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Showing posts from December, 2010

The Flavors of Christmas

What do you look forward to on Christmas morning? I think of cinnamon and plump raisins soaked in rum and bright, cheerful colors. Looks like daring bakers had the same idea.

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book.........and Martha Stewart’s demonstration. All to make a bread that has all the colors and flavors of Christmas. We were even told to shape it like a wreath.

Lovely and festive, isn't it!

Merry Christmas, everyone and hope you have a great new year. I'd see you after the holidays.

Pastry Wars : The Agenda

Pastry Wars : My quest to find the best version for every basic recipe that should be in a baker's repertoire. When I started, I didn't have a list in mind. But I've realized now that I need to start marking out recipes as I get to my favorites so here's the list I've put together.
Am I missing something? Do leave a comment and I'd add it to the list. Pastry
Tart - work in progress.
Puff Pastry
Pate a choux

Fillings
Pastry Cream
Lemon Curd (or cream)

Cakes
Vanilla
Chocolate
Cheesecake

Frostings
Whipped Cream
Buttercream
Cream Cheese
Ganache

Comfort Food
Brownies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Muffins

Everything Else
Souffle
Pouring Custard/Creme Anglaise
Crepes
Chocolate Sauce
Caramel Sauce
Tempered Chocolate Cutouts

Kashmiri Dum Aloo

I am not a regular participant of Indian Cooking Challenge. Though now I wonder why. Every recipe I've cooked for this event has turned out to be a winner. This month's recipe - dum aloo cooked the kashmiri way with a unique combination of spices - was surely the best version of dum aloo I've tasted. An added bonus: it makes your whole house very, very fragrant.

I won't write up the whole recipe here because so many others have, so just go over to Srivalli's if you'd like to make some yourself.

My First Iced Cake

Vanilla Cake
Whipped Cream Frosting
Buttercream Flowers
Strawberries
Crooked Chocolate smiley

It may not be perfect, but it's the best cake I've ever made!

What would you do with leftover whipped cream

I had plenty left over from my pineapple pastry so I made a childhood favorite : fruit cream. Chopped up some canned pineapple finely. Also peeled and finely chopped an apple, then plonked it in lemony water for a minute.

I added both the fruits to the cream, then added someone syrup from the pineapple can to up the sugar quotient. Mixed it gently and put it in the freezer overnight. Next day, I left it in the fridge for 15 minutes then scooped it out in glasses. Although you can't see it up there, I also topped it with some blackcurrant syrup for a decadent dessert!
Now for some other news...
Bombay Foodie was featured in the Super Blogger Series at Simple Indian Food, so you might want to hop on there and read a bit more about me!

It Must've Been Something I Ate

I'd never heard of Jeffrey Steingarten until we picked his book as November's book of the month over at This Book Makes Me Cook. It Must've Been Something I Ate is a witty, very well written and immensely enjoyable collection of essays on food. Although I rarely read non-fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. And there are three reasons you should read it too.

1. Steingarten seeks to burst the myths and fads about food. He takes it upon himself to educate misguided folks against their fear of cheese or MSG. What he says may or may not be true but I am with him on one thing : diet fads change every day and nothing in moderation could be that bad for you!

2. He doesn't believe in letting go. Once he gets hold of the idea, be it about proving the difference between salts or making blood sausages, he will sashay around the world until he gets to the bottom of it. His accounts are often hilarious and I can imagine the sheer number of people he will be irritating trying to…

Pineapple Pastry

This is what makes me feel so glad to be a part of the food blogging community. You saw the cake yesterday. I baked it on the morning of my parents' anniversary, hoping to turn into a traditional pineapple pastry they like.

Then I panicked. I know that the bakeries use a whipped cream topping, but I also knew that the 25% cream we get in India won't whip. So I put in an SOS mail to Deeba. And she called me back within minutes with ideas to incorporate more fat in the cream. With all her tips and hints, I finally have a pineapple pastry I like.

So if you are struggling with 25% Amul cream like me, here's what you do.

Tip No. 1 : Get rid of the whey. When you pour out the cream from the carton, you will get thick cream and some whey. Just pour the whey out.

Tip No. 2 : Chill, chill, chill. Before you start whipping your cream, put the bowl of cream in the freezer for 10 minutes. I also left the whipping blades of my hand mixer in the freezer for the same time.

Tip No. 3 : You ne…

Vanilla Yogurt Cake

I've officially given up on sponge cakes.

Earlier this week, my parents celebrated their 35th anniversary. And anniversaries call for cake. Or, in case of my family, they call for the pineapple pastries. Of the sort sold at practically every bakery in India. It's essentially sponge cake sandwiched with whipped cream and pineapple, then topped with more whipped cream, pineapple slices and an optional cherry.

First step - sponge cake. Except it wasn't. The one I made didn't rise and was too eggy. This is approximately the tenth sponge cake disaster I've had so I think it's time for me to pick another cake as the de facto to-be-iced party cake. Dorie Greenspan doesn't bake sponge cakes, after all. I've tried several of Dorie's cakes and it seemed to me that her French yogurt cake was the perfect fit for the occasion.

After all, Dorie says that French women dress this cake up with cream for their children's birthday parties. And if it's good for t…