CHOUX PASTRY/PROFITEROLES filled with CHOCOLATE CREAM and drizzled with CHOCOLATE GANACHE

Flapping my arms, walking in circles and making horrid throaty noises is something I often do when I’m absolutely jobless and dead bored!
Yeah! Laugh all you want! :/ :P
A while back when I was reading a few recipes online, I came across a very nice recipe for “Choux Pastry“. Though I had heard of choux
pastry before, reading out the word “choux pastry” aloud amused me! Don’t ask me why. ‘Coz i don’t know. :/ And there I went flapping my
arms, being all loopy and shrieking out the words “choux pastry” again and again and again! I could see that my absurdity was raising a few
eyebrows. My mum’s and my bro’s to be precise… And I knew it was time for me to shut up!
I fled the scene and got busy with picking out the ingredients from the pantry cupboard for the recipe. What tempted me to try this recipe out
was that it was sooo easy, and did not ask for many tricky, hard-to-find ingredients. Three simple steps and Voila! You are rewarded with
unbelievably cute blobs of yumminess! You could fill the profiteroles with vanilla custard or chocolate cream or anything you fancy! Give this recipe a go and I’m telling ya, you won’t regret it! Have fun!

Chocolate Cream

Ingredients:

2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cornflour, sifted
¼ teaspoon salt
7 (200g) ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature

Method:

To make the dark chocolate cream, heat the milk. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar, cornflour and salt until thick and well blended. Without stopping whisking, drizzle in about ¼ cup of the hot milk, then add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream. Put the pan over medium heat, and whisking vigorously, bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking for 1-2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Whisk in the melted chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. In the meantime, fill the sink about a quarter full with water and ice cubes. Whisk in the pieces of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the cream is smooth and silky.

Put the bowl into the ice filled sink, and stir occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled. Refrigerate with plastic pressed against the surface of the cream to avoid a skin forming.

Choux Pastry/Profiteroles 
(makes about 40)

Ingredients:

100g unsalted butter
1 cup cold water
150g plain flour, sifted
4 eggs

Method:

1. To make the choux pastry, preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F) and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Combine butter and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Add flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.

2. Add eggs to the mixture, beating vigorously to combine after each addition before adding the next. To make profiteroles, use either a piping bag or a spoon to make 3cm mounds on the baking tray.

3. Bake for 15 minutes. Prick pastries with a skewer or the tip of a small knife and bake for an additional 5 minutes until golden and dry. Cool profiteroles on a wire rack before filling with chocolate cream. Drizzle chocolate ganache(recipe below) on the profiteroles before serving.

NOTE: the profiteroles are hollow pastries. Poke a hole on one side and use piping bag to fill them with chocolate cream.

Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream
12 ounces of dark/semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla

Method:

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium heat resistant bowl.

Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it just reaches a boil. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the cream over the chocolate. Stir gently to make sure all of the chocolate is covered by the cream and allow it to sit for a minute. Stir well, until it is smooth and blended. Add the vanilla and mix it in thoroughly. Use immediately.

JEERA/ZEERA RICE ( Cumin Flavored Rice )

So, a week back I was chatting with one of my favorite cousins online after a very long time. After a lot of catching up and some Oohs n’ Ahhs of how life has changed so much, we got to talking about my blog… Along with many flattering compliments *blush* *blush* :P , She gave me a few cool tips about how I could make the blog more convenient for you by alternating between desserts, gravies, breads, rice etc. Because I tend to put up more of dessert recipes. Can’t help it :P  So I was thinking, we should go with rice next. What say? 

