Wednesday 24 June 2009

Pavlova with Strawberries and Cherries

I am so so pleased how this dessert has turned out.
My family wsa really thrilled to see this on the coffee table as it looked so beautiful and it was really delcious.
This is one of the best Meringue I have made, got to recipe from one of the cooking shows from Channel 4 , I think it is called come and Dine with me or something like that.
Ofcourse you can uuse any fruits you want, I used strawberry and Cheries as they are in season now and ofcourse then i could send this for my .

4 egg white
225 castor sugar
1 1/2 tblsp vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp corn flour

For the filling.
1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
4 tsp. cold water
1 c. heavy whipping cream (at least 24 hours old and very cold)
Few tablspoon icing sugar
1/2 tsp. clear vanilla extract
Combine gelatin and cold water in small saucepan. Let stand until thick. Place over low heat, stirring constantly just until gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Whip cream, sugar and vanilla until slightly thickened. While beating slowly, gradually add gelatin to whipped cream mixture. Whip at high speed until stiff.

I use this method so that the cream doesn't go soft after a while.
You can also just whipp up the cream with sugar and vanilla and spread them too.
Line a baking trey with baking paper . Preheat the oven to 15°c.

Beat egg whites with untill foamy.
This is important , you should add the sugar spoon by spoon and then whipp the whites again .
Mix the vinegar with the corn flour and add to the eggwhite mixture together with the last spoon of sugar. Whipp till everthing is mixed well.

Draw a circle on the baking paper and spread the meringue . you should make a small pit in the middle with a spoon so that you can later fill them with the whipped cream.

Bake in the oven for 150°c for a hour.
After a hour off the oven, but leave the meringu to cool in the oven.
It should be fully cooled before you fill it up with the cream and the fruits.

Spread the whipped cream in the midlle , lavishly and decorats with strawberried and cherries or any fruit of your choice.
Keep in the fridge for a hour before you serve.
Tip I always make the meringue a day before and after they bake in the oven for a hour, I off the oven and just leave them in the oven till next day, when i use them.

I am going for a break till September . Tommorow is my daughter's Last exams and then it is 2 months of holidays.

So I am also taking a break from blog hopping as I know I woudn't have that much time to be near the computer.

I will post the Strawberry Feast Round up on Jully 1 st.

I have sheduled some 6 posts, but on the sheduled posts I will close the comment section.
Wishing you all a wonderful summer holidays and see you all in SEPTEMBER.

Monday 22 June 2009

My first ever macarons

I am sure if you know Tartlette's blog, then for sure you will know about macarons.
She makes them like I make coffee everyday, with such ease , variety of tastes , colours and filling you will see in her place.

I on the other hand only got to know about Macroons really good from her place, have seen them here in the bakers, but have never bought them.
So every time she post a Macaron in her place, I was like I do wish I could make them too.
But I never dared to try them as I have read so much horror story from lots of other bloggers ,that I was like I am sure not trying them.

Few days back when i was in a shop I bought a silcone mat saying now i will have to make them.
I don't think you need one, i used both, baking paper and silcon mat.
Both of them worked very well, except I might say in the silcon mat they came out much easier.

So in the end I gathered all my courage and ddecided to make them.

You should have seen my delight when i saw them baking in the oven and they were looking really nice, I with pure joy , really I did this, jumped up and down and clapped my hands.

Can you imagine a 40 year old doing ( well I hit 40 this May) and that just because her macarons were looking really good while they were baking.

I was glad hubby and daughter were not home otherwise hubby would have thought his wife was getting nuts and daughter, who really think as her mom who just got 40 and is on the way to old home, have in the end cracke up.
She really thinks 40 is old, for her mom, her father is much older than me but she thinks he is young and cool. I think daughters always sides with their dad.
I don't mind, i Love that fahter and daughter is having such a wonderful relation. For my daughter her dad is like god.
I guess i drifted for a moment from my Macarons :-)

Tartlette filled them with butter cream, but I was lazy to make them and did whipped cream with strawberry sauce.
Which was really light and yumm, but i woudn't do that next time, as you keep them for few hours they will get soggy.
So next time I am listening to Tartlette and make butter cream.
Must admitt I am really proud of my first macroons which I have made. It can get better in more practise, which I am sure going to do.

This is my entry for , you want to join in click away

This was the happy stage when i was acting like a happy mad woman ;-)

Makes between 30 to 40 macarons
For the macarons shells:
90 gr egg whites (about 3)
30 gr granulated
sugar200 gr powdered sugar
110 gr ground almonds
2 tablespoons red colour

For the whites: the day before (24hrs), separate your eggs and store the whites at room temperature in a covered container. If you want to use 48hrs (or more) egg whites, you can store them in the fridge.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry.
Combine the almonds and powdered sugar in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground.
Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that flows like lava or a thick ribbon. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down.
The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes.
Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip ,with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets.
Sprinkle with the crushed sugar or violet petals. Preheat the oven to 280F.
Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool.

