Monday, March 28, 2011

Cold Coffee with Hot Fudge Sundae - Dessert Month Recipe 10


For the final recipe I had to make something that ranked in my favorites. Cold Coffee, ice-cream, nutty dark chocolate and chocolate wafer cigars are my favorite weeknight desserts. I usually have 3-4 types of ice-creams in the fridge, vanilla and chocolate being staple. I like vanilla ice-cream for its versatility, it makes Coke floats, pairs with gulab jamuns or brownies and takes all kinds of toppings. Alas chocolate is an addiction so it creeps in every dessert. 
Hot fudge sauce makes a wonderful topping for  ice-creams and brownies, its easy to make and easier to store. It stays in the fridge for a long time (if it lasts that long) and to serve, simply microwave it for a 5-7 seconds, pour and eat!

Hot Fudge Sauce
Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup melted chocolate

Heat a pot and melt butter in it. Remove from heat and add the cream while whisking. Add the chocolate a little at a time whisking all the time. This will prevent the chocolate from seizing. Fudge sauce is ready. Pour and enjoy!

Cold Coffee

Ingredients:

1 cup milk
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2-3 cubes of ice
Coffee as per taste

Take all the ingredients and blend till frothy. The ice will be crushed and become slushy. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy! This makes once large serving.

I am sending this to Vaishali's Its Spring Event!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Eggless Hazelnut and Chocolate Crepes - Dessert Month Recipe 9

I remember the first time I had crepes, on the streets of Vancouver from a small creperie window, with my cousins. I was hooked. Warm delicate crepes filled with chocolate hazelnut spread - Nutella - and some sliced bananas. This goodness packed in a foil wrap. I always wanted to replicate that at home. These hit the spot. The ones I had were with eggs but these are a 100% vegetarian. The portion below makes four 8 inch crepes. I wasted two crepes to flipping before I got two perfect ones. 

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour (or wheat flour for a healthier option)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 bananas sliced
Lots of Nutella
Dash of salt
Butter to cook
2 tablespoons icing sugar to garnish

Mix the wet ingredients, water, milk, vanilla and butter. Whisk thoroughly. Add the sugar, salt and flour and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to upto 12 hours. I let it mix overnight. 
When ready, heat a non-stick pan and dab a little butter on it. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter and tilt the pan to make the crepe. When it is cooked on one side, flip to cook the other side. Remove from pan, coat half the crepe with Nutella (as much as you like), fold into half and then a fourth. You can either put the banana slices on the Nutella or serve them by the side. 
Take a small sieve, put the icing sugar in it and sprinkle on the crepe. Some of the sugar will melt into the crepe and make magic. 


Serve warm!

Serving suggestions:
- With a dollop of whipped cream
- With a scoop of icecream

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ghughra / Gujiya / Karanji / Parakhdi - Dessert Month Recipe 8

Ghugra / ghughra are made at my home every Diwali and they are my absolute favorite. Crispy shells stuffed with flaky, sweet and delicious filling. They are eaten at holi as well and today being holi there was no better dessert to write about. The filling at home is made of coconut flakes, suji (rava), sugar and dry fruits. You can add some khoya (mava) to it as well in coconuts proportion. The proportion of rava to coconut to sugar is 3:1:2.

Ingredients:

Filling:

3/4 cup suji (cream of wheat)
1/4 cup coconut powder (fine flakes)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons chironji or pista 

Covering:

1 cup all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup refined oil
Water

Refined oil or ghee to fry

Mix the flour with the oil and mix well. Rub it between palms and when it is all mixed it should form a clump when pressed between fingers. Slowly add water to form a tight dough. Cover with a wet cloth and keep aside.

Grind the sugar to form a powder. Heat a heavy bottomed wok and dry roast the suji. It should change color slightly to become light brown. Remove from heat and add the coconut and sugar and mix well. Taste and adjust for sweetness. If you want to add mava, heat a teaspoon of ghee to a hot wok and saute the mava. Add to the rava, coconut mixture. 

Roll out a thin roti from the dough about 1-1.5 mm thick and 4 inches in diameter. A little variation is fine. Put a tablespoon of filling on one side (like a half moon) and cover with other half. Press the sides to seal. To make the design on the edge, press the edge dough flat on the rolling surface. Lift the end like a wave and fold over and press to complete. Continue for the entire half moon.

Heat the oil and when ready, add one or two ghugras to fry. Fry on low-medium heat till golden brown. 