My cuz suggested I do Jeera/Zeera rice (Cumin flavored rice). And I thought it’s a very good idea. It is quick n’ simple yet a flavorful variation to regular plain rice. Jeera/Zeera rice is basically rice tempered and flavored with cumin seeds. This dish is popular in the north of India. Pair it with any Paneer (cottage cheese) gravy dish and you got yourself a proper North-Indian meal!!! Yummy!!! Try it out for dinner tonight!!!  Happy Cooking!!! :) 

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recipe courtesy – Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s website…

{Serves 4}
Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Basmati rice (Indian long-grained rice)
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tbsp ghee
1 bay leaf
1 black cardamom
2 two-inch sticks cinnamon
salt to taste

Method:

Wash rice thoroughly and soak in water for half an hour. Drain. Heat ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cardamom and cinnamon.
When cumin seeds crackle, add the rice. Add salt to taste.
Stir till ghee coats every grain of rice and it looks glossy.
Add three cups of water. Bring to a boil. Stir once. Reduce heat to minimum and cover the pan with a lid. Leave a little gap, otherwise water will boil over.
Rice will be done when holes appear on the surface and water has been completely absorbed.
Fork the rice out onto a serving dish. This will separate each grain.
Serve hot with any curry.

HOT n’ SPICY HONEY CHICKEN

Hello again, Folks! I know, I know I’ve been idle for a while and the blog seemed stagnant. I’m sorry! :( Was busy with college. It’s been pretty hectic. How about I post one recipe per week? How does that sound? That way I’ll have enough time to wrap up my college assignments and give my undivided attention to the blog over the weekend here. Win-win for everyone!!! :D
Now let me make it up to you with a very yummy recipe. It’s called SPICY HONEY CHICKEN. The recipe is from a cookery show that my mum watches very religiously on TV. It sounded good so I thought I’d give it a try and give mum a break from the kitchen for the day.
Remember I said I’m very partial to dessert recipes and anything sweet? Another li’l tidbit about me goes like this… I am very nervous when it comes to cooking savory dishes! Be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian. I never seem to get used to it even after trying out some very successful recipes. But luckily my experience with this recipe was a breeze. With it’s well-defined steps and handy ingredients, trying this recipe out was fun! Do try and share your experience with me! :D Happy Omnoming!!! :)

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Ingredients + Method (Step 1):

For Marination:
300 gm boneless chicken
salt to taste
1 tsp dry red chilli paste
1/2 tsp red chilli sauce
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 egg-white
1-2 tbsp corn flour

Marinate the chicken in the above ingredients for an hour or two.
Shallow fry the marinated chicken till done and set aside.

Ingredients + Method (Step 2):
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp garlic paste
4-5 spring onions (chop off the stalks and reserve for garnishing)
1 1/2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp red chilli sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
fried chicken pieces from step 1
1-1 1/2 tbsp honey
salt to taste

Heat the oil in a wok. Fry the garlic paste till the raw smell disappears. Lower the heat.
Toss in the chopped spring onion (onion only) and fry for a minute.
Add ketchup, red chilli sauce, soy sauce and mix. Make sure not to dry it out.
Put the chicken pieces in the wok and toss, so that the sauce coats the chicken well.
Add honey, mix gently and season with salt. Done!!!!
Garnish with chopped spring onion stalks and sesame seeds! Lovely!!! :D

LEMON & APRICOT PUDDING

         

       Despite the large number of traits that I share with my dad, there are quite a few subtle differences between us like take for example, our flavor preferences. Him and my brother are so into the citrus flavors when it comes to desserts and candy that it’s almost unhealthy! I, on the other hand run the opposite direction when someone even tries to offer me something lemony or orangey. I’m not a fan of tangy desserts and prefer my dessert comfortably sweet. But this Lemon and Apricot pudding almost completely changed my mind! For one, it has just a hint of lemon in it. And served with custard it tasted amazing! Yeah, i’m still not a fan of lemon flavor, but I wouldn’t mind trying some if i’m offered. Then if i love it, I might even end up asking for or serving myself a few more helpings like how i did with this dessert! :D That’s how yummy it was! Those of you who are lemon-lovers would love this pudding! Even the non-fans, do try it out ‘coz you might end up changing your minds! And anyway, what’s life without a little zest, yeah!? :P Found this recipe in my favorite dessert recipe book. And made it on my Dad’s Birthday. Oh, and do I need to mention that he loved it!!!? :D

Ingredients:

125 g/4 oz ready-to-eat dried apricots
3 tbsp orange juice, warmed
50 g/2 oz butter
125 g/4 oz caster sugar
juice and grated rind of 2 lemons
2 medium eggs
50 g/2 oz self-raising flour
300 ml/1/2 pint milk
custard or fresh cream, to serve

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 c/ 350 F/ Gas Mark 4. Oil a 1.1 litre/2 pint pie dish.

