Friday, June 28, 2013

Crème caramel

So simple yet so elegant. Crème caramel is a classic dessert made with caramel and custard. Making custard without eggs seems almost impossible however it is very much achievable. After lot of trials, here is the one.

For Caramel-
1/4 cup sugar
1 tb spoon water

For 'custard'
1 cup whole milk
2 tb spoon corn starch mixed with 2 tb sp water
1 tb spoon milk powder
1 tb spoon sugar
1/2 tea spoon vanilla extract

Start with caramel. To make caramel, put sugar and water in a pan and bring mixture to boil. Swirl the pan to avoid burning. Do not stir the caramel, else it will crystallize.Once the caramel starts changing color (golden brown), switch off the heat and remove the pan. Sugar keeps cooking and it will eventually be a dark brown in color. If you keep cooking caramel on the heat until it reaches the beautiful golden color, you will burn it! Pour the caramel into 2 greased ramekins and set aside to cool.
       To make custard, heat the milk just until it reaches below the boiling point. Add corn starch paste, milk powder,sugar and vanilla extract. Stir everything together to mix. Cool slightly. Strain the 'custard' to ensure its smoothness. Pour slightly cooled custard onto set caramels.
       Transfer the ramekins into a deep baking dish. Pour hot tap water until the water reaches half the height of the ramekins. Bake in pre-heated 350 F oven for about 40-50 minutes or just until the custard is set. 
       Refrigerate set custard for at least 4 hours, overnight is even better. To remove custard from the ramekin, run a knife around the edges of ramekin and turn ramekin upside down on the plate. When the custard is on the plate, the caramel at the bottom will pour over the custard making a puddle of caramel into a plate! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Beancurd in disguise

Bean-curd/tofu is a staple in my home. I eat it almost everyday. A very versatile ingredient, so much can be done with it like roasting,pan frying,grilling,baking. But every once in a while, I try to do something different and this is how it turned out!

grated extra firm tofu 1 and half cups
1 tb spoon minced chillies
1/2 tb spoon each minced ginger and garlic
salt to taste
1 -2 tb spoon chopped cilantro
2 tb spoon semolina flour (use breadcrumbs if available)

Mix together all the ingredients. Divide the mix in 4 equal balls. Shape each ball into a flat disk (a patty). Shallow fry in a skillet. Serve with coconut chutney.
    Adjust the spice level according to taste.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Salad for dessert -Pear and blue cheese!

You read it right. Although it may sound weird, it won't disappoint you. When the recipe comes from Ina Garten, there is hardly anything that you don't want to try! This time, I am writing about roasted pear with blue cheese salad. The original recipe calls for arugula, however don't add it and you have a wonderful dessert. Take this from the one who is not a fan of blue cheese!
            I used bosc pears instead of anjou pears, omitted port and adjusted the amount of sugar. I prefer not to peel the pears, you can if you like.

3-4 medium size bosc pears
3 tb spoons Lemon juice
3 oz blue cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup walnuts, roasted and chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup light brown sugar (adjust according to taste)
salt to taste

Thoroughly wash and slice the pears into quarters.Remove the core and the seeds. Chop each quarter into bite size pieces.Toss pears in lemon juice and arrange them in a single layer in baking dish. In a mixing bowl, mix together blue cheese,cranberries,walnuts. Distribute this mixture over the chopped pears equally. Mix together, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar until sugar is dissolved. Pour the mixture on and around pears and bake in 375 F oven for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool until warm.
             Sprinkle salt just before serving. Serve warm!

Note: There will be basting liquid left in the baking dish after baking the pears. Serve the basting liquid with the salad!