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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Announcing Flavors of Cuisine :Chinese & Win E-Gift Vouchers :)

Hi all,
This month flavors of cuisine starts its journey from my space with another theme.The theme of this month is "Chinese".So,start linking up all your chinese  recipes in here.This month also marks Erivum Puliyum's second anniversary.So,I have some surprises too along with this event.There are e-gift vouchers as part of my blog's anniversary celebrations.Cuponation is an Indian online coupon portal designed to meet all the needs of the online shoppers.Now adays, people prefer online shopping rather than the regular tiresome shopping even in India.Cuponation have coupons from all major e-stores- expedia.co.in, Cleartrip, jabong.com, myntra.com, naaptol, pepper fry, Domino’s Pizza, eBay, Zovi, flipkart, snapdeal.com etc.I think the major categories are covered mainly books, electronics, fashion, healthy, beauty, home and living, jewellery, kids, travel and  restaurants deals.Do visit and follow them in Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or you can also sign up for their news letter.Hence,this is an excellent opportunity for all to grab these coupons or stay tuned to their fb page to see more deals.Even if you stay away from India,you can participate,win & can send the e-gift vouchers to your families & friends as gifts.
Before proceeding with this month event,I would like to thank Jannet(love to experiment) @ My Food Treasures for successfully completing the guest hosting of last month's flavors of cuisine event at her space with the theme "MEXICAN CUISINE".The round up will be published in her space shortly,friends !!

Coming back to this month's event details-
The event rules in general to the event are as follows-

1.The event runs from 1st march-31st March'2013.
2.The theme for this month is "Chinese Cuisine ".It can vary from starter,main dish ,side dish,soup,dessert or any other recipes,sweet or savory anything but strictly from that particular cuisine with the same ingredients & spices.No modifications or fusions or alterations is accepted.
3.Bloggers and Non bloggers can participate.Bloggers can link their recipes using the linky tool.Bloggers who find it difficult or find some problem to link can also send &Non-bloggers can send in their recipes to my mail  with the following details-
Your Name-
Recipe Name-
Recipe Details-
Pic of the Dish
4.Recipe must be linked to the announcement page.
.
5.You can link both vegetarian and non vegetarian recipes.
6.Send in any number of entries.You can link in two old or archived posts.No need to repost the post just add the link & logo.
7.Usage of logo is appreciated for all entries as it would help spread the word.



Apart from this,the bumper prize is two E-gift vouchers to any two lucky participants (1st-worth 1000Rs. & 2nd worth-500 Rs.) .The following are the additional rules to grab the e-gift vouchers-
  1. Only participants to this month's event can try their luck for the e-gift vouchers.
  2. Only fresh entries are accepted for e-gift vouchers./NO archived entries.
  3. Follow Cuponation in their facebook page.
  4. Follow Erivum Puliyum  facebook page.
  5. Spread the word of the event & e-gift vouchers from Cuponation.
  6. Leave me a comment in the comment section below that you have linked,liked both pages(Cuponation & Erivum Puliyum) with your fb profile name.
  7. All links will be moderated to check logos ,links & new entries. 
  8. The lucky winners will be selected through random.org.   
Also,I would like to give the following awards to the eligible participants-Participation Award to all ,Best Non veg Recipe award(based on the authenticity, health effectiveness & presentation),Best Veg Recipe award(based on the authenticity, health effectiveness & presentation) & Top Contributor Award. 

So,am all excited...its for all my friends who have supported my space & my event till date.Thank you all,looking forward to see all yummy delicious entries.Don't waste your time,try your luck here !!!

BEST WISHES ALL !!!!!! 



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pound Cake

The name "Pound"cakes was given to the old time cake made with one pound of sugar,one pound of butter,one pound of eggs and one pound of flour.But those cakes were denser compared to the light texture of this pound cake.And so,this cake is slightly modified in ratios compared to the original pound cakes.I have adapted this recipe from here but I reduced the butter slightly in the recipe.This recipe was in my drafts since long but I wasn't satisfied with the pics and so kept postponing to post it.But the taste pulled me back to post this recipe and it tastes similar to the Butter cake that I posted sometime back.So,enjoy the slice with tea !!!


