So, long before summer had set in, and much before my self inflicted hiatus, there were days when warmth was romantic, the sun didn't shine down with so much vengeance, and one had a wonderful appetite to eat and be merry! Compare that to now. The only two things I feel like eating are watermelons and ice lollies!
I chanced upon my neglected point and shoot, and realized that there were quite a few culinary adventures that I had not shared here. Will do it in parts, I guess.
Here's a toast to the good times (read: winter) that were...
Pinni (Atta/Whole Wheat) Ladoos
This was the third variety of ladoos I tried after the unsuccessful rava ladoos and the very successful besan ladoos. And I was more than happy with the results. Followed the simple recipe here, and the goodies were over before we knew!
I tried the instant recipe by Tarla Dalal, and I'd say the results were partially satisfactory. The jalebis didn't turn out to be as firm as I 'd like them to. Also, shaping them in the kadhai/wok was a herculean task too. I couldn't figure out how to close the loop, so I did end up with quite an endless strings of jalebi that I smartly rolled together after frying to give the required semblance - don't ask me the mess that the sugar syrup created. Not sure if I have given up on this delicacy yet though - practice is what I need - hopefully next winter!
I love the simplicity of dry cakes. You can bake them in bulk and then enjoy for weeks together with fresh cream, whipped cream, syrup or just a glass of plain cold milk. Tried this easy recipe and trust me you can never go wrong with dry cakes!
Chocolate Cream Cookies
Yours Truly went out and out adventurous with the herald of the new year. Found this very yummy looking recipe here, and made my first set of cream cookies ever! I did follow the recipe to the T, however, was not very happy with my cream - it was a tad bit runny. I refrigerated it for much longer than specified in the instructions and even kept the cookies in the fridge for storage as I was scared the cream might just "melt" away. Was not a super hit but I had put way too much hard work into it to dismiss it as "okay" :).
Lemon Pie Bars
This is a must try recipe. It looks only slightly complicated with the dough and the crust et al. But in practice, it's really easy and if you like the tangy lemon flavor in tarts, this is just the recipe for you. The one small mistake I made was that I made my crust a little too thick but that was all. Gorged on this for all meals in the day!
Black Forest Cake
This was our anniversary special and boy, the hard work it took. All worth the effort though. Here's the recipe. Followed it word for word. Didn't find the kirschwasser (german cherry brandy) at the local store - I used cherry flavored Vodka and the result was super awesome (and more potent maybe :D). I baked the cake a day before and yet couldn't slice it evenly - the top layer was thicker than the other two. Apart from that, it has to be the most delicious and fancy cake I have ever baked (and successfully, may I add).
And here's a cross section view...(you'll notice the thicker top layer :()
Signing off on that sweet and creamy note!