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My experiments with my love for food
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Posts tagged "desserts"

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Indian weddings are known for its flamboyance - the colors, jewellery, dance, music and the richness of it all. Additionally another important aspect to Indian weddings is the food. A wedding down south is judged by the number of desserts it serves it’s guests. The food is spoken about months and in some rare cases years later even after the bride and bridegroom are long forgotten.

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I never realized how much I would grow to love these weird tomato-ish looking fruit in such a short time. Mostly it was used for juicing with the juicing buddies and the fruit came straight from their family gardens. Recently a neighbor dropped by and game me some because, she said, her brother in law gave her so many, she didn’t know what to do with them all. I decided I’d make Persimmon Jam and then use that in a puff pastry! How ingenious is that! 

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Also I have been waiting a week for these beauties to ripen a bit more. Would it be weird if I offered some of the jam to the kind lady that gave me the fruit in the first place?

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I have been trying out puff pastry bite size dessert ideas for sometime now. Apricot preserve, Pumpkin butter, pineapple jam, strawberry preserve, orange marmalade, chocolate sauce, cheese, spinach - you name it. In India I used to love the egg puff although not as much the mess it made while eating though. And i think that is one of my main reasons to make them bite size - no mess. These can be devoured by the dozen, can be made healthy(using whole wheat puff pastry) and are fast and easy to make as well.

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I obviously had to pinterest all the little bite size treats i could. And I almost got lost deciding what I wanted to make. Finally i decided on giving these a try with what I had on hand before I went and splurged on fillings.

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Pretty simple, right? These are as simple and straightforward as they look. The prep time is about 15 minutes and the cook time - about 30 minutes. Serve warm or cold, they are definitely a treat to the eye and the tastebuds.

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Preheat oven to 375 F. Get puff pastry at the grocery store and thaw for about 10 minutes. Cut into desired shape and bake for 25-30 minutes. If you like to add egg wash to the top of the puff pastry, thats a good touch as well.

Once done, use a fork or your hand to make a small depression in the middle and add any pre-made topping you like!

How many of you freak out when you get new glassware and have to remove those uber sticky price tags off the bottom? And there’s a party the very next day!

I’ve tried many methods and this works best for me - plus it’s easy and I happened to think it up myself withOUT googling! Take warm water a bowl. Maybe a little more than warm but not hot.

This is the martini glass I got with the sticky pricetag.

Place it in water for 5-10 seconds. Now gently peel it away under water.

The easy peasy peeled price tag - sticky no more! YAY!

I’m not sure if it’s okay to make a post for a simple tip but I think I’m in love with these glasses! They’re best if used to eat.. ermm, serve some yummy dessert!

:D

Also do you like bite size desserts like they serve in PF Changs? I for one, wish Everyone did that. I’d be able to taste more varieties that way, no? :P Anyway that’s just me. But I did buy some tequila shot glasses just for that reason!

Not the best picture, I know, but it was taken at midnight.

Recipe?

Its whipped cream with sugar on the bottom, layered with vanilla cake and chocolate cake, sprinkled with sugar syrup and coffee decoction and topped with the whipped cream with sugar and some chocolate syrup. It’s very easy and fun!

P.S: ignore my messy fridge.

Have a great week!

(R)oomie and I have been having ice-cream cravings on and off. The Magnum ice-cream ads don’t help either. I called up Amma and asked her for her ice-cream recipes and it’s been like 15 years since she made some at home and so she had to get her recipe book out. She has made tons of egg-less ice-cream for me especially when we were living in Kuwait and she had all the time to experiment with food - elaichi, pistachios, mango, plain vanilla, chocolate, you name it!

Btw just FYI I love Chocolate ice-cream with chocolate chips(belgium chocolate helps) and drizzled with chocolate syrup.

Her recipes are like her - simple and straightforward, plus point is that the ingredients are readily/easily available. I did a bit of googling for the ice-cream recipes and it seemed way too complex for me and the ice-cream maker(i didn’t want to be ‘buying’ that) was a huge turn-off. Since she had to dig out her recipe book, I decided to work on it based on my taste-buds. I remember how she used to beat up the mixture in the blender and freeze it and beat it up again, freeze and repeat till the ice-cream was smooth and creamy.

My ice-cream recipe has just 3 ingredients

*)     Whipping cream - 1 Pint/473ml (Ultra pasteurized Grade A)

**)   Condensed milk - 1 Can/14 Oz/396gms (@room temperature)

***) Pure Vanilla Extract - 1 Tsp

****) White food colouring - completely optional, if you like the ice-cream to have a snow-white colour add a drop or two.

