Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Loveliness and All Things Good

I have been away for far too long. I have been busy with work. Amidst the mess of open suitcases, cartons, cluttered desktops and an overworked Wacom, I didn't find my oven or my need to bake. At one point in my life (my recent past), I was certain that baking was my true passion and then *POOF*, enter a pile falling cartons and clothes that still had a strange whiff of America. On a more serious note, I feel like all our clothes smelt weird when we were in the States. Maybe it was the system of using electric dryers that were incomparable to the traditional sun-drying technique, or maybe it was just MY dryer. I digress. The point is, is that I need to rediscover the beauty of painted cupcakes and the joy of eating them. I made strawberry and banana muffins the other day and they were absolutely delectable. I also added a few shreds of basil to bring out the fruity flavors. The muffins turned out just perfect; the centers were beautifully moist and the strawberries were like glorious, tart rubies.Did you know that bananas are great substitutes for eggs? Well, I learned that through this recipe. Enough said! Here is the recipe...


4 oz. unsalted butter
    1 1/4 cup sugar
    1 banana
    2 cup flour
    2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup low fat milk, with a little cornflour as thickener
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    15 fresh strawberries, dry, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

  Add the banana,  and cream until well blended. 

 Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. 

  Combine the cornflour and vanilla.

 Fold in the chopped strawberries and basil. 

 Add the milk

 Line the muffin tins with cupcake liners, and fill each liner till it is nearly full, and bake at 375F for 25 to 30 minutes.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Where Have I been??

I have been busy with work... Here is a sneak peak ..... Yay!! BOOK!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Chocolate Souffle!!

I know it took me a while to make a post, but I hate hopping around Manju Akka, our cook, while she's busy cooking up dinner. Today, I got ahead of the game and cooked before she arrived. I still have to get used to the schedule here. I decided to make chocolate souffle, as it was gloomy and cloudy; perfect weather for a gooey chocolate treat. The outside is a crusty, chocolate shell, and the inside is melt in the mouth and absolutely delicious. So here is the recipe:

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup of sugar, plus a little extra for dusting
  • Butter for greasing the cups
  • 1/4 cup of Melted chocolate

  • Grease 4 teacups with butter and dust with sugar

  • Beat the egg yellows, while gradually adding sugar. The egg yolks must become thick and pale yellow. You might have to beat it for about 10 minutes. 

  • Add melted chocolate to the mixture and mix for a few minutes. 

  • Make sure the beater or whisk is completely clean and dry before whisking the egg whites.
  • Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt in a separate bowl. The egg whites must become stiff and stand up in peaks.

  • Gently stir in the egg whites into chocolate and egg yellow mixture. Make sure you don't stir it too quickly as the mixture needs to be fluffy and light. 

  • Pour the mixture into the 4 teacups and bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. 

  • Done!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nutty bread butter pudding!!!

Hello everyone! It has been the longest break. I'm sorry it took me so long to make a blog post. I've missed cooking so very very much! I moved back to Bangalore a few weeks back and I was overjoyed to be back home. The last few weeks have been hectic and were usually spent feasting on delicious treats at family and friends' places. I'm sort of figuring out my own schedule amidst the chaos so that I find enough time to get back to my passion of blogging and cooking.

Making bread puddings are incredibly simple. They make the best homemade desserts. They simply melt in your mouth and are best when slightly gooey. The one I made was more like a nutty and creamy bread pudding that tastes good both when it's hot or cold. I prefer it cold because then you don't have to the pain of burning your tongue. The layers of buttered bread give it a more croissant taste but then again the buttered milk bread brings back the memories of my school days, when Amma would make bread butter sandwiches with good old Amul butter. So here's the recipe for my nutty butter bread pudding:

  • 100 gm pack of Amul butter
  • 1 cup of mixed nuts ( I used almonds and cashews )
  • 1 loaf of milk bread ( the Iyengar bakery kind of bread )
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 2 tbsps of brandy (optional)
  • 3/4 can of condensed milk
  • 7 tbsps of sugar
  • 2 tbs Cocoa powder
  • 1tsp Nutmeg
  • Make sure the butter is soft at room-temperature.
  • Apply butter on all the slices of bread.
  • Cut each slice of bread into fours.

  • Butter a large dish.

  • Layer the triangles of buttered bread till 3/4ths of the dish is full.
  • In a pan, melt about 2 tbsps of butter and roast the nuts in it.
  • Add 2 tbsps of sugar and mix till it all combines together.
  • Pull the pan out of the heat and add 2 tbsps of brandy (optional).
  • Add 1tsp of nutmeg to the mixture.
  • Once the mixture cools, grind the sugared nuts till you get a coarse powder.
  • Spread the mixture over the layered bread.
  • Layer the remaining bread over the mixture. Press the bread firmly down to compress the layers and make it more compact.
  • In a blender fold in the eggs, milk, 1/2 can of condensed milk and remaining sugar.
  • Gently and carefully pour the liquid over the bread in the dish.
  •  If the dish is full to the brim, puncture the bread gently with a fork and let the bread absorb the liquid before emptying the remaining amount of liquid into the dish.
  • Let the bread pudding settle before baking it at 200 degrees Celsius.
  • I realized only later that my oven here lets go of a little bit of heat while baking, so it took me close to an hour to bake the pudding. I'm sure it does not take that long; just make sure that the top slices of bread have browned nicely; that is the key to a good bread pudding.
  • In a pan heat a little bit (1 tbsp) of butter and pour in the remaining condensed milk. I added some vanilla bean for flavour. Heat the mixture till the condensed milk bubbles slightly. Pour the mixture over the center of the baked bread pudding. Puncture small holes with a fork so that the condensed milk seeps into the layers of the bread pudding. This ensures the gooey-ness of the bread pudding and makes sure that every slice will have a molten butterscotch flavour. Dust the top with a bit of cocoa powder.
  • Done!