Sunday 31 March 2013

Chocolate Fudge Zucchini Cookies-For Hidden Veggies Challenge

 The foundation of our physical, mental and emotional health lies in every spoonful we eat and every swallow we drink.

Hidden Veggies!!
Hiding Vegetables in food and making your children eat them with fervor and joy has to be the most pleasurable cooking/baking of all!!! 
Most parents struggle at one point or the other with getting their kids to eat even few bites of vegetables. Parents even tend to beg, cajole, bribe and get creative to win this eternal and timeless battle. Though it certainly is a very daunting and frustrating task, it can be managed with some tips like cooking and shopping with kids and including them in meal making plans, experimenting with different vegetables and recipes and  'Sneaking' in vegetables. 
This months Daring Baker's Challenge was all about getting creative and hiding vegetables in bakes. When I started researching on this, I found so many amazing options like carrot cakes, sweet potato cookies, Kidney bean brownies, eggplant chocolate cake, spinach cake, zucchini brownies...!!! Can you believe such healthy bakes exist!! I chose on trying my hands on these Chocolate fudge Zucchini cookies. The cookies were fudgy and decadent with loads of chocolate flavor enhanced with Choco-chips and grated Zucchini which so conveniently mixed in the batter that we could'nt even make out its presence...hidden delight, for sure.

Recipe source : Adapted from Two peas & their Pod

Ingredients: Yields about 10 cookies
  • 1/2 cup All purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup grated Zucchini
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 5 tbsp brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp hung curd
  • 1/4 cup Choco-chips
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. 
Line baking tray with baking sheet/aluminium foil.
Grate Zucchini and squeeze well. Try and remove as much fluid as possible. Pat dry on a kitchen towel.
Mix flour, soda and salt in a bowl and keep aside.
Melt butter in a saucepan, remove and add cocoa powder and both sugars. Mixture will be thick and sand like. 
Add hung curd and vanilla essence.
Now add the flour mixture and stir in Zucchini. Stir in the choco-chips.
Drop tbsp of this batter on the prepared baking tray, 2 inches apart. 
Bake for 10 mins or till done. Cool for 2-3 mins till firm. 
Repeat for another batch if batter is left. 

Sending this recipe to Bake Fest # 17 brainchild of Vardhini, Lets Cook for Kids, Whats with my Cuppa brainchild of Nupur and Bon Vivant#13-Kids Delight

Happy Hiding Veggies

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Stuffed Pav Bhaji Rolls-Indianized Hokkaido bread

People who love to eat, are always the best people!! Julia Child

Coming from a Sikh family, cooking and eating has been an integral part way of our lives. At breakfast, we discuss lunch and at lunch we settle on our dinner menu, everyday! Growing up in a foodie family and then getting married to an equally food loving family has made a non cook/baker like me to experiment and enjoy food. In fact, that is precisely the reason me and Vishal started this blog, because of our love to experiment, invent and share food. We have just completed one beautiful year of blogging and look forward to further grow our passion of learning and sharing food through this amazing medium.
Through blogging we got the opportunity to virtually meet and learn from some wonderful fellow passionate foodies. One such group of amazing bakers are the 'We Knead to Bake' and I am so glad to be part of this extremely talented group. The bread bake for this month is Hokkaido Milk bread with Tangzhong.
This technique of bread baking uses an ingredient called Tangzhong which is made by cooking flour with 5 times water at 65 degrees Celsius to form a roux. It is said that at 65 degrees, the gluten in the flour mixture will absorb the moisture creating a leavening action. This Tangzhong when added with other ingredients of bread produces extremely soft, tender and fluffy bread.  
This is a very versatile recipe and can be easily adapted to make/shape any sort of bread with amazingly soft results.

