Showing posts with label Cakes and pastries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cakes and pastries. Show all posts

Monday, September 4, 2017

Apple Turnovers

You could have these apple turnovers for breakfast or tea time, they are just so enjoyable. If you have some puff pastry ready at home you could quickly prep them up in no time using any fruit or savoury fillings of your choice with meat, chicken or vegetables. They are so easy to make that you would wonder why you haven't been making them before.

1 Pack of Puff pastry dough 

4Large Apples (cored and peeled) 
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar 
1/2 TSP Cinnamon (ground)
1/2 TSP Vanilla Essence
1 TBS Unsalted Butter

1. Thaw the puff pastry if frozen and unfold it on a lightly floured pastry board. Cut into 4x4inch squares if it is a thin long sheet. Otherwise if it is a big thick square, cut it into smaller squares and roll into 4×4 inch square
2. For the apple filling, peel, core and slice the apples. Add a blob of butter to the sauce pan followed by the apple slices, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla essence. Combine well and cook till the apples caramelize and are no longer runny. Remove to cool and set aside.

3. Place one or two teaspoons of filling in the centre of each pastry square, brush the edges with egg white and fold into a triangle. Then press the edges using your fingers.

4. You could be a bit creative to make a design on the edges with the fork or cookie cutter. This not only makes them look pretty but helps to seal them well.You could also make square shaped hand pies by using 2 pastry squares one on top of the other with the filling inside.

5. Prick with the fork in the centre to let the air out before putting them in the oven. This prevents the pastry from bubbling while baking. Glaze them with egg white and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. It is better to keep them chilled in the fridge for sometime before placing them in the oven.

6. Bake in the oven preheated at 375 degrees fahrenheit for 30 – 35 minutes till golden brown.

7. Cool them on a wire rack and enjoy with tea or vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Zafrani Halwa Pies

I grew up eating these baked pies filled with almond, channa dal paste flavoured with saffron. It was always accompanied with rice kheer (porridge) which went so well with these pies. I have been craving for these for a long time and wanted to bake them like my mom but smaller in size. At last I tried them out to satisfy my craving. They turned out better than I had imagined. My mom used to make the pie crust with ghee (clarified butter) but I wanted something light and healthy so I followed a different recipe for the pie crust which was light, flaky and good.  For the halwa I followed my mom's recipe

For the pie dough I followed this recipe from Simple Bites.  I cut down the recipe by half and the halwa I made following the recipe below was just enough to use up all the dough. 

For the Halwa:

1/4 cup Channa dal
1/4 cup Almonds (peeled)
1/2 cup Sugar
2 tbs Ghee
Saffron a pinch


1. Soak the channa dal for 30 minutes after rinsing in water 3 or 4 times till the water is clear. Soak the almonds in warm water or microwave them with a little water for 30 seconds. The peels will easily come off.

2. Boil the channa dal till it gets cooked, let it cool, then grind it to a smooth paste. Grind the almonds separately to a fine paste.

3. Take a sauce pan and on medium heat add one or two cloves and 2 green cardamoms then add the ground dal and almond paste.

4. Add the sugar and keep stirring till it thickens then dd the saffron dissolved in warm milk. Stir till the milk gets absorbed and the halwa starts leaving the sides of the pan. Remove and set aside to cool.

5. Take the refrigerated pie dough and start rolling it into a fairly thick circle on a pastry board dusted with flour. Cut round shapes with a cookie cutter or a steel tumbler with a sharp rim.

6. Place some halwa in each of them, brush the edge lightly with water or egg white and close it in the shape of a half moon or turnover.

7. Press the edges with a fork to seal them then brush them with saffron water (soak a few threads of saffron in a tsp of water) to give them a coloured decorative edge.

8. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 25 - 30 minutes. When they turn lightly golden at the bottom they are done. Remove and cool on a wire wrack and enjoy with Rice Kheer.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Mini Oatmeal berry muffins and pancakes for toddlers

My grandson is a fussy eater. I made these for his morning breakfast and served them with yoghurt, fruits and  peanut butter. It brought a big smile on his face when I placed the plate before him. He sang as he ate and enjoyed every bite, wiping the plate clean. 

