Thursday 29 April 2010

Pistachio and Ginger Biscotti

I am not a huge fan of Biscotti, I don't like that they are so hard, my sister says that is the fun in eating a biscotti you can dipp them in your tea/coffee.....but I disagree, why should you eat something so hard that you have to dipp them in your coffee to make them eatable.

Have seen lots of blogggers making them, and I tell to myself I should make them once. But the thought that it is hard puts me oof.
Untill I saw the Biscotti recipe in the New book Ottolenghi I bought.
I have been hearing almost for Six months so much good about this book from Deeba and Meeta I had to buy it.
And I have to tell you I curse my self for not buyin them early. It is filled with so much good recipes, that If there were people to eat all the food I make I would have made atleast 10 recipes in one go. But alas I can't do that as we ar ejust with three.

In the book it is written, it is not a traditional tooth-breaking Italian biscuit but a softer, frindlier version. Still it counts as biscotti because it is baked twice: once as a log and then sliced into thin biscuits.
And it just reading the above I thought why not make them and must say they taste realy good and you indeed don't break your tooth while you eat them.

While I was mixing the dough my kitchen was smelling like it was christmas time baking, with the ginger and orange etc..........

Makes 25.
80 gm unsalted butter
110 gm caster sugar
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 tsp brandy ( I added double)
grated zest of 11/2 oranges
150 gm plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 tsp ground giner
1/4 tso salt
80 gm of shelled pistachio nuts
60 gm stem ginger in syrup, drained and roughly chopped.

1. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
2. Using a electric mixer ( or good spatula and both your hands) cream the butter and sugar, together untill they lighten in colour and texture. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition, stir in the brandy and orange zesrt, followed by the flour, groud giner and salt.
Lastly fold in the pistachios and ginger.
3. Lightly dust the lined baking tray with flour and spoon the mixture on to the tray. Leave to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes so it firms up a little.
Preheat the oven to 10°c/Gas mark 3.
4. Take the dough out of the fridge and using your hands and a bitr of extra flour, form a log shape about 25 cm long.
It does not need to be perfec, as the mix will spread during baking.
Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to cool.
At this point the log will be partially baked and still quiet soft. Adjust the oven temperature to 130° c/ Gas Mark 1/2.
5. Once the log has cooled down, use a serated knife to cut it across into slices 1 cm thick.
Lay them flat on the baking tray and return to the oven for about 40 minutes, untill srisp,
Rempve and leave to cook.
Store in a sealed container.

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Treacle Sponge Pudding Daring Bakers Challenge April 2010

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.
When I read the challenge for this months DB , I was a bit reluctant as one of the ingridients they use for pudding are suet and that is something I really don't want to use.
But I din't had to worry at all as on the end og the post she had told if you don't want to use don't use suet, the main thing is it has to be a steamed pudding.

She gave us a really free hand, we could make what ever recipe we wanted and she gave us few links to delicious pudding club etc.....
I choosed to do a pudding from one of my favourite Brittish pastey chef James Martin, i have his book called Desserts and I love that book.
The chocolate sauce I made was from this book too.

I don't think I can call this Treacle pudding as I forgot to add treacle, while we were having the dessert, i was saying in the book the pic was looking really chocolate brown and mine is so light and then suddenly I realized I forgot to add treacle.

I halfed the recipe which is given here as we are only three at home and this amount of ingridients you can serve for 6 to 8 ppl.
I served the pudding with a butterscotch sauce with ginger.

3 tbsp golden syrup, plus 3-4 tbsp extra to serve. ( i used more syrup
175 gm self raising flour
1 rounded tsp of baking powder
175 gm very soft butter
3 large eggs
175 gm of light brown sugar
1 tbsp black treacle ( ofcourse I forgot to add them)

Butter 4 individual small puding pan. Cut for each double thickness of kitchen foil.
Add 1 tbsp if golden syrup into each pan.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl and add the soft butter, eggs sugar and black treacle.
Using an electric hand whisk ( or a large fort and a lot of elbow grease) beat the mixture for about 2 minutes or untill it has throughly blended.Spoon the mixture into the pudding pans and use the back of the spoon to leverl the top. ( fill only 3/4 of the pans)

Cover the pans with the foil, making a pleat in the center. Pull the foil down the outside of the basin and tie in place around the rim with string, taking the string over the top and tying it on the other side to make a handle for easy lifting. Trim of the excess foil all the way round.

Place the pudding in a steamer fitted over a saucpan of boiling water ans steam the pudding for 40 to 45 minutes. checking the water level half way through.
To serve, loosen the pudding all around using a palate knife, invert it into a warmed plate and pour the extra syrup over the top and enjoy.
I didn't use the syrup, i made a light butterscotch saice with ginger to serve.
You can also serve this with custard, icecream or just cream.

