Swiss Roll Ice Cream- DB July


The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.

Cake and Ice cream..Now that’s a combination that has the angels carousing in divine happiness..and who are we mere mortals to resist its exquisite pleasure.

To say we were thrilled at the prospect of making this dessert would be an understatement….and the end result did not disappoint. NOT ONE BIT. On the contrary it was a perfect dessert at a party we had a few weeks back that had my guests oohing and aahing like never before.

Taking a picture was another story altogether. Somehow the cake came apart by the time I took pictures so the pics I must admit belie its incredible deliciousness.

I made this dessert over the course of 4 days though it can be done in just a day. The ice creams took longer than I expected…..actually deciding what flavor of ice cream to make took even longer. But finally I chose to make a chocolate chip Ice cream and a caramel ice cream. Both turned out great….but sadly don’t have pictures. Maybe next time. Yes there will be a next time for sure. This one’s a keeper. Thanks Sunita.

Swiss roll ice cream cake

The Swiss rolls-

Ingredients-

6 medium sized eggs
1 C / 225 gms caster sugar /8 oz+ extra for rolling
6 tblsp / 45gms/ 3 oz of all purpose (plain) flour + 5 tblsp/40gm /2.5 oz of natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted together
2 tblsp /30ml / 1 fl oz of boiling water
a little oil for brushing the pans
For the filling-
2C / 500 mls/ 16 fl oz of whipping cream
1 vanilla pod, cut into small pieces of about ½ cm (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
5 tblsp / 70gms/2.5oz of caster sugar

Method-
1. Pre heat the oven at 200 deg C /400 deg F approximately. Brush the baking pans ( 11 inches by 9 inches ) with a little oil and line with greaseproof baking paper. If you have just one pan, bake one cake and then let the pan cool completely before using it for the next cake.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and sugar and beat till very thick; when the beaters are lifted, it should leave a trail on the surface for at least 10 seconds.
3. it should leave a trail on the surface for at least 10 seconds. Add the flour mixture, in three batches and fold in gently with a spatula. Fold in the water.
4. Divide the mixture among the two baking pans and spread it out evenly, into the corners of the pans.
5. Place a pan in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes or till the centre is springy to the touch.
6. Spread a kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle a little caster sugar over it.
7. Turn the cake on to the towel and peel away the baking paper. Trim any crisp edges.
8. Starting from one of the shorter sides, start to make a roll with the towel going inside. Cool the wrapped roll on a rack, seam side down.

9. Repeat the same for the next cake as well.
10. Grind together the vanilla pieces and sugar in a food processer till nicely mixed together. If you are using vanilla extract, just grind the sugar on its own and then add the sugar and extract to the cream.
11. In a large bowl, add the cream and vanilla-sugar mixture and beat till very thick.
12. Divide the cream mixture between the completely cooled cakes.
13. Open the rolls and spread the cream mixture, making sure it does not go right to the edges (a border of ½ an inch should be fine).
14. Roll the cakes up again, this time without the towel. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge till needed, seam side down.

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
from The Perfect Scoop

1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (not chocolate chips), chopped
Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the cream, and salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the warm milk and add the bean as well. Cover, remove from the heat and let steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens an coast the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Put the vanilla bean into the custard, add the vanilla extract, and stir until cool over an ice bath.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, rinsing and reserving it for another use, and then freeze. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate until there are still small chunks, the residual heat will melt those. Gently add to the vanilla ice cream and mix well and freeze again.

Caramel Ice Cream (Glace Caramel) Recipe
Adapted from here

Serves 4

Ingredients

70 g sugar
80 ml cream
3 egg yolks
360 ml milk
1 vanilla pod

Method
1. To make the caramel, put 45 g of the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and heat until it dissolves and starts to caramelize – tip the saucepan from side to side as the sugar cooks to keep the colouring even. Remove from the heat and carefully add the cream (it will splutter). Stir over low heat until the caramel remelts.
2. Whisk the egg yolks and remaining sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Put the milk and vanilla pod in a saucepan and bring just to the boil, then strain over the caramel.
4. Bring back to the boil and pour over the egg yolk mixture, whisking continuously.
5. Pour the custard back into the saucepan and cook, stirring, until it is thick enough to coat the back a wooden spoon.
6. Do not let it boil or the custard will split.
7. Pass through a sieve into a bowl and leave over ice to cool quickly.
8. Churn in an ice-cream maker following the manufacturer’s instruction.
9. Alternatively, pour into a plastic freezer box,cover and freeze.
10. Stir every 30 minutes with a whisk during freezing to break up the ice crystals and give a better texture.
11. Freeze overnight with a layer of clingfilm over the surface and the lid on the container. Keep in the freezer until ready to serve.

The Hot fudge sauce

Preparation time-2 minutes
Cooking time-2 minutes

ngredients-
1 C / 230gms/ 8 oz of caster sugar
3 tblsp / 24gms/1.5 oz of natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tblsp /15gms/ 1 oz of cornflour/cornstarch
1 and ½ C /355ml /12 fl oz of water
1 tblsp /14gms/ 1 oz butter
1 tsp/5 ml / .15 fl oz vanilla extract

Method-
1. In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornflour and water.
Place the pan over heat, and stir constantly, till it begins to thicken and is smooth (for about 2 minutes).
Remove from heat and mix in the butter and vanilla. Keep aside to cool .

