Sunday, January 22, 2012

Prawn Masala

The week begins and all of us get back to maintain the schedules for the week.And I make  Prawns Masala for lunch .......and wow it is...........

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Banana Stem Stir Fry (Thoran)

Banana Stem - This a miracle stem is loaded with many medicinal properties.Many claim to substantiate this fact that it lowers cholesterol, helps in kidney ailments, aids in a good detox , treatment of stomach ulcers so on and so forth.
I include this in our diet mainly because it is very tasty. I do not give the family any choice as it might help us with some of its medicinal properties.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Spicy Tangy Fish Curry

After a horribly windy enjoying the calm from my kitchen window.I have Cream Dory Fillet with me and thought of this tangy curry for lunch on this winter afternoon.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Butter Chicken

I wish I had an option to make life easier - if someone could just chart out a menu for me ............thinking what to do - choosing who likes what - even when the family is small not an easy experience for me. I do manage with a lot of shortcuts...........and here is one such Butter chicken - spicy but tasty. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mutton Curry

Mutton seems to have dominated our table this week, its been a long time and so after the Spicy Mutton Fry, I made the curry with some potato cubes in it..........

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Spicy Mutton Fry

Red meat do not usually make it to our kitchen esp., due to diet restrictions. Therefore an occasional portion of lamb is what I cook just when the family expresses the need for it.
The options are plenty to roast, to fry, to bake to grill so on and so forth..........however, I chose to have it cooked dry.Somehow - this is how I like it for 2 reasons: One, the masala coats the meat quite well and that enhances the taste.Two, there won't be leftovers ............:)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Banoffee Pie

The Sweet Punch baking adventure continues.... what I like most is the fact that we participate and bake a recipe which we would have always wanted to do , yet would put it off for another day. These Sweet punch recipes creates an initiative to bake.At the same time when we look at the round up its a whole new learning experience,not to miss the comments which is truly encouraging for a baker !
Happy New year everybody ....................!!
January Punch is Banoffee Pie adapted from Swapna's Cuisine. The origins of this amazing dessert is well explained in Wikipedia.
Banoffee Pie

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How to make stabilised whipped cream

Cream containing 30% or more butter fat is usually whipped with a whisk,or a stand mixer or hand mixer resulting in a thick cream - but not too stiff yet runny and we end up wishing it stayed the way we want to..:) Try this .................
First place the bowl and the blades in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of unflavored gelatin in a bowl containing 1 tablespoon of water. Place the bowl into a bigger bowl with boiling water as in a water bath. Leave it untouched, the gelatin would dissolve gently and will stay lump free as well.
 Cream should be cold too , Pour out 250 ml cream  into the cold bowl , add 2 tablespoons of sugar ( optional)
 Beat until soft peaks form.
Now add gelatin to the cream and beat for a minute at high.
 The cream would thicken and could be used to spread or for piping. Ideally place it in the fridge for about 15 minutes before piping.

The whipped cream usually is unstable, meaning it will return to a more or less liquid state within half an hour to one hour. Hence it is not suitable for decorating food that will not be immediately served. Stabilizing it with gelatin  helps it to stay firm and as such lasts longer.

Tip: Always check the Fat content( in percentage) on the packaging - irrespective of the Brand locally available. The fat content should be over 30% - ideally about 34- 36 %. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Choco Vanilla Gateau

2011 passed by and here we are in 2012  a brand new year !!! Wishing all my friends and family across the globe a very happy new year ! May the new year bring you good health, love, joy and peace...God Bless !
With all the preparations ahead , we welcomed the new year with this Choco Vanilla Gateau.

To assemble this gateau the Vanilla Sponge and the French Butter Cream was kept ready...........and here we go........
First cut the sponge into half in a way that's convenient, I always pass a thread through the cake to get an even slice.I am comfortable using this springform pan to assemble - just to avoid the mess.
Place the first layer at the bottom. Spray the sponge with water from a spray bottle or pat with a brush. As a normal practice the sponge is soaked with sugar syrup. The butter cream is sweet enough and hence I used water to balance the taste as the purpose is to make the sponge moist since they usually appear dry. 

Spread the butter cream on it - use a piping bag for a better finish if you have the time. With an offset spatula spread it evenly.
Place the second layer of sponge, spray water and cover it up with the butter cream and set it to cool in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. This step only helps in getting the ring off neatly. When I run short of time, I can't handle the stress of doing a touch up :)
Whip up some whipping cream, and cover the cake on the sides.....I managed to decorate with a few sprinkles just to add color.
Ignore the calories and enjoy the slice - every bite is heavenly!!! its new year after all - plan a work out later :)) 
Happy New Year once again ! 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

French Buttercream

When I decided on making this French butter cream as filling for the Vanilla sponge I wasn't quite sure the way the whole thing would turn out. I wished I had a candy thermometer and such other stuff to get it right. I believe some trials do not usually end in errors.........this is one of them!!
So for the ingredients :
  • 3/4 Cup sugar
  • 60 ml water
  • 3.5 tsps Liquid Glucose 
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/3 heaped cup sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 100 gms semi sweet chocolate chips
, In a thick bottomed sauce pan, heat the first three ingredients - sugar,water& liquid glucose.
If liquid glucose is not available, light corn syrup is a good alternative. While heating, do not stir too much,yet see that the sugar dissolves completely.Turn off the heat when it starts to boil (see pic )

Step 2 : While the sugar boils , beat the eggs and sugar at a medium speed in a stand mixer until they become pale.
Step 3: This is a very tricky step where extreme caution is to be taken as you have now pour the hot sugar syrup into the egg mixture while the mixer runs at high speed. I say caution as the syrup can splash all over and could cause burns if ever it touches the spinning whisk attachment. And no one loves that, do we? So, when you pour out the hot syrup,pour it onto the pan in a steady thread, therefore avoiding the syrup touching the whisk ,yet the syrup would emulsify.
Step 4: The mixer at a high speed ,emulsifies the mixture and it results in a thick,glossy and a smooth mixture as seen in the pic. Run this at high speed until it comes down to room temperature or cool enough to touch.Now switch over to the paddle attachment.
Step 5: Two sticks of unsalted butter should be left at room temperature to soften. The butter should cut into neat cubes,which means the exteriors should be soft and the interiors of the block should still be firm to touch.The mixer now runs at a low speed until all the butter gets blended.Never add butter all at once, instead,add them cube by cube. Once all the cubes are added, run the mixer at high speed. Scrape down the sides. The mixture might look as if its curdled. Not to panic,instead let the mixer run for an additional minute, and you will see how fast it all blends together like this....
Step 6: Melt the chocolate chips on a double boiler, stir to clear the lumps allowing the mixture to cool too.
Step 7: Fold the chocolate into the cream & run the mixer on high for about 40 seconds. What you get is a rich,creamy, silky, glossy & smooth buttercream frosting! This makes some beautiful swirls on cup cakes too:)