Saturday, March 31, 2012

Strawberry, Vanilla & Chocolate Panna Cotta

The countdown has begun...
And there is not much that I can do in kitchen without taking long breaks...
But I really wanted to make this, taste it and see if it is as good as it looks on David's blog.

I found this really simple, mouthwatering and healthier dessert (as my doctor has asked me) - Panna Cotta.
It is an Italian Desert made with Cream, Milk, Sugar and Gelatin mixed together and letting it set.




I could not stop myself to just Vanilla, so I added whatever I found in the refrigerator to add flavours to the creamier heaven. 

Out came the strawberries and Chocolate and Raspberry jelly...yumm~




The recipe was adapted from David Lebovitz

Recipe follows:

2 Cups Low Fat Cream
1/2 Cup Milk
2 Tbsp Condensed Milk
3 Tsp Gelatin
1/4 Cup Water


For the Vanilla version:
1 Tsp Vanilla extract


For the Chocolate version:
2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1/4 Cup Milk

For the Strawberry version:
2 Tbsp Strawberry Puree

Additional:
Weikefeild Raspberry Jelly
Fresh Strawberry


Procedure:

Soak gelatin in 1/4 cup water and keep aside.
Simmer cream, milk and condensed milk together.

Pour warm creamy mixture over gelatin and stir until the gelatin dissolves.

Divide the mixture in 3 equal parts. Add vanilla extract, Strawberry puree and Cocoa mixture to each respectively and keep aside.

For the chocolate mixture, simmer 1/4 cup milk and add cocoa powder until it dissolves with no lumps.

Follow raspberry jelly instructions as per the packet.

Divide the mixture to the glasses in different order and let it set for a while before adding another layer.

After all the layers are done, cover the glasses with clear film and let it set for few hours.

Serve cold with fresh Strawberries. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Homemade Cream Cheese

I make my own Cream cheese.

Those Philly blocks at INA & Gourmet stores in Delhi are very expensive. And considering the number of times a cheesecake is made in my house, I find home made cream cheese not just economical but also lot healthier.




Cream cheese is a fresh cheese and  has a very short shelf life. Mild flavored with slight tang, it is very smooth and creamy textured.

There are lots of ways to make it at home, but following is the recipe to make the easiest cream cheese in no extra time.




The recipe was Adapted from Rajul
Recipe follows:

100gms Cottage Cheese / Paneer
3 Tbsp Cream
2 Tbsp Thick Curd
Milk (Optional : to smooth the mixture)

Procedure:

Blend all the ingredients together in a blender until smooth.
Add milk to the mixture if it is grainy until it reaches the creamy texture.

And Voila! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kinnow Marmalade

Do you wake up at 4am and feel like having peanut butter and marmalade sandwich?

I do! Everyday and imagine the day I discovered that my marmalade is just about over.

That gave me a reason to try something new for the week. Make my own marmalade.

The market is flooded with Kinnow (a variety of Mandarin fruit) this season and since me and my little one is on a healthy diet right now, the house is flooded as well.



After reading the recipe I realized that its a very simple process and doesn't require too much of time. But effort...yes!
I took about two kg of Kinnow and half the sugar to keep the bitterness intact. I also recycled honey jars and previous marmalade jars after sterilizing them.

The funny thing about all of it is that I never was a marmalade person. I used to find it bitter in comparison with jams that we have grown up with. But this pregnancy has brought too many additions to the taste palate. And I hope some stay forever. I guess you just develop the taste for it.


After going through lot of recipes,  I followed Billy Law's food blog and got the right combination with the answers that I needed. Did you know the seeds actually have Pectin which when heated with sugar causes the jelly to thicken...



The recipe was sourced from A table for two

Recipe follows:

2 Kg Kinnow (approx 10)
750 gms Sugar
5 Cups of Water
1 Lemon Juice

Procedure:

Peel the fruit carefully and try to keep it in large pieces.

Cut thin strips from half of the peels (around 4 -5 kinnow) and keep them aside.

Cut Kinnow half crosswise and remove all the seeds and pith and wrap them in a muslin cloth.

In a large pot, add water, sugar, Kinnow, lemon juice and muslin cloth bag. Stir constantly on a low heat until sugar is dissolved.

Once the sugar is dissolved, let it boil for an hour and a half until it reaches the jelly point.

To sterilize jars:

Wash the jars and preheat the oven to 160 degree C. Keep the jars in oven for about 20 minutes.
Pour hot marmalade in hot jars. Do Not pour hot marmalade in cold jars. the glass will shatter. Seal jars when they both reach room temperature.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chocolate and Walnut Brownies

I was searching for a book to help me grow my baking passion. 

And Purple foodie not only had an amazing review but also stunning pictures that I could not stop drooling over. 

I followed her steps and found myself an amazing batch of brownies. I feel happy and proud to announce that they were better than the bakery I frequent to for my cravings.

I am yet to buy the book but this recipe is definitely a regular feature in the household.



After about a dozen chocolate walnut brownie recipes that are stored in my folder, its a relief to find the combination for the perfect super chocolaty and rich brownies. 


These beauties with Vanilla Ice cream turned into heavenly post midnight snack for the night owls prevailing in the house. The entire batch got polished in a day and didn't even stay past 24 hours to test the theory that they taste best after a day.

Next time maybe!

The recipe was sourced from The Purple Foodie

Recipe follows:

1 1/4 Cup all Purpose Flour
2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1 Tsp Salt
310g Dark Chocolate
1 Cup Butter, room temperature
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
5 Eggs
1/2 Cup Walnuts
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips (Optional)

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 350 Degree F (170 degree C) and grease eight inch pan, or line it with parchment paper.

In a bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder and salt.

In another larger bowl, mix butter with chocolate over a double boiler until melted and smooth. Add Sugar and stir constantly until it dissolves.

Add 3 eggs first once the mixture turns at the room temperature and mix well. Add another 2 with Vanilla extract.

Lightly add dry ingredients to the chocolaty mixture and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.

Pour the batter into prepared pan and top it with Walnuts and Chocolate Chips.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let them cool completely before cutting into bars.