Garlic Pepper Chicken Bake

 This is really such a simple recipe that comes together in as little as twenty minutes! Its super healthy! I will destroy the order of the universe and call butter healthy here 😛 Try to use fresh mushrooms because this is one ingredient that really shines with the buttery garlic and becomes the star of the whole bake.

I used nothing but salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning in combination with the garlic – you can choose to add herbs, but I feel keeping things simple here really gives all the vegetables and the mushrooms a chance to sing! I also had to add extra salt and pepper as I went along because I like a bit of a kick! On with the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole bulb of garlic, crushed
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 kg boneless chicken
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • salt to taste (I used 1 tsp) you can use more or less if your heart so desires. But there’s extra vegetables too in here, so keep some extra for those.
  • 1 cup chopped portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot (1 carrot is enough)
  • 1 small bunch of broccoli – cooked/steamed ready to use. (Just immerse the head in boiling water and take it out after 15 or so seconds and run through cold water)

For the topping:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (I used store bought)
  • 1/4 cup tasty cheese (You can use mozzarella and cheddar mixed if you like)
  • more salt and pepper to taste

Prep your vegetables, clean and scrub the mushrooms and cut them. Grate the carrot and cook the broccoli, separating the florets.

IMG_1226_Fotor

IMG_1230_Fotor

Melt the butter in a saucepan and brown the garlic, taking care not to burn the butter. Add the chicken and cook till the chicken is done, adding salt and pepper to it along the way.

I added half the amount with the chicken and half later, with the vegetables.

IMG_1232_Fotor

IMG_1235_Fotor

Add the vegetables to the chicken, adding more salt and pepper – tasting with each addition. Once this is done, set aside – allowing to cool.

In a separate pan, make the topping. This is a simple bechamel just with extra cheese. Melt the butter and add the flour, making a paste. Add the milk and stock, stirring continuously so that the mixture does not clump.

 

 

 

When the sauce has thickened, stir in the cheese.

 

IMG_1237_Fotor

In a deep set baking dish, set your chicken and vegetables in a layer and top with the topping. Bake this at 200 c in the oven till warmed through and topping has melted.

The cheese will start to become golden at places. and its completely okay to eye these pieces and set them out for yourself – hey you made it after all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I served this bake with some buttered buns. ahahhaha. buttered buns. They were bagels actually, which I baked with some extra butter, You can also totally use ready made garlic bread. No judging.

mmmmmm this goes down well!

IMG_1248_FotorIMG_1250_Fotor

IMG_1252_Fotor

Chocolate Brownies

What? Why hasn’t she used an appropriate adjective?! IS THE WORLD ENDING? No, as a matter of fact, I have searched high and low for the perfect brownie recipe and NOTHING has turned out this perfect. So I’m not going to complicate it by writing double chocolate brownies. Or decadent chocolate brownies. Or Sinful dark chocolate brownies. Let’s be honest, when you think of the word brownie. There’s only one specific taste that comes to mind. In our repository of sense and taste, brownie refers to a flaky crust with a dense chewy beginning, a soft middle and a deep rich chocolate satisfaction.

I have never come across a brownie recipe so good and so successful. Believe me, I’ve tried so many now, I’ve lost count. So here it is. In all its unadulterated glory. The recipe is adapted slightly from Mary Berry’s cookbook. It is not mine. I LOVE YOU MARY. I love you for giving me the happiness and joy of making a brownie in my own goddamn kitchen. Having it warm, washed down with milk. I love you.

Ingredients:

  • 275 g softened butter (not melted, just softened)
  • 375 g castor sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 75 g cocoa
  • 100 g chocolate chips (I used chopped up chocolate- because lazy)
  • 100 g flour minus 1 tsp (just take a tsp of flour out after measuring)
  • 1 + 1/4 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 180 C fan, 160 C gas. Line your baking tin with wax paper or if using newspaper, grease slightly.

Arham Birthday 184

Measure all the ingredients except chocolate chips into a large bowl – sieve the flour, sugar and cocoa before use. Beat until evenly blended. Add chocolate chips and blend again. The mixture will be thick and sludgy.

Transfer to baking tin and spread evenly into the corners of the tin with a spatula. Arham Birthday 188

Bake for 40-45 minutes in the oven till a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. The brownies should have a wonderful crust and be soft and moist in the middle.

 

 

DON’T EAT THEM ALL BY YOURSELF.

Arham Birthday 193_Fotor

 

You’ll mess up 2016 in January, I tell ya.

Arham Birthday 198_Fotor

 

GLOMP – perfect with a glass of cold milk!

 

Arham Birthday 201_Fotor

 

Mocha Syrup Cake

Im posting after quite a while, trying to eat healthy and lose some stubborn kgs which kind of left my blog hanging. but the weather is getting deliciously cool and fall is knocking at our doors. this calls for warm cozy comfort food which begs you to take it to bed and make sweet sweet love to.

