Tag Archives: dessert

Dulce de Leche Ice cream

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It all started with churros. I ate these churros in Mazatlán and have been wanting to try the recipe. I decided to pair those churros with ice-cream to make a perfect sandwich. Since I was pairing with churros, I thought why not make Mexican inspired ice-cream.

So here is it, Dulce de Leche Ice cream. Dulce de Leche translated into ‘Sweet of milk’. We get it in a can here in the local Mexican grocery store. If you can not get your hand on one, you can easily make it from your regular condensed milk.  This has all the goodness of the condensed milk with enriched flavors as all the sugar is nicely caramelized.

How to make Dulce de Leche from regular condensed milk

Typically all ice-creams start with a custard base, which has eggs, milk and sugar. However this recipe is egg-less so vegetarians can also enjoy.

 

I got the original recipe from Epicurean but I decided to put my own twist. I love to add salt and heat to my desserts. So today I have decided to kick this ice-cream up a notch with Ancho chili powder. I love this and use it a lot in my many recipes. Ancho chili is a sweet pepper. It is the dried form of Poblano peppers.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 can Dulce de Leche
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Ancho chili powder

Method

  • Bring milk and cream just to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, then remove from heat
  • Whisk in dulce de leche ( save 3-4 tbsps) until mixed well
  • Whisk in vanilla & the Ancho chili powder
  • Cool the mixture stirring occasionally till its at room temperature
  • Freeze mixture in ice cream maker until almost firm.
  • Towards the end add the saved Dulce de leche. It will add nice streaks to the ice-cream
  • Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 1 hour.
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Churros

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I love Mexican food, in fact the whole family loves it very much. Sometimes I wonder if I was Mexican in my previous birth, because just as much Indian food, Mexican food is a constant feature in my kitchen.

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It’s Cinco de Mayo and I love to celebrate it. I never need an excuse to make something tasty, but when it’s fiesta time, it’s so much more fun! Such celebrations remind us that we live in the land of the free where many cultures have blended so well.

Anytime I visit a new place, the first thing I do is visit the local markets. I feel like I can learn so much more about the culture and the people of that country. Sometimes, people outside a country get a very limited view of that country’s cuisine. There were so many things in this Mazatlán market that I had never seen in the US! I ate these amazing churros in that market. They were perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the cinnamon sugar that they were dipped in was at the perfect level of sweetness to make you crave for just one more! Ever since I had those churros, I have been meaning to try them in my own kitchen.

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Most of the recipes for churro call for eggs, but the street vendor didn’t use eggs in his dough. So I am taking that vendor as inspiration and bringing you an eggless churro recipe. Seriously, this comes together in an hour from start to finish (including the cooldown time).

Today I am planning to pair these churros with something yummy. When you think of summer, the first thing that comes to mind is ice-cream, right? Today I am making an ice-cream to go with our churros. The contrast of crunchy churros with creamy ice-cream is just yummy.

I make a weekly trip to my local Mexican store and that’s where I picked up a can of ‘dulce de leche’ (which translates to sweetened milk). Dulce de leche is a smooth, gooey goodness that I can eat with a spoon directly from a can. It goes great on your ice-cream sundaes, you can make flan with it and so much more.

Today’s ice-cream is a Dulce de Leche Ice-cream. It is a super simple recipe. Also, just like the churro, this is also an egg-free recipe.

Back to our churros. Typically, churros are a straight stick but today, since I’m planning to use them to make my ice-cream sandwich, I am going to pipe them in a spiral. I have decided to use a gadget which is very common in a Indian household, a chakli/murukku maker. It is used to make many savory snacks as well as fresh rice noodles. I love it because it’s very easy to use and clean. It comes with many discs which help you make different shapes.  I have a video on youtube which show I made it.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 2  tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup  unbleached all-purpose flour

Oil for frying

For

  • 1/2 cup white sugar, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ancho chili powder

Directions

  1. In a small pot, heat  water, 2 tbsp sugar, salt and oil on a medium flame. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in flour until mixture forms a ball.
  2. Let the dough cool down till it’s ok to handle.
  3. While you are piping the churros, heat the oil on low heat. I have used regular vegetable oil for frying.
  4. Now it’s time to pipe out the churros. Since I am planning to make the cookies, I will be making churros with a smaller diameter. However, you can use a pastry bag with a large star tip if you are making big sized churros.
  5. Pipe out 3″ spirals onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (I like my ice-cream sandwiches to be bite-sized, so I won’t make them huge.)
  6. If the weather is hot, you can stick these piped spirals in the freezer for a few minutes. This helps the spirals stay together, or you might end up with a long churro in your pan.
  7. Fry the churros until golden brown. Make sure you don’t fry them on high heat, otherwise they will stay doughy inside and burnt outside.
  8. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, ancho chili powder and cinnamon. Roll drained churros in the mixture.

