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 “It doesn’t matter where you’re from – or how you feel.
There’s always peace in a strong cup of coffee.”

Gabriel Bá

Coffee White Chocolate Panna Cotta Coffee White Chocolate Panna Cotta, time for an indulgent dessert that screams coffee! It’s been a busy few days, or maybe weeks. A lot happening on every possible front which barely leaves me time to blog. Sometimes I fall into a guilt trap for starving the poor hungry PAB, so I figured the sweet coffee indulgence should be a nice way to offload my guilt. This dessert rocked, the flavours of local Bru shone through, the taste nice and mature after an overnight chill! For those who know me, coffee is my first choice in dessert. Coffee in desserts @ PABOf course it’s another matter that I was in Bangalore a couple of days ago styling tea for a shoot; tea that was almost too pretty to brew!!

Rose Mist Summer Darjeeling White Tea ...almost to pretty to brewPanna cotta has been in the news at home of late for all sorts of reasons. Good because this was an experiment that rocked, and one that I have made several times over. Made it most recently for my friends from the Swiss Made Grand Tour crew who visited last week. Bad because it was part of a plagiarism row that hit our small local food bloggers community. A similar panna cotta recipe, Espresso Panna Cotta,  from PAB was one of many to be ‘copy pasted‘ verbatim! We live and learn, and hopefully ‘the copiers’ will too!

Espresso Panna Cotta

Coffee white chocolate panna cottaMoving on, it’s also a panna cotta coz I’m happy; happy about a media mention that The Asian Entrepreneur carried about me yesterday. It was quite a fun interview and I am eternally grateful to them for offering me such a wonderful platform.

Interview with Asian EntrepreneurThis calls for a cuppa coffee!!

[print_this]Recipe: Coffee White Chocolate Panna Cotta
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Summary: Indulgent, indulgent, indulgent. If you are a coffee lover, then this Coffee White Chocolate Panna Cotta is the dessert with you. The addition of good quality white chocolate adds depth and body to the dessert. Serves 6

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes {plus chilling time}

  • 65g good quality white couverture chocolate, chopped
  • 400ml  single cream {Amul low fat}
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 2tbsp instant coffee {Bru}
  • 100ml warm milk
  • 2tsp gelatin


  1. Sprinkle the gelatin over the warm milk and leave to soften.
  2. Meanwhile, put the white chocolate, cream, brown sugar and coffee into a heavy bottom pan, and simmer over gentle heat.
  3. Stir the cream mixture and take off heat when small bubbles begin to appear around the edges at the bottom. Stir in the gelatin mix. Taste and adjust sugar if desired.
  4. Allow to cool until lukewarm, then pass through sieve and pour into serving glasses/bowls.
  5. Chill for at last 6-8 hours, better overnight.

Note: Top with a dark chocolate ganache for added indulgence. Or skip the coffee and add any flavour you like, then top with seasonal fruit or a fruit coulis.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

“I have more healthy cravings than my normal eating habits, like I crave fruit and cold things like smoothies.”
Kourtney Kardashian

SmooothiesSmoothies … you gotta love them. As the years pass by, the head wins over the heart. You know that it’s easier to gulp down a smoothie than chew through a buncha green leaves! And you also know that however good or bad it tastes, a well balanced, seasonal smoothie is going to do you a load of good. Headed for SmoothiesIt’s pointless waiting for the new year to come and make resolutions, so I just got the ball rolling and made them before! Post the Jaipur trip, what with all the over the top indulgence and pampering, I had but one thing on my mind, get FIT!OatsI have begun taking tiny steps. I’m eating healthier, I’m not eating out a lot, fewer food reviews, some form of exercise … and of course smoothies. I’ve also been invited to join the Fit Foodie panel on Saffola, which just gives me more reason to work towards my goal! I’ve put together a small graphic to make things easier. Play around with these three groups {not an exhaustive list} , add some yogurt, milk, buttermilk, almond milk, fruit juice or maybe water as required. I also throw in  spoon or two of oats at times.Food groups for smoothiesDo you smoothie? Here’s a bunch of recipes to set you off if you want to join in. You can find some here too. I basically go through the fridge to find what I can use and pair. Smoothies I made three versions yesterday, and surprisingly enough the persimmon one was the best. The spinach, cuke and tender coconut water was nice too. The banana smoothie we have everyday, so that was quite normal, but normal good. Such fun. The processor is such a magic machine!

Persimmon smoothieThe processor is a blessing in disguise for soups too, though the immersion blender works really well in most cases. A while ago however someone asked me what the difference was between a food processor and blender. I have both in the kitchen, and it set me thinking. Thought I’d try and answer the query here just in case you had similar questions. Hope it helps…

Food processors and blenders, what are the differences between them?

