Friday, 29 March 2013

Easter Baking - Chocolate and Pistachio Wedges/Bunny Cookies !

Made n Enjoyed
Hello readers,

Easter wishes to one and all.........!

“Research tells us fourteen out of any ten individuals likes chocolate.”

Easter is round the corner and an array of chocolate recipes are flooding in fast in the food bloggerworld...ovens also in the kitchens are working non stop for those baking specialities. I'm sure the aroma of baking must be bringing pure indulgence for you.....well, me and my family are preparing for Easter and have already made Fruit and Nut Chocolate and today we baked Chocolate and Pistachio wedges too, something you can make for (and with) the kids and the big kids amongst us this Easter holiday !!

Chocolates are not on my list of craving foods...very rare that I would ask for chocolate, which is adored and devoured by zillions around the world. Hey, but as a foodie and food blogger I do respect people's choices and chocolate does appear in some of my cooking :)

These cookies are very rich and grainy textured, with a bitter chocolate flavour. They go extremely with vanilla ice cream and are especially delicious with coffee ! These cookies will be perfect for a gift for anyone who loves and adores chocolates !!

You will need:-
  • 200 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 90 g caster sugar
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 50 g unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 tsp for dusting
  • 25 g pistachio nuts, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F or Gas mark 4.
Line a shallow 23cm/9in round tin with baking parchment paper.
Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder and add to the butter mixture.
Mix with your hands until the mixture is smooth.
Knead the dough until soft and pliable then press into the prepared tin.
Using the back of spoon spread the mixture evenly in the tin.
Sprinkle the nuts over the top and press in gently.
Prick with the fork, then mark into 16 segments using a knife.
Bake for about 15-18 minutes.
Do not allow to brown at all or the cookies will taste bitter.
Remove tin from the oven and dust cookies with cocoa powder.
Cut through the marked section with a knife and leave it to cool completely before removing from the tin.
Enjoy !!!!

Note :- To mark Easter, I did use Easter Bunny Cookie Cutter .

Linking these delicious cookies to JCO's event Choc Full Easter

Celebrate - Easter guest host by Shama, event series started by Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey

and  Nayna's event Let's Cook For Kids !

Also sending over to Javelin Warrior's Made with Love Mondays and easter themed calender cakes hosted alternated by Laura Loves Cakes and Dolly Bakes


Monday, 25 March 2013

Easter Treat - Homemade Fruit and Nut Chocolate

Made n Enjoyed
Hello readers,

In many parts of the world people are currently preparing themselves for the scorching temperatures. Spring has begun and they are enjoying days of long sunshine. As you can probably guess, I am not talking about the UK. I could have been saying this last year where Britain saw one of the hottest Marchs in ages. I'm no Met Office representative but I'm pretty sure that this is one of the coldest Marchs that we have had in a long time - que a WHITE EASTER. And yes, you read that right, seems like Mother Nature had other plans and thought she would grace us with a lovely freezing cold snowy Easter!

To mark the arrival of Easter, what better way than to have a go at making homemade chocolates. I think that it is a great way to involve the whole family. My daughter and husband especially seemed very keen (I'd like to see this happen when I'm making dinner everyday)!

 I'd learnt the art of chocolate making when I visited cake and chocolate decoration show in Farnham, and it was time to put my new skills to the test! I explained them to my daughter Hayley and she wasted no time at all at getting started. We decided on adding fruit and nut because it is such a wonderful flavour and is so easily recreated at home. There was no need to buy a very expensive bar of fruit and nut again! This also meant that we could play around with shapes! This makes these chocolates great for a gift and it shows that you have taken more effort than to buy chocolates from the shop!

This proved to be so much fun, that we came up with so many more chocolaty ideas that we wanted to try. If only eating chocolate was allowed everyday! So I recommend watching this space very closely!

The chocolate must be tempered before it is used for confectionery for dipped or molded chocolates. Tempering is done for three important reasons:

  1. It gives candies a desirable glossy appearance.
  2. It makes the chocolate easier to handle as a solid.
  3. It also gives a 'snap' to the chocolate when you bite into it. If you don't temper, chocolate can have a dull, matte appearance, develop spots, and be soft to the bite.
We have used microwave method to temper the chocolate.

