Pinwheel Cookies

Merry Christmas 
once again

The ingredients used are the same as mentioned in my previous post of Candy Cane Cookies. Even the method is same, except for the rolling of the dough. So, to roll out the pinwheel logs, here are the steps:
  • After the dough is refrigerated, take it out. If the dough is too hard, let it stand at room temperature for a few minutes, before rolling.
  • Place the red dough on a butter paper. Place another butter paper on the top and roll out into a rectangle shape. 
  • Repeat the above step with the green dough. 
  • Place the doughs in the refrigerator along with the butter paper, for about 15 minutes.
  • To shape the cookies, remove the doughs from the refrigerator and peel off the top sheet of butter paper from each.
  • Invert the red dough over the green (or vice-versa), taking care to align the two layers as evenly as possible (if, not trim the edges).
  • Using a rolling pin, gently roll over the dough to seal the layers together. Peel off the top layer of the butter paper.
  • Starting with the edge of the dough closest to you, carefully curl the edges of the dough away from you, same as in swiss roll.
  • With the help of the butter paper, continue rolling the dough into a tight cylinder. Then roll it back and forth on the counter to slightly elongate it.
  • Transfer the log to a plastic wrap and refrigerate it until firm enough to slice.
  • Once firm, slice the dough into rounds.
  • Keep the rounds on a baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
  • Bake it in a preheated oven at 190 C for about 12 minutes or until firm.
  • Let the baked cookies cool on the tray for 5 minutes and then remove.
  • Let it cool completely and store in an airtight container.


Candy Cane Cookies

Merry Christmas 
to all my
 Wonderful Readers

Christmas is just few hours away and the home is ready for the day!! The crib, tree and the star are up except for the Christmas Plum Cake *smiles*.... Instead, I baked few Christmas cookies for a change. In fact, I made two different cookies with a single dough! The first one is the Candy Cane Cookies and the second, The Pinwheel Cookies, which would be in the next post!

Recipe Adapted From: My Diverse Kitchen

Butter - 125 gm
Sugar - 1 1/4 cup
Egg - 1
Milk - 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Almond essence - 1 tsp
Baking powder - 3/4 tsp
All purpose flour - 3 1/2 cups
Red food colour - 1-2 tsp
Green food colour - 1-2 tsp

  • In a bowl, cream butter and sugar well. 
  • Add egg, milk, vanilla and almond essences and mix well.
  • Then add the sifted baking powder and flour and mix into a dough.
  • Divide the dough in half.
  • Add the red food colour to one half and mix well. 
  • Add the green food colour to the other half and mix well.
  • Wrap the two balls of dough separately in a cling film and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  • Divide each balls of dough into 1 tsp rounds.
  • Take one red coloured dough round and place it on a clean work surface. Using your fingers, lightly roll it back and forth into a long rope. Repeat the same with the green coloured dough round. {Never use flour while rolling, as the ropes will not stick together. If dough becomes sticky while rolling, place it in the freezer for about 15 minutes and then roll.}
  • Place the red and green coloured rope side by side and twist together to form a double coloured rope. Place on a greased cookie sheet and curve the top of the rope to form the handle of the cane. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Bake the cookies at 190 C for about 12 minutes or till they are set and look dry.
  • Cool the cookies on the tray for 5 minutes and then remove from the tray.
  • Cool completely and store in an airtight container.


Julekake- A Norwegian Cardamom Scented Christmas Bread

We Knead To Bake! is a bread baking group on FB, hosted by Aparna Balasubramanian of My Diverse Kitchen. Though I had joined this group couple of months back, I haven't baked anything to date except for pizzas. Now, baking bread is not a child's play. So, I waited until I get to bake something easy. And this month's recipe proved to be the right one to bake for an amateur like me!!

Julekake (or Julekaka/ Julekaga) is a rich holiday bread flavoured with cardamom which is traditionally served at Christmas in many Scandinavian countries. It is particularly popular in Norway and Denmark. Incidentally, Julekake means “Yule Bread” in Norwegian.  This bread is more cake-like in texture and sometimes it is dusted with powdered sugar or glazed with a white sugar icing. If it is not glazed or left plain, then it is usually served warm at breakfast with butter or a goat milk cheese called geitost/ brunost. In Norway, Julekake traditionally only a lime green citrus peel called sukat is added along with the cardamom. Nowadays many people also add red and green cherries to reflect the colours of Christmas. Other popular additions are raisins, candied orange peel, and coloured candied peel.  Some recipes for Julekake also feature almonds, but the main flavour in this bread comes from cardamom.

