Posts filed under ‘syrup’

Fast Food- Orange glazed baby Sweet Potatoes and Plantain

I don’t usually observe any religious fasts. The popular local fasting food-Sabudana does not agree with me much. But I like to explore the traditional fasting recipes, that use alternative grains and vegetables. I like Sweet potatoes and I keep substituting them for potatoes. They are usually available in the market only during these religious fasting days. With all the ongoing festivities and fasts, Sweet Potatoes are abundantly available now.

While growing up, my mom often made these ‘Ratalyache Kaap’ (pan fried Sweet Potatoes with jaggery). I don’t have a sweet tooth and I find them too sweet for my taste….and hence my little twist to the Ratalyache Kaap –Orange glazed kaap. The addition of a  tangy citrusy burst, rock salt and chilli flakes beautifully balance the sweetness. I have been experimenting with green,unripe plantains and hence I tossed in a cooked unripe plantain along with the Sweet Potatoes. Date syrup adds a rich, molasses like taste to the kaap.The pomegranate and pumpkin seeds are added just to give it more freshness and crunch. You can use any other seeds or nuts that are ‘allowed’. I have used baby Sweet Potatoes because they looked cute and they cook quickly. In case you don’t find them, you can use the regular ones and alter the cooking time.

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I have realized that the best way to update the blog regularly, is to participate in online food events :).The deadlines provide the necessary push for me to post recipes on time 🙂

The theme this month @TheHub is ‘Sweet Recipes & Fasting Recipes’ that are usually made during these 9 holy days of Navratri. Orange glazed Sweet Potatoes and Plantains is my entry to The KitchenAid India Navratri Challenge for The Hub @ Archana’s Kitchen.

That also reminds me, to let you know that I was invited to contribute recipes at Archana’s Kitchen, which I gladly accepted and you can now find my recipes on Archanas kitchen here

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for Orange glazed baby Sweet Potatoes and Plantain

Serves-2

Ingredients

7-8 baby Sweet potatoes, washed thoroughly and sliced  (Do not peel)

1 large green, unripe plantain

Juice and zest of 1 large orange

2 tbsp Date syrup

½ tsp grated jaggery

Rock salt to taste

¼ tsp Chilli flakes/black pepper powder (optional)

2 tbsp Ghee

Pomegranate seeds and Pumpkin seeds for garnish (or any other seeds/ nuts)

Method

Cook the plantain with the skin in a pressure pan with salted water, for 1 whistle.

Cool and peel the skin and slice.

In a non- stick pan, heat the Ghee

Add the sliced baby Sweet Potatoes

Stir to coat the slices with Ghee.

Cook covered for 2-3 minutes on low flame.

Meanwhile, whisk together the orange juice,zest,Date syrup,jaggery and rock salt.

Add this to the Sweet potatoes and cook uncovered on medium flame, till  the liquid thickens.

After about 3-4 minutes of cooking, add the sliced plantain and mix so that the orange glaze coats all the slices.

Sprinkle the chilli flakes or pepper powder if using.

Serve hot or cold garnished with Pomegranate and Pumpkin seeds

September 29, 2015 at 4:45 pm 1 comment

Memories of IFBM2014 & The Sparkling Himalayan spritzers

As I watch the rain pouring down outside my window, all I can think of is that the last time it rained this heavily, I was on my way to the first ever Indian Food bloggers meet. Excited and enthusiastic to meet my ‘friends’ the journey from Nasik to Bangalore via Mumbai did not seem as boring . Any apprehensions I had about the IFBM ,were put to rest with the warm ‘Hi’ from Deeba & Sanjeeta, as soon as I stepped into Aranha home, our abode for the next two days. (Thank you Sanjeeta for all your efforts in organising & co-ordinating for our accommodation)That night the residents in & around Aranha home had to bear with some very high decibel , nonstop banter intercepted only by fits of nonsensical laughter, from a bunch of mad Food bloggers. The last time I had such a hilarious time was when I stayed in a hostel during my Masters. We also managed to squeeze in a late night trip to Adigas for the famous filter Kappi.

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Even the heavy Bangalore traffic did not dampen our spirits as we maneuvered our way to Adiyar Anand Bhavan for an early morning breakfast –both days I had crisp Dosa accompanied with an array of chutney’s. I specially loved the Curry leaf chutney.

