Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

A Melt-in-Mouth Wonder

Who doesn’t love caramel custard!!! I love it and I haven’t met a single soul who does not. I have been wanting to make this for a very long time. I just have never actually made it though it’s a really simple to make dish and heavenly at the same time. To add to it I bought these ramekins at World Market the other day and was dying to use it. What better dish to break in the ramekins with – caramel custard / pudding.

Amit and I were watching the eight create channel on TV the other day and the chef was preparing the caramel custard / pudding. The name of the cook is Andreas Viestad. He was making Scandinavian Creme Caramel. It looked perfect and he seemed to really enjoy the creme caramel he had made. I tried to remember the ingredients and directions but then that was a few days back. And so I had to engage in a long and time-consuming internet search. And yes I was definitely successful, why else would I be posting this recipe right… So here’s the recipe for an awesome yet simple caramel custard / caramel pudding / creme caramel. It serves two and takes about 40 – 60 minutes.


Ingredients:

  1. 1/4 cup sugar
  2. few drops of lemon juice
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1/2 vanilla bean
  5. 1/2 cup milk
  6. 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  • Place the sugar in a sauce pan with a few drops of  lemon juice and heat it on a slow flame until it makes a rich caramel syrup.
  • Once the caramel is a rich golden color, pour it in the ramekins quickly before the syrup stiffens and swirl the ramekins till the mold is covered with a layer of the caramel.
  • Heat the milk and cream in another saucepan. Make sure that you do not bring this to a boil. You just need it warm.
  • Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds.  Add both the seeds and the bean to the milk/cream.
  • While the milk and cream are getting warm, beat the eggs with a fork or whisk. You do not want to use an electric beater.
  • Strain the milk / cream mixture into the eggs slowly.
  • Add the leftover caramel into the mixture.
  • Bake in water bath at 300 deg F for 40 minutes or until the custard is set in the middle, covered with foil.
  • Chill the ramekins and unmold the pudding.
  • Use a knife to help unmold the pudding.

We had this both when it had just cooled and when it was chilled and it was delicious either way. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. And thank you for reading the post.

Shilpa

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Whoa, now that’s an interesting trio!!!

I have to mention this before I go ahead and continue with the post. The pictures do absolutely no justice to the dessert. The three flavors come together really well. And it’s a pretty guilt-free recipe. Just a few teaspoons of cream, and lots of fruits. So how did I come up with the recipe… Well a friend of ours gave us a huge bag full of hand picked oranges. There were so many of them, and I was starting to get worried that Amit is going to get a Vitamin C overdose. He was peeling one orange after another and polishing them off. And I had some leftover chocolate bars from the chocolate mousse I made last time. And well, the only way I ever eat bananas are if they are broiled and caramelized. So here’s the recipe for the amazingly delicious and heavenly Caramelized Banana with Chocolate Orange sauce. And you could make the sauce and use it for other desserts. I found the chocolate orange sauce recipe at a website. The link for the sauce recipe is given at the end of this post. I did make a couple of changes to make it less guilty.

Ingredients:

  1. 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chopped)
  2. 1/4 cup whipping cream
  3. 1/2 cup 2% milk
  4. Rind from half an orange
  5. 1 cup fresh orange juice
  6. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 5 teaspoons granulated sugar
  8. 2 bananas (sliced lengthwise and cut into 4 pieces)
  9. 2 Tbsp brown sugar for each banana
  10. 1 tbsp triple sec for each banana
  11. 1 teaspoon butter for each banana

Directions:

For the Chocolate Orange Sauce

  • Put the chopped chocolate in a large enough bowl.
  • Pour the cream, milk and the orange rind in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and cover the saucepan with plastic wrap. And leave it aside for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the orange juice and sugar on a low flame till the quantity reduces to half the initial quantity. Once the orange juice is reduced to half a cup remove and set aside.
  • Once 30 minutes have passed, bring the milk, cream and orange rind to a simmer once again and add the reduced orange juice to it. Let the mixture simmer for a minute. (if you do not like the orange rind in the sauce, you can strain this mixture before adding it to the chocolate.)
  • Next add this mixture to the chocolate pieces and once the chocolate pieces melt, blend the mixture using a hand mixer.
  • This sauce can be stored for upto a month in the refrigerator.

