Monday, October 31, 2011

Rasmlai-with egg!!

When I was about 8 years old, I and Nada used to go tho the park in our compound everyday to play with our neighbors. We would play for about 2 hours or till Umma sent for us. On one such day, we were feeling unusually hungry and decided to go to one of our friend, Afia's house to fill our stomach. Afia's mom had prepared these cold juicy rasmalais. That was the first time I tasted rasmalai. And the best too.

My aunt Noorialama keeps taunting me telling me that though I know to prepare dishes from around the world, I am blank when it comes to Indian food, our Desi food. I guess it is true. And it is probably so because I have never really been attracted to Indian food. And even those things that I love are either prepared by Umma or easily available in the stores. So I never attempted them.

But now, I have decided to attempt some real indian food, specially Manglorean food. And what better to start off with than desserts, my forte. This is the same recipe that Afia's mom had used. After that day, I have tasted many rasmalais, but nothing could bet these.

Traditionally rasmalai is prepared with paneer(cottage cheese). I have used a shortcut method which tastes just like the paneer version. The whole dish comes together in 30 minutes. They taste best when they are cold, but if you don''t have the patience, then enjoy them hot.

Just last week I had made tres leches cake, and somehow, I think these Indian rasmalai are similar to Latin tres leches cake. Both of them comprise of a soft cake holding a ton of sweet milk within it. You might laugh at this comparison, but this is just my opinion :)

Egg Rasmalai
makes 12 rasmalais

1 mug(about 125g) milk powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 tsp oil
1.5 litres milk
1/2 cup sugar(adjust according to your taste)
1/2 tsp caramom powder
1 tsp rose essence
few strands of saffron
pinch of salt

  • Heat the milk along with salt and sugar.
  • /in a bowl, sieve milk powder and baking powder together.
  • Add the oil and egg and mix well to form a dough.
  • Immediately form small balls(keep in mind that the balls will expand while cooking). See to it that there are no major cracks in the balls.
  • Keep the balls covered with a cloth till the milk starts boiling, else they will get dried.
  • When the milk starts boiling, drop the balls. 
  • Increase heat and immediately decrease.
  • Cover and let it simmer till the rasmalais are cooked and expand in size.(5-10 minutes)
  • To check if the rasmalais are cooked, take a rasmalai and break it open. The whole ball must be uniformly coloured.
  • Let them cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Switch off the flame. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir carefully. The rasmalai are brittle and can break easily.
  • Let the rasmalai cool.Refrigerate and serve cold.

Note: If the dough becomes dry and starts cracking, wet your hands and knead the dough. Keep the dough covered if you are slow in forming the balls to prevent them from getting dried..

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cleta Bailey's Toffee Squares

I don't remember how I came across Pioneer Woman. But ever since, my life hasn't been the same. She is one of the best food bloggers in the world. Perfect recipes, perfect photos, great writing skills, there is nothing in her that you can complain about.

This specific recipe is one of the easiest bar recipes you will ever find. Once when I was preparing it at 5 in the morning, I was just wondering how can something be so easy. That is when I realised that something was wrong. The dough was supposed to be brown, not white. I panicked. How could my fail-proof recipe fail? And that is when I realised, I was so sleepy, I had forgotten to add the brown sugar. Hehehe. A quick sprinkle of sugar and the bars came out as good as they always do. This is one of those recipes that you can prepare when you are having a large group of friends coming over without prior notice. Or if you want to gift your loved ones something special and yet easy. Or if you want to treat yourself some cute bars without sharing with anyone. Yup! Just for you ;)

Take a look at Pioneer Woman's post for step by step photos.

Cleta Bailey's Toffee Squares:
Makes 24 bars(might vary depending on size of bars)

2 sticks/ 1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips(use milk chocolate if you like your bar overly sweet)
3/4 cup of your favorite nuts, chopped(optional)


  • Preheat oven to 325 degree Fahrenheit. 
  • Cream butter and sugar till fluffy.
  • Add egg and vanilla. Beat till combined.
  • Add flour and mix well.
  • Spread the dough on a 9x13 inch cookie sheet. using an offset spatula.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or till golden brown.
  • Sprinkle the chocolate chips on the cookie layer and return to oven for 1 minute.
  • Spread the melted chocolate using an offset spatula.
  • Sprinkle nuts and cut into squares.
  • If possible, let them rest overnight. It tastes a lot better the next day. Though it is almost impossible..

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Jam tarts

I was experiencing some problem with my internet connection since the past couple of weeks. It is at times like this that one realizes the extent to which one is dependent on technology. I could not check my mails, could not open my facebook account, could not blog surf, and all of this had to happen just when I got 2 weeks off from college. Ugh!

And because of this I couldn’t even do this month’s sweet punch. This month we were asked to prepare Ria’s  jam tarts. I had read the recipe many times so I could prepare them even without internet connection. But I couldn’t post it until today.

Talking about the tarts, they are one of my favourite desserts. Be it a fruit tart or a chocolate one and I will gobble it down in seconds. Ria’s tarts are a tart-lover’s dream. They were perfectly flaky and buttery and since the tart shell does not contain any sugar, the jam did not make it oversweet.
Ria puts the jam into the tart shell before baking. I prepared half of the batch Ria’s way and baked the remaining tarts without jam (I did not put any beans and they came out fine).  Later I microwaved jam till they just started to boil and poured it into the warm shell. The baking time is almost the same for both cases. I think I preferred the second method because the tarts turned out prettier.
Her is a comparison pic. The one to the right was made Ria's way.

Jam tarts:
Makes 9-12 tarts depending on size of tart cases

Flour 115g
Butter 60g, chilled
Baking powder- 1/2 tsp
Water 4-5 drops
Jam about 1 tsp for each tart

Mix flour and baking powder.
Add butter and rub with your fingertips till it resembles fine bread crumbs.
Add water drop by drop if required.
Don't knead it too much.
Line the tart tins with dough.
Bake for about 15 minutes in an oven preheated at 180 degrees.
Microwave jam for 30 seconds or till it becomes thin.
Pour jam into warm tarts.
Demould when cooled.