Monday, April 30, 2012


Usually I buy a pack of icing for most of my cakes. But from this moment I have decided to make my own. So for this Easter I made cream cheese frosting and butter cream icing. I wanted a low calorie cream cheese frosting for my cupcakes and an 'icing tool friendly' butter cream icing. While doing this only I realized how easy and healthy it is to make icings at home. The following recipes may not be for a professional but works out the best for me.
 Easter cake with basket-weave icing and fondant flowers.
Butter cream icing:
In mass production they would add vegetable shortening to buttercream icing, to get smooth flowing cream for cake professionals. But I didn't add shortening, as I wanted to share it with some adorable kids too. The finish was very good and it tasted extremely good, except for the fact that this buttercream icing will dry-out in few days. So it is better to finish the cake within 3 days after icing. Other than that I didn't face any challenges in doing the basket-weave icing. It was as flowy as the store-bought. Also we can keep the excess icing in air-tight container for a month in fridge. Before icing keep in room temperature till it is smooth ,add a tbsp milk if it is dry.
Primary crumb coating before real icing.
After this crumb coating allow it to dry for 1 hour. Then do a more polished outer cover icing. After that start with the favorite design. I made a basket weave pattern.
Click to see tutorial. Basketweave tip # 48 is used here.
For rope icing, Star tip 18 is used.  Click to see tutorial.
Cutting the cake on Easter eve, after attending the mass.
Butter - 1/2 cup (1 stick)
confectioner's sugar - 4 cup
(for rose and decorations use 3 cups of powders sugar)
milk - 1 tbsp
vanilla extract - 1/2 tsp
salt - a pinch
food color - if needed

Bring butter to room temperature by leaving it in counter top. First beat the butter to fluffy. (I did manually using a fork, but a mixer is good for this). SIFT the sugar and add to butter. Again mix well with other ingredients to fluffy. Butter cream icing is ready!
Cream cheese frosting:
For the cupcakes I prepared cream cheese frosting. I wanted it to be on the tart side. so halved the prescribed sugar level and still it tasted yummy. 1:1 sugar with zero calorie sweetener is also possible, I hope. We can refrigerate this icing for nearly 2 weeks, keep out for 1 hour to get the texture and pipe-out before serving.
Prepared this icing few days earlier and kept refrigerated.
Carrot cupcake with cream cheese frosting.
Cream cheese - 8 oz (1 pack)
unsalted butter - 8 tbsp (1 stick)
confectioner's sugar - 4 cup
vanilla extract - 1 tsp

Bring cheese and butter to room temperature by leaving them in counter top not any means (this is important). Mash together the cheese and butter. Sift the sugar and add it along with vanilla essence. Mix well. Enough to frost 2 to 3 dozen cupcakes (1 tbsp icing per cake). Makes one tub (US) frosting.
Fondant flowers:

I bought Wilton's readymade rolled fondant. Then got some videos in Youtube to learn fondant rose and calla lily.
The white daisy flowers are my own creation:)
Next time I should try some homemade fondant.
Click to see for video on rose flower making by icing / frosting.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Carrot apple cake

Carrot cake is the most favorite for my hubby. This Easter also I wanted to bake some for all of us. I was a little intimidated to apply my recipe for making fluffy cupcakes. So I combined two recipes 1 and 2 to get the below one. This will yield one 6 inch round cake and 12 cupcakes or 24 cupcakes. Thanks to the authors, this is the most successful fluffy carrot cake I have ever baked.

First batch is ready!

Cupcakes and round cake I baked.

Fluffy carrot cupcake.

