Monday, July 30, 2012

Black and white mousse. Duo of chocolate dark and white

Big Mousse © Cookaroo 
What a busy long weekend I’ve had. By busy, I obviously mean eating aplenty. And so many things to write about!

Thursday night, Friday lunch, Saturday blogger’s meet and Sunday lunch at home. Plenty of eating, cooking, taking photographs and now blogging about them.

But before I go into all the gastronomical experiences of last week, I want to just blog about something I am going to eat tonight. Made purely from leftovers.

After blogging about the Squidgy Chocolate cake, my sister demanded I make the same cake this Sunday, where my cousin’s kids were coming over for lunch. I did. Except I alternated between two mousses – dark chocolate mousse with chocolate bits and white chocolate mousse with a little bit of coffee.

The cake turned out lovely. But I had some of the mousse leftover. Enough for two people. So tonight husband and I have something new to eat for dessert.

I’ve tasted both the mousses individually. They were light and frothy. Together they may be a force to reckon with, but honestly haven’t really got there, so this is going to be difficult to comment.

Meanwhile, enjoy this super simple recipe.

 Moussaphir © Cookaroo 
Black and White Mousse
Serves 3 

For the Dark Chocolate Mousse
70 gms chocolate chopped
100  ml whipping cream
1 egg white
1 tblsp chocolate liqueur of your choice

For the White chocolate-coffee mousse
70 gms white chocolate chopped
100 ml whipping cream
1 egg white
2 tsp coffee decoction
1 tblsp  liquor of your choice (I used white chocolate cream liqueur)


For the Dark Chocolate Mousse
1. Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, in short 10 second spurts. Once it melts set aside.
2. Whip the cream into soft peaks and fold into the chocolate. Add the liquour to it.
3. Whisk the egg white until it makes firm peaks and add to the chocolate mixture. Let it set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before fiddling with it

For the White chocolate and coffee  Mousse
1. Melt the white chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, in short 10 second spurts. Once it melts set aside.
2. Whip the cream into soft peaks and fold into the chocolate. Add the liqueur and coffee decoction to it.
3. Whisk the egg white until it makes firm peaks and add to the chocolate mixture. Let it set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before fiddling with it

1. The white chocolate mousse will always be lighter than the dark chocolate, because of the high cocoa butter content - so if you put it as the bottom layer - it'll definitely sink. 
2. Therefore layer the dark chocolate first and then the white chocolate. Top with some cocoa powder or chocolate shavings, or if you're lazy like me just bung a piece of chocolate on it. 
3. Let it set for 2 hours before eating.

I'm sending this to Patty's Weekly Story at Colours Dekor.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Oat pancake with apple jam filling. And maple syrup

See the picture above? It's mine!! All mine. Two litres of this golden beautiful syrup. Mine! Mine! Mine! Straight from a farm in Canada, pure, no super pure, medium grade Maple Syrup. Did I mention it's all for me?

Two weeks ago, when my in laws returned from visiting relatives in Canada, this was what came in their goodie bag for me! No, actually, it was more like I demanded, and they happily obliged. And for that I am ever so grateful. 

Ever since the jug has been sitting pretty in my fridge, I've been wondering what I want to make first with it. Maple glazed chicken? Apple and maple flapjacks? Or plain old fashioned pancakes with with butter and maple syrup. I'd been gazing wistfully at it wondering if I should break the seal or wait to throw a big brunch at home and share it with people I love. Unfortunately for them, I found the syrup impossible to resist. 

After a day or two of deliberation, I finally broke it open, poured my self some syrup and shot-glassed it. Reaching for my second helping, I figured making something might make more sense than just pouring it down my throat. 

A quick check in the pantry, saw that I had lots of oats and a little jam and thus came a simple solution - breakfast it was going to be. I use the same techniques that I use for my Banana oats muffin  - soaking the oats in milk for a couple of minutes before adding the rest of the mix to it. The pancakes turned out lovely  - light and fluffy. And the jam made it quite sublime, making it burst with flavours.

Oh and the maple syrup? It was like drinking molten sunshine. It really was. 

Oats pancakes with apple jam filling and maple syrup
Makes 8 small pancakes

1\2 cup instant oats
1 cup milk
1 tblsp oil
1\2 tsp salt
1 tblsp sugar
1\2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1\2 maida
Apple clove jam or jam of ur choice

1/4 cup maple syrup for drizzling and dunking

1. In a bowl mix oats and milk together and set aside. Measure the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Whisk the egg in a bowl. 