After exchanging pleasantries with the ever helpful and courteous staff of the stunning Aloft Hotel Cessna park (the IFBM venue) all I remember is being engulfed with warm hugs and Hi’s from all my ‘Friends’ I have known through their blogs for years.

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The rest of the two days went in a daze, with some candid moments captured by my lens and others etched forever in my memory. Though the highlight for me was meeting all the bloggers, I also returned back motivated by the knowledge exchanged during the inspiring sessions by eminent bloggers, panel discussion and the Masterclasses by the two Masterchefs .

And yes we brought back cartloads of Goodies. I had to buy a bag in Bangalore even after sharing some of the goodies with my friend there.A huge thank you to all the generous sponsors.

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When I decided to be a part of the IFBM, I had thought of it as a great opportunity to meet all the bloggers whom I had interacted with over the years. But IFBM 2014 was much bigger and grander than what I could imagine and exceeded every possible imagination. Everything was so meticulously organized, thanks to the awesome organisers{Arundati (Escapades) and Aparna (My Diverse Kitchen), Revati (Hungry & Excited) and Nandita (Saffron Trail)} who worked tirelessly to make it such a grand success. Hats off to you ladies  and Thank you once again for all the hard work .You rock!

A special mention for the amazing staff and management of Aloft Hotel Cessna park, Bengaluru. I was overwhelmed by their hospitality. Each meal was carefully planned around a brilliant theme and tastefully created .The stunningly display instantly put all us Shutterbugs to work. Thank you Aloft Hotel, Cessna Park, there couldn’t have been a better place to host the first ever IFBM!

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I have been experiencing withdrawal symptoms post the IFBM. This post was long pending, but how do you put such an exhilarating experience into words?This is just a snapshot of my euphoric experience at the IFBM2014. Food blogging for me will not be the same again. I have come back refreshed, inspired and motivated- all things much needed for this blog here. The media coverage post the event was like the icing on the cake. You can read a detailed account of the conference and the media coverage on the IFBM FB page

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Many of the contests related to the event are still on. The one from Soulfull won me a gift voucher! The sparkling Himalayan contest is still on.  We were gifted a bottle of sparkling Himalayan water at the IFBM and the bottle safely made its way back to Nasik.

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With the of Betel/‘Pan’ leaves creeper thriving in the rains, I am trying to use the flavourful leaves wherever possible. I tried recreating the Indian ‘Meetha pan’ flavor for a refreshing Meetha Pan spritzer with the Himalayan sparkling water.

starfruit

Every time I see the star fruit at the fruit vendor’s stall, I have to buy it. The starfruit was then paired with cucumber & some Jal jeera masala for a very Chatpata Starfruit-Cucumber spritzer

spritzer 205

 Meetha Pan Spritzer

Makes about 1 tall glass

Ingredients

2 young Betel leaves torn into pieces

½ tsp Fennel seeds

1 polo ring crushed

1 tbsp Rose syrup

2-3 tbsp fresh pomegranate juice (I added this just for the colour)

2 tsp fresh Lime juice

A bottle of Himalayan Sparkling water

4-5 Ice cubes

Rose petals for garnishing

Method

Rub a lemon wedge around the rim of a tall glass.

Turn the glass upside down & dip the rim in caster sugar.

Invert and add the torn Betel leaves, crushed polo ring  and Fennel seeds.

Use a muddler to lightly crush and mix everything.

Add the Rose syrup,Pomegranate juice & Lime juice (you may adjust quantities to your taste)

Add ice cubes to the glass and pour sparkling Himalayan water over it.

Garnish with fresh rose petals and serve immediately.

spritzer 212

Chatpata Starfruit- Cucumber Spritzer

Makes 1 glass

Ingredients

3-4 slices of starfruit

4-5 round cucumber slices

1 slice of a tangerine cut into wedges

½ tsp Sugar

5-6 mint leaves torn

1 tsp Jal jeera powder

1 tsp fresh lime juice

1 pinch crushed black pepper

4-5 Ice cubes

 Method

Muddle together the starfruits, cucumber,Tangerine wedges & mint leaves in a serving glass

Add  the Jal Jeera, sugar, Lime juice,crushed black pepper and mix.

