Strawberry Cupcakes With Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting

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Click for Printable Recipe

Ingredients

For the Strawberry Cupcakes [Makes about 18 cupcakes]

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2  tsp salt
  • 1.5 sticks unsalted butter[ at room temperature]
  • 3/4 cup pureed strawberries [frozen/fresh]
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1-2 drops of red/pink food color depending on how pink you want your cupcakes

For the Chocolate Frosting  
  • 2.5 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2  cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp of milk or as required to thin out the frosting.

Method:
[For the Cupcakes]
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.Line your cupcakes pan with cases or grease thoroughly.
  • I like to strain out the pureed strawberries through a sieve once.You can skip this step if you do not want to.
  • In a medium bowl sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the softened butter with the pureed strawberry until mixed.
  • Add the flour mix to the butter mix and blend until fluffy.The batter will be thick
  • In another bowl,beat egg whites, milk, vanilla extract and food color until light and fluffy.
  • Fold in the whisked egg whites into the batter, divided.Keep mixing gently until whole of it is incorporated.D
  • Using your cookie/ice-cream scoop, fill the cupcake pan about 3/4 full.
  •  Bake 18 – 22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.Mine took 20 minutes.
  • Transfer the cupcakes to the rack for cooling.Let cool completely before frosting
Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting
On a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips.Mix the vanilla extract and let them cool to room temperature.Cream softened butter and sour cream until well blended.Blend in melted and cooled chocolate chips until smooth.Add confectioner’s sugar and beat well.Add a teaspoon of  milk at a time until desired, spreadable consistency is reached.

Enjoy and Thanks for stopping by!

Chicken Dopiaza-Spicy Chicken Curry With Pearl Onions

Did you send your entry to Culinary Smackdown Battle-Mango Desserts?Please see details of the ongoing event here. Hurry..just a week more to go, contest ends 28th April 2011, Pacific time.

Chicken Dopiaza is a popular indian curry with origins in east india.”Do” in Hindi means two and “piyaz/piaz ” is hindi for onions.So it translates to a chicken dish cooked with twice the normal amounts of onions in a curry or a dish where onions are used two times in the preparation.Wiki tells me that in eastern india particularly in the state of West Bengal which had a lot of muslim travelers then,this dish originated and then got popular in the rest of the country.

The good thing about this curry is that it used simple indian spices and herbs and has a yogurt tomato based sauce in addition to onions.I have used red pearl onions in the curry, you can replace with shallots or even chunks of medium-sized onions.The idea is to use onions in the sauce with as well as include them in the curry on their own.Dont be overwhelmed by the long list of ingredients, these are all easy to find things available in your pantry.The recipe is adapted from here.

Ingredients: [Serves 2]

  • 1 lb chicken ,bone in ,skinned [I used chicken thighs]
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup red pearl onions [or equivalent quantity of shallots or thick sliced onions]
  • 3 medium onions
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic
  • 4 fresh mint leaves
  • 1″fresh ginger shoot
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 5 tbsp oil [mustard/olive /canola]
  • Chopped cilantro [for garnish]

Whole Spices:
  • 6 cloves
  • 8-10 black peppercorns
  • 4 green cardamom pods, cracked open
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
Dry Ground spices:
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder[adjust to taste]
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp dry coriander powder
  • Garam Masala to sprinkle [optional]

Preparation:

  • Soak the dry chillies in half cup water for about 15 minutes.
  • Once soaked, coarsely grind them using a mortar & pestle.
  • Rub chicken pieces with lemon juice,above red chilli paste and 1 tsp salt and set aside for 30 minutes.
  • Peel the pearl onions and set aside.
  • Thinly chop the  onions.
  • Coarsely grind the mint leaves, ginger shoot and garlic cloves.Mix them which beaten yogurt and juice of the onion.Set aside.

Method
  • In a heavy bottomed pot with lid, add the oil and let it come to a smoking point on high heat.Once smoking, reduce the heat, wait for 1 minute and add the pearl onions.Fry the pearl onions for 2-3 minutes until they turn light brown.Drain on a paper towel.
  • In the remaining oil,add the sliced onions along with all the whole spices and cook till onions turn golden brown on medium heat.About 5-8 minutes.
  • Next, add the chopped tomatoes along with turmeric, red chilli and coriander powder.Cook on medium heat till tomatoes become tender and you see oil separating on sides of the pot.About 5 minutes.
  • Add the marinated chicken along with marinade,yogurt mix and stir everything to combine properly.Check the salt at this stage.Adjust if required.
  • Now reduce the heat to low and let the curry cook till the chicken is tender.About 20 minutes for the size of chicken pieces you see in the pictures.
  • When the chicken is tender, add the fried pearl onions & sugar ,mix well, cover again and let simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and sprinkle with garam masala if u like.
  • Serve warm with rice or flatbreads.

Notes:
  • You can use lamb, mutton or beef for making this curry.Adjust cooking times accordingly.
  • I recommend using bone in and dark meat chicken pieces for this curry because the curry cooks for a long time on slow heat.
Enjoy and Thanks for stopping by!

