Monday, February 28, 2011

Orange Posset with Orange Shortbread Cookies

A posset (spelled poshot) is a medieval English dessert of curdled hot milk or cream with wine traditionally,but also with lemon juice.The recipe is super simple,only setting takes time and patience.But the waiting time is worth the taste of the delicious dessert. Normally or atleast I have seen that the posset is served along shortbread cookies/fingers. I had few oranges to be used up and I decided to go for an orange posset and served it with orange shortbread.

I had referenced several recipe for posset mainly the BBC recipe and the EnglishKitchen recipe. I had seen the orange shortbread here,but went for round cookies instead of fingers.

Orange Posset:


Heavy Cream: 1 cup
Orange Zest: 1-2 tsp

Caster Sugar: 4 tbsp
Lemon Juice: 1 tbsp
Orange Juice: 3 tbsp
Orange Extract: a dash

Add cream and zest in thick bottomed bowl and bring to boil on medium heat.Remove and let sit for 10-20 minutes so that the orange flavour infuses.

Put back on heat and add the sugars and the citrus juices.Mix well and cook till the sugar is dissolved and the mix starts to thicken.This takes just two-three minutes or so.At the end add in orange extract and then remove from heat.

Cool slightly and then pour in ramekins/serving bowls/cups and chill till serving time.
Serve with shortbread cookies garnished with more zest and candied orange peel.

A silky smooth set pudding. The taste was excellent. It set properly,despite me using low fat cream available here.

Orange Shortbread:
A shortbread is a buttery crumbly cookie and adds crunch when served with the silky smooth posset.

All Purpose Flour: 3/4 cup
Cornstarch: 3 tbsp
Sugar: 4 tbsp + 2 tbsp for sprinkling
Orange zest: 1 tsp +
Salt: 1/4 tsp

Orange Juice: fresh squeezed: 2 tbsp
Unsalted Butter: 7tbsp cold

Sift together the flour,salt,zest,cornstarch and 4 tbsp sugar. Add in orange juice and then crumble the butter into it .Mix well to form a course sandy mix. Knead to form a dough.

Pinch off pieces of the dough,shape into a cookies, sprinkle the top wth sugar and then bake in a preheated oven at 300F/150C for 15-20 minutes or more until the edges start browning.

The original recipe went for 30 minutes where the shortbread was scored into rectangles,but my cookies were done in 12 minutes or so. After 12 minutes keep an eye on the oven.

Serve the cookies with posset or as a snack as such.

You can optionally add pepper to the posset just to spice it up.Both orange juice and orange extract are optional,I added them to make more orangey.

This is a simple dessert,but very tasty and yes you can definitely enjoy this with your loved ones or rather a perfect valentine dessert.So the posset and the cookies are going to visit the MM:Small Bites at Paulchen's, an event  by Meeta.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oyster Bay: A Lunch Date with Food & Foodies

What does a seafood multicuisine restaurant bring to your mind? For me,its an aquarium,walls and ceilings of octopus,lobsters,crab etc,raw fish smells but never vegetarian. So while walking into Oyster Bay,Koramangala, for a lunch date with Bangalore Foodies,I was surprised by the subtle ambience. It provided you a tinge of sea in its sea coloured canopies,but was never overpowering.

The restaurant which has the the usp of SeaFood as its promoters are from seafood processing, has also equally tasty vegetarian delights. The food meet was during the weekend and the Bangalore bloggers who could take time off for the meet on Sunday were Suma of Cakes n More, Reshmi of RookieQookie,  ShreeLakshmi of ShreeSudhi and yours truly. With the exception of Reshmi all of us were vegetarians and I was curious to see whether the restaurant will live up to its tag  "paradise of seafood with something for everyone including vegetarians". Its tough or rare to find a seafood restaurant that also delights the vegetarian palate. I even quizzed the PR person Ms.Dimna (through who I had got the invite) about this and she assured me that I will not have to return empty stomach.

