“We have so much, too much, that we can buy, yet the basic labor of doing, the making with our own hands, is what enlivens us and makes us feel human." Dan Lepard

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Marble Chocolate Bark



Our kitchen is vibrant and busy. Kids are talking in high decibels. We visiting our friends in the evening,  and we are making chocolate bark for them.


Who would not love marble chocolate bark jewelled with cranberries, pistachios and cashews. Chocolate expresses love, chocolate expresses happiness, chocolate elevates good mood.


As the melted chocolate is spread on the parchment sheet, kids create swirls and sprinkle Cranberries and nuts. The bark looks beautiful.
Some is packed for our friends and some kept in a box for us. We taste a piece each and get lost in the chocolaty goodness.


Customise chocolate bark by making swirls of dark chocolate in white chocolate or dark chocolate and milk chocolate. Add dry fruits and nuts of your choice.

Marble Chocolate Bark

Ingredients

  • 225 gms dark chocolate
  • 100 gms white chocolate
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup raw pistachios
  • 1/4 cup raw cashew nuts

Instructions

  1. Line one 8x8 inch square cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler.
  3. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler
  4. Pour melted dark chocolate into the prepared pan and spread with an offset spatula.
  5. Dollop melted white chocolate by teaspoons over semisweet chocolate layer and swirl together with a toothpick. Gently tap pan once to remove air bubbles.
  6. Top with cranberries, pistachios and cashews, pressing gently to adhere.
  7. Keep the pan baking pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until bark is set.
  8. Lift parchment paper and place bark on a cutting board then use a sharp knife to cut into squares.
  9. Store in a container in the refrigerator.



Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Cheddar And Herbs Soda Bread





The romance of winters is fading away.  The colours of late spring are incredible, bright and bold. The sweet scent of lavender suffuses the air and is calming in temperament. Sunbirds and Oriental white eye travel from flower to flower sucking rich nectar to heart’s content. Fields are lush and a contrast to the cloudless sky and the twain meet at the horizon.


It seemed to be a day of parrots yesterday.


 We saw hoards of them in the fields and on the trees.


My  son thought the parrots were growing on the  trees

Yesterday, we baked Cheddar and Herbs Soda Bread.



Cheesy, buttery, soft and delicious. Cheddar cheese bread is easy to bake.


It is ideal to bake when planning a quick meal. Serve it with soup or stews. Slather butter or jam and enjoy in breakfast. Or, enjoy just plain with tea.


Cheddar  and Herbs Soda Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 25 Gms butter (room temperature)
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon mixed herbs
  • 1 ¼ cup buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
  2. Place a parchment sheet on the baking tray. Dust with flour.
  3. Whisk together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Add butter. Reserve one tablespoon grated cheese and add the rest. Mix well with hands. Mix till the mixture looks like crumbs.
  5. Add sugar to buttermilk. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  6. Add liquid ingredients to flour mixture. Mix quickly until dough becomes shaggy, wet and sticky. Turn it out onto a floured counter and start to knead.
  7. The chemical reaction of baking soda with buttermilk will start as soon as they meet. Knead only for a minute. As soon as the dough seems to come together, shape it.
  8. Flatten the lump of dough to a circle of about 6-8 inches in diameter.
  9. With floured hands, transfer dough to the prepared baking tray. 
  10. Make a cross with a sharp knife. The cuts should go halfway down through the sides of the circle of dough.
  11. Bake at 220 degrees for 20 minutes. Lower temperature to 180 degrees C. Sprinkle the reserved  cheese on the bread and bake for 15 minutes.
  12. By the end of baking time, the bread should have turned golden and the cheese would have browned. Tap the bottom of the bread. A hollow sound means that it is done.
  13. Remove from the oven and cool on the rack, Slice when cold.

My Tip -Dough becomes very sticky. Flour your counter and handle the dough with floured hands. You may add extra cheese and herbs for a greater flavour.
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Our host this month is Wendy Klik who blogs at  A Day In the Life on the farm.   Do check her blog for lovely bakes and recipes.
You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.


