Mint & tea sorbet


DSC_0722Since the gods are being all sorts of unkind with the sun, what with the blazing rays and scorching heat, it’s only natural to pour in copious amounts of coolants into your body, without skimping on the sugar.

This is where sorbets come into existence. Like feathery ice, kissing the insides of your mouth ever so daintily, melting softly on your tongue; sending shivers of exquisite chill to your temples. The flavours are so delicate that you’re forced to down a few dozen scoopfuls, before you realize you’re a being surreptitiously iced. Lighter than air, frozen sweets, they are like the elegant cousins to boisterous ice creams and much too easy to make.

Easier still if you have an ice cream/sorbet machine/maker, because making these sans modern contraptions takes away the chill factor from the sorbets, and you’re left churning semi frozen liquid every hour of the day, and we are not here for that. NO!

It’s about making life comfortable sometimes, and summers aren’t for survival of the self righteous. Summers are to chill, and that’s exactly what this sorbet is about. Accentuated with cool vibes of mint and earthy tones of tea, this is easier than going out to buy a frozen ice treat.

 

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I didn’t lay out ingredients this time, because this is much too easy. This is the beginning of a simple syrup. Sugar + water that you bring to a boil till all sugar is dissolved.

 

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like so. It’s hot, really hot so don’t go around poking your fingers in.

 

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throw in a pinch of salt.

 

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and fistfuls of mint, and a tea bag.

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cover and let it steep for half an hour

 

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fish out the tea bag and add in some lemon juice. Let it cool completely and transfer to a fridge for a few hours or overnight. The flavours mingle and intensify in the syrup.

 

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I let mine stay in the fridge overnight and the next day the mint leaves were weepy and the liquid was a fabulous murky brown.

 

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sieve into a clean bowl

 

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bring out the heavy machinery and we are en route to making joy

 

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turn on the machine, pour in the minty tea syrup (as per your machine instructions)

 

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a few seconds in and you can see the early beginnings of snow

 

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churning into polar beginnings of your personal sorbet

 

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twelve minutes in, and the syrup was a sweet scrunched ice berg

 

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the glacial quality of this bowl was an indication enough to stop. Took about fifteen minutes.

 

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This sorbet right here, in its most sherbet form is good enough to eat, but not quite frozen to the point you could scoop.

 

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transfer to a freezer safe container for a firmer consistency and freeze for a few hours. I let mine gestate for about four hours.

 

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scoop and serve.


Ingredients

Water: 800 mls (3 cups)

Sugar: 350 g (1.1/5 cup)

Mint leaves : 1 cup

lemon juice: 90mls (5 tbsp)

1 tea bag

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Recipe

Prepare a simple syrup with water and sugar by dissolving them in a sauce pan over medium heat until sugar has dissolved into the water.

To the syrup add in mint leaves and tea bag. Cover and let steep for half an hour.

Discard the tea bag and add lemon juice into the mixture. Once its completely cooled, transfer to a fridge for a few hours or overnight.

Strain the now chilled mixture and pour into ice cream maker according to machine to instructions.

 

Transfer sorbet into a freezer safe container for firmer consistency.

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enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast doughnut French toast


DSC_0469That’s right my darlings..doughnuts for breakfast, except these are actually French toasts masquerading as doughnuts..but do you care? They’re hot, coated thickly with cinnamon sugar and doused with your favourite toppings to make one heck of a breakfast meal.

They may not look much like doughnuts, but looks aren’t everything, and so you’ll understand as this recipe and your life progress. The best part about these toasts is that they take no time to conjure up and are so pleasantly imbued with the seraphic aroma of vanilla and cinnamon that you wouldn’t care about Mondays anymore. You do need to coat these in vulgar amounts of sugar and really that’s the charm of this breakfast. It’s breakfast after all and you can get away with a good lot of calories every morning..and honestly these pack a fraction of calories than doughnuts do. Once you’ve wolfed down these golden chunks of doughnut toasts you’ll look for excuses to make them all week.

 

DSC_0432 copyEggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, sugar and bread. That’s it. High rewards for such few ingredients.

 

DSC_0435This step doesn’t apply to those who live in a world of pre sliced breads. I used a stale baguette, and it does help a lot if you’ve a stale bread lying about the house dying to be used up.

 

DSC_0436Crack in the eggs and add milk

 

DSC_0438vanilla

 

DSC_0439and salt

 

DSC_0440mix, smear, whisk, besmirch the calm

 

DSC_0442and proceed to making the sugary coating with sugar

 

DSC_0443and cinnamon

 

DSC_0445and lo! cinnamon sugar. Alchemy I tell you.

