Nanaimo Bars(pronounced Nah-nye-moh)- DB goes to Canada

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and http://www.nanaimo.ca.

If you are on a diet don’t even LOOK at this Canadian Dessert, cuz it will BLOW your diet away!

But it will be totally worth it.

These outrageously rich and delicious treats are as delicious as they are fattening and pretty much uncomplicated to make. I followed the instructions, but I did reduce the sugar by half and they were still fine. I gave away a few to my friends and my family and I polished off the rest. Though I may not make them too often. I’m glad I did make them this time. Thanks Lauren.

Try these out if you want a piece of heaven…But make sure you share it too…

Since we don’t not get Gluten-free dough here(I tried a LOT) I just replaced it with whole wheat.
Graham Wafers

Ingredients
3 cups whole wheat flour
200g dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
100g unsalted butter (cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen)
80ml honey, mild-flavoured
75 ml whole milk
2 tablespoons (30 mL) pure vanilla extract

Directions:
1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal.
2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.
3. Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with sweet rice flour and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.
4. Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of sweet rice flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be quite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place wafers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.
5. Adjust the rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat oven to 180′C.
6. Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more sweet rice flour and roll out the dough to get a couple more wafers.
7. Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in two or more rows.
8. Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.
9. When cooled completely, place enough wafers in food processor to make 1 ¼ cups of crumbs.
Nanaimo Bars

Ingredients:

For Nanaimo Bars — Bottom Layer

115g unsalted butter
25g granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups gluten free graham wafer crumbs (See previous recipe)
55g almonds, finely chopped
130g shredded coconut

For Nanaimo Bars — Middle Layer
115g unsalted butter
40ml heavy cream
2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder
100g icing sugar

For Nanaimo Bars — Top Layer

115g semi-sweet chocolate
28g unsalted butter


Directions:
1. For bottom Layer: Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.
2. For Middle Layer: Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.
3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.

Moong Dal Halwa for ICC

I should have atleast looked online for some pics of this delicious Indian Sweet; to tell you the truth I had NO idea what this was even supposed to look like or even heard of it until Srivalli announced this months ICC recipe.

I followed the recipe using milk instead of Khoya but I guess I should have fried the dal for a lot longer as it looks drier as compared to the pics on Google…also I reduced the ghee a bit…maybe that’s why…

But still I have only this to say…IT WAS JUST MELT-IN-YOUR-MOUTH-DELICIOUS!!!!!!

Ingredients
Split (Yellow) Moong dhal – 1 cup
Ghee – 1/2 cup
Sugar – 3/4 cups to 1 cup (as per required sweetness)
Milk – 1/2 cup (Notes from Lataji – instead of water for the sugar, this gives the khoya added taste, Simran’s recipe asked for water)
Cashews/ raisins roasted in ghee for garnish.

Method to Prepare:

Soak 1 cup moong dal overnight. Next morning, grind to a paste.

Heat a heavy Kadai, take initially only 1/2 of the ghee and heat it.

Add the dhal and stir continuously, not allowing lumps to form. This part is very tricky as the dhal cooks really fast, irrespective of the ghee.

Keep the heat at the lowest and keep stirring even after the dhal becomes thick.

Add the rest of the ghee intermittently and cook the dhal until aromatic and the ghee starts oozing out.

Meanwhile mix the sugar with water/ milk in a pan and bring to a boil. Add this slowly to the cooking dhal.

Keep the fir low at all times and break lumps if formed while adding the sugar and water/ milk mix.

Cook until the ghee surfaces.

Garnish with cashews and raisins.

Notes :

* Use a thick bottom pan or better nonstick pan
* Don’t leave the halwa unattended. The dal can stick and it can go from just done to burnt in a second so keep stirring as much as possible. You should remember to keep stirring to prevent dhal from sticking irrespective of the ghee added.
* You aren’t looking for the halwa to get too thick when you turn off the heat. It was thicken as it cools.
* Cook until ghee surfaces on the sides and the halwa attains a very nice shine.
* Initially, it may appear that all the ghee is being used up. But as the dhal cooks the ghee separates. So the ghee measure is sufficient.
* In both recipes depending on how you got the moong dal paste, you may require slightly more ghee to get the texture
* Though original recipe didn’t call for roasting the dhal before soaking, Lataji felt roasting it a bit gives more fragrance.

Also a special Thank You to Lathaji and Simran’s Mom for recipe inputs.

12 Kuvaa-Jan 2010

January 2010

12 kuvaa/photos-october

12 kuvaa/photos-october

12 photo september
My Finnish Blogger friends, Krisu and Mari, have invited me to join the project of a Finnish bloggers’ group, “12 kuvaa, 12 pics” which involves photographing the same spot from the same perspective over the course of one year, one photo each month. So this is my picture for the photo challenge. Its taken from the top of Spring Beach in Dabolim, Goa. It’s a breathtaking view and a fantastic beach. It’s the first beach I visited in Goa, and its one place we love to go to..rain or shine. The pic was taken at 9 am, 13 Sept 2009.

Brief Instructions

1) Select the target.
2) Take a photo, write down the place, the focal length and time.
3. Make the blog post between September 1st and 15th to your blog.
4. Link post to MckLinkyyn (here at Kameravene.fi Logbook).
5. Wait a month:-D
6. Take a photo from the same spot under the same settings as before. EDIT 2.9: … as same size as possible and from same perspective.
7. Make the blog post between September 1st and 15th to your blog. Include all photos taken over the past months (two photos in October, November three, etc. ).
8. Link post to MckLinky.
9. Repeat every month points 5-8 above.

The Easiest Dessert Ever- From Portugal


I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not sure

I’m a typical Libran. Most qualities that apply to the Libra Zodiac usually match mine. And one that certainly stands out is my indecisiveness;my friends and family will vouch for it I’m sure!

I suck BIG TIME at making decisions. Seriously. Ask me to choose between A and B and maybe we’re OK, but ask me to choose between A,B and an infinite number of other choices and boy! are we in a Buridan’s ass situation

First i want this, and then i want that …and then i want this again….i can do it all day long.