2. Add oil to the oats mix, the egg and all the dry ingredients. Stir. Keep aside for half an hour before making the pancakes.

3. To make the pancakes: In a flat pan, rub a bit of butter and ladle in the mixture into small circle. 

4. Add a dollop of the jam and put a spoonful of mix on top of the jam. After 3 minutes, flip it to the other side.

5. Stack em up and pour over some maple syrup. Fork 'em

I'm sending this to Fuss Free Flavours Breakfast Club Challenge. Such fun!

Oh and by the by I won an award at from Amina Creations from her Guest Quest challege for my Banoffee Pie in a jar recipe. You can check the recipe here.

So yay for me! Here's to a happy weekend!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cheese posters. And more adulation

I don't lie when I say this - I wish I lived in a house of cheese - I actually mean it. I    cheese. I    plain cheese on crackers. I    cheese on toast and I especially <3 cheese as dessert.

And just like looking at photos of dessert, I can spend hours looking at cheese - and then suddenly feel inspired to make something fun.

Last week while surfing on not-such-a-busy-day, I stumbled on some posters that I wish I owned .(Honestly, next best thing to living in a house of cheese). I found beautiful photographs, artworks that were gorgeous and then they were these typography and art work ones that really had me at cheese. Sharing some of the ones that I totally totally 

1.  In black and white by Lucy Knisley

2. Pop colours by Jill Butler

3. Wine and Cheese pairings at All Posters

4. Yes, you are. at Etsy 

5. All the sordid ingredients by Justin Perricone

6. Say Cheese in French by Geraldine Adams

7.  It's only words by Tidbits Studios

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Barbecue Chicken Burgers

Ever since I can remember, we’ve been eating burgers at home. . Not the industrial Mc Donalds type (which are fine some days) but the one’s with a super burger patty, nice crisp vegetables, a bit of mayo, some mustard and a bit of slaw on the side.

All kinds of patties come to my mind – potatoes and peas (more like a cutlet), tapioca pearls and potatoes (my grandma’s favourite), mixed vegetables, lentil and beans and chicken with vegetables, plain chicken and deep fried chicken patties.

I remember my father grilling burgers for my friends when they were over for lunch. I remember my mother making sure that we eat something, mash vegetables with some bread and potatoes, and serve it to us with fresh slices of bread. I remember how the veggie cutlet would be on rota week in and week out at our house in Chennai.

Burgers were our mess-free DIY kinda dinners. So when I got married, it just made sense to continue eating dinner like how I’d always known.

The first time I’d made burgers – chicken and vegetables - at home, my husband was rather surprised. He wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do or how he was supposed to eat it. When I presented him with some ice cold lettuce, some sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and onions, he looked positively confused.

How am I supposed to eat this, he asked me. I told him, what I knew – slice open the burger bun, slather some mayo, maybe some mustard, put the patty on top, a slice of cheese on that and then some vegetables. If you like you can eat it with some ketchup on the side, I told him.

He followed the instructions. Made him first DIY burger. Ate it in four bites. And promptly proceeded to make another one and eat it too.

Ever since then, we make burgers, once, sometimes twice a month at least. I make different kinds of burgers – chickpea with vegetables, grilled chicken with mushrooms and red peppers, chicken with blue cheese and caramelised onion, mutton patties – the list is quite endless.

I find making burgers out of left-over meat really quite useful. So when five barbecue chicken wings made it to my refrigerator, I knew exactly what I wanted to with them.

I shredded the chicken and let them simmer with some of the leftover barbecue sauce. Then I made a simple slaw – carrots and cabbage and sliced some onions. And that was that. Simple, fast and easy.
We ate these for lunch a couple of days ago. They were extremely satisfying.

Barbecue chicken burger

Leftover barbecue chicken. Recipe here                                                      
Extra barbecue sauce. Recipe here

Add the shredded chicken to the barbecue sauce, add ¼ cup water and the remaining sauce to a pan, simmer it for 8-10 minutes, until the chicken softens.

For the coleslaw
1 cup shredded cabbage
¼ cup grated carrot
4 tblsp mayonnaise
1 tsp mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste

Add all the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside until assembly

Sliced vegetables of your choice – I used an onion

Slice the burger bun from the centre. Put the bottom part the right side up. Spoon in the barbecue chicken with a bit of the sauce

Spoon over a couple of teaspoons of the coleslaw. 

