Monday, September 30, 2013

Espresso Cheesecake Brownie

If you in love with brownie & cheesecake WAIT !!! This recipe is for you. If you are a chocolate and coffee lover this is again a treat for you. This Espresso cheesecake brownie is certainly an over- overindulging recipe for me. The twin layer bottom is made with bittersweet chocolate brownie and topped with the espresso flavoured cheesecake. The flavor combination is impeccable and so is the texture. It a treat for your senses to have this cake starting with the soft velvety cheesecake and biting down to the firmly and fudgy brownie. You can almost taste it seeing the picture. It’s like falling in love for first time.

Minimally adapted from:  " Baking from my home to yours"  by Dorie Greenspan"

Makes:  16 Brownies

Preparation time:    1 hour (plus cooling)


For the brownie:
All purpose flour:                   1/2 cup
Baking powder:                     1/4 teaspoon
Pinch of salt
Unsalted butter:                     5 tablespoon
Bittersweet Chocolate:          150 grams (coarsely chopped)
Sugar:                                   1/3 cup
Egg:                                      2 large
Vanilla extract:                      1/2 teaspoon

For the cheesecake:
Instant Espresso Powder:      11/2 teaspoon
Boiling water:                        1 tablespoon
Cream cheese:                      250 grams at room temp
Sugar:                                   2/3 cup
Vanilla extract:                      1/2 teaspoon
Egg:                                      2 large
Sour Cream:                         1/4 cup
All purpose flour:                  2 tablespoon

1) Preheat the oven at 180 degree celcius and butter a 9 inch square baking pan and dust it with flour, tap out the excess.
2) Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Put the butter and chocolate together and stir occasionally until the ingredients are just melted.
3) Whisk in the sugar to the chocolate mixture. Add egg one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and whisk vigorously for few seconds.
4) With the help of rubber spatula or whisk gently sit in the dry ingredients until they disappear in the batter. Set aside.
5) To make cheesecake dissolve the espresso in boiling water and let it cool.
6) Beat the cream cheese using a stand or a hand mixer until completely smooth. Add sugar and beat for another 3 minutes until well incorporated.
7) Beat in vanilla and espresso mixture. Add the egg one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition.
8) Lower the speed of mixer to low and add the sour cream followed by the flour. The batter will be smooth.
9) Give the brownie batter a few stir and pour it onto the prepared pan. Smooth the brownie layer and pour the cheesecake batter over it, tilting the pan as needed to even the batter.
10) Bake for 30 to 35 minute, or until the brownies pull away from the sides of the pan and the cheesecake layer is beige in the centre, lightly browned around the edges and puffed all over. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature. When the brownie are completely cool, refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
11) The easiest way to cut this cake is to run the knife blade under hot water, wipe it dry and cut the cake as desired.
12) You can serve it as it is or with some dust of coca over the top of the bar. You can also serve the cold brownie with hot fudge sauce.

Few more love of chocolate and espresso combination:
Twin Chocolate Panna Cotta with Espresso Jelly
Quick Tiramisu Trifle
Cake Roll


Friday, September 20, 2013

Paneer Tikka with Roasted Garlic Chutney

"Paneer Tikka" is a most predominant vegetarian recipes famous worldwide related to North Indian cuisine. It is made from chunks of paneer marinated in spices and grilled in a tandoor. It is a vegetarian alternative to chicken tikka and other meat dishes. Chunks of paneer are marinated in spices and are then arranged on a stick with capsicums, onions and tomatoes sometime. These sticks are grilled in a tandoor and thereafter seasoned with lemon juice and chaat masala. It is best accompanied by salad or mint chutney.

I have been making this recipe from few years and always been successful and appreciated by friends & family. I personally don't like using artificial color to food hence not using it but if required can use artificial red food color to give it a bright red tandoori color as in local restaurants

Serve:       2
Preparation time:          30 minutes (plus marinating)


Paneer (Cottage Cheese):                 150 grams
Capsicum:                                        1 cup (cut in cubes)
Onion:                                              1/2 cup (cut in cubes)
Gram flour:                                       1 tablespoon
Butter:                                              1 teaspoon
Carom Seed:                                    1 pinch
Yogurt:                                             2 tablespoon
Red chilli powder:                             1/4 teaspoon
Ginger garlic paste:                           1 teaspoon
Garam masala:                                  1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Lemon juice:                                     1 teaspoon
Mustard oil:                                      1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder:                             1/4 teaspoon
Kasuri methi:                                    1/2 teaspoon
Bamboo Saute Sticks:                       5-6  (soaked in water)
Chaat Masala

For chutney:
Garlic:                        1 pod (roasted on a gas flame)
Mint leaves:                10- 15
Green chilli:                 5-6 large
Lime juice:                  2 tablespoon
Salt:                            1 tablespoon


1) Heat some butter in a pan, add carom seed and then gram flour to roast it till you get a nutty flavour.
2) In a large bowl add the gram paste, yogurt, red chilli powder, ginger garlic paste, garam masala, lemon juice and salt to taste. Mix well.
3) Heat the mustard oil till smoky hot, add the turmeric powder and whisk the hot oil in the prepared marinade mixture.
4) Add kasuri methi, paneer, onion and capsicum cubes. Let it marinate for 1 hour in freeze. You can do this in advance and cover it with a cling film to use later in a refrigerator.
5) Arrange the paneer, onion, capsicum in a soaked bamboo skewer.
6) You can use a grill pan, gas tandoor or oven in grill mode to cook these tikkas.
7) For chutney put all the ingredients in a blender and make a coarse paste.
8) Serve hot tikkas with a generous sprinkle of chaat masala and roasted garlic mint chutney.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Paneer Makhani (Paneer Butter Masala)

