Wednesday, November 16, 2016

How To Make Molded Butter



The next time plan on giving your guests individual dishes of butter for a fancy brunch or breakfast. Here's a quick look at how to create little molded pats of butter — it's a tiny, extra-fancy detail, but sometimes we just delight in silly things like these!

It's really simple to make these. All you need is some softened butter and Wilton Candy Molds (get them here http://bit.ly/2gg8tj8) and you are all set for an elegant service!

Ingredients
Unsalted butter
Salt (optional)
Optional: Kick it up a notch by adding herbs. garlic powder or paprika or just use plain ol' Amul butter (nothing better!)

Instructions
1. Choose a mold that goes with the theme of the event - elegant roses, shells or even simple truffle shapes do well and very soft butter.

2. Fill the molds with softened butter, using a spatula to work it in. Try to make sure there aren't any air pockets between the butter and the pan. Press down hard.

3. Freeze the butter for about 1/2 an hour (it freezes quickly) or longer. It should be quite firm.

4. Then place a plate or pan on top of the butter, flip it over. If you have difficulty in getting them out, go ahead and press down, the Wilton molds are hard and will not get damaged with some pressure.

Refrigerate in a sealed container or chill in a bowl of icy water kept in the fridge.




Thursday, October 20, 2016

Enjoying our Veggies!

As the weather changes and we head to (hopefully) cooler weather, vegetables are in bountiful supply. What better way to eat them than roasting? Not only does this keep the nutrients intact but also lets you savor the natural taste of the vegetable itself. So we put together a bit of a cheat sheet for you, so you can get roasting!



THE BASICS:

For every one kilo of vegetables, mix with 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast at 200 to 225  C, turning once, until tender and golden brown. Since all ovens and vegetables are different, begin checking for doneness at the early end of the suggested cooking time.

HOW LONG TO COOK & HOW TO PREP:

25-35 Minutes
Onions: cut into wedges.
Mushrooms: trimmed, halved if large.
Cherry tomatoes: whole.
Cauliflower: cut into florets or into planks.
Broccoli: cut into florets.


35-45 Minutes
Carrots: peeled, halved if large, or whole.
Pumpkin/Zucchini: peeled or unpeeled, halved or cut into wedges, seeds removed.
Eggplants: sliced 1 inch thick or cut into wedges, salted 30 minutes, rinsed, and patted dry.
Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes: peeled or scrubbed, cut into wedges.
Cabbages: cut into wedges or planks.

45-60 Minutes
These foods should be roasted in foil so they don’t lose too much moisture, which will be caused due to the excessive exposure to dry, oven heat.
Garlic: top third removed, drizzled with oil, wrapped in foil, and roasted until tender.
Beets: scrubbed and drizzled with oil, seasoned with salt, wrapped in foil, and roasted until tender.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Refreshing Summer Salad


Watermelon, Feta and Black Olive Salad

This combination is so wonderful - both savoury and refreshing at the same time. Sure to become a regular feature of your summer dinning table.

Serves: 8

INGREDIENTS

1 small red onion
4 lemons
1½ kilograms watermelon, chilled
250 grams feta cheese
1 bunch fresh parsley, whole
1 bunch fresh mint, chopped
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
100 grams pitted black olives
Freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

  • Peel and halve the red onion and cut into very fine slices and put in a small bowl to steep with the lime juice, this will bring out the translucent colour of the onions.
  • Remove the rind and pips from the watermelon, and cut into approximately 1½ inch triangular chunks.
  • Cut the feta into similar sized pieces and put them both into a large, wide shallow bowl. 
  • Tear off sprigs of parsley so that it is used like a salad leaf, rather than a garnish, and add to the bowl along with the chopped mint.
  • Tip the onions, along with their pink juices over the salad in the bowl, add the oil and olives, then toss the salad very gently so that the feta and melon don't lose their shape. 
  • Add a good grinding of black pepper to top off. Serve chilled.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Perk up your Holi!

Thandai Ice Cream

Refreshing and so traditional for Holi, Thandai is a great base for many desserts. Here is a easy homemade recipe for ice cream that has no eggs nor does it need any fancy equipment. Enjoy this spring festival - and have a great time with friends and family.

Ingredients:

500 ml. Fresh Dairy Cream
1/2 tin Condensed Milk
1/2 cup Milk
2 tablespoons Thandai Masala (see recipe below or use store bought)
1/4 cup chopped Pistachios
1/2 teaspoon Saffron
1 tablespoon Dried, crushed Rose Petals (Optional)

Method:
  • In a pan, add half the cream, milk, saffron and thandai masala. Gently bring it to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. 
  • Once cool to touch, add remaining cream and condensed milk. 
  • Use a hand blender to whisk for 5 minutes till mixture is creamy. 
  • Fold in pistachios and rose petals if using. Pour the mixture into a freezer proof container or small earthen pots and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight. 
  • Top with more pistachios before serving.

