Sharmi on the Trot

Travelling, Exploring, Eating…

Archive for the month “October, 2015”

Weekend Cupcakes – Orange with Chocolate and Coffee

Baking and I have never been THAT fond of each other . The reason – specific measurements. Unlike cooking, one can’t really wing it. (Who likes a cake that falls flat or lacks taste, right)
My grandmother loved to bake. She would bring out her many aluminum cake tins and make basic vanilla sponges or variations adding cocoa powder and/or essences. The kitchen would smell all buttery and vanilla-y, heaven really.
My younger sister has got that gene. She loves to bake. Though not often, when she gets into that zone, there’s no stopping her. It’s scary I tell you, especially when you’re dreaming of dancing with Patrick Swayze (when he picks you up as ‘Time of my Life’ plays all around) and instead get woken up rudely with the words “Cupcake time! You need to sift the flour.”
R tried two variations. Orange with chocolate and coffee with cocoa. Both with a gooey chocolate centre (dark and white) and dark chocolate icing. I can’t describe you how delicious they were as we gobbled them up with coffee. What are cheat days for after all!

Ingredients
For Cupcakes (Makes 12)
150g self-raising flour (half for each batch)
150g caster sugar (half for each batch)
150g butter (half for each batch)
2 eggs (1 for each batch)
2 tbs milk (1 for each batch)
3 tbs cocoa powder
Handful of milk and dark chocolate shards
1 tsp natural orange essence
2 tsp strong coffee

Icing
100g icing sugar
2 tsp cocoa powder
2 tbs hot water

-Preheat oven to 190 C
-For each batch whisk together the butter, egg, milk and sugar. Sift in the flour.
-Add 1 tbs cocoa and orange essence in one. Add the 2 tbs cocoa and coffee in another. Whisk till you get a nice tasting mixture.
-Line the muffin tins with 12 cupcake wrappers. Carefully spoon in the mixture.
-Add shards of chocolate and then add another spoonful of mixture on top.
-Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Take out and cool.
-Make the icing in a bowl. Whisk all ingredients together and decorate the cupcakes.
-Enjoy with coffee, hot chocolate or just as it is!

Freshly baked and cooling

Freshly baked and cooling

All iced and ready to devour. My Jackson Pollock moment!

All iced and ready to devour. My Jackson Pollock moment!

Coffee and cupcakes!

Coffee and cupcakes!

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Melt-in-your-mouth Asian Stir Fried Pork

My introduction to pork began at an early age via homemade spiced sausages, salamis, those gorgeous frankfurters that crackled over heat. I remember going to Goa when I was about 12 and polishing off a plate of spicy pork vindaloo with steaming white rice in a small shack on the beach. The sound of waves crashing, the feeling of cold sand touching my feet, the just-right weather – I can still visualise that day.
I was recently shopping at INA for fresh fruits and salad leaves when I crossed the meat section. On a whim I picked up this delicious lean cut of pork. With plenty of flavour combinations playing in my head, this basic South-East Asian style stir fry had to be the first.

Ingredients
250g lean pork (cut into bite sized pieces)
2 tsp oil
1 small onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 lime (juiced)
Handful of rocket leaves
Chives
For marinade:
3-4 Sichuan peppercorns (crushed)
1 star anise (crushed)
1 tsp demerara
2-3 tsp sesame oil
2-3 tsp oyster sauce
1-2 tsp dark soy
salt and black pepper to season
(I would suggest when making the marinade, start with the dry ingredients first and then add the wet ones)

Marinate the pork pieces overnight (half an hour minimum if you’re in a hurry)
Heat 1-2 tsp oil in a wok and add chopped onions and garlic. Once its sauteed, add the pork pieces. Cook till the pork has caramelised well on the outside and is tender on the inside. Add a bit of oyster sauce if need be.
Once cooked, take out the pieces to rest. Use lime juice to deglaze the pan and pour over the meat.
Serve with a side salad, steamed rice, stir fried veggies or a baguette!

Served on a bed of rocket leaves

Served on a bed of rocket leaves

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