Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Magnum Classic Ice Cream | Experience Pleasure Like Never Before

World most luxurious icecream brands will be making its presence felt in Bengaluru from March 1st, 2014 onwards. Already a hit in Chennai, the leading 'Icecream -on- a stick" is here to raise the bar.

Whats so special about Magnum?How different is it from already available icecream brands?

Magnum uses pure Belgian chocolate to coat its silky smooth icecream bar. When u bite into a magnum, you can fisrt hear the crunch of the thick coating- not soggy or soft or leaking unlike other brands. 

 Chocolate as we call and love it, is primarily a mix of cocoa and cocoa butter in varying proportions. The percentage of these and other additions like fats,sweetners and even milk gives rise to different varieties of chocolate. 

Couverture chocolate is one with a high percentage of cocoa butter and cocoa solids that has been tempered to give a perfect crunch and perfect shine. Tempering is a process to increase the hardness and consistency of the item by heating and cooling it. (refer here for more)

Belgian chocolate is supposed to the best or premium chocolate. Belgian chocolate contains minimum 35% of cocoa. Belgian chocolate has the finest quality of cocoa beans - the origins of which are carefully selected and controlled. Beans are processed meticulously and other ingredients of the chocolate like sugar and supportive products are always of standard quality.

What is common in India is actually a mix of high sugar, little cocoa solids and hydrogenated oils along with little cocoa butter and is more on the sweeter side whereas Belgian chocolate is the perfect balance of bitter, sweet and milky. It is homogenous/consistent in taste not too sweet and not too bitter. A divine combination of cocoa content along with the sweetness and the intensity of the flavor is what makes a chocolate Belgian. 

And Magnum ice creams are made with 100% pure Belgian chocolate. They are delicious, creamy ice-creams covered in a thick layer of Belgian chocolate shell .

Magnum’s “distinctive crack”- The sound and sight of the Belgian chocolate shell breaking when one first bites into the ice cream is signature Magnum. Infact as per wiki, the a couverture chocolate has been specially developed for magnum to withstand temperature fluctuations by chocolatier Callebaut.

I had the opportunity to attend a Magnum Masterclass with masterchef Kunal Kapur of Masterchef India and it was a great experience.Chef Kunal shared his experience and knowledge on chocolate and showed us how to decorate a Magnum. We all made "Magnum -our way" stick and a chocolicious sundae, a twist with two Magnum bars under his guidance.

Magnum is one of the world’s largest chocolate ice cream brands and is owned by Unilever. As Unilever’s biggest impulse ice-cream brand globally, Magnum not only dominates Europe but is also making waves across the U.S. and Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. In India the Hindustan Unilever plans to introduce it as a premium icecream along with its existing icecream brand Kwality Walls.

Go Ummmm... on a Magnum

At present 3 flavours are available in India - Classic, Almond and Chocolate truffle and is priced at Rs.85/- per bar.

Classic – A thick cracking layer of Magnum chocolate made with real Belgian chocolate covering a deliciously smooth creamy vanilla ice-cream. 

Almond – Deliciously natural almonds inside a thick layer of original Belgian chocolate and luscious vanilla ice-cream: a truly royal treat

Chocolate Truffle – Smooth chocolate truffle sauce swirled through creamy chocolate ice-cream and wrapped in thick, royal Belgian chocolate

Magnum truly is an intense and remarkable experience of pleasure. It delivers pleasure experiences that are sensorial and intense, the kind that leaves you completely satisfied. To be honest, the first bite, makes you go 'Ummmmmmmmmm...'. Infact the classic flavour which I tried actually has that right amount of sweetness allows the chocolate to take the centrestage. 

So on -March 1st, 2014 - check out your nearest retail outlet and go Ummm... on a Magnum.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Crunchy Seed Cookies | Baking Partners #20

Its been long time since I posted a recipe. Though I posted  two reviews, the main intention of the blog is to post tried & tasted recipes. So finally here I am with a long due recipe. 