Sourse: CartoonArt

To chose one dessert off Portuguese Cuisine put me in such a quandary. I had so many I wanted to make…there was the Portugal Leite Creme – Egg and Milk Custard, then i decided to make the Bolo Rei – a traditional Portuguese cake/bread. Finally it came down to deciding between Bolas de Berlim which are plump little ovals of fried dough–white flour tanned by the ovens heat and filled with custard(YUM!!) and the Bolo De Bolacha- Chocolate Cake Roll.

What I finally did make was the Queijadas Economicas or simply Milk Tartlets . I finally chose these because they seemed ridiculously easy to make. It was so easy that i JUST HAD to try it out.

The end result was really nice. It didn’t have great texture or anything but tasted delicious…comfort dessert, if i may….

The addition of cinnamon gave it beautiful flavour and I was extremely pleased with my decision.So were my kids:)

The recipe I found here.Its a lovely blog with lots of great recipes.

And Hey! Have you ever noticed that Libra is the only inanimate sign of the zodiac, all the others representing either humans or animals? Doesn’t that make us most unique and desirable ????What say you?

Ingredients

300 gr/ 2 cups sugar
50 gr/ about 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
0.5L/ 2 cups milk
150 gr/ 1 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs

Preparation
Mix all the ingredients well well then pour into greased muffin pans.

Bake at 375 º for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, dust with a mix of cinnamon and icing sugar.Serve warm(I did!)

This quick and easy dessert goes to the A.W.E.D event started by DK of Chef In You and hosted this month by the lovely Priya.

Bake Your House And Eat It Too

The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

I’ve always wondered how awesome it would be to find a gingerbread house like Hansel and Gretel did…a house made of every conceivable goody. A house you you just eat off….
well, this months challenge is just that and Boy! was I excited!

The possibilities were endless.

Sadly , my kitchen had to be demolished for some renovation work..and i was left space-less…..
I finally made my gingerbread house in the balcony..but it was so windy the roof kept falling off…and all the decorations kept getting squashed and splattered ….
anyway here’s my gingerbread house…its extremely untidy and messy..but under the circumstances..it was all i could do……

Before i give you the recipe…Let me wish u all very Happy Holidays!!!!!!

Y’s Recipe:
Scandinavian Gingerbread (Pepparkakstuga)
from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas
http://astore.amazon.com/thedarkit-20/detail/0816634963

The dough was very stiff and i had to add water to soften it a bit. But the good thing is that it freezes well.

1 cup butter, room temperature [226g]
1 cup brown sugar, well packed [220g]
2 tablespoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ cup boiling water
5 cups all-purpose flour [875g]

1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until blended. Add the cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix the baking soda with the boiling water and add to the dough along with the flour. Mix to make a stiff dough. If necessary add more water, a tablespoon at a time. Chill 2 hours or overnight.

2. Cut patterns for the house, making patterns for the roof, front walls, gabled walls, chimney and door out of cardboard.

3. Roll the dough out on a large, ungreased baking sheet and place the patterns on the dough. Mark off the various pieces with a knife, but leave the pieces in place.

4. [I rolled out the dough on a floured bench, roughly 1/8 inch thick (which allows for fact that the dough puffs a little when baked), cut required shapes and transferred these to the baking sheet. Any scraps I saved and rerolled at the end.]

5. Preheat the oven to 375’F (190’C). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the cookie dough feels firm. After baking, again place the pattern on top of the gingerbread and trim the shapes, cutting the edges with a straight-edged knife. Leave to cool on the baking sheet.

Royal Icing:

1 large egg white
3 cups (330g) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon almond extract

Beat all ingredients until smooth, adding the powdered sugar gradually to get the desired consistency. Pipe on pieces and allow to dry before assembling. If you aren’t using it all at once you can keep it in a small bowl, loosely covered with a damp towel for a few hours until ready to use. You may have to beat it slightly to get it an even consistency if the top sets up a bit. Piped on the house, this will set up hard over time.

ICC-Chegodilu

I came this (picture me holding my thumb and index finger REAL close) to NOT doing this months ICC challenge….
It seemed too difficult

I don’t have a kitchen no more…
The navy has decided we don’t need to live in ugly kitchens anymore so they are REBUILDING the kitchen..i mean just breaking down the whole thing. Its such a pain in the ..er…neck. But i guess its also overdue( the work i mean, not the pain) ..Its been like 60 years since these navy houses have been largely untouched by any form of maintainable.

So the entire kitchen, has been shifted to one of the bed rooms. I feel like i am living in a refuge camp. On second thoughts i think they are probably better off.

Hence, making these Andhra-specialty snacks seemed like Mission Impossible.

And when i did manage to make the dough it seemed like a gonner- too brittle.

Thankfully after a few SOS mails to srivalli i did manage to salvage the situation.

My final verdict is that they were worth all the effort….a great tea time savory….thanks Srivalli for a great selection.


Chegodilu / Chekodilu – Recipe 1

Ingredients Needed:

Rice Flour – 1 cup
Water – 1 cup
Split Yellow Moong dal / Pesara pappu / Mung Dal / Pasiparuppu – 1 1/2 – 2 tblsp
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
Chili powder – 1 tsp
Ghee or oil – 1 tblsp
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Method to prepare:

Making the dough:

Soak moong dal in water for half hour to 1 hour.

In a deep bottom pan, boil water, then add salt, ghee and moong dal. Bring it to boil, simmer and slowly add the rice flour. Using a rolling pin or the ladle, mix the flour with water by stirring it well. When the flour is mixed and done, turn off the heat immediately. Cover with lid and keep aside for 10 to 15 mins.

Once the dough is cool, add chilli powder, sesame seeds, cumin seeds and mix well. Knead till you get a smooth dough. Adjust the salt and spice depending on your preference.

Frying the Chokodi:

Heat a pan with oil, enough to fry 3 -4 at time, if you conscious of not using too much oil. Simmer once it gets hot. The temperature should not be smoking hot.

Grease your fingers with oil and pinch out a small lemon size ball and roll between your palms to form a thick rope. Bring the two ends to together and press to form a rope. Ensure the ends are firmed pressed as not to give out during frying.