Ingredients
cake flour 1 1/2 cups(150gm) refer notes
granulated white sugar 3/4 cup(150gm)
butter unsalted at room temperature 11 tbsp(1/2 cup+3 tbsp)
baking powder 1 tsp
eggs 3
vanilla extract  1 1/2 tsp
milk 3tbsp
salt 1/4 tsp


Method
  • In a large bowl,mix the eggs,vanilla extract and milk.In another bowl,sift the flour,baking powder and salt.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a loaf pan (9*5*3) with parchment paper at the bottom and butter the sides of the pan.
  • In the bowl with dry ingredients,add the room temperature butter and half of the egg mixture.Beat on medium speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.Scrape down the sides and add the remaining egg mixture and beat for 30 secs until incorporated.
  • Pour the batter in the prepared pan and smooth the top with a offset spatula or the back of spoon.
  • Bake in the oven for 55-65 minutes (I finished it at 55mins) or a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes,then remove from pan and cool again before cutting slices.
  • Serve with tea !!
Servings~ 1 cake 



NOTES
* You can substitute cake flour by mixing all purpose flour and corn starch.For 1cup of cake flour : Add 2tbsp of corn starch and fill the rest(remaining cup) with all purpose flour.
* The original recipe calls for 13 tbsp of butter,you can do that way too.But using 11tbsp also yielded almost the same buttery flavor.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Kuzhalappam | Tubular Crisp Snack (Kerala)

Kuzhalappam or tubular crisp snack deep fried in oil is another evening delicacy of Kerala.This is another post that makes me very nostalgic.Mom used to prepare this snack very often as it was my favorite too.I helped my mom in shaping the discs to tube shape.This snack has the richness of coconut and rice flour,these are very crisp snack,perfect with a cup of tea.Enjoy making this at home !!!


Ingredients
rice flour 1 1/4cup
shredded coconut 1/2 cup
cumin seeds 1/4 tsp+ 1/3 tsp
shallots 3-4 small
garlic clove 1/2 or 1 small
black sesame seeds 1 tsp
salt to taste
oil for deep frying(preferably coconut oil)


Method
-Heat a pan and slightly roast the rice flour.Keep on low medium flame until a nice aroma comes.(about 5-6 mins)
-In the meantime,boil 1 cup water in a pan with salt as required for the flour.Also,grind the coconut along with shallots,garlic clove and 1/4 tsp of cumin seeds to a  smooth paste using little water.
-Add the ground mix in the roasted rice flour,remaining cumin seeds,sesame seeds and heat upto 2-3 minutes.Then add the boiled water in it like for string hoppers/idiappam and knead when warm into a stiff dough.


-Now,divide the dough in gooseberry size balls.Take a ziploc bag or plantain leaf,apply a thin layer of oil on it.Cover it with another ziploc bag and then roll using a rolling pin in thin round shapes.OR
Take a large ball of batter  and roll it using a rolling pin,cut out even rounds with a cookie cutter of 3".
 -Wrap the cut round discs on the index finger of left(non-dominant hand).Stick the both ends to cover 1/4" only.Place on a plate/tray.
-Heat oil in a wok /kadai on medium flame.Slide each of the made ones in oil.Using a slotted spoon,turn all sides to lightly brown it up evenly.Drain on a paper towel.
-Cool and store in air tight containers or serve with tea !!


Servings ~ 20 pieces

NOTES
* You can use the regular rice flour or idiappam flour.
* Always keep the oil on medium flame;otherwise it may burn the snack or may not cook properly.
* Adding garlic clove is optional but it adds flavor to the snack.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Goat Cheese Tartelettes with Onion Jam

Goat cheese also known as 'chevre'.The capric acid in goat's milk contributes to the tart flavor of goat cheese,though I don't like that flavor much but when it comes to a matter of being healthy.Then this is a good choice as it has twice the protein and half the fat and cholesterol compared to the regular cow's milk cheese.The fat molecule in goat cheese are smaller making it comfortable to people who are lactose intolerant too.It is very rich in calcium and low in calories.I saw this recipe in you tube and was hooked by it.So,if you can forget the tart flavor of the goat cheese then this is truly a delicious appetizer.My husband loves goat cheese a lot.It has the richness of cheese,flaky crust and the sweet tangy flavor of the onion on top.Enjoy for your get together & parties !!