Notes:

  • I made the churros two ways:
    • The ones I fried right after I piped them were soft
    • The one I froze before I fried stayed much crispier

Pakatali Poori- Saffron- Lemon flavored bread

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I not only love to cook and learn new foods, but also love to learn about the ‘Old foods’. I feel in this era of instant and quick foods, we are missing out on some incredible dishes. We dont know how to use certain ingredients and soon those will become extinct. A lot of the dishes our gradmoms made, have never been a part of the food at our table.

I am thankful to books like Ruchira, we have access to at least a few of the Maharashtrian recipes. Its a book that is given as a wedding gift to every new bride in Maharashtra. I have used it extensively as when I got married, I did not know how to cook. I would call my mom but 1 minute call to India costed $1.90 and there was no internet. So getting cookbooks, going to the library and watching cooking shows was how I learnt my cooking.

Going back to the ‘lost recipe’, this recipe is almost on the verge of it. Today is Vasant Panchami, a day that marks the arrival of the ‘Vansant ( spring)’ season and you also worship Goddess Saraswati on this day.

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 This is a very special recipe because of Baba’s aunt used to make it, and she made it really well. I thought, why not make something I have never made before,after all Saraswati is a goddess of Knowledge, and what better tribute than a new( old) recipe. 

I have made  a couple of small modifications o the original recipe, I mixed half Rava and half all purpose flour, also rolled the poori like you roll the Chirota or Khaja ( another Maharashtrian delicacy)

It is a very easy recipe and you will find most of the needed ingredients at home. 

Pakatali Poori

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Ingredients 

Poori

  • 1/2 cup fine rave
  • 1/2 cup All purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp Ghee ( clarified butter) melted and slightly warm
  • 3 tbsp sour full fat yogurt 
  • Pinch of salt

Syrup

  • 1 cup fine sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom powder
  • Saffron strands
  • Juice of 1 Meyer Lemon

Method

Poori

  • Mix the rave and APF together with salt
  • Add warm ghee and rub it well in the dry mixture
  • Add dahi to make a stiff dough. If the yogurt/dahi is not sour, you can leave it on the counter so it turns sour. It is crucial since that it what gives these pooris or breads a nice taste
  • Let the dough rest for at least an hour. If you have used only Rava, you would need to let it rest for 2 hours
  • After 2 hours, pound the dough, this is necessary to make it pliable. If you have a stand up mixer, you can use the dough attachment to do the work 

Syrup

  • Mix sugar and water and cook till its ‘2 string stage’ *
  • Heat a pan on very low flame, add the saffron strands and slightly roast them. You are just warming them and not quite roasting. Warming them makes them crumbly and hence they mix well in the syrup
  • Add cardamom powder, saffron and the juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Keep the syrup on a low flame, but keep it warm. This ensures that the syrup soaks in the Pooris. If the syrup is not warm enough, it will only create a coat on the outside

Making the Pooris

  • Heat oil in a deep pan
  • You can roll the Pooris like a regular flat bread, or
  • Roll out a big poori. Make a roll and cut into 4-5 pieces
  • Flatten those pieces again to make a poori
  • Fry the poori till golden brown
  • Drain and immediately add them to the warm syrup. 
  • Ater 10-15 mins, take them out and arrange on a plate
  • If you like, you can user slivered almonds or pistachios as well

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Star Anise Panna cotta with Khubani

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This is where my Master Chef  journey began. A very close friend really pushed me to sign up for Master Chef Auditions. The auditions were on Saturday and Friday evening at 7:00 PM I had not idea what I would bring for the auditions. I decided to make this recipe which has been my family favorite. I walked into the auditions with the Panna cotta and heart beating fast.