Here's the Recipe:


Oatmeal - 1 cup
White flour - 1/2 cup
Baking powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt- a small pinch
Butter melted - 2 tbs
Egg - 1
Milk - 1/2 cup
Strawberries - 4 or 5
Blueberries - a handful
Pears/Apples - grated
Honey - 1- 2 tsp
Cinnamon for flavouring (optional) - can be used with grated apples

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
2. Grind the oats in a dry grinder. Then mix together all dry ingredients. 
3. Whisk the egg, add the milk followed by the cooled melted butter and honey. 
4. Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well to get a smooth thick batter.
5. Pour into mini muffin tins, top with berries and bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 mins till a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
6. You can use the same batter to make mini pancakes and use different toppings such as grated apples or pears, berries etc. Use clarified butter to cook the mini pancakes in the non stick pan.
7. Turn over and cook gently on low heat till they are done. Remove from pan, cool and serve them to your little toddler with peanut butter or yoghurt. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Maamoul fillings

Maamoul fillings:

The filling inside the mamoul is what breathes life into it. The outer soft velvety texture of the cookie combined with the crunchy, nutty, sweet and fragrant filling inside kicks it up a notch and one bite of it is enough to place you in the seventh heaven! That is why I love the fillings with nuts - either almonds or walnuts or pistachios or mixed nuts.  Pistachio mamouls are my husband's favourite and mine too.

As for the fillings with dates, I would recommend using finely chopped dates or home made date paste (made with good dates) instead of the store bought one which is mostly stale and is gritty.

One more important ingredient is the orange blossom water. It enhances the taste of the mamoul with its intoxicating fragrance. You cannot do without it. I would say you cannot call it a mamoul if there was no orange blossom water in it.

Using honey and icing sugar with the nuts gives it a crunchy texture.

You may also use different variations such as choc chips, sweetened dried coconut etc..

Nuts (Pistachios/Almonds/Walnuts/mixed nuts - 1 cup
Icing sugar - 1/4 cup
Honey - 2 tbs
Orange blossom water - 1 tbs

1. Put the nuts in a zip lock bag. Take a pestle or a hammer and pound the nuts coarsely.

2. Transfer them to a bowl. Add a major portion of the icing sugar, saving just a little to dust later.

3. Add orange blosssom water. Mix well with a fork.

4. Drizzle the honey and mix well again.

5. Dust a little more icing sugar from what you saved earlier.

6. Make small rounds of them and keep it ready for stuffing the mamouls.

7. For the dates filling, chop finely or grind the dates. Add orange blossom water, dust with a little icing sugar, mix well and use this for stuffing the maamouls. For the complete maamoul recipe click here.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Maamoul Cookies

Maamouls are what I would call, cookies from Heaven!! They melt in the mouth and make you feel like you are in the seventh heaven. These little goodies, packed with rich nuts, scented with orange blossom water and sweetened with honey are so addicting that you would never want to stop eating them.

Here's the recipe.

White flour - 4 cups - 6 cups
Unsalted butter - 1lb chilled
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Chilled water - 1/4 cup
Orange blossom water - 2 tbs
Maamoul mold

1. Cut the chilled butter into cubes.

2. Place the flour, salt and sugar in the food processor and pulse 2 or 3 times.

3. Add the butter and pulse again  3 or 4 times, till the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.

4. At this stage add the orange blossom water followed by chilled water little by little with each pulse till it forms into a soft dough. Squeeze the dough to check. It should  be soft but not sticky.

5. Pound the nuts coarsely. You can use different fillings with mixed nuts (almonds, pistachios and walnuts) or just pistachios or just almonds in combination with honey/icing sugar and orange blossom water. You can also use just date paste mixed with orange blossom water. Or dates and mixed nuts with orange blossom water. For the maamoul fillings recipe click here.

6. Make small round balls of the dough. Make slightly bigger balls of the filling. You can use different moulds for different fillings.

7. Make a depression in the small rounds of the dough then shape them like a bowl by swirling around with your fingers . Place the ball of the filling in the bowl, close the circle over the filling and smoothen it like a ball. Please note that there should be a considerably thin layer of dough around the filling (not so thin that the filling comes out on baking and not so thick that there's hardly any filling inside). Keep a paper towel handy to wipe your hands each time you touch the filling otherwise the dough would get discolored with your sticky fingers and it would be hard to give shape.

8. Roll the filled rounds in the flour, dust the mold too with a little flour then overturn it and tap to shake off the excess flour.

9. Place the filled maamoul in the selected shape in the maamoul mold and press it with your palm.

10. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

11. Now tap the mold on the edge of the cookie sheet so that the maamoul stuck in the mould falls off on to the cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the maamouls.

12. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Bake the maamouls for around 10 -12 minutes till the base of the maamoul is lightly golden brown. After 12 mins take a flat thin spatula and lift the base of a maamoul to see if it is done. Switch off the oven and leave them inside for 3-4 minutes.  Remove when they look firm at the top and lightly golden brown at the base.

