Cherry Winks

IMG_2609

Makes 5 doz

Ingredients

  • 2                jars(8 oz each) maraschino cherries
  • 2-1/2         cups all-purpose flour
  • 1                tsp baking powder
  • 1/2             tsp baking soda
  • 1/2             tsp salt
  • 3/4             cup butter, room tempreture
  • 1                 sugar
  • 2                 large eggs
  • 1                 tbsp milk
  • 1                 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1                 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4                 cups cornflakes, coarsely crushed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 2 large cookie sheets.  Finely chop 1/2 cup cherries and set aside.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl, set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugar in a a large mixer bowl at medium high speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs, then milk and vanilla, until smooth.
  5. With mixture at low speed, beat dry ingredients just until blended.
  6. Stir in chopped cherries and nuts.
  7. Divide dough into quarters and shape into disks.  Wrap and refregerate overnight.
  8. Spread cornflakes on large plate.  Working with one disk at a time, divide dough and roll into 1-inch balls, then roll in cornflakes to coat.(Keep remaining rough refregerated.)
  9. Place 2 inches apart on a prepared cookie sheets.
  10. Cut 30 cherries in half.  Gently press a cheery half onto centre of each cookie.
  11. Bake 12 – 14 minutes, until browned.
  12. Transfer cookies to wire rach to cool.
  13. Repeat process with remaing douch, cornflakes and cherry halves.

Coconut Pecan Bars

Coconut Pecan Squares
Coconut Pecan Bars

Makes 36

Ingredients

  • 1/3           cup butter
  • 3/4           cup all purpose flour
  • 1                tbsp lemon juice

Filling

  • 1                 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1                 cup pecans
  • 2                 egg
  • 1/2             cup packed brown sugar
  • 4                 tsp all-purpose flour
  •                    pinch salt
  •                    tsp vanilla
  • 1/2            chopped dried sour cherries
  • 1/4            cup chopped bittersweet chocolate ot chocolate chips

Icing

  • 1-1/2         icing sugar
  • 3                 tbsp butter softened
  • 2                 tbsp milk
  • 1                 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or bowl, cut butter into flour until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
  2. Drizzle with lemon juice, process just until mixture holds together when pressed.
  3. With floured hands press into parchment-paper-lined 8 inch Square metal pan.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until ligh golden, about 15 min.

Filling

  1. Meanwhile, spread coconut and pecans on baking sheet; bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until fragrant and lightly coloured, about 8 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, flour, salt and vanilla; stir in coconut mixture, dried cherries and chocolate.
  3. Spreed evenly over base, pressing lightly to smooth.
  4. Bake in 350 degree oven until firm and golden, 25 minutes.
  5. Let it cool.

Icing

  1. In a bowl, beat sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla; spread over filling.
  2. Refrigerate until icing is firm.  About an hour.
  3. Cut into squares.

Spumoni Slices

IMG_2610 (1)

Makes 7 doz.

Ingredients

  • 3               cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2           tsp baking powder
  • 1/4           tsp salt
  • 1               cup butter or margarine softened
  • 1               cup sugar
  • 1               large egg
  • 2               tbsp milk
  • 1               tsp vanilla extract
  • 1               square unsweetened chocolate melted
  • 1/3           cup candied red cherries, finely chopped
  • 5               drops red food colouring
  • 1/2           cup pistachio nuts, finely chopped
  • 1               tsp dark rum or 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 5               drops green food colouring.

Instructions

  1. Combine flour. baking soda and salt to a bowl.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg, milk and vanilla and mix.
  4. With mixer at low speed, gradually add dry ingredients just until blende.
  5. Divide dough into thirds, placing each in a separate bowl.
  6. Combine one third dough with melted chocolate.
  7. Combine cherries and red colouring with the second one third of the dough.Stir nuts, rum and green food colouring into remaining dough.
  8. Line an 8 x 4 inch bread pan with plastic wrap.  Press green dough evenly into bottom of the pan.  Repeat layering with chocolate and cherry doughs.
  9. Cover and refregerate overnight.
  10. preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  11. Invert pan onto a cutting board.  Remove pan and peel of the plastic wrap.
  12. Cut dough crosswise into 1/4 inch-thick slices, then cut each slice crosswise into thirds or quarters.
  13. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  14. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned.
  15. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Sticky Toffee and Dark Chocolate Pudding Cake

IMG_6545

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 1                 lb dried Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 -1/2         cups water
  • 2-1/2          cups all-purpose flour
  • 2                 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4              tsp baking soda
  • 1                 tsp salt
  • 3/4              cup unsalted butter
  • 1                 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3              cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2                 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3                 eggs
  • 1                 cup chopped Lindt Excellence 85% Dark chocolate

