Flourless chocolate Torte

Gluten free flourless chocolate cake

I had stumbled upon this recipe purely coincidentally. One of my friends is on a gluten-free diet and for her birthday I thought this would be one of the best gifts I could give her, as she loves dessert but is always at a loss, cause of gluten.

The cake is absolutely divine. It’s like a cross between a fudge and brownie – a little gooey. With a certain richness, it can be overwhelming after a couple of bites. But it’s great if one is on a low-carb diet.

Time: 1 hour

Baking Time: 40 minchocolate Glaze over flourless chocolate cake

Serves: 10 slices

Materials:

  • 7” baking tray
  • 2 saucepans
  • Handmixer
  • Rubber spatula

Cake Ingredients:

  • Chocolate bits– 170 gm
  • Butter – ½ cup
  • Sugar – ¾ cup
  • Salt – ¼ tsp
  • Eggs – 3
  • Cocoa powder – ½ cup
  • Hot Coffee  – ¾ cup
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 175C and place butter paper into the baking pan.
  • Use a double boiler and melt chocolate and butter. Stir until the mixture is smooth.
  • Stir in hot coffee, sugar and salt until it is dissolved. Remove from the heat
  • Beat the eggs separately and whisk the eggs into the chocolate mixture.
  • Sieve in cocoa powder and mix well.
  • Pour this batter into the pan and bake for 40 min. Check to see if the cake is done.
  • Remove from the oven and cool.

Glaze Ingredients:

  • Chocolate bits – 56 gm
  • Butter – 1 ½ tbsp
  • Milk – 1 ½ tsp
  • Honey – 1 ½ tsp

Method:

  • Use a double boiler and melt chocolate and butter. Stir until the mixture is smooth.
  • Remove from the heat and add milk and honey. Stir till smooth and glossy.
  • Pour all over the cake and spread evenly.

Apron’s Advise

  • Double boiler – Boil water in a saucepan, place another bowl over it.
  • The center of the cake has a tendency to take longer to bake, so test it before removing the cake from the oven. Keep it for another 5 – 10 min
  • While baking, cracks will appear in the cake. Perfectly normal. On cooling, the cracks will close up.
  • On cooling, the cake will deflate a bit, but don’t worry!! This is perfectly fine.

 

Jambalaya

Jambalaya

The first thing that comes to my mind is the song. It just had to play while I cooked.

This is a Creole dish with a French and Spanish touch. I’m yet to taste authentic Jambalaya, so I dont know if this dish comes anywhere close but I can vouch that it’s scrumptuous and will definitely be bolted down in minutes.

There are tons of variations to this dish. Mine has Shrimp and sausages. (YUMMY!!!) It’s all in the mix of herbs. Creole/Cajun seasonings.

Time: 30 min

Serves: 4dried herbs

Ingredients:

  • Onion – 1

  • Tomato – 1

  • Capsicum – 1

  • Garlic cloves – 2

  • Dried Parsley – 2 tsp

  • Dried Basil – 2 tsp

  • Dried Oregano – 1 tsp

  • Hot Sauce – 2 tsp

  • Pepper – 1 tsp

  • Shrimp – 10 pieces ( or as many as you’d like to serve)

  • Sausage – 1 cup (diced to small bits)peppered shrimp

  • Boiled rice – 2 cups

  • Maggie Cube – 1

  • Salt

Method:

  • Peel and devein the shrimp. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  • Dice the onions, capsicum and tomato.

  • In a cooker, saute the onion and capsicum. Add in the tomato,garlic and sausage bits and cook well.

  • Add the dried herbs, pepper, hot sauce and maggie cube.

  • Stir in the boiled rice. Ensure that you dont add water. Stir fry for a while.

  • Finally, add in the shrimp. Cover the pot and turn off the stove. The shrimp will cook beautifully in the steam. It’ll be pink and succulent, when ready to eat.

Apron’s Advise:

  • If you are using frozen shrimp, ensure that they are completely defrosted before cooking.

  • Its important not to over cook shrimp, else it’s pretty tasteless. What we want is a juicy, succulent yet properly cooked shrimp. Steaming does the trick. Add it last to any recipe.

  • I used pre-cooked rice here, but you can always boil the rice with the rest of the ingredients.

Colombian Style Beans

Colombian Style Beans

Colombian Style Beans

Being in Miami, has introduced us to alot of South American food – Cuban, Mexican, Puerto rican, Columbian……

 It’s so much fun to eat at their restaurants – homely and bustling with joy, spanish music playing in the background, everyone going “Ola!”, the menus are huge and sometimes a bit too overwhelming. I always like to try out something new. Their food portions are too much for just one. I’m usually too sated by the end of a meal and unable to have dessert. Though the Tres Leche is always on the top on my list.

