Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Peanut brittle

In India we've something very similar to Peanut brittle, called peanut chiki. This is a popular sweet in our house and always in demand. Unfortunately the chiki that we get at indian stores is not that great so I was motivated to make some at home. Back home, the chiki that you get in stores is crisp but the ones we make at home is soft in texture; and I've never figured out how to get it to be crispy. So this time I decided to try the American version - peanut brittle. Was it a breeze to make?!?!
  • 1 cup peanuts, if you've roasted ones then that's good otherwise follow the directions below to roast them
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  1. Preheat oven to 200 F and put a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in it. This helps the baking sheet keep warm so that when you spread the brittle on it in the end, the mixture doesn't cool immediately; and gives you more time to spread.
  2. Put the sugar and corn syrup in a pan and heat using medium high heat.
  3. If you need to roast the peanuts, then put them in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute. If it's roasted to your satisfaction then stop otherwise continue roasting in 30 second intervals.
  4. Remove the coverings of the peanut and split them in half. If you want you can also coarsely chop them in food processor.
  5. After the sugar syrups has come to a boil, add the peanuts. Stir often.
  6. Put a drop of the sugar syrup in cold water (I used refrigerated water). If the drop hardens to a hard candy, then turn off the heat.
  7. Mix in the baking soda and butter. This needs to be done quickly so that the mixture doesn't cool down.
  8. Take out the baking sheet from the oven and spread the mixture on the lined sheet. The mixture cools very quickly so this needs to be done fast.
  9. Let the mixture cool.
  10. Break the brittle into pieces.
  11. This brittle is certified delicious! :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Private by James Patterson

It was after a long time that I read a James Patterson novel and I was expecting to be totally thrilled and immersed in it. Sadly that did not happen. In fact a third into the novel and I felt like I was watching Criminal Minds where some psycho killers had gone ahead and committed some murders. The only difference here was that there were a couple of other stories going alongside which made more sense.It did get a little more interesting after half way.

There are a couple of mysteries being solved in parallel in this novel: a match fixing which could blow away careers if confirmed, the murder of a wife and the only suspect is her husband who happens to be the investigator's best friend (yes that's his only claim to fame!), the trouble that the investigator's brother is in and the threat calls to the investigator. I don't know why people have highly rated this novel. To me the only thing that made it worth reading was having so many stories together.

It's a light read and would be good if you've nothing else to read or do.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Marble cake

What do you do when one of you likes vanilla and the other likes chocolate? Well marry the two and make marble cake, of course!
This was mostly made by DH but I did find the recipe - so I can take credit for that :). The cake was very tasty - nice and moist; and a good balance of vanilla and chocolate. Here's the recipe. I halved the recipe.
  • 4oz butter , softened
  • 4oz caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4oz self-raising flour
  • 1.5 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder


  1. Heat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. The recipe suggested that once could go the easy route and put everything in a food processor and blend. There are very things in life that have an easy route. So when you get one jump on it! That's what we did - blend everything except the cocoa powder.
  3. Divide the mixture into two.
  4. Add cocoa powder to one part.
  5. Put globs of vanilla mixture into the loaf pan and intersperse them with the chocolate layer. Continue to layer in this manner till all batter is used up.
  6. Using a skewer to make swirls - you could draw vertical lines from one end of the pan to the other to make the swirls. Don't go overboard with the swirls or you'll end up mixing the vanilla and chocolate.
  7. Bake for 45-55 minutes and you've a yummy marble cake ready!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tiramisu pudding

I found this recipe on the Kraft website and it turned out yummy! Everybody loved it! Plus it was so easy to make! Here's the original recipe. I didn't have a few ingredients so I made some substitutions.

  • 1/8 cup Instant Coffee + Starbucks Hot cocoa
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. hot water
  • 1/4 pkg. (3 oz.) ladyfingers, split
  • 1.5 cups cold milk
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese
  • 1.5 oz.  JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding


  1. Dissolve 1/2 Tbsp. coffee+cocoa in hot water; drizzle over ladyfingers.
  2. Line bottom and side of shallow 1-1/2-qt. bowl with ladyfingers.
  3. Blend 1/2 cup milk, cream cheese and remaining undissolved flavored instant coffee in blender until smooth.
  4. Add dry pudding mixes and remaining milk; blend well.
  5. Carefully pour into lined bowl.
  6. Refrigerate 4-5 hours or until set.
Note: I got t he ladyfingers in the frozen section of my grocery store. There are 24 in a package.

Monday, March 11, 2013