Friday, March 30, 2012

Something Sweet and First Giveaway at NuttyCook



I love cheese-cake! No matter what flavour it is, I just love it. At first you get that smooth, creamy, slightly sweet soft cream cheese and then comes the contrast in texture, crunchy, buttery biscuit which simply creates magic in your mouth and melts away.


But this pleasure comes at a cost. Every time I thought of making a cheese cake, first thing comes to my mind is I have to finish it all alone. Ideally that is not a problem for me but since I am counting my calories now I can’t really afford to have lots of cheese cake. If not heart attack I would die out of guilt! So, I was looking for alternative solutions to soft cheese that I can use and guess what I found .. yoghurt!


This dessert is so simple that I couldn’t believe when I finished making it. It’s really an assembly job of very few ingredients and no cooking involved. You can do so many varieties of it that the possibilities are endless. And to top it all it’s quite low in calorie compared to traditional cheese cake and it is eggless too.



(Serves 2 : in individual serving glass or bowl)

6-8 tbsp of low fat set yoghurt

2 digestive biscuits (broken into very small pieces)

4 heaped tsp sweetner

2 heaped tsp dry roasted broken pea nuts

4-6 dried apricot (cut into small pieces)

2 tsp mixed peal (I used orange and lemon but this is purely optional)

Handful of broken pistachio nuts for garnishing



Take a big sieve, place it on top of a wide container which can collect the liquid draining from the sieve. Place a cheese cloth on top of the sieve and pour the set yoghurt on it. Cover the top of the sieve and place the whole arrangement in the fridge and now you can forget about it for next 24 hrs.


After 24 hrs of draining the moisture out of the yoghurt, transfer the content of the cheese cloth to a container and add the sweetner to it. If you want to use sugar instead then go ahead but use icing sugar as it will melt instantly and mix easily. Now add the chopped dried apricot and the mixed peal to the yoghurt. You can use any dried fruit or even chocolate if you want. its entirely up to your taste.


Mix the toasted nuts and the digestive biscuits and pour 2 tbsp on each serving glass press a bit to get the air out of it. Now pour the dollops of yoghurt and dried fruit mix on top of the biscuit and nut mix. Pour as much as you like, then garnish it with pistachio nuts. You can also use dark chocolate, it will work equally well. Now you can either serve or keep in the fridge and serve chilled later.


Coming to the Giveaway bit..this is the first time I am having a cookbook giveaway on NuttyCook and I am really excited about it. I was thinking about it for a long time but for some reason or the other this was getting postponed. Now that Easter is coming I thought it will be a perfect opportunity for me to host the giveaway. So without further delay here comes the details of the three great cookbooks I have for you!!


The first one is: Pasta



The second one is : Entertaining at home 



and the third one is : Easy Food for Utter Indulgence



I will giveaway one book to each winner, which means there will be three winners of this giveaway! The giveaway will be open for 2 weeks from now. I will be announcing the name of the winners on NuttyCook’s Facebook page and on Twitter. I guess now you would want to know what you need to do, to win this fabulous cook books. Well nothing much just do the following..

1. Leave a comment in this post stating which book you would like to receive if you are the winner.

2. Like NuttyCook’s Facebook page 

3. Follow NuttyCook on twitter @thenuttycook

4. Spread the word in twitter using #nuttycookbookgiveaway (this is optional but if you do then I will appreciate it a lot and consider that as an extra entry from you).  

I will collect all the entries and choose the winners randomly.

Now comes the fine print bit:  I can only post the books to UK address.


So guys tell me your choices and you could win one of these fabulous books. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Apricot and Pecan Bread–Easter Special


Easter holidays are about to knock on the door. I am sure most of you have already planned out what you will be doing or where you will be travelling for the holidays. I haven’t done any planning of that sort so far but what I did is baking. I love baking. I don’t know why, but I do. May be because I find it very satisfying and a good stress buster when I kneed or do a lot of whisking by hand. So, when I was approached recently to come up with some baked product with Easter in mind, I decided to make a bread almost straightaway. Of course there are the obvious Easter goodies like Hot cross buns, Simnel cake, cake pops, Easter cake, Easter Cupcake etc. etc. and may be I will bake some of these soon but for now I thought of settling with an apricot and pecan nut bread. I know its not traditional but hey some changes are good aren’t they! Especially if they are sweet treats like this. One thing you would notice on this bread that the cross I made, is with the whole pecan nuts instead of the traditional flour sugar mix. I was going off track anyway then why not push it a bit more. 


I love the orangey chewy little dried apricots just like that as a snacks or baked like this in a bread. The pecan nut brings a whole new dimension to the bread. As you bite into the bread you get both the chewy and crunchy feeling in every bite of it. We had it with my all time favourite freshly brewed black coffee.


One special point about this bread is I have used Splenda sweetner instead of normal sugar just to be guilt free while I am munching down, and it wasn't bad at all. With sugar of course you get the traditional taste but if you are watching your calories than this is not a bad option, give it a try!





4 oz dried apricot (chopped in to small pieces)

12 oz boiling water

1.5 oz Splenda Granulated Sweetner or 1 cup of sugar

10 oz strong bread flour

2 oz butter

1 egg

1 tsp of pure vanilla

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 oz Pecan nuts (mostly chopped, keep few whole nuts for the cross on top)

pinch of salt



Roughly chop the dried apricots and pour the boiling water on it and keep it aside to absorb as much water as possible. Leave it for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile get on with the other ingredients. In a bowl melt the butter and add the sweetner ( Splenda ) and start beating the mix. Add the egg and the vanilla to it and mix it well.


In a separate bowl add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and give it a good mix. Now slowly add the dry mix to the wet one. At one point you will see that you need some liquid to make the bread mix. Add the water in which the apricot was soaked in to the mixture. I you are using a electric mixture and using strong bread flour like me then stop at this point and start using whisk and mix it with your hand. The reason behind that is the strong bread flour will react with warm water and become very elastic in nature and with electric mixer it will become impossible to mix (trust me on this!).


Anyway add all the chopped apricots and the nuts as well now and divide the mix in two greased loaf tins and start baking in a pre heated oven. Keep the temperature to 180 degrees C and bake it for an hour at least or more till you insert a skewer and it comes out clean. Once done, keep in the wire rack to cool it down and then enjoy with a cuppa.