Dry yeast - 2 tsp
Lukewarm water - 1/4 cup
Lukewarm milk - 1/2 cup
Egg - 1
Butter - 50gm, softened at room temperature
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Cardamom - 4-5 pods, powdered
All-purpose flour - 2 1/2 cups
Mixed candied fruit or peel - 1/2 cup
Golden or dark raisins - 1/4 cup

For the Glaze:
Egg - 1, lightly beaten
Milk - 1 tbsp
Crushed sugar cubes or chopped almonds

  • Put the water, milk and 1 tsp sugar (from the 1/4 cup) in a small bowl and add the yeast to it. Mix well and keep aside for 5 to 10 minutes till it becomes “frothy”.
  • Put this yeast mixture, the egg, butter and sugar and salt in a large bowl. Mix well, and then add the flour and the powdered cardamom. Knead well until you have a dough that is soft, smooth and elastic. Add just as much more flour or water to achieve this consistency of dough.
  • Take the dough out and flatten it into a largish round (shape is not important). Sprinkle the fruit and raisins evenly and then roll it up, swiss roll style. This is a good way to knead in fruit into bread dough. Then just knead the dough lightly by hand and roll it up into a ball.
  • Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover loosely and let it rise till double in volume, for about an hour or so. 
  • When done, lightly knead the dough to deflate it slightly and shape it into a ball. Place it on a lined or lightly greased baking sheet or in a cake or loaf tin. Let it rise for about 45 minutes.
  • If using the egg wash, then brush it over the top of the dough. Otherwise brush it with milk and sprinkle it with crushed sugar cubes or chopped almonds.  (Actually, I forgot to sprinkle it with sugar cubes or chopped almonds!)
  • Bake at 180C (350F) for about 30 minutes till the bread is golden brown and done. If you find the bread browning too quickly, cover it with foil after about 15 minutes in the oven to avoid further browning.
  • Cool it on a rack. Let it cool completely before you slice it.


Many more happy returns of the day to my Boy

Chocolate Mousse Layer Cake for Mama's Boy

My boy turned 7 and to celebrate his special day I decided to bake him a chocolate cake because he's sooo fond of chocolates.....To make it more chocolatey, I decided to frost it with a chocolate frostings! But didn't want the usual frostings -buttercream, whipping cream or ganache; so decided to play with a mousse frosting!! And what more can I say---it was utterly delicious. 

The recipe for the Chocolate Mousse Layer Cake is from my favourite book Cake by Rachel Allen!! I am not posting the recipe here and but you could visit this link for the recipe... 

And a word of caution to all weight watchers; health and calorie conscious readers out there... This cake is definitely not your cup of tea as the cake itself uses eight eggs and the mousse just six... *smile*.... But if you want to indulge go ahead, you won't regret..... though make sure you are able to stop after a serving or so, which is very difficult....*winks*.....

That is all I got to capture to show you the layers..... I actually forgot to click a picture of the slice!!!

Here are few cakes that I have baked with Rachel Allen - The Chocolate Cake with Blue Buttercream Icing and the White Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Ganache.


Paneer Wreath

When Subhashini of Fondbites baked the Chicken Wreath for this week's Bake Along Challenge #52, I seriously couldn't wait to try it out....But as it is Advent, which means abstinence from non-vegs, I gave it a try with paneer.....And now, can't wait for Christmas to try it out with chicken *winks*......

So, here it is my second special recipe for this month!!! I have tweaked the original recipe according to our taste buds.....Next week, is a big week for me!!Keeping my fingers crossed for it *smile*.....


For the Wreath:
All-purpose flour – 300 gms
Instant dry yeast – 1 tablespoon
Salt – 1 1/2 teaspoons
Granulated white sugar – 2 tablespoons
Olive oil – 2 tablespoons plus extra for basting
Water – 180 ml
Egg – 1, for egg wash

For the Filling:
Paneer – 250 gms, crumbled
Onion – 1 large size, chopped
Tomatoes – 2, processed into puree
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Green capsicum – 1, chopped

Red capsicum - 1, chopped
Frozen corn – 1/2 cup
Chilly powder – 1 tbsp
Garam Masala – 2 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Pepper – 3 tsp
Olive oil – 2 tbsp


Preparing the Filling:
  • Heat oil in a pan and saute onions in them until translucent.
  • Add 1 tsp of ginger-garlic paste and saute until the raw smell disappears.
  • Add red chilly powder and salt and mix well.
  • Add tomato puree and cook until oil starts to separate from the sides of the pan.
  • Add paneer and mix well. Let it cook.
  • Add chopped capsicums and frozen corn and mix well. Cook on medium flame for 3-5 mins.
  • Add pepper powder and garam masala and mix well. Check for seasoning. Cook for 1-2 mins, switch off the flame and let it cool.