BreadBakers

Here is a list of the lovely breads baked by the members of the group
Apple, Beer, and Cheddar Soda Bread by A Baker's House 

Blaa by Sara's Tasty Buds 

Caraway Rye Soda Bread by  A Salad For All Seasons

Carrot and Dillisk Bread by A Shaggy Dough Story

Cheddar and Herbs Soda Bread by Ambrosia 

Cranberry and Poppy Seed Irish Bread by kidsandchic 

Currant Drop Scones by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Four leaf Clover Rolls by Cook's Hideout 

Guinness Bread Rolls by The Bread She Bakes  

Guinness Buckwheat Bread by Baking Sense 

Irish Amber Ale Pretzels by Cindy's Recipes and Writings 

Irish Barmbrack by The Schizo Chef 

Irish Freckle Bread by  Mayuri's Jikoni 

Irish Freckle Bread by Passion Kneaded 

Irish Multigrain Bread by What Smells So Good? 

Irish Raisin Tea Scones by Gayathri's Cook Spot 

Irish Soda Bread by Herbivore Cucina

Irish Soda Bread by Sneha's Recipe 

Irish Soda Bread Scones by Spill the Spices

Irish Soda Buttermilk Bread by Sizzling Tastebuds 

Irish Soda Farls by Food Lust People Love

Oat and Potato Bread by Karen's Kitchen Stories 

Potato Clover Leaf Rolls by Spiceroots 

Soft Wheat Irish Soda Scones with Raisins (Spotted Dog) by The Wimpy Vegetarian 

Super Easy Potato Roll Recipe by  Hostess At Heart

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Olive Oil Citrus Cake With Pomegranate Glaze


We wake up to the songs of the birds- sonorous and sweet. God seems to have splashed all the colours from his palette on the canvas of our world. Dahlias are brilliantly colourful. We wonder at the amazing patterns of Gazania. Pansies and Chrysanthemums, Carnations and Dianthus have donned the vivid hues and toss their heads gently as the wind passes by. The grass is juicy and green. Grasshoppers and caterpillars are all thriving and multiplying. Nature is kind and comforting.


A garden lizard always perches atop Dahlias. Is the love for the flowers or does it hide to lunge at the bees is yet to be discovered. 


Yesterday, we had a colourful baking session. We baked an Olive Oil Citrus Cake. The cake was moist with lovely citrus flavours. We added a lot of Candied Orange Peels for the flavours. We used pomegranate seeds for the glaze. And the result was a colourful cake celebrating the colours of the Spring.


This is a delicious fruity cake. You will love the fresh, tangy and robust flavours of the glaze. The crumb is moist and delicately mellow with the burst of citrusy zest in every bite. It is a low fat cake that can make any occasion a special one.



Olive Oil Citrus Cake With Pomegranate Glaze

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½  cup almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼  spoon (scant) salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1/3  cup olive oil
  • ½  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons zest or orange candied peels chopped fine

Pomegranate glaze 

  • 1 pomegranate
  • ½  cup icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Whisk together flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a large bowl whisk eggs and sugar till pale, creamy and fluffy
  3. Add olive oil, orange juice and vanilla extract. Whisk until uniform and smooth
  4. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease the sides and line the bottom of one 8 inch round baking tin.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix till well incorporated. Stir in zest or peels.
  6. Pour into the baking tin. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until the top turns a beautiful golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven. Remove from the pan after 10 minutes. Cool on the wire rack.
  8. To prepare pomegranate glaze, remove seeds from the pomegranate. Take ½  cup seeds, take them in a strainer. Crush with fingers or with the back of a spoon. Collect juice in a bowl.
  9. Add 1 tablespoon juice to the icing sugar and keep stirring. Add more till you get a thick glaze.
  10. Keep cake on a plate. Pour glaze in the centre so that it runs down the sides. Take a handful of pomegranate seeds and place them in the centre.
  11. Slice and serve.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Nimbu Saan - A Kumaoni Dish


Winter is the citrus time in the hills. Every house has citrus trees of different varieties. One can see the limes and lemons, malta and oranges and other local varieties of citrus trees overladen with the fruit at this time of the year.


On sunny afternoons in the hills in winters, you’ll find people basking in the Sun on rooftops or courtyards. People gossiping, knitting or cleaning veggies for dinner or engaged in some routine chore or just sleeping and definitely making Nimbu Saan. All ingredients are sourced locally or from their fields. It is a tangy and finger licking preparation that is eaten almost every day. Rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and specially Vitamin-C, it contributes to good health in winters. It is a great appetizer and you just can't have enough of it.