You will need:-
  • 100g milk chocolate chips
  • 100g white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped dry fruit and nuts like almonds, sultanas,raisins and hazelnuts
  • silicon chocolate moulds

    Place chocolate in a microwave-proof bowl. Place the bowl of chocolate in the microwave oven. Set time to 30 seconds. Heat for 30 seconds.
    Take the bowl out of microwave oven and use a rubber spatula in a gentle sweeping motion to stir the chocolate, even if none of it has become liquid yet.
    Return the bowl to the microwave oven. Heat for 30 seconds more. Remove. And stir. Repeat the intervals of heating and stirring until about two-thirds of the chunks become liquid and about one-third are in soft lumps. The temperature of the liquid chocolate at this point will be about 100°. Continually stir to cool the chocolate until the soft lumps disappear and the temperature lowers.
    At this point the chocolate should be in temper and ready to use.
    Pour 1/2 tsp chocolate in a mould and add 1 tsp fruit and nut. By doing this fruit and nuts will stay in place and stick to the chocolate.
    Now add more chocolate in the mould and fill to the top.
    Gently tap the mould, so if any air bubbles are there,they will come out.
    Semi cool  the chocolate at room temperature.
    Place the moulds in the refrigerator and let it cool and harden the chocolate for about 2-3 hours.
    Take the chocolate moulds out of the fridge and turn over on to the board.
    Enjoy !!

Linking this to my own event Choc full Easter and Celebrate - Easter event guest host by Shama and started by ME.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Hokkaido Milk Bread with Tangzong! - We Knead to Bake #3

Made n Enjoyed
Hello readers,

Straight to the recipe today which is my assignment with Aparna's We Knead to Bake #3 group. This month, we had to bake Hokkaido Milk Bread with Tangzong!

I followed exactly the same recipe and method, I haven't experimented with the recipe as I was bit busy and I had to post the recipe on 24th. Hokkaido bread came out lovely and tasty !!

 Copying and Pasting recipe and details about bread here given by Aparna:

This month we’re making Hokkaido Milk Bread which is known for its soft cottony/ pillowy texture. Apparently it’s very popular bread in South Asian bakeries across the world. It is also known as Asian Sweet Bread and Hong Kong Pai Bo. Some people say this is a Japanese bread while others say it’s because the milk used in this bread is from Japan while some others have suggested its pure white colour and the texture resemble the pristineness of Hokkaido!

The Hokkaido Mild Bread owes its texture and height to the use of an interesting ingredient called Tangzhong. Basically, the Tangzhong method involves cooking 1 part of bread flour with 5 parts of water (by weight) at 65°C (149 °F) to form a roux. 

At 65°C, the gluten in the bread flour and water mixture would absorb the moisture and create a “leavening” action.  When the Tangzhong is added into other ingredients of a bread dough, it produces light, tender and fluffier bread.

This method of using Tangzhong is often seen in South Asian breads and was created by a Chinese woman, Yvonne Chen, who describes this method in her book which translates to “65 degrees Bread Doctor” .
The Hokkaido Milk Bread is very easy to make. First you make a Tangzhong (flour-water roux, and milk in this case) and then let it cool completely. You can use it after a 2 hour rest. It also keeps for a day or so refrigerated.
The make the bread dough using the Tangzhong. If you refrigerate the Tangzhong then let it come to room temperature before you use it. The bread dough is made like any other dough. It is a rather sticky dough initially, but kneading it well will make it smooth elastic and easy to handle.
This is a very versatile dough. You can make into a plain loaf, or dinner rolls. You can fill the rolls with sweet or savoury fillings. You can even shape the dough into knots, or cute little animals. This dough also makes the softest Pav/ Pao for Pavbhaji.
Though it has some sugar in it, this bread is only mildly sweet. If you want to make a savoury version, with or without filling, you can cut down the sugar to 1 tbsp and add another 1/4 tsp of salt.
The recipe below asks for a small amount of cream as an ingredient. The cream does make a slight difference in texture, but you can use all milk instead. I have tried it both ways and the bread turns out just as good.
If you would rather not use cream, just omit it and add 2 tbsp of milk instead. If you would like to make this vegan or milk and milk product free, then replace the milk with water and the butter with oil. Of course, then this loaf will no longer have the typically “milky” taste of a milk bread but will still be a pretty good bread.
Here’s a video on making Tangzhong and the bread that might be useful. (The recipe in the video is a different one)
Hokkaido Milk Bread With Tangzhong
(Original Recipe from 65 Degrees Tangzhong “65C Bread Doctor” by Yvonne Chen, and adapted from Kirbie’s Cravings)
  • For The Tangzhong (Flour-Water Roux)
    1/3 cup all-purpose flour
     1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup milk
    For The Dough:
     2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
     3 tbsp sugar
     1tsp salt
    2 tbsp powdered milk
    2 tsp instant dried yeast
    1/2 cup milk (and a little more if needed)
    1/8 cup cream (25% fat)
     1/3 cup tangzhong (use HALF of the tangzhong from above)
    1/4 tsp salt
    25gm unsalted butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
    1/2 to 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips if making the rolls
     The Tangzhong  (Flour-Water Roux):
    Whisk together lightly the flour, water and milk in a saucepan until smooth and there are no lumps. Place the saucepan on the stove, and over medium heat, let the roux cook till it starts thickening. Keep stirring/ whisking constantly so no lumps form and the roux is smooth.

