Monday, November 20, 2017

Mocha Cheesecake


This was my first ever cheesecake, and I was prepared for a disaster of epic proportions. Especially since it's baked and more importantly, because of my history with baking desserts. Let me give you a hint: I suck. I've managed to blow up, melt, bubble up, reduce to lava and stick a single cake all in one go. I know, it takes talent.

Recipe adapted from The Gold Lining Girl.

So anyway, I thought I'd give it a shot and see what happened. It turned out... pretty great. I messed up the recipe a bit, overcalculated some things but I'm hoping I've finalized this enough to make it easy for you guys. To test whether this was a delusion or reality, I made my dad taste the cake. He loved it (and was utterly shocked that I'd managed to bake something that wasn't poison, lol) - so it's safe to make. And eat. Okay, to the recipe.

Ingredients

For the crust

Wheatable Biscuits                    2 packs (about 6 oz.)
Butter (melted)                          4 tbsp

For the cheesecake

Cream cheese                            1½ cup
Sugar                                         1 cup
Eggs                                          2 (small)
Coffee                                       4 tbsp instant coffee in half a cup of water
Dark/milk chocolate                 1 medium bar (4 - 6 oz.)

For the ganache

Milk chocolate                          4 oz.
Semi sweet chocolate chips      4 oz.
Cream                                       1/3 cup
Butter                                        3 tbsp

Method

Preheat oven to 325 F or 162 C. Take a 9 inch springform pan and line it with wax paper, making sure it's covered and greased properly. Grease the wax paper also.

In a food processor, crush the biscuits into a fine powder. Take out in a bowl and mix in the melted butter. Once mixed thoroughly, press into the bottom of the springform pan with a glass or cup that's flat on the bottom for an even spreading of the crumbs. Set aside.

In another bowl, add the cream cheese and using an electric beater, add the sugar slowly until it dissolves completely. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure they're mixed well after adding each one. Add the coffee mixture (you can make it stronger if you like). Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 20 second bursts, then drizzle into the cheesecake mixture.

Pour batter into the pan and bake for 40 - 70 minutes; the baking time varies according to the oven you use and the consistency of your batter. My cake took about 40 minutes, while the original recipe calls for 70 minutes. Regardless, you should only take out your cake if you see it crusting golden on the sides, but still soft and jiggly in the middle. Once it's done, set aside to cool.

Make the ganache by heating the chocolate in the microwave (again in 20 sec bursts) then add the rest of the ingredients. Once smooth, pour ganache over the cheesecake and set in fridge to cool. I added some extra coffee to my ganache, so it's up to you however much coffee flavor you like.

I feel like I'm missing something, but can't figure out what. If you screw up, let me know and maybe then I'll have an AH-HA! moment. Until then, good luck!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Daal Masoor (Yellow Lentils)

Easiest meal ever. Takes only 30 to 40 mins to complete, tastes great, extremely simply recipe.


Ingredients

Daal                      1 cup
Salt                       ½ tsp
Red Chili Powder    1 tsp
Mustard Powder     ½ tsp
Garlic                   10 - 14 cloves
Cumin Seeds          1 tsp
Oil/ Ghee             As needed

Method

Wash and clean the daal throughly, then leave to soak in hot water for 10-15 mins. In a deep pan, add about 2-3 glasses of water. Add the salt, chili, haldi and about 5-7 cloves of garlic. Cover and wait for the water to boil. Once it starts to bubble, add 1 tbsp ghee, stir once to make sure it dissolves and add daal. Stir daal through the spiced water, lower the flame, cover and set to cook. Stir occasionally, make sure it doesn't stick together or overcook. 

If it's too watery, leave on high flame for a few minutes, it should thicken in a bit. If it's too thick, add a little water or a little milk (more flavor, richer taste). It it burns, add milk and transfer to a new pot. The milk should hide the burnt taste. 

Once your daal has thickened to whichever consistency you prefer, prepare the tarka. Now, I use only garlic and cumin seeds but I've seen people add ginger, tomatoes, green chillies, coriander, etc. Use whatever you like.

In a pan, add some ghee/oil. Chop up the remaining garlic and add to the pan. Once it starts changing color, add the cumin. Make sure both are lightly toasted then pour on the daal (make sure it's still cooking, don't turn off the heat) and cover immediately. Leave to cook for 1-2 mins, stir and serve. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Chinese Lemon Chicken

I already have a Lemon Chicken recipe up here, but that one's healthier and easier which obviously means it sucks.

I didn't have a recipe for this one, tried it by mixing a few different things. You'll probably have to adjust according to your own taste.

Ingredients

Marinade:

1                 Chicken breast (cubed)
¼ tsp          Salt
1 tsp           Black pepper
¼ tsp          Rosemary
3 tbsp         Cornflour
Of 1 lemon Lemon juice
Of 1 lemon Lemon zest

Lemon Chili Sauce:

3 cloves Garlic (minced)
2 tbsp     Soya sauce
4 tbsp     Sriracha
2 tbsp     Chili sauce
Lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
Lemon zest (1-2 lemons)
1½ cup   Chicken stock
½ tsp      Salt
½ tsp      Pepper
1 tbsp     Honey
2-3 tbsp  Brown sugar
½ cup     Cornflour slurry 
2             Onions (cubed)

Method:

Mix the marinade and make sure to coat the chicken evenly. Set aside for 15-20 mins. Sauté garlic in some olive oil or butter, whichever. Add the chicken stock, the sauces and seasoning - let it simmer on low heat until it starts reducing.