Assembly-

1. Cut the Swiss rolls into 20 equal slices ( approximately 2 cms each ).
2. Cover the bottom and sides of the bowl in which you are going to set the dessert with cling film/plastic wrap. Arrange two slices at the bottom of the pan, with their seam sides facing each other. Arrange the Swiss roll slices up the bowl, with the seam sides facing away from the bottom, to cover the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till the slices are firm (at least 30 minutes).
3. Soften the chocolate chip ice cream. Take the bowl out of the freezer, remove the cling film cover and add the ice cream on top of the cake slices. Spread it out to cover the bottom and sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till firm ( at least 1 hour)
4. Add the fudge sauce over the chocolate chip ice cream, cover and freeze till firm . ( at least an hour)
5. Soften the caramel ice cream and spread it over the fudge sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4-5 hours till completely set.
6. Remove the plastic cover, and place the serving plate on top of the bowl. Turn it upside down and remove the bowl and the plastic lining. If the bowl does not come away easily, wipe the outsides of the bowl with a kitchen towel dampened with hot water. The bowl will come away easily.
7. Keep the cake out of the freezer for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Kalimpong

The second leg of out journey after Gangtok,was a stop at the small picturesque town of Kalimpong( 4,100 ft).

While Kalimpong was not initially on our schedule we made it our pit stop due to road sickness issues. But I tell you we regretted it not one bit. There’s not much to see really..but it’s a beautiful little hill-town in the Eastern Himalayas and its gentle laid-back charm can soothe your soul.

Kalimpong once belonged to Sikkim but was then taken by the Bhutanese and then passed into the hands of the British. Under the British it was primarily a center of Scottish missionary activity.

Apparently shopping is the most exciting touristy thing to do. There are two crowded bazaars as well as weekly markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays where one can buy Chinese textiles and lots of handicrafts attractive to anyone with a taste for oriental designs at DIRT CHEAP rates. No, I didn’t buy much as we were proceeding to Bhutan and I didn’t want to add to the already bulging suitcases.

Now , Doesnt this beat any BB Court in the world!

What to do in Kalimpong? Well, we did do visit all the must-see places, but I must admit none were overly impressive.There’s not much to do. But then that’s not the point. it’s just a quiet, picturesque town with loads of old British houses with its chimneys and gables and lovely gardens, great views. Most of all it has some sort of a charm , a placid ambiance that lends it character; basically great for a wander,trekking, for a chill out or to just savour the local food.

Kalimpong has also been a fav getaway for some big names among them Rabindranath Tagore and Dr. J.A.Graham. Rabindranath Tagore’s poem Janmadin was broadcast in India’s first Live Radio Broadcast from Kalimpong. Dr Graham is considered the father of Kalimpong for his various contributions to this enchanting town. His orphanage and school which was founded in 1880, with its own church, dairy, poultry, vegetable garden & bakery still run today.


Apart from Dr.Graham’s school one can also visit the Durpin Dara monastery in the south as well as check out the excellent views of the surrounding mountainside and the mighty Kanchenjunga range from the top of Deolo Hill(5,590 ft) in the North.

Stiking a Pose at Deola Hills

There is also a Science Center that you can visit if you are traveling with kids. Kalimpong produces 80% of India’s gladiolas and has a great number of nurseries.
We visited the Pineview Nursery which has a mind-blowing variety of cacti from the world over.

To Get to Kalimpong

• Air : Nearest airport Bagdogra (80 kms from Kalimpong)
• Rail : Two nearest railway stations are New Jalpaiguri (NJP) and Shiliguri
• Road : Kalimpong is connected by road with Calcutta 651 kms, Guwahati 513 kms, Delhi 1312 kms and other major cities in India.

Eat Out

Options are limited and we generally had our meals at the Hotel itself. We did go to the recommended Fresh Bite at
Rishi Road to taste the local cuisine,

To Stay
Kalimpong has a surprisingly large number of hotel options(since it is not tourist-choked). We stayed one night at Komfort Inn, a small yet homely cute place , and also at the colonial Himalayan Hotel.

Both GREAT places.

After our stay in Kalimpong, we left for Bhutan, refreshed and ready to take on more mountainous roads!

Super Healthy Eggless Choco-Nut Banana Bread

Banana Bread, that innocuous looking cake-masquerading-as-bread breakfast choice has eluded me for a while now. But when I saw this, it took me less than five minutes to assemble the required ingredients and a very short while later I had a wonderful banana bread that my family and I absolutely loved. And here’s the bonus- Its low fat and very healthy( flax seeds, almonds..and what have you…).

Go ahead, make some now…….

Eggless Choco-Nut Banana Bread


Ingredients:
(yields one loaf in a 9 X 12 pan)

1. 2 cups whole wheat flour + 1 cup all purpose flour plus more for dusting
2. a pinch of salt
3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
4. 1/3 cup flaxseed powder
5. 1/3 cup + 1 cup milk
6. 1/4 cup oil
7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8. 1 cup sugar
9. 1 cup mashed banana, about 3-4 bananas depending on the size
10. 1/2 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
11. 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
12. 1 cups chopped almonds

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Lightly grease a 9 X 12 loaf pan.

First sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder.

Take 1/3 cup of the milk and add the flaxseed powder to it.Keep it aside for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile in another bowl combine the oil, sugar, vanilla essence ,mashed banana, and the remaining milk.

Add the flaxseed powder-milk mix to this and stir to combine.

Add the flour mix to this wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just blended. Dont panic if its a sticky dough. Thats the way its supposed to be.Thrwo in the chocolate chips and the chopped(or powdered in my case) almonds. Fold it it.

Spoon the dough into the loaf pan and bake for about an hour to hour and a half or till the toothpick comes out clean .

Cool completely for about 15 minutes before turning the bread over. Slice only when completely cool or it will fall apart.

Travelling with the Teesta- Gangtok

We have always wanted to visit atleast one North Eastern state in India. But it was only once we were on the flight to Bagdogra did I truly believe we were finally going.

The first few days are still bit of a chaotic blur( I AM married to Mr.LAST MINUTE, after all!!)

We took the road from Bagdogara to Gangtok(124 km) though one can also get there by train from the nearest(148 kms) New Jalpaiguri railway station. But which ever route you take, the view will of the mountains and the gushing, foaming white-water Teesta will continuously entice and accompany you.

Traveling with kids is never easy and driving around with kids who are car sick even less so. Inspite of the regular puke-stops we had to make ,the beauty of the place seemed to keep everyone is high spirits.

And once we got to Gangtok the effort of getting there seemed worth it.

