Friday, December 14, 2018

My favourite Marzipan recipe

Today, I want to take a minute, right at the onset, to say "Thank you" from the bottom of my heart for all your support on my YouTube Channel. I am overwhelmed that so many of you want to watch my videos and try my recipes. A lot of you lovely folks have asked me to share my Marzipan recipe. 

The recipe that I'm sharing with you today, is my absolute favourite. Typically, Marzipan is made using Almonds. But in Goa(and India, in general), Cashew nuts / Cashew seeds are more easily and abundantly available than Almonds. So the Goans / Indians have simply swapped one for another. And the results are pretty spectacular. I always make my marzipan using cashew seeds. You can use this recipe to form little shapes like you will see me do today, you can cover a cake with this marzipan and I've also made Marzipan tarts in the past. The possibilities are endless. 




Marzipan
Yields: 1/4 kilo or 250g Marzipan

125g Cashew Nuts 
200g Sugar
1 egg white
1/2 tsp Almond essence
1/4 cup water
Food colours, as required

Soak the cashew nuts in some (room temperature) water for about 10 minutes. Drain, run some fresh water through the nuts, and drain them again.

Grind the cashew nuts, egg white and water to a fine paste.

Pour the ground paste, the almond essence and sugar into a large heavy pan. Place the pan on low-medium heat and stir to combine.

Cook the paste on a medium low heat, stirring continuously till it thickens and starts coming away from the pan. 

Use the water test to check if the Marzipan is ready. Place some ice cold water in a small bowl and drop a 1/2 teaspoon of the sweet on it. If it firms up on cooling it is done. If it is still soft or too sticky, it needs more cooking.

As soon as it has cooked, pour the marzipan on a large plate and spread it out a little and leave it to cool down a little. Knead it to a dough while it is still warm.

Portion and colour the marzipan as desired. 

You can now shape the marzipan as needed or use it in any recipe that calls for it. 

If you making little shapes with the marzipan, once you de-mould it, place it on a plate and leave it to air dry for a while till it sets and is slightly firm to the touch. You can then place it in an airtight container and store. This should last you a couple of weeks if stored well. 

If the temperature is too high where you are, consider refrigerating the marzipan till needed.

Enjoy!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge

My Christmas Tree is up, the carols are playing and the air at home, especially in my kitchen is full of lovely aromas of Christmas sweets being made. This literally is the best time of the year. If you haven't figured it out yet, I love all things Christmas. Christmas sweets in my house, like any other Goan household, includes all sorts of traditional Goan recipes. Over the last few years, I've found myself including a couple of recipes that are more 'recent' for lack of a better word. Like this little gem I'm sharing with you today.

Most Goan Sweet recipes are a labor of love and usually require either hours of stirring on the stovetop or take hours to shape and form. And while I love them all and make most of them every year, I love having recipes like this Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge on hand. This recipe is a great one to have on hand. It uses just 4 ingredients and the cooking time is just a few minutes. And, after leaving it to set in the fridge for a few hours, you end up with a super delicious, decadent chocolate fudge. This time around, I'm using hazelnuts in the fudge and I'm happy to report that this fudge tastes very similar to the Ferrero Rocher chocolates you find in the shops, albeit, without the wafer. You can customize this fudge to suit your liking by swapping hazelnuts for any nuts that you prefer.







Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge

350g dark chocolate
100g hazelnuts
1 tin condensed milk (we get 395g tins here)
30g butter

Line a 9 inch square baking tray with some foil, leaving a little overhang on the sides and set aside.

Lightly roast the hazelnuts. Carefully remove any pieces of skin / peel that may have been left on. Let the nuts cool down completely.

Roughly chop the nuts or place them in a ziplock back and crush the nuts with a rolling pin. You will be left with a rough chop.

Add the butter, condensed milk and chocolate pieces to a heavy bottomed pan. Stir over medium heat till the chocolate has melted and everything in the pan has combined to form a rich, luscious mix.

Add the hazelnuts and stir through to incorporate well. You will notice the mix starting to thicken.

Quickly pour into the foil lined tray. Leave it on the countertop to cool down a little. Once it comes to room temperature, pop the tray into the fridge and leave it to set for 4-6 hours or overnight.

Carefully peel back the foil. Cut the fudge into squares and serve.

If you're not serving this up immediately, place in an airtight container and refrigerate till needed.

