Sunday, 27 June 2010

Daring Bakers Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate mascarpone Mousse

Summer holidays has started for my daughter, so my blogging and blog hopping is going to take a step back.
This is the last summer holiday before she takes her big step to college so I am planning to spend as much time with her as possible.

Every month I look forward to see what the DB challenge is for the month. Till now I have been lucky I enjoyed making and eating them :-)
And this month was no exception loved it.
As you all kno I am not a fan of the custard, but adding Sambucca converted me instantly :-)

The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn Nyman from Doable and Delicious.. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard
Recipe 1: Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova):
3 large egg whites

½ cup plus 1 tbsp (110 grams) white granulated sugar
¼ cup (30 grams) confectioner’s (icing) sugar
1/3 cup (30 grams) cocoa powder (I didn't use this kept it plain)
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 200º F (95º C) degrees. Line two baking sheets with silpat or parchment and set aside.
Sift the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder over the egg whites and fold the dry ingredients into the white. (This looks like it will not happen. Fold gently and it will eventually come together.)

Fill a pastry bag with the meringue. Pipe the meringue into whatever shapes you desire. Alternatively, you could just free form your shapes and level them a bit with the back of a spoon. (Class made rounds, hearts, diamonds and an attempt at a clover was made!)

Bake for 2-3 hours until the meringues become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Recipe 2: Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse (for the top of the Pavlova base):
1 ½ cups
(355 mls) heavy cream (cream with a milk fat content of between 36 and 40 percent
)grated zest of 1 average sized lemon
9 ounces (255 grams) 72% chocolate,
chopped1 2/3 cups (390 mls) mascarpone,
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp (30 mls) Grand Marnier (or orange juice)

Put ½ cup (120 mls) of the heavy cream and the lemon zest in a saucepan over medium high heat. Once warm, add the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let sit at room temperature until cool.

Place the mascarpone, the remaining cup of cream and nutmeg in a bowl. Whip on low for a minute until the mascarpone is loose. Add the Grand Marnier and whip on medium speed until it holds soft peaks. (DO NOT OVERBEAT AS THE MASCARPONE WILL BREAK.)

Mix about ¼ of the mascarpone mixture into the chocolate to lighten. Fold in the remaining mascarpone until well incorporated. Fill a pastry bag with the mousse. Again, you could just free form mousse on top of the pavlova.

Recipe 3: Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling):
1 recipe crème anglaise½ cup (120 mls) mascarpone2 tbsp (30 mls) Sambucca (optional)½ cup (120 mls) heavy cream

Prepare the crème anglaise. Slowly whisk in the mascarpone and the Sambucca and let the mixture cool. Put the cream in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until very soft peaks are formed. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.

Recipe 4: Crème Anglaise (a component of the Mascarpone Cream above):
1 cup (235 mls) whole milk1 cup (235 mls) heavy cream1 vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract6 large egg yolks6 tbsp (75 grams) sugar

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.
Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Take off the heat.

Pour about ½ cup of the hot liquid into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to keep from making scrambled eggs. Pour the yolk mixture into the pan with the remaining cream mixture and put the heat back on medium. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
Remove the mixture from the heat and strain it through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture is thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours or overnight.

Assembly:Pipe the mousse onto the pavlovas and drizzle with the mascarpone cream over the top. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and fresh fruit if desired

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Fresh Tomato Soup and a Picnic

Sunday there was a picnic Organized in Brussels with few bloggers. And as I had met Apolina from Bombay-Brusselles the week before I thought why not go and meet some more bloggers.
It was meant to be a picnic in one of the parks there, but the weather was bad, so Corinne was kind to invite all of us to her home so that we didn't had to cancel it.

We were with eleven,plus Apolina's daughter and Corinne's daughter.

Ofcourse what do when bloggers meet they talk about food and eat and eat.
Ofcourse we had to eat, there were plenty of food , all of us had brought few goodies from our kitchen.

I think we left corinne's place after four thirty and then few of us head to the Asian store to buy things which was really fun.
If you hopp over to Apolina's place you will see in details who all were there.

Now to the recipe. I am sure I have told tha tmy hubby loves a cup of soup before his lunch and if ther eis no soup he is like a child who didn't get his dessert.
Winter or summer he just love his soup. I make soup and keep in tupperware so that there is soup every lunch.
And now at the moment it is time for really delicous looking tomatoes in the market I make them with fresh tomato and in winter i use tinned ones.

