Besan Doodh – Chickpea flour milk

BM# 98: Week 4, Day 1
Theme : Cooking for Two

Spring is here and there is a definite improvement in the weather. We are not ready to shed our jackets anytime soon, but its so much better already. And there is so much to look forward to – greenery, cherry blossoms, lighter jackets, sandals, walks outside….that feeling itself is heart warming. My son is not a fan of summer.  He associates summer with bugs and the tiny flies that roam over your head and go right into your eyes if you are not wearing bug repellent. Its too hot for him but the biggest disappointment for him is that there is no snow in summer! Let’s wait and see how his view changes some years from now :-).

Anyway, coming to this recipe here. Its a traditional winter recipe from Punjab. Its supposed to be a good cure for cold and cough. I had bookmarked it when I saw it in Suma’s blog Veggie Platter two weeks back. Even though the winter is on its way out, its still cold here and a hot cup of delicious flavored milk is still very much enjoyable. A pinch of cardamom adds so much of flavor, so does the almonds. If you prefer, you can reduce the besan flour a bit and add more crushed almonds to increase the flavor of almonds. I liked the original recipe as such and I didn’t make any changes.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon ghee, optional
  • 2 tablespoons besan (chickpea flour)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon chopped or crushed almonds
  • a pinch of ground cardamom
  • a pinch of saffron

Method:

  1. Heat ghee in a nonstick pan. Add the besan flour and saute for a minute or two until it starts releasing a nutty aroma and starts turning slightly darker in color.
  2. Add about half cup of milk and mix with a spatula. You are looking for a lump free smooth mixture. Add 1/4 cup more milk, if needed to get the smooth consistency.
  3.  Once you get a lump free and smooth roux like mix, add the rest of the milk, chopped nuts, cardamom, saffron and sugar. Let it come to a boil and reduce it to a simmer.
  4. Cook for a further 6-8 minutes or until the milk has thickened a little bit and the besan flour is cooked through. Take off the heat and serve in a cup.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#98

 

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Melopita – Greek honey pie

BM# 97: Week 4, Day 1
Theme : Flavors of Greece

Now a days, I prefer books over internet for recipe searches for the simple reason that the book won’t turn itself off when I am half way through making a dish. I leave the book open and keep coming back to it whenever needed as opposed to asking my son or husband to unlock my phone if my hands are wet or dirty. For this theme, I had taken two books from the library. It’s easier to cook from a book when it comes to new cuisines. And the irony is that I had to depend on the internet for the recipe here.

The Reason? I didn’t do my grocery shopping this week and as a result the last onion and tomato went into making a very Indian lunch. So with the vegetable tray empty, I started looking at recipes that would cater to my pantry contents. Inevitably I was looking at recipes online and ended up choosing Melopita or Honey pie.

This recipe is from the Greek island of Sifnos. The recipe uses a local cheese Mizithra, but ricotta is a close substitute. The recipe can be made with or without a pie base. I had a ready made pie base that I wanted to use up, but you can bake the filling directly in a greased cake pan as well. I may not have onions and tomatoes at home, but I have honey, I have eggs and even ricotta cheese! It takes like a light cheese cake. I served it with some honey on top.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: The spruce eats

Makes: One 10″ pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb(450gms) Ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 readymade pie crust or homemade crust, optional
  • Honey for glaze

Method:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the ricotta cheese, honey, sugar, eggs and flour.
  3. Grease a 10″ pie dish with butter and line with the pie crust. Press the dough into sides and bottom of the pan so that there is no gap in between the pan and crust.
  4. Add the filling to the crust and bake until the filling sets and doesn’t jiggle in the middle. It might take somewhere around 40-50 minutes.
  5. Once the pie is cooked, take off the oven and let it cool. Serve with honey or cinnamon sugar drizzled on top.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#97

Brigaderio – Brazilian chocolate truffles

BM# 96: Week 4, Day 3
Theme : Southern Hemisphere

On Day 3 of Blogging under recipes from countries in Southern hemisphere theme, I am here with a dessert. Brigaderio are chocolate fudge/truffles made from condensed milk and cocoa powder. It’s a very popular dessert in Brazil and is extremely easy to make.

I have followed the instructions and recipe from Easy and Delish. You can check out the videos by Tasty too where they share more flavor ideas. I have tried the cocoa version here.

All you need to do is cook, stirring constantly, condensed milk, a little butter and cocoa powder. In about ten minutes, the mixture will become shiny and start to pull away from the sides and bottom of the pan. The cooking part is over! The next part is harder though – the waiting time! You can refrigerate the mix to cool faster but even then you are looking at at least 30 minutes. Once it cools down completely and then all you need to do is roll it into small balls and serve.

The serving size is a little difficult to generalize since it would depend on the size of the truffles. If you take bigger scoops to make the balls, then you would have lesser number and if you stick with smaller scoops you will have more truffles. I got around 11 truffles, each slightly smaller than a golf ball.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (14oz) can condensed milk
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chocolate sprinkles for decoration

Method :

  1. In a thick bottomed pan, add the can of condensed milk and cocoa powder. Mix well until no lumps remain. Add butter.
  2. Heat this mixture, stirring continuously, until it becomes shiny, thickens and starts to pull away from the sides and bottom of the pan. It takes about 10 minutes. When you run the spoon in the middle, you would be able to see the bottom of the pan. It should take a couple of seconds for the fudge mix to come back together.
  3. Take off the heat at this point and add the vanilla. Transfer to a greased plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes or leave them at room temperature until it’s completely cooled down. At that point, grease your hands and roll them into small balls. Dredge carefully on top of chocolate sprinkles to coat and serve on mini cupcake liners.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#96

Eggless Whole wheat Buttermilk cake

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I cannot believe that its already December and the year is almost over! With December comes a lot of birthdays in my family and a lot of baking for me. Its the most busy time of the year for me. Still when Valli pinged about Bakeathon 2017, an yearly baking event that goes live every Monday, Wednesday and Friday of December, I didn’t want to miss.

