June 29, 2012

Make Your Own Muffin or Cupcake Moulds at Home ~ Quick Tips

Learn how to make your own muffin or cupcake tray at home using readily available utensils

Baking can seem a daunting thing when you are just starting out and realise you need different types of baking trays to get started making cupcakes and muffins. It's often not a great idea to go out and buy everything you see or feel you need especially if you are just trying your hand at baking and may not even end up liking it that much (although that's hard for me to imagine!). That's why learning how to make some basic bakeware at home really helps. So here's how you can improvise and make your own cupcake tray using an Indian spice box and small cups inside. 

Make your own muffin / cupcake cups

All of us have to start baking at some point in our lives. I started when I was 10 because I have a mom who baked a lot. Even then, we had just 2 cake trays - one was round and the other was heart-shaped. We had no cupcake trays so we never baked cupcakes.

June 27, 2012

Idli Upma Recipe | Upma Recipe with Leftover Idlis

Idli Upma with Leftover Idlis

Amma makes idlis in bulk and stores them away. We also have dosa batter at home, dosa is our staple food, much like rotis are to those of you who have it every night or almost every night. For us, it's dosa. Idli was initially meant to be made only the day after the batter was made but later on, amma started making idlis with more than half the batter and storing them away.

Idli Upma Recipe ~ Recipes with Leftovers

We kids are not fans of idlis. So when we visit, she tries to make things more interesting by either making us some other kind of breakfast like appam or puttu or idiyappam, or we have idli upma. Simple, mild, and a delicious breakfast with hot filter coffee or cardamom tea.

June 25, 2012

Sambar Sadam Recipe | Sambar Rice Recipe (Rice Cooker Recipes)

Sambar rice made in rice cooker is an easy one-pot weeknight dinner for us on many days of the month. I posted a poll on the sidebar a few months back asking if you had a rice cooker or not. More than 70% came back with a yes. Well, I have one too and I hardly ever make anything in it apart from rice, which is inexcusable because there's so much more you can do with a rice cooker.

If you like easy rice recipes, some of my favourite recommendations are - South Indian lemon rice, paneer and peas pulao, and this easy vegetable pulao made in a rice cooker too. 

Rice Cooker Recipes ~ Sambar Rice | Sambar Sadam

So I am starting a mini-series in here featuring rice cooker recipes. If you have a favourite, please leave a comment, I'd love to try it.

My rice cooker is a Zojirushi 5.5 cup induction cooker which I bought from Tokyo. Frustratingly, it was more expensive than Amazon and in-store in Singapore but I like to believe it's worth it. It does cook rice perfectly each time and by perfectly, I mean it's fluffy and soft and unlike any other rice I've cooked using any other method. Anyway, more on that in a review soon.

June 20, 2012

Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes

Sometimes, you need to bake something for friends you are visiting for dinner. When you are trying to decide what to make, you need to figure out how to use that amazing Valrhona cocoa powder you've been saving up for too long, the doughnut pan which you thought was such a smart and essential buy, and you also need to make sure your own chocolate craving is satisfied.

Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes Recipe

I turned to one of my favourite books to address all of the above - A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman. I managed to use up the cocoa powder, inaugurate the new doughnut pan which I am in love with now, and get some super fudgy, sticky, not-so-sweet, delicious chocolate doughnut cakes.


The original recipe was for Dark Fudge Bundt Cake but that shouldn't deter us. Make it into anything you like - a cake, bundt cake, cupcakes, or these lovely doughnut shaped ones if you have the right pan.

You may also like:
Pressure cooker cake recipe
Apple streusel cake
Eggless chocolate sponge cake
One bowl chocolate truffle cake

Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Makes 18 - 20 doughnut cakes
Source: A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman

1 ¾ cups of white sugar
1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup of unsalted butter, melted
3 eggs
2 tsp of vanilla extract
3 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
¾ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp of baking powder
1 ½ tsp of baking soda
½ tsp of salt
1 ½ cups of warm coffee (I used warm water mixed with 2 tsp instant coffee powder)

How to Make Chocolate Doughnut Cakes:

1. Preheat oven to 350F / 180C. Generously grease a cupcake tray, (grease the liners if using), doughnut pan, ramekins, or bundt pan, whatever you prefer to use. This cake tends to be quite sticky after baking so make sure you grease your pans well. You can make out the stickiness from the first picture, actually!

2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until well blended.
Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes Recipe

3. In a separate bowl, combine both the sugars with the melted butter. Mix well.
Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes Recipe

4. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat for a minute until smooth. I did this in my Kitchenaid to make things easier (and also so I would I get some use out of it!)
Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes Recipe

5. Then add the flour mixture and stir to moisten the batter.
Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes Recipe

6. Slowly drizzle in the coffee, stirring at the same time carefully to make a smooth batter. I mixed it gently just enough for all the ingredients to blend well. Don’t overbeat.
Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes Recipe

7. Spoon batter halfway into the prepared moulds or pans and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 mins until the top glistens and springs back on touch.
Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes Recipe

8. Remove and cool before sprinkling with icing sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes Recipe

After 2 days, store in the refrigerator for up to a week and serve warmed in the microwave for 30 seconds or after leaving it out for about 2 hours.
Dark Chocolate Fudge Doughnut Cakes Recipe

These carry really well for a party or pot luck. I love them as-is with no frosting or even dusting of sugar, with a glass of cold milk. Yum!