Continue with the rest of the dough until you are done with the entire batch. You can either cover it with a plate or a cloth to prevent the dough from getting dried.

Check if the oil is in the correct temperature, by dropping a tiny bit into the oil. Then gently slide the rings or the chakodis in batches of 4 -5. The flame has to be on high until the chakodis come up to the surface, then lower the flame to medium and cook till you get a golden colour on the chakodis.

When the chakodis are golden all over, using a slotted ladle, remove to a kitchen towel and cool. Store in an air tight container for longer shelf life.

Notes: Remember to turn the heat to medium to high and high to medium for getting the chakodis to golden colour and also to be cooked evenly. Only this way you get crispy chakodis. These should not be cooked on low flame as they will absorb more oil and can turn soggy also at times.

Variation: Instead of Cumin and Sesame seeds, 1 tsp of Ajwain or Omam can be used along with chili powder.

12 Kuvaa-December Already

12 kuvaa/photos-october

12 photo september
My Finnish Blogger friends, Krisu and Mari, have invited me to join the project of a Finnish bloggers’ group, “12 kuvaa, 12 pics” which involves photographing the same spot from the same perspective over the course of one year, one photo each month. So this is my picture for the photo challenge. Its taken from the top of Spring Beach in Dabolim, Goa. It’s a breathtaking view and a fantastic beach. It’s the first beach I visited in Goa, and its one place we love to go to..rain or shine. The pic was taken at 9 am, 13 Sept 2009.

Brief Instructions

1) Select the target.
2) Take a photo, write down the place, the focal length and time.
3. Make the blog post between September 1st and 15th to your blog.
4. Link post to MckLinkyyn (here at Kameravene.fi Logbook).
5. Wait a month:-D
6. Take a photo from the same spot under the same settings as before. EDIT 2.9: … as same size as possible and from same perspective.
7. Make the blog post between September 1st and 15th to your blog. Include all photos taken over the past months (two photos in October, November three, etc. ).
8. Link post to MckLinky.
9. Repeat every month points 5-8 above.

Tried and Tested-Rosagulla

Yeah I’m talking about the rasagulla also spelled rasagola, rasgola, rasgolla, rasgula, rasgulla, roshogola, roshogolla, rosogola or rosogolla.

Although of Orissa origin( no i didn’t make that up…google it if you want..i swear , its true!), the rasagulla is now synonymous with Bengali sweets…so much so that for many of us it is the face of Bengali sweets.

The rasagulla is one Indian sweet(apart from its sister variant- the Rasamalai) that I can eat ANYTIME!! All I remember about my last trip to Calcutta(a zillion years ago) are the million rasagullas that I ate. It is impossible to get satiated with these sinisterly delicious cheese ball goodies.

So, when I knew that this month we were exploring Harini’s wonderful blog, I was enticed into taking a shot at it.

This November’s event is being hosted by the Singing Chef and was originally the brainchild of this blog.

The end result was good although I wasn’t able to get the texture that I saw in her blog….but i will give it another shot and perfect this gastronomic delight.

Ingredients:

Toned milk or cow’s milk – 1 Litre
1/4 cup white vinegar diluted with equal quantity of water
Sugar – 1 and 1/4 cups
Water – 3 Cups
Saffron strands (Optional) – 1 tsp.

Method:
1. If using cow’s milk – Heat the milk, cool completely and remove the cream. If not proceed directly to the next step.

2. Heat milk to boiling point. Put off fire. Pour the dilute vinegar little by little into the milk stirring very slightly till it curdles, and the whey separates.

Now strain the paneer so formed through a clean muslin cloth. Wash the paneer under running tap water breaking the lumps with soft fingers till it turns cold.

4. Hold and press the bundle to get rid of excess water and invert the paneer onto a clean bowl.

5. Mash the paneer with your finger tips first and knead it till it gathers into a soft smooth ball. Pinch out marble sized paneer lumps and roll with slight pressure into balls without any wrinkles or seam. This will form angoori golas. You may form bigger balls for bigger rasgullas. They will double after cooking. Mine formed 4 big balls and 31 small ones.

6. Cover with a wet cloth to keep the balls from drying.

7. Pour 3 cups water in a pressure cooker. Dissolve the sugar and allow the syrup to come to a boil. (You may dissolve warmed and powdered saffron strands to the water alongwith the sugar to get slightly pale rasgullas)

8. Drop the rasgullas gently into the syrup while it simmers on slow fire.

9. Cover the cooker with lid and place the whistle on top. Keep on high fire for one whistle and turn off. Let it cool completely.

10. Open and transfer the swollen rasgullas into a bowl.

Desperately seeking Patty and a Book Review

“Who is patty and how does she make this.”

Well although Wynter was drooling after taking a bite of Patty’s cake, somehow it did not turn out so great for me. I have to confess it could be my fault. I read  the measurements all wrong and had to start all over again, then I accidentally burnt the chocolate, and then as if the gods were plotting against me, the cake just spilled over in the oven.

In spite of the disastrous cake baking process, the end result was just YUM!! But then how can something that has chocolate butter and sugar NOT taste good!! DUH!

But before I give you the recipe (if you wanna try it in spite of my disaster) let me tell you more about Wynter Morrison….

When I first flipped through the book ‘Bread Alone’, I thought it looked like just another  chick-lit(not that I dislike that genre)..but it was trulya really enjoyable ‘light’ read ,emphasis on light.

The book follows the trials and tribulations of (baker at heart-but she just doesn’t know it) Wynter Morrison, a thirty-one-year-old chanel wearing trophy-wife whose life falls apart when her husband suddenly announces that he feels their marriage is over.Kaput.

We then travel back and forth with her; to her past  baking internship period in France , her relationship with her parents, and also to the present , when she starts work and soon become part-owner of a quaint little bakery and how she slowly picks up the pieces and gets another chance at rediscovering her true self and finding love again(and I don’t mean her love for bread alone!!)

I loved the authors lucid , fluid style of writing.  I felt an almost poetic quality to her words, peppered with vivid imagery and  a lovely sense of humor.

