Karachi Biscuits

Yesterday evening as I glanced out of my window I saw my gaunt little Japanese maple in the heights of its prime in the autumn, the riot of colours marrying sweetly with the warm green grass around swaying in the chill of the autumnal breeze. Just a few months back the same little tree sported its prime in youth and was like a full bodied wine with green leaves and barely could an empty branch be seen. Soon in a few weeks it will be just a brown little stalk inviting the wrath of my husband’s hedger blades all in the name of pruning it to shape, and as winter gives way to spring in a couple of months, little delicate leaves will spring forth from those brown stalks and they will bring with them the magic of rebirth and the mystery of the divine who ordains it thus that despite the different seasons and the abuse that my beautiful Japanese maple tree suffers it still smiles and brings and shares such immense joy. Simply standing there in the middle of my front yard, it gives me hope, joy, passion, bliss and happiness, the entire gamut of human emotions all distilled into me.

I wondered why so many emotions were welling up inside me, and scratching the surface a bit I realised it was our third year of having arrived in Sydney, a beautiful country we have been calling home since early 2000. We had left it for eight long years having relocated to China where simple daily communication was like riding a pushbike uphill. Social contacts with the wonderful populace was restricted to the basic niceties of greetings and the language barriers made living a bit of a challenge reducing me to a social recluse. To avert my loneliness that I had started calling solitude and which in fact turned to solitude eventually was me realising that happiness was not something I could find in my sojourns or amongst the lonely aisles of the upmarket boutique shops but to discover within myself. I fondly recollect as I changed my attitude towards life I started to love living in China and a 4 week project assignment turned into a fascinating eight year journey into self-discovery.

I often reminisce those amazing years and fondly discuss those days with friends who were in a similar predicament as us.

Happiness a mental state that is unlike anything else in this world and what is best about it is that it, is that it can be generated within oneself and all for free, No matter how tough the circumstances are and how badly the odds are stacked against us, seeking joy in every bend and curve is the only way to move ahead and enjoy the roller coaster ride of life. All it requires is a change of perception to the situation you are in and voila your response to the situation changes. I never thought I would have coped with the challenges I had to face after our relocation, had I ignored to seek the simple pleasure of life and my effort to feel blessed at every stage.

We never had this massive backyard in China that we currently have and never ever thought I would end up with dirt in my fingernails or even be successful at amateur farming. Seeing the wild backyard and shabby vege patch when we first arrived, I had to roll up my sleeves and give it all I had with the secateurs and the shovel. And now I feel proud of my green thumb I discovered in this steep learning curve. I am so happy to award myself a badge that gardening can be my forte too!!!!!

Being creative and passionate about reviving things, this was a golden opportunity for me get my creative juices flowing with every little corner of our home requiring TLC,  I would often day dream about remodelling  my space and after over three odd years of revamping and banging my head with not so scrupulous tradies, now as I  unlock the door and step inside my little domain, the feeling and joy & bliss has no limits.  My home now feels so comfortable & welcoming and a house that we left has now lovingly been converted to a home we dearly adore.

Here we go my dear readers, we all go through the emotions & odds and find ourselves at the short end of the stick sometimes, but simply seeking happiness and following your heart often threads a connection to your dreams that are bound to happen. Good luck to you all and I am always happy to be  here sharing my experiments and kitchen trails.... 

This is a very interesting biscuit I grew up with, I am not sure about the origin or the name it stands for but anybody who has experienced it melting in the mouth and often getting the tongue greased with buttery after taste would definitely crave for it. I found this lovely dazzling biscuits in one of the food blog by Manali, I had immediately book marked it and decided to go to the Indian grocery shop soon for tutti fruity and custard powder. Last week I managed to stop on the way to pick up those two ingredients. Hurriedly I picked  up the wrong custard powder and this came to my realisation when I was all geared up to whip up a batch of these fancy cookies promising my other half to make his tea time a blissful moment. Relying on  my mental notes and some earlier theories of swapping that I sourced from google I could manage to make a quick tweak to it, instead of vanilla flavoured custard powder, I used cornflour and drops of yellow colour. The results was great and trutti frutti being new to my kids, the results were fantastic. Growing up, I could have never imagined my mom baking without these jewels and to this date the basic vanilla cake that is so amazing is always dotted with colourful titbits.

