Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cupcakes for a crowd

L.'s company is celebrating their success and I wanted to pitch in. So i baked cupcakes. Well, mini cupcakes...a lot of them. Around 100. I did cheat though. I used cake mixes. Duncan hines devil's food and french vanilla. Each pack made about 48 mini cupcakes (with a little batter leftover). After cooling, I used the glaze by Martha Stewart.

I used the proportions here:

And the method here:

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup 
Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Place chocolate and corn syrup in a small bowl. Pour hot cream over chocolate mixture, and stir until smooth.I let it stand at room temperature for a while (in fact, even refrigerated it, since it was a hot day) and then glazed the cupcakes.

One recipe was enough to glaze about 100 cupcakes. Had to double dip the white ones.

I wrote 500 in red, yellow and blue (to show the colors of inc 500) on the chocolate ones and 69 in yellow and blue on the white ones to indicate their rank.

Hope they all like it.

UPDATE: The icing smudged big time. Turns out the icing I used to write on the cupcake absorbs moisture in the fridge, so it's not a good idea to refrigerate anything decorated with icing writing, and gel colors didn't work since I had a dark glaze.

Potential solutions next time: Use tinted white chocolate (I even bought white chocolate as a backup yesterday..I think that would have totally worked). Or use white chocolate glaze and try gel colors? Not sure. Things to try next time.

Also, this only happened on one set of cup cakes. The two parameters that were different between the two sets were: The ones that dried out longer (the glaze as well as icing) didn't smudge. The ones that did also had a second coat of the glaze, which might not have set thoroughly. Or the icing didn't set before refrigerating. Either ways, was a bit embarrassing. It's ok...will try something again next time.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

One more Paneer Tikka

I took my go-to paneer tikkas to work when the annual summer party was cancelled. Then, it actually happened, so I had to come up with a new version of paneer tikkas to feed the vegetarians, since it was the same crowd. Thanks to Sanjeev Kapoor, this recipe was a supar hit:

Copied from here:

Paneer (cottage cheese),2 inch cubes500 grams
Fresh coriander leaves2 bunches
Fresh mint leaves1 bunch
Green chillies4
Garlic10 cloves
Ginger1 1/2 inch piece
Lemon juice2 teaspoons
Onions,chopped2 medium
Saltto taste
Hung yogurt1 cup
Fresh pomegranate pearls2 tablespoons
Gram flour (besan)4 tablespoons
Kasoori methi powder2 tablespoons
Chaat masala2 teaspoons
Roasted cumin powder2 teaspoons
Garam masala powder2 teaspoons
Mustard oil2 tablespoons + for basting
Onions,2 inch pieces2 medium
Green capsicums,seeded , 2 inch pieces2 medium
Tomatoes,seeded , 2 inch cubes2 medium
For garnishing
Onion ,sliced1 medium
Lemon,cut into wedges2
Grind together green chillies, coriander leaves, mint leaves, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, onion, salt, yogurt and pomegranate pearls into a thick paste using very little water. In a pan roast gram flour for two to three minutes and set aside. Place the paneer in a bowl, add kasoori methi powder, chaat masala, roasted cumin powder, garam masala powder, roasted gram flour and the ground paste and mix well. Add one tablespoon mustard oil and mix well. Marinate the paneer for two hours. Thread the paneer pieces onto skewers alternating with onion, capsicum and tomato pieces. Season the grill stone with oil and heat. Place the skewers on the hot stone and grill for three to four minutes. Baste with oil, turn the skewers and cook for two to three minutes. Serve hot with onion slices and lemon wedges.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Plum Mousse

This was kind of serendipitous. Was trying to use up some plums and this recipe was created.

De-seed some ripe plums. Blend them completely (with the peels, I used magic bullet).  In a small sauce pan, heat the plum pulp with some sugar and cook until the sauce thickens, about 5-10 minutes. Cool and refrigerate until ready to use. This can be used as a dessert sauce with various applications (think ice-cream and pound cake).
Whip some heavy cream, add sugar, vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the cool sauce and chill the mousse. I liked to keep some streaks of white for a prettier effect.

I also served this with slices of fresh plum and some berries, with a drizzle of the plum sauce. I'm clearly not on a diet!


Drunken Noodles - Sort Of

When I interned at MSR, their cafeteria made these awesome Drunken Noodles. I even had it for my birthday lunch. I've been trying to find a similar one ever since, but just can't find it. The other day I was cooking on a whim and came up with a noodle dish. What I made is not really similar to it, but decent by itself.  The next time I make these, I would try to add some lemongrass, maybe. The hunt for good Drunken Noodle continues..

I used Trader Joes' Dried Egg Pappardelle pasta, and it worked really well. Boil the pasta in salted water as per instructions, but keep them fairly al-dante. In the mean while, in a shallow pan, add some oil, and saute one package sliced porcini mushrooms. Once they're sauted a bit, shift them towards the outside of the pan. Add more oil, and add sliced peppers and onions. I used one white onion, 1 red pepper and 1 green pepper. Saute them and add about 3-4 cloves of thinly sliced garlic and grate some fresh ginger. Mix all the veggies and saute for a few more seconds. Prepare the sauce: Lots of mushroom soy sauce, regular soy sauce, salt (I know sounds like a lot of sodium, but as long as you add it in proportion, it's not so bad), sambal paste (or other chili sauce), just a hint of rice vinegar (cause I ran out), some brown sugar, cornflour and water. Add the sauce to the veggies and cook for a few seconds. Mix the noddles with the veggies. Beat 6 eggs, add a pinch of salt. Oil a flat pan (I clean out the flat pan used to saute veggies and use it to make omelets), and add half the eggs and swirl around to make a big, thin omelet. Once it sets, flip and cook the other side. Remove on a chopping board and slice thinly (to match the width of the pasta). Make one more omelet and repeat. Add to the noodles, and add a big handful of basil, broken in half (do not chop. Thai basil would be better, but I only had the usual Italian sweet one, which was ok). Serve hot. This could actually even be served at a party.