Wynter , initially came across as a annoyingly shallow whiner-Spoilt and forever wallowing in self pity, acerbic and impulsive ..thankfully (for us readers) she stops grieving and starts to  transforms from the “willfully ignorant,” to a new woman who knows what she wants from life. Her friendship with CM is also portrayed very beautifully and realistically as is the camaraderie between her new baking buddies. Although the plot is very predictable and totally uninventive, the author makes up for these flaws with almost poetical descriptions of bread making and a feel good ending that deftly balances themes like self-reliance, love, revenge , recovery and even baking.

and now here’s the recipe

Ingredients

    7 (1 ounce)  unsweetened chocolate squares
    1/4 cup butter
    1 1/2 cups strong coffee
    1/4 cup bourbon
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 cups cake flour
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt

     

    espresso caramel sauce

    1 cup sugar
    1/3 cup water
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    3 tablespoons espresso

Directions

Grease and flour 2 81/2 by 41/2 inch loaf pans.

Put the chocolate, butter and coffee in a large heavy saucepan.

Place over low heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted, then stir vigorously until mixture is smooth and blended.

Set aside to cool for 10 mins, then beat in the bourbon eggs and vanilla.

Sift dry ingredients and beat into the chocolate mixture until well blended.

Divide batter between pans and bake in a 275* oven for 50 mins, until a wooden skewer comes out clean.

Cool in pans for 15 mins, then turn out onto racks to cool completely. Serve with whipped cream, creme fraiche or Expresso Caramel Sauce.

“Espresso caramel sauce.”

Whisk the sugar into water and pour into heavy bottom saucepan.

Stir over med heat until sugar is dissolved, increase heat and bring to a boil. Do not stir, but wash down sides of pan frequently with a brush dipped in water.

Meanwhile heat the cream to a simmer in another pan.

When sugar begins to caramelize, lift pan carefully and swirl mixture to even caramelization.

Boil until syrup is a beautiful brown color, about 3-4 mins.Remove from heat and set pan in sink.

Slowly pour cream into the syrup , whisking to combine. Be Careful as it may splatter.!

Stir in espresso and stir until smooth.

If mixture starts to harden, return to low heat and whisk until dissolved.


Daring Bakers November Challenge- Cannoli

Should I? Shouldn’t I? I pondered and pondered…..

Where on earth where in Goa would i find cannoli tubes.

Then one day when i googled cannoli for more information, it suddenly hit me…they look freakishly similar to an Indian(North Kerala to be more exact) savory snack called Kuzhalappam.Although it is a savory snack ,the shape was pretty much similar. And what we used back home was the cassava or the stem of a banana leaf .

Well that clinched it for me.

I WAS IN!!

This months The November 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. She chose the Italian Pastry, Cannolo (Cannoli is plural), using the cookbooks Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book.


The challenge was fun and after a few failed trials (a few opened up and a few didn’t get crisp) i realized that the trick was
to roll out the batter as thin as possible
to keep the temperature of the oil even and keep adjusting the heat to make sure that it doesn’t burn or brown immediately
to ensure that the ends are sealed tightly.
I used a tried and tested Ricotta Pistachio and Ricotta Chocolate filling. I would have loved to experiment with the filling but i had guests visiting and i ran out of time. Still they were delightful and we thoroughly enjoyed them.Thanks Lisa!!

Pistachio Ricotta Filling
About 1 1/2 cup ricotta( i used homemede that i made using this recipe)
4 tbsp icing (confectioners) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
finely grated zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup toasted chopped pistachio nuts
1/4 dark chocolate chips, chopped or grated
1/3 cup dried sour cherries, pitted and chopped
1 tablespoons
amaretto liqueur (that i happened to have)

Whisk ricotta well along with the sugar. Add vanilla, lemon zest and cinnamon and beat until smooth and well combined. Fold in remaining ingredients.

Place mixture into a piping bag or ziplock with a corner cut off . pipe this mixture into the cannoli shells .

Cannoli Shell
Speculaas Cannoli Recipe
Makes 22-24 4-inch cannoli

Ingredients

Cannoli Shells:
2 cups (250 grams/8.82 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons(28 grams/1 ounce) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams/0.06 ounces) unsweetened baking cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon (1.15 grams/0.04 ounces) speculaas spice
1/2 teaspoon (approx. 3 grams/0.11 ounces) salt
3 tablespoons (42 grams/1.5 ounces) vegetable or olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 grams/0.18 ounces) white wine vinegar
Approximately 1/2 cup (approx. 59 grams/approx. 4 fluid ounces/approx. 125 ml) sweet Marsala
1 large egg, separated (you will need the egg white but not the yolk)
Vegetable or any neutral oil for frying – about 2 quarts (8 cups/approx. 2 litres)
1/2 cup (approx. 62 grams/2 ounces) grated chocolate for garnish
Confectioners’ sugar

Directions For Shells

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer or food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, speculaas spice, and salt. Stir in the oil, vinegar, and enough of the wine to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and well blended, about 2 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge from 2 hours to overnight.

Cut the dough into two pieces. Keep the remaining dough covered while you work. Lightly flour a large cutting or pastry board and roll the dough until super thin, about 1/16 to 1/8” thick (An area of about 13 inches by 18 inches should give you that).

Cut out 3 to 5-inch circles (3-inch – small/medium; 4-inch – medium/large; 5-inch;- large. Your choice). Roll the cut out circle into an oval, rolling it larger and thinner if it’s shrunk a little.

Oil the outside of the cannoli tubes (or whatever you are usuing instead.). Roll a dough oval from the long side (If square, position like a diamond, and place tube/form on the corner closest to you, then roll) around each tube/form and dab a little egg white on the dough where the edges overlap. (Avoid getting egg white on the tube, or the pastry will stick to it.) Press well to seal. Set aside to let the egg white seal dry a little.

In a deep heavy saucepan, pour enough oil to reach a depth of 3 inches, or if using an electric deep-fryer, follow the manufacturer’s directions. Heat the oil to 375°F (190 °C) on a deep fry thermometer, or until a small piece of the dough or bread cube placed in the oil sizzles and browns in 1 minute. Have ready a tray or sheet pan lined with paper towels or paper bags.

