Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Fresh Strawberry Sauce

                             Vanilla Panna cotta........ fancy name.....but super simple dessert.

Whenever I used to watch a chef using vanilla bean, I never thought it would make any difference......until I used it myself........last week I bought 2 vanilla beans (just two).......I am glad I used it .....and I am glad I used it wisely......End result......Vanilla Bean just ROCKS.

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  • 500ml  Fresh Cream
  • 50 g Sugar
  • 1 Vanilla bean (or vanilla extract)
  • 2 1/2 tsp Gelatin
  • 50 ml Cold water
Fresh Strawberry Sauce
  • 200g Fresh Strawberries
  • 2 tbsp Sugar

    1. Pour cream into a saucepan, split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape all the seeds with a knife and into the cream,toss in the whole bean in too. Bring the cream to a simmer, take off the heat and discard the vanilla bean. Cover the pan for 30 minutes.
    2. Add sugar to the cream and re-heat until the sugar is dissolved.
    3. Lightly grease 6 to 7 cups(I used small steel tumblers) with oil.
    4. In a bowl sprinkle gelatin over cold water and let it stand for 10 minutes.
    5. Pour the warm vanilla cream over the gelatin and stir until it is completely dissolved.
    6. Divide the mixture into the greased cups and chill for 4 to 5 hrs or overnight.
    7. Make Strawberry sauce- Blend half of the strawberries with sugar in a blender till smooth.Chop the remaining strawberries and mix both.Transfer to a bowl.
    8. Removing the set panna cotta from the cups is pretty tricky. Run a knife around the edges and unmold into a serving bowl and serve with strawberry sauce.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    Nigella's Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

    Seriously...I cannot get enough of chocolate...Is it just me or do I have an overdose of chocolate recipes in my blog.....I don't care ....you are gonna see more chocolate anyway.

    I don't like to brag ;)......but believe me....... these are super simple .......amazing.......yummilicious.......with an attitude ....... muffins(does that even make sense).

    Print this recipe
    • 1 3/4 cup All purpose flour
    • 2 tsp Baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
    • 4 tbsp Cocoa powder
    • 3/4 cup Caster sugar or powdered sugar
    • 3/4 cup Semi sweet chocolate chipes
    • pinch salt
    • 1 cup Milk
    • 1/3 cup + 2 tsp Vegetable oil
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp Vanilla
    • 1/4 cup Chocolate chips to sprinkle

      1. Preheat oven at 190 Degree C.Place muffin paper cases into a muffin tray and set aside.
      2. In a bowl whisk or sieve together all the dry ingredients- flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, caster sugar and cocoa powder. Add 3/4 cup chocolate chips and mix well.
      3. In another small bowl combine all the wet ingredients - oil, milk, egg and vanilla.Whisk lightly using a fork.
      4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk lightly , do not over mix.
      5. Using an ice cream scoop divide the batter evenly among the muffin cases.
      6. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top of each muffin.
      7. Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes or when inserted with a toothpick comes out clean.
      8. Transfer onto a wire rack and let the muffins cool completely before digging in.

      Monday, February 20, 2012

      Penne Arrabbiata

      My daughter loves Penne Arrabbiata ......I love creamy Penne Arrabbiata .........and my mom loves creamy cheesy Penne Arrabbiata......Glad that I was able to satisfy everyone with one dish.

      Arrabbiata means 'Angry' in Italian...I am guessing it has something to do with the heat in the dish because of the chillies ....So here is some  'Angry Pasta'  for everyone.