Add the sliced onions to it.

. And put the top half of the burger. And that’s it – it’s burger time. 

So I'm sending this to Patty's Weekly Story at Colours Dekor. Issa yum

Monday, July 23, 2012

Squidgy Chocolate Cake filled with chocolate mousse

Constant craving © Cookaroo
Most days, now I can do without chocolate. This was because I was making so many chocolate-based desserts that the sight of chocolate sort of did me in. But last week, I saw a Nigella show - where she made this amazingly simple devil's chocolate cake, with this velvety icing - my chocolate cravings instantly went up. I knew I had to make that cake and eat it asap.

Unfortunately for me, I couldn't find any brown sugar. So I let myself sit out for 2 days. The craving just wouldn't go. So for the second time, I went in search of sticky brown sugar. No luck again. I started dreaming about chocolate cake. After three nights of terrible ache for chocolate cake, I woke up at 4 am and started doing a search on the Internet. I wanted to make something close to Nigella's cake, except at that hour of the day, I realised I'd run out of butter. Nonetheless, a chocolate oil cake felt doable.

After finding a recipe that checked all my boxes, I went back to sleep, only to wake up at 8 am and thinking up all what else I could do with the cake. And then it suddenly struck me, I'd always wanted to recreate the Squidgy Chocolate Mousse Cake from Big Chill. And luckily for me I had all the ingredients at hand.

So while this cake isn't Nigella's Devil's Food Cake. No sir, it isn't. It's a cake that is really quite scrumptious. Simple enough to bake, and extremely moist. Even the mousse filling is easy to make. The only thing that was really hard to do was to wait. 

I'd told the husband to keep his hands off it till I could take a photograph of the cake. To his credit, he did. It  was me who couldn't keep her grubby paws of the cake the moment the ganache was poured over. 

Did it satisfy my craving? Yes it totally did! Will I make it again, 1000 times over! It was really very good.

Squidgy Chocolate Cake 
with Chocolate mousse filling topped with Chocolate ganache

Serve 6

For the cake 
Adapted from Hershey’s Deep Dark Chocolate Cake 

1 cup sugar
¾ cup all-purpose flour
3 tblsp corn flour
1/3  cup plus 2 tblsp cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water

1. Heat oven to 180 degree centigrade. Grease and flour two 8-inch round pans. 
2. In a bowl stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl whisk the egg, milk, oil and vanilla
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. And add in the boiling water. The batter will be thin, pour batter into prepared pans. 
4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely before frosting.

For the Chocolate mousse filling

2 egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
½ cup cream
200 gms chocolate – melted and cooled
2 tblsp coffee liquor

1. Whisk the cream till it peaks. Whisk the egg with the cream of tartar till they peak.
2. Add the cream, liquor and the chocolate to it. Fold till they all whisk. Set aside in the refrigerator until required

For the chocolate ganache

100 gms chocolate
100 ml cream

1.Chop the chocolate and set aside in a bowl. Bring the cream to a boil. 
2. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Let it sit till it all melts. Stir and making sure it remains glossy and pourable

For the assembly

1. Put one cake bottom side up on a cake plate. Spread all the mousse evenly. 
2. Put the other cake on top. Pour ganache over the cake. 
3. Let it rest in the refrigerator for atleast one hour before you cut it.

I'm sending this to Tea Time Treats at Lavender and Lovage and What Katy Bakes where Lavender is host this month while I actually ate it for breakfast

Melty gooey sticky chewy © Cookaroo

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Baked Chicken wings with barbecue sauce

Hot wings! © Cookaroo 
My husband has always shied away from telling me what he feels like eating, except when he wants cake. That he makes no qualms about. But ask him what he'd like for lunch, chances are he'll make a face and run off to the other room.

Or if I call him on my way home from work, to see what he feels like eating, the answer is the same - day in and day out - I'll eat anything you feel like eating.

Fact is, he will too. If I feel like eating thayir sadam, he's happy to eat it with a side of aloo ki subzi. If I feel like eating fajitas, he'll help me chop the salsa. If I feel like eating Kashmiri - simple haak and Chaman Kaliya, he just wants it hot. Home-made burgers? Yes, please. Thai Curry and rice, but ofcourse.