Ingredients
puff pastry sheets 2
goat cheese 1/2 pkt(5 oz)
for onion jam
sweet onion 1 large sliced thin
red onion 1 large  sliced thin
soy sauce 2tsp
rosemary fresh 2-3 sprigs finely chopped or dry 1/4 tsp
honey 1 tbsp
vinegar 2 tsp
salt to taste
pepper to taste
oil 3 tbsp



Method 
  • For Onion jam-Heat oil in a pan and saute the onions until slightly browned and soft.Add in the vinegar,soy sauce and saute until its absorbed.Add honey and mix well.Add rosemary,salt and pepper.Combine,put off flame.
  • Thaw the puff pastry sheets as per packet instructions.Roll out the sheets.Using a round cutter of 4",cut out rounds and place in each muffin cup such that the sides are adhered to the sides of the muffin tray.
  • Crumble the goat cheese at room temperature,add pepper to taste.Add half a tsp of mixture in the puff pastry cups.
  • Add a spoonful of prepared onion jam on top.Repeat the same for all other muffins cups.
  • Pre heat oven to 400 degrees F and place the muffin tray in the refrigerator for 15 minutes covered with a cling wrap.

  • Remove from refrigerator and place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until the cheese is melted and the onion jam turns golden brown.
  • Let it rest in the muffin tray for 5-6 minutes until its warm to touch and easy to pop it out from the oven.
Servings~ 12 muffins

NOTES
 *Always serve this with a paper towel as the cheese leaves out oil and can turn messy.
* Cream cheese can work great too instead of goat cheese. But I haven't tried that.
* You can use homemade puff pastry sheet too to make these tartlets !!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ghee Roast Dosa

Ghee roast dosa is one of the best served dosa in restaurants and in popular demand always,but the one with the least efforts too.You just have to get the correct consistency of the batter and  a big dosa tawa/griddle or a good non stick pan.At home,the stove top burners are small compared to the hotel ones.But still,you can recreate the smaller version of the big crisp dosas and enjoy these hot crisp dosas with the aroma of ghee.My kids love this dosa a lot and always becomes an easy evening snack for them.They just roll it and pop it up in their mouth.Check this out for your little ones !!


Ingredients
dosa batter 1 cup(refer notes)
ghee as required



Method
  • Mix the batter with a ladle.Add water to dilute the batter to very thin pouring consistency.Adjust salt.
  • Heat a non stick pan /griddle on medium high and when the pan/griddle  is hot ,pour a ladle of batter and start spreading out the batter with the back of the ladle moving outwards and thinning it out as much as possible reacing towards the rim.
  • Wait till the bubbles are formed and burst, there is light browning at the bottom and the sides start to give up,take a tsp of ghee and smear on the sides so that it becomes easier to flip the sides and then spread a thin layer of ghee on the inside too.
  • Flip the other side,if you wish can add ghee on this side too,but I usually avoid that as it just sticks to the serving plate.Roll the crispier side outside and serve hot with  tomato chutney or coconut chutney or peanut chutney !!!



NOTES
* To prepare dosa batter- Soak a cup of raw rice /long enriched rice & whole urad dal/uzhunnu 1/2 cup in water for about 3-4 hours.Grind the rice and urad dal separately to a smooth batter.Add some cooked rice about 2tbsp and grind it smooth.Mix the batter together,add salt.Leave to ferment for 6-7 hours in summers and 10-12 hours in winters.Whenever the batter is fermented,Refrigerate covered until use.(in winters,keep the batter in the oven or any closed place so that it aidsin fermenting.)
* I usually use home made ghee,but you can use store brought too !!!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chicken Bean Rice Bowl ( Mexican Style)

Mexican cuisine is a style of food which is primarily a fusion of indigenous Mesoamerican cooking with European especially Spanish.This is a very famous recipe and this is preferred and loved by us whenever we dine in mexican restaurants.This is a quick fix if you have all the ingredients ready before hand & serves a complete meal too.It has all the richness of vegetables,chicken,cheese,rice,black beans & sour cream.Do check this out if you haven't tasted it yet and give it a shot !!