Vanilla Meringue butter cream

  • 4                 eggs white
  • 1 1/4          cup granulated sugar
  • 1                 tsp vanilla extract
  •                    Pinch salt
  • 3/4             cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Chocolate caramel drizzle

  • 1 1/4         cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4             cup water
  • 3/4             cup 35% whipping cream
  • 80               g  Lindth Excellence 85% Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/8             tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.  Lightly grease 3-7″ springform pans or 2-9″ springform pans.  Set aside.
  2. Combine dates and water in a small saucepan over medium-high-heat, bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a low and simmer for 10 minutes or until dates are tender and about 1/3 cup liquid remains.
  4. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until smooth; set aside.
  5. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  6. Using electric mixer, cream butter with sugars until light and fluffy.
  7. Beat in vanilla; stir in egges, one at a time, scraping down sides after each addition.
  8. Stir in one-third of flour mixture; stir in half of date puree, mixing after each addition just until incorporated.  Repeat additions of flour and date puree; stir in remaining flour mixture.
  9. Stir in chopped chocolate.  Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans.
  10. Bake for 40 minutes or until tester inserted in centre of cakes comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it.
  11. Let cool for 10 minutes in pans, then turn out onto racks to cool completely.

Buttercream

  1. In a double boiler over medium-low heat, whisk egg whites with sugar until sugar has fully dissolved and instant-read thermometer reads 160 degree F(70degress F). Remove from heat.
  2. Add vanilla and salt to egg white mixture, using electric mixer, whip until meringue holds stiff peaks and mixture is at room tempreture.  Add butter, one cube at a time, beating well after each addition.  (If mixture looks like it is separating, keep beating until it looks smooth again.)  When butter has incorporated, reduce to medium-high speed; beat for 2 minutes or until silky smooth.  (Use immediately, or refrigerate briefly if buttercream is too soft.)
  3. Spoon buttercream into piping bag fitted with large tip.

Drizzle

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water over medium-low heat, stirring until sugar has disolved.
  2. Turn heat to medium-high; bring to a boil, and boil without stirring for 4 to 5 minutes, or until sugar mixture is deep gold.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Working quickly and being careful not to splash, stir in cream.  Let cool slightly; add chocolate and salt, stirring until smooth.
  5. Let sauce cool to room tempreture.

Assembly

  1. Trim domed tops from cake layers.  Transfer one layer to cake board, plate or serving platter; drizzle with one third of the chocolate sauce.
  2. Pipe a circle of buttercream around cake, about 1/2 inch(1cm) from edge;  fill with more butter cream.
  3. Top with second cake layer, drizzle with sauce and pipe buttercream over top.
  4. Add final cake layer; pipe remaining buttercream over top and side of cake, using a spatula to spread evenly.
  5. Drizzle remaining chocolate sauce over top and side of cake.
  6. Top with lindt truffles and chocolate sauce.

Chocolatier Tip

The best way to add chocolate to an already sweet dessert is to use chocolate that has a higher percentage of cacoa.  This gives you all the bittersweet flavour without the extra sugar.

 

Vegetarian Sausage Rolls

IMG_5560.jpg

Spinach, chickpeas and sweet potato sausage rolls

Ingredients

  • 1             can chickpeas(400) gms
  • 1/2         lb yam(orange sweet potato)
  • 4             ozs frozen chopped spinach
  • 2             oz feta cheese
  • 1/2         red onion
  • 2             cloves garlic
  • 1             tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1             tsp freshly ground cumin
  • 1             tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4         tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2         tsp salt
  • 2             tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1             tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1             pkt frozen Puff pastry, defrosted
  • 1             egg
  • 1             tbsp sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Drain the chick peas, in a food processor pulse the chickpeas to a rough puree.  Put this in a medium size bowl.
  2. Grate the sweet potato and add this to the bowl.
  3. Defrost the spinach and add this to the bowl.
  4. Crumble the cheese and add this to the mix.
  5. Finely chop the onion and add it to the mix.
  6. Finely grate or chop garlic and ginger, add this to the mix.
  7. Add the rest of the ingredients except egg and sesame seeds and mix well.
  8. Lightly beat the egg and brush it all over the pastry sheets.
  9. Cut the pastry about 3″ wide.
  10. Place the vegetable mixture in the centre 1″ pastry, using your hands form it into a sausage shape the lenght of the pastry.  roll the pastry around the filling, as firmly as possible without stretching the pastry, until you have a roll shape with about 1/2″ overlap.
  11. Egg wash each roll and sprinkle with sesane seeds.
  12. Transfer the rolls to the freezer for about 30 minutes to set a little which will make it easier to cut.
  13. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a baking tray with butter or pam or line it with parchment or greaseproof paper.
  14. Remove the rolls from the freezer, using a sharp knife, cut the rolls to your desired lenght.  Place the cut rolls onto a greased baking tray seam side down, and bake for 25-30 minutes until pastry is golden.
  15. Note.  If the rolls collapse a bit during baking and the filling spills out, once the pastry is golden and they are out of the oven, using two desert spoons – one of either sides of the sausage roll – to gently push the filling into the pastry into a roll shape.