Star Anise Panna cotta

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 Panncotta is an italian word that translates to ‘ Cooked Cream’. It is such an easy to make dish and yet it is very easily customizable. You can change flavors, pair it with different things and the best part, it looks super fancy.
I tried quite a few recipes till I settled on this one.  It tastes just like the panna cotta served at Italian restaurants. I like to serve it with fruits or even chocolate sauce, or stewed fruits.
Today I have flavored it with one of my favorite spices, Star Anise & served with stewed apricots. In Hyderabad ( India) there is a sweet, Khubani ka Meetha, and my inspiration for  today’s dessert comes from that.

Panna Cotta

Ingredients

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  • 1/2cup  milk
  • 1 (.25 ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin ( I used Knox powder today)
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 6-8 Star anise
  • 5-6 Whole black pepper

Method

  1. Blooming the gelatin: Pour milk into a small bowl, and stir in the gelatin powder. Set aside.This will help gelatin absorb the milk and mix well
  2. Pound the spices in a mortar and pestle. Keep them coarse
  3. In a saucepan, stir together the heavy cream and sugar, and set over medium heat until it is lukewarm, and set it aside for 1 hour or so. Longer the better.
  4. Setting aside the cream helps the flavors of spices seep into the cream beautifully.
  5. Bring to a full boil, don’t let it over flow. Pour the gelatin and milk into the cream, stirring until completely dissolved.
  6. Cook for one minute, stir so the gelatin does not form a lump.
  7. Remove from heat, strain and pour into  individual ramekin dishes.
  8. Cool the ramekins uncovered at room temperature.
  9. When cool, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, ideally  overnight before serving.

Stewed Apricots

Ingredients

  • 10-12 Dried Apricot
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2-3 Star anise
  • 2-3Whole black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water

Method

  • Chop the apricots fine
  • Add sugar, water, spices and apricots in a small sauce pan
  • On a low flame cook till the apricots are softened and the water gets nice and syrupy.
  • Remove the spices before serving

 

Pistachio Rose caramel

Will Update the recipe soon.

To serve

Demold the pannacotta and serve with the stewed apricot. I also love to use candied Pistachio while serving.

 

Profiteroles with coffee cream and drizzled with coffee-chocolate sauce

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It is my daughter’s birthday today. She is a smart, sweet and very caring  girl. She also has very diverse and sophisticated palette. So when I asked her what kind of cake she wants for her birthday, she said,” Mom, can I have profiteroles instead of a cake this year?”.

This is what prompted me to make the profiteroles today. I had watched Anne Burrell make these on one of her shows and had scratched  down her recipe, this is my take on her recipe. The ingredients are very simple, yet the result is a fancy pastry.

Profiteroles is a french pastry made with a french pastry dough, Choux Pastry

Choux pastry is an easy to make versitile dough. You can make many things like eclairs, cream puffs using this dough. It is light and airy and is perfect for filling it up with whipped cream or ice cream.

Profiteroles

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Equipment needed:

Food processor, a pot, wooden spoon, whisk, pastry bag with a large tip

Ingredients:

1 cup of milk

1 stick of unsalted butter

1 cup flour

1 pinch of salt

4 eggs

 

For the filling:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

4 tbsp powdered sugar

1 1/2 shot of espresso

 

For the chocolate sauce:

6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 shot of espresso

Method:

Take a sauce pan. Heat milk and butter till the butter is melted. While the mixture is heating, get the food processor ready and the eggs cracked in a bowl/cup. As soon as the butter is completely melted, add flour all at once and cook on low flame for about 2 mins. When the mixture starts sticking to the bottom of the pan, take it off the heat.

Transfer the hot mixture to the food processor and start it on a low speed. Add one egg at a time to the hot mixture and keep processing till a nice homogenous mixture. The dough will be sticky but don’t worry.

Preheat the oven to 425 F

Fit a pastry bag with a large tip, I have used a large star tip but round works just as well.

Fill the mixture in a pastry bag.

Take a baking tray lined with parchment paper. If you get pointy tips, with wet finger you can just gently tap it down.

Pipe some mounds on the parchment paper. The first time I made these I made them too flat, I would recommend making them taller so you can fill it up with a scoop of ice cream easily.

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Now bake these in the oven for 20 mins. Once the baking is done, let them sit in the hot oven for another 7-10 mins. Take them out and let them cool.

I have seen some recipes where you bake them in a high heat oven like 425 for a few minutes, which helps form the crust and then bake in lower temp like 375 for 12-15 mins for it to cook through from inside. 