Add ice cubes & pour sparkling Himalayan water over it

Serve immediately

August 23, 2014 at 10:46 am 3 comments

No-Bake Cheesecake-this one’s with Wild Blueberries and Cranberries

June was a month of cakes and bakes for me and rightly so since, June is also the Birthday month for A-who is blessed with an eternal sweet tooth! It is surprising to see someone loving sweets to the extent that he does, especially for someone like me who is not at all fond of sweets except maybe chocolates or an occasional ice-cream. (Surprisingly A doesn’t like chocolates! Opposites attract I guess 🙂 )


After we got married I would be amazed to see him eat Kheer or similar Indian sweets for breakfast. I am someone who cannot have even jam on my bread to start the day with; Maybe later in the day but no sweets to start my day !
And I almost envy the fact that even after indulging in so many sweet treats every day he hardly puts on excess weight! I balance for that even without as much as smelling the sweets!


Ok so back to the No-bake Cheesecake. For his birthday I had to make something, as I mentioned earlier, without chocolate in it. With the 6+ hrs. random Power cuts it was only sensible to not bake a cake. I bought some Cream Cheese and dried Blueberries from Mumbai when I went there shopping for my son’s birthday.
A GSE guest from Maine  had gifted us a lovely bottle of Wild Maine Blueberry jam and I had secured it for a long time, to be used for a special occasion. A’s birthday was the perfect occasion and so I made this No-bake Blueberry-Cranberry cheesecake specially for him.

I loved this recipe for the crust where the base of the cheese cake was made using Pecans and Maple syrup, both of which I had.
For the cheese cake filling I adapted this recipe from Epicurious flavoring it with a Cranberry -Blueberry spread.
I made a dried Wild Blueberry – Cranberry compote of sorts, spiced with a little cinnamon for the topping once the cheesecake had set.
The end result was an incredibly zesty cheesecake. The tart cherries complimented the sweetness of the cheesecake fabulously.


Here’s the recipe:
For the Maple Pecan Crust:
~12-15 Digestive biscuits, crushed to crumbs (I used Britannia Nutrichoice)
¼ cup pecans ground
2tbsps Maple syrup
For the filling:
2-8 ounce packets Philadelphia Cream Cheese (I used Kraft’s)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
~1/2 cup sugar (or to taste)
3tbsps Cranberry with Blueberyy fruit spread
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup water
For the Berry compote for topping:
½ cup dried Wild Blueberries
½ cup dried cranberries
~4-5 tbsps Wild Maine Blueberry Jam
A pinch of Cinnamon powder

Method:

For the Base/crust:
Mix the crumbs, Pecan powder and maple syrup.
Cover the bottom of a 9” spring form pan with silver foil (I found that the cheese cake could be removed easily from the base this way)
Press the crumb mixture evenly into the base of the spring-form pan
Refrigerate till you make the filling.
For the filling:
Sprinkle gelatine evenly over the water in a small pan to soften. Keep it for~8-10 minutes
Stir on low heat till the Gelatine dissolves completely. Keep aside.
Blend cream cheese, cream and sugar with a hand blender until smooth
Add the berry spread and blend.
Add the dissolved gelatine and blend well.
Pour the filling over the base crust.
Chill overnight till firm in the centre and sides.
For the berry topping:
Heat the jam in a small saucepan over low flame. Add the dried berries and Cinnamon powder and mix nicely to coat.
Cool and pour over the chilled Cheesecake.
Chill for 1-2 more hrs further.

Run a knife along the sides of the cheese cake. Unlock the spring and gently slide out the pan over the cake.
Slice and serve (optionally with whipped cream)

July 1, 2010 at 2:16 pm 9 comments

Tiramisu Cake- A sweet punch

One of my resolutions (?) for the New Year was to explore baking beyond the simple basic cakes and cookies. This also meant an opportunity to try out different recipes from the several cookbooks I own; cookbooks which were just gathering dust on the shelves.Given my hectic schedule and the 6-7 hr daily power out(r)age I was getting nowhere near implementing my resolution.So when Ria, Maria and Divya announced –A Sweet Punch I could not resist the opportunity.

A Sweet Punch is a monthly baking event started by Ria, Maria and Divya, to make baking as simple as possible, bringing you a tried and tested recipe every month. It could be either from cookbooks or from other food-blogs.All we need to do is, follow the recipe and create magic!’

The recipe chosen for this month was Tiramisu Cake from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours

There were quite a few ‘firsts’ for me:

  • This is my first Sweet Punch
  • This is my first recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours , which I bought months ago from Flipkart
  • I made my first batch of Mascarpone at home! I have been eyeing this on blogs and always planned to make it.