The capital of Sikkim, a small state (7096 sq.km.)in India, Gangtok, aptly meaning ‘hilltop’ left me impressed not only because of its pristine beauty but also largely because it was sooo clean; probably the cleanest city in India. Plastic bags are forbidden and this rule is actually enforced unlike in other cities. We took a taxi and did our sightseeing over a span of 2 days. The taxis here are the main mode of transport.

You can choose the number of touristy places you want to visit and you are charged accordingly. For our 7 point agenda we were charged Rs 1000 in total. However I do feel that the one can easily cover the main tourist spots in a few hours and then explore the place and travel the less trodden path for the rest of the stay.

First we visited the Do-Drul Chorten( Stupa) with its gold plated spire that was built by the revered Trulshi Rimpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism in 1945.It is one of the most important stupas in Sikkim and has 108 Mani-lhakor or prayer wheels.

It is believed that turning these prayer wheels will invoke Buddhisattva and is supposed to have the same benefits as chanting prayers.

We glimpsed lamas young and old working and studying.

The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology nearby, houses rare artifacts and a million Buddhist manuscripts, statues and books.

What I really did enjoy here was the collection of antique jewelry and precious stones as well as the typical Tibetan architecture and art work at the Institute. We bought a lot of lovely souvenirs from the wonderful store near it.

The Ropeway at Deorali market too is a major tourist attraction. However I was not very impressed and the cable car was way too crowded for us to feel comfortable.

Nevertheless it does afford a birds view of the city including the lovely Assembly. Other places we visited were the Flower Exhibition centre which had numerous local flowers

and plants on display and Hanuman Tok, from where we had our first clear view of the mighty ‘Mother of Pearl’ Khang-Chen-Dzod-Nga (Kanchenjunga)

While I really wanted to visit Nathu-la Pass, it was closed due to landslides and we missed a wonderful chance to visit. Remember that one need to make a pass a day earlier.

We did however visit a couple of other monasteries such as the Rumtek Monastry and Enchen Monastry. both of which were we enjoyed tremendously.

The sight of the fluttering multi-hued prayer flags that one finds all over is so comforting, don’t you think?

Prayer flags form an integral part of Sikkim’s landscape and have a unique beauty about them and are believed to bring peace and happiness to all.

Places to Eat- The only place worthy in my view of much talk was Allens Kitchen.

The small restaurant was widely recommended and while the food was good especially the momos, what really struck us as unique was the decor and style of the place very TGIF-ish but in a quaint and cozy sort of way.

Shop- Hmmmm..honestly we didn’t do a lot of shopping.

Though the stone-paved MG Road is a GREAT place. It’s a walk only road, much like Shimla’s Mall Road. There are three main markets: Old Market, New Market and Lal Markets .


The road has most branded stores a couple of nice cafe’s where one can sit back and watch the interesting and beautiful people go by:)

What we found and did buy were great footwear, and traditional items such a Thangakas (embroidered silk religious scrolls) and prayer wheels.

In short a lovely town that I would sure love to visit again….

The Red Book – Meaghan Delahunt


The book is basically about three strangers – an Australian photographer Francois ,Arkay a Scottish alcoholic turned Buddhist monk and a Tibetan refugee, Naga who meet in India and subsequently find their lives entwined by destiny.

Written by Australian born Meaghan Delahunt I picked up the book as I always have a fascination to see India through the eyes of an outsider. I also picked up the book for another reason. The Bhopal gas tragedy and the subsequent suffering of the victims has always saddened and angered me. So I figured this book that was supposedly set against the background of the twentieth anniversary Bhopal tragedy might prove to be an interesting read.

Francois, who is drawn to India after she sees the iconic photographs of the dead baby from the gas tragedy travels to Bhopal to travels to Bhopal to rediscover herself and take photographs that are not clichéd .There she meets and falls in doomed love with Arkay who is vainly battling addiction and memories of abuse as well as develops a close friendship with Naga, whose repressed anger caused by losing his family to the disaster stands in contrast with Arkays impulsive and moody temperament. The Red Book is a book where Francois stores photographs that tell of their time together.

What I liked about the book was the short effectiveness of Delahunt’s prose, and though not much else moved me about the book. Bhopal was just a background, a touching point for the characters. Nothing more. I was also not very impressed by the characterization. The three main characters all sounded the same to me. Like three voices of the same person. In the end while the book is mostly a tale of identity, despair, love and the west and East outlooks, it left me quite unmoved and unimpressed.

Do You Know The Muffin Man

The last month or so have been unlike a previous few.

They have been rather eventful in my otherwise boring life.

No, I’m not pregnant.

I have been doing a lot of things that I love.A whole month of traveling( will tell you about that in another looong post) and Reading( I’m sure the many book reviews Ive been posting are testimony to that) .And have also been doing some writing for an online news magazine that keeps me busy all day.

Also got the news that we may be posted out of Goa to my hometown Kochi, soon.I’m still trying to decide if I’m disappointed or happy. I’m certainly not doing an impromptu tap dance . I love Goa. I have so many happy memories. Its where M and I made our first home. I love my life here.Kochi is not too bad. I have my parents living there which means I will have a lot more time to myself. But after living in the quiet happiness of a place like Goa, even the thought of the crazy roads and noise of Kochi(I’m making it sound like a bustling metropolis- which its NOT) gives me a headache.

Anyway I do have a few more months in Goa…so I’m not going to do too much thinking. What I will do is share this lovely gem of a recipe that I found on Aparna’s blog. .

Strawberry Muffin

Ingredients:
( 8 muffins)

1 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar*

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup strawberries, chopped into medium sized chunks

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup oil

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Mix the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt lightly. Add the strawberries to the flour mixture and mix until the strawberries are coated with the flour.

In another bowl, lightly beat the egg, vanilla extract, milk and oil together. Add this to the strawberry-flour mixture and very gently mix together, in a folding motion, about 4 or 5 times.