Kind of got carried away with that. heh. Moving on, this recipe will not disappoint, its a tad difficult to pull off – my cake unfortunately got stuck to the pan but that gave it a rustic appeal which I liked! The ingredients, though, are very easy to put together, these are things that one already has in the pantry.

This recipe results in a light spongy mocha cake that is warmed with drenching hot syrup right off the stove. The coffee flavor doesn’t overpower and leaves your kitchen smelling like a tea party. I served the cake with vanilla icecream which created a warm and cold melting medley in my mouth. Absolute yum. On with it then!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tsp instant coffee
  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 150 g butter, melted

For the Syrup:

  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tsp coffee powder

gajju 032_Fotor

Preheat oven to 160 C fan assisted and grease your cake tin. I used a bundt pan for the first time here, which might be responsible for the stuck cake 😦

Combine the coffee and water until dissolved. Beat eggs in a large bowl with electric whisk for around 8 minutes until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beat until dissolved between each addition.

gajju 041_FotorFold in sifted flour and cocoa powder, then the butter and coffee mixture. Pour into cake tin.

Bake  for about 40 minutes. Wait until cake has cooled before transferring out of the tin. Pour 3/4 of the syrup over the cake, reserve some for drizzling later on. Serve warmed with vanilla ice cream or with a cup of your favorite coffee!

For the Syrup:

Combine everything in a small pan and warm over stove till sugar is dissolved, once the mix starts to boil, remove from heat.

gajju 046_Fotor

gajju 055_Fotor

Perfect with icecream!

Baked Honey Ginger Chicken

I invented a recipe which i was dying to share with you all but between the job and the fall crazies, i’ve barely had time to keep up with my little baby – my blog! so apologies, but im promising you, i will knock your socks off with this one.

My mom was over the other day and I whipped up two Chinese dishes, being on the quest for eating healthy, I didn’t want to indulge in fried chicken – so I tried my hand at baking the chicken with a rich honey-ginger sauce that makes up for the absence of flavor. GREAT SUCCESS! I ate so much because it was totally guilt-free!

The dish is very easy, especially for busy people who don’t have tons of time to slave over stove-tops. You can marinate the chicken and then chuck it in the oven and just dress it up at the end – you can’t go wrong!

Ingredients:

For the marination

  • 1 kg chicken  -cut into long strips lenghtwise
  • 1/2 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Marinate the chicken strips for half an hour so that all of this goodness is incorporated.

Line your baking tray with foil and pre-heat the oven at 250 for ten minutes.

Lay the strips on the tray vertically and cover with the leftover marinade mixture – don’t waste any of it, the chicken will cook in this. Chuck this in the oven for forty minutes and forget about it.

Meanwhile make the sauce:

  • 1 cup stock
  • 1 heaped tsp crushed ginger
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce (I used Mama Sita’s)
  • 1 tsp flaked chilli
  • 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with some cold water

Some sesame seeds and sliced green chili to garnish

Combine all the ingredients in a  saucepan (except cornflour) and bring to boil. Add the cornflour. The sauce should thicken up nicely.

Once the forty minutes are up, Turn up the grill in the oven and cook till chicken seems dry and looks golden. Cover the chicken with the sauce and cook for additional ten minutes.

gajju 080

gajju 081_Fotor

Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green chili and serve hot with a pile of steaming boiled rice!

gajju 084_Fotor

Note: oven time might take longer, wait till the chicken is well roasted and isn’t watery anymore before adding the sauce.

gajju 085_Fotor

gajju 088_Fotor

YUMM.

Chocolate Topped Dream Puffs

I’m sorry but the cream puffs i’ve had lately from the local bakeries have been incomparable to what these taste like. Light pillowy puffs filled with whipped cream and topped off with a dollop of chocolate sauce – its the perfect dessert. Melt in your mouth, bite-sized and utterly blissful. Just imagine biting into one of these – the light baked dough gives way to a small gush of cream and the chocolate just brings all the flavors together. I can have five of these in one go. Seriously.

A word of caution though, this recipe is not for beginners – although I’ve tried to include all the steps with pictures, it still takes effort and time to put together. But the result is worth it. No one will believe that you made them, and they taste a thousand times better than the ones you buy. If you carefully follow all these steps and measurements – you’ll be good to go! Don’t let it daunt you!

Ingredients:
For the puffs:

  • 75 g butter, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup plain flour, sifted
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 200 ml cream, whipped until thick

For the chocolate sauce:

  • 100 g dark cooking chocolate
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2-3 tsp hot water

food 020Combine butter and water in a pan and melt over medium heat. Bring to a boil and add the sifted flour all at once, stirring with a spoon until a soft dough is formed and the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Convert to a mixing bowl.