After introduction and the usual food talk we got down to business and were served our delightful lunch starting with a simple amuse bouche - chickpeas& olive in a mayo based sauce.

After that there was no looking back,we enjoyed an array of vegetarian and non vegetarian starters like Cajun spiced Aloo Tikki,crumb fried paneer and the show stealer Jalapeno Poppers. A distinct element of the restaurant is the  acompaniments with the dish you have ordered. Like a small yet hearty paratha pizza accompanied the hearty coriander & corn chowder an also the the non veg option of lobster capucchino.

The main course had authentic regional delights and few vegetarian options like Mangalorean style vegetarian ghee roast  which is a gravy with choice of free accompaniments like pulaos or parathas.

We were in no mood,but still the dessert platter of Missisippi Mud Pie, Walnut Brownie,Lychi Bavarian tempted us but the show stopper for me was the Goan Bebinca.I am upset that I do not have pics of the bibinca and jalapeno poppers as I was too busy in polishing them off. :)

In a Nutshell: The restaurant has a good menu for vegetarians and thay have plans to add more authentic delights.The ambience is relaxing and puts us at ease.Though they have an open kitchen,the gourmands are treated only to the delights  and not the disapproving raw fish/meat smells.There is an lunch buffet priced Rs255/- which is economical for  a seafood restaurant and the quality of  food is high.Basement parking is available and the service is friendly up to the mark. The distinct feature is the accompaniments they serve with each order which I have not seen in other restaurants. The portions are more and can easily be shared between two people.The vegetarians enjoyed the fare and the only non vegetarian among us, Reshmi was very happy with the quality and taste of food served.There is also a lounge bar with  choicest cocoktails and mocktails attached to the restaurant.

We had the opportunity to meet the executive chef, Mr. Thomson and also the MD Mr Philip Thomas.We also wandered in the The restaurant is promoted by seafood processing firm Ms. Penver Products ,Kochi and you can have asneak peak of the delightful menu in the restaurant website and if you are planning to go to Koramangala side this weekend,make sure you drop in at

Oyster Bay,
Cygnus Chambers,
Near Bhima Jewellers,
Jyothi Nivas College Road,

Thursday, February 24, 2011

French Style Country Bread

This is a simple french style rustic bread which I had made from King Arthur. I  rarely work with breads that require a starter. I do not have that much patience to make the starter the previous day,then work on it the next day and so. I halved the recipe and then made the bread,but still I have already made twice and used up.


Sponge Starter: (2-16 hours ahead)

Instant Yeast: 1/4 tsp
Whole Wheat Flour: 2 tbsp
All Purpose Flour: 10 tbsp
Water (room temp): 1/2 cup


All of the starter
Instant Yeast: 1/4 tsp
Sugar: 1.5 tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp
APF: 1.5 cup + 6-8 tbsp (almost 2 cups)
Water: room temp: 1/2 cup

Mix together all the ingredients of the starter to get a messy pudding like structure. Cover with a wrap and let it sit in a warm place atleast for 2 hours or overnight. I went for 14 hours.

To the starter add the yeast,sugar,salt,all the flour except around 8 tbsp and water.Stir well to get a messy mass. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Add in 1/4 cup and knead for about 8 -10 minutes. Rest.Dust the counter with about 1 tbsp of flour and transfer the dough onto it. Knead. Add more flour as needed to get a soft dough about 10 minutes. I added another 2 tbsp of flour and kneaded till I got an almost non-sticky dough. Continue the rest,knead process as much as possible so that the dough absorbs lesser flour and you can see it in as holes in the resulting bread.

Transfer to a greased bowl and rotate once to absorb the grease and cover with a pplastic wrap and let it sit until doubled about 1 hour.

Deflate slightly the risen dough and make sure all the air is not knocked off as this also helps in creation of holes. Shape into a round ball and transfer it a baking shet lightly greased and sprinkled with cornmeal/semolina.Loosely cover with a wrap and let it double again for another hour or so.

