Chocolate Fudge Pudding – Victorian Time Dessert Pudding

choc dessert

Oozing out with sticky chocolate sauce and the melting in the mouth sponginess will easily crown this chocolate fudge pudding, the Queen of all chocolatey desserts!

While roaming around the streets lined up with old fashioned shops in the Oxford city, I found a collection of centuries old cook books scattered in front of an old book shop. They had such beautiful hand painted pictures and recipes which were quite basic with simple ingredients put together in an ingenious way to produce glorious dishes fit for the affluent aristocracy during the reign of Queen Victoria.

I did not hesitate to buy the whole stack of books and tried some recipes which came out deliciously well.  This recipe was extracted from one of the pages and must have been a very popular dessert during that time.

Delicious in every mouthful, you can go for a second helping without a trace of guilt, for it has no heavy cream or a great amount of fat.  It’s incredible that the chocolate sauce is purely made with hot water but taste heavenly!

So, let’s try making this yummy treat today and gobble it down like the Royalty!

choc 23

 Ingredients needed :

Self – raising flour 90 g (2/3 cup)
Caster sugar 115 g (1 cup)
Butter/Margerine spread 115 g (1 cup)
Eggs 2
Milk 2 tbsp
Cocoa powder 2 tbsp heaps
A pinch of salt and a few drops of vanilla

For the chocolate sauce

Cocoa powder 2 tbsp
Soft brown sugar ( you can grind brown sugar and use) 115 g (1cup)
Hot water 300 ml

 

 Let’s Start Making :

  • Set the Oven to 180 C

Oven tempreture conversion chart 

http://happyrecipes.co.uk/oven-temperature-conversion/

Make the batter

  • Cream butter and sugar together with an electric hand mixer for 3-4 mins
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition
  • Combine flour and cocoa powder and sieve on to the batter
  • Add Milk, vanilla and a pinch of salt
  • Mix thoroughly until all come together as a creamy batter
  • Spoon in to a wide Pyrex / oven proof dish

choc pour

Make the chocolate sauce

  • Combine sugar and cocoa in a bowl
  • Add hot water gradually, mixing continuously until it will appear to be a thin chocolate brown liquid

  • Now pour the sauce over the pudding batter very slowly, letting it run across

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  • Cover with a foil, leaving an edge open for steam to escape

foil

  • Bake 30  – 40 mins
  • Insert a wooden skewer after 40 mins and if it comes clean, your pudding is done!!
  • Take the dish out of the oven and let it cool completely
  • Spoon a few spoonfuls of the  thick chocolatey sauce that have coated around the sponge
  • Leave to cool completely for 1hr
  • Cover and place in the fridge
  • Serve chilled with a strawberry on the top or a few straws scattered around
  • Yummy !!
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Karela curry

Delicious Karella curry – Inspired by Punjabi cuisine (Bitter Gourd/Karavila/Karelia) step by step recipe

karella curry

karavila

This juicy karella curry, inspired by Panjabi cuisine is a delicious blend of bitterness of Karellas and the natural sweetness of onions and tomatoes.  You will be surprised to learn that, to produce such a delicacy you will need only 3 main ingredients:

  • Tomatoes
  • Karella
  • Onions

And only 3 main sprices :

  • Chilli powder
  • Turmeric
  • Salt

Bitter Gourd, also known as karella or karawila is a sure diabetes buster according to ayurvedic medicine.  This vegetable can be turned into a variety of dishes, depending on the type of cuisine you would like to follow.  However, If you get the ingredients and their proportions right this is simply the best karella dish you can prouduce.

I am grateful to Munaza, my Pakistani friend and her mom, for her dedicated culinary guidance in making this dish.

So, let’s make it;

What you need:

Bitter Gourd/Karella/Karavila 4 medium
Onions(Indian Onion) 3 large or 4 medium
Chili powder 1/2 tbsp
Riped and Juicy Tomatoes 3 large or 4 medium
Turmeric 1 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Olive oil 3 tbsp

Let’s make it:

  • Cut the Bitter gourds in thin rounds. Do not wash before cutting.

karavila-300x203 Sprinkle Salt liberally, about 2 tbsp and leave for up to 4 hrs.  This will take out some of the  bitterness of Karella and make them soft enough to cook.   If you are serving this dish to a diabetic patient, leave only for 2 hrs in salt or not salt at all, so that most of the bitterness which is the antidote for diabetes,  is intact. karavila-3-300x263