Serve warm! And Happy Holi everyone.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Citrus Sorbet - Dessert Month Recipe 7

Sometimes you are in a mood for a little lighter stuff. And this sorbet or sorbetto is just that. Cold, light, refreshing, and since its zero-fat it makes you feel good. Growing up I had tons of golas, ice pops and just plain frozen sherbets and this is a more grown-up sophisticated version of the same. I have used pineapple, orange and lemon in this sorbet but its versatile - you can use berries, mango or any other juicy fruit of your choice. I didn't want a overwhelming taste of orange so I didn't use the rind, but if you want to make a orange sorbet, boil orange rind along with the sugar and water. You can also make it more grown-up by adding about 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier. This proportion has to be maintained as alcohol will inhibit freezing. Too much of it and your sorbet won't set.

Ingredients:

2 large oranges
3-4 thick slices pineapple
1 lemon
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup water

Heat the water in a pot and when boiling add the sugar. Boil till all the sugar dissolves. Strain and chill.

Wash and peel the oranges. Separate the slices and de-seed them. Puree the oranges and the pineapple. Pass them through a strainer. You should get about a cup and half of juice. Add the lemon juice and put in the freezer to chill.

Mix the two liquids and adjust for sugar (add some powdered sugar and mix well). It has to be a little sweeter than you like as it will lessen in sweetness as it freezes. Now there are two ways of freezing this. First - put the chilled mixture in a ice-cream maker. Turn on the ice-cream maker and churn till frozen. Second - if you are making this without a ice cream maker, put mixture in a steel / metal tumbler and place in the freezer. Remove the  mixture from the freezer every hour and mix well, breaking all the ice crystals and frozen chunks. This will prevent formation of large ice crystals. Repeat 3-4 times before completely frozen.

Serving suggestions:
 
- Scoop and serve
- Serve with a scoop of vanilla icecream
- Serve with pound cake and grilled pineapple

I am sending this to Vaishali's Its Spring Event!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mishti Doi (Sweet yogurt) - Dessert Month Recipe 6

I had Mishti Doi very late in life. And I am trying to make up for it. Cool, creamy and in these delightful mud 'kullad's' (cup) this my new favorite dessert. Though I haven't yet had the authentic Calcutta version which my mom-in-law raves about, this recipe tries to mimic the local dessert shop doi. And its fairly easy to make. I have added saffron because I like its flavor and the golden hue it gives to desserts. One small drawback, its not an instant dessert. It takes about 10-12 hours to set as the sugar acts as an inhibitor to the yogurt culture. But make it at night and enjoy the next day. The kullad I have is of approx 1 cup capacity, which makes 2 portions. The recipe below is for that.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups full fat milk
1/3 teaspoon saffron (a fat pinch)
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar (may alter as per taste)
1 tablespoon live yogurt culture

Soak the saffron in 1/4 cup milk, leaving aside 2-3 strands for garnish. After 15-20 minutes, crush the strands to release the color and flavor.
Boil 2 cups of the milk in a heavy bottomed pot. Add sugar to the boiling milk. When reduced to half its volume, add the saffron soaked milk and bring to a boil. Taste for sweetness and adjust. Remove from heat and cool till lukewarm, do not cover as condensation will drop into the milk. Add the yogurt culture and whisk well. Pour into the kullad and garnish with saffron strands. Cover and keep in a warm spot for about 10-12 hours. Check if set and keep for more time till set. Once set, store in refrigerator till serving. 

Serve chilled!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Eggless Sandwich Blondie - Dessert Month Recipe 5

Brownies I have had plenty but blondies very few. A twist on the traditional blondie, this sandwich blondie has milk chocolate and nuts sandwiched between two decadent layers of white chocolate goodness. And its eggless. The idea to sandwich a chocolate bar between blondies came from this thriller + recipes novel I had read some time ago, Cream puff murder. I used a simple nut chocolate as I didn't want the blondies too thick but feel free to use a bar of your choice. If you want you can just make these as plain blondies without the chocolate bar, just add a cup of walnuts to the batter after coating with a tablespoon of flour. 
They taste divine by themselves and even better when paired with a scoop of icecream.

