Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Pudding

This was one pudding that I used to make frequently years back . Later as I got more interested in layered ( or complicated, as my friends would say 🙂 ) , this pudding recipe remained forgotten among the recipe books.  After a long time , made this pudding again last month, when elder son’s friends had come over .  Kids loved it and the pudding disappeared real fast.

This is a fairly easy pudding with few ingredients  – milk, cocoa powder, condensed milk, whipping cream and gelatine. The step by step procedure is given below.

chocolate pudding ingredients

Add 4 tbsp cocoa powder to 1 cup of warm milk in a bowl . Stir well. Double boil this cocoa mixture ( To double boil – Heat a pan filled with water and place the bowl over the pan without touching the water ). Stir till the mixture gets thicker.

chocolote pudding cocoa powder

Remove the bowl when the mixture is thickened. Add 1 cup milk and 1 tin condensed milk.

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Soak 2 1/2 tbsp gelatin in 1/2 cup water for 10 minutes. Double boil the gelatin mixture.

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Add gelatin to the cocoa mixture. Fold in the whipped cream .  Keep the pudding in the freezer for 3/4 hr and then keep in the fridge for 3-4 hrs.

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CHOCOLATE PUDDING

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

  • Milk – 2 cups
  • Cocoa powder – 4 tbsp
  • Condensed milk –  1 tin
  • Water – 1/2 cup
  • Gelatin – 2  1/2 tbsp
  • Whipped cream – 1  1/2 cup

METHOD

  1. Add 4 tbsp cocoa powder to 1 cup of warm milk in a bowl . Stir well. Double boil this cocoa mixture ( To double boil – Heat a pan filled with water and place the bowl over the pan without touching the water ). Stir till the mixture gets thicker.
  2. Remove the bowl when the mixture is thickened. Add 1 cup milk and 1 tin condensed milk.
  3. Soak 2 1/2 tbsp gelatin in 1/2 cup water for 10 minutes. Double boil the gelatin mixture.
  4. Add gelatin to the cocoa mixture and beat well.
  5. Fold in the whipped cream .  Refrigerate the pudding for 4-5 hrs.

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Eggless No Bake Mango Cheesecake

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Back to blogging after a long break… Hubby’s parents and sister n family were with us for 2 months vacation. Was really engrossed with the cooking, outings , shoppings 😉 Kids were all excited to have cousins over ..

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One day my father in law showed me an article that came in the newspaper . The author was mentioning how hectic it was with her family visiting them for vacation and how she will miss them when they go back , but at the same time she was longing to get back to her usual routine and writing . My father in law was pulling my leg asking if that was how I too feel , the only difference would be that I am not into writing 😉 I replied laughing , I will get back to my blog later.. 🙂  But now house does feel a little empty without them here…

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After the No Bake Dates Cheesecake here is yet another no bake cheesecake for you. Since it is mango season what better option other than mangoes?  And this recipe is for all my friends who have been asking for easy , not complicated recipes.. 🙂  This recipe takes only about 15 minutes to prepare.. (apart from the freezing time) And you have a rich delicious cheesecake that will make others go for a second serving .. . I had made this no bake mango cheesecake when in laws were here.. And it was well appreciated. Preparing the cheesecake in individual glasses is a great idea as they give a visual appeal too.. or you could use a loose bottomed spring form pan.

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I found this recipe from the beautiful blog Maria’s Menu. I have been following her blog for a long time now, even before my blogging days. Do try out this recipe. ..

No Bake Mango Cheesecake mix

EGGLESS NO BAKE MANGO CHEESECAKE

EGGLESS NO BAKE MANGO CHEESECAKE

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE BISCUIT LAYER

  • Digestive biscuits – 250 gms, finely crumbled
  • Unsalted Butter – 100 gms, melted

FOR THE CHEESECAKE LAYER

  • Philadelphia full fat cream cheese – 340 gms/ 12 oz (or any other cream cheese available)
  • Whipping cream – 250 ml (1 cup approx)
  • Mango pulp – 1½ cup
  • Mango – 1-2, cut into small bite size pieces (optional)
  • Gelatin – 1 tbsp/10 gms
  • Hot water – ½ cup
  • Icing sugar – 2-3 tbsp
  • Sugar – ⅓ cup

FOR THE GLAZE TOPPING

  • Mango pulp – 1 cup
  • Gelatin – 1 tbsp/10 gms
  • Hot water – ½ cup

METHOD

FOR THE BISCUIT LAYER

  1. Combine the finely crumbled biscuits and melted butter. Press this mixture to a loose bottom tin or the dish you are using. Refrigerate it while you make the rest of the cheesecake.

FOR THE CHEESECAKE LAYER

  1. Dissolve gelatin in hot water.
  2. Whip the whipping cream with 2-3 tbsp icing sugar, till soft-medium peaks form.
  3. Combine the cream cheese and sugar, till it becomes smooth.
  4. Combine the mango puree and warm gelatin mixture. Add this to the cream cheese mixture. Mix well.
  5. Add the whipping cream to this in two batches and combine well.
  6. Add the mango pieces (if using) and mix well.
  7. Pour this mixture over the biscuit base and return it to the fridge.
  8. Make sure that this layer is refrigerated for a minimum of 2 hours, before adding the glaze topping

FOR THE GLAZE TOPPING

  1. Dissolve the gelatin in hot water. When it is warm, add it to mango puree and mix well.
  2. Pour this over the cream layer, once it is set. Refrigerate for another 2 hours or till you serve. Garnish with strawberry/ mint leaves.
  3. Keep at room temp 10 mins before serving, so that the biscuit layer softens a bit.

