Ria's Collection: 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012


There are some fruits that I like to eat and some in the form of drinks. Passionfruit is one such fruit. I liked it only in the juice form,until I baked these chubby pies. Daisy Mummy is our unlimited supplier for passion fruit juice. It's so tasty and addictive. This time when we reached India , we visited her and she sent us home with 2 big bottles full of it. Appans sister , my Mammaie,also served me enough to fuel myself for those days we stayed in Kothamangalam .
One of the first sweet something I ate after reaching America was a whoopie pie.A pumpkin flavoured one from a mall in Virginia.I ordered it for it's name.It called out to me. Jobin bought it for me and I really liked that tiny cross between a cupcake and a cookie. The filling was so delicious that it haunted me every now and then.
Almost 3 years flew past by and now,only after coming to Kannur did I bake a batch at home.It was just too good! The texture is definately cake-y. It shoudn't become crisp like a cookie(well,then where's the difference!).The filling that I've used here is a passionfruit butter/ curd. It's very quick and easy to make. You can sandwich these and store in an airtight container and they will stay good for 3 days.I was afraid if it would get soggy,but it didn't.
So have you all soaked your fruits for the fruit cake yet? I did a while ago and the cakes are now maturing. I love visiting our friends and family this time of the year in Kerala as we are almost always served a fruitcake,to munch on. What do you generally serve your guests at this time of the year?

PWOP Recipe from Taste.com.au

100 grams salted butter,softened
1 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoon freshly grated orange rind
1 egg
2 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk

Passionfruit butter:
2 passionfruit
50 g butter,softened
2 eggs,lightly whisked
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Orange icing:
1 1/2 c icing sugar
2-3 teaspoon orange juice

Method: Preheat oven to 180C and line 2 cookie sheets.
In a medium bowl,cream together butter,sugar,orange rind until pale and creamy.Add egg and beat until well combined. Add flour,baking soda and buttermilk in alternate batches and stir until just combined.Spoon level tablespoonful of the batter onto the cookie sheet,5 cms apart leaving room for spreading.Bake for 8-10 mins,turning the sheets halfway to ensure even baking.Bake until puffed and golden.Set aside to cool for 5 mins and then remove from the tray. Repeat with the remaining batter.

For the passionfruit butter,add all the ingredients into a small saucepan and cook on low heat for 5 mins until it boils and thickens.Transfer it to another bowl,cling wrap it and chill for 30 mins.
For the orange icing,mix together the ingredients to form a thick paste.

Sandwich the cooled whoopies with the passionfruit butter and spread some orange icing over it. Icing will set as it cools.

I cannot let go of my favourite month,December without posting atleast one recipe on my blog! That too when I baked something so simple and delicious. Jobin is here with us and we are busy travelling right now,so there won't be much activity here until next year.
Wishing you all my dear readers a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Eggless Vanilla Cupcakes
I don't usually care for the amount of eggs in a recipe I am about to try because I love eggs,especially hardboiled eggs.When I say hardboiled,it should be perfectly hardboiled.No rubber like yolks for me,please!Okay,now lets get back to the topic. Well,Kannur is not a place where you can get wonderful ingredients for baking.I know it,so Amma and myself stock up really well. But on how on earth will we know that there will be shortage of eggs,especially in a place where there are atleast 3 bakeries on a street!
Eggless Vanilla Cupcakes 2
Well,it happened.Kannur town was out of eggs,for almost a week and that was too long for me to wait,without baking a cake of some sort. Our house is swamped with guests these days,to see our Ian vaava. So we need something,and when I say something,it has to be homemade because Amma & I cannot think of serving  anything storebought to our guests.
Eggless Vanilla Cupcakes4
The hunt for something eggless started.I found way too many recipes online but only a few grabbed my attention. When I chose this recipe,it reminded me that I had tried out the same a few years ago and found the cake to be very oily.I thought of giving it a second chance and it worked just fine.
Eggless Vanilla Cupcakes
I had some buttercream with me,from the movie star's cake,so tinted it pink and used it to decorate the perfect cupcake tops.I usually don't go for such lavish decor on my baked goods for our daily consumption but since it's for the lovely folks who are visiting us,I didn't think twice.
Eggless Vanilla Cupcakes 1
Recipe by Nita Mehta as seen on Recipe on Click

Eggless Vanilla Cupcakes
300g all purpose flour
250 ml thick plain yogurt
150-180 g granulated sugar
125 ml oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Method: Preheat oven to 180 C/ 350F. Line your 12- cup cupcake tin.