If you have a thermometer, cook the roux/ tangzhong till it reaches 65C (150F) and take it off the heat. If like me, you don’t have a thermometer, then watch the roux/ tangzhong until you start seeing “lines” forming in the roux/ tangzhong as you whisk/ stir it. Take the pan off the heat at this point.

Let the roux/ tangzhong cool completely and rest for about 2 to 3 hours at least. It will have the consistency of a soft and creamy crème patisserie. If not using immediately, transfer the roux to a bowl and cover using plastic wrap. It can be stored in the fridge for about a day. Discard the tangzhong after that.

The Bread Dough:

I made this dough in the food processor. This dough can be made by hand but the dough is a bit sticky and can take some time and effort to knead by hand. If you have some sort of machine which will do the kneading for you, use it. Don’t punish yourself. And do not add more flour to make it less sticky either!

Put the flour, salt, sugar, powdered milk and instant yeast in the processor bowl and pulse a couple of times to mix. In another small bowl mix the milk, cream and Tangzhong till smooth and add to the processor bowl. Run on slow speed until the dough comes together. Now add the butter and process till you have a smooth and elastic dough which is just short of sticky.

The dough will start out sticky but kneading will make it smooth. If the dough feels firm and not soft to touch, add a couple of tsps of milk till it becomes soft and elastic. When the dough is done, you should be able to stretch the dough without it breaking right away.  When it does break, the break should be form a circle.

 Form the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl turning it so it is well coated. Cover with a towel, and let the dough rise for about 45 minutes or till almost double in volume. 

Place the dough on your working surface. You don’t need flour to work or shape this dough. This recipe makes enough dough to make one loaf (9” by 5” tin), 2 small loaves (6” by 4” tins) or 1 small loaf (6” by 4”) and 6 small rolls (muffin tins). Depending on what you are making, divide your dough. If you are making 1 loaf, divide your dough in 3 equal pieces. If you are making two smaller loaves, divide your dough into 6 equal pieces.

I made one small loaf and 6 small rolls. So I first divided my dough into two equal pieces first. Then I divided the first half into three equal pieces to make the loaf. The other half was divided into six equal pieces for six rolls.

The shaping of the portions, whether for the loaf or the rolls, is the same.

Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape, about 1/8” thick. Take one end of the dough from the shorter side of the oval and fold it to the middle of the oval. Take the other end and fold so it slightly overlaps the other fold.

Roll this folded dough with the rolling pin so the unfolded edges are stretched out to form a rectangle. Roll the rectangle from one short edge to the other, pinching the edges to seal well. Do this with each of the three larger pieces and place them, sealed edges down, in a well-oiled loaf tin. Cover with a towel and leave the dough to rise for about 45 minutes.

To make the rolls fold them in the same manner described above, but before rolling them up, place some chocolate chip on the dough. Roll the dough rectangles carefully and pinch to seal the edge. Place each roll of dough in a well-oiled muffin cup and cover with a towel. Allow to rise for about 45 minutes.
Carefully brush the tops of the rolls and the loaf with milk (or cream) and bake them at 170C (325F) for about 20 to 30 minutes till they are done (if you tap them they’ll sound hollow) and beautifully browned on top. Let them cool in the tins for about 5 minutes and then unmould and transfer to a rack till slightly warm or cool.
Serve or else store in a bread bin. This bread stays soft and delicious even the next day. This recipe makes enough dough to make one loaf (9” by 5” tin), 2 small loaves (6” by 4” tins) or 1 small loaf (6” by 4”) and 6 small rolls (muffin tins).