This pineapple flavoured biscuit is now part of a folder that is marked with “awesome delights" in my computer and I have already got few testimonials from my older ones class buddies who have found it scrumptious. So here you go and enjoy it with a cuppa and tag me if you have made it. It will be lovely to see you baking it all over again.

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Karachi Biscuits
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 Self raising flour
  • 4 tbsp Cornflour
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom powder
  • 3/4 tsp Pineapple essence
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp Castor sugar
  • 3 tbsp Milk
  • 1/2 cup Tutti frutti
  • 2 to 3 drops Yellow colour
  1. In a bowl mix together plain flour, SRF, corn flour, salt and cardamom powder. Set aside. Using a Balloon whisk, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add pineapple essence and milk and mix it till well combined. 
  2. Add in the flour mix to the above batter and then add in the tutti frutti. 
  3. Mix in everything together to form a dough. You may add more milk if the dough isn't coming together.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and roll them into logs. Cling wrap the logs and refrigerate it for minimum of 4 hours or 2 hours in freezer.
  5. Remove the chilled logs and slice them into round shape, around ¼ inch thick. Place cookies on the lined baking trays lined with parchment paper. Bake the cookies at 175'C degrees for 14 to 15  minutes. Remove  them from oven and let them cool completely. 

Rose and Almond syrup cake

Any break from the daily drudgery of mundane life helps to restore out lost mojo and recuperate our minds. Be it just a day trip or a long winding vacation

Last week it was a long weekend for us and the weather was great with ample of sunshine and beautiful blue skies.We made an impromptu plan of heading down South to a beautiful place called Berry in NSW. It is known for its beautiful country town charm and boutique shops that sells amazing bric bracs. 

I managed to make some overnight arrangement to stay over managing to snap a decent last minute deal at a nice wine estate very close to Berry. On reaching we found out that the winter wine festival was on for the weekend. It was definitely a great break from the  monotony.  Kids were very happy watching endless media and snacking on junk... and mom too.... 

Coming back to my lovely cake.... This cake has its own distinct flavour. The light texture of the cake soaked with syrup and nuts were so tempting that we had hardly anything left  on the platter for the next day morning tea except for the crumbs... I wasn't sure whether my kids would fancy any treats flavoured with rose. Surprisingly they both admired and relished it even though my younger one  is bit finicky about strange flavours...  

 It is friday today and I am happy to wind down  even after a short week and eagerly looking forward to catch up  with Vivid Sydney as this the last weekend. Although the weather doesn't  look promising but  I reckon for some of you staying at home and whipping up a delicious cake and relishing it with a hot cuppa is definitely fun too!!!! Enjoy and have a great weekend.

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Rose and Almond Syrup cake
An aromatic rose cake with almond meal and drizzled with syrup
  • 1 1/4 cups Almond meal
  • 1/4 white breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 3 Egg separated
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 to 3 tsp rose essence depending upon your liking
  • 1/4 cup pure cream
  • 1tbsp Slivered almond
  • 2tbsp pistachios
     For the Syrup
  •      3/4 cup caster sugar
  •      1cup water
  •      1tsp rose essence

  1. Combine Almond meal, baking powder and bread crumbs in a bowl.
  2. Beat egg yolk and sugar in a separate bowl and add rose essence, cream until combined. Mix it well with the above mixture
  3. Beat egg white until soft peaks and fold it  to above batter in batches.Bake for 45 minutes at 180"C.
  4. Meanwhile make the syrup. Remove the cake and pour half of the syrup over the cake. Set it aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Turn the cake, top side upon to a platter and scatter with slivered almonds and pistachios. 
  6. Serve with extra syrup.