Feb 10, 2016

Valentine's Heart Treats


A perfect mini heart-shaped treat with a delicious jam filling!




This is an easy dessert that you can plan for making this valentine's day. I have never made pie in my life and when i decided to make these heart treats i was looking going through couple of recipes in pinterest which used store-brought per crusts and some of them were made with shortening. So i just skipped the shortening part and used just butter and flour. Making the dough is very easy, just add all together and mix it to form a dough. This crust would work for large pies too.

Once baked it was very flaky and the jam filling gave it a nice sweetness making it a perfect dessert. I used blackberry jam as the filling, sky is the limit, you can use any type of filling you like.

Here's an step by step video:




If you make this or any of the recipes from Appetite Treats, be sure to tag #appetitetreats on Instagram or share it in my Facebook page. I would love to see your creations!



VALENTINE'S HEART TREATS
Chocolate cakeBy Sathya Sankar 
Makes 10-13 Treats   






INGREDIENTS
FOR THE CRUST

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-21/2 tablespoon ice cold water
FOR THE FILLING
  • any jam of your choice
  • Egg wash
  • Brown sugar to sprinkle on top

METHOD
  • Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of food processor, add together flour, salt and butter.
  • Pulse together for a crumbly mixture.
  • Add the ice cold water little by little and mix the flour and butter mixture until it comes through to form a dough.
  • Move the dough on to a floured surface and roll the dough in to a circle.
  • Using a heart cutter, gently cut the dough hearts and place them in the lined baking sheet.
  • Roll again and repeat with the remaining dough. You must be having even number of hearts.
  • Brush extacly half the number of hearts with egg wash and place a small amount of jam on top.
  • Close the filled hearts with the remaining hearts and press gently, make sure you seal the hearts on the edges well, other wise the filling may come out.
  • Using a small round tip, press gently on the edges of the hearts to make it pretty.
  • Sprinkle the sugar on top and bake for 15 minutes or until the hearts golden brown on top.
  • Let it rest on a wire rack until cool.





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NOTES
  • The measurement mentioned above makes about 10-13 treats. You can double the recipe.
  • Using cold butter and ice cold water is very important for making the crust very flaky.
  • Instead of using jam, fresh fruits, chocolates, pie filling also can be used.
  • Make sure to seal the edges well, few of my treats opened up while baking and filling separated, you dont want this!
  • Instead of brown sugar, white sugar or even colorful sugar sprinkles can be used.




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Feb 7, 2016

Almond Cookies | Eggless and Butter-less Cookies




These almond cookies are one of the popular cookies made during Chinese New Year. You can see them in different shapes and sizes all lined up in asian super markets during this time of the year. I happened to learn this recipe from one of my chinese friend, when i lived in singapore. The cookie has a crumbly texture to it and it melts in your mouth similar to a butter cookie. They are incredibly easy to make and makes a great snack for kids.

I have uploaded a small video on making the cookie, hope you like it!




If you make this or any of the recipes from Appetite Treats, be sure to tag #appetitetreats on Instagram or share it in my Facebook page. I would love to see your creations!



ALMOND COOKIES
Chocolate cakeBy Sathya Sankar 
Makes 25-30 cookies   






INGREDIENTS

  • 70 gram all-purpose flour
  • 65 gram almond meal
  • 15g corn flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 30 gram powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4-6 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • egg wash
  • slivered almonds for garnish

METHOD

  • Preheat oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, add in the sifted mixture, almond meal and powdered sugar.
  • By running the mixture on low, slowly add in the vegetable oil until the dough comes together.
  • The dough should be able to hold together when you roll into a ball.
  • Place the dough in between two parchment papers and roll it into 1cm thickness.
  • Using a cookies cutter, gently cut out the dough and place it onto the lined baking sheet.
  • Brush the cookies on top with egg wash and garnish with slivered almonds.
  • Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown in color.
  • Turn off the oven and let the cookies rest in the oven for 5 minutes.
  • Then transfer the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store in an air-tight container.