Do not over stir. It is OK if the batter is lumpy slightly floury. Grease your muffin tins/ cups and divide the batter equally between them, so that each one is about 2/3rds full.

Bake at 190C for about 25 minutes till the muffins are done and lightly golden brown on top. Cool for 10 minutes, unmould them and cool completely on a rack.

Baking Powder on Foodista

Homesick – Eshkol Nevo

Jerusalem born Eshkol Nevo’s first novel Homesick takes place in Castel, a hilltop village between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and is ostensibly about Nova, a budding Photography student and her psychologist in the making boyfriend Amir. They move into a little apartment separated from their landlords Moshe Zakian and Sima by just a thin wall. Then there is Yutam, the young boy who befriends Amir, even as he deals with the death of his brother in the war in Lebanon and his parents inability to cope with the tragedy. Saddiq is a Palestinian refugee whose family lived in the Zakian home until 1948, and who lives in an unnamed West Bank village but wants to return to his old house and reclaim what is his. Modi is Amir’s friends a wanderlust whose adventure filled life entices Amir , but who finally does pine for home.

This skillfully written book reads like an art move, a beautifully made art movie. Slow paced yet powerful , Nevo develops each of his characters with such detail that I felt I knew them all. Set against the historical backdrop of the Rabin assassination, Nevo manages to weave a terrific tale of friendship,nostalgia and longing. There is nothing very political about the novel yet the bombings, the state of the Israeli Palestinian conflict all give an underlying sense of gloom that pervades the novel. The reader is constantly aware of the state of permanent war that around them and the And more than the political struggles, it is the struggles of the heart that the novel deals with.

While not obviously tragic or sad, a sense of fore brooding hangs over the novel, like a dark cloud. When Noa and Amir first go to view their apartment , by accidentally enter the house of mourning of a family of a young soldier killed in Lebanon.The tension out in the world slowly seeps into the lives of the unmarried young couple as domestic drudgery threatens to pull them apart. Moshe and Simi too face their share of problems. Moshe, a bus driver in his 30s, longs to raise his children in a religious set u plike his older brother unlike his wife Simi who wants a secular upbringing for her children. This leads to friction in their until now peaceful marriage. The friend ship that develops between Yotam and Amir is beautifully etched as is the scene when Yotam’s family leave for Australia to make a new home and start afresh.

In all it is a beautifully scripted novel. But don’t expect it to be an easy , light read. The books narrative was mostly of inner monologue and sometimes moved between characters thoughts so smoothly that I was always on the look out for clues as to whose thoughts they were. A very compelling book and a fantastic first novel.

Paneer Pepper Masala

I’m going to cut to the chase today..its a Paneer Pepper Masala that I have to share today. My mom made it on our recent trip home( Kochi). What do I say..It was lovely…as are most of my moms dishes…

Paneer Pepper Masala

Paneer Pepper Masala

Ingredients
Paneer( Cottage cheese) -200 gms, cubed. fried in oil and marinated in 1/4 cup curds for 10 min.
Cashew Paste – tbsp
Spinach Cooked and Ground to a paste -1/4 cup
Raw coriander and Mint Paste- 2 tbsp
Yellow or Green Capsicum – 1 chopped
Ginger paste – 1 tsp
Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Green Chillies – 2 chopped
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Freshly ground pepper – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Tomato puree – 1/2 cup
Onion – 2 chopped
Fresh cream – 2 tbsp
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Oil- 2 tbsp

Method
Heat oil. Add onion , ginger and garlic paste. Fry well.

Add the tomato puree and green chillies and cook for a while.

Add all the dry powders, salt with the marinated paneer, spinach paste, coriander mint paste, cashew paste and half a cup of water.

Cook till it is ready ( 5 minutes)

Add crushed pepper powder, lemon juice and cream.

Serve hot with rotis or rice.

Twelve Bar Blues

Twelve Bar Blues :The 12-bar blues is (or blues changes are) one of the most popular chord progressions in popular music, including the blues. The blues progression has a distinctive form in lyrics and phrase and chord structure and duration. It is, at its most basic, based on the I-IV-V chords of a key.

Books, Music.
Music Books.
I love them both.


And Patrick Neate’s Twelve Bar Blues is one such stupendous book that reads like great music.
It is a dazzling gem of a novel deftly moving through three centuries and exploring issues of identity, the quest of the black soul, family and sorrow amidst the background of the early days of jazz.

At the heart of the novel is Lick Holden “the greatest…horn man that was ever lost to history”. His life in Mount Marter Louisiana is recounted in the beginning of the novel as is his stint at the Correctional School for Negro Boys where he learns to play the cornet.We are also introduced to his family including his light skinned sister Sylvie(“who wasn’t no blood relation”).In telling Licks musical journey Neate insinuates lick into the history of jazz and blues in Africa interweaving legend and imagination. Buddy Bolden, Fate Marable, Louis “Dipper” Armstrong, Kid Ory, and King Oliver are all made a part of this stunning tale.

Lick’s search for Slyvie forms a main part of the novel and leads him on a journey to New Orleans. The love story between Lick and Sylvie meanders through tragedy, and lust and guilt , redemption, fate and choice and is interspersed with other equally mesmerizing magical tales. Neate’s genius is undoubtedly in his story telling. His unhurried style takes us on a tour of New Orleans, New York and Africa is a journey that is as realistic as is magical. It was not so much the plot( which was fantastic too) as was his style of writing that left me howling with laughter AND weeping tears of tragic loss..and in ONE page! Pure Genius!

Halfway into the book and almost eighty years later, we also meet Sylvia Di Napoli, a coffee-coloured British prostitute(“retired”) and singer(“unemployed”) who is on a quest to find her roots and the true meaning of her “blackness”….along for the ride is Jim, a white young scrawny big-hearted drifter, tagging along for a “drunken tour of America”.

We also travel back in time to the world of African legends and history and its present day continuation with the hilarious tale of Tongo, an African Chief and Musa his permanently stoned ,sex addict-ish witch doctor.