Carefully lower a few of the cannoli tubes into the hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. Fry the shells until golden, about 2 minutes, turning them so that they brown evenly.

Lift a cannoli tube with a wire skimmer or large slotted spoon, out of the oil. Using tongs, grasp the cannoli tube at one end. Very carefully remove the cannoli tube with the open sides straight up and down so that the oil flows back into the pan. Place the tube on paper towels or bags to drain. Repeat with the remaining tubes. While they are still hot, grasp the tubes with a potholder and pull the cannoli shells off the tubes with a pair of tongs, or with your hand protected by an oven mitt or towel. Let the shells cool completely on the paper towels. Place shells on cooling rack until ready to fill.

Repeat making and frying the shells with the remaining dough. If you are reusing the cannoli tubes, let them cool before wrapping them in the dough.

Directions For Filling:

1. In a bowl with electric mixer, beat ricotta and mascarpone until smooth and creamy. Beat in confectioner’s sugar, speculaas spice, vanilla and blend until smooth. Transfer to another bowl. Chill until firm.(The filling can be made up to 24 hours prior to filling the shells. Just cover and keep refrigerated).

Assemble The Cannoli:

1. When ready to serve, fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain or star tip, or a ziplock bag, with the filling. If using a ziplock bag, cut about 1/2 inch off one corner. Insert the tip in the cannoli shell and squeeze gently until the shell is half filled. Turn the shell and fill the other side. You can also use a teaspoon to do this, although it’s messier and will take longer. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Teaser Tuesday

teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser…

Her poor heart must be broken, people say, but it is’nt true.Her heart was merely squeezed and wrung dry for a time, like an old rag.

page 122

The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields

12Kuvaa/photos-Its November!!

12 kuvaa/photos-october

12 photo september
Fellow Bloggers from Finland, Krisu and Mari, have invited me to join the project of a Finnish bloggers’ group, “12 kuvaa, 12 pics” which involves photographing the same spot from the same perspective over the course of one year, one photo each month. So this is my picture for the photo challenge. Its taken from the top of Spring Beach in Dabolim, Goa. It’s a breathtaking view and a fantastic beach. It’s the first beach I visited in Goa, and its one place we love to go to..rain or shine. The pic was taken at 9 am, 13 Sept 2009.

Brief Instructions

1) Select the target.
2) Take a photo, write down the place, the focal length and time.
3. Make the blog post between September 1st and 15th to your blog.
4. Link post to MckLinkyyn (here at Kameravene.fi Logbook).
5. Wait a month:-D
6. Take a photo from the same spot under the same settings as before. EDIT 2.9: … as same size as possible and from same perspective.
7. Make the blog post between September 1st and 15th to your blog. Include all photos taken over the past months (two photos in October, November three, etc. ).
8. Link post to MckLinky.
9. Repeat every month points 5-8 above.

Teaser Tuesdays

teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

This morning i cant help wondering whats he’s giving Kelley.What she’s giving him.
Hopefully ,something that requires penicillin.

Bread Alone ,Judith Ryan Hendricks
p 148

Easier than I thought…ICC Gulab Jamun

gulab jamum main
At first I thought –no way!! Make khoya at home- it’s way too tedious. I mean a challenge is fine but this was really taking it a bit too far. Even my cook agreed. She said ‘chechi , I will get it for you why do you have to slog so much’ Obviously she doesn’t understand WHY I even bother entering the kitchen and what’s with the photographing food she asks. Do you get paid?
Doing it for ‘myself’ is something she doesn’t get.
I absolutely enjoy blogging and cooking its my space where I get to say whatever I want..its liberating isn’t it?

Anyway, I had decided not to take part in this months ICC but then at the last moment I had sometime to kill and I thought ‘why not’ I’m so glad I did..it was so exciting and not at all as difficult as people around me made it out to be. The Jamuns were moist and just PERFECT!!I used the recipe from indos blog.Here’s the recipe once again

Gulab Jamun
Ingredients
1. 4 litres whole milk
2. 1/2 kg maida (all purpose flour)
3. 1 tbsp curd (yogurt)
4. 1 tsp baking soda
5. 2 cups ghee
6. 2 litres of sugar
7. 1/2 lemon

Method

milk thicken-Gulab

How Long will this take!!!


To Make Khova
1. In a wide mouthed heavy bottom pan add the milk and heat it in a medium flame. (add a couple of stainless steel spoons into the milk to avoid burning)
2. Reduce the milk for 3-4 hours till the milk solidifies and becomes thick.
3. Whip together yogurt and baking soda
4. To the khova add the flour and yougurt mixture and knead till it forms a pliant dough. (make sure not to add too much flour, just enough flour to make the khova pliant)
4. Make 3/4 inch diameter balls and set aside

Prepare sugar syrup
1. In a pan add the sugar and just enough water to cover the sugar. Heat till it comes to a boil.
2.Squeeze the half of the lemon (this is to avoid sugar crystals). Set aside.

Deep frying
1. Heat the ghee and deep fry the balls, adding a few at a time till golden brown.
2. Cool the balls and soak them in the sugar syrup.
3. Let sit for a few hours.

gulab jamun bowl

Delectable Dark Beauties!!!!

12 Photos/Kuvaa

looks sort of duller this month don’t you think…i took it in the morning but it was a bit misty…the grass too looks drier…
12 kuvaa/photos-october

12 photo september
Fellow Bloggers from Finland, Krisu and Mari, have invited me to join the project of a Finnish bloggers’ group, “12 kuvaa, 12 pics” which involves photographing the same spot from the same perspective over the course of one year, one photo each month. So this is my picture for the photo challenge. Its taken from the top of Spring Beach in Dabolim, Goa. It’s a breathtaking view and a fantastic beach. It’s the first beach I visited in Goa, and its one place we love to go to..rain or shine. The pic was taken at 9 am, 13 Sept 2009.