IMG_5558.jpg

Kashmiri Dum Aloo

Indian Kashmiri Dum Aloo is a mildly spiced potato curry, tomato based,cooked with spices and yoghurt.

It is not as spicy as it looks.  The curry has the Indian spices, yoghurt  and gorgeous lush red colour from tomato paste.

 In Indian homes, a curry is for dinner, no matter how hot the tempreture.

According to the elders, spices in a curry help fight stress, calm you down, and make you feel good even on a hot summer day.  Some spices are cooling and are preferred on summer days.

Cooling spices are:  cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, green cardamom.  So in summer we have cardamom tea, yoghurt based curries li ke dum aloo, or cumin(jeera) lassi or fennel ice cream.

Warming spices are:  Cinnamon, black cardamom, mustard seeds, cloves, star anise, bay leaves, curry leaves, mace etc.

IMG_5614.jpg 

Ingredients

  • 10-12           small potatoes peeled and cut in half
  • 1                    cup yoghurt (if using Greek yoghurt add 1/4 cup water)
  • 3-4                tbsp cilantro(to garnish)
  • 1/4                cup tomato paste
  • 1-2                white onion(about 1 cup finely chopped)
  • 1                    tsp chopped garlic
  • 1                    tsp chopped ginger
  • 4                    tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2                tsp salt
  • 1                    tsp mild paprika or
  • 1/4                tsp cayenne
  • 1/3                cup cashews(10-12 soaked in mild and blended)
  • 1/4                cup milk

Spice Blend

  • 1                    tsp fennel seeds
  • 1                    tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2                tsp cardamon seeds
  • 4-5                black pepper

Instructions

  1. Wash the potatoes.  Peel off skin and cut then in half.  Prick each potato with fork 2-3 times (this makes potatoes tender faster when frying and also help absorb flavour in the curry later)
  2. Heat a large saucepan.  Add all the spices except chili powder and roast for 30 seconds or until fragrant.  Remove in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder and grind to a powder.
  3. Soak cashew in milk and set it aside.
  4. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a heavy bottom large saucepan.  Add potatoes and cook until crispy almost brown from all sides,
  5. Remove potatoes on a plate lined with paper towel.  Test if done – pierce a knife through one potato, the knife  should slide in smoothly.
  6. Add onions, garlic and ginger and saute until onions are soft.
  7. While onions cook, grind cashew to a paste with soaking milk.  In onion, mixture add ground toasted spices and cook for 1 minute.  Add Cashew paste and cook for 3-4 minutes until oil separates.
  8. Reduce heat to low, add yoghurt and mix well.  Increase the heat and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or until oil separates.
  9. Add the potatoes with 1/2 cup of water, mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
  10. Remove from the heat, garnish with cilantro and serve with naan and/or rice.

Pistachio Stuffed Coconut Ladoo

Coconut Ladoo with Pistachio
Coconut Ladoo with Pistachio
Coconut Ladoo with Pistachio
Coconut Ladoo with Pistachio centre

Makes 4 doz

Ingredients 

  • 8                  oz butter
  • 3/4              cup half and half cream
  • 2                  cups sugar
  • 1/2              cup powder milk
  •                      few drops of pink food colour
  • 1/2              tsp elechi seeds crushed(cardamon seeds)
  • 1/4              tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1                  lb unsweetened coconut

For Stuffing

  • 1/2              cup pistachio

For Rolling

  • 1/4               cup coconut

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan heat butter, half and half cream and sugar, bring it to a boil and let it boil for 5 minutes, stiring a few times.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook till the mixture is thick and starts forming a ball.
  3. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Take small amount of the mixture and roll into a 1″ ball, then roll the ball in the extra coconut.
  5. Flatten this ball on a piece of plastic, put 1/2 a teasp pistachio in the centre, pick up the plastic with the four corners and make a tight bundle, making a ball again.
  6. Roll the ball in coconut.