Neate tales are as fresh as new melody and yet each new story resonates with the older stories to create new meaning.

The brutal truths about the sufferings and violence of the black folk back then is so powerfully drawn up that it pulsates with the details and makes everything and everyone (prostitutes, pimps, thugs, jazz players, magic men) believable.

Reality and dreams, history and myth, physical and metaphysical, past and the future all combine in this fascinating book that has its soul in music.

Rasmalai – ICC

Question : I can eat bucketfuls of this, and yet ask for more…name it!

No….Anything is technically not the right answer..

But Rasmalai is.

I love these milky desserts and thoroughly enjoyed making them for Srivallis ICC.

So here goes a detailed fool proof way to make these Bengali sweets

Ingredients:

Milk – 3 litres (2 litres for making paneer and 1 litre for making Rasa/Milk syrup.)
Vinegar- 3 tbsps
Water-5 cup’s
Sugar- 16 tbsp (8 for Sugar Syrup and 8 for Rasa/Milk Syrup)
Saffron- 8 pieces
Pista-10 finely chopped
Maida flour- 1 tsp
Cardamon-2 (crushed)

Method:


I. Preparation of Whey Water
II. Preparation of Paneer
III. Preparation of Sugar Syrup
IV. Preparation of Milk Syrup/Rasa

Now comes the process in detail..

I. Preparation of Whey Water:

Boil Two Litres of milk and let it cool. Refrigerate the milk for 12 hours. The next day or after 12 hours, remove the thick layer of skin/ paal adai/meegada formed over the milk. Now boil the milk, when the milk boils, add vinegar. wait for a minute or two. the paneer will start floating on top and the whey water will stay on the bottom of the vessel. Now with a muslin or a cotton cloth, filter the paneer and pour 2 cups of water on it, to remove the sourness of vinegar and then tie it well and let it hang on for one hour, till the whey water drops out.

What to do with the Whey Water?

Let the whey water get soured. that is leave it for a time of 1 week to get soured. after that pour it into a bottle and refrigerate it. this soured whey water will be good for one year of time. when you want to make paneer, you can use this whey water instead of vinegar/lemon juice.
(or)
Whey water can be used to prepare chapathi or Roti, which makes them super soft.

II. Preparation of Paneer:
This is an important step.
As we have tied and hanged the paneer in muslin cloth to let out the whey water, wait for atleast an hour and squeeze them very well. well. remove from the cloth and shift to a broad vessel. Now just prepare the paneer, as we knead the dough for chapathi/roti, in the same way knead the paneer, for 5 minutes atleast, till you feel it dont have much moisture content in it. now add a spoon(not more) of maida flour to the paneer and make it as small small ball’s remember the balls will become double in size after putting it and boiling it in sugar syrup. so make a medium size paneer ball’s. with 2 litres of milk you can prepare 12 or 13 paneer ball’s.
You may even use this to make Rasgullas.

III. Preparation of Sugar Syrup:
In a wide-bottomed pressure cooker, add two cups of water and eight table spoons of sugar. let it boil. Now when it boils, add the paneer ball’s one by one on to it. dont afraid of the ball’s getting broken. if you have kneaded the paneer well, it wont get broked. let it get pressure cooked for 10 minutes in slow flame or for 2 whistles.
Now let the steam get out and open the cooker and see the double-sized paneer ball’s. slightly press all the paneer balls to emit the excess sugar syrup.

IV. Preparation of Milk Syrup/Rasa:
Even before you start to prepare the sugar syrup start making milk syrup/rasa side by side. Have one litre of milk in a wide bottomed vessel and let it boil and get reduced into half of the quantity.This might take awhile. Now add eight table spoons of sugar and mix well. add saffron and crushed cardamon to it and mix well. put the paneer ball’s into the rasa/milk syrup. cool it down and refrigerate it.
Serve with chopped pistachios on top.


The recipe was from Lavis blog.

Julie Julia – Blog to Memoir to Movie

You know the kind of person who exasperates you so much you want to give them a GOOD SMACK?
well Julie Powell is exactly that kind of person…
I wanted to shake her till her head fell off….What the fuck..oops..(maybe Julia’s bad language is getting to me…)
But I mean why did she whine so much. She makes whining WHINING, you know what I mean?

Stuck at a dead-end secretarial job,Julia decides to dramatically resurrect her life by taking on a deranged assignment- to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook in a year’s time- and blog about it.

The rest of the book deals with her culinary journey including sometimes really mordant descriptions of meals made by soaking and boiling calf hooves, extracting bone marrow Putting chicken livers in jelly (from the hooves) and refrigerating it (and then eating it cold),kidneys, brains most of which resulted in her kitchen smelling “like a tannery”.

If you are not vegetarian you will be tempted to convert…

I guess the only saving grace is probably her determination to go through with the project…. and Eric, her husband, a paragon of encouragement. He comes across as very sweet and accommodating (she loves Buffy the vampire slayer, for godssake!!!!and he still loves her- If THAT’S not accommodating ..what is?)Its totally another story that she goes on to cheat on him AND write about it!!!

Well I must admit that I did feel a tinge(OK it was waaay more than a tinge) of jealousy about her rise to blogdom fame…. and almost felt inspired to try something OUTSIDE of my comfort zone…

But that aside…..the book just chronicles Julia’s cooking ‘project‘ and how she got lucky because she did the right thing(blogging) at the right time.

Strangely ,although the book revolves around food ,one just doesn’t get the feeling that she really loves food or cooking…its all a big chore to finish what she started.

I haven’t watched the movie so far..I just hope it’s better than the book…..

Tomato Dosa

Why is it that most of us(or is it just me?) run out of breakfast ideas.

Although I like to try out different cuisines I often find the South Indian breakfast cuisine easiest to put together. Agreed the grinding past may be a bit cumbersome , but once you have that out of the way, the next couple of days are tension free….

Take for instance this variety of dosa that I found on Shailaja’s super duper blog.

