The Versatile Blogger Award

Markbialczak has very kindly nominated me for the versatile blogger award, he writes awesome posts which one will thoroughly enjoy IF and only if they have good taste. So, will you enjoy Mark’s posts?

downloadRULE , RUle,Rule,rule…… Gotta share Seven interesting facts about myself!

I have previously mentioned that I’m an extremely boring, non-interesting,geeky,bookish introvertish personality.  I already shared 11 interesting (really? ) facts about myself. 7 more would make that a total of 18 interesting facts, which then would me me what………… interesting? And I’m so not that. So there you go:

  1. I love chocolate ice cream
  2. I usually order a double scoop…..
  3. They drizzle chocolate syrup all over it.
  4. Next I take the parcel home.
  5. Then I keep the ice cream in the freezer.
  6.  Meanwhile taking out a book on my kindle app.
  7. I eat the ice cream while I read the book. I eat really slowly.

Now after 22 interesting facts…I feel quite interesting!

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The good part is nominating 15 bloggers for this award!

  1. Lyndsay, Officially Gluten-free
  2. Lori, Creating Beauty in the kitchen
  3. Sue Dreamwalker, Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary
  4. Lea from Good Food Everyday
  5. Cristina from Baked Treats
  6. Dave from The Phoblography
  7. Apsara from Eating Well Diary
  8. Beth from I didn’t Have My Glasses On
  9. Nancy from Feasting with Friends Blog
  10. Victoria from My Love Affair With
  11. Nick from The Bohemian Rockstar
  12. Tony from Cooking With Tony
  13. Alicia from Kitchen Konfidential
  14.  Susan from Owls and Orchids
  15. Stefania from Etinkerbell’s Blog

So all ye good ole nominees…give us a high five…! ;)

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Beaded Easter Chocolate Pot

main1  Chocolate and I are sort of interconnected. So when I heard (actually saw a tweet) regarding an Easter Make and Bake Competition ,I started shivering with happiness. It was Friday, Easter and I wanted to play with chocolate. Those who know me, and the bloggy friends who have been with me since the very beginning, are very well aware of my …..uh…..liking of chocolate (Okay, okay, my chocolate OCD). So this was a opportunity I simply couldn’t let pass. In fact I can’t thank the Pink Whisk  and Two Little Fleas enough for hosting this competition….

main2 What happened with this cute (my beloved :’( ) chocolate pot was a sad sad story. Well, first the thieves ate whatever was inside the bowl. After eating the chocolate, the more thievy-thief eyed the pot with the greed that is forever in her eyes. Then with a single movement of her hand she smashed the bowl into two(Did she take Judo-Karate lessons which I’m not aware of?). Anyhow, the smashed fragments of my artwork were too much for my tender soul to behold, and I returned to my room to mourn the demise of the pot(Not before I’d nicked a larger fragment to keep me company while I mourn). RIP dear one.

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Ingredients 

A balloon

A packet colorful chocolate beans

200 g sweetened dark chocolate(tempered and cooled to room temperature)

200 g white chocolate(tempered and cooled to room temperature)

A piping bag

1 butter paper

Instructions 

  • In a bowl take the tempered dark chocolate, and put the tempered while chocolate into a piping bag.
  • Blow up your balloon(The size of the balloon will determine the  size of bowl)
  • Spray balloon with vegetable oil.
  • Use a spoon to cover 3/4 of the balloon  in a thick layer of dark chocolate.
  • Put the butter paper on a tray.Set the balloon on the butter paper. Put in the fridge to cool until the chocolate is set.Scrape off excess chocolate with a blunt knife, taking care not to burst the balloon.
  • Using a scissor make a very tiny hole in the balloon so the gas comes out slowly. DO NOT POP the balloon, the pressure may break the bowl.

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  • Using white chocolate, decorate your pot, as you wish.
  • Apply colored chocolate beans, making them stick with a dab of white chocolate.

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Cake Doughnuts

These are the yummiest tasting, best kind of doughnuts ever. Not to mention, super easy as well. You can dust icing sugar over doughnuts, a strawberry topping or a chocolate one. Personally my favorite has always been a quick caramel-chocolate topping over these amazingly perfect doughnuts.

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Cake Doughnuts (6 doughnuts)

1 large egg, room temperature

1/3 cup  powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups  all-purpose

1 1/2  tsp baking powder

A pinch of salt

2 tbsp lukewarm butter

1/4 cup milk

Caramel-Chocolate Glaze

4 oz semi-sweet dark chocolate of your choice

3 tbsp salted butter(can use unsalted as well)

4 tbsp sugar

4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

4 tbsp water

Doughnuts:Instructions

Sift together the baking powder,salt and flour.In the bowl of your electric mixer(or with a hand mixer), beat the egg and sugar until creamy and yellow.  Then slowly add the flour/baking powder/salt combo.Add the lukewarm butter and milk. Mix till a soft dough forms.It will be sticky. Let the dough sit there for 10 minutes to make it smoother.