Though I was supposed to post it on 15th of Feb thanks to my  so-called "super-fast" net connection, I was stuck without phone or net. It seemed like I was in dark ages. But ofcourse now I am back and please try out these crunchy and healthy cookies from Alice Medrich's Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy chosen by Swathi for Baking Partners #19

Black Sesame: 1 tbsp
White Sesame: 1 tbsp
Flax Seeds: 1 tbsp
Fennel: 1 tbsp
Demerara Sugar: 2 tbsp

All Purpose Flour: 1 cup + 2 tbsp
Cream of tartar: 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda: 1/2 tsp
Salt: 1/8 tsp

Soft Butter: 4 tbsp
Sugar: 8 tbsp or 1/2 cup
Vanilla : 1 tsp
Egg: 1/2 of a large egg  or 3/4 tsp Ener G + 1-2 tbsp of water (optional)

Mix seeds and demerara sugar  in a shallow plate and keep aside.

Mix together flour,salt, cream of tartar and baking soda in another bowl thoroughly.In a third deep large bowl, cream together with a spoon or whisk or blender sugar and butter until well blended but not fluffy. 

Add in the vanilla and egg if using and mix until smooth. 

Add in flour mix half at a time and mix with hand until completely mixed to get a dough.

On a lightly dusted counter top or in between plastic sheets roll out the dough into an 8" square which is 1/2" thick. 

Sprinkle the dough with half of the seeds and sugar mix. Roll tightly over the seeds with the rolling pin to press them in. Turn over the dough. This is easier within plastic sheets..Repeat the process of sprinkling seeds and rolling over on this side as well. 

Cut into cookies with your choice of cookie cutter preferably heart as these can be served for Valentines' Day as well. Carefully lift with a spatula and transfer to a lined but not greased baking sheet. 

Bake in a preheated oven at 190C for about 14 minutes until browned at the top.

Take out and serve warm or cool on a wire rack. 

Crunchy cookies with the goodness of seeds. They definitely leave a lingering taste and I did like this after taste. The cookies are correctly sweet -not too much sugar for sugaraholics but I liked them. 

Now lets take a look at Swathi's post on who all baked a Valentine cookie.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Brigade High Ultra Lounge | Upgrade to Brigade High

The view from the 30th floor is exhilarating. More so when you are sipping chilled wine and watching the perfect sunset of your life while the Bangalore traffic is snarling below.Its perfect bliss. And it surely gives you a high!

For those who already don't know, I am talking about Brigade High Ultra Lounge, the newest & the finest   F&B destination in South India. Located on the 30th floor of World Trade Centre, spread across 10,000 sq.ft @ Brigade Gateway Campus, an independent building next to Orion Mall, this is not just a lounge but an ultra lounge which has breath taking views of the city and is a modern Asian bar and restaurant.

Ever growing Bangalore has lots of lounges, but this is the first time you have an Ultra Lounge.So makes it special or Ultra?

One of the reputed builders in Bangalore, Brigade group has always raised the expectations of public. Brigade High Ultra Lounge is the latest offering from them and is managed by their subsidiary Brigade Hospitality Services Ltd. Infact this is first stand alone Food & Beverages venture from Brigade Group and the tallest in South India. Based on the theme "Timelessness", the lounge is the brainchild of Ms. Nirupa Shankar, Director, BHSL, and executed under the direction of Vineet Verma, ED, BHSL.The team is led by Pravesh Pandey, Director-Operations, Chef Zhang Hao, and Guruprashanth, Director-Bar.

The USP of the lounge is the panoramic view of the city that can be experienced at a height of 421 feet, making it the highest point for a food and beverage destination in India, outside of Mumbai. With its
cleverly designed 4 zones each of which provide spectacular ambiance and personalized service it strives to redefine your lounge experience.

You can have world's finest beverages in the High Mix, courtesy the internationally acclaimed  mixologist Guru Prasanth (Director- Bar) who presents classic cocktails and mocktails with a twist  that definitely raises the bar.Don't forget to order Inception -a smoky whisky cocktail  or even a deconstructed bellini with notes of jasmine or even the Why Goa ? Mocktail.

