Cold Cake / No-bake chocolate biscuit slices

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How is Ramadan going so far, everyone?!

Ramadan is in full swing at my end. You will find three angels and I say that in a very respectful and sarcastic manner, fasting, praying, being nice, sleeping …a little more sleeping, haha!! Jokes apart they are nice kids helping me collect and make our annual “Eidi packs”. I don’t know if you guys remember, but last year I mentioned in my blog that every Ramadan I try to collect “Eidi” for people around me who can’t afford to enjoy Ramadan and the following festival of Eid-ul-Fitr. I find so much hope and satisfaction from the fact that there are so many people out there who are gracious and helpful and remember to help others who are not as fortunate as we are. Summer vacations just started all around as well and I feel like they are a  blessing in disguise for all kids as this Ramadan the days are both long and hot, making it quite strenuous to fast.

camera 253 copyThis week I’m posting one of the most requested recipes. Super easy and extremely delicious, commonly known as Cold Cakes. These are also known as no-bake chocolate cakes/slices/rounds and are quite popular for obvious reasons. They originated in England. I started making these when my kids were young and would demand a new desert every day. It was difficult to cope with their demands at first and I kept looking for easy to make recipes with readily available ingredients. I have made Cold Cakes with a bunch of different recipes over the years and even though my children seemed to like them, I was never fully satisfied. I kept alternating the recipe by adding or removing ingredients to suit my taste. Finally after a bunch of years I have customized cold cakes into my own version, that I like and taste like perfection.

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Makes 10-12 slices |Recipe Prep:Sabeeka| Photography: Sabeeka|

Ingredients:

  • 130 grams Marie or Digestive biscuits
  • 1/2 cup Caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp dry milk powder, (I used Nido)
  • 200 grams cream
  • 3 tbsp coco powder (heaped)
  • 200 grams baking chocolate

Method:

  1.  Break the biscuits into small pieces and keep aside.
  2.  In a small bowl, mix the coco powder and dry milk powder (nido) together.
  3.  Using a double broiler melt the chocolate, sugar and cream. We use the double broiler method because we want the chocolate to melt and not cook.
  4. Mixing slowly using a whisker, add the coco powder and nido mixture from step 2.
  5. Heat the mixture until it thickens, making sure to keep a low flame which would prevent the formation of bubbles. Keep mixing continuously.
  6. Once the mixture is thick enough, take it off the flame, add the biscuits and mix.
  7. Spread cling wrap on a flat surface and place this mixture in the centre. Now make this into a sausage roll and freeze for 10 minutes.
  8. After 10 minutes, roll it again to make sure its shaped perfectly and place it back in the freezer for about an hour.
  9. When it’s properly chilled, remove the cling wrap and using a sharp knife, cut it into one inch thick slices.

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Tip:

You can also add some roasted chopped walnuts or hazelnuts to make these more scrumptious.

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The recipe is very simple and easy to make, and I have found this to be the perfect combination for making cold cakes. It’s the perfect balance of the two main ingredients and lets them shine through without overpowering any of the basic flavors. I still remember making cold cakes for my daughter’s parties and all her friends devouring them instantly. They even remembered having these after all these years. Oh, and did you know this fun fact that Prince William ordered cold cakes at his wedding, he loves them too. Happy Iftaari!

Aa jao bachon “cold cake” tayyar hai!!

 

 

Resham Kebab – ریشم کباب 

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Kebabs are an essential part of every day cuisine in Eastern Mediterranean region and South Asia. All of us in Pakistan have our favorites, be it the popular Shami kebab or the regional varieties like Bihari and Chapli kebabs . Here, I’ll share the recipe for my very own Resham kebabs  (Resham means silk in Urdu/Farsi) that are super quick and extremely easy to make. They are soft and succulent and completely addictive, hence the name. Once you try these there is no turning back.

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Since this is my own recipe, it never really had a name, they were always just kebabs. But, I needed a name for the blog so I started thinking and it took me a while and some really really bad suggestions to finally come up with a name, that I think is fitting. If you read the Aloo Parathay blog post you already know my kids a bit, and I must say that they have been quite co-operative. Let me flashback to a few hours ago, I get a video call from #1 (she literally runs our household) 😒.

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  • “Mama, did you write down the blog?!”
  • “Yes, I’m almost finished” I replied.
  • “What’s the name?”she asked.
  • “I still don’t know that”
  • “Mama you make these all the time and you have no name  for this recipe??, Mama,you need to blah blah..important responsibility.. Blah blah.. Need to be regular etc etc . Everyone help mama come up with a name”. (She continues talking and obviously because I am pretty much the best mom in the world, I have stopped listening……. haha.)

