Thursday, 31 October 2013

Pfirsich,Äpfel & Quark Kuchen - Peach,Apple & Quark Cake - 100th post :)

         I really can't believe that this is my 100th post.Thanks to my laziness,I never thought I'll get here :) Blogging has been a wonderful experience.I still remember the first week of blogging ,my blog had just 15 visits and I was really thinking if it was a good idea to carry on when there were so many beautiful blogs out there.It was my hubby & sister who knew how passionate I was about cooking and eating :P, who told me 'Do it just because it makes you happy'.I initially thought that blogging was all about just posting good recipes,but only later did I realize that it was being a part of a community of passionate people. In this short span I've got to know so many beautiful people,learnt so many new dishes and developed a keen interest in photography.Well before blogging the moment I see the 'SALE' sign on any cloth shop I would be inside the shop no time, but now I am always on the hunt for props :) Thanks all of you for all the encouraging comments and stopping at my page ,it keeps me going. Doesn't this sound like some speech in a film award ceremony, I feel like Shah Rukh Khan in 'Om Shanti Om' with a whiskey bottle in his hand ,well not exactly a whisky bottle,might be a rolling pin or a ladle :P
         Coming to today's dish,It's a wonderful German cake.When I first tasted this cake before 5 years I really didn't appreciate it's flavour. Well my Indian taste bud was more adapted to hot and spicy stuff.But then slowly over the years I've started loving cheese and it's subtle taste.This cake is made of quark which is very nutritious and widely used in most European cuisines. Quark is a kind of hung curd,similar to what we use for preparing Shrikhand. You could also replace it with Greek Yogurt. So off to the cake....

You'll Need :
For the base:
All Purpose Flour - 175 g
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Sugar - 100 g
Vanilla essence -a few drops
Salt - a pinch
Egg - 1 big
Butter - 100 g
For the Filling
Apple- 3 - 4 big ones
Sugar - 100 g
Quark /Curd Cheese - 500 g
Vanilla essence -a few drops
Eggs - 3 medium
Weizengrieß - Semolina - 25 g
Whipping Cream - 2 tbsp
For the Topping :
Peaches - 3 tins or 500g or 6 - 7 peaches.
Sugar - 20 g
Fruit juice - 250 ml ( i used orange juice ) if using any berries use apple juice
Tortenguss rot/Fruit tort Jelly  - 1 pack or Check here

For the Base:
-Melt the butter first and then let it cool to room temperature.
-Sieve the flour and the baking powder well in a big mixing bowl.
-Add all the other ingredients to the flour.With a beater fitted with a dough hook beat the mixture on medium speed until all the ingredients are mixed well.
-Then increase the speed and beat until the dough starts sticking together.Remove it from the bowl and knead it until for 3 - 4 minutes.
-Cover it with a plastic wrap or place it an airtight container and keep it in the freezer for 10 - 15 minutes.
-In a 26 cm springform pan,butter the springform and dust it with flour.Line the bottom with baking paper and remove it from the sides.
-After 15 minutes,Remove it from the freezer.Take 2/3 rd of the batter and roll it into a thin disc of 26 cm diameter.Place the remaining 1/3 rd portion in the refrigerator.For better the dough on the middle of the bottom of the springform(removed from the sides) and slowly roll the dough until it covers the base.You can also use your fingers to flatten it so that it covers the base.
-Now with a fork pierce small holes on the rolled out dough.Attach the sides to the pan and bake in a pre heated oven for 15 minutes at 200 ° C.
-After 15 minutes remove from the oven and let it cool.
-Roll the remaining 1/ 3 portion into thin strips of 3 cms height and place them around the sides of the baked base.So that you get a nice shell with no gaps.

For the filling:
-Clean the apples,remove the core and the skin.Chop them into big pieces.Spread these pieces on the prepared base (shell) in the springform.
-Beat all the other filling ingredients with the beater fitted with a whipping hook for 2 - 3 minutes ,until everything is well mixed.
-Spread it on the apples and spread it uniformly.
-Bake in the oven(not preheated) at 175 ° C for 45 minutes.
-Let the cake cool completely then remove it from the pan.
For the Topping:
-Cut the peaches into thin strips and place them on the baked cake,so that they cover the whole surface.
-Mix the tortenguss with sugar and the juice .Heat the mixture and keep stirring continuously until it starts slightly thickening.Then pour it uniformly over the topping(the peaches).It hardens after cooling. Done !
-If using gelatin please follow this method .