Enjoy !

Friday, 22 March 2013

Holi Hai !!! Sukha Mewa Kachori - Deep fried pastry filled with Dry Fruit and Nut !

Made n Enjoyed
Hello readers,

Holi hai Bhai Holi Hai..Bura na Mano Holi Hai...It's Holi It's Holi, Don't feel bad, It is Holi !!!
A phrase used by Holi enthusiasts..

JCO wishes their every reader a colourful and safe HOLI...!!

Holi (the Indian festival of colours) is just around the corner and everyone all over the world wants to celebrate and enjoy this joyous and colourful festival with enthusiasm and gaiety. In India, the entire country wears a festive look when it is time for Holi celebration. Market places get abuzz with activity as frenzied shoppers start making preparations for the festival. Heaps of various hues of gulal and abeel can be seen on the roadside days before the festival.

And the women in the family also start preparing for the holi festival as they cook loads of sweets and savouries for the family and also for the relatives.  I too have prepared some delicacies for my family.

The discovery of a new dish more for human happiness than discovery of a new star - Jean Atnthelme Brillat - Savarin

It was November 2012 when for the first time I tasted Dry Fruit Kachoris from a shop called Mohanlal S Mithaiwala during Diwali in India. Without giving another thought I packed one box for my UK family members. I have prepared various types of kachoris before: Garlic Kachori and Poha Kachoris. I love all of them and they are all a perfect and delicious snack for me.

Dry Fruit and Nut kachoris were a new discovery of kachories for me so, naturally, I tried duplicating them in at home for the first time.  They turned out impeccable !!

Crispy out side, spicy, tangy and the mildly sweet filling inside means that there is no need for any chutneys. They are perfect own their on just pop them into your mouth and feel your tastebuds dancing with joy!! However, I shall not be the judge here just try for yourselves :)

Serve them as a starter, place them in an Indian Thali as farsan or serve at tea time ( you can skip the scones and try these for a change ) You will become your guest's favourite host ! Guaranteed!

You will need for the dough :-
  • 2 cup plain flour ( maida )
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • Chilled water

You will need for filling or stuffing :-
  • 2 cup dry fruit an nuts like (dried figs, dates,sultanas,raisins,almonds,cashews,hazelnuts,pistachios)
  • 1 cup besan ( gram flour )
  • 1/4 cup self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Pinch of hing ( asafoetida )
  • 4-5 tbsp Oil
  • 1-2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin and coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp dry mango powder ( Aamchoor )
  • 1 tsp chaat masala
  • 2 tbsp crushed fennel and coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp water
  • 2-3 green chillies crushed
  • 1 tbsp samosa kachori masala ( optional )
  • You will need OIL to deep fry the kachories

Method for filling or stuffing:-
Roughly chop all the dry fruit and nuts . Leave aside.
Heat oil in a heavy based kadai and add cumin seeds and hing, add green chillies.
Now add besan, self raising flour and all the other ingredients except dry fruit/nuts mixture and water.
Mix well and roast till you can get aroma from roasting gram flour or at least 10-12 minutes on a low heat.
Add dry fruit and nuts, once again mix well and roast mixture for another 2-3 minutes.
Sprinkle some water and mix well.
Turn of the heat and leave the mixture aside to cool. ( I made mine previous day )
In a separate bowl add all the dough ingredients, mix together and knead into a soft pliable dough with chilled water. Leave aside for few minutes covered with tea towel.
Divide the dough and filling mixture into 22-25 equal portions.
Roll out each dough portion into a small circle.
Put one of the filling portions into the center, then fold the dough over the filling to form a ball and seal the edges with a peak at the top.
You can grease your palms a little and roll the ball between them to form an even ball if that's easier. Repeat for all the kachoris.
Now heat oil in a wok or kadai and deep fry 3-4 kachoris at a time over medium heat till they are light golden brown in color.
Enjoy !


 Linking this to event Celebrate- Holi guest host by Sukanya , celebrate event started by JCO (ME)
and Celebrae - Easter guest host by Shama, event started by me.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Sea salt and poppy seed crackers and award time !

