Friday, December 30, 2011

Besan Ladoo and Happy 2012 !

Hope everyone is in the best of their spirits and health. What are the plans to welcome the new year? Midnight party with some dancing ? Preparing a list of new year resolutions? Whatever your plans are,I wish you a year filled with love,happiness,hope,and cheer! May the New Year gives the power and courage to make your dreams come true !

Besan Ladoo

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry X'mas and a note on Kerala Fruit cake

Wishing you the joy of family, the happiness of friends, and the love of Christmas!

Merry X'mas And Sugar Cookies

I get a lot of doubts and questions about the Kerala Fruit/Plum cake every year and I thought I should note them down here for any future reference.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Christmas is just around the corner,yeah ! I love every single thing about the holiday season-the snow, the festive lights,the presents, the scrumptious smells,and most of all,the magic of the season.Hope everyone is geared up for the big,festive day.Here is another magnificent type of cookie,full of christmas spirit and spice.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Fruit Cake/Kerala Spiced Plum Cake & Wish you all a very Merry Christmas !

  It’s Christmas and we wish you a very merry one.  Finally, I am done with the marathon cookie baking and packing it off to friends.  Now, it’s my time to just sit looking at all the festive decoration inside and outside the house.  Well, I can't sit around too long because there are a lot of visits to be made to celebrate with friends. 

  Being from Kottayam, Kerala, it was difficult even while I was growing up to ignore Christmas.  Even though I am not of the Christian faith celebrations for Christmas was carried out at my house to match any of my Christian neighbors.  I grew up hanging colorful paper-stars in front of the house on the 1st of December an age old tradition.  Schools had "best Crib Contests," and I would positively participate.  On the 24th evening we blasted those crackers louder than any of our neighbors or so I would like to believe.  It was just a lot of fun and I love this festival for everything it stands for.
X'mas Fruit Cake/Spiced

  I know from my nieces and nephews from Kerala they still continue to make Christmas crib.  The last time I called them, they were all excited about the thought of making it.
My parent’s house is on a high range and during this time of the year, the mornings are misty.  If you wake up early you can see the clouds touching the earth.  In my mind it symbolizes blessings from heaven.  And here in the U.S. snow flakes take over doing its slow swaying dance to the ground.  Oh! I could just go on about how everything touches me so deeply getting me excited about celebrating.  It’s a perfect time to holiday and I am having fun.  I hope wherever you are you having a good time as well. 

X'mas Fruit Cake/Spiced

  Even today I continue the tradition of celebrating Christmas with light decorations in the house and bake all kinds of goodies.  Therefore, we have another fruit cake recipe for you.  You can find another on this site here.   Today the recipe I am sharing is a spiced version.  The basic procedures are the same except for the addition of spices. However, that changes everything giving a whole new twist to the cake.  This one is delicious too!

Again, wish you all a very Merry Christmas !!

X'mas Fruit Cake/Spiced


Flour- 1 cup
Butter- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick)
Dried Fruits and nuts soaked in Rum/Brandy for several months or several days or several hours - 1 1/2 cup
Rum or Brandy from the marination/fresh- 2 Tbsp
Baking Powder- 3/4 tsp
Eggs- 3 large, separated
Granulated Sugar- Scant 1 cup
Candied Orange peel- 2-3 Tbsp
Powdered Nutmeg- 1/8 tsp
Cinnamon- 1/2 tsp
Powdered Cloves- 1/8 tsp
Powdered Cardamom- 1/8 tsp
Caramel Syrup at room temperature- ~1/3 cup (use 1/2 cup sugar to caramelize and finally add 1/4 cup hot water and mix. See here)
Pure Vanilla Extract- 1 tsp


Making Candied Orange peel:

1.Dry the orange peel by either letting them sit on your counter top for a few days or near the fireplace/warm oven.Chop them into small pieces.
2.Take sugar in the ratio 1:1 with the orange peel and add a couple of spoons of water and make a syrup by boiling, till it reaches one string consistency.
3.Throw in the dried orange peel into this and mix well to coat the syrup evenly on the pieces.
4.Let it dry completely.

Making Caramel Syrup

Sunitha has explained it well in this post.Take enough care while doing this.And let it cool completely before you add into the cake mixture.

Making the Cake:(Copied as such form our earlier post!)

Beating Egg White:
1. It may be a good practice to beat the egg white stiff before you start on the main cake batter. Please make sure you use a dry bowl and a dry blade when you beat the egg white. Any trace of water, grease or egg yolk in the white will not give the desired fluffy frothy egg white. Beating the egg white stiff is very important to give a light and fluffy texture to the cake. Make sure all the egg white has been beaten stiff before you clean the blade and wipe it dry before you start mixing the batter.

Mixing the Batter:
1. Sift the flour,spices and baking powder twice and keep aside (sifting allows the baking powder to be mixed well with the flour)
2. Beat the butter well first before adding the sugar. Gradually add the sugar beating well after each addition. Remember also to gradually increase the speed of your blender from low to medium after all the sugar has been blended in. Taking time and beating the butter and sugar goes a long way to aerate the butter and to give a moist, fluffy texture to your cake
3. Add in the egg yolk and beat well
4. Add the vanilla essence beat well
5. Follow up with cool caramelized sugar
6. Spoon in the flour a little at a time and fold in to mix.
7.Toss the fruit and nut mixture with a tablespoon of flour and fold in the 3/4 of this and the candied orange peel alternating with the flour.
8.Now gently fold in the egg whites until not even a single white streak is left.
9. If you find watery egg white which did not froth do not use it or only use after beating it fluffy
10. Pour the batter in a 9 inch pan and add the remaining fruit and nut mixture left.Even out the surface with a spatula and bake in a preheated oven at 350 D F for 40-45 minutes
11. When a toothpick pricked comes out clear the cake is done.
12.Cool it on a wire rack.Brush with some rum/brandy and keep it covered well with a parchment paper, at least for a couple of days before you cut and serve them.


1.Use the butter and eggs which are kept long enough outside the refrigerator and have reached room temperature.
2.Beating egg whites separately makes a huge difference in this cake.
3.Adding some fruit and nut mixture at the end on the top ensures that there is some mixture on the top too.

We wish you all a Great Holiday Season !!!

X'mas Fruit Cake/Spiced

Last but not the least we have a good news to share with you all. Our Boondi Ladoo recipe has been selected as one of the 30 Best Recipes of 2010 ,a wonderful event hosted by Chacko's kitchen. Congratulations to all other winners and we are so glad that we made it to the top 30 :-)

Contributor: Namitha
Recipe Adapted From: Sunu and Sunitha, my dear friends :-)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Crescent Cookies

It is cold in Colorado. Last week we had a few snow showers and the mercury levels remain low ever since. So I decided to do what I love to do in this weather-baking.December is always a bake-a-thon time for me and this year is no exception.

Crescent Cookies

Mango Fool

I really missed the happenings in the blogosphere ,the last few days. My laptop crashed and the kids didn't let me use their desktop much. Only then I realized ,how much I love my own computer ! Anyways glad to be back in business.

Mango Fool