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BlueBerry Pavlova

6 Jan

‘Happy New Year 2012’
My first post this year had to be special.
Why I am saying Yum Yum Yum because a Pavlova is one of its kind of dessert. It is a meringue cake which has a light delicate crisp crust and a light marshmallow centre. This is a lovely dessert served with whipped cream and fresh fruit.
The Pavlova can be made several days in advance of serving, if stored in a cool dry place, in an airtight container. A Pavlova is usually served with softly whipped cream and fresh fruits. Because of the sweetness of the meringue I like to offset the sweetness with tart flavoured fruits. Raspberries, blueberries, kiwi, blackberries, and passion fruit are my personal favourites. Try to place the whipped cream and the fruit shortly before serving as the Pavlova will immediately start to soften and break down from the moisture of topping.
                                                                                                                     !! Scrumptious!!
For this I used:
4 eggs whites
1 cup Castor sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp vanilla essence or 1 pod of vanilla extract
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup blueberries
Some berries for the garnish
1. Pre-heat the oven at 140 degree celsius.
2. Beat the egg whites till they double in volume and become runny.
3. Add sugar in batches so that it dissolves completely into the merengue. Make sure that the mixture is not grainy.
4. Add the vinegar, and vanilla essence.
5. Carefully mix the cornflour in the merengue.
6. On a parchment paper, spread the eggy mixture making a circle. Flatten out the top making sure that the edges are higher than the centre.
7. Put in the preheated oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hour till the top becomes dry and edges become a little firm.
8. Let the Pavlova cool down in the oven.
9. While serving, beat the cream well and top the Pavlova with it.
10. Pour the blueberries topping on the Pavlova and decorate with some berries, pomegranate or kiwi  or which ever fruit you like.

Plum Pudding (My version)

29 Dec

Recently, I accompanied my mom to a lunch with her friends. I realise that all of us are actually big time foodies. There must be about 12-13 ladies plus me ( I include myself as a girl 😉 ) , the only conversation I heard was about food, food and food. Trust me, for all those women eating or cooking, whatever it maybe it’s a passion. I really had an amazing time sharing their kitchen and food experiences in the restaurant.

While all of us were chating, one of mom’s friend asked me to prepare a plum pudding. Since then I thought to prepare plum pudding for this Christmas. This requires a special ingredient ‘suet’, which is unfortunately not available in India. I went to the best stores in town but couldn’t find one. So you can say this is somewhat my version of preparing this Plum Pudding.

It is as simple as a cake. This requires soaking of the raisins, currents, glazed cherries and prunes a little ahead of time. This tastes like a fruity cake with some mixed spice. Use of brown sugar is important in this cake as it gives the colour and unique taste to this cake. If you have ever tasted a plum pudding and liked it, you wont be dissapointed with this one as the substitutes for this recipe are just right.

So lets get started!

This needs to be started atleast a week in advance. Soak the raisins, glazed cherries, prunes, lemon rind and currents in Brandy/Rum. Cover it and Keep aside. After 2-3 days add a little more of Rum if you like the taste of it.

Beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla essence. Add the eggs one by one!!

Mix the flour, nutmeg powder, mixed spice, baking podwer and cinnamon powder. Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar batter.  Add the raisins, currents, cherries and prunes.

Pour the mixture over a greased baking tray. I made small cakes but a round tin 9” would also be ideal. Cover it with foil. Use a big baking dish and pour water over it and keep the cake tin in the water bath. Bake it for 1 hour @ 150 degree celcius.

Bring it hot from the oven and dust some icing sugar over the cake. And serve it in the most festive style!!

Pretty Christmas!! Enjoy the fruity flavor!

Makes: 20 small cakes/ 1 round cake 9”

Preparation Time: 1 week for soaking and 20 minutes

Baking Time: 1 hour

For this I used:

  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup glazed cherries
  • 3/4 cup prunes, scissored into pieces
  • 175ml Rum/Brandy
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fresh nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup butter


  1. Put the currants, sultanas and scissored prunes into a bowl with the Rum/ Brandy, swill the bowl a bit, then cover with clingfilm and leave to steepovernight or for up to 1 week.
  2. Grease the baking tin and prepare water bath. (Water Bath: Take a bigger baking dish which can accomodate your actual baking tin). Pre-heat the oven at 150 degree celcius.
  3. Mix all the dry ingredients such as flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, mixed spice and baking powder.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, vanilla essence and eggs one by one.
  5. Mix in all the dry ingredients. And ask for your Christmas wish.
  6. Add the steeped fruits, scraping in every last drop of liquor with a rubber spatula, and mix to combine thoroughly.
  7. Pour the mixture into a prepared baking dish. Cover it with a foil. Put in the oven for 1 hour.
  8. When it’s had its 1 hour, remove gingerly (you don’t want to burn yourself) and, when manageable, unwrap the foil.
  9. To serve, unmold the pudding and dust the icing sugar over it.

