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Fruit Cake with Brandy Soaked Candied Dry Fruits

13 Jan

Since I am still enjoying my low sugar fruit cake for my evening teas, I think it would be ok to share this recipe past Christmas. I always enjoyed the fruit cakes in Goa till I came to the US and found the cakes way too sugary. I have always wanted to make it but felt it was a tough recipe till I made mine and found out that it just took time. Sharing my fruit cake recipe which has a surprising twist that includes a touch of heavy cream. I know call me crazy ūüôā I got the idea after enjoying many red velvet cakes made by Fresh and Easy. It had a lingering taste of creaminess from the dry milk powder and heavy cream used in the cake. My first attempt using dry milk powder in a cake did not turn out well. I decided to use heavy cream to the fruit cake since it is an intense cake with lots of sugar. You can make it alcoholic by adding brandy after the cake is baked read the foot note. I have added brandy while soaking raisins and candied dry fruits for 3 weeks.

fruit-cake-recipe-with-brandy-rum-soaked-dry-fruits-and-nuts

Serving Size: 7 x 11 baking pan

Ingredients:

To make mincemeat or dry fruit mix 3 weeks in advance

2.5 cups of tutti-fruiti / mincemeat

1/2 cup of candied orange rinds

1 cup of whole raisins

3/4 cup of brandy

Mix all the ingredients and keep in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks. Stir with a dry spoon every couple of days.

Cake Batter:

2 cups of flour

5 tbsp of heavy cream( optional)

1/2-3/4 cup of sugar

6 eggs

1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder

1/2 tsp of nutmeg powder

1/8 tsp of clove powder

1/4 cup oil / melted butter

1/2 cup of silvered almonds

1 bag 17oz of halves walnuts

1/2 tsp of baking powder / soda

3 pinches of salt

Directions:

Heat oven to 320F

Beat the egg, sugar, heavy cream, spice mix and salt mixture together. Next add the mincemeat.

After’s slowly add the flour and baking powder to the wet mix.

Spray you baking pan with some oil and pour in the cake batter.

Bake in the middle rack for 1.45 to 2 hrs. Check in between.

Let cool.

fruit-cake-recipe-christmas-dry-fruits-soaked-in-rum-brandy-mincemeat-less-sugar

Variations:

Aging your fruit cake with alcohol, then you can click on this link http://www.gratednutmeg.com/?p=4130 .

To make a darker batter you can make a dark caramel and add to the batter. Follow the link to my Plum Cake Recipe to make the caramel.

You can also watch my quick video to have an idea about how easy and simple it is to make the cake.

 

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Jujubes – Goan’s Turkish Delight Recipe

16 Dec

Goan jujubes is a spin-off of the Turkish delight and is one of the popular sweets specially during Christmas. In my early childhood I remember that in Goa we would exchange assorted sweet trays with family, friends and close neighbors on Christmas day. The whole day family, friends and neighbors would visit and exchange Christmas sweets.  My mum made most of the sweets at home but I always remember her buying the jujubes from the store. So I am a little proud of myself to have made them at home for the first time. The recipe is fairly simple and makes for a very kid friendly Christmas sweet.

jujubes-soft-chewy-candy-recipe-christmas-sweets-ideas-goan-without-gelatine

A typical Goan Christmas sweets tray could look like the image below. All sweets were made by hand and at home.

It has the following sweets neureos, kulkus, carambolas, bebinca, dodol, doce, marzipan made with cashews, plum cake, bolinhas, jujubes and a few more. You can click on each item and it will take you to that recipe

jujubes-sweets-candy-recipe-ingredients.

Serving Size : 3 cups of cut cubes about 1″

Ingredients:

3 packs of unflavored knox gelatine (50gms)

2 cups of sugar

2 pinches of salt

1.5 cup water

1/2 tsp of lemon/lime extract

1/2 cup of granulated sugar for coating

3 assorted food color – 10-12 drops each

Directions:

Have 3 separate 2 cup each tupperware containers ( square or rectangular shaped)

Line each with plastic wrap as it is easier to turn over and take the jujubes out with no mess.

To a pan add the water, gelatine, salt, sugar, lemon essence stir till no lumps and heat the mixture till it comes to a boil.

Pour a cup each in 3 separate bowls to add your preferred color.

Now pour the colored mixture in each individual tupperware.

Let stand at room temperature till fully set maybe overnight.

Next day take them out of the container and grease a knife and cut them in 1″ cubes.

