Brown Bread Ice Cream

My taste in television boders on juvenile.No, thats not fair. But in any case its not intelligent viewing. I mean, common, I barely ever watch Nat Geo or Discovery and I stay away from stuff most of my friends watch(read Bigg Boss etc)
However time and oppurtunity permitting I can watch FRIENDS re-runs all day long-if I had the time. GLEE is another series I Love Love Love…though its been taken off the air here in India. My son and I often sing along, though its hardely appropriate TV viewing for a 3 year old!

Of late I’ve been watching Lie to me( something about Tim Roth’s South London accent does it for me…) and my current fav Modern Family. Have you watched it..It’s HILARIOUS!

But really the thing is that I barely get time to watch the telly as long as I would really like to. What with all the cleaning, dusting, teaching the kids all day

OK who am I kidding right? the truth is..I spend all day day-dreaming and reading and yes baking and somehow fear (rightfully so)that once I do switch on the telly my kids will come to watch like moths to a flame , and then getting them to stop watching will obviously be almost impossible.


What I have here is a Brown bread Ice cream…the thing is I added more brown bread than the recipe called for and thats why its more puddingy looking than ice cream . But boy! It was MINDBLOWING delicious…
The recipe below is from here.

Brown Bread Ice Cream
Source Epicurious

1 cup brown bread crumbs (dont use more and make the mistake I did)
8 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp brown sugar
2/3 cup whole milk
1 3-inch piece vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 large egg yolks
1 1/3 cups chilled whipping cream

Preheat oven to 375°F / 190°C. Line baking sheet with foil; butter foil. Mix breadcrumbs, 3 tbsp sugar and all the brown sugar in a medium bowl. Scatter over prepared baking sheet. Bake until sugar begins to melt and crumbs are slightly darker, stirring crumbs occasionally with metal spatula to prevent sticking, about 10 minutes. Transfer breadcrumbs to a bowl and cool. Break crumbs into small pieces.

Place milk in medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to simmer. Remove from heat and let steep 30 minutes.

Whisk egg yolks and 5 tbsp sugar in a large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in milk mixture. Return mixture to same saucepan. Stir over low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 5 minutes (do not boil). Strain into small bowl. Chill custard until cold, stirring occasionally, 1 hour.

Beat whipping cream in large bowl until firm peaks form. Fold custard into cream. Gently fold into breadcrumbs. Transfer to covered containers and freeze. Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Keep frozen.

Bad Cake Gone Good

I was recently trying out a new chocolate cake recipe that I had been meaning to try for a while now. Alas! To say the cake fell apart would be a gross understatement; it’s a pity I couldn’t take a picture of the disastrous cake….but rather than throwing the whole thing away eating my mistake here’s what I did…..

Take about 5 cups chocolate cake crumbs (though I’m sure they will taste swell with any other cake as well)
1/2 cup cream
100gms dark/bittersweet chocolate (chopped into large chunks)
1 tbsp instant coffee(opt)
3 tbsp brandy
¼ cup chopped almonds(opt)

You can add or reduce ingredients as you wish…..

Put all ingredients in a mixer and mix until they come together to form a ball. If you think the mixture is too dry, add more cream or even milk or brandy to moisten it and form smooth even sized balls.

Now chill them and the cover with melted dark chocolate(hmmm heavenly) or just dust cocoa powder and you are done. Absolutely delectable truffles that look gourmet, like you’ve slogged for hours when in reality its just add few ingredients to leftovers.

So go on mess up that cake and turn it into these….you can thank me later!

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

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.

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.

No I havent broken it…


My diet , I mean.
I was initially too ashamed and embarrassed to try out and post this calorie laden dessert as I’ve been on a diet all week long….
But it seems that I wasn’t THAT embarrassed.
So here’s the recipe for a delicious and RIDICULOUSLY EASY Pomegranate Ice Cream. No churner required and its as creamy as creamy can be. Your kids will thank you..
But your hips will not 😦

INGREDIENTS
Source: Nigella
2 pomegranates
1 lime
125g icing sugar
500ml double cream( I used 25% )

METHOD

Juice the pomegranates and the lime and strain the juices into a bowl.

Add the icing sugar and whisk until it has dissolved.