13. Cool on wire wrack for one hour. Dust them with icing sugar after they cool down completely and enjoy.


Do not store these cookies in the fridge. Store them in a cool dry place in an air tight container or cookie jar. They stay fresh outside for 2 - 4 weeks. You may freeze them if you want to store for longer periods of time. But bring them to room temperature before serving them.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Banana Halwa Cake

Banana halwa cakes

This recipe is my own creation. But I was kind of inspired by chef Sanjeev Kapoor's Banana Halwa recipe.The name itself made me imagine a yummy taste, but when I read the recipe it made me feel heavy. It is no doubt a delicious recipe made with rich ingredients (like khoya, ghee, cashewnuts, sugar etc), but not quite suitable for my kids' taste. First of all they hate indian sweets because they are so sweet and secondly they don't like anything heavy which all indian sweets are. So I decided to make it in my own way. I wanted to use edible gum and flour in combination with the bananas. I couldn't imagine how it would turn out but at the end, nothing went wrong as everything pulled together and the banana halwa cake evolved on its own. Everybody loved it!

Here's the recipe.

Ripe Bananas- 4
Condensed milk -1 can
White butter- 1/4 +1/8
Durrum wheat flour-1 cup
Edible gum- 1 tbs
Vanilla cream - 1/4 cup
Black Poppy seeds- 1/4 tsp
Almonds - 1/2 cup + 6 for decoration

1. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a non-stick sauce pan on medium heat. Add the flour and toast until well combined and smooth.

2. Pulse the edible gum with the almonds in a grinder and grind to a fine powder.

3. Add the ground almonds and gum to the toasted flour in the pan and toast the whole mixture well till you get an aroma.

4. Fold in one can of condensed milk and blend well with a spatula so that there are no lumps anywhere.

5. Now grease a cake pan and set aside.

6. Add the remaining 1/8th cup butter to the sauce pan. Mix well. Keep turning the mixture over in the pan and when it starts leaving the sides pour the mixture in the cake pan and then bake in the preheated oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 10 mins.

7. Remove and let it cool. Spread vanilla icing on top. Sprinkle some black  poppy seeds and cut into desired shapes.

8. Leave it in the fridge to chill for sometime and enjoy with a cup of tea.


You can try with white flour instead of durrum wheat flour and use less condensed milk if you want it less sweet. Also try with khoya and brown sugar instead of condensed milk. And substitute almonds with walnuts.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Stuffed pineapple cake

This is another recipe circulating amongst our relatives in Canada. We make this quite often especially when we invite someone over. The cake has a soft and light texture and the fruit stuffing with cool whip is so refreshing that you cannot stop eating it. Though the recipe calls for using crushed canned pineapple and juice from it, I prefer using fresh fruits and fresh pineapple juice. I don't like the metallic taste of the canned fruits at all.  Moreover it is so unhealthy. 

I decided to post this recipe at the request of one of my friends who enjoys my cooking and is especially very fond of this cake because its taste some how reminds her of the indian bakery cakes which she adored as a child.

Eggs - 2
Sugar - 1 Cup
Vanilla - 1 tspn
Flour - 1 Cup
Baking powder - 1 tspn
Salt - ½ tspn
Milk - ½ Cup
Butter- 1 tblspn
Crushed pineapple - 1 cup or subsitute for 1 crushed pineapple can 
Pineapple juice - 1 cup fresh juice or from the can. 
Fresh ripe strawberries - 1 cup
Kiwi, strawberries and pineapple, mango, peaches or any other fruit to decorate.

 MethodPreheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Beat the eggs, add sugar gradually, add vanilla essence. Mix the dry ingredients and stir it into the egg mixture. Heat the milk and butter and add to the batter and stir well. Grease a 9 X9 inch pan, dust with flour and pour the cake batter in it. 
 Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 mins.
Let the cake cool for 1 hr then cut the cake into two equal halves. Do it carefully either with the help of a sowing thread or a knife. Pour the pineapple juice generously and evenly on the insides of the cake and let there not be any dry areas here and there. Leave for sometime - 10 mins. 

 Spread the cool whip icing or whipping cream on the cake.
Make a stuffing with chopped strawberries and crushed pineapple and close the cake after putting the stuffing. Make a stuffing with chopped strawberries and crushed pineapple and close the cake after putting the stuffing.
 Spread the whipping cream or cool whip icing on all over the cake - on the top and sides. Decorate with Strawberries, pineapple, peach, mango or kiwi slices.