 

DSC_0446melt a fat knob of butter in your pan over medium heat

 

DSC_0447and dunk the bread in eggy pool of golden promises.Let it stay  in there for at least half a minute. It’ll start drinking in the eggs.

 

 

DSC_0452Turn them over to let the other side soak up the sun.

 

DSC_0453and whoa! all the egg’s been absorbed by these little babies

 

DSC_0449the butter should be nicely frothing

 

DSC_0455transfer the eggy toast to the pan to cook to a nice golden tan.

 

DSC_0456just a couple minutes

 

DSC_0458Mmm..golden and gorgeous.

 

DSC_0460once these are cooked on both sides, let them cool for a few seconds before transferring them or rather slathering them with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

 

DSC_0461Coat all sides, roll them into the sugar if you have to. Be barbaric about it.

 

DSC_0467et voilà..we have doughnut french toast. These are fantastic to eat just as they are, but if you want to add a bit of luxury to the richness then please do not restrain yourself as you go totally berserk.

 

DSC_0471bathe it with chocolate syrup

 

DSC_0472cloak it with your favourite fruit jam/marmalade or preserve

 

DSC_0482or how about chunks of banana drowned in maple syrup?

These are just a few things you can do to make these remarkable doughnut french toast into a morning treat.

———————

Ingredients

Eggs: 2

Milk: 30 mls (2 tbsps)

salt: 1/4 tsp

Vanilla extract: 1 tsp

Sugar: 50g (1/4cup)

Cinnamon: 1/2 tsp

Bread: 2-4 slices

Butter: 1 tbsp

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Recipe instructions: Whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla extract and salt.

In a separate plate mix together the cinnamon and sugar.

Begin melting butter in a frying pan to cook the toasts.

Dunk the bread slices in the eggy mixture on both sides until they’re well coated.

Transfer to hot frying pan and cook until both sides are golden.

Wait a few seconds before transferring into cinnamon sugar mixture and coat the toasts well on both sides.

Eat as they are or top with your favourite fruits, syrups or jams.

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Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

No woe brownies


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Brownies as a rule work as devilish little mood elevator charms, and although there never can be one perfect recipe, these chocolate sodden, nuts bejeweled diabolical squares are indeed moan inducing. The reason these are called no woe brownies is because they’re the perfect antidote to many a life’s sads. They will diminish most of your life worries, though these do tend to have a rather crack life after effect, and you might be swayed to do something absolutely indecorous..but that shouldn’t stop you from either committing to that act or making these exquisite squares of forbidden pleasures. Not only do these little babies lusciously gratify your most carnal cravings, they also do double duty as your sinning needs..so if you’re one of those straight-laced, down on your luck decent ones out there, baking and ingesting one of these is guaranteed to write you off as one dirty sinner, because these brownies are in fact the miscreant adulterers of all food groups.

Now these are called no woe brownies and they are but for the little side effect that these will make you fat, and what could be more woeful than that? on the other hand if you eat another one of these, you might not feel so bad after all, and they are the perfect remedy for an aching heart.

Let’s be absolutely clear that these are not the cakey brownie kinds, I mean what’s even the point of a cakey brownie when you might as well just eat a cake. No sir..these are dense, fudgey, and every bite is packed with chunks of sweet divinity, because these have three different kinds of chocolate components.

 

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bring on all the good stuff..chocolate chunks or chips separated into two heaps, eggs, vanilla extract, flour, cocoa powder, butter, chopped salted pistachios, sugar and coffee granules.

 

DSC_0313This is an easy easy recipe..all can me made into one bowl, and an oval bowl doesn’t really help much. So butter diced into chunks

 

DSC_0314and chunks of chocolate part-1. This one is meant for melting purposes with the butter. You can either melt the butter and chocolate over heating water in a heat proof bowl or melt in a microwave, in 30 second bursts.

 

DSC_0316add in the coffee granules. These make the chocolate more chocolatey.

 

DSC_0317this is what you get. satan’s swimming pool. Take a dip and salvation..or you can make brownies.

 

DSC_0319add in the sugar

 

DSC_0320mix well. You’ll see that the sugar doesn’t really dissolve and that’s alright, because everything will come together just fine.

 

DSC_0322crack in the eggs, one at a time and mix well before adding another.

 

DSC_0323make sure to incorporate the eggs well into the batter and you’ll end up with something like this.