Using a sharp knife,slash or pattern through the dough and dust with a little flour.

Preheat the oven to 475F/246C. Spritz the oven with water from a spray can/whatever method you like. Place the baking sheet with the dough inside. Reduce the temp to 425 F/218C and start baking for about 15-18 minutes. After the first 5 minutes,spray water every 2-3 minutes,till the 12th minute is over. Mine took about 15 minutes. The original recipe goes for 25-30 minutes,but since I halved the baking time can be different.

Cool completely and then serve warm along with soups,chili or use in puddings,etc.

You can see the holes - mine were not that great as I deflated a bit too much I feel - in the cross section

I served it crostini style by grilling it and topped with roasted tomato and basil.The rustic bread is on way to BBD#37- Breads made with a starter/sponge at the versatile kitchen of the Bangalore Baker,an event by Zorra

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pesto Roasted Tomatoes & Roasted Caprese Salad

As I had already mentioned at several places, tomato is one of favourites. I love it in different ways and recently tried roasting it again in two ways, first marinating it in pesto and second by just using balsamic vinegar as seen in Kevin' s post. The intention was to make caprese salad.

Insalata Caprese or salad in style of Capri is a simple salad from Campania,Italy. It is an assembly of sliced buffalo mozzarella,tomato and fresh basil,seasoned with salt,pepper & olive oil.I liked Kevin's version wherein he had roasted the tomatoes and assembled the salad and even used it as a sandwich filling.

Since I decided on roasting, I thought why not go for pesto tomatoes. Inspirations for pesto tomatoes are -

Roasted Tomatoes with Pesto by Wolfgang Puck
Tandoori Pesto Potatoes by SunshineMom
Quick Roasted Tomatoes by Kalyn.

So here's my roasted tomatoes in two styles.


Pesto Roasted Tomatoes:
Tomato:atleast 2-4 halved

Basil : 1/2 cup
Garlic: 1  small clove
Olive oil: 3-4 tbsp
Toasted Pine nuts: 1 tbsp
Parmesan Cheese: 1 tbsp +/-
Salt, Pepper: as per taste

Caprese Salad:
Tomatoes:2-4 halved

Balsamic Vinegar:2 tsp
Garlic: 1small clove crushed/chopped
Salt,Pepper: as per taste
Olive Oil: 2-3 tsp

Fresh Basil: handful
Fresh Mozarella: sliced thin


Preheat the oven to 450F or the highest in your oven.

Prepare the pesto by grinding all the ingredients together.Halve the tomatoes and toss them in the pesto. Let them sit for atleast 10-15 minutes. Place them in a lined/grased and rimmed baking sheet.

In a bowl,add crushed garlic,salt,pepper,balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Mix well.Add some halved tomatoes in this. Then place thm in a lined/greased baking sheet.Pour the dressing if any on top of the tomatoes

Roast for atleast 10 -15 minutes or more if depending on your oven.Earlier it took me about 25 minutes to get the caramelized mark on the top of the tomato.

You can serve the pesto tomatoes with cheese or as such as snack

Caprese Salad: Take the balsamic roasted tomatoes,assemble the sald along with sliced mozarella and fresh basil.This can be served as a starter.

I love the roasted tomatoes both versions. You can also roast simply by adding salt and pepper or your choice of seasoning.You can use the roasted tomatoes as a snack,side or to make soups,pasta sauces etc.You can roast the tomatoes ahead of your dish and freeze them as well.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Golden Broth

You think of soup mostly when you are going through a cold-recovery cycle.Especially soups which are quick and easy to prepare with available ingredients. I saw this golden broth from Tarla Dalal's Soups and Salads, remember I talked about it in my last post? It is a simple soup with carrots,onions and potatoes topped with sauteed spinach.Hearty to the core.