Its real simple to make, in fact it doesn’t even need fermentation…

Its got great colour( always a good thing when your target group includes children) and is healthy too…
Plus its different from the regular fare…

I served this with podi, but I’m sure any chutneys will do just great.

Tomato Dosa Recipe

Prep & Cooking: 20-30 mts, Soaking: 2-3 hrs

Serves 5-6 persons

Cuisine: South Indian

.
Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup raw rice and 2 tbsps of tur dal, soaked in water for 2-3 hrs

2 tomatoes chopped

2 tbsp grated fresh coconut (optional)

2-3 dried red chillis, de-seed and tear

1-2 tbsp grated jaggery

salt to taste

oil as required

1 Drain and grind smoothly the rice and tur dal with chopped tomatoes, dried red chillies (de-seed), grated fresh coconut, jaggery, coriander leaves, salt and little water to form a dosa-like batter.

2 Heat griddle on high flame till hot, reduce heat, pour a laddle full of dosa batter, spread the batter with the bottom of the ladle evenly making circles to form a dosa and drizzle with some oil along the edges. Cook on medium heat for 1-2 mts and increase to high flame for a few seconds and flip the other side and cook for 20-30 seconds or till done.

3 Serve hot with any podi or chutney of your choice .

This one goes to Tried & Tasted event started by Zlamushka of SpicyKitchen.

This months blog is Sailus food

DB April 2010- Not so Traditonal , Traditional English Pudding

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet

yeah..that was the problem, right there.The last word.

Suet. In case you’re wondering, suet is the hard but flaky fat found on the inside of a cow or sheep around the kidneys and that area of the body.

Ewwww I KNOW…not my kinda thing either..

But thankfully Esther allowed for substitution and so I did what I love to do best….no not whining..but using butter.Arent the best things in life made of butter????

Steamed desserts are not new to us in India. Especially for us South Indians. We make a variety of steamed goodies – kozhukutta(rice ball dumplings), vatayappam being just two of many many.

But a steamed pudding was something I’d never tried.


Don’t let the ugly pictures fool you..I mean I know
I know it’s not easy on the eyes–heck, it would be a great contestant in a ugly photo contest but it was real good…and so we couldn’t have cared less.

Sticky toffee and date pudding with candied ginger
Shamelessly copied from here

For the toffee sauce

2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (120g) demerara sugar (or another dark brown sugar)
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
pinch of salt

For the pudding

6 ounces (180g) pitted dates, snipped or chopped
1 cup (250ml) water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup (40g) candied ginger, chopped
1 1/4 cups (175g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (55g) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.Butter an 8 1/2-inch (about 24cm) porcelain soufflé mold, or similar-sized baking dish.

2. To make the toffee sauce by bringing the cream, demerara sugar, honey and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring often to melt the sugar.

3. Lower heat and simmer, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and coats the spoon. Pour half the sauce into the prepared soufflé mold and place the mold in the freezer, and reserve the other half for serving.

4. To make the pudding, in a medium saucepan, heat the dates and water. Once the water begins to boil, remove from heat and stir in the baking soda. Add the ginger, if using, then set aside, but keep it slightly warm.

5. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

6. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, then the vanilla.

7. Stir in half of the flour mixture, then the date mixture, then add the remaining flour mixture . The mixture will be a bit liquidy. Add some hot water if required.

8.Pour mixture on to the sauce, cover and steam for 1.5 hours.
The sauce and sponge mixture mix together during cooking.

9. Let cool slightly before serving.

Yummmmmm…..Ooooey Gooooey Chocolate!

I have a maniacal love for chocolate. I baked these DELICIOUS baked fudge a while back but I MUST share them with you because they are ABSOLUTELY DIVINE( isn’t that my diet flying outta the window!)…and unbelievable easy to make..even ur kid can make ‘em for you!These will definitely be made again in my home!!!!

They are from Ree’s beautiful website and you can find the original recipe here.

Warning: Before you make these you might need to wake up earlier than usual and run an extra hour to offset the catastrophic caloric intake you are about to experience….

Baked Chocolate Fudge
Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 50 Minutes Difficulty: Easy Servings: 4

Ingredients

* 2 whole Eggs
* 1 cup Sugar
* 2 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
* 2 Tablespoons Flour
* ½ cups Butter, Melted
* 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 to 325 degrees.

Beat eggs until light in color. Beat in sugar until just combined. Add cocoa, flour, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Mix gently until well combined.

Pour batter into four large ramekins or one 8-inch square baking dish. Set ramekins or pan into a larger pan halfway full of water.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until upper crust is crispy and the rest of the batter is firm but not set. Toothpick should come out…not clean, but mixture should not be overly runny. If you pull it out of the oven and have second thoughts, stick it back in for ten more minutes.

Serve with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

This one goes off to the Foodie Fans of the Pioneer Woman

Orbis Terrarum 2010 Challenge- Going Places

I know I keep complaining about my lack of time but this is one challenge I couldn’t stay away from. As most of you know I do love to read and travel….and this project lets me do both ( well, almost) .
Confused?
Don’t be..Its like this-
take eight months to read eight books penned by 8 authors from 8 different countries . Aint it interesting???
….read up more on Bethanys blog here.
While Ive not really come up with a final list of books these are what I have in mind..

1.Trainspotting -Irish Welsh (Scotland)
2. Lolita by Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov ( Russia)
3.Slaughter house five by Kurt Vonnegut American
4. The Handmaid’s Tale by by Margaret Atwood( Canada)
5.The cave by José Saramago ( Portuguese)
6.The Yacoubian Building by Alaa-Al-Aswany ( Egypt)
7.Alone in berlin by Hans Fallada (Germany)
8. ….probably something by Bapsi Sidwa

Weekend Getaway- Murudeshwar, Gokarna

In most ways I can be grouped into the category of a regular Homo Sapien , especially of the Indian kind. I am therefore what can be described as “fairly religious”

When I was growing up(hmmm I still am growing I guess ,albeit sideways!) I used to wake up at 4 in the morn, go to the temple( the prasad was a big draw!), fast on Mondays…chant religious texts..

