Thursday, April 7, 2016

Chocolate Cashew Butter

This recipe couldn't be any more easier or more delicious! And chocolate makes everything better. This homemade chocolate cashew butter is a great alternative to the store bought chocolate spreads full of corn syrup. The key to the smoothest and tastiest butter is to use good quality fresh cashew and cocoa. So start blending!






Chocolate Cashew Butter
Yeilds: 1 1/2 cups of butter

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups - Raw cashew nuts
  • 3 tablespoons - Cocoa Powder (add according to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons - Extra virgin coconut oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons - sugar (add according to taste)

Method:
  • In a food processor, grind the cashew nuts to a powder.
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients and grind to a smooth paste.
  • The food processor over heats, so stop periodically and scrape the sides.
  • Transfer to a dry container and keep refrigerated

Note:
  • The butter can be stored up to a month in the fridge.
  • It can be used as bread spread, to top your favourite ice cream, blend it in with a bowl of oatmeal, or enjoy as a dip for fruit slices.   


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Nutella Mousse

Yields – 8 small dessert cups

Cream whipped to a stiff peak.
Folding in the Nutella with the whipped cream.

Ingredients:
Nutella – ¾ cup
Heavy whipping cream – 1 Cup

Method:
  • Take the whipping cream in a chilled bowl of a stand mixer. Whip until stiff peaks are formed. Do not over beat.
  • Heat the Nutella in the microwave for 30 seconds. Keep stirring in 15 sec intervals.
  • Gently fold in the melted Nutella with the whipped cream.
  • Spoon the mousse into dessert cups. (I used a pipping bag to pipe the Nutella into tall dessert cups)
  • Cover and chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
  • Serve cold, topped with almond flakes, chocolate chips or chocolate sprinkles.

 Note:
  • I used non-dairy whipping cream, and it did not need any extra sugar.
  • The quantity of Nutella can be increased as per taste.
  • The mousse can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.



Monday, November 23, 2015

Tomato Thokku

My mom makes this thokku for us every time she comes to Singapore, and it lasts for a long time even after she has returned to India. So recently I started to make this tomato thokku for my hubby every time I go to India on long vacations.  This is a quick and easy to make, and goes well with almost everything like rice, chapathi, dosai, idly, etc. I have made this so many times now, that hubby claims my recipe is better than my mom’s J  The trick is to make it really spicy and add more oil ;) 


Tomato Thokku
Ingredients:
5 tomatoes - chopped finely.
1 teaspoon - red chilli powder,
2 teaspoon - sambar powder,
1 teaspoon - ginger garlic paste,
1/2 teaspoon - turmeric,
1 teaspoon- fenugreek powder,
2 teaspoon – salt (or as required)

Method:
  • In a kadai, temper - mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida.
  • Add the tomatoes along with the rest of the ingredients. Let the mixture boil for 5 minutes, keep stirring.
  • Then reduce flame and let it cook until oil oozes out. Stir at constant intervals to avoid burning.
  • Store in a dry container, after cooling completely.
NOTE: The thokku keeps well for 4 weeks if refrigerated. 


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Brownies - Eggless

I made this recipe for one of our Deepavali get together. I had to make dessert for almost 60 people, and these brownies seemed like a good idea. I made fondant toppers and stamped them with alphabet stamps.

These brownies where a crowd pleaser! The best part of it was the colorful fondant toppers. This recipe has been adapted from Food for 7 Stages of Life.
Milk + Vinegar resting for 10 minutes
Beating together - Oil, Mil + vinegar mixture, vanilla, coffee 
Chocolate chips tossed with
coco powder or plain flour
Batter in the pan, ready to go into the oven
Baked brownie,  out of the oven and cut into 25 squares.
Brownies – Eggless
Yields: One 8x8 square pan, 25 small pieces.

Ingredients:
For the brownies:
Plain Flour – 1 cup
Cocoa Powder – 6 tablespoons (I used Valrhona Cocoa Powder)
Icing Sugar – 1 Cup
Baking Soda – 1 teaspoon
Salt – a pinch
Oil – 1/3 Cup (I used sunflower oil)
Milk – 1 1/2Cup
Vinegar – 1 teaspoon
Instant coffee powder – ½ teaspoon
Vanilla essence – ½ teaspoon
Chocolate Chips – ½ cup
Walnuts – ¼ cup, chopped and roasted (Optional)

For the fondant toppers:
Chocolate Icing – …. (I used Betty Crocker’s icing)
Readymade Fondant – 1 pack, white color
Food coloring- in different shades

Method:
To make the brownies:
  • Line a 8x8 square baking pan with baking sheet. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
  • Mix the vinegar with room-temperature milk and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Sift together the flour, icing sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt.
  • In a bowl, beat together the oil and vinegar + milk mixture. To this add the vanilla essence and instant coffee powder and mix well.
  • Now add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 additions, gently fold in the mixture. Do not over beat.
  • In a separate bowl toss the chocochips and walnuts with some cocoa powder, this is to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the tray while baking.
  • Fold the chocochips and walnuts into the batter.
  • Now pour the batter into the baking pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the brownie comes out with crumbs.
  • Remove from pan and let it cool. Cut into small squares.

