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Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

Anticipation is delicious. Isn’t it?

 

So very often, I feel like waiting for something wonderful, is better than the wonderful thing itself.

 

vorfreude

 

At this moment, Dennis and I are packing for our first trip back home to India together.

 

Our past few weekends have with filled with manic shopping – picking out the right presents for everyone in our families, right down to the doggys btw!

 

There is such joy in waiting to see everyone, to be able to spend time with family and friends, and just be with the people you love the most in the world.

 

And I know that this time will just fly by. So I’m soaking up the anticipation as best I can and prolonging this happy feeling  🙂

 

In preparation of going home and being fed till we burst, we decided to stretch our stomachs with this creamy, velvet-y, silken smooth beauty called Crème Brulee.

 

Creme Brulee 4

 

 

If I see Crème Brulee on a restaurant menu, I always order it. It’s one of my favorite desserts. We’ve never made them at home because of the lack of a blow torch.

 

Creme Brulee 2

 

But we finally got one and now, well, it’s a bit dangerous how easily we can whip one of these decadent yellow bowls of heaven up!

 

They taste like a mix of home, sunshine and happiness.

 

Make a few and treat yourself 🙂

 

 Easy Crème Brulee

 

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 40 mins, plus cooling and chilling
Serves: 4-6

 

Creme Brulee 1

 

Ingredients:

1 egg

5 egg yolks

100g/ ½ cup caster sugar, plus more for dusting

700ml/3 cups heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp Grand Marnier

 

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF. Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, mix together the egg, egg yolks, and ½ cup of sugar together on a low speed until just combined.
  2. Heat the cream in a saucepan until hot to the touch but not boiling. With the mixer on low speed, gently pour the cream into the egg mixture in small batches. Add the vanilla and Grand Marnier and combine.
  3. Pour into Crème Brulee ramekins (I got about 4 medium, 1 large, and 2 tiny ones) until almost full. Place the ramekins in a baking tray and place in the oven. Carefully pour boiling water into the baking tray so that the water reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 40 minutes, then cool and refrigerate.
  4. Before serving, sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of caster sugar over each ramekin and use a blow torch to caramelize the sugar until golden, brown and slightly burnt in parts. Wait for a couple minutes before serving.

 

I even made a baby one! 😛

 

Creme Brulee 3

 

 

 

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If you watch MasterChef Australia, you’ve heard about the notoriously hard-to-get-perfect dessert called Panna Cotta. (BTW, if you do watch MasterChef, read this) 😛

 

It’s a thing of beauty. Usually pearly white, with a slight wobble, and silken smooth when your spoon cuts through it.

 

Panna Cotta is essentially cooked cream that’s set in a mould with gelatin. You could sweeten it with sugar or honey, and add any other flavors you want. Most often, it’s served with some sort of fruit compote or purée.

 

I’ve made a Coconut milk Panna Cotta before, but I never un-moulded it for fear of it falling apart.

 

So I decided to be brave and make a simple Panna Cotta I could un-mould and serve in all its wobbly, white glory.

 
Panna Cotta 1
 

I experimented with different amounts of gelatin and made it a few times until I got the texture absolutely right.

 

I also played around with a few fruit flavors and textures.

 
Panna Cotta 2
 

This is the perfect summer dessert – it’s delicate and cold, and can be eaten within 4 hours of putting it in the fridge to set.

 

My recipe makes exactly 2 serves, but feel free to double/triple.