Lime Sugar Sandwich Cookies With Blueberry Cream Filling

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Ingredients

For the Lime Sugar Cookies [Makes 15 cookie sandwiches of the size shown]

Recipe adapted from Aparna’s Blog & Tips from Rosie’s Blog

  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup  + 2 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice

For the blueberry cream cheese filling :

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1.5 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tbsp blueberry paste

For the Blueberry Paste:

  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch

Method

Lime Sugar Cookies

  • In a medium bowl, sift flour,baking soda & powder, salt.Set aside
  • In a larger bowl,cream the butter & sugar thoroughly untill fluffy.To this add the lime juice & vanilla and beat until combined.
  • To the butter sugar mix, add the flour mix and gently combine with a spatula to bring together into a dough.You might need to add a tbsp or more of milk at this stage if required to make a soft dough.
  • Divide the dough into 2 small balls.Take a piece of plastic cling film, put the dough balls on it and flatten with palm to make a disc.Wrap the discs with plastic cling film.Repeat the same with 2nd dough ball.Chill both discs for about 30 minutes.
  • Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.Avoid using aluminium foil as the extreme heating up will burn the cookies from bottom.
  • After chilling, take one disc out, unwrap it and place it between two sheets of parchment  paper. Initially, you may find it little difficult to roll because of the chilled dough.It will soften as you go along.

  • Roll the disc using a floured rolling-pin into a sheet about 1/4″ thk.
  • Using a floured cookie cutter cut the cookies from the rolled dough.
  • Using a floured thin spatula, transfer the cookies to the lined cookie sheet.Note: Picking up the cookies with fingers will deshape them.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Chill the cut cookies again for 15 minutes.
  • Once chilled, bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the sides start turning brown.
  • Cool completely on a cooling rack.

Blueberry Paste:

Tip in the blueberries, water and sugar to a small sauce pan.Cook it on low heat until the blueberries are soft and mushy.Transfer to a blender.Blend on high to form a puree.Dissolve cornstarch into lemon juice.Transfer the puree to sauce pan again and add cornstarch mix.Cook on very low heat for about 5-8 minutes until you get a thick paste.Cool completely before adding to the cream.

Blueberry Cream Filling:

Make the filling by beating the cream cheese & butter with an electric mixer. Mix in powdered sugar until smooth.Add 2 tbsp of the cooled blueberry paste above to make a smooth mix.

Assembly:

Pipe or spread 1-2 tablespoons of blueberry filling in the center of a cookie. Top with a second cookie and press together until the filling reaches the edges of the cookies.Store in an air tight box for up to 3 days.

Notes:

  • Use any kind of berries or fruits to make the filling.The recipe remains the same.
  • I have mentioned the baking times on my oven.Since all ovens are different, please adjust the times as per your appliance.
  • You will need to adjust lime juice if your berries are really tart.

Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by!

Sending this to Hearth n Soul #43

Indian Espresso Coffee

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

Coffee Sugar Mix [Makes about 1/4 cup paste]

  • 2 tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 3 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 1 tbsp cold milk + a little more [if required]

Per cup of coffee you ll need :

  • 1 heaped tbsp of the above coffee sugar mix [or adjust to how strong or mild you like your coffee]
  • 1/2 cup luke warm whole milk [substitute with half n half or any flavored creamer]
  • 1/2 cup cold whole milk [substitute with half n half or any flavored creamer]
  • Cocoa powder, ground cinnamon to sprinkle [optional]

Note: You will need a tall mug & a metal spoon to whip up the coffee sugar mix.Please keep away your fine china and pick up a mug which is little heavy.

Method:

  • In a dry, tall and heavy mug, tip in the instant coffee powder and sugar together.

  • Mix well and add milk just enough to moisten the mix [about 1 tbsp].In case you need more, add slowly.The purpose of milk here is just to give you a base moist paste to start working with.

  • The mix will be dark brown at first.With the help of spoon, start beating the mix rigorously.It will start turning pale and pasty.
  • Keep on beating the mix till it becomes pale brown and the sugar has dissolved.The mix will be thick and will flow like a ribbon. Also you would have done away with some of that flab on your arms 🙂

  • You know when the mix is ready and thick enough when even on inverting the cup, it wont drip.

  • Once done, the mix with be a viscous paste.It is ready to use now.
  • Tip in a generous tablespoon of coffee-sugar mix into a “microwave” safe cup.
  • Pour about 1/2 cup of luke warm milk.Microwave on high for 20-25 seconds.

  • Take out and stir thoroughly with a spoon to dissolve any lumps etc.This is an important step.You need to get a smooth coffee-milk mix before adding more milk.
  • Top up with remaining 1/2 cup of cold milk and stir gently to combine everything. [Note: Mixing milk too rigorously will reduce the froth in the final cup]
  • Micro again for about 30-40 seconds or till you see froth rising up.
  • Your coffee is ready.Top with ground cinnamon or cocoa powder.
  • Serve warm with muffins or cookies.

Notes:

  • You can use  whole milk diluted with water if you want.
  • Normally, sweetened cocoa powder is sprinkled over the coffee before serving.I have noted it in the recipe even though I dont like to add it to mine..
  • The paste lasts in fridge for about 2-3 days.You will have to beat again before using it.Ofcourse, the results will vary as compared to the fresh mix.
  • The microwave times I have noted are the ones on my appliance.You will have to adjust and keep a watch as your coffee is inside to avoid spill overs.

Enjoy your cuppa coffee ! Thanks for stopping by.