Friday 26 April 2013

Savarin-Yeast in my cake!! Twin Trials for Daring Bakers

Yeast in my cake!!! 
Thanks to some amazing Baking groups that I have joined, a whole new world of baking has opened for me. Bakes I had never heard of in my life, are being experimented and tasted in my kitchen. Daring Baker's is a place where I get to learn amazing unique bakes from all over the world. Never in my wildest dream would I ever try yeast in my cake, but for the Daring Baker's challenge.
Savarin, this month's challenge, is a yeasted cake which is of French origin and named after Brillat-Savarin, the famous 18 th century Gastronome and writer. It is made with the same dough as Rum Baba or Baba au Rhum. The cake is almost a bread and is not very sweet. After being baked, it is soaked in a sugar syrup which gives sweetness and moistness to the cake. Traditionally the sugar syrup includes some form of alcohol, often Rum. The Savarin hole is filled with different creams or custards and decorated with fresh/candied fruits.

Notice the holes in the cake, almost like a light bread
The cake has a light and tender crumb and is very moist, almost juicy.  It just melts in your mouth with  incredible flavours from the syrup. Together with cream and fruits, it sure is a mega treat
Since, I was in the mood for some Experiments, I tried two versions. One, a classic rum soaked with cream and fruits loaded and another enriched with chocolate. I soaked both in the rum sauce and made a quick chocolate mousse for the small savarins. Decorated with easy tempered chocolate decorations, the cake was not only a treat for the eyes but for the tongue as well!!

Recipe Source : Natalia of Gatti Fili e Farina challenged us with a Savarin recipe which is adapted from Adriano Continisio of Profumo di Lievito and Italian Chef Luca Montersino.
 Ingredients : I used 1/3 of the recipe to make a 5" Savarin and two 3" mini savarins
  • 10 tbsp + 2 tbsp All purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 2 tsp lukewarm water
  • 1/4 tsp Instant yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter, at room temperature and extra for greasing baking pan
  • pinch of salt

Take 2 tsp lukewarm water in a small bowl and add 1 tbsp flour and sprinkle 1/4 tsp yeast
Cover with a cling film/damp muslin cloth and let it rise for 1 hour.

After 30 mins of making the sponge, put egg whites in a bowl and add 10 tbsp flour. Knead till you have a sticky dough. Cover with a cling film/damp muslin cloth and let it rest for 30 mins.

After 30 mins, add the sponge to the egg white-flour mixture and add 1 tsp flour and mix. (I used my hands to knead, you may use a mixer)
Add 1 egg yolk and as soon as it is absorbed, add 1 tsp of flour and 2 tsp sugar. Mix well.
Add second yolk and as soon as it is absorbed, add 1 tsp of flour and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
Mix dough till it is elastic and makes threads.
Add butter and as soon a sit is absorbed add 1 tsp of flour. Keep mixing till the dough passes the Window pane test.(I had to add extra 2-3 tsp of flour)
Cover with a cling film/damp muslin cloth and let it rise till triple in volume for 3 hours.
Prepare baking tins(I used a 5" savarin tin(ring shaped tin like a bundt pan) and two 3" mini savarin tins) by buttering it. 
Put the dough in the prepared tins filling only till 1/3. Let it rise for another hour. 
Preheat the oven to 170 degree Celsius and bake savarins for 25-30 mins or till the top is golden brown(I had to cover my savarins midway with an aluminium foil as they were browing faster)
Let it cool and carefully remove from the tins.
Till then make the syrup for soaking.

Rum sauce -soaking syrup

Ingredients :
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp Rum
Procedure :
Heat water and sugar in a saucepan. As soon as sugar melts add rum. Remove from heat just before it begins to boil. Cool.
Put the savarins back in the baking tins and pour the Rum sauce dividing between the three till all of it is used up.
Remove savarins from tin and place on a wire rack with a plate underneath so that excess syrup drains.

