No Bake | Date & Prune Chocolate Truffles … truffles on a diet don’t get better than this #festivefood

“Life is like a box of chocolates … You never know what you’re gonna get.” Forrest Gump

Date, Prune & Walnut Chocolate TrufflesDate, Prune & Walnut Chocolate Truffles are something I never thought I’d make. Yet a chance FB update sighting a while ago set me on the track. And my, what a great idea. Healthy, delicious, a power house of energy and guilt free indulgence, truffles on a diet don’t get better than this!Date, Prune & Walnut Chocolate Truffles These were fun to make, and so fast track! No bake, no cook, practically no work … almost like instant gratification! I got to step one in a matter of minutes but one bite into it was like, “Ummm nice, but something was missing, not indulgent enough“. Into the fridge they went!Date, Prune & Walnut Chocolate TrufflesThey sat there bugging me the next morning. Thought of adding some dark chocolate to the truffles and running them in the processor again but the task of remaking the little balls bothered me! Seemed daunting for a fast track dessert.Date, Prune & Walnut Chocolate TrufflesNext idea, and it turned out to be a good one. The dark couverture I had ordered reached that same morning. Melted some in the microwave and had such a great time dunking each little ball into luscious, thick, satiny melted dark chocolate.Date, Prune & Walnut Chocolate TrufflesMelted ooeey gooey dark chocolate is strangely therapeutic.  Is it just me? Whatever, but I really enjoyed this part and was rewarded in a while.Date, Prune & Walnut Chocolate TrufflesThese were GOOD! The teen loved them till the junior told her they had dates. “I don’t like them“, she declared, but soon was back digging into the bowl. ‘These are really good,” she declared. “Butter?” … the diet goes on, very conditional though!!  {Note: Thank you Sangeeta for the wooden board above. I ♥ it!}Date, Prune & Walnut Chocolate Truffles These make for good gifts in the festive season. They were a great addition to the Porcelain Buono Decoration Plate Silver from Urban Dazzle. It’s quite reasonably priced too. This was one of the many products I received for review which I shared when I made one bowl cocoa wholewheat almond brownies .Date, Prune & Walnut Chocolate TrufflesAbout the truffles. They have a wonderful texture. You can play around with the combinations since both prunes and dates afford a good sticky base. Don’t like walnuts, use almonds. Don’t like nuts or are allergic to them, use dark chocolate, crystallised ginger, candied peel. Roll them in sprinkles after the dark chocolate has almost set; jazz them up if you like! Urban Dazzle Diwali Range Also, thank you Urban Dazzle for giving me a chance to review your Diwali range. I really love the variety and the quality of stoneware, ceramic, porcelain, drinkware and bakeware. You can see some of the range in my picture up there. I did wholewheat gingerbread men the other day and they looked so HAPPY on the platters, ornamental & ceramic.Panna Cotta 3 waysI also did a vanilla panna cotta in three flavours paired with three dessert sauces – coffee with a dark chocolate sauce, raspberry with a raspberry lime sauce, and saffron with  salted caramel saffron sauce! Then did mini panna cotta in these tiny little white ceramic bowls, three on a plate {The honeycomb plate is from a set my sis sent me from the US. White love!}Urban Dazzle Diwali RangeThe bowls are really versatile. Dipping sauces look great served with them. Else a good extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and queen olives with a sour dough bread served on a matching Mediterranean inspired ceramic platter! So much inspiration

Don’t miss a post Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking| Chocolate Quark Mousse Tartlets in Almond Pastry {eggless} … inspired by friends!