All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my photos without prior permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own words and link back to Appetite Treats.




NOTES

  • The amount of oil given is just approximate, you may need more or less depending on your flour type and temperature.
  • Almond meal is nothing but almond flour made with raw blanched almond.
  • Using an egg wash gives the cookie nice glaze and color on the top but its totally optional.





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Feb 3, 2016

Birthday Cake: Rich Chocolate Cake layered with Oreo Cream Filling and decorated with Whipped Cream Frosting






This Chocolate cake with oreo cream filling and whipped cream frosting is one decadent rich dessert! I made this for my daughter's 10th birthday, she is the biggest oreo lover i have ever known! The layers of chocolate cake with the rich flavors of oreo mixed in with the smooth and velevttty whipped cream is a combination to die for. 





I normally like swiss meringue buttercream for my cakes but this time wanted to go easy with the butter (you need loads of butter for swiss meringue) so i went with making whipped cream frosting. To stabilize  the whipped cream  i added the instant pudding mix (jell-o, refer to the notes below). i decorated the cake with ombre effect and piped some hydrangeas on the top of the cake.






This cake will be a great treat for Valentine's day, just change the color of the frosting to red and you can wow your guests!

If you make this or any of the recipes from Appetite Treats, be sure to tag #appetitetreats on Instagram or share it in my Facebook page. I would love to see your creations!



CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH OREO CREAM FILLING AND WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING
Chocolate cakeBy Sathya Sankar 
Cake adapted from here 
Makes one 8.5-inch   3 layer cake 







INGREDIENTS

For the Cake
  • 6 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoon cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 stick (8tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Frosting
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoon vanilla flavored instant pudding mix
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of mini oreo cookies
  • gel food coloring of your choice

METHOD:

Making the Cake:
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line and grease an 8.5-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate and cocoa powder. Pour the boiling water over and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, sift together the flours, salt and baking powder and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment beat the butter on medium-high until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and make sure to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
  • Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat on medium until just combined.
  • Reduce the speed to low, add the flour and chocolate mixture alternating between the two. Starting and ending with the flour mixture. Beat just until combined.
  • Transfer the batter to the greased pan and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert it onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Making the Frosting: Make the frosting in two batches.

  1. Place the oreo cookies in a food processor and process into crumbs.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add in the heavy cream, pudding mix, vanilla and sugar.
  3. Mix on a low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium high and whisk until the cream starts to form stiff peaks.
  4. When you lift the whisk the cream should hold a peak without falling off.
  5. Fold in the hero crumbs into the cream gently with a spatula. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate until you make the second batch of the cream.
  6. Repeat the steps 2-4 to make second batch of the cream.
  7. Divide the cream into small bowls and mix in the gel food colors.

Assembling the Cake:

  • Divide the cake into three layers using a serrated cake knife.
  • Place one layer on the cake stand and spread about 1/2 cup of the oreo cream with a palette knife. Place the second layer on top of the first layer and spread about 1/2 cup of the oreo cream. Place the third layer on top and crumb coat the whole cake with the remaining oreo cream.
  • Let the cake sit for about one hour in the fridge before decorating.
  • Once the cake is chilled, frost the whole cake with the remaining cream and decorate as desired.







All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my photos without prior permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own words and link back to Appetite Treats.




NOTES
  • The instant pudding mix already has sugar in it, so when adding powdered sugar to the whipping cream, start with one tablespoon and taste as you whip the cream half way. If you need more sweet add at this point and whip.
  • Leave the cream covered in the fridge, when not working with it, otherwise it may become too soft.
  • The amount given for the cream can make about 6 cups of frosting. If you are not decorating the whole cake, then reduce the amount accordingly.