Brief Instructions

1) Select the target.
2) Take a photo, write down the place, the focal length and time.
3. Make the blog post between September 1st and 15th to your blog.
4. Link post to MckLinkyyn (here at Kameravene.fi Logbook).
5. Wait a month:-D
6. Take a photo from the same spot under the same settings as before. EDIT 2.9: … as same size as possible and from same perspective.
7. Make the blog post between September 1st and 15th to your blog. Include all photos taken over the past months (two photos in October, November three, etc. ).
8. Link post to MckLinky.
9. Repeat every month points 5-8 above.

Teaser Tuesdays

teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

The tea party was of course a mistake and Bim scowled and cursed herself for having softened and let herself in for what was a humiliation for everyone concerned. Bim had never seen anyone so dressed, so bathed, so powdered-she seemed to be dusted all over with flour.Perhaps she had fallen into a flour bin, like a large bun.

p 90 Anita Desai’s Clear Light of Day

Indian Cooking Challenge

The World is Flat…But I am Round….
muruku

Technically its still the 30th so here’s my entry to the ICC. Presenting to you the crispy rice and urad dal based favourite ‘Southie’ snack- Muruku. Although my family eats a whole lot of these, I’ve never ventured into making these circular savory snacks for the simple reason its just so much simpler to just hop into the store next door , buy and eat the. I do not stand corrected. I STILL feel they are quite complicated to make at home – am not gonna try powdering the rice at home again!! Whew! but the twirling out part was definitely fun and I got the hang of it pretty soon. The recipe was great but remember these are extremely addictive; M, my boys and I wolfed down the entire lot in one sitting!
Anyway without much ado here the recipe

Jantikalu or Muruku!

Preparation Time : 20 – 30 mins
Cooking Time : 20 – 30 mins
Makes : app 250 kg of Muruku
Cuisine: Andhra & Tamil Nadu

Utensils needed:
Muruku /Chakli Press.
Kadai

Ingredients Needed:

Raw Rice – 4 cups
Urad Dal – 1 cup
Water – app 1/2 cup or more

For Seasoning

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Sesame seeds- 1 tsp
Asafetida/ Hing – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Butter – 75 gms

Method

Wash and drain the rice. Shade dry the Rice for 1/2 hr. Dry roast the Urad dal to light brown. Allow it to cool.
If you are using more quantity, you can get it ground in rice mil, else use your mixie to grind both Rice and Urad dal.

First grind rice into a fine flour, keep it aside. then grind the urad dal to fine powder.

In a wide vessel, take both the flours along with salt. Mix well. Add cumin, Sesame seeds to the flour, mix well.

Whether you use Asafetida powder or the solid ones, you got to mix it in water, make sure it is dissolved before adding to the flour. If its not dissolved properly, when deep frying the muruku, there are chances for the hing to burst our due to air bubbles.

Mix in the hing to the flour and finally add the butter. Gather everything well and you will get more of a crumbling mixture. Now slowly add water and knead a dough which is little more softer than the puri dough.

Heat a frying pan with oil enough to deep fry. Once the oil is hot enough, simmer to low flame.

Take the Muruku Aachu, wash and wipe it clean. Then divide the dough into equal balls. Fill the Muruku maker with the dough. You can either press it directly over the flames or press over a paper and gently slide it down the hot oil. But since the quantity mentioned here is less, you can press it directly over the kadai.

Cook over medium flame, using a slotted spoon, turn it over to other side to ensure both sides turn golden colour. You will know by seeing the colour that its cooked. Remove to a kitchen paper and store it in a air tight container.

This normally stays good for weeks, provided you forget about these which hardly happens!

I am a Daring Baker-Vol-Au-Vents

Chocolate cream Vol au vents
Who doesn’t love a good challenge once in a while? I too am no exception and joining the Daring Bakers group is one of the best things I did to ensure that I get my monthly dose of it.

This months Challenge is also very special for 2 reasons. One- it’s my very first!! Whoohoo!! And secondly the reveal date also happens to be my birthday.

Although I knew I was going to take part a long while earlier- the excitement and anxiousness gnawing and eating into my thoughts; it wasn’t until yesterday that I finally decided to start work on it.

I started work on this beautiful layered creation early last evening, turning and chilling (this needed a LOT of chilling as its HOT HOT HOT here in Goa) and watching the very helpful video a million times.

Thankfully it turned out fine- no dishes were thrown in exasperation, no lumps of hair yanked out in frustration and no kids thrown out in anger(though I did come really close when my son accidentally switched off the refrigerator for a good part of the day) Anyway as they say All’s well that ends well and I’m pretty satisfied with the results as they tasted so light and delicious even though they didn’t rise as much as as they were supposed to. Also i think i forgot to press and attach to ring to the base so they turned out as two separate entities……Nevertheless i proudly present to you my very first DB entry!

The chocolate cream vols-au-vent.

This month’s Daring Bakers‘ challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

Puff pastry or vol-au-vent [ vóllō vaaN ] (plural vol-au-vents) is called mille feuilles, or “a thousand leaves” or “flight in the wind”. It is said that to create a good puff pastry, you need a cool room, a flat work surface and several hours to devote to rolling, folding, turning and chilling the dough. In the end, you should have roughly 730 microscopically slender layers of dough and 730 layers of fat. Its hard work but well rewarded and its no wonder that these miniature masterpieces are called the queen of pasteries.

Michel Richard’s Puff Pastry Dough
From: Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan

Yield: 2-1/2 pounds dough

http://video.pbs.org/video/1174110297/search/Pastry

Ingredients:
2-1/2 cups (12.2 oz/ 354 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups (5.0 oz/ 142 g) cake flour
1 tbsp. salt (you can cut this by half for a less salty dough or for sweet preparations)
1-1/4 cups (10 fl oz/ 300 ml) ice water
4 sticks (16 oz/ 454 g) very cold unsalted butter
plus extra flour for dusting work surface

Mixing the Dough:

I halved the ingredients as I feared the worst. Also since cake flour is not available I used its subs-plain flour and corn flour.