“I have gathered a posie of other men’s flowers, and nothing but the thread that binds them is my own.”
John Bartlett

Chocolate Quark Mousse TartsWhat is life without inspiration, and what is life without some deep, dark, delicious little chocolate tarts nestled in crisp almond pastry? For the food blogger in me, life gets quite tempting and very very interesting with blogs across the globe offering sinfully delicious treats day after day. These Chocolate Quark Mousse Tartlets in Almond Pastry were a result of such inspiration!Chocolate Quark Mousse Tarts A recipe and its photographs had me particularly smitten – Chocolate Fig Tarts @ Gourmande in the Kitchen. Sylvie does the most gorgeous posts with inspirational food, and her photographs weave a magical spell. It was her post that inspired me to make these.Chocolate Quark Mousse Tarts I’ve had these on my mind for long but the day I had time, thanks to some pretty shoddy planning, I didn’t get the ingredients together. No honey {ever since the dieting diva discovered that it is ‘healthy’ sweet, it disappears fast}, no coconut oil, and no coconut milk. Quick thinking time, and as I like to experiment, I decided to use instead some well drained homemade quark which was awaiting its fate!!Chocolate Quark Mousse TartsSo yours truly, the ‘queen of substitutes‘, kicked into action, and soon I had some rather delicious tartlet shells and equally delicious filling on hand. The filling was discovered by the ever hungry, prowling dieter in our home. When I told her it was relatively low fat, she began to steal spoonful after spoonful; the dog looking on as always!Chocolate Quark Mousse Tarts The little tarts came together very soon, and while they were cooling, I whipped up the filling. Since the filling is a no bake one, it took just a few minutes to make. The chocolate quark mousse filling is inspired from Meeta’s fabulous Dobostorte post @ What’s For Lunch Honey. I love how she used quark, a fresh curd cheese which I think should be used more often. It’s easy to make at home, and I love using it!Chocolate Quark Mousse Tarts I was a little skeptical about tangy undertones the curd cheese might give the chocolate but I needn’t have bothered. Once blended together, the taste was addictive good. Spoonful after spoonfuls that the kids dug out proved it. At room temperature it did have the slightest undertones of its tangy secret ingredient, but once chilled, it was just singularly divine CHOCOLAT! Fabulous!Chocolate Quark Mousse Tarts

Chocolate Quark Mousse TartsI made these keeping Diwali in mind, but I’ve got late posting them. It’s festival season in India, and though I’m not ritualistic, I still like to bake to a theme, this one being for the Festival of Lights. Almonds {dry fruits} and chocolates are very popular over Diwali, so these were a perfect fit, a wonderful dessert! Coffee Genoise Cake with Chocolate Quark Mousse Filling, and Coffee Quark FrostingI made double the quark mousse recipe below. The kids ate some, and I still had some leftover after doing the tartlets. That found its way into the Coffee Genoise Cake with Chocolate Quark Mousse Filling, and Coffee Quark Frosting pictured above that I baked for my parents anniversary two days ago. Great pairing despite the thoughts that coffee might not go well with quark. The cakes quickly disappeared proving just how good the pairing was!!

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Some more recipes on PAB with Homemade Quark

Chocolate Quark Mousse Tartlets in Almond Pastry {eggless}
Apple Strawberry Basil Hand Pies
Vanilla Macarons with Quark Kirsch & Tart Cherry Filling
No Bake Upside Down Mango Quark Cheese Pie
Quarkauflauf – Quark Casserole with Balsamic Strawberries
Gluten Free Strawberries & Quark Layered Cake
Strawberry-Tangerine Quark Panna Cotta with Oatmeal Florentines
Crostata with Quark & Apples
Quark Mousse Cake with Roasted Balsamic Strawberries
Quark Mousse with Roasted Balsamic Strawberries

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



Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: EAT LIKE A KING; FEAST FOR A MAHARAJA

“Cuisine is the tactile connection we have to breathing history.History and culture offer us a vibrant living society that we taste through cuisine.All cuisine is a reflection of the society from which it emanates … in the end cuisine is the result of culture”
Clifford Wright“24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs.”
Foodbuzz 24
Foodbuzz is launching it’s Foodbuzz Publisher Community; an event which goes to demonstrate the power and quality of the Foodbuzz community through real-time, real-people food blog journalism!
The “24, 24, 24″ captures the cultural diversity and unique local perspective of the Foodbuzz Featured Publishers: it’s real food, experienced by 24 real people, shared real-time. A global “live blogging” effort showcasing a multi-contributor feature article created by Foodbuzz Featured Publishers demonstrating the scope, diversity and quality of the community! I’m proud to be one of the 24. Indian food has gained tremendous popularity over the years, has earned a place for itself across the globe. My post is a celebration of North Indian cuisine, which is a culinary adventure in itself.
Welcome to my table, offering some of the best in North Indian cuisine, steeped in culture, enticing the palate. Feast your eyes on traditional yet innovative fare; colourful & uncomplicated! Let yourself in on kitchen secrets! Join me as I embark on an adventure to recreate, at home, the joy of food eaten out at Indian eateries.