Ingredients
to marinate
chicken breast 2 cubed
pepper 1 tsp
paprika 1/4 tsp(optional)
lime  1
salt
extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp

layering
white rice / brown rice 2cups cooked
black beans 1 can drained/cooked
corn kernels frozen 1cup
roma tomato 1 chopped fine(refer notes)
onion 1/2 chopped
romaine lettuce 1/2 cup sliced(refer notes)
cilantro 3-4 sprigs
salt to taste
pepper 1/2 tsp/chile peppers 1-2
ground cumin 1/2 tsp
lime 1/2

toppings
sour cream 1/2 cup
guacamole 1/2 cup
cheddar cheese grated 1/2 cup



Method
-Wash & clean the chicken cubes under running water.Keep aside to marinate with the ingredients listed  except oil.
-Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F and place the cubed chicken as a single layer.Pour the olive oil on top.
-Bake in the oven for 10 minutes each side or until chicken is cooked & done.
-Cook the rice as per the packet instructions,drain water & keep aside.
-If you are using canned beans,drain & use.OR Soak the beans overnight & cook the beans with enough water & salt until done.Drain water or mix lightly with beans,keep aside.
-Thaw the corn and cook in microwave on high for 3 mins.
-Chop tomato,onion,peppers,cilantro,lettuce,salt,ground cumin & lime juice.
-Layer the rice ,followed by black beans and chicken,then add the vegetable mix.
-Garnish with sour cream,guacamole & grated cheese.Start digging in !!!


NOTES
* I used grape tomatoes for the salad.
* I haven't used romaine lettuce sliced,but you can use that as its popularly used.My kids just pick it up and separate it out.Instead I used baby spinach leaves & dried cranberries,we loved that.
* You can use chile peppers instead of pepper powder with onion & tomatoes.
* I have used enriched white rice.You can use brown rice too.
* You can even serve a plate of tortilla chips if desired along with this bowl.
* If you wish to have an option for sour cream,try a mildly sour thick yogurt,works great too.


Linking this recipe to Flavors of Cuisines-Mexican hosted by Jannet (love to experiment)@ My Food Treasures










Friday, February 15, 2013

French Macarons : Baking partners Challenge #7

Baking Partners # 7 comes with a very tough challenge of baking Macarons.The recipe was suggested by Swathi @ Zesty South Indian Kitchen & Vidhya @ A Portion to Share.They had given a detailed recipe with 2-3 articles on trouble shooting problems while making macarons.Though I tried coconut macarons but this was a lot more tougher and trickier than that.Reshmi@ Easy Cook had been the first to bake these and she shared the tips to make these.And Swathi & Vidhya kept the group's morale high by their tips and ideas too.I started off baking these with my fingers crossed,and prepared it in a stage by stage steps.First kept the egg white for aging,then blanched almonds,powdered it fine and finally made these,in fact conquered it in my first bake.I haven't added any color or modifications as I wasn't sure of the outcome.Sandwiched them with chocolate ganache.This was a very good learning experience with all the trouble shoots highlighted by my fellow bakers and could understand better about macarons.I really donno know if I could get it right if I try again and similarly you guys too don't lose heart and its just a matter of the correct way of doing it.Do try & enjoy making these at home !!!!


Ingredients
for macarons
icing sugar/confectioners sugar 1 cup(125 g)
almond flour 3/4 cup (75g)  *refer notes
egg whites 2 large or 60g/60 ml
pinch of cream of tartar/a pinch of salt
super fine sugar 1 tbsp + 1 tsp (20g)

for chocolate ganache filling
semi sweet /bitter sweet chocolate 8 oz(227 g)
heavy whipping cream 3/4 cup(180 ml)
unsalted butter 2 tbsp


Equipments /accesories required
pastry bag
round tip 1/2"
parchment paper
flat cookie tray



Method
  • Age the egg whites- Keep the separated egg whites in a bowl.Cover it with a towel and leave for 3-5 days.I left mine for 3 days and leave it at room temperature for 12-24 hours before you actually start off with the making.
  • Pulse the almond flour and confectioner's sugar until combined.Sift this mixture two times.
  • Whisk the whites in a medium bowl until foamy.Add a pinch of salt and whisk again until soft peaks form.Reduce speed to low and add the superfine sugar.Increase speed to high and whisk until stiff peaks about 5 -6 mins.Sift flour mixture over egg whites,combine the mixture until it is creamy,smooth and shiny.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a tray with parchment paper.Draw a 1 1/2 " round templates on the tray  using a pencil if you are not a good piper like me,leave 1" space in between.Turn the parchment paper and use the other side(you can still see the template below)