Mixed fruit Glaze : 
Mix 1 tbsp mixed fruit jam and 1 tbsp water in a saucepan and warm it up. As soon as it gets mixed, remove from heat and brush the savarin with this glaze.(I brushed only the bigger savarin)
Garnish :
  • 100 ml Whipped cream
  • Assorment of fruits-I used mango, kiwi, black and green grapes.
  • 2 tbsp of melted chocolate
  • Tempered chocolate decorations
For the bigger savarin, I filled the center with both kinds of grapes and piped some whipped cream on top. Decorated the top with thinly sliced mango shaping like a flower, halved kiwi and tempered chocolate decorations. 

Tempered Chocolate Decorations 
Melt some chocolate(microwave in 10 sec pulse for a min or melt in a double boiler) and beat it very well. As it begins to cool, enough to handle, put them in a piping bag/homemade plastic cones and pipe any design on a sheet of butter paper. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool and peel off to use.

Chocolate Savarins 
Very carefully fold the melted chocolate with the remaining whipped cream and fill the centers of the smaller savarins
Make a thin chocolate sauce by pouring little milk in some melted chocolate and pour over the savarins.
Decorate with a drop of melted chocolate and tempered chocolate decorations. 

Happy Savarin experimenting 

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Strawberry Fool

''Any darn fool can make something complex, it takes a genius to make something simple.''― Pete Seeger

1 Year and 11 months old!!
How did she grow so soon?? Wasn't it just yesterday that she fitted in my arms and gave me the most sweetest unselfish smile, filling up my days with her sunshine presence and giving me the most beautiful reason to live. She is all of this and a lot more now. She is my daughter Vaanya.
I understand Time flies..but why so soon! It so seems like just yesterday that we were anxiously waiting..first for her to come out, then for her to turn, sit, crawl, stand and walk. How selfish we become as parents, wanting them to learn everything fast, and once they do, we want time to slow down! I guess that is what Parenthood is. 
Our children teach us so much, at times completely transforming us. I think the best thing they teach is to have patience and the ability to love unconditionally. They teach us to admire and love the most simplest and silliest of things. They teach us to move on and be happy with whatever we have. Most importantly they teach us to be a child all over again!
Vaanya continues to add that special spark, that special reason to live life fully and that special presence which can never be replaced. We as parents feel truly blessed to have her. Every 24 of the month is dedicated to something sweet on our blog to signify Vaanya's utmost sweet presence and we call it our Sweet day
Today I am sharing a super simple and super pretty desert. It hardly needs any skill and is sure to stun your guests. 

Ingredients: For 6 servings
  • 1/2 packet of strawberry jelly
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp strawberry custard powder
  • 1/2 cup vanilla sponge cake crumbs(I used my leftover Ombre cake, you may try with store bought small sponge cakes like Britannia and churn them in the mixer or use your hands to crumb it)
  • 6 strawberries chopped and a few for garnishing
  • whipped cream and mint leaves for decoration 


Strawberry Jelly
Make jelly as per the instructions on the packet. Basically you need to mix the provided powders and pour boiling water and mix. 
Add the chopped strawberries in it and let it cool a bit. Do not wait to long as the jelly will set.
Pour jelly in the chosen glasses or bowls. 
I used an angled effect, therefore placed the glasses at certain angle over a towel roll and let it set. 
As soon as they cool to room temperature, transfer to the refrigerator, maintaining the angled effect. I put the same roll of towel in the fridge and let the glasses tilt on it. This is crucial as jelly being jelly is very slippery and may get ruined if you keep the glasses straight.

Strawberry custard:
Boil 1 cup of milk and add sugar. 
Dissolve custard powder with some cold milk and add to the milk, stirring well.
As it thickens to the desired consistency, remove from heat. Let it cool a bit and add the sponge cake crumbs.
Very carefully spoon this custard in the same glasses till the top. 
Let it set in the refrigerator, this time keeping the glasses straight for at least half an hour.
Garnish with whipped cream, strawberry slices and mint sprigs. 