Vedict: First time I am making a steamed pudding and we all loved it. Even hubby who like more savoury food said that this was indeed a very delcious dessert.

Sunday 25 April 2010

Chilli Beef Ramen

The weather hear has been really good for the last few days and when it is such nice weather, I don't like to slave in the kitchen if it is not really needed.

So though I would make something really quick and something very light.
My daughter and hubby likes beef so I make for them and I just have the soup, veg and the noodles, which I think is absloutley more than enough and delicous.
This is a recipe from the book Wagamama.
I have made Chicken Ramen from the same book and we all just love it. And tha tis one dish I have been making very often.
I thought I will post the winner of the CSN Store giveaway today as Tuesday I have the Daring Bakers to post , and I have not written anything for that.
Thankyou for the CSN stores to give a opourtunity for doing the give away.
Choosed the winner through Random . org

So Drum Roll the Winner is Bong Moms Cookbook she wanted to have the blender,which I think is a wonderful choice, I have one like this and I use it almost every day.
I so wish I could give a prize for all my readers, maybe when I win a Lottery.

150 gm beansprouts
250 gm ramen noodle
350 gm beef
a little vegetable oil
1 liter of chicken stock. If you like use this recipe
2 tbsp chillie ramen sauce
2 spring onions slices
2 red chillies sliced or more if you ant
1/2 red onion peeled and thinly slice ( didn't use)
1 lime quater
Few sprigs of corriander.

Blanch the bean sprout in a large pan of boiling water for 1 minuts
Drian, and refresh with cold water.
Cook the noodels drian throughly and refresh with cold water.

Heat a griddle or frying pan untill very hot. Lightly rub the meat with oil andf then cook for 2 minutes on each side ( I slice then and fry them with a bit of soy sauce as my family likes the meat well done )
Divide the noodles between 2 bowl. heat the stock, stir in the chillie ramen sauce, then laddle over the noodles.
Top with beef slices, bean sprouts, spring onions, whilli, read onion, and lime quaters and the corriander.
Slurp it up .

Friday 23 April 2010

Chocolate Sauce with a Shine.

I have posted Chocolate Sauce before and that is the one I use every time for serving with ice creams..... this chocolate sauce I made for serving with a particular dessert which I will post soon. A very easy sauce to make. And you only need 2 ingridients.
Hi hi i think this is the smallest post I have ever done :-)
If you still have not joined up in the Giveaway you have time till tommorow evening.

For the Chocolate Sauce.
50 gm Caster sugar
175 gm good quality dark chocolate broken into pieces.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
Put the sugar in a small pan with 100 ml water and bring to the boil.
Stir the melted chocolate, then add the water and sugar mixture and stir untill smmoth and shiny.

Monday 19 April 2010

Best Sachetorte

If I write I enjoyed my days without beeing busy blogging or bloghopping, it will sound like I don't like my blog or bloghopping.
Which is not true, what I mean is even though I like my blog and drooling over the creations my friends whipp up in their place, it was nice just to concentrate on other things.

We went for movies, watched few dvd's, went to other cities, did some shopping and then ate and ate and ate.
Most of the evening I did something special and then also we had parties at home and went for party etc.... oh and made few cocktails at home.

I was telling my MIL yesterday when I was in her place that I can feel my fat curls when I sit down.

I have made a Sachertorte before but here we think this one is far better than the earlier one and for sure I am going to stick to this recipe.
The sponge is really light, you do have to spike them with some kind of boose or if you don't like booze you should moist them with sugar syrup otherwise the sponge is dry as there is no butter in them.
When ever there is a new post I try to go to Deeba's place Passionate about baking. And I am always in awe with her decorating skills and I asked her once how she is doing a particular decoration and she was kind enough to post a video in her place.
Mine is not perfect, but then for the first time i think it is ok.

I have been using this basic sponge recipe for lots of cakes as with this recipe I have a really smooth top. It is a recipe from a Belgian Pastry chef.

For the sponge cake. (Biscuit)

3 eggs
90 gm sugar
60 gm flour
30 gm cacao powder

Butter a 20 cm round cake tin with melted butter (do it twice and add a parchment paper under.In a bowl add the eggs together with the sugar ( in a double bolier or on top of a warm water pan) beat them till they reach 37°c.
Take them out if the pan and beat them till the mixtures is cold, by the time it will look really white.
Add the sieved flour and cacao powder fold into the mixture.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin.And bake them in a preheated oven 180°c for 20 to 23 minutes.
Mine took just 18 minutes to bake.When the cake is baked turn the upside down and let it cool in a dry tea towel.

Couple of tbsp of Apricot jam
Few tbsp od rum or any other liquer

For the chocolate icing. Recipe from the Brittish pastry chef James Martin.