Carrots: peeled & chopped: 2 cups
Onions: chopped: 1 cup
Potatoes: 1/2 cup

Butter: 1 tsp

Onion: finely chopped: 1/4 cup
Spinach: chopped :1/4 cup +/-
Milk: 1/4 cup warm
Salt & Pepper: as per taste

Peel and chop carrots,onions and potatoes into small peices.Add in 5 cups of water and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles. Let it cool and then blend to a get an orange coloured soup.

Heat butter in a pan,add in fine chopped onion and spinach,saute for a few minutes till the raw smell goes.Add in the soup,boil for a few minutes.You can keep aside few spoons of the sauteed mix for garnishing. Add in milk (preferably low fat,but I used regular). Add salt & pepper.Serve hot topped with more spinach and onion along with your choice of accompaniments.

A simple hearty soup. It is more orangeish in colour than seen in the pic. It is wholesome and rich in Vitamin B.The soup is not spicy as such and the heat/spice is obtained from pepper only.Enjoy the warm soup.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Zucchini & Chickpeas Moussaka

Moussaka is a casserole dish which is associated to Mediterraenean cuisine and is common to few Middle eastern and European countries. The word moussaka comes from Arabic 'Musaqqa' meaning 'chilled',but other names also exist and it is perceived as a layered dish.Generally it is a baked dish containing eggplants,ground lamb,tomatoes etc. But there are several versions and can be made with other vegetables,cheese,lentils etc.We can generalize the fundamental ingredients as: a vegetable,sauce and a meat mix. I found a simple stovetop zucchini mousakka made with chickpeas and ground Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) or soy granules from AlmostTurkish and have adapted it here.

Zucchini: 1 big
Chicpeas: 1/2 cup presoaked and cooked

Garlic: 2-3 cloves crushed
Onion: 1 medium size chopped finely
TVP /Soy granules/ ground soy chunks: 1/4 cup

Red Pepper Paste/Chili sauce: 2+ tsp as per taste
Tomato Paste: 1-2 tbsp

Tomato:1-2 diced /tomato puree
Fresh/ Frozen Parsley: finely chopped
Fresh mint: or dried mint flakes

Salt & Pepper: as per taste

Presoak and cook chickpeas and keep aside.You can also use canned beans. Cut zucchini lengthwise and slice into 1/4' slices.Soak it in salted water for atleast half an hour. (I am not sure why this step is needed,but I did soak the slices). Prepare the soy chunks/granules as indicated in the package and keep aside. If using soy chunks grind in your mixer to get granules. I used soy chunks and went for coarse grind.As a result mine doesn't look thick as in the original recipe.Chop onions finely and crush garlic.

Heat olive oil in a deep pan. Add in crushed garlic and then onion and saute till transparent.Add in the soy granules and little water and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes.Add in the chile sauce/red pepper paste and the tomato paste.Cook another 2-3 minutes.Add in diced tomato/tomato puree and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add in zucchini slices and mix well. Continue cooking till it starts getting tender.Stir in chickpeas,parsley and little mint. I also added the water in which the chicpeas is cooked.Cook till the required thickness is obtained seasoning with salt and pepper.

Garnish with more mint/parsley.Serve with rice/enjoy as a soup. I went for mint garnish only as I used frozen parsley.I served it with rice.

 You can also grind little chickpeas to get more thickness for the gravy.You can use minced roasted eggplant instead of tvp if you do not have any or do not like the combo.This is not the traditional mousakka with layers or baking or even ground meat,but it is very hearty gravy with the refreshing herbs and comforting chicpeas and crunchy zucchini and its a keeper recipe thanks to AlmostTurkish.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Roasted Soybean Salad