Soak the apricots in the orange juice for 10-15 minutes or until most of the juice has been absorbed, then place in the base of the pie dish.

Cream the butter and sugar together with the lemon rind until light and fluffy.

Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks into the creamed mixture with a spoonful of flour after each addition. Add the remaining flour and beat well until smooth.

Stir the milk and lemon juice into the creamed mixture. Whisk the egg whites in a grease-free mixing bowl until stiff and standing in peaks. Fold into the mixture using a metal spoon or rubber
spatula.

Pour into the prepared dish and place in a baking tray filled with enough cold water to come halfway up the sides of the dish.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until the sponge is firm and golden brown. Remove from the oven. Serve immediately with the custard or fresh cream.

SUE YOU FAKE TIRAMISU!!! (for being so unbelievably yummy!)

How many times have you heard yourself say “How I wish I could create that awesome dessert in my own kitchen!” when you are out on a dinner date with your family or friends at a swanky restaurant? “Tiramisu” I feel, falls in that category of desserts (the one that makes you yearn for the recipe!) with its smooth and creamy yumminess with just a hint of coffee that sings on your palate and make your toes curl with every spoonful!!! Mmmm!!! Even if you do find the perfect recipe, many a time you fall short of an ingredient or two ‘coz some ingredients are difficult to come by around your place. I faced this predicament when I went out in search of Mascarpone Cheese. Surprisingly, it was nowhere to be found! At least not for a very long time. Finally when I was done dragging my bum to every possible food store here, and was just about to give up, there they were!!! Sitting proud and staring at me from their roost were perfect little packets of mascarpone! But when I looked at the price tag, my heart skipped a beat! Sigh! They were sadly too expensive for a college-going girl that I am and them being of an imported brand and all, I ended up not buying the cheese at all…

On a happy note, the recipe I’m gonna share with you requires absolutely no mascarpone!!! Yup! That’s right! No mascarpone! So people who find it hard to get their hands on some, but are craving for some tiramisu can try this recipe out. I got this recipe from a friend, and it’s a hit with my family!  This recipe is the closest you can get to an authentic Tiramisu without using any mascarpone. You might find it a tad too sweet! But who’s complaining right?!! Keep in mind, this recipe is meant to pacify your taste buds. Nothing can replace the real thing. But this recipe is almost as good is all I’m saying.

I make this dessert using the trial and error method. there’s no set measurement for the ingredients. But for your convenience I gave the nearest measurements that i use. And hey! i even Indianized the whole dessert by sprinkling pistachio and almond slivers on top. :P Look at the pictures. Wicked right?? :P Enjoy!!

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 can condensed milk
3/4 cup whip cream powder
2 tbsp milk powder
Milk/cream as required
Tea biscuits or lady fingers as required
A few tsp Coffee powder
Water

Method:

STEP 1- Put the condensed milk, whip cream powder, milk powder in a blender and blend till smooth for about 3 minutes. Check the consistency of the mixture. It should be like a thick custard. If its too thick, add some milk or cream and blend again. Or if the mixture is too thin, blend in some more of the whip cream powder. Set aside.

STEP 2- In a wide bowl put 1/3 cup water and 2 tsp coffee powder and mix well. Keep a serving dish(preferrably rectangular/square) ready. Dip one biscuit in the coffee concoction at a time and place them in your dish to cover the bottom.

STEP 3- Now pour half of the mixture prepared in step 1 over the biscuit layer. Then create another layer of biscuits soaked in coffee, gently placing them over the condensed milk mix. Then pour the rest of the mixture from the blender over this second layer of biscuits. Put the dish in the mid-freezer overnight. Decorate and serve the next day!!!! *slurrrrpppp*

Note: 1 can of condensed milk = 400g

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