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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Eggless Vanilla Cupcakes with Butter cream Frosting

I have been baking cakes since long but never dared to post a recipe! I have always felt that there is so much more to learn & kept on postponing. After making dozens of cakes, now I feel confident about my baking skills. So here I am with with my first cupcake recipe with butter cream frosting !!

I baked 40 cupcakes for my son's birthday last week. He took 26 cupcakes to school & remaining I gave to his friends at our apartment. Made two batches of chocolate & a single batch of vanilla cupcakes.

Pardon me for the poor cupcake decoration...


Preparation Time: 10 mins
Baking Time: 20 mins

Recipe source for the cupcakes: Cookcurrynook

Ingredients: (Yields around 13-14 cupcakes)
For vanilla cupcakes:

  • All-Purpose flour/Maida : 1 & 1/2 cups
  • Yogurt/Curd: 1 cup
  • Sugar: 3/4th cup
  • Cooking Oil: 1/2 cup (I used sunflower oil)
  • Baking soda: 1/2 tsp
  • Baking powder: 1 & 1/4 tsp
  • Vanilla extract: 2 tsp


For vanilla flavored butter cream frosting:

  • Butter: 1 cup
  • Confectioners sugar/powdered sugar: 3 cups
  • Yellow food color: 3 drops
  • Vanilla extract: 2 tsp
  • Milk: 1-2 tbsp


Other ingredients:
Rainbow sprinkles

** All the measurements mentioned above are leveled & not heaped!




Method:
For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 400F/200C for 10 mins. Grease the cupcake moulds with butter or place cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, mix the yogurt & sugar until the sugar dissolves completely.

Add the baking soda & baking powder to the yogurt mixture

Mix the baking soda & baking powder. Keep it aside for 5 mins. The yogurt mixture will turn frothy & will slightly increase in volume.

Meantime, measure & sieve the AP flour.
Pour in the cooking oil, vanilla extract to the frothy yogurt mixture & mix.

Add the flour & gently fold the mixture. Don't stir vigorously.

Scoop out around 2 tbsp of mixture to each cupcake mould.
Reduce the oven temperature to 360F/180C & bake the cupcakes for about 15-18 mins.
To check if the cupcakes are done, insert a toothpick & if it comes out clean, cupcakes are done.
Place the cupcakes on a wire rack & allow them to cool. (I cooled my cupcakes for about an hour!)


For the frosting:
Prerequisites: 
The butter has to be at room temperature.
Milk has to be cold.

I poured in the butter & sugar to my food processor jar & pulsed it for 10 secs.
When it was almost done, I added 1.5 tbsp of milk, vanilla extract, food color & pulsed again for 5-10 secs. Frosting was all done.
#In case, you don't have food processor, you could do it with your hand mixer/stand mixer. You could also mix it using your hands. Good exercise!!




Sunday, September 23, 2012

Besan Laddu : Festive Foods

Few of my friends ask me, why don't I publish during festivals? I always cook a lot during the festivals, but at the end of the day I get so tired that I never take any pictures! This week I had three occasions back to back. Swarna Gowri Pooja, Ganesh Chaturthi & the following day was my son's birthday. I have cooked so much over those three days that I feel I need rest for the next three weeks!!

For the Gowri pooja, I had cooked kadlekalu guggri/usli (Spiced Chickpeas) & besan laddu as neivedyam/prasad.


I follow my aunt's measurements for making the besan laddu. It turns perfect every-time.



Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 30-40 mins
Makes around 20-22 laddus

Ingredients:

  • Besan/Gram flour/Kadale hittu: 2 cups
  • Sugar: 2 cups
  • Ghee/Clarified Butter: 1/2 cup & a tablespoon


Method:
Sieve the gram flour & keep aside.
Take a wide & thick bottomed pan. Add the gram flour & roast until the flour is warm on a medium-low heat.
Add the ghee to the warm gram flour & gently mix until the ghee is well coated on the gram flour. It will form a mass now. 
Keep breaking it & roast it on low-medium heat for 25-30 minutes. The aroma of the flour roasted in ghee should fill your home. The flour will slightly change its color. 
Turn off the heat & let the flour cool completely. 
Powder the sugar & keep aside.
When cool, add the sugar & mix well. Take a tablespoon of mixture & press it firmly with your fist. Make medium lime sized balls with the mixture & store them in air tight container. (In case your mixture is breaking, refer the notes below). This stays good for up to 15 days without refrigeration. 


Notes:
  • Sometimes the mixture might turn too powdery & becomes difficult to make balls out of it. In that case, add a couple of teaspoons of warm ghee & mix well. Then make laddus out of it. Some people add warm milk too. But with milk, the shelf life of the laddu reduces. 
  • On the contrary, the mixture might become very soft making it difficult to make laddus. In such a case, refrigerate the mixture for 10 mins to make the mixture a bit hard. Make laddus out of it.
  • Very soft mixture is an indication that more ghee was added. Reduce the ghee for the next batch! 
  • Add dry fruits of your choice to make the laddus rich! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Kushboo Idli

Loads of unpredictable things are happening to me these days, more in a not-so-good way. I'm stressed & strained. I am trying to involve myself in other activities to forget the pain.  The main relaxation to me is the cooking. I have been cooking enormously over the last week. To rejuvenate myself I decided to cook dishes that I bookmarked from my blogger friends. This whole month, I dedicate to the bookmarked recipes!

Last weekend, we celebrated Krishna Janmastami & here is a glimse of what we offered (Pardon the poor pictures as it was taken late night!)


Kushboo idli is tried from Priya's Feast. It was super soft! Since, the quality of urad dal isn't that great here, I made few modifications to the original.


Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Makes around: 30-35 idlis.

Ingredients:

  • Urad dal: 1 cup
  • Idli rice: 3 cups (original calls for 4 cups of raw rice)
  • Sago/Sabbakki/Sabudana: 1/2 cup
  • Salt: 2 tsp
  • Water: As needed to grind.


Method:

  • Wash the rice & sago together. Let it soak for 4-5 hours.
  • Wash the lentils thoroughly & let them soak for 3-4 hours. Drain the water from the soaked lentils & add them to the food processor jar. 
  • Add 2-3 tbsp of ice cold water to the lentils & pulse for few seconds. Add few tablespoons of ice cold water to the very coarsely done lentils & pulse again. Repeat the whole process of adding ice cold water & pulsing for at-least 5-6 times. 
  • The lentils must be very smooth & frothy.
  • Scoop out the lentils paste to a broad vessel. 
  • Drain the water from the rice. Grind the rice & sago together with very little water to a fine paste.
  • Scoop out the rice paste. Pour it over the lentils mixture & mix it well. 
  • Let it ferment for 8-12 hours depending on the outside temperature. After proper fermentation, the batter would have raised.
  • Grease the idli plates. Add salt to the batter & mix it. (I used ramekin moulds to prepare the idlis)

  • Pour couple of tablespoons of batter to each mould. 
  • Place it in the steamer & steam the idlis for 15-20mins.
  • To check if idli is done, insert a tooth-pick, if it comes clean, idlis are properly cooked. 
  • Remove the idli stand from steamer & allow it to cool for 2-3mins. Carefully remove the idli using a spoon or knife.
  • Serve it hot with a chutney, sambar of your choice.



Notes:
Refer the beginner series post on idli for detailed info about how to grind the lentils. 

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