175 gm dark chocolate chopped
150 ml double cream
2 tsp glucose.

Melt the chocolazte with cream, in a bowl over simmering water. Then remove from the bowl from the heat and stir in the glucose to give a coating consistency.

Cut the cake horizontally and sprinkle few tbsp of any kinf of liquour on both the halfs. And spread few tbsp of warmed apricot jam on one slice and sandwithc with the other slice.
Brush the top and the sides with the left over jam and then pour the chocolate icing over the cake.
Leave it to set. You can make the cake the night before and leave the icing to set in the kitchen counter. Don't keep in the fridge that never seems to work well.
For the decoration i melted a bit of white chocolate with a bit of butter.

Thursday 8 April 2010

Easter Macaron with peanut butter filling.

I have not been bloghopping as often as I want these past few days. Here it is holiday for my daughter and the weather as been till now really good.
So we went for cycling, had a dinner party at home went to Brugges etc and have planned to go and watch few movies and to go next week to Brussels.
She still have a week of holiday so I am going to take a week of blog break.

Chocolate eggs we bought for Shyama.

There was a time when we used to buy all these chocolate eggs and then hide in different places in the living and when Shyama got up in the Easterday morning she would start looking for them and each time she found one she will be shouting so excitedly.
Now we just keep them on the breakfast table as she is 17, so I am sure she don't believe in them :-)

Now to the ever going Macaron story, most of my readers, know how my hubby don't understand my passion for making these cute round alien things ( as he calls it ).
And this months Mac theme was you had to make a Mac with April holidays as there is lots of different holiday this month.

And I did yellow colour as during the Easter time the shops are full with things in yellow.
Before my Macs whent into the oven, they were yellow but by the time then came out after 20 minutes they were this colour.
I had planned to fill them with a chocolate gnache but i got cunning and filled them with peanut butter so that hubby would not complain :-) well he loved it as the filling was peanut butter.

Yeah we women are really cunning aren't we :-))))))

Used the same Ottolenghi recipe, which til now has never failed me. I have heard so much good review about this book from Meeta and Deeba that I ended up oredering them and will get them in few days.

Friday 2 April 2010

Vanilla, Pineapple Cream Cake Spiked wtih Batida De Coco

I don't think when I was back at home we ever discoussed the weahter. Or I don't even remember watching the weahter report.
But here it is like a obsession. I sometimes wait for the guy/woman who talks about the weather to know what the weather is for the next day.
I guess one only get obsessed with the weather when we hardly get good weahter.

When we are in holiday in India we sometimes ring my inlaws here.
And one of the first things my FIL ask is how is the weahter there :-)

For the sponge cake. (Biscuit)
3 eggs
90 gm sugar
90 gm flour

Butter a 20 cm round cake tin with melted butter (do it twice and add a parchment paper under.
In a bowl add the eggs together with the sugar ( in a double bolier or on top of a warm water pan) beat them till they reach 37°c.
Take them out if the pan and beat them till the mixtures is cold, by the time it will look really white.
Add the sieved flour and fold into the mixture.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
And bake them in a preheated oven 180°c for 20 to 23 minutes.
Mine took just 18 minutes to bake.
When the cake is baked turn the upside down and let it cool in a dry tea towel.

For the almond crunch.
1 tbsp butter
60 gm sugar
125 gm almond flakes

In a pan add the butter and sugarn till it is light brown, don't stir before it is light brown. Add the almond flakes and mix with the brown syrum.
Oil a baking pan / frease proof paper and divide the almond crunch into small portions.
When it is called crush therm into small pieces.

For the Stabilized whipped cream.

2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
4 tsp. cold water
2 c. heavy whipping cream (very cold)
1/4 c. confectioners' sugar ( I use only few tbsp of sugar as i don't like the cream too sweet)
2 tsp. clear vanilla extract
A bit of yellow colouring

Combine gelatin and cold water in small saucepan ir in the MW.
Stir it weel and let it cool slightly.
Whip cream, sugar and vanilla and the yellow colouring until slightly thickened. While beating slowly, gradually add gelatin to whipped cream mixture.
Whip at high speed until stiff.

Few tabsp of Batida Da Caco drink or you can use rum.
350 to 400 gm tinned pineapple drained.

To assembe the cake.
Slice the cake horizontally. You will have two pieces.
Sprinkle both the piece wtih the drink.
Take half of the pineappl and cut them finley and arrange on the cake and them take 1/4 of the whipped cream, and few tabp of the almond crunch and mix together and then spread this mixture on top of the pineapple.
Take the other piece of the cake and press on top.
Use the rest of the whipped cream for spreading the whol cake.
Decorate the side of the cake with the almond crunch and with agrrange the rest of the pineapple slices on top.
Keep in the fridge for half hour before you serve the cake.
Will up load the step by step pics later today.