Coat them well with granulated sugar and enjoy.

jujubes-soft-chewy-gelatine-candy-recipe-christmas-sweets-ideas

You can also watch my video for this recipe.

Bolo de Bolacha Marie – Marie Biscuit Cake Recipe

18 Nov

Bolo de bolacha marie is a dense cake which is not baked. It can be prepared a couple of days ahead. My dad loved his bolacha marie and cream crackers biscuits. We always had it at our home. My titi (my mom’s older sister) would make this cake for my sister’s birthday quite often when we were small kids. Once I started to cook I used to make it for Christmas, Easter and birthday parties. In fact it was the first dessert ¬†I made for my husband on his first trip back home from the US before we got married ūüôā This dessert holds a lot of good old memories for me. I haven’t made it for a very long time.

marie-biscuit-cake-bolo-de-bolacha-marie-recipe-no-bake-goan-desserts-ideas-thanksgiving-food.

The origin of this recipe is definitely portuguese and has some likeness to Italian tiramisu. Unlike tiramisu you cannot over eat this cake because of high fat and caffeine. If you do, it makes you feel uncomfortable. I have made a few tweaks in the recipe to make the frosting light and skipped the raw egg for whipped cream. I have also used graham crackers instead of Marie biscuits as it is readily available in the groceries store. The only challenge is that graham crackers tend to fall apart even after a quick dip in black coffee compared to the marie biscuits.

marie-biscuit-cake-eggless-recipe-goan-portuguese-sweets

Serving Size: 3-4

Dish Size: 6x4x2.5 deep glass dish

Ingredients:

1.5 pack of graham crackers

1 cup of unsalted room temperature butter

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or 1 egg

1/3-1/2 cup sugar

1 tbsp of vanilla essence

1 cup lukewarm water

1 tbsp of instant caffeinated or non coffee powder

1/8 tsp of salt

Directions:

Make the frosting first  by adding the butter, sugar,salt,vanilla and heavy cream. Whip for about 7-10 minute till light and fluffy.

Next make the black coffee by mixing instant coffee with 1 cup water put in a shallow dish so it will be easier to dip the cracker in.

Take you glass dish and first start by dipping the cracker in the coffee and layering the dish to cover it.

Next add a layer of frosting alternate between the crackers and frosting till all the frosting is done.

Decorate with crushed nut or sprinkle the top with some cocoa powder.

Let refrigerate for 3-4 hours before enjoying a slice.

Note: You can add cocoa powder to make chocolate frosting

You Can also watch a quick video to see how to make the recipe.

 

marie-biscuit-cake-bolo-de-bolacha-marie-recipe-no-bake-cake

Indian Rasgulla Recipe – Sweet Dumplings of Milk Curd

31 Oct

I finally had the courage to make my favorite Indian Dessert called Rasgulla ( Rasagola). Yesterday was Diwali in India, 80% of Indian household celebrated the festival of Lights and Good v/s Evil. ¬†This would be one of the many sweets made. It is also popular in many Indian restaurants. Could be a recipe to be added to this year’s¬†Thanksgiving Feast ūüôā

rasgulla-bengali-indian-sweets-recipes-easy-milk-powder

These soft pillowy milk curd rounds are cooked in a rose or cardamom infused sugar syrup. There are a few variations to the recipe some use cream of wheat or white flour as a binding agent which is added to the milk curd dough. Making rasgullas is a 2 step process where first you make the chhena (milk curd). Next, after kneading the milk curd to a smooth dough and dividing into small balls is to cook them in a sugar syrup till they double in size.

Do note traditionally the sugar syrup is made with white refined sugar. My syrup has a brown tint as I used organic unrefined sugar. You can use this same recipe to make rasmalai

rasgulla-homemade-basic-ingredients-for-recipe-indian-desserts

Serving Size : 3-4

Ingredients:

4 cup of whole milk

3 tbsp of lemon juice

2 cups of water

3/4 – 1 cup of sugar

1/4 tsp of cardamon powder

2 pinches of salt

1 tbsp of rose-water (optional)

Directions:

To make the milk curd. Bring 4 cups of milk to a light boil. Next add the lemon juice and cook it for another 5-7 minutes till all the milk curd separates from the whey.

Drain into a colander covered with a cheesecloth. Rinse the milk curd with water to take off any lemon taste and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Twist the cheesecloth and hang it for about 30 minute. Till most of the liquid drains out.