Growing up a simple tomato salad was my staple. I hated the normal koshimbirs/kosumbari/kachumbers made using carrots,cucumbers or radish.I preferred the addition of curd/yoghurt and extra seasonings which made it a raitha.But generally I preferred salads last in my plate.For me they were there just to fill up the remianing place in the plate or just a variety of raw vegetables which in my opinion were for fashionable people (blame it on the myth that models prefer salds to rice)or healthfreaks. In parties or social dos,you can see carved cucumbers or tomato flowers etc. But for me they were just that -decorations not to be eaten.But at home,show me tomato salad and I was floored.Even now,a simple tomato salad is a comforting food. My mom used to make it fortnightly once or twice,but never daily. I think she wanted to keep it that way as I wanted different foods everyday.Come to think of it,the word salad has undergone a sea of change for me.There are a variety of salads some of which can be quite elaborate and can include cooked or uncooked . Now sometimes I prefer salads to main courses - is old age catching up? I have heard that we reduce the food intake as we grow older!.

Anyway coming to todays post,this is a  protein rich salad from Healthy Salads& Soups by Tarla Dalal. I had won the book as I was the chosen one of the Only Salads Event ,originally by Pari of Foodelicious and hosted by Prathibha at the Chef and her Kitchen.What makes this salad special is the use of soaked and roasted beans.Normally bean salads including those I hae posted here,use cooked legumes/lentils. I have seen recipes where partially cooked legumes are then roasted and used. But this salad to my astonishment,roasts the soaked beans itself. So no hassles of cooking for 4-5 whistles in the pressure cooker, or 1-2 hours in the stove top.Only extra preparation time is needed to soak the beans and then salt it.

SoyBeans/ Soy nuts: 1/2 cup
Turmeric Powder: 1/4tsp
Salt: as needed

Potatoes: boiled,peeled and cubed: 1/2 cup
Tomatoes: chopped: 1/2 cup
Spring onion (Scallion) whites: chopped :1/4 cup
Spring onion (scallion) greens: chopped:1/4 cup
Cabbage:  chopped: 1/4 cup

Chilli Powder:1/4 tsp +/-
Lemon Juice: 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Soak soybeans in water for 2-3 hours. I went for 3 hours. Drain and discard the water. Add turmeric powder and salt (as needed) to soybeans,mix well and keep refrigerated overnight or atleast 6-8  hours.Dry roast the soybeans in a non stick pan for 5 minutes,oer medium heat till they are partially crisp.

Mix the warm soybeans with all other ingredients and serve immediately.

A hearty healthy salad.You can roast the soy beans and store in an air tight container and use it as a snack.You can also change the quantity of ingredients to suit your preference. I went for around 1 cup of beans and then snacked up half cup of roasted beans as such.:)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Scottish Oat Cakes

Oatcakes are a mix or cross between crackers(cookies) or pancake and as the name suggests made usually of oats alone or with flour thrown in. There are different types of oatcakes like Scottish oatcakes baked in oven or griddle,yeasted oatcakes from North Staffordshire which are cooked on a griddle,thicker /larger oatcakes from Derbyshire.

In Scotland oats is grown abundantly and is the staple grain and hence the oatcakes are like traditional dish of Scottish.It is a major source of carbohydrate and can be used with sweet or savoury sides and also these days for breakfast instead of bread or toast. It is said that Queen Elizabeth II enjoys Scottish oatcakes for breakfast.

I found an all oats and no flour recipe in the Vegetarian Times and it was quick and easy and turned out to be delicious.The recipe uses oats as well as oatflour. The texture of the oatcake depends on how finely the oats has been powdered.Mine was coarsely ground and I got grainier cakes. But the taste was excellent.

Old fashioned Oats: 2 cup
Lite Brown Sugar: 4 tbsp (I used regular,heaped)
Baking Soda: 3/4 tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp

Oatflour: 1 cup + more for dusting
Margarine: 4 tbsp (cold)

ButterMilk: 3/4 cup

Mix together oats,sugar,soda and salt in a medium bowl.

