Friday, February 14, 2014

Cointreau infused Nutella Hazelnut chocolates

I came across this lovely post in  Sunita's World  on Nutella and dark chocolates truffles. My son loves nutella and I had some baking chocolate and  Cointreau ( orange liqueur) sitting in my refrigerator -- seemed just the right moment to try out these. I made a basic chocolate .. To make truffles -- finish and all , please do check out Sunita Bhuyan's post the link of which is attached herewith ..

Ingredients :
1 bottle Nutella ( The packaging we buy here has 375 gms per bottle)
100 gms of dark chocolate
4 tbspns of honey
1 tbspn of ghee (clarified butter)
Hazel nuts (Dry roast and cool)
1 tspn Orange essence
1 tspn of Cointreau

Take a glass bowl . Add the nutella, the dark chocolate broken into pieces, the honey and ghee. Microwave for a minute or less till the dark chocolate melts or softens. Remove from oven and  add the orange essence and liqueur.  Mix properly . The liquid will turn solid as you mix and it cools. You will find the mixture coming out slightly from the sides.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate for an hour. Take small portions. Put a hazel nut  or a filling of your choice while rolling into balls. Place in mini muffin cases. Makes around 42 chocolate balls.

This simple recipe is very versatile and can be tweaked for variety. You may roll it in melted chocolate or cocoa powder or desiccated coconut for different finishes. You may add different fillings inside. You may also divide the mixture into different bowls and add different essences in each making a different flavor . Bon appetit!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Cranberry Orange Lemon Tea Cake

Oh well, the original post calls it a bread -- but for me it is an awesome cake and yes I have it with my evening tea.. And so it is my orange lemon cranberry tea cake... :) :)

1.5 cups Flour
2 tsp  Baking powder
3/4th cup sugar
1 egg
1/3rd cup oil
1/3rd cup milk
a pinch of salt
1 tspn vanilla
Zest of one orange.
1/2 cup cranberries
1/2 cup candied lemon peel.
You may also use one cup of cranberries as in the original recipe. I wanted to increase the taste of orange and candied lemon peels was the nearest thing I had to recreating the taste of an orange.


Sift the flour and the baking powder thrice. Do not ask me why , but I have this thing of having to sift thrice. ( Penny! Penny! Penny! ) 

 In a bowl, take the sugar and add the orange zest. Mix it properly for sometime till the sugar becomes orange and the oil of the zest pervades the entire house... Trust me, it smells wonderful. And it allows you to increase the flavor of orange zest in the cake. I picked this up from Dorie Greenspan's French Yogurt cake ( see post) .  If you are in a hurry, you may skip this step .

Add the oil, egg, milk, salt, vanilla. Mix them properly. Add in the cranberries and lemon peel. The recipe says bake it for 20-25 minutes. But she did not mention any oven temperature and so I preheated the oven at 180 degrees and baked it for all of 50 minutes!! And it still did not brown as beautifully as the original post. I guess I need to increase my oven temperature to 200 degrees centigrade and bake it.

Do check out the original post of the recipe at the

Bon appetit !!

Bhaja Pithey

Ma , as I call ab's mother, was a wonderful cook.  I was introduced to bhaja pithey at his house and  Poush sankranti or Makar sankranti meant bhaja pithey, shoru chakli ( to be eaten with cabbage sabji) . With baba also having passed away recently, the need to reach out to the life which I had known in Baroda became stronger . And I took the courage to try out this recipe. Thankfully it was a success or  that would have been the end of my journey to continue a tradition ;) ;) .

I do not have the weights / measures for this recipe as I recreated this from memory. 


1. Dry roast yellow moong dal. Wash and boil it with salt to taste in minimal water till very soft in a separator in the pressure cooker. Using a separator allowed me to cook with minimal water. As you can see in the picture the dal has hardly any water. If you end up with  more water, you may like to dry up the water.

2. Mash it in the mixie to a smooth paste with chilli powder to taste and very little jeera powder, two spoons of maida to bind and two spoons of rice powder to make it crisp. 

