Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait

There is nothing like finding an easy cheesecake recipe to make….and eggless too 🙂 Works for people (family and friends) I know who do not eat eggs 😉 Parfait form makes it a perfect size dessert ….I’m liking these small cup desserts (just like found at PF Changs, Chillis etc) A while ago I made No Bake Nutella Cheesecake in plastic cups …they were a hit…. so I am hoping these are a hit too.

I found this recipe via Youtube, it is from Show Me the Curry and can be found HERE. They made 12 of 2 oz cups. I used bigger cups and doubled up the ingredients.

StrawberryCheesecakeparfait1

Strawberry Cheescake Parfaits

Makes 12 9 0z cups (filled 3/4way)

Ingredients

Graham Crackers (Chocolate)– 15 whole pieces
Butter – 7 Tbsp, melted
Sugar – 1 Tbsp
Strawberries – 1 lb, chopped
Sugar – 3/4Tbsp
Cream Cheese –16 oz, softened
Sour Cream – 2/3 cup
Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
Powdered Sugar – 3/4 cup
Whipped Cream – 3 cup (I used Cool Whip)

Method:

1. Place Graham Crackers in a food processor and pulse to make crumbs. Add melted Butter and 1 Tbsp Sugar and mix well. Keep aside.
2. Mix 3/4 Tbsp Sugar with chopped Strawberries and keep aside.
3. In a bowl, combine softened Cream Cheese, Sour Cream and Vanilla. Mix in Powdered Sugar and mix until no lumps are present. Fold in Whipped Cream.
4. To assemble parfaits, layer a small amount of Graham Cracker crumbs at the bottom of a parfait cup or mini shot glass. Press down to form a crust. Using a pastry bag or zipper bag, pipe in cream cheese mixture half way up the glass. Add a layer of Strawberries. Finish with an additional layer of Cream Cheese mixture.
5. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours to set.

You could decorate it some whipped cream or some more berries.

My husband, I and our friends eat less sugar…. so I did not double on sugar amounts. I started with adding the amount in the original recipe (video link above) and added a little at a time to bring it to our taste level. So adjust the sugar levels as per your taste. I could not find 2 oz glasses like in the video. I used 9 oz cups (found in my local grocery store). So if you want to make big cups and fill them up to the top, you could make 2 layers of berries and 3 layers of cheesecake filling.

Strawberries are fresh and naturally sweet right now. So this is the perfect dessert to try… a nice summer dessert I think or like suggested in the original recipe…a good Mother’s Day Treat 😀

Happy Mother’s day to all the moms out there….. Moms make the world Awesome!

Until next time,

Cheers =)

Tofu Scramble, Indian Style!

So Tofu Scramble is not a new or unique idea… but first time I tasted Tofu Scramble was at Brother Juniper’s in Memphis Tennesse. It was also featured on Rachel Ray’s 40$ a day show. Its open only for breakfast and Lunch… but its crowded… a small place with yummy food. They had some good vegetarian options for non egg eaters. The Tofu Scramble my friend ate had pesto and veggies in it and tasted delish.

Tofu Vegi at Brother Juniper's

Tofu Vegi at Brother Juniper’s

At that time we remember talking how we could make it to our taste, add ingredients etc and had decided to try it once we got home… but that never happened. But 2 days ago, I was talking to my sister who mentioned she made some tofu scramble…indian style and it was yum. My sister doesn’t cook often, but when she does… its a lot of experimental, which turns out yum always…. she can cook and is good at it…..she just doesn’t accept it 🙂 So I decided to make some today for myself.

 

Masala Tofu Scramble

Masala Tofu Scramble

MASALA TOFU SCRAMBLE (Serves 1)

1/4 of a pack of Tofu (I used extra firm) – pat dry

1/4 onion, chopped

1/4 tomato (small) chopped

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/4 tsp each of coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric

salt to taste

chopped green chillis/jalapena (optional)

cilantro finely chopped

1 tsp olive oil.

Method:

1. Heat oil, add the onions and saute till they start getting pink. Add the tomatoes and saute for 1-2 mins.

2. Add the garam masala, coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric, chopped green chillis and saute for 1-2 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, crumble the tofu (or you could grate it). Add the cilantro and crumbled tofu to the pan and add salt as per taste. Mix well and saute for another minute or 2.

4. Serve hot with some toast 🙂

NOTE: you can totally adjust the seasonings as per your taste or try some other seasonings.

I love my eggs… but lets face it with all the researches saying not to eat too many yolks (egg whites everyday is not fun for me :P)…. this tofu scramble is perfect in place of eggs. Similar amount of protein, keeps you full and a healthy start to the day or could be filling lunch too.

