Purple Haze and Blueberry Bavarian

Wednesday 22 September 2010 | Posted by Kishi | Fruits,Product Knowledge

It amazes that many people around me don’t know about blueberry. Don’t blame them,We in India only know two types of berries in particular- strawberry and raspberry (The Indian gooseberry).

I just finished making some Blueberry Bavarian cakes.Sharing the same with you.I have used frozen blueberries in my cake and its close to impossible to find the fresh one in Delhi.One in a while if you get lucky you can find the same but at triple the cost.

Here is a little trivia on blueberry I had with me from my product knowledge class at CIA.

Blueberries are small fruits of a shrub tree. These berries grow in clusters and vary in size from that of the size of a pea, to the size of a marble. The colour often ranges from maroon to purple black. The flesh of the blueberries is semi-transparent and encases tiny seeds. The berries, which are cultivated, are mildly sweet, whereas those which grow in the wild are more tart and tangy in flavour.

They are round and flattened in shape. They have a crown like structure at the bottom, and a depressed ring at the top of the fruit. Blueberries are usually around 1/2 inch in diameter. These berries are native to North America, where they grow in abundance in the mountains, forests of US and Canada.

· Blueberries are best had in their raw form

· Frozen berries may be added to your breakfast shake to make it more zingy and lip smacking

· Dried berries can be added to the dull breakfast cereal to pep it up

· Blueberries added in yogurt and then frozen make an excellent low fat dessert. It can be topped with crystallized ginger for best results

· Blueberry jams, muffins, pies are the favourite among people of all ages alike. They can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Health Benefits
Blueberries are a rich source of vitamins and minerals, and have various health benefits associated with them. Some of them include the following:

· Blueberries are one of the richest sources of antioxidants. The antioxidants play a pivotal role in keeping our body healthy and young. They help fight free radicals of the body, which damage the cells of the body as we grow older. They may also result in the degeneration of the DNA. Blueberries provide protection against the same

· These berries are rich in an anti-cancer agent, several, which helps combat the fatal disease

· They contain chemicals that are believed to decrease the growth of cervical and breast cancer cells by a considerable percentage

· Research has confirmed that blueberries not only slow the aging process but also reverse it

· Various experiments conducted have also indicated that eating blueberries improves short term memory loss and improves balance and coordination

· A compound found in blueberries called the pterostilbene, has been found to develop into a nutraceutical for lowering cholesterol

· If consumed regularly, these berries have shown to improve night time vision and promote quicker adjustment to darkness and faster restoration of visual acuity after exposure to glare

· They are also beneficial in reducing effects of age related conditions such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia

· These wonder berries provide respite against both diarrhea and constipation

· They are rich sources of soluble and insoluble fiber and contain tannins, which act as astringents in the digestive system to reduce inflammation

· Regularly consuming blueberries helps in fighting urinary tract infections.

Varieties of Blueberries

  • Blueberry-Brigitta: This variety is a late season variety producing large, firm, and light blue berries. The shrub of this cultivar is upright and usually grows to a height of about 6 feet. The berry borne by the variety is large, crisp and rich in flavour and texture. Thus they make an excellent option for freezing as well as eating fresh. The fruits ripen towards the end of August
  • Blueberry-Chandler: This variety of berries is large, firm and has a wonderful flavour. Each berry weighs about 2g. The bush is extremely attractive and grows low to a height of about 150 cms
  • Blueberry-Earliblue: As the name of the berry suggests, it matures early as compared to the other varieties. The berries borne by the tree are large, juicy and have a mild and sweet flavour. The berries grow in medium sized clusters and ripen in the beginning of July
  • Blueberry Top Hat: It is an extremely nutritious variety, which also makes for an extremely ornamental plant. The berries produced are extremely plump and make an ideal ingredient in pies, muffins and jams

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Peas in a pod-salad and smoothie!

Wednesday 27 May 2009 | Posted by Kishi | Dressings,Easy Cooking,Fruits,Salads

Have had a long day of work, so this post will be short, tangy and exotic!
I love eating salads but they have to be out of the ordinary and vivid. Many people fail to appreciate Salads. Often I feel that you can take nuts and bolts like the greens, some fruits, cucumber, onions and tomato and make it exotic with some funky dressing. We always have fruits lying around and basics like vinegar, oil…a little concoction can do wonders try it. Just be innovative and adventurous.
Top it with nuts or croutons…a quick meal ready! Add fruits like mango and litchi to add sweetness.

FYI: The jargon Salad days meaning a “time of youthful inexperience” (on notion of “green”) was first recorded by Shakespeare.

Mixed FruitsAccompany your salad wit a refreshing FRUIT SMOOTHIE!!
Take all the fruits you like, put them in a blender; add some mint and some yogurt! Voila…a tropical summer delight:)

PINEAPPLE GINGER VINAIGRETTE
Ingredients/Amount

Pineapple 1/4 each
Ginger 30 Gms
Mustard 15 Gms
Champagne vinegar 1/2 cup
Cilantro, coarsely chopped 1/8 cup
Olive oil 1 cup
Salad/vegetable oil 1 cup
Salt 2 tsp.
Coarse black pepper 1 1/2 tsp.

Method:

1. Peel pineapples and process in grinder until smooth.
2. Remove pineapple and puree ginger.
3. Transfer pineapple, ginger, mustard, and vinegar into bowl and do a double boiler
4. Puree with a Braun mixer and slowly incorporate the oils.
5. Add the cilantro and season with salt and pepper.

