Sunday, 30 May 2010

Strawberry Tart

Normally I don't post on Sunday's, but I am not sure if I will be able to post tommorow and also this Strawvberry Tart I made today was so so good I thought I will post this first, before I post my Thai Scampi which I prosmised I will do.

Every sunday we go to my inlaws place for sunday afternoon coffee and now a days if I have time I bake somthing and take there and if i don't bake, MIL buys something from the cake shop. That is why there is no picture of a slice, I took them without slicing.....

I have been waiting for the strawberry season, well here in the markets there was strawberries for a while but they were not sweet ones so I don't buy them and yesterday when I went to the market I saw these beautiful sweet looking ones I had to buy them.

I love these tarts, but have to confess I am not a huge fan of the pastry cream for its's eggy smell but then the rest of the family love them and they think it is just in my mind that there is a eggy smell.
Smell or no smell they are super yumm. Everybody her elove the pastry, cream and strawberries,
For the Sweet Tart Dough: Recipe from Doriee Greenspan book Baking.
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour.
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter very cold cut into small pieces ( I keep them in the freezer for 20 minutes)
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingridients and pulse untill the butter is coarsley cut in - you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas.
Stir the yolk, just to beak it up , and add it a little at a time, pulshing after each addition.
When the egg is in, process in long pulses about 10 seconds each - untill the dough, which looks granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds.
Just before you reach this stage, the soud of the machine working the dough will change -.

Turn the dough onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingridients that might have escaped mixing.

Now in the book it was a different method for bakjing.
But what i did is rolled the pastry , and lightly roll the pastry roud the rolling pin and carefully unroll it ove the flan ring or tart tin.
Use your thumb and index finger to push the pastry into the base and side of the mould.

Cut off the excess pastrt by rolling the rolling pin across the rim of the mould, then pinch up the edges with your thumb and index finger to crimp them about 5mm above the rim.
Refrigerate the tart case for at least 20 minutes before baking.

Prick the bottom of the pastry case in 5 or 6 places with a fork. Line it with grease proof paper and fill with baking beans or dried pulses.
Bake at 200°c for 10 minutes and them remove the paper with the beans and bake for futher 10 more minutes. Depending on the thickness of the pastry.
Cool the pasty shell.

Creame Patissiere ( from Michel Roux eggs book)
The pastry cream was thick but i would like it a biter thicker so I might add some 10 gm of more flour.
6 egg yoks
125 gm caster sugar
40 gm plain flour ( will ad 10 or 15 gm more next time)
500 ml milk
1 vannilla pod, split lengthways
60 gm of cold butter

Combine the egg yols and one third of the sugar in a bowl and whisk to a ligh ribbon consistency. Add the flour and whisk it in throughly
In a suacpan , heat the milk with the res of the sugar and the vanilla pod. As soon as it comes to the boil, pour it on to the egg mixture, stirring as you go. Mix well then return the mixture to the saucepan.
Bring to the boil over a medium heart, stirring continousley with teh whisk. Allow the mixture to bubble, still stirring for 2 minutes, then tip into a bowl.
Cook for five minutes and then add butter in small pieces and mix it well.
Cool and refrigerate. Before you put in the fridge, take a plastic foil and press it over the cream so that no sking will form on the top.

You can keep the patisserie cream in the fridge for 3 days, so it is handy if you make the cream the day before then you will have less work on the day itself.

Half Kilo Strawberris, sliced
Few tbsp strawberry jam

Assembling the tart.
Fill the tart shell with the pasrty Cream, arrange the strawberry slices the way you like.
Heat the jam ( i did in a MW) abd brush the tart top with the jam.
Enjoy then this delicous tart.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

PIECE MONTÉE MAY 2010 - Daring Baker's Challenge

I was delighted when I read this months Daring Bakers Challenge.
I have made desserts with the pastry but have never ever had the courage to do a Croquembouche.

I have seen them in various Dessert book I have and I have heard from my MIL that when her kids were younger this Croquembouche was the In thing for parties etc....

While taking pictures , I decorated with some fresh flowers, and then I got this idea to make it more festive, I made flowers ( well they don't look like flowers but it is my first try to make them) with Marzipaan and then decorated with Orange chocolate drops and dusted with glitter :-) hey I am a bollywodd lady so I like my glitter :-)

The May 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Cat of Little Miss Cupcake. Cat challenged everyone to make a piece montée, or croquembouche, based on recipes from Peter Kump’s Baking School in Manhattan and Nick Malgieri.