Pavs-9 regular sized 

Ingredients: I halved the original recipe adapted from Kirbie's Cravings, original recipe from 65 Degrees Tangzhong “65C Bread Doctor” by Yvonne Chen

Tangzhong - Flour water Roux
  • 5 tbsp All purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 4 tbsp milk
Bread dough 
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar, powdered
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp powdered milk
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp cream
  • 1 tsp Instant yeast 
  • 5 tbsp Tangzhong 
  • 1 tbsp butter, softened

Whisk together flour, water and milk in a saucepan. Place on a stove over medium heat and let it cook till it starts thickening while stirring continuously. Cook till it reaches 65 degrees Celsius or else till you see lines forming in this mixture (roux). Remove from heat and let it cool completely for 2-3 hours.

Bread dough 
Mix flour, salt, sugar, powdered milk and instant yeast in a bowl and mix well. 
Mix milk, cream and Tangzhong in another bowl, till smooth.
Add the milk Tangzhong mixture to the flour mixture and process on low speed using a  food processor/hand mixer with dough hooks till the dough comes together or else knead with hands for 10 mins.
Add butter and process till the dough is smooth and elastic. 
The dough can be sticky to begin with but will become smooth if you keep kneading (Tons of patience required to not add any more flour)
Form the dough in a ball and keep in a well oiled bowl, coating all sides. 
Cover with a damp muslin cloth and let it rise in a warm place  for an hour or till it gets double in size.
Pinch 9 equal sized balls from the dough. 
Roll each about the size of your palm and spread some garlic chutney and some Bhaji as filling. Seal the edges and give a round shape to the stuffed dough.

Place the dough balls in a well oiled square tin.

(You may skip the stuffing step if you want to make just the Pav buns.)
Cover with a damp muslin cloth and let it rise for another hour.
Preheat oven to 170 degree Celsius.
Brush the tops of the bread with milk cream mixture or just milk.

Bake for 20-25 mins or till the tops are browned well. 


  • 2 medium sized Potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 1/2 medium sized Green capsicum, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green peas, boiled
  • 1/4 cup little florets of Cauliflower
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 2 medium sized Tomatoes, blanched in hot water, skin removed and pureed
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • 1 tbsp Pav Bhaji masala
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder 
  • Juice of a lemon  
  • few drops of orange red food colouring
Procedure :
Take 2-3 tbsp oil in a deep pan/kadhai , add 1 tsp of cumin seeds and as it browns add onions. 
Add ginger garlic paste. Let it cook for a while. 
Add chopped cauliflower, carrot and capsicum. Let it cook for 4-5 mins. 
Add peas and tomato puree. 
Mix well and add mashed potatoes. 
Add salt, red chilli powder and Pav bhaji masala.
Mix lemon juice.
Using a masher, mash all the veggies well.
Let it cook till all the veggies are mashed and the bhaji has thickened. 
Add food colour to your liking or avoid this step.
Check the seasoning and adjust to your liking.
Garnish with spring onions.

Garlic Chutney

  • 3-4 dried red chillies, deseeded
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 10-12 garlic pods
  • salt to taste
Soak dried red chillies in white vinegar for 1 hour. 
Remove and grind with garlic and salt to a fine paste
Add some water to give chutney consistency. 

This method of bread making is surely a keeper with  the bread being remarkably soft. The bread is as soft as my Cheesy chicken stuffed braided bread which uses the scalded flour method. Personally I liked both the methods as they have yielded super soft bread.
The choice to shape this bread dough in endless and it can be easily used to try your hands on any bread bake.


This recipe is getting Yeastspotted and is being sent to Bake fest#17 brainchild of Vardhini, What's with my cuppa brainchild of Nupur,
Kid’s Delight Event brainchild of Srivalli , Foodabulous Fest Event organised by Simply TADKA,

Happy Modern Pav Bhaji Experience

Sunday 24 March 2013

Choco-Mocha Muffins

"Muffins are just small cakes in pretty doilies"

Our house nowadays sounds of Nursery rhymes, all the time!! Our little blessing, our daughter Vaanya has turned 22 months old today!! She is at her beautiful age of discovering a whole new world of Words !! With her extra sweet, honey dipped, melodious voice, she loves to sing nursery rhymes. And as a dutiful and adoring-her-to-bits family, we all love to sing with her. Its amazing how we have rediscovered the mesmerising world of Rhymes through Vaanya. From 'Twinkle twinkle' to 'Baa baa black sheep', we sing it all and Vaanya makes sure we join in enacting the rhyme with expressions and body movements. 
While learning with Vaanya, I came across this rhyme
Oh, do you know the muffin man,
The muffin man, the muffin man,
Oh, do you know the muffin man,
That lives on Drury Lane?