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    1. Very soft tasty kabob..No.
    2. Shami kebab oval shape.. No
    3. Kofta kebab.. No
    4. Kafta kebab.. No
    5. Mughlai kebab.. No
    6. Fusion kebab.. NO
    7. Meray(my) kebab .. Seriously?!  😮

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 kg minced beef/chicken.
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/3 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp heaped corn flour
  • 1/2 tsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • 4 slices of wheat/white toast
  • 1/4 cup milk.

Method:

  1. Place the meat in a bowl.
  2. Soak the toast in milk and then squeeze all the milk out, add these to the meat bowl.
  3. Now add all the other ingredients and mix well using your hands.
  4. Let the marinade sit for about half an hour, for better results keep aside for two hours.
  5. Take a small amount in your hand and shape them into small to medium sized oval shape, as seen in the pictures. Make all the kebabs first.
  6. Heat oil in a pan on high heat .
  7. Shallow fry these kebabs on both sides for about 2 minutes.
  8. Turn the heat on the lowest mark, cover and let cook for another 5 minutes. Cooking them on high heat first makes them crispy on the outside and lowering the heat cooks the inside to be soft and silky.
  9. Serve warm.

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You can make these well in advance and freeze them for up to a month. I make these almost every month and serve them as snacks with a chutney, or as fillings for wraps, or in other recipes. Alright then, let’s dig in everyone. Don’t forget to send your feedback if you try these out, love you all!!

Aa jao bachon “Resham Kabab” tayyar hain!!

 

 

Chicken, mac’n’cheese croquettes

Happy Ramadan everyone!IMG_0482 copyRamadan is extremely hot and happening here in Pakistan, so before I pen down anything else I just want to ask all of you to stay hydrated! Ramadan usually means a lot more time in the kitchen, despite the effort I am more happy because I am blogging again, yay!! It’s been a while and I had lots and lots of things going on. But now we (I and my two minions) are back and we can not resist the temptation to post more recipes. I keep telling my girls to post a new recipe everyday and they both give me the “STARE”, hehe. Apparently I do not know how much work goes into writing a single blog post.

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Anyways, I feel that I prefer to make quick and easy appetizers that my kids can eat during Ramadan. I do try to keep my “dastarkhwan” (traditional cloth where food is eaten, can be used broadly to refer to the dinner table as well) healthy but my kids do not want to hear about healthy shmealthy for the first few fasts. I trick them by making things they love and then switching to things they would file under “do-not-hate-even-though-not-fried-and-greasy”.

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Macaroni and cheese are one of the most popular comfort food all around the world. Easy and cheesy they never go wrong. This version makes them into an absolute crowd-pleaser and a finger food, double win!!! These chicken mac’n’cheese croquettes are so good, my kids and even my grandkids eat them in an instant. Another reason for this recipe’s star status is its versatility. You can substitute the chicken for whatever you have available. From left-over chicken to turkey, beef or anything you want to experiment with. This recipe is ideal for ramadan because you will have a bunch of leftovers, almost everyday (believe me!!). This is originally my daughter’s  and I have customized it to suit our south-asian spicy taste buds.

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Serves 4-5 |Recipe Prep:Salmina| Photography: Salmina|

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (270g) macaroni
  • 1 cup shredded chicken( I used leftover chicken nuggets)
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 60g butter
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour
  • 3 cups (750ml) milk
  • 1 1/2 cups (180g) grated cheddar
  • 1/4 cup (20g) shredded mozzarella
  • 2 Eggs, lightly whisked
  • 2 cups (150g) breadcrumbs or fresh (made from day-old bread) breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
  • Vegetable oil, to shallow-fry
 Method:
  1. Grease and line a flat pan. Don’t worry if you don’t have that , you can use any flat surface.
  2. Cook the pasta following packet directions or until al dente. Drain well and keep aside.
  3. Turn the stove on medium-high. In a large saucepan heat the chicken, for a few mins or until crisp. Add the spring onions. Cook for one minute or until the spring onions are soft and then transfer to a bowl. At this point you can also add some spices to the chicken according to your taste. (Note: I used shredded chicken nuggets and they were already seasoned so i skipped this step)
  4. In the same saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add mustard powder and 1/2 cup of the flour. Cook while stirring, for 2 mins or until the mixture bubbles.
  5. Gradually add milk and stir constantly using a whisker to avoid creating any lumps, cook for 5 mins or until sauce boils and thickens. Remove from heat.
  6. Stir in cheddar and parmesan cheese.
  7. Add the pasta and chicken mixture and stir to combine. Pour into prepared pan and smooth the surface.
  8. Place in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight or until firm.
  9. When ready turn the pasta onto a clean work surface. Cut into small square pieces using a sharp knife.
  10. Place remaining 1 cup (150g) flour in a shallow bowl. Place egg in a separate bowl.
  11. Combine the breadcrumbs with salt and pepper to taste and place in a separate bowl.
  12. Dip 1 pasta square in the flour to lightly coat. Dip in egg, then in breadcrumb mixture to coat. Repeat with remaining squares, flour, egg and breadcrumbs.
  13. Heat enough oil to a medium frying pan. Heat over medium heat.
  14. Cook half of the croquettes first to avoid over crowding the pan. Cook for about 5 mins or until golden brown and heated through.
  15. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.
  16. Repeat with remaining croquettes.

