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Showing posts from May, 2011

Apricot Frangipane Tart

Partly baked sweet pie crust courtesy Dorie's Baking Bible

A layer of Dorie's almond cream

And a layer of poached apricots





















A gorgeous, sinful tart!

Living the French Life

Antonia, Jeremie and Pierre grew up eating crepes in France. Then they learnt to make crepes properly in Brittany. Luckily for Mumbai, their next step was to land up here and set up a downtown creperie called Suzette. Even more luckily for me, I was one of the first few to read the mail when Brown Paper Bag announced a crepe making class at Suzette. Looks like hundreds of people wrote in and I was one of the first 16 to sign up!

So 16 of us descended on Suzette this afternoon to be greeted by the three owners and the ever charming Mansi from BPB. Once we'd met the other "strangers" and had our first round of coffees, we were introduced to bilig - the cast iron griddle they use to make crepes. Antonia also showed up the wooden tool they use to spread the crepe batter. All of that requires tons of practice though so they had set up non-stick mini crepe making stations for us instead.

The class began with a lesson on making the crepe batter. They use the plain flour and eg…

The Most Decadent Tart on Earth

Cookies have been used in tart bases for eons. There's the oreo crust and the graham cracker crust. I've used both to make pies. Then one day, I decided to use good day butter cookies to make crust. My! what decadence!

Good Day is a brand of rich butter cookies. I took 6 of those, put them in a plastic bag and beat them to crumbs with a rolling pin. Added 20 grams of melted butter and pressed the whole mixture onto the base and sides of a 3 inch tart pan. This I left to set in the fridge for an hour.

Once the base was set, I added a layer of caramel sauce. Chilled it for half an hour or so, then covered it with a layer of ganache. After some more chilling, I discovered the richest, most delicious tart I've tasted.

Mulberry Nights

It's truly summer when frosty glasses full of ice cubes start showing up around the house. But this drink is super special.

Mulberries are such a rare commodity in Mumbai that I instantly gobble up any that I am able to get. Although they grow in nearby Mahabaleshwar, the fruit is so delicate that half of it gets overripe by the time it reaches the markets. Which is why I am always on the lookout for just-ripe mulberries. And which is why I ended up with a pack of underripe, tangy fruit instead.

So I made a mulberry syrup. Throughly washed a cup of mulberries, then put them in a pan with 3 tbsp caster sugar and 1/4 cup water. Cooked them until the mulberries got just a little mushy. Then, when they cooled down a little, I pureed them in the blender and passed them through a sieve.

To make the actual drink, I put a tbsp of this syrup in a champagne flute, sprinkled some rock salt, filled the glass with ice cubes and topped with plain soda (sparkling water). Now isn't that a gorge…

Tutti Frutti Buns

When I went home last time, papa bought a pack of sweet buns. Looks like he's been sneaking off one of those for a quick mid-morning snack, just like I would do when I was in school.

I told him I could bake him the buns that tasted just the same as the bakery version and that's what this is.

I started with 1/3 cup milk, a tsp of vegetable oil and a tbsp of sugar. Heated all of these in the microwave for 30 seconds until the sugar dissolved in the liquid. By then, the milk was quite hot so I let it sit for a while to cool back to lukewarm. Sprinkled half a tsp of instant yeast , waited a couple of minutes, then added enough plain flour to make a soft, sticky dough. I used a little more than half a cup of flour but it really depends on the type of flour, the weather and your stars!

Gather then dough into a ball and put in an oiled bowl to rise. Once it doubles, punch it down. Add about a tbsp of tutti frutti - not too much because in the bakery version, you literally have to hunt …

A cheese called quark

Every month, the food blogging world gets abuzz with an event called Tried and Tasted. The host for the month picks their favorite blog and invites other bloggers to cook a dish they like from the chosen site. I've been an occasional participant in the event, but I just couldn't stay away this month when Jayasri picked Deeba, my favorite baker.

When you first visit Passionate About Baking, you can't help getting impressed with Deeba's sweet goodies. But the moment I saw the announcement, the only thing I thought of was quark.

Deeba got enamored with this curd cheese a couple of years back. I make Neufchatel frequently as a cream cheese substitute so I've often wondered how quark will stand up. This is finally my chance.

All this needs is milk and buttermilk. And a lot of patience; two whole days worth of it. The end result is a delicious product that's part sour cream, part cheese. At some point, I'd amble over to Deeba's blog again and pick a recipe t…

The Lure of Frozen Yogurt

After resisting the charms of frozen yogurt chains Cocoberry and Fro Yo, I've fallen prey to the newest kid on the block. Set among the plethora of cafes and eateries off Bandra's Carter Road, Yogurtbay is just a tiny nook. In fact, I doubt two customers could enter the place at once.

Thankfully, the place was empty of any customers when I walked by. Except for a punk rocker enjoying his yogurt who then turned out to be the guy running the place.
Yogurtbay has three soft serve machines churning out frozen yogurt and a few dozen toppings on the counter (fruits, nuts, chocolates, everything under the sun). I got confused by the options and asked the guy to suggest. Which was a good thing because his bestselling topping was hidden under the counter. So the little tub I got is called frozen blueberry cheesecake. First he put some cake crumbs in the tub. Then a rather large serving of blueberry frozen yogurt, a topping of canned blueberries and finally some more cake crumbs. Mov…

Paneer and Onion Rolls

It feels good to bake bread after a hiatus. In the past months, great bread started to sell at my neighborhood bakeries so I haven't had an incentive to bake. But the aroma circulating in the house reminds me why it's a bad idea to buy bread. No matter how good the product, it won't make your living room smell this nice.

And aren't I amazed at how brave I've become. When I started baking, I was scared of yeast. I'd take recipes with me to the kitchen, and stick to them faithfully, not changing even a gram of an ingredient. For this one, I merely took Pioneer Woman's cinnamon roll as a starting point and fearlessly converted it to a savory version.

To make the dough, put 1/2 cup milk and a tbsp of vegetable oil in a large microwave safe bowl. Heat until it's a little warmer than lukewarm. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp yeast. Wait 5 minutes, then add a cup of flour to the bowl. Stir together, then cover and let rise for an hour.

After an hour, add 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp…