Thursday, 21 November 2013

Food for taut: Garlicky shrimp and mixed greens salad

Every once in a while I get motivated to cook something healthy.
Usually the motivation is triggered by the increasing trend in my weight chart(how I wish it was my investment graph).
Or the fact that I have managed to develop a ball like appearance lately & started resembling Danny Devito (No offense to Mr. Devito, he's a classic actor and I love him!)

Danny as 'Trash Man' in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Recently I have found some pretty good recipes which are both healthy AND tasty.
So in the spirit of sharing the importance of good health and making my blog fatter, I'm gonna post atleast 1 genuinely healthy and easy to make recipe every month.

Let's start with Garlic Shrimp and Mixed Greens Salad.

Garlicky Shrimp-

Perfect Combination of 2 things i love....Garlic and Shrimp!
Though garlic lends a very intense taste to the shrimp, it does it without masking the real flavour of the shrimp.

You will need-

  • Shrimp-1 pound/0.5 kg
  • Black Pepper- 1tsp
  • Garlic-4-5 cloves(finely chopped)
  • Soy Sauce- 1tbsp(optional)
  • Chili Flakes-1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped Cilantro 
How it's done-

  • Peel and devein the shrimp.
  • Rub salt and pepper onto the shrimp and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • In a pan heat 1 tbsp oil on medium heat.
  • Add garlic and saute it for a few seconds.
  • Add shrimp to it and mix well.
  • Drizzle soy sauce and chili flakes.
  • The shrimp should cook in about 7-8 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Mixed Greens Salad-

You can use any green vegetables or salad leaves.
I used a mix of baby kale, spinach, chard beet tops and some baby tomatoes.
You could also take lettuce, cucumbers, onions, bell peppers etc.

Dressing- Apple cider vinaigrette

Any sort of vinaigrette would go really well with this salad.
I did a simple apple cider vinaigrette with the following-

  • Apple cider vinegar- 2 tsps (Be sure not to go overboard with the vinegar quantity, as it's flavour tends be overwhelming)
  • Honey/Sugar- 1 tsp
  • Extra Virgin olive oil- 1tsp
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of the above together and toss in all of the salad leaves.
Toss and mix it gently and serve it with yummy Gar-licky shrimpies.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Classic Chocolate Cake!

In my experience of amateur baking, I have come to the realization that recipes to some foods yield different results every single time.One time it turns out perfectly fine, the other time it just finds its way to the trash can.
These whimsical recipes are the ones i prefer to stay away from, especially if I'm cooking/baking for guests.

Then there is this other category, the dependable one, the nice one.
Like that one player which the team can always depend on!
The one that will never let you down!Ok..i got a lil emotional there.

One such recipe is to this deliciously moist chocolate cake i came across a while ago.
Makes the most wonderful cake/cupcakes every single time and most importantly the recipe is way too simple.

I guess my obsession with ridiculously chocolatey cakes can be traced back to one of my favorite movies of all times, Matilda.
The  chocolate cake which evil Ms. Trunchbull forces down poor Bruce's throat is so damn gooey and mouth watering that i have fantasized about digging into it a million times ever since, always wondering what it must have actually tasted like.
(Excuse Cookie's extremely filthy and unsanitary looking apron, I can assure you that it's just is, isn't it??)

Victory is mine!!!...Burrrrpp!!

Now back to this cake i was talking about, I have baked it as a birthday cake or the occasional 'it's been a while since i last baked and i don't mind gaining a few pounds' cupcakes and the result was always the same- the most moist, decadent, chocolatey cake ever.

Another awesome thing about this chocolate cake is that it stays fresh and in perfectly moist condition for several days and by several I mean even a month or more.
Isn't that incredible! So you can bake it ahead of time and no one can tell if it's right out of the oven or has been baked a week ago. 

So without further ado i will dive right into the recipe for the chocolate cake and the yummy chocolate buttercream frosting that goes with it.

The one baked for my darling niece Nishka's 1st Birthday.
(Photo Credit- Parag Bhagwat)

Chocolate Cake:

All you need is-
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 2 tsps baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil(secret ingredient which makes the cake so moist:))
  • 1 cup buttermilk(substitute- mix 1 tbsp lemon juice in 1 cup milk and set aside for 10 minutes)
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee(freshly brewed is preferred)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F(180 degrees C). 
  2. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans. 
  3. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and mix until combined.
  4. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs(lightly beaten), and vanilla. 
  5. Make a well in the dry mix and slowly add the wet ingredients to it.
  6. Add the coffee,at the very end, and stir just to combine.Avoid over-mixing the batter.The consistency of the batter should be runny.
Pour the batter into the pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the pans before turning them and releasing the cakes.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

All you need is-
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate 
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature 
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners'(icing) sugar 
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee powder, just for the flavor(optional) 
  • For best results, you will need a stand/hand mixer for the frosting. 

  1. Chop the chocolate and place it in a double boiler or microwave. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. 
  3. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and continue beating for about 5 minutes. 
  4. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the confectioners' sugar.
  5. Once the entire sugar is added, beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy. 
  6. Dissolve the coffee powder in hot water. 
  7. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended.
  8. Spread on the cooled cake. If it becomes too soft to work with, refrigerate the frosting for some time.

Try this recipe, i guarantee you will enjoy it right from mixing the ingredients till devouring the cake!!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

PIZZA PART 2-Half n Half

Pizza is something I can have anytime, everyday, even at 3 a.m in the morning.
Most of us just can't get enough of..right?
So I had to have another pizza post as a tribute to my undying love for pizaaa.
I had done a post on pizza earlier (Link to the Post) but I'm doing it again because I found a pizza dough recipe which makes an amazingly better base.

This base is firm yet soft, extremely delicious and most importantly very very easy to make.
Here's a picture of the pizza I made with this base and half and half toppings-one side pepperoni and the other side chicken tossed in onion and basil!

The recipe for the pizza dough-

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon dry instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  1. Add yeast and sugar to 3/4th cup of warm water and set aside till it becomes frothy. 
  2. In a bowl, mix the salt, olive oil, water, flour and yeast. 
  3. Knead the dough and when done place it in a bowl lined with oil,covering it and placing the bowl in a warm place. 
  4. Let the dough rise(takes minimum 1-2 hrs) 
  5. Once risen to almost double its size, place it on the counter and knead it till all the air from the risen dough is out. 
  6. Divide the dough into smaller portions.The size of each portion will depend on how wide you want the base to be. 
  7. Cover the divided portions with wet cloth and keep aside for additional 30 mins to 1 hour. 
  8. When ready to bake, place the dough on the baking plate on which you wish to bake it and start pushing it out with your fingers and stretch it.Make sure that you keep the crust thick while flattening the rest of the base. 
  9. Pick the flattened base in your hand and stretch it lightly with your knuckles.Be careful at this point because over-stretching can cause the base to tear. 
  10. Once ready, place the base on the baking plate and place the cheese, sauce and the toppings over it. Bake for 8-10 minutes or till the cheese melts completely. 

Saturday, 7 April 2012