 

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No Bake Dates Cheesecake – for 3 years of blogging and 100,000 hits

Dates Cheesecake

3 years of blogging !!!  I had started this blog  on a whim . A gentle prodding from a couple of friends and relatives .. and I entered into the world of blogging.. It definitely helped me learn new things – be it decorating cakes, baking breads or food photography.  And it has helped me connect with people who share a passion for food .

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There were times when I was not happy with my photography and kept away from posting because of the poor quality of the snaps.  Submitting photos to the food sites, foodgawker and tastespotting , and the photos getting rejected many a time. During those times, my friends and family would keep pushing me. Thanks to all you wonderful people who kept inspiring and encouraging me

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We’ve got one more reason to celebrate – the blog has crossed 1 lakh hits  !! Definintely something sweet , for this double celebration !!   I got this recipe from hubby’s aunt  (Elemma) who is a superb cook. I have been making this dates cheesecake for the last 10 years and it has never failed to get the wow feedback .And it is a fairly easy recipe too .
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It is better to prepare this  about a day in advance so that the flavour of dates is well absorbed by the cheesecake layer . Here is the step by step procedure. You can find the full recipe at the end of the post.

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Heat a pan. Add 2 tbsp of butter . When it melts add 6 tbsp of sugar. Let the sugar caramalise on medium flame. step1

Add the chopped dates to the caramalised sugar . Stir and mix in the dates. Add abt 1/4 cup of water and continue to mix till the water evaporates and you get a soft paste of dates. Spoon the dates paste to the pudding dish or individual glasses

step2

To make the cheesecake layer – Mix 200ml fresh cream and 2 tins of Nestle cream and 2 tbsp sugar .Soak 1 tbsp of gelatin in 5 tbsp of cold water for about 10 minutes. Double boil the gelatin till it is completely dissolved. Add the gelatin to the cream mixture. Add 1 tsp vanilla essence.

step3

Pour the cream over the dates layer and refrigerate it for 3-4 hours.step4

Beat 1 sachet of dreamwhip powder with 1/2 cup of milk and few drops of vanilla essence using an egg beater for 5-8 minutes. Pour the whipping cream over the cheesecake layer.

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NO BAKE DATES CHEESECAKE

Recipe Source – Elemma

NO BAKE DATES CHEESECAKE

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE DATES LAYER

  • Dates, deseeded and chopped – 400 gm
  • Butter – 2tbsp
  • Sugar – 6 tbsp
  • Water – 1/4 cup

FOR THE CHEESECAKE  LAYER

  • Fresh cream – 200 ml
  • Nestle cream – 2 tins
  • Gelatin – 1 tbsp
  • Sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp

FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM LAYER

  • Dreamwhip  – 1 sachet
  • Milk – 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp

METHOD

FOR THE DATES LAYER

  1. Heat a pan. Add 2 tbsp of butter .
  2. When it melts add 6 tbsp of sugar. Let the sugar caramalise on medium flame.
  3. Add the chopped dates to the caramalised sugar . Stir and mix in the dates.
  4.  Add about 1/4 cup of water and continue to mix till the water evaporates and you get a soft paste of dates.
  5. Spoon the dates paste to the pudding dish or individual glasses

FOR THE CHEESECAKE LAYER

  1. Mix 200ml fresh cream and 2 tins of Nestle cream and 2 tbsp sugar .
  2. Soak 1 tbsp of gelatin in 5 tbsp of cold water for about 10 minutes.
  3. Double boil the gelatin till it is completely dissolved.
  4. Add the gelatin to the cream mixture. Add 1 tsp vanilla essence.
  5. Pour the cream over the dates layer and refrigerate it for 3-4 hours.

FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM LAYER

  1. Beat 1 sachet of dreamwhip powder with 1/2 cup of milk and few drops of vanilla essence using an egg beater for 5-8 minutes.
  2. Pour the whipping cream over the cheesecake layer and refrigerate for 2 hours

Note:  The cheesecake tastes best the next day, as it gives enough time for the dates flavour to be well absorbed by the cheesecake layer.

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Easy Lychee Pudding


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I love puddings.. oh.. did I mention that earlier?? 🙂  And  I am always on the look out for new pudding recipes..   I mostly focus on layered puddings..  Layers always bring out a wow factor.. Maybe that’s the reason why most of the pudding recipes in my blog are layered puddings like the Nutella Custard Pudding or the Dulce de leche pudding..

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Few weeks back my niece asked me for few pudding recipes  for her school project . But there was a clause.. they couldn’t use the stove or oven  in the classroom – which meant , pudding recipe without cooking or baking..  and the pudding should be whipped up  by  20 min maximum . That was something I never thought of, whip up really easy puddings.. So thought, why not post some really easy puddings on the blog too??

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I got this recipe from my friend Zareena. She had made this custard apple pudding for us when we met last time.. I wanted to try the same pudding , but replaced custars apples with  lychees( de-stoning the custard apple seemed a tedious job for me 🙂 ) You can use fresh lychees or the canned ones. I have used the canned ones in this recipe .

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LYCHEE PUDDING

Recipe Source – Zareena Siraj

INGREDIENTS

  • Milkmaid – ½ tin
  • Milk – 400 ml
  • Lychee – 1 can
  • Fresh cream – 200 ml
  • Gelatin – 5 tsp

METHOD

  1. Drain the lychees from the can. This  will be about 1 1/2 cups of lychees.
  2. Crush the lychees in the mixer.
  3. Beat the milkmaid, milk and fresh cream using egg beater. Mix in the lychees.
  4. Soak the gelatine in 5tbsp water.  Leave it for 5 min for the gelatine to bloom.  Add 5 tbsp warm water and stir with a fork till the gelatine completely dissolves
  5. Add the gelatine to the milk mixture
  6. Pour in a bowl or individual cups and refrigerate for 4- 5 hrs.  Serve cold.