Whisk in the cream and keep whisking until soft peaks form in the pale pink cream.

Spoon and smooth the ice cream into the airtight container of your choice and freeze overnight.

Eat….and get fat! Ha!!

Just have a look at this..it’s HILARIOUS!!!!!

An Award Deserves Chocolate

Yay!! My first award!!!….Thank  you shaz for thinking me worthy of this.
The rule book says I need to pass this one to 8 other worthy blogs..it was a Herculean task to just name 8 but anyway, here goes… in random order..

Joanne of eatswellwithothers
PJ of GingerandGarlic
Happy Cook of kitchen treasures
Ann of splitpeasonality
Shwetha of cookie cutter
Sumi of sumis kitchen
Rebecca of Chowandchatter
Divya of divyascookbook

These are awesome blogs and i am so glad that I discovered them. i am sure that if u visit their blogs, u will encounter wonderful posts.

Also today I leave you with this oh-so-delicious Banana Chocolate Pudding Cake.. I tried it out from the 101 desserts book that I recently purchased and it was DELICIOUS!!

Chocolate Chip and Banana Pudding Cake
Serves 4

200 g/1 ¾ cups self-raising flour ( I substituted with AP flour ..see conversion here.)
6 tablespoons butter
2 bananas – ripe
75 g/ 1/3 cup caster sugar
60 ml/ 1/4 cup milk
1 egg – beaten
4 tbsp semisweet chocolate chips
Glossy Chocolate Sauce and whipped cream, to serve.

Prepare a steamer or partially fill (about halfway) a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Grease a 4 cup pudding mold or four 1-cup molds. Sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Mash the bananas. Stir it into the creamed mixture with the caster sugar.
Whisk the milk with the egg in a bowl, then beat into the pudding mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Spoon mixture into mold(s) and cover closely with a double thickness of foil. Steam for 2 hours, replacing water if needed.

Run a knife around the top of the pudding to loosen it, then invert onto serving dish. Serve hot with warm chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

Glossy Chocolate Sauce
This is a delicious accompaniment or topping to any dessert. And better still- it freezes well. Pour into a freezer proof container and store upto 3 months. Thaw before use.

Serves 6

½ cup caster sugar
175g chocolate pieces
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brandy/ orange juice
Place the sugar and 4 tbsp of water in a saucepan and heat gently. Sir occasionally until sugar has dissolved.
Stir in the chocolate bit by bit until nice and melted. Similarly add the butter. Do not let boil. stir in the brandy or orange juice. Serve warm.

This dessert also goes to the following events

Cakes and Cookies @ Saras Blog…shes celebrating her 1st Blog Anniversary!

Food for 7 stages of Life – In love with DDPI @ saurashtrakitchen, an event also organized by this lovely blog.

Sanghi’s FIL_Fruits event.

and to Show me your Lunchbox event by Divya of Dil se

Pudding Bliss

They bake them in the oven, they boil them with meat, they make them fifty different ways. Blessed be he that invented the pudding – to come in pudding time is to come to the most lucky moment in the world. M. François Misson, visiting England in 1698.

Victorian Pudding, Queen of Pudding
M is what you would call a pudding-freak- He’s had almost all kinds of puddings (being in the Navy one gets to try a zillion kinds of desserts) and has a memory or story etched to each. Now this is one that was served every once in a while at the NDA Dining Hall. Although he never liked it back then he did say it tastes waaay better when I made it the other day. But no, I’m not puffed up with pride as I’m pretty sure he’s forgotten whether it was good or not so much. ..As Friedrich Nietzsche said
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time…

Called The Queen of Puddings, this dish, based on a 17th Century version, was created for Queen Victoria by her chefs at Buckingham Palace. Usually it is flavored with lemon zest and vanilla, but for variety, apricots or peaches may be placed on top of the custard mixture instead of jam when it is set and before it is covered with the meringue.

1 ½ cups fresh breadcrumbs
4 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp grated rind of 1 lemon
2 ½ cups milk
4 eggs
3 tbsp heated jam (you can try any flavour)

Preheat oven to 160 C.

Mix together the bread crumbs, 2 tbsp of the sugar and the lemon rind.
Bring the milk to boil and stir in the bread crumb mixture.

Separate three of the eggs and beat the yolks along with the whole egg.