Oh, yes, I know the muffin man,
The muffin man, the muffin man,
Oh, yes, I know the muffin man,
That lives on Drury Lane.
Needless to mention that this particular rhyme, made the muffin woman (that is me!!) of the house, lap her sleeves, don the apron and make a yummy batch of fresh muffins from the oven. And it so had to be these choco-mocha muffins, a combination of two rich flavours to celebrate our Sweet day.

Ingredients: Yields 6-7 regular muffins
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar, powdered
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate, melted
  • 2 tbsp coffee powder/granules
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • chocolate chips for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Line muffin cups with liners or grease and line muffin cups with butter paper. If using silicone ones, grease lightly. 
Melt the dark chocolate on a double boiler or microwave for a minute or till melted.
Dissolve coffee powder/granules in very little warm water.
In a bowl add butter and sugar and whisk till it becomes fluffy and creamy.
Sift flour and baking powder and add to the butter mixture. Add egg and mix well. Now add the melted chocolate and coffee and mix till incorporated well. 
Pour the batter in the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle few chocolate chips on top and press them gently with the back of a spoon.
Bake for 20 mins or till a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 

These muffins were truly very heavenly, enriched with chocolate and strong coffee flavour and the cute choco chips added to the sweetness quotient. Did I forget to mention about the Pudgy little fingers that were at their naughty best again!!

The pudgy fingers strike again!!

Sending this recipe to  Bake Fest#17 brainchild of Vardhini,
What's with my cuppa brainchild of Nupur,
Bon Vivant#13 Kids Delight

Check out my last post for our Blog's First Anniversary Giveaway details

Happy Muffin Eating

Thursday 21 March 2013

Ombre Cake for 1st Blog Anniversary and 3 Giveaways!!

We turn 1.
20 March 2012, Vishal came back home and told me that he has created the blog we have been thinking and talking about. Our first post was up, an introduction to our passion. After much discussion and thinking, we decided to name our blog Sweet'n'Savoury...a journey of my sweet trials and Vishal's savoury experiments. The blog soon became  a stage to share our love of cooking/baking, inventing and experimenting. 
Though I always wanted to start our blog on a sweet note, Vishal jumped on the blog bandwagon with his post on a Seafood soup experiment where he made the very flavourful broth at home. I gave a sweet start with a cake that I have grown up smelling like heaven in the kitchen, and I named it Comfort food-Chocolate cake.
There was no stopping since then. Me and Vishal shared all kinds of dishes that we love to cook and serve. Blogging has become our way of life and we enjoy every bit of it, learning new techniques, new flavors and new joy. 
We want to thank all our readers for the tremendous support and love. All of you who have tried our recipes and loved it, we want to thank you for believing us(esp my friend Minu Agarwal Bhargava). Since a Celebration is all about sharing, we very happily announce a  3 Giveaways!! Me and Vishal have personally bought these 3 amazing books for all you lovely people. Read the end of the post for more details.

Ingredients: For a 4 layered 5" round cake. Recipe source : Passionate about Baking
  •  80 gms all purpose flour
  •  25 gms almond meal
  •  110 gms sugar, powdered
  •  4 eggs
  •  1 tsp baking powder
  •  1 tsp vanilla extract
  •  2 tsp olive oil
  •  Pink food colour
  • This recipe is for all the 4 layers. 
  • I used half of this recipe to make 2 cake layers at one time and used the other half to make the last 2 layers.
  • Make almond meal by simply putting almonds in boiling water for 5 mins. Drain and peel the skin. Dry completely on a kitchen towel or toss them on a heated saucepan to remove all the moisture. Grind with little sugar to get your homemade almond meal.