  • Wash Karella in a colander under a cold water tap.
  • Squeeze out water.
  • Heat up  Olive oil in a wide pan.
  • Add the round Karella pieces and fry them until they turn Brown/Golden, while turning constantly. (Pls. see the pic for the colour)

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  • Meanwhile cut tomatoes in small chunks and onions thinly. (Adding more onions and tomatoes make this dish more juicier and larger in quantity.

tomato-300x224

  • Once the Karella pieces turned into brown/golden colour, add tomatoes, onions, chili powder, turmeric and 1 & 1/2 tsp of salt, all at the same time.

tom-300x224 Now mix everything together and cook under medium fire, uncovered.  Remember to stir every now and again allowing it not to touch the bottom of the pan.  Do not lower the flame to minimum or cover the pan as the curry will become too watery.

  • The Karella will take about 1/2 hr to cook properly
  • Taste and add more salt if required
  • Slit three green bullet chilies in the middle and drop
  • Cover and lower the flame to the minimum and cook for about 5 min.  This will allow the juices to run
  • Let the curry rest for a while before serving (make it the day before for a juicier version)
  • Serve with hot white rice or chapatis

More recipes inspired by Karella

Stuffed Karella 

http://happyrecipes.co.uk/stuffed-karella-bitter-gourd-karavila-karella-at-its-glorious-best/

karella stuffed

Karella stir fry with coconut

http://happyrecipes.co.uk/bitter-gourd-stir-fry-karavila-karella/

karella stir fry

 

 

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grilled cherry tomatoes

Grilled Cherry tomatoes

cherry tom2

 These beautiful, grilled, cherry tomatoes look and taste great as a side dish when you are serving baked / grilled fish or meat.  Also, without a doubt,  the burnt taste blended with light sourness and sweetness of the cherry tomatoes will enhance the taste of your main dish. In Persian cuisine, more often than not, grilled tomatoes can be seen as a culinary delight: one reason is that Iranians love the colour, red; on the other hand, Iranians are fully aware of the obvious health benefits given by the tomatoes.

The grilling process is as follows:

  • Get the cheery tomatoes with the stem intact.  Prick each one lightly with a toothpick
  • Place on a baking tray lined up with a foil
  • Sprinkle salt and olive oil
  • Grill under 200 C oven
  • Serve warm with their juices braised on tomatoes
Greek Salad and Greek Pasta Salad – Inspired by healthy Mediterranean cuisine
Exotic Tomato pickle – inspired by Nepalese cuisine

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thilapia fillet

Pan Fried Thilapia – with grilled cherry tomatoes on the side

panfried

These fleshy fish fillets, with a very appetizing crispy outer layer is a very flavourful dish, which could be served as a  main meal with a lots of vegetables or grilled tomatoes on the side.  

This unique recipe was passed on to me by one of my Goan friends who is an expert in producing mouthwatering fish dishes in every meal time.  Roll the fish fillets on samolina was her top tip as it gives such an addictive crunchiness and crispiness when they come out of the pan.

So, gather the necessary ingredients and let’s make it;

What you will need:

 Fish fillets (Thilapia)4
Onion1 chopped finely
Whole coriander seeds2 tbsp
Whole cumin seeds1 tbsp
Whole Kashmiri chilies3-4 deseeded
Garlic3 cloves
Tamarind pulp1 tbsp
Semolina1/2 cup
LemonJuice of 1/2 lemon
 Salt a few pinches

 Let’s make :

  • Wash, pat dry the fish fillets and season with salt and pepper
  • Grind chopped onion, deseeded Kashmiri chili, salt, turmeric, garlic cloves, cumin seeds and coriander seeds to a paste, using a wet grinder or the hand blender
  • Add tamarind pulp and lemon. Lightly grind until all come together
  • Take the paste out, pat on one side of the fish fillets
  • Place semolina on a plate and wrap both sides.  Shake off the excess
  • Heat up 2-3 tbsp of olive oil in a wide pan and place fish fillets side by side
  • Pan fry under low flame
  • When one side is fried enough, carefully turn on to the other side.  Fry both sides until golden and crispy
  • If the oil runs out, sprinkle a bit more on top of the fillets
  • Serve hot.  Delicious with grilled tomatoes on the side.
panfried
cherry tom
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Greek Salad and Greek Pasta Salad – Inspired by healthy Mediterranean cuisine

greek salad

Tossing a few ingredients together, you can serve this beautiful, crunchy and  healthy Greek salad within minutes.  Remember to mix the veggies with the salad dressing just before the meal time.  Until then, store the salad bowl in the fridge so that the veggies will stay cool and fresh.