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Dulce De Leche Pudding

IMG_5189Often I get feedback from friends and my readers that they tried out a recipe from the blog and it turned out good , which makes my day !! 🙂  From the feedback I get the Dulce de Leche Pudding recipe is the one that I got the most applauds for ..

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Dulce de leche is the name for cooked condensed milk .. Cook the condensed milk in a pressure cooker with the weight on for 45 minutes and you get a thick toffee mixture which is Dulce de leche..  After my first attempt in using the dulce de leche as it is for the pudding, I found it too sweet.. To reduce the sweetness I have added milk and used conrflour to thicken the mixture..

You can cook the condensed milk (which is dulce de leche ) and refrigerate for future use.. That way you can whip up this pudding within 10-15 minutes…

IMG_5055I felt that my previous snaps were not doing justice to this silky delicious pudding..So revamping the Dulce de Leche pudding !! All those who haven’t tried this , go ahead and try this yummy treat !!

collge1I had been thinking of adding recipe cards for sometime now.. Here’s my first attempt at it.. Do you like the design?

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No Bake Strawberry Ripple Cheesecake

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My first cheesecake post !!  I have tried a few no bake cheesecakes in the past, but they were all too ‘cheesy’ for me..  after the few failed attempts I had not ventured in to cheesecakes for sometime..

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Recently as I was skipping through one of the new cookbooks I bought, came across this cheesecake recipe.. Actually it was the snap that caught my attention, all pink and heart shaped !! And  the recipe didn’t have loads of cheese . One of my favourite puddings is the one with yogurt and cream. This cheesecake recipe had both these along with the cheese.. So this was something that would be suitable for my taste palettes !!

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The original recipe calls for raspberry.. but as strawberries are in season, I thought of trying those.. And while browsing through the foodgawker site, came across this beautiful heart shaped swirl patterns at Tracy’s culinary adventures ..  I love these swirls, don’t you??

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NO BAKE STRAWBERRY RIPPLE CHEESECAKE

[ RECIPE SOURCE – ADAPTED FROM COMPLETE BOOK OF DESSERTS, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING ]

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE BASE

  • Chocolate bisuit crushed – 225gm ( I used Good day biscuits)
  • Butter (at room temperature) – 100 gm

FOR THE FILLING

  • Strawberry puree (sieved) – 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp for the swirl design
  • Yogurt – 300 ml
  • Low fat soft cheese – 150gm (I used Puck cream cheese)
  • Gelatine – 1 tbsp
  • Whipping cream – 2 cups
  • Icing sugar – 100gm
  • Mint leaves – to decorate

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METHOD

Grease a spring release cake tin

For the base

  1. Mix the crushed biscuits and butter .
  2. Spoon the mixture into the base of the cake tin .
  3. Chill while making the filling

For the filling

  1. Mix the yogurt, cheese and strawberry puree in a blender.
  2. Sprinkle the gelatine over 2 tbsp pf water in a small bowl and leave to soak for 2-3 minutes.  Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until dissolved.Leave to cool for 2 minutes and add to the cheese mixture .
  3. Fold the whipping cream into the cheese mixture with a spoon.
  4. Pour the cheese mixture over the biscuit base.

For the swirl pattern

Spoon in the puree into a piping or sandwich bag with a small hole at the tip . Pipe in small circles on the cheesecake in a swirl pattern.  Run a toothpick , beginning from the outer circle through each dot all the way to the center , without lifting the toothpick . Or you can just put in random dots all over and swirl them with the toothpick.

Refrigerate the cheesecake for 5-6 hours… Decorate with mint leaves and serve .

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Nutella Custard Pudding

My son was asking the last day, ‘ Have you stopped blogging?’  I replied ‘ No…  why?’ His answer was ‘ Well , you are not making any new dishes these days’  Yes.. I am back after a  long hiatus.. and the reason –  a nagging back pain, which turned worse..  a rush to the hospital followed by treatment and bed rest .Now slowly getting back to the normal routine – which includes cooking and blogging..

One good thing that came out of my ill health was the bed rest.. though initially  bit depressed as I couldn’t move round, the treatment period gave me  sort of ‘chill out time’ .. a break from the daily routine.. after a few days, I was enjoying it – the rain, the greenery and the long conversations with my little sister… Infact  my friends and cousins were bit envious seeing my long rest period..

And this post is for all my loving friends and family who rushed in to help and offer support when I was in distress due to the back pain .. and to my dear hubby who had to take over the household duties and look after me too..

Thanks to all my fb page fans.. We have crossed 200 likes !!! Do keep supporting me..  Your positive feedback instills a sense of pride in me..  🙂 and  gives me the motivation to keep going.. To celebrate let’s have something sweet.. this recipe was given to me by my friend Roshan who knows about my love for puddings..  🙂

INGREDIENTS

1. Marie biscuit – 150 gm

2. Butter – 3 tbsp

3. Nutella chocolate spread – 1 cup
Fresh cream – 1 cup

4. Chinagrass -10 gm

5. Milk – 2cups
Custard Powder – 3tbsp
Condensed milk – 1 tin

6. Fresh cream – 2 cups
Vanilla essence – 1tsp
Sugar – 6 tbsp

METHOD

Layer 1 —  Biscuit Layer 

  • Powder the biscuits finely.
  • Add the butter to the biscuit powder and mix to form breadcrumb like texture
  • Spread this as a layer on the serving bowl or in individual glasses and keep in fridge for about half an hour to set.

