Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Vintage Bakeshop & Cafe

Vintage Bakeshop & Cafe - The ambiance & decor
Vintage Bakeshop & Cafe: Visited this quaint little eatery a few weeks ago. Even from outside, Vintage makes quite an impact with the beautiful yellow door, and once you enter, the decor takes you right to the Victorian era.

For more details about the place, and the menu on offer, please check out my review published at Dawn.com

Vintage Bakeshop & Cafe - A classic cafe with a modern twist 
Vintage Bakeshop & Cafe - The food & desserts on offer
Contact Details:

Vintage - Facebook Page

25C, Khayaban-e-Seher, Off Saba Avenue, Phase 6, DHA, Karachi, Pakistan

021-35341722 - 03218957066

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Salted Caramel Custard & a Belated Eid Mubarak

Eid Mubarak - Family togetherness with delicious food
Belated Eid Mubarak everyone! Whether you celebrated it simply or in a much more festive manner, I hope it was spent in the midst of family & friends. That is what Eid is all about - family & togetherness. 

I remember as a child, Eid was about new clothes, the delicious food, and of course the Eidi. Getting all dressed up with matching shoes & churiyaan (bangles); going from one house to another to meet relatives & discussing where we would get the yummiest treats; collecting Eidi in little purses, counting it up and then comparing who had gotten the most. 

As an adult, things remain the same but my perception has changed. I still get new clothes, but I try to make sure the less fortunate around me have Eid clothes too; I don't throw a fuss if there's a tailor mishap or if I don't have matching shoes. It's still about the food, but its about appreciating the love & care that someone went through to make a favourite dish for their nieces/nephews. It's about trying new things & complimenting each other instead of being a critic. Lastly, the Eidi. It's not about the monetary amount anymore, but a token which reminds me that while I might be an adult, I am still a little girl in front of the my family who loves me.

There is nothing traditional about the dessert that I am sharing today but its a new Eid trend that I started a few years back. My mom is a brilliant cook in the family (MashAllah) and I hope to someday be as good as her (InshAllah). But ever since I discovered this food passion of mine, I have taken over making desserts for family parties. The response has been brilliant (Alhamdullillah) with the family looking forward to my desserts so much so that every year, I try to outdo myself. So multiple desserts & over the top desserts & staying up half the night is another new habit. But it's all worth it when I start taking away the dessert dishes, and I realize there's nothing left :) 

Salted Caramel Custard

Salted Caramel Custard

Adapted from Bon Appetit 

Assembly: Can be assembled in a large glass bowl or in small glasses/round bowls for individual servings. Assembly should be done before serving or at 1-2 hours before serving so that the biscuit crust doesn't get soggy.
Make-ahead: Salted Caramel can be made ahead by least a week and refrigerated, the custard can be made a day earlier.  


Cookie Crust

  • 1 1/4 cup finely ground/crushed chocolate cookie crumbs (Used Oreo's - about 2 rolls)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
Caramel Custard
  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Salted Caramel

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed (or 2 teaspoon vanilla essence)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Whipped Cream
  • about 1/2 cup cold fresh dairy cream (tetra-pak can be substituted but it will not whip up properly)
  • 2 teaspoons fine granulated sugar
Salted Caramel Custard - The different layers

Cookie Crust:
  1. Mix cookie crumbs, salt, and butter in a small bowl until well combined. Set aside about 2 tablespoons of the cookie mixture for garnish. 

  1. In a small bowl, whisk 1/2 cup milk and cornflour until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the remaining 3 cups of milk until simmering. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a steel bowl whisk egg yolks on medium speed using a hand mixer for about 3 minutes. 
  4. To make the caramel, stir the brown sugar and water in medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat, and cook without stirring until a thermometer reads 210 – 220 degrees F (100 degrees C) . The mixture will reduce a bit, and it will become a thick syrup similar to normal caramel. Remove from heat.
  5. With mixer on low speed, gradually whisk in the hot milk, then the cornflour mixture into the eggs. Don't mix it altogether because otherwise the eggs will cook & curdle. Slowly whisk in the caramel. Return the mixture to the saucepan and whisk constantly over medium heat, until the mixture thickens (coats back of a spoon) and a thermometer registers 175 degrees F (80 degrees C), about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in the butter, vanilla essence, and salt. Pour through a sieve/muslin cloth to make it more smooth & silky.
  6. Cover and chill custard for 4 to 5 hours. 