If you love Indian food or eating out in any Indian restaurant this recipe will certainly be on the top of the menu. Almost everyone must have paneer makhani from their favourite restaurant. But have you tried replicating the authentic taste of this famous food? Makhani is a Hindustani word meaning "with butter". It is used in the names of several dishes from Punjabi cuisine:
1) Dal makhani, made from beans and pulses
2) Paneer makhani, made from the white cheese paneer, also known as "paneer butter masala"
3) Murgh makhani, also known as "butter chicken" or "chicken makhani"

Let's get cooking with this yummylicious and world famous Paneer Makhani/ Paneer Butter Masala.

Serve :                 3-4 persons
Preparation time:   40 minutes


Paneer (Cottage cheese):          250 grams (cut in cubes)
Tomato:                                    7-8 large, red, ripe tomatoes
Green Cardamom:                     6-7 pieces
Garlic:                                       2 tablespoon (finely chopped)
Mace:                                        1 inch piece
Butter:                                       100 grams
Oil:                                            2 tablespoon
Cream:                                      100 grams
Kashmiri red chilli powder:        1/2 tablespoon
Sugar:                                       1/2 tablespoon
Green chilli:                               2 (cut in julienne)
Ginger:                                      1 1/2 inch long (cut in julienne)
Honey:                                      1 tablespoon
Kasuri methi:                             1 teaspoon (dry roasted and powdered)
Salt to taste

1) Heat some oil and butter in a pan. Add cardamom and mace. Add roughly chopped tomato. Cover and let is soften for 5-7 minutes mixing in between.
2) Add chilli powder and salt to taste. Let it cook for couple of minutes.
3) Let it cool and blend it in a mixer. Strain all the pulp and juices from spices and tomato in a clean bowl.
4) Heat some more oil and butter in another pan. Add chopped garlic and let it brown. Add the strained mixture and let it cook for 7-8 minutes at medium flame.
5) Add some sugar, remaining butter and cream to the gravy. Cook it for another minute. Set aside.
6) Add 1 tablespoon of butter in a hot pan. Add chilli and ginger julienne. Saute for a minute and add paneer cubes. Toss it on a high flame and add the tomato makhni gravy. Let it cook covered for 2-3 minutes.
7) Finish it with honey a kasuri methi powder.
8) Serve hot with so fresh naan or roti.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Semlor (Swedish pastry bun)

I found this lovely small pastry bun few days back surfing on a food porn site and bookmarked it to try. Today after little research and trying several recipe sites I am here with best of this authentic Swedish pastry. Semlor consists of a cardamom-spiced wheat bun which has its top cut off, and is then filled with a mix of milk and almond paste, topped with whipped cream. The cut-off top serves as a lid and is dusted with powdered sugar. Today it is often eaten on its own, with coffee or tea. Some people still eat it in a bowl of hot milk. In Finland, the bun is sometimes filled with raspberry jam instead of almond paste, and bakeries in Finland usually offer both versions. The semlor was originally eaten only on Shrove Tuesday, as the last festive food before Lent. However, with the arrival of the Protestant Reformation, the Swedes stopped observing a strict fasting for Lent. The semla in its bowl of warm milk became a traditional dessert every Tuesday between Shrove Tuesday and Easter. Today, semlor are available in shops and bakeries every day from shortly after Christmas until Easter.

Makes:                           12-15 buns (medium size)
Preparation time:             3 hours


All purpose flour:             2 1/2 - 3 cups
Active dry yeast:              7 grams
Butter:                             75 grams
Milk:                               1 cup
Salt:                                1/4 teaspoon
Sugar:                             3 tablespoon
Cardamom powder:        1 teaspoon
Egg:                                1 (for egg wash)
Almond:                          200 grams
Heavy cream                   2 cups
Powder sugar:                 4 tablespoon (some more for dusting)
Vanilla essence:               1/4 teaspoon


1) Melt the butter in a saucepan; add milk, sugar, salt, and cardamom powder. Keep the liquid warm and add to the active dry yeast. Stir well.
2) Mix 2 1/2 cups of flour with the liquid to make sticky dough, add more flour if required. Cover it with a kitchen towel and let it stand at a warm place for about an hour to rise.
3) Work the dough on a floured surface and make about 15 round buns. Arrange it on a baking sheet and cover it with a kitchen towel again to rise for about 45-50 minutes.
4) Preheat the oven at 200 degree celsius.
5) Brush the buns with a lightly beaten egg. Bake it on the middle rack for about 30-35 minutes until it is light brown in color. Let it cool.
6) Cut the top of the bun using a sharp knife and make a small hole in between. Mix the inside bit if the buns with almond paste and 2 spoons of milk to make a smooth paste.
7) Whip heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla essence together to soft peak.

8) Fill each bun with almond paste filling. Pipe or spoon the whipped cream over it and cover it with cut lid. 9) Dust the sugar over it and enjoy this Swedish delicacy with a glass or milk or some hot coffee.