Stir into the breadcrumb mixture and pour the entire thing into a buttered baking dish.
Victorian Pudding
Leave to stand for half an hour and then bake for 1 hour

Meanwhile whisk the 3 egg whites in a large bowl until stiff, but take care not to over whip. Gradually add in the remaining 2 tbsp of sugar and whisk a bit more.

Spread the heated jam over the baked pudding and then spoon in the meringue to cover the top completely.

Sprinkle the remaining sugar and bake until the meringue browns(15 minutes or so). Serve hot.

Give me a TINKLE anytime…

supandi
“I have been asked to keep an eye on the boiling milk…….any suggestions on what I can do with my other eye till then??!” – a Suppandi original.

Did you know that Suppandi, of the Tinkle Comics fame will make his debut on the silver screen next November 2010?It seems that the producers of the 28 year old comic series, ACK Media, are producing a stereoscopic 3D animation film with Suppandi as the protagonist.

For those not-in-the-know, the Tinkle and ACK comic magazines were one of the standard reads for loads of Indian kids growing up in the 80’s and 90’s and Suppandi of Tinkle fame was a rectangular-headed village simpleton who often got into troubles because he insisted on thinking for himself. His clumsiness and uncanny ability to get into trouble and his journey from one mishap to another made him such an endearing fool. .

When I read this snippet of information in last week’s Economic Times it brought in a deluge of memories. Did you know the idea behind starting Amar Chitra Katha came to its founder Mr. Pai when he watched a quiz contest on Doordarshan in February 1967, wherein participants easily tackled questions pertaining to Greek mythology, but were unable to reply to the question “In the Ramayana, who was Rama’s mother?”

I too read a whole lot of Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle magazines all though my early school life and even now I sigh with fondness every time I can lay my hands on one. These magazines helped me and many others develop an interest in Indian Mythology and its vibrant history.

I have spent countless hours lost in the vivid stories of poets, dreamers,magical lands, valiant kings and queens, courageous freedom fighters, the clever animals, sly animals… the repertoire was endless and best of all was the eternal victory in all stories of good over evil…if only life were as black and white now….

Anyway I’m going to leave you with a pudding that is as simple as it is delicious …but don’t go by the picture. Its one of those ugly duckling puddings; the taste of the pudding is in the eating……
Chocolate magic mud pudding
Magic Chocolate Mud Pudding
Serves 4

50 g butter
200 g brown sugar
2 cups milk
1 cup self-raising flour( I used its sub i.e.for 1 cup self-raising flour substitute 1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp baking soda.
1 tsp ground cinnamon
75 ml cocoa powder

Vanilla ice cream to serve.
Magic Chocolate Mud Pudding
Preheat your oven to 180 C and grease and keep ready an ovenproof dish( preferably use a soufflé dish as it will support the sponge as it rises)

Put in the butter, ¾ cup of the sugar and 2/3 cup of the milk in a saucepan and heat gently until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Remember to stir frequently.

Now, sift the flour, cinnamon and 1 tbsp of the cocoa powder into the pan and stir into the mixture.
Pour this batter into the prepared dish and level the surface.

Sift the remaining sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl, mix well and sprinkle over the pudding batter. Pour in the remaining milk over the top and bake for 40 minutes or until the sponge is firm to tough.

Serve hot with ice cream.

Chocolate Cake Pudding

The holidays are almost upon us and I’m REALLY looking forward to it. I’ve had such a hectic week- – guests back to back, kids falling ill, painting deadlines…whew..four seasons in a week, I say!!

Anyway the holiday time is also time for calorie-free, guilt-free, nonsensical noshing! And today I have a chocolate pudding cake that’s so tantalizing, it’s hard to believe that it’s so easy to prepare. Quick and easy… The pudding cake is one of those miracles of science wherein liquid and solid batters essentially swap places in the oven, creating a cakey top and a pudding-y bottom when you spoon out the cake. We served ours with vanilla ice cream and this super combination sort of elevates this ho-hum dessert into something much more special

1 cup flour
2/3 cup cocoa
½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
¾ cup milk
4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 tsp vanilla
¾ cup brown sugar
1 ½ cup boiling sugar
A handful of chopped chocolate pieces.

Preheat your oven to 350 C.