For the Caramelized Banana

  • Preheat the oven on the broiler setting to 500 F.
  • Melt the butter and mix the triple sec with it (amounts depending on the number of bananas you want to use).
  • Spread the mixture on both sides of the banana.
  • Now place the bananas on a baking dish and sprinkle some of the brown sugar on the top side.
  • Now place the baking dish in the oven and broil the bananas.
  • After about 5 minutes or when the bananas have caramelized on one side, turn the bananas over and sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar on the other side.
  • Again let this side brown in the broiler for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the banana slices from under the broiler and place it on a plate.
  • Next pour the chocolate orange sauce over the bananas and serve warm.

We loved this dessert. The orange flavor lightened the chocolate sauce.The small amount of cream makes it a less guilty version of the original recipe. The bananas, orange and chocolate flavors come together very well in this melt in your mouth dessert. It is also a very quick and easy to put together recipe and requires no exotic ingredients. But this is an awesome and very exotic tasting recipe. We loved it and I hope you do too. Enjoy!

And here’s the link to the recipe for chocolate orange sauce http://www.recchiuti.com/recipe_detail.html?recipe=11.

Another layered dessert in the making!!!

The number of hits on my blog crossed the 1500 mark today… I must thank all my readers for that. And because you have been so encouraging, I decided to write up the entremet recipe up sooner than I would have otherwise. It seems apt that I write up a dessert recipe to celebrate the occasion. So as an extension to this month’s daring bakers challenge, here are the recipes to create the layers in the entremet; the chocolate mousse and the raspberry cream.

I was looking for a Julia Child Chocolate Mousse recipe and since I do not have the cookbook, I had to resort to searching for an adaptation of it on someone’s blog. I have listed the link at the end of this blog. David Lebovitz had the perfect recipe put together with some awesome pictures which gave me the impetus to try out his adaptation of the Julia Child Chocolate Mousse recipe. The end result had both the decadent taste and perfect texture. Both the chocolate mousse and the raspberry cream come together very well. The flavors are a perfect pairing. This recipe makes about 6-8 servings.

Ingredients for Chocolate Mousse:

  1. 6 ounces semisweet chocolate (broken into big chunks)
  2. 6 ounces unsalted butter (softened)
  3. 1/4 cup brewed coffee
  4. 4 large eggs, separated
  5. 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  6. 2 tablespoons dark rum
  7. 1 tablespoon water
  8. pinch of salt
  9. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. large bowl of ice water

Directions:

  • Use a double boiler. Fill the saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. In the other bowl set on top of it, melt the chocolate and butter. Once this is melted add the brewed coffee. Once the mixture is a smooth paste, remove the melted chocolate, butter and coffee from the double boiler.
  • Set another bowl above the boiling water and whisk the egg yolks with 2/3 cup sugar, rum and water until the mixture is thick. (I used a handheld mixer for this)
  • Remove the mixture from the double boiler and put it inside a bigger bowl of ice water. Now continue beating the mixture till it is cool and thick.
  • Then add the chocolate, coffee, butter mixture to the whisked eggs yolks.
  • Beat the egg whites and the pinch of salt in a clean bowl. Whip until the eggs are firm and holds peaks.
  • Add the tablespoon of sugar to the egg whites and continue beating the mixture till it forms shiny peaks. (Make sure it is not too firm)
  • Now add the vanilla extract and mix it completely.
  • Fold in the egg whites (1/3rd of it at a time into the chocolate mixture). Do not overmix, just make sure that the egg whites are completely incorporated.
  • Place the chocolate mousse in the refrigerator till the mousse has firmed.