 

DSC_0324add in the vanilla

 

DSC_0325and the cocoa powder and mix

 

DSC_0326add in the flour

 

DSC_0327chocolate chunks that are supposed to stay as chunks in here

 

DSC_0329and finally in with the salted nuts. It’s the salted nuts that add another dimension and elevate these brownies from fantastic to ecstatic.

 

DSC_0330mix it all in well. Ah, this marvelous mound of magnificence.

 

DSC_0331scrape the batter into a buttered baking tray

 

DSC_0332smooth well and bake at 180°C for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean

 

DSC_0340ah…sigh!!! cut into squares if you care to share, or just dive in with a fork.

 

DSC_0345here it is..in a rueful light..

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Ingredient amounts

Flour: 70g (1/2 cup)

Butter: 120g (1/2 cup)

Chocolate dark (for melting): 170g (1 heaped cup)

Chocolate chunks (milk or dark): 90g (1/2 cup)

Cocoa powder: 30g (1/4 cup)

Eggs: 3

Vanilla extract: 1 tsp

Coffee granules: 1 tablespoon

Salted pistachio: 70g (heaped 3/4cup)- you can use any salted nuts of your preference. salted peanuts would be great here too.

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Recipe instructions:  melt the butter, coffee granules and dark chocolate over a heat proof bowl or into a microwave. Add in sugar and mix briefly. Crack in the eggs, one at a time and mix thoroughly. (Let the mixture cool before adding in the eggs)

Add in the vanilla extract, cocoa powder, flour, chocolate chunks and salted nuts. Mix until well incorporated.

Scrape into a buttered baking tray and bake at 180°C for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean

DSC_0369if this doesn’t push you into the kitchen with a slab of chocolate in hand..you don’t deserve to sin.

 

 

 

Venetian carrot cake


 

DSC_1379In case anyone was wondering about my exile and the painfully invisible void I’d left in the world of food blogs, then let me tell you, it was only temporary..and though I might not be back with a bang, I am back with a gluten free (gasp) venetian carrot cake, the credit for which as much as I’d like to take isn’t mine to take at all but Nigella Lawson’s, and it’s her recipe I’ve adapted to make this unbelievable sphere (albeit sort of flat) of damp richness.

This is a carrot cake and it’s unapologetically..umm carroty? and absolutely gluten free, which is to say it does not require any flour, and as hipster as it sounds, we can take some solace in that it’s not vegan..though I promise nothing. On days of rage, I’ve been known to torture myself with vegan food stuff. But that’s another story for another torture chamber, because right now let’s marvel in the blistering warmth of this buff coloured cake, which sings to your soul and pleases your senses with such luxurious notes, that you’re left wondering whether you should eat this cake or marry it.

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So without further ado, we’ve the ingredients. Sugar, olive oil, vanilla extract, beaten eggs, almond meal, shredded carrots, pine nuts, lemon, lemon zest, raisins and rum (not pictured)

Just because a cake’s got almond meal which sometimes you don’t readily get at your grocery store, does not mean you put off baking this amber coloured love disc. You’ve only to blitz almonds to get almond meal you know. It’s rocket science, but you can get around to it.

DSC_1331before we get started, put the raisins in with the rum and bring to a boil and let simmer gently for 3 minutes, after which turn off your heat and let the raisins plump up and cool.

 

DSC_1333 into a bowl of choice, add olive oil and sugar

 

DSC_1335and beat it for at least a couple of minutes. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable activity, I assure you.

 

DSC_1336beat until you’ve incorporated the sugar with the oil

 

DSC_1341mix in the eggs

 

DSC_1339followed closely by vanilla extract

 

DSC_1347and the zest

 

DSC_1348and lemon juice

 

DSC_1343mix well, until you’ve a summery ripple of golden ooze that speaks radiance in shiny ribbons.

 

DSC_1344tip in the now cooled swollen raisins along with any rum that’s it’s been standing in.

 

DSC_1349finally the almond meal

 

DSC_1350and the grated carrots

 

DSC_1354mix well, until everything’s incorporated and there’re no dry pockets.

 

DSC_1356scrape the mixture into a prepared cake tin. This is a springform pan

DSC_1330prepared simply means you’ve oiled the sides and the bottom and stuck a wax/butter/parchment paper on the base and oiled it as well.

DSC_1357now, with the careless abandon of abundance, strew the top with pine nuts

 

DSC_1358liberally or not..entirely up to you and bake at 180°C for 40 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out almost clean. As long as it’s sticky and not runny, you’re good.

 

DSC_1360once done, let it cool before you devour..always a good practice.

