Saturday, 23 November 2013

Cheats Cardamom Cheesecake (actually no cheese!!)

Cheats Cardamom Cheesecake

Want a sinful indulgence? Here it is, that too with very little effort. It is a great dinner party item and if at all there is any left over, you can feast on it later. I made this with lots of doubts about whether it will set or not so added icing sugar so the corn starch in the sugar will help set and make it failure proof. You will find most other recipes do not use icing sugar so if you want to skip it, do so at your risk. I go with my gut feel usually and as I was making it for Diwali pot luck dinner and was hoping to create a wow factor, I did not want to fail . This is an incredibly easy dish that you can whip up he previous day so you have one less thing to worry about on the day guests come. I did not want to use more butter so I actually baked my biscuit base. If you do not want to bake, you can add about a 100gm more melted butter and make teh base by setting it in the fridge for about an hour. Next time I make it I intend to make it richer with saffron as well. I stuck to more desi flavour of cardamom as it was Diwali but we can even add orange or lemon zest or plant some strawberry pieces here and there to give a fruity flavour. So, here is the recipe itself...

1 tin sweetened condensed milk
600ml double cream
15 digestive biscuits or ginger nut biscuits
50gm melted butter
Generous amount of crushed nuts
½ teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
3 tablespoon icing sugar

Crush the biscuits coarsely or finely based on your preference and add the melted sugar. Mix and put it on a lined springform cake tin. I usually do the mixing inside the tin to save using another dish. Spread this uniformly to form the base. Bake at 160degC for about 6 minutes, would just start to brown. Cool completely

Beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Electric beater is recommended if you are like me 

Next beat the condensed milk until it thickens in a separate bowl

Mix the two together along with the icing sugar and cardamom. I ground the cardamom with the sugar in my mixie. Fold them together as whisking again would loosen the mixture.

Pour this on cooled biscuit base, wrap it up and set in fridge atleast overnight. Sprinkle the nuts just before serving!

Just to show how well it sets, here is a slice...

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Corn and Spinach Pops

Corn and Spinach Pops

I saw a recipe on Tarla Dalal’s website and knew I wanted to try it. I was quiet sure I could not follow the recipe to the letter as it involved many steps and would have taken a few dishes to make it. I decided to simplify it and make my way but keeping the essence of the dish. The original recipe suggested making white sauce with plain flour, I replaced this with mashed potato to provide the binding as potato is complex carbohydrate. Ofcourse, I also skipped the deep frying and stuck to my method! I made it as an after school snack and thought it as a kid’s recipe but how wrong I was. I could have helped myself to more if only I had made more. It was a hit with my son

1/3 cup corn
1 large potato, cubed
Handful of spinach, washed
¼ cup grated (cheddar) cheese, could add bit more if needed
½ teaspoon jeera powder
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder
1 cup bread crumbs
Cooking oil

Boil potato in a pan and once it is nearly done, add corns and boil until cooked. Then add washed spinach and boil for couple of minutes

Drain and let this cool just so you can touch. Mash the mixture after adding jeera powder, turmeric powder, salt and cheese. Make sure you do not add too much salt as cheese tends to be salty as well. If it is a bit too soft and you are unable to make balls, add some breadcrumbs so it absorbs moisture. Mixture should now be like soft dough

Make little balls, about lime size, roll in breadcrumbs and fry with dots of oil in kuzhipaniyaram koodu (Danish cake tin I think). Once it gets a nice golden colour on all sides, put them on a plate and insert breadsticks to make them like lolli pops


Thursday, 7 November 2013

Almond Ricotta Cheesecake – Indian Kalakand with my spin

Almond Ricotta Cheesecake – Indian Kalakand with my spin
Diwali is a wonderful festival as it always brings back great memories. The purchase was big, food was big and emotions were plenty. This year, I was keen to share that feeling with my children as well and wanted to get into this habit of making Diwali special to them. Although we did not splash out on shopping for outfits like how my parents unfailingly did, I wanted us to be with people we were comfortable with. A few friends got together and had a potluck dinner and what a great evening it was! My son had his friends to play with and the firework itself took a good hour of the evening. Considering I have a little one as well, I thought potluck would be the way to go but being a food blogger I could not stop myself from trying couple of more things. As time and energy were tight, I chose to make milk sweet that literally needed to be whipped up and briefly cooked. It turned out to be so awesome that we kept trying more and more in the name of tasting, who were we kidding!! In the end, there was no enough to offer my friends and their families, ouch! To me, this is a classic Indian recipe made the western way – bake!

This recipe is dedicated to Ms Tarla Dalal. She has been a great inspiration and will live in my kitchen through the wonderful books I have.

150g coarsely ground almonds
1 tin of condensed milk
1 tub ricotta cheese, 300g or so
Pinch of saffron
Few chopped nuts
Ghee to grease bakeware

Mix together everything but the nuts

Pour into over proof baking dish hat has been greased with ghee. I wanted the cake height to be about an inch or just about so chose a suitable rectangular dish

Bake at 180degC for about 15-20 minutes. It will just begin to brown on top, sides will start to pull from the dish and it will still be a bit wobbly. Sprinkle nuts on top, cool and cut to required slices.

Enjoy this without having to slave in the kitchen for such a yummy desi treat!