In a large bowl sift flour, 1/3 cup of the cocoa, baking powder and the salt.

In a medium sized bowl whisk the eggs, sugar, milk, butter and vanilla.

Add this to the flour mixture, and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Pour this batter into a shallow baking dish….

In another bowl whisk the remaining cocoa, brown sugar and the BOILING water.Pour this liquid evenly over the batter. Do not mix . This is IMPORTANT. DO NOT MIX. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over this and bake for 35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve with cream or ice cream

chocolate pudding cake

Comfort me with Apples

If its not swine flu, its chickguniya.(is that how its spelt?) .Apparently this mosquito-inflicted nightmare is speading all over North Kerala . So looks like our visit to Kerala might not happen after all. We were planning to go end-September. But God and the mosquitoes have plotted against us…..

Meanwhile I have been crazy-busy with the coffee-evening in our Goa Navy Institute. It’s this evening of coffee and blah blah organized by and for us navy wives. Its not the kitty-partyish thing..rather its like those sports or art fests that we used to have in college. There’s games, entertainment, FOOD and loads of chatter.

Goa is a small base so most of us know each other and this once-a-month thing we organize helps us catch-up in the midst of our busy daily lives. I’ve grown to really enjoy these’coffee evenings’. My dept is organizing this month’s event so been real busy getting together some stuff…
Apple fritters
I made this Apple Fritters a while back but just got around to posting them today. These taste really good. Make sure you keep some extra apples at hand you’ll probably have to cook an additional batch.

Apple Fritters
Adapted from Bakes and Cakes
Serves 4-6

Ingredients
1 1/3 cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2/3 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
3 medium-sized apples, peeled, cored and ¼ inch slices
Icing sugar
Oil for frying
Apple Fritters

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Whisk in the egg and the milk.
Heat the oil in a frying pan.
Mix the sugar and the cinnamon powder in a plate. Coat the apple slices in this mixture.
Now dip the apple slices into the flour batter and fry in the hot oil until golden brown on both sides.
Sprinkle the warm fritters with icing sugar. Serve hot.

Banana Cupcakes

banana cupcake
It’s not the first time this has happened. I have observed many-a-time that either we run out of bananas, or we have too many and they all decide to ripen together.

This time too I found myself staring at the numerous bananas, wondering what to do with all of them.

A banana muffin seemed like a good idea. So here goes.

4 Large bananas, mashed
1 cup sugar
1 slightly beaten egg
1/3 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour

Mix the mashed banana, sugar, egg and margarine together. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, sift together the baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour.

Now mix the wet and dry ingredients all together, being careful not to over-stir!

Pour into greased muffin tins, and bake in 350 degrees oven for approximately 20 minutes.
Frost with Chocolate frosting.

Chocolate frosting
1 x 200g pkt good-quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream

To make the chocolate frosting, place the chocolate and cream
in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan half-filled with simmering water
(make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water).
Use a metal spoon to stir occasionally until the chocolate melts
and mixture is smooth. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool slightly.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours or until almost firm. Use an electric beater to beat the chocolate mixture until pale and fluffy.
Twirl on to the cup cakes.

Banana and Chocolate-YUM

Banana and Chocolate-YUM

Down Came the Rain

leaves from my balcony
It’s the perfect climate to snuggle up in bed. But alas, my kids think otherwise and insist of creating mayhem at home. It’s impossible to sleep amidst all that noise. Trust me, if it were anyway possible I would be snoring away. The other day I needed to get the number of a local store and had called the Goa helpline. Hearing all the crazy chaos in the background the lady actually asked me if I were calling from a school!!! I swear this really happened; the two of them make that much noise. And today was even worse as they were all excited about some party we had to attend. It was held in an aircraft hangar with helicopters and aircrafts parked all around. Look at our golf course all soaked in the rain ….
It's Flooded!

Water Water Everywhere..

And a commercial aircraft trying to make a quick exit before the next round of rains.
Quick Getaway

Had some leftover shredded chicken …so made some creamy olive chicken sandwich.

