Steaming Kashmiri Chai and Pound Cake

      One should think twice before wishing for anything. Like me wishing for snow. I’m down with flu just because it was very cold. That too without snow.Just imagine what would have happened if it actually had snowed. Since my mother doesn’t use internet I can safely divulge a secret. I’m enjoying having a cold! Too much . I luxuriously stretch out under my warm blankets as I hear my sister complaining somewhere in the house, ” why can’t Ayesha do it?” and mom replying,”Well she’s sick,so you have to”. Ha!(Hahahaha! Poor Areeba:P) I guess that’s a bit mean. But in my defense I’m one person who rarely gets ill. I mean which student gets full attendance certificates in school? I have, many times in the past. So I(fond of celebrating everything), am fully exploiting my illness. Making steaming Kashmiri Chai and dunking hot slices of Pound Cake in it is an incomparable evening delight.Sigh. It’s amazing.Those of you who face cold weather have to try out this. Soothing,from inside out! Color alert(The Kashmiri Chai is peachy-pink) in color but thanks to the room lighting you can’t see it.Last picture however displays its real color).

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What You need(Cake)

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk 
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

How to go about (Cake):

  • Preheat oven.Flour and grease baking pan.
  • Add the dry ingredients in one bowl. Sift these.Set aside.
  • Add eggs, buttermilk, butter and vanilla essence in another bowl. Whisk them.
  • Whisk all the ingredients in a single bowl.
  • Pour in the mixture and set to bake.

What You Need (Kashmiri Chai)

  • 2 tsp of  green tea leaves 
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 pods of cardamom crushed
  • 2 cups of water
  •  2  cups of whole milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Garnish: 2 tsp of ground pistachios and almonds 

Makes up to 2 cups of tea. Takes about 15 minutes to prepare

How To Go About (Kashmiri Chai)

  • In a saucepan on medium heat, add the 2 tsp of tea with about 1/2 of water, boil till frothy then add the bicarbonate of soda and whisk vigorously for about 10 seconds and then add the rest of the water and crushed cardamom and boil until the tea broth becomes peachy pink.
  •  Now bring the heat down to medium low and add the milk and whisk the tea broth very vigorously to achieve a slight froth. The color of the tea should now be a lovely dark pink. If you want a lighter color add more milk.
  • Let the tea simmer for 5-7 minutes on medium heat. This gives a distinct and lovely taste.
  • Finally, add the sugar and stir. Pour in to a cup and sprinkle with crushed pistachios and almonds. 
  • Serve tea with sugar and salt,so people may add acording to taste

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Have a lovely time drinking tea and eating cake. It’s the best thing ever. And if someone has flu, don’t fret, even better( Enjoy not doing anything for a while.)

Love and Hugs,best winters to you and yours.

xxx

Chocolate and Nut Brownies!

 Yesterday mom requested me to bake some ‘plain’ nut brownies for her. I began firmly focused.Very firmly.No chocolate Ayesha. No chocolate. Then I forgot all about my resolution and put in just a little chocolate.Just a little. Not too much.Then  I went…uh..a little over the top. By applying milk chocolate on the surface as well. And then you have to put dark chocolate chips over the lighter milk chocolate. You absolutely have to,it’s the rule. When my mom saw them, she sighed ‘ I just knew it’. 

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts and walnuts
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 6og dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 oz sweet milk chocolate melted( for topping)
  • chocolate chips( to sprinkle)

Instructions

  • Grease and Flour the baking tin.Preheat the oven.
  • Sift flour,baking powder, baking soda and set aside.
  • Melt butter,brown sugar, dark chocolate over a double boiler. 
  • Combine peanut butter, eggs and milk in a bowl and whisk.
  • Fold in the roasted nuts
  • Finally put together all ingredients and whisk.
  • Set to bake
  • Apply melted Milk chocolate over the surface of brownies
  • Sprinkle chocolate chips

 The way to eat everything and not get fat is to have moderate to small proportions of everything.Santa ate fifty of these brownies in one go. And look what happens.So be careful. Moderate proportions. Those are the magic words.

Love, Hugs, Lots and lots of Best Wishes For All The Years To Come.

xxx

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KFC Zinger Burger Homemade!

 I vividly remember that my childhood was full of KFC. I loved my kids meal.Actually at that age I wasn’t interested in food of any kind,the main attraction was the toy that came with kids meal. For a long long time we went no where else but KFC to eat out,because I refused to go anywhere else. Being the only child for a large period of time,my parents  indulged me until I was spoiled rotten. This led to me having huge expectations. I expected cell phones to spring out of my KFC goody bag. And since the cell phones never sprung out,my spirits were dampened and I acted grumpy until my parents left the place. According to my mother,I was a difficult child to live with. That is until my next hellion( demon) of a sister was born. I love her,but seriously…..Sometimes I want to dump her in a trash can and cover the lid( Harsh Ayesha….harsh). Then the third hellion came, and I was no longer spoiled. I became, well…….”me”.  Anyway, I forgot to mention that I almost always had a Zinger burger in my kids meal. We don’t really go to KFC any more. It’s Nandos or Arizona Grill now. However we still have our occasional KFC Zinger,one made at home!!