Until next time,

Cheers =)

 

Microwave cake

I KNOW….MICROWAVE CAKE…. Haven’t we seen many of those recipes floating around on Pinterest….infact I myself pinned 1-2 recipes 😉 but I have always been a little skeptical about how it is going to turn out. I did find out some reports on experimenters thoughts of the microwave recipes–saw good and bad both….bad more 😦 so I never tried it.

Approximately 2-3 weeks ago… my friend “J” talked about an Eggless microwave cake (all ones I saw had eggs in them)…HMMM (I wonder how that would be…my thots when she said it). So she tried it finally and said it was really good. So ofcourse I had to get the recipe…. she happily sent it over. Mid week when we met, she said she made changes to the recipe–made the cake a little better and not burn them out. So past weekend… I had to try it. Another friend of ours “R” has been staying with us on weekends…and like my hubs n me…he is a food buff and has sweet tooth 😉 so I decided to make them after Friday dinner.

EGGLESS MICROWAVE CAKE

Serves 2

Ingredients

4 tbsp All Purpose FlourMicrowaveCake

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp oil

6 tbsp milk (I’ve tried 2 % and skim milk-both work fine)

1/2 tsp baking powder

Procedure:

Mix all of the ingredients in a wide mouth bowl/cup and microwave for 2-1/2 min.

Be careful taking it out of the microwave… serve Hot with scoop on Vanilla Ice-cream.

MicrowaveCake2

I thought this one cake was good for 2 people…especially if your are trying to eat less desserts. Although this recipe is not very sweet- even though u put 3 tbsp of sugar… the cocoa powder does not let it get too sweet. Serve it with Vanilla Ice-cream and the sugar from that will balance the sweetness out.

We made quite a few changes to this recipe. Original recipe call for 3 tbsp of milk… we found that it cooks the cake, but does not make it as moist…. I tried with 5, 6, 7 and 8 tbsp of milk. 6tbsp milk made the cake moist and soft to my liking. So if you want feel free to add or subtract the amount of milk. Similarly we found adding 1/2 tsp of Baking Powder was better as oppose to 1/4 tsp. Original recipe calls for 3 tbsp cocoa powder- I found that a little too chocolate-y. So I tried 2tbsp and it worked perfect for me. Feel free to make it 3tbsp if you like it that ways.

The recipe I have here is exactly how we liked it…It is a good recipe to satisfy the sweet tooth when you feel like having dessert 😉

Hope you try it…

Enjooy!!

Cheers =)

Eggless Sugar Cookies

As soon as Halloween(USA) and Dusshera (India) goes….everyone starts gearing up for the lined festivities…. here in USA, everyone is prepping for Thanksgiving and very soon X’mas. In India, everyone is getting ready for Diwali and Indian New Year. Either way, festivals means happy time–making the mouth sweeter….having some tasty treats =)

Who is not a fan of cookies!!! In India we have regular cookies, cookies you eat with tea, special occasions have cookies of their own which are made when that particular festival comes around (they are not called cookies and have their own names). NO NO my post ain’t of Indian sweet… although it is a good thought to try some Indian sweet. nevertheless.. my today’s trial is Eggless Cookies by Divine Taste.

Tasting the cookie made me feel like it was like a mix of sugar cookie and an Indian sweet call Nankhatai…although Nankhatai is more dense. These are soft, and light and can’t stop at just 1. Perfect for people who do not eat eggs. So I named them Eggless Sugar Cookies 😉

Eggless Sugar Cookies
by Divine Taste

Ingredients:
3/4 cup plain flour (I would use close to 1 cup..the batter was a little loose and did not retain the shape while baking like in the original recipe)
2 tbsp cornflour
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp cardamom (I tried vanilla this time)

Procedure: 

1. Sieve the flour and the cornflour together into a bowl. 
2. In another bowl mix in the butter and the sugar with a hand blender or a wire whisk or put in the stand mixer with the paddle attachment and blend until smooth and creamy.

3. Put in the flour mixture, milk and vanilla extract and mix until smooth and there are no lumps.
4. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade/ 350F/Gas mark 4.
5. Put the entire mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe into stars (rosettes) on a lightly greased baking tin or a tin lined with baking parchment. Alternatively make small balls, flatten lightly with your palms and bake.
6.Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the cookies turn golden brown at the edges.

 By now you have to know I am bad with the pipping bag 😀 so here I started out and tried some different designs for the sake of it 😉 I tried different sizes as well…just to see what difference does it make. These spread a little as they bake… so small rosettes/balls will be perfect. 

