Chocolate Pavlova with Raspberry compote and cream

DSC_1003-3

DSC_0988

DSC_1023

 

DSC_1001

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

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

No bake, Power Packed Chocolate Breakfast Cookies

DSC_0044

DSC_0063

DSC_0069

DSC_0073

DSC_0120

DSC_0095

Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

How you all been? I have been quite busy of late with my grandma visiting us in Bangalore and she wanting to spend time with her great grandson. So every morning after the morning chores are done, I take my son to my mum’s house. This does not leave much time for blogging or cooking as me, my mum and her mum (my grandma) are busy taking turns and playing with my son. Mr R is very busy in office as usual and comes and picks me up from my mums place after work. We are travelling to Cochin this weekend as I am scheduled to get my gall bladder removed there. The only niggling factor i am worried about is Mr R’s capabilities in terms of child care. He’s a good dad but still getting a hang of the soft skills involved in day to day baby management. In any case, all those adventures are for a different post. Until then I will leave you with these very awesome power packed cookies. I am trying to get up early to get a post in these days and i have understood that I am not a morning person and takes a lot of effort. Till next post, Adios Amigos. πŸ™‚

Ingredients :-

  1. Dark Chocolate – 250 gms
  2. Oats – 1 + 1/2 cup (Instant)
  3. Mixed Dry fruits – 1 cup ( I used pistachio + raisins and dry figs)
  4. Coconut Oil – 4 tbsp (50 gms of butter)

 

Instructions :-

  1. Β In a microwavable bowl melt the chocolate on medium power at 30 second intervals and stirring frequently.
  2. Add the coconut oil to the melted chocolate. Set the chocolate aside to cool ( You could add cream at this stage to make it more creamy and rich)
  3. In another bowl add the instant oats
  4. Then add the dry fruits. I did not chop the nuts but you could if you want to
  5. Finally add the melted chocolate and coconut oil mix into the oats
  6. Stir well to combine and coat all the ingredients well
  7. Now oil your hands with a little oil and slowly make small balls of the oats mixture. Arrange them on a large cookie sheet
  8. Once you are done with all of them use a spoon and push them downwards (press them to form flat cookies)
  9. Pop the cookie sheet into a fridge and let them set till nice and hard ( 1.5 to 2 hours)
  10. Your breakfast cookies are ready!!

 

Rosemary & Strawberry Madeleines with White Chocolate

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

Hello Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing today? IsΒ theΒ ChristmasΒ season turning out to be wonderful for you as well? It’s been a month of many changes for us, starting with potty trainingΒ my son (Phew!!)Β and introducing cows milk into his diet and making him learning to say ” Boww boww” when you see a doggy.Β My sonΒ has also started learning to eat on his own and when I mean eat I mean spill half of what’s onΒ his plate and the other half may find it’s way to his mouth but first it has to be on a place on the table/floor (otherΒ than his plate) and then intoΒ his mouth!Β (Lol!!).Β Β Its a long process but at the end I am so proud of him for every piece ofΒ fruit that he eats on his own. We have officially said “No” to keeping a nanny too, that means lesser number of posts (but more time with my son).

So I wanted to start my Christmas inspired baking with simple, sweet, light and airy madeleines and they are unbelievably yum! This one has rosemary infusedΒ with the sweetness of strawberries giving it a wonderful twist and the sweet and spicy aroma of strawberries, rosemary and vanilla is just delightful! The basic madeleine is just the right kind of sweet with a cup of hot coffee right? This one infuses fruit and herb to giveΒ  a delicious twist to the French Madeleine. Personally I think they are miniature versions of cupcakes which look like cookies! What do you say? Not really sure why they are classified as cookies! Yes I know some cookies are soft and gooey as opposite to crunchy and chewy but Madeleines are light and airy, soft and spongyΒ like cake! Yup I am going to say they are like butterfly kisses sent from a cupcake πŸ™‚ Ok so here is how I made them!

Ingredients :-

  1. Butter – 120gms
  2. Rose Mary – 2 tbsp (chopped)
  3. Strawberry – 1 +1/2 cup
  4. Flour- 250 gms
  5. Sugar -150 gms
  6. Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  7. Eggs – 3 at room temp
  8. Red colour – 5 – 6 tbsp
  9. White Chocolate – Β 200 gms