Salted Caramel Sauce

  1. Place cream in a small bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Set aside.
  2. Stir sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high; boil, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until deep amber color forms, 5–6 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Gradually add vanilla cream (mixture will bubble vigorously so be careful). Whisk over medium heat until smooth and thick, about 2 minutes. 
  4. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and salt. 
  5. If any crystals/hard sugar has formed, stir the caramel over very low heat until the hardened pieces melt and the sauce becomes smooth. 
  6. Strain into a heatproof bowl. Let cool slightly.
Whipped Cream

  1. In a bowl whisk cream and sugar with a hand mixer on high until soft peaks form.
  1. Press the cookie crumbs into the bottom of a large glass bowl. Set aside. 
  2. Spoon 1/2 of the salted caramel sauce over caramel custard/pudding and top with lightly whipped cream. 
  3. Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs & drizzle of salted caramel (about 2 tablespoon). Make sure it is chilled before serving. 
  4. The salted caramel custard can be made in a big glass bowl or individual glasses/bowls as well. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Chicken Cheese Balls

Sharing another recipe that I tried this Ramazan and absolutely loved - Chicken Cheese Balls. I am a huge fan of the Jalapeno Cheese balls at Pizzo - they are filled with melted cheese which literally explodes in your mouth. Since I can't keep ordering from there all the time, this was my take on something similar. Turned out really good especially with the melted cheese inside. This is a recipe that I can see myself making in Ramadan (inshAllah the next one) & on Eid.
Chicken Cheese Balls

Chicken Cheese Balls

Adapted from Shireen Anwar's recipe 

  • 1/2 kg chicken mince
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 2 bread slices
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli flakes (optional - add based on the spice level you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 6 green chillies, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon coriander leaves
  • 12 to 15 mozzarella cheese cubes (one cm in size) - approximately 150 grams of cheese
  • Dry flour/maida to roll
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1/2 tablespoon of water
  • Bread crumbs as required to roll (I personally use Panko style crumbs, but you can use normal as well)
  1. Put mince with all the ingredients into a chopper or food processor, except flour, cheese, egg and crumbs. When chopping ingredients, don't add them all together into the processor as it sometimes gets clogged up. Keeping the chopper/food processor running, add ingredients through the feed tube so that they get mixed properly. 
  2. Chop all the ingredients well. The mixture should be slightly chunky (like kofta/meatball mixture) and not pasty. 
  3. Take mixture on hand, make a round flat disk, put the cheese cube in it and then roll it in a ball. Make all the balls first, keeping them on a tray/plate.
  4. Once all the balls are made, roll them in dry flour/maida first, then dip in beaten egg + water mixture, and then finally in the breadcrumbs mixture.
  5. Deep fry on medium heat till light golden. Since the chicken mixture is raw inside, make sure you don't cook on high heat otherwise the outside will brown but inside will be raw. 
  6. The balls can be kept in the freezer and then fried when required. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Chicken Tikka - Pakistani Style

There's a little bit of cheating involved in this recipe. Basically, I didn't make it. Mom made it, but it is so simple & it turned out so amazing that not sharing it with you would have been sacrilegious. Plus I was responsible for the final baking - so I get a little bit of credit here. Mom makes a Desi-style gravy to serve on the side using up the remaining marinade juices. Serve with potato gratin, mashed potatoes, baked potato or baked vegetables. 

Chicken Tikka - Pakistani Style

Chicken Tikka - Pakistani Style


For the Chicken:

  • 4 large Chicken Tikka Pieces with bone (used all breast pieces, but you can substitute leg pieces or a combination of both)
  • 8 to 10 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 - 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoon Chicken Tandoori Masala (Used Shan)
  • 250 grams yoghurt (drain yoghurt in a muslin cloth for an hour so it becomes thick or use Greek yoghurt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 4 tablespoon oil


  • Remainder juices from chicken
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (sliced thinly)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 capsicum, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon worcheshire sauce
  • 2 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • Cornflour dissolved in water (optional to thicken if required)


