Friday, 11 December 2015

Eggless Christmas Fruit Cake

Wishing all my readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I know it's a little too early to wish but I'll be gone for my annual holiday in a day's time and so this delicious Christmas Cake recipe seemed to be the perfect post to end this wonderful year. Yes, it has indeed been a lovely year for me. I never imagined the kind response and appreciation that I have received for my classes and the feedback of my happy clients. I don't know what the new year will bring for me but whatever it is, I will certainly try and enjoy every single day and live each day like there's never tomorrow. That's my New Year resolution and I truly wish that the New Year brings to each one of you all that your heart desires and may everyone be safe and healthy and stay blessed. 
1 cup mixed fruit (tutti fruity bits)
1/4-1/2 cup orange juice (can be substituted with 50-50 rum and orange juice or entirely rum)
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature 
1/2 cup powdered sugar 
3 tsp egg replacer mixed in 2 tbsp water (can substitute with 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp whipped greek yogurt or hung curd; to make with eggs, simply add 3 eggs)
1 tsp orange extract 
1/4 tsp almond extract 
11/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal/ flour/ ground almonds 
1 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda (use only if you are using yogurt instead of egg replacer)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk
For this recipe it is best to keep the fruit bits soaked in the Orange juice for at least 3 days for best results. 
If you are using egg replacer, prepare it first. Beat 3 tsp of the egg replacer powder with 6 tbsp water till foamy. If using yogurt, add 1/2 tsp baking soda and whip it till smooth and creamy. Let it stand for 5 minutes. 
Pre heat the oven at 180 degree celcius for 10 minutes while you prepare the batter. 
Now in the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar till creamy. Now add the egg replacer liquid or yogurt or eggs (if not making eggless) and beat till the mixture is foamy, smooth and creamy. Now add the extracts and beat again. Now add the flour mixture (flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt) and add the milk in alternate additions. Once the flour us well incorporated, add the fruit bits along with the liquid and fold in. Do not over mix at this stage. Transfer the batter to two loaf pans of medium size or a single big loaf pan. Bake in the pre heated oven for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Monday, 7 December 2015

Aam Sondesh

A big apology to all my readers for the long hiatus in posting a recipe and while it was always on my mind to post something here, my schedule had become so hectic that I hardly found any time to cook at home leave aside cooking something new and interesting. Today however I made up my mind that I will definitely post a recipe, whatever it takes! I tried this delicious Aam Sondesh today in preparation for a Sondesh Cake order this week and while I have tried making Sondesh many times in the past, it was never this perfect. With today's success I now know where I had been going wrong all this while and hence this post. 

1 litre full cream milk
1 tbsp vinegar 
2-3 tbsp powdered sugar
4 tbsp mango purée 

Bring the milk to a boil and churn it with the vinegar. Drain the whey and collect the chenna in a muslin cloth. Wash it well with drinking water to remove the taste of vinegar. Squeeze out the excess liquid   and let it hang for 5-10 minutes. Now  knead the chenna till smooth, about 5-7 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and mix  again till the sugar dissolves. Now add the mango purée and mix till well combined. Now transfer this mixture to a pan and stir constantly on a low flame for exact 4 minutes. Switch off the flame and transfer to a greased plate with ghee. While the mixture cools to a little bearable temperature, you can quickly grease the Sondesh moulds (if using) with a little ghee. Then take little portions out of the mixture and press against the moulds. Then remove gently and place on another greased plate and cool completely before serving. You can also chill them until served. If you do not have the moulds,you  can just shape them with your hands. 