Filling and Frosting:
  •  250 gms unsalted butter, at room temperature
  •  250 gms icing/powdered sugar
  •  1 tbsp milk
  •  1 tsp vanilla extract
  •  pink food colour


Cake: (I used half of the recipe to make 2 layers at one go)
Grease and line 2 5" round cake tins.
Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius.
Sift flour, almond meal, baking powder and keep aside.
Take a pot and add water. Let it simmer. 
Add eggs and sugar in a bowl and put this on the pot of simmering water. Beat this mixture for 5-10 mins till it becomes thick and triples in volume. 
Take off the water and add vanilla extract. Beat for 3-4 mins till the mixture cools down a bit. 
Gently fold in the flour mixture in 2-3 batches. Fold in the olive oil.
Divide batter in 2 parts. Pour the plain batter in 1 cake tin. Add few drops of red food colour in the rest of the batter and pour in the other tin.
Bake for 25-30 mins or till a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool and slice off the tops to get cleaner edges.

Repeat the same process for the other 2 layers. Remember to add a bit more of the food colour to get darker shades for the next layers.    

Filling and Frosting:
Whip butter till pale and creamy. Add sugar, milk and vanilla extract and beat well. 
Spread on each layer of cake and sandwich them. Refrigerate to set.
Divide the remaining frosting in 4 parts.  
Put the white part in a plastic cone. Add red food colour to the other parts to get the desired shades. Fill them in different cones. You will have 4 cones of frosting. 
Starting from the bottom layer of the cake, pipe little balls and spread them with the cone or use a small spoon. Use different shades in layers to frost the sides and top of the cake.

Pic from 'Butter hearts sugar' blog

The cake was super scrumptious and was an excellent way to celebrate a journey that me and Vishal have nurtured and enjoyed. 

Since these books are bought with a lot of love and joy, we have kept some simple rules for eligibility. 

  1. Like us on Facebook
  2. Become our follower on Google friend connect (find it on our sidebar)
  3. Tell us one dish from our recipe list that you love the most and would want to try and (most importantly) why. Leave a comment on that recipe post
The wonderful giveaway books are

Three winners will be chosen on the best creative answers by me and Vishal. 
The Giveaway is valid for anyone with an Indian address. For people who do not have an Indian address, have a Big heart, participate and win the book for a friend of yours who has an Indian address!!
Giveaway is valid till midnight of 20 April, 2013, IST(Indian Standard time)

Sending this bake to Bake Fest#17 brainchild of Vardhini

Happy Celebrating 1 year
Amrita and Vishal

Friday 15 March 2013

Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Braided Bread

Constraints are a secret weapon that we can use to give ourselves a little creative boost when we need to take things to the next level.

Out of adversity comes creativity and the courage to try things that we otherwise would never even dream to. It helps us to stretch our boundaries and learn about our capabilities.
Since I have been out from home, all my challenges in the blog world were naturally on a hold. I missed on some absolutely amazing bakes with most of them being in my 'Must try' list for some time.
Baking Partner's challenge for this month, is Bread baking using Tangzhong or Scalded flour method. Unheard was the same for me!! Had to read the drafts over and over again to understand these new techniques. I chose on trying my hands on the scalded flour method of Bread baking. I reduced the recipe to one-third, being apprehensive of the result. Since I am not a big fan of plain breads, I decided to try my hands on a stuffed braided bread. 
This is when the constraints leapt at me, all at once!! Firstly, being the time constraint. The entire process in itself is not difficult at all. The time and patience consumed is in the wait. There is a 3 hour wait before we get to bake the bread with simple steps in between. With power failure, a daily routine in Allahabad, I had to start the process at 4 in the morning so that I can bake my bread before the electricty goes.
The second constraint was the availability of ingredients. I had to change the bread flour to all purpose and the Instant yeast to Active dried yeast.
Having figured all this and prepared to kickstart, the last constraint crept in! My kitchen weighing scale refused to work, and since all measurements were in gms, I was left with nothing to start. I was almost ready to give up when the thought and will to convert the measurement into cups came in. I used my mobile to google and convert.
With all this going around, I was naturally very apprehensive of the end result. The bread was made and most importantly the pictures were taken before anyone was allowed to eat! Amma(mother-in-law) helped me take the pics by getting some very pretty flowers from her garden. Finally the first bite was taken and praised for the softness and yumminess. Being a very harsh critic of my own bakes, I loved the amazing softness of the bread and the extra huge chicken filling!!