 

Make this for someone special today – and watch them smile as you bring out the perfect wobble 🙂

 
Panna Cotta 3
 

Panna Cotta

 

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 6 mins, plus 4+ hours setting
Serves: 2

 

Ingredients:

 

120 ml (1/2 cup) whole milk
1 tbsp unflavored gelatin
180 ml (3/4 cup) full cream
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
fruit compote or purée of your choice (optional)

 

Method:

 

1. Pour the milk into a pan and sprinkle the gelatin over. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
2. Place the pan over a medium heat and stir gently and continuously until the gelatin dissolves (about 3 minutes) but make sure it doesn’t boil. Now add the cream and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves (another 3 minutes).
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour into 2 custard cups and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set (more is okay, but not less.)
4. To un-mould, run a knife around the edge of the cup and then dip it into a pan of boiling water for a few seconds. Immediately turn over onto the serving plate and tap to release the Panna Cotta. You may need to repeat the dip a few times, but it will un-mould eventually. I promise!
Note: For a fresh cherry sauce, un-pit and chop up a handful of cherries and place in a bowl with a tablespoon of sugar and a dash of rum or whisky, mixing well. Leave for an hour and then serve. For a peach or mango purée, blend the flesh of the fruit with a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of cream and serve. Use any fruits or sauces – the plain Panna Cotta takes on any flavor really well 🙂

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So Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Again.


Hello star struck couples.
Hi everything red.
And hey there, strawberries and chocolate – get in my face already.


Here’s where I am on the romantic front.


Fridge


But, since I’m a total sucker for love and a big fan of mush-ville, I’m going to shout out to my 5 most favorite couples.


These are ones who make me believe in real love.


Not the kind of love that happens when it’s convenient or easy.


But the kind of love that respects, and sacrifices, and understands, and never ever gives up.


All these people are amazing as individuals, but together they’re even better.


I admire all of them for who they are – you guys keep my faith in love alive.


Couple 1: Mom and Dad


Mom and Dad


I see in them everything I want my life to be. They’re perfectly balanced, and they bring out the best in each other. From them I’ve learnt that real love is for a lifetime, and no matter what life throws at you, you can get through it if you’re together. Love you both more than anything in this world.


Couple 2: Parul and Andy


Parul and Andy


It’s strange I’ve never met Andy, but I feel like I know him so well through Parul. Theirs is the classic young-love story. Despite the pressures of distance, their relationship proves how resilient love can be. From them I’ve learnt what unconditional support and trust in a relationship really means.


Also, any couple that brings this most adorable munchkin into the world, is clearly doing it right. I love this baby to bits.


Ally


Couple 3: Shriya and Mukund


Shriya and Mukund


There are some love stories you’re lucky enough to witness blossom and grow – Shriya and Mukund’s is one of those. This picture-perfect couple share a love for travel, fitness, and puppies. They are always doing immensely thoughtful things for each other, and take the time to share wonderful experiences together. I miss them so much!


Couple 4: Mona and Badri


Mona and Badri


You’d think they’re so different, but Mona and Badri fit together like 2 pieces of a puzzle. I love them because when you’re with them, it’s always unbelievably fun. From them I’ve learnt that opposites not only attract, but are also better together! Hugs, you guys!


Couple 5: Rupa and Judo


Rupa and Judo


These two have been married for a few years now, but the way they talk to each other, you’d think they just started dating. There is a refreshing child-likeness in their relationship – they always make the best of whatever the situation is, and wherever they are, there is sure to be laughter. And guess what, now the babies have their very own baby – I can’t wait to meet him 🙂


This Valentine’s Day, I’m sending my love to all these wonderful people who’ve taught me a thing or two about love. Here’s to many, many more years together of laughter and fun and craziness and happiness for all of you 🙂


Now that you’re all full of that warm, cozy feeling I’m gonna share a crazy easy, no-bake, healthy dessert with you guys, so you can hop right into your kitchen and make it for your Valentine <3!


Did I mention it’s stunning too?


Panna Cotta 1


I used pink dragon fruit, coz duh! It’s Valentine’s Day 😛


It’s 4 ingredients and it’s a Paleo dessert – so it’s as guilt-free as you can get!


