Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas goodies

We made some goodies to drop off at the youth shelter here for their Christmas lunch. Here they are alongwith their recipes:

Chocolate Mocha Cake with coffee icing

I got this recipe from The cake came out very soft and moist. Though it was tasty I didn't find it very coffee-ish as I expected it to be; but otherwise it's a wonderful recipe and easy to make. I've copied the recipe here verbatim:

What you'll need:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1 cup buttermilk (read below for substitute)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Let's make
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans or one 9x13 inch pan. I used a 9X13 pan and that size was perfect. Also I lined the pan with parchment paper which was very helpful as the cake is very soft to take out of the pan.
  2. In large bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center.
  3. Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Batter will be thin. Pour into prepared pans. Instead of buttermilk, I took 1 cup milk, added 1 tablespoon lime juice to it and kept it for 10-20 minutes. I read somewhere that this way you can substitute buttermilk.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and finish cooling on a wire rack. Fill and frost as desired.
For the icing:

Again I picked this coffee icing recipe from It's slightly lacking in instructions. For a beginner like me it doesn't say how long you need to beat the mixture. It looks smooth after just a few minutes of beating; but with experimentation we learned that you need to beat till it becomes fluffy. I'm not sure if excessive beating could spoil it, that's another thing I'll experiment.

What you'll need:

2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Let's make:
Beat together confectioners' sugar, butter or margarine, coffee, and vanilla until smooth. Add more liquid or confectioners' sugar as needed.

Veggie Patties (or puffs)

With great pride I can say that this recipe is mine :). All you need is phyllo pastry and any kind of filling. I get the phyllo pastry from mediterranean store, they have it in the frozen section. Here's a photo of the exact product that I get; while searching for the photo I found the recipe for the mediterranean dish made from these pastry sheets. I typically use a potato filling but you could use any veggie filling. The way I prepare the pototao filling:

  1. Boil and peel potatoes.
  2. Mash them.
  3. Take few teaspoons oil in a wok. When it's hot, add some cumin seeds (~2 tsps) to it. Once they start spluttering, add some turmeric powder and chilli powder and then add the potatoes.
  4. Stir and cook for 5 minutes and your filling is ready. You can change the ingredients to suit your taste. If you like it hot, add some green chillies. You could also add some amchur power (mango powder).

To make the puffs, take a square sheet. Dip your finger in water and line 2 continuous edges of the square sheet with the water. This helps in sealing the pastry later. Assuming that the diagonal of the square sheet was dividing it into half, put some filling one half of the sheet. Now seal the sheet such that it forms a triangle. Do this for all the sheets.

Preheat the oven to 300 F. Place the patties on a cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or till golden brown. The duration differs with different ovens.

1 comment:

Shashwati said...

Looks YUM!!