Preparing the Wreath:
  • To half cup of warm water add sugar and yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 mins until it froths up.
  • In a large bowl add flour, olive oil and salt and mix well. Pour in the yeast mix and mix again. The flour will have a crumbly texture.
  • Use warm water as required to make a soft and slightly sticky dough. Knead for about 5 minutes. 
  • Leave the dough in the bowl and cover it with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place until it has risen well.
  • After it has risen, punch the dough with your fist and bring the dough together.
  • Transfer the dough to the countertop the dough is very sticky, add some more flour and knead until it is just not sticky. Don't add too much flour.
  • Divide the dough into 2 portions.
  • Roll one portion of the dough into a circle about quarter of an inch thickness. Use a pizza cutter and cut into 8 wedges equally. Repeat the same to the other portion also.
  • Line up the baking tray with butter paper. Place the wedges overlapping on the broader end and the narrow end facing outwards. Spread out equally and finish up a circle using the 8 wedges.
  • Place the second set of the wedges in exactly opposite directions, overlapping.
  • Finish up with all the 8 wedges spread out equally.
  • Scoop out the filling evenly around on the overlapping part of both side wedge.
  • Now fold the narrow end of the wedge facing outwards over the filling and turn it inside. Pull it as it would stretch for you to cover up the filling.
  • Continue doing it to the 8 wedges that is facing outwards.
  • Now for the wedges that had its narrow end facing inwards. Pull them from inside and go over the filling and fold it outside. Do it to all the 8 wedges, trying to cover up the gaps as much possible.
  • Cover with damp cloth again and let it aside for about 15 minutes to increase in volume. This is second proving.
  • Brush the top with egg, very carefully without deflating the volume.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 200 degree C. The top should be golden brown.

And this is all what is left to shoot under the natural light......*winks*.....


Swiss Roll favorite month is here!!Yippee!!And I have lots and lots of baking coming up!!In fact, starting with this post, I am hoping to bake something new every week until Christmas!!And so to start off, here is my first recipe for you--Swiss Roll...

Recipe Adapted from: Cake by Rachel Allen

Castor sugar- 100 gm
Eggs - 4
Plain flour - 100 gm
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Mixed berry jam - 3-4 tbsp
Whipped cream - 1 box
Icing sugar - for dusting

  • Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • Butter the sides of a Swiss roll tin and line the base with baking paper.
  • Beat the sugar and eggs in a large bowl with the help of an electric beater for several minutes until light, thickened and tripled in size.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder over the mixture.
  • Fold in until just combined.
  • Pour it into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula. 
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes or until just springy to touch in the center.
  • Remove from the oven and leave the tin to cool down for 5 minutes.
  • Dust icing sugar on the top of the sponge. Make sure the sugar is dusted on every part of the sponge.
  • Take a towel slightly larger than the tin and spread on top of the tin. Quickly flip the Swiss roll tin over onto the towel. Carefully remove the tin and the baking paper from the bottom of the sponge.
  • Roll the sponge along with the towel and keep aside for it to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the whipping cream according to the instruction on the packet.
  • Once the sponge is cooled, unroll it and spread the jam all over the sponge.
  • Next, add a dollop of whipped cream and spread it all over the sponge.
  • Carefully roll up the sponge again, without the towel. 
  • Dust with icing sugar on the top and refrigerate it!


Basbousa / Semolina Cake

Basbousa is a traditional Arabic sweet cake. It is known by different names in different regions, like Nammoura in Lebanon; Hareesa in Jordan, Ravani/Revani in Greece and so on. Similarly, the recipe varies according to different regions. Some recipes contain eggs; yogurt or milk; coconut; and some are prepared using clarified butter(ghee) or vegetable oil.

The recipe below is the Libyan recipe which is eggless and neither yogurt or coconut. I used melted butter for the same.

