Foodaholics Recipe Contest Winner :Week 3

Monday 27 September 2010 | Posted by Kishi | Contest,foodaholics

Our Third week winner for the fudge contest is Nachiketa Chandra

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Mango Buttermilk Cake for Princess Daksayani

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This is a very special post as it’s a mango cake for Daksayani. She is my chachi’s daughter [could also be termed as mine as I love her that much 😉 ]…… and the Apple no…no…. APPLE of my eye……. I totally adore her….. She loves pottering around in the kitchen with me. We have a blast together. She’s the cutest Sous Chef anyone can have. We did Mushroom Quiche, Chocolate Fudge Brownies, Starry Brownies and many other goodies together. She’s also assisted me in making a daring baker challenge. These cupcakes sent her into peals of delighted laughter.

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Daksayani and I both share the love of Mangoes….. She even has a special steel plate shaped like a mango to eat her mangoes in and I still get my nani to feed me mangoes just like she use to when I was a kid….. We both have very special memories attached with mangoes…. I hereby officially share my title of Mango Queen with Daksayani Chandra from this day onwards. Sealed, Signed n Delivered.

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Her obsession with mangoes, different shapes, pink, her own birthday and barbies prompted the pictures below. So we had a birthday celebration much before her birthday. Actually every bake with her is a celebration of sorts J

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Have made this ‘Mango Buttermilk Cake’ out of real mango pulp and not any synthetic essence. This picture may look like I’ve done some photoshop work on it…. But believe me…. The mangoes were so luscious n pulpy that I didn’t have to do any processing on the pictures… They are just-as-they-were-clicked.

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Mango Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from Bright Morning Star

Mango Custard
[I halved the quantity of these to get 1 tin of 9”]

Ingredients:
5 yolks + 2 whole eggs
2 cups sugar [ d mangoes i used were pretty sweet, so if using tart mangoes you may need to decrease or increase as per taste]
75 grams salted + 50 unsalted, at room temperature [ you could use all unsalted butter and add a pinch of salt ]
3 cups mango puree with juice of 1 little lime.

 

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1. Simmer a large pan of water
2. Place a glass/ steel bowl [that fits into the pan just right to make it a double boiler] with 1 cup of sugar and 100 gms of butter [mix of both if using both]. Simmer whisking well till butter and sugar dissolves.
3. Whisk till sugar dissolves and cool a bit.
4. Add 5 well whisked egg yolks and 2 whole eggs to the puree and whisk away.
5. Add to the butter and sugar and whisk again and Keep the bowl back on the flame on the pan of simmering water.
6. Keep stirring till it’s real thick and sticks well to the spoon and it took me almost 2 hours for this quantity.
But you could keep it directly in the pan, instead of double boiler, but never let it boil, and let the flame be really low. Watch it carefully.
7. The consistency will be thicker than that of Lemon curd, clings very thickly to the spoon.
Almost Custardy than liquidy and very wobbly, as if it’s kind of set.

How to check its Done?
What i did ,and it quite worked ,is that, pop in a few little bowls in the freezer when u begin , and as and when u think its getting done, heap a nice Teaspoon full into the bowls and pop back in the freezer for a few seconds 🙂
Well check the consistency and flavour, and u can add a bit more sugar if u want too 🙂 )


Mango Buttermilk Cake
[I halved the quantity of these to get 1 tin]
Ingredients:
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1/2 cup for sprinkling
4 large eggs [or 6 if u skip the mango curd]
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract [I used 3 whole vanilla beans]
Finely grated zest of 4 lemons (for lemon cake, but i do love what it did to the mango cake]
Juice of 1 lemon (for lemon cake-optional]
1.5 cups Buttermilk
1.5 cups Mango chunky mango bits with juice
[as i chopped a few mangoes, i had pieces from the cups and thick puree from the seeds]
3/4 cup mango curd

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Notes
~~~this quantity makes quite a bit of cake, i halved it and still had lodes of cake
~~~if making a few cuppys too, tip the tops with some mango Curd …delicious!
~~~love the crust that forms atop with the sprinkled sugar:-)
~~~the original called for 6eggs but since i had mango curd ,i cut it down to 4:-))