 

DSC_1383and behold! the answer to dreary winter months, the saviour of one too many dinnerless nights..or just a sponge to wipe your tears, while you wallow in the dull ache of loneliness in your bed. A cake of such splendour and sumptuous depths that you’d kick yourself for sharing it. It’ll light you up on the inside, and how can it not?

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Ingredients

 

  • carrots-2 medium  (about 200g)

  • pine nuts -3 tbsp
  • raisins-75g (1/2 cup)

  • rum- 60ml

  • sugar- 150g (3/4cup)

  • olive oil (regular)- 125ml (1/2 cup)

  • eggs-3
  • vanilla extract- 1 tsp

  • almond meal- 250g (2.5 cup)

  • lemon- 1/2 (zest and juice)

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Preparation

In a saucepan bring to a boil the rum and raisins and let simmer gently. Turn off the heat and let them stand and cool.  Grate the carrots and absorb any excess liquid with a kitchen towel.

Into a bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until well mixed. add in the eggs, vanilla, lemon zest and juice and the now cooled rum and raisins, and mix well. Finally fold in the almond meal and grated carrots.

Scrape into a prepared cake tin, and cover the top with pine nuts. Bake 180°C for 40 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out almost clean. As long as it’s sticky and not runny, you’re good. Let it rest for at lest ten minutes before removing it from its cake pan. Let it cool completely and enjoy

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Eggs in a basket


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This my lovelies, is an egg, enshrined in a bread and lovingly called egg in a basket. No gourmet affair mind you, but an affair still, of the wondrous bread and egg..meant to be eaten as a morning staple, after a night of excesses in bar or bed.

This is just the kind of breakfast you make, while groggy from last nights decadence. You want something simple but not too sloppy, and it does not get simpler than this, while still maintaining a bit of rustic chic. I mean what could be better than a buttery golden crisp toast, with a cavity filled with golden ooze of sunlit eggs? This is a miracle cure and a smashing breakfast, especially if you’re in a critical need to nurse your hangover or sore aching parts.

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don’t you love it already? it has only three ingredients. Bread, eggs and butter.

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to make the basket to fit in the eggs, grab a cookie cutter or even a random glass and press into your bread

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to get a basket

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I used two different sized glasses to get two different sized baskets, because sometimes in food and in life you gotta live on the edge.

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check them baskets out..or holes, or voids that is your life if you make these and eat alone.

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over medium heat, melt as much butter in a skillet/pan. This is supposed to be comforting, so if you’re looking at skimping on the fat then you might as well feast on air and call it a day.

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swirl the butter around to coat the pan, and put your basket bread on the melted butter

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gently, lower in the cracked egg. It makes life a lot easier if you crack the egg in a separate bowl.

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see, make sure you slide it gently, and it’ll sit pretty.

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season lightly with salt

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and pepper

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and gently nudge the sides after 30-40 seconds to see if you can flip it.

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flip and let it cook on the other side as well.

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ok, so let’s revise again! this time with the other bread with a smaller basket…so bread atop melting butter on medium low flame

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slide in the egg

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admire your handiwork

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season with salt and pepper

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flip after few seconds and we don’t want the basket covers going waste, so we toast those too.

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oh my my, what do we have here? a perfect breakfast?

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totally optional, but I do it..because life is short and it’s always a good idea to make it shorter..add a slice of ham

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bask in glory

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but just this is absolutely perfect too.


Ingredients

bread- 2 slices

eggs- 2

butter- 2-4 tablespoons


Recipe instructions

cut out cavities from the middle of your bread by sinking in a cookie cutter or proportionately sized glass rim, make sure its diameter isn’t bigger than the surface of the bread.

melt butter in a skillet on medium heat and place the bread on the melting butter, and slide in the cracked egg in the bread cavity. Season with salt and pepper and flip after a 30-40 seconds once the lower side is golden and egg is cooked. Cook the other side until golden and cooked.

Serve hot.

Enjoy!

Blueberry muffin crumble cake


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Are you seeing this? are you feeling it? Behold the rocket science behind making a muffin batter, only to make a cake instead, and top it all off with a crumble. gasp!

Before I begin with the alchemy of innovation and the complicated discoveries of pouring a muffin batter into a cake pan, let me just tell you about the divinity of this blueberry muffin crumble cake.

The rustic golden top, splattered with the ooze of violent violet of tart sweet blueberries, has known to make grown men weep. It’s guaranteed to make a painter out of the most banal harsh hearts, and turn your cold cemented soul into a benevolent rasp of tenderness. It doesn’t masquerade as a sinful dessert, but rather bleeds of such hearty compassion, that you’d want nothing better than to cry your woes to this plate of cake, and promise to turn over a new leaf. It’s seriously that good!…Also it takes no more than mere moments to conjure up this holiness.