- This recipe makes a lot of cake so halve it if you'd like. Some of the measurements are not easy to halve so do what I do. If you need to halve 1/3 cup for instance, just take a 1/3 cup measurement cup and fill it half way. For eggs, just use 2 instead of trying to use 1.5 eggs.
- I've mentioned it in the recipe but I'll say it again. The cake comes out quite moist and sticky so grease your pans well
- If you'd like a sweeter cake, increase sugar amounts. I know it looks like a lot but we are also adding a fair bit of chocolate and coffee. Adjust accordingly. You can also frost it if you'd like, keeping the amount of sugar the same as in above recipe
- To make this cake eggless, follow usual substitution ingredients (eg: flax seed meal, Ener-G, yogurt, etc)
UPDATE: I was asked by a lot of you about the deep colour of my chocolate doughnut cakes and the reason is the Valrhona cocoa powder I used. It's amazing, gives a lovely purple hue and great depth recipes it's used in. Also, here's where to buy the doughnut pan.

June 15, 2012

Spinach Adai | Keerai Adai Recipe

I love adai. I love any recipe with spinach. So when these two are married? Oh boy!

Spinach Adai | Keerai Adai Recipe

It was love at first sight when I saw this gorgeous adai on Anu's blog. I made it soon after and absolutely loved it. Since adai batter doesn't need fermenting, this is far easier to make than regular dosa. I had the batter for 3 days in the refrigerator and it was just fine.

June 11, 2012

Rajma Masala Recipe | Rajma Chawal Recipe | STEP BY STEP

Rajma Masala is a great side dish for chapati and roti and goes fantastic with a hot bowl of jeera rice too. Apart from the soaking of the rajma (red kidney beans), this recipe requires very little time to prepare. If you buy canned rajma, you can avoid even that long step. 
I am in New York for a week and as is the norm, after a total travel time of 28 hours (including a 6-hour delay in Frankfurt), I feel brain-dead. The euphoria of being in New York again helps but not enough to bring me out of my migraine-induced coma.

But wait, I should have written this in the past tense because it's been 1.5 days since I got here and I am better. Not yet perfect, but better. And as Mondays have the tendency to come sooner than later, I am at work, taking a quick coffee break.

So a quick post this shall be.
Rajma Masala | Rajma Chawal | Rajma Rice Recipe

Rajma Chawal (kidney beans gravy in rice) has often been described to be as comfort food. Not so much to me because I didn't grow up on rajma. In fact, my sis introduced Rajma to my mom a few years back and she called it Rajamma for the longest time :D

Anyway, while dal chawal and I have become fast friends, I don't turn to rajma chawal for comfort. But it's still a great dish to cook up when you are short on time.

June 7, 2012

Easy One-Bowl Butter Cake with Chocolate Cream Frosting

How long does baking a cake take you from start to finish? 2 hours? 3 hours? Somewhere in between?

What if you could bake one in 40 mins, frost it, and serve it within an hour? That's almost like magic, right?
One Bowl Butter Cake with Chocolate Cream Frosting

This is the third cake I tried from A Piece of Cake by Camilla Saulsbury and I must say it worked like a charm. I made it for dessert on a weeknight (as you can tell from the pics) when we had guests over and I made it alongside dinner. How many cakes can you say this about?

Other cake recipes from the book - One-bowl Orange Fruit Cake | One-bowl Chocolate Truffle Cake

June 5, 2012

Potato and Soya Chunks Masala | Soya Chunks Recipes

Confession: I didn't know Soya Chunks were called Nutrela. Or textured Vegetable Protein (TVP). Anyway, my mom never cooked with it much and I have only ever known them as soya chunks or "chung chung" as amma calls them, with emphasis on the 'g'!
Potato and Soya Chunks Masala Recipe

Turns out TH really likes soya chunks and I try to make different things out of it as much as possible. Cooking it with potatoes and tomatoes is probably my favourite. It goes well with rotis and is neither too watery nor dry - just perfect!

Looking for other soya chunks recipes? Try Chilly Soya Chunks | Soya Chunks Cutlets | Soya Chunks Kurma | Soya Chunks Biryani

June 4, 2012

Eggless Whole Wheat Waffles Recipe

I love waffles. They are a great breakfast option and I make them as often as I can, always defaulting to this basic waffle recipe that works well for me each time.
Eggless Whole Wheat Waffles Recipe
But I don't always have eggs in hand. And, the beating of the egg whites until stiff in that recipe puts me off sometimes. So I decided to come up with a super easy eggless waffles recipe. Just to kick it up a notch, I made it with whole wheat flour (not atta, the pastry flour) and it turned out nice.