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Langar Waali Daal

have never had this daal at the Gurudwara (been only once or twice till now) and had never heard of it obviously until I saw Jaspreet Nirula Ji's post some time back on my regular food group. I had forgotten all about it until this last weekend when I didn't have anything special to offer my family for a nice lunch. Quickly searched for the recipe (couldn't find his and then googled and then found his), did some changes here and there and I served the most amazing daal I had made in recent times!! If this daal made by a person who has never tasted it can be so yummy, I wonder how that daal would taste which is made with so much love and positivity and that too in such a huge quantity. Can't wait to make it again!! 
1 cup whole black urad daal (you can use split black urad daal as well)
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp chana daal
6 big cloves garlic
1 tsp turmeric powder 
1 tbsp ghee
Salt to taste
For masala
1 1/2 large tomatoes chopped 
1 tsp ginger grated
2 green chillies chopped 
1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder 
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tbsp + 1 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp garam masala
Salt to taste
Chopped onions to serve (optional) 
Fresh chopped coriander to garnish 

Wash and soak the lentils overnight. If you forget this step or decide to makr it at the nth hour, put the urad daal in the pressure cooker and after 1 whistle, switch off the flame and let it soak in the water for 2-3 hours. Otherwise, a soaking time of 5-6 hours is good enough if you have time but overnight soaking is best. For the channa daal, either soak it overnight or if you forget, one hour soak is good enough. 
Pressure cook the lentils with all the ingredients except for the masala for 5-6 whistles till the lentils are mushy. You can also slow cook the lentils in an earthen pot or deep bottom vessel on a medium flame and covered. 
Now, heat 2 tbsp ghee and crackle the cumin seeds. Add the grated ginger and the chopped chillies followed by the tomatoes. Add the dry spices and stir constantly till the tomatoes are mushy and oil droplets appear along the sides. Now pour the boiled and slightly mashed daal (with a potato masher) and mix well. Add salt as required, garam masala, and sugar. Add a bit of the chopped coriander and stir. Reserve the rest for final garnish. Just before switching off the flame add the remaining ghee and stir. Need not dissolve it completely. Remove from heat, add the remaining chopped coriander and the chopped onions (if using). Serve hot!!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Hara Bhara Kabab

Probably the most popular vegetarian kababs, these are packed with nutrition and yet so easy to make. These are great served hot from the pan to enjoy the crunchy crust and soft inside. Serve these with a sprinkle of chaat masala and a fierry green chutney or sliced onions with a squeeze of lemon. Just yumm!!

200 gms spinach, stems removed 
1/2 cup green peas
2 large potatoes boiled
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 tbsp gram flour or besan
1 tsp red Chilli powder 
1 tsp cumin powder 
1/2 tsp chat masala or more to taste
Salt to taste 
Oil to fry

Boil the peas and potatoes till soft. Drain and keep aside. 
Blanch the spinach and squeeze excess water and finely chop. 
In a bowl, mash the potatoes and peas with a potato masher as fine as you can and add the chopped spinach. Add all the dry spices, ginger garlic paste, and besan and mix well. If your spinach wasn't squeezed well and there is still excess moisture, you can add 1 tbsp more besan and mix. Now pinch out small quantity and make a small smooth ball and flatten it with your palm. Arrange on a plate and repeat for the rest of the mixture. 
Now heat a grill pan and fry the kababs, with a little drizzle of oil, till golden on both the sides. Serve hot!!

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Classic Chicken and Mushroom Pie with Cheddar Cheese Short Crust Pastry

Conducting cooking and baking classes also means that I need to do my homework really really well. I like to give my class participants the best of all I know and so I do a lot of reading and experiments before I announce my next class. A pie and tart class has been long due and repeatedly requested and so here is my homework for the next schedule which is in November. There are three more recipes that I will need to try. Stay tuned!! Do read my notes at the end for vegetarian options.
For the filling 
1 chicken breast, about 150 gms, cut into medium pieces
200 gms white button mushrooms quartered 
1 large onion chopped 
2 cloves garlic chopped 
1 tbsp chopped parsley 
1 tbsp chopped rosemary 
1 tbsp olive oil plus more if required 
2 tbsp butter 
2 tbsp flour
200 ml milk
200 ml chicken/vegetable stock 
Salt and pepper to taste
For the pie crust (for a 22 cm pie plate)
1 cup all purpose flour/maida
2 tbsp butter, chilled 
2 tbsp vegetable shortening , chilled 
Pinch of salt
4 tbsp grated cheddar cheese 
1 egg (I used a little less than 1 large egg)

