Saturday, February 5, 2011

World Nutella Day & Cupcakes with Nutella & Nusco topping

It is funny-I have never started  writing a post until I have tasted what I am sharing with the rest of the world. The nutella cup cakes are still in the oven and there are a good 15 minutes before they come out for the final testament. They looked good when they went inside and I am positive they will come out  swell :)

Today happens to be the World Nutella Day ,so I knew I had to celebrate this for my daughter lest she call me insipid ..actually I knew I had to do something special as her birthday also happens to be 2 days from now,I could serve these to her friends along with some of her other favorites (only if I still have some  of these left ,till then)

I have to share this with everyone that I was completely unaware of this decadent,rich & creamy bread spreads existence for a very long time.
I was in Hyderabad, when one of our  friend's sister  who was married  to a German guy and lived in Germany , was visiting India and  she got  bottles of Nutella for her family. Her niece was Manasi's friend and this is how Manasi first got introduced to Nutella. Manasi was very excited and asked me to look for this wonder spread in the stores. I checked with some of my friends who had already been living in Hyderabad much before we moved there and they led me to this fancy store which carried many exotic products  from other countries. The bottle was very expensive and I used to use the spread very frugally on the bread :0

OK the cup cakes are done and they look as light as a feather,the frosting is not the traditional frosting  nevertheless the nutella self frosting  cup cakes look and taste marvellous. The nutella hardens up in the oven and the texture is that of any  traditional  frosting. I did swirl it up a little with a metal toothpick  before I put them in the oven and I must say these taste incredibly soft and buttery with all the nutella goodness the Nutella day calls for.

Thanks to Amy  of Playing House who finds her own unique ways of baking and cooking,I am in love with this simplified self frosting nutella cupcakes. BTW Amy I  too have very little Patience with icing bags and frosting, they do fall under the high maintenance category for me .So I instantly grabbed this one .The moment I layed my eyes on this,I knew this was my kinda recipe.

Manasi has gone to Manhattan to celebrate her  pre-birthday party with her friends,she is in for a surprise when she gets back tonite,I will have these on a tray in her room by her bedside table :)

Here is the recipe for these cup cakes:
Notes: I have mixed Nusco which is also a duo hazelnut spread a product of Holland with Nutella.

All purpose flour: 1 and 3/4 cup
Butter: 10 tbsp (140 gms)
white sugar: 3/4 cup
eggs: 3
Baking Powder: 2 tsp
vanilla: 1/2 tsp
salt: 1/2 tsp
Nutella: 1/3 cup approximately

Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners. This mix will make 12 cupcakes.
Pre-heat the oven at 325 d farenheit

Beat the butter and sugar till light and creamy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well till well incorporated. Take the flour with baking powder & salt and seive.
Now add the flour a little at a time and fold in with the creamed butter & sugar.When all the flour is well incorporated add the vanilla. Mix it well, and scoop out a tbsp and a half  of the batter and fill the muffin tins upto 3/4  level and top it with a tsp of nutella and make a swirl pattern with a fork or a toothpick and let some of it mix with the batter.

Bake these for roughly 20 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fusilli all' Arrabbiata

This pasta dish was made to lift up Manasi dampened spirits. There have been 7 snow days and 6 delayed openings and there is nothing much one can do when the driving conditions are completely unfavorable.So basically there has been very little or no action in my ,"senior at high school" girl's life lately. I knew a simple pasta dish and some brownies or muffins were exactly the treats she would look forward to :)

Boy !!! That worked more than I had imagined.She loved this pasta dish and could not stop raving about all the flavors,and she did well at pointing out most. I was impressed with her knowledge of identifying different flavors despite the fact that she is a complete novice when it comes to cooking.

This is Mark Bittman's recipe and the recipe calls for penne rigate pasta,but I have made this with fusilli and elbow,remember it was snowing and I could not drive and this is all I had in the pantry. The taste was definitely all I had imagined and more. I was a little apprehensive about mixing bent tubes with fusilli but trust me-This dish looked and matched up to the original recipe in the picture:)

Notes: Penne is specifically used for the all' arrabbiata sauce,as the ridges on the penne pasta hold this sauce well .

Garlic Cloves: 3 medium cloves divided
Olive Oil: 3 tbsp divided
Tomato Paste: 2 tbsp
Tomato's: 28 ounce can whole tomato's in juice,chopped
Bay leaf: 1
parsley: 1 tbsp chopped fresh or dried
basil: 1 tbsp chopped fresh or dried
Red pepper: crushed 1/2 tsp
White wine: 1/4 cup
salt: 1tsp or to taste
Pasta: 1 pound ,cooked according to package directions.
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese( optional)


1.Take a pan and heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat and add 1 chopped garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
2.Add tomato paste to this and cook for 2 minutes,stirring in between. Add tomato's in juice and the bay leaf; simmer uncovered,for 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile take the remaining 2 garlic cloves,slice these thinly.Take a small skillet and put this over medium heat.Add thinly sliced garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until just beginning to turn pale golden.
4.Add 1 tbsp parsley and 1 tbsp chopped basil and crushed red pepper,cook for 30 seconds.Add wine and cook for 30 seconds.Stir in the tomato mixture;add salt and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
5.Toss sauce with hot pasta in a large serving bowl. Drizzle with remaining 1 tbsp oil.Serve with Parmesan and garnish with parsley and basil if desired.

Manasi enjoyed pasta with a glass of milk and I had the  bottle of white wine already open as I had used 1/4 cup for the sauce. So we had a perfect pasta meal with a glass of sauvignon blanc :) and I served it on the plate and ate it by the fire place :)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Award For You !!!

A big thank you to Elizabeth, I love her for taking the time & the effort for bringing this wonderful cheer in our food blogger community:) I want everyone on my followers list to please collect this award and paste it on your blog and enjoy it and show it off to all and sundry :) And finally a big hug to my dear friend Elizabeth-You are such a wonderful person and I love all your thrift finds and all the pictures from Florida and the warmth they bring to this part of cold land.I enjoy reading about your grand children and the things they do and most of all I enjoy the food you prepare and the ideas behind your preparation.Thanks Elizabeth :)!!!