Almond Rocky Road

21 Dec

There is indeed a delight to incorporate all my favourite ingredient into one recipe. So it’s the Rocky Road! with lots of nuts, marshmallows and off course the chocolate! This tastes even better than the one that you have in the market. Best part is that a rocky road can be had anytime of the day. It could be dessert after your supper or even goes well with your tea. It’s a great snack to be packed for your kids tiffin so that they can also have a treat.

Honestly, the taste of marshmallows, nuts and chocolate are really delicious. It’s some sort of energy snack.

So here we get started by first beating the biscuits with a rolling-pin till they are crumbly.

Chop the almonds roughly. Also, you could beat them with a rolling-pin.

Heat the butter in the pan. Melt the chocolate in it. Add scrumptious honey!

Reserve a cup of this sauce.

Now put all the crunch stuff! The biscuits, almonds and of course my favourite Marshmallows. Give them a nice stir.

Bring the mixture and spread it smoothly over a foil. Pour the reserved chocolate sauce on top and make it more even.

Now dust some icing sugar on top of the Rocky Road and cut into pieces.

This has become a hot favorite in my family!!

Cooking time: 15 minutes, Preparation time: 2 hours/overnight refrigeration

Makes 12 bars

For this I used:

300 gm Dark Chocolate

125 softened unsalted butter

200 gm tea biscuits

100 gm almonds

3 tbsp honey

100 gm marshmallows

2 tsp icing sugar


Get started with putting the biscuits in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling-pin untill it is crumbly with a little big and small pieces.

Now, Heat the butter, add the dark chocolate and some honey. Keep stirring. Keep aside 125 ml of melted chocolate in the a bowl.

Fold the biscuits and almonds in the melted chocolate mixture and throw in the marshmallows.

Tip the mixture onto a foil and smoothed it out.

Pour the reserved chocolate mixture on top with a wet spatula.

Refrigerate for about 2 hours or overnight.

Dust some icing sugar over it and cut into pieces.

(Adapted from Nigella)

Pistachio Rice Pudding (Kheer)

30 Nov

Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding) is the most common dessert of the Indian household. It is relatively simple to make. Unlike the westernised ways to bake the rice pudding, in this case we make by boiling. Out of all the rice puddings, this one is my favourite.

Ingredients used:

3-4 cups Full cream milk

1 tsp finely powdered Cardamom seeds

1 cup rice

1 tbsp chopped pistachio

1 cup condensed milk

1 tbsp raisins

1/2 cup sugar


Firstly, boil the rice along with the milk on a medium flame, until the rice is cooked. Give it a constant stir to ensure the milk does not burn at the bottom of the pan.

Secondly, add condensed milk, raisins, pistachios and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is thickened.

Thirdly, add cardamom, serve it either Hot or Cold. But I usually prefer cold, as it tastes divine.

Finally, garnish with pieces of pistachios.

Had to taste, t’was so tasty!!

Earl Grey Esplanade with Orange Cream

16 Nov

Earl Grey tea is a blend with a distinctive flavor and aroma derived from the oil extracted from the rind of the bergamot orange, a fragrant citrus fruit. The Earl Grey blend is named after the 2nd Earl Grey, British Prime Minister in the 1830s and author of the Reform Bill of 1932, who reputedly received a gift, probably a diplomatic perquisite, of tea flavoured with bergamot oil.

Evening Tea is my favourite time of the day. I usually pause all my activities and take out at least 15 minutes to enjoy my cup of tea with some home-made cookies, cake, tart or whatever is available at that moment. This time I tried and enjoyed earl grey mousse tart with a cup of tea. Its divine!

The recipe requires you to prepare the tarts first, then the filling, then we do the topping!

Makes: 12

Time: 45 mins preparation , 2 hours refrigeration

For Tart:

1 cup all-purpose flour

30 gm butter

6 tsp castor sugar

4-5 tbsp milk

For Filling:

50 ml boiling water

4 Earl grey tea bags

150 gm milk chocolate

300 ml whipping cream

1 large egg, separated


50 ml whipping cream

1 tsp castor sugar

some chocolate flakes

2 drops orange essence


Prepare the tart:

Sieve all the dry ingredients.

Put butter and crumble with you hands. Make it look like a bread crumb.

Add milk. Knead it into a soft dough.

Make small ball of the dough.

Roll with a rolling-pin to adjust them to your tart mould. Prick with a fork.

Bake them for 12-15 minutes at 200 degree celsius.

For the filling:

Pour 50 ml boiling water into a jug and add the tea bags. Leave it for 5 minutes. Discard the bags.

Heat 1″ water in the a pan. Put a heat proof bowl on the top of the pan.

Place chocolate in the bowl and allow to melt and don’t stir it.

Remove the bowl from the pan and cool slightly.

Stir in 150 ml of cream, the tea, the egg yolk and chocolate.

Whisk the egg white in a clean, grease-free bowl until stiff peaks appear.

Beat the rest of the cream in a separate bowl until thick.

Fold this cream into the other ingredients and then, finally, fold the beaten egg white.

Divide equally among the tarts, then chill for at least 2 hours.

For the topping:

Whip the cream, sugar and mix the essence and decorate the tart.

Sprinkle over some chocolate. Serve.

Distinctively Flavorsome!!!

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