Friday, 30 March 2012

Apple Sharlotka (Russian apple cake)

Tangy caremelised apples baked with a vanilla spongy cake base .


1 granny smith apple
1 teaspoon lemon juice.
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 oz / 120 grams self raising flour
4 oz / 120 grams  white sugar
2 oz / 60 grams  butter
2 floz  / 60 ml sunflower oil
2 eggs ( or 2 tablespoons apple sauce instead for eggless version)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon icing sugar for dusting.


1. Peel the apple and remove the central core using an apple corer.
2. Cut the apple into 5mm thick rings and place in a bowl, Immediately add the lemon juice and mix  to prevent apples browning.
3. Grease a loose bottom cake tin and arrange neatly the apple rings in the base.
4. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the apples.
5. In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar and the oil.
6. Add the vanilla, the eggs , followed by the flour and make a smooth batter.
7. Pour the batter over the apples and smooth flat with a spoon.
8. Bake the cake in a preheated  175 degrees C / 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Check to see if cake is done by inserting atooth pick in the centre , if it comes out clean cake is ready.
9. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
10. With the help of a knife run it around the cake tin. Place a plate over the cake tin and immediately invert the cake over it. Gently remove the loose base. The cake should be served with the apples on the top.
11.Dust with icing sugar before serving.

You may like:
Russian Salad

Submitting to :
Flavours of Russia, event by guest hosted by Selena of Fruit carving Arrangements and food garnish

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Pirojki -Russian vegetables pasties

Pirojkis are a Russian pasty that is filled with either a meat or vegetable filling and baked. This recipe was adapted from Russian Bites

For Pastry
4 tablespoons self raising Flour
1 tablespoon natural yoghurt
1 slice white bread
pinch of salt.

For Filling
120 grams/ 4oz  precooked kidney beans
120 grams/ 4oz precooked mixed vegetables(green beans, sweet corn, carrots)
2 small mushrooms finely chopped
1 small red onion finely diced.
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 tablespoon tomato paste


1. Place the self raising flour in a bowl, add the salt and mix.
2. Remove the crusts from the bread and soak it in the yoghurt.
3. Add the yoghurt soaked bread to the flour and make a pliable dough adding a little water.
4. Cover the dough and leave for 3 hours.
5. Heat some oil in a pan and when it is hot add the onions.Fry until onions are translucent.
6. Add the vegetables, mushrooms and beans and cook for 2-3 minutes.
7. Add the tomato puree, salt, pepper and chilli flakes  . Add 2 tablespoons water and cook the filling for 2-3 minutes more. Slightly mash the mixture.
8. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
9. Divide the dough in to 6 equal portions.
10. Roll each portion into a 5inch circle place a generous amount of filing in the centre of the circle and fold over to form a semicircle.
11. Firmly press the edges down around the semi circle  using a fork  to secure  and seal the join.
12. Place the pasty on to a greased baking tray and repeat for remaining circles.
13.Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees F / 175 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Serve  warm.

You may like:
Russian Salad

Submitting to :
Flavours of Russia, event by guest hosted by Selena of Fruit carving Arrangements and food garnish

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Russian Salad

A refreshing salad thats colourful, tangy and tasty.


2 medium potatoes boiled and diced
240 g / 8 oz  precooked diced  mixed vegetables(green beans, carrots, sweetcorn)
60g / 2 oz  pickled beetroot diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice


1. In a large bowl add the vegetables and the potatoes and mix well.
2. Add the salt, pepper, mayonnaise and lemon juice and mix well.
3. Fold in the beetroot and transfer to a serving dish.

Serve chilled.

Submitting to :
Flavours of Russia, event by guest hosted by Selena of Fruit carving Arrangements and food garnish

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Giveaway Hotel Chocolat Luxury Easter Egg (open to UK, USA, Canada and Europe )

Easter is just aroung the corner, a long weekend of festivities, entertaining ,sharing gifts and easter Eggs.At Hotel Chocolat they have taking the time and effort to make Easter truely luxurious and have a wonderful range of Easter Eggs and treats that are available in an array of prices and range.

From mini treats to luxury pamper family gift sets there is something  for everyone.No matter who you need to buy for this Easter, you’ll find the perfect gift for them in their exciting array of chocolate Easter eggs. Gifts that include their renowned Extra Thick Chocolate Eggs, irrepressibly fun Egg Sandwiches and jaw droppingly Gigantic Ostrich Eggs, not forgetting their luxurious new Truffle Eggs and Beastie Eggs.