Ingredients: 

1 cup all purpose flour (maida)
1/2 can Amul mithai mate or 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 stick or 100 grams melted butter or 1/2 cup refined vegetable oil + pinch of salt
1/2 cup yogurt + milk equal portions
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup melted white chocolate (200 grams)
3-4 bars milk chocolate with nuts, enough to cover your pan
2-3 tablespoons dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 F or 180 C. Take a large bowl and mix the wet ingredients - the yogurt / milk mixture, oil, condensed milk, sugar and melted chocolate. White chocolate melts faster than dark chocolate so be careful while melting it. Then mix the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, couple of tablespoons at a time. When all the ingredients are incorporated, beat for about 2 minutes with a hand mixer.

Take a 8x8 inch metal or glass cake pan. Line the bottom and sides with foil. This lets you pull out the blondies out of the pan easily and also it's easier cutting and clean up. Pour in half the the batter and level. Next layer the chocolate bars to cover the entire surface and then pour the remaining half of the batter on the chocolates. Bake for 20 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center to check doneness. The toothpick should come out clean, if it comes out with wet batter (some chocolate might stick) bake an additional few minutes.

Cool the blondies. Cut into squares. Melt the dark chocolate and pour into a ziplock bag. Nip a corner and drizzle zigzags on the blondies. Enjoy them warm with a scoop of ice cream or a glass of ice tea! These can be stored in the refrigerator for a week. To re-serve, microwave on full strength for 15-20 seconds.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Jalebi's - Dessert Month Recipe 4

Golden, syrup-filled, crispy spirals of happiness, warm jalebi's are everyone's favorite. Next to Gulab Jamun's this may be the sweet eaten most commonly all over India. My fondest memories are those of Dassera mornings, when we had jalebi and ganthia with fried chili's. Another combination which is favored at my in-laws place is jalebis with rabdi or milk. 
I ate this sunshine deliciousness being homemade a little late in life (sorry mom - but we always had them from the neighborhood halwai). Well better late than never. My neighbor K bhabhi makes the worlds best jalebi's and feeds them with a lot of love too. This is her recipe verbatim. Portion below makes about 20 medium sized jalebis. A note about yogurt. Homemade yogurts have a slight higher water content than store bought ones. I have used home made yogurt in this recipe, if you are using store bought, you made need a little water to get the right consistency. Slightly tangy yogurts are best.  Baking soda makes the jalebi's crispy. I have not used color in these but you can use yellow or orange coloring as well.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon gram flour (besan)
1 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Water (if needed)
Ghee for frying

For the syrup

2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar

Mix the maida and besan with the yogurt. Beat well to make a lump-free batter of pourable consistency. If you hold it up with a spoon it should be fall easily. Keep aside while you make the syrup or about 30 minutes. 

Heat water in a heavy bottomed pot and add the sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar and keep boiling till it reduces a little. It has to be slightly less viscous than an 'ek tar'* syrup. To check, pour a drop of the liquid on a plate. Cool a little (dont burn your fingertips) and press between thumb and forefinger. When you separate the two digits, it should give a pull but not form a full lace (tar). If it forms a lace add a little water to thin it out. Keep aside.

Heat ghee in a wok. Add the baking soda to the batter and mix well. Take a squeeze bottle, like for ketchups, and fill it up with the batter. When ghee is hot enough for frying, pipe small spirals over the ghee keeping the tip as close to the ghee as possible. When you close the spiral, pipe a little bit inwards over the spirals else the spiral will open in the hot ghee. Cook on one side, flip and cook till done. Remove from ghee and dunk directly into the syrup. Soak for a minute and remove.

Jalebis are best served warm, by themselves or with a side of rabdi, milk or yogurt. As they become cold they will become soggy. If you are planning to serve them at a latter time, fry the jalebis but do not soak them in the syrup. At the time of serving, heat the syrup, soak the jalebis and then serve warm. This will ensure crispness. 

Enjoy!

* Sugar syrups are checked as ek tar, do tar, teen tar; single lace, double lace, triple lace. This is basically the number of laces it forms when pulled between two fingers. Higher the number of laces, the harder it will set when cooled.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Strawberry Mousse - Dessert Month Recipe 3

With spring in the air and summer around the corner, here's a summery treat. A light airy dessert which looks beautiful too. Pale pink mousse with specks of strawberry in it. I have used strawberries here but raspberries, blueberries or mango would be equally delicious. Another twist on this and to give it a textural contrast would be to add some fruit pieces into the cream and then setting it. This portion makes 4 medium servings. So here goes...

