Smooth as silk…creme caramel

Thursday 24 September 2009 | Posted by Kishi | desserts

caramelNow and again I make my checklist in my brain and habitually I tell myself to write it on a piece of paper and despite that the stubborn me fails to follow it. When I was in NY I told myself to watch Julie and Julia knowing that it will take a while before it comes to Delhi!! And bummer by the time I grappled the movie thoughts I was on the flight to Delhi 😉
I have heard some good quality things about the movie and now I am patiently yet eagerly waiting for it to come to the theatres. I love watching movies and here is a list of some fun food related movies:

Big Night
Woman on Top
Ratatouille
Like Water for Chocolate
Tortilla Soup
Mostly Martha
Babette’s Feast
Soon to come Julie and Julia!!

It’s not my darling dessert as I am more of a fresh fruit person. I do make it once in a while when I crave mushy and smooth stuff!!
Cream Caramel, flan, or caramel custard is a prosperous custard dessert as I’d like to call it with a layer of soft caramel on top, as opposed to Crème Brule, which is custard with a hard caramel top.
Here is a simple quick recipe…eat it with dulce de leche and it’s even tastier and will show the prosperity on the belly 🙂

Crème Caramel

Sugar 250 Gms
Water 50 Gms

• Make a nice dark amber colour caramel by cooking the sugar with water.

(To make the caramel, mingle the sugar and water in a stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil and clean the sides with a pastry brush to avoid any crystallization. When the mixture starts to colour, swirl the pan to ensure an even colour. When it is deep amber, remove it from the heat)

• Pour the caramel into containers. And let it cool.

Eggs 7
Yolks 4
Sugar 250 Gms
Milk 1000 Gms
Vanilla bean 1

• Boil the milk and sugar and vanilla bean.
• Temper the eggs with the hot mixture and cook till nape consistency.
• Sieve and pour the mixture in the ramekins wit caramel in bottom.
• Bake at 170 for about 30-35 mins or till set.

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5 Amigo’s

Sunday 5 July 2009 | Posted by Kishi | foodaholics,Taste

An article came in the food section of TOI which I wrote.Have a read…

I remember very well when I had finished college and decided to go to a culinary school one of my classmates, Krishna had given me a Paulo Coelho Book “The Alchemist” as a parting gift. Doubtless one of the most preeminent gifts I have ever received. It just reinforced my faith in what I was planning to do by following my heart and dreams. You see when you choose a different path; you need all the support you can gather. My mother has stood by me in all odds and a lot of friends who believe in me. I didn’t follow the assembly line of joining the corporate world after studying commerce. Instead I decided to do something hands on. I am still grateful for that decision.

It’s my first post here and I am going to write about my five friends as a pastry chef, who too have been amazingly helpful and made my life fun and frolic. With every friend I tell you about, I will give you some recipes they are good at!

5 amigosMy five friends:

• Flour
• Eggs
• Sugar
• Butter
• Chocolate

Flour: What is flour? It’s a powder made out of different grains. It could be wheat, lentils, and pulses. There are different types of flours with different usage. Each country, every cuisine uses it and has adapted a style in which it applies it. It is the main element of bread, which is a staple grub for many civilizations, making the ease of use of tolerable supplies of flour a key fiscal and political subject at a variety of times all through history.

Wheat flour holds the first position in gastronomy. Then you have maize flour and the list can be endless if we pick up different countries. Wheat flour can be distinguished with the protein contents.
Bread flour, pastry flour, all purpose flour, Cake flour and Self raising flour are some of the common types used.

CORNBREAD
AP flour 3 Cups
Cornmeal, yellow 3 Cups
Baking powder 2 Tbsp.
Salt 2 Tbsp.
Eggs 3 ea.
Milk or buttermilk 3 Cups
Melted butter 1 Cup
Method
1. Preheat an oven to 350°F.
2. Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt and sift.
3. Combine the eggs, milk and melted butter and fold into the sifted dry ingredients.
4. Warm two cast iron skillets and oil them lightly. Pour the batter into the cast iron skillets and bake until golden brown and cooked all the way through.

Eggs: Bird eggs are a widespread grub and one of the most all-round ingredients used in cooking. The most universally used bird eggs are those from the chicken. Duck and goose eggs and less important eggs such as quail eggs, are occasionally used as a gourmet thing, as they are the largest bird eggs, from ostriches.
Chicken eggs are extensively used in many sorts of dishes, both sweet and savoury. Eggs can be pickled, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, scrambled, fried and refrigerated. They can also be eaten raw- but beware of salmonella. As a cog, egg yolks are a chief emulsifier in the kitchen. The albumen, or egg white, contains protein but little or no fat. It can be used in cooking independently from the yolk, and can be aerated or whipped to a light, fluffy consistency. Fluffed up egg whites are used in desserts such as meringues and mousse. Yolks are used in a lot of Italian recipes plus ice cream bases.