Enjoy!!!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Eggless Nankatais

Its December folks! Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a bit Christmas crazy. I love everything about the Holiday season. I'm going to kick off this years Christmas recipe posts with a lovely little cookie - the Indian Nankatai. This is an eggless recipe and is so easy to put together. What you end up with is a delicate and really delicious little treat. I like making a big batch of Nankatais closer to Christmas. I add these on my Christmas platter of sweets to share with family and friends and I also have some in the cookie jar to serve up with some tea.

Let's talk about the dough for a bit. It is such a ridiculously simple recipe, you will be surprised at how tasty the nankatais turn out. I find that this dough can be a little finicky and it usually works beautifully on a slightly warm day. While that works beautifully for us in Australia and anyone in the Southern Hemisphere, it could be a challenge in the Northern Hemisphere, where its the middle of winter. If its cold where you are, you might find that the dough ends up a little crumbly and you may have a little difficulty shaping it into a cookie. When that happens, I pop the dough in an ovensafe bowl and pop it into a slightly warm oven (about 100 degrees) for a couple of minutes. This helps the ghee warm up and helps bind the dough.




Nankatais
Yields: 1/2 kilo (approx 30 cookies)

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup besan (chickpea flour)
1 cup sugar (superfine. You can also powder larger grain sugar and then use it in the recipe)
2/3 cup of ghee (clarified butter)
1/4 tsp baking soda

Preheat your oven to 180 deg. Celsius and line a baking tray with some baking / parchment paper.

Mix the ghee and sugar till it is light and creamy. Scrape down the edges and bottom of the mixing bowl halfway through the process.

Add the rest of the ingredients (baking soda, all purpose flour and chickpea flour) to the mixing bowl and continue mixing till it forms a dough.

Shape into little cookies by rolling portions of the dough into a little ball and flatten it slightly. Place the cookies on the lined baking tray.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or till done. Your looking for a light colour on the edges.

Take it out of the oven and leave the cookies to cool on the tray itself.

When completely cool, store in an airtight container.

Enjoy!


You can watch the video recipe here -


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Vanilla Sponge Cake

Howdy folks! I hope everyone's had a great Halloween. Now that Halloweens over, I figure its safe to start actively working on Christmas. And in an attempt to get a headstart, I've decided to post one of my favorite cake recipes. This one is a basic sponge cake recipe. Now I know, this is not a very Christmassy recipe, but I know a few people who don't like fruit cake and actually request for a sponge cake instead. While this recipe is basic, there's nothing basic about the end result. It uses simple ingredients and results in a really flavorful cake. While you can use this cake as a starting point for a number of cake creations and other desserts, this cake can hold its own as a tea cake too. Infact, my husband enjoys this cake so much, that when he asks me to whip one up, he justs wants it as is, no frosting or anything.

If you're someone who wants to learn how to bake, this is a great place to start. I've actually filmed the recipe too and I've included some of my tips and tricks to help out novice bakers. I will link the video at the end of this post.




Vanilla Sponge Cake

250g butter, at room temperature
250g sugar (Use either a really fine grain or powder your sugar in a dry grinder before using)
250 all purpose flour
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract / vanilla bean paste
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat your oven to 180ºC and line the base of your cake tin and grease the base and the sides and set aside.

Separate the eggs.

Whisk the egg whites to stiff peak stage and set aside.

In a large mixing bow, beat the butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla till light and creamy.

Mix the flour and baking powder.

Sift the flour mix into the butter and sugar mix in 3 stages, folding the flour into the batter only until just incorporated, with each addition.

Add a couple of scoops of the stiff egg whites to the cake batter and gently mix to loosen the batter. Gently fold the rest of the egg whites into the batter till it is well incorporated.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30 minutes or till a cake pierced through the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool down in the cake tin. When it has reached room temperature, carefully take it out of the tin.

You can now use this cake in any recipe that calls for a vanilla sponge cake or serve it as it is.

Enjoy!!!


Monday, September 24, 2018

Turmeric Latte - Haldi doodh

Turmeric latte ... Yay or nay?

This is a post I have been meaning to share for some time now. I know a while ago, turmeric lattes were all the rage everywhere. I was happy to see it gain popularity. We have been enjoying this golden cuppa for decades now.

I remember piping hot mugs of turmeric latte when I was a child. My mum would make this for us, usually before bedtime during the monsoons or winter, or when we had a cough or cold. Our version of the turmeric latte has some ingredients that are wonderful to soothe a sore throat. Turmeric, ginger and honey are all known for its health benefits. I was convinced that the only way I could get rid of a cough or a bad throat was with a mug of this golden goodness before bedtime.

If you need to chase those winter blues away or if you just need to cut down on your coffee intake, substitute your cup of coffee with this turmeric latte. Even though we used to have a mug of it just before bedtime, I now find myself reaching for this even in the morning or later in the day, when I'm craving a hot cuppa.

The way we make it, you don't need any fancy gadgets or equipment. Yes, you do need a couple of warming spices (namely, turmeric powder and ginger powder), but a little goes a long way, you won't need to purchase them often. We tend to have both powders in the pantry, so its really easy to fix up a batch of turmeric latte. This recipe is more just a guide. Tweak it to your liking for that perfect cup. This is how I like it.





Turmeric Latte

1 cup milk
1 tsp organic honey
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/8 tsp ginger powder

Place the milk, turmeric powder and ginger powder to a saucepan / pot. Whisk all the ingredients well.

Heat it over a medium high heat, till it is hot enough for you.

Place 1 tsp honey in your mug. Top with the turmeric milk. Stir well till the honey is dissolved.

Enjoy!!!

Friday, June 29, 2018

A Weekend Breakfast Favourite - Masala Omelette

For most of us, the working week always flies by. There's little or no time for an elaborate breakfast. And in our house, its pretty much the same. But come the weekend, there's a little more time. You can sleep in, have a lazy breakfast or brunch before you start with your activities for the day.

Breakfast happens to be one of my favorite meals of the day. Well, a weekend breakfast, that is. Its the perfect time to whip up a batch of pancakes or French Toast or muffins. And if you're the mood for something savory, then eggs and toast with the optional bacon and sausages is a great option. If you're in a slightly more adventurous mood, then only a masala omelette will do. We love a good omelette. It needs to have nice bold flavors, a little spice and a little bite as well. We love it so much, that it sometimes makes an appearance as "breakfast for dinner". Anyone else like "breakfast for dinner" as much as I do? I cannot believe that I haven't shared this recipe with you before. It is super simple and so good. We usually serve it with some plain / buttered toast or some hot chapatis. They also make a fantastic sandwich when served between 2 slices of buttered bread. Try it out this weekend and let me know what you think of it.




Masala Omelette
Yields 1 omelette

2 eggs
2 tbsp finely chopped onions
2 tbsp finely chopped tomatoes
1-2 tsp finely chopped coriander leaves and stalks
1/2 birdseye chilly, finely chopped
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
A good pinch of turmeric powder
1 tsp oil

Add the onions, tomatoes, chilly and coriander to a bowl.

Add the salt, pepper and turmeric powder to the bowl and mix everything thoroughly.

Heat a pan over medium heat.

Drizzle the oil in the pan. When the oil has heated, pour the omelette mix into the pan.

Cook it over medium heat till the bottom side has set and turned a light brown.

Carefully flip over and cook on the other side as well.

Serve hot.

Enjoy!


You can watch how I make it here -

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Best Chocolate Brownies

Hi guys! Today's post is a special one. It's my favorite chocolate brownie recipe that I'm going to share with you. It's my go to recipe for chocolate brownies and I've used it for years now. It yields, what I consider, the perfect Chocolate Brownie. You get a beautiful crust on the outside and a fudgy, gooey center.

It's the perfect baking option for holidays or when you're baking for a crowd because of its simplicity. The recipe can be doubled if you like. And when simple recipes yield such fantastic results, you know you're on to a winner.

So I do hope you try these brownies out.







The Best Chocolate Brownies 

110g all purpose flour
185g salted butter
175g dark chocolate (either buttons, or roughly chopped bars, both would work)
175g sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
A pinch of salt
50g chocolate chips.

Melt the butter and dark chocolate in a heavy bottomed pan on low heat. Once everything has melted, take the pan off the heat and set it aside to cool.

Halfway through the cooling process, turn the oven on and preheat it to 180ºC. Line an 8 inch square baking tray with some foil and leave an overhang on the sides. The foil makes clean up so much easier and the overhang helps take the brownies out of the try very easily.

Crack one egg into a small bowl and lightly whisk it. Add it to the melted and cooled butter and chocolate mix and whisk to incorporate. Repeat this with the second egg.

Add the vanilla, salt and sugar and whisk well, making sure everything has mixed well.

Now add the flour and whisk until just combined.

Add the chocolate chips and fold it through the batter with the help of a spatula.

Pour the batter into the foil lined tray and bake for about 25-30 minutes.

Take the brownies out of the oven and let them cool completely.


You can now cut them into squares and serve. 


Pin now and try later!






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