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totally basic ingredients involving sugar, oil, lemon zest, baking soda, baking powder, salt, blueberries (obviously), yogurt, egg, vanilla extract, flour and crumble toppings that include flour, sugar & butter.

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so let’s just begin with the crumble topping and that’s one less thing to bother about. So, flour in a bowl

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and sugar

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and butter

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and mix with a fork

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until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Now refrigerate this and forget about it for a bit.

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now because this is a muffin cake, we go the basic dry ingredient+wet ingredients way. So this is our wet ingredients bit..lol wet! in a separate clean bowl, crack and egg.

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beat it with some vanilla

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add in the yogurt

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and the oil.

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and mix/beat/whip until it forms a real nice smooth batter..real smooth.

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now for the dry ingredients. In a separate larger bowl, add in the flour.

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and the sugar

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and the baking soda, baking powder and salt. and phew!

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in with the lemon zest

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and the blueberries that hardly ever look blue, but whatever!

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and mix! yes sir.

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mix until everything is..umm..mixed. That is to say the blueberries are coated with the flour mixture and all ingredients are evenly dispersed.

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dump in the wet ingredients..you remember..that egg, oil and yogurt batter

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and now you get a mixing..but remember DO NOT OVERMIX!

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mix only until it has just come together..just barely come together..

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scrape the muffin batter into a cake tin/pan/dish. make sure you’ve oiled it first. Even out the top as best as you can

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and sprinkle on the crumble topping that has been resting in the fridge

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like so..bake in a preheated oven at 190ºC for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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Can you see the gorgeously golden cracked crumble top?

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see???

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see..sigh! flecked dangerously vivid with blueberries, this muffin cake is a joy to bake and a wonder to eat. Serve just as is, or with ice cream or cream or custard or tears.


Ingredients

egg: 1 large

yogurt: 240 mls (1 cup)

vegetable oil: 80 mls (1/3 cup)

flour: 250g (2 cups)

sugar: 100g (1/2 cup)

baking powder: 1 1/2 tsp

baking soda: 1/4tsp

salt: 1/4 tsp

lemon zest: 1 tsp

blueberries: 320g (about 1 1/4 cup)


for the crumble topping

sugar: 50g (1/4 cup)

butter: 30g (2 heaped tablespoons)

flour: 70g (1/2 cup)


 Blueberry muffin crumble cake: make the crumble topping by mixing in the flour and sugar and using a fork cut in the cold butter, until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. you can do this using just your finger tips as well.

wet ingredients: In a large bowl mix together egg, vanilla extract, yogurt and oil.

dry ingredients: In a separate bowl mix in the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest and blueberries. Mix until the blueberries are well coated with flour and all the ingredients are evenly mixed.

Now gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and do not over mix. The batter will be a bit thick, but desirably so. Scrape into a well greased baking dish and even out the top as best as you can.

Sprinkle the crumble topping thickly and bake at 190ºC for about 25-30 minutes in a pre heated oven or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Tomato & chorizo spaghetti


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That time of life when you question the meaninglessness of gyms, stare at your sad plate of wilting salad and hear the lovelorn cries of bread ignored into the icy depths of your freezer.

You stare out at the bleak weather outside, wonder why March is freezing cold and why you can’t break free of your grossly regimented dull routine for just once. You stare at your thighs and get back to pushing salad in your mouth; suddenly it hits you like a brick that you have but one life, and possible reincarnations won’t necessarily bring you back as human because you’ve kind of ignored Karma all your life.

No time to waste, you have a lot of catching up to do. Make peace with yourself and earnestly promise an extra hour of aerobics, that is if you ever shake yourself out of this fabulous food induced slumber.

No laughing matter this, you need to gratify your insides with something comforting, something meaty and something carbs..and this is exactly where this chorizo and tomato spaghetti comes into existence.

Very recently I’d chanced upon some seductive chorizo, beckoning me with their naked meaty plumpness and I had no choice but to give in to their pleas and buy them without a second thought. These were raw and not those paprika coloured cured red ones, but did I care?

This recipe happens to be just one of those miracle cures when even the thought of salad makes you want to hurl, and making a bowl of this is easier than chopping vegetables for your salad.

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the ingredients for this are oh so simple.Just spaghetti or any pasta you love, chorizo sausages, chopped onions and garlic, tomato pulp (or use chopped tomatoes), paprika, garlic powder, salt, sugar and oregano.

note:-  this tomato pulp is really just fresh tomatoes cooked for a few minutes and skinned and mashed.