 I decided to start easy, “Estofado de Frijoles con Platano Maduro” - is what it is called. Not only is this dish simple, but tasty too.

Buen provecho!

Time: 35 min

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • Red kidney Beans – 2 cups

  • Carrot – 2

  • Green Banana – 1

  • Capsicum – 1

  • Onion (chopped) – 1

  • Tomato (chopped) – 1

  • Cumin seeds

  • Ginger-garlic paste

  • Cilantro – 1 cup

  • Chilli powder -1 tsp

  • Pepper – 1 tsp

  • Salt – 1 tsp

  • Maggie – 1 cube

  • Olive oil

Method:

  • Soak the beans overnight. Next day, pressure cook them for about 2 whistles.

  • Take the pressure cooker off the stove and let the steam off. Let the water level be the same as the beans.

  • Add carrots, banana, salt to the beans

  • Close the pan and cook for around 10 min

  • At the same time, in another pan, saute the onions, tomatoes, cumin seeds and cilantro.

  • Add the above to the beans and cook for another 5 min.

  • Enjoy this with rice or bread!!

Apron’s Advice

  • If you forget to soak the beans overnight, put them in a pot of hot water and let it sit for atleast 15 min.

Kidney Bean Mini Burgers

More often than not, some people need a little more persuasion to eat vegetarian food. I like it better when all I have to do is disguise it and no questions asked!

I was having some guests over for an impromtu dinner and wanted to make some starters (my husband was making dinner).

The idea for this snack popped up since I had left some beans soaking the previous night.

Once you serve these, play a round of “guess what’s in the cutlet”. It’s fun to see everyone put their “Master Taster” skills to the test and still not being able to guess what’s in it.

Time:

Preparation Time – 30 min

Idle time – 5 hrs

Material

Kidney bean burger

Kidney bean burger

  • Pressure cooker

  • Large Bowl

  • Frying pan

Ingredients

  • Red kidney Beans – 2 cup

  • Onion – 1 (diced)

  • Tomato – 1 (diced)

  • Garlic – 3 cloves (minced)

  • Cauliflower – handful of florets

  • Bread crumbs – 1 cup

  • Pepper Powder – 1 tbsp

  • Chilli powder – 1 tbsp

  • Garam masala – 1 tbsp

  • Mango Pickle – 2 tbsp

  • Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp

  • Lime Juice – 1 tbsp

  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Soak kidney beans overnight or for atleast 5 hours. Pressure cook them for 3 whistles. Mash it well.

  • At the same time, cook cauliflower – Boil water and then add the cauliflower florets. Let it stand for about 5- 10 min. Drain in a colander.

  • Add all the ingredients together and mix well.

  • Form them into any size burgers and fry until golden brown on either side.

Tips

  • Can add finely diced capsicum, green peas and carrots for more quantity and looks colourful too

Nutty Raisin-Sweet potato Cookies

Nutty Raisin Sweet potato cookies

Before you laugh at how bizarre these cookies seem, I can vouch that these are actually very enjoyable. When I had a bite, the first thought that crossed my mind is, Gosh! This tastes nothing like sweet potatoes!


I know my choice of making this might seem wild, but I wanted something to crave my sweet tooth – I dint want a pie nor a cake, so this was the next best thing. Though, I did make some sweet potato fries with the rest later, to counter the sweetness :).

Sweet Potato cookies

Now, do you need some convincing on eating sweet potatoes. The health benefits are immeasurable. Vitamins, Minerals, blah blah blah. Check this link on Benefits of Sweet Potatoes.


These cookies were no trouble to make or bake. While baking, these cookies dint spread, so I think it’s ok to say that you can place them an inch apart, without them spreading and running into each other.

Time: Orange Sweet Potato
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking time: 20 min
Eating time: 1 sec ;)


Serves: 20 pieces

Material:

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Hand mixer
  • Flour sifter
  • Baking tray
  • Butter paper

Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter – ½ cup
  • Granulated sugar – 1 cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Sweet Potato ( boiled and smashed) – 1 cup
  • Orange Juice – 3 tbsp
  • Whole Wheat flour – 2 cups
  • Nuts, RaisinsBaking powder – 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon powder -1 tsp
  • Ground nutmeg – ¼ tsp
  • Salt – ½ Tsp
  • Crushed cashews – 1 cup
  • Shredded coconut – 1/2 cup
  • Crushed biscuits – ½ cup
  • Raisins – 1/2 cup

Method:

  • Preheat the oven at 350F for about 15 min.
  • In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar fr about 3 min, until pale yellow. Beat in the egg and then the mashed sweet potato and orange juice.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  • Stir the cashews, shredded coconut, crushed biscuits and raisins in some of the flour. This is to ensure that they don’t sink to the bottom of the cookie.
  • By dividing the flour into 3 parts, add it part by part, into the butter mixture and mix until properly mixed.
  • Line the baking tray with butter paper and grease with a little butter. Drop a spoonful of the batter, an inch apart, on the baking tray.
  • Bake at 350F for 20 min.  Stick a toothpick in a cookie and if it comes out clean, remove. And let it cool, before storing in an airtight container.