In a large bowl,beat the yogurt until smooth.Add granulated sugar and beat till dissolved completely.Add baking powder,baking soda and mix to combine.Leave aside for 5 minutes or until frothy.Add oil,vanilla and beat to mix.Spoon in flour little by little and fold it into the batter.Beat with beaters for 30 secs to make the batter smooth and lump free.Pour into tins and bake for 25-30 mins or till done.Cool in the tin for 5 mins,remove and cool completely before frosting.

For the Vanilla Buttercream recipe,click here.

Eggless Vanilla Cupcakes
Ritchie loved the frosting and mentioned that he likes cupcakes with eggs better.I found these to be really moist and perfect for eggless days!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Movie Star Cake! The past few weeks have been excitingly busy with baking classes,cake orders,friends and family calling by & me coming up with another original recipe for a cake.So in between these, I recieved an order for a cake for the newly married movie star,Samvritha Sunil. They wanted a layered chocolate cake with Vanilla buttercream,for the chocoholic star! She celebrated her birthday a day before her wedding day,October 31st to be precise.
So that's the cake,you just saw above :-)

Friday, October 12, 2012


Last night as I put Ian vaava to sleep,I felt a sense of achievement.I was able to share something with you on my bloggie's birthday. Around 5 am this morning,I recieved a call from Jobin asking if we had shredded coconut at home. I wondered why and asked him the same.I don't remember what his answer was as I was very sleepy then. As usual when we spoke again this morning, the question popped in my head as to why would he need shredded coconut! The question was repeated and the answer was,'check your email'. And that was one of the best surprises ever! Read on for the surprise!

12 Oct 2012
Jobin wrote:

Ria’s blog has turned four, given that she has almost no hobby time I thought something should be done to celebrate the four year mark. So I baked a very basic macaroon cookie to keep up the spirit. All I needed was a cup of shredded coconut, a banana and four pieces of dates. Grind them all together, roll it up and bake it for fourteen minutes on each side at two hundred and seventy five degree and let it cool down. It’s a good cookie for coconut lovers and for people who just love to bake. It is a bit crunchy, filling, satisfying and healthy. I hope people try it and enjoy it. My very dear friend Cor shared this with me and I am sure he will be happy to know it’s been put to good use.

Caution : I am a bad "food photographer".

What should I say other than I am so very very happy right now? :-) And yeah, I think the temperature mentioned is in Fahrenheit. This is definately going to be one my bloggies best birthdays!

Thank you so much,Jobin! And Cor, to you too :-)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

4 YEARS & A BAKING DEMO (again!)

Hello everyone! It's been so long since we had a chat,right? Well, we are currently holidaying in Kannur and will be here for a while just like last time. Oh yeah! one more thing...my little bloggie just turned FOUR yesterday :-) So with my Babychoo in one hand & a 4 year old blog on the other, I've gathered some courage (again!) to conduct another baking demonstration this year as well! So if you are interested,send me a message via feedback form.

Hope to meet some of you in person :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


PicMonkey Collage2

Things have been super exciting at our end for the last 32 days, since our Ian vaava was born.Yes, he turned a month old today. He is a very good baby and doesn't give his Amma a tough time. Touchwood, the term 'sleepless nights' don't seem to work in our household. So Jobin is 'Appan' and I am 'Amma'. My Appan and Amma are 'Appu' & 'Ammu', short form of Appoppan & Ammooma.Jobin's mom will be called 'Velliammachi',like how Ian vaava's cousin's call her.Ritchie is yet to be named :-)


Ian vaava was baptised on 12 August, at the Basilica here. It's the first Basilica in America and it's beautiful! I will share some photographs once we receive it. This cake was baked 2 days before his baptismal day as we were having guests over. It's been on Amma's list for a long time, so we thought of going ahead with it...a Black Forest Cake. The fruit that Appan & Amma has been munching ever since they landed in the US are Bing Cherries. To be honest, I keep buying pounds of it in their name...I love it too! So making a Black Forest Cake was another excuse to eat up those maroon Cherries.

