Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine Cake pops

                Happy valentines day, everyone! On that occasion, I was wondering what surprise to give to my husband. He is very fond of desserts, but I have already have made cakes, cookies, chocolate etc in the past. And so, this time I wanted to try something different. I started looking online for other options and I came across the idea of Cake-Pops.
               Its a form of cake styled as a lollipop. These pops are also a great idea to make something fun out of leftover cakes. You can be as creative with the cake pop decoration. Since I made it today as a valentine surprise for him, I kept it a simple decoration with red, pink and purple sprinkles, sugar and hearts. Also, since this was my first time making it, I wanted to keep it simple and not experiment a lot. So, here is how I made it.

  • 1 Cake, baked and cooled (I made Chocolate Espresso Cake)
  • 1 cup whipped Frosting (I used vanilla)
  • 1 cup white Chocolate melts
  • Paper Lollipop sticks
  • Candy Sprinkles
  • Colored sugar
  • I made the chocolate-espresso cake from scratch. You can use any ready cake or even leftover cakes. Make sure the cake is completely cool.

  • Now take a cookie sheet or any big dish, line it with waxed paper and keep it aside.
  • Take a large bowl. Crumble the cake with your fingers and add to the bowl. 
  • Then add the frosting and mix well until the dough forms.
  • Now, roll it into firm balls or any desired shape using cookie cutters and place on the cookie sheet. Freeze them for about 15-20 minutes.
  • In the meantime, melt the white chocolate according to the package direction. You can either do it in microwave or using a double boiler on the stove.
  • If the mixture is too thick, add1/2 tsp of Oil in it and stir it well. The mixture should be smooth
  • Now take the cake balls from the freezer. I took 1-2 at a time. 
  • Take the lollipop stick, dip in the melted chocolate about 1/2 inch and then insert stick into the cake ball.
  • Then dip the balls in the chocolate melt until well coated. Tap on the bowl slightly to remove any excess chocolate. 
  • And then decorate with the desired sprinkles or colored sugars.
  • Let it set for half an hour at room temperature.
  • You can store the cake pops for about a week at room temperature or for about 2 weeks in refrigerator. But I am sure they wont last that long as they are very tempting.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Vegetable Appam

             It has being quite a long time since my last post. It was an extremely busy couple of months, first moving to a new place and then a month long trip to India. Getting back to work after a good vacation is always tough. But I am excited to get back in my kitchen and do some cooking, and share them with you.
             Today I got a bit late returning back from work and ran out of groceries. So we had to think of something quick from limited available ingredients. And the first dish that came to my mind was Vegetable Appam. I learned it from my mother-in-law, she made it for us when we were home last month and we loved it a lot. This is ideally suited for breakfast/brunch but we can have it as a light and quick dinner too.

  • 1.5 cup Semolina
  • 1 cup plain Yogurt
  • 1/4 finely chopped Onions
  • 1/4 finely chopped vegetables (I used cabbage, bell peppers, green peas)
  • 3 finely chopped Green Chilies
  • 1/4 finely chopped Cilantro
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil
  • Take the semolina in a bowl and mix it with yogurt to make a thick batter. If it gets too thick, add some more yogurt. Mix it well and keep it aside for 15 minutes or so.
  • In the meantime, heat the appam pan on medium heat. The  appam pan is very similar to the Aebleskiver pan.
  • Now add the onions, vegetables, green chilies and cilantro and mix well.
  • Then add the salt and baking soda and mix it well. 
  • The batter should be of thick consistency, a little thicker than the pancake batter.
  • Once the pan is heated, put the batter in each mold of the pan until it is full.
  • Once the bottom side is done,about 2-3 minutes, flip the appams over carefully
  • Then let them cook on other side for 1-2 minutes until they are cooked and crispy.
  • Make the remaining appams in the same way.
  • Serve hot with chutney or you favorite sauce.