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Take the chorizo out of their casings .

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like so

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heat some butter and oil

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add in the skinned bits of chorizo

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break them into smaller bits using a wooden spoon

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cook for a couple of minutes until they very lightly brown, you don’t have to bother about cooking them completely at this stage.

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add in the chopped onions and garlic and stir them well, cooking for just about a minute or so

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add in the tomatoes

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followed by paprika, oregano, garlic powder and sugar

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and salt

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cover and let it cook for about 20-25 minutes on medium low heat, keep stirring occasionally and add a tasblespoon of water if it sticks to the bottom.

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look at this fabulous transformation after 20 minutes.

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add in your cooked spaghetti.

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and a bit of this pasta cooking water.

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to not only thin the sauce, but also to ensure that each spaghetti strand is coated with the sauce and the starches in the water helps bind and make a slicker coating for better taste.

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mix well

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and serve!

Ingredients

Chorizo sausages uncooked: 450 g

Tomato pulp/ chopped tomatoes – 350 g (3 medium sized tomatoes)

Onion- 1 medium size

garlic- 3 cloves

paprika- 1 tsp

oregano- 1tsp

garlic powder- 1/2 tsp

sugar- 1 tsp

salt-1 tsp

black pepper- 1/4 tsp

spaghetti

Butter- 1 tsp

olive oil- 2 tsp

Cooking instructions 

Remove the chorizo from their casings and cook in a pan with olive oil and butter. Break the chorizo into smaller pieces using your wooden spoon and after a minute of cooking add in the chopped onion and garlic.

cook for another minute and add in the tomatoes, paprika, salt, garlic powder, oregano, pepper and sugar and stir to combine. Lower the heat and cover and cook for another 20-25 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally and if it gets too dry, add in some water but don’t thin the sauce.

After 25 minutes add the cooked pasta to the chorizo sauce and 200 mls (3/4th cup) of pasta cooking water. Mix well and serve hot.

Note*- if you’re using cured chorizo then you can reduce the cooking time.

Chinese pancake sandwich (hangover cure & stoner’s grub)


DSC_1059These are by no means an innovation that ever appeared in gastronomic heaven, but in fact a hearty street food staple very commonly found in China. There are many a variations to it, but I’m sharing the one I find in my locality.

Before I begin let me just tell you how incredibly fantastic these street food pancakes are; sold mostly out of a small shop or mobile stall, and usually eaten after a drink too many or breakfast and even as a not so light snack.. they’re crispy, fried on a hot pan without skimping on the oil and meat. The pancakes are flaky, almost like a puff pastry sheet, slathered with a thin coating of viciously hot sweetness, a layer of egg, meat of choices, bundled up and wrapped in a packet. Every bite is a steamy, meaty, spicy morsel wrapped in flaky pancake heaven. Every bite a revelation! I usually buy these sometime around tea time from a very kind lady near my house. She has a stall decked with small jars of condiments and spices, and an array of meat. The most popular combinations are eggs+bacon+spam with a generous brush of her homemade spicy sauce.

I’ve tried to recreate something similar here which is gratifyingly delicious and stunningly delectable but absolutely no match to what she whips out of her 5 feet x 3 feet stall.

So here it is.

DSC_1015the ingredients are straight and simple. Just frozen Chinese pancakes which are easily available in any supermarket, lettuce leaves, eggs, fried bacon and ham (instead of spam) and sriracha.

I’ve cut ham into thick coins and very slightly charred them on a hot pan to recreate those smoky flavours that emanate from the street stall’s seasoned skillets.

DSC_1017these are what the pancakes look like. They come frozen and neatly wrapped in wax paper on both sides. These pancakes are smaller than the street food stall ones, but work just as well.

DSC_1020I slightly charred the lettuce as well on a very hot pan for that burnt crisp texture. This step is entirely optional.

DSC_1022ok, so in a pan on medium heat add some oil. This is about a teaspoon and let it coat the pan.

DSC_1024once the oil is evenly heated, slap on your pancake and let it be. The trick is knowing that you can not and will not flip it until the underside is done, or else you will break, tear and ruin your pancake.