On a smooth surface knead the milk curd to a smooth dough for about 5-7 minutes.  Divide the dough into 12 equal parts and shape them into balls.

On the side in a new wide mouth pot heat water, sugar and cardamom powder till all the sugar is dissolved add a 2 pinches of salt.

To the boiling syrup now add the milk balls, cover and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes till they double in size.

Take off heat. Serve them hot with some crushed pistachios and saffron strands or cool it in the refrigerator. Will stay for about a week.

rasgulla-indian-sweets-recipes-cardamom-sugar-syrup

Nachne Polle – Gluten Free Sweet Red Millet Flour Pancakes Recipe

29 Jul

According to my mum Polle/Pole/Polo in konkani¬†is a sweet or savory pancake made of¬†flour. I really do not know much history about the Goan polle/polo nor could I find any information online. Hopefully on my next trip to Goa I can get more information on less popular Goan recipes that are disappearing. Another on my wish list is “Shollio/sholorio“. I hope I have spelt it right….if not please correct it in the comment section below…Thanks!

pole-polo-rred-millet-flour-pancake-gluten-free-recipe-coconut

The nachne(millet in konkani) pole are almost red-black in color if you use the goan coconut jaggery but if you use the pale brown then it had a reddish-pink color. I do make these pancake often now since my husband and I enjoy them for breakfast and evening tea and it is gluten-free and vegan ūüôā ¬†. These pancakes are not fluffy but if you like them to be fluffy you can add about 1/2 tsp of baking powder to the batter. Growing up as a child we had a variations of the pancakes made for evening tea and some more homemade snacks. We ate boiled sweet potatoes, coconut stuffed pancakes called allebelle, ¬†nankhatais, patolios, boiled taro, gorchem, bolo de rulao, bolinhos de coco, xiro, docebaji, plum-cake, atoll.

pole-polo-rred-millet-flour-pancake-ingredients

 

Serving Size: 12 pancakes

Ingredients:

2 cup red millet/ragi/nachne flour

1 cup grated fresh coconut

3/4  cup grated jaggery

1.5-2 cups water or coconut milk (pancake batter consistency)

1/2 tsp of baking powder (optional if you do not like dense pancakes)

2 pinches of salt

Directions:

Mix the batter together till the jaggery mixes well and dissolves.

Heat a nonstick pan and pour approx 1/4 cup of the batter and let cook about 4 minutes on each side on medium heat.

Enjoy a nice healthy tea snack.

You can make in advance and store it in the refrigerator or the freezer. Just warm them up in the microwave before eating.

pole-polo-red-millet-flour-pancake-ragi-nachne-goan-recipe

Bolinhos de Coco – Coconut Cookies Recipes

24 Jun

Bolinhos de coco or Bolinhas ( cookies in portuguese) is a very popular cookie for evening tea time in Goa. They are also popular during christmas. Since cream of wheat /rava is used to make them, they have a nice crunch and can also be tricky if not made right. The cookies can be hard to bite. In India cream of wheat is used to make multiple sweets/ desserts, Baath / Batica (cake), Sheera / Xiro , Neureos ( deep-fried coconut stuffed sweet dumplings).

goan-sweet-bolinhos-bolinhas-coconut-recipe-baked-christmas-baath

As I was researching the recipe I found that some used white flour in the batter and some cooked the batter slightly before baking the cookies.  My recipe does not use flour but I did roast the cream of wheat/rava for a couple of minutes on medium heat to remove the rawness. My mom always did it and it gives a nice toasted smell. I also soaked the batter for 5 hours to soften the rava  before I baked the bolinhos and added a little extra baking powder to make it light instead of the cookies being dense. Since I used frozen grated coconut I replaced the water with coconut milk. In my opinion the frozen grated coconut found in the US is squeezed out of the first milk and so has no taste.

goan-sweet-bolinhos-bolinhas-coconut-christmas-ingredients

Serving size: 20 cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups of toasted cream of wheat / rava/ sooji

2 cups grated coconut

1.25 cup of sugar

3 tbsp of butter

2 beaten eggs

1/2 cup water or coconut milk

1 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

2-3 pinches of salt

Directions:

In a pan heat sugar, frozen coconut, salt, butter and water / coconut milk till all the sugar melts. Take off heat and mix in the cream of wheat / rava and let stand for 4 to 6 hours.

Heat oven to 350F. Grease a cookie sheet or line a cookie pan.