Many Thanks to Hotel Chocolat for sending me this Luxury Milk chocolate Ostrich Easter Egg to try, the opinions I have expressed are my own.
To celebrate Easter, Hotel Chocolat have generously offered to send one Milk chocolate Ostrich Easter Egg  worth £ 70.00 to one lucky winner of this competition. The competition is open to any reader from  the UK, US, Canada and Europe . Closing date 1st April 2012 6.00 pm

  • This giveaway is open to all readers over 18 who live in the UK, Europe ,USA or Canada.
  • The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter (which uses and announced on this page.
  • The winner will be contacted by e-mail, if they do not respond within a 48 hours  another winner may be chosen.
  • There is one prize of Milk chocolate Ostrich Easter Egg .
  • I am running this competition in good faith on behalf of Hotel Chocolate, who will be responsible for sending the prize to the winner. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. They reserve the right to substitute the prize for one of a similar type / value if the prize above is not available.
  • Instructions form part of the terms and conditions
  • Entries using any software or automated process to make bulk entries will be disqualified.
  • No cheating. Please do follow the instructions. I will verify the winning entry and check that you have commented / tweeted / subscribed etc. Anyone who cheats will be disqualified.
  • There is one main way to enter and several ways to get bonus entries, including bonus daily entries. Follow the instructions in the form above. If you already like / follow comment in the rafflecopter widget and let me know to get your entries.
To participate log into rafflecopter here with your facebook ID or email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 19 March 2012

Strawberry Truffle Fudge ~ Secret recipe club March 19th 2012

This is my  assignment with the Secret Recipe Club.The aim of the club is that you are allocated a blog from which you have to select  a recipe and try  it and blog about it.

My challenge for this month was to cook from Desi's blog SteakNPotatoesKindaGurl. I liked the look of the Fudge recipe and immediately decided to make it. The original recipe can be found here.Changes I made were that I replaced Raspberries with strawberries as  I had the seedless strawberry preserve in my larder.I also decorated the top of my fudge with some strawberry flavoured white chocolate swirls and some chocolate eggs .


Layer 1
300g milk Chocolate coarsely chopped
400 grams can sweetened condensed milk
1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Layer 2
60 ml  double cream
120 grams strawberry preserve
300 grams milk chocolate coarsely chopped
2 oz strawberry  flavoured chocolate melts
2 tablespoons double cream
1/2 teaspoon strawberry essence.
handful mini easter eggs


Layer 1
1.In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate  and condensed milk.
2.Heat in microwave until chocolate melts, stirring occasionally. Take care not to burn it.
3.Stir in the vanilla and salt. Spread into a pan that is lined with cling film   and cool to room temperature.

4.In a microwave-safe bowl, heat strawberry  preserves until smooth.
5.Stir in cream and milk chocolate
6.Heat in the microwave until the chocolate melts and stir until smooth.
7.Cool to lukewarm, then pour over the fudge layer.
8.Melt the strawberry chocolate melts in the microwave  with two tablespoons of cream and 1/2 teaspoon strawberry essence . Fill a piping bag with the melted chocolate and pipe lines or swirls on top of the fudge.
9.Refrigerate until both layers are completely set, about 1 hour. Cut into 1 inch pieces.

Notes: The fudge did not set fully and it was very difficult to cut it into bite size pieces.It tasted delicious.
You may like:
Chocolate Balls

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Microwave Chivda (Savoury flaked rice ) Blog Hop March 14th 2012

This is my entry for Blog Hop Wednesday started by Radhika of Tickling Palates. Its a beautiful concept where not only do you get to make new  blogger friends, cook from their blogs but in return they visit your blog and try out your recipes too.

If you are interested in  joining Blog Hop Wednesday here is how it works:

"The plot behind this attempt is to form 2 groups and make pairs with a blogger who will be your partner for that particular month. This happens every 2nd wednesday of the month. You will then go through your partner’s blog, select, choose, cook, click and post the recipe in your blog on Wednesday and vice versa. The following month you will have a new partner. This way not only you tend to your blog at intervals but also learn some new recipes along the way and get to know a lot of bloggers and make friends."