 

 

Add in beaten egg slowly, mixing the dough with a beater on medium speed after each addition. The mixture should turn glossy.

food 022

food 023Drop heaped teaspoons of the mixture on greased baking trays, leaving space apart (the puffs will almost double in size) Its great to keep the trays lined because the puffs are delicate and its tough to separate them from the trays after baking.

 

food 025Bake in hot oven for around 15 minutes, take them out and make a small slit on the sides to allow steam to escape. Return to oven for five minutes until tops are browned and puffs are dry. Cut these sideways and wait to cool. Carefully pull out any residual soft mixture from the center.

Chocolate sauce:

food 027Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler (if you’re feeling adventurous use the microwave – but honestly, I don’t trust microwaves) and stir until well melted and fluid. Add 2 tsp of water to make a spreadable sauce.

 

 

You’ll be sad at how easy these babies finish! Now all you have to do is, fill the puffs in the middle with whipped cream. Tip: Refrigerate your cream for an hour or two before whipping.

And top them off with the chocolate sauce!

food 034

 

DIVINE!

food 038

food 037

 

 

Chicken and Vegetable Bread Cases

oh these are glorious. i kid you not. just imagine small buckets of buttery bread baked to perfection, filled with creamy morsels of chicken and vegetables. now imagine yourself eating one. ah, glorious.

As with every other thing that I post, this comes from an old recipe book mum had. Only those came with another recipe for the filling and mum used her own but she used to make these when only special guests came to our place. When she stopped making them, I had no choice but to learn and make them myself. The initial process is a bit labor intensive, especially if you don’t own a round cutter – but then again, the results speak for themselves. I love the crunch of the crusty bread against the creaminess of the chicken filling, its a joy to munch on this – i’m telling you, you can’t go back once you’ve had one.

Let’s get rolling! literally!

Ingredients:

  • about 20-24 slices of sandwich bread
  • Butter, melted – around 5 tbsp
  • 250 g chicken
  • 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1/2 small cabbage, grated
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup yoghurt
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tomato -julienne for garnish
  • 1 green bell pepper – julienne for garnish

Foodie 004Remove the crusts from the bread and flatten each slice with a rolling pin – this is a great way for getting rid of any passive aggression. Cooking is therapy!

Using a round cutter or any size-able round cup, cut along the circle and make bread rounds like so.

Grease a cupcake tray lightly with butter and try to fit the rounds of bread snugly into the depressions. You can poke a bit, its very satisfying just so you know.

Foodie 005

Bake this in a moderate oven until the edges turn golden and call out your name in a crunchy little whisper. Turn them over once and give two minutes in the oven so that the base gets baked as well. Look at these little babies:Foodie 008

After the cases are done, put these on a rack to cool – If you are planning to use them slightly later, put them in an airtight container so they don’t lose their crunch. ah- beautiful.

Foodie 007

Foodie 009Saute the chicken in soy sauce and ginger garlic until this is evenly cooked. Mix in the grated carrot and cabbage – set aside.

Just prior to serving, Mix mayonnaise, yoghurt, cream, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add all the vegetables and corn until well combined.

Foodie 016

Fill your pretty little bread cases with the filling, one spoonful should be enough for each – this recipe will fill around 24 cases. Garnish with julienne tomatoes and bell pepper.

Foodie 018

Revel in the beautiful fancy deliciousness you just created.Foodie 017

Thank me. Now.

Foodie 019

Perfectly Dense Moist Chocolate Cake

This is my go-to recipe for almost every birthday that we have at home, this cake produces excellent results and never fails me. Its a combination of the recipe printed on Hershey’s cocoa tin and another recipe that I found in a bake book. If you want to omit the coffee, you can safely just use hot water instead, but adding coffee gives this cake a dark soul which teases your own conscience. The recipe is simple to follow and anyone who owns measuring cups can go ahead and make it.

Before I disclose this recipe, just a note of caution – a good cake needs all the ingredients at room temperature, eggs, butter, whatever the recipe calls for. And they need to be measured/weighed precisely. I used to crack cold eggs into my cake batter when I started baking and cried when my cake didn’t rise. Anyhow! Onto the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups castor sugar sifted
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa and baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the oil, coffee and milk and beat at medium for 2 minutes, Add eggs and vanilla and beat 2 minutes again.

IMG_5720

Pour into a greased and lined pan  – I use a large round pan, but you can use two 9 inch ones as well. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes ( I find that using an electric oven exceeds the baking time to 45 minutes or more depending on how well the cake has risen) Cool for ten minutes before removing from pan.

Cool completely before icing.

Note: I use an electric oven and I have to give it around 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. And I bake it at around 280 on the electric.

The cake picture has been frosted with Betty Crocker fudge icing which is available in most stores but I have a killer frosting recipe that I will post some time again!

Happy baking!

chocolate_by_noveen