500 gm tomatoes Chopped
1 large leeks chopped
2 onions chopped
2 stick celery chopped
2 carrots chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree (optional)
1 tsp sugar (optional)
100 ml or more cream
couple of tbsp parsley
1500 ml vegetable broth
Pepper to taste
2 tbsp of olive oil

Heat the oil in a large pan ( I use my pressure cooker so it is fast done) add all the vegetables except the tomatoes, saute them for few minutes and then add the tomatoes and garlic mix weel.
Add the rest of the ingridients and when it boils cook in a slow heat for some 10 minutes.
When it is cooked I use a hand blender to mix everything.
And then add the cream stir well and serve.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Penne with Tomato Sauce and Roasted Vegetables.

There was a time when my hubby thought vegetarian food means real bland tasting food.
I would totally agree to him if I see how vegetables are just boiled up and ate like that with a bit of butter as lot of people do here.
And for him pasta meant the famous meat saucs with pasta and that was it.
But it all changed as I like vegetarian food , doesn't mean I am a vegetarian, i love chicken , fish etc.....
Over the years I have made various kind of vegetarian pasta dishes and each time I try something new my hubby tell wow I would have never thought that vegetarian pasta could be so delicous.
He ramarked the same when I served this pasta.

Every month I wait for my Taste Italia magazine to arrive ( for the last year it was just once in two months, but now they have changed back to monthly) I never know which day it is comming but I know it is around a period, so when i check the post box I will besying hope my magazine will be there.
And this recipe is from this months magazine.
Atleast the roasted vegetable recipe, I served them together with pasta but in the magazine they served them with fried polenta cakes.
I had pictures of step by step pictures but I canot find the wire for down loading, when I find it I will post it here. I use my old camera to take pictures when i am busy in the kitchen.

Fore the tomato sauce. Serves 3
1 tin ( 450 gm) chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 tsp chillie flakes ( or more)
2 tsp of dried parsley ( optional)
1 tsp sugar
Salt and peper to taste
2 tbsp of cream ( optional)
300 gm of Penne pasta

Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions for few minutes add the garlic and chillie flakes and fry for a minute, then add the tomato, parsley and sugar. And add also a bit of water. When it comes to boil lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Mix with a hand blender.

For roasted vegetables. you don't have to take the exact amount if you like more you can use more just add more oil , garlic etc...)
1/2 Aubergine ( I used the fat one we get here)
1 Zucchini
1 red capsicum.
1 to 2 large tomato
12 tbsp of olive oil
4 garlic finley chopped.
2 to 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegear
1 tsp chillie flake
Few basil leaves crushed
Salt and peper to taste.
Cut all the vegetable in chunks. In a bowl add the oil, garlic, chillies, salt, peper and basil leaves. Mix well and pour over the vegetable and roast them in a preheated oven 200°c for 20 to 25 minutes.

Boil the pasta, drain and add to the tomato sauce. When the vegetables are roasted add the vegetable mix well and serve with lavish sprinkle of paremesan.
I add most of the oil from the roasted vegetable to the pasta dish, if you don't like to add them you can drin the oil before you add the vegetable to the pasta.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Strawberry With Ricotta Cheese

Last week Shyama's computer crashed ( I am always using her computer). And I was just lost without it. There are times when hubby was not using his computer I used it fast to check the mail or just to see what is going on Facebook.
Today onwards she is having her finals, so now again I am lost as I am borrowing hubbies :-(

Friday I had to be in Brussels, so I thought I will meet up with one of my blog buddies.She has this blog called Bombay- Brussels We know each other from our blogs but have never met up, so as I had to be there in Brussels we arranged to meet up.
The moment we met up we clicked, the afternoon just flew. We talked and she took me to a japanese store and then she took me to this Asian store I was like a child in a toy shop. I saws so much Indian goodies that I didn't know what to take. Really I told her I think i willmove to Brussels. You name it they had it and if they didnt have they got it for you when you went next time.
So that evening when hubby came home he remarked, well she met one blog friend and she is beaming the whole evening, really i coudn't stop smiling when I thought about the time we spend, it was really wonderful to meet someone with the same intrest.

We had so much fun that while taking the Metro back we forgot to get down in our stop :-)
And I got this most delicious gift from her. A full box of Alphonsa mangoes.

Now to the food.
This is something I just whipped up one afternoon.
I had a small tub of ricotta cheese and I thought why not use them.
So there is no exact recipe i guess you just go with you feeling.
I halved a bunch of strawberries and mixed them few tbsp of strawberry grenadine and left fot 30 minutes in the fridge.
Then took 1/2 cup of ricotta and mixed them well with few tsp of vanilla sugar .
I just layered them up in a glass (you can also add if you like a tbsp of the grenadine on the bottop of the glass too) and poured the left over juice from the strawberry mixture and served them.
They were just so so delicous. I loved the combination of strwberry and Ricotta cheese.