This recipe is from Kaveri's blog of Palakkad Chamayal. The blog has a wonderful collection of traditional
delicious.For blog hop I selected the Microwaved Chivda (Savory flaked rice) recipe as it was simple and easy to make.I  halved the quantity stated  in the original recipe  and  added my  personal touch of adding some chilli powder and some roasted cashew nuts and almonds.

A morish snack, crispy flaked rice and nuts snack  that is so tasty and delicious  you will not be able to stop munching.


8oz/ 240 g Thin beaten rice/poha
1/4 teaspoon
1 teaspoon Roasted channa dhal (Split chickpeas)
3 tablespoons almonds/ peanuts and cashew nuts
1 Green chilly finely sliced
2-3 curry leaves Curry leaves
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon Oil
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
Spray oil
Salt to taste


1.Place the beaten rice in a shallow microwave safe dish,  and microwave on High for 6 minutes stirring at 1 minute intervals.Remove from microwave and transfer to a large bowl.
2.Place the cashew nuts, almonds and peanuts in the shallow dish and spray with a little oil, cook on high for 6 minutes ,stirring at 1 minute intervals.Add these nuts to the roasted rice flakes.
3.Place the roasted channa dhal in the dish and spray with cooking oil, cook on high for 3 minutes , stirring at 1 minute intervals. Transfer to nut and flaked rice mixture.Mix all the ingredients.
4.In another microwave dish, add the oil and mustard seeds and microwave on high for 2 minutes.
4.To this add the chopped green chilly, curry leaves ,mix well and then microwave on high for another 2 minutes.
5.Add this hot  tempering to the flaked rice mixture together with the salt, chilli powder and turmeric powder.Mix well, when cool  transfer to an air tight container
Serve as required.

NOTES- The cooking times that were stated in the original recipe did not work with my microwave , I found I had to cook everything almost three times longer than the times given.The snack was crispy and crunchy and tasted delicious.

You may like :
Submitting to :
Lets cook Speedy Snacks event by

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Giveaway Tickets ~ Cake International ExCeL, London 27-29 April 2012

ExCeL, London
27-29 April 2012

Are you a fan of cake baking and decorating? 
 If so, you will love the brand new Cake International - The Cake Decorating & Baking Show at ExCel, London from the 27-29 April . The show is fully packed with  latest ideas, supplies, competitions, demonstrations and workshops from the industry’s experts.

With over 80 exhibitors from across the globe offering cutting-edge cake decorating and baking supplies, this show is a must-visit for cake enthusiasts! You can expect an impressive array of supplies, including cutters, moulds, stencils, hand tools and much more, plus a fabulous range of features, demonstrations, displays and competitions sure to enthral and inspire.

If you are a novice to the world of baking then head to the Bakery Theatre where guest chef Paul Da Costa Greaves will be inspiring visitors and demonstrating a range of quick and easy baking recipes. With newly acquired bakery skills, you can then visit the Taste of Sugar Workshops which are specially designed to help sugarcrafting newcomers and juniors learn cake crafting techniques and enjoy a unique hands on experience.

Are you a novice or a master cake decorater??
Either way there is something for everybody,you can enter the 2012 Competition Classes - this is your time to shine and showcase your skills and creativity to the world! With categories including Novelty Celebration Cakes, Two-tiered Wedding Cakes, Junior Competition classes for the under 12’s and under 18’s and Floral Sugarcraft there is something for everyone to try.  For more information click here

Do you enjoy watching demonstrations??
Enjoy the two Demonstration Theatres, hosting some of the greatest sugarcraft and cake decorators from both home and abroad. These include: Cake cosmetic experts Shesto and Cassie Brown’s Cakes showcasing airbrushing and special effect techniques; Ann Pickard divulging trade secrets with step-by-step instructions on how to model animals and people from sugarpaste; and the Paul Bradford Sugarcraft School demonstrating how to create stylish and unique sugarpaste hand bags.

Want a chance to meet an international guest?
The international guest, sugarcraft artist Kelvin Chua from Vinism Sugar Art will be sharing his knowledge and ideas for cake decorating at the show. Now based in his home country of Malaysia, Kelvin conducts sugarcraft workshops throughout Asia and Australia.

and there is more.....
The show will play host to the LIVE PME Cake Decorating Competition which will see teams of three battle head-to-head in a bid to produce the most creative and artistically decorated display cake to represent a ‘Seasonal Magic’ theme.  Visit the Knightsbridge PME team in the Cake Decorators' Kitchen, where you can enjoy mouth-watering demonstrations which will take place throughout all three days of the show. 