Layer 2 – Nutella layer 

  • Beat the 3rd ingredients .
  • Spread half the nutella cream mixture over the biscuit layer and refrigerate again.

Layer 3 – Chinagrass layer

  • Soak chinagrass, cut into strips,  in 1 cup of water for an hour .
  • Heat the chinagrass with water till it is completely dissolved
  • In another pan, heat 5th ingredients
  • When the mixture thickens add the melted chinagrass and stir continuously.
  • Remove from fire after a minute.
  • Beat 6th ingredients in a bowl
  • Add this cream mixture to the chinagrass mixture.
  • Let it cool for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the chinagrass mixture over the nutella layer and  refrigerate to set for about 3 hours.

Layer 4 – Nutella layer

  • Spread the remaining nutella mixture over the chinagrass layer
  • Refrigerate and serve.

Layered Moss Pudding


This is a pretty simple pudding. The basic Moss pudding between slices of cake and jelly. Serve it in individual glass for a visual treat  🙂

Moss pudding is made by adding melted China grass (or agar agar) to milk and boiling till the mixture thickens, and then cooled in refrigerator. This basic recipe can be used in many variations. One pudding which I used to make regularly was – the base layer with caramalised pineapples, then top with moss pudding layer and finally a layer of whipped cream..  yummy!!!

Okay, let’s get to the recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • China grass strands (Agar agar) – 8 gm
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Condensed milk – 1 tin
  • Milk – 3 cups
  • Sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Vanilla essence – a few drops
  • Strawberry Jelly – 1 packet
  • Sponge cake

PROCEDURE

To make the china grass layer

  1. Cut china grass into small pieces. Soak it in 1 cup of water for an hour.
  2. Transfer to a non stick pan and boil the china grass and water. Reduce heat and stir till the china grass dissolves completely.
  3. In a pan , mix together milk , condensed milk , vanilla essence and sugar. Boil it and remove from flame.
  4. Sieve the melted china grass and add to the milk mixture.
  5. Keep this mixture back on medium flame and stir continuously till the mixture thickens (for around 5 minutes). Remove from fire . Sieve once more and allow to cool for around 10 minutes.

To Assemble

  1. Arrange the cake slices at the bottom of the individual glasses. (If you prefer, you can use a rectangular dish and arrange the cake slices to form the bottom layer )
  2. Pour the cooled china grass mixture on top of the cake pieces. Refrigerate for 4-5 hours till the pudding sets.
  3. Prepare the jelly according to the instructions on the packet
  4. Pour the jelly over the set pudding and refrigerate again till the jelly sets.

Sending this to Joy from Fasting to Feasting, Iftar Nights and Any One Can Cook Events



Mango Layer Pudding

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I love puddings… and I love to cook them too… Actually I am always on the look out for new pudding recipes, it’s kind of my weakness 🙂 …During one vacation in Kerala , while I was searching recipe books for pudding recipes , Zareena (my sister in law) said that she has got  a new recipe from her friend – it is a five layer pudding.. Five layers? Now I got really excited. So  Zareena and I got to work and made the pudding, both of us really eager to see how the layers would turn out. While we were whipping it out, my brothers would peep in asking “Is it ready now?” … And finally the pudding was in the fridge. Now my brothers got really impatient, asking every now and then “Why is it taking so long?”  The result – we had to take the pudding out before it was fully set.  We never got to see the layers 🙂  Back in Abu Dhabi , I tried the pudding again and called up Zareena to say that this time I did see the five layers 🙂

I  made this pudding recently at a get together and it got awesome responses.. So check out the recipe and try it out..


Recipe Source – Zareena

INGREDIENTS

For the first layer (Biscuit Layer)

  • Marie Biscuit – 100gm
  • Butter (unsalted)- 50 gm
  • Sugar – 1tbsp

For the second layer (Butterscotch Layer)

  • Caramalised sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Butter  (unsalted) – 50gm
  • Sugar – 25 gm
  • Condensed milk – 1/2 tin

For the 3rd layer (China grass Layer)

  • China grass (Agar Agar)- 5gm
  • Water -3/4  cup
  • Condensed Milk – 1/2 tin
  • Sugar – 1tbsp
  • Milk – 3/4 tin( measured in the condensed milk tin)
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp

For the fourth layer (Mango Layer)

  • Mango – 2
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 1/4 cup

For the fifth layer (China grass Layer again)

  • China grass(Agar Agar) – 5gm
  • Water -3/4  cup
  • Condensed Milk – 1/2 tin
  • Sugar – 1tbsp
  • Milk – 3/4 tin( measured in the condensed milk tin)
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp

PREPARATION

For the first layer (Biscuit Layer)

  • Crush the Marie biscuits . Mix the butter and sugar to make a dough. Spread this on a greased tin.Keep it in the fridge to set for atleast half an hour.

For the second layer (Butterscotch Layer)

  • Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes. You will get a thick caramel flavoured mixture. When it cools down a bit, pour it over the biscuit layer.Keep the pudding back into the fridge.

For the third layer (China grass Layer)

  1. Soak the china grass in water for 30 minutes. In a saucepan , boil the china grass with water till you get a clear liquid. Remove from fire and sieve.
  2. Boil the milk, condensed milk and sugar. Take it off the fire.
  3. When both the china grass mixture and condensed milk mixture are of the same temperature, mix the two .
  4. Return this mixture to the stove and heat on medium flame stirring continuously. Stir for around 5 minutes till the mixture thickens.
  5. Remove from fire, add the vanilla essence. When it has slightly cooled down, pour it over the butterscotch layer.
  6. Keep it back in fridge to set.

