Strawberry, Thyme and Caramel Brioche Sticky Buns

Strawberry Still

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Hello my dear wonderful readers!

Is it Thursday already???? Some times I cannot believe how the days go by. My little monkey a.k.a my son πŸ™‚ is also growing up so fast. Let me tell you why I say that. My little boy has a cold and till yesterday what comes so easily to us, was the hardest thing for him. What is that one thing that we often do when we have a cold? we blow our nose! But my little 2 year had no clue how to blow his nose. All he would do is a “kaaaarrkkkkkkkk” sound into a tissue if I ask him blow his nose. Yesterday some how, I asked him to do the same and guess what?? it worked!!! He actually blew his nose!! Now I know you are thinking OMG what is this woman talking about! So here is something, parenting is such a roller coaster, that every single minute you learn and you grow. You do not have to be a parent to a human, it could be a cute little pup or cat or any animal you want to appreciate what i am saying. When they are tiny they are so fragile that once they start showing signs of growing up, every step calls for a celebration. At least I do. Your child is a celebration of your life. The joys I have found as a mum are unparalleled and can never be forgotten.

Now coming back to this recipe. It was actually a test recipe but given that I made quite a few yesterday and only 4 remain, I think it would be apt to share the recipe with you all. So I asked my dear husband to buy some fresh thyme for a dinner I was making and he got this huge packet of thyme so needless to say, you might see a lot of “Thyme” based recipes coming your way πŸ™‚

Strawberries and thyme are a match made in heaven. So if you wanna make a fun snack with fresh strawberry jam or even store bought organic jam then this is just the one. When I was a little girl my mum would always make me have a jam sandwich and a tall glass of milk on the table just before I went out to play. This recipe reminds me so much of those days.

The bread is not just any bread. It is the most fluffiest, softest, tastiest bread ever. Because of the addition of butter and eggs this bread is just delicious just by itself too. The little thyme adds a certain mystical, lemony smell and taste. Winter mornings with a cup of tea and these buns are the perfect breakfast in bed option too.

Ingredients for the bread :-

  1. Flour – 2 cups
  2. Sugar – 5 tbsp
  3. Yeast – 2 tsp
  4. Salt – 1/4 tsp
  5. Milk – 2/3 cup (warm)
  6. Water – 1/3 cup
  7. Eggs – 2 (lightly beaten)
  8. Butter – 105 gms (softened and at room temp)

Instructions :-

  1. In a bowl combine milk, sugar and yeast. Set aside till frothy and bubbly
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the flour and butter. With the hook attachment mixΒ till a bread crumb consistency is achieved
  3. Then add the eggs and mix well
  4. Next add the yeast mixture and milk in a steady stream with the mixer on low
  5. Once you are done, add the salt and let the dough mix for 10 – 12 mins on medium speed
  6. Mean while oil a glass bowl with 1/2 tsp of oilve oil and set aside
  7. Now you will notice that the dough is quite wet but that’s ok, continue mixing till the dough is nice and elastic
  8. Finally tip the elastic dough into the prepared bowl
  9. Cover with a cloth and set in a warm place till the dough doubles in size ( 1 – 3 hrs)
  10. During that time. Lets assemble the ingredients for the filling

Ingredients :-

  1. Strawberry Jam – 2 cups ( depends on how thin you roll out the dough)
  2. Fresh Thyme – 4 tbsp
  3. Caramel – 3 tbsp ( or as required)
  4. Egg – 1 (whisked well)
  5. Butter for greasing

Instructions Β :-

  1. Pre Heat your oven to 200 C and grease a cupcake tray with butter. Set aside
  2. Flour your work counter with flour and dump the flour into the counter. Make sure to deflate the dough in the bowl first
  3. Slowly knead for 1 min till it forms a ball. Divide the ball into 2 equal halves
  4. Then using a rolling pin, roll out a rectangle 40 cm x 20 cm
  5. The using a pastry brush, evenly spread the jam over the rolled out dough ( if it very thick pop it into the microwave for 30 sec)
  6. Once you are done with the strawberry layer, sprinkle the thyme leaves
  7. Then drizzle the caramel over it
  8. Now slowly starting from the longer side roll inwards. Flour your hands, if you find the dough is sticky
  9. Once you have a nice long roll, cut into equal circles. I used a thread for this. Slip a thread under the log, come around it from both side, make a tiny knot just once and pull tight through
  10. As you make the circles place it in the prepared cupcake tray
  11. Once you are done with all of the dough in the same manner, using a pastry brush, lightly coat the tops of the rolls, with the eggs wash
  12. Pop into the oven for 30 Mins or till golden brown. Once done, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack
  13. Allow to cool till warm to touch, then pop them out of the cupcake molds and place on a cooling rack to cool completely
  14. Serve with hot milk or tea

Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti

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Hello my dear readers!!