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How to Go About it

  • 1/2 kg boneless chicken cut for zingers
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

       *****Marinate Chicken in above spices and leave for 1 hour*****

For Coating

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Coating One (Whisk the following in a bowl)

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Coating Two (Mix the following in a bowl)

  • 1/2 cup cornflour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Coating Three

  • Crushed Cornflakes

Coating and Frying Instructions(After Chicken has been Marinated)

  • Roll each of the chicken cuts in Coating one,then in coating two and lastly in cornflakes.
  • Deep fry in a wok/pan/deep fryer.Cover with a lid and deep fry for 15-20 min. KFC uses pressure cookers.But using pressure cookers inside the house is not recommended.
  • Deep fry until golden-brown.

 xxx

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Chocolate-Oreo Cookie Cake!

 Today I combined Oreo and chocolate to make my own version of the amazing chocolate wasted Oreo cookie cake. It was delicious. Like a typical “chocolate thing” it vanished from the plate in seconds. This was for my lovely mom. You can’t love your parents enough. No matter what you do, you can never care for them as much as they always care for you. All you have are your little worldly gestures! 

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For 1 Chocolate Cake You Need

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee

Instructions for the cake:

  • Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda. set aside.
  • Beat the egg until light and fluffy.
  • whisk together vanilla extract,coffee,buttermilk and vegetable oil.
  • Add egg to the flour mixture and whisk.
  • Slowly add coffee/buttermilk/vegetable oil/vanilla mixture. Whisk constantly all the while.
  • Place parchment in cake pan. Grease it.
  • Set the cake to bake. Bake until toothpick/knife comes out clean.

What you need for Oreo Filling:

  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 7-8 Oreo cookies lightly crushed(NOT powdered)
  • 1/4 cup butter ( at room temperature)
  • chocolate chips(optional)
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder

Instructions for filling:

  • Whisk cocoa powder and espresso powder in cream.
  • Add butter and whisk
  • fold in the Oreo cookies and chocolate chips.

Instructions for Ganache:

Take quarter stick of butter and 6 oz dark chocolate. Melt these on a double boiler. Add 1/2 tsp espresso powder and whisk this into the ganache. 

Put the deal together by cutting the chocolate cake in half and putting the filling on the lower half and covering it with other half. Cover the cake in ganache with a spatula.

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Mocha Cupcakes

My love for cupcakes has just begun. I have a feeling that it is one of those eternal loves which poets constantly talk about.And I’m glad its a good kind of deep, nourishing love that tastes so sweet and smells so good.As Marie Williams Johnstone said and I quote “What Makes Life so Sweet? Cupcakes to eat and Someone to Love.” One more thing before we go ahead. I’ve noticed that there are quite a few people (like me) who do not like too much cream on their cupcakes. These cupcakes are God-sent for such people. The frosting on them tastes like coffee-ice cream. The chocolate chips make these cupcakes even more ice-creamish tasting 😀 

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Before Frosting!

Before Frosting!

For 12 Cupcakes You Need

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk (See How to make it)
  • 1/4 cup brewed strong coffee cooled
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • A pinch of salt

For Frosting You Need

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp espresso powder

How to Go about Making Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Set cupcake paperliners into the mould.
  • Mix espresso powder into the brewed coffee until it dissolves.
  • Whisk well  flour,cocoa powder,baking soda,baking powder and salt.
  • Add egg,butter,buttermilk,vanilla extract and sugar in one bowl and whisk well until fluffy and light.Slowly add the flour mixture and coffee mixture alternatively.Keep beating with your electric beater.
  • Pour mixture into the paper liners. Set to bake.
  • Let cupcakes cool before applying the frosting.

How to make Frosting

Frosting is the best thing about these,like I mentioned. It has to be made very carefully:

  • Use double boiling method to heat an egg. Keep stirring it. It will thicken. Do not let it solidify.
  • Add powdered sugar, Stir more.
  • Remove the egg mixture from the double boiler.
  • Add butter in a bowl.Add the egg mixture, vanilla extract and espresso powder. With an electrical beater, whisk well.
  • Add cream to the mixture and whisk lightly once for 10 seconds.
  • Our frosting is not very stable. Its not meant to be.( If you want to stabilize it, use gelatin)

Apply your frosting the way you like. Chocolate chips and choco balls are amazing over the espresso frosting of these mocha cakes 😀Fotor111mmm9235235