor or plain boiled rice, this dhaba dal is sure to become a family favorite in your house.

Dhaba Dal

Serves: 6-8
Ingredients:
250 g chana dal/split chick peas
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp red chili powder
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi powder)
½ cup ghee or cooking oil
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp red chili flakes
¼ tsp garam masala (all spice powder)
Green chilies, finely chopped
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Directions:
Soak the dal in water for 3 to 4 hours. Then wash and place in a pan along with; 3 cups of water, salt, red chili powder, and turmeric powder. Cook on medium high flame till dal is soft and is cooked completely.
For the tempering/tarqa:
In a small pan, heat the oil and fry the sliced onions till brown. Then add in the tomatoes, garlic and the chili flakes. Cook on high flame, mixing continuously, till tomatoes turn mushy and the oil comes on top of the surface. Add in the chopped green chilies, and garam masala powder. Mix well.
Pour the tarqa on top of the prepared dal and mix the two together.
Garnish with fresh coriander.
Serve hot with plain white rice.

 

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.