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It feels really good to be posting after so long and I have missed all of you a lot. Don’t forget to give feedback on our social media and follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Hope your Ramadan will be a blessed month and remember us in your prayers.

Aa jao bachon “chicken valay mac’n’cheese croquettes” tayyar hai!!

Apple Pie-ایپل پائی

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Hello everyone, how is everybody doing? I have missed all of you so much. Me and my girls had so much going on that we couldn’t coordinate anything on time. When we finally decided on what to make, it took me a while to send Sab the recipe, and very obviously she got busy right around then. When she was finally able to write the blog, Sal couldn’t take the pictures haha, It’s funny how we have finally gotten around to this one. No worries my dears as I’m here now and that’s all that matters. Sharing another one of my perfected recipes of a simple yet mouth-watering pie.

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The classic Apple Pie..

An apple pie is one of the most basic, easy to make pies, some still call it the old english pie. I have been making this pie for the longest time and It was one of the first things I learned to bake. The pie crust is super easy to make once you get the hang of it. Perfect for autumn and cozy afternoons. My kids love this and over the years I have made simple variations to adjust it according to my family’s taste preferences. I think this is pretty perfect now! I’ll wait for all your feedback once you try this out.

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Serves 4-5  individual pies|Recipe Prep:Salmina| Photography: Salmina|

The filling:

Make the filling first because you want it to be cool when your pie crust is ready.

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Ingredients:

  • 8 medium sized apples
  • 20 grams butter
  • 100 grams caster sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1/4 tbsp cinnamon powder

Method:

  1. Peel and core apples. Then cut the apples into thin slices.
  2. Turn the stove on medium to high and add all the ingredients to a saucepan.
  3. Cook the apples for 5-7 minutes making sure they don’t get too dry. Turn the stove off and let the apples come to room temperature before adding them to the pastry.

The pastry:

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Ingredients:

  • 500 grams all purpose flour
  • 200 grams butter, chilled
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg white
  • 3-4 tsp cold water

Method:

  1. Grab a  large bowl and sift the flour in it.
  2. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, rub butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Add the egg yolk to the mixture and add cold water,a tablespoon at a time. Mix lightly with a fork after each addition until the dough is just moist enough to hold together. Make sure that you don’t add extra water, we don’t need it.
  4. Lightly flour your hands and shape the dough into a ball in the same bowl.
  5. Cut the dough in two parts, one part bigger than the other, cover them separately and put it into the fridge for 20 minutes.
  6. Flour the surface and using a rolling pin roll out the larger dough into a 3mm thick round from center to edge. Add more flour if it starts to stick and push the sides in if needed.
  7. Grease your pie dish and then gently ease the dough into bottom and up side of pie dish to line evenly. Trim the edges.
  8. Prick the base of the pie with a fork and fill with the apple mixture that we prepared.
  9. Dust the surface with flour and roll out the smaller sized dough. You can cut it in strips like I did int he images or roll out the complete thing and just cut some slashes in the middle, be as creative as you like.
  10. Carefully lift this dough and place on top of the pie. If you are placing the dough in the shape of a round then using a spoon, prick very carefully on top of the pie crust.
  11. Whisk the egg white, and using a brush aply this all over the pie crust.
  12. Preheat the oven to 220ºc or 428ºf.
  13. Bake for 40-45 minutes or untill the pastry turns golden brown.
  14. Transfer the pie dish to a wire rack, let it cool slightly so you don’t burn yourself.
  15. Slice and serve.

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Tips:

  • Make sure all the ingredients (pastry and the filling) of the pie are chilled.
  • We dont have to knead the dough much, its ready once it comes together.
  • Flour the surface generously before you roll out the dough so that it deosnt stick.
  • Don’t over-bake the pie as that would make the crust very crumbly.
  • If running short on time, you can also make this in a food processor or a kitchen aid.

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The aroma that fills the kitchen when I bake this pie is so soothing and calming. It just smells like home and cinnamon and pie and love and everything. I think that is one of the reasons why I bake this pie so much. Do try this one out and don’t forget to share your versions on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #tcid.

Aa jao bachon “apple pie” tayyar hai!!