For the Vanilla Crème Patissiere (Half Batch)1 cup (225 ml.) whole milk
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
6 Tbsp. (100 g.) sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp. (30 g.) unsalted butter
1 Tsp. Vanilla
Dissolve cornstarch in ¼ cup of milk. Combine the remaining milk with the sugar in a saucepan; bring to boil; remove from heat.
Beat the whole egg, then the yolks into the cornstarch mixture. Pour 1/3 of boiling milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so that the eggs do not begin to cook.
Return the remaining milk to boil. Pour in the hot egg mixture in a stream, continuing whisking.
Continue whisking (this is important – you do not want the eggs to solidify/cook) until the cream thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and beat in the butter and vanilla.

Pour cream into a stainless steel/ceramic bowl. Press plastic wrap firmly against the surface. Chill immediately and until ready to use

Pate a Choux (Yield: About 28)
¾ cup (175 ml.) water
6 Tbsp. (85 g.) unsalted butter
¼ Tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup (125 g.) all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
For Egg Wash: 1 egg and pinch of salt
Pre-heat oven to 425◦F/220◦C degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Preparing batter:Combine water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. At boil, remove from heat and sift in the flour, stirring to combine completely.
Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly until the batter dries slightly and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Transfer to a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon 1 minute to cool slightly.
Add 1 egg. The batter will appear loose and shiny

As you stir, the batter will become dry-looking like lightly buttered mashed potatoes

It is at this point that you will add in the next egg. Repeat until you have incorporated all the eggs.
Piping:Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large open tip (I piped directly from the bag opening without a tip). Pipe choux about 1 inch-part in the baking sheets. Choux should be about 1 inch high about 1 inch wide.
Using a clean finger dipped in hot water, gently press down on any tips that have formed on the top of choux when piping. You want them to retain their ball shape, but be smoothly curved on top

Brush tops with egg wash (1 egg lightly beaten with pinch of salt).
Baking:Bake the choux at 425◦F/220◦C degrees until well-puffed and turning lightly golden in color, about 10 minutes.
Lower the temperature to 350◦F/180◦C degrees and continue baking until well-colored and dry, about 20 minutes more. Remove to a rack and cool
Can be stored in a airtight box overnight.
Filling:When you are ready to assemble your piece montée, using a plain pastry tip, pierce the bottom of each choux. Fill the choux with pastry cream using either the same tip or a star tip, and place on a paper-lined sheet. Choux can be refrigerated briefly at this point while you make your glaze.
Use one of these to top your choux and assemble your piece montée.

Chocolate Glaze:

8 ounces/200 g. finely chopped chocolate (use the finest quality you can afford as the taste will be quite pronounced; I recommend semi-sweet)
Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Stir at regular intervals to avoid burning. Use the best quality chocolate you can afford. Use immediately.

Assembly of your Piece Montée:You may want to lay out your unfilled, unglazed choux in a practice design to get a feel for how to assemble the final dessert. For example, if making a conical shape, trace a circle (no bigger than 8 inches) on a piece of parchment to use as a pattern. Then take some of the larger choux and assemble them in the circle for the bottom layer. Practice seeing which pieces fit together best.
Once you are ready to assemble your piece montée, dip the top of each choux in your glaze (careful it may be still hot!), and start assembling on your cake board/plate/sheet. Continue dipping and adding choux in levels using the glaze to hold them together as you build up.

When you have finished the design of your piece montée, you may drizzle with remaining glaze or use ribbons, sugar cookie cut-outs, almonds, flowers, etc. to decorate. Have fun and enjoy! Bon appétit.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Thai Yellow Curry Paste

I would be the last person to tell anyone don't buy curry paste or masala powder from shops.
As my powders are mostly bought from shops unless if i want to have a particular mix which is not available here.

My mom made her masala powders always , she never made in huge portions it was always jus for a couple of times and when that was finished she will make again.

I had given a party at home some two weeks back and while organizing the menu I had planned to make Thai yellow Shrimp Curry , ofcourse the recipe asked for yellow curry paste and in my mind i said Ok I have seen them in the shop here were they have a small section for Asian food.
Luck was not in my side as it was all sold out. And I didn't want to change my menu so I thought I will make my own paste.
After having the curry I must say I am happy they didn't had the paste in the shop as this was far and much more fresher tasting than the shop bought curry paste.

I had everything for making the curry paste except for Shrimp paste and I googled to see what it was and it was written it has such a pungent smell etc..... I thought it was OK not to add them.

If you don't want to make the curry paste then sure you can use the shop one.
I will post the recipe for the Yellow Shrimp Curry next week.