In another wider bowl,take oatflour,cut in margarine and mix with your hands till it becomes crumbly. You can use store bought fine ground oats flour or simply take 1-2 cups of oats in a blender and few pulses to get flour. You can finely powder it or get a coarse one. I went for a coarser flour.

Once you get a crumbly oat flour-margarine mix,add in the other oats-sugar-soda mix to this and mix well. Stir in buttermilk -1/2 cup first- and knead into a dough. I added all the buttermilk and ended up with a slightly sticky mass which needed ew more tbsp of flour.So add buttermilk carefully. Once a dough is formed,transfer it to a counter which is dusted with oatflour.

Using hands or rolling pin gently roll the dough out into a rectangle which is 1/4 inch thick.For ease of use you can divide the dough into smaller rounds and then work with one round at a time,which is what I did.Rolling pin gives a thinner and finer stuff than the hand method.I tried both since I had divided the dough into 2 pieces.

Using a knife make impressions or cut the rectangle into squares and cut each square into a triangle.

Carefully lift each triangle and place onto a baking sheet which had been lined and/or lightly greased.

Bake in a preheated oven at 325F (162C) for 15-20 minutes until the edges start to brown.My first batch was thick and it took about 15 minutes,while my "rolling pinned" thinner second batch took barely 12 minutes.

The baking collage is....

Serve topped with jam,cream etc. I was sceptical about the taste,but I loved it when I tasted it. It looks grainy and amateurish,but its healthy,tasty and wonderful.I loved it as such. Actually I thought the sugar amount was too low but it was just right.

Update on 14th feb '11: These are hearty when fresh and warm. The above estimate gave more than 2 dozen peices. I had few leftover and those tasted a bit bland as such,but not with toppings.So better halve the recipe and polish off quickly on the same day.It may be the way I did things or the recipe. Need to try more oat cake recipe to know :).

The simple yet healthy oatcakes are on way to AWED:British at Karasaaram,an event by DK.

Along with Oats Muffins, they also visit CWF:Oats at Priyas,an event by Kiran.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fresh Ginger Cake with Citrusy Stewed Prunes

When BookClub chose A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg, to be honest, I never expected to fall in love with it. To begin with I was happy that it had recipes,but as I started reading it, I found myself drawn to it. The author,also blogger at Orangette takes us on a journey through her life filled with food and family. Its not a simple diary of events,but a record of life through food. We can see how the places,the people and event are stored in mind through the food. I think its a common nature of people -foodies especially- to attach food with memories.

To  be honest, I believe that its the ultimate dream of a blogger to release his/her own cookbook. But it is an art to weave a true story in words that enthrall the reader and also take him to your kitchen. I always suffer from writers block.Long ago, I believed I had the talent in writing,but never cooking. But the recent years have shown otherwise.Even now, when I sit for posting , I may have so many things to tell and blog -small tidbits or something something,but only little comes out in actual writing. So  it was very gutsy of the author to leave her chosen courses of French, anthropology etc to pursue a career in food writing.

Anyways, when I just sifted through the book as soon as I received it,the first recipe that caught my eyes was the fresh ginger cake with caramelized pears.The author vividly records the events of the day or rather night when the family gathered in the kitchen. Then later when I saw the roasted ratatouille my heart went for it. I had all the ingredients for the latter. After being in two minds for a few days- when it comes to good food,its tough to choose- I decided to go for the cake and instead of pears,I served it with stewed prunes from the same book. The zing of ginger with the tang of lemons and prunes -ofcourse you can go with the caramelized pears,but this combo is equally if not more good.

Fresh Ginger Cake:

All Purpose Flour: 1 cup
Baking Soda: 1/2 tsp
Salt: 1/4 tsp

Unsulfured Molasses: 1/4 cup
Sour Cream :1/4 cup (I used thick yogurt)
Unsalted Butter: 4 tbsp (melted & cooled)
Lite Brown Sugar: 1/4 cup firmly packed (I used regular brown sugar)
Egg: 1 or Ener G Egg: 1 (1.5 tsp of Ener G + 2 tbsp of warm water mixed/blended/whisked together)

Fresh Ginger: 2 tsp peeled and grated
Lemon zest: 1/2 tsp

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour,soda and salt. Keep aside.