Next add the 2 beaten eggs and baking powder and mix well.  Shape into cookies and bake for  25-30 minutes till light golden brown.

goan-sweet-bolinhos-bolinhas-coconut-coco-recipe

Baked Doce de Grao – Gluten Free Coconut Blondie Recipe

29 Apr

I got the idea of testing this recipe after my success with my cheat version of coconut macaroons. Doce de grao¬†(check recipe)¬†¬†is a staple sweet made for weddings, Christmas, church feast and litany’s in Goa. This sweet requires a great labor of love. Depending on the quantity it can take an hour, two or more of constant stirring before it is ready to eat. Since it is laborious to make, I only put in the effort to make it during Christmas. Every time I go to Goa I would try to carry it back with me but since fresh grated coconut is used to make this sweet and having it packed would make the coconut go bad in a 27 hour flight. Always feeling disappointed, I truly was so excited to give this recipe a try and¬†hoping it would work. I was so happy when my first batch came out just perfect. I can now make it often and it is gluten-free.

baked-doce-de-grao-gluten-free-blondie-butterscoth-dairy-free-brownie-recipe

If you are a Goan who has eaten doce de grao then this recipe makes for a softer version of the doce. Doce is a semi-soft dessert but you can also make it harder by adding more sugar. I love my mum’s version which was the semi-soft but it would go bad if not properly stored. Since I usually use less sugar in my deserts I only used 1/3 cup as the sweetened flakes of coconut would add more sweetness. The only alteration to the original recipe is the addition of eggs to bind the doce de grao batter/ coconut blondie(brownie). But it does not alter the taste in any ways. The flavor that is prominent is the chana and cardamom used.

baked-doce-de-grao-gluten-free-blondie-vegan-indiano-recipe

Serving Size: 9″ Brownie pan

Ingredients:

2 cans or 3 cups of cooked garbanzos beans/ Chana dal

1/3-1/2 cup of sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup of sweetened flakes coconut

1/2 tsp of ground cardamom powder.

3 tbsp of oil/ghee

baked-doce-de-grao-gluten-free-blondie-recipe-ingredients

Directions:

Heat oven to 350F

In a food processor add all the above ingredients and pulse a couple of times till all is well combined and smooth.

Pour into a well-greased / well lined brownie pan and bake for 25-30 minutes till a toothpick comes out clear.

Cool and enjoy with a nice cup of hot tea.

baked-doce-de-grao-goan-recipe-gluten-free-blondie-brownie

Easy Coconut Macaroons Recipe

22 Apr

I always wanted to make coconut macaroons but never looked up the recipe since I thought it might not be easy. Until I had got some sweet shredded coconut for a dessert that I made to take over to a friend’s place. It was a milk custard with canned pineapple, whipped cream, almonds and some sweet grated coconut. ¬†After that day I was left with almost a full bag of sweet shredded coconut. That is when I thought of giving coconut macaroons a try. When I checked the back of the package it asked for 4 whipped eggs white and I thought what will I do with the egg yolks and so I changed my recipe to use whole eggs.

coconut-macaroons-easy-homemade-recipe-quick

The recipe is so simple it can be whipped up in a jiffy and turns out chewy with a light crunch on the outside. It only needs 5 simple ingredients. Along with the eggs I used a bit of flour for binding and baking powder to make the macaroons light and airy. I also did not use any extra sugar since I do not enjoy overly sweet desserts.

coconut-macaroons-easy-homemade-recipe-assorted-oatmeal

Serving Size: 16 macaroons

Ingredients:

1 pack or 5 cups of sweet shredded coconut

2 eggs

4 tbsp of all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp of baking powder

pinch of salt

Directions:

Heat oven to 325F

Mix in the flour and baking powder together well.

In a mixing bowl beat 2 eggs and salt.  Add the shredded coconut and slowly fold it into the egg mixture.

Next sprinkle the flour and fold it in careful till well mixed.

Shape them into coconut macaroons and line them on a cookie sheet tray covered with parchment paper. Spray oil on the paper so that the macaroons will not stick.

Bake for 25-30 minutes till the macaroons are done.

Let cool and enjoy and store in an airtight container for a couple of days.

coconut-macaroons-easy-homemade-recipe-assorted-cookies

Variations:

Use chopped almonds and cranberry.