Instructions :-

    1. In a clean sauce pan, add the butter and melt. Then add the chopped RoseMary to the butter and let the butter simmer for a few mins ( Make sure not burn the butter). After 2 – 3 mins turn off the flame and leave the butter mixture to rest for 15 to 20 mins
    2. Clean and de-stem fresh strawberries and chop them up into small pieces
    3. Then using a stick blender, blendΒ them intoΒ a nice thick puree. Your puree should measure to one cup
    4. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the eggs and sugar. Using the paddle attachment, blend on medium till the eggs are nice and foamy
    5. In another bowl add flour, baking powder and salt
    6. Once the egg mixture is foamy add the strawberry puree and mix for combine
    7. Then add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix only to combine ( do not over work the batter)
    8. Now using a strainer, pour the melted butter into the mixer bowl making sure not to drop any chopped rosemary into the batter
    9. Add as much food colour as required
    10. Now butter and dust your madeleine trays with butter and flour and scoop out the strawberry batter into the moulds
    11. Set the madeleine tray into the fridge for 20 mins
    12. During that time pre heat your oven to 180 c
    13. After 20 mins pop the tray into the oven and bake for 6- 8 mins
    14. You will know when the madeleines are done when they become slightly golden from the sides
    15. Once they are done, take them out of the oven and set to cool for 5 mins. ThenΒ take them out of theΒ tray and place on a wire rack to cool
    16. While they cool, melt your white chocolate in the microwave at 20 sec intervals (strict in between)
    17. Once the madeleines have cooled completely, dip them into the white chocolate and place on the cooling rack to dry
    18. Serve along with a hot cup of coco/coffee, as you likeΒ πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eggless Oreo Bars.. Fudgy gooey yummyy!!

 

SONY DSC

Hello my wonderful readers!

How are you all doing? This week is kinda special. My favourite aunt is down for a short trip to Bengaluru and so we have been spending most of theΒ time with her. So coz of that I haven’t had time to photograph anything, so its just quick cooking, eating andΒ shopping with the aunt. Also Mr R has been really unwell (down with the flu). So I have been juggling everything. The only thing I make sure I take a decent photo of is my breakfast and the photos are up on Instagram. So check out Β my profile and Β I would love to know what you think of it.

So last week my friend asked me if I could make an eggless bake and since I was so pressed for time, I baked this really simple Oreo Bar. They do not need any TLC and its eggless so why not? Also they do not use butter so you do not need to bring the butter to room temperature or anything like that. It isΒ basicallyΒ a one bowl thing and let me tell you, this is one quick and easy treat! Its not the typical cakey texture. Its like this fudgey dark chocolatey chunk that melts and balls up in your mouth and makes you feel like you are having a big Oreo Truffle! Well thats how I felt. Do give it a try.

Ingredients :-

  • Flour – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1 cup (powdered + sifted)Β 
  • Coco Powder – 1 cup ( unsweetened and sifted)Β 
  • Baking Powder –
  • Milk – 1 cup + 1 tbsp
  • Vinegar- 1 tbspΒ 
  • Coffee Powder – 2tsp
  • Oil – 6 tbsp
  • Vanilla Extract – 2 tsp
  • Oreos – A pack of 20
  • Chocolate sauce – to drizzle over
  • Salt – one pinch ( 1/8th tsp)

Instructions :-

  1. In a heat proof bowl add half the milk and heat
  2. Add coffee powder to the hot milk and set aside
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the rest of of the milk + vinegar + oil and combine well
  4. With the paddle attachment on, run the mixer on medium till the mixture combines
  5. Then add the flour, sugar, coco Powder, pinch of salt and Baking Powder
  6. Once you see the mixture coming together, add the warm coffee milk
  7. Then add the vanilla extract and mix till well combines
  8. Finally the batter should be dense but leaves a ribbon when you dip the paddle into the batter and out!
  9. Line your baking tray with baking paper
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tray
  11. Now separate the Oreo Biscuits into two and arrange over the batter how ever you like
  12. Bake at 180 for 30 mins or till a tooth pick inserted comes out clean

Povitica … Swirly chocolate goodness….

 

 

 

 

My Dear Wonderful Readers!

Here’s a secret!!..If there is some thing I love more than ‘baking cake’, it is ‘making bread’.Β The reason iΒ used the termΒ “Making” and not “Baking” is cause, I think, bread-making is art! Bread is like a little pill you take when you want to think. Bread-making is like meditation, only your eyes are open and you might have to put your elbow into it to make it better. Some times when my husband has a rough day at work, I give him the bread dough to go crazy on, and trust me the bread some how rises better and has better texture! haha.. When my little peach is also having a bad tantrum day, I find putting him to sleep and making bread is like having a glass of wine mid day. So I have been in search of a different kind of bread recipe for a while now and I came across this one. ‘Povitica’, This is one amazingly sweet, nutty, chocolatey bread roll.

When I first decided to make this bread, I was sure that it was like the Babka or the pesto roll but as I went over and over the recipe I realised that this bread need much more tender loving care (TLC) Maybe I will call it the TLC Bread.

It does seem like a quite a long process and half way through you might want to ‘not make it’, but just push your self and go all the way cause you have GOT TO TRY IT! We have been on a no refined sugar diet for a few weeks now, but I made an exception and used some of it in this recipe. The plan was to gift it to a friend but now maybe I will keep half of it and then “think” about giving the other half to some one else. Yes, it is really Β that good. But remember this is not a croissant or pastry. This is bread with chocolate.