PicMonkey Collage1

The cake was a simple yet super spongy chocolate sponge cake which rose beautifully and gave us 4 layers. The cherry filling was made with basic ingredients and tasted just perfect.It was my first attempt at making the filling from scratch so the ingredients were thrown in at random measurements which worked perfectly well.


The cake was very well recieved but I wasn't awake to see it. I heard it from Amma, the next day that it was a success and I knew it the minute I opened the fridge as it had almost vanished! Amma also said that Appan usually says 'Eval enthu cake ondakkiyalum nallatha nallatha ennu parayum' . I don't think he would say that again :-) The gateau was loved by all.

My own recipe
Fatless Chocolate Sponge:
6 eggs
1 c sugar
1/2 c flour
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/4 c cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla

Method: Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and line 2 x 8 inch round cake tins.
In a large spotlessly clean bowl , beat the eggs and sugar for 15 mins on high.It should be super foamy and mousse like.Add vanilla and beat for another 1 minute. Sift the flour, cocoa powder & cornstarch over it and fold it in gently.Divide the batter between the two tins and bake for 25-30 mins or until springy to touch. Let it cool completely. Split each cake into 2.Dust off the cake crumbs and reserve till needed.

Rum & Vanilla Cherry filling
2 c pitted fresh cherries
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp dark rum
2 tsp vanilla
1 c sugar
1 c water

Method: In a medium sized bowl, mix together cherries, 2 tbsp sugar, rum & vanilla. Mix well and leave it covered in the fridge overnight.
In a medium saucepan, add the macerated cherries (along with it's juices), 1 c sugar, 1 c water and bring it to a boil. Switch off the heat and let it cool completely. The syrup would have thickened by now.(You will need almost all of the syrup to soak the 4 layers to get a real moist gateau.)

For filling, frosting & decorating
2 c heavy cream, whipped with sugar to taste
8 whole cherries
150g dark chocolate,shaved

Assembly: Place a layer of the cake on a cake stand,drizzle with the cherry syrup uniformly,spread a thick layer of whipped cream and then scatter some of the rum-vanilla cherries over it. Repeat. The topmost layer should be the 4th layer of cake. Cover the top and sides with whipped cream . Decorate with grated/shaved chocolate & whole cherries. Refrigerate the assembled cake overnight for the flavours to blend . Serve chilled.

So the other day, we went to our favourite Italian restaurant for dinner & dessert, which of course had to be Tiramisu. After having a piece of it, we asked Appan about how he liked it. He said ,'Ethum nallatha pakshe aval ondakkiya aa cake thanneya ethinekkalum nallathu!' Wow! Now that Tiramisu has a competitor, I must say ;-)

Jokes apart, this is seriously good! The cake layers soaked in the syrup very well lending a melt in the mouth texture. The rum-vanilla cherries were mild yet flavourful. This gateau was so good that I really don't think I would even give another Black Forest Cake recipe a try.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Ian Vaava

Meet our new love, Baby Ian! Born on 22 July 2012.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Red Velvet Cupcake

I 've been away for a good amount of time, from blogging and I must say it did me some good. It gave my mind some rest and also ample time to set up our house for my parent's visit :-) Yes, they are visiting us right now so my contribution to this food blog would be minimal. Appan,Amma & Jobin asks me every now and then about the future of my food blog if I left it at Kadumanga. Jobin even mentioned that he would give away all my props if I don't plan to continue food blogging :-) So here I am with the cupcakes Amma & I baked for our friend's baby shower recently. She loves cream cheese frosting so I chose to bake Red Velvet Cupcakes with Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting.

Recipe source: Joy of Baking
Yields 18 cupcakes

2 1/2 c sifted cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 c buttermilk
2 tbsp liquid red food colour
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp baking soda

Method: Pre-heat the oven to 350 F /180 C and line your cupcake tins.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cocoa powder. Set aside.In a mug,mix buttermilk & red food colour.Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter for 2 mins. Add sugar and continue to beat for 3 mins.Add eggs one at a time and beat for a minute after each addition. Add flour and buttermilk alternately, starting and ending with flour.
Mix vinegar and baking soda together,which will fuzz violently. Pour it into the cake batter and fold it in. Pour the batter immediately in to the cupcake moulds and bake for 20-25 mins. Let cool completely before frosting.

