Thursday, 22 December 2011

Change is imminent..

..and I love it. The change that I am talking about is a move, a move from Mumbai to Gurgaon. 400050 to 122002.

Do I miss Mumbai? Yes, at times, yes. And what is it that I really really miss?

  • First and foremost, Arife, which stocked all my baking goodies
  • The warm weather
  • HyperCITY
  • Patel/Society Store
  • CafĂ© Madras/Mysore (Sagar doesn’t really match)
  • American Express and all the other little bakeries dotting the city
  • Roaming around Linking Road
  • And the warm weather, once again

Having said that, it isn’t that I don’t like Gurgaon, although it is rather early, the list might get a little longer with time, hopefully.

  • Centrally located house giving me Day 1 access to all the sales. Since I am on a break, I have all the time to shop J
  • Spar Hypermarket and Le Marche are not bad
  • The Metro (which I am yet to use) – MG Road station is right at my gate. Connectivity all over is just brilliant.
  • Looking forward to INA Market and Flanders Dairy which promises.

But the Gurgaon list is yet to grow, so…

This post was just a list to remind me of my favorites, I have also been busy baking lemon tarts, berry muffins & whole wheat bread for Little. More posts on that will follow..

Monday, 19 December 2011

Berry muffins

In my last post I cribbed about missing Hypercity – I still do – like hell. But like I also pointed out, we’ve found a close equivalent in Spar Hypermarket. Located in the MGF Metropolis, its right opposite our place (Metro stop: MG Road). Spar is a joint venture between the Dubai based Landmark Group (which also owns Lifestyle) and SPAR International (of Dutch origin).

Coming back to Spar, its well, quite your regular supermarket with all the regular stuff. Some imported stuff, though I think Le Marche would be a better option if you were looking for purely imported stuff.

Went through the chips, soft drinks routine then finally arrived at the frozen foods section. To my utter joy I discovered they stored frozen berries, which went by the name The Connoisseurs. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries all available. Pricing is a little steep at 150 for a 200 gm pack. The husband loves blueberry muffins, the ones you get at coffee shops are totally fraudulent – muffins with half a teaspoon of blueberry jam. Such a pity, but we used to buy a ready mix to make them almost every week. Hence, I jumped when I saw them.

Made them through the whole of last week – they were just lovely – threw in some strawberries I had as well – very moist and stayed almost a week. Here goes.

Adapted from: Joy of Baking

325 grams all-purpose flour

150 grams sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Zest of one orange and juice (used a kinnow, which is in season)

1 egg, lightly beaten

240 ml yogurt, whisked

120 ml oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

About 350 gms frozen berries (I used blue & strawberries)


· Preheat oven to 190 degrees C

· Position rack in center of oven. Line with paper liners

· In a large measuring cup or bowl whisk together the egg, yogurt, oil, and vanilla extract

· In another large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt

· Gently fold in the berries. With a rubber spatula fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are combined

· Add orange zest and juice

· Fill each muffin cup almost full with batter

· Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about20 - 25 minutes

· Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 5 - 10 minutes before removing from pan

· Enjoy!

If you want to order the same (in Gurgaon), please do not hesitate to email me on!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Mug cake!

Yeah, you heard it right! Not mud, and why call a cake a mud cake, I've always wondered? This is a Mug cake. What is a mug cake? A cake made in a mug! Simple. Its ideal to make when a chocolate craving strikes - for all it takes is 5 minutes!

'Any desert?' is a question frequently posed by the husband. Every time I've said a 'no' I feel I have let him down, terrible. Which made me look for the solution.

Chocolate always works, this mug cake is just the answer! Yummy, just like a rich fudgy chocolate cake. All you need are the a few basic ingredients and a basic microwave. Voila!

Here's the recipe (adapted from Not Quite Nigella)


4tbsp flour
5 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
1 tbsp baking powder
Pinch salt, if using unsalted butter
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp butter ( you can your regular cooking oil)

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. First & foremost, please make sure you have 2 mugs (or bowls, which is what I ended up using) which are microwave safe & are able to hold around 250ml of liquid. Else the cake might spill over while cooking.
2. Halve the dry ingredients, add into mugs and mix well.
3. Halve wet ingredients and add into mix. As for the egg, whisk it first, then halve and add.
4. Mix well, ensuring no lumps of flour are left in the mug
5. Microwave for 2-3 minutes (depending on how powerful your microwave is) on medium heat.
It should be cooked, but still a bit gooey too. Also, when you wait for it cool, it continues cooking. So make sure you don't overcook.

Thats it! Enjoy!

You can also add chocolate chips, chopped nuts or serve it with a scoop of icecream!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Baking and Craft

Two of my favorite pastimes, the former having proven far more 'expensive' (at the expense of me putting on oodles of weight) I turned to the latter.