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Once these are cooled,you can cut a slit and  they are ready to be filled with some yummy cream or ice cream.

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For the filling:

Take a little bit of cream and make sure that all the sugar and the espresso are dissolved well in it. Now add the remaining chilled whipping cream and whip till you get a nice and firm cream.

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In the meantime, in a microwavable glass bowl take the chocolate chips. Melt them according to the package instructions, mine asked me to heat it at 50% power for a min and then in the increments of 15 secs there on, stirring each time. Alternatively, you can also use a double boiler to melt the chocolate.

Once the chocolate is melted, add the espresso and cream to make a smooth chocolate sauce.

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Now comes the fun part…

Take a puffed pastry and fill it up with the coffee whipped cream.

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Drizzle with chocolate sauce and dust with some powdered sugar.

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Yummy profiteroles are ready to be gobbled up.

Note:

If you are using a whipped cream for the filling, instead of making a cut in the pastry,  you can just poke a hole and fill up the cream.

Saffron Crostini with Beet Halwa

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These days there are so many cooking channels, blogs, cook books, pinterest, instagram…you name it. There are many ways to get new recipes and learn about new cuisines. I am part of a couple of facebook groups and learn a lot from there. One such groups is Sikandalous Cuisine. The admin does an amazing job of bring together like minded people who love to make and eat good but most of all they all love to share what they know. I love that part. There are some chefs on that group that are super talented, have worked in Five star restaurants and even have books published. It is very inspiring to see them share their knowledge with so much humility. One such chef is Saransh Goila, he recently published an amazing book and shared some of the recipes from this book on this facebook group. This dish is am amazing combination of taste, colors and textures. Today’s recipe is Saransh Goila’s recipe. This sounds and is a little time consuming, but I think when you taste the end product, you will think it was worth the effort. Also, I like the fact that you can prep ahead and make the rabdi & halwa. The day you want to serve it, quickly make the toasts and you are ready to impress the guests.

Saffron Toast with Beet Halwa

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Beetroot Halwa

500 grams Beetroot, peeled and grated 3 cups milk ½ cup condensed milk 2 tablespoons ghee (Clarified butter) 1/2 tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder 4 drops rose water / essence Rabdi 2 cups of whole milk 10 strands Saffron 3 teaspoons milk Toast 10 pcs. Bread slices 2 tablespoons Ghee/Clarified Butter 2 tablespoons Sugar Method: Beetroot Halwa: Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan, Add the beetroot to the pan and saute on medium flame for 8 – 10 minutes. Once it is tender, add the hot milk and keep stirring till it reduces and becomes thick. Add the condensed milk, 1 tbsp ghee and cardamom powder and mix well. When the halwa is cooked and becomes thick, add the rose water and mix well and keep aside. Rabdi: Now in 3tsp warm milk mix saffron strands.. After 5 minutes add Rabdi to this saffron milk and simmer for 2 mins. Rabdi will get a beautiful saffron colour.  Toast: Cut bread slices into bite sized round/ square shapes. I used a flower shape cookie cutter. Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a pan and add 2 tbsp sugar to it. Once it’s hot and sugar starts to melt. Start cooking the bread slices until they’re golden brown from both sides.  This is exactly what I do when I make another yummy Hyderabadi Dessert ‘Shahi Tukda or Double Ka Meetha’ Assemble the dessert, spread saffron rabdi on toast, place beetroot halwa on top of it and serve. IMG_0248 I also made a variation by rolling the bread slice and cutting it in circles. I stacked them with rabdi and halwa. There is no doubt that you need patience to make the rabdi and the halwa, but the taste is surely worth it. IMG_0250

Tres Leches ( or Quatro Leches) cake

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When I came to the US amongst other things I missed eating what we call ‘Pastries’ in India. Desserts like pineapple pastry, Black forest cake, they all tasted different than what I was used to. So when I my husband brought a piece of this cake, I was not to keen on trying it. He insisted and said, ” I guarantee you will love it”. He was right, very first bit and I fell in love with this cake. There was something in it that reminded of the Indian desserts I am very fond of, that cake was ‘Tres Leches cake’

Tres leches cake is a classic mexican dessert, which translates to ‘Three Milk Cake’. Here I share a recipe that is actually Quatro Leches Cake.I also make an Indian version of this cake, I love it. If you want to try here is a link for ‘Thandai Leches Cake’

Ingredients

For the sponge cake

4 eggs at room temperature separated

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 tsp Vanilla essence     1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup whole milk

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Sift flour with baking powder & salt.