This salad dressing is the basic but the most delicious and healthy one out of all kinds of delicious varieties.  This indeed, is the only one that keeps the veggies in their original fresh looks and gives a very satisfying taste too. If you need a variation, add plain yoghurts into the original dressing and whisk thoroughly and mix with the salad veggies until all combines finely.

Ingredients needed:

Iceberg Lettuce 2 cups
Tomatoes (Preferably juicy cherry tomatoes) 1/2 cup
Cucumber 1/2
Red Onions 1/2
Olives (black and green) handful
Feta cheese handful
For the dressing : 
Apple cyder vinegar  3 tbsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Salt n black pepper powder 
Honey and Brown sugar 1 tbsp each
Dried oregano  2 tsp

Lets make :

  • Cut Lattuce thinly or just shred, halve cherry tomatoes, slice the cucumber into thin slices and toss all in to a wide brim wooden salad bowl
  • Drop the handful of olives on top
  • Place in the middle of the fridge until you make the salad dressing

Make the salad dressing:

  • Add all the dressing ingredients: Salt and pepper powder, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and honey and mix thoroughly. Now, pour olive oil slowly while mixing rapidly to combine everything beautifully. Adjust the taste at this point according to your liking.
  • Cover and keep aside until needed

Toss and Mix

  • Take out the salad bowl from the fridge
  • Pour the salad dressing in
  • Now give a nice toss and a mix as gently as possible. Use your fingers to toss and drop the veggies or use a salad tong
  • Finally sprinkly Oregano and toss crushed or daintily cut Feta cheese on top
  • Your beautiful Greek salad is ready to devour
  • Serve immediately!
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chocolate fudge cake

Chocolate Fudge Cake – A velvety chocolaty cake for any occassion

cake Oozing with creamy chocolate melts, this fudge cake will set your mouth watering, Just by seeing before you take a bite out of it!  You can make the fudge cream on the previous day and store it in the fridge to make the process easier and quicker.  Just heat up the fudge in the microwave for 10 seconds to melt and pour over the cake.  Easy !!!

This cake could be served as a dessert after an elaborated supper. Your guests will love to relax on the sofa and indulge in this divine treat  while listening to some Jazz.  And you will not fail to sigh in contentment and pride !!!

Three cheers to this beauty!!!

cake2-300x223 What you need:

Self raising flour 300 g
Butter/Margarine/Stork spread 300 g
Caster sugar 300 g
Eggs 5
Baking powder 1 tsp
Cocoa powder 4 tbsp
Salt 2 pinches  (a must)
Lemon 1 tsp
Double cream 2 tbsp
 Milk  1 tbsp

Let’s make it: Set the oven to 180 C . (Temperature conversion for ovens is given under Tips)

  • Beat butter and sugar together until creamy,  using an electric hand mixer.  This will take approximately  3 mins. Make sure you beat clockwise.
  • Add eggs, one at a time. Make sure you beat well after each addition.
  • Add vanilla essence,  lemon juice, salt and beat for two rounds.
  • Mix baking powder,  flour and cocoa powder and sieve onto the cake batter, holding the sieve well above it, allowing the air to escape.
  • Do not use the electric mixer at this point.  Fold the flour gently with a wooden spoon until everything turns into a creamy batter.
  • Add double cream and milk.  Mix all together.
  • Line up a baking tray with parchment paper and spoon the batter into the baking tray and flatten with a spatula.
  • Lift up the tray and drop it twice onto your kitchen-top gently, allowing the batter to spread and settle evenly on the try.
  • Pop it in to the oven for 20-30 mins depending on your oven.
  • Insert a skewer into the middle of the cake and if it comes clean,  your cake is ready.
  • Take it out from the oven and let it rest for 10 mins.
  • Slowly remove from the tray and place it on a cooling rack.  Let the cake cool down completely.
  • Dip a long bread knife in hot water, wipe clean and slice the cake into two slices.  Cut the cake into four and then slice if you find it is difficult to slice the full cake.
  • Your cake must cool off completely to lay fudge on top.  This will take upto 2 hrs.