Method:
1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. In another bowl, cream the butter and 4 1/2 cups of sugar until fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in the vanilla or scrape the vanilla seeds into the batter.
Add the lemon zest and juice and the cubed mango pieces and puree mash.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, alternating with the buttermilk and mango curd.
Scrape batter into prepared cake pans.
A few cakes were half filled a mango slice/puree in between and then covered with batter again!
4. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of the sugar on top of the batter or a mango slice if u want too or both! [I didn’t do this as the mangoes were already very sweet]
Bake until set, when a cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean (about 1 hour).
5. Let the cakes cool in their pans, and then invert them onto a rack.
Delicious and buttery so…..flavour sure develops the next day as well. A buttery mango batter with a layer in between and topped with mango batter and some mango curd has me totally sold. By now you’d know that she’s a total poser and absolutely loved the cake. There no bigger HIGH for me than to see her savour the goodies I make for her.

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This wonderfully crumbly and textured cake is sure to make any Mango loving person go into raptures of delight just like we did….

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A spoonful of yogurt

Monday 4 May 2009 | Posted by Kishi | Dips,Food

A spoonful of yogurtI am a yogurt admirer. I can’t imagine my meal devoid of it. I wonder where it originated…with the Turks Europeans or Asia??
To counteract its natural acidity, yoghurt can be made sweetened, flavoured, or in containers with fruit or fruit jam on the base. Swiss Style is a very common way to consume yogurt too in which the fruit has been stirred into it .I mean think of a cuisine and it’s at hand in some form. Be it savoury or sweet. I still consider I have not developed a feel for sweet yogurt that you get in India.
The taste of Greek style yogurt is similar to the Italian ricotta and which can be irresistible with honey occasionally.

I attended Ahaar exhibition for a second time this year and I realized how many companies have entered the Indian market with the sweet yogurt. From flavours like blueberry, litchi, pineapple, mixed berries, black currant etc. In western culture the concept of savoury yogurt is not big. I remember the days at school (in us) when I use to make “raita” and my roommates always had an unpleasant expression. I don’t think it was the yogurt per se I think it had more to do with the sulphur in the black salt. It always is reminiscent of eggs.
I habitually use Dahi (yogurt in Hindi) mixed with turmeric and honey as a face pack. Or use Khatta (sour) Dahi as hair conditioner.

These days I am hooked to chaach (butter milk) tempered with mustard seeds, mint and ginger. If you are travelling Rajasthan Saras chaach is something one shouldn’t miss. Another thing on my lunch menu is pineapple raita.

Here you go:

Yogurt 1 cup
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
Fresh mint leaves (chopped) 2 tbsp
Cilantro leaves (chopped) 1 tsbp
Black salt ½ tsp
Chaat Masala ½ tsp
Salt and pepper t.t.
Pineapple (chopped) ½ cup
Red chilli ¼ tsp
Ginger (grated) ¼ tsp

Take the yogurt and whisk it till smooth and add all the ingredients. Serve chilled. Raita has a cooling effect on the palate making it a must in summers. It’s a great condiment be it with breads or with kebabs for some, with stews or vegetables. A spoonful of yogurt- first-class medicine, excellent probiotic!

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Food is in architecture.

Monday 20 April 2009 | Posted by Kishi | Food

 

 

Food and Architecture

Food and Architecture

 

So I am in no mood for recipe writing. Instead I feel like talking about food. I remember my class “principles of design” with Prof. Ostwal. This post is a dedication to that class.

 Food-we buy, cook, and consume it in many different public places designed to accommodate, even enhance, these activities of daily life. Much of the urban streetscape is composed of just such places: the market, the grocery, the pub, the café and the restaurant, as well as the supermarket, fast-food outlet or takeaway. Likewise, architecture is in food. Chefs design dishes that resemble works of art but which must also stand up and be eaten. And architecture is like food. Each is fashioned from raw materials into a cultural product. We depend on both to meet ordinary needs and to celebrate special events. Architects and cooks alike manipulate color, texture and shape to tantalize our senses.