If you only have a small kitchen then you may be wondering if you really need both a blender and a food processor. The fact is that although both gadgets have blades, and a reputation for dicing and slicing, they actually have quite different uses.
If you are going to be able to do all of the jobs you need to in a kitchen the chances are you are going to want to use a blender and a food processor at some point; especially if you regularly make smoothies or soups.
When does a blender come into its own?
The shape and blades of a blender are designed to cater for soft fruit and liquids. The name really says it all; these gadgets are excellent for blending ingredients into such delights as tasty smoothies. Depending on what fittings your blender has it may be able to cope with slicing ice for use in the smoothies; this can make them into an extra special treat on a hot summer day.
These tasty additions to any menu are a great way of getting fruit into a child’s diet. You can use the pulp produced when you are juicing to create imaginative and colorful smoothies that most children will love. The shape of a blender is slender and designed to accommodate soft and liquid products, and not usually more solid produce.
What about a food processor?
If you are using liquids then it’s a good idea to stick to using your blender, but for anything more solid you should switch to a food processor. Food processors have blades that are designed for chopping and slicing.
They also have a bowl that is larger and can accommodate more solid produce. If you have vegetables that you want to reduce in to small pieces to use in a soup then a food processor is the perfect gadget to use. It can cope with all sorts of vegetables and nuts, and in no time you will have all of the ingredients you need to make as much delicious soup as you want.
Which is the best to have, a blender or a food processor?
The answer to this question is really going to depend on what you need to do most. Is it more important to you to be able to blend together liquids, making drinks and smoothies; or is it more important to you to be able to slice vegetables for soups or stews?
It may be that you need to do both. There are blenders that have blades which provide a certain amount of chopping capacity, and food processors can deal with a very small amount of liquid, but generally if you want to be able to blend and chop you are going to have to make room in your kitchen for both a blender and a food processor.

Headed for smoothiesSo I guess it’s time to SMOOTHIE! Come join me. Grab a bunch of fresh seasonal produce, pair it with a medium you like, throw in some nuts, seeds, herbs and get going. Once you’re done, what’s next? Soup maybe?

[print_this]Recipe: Fruit & Vegetable Smoothies
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Summary: Time for SMOOTHIES! Come join me. Grab a bunch of fresh seasonal produce, pair it with a medium you like, throw in some nuts, seeds, herbs and get going. 3 recipes to get you going …

Persimmon Orange Strawberry Smoothie
Flesh of 2 fully ripe persimmons
5 strawberries {approx 50g}
Juice of 1 orange
1/2 cup water
Pinch rock salt
Place in jar of Thermomix, processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Add extra juice or water if desired.

Cucumber Spinach tender Coconut Water Smoothie
1 small English cucumber, with skin {approx 100g}
Small bunch fresh spinach leaves{approx 35g}
200ml tender coconut water
Pinch rock salt
Place in jar of Thermomix, processor or blender. Blend until smooth

Banana Chocolate Oats Smoothie
2 bananas {chopped, frozen in summer, normal in winter}
300ml low fat milk, soy milk, almond milk
1 tsp brown sugar{optional}
1 tbsp oats {or almonds}
2 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
Place in jar of Thermomix, processor or blender. Blend until smooth.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse … yes, it’s that time of the year yet again. SPRING! I love it. It’s euphoria all around with new leaves unfurling everyday, flowering tomato plants that hold promise of a ‘good crop’, herbs that finally begin to expand like there’s no tomorrow. Also days when quark gets made beautifully and with ease!Spring And if there is homemade quark on hand, can dessert be far behind? I make huge amounts of quark, a curd cheese I love to love. Ever since I first discovered it 5 years ago, thanks to Hoglet K from Down Under, it has brought about a change in the way I think ‘desserts‘.Quark dessertsQuark isn’t just the sweet way home. I use it often to add wonderful tangy flavour to chicken like in theis Chicken Quark Cross Over Puff Pastry, as part of creamy dressings, in cold potato salads, in stir fries etc. A little goes a long way and once you start exploring, you will find a billion novel ways to include it in your everyday food. 

Chicken Quark Crossover Puff PastryI made Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse just before we left for a short vacation {which might explain why it’s been so quiet around PAB}. The mousse was addictive and a huge hit with everyone. It got added texture from some chocolate coated homemade granola which I was experimenting with.

Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse I love the way the colours, textures and flavours came together in this dessert which is a celebration of spring. These days we have a virtual flood of seasonal fruit in the market with cape gooseberries {locally called ‘rhasbhari’ meaning filled with juice} and strawberries ruling the roost. It’s a riot of colour with the fruit piled up high at local bazaars and on handcarts lining the roadside.

Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse With daytime highs already hitting the early 30’s, it’s just a matter of days before summer arrives. Then of course we’ll welcome days of luscious stone fruit; sizzling hot 45C+ temperatures will be part of the deal though! Until then, this is a great way to enjoy spring fruit.

Summer Salad with orange vinaigrette You can go the salad route too with them! Rocket or mixed salad greens, strawberries, cape gooseberries, feta or cottage cheese, grapes, walnuts, orange, red onion all tossed in a nice tangy orange vinaigrette!


Recipe: Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse your picture

Summary: Light, healthy, addictive, refreshing, Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse is a wonderful spring dessert. Use fruit in season to give a burst of natural flavours and sweetness! Serves 6-8

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

  • Quark Mousse
  • 300g quark, chilled
  • 300g low fat cream, chilled
  • 50g powdered sugar
  • Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry reduction
  • 200g strawberries, chopped
  • 100g cape gooseberries, chopped
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 15ml balsamic vinegar
  • 1 vanilla bean shell {I save mine in a sugar jar after using the insides}


  1. Quark Mousse
  2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and beat until smooth and thick.
  3. Reserve 100g quark mousse and 50g fruit reduction for topping. Mix the remaining mousse and fruit together gently and spoon into serving dishes/glasses.
  4. Add a sprinkling of chocolate coated granola if desired.
  5. Keep 4-6 tsps of fruit, and mix the rest through the reserved mousse. This will just give additional layers of colour. Top the  glasses with the second mix, and then top with the remaining reserved fruit reduction.
  6. Garnish with fresh fruit, mint leaves and chocolate granola.
  7. Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry reduction
  8. Place all ingredients in a non reactive heavy bottom pan and simmer until it gets nice and thick and syrupy. Cool completely and then chill. Use as required. {This can be made a couple of days before and refrigerated. Other than reducing work, it also preserves the fruit for a little longer}.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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