1 onion shredded
1 tomato chopped
½ cup cabbage shredded
¼ cup mayonnaise or cheese spread/cream cheese
10 black pitted olives
1 tomato cut into thin rounds
Chicken, boiled and shredded
1 tsp olive oil
As many slices of bread as required. I used brown bread
Butter
chicken sandwich

In a saucepan heat the oil and fry the onions. Once it looks done (read opaque), add the tomatoes and the shredded chicken. Fry until chicken is slightly browned. Put this mixture into a bowl and add the shredded cabbage and the mayo/cheese spread. Throw in the olives. Apply on buttered bread and put the tomato slices and lettuce leaves (I didn’t have any). Grill. Eat.

Not the best thing to have on a rainy day. But then we are suckers for anything fattening! Found the recipe from BBCGood food. It’s quite good…I used caramel topping..divine…

Vanilla Ice Cream

* 284ml carton double cream
* 300ml full fat milk
* 115g caster sugar
* 1 vanilla pod
* 3 large egg yolks
* have lots of ice cubes at the ready

1. Put the canister from the machine into the freezer a day before you want to make the ice cream. Next day, pour the cream and milk into a medium heavy-based pan, then add half the sugar. Cut the vanilla pods into three and add it in.
2. Heat the cream and milk over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until it almost boils .Take off the heat and set aside for 30 minutes so the vanilla can infuse.
3. Beat the egg yolks and the remaining sugar for about 2 minutes until the mixture has thickened, is paler in colour and falls in thick ribbons when you lift the beaters. Using a measuring jug, scoop out about 125ml/4fl oz of the cream mixture and beat into the egg yolks to slacken them. Reheat the cream until it just comes to the boil, take off the heat and stir in the egg yolk mixture.
4. Return the pan to a low heat and cook, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon, for 8-10 minutes, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Watch that it doesn’t boil – as soon as you see any bubbles about to burst to the surface, it should be thick enough, so take the pan off the heat so the mixture doesn’t curdle.
5. Pour the custard into a heatproof bowl, then sit it in a bigger bowl one third full of iced water to cool (this takes about 30 minutes). Stir occasionally to stop a skin forming. Put the bowl of custard in the fridge overnight so it gets really cold.
6. Get the ice cream machine running, scoop out the vanilla pod pieces, then slowly pour in the cold custard. Leave it to churn for 10-30 minutes (depending on your machine). When it stops, it is probably too soft to eat, so spoon into a plastic container, cover with cling film, then a lid, and freeze for a minimum of 3 hours. (It will keep in the freezer for 3 months but don’t take it out, then refreeze.) Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before serving.
7. To make it by hand: in step 1, heat the milk, vanilla, and half the sugar without the cream (the custard will be slightly thicker). At the start of step 6, whip the cream so it’s light and floppy, not too stiff, and fold it into the cold custard. Freeze for 3-4 hours, stirring once an hour until almost frozen, then freeze as above.
topping
Top with caramel or chocolate.

Chocolate Brownies

There is something rotten in the state of Goa. And guess what, it’s the weather. Its scorching hot one minute and poring buckets the next. I’ve never experienced climate this unpredictable. There is a Malayalam saying about Kochites-the people in my hometown. It basically translates to mean that the people of Kochites are as unpredictable as its weather. But, here in Goa what we are experiencing is beyond unpredictable. It’s bordering on strange.

Problems abound because of this. Everyone seems to be having flu-like symptoms (well, its not swine-flu..i think), clothes dry, and get wet again and get wet again then dy and finally just remains soaking in my terrace the entire day..ok ok that just happens in my house…but you get the point, right?

And my evening walks..oohh my walks… the only thing I that I do just for myself..they have come to an end. Oh I miss my walks.

But as the saying goes, make hay while the sun shines, or as in my case, when the rains pour. So a friend and I decided to spend the evening gazing at the rain and enjoy some yummy chocolate brownies…and guess what, we decided to make them with whole wheat flour. Boy oh boy! They were absolutely melt-in-your mouth brownies. I got the recipe from here, the King Arthur site, but I reduced the sugar a bit. Also it’s suggested that the brownies be stored for a day before consumption as it makes them so much more delicious. But trust me..that’s like asking me to go through labour pains again!! NOT HAPPENING!!
Whole Wheat Flour Chocolate Brownies
Wholewheat brownies

2 cup chocolate ,cut into pieces
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F.Grease and keep ready a 9″ x 13″ pan.
Making Brownies
Melt the butter over low heat and add the sugar.Stir until hot, then take off heat. Stir continuously until combined. Now put it back on the heat and mix well again. This is done to lend a glistening coat to the top of the brownies.