If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture. Don't let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy.
Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer.

To fill: pipe or spoon about 1 big tablespoon of butterceam in the center of one shell and top with another one.

Friday 19 June 2009

Double Braided Bread

The final exams started last friday for my daughter and it will be finished by next week thursday.
So morning she is gone to school and afternoon she is learning in her room for the nexdays exams.

And what do I do as I am just hanging around here at home as I don't want to go here and there when she is learning, not that she would stop learning when I am gone, just that I feel guilty if I go here and there ( means window shopping, cycling etc...) thinking to myself how can I have fun when she is stitting home and learning, when it is such beautiful weather.

So what do I do bake.
According to my daughter I fatten up her druing her exams as I bake and make desserts,

So the moment I saw this delicous bread in DK's place Chef in You i knew I will be making them.
As it was looking so beautiful.
She has this wonderful step by stpe pictures there so go and check it out and I am sure you will also run to the kitchen and make this delcious bread like I did.

I didnt know what to call this bread, she calles it Zopf swiss bread.
But as i added raisins to the dough I didn't know if i could give the same name.
I thought i will just give Double Braided Bread.

Normally I take step by step pictures when I make something, but now she has that in her place I thougth why should I do that work again :-)

I did almost every thing as her, except I added 50 gm of sugar extra and 200 gm of mixed raisins to the dough.
She made one braid and then made smaller knots.
I did double braid.
I am sure going to use this recipe again and again.

Sending this to Yeast Spotting at Wild Yeast.

Wednesday 17 June 2009

Chicken Strips in Capsicum Sauce

This is one easy super fast dish to make.
I think you spend more time in cutting the veg and the chicken. The dish is made in 10 minutes .
The recipe is from a book,which I have for long.

It is not my cookbook ,( now it is) my MIL bought them and then she went to her place and was looking through and she remarked holly ..... if I have to make a dish from this book I will need a whol new bunch of ingridients........... so as I am the one who loves cooking in the family, she told me take the book with you, at least you can use them.

And I must admit I have used this book a lot , you should see on some pages there is so much stains.......
Talking about my MIL giving me the book, I have lots of things from her whcih she buys and then for one or another reason I end up in my home with it.

Like my Le Cruset Pot ( which belonged to her and I was once mentioning to her that I should buy one ( this was atleast 17 yrs back) and she told me well I have two take one :-)

then there is the sandwitch maker, the vacuum sealing thing, the knive sharpner .........oh the list will go on and on......oh then the dusting tissues, she buys something new and then she tell, you should try this, it cleans the dust very well and I, ok will take home and try.

I have to admit she is the best MIL one can have, not because she gives me all these things, just because she is a really wonderful person.

This is my entry for Priyas details here

So now lets go to the recipe.

500 gm chicken cut in strips ( I used breast)
3 tbsp oil
2 garlic cloves choppes fine
1 medium onion thinky cut
1 big capsicum thinly cut
3 chillies my addition
1 tsp rice vinegar /white vinegar
3 to 4 tbsp of sweet kejap ( you can buy this in the chinese store mainly in the indonesian section)
1 tbsp soya sauce optional
1 tsp honey
200 ml water or more if you want more gravy
1 to 2 tbsp of corn flour mixed with a bit of water to make the sauce think.
Peper and salt to taste ( take care of the salt as there is a lot of salt in these chinese bottle sauces.
2 tbsp of chilie oil

Heat the oil in a wol and add the onions , capsicum,chillies and the garlic, when they are lightly coloured add the chicken pieces and fry for few minutes, then add the soysauce, ketjap vinegar, honey and mix it all really weell.
Then add the water and cook the chicken till it is done. Few minutes as the chicken is cut thinly.
Add the cornflour and thicken the gravy according to you.
Just before serving drizzle he chillie oil on top of the dish.
Serve with rice/noodles etc.....

Monday 15 June 2009

Black Forest Cupcake

This months I was paired with Cup Cake Project , I was so so pleased with this months pairing as who woudn't want to be paired with some one who's blog is 99% cupcake recipes.
There was plenty of choices, and while looking to her place I was like , it is true they say it is not good to be spoiled with choices, as then it is really difficult to make one.
So in the end I decided to go for the Black forest cupcake as I love them in cakes and I thought this would be fun and cute too , to make.
I am so glad I choosed this as we all loved it. And much more easier to make in a cup cake than making a huge cake.
Want to make this delicous yummy black Forest cake then you will find the recipe here

She did write make you own cherri filling from scratch, which I didn't, as i was too lazy, ( not lazy, just didn't had time) bought a bottle of cherries and I added few tabsp of Kirsh and 2 tbsp of icing sugar and mixes them before i filled the cupcakes.
Next time I am going to make my own cherry filling.
I topped with a marchino cherry.

