I will begin with wishing all my readers a very happy new year. A new year , a new hope, a new chance , same dreams but a fresh start. A new year with loads of love and happiness and good food of course. Last year wasn’t really how I wanted to focus on this blog of mine. Something that started as a hobby , as a passion but helped me achieve so much recognition and knowledge. I want 2016 to be the year of My Food My Life , where I can take a few plunges that I have been thinking of for a while now. Cooking and sharing continues for sure in and keeping with the tradition sharing this super recipe of Cherry Cheese Chocolate Cake . It was an experiment gone right and I am so happy to share it here.
It might seem a bit difficult but trust me making this Salted Caramel Sauce is the easiest thing .I have been putting off making this one for long and now I regret why I didn’t earlier. Hardly 3 ingredients and you have at hand the most delicious gooey sauce that goes well with almost everything.
Pudding cakes are my favourite dessert to make in winter. Easy to make with staple pantry ingredients, it translates to sheer comfort and deliciousness. Something that you would want to make over and over again for your dear ones. The cakes here is baked using the broiling method which keeps them super moist while they bake. I would suggest you serve them warm coz that makes all the difference. Serve with a drizzle of your favourite sauce, like I did with bitter salted caramel sauce. It complements the sweetness of the cake so well. My 8 yr old’s verdict was that its turned out yum!
This Christmas if you don’t want to go the usual fruit cake way, then this is the perfect treat for you and your guests. Just tip in the baking tray into the oven as you start your dinner and by the time you are done the cakes will be ready to be devoured. Of caramel is not your thing , go for a simple ganache or even a vanilla custard maybe. It should make you happy!
This Diwali add a Bengali touch to your dessert menu. Make the quintessential Payesh – a rice pudding considered to be so auspicious that no celebration in a Bengali household is complete without it. The ever so popular sweet dish, there has not been a single birthday when Maa had not made Payesh with loads of raisins for me. Now I do it for my little boy ( also for my husband ! ) A bowl of payesh makes them super happy.
Every Bengali family has their own recipe for making this dish. The one I am sharing today is by far the easiest and is made with condensed milk. And I believe any that has Milkmaid in it is super delicious. No seriously! Have u ever tried licking the sides of a milkmaid tin – its heaven and I do it even now!
With Raksha Bandhan just around the corner, this is a good time to share this easy laddoo recipe that the sisters can whip up for their loving brothers on the festive day. I don’t have a brother of my own but my army of cousin brothers have never made me feel left out on Raksha bandhan. It is a day I love to cook for them and feed them and pamper them in everyway I can. Along with an elaborate lunch spread , this instant besan laddoo recipe would come very handy I suppose. The traditional method of making these gramflour laddoos can get quite tedious but not anymore. This microwave recipe will take just about 10 mins and just a few basic ingredients. I am always a bit apprehensive in trying out shortcut methods but have to admit that sometimes such time saving recipes are a saviour.
Somedays you just need some pick me ups. Somedays you just want to pamper yourself. And what better way than desserts to do that for you. Desserts that don’t need much preps but is a taste of heaven. Desserts that you can put together in a jiffy. This Boozy Peaches and Cream recipe is just that!
Now Peaches & Cream is a classic and you shoud not fiddle around too much with cassic recipes. Its a simple summertime dessert consisting of sliced peaches with some whipped cream, quite popular in the South American countries. In Kolkata however tha availability of great quality peaches is kind of limited. I managed to get hold of a batch a while ago and added my little boozy twist to it. A ribboned bottle of Baileys was lying around for long and it went perfectly with peaches and cream.
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.
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.
I will be honest here. I was planning to make something else for the KFB Poila Boisakh Special event but ended up making this dish by chance. It was just another way in my kitchen to use left overs! I didn’t know what to do with a litre of extra milk lying in my fridge, so decided to just thicken it up a little with some sugar and keep it for further use. Then I didn’t know what to do with some left over paneer too..the end result? This wonderful home made Ras Malai. I have kept the flavours simple here with just a touch of cardamom.
All those who know me , know that I am a die hard Indian sweet/mishti lover. No matter how much I keep a check on my diet, eat healthy, follow strict regimen, put a ladoo or a sondesh or a gulab jamun in front of me and I am gone! I just cannot resist sweets. So you see this experiment made me very happy. And with Poila Boisakh (Bengali New Year ) and Bihu around the corner this was well timed I would say. I will be surely making this again soon and treating my friends and family.
I used home made paneer/ chenna here. To make 200 gms chenna, bring around a litre of milk to a boil. Add 2 tbsp of lime juice , mix well and let the milk curdle. Drain the chenna/paneer , wash with cold water, drain the water completely and it is ready for use.
Sugar - 4 tbsp + 1 cup
Bay leaves - 2 nos
cardamom/ elaichi powder - 1 tsp
Water - 1½ cup
First lets make the mini rasgullas/ paneer balls .
In a pan add the water and the sugar and bring it to a boil.
Meanwhile, take the paneer/ chenna and knead it with your hand till its very smooth. This will take about 7-10 mins. Make small balls of it and keep adding to the boiling sugar syrup.
Let the paneer balls simmer in the sugar syrup for around 15 mins , till they become firm.
Remove the rasgullas/paneer balls from the sugar syrup and keep aside to cool.
Next we will thicken the milk and prepare the base of the ras malai. All that you need to so is in a heavy bottom pan , put a litre of milk to simmer and thicken up. Keep the flame low. Add the bay leaves and cardamom powder , so that the flavours are well infused into the milk. This will take a while, almost 20 -25 mins. Keep stirring once a while so that the milk doesn't burn.
After around 20 mins you will find the milk had just about thicken forming some solids(Malai). At this point add the 4 tbsp sugar, give it a good mix. Add the mini rasgullas/ paneer balls and simmer for 2-3 mins.
When life gives you over ripe bananas, bake a cake! No, seriously, In today’s age when each and everything costs a bomb you don’t want your hard earned money go down the drain. So nothing should go waste. And when you see so much poverty around you when even a square meal a day seem a distant dream for so many people, prudence is necessary. I don’t know any other way of using up these odd smelling over ripe bananas, than to turn them into some cakes or muffins. Only the taste of bananas can be over whelming so I like it best to mix it with some chocolate. So here try my recipe of BananaOats Mini Bundt Cakes – or you can simply make some muffins.
Baking time might vary from oven to oven, so please keep a check.
A dollop of vanilla ice cream would go very well with warm cake.