Mix the Thandai Masala with the milk.

Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites for 1min till they start becoming a but frothy.

Add sugar and beat till soft peaks form.

Add one yolk at a time and keep whisking.

Add the flour mixture and milk mixture alternatively.

So it will be something like- 1/3 cup flour

1/4 cup milk

1/3 cup flour

1/4 cup milk

1/3 cup flour

 

Take a baking pan and butter and flour it well. It is very important since that will ensure that the cake comes out of the pan in a clean way.

I also put a parchment paper for extra ease.

Now pour the batter in the prepared pan. Make sure the pan in at least 10 inches round or even 9x 13, if you take a smaller pan the cake is too tall and the liquid does not get absorbed very well.

Bake for about 30 mins until the knife comes out clean. 

Let the cake cool on a stand for about 30 mins.

Now the fun part…

Milk goodness mixture

1 14 oz can of condensed milk

1 can of evaporated milk

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Mix all the liquid ingredients.

Transfer the cake to a deeper dish, large enough to hold the cake and also hold all the liquid volume.

Poke a lot of holes in the cake

Now pour the milk mixture over the cake slowly paying extra attention to the edges.

Keep it in fridge ideally overnight. I feel that it allows the cake to take in all the liquid and develop some harmony.

As you can see the entire amount of liquid is all absorbed.

Frosting

1 cup of heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup of powdered sugar ( optional)

Whip the cream with or without the sugar until soft peaks form.

 

Now the bestest part

Serve yourself a nice big slice. Turn some nice music on. Sit down and enjoy the cake.

You can top the slice with fresh fruit. I like it with strawberries, I feel they add a nice tang that helps cut through the rich sweet, milky cake.

This recipe inspired by a couple of chefs on food network, Alton brown and Marcella.

 

Lychee Phirni with a touch of orange blossom

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I am born and brought up in India so me liking dairy based dessert is very natural. Most of the indian dessert have dairy in them in some or the other form. The famous rosogulla has paneer, which is like fresh cottage cheese. Gulab jamun have ‘khoya’, which is milk boiled till it is a semi solid clay like texture. The famous mango lassi has yogurt. So you see my love for dairy based desserts is but natural. 

When the weather starts warming up, I like to make dessert that are cool. So today’s dessert is perfect in the summer months. 

It is an indian equivalent of ‘arroz con leche’. The recipe is simple and the ingredient list is small. 🙂

I love playing with flavors, so decided to put a twist of this traditional Phirni. I love the intoxicating perfume of ‘ orange blossom water’. It is typically used in Mediterranean dessert. I love adding it even to my bath water. I buy it from a local middle eastern store and use it very regularly. Also, I love adding surprises to my dishes. When you think of Phirni, you don’t anticipate anything crunchy. I feel that this addition goes really well with the rest of the components and adds a clear element of surprise and variety of texture. I add chopped Litchi to my Phirni. 

  

It does take time and patience but it is not complicated at all. It uses the ingredients that are typically available in homes. 

Ingredients

1/2 gallon of whole milk 

1/2 cup of rice, soaked for 30 mins( I have used basmati)

1/2-3/4 cups of sugar

1 tsp orange blossom water

1 can of lychee chopped

Method

Take milk in a heavy bottomed pot and heat on a medium flame until the milk comes to a boil. Make sure you’re stirring constantly so that you do not get a skin formed on the top surface and the milk does not stick to the bottom of the pan. 

This is where your patience comes into picture, you must store patiently on low flame unto the milk is reduced to pretty much half of its original volume. 

While the milk is boiling, grind this soaked rice with very little water. Make sure you do not make a paste. You do want a mixture that is granular.

Now add the rice mixture to the milk in a steady stream. Make sure you’re starting the milk as you add the rice make sure so that no clumps are formed. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, take the mixture on a spoon and check if the rice is cooked.

Now add sugar and keep starting and cooking until you get the desired consistency. Remember the mixture will thicken as it cools down so make sure you do not cook it too much. If you end up with a very thick mixture  after it is cool down,   You can add a little bit of milk to thin it  down.

Once the mixture has come to the room temperature, add the chopped the lychee pieces and the Orange Blossom water.