Getting set in the fridge
Ready to be served
I tried another version which was suggested on the back of the jelly pack and which turned out to be a quick,pretty and yummy desert.
Make jelly as per instructions(I used the leftover half) and mix equal quantity of whipped cream with it. Whip/blend this mixture well.
Pour in desired glasses/bowl for serving and garnish.

Set in a bowl and garnished with whipped cream and strawberry fan
Set in individual glasses topped with whipped cream and strawberry bits
Happy Strawberry Fooling

Monday 22 April 2013

Gulab (Rose) Sherbat and Winners of our Giveaway

''The world is a rose, smell it and pass it to your friends.''Persian Proverb

What's in a name, that which we call a Rose, by any other name would smell as sweet..Shakespeare's famous quote holds so true. 
Called by different names in different regions, Sharbat (thats how I like to call it) is the world's first Soft drink! It is made from fruit juices or extracts of flowers or herbs and combined with sugar and water. Traditionally served on a hot day, Sharbat is a natural coolant for the body.
Making Rose Sharbat at home has been an old family custom for us. Though nowadays, it is easier to buy a bottle of readymade Sharbat with so much variety in the market, this year my mother decided to give in to the tried, tasted and tested homely method. Though not bright red as the market ones, our homemade Rose Sharbat was certainly far better in taste than the bought one. And do I even need to compare the price difference...The bought one 700mL bottle costs around Rs 100/ whereas in the same amount we made 2L bottles of Sharbat!!! And all that with the promise of home hygiene and loads of fun!!

Ingredients:For 2 litres of Sharbat concentrate
  • 1.5 litres of water
  • 100 gms dried rose petals(you can use fresh rose petals too)
  • 1 kg sugar
  • 1 tsp red food colour
  • 1 tsp rose essence
Pressure cook dried/fresh rose petals with 1/2 amount of water for 3-4 whistles.
Strain and let it cool. (I discarded the cooked rose petals but you may try and keep some aside to use in the Sharbat to have some petals in the drink)
Put the strained liquid in a large pan and add sugar. Put the pan on Gas stove and cook stirring continuously till the sugar melts and the mixture thickens. This should take about 15-20 mins. 
Let this cool.
Add red food colour and rose essence once the mixture is cooled completely. Mix well.

  • This is a concentrate, and needs to be diluted with water before serving.
  • Another way of having it is adding with milk and soda for a Soda milk shake.
  • Use it also as a syrup to drizzle over ice creams/sorbets/deserts.   
  • If you saved cooked rose petals, add them in the end.
  • Check colour by adding water to some concentrate and then adjust colour and essence to your liking. 
  • This concentrate stays good in the refrigerator for several months.

The winners of our Giveaway books are
Bright Red(Minu)
Sayantani Mahapatra
Namita Tiwari
Please send us your shipping addresses asap on Since all three books have become our fav, we will do a lucky draw to choose who gets which book, in all fairness.
Thank you all for supporting and loving us. Hoping for many more years of enjoying learning and sharing great food.

Happy Sharbat drinking!!

Sunday 14 April 2013

GulabJamun No Bake Cheesecake

 ''A new year is unfolding like a blossom with petals curled tightly concealing the beauty within.'' 
- Unknown 

New Year !!
It is the regional New Year time all over India. Celebrated with different names, it basically marks the beginning of the harvest season and arrival of Spring.
It is called Vaisakhi in Punjab which  also marks the birth of Khalsa and is celebrated with lot of fervor. 
Poila Boishakh is celebrated in West Bengal which literally means first day of the first month. An auspicious time for marriages and beginning of all business activities, it is celebrated with traditional dressing and food. 
Vishu is celebrated in Kerala and is marked with Vishukanni which literally means"the first thing seen on the day of Vishu after waking up".
Ugadi is celebrated as New Year's Day in Karnataka and Andhra pradesh. The name Ugadi is derived from the name "Yuga Adi", which means 'the beginning of a new age'
Chaitti in Himachal Pradesh, Mahavishuva Sankrant in Orissa, Navreh in Kashmir, Cheiraoba in Manipur, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, Rongali Bihu in Assam are all names of the New Year Celebrations in the different regions of India. 
Unity in Diversity is such an apt example which describes  India's varied cultures.