I decided to give quilling, a go.

First a bit on the former pastime. For the hubby's birthday, here is all that I baked.

Birthday macarons:

Birthday cake: Black forest

That was in June - some other baking also happened in between - Viennese Sables (not my cuppa chai - hence no post), many a brownie & cookie & cupcake & muffin, lots of waffles (technically not baking, but oh what the hell) and so on.

So that was that.

My pursuit for a suitable crafting hobby ended in zeroing on quilling. What is quilling - basically strips of colored paper are rolled and shaped and then further glued together to make pretty much anything you want.

Here's what I made - ok I don't own one of those SLRs which click the breath taking pics, so these have been taken with my phone - it gives one a rough idea.

Night folks!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Picture post

The strawberry season came, it went. Beautiful, ain't they?

Here are some strawberry custard tarts.

That was desert, for dinner there was stuffed mushrooms (parsley & mozzarella cheese) and spinach & goat's cheese pizza.

Thoroughly enjoyed our meal!

Fruits with a heart of stone

Many reasons why I love summer
  • Mangoes
  • Peaches
  • Cherries
  • Apricots
  • Litchis
  • Time to celebrate Little's birthday!
The fruits have hit the market in a big way, and the crop seems to be pretty good too. Juicy peaches and the darkest of cherries. Litchis with their juice running down your hands! Simply gorgeous.

Went by a fruit seller today, and he had the loveliest looking fruit. Bought a whole box of cherries, some peaches and litchis. Alas, with the cherries, the bottom-most layer was the not so great fruit. A risk one takes with buying a whole box. Quickly, quickly - the bottom-most layer had to be turned into something more palatable. Hence the crumble (British) or crisp (American).

Pitting cherries is easy, but time-taking - slice an 'X' into both ends then squeeze! The seed just pops out. Bored? Want to try another method? Cut around the seed and voila! there you have it! Else I believe there is a supposedly a gadget called a 'pitter'! Self explanatory I think.

Bottom-most layer was pitted and turned into a glass dish. About a cup and a half of cherries. I added a cup of sliced peaches for good measure. I used a combination of oats (about a cup) & butter (about 3 tbsp) for the topping, omitting the flour altogether - trying to keep the dish as healthy as possible. Added a bit of brown sugar to the fruit as well as topping.

The flavor of the peaches dominated the dish, cherries added a nice tartness.

I did manage to take a picture..until

Along came a Little fella! Who insisted on biting into a peach (he has 4 teeth which need to be used you see) and then wanted a taste of the crumble!

Having said and done all of this, I'd much rather eat peaches & cherries - however, this is a great way to use up fruit which is not all that eat worthy.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Cheesecake wonders

Cheesecake is something I've always wanted to make, never got around to, as I refused to buy the oh so expensive Philly cream cheese available here in Mumbai. Come April, I had three boxes of cream cheese in the refrigerator (thanks to T), come May, there were only two :-( The Mumbai weather to blame, the third which I had opened to use as a spread succumbed to fungus :-(

On a brighter note, this is what the others were turned into: An Oreo cookie cheesecake & Brownie cheesecake! Both adapted from The Purple Foodie.


Ya ya, so they seem a bit frugal - but what was I to do! Just two 200 gm. boxes of the good stuff.

The brownie cheesecake doesn't have a recipe as such - it was made with the main purpose of using up a batch of burnt brownies. Biscuit base, followed by ground brownies and then a layer of baked cheesecake. Heaven!

The Oreo cheesecake goes as follows:


  • 28 Oreo cookies, powdered (I didn't have as many so I used a combination of Oreo & Digestive biscuits - worked very well
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 200 gms. cream cheese
  • 70g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 90 gms. cream
  • A few Oreo cookies, chopped up for embellishment


  1. Line an 8 inch pan with foil, both base and the sides.
  2. Mix together the powdered oreo cookies and melted butter and press it into the pan. Make sure it is tightly packed in.
  3. Whisk the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl until smooth. Add the vanilla extract, followed by the egg, and the cream, mix until it is smooth. Stir in the chopped Oreo cookies and pour it over the crust in the cake pan. Top with a few more Oreo cookies and bake in a preheated oven at 160°C in a water bath for 35-45 minutes. The cheesecake won't set completely, will be a bit gooey.
  4. Once cooled, refrigerate the cake for at least 3-4 hours before slicing up.
What is a water bath you ask? Use a larger pan containing boiling water and place the smaller cheesecake baking pan in it. One of the best ways to bake a cheesecake. The science behind it - the water bath will never get hotter than 100C , whatever the temperature of the oven maybe. Essentially this means the cheesecake bakes uniformly, therefore making sure it doesn't sink or crack.

The Oreo cheesecake was T's lunch for 2 days in a row!

Coming up next Viennese chocolate sables - thanks to M!