Serve chilled. 

  

Shrikhand and Sicily

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Today is ‘Gudhi Padwa‘, it is the New Year for us. We believe that today is the day when Lord Brahma began the creation of the world. This day people start new ventures, buy new things even buy new homes. People from Iran also celebrate their new year, Nowruz today. I guess because it is based on Lunar Calendar and we also follow Lunar Calendar in India.

I always find it fascinating that my mother tongue Marathi has so many words from Persian language. It was also interesting to know that the community I belong to, traces some of its genes way back to Iran.  I love learning about such connection and then observing the similarities in foods, rituals etc.

My work took me to Sicily a couple of years ago and needless to say I loved it. I was in Catania which has a very rustic cute downtown. Cobblestone streets, open cafe, small pastry shops- it was amazing. This is where I tried the famous Sicilian Cannoli.

I loved that contrast of Crisp, flaky pastry filled with creamy, fluffy Ricotta cheese with a crunch of chopped pistachios.

Cannoli comes from Siciliy but originated probably from Iran. There is a Iranian Pastry which sounds very similar to Cannoli, ‘ Qanawat’, I thought it was very interesting.

Going back to my new year story, I decided to celebrate Gudhi Padwa and Navroj this year with a desert which is a fusion of  ‘Shrikhand & Qanawat’.

Presenting –

Cannoli filled with Shrikhand

 

Shrikhand 

Ingredients

64 oz yogurt ( I prefer whole milk yogurt for this recipe)

1 1/2 cup sugar

1/2 Tsp salt

1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp Saffron

Method

Hang the yogurt the night before you plan to make it.  You can keep it outside or in the fridge.

Take the saffron and warm it gently. Crush it and mix with 1 tbsp of milk.

Take the thickened yogurt and mix in sugar, salt, spices and mix well.

Your Shrikhand is ready.

Cannoli Shells

The cannoli shell recipe is based on Mario Batali’s recipe. It is very simple and easy.

Ingredients: 

2 cups  All purpose flour

1 1/2 tbsp cold unsalted butter

1 tbsp sugar

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup white wine

1 egg white optional

Method

Cannoli Shells-

Cut butter in small pieces.

Mix flour & sugar. Take butter and cut into the flour till it resembles grains of sand.

Add egg yolk and mix a little.

Add the wine and mix it very lightly barely till the dough comes together.

Now take a plastic wrap and put the dough in the wrap and keep it in the fridge for an hour.

Making the cannolis

If you check any recipes for cannoli you will see that it needs Cannoli molds. Since I don’t have the molds, I decided to make my own.

My son who also loves cooking had an idea. He went to the hardware store and got a 1″ inch pipe and got it cut in 5″ pieces, and there we had our cannoli molds.

Heat oil in a pan. Make sure there is enough oil that the dough with the pipe is submerged.

Take the dough out is the fridge and knead very lightly. Roll it out very thin.

Use a bowl to cut a circle.

Take the cannoli mold and wrap the rolled out circle around it. Make sure there is some overlap and use water or egg white to seal that overlap in place.

Also, flare out the ends so it is easy to take out the mold after the pastry is cooled.

Fry in the oil till golden brown.   

Let it cool and then take the mold out gently.

You can make the cannoli shells ahead but fill them up when you are ready to serve.

Filling the shells 

Take a pastry bag or a plastic bag and fill with the Shrikhand. Use a big star tip and fill up the shells from either sides.

Take chopped pistachios and dip both ends of the cannoli.

Enjoy your Shrikhand Canoli & Happy New Year!

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Tricky little temperamental Treat

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French Macarons

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I had never seen a Stand Mixer until a few years ago. Always wanted to buy one since I saw it but could not justify the investment …until today, I bought my first KitchenAid..

Growing up in India I did not know much about baking. For one, we did not have any oven or any stand mixer  at home.  Mom made cakes on the stove top in this contraption and creamed the butter & sugar patiently with just her hands. I always love the cakes she makes but now I appreciate even more knowing how much effort went into it. When I came to the US I tasted so many yummy baked good and I started baking as well. The first time I tasted Macaroons, I did not care much more it. I personally don’t like coconut & chocolate together. Every time my daughter asked me to make Macroons, I kind of made excuses since I thought she was referring to Coconut Macaroon.