For the Chicken

  1. Whisk all the marinade ingredients well.
  2. Make slits in the chicken pieces, and then marinate overnight.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  4. Line a roasting tray with aluminum foil and then put chicken as well as the marinade into the tray.
  5. Cover the chicken & tray with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. After chicken has baked for 30 minutes, take off the foil, and drain about 80-90% of the marinade juices into a separate container. 
  7. Lower heat to 120 degrees celsius and bake chicken uncovered for 15 - 30 minutes till the marinade dries up.
  8. Use the leftover marinade juices to make gravy on the side.
Desi-style Gravy
  1. Heat oil and fry garlic till light brown. 
  2. Add onion & saute for about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add gravy juices, and capsicum and remaining seasoning ingredients.
  4. Taste & adjust seasoning if required.
  5. Thicken with cornflour.
  6. Serve with chicken tikka on the side. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

White Sauce Pasta with Garlic Mushrooms & Grilled Chicken

I just had a minor epiphany right now - I write VERY long recipes and I am just wondering if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Most people look at a long recipe & go like oh, forget it, I am not making it because it's complicated. But the reason I write detailed recipes is because I want to make sure that none of the steps are missed and you can adjust if required. 

This particular recipe here for white sauce spaghetti has a total of four components - white sauce, grilled chicken, mushrooms & boiled pasta. Sounds long, doesn't it? BUT the chicken recipe I doubled and used for three other dishes (sandwiches, potato skins & this pasta).  That's one component done. The second & third (mushrooms & white sauce) sound long, but they are one pot recipes which can be made in advance. For this particular recipe, I boiled the noodles, made the mushrooms, chicken & white sauce at Iftar (around 7 pm). When it was dinner time (8:30 pm), I warmed everything and then mixed it together. 

So a long recipe does not necessarily mean complicated. But small 'rule of thumb' for whatever recipe you are making: read it at least 2-3 times, make a note of the ingredients you already have & the ones you need, and then plan steps in advance keeping a 15-20 minute buffer margin. This is even more important during Ramadan when you have a strict timeline so its always best to prepare in advance.

Spicy White Sauce Pasta with Garlic Mushrooms & Grilled Chicken

Spicy White Sauce Spaghetti with Garlic Mushrooms, Chicken & Olives


Serves 4-5 people
  • 450 grams egg noodles (spaghetti can be substituted) 
  • Olives for garnish
  • Garlic Mushrooms

    • 2 tablespoon butter
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli flakes (omit if you don't want it to be spicy)
    • 1 can of button mushrooms, sliced 
  • Peri Peri Grilled Chicken 
    • 200 grams boneless chicken, cubed 
    • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar 
    • 1 tablespoon Peri Peri Sauce (Garlic flavored) - Substitute with the one you prefer
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
    • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper 
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika 
    • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder (omit if you don't want it to be spicy)
    • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli flakes (omit if you don't want it to be spicy)
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
  • Cheesy White Sauce
    • 3 tablespoon butter
    • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
    • 2 tablespoon flour
    • 1 1/2 cups - 2 cups milk
    • 1 Knorr chicken cube
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon white pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli flakes (omit if you don't want the sauce to be spicy)
    • 1 teaspoon paprika (can be substituted with 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder)
    • 200 grams shredded mozzarella cheese
    • 3 tablespoon cream
    • 4 tablespoon black olives 


For Garlic mushrooms

  1. Melt butter. Add garlic paste & saute for a minute. Add salt & red chilli flakes, if using.
  2. Add sliced mushrooms and saute for 3-4 minutes till they are just light brown and you can smell the delicious garlic aroma. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