 

Ingredients for Raspberry Cream:

  1. 6 oz fresh raspberries
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 1 cup heavy cream
  5. 1.5 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

Directions:

  • Add the raspberries, sugar and water to a saucepan on a medium flame.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil then let it simmer till the mixture reduces to 2/3 of the initial amount.
  • In the meanwhile dissolve the gelatin in 1/4 cup of the raspberry mixture. Once the gelatin has dissolved completely, transfer the 1/4 cup back to the raspberry mixture.
  • Set the raspberry sauce aside.
  • In the meanwhile whip the cream till it forms firm peaks.
  • Fold the cream into the raspberry sauce till is completely incorporated.
  • Let the raspberry cream set in the refrigerator for about 4-6 hours or till firm.

Directions for assembling the dessert:

  • Once the Chocolate Mousse and Raspberry cream set, you can start serving the dessert into bowls or inside the biscuit joconde imprime.
  • I used layers of the joconde imprime, ground chocolate graham crackers, chocolate mousse, ground chocolate wafers & raspberry cream. I topped it off with some whipped cream and raspberries.
  • Chill this for an hour or two before serving.

This is definitely a high calorie dessert but you are allowed to indulge once in a while. The link for the chocolate mousse recipe is http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/05/perfect-chocola/. This can be made a day in advance and ready to serve for a party. You can thereby save yourself some time on the day of the party. I assure you that you will love this recipe. Raspberries and chocolate flavors come together very well along with the graham crackers and the chocolate wafers.

And cheers to all my blog readers, thank you for all the encouragement and I hope to be able to get you to continue visiting my blog in the future too.

A guilty indulgence

One of Amit’s favorite sweet dishes, after gulab jamun of course, is basundi. And though it’s a very easy to make dish, I have never made it at home. So after yesterday’s resolution to blog atleast once a week, I realized that I can do better than that if I decide to set aside Sundays for my cooking adventures. 🙂 So today I am going to make a few dishes which I will also write-up today, hopefully. And will then post it onto my blog gradually over the week. Not only will I have recipes to post over the week, but it also means that I will have food to stock up my refrigerator with and eat over the whole week. Hopefully most of the recipes will freeze well. So the first of the recipes for this week is Basundi.

This recipe takes quite some time to prepare so it’s a perfect sunday dessert. Though you don’t have to stand in front it all the time, you need to keep checking on it every 5 minutes. Since you are trying to reduce the quantity of milk, you need to make sure that you have a very thick bottomed saucepan. I actually place a skillet and place a pan on top of it. This ensures that the milk never sticks to the bottom. This serves about 2-3 persons. It took about 1-1.5 hours to prepare it from start to finish.

Ingredients:

  1. 4 cups 2% milk
  2. 1/3 cup powdered sugar (add a little at a time and adjust to taste)
  3. 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  4. 1 pinch saffron (dissolved in 2 tablespoons of warm milk)
  5. 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  6. almond, pistachio slivers for garnish

Directions:

  • Place the milk in the saucepan (as described above) and set the flame to low. Let the milk reduce in quantity to half the initial amount.
  • In the meanwhile, dissolve some saffron in a couple of tablespoons of warm milk.
  • Once the milk has reduced to half the amount, add the sugar and whipping cream and let it simmer for another 15 minutes. You should add the sugar in smaller quantities and taste the milk before adding more just to make sure that the sweetness is to your liking.
  • Now add the cardamom, saffron (dissolved in milk) and remove from heat.
  • The basundi is now ready to serve.

I know this is a very calorie rich dessert. Someday I will try to make a less guilty version of it. But this time I just felt like having the familiar tasting Basundi. So no alterations to suit healthy eating habits. This is a very easy to make recipe and takes almost no effort if you manage to find a suitable saucepan which will prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Also remember to keep the flame on low all the time. This is very important firstly to ensure that the milk does not burn. Secondly to get the right flavor. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.

A Verry Berry Merry Christmas!

What’s Christmas without an awesome dessert. This year instead of making the usual cake, I decided I wanted to make something a little different. So since a cake is a must, the berries make christmas merrier and the white fluffy cream to make my christmas a white christmas (no other way to make it a white christmas in Phoenix), I decided on making a layered dessert. So the three main ingredients of this dessert are vanilla cream, pound cake and a raspberry / blueberry compote.