Ingredients: I have used 1/3 of the original recipe 
and adapted to my requirements
Scalded Flour:
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
Main Dough:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp milk powder
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp active dried yeast/ 1 tsp Instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp butter, at room temperature
Cheesy Chicken Filling:
  • 1 cup boiled boneless chicken, shredded
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 cup grated processed cheese 
  • salt and pepper to taste


Cheesy Chicken Filling:
Melt butter in a pan on medium heat and add flour while stirring well. As soon as the flour gets a brownish hue, add warm milk and stir well to remove any lumps. Let it cook and thicken. As the sauce thickens, add salt and pepper to taste. Add grated cheese and stir well till incorporated. Now add the shredded boiled chicken. Mix well.

Scalded flour:
Take flour in a bowl and pour boiling water, all at once. Stir quickly with a fork. It will be a doughy lumpy mixture. Set the dough aside for 5 mins to fully absorb the heat and moisture. Cover with a cling film or plastic and allow to cool for 1 hour.

Main dough:
Take 1/4 cup warm water, add a tsp of sugar and sprinkle the active dried yeast. Allow to bloom for 5-10 mins till it becomes foamy. If using Instant yeast, skip this step.
Sift flour, milk powder, sugar and salt on your working surface. 
Make a well and add the yeast mixture/Instant yeast. 
Add the scalded flour mixture and gradually add enough lukewarm water to make a sticky dough. (If using Instant yeast, water required may be little more)
KNEAD FOR 10 MINS until smooth and elastic(use a watch/clock, if necessary)
During kneading the dough needs to be thrown on the working surface every few mins to improve its strength. You may feel the dough sticky throughout and may feel super tempted to add more flour, but have PATIENCE. If you keep kneading, the dough will become smooth. Remember 10 mins of hardwork will result in the most softest bread baked at home!
Knead in butter till incorporated.
Form dough in a round ball and keep covered with a moist muslin cloth in a bowl. Allow to double in size which will take an hour.
To test if dough has risen well, poke a flour coated finger in the middle of dough and take out. If hole remains, dough is ready and if it springs back, the dough needs more proving.
Punch down the dough and roll in an oval shape. Place the filling in the center. Now with the help of a knife or pizza cutter, make cuts all along the sides. Make sure the cuts are even numbered.
Fold the top and bottom part of dough and starting from one end, start braiding each pair of strip (overlapping)till you reach the end.
Place the bread, very carefully on an aluminum foil covered baking tray. Cover with damp muslin cloth and allow to rise for another hour.
Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius and bake the bread for 30-35 mins or till top gets browned well.

Check this video link for braiding bread. 
I have also updated the blog with some braiding steps.

Notes :
  • You may add any other filling of your choice and make it vegetarian too.
  • I have used boiled chicken but you can use roast, tandoori or shreds from any prepared chicken dish too.
  • You need to ensure that the filling is relatively dry to avoid excess moisture tearing the bread dough. 
  • You may brush the braided dough with some milk to get that rich brown colour. For better results use half cream and half milk.
  • As soon as the bread is out of the oven after getting baked, brush it with some butter to get that lovely shine and soft texture. 

Sending this recipe to Bake Fest#17 brainchild of Vardhini
 and Yeastspotting

This recipe is being sent to the amazing ongoing event called 'Yeasty Feasty' by Kolkata Food Bloggers where all the members are going to present their droolworthy yeasty bread creations. To make this event more exciting, food bloggers all over are invited to send in their yeasty bakes. Please read the rules and other details here to participate.  

Happy Bread Baking


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