Sunday, June 4, 2017

Pantry Cleaning Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Not sure if I can replicate this recipe, given that I was throwing in all sorts of leftovers, but here's a rough description of what I did:

- Butter and flour a 10" spring form pan.
- Toast about a cup of hazelnuts. Keep aside a handful for garnish, and grind the rest coarsely in a food processor. Remove and keep aside.
- In the food processor, mix 1 stick soft butter and about 3 tbsp sugar. Now add 4 egg yolks and mix until pale and fluffy. Add 3 squares of melted ghiarardeli semi sweet chocolate (that's all I had), 1/2 container of hazelnut chocolate spread (that's all I had left), a table spoon of chocolate liquor (have something sitting around for a while in the fridge). Blend everything in the processor.
- In a stand mixer, beat the 4 egg whites. Add some of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture to lighten it, and then add it to the egg white bowl and slowly fold. Also fold in half pack of white cake mix (yeah, I know, it's all very approximate), and the nut powder.
-Add this mixture to the cake pan, and bake for about 35-40 mins at 350-375.
- Once cool, drizzle with melted chocolate (also leftover), and garnish with roughly chopped hazelnuts.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Make ahead Summer meal

Some friends were visiting on a Friday evening, so I prepped the night before, and the meal came together beautifully. The awesome produce at Whole Foods helped too.

Corn Salad

Watermelon Feta Salad

Lavash Pizza with Mushroom and Gorgonzola

Spinach manicotti

Ladies finger with peach, raspberries and yoghurt

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Lemon Almond Cake

Here's an easy, casual cake, which can add a special touch to a nice, relaxed evening with friends. For me, the recipe really worked when our friend, D. said that it reminded him of his childhood in Spain.

Here's the original recipe, but I made a whole bunch of tweaks:

I added some flour, baking powder and almond extract, got rid of the cinnamon and added a lemon glaze and sliced almonds. Here's what I did:

Preheat oven to 375. Butter and flour one 9 inch cake pan. Separate 4 eggs. Beat the yolks with a pinch of salt, and 2 Tbsp sugar until pale. Add the zest of about 4 lemons, a small dash of almond extract (~1/2 tsp), 1 1/3 cup almond flour,  2 Tbsp flour, and 1/4 tsp baking powder. Remove this thick paste (almost dough-like consistency) in another container. Clean the mixer bowl and whisk really well. Beat the egg whites and 1/8 tsp cream of tarter until soft peak forms. Add about 5 Tbsp sugar and beat until stiff peaks. Mix about 1/3 of the whites with the yolk and almond mixture to lighten it up. Now fold it back into the whites gently and transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake in the 375 oven for about 25 mins (cake tester comes out clean). Cool on a wire rack, after a few minutes, remove from the pan and cool further.

Mix the juice of one lemon with about 1 cup of confectioner's sugar to get a thick glaze consistency. While the cake is still warm, transfer it to the serving plate with the bottom of the cake on top. Spread the glaze evenly on the top and let drip on the sides (some of the glaze will get absorbed by the cake). Once it cools a bit further, sprinkle sliced almonds all over the top, so they stick to the glaze. Cool completely and serve at room temperature.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Milk Masala

This makes for a perfect hostess gift, packed tightly in a mason jar, with a nice card with instructions on using it. 

Use all nuts in raw form unless specified. Also, they should all be unsalted.
2 cups almonds
2 cups cashews 
2 cups walnuts, very lightly toasted 
1 cup pistachios 
1 cup flax seeds, toasted until they start popping. 
2 tbsp cardamom seeds (not pods, but seeds)
3/4 whole nutmeg
1 really big pinch saffron
2 1/2 cups sugar 

In a food processor, grind each nut separately until fine or coarse. Towards the end, add a quarter cup of sugar for each cup of nut to aid grinding. The nuts
Should not turn to butter. Grind flax seeds finely in a grinder or magic bullet. Grind each of the spice separately with a couple of tablespoon of sugar in a spice grinder. Mix everything together nicely and pack in air tight container. 

For serving: mix 2-3 tbsp of powder with a cup of milk. Microwave for a minute, let steep for 30 sec and enjoy. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Party Menu: Holi

The idea is to make almost everything ahead of time and set it out. Ragda Pattice is the only thing that needs to be warm.

Mango Lassi
Pani Puri
Ragda Pattice
Papdi chaat
Gulab Jamun

Party Menu: Diwali

I figured I should start writing down the menus I plan for parties...

This one was a potluck:

Diwali snacks: chakli, chevdo, farsi puri, cholafali, mathia, mawa peda (prasad), chocolate cookies
Amiri Khaman
Dahi vada
Fried balls of awesomeness
Methi Malai Matar
Mix veg. Korma
Triangle paratha
Boondi raita
Moong daal halwa

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Birthday weekend grand finale: Homemade cashew salted caramel icecream.

In a small ziploc bag, crush half a pack of swad cashew chikki into big crumbs using a rolling pin. 
In a small pan, heat about 1/3 cup sugar until amber colored. Add about a tablespoon of salted butter, and a few splashes of heavy cream. Add a good pinch of sea salt, and cook until the sauce get a nice consistency.
Prepare ice-cream base according to the machine instructions (this was our first time using it). I used  1 cup milk + 3/4 cup sugar + 2 cups heavy cream + 1 tablespoon vanilla + 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste. I removed about half of the vanilla ice-cream to eat by itself. In the remaining mixture, stir in most of the chikki crumbs, and some of the caramel sauce. Remove into a container, and then drizzle more caramel sauce, and sprinkle the chikki crumbs, followed by more caramel drizzle. Cover and keep in the freezer.