Life..a miracle

Life..a miracle

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Say cheese!!

Alrite, I am late for this post. I was truly missing the treats I would enjoy back in New York and Abby's recent #baketogether challenge gave me the perfect opportunity. New York cheesecake has been one of my favorite desserts for quiet sometime now! I know many might think cheesecake really? but yes I love it! And look how pretty!! :)

Mini cheesecakes

I usually try to experiment with this challenge but this time I wanted to preserve the essence of a New York cheesecake and hence kept the recipe pretty much same. But one thing is for sure, instead of making a whole cake, I prefer making them in petite form just so that I can control the portion size better and further on reduce the guilt. The two missing in the photo below is just because they were consumed before realizing that no pictures had been clicked.. :P

The only thing I changed was the crust. I didn't have any graham crackers at home and used what I found in my pantry, in this case it was a mix of marie and Nice (a spiced sweet biscuit - Indian) biscuits. The crust tasted really good, and the amount of spice gave a nice contrast to the filling.

I won't be posting the recipe for this since it is the same as suggested by Abby in her post. As for the crust below are the ingredients (I cut down the original recipe to half):

1 cup marie and/or Nice biscuits ( I used about 10-12 biscuits)
1 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Friday, February 17, 2012

Unplanned success!

I had no plans of baking on weeknight especially after having a busy and tiring work day. But in the spare 10 mins of my lunch hour I was trying to find a recipe to use up the all-so-ripe pears sitting in my kitchen. Well, instead of that, something else caught eye..this lovely Raspberry Buttermilk Cake on one of my favorite blogs: Smitten Kitchen! :)

After reading this recipe, I just couldn't let it go! I had fresh raspberries from the farmer's market sitting in my kitchen just waiting to be baked. :) So the moment I got home I was ready to whip it up, of course with a healthy twist. I replaced a good bunch of things but kept the essence of it intact. The cake turned out beautiful and light! I cut down the sugar quiet a bit, but the ripeness of the raspberries made up for it.

Raspberry Yogurt Cake

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup plus 1tbsp sugar, divided
3 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest (optional)
1 large egg
1/2 cup yogurt
1 cup fresh raspberries
  • Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
  • Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat oil and 1/3 cup sugar until pale and fluffy, followed by honey, then beat in vanilla and zest, if using. Add egg and beat well.
  • At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined. Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp sugar.
  • Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.

Overall a perfect treat for breakfast or an accompaniment a light lunch/dinner.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Back to the grind

I really couldn't figure out on what note I should begin this post. I have been out of the blogging world for a good 3 months. Its definitely been a long time and truly an unplanned one.
The past year was a real tough one..though it brought on a lot of good changes, it was a challenging year for me and for the new 'us'. But with the hopes that the new year will be a new start for us, we got married on the first day of the year! :) We had a small ceremony with the near and dear ones and truly have some lovely memories of the day..the kind that become stories that would be passed down through generations.

Its been only two weeks that we got back from a long India trip, a true hiatus but now I couldn't be more ready to cook, bake and of course experiment! I must admit to something, for the past 6 months I have been receiving the Martha Stewart Living magazine actually addressed to someone else who lived at the same address previously. :P I am not exactly a big fan of it but then who wouldn't mind a free copy. :D
So after getting back, on a free afternoon and I was finally able to go through all of them and bookmark the interesting recipes. Today's recipe is something I found in the one of these magazines. It is just the right recipe for someone who is actually getting started / getting back to baking and wants to make something simple and quick and with minimal measurements. I was a definite qualifier for that.
So here it is a cookie recipe with a twist in it.

Semolina sheet cookie
The original recipe suggested that the cookie resembled a deconstructed biscotti. The cookie has a lovely crunchy texture and comes out really light.

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup oat flour
1/4 cup semolina
1 tsp crushed fennel seeds
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
11/2 tbsp butter
1 large egg / 2 egg whites - save some for brushing
1 tbsp sliced almonds

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Whisk together the flours, semolina, fennel seeds, baking powder and salt.
  • Beat butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy followed by the eggs. Add in the flour mixtures and bring it all together. 
  • Press dough into an even 1/4-inch thickness on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with almonds. Bake until golden, 22 - 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Break into pieces and enjoy!
The semolina adds the crunch to the cookie, but the fennel seeds show up in between and deliver a lovely flavor. I was surprised by the flavor of the seeds, truly didn't expect them to do so well in a cookie! Hope you guys enjoy it too.