You can replace the Peaches with any berry of your choice :)

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Pasta with roasted vegetable sauce

Being a woman is a real challenge isn't it ? No matter how you feel ,sick,tired,bored or frustrated,there is this instinct within you which makes you cook and take care of your family.All the three of us have a bad cold and the last thing I wanted to do was to stand near the stove and saute stuff  :)That was when this pasta came to my rescue :P Pasta is a real blessing on days when you don't feel like standing near the stove for a long time.This recipes's adapted from one of Sanjeev Kapoor's  recipes.It's a real yummy dish and healthy too.I used spelt flour pasta which makes it even more healthier.So off to the recipe ......

Serves 2 - 3
You'll Need :
Capsicum - 1(chopped into big pieces)
Onion - 1 big (chopped)
Carrot - 1(chopped)
Garlic - 2 cloves (grated)
Tomatoes - 2 medium - big
Oregano - 1 tsp
Thyme - 1/2 tsp
salt - as needed
Pepper - 1/2 tsp or as needed
Cream or whole milk - 4 - 5 tbsp
Cheese(grated)- 4 -5 tbsp
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Pasta - 125 g
Broccoli - 10 florets - broken into small pieces
Butter - 2 tbsp

-Boil the pasta with a tsp of olive oil and salt until it's cooked.
-In a baking tray spread the chopped Capsicum,onion and carrot pieces.Sprinkle olive oil or with a brush apply some olive oil on the pieces
-Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 10 minutes.
-Then let the vegetables cool,grind them to a fine paste with sufficient water.
-Add the tomatoes to very hot water and after 2 minutes remove them from the water and peel the skin.Grind them to a fine paste.
-In a pan add the olive oil and when it heats up add the grated garlic,saute for a  minute or two.
-Then add the ground capsicum,onion and carrot paste and saute for 2 minutes.
-Add the tomato paste,thyme and oregano and mix well.Add salt as needed and mix well.
-Cover with the lid and let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes.Keep stirring occasionally.
-Add the cream and mix well and let it simmer for another 4 minutes.
-Add pepper as needed and mix well.The sauce is done !
-To a pan add the butter and when it heats up add the broccoli and a salt as needed.Saute on a low flame for 5 -8 minutes until the florets are slightly crisp .
-Add the sauce to the cooked pasta and mix well.Sprinkle the cheese.Add the butter fried broccoli and mix well.
-You could also sprinkle chopped fresh basil leaves.Enjoy :)

Thanks for stopping by ! Happy Cooking !

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Mid-life 'crisis' :) - Colour Me Orange

'Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes,
Snowflakes that stray on my nose and eyelashes,
Silver white winters that melt into springs,
These are a few of my favorite things`

This song from the legendary movie 'Sound of Music' is stuck in my head.My brain's been playing this in repeat mode for the past few weeks.This used to be my favorite song as a kid and now my daughter loves it  as well.
Well music never ages !

The song has tempted me to write out a few of my favorite things too :)
 'Bright yellow capsicums and red orange chillies,
Smell of old books and the fur of little kitties,
Scenic oil paintings drying in spring,
These are a few of my favorite things'

I had  a bunch of chillies lying in my fridge for some time,they had turned into this beautiful orange shade.
I call this middle age as they are neither young & green nor ripe red & old :)

If your'e wondering what the crisis is all about ,Well it's not the chillis who have a crisis,but it's me who doesn't know what to do with these chillies !

Here's one middle aged Chilli "reflecting" :P

One of these clicks go to the event 'Colour Me Orange' happening at Priya's space 'The Humpty Dumpty Kitchen'

Thanks for stopping by ! Have a great day !