This bread is essentially a Croatian dessert bread. Originally made on festivals and holidays this bread gains its popularity from the sweetness of sugar and chocolate mixed with finely ground nuts, rolled into thinly rolled sweet bread dough. Β Nowadays these breads are made in various flavours using fruits and fruit preserves. The traditional recipe uses walnuts in the roll, but I used equal portions of almonds and pistachio in mine. Do give this bread a try, I am sure you will not be disappointed.

The original recipe calls for wall nuts in the filling, but I decided to make mine with almonds and pistachio. Also the drizzle can be make with just plain sugar, butter and egg but I used chocolate cause I loooooovve chocolate!

Ingredients :-

For the Dough :-

  1. Bread Flour – 2 cups
  2. Sugar – 10tsp
  3. Salt – 1 tsp
  4. Milk – 2/3 cup
  5. Yeast – 3 tsp
  6. Egg – 1
  7. Vanilla Extract – 1tbsp

Instructions :-

  1. In a bowl of your stand mixer, add flour, sugar, yeast and salt
  2. In another bowl combine egg, vanilla extract and milk. Give it a light beating
  3. With the speed turned on low, give the dry ingredients a gentle mix
  4. Now crank the speed up to medium and slowly add in the wet ingredients
  5. Slowly pour in the wet mixture into the dry in a steady stream ( I took around a min and a half)
  6. After pouring out all the wet ingredients, let mixture run for 7 – 8 mins on medium to give it a nice kneed. Once you see the mixture coming together to form a ball, add the salt
  7. When the dough is in the mixer, lightly grease a glass bowl with some olive oil and set aside
  8. After 8 mins tip the dough into the glass bowl. Do not try to handle it with your hand cause is is way too sticky
  9. Cover with cling wrap and let the dough rest for an hour or till the dough is twice its original size
  10. While the dough is resting proceed to making the filling

Ingredients for the FillingΒ 

  1. Almonds – 1/2 Cup
  2. Pistachio – 1/2 Cup
  3. Unsweetened Coco Powder – 3 tbsp
  4. Powdered Sugar – 1 cup
  5. Vanilla Extract – 1 tbsp
  6. Butter – 1/2 cup
  7. Milk – 4 tbsp (more if required while using filling)
  8. Egg – 1 yolk ( do not discard the white)

Instructions :-

  1. In a sauce pan add butter and milk. Heat till the butter melts
  2. Mean while powder the almonds and pistachio to a fine mud like consistency
  3. Then take the milk and butter mixture off the heat and add the almond and pistachio mix
  4. Finally add the rest of the ingredients and whisk well to combine all ingredients
  5. Set aside to cool down

Assembling the bread

  1. Once the bread has risen well, spread a clean sheet over your work table ( I used my dining table and I used a lightly printed sheet to help me figure out how think I rolled out the dough)
  2. Now flour the surface of the bedsheets and slowly roll out the dough in a rectangular shape
  3. Roll out the dough as thin as your can. You should be able to see the sheet behind the dough. The thiner the rolled out dough, the more circles you will find in the final bread. The more, the prettier!
  4. After rolling it out, slowly spoon the chocolate nut mixture that was made earlier
  5. You might find that the mixture has Β thickened, just add a tsp of milk and whisk well
  6. While spreading the filling, take care not to tear the dough. This part is a little tricky, but once you start spreading the mixture you will get a feel of how much pressure you really need to put on the dough
  7. Once you have finished spreading the mixture, slowly flour your hands and roll the dough inwards from the longer side of the rectangle. This will give you a nice long chocolate roll
  8. Slowly pinch the sides of the dough to make is stick
  9. Liberally grease your bread pan handset besides the chocolate roll
  10. Now gentle lift one end of the roll and slowly set it within the pan and when you get to the end of the pan, turn it back to for a U and place over the chocolate roll in the pan. Do this till the entire roll is inside the pan
  11. Cover the bread pan with cling wrap and set in a warm place for another hour or till it rises to its double again
  12. Pre heat your oven to 180 C and using a pastry brush, coat the dough with the egg white
  13. Once the dough is ready, pop it into the oven for 15 mins
  14. Then reduce the temperature to 150 C and bake for 45 – 50 mins
  15. Once done, set aside to cool on a wire rack
  16. Drizzle some chocolate sauce over the top and you are all set serve

White Chocolate Persimmon Tartlets

SONY DSC

 

 

 

 

Hello Wonderful readers!