Start with making the pie crust first. Take the flour, salt, butter and shortening and start rubbing the fat into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. There should still be some traces of butter and shortening visible in the mixture. Do not overmix. 
Now add the grated cheese and the egg, little at a tine, till the dough just comes together. We don't need a smooth or fine dough. Just the one which holds everything together. I used little less than 1 large egg. 
Cover the dough with cling wrap and refrigerate till further use. 
Now start preparing the filling. Heat oil in a pan and add the chicken pieces. Fry till they turn white. Now add the mushrooms and fry on high heat till the moisture evaporates and the chicken and the mushrooms turn slightly golden. Remove from the pan and keep aside. 
Now, in the same pan, add a little more oil if required and fry the chopped onions and   garlic till translucent. Remove from pan and keep with the chicken. 
Now, to make the sauce, you can either use the same pan or use a new one. Heat the butter and add the flour. Stir till you get a lovely aroma and the flour looks pasty. Now mix the milk and the stock and add it to the pan along with salt and pepper. Stir on a medium flame till the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. 
Now add the chopped parsley and rosemary and mix and remove from heat. Put the chicken mixture into a pie plate and pour the sauce over it. Spread to evenly cover the chicken beneath. Keep aside and let it cool. 
Preheat the oven at 200 degree celcius for 10 minutes. Now, take a parchment paper and spread it out on the kitchen counter. Take the dough out of the fridge and remove the cling wrap. Put another sheet of parchment paper or cling wrap and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough gently from all sides to a uniform thickness of about 3 mm and just enough to cover the top of the pie plate. 
Brush the sides of the pan with egg wash. Gently lift the rolled out dough and place it on the pie dish covering the edges and sitting on top of the filling. Seal the edges with your fingertips and filling in any edges with scrap dough. Make some cuts in the center to let the steam escape. 

Brush the top with egg wash and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes till the edges and top and browned and crisp. Remove from oven and let it cool for sometime before serving. 
1. You can use any assorted veggies instead of the chicken like broccoli, sweet corn, carrots, beans, spinach, or cottage cheese as well. 
2. You can use 2-3 tbsp ice cold water instead of the egg while kneading the dough. 
3. You can skip the egg wash if you are a pure vegetarian. You can use milk wash instead but the shine won't be there. 

Monday, 28 September 2015

Simple and Easy Egg Biryani

Biryanis are always meant to be elaborate and royal which undoubtedly calls for a little planning. However, on some days, you just get that Biryani craving and you know you can't sit in peace unless you have satisfied your craving. This is what exactly happened to me this Sunday when we were exploring and discussing different food options for lunch. I had just this tray of eggs and nothing else in the pantry and within 1 hour quick and easy Egg Biryani was ready to be served. I made my own Biryani masala here, but you can use any store bought masala if you have even lesser time to get the biryani done. 
For the masala 
1 tsp cumin seeds 
1 tsp fennel seeds 
2 tsp coriander seeds 
3-4 Kashmiri whole red chillies 
4 cardamoms 
4 cloves 
1 black cardamom
1 bay leaf
1/2 mace
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder 
1 tsp black peppercorns 
1" cinnamon 
Dry roast all and grind to a fine powder 
For the rice
2 cups basmati rice, soaked for 1/2 hr
1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp shahjeera 
2 pods cardamom, 1" cinnamon 
1 tsp salt 
Rest of the ingredients 
1 large onion sliced finely 
11/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste 
2 large tomatoes chopped 
1 tbsp ghee + 1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Freshly chopped coriander and mint leaves 
1 cup warm milk (may require more)
3 hard boiled eggs
3 tbsp cornflour 
1/2 tsp Chilli powder 
1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
1/2 tsp salt

Start with preparing the eggs. Peel the hard boiled eggs and cut them into half. Make a thick paste with water, cornflour, Chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder. 

