Skip to main content

Something old, something new


It's the most refreshing of days; the beginning of a year when everything seems just a bit more possible. I firmly believe that you should start each new year with a gorgeous dessert. And this is one dessert that is only possible in Mumbai, where strawberries show up in winter rather than summer. A combination of the wintery gingerbread with balsamic strawberries, everything blanketed in a white chocolate sauce and capped with a candied ginger slice. This is a trifle that gives trifles a good name.

I made my gingerbread for Christmas. The recipe, which originally came from Smitten Kitchen, is the one I have used for two years running and it never disappoints. The gingerbread cake is non-fussy and good to have around the snacking during the holiday season. It also freezes remarkably well; in fact, I made mine about 10 days back and put part of it in the freezer. So if you already have gingerbread, you need to make your strawberries and white chocolate ganache 3-4 hours in advance, let everything chill and assemble just before serving. If you don't end up eating the triffle immediately, it actually improves with a few hours in the fridge. I made mine in a jar so I put a lid on and packed it for work.

Ingredients
Half the gingerbread cake made with this recipe
1 cup strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
200 grams white chocolate, chopped
1 cup cream (heavy cream is best but I used Amul 25%)
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
candied ginger slices to garnish

In a bowl, mix together strawberries, sugar, vanilla extract and balsamic vinegar. Heat the cream until it is simmering. Turn off the heat, add the chocolate and nutmeg and stir until the chocolate is melted and you have a smooth chocolate ganache. Chill both the strawberries and the ganache in the fridge for 3-4 hours. If you are making gingerbread cake now, also cool it completely.

Cut gingerbread cake into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes. In a glass or a jar, add a layer of gingerbread. Spoon over the strawberries and then add a layer of white chocolate ganache. Repeat the layers and top with a slice of candied ginger.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Mystery Fruit

This only happened a few times every year, just when the rainy season kicked in. A street hawker will come by, straw basket on head. He will yell "kaul chapni" and I will run out to buy a bundle of these. Stuck together like flowers, they looked like a bouquet. Every hole contains a little fruit. You break out the package, peel the tiny fruit that pops out and eat it. Done slowly, it can take you an hour to eat an head. Or did, when I was about 12 years old.

That was the last time I saw this fruit. I've never seen it again, didn't even know what it was called or where it came from. Three weeks back, Vikram Doctor wrote about a store in Khar that sells Sindhi foods. He described this fruit and I knew it came from my vivid childhood memories. And finally, I knew we were talking about lotus fruit.

Now talk about coincidences. Last weekend, I was passing by a lane in Bandra and for the first time in many, many years I saw the straw basket filled with my mytery fruit. It…

Of Brun and Bun Maska

There is more to Bombay's breads than the pao that goes into pao bhaji and vada pao. There's Brun. and there's bun. We will get there. First, you have to get to know the city's Parsis. And Iranis, who are also Zoroastrians, but came to city a little later, in the late 19th or early 20th century. And when they came, they brought with them these little cafes that dot the city.

I am no expert on Irani chai cafes. And I can't tell you whether Yazdani Bakery will provide you the best experience or Kyani's. But I can tell you a few things you need to ignore when you get there. Appearances don't matter; so ignore the fact that the marble/glass top tables and the wooden chairs look a bit dilapidated. Also ignore the rundown look the place sports.

Instead, get yourself settled. And order a bun muska. This one's familiar to you as a first cousin of the soft hamburger bun. It's similar, but just a tad bit sweeter. Maska, of course, is the generous dollop of b…

A Bowlful of Comfort

I have a friend who is quite the globetrotter. Lunches at her place, often right after her trips, are a treasure trove of global flavours. But the last time we met, she was just back from Tamil Nadu and out she brought a bowl of curd rice. I love curd rice and have eaten a lot of it over the years but my friend's version was so full of flavours and textures, it was a revelation. Obviously, I asked for the recipe.

The genius of this curd rice lies in adding the tempering or the tadka twice, once to mix in the rice so it absorbs all the flavours. Then you make a second batch to top the rice with just before you serve, so it adds crunch to the usually mushy dish. The recipe also has a few other elements added in for texture, freshness and flavour.

I over-ate at lunch at my friend's and I over-ate again when I made this for myself for lunch. Plus, all the ingredients you need are likely in your kitchen already so you may as well go make it now.

Ingredients
1/2 cup rice
1 cup plain…