Monday, June 29, 2009

Coconut creams with poached rhubarb & a "CLICK"

I was very new to this vegetable "Rhubarb" and wanted to try out few recipes using it. Then after a lot of search on the internet, i found this "Coconut Cream with Poached Rhubarb" recipe on bbc good food and i immediately decided to go with this recipe. Believe me, it dint disappoint me. Everybody in my house loved it. This dessert tastes awesome together with the combination of sweetened coconut cream with sweet and tangy rhubarb. Its a must try recipe in this season as you wont find Rhubarb in all the seasons.

Rhubarb looks like red celery, but don't let that fool you; beyond that and the strings that run its length, they have little in common. Usually used as a fruit in sweet preparations, rhubarb alone is actually extremely tart, and the roots and the leaves are poisonous (the leaves contain toxic level of oxalic acid). You can take advantages of its tartness or cook it with sugar or other sweet fruits, which is why we see it most often made into pies, preserves , and compotes, often paired with strawberries.

Buying and storing: Look for firm and crisp stalks. Store in the refeigerator and use it as quickly as possible.

Preparing: Rhubarb is best if you string it; grab one end between a paring knife and your thumb and pull straight down to remove the celerylike strings that run lengthwise through each stalk. Remember that rhubarb leaves are poisonous, though only mildly so.

Other fruits to substitute: Cranberries, tart cherries or fresh currants.

Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food

2 sheets leaf gelatine
400ml can coconut milk
8 tbsp caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
300g rhubarb , cut into short lengths


Put the gelatine into a bowl and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for 5 mins until softened.

Heat the coconut milk with 4 tbsp sugar in a pan. Bring to a gentle simmer, then remove from the heat. Lift the gelatine from the water and stir into the coconut milk. Keep stirring until the gelatine has dissolved, then pour into four small glass dishes or dessert bowls (if using glass, leave the milk to cool a little first). When the creams are cool, transfer to the fridge and leave to set.

Split the vanilla pod down the centre and put into a pan with 2 tbsp water and the remaining 4 tbsp sugar. Bring slowly to the boil to dissolve the sugar, then add the rhubarb and poach gently until softened but not mushy, about 3-4 mins. Leave to cool.

Spoon the rhubarb over the coconut creams to serve.

This picture above also goes to the CLICK, a monthly food photography event. It is a theme-based contest. This is my first entry for this event and this month's theme is "STACKS" , where you are supposed to click STACKS of any vertical, horizontal, heaped, piled or many of the same or different food related items.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bakewell Tart…er…pudding

Daring Bakers June 2009 Challenge

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.

Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin

One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Bench flour
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) Strawberry jam (can use any jam or curd, warmed for spreadability)
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds

Sweet shortcrust pastry

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film

Ingredients: (I used half the recipe, which fits 6 small 4" tartletts + 10 small cookies,which can be taken along with jam)
225g (8oz, 2cups) all purpose flour
30g (1oz, 2 tbsp) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water

Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.

Add the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.

Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

Homemade Strawberry Jam

1 Kilo Strawberries
500 gms Gelierzucker (Pectin based Sugar)
Sterilized glass bottles

Place the strawberries in a colander and rinse them under cold running water. Drain and hull the strawberries. Cut the larger berries in half or quarters and leave the small berries whole. Place the strawberries in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan. Add sugar and gently mix. Once the strawberries start leaving out its juice, switch on the heat on medium. Wit till the mixture comes to a boil. Once it starts boiling, let it boil for another 5 minutes.

To test if the jam has reached its final stage, take a spoon of the mixture on place it on a plate and let cool. Once it cools, the mixture would have turned thick.

Take the mixture off heat and immediately pour it into sterilized glass bottles. Close the lid and keep the bottle upside down for 5 minutes. After that cool the bottle and the bottle can be kept at room temperature. Once the bottle is opened and use, place the bottle in the refrigerator.

I used just a tablespoon of this jam for each tart.


Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula

125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well using a spatula. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow colour.

Assembling the tart
Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it's overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200C/400F.

Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base.

Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. (I baked 6 tartletts for 15-20 minutes)

Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.

The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.

When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.

Enjoy with just a dusting a icing sugar. Its yum!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Thandai is a wonderful cold refreshing and healthy flavoured milk that is traditionally prepared during the Holi festival(festival of colors). When people become a little exhausted throwing each other in the pool of coloured waters. A glass of Thandai offers instant energy and sets the mood for playing with colors.