Put the all-purpose flour, cake flour, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse a couple of times just to mix. Add the water all at once, pulsing until the dough forms a ball on the blade. The dough will be very moist and pliable and will hold together when squeezed between your fingers.
Remove the dough from the machine, form it into a ball, with a small sharp knife, slash the top in a tic-tac-toe pattern. Wrap the dough in a damp towel and refrigerate for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the butter between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and beat it with a rolling pin until it flattens into a square that’s about 1″ thick. Take care that the butter remains cool and firm: if it has softened or become oily, chill it before continuing.

Incorporating the Butter:

Unwrap the dough and place it on a work surface dusted with all-purpose flour (A cool piece of marble is the ideal surface for puff pastry) with your rolling pin (preferably a French rolling pin without handles), press on the dough to flatten it and then roll it into a 10″ square. Keep the top and bottom of the dough well floured to prevent sticking and lift the dough and move it around frequently. Starting from the center of the square, roll out over each corner to create a thick center pad with “ears,” or flaps.
Place the cold butter in the middle of the dough and fold the ears over the butter, stretching them as needed so that they overlap slightly and encase the butter completely. (If you have to stretch the dough, stretch it from all over; don’t just pull the ends) you should now have a package that is 8″ square.
To make great puff pastry, it is important to keep the dough cold at all times. There are specified times for chilling the dough, but if your room is warm, or you work slowly, or you find that for no particular reason the butter starts to ooze out of the pastry, cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it . You can stop at any point in the process and continue at your convenience or when the dough is properly chilled.

Making the Turns:

Gently but firmly press the rolling pin against the top and bottom edges of the square (this will help keep it square). Then, keeping the work surface and the top of the dough well floured to prevent sticking, roll the dough into a rectangle that is three times as long as the square you started with, about 24″ (don’t worry about the width of the rectangle: if you get the 24″, everything else will work itself out.) With this first roll, it is particularly important that the butter be rolled evenly along the length and width of the rectangle; check when you start rolling that the butter is moving along well, and roll a bit harder or more evenly, if necessary, to get a smooth, even dough-butter sandwich (use your arm-strength!).
With a pastry brush, brush off the excess flour from the top of the dough, and fold the rectangle up from the bottom and down from the top in thirds, like a business letter, brushing off the excess flour. You have completed one turn.
Rotate the dough so that the closed fold is to your left, like the spine of a book. Repeat the rolling and folding process, rolling the dough to a length of 24″ and then folding it in thirds. This is the second turn.

Chilling the Dough:
If the dough is still cool and no butter is oozing out, you can give the dough another two turns now. If the condition of the dough is iffy, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. Each time you refrigerate the dough, mark the number of turns you’ve completed by indenting the dough with your fingertips. It is best to refrigerate the dough for 30 to 60 minutes between each set of two turns.
The total number of turns needed is six. If you prefer, you can give the dough just four turns now, chill it overnight, and do the last two turns the next day. Puff pastry is extremely flexible in this regard. However, no matter how you arrange your schedule, you should plan to chill the dough for at least an hour before cutting or shaping it.
dough
Helpful notes

-Keep things cool by using the refrigerator as your friend! If you see any butter starting to leak through the dough during the turning process, rub a little flour on the exposed dough and chill straight away. Although you should certainly chill the dough for 30 to 60 minutes between each set of two turns, if you feel the dough getting to soft or hard to work with at any point, pop in the fridge for a rest.
-Not to sound contradictory, but if you chill your paton longer than the recommended time between turns, the butter can firm up too much. If this seems to be the case, I advise letting it sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to give it a chance to soften before proceeding to roll. You don’t want the hard butter to separate into chuncks or break through the dough…you want it to roll evenly, in a continuous layer.
-Roll the puff pastry gently but firmly, and don’t roll your pin over the edges, which will prevent them from rising properly. Don’t roll your puff thinner than about about 1/8 to 1/4-inch (3-6 mm) thick, or you will not get the rise you are looking for.flaky
-Try to keep “neat” edges and corners during the rolling and turning process, so the layers are properly aligned. Give the edges of the paton a scooch with your rolling pin or a bench scraper to keep straight edges and 90-degree corners.
-Brush off excess flour before turning dough and after rolling.
-Make clean cuts. Don’t drag your knife through the puff or twist your cutters too much, which can inhibit rise.
-When egg washing puff pastry, try not to let extra egg wash drip down the cut edges, which can also inhibit rise.
-Extra puff pastry dough freezes beautifully. It’s best to roll it into a sheet about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick (similar to store-bought puff) and freeze firm on a lined baking sheet. Then you can easily wrap the sheet in plastic, then foil (and if you have a sealable plastic bag big enough, place the wrapped dough inside) and return to the freezer for up to a few months. Defrost in the refrigerator when ready to use.
-You can also freeze well-wrapped, unbaked cut and shaped puff pastry (i.e., unbaked vols-au-vent shells). Bake from frozen, without thawing first.
-Homemade puff pastry is precious stuff, so save any clean scraps. Stack or overlap them, rather than balling them up, to help keep the integrity of the layers. Then give them a singe “turn” and gently re-roll. Scrap puff can be used for applications where a super-high rise is not necessary (such as palmiers, cheese straws, napoleons, or even the bottom bases for your vols-au-vent).
bakedvols

Forming and Baking the Vols-au-Vent

Yield: 1/3 of the puff pastry recipe below will yield about 8-10 1.5” vols-au-vent or 4 4” vols-au-vent
In addition to the equipment listed above, you will need:
-well-chilled puff pastry dough (recipe below)
-egg wash (1 egg or yolk beaten with a small amount of water)
-your filling of choice

Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
Using a knife or metal bench scraper, divided your chilled puff pastry dough into three equal pieces. Work with one piece of the dough, and leave the rest wrapped and chilled. (If you are looking to make more vols-au-vent than the yield stated above, you can roll and cut the remaining two pieces of dough as well…if not, then leave refrigerated for the time being or prepare it for longer-term freezer storage.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the piece of dough into a rectangle about 1/8 to 1/4-inch (3-6 mm) thick. Transfer it to the baking sheet and refrigerate for about 10 minutes before proceeding with the cutting.
(This assumes you will be using round cutters, but if you do not have them, it is possible to cut square vols-au-vents using a sharp chef’s knife.) For smaller, hors d’oeuvre sized vols-au-vent, use a 1.5” round cutter to cut out 8-10 circles. For larger sized vols-au-vent, fit for a main course or dessert, use a 4” cutter to cut out about 4 circles. Make clean, sharp cuts and try not to twist your cutters back and forth or drag your knife through the dough. Half of these rounds will be for the bases, and the other half will be for the sides. (Save any scrap by stacking—not wadding up—the pieces…they can be re-rolled and used if you need extra dough. If you do need to re-roll scrap to get enough disks, be sure to use any rounds cut from it for the bases, not the ring-shaped sides.)
Using a ¾-inch cutter for small vols-au-vent, or a 2- to 2.5-inch round cutter for large, cut centers from half of the rounds to make rings. These rings will become the sides of the vols-au-vent, while the solid disks will be the bottoms. You can either save the center cut-outs to bake off as little “caps” for you vols-au-vent, or put them in the scrap pile.
Dock the solid bottom rounds with a fork (prick them lightly, making sure not to go all the way through the pastry) and lightly brush them with egg wash. Place the rings directly on top of the bottom rounds and very lightly press them to adhere. Brush the top rings lightly with egg wash, trying not to drip any down the sides (which may inhibit rise). If you are using the little “caps,” dock and egg wash them as well.
Refrigerate the assembled vols-au-vent on the lined baking sheet while you pre-heat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). (You could also cover and refrigerate them for a few hours at this point.)
Once the oven is heated, remove the sheet from the refrigerator and place a silicon baking mat (preferred because of its weight) or another sheet of parchment over top of the shells. This will help them rise evenly. Bake the shells until they have risen and begin to brown, about 10-15 minutes depending on their size. Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF (180ºC), and remove the silicon mat or parchment sheet from the top of the vols-au-vent. If the centers have risen up inside the vols-au-vent, you can gently press them down. Continue baking (with no sheet on top) until the layers are golden, about 15-20 minutes more. (If you are baking the center “caps” they will likely be finished well ahead of the shells, so keep an eye on them and remove them from the oven when browned.)
Remove to a rack to cool. Cool to room temperature . Put in filling.
vol au vents
Filling
I used a chocolate cream filling and used melted white chocolate to drizzle lines on it.

Chocolate Pastry Cream
Source: About Baking
Prep Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

* 2-1/4 cups milk
* 4 egg yolks
* 2/3 cups sugar
* 1/4 cup cornstarch
* 1/4 cup flour
* 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
* 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
* 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted

Preparation:

Boil 2 cups of milk. Beat yolks with sugar and remaining milk. Whisk until smooth. Add cornstarch and flour until combined. Gradually whisk hot milk into egg mixture. Return to saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture boils and thickens. Reduce to low and stir for 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and melted chocolates. Pour into a shallow disk. Cover with plastic wrap. (Make sure wrap touches surface to prevent a skim from forming.) Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Makes approximately 3 cups.
vol au vent chocolate cream filling

12 Photos/Kuvaa

12 photo september
Fellow Bloggers from Finland, Krisu and Mari, have invited me to join the project of a Finnish bloggers’ group, “12 kuvaa, 12 pics” which involves photographing the same spot from the same perspective over the course of one year, one photo each month. So this is my picture for the photo challenge. Its taken from the top of Spring Beach in Dabolim, Goa. It’s a breathtaking view and a fantastic beach. It’s the first beach I visited in Goa, and its one place we love to go to..rain or shine. The pic was taken at 9 am, 13 Sept 2009.

Brief Instructions

1) Select the target.
2) Take a photo, write down the place, the focal length and time.
3. Make the blog post between September 1st and 15th to your blog.
4. Link post to MckLinkyyn (here at Kameravene.fi Logbook).
5. Wait a month:-D
6. Take a photo from the same spot under the same settings as before. EDIT 2.9: … as same size as possible and from same perspective.
7. Make the blog post between September 1st and 15th to your blog. Include all photos taken over the past months (two photos in October, November three, etc. ).
8. Link post to MckLinky.
9. Repeat every month points 5-8 above.

Moroccan Chocolate Yogurt Cake

Night-Out
The venue was Fisherman’s Wharf, a lovely restaurant by the river Sal. The Food was good, the ambience great and the company outstanding. We were meeting some old friends who were holidaying in Goa and we had such a fabulous time.
Options for vegetarians are a bit limited in Goan restaurants but thankfully for my friends, this place had an almost fair share. All-in-all a great evening.

Earlier in the afternoon when my kids took a nap I made a Moroccan chocolate cake. It was all that it claimed to be…and oh-so-soft.

Moroccan cuisine is very new to me and I must thank DK of Chefinyou who started A Worldly Epicurean Delight (A.W.E.D) event and this months host Cooks hideout for giving me a chance to read up so much about this wonderful place. There were so many things I wanted to try out (Brochetter-a lamb kebab, pastilla,baklava-a very popular dessert, the moroccan tea
…..) and a few I didn’t want to try(brain fry, liver sauce, calves heel, snail…) but I had the ingredients for this cake so that’s what I baked…
Moroccan Cake

First make the Chocolate Sauce

In a saucepan, mix together:
3/4 cup of cocoa powder (in Morocco this is “Caobel” powder)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup cooking oil
1 1/3 cups water

Bring these ingredients to a boil. Cool 2/3 cup of the mixture in the refrigerator.

Now the Cake
Sift 2 2/3 cups of flour along with 3 tsp of baking powder.

In a mixing bowl, beat four eggs, together with ¾ cup granulated sugar, and 2/3 cup of cooking oil. Add ½ cup of yogurt. Add the flour to this mixture.

When the remaining chocolate sauce has cooled to room temperature, add it into the batter, and mix well.

Bake in a greased and floured bundt (circular tube) pan, in a medium oven (350 °F, or gas mark 5) until a knife, or toothpick comes out clean. When done, immediately remove from pan, while still very hot, and pour the refrigerated chocolate sauce all over the top of the cake, while the cake is still very hot. Immediately take a table knife and poke the cake in various places so that the sauce goes through. There you have it. Chocolate drenched cake….

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