The recipe is from Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey
I would suggest add the chillies according to your taste, I am giving the exact recipe from the book.

3 dried red kashmiri chillies
1 red bird's eye chillie roughly chopped
3 fat lemon grass stalks, core chopped
25 gm peeled fresh galangal or ginger roughly chopped ( I used galangal)
50 gm peeled fresh turmeric, chopped or 2 tsp turmeric powder ( I used turmeric powder)
50 gm onions or shallots, roughly chopped.
30 gm garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tsp shrimp paste (Didn't use)

Cover the dried red chillies in hot water and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
Then drain, reserving 2 tbsp of the liquid.
Put the chillies and the reserved liquid into a mini food processor with the remaining ingridients and grind everything into a smooth paste.
After using the amount for the Shrimp curry , I freezed the other portion of the paste for a another time.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Mango Mousse

I am a sweet lover, but then I also think I love spicy and savoury food, if I tell this to my family they reply, just say you are greedy :-)
And my family knows if I am giving a dinner party , and while planning the menu, it is the desserts which I am going to give will be the list I am making first.
So this is one of the dessert I gave for my guest for my last party.

Originally it was a cake dessert but I just took the recipe for the mousse and I made it into a glass dessert than a cake.

It was not really thinck so i think next time I might add a bit more gelatine.
But the taste was just so good, it is the first time I buy tined mango pulp and they are really good. Next time when I go to the Indian store I am gonna stack up few tinns for summer dessert.

The original recipe is from Gourment Recipes and you will fing it here

Mango mousse:

1 cup mango puree (from fresh or canned mangoes),
3 tbsp sugar (or more depending of mango sweetness),
1 tsp gelatin, (I will add next time a little bit more)
250 ml heavy cream,
pinch of cream of tartar,
1 tsp lime juice,
1 egg white.

Soak gelatin in 2 tbsp of water and set aside.

Whip egg white with cream of tartar and 1 tbsp of sugar to soft peaks.In a other bowl whip cream with remaining sugar until soft peaks.
Heat gelatin in microwave for 20 seconds and stir well until completely dissolved, then add gelatin to the mango puree.

Add whipped egg white and lime juice, stir gentle, then add whipped cream and stir again, pour into individual glasses .
I kept in the fridge for a night.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Eton Mess

After the last post, I was not planning to take a small break. It just happened.
Shyama went to Paris from her school for few days and then it was a long weekend here , so hubby was home too.
And then S was back from Paris and next day she was sick with ear and throat infection.

So while she was in Paris having fun and partying with her friends, every few hours we got SMS from her saying she is in that museum or having a boat trip in Seine etc........... she even took few pics of food :-) she saw this pastry shop selling cupcake and she clicked few pictures for me.

She told me her friends bought cupcakes from this shop, but she didn't buy and I asked why not, her reply they were really small and why should she buy when her mom makes so much cupcakes ........

For the first time after S was born we went for movie alone. Can you imagine in 17 years hubby and I have not gone for movie just two of us.
When S was small we went to watch all the cartoons in the cinema and then when she got a bit older she also love watching movies so when ever we went for a movie ,we took her

Friday evening we thought we will go for a movie, while walking to the theater I suddenly remembered it was 17 years ago we went for a movie just hubby and I alone.

We saw Robbin Hood , i think the movie is OK , but I liked much more the Robin Hood with Kevin Costner.
Now to the recipe part
Eton Mess was Originally made with Strawberries but these days I think they just use seasonal fruits. And as I had a box of Rasepberries I thought why not use them.
It is such a easy dessert to make, my daughter just loves it especially with the addition of Meringue.

200 gm Raspberries
2 tsp powder sugar ( more if you like, don't forget the meringue is also sweet))
1cup whipping cream
1 tbsp vanilla essence
1 packet individual meringue ( I used shop bought ones)

Whip the cream in a large bowl until thick but still soft together with the sugar and the vanilla essence.. Roughly crumble in few of the meringues , you will need chunks for texture as well as a little fine dust.

Fold in the raspberries and the cream mixture . Keep few for decorations.
Serve in individual bowls sprinkling few more crushed meringues.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Pasta with Tomatoes and Olives

This is a super fast post,
I don't think there is a name for this dish, I call it my vegetarian pasta, and it is so easy to make.

Is there a recipe in a book for it, i don't know, I once made it and my family loved it and this is soemthing I make often.