Nimbu Saan

Ingredients

  • 500 gms fresh thick curd
  • 3 tablespoons bhang seeds (hemp seeds)
  • 1 bunch fresh green coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • Jaggery to taste
  • 1 Lime
  • 2 malta / kinnow /oranges
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 2 medium size fresh sweet radish(mooli)

Instructions


  1. Take bhang seeds in a thick bottom wok. Roast on medium flame. Stir continuously. Soon the seeds will begin to crackle and change colour. Turn off the heat. Leave to cool.
  2. Clean coriander. Wash. Chop the tender stems and leaves.
  3. Take roasted bhang seeds and coriander in chutney maker. Blend. Add water if the paste is thick and not smooth. You should get a very smooth and fine paste.
  4. Whip curd until smooth.
  5. Add salt and jaggery. Grate jaggery so that it dissolves in curd.
  6. Add bhang and coriander paste to curd. Keep aside.
  7. Take a sharp knife and remove the outer thick skin (rind) of the lime. Cut horizontally into two. Cut each half vertically into four. Remove the juicy hair carefully. Discard white membranes and seeds.
  8. Peel malta / kinnow / oranges. Remove the juicy hair. Discard membranes and seeds.
  9. Peel and cut bananas.
  10. Peel and collect pomegranate seeds.
  11. Peel and dice radish finely.
  12. Add all the fruits and radish pieces to curd.
  13. Mix well and serve fresh.

My Tip: Bhanga-Coriander paste should be really fine. Balance salt and jaggery to get the right taste. Sweetness should be on the higher side. Curd should be thick and not runny.



Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Wholegrain Yeast Pancakes #BreadBakers


Days are delicious as we head towards Spring. Every branch, every bough is growing new leaves. Some tiny, some curled, but each unfurling a new and fresh shade of green and adorning the naked branches.


Our flower beds promise a great riot of colours in the coming days. Dahlia buds are all ready to open up. Gazania shows its mesmerizing hues and shade, each unique in its own way.


Earlier in the morning, some food was kept for the birds. Soon we had two Oriental White Eyes enjoying the fruits kept for them.


Our home is full of lovely yeasty aroma are pancakes are being made for breakfast. Fluffy pancakes land on the plate. A generous amount of peanut butter is lashed, some honey drizzled and the pancakes disappear in no time.


Wholegrain Yeast Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ cups warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Warm water according to requirement

 Instructions

  1. In a deep bowl, add warm milk and yeast. Stir and keep for 5 minutes or until yeast dissolves.
  2. Add salt, sugar, melted butter and egg. Mix
  3. Add flour and stir to get a smooth flowing batter.
  4. If your wheat flour is coarse, your batter will be dry. Add warm water to get the right consistency.
  5. Cover and keep in and keep in a warm place for 30 minutes to rise or until double.
  6. Pour batter by ½ cupful onto a greased non-stick pan. Turn when bubbles form on top of the pancake, cook until the second side is golden brown.
  7. Serve hot pancakes with honey, peanut butter or jam.
Check out the Pancakes from different parts of the world that our fellow Bread Bakers have baked this month:


  • Alagar Kovil Dosai from Sara’s Tasty Buds


  • Blini (Russian Pancakes) from Ruchik Randhap


  • Blueberry Dutch Baby from Hostess At Heart


  • Corn Pancakes from Kids and Chic


  • Crepes from A Baker’s House


  • Dutch Baby from Herbivore Cucina


  • Galettes de Sarrasin from The Bread She Bakes


  • Greek Tiganites from Gayathri’s Cook Spot


  • Hotteok (Korean Pancakes) from Cook’s Hideout


  • Hotteok (Korean Stuffed Pancakes) from Passion Kneaded


  • Kabalagala (Ugandan Pancakes) from Mayuri’s Jikoni


  • Keralan Yeast Appams from Food Lust People Love


  • Malaysian Roti  Jala from Schizo Chef


  • Malpua (Sweet Indian Crepes) from SimplyVeggies


  • Oven Baked Tropical Pancakes from A Day in the Life on the Farm


  • Pannukkau (Finish Pancakes) from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings


  • Potato Latkes (Jewish Pancakes) from Sneha’s Recipes


  • Scallion Pancakes from Karen’s Kitchen Stories


  • Srilankan Hoppers from I Camp in my Kitchen


  • Strawberry Nutella Crepes from Spill the Beans


  • Swedish Pancakes from Palatable Pastime


  • Traditional Corn Pancakes from Basic N Delicious


  • Welsh Griddle Cakes (Teisen Cymraeg) from Shockingly Delicious



  • #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Our host this month is Mayuri Patel who blogs at Mayuri's Jikoni. She chose to make sweet or savoury pancakes from across the world. Do check her blog for lovely bakes and recipes.
    You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.


    BreadBakers




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