How have you all been? The seasons greetings to you and I hope you all are enjoying the holidays. This is a quick post and I apologize for not having the time to write a nice long post about what has been happening. For now I shall leave you with this recipe and I hope you guys love it as much as we did during this festive season. Lots of love guys :*

Ingredients :

  1. Eggs Β – 2
  2. Flour – 1 + 1/4 cup
  3. Baking powder – 1 tsp
  4. Orange Zest – 2 tbsp
  5. Caster Sugar – 1 + 1/4 cup
  6. Pistachio – 100 gms
  7. Cranberries – 50 gms
  8. Nutmeg – 1/4 tsp

Instructions :-

  1. Pre-heatΒ your oven to 180 C
  2. In a large bowl whisk sugar and egg till light and pale
  3. Then add the orange zest and nutmeg
  4. Slowly fold in the rest of the ingredientsΒ using a spatulaΒ (try notΒ to deflate the volume of the eggs)
  5. Once it all comes together, flour your work surface and drop the dough ball
  6. Slowly make a long log with the end tapering
  7. Then transfer the log to a baking tray and bake for 25 mins
  8. After 25 mins take it out of the oven andΒ put to rest till cool enough to handle
  9. Then cut into thin slices
  10. Lay it flat on the baking sheet and pop it back into the oven for another 10 mins till golden brown
  11. Bring it back out of the oven and set to cool
  12. Store in an air tight container

 

Adapted from NigellissimaΒ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Flax Seed and Oat, Raisin Thins

 

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

How have you all been? Its been a long time since I got down to blogging and trust me when I say, the last week has been such a life changer! Have you ever looked down from a flight that is just about to land? That moment when you see tiny cars and thin trees and wormy roads? That’s the moment you realize how small you really are! We have been travelling a lot for the last few days and I have come to the firm belief that, no matter how hard you try, some things cannot be controlled. Its sad when people who drink and smoke their whole lives, live happy without a care are fit as a fiddle while people who are so cautious about their physical and mental health might have the worst medical condition. I guess what I am trying to say is that, what really matters, is that you live each minute of each day to its fullest and you do your part. There is no point living a vegetarian life when our mind is full of vengeful thoughts. There is no need for an argument with your spouse when life itself is full of challenges thrown at you every day. Every time I have fought or scolded some one its makes me feel like all I did was bring negativity into the room and nothing stands a chance to improve.

While such tumultuous thoughts run through my head, my cup of hot green tea was beckoning for a little some thing to go along with it. Much to my dismay, reaching for the cookie jar had only resulted in a depressing after thought of how many calories I have to burn the next day or why my greedy tongue has not been able to make its peace with 3 cookies undoubtedly made with much more sugar than flour or butter πŸ˜› . So here was my answer!

A simple #NO GLUTEN! NO FLOUR, REFINED SUGAR FREE COOKIE- ( OH! did i mention no butter too)

These are so really simple to make all you need is a fork and two bowls. So lets get to it ….

 

Ingredients :-

  1. Instant Oats – 2 cups
  2. Raisins – 1/2 cup
  3. Flax Seed – 3 tbsp
  4. Virgin Coconut Oil – 1 cup
  5. Egg – 1
  6. Palm Sugar – 1 cup
  7. Cinnamon Powder – 1.2 tsp
  8. Vanilla Extract – 1.2 tsp

Instructions :-

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 150 C and line a baking tray with parchment paper
  2. In a bowl, mix oats, flax see, raisins, palm sugar, cinnamon powder and give it a good mix with a fork ( make sure you do not have any lumps of sugar)
  3. In another bowl, crack open the egg. Add the coconut oil and vanilla extract. Give it a good whisk with the fork
  4. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the oat mixture and set aside to soak for 10 mins
  5. Then using the same fork give it a good mix once again to coat the oats well with the egg mixture
  6. Now using a small ice cream spoon or a normal spoon scoop out even portions of the oats and egg mixture and place on the baking tray
  7. Then with the back of the fork press down to flatten
  8. I like these nice and thin, so they snap when I bite into them
  9. Bake in the pre heated oven for 10 – 15 mins (till they turn light brown )
  10. Once they are done leave to cool completely – remember they will be soft when they come out of the oven but leave to cool completely and they will crisp up soon!!
  11. Store in an air tight container once cooled

Chocolate Pavlova with Raspberry compote and cream

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Hello Everybody!!