  • Transfer the batter to a pastry bag by placing the pastry bag in a glass and pipe 3/4" round on the templates leaving 1" space on the lined parchment tray dragging the pastry tip to the sides of the rounds so that peaks don't form.(Hold the pastry bag at 90 degrees angle)
  • Tap bottom of each tray several times to release trapped air.Prick with a tooth prick rto release any bubble formed on top.Let it stand at room temperature for 15-45 mins or more.(Depends on the weather,humid condition-a simple check is until they form a thin film on top and they are no more tacky to touch)
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F,place the tray to bake one at a time rotating half way through until macarons are crisp and firm.(about 10-12 mins) mine was done at 10 mins.After each batch,Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F for 5 minutes and then reduce to 325 degrees F before placing the next batch.

  • Remove from oven after bake & let macarons sit on baking paper for 2-3 minutes.Then transfer on a wire rack after releasing from sheet.If macarons stick spray water underneath the parchment paper.Steam will help to release macarons.
  • Separate out in pairs the same size cookies and keep ready to sandwich with your yummy filling.(I filled mine with chocolate ganache,recipe follows)
  • CHOCOLATE GANACHE :Heat the cream and butter together in a heat proof bowl in a microwave on high for a minute or place in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil on medium heat.immediately pour it over the chocolate and let it stand without stirring for few minutes,stir gently without incorporating air into the mixture until smooth.Let it thicken for about half an hour at room temperature.then can be transfered to a piping bag and piped into the macaron shells.(I piped it a bit early and so the filling start oozing out from some macarons.)
  • Refrigerate for 24 hours before you taste them as the flavors are incorporated best and the cookies are matured.The filling melds with the macaron cookies after 24-48 hours to give it a nice texture. Let them come to room temperature before serving.


NOTES
* How to make Almond flour at home- Soak the almonds(about 1 cup) in boiling water for 5-10 mins and blanch the skin using your fingers.Spread it on a clean paper towel/cloth.Leave to dry up the moisture  about half an hour or leave aside a day.Pulse the almonds in the blender until coarsely powdered or until it starts to stick to the blades.Remove from the blender and spread it in a tray.Place it in a pre heated oven to 250 degrees F and remove every 5 minutes,stir and place again without any change in color.Repeat atleast three times until the coarse powder appears very dry.Then blend again in the blender,until powdered.Sieve the powder to get fine almond flour.Measure the 3/4 cup and keep aside.(I refrigerated until further use)
* Store brought egg whites doesn't work good to make macarons.It is always good to separate egg whites from yolk and use.
* Always use stainless steel bowl for whipping egg whites and clean the bowl with a dash of white vinegar to remove any crease of butter/oil otherwise it will not work good.
* Refer this link for the trouble shoot problems while making these.The link is here & here.
* If the oven temperature of 375 degrees not working,then you can preheat and bake at 325 degrees too.
* Popular choices for filling are swiss buttercream frosting,lemon curd,dulce de leche,chocolate ganache,jam.


Linking this to Baking Partners an effort by Swathi @ Zesty South Indian Kitchen :-)

Baking Partners 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Soft Garlicky Bread Sticks with Dipping Sauce - A Guest Post for Sreevalli

When Sreevalli @ Ammaji's Recipes asked me if I can join her guest post series"Something Sweet", I happily accepted the request.I was a bit busy at home but she gave me ample time to decide the recipe and the date too,so sweet of her.Sreevalli has a wonderful space and an experienced blogger since 2009,admire her lovely clicks & yummy recipes.Thank you Sreevalli for making me a part of your guest post series,feeling very happy.This time,I would like to share soft garlicky bread sticks.The name itself sounds flavorful.Isn't it?? I love those long cylindrical shaped soft ones a lot.Perfect with a bowl of soup or great with some dipping sauce.If you love those from pizza huts,you will definitely love this garlicky ones too with a homemade dipping sauce.Do give this a try & Enjoy !!!