3. Mash again with hand and roll into smooth balls. Stuff each ball with a small ball of sweet khoya or coconut mixture. My stuffing is a coconut jaggery mixture. In the picture below, the whitish balls are the moong dal balls and the brown shaped things are the jaggery coconut mixture.

4. You are actually supposed to pat it to a crescent shape but oblong is all I could muster..  

5. Deep fry in very hot oil so that it does not crack while frying. It does not require frying for long as all the ingredients in it  are already cooked. Your bhaja pithe is ready.. 

When u eat it, u get the taste of a savoury and sweet alternately... Bon Appetit! We had it with shoru chakli ( urad dal savoury pancakes) and a cabbage sabji.. "Tradition" as the song goes...  

If you are looking for a bhaja pithey recipe with exact measurements, you may like to checkout this blog by the multi-talented Sayantani .. And when you are on her blog, do not miss out on her breathtaking nokshabori...

Vegetarian Burgers

Ingredients for the burger patty :

  • 1 can Chick peas/ Garbanzo beans/ Boiled chana ( one can is of 450 gms, the drained weight is 250 gms. So if you are boiling chick peas at home, the net weight without any water post boiling should be around 250 grams)
  • 2 bread slices
  • 2 boiled potatoes small
  • 1 tspn each of cumin seeds , dry roasted and ground
  • Salt , sugar, pepper to taste.
  • Dried mango powder ( aamchur)  or lemon juice to taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves
  • White sesame seeds

1. Take a can of chick peas (or boil chana), mash it up with 2 breads, 2 boiled potatoes, 1 tspn each of roasted jeera powder, sugar, pepper each, sugar optional ( that's a Bong touch) , aamchur/ lemon juice and salt to taste, chopped coriander leaves. 

2. Prepare patties of the mixture.  Sprinkle sesame seeds on a plate  press either side of the patty on sesame seeds .

3. Heat a flat pan/ tawa.  Add a little oil and fry either side of the patty.  If you like it  deep fried in lots of oil, you may do so too. 

4. Prepare a spread of mayonnaise , wasabi ( optional, u may add mustard) , grated carrot and cucumber.

5. Slice a fresh soft bun. Apply the spread , patty, cheese slice , lettuce pieces. I skipped the cheese. 

 Had some strawberries in the freezer, used it to make a yogurt strawberry smoothie to serve it along the burgers...

Manjula's kitchen is a treasure trove of very doable vegetarian recipes. I first came across her site in search of a recipe to make rosogulla which incidentally was a  great success. I found tinned rossogullas thereafter .. ;)...  Her site is my regular hunting ground when I am in search of vegetarian recipes,  particularly recipes  which do not use onion garlic / Jain recipes as they are popularly called in India.   You may have noted that this recipe too does not have onion and garlic. The link to the original recipe on her site from where I have taken this recipe is attached herewith

 .. Have a great weekend all!!

Hershey Kissed Brownie Bites


  • 100 gms salted butter
  • 1 cup choco chips
  • 3 tbspns cocoa powder
  • 2 tspns vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar ( I used 3/4th)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4th cup wheat flour ( you may use 1 cup unbleached flour in case you do not want to use wheat flour)

 Microwave for a minute 100 gms butter with 1 cup Choco chips. Mix with a spatula till all the chips melt. 
Add in order and keep mixing after each addition -- 3 tbspns of cocoa powder, 2 tspns vanilla extract, 1 cup sugar, 3 eggs, 3/4th cup wheat flour . Mix properly ( do not beat) .
Add 1/4th tspn salt if using unsalted butter. 

Fill muffin cups till 3/4th. Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Bake for 35 mins 
Remove and let cool for 2 mins.

Then insert Hershey's kisses in each. 

 Mine melted and this how they looked after ten minutes . 

But super chocolatey , awesome in taste and something which can be made in a jiffy. Happy baking!!  
This recipe has been taken from I guess the name of the site says it all... :)    Do check out her awesome website for some great ideas..