Friday 12 June 2009

Strawberry Brulée

I am sure you all know by now, at least the regular readers, that I don't do healthy desserts. If a recipe ask for butter i add butter won't go for margarine etc... and if they ask cream here it is full fat cream all the way, which also can be noticed lately on my waist and hipps too...........

Few dayw ago I was claeaning up all the winter clothes and taking out the summer clothes and each time I looked to a top , i was like this won't fit, it will be too tight or this skirts last button won't close etc.................I even had to go to the shops and buy few tops etc.

There is no use in moaning about it, I know i have to do something aobut it.
I think it is a start atleast you all got to see a dessert which is made with youghur, which is really unusual.
I do sometimes wish I was like some of the people I know who can eat anything they want and don't put on weight.
Now I will stop moaning and go to my kind of healthy dessert

This is my entry for which I am hosting here. You can find the details for the event here

300 to 400 gm Strawberies hulled and sliced
2 tsp icing sugar
2 to 3 tbsp of Monin strawberry syrup (optional, using the syrup gave my youghurt a beautiful pink colour )
If you are not using the syrup you should add vanilla essence to the youghurt for taste.
400 gm Greek youghurt
100 gm of golden castor sugar. ( I used less amonut)

1. Divide the strawberries among four ramekins and sprinkle with icing sugar.

2. Add the strawberry syrup to the youghurt ( if you don't have this, then add the vanilla essence) and mix it till evreything is combined. Spread the mixture evenly over the fruit.

3. Preaheat the grill to high. Sprinkle the caster sugar evenly over the youghurt until it is well covered.
4. Put the ramekins on a baking sheet or into the grill pan and grill untill the sugar turns dark brown and caramises.
Leave for 15 minutes or untill the caramel is cool enough to eat, or chill for upto 2 hours before serving.

I used my blow torch for caramelising the suagr.

Wednesday 10 June 2009

Tagliatelle con pesto trapanese

Doesn't it sounds so exqusite, well I woudn't know what it means if it was not written in plain English in my Taste Italia Magazine and that is one Magazine which I look forward to receive every month in my snail post box.

The title just means ( according to the magazine) Taglitelle with pesto trapanese.
This is one really super easy pasta dish one can make and if you serve them to guest they will think you have been slaving in the kitchen for long.
We loved them here a thome and it was one delicous refreshing pasta dish.

I used thinner pasta , i guess you can use any shap you like, but as i thought the pesto looks so yumm in the book , i thought i will put a bit extra cost and buy fresh pasta than the usual dry ones i mostly use. Which i thought was really worth the cent.....
Tip in the magazine:
This makes quite a lot of pesto, so if you have too much for the pasta, then pop the excess in a container and keep in the fridge for up three dsays.

Serve :2
200 gm tageliatelle
large handfull of basil
60 gm skinned almonds, finley ground
1 garlic cloves peeled
50 ml extra vigin olive oil
6 plum tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed
40 gm parmesan or Grana padano grated
salt and peper to taste.

1. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil, add thepasta and cook according to the packet instructions.
2. Meanwhile pound the garlic, basil leaves and some salt together in a pestle and motor.
You can also use a food processor. I use my hand mixer.
Add the almonds , tomatoes, and paremasan cheese to the basil , then pour enough oil to reach the desire consistency.
Add peper and salt to taste.

3. Drain the pasta , but sacve a lit bit of water.
Return the pasta to the pan and stir in the pesto. Add a little of the pasta water to loosen the sauce.
Serve and enjoy the delicous pasta.
Sending this to details here and is hosted by Katie of Thyme for Cooking

Sunday 7 June 2009

Chicken Kofta Curry

I want to tell you something happend years ago, i think my daughter was 7 or 8 that time. Hubby was gone for more than a week don't know which country anymore.

I taking advantage of hubby not beeing home, didn't cook any kind of special food, most of the lunch it was very normal really super easy food and I guess my daughter was fed up of me feeding the same dishes everyday or same simple dishes, anyway the week was almost over and then we were having our lunch and suddenly my daughter asked me Mamma why are you not making any special food when we are alone, why do you only make when papa is here.
I think my jaw just dropped hearing the question.

I felt so guilty about my daughter's question and when hubby came home I told him the whole story and he was like yeah you must have been really feeding her the same food then.

And from that time onwards I made sure when hubby is out of the country that I don't get lazy as I didn't want her to have the feeling I only make special food when her father is there.