For Peri Peri Grilled Chicken:
  1. Marinate chicken with rest of ingredients and keep in fridge for about 30 minute. 
  2. Using a pastry brush, brush about 1 tablespoon of oil on a grill pan, and add chicken.
  3. Grill for about 10-15 minutes on each side, till the chicken is cooked & the water dries. 
  4. Slice chicken into small chunks.  
  5. When I initially made this chicken, I doubled the chicken quantity and used about half of it in this pasta, and the rest of it in Cheesy Potato Skins and Chicken Sandwiches. It's a versatile recipe which can be used for other dishes. 
For Cheesy White Sauce:
  1. Melt butter & add garlic paste. Saute for about half a minute till the raw smell finishes. Add flour and stir for at least 1-2 minutes to cook out the raw taste of the flour. 
  2. Pour in about 1 cup of milk, and stir with a whisk to make sure there are no lumps in the white sauce. 
  3. Keep heating the white sauce on medium heat till you can see small bubbles on the side after which it should start thickening. Use a whisk to mix the white sauce properly. Add chicken cube & rest of spices. 
  4. Add shredded mozzarella cheese and let the cheese melt in the sauce. The sauce will be thick, so add about 1/4 cup - 1/2 cup milk and whisk to get to the right consistency. Add cream & mix in the end.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings if required. 
  6. Add black olives in the white sauce.
  7. If the white sauce is made in advance, the cheese will thicken & solidify into strands. Just add a little milk and reheat on low flame till cheese is melted and it reaches liquid consistency. 
  1. Boil noodles as per packet directions and set aside. 
  2. Make garlic mushrooms, grilled chicken & white sauce as per above recipes.
  3. Mix the garlic mushrooms & the grilled chicken into the noodles & toss to mix together. Keep a few pieces of mushrooms & chicken aside for garnish.
  4. Take noodles out into a big dish.
  5. Pour half the white sauce over the noodles and toss lightly. Pour the remaining white sauce over the noodles and make sure they are mixed properly. 
  6. Garnish with leftover grilled chicken, mushrooms, olives & a sprinkling of paprika/red chilli powder. 
Spicy White Sauce Pasta with Garlic Mushrooms & Grilled Chicken

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Peri Peri Chicken Sandwich with Cheese & Olives

Another experiment this Ramadan which Alhamdullilah turned out really well. I was planning to make grilled chicken & cheese subway style sandwiches using French bread but the store near my place was out of it. Since I really couldn't change recipes at that time, I decided to just buy multi-grain bread and proceed from there. I was expecting these to just taste like typical sandwiches but baking them in the oven instead of in the toaster oven individually just made them taste so amazing! Not only did the sandwiches stay crisp till dinner-time, but it also saved me the time of toasting them individually. I can so see myself using the same technique and experimenting with the fillings in the future.

The ingredient list is a bit long, but its simply grilled chicken, cheese & vegetables with mayo & butter as condiments. You can easily substitute leftover chicken if you don't have boneless chicken, or add other vegetables but do make sure you add the cheese. Having this sandwich without melted cheese will just not be the same! I made another version using Paneer & Sweet corn which I will post separately. 

Peri Peri Grilled Sandwich - the sandwich platter

Peri Peri Chicken Sandwich with Cheese & Olives 


Serves 3-4 people (4 sandwiches)
  • 8 slices bread (I used multi-grain bread for added texture/crunch)
  • 3-4 tablespoon garlic butter (normal butter can be substituted)
    • 1/2 tablespoon Garlic Paste/Finely Minced garlic 
    • 3-4 tablespoon butter
  • Peri Peri Grilled Chicken 
    • 400 grams boneless chicken, cubed 
    • 1 teaspoon vinegar 
    • 2 tablespoon Peri Peri Sauce (Garlic flavored) - Substitute with the one you prefer
    • 1 teaspoon salt  
    • 1 teaspoon white pepper 
    • 1 teaspoon paprika 
    • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder 
    • 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes 
    • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • Peri Peri Mayo
    • 4 tablespoon mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon Peri Peri sauce (Garlic flavored)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes 
  • 3-4 tablespoon sweet corn
  • 200 grams shredded cheese (mozzarella or cheddar or mix of both)
  • 3 tablespoon black olives
  • 1-2 tablespoon Peri Peri Sauce (Garlic flavor) 
Other filling suggestions: Caramelized onions, sliced Jalapeno's, Sun-dried tomatoes, Deli Meat, Minced Chicken etc.