I am the unofficial cake maker of my family and my extended family here. They are my willing guinea pigs, but for most part I have started sticking to only tried and tested recipes. This cake was baked for my friend’s sister, who also taught us the art of Reiki. She bakes a lot and uses whole grains over plain ones. So I appealed to my Blogging Marathon friends for a tried and tested recipe. I ended up using Priya’s oft repeated whole wheat cake recipe. The only change I made to her recipe was to incorporate an additional step from my regular cake. I added the baking powder and soda to the sugar-buttermilk mix until it bubbles up.

To say that this cake was stunning, would be an understatement. It was served for a group of fifteen and every single one raved about it. I really didn’t expect such a reaction for a cake as simple as this, and that too made of whole wheat flour. Since it was a big group, I needed three layers. I don’t know whether the recipe scales well (not all recipes do) and didn’t want to take a risk.  So instead of tripling the recipe, I ended up baking it three times. The recipe below is however for a single layer cake.

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The simple syrup is very important for the cake. In fact I add it to all the cakes that I bake and frost. Simple syrup is water and sugar mixed in 1:1 proportion. But you can reduce the sugar to even half that quantity and still get away with it. But for this cake, I used 1:1 proportion.

Read on for the recipe and tutorial.

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup sugar*
  • 1/3 cup oil (odorless like sunflower or canola)

* Use 1 cup if you want it sweeter or if are planning to serve it plain. With frosting and the simple syrup 3/4 cup turned out okay for us.

Simple syrup:

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Glaze:

  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Frosting and filling:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 170 C/330 F. Grease a nine inch pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. In a big bowl, add the buttermilk and sugar and oil. Using a wire whisk, mix until the sugar dissolves. Add the baking powder and baking soda. Let it sit aside for 5 minutes to bubble.
  3. Sift the flour 2-3 times. Add this in 3 batches to the wet ingredients, folding carefully after each addition.
  4. Pour batter into a greased and lined 9″ pan. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes free of crumbs when inserted in the middle of the cake. Take out of the oven and let the cake cool in the pan itself for 10-15 minutes.
  5. After that, carefully take the cake out of the pan and cover it in 2 rounds of cling wrap. Return it to the pan and leave until ready to assemble.
  6. Check the pictorial on how to frost and assemble the cake.

Heat the oven to 170 C/330 F. Grease and line an 9″ pan with parchment paper. In a big bowl, add the buttermilk and sugar and oil. Using a wire whisk, mix until the sugar dissolves.

Add the baking powder and baking soda. Let it sit aside for 5 minutes to bubble. Sift the flour 2-3 times. Add this in 3 batches to the wet ingredients, folding carefully after each addition.

Once the flour is incorporated fully, pour batter into a greased and lined pan. I have used a 9″ pan here. An 8″ pan would give you a little more height.  Bake for about 35-40 minutes until a skewer comes free of crumbs when inserted in the middle of the cake. Take out of the oven and let the cake cool in the pan itself for about 15 minutes.

Once the cake is cool, carefully take the cake out of the pan, peel off the parchment paper and cover it in 2 rounds of cling wrap. Return it to the pan and leave until ready to assemble. I usually do this 2-3 days before the event and leave the cake this way until I fill and frost it. Prepare the sugar syrup and once its cool, refrigerate till the time of assembling.

For frosting and filling the cake, beat fresh cream with sugar until it holds peaks. I have used 3 cups of fresh cream here since I am frosting three cakes.

To anchor the cake to the cardboard base, use a little jam or fresh cream. I have used Nutella here, since I was sure that there are no nut allergies. Cut each cake into two layers. Keep the first layer and sprinkle it with sugar syrup liberally. I use about 3-4 tablespoons of syrup per layer and I just use my hands to sprinkle it.

Using an offset spatula or a butter knife, fill the cake with whipped cream. Build the layers, sprinkling each layer with the simple syrup and then filling with fresh cream.

Cover the entire cake roughly with fresh cream for a crumb coat. Refrigerate for at least half an hour. Cover with another round of fresh cream for the final finish. You will need an offset spatula and a turn table for a smooth finish.

For the glaze, add 3/4 cup chocolate chips to a microwave safe bowl with 1 tablespoon honey and 2 tablespoons each of milk and butter. Microwave in short bursts (15 seconds each) mixing well with a silicon spatula after each burst until the chocolate completely melts.

Add the glaze to the sides of the cake and let it drip slowly down. Fill in the center and carefully smooth it out.

Run the offset spatula under hot water, wipe the water off with a kitchen towel. Carefully smooth the top of the chocolate layer for a clean finish. Repeat a couple of times until the top is smooth. Using piping bag fitted with piping nozzles, decorate the cake as you wish with whipped cream and strawberries. Refrigerate until the time of serving.

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017