Happy World Chocolate Day! Now I was so tempted to make a nice chocolate brownie with lots of gooey frosting and stuff, but I decided I did not wanna play with flour. Β Pavlova has always been my nemesis! Smaller version of the same are easier to make, but the tricky part is not till you get it in the oven, its when you have to pull it out of it. Make no mistake, if there were ever a fight between a tiramisu and pavlova, the tiramisu would win, but if I wanted to keep it light a pavlova is the way to go. Β  When I say “light” I mean “lighter” πŸ˜›

The perfect pavlova should be crunchy, gooey, chewy in the center, not too sweet and just right. The first time I made a summer pavlova, with kiwi, fresh cherries , passion fruit and lots of lemon curd. It was really good. But it was not really a looker and after repeated attempts I realized two things. Firstly – a Pavlova is not a cake! – so do not expect it to be nice and puffy like a cake. And Secondly, Time it! Time your baking time and after the baking time, leave it inside the oven to cool till it comes down to room temperature. Texture is everything when it comes to this dessert. What makes this dessert, much craved for is that wonderful crunchy exterior and then that gooey, chewy, marshmallow center. The cream over the Pavlova is just for additional creaminess and to balance out the sweetness of the pavlova itself. I strongly recommend that when ever you make a Pavlova, use a strong pungent flavor to top it off. Β That just makes this dessert a ride on a roller coaster. You could use fresh raspberries too, but I took the liberty to make a concentrate with the raspberries, added a little honey and made it a little more dramatic. But like I said, using fresh raspberries would do well too. Needless to say, the last time I made it, it was over within a day. So if you are the one cutting into the pavlova, make sure to save some for your self too!

 

Ingredients for the pavlova base:-

  1. Egg Whites – 6
  2. Sugar – 300 gms
  3. Coco Powder – 3 tbsp
  4. Balsamic Vinegar – 1 tsp
  5. Chopped Dark Chocolate – 2 tbsp

 

Instructions :-

  1. Pre Heat you over to 180 and line two baking tray with parchment paper. Draw two discs the size of a quarter plate on the lower side of the paper
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, pour in the egg whites and whisk on medium speed
  3. Once the whites are double in size and are nice and glossy, add one spoon of sugar at a time
  4. Now increase the speed and whip on high speed till nice firm peaks are formed
  5. Take off the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the coco powder, balsamic vinegar and dark chocolate
  6. Make sure to only fold in the ingredients or you will knock out the air from the whites Β ( which you really do not want)
  7. Now divide the batter equally and pour over the two circle you drew earlier on the parchment paper
  8. Using a spatula or a butter knife, level off the top
  9. Pop the baking tray into the oven and reduce the temperature to 150
  10. Bake for 1 hour and 15 mins
  11. Once you hear the ding of the oven, DO NOT OPEN IT AJAR! slowly pop a wooden ladle between the door of the oven and let it sit till the pavlova had completely Β cooled and reached room temperature
  12. Mean while get on with the raspberry goo πŸ™‚

 

Ingredients :-

  1. Frozen Raspberries – 100 gms
  2. Honey – 3 tbsp
  3. Whipping Cream – 300 ml

Instructions :-

  1. In a sauce pan, combine the raspberry and honey
  2. Cook on medium flame till the mixture begins to boil ( stir occasionally)
  3. The let the mixture reduce to half on the same flame
  4. Once it has reduced by half, take it off the flame and let it cool down
  5. Whip the double cream to stiff peaks and set aside

 

  • When you are ready to assemble the Pavlova, first use one pavlova as the base, add cream and spread evenly
  • Then add half the raspberry goo and sprinkle some chocolate chips
  • Then place the next pavlova over the first layer and repeat the same step
  • Your Chocolate Pavlova is ready!

Recipe Adapted from Nigella Lawsons book

 

 

 

 

Strawberry and Cream Cheese Tart

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing today? Summer is here. Its just March and it is so hot and sticky that by afternoons I have to make tons of buttermilk and juice to keep my son hydrated. Given that little babies are always running around, they are constantly sweating and losing so much water from their bodies. While making theΒ juice, it suddenly dawned on me that strawberries will be out of the market very soon. so before they go away for another year, I wanted to make the best of it with a little strawberry cream cheese tart. But I wanted my own little twist to it, so I added green cardamom powder to the filling. Oh! I would be lying if I said I dint have more than a piece of the tart. IT WAS HEAVENLY!! Its really simple to make and it doesn’t need a lot of prep work. You could buy pre baked short crust tart shells but there’s no fun in that. SoΒ I made my own from scratch.

I used the same recipe as I had for myΒ White Chocolate PersimmonΒ Tartlets. Do click on the link for that.

Now for the filling which is as easy as it gets!