Let’s make the Fudge now. Get the following ingredients ready:

 Icing sugar 1/2 cup
Double cream 1/4 cup
Butter/Stork spread 50 g
Milk chocolate buttons 110 g
Cocoa powder 3 tbsp

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  • In a small glass bowl place chocolate drops, butter and double cream.
  • Place a wider pan on stove and  fill it with  hot  water.
  • Dip the small glass bowl into the wide pan.
  • Stir slowly until chocolates melt along with butter and cream.
  • If the chocolates are hard, heat up the pan with water under very light flame.
  • Add sieved icing sugar and cocoa powder.
  • Take out from the pan and stir until you are left with a creamy chocolaty melt.
  • Leave to cool.
  • With the help of a flat knife or spatula pat the creamy chocolate melt onto the bottom layer of the cake.  Place the top layer, remove the upper crust with a help of a long knife and press down softly so that both layers stick together properly.
  • Pour chocolate cream on the  top layer.  Let it slide from top and drip down.
  • Sprinkle some decorative sprinkles or you can simply shave a  white chocolate to have nice white curly shaves on top.
  • Enjoy !

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prawn balls

Prawn Balls – Prawn balls wrapped with golden bread crumbs

prawn-balls-300x248

Kids will love these crusty and savoury prawn balls as a snack with a dollop of ketchup on the side. Yum!

You can even pack these in school lunch boxes and their crustiness will be intact and taste even better. Busy mums can store the prepared prawn balls in the freezer and deep-fry, whenever needed.

Gather the following ingredients to make these;

Cooked prawns 1 cup
A few slices of bread 
Onion 1
Green chilli 1
 Salt and pepper to taste 
Egg white1 beaten
Golden bread crumbs1/2 cup

Let’s make;

  • Crush prawns with your fingers
  • Grate a bread slice.  You can use the crusty bits left after making sandwiches
  • Mix onion, green chili, salt and pepper with grated bread and prawns
  • Sprinkle little warm water if the mixture is too dry
  • Make small balls
  • Dip in the egg white, then wrap with golden breadcrumbs
  • Deep fry until golden
  • Serve with ketchup
  • Delicious!
pr-300x224
Pacific Pilchard fried rice
Chinese Style Trout – steamed and smoked in hot oil – Delicious

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Oven Temperature Conversion

gas mark temperature conversion chart Since the temperature dial of an oven has  not become completely universal yet, it is often a challenge to get an idea of it, when people talk about in terms of gas mark, Celsius or Fahrenheit. In order to deal with this seemingly-trivial issue, I am going to give provide you with a programme to do the conversion easily. In addition, you can even download the image in .pdf form for further reference, especially when you are not online. You can download the above image free of charge by clicking on the button below:

 

Download

Sri Lankan Hoppers Recipe – For Those Who Live In Cold Climates

appa

Beautiful hoppers, soft in the middle, crispy and golden at the edges are everyone’s favourite in Sri Lanka.  Also, it is a memorable culinary delight to those who come from abroad.   Delicious with a spicy chicken curry or any type of fish curry, these hoppers could be enjoyed as a breakfast choice or as dinner.

Although our mums and grandmothers are quite efficient in making these, new generation finds it as a great big challenge to get the right proportions of ingredients to ferment the dough into perfection.  They easily give up after a couple of attempts but the craving for them remain deep in the heart.  So,  I share this perfect recipe with you all , concentrating more about our friends living in abroad, with a promise that you will be making such beautiful hoppers to impress everyone in the family.




In cold climates, in order to ferment the batter to perfection, you need to place it  closer to the stove.  All the cooking on the stove generates enough heat for it to rise beautifully and the hopper batter will be ready by supper time. The good news is, that if you make a larger quantity, you can store the left over amount in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and it will, indeed, make even better quality hoppers due to further fermenting while in the fridge.

So, let’s make hoppers for tonight’s supper;

 nfd

 What you need :

coconut

 Rice flour 3 cups
Strong white bread flour (available in supermarkets) 1/4 cup
Maggi coconut milk powder 5 tbsp
Dried yeast 1 tsp
Sugar(preferably brown sugar) 2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
warm water  2 cups



 Method :

  • Place  rice flour and bread flour into a wide bowl.
  • Into a jug, add yeast and sugar.
  • Pour  warm water and stir rapidly until yeast and sugar dissolves. Cover and keep for 5 mins
  • Mix it thoroughly with the flour.
  • Now in a jug pour 2 cups of  hot water and mix 2 tbsp of Maggi coconut milk powder.
  • Add this milky liquid to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Add more hot water very slowly while string until the flour becomes a soft dough but not runny. (The picture below will show you the right consistency at this stage)  If any coconut milk is left, leave it for the next step.