Yup I was a religious geek.

But over the years my appreciation and understanding of religion has undergone many changes. I’ve swung from being a non believer to being a Yo-Yo follower..to what I am now- Confused.

My mom though(rather unhappily ) says its plain laziness…I drag myself outta bed at 7( only because my oldest leaves at 7.15!)The prayer lamp is lit only when my mom visits…Ive generously rented the puja area out to a couple of spiders who’ve made some great homes there..and as for visiting temples ..Ahem..its probably been a LONG time before I saw one of those….

But not because I don’t enjoy visiting temples(though not the over-crowded ones) . Visiting a temple or any religious place for that matter gives me a sense of humble yet soothing peace.

A few weeks back we visited Murudeshwar, a quiet touristy/ religious place situated close to the halfway mark of the Karavali Coast between Honavar and Bhatkal. It is about 438 km NW of Bangalore and 150KMs north of Mangalore .

Although I say religious, this is mostly a place developed by some business group that decided to tap India’s temple flocking folk….But that’s not to say that what we saw was in any way not ‘worthy of flocking’!


What strikes you once you get there is the only reason you need to go – A HHHHUUUUUGGGE statue of Lord Shiva. The spectacular 36 meter-high monumental statue stands next to an equally staggering 249 feet tall Raja Gopura, which is considered the tallest gopura in the world.
Two life-size elephants in concrete stand guard at the steps leading to the 500 year old temple.

The temple has several other beautiful carvings and statues that date back to a few centuries.
There is also a huge fort behind the temple said to have been renovated by Tipu sultan, the ruler of Mysore.
The story behind the origin of the temple dates back to Hindu mythology.

The temple, which embodies a linga, is believed to have erupted when Ravana flung the cloth covering the Atmalinga at Gokarna while lifting it.Read the full story here.
The place also boasts of a long virgin beach thrusting out to the sea.

We stayed at the only decent looking hotel around. RNS recidency.

For 2,500 a night the rooms were OK but offered a lovely view of the shimmering beach .
But what the kids enjoyed the most were the two pools that the hotel offered to guests.


Isnt the view fanstatic?

On our way back we visited Gokarna too, though we did not stay there. Gokarna has 5 famed beaches Om,Gokarna, Kudle, Half Moon, and Paradise. Of these we visited the om beach .

Look at its shape…isn’t it shaped like the religious symbol ‘om’ Yeah that’s how it got its name.
We didn’t go to any of the other beaches as it was HOT! And the kids we getting cranky. But we did stop at the Gokarna temple.

It’s a quaint temple and very different from the other temples as it has no idol. You need to bend down and put your hand into a deep hole that houses the linga.

How to get to Murudeshwar
How To Get There
Air : Dabolim, Goa.
Train : Kumta. 32 km
Rail : Hubli
Road : Bhatkal 16 kms
STD Code: 08386

How to get to Gokarna

Air: Mangalore – 165km
Bangalore – 465km

Drive:Bhatkal – 16km
Kollur – 63km
Karwar – 120km

Train: Bhatkal – 16km
Shimoga – 195km
Mangalore – 165km
STD Code: 08385

ICC- April

Its white , wriggly and wonderfully different…
Yes! its that time of the month again when we don our Indian caps and put the kitchenware lying right at the back to good use.

Very good use.

And this month Srivalli mail read Javvarisi/Sago/Sabudhana Murukku as this month’s ICC challenge I was skeptical as this really didn’t look like my cuppa tea..esp with warnings of possible sago explosions:)
but alls well that ends well …and here they are ,my white headed crispy snacks( honestly I’m not even sure if they are supposed to look like this)

Javvarisi/Sago/Sabudhana Murukku

Ingredients

Rice Flour(Arisi Maavu) – 2 cups
Besan flour(Kadalai Maavu) – 1/2 cup
Fried gram flour(Pottukadalai maavu) – 1/2 cup
Sago(Javvarisi) – 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Curd – 50 gms (1/4 cup)
Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp or as per taste

Special Utensil
Murukku Achu

Directions

In the buttermilk, soak the sago for about two to three hours until it doubles in size and gets translucent. If the sago is not soaked for enough time, it might tend to burst while frying the murukkus.

In a bowl, mix all the flours together. Heat about 50 gms oil, mix it along with the flour salt and chilli powder. Slowly add the buttermilk soaked sago and knead to make a smooth dough.

In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat oil for deep frying. In the murukku achu, add enough quantity of dough. When the oil gets hot, slowly press the murukku using the achu and deep fry on both sides until it turns golden brown in color.

Cook on medium flame to ensure the muruku is cooked well.

Store in an airtight container.

Pasta + Spinach + Almonds = YUM!!

Its been a relatively lazy week….I’ve been reading ( The White Tiger- Finally got a hold of the book), and enjoying my guitar lessons and life has been moving slo-mo!
I even gave the weekly grocery shopping a miss and one night realized I had just a few bunches of spinach in the pantry. Luckily I’d seen this recipe here only weeks earlier and I knew just what to make. Heidi’s recipes are never-fail and this one didn’t disappoint either. Its an incredibly healthy yet delicious one meal dish…..deepened by the intense and complex nuttiness of almonds and flavored by lemon zest….


Baked Spinach Pasta

I halved the measurements…this serves 8.

extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pound pasta
sea salt
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups well-chopped fresh spinach
1 1/2 cups lightly toasted and coarsely ground
zest of 2 lemons
8 ounces mozzerella, shredded or torn into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter/oil a large casserole dish or baking pan – something roughly equivalent to 13×9-inch pan.

Boil the pasta in salted water per package instructions. Drain pasta, toss with a glug of olive oil. Set aside.

In the meantime, heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high. Saute the onions with a couple pinches of salt for a few minutes (or if you want a bit more depth of flavor until caramelized). Stir in garlic. Stir in spinach. Cook for just about 20 seconds, until the spinach collapses a bit. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the almonds and 1/2 of the zest. Add to pasta and stir and stir – mixing extremely well, a minute or so.