Recipe source : Epicurious

1 c unsalted butter,room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 c powdered sugar
8 oz mascarpone, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Method: In a large bowl,on medium high, beat together butter, cream cheese & sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 mins.Add the mascarpone, salt & vanilla and beat until just combined. DO NOT beat any further as the frosting will curdle. Frost the cupcakes as desired.

I really hope she liked it as much as we enjoyed baking it for her :) The baby booties are handmade fondant cupcake toppers.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012



Last Saturday, we were at our friends house for an early Onam Sadya. It was a potluck so we took some Pavakka Theeyal,Beetroot Kichadi,Puli Inji & Pal Payasam. There were a variety of other curries and the early Sadya was a big hit!The main thing that caught my attention was the Kadumanga achar that our friend made. It's so hard to find them in stores here so I thought I'd make some at home.


It's very easy to make and the only thing you would need to buy from the store just for this would be some green mangoes. I had 2 in my fridge so everything came together quite fast for me. This recipe makes a good amount of pickle so if you think you will not need so much, just halve the ingredients and continue with the method.


I usually recycle glass jars/bottles with or without lids for future use. Those jars without lids become my flower vases and the ones with lids gets used up in various form for storing things.Just make sure the bottles are very clean and dry,especially the lids. Don't ever use a wet spoon in getting the pickle out unless you like seeing white mouldy stuff in your pickle jar when you open them next. I love surprises but not like these :-)

Recipe from Honey Sarah

2 large green mangoes, chopped fine with skin on
1 tbsp salt
1/3 c oil (vegetable/canola/gingelly)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 pod garlic, sliced
1 large piece of ginger,sliced
6 green chilies,chopped fine
2 sprigs curry leaves
4 heaped tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 c water
1/2 tsp fenugreek powder
1/2-1 tsp asafoetida
1 1/2 tbsp vinegar (adjust to your taste, esp if the mangoes are sour)

Method: Chop the mangoes,mix with salt and leave it aside for 5-6 hours.In a deep pan, heat oil and crackle the mustard seeds. Once the seeds pop, add garlic, ginger, green chilies & curry leaves. Saute them for 1-2 mins. Reduce the flame to a medium low,add red chili powder & turmeric powder. Saute for 1 minute. Add salt and water and bring it to a boil. Add asafoetida and fenugreek powder. Mix well. Let the masala boil till it is fairly thick.Add the chopped mangoes and mix well to coat. Switch of the heat and taste test for salt. Add vingear if needed. Let it cool. Transfer to a clean dry bottle and store in the fridge till it's used up.

I usually don't bottle the pickles till a day or two after I make it so that if any adjustments needs to be made, I can do it easily. Once again, use clean jars and spoons when it comes to any pickle. This pickle is yummy and  is best served with kanji and curd.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

DOUBLE ORANGE CAKE with MARBLED ICING...for me from him!

My Birthday Cake

There is a small tradition we had started between the two of us. Some of you might already know about it. It's a simple one,we bake each other's birthday cakes. Last year it was Real Tiramisu and the year before that it was Finnegan's Chocolate Cream Cake.This year was no different and I LOVE the fact that it's no different when it comes to our little tradition :-) A week before May 31 he starts asking me what I want him to bake as my birthday cake and it's not that I haven't been thinking about it since May 4 but still, I tell him,'I'll think and tell you!'. I love the entire one week when he asks me again and again if I have decided what I wanted :-) I feel like a child all over again!

Double Orange Cake with Marble Frosting

This time, I was a bit confused because I wanted something very simple, very home-y, very soft and something with fruits in it. So when he got back from work yesterday, I told him I wanted an orange cake with a simple icing. I used to call a frosting an icing before my blogging days began and never noticed that it changed along the way. Whenever I say icing, it has a very warm feeling...that's the word Amma uses whenever she iced a cake :-)

Orange Cake Making

Last evening, I was sitting on the couch browsing through my favourite navy blue recipe diary and wondered if I ever had a storemade/bakery made cake for my birthday at home. I really couldn't recollect even a single birthday which had nothing but Amma baked cakes!

Double Orange Cake with Marble Frosting

When I was small, she baked me all sorts of good looking cakes like Hickory Dickory Clock Cake, Castle Cake etc. Seriously, she had the patience to hunt for things in Kannur and bake it that many years ago! Even now, Kannur is not a place where you can find everything that you want, even if your wants and wishes are as simple as marshmallows!