Dip the egg halves one at a time and shallow fry in hot oil until golden. Remove from heat and keep aside. 
Now, heat the oil and ghee in a deep bottomed pan and add the shahjeera. Add the whole spices and the rice (reserve the soaked water) and fry till the rice becomes translucent. Now add warm water till just about covering the rice 1" above. Cover and let the rice cook till about 90%. 
Heat oil and ghee in another pan and fry the sliced onions till golden. Next add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears. Tip in the tomatoes now and fry till mushy. Now add the freshly ground masala and mix well. Fry the onion masala till oil appears along the sides of the pan. Now add 1 cup milk and stir and bring to a boil. You can also add chopped vegetables to the masala and  fry a bit before adding the milk. Now add the cooked rice and mix well. Add coriander and mint and any birista or fried onions if you have ready. Mix well and drizzle some ghee from the sides and cover and simmer the flame. Let the biryani cook on dum for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and serve hot with the fried eggs and onion slices. 


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Chocolate Mango Mousse Cake

In my family we have back-to-back birthdays starting with mine and ending with my father-in-law with the exception of my kiddo who is January born. Three back-to-back birthdays mean lots of cake baking but relatively fewer mouths to feed. So when it came to baking the last birthday cake of the year, I knew for certain that it has to be not just a cake. A mousse cake was on my mind since long and I got the perfect opportunity to get that wish fulfilled. A soft and spongy Chocolate Cake layered with sinful Mango Mousse and neatly finished off with a beautiful Mango Glaze! A perfect dessert cake, you can also make it in individual portions by crumbling/cutting  the sponge and layering with alternate layers of the mousse. Do refer my notes at the end of the recipe.
For the sponge 
2 egg whites
2 tbsp plus 2 tbsp fine sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 egg yolks 
50 ml milk (roughly 1/4 cup)
24 ml (roughly 1/8 cup) unflavored oil (I used extra light olive oil)
1/4 cup flour (preferably cake flour for a light sponge)
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder sifted 
For the mousse 
1 cup whipping cream 
1 1/2 cup sweetened mango pulp (I used canned alphonso pulp)
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp gelatin/agar agar powder 
4 tbsp water

For the glaze
1 cup sweetened mango pulp
1 tbsp gelatin/agar agar powder 
4 tbsp water 

Start with making the sponge. Beat the egg whites with 2 tbsp sugar and cream of tartar until stiff peaks are formed. 
Now beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl along with the remaining sugar until pale yellow in color and creamy. Add the milk and the oil and beat further. Now add the sifted flour and cocoa mixture in two batches and mix well till no lumps remain. Now add half the egg whites into the yolk mixture and fold in till combined. Pour this mixture into the remaining egg whites and fold in to incorporate. Do not overmix. 
Preheat the oven at 180 degree celcius (should do halfway through the preparation) and grease and line a 6" round pan. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and the pan (after 5 minutes) and cool completely on a wire rack. 

While the cake cools, we can start with the mousse. Take a chilled bowl with chilled beaters and put the whipping cream along with the sugar and beat till stiff peaks form. The peaks should be able to hold their shape even when you tilt the bowl. 
Keep this bowl in the fridge (not freezer) while you prepare the mango puree. Sprinkle gelatin or agar agar in cold water and let it stand for 5 minutes. Now heat the mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds till completely dissolved and you get a clear liquid. Mix well and let it come to room temperature before using. Make sure you continue stirring it so that it doesn't set. Now add the cooled gelatin liquid to the mango puree and mix well till no lumps remain. 
Take the whipped cream out of the fridge and fold in the mango puree until combined. Now line a 7" spring form pan (I used an 8" pan and so got a slightly bigger outer mousse layer; would highly recommend using a 7" instead) or cake ring with parchment paper on the bottom and the sides for easy release later. Slice the completely cooled cake (very important) into two and put one half into the prepared pan. 
Now spread half the mousse on top of this evenly and let it set slightly in the fridge for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, take the pan out and gently keep the other layer of cake on top and spread the remaining mousse as evenly as possible. Smooth out the top and keep it to set in the fridge for at least an hour or till it feels set to the touch. 
Once the mousse has set, start preparing the glaze. Again, prepare the gelatin in the same way like you did for the mousse. Pour the cooled gelatin into the mango puree and mix well. Pour this mixture gently on top of the set mousse and let it set for 1-2 hours or overnight. Decorate the top as you like and serve chilled!
1. You can make it as individual portions by cutting the cake with a cookie cutter or crumbling the cake and layering it using the same procedure like you did for the cake. 
2. The procedure for making the mousse with agar agar powder will be the same. 
3. If you are a vegetarian, you can make an eggless cake using your recipe or any of my chocolate eggless cake recipes here and follow the rest of the procedure accordingly. 