Most days, I'm happy to make exactly what I want to eat. But then there are days, where a sandwich is enough for me, but not quite enough for him. So when I ask me, again, what he'd like to eat, he'd shrug and say anything.

Anything? What in the world does anything mean, I argue? Do you feel like eating kadhi chawal, egg salad sandwich, quiche? Sure, he says, anything is fine. That's when the screaming banshee in me takes over. WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY ANYTHING. Ok fine fine. Egg curry and parantha, he says.

This has been our ritual for over two years now. When he doesn't know what he wants egg curry and parantha seems to be the order of the day. Or if he's feeling particularly frisky, he'll ask for Poori and Aloo.

I have to be honest here, I'm not particularly fond of either meals. Pooris, are well, too fried for me and egg curry is too well, eggy. But this isn't such a bad thing, because then I don't really have to put my mind to making something to eat - a bowl of wheat flakes, banana and milk is just enough.

This works fine for lunch, but dinners, when it's just me cooking, "Anything" really doesn't make the cut. Instead it just makes me fumey and irritable. My mind starts playing tricks on me, and I call him till I can get an answer, or if epiphany strikes. But nine times out of ten, he and  I resort to his old favourite Spaghetti Aglio Olio with some seekh kababs on the side.

Sounds odd? Apparently it doesn't taste odd. In fact he loves, this spicy, herby, olivey pasta. The kebabs are just an added zing. Oh and also portion for one doesn't cut it, two might still make the mark.

These kind of days, don't happen to me much. Most times, I have a pretty good idea, what I'd like to eat for dinner or lunch. Most days, I'm happy to cook. And if I'm smart about it, I get the vegetables chopped/boiled/par-cooked or the meats marinated at brekkie time at home, so I just have to pop things in the oven, and voila dinner is served!

This is one such day - Chicken wings - since I had plenty of barbecue sauce left over, and some boiled potatoes in the fridge.

Simple easy, half an hour meal, that is almost always fun to eat. And really better than anything.

What's for dinner tonight? © Cookaroo 

Baked Chicken wings with Barbecue sauce
served with butter garlic carrots and mashed potatoes

15 chicken wings

For the dry rub
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp herb of your choice
3 cloves of garlic chopped
2 tsp oil

For the barbecue sauce
1-1/2 cup Ketchup
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
Tabasco To Taste

Additional /optional
2 tblsp Brandy/Rum


1. Rub the chicken wings with this mix. Keep aside for 10 minutes, or overnight.
2. For the barbecue sauce, add ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Stir together. Keep aside
3. Pre heat the oven to 190 degree centigrade, in a bowl take half the barbecue sauce and add brandy/rum to it.
4. Dip the chicken wings one at a time, and arrange on a baking try.  Pour rest of the sauce on top.
5. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove, carefully dip the hot wings in the sauce (the unadulterated version) and bake again for five minutes.
5. Serve hot with garlic aioli or make it a meal with mashed potatoes and garlic butter carrots.

I believe I can fly © Cookaroo 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thai Peanut Dip and a thing or two about food

Saved by the dip © Cookaroo

I'm not going to lie about this - food makes me happy. Not just eating it, but thinking about it. It makes me forget about all the worries in the world, makes me all warm and tingly inside and makes me feel as if I have a purpose in life. 

Every so often, while driving and thinking up a menu for an upcoming dinner party, or or thinking up ways to use up things in my pantry, I've taken a wrong turn or forgotten how late I am running. So many times, when I wake up in the middle of the night, feeling completely hopeless, a cookbook has calmed me down. 

So yes, food is what I escape too when I am completely down and out. It is my sanctuary and it is my meditation. And perhaps that's why there's never a dearth of ingredients in my fridge. I don't need a reason to bake something. I do it because I love it.

I can go hours at work, just reading food blogs, looking at pretty pictures. And god forbid, I have a recipe stuck in my head, I can go on and on for the whole day looking for it,  imagining how it might taste, shopping for the ingredients and then finally re-creating it. 

Oh the joy of making something that's been in my head for so long - it's almost tangible for me. Sometimes I feel completely consumed by it. Possessed. As if nothing else would matter until it's on my table, all ready to be eaten.

And then there's the act of feeding it to people. I love that. I love cooking for somebody. It makes me feel well, very whole. Like as if I am doing something for someone. Don't get me wrong, I often cook/bake something because I crave it like crazy, but I also make things because I've learnt (or I know already) its my friends favourite. 