So here are the awesome-ly delish cookies.. very quick to bring together…as long as you have room temperature butter ;) Divine Taste recommends trying it with cardamom instead of vanilla extract… after tasting these…I want to try the cardamom flavored cookies…. they are going to be as tasty

Will update once I try those 😀

Try baking these and enjoy with family and friends…

Cheers =)  

Eggless Pineapple Cake

Every time I decide to try and recipe and go searching, it amazes me how many food bloggers are there and how many recipes people try. I have rarely seen any recipe getting repeated…now I might be just the reason for the recipes getting repeated =) 

So past weekend my dad mentioned about this website Divine Taste – based in Mumbai, India this blogger is a photographer, and food writer. Her recipes are vegetarian and saatvik (meaning clean eating), a mix of cuisines… and some delicious looking desserts. So after I went through the website- and seeing the desserts… I had to try this Eggless Pineapple Cake… I love pineapples….and cake is my thing ;). 

I do have to start by telling this cake was my lesson learning recipe. The base cake-very simple and easy. The cream topping–hmm… yeah that’s where I had my boo-boo.

More on that later…for now the recipe:

Eggless Pineapple Cake: 

recipe: Divine Taste

For the Sponge:

Ingredients:

250 gm (1 3/4 cups) plain flour
2 tbsp vanilla custard powder or cornflour (cornstarch) (I used custard powder)
4 tbsp icing sugar (confectioners sugar or fine sugar)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda/ sodium bicarbonate
1 tin/400gm sweetened condensed milk
100 gm (1/2 cup) butter
175 ml (3/4 cup)  water/milk (I used 2% milk)
2 tsp good quality vanilla extract

Method:

1. Grease and line the bottom of an 8” square or 9” round cake tin with greaseproof paper/baking parchment/butter paper.
2. In a mixing bowl, assemble the flour, custard powder or cornstarch, icing sugar,  baking powder and baking soda, mix with a spoon and sieve once to make the mixture uniform.
3. Preheat the oven at about 150 degrees centigrade.
4. Put in the condensed milk,  butter, vanilla extract and water or milk into the mixing bowl containing the dry ingredients. 

5. Beat with an electric hand mixer, whisk or spoon  until the mixture comes together and there are no lumps. This shouldn’t take more than 2 to 3 minutes with an electric hand mixer/beater. Be careful not to over beat the mixture as this could result into a hard cake.
6. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for an hour at 150 degree centigrade.
7. The cake is done when a knife or cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake. Invert the cake on a cooling rack, cool and use as required.


 

For the Cream Icing:

Ingredients:

800gms  (3 1/4 cups) low fat cream (I used 25% Cream), chilled (I used Regular Cream)
175 gm (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp powdered sugar

Method:

1. Refrigerate the bowl and beater for 15 minutes.
2. In a saucepan, melt the butter and  3/4 cup cream, stirring all the while until the butter melts completely. Transfer to a heatproof cup or bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.

3. Beat the remaining cream with sugar until you get soft peaks. Now begin adding the butter in a gradual stream, beating constantly on low speed, until stiff peaks are formed.

About the accident I mentioned before: So the recipe says to mix in the butter cream with the cream being whipped after soft peaks form. Well.. the excited me kept beating the cream till it was all whipped and then added the cream butter… yaaa… the whipping cream got over beaten. Well so after 2nd trip to grocery store–I started the process again, this time as soon as the whipping started to happen, I gradually poured the cream butter 😀 

Other Ingredients:

250 ml (1 cup) or more pineapple juice
Pineapple slices from 1 tin

Assemble the cake:

1. Once the sponge cake has cooled, carefully slice it into two halves. 2. Keep the bottom half on the serving plate and sprinkle with pineapple juice until the entire cake is soaked with it.
3.Spread a little cream over the cake and top with finely cut pieces of pineapple.
4. Carefully place the other sponge over the prepared cake and sprinkle again with the pineapple juice until the top half is soaked with it.
5. Spread the cream over the sides and top of the cake with a palette knife and decoratively arrange some pineapple rings over the cake.
6. Chill for 3 to 4 hours before you serve.

So I like the taste… although do realize the need to add more pineapple juice. When it says soak… you wanna make sure it is completely soaked. I did add good amount, but was worried about it getting mushy. I wonder staying overnight in the fridge might make it softer. I taste it today and it tasted as delicious. One thing I did not understand is the need for butter. I think with the quality of cream that we have herejust using the whipping cream might have worked as well. 