Flour your work surface generously and roll out your dough approx 1/4 inch thick with a rolling pin. Then cut out your doughnuts with a doughnut cutter. Place the doughnuts on a floured surface(room temperature) while your oil heats up.

On medium heat put in the doughnuts n a deep fryer/wok/frying pan. Deep fry the doughnuts. Initially they will sink but then will inflate and rise to the surface.  Take them out when both sides are light-brown in color. Let them cool on a paper towel while you make the glaze.

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Glaze Instructions

On low heat put the water and sugar. Let the sugar melt. Add in the cocoa powder and butter, Stir these with a spoon. Lastly add the dark chocolate and let that melt in the caramel mixture. Cool to room temperature.

Dip your doughnuts into the glaze and víola….. the doughnuts are ready to serve. Put on some sprinkles(kids love them!).

 


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Éclairs

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Choux Pastry:( for 12 eclairs)

1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons (55 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup (120 ml) water

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Filling

1 cup heavy cream

5 tbsp powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Ganache

4 oz dark chocolate(or milk chocolate)

4 tbsp butter

2 tbsp confectioners sugar

Instructions Choux Pastry

  1. Place the butter and water in a saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat & with a wooden spoon, add the flour mixture, all at once, and stir until combined.
  3. Return saucepan to the heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball
  4. Once the dough is lukewarm start adding the lightly beaten eggs (dough will separate and then come together) and continue to mix until you have a smooth thick paste

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  1. Fill your piping bag with the paste. Cut off the tip of your bag. You don’t need a nozzle here.
  2. Place butter paper on your oven tray and pipe the eclairs 31/2 inch long and approx 2 inch far from each other
  3.  In a preheated oven. 400 F/ 200C place the oven rack.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. (When the top begins to get golden-brown)
  5. Cool for a few minutes.
  6. Make two holes on each side of each eclair.Use a small nozzle to pipe in the filling from one hole until the filling oozes out of the other one.
  7. Dip the eclair into the ganache.

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Instructions- Filling

Using an electrical mixer mix the vanilla, sugar and cream into  a thick filling. Pour this into a piping bag fitted with a small circular nozzle.

Instructions Ganache

Melt chocolate in a microwave (or on double boiler). Add butter to the warm melted chocolate. Lastly mix in the confectioners sugar using electrical mixer.

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Braided Chicken Bread

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Ingredients for Dough(For two loaves of Chicken Bread)

4 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp instant yeast
2 tbsp powdered milk
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp oil
1 egg (plus 1 for glazing)
1 tsp castor sugar
Ingredients for Chicken Filling
1 1/2 cups chicken boiled and shredded
1 medium onion chopped finely
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
4 chopped green chilies
1 tsp oregano powder
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
1 cup milk
sesame seeds for garnishing
Instructions 

For the Filling

Melt  butter in a pan,fry onion till soft and transparent.Add 2 tbsp flour with 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp oregano.

Add the milk, cook till thick, mix in the shredded chicken add chopped green chilies, remove and cool completely.

For the Dough

In a bowl mix together 4 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp castor sugar, 2 tbsp milk powder, 1 tbsp yeast, 4 tbsp oil and 1 egg, knead to a medium soft dough with slightly warm water, leave to rise for 1 hour. Divide the dough into two or three depending on how big you want the loaves. Proceed with viewing the subsequent steps to see how the bread is shaped.

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STEP 1: Roll out the dough into a rectangle. Brush some softened butter over it.

(Although the recipe doesn’t call for it, I normally dab a touch of butter to this to make it ultra-yummy)

STEP 2:  Put your filling in the center of the rectangle and make slits on both of the longer sides.

STEP 3:  Start bringing the topmost slit ends across from each other alternately

STEP 4:  Keep going, remember to alternate, like a crisscross fashion. Left to right…right to left.

STEP 5:  When you reach the end, leave a tail at the bottom, just for the appearance. You can just tuck everything neatly in if you like, but I prefer to have that bit of a tail at the bottom of the loaf. :)

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Recipe adapted from Fauzia’s Kitchen.

Chocolate Wasted Cake

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For the chocolate cake I used my tried and tested, and well loved recipe for super Moist Chocolate Cake.