That said, I also cook because I have to. In the sense dinner has to be made everyday. But I do it such that I enjoy it completely. I try and figure out ways to use up leftover, or see what can be done from the thousands of bottles in my fridge and also not repeat the food we eat because I need the change, the challenge.

Often, when I go home early (before the husband arrives), I skim through my cookbooks, figuring out what I'd like to make the next day or over the weekend. Just so that I have a shopping list in mind when I leave for work the next. Plus my husband seems to hate to be asked, what he'd like to eat (even though I do that diligently every morning and evening).

This dip, this Thai peanut dip, is one such dip. It is also my comfort dip. I make it when I have people coming over, I make it when I'm lonely, I make it when I crave peanut. And it's from one of my favourite cookbook - Steamy Kitchen.  

Simple, delicious, soulful this dip is local Indian peanut butter (which might I add, is awesome!) and takes all of 5 minutes to put together. It tastes great with everything, even pizza. But my favourite way is to eat it plain. By the spoonful. Crunching on the peanut chunks, licking the back of the spoon. 

That's what makes me happy. 

Flower power © Cookaroo
Thai Peanut Dip
Adapted from Jaden Hair’s The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook. Available in India, US and UK
Makes 1 cup.
2 tsp. cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
3 Tbsp. sweet chilli sauce
2 Tbsp. oyster /hoisin sauce
2/3 c. water
3 Tbsp. peanut butter
1.     Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When the oil is just starting to get hot, add the garlic and ginger-garlic paste and fry for 30 seconds until fragrant.
2.     Add the sweet chilli sauce, hoisin or oyster sauce, water and peanut butter and stir until smooth. Simmer until thickened. Let cool.
3.     Serve with vegetable crudites, summer rolls, chicken skewers or even on a pizza
Note: Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. If the sauce is too thick after storing, whisk in a bit of water to thin it out.
I'm also linking this to Hearth & Soul Hop at the The 21st Century Housewife's Tuesday Blog Hop

Going peanuts I say © Cookaroo

Monday, July 16, 2012

Apple Pie with maple cream

Pour Baby Pour © Cookaroo
Apple pie has a special place in my heart. It's one of the first desserts in my life that I wanted to learn. It was one of the first pies that I had ever eaten. It was also one of the first things that I made from my most favourite baking book - Dorie Greenspan's Baking from my home to yours.

And while in my life, I've made many an apple pies, this is by far my favourite. It's deep dish, the crust is sublime (pure butter what did you expect!), salty and flaky and the filling is lovely, tart and sweet at the same time. I serve it with ice cream normally but because my inlaws brought me this awesome jug of Grade A Maple Syrup from Canada, I decided to make a maple cream.

Dorie says that you can make a fix of fruits and nuts - apples and pears, apples and peaches, apples and plums. I used apples - two kinds - Granny Smith and Kinnaur apples with a handful of raisins. Deeleeceeous.
That said, I don't really want to write too much today, because the recipe will seem long. But if you make it in steps, it really won't be that bad. Plus this is so worth it.

Also, I wish I'd taken a picture of the pie, but uh-oh it got too late. :)

Bring me some flowers © Cookaroo

All-American, All-Delicious Apple Pie
Adapted from 
Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours. Available in India, US and UK

For the crust -  9 inch Double Crust

3 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
300 gms very cold unsalted butter, cut into tbsp size pieces
About ½ cup ice water

1.      Put the flour, and sugar in a bowl and with your fingertips just combine the ingredients.
2.      Add the butter and mix it in, using your fingertips to let the mixture resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Add half the water, and if need be more so that you get a dough that will stick together when pinched. Big pieces of butter are fine. Scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto a work surface.
3.      Divide the dough in half. Gather each half into a ball, flatten each ball into a disk and wrap each half in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before rolling (if your ingredients were very cold and you worked quickly, though, you might be able to roll the dough immediately: the dough should be as cold as if it had just come out of the fridge).

For the filling
6 large apples3/4 cup sugarGrated zest of 1 lemon2 tablespoons corn flour1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/8-1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg1/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons ground digestive biscuits ½ cup or raisins2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

For the Glaze
Milk or heavy cream

For the filling:
1.      Peel, core and slice the apples. You've got a choice for slicing: you can cut each apple in half and then slice each half crosswise or lengthwise into slices about 1/4 inch thick, or you can cut the apples into chunks about 1/4 to 1/2 inch on a side.
2.      Put the apples into a large bowl and add the sugar, lemon zest, cornflour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Toss everything together really well- I do this with my hands. If you've got a little time, let the mix sit for about 5 minutes, until juice starts to accumulate in the bottom of the bowl.