  • Leftover frosting can be freezed upto one month in a airtight container. Bring it to room temperature and rewhip before using.
  • I used a wilton tip 2D to pipe the hydrangeas on the top of cake.
  • The cake can stand stand at room temperature for about one hour after decorating.
  • If not consuming the cake immediately, cover it with a cake dome and refrigerate. Bring it to room temperature before serving.





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Jan 22, 2016

Pistachio Cardamom Pound Cake




Pistachio Cardamom Pound Cake, the name has it all. This cake is a heavenly combination of the sweet-floral note from the cardamom and the nutty texture form the pistachios. I have never added cardamom to a cake before and i was totally surprised. Give this cake a try and you will definitely fall in love with the flavors.


If you make this or any of the recipes from Appetite Treats, be sure to tag #appetitetreats on Instagram or share it in my Facebook page. I would love to see your creations!



PISTACHIO CARDAMOM PUND CAKE
Pistachio Cardamom Pound CakeBy Sathya Sankar 
Makes one 9x5inch loaf








INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups(200g) cake flour, sifted
  • 2 sticks(227g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups(250g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup(80ml) heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup coarsely ground pistachios, shelled and unsalted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

METHOD
  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare a 9x5inch loaf pan by greasing the bottom and sides with cooking spray and dust with flour.
  • In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and set aside.
  • In a bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with paddle attachment cream butter on medium high for 5 minutes.Gradually add sugar and continue to cream for about 3 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl for even mixing.
  • Reduce the speed to low and add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Add the cardamom powder and mix well.
  • Add the flour mixture alternating with the heavy cream and ground pistachios in three additions. Do not over mix.
  • Add the batter to the loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  • Bake for about 1hour and 15minutes. The cake should be golden brown and tooth pick inserted should come out clean.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.





All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my photos without prior permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own words and link back to Appetite Treats.





NOTES
  • Oven time may vary, so keep an eye on the cake close to 1hour mark.
  • If the cake starts to brown on top before its cooked through, loosely cover on top with a foil and continue to bake.
  • If you dont prefer cardamom powder, replace it with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.







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Jan 13, 2016

Eggplant and Chickpeas in a Tamarind based Gravy





I have come again with yet another recipe using the chickpeas. Yes, i love the black chickpeas or kala channa over the white variety. Adding them to soups and curries or making a salad or just snacking  on them, i can have them in any form. There was some chickpeas left from making soup the other day, well i intentionally wanted some leftovers.

Anyways, talking about this curry, i always love tamarind and coconut based curries, they are like comfort food for me, when mixed in hot rice with a dollop of ghee you're in food heaven. I had a huge eggplant sitting in the fridge and i don't really make anything besides this puzhi Kuzhambu ( a tamarind based curry) with the vegetable. Since i had some chickpeas, i added it to the gravy along with the eggplant and it turned out super delicious. I also added some coconut paste to thicken the gravy.


If you make this or any of the recipes from Appetite Treats, be sure to tag #appetitetreats on Instagram or share it in my Facebook page. I would love to see your creations!



Eggplant and Chickpea Gravy

Chickpea Quinoa Soup with Kale and SpinacBy Sathya Sankar 
Serves 2-3 people
      






INGREDIENT
  • 1 medium sized eggplant, cut into cubes
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced
  • 1 small tomato, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup black chickpeas or kala channa or kondakadalai, cooked
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated coconut
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds or methi seeds
  • curry leaves, a hand full
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon thick tamarind pulp
  • salt, to taste
  • water, needed for the gravy

METHOD

  • Make the tamarind pulp by soaking a lemon sized ball of tamarind in hot water for 10minutes. Squeeze out the pulp and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the mustard seeds, once it splutters add the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves and then add the onions and garlic to it.
  • Saute the onions until they start to soften,now add the tomatoes and sauce till tomatoes are soft and mushy.
  • Throw in the spice powders and mix well.
  • Add the diced eggplant along with the chickpeas and mix well to incorporate.
  • Now, add the tamarind pulp along with salt and water, mix well and let it come to a boil. Cover with lid and let it cook on medium flame for about 15 minutes or until the eggplant is cooked through.
  • To make the coconut paste, add the coconut and fennel seeds along with enough water to make a paste into a blender, blend to a paste and add it to the gravy.
  • Check for salt and it to a boil for 5 minutes or until the gravy thickens, remove from heat.