For the fourth layer (Mango Layer)

  • Puree the mangoes with the sugar  in a blender. It should be of a thick consistency. Add water as required and blend once more. When the china grass layer is set, pour the mango mixture over it. Keep back to refrigerate.

For the Fifth Layer (China Grass Layer)

  • Repeat the process as in the third layer. Pour the cooled mixture slowly over the mango layer. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours

That’s it.. You can top the pudding with whipping cream or pralines.(That will make it a six layer pudding 🙂 )


Sending this to Bookmarked Recipes- Every Tuesday hosted by Aipi and Priya

and to Kerala Kitchen hosted by Magpie’s Recipes

FROM PHYLLO TO BAKLAVA!!! – THE DARING BAKERS’ JUNE, 2011 CHALLENGE

Last week we had our college batch reunion…A small gathering of 20 friends and their families .. Friends seeing each other after a gap of 12 long years.. The excitement and fervor .. Catching up with old times, filling in the details.. Had  a really great evening. And I’m still in that blissful state after seeing faces that were part of life years ago… And from the facebook comments flowing in , I can feel that I am not the only one in this euphoric state.. ‘ Let’s have more get togethers ’ is the mantra now.. 🙂

And another thing that I would love to mention is –  thank you from the bottom of the heart to my friends for all their appreciation and support to this blog.. Thank You guys, your words mean a lot to me and motivate me to keep going..

So back to the recipe… This month’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge was Baklawa... “Baklawa  is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey” – Wikipidea

I was really intimidated after seeing the challenge for this month.. Initially I was not sure how rolling out the dough will turn out, but I was quite surprised to see that the dough was really silky soft and had no problem in rolling it out super thin (though I had minor rips in the dough, it really didn’t matter in the end product..) … What I did falter though was on the sweetness of the Baklawa.. Hubby and me are  not fond of too much sweetness in the Baklawas. Knowing that, I should have reduced the amount of sugar syrup than mentioned in the recipe.. hmm, next time should keep that in mind.. But when I served them to my Baklawa loving friends, they mentioned that these are better than those bought from the bakery… hmm… Music to the ears… 🙂 .

But I must say this recipe is a keeper.. I wouldn’t have ventured to preparing Baklawas starting from the dough had it  not been for the Daring Bakers.. Thank You Erica for this wonderful challenge.. I really enjoyed making them..

Erica of Erica’s Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker’s June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.


Phyllo Dough:

To fill a 8” x 5” baking dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups (320 ml) (185 gm/6½ oz) unbleached all purpose (plain) flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon (2/3 ml) (¾ gm) salt
  • 1/2 cup less 1 tablespoon (105 ml) water, plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) cider vinegar, (could substitute white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar, but could affect the taste)

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer combine flour and salt.
  2. Mix with paddle attachment.
  3. Combine water, oil and vinegar in a small bowl.
  4. Add water & oil mixture with mixer on low speed, mix until you get a soft dough, if it appears dry add a little more water
  5. Change to the dough hook and let knead approximately 10 minutes. You will end up with beautiful smooth dough. If you are kneading by hand, knead approx. 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the dough from mixer and continue to knead for 2 more minutes. Pick up the dough and through it down hard on the   counter a few times during the kneading process.
  7. Shape the dough into a ball and lightly cover with oil
  8. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let rest 30-90 minutes, longer is best ( I let mine rest overnight)

Rolling your Phyllo

  1. Unwrap your dough and cut off a chunk slightly larger then a golf ball. While you are rolling be sure to keep the other dough covered so it doesn’t dry out.
  2.  Be sure to flour your hands, rolling pin and counter. As you roll you will need to keep adding, don’t worry, you can’t over-flour.
  3. Roll out the dough a bit to flatten it out.
  4. Rotate and repeat until it is as thin as you can it. Don’t worry if you get rips in the dough, as long as you have one perfect one for the top you will never notice.
  5. When you get it as thin as you can with the rolling pin, carefully pick it up with well floured hands and stretch it on the backs of your hands as you would a pizza dough, just helps make it that much thinner. Roll out your dough until it is transparent. NOTE: you will not get it as thin as the frozen phyllo dough you purchase at the store, it is made by machine
  6. Set aside on a well-floured surface. Repeat the process until your dough is used up. Between each sheet again flour well. You will not need to cover your dough with a wet cloth, as you do with boxed dough, it is moist enough that it will not try out.

Baklava Recipe

Ingredients      

For the syrup:

  • 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) honey (I used only 1 cup)
  • 1 1/4 cups (300ml) water
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) (280 gm/10 oz) sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 (2-inch/50 mm) piece fresh citrus peel (lemon or orange work best)
  •  a few cloves or a pinch or ground clove

When you put your baklava in the oven start making your syrup. When you combine the two, one of them needs to be hot.

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium pot over medium high heat. Stir occasionally until sugar has dissolved

2. Boil for 10 minutes, stir occasionally.

3. Once boiled for 10 minutes remove from heat and strain cinnamon stick and lemon, allow to cool as baklava cooks

Ingredients for the Filling:

  • 1 (5-inch) cinnamon stick, broken into 2 to 3 pieces
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) (170 gm/6 oz) blanched almonds
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) (155 gm/5½ oz) raw or roasted walnuts
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) raw or roasted pistachios
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) (150 gm/ 5 1/3 oz) sugar
  • phyllo dough (see recipe above)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4.