Recipe Adapted from:Divine Taste suggested by Swetha

Ingredients:For a 5" inch round cheesecake

  • 3-4 Digestive biscuits
  • 2-3 tbsp melted butter
  • 8-10 Gulab jamuns, medium sized, drained and slightly squeezed to remove extra syrup
  • 1/2 cup Hung curd
  • 1 cup Paneer/cottage cheese
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp Gelatin/1 tbsp China grass
Caramel Glaze
  • 2 almonds(soaked in water for 2 hours,peeled and slivered finely)
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar

Preparation :

Since I wanted to make a smaller quantity, I chose a 5" round tin instead of a Springform tin.
Cut 4 long strips of butter/parchment paper 1" wide. Fold them lengthwise to make them 1/2 " wide. Lay them as shown in Fig.1 and staple from the center. Place it in the tin(Fig 2). These will be used to pull the set cheesecake from the tin.
Cut a 5" circle butter paper for the base and a side strip.
Grease the tin lightly and place the prepared butter paper in the base and sides of tin(Fig 3)

Hung Curd:
Take 1 cup curd and put it in a muslin/cheesecloth. Tie the ends and allow it to hang overnight in the refrigerator(You may try tying it to a spatula and  placing over a bowl)
This will give you roughly 1/2 cup thick curd.


Crush biscuits (placed in a kitchen towel/Ziplock)with the help of a rolling pin.
Add melted butter and mix well.
Press onto the base of the prepared tin with the help of the back of a spoon. (Fig 4)
Keep in the refrigerator to set for atleast 1/2 hour.

Take 2 tbsp cold water and sprinkle gelatin over it for 5-10 mins or till it gets spongy.
Take hung curd, paneer and sugar in a mixer jar and process till smooth.
Transfer it to a pan and heat it very lightly over low heat. Do not let it boil.(Alternatively, microwave for 10-15 secs) As soon as the mixture is just warm to touch, remove from heat and add the gelatin. Stir well to dissolve the gelatin. 
If using china grass, break it into small pieces and soak in 1/4 cup water for 10 mins till it gets soft. Place it in a pan over low heat and let it dissolve for 5-6 mins, stirring well. Do not let it boil.
Add this to the warm curd and paneer mixture and stir well.
Place 7 pieces of gulabjamuns on the crust(Fig 5)
Pour the cheesecake mixture on the gulabjamuns.
Cut 2 gulabjamuns in half and place them inverted on the top.
Refrigerate for 3-4 hours to set.

Caramel Glaze:
Take sugar in a pan over low heat and let it cook and dissolve, stirring well. Soon you will notice it will leave water and begin to change colour. Keep stirring and when it dissolves completely becoming brownish in colour, remove from heat and add the slivered almonds. Pour onto the set cheesecake before it gets cold and hardens. Place some almond pieces on the gulab jamuns.

Slice up and serve this yummy 'very Indian' Cheesecake!!

Five days left for our 1st Anniversary and 3 Giveaways to end!!

Sending this recipe to Tangy Minds celebrate 1st Anniversary
Photo: Hi friends and readers, very soon my blog baby going to touch first birthday!!! Am so happy within this one year got so many friends with lots of learning and many more... So I wish to celebrate the moment with you all with very interesting event with surprise give aways.... Hope you like this and will post full details by tomorrow.... Plz do participate and share happiness and win the giveaways.... Stay tuned for full details Soon....

Happy New Year to all of you!!


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