Ingredients:

Raspberry / Blueberry Compote layer

  1. 1 cup Raspberry (6 oz)
  2. 1 cup Blueberry (6 oz)
  3. 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  4. 1/2 cup triple sec liqueur
  5. 1 tsp freshly grated orange zest
  6. 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  7. 2 tbsp cornstarch
  8. 1/4 cup water

Vanilla cream layer

  1. 1 cup whipping cream
  2. 4 tsp sugar
  3. 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cake layer

  1. 1 cup crushed Pound cake
  2. 1/2 cup orange juice (with pulp)

Directions

  • Wash the berries and add it to a saucepan.
  • Add the powdered sugar to the berries and stir gently till the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Now add the liqueur, orange zest and lemon extract to the berries and bring to a boil.
  • In the meanwhile dissolve the cornstarch in the water and set aside.
  • Once the berries have come to a boil, add the cornstarch and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool it in the refrigerator.
  • Add the sugar and vanilla extract to the cream and whip the cream till it forms peaks.
  • For the layers first put a cake layer with a couple of teaspoons of orange juice.
  • Then add a layer of cream.
  • Then add a layer of the berry compote.
  • Then repeat with a layer of cake, cream, cake and compote.

    You get about 6-8 servings depending on the size of the glass. You can play around with the layers depending on which of the three layers you like more or less. I loved the texture of the three layers coming together and I hope you do too. And here’s to a verry berry merry christmas!!!

    Panna Cotta or Mousse, who cares, it’s yummmmm

    A few weeks back I accompanied a friend while she went on her wedding dress shopping. It was an exhausting evening for her what with all the dresses she got in and out of. So we decided to get some dinner before we headed back home. And we landed up at Macaroni Grill. The side of bread and the entrees we ordered there were awesome. We then debated on whether or not to order a dessert and then we ended up ordering one each. I ordered the Panna Cotta with fresh Berries and it was definitely one of the BEST DESSERTS I have ever eaten at a restaurant.

    Ever since I have been thinking of and contemplating making Panna Cotta at home. Then a couple of weeks back when I went to the store to pick up the ingredients for the Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato soup with fresh basil, I picked up the ingredients to make some Panna Cotta at home.

    I think this would be an appropriate place to mention a blog I really love. I have made a few of the dishes following the recipes on the blog and they turned out to be amazingly good. The blog is http://www.passionateaboutbaking.com/ and I have adapted my panna cotta recipe from there.

    The ingredients listed below serves 6-8 persons.

    Ingredients:

    1. 3 cups whipping cream
    2. 3 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
    3. 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
    4. 3 tablespoons cocoa powder (I used Nestle hot chocolate powder)
    5. 200-250 grams milk chocolate chips

    Directions:

    • Measure 3/4 cup of the whipping cream. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cream and set aside.
    • Mix the sugar and cocoa powder in a sauce pan and add the 2 1/4 cups of whipping cream.
    • Heat the mixture over medium heat to a simmer.
    • Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the chocolate chips and stir to dissolve the chips.
    • Heat the saucepan on a low flame to dissolve the chocolate to a smooth consistency.
    • Add the softened gelatin and cream mixture to the saucepan and make sure the heat is on low as you do not want to heat the mixture to a simmer.
    • Once the gelatin has completely dissolved remove the saucepan from the heat. Use a fine strainer and strain the mixture into a big bowl.
    • Transfer the Panna Cotta into smaller individual serving bowls.
    • Leave the Panna Cotta in the refrigerator for 3 hours or till it sets. (I left it in the refrigerator overnight)

    The entire recipe from prep to refrigerating takes about 15-20 minutes. This wasn’t like the Panna Cotta I ate at Macaroni Grill but it was absolutely delicious. But I must warn you this is not for the health conscious foodie. This is one of those sins you allow yourself to indulge in once in a long long while.

    The original recipe can be found at http://www.passionateaboutbaking.com/2008/04/dark-chocolate-panna-cotta-its-all-about-the-kidz-in-us.html. I adapted it based on some of  the ingredients I already had at home. I replaced the dark chocolate with milk chocolate and instead of using authentic cocoa powder, I used the hot chocolate powder.