Remove from heat and add cocoa, salt, baking powder , coffee powder and the essence. Add in the eggs and beat to make smooth. Using a wooden spoon to stir, mix in the flour and the chocolate chips. Mix until smooth.Spoon into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. However do not over bake. When you insert a knife into the center, you should get raw crumbs, not raw batter. They should feel set insides and middle.

Cool and attack!!

This recipe goes to the CFK-chocolate Event hosted by the wonderful Hema.

It’s a Sticky Situation…

DoughnutsDoughnuts

I’ve made baked version of these doughnuts (which I shall post sometime later) and they were good but not as soft. I usually prefer the baked ones for the obvious reason that they are healthy…well, not healthy, but healthier . This time round I made them the fried way. I made two batches, one using baking powder and one batch using yeast. The baking powder batch had more of a cake-like texture but was easier to make. The yeast ones were soft and yumm but oh-so-sticky to prepare. I guess the trick is to add the flour little by little until the dough is manageable.

Raised Doughnuts

1 tbsp active dry yeast
¼ cup warm, not boiling water
¾ cup milk
½ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg
¼ cup butter
4 cups flour

In a bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir in the milk, ¼ cup sugar, salt, egg butter and just 2 cups of the flour. Beat until the dough is smooth. Now mix in enough of the remaining flour until you feel the dough is easy to manage.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes and then place in greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours. Then punch down risen dough and let rise once again until almost double, probably another hour or less.

Roll out the dough; at this point too you may need to add some more flour. It should be about 3/8 inch thick. Cut dough with a floured dough-cutter/ anything that’s circular and a small bottle cap for the inner hole. Let it rose on the board until double and very light (half an hour). Leave it uncovered.

Heat oil and drop the doughnuts into the hot oil. Turn as they rise to the surface. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain and roll the warm doughnuts in sugar or if desired frost with chocolate sauce.

Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble with Topping

Apple Crumble with Topping

“I know the look of an apple that is roasting and sizzling on the hearth on a winter’s evening, and I know the comfort that comes of eating it hot, along with some sugar and a drench of cream… I know how the nuts taken in conjunction with winter apples, cider, and doughnuts, make old people’s tales and old jokes sound fresh and crisp and enchanting.” Mark Twain

I started off making this recipe as a ‘It’s a Sunday, let me make SOMETHING!’ sort of experiment. I have friends who rave about apple crumbles and though i’ve never liked them too much, this one seemed different, and different it was! In a good way, of course! Everyone loved it; I mean it was an absolute minx of a cake. This one definitely gets the THUMBS UP! Serve with ice cream- A heavenly after-dinner dessert.

Apple Crumble with Brown Sugar Icing.
Adapted from chocolateandzucchini.com

180g butter, softened
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 apples cut into small pieces
2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk
Walnuts, as many as you prefer.

Set your oven to 180 C .

Beat the butter and sugar together till fluffy and light then add the eggs.

Using a wooden spoon, fold in the remaining ingredients (flour, baking powder, apples and milk).
Spread it into the prepared baking dish and bake for around 35-40 minutes. Set aside to cool. Serve with ice cream over top with icing.

Icing
100g butter
3 Tbsp milk
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup icing sugar

This is an unbelievably simple to make, just melt the sugar and butter together, add the milk and bring to a boil, all the while stirring continuously. You can add more milk or reduce the sugar depending on the consistency you like the frosting. Remove from heat and put in the icing sugar once the mixture has cooled. Carefully spread over the baked and cooled apple crumble.

Coconut Chocolate Pudding

coconut chocolate pudding
Coconut Chocolate Pudding

Coconut and chocolate are not really the best of combinations so I was hesitant to try this out. Although there is a reasonable quantity of coconut milk , one gets only a pleasant whiff of it and the uncommon blend of chocolate and coconut and the spice makes it sort of exotic.

