Sunday, August 28, 2016

Weekend Breakfast! : Whole wheat and oats Chocolate Crepes

Since the time I have started cooking most of my meals myself again, I look forward to making something special for my family on weekends...
Either a hearty breakfast of pancakes or baked eggs or stuffed omelette or crepes...
Or some adventorous lunch of thai or mexican cuisine...
And my kids, esp the kids gobble it up, much to my delight and thankfulness! Alhamdolillah!
And for quite sometime I have been wanting to try mixing chocolate into the crepe mix... with mayb a bit of oats and whole wheat?
Because if you've gotto eat good, why not eat a little healthy, yeah?
And they came out absolutely divine!! Esp. filled with caramelised cinnamon apples.

So here is my recipe for Chocolate flavored whole wheat and oats crepes...
with a filling of your choice- caramelised cinnamon apples, or sweetened cream cheese, or even bananas... or mayb to make it all the more chocolaty- why not Nutella?

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat
1/4 cup oats (given a whizz in the mixie)
4 tbsp powdered sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
a pinch of salt

1/3 cup refined canola oil
2 cups milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence

some castor sugar for sprinkling

1- Mix the dry ingredients- all three kinds of flour, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt in a big mixing bowl.
2- In another bowl add the remaining wet ingredients... oil, milk eggs and vanilla essence. Whisk them well to combine
3- Make a well in the middle of the bowl having the flour mixture and pour in the wet mixture bit by bit, while continuing to mix well by hand, not an electric beater.
4- It should be of pouring consistency, if not, then add a bit more milk.
5- Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes to an hour, while you prepare the filling.
For the cinnamon apple filling: click (here)
6- You can even store the batter, covered in the refrigerator for a couple of days, but whisk it well before making the crepes.
7- Heat a flat non-stick frying pan, add a blob of butter on medium heat.
8- Lower the heat and the pour in about 1/4 cup of the batter in the centre of the pan, swirl it so that it spread across the base of the pan.
9- Cook the crepe till the edges lift up but the top layer of the crepe is still slightly wet. Flip it over and cook on the other side.
10- Slide the crepe off the pan onto a napkin lined plate (to absorb the extra butter)
11- Repeat the process with the other crepes.
12- Lay the cinnamon apple filling in a thin line at the centre of the flat crepe, (or any other filling of your choice... even whipped cream) fold one side over the other.
13- Sprinkle with castor sugar on top and serve warm.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday Food for the Soul: Raw-Egg Free and Alcohol Free EASY Tiramisu

Tiramisu is one of the most decadent and delicious looking+tasting desserts... the only hitch being that it has alcohol in it and so I don't have it....
But I scoured the internet for non-alcoholic versions but they kind of put me off because they used raw eggs in the custard mixture... Dont like the concept of raw eggs...and plus it seemed too tedious and time consuming.
And I am all for making my recipes as simple as possible please!
another hitch being that where we live- a thing like mascarpone cheese is not available... so the next best alternative is cream cheese...
And why not a home made version if you have the time?
so this recipe is without alcohol... without raw eggs custard, and has home-made cream cheese instead of the exotic Mascarpone cheese!
So without further ado... here is my version of virgin Tiramisu!

Basic chocolate sponge cake cut into fingers if serving in small glasses other wise slice it into two equal layers.

for soaking:
3 tsp instant coffee powder
3 tbsp sugar
1 cup water

other ingr:
1 cup packaged cream cheese *see note at the end on how to make home-made cream cheese
7 tbsp icing sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla essence

For the topping/garnishing:
4 tbsp cocoa powder
chocolate curls

1- Cut the chocolate sponge cake into fingers if serving in small glasses other wise slice it into two equal layers.
2- Heat the water till boiling point and dissolve the sugar in it. Add the coffee powder and let it cool.
3- Toast the cake fingers in the oven for 10 minutes at 160 C. Keep aside.
4- Whip the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla essence till stiff peaks form.
5- Beat the cream cheese separately and then combine the two (whipped cream and cream cheese) gently.
6- Layer the base of the serving dish with the half-layer of chocolate  cake.... soak it in half the coffee mixture. In case you are serving in individual cups/glasses, layer it with the cake sticks and then soak for a minute.
7- Layer on the whipped cream+cream cheese mixture, then add the soaked cake sticks layer and then finish with the cream layer.... You might have to increase the layers if serving in individual glasses.
But it should finish with the cream layer... smoothed out with a spatula.
8- Chill the Tiramisu in the fridge for minimum 6 hours or preferably overnight.
9- Just before serving, sieve on the cocoa powder and garnish with chocolate curls.

For home made cream cheese: (taken from Tarla Dalal)
Boil 2 litres of whole milk... add 2 tbsp of lemon juice to the milk at boiling point, switch off the heat and keep aside for 2 minutes.  Stir the curdling milk and then leave again for 2 minutes, till the milk is completely curdled. Drain all the water of the curdled milk or paneer through a muslin cloth and squeeze it to completely drain the water.
Add the paneer (curdled milk) to a mixie... add 2 tbsp milk and blend to a smooth paste.
Strain it through a sieve again to get an absolute smooth mixture and your cream cheese is ready to be used as required.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Desktop Calendar of August: HAPPY 70th INDEPENDENCE DAY!!

This is a belated (two weeks late) desktop Calendar, taken from an illustration that I had done 3 yrs back...
This is also a homage to the nameless soldiers dying for the freedom and sovereignty of their country every other day...

and this one is for tablets and mobiles....

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Cordon Bleu with Pesto Sauce

Its always good to make something a little out of the ordinary....
I love the versatility of chicken breasts though I firmly believe that the taste lies with chicken in bone.... more juicy, more flavorful.
But chicken breasts have more scope for adventure and my favourite is always finding different ways of stuffing them and either deep frying, or roasting/baking or shallow frying...
this one is a slight twist to the classic Chicken Cordon Bleu.... the twist being the pesto sauce.
As I had a lot of tulsi or Holy Basil (in my backyard) but not the original Italian basil, I decided to use that in my pesto with along with pine nuts (chilgoza)
this Pesto sauce is amazing with chicken, fish and delicious with pasta.
Here I am using it as an amazing flavorful layer in my Cordon Bleu Chicken.

For the Pesto sauce...
Take a big bunch (appr. 3 cups of tulsi leaves, 1/4 cup pine nuts, 2 garlic cloves, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup cheese, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil) grind together coarsely (not like a smooth paste) and store.

For the Chicken Cordon Bleu:
4 chicken breasts- butterflied and pounded thin.
1 cup pesto sauce
20-24 slices of chicken salamis
12 cheese slices (if you can get swiss cheese- u are lucky-use that)

1 cup breadcrumbs mixed with:
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese or processed cheese
2 tsp mixed herbs and 1/2 tsp garlic powder
a dash of salt

1- Butterfly and pound the chicken breasts till they are less than 1/2 inch thin.
2- Layer the chicken with pesto sauce.

3- Now lay on the salami slices, overlapping each other.

4- Now lay on the swiss cheese slices

5- Roll it up carefully... tucking in any of the loose ends of cheese or chicken or pesto sauce... hold it together with a toothpick.

6- Generously coast with the breadcrumb, cheese and herbs seasoned mixture

7- Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes at 200 C  or till you find the top nice and golden ....

 For your pinning pleasure!!

Wasn't the recipe easy-peasy?? and Looking good too!!
For more chicken recipes click here on Foodie

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