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.

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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.

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.

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