Dessert should maximize visual design and flavor to delight the audience at least many of us think that way. I was just wondering today what I should make new and not many thoughts are coming at the moment. Monday Blues? Well I can’t really say that -keeping in mind I work 7 days a week. So to shake of the blues…I do what my friends say I am addicted to Google. I think I Google everything…try it you will find solutions to half your problems in life. Since I was thinking cheesecake –I ” googled ” Xangos. When I see the pictures of these Xangos (pronounced: ch­an’-gos), rich creamy cheesecake…wrapped in a pastry tortilla…fried until flaky and golden, then dusted with cinnamon sugar, I am reminded of the ancient architecture of Stonehenge to some extent.

Stonehenge is definitely one of England’s greatest icons. I hope if I travel in June , I get a chance to see it. Its original purpose is still somewhat unclear, but some have speculated that it was made for worship of ancient earth deities. Stonehenge’s plan is centralized-disposed around a vertical axis-and longitudinal, developed along a horizontal axis set into the central plane. The structure was part of the landscape, yet set off from it. It was an enclosure, isolated from the world by successive rings of stone, yet open to it through the stone screens. The great and ancient stone circle of Stonehenge is one of the great wonders of the world. What we see today are the substantial remnants of a sequence of monuments erected earlier. Each was a circular structure aligned around the rising of the sun at the midsummer solstice.  

Stonehenge is basically a structure of sandstone monoliths arranged in a horseshoe, and formerly joined by a common roof. The construction is highly accurate for the period. The engineering required transporting, shaping, raising and connecting the stones and the accuracy of their positioning.

Xangoe’s starts with a frame just like a picture that demands attention, creating both the compare and contrast level. The arrangement of the Xangos in a hap hazard position is what makes it similar to the arrangement of the stones in Stonehenge. Then we do have the contrast of the wedge shaped Xangos, giving them a slope and a different shape than the stones. The individual pieces that comprise the entire piece vary between the dessert and the landmark, with the uncut Xangos having a more cylindrical shape, while Stonehenge is constructed of cubical or organic shaped stones.       

Use of no more than three colors in Xangoes makes it simple and elegant. Had there been excess in this area it could have drawn the eye away from the dessert, which is after all, the main event. Xangos are more of warm colors, having a welcoming and moving effect. The golden, crispy color on the top makes it firm and, thus, shows the bold effect. As far as Stonehenge is concerned, its colors are more earthtones if I may say so. Just wondering is earthtones a word??? Having a green environment around and the blend of grays and earthy colors gives it a calming effect.

 The size, being one aspect for comparison, is also a valid point to talk about. Stonehenge is a gigantic structure. But we are not comparing the physical measurement in real terms. It’s more that if these Xangoe’s were made larger, lets put it as family size, then the comparison could have been better. They have the same pattern, though, giving the overall composition a lot of resemblance. Both things, when compared, do have some symmetry having different scales and proportions. The fallen Xangoe’s do create an anomaly to the big standing stones. 

Texture plays an important role in image analysis and understanding. Talking about the texture, Xangoes have a soft mushy center giving it a tender look inside achieved by the smooth filling. Temperatures–hot, cold, or a combination of these variables-also play a vital role in achieving textural interest. The pale yellow color gives it a warm tender feeling. Crisp crust contrasted with soft cheesecake, provides an element of a soft, creamy and buttery flavor giving the product a good “mouth feel”. The texture of Stonehenge is more hard and rocky due to big boulders.

There are many qualities that make food and architecture similar. They are both masterpieces, ones that the designer, or chef in cases of food, work hard to perfect.  They are usually stimulating to the eye, evoking a sense of awe from the on-looker and consumer.  Their duty is to satisfy.  While Xangoes and Stonehenge have many differences, their main purpose is to please the eye and to fulfill the cravings of adventure and curiosity. Now I am craving Xango- but may be I will have to do with just a Mango. Lunch time…catch you guys later.

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