1.      Butter a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate (I use a Pyrex pie plate). If you want to use a standard 9-inch pie plate, just reduce the amount of filling by about one quarter.
2.      Working on a well-floured surface (or between wax paper or plastic wrap), roll out one piece of the dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Fit the dough into the buttered pie plate and trim the edges to a 1/2-inch overhang. Roll the other piece of dough into a 1/8-inch-thick circle and slip it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Cover both the circle and the crust in the pie plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20 minutes, while you preheat the oven and prepare the filling. (If it's more convenient, the crust can be well covered and kept refrigerated overnight.)
3.      Remove the pie plate and top crust from the refrigerator and put the pie plate on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Sprinkle the digestive biscuit crumbs evenly over the bottom of the crust-this will help keep it from getting too soggy (some sog is inevitable)- and then turn the apples and their juices into the crust. The apples will heap over the top of the crust. Pat them into an even mound. Dot the apples with the bits of cold butter.
4.      Very lightly moisten the rim of the bottom crust with water, then center the top crust over the apples. (If the crusts-top and bottom- are still very cold and in danger of cracking when you work with them, let them sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes.) Either fold the overhang from the top crust under the bottom crust and crimp the crust attractively, or press the top crust against the bottom crust and trim the overhang from both crusts even with the rim of the pie plate. If you've pressed and trimmed the crust, use the tines of a fork to press the two crusts together securely.
5.      Use a sharp paring knife to cut about 6 slits int eh top crust. I always use the wide end of a piping tip to cut a circle out of the center of the crust as a steam vent. if you'd like, brush the top crust with a little milk or cream and sprinkle it with sugar.
6.      Bake the pie for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 190 degrees F, and bake the pie for another 50 to 60 minutes (total baking time is between 65 and 75 minutes), or until the crust is gorgeously browned and the juices bubble up through the top crust. After about 40 minutes in the oven, if the top crust looks as if it's browning too quickly, cover the pie loosely with a foil tent.
7.      Transfer the pie to a rack and let it rest until it is only just warm or until it reaches room temperature. Serve with maple cream or ice cream

An Apple a Day... © Cookaroo

For the Maple Cream
Adapted from Pioneer Woman
5 Tablespoons Real Maple Syrup
1-1/2 cup low fat cream
2 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup

1.      Pour cream into a saucepan. Add 5 tablespoons real maple syrup, 2 tablespoons corn syrup and stir over moderate heat until thickened and reduced by about one-third, approximately 15 minutes.
2.      Refrigerate mixture until it is cold and thick, or set the saucepan into a small bowl of ice (the ice will melt and turn into ice water). Stirring your mixture, it will cool and thicken in about 15 minutes.
3.      Serve cold with things you like

I'm also sending it to Patty's Weekly Story at Colours Dekor 

...makes you very full © Cookaroo

Friday, July 13, 2012

Spaghetti Rolls

Noodle goodness © Cookaroo
Have you ever eaten something that you've instantly loved at someone's house, asked for the recipe and instantly forgotten how to make it? Have you ever had to just rely on your memory, on your taste buds to recreate something you liked?

That's what happened to me with these rolls. I mean I could have called and asked, but it would have been awkward. No really, it would have been. Especially because this is a friends's ex mother-in-law.

Don't get me wrong. I'm friends with both. Just better friends with one. And I did eat a lot at their house when they were married, but it just well, felt wrong. So I had to rely on my memory of the food. I tried to Google the recipe, but either I was searching all wrong or it isn't up in the online world (this I resume to believe).

Then I sat down, and tried to dig deep into my memory. Just to recall what all the Friend's XMIL had said. It came back to me in bits. The bechamel has to be thick, super thick, don't add any water to it. Add lots of coriander. Cut the pasta. That's it. I couldn't remember anything else.

One of the reasons I was keen on making these, was because I had a whole lot of boiled spaghetti in the fridge. I had to do something fast. So by trial and error I went ahead. And can I just tell you, they were the first to go at the dinner party last week. (I used a frozen batch for that) and there were the first to go, at home for brunch. 