Friday, 18 September 2015

Wholewheat Bread

Conducting bread baking classes at home are proving quite beneficial to me in a way that my breads are getting better and more perfect than what they used to be. Since I am the instructor, it is extremely important for me to practice all my demo recipes before the class and thus perfection sets in. I am in love with my breads now more than ever before and hate to buy a loaf from the store even if it means taking a sweat shower in the kitchen in the unbearable Singapore heat!!
2 cups wholewheat flour sifted (I have found Sharbati Atta of any brand gives you the best results; here, I have used Pilsbury Gold but Peshwai or Ashirwaad Sharbati will work equally well)
1 cup bread flour or all purpose flour 
3 tsp or 1 tbsp instant yeast 
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk powder 
250 ml warm water not exceeding 41 degree celcius or comfortable enough to hold a drop on the back of your wrist 
2 tbsp butter room temperature (I use low fat margarine)
Olive oil for greasing 

Proof the yeast first. Dissolve the sugar into 150 ml warm water and mix in the yeast. Let it stand for 10 minutes till frothy and increased in volume. 
In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, and milk powder. Now make a well in the center and pour in the yeast and start mixing the flour and the yeast liquid. Once all the liquid is covered by the flour, start adding in water little atva time until all the water is used up (remaining 100 ml). With wholewheat breads we have to ensure that the dough is not dry but smooth and soft to the touch with slight traces of stickiness. A dry dough will result in a dry crumbly bread. 
Now transfer the sticky dough to a clean and floured work surface and using both your hands, start kneading with all your might till all the stickiness is gone. This will take 5-7 minutes. Now spread out the dough and splash 1 tbsp butter/margarine and fold in. Continue kneading till the butter is absorbed. Do not be tempted to add extra flour. Just keep kneading and in mo time the stickiness will be gone. Now add the remaining 1 tbsp butter and knead again till you have an incredibly soft and elastic dough. Congratulations! You are 70% done!!
Niw oil a big enough bowl to hold the doubled up risen dough and also oil the dough. Gently place it into the oiled bowl and keep covered in a warm place for 1- 11/2 hour till doubled in volume. 
Once doubled, punch down the dough and knead for 3-5 minutes to bring the dough into a uniformly shaped loaf. Grease a loaf tin and place the shaped loaf in it. Cover again and leave to rise for another 1 hour. 
Towards the end of the second rise, start preheating the oven at 180 degree celcius and also keep a small tray of water to build up steam. 
Brush the top of the loaf gently with milk (room temperature) taking care not to deflate the dough. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes till you get a dark brown top and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. 
Remove from the pan immediately and brush the top with butter. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. 

