Sunday, October 26, 2008
Happy Deepavali to all my readers. Its that time of the year again. I simply love Deepavali. It is really a festival that brings so much excitement into our lives. The new clothes the crackers, the sweet making, the yummy food that we eat. The list goes on and on. Deepavali is a time to bend all rules and simply enjoy.
My sister in law and I decided to make something really ultra simple this year. So Badam Burfi it is. Minimal ingredients, very simple to make but in my opinion, the lesser the number of ingredients, the taste of each ingredient really stands out. In this case there are only two main ingredients. Almonds and sugar. You can put in other add ons but that is entirely optional and suited to each ones taste. But it does not lack for anything even if you use just these two main ones.Now I had a lot of help cutting the burfi from my little niece ( I hope that explains the little uneven edges :) ). She very ably assisted me every stage even in the stirring and when she could not help, she hopped onto to a stool and gave me company in the long and hard process of waiting for the ball like stage.
Almonds - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Little milk to grind the almonds maybe 2 -3 tablespoons
Soak the almonds in boiling hot water for a few minutes. Peel the skin.
Then soak in hot water for about 6 to 8 hours.
Grind to a smooth paste using the milk.
Place a piece of foil on the counter top and grease it with a little ghee or butter.
Pour the almond paste into a non stick pan along with the sugar and start cooking on a low flame.
Keep stirring and make sure the flame is on low. At this point you can add some cardamom powder if you like the taste.
After about 40 minutes to an hour it will start to gather together and become a ball.
When it does FINALLY (!!!!!%$#@%$$%^) become a ball and your hand is ready to fall off, Then take it off the stove.
Spread on the foil and flatten. Leave for a few minutes to cool and cut into shapes.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Just back from a fabulous holiday, totally relaxed and well rested and raring to go. I was really looking forward to a holiday for a while now but somehow it just did not happen. Finally made plans and just got onto to the plane. There is nothing like a holiday to cheer you up. The only downside was that I was by myself minus husband dear.
Since I was on a no travel, no do anything holiday, I thought I would have enough time to cook and blog every single day. And since I was visiting the US I thought I would have access to all ingredients that I don't usually use here in India. But somehow did not feel like doing even that and did not do anything. I just lazed and watched television. Shopped a bit. So all my grand plans for blogging everyday just fell by the wayside. But thats ok. I don't feel guilty at all.
There was only one recipe I just had to try out. This was a an easy peasy recipe for a chocolate eclair cake which I had seen many years ago and have been dying to try out.
It turned out quite yummy and all that it promised to be - comfort of the custard, the decadent taste of chocolate and the crunchiness of the biscuits in between. To top it all it was the easiest thing to make with it taking only about 15 minutes to assemble. My little niece enjoyed it so much. Now as it is such as easy recipe which does not call for any cooking at all, she has promised to try making it herself. Let's see how it pans out.
Though the ingredients call for instant vanilla pudding , making batch of custard works just as well. Instead of the frozen whipped topping you can substitute 200 ml of fresh whipped cream and instead of graham crackers, our marie biscuits works well.
10 Graham crackers ( Marie biscuits work just as well)
1 packet Instant vanilla pudding. ( Vanilla flavored custard powder - 2 tablespoons)
1 1/2 cups cold milk
200 ml fresh whipped cream or 8 ounces of frozen whipped topping
3 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder
100 grams butter
1/3 cup milk
1 cup sugar
Make custard using the milk. Stir in whipped cream into cold custard till well blended. ( If using fresh cream, take care that you do not over beat the cream. It will result in splitting it. Whip it till it holds its shape.)
In a sauce pan combine the last four ingredients. Cook over low flame till the butter melts and sugar dissolves.
Cool it down and it will gradually thicken.
Now for the assembly.
Line a pudding bowl with the graham crackers. Pour half the cold custard mixture over it. Line with another layer of graham crackers. Pour more pudding mix over it.
Top with a final layer of graham crackers.
Pour thick chocolate topping on top.
It tastes best after a minimum of 12 hours in the refrigerator.