Recipes tried

I am currently in pantry cleaning mode. So, I have tried out a lot of recipes this past two weeks. I had bookmarked some of them for maybe a year now and I finally tried them out.

Gingerbread Cookies

The daughter saw an episode of Care Bears making gingerbread cookies and since that day, she had been insisting I make them. She even told me the recipe : ground cloves, cinnamon, ginger, molasses and flour. Thats a good enough recipe for a 3 year old. I followed the King Arthur flour recipe This recipe makes real tasty cookies! A great balance of spice and sweet and a good crisp to soft ratio. The dough needs to be kept cold at all times otherwise it will turn into a sticky mess real fast. I made the dough the previous night and stuck it in the fridge in a covered container and pulled it out of the fridge about half an hour before rolling to make it manageable to roll. The dough still has to be cold to touch. I rolled it out on parchment paper with a piece of plastic wrap on top.
The daughter loved cutting out shapes with the cookie cutter. After arranging the cookie shapes on the parchment lined baking sheet, I stuck it in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm them up.
I needed to bake them about 10 minutes. Cooled on the sheet for a couple of minutes and then onto the wire rack to finish cooling.

Milk Peda

I had some milk powder to use up, possibly bought for the purpose of trying this Peda recipe. It had been sitting around for so long, I can hardly remember.
I cannot really say I followed the recipe because I did not have the right quantities of ingredients. I first mixed about a tablespoon of butter, 1 1/2 cups of milk powder and half a container (about a cup) of condensed milk. The mix did make pedas which some people did like but I was not happy about the dryness.
So I crumbled all the pedas leftover from the test batch and added regular milk enough to make a paste consistency and microwaved again (about 5 minutes) till I got a rollable consistency. This time, the pedas were exactly like store-bought pedas. So, to cut the long story short, follow the recipe and make a nice paste with enough condensed milk to get great pedas in the first try. I also added some cardamom powder and some good quality milk masala to the milk paste for a great flavor. The milk powder is a bit smelly while cooking so these aromatics are really key to a great taste.

Mango Icecream

I had half a container of whipping cream leftover from the Strawberry cream cake. I froze the cream to use later. I finally decided to use it in this icecream recipe. It is such an easy recipe and whipping the cream seemed like a good idea to avoid crystallization that is common in homemade icecream. But defrosted cream doesnt whip up well. So I just whipped it as much as it would, without turning into butter and then mixed in an equal amount of condensed milk and some vanilla. I froze it for a few hours. It tasted quite good and much like kulfi. But the lack of air (due to unwhipped cream) to break up all the fat, made the icecream too heavy and rich. So I blended the icecream with about a cup of frozen alphonso mango pulp that was lying in the freezer. What I ended up with was the most addictive mango icecream. It was completely devoid of crystals and very smooth and creamy.

Date Cake

It was our friend's wedding anniversary. I wanted to make a quick cake at the last minute. Going with the pantry chow down theme happening, I had some dates to use up. I made this eggless date cake recipe with a few changes. I increased the quantity of dates to 25 instead of 18 and used brown sugar instead of white. I also used only 1/2 cup of sugar instead of 3/4. Also, used 1/4 cup of walnuts instead of a tablespoon. I am pretty sure the cake would work well with whole wheat flour. I would have tried it but since it was for a special occassion, I went with all purpose flour. Maybe next time. The other important thing about this cake is that it is really delicate. I learnt the hard way to let the cake cool down in the pan before attempting to remove it.


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