2. Combine nuts, sugar and spices in a food processor and pulse on high until finely chopped. If you do not have a food processor chop with a sharp knife as fine as you can. Set aside

3. Trim your phyllo sheets to fit in your pan

4. Brush bottom of pan with butter and place first phyllo sheet

5. Brush the first phyllo sheet with butter and repeat approximately 5 times ending with butter. (Most recipes say more, but homemade phyllo is thicker so it’s not needed)

6. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top

7. Continue layering phyllo and buttering repeating 4 times

8. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top

9. Continue layering phyllo and buttering repeating 4 times

10. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top

11. Continue layering and buttering phyllo 5 more times. On the top layer, make sure you have a piece of phyllo with no holes if possible, just looks better.

12. Once you have applied the top layer tuck in all the edges to give a nice appearance.

13. With a Sharp knife cut your baklava in desired shapes and number of pieces. If you can’t cut all the ways through don’t worry you will cut again later. A 9×9 pan cuts nicely into 30 pieces. Then brush with a generous layer of butter making sure to cover every area and edge

14. Bake for approximately 30 minutes; remove from oven and cut again this time all the way through. Continue baking for another 30 minutes. (Oven temperatures will vary, you are looking for the top to be a golden brown, take close watch yours may need more or less time in the oven)

15. When baklava is cooked remove from oven and pour the cooled (will still be warmish) syrup evenly over the top, taking care to cover all surfaces when pouring. Over night the syrup will soak into the baklava creating a beautifully sweet and wonderfully textured baklava

Next morning all syrup is absorbed

16. Allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled cover and store at room temperature. Allow the baklava to sit overnight to absorb the syrup.

17. Serve at room temperature

Dulce De Leche Pudding


Hubby’s aunt (Elemma, as we call her) is a wonderful cook.. Everytime we visit her, I would be curious to see her new dessert preparation… 🙂 ..Once we had a new pudding and I asked her what the ingredient was. She said ‘Condensed milk cooked in pressure cooker’. At first I thought she was pulling my leg, but later found out it was true!!! And I used to call it ‘puzhungiya condensed milk pudding’ 🙂 (steamed condensed milk ) ..  After I started blogging, found out there was a technical name for it – Dulce De Leche (hmmm.. sounds more stylish … :))..

The first time I tried the pudding it was way too sweet.. And I hadn’t tried to make it again for a long time.. Recently I thought to try it again by cutting down the sweetness and this time it was a success.. Had made this one during our friends’ visit and yes, it was a hit. My friend Azna, who is an expert cook, has given me the green signal to mention in the blog that she loved the pudding 🙂

So here goes my version of dulce de leche pudding…


Recipe Source
Elemma

Ingredients

  • For the First Layer
    • Ladyfinger biscuits – 1 pkt (around 15 no.) * You can use Marie Biscuits also
    • Water – 1 cup
    • Instant coffee powder – 3 tsp

    For the Second Layer

    • Condensed Milk – 1 tin
    • Milk – 3 cup + ½ cup for cornflour mixture
    • Powdered sugar – ¾ cup
    • Cornflour – ½ cup
    • Nestle cream – 1 tin
    • Sliced Almonds – 2-3 tsp
    • Vanilla essence – a few drops

    For the Third Layer

    • Whipping cream – 1 sachet
    • Milk – ½ cup
    • Vanilla essence – a few drops


Preparation

Layer 1

  1. Dissolve the instant coffee powder in water
  2. Dip the ladyfinger biscuits in the coffee mixture one by one and arrange on a pudding dish  .(Do not soak the ladyfinger biscuits, else they will be too soggy. If you are using Marie biscuits , you can add a few tsp of sugar to the coffee mixture).
  3. Keep it the fridge while you prepare the second layer.

Layer 2.

  1. In a pressure cooker ,place  the condensed milk and fill water till the can is immersed completely.
  2. Close the cooker and cook on medium flame with the weight on. After the first whistle, reduce the flame to low and cook for 45 minutes .
  3. Allow the cooker to cool and then open and take out the can. After the can is cooled well , open it. Voila, the condensed milk has turned to a toffee like semi solid mixture .This is the Dulce de leche…
  4. In a thick bottom pan, mix together the dulce de leche, 3 cups milk, powdered sugar and nestle cream. Heat this on a medium flame and when it starts to boil , add the cornflour dissolved in ½ cup milk.
  5. Stir well till you get a thick mixture. Remove from flame , add the sliced almonds and a few drops of vanilla essence.
  6. Pour this mixture over the biscuit layer. Keep it back to the fridge and allow it to set for atleast 2 hours.

Layer 3

  1. Using an egg beater ,beat whipping cream powder , milk and vanilla essence till soft peaks form.
  2. Spread this over the pudding and cool once for atleast 2 hours.


Sending this to Bookmarked Recipes Events by Aipi of US Masala and Priya of Mharo Rajasthan Recipes

Bread Pudding

As summer is nearing, its time for cold puddings 🙂 … This is an easy and simple pudding, actually one of my first attempts which was successful . The plus factor is that preparation time is less than  fifteen minutes..All you need is bread slices,milk, cream, condensed milk and pistachios or nuts of your choice.  This pudding is made in 3 layers and you have to use a rectangular tray for arranging the bread slices. So here goes the recipe…


Ingredients

  • Bread slices – 20
  • Milk – 1 ½ cups
  • Condensed Milk – 1 tin
  • Whipped Cream – 2 cups
  • Chopped Pistachios – ½ cup
  • Vanilla essence – 1tsp

Method

  1. Mix the milk , condensed milk and vanilla essence.
  2. Trim the edges of the bread slices and cut them into half .
  3. Dip the bread slices into the milk and lay them on a rectangular tray. Continue this till you have made one layer.
  4. Take about one third of the cream and spread  it over the bread slices.
  5. Spread some chopped pistachios over the cream.
  6. Top this layer using bread slices dipped in the milk mixture, followed by cream and pista.
  7. Repeat once more so that finally you have 3 layers.
  8. Chill for a few hours and serve

Note : If the milk mixture is remaining pour it on top of the bread slices and then spread the cream .