So as hubby had gone to UK this weekend , I made these super delicous Chicken Kofta balls which I saw few days back in Bong Mom's CookBook if you would like to try the recipe you can find in her place here

I didn't make that much changes, I did my own chicken mince so i could use breast and legs. I added really less corriander powder as I am not that wild abou the corriander powder taste.
I would take care of the amount of dry chillies as they are really spicy.
As i found out in my chicken balls ( even though Sandeepa had written use chillies accordinly to your taste which i didn't listen, i used as much as she told , which almost blew my daughter's brain which she needs for preparing for her exams ).

Also i just fried the ball in few tablespoon of oil just to seal them aorund.
I also added a bit cream too. ( Coudn't resist )
This is one yummy delicous Kofta balls which I am going to make.
As it was daughter and I we had a lot of left overs, so i put in a tupperware in the freezer for a day when I am lazy to cook :-)

Now I will have to Share with you few of the things ,what my dear hubby brought from UK.

Isn't he so sweet. He bought loads and loads of mangoes. One box was alphonsa.
When i saw the heap of mangoes I asked him was he in a mango mood to buy so much. And he was like you don't get them here so I thought I will buy a lot.

Then the surprise of the bunch was the Dosa Podi. Each time I went to the Kitchen today i had to smile thinking about the sweetness of hubby buying them especially because it was written in malayalam.
We all like Dosa just that I don't like to make the dosa mix from scratch.
And the drumsticks well that is something hubby and daughter loves.

When we go back home my sister make sambar for them with dosa. I There will be so much drumsticks in them and my daughter and hubby will be sitting and eating them atleast for a hour.
When my sis goes to the shop next to her house to buy the drumsticks , and when she is back home she will tell me, the shop fellow must have thought there is a huge party going on here as she bought so muchy drumsticks, and she will remark does the poor fellow knows that it is just for two people.

My mango bonanza :-)



Last look for the super yummy Kofta curry.

Friday 5 June 2009

Strawberry Cupcakes

I don't have anything special to write in this post as I guess nothing special happened after I wrote my last post other than I was baking and cooking etc... it has been a very uneventfull days.

So I wil go straight to the recipe.

I got the idea of making this cupcake whe I saw these cupcakes in The Life nad Love of Grumby's Honeybunch , i went through the post and then read that as the cup cake was a bit densed she would tweak on flour etc next time when she makes.
And i coudn't wait till she did that so i searched in my cup cake book and found another recipe using strawberries.
Recipe from the book by Cupcakes Galore by Gail Wagman
So as you all guessed this goes for my which I am hosting here. You can find the details for the event here
Sending this also to FIC June which is hosted by Kamalinka at Dedicated to Janaki patti

You can make 15 cupcakes, I got 12 as i fully filled them up as I didn't want to use another tray ( lazy)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar ( I added only half of this sugar as i didn't want the cake to be tto sweet)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking Soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter milk
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 tsp or less red food colouring ( optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup fresh strawberries, cleaned and cut into small pieces

For the frosting.
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
2 - 3 cups of powdered sugar
Few tbsp of strawberry syrup from Monin.

Moist and bursting with flavours


1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar baking powder, baking soda, salt and set aside.

2. In a another bowl, mix , buttermilk, melted butter,eggs and vanilla essence.
Add liguid ingridients to dry indridients and beat well with a wooden spoon.
Fold in the strawberries.
3. Spoon batter into cupcake paper, filling cups about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or untill a tester inserted and it come out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool them before you frost.

For the frosting:
1 With an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes on medium speed until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
2 Add the strawberry syrup and mix. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Keep adding until you get to desired sweetness.
3 Either spread on with a blunt knife or spatula, or spoon into a piping bag to decorate your cake or cupcake.

Tuesday 2 June 2009

Yakitori Chicken Meat Balls

I am sure I have mentioned that on friday evening I make some special snacks, when my daughter and hubby comes home after 21:30 pm after their rehersals in the local youth orchestra, were my daughter plays violin and hubby conducts the orchestra.

So this is what i made last week .

I had seen this in Rasamalaysia, I am a regular visitor to her place for the recipes and the beautiful pictures she takes from the food she prepares.
These Yakitories were so delicious that my hubby asked me if I would make it for his b'day dinner as a starter which is by the end of the month. And he was in such a praise for the sauce it was shocking.
It could be also normally when i make some asian snack i just sreve with ketchup or sweet and sour sauce and this sauce was totally different.
I would say the sauce did make a huge impact on the balls iteself.

If you want to make these super yumm Grilled Chicken meat balls, you can find the recipe here.
I have to say I did indianized a bit by adding 3 spring onions, few chilles, giner and garlic. And i bought a small chicken and used the legs, thighs, and the breast to make the meat balls.