DSC_1025this is how you figure out if it’s done. It’ll start turning translucent as it cooks. So the sides are cooked but the middle isn’t. Give it another few minutes

DSC_1026there you go. It’s ready for a flip

DSC_1027see.. so nice and golden and cooked.. now while the other side is cooking

DSC_1042crack en egg

DSC_1043mutilate it with a fork to let it evenly spread

DSC_1044and flip! for maybe half a minute until the egg is cooked

DSC_1045flip it back to let the egg face you

DSC_1029add sriracha or your favourite hot sauce, and paint it all over the egg

DSC_1030now we have to start layering. start with lettuce

DSC_1031followed by bacon

DSC_1050followed by ham

DSC_1033followed by folding over, to form a sort of pancake sandwich, which is also weirdly the name of this blog post.

DSC_1034and just like that you have a hearty meal to satisfy your inner glutton. Perfect for curing hangovers and stoner hunger pangs.

Ingredients

Frozen Chinese pancakes: 2

eggs: 2

bacon: 4-5 strips

ham: 4-5 slices

sriracha: 2 tablespoons

oil: 2-3 teaspoons

(of course there’s no particular recipe, you can make as many for a lot of people or just a couple for solitary indulgence. Change the ingredients to make a Chinese pancake BLT or even a vegetarian version)

Cooking directions: On medium high heat, coat the surface of a pan with some oil. Once hot, lay the pancake gently so as not to tear and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Once its surface is translucent flip over and crack and egg on the cooked side. Break the yolk with a fork to coat the pancake and flip over to the let the egg cook for at least half a minute.

Flip again to spread some hot sauce over the now cooked egg and start layering with lettuce, bacon and ham on one side of the pancake. Fold over the other end to form a sort of half moon.

The sandwich is now ready to be devoured. These are easy to make and quick to eat. You can make plenty for a crowd or just a couple for lunch.

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Enjoy!

 

 

Citrus butter cake


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It’s been a while since there’s been any sun in our frigid little Chinese town, but I’m not complaining.Maybe I am because everything is cold and freezing and butter at room temperature is a solid brick and my bread dough doesn’t rise and it’s always raining and everything is wet and it feels like I’m living in a glacier…..but there are moments when there’s plenty sunshine in my kitchen, courtesy this golden cake, that looks like sun-rays and tastes like sunlit oranges bathed in sweet butter and love.

I’m not exaggerating, ’tis true and you know it and not least because you can make this cake at the snap of your fingers and smugly too.

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Yes there’s fanta and no shame. Regular stuff that is butter, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, lemon and orange zest plus extra for icing, a whole lemon, fanta, flour, baking powder and

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eggs that I forgot to include, but here they are.

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into the flour add salt

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and baking powder and keep aside for a while

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this is a citrus cake and we want every breath to speak of it, which is why into our sugar we mix in the lemon zest

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and orange zest

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and using our fingers we just mix it all in so every bit of sugar is infused with the citrus twang.

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in a separate glass juice your lemon

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and add in the fanta.

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beat together room temperature butter and zest mixed sugar until nicely mixed and kinda fluffy. It’ll only take a couple of minutes.

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crack in the eggs. one at a time and beat after each addition to mix thoroughly, so here’s the first

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and the second. It turns a fabulous yellow/orange after each addition.

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once it’s all mixed well in add the vanilla extract

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beat again and now it’s time for the flour which we will add in three additions. So here’s 1/3rd of our flour, mix briefly

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and 1/2 of our magic potion that is fanta and lemon juice. Mix after each addition just until the batter comes together

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another 1/3rd of flour, beat briefly.

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add the remaining fanta, lemon juice, and mix to combine.

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followed by the rest of the flour. Beat to make a smooth batter. It doesn’t take long.

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You’ll finally get this. A pool of sun in a steel bowl.

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Pour into baking tin of choice. I was too lazy to butter a loaf tin so I lined it with a baking sheet, but please feel free to butter and flour your cake tin. Bake at 180°C for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Like so. The kitchen at this point smells like orange marmalade doing a cabaret. You can eat it as it is but a bit of embellishment never hurt anyone.

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an easy glaze or make up if you prefer. add some reserved zest into icing sugar

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with a spoonful or so of leftover fanta in case you haven’t been too greedy.

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mix to form a pourable consistency like so.

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and let your cake have it, make sure it has cooled down completely.

This cake may look sober but it’s oozing with oomph. It smells like sun and tastes like light. Every bite carries a citrus hit and honestly any cake that uses a can of fanta cannot go wrong. it’s easy, delightful and a much desired change from everything boring these winters.

Ingredients

butter: 100 g (1/2 cup)

flour: 170 g (11/2 cup)

sugar: 110 g( about 1 cup)

fanta: 200 mls (3/4cup)

lemon juice: 1 tablespoon

eggs: 2

salt: 1/2 tsp

baking powder: 1 tsp

vanilla extract: 1 tsp

orange and lemon zest: 1 tablespoon + extra for icing.