Thandai when laced with the intoxicating bhang, make one sing, dance and go wild. Infact, bhang thandai is used as a mood setter for the festival of Holi. A wonderful and a distinct blend of spices to give ravishing drink. You should really taste it to see what it really is!!

Ingredients required..

1/2 tin, 200 gms Sweetened condensed milk (Milkmaid)
750ml Milk
8 - 10 Almonds, soaked and peeled
5-6 peppercorns
3-4 Cardamom or 1 tsp Cardamom powder
2 tsps Fennel seeds, saunf
2 tbsps Poppy seeds
Crushed ice
Rose petals for garnish


Grind the almonds, cardamom, and fennel seeds(saunf) to a fine paste. Blend with other ingredients till well mixed. Strain the blended mixture.

Half fill each glass with crushed ice and top up with the above mixture.

Serve garnished with rose petals.

Enjoy the lovely drink!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Apple Marzipan Galette

This one's for the marzipan(sweetened almond paste) lovers. The recipe for the galette dough is adapted from Dorie Greenspans "Baking with Julia". The presence of Cornmeal in the dough is one of the ingredient which gives a wonderful crunchy feel and makes the dough easy to work with. Apples are one of my favourite and it when paired with almonds give a heavenly feeling. This galette is worth any special occasion.

This post is my contribution to Sugar High Friday - Fruit & Nut, an event hosted by Mansi of Fun & Food Blog.

This recipe is partially adapted from


1 Recipe Galette dough
1/4 cup marzipan, softened
4 medium sized apples. sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Dash of salt
1/4 cup Sliced almonds, some to drizzle on top

Preheat oven to 425°F (220° C) .

Roll the galette dough to a 14-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on prepared pan. Roll marzipan to a 9-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place marzipan on top of dough.

Combine apple, sugar, flour, almond extract, sliced almonds, lemon juice, and salt in a large bowl; toss well. Spoon apple mixture over marzipan. Fold 2-inch dough border over the apple mixture, pressing gently to seal (dough will only partially cover apple mixture). Drizzle sliced almonds on top and bake at 425°F (220°C) for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. (apple filling may leak slightly during cooking).

Have a great week!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Strawberry Mousse & Blogs First Anniversary!

This is the most exciting moment to share with you all. Its been exactly a year since i started this blog, the day i posted my First post! Its my "Blog Anniversay". Wow, time has just flew! This one whole year has been such a wonderful year for me, got space for myself (Thanks to "Blogger") where i could share all my kitchen experiences, had a chance to join "The Daring Bakers" and learned so much from them ALL ABOUT BAKING, got to meet other friend food bloggers, made wonderful friends! I had never spent so much time for myself as much as i did for this blog. Changing the look, the templates, editing posts, adding new widgets.. Finally after one whole year of repair, i've settled with the present look! Guess many more changes to come in the coming years..
As such i've no cakes or candles to celebrate this day, but i've made this wonderful dessert to sweeten all your tastebuds. Thanks to my readers for being with me and for all your support. Love you all!
And now for the dessert i was talking about.. "Strawberry Mousse". This is a very simple yet delicious dessert. Egg less but no less flavorful and rich. Its made out of just few ingredients and the result is outstanding. Gelatin provides the base structure to hold the mousse; whipped cream provides the airiness. Its got the grainy and sandy texture and feel and i promise, it'll just melt in your mouth. This dessert will definitely tickle your taste buds!! Its Yummy!

This post is my contribution to Strawberry Feast, an event hosted by happy cook of My Kitchen Treasures.

Serves 4
Source: Diana's Desserts.

1 small container (approximately 8 ounces/250 grams) fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled and cut into halves
1/2 cup granulated sugar + more according to your taste
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
1 cups heavy cream, whipped

Garnish (optional):
Extra whole strawberries
Whipped cream or non-dairy whipped topping
Mint sprigs


Place the strawberries in a medium saucepan, add the sugar and water and cook over medium–low heat. Stir gently until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the strawberries are soft and the liquid syrupy. Process the strawberry mixture and gelatin in a food processor until smooth. Set aside to cool.

Fold through the cream. Pour into 4 (1/2 cup) serving glasses or cups and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set.

Garnish each serving with a dollop of whipped cream or non-dairy whipped topping, a strawberry and a mint sprig, if desired.

Enjoy and have a great day!

Other Mousse Recipes; 3 layered Chocolate Mousse

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