All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my photos without prior permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own words and link back to Appetite Treats.



NOTES

  • Using black chickpeas is totally optional and you can make the same gravy just with eggplants.
  • Adding some boiled peanuts instead of chickpeas will also taste great.
  • Adjust the spice powders according to your taste, the amount i have given will make a medium spicy gravy.
  • Coconut paste is totally optional, but if you want a good thick consistency then i will recommend adding it.
  • The gravy goes well with hot rice and chapati and dosa.
  • Adjust the level of tamarind according to your taste, mine will be not be so tangy so i added a lemon sized.



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Jan 7, 2016

Chickpea Quinoa Soup with Kale and Spinach




Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful celebration. 2015 was a great year for me and my family and iam looking forward to a fantastic 2016. Iam not good at keeping up the resolutions so i do not make any, but this year was an exception though. I made an resolution to keep Appetite Treats more active and running, So Iam really excited to be sharing some healthy and interesting recipes through out this year. Also i wanted to thank all my readers and blogger friends for your continuous support and affection even though i was MIA for a long time.

I wanted to start this year by sharing a healthy and hearty soup perfect for this cold weather. The main star of this soup is the chickpeas which is packed with all kinds of nutrients needed for the body.It is so rich and fulfilling and loaded with all kinds of good stuff like quinoa, kale and spinach. Its healthy, hearty and a wonderful comfort food, what more do you need in a soup?

This soup is so easy to make and makes a great one pot meal. I have used black chickpeas(also known as kala channa) in this recipe which has a slightly nutty taste to it than the white one, and also considered to have more nutrient content. But You could also use the white variety if you prefer. Another great thing about this soup is it requires very little prepping just for cooking the chickpeas, if you use the canned ones that work is already done for you and all you have to do is just drop everything into the pot and let it simmer away and your soup is done!

The recipe i have given generously feeds 5-6 people, if you are small family then it would make great leftovers. Just freeze them into individual portions and you are good for a busy night dinner.

If you make this or any of the recipes from Appetite Treats, be sure to tag #appetitetreats on Instagram or share it in my Facebook page. I would love to see your creations!




Chickpea Quinoa Soup with Kale and Spinach

Chickpea Quinoa Soup with Kale and SpinacBy Sathya Sankar 
Serves 5-6 people
      





INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finley chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 2 cups cooked black chickpea (see notes below for cooking instructions)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, washed and drained
  • 1 cup fresh kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 2 cups reserved cooking water from chickpea
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or paprika
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


METHOD

  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions,garlic and ginger and saute for 5 minutes or until the onions turn clear and soft.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and sauce until they turn soft and mushy.
  • Now add the kale and the quinoa and continue sautéing for 5-7 minutes until the kale starts to wilt.
  • At this point, add the vegetable broth, reserved water form the chickpea, salt, pepper and paprika. Mix well, reduce the heat to simmer and let it cook for 20-30 minutes, until the quinoa is soft and tender.
  • Add the chickpeas along with spinach and cilantro, continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and check for seasoning before serving.




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NOTES

  • Wash and soak the chickpeas in warm water overnight. In a pressure cooker, add the chickpeas along with the soaking liquid and salt, the water level should be two inch above the surface of the chickpeas. Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles. Do not drain the liquid.
  • If you do not have a pressure cooker, bring water to boil in a large pot, add the chickpeas along with salt. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot with a lid and let ti cook for about 30-45 minutes or until the chickpeas are soft and when pressed between two fingers.
  • Leftovers can be kept refrigerated for up to 3days and freezed for up to a month.




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