Thandai Masala


Ingredients:

1/2 cup Cashewnuts
1/4 cup Pistachio
1/4 cup Almonds
10 Whole Black Peppercorns
6 Small Green Cardamoms
2 tablespoons Melon Seeds 
2 tablespoons Fennel Seeds 
2 tablespoons Rose Petals
1 tablespoon Poppy Seeds 
15 strands Saffron

Method:

  • In a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle, grind together all the ingredients above into a smooth powder.





Monday, March 14, 2016

It's Quiz time!








Q.1 What does the term "blind baking" refer to?
    a) Baking without weighing any of the ingredients
    b) Baking a pie crust without its filling
    c)Baking cakes in an unusual French tin called a "blind"


Q.2 What is traditional ratio of sugar to butter and flour in shortbread?
    a) Two parts sugar, one part butter, two parts flour
    b) One part sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour
    c)One part sugar, one part butter, one part flour

 Q.3 If you use eggs straight from the fridge when baking, what will often go wrong?
   a) The mixture will curdle
   b) The mixture will be lumpy
   c) The cake won't rise

 Q.4 What is a Bundt pan?
   a) A specialist kind of flan mould
   b) A German tin for making waffles
   c) A ring-shaped cake tin

 Q.5 Which one of these is not a traditional ingredient in a Yorkshire pudding cake?
    a) Orange zest
    b) Treacle
    c) Oats
    d) Ginger

 Q.6 What is royal icing?
   a) A rich icing made from chocolate and cream
   b) A soft icing made from sugar and butter
   C) A hard icing made from egg whites, icing sugar and sometimes lemon juice


Q.7 What kind of pastry are chocolate eclairs and profiteroles made from?
   a) Filo pastry
   b) Choux pastry
   c) Shortcrust pastry

Q.8 The outside of a loaf is called the crust. What is the inside called?
    a) The dough
    b) The bread
    c) The crumb


Q.9 What kind of flour will make your cake the crumbliest?
   a) all-purpose flour
   b) cake flour
   c) pastry flour
   d) cake flour

Q.10 Add baking powder to your cake and it rises. What is in baking powder that makes this happen?
    a) yeast
    b) baking soda plus cornstarch
    c) baking soda, an acid, and cornstarch

Q.11 About how much white flour can you swap out of the average recipe for the whole-wheat variety?
    a) one quarter of the white flour can be substituted for whole-wheat flour
    b) half of the white flour can be substituted for whole-wheat flour
    c) all of the white flour can be substituted for whole-wheat flour



ANSWERS
Q1- a
Q2- b
Q3- a
Q4- c
Q5- a
Q6- c
Q7- b
Q8- c
Q9- b
Q10-c
Q11-b

Friday, March 11, 2016

Refreshing Green Papaya Salad

To shred the green papaya, use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer skin, then cut the fruit in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds. Using the largest holes of a box grater, shred the flesh into thin shards.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 Thai red chili
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
Salt to taste
250 g green beans, trimmed
1 cup (180 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
1 green papaya, about 500 g, peeled and seeded
3 carrots, peeled

For the dressing:
3 garlic cloves
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt

Chopped green onions, cilantro leaves and roasted peanuts for garnish

Method:


  • Thinly slice the chili and place in a small bowl. Cover with the vinegar and set aside for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
  • Fill a saucepan two-thirds full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. When the water is boiling, add 1 Tbsp. salt and the green beans. Blanch the green beans until bright green and crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the green beans, rinse under cold running water to cool and drain again. Thinly slice the green beans on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Add the tomatoes to the bowl with the green beans.
  • Shred the papaya and then shred the carrots. Add the papaya and carrots to the bowl with the green beans and tomatoes. Drain the chiles and add to the bowl with the vegetables; discard the vinegar.
  • To make the dressing, use a motar pestle/ food processor and combine the garlic, brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, vinegar and salt and process until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the dressing to the vegetables and toss to combine. Season with salt to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the green onions, cilantro leaves and roasted peanuts. 
  • Serve immediately, happy eating! 


Friday, January 15, 2016

Steamed Asparagus with Citrus Vinaigrette


Asparagus season is here! Fresh asparagus will be bright green with no signs of shriveling. The tender tips may have a purplish cast, but they should be firm and tight, never mushy. The cut end will be thick and fibrous—the plant’s reaction to the injury of cutting. This end is cut off before cooking (simply break the end at it's natural breaking point and you will get rid of the non edible part,) but if the shoots are fresh, you may lose only an inch.

Here's a simple way to put together this great seasonal produce without adding too much so that you are left to relish the natural taste of the vegetable.
 
Serves: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1/2 kilo asparagus spears, trimmed
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
Fresh pepper to taste


Method:

Steam the asparagus by placing them in the steamer basket or standing upright in a tall stockpot.

Steam for 3 to 4 minutes or until asparagus are tender.

Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Drizzle the vinaigrette over the asparagus and serve.