For My Favorite Chocolate Butter Cream, I used( To decorate 1 medium sized cake)

1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter(you can also use unsalted)

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

3/4 cup cocoa powder

80g milk chocolate of your choice (I used cadbury dairymilk bars)- At room temperature

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp heavy cream

How To Go About It

In a stand mixer (or a electrical hand mixer)add the butter . Mix till thick and fluffy.

Add cocoa powder and sugar. Mix on low speed to prevent sugar and cocoa from flying everywhere.

Increase speed and add the dairy milk bars,heavy cream and vanilla.

A thick creamy frosting will form.

I used a star nozzle to decorate the cake. Dusted cocoa powder at the edges of the cake. Then added three strawberries for face value!

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Awards, and bloggy friends!

 I was nominated for the following awards by two of my bloggy friends. And did I mention that they have aww-wee-somme blogs themselves? So First go check out these lovelies… Lori from Creating beauty in the Kitchen(thankyou for liebster award) aaannddd Deepa from Deelightfully Veg!(thankyou for sunshine award)! :)

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liebsterblogaward

So I’m going to be lazy and going to nominate 11 bloggy friends for both of these awards. Liebster award required me to nominate bloggers with less than 200 followers. However since I had 200+ followers when I was nominated, I will simply nominate  blogs with great content, regardless of their follower-ship!

RULES : All these nominees have to do is to Acknowledge the blogger who nominated them,Nominate 11 interesting blogs for these awards( or 11 blogs for each  award) and Give 11 interesting facts about themselves ! Easy peasy, simple ……

  1. Jacqui from Good Food Seeking
  2. Charlotte from Bake with Me
  3. Dimple from Shivaay Delights
  4. Prudy from Butter,Basil and Breadcrumbs
  5. Kunal Patankar Richtofein
  6. Varun Shenoy from Indian Wanderers
  7. Joanna from Food Gurly
  8. Lucy from Lucy’s Friendly foods
  9. Lisa from Simple Pairings
  10. Abby from Abby’s Kitchen
  11. Jessica from Poppy’s Treats

 

Both of these awards require me to tell 10/11 interesting facts about myself. Now this is difficult. Simply because I consider myself quite boring. But if I fish in deep. I just maybe able to come up with something. In fact i’ll just cut out on the interesting part and just give 11 random facts about myself.

  1.  I have read every one of the top  100 best historical romance novels(listed on goodreads.com).
  2.  I played throw ball (inter-school) all the way up till A levels. 
  3. I’m afraid of water and fire. I’m also afraid of heights,they make me dizzy. 
  4. I listened to loads of music until I turned into a music-aholic and gave it up all together.
  5. Cockroaches scare the hell out of me. I can deal with ghosts but cockroaches make me run with a slipper in hand and the other on foot.
  6. I lurve super spicy foods that make my eyes water. Particularly red chili stuffed fried green chilies!
  7. I used to think that a vampire stands behind my door while I sleep. I’ve gotten over that now :)
  8. I have a tendency to see dreams that come true 90% of the times.
  9. In my mind it’s Harry, Ron and Ayesha in Harry Potter. Go away hermione.
  10. I love playing angry birds and diamond rush.
  11. I plan on becoming a Clinical psychologist.

ayesha

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Pink Lady Cupcakes

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For Cupcakes( 1 Dozen cupcakes)

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar (powdered)

3 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 tsp of salt

1/3 cup pureed strawberries

2 egg whites

2 tbsp milk

1 drop red food dye

Instructions For Cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 350»F. Place liners in a cupcake tin.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the electric mixer on low speed, blend for 30 seconds. Add the butter and strawberry puree and mix to blend the ingredients. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes; the batter will resemble strawberry ice cream at this point.

In another large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk and red food dye, if using, to blend. Add the whites to the batter in two or three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl well and mixing only to incorporate after each addition. Divide the batter amongst the muffin cups 3/4 of the way full.

Bake the cupcakes for 15 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes inside the tins and then transfer to wire racks until completely cooled.

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For the Strawberry Buttercream

1 sticks (1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 medium fresh strawberries, pureed (you’ll need 2 tablespoons of puree)

Instructions For  Frosting

1. In the bowl beat the butter on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes using an electrical mixer(or stand mixer)

2. Turn the mixer down to low speed and gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar until it is completely incorporated. Add in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the strawberry puree, mix until incorporated. Turn off the mixer and check the buttercream for taste and texture. Add in the last 1 tablespoon of strawberry puree . Please note that adding more than  2 tablespoons could result in a thinner frosting. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat the mixture for about 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.

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3. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and if desired.

