Monday, 28 September 2009

Peach Melba Without the ice cream

Certain part of our bookshelf is just overflowing with cooking books, if you look in the right side under my bed you will see cooking book there ( which i read before i go for sleep)

then in the living on one side of the sofa ( i try to hide as so the guest who comes home dodn't see how messey it is on that side of the sofa) there is a lot of magazines, books, etc.... piled up.
In the toilet there is books , you clearly see which is mine.

Mine will be magazines with delcious cooking recipes, hubby's will be heavey books which i open up and close in seconds as i tell it is a bit too hard for my little brain to digest :-)
and daughter 's depends on what she has to read for school.

With all these cooking books and magazines, I still bookmark delicous recipes I see on the net.

And on one ocassion saw this super easy and beautiful looking dessert in My Cooking hut , which I fell in love in seconds. She calls it Peach Melba as she has used ice cream to serve, I didn't do it as when I made didn't have ice cream at home.

I am not surprised I feel in love with seconds with this recipe, if you see her pictures, in her blog you will also fall in love with all her recipes like me.

Serves 4
White sugar, 275g ( I added less sugar)
Water, 1.5 litres ( I used less water)
Lemon zest, a few pieces
Vanilla pod (split lengthwise), 1
Peaches, 4
Vanilla ice cream, 4 scoops ( Ididn't used it as i didn't have them, next time i will make sure i have ice cream)
Few pistachios for decoration

1. Put the sugar, lemon zest and vanilla pod into a pot with 1.5 litres of water and bring to the boil.
2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the peaches. Cover with a piece of baking paper and place a plate on top, this will act as a weight and stop the peaches from rising to the surface. Gently simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Using a slotted spoon, remove the peaches and gently peel off the skin by running them under cold water. Set aside.
4. Place about 240ml of poaching liquid, some extra sugar and the peach skins into a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes or until reduced by half.
5. To serve, place a peach and a scoop of ice cream. Drizzle with syrup and sprinkle with some chopped pistachios.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Brazillian Night

My teenage daughter plays violin in the Youth/Adult orchestra and hubby conducts that Orchestra.
So every friday evening they have rehersals and when both of them comes home after the rehersals , the first question mt daughter ask is what is the sanck tonight and hubby asks is there any special drinks .......
mostly it wil be red wine, but when I am in a cocktail mood then the bottles from the shelf comeout and I will be shaking and stirring ( trying to be a real bar woman) to make some yummy cocktail.

So this is what I made on one of those cocktail mood friday evening.
The basic recipe is from the Mangaroca Batida De Coco bottle. Ofcourse when i make them the amount i use just goes up :-)

50 ml Batida de Coco
50ml Vodka
10 ml Blue Curacao

Measure everything and pour into a cocktail shaker with some 5 cube of ice. Shake them well and pour through the sieve to a ice cold Martini glass and serve.
You can garnish with what ever fruit you have .
Sendigng this to details you can find here

Monday, 21 September 2009

Traditional Madeleines

This months I was paired with What's for Supper? And looking throught all her delicoius posts I came across this Madelines, which she made from Dorie Greenspan book.

I too have the book but I have never made this as I don't have a madelin pan and I thought this is a good excuse to buy one. And I am so glad that I bought the pan as these beautiful cookies/cakes were really delicous.

According to Dorie Greenspan Madelins are among the most recognizable pastries in the French repertoire because of their look.

Traditional Madeleines

Source: Dorie Greenspan, Baking: From My Home to Yours
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Working in a mixer bowl, or in a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the eggs to the bowl.
Working with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale, thick and light, 2 to 3 minutes.

Beat in the vanilla. With a rubber spatula, very gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours, or for up to 2 days.

This long chill period will help the batter form the hump that is characteristic of madeleines. (For convenience, you can spoon the batter into the madeleine molds, cover and refrigerate, then bake the cookies directly from the fridge; see below for instructions on prepping the pans.)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter 12 full-size madeleine molds, or up to 36 mini madeleine molds, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Or, if you have a nonstick pan (or pans), give it a light coating of vegetable cooking spray. If you have a silicone pan, no prep is needed. Place the pan(s) on a baking sheet.

Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each one almost to the top. Don’t worry about spreading the batter evenly, the oven’s heat will take care of that. Bake large madeleines for 11 to 13 minutes, and minis for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are golden and the tops spring back when touched.
Remove the pan(s) from the oven and release the madeleines from the molds by rapping the edge of the pan against the counter. Gently pry any recalcitrant madeleines from the pan using your fingers or a butter knife. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to just warm or to room temperature.

