Thursday, August 9, 2012

Banana Pudding with Caramel Sauce

One of the easiest desserts to make...takes practically no effort and is so delicious and comforting, it would make anyone happy!


175g butter, softened and chopped

1cup (175g) brown sugar

½ cup (110g) caster (superfine) sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup mashed banana

3 eggs

2 cups (300g) self-raising flour, sifted

½ teaspoon baking powder

Caramel sauce

1 ½ cups (375 ml) pouring cream

¾ cup (135g) brown sugar



Preheat oven to 170C (325 F).

To make the pudding, place the butter, sugars, cinnamon, banana, eggs, flour and baking powder in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed for 1 minute or until just combined.

Pour the mixture into a greased mould lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for approx 40 min or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

To make the caramel sauce, place the cream and brown sugar in a saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened.

Slice the pudding and pour over the warm sauce. Yum!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Apple Compote

I had made this looooong ago but had messed up a few things. The ingredients were just lying about at home so I was forced to do something about it. Its ridiculously easy to make...and absolutely delicious as well!

For the panna cotta:
1 tetrapack Amul cream (about 1 cup or 200 ml of cream)
50 g sugar
1.5 teaspoons of vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water

Heat the cream and sugar in a pan until the sugar dissolves. Take it off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Put the gelatin in the cold water and let it remain for 3-5 minutes. Now the original recipe says to pour the gelatin directly into the cream and stir. But when I had done that last time, it hadn't worked. The instructions on the packet of gelatin say heat the gelatin in a double boiler until it dissolves...should take about 5 minutes. After it  dissolves, take it off the heat and pour it into the cream mixture and mix thoroughly. Pour the cream into the moulds and let it set for 6 hours. 

You can pour it into wine glasses and serve it directly with whatever topping you have decided or you can unmould the panna cotta onto plates and serve, as I did. I used the normal bowls that everyone has, greased them with a little oil and kept them in the fridge.

For the apple compote:
2 apples, cubed
1 tablespoon orange juice
A pinch of cinammon powder

Mix all the ingredients in a pan. Put on the lid and let it simmer for about 10 minutes until the apples are soft.

When serving, run a knife along the edges of the mould to shake it loose. Alternatively, dip the moulds in boiling water for a few seconds and then unmould onto the plate. Top with the apple compote and serve.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mango Cupcakes

Today I finally managed to go to Crawford and bought cupcake moulds!!!! The tart pan I bought a while back, but its still new, so there it is.

I was so excited about them that I instantly decided as soon as I get home, I will make cupcakes! It was a toss up between lemon and mango, but since all the ingredients for lemon weren't at home, I hit upon the mango...this is like a mango festival :)

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour (approx 156 g)
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup sugar (approx 94 g)
1 stick of butter at room temperature (113 g)
2 eggs
2 tbsp. milk
3/4 cup ripe mango puree
¼ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt

Mango Frosting
2 sticks of butter (226 g)
2 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup ripe mango puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F or 176 C. Beat the butter and slowly add the sugar to it, beating until the sugar is dissolved. Add the eggs, one at a time into the mixture, and beat well.

In another bowl, measure the flour and the baking powder. Pour dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix well. Then add the mango puree, ginger and the milk and continue mixing. Don’t over beat!

Pour into pan and bake for about 26 min. I baked for 20 min and it was done perfectly. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.

It was the first time I was trying cupcakes and I was so over excited that I kept jumping about in front of the oven.

I deliberately bought the silicon molds. They need no greasing, they cool down fast, and can just be peeled off the cake. Saves a whole lotta mess! Also, even after removing the cake, they are ridiculously clean!

Next step: Icing

Beat the butter until it is light and fluffy, add half of the confectioner’s sugar, mango and vanilla and continue beating until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 min. Add the rest of the sugar and continue beating, for about another minute.

The cake itself isn't too sweet because of the ginger. Next time I would reduce the ginger and add more mango for it to suit my taste! But the icing makes all the difference. It is much more mango-ey and that's when you feel like you are eating a mango cupcake!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mango Panna Cotta

My dad randomly expressed a desire to have panna cotta. Now I remember I had made it months ago, but I didn't like it too much because I thought it was too bland and the topping excessively sweet. But then I thought what's the harm in trying again! However I didn't want to make it plain-jane like how I did last time. So obviously the first thing that I thought of was mango! I am going to carry on making mango desserts until I am completely sick of it. Panna cotta is super easy to make and I'm hoping that I do like it this time.