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Lemon Rice

Have you ever felt that your taste in food changes a lot as you grow older.I still don't like spinach and bitter gourd though :P But I've generally noticed that I've started preferring hot,spicy and tangy things to sweet goodies. Lemon rice is one thing that I used to hate till before a few years ,but I've suddenly developed a liking to it's humble tangy flavour. Besides it's also pretty easy to prepare,exactly what a lazy person like me would love :)When paired up with a hot spicy side dish it can make a real scrumptious meal.I guess everybody has their own way of making it,one of my friend adds about 2 tbsp of curd while tempering and it does give it a nice flavour.So off to my way of making it....

You'll Need:
Rice(Uncooked) - 1 cup - 150 g
Lemon Juice - 50 g - 1/3 of a cup
Green Chillies -2
Whole Red Chilli - 2
Peanuts (skinless) - 4 to 5 tbsp
Channa Dal - 2 tbsp
Urad Dal - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Hing -  a pinch
Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
Ginger - 1/2 tsp(grated)
salt - as needed
oil & ghee - 2 tbsp(together)

-Cook the raw rice with salt and 1 tsp of oil until it's well cooked but firm.
-To a pan add the oil & ghee,when it heats up add the hing,ginger,curry leaves whole red chilli,cumin and mustard seeds.
-Then add the green chilli ,chana dal and peanuts .Saute until the peanuts and channa dal are slightly browned.Now add the urad dal and the turmeric and saute until the urad dal is browned.
-Switch off the stove ,add the lemon juice and salt and mix well.
-Add the tempered lemon juice mixture to the cooked rice and mix well.Check for salt and add more if needed.Done !

Thanks for stopping by ! Happy Cooking !

Sending this to Cook with White happening at Merry Tummy

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Sweet Potato Halwa

      This is exactly what happens when I make a resolution to do something.The last time I posted I decided to post in the next few days and I went without posting for 10 days :P This is why I never make resolutions,my New Year resolutions don't last for more than 2 weeks :) I was posting more regularly when I didn't have time.I was taking care of my little girl the whole day and she just wouldn't let me sit at the comp.She used to hate it when I sat at the comp,so i only got to sit at the comp when she was napping.But now I have almost 5 hours at my disposal and yet I hardly post. I've been doing some things which I missed doing in the past few years.I walk aimlessly for at least an hour everyday .I just let my legs carry me to wherever they want at a brisk pace.I feel that it's a kind of meditation with the mind wandering carelessly and happily.I usually end up in a church or a quiet place and sit for 15 minutes talking to myself and God. I've really missed my own company :) I could never do that at home because I either sit with the comp or cook or turn on the TV.End of the walk I feel so happy and light-hearted :)
       The walk has another big advantage too, I discover so many little shops selling good things at a very reasonable price.I love shopping too, I'm not an extravagant shopper though.I'm a little on the thrifty side ;) I found some sweet potatoes at a good price,they are usually very expensive here in Germany.Sweet potatoes have loads of health benefits for kids,helps a lot in boosting the immune system.I usually make muffins from them,but this time I decided to make an Halwa out of it.It turned out yummier than I expected...So off to the recipe....

You'll Need :
Serves 4 
Sweet Potatoes -  2 big ones ( makes about 3.5 cups when boiled and mashed)
Sugar - 1/2 a cup - 5 -6 tbsp
Cardamoms - 2
Cinnamon powder - 1/2 tsp
Whole Milk - 1 cup - 150 ml
Condensed milk - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 2 - 3 tbsp
Nuts - 1 tbsp

-Boil the sweet potatoes,remove the skin and grate them or mash them.
-Grind the sugar along with the cardamom finely.
-To a thick or non stick pan add the ghee and when it heats up add the boiled mashed sweet potatoes.
-Saute for 8 - 10 minutes until they clump together.
-Add the milk and the condensed milk and mix well.Let it boil for 2 - 3 minutes.
-Add the ground sugar and cinnamon powder and mix well.Let it cook for another 5 - 8 minutes on a slow flame,stirring occasionally.
-Then increase the heat to medium and start stirring it until the mixture starts oozing out oil and starts leaving the pan.This takes about 5 minutes.
-Saute the nuts in a little ghee .Garnish the Halwa with the nuts.Done !

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