SAFFRON PISTACHIO YOGURT ICE-CREAM…Happy IWD

“I’d much rather be a woman than a man. Women can cry, they can wear cute clothes, and they’re the first to be rescued off sinking ships”
Gilda Radner
This frozen dessert came out more beautifully than I thought it would. I have been meaning to post it for a bit, but something or the other kept cropping up. The hub sang praises with every spoonful, & no, not because he wanted another helping, but because he truly enjoyed the flavours. Saffron & pistachio compliment each other perfectly, in colour & in soul! It was more creamier than I imagined it would be, it did have a slight tartness of yogurt which added to it’s refreshing taste. The chopped pistachios folded in towards the end gave added texture to this lively & low fat ice-cream. I created a saffron caramel sauce to go with it. It had a delicate saffron fragrance, & paired with it beautifully.
Frozen yogurt is a refreshing, tangy dessert that combines the flavors and textures of ice cream and sherbet. Frozen yogurt is a relative new-comer in the dessert market. The history of frozen desserts dates back thousands of years to Asia where water ices were first made. Although Roman literature describes how the Emperor Nero was treated to exotic fruit juices and wines chilled with mountain snow, it was not until the 13th century that Marco Polo introduced Asian water ices to Italy. The popularity of these frozen desserts spread throughout Europe and within a few centuries, European colonists introduced ice cream in the U.S. This post is out for International Women’s Day today. For all those wonderful bloggers who make our world better everyday. For the men too, but today, especially for the women. I can name a few to begin with, & could go on & on. A few who come to my mind as I write
  • Amy @ Familia Bencomo…my first blog girlfriend who I met over Serendipity & her contest just a year ago. She’s gotten busy so doesn’t blog much, but we catch up on facebook now & then.
  • The Food Blogga gal, Susan, who amazes me with every post, but amazes me even more by reaching out to me from time to time with a mail to keep in touch. Susan…am lagging behind to. Have your mail in my things-to-do folder Susan.
  • Purnima @ Fantasy Cookblog who is my special friend in Kuwait, generous with words & praise, who constantly makes so much off my blog. The good thing is that I get a picture & am email from her the instant she tries a recipe.
  • Diva @ Sugarbar…a complete mad-hatter who always racing around with unbounded spirit; a sweetheart!
  • My new friend Kilvy (Vasiliki Karyda) in Munich who has been cooking since she was 5. Following my blog, among many others, she’s now very inspired to begin her own blog, & I’m trying to lend her a hand.
  • Meeta, whose was one of the first blogs I discovered, & was very charmed by her blog name What’s For Lunch Honey? Never has a lunch gone without that scream passing through my head ‘What’s for lunch honey?’
  • Nic who I met at Cherrapeno last year & we hit it off instantly. That girl is talented, that girl is fun & that girl is generous beyond words.
  • Dear dear Helene @ La Cuisine Helene who bought me a bag of chocolate chips on reading in a post sometime back that we don’t get chocolate chips here.
  • Hanaa @ Hanaa’s Kitchen who is also another new blogpal. Thrilled to learn yesterday that our wedding anniv falls on the same day!!
  • Nachiketa @ The Variable who can talk non-stop for hours, who has infectious levels of excietment & foodie enthusiasm.
  • Val @ More Than Burnt Toast, Ivy @ Kopiaste, & Giz @ Equal Opportuniy Kitchen, the 3 superwomen, 3 amazing bloggers who are doing a wonderful job with Blogger Aid. A GREAT initiative!!
  • Good ole Arundati @ Escapades who fun-lovingly takes all my nudges & banter, & has successfully been able to grow basil from the seeds I mailed her. So what if she killed them a couple of times…
  • Arfi @ Homemades who lives in paradise & makes the most of it. She is brilliant with her camera, her foodie creations, & has a BIG heart too!
  • Aran @ Canelle et Vanille, Helen @ Tartlette & Vera @ Baking Obsession…I know that each visit is going to be a virtual treat with unlimited eye candy unlimited, refreshing ideas & pictures to swoon over.
  • …& so many many more great women. Happy IWD to all of you!!

Inspired by Meeta’s last Daring Bakers post of Saffron Coconut Ice-cream, I set off to make this. It was one that I just couldn’t shake off my mind. SAFFRON PISTACHIO YOGURT ICE-CREAM
My recipe
Ingredients:
Hung yogurt (out of 1 1/4 ltrs of yogurt)
1 1/2 cups low fat cream
1 – 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
A good pinch of safrom
1/2 cup of pistachio nuts, chopped
Saffron Caramel & pistachios for garnishing

Method:

  • Take 1/4 cup of the cream, add the saffron to it, & microwave it for 30 seconds. Leave to cool & for the flavours to mature for at least 30 minutes.
  • Beat the hung yogurt till smooth. It should be nice & thick, & hold peaks. Add the cream, the saffron cream, the sugar & beat well. Taste & adjust sweetness if required.
  • Put into a freezer box & beat every hour to distribute the crystals. ( You lucky ones with ice-cream machines, just carry on to the last step…)
  • After about 4-5 hours, when it’s beginning to get nice & thick, fold the chopped pistachios through & leave it to set for another 4-5 hours, preferably overnight.
  • For the Saffron Caramel Sauce, I simmered some caramel from my jar in the fridge with a good pinch of saffron for 2-3 minutes. then I just left it to cool for about an hour for the flavours to steep.
  • Remove the ice-cream to the fridge an hour before serving, drizzle with saffron caramel sauce, top with chopped pistachios & a few stands of saffron. ENJOY!!