CHERRY ICE CREAM
Ingredient Amount
Heavy cream 3 Cups
Milk 1 Cup
Sugar ½ Cup
Vanilla extract 1 Tbsp.
Egg yolks, large 4 ea.
Cherries, pitted, slightly mashed 2 Cups
Method
1. Boil the cream milk and half the sugar.
2. Whisk the egg yolks and rest half of the sugar.
3. Add in the boiled cream mixture to the eggs to temper them.
4. Cook till nape consistency. Basically make a cream anglaise and cool,
5. Spin, and fold in the cherries at the end.

Sugar: Human flavour buds deduce its flavour as sweet. Primarily comes from sugar cane and from sugar beet, but also appears in fruit like- mango, chiku, banana also in honey and maple syrup. I relate to sugar as candy. My parents are diabetic so I try to keep my sugar intakes minimal but it’s hard to be so regimented! End of the day I am a pastry chef, and I love what I do…so I keep experimenting! Sugar is my friend but I still have a diplomatic approach with it when I have a fight, I am closer to his cousin…natural sugars. Sugar is a major element in confectionery and a reason why one craves desserts. We also use it as a food preservative though merely it’s for sweetening. I love caramelized sugar on a crème Brule.

COCONUT CRÈME BRULE
Ingredient Amount
Heavy cream 8 oz
Coconut Milk 8 oz
Sugar 2 ½ oz
Coconut Rum 1 tsp
Egg yolks, large 8 ea.
Method
1. Preheat oven to 325 F degrees.
2. Combine the cream and milk and bring to a boil.
3. Combine egg yolks, sugar, and coconut rum.
4. When the milk mixture has come to a boil, remove from heat temper with egg yolks
5. Cook the mixture to nape consistency and whisk.
6. Place on a deep baking sheet filled with hot water in centre rack of oven.
7. Bake 15-20 minutes or until centre is nearly set.
8. Remove from oven to a heat-proof surface. Sprinkle heavily with a layer of coarsely granulated sugar. Using a small torch, apply heat directly to surface of custard until a browned sugar layer forms.

Butter: Utterly butterly delicious! This is the first line that comes to my mind with my friend butter. It’s a dairy product made from agitating milk or cream. It is by and large used as a spread and a condiment for breads, pancakes waffles. It’s used in cooking applications such as baking, sauce making, and frying. Butter consists of butterfat, water and milk proteins. We Indians render the butter so much and it has just butterfat –ghee aka clarified butter. Since butter is an emulsion it has to be melted when using for dressings and sauces. Melted butter plays an imperative role in the groundwork of sauces, most observably in French cuisine. Readers my friends butter and sugar are quite close. Butter fills more than a few roles in baking, where it is used in a similar manner as other solid fats like shortening, but has a savour that may better be a foil for sweet baked goods. Cookie dough and some cake batters are leavened, at least in part, by creaming butter and sugar together.

MONRAY SAUCE
Ingredient Amount
Butter 5 Tbsp
Onion 1 Tsp
Milk 1 Cup
Parmesan Cheese ¼ Cup
Parsley 1 Tsp
Oregano 1 Tsp
Salt ½ Tsp
Black Pepper ½ Tsp
Nutmeg ¼ Tsp

Method

1. Melt butter in a saucepan and add chopped onion.
2. Cook over low heat until onion has softened and are translucent.
3. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, until smooth.
4. Progressively add milk, stirring persistently.
5. Add remaining ingredients; cook, stirring, until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.
6. Whisk egg yolk in a small bowl; add about 1/4 cup of the hot liquid to it, stirring constantly so it’s tempered. Pour egg yolk mixture into the hot liquid; stir until the sauce is smooth and hot.

You can use this sauce with your meats or just with some nice pasta.

Chocolate: Now we are talking about my best friend Chocolaaaaa! I mean what is better than having a fruit dipped in nice warm chocolate or gooey moist brownie with vanilla ice cream or holding a chocolate bar in summers when the traffic is killing and you are sitting in the car and licking the fingers and that foil mess…okay think I am getting carried away. I have a love and hate relationship with this friend of mine. Can’t live with or without it. Thanks to the Mayans for working on such a beautiful thing. I am a bit biased towards single origin chocolate. I think they have a peculiar taste because of single set of beans that are used. Such chocolates have amazing sheen snap and beautiful finish. I mean working with them is another blessing you know!
I never enjoyed any class as much as I did my chocolate class in school. Chef Peter Grewling was amazing. He not only taught the application but also the science behind it. From what I have read and know, Chocolate includes alkaloids such as theobromine and phenethylamine, which have physiological upshots.
Here is one of my all time favourite recipe.

Ganache

Bitter sweet chocolate 500 Gms
Cream 250 Gms
Butter for sheen 5 Gms

Method:

1. Chop the chocolates and put it in a big bowl.
2. Boil the cream and pour it over the chocolate.
3. Mix with a spatula, moving it in clock wise direction so not much air gets incorporated.
4. One everything is homogeneously mixed add the butter for sheen.
5. Cool, store in a container.

This recipe is one of the versatile ones; it can be used for truffles, tarts, fillings and for layering the cake.

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