 The Sweet Punch rule was simple: ‘try to stick to the recipe as far as you can but you can make changes to suit your religious/ dietary requirements’ and I did just that!

I followed the recipe to the tee. The only change I did was to bake a single cake and then cut it into two, instead of the recommended two 9”cakes.

My first try at making Mascarpone was very encouraging and I was quite pleased with the results, moreover it was so simple to make…making me wonder why I did not try this before?

I made the Mascarpone 2 days in advance and the cake a day earlier.

The only problem I faced was, when I mixed the Mascarpone with the other ingredients for frosting it changed its texture (I guessed the heat here was too much to keep the cheese firm, any suggestions to firm up the frosting are pls. welcome). I did not have the time to keep it back in the refrigerator to firm it up so I just poured it on the cake and inbetween the layers and let the frosting drizzle from the sides.

I used mini chocolate chips for the filling and dusted the top with dark Cocoa. I had a small bottle of Amaretto liqueur, which a close relative had gifted us many many years ago (another first) and I am glad I added it to the frosting. The rich burst of flavors from the coffee and the liqueur made the cake almost divine! I am glad I used the entire syrup to soak the cake even if I had some initial doubts.

Thank you Ria, Maria and Divya for the intiative, lovely recipe and most of all for the detailed explanation to make it look so easy and simple! 

Here’s the recipe for Tiramisu Cake:

Tiramisu Cake

Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

 For the cake layers:

2 cups cake flour (I used All purpose flour +Cornstarch)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup buttermilk (I used homemade buttermilk)

 For the espresso extract:

2 tablespoons instant espresso powder

2 tablespoons boiling water

 For the espresso syrup:

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy

 For the filling and frosting:

1 8-ounce container mascarpone (store-bought or homemade) (I used 250 gms homemade from the recipe on Deeba’s blog here)

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy

1 cup cold heavy cream

2 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, or about 1/2 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

Chocolate-covered espresso beans, for decoration (optional) (I did not have these so I skipped it)

Cocoa powder, for dusting

 Getting ready:

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F ( I baked at 180 degrees C). Butter two 9×2 inch round cake pans,(I used only 1) dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess, and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

 To make the cake:

Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy.

 Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, and then the yolk, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 28 to 30 minutes,( took ~ 45 minutes for me) rotating the pans at the midway point. When fully baked, the cakes will be golden and springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them, and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right-side up.

 To make the extract:

Stir the espresso powder and boiling water together in a small cup until blended. Set aside.

To make the syrup:

Stir the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Pour the syrup into a small heatproof bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of the espresso extract and the liqueur or brandy; set aside.

 To make the filling and frosting:

Put the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla, and liqueur in a large bowl and whisk just until blended and smooth.

Working with the stand mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream until it holds firm peaks. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir about one quarter of the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Fold in the rest of the whipped cream with a light touch.

 To assemble the cake:

 If the tops of the cake layers have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them. Place one layer right-side up on a cardboard round or a cake plate protected with strips of wax or parchment paper. Using a pastry brush or a small spoon, soak the layer with about one third of the espresso syrup. Smooth some of the mascarpone cream over the layer – user about 1 1/4 cups – and gently press the chopped chocolate into the filling. Put the second cake layer on the counter and soak the top of it with half the remaining espresso syrup, then turn the layer over and position it, soaked side down, over the filling. Soak the top of the cake with the remaining syrup.

 For the frosting, whisk 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of the remaining espresso extract into the remaining mascarpone filling. Taste the frosting as you go to decide how much extract you want to add. If the frosting looks as if it might be a little too soft to spread over the cake, press a piece of plastic wrap against its surface and refrigerate it for 15 minutes or so. Refrigerate the cake too.

With a long metal icing spatula, smooth the frosting around the sides of the cake and over the top. If you want to decorate the cake with chocolate-covered espresso beans, press them into the filling, making concentric circles of beans or just putting some beans in the center of the cake.

 Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours (or for up to 1 day) before serving – the elements need time to meld.

Just before serving, dust the top of the cake with cocoa.

(Though the cake recipe looks exhaustive it turned out to be quite simple when I actually made it)

Check out the roundup for more scrumptious versions of this cake at A sweet Punch

June 7, 2010 at 3:30 pm 9 comments


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