In a deep pan, add oil to deep fry the chicken. Don't gasp in horror at the unhealthiness, just do it. Once the chicken is golden brown, set aside to drain. 


Add cornflour slurry to the lemon chili sauce - make sure it's boiling - and mix until thick. Add chicken and onions, coat well. Serve with garlic rice, or if you want to go really crazy: lemon rice. Add lemon juice to the rice while boiling, zest while stir frying and voila. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Affogato Tiramisu Cake


I took the recipe from Tastemade's page, here.

The original recipe has a few ingredients I couldn't find over here, so I substituted a few things in my recipe.

Ingredients

Bottom Layer:

10 - 15  Digestive biscuits or ladyfinger cookies
2 tbsp    Instant coffee
½ cup    Boiling water

Middle Layer:

1 pack         Vanilla ice-cream (softened. I used the sugarfree one to cut down on the sweetness)
1 large bar   Dark or milk chocolate (I used Cadbury's Dairy Milk)
2 tbsp          Butter
6 - 8            Digestive biscuits (crushed)
¼ cup          Instant coffee dissolved in water

Top Layer:

1 cup   Cream (used Olpers cream)
1 cup   Cream cheese (used Puck)
½ cup  Caster sugar (I took regular sugar and ground it)
2 tbsp  Espresso powder (easily available at regular grocery stores, but if not, just grind regular coffee)

Coffee Syrup:

½ cup Sugar
½ cup Water
3 tbsp Instant coffee or espresso powder

Method

Going in order of the layers, refer to quantities above: add coffee to water and boil it once, then simmer on low heat until it reduces a bit. Place cookies in a square glass dish - make sure it's deep enough to contain all layers otherwise the top layer will spill over. Once it cools, pour over the cookies in the dish.

Make sure your ice cream is soft enough to be spreadable otherwise it'll just start collecting on side of the dish. Spread evenly over the cookies, don't worry about making the layer too thick. Too thin will be a problem, though. Place your dish in the freezer.

Melt chocolate and add butter to it. Add the dissolved coffee and crushed cookies. Mix well and set aside to cool.

In a deep bowl, mix the cream, cream cheese, caster sugar and coffee. I used a regular beater to mix it all together (and then added some extra coffee because I love love love it). 

In a small pan, add water and sugar. Simmer on medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add the instant coffee and boil once, simmering for the next 5 - 8 mins until it thickens to a syrupy consistency. Set aside to cool.

Remove your dish from the freezer. Add the chocolate coffee cookie mixture and spread evenly. Add the cream cheese mixture and make sure the biscuit layer is covered properly. Top with drizzles of the coffee syrup (use half now, and half while serving). Freeze for at least 4 hours before serving. 

I froze mine for 3 hours and it was a bit too soft so I let it stay in the freezer overnight - don't do that. It crystallized and is now rock hard lol. Take yours out on time and let it sit for a bit before serving so it's soft enough to cut. Pour the remaining espresso syrup on top and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Triple Fried Chicken with Chilli Caramel


Ingredients


Capsicum 
1 (cubed) 
Onion 
2-3 (cubed) 
Spring Onion 
Green stalks for garnish 


For chicken marinade 

Chicken 
2 breast fillets (cubed) 
Soya Sauce 
¼ cup 
Vinegar 
¼ cup 
Sriracha 
¼ cup 
Paprika 
tbsp 
Garlic Powder 
tbsp 
Salt 
A pinch 
Chili Flakes 
½ tsp 
Olive Oil 
1 tsp 


For coating 

Egg 
1 
Cornflour 
¼ cup 
Plain flour 
½ cup 
Salt 
A pinch 
Black Pepper 
½ tsp 
Paprika 
½ tsp 
Garlic Powder 
¼ tsp 


For Soy Chilli Caramel 

Garlic 
2 (minced) 
Vinegar 
¼ cup 
Soya Sauce 
¼ cup 
Sriracha 
¼ cup 
Garlic Powder 
½ tsp 
Salt 
To taste 
Red Chillies 
1 tsp 
Oregano 
A pinch 
Chilli Garlic Ketchup 
½ cup 
Brown Sugar 
¼ cup 
Olive Oil 
¼ cup 

Method

Cut the chicken fillets into cubes and marinade (for about 30 mins to an hour) in the ingredients listed above. In a shallow plate, combine plain flour, salt, black pepper, paprika and garlic powder. After the chicken is done marinating, drain the liquid out of it and dredge it in cornflour and add the beaten egg.
Mix well then coat chicken pieces with the seasoned flour mixture. I used the thrice frying method (it's such a hassle, and honestly aisa roza lagta hai ke na pucho. Try at your own risk) but normal frying should work too. Once the chicken is coated evenly, fry for 30 secs, rest for 30 secs - repeat twice. That's the thrice frying method. If you're not up to extra mehnat, just fry the chicken in batches. 

Cut the veggies. In a deep pan, put together all the ingredients for the sauce and simmer until any excess water dries up and it starts to thicken (shouldn't take longer than a couple minutes). Toss chicken in the sauce, add the veggies and you're done. I know, the list of ingredients looks super intimidating but the recipe itself is pretty easy. I usually don't measure anything and season accordingly so I apologize if the measurements are off. You can adjust to your liking, there's no rules here. Unless you're burning or oversalting your food, that's just wrong. 

Okay, I served this with garlic rice but these are great with simple boiled rice also. Up to you, jo marzi bana ke kha lein.