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Golden Baked Coconut Macaroons

Coconut is a very versatile fruit and it adapts itself to any dish very skilfully. Be it sweet or savory, a dip or a complete maincourse dish, the coconut always lends a lingering flavor to the recipe and makes it distinct and memorable. These macaroons are no less. Not only they are a weight watcher's delight with no flour or butter in its making, they are also easy to make and require just three main ingredients and are incredibly light and delicious to eat that you won't even realize when you emptied an entire batch. 
P.S.: Recipe adapted from Once Upon A Chef with some changes
390 gms grated coconut (I used fresh coconut but you can use dried coconut as well available in the bakery section of grocery stores)
Scant 1 cup low fat condensed milk (or regular is fine too)
1 tsp vanila extract
2 large egg whites
1/2 tsp salt

Start by dry roasting the coconut on the stove top in a pan. You may skip this step if you are using dried grated/dessicated coconut. Freshly grated coconut has a lot of moisture and hence needs to be lightly roasted to avoid a liquid batter. Dry roast the coconut till the moisture has evaporated and the coconut feels dry to the touch. Take care not to burn the coconut. Remove from stove and let it cool completely before proceeding to the next step. 
Preheat the oven at 175 degree celsius and keep a baking tray ready lined with parchment paper. 
Now, mix the condensed milk (make sure you use a little less than 1 cup) and the cooled and roasted coconut. Add the vanilla and mix and keep aside.
Now whip the egg whites with the salt till stiff peaks form. Fold in this into the coconut mixture and mix. Ensure that you only do gentle folding without flattening out the foam. 

Now take heaped tablespoons of the batter and drop them into the prepared baking tray. You might notice some liquid releasing from the batter. Try and avoid adding the liquid as you might have a burnt base if you add that, like I have in my first batch. You do not have to squeeze out the liquid, but instead just avoid scooping it into the tablespoon. Scoop more solids than liquid! Place the scoops one inch apart.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes till the base and top are deep and slightly golden respectively. I like mine to be nicely golden on the top and so kept a few minutes longer. You can bake as you like yours to be. The cookies will be soft and chewy from inside and while baking they will still be soft to the touch. That's the way they are supposed to be and so do not worry about uncooked cookies.
Once done, remove from the oven and let them cool in the tray for a minute before transferring them to a wire rack for cooling completely.
I baked in three batches and got a total of around 36 cookies or maybe more as I could not count properly due to my constant munching. :D You can also dip these cookies halfway through into melted chocolate and then chill them for a few minutes or drizzle melted chocolate on the entire batch for a more indulgent bite!


Friday, 11 September 2015

Vegetarian Strawberry Panna Cotta with Rosy Strawberry Compote

A very Happy Birthday to us!! Yes, on this day, two years back, I ventured into the world of blogging with a strong passion to explore and enjoy the art of cooking and serving people with love. Little did I know then how drastically my life would change and how far I have reached from being just a homemaker to being a Home Baker and now an instructor too!! That's a long journey that I have covered and there are still miles to go before I reach my destination. Your love and appreciation had brought me here so far and I hope to continue receiving the attention and encouragement in the future too. Keeping with my blog's theme of quick and easy recipes and delicious too, I celebrate this day with another such awesome dessert which is insanely easy to make and equally stunning to look at!! 
1 1/2 cup full cream milk
1 1/2 cup whipping cream or heavy cream
1 1/2 cup strawberry pulp made from about 250 gms of stemmed and hulled strawberries (I used my stock of fresh and frozen strawberry pulp)
1/4-1/3 cup sugar depending on your taste
1 tsp vanila extract 
3 tsp agar agar powder (you can also use 3 tsp gelatin powder)

For strawberry compote 
1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries washed, hulled and halved
1/4 cup water
3-5 tbsp sugar, depending on your taste 
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp rose water

