Monday, July 18, 2011

Baked Peaches with Vanilla & Rum, Crème fraiche & Amaretti

This month's plate2page assignment was to shoot Apricots: one raw & one in a baked dish. I managed to make this gorgeous and easy to impress baked peaches served with crème fraiche, that just screams summer to me!

Baked Peaches with Vanilla & Rum

3 Ripe Peaches stoned and cut into half
Vanilla Sugar to sprinkle on top
1/2 cup good quality Rum or Amaretto or any liqueur of your choice
Couple of Amaretti cookies crumbled
Crème Fraiche to serve
First, grill the peaches with a little oil, cut side down for about 2-3 min. Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the grilled peaches onto an oven safe dish and sprinkle the vanilla sugar, drizzle the rum and bake for about 10-15 min. Serve warm with a dollop of crème fraiche and crushed amaretti cookies.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Strawberry-Rose-Cardamom Lassi (Indian Smoothie)

In India, summertime is incomplete without a good Lassi. Lassi is an Indian yogurt/buttermilk drink - a mix of yogurt or buttermilk, water, spices and fruit - is based on ancient Ayurvedic traditions. It is known to cool down your body especially on a hot day after a spicy meal. I have recreated my favourite lassi recipe using the season’s best strawberries, some rosewater and cardamom.
In Ayurveda, cardamom is known for its digestive properties. Cardamom also helps in cleansing the body as it has detoxifying properties. Cardamom is known to be helpful in balancing all three 'doshas' in the human body. A little quantity of cardamom is especially beneficial in balancing "kapha”. It can be used for balancing "vata" and "pitta" as well. (Source). The quantity of cardamom consumed depends on the physiology of a person. 
Known in ayurveda for its digestive properties, Butter milk gets digested quickly and easily. Aggravated kapha and vata are mitigated by buttermilk. Rosewater has a pleasant cooling, anti-inflammatory effect on the digestive tract and honey too is known for its digestive properties. So this smoothie is pretty much a 'Super Food'! 

Anjum's Eat Right for Your Body is a great buy if you believe in ayurveda.

Food Blogger Connect is Europe’s primer conference for food bloggers & writers, attracting bloggers from all over Europe & outside Europe, with an impressive line up of guest speakers, programmes and competitions. This year Cuisinart has partnered with FBC (as official small domestic appliance partner) for a fabulous giveaway: two full weekend conference tickets to two very lucky winners and an opportunity to participate in the cooking demonstration with Celebrity Chef Anjum Anand. Even those who have already registered have a chance of winning. How great is that? The rule was to create your own smoothie or make a smoothie recipe from Cuisinart or Anjum Anand’s books and post it on our blog and on Food Blogger Connect Facebook page by 8th of July, 2011 and tweet about it. So here's my third entry.
Strawberry,Rose, Cardamom Lassi (Smoothie)

Strawberries 150g
Rose-water 2 tsp
Buttermilk 2cups
Cardamom Powder 1tsp
Honey 1tbsp
Whizz everything in a smoothie maker with some ice and serve chilled.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Strawberry Macarons for Mactweets #20

MacSweethearts Jamie & deeba challenged us to create something sensational, sweet or savory, with a fruit using Dried, powdered, fresh, any form, any flavor! I made strawberry macarons (tried piping them to look like real ones) with cream cheese filling & fresh strawberries. Try not to use a template so that you get natural un-even sized macarons which look like real ones!
Strawberry Macarons

27g egg whites
75g caster sugar
20g water
75g ground almonds
75g powdered sugar
1tbp freeze dried strawberry powder
27g egg whites
Edible food colours in Pink & Green

Pulse the almonds,strawberry powder, and icing sugar in a processor until fine. Sieve twice. Mix one part of the egg whites to this. Meanwhile whisk whites till frothy. Bring the sugar and water to boil and let it reach 115-118 C in a candy thermometer. Add this to the whites and whisking all the while on high as you pour till it form glossy peaks. Mix a part of the whites to the almond mixture gently folding it. Mix in the remaining whites till you get a smooth mixture that forms ribbons when lifted. Do not over-mix as the mixture will turn liquidy and difficult to pipe. Fill a piping bag with the mixture and pipe onto a baking sheet with silpat/ non-stick sheet. For the strawberry macarons, I did not use any template and just piped them free-hand. Leave it to form a skin for 30 minutes. When you touch them they should not stick to your hand at this point, if they do leave them for some more time. Preheat oven to 140C and bake these babies for 12-15 min depending on size. They should come off the sheet once cooked. Transfer to wire rack and cool. Pipe desired filling and sandwich the macarons.
For the filling I used Cream cheese icing with bits of fresh strawberries.

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