Frozen| Mango