Once again I have not had the chance for my taste testers to try it yet, but I am hoping they will like it as much 😀 But do have to thank my dad for telling me about this website…Thank You poppy…..my dad is not really a cake person, but I know he would like the refreshing pineapple taste in this one 😀

Btw.. do check out Divine Taste — I definitely am going to try some of her other recipes!

This is all for now,

Until next time,

Cheers =)   

UPDATE: So after some research I realized the whipping cream we get here…we do not need to add butter!!! The original recipe involves butter due to the low fat content of the cream as well as the way the creams are in India. So totally omit the butter if using regular/heavy whipping cream!

Eggless Mango Cupcake

Mango is a very dear fruit to “my” people… Mango is a very precious fruit in India-a seasonal fruit that is available from sometime in May until July/August (as soon as rains come…the harvest starts deteriorating). Cultivation of mango trees takes slot of patience and some caring. My in-laws have Mango Farm/garden in India….So I know how long it takes a tree to grow and bear fruit. First time I saw the farm, I remember my father-in-law mentioning how some of the trees were planted when my husband was a young child and the fruits have just started to come since last 2-3 years.  

Mangoes are eaten raw or ripe. Ripen mangoes are sucked on, sliced, cubed and pulped to get some nice juice called “aam-ras”-eated with some fried Indian bread called “puri’s”. Trust me Puri and Aam-Ras are a deadly combo!!

Top that off with this cake being eggless…. My friends mom does not eat eggs..and with all the baking trials I do… I always wanted to make something eggless so she could taste what I made… She was away for a while. But now she is back! So I had to make these Eggless Mango Cupcakes. So this is for my friends mom, my aunt-Shakuntala Kaki. 

Another interesting thing past weekend- I found this cupcake liners/holder in Marshall… you don’t need a cupcake pan!! So I had to try them. They come in pack of 25 and cost $3.99….. Infact they also had mini loaf liners… no pan required…just place them on flat cookie tray, pour your batter and voila…ready!!

Oh they work…. awesome!!! So I doubled the recipe-having some friends over this weekend… they might as well be my taste testers 😉

So the recipe:

Eggless Mango Cupcake
from Holy Cow Vegan

Mango Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cardamom powder

Sift all the ingredients into a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, beat together until well-mixed:

1 1/2 cups mango puree(I used aam-ras available in Indian grocery stores-bought Nirav Brand Kesar Mango Ras. Although am sure defrosting frozen mangoes and pureeing them will work just fine)

1/3 cup canola oil

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk just until you have a smooth batter. Do not overmix or overbeat.

Divide the batter equally among 12 cups of a standard-sized muffin pan lined with cupcake liners. Smooth down the tops with the back of a spoon or spatula or you will have a lumpy top (it’ll still taste delicious, though :))

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven about 27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

How Yummy these look…could eat one just like that!!
The mango puree I used.Really good tasting!

Vegan Mango Buttercream Frosting

8 tbsp (1 stick) vegan butter like Earth Balance

8 tbsp vegetable shortening (I replaced it with 1 stick of butter instead)

2 cups confectioners’ sugar (I’ve seen recipes that use more than 3 cups of confectioners’ sugar for the same amount of butter and shortening and if you like a really sweet frosting, you might try adding more. But 2 cups, I found, was just perfect). (I used 3 cups of sugar…after 3 cups and putting it in the fridge for 30 minutes it was thick enough to handle)

1/4 cup mango puree

1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream together the butter and shortening until they are fluffy, about 1 minute.

Now add the mango puree and vanilla and half the sugar. Beat until mixed, then add the remaining sugar and beat until mixed. This should take no more than 2 minutes altogether.

Frost the cupcakes after they’ve cooled completely. 

Yayyy my frosting actually stayed good this time.. not melted lol… putting it in the fridge helped….Lesson learned today–handle icing in batches..fill bag, put rest back in fridge… frost, then take out the rest when need to refill. BTW no gadgets for this cake…just a whisk and bowls and some muscle power 😀

I feel proud of my icing skills today 😉 Now let me tell you about the taste…OMG HEAVEN… the moistness of the cake is unbeatable…the taste of the mango puree and cardamom is absolutely pleasant for the taste buds! Husband and I shared 1 cupcake for taste test…but OMG it was awesome… the cake itself is not sweet so with 3 cups of powdered sugar in the icing…PERFECTNESS!!!
Thank you to Holy Cow Vegan’s author-Vaishali for sharing this recipe. 
Try this–you won’t be disappointed.  

Happy eating 
Enjoy!!

Cheers =)