Chocoholics will rejoice in the FREE Chocolate Workshops on offer at the show! Pick up top tips, creative ideas and supplies, plus learn the art of chocolate tempering. What's more, Tracey Mann will be showcasing her giant Chocolate Wedding Cake centrepiece to inspire all chocolate lovers prior to the wedding season.

Cake International – Excel, London
Friday 27th, Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th April 2012
Open Friday and Saturday 09.30-17.30, Sunday 09.30 - 17.00

Ticket Prices:
On the Door:  Adult £12.00 Senior £11.00 // Advance:  Adult £10.00 Senior £9.00
Group bookings: Buy 10 tickets get one ticket FREE
2 Day Ticket (Advance only) Adult £16.00 Senior £14.00
3 Day Ticket (Advance only) Adult £22.00 Senior £20.00

For more information please visit 
Book tickets online or phone Ticket Hotline 01425 277988.

So now I have really got you really excited??  Well, the excitement doesn't end yet. Cake International   have kindly offered 5 pairs of free tickets to the show. The competition is open to anyone having a UK mailing address and is over 18 years of age.

How To Enter:

  • Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
  • Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
  • This competition is open to UK residents only .Please read the rules below .
  • Leaving a blog comment is mandatory and failure to do so will void any other entries.
  • Closing date - Midnight 8th April 2012

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Savoury Cereal Snack (Chevdo)

Basic cereal  with an idianised twist giving it a spicy kick.


120 grams / 4 oz plain cheerios
120 grams / 4 oz shreddies
120 grams / 4 oz rice crispies
120 grams / 4 oz all bran sticks
120 grams / 4 oz bran flakes

60 grams / 2 oz cashew nuts
60 grams / 2 oz Almonds
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
4 green chillies sliced thin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon citric acid
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 cinnamon stick
3-4 cloves
1 red dried chilli
Spray oil


1. Add all the cereal to a large bowl and mix .
2.Spread  the cashewnuts  and almonds on parchment paper and spray with sunflower oil , place the parchment paper on a microwaveable tray and place  in the microwave. Cook  the nuts for 5-6 minutes stirring them at 1 minute intervals.
3.After 6 minutes remove the nuts from microwave and add them to the cereal mixture, add the salt, chilli powder, turmeric and toss the mixture to coat with spices.
4. Place the sugar and citric acid into a coffee grinder and grind the mixture to a powder. Add this to the cereal mixture and mix well.
4. Heat the oil in a pan when it is hot , fry the green chillies in it till they are crispy, remove from oil and add them to the cereal mixture.
5.Using the remaining oil, heat it till it is hot, add the cloves and cinnamon and the red dried chilli. and saute for few seconds to release the spice aroma.
6. Pour this oil with the spice mixture to the cereal mixture.
7. Give the savory cereal mixture a final toss.
Transfer to an air tight container and serve as required.

NB -This recipe works best with plain non sugar coated cereals.

This recipe was shared with me by a non blogger friend Kash Tanna, I have made minor adjustments to the original recipe to suit my taste. Thanks Kash this recipe is awesome and a definate hit.

You may like:

Submitting to :
Lets cook Speedy Snacks event by

Event Round up~ Lets Cook for Valentine Chocolate/hearts event

Thankyou to every one who linked up to this event, the entries were really super and simply delectable.

The event for the month of March is Lets cook speedy snacks. Please click here for more details and to send in your entries.

Announcing Event ~Lets cook Speedy Snacks.

There are times when kids are hungry or we have returned home from shopping spree  or we need a quick snack  for unexpected visitors or  even a midnight feast . This event is all about preparing a speedy snack that can be put together in less than 15 minutes. No elaborate cooking required , post any quick snack, sandwich, microwaved snack  in fact any snack that can made in a jiffy.

To Participate:

1.Prepare a snack vegetarian only (eggs allowed) please link your dish using the linky below by entering your Dish Name and Post URL
2. Please link this event announcement with your entry, this is mandatory.
3. Use of logo is  not mandatory but it helps to spread the word if you can use it.
4. Multiple entries are allowed, archived are only allowed if reposted and updated with this event link.
4. In the event of problem using linky you can email me the entry at

Please use this format
Your Name:
Recipe Name
Recipe URL
Image no larger than 300 pixels.

Add your Lets Cook Speedy Snacks Entries here:
Dish Name and Post URL

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