If you are making minis and have more batter, bake the next batch(es), making certain that you cool, then properly prepare the pan(s) before baking.

Just before serving, dust the madeleines with confectioners’ sugar.

Although the batter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, the madeleines should be eaten soon after they are made. You can keep them overnight in a sealed container, but they really are better on day 1. If you must store them, wrap them airtight and freeze them; they’ll keep for up to 2 months.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Spelt Cinamon Raisin Buns

I don't think anyone can say No to home made breads. Every few days I bake a spelt bread as that is the flour hubby can have, so instead of bying it from the bakers where spelt bread is really expensicve, I started making them for the fraction of price.

And on and off I do make sweet breads and this week I thought why not make a bread which I have bookemarked for long. And that is what i did.

You want to make this delcious yumm bread then hopp over to Toxo bread, You will find the recipe here. If you go to her place there is a wonderful variety there and you would be in a difficult choice as it is so difficult to choose from all the delcious bread you see there.

The things I did different I write here, she used different kind of flour, I used spelt flour, didn't had ovaltine powder so didn't use them, I also sprinkle some sugar on top before i baked them, other than that I sticked to the original recipe.
Sending this to Wild yeast for her yeastspotting weekly event

I won't be able to blog for few days. Most probably I might be able blog by next week.
So see you all then.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Mango Pudding

Remember this post when I told hubby came home with abudence of Mangoes there were so manyand I do wish I still had them.

This was a creamy dessert, but for me it was a bit too eggy. Hubby and daughter didn't had not trouble, they said they only taste a delcious dessert no eggy taste is there. But then I think my tastebuds and theirs are totally different.

You can find the recipe in Cooking Pleasures blog here

I am sending this to Barbara of Winos and Foodies, she is is very remarkable woman, she herself celebrated in jully and the lady really know how to celebrate as she celebrated with a big glass of Veuve Cliquot champagne.....her favourite non vintage champagne after she finished her chemo.

she is celebrating LiveSTRONG With A Taste Of Yellow in support of the Lance Armstrong Foundation to raise awareness about cancer issues worldwide and she has extended the date till 18th september.
And I am sure you will all join as , especially in our Indian kitchen there are lots of yellow dishes.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Vanilla Butter cream Macaron

You would think If you make something once , you will be able to make them in a ease next time. Well I was totally wrong when I tried macarons this time.
Few months back I had made them and them came out prettywell, so while I was in twitter and heard a whole bunch of girls were making Macrons, I also joined in, thanks to Meeta for inviting me .

First time I tried they were not good, so I aged whites and tried them again, still not good ( they were tasting good, just not looking like macrons) so as I didn't want to give up I tried again and I was indeed happy to see them their feet in the oven while they were baking.
They still are not perfect I still have to master them.
Don't worry there is still lots of colours and flavours I want to try.

I think it is Deeba who wanted to make them first and Jamie of Life's a Feast who took us all through different stages of how to make them. Check out her place soon you will see variety of macarons there soon.

Before I didn't Tweet that much, but the moment I joined up the macaron express especially with Aparna, Meeta, Deeba and Jamie, I coudn't Keep of Twitter as everybody was tweeting about their disaster and joy of making Macarons.

When hubby was home he was asking why I am running like a headless chicken from kitchen to the computer, living room to the computer.
Ofcourse I told him bunch of us are tweeting about Macron.

And when he came to the kitchen while they were resting for a hour before baking, was what is that strange alien things on the baking tray, aparently he was shocked by the choice of my colour unlike my daughter who came home from school and saw the baked macrons saying she would love to dye her hair in that colour..............

You will also see them in Aparna @ My Diverse Kitchen , Meeta at What's for lunch Honey , Deeba of Passionate about Baking, Ilva @ Lucullian delights an Itlian expirence ,Barbara @ Barbara Bakes ,Deborha of Italian food forever, Jamie of Life's a feast, Hilda of Saffron & Bluberry...............

Makes between 30 to 40 macarons from Tartlette
For the macarons shells:
90 gr egg whites (about 3)
30 gr granulatedsugar
200 gr powdered sugar
110 gr ground almonds
2 tablespoons blue clour

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.

Vanila Butter Cream:
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split open and seeded

Put the sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like marshmallow cream. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat the meringue on medium speed until it cools and forms a thick shiny meringue, about 5 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth. Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes

Add the seeds from the vanilla bean to the buttercream and fold with a spatula until fully incorporated. If not using right away, refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to 1 month.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Healthy Baked Donuts

Most of you come to my place here, knows that I don't do healthy stuff. I don't know if I call this healthy I would say Low Fat ;-) don't count the chocolate on top.