In a bigger bowl,combine molasses,sour cream/yogurt,butter,sugar,egg,ginger and zest.Whisk until smooth.Add the flour mix and stir until combined.Pour the batter into a buttered/lined baking dish and spread evenly with a spatula.

You may get a thick batter hence the spreading is neede.In case of using egg replacer, the batter may be extra thicker in which case addition of 1-2 tbsp of water may be needed.I added 2 tbsp of water.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for about 15-20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Cool the cake in a cake pan for about 5 minutes,then invert onto a rack and cool completely.

Cut into wedges and serve with whipped cream,caramelized spears or stewed prunes for a tangy twist.

Stewed Prunes with Citrus and Cinnamon

Pitted Prunes: 1 pound
Orange /lemon : 1 small or combo
Cinnamon Stick: 1

These are the authors estimates in the original recipe. I used around 1/2 cup of prunes or so.I used  lemons rather than oranges.

Slice the citrus fruit thinly along with its peel.Remove the seeds if any. Toss in the sliced citrus,cinnamon stick and prunes in a heavy pan and add water just to cover them. Place the pan on medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook adjusting the heat so that the liquid barely trembles, until the prunes are cooked and citrus is soft and liquid in the pan is reduced to a syrup. Remove the cinnamon stick.Cool slightly and serve or cool and store in sealed containers in the fridge for about 1 week.

Making them a day ahead improves the  taste of prunes.You can als serve them with pancakes or oatmeal.

Top the cakes with the prunes and optional powdered sugar. Serve

Now lets see what the other members have cooked for Molly Wizenberg.Do visit The BookClub. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Simple Nutella Pudding

This is a simple pudding that I made with Nutella. Today Feb 5th is World Nutella Day. I love nutella and every year I would think of posting,but would miss out. But this year I was prepared for it.So here is the simple pudding which I adapted from a cookbook.

Milk: 1/4 + 3/4 cup
Cornstarch: 1 tbsp

Nutella: atleast 2 tbsp
Sugar:2-3 tsp +/-
Salt: a pinch

Garnish: Chocolate Shavings/Vermicelli

Stir in cornstarch in 1/4 cup milk.Keep aside.

In a thick bottomed saucepan,mix in 3/4 cup milk,nutella,sugar and salt and bring to sow boil and cook till nutella mixes well into the milk and sugar dissolves.This takes about 2-3 minutes.Do the taste test and adjust the sugar or nutella.

Stir the cornstarch milk into this hot milk and continue cooking for another 2 minutes or so till the mix starts to thicken and starts to coat the back of the spoon.

Remove from heat and spoon into the serving bowls.Let it cool a bit.Then wrap the bowls such that the wrap touches the top of the pudding.Refrigerate for atleast 2 hours or till dessert time.

Serve topped with chocolate vermicelli or shavings.

A simple fuss free pudding,which is thick and creamy. Obviously its nutella all the way. You can use non/low  fat milk to make the pudding all the more healthier.Instead of nutella, this udding can be made with hazelnut chocolate as well.

The pudding also celebrates the World Nutella Day,2011 started by Ms Adventures in Italy and Bleeding Espresso.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Creamy Cauliflower Walnut Soup

The winter always brings in its own vegetables and herbs. The last month of the year always brings in fenugreek leaves and assorted herbs and greens,cauliflowers, capsicum(bell peppers),carrots,brussel sprouts,leeks etc. I know these are available throughout the year,but these are basically called winter vegetables as they are harvested during winter.Anyway, we can see a dip in the prices and sacks /boxes of these almost everywhere. I myself purchase these in bulk and thus was left with 2 large cauliflowers and decided to make a simple yet creamy soup. I adapted the soup from Ganga of A Life(time) of cooking  and you can see the original here.The original is supposed to be from Soup Bible.