IMG_2712

  • Now cover the bowl first with a tea towel and place a heavy lid on top.  You need to place this bowl closer to the stove for 5hrs.  Meanwhile, get on with your normal cooking. (If you do not plan to cook on the stove, light one burner very low for at least 2 hrs and let it supply enough heat for the dough to rise.)
  • After 5 hrs, open the lid,  mix  another 3 tbsp of Maggi coconut milk powder and salt into a cup of hot water and pour onto the batter and stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon until the batter turns into a thick yet runny liquid.  You can add more hot water if the batter is too thick. (Note : you add salt only at this time)
  • Cover and leave for another 1 hr closer to the stove or any warm place
  • Bubbles on the surface indicates the batter is ready to use

batter

  • Now that your batter is ready, Let’s make hoppers;
  • Heat up your typical non-stick  hopper making pan on medium flame

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  • Pour a ladle full of batter to the pan and rotate it twice quickly, place back on flame and cover.  If you see the bubbles / holes similar to the picture below, your batter has risen up to perfection

IMG_2740

  • One hopper will take 5 min to be baked until crispy
  • Once ready, slowly loosen from edges with a flat wooden spatula and take out the hopper.  Return the pan quickly on to the flame as it should be ready to bake the next one
  • Repeat until you make the desired amount of hoppers
  • For egg hoppers, you must break the egg right on to the hopper as soon as you circle the pan with batter. Cover and cook.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on to the top.  Your egg hopper is ready!!
  • For a sweeter version at the tea time, grate some juggery on to the hopper, once it is baked and fold in half.
  • You can store any extra batter in the fridge and before making hoppers from it, you must warm it up in the microwave for 30 seconds.

You cannot go wrong anywhere with this recipe as it has been tested many times and has never let me down.

Enjoy !! appa

marble cupcakes

Chocolate And Vanilla Marble Cupcakes

bake

cupcake-cases-silicon-300x281-300x281

It’s a joy to bake these gorgeous cupcakes in silicon cases and this recipe is just the one for that. The advantage of using silicon cases is that they do not absorb the natural oiliness of the cupcakes. Hence, your cupcakes will have more moisture and glistering look in them.

These silicon cases look brand new after a quick wash in warm water and could be used over and over again – very economical, easy and effective indeed.




If you do not have these silicon cupcakes, do not hesitate to bake them in normal paper cups.

AmazonBasics Reusable Silicone Baking Cups, Pack of 12

You need the following items to make these beauties:

 Self raising flour 250 g
Stork spread 250 g
Caster sugar 250 g
Eggs 4
Baking powder 1/2 tsp
Vanilla essence 1 tsp
Lemon juice 1 tsp
Milk 1/4 cup
Cocoa powder 4 tbsp heaps



Two pinches of salt is a must as it helps in blending all flavours.

Let’s make it: Set the oven to 180 C . (Temperature conversion is given under Tips)

  •  Beat butter and sugar together until creamy,  using an electric hand mixer.  This will take approximately  3 mins. Make sure you beat clockwise.
  • Add eggs one at a time. Make sure you beat well after each addition.
  • Add vanilla essence,  lemon juice and salt and beat for two rounds.
  • Mix baking powder to flour and sieve onto the cake batter, holding the sieve well above it, allowing the air to escape.
  • Do not use the electric mixer at this point.  Fold the flour gently with a wooden spoon until everything incorporates into a creamy batter.
  • Now divide the batter into two separate bowls.
  • Add cocoa powder to one bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Next, fill half of a Silicon cupcake case with plain vanilla batter and the other half with chocolate batter.  Continue until you fill up all cupcake cases.
  • Place the cupcakes in a cupcake baking tray so that they will sit primly without falling over.

cupcake-cases-silicon-300x281-300x281cup cake trayth8F6EHDKE

 

 

 

  • Stick the tray into the oven and bake for 15-20 mins.
  • After 15 mins, open the oven door and gently press the top of a cupcake.  If it springs back to the same position, your cupcakes are ready to remove from the oven. If not, shut the door and let them bake for further 5 mins.
  • Take the tray out of the oven and peel off the Silicon cases and let the cakes rest on a wire rack.



Enjoy the pretty sight of your Dainty double cupcakes and taste the buttery and chocolaty texture. cup-297x300