LIME CHOCOLATE ALMOND SHORTBREAD TART…Making it YELLOW for IWD!!

“Men become passionately attached to women who know how to cosset them with delicate tidbits.”
Honoré de Balzac

Lime Chocolate Almond Shortbread Tart…making it YELLOW!!

Got a mail from the talented Zorra @ Kochtopf the other day announcing an event being co hosted by her for International Women’s Day on 8th March. In her words…”fiordisale asked me to organize with her a special event for International Women’s Day. March 8 is a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women. Food connects people, so we would like to invite you to cook or bake something yellow for this special day. Yellow because on this day in Southern countries there is the tradition to give sprigs of bright yellow Mimosa flowers to women. The flowers are intended as a sign of respect and also an expression of solidarity with the women in their support for oppressed women worldwide.So this year, instead of the Mimosa sprigs, we will make yellow food! It can be whatever you like: pasta, meat, fish, fingerfood or a whole menu as long as it is yellow.”

International Women's Day

A foodie event in YELLOW to support IWD! Great idea & enough to get the mind ticking again! The idea is to colour the blogosphere YELLOW on IWD
…a GLOBAL DAY OF CELEBRATION Celebrated on 8 March, International Women’s Day (IWD) is the global day connecting all women around the world and inspiring them to achieve their full potential. IWD celebrates the collective power of women past, present and future more

If it’s on my mind, then I have to do something about it. I spent a day browsing all my books for ideas, & then eventually the net for more ideas. This recipe appealed to me for it’s out & out simplicity, regular pantry ingredients, & a great looking end result. In Rachel Ray’s words…No need to get out your rolling pin or even grease the pan for this dessert. Just use your fingers to mix the shortbread dough, then dump it straight into a cake pan, press down and bake.

Shouting it LOUD…YELLOW!!

You can view the original recipe HERE too. Mine is an adaptation which I made last week…( this week was booked for our anniversary’s ‘CLOUD’ cake). I added almonds to the shortbread crust for a added crunch & flavour, & some low fat cream so that the custard would be a little richer. Just a personal choice because I was indulging myself for IWD!! Instead of raspberries, which we don’t get here, I grated a layer of chocolate & topped it with the custard. Finished the top with something from the main ingredients to tie it all together! The combination of flavours beautifully complimented each other…this is a great YELLOW bake for dessert. Simple to make & great on taste!! I decorated the top because I enjoy doing arty stuff, but a dusting of sugar, like in the original recipe, would make it taste great too!

The recipe as adapted from Everyday Rachel Ray
Ingredients:
For the shortbread base:
Butter- 3/4 cup (chilled)
Flour -1 cup
Almonds – 1/2 cup (whole)
Sugar – 1/2 cup
Almond Extract – 1 tsp (optional)

For the Custard:
Eggs – 3 /large
Sugar – 3/4 cup
Cream – 150-200 ml (low fat)
Flour – 1/4 cup
Lime juice – 1/4 cup (0f 2-3 limes)
Lemon Extract – 1 tsp
Zest of 2 limes
Few drops of yellow food colour ( because egg yolks here are very pale in colour…& we needed yellow!)
Chocolate-chips – 1/2 cup or dark grated chocolate (I grated the dark chocolate directly over the baked shortbread)
For garnishing the top – Powdered sugar, grated dark chocolate, ganache, roasted almonds, lemon slices etc.
Method:
For the base:
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Keep an 8″ spring form tin ready. (I greased the bottom, though Rachel Ray says there’s no need to. I like to play safe!)
  • Put the flour + sugar + whole almonds in a processor & pulse it in short pulses, till almonds ground fine.
  • Add the cold butter (cut roughly into pieces) & continue to pulse till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Add the extract & pulse just till the mixture starts coming together & starts getting caught around the blades of the processor.
  • Turn into a bowl, mix briefly till uniform & then press uniformly into the base of an 8″ spring form tin.
  • Bake for 20mins till the top is golden brown. Take out & place on rack.

For the custard:

  • While the base is baking…
  • Beat the eggs with 3/4 cup sugar.
  • Add the zest + lime juice + cream + 1/4 cup flour + lemon extract & beat again. Add yellow food colour if required.
  • Once the base is done, remove onto a rack & reduce the oven temperature to 170 degrees C.
  • Sprinkle base with chocolate chips & grate some chocolate directly over it.
  • Pour the custard into the base & bake for approximately 45 minutes. After 10-15 minutes, if the top is browning too fast, slide a sheet of foil loosely over the top.

  • Once set, remove & cool completely, then sift powdered sugar over the top & decorate as you like!
  • Chill well before serving!

    Pretty in YELLOW …A slice of tart! Here’s to all you great women…

ENJOY YOUR DAY TODAY…the 8th of March, 2008!!

While the colour is yellow, another important date on the calendar is approaching…LiveSTRONG Day 2008 has been announced. This year it is on May 13th.

Do check out a foodie event at Barbara’s blog Winos & Foodies . In her words, “Here in the food and wine blogging community we will be supporting LiveSTRONG Day with our A Taste of Yellow event. Please join me again as we remember those loved ones who are no longer with us, support those still fighting and celebrate with those who have won the fight.”

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