Ingredients :-

  1. Cream cheese – 200 gms
  2. Heavy Cream – 200 ml
  3. Sugar – 4 – 5 tbsp
  4. Vanilla Extract – 1 tbsp
  5. Green Cardamom Powder – 2 pinches

 

Instructions :-

  1. Remember to cool the cream before you start using it. For best results use the cream directly from the fridge
  2. Next in the bowl of your stand mixer, add the cold cream and whisk on medium
  3. When you see the consistency go from liquid to soft peaks, add the cold cream cheese
  4. Whisk again on medium for a minute
  5. Then add the vanilla extract and green cardamom powder
  6. Turn the speed a little higher and add the sugar one table spoon at a time
  7. Once you are done with all the ingredients set to cool back in the fridge till your tart shells are ready

For the strawberries:-Β 

I needed around 3 packs for strawberries but that depends on how you arrange the strawberries in the tart.

  1. Clean and wash the strawberries. Dry them completely
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut the tops off the strawberries in such a way that they would stand if kept inverted

 

Assembling the tart

  1. After the tart shells have cooled down completely, add the whipped cream and cream cheese mixture to the tart shell
  2. Evenly spread it throughout the shell
  3. If you find that the mixture is too thin, put the tart back in the fridge for 15 mins
  4. Then take it out and arrange the strawberries over it
  5. Finally dust with the powdered sugar
  6. Serve right away!!

Enjoy!!!

 

 

 

 

Saffron, Rose and Pistachio Bread – My Indian Holiday Wreath Bread

 

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

2015 has come to an end and 2016 has begun. I wish you and your families a wonderful and happy new year.

Looking back, 2015 was a blur of events and I can not believe how quickly the year has changed our lives. From becoming a mother to moving back home to seeing my son crawling and learning to walk. It seems like everything happened really fast. So many changes, so many ups and downs, so many lessons learned and so many new ventures. Starting the blog was one of the main highlights of 2015 and I can not express how happy I am to have started this wonderful journey. Thank you for all your support, encouragement and mostly for inspiring me!Β  I hope you would continue to do the same this new year as well.

This is going to be the first post of the year 2016 and I wanted to incorporate the bygone holiday theme one more time with an Indian edge. So here is my Saffron, Rose and Pistachio Wreath bread. This bread is inspired by my favourite flavours Rose, Pistachio and Saffron. Saffron give the bread its depth, the Rose jam sandwiched between the Β layer gives the bread a wonderful sweetness with an intense Rose flavour and the Pistachios give it a nice crunch!

Once again here’s to wishing you a wonderful and full filled 2016! Eat lots, have fun and be healthy πŸ™‚

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Chocolate Dipped Chocolate and Almond Biscotti

 

Seasons Greetings My Dear Wonderful Readers!!

We have been very busy baking this week but this time its for gifting and sharing. So I made a bunch of these biscotti for our Christmas party last week. Have you guys played secret santa? Well it was really fun when we played it in my office. Seven days of gifting and not knowing who or when and how they know what you like and yet the gifts that come are really cute! These biscotti’s were made for a dear friend as his secret santa gift from me πŸ™‚ It was so much funΒ and for some Β strange reason he thoughtΒ my husband baked them.. haha . Anyway it was fun.. I am leaving you with the recipe and I hope you have fun making them!!

Ingredients :-

  1. Flour – 2 cups
  2. Coco Powder – 1/2 cup
  3. Sugar – 1 cup
  4. Baking Soda Β – Β 1 tsp
  5. Almonds – 200 gms
  6. Salt – 1/4 tsp
  7. Vanilla Extract – Β 1 tbsp
  8. Eggs – 3
  9. Chocolate – 200 gms
  10. Sprinkles – as much as your like πŸ™‚

Instructions :-

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 and line your baking tray with baking paper
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat eggs and butter
  3. Then add sugar and vanilla extract
  4. While the eggs butter mixture are whipping, mix flour. coco powder, baking soda and salt
  5. Now add the dry ingredients into the bowl in three batches
  6. The dough will be very sticky. But it will come together to form a sticky ball
  7. Flour your counter and empty the dough onto the floured counter
  8. Kneed the dough for 4 – 5 mins and add more flour if required so that the dough does not stick to the counter
  9. Finally roll into a long log and cut into the legal halves
  10. Then roll each log to look like baguettes
  11. Pop the rolled out logs into the oven and bake for 20 mins. The crust should be hard and almost like a biscuit
  12. Then take the logs out of the oven and let them cool for 10 mins
  13. Using a seated knife, cut the logs into long thin strips. I cut mine at an angle but you can do it anyway you like
  14. Then arrange the strips back onto the tray and bake for another 10 – 15 mins depending on how brown or dark you like the biscuit
  15. Once they are done set them on a cooling rack and bring to room temperature
  16. Meanwhile melt your chocolate in the microwave at 30 sec intervals. Stir every 30 seconds to make sure you do not burn them
  17. Β Finally dip the cooled biscotti into the melted chocolate and sprinkle any kind of sprinkles you like
  18. Enjoy!