Panna Cotta 2


Paleo Coconut milk Panna Cotta
Adapted from: Deliciously Organic


Prep time: 10 mins, plus cooling and chilling time
Serves: 6


Ingredients:


1 litre coconut milk (full-fat)
11/2 tbsp unflavoured gelatin
100 ml raw honey
1 dragon fruit (or any other fruit you like)


Panna Cotta 4


Method:


1. Pour 250 ml of the coconut milk into a large saucepan and scatter the gelatin in. Stir to mix in and leave for ten minutes.
2. Place the saucepan over a medium flame and keep stirring until small bubbles appear on the sides of the pan. Pour in the remaining coconut milk, followed by the honey and stir until everything is mixed well. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
3. Pour into 6 small bowls or glasses, cover with cling film, and refrigerate overnight. Before serving, top with chopped dragon fruit.


Fun fact: Dragon fruit stains your fingers a pretty pink colour – much like beetroot 🙂


Panna Cotta 3


Happy Valentine’s Day, guys 🙂 Cheers to love!


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If you know me at all, you know I’m not a fan of vegetarian food. However good Mr Vegetarian pretends to be, he could never match up to Mr Meat. Just never. Mr Meat and I are long time lovers.


Then, one evening, the CAL Blogger’s Table met at The Piano Man Art Cafe, in Vasant Vihar, and I was made to eat my words.


A small cafe with a global menu, this is the place to be in if you’re looking for some great vegetarian food, good music, and desserts that will make you weep with sheer joy.


The cafe


A cellist was playing some haunting tunes – including Nearer my God to thee, which always reminds me of death, but he changed it up soon enough.


Cellist


This stunning piano sat by one side of the cafe, and we got to hear Arjun Gupta belt out some fabulous jazz that night.


Piano


Now for the main event – the food.


I started with a Chocolate hazelnut shake which was served in small bottle-type jar. Very chocolatey with a whisper of hazelnut, the rich drink went down slowly and rather pleasurably. Some others at the table tried the Paan smoothie, which was bursting with paan flavour and fresh green in colour.


Chocolate hazelnut shake


The best soup I’ve had in a long time followed next. It was a sunshine yellow Pumpkin and peanut butter soup. Both flavours were prominent, yet their marriage in my mouth was a thing of dreams. Please, please try this soup as soon as you can.


Pumpkin and peanut butter soup


A very crisp salad of Apple and fennel came next.


Apple fennel salad


That was probably the first and last “healthy” thing we ate that night.


We shared this generous Mezze platter. Loved the Hummus.


Mezze platter


These adorable Vegan sliders were so good. The patty was walnut and brown rice – who would have guessed? But why are they so cute? I want to hug them.


Vegan slider


We also tried Potato Dauphinoise (super rich and creamy), Wild mushroom risotto (cooked perfectly but not “mushroomy” enough for me), and some divine Maple-glazed corn cakes (unusual sticky texture, laden with fragrant lemongrass).


I really enjoyed the Ratatouille – full of aubergine, peppers, and zucchini.


Ratatouille


While we were digesting our crazy good meal and making room for dessert, a magician entertained us with some card tricks. Here he is doing some cool shufflin’.


Magician


Here’s happy Sid having a go.


Sid


For dessert it was Tiramisu (not overly sweet – which was much appreciated and enjoyed) and this decadent, can-die-for, poetry-inducing, worth-an-arm-and-leg, gorgeous Sea salt caramel chocolate tart.


Salted caramel tart


Just look at that stunning fleck of sea salt, glistening like a diamond. I can almost taste it on my tongue.


Darling Ruchira also made a Crack pie to celebrate 2 birthdays (Sushmita’s and mine) earlier that week. This was so good – head off here for the recipe.


Crack pie


Here’s all the happy people. (Thanks Mukta for the picture :))


CAL bloggers


Parul from The Shirazine
Sangeeta from Health food Desi Videshi
Ruchira from The Great Cookaroo
Sushmita from My Unfinished Life
Aishwarya from Aishwarya Eats
Mukta from Bake-a-mania
Rekha from My Tasty Curry
Rituparna from Chocolates & Dreams
Sid from Chef at Large
Himanshu from The White Ramekins


A fabulous night, spent in the company of some wonderful friends, really great food, and lovely music. Head over to The Piano Man Art Cafe soon, and if you leave without trying the Pumpkin and peanut butter soup and the Sea salt caramel chocolate tart, you’ll have me to reckon with. Grrrrrr.