      Print this recipe
      • 3 cups Penne, uncooked
      • 2 tbsp Olive oil
      • 10 cloves of Garlic, crushed
      • 3 tsp Red chilli flakes(adjust to taste) or 2 fresh red chillies chopped
      • 6 medium ripe Tomatoes 
      • 3/4 cup Tomato Puree
      • Pepper and salt to taste
      • 1 tsp Sugar
      • 2 tbsp  fresh Basil , roughly chopped
      • 2 tbsp  fresh Parsley , roughly chopped
      • 1/2 cup Fresh Cream
      • 10 Black olives , sliced
      • 1/2 Red capsicum,sliced (optional)
      • 1/2 Yellow capsicum, sliced (optional)
      • 200 g Mushroom, sliced (optional)

      1. Make tomato concasse -Boil 3 cups of water, while the water is coming to boil, make a small 'X' on the tomatoes (as shown above). Drop all the tomatoes into boiling water for few seconds(blanching). Remove from hot water as soon as the skin around the 'X' curls up or loosens. Dip the hot tomatoes into cold water to stop the tomatoes from cooking further. Peel the skin of all the tomatoes and keep aside. Cut the tomatoes and remove the pulp and seeds(keep this aside) and chop up the rest of the tomato. This is Tomato Concasse. I went a step further and passed the pulp and seeds through a sieve to get little more sauce, you can skip this step and discard the pulp and the seeds. The whole idea of tomato concasse is to avoid the seeds and the skin of the tomato.
      2. Cook the penne-Bring 6 cups of water to a boil, add generous amount of salt. Drop in the penne and stir once and let it cook for 8 to 9 minutes or till al dente (firm but not hard). Drain the water
      3. In a pan heat little oil and fry red capsicum, yellow capsicum and mushroom till it is almost cooked.Transfer to a plate or vessel and keep aside.You can skip this entire step. I like my pasta with some veggies.
      4. To the same pan add olive oil, add crushed garlic immediately to the cold olive oil, stir for a minutes and add the tomato concasse and tomato puree and cook for few minutes , add little water or stock if the sauce is very thick(since I used the pulp my sauce was of the right consistency). Let the sauce reduce little. Now add red chilli flakes, pepper, salt and sugar(adjust according to your taste)
      5. Add the fried vegetables (if you are using any).Mix well. Now add the cooked penne and mix well.Add in fresh basil and parsley and mix well.Sprinkle some sliced black olives. Now this is Penne Arrabiata.
      6. I like my pasta creamy so I went ahead and added cream just before serving the pasta you can also add cheese at this point.
      7. Serve with garlic bread.

      Tuesday, February 14, 2012

      Mississippi Mud Pie

      I am posting a recipe after a very long break....went into a month long hangover....sobering up now (hopefully)

      I strongly believe that a blogger should never apologize to his or her viewers for not posting for a long time....coz believe me........they won't notice that you are missing (I am excluding Shireen Sequeira :) 

       I felt it was the right time to post this recipe....I never thought I would ever say this ...well I am gonna say it anyways .....'IT'S VALENTINES DAY' (sorry I am not at all a valentine person...plz don't hate me)....well the real reason.....Its my daughters 3rd birthday....yes she is a valentine baby (I am not proud of it :) and yes I am dreading whats going to happen 15 years from now.

      Recipe source:- Essential Chocolate - Love Food
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      for Pastry

      • 225g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
      • 2tbsp cocoa powder
      • 150g butter (cold)
      • 2tbsp caster sugar
      • 1 to 2 tbsp cold water
      for filling
      • 175g butter
      • 350g brown sugar
      • 4 eggs (lightly beaten)
      • 4tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
      • 150g plain chocolate
      • 300ml cream

      1. For pastry- sift flour and cocoa powder into a bowl.Rub in cold butter till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, now add sugar and cold water and mix to form a soft dough. Wrap the dough and chill for 15 minutes.
      2. Preheat oven at 190 Degree C.
      3. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface and place into a loose bottom tart/pie tin (I used one 7 inch and two 5inch tins). Line the rolled out dough with baking paper and fill with beans. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the beans and baking paper and bake the pastry crust for 10 more minutes.
      4. Make filling-Melt chocolate using a double boiler,let it cool. Meanwhile beat butter and sugar in a bowl. Now beat in eggs and cocoa powder.Add the melted chocolate and cream and beat the mixture till well combined.
      5. Reduce the oven temperature to 160 degree C. Pour the filling into the baked pastry case and bake for 45 minutes or till the filling has set gently
      6. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
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