 The High Edge is the place for special occasions with its own stand alone bar and definitely Namma Bengaluru looks beautiful at night from the High Edge.

The High View is what I have been talking about for a perfect view of sunset in company of  friends and family.

The dining area High Dine is perfect for a starlit meal with friends and family.  The open-to-sky dining area and all weather furniture makes the experience truly special.

 I experienced the same at the prelaunch party for bloggers, where an exquisite pan asian fare awaited us. The toppers were Vegetarian sushi and Thai green curry or is it the sesame cheese roll (YUM, I think I tried atleast 4) or sweet potato bites in teriyaki reduction? Wait there's still banoffee pie.

Well why don't you go there and enjoy the experience.

Psst.. If you are planning a Valentine surprise, then why not on the 31st floor where you can definitely enjoy an exquisite candle light dinner. Be on Brigade High with your Valentine tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Four Seasons Wine& Weber Grill Live Cookout | Weeking Grilling at Hyatt

How do you normally spend a weekend? Sleeping, catching up with friends, cooking delicacies, reading ... etc etc.For me, I am literally down on weekends. I only plan on where we need to go out. I can work like donkey (not exageration) on weekdays, but come saturday morning , I don't want to get up from bed. 

Well more about me later. We have lot more time to discuss that and let me assure you I am trying to change that.

By the way,did I say catching up with friends... how? Just going with them for shopping, eating out ,one place to another, comparing buffets, trying out new cuisines and exchanging notes? Okay the above activities are done by foodies mostly who also sometime enjoy the company by grilling and wining..

When I got an invite from Team Gingerclapps for a live cookout at The Hyatt courtesy Weber grill  & Four Seasons Wines thats exactly what I thought would happen .. bloggers talking over brunch with the chefs cooking at live counters!. 

So much for all the thoughts..

The realisation dawned when we were divided into groups of 4 for cooking pasta and grilled chicken. It was actually a "WOW" moment.The dishes were spinach tortellini in saffron cream sauce and Jamaican jerk chicken. We were given the recipes and the spices and seasonings and all the ingredients and garnishes were ready. We just had to bring it all together with a final cooking and if possible add our own touch to it.I had two wonderful bloggers along with me -Nishita Kumar & Nilu Yasmeen Thapa

The  Executive Chef , Hyatt, Mr . Gautam Chaudhary and his team of chefs who helped all of us and nicely demonstrated the dishes and grilling basics. 

It was fun cookout and we got to grill our veggies and Jamaican Jerk Chicken and present it nicely for Chief Winemaker, Four Seasons Mr Abay Kewadkar. Also present were Mr Aslam Gafoor COO, Weber Grill India and Mr. Madhav Sehgal , GM Hyatt.

And ofcourse ours was supposed to be the BEST.. ahem ahem. (loudly please, I can't hear the applause)

We got to see and work with different commercial /industrial grills from Weber and see for ourselves how the charcoal grill imparts a smoky flavour to the food and how the electric one works faster.Now that summer is fast approaching, get yourself grill -ready. You can pick from the range of domestic grills from Weber, the leading manufacturer of charcoal & gas grills , also grilling accessories. .

Also had an insight about the four seasons wines. India's finest wine maker Abhay Kewadkar gave tips on matching food and wine. If you like white wine, please try Viognier, if you have not already. Its supposed to the best.  Blush & Merlot pair very well with most of the dishes and the barique range of reserve wines matches well with grilled food. You can check out the Fourseasons site to know the wonderful range of wines. The award winning range of FourSeasons wines have been crafted with the technical expertise of Bouvet-Ladubay, and perfectly compliment different cuisines.

Overall it was an experience not be missed. I am just hastily putting some pics of the cookout  and if interested you can watch the video here.

A glass of chilled wine, good food and company of friends, what more do you need on a weekend.

Thanks for visiting my Blog

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