I have attempted to put together a meal of Indian dishes, from appetizers, to drinks, main course non-vegetarian & vegetarian…& wrapping it up with sweet somethings. Have tried to reach the magic 24! The recipes are from scratch, not overtly heavy on spices or fat, & can be played around with to suit different tastes. Mine are usually mildly spicy. When I cook, I make sure I don’t sacrifice ‘the palate to please the eye’. Welcome to India, my part of the world…

Coolers1. Anaar SherbetPomegranate Cooler.2. Aam Panna - Green Mango Cooler with rock salt & mint.3. Nimbu Paani - Lime-Ginger Cooler with rock salt & mint.

Appetizers4. Potato CanapesHome-made potato crisps topped with with blended cottage-cheese, cheddar & sage.5. Paneer TikkaBarbequed cottage cheese cubes in 2 different marinades.6. Chicken Reshmi KebabsMoist & tender, bite sized kebabs, served with a tangy green chutney.

7. Assorted Fruit & Cheese Canapes - A fusion of flavours with a blend of cottage-cheese, cheddar & cream, topping ‘Apricot Relish’, ‘Mango Chutney’ & pineapple.

On the side

8. On The SideFresh Green Coriander-Mint Chutney, Apricot Relish, Pickled Baby Onions.

Main Course9. Gosht-do-piaza - A hearty lamb stew. “Do” is “two” and “piaz” is “onion”; so “dopiaza” is a dish which has twice the amount of onions.10. Paneer-e-dhungaar - A twist on butter paneer. Smoked cottage cheese chunks smothered in a creamy tomato gravy.11. Kadhai Gobhi - Crisp, stir fried cauliflower, with red & yellow bell peppers introduced for variety.12. Lamb Roghan JoshA passionate red lamb curry in a thick gravy. My simple rendition of Rogan Josh…mild & tasteful. The red colour comes from the use of paprika.13. Chicken Reshmi Seekh KebabsPan fried minced chicken in seekh kebabs flavoured with fresh herbs. Delectable.

14. Murgh MakhaniThe original butter chicken from the owners of Moti Mahal, India. India’s signature barbequed chicken curry, popular the world over. Popularly referred to as India’s export to the West!

15. Dal MakhaniBlack lentils simmered in a thick, creamy & almost rich preparation. Another hot favourite off the Indian menu. The bread basket… 16. NaanThe most loved of Indian flatbreads. Light & flavourful; brushed with melted butter & a sprinkling of nigella & sesame seeds.17. Tandoori RotiWholewheat flatbreads, unleavened & rustic. Delicious served hot.

18. Khameeri RotiAnother leavened wholewheat flatbread, leavened with yeast, adding variety to the basket.

…& The Rice Bowl 19. Yakhni PulaoLong-grained basmati rice, ‘dum’ cooked / slowly simmered in lamb stock, roasted lamb & aromatic spices.

20. Zeera PulaoLong-grained basmati rice, stir fried in aromatic cumin, garnished with fried cashew nuts.

Sweet endings…21. Mango Jelly MousseA fusion of flavours…mango mousse nestled in dark chocolate, topped with cream & pistachios.22. Saffron KulfiA frozen Indian dairy-based dessert…luxuriously flavoured with saffron, cardamom & pistachios.23. KheerA creamy Indian rice pudding delicately flavoured with saffron & cardamom, served chilled.

Signing off…with an interesting quote

“To eat is human; to digest, divine.”
Charles T. Copeland

24. Saunf, Mishri, ElaichiFinishing off the Indian meal the traditional way…fennel, sugar lumps, cardamom etc.

BON APETIT!!

Thank you for being part of the great Indian gastronomical adventure. Coincidentally, this is also my 300th post! I have really enjoyed having you over. Do check out the rest of us here…“24, 24, 24” on Foodbuzz!

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