Carrot - 2
Apple (small) - 1
All purpose flour - 2 cup
egg - 4
sugar - 2 cup
oil / butter - 1 1/4 cup
shredded coconut (dry) - 2 tbsp
vanilla extract - 2 tsp
orange peel - 1 tbsp
cinnamon powder - 1 tsp
baking soda - 2 tsp
baking powder - 2 tsp
salt - 1/2 tsp
walnut - 1/2 cup
raisin - 2 tbsp

Shred the carrot. Core, peel and shred the apple.
Preheat oven to 350 deg (175 deg C) for at least 30 minutes before we start baking.
Grease and flour the cake tin. Keep aside.
Beat the eggs in a mixer or using a fork till fluffy. Then add vanilla essence, sugar, oil and beat till its fluffy.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt TWICE.
Put it in a mixing bowl and add the liquids from mixer.
Mix well
Add the shredded carrot, coconut, orange peel, cinnamon, coarsely chopped walnut and mix slightly.
Now the batter is ready!

Fill the cupcake cups to halfway and bake for 20 to 22 minutes.
6 inch round cake may need 40 - 50 minutes.
6 inch round carrot cake before icing.

Carrot cupcake with cream cheese frosting.

Take out and cool completely before frosting / icing.
Makes one 6 inch cake and 12 cupcakes.

Serving suggestion:
Tastes great with or without icing.
Approximate energy from 1 cupcake without frosting is 150 K cal.
1 tbsp cream cheese frosting will be 70 K cal.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Potato masala

On the other day my neighborhood aunty from Gujarat brought me this aloo masala wrapped in dosa, just like Madras masal dosa.  The potato subzi was very spicy and delicious. While talking I learned a few recipes from her and I too prepared this like her's. Though it is a very simple recipe, I find this curry a good alternative and makes me love chapati:)

potato masala with chapati.

Potato - 4 (300 gms)
onion - 1
tomato - 2
lemon - 1/4
green chilli - 4
ginger - 2 inch
cilantro - a handful
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
garam masala powder - 1 tsp
oil- 2 tbsp
salt - to taste

Wash and Pressure cook the potatoes . Peel the skin and mash coarsely into small pieces.
Chop the onion, green chillies, cilantro and ginger finely.
Heat oil in a vessel and add mustard seeds, 2 tbsp channa dhal.
After the mustard seeds starts splutter, add the chopped onion, green chilli, cilantro and ginger. Saute them a while till onion gets slightly cooked.
Add the chopped tomato and cook covered with salt, garam masala, turmeric, chilly powder.
After the tomato is well cooked and oil shows up, put the potato.
Check for salt. Add 1/2 cup water and cook covered.
Switch off.
Before serving add lemon juice and chopped cilantro.

Spicy aloo masala is ready!

Serving suggestion:
Fold inside  paper roast dosa like masal dosa and serve hot with sambar, chutney.
Also makes a good side dish with chapathi or poori.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Its awards time!

Divya Pramil of 'You too can cook Indian food' has shared this beautiful Sunflower with me. She runs a delicious blog and I like her interest on blogging, pets and pious nature.
Expecting many more recipes from you dear....keep rocking!

Thanks Divya!.

Also, Alagu Chitra Ganesh of 'A desperate housewife's diary' has passed me this 'Inspirational award'. I like the way she presents her yummy recipes along with her enthusiastic approach. Expecting more recipes from you Chitra. Keep rocking dear!

Thanks Chitra!

The rules for the awards are

1.Create a post with the following details;
2.(Thank the person who nominated you for this Sunshine Award and link them back.
Then tell something about you.
3.Spread the joy by nominating your fellow bloggers and friends, its a way of appreciation.
4. Finally convey the bloggers about the nomination.


As per the rules here are something about me.
1. I am a cheerful housewife and can stay here in the house without feeling boredom. People often wonder how I manage being a housewife. The answer is simple. I always keep myself entertained with something like cooking, arts, reading, exercise or gardening. Above all I believe in God and HIS love.

2. Hubby and me start our weekends with a nice English movie, popcorn and coke:)

3. I do my best to celebrate the festivals with much planning and enthusiasm, just like our moms :)

I would like to share the above awards with the following friends: (I wanted to pass these beautiful awards to all my friends, but couldn't type all your names...don't mistake me),

Seetha of Seetha's kitchen.
Maha of Honey cooking Experiment
Girija of En samayal pakkam


Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy Tamil New year,

Wishing all a very happy and prosperous Tamil New Year.