I have added Word Varification in the comment section as for the last 3 weeks almost every day I have been getting comment in chinese or japanese , i dodn't know which one. And I have been rejecting them but everyday there is another one. And it is in the same post, when it didn't work for the last week they coment in a another one.
So for a while there will be word varification in the comment section.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Hotel Sambar

When I was young and living at home we had a family friend who lived closer to our home and that Aunty used to make sambar which is so delicous , I have to tell you I have never had such delicous sambar anywhere else .
She used to fry her spices etc.... and then she make the paste in traditional way. I have no idea what the english name is, well my Indian friends will know what it is , the stone were they make the paste.
Don't know what all spices were there, but it hink she used to add coconut, fry them brow with the spices and then grind them ( i might be wrong too, i wa snot inturested in cooking at that time at all) the sambar was so so yummy.

I always make sambar don't think always means every day, i would say once in a blue moon I make them and then it is with shop bought sambar powder. I am not complaining it still taste good.
But then making the same sambar for th alast 10 or more years, I think one gets fed up and I know one place for delicious Indian food is Asha's Foodie's Hope .
And there I found this recipe for Hotel sambar and I thought why not give a try.
Well I have to say it was super super super delicious we all loved it.
I followed the exact recipe, the only thing i did different was, I added Drumsticks and I don't have those small red onions we get in the India shop so i used normal shallots.

And it was not made with shop bought powder, it was made with home made powder.
While I was making the sambar hubby even came to the kitchen and remarked hmmmmm that smell good.
Asha served them with idlies, but I serve them with Dosa, well not the dosa from scratch, it was form Gits packet.
Sending this to Priya's Healing Foods- Onion event and for a event which was started also by Priya and this month the host is Padma of Padma's Recipes

I must say it is after a long time I am joining up in a event, mostly I forget were and when the events are ......

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Jungle Macarons for Mac Attack 8

It was a excelent Saturday, the weather has been so good, that we went for the first time this year with our bare feet in the water and there was pleanty of people in the beach, I think from all over belgium people were there with family and kids to enjoy the once in a bloom moon sunny weather.

We only went for a hour as Shyama has to learn has her final exams are going to start soon.
On the way back met FIL who was walking the dog, not in the beach as from March till the end of September you may not take the dogs to the beach.
Well today it is back to bad weather the whole morning it rained and rained.

Now to the Macarons, they two Ladies at Mactweets have decided they will go Wild this month, so have choosen Jungle theme etc.... so I thought I will choose green colour for grass and brown for mud, well ladies that is the only thing i could cup up with :-)

I have used the same Ottolenghi recipie which till now has never failed for me, you can find here the recipe and step by step pictures. I used chocolate gnache well I let this sauce get cool in the fridge and then it tbecame hard so i could use it.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Thai Yellow Curry with Shrimps.

If I look to my blog I see more Cakes, Cookies , Dessert etc........... from that you can see I am a sweet lover, but I do make other things than all these sweets but mostly it is in the weekend I make something really special or for a party and then I have no time to take apicture of the end product.
This is a dish I made for a party and I managed to take few pictures to my utter delight.
Making the paste and taking a picture was real easy as I had to make them and keep earlier.
If you like you can make you own Thai yellow paste or you can also buy the readymade ones.
But I have to admit the fresh taste of the paste you really can taste in thie creamy delicous curry.
I don't think mine is a real authentic one, but this is how I made them.

600 gm Scampis cleaned, skin and veins removed, I keep the tails aas it looks prettier.
2 garlic cloves finley chopped
2 onions chopped
1 to 2 green chillies
1 stick celery chopped ( optional)
3 or more Tbsp of Thai yellow Curry Paste
400 ml Coconut milk ( used tin)
100 ml water or broth ( used broth)
1 to 2 tbsp fish sauce
Few slices of pineapple
Few tbsp corriander leaves.
Few tbsp oil

Peel the prawn, I kept the tail part so it looks nice.

Heat up the wok and add the oil, add onions, celery, and garlic and saute them for few minutes. Add the thai yellow curry paste and chilies fry for few minutes then add the water/broth cook for few minutes now add the coconut milk and boil for few minutes add the fishsauce and then the scampis cook just for 4 to 5 minutes, add the pineapple pieces and sprinkle with corriander leaves and serve with rice.
If the sauce is too watery you can add cornflour mixed with a bit water to thicken it and if it is too thick you can add a bit water too.