Have a happy week ahead lovelies :*


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Use-as-a-bribe Lemon tart

The monsoons have hit Delhi.

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The rains come visiting at any time, with absolutely no regard for my plans, my clothes hung out to dry, or the day I decide to wear new shoes.

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Quite rude.

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Maybe a luscious lemon tart will facilitate better behaviour?

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This recipe comes from David Lebovitz. You can read all about his fabulous recipe here.

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The thing is I’ve made puff pastry dough and tart dough before, and I have to admit it’s one of the most tedious things I have ever done.  There is a lot of ice water, mixing, rolling, folding, freezing, and other such things involved. You need to make sure the dough is super cold at all times, and that is a tad difficult when you’re baking in June and in Delhi.

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So obviously I was super pleased when I discovered that I could make wonderful tart dough and not care if it was cold. Infact, in this recipe, the dough has to be hot. Hot enough to burn your finger (I would know).

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The fun thing is it’s so easy that a baby could make it. Except for the hot dough bit. We don’t want you to have to deal with crying babies who’ve just burnt their baby fingers.

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This French tart (to see the original recipe go here) is buttery, crumbly, and perfectly melt-in-your-mouth. The lemon curd filling is tarty and slightly sweet, and makes you stop thinking about your new, wet shoes drying against the wall.

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I have modified the recipe a little bit. I like my lemon tarts really lemony. If you like it more sweet and less tart, just reduce the lemon juice and increase the sugar by a few tablespoons.

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Hello rain. Would you like a slice?

Make this and bribe the rains. And wait, hoping they’ll have the decency make an appointment before their next visit.

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Tangy Lemon tart

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Inspired by: David Lebovitz’s Tarte au citron

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 45 mins

Serves: 6

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Ingredients:

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For the tart shell:

90 g salted butter

1 tbsp vegetable oil

3 tbsp water

1 tbsp sugar

150 g flour

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For the lemon curd:

½ cup lemon juice (I used about 8 small lemons)

grated zest of one lemon

100 g sugar

85 g salted butter

2 eggs

2 egg yolks (freeze the whites for an omelette later!)

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Method:

2

For the tart case

  1. Preheat the oven to 210º C.  In a medium, oven-proof bowl, mix the butter, oil, water and sugar.
  2. Place the bowl in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the liquids are bubbling slightly.
  3. Remove the bowl from the oven CAREFULLY (burnt finger alert!) and put the flour in immediately. Stir until it all comes together, and the dough leaves the sides of the bowl.
  4. Put the dough in a 9-inch tart tin with a removable base, and spread it out so it cools a little. Once slightly cool, use your fingers to spread the dough all over the base and sides. Prick all over with a fork.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until it is golden. Leave the tart case to cool before filling, or freeze to use later.

For the lemon curd filling

  1. Preheat the oven to 180º C.
  2. In a non-stick pan, heat the lemon juice, zest, sugar and butter. Once the butter has melted, turn off the heat.
  3. Beat the eggs and yolks in a small bowl. Pour a few spoons of the warm lemon-butter mixture into the eggs gradually, while stirring. This has to be done to warm the egg mixture before pouring it into the lemon-butter mixture. If you skip this, you will have scrambled eggs. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
  4. Now pour the warmed egg mixture into the lemon mixture and cook over very low heat till it thickens. Keep stirring gently.
  5. Pour this warm mixture through a strainer into the cooled tart case. Press down with a spoon to push the mixture through the strainer properly.
  6. Spread the mixture evenly in the tart case. Don’t worry if you think the layer of filling is too thin. The creamy richness will come through in every mouthful.
  7. Pop the tart in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the filling is just set, but slightly wobbly. Let it cool before you stuff your face in it 🙂 It tastes good when it’s been sitting in the fridge for a while as well.
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