My own recipe

100g flour
100g butter, softened
100g sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp orange zest
3 tbsp orange juice

Method: Pre-heat the oven to 350 F and line a 6 inch cake tin.
In a medium bowl, beat together flour,butter, sugar, eggs, baking powder & baking soda on high for 2 mins.Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the zest and orange juice. Beat on high for another minute. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 mins. Let it cool in the tin for 10 mins . Unmould and cool completely over a cooling rack.

Marble Frosting
60g butter
1 1/4 c icing sugar
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Method: In a small bowl, beat butter and orange zest together until light and fluffy. Add orange juice and icing sugar little by little and beat till smooth. Divide the batter into 2 and whisk in cocoa powder to one half. Spoon out the icing alternately over the cake and marble it using a toothpick.

Our birthday routine is the same, always. We wake up early and go to church for mass . Once we are home I  make the breakfast and when we are done with it, we get ready to cut the cake :-) I couldn't help poking into this cake every now and then because it was so so soft and moist that I kept telling Jobin,'This cake is so soft!' and he always answered back,'Who baked it!' :-)

Double Orange Cake with Marble Frosting

Trust me people, this is one really good cake! The icing is a perfect combination of chocolate and orange. This is not the kind of cakes you get in patisseries, it's the kind you get to eat only at home! It has such a comfort factor attached to it!I really don't know what's with me and citrus cakes! I LOVE them and maybe that's why I end up making my own proportions for them. The last time, it was my Lemon Yogurt Cake and this time it's a Double Orange Cake with Marble Frosting! :-)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

MOCHA BAVARIAN CHARLOTTE for a Wedding Anniversary!

Mocha Bavarian Charlotte

May 30th 2012 marks the 30th year since my Appan & Amma got married and the least that I can do from here is to wish them many many many more together! :-)

This cake is a blend of many that I've posted on the blog. It has a lining of  Ladyfingers & layers of Simple Vanilla Sponge soaked with Simple Syrup which was filled with Mocha Bavarian Cream and later frosted with a Chocolate Ganache

Friday, May 25, 2012


Coconut Macaroons

One thing that I've found common between Appan and Jobin is their liking for the candybar, Bounty. I completely, wholeheartedly hate it...so does Amma and forget about Ritchie boy! I have no idea how people can relish it.At the same time, I am a big fan of Lamingtons and I must say it's only because of Jobin that I've started liking them and now I like them so much that I wait for his birthday every year so that I can make it.

Coconut Macaroons
I am also known for scraping the coconut topping from Puttu and the coconut stuffing from Idiappam. Nevetheless I like a good coconut macaroon! If that coconut macaroon is dipped in chocolate, it's even better! I found it funny that it almost tastes like Bounty but I hate Bounty! Ack! It's way too confusing! :-)

Coconut Macaroons

When I'm in a good mood or when we run out of our daily quota of a sweet bite, I ask Jobin what does he want me to make next. His standard answers include Jalebi, Bavarian Cream Torte,Coconut Macaroons, Madeleines, Boondi Ladoo & Kalakand. Recently he asked me why I haven't been baking French Macarons and my immediate reaction was,'Do you like it that much?' and he said,'Yes!'.

Coconut Macaroons

So I started saving up egg whites to make some French Macarons for him but in the end I though I'd surprise him and bake some coconut macaroons instead! The confused Gemini soul was torn between the French & the American treat so when he called home from work, I popped the question to him and all he said was,'You chose.' Alright! Macaroons it is! I need to make something new :-)

Recipe source:Taste of Home
Makes 15 nos.

1 1/3 c dessicated/flaked unsweetened coconut
1/3 c sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 egg whites (no need to whisk or beat)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Method: Pre-heat the oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together coconut, sugar,flour & salt. Add the whites and vanilla to it and mix well. You will have a nice soft dough. Spoon them onto the baking sheet using a teaspoon and bake for 20 mins or until golden brown (I wanted little conical macaroons and hence the shape).Let them cool completely on a cooling rack and then ,store in airtight tins.

Coconut Macaroons

These were really really good! Crisp on the outside, soft, moist and slightly chewy in the centre. I don't think you can find an easier recipe than this...it's very simple to make! So the next time you have a guest on a short notice for tea/ coffee, you can whip up a batch of these and while they are baking in the oven you can go get ready to welcome your guest :-)

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