Strawberry Shrikand

strawberry shrikand


Shrikand is a popular Indian sweet  made using hung yogurt and sugar. It is a main dish in Gujarati and Maharashtrian cuisine..  There are many variations of shrikand – by adding almonds, mango or strawberry. The procedure to prepare this is very simple, just make sure that the yogurt is hung overnight so that all the water content is removed and you get a thick creamy residue. I read in another blog that sour cream added will give it an added zing… Well, maybe next time I will try it with the cream too..


Ingredients

  • Hung Yogurt – 2 cups (made from 4 cups of yogurt)
  • Sugar – ¾  cup (add according to sweetness required)
  • Strawberry – 10
  • Almonds chopped– few
  • Almonds, Pistachios for garnishing

Preparation

  1. To get hung yogurt, keep 1 litre of yogurt in a muslin cloth and hang it overnight. The water from the yogurt will be removed and you will get a thick yogurt.
  2. Beat the strawberries and sugar in a blender. (adjust sugar according to your sweetness)
  3. Add it to the thick yogurt and mix well with a spoon. (Do not put the yogurt in the blender as it will loosen the consistency).
  4. Add almonds and chill for a few hours
  5. Decorate with almonds, strawberry , pistachios. (I did not have any pistas on hand.. so left it out.. )

Sending this as entry to Flavours of Maharashtra Event hosted by PJ and Naina.

and Treat to Eyes Event hosted by Rumana of Spice Ur Senses.

Sending this to AWED Indian Cuisine Event hosted by Umm Mymoonah of  Taste of Pearl City , started by DK of Chef In You

… and to Indian Mithai Mela at What’s Cooking by Kalyani

Apple Crumble

I was having sore throat and cold and yearning for a good dessert..  The taste of caramalised apples with cinnamon was flashing in my mind.. As i didn’t have the patience to make an apple pie, I settled on the easier version – Apple Crumble.   Delicious and can be prepared in a jiffy.. I got the recipe from here, modified it to cut down the butter and sugar.

 

crumble3

APPLE CRUMBLE

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

For the crumble
  • 250g plain flour, sieved pinch of salt
  • 50g unrefined brown sugar
  • 50g  unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature
  • Knob of butter for greasing

For the filling
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm pieces
  • 50g unrefined brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 pinch of ground cinnamon

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Place the flour and sugar in a large bowl and mix well. Taking a few cubes of butter at a time rub into the flour mixture. Keep rubbing until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Place the fruit in a large bowl and sprinkle over the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Stir well being careful not to break up the fruit.
  4. Butter a 24cm/9in ovenproof dish. Spoon the fruit mixture into the bottom, then sprinkle the crumble mixture on top.
  5. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the crumble is browned and the fruit mixture bubbling.


P.S: Sending this as entry for Bake-off round up at Versatile Kitchen , A.W.E.D-British Event by Reva and DK,
Celebrate Sweets – Warm Desserts Event hosted by Priya and Nivedita and Taste Buds – Cooking With Fruits event

Celebrate Sweets – Warm Desserts Event hosted by Priya and Nivedita.

Bread and Butter Pudding

A packet of stale bread meant one thing – it’s time for bread pudding. 🙂  The recipes in my recipe book  was more of a caramel bread pudding , meaning more eggs and less bread. I browsed through the net and decided to try out this recipe with small changes. As my hubby and kids are not so fond of raisins I substituted them with almonds, and topped the bread with pralines just before baking.. The warm bread pudding with the almonds, cinnamon, pralines – a real treat for your taste buds!!!


Ingredients
 

  • soft butter – 50g
  • white bread, cut diagonally across – 12 slices (I used rectangular slices)
  • slivered almonds/raisins – 50g
  • grated nutmeg- ¼ tsp
  • cinnamon – ¼ tsp
  • milk  – 400 ml
  • heavy double cream – 100ml
  • large eggs – 3
  • sugar – 25gm
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Praline powder – 100gm

Preparation:

For the Praline powder

  1. Heat 6 tbsp of sugar in a non stick pan. When the sugar melts ,add the broken cashewnuts.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture on a buttered surface /butter paper and allow to cool.
  3. Powder the hardened mixture coarsely using a pestle.

For The Pudding

  1. Heat the oven to 180°C
  2. Grease a pie dish with a little of the butter. Spread each of the bread triangles with butter.
  3. Cover the base of the pie dish with overlapping triangles of bread, butter side up. Sprinkle the raisins/almonds evenly over the bread, then lightly sprinkle with a little nutmeg and cinnamon. Repeat this layer one more time or until the dish is filled, finishing with the raisins/almonds on top.
  4. In a saucepan gently heat the milk and cream – DO NOT BOIL.
  5. In a large baking bowl beat the eggs with 3/4 sugar and the vanilla extract until light and airy and pale in color. Pour the warm milk over the eggs and continue beating until all the milk is added.
  6. Pour the egg mixture slowly and evenly over the bread until all the liquid is added. Gently press the surface with your hand to push the bread into the liquid. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the surface then leave to one side for 30 mins.
  7. Sprinkle the praline powder on the top layer to give a uniform coating.
  8. Bake the pudding in the hot oven for 40 – 45 mins, until the surface is golden brown and the pudding well risen and the egg is set. Serve hot.

