Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chocolate Brownies

My most favorite dessert is the brownie. I love their rich and dense chocolate texture. I was first introduced to brownies during my Undergrad days. My friends and I often visited a coffee shop next to our college. I hate coffee, but at that time cold coffee was quite the fab! We also had the brownies, which when zapped in the microwave for 10 seconds, tasted like molten lava cakes! I fell for these square pieces of heaven on my first bite!
I love baking brownies for 2 reasons. One, It is very hard to mess up a brownie recipe. Two, everyone loves brownies!
This is my go to recipe for brownies! Thank you www.browneyedbaker.com for this wonderful recipe.
Hershey's Baking chocolate.
Melting the chocolate with butter oven a pan of simmering water.
So I hope you give this recipe a try and share the baked goodies with your friends. They will love you for it.

Chocolate Brownies:
Yeild: 24 Brownies

1¼ cups - Plain flour
1 teaspoon - Salt
2 tablespoons - Cocoa powder
11 ounces - Baking chocolate, coarsely chopped (i used Hershey's Baking Chocolate Bar)
1 cup - Unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon - Instant Coffee powder (I used Bru Coffee)
1½ cups - Sugar
½ cup - Packed light brown sugar
5 eggs - At room temperature
2 teaspoons - Vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
  3. Put the chocolate, butter and instant coffee powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. 
  4. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
  5. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
  6. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve.
  8. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for upto 3-4 days.
  9. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks. While serving, heat in microwave for 10-15 seconds, and top it with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.
  10. For freezing, cut into squares and store in individual bags, and store in the freeze for up to a month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and serve warm.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Custard & Jelly Cups

 Here is easy-peasy Valentine’s Day special treat! I wanted to post something sweet and red and quick for the heading lover’s day. This is a dessert that you can out put together in about 10 minutes. But it takes a bit of thinking ahead.
There are two layers involved here; the bottom is a jelly layer. The top layer is custard. You can choose any flavour of jelly you want. I used cherry flavoured Tropical Jelly mix for my jelly layer, although it took like 2 minutes to make this jelly, I did not like the flavour much. So you might want to experiment with some other brands. I choose the cherry flavour because I thought the red colour looked great with the cream coloured custard. Just sprinkled some pomegranate seeds on top to make the contrast pop!
The custard layer is my favourite, I have made this a million times. I use store bought custard powder to make my custards. They are quick and taste great. You can definitely make custard from scratch but it is a tricky process.
I used these cute little shot glasses. They are so convenient when dealing with guests who whine about being too full for desserts. I filled a ¼ of each cup with the hot jelly mix and let it set for a while in the refrigerator. 
In the meantime you make the custard. After the custard had cooled, store it in the refrigerator.
Alternatively: You can make diagonal layers of jelly and custard. Use a box filled with rice, and arrange your cups in a diagonal position, as seen in the pic below. Then you can pour in the hot jelly mix and set it in the fridge .
When you are ready to serve, take out the set jelly cups and spoon the custard carefully on top of the jelly. Top of with the pomegranate seeds, or your any topping of your choice like chocolate chips, cherries, chocolate sauce or whipped cream.
Have a lovely Valentine’s Day!  
Custard & Jelly Cups:

Jelly Layer:
Follow the instructions on your Jelly mix package.

Custard Layer:
  • Take 500ml of milk.
  • From this take ¼ cup of milk and mix in 2 table spoons of custard powder and make a smooth paste.
  • Boil the remaining milk in a milk pan.
  • Then add 4 table spoons of sugar
  • Keep the flame low and add the custard paste slowly into the milk.
  • Stir continuously to avoid burning.
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes. Stir it a bit longer if you want a thick consistency.
  • Let it cool and store refrigerated. Serve cold.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wild Honey Lemonade

Finally back to blogging! My apologies, for being away for almost two months! That is because we moved to our new place a couple of months back, and it has been hectic with packing and unpacking. Seriously, if I ever have to unpack one more box gain, I am going to flip out!

I love my new house and my new kitchen has so much spaceJ. But I do miss my old house. Speaking of the old house, Mr.David, who was our next door neighbour, lived there with his two adorable dogs – Ginger and Hutch. He was always so nice to us. A few months before we moved out, he gave us this huge pack of wild honey from China, given to him by one of his friends.

He sounded so excited about the wild honey, which was in small cubes. I had no clue what to do with it. I was also doubtful about the taste. My hubby suggested we try it with lemonade first. We both love lemoades, and it turned out great, sweet and refreshing. It tasted more like sugar, not as thick as the normal honey that we are used too. Now we use it with milk and tea too.

Later when I researched online, I found that wild honey has seven times the benefit over the usual honey. It is not as sweet as the usual honey, and when mixed with water, wild honey appeared clear and transparent.
So next time when you come across small cubes of wild honey, do give it a try and enjoy the health benefits!