Now sprinkle the bottom of baking dish with the rest of the zest. Add a layer of the pasta to the bottom of the baking pan, now sprinkle with some of the cheese, add more pasta, then more cheese. Finish with a layer of cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese on top is bubbly and melty. Serve sprinkled with the remaining almonds.

Now for some Awards I would like to thank

Rupali of RecipeRagBag for the TAG award award…I would like to pass it on to
1.subhashini of Food the spice of life
2.Malini of Rozkakhana
3.Srimati of few minute wonders
4.bittersweetbrigade
5.
Akarma Foods
6.Rajendramanju of life is beautiful
7.NS of my experiments with food

Suma from sumarowjee for the Thank You award..

This one I would like to pass on to..
1. Preety of Preetys Kitchen
2.Champa of Versatile Kitchen
3. Denu Foods
4.Vinolia of saapadu
5. Subhies Kitchen
6.anu of Mrignayani
7.soma of recipe diary
8.pavani of cooks hideout
9.pangravykadaicurry
10.kajals dreams
11.silence sings
12.Veg inspiration

The Yummy Team for this Sunshine award..I would like to pass it on to ALL my blogger friends….

and sashi of Tasty Bites gave me this Yummilicious award ..I would like to pass it on to

TREAT&TRICK
spicytasty
jay of tastyappetite
cham of spiceclub
curryandbeyond
kaugiri
easy2cook
PJ

Thanks all!!

Restaurant Review Soul Souffle


We just drove and drove and drove…a looong way until we finally reached Soul Souffle, a restaurant we had heard so much about.
Although situated in the middle of nowhere- It did seem that way to us, but then we were tired- we’d spent the entire blazing morning at Valsao Beach and were ravenous and tired- not a good condition to go driving around looking for a place to eat.

After asking the few people we found loitering around the area( surprising they were ALL drunk but gave us right directions) we found the place. Its a beautiful place run by a lovely couple who ensure that the service is great.


The interior decor is simple yet tastefully done and overlooks a picturesque landscape and adds a relaxing touch to the comfortable environment.

A great place to enjoy a romantic evening…or afternoon as we did.The food was GOOD! especially if you are into continental fare….

We would attempt to go again so that I don’t gorge myself and i can try other things on the menu.
For starters we just stuck to chicken lollipops @Rs 90 per plate.

For the main course we just went berserk and ordered a whole lot of things…A Fisherman’s pie( M liked it,…but too bland for my taste) @190

Chicken fried rice @90

Chicken Hyderabadi @ 150..it was really ok though we weren’t expecting a green gravy!

Chicken Cordon Bleu @ 185..this was good..not too white saucy as I feared it would be…

and rotis as well. Whew!
Now that’s a LOT of chicken………
As you can see it was all also wallet friendly…..and delicious!

We finished the meal with a chocolate thingy…not sure what it was called…..but it was OK.

Soul Souffle
Uddear Springs
Verna

Maid Matters

Hiring a maid aka Domestic help is no big deal in India. The reasons are obvious- labour is inexpensive and widely available here , unlike in many other countries. It is even more so here in the Navy as we are provided attached ‘servant quarters’( I hate the word servant, don’t you?) hence help is rather easy to come by. So many of us here employ a plethora of help- cooks, cleaning lady, baby sitters, ironing lady, gardeners at our beck and call. In short many of us are uhm…..I guess the word I’m looking for is SPOILT!

So when my maid a few weeks earlier I was devastated. I was continuously weepy and irritable. M couldn’t fathom why I was “overreacting”!

But now I must admit that I rather enjoy doing some chores around the house. Its a LOT more satisfying to do things the way I want , rather than giving out a million instructions before it gets done the way I want it done…


But the thing is, it’s all I seem to be doing….I barely get time for my music lessons or my painting..or even to watch my kids fight it out:)….so am contemplating hiring help again…

My dilemma( based on a moral lecture my cousins in Australia gave me) is this..
Do I need to feel guilty about hiring help to do jobs that I can obviously do. Am I an exploiter?..I cant bring myself to feel that way…it is developmental aid applied directly , right?There is room today for the Saki lifestyle, no?
hhhmmmm Am I lazy? Obviously it takes very little effort to go around the house with a hoover and a damp cloth atleast once a week,,,Just because there are people willing to do those jobs for money do I need to use them? I’m sure there will be people willing to carry me around all day in a fluff of cushions but does their willingness to do the job make me any less lazy?Isn’t it just the nature of privilege?
Obviously there are so many things that I hire help for although I could do it myself…I use caterers for Birthday parties, I use the services of a milkman although it is possible to go get the milk for the store directly…I do it either because I can afford it, or I would just rather not do these jobs…But is the idea that it is definitionally wrong to pay for something that you can very well do yourself is almost impossible to contain to maids..it has a blanket morality that intrinsically spreads to every aspect of our life..
What do you think?

My maid woes aside here’s an absolutely super delicious pudding I tried from here one of my all time fav blogs……This pudding is simple, chocolaty and delicious at the same time a perfect comfort dessert.

Chocolate Custard Biscuit pudding

Condensed Milk 3/4th of a 400g tin
Milk 400 ml
Chocolate pieces 150 grams
Egg yolks 4
Biscuits 10
Strong Black coffee as required
Fresh Cream for decoration

Working quickly dip the biscuits in the coffee and line a pudding dish/ bowl.
Using the double boiler method melt the chocolate and let cool.
Mix all the other ingredients and the melted chocolate( except the cream ).
Now carefully cook it over low flame, stirring continuously .If you do have a LOT of time at hand you could take the safer route and just double boil it. I used a double boiler to make the custard and it took FOREVER so the last few minutes I just transferred the contents to a thick bottomed pan and heated on low flame.Voila! it thickened in a flash!
Once thick pour the custard over the biscuits. Leave to set in the refrigerator.
Pipe cream over it.

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