Bread and Butter Pudding reheats well covered with aluminum foil in a hot oven

P.S: Sending this to Bake-off round up at Versatile Kitchen , A.W.E.D-British Event by Reva and DK , to Priya’s BEST WESTERN DESSERT EVENT , Only Cooking With Bread and Celebrate Sweets – Warm Desserts Event hosted by Priya and Nivedita.


Chocolate Gulab Jamuns With Fried Icecream

gulab-jamun

I was pondering on what to prepare as dessert for my nieces who were coming over for the weekend . ( I always fret a lot on desserts, as I am a self proclaimed sweet lover…) . As it’s winter here I  wanted to make a warm dessert.. and finally settled on gulab jamuns..  I used to make gulab jamuns using  the instant powder mix;this time I thought –  let me try it with  milk powder. I found this recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor’s site.. (http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/instant-gulab-jamun.aspx) But wait, why not give a twist to the normal gulab jamun and make them chocolatey instead (the chocaholic in me smiled… ) . So I modified the recipe a little and made the choco gulab jamun. And topped it with fried icecream…

PS – I should have mentioned in my earlier posts, but better late than never… The beautiful snaps in the blog were taken by my dear brother… This sweet treat is for u big bro…

For the Chocolate Gulab Jamun

Ingredients

  • Milk powder – 1cup + 2 tablespoons
  • Refined flour (maida)  – 1 tablespoon
  • Cocoa powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Soda bicarbonate –  1/4 teaspoon
  • Green cardamom powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ghee 4 teaspoons + to deep fry
  • Sugar 1 cup

Directions

  1. Heat sugar and one cup of water in a pan and cook to make a syrup.
  2. Mix  milk powder, refined flour ,cocoa powder, soda bicarbonate, green cardamom powder and four teaspoons of ghee in a bowl..  (If you want to make normal gulab jamuns, omit the cocoa powder)
  3. Add sufficient water to the milk powder mixture and knead into a soft dough.(You can add milk also to knead the dough)
  4. Divide the dough into small balls.
  5. Heat sufficient ghee in a deep bottomed pan.
  6. Deep fry the jamuns in the ghee on low heat.
  7. When the gulab jamuns are golden brown, drain them.
  8. Put the sugar syrup on  a low simmering fire.
  9. Add the gulab jamuns to the simmering  syrup for  8-10 minutes.
  10. Transfer to the gulab jamuns and the syrup to a dish

For The Fried Icecream

  1. Keep the icecream at room  temperature till it begins to defreeze.
  2. Scoop out balls of icecream and roll them in flour.
  3. Keep the floured icecream balls back into the freezer for about 2 hours.
  4. Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan and deep fry the icecream balls . (Take out the icecream balls before they start to melt.)

Serve  the hot jamuns with the fried icecream and chocalate sauce.

P.S : I am  sending this as an entry to Delicious Desserts event hosted by What’s Cooking today!!

and to AWED Indian Cuisine Event hosted by Umm Mymoonah of  Taste of Pearl City , started by DK of Chef In You

and to Indian Mithai Mela at What’s Cooking by Kalyani

Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot sweet)

gajarhalwa2

As a kid  I had always heard  “Gajar ka halwa” mentioned in Bollywood movies and I still remember the first  time I had a chance to savor this delectable dish..   For me it was love at first bite..  it still is one of my favourite desserts…

Gajar ka halwa is a very traditional Indian sweet. Grated carrots are boiled in milk in a low flame. When milk is almost dry, sugar is added and cooked again. Though the cooking procedure is very simple it  takes time. I heat the halwa in microwave after  adding sugar to save effort 🙂 …


Ingredients

Carrots – 500gmsMilk – 750 ml

Ghee – 2tbsp

Sugar – 200gm

Almonds – 15 to 20
Green Cardamom powder – 1 tspDirections1.   Peel, wash and grate carrot

2.   Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan . Add grated carrots cook on a medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes

3.   Add milk and green cardamom powder. Bring it to a boil and then reduce flame.

4.   Cook on a slow flame until milk is almost reduced.

5.   Add  sugar and cook until dry. Stir constantly.

(this stage can be done in a microwave also..  Heat in Medium High setting for 25 to 30 minutes… )

6.   Garnish with sliced almonds.

This halwa tastes best when served warm..

Sending this to AWED Indian Cuisine Event hosted by Umm Mymoonah of  Taste of Pearl City , started by DK of Chef In You

... and to Indian Mithai Mela at What’s Cooking by Kalyani


Molten lava cake

lavacake1

I was searching for a recipe for Molten Lava Cake and came across Martha Stewart’s recipe… tried it and the outcome was perfect.. as a chocolate lover this is the ultimate dessert for me 🙂

Ingredients

 

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for muffin tins
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for muffin tins
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, (220gms) melted
  • Icing sugar, for dusting

 

 

Directions

  1. Melt the chocolate  using the double boiler method. (The larger saucepan is partially filled with water brought to a simmer or boil. Chocolate is put in a smaller saucepan and kept in the larger one..The indirect heat melts the chocolate… )
  2. Using an electric beater cream the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Beat in the melted chocolate until just combined.
  4. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Generously butter 6 cups of a standard muffin tin/ramekin. Dust with granulated sugar, and tap out excess.Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.
  5. Bake for until 8 to 10 minutes.  8 minutes will give u a more liquid  center, 10 minutes will give you a soft cake…  u can choose the time according to your preference.( I did mine for 8 minutes… ) Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes.
  6. To serve, turn out cakes, and place on serving plates, bottom sides up. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve with whipped cream, if desired.