Hop over to Sreevalli's space for the recipe details,cya all there :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Tiramisu (Italian Dessert)

And finally here comes the much awaited post by everyone visiting my space and a long awaited wish come true to make my own tiramisu at home with the homemade mascarpone cheese,lady finger cookies, vanilla custard.Am very happy to share this with you all,friends !!Tiramisu is an Italian dessert invented in a restaurant in Italy which means "pick me up " or "carry me up" which refers to the jolt you get after eating the dessert.This dessert uses an English style custard but I have modified to a basic vanilla custard as otherwise the dessert is very rich so just wished to avoid eggs.I have omitted the alochol too.This is a dessert made in heaven,love each bite of the dessert.The recipe is adapted from one of my favorite sites here.Hope you enjoy too the same way !!


Ingredients
for custard & cream filling
vanilla custard powder 4tbsp
milk 2 cups
sugar 3/4 cup granulated
mascarpone cheese 8 oz;1 cup(227 g)
 
for layers 
lady finger biscuits 28-32

for coffee soaking syrup
strong brewed coffee 1 1/2 cups
sugar granulated 1/3 cup or more
dark rum 1/4 cup(I have omitted this) 

for topping
cocoa powder to dust
shaved /grated bittersweet chocolate 2 tbsp




Method
  • FOR MAKING CUSTARD- Heat about 1 3/4 cup milk in a sauce pan.Dissolve the custard powder in 1/4 cup cold milk(remaining) without lumps.Bring the milk to a boil,add the custard mix and keep whisking on medium flame without burning the bottom until the custard is medium thick.Immediately transfer the custard to another bowl and cover the surface with a cling wrap so that it doesn't form a film.Refrigerate until thick and cold.
  • FOR CREAM FILLING-Bring the mascarpone cheese to room temperature and whisk with a wooden spoon until smooth & soft.Add in the cold custard and fold in with the mascarpone cheese until smooth.
  • FOR COFFEE SYRUP- Mix the strong brewed coffee with sugar.Add more or less sugar as desired.

  • FINAL ASSEMBLING- Line a loaf tin (9*5*3) with a cling wrap.Make sure the plastic wrap extends to the sides of the pan.(makes easier to demould).Keep the lady fingers ready,dip each lady fingers in the coffee syrup and line them as a single layer in the bottom of the pan.Spoon half of the cream filling on top.Repeat the same steps with the next set of lady fingers and then top with cream filling.Repeat for 3 layers,ending with lady fingers.Cover with a cling wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours.
  • SERVE- Remove the cling wrap on top and invert on a cake stand or a tray by holding the sides of the bottom cling wrap and remove the cling wrap gently.Dust the top with cocoa and shaved chocolates.Ready to serve & enjoy !!

Servings~ 8-10 slices

NOTES
* You can make the regular english custard instead of this basic custard but this tasted great too.
* Though I mentioned in my previous post that lady fingers had an odor of egg but that vanished after soaking in coffee syrup and final serving.Also,the lady fingers were so spongy that i just had to dip it once and they were soaked up.
* You can use sponge cake recipe too instead of the regular lady finger biscuits,tastes almost same.
* You can use store brought mascarpone cheese too.
* You can add rum to the coffee syrup to enhance flavors.


Sending this to Flavors of Italy hosted by Divya @ Divya's Culinary Journey, Spotlight Valentines Treat hosted by Chandrani @ Cuisine Delights,Valentines Day Recipe Contest Hosted by Priya@ Priya's Versatile Recipes


Thursday, February 07, 2013

Lady Finger Cookies | Sponge Biscuits

Lady fingers are popularly known as boudoir biscuits,sponge biscuits,sponge fingers and so on.These are oval shaped long cookies (about 3").The cookies are made using a sponge cake batter where the egg yolks are beaten with sugar until thick and egg whites are folded in.By now,many of you have already guessed  and are waiting for the tiramisu recipe because of my mascarpone cheese post.That's true,friends..I made these cookies to make tiramisu.Though these are available in stores,I just wished to know the texture of the homemade lady finger cookies and the effort in the making these.Have I gone crazy to try all these from scratch? Noooo..I wished to try out tiramisu from scratch since long,its just a matter of learning different things by adding an extra effort and baking is my weakness(love) in cooking.I wouldn't say you should bake these,but if you love baking, or you live in a place where there is no access to the store brought lady finger cookies and still you want to try these,then go ahead.


I have adapted this recipe from here and as I was doing it for the first time,I didn't change any of the ingredients.The cookies were real sponge like and delicious.But after the bake I felt the odour of egg was prominent,so I would cut down the egg white to one next time or increase the vanilla flavor.Am not very good at piping,so with the shapes too.