 To make the icing and fondant toppers: (Optional)
  • Chill the chocolate icing for about 20 minutes. Then fill a piping bag with the icing and frost the brownies.
  • Take a small ball of the white fondant, and knead in the required food colouring.
  • Use icing sugar for dusting and then roll out the fondant to desired thickness.
  • Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes.
  • Place the fondant shapes onto the frosted brownies.

 Notes:
  • You can add chocolate chips, caramel chips, chocolate chunks, other nuts to change up the flavor of the brownies.
  • You can replace the chocolate icing with chocolate ganache. Click here for the chocolate ganache recipe.
  • The fondant toppers can be made a day in advance, store in a cool dry place.
  • Do not refrigerate the fondant. 
The cut out fondant toppers, layed out on baking paper to dry overnight.
     
                         

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Watermelon Pops

Here is a fun and easy way to make healthy fruit lollipops! I sliced the watermelon into thick slices, then I used heart shaped cookie cutters (from Daiso), and cut out cute little hearts. You can then use bamboo skewers and make your very own fruit kabobs! This is so easy and yet so adorable!




You can use cookie cutters with any type of fruit and make  mixed fruit kabobs. These will be a great colorful addition to you morning breakfast.

I made myself a cup of refreshing watermelon juice, with all the leftover pieces of fruit after cutting out my heart shapes :) 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Celebrating Singapore's 50th National Day!

I am proud to have called Singapore my home for the past decade....Thank you Singapore for all the lovely memories and more to come! Happy SG50 to all my Singapore friends!






Thursday, July 16, 2015

Strawberry Pudding with whipped cream frosting

I made these yummy strawberry puddings for a committee meeting at our local temple. These pudding cups were a huge hit among adults and kids. It was so rich and creamy and the whipped cream topping elevated this simple pudding to a chic dessert option. 
 I originally made the rose pudding from YummyTummyAarthi.com. The rose pudding was made with rose essence I got from India. It was so great that I tried this strawberry pudding recipe with a few alterations to the original recipe.
 I used small shot glasses for the photo shoot. The shot glasses are so versatile. Do invest in a few of them and you won’t regret it when your guests are ooing and aahing over your bite sized dessert during your next dinner party :) 

I used small disposable dessert cups for my second batch. These are so convenient for taking dessert for potlucks. And they look so cute.


Strawberry Pudding with whipped cream frosting
Yields – 20 small dessert cups of pudding

Ingredients:
For the pudding:
  • Milk – 750 ml
  • Sugar – 1 ¼  Cups
  • Gelatin Powder – 2.5 Tablespoons
  • Strawberry essence – 1 teaspoon
  • Red food coloring – ½ teaspoon

For whipped cream frosting: (Optional)
  • Whipping cream – ½ cup (chilled)
  • Icing sugar – 5 tablespoons

Directions:
For Pudding:
  • Soak the gelatin powder in ¼ cup of room temperature water for 15 min.
  • Add the sugar to the milk and heat it in a pan.
  • Bring the milk to a boil and let it simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Now add the gelatin mixture to the milk and keep stirring until dissolved.
  • Remove from heat, and add in the strawberry essence and red food coloring.
  • Strain the milk mixture through a sieve to remove any un-dissolved gelatin lumps.
  • Pour into a desired mould and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  • Serve cold with whipped cream topping.

For the whipped cream topping:
  • Beat the whipping cream and icing sugar in a stand mixture until stiff peaks are formed.
  • Fill a piping bag with the whipped cream and pipe over the set puddings.

Note:
  • Use different flavoured essences and food coloring to make a variety of pudding flavours.
  • I used small dessert cups and shot glasses to serve my pudding,
  • You can also use a cake pan or any serving dish to set the pudding. Coat the pan/dish with little bit of oil before pouring in the pudding mixture. After the pudding sets in the refrigerator, invert it on to a plate and cut into squares and serve cold.
  • The whipped cream topping is optional.


Strawberry Puddings – served in small disposable containers.