Platanos Calados

BM# 102 : Week 2, Day 2
Theme : Cuisines from South America

Now that my son’s summer vacation has started, I am finding that my time is completely tied up with his. All of his activities are at places at least 20 minutes away from home. Since I don’t want to drive forty minutes to drop him and then another forty to pick him up, I prefer to stay back with him. So long story short, I wasn’t prepared well for this week’s posts. Bear with me please! I promise I will be prompt from next week.

Coming to the recipe here, this is a recipe from Columbia. Most of the Latin American countries have some or the other version of sweet caramelized plantains. For an adult version, wine can be used instead of water. Panela or dark brown sugar is used with spices and water. It’s important to use very ripe plantains, the skin should be almost black for this.

The base recipe reminds me of how I grew up eating plantains. In Kerala, steamed plantains are served for breakfast. But when we were kids, my grandma used to add some jaggery and a pinch of ghee – very similar to the recipe here.

Read on for the recipe and do try to make this one.

Recipe source: My Colombian Recipes

Serves : 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 large, very ripe plantains
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Method:

  1. Add everything to a small thick bottomed pan.
  2. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes in medium heat.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.

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Cupcake recipe

BM# 100: Week 4, Day 3
Theme : Pick an alphabet 

Like I mentioned earlier, I have a go to recipe for chocolate cakes. And I have another one for Vanilla cakes. I always use the Hot Milk Cake recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book be it cakes or cupcakes.Its a  very tasty and sturdy cake and it freezes very well too.

I chanced upon a Craftsy (now BluPrint) DVD at the library couple of years back. Craftsy/BluPrint has a lot of online classes for various topics. I found excellent classes for Baking and cake decorating there, so I took the membership. I found their decorating videos to be more useful, its really helped me a lot.

The recipe for cupcakes here is from The Perfect Cupcake by Jennifer Shea . I never knew that there is so much more you can do with the cupcakes, there is a section on adding crusts to your cupcakes which I found very interesting. She suggests serving cupcakes on the day of baking for maximum freshness. Since cupcakes don’t take too much time to bake, I found it to be excellent advice. The recipe can be baked as a cake as well, you will need to adjust the baking time according to the size of the pan used.

This is the last recipe under the alphabet C. Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cups half and half **
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (227 gms/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs

Method:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 350F/180C. Line two 12 cup muffin pans with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a smaller bowl, mix the mik, half and half, vanilla. Set aside.
  4. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until it becomes light and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time and mix well, scraping the bowl after each addition.
  5. Add the dry ingredients mix in three parts, alternating it with wet ingredients in two parts, keeping the mixer at a low speed. Once everything is added, using a rubber spatula, mix everything well and let it sit aside for 15 minutes. Stir gently before using.
  6. Fill upto 2/3rd of the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes until the tops are firm and a skewer inserted to the center of the cupcakes comes free of crumbs. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
  7. Frost once the cupcakes are completely cool.

Notes:

*Substitute all purpose flour for cake flour.

**I use a mix of heavy cream and whole milk or whole milk alone for half and half.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#100

Falood

BM# 100: Week 3, Day 3
Theme : Let’s have a toast!

Falooda was a regular dessert I used to order in India. With its many layers, it always looked like a complicated recipe to me. So for a long time, I didn’t even look up the recipe. I had decided it in my mind that this is too difficult to make it at home.

It took me sometime to realize that every single layer of this dessert is easy to make. But it does require some shopping to be done. As long as you get basil seeds (Sold as Tukmaria seeds or sabja seeds in Indian stores), falooda sev (thin strands specially made for falooda) and rose syrup, you are good to do. If you really think about it, it’s nothing but glorified rose milk. Top it with ice cream or kulfi of your choice, it’s a great dessert or an icy cold drink for summer.

Some recipes add strawberry jello also as another layer. But it’s optional. It adds another stunning color to the dish, though.

Read on for the recipe.

Makes 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons soaked basil seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cooked falooda sev
  • 1 tablespoon rose syrup, readymade
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 scoop of malai kulfi or ice cream

Method:

  1. Soak 1 teaspoon Basil seeds in 2-3 tablespoons of water. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Cook falooda sev per package instructions. Let it cool and set aside.
  3. At the time of assembling, add a tablespoon of rose syrup to a glass. Add a spoon or two of the now puffed up basil seeds. Add about 2 tablespoons of sev and then add a glass of milk.
  4. Top it with ice cream or kulfi. Using a spoon, mix and drink.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#100

Carrot Halwa

Carrot halwa and pal payasam are the first desserts I learnt to  make. Before that, it was just popping a spoonful of sugar into my mouth whenever the sugar craving set in.

Learning this dessert meant getting my fingers cut multiple times, because I never learnt the art of grating the carrot without my hands getting cut in the process. Now years later, I have become smart and I don’t get myself injured while grating  carrots. Its for better things like being careless with hot pans and pots and all.

Well, there will be a day when I will stop being so accident prone. Till then, hoping for  more ‘injury free’ carrot halwa days!

Ingredients:

  • Grated Carrots            :    1 1/2 cups (about 3 medium carrots)
  • Milk                                 :     1 cup
  • Sugar                               :     1/2 cup
  • Cardamom Powder   :     1/4 tsp (optional)
  • Ghee                                :     2 tsp

Method:

  1. Put the grated carrots and the milk together in a microwave proof bowl.
  2. Microwave on high for about 15 minutes, stirring once in every 5 minutes, till the carrots are cooked.
  3. You can also cut the carrots into rounds, cook them with milk and pulse (not puree) them once in a mixie once its cool.
  4. Add the sugar and cook for another 5 minutes. Mix once and add ghee and cardamom powder. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes till the liquids are almost dry.
  5. Decorate with chopped nuts and serve hot or cold. Serves 1-2.

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