500 ml of coconut milk
4 tbsp sugar
¼ cup arrowroot powder
1 tsp curry powder
3 tbsp cocoa
4 oz chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup coconut flakes for garnishing

In a saucepan, bring to boil 11/2 cups of the coconut milk along with the sugar. Put on low heat and meanwhile in a medium size bowl mix the remaining coconut milk along with the arrowroot powder, the spice and the cocoa powder. I substituted corn flour for the arrowroot and added ½ tsp cinnamon instead of the curry powder. Mix well so that it looks like a thick frosting.

When the milk mixture has started simmering, remove about ¼ cup of the coconut milk mixture and whisk it very gradually into the thick cocoa mixture. Turn down heat to minimum and drizzle the cocoa mixture into the simmering pan of coconut milk. Continue stirring briskly until the mixture thickens up into a mousse type texture.

Take off heat but don’t stop stirring for yet another minute. Add in the chocolate chips and the vanilla and mix until smooth. Garnish with the coconut flakes and serve cold.

I am posting this as my entry to Lets Go Nuts – the brain child of Aqua , an event being hosted by Seduce Your Tastebuds this month.

Chocolate Eclairs

Chocolicious!!!!!
It’s been pouring, pouring, pouring here in Goa, and I feel so lazy, not to mention sleepy. Sadly with 2 very hyper kids who seem to get through the day with minimum sleep, my sleep time gets reduced to a bare minimum. I had some painting work to get done and promised to bake my son some chocolaty treat if he didn’t fight with his brother for 10 whole minutes. Well, he did! And since it was my turn to keep my promise I baked him this yummy dessert.

This oh-so-yummy dessert been on my to-do list, like, for EVER. Somehow it seemed time consuming and I never got around to doing it. But now the time has finally come…

Contrary to what I thought, these were fun to make and assemble. I even got my son to give me a hand. They turned out quite tasty as well- though not quite photo-worthy! Éclairs have been popular with chocolate lovers for years now. Although little is known about the origin of the éclair, it is believed to have originated, (like most wow-desserts) in France around the turn of the nineteenth century.

The only problem I faced was with the cream. Perhaps I didn’t beat it enough, and was a bit messy to fill into the éclair. STILL, they were scrumptious Go ahead try them…

Ingredients

Pastry
¾ cup refined flour
A pinch salt
75 grams chilled butter, diced
3 eggs

Filling
1 cup whipping cream ( I used Amul Fresh cream)

Chocolate Icing
50 grams chocolate
25 grams butter

Method

Preheat oven to 200 C/400 F

Sift the flour.

In a pan heat butter and 1 cup of water and stir over low heat until butter melts. Now dump all the flour all at once and stir over medium heat until the mixture forms a ball and leaves the sides. Now take off the flame and let it cool for about 5 minutes.

Now add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. The dough will now look smooth and shiny. This mixture is called choux pastry. Spoon this mixture into a piping bag with a wide nozzle, or you could fill into a zip lock bag and cut the end to form a ½ inch hole.

Line a baking tray with buttered paper. Squeeze the mixture into medium sized sausage shapes. Keep these well apart (3 inches or so) as they will double in size in the oven.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the éclairs are puffed up and golden brown in colour and feel hard when tapped. Now, and this is important, IMMEDIATELY remove from baking tray and with a pointed knife gently make slits on the top of each éclair so that the steam escapes and the éclairs do not become soggy. Keep aside.

For the icing, melt the chocolate in a double boiler and add butter and mix well. Take off stove.

Now for the filling- Whip the cream for a few minutes until it is stiff.

Fill, using a piping bag, the insides of the éclair and pour the chocolate icing over the éclair. This part turned out quite tricky and messy. Next time I will use a piping bag to cover the éclair with the icing.

Leave for a while, if you can resist it, until the icing sets.

Sponge Cake Pudding

Spomge Cake Pudding
I started out with the intention of making a Waldrof Cake (courtesy Betty Crocker) but the sponge cake I make cracked while I was turning it over. (I didn’t grease the cake tin well enough I guess!) Searched around and found this simple yes tasty cake pudding recipe. While it was not very visually appealing, it tasted good and qualifies as a quick and simple dinner party dessert.

Ingredients
1 Basic Sponge Cake- Cut into 2-inch thick fingers
1 banana diced
1 Apple diced
¼ cup water mixed with 2 tbsp sugar
(more…)

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