Tip for perfectly baked cookies
  • Soften butter, by letting it stand at room temperature. Rather than putting it in the microwave.
  • Bake the cookies in the middle rack of the oven.
  • Set the timer for 2-3 min less than the cooking time ( 20 min), so that you can keep an eye that they are not over done.

Bubbly Orange Iced Tea

    The heat is on, on the street
    Inside your head, on every beat…
    The heat is on, the heat is on, the heat is on….. 

Orange Iced Tea

Orange Iced Tea


What an apt song playing on Pandora while the heat is getting to me. All I want to do is sit with a cold drink and sip away. Trying to avoid the cokes and sprites, I was tempted with this “healthy” Orange flavoured Ice Tea.  


I love the orange colour of the tea, it’s so lively and fresh. I’m sure just the colour is a great mood booster.  And the added Fizz, it’s like a tingling adventure for the mouth.

Materials:

  • 2 Saucepans – 1 Large and 1 small
  • 1 Jug
  • Tea strainer

Ingredients

  • Water – 6 cups
  • Tea powder – Handful
  • Orange Juice – 2 cups
  • Sugar – ½ cup
  • Ice cubes
  • Club Soda – 1 cup

Method

  • In a large saucepan, to boiling water add tea powder. Allow the tea to steep for about 10 min. (ensure the heat is off)
  • In a smaller saucepan, heat the orange juice and sugar, until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Once both the tea and Orange syrup have cooled to room temperature, Pour them into the jug, straining the tea powder. Orange Iced Tea
  • Stir it well and refrigerate till cold.
  • Just before serving, add a cup of club soda and lots of ice to the jug.

Avoid Bitter Tea

  • Steeping tea too long makes it bitter. Experimenting would be a good way to know how long your tea should steep.
  • Iced tea needs double the amount of tea that would be used for a regular cup of hot tea.

Crunchy Munchy Pork Chops

Crusted Pork Chops 

Finger Licking good!! It’s so good, you’ll definitely be asked to make it again. I know my husband did!
They taste great when served hot.


I used Pistachios in this recipe. You could try with any nuts that you have in the pantry – Cashews, almonds. ( IF you try it with anything else, let me know how they turned out). I still have some crust left-over, I’m going to try it with fish or chicken the next time.


By the way, I learnt several things while I was making these. Pork Chops have a tendency of drying out if not cooked properly, so after considerable research, I’ve included some valuable tips at the end of this post.

Time:
Cook time: 10 min
Preparation Time: 5 min
Idle Time: 1 hour

Serves: 4         [Unless you have someone who comes in for seconds]

Materials:

  • Non stick frying pan
  • Food processor / Mixer
  • Shallow bowl
  • Plate

Pork Marinade

Ingredients:

  • Pork loin chops – 4 (thinly sliced)
  • Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tbsp
  • Lime juice – 2 tbsp
  • Pepper – 1 tsp
  • Salt  – 1 tsp

Method:

  • Defrost the pork chops to room temperature. Marinade it with ginger-garlic paste, salt, pepper, lime juice. Ensure both sides are well coated. With a fork, I pork the meat a bit, so that the marinade seeps in.
  • Let it sit for at least an hour.

 Pork Chops with Orange Iced Tea

Pistachio Crust

Ingredients

  • Peeled Pistachios – 1 cup
  • Cheddar Cheese – ½ cup
  • Bread crumbs – ½ cup
  • Pepper – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp

Method:

  • Put all the ingredients in a mixer. Spread it on a plate, so that it is easy to coat the chops.

 

AT LAST

  • Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
  • Beat an egg in a shallow bowl.
  • Dip each of the pork chops in the egg and then coat with the pistachio crust.
  • Once the oil is hot, place the chops and cook for 2-5 min on either side or till the meat is white on the inside.

 

Cooking Tips for Tender Pork Chops:

  • Ensure the pan is hot, before adding the pork chops.
  • It’s hard to say how long to fry. It all depends on the thickness. Dont fry too long, else the chops will dry out. ( I learnt it the hard way. Happened to me the first time L) . Thin chops can cook on medium heat for 5 min on either side. The thicker, the more time it will need. A good tip, would be to ensure that the sides are well browned. If you want to be doubly sure, just make a small cut in the meat and ensure that it is not pinkish.
  • Dont turn the meat more than once, else the crust will crumble.
  • Dont cover while cooking, else the meat gets stewed. ( I read this on the net. Apparently the water and the fat from the meat makes it soggy ). If you want to avoid the oil from splattering, you can use a mesh cover.

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