In continuing with my plum love saga , I made some plum jam and spiked it up by adding a bit if ginger. It gingery zing goes well with the sweetness of the plums. My mom came visiting last week and got along a stash of Plums again. And the best bet seemed like making a jam out of them . I tried it with some toast and it tasted great. A little drizzle on some vanilla muffins would be great too. You go note the recipe.
What happens when you spot Meyer lemons at your neighbourhood supermarket? You jump with joy, do a happy dance and pick a couple up even if it costs a bomb! I had read so much about them , that I had to bring them home. They surely don’t look like the regular ones we get here. These soft -skinned fruits are significantly sweeter and less – acidic than their cousins here.
My little one ( well, not so little anymore ) likes simple cakes , so a simple cake I decided to bake. A very easy , flavourful , fluffy Lemon Cake. Served with a light sugar syrup drizzle and some butter grilled lemon slices on top. You go note the recipe.
Last Saturday saw me attending an evening celebrating Italian Food at the Swissotel, Kolkata. Despite many odds ( last min guests and some other commitments) I found myself engulfed in Swiss hospitality yet again. It was a special evening celebrating the spirit of Italian cuisine – a menu specially curated by Chef Gianluca Cazzin from Fairmont, Abu Dhabi. Originally from Venice , Italy and having trained with many a Michellin starred chefs , Chef Gianlunca has been whipping up quite a gastrnomic storm in Abu Dhabi food scene from past year and a half. I hade the privilege of a candid chat with the very down to earth Chef Gianluca who very sweetly told me that Butter Chicken was his favourite Indian dish! When asked wat his favourite ingredients were , he shot off , tomatoes , olive oil and cheese!
It was a formal evening with beautiful set up that quite set the mood. The guest list comprised of city’s food conneissuers and expats who have made Kolkata their home now. And there I was on behalf of KFB waiting to soak up the experience. It was also the first time KFB was doing a #liveblogging of the event through Facebook and Twitter.
We took our respective seats and were good to go. It was to be a 5 course dinner – with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. The menu comprised dishes from varied territories of Italy, namely Tuscany , Piedmont and of course Venice.We started with Insalata ( salad) . For the non vegetarians it was Insalata Veneziana– Onion, bell pepper ,raisins and pine nuts with marinated prawns. Raisins and Italian – well that was a first for me. We moved on to the soup – I opted for the veg version – Minestrone di Verdure alla Genovese– homemade pesto ,garden vegetables with toasted ciabatta bread. Earthy and absolutely homestyle. Chef Cazzin was kind enough to introduce each course with a little anecdote attached to it. I was, well, kind of full by now and the wine was working too!
The Primi Piatti arrived – Tagliolini all’Astice– Fresh lobster, chili,tomatoes ,evoo,garlic and zucchini. Fresh and delicious is what I can recollect at this moment. It was a 5 course meal but I had to unfortunately leave due to some other prior commitments. The Tiramisu I heard was mind blowing!
The evening also saw the launch of “Swissotel Cook book” – definitely the first of its kind in the city. Swissotel , Kolkata is at the top of their game when it comes to hospitality and guest relations. The cookbook is a compilation of varied recipes that are a favourite of their regular guests. The hard work of Chef Pranay and Chef Sanjay surely reflects in the same. Ashish , Enakshi and Debiroopa as usual at their sweetest best, taking good care of me.
Well, what else can I write! It was an evening I shall remember for long.
The baker in me is getting a wee bit confident and I am looking forward to whipping up some summer desserts in my kitchen. I went to Shillong after almost a decade and glimpses of my childhood came rushing back. We have spent many a summer in this quaint little hill station , aptly called the ” Scotland of the East ” with my aunt and my cousins in their cosy cottage. Even after making endless trips to the serene Wards Lake – where it was a joy to feed the fishes or Lady Hydari Park – where just running round and round made us happy., we would be left wanting more.I tried reliving many of those nostalgic memories along with my 7 year old this time around. We both have come back thrilled and have made our own memories now!
One more thing that defines those days for me are the red juicy , sweetest plums that are available in abundant there.Every nook and corner would have a Kong ( That’s how the khasi ladies are addressed) selling freshest of plums plucked from her garden. I relished those plums and also got some back with me to Kolkata in the hope to turn them into something delicious.
This Plum Apple Cobbler recipe is as easy as it can be. A cobbler is something in between a pudding and a cake – if I put it in simple words, it is both. I added apple just to add some texture to the pudding , rest I just followed a basic crumble recipe.
Apple - 1 medium - cored and peeled and cut into thin slices
Sugar - 2 tbsp + half cup - I used brown sugar - regular sugar is also fine.
Lime juice - 1 tsp
Flour - 1 cup
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Butter - 50 gms
Egg - 1 - lightly beaten
Milk - 2 tbsp
Cinnamon powder - 2 tsp
Cashewnuts - for garnish
In a pan , add the sliced plum, apples, 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp lime juice and put it on low heat to simmer.
Cover and let it cook for 10- 15 mins till the mixture gets mushy and get a coarse jam like texture.Remove from heat and keep aside.
In another bowl , sift the flour and baking powder. Add the butter and using your fingers mix it into the flour till it resembles bread crumbs. Now add the sugar, egg and milk and mix everything together into a thick batter.
Grease 6 ramekins or a medium sized baking dish.
Pour the plum apple mixture into each bowl-half filling it. Now pour the flour batter on top and garnish with chashewnuts.
Bake in a preheated oven for 20 mins at 180 degree C.