Peri Peri Grilled Chicken Sandwich - the filling on display


For Garlic Butter:
  1. Melt butter in small saucepan. Add garlic paste/finely minced garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes so that the raw flavor vanishes. Take out garlic butter in a small container and keep aside. 
For Peri Peri Grilled Chicken:
  1. Marinate chicken with rest of ingredients and keep in fridge for about 30 minute. 
  2. Using a pastry brush, brush about 1 tablespoon of oil on a grill pan, and add chicken.
  3. Grill for about 10-15 minutes on each side, till the chicken is cooked & the water dries. 
  4. Slice chicken into small chunks.  
  5. This was actually quite a lot of chicken - I made about 3 sandwiches, used about 1/2 cup in Cheesy Potato Skins and I had about 1 cup of sliced chicken leftover that I used in white sauce pasta (recipe pending).
For Peri Peri Mayo Dip: 
  1. Mix together mayonnaise, Peri Peri sauce, salt & red chilli flakes.
  2. Taste & adjust if necessary.
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil.
  3. Spread garlic butter on the bottom slices of the bread. 
  4. Put 4 bread slices on the foil with butter side down. Spread Peri mayo dip on the slices. 
  5. Add grilled chicken then shredded cheese, then black olives. Top with a little bit of the garlic Peri Peri sauce. Top with bread slices.
  6. Brush the top slice of the bread with garlic butter.
  7. Bake in oven for about 10-15 minutes till toasted & cheese melts.Cut into triangles & serve with french fries or salad.
Peri Peri Grilled Chicken Sandwich - right out of the oven

Please 'like' me on Facebook to keep updated with new posts, tips & tricks, or to ask me any questions: Kay's House of Treats 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cheesy Potato Skins

I decided to make potato skins today - I made them at 7:30 pm for Iftar and I am now typing the recipe at 1:49 am in the morning.  This is probably the first time I have typed out a recipe this quickly but I did not anticipate the amount of requests I would get for this recipe. 

Of course, the fact that I shared it on my own Facebook page, on other Facebook forums, Instagram & Twitter might have contributed to the amount of likes & "recipe please's" I got. But basically long story short, I am staying up tonight so I can finish this recipe in time for you to make it at Iftar tomorrow! 
Cheesy Potato Skins

Cheesy Potato Skins


  • 5 medium potatoes, washed & scrubbed
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt 
  • Black Pepper 
  • 1/2 cup grilled chicken, sliced into small chunks (any cooked/grilled chicken can be used as well as leftover chicken). The recipe I used is shared below out of which I used about 1/2 cup chicken for these potato skins
  • 3-4 tablespoon sweet corn 
  • 2-3 tablespoon green olives (I used green olives but black olives can also be used)
  • 200-250 grams cheese, shredded (I used ~ 150 grams mozzarella + ~50 grams chilli cheese but you can use whatever mixture of cheese you prefer, as long as it melts)
Peri Mayo Dip - Mix together 4 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Peri Peri sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes. 

Other Filling Suggestions: Sliced Jalapeno's, Sliced chicken sausages, Sauteed Peppers (Green, Red or Yellow), Pepperoni. 
Other Garnish Options: Sour Cream, Sliced Green Onions, Caramelized Onions, BBQ sauce.


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  2. Prick potatoes with a fork all around. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil. Brush the potatoes with olive oil, salt & black pepper. Bake for about 45 minutes - 1 hour till cooked through. Once you can easily pass a knife through the potatoes, they are done. 
  3. Take the potatoes out of the oven, cut them in half and then set aside to cool. 
  4. Take grilled chicken (sliced in chunks) & combine with sweet corn and green olives. Season with salt  (1 tsp) & white pepper (1 tsp) and mix it altogether. Set aside.
  5. Take the potatoes & scoop out the insides leaving about 1/4 inch layer of potato. Make sure you do this very carefully because if you remove too much, they won't stand up on their own. However, if you don't take out enough flesh, then there won't be enough space for the topping. The leftover potato flesh can be used to make mashed potatoes
  6. Stuff the potato skins with some of the chicken + corn mixture, then the shredded cheese. Top with just a little bit of the chicken + corn mixture so that it looks good. 
  7. Turn the oven to 200 degrees and bake for about 10 minutes till the cheese is melted and the skins are crispy. 
  8. Top with Peri Mayo dip.

Grilled Chicken:

Marinate 400 grams boneless chicken with 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon white pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic paste, 2 tablespoon Peri Peri sauce, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon red chilli pepper & 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes. 
Using a pastry brush, brush about 1 tablespoon of oil on a grill pan, and add chicken. Grill for about 10-15 minutes on each side, till the chicken is cooked & the water dries.
Slice chicken into small chunks. Use about 1/2 cup of cooked chicken for the potato skins and reserve the rest to use in some other recipe (pasta, sandwiches, etc).  

Please 'like' me on Facebook to keep updated with new posts, tips & tricks, or to ask me any questions: Kay's House of Treats