Ingredients
cake flour 1/3 cup(1 tbsp corn flour)
egg yolk 1(room temp)
granulated white sugar 1 tbsp
vanilla extract 1/3 tsp
egg white 2(at room temp)
granulated sugar 2 tbsp
cream of tartar a pinch (optional,I didn't use it)

confectioners sugar to dust



Method
  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F and line a tray with parchment paper.Use a pencil and ruler to divide the parchment paper into 3*3 inch rows leaving a space of 1" in between.Make dark lines and turn the parchment paper upside down.(You can still see the lines as guide and pipe the cookies) Also,keep a pastry bag fitted with 1/2" round tip.
  • ith your hand mixer,beat the egg yolk with one tbsp of sugar on high speed for 4 minutes or when the batter becomes thick ,pale yellow.(When you raise the mixer it should fall back as slow ribbon)Beat in the vanilla extract and sift the cake flour over the batter,don't fold in.
  • In another clean bowl,whip the egg white until soft peaks form.Add in the granulated sugar (2tbsp) gradually and continue beating until stiff peaks form and whites are glossy.
  • Fold the whites in the egg yolk and flour mixture,mix until just incorporated.

  • Transfer the batter to the piping bag,hold your bag 45 degrees angle to the parchment paper,start piping the cookies of 3" long using the drawn lines as guide.Leave a 1" space in between each cookie.
  • When you have piped all cookies,sift the confectioners sugar using a wire/tea strainer.

  • Place it in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until they are firm to touch ,hardly browned and are spongy when pressed.(mine was done at 8 minutes)
  • Remove from oven and slide the baking sheet over the wire rack to cook.when they are still warm,slide a spatula and release them from parchment paper.If you leave it long,it will stick to the parchement paper.
  • Ready to use once cooled!!
Servings ~32 cookies

NOTES
*  If you are not using straight away,then you can freeze these cookies as they stale easily.Remains fresh for 2 weeks if placed in plastic bags between linings of wax paper or parchment paper.
* Also,I would just pour the batter in a sheet tray for baking,later cut into the slices after bake according to the pan size.(rather making individual cookies,takes more time & efforts)


The remaining flavors and thoughts after soaking will be shared once I share tiramisu.
Stay tuned,friends :)

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

How to make Mascarpone Cheese at home??

Mascarpone cheese is an important cheese in making Italian desserts but the cheese is very costly when you buy from stores.A 8 oz can of mascarpone cheese costs 9$ and that's quite a big number when you have options to prepare that in less than half the cost.And you have a satisfaction too making the fresh mascarpone cheese.Now,you might think its a tedious effort to make it at home but unlike cottage cheese(paneer) this requires much lesser efforts.The milk doesn't curdle unlike in paneer making ,it rather thickens.There is no much whey that comes out of this cheese but the only concern with mascarpone cheese is that it requires a long waiting period of 12 hours or more to get the correct texture of mascarpone cheese.Do check this out & try your own recipes associated with mascarpone cheese at home !!!


Ingredients
heavy cream 1 pint(473 ml)
lemon juice 1 tbsp


Method

  • Take the cream in a heavy bottomed pan.
  • I prefer using the double boiler method.Boil water in a large pan and place the other pan with cream on the boiling water.Keep stirring the cream and keep the flame on medium heat.
  • At one point,about 10 minutes  you may see bubbles start appearing on the sides of the cream.(180 degrees F)Add the lemon juice then and mix gently.The cream coats the sides of the pan and the spoon at this stage.
  • Put off flame and remove from heat.Leave aside for 30 minutes to cool.

  • Line a strainer lined with several layers of cheese cloth or a clean thin kitchen towel and place it on a bowl ,pour the cream in it .Leave covered for about an hour at room temperature.
  • Refrigerate covered  for 12 hours to get the final product of mascarpone cheese.Creamy mascarpone  cheese is ready to use once mixed.Discard the very little whey collected.
Yields ~ 340 gms(12 oz)



NOTES
* Please follow the steps strictly word to word.
* You can even use cream of tartar(1 tsp) or Tartaric acid (1 1/2 tsp) instead of lemon juice.
* Coffee filters also works good to strain the cream.


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