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Not too many of the young people in this country have a passion towards cooking. And yet, here I am, dreaming of building my own restaurant at the age of sixteen. My cooking journey originally started out as a hobby, but lately, I realised it was more than just something I love to do. Cooking became a big part of my life, which gave me joy and a feeling of worth.


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I was about 7-8 years old when I first started off, beginning with a recipe that my father was thinking of --Jolpai Gosht-- I was very excited. I remember following my dad’s instructions, putting onion, garlic, tomato, chilli, lots of spices and jolpai (olives) in a blender to make a paste and cook beef with it, which everyone loved. I ended up making it again on Eid and on many other occasions.

Nowadays, I can cook almost everything anyone asks me to. To keep up my cooking skills, I try to make something every day, even if it’s a baked cake or a delectable cookie. The best part about cooking is that food makes everyone happy, and it feels wonderful to bring a smile on someone’s face with a meal cooked by my own hand. Moreover, chefs like Siddika Kabir, Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris, Matt Preston, and Julia Child always inspire me.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients

½ cup butter

½ cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

2½ cup flour

½ cup chocolate chips

Method

Melt the butter and add all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well to form a soft dough. Add the chocolate chips to the dough. Make sure the chocolate chips have been frozen in advance or they will easily melt into the dough. Roll out the dough and cut into your desired shape. Add some more chips on top and then bake the cookies in a preheated oven at 165° C for 20-15 minutes.

MACAROONS

Ingredients

10 tbsp icing sugar

100g almond

1 tsp salt

3 egg whites

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp liquid colour or drop of red gel food colour

100g white chocolate

Method

Separate the egg whites and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then, in a separate bowl, sift in icing sugar and powdered almond and get rid of any lumps. Add a pinch of salt to the mixture. After the egg whites come to room temperature, add a pinch of salt and start beating the egg whites and gradually add 1/4 cup sugar. When they have stiff peaks, add 1 tsp vanilla extract and the food colour. Then add the dry mix to the egg whites, 1/3 at a time, and fold gently. When you can form a ribbon shape without the batter breaking, that’s when the folding is done. Then, fill your piping bag up with the batter and pipe the macarons onto the lined tray. Bang or drop the tray a few times on your counter top to get a smooth surface. Let the macaroons rest for about 30-40 minutes, and then bake them on a preheated oven for 20-17 minutes at 150° C.

Once they are out of the oven, let them cool completely before adding the filling. I personally use melted white chocolate as filling, but you are free to choose your own flavour.


MARBLE COOKIES OR PINWHEEL COOKIES

Ingredients

½ cup butter

½ cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

2½ cup flour

1 tsp liquid food colour or drop of red gel food colour

Method

First, melt the butter, then add all the ingredients, one after the other, and mix well to form the dough. Divide the dough into two portions. Then add food colour to one portion and knead well to mix the colour. Now you can either make pinwheel cookies or marble cookies with this dough.

For pinwheel cookies, roll both the doughs out about ½cm thick. Then lay the red dough on top of the other dough, and then roll up both the doughs together like a Swiss roll, and let the roll rest in the fridge for about 2 hours. After taking the roll out of the fridge, cut it into slices like a Swiss roll. Then run the rolling pin over the cookies a few times and then bake them.

For marble cookies, knead the doughs together partially, and then roll it out, cut into desired shapes, and bake them in a preheated oven at 165° C or 20-15 minutes.


MERINGUE COOKIES

Ingredients

½ cup or 3 egg whites

1 tsp lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1 tsp strawberry extract

1 tsp liquid food colour or drop of gel food colour

Method

Take your egg whites and start beating them with a hand mixer on low speed. When bubbles start to form, add the lemon juice. Then start increasing the speed gradually. After the egg whites start becoming frothy, start adding the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Keep on beating until all the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites have stiff peaks. A quick tip is to heat the sugar up in the oven for a few minutes before adding them to the egg whites. When the egg whites have stiff peaks, add vanilla extract. Turn your piping bag inside out, and colour the inside of the bag using a brush. Fill the bag up with your meringue mix and pipe them onto the tray lined with baking paper. Bake the cookies for 30-40 minutes at 140° C.

After baking the cookies, let them cool in the oven by keeping the oven door ajar.

 

RED VELVET COOKIES

Ingredients

½ cup milk

1 tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice

½ cup butter

4 tbsp sugar

1 egg

¼ cup cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

2½ cup flour

1 tsp liquid food colour or drop of red gel food colour

½ cup whipped cream

¼ cup cream-cheese

Method

Take 1/2 cup milk and add 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice to it and let it rest for 30 minutes. This will act as a substitute for buttermilk. In a bowl, add melted butter and the buttermilk, then add all the ingredients in order, except the whipped cream and cream cheese. Mix well and form the dough. Roll out the dough and cut into your desired shapes. Bake the cookies at 165° C for 30-20 minutes. In a bowl, beat your cream-cheese and in another bowl, whip up your whipped cream and then combine them together. Once the cookies are done, let them cool and then pipe the frosting on top.

 

Photo courtesy: Tanisha Tanzia

Report by - //dailysurma.com

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