1 tin tomato chopped ( 450 gm)
2 garlic cloves funley chopped
Few tbsp of parsley
2 onions chopped
1 tbsp or more chillie flakes
10  black olives ( I sometimes add more) ( you can keep them whole or you can shlice them)
Couple of fresh basil leaves chopped ( If i don't have fresh ones at home i use dry)
Few tbsp of olive oil
Salt and peper to taste
Generous portion of paemsan cheese grated.

Add the oil in a pan and fry the onions and garlic, add chillie flakes, then add the tomatoes and a bit more water . Add parsly, basil leaves, salt and peper and cook for 15 minutes.
Add the olives.
Boil pasta in the mean time and serve the sauce on top of pasta .
Sprinle also generous portion of graed parmesan..
That is it and we jus tlove this.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

White Chocolate Cardamom Mousse with Speculous

Yesterday daughter Dear went for Mika Concert , she went with five other friends from her class and one of the girls parents droven them there and back .
But we waited till she came home for going for sleep and it was late , when she came it was 1:30 in the early morning.

Yesterday after having dinner hubby and I went for a walk and then to my inlaws place and we stayed there till 22:00 hrs and gossiped with a bottle of wine, and hubby was jokinly saying yeah this is what our life is going to be when S is gone to college from September.
When we didn't had S we used to go for walks almost every evening to the beach side after hubby came home and then we had S , well that all stopped you can't go when ever or were ever you want with a small baby.
And years have gone so fast she is not a baby anymore .............

Now to the recipe, the moment I saw this in Meeta's place What's For Lunch Honey? i knew I was going to make them.
I have to admit I am not a white chocolate fan, but with cardamom in the dessert that i love.
And this was indeed a very delicous dessert.
Especailly if you are having a pasrty with Indian food this is a wonderful dessert to serve and it is really easy to make, but looks beautiful.

Want to make them for your next party hopo over to her place for the recipe here.

Sending this to Priya's Cooking with Seed event i am a day late.
As it is having a slight yellow colour don't think i added colour, just that i get egg from my MIL's sister, she have some 20 chickens and every week she gives me some egss and the yolk is so dark. If you eat the eggs you can really taste how good they are, the shop bought ones are not good at all, but then I know not everybody have aunts who gives eggs :-)

Monday, 3 May 2010

Choux Buns with Vanilla cream and Chocolate Sauce

Remember when I posted this delicous Chocolate sauce with a shine, I told you all I made this sauce for a specail dessert and this is that special dessert.
It is Choux Buns.

I made these and served to my daugther and hubby , ofcourse daughter is like me she likes anything with chocolate and sweet, but hubby is more a savoury one.
So when he saw this on his plate, he said wow and then when he ate them he was full in praise saying it is a top quality dessert etc and more.... don't know if he was in medication :-)

I think this is not a difficult dessert to make, but make sure that you don't add all your eggs at the same time, add the last egg a bit by bit and see how it looks, if the batter is too thin it won't work and if it is too thick also it won't work.

Chocolate Sauce recipe is from James Martin.

Choux Buns recipe is from Michel Roux book Eggs.
Serves 8 to 10
125 ml milk
125 ml water
100 gm butter diced
1/2 tsp salt
1 absp sugar
150 gm plain flour
4 medium eggs
Eggwash ( 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk)

For the filled cream.
2 cup double cream
2 tsp of gelatines mixed with few tbsp of water (optional) but i do it
3 tsp vanilla essence.
Few tbsp of powdered suagr and essence ( i wsound't suggest using too much sugars as you serve these with the chocolate sauce and i think that is sweet itself)

Whipp the cream with sugar, just before they get to the soft peak add the galatine mix and mix it well till you get to the stage of soft peak.

Preaheat the oven to 200°c.
Combine the milk , 125 ml water, the butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan and set over a low heat.
Bring to the boil and immedieatley take off the heat. Shower in the flower and beat the mixture with a wooden spoon untill smooth.

Add the eggs one by one, beating with a wooden spoon. Once they all are incorporated into the mixture it should be smooth and shiny and thinck enough to pipe.
Pipe small mounds to a baking sheet lines wuith greaseproof paper to staggered tows, using a pipping bag fitted with a plane nozzle.
Brush with the eggwash and lightly marlk the tops with the back of a fork.
Bake at 200° c for 15 to 20 minutes untill dry and crisp.
Cool on a wire rack.

In the mean tim make the cream, when the buns are cold, make a small opening in the side of each chous bun with the tip of knife.
Using a pipping bag fitted with plain nozzle, pipe genorous amount of the cream.
If you are a chocolate lover like me you can just pour over the chocolte sauce when you serve the dessert or you also can just cover the top of each filled choux buns and serve.