250ml/1 cup cream
2 mangos
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons gelatin
1/4th teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup caster sugar (I used brown sugar for the topping...just because!)

Peel one mango and cut it into pieces. Our aim is to make mango puree. The usual method is to put it in a blender and strain it, but my mother said that wastes a lot of mango. So I put the mango in the blender with two tablespoons of milk as per her suggestion.

After the blending was done, I had a wonderfully smooth pulp without any wastage!

Mix the gelatine with two tablespoons of cold water and leave it standing for about 5 minutes to activate it. Meanwhile, place the cream and sugar into a saucepan and over a medium heat, stir until the sugar has dissolved. Continue stirring until the cream almost reaches boiling point then remove from heat.

Then add the gelatin and stir until it is completely dissolved. Add the mango puree and the vanilla extract and stir until fully blended.

Pour it into the moulds. I used the bowls which are found in anyone's house as a mould because I plan to serve it by un-moulding it. I used a drop of oil to lubricate the mould so its easier for the panna cotta to slip out. An alternative is to pour it into pretty glasses or bowls and serve with the mango topping in that itself. Last time I made it in wine glasses, but I wanted to try the other way this time because I think it would look prettier!

I then put it in the fridge to set. It's supposed to be kept for minimum four hours, but I took them out after a good 6 hours.

For the topping, cut the mango into dice. Sprinkle the sugar into a pan and heat it until it starts melting. 

Quickly add half the diced mango and keep stirring. The mixture may harden, but will eventually soften. Add a little water to help if necessary. Once its slightly thick, add the rest of the diced mango. Stir briefly to coat the mango and take it off the heat. Let it cool a little before using.

To unmould successfully, dip the mould in a pan of boiling water and then overturn it onto a plate. Spoon the caramelized mango over it and serve. Doesn't it look beautiful?!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lemon Pound Cake

Well I have been working hard since my internship started and did not have the energy to do something adventurous on the weekend. My friend had made this cake last week and I liked how it tasted. Plus its so easy that even an amateur with no experience cannot get it wrong! I took it to office with me and it was quite a hit :)

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup vanilla or plain sugar
2 eggs
100ml buttermilk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon

For the lemon glaze:
Juice of 2-3 lemons
1/2 cup powdered sugar


Grease and flour the sides of the mould.

Preheat the oven to 170C.

Sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract, lime juice and zest.

With beater on low add the flour and buttermilk alternately in three lots.

Bake for 50-60 minutes till golden brown on top, and the tester comes out clean.  I baked it for 40 minutes and it was perfect. But maybe that was because my mould was slightly big. Basically, you need to keep watching it.

While it's baking, make the glaze. Stir in the juice into the sugar, and stir till all lumps have dissolved. Add some more powdered sugar if it isn’t as thick as you like it. The glaze should be nice and thick, yet of flowing consistency. Add a little zest if you like. I didn't add it, but that's just a matter of taste. Keep tasting the glaze until you get something you like.

After the cake is done, poke holes all over it and and use a spoon to spread the glaze. I did it twice, but it really depends upon the glaze itself. It came out perfectly and within two days, two of these cakes are over!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mushroom Orange Rice

Since there were so many mushrooms left, I thought the easiest thing to do would be put it in rice. I vaguely remembered this recipe and looked it up again. I got the idea to put orange juice from it, but I changed the veggies a bit. It is such an easy recipe, that any veggies can be put in it and it will still taste delicious :)

1 cup cooked white rice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
8 ounces button mushrooms, stems removed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup corn


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and mushroom; cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add corn, cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in cooked rice, zest, and juice. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone and Rosemary

I have been simply dying to try this out for more than a year, merely because the photos looked so pretty! Also, because the combination fascinated me and I was sure it was unlike anything I would have eaten before. I finally picked up peaches and ran back to the kitchen!


2 large ripe peaches
Olive oil for brushing peaches
About 2 ounces mascarpone cheese
Zest of 1/4 lemon
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary, plus some for garnish
A few shakes of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slice the peaches in half and discard the pits. Brush the flesh with a little bit of olive oil. Heat a grill to medium or place a grill pan over medium-high heat on the stove top. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes or until the flesh begins to caramelize and light grill marks appear.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine mascarpone cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, rosemary, and salt and pepper. Stir until combined. Divide filling evenly among the four peach halves. Serve.