Ingredients: 

1 1/4 cup whipping cream
8-10 medium strawberries
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

Clean and hull the strawberries. Cut into 2 pieces. Heat a heavy bottomed pan and add the granulated sugar and strawberries into it. Mash the strawberries slightly to release some juices. Bring to a boil. Cool and puree in a blender. It should make about 3/4 cup of puree. You can also sieve the puree to remove the seeds.
In a chilled bowl, take 1 cup of the cream, add the powdered sugar and whip to stiff peaks. In the remaining 1/4 cup cream add the gelatin and set aside for 10 minutes for the gelatin to bloom.  Heat the  cream (not in a microwave) to warm it (do not boil) and dissolve the gelatin. Then mix this cream with the puree. Fold 1/2 the whipped cream into the puree (mix fruit pieces at this time if you want). When it is of even color, fold in the remaining cream. Portion into 4 cups and chill for an hour to set. 
Serve chilled!

PS: Happy Woman's Day Ladies! Be proud of being a daughter, grand daughter, sister, wife, mother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, grandmother, home maker, career woman! We wear many hats :-)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Gajar ka Halwa / Gajrela (Carrot Pudding) - Dessert Month Recipe 2

Winter is the time for Gajar ka Halwa, but in our house it is an all season hit. If you could get carrots, any time was gajar ka halwa time. The crunchy red roots become the perfect warm dessert, sweet, rich, chewy with the nuts adding a textural contrast. And it is easy to make except it needs a little elbow grease and patience. So here goes...

Ingredients:

2 pounds Carrots (~1 kilo)
2 cups full fat milk (~1/2 litre)
1 cup mava (khoya) (~200 grams)
1 cup sugar (~200 grams) 
1 teaspoon ghee
1/2 cup assorted dry fruits, cashews, almonds and raisins

Grate the carrots using a medium sized grater. Leave out the central portion which is pale yellow in color. Heat the ghee in heavy bottomed pan. Add the carrots to it and saute. Add the milk to this and let it cook for about 45 minutes on low to medium heat stirring occasionally. At this point the carrots will be almost cooked and the milk will have evaporated. Then add the mava and sugar and cook till the sugar dissolves and the mava is incorporated into the carrots thoroughly. Add the dry fruits and mix well. 

Garnish with a few pieces of chopped almonds. Serve warm by itself or with a dollop of vanilla icecream. Store in an airtight container in a refrigerator and before serving, reheat in a microwave.

PS: Today is my Grandmothers birthday. So this is for you grandma... Happy Birthday!

I am sending this to Priya's event "Lets Celebrate Sweets- Warm Desserts, an event started by Nivedita

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies - Dessert Month Recipe 1

March happens to be the month I want to try something different. Last March I had blogged continuously for 31 days, this year I am planning to make it a dessert month. I will be posting 10 of my favorite dessert recipes, a mix of Indian and International. Some easy, some a little time consuming but hopefully all of them a true delight to the senses. 

To start off, I have these Eggless Chocolate Chip cookies. Now cookies I have had plenty but baked I have none. And since this batch turned out so golden, crispy, chocolaty and perfect I had to blog about them. Honestly I didn't think I would nail it the first time but they came out so well, I had all 15 of the giant cookies finished in a day. Friends, family and neighbors kids all came for seconds. They were a hit. I made these by creaming butter with sugar and adding the dry ingredients. I didn't use chocolate chips (sorry for the misnomer) but chocolate chunks but any one would be fine. I got 15 large cookies out of this batter. You can get 20 good sized cookies as well.

Ingredients: 

2 1/4 cup All purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 sticks butter (approx 220 grams) at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar (don't use powdered)
1/2 cup condensed milk
1 1/2 cup chocolate chunks / large chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400F (200 C). Line baking trays with parchment paper. 

Cream the butter and sugar together for about 5 minutes with a blender on medium speed. The butter will become pale in color and increase in volume as well. Then add the condensed milk and vanilla and beat well to mix. In another bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together (you can also just whisk them together to mix well). Mix the flour into the butter mixture a couple of spoons at a time with a spatula. When all the flour is incorporated into the butter, fold the chocolate chips into it. Do not beat the mixture. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will harden the butter and not spread the cookies as much when baked. Take 2 inch balls of dough (roughly - they don't have to be perfect) and place them on the baking tray keeping about 2-3 inch distance between two dough balls.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes till the edges turn golden brown. The center may not be firm but they will continue to cook and harden outside the oven. Remove from oven and cool them on a wire rack. Do not cool on a plate as the moisture on the base of the cookie will make them soggy.

Enjoy just as they are or with a glass of cold milk! To store, place in a air tight container once they are completely cooled.
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