Made n Enjoyed
Hello readers,

Considering that I've been so busy this month, I needed a healthy snack that I could pop into my handbag and take with me. It had to be something that didn't need to much time and effort to make.

My daughter made plain crackers not that long before (recipe here ) so we thought that adding a bit of flavour to the crackers would create a slightly different taste and texture. The addition was poppy seeds and sea salt.

The poppy seeds gave the crackers a nutty flavour and also enhanced the nutritional value of the crackers. The recipe is given a zing through the sea salt because the sea salt is a purer form of normal salt and also give a more aesthetic appeal. Because the flavour of salt is more pronounced using sea salt, less normal salt is needed in the recipe.
The crackers turned out really good and were nice and filling. Will definitely make this again!

You will need :-
  • 175 g wholemeal ( wholewheat) flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50 g ground oats
  • 3-4 tbsp black poppy seeds
  • 75 g butter
  • 7-8 tbsp skimmed milk
  • Sea salt to sprinkle
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5, 190C/375F.
Put all the ingredients into a food processors except sea salt and mix until the mixture starts to clump.
Take out on a floured surface, and gether the dough together with your hands and roll out.
Stamp out rounds with a round cookie cutter.
Sprinkle some sea salt on the cut crackers.
Place crackers on a ungreased baking sheet.
Bake 12-15 minutes or until just begenning to colour at the edges.
Leave to cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completley.

And now it's award time..Charul of Tadka Masala shared a "Very Inspiring Award" to me. I really appreciate this Charul, Thank you ! Award came with few rules..

Seven facts about myself please read here

.Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Sharing this award with my all fellow bloggers , in my eyes you all are Very Inspiring Bloggers..So please accept this award .

Monday, 18 March 2013

Chikoo,Nariyal aur Khus Khus Halwa - Sapodilla,Coconut and Poppy seeds Dessert !

Made n Enjoyed
Hello readers,

I can say that I have been a very busy bee in this month of March. I attended a few blogger summits in London and other parts of the UK with fellow blogger Nayna of simply food.  On the 8th of March, we went to a blogger summit in Bristol organised by Tots100 and met so many other bloggers and gathered much vital information for blogging. On 12th of March we attended the meet at Avista, a lovely restaurant in Mayfair. The event was organised by Ladies in Blogging. On the 15th we traveled to Farnham for the Cake and Chocolate show by Squires kitchen, and picked up a few tips and tricks from the chocolate workshops. Hopefully soon you will see those tips and tricks in my cooking!

On top of that, I'm eagerly waiting to go to the Ideal Home Show and The vitality Show in London in a few days. Due to the busy schedule, I have missed a few posting opportunities :(. Therefore I am posting this recipe today which I prepared on Mahashivratri.

On Mahashivratri me and my family keep fasts, so we only consume Farari food ( fasting food ). This time I prepared chikoo, nariyal and khus khus halwa. Mostly this sweet is made for Prasad by Vaishanavs. My sister's mother in law prepares this sweet although I have never tasted it. A few times my sister mentioned it to me so thought I'll give it ago too.

Chikoo or Sapodilla or Sappota is easily available in India, now even in the UK we get it too. Chikoo halwa is very easy to prepare and takes very less time too. It is something different and tasty. It takes less sugar too as the chikoo already has a lot of natural sugar.

Picture Courtesy -

You will need :-
  • 6 medium size ripe Sapodilla ( chikoo )
  • 50 g grated coconut ( Nariyal )
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds ( khus khus )
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar ( depends how sweet is your fruit )
  • Almonds for garnishing

Wash, peel and mash chikoo in food processor. Make sure you leave pips out. Now you will have chikoo pulp.
Heat ghee in heavy based kadai and add chikoo pulp.
Cook for 2-3 minutes and add grated coconut.
Keep stirring for another 3-4 minutes and add sugar.
Now add khus khus seeds and mix every thing.
Cook on a low heat, stirring continuously till ghee separates and the mixture gets the halwa consistency.
Turn the heat off.
Serve in a bowl and garnish with almonds and serve at room temperature.

Linking this sweet to Celebrate - Mahashivratri/Holi guest host by Sukanya event by ME.
Celebarte - Easter guest host by Shama , event by ME.
And Know Your Dairy - Ghee guest host by Lakshmi event by ME.