IMG_5364.jpg

Cheese Cookies

Cheese Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1            lb all purpose flour
  • 1/2        lb butter
  • 1            cup water
  • 4            oz cheddar cheese grated medium fine
  • 1/4        tsp celery seeds(optional)
  • 1/4        tsp red chilli powder
  • 1            beaten egg
  • 2            oz parmigiano cheese grated medium fine

Instructions

  1. Add the flour in a medium size bowl.
  2. Divide the butter in four.
  3. Cut one portion into small pea size pieces.  Rub this into the flour.  Place the rest of the butter in a cool place until required. (You can grate the butter if you want).
  4. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the water, mix to a fairly stiff dough, using a fork.
  5. Sprinkle board, rolling pin and your hands with flour. turn out dough on to the board and sprinkle with flour again.
  6. Knead dough briskly at least 5 minutes until smooth and silky.
  7. Sprinkle the dough with flour, cover with a damp cloth, and leave to rest on the board for about 10 minutes.
  8. First rolling:  Roll out the dough to an oblong strip about 10” to 12”.
  9. Dab the top 2/3 of the dough with 1/2 x 1/4 inch pieces of butter, keeping the pieces in rows and leaving a  1/2” margin all around.
  10. Fold the uncovered 1/3 of the dough upwards and the top 1/3 downwards and over the bottom fold.
  11. With the rolling pin, lightly press the 3 open edges together to seal.
  12. Second rolling: Brush of any surplus flour.  Turn the dough so that the longer sealed edge is on the left.
  13. Roll out the dough to a 10 x 12 inch strip.
  14. Dab on third portion of the butter, as for the second portion.  Fold and seal edges as before.  Plastic wrap the dough or put the dough in a plastic bag and refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  15. Third rolling:  as for the second rolling using the last portion of the butter.  Rest as before.
  16. Fourth rolling, as for the 2nd rolling, sprinkle grated cheese, celery seeds and red chilli powder on the top 2/3 of the dough and fold it in 1/3 as before.  Let it rest as before.
  17. Fifth Rolling: Roll out to 1/4 “ thick, brush the pastry with a beaten egg, sprinkle with parmigiano cheese. With a pastry wheel or a sharp knife cut into strips or square to the desired size.  Space 1/2 inch apart on a baking sheet. refrigerate for 30 min.
  18. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes till the cookies are golden brown and cooked through.
Flaky Pastry
Flaky Pastry
 Flaky-Pastry.jpg
Note:
If you do not want to make the pastry, you can buy the frozen puff pastry from the grocery store.
do Step 16 and 17.
Variation:
Khara Biscuit:  Roll the pastry 5 times, cut it into desired shape and bake.
 
Sweet Cookies:
Mix 2 oz brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon powder.
Cheese Straws:
Using a pastry wheel or a sharp knife cut dough into 1/2 x 12 inch strips; twist into spirals.
Space 1/2 inch apart on a baking sheet.
Press ends onto the sheets to prevent straws from straightening.  Refrigerate for 30 mins.
Bake as above.
 

 

Gulab Jambu

IMG_5745
Gulab Jambu

Ingredients

Jambu 

  • 1              lb pacific powder milk
  • 6              oz all purpose flour
  • 1              heaped tsp baking powder
  • 5              cup whipping cream
  • 4              cups oil for frying

Syrup

  • 4               cups sugar
  • 1/4            tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1/4            tsp freshly ground cardomom seeds
  • 1/4            tsp saffron

Instructions

  1. Put the milk powder in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the all purpose flour and baking powder.
  3. Make a stiff dough with the whipping cream.
  4. Make small balls about inch round.
  5. Heat the oil in a wok at 350 degrees.
  6. Deep fry the balls a few at a time (The balls will double in size) turning every few minutes to get an even colour.  Fry till they are light brown in colour and doubled in size.

Syrup:

  1. Make a light syrup with sugar and 3 cups water.
  2. Add the spices and the colour.
  3. Add the warm balls in the warm syrup.  Let it soak for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Sprinkle it with almonds and Pistachio before serving.

IMG_5741.jpgIMG_5743.jpgIMG_5742.jpg

 

 

Pear-Cranberry Hand Pies

These flaky little pies may be the ultimate grab-and-go dessert. Pear-Cranberry Hand Pie Makes 8 pies

Ingredients

  • 2                    Bosc pears (1 lb), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/3                 cup plus 1-1/2 tblsp sugar
  • 1                    tbsp all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4                 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • pinch            ground cloves
  • pinch            ground cinnamon
  • pinch            salt
  • 1                    14 oz package frozen puff pastry (thawed)
  • 1                    egg beaten
  •                       Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, toss the diced pears with 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tbsp flour and the cranberries, ground cloves, cinnamon and salt.
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry to a 14-1/2 inch square, about 1/8” thick.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into 8 squares.
  4. Spoon the pear filling onto a corner of each squares, leaving a 1/2 inch border.
  5. Fold the pastry over the filling to make a triangle and firmly press the edges to seal.
  6. Crimp the edges with a folk to allow steam to escape during baking.
  7. Transfer the pies to a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until chilled.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  9. Brush the chilled pies with the beaten egg and sprinkle them with the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoon sugar.
  10. Bake the pies for about 30 minutes, until they are golden brown.
  11. Let the pies cool for at least 5 minutes.
  12. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Pear-Cranberry Hand Pie