Mix the milk and sugar and sprinkle the agar agar on top. Let it stand for 5 minutes until dissolved. Now switch on the flame and while stirring constantly, put the pot of milk on medium flame. If using gelatin, be careful not to boil the mixture. It should be just hot with small bubbles just starting to appear on the sides. 
For gelatin users, make sure the gelatin has dissolved completely and no lumps remain. Check this by taking a bit of the milk mixture in your hands and checking the texture with your fingers. Grainy means a bit more of mixing and heating, but no boiling. 
If using agar agar, you will need to boil the mixture until the mixture is smooth and creamy and slightly thickened. Remember to bring it to boil for just once and that should be good enough to dissolve the powder. 
Now remove from flame and mix in the cream and vanilla. Whisk well. Next add the strawberry pulp and mix again. Check the taste and add more sugar if needed. If adding more sugar, bring the mixture back to the flame and stir constantly till the sugar dissolves. 
Cool the mixture slightly to being warm. Meanwhile, lightly grease the serving bowls, if you wish to unmould. If not, just keep them ready to pour in the cream. Once the mixture has cooled slightly, pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins and chill till set. 
For the strawberry compote, mix strawberries, sugar, lemon juice  and water in a non stick pan and put it on stove top on a medium flame. Keep stirring in between to avoid burning. The mixture will thicken and will have a saucy consistency in about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add in the rose water. Stir and let cool. Pour this on top of the set panna cotta and chill or serve immediately!!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Eggless Butterless Chai Cupcakes

My new bake book that I recently bought at the Bali Airport is quite an interesting read. This is the third recipe that I have tried and has amazed me once again. The best part about this book is that there are ample recipes which are eggless and butterless for regular baking as well as exotic recipes for those special days. I will keep posting my experiments here and you can try them as well in your kitchens!!
P.S.: Recipe inspired from Bake Happy by Judith Fertig
1/2 cup boiling water 
1 tea bag or 1 tbsp good quality tea leaves
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour 
2 drops chai masala drops or 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground green cardamom, 1:4 tsp ground nutmeg 
1 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
1/2 tsp fine salt 
1/2 cup milk (can be replaced with almond milk/soy milk for vegan options)
1 tbsp cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar 
1/2 cup brown sugar 
1/3 cup extra light olive oil or similar 
2 tsp vanila extract 

Preheat the oven to 180 degree celcius. Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners and keep aside. In a small saucepan, brew the tea bag/tea leaves in hot water and keep covered for 15 minutes. Do not leave the stove on while brewing. Else, the tea will get bitter.  Let it cool. 
In a medium bowl,sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and the spices (if not using the spice drop). In a separate large mixing bowl, stir together the milk, brewed and cooled tea, and vinegar. Allow the mixture to sit for 1 minute and then mix in the oil and vinegar and the spice drop (if not using the ground spices). 
Now whisk the flour mixture into the milk mixture, one-third at a time. Keep whisking until the batter becomes smooth and starts to thicken. 
Pour the batter upto 1/3 of the liners and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and set the pans on wire racks to cool completely. 

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Rum and Brown Sugar Banana Fool

Fool? Yes! This dessert is interestingly called a "Fool" by the English and is considered one of their classics. A Fool is a dessert made with cooked and mashed/puréed fruit and fluffy cream. The benign bananas are drizzled with spiced rum and baked till caramalized and then folded into light and fluffy whipped cream!! As easy a dessert as can be, this one is sure gonna blow your mind away, with its taste and its uniqueness. Try it, please!!
P.S.: Recipe adapted from Bake Happy

2 very ripe bananas (I used frozen bananas as I had a huge stock of them and so froze them in ziplock bags to avoid getting spoilt)
2 tbsp white, dark, or spiced rum (I used 3 for some extra punch)
2 tbsp packed light brown sugar 
1 cup whipping cream 
Freshly grated nutmeg for garnishing
Freshly grated chocolate for garnishing

Preheat the oven to 220 degree celcius. Line a 9" baking square dish with foil. Place the serving bowls/glasses in the freezer if you intend to serve the dessert right away. 
Arrange the peeled bananas in the prepared baking dish. If using frozen bananas, take them out from the freezer and let them come to room temperature before using. Drizzle them with the rum and sprinkle the sugar on top. 
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bananas are caramalized and soft. Remove the baking dish from the oven and let the bananas cool, then mash them in the baking dish. 
Meanwhile, whip the cream in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form and fold the whipped cream into the mashed, caramalized bananas using a spatula. 
Divide the fool among the prepared serving glasses or bowls. Top each portion with some grated nutmeg and grated chocolate and either chill it in the refrigerator until serving time or serve immediately in the chilled glasses. Enjoy!