It’s persimmon season and I just can’t get enough of this lovely fruit. If you follow me on Instagram you will see what I mean when I say ” I LOVE PERSIMMON” πŸ™‚

So, we have been trying to stay healthy for three weeks now and I must tell you that it is not an easy task! Every time a “cake idea” strikes me, I have to remind myself how we have decided not to have too much butter and sugar. Yes, I know there are alternatives, but cake is best with eggs and butter and sugar and milk! Maybe it’s because we have been conditioned to like cake that way from the age of 1 (like on your first birthday).

Given the above circumstances, I made a batch of these amazing tarts and I had one! just one! So that I did not eat anymore I made sure they were left home (by home, i mean my parents home) that evening! Oh, how I cried the next day just for a little bit of that yummy filling and that soft crumbly crust 😦

Anyway, the fact is, its not easy to stay healthy with all those distractions in the super market. But you just got to try. So for me, weekends’ mean we can have pizza and biriyani. (in moderation). Yippee.

Today being a Friday, I plan on making pizza for dinner. I have the dough resting and my chicken marinating. I will share that recipe with you next week. Just to make it healthier I made the pizza dough in whole wheat flour :p. Yes an oxymoron! Healthy Pizza! Whaaaatttt r u saying????!!!

Ingredients for the tart shell

  1. Flour – 500 gms
  2. Butter – 250 gms ( cold)
  3. Sugar – 5 tbsp ( powdered)
  4. Cold water – a few tsps ( enough to bring the dough together)

Instructions :-

  1. In a bowl of a food processor, combine cold butter and flour
  2. Process on slow till the mixture resembles bread crumbs
  3. Then add sugar and slowly add one tsp of water at a time while the mixture is on at a low speed
  4. Stop adding water as soon as the dough comes together
  5. Tip out the contents of the bowl onto a cling wrap sheet and ball up the dough with the cling wrap
  6. Store the tart dough in the fridge till required

Ingredients for the filling :-

  1. White Chocolate – 250 gm
  2. Cream – 200 ml
  3. Eggs – 2 egg yolks
  4. Vanilla extract – 1 tsp

Instructions :-

 

  • In a microwavable bowl, combine cream and white chocolate
  • Heat at medium power pausing at one minute intervals to mix the ingredients
  • Once the chocolate cream mixture has melted and combined take it out of the microwave and cool to room temperature

 

  1. Then add the vanilla and eggs. Whisk well with a fork ( do not over whisk as it will curdle)

Assembling the tart :-

  1. Roll out the cooled tart dough to the size of your tart pans.Butter your tart pan liberally and then line the tart pans with the rolled out dough
  2. Bake in a preheated oven for 10 – 15 mins at 180 C
  3. Once they are ready, take them out of the oven and let them cool down
  4. Now slowly pour the white chocolate cream mixture into the tart shells
  5. Bake for another 20 mins at 180 C. You will see the mixture start to rise a little and bubble. Once the sides of the tart shell are slightly golden, take them out of the oven and set aside to cool
  6. Serve with fresh cut persimmon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mint Chocolate Chip Brownies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t you just love mint and chocolate chip! I do!! Yesterday seemed to be a brownie day so a decided why not make a mint chocolate chip brownie. I had a batch of cream cheese in the fridge too so I decided why not! Ha! The sad part of begin the only person in my house who knows to cook is that I can’t hope for some one to make a batch of nice home baked soft gooey brownies. But this recipe is not that hard to make so once its done, you do not have time to worry about being the only cook at home.

Ingredients :-

  1. Butter – 115 gms
  2. Chocolate Chips – 250 gms Β + 50 gms ( for cream cheese)
  3. Flour – 100 gms
  4. Sugar – 250 gms + 50 gms ( for the cream cheese)
  5. Eggs – 3 ( room temp)
  6. Salt – 1/4tsp
  7. Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
  8. Cream Cheese – 200 gms ( room temp)
  9. Mint Extract Β – 1 tsp
  10. Green Colour – 4 – 5 drops ( depending on how green you want it)
  11. Egg yolk – 1

Instructions :-

  1. Pre Heat your oven to 180 C and line your brownie tray with baking paper
  2. In a heat proof bowl, melt butter in a double boiler and add chocolate chips. Continue to stir till all the chocolate has melted
  3. Set aside the chocolate butter mixture to complete cool down. Meanwhile mix four and salt in another bowl
  4. Once it is at room temperature, add eggs and vanilla extract. Now add the flour to the wet ingredients one spoon at a time
  5. Do not over work the batter but mix till all ingredients have combined
  6. Now transfer 70 % of the batter into you prepare brownie pan
  7. In another bowl add cream cheese and sugar. Whisk till nice and creamy. Then add mint extract, egg yolk and colour as required
  8. Slowly spoon this mixture over the brownie mixture
  9. Then top off the cream cheese mixture with the left over chocolate batter
  10. Now run a butter knife through the batter to make swirls
  11. Pop the brownie tray into the pre heated oven and bake for 30 mins or till a tooth pick inserted comes out clean
  12. Let it cool completely before slicing