Roll baby roll © Cookaroo

Spaghetti Rolls
I don't know how many this serves - freeze what you don't eat. (unfried please)


3 tblsp butter
2 tblsp all purpose flour
500 ml milk
4 -5 jalapenos chopped
1 large onion chopped
Handful coriander leaves chopped
50 gms cheese cut in tiny dices
Leftover spaghetti say enough for one person
2 eggs
Bread crumbs


1. Start with making a bechamel sauce. Heat butter in a pan and add flour to it, stir for a minute or two till it forms a roux. Add half the milk to it and with a balloon whisk stir vigorously. 

2. Add onions and jalapenos and the remaining milk and stir till the sauce thickens. At this point turn off the heat. Add the seasoning - salt, pepper, paprika and the coriander leaves. 

3. Take the spaghetti and chop it in 4 to 5 parts. Add to the sauce. Add the dices of cheese, stir together and let it cool. As the mixture cools, it will thicken. I suggest you wait completely  (it'll just be easier) before you proceed to the next step

4. Break the eggs into a bowl. Give it a good whisk. Set aside a bowl full of breadcrumbs. 

5. With your hands, take portions of spaghetti mix and form into a ball, the cooler the mix, the faster the croquets will form. Repeat till mix is over. 

6. Then, coat the mix liberally with breadcrumbs, dip into the egg and coat again with the breadcrumbs - this way you'll get a crisp exterior and the gooey melty cheese bits.. Deep fry in hot oil till nice and brown, drain and serve with sauce of your choice.

Note: The croquets freeze beautifully, so I'd suggest you fry as many as you want when you want to eat them, and freeze the remaining for a rainy day. They can be fried straight from the freezer, you'll just have to give it an extra minute in the hot oil. 

I'm also sending this to Scottish Mum's Funky Foodie Challenge, because pasta is meant to be shared.

Croquet Power! © Cookaroo

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pineapple Upside Down Marble Cake. For Blog Hop Wednesdays

Have I told you lately, that I've been having a great time on Radhika from Ticking Palate's Blog Hop Wednesdays? It's where she pairs up bloggers every month to see what creation comes out of each others kitty.

This month I was paired with Jay of the awesome blog Sizzling Veggies and truth is because of all the lovely vegetarians recipes she has on her blog, I was tempted to try something new. I should I tried out some of the fun vegetable recipes, but I settled to bake a cake.

You see I very rarely bake without eggs, and I thought this way I'd challenge myself and see where that takes me, so I tried one of my favourite cakes - the Pineapple Upside down to see if I could do it.

And this is what I got from it

Upside down, not topside up © Cookaroo
I tweaked the recipe only a tiny bit, adding cake flour instead of regular flour. I also used pineapple juice instead of water. I added some almonds and food colouring to get that marbled effect and I was quite happy with it over all. The cake was moist, it was quite lovely too

Pineapple Upside Down Marble Cake with Almonds. Adapted from Sizzling Veggies

1 small tin Pineapple slices
5-6 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar for caramelisation
2 cups  Cake flour  ( 2 cups of all purpose flour minus 3 tblsp plus 3 tablespoon corn flour)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking soda
3/4 cup Soda
½ tsp Vanilla Essence
100 gms butter  (room temperature)
1 tin (400g) Sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup Pineapple juice
¼ cup chopped almonds
4 drops yellow food colouring
4 drops orange food colouring

1. Preheat the oven at 350F
2. Grease an 9” diameter round cake pan with butter. Arrange the pineapple slices at the base of the pan.
3. Heat sugar in a pan, becomes brown. Pour this hot caramel onto the pineapple slices and leave aside.
4. Beat butter and sweetened condensed milk well. Add vanilla or pineapple essence and mix well.
5. Sieve together all purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda and keep aside.
6. Add a portion of flour mixture to the condensed milk mixture, beat well. Add a portion of aerated soda and pineapple juice to the condensed milk mixture and beat well. Repeat this process alternating flour and aerated soda until both the flour and soda are used, starting and ending with flour.
7. Add chopped almonds. Divide the batter into two. Add yellow colouring into one, and orange in another.
7. Put tablespoons of batter into the prepared cake pan and then with a knife create a marbelling effect. Bbake at 180 degree centigrade for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven.
8. Remove from oven, loosen sides of cake using a knife and immediately turn onto a plate.

Cake! © Cookaroo