Unsweetened cocoa powder about 4 tbsp.

coconut-macaroons-easy-homemade-recipe-easy-paleo

 

Fluffy Pancakes With Instant Homemade Buttermilk Recipe

8 Apr

The title of my post may baffle you, but you read it right. Cheat or instant buttermilk is for people like me who use it only for pancakes even though it is consumed a lot by Indians but in a Goan diet not so much. So the question arises, what do you do with the rest when you buy a carton? Any suggestions are welcomed in the comment sections.  I have to credit another good friend of ours Julio, who loves to cook and share his discoveries and new finds every time we meet.

fluffy-buttermilk-pancakes-from-scratch-ingredients-recipe

For the longest time I would get the Eggo frozen pancakes for my kids. My husband has been pushing me to a more homemade less preservatives, non-hormones induced foods. I must admit it is a lot more work and I am not always on for the ride as some days you just have to derail cause life is too hectic. After my first attempts of flat pancakes because I was too scared to use baking soda after earlier failed bitter attempts of cake making. But after a visit by our friends Julio and his family, my husband made them for breakfast based on his recipe I was totally impressed. I decided to give it a try this time using baking soda and found it is THE ingredient along with the acidity in butter milk that makes the pancakes fluffy. Mess around with these two and you are guaranteed a flat one….get the pun ūüôā

For School days I make them before hand and keep them in the refrigerator or freezer for my kids. When you are ready to eat just cover with paper towel and microwave for 15-25 seconds depending on the size of pancakes.

Serving Size:¬†15 pancakes 4″ round

fluffy-buttermilk-pancakes-old-fashioned-whole-wheat-recipe

Making Instant buttermilk:

1 Cup warm milk

1 tsp vinegar

Mix together and let stand 5-10 minutes before using to make the batter.

Ingredients:

2 cups plain flour / whole wheat

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda ( do not skip)

3-6 tbsp of sugar (based on preference)

3 eggs

3 tbsp of melted butter

1 cup homemade butter milk

1/8th tsp salt

2 tsp of vanilla

Directions:

Mix the dry ingredients together first keep aside.

Next whisk all the wet ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix well till no clumps.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand for 20 minutes.

On a non-stick pan pour a little batter wait till the edges bubble, flip carefully and let cook for another 30 to 50 seconds.

Enjoy it with whipped cream and fresh fruits or maple syrup and butter.

fluffy-buttermilk-pancakes-homemade-recipe-easy

Orange Cranberry Loaf Recipe

18 Mar

Here is a vibrant colored¬†moist, low-sugar cake/loaf idea for your Easter brunch with a citrus burst. If you want a low sugar version then just skip the orange sugar glaze at the end. Allergic to nuts than skip them and the cake/ loaf will be equally delicious. The flavor is more from the orange.¬†Depending on the type of pan you use the baking time might vary. On my first try I had used a rectangle larger pan the cake baked in 25 minutes but when I used the 9×13 it took about 40 minutes.

cranberry-ornage-almonds-cake-dried-cranberries

I tried this recipe after  my husband wanted me to buy the orange-cranberry scones they sell at the costco.  But the day I went shopping they were not available and so I convinced him that I would make them at home minus the preservatives. The reason being I love cakes more than scones. I also enjoy dessert with nuts in them and on my first try I used walnuts.

cranberry-ornage-almonds-cake-loaves-recipe-scones-bread-glaze

 

Serving Size: 9×13 loaf pan

Ingredients:

Cake batter:

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tsp of baking powder

1/2 cold cup milk

1/2 cup orange juice

3 eggs

3 tbsp of melted butter

1/4 cup oil

3/4-1 cup sugar

2 tbsp of orange zest

1/3 cup cranberries

1/3 cup almonds/ walnuts/ pistachios

1/8 tsp salt

Sugar Icing:

1 cup powder sugar

1 tbsp of lemon zest

3 -4 tbsp of orange juice

cranberry-ornage-almonds-cake-loaf-recipe-ingredients

Directions:

Heat oven to 350F

Grease a cake pan with oil.

Beat eggs, sugar,melted butter, oil and salt. Next add the milk, juice and mix it together.

Strain and mix the flour & baking powder together and add it to the wet mixture.

Next add the nuts and cranberry fold it in carefully and then pour  in the pan and bake for 30-45 minutes till the toothpick comes out dry.

Let the cake cool. Then pour in the icing sugar or enjoy it without for a low-sugar dessert.

cranberry-orange-nut-loaf-cake-bread-with-orange-glaze-recipe

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