 

Then last year, Whole Foods opened near where we live and I got to see and taste French Macron for the first time, and let me tell you I fell in love with it.  Every time we go grocery shopping to Whole Foods, we coem back with a pack of macrons. They are yummy but expensive and I never felt like I ate to my hearts content.

 

So I decide to try and make Macrons at home. Usually I am good at following instructions and recipes, so I figured I can make macarons as long as I have the recipe and ingredients. Boy was I wrong, I failed miserably…not one, two, more like 6 times.  I had almost given up…but then I remembered that I had a set a birthday goal for my self. Yeah, like people set New Years resolutions, I make Birthday resolutions. On every birthday I set a few goals and try to complete them before the next birthday. So going back to Macrons, making them is one such goal I made last year and just could not give up.

I tried the seventh time… and very proud to say it worked. And that is how that KitchenAid came into my life..

French Macarons- a delicate temperamental cookie..but worth every min spent on it.

Macrons have very simple ingredients and looks very deceivingly easy looking, but the trick is in following all the steps and tips. I watched many you tube videos, read many recipes and then finally settled on this one..

 

Ingredients:

Cookie:

7 oz Confectioner ( powder) sugar
4 oz  Almond flour/meal
4 oz  Egg whites at room temp
3.5 oz granulated sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp gel color of your choice

Filing

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
4 cups Confectioner ( powder) sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp milk

Method

A. For cookies:

Part 1- Dry mixture
  1. Sift the almond flour and the confectioner sugar at least 4-5 times. This makes the batter light and also ensures that there are no lumps in the batter.
Part 2- Meringue
  1. Making meringue- Take the egg whites and start beating them on a low-medium speed until it foams
  2. Add granulated sugar slowly. Once all the sugar is added, add the cream of tartar.
  3. Kepp checking in between and make sure you stir in between so make ensure that there is no liquid egg white remaining at the bottom of the bowl.

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  1. Scrape down the sides, add the food color
  2. Beat on high till you get a soft peak.
  3. It is not done if you get a beak, when you left the whisk out of the egg mixture.
Part 3- Mix the ingredients
  1. Mix 1/3 of the almond flour mixture in the egg mixture.
  2. Using the folding action mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.
  3. When the dry flour is sort of mixed, add the next 1/3 and continue
  4. THIS IS IMPORTANT- DO NOT UNDER MIX OR OVER MIX. THIS PICTURE SHOWS YOU EXAMPLES.
  5. When you can see a ribbon falling from your spoon, your batter is ready
Part 4- Piping and baking the cookies
  1. Draw circle on the paper. These will act as a template for piping your cookies.
  2. Out that template on the baking sheet.
  3. Line your baking tray with parchment paper, on top of the template
  4. Fill the mixture in a pastry bag and using a #2 round tip, pipe the cookies on the parchment paper

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  1. Make sure you keep the tip almost buried in the mixture so you don’t get a point on the cookie- if you get a point it will look funny and the point will burn during baking
Part 5- Drying of the cookies
  1. Heat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Take the tray with the piped cookies and tap really firmly on the counter. This will ensure that the air trapped is released

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  1. Let the tray sit on the counter until the cookies have a skin on top and are dry to touch. Depending on the weather it could take from 20-30 mins
  2. I write the time on it so I know when I can check.
  3. Now your cookies are ready to go in.
Part 6: Baking
  1. Make sure that the oven temperature is right.
  2. Bake th cookies  for 10-15 min
  3. Turn half way to ensure even baking
  4. Check if the cookies are done- when you gently try to move the top and it kind of wiggles and slides, the cookies are not done.

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  1. Watch carefully  though since they go from not done to done very quickly
Part 7: Cooling
  1. I know it is tempting to eat them right away
  2. Wait for 3-4 minutes to take the cookies off the baking tray
  3. Let them cool completely before you fill them up.
B. For Filling
  1. Beat the butter until creamy
  2. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time.
  3. Add the color, lemon juice and zest and beat the mixture until light and fluffy.
There are 7 key points to remember, I have listed them here and have mentioned again along the way.
  1. Measure your ingredient- I recommend weighing them instead of measuring in a cup
  2. Sieve the almond meal & Suagr
  3. Beat your egg white just till soft peak stage
  4. Don’t over or under mix the Egg & Almond mixture
  5. Make sure the air is tapped out before you bake the macrons
  6. Make sure they dry out before you bake
  7. Make sure the oven temp is right

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