Using a hand mixer, I whipped the whipping cream on high for 5-6 minutes or till whipping consistency is reached in a large glass mixing bowl. Add the condensed milk and vanilla extract (and food colouring if using) and combine. scrap the sides with a rubber spatula and combine again. DO NOT over-beat after you add the condensed milk because the cream kinda breaks up and the creamy texture is lost(trust me I tried!). Cover the mixing bowl with a plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour.

Take out the semi-frozen mixture and beat again on medium high for 2 minutes. Make sure you scrap the sides because the sides freeze up first. Cover again with the plastic wrap and freeze for atleast 4 hours or over night.

Serve a scoop topped with some homemade cherry preserve or a topping of your choice.

As I was making the ice-cream on one side I kinda got temped to make some kulfi too. And since I was going the simple way I decided to try and use just 3 ingredients here too.

Kulfi:

Whole Milk - 2 Cups

Sugar - 2 Tbps

Cardamom - 2 whole

Boil the milk till it reduces to less than 1/2 its quantity. You can replace this with evaporated milk too which you can find in the baking section of your grocery store. The boiling takes time and patience and needs you right by its side. Once the milk has reduced, add the sugar and mix well. Add the cardamom and let it boil for some a few more minutes to absorb the flavour. Take off heat and let it cool completely. Pour into popsicle moulds and freeze for 4 hours or overnight.

To take out the kulfi from the mould, simply dip the mould in warm water for a few second and gently pull. You can experiment with almond extract or any other flavour of your choice.

I was inspired to make cherry preserve after I saw this post at the Cilantropist. I followed the recipe to the dot. Don’t you just wish you had that cherry pitter-it took me ages & ages to get the cherries ready. 

I’ve previously tried Plum Preserve, Nectarine preserve & Golden Raspberry preserve… and even some strawberry preserve!

Introducing my first Guest and a dear, dear friend Annie.

Annie and I go back a long way, come May this year it will be 12 years!!! Out of those 12 years we spent only 2 actually ‘studying’ together. The rest of the decade was spent having nightouts(filled with girly gossip), eating out, seeing some of us off at the airport and finally having a grand reunion in NYC in 2009. We haven’t met in almost 2 years now but somehow the 3000 miles just doesn’t feel that much.

Annie is a gentle, smart, intelligent young woman with a gift at doing whatever she does - really well! Be it cracking all those Math sums we all broke our heads over or cooking up delicious food at the blink of an eye. Through this post I want to introduce you all to a beautiful human being I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and what better than with the one dish that is festive and a universal favourite.

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Plum Preserve:

Another uniquely simple dish… I was not happy with the plums we got this time. I tried eating them fresh but they just wouldn’t go down my throat. So i decided to add some sugar and make a preserve. I had to rinse the plums multiple times and wipe them really clean. Otherwise like you can see in the picture they had a thick white layer over it…

What you will need:

Plums - deseeded and cut into 1” pieces - 4 cups

Brown sugar - 2 cups

Lime juice- 1 Tbspn

I used a heavy bottomed vessel and put the plums in it. Covered and let it cook for a bit. I then added sugar, lime juice and covered and let cook for another 15 minutes stirring occasionally. All the water from the plums will be out by now. I used a masher to evenly mash all the plums. Keep stirring on med heat for another 15 minutes. The preserve should be ready now. Test for a set by placing a little of the preserve on a cold vessel and push the blob with your finger to see if it forms a wrinkled skin. Boil for another five minutes if needed and do the set test again. Skim the top of the preserve and set to cool. Pour into clean jars and your preserve is all set…

Plum Preserve

earlier: Nectarine preserve , Golden Raspberry preserve

The Elephant God or Ganesha or Ganapati loves food. His body image is testimony to that. So it’s common practice to feed him what he loves on his birthday. Though I do wonder what the sugar rush must do to him with so many people offering him so many sweets!

Some of his favourites are:

Besan ke Laddu(fried gram flour sweet balls), Kaju ki Barfi(Cashew nut sweet), Modak(Steamed rice dumplings with coconut filling), Boondi Laddu(Gram flour sweet balls), Pulihora(Tamarind Rice), Rava Laddu(Semolina sweet balls)

So assuming I couldn’t really make all the items I decided to make Besan Ke laddu, Modaks, Boondi Laddu, Kaju ki Barfi, Rava Laddu and Pulihora… Waaaait… that’s everything :)

I ain’t taking any credit for the cooking - All thanks to Mom and the internet… And numerous trials before the D day…

Enjoy the pictures…