Monday, July 27, 2009

White chocolate and strawberry mousse

Whenever I have people over for a meal, I almost always end up making chocolate-based desserts. Last week we had some friends over for lunch and I made this dessert using fresh summer berries with of course, some chocolate! I've been meaning to make this ever since I read the recipe in this magazine. To read the story on how I got the magazine click here. The dessert was delicious. The strawberry coulis with sliced strawberries along with creamy white chocolate and strawberry flavor melts in your mouth. Hmm! I want more!

  • 750g/1lb 10oz strawberries + extra
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 250g/9oz good quality white chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1tbsp white chocolate liqueur (optional - I didn't use)
  • 12g sachet powdered gelatine
  • 450ml/16fl oz double cream
  • 25g/10z icing/confectioners sugar

Place half the strawberries in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Pass the pureed strawberries through a fine sieve into a bowl, then add the lemon juice*. Slice the rest of the fruit and add to the puree.

Place the chocolate & chocolate liqueur if using, in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, then leave for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, until melted. Meanwhile, sprinkle the gelatine over 50 ml water in a cup or small bowl and leave to soak for 5 minutes

Pour a quarter of the cream into a pan, add sugar, then warm gently. Add the soaked gelatine and stir for 5 minutes over a low heat until gelatine has dissolved- do not let the mixture boil.

Pour this cream mixture to the melted chocolate and stir until smooth. Add three -quarters of the strawberry puree. Pour the remaining cream into a bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Gradually fold the whipped cream into the chocolate and strawberry mixture.

Divide the mixture between 4 serving glasses**, then leave to chill for at least 2 hrs or overnight. Chill the remaining strawberry puree, too.

Spoon the remaining strawberry puree on top of each mousse and serve.

Note: *My strawberries were a little tart so I added few tbsps of icing/confectioners sugar.
**I got more then 4 serving glasses as I served them in smaller glasses.

The first picture is going to Click of Jugalbandi for their monthly food photography event. The theme is bi-color this month.

Recipe from BBC GoodFood Magazine.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Upma, pronounced Oop-ma, is usually had for breakfast in southern India. Made from semolina flour, it is a hearty dish with great nutritional value. I make mine with sautéed onions, tomatoes and some veggies (typically peas and chopped carrots but you can add other vegetables like green or red peppers (capsicum), french beans and even tiny florets of broccoli. We usually have Upma for breakfast on weekends. I use coarse semolina flour, available at most Indian grocery stores in the US.

  • 1-2 tsps Oil
  • ¼ tsp Black Mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp Urad Dal/lentils (optional)
  • ¼ tsp Chana Dal/lentils (optional)
  • ¼ Onion chopped fine
  • 1" Ginger chopped or grated
  • 1/2 Medium size tomato
  • 2-4 Green Chili (more of less depending on your spice intake)
  • 1 Medium size Carrot quarted and chopped fine
  • ½ cup Peas
  • 1 ½ cups Coarse Semolina flour (roasted)
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1-2 tsps Ghee (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Few sprigs of Curry leaves
  • Few sprigs of Coriander chopped fine


Heat the oil in a pot, add the mustard seeds, when it pops add the 2 dals, if using. When the dal sizzles add the chopped onions and chilies and let it sauté till the onions turn translucent (few minutes), add the chopped ginger and a few seconds later add the tomatoes. Let the tomatoes sauté for a bit.

Now, add the chopped carrots and peas. Give it a few minutes, add the curry leaves and chopped coriander. Add the water and salt, cover and let the water boil. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, lower the flame and add the roasted* semolina flour, keep stirring mixing the flour continuously till all the flour has absorbed the water. Turn off the flame and add ghee, if using at this point cover and let sit for a few minutes. Serve hot with Indian pickle or the way I like it, with a dash of lemon juice.

* It is advisable to dry roast the semolina before you add it to the water. To dry roast the semolina, simply put the semolina in a pan and let it warm through without discoloring the semolina.


You could use other grains like quinoa or lapsi (cracked wheat) instead of semolina but you will need to cook them before adding it to the veggies.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Date and Honey Loaf

I'm back! Our family and friends who were visiting us have left and the house now feels empty and calm (except for the kids). We miss all the fun we had with people around the house. While my in-laws were staying with us, I didn't have to entertain the kids rather they were getting spoilt with all the attention they got from their grandparents and older cousins. Now I have to keep them entertained all the time.

The date and honey loaf was something I made a while ago and have been meaning to post this recipe. I don't do bread and have very little success when making bread. I think it’s the lack of my skills in using yeast that is the culprit. With yeast I find that the temperature of the water should be right and that is where I think I usually go wrong. However, after a lot of trial and error, I think I'm beginning to have some success with bread. I've learnt that the best way to determine the right temperature for the water is to stick your finger in it and be able to leave your finger in the water for a few seconds comfortably.

Yeast is a living organism and is in the air around us and comes from the fungus family. Yeast needs a supply of energy for its growth and sugar supplies this energy. To learn more about yeast in baking click here to see more in detail.

The bread was delicious. It was soft and springy, lightly sweet with the honey and dates. Lovely with a hot cup of tea or coffee.

  • Butter for greasing
  • 9 oz/250 g/1¾ cups strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2¾ oz/75 g/½ cup strong brown bread flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ oz/7g envelope active dry yeast
  • 7 fl oz/200 ml/scant 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2¾ oz/ 75 g/1½ cup dried dates. chopped
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds


Grease a 2 lb/900 g loaf pan with butter. Sift the white and brown flours into a large bowl and stir in the salt and yeast. Pour in the water, oil and honey and mix to form a dough.

Place the dough on a lightly floured counter and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth, then place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or so or until doubled in size.

Knead in the dates and sesame seeds. Shape the dough and place in the prepared pan. Cover and let stand in a warm place for additional 30 minutes, or until springy to the touch.

Bake the loaf in a preheated oven, 425ºF/220ºC for 30 minutes or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Serve cut into thick slices.

Recipe adapted from Perfect Baking

This recipe is going to Iamfoodblog for the weekly event of YeastSpotting.