(click to see image source.Thanks.)


Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter cookies

For this Easter I made some cookies and cakes in 'spring theme' to share with some wonderful kids, neighbors and friends. I chose bunny, doggy, tulip and butterfly shapes from the wilton's cookie cutter set that hubby presented me recently.
Flower bouquet cookies.

While googling I learned that glazed icing work the best with sugar cookies for stacking (not sticky). Thanks to the sugar cookie recipe and cookie icing recipe authors, I got a bunch of successfully made soft sugar cookies. I was amazed at the glossy finish after icing these cookies. These icings dry within 3 hours (or overnight in humid weather) and can be conveniently stacked up. Our friends too appreciated the outcome along with my hubby:) This recipe is surely a keeper for me and I will be doing it again and again:)

I love these flower cookies very much, so I made them in more number:)

Easter bunny is the main attraction for kids:)
Cookies for  a garden party.

Kids love these cute bunny cookies:)

Doggies for my hubby dear along with a cute bunny:)

I simply rolled these cookies on my roti maker. Prepared them after supper on Thursday.

Cookie before baking.

Ingredients: (5 dozen)
sugar - 2 cups
All purpose flour (maida)- 5 cups
unsalted butter - 1 1/2 cup
vanilla essence - 1 tsp
egg - 4
baking powder- 2 tsp
salt - 1 tsp

Bring butter to room temperature by keeping it out of fridge.
Mix the butter and sugar using a fork.
Beat together egg and vanilla essence.
Sift together AP flour, salt, baking powder.
In a large bowl combine sugar, butter with the beaten egg mixture. Blend well.
Add flour, baking powder and salt to the mixture and make it into a dough.
Manual kneading is the best here.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour for easier handling.
We can prepare the dough and refrigerate overnight for better cookies.
The dough can sit in fridge for a week.
Preheat oven to 350 - 375 deg F (175 deg C) for at least 30 minutes .
Make small balls and roll them into 1/2 to 1/4 inch sheet and cut into desired shapes.
(I did on a chapati rolling base with lot of flouring).
 Place each cookie 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.
Bake at 350 F for 6 - 7 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.
Immediately remove from cookie sheets and let cool completely.
Decorate as desired.

While baking one batch, keep the dough in fridge. Stiff dough is the best for rolling.
Cool them on wire rack overnight or at least for 4 hours before storing in air tight containers.
It can be refrigerated before icing.
Makes 5 dozen cookies.

Sugar cookie icing recipe

Tools for icing.

confectioners sugar - 1 cup
milk - 2 tsp
light corn syrup -  2 tsp
almond extract (or) vanilla - 1 tsp
water - 1 tbsp
food color - pink, lilac, blue, yellow, green

Sift the sugar and remove the lumps. Mix everything except color.
Divide into required portion and add a drop of color to each bowl.

Prepare this just before icing. If hardened, add a tsp of milk and mix well.
If we want more shine, add tbsp of more corn syrup.
Stir before each coating to get the shine.
Use a (new and separate) paint brush for icing.
Dipping the cookies in icing also works fine.
Never refrigerate the cookies after this type of icing, as it will not be this much shiny again.
Enough to decorate 30 cookies.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Greetings !

Wishing all my readers, friends and family a Joyful Easter, beautiful spring season and happiness always.

Homemade Easter cake with basket-weave icing and fondant flowers. Recipe ...coming soon...

Click for icing recipe.
Click for cake recipe

May all our prayers be answered,
Kindness and understanding flourish,
Love, Faith and Hope increase
and everyone feels the Lord's presence
on Easter and always
Wishing all a Peaceful and Blessed Easter.
Happy Easter !


Perfect Traditional Adai Dosai

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