For icing

icing sugar: 100 g (about 1 cup(

lemon + orange zest (1 tsp)

fanta: 1 tablespoon

Recipe instructions: mix flour, salt and baking powder and keep aside. add the lemon and orange zest in sugar and mix in with fingers until fragrant. In a glass squeeze in one lemon and mix with fanta.

In a separate bowl, beat room temperature butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time and beat for a minute after each addition. Add in the vanilla extract and beat again.

Add the flour in three stages alternating with fanta and juice mixture in two, and beat well after each addition until the batter is smooth.

Pour into a baking tin and bake at 180°C for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool completely.

For the icing mix in the zest, fanta and icing sugar until you have pouring consistency. Pour over the cooled cake and let set before serving.

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Make this now!

Double chocolate chunk cookies


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This isn’t the first chocolate chip/chunk cookie post on this blog, and most certainly not the last. But before you roll your eyes and dismiss these sweet little discs of joy, at least stare at them for a while, and notice that there are two kinds of demonic babies in there. I meant dark chocolate and white chocolate; a pairing made in gluttonous heaven of sweet sin.

These golden halos of chewy rapture are sweet, rich, and sometimes responsible for stealthily increasing your waistline..but that’s a different story for a boring day. Make a big batch and freeze some for later I say.

These need no heavy machinery, or special equipments or even muscle power. The ingredients are few and it takes moments to conjure these lovers

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just butter (softened to room temperature), dark brown sugar, white sugar, flour, an egg, salt, baking soda, vanilla extract, and of course chocolate chunks both dark and white. Feel free to use chocolate chips instead (only they won’t be as awesome)

DSC_0983add the softened butter to a bowl of choice. Ahem! notice my gorgeous new pink spatula?

DSC_0984rain in the white sugar

DSC_0985and the brown sugar and simply beat it together. It shouldn’t take long if the butter is nicely soft.

DSC_0987a minute of creaming together and it comes to look like this.

DSC_0996crack in the egg

DSC_0997splash in the vanilla

DSC_0998and beat again, until it looks something like this.

DSC_0990in a separate bowl, add in the flour and salt

DSC_0991and the baking soda

DSC_0992and mix to combine

DSC_1000and stir it into the butter sugar mixture.

DSC_1001mix until it just about comes together.

DSC_1002clatter in the chunks..the white

DSC_1003and the dark,  and mix until just barely there. Do not over-mix the cookie dough. Please!

DSC_1004this is how it comes together. Now cover with a cling film and let it sit in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.

DSC_1006in the meantime, line your baking tray with parchment or butter paper, ignore that this is full of creases.

DSC_1007after 45 minutes, we’re ready to bake. It’s easiest with an ice cream scoop.

DSC_1008like so

DSC_1009like so.. bake at 180℃ for 12-14 minutes, until the edges just start to slightly brown

DSC_1011tadaa!! do not attempt to transfer the hot cookies immediately onto a cooling rack, they will all too easily tear. let them rest for at least 2-3 minutes.

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and finally this!

Dunk into milk, crumble over ice cream or just apply to face as is, they’re fantastic either way..and..and oh so gorgeous. The sides are slightly crispy, the center chewy, the chocolate chunks absolutely blowing these darlings into another dimension.

Ingredients

butter:  110g

white sugar: 70g (about 1/3rd cup)

brown sugar: 80g (a little less than 1/4 cup)

egg: 1

vanilla: 1 tsp

flour: 150g (1 and 1/4 cup)

baking soda: 1/2 tsp

salt: 1/4 tsp

dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa): 70g (1/2 cup)

white chocolate : 70g (1/2 cup)

Preparation instructions:

Mix the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda) into a separate bowl and set aside.

In a clean bowl, add in the softened butter and the sugar and cream until they’re light and fluffy. Crack in the egg and add in the vanilla extract and beat again for about a minute.

Add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Tumble in the chocolate chunks and stir again until all chunks are just incorporated into the mixture.

Cover with a cling film and let it sit in the fridge for at least 30-45 minutes.

layer your baking tray with parchment paper, and using an ice cream scoop place them at least an inch apart, since these cookies will spread.

bake at 180℃ for 12-14 minutes, until the edges just start to slightly brown.

Let them rest for a few minutes before you transfer them to cool on a cooling rack.

Store in an airtight container and they should disappear by the end of day.

DSC_1024now you seriously gotta make these. Enjoy!