I have always wanted to make donuts, but always chickend out as it was fully deepfried ( I love eating them, but i think if I make them home I might not be able to stop with one) so long ago when I saw this in the wonderful blog Litle Corner of Mine I bookmarked it, just that it took me a bit longer to make them.
I was glad to se her using baked ones as I too had bought this baking pan and it was just sitting there without me using them. These are ok but you can't comapre with the real ones.
If you want to make yourself this, check out the recipe in her place here

Monday, 7 September 2009

Fresh Cherry Cake

Life is back to routine after the 2 months of summer holiday. I do think a certain routine is good, but then I am some one who don't like that much routine. But then as I always say you can't have everything you want can you?
Now why do I feel I am talking to my daughter :-)

Before I start moaning let me go to the recipe.

I have lots of cooking books, some I use a lot and some I don't use that often, but this book is something I use a lot, it is a really small book, but it is a real treasure to have .
It is a Good Foof Magazine book called 101 Cakes & bakes , and this recipe is from this book.
I did make few alternations, almond powder is my additon as i thought almond will give a wonder full taste.

140 gm / 5oz selfraising flour ( I used half flour and half almonds)
1/2 tsp ground cinamon ( didn't use it , instead i added almond essence)
50 gm/ 2 oz of golden castor sugar
1 egg
4 tbsp of milk
85 gm/ 3oz melted butter
350 gm/ 12 oz of juicy ripe cherries stones removed.
Icing sugar for dusting.

For the topping.
25 gm/1 oz plain flour
1/2 tsp ground cinamon ( used almond essence-
25 gm / 1 oz of golden castor sugar
25 gm / 1 oz butter, dices and softened.

1. Preheat the oven to 180°c. Butter and line the base of a 20 cm/8 inch round cake tin.
Sift the flour, cinnamon and sugar into a bowl. Make a well and add the egg, milk, and melted butter.
Combine and beat to make a thick smooth mixture. Spoon into the tin and smooth, Scatter the cherries over the mixture and gently press them in.

2. Tip all the topping ingridinets into a bowl. Rub in butter to make a crumb like mixture, then work untill it comes together into pea- sized pieces. Scatter this over the cherries.

3. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or untill a skewer pushed into the center comes out clean.
Leave in the tin untill cool to handle, then tip on to a wire raxk untill completley cool.
Sprinkls with icing sugar on top and enjoy.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Back from break and a holiday to remember

I think two months just flew. And I really mean when I say it just flew past.
Which also says that had a wonderful time.

My daughter was having her 2 months of summer holiday. And we all as a family had wonderful time. Went for cycling, walking, went to the beach etc..........but the best we loved doing was cycling. Sometimes when we went for cycling, we went to the cherry farm, bought a kilo of cherries and just sat on the fields and enjoyed the cherries just the thought makes me drool.

Then we went to Italy for 15 days. The choice to go to Italy was made by my daughter as she hads been doing latin in shcool for the last 5 years ans she wanted to visit the places she has been learning aobut ancient Rome.

Must say we had a fabulous time.
First we went to Rome, stayed there for a week as there was so much Shyama wanted to see. Then from there we went to Naples, then to Pompei, climbed Vesuvius, Sorrento , Paestum and back to Rome and the back home.

I think this is one of the best holidays we had, ( but then i say that after every holiday) especially if i think about the food we had.
I had best tasting pastas, pizzas, buffallo mozeralla cheese, oh and then the gelati. That just was so so so good. I make at home, but i think you can't beat the real ones in Italy and the variety of taste........ wine, the white wine we had every evening was just so so good.
If i talk aobut the food I might sit here for too long , so i will just say each meal was pure pleasure :-) Oh did i say had the best limoncello in sorrento.
I think I have tried lots od new dishes which I will sure try to make them at home, just have to look for the recipes on the net.

Ofcourse I did have half a day of shopping, so did some shopping for baking goodies and then bought some sundried tomatoes etc..........

You ladies light be saying you didn't do shoe, cloth and bag shopping in italy.
I didn't , my daughter did. She went crazy for shoes there and as she is a teenager mom took a back step in buying all that and gave daughter the pleasure.
Well i should say i hope I go back to Italy as hubby is going next month.

So here are some pictures from our trip.

Goodies i bought from there.