Recipe Source: 7aum Suvai

Semolina/Rava - 1.5 cups
All purpose flour - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Melted butter - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Almonds - 16

For Sugar Syrup
Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Lemon juice - 1tsp

  • Soak almonds in hot water for 20-30 minutes. Remove skin and keep aside.
  • Make sugar syrup by adding sugar,water and lemon juice in a sauce pan. Bring to boil and cook until it is sticky and the sugar melts completely. Keep aside.
  • In a bowl add rava, flour,sugar, baking powder, baking soda and mix well.
  • Then add melted butter, milk and vanilla essence and fold everything together gently.
  • Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • Grease a cake pan with butter.
  • Pour the batter to the pan and gently pat to spread evenly.
  • Score the batter with a knife either square or diamond. Place the almonds on the top of each square or diamond.
  • Bake for 30 mins. After 30 mins remove from oven and cut through on the scored line. Again place it back to the oven and bake it for 12-15 minutes more until well cooked and brown on top.
  • Remove from oven and pour cold sugar syrup over the hot basbousa. Cover everywhere with sugar syrup and allow to soak for 40-45 minutes.
  • Once it reaches the room temperature, slice along the scored lines and serve along with tea or coffee.


Coffee Liqueur Muffins

It was only recently, when decluttering my pantry, I realised I had a bottle of unopened coffee liqueur which my friend got it for me from Goa last year..... Then, as usual searched for a recipe and found out one from my collections....So, here it is Coffee Liqueur Muffins! According to the book, its an after-dinner muffins, but we loved it with our cup of evening-tea.......

Recipe Source:Coffee by Parragon Books

Instant coffee granules - 2 tbsp
Boiling water - 2 tbsp
Plain flour - 280 gm
Baking powder - 1 tbsp
Pinch of salt
Light brown sugar - 115 gm
Eggs - 2
Milk - 100ml
Butter - 85 gm, melted and cooled
Coffee liqueur - 6 tbsp
Oil or melted butter, for greasing

  • Preheat oven to 200 C. Line a muffin tin with muffin case.
  • Put coffee granules and boiling water in a cup and stir until dissolved. Leave to cool.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the brown sugar.
  • Lightly beat the eggs in another bowl. Beat in the milk, butter, dissolved coffee and liqueur. 
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the beaten liquid ingredients. Stir gently until  just combined; do not over-mix.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin paper cases. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until well risen, golden brown and firm to touch.
  • Leave the muffins in the tin for 5 minutes. Then serve warm or leave to cool on a wire rack.


Motichoor Kesar Gulab Cheesecake

May the festival of lights, bring a world of sparkling joy, happiness, prosperity and contentment to you, to last you throughout the year.

Happy Diwali to My Readers All Over The 

When Subhashini Ramsingh of Fondbites made the Motichoor Kesar Gulab Cheesecake for Bake Along #43, I knew what I should be making for Diwali..... So, here is my special Diwali sweet to all my readers..... And wishing you all once again a "Happy and Prosperous Diwali' and do play safe with the crackers *smiles*........


Motichoor Laddu - 5

For the Cheesecake
Cream cheese - 180 gm
Condensed milk - 200ml
Thick coconut milk - 1/2 cup
Fresh cream - 200 ml
Warm milk - 1/4 cup
Saffron strands - a big pinch, depending on how strong you want the flavor to be.
Gelatin - 2 tbsp
Water - 1/2 cup

For the Glaze
Gelatin - 1 tbsp
Water - 1/2 cup
Gulkhand - 20 gmn
Fresh cream - 20 gm
Pink food colour - 3 drops


For the cheesecake
  • Use a springform cake pan to make it, as it is easy to get the cheesecake out of the pan.
  • To the warm milk, add saffron strands and let it soak for 15-30 mins.
  • Pour cream cheese, condensed milk, fresh cream, and the thick coconut milk into a bowl and beat them all together until it is smooth. This may take few seconds.
  • In a bowl add water and gelatin and mix well. Let it bloom for 5 mins and then MW for 1 minute, until the gelatin mixture is completely clear.
  • Filter the saffron milk and add it into the cream cheese mixture. To that, add the gelatin mixture and mix well gently with the spatula until everything is mixed well.
  • Crush the ladoos and press them firmly into the springform pan. Make sure the sides are well sealed and level them as much as possible.
  • Pour the cheesecake mixture over the the laddoo base and place it in a freezer to set for about 30 mins or until firm and wobbly to touch but not sticky.

For the Glaze
  • Add water and gelatin to a bowl and let it bloom for 5 mins. Then MW for 1 minute until it is clear.
  • Add gulkhand and fresh cream to it and mix well.
  • Add food colouring and mix well. Drain and keep aside.
  • Once the cheesecake is set, pour the glaze over it and keep it back in the freezer for another 30 minutes or until firm.
  • Remove from the freezer to the fridge before serving.
  • Decorate with rose petals or saffron strands and serve.