Thursday, February 26, 2009

Curried cheese bites

The above picture was my last months entry to Click.

So I was at the supermarket and while browsing through the aisle, this lady and I made eye contact, exchanged smiles and walked past each other.  I bumped into her again at another aisle, this time she starts a conversation.  

The Lady,"Are you Indian?"

Me, "Yes"

The next question believe it or not was...

The Lady," Do you speak English?"

Me, a polite, "Yes"

The Lady, "Do you make curry?"

Me, "I sure do"

The lady," I made this curry this one time and it was a disaster, I think I used too much curry powder."

Me, "Aaah, you see, we Indians don't really use curry powder to make curries.  Instead we use a combination of 'powders' when we make curries," and I went on to give her a lecture on how to make a curry.

The lady,"That is interesting, I never knew" and continued," My husband loves Indian food and that was my disastrous attempt to make a curry, but I made raita and that was pretty good."

Me, "That's a great start, good luck with another attempt of making a curry, and this time without the curry powder."

We exchanged thank yous and good byes and moved on.

So, why am I sharing this conversation?  When I was making these curried cheese bites the whole conversation with that lady came as a flash back and I had to share this.  Also, the other simple reason being that in this curried cheese bite the recipe calls for "CURRY POWDER"(the one I asked that lady not to buy). HA!

Yes, I must admit that I usually have some "CURRY POWDER" in my spice rack. No, no I don't make a curry with it - that's clearly wrong - right?  But I  do use it every so often to make western/continental savory thingys.

I have been thinking of making this recipe for a while now, for few reasons,

1. The ingredients do not include eggs (to which my son is allergic
2. Cheese, who doesn't like cheese?
3.Then the flavor of curry...mmmm had to try this one.

This recipe is good when you want to eat something savory with your evening tea or coffee.

Makes around 40

  • 100g butter softened
  • 100g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 100g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 100g grated mellow semi hard cheese


Lightly grease about 4 cookie sheet with a little butter or you could skip this step if using Silpat.

Sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl.  Stir in curry powder and both cheeses.  Rub in the softened butter with your fingertips, then bring the mixture together to a soft dough.

Roll out the dough thinly on a lightly floured surface.  Cut out 40 circles using a 2 inch cookie cutter and arrange on the cookie sheets. Bake in a preheated oven, 350F/180C for 10 -15 minutes until golden brown.

Let the curried cheese bites cool slightly on the cookie sheets then transfer them to wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Perfect Baking

My apologies for posting this recipe so late.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Asian Coleslaw

I had this Asian coleslaw at a recent pot luck party. I am not a salad person and was staying away from this salad. But when I heard everyone rave about this salad, I just had to try it.  It was fantastic. The crunch from the raw noodles gives this coleslaw a whole new dimension.  Coleslaw that I have had is usually smothered in mayonnaise and is unimaginative.  But this Asian coleslaw is light, sweet and tangy and very, very delicious.  

Serves 4 - 6

Salad Dressing:
  • 1 packet Dole Coleslaw mix
  • 2 packets Top Ramen beef noodles (use the seasoning for dressing)
  • 1 cup Sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup Slivered Almonds
  • 2 bunches of Spring onions(only the green part)
  • 1/3 cup Red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup Canola oil
  • 1/2 cup Sugar (add or reduce to your liking)
  • 2 packets Beef seasoning

In a large bowl mix together all the salad ingredients, crushing the noodles.

Mix the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad 2 hours before you serve. Mix well to allow noodles to absorb some of the dressing.

Note: Don't let the dressed salad sit longer then 2 hours, the salad will be soggy. 
You can substitute beef noodles with vegetarian noodles. You can also substitute sugar in the dressing with honey.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Torta Caprese - Chocolate Mocha Nut Cake (Gluten free treat)

Roberto, my husband's Italian friend is from Capri and gets us this lovely chocolate mocha nut cake from his home town every time he goes there on vacation. It is beautifully packed in the bakery's green gift wrap. The cake is packed on a hard golden scalloped cardboard base with a hard plastic cover that keeps it intact and moist. My daughter and I can't wait to unwrap it when my husband brings it home. The first bite takes you to chocolate heaven. The cake is chocolatey, nutty and with a hint of coffee, just melts in your mouth. Roby has been getting us this cake about twice a year for five years now. So it was time to decode the ingredients and try something on my own that we could enjoy whenever we wanted it.

I then found this recipe in one of the BBC GoodFood magazine few years ago which had chocolate, ground nuts and coffee in the ingredients. It looked as scrumptious as Roby's cake. So I did make it not only once but I have made this many times - as a dessert for a party, when I had guest over, when I had my girlfriends over, for birthday parties, when my in laws were over. In short every time I craved it, I made it. This is an acceptable alternative to what Roby brings from Italy.

I have had a lot of request from my girl friends and my sister in law (who loves to bake) to share the recipe. I have procrastinated but I am finally posting it. So here it is - this one is for you, A.S.A, for being very patient with me for the past few years. Also, a big thank you to Roberto for introducing this fantastic cake.

The cake from Capri

Also, this cake is perfect if you want to impress certain someone in your life. It is perfect to set a romantic mood. Happy Valentines day in advance.

  • 200g/8 oz Almond meal
  • 200g/8 oz Good quality semi sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 200g/8 oz Unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g/8 oz Caster sugar
  • 4 Eggs, seperated
  • 2 tsp Instant coffee granules
  • 100g/4 oz Cornflour
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting

Lightly grease a 20 cm, loose based round cake tin. Heat oven to 180C/350F.

Put chocolate in a microwave dish and microwave for 2 minutes, stirring after a minute. Or melt over a pan of simmering water.

Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks one at a time. Stir in the almond meal, chocolate, coffee and cornflour.

Whisk egg whites to soft peaks. Fold a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mix, then gradually fold in the remainder. Pour the mix into a prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Check after 35 minutes and if the cake is browning, cover with grease proof paper and continue to cook.

Allow the cake to cool completely before removing from the tin. Dust with cocoa powder and serve.

Note: You could use hazelnut meal instead of almond meal. You could also blanch hazelnut/almonds and put it in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.