Cauliflower: chopped: 4 cups
Onion: coarsely chopped: almost 1/2 cup
Garlic: 2 small cloves

Water/Stock : almost 2 cups or as needed

Walnuts: handfuls
Milk: 1 cup +/-

Nutmeg: 1/2 tsp +/- (optional)

Salt & Pepper: as per taste

Paprika/Chilli powder: for garnish
Walnuts: toasted for garnish

Clean the florettes and coarsely chop the onions and crush the garlic. Heat water/stock/combo in a deep pan/vessel and bring to boil. Add the florettes,onion,garlic and little salt,cover and let these simmer till soft for about 15-20 minutes.

Add around 1/2 cup of milk,walnuts and nutmeg and let it simmer again for around 5 minutes. Remove from heat,cool and blend in a mixer/blender to get a fine puree/paste.

Add in more milk/water as needed and heat through.Adjust the salt and add the pepper and serve warm garnished with paprika/chilli powder and toasted walnuts.You can also go for a chunky version,by partially blending the soup and leaving small florettes to munch on while enjoying the soup.

The soup even without adding milk is creamy and thick. And it thickens more on sitting.I added barely half cup of milk as I went for a thicker version.You can increase the water/stock adjusting the milk depending on how you want it.Even soy/coconut milk works for a vegan version.

The addition of garlic and nutmeg is optional and not there in the original. Nutmeg I found goes well with cauliflowers and provide warmth and comfort.Garlic also has its own benefits.

This simple creamy soup is on way to NCR:Creamy Soups & Salads hosted this month at Tinned Tomatoes.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Raisin,Apple & Oat Muffins

These are rustic looking yet hearty muffins made from oats and the normal APF along with apples and raisins. I found the recipe on the back cover of raisins or currants -Sunmaid one for sure.I had just cut out the recipe while discarding the empty box.Any way these are quick fix muffins that were naturally eggless,so it was all the more easy for me to mix the batter awhile the oven preheated.

Dry Mix:
Oats: 1 cup
All Purpose Flour: 1 cup
Baking powder: 2 tsp
Cinnamon: 2 tsp
Nutmeg: 1 tsp
Allspice: 1/4 tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp

Wet Mix:
Raisins: 1 cup
Apple: peeled and chopped: 1 cup
Milk: 3/4 cup
Sugar: 1/3 cup
Vegetable Oil: 1/4 cup

Brownsugar: or Sugar crystals: for topping (optional) : 2 tbsp

Combine the dry items in a bowl. Combine the wet mix ingredients in another wider bowl. The sugar,raisins and apple are a part of the wet mix. Stir the dry mix into the wet mix bowl and stir until just combined.Spoon the batter into lined or greased muffin cups

Top optionally with brown sugar or sugar crystals.I did not.Bake in a preheated oven at 400F/200C for about 15-20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. I reduced the temperature slightly -190C still mine were done in 18 minutes. So keep an eye 12th minute onwards especially if going for 400F.

The muffins are simple to mix and are very hearty and apple flavour stands out even among the spices.I actually got a chunky batter and was wondering how they will turn out. I would not say they look professional,but kind of rustic,but tastewise they will give a good looking muffin run for money.

They are going to CWF:Oats at Priya's Easy n TastyRecipes, an event by Kiran of Sumadhura.

On a happier note: I have won the Only Salads event held at Prathibha's The Chef and her Kitchen, an event originally by Pari of Foodelicious. I have won Tarla Dalal's Healthy Soups and Salads.This is the first time I am winning an event in the three years of blogging.The year 2011 has started on a lucky note for me. Surely you can look forward to all the soups and salads shortly in this space.Thanks for hosting Prathibha and Pari.

Thanks for visiting my Blog

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