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Naan Khatai

Naan Khatais have a special place in my heart. Because they are a part of my beloved grandmother’s (Who passed away this year.God grant her peace) childhood in Delhi(India). I used to stare at her in fascination when she used to talk about the monkeys who used to snatch things from unsuspecting victims. For example once my great-grandmother fried(they didn’t have ovens,therefore didn’t bake) a batch of naan khatai and left it in her veranda to cool. Since they were already tired of monkeys snatching stuff, she was keeping a close eye on that batch of naan khatais. However somebody called from inside the house and she turned her back towards the tray to answer the person. And when she turned back. ……….. no tray,no naan khatais. 

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A pair of monkeys was sitting there munching naan khatais with the tray in their hands. And these monkey-cum-thieves stole about everything they saw. And they were damn smug about that. When people make movies depicting monkeys imitating people, they aren’t using special effects. Monkeys not only imitate humans but they also make fun of them after stealing their stuff. I recently asked a friend in Delhi about these guys.And she says, that the population has decreased due to authorities being on a monkey-chase. However they are still there. I feel thankful that the only monkeys we have are the ones in the zoo or in a circus. I wouldn’t like them steeling my naan khatai or other cookies for that matter.5

 

The other memories of naan khatai involve my mum and the aunts. The way they used to sit on the ‘takhat’ (kind of like an extended bed minus the mattress, so it was hard) at my grandma’s house and gossip around their cups of tea, samosas and naan khatais. I would sit there (being a huge sucker for gossip) and would dunk my naan khatai in my mother’s tea. And let it there for longer than neccessary. So the naan khatai would break and settle at the bottom of the cup. And somebody would have to get her another cup of tea. So, baking these always brings about the best memories of my life. These large gatherings occur rarely now, now that grandma isn’t there to hold us all together!

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Bake Time: 25-30 minutes
Makes: approx 12 cookies

Ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter or Ghee – (1/2 cup, 4 oz) at room temperature
  • Powdered Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • All Purpose Flour  – 1 cup
  • Baking Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt – 1/8 tsp
  • Sliced pistachios- For garnishing

 

Instructions:

  •  In a mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar and softened butter/ghee.Mix well with a spoon.
  •  Add Cardamom Powder and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, sift All Purpose Flour with Baking Powder and Salt.
  •  Knead Flour mixture with Butter Mixture to form a soft dough.
  •  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and leave it for 10 minutes in the fridge.

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  • Now heat the oven to 300 degree F or 150 degree C.
  •  Divide the dough into 12 equal portions.
  •  Roll each portion into a smooth ball with no cracks and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper .(Or sprayed with non-stick vegetable oil spray).Leave ample space between dough balls.
  • Garnish each ball with sliced pistachios.

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  • Bake on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes (keep an eye on them– naan khatai should remain white).
  • Remove the naan khatais  from the baking tray and cool on the cooling rack.

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Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

I hate to break it to you spammers, that I don’t like spam. I don’t want to buy a cheap bottle of Viagra.Maybe because I’m a woman, and can’t suffer from erectile dysfunction(Thank God!). I also don’t want 10,000 followers for $10. Because over generous ‘deals’ make me suspicious and curious. And curiosity simply kills the cat.2

To Japanese spammers. I am tolerant of all races and languages. However, I don’t understand Japanese, and you’re simply wasting your time (and making me frustrated) by posting spam on my posts. Now if you’d redirect those lovely spammy comments to your fellow Japs, I’d be mightily grateful. 1 And to those rich billionaire guys, who’re being chased by their ‘cruel’ government. They have billions of dollars they ‘don’t know what to do with’. Don’t ask me if you could send billions of dollars to my bank account. I don’t need your billions guys, you can keep them. I’d rather have chocolate chip cookies. P.s I don’t even have a personal bank account yet. So yeah, I’m trying to save your time. Time is money.

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Ingredients(Makes 16, 4-inch cookies)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick)unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) powdered white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 mini dairy milk chocolate (or any other milk chocolate)
  • 3/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips (White and dark chocolate mixed)

How-To

Sift together the salt, flour and baking powder. Make sure they’re evenly incorporated.

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In your stand mixer (You can also use hand mixer) put the butter, egg and vanilla extract. Mix till thick and creamy. Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder alternatively and mix some more. Stiff cookie dough will form.

Detach the bowl from the mixer and fold in chocolate chips.

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Cover the bowl with transparent film and chill in the fridge for an hour.Take the chilled dough and break the milk chocolate into it. Fold in with a spoon. 

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Take your baking tray and spray with non-stick oil (Or cover it in parchment paper)Use a ice-cream scoop to get even sized cookie proportions on to your baking tray. Give each cookie space to expand.

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In a preheated oven (375 degrees Fahrenheit) bake the cookies, until firm. Don’t wait until they get hard. Because they will harden while cooling. 

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Cool the cookies on the rack.

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