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Passion-the summer collection!

Monday 18 May 2009 | Posted by Kishi | foodaholics,Fruits

Passion-summer collection 

Vacation time and what better than the sight of a scrumptious dessert evoking joy enjoyment, festivity, nostalgia, temptations, reward, and non-top excitement.

And who better to conjure up a load of cool dessert than your good old Foodaholics!

So come, loosen up your denim buttons and linen pajamas and dig into  some fresh truly classic summer favourites like mango, pineapple, passion fruit, lemon, litchi, mint chocolate – besides the usual suspects –  flavors from Blueberry to Orange Chocolate to Vanilla Bavarian and more – all fresh, yummy and made to order!

All chocolate used is the finest, sourced from France, single origin – just the way you’d prefer.

Those outside the country too, can order cakes for their loved ones in Delhi city (NCR), by emailing or calling one day in advance.

And your choice of cake will be delivered Free of charge!

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Granita Magic…

Tuesday 12 May 2009 | Posted by Kishi | Fruits

litchi I am home alone. Gudiya has already cooked a meal. (Black garbanzo beans with Rice).
Though somehow I am not pleased enough. Am restless, sleepy and a bit bored today. You know how you have some days where you don’t know the reason why you are feeling a specific way- its one of those!
Lots of fresh fruit in fridge- litchi, melon, mango, and watermelon.

Ingredients:
20-30 pitted litchi
Lime juice, to taste
1/2 mango, peeled and sliced, optional
½ cup melon, optional
½ cup sugar syrup (equal parts water and sugar)

Method:
1. In blender blend litchi and sugar syrup
2. Taste and fine-tune sweetness by adding lime juice.
3. Empty mixture into plastic pan, cover up and put in freezer. Check after about 1 ½ – 2 hours. When concoction is beginning to freeze up, stir with fork so it doesn’t freeze rock-solid. Stir at regular intervals until mixture freezes into consistency of sorbet.
4. About 15 minutes prior to serving remove litchi granita from freezer and allow softening slightly in refrigerator or cool place. Muddle up well and serve in bowls garnished with mango and melon slices.

PS- Add vodka to make it tastier

The satisfied I will take a nap now!

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My love for passion!

Sunday 3 May 2009 | Posted by Kishi | Cake,Fruits

passion fruit chocolate cakepassion fruitI am super excited as I see a lot of passion fruit in the market. There are so many different varieties but unfortunately in Delhi you get one or two rarely.
These days in every fruit stall you will NOW see a section that says imported exotic fruit, where you will find Kiwi, guava with this mesh style covers, apples, pears and big nice almost burgundy colour grapes. In few you will also find passion fruit.

I don’t know how many people know about passion fruit esp. coz it’s new to Indian palate and mostly used in gourmet cooking here esp. desserts. Passion fruit is from Southern Brazil if I am not mistaken and it’s a Vine. Being at CIA you have to go through a product knowledge class where you learn about different fruits varieties, vegetable. That’s where I first saw it…I thought it was a small aubergine or something. But you cut this little beauty in two pieces and you will see how pretty it is.
The nearly round or ovoid fruit, 1 to 3 inches wide, has a sturdy coat that is downy and waxy and ranging in hue from dark purple with faint, fine white specks, to light yellow or pumpkin-colour. Within is a cavity(not your tooth cavity hehe!) more or less filled with sweet-smelling mass of double walled, membranous sacs containing dark yellow almost orange-coloured, pulpy juice and as many as 100 no 250 no 300 that’s over exaggeration, small, hard, dark brown or black, pitted seeds. The unique flavour is appealing, musky, guava-like and sweet/tart to tart. Then there is the yellow form has generally larger fruit than the purple, but the pulp of the purple is less acid, richer in aroma and flavour, and has a higher percentage of juice .I think the yellow is tropical variety. I saw them all over in the bugis market, Singapore when my family lived there. You have a lot of suppliers that provide passion fruit puree and all with s**tt load of emulsifiers and stabilizers and sugar. That makes it more gelatine like and the real tart roughly sour (khatta) taste goes away.

Papa is a foodie. I can’t call him a good cook AT ALL! He knows everything possible in the world of what he wants to eat but how to make it …hmm No comments!
God if I ask my dad to get me some fruits, he buys the whole shop I feel.Few weeks back i had asked him to get me something different. I am going to write it in native lingo:
Shopkeeper: “Sir aam bhut acha hai le lijiye, Bangalore ka hai aapus”
Papa: “Thik hai ek peti de do”.

English translation:

Shopkeeper: Sir the mangoes are really nice, its alphanso (a variety which is called the king of mangoes) from the city of Bangalore.
Dad: Sure give me the whole carton!

So you see he doesn’t know the model of kg’s or Gms and its cartons!

He goes to Bengali market to buy fruits very often. He got me some passion fruit. Guess how much? Yes a carton of it! What am I going to do with it dad this is what I asked him….his reaction :you are a chef make something!

So I decided to add a new flavour to my menu- Passion fruit -chocolate cake.
Spent the day took out all the seeds and made lots of puree stored in small containers and stored them in the freezer. Before I add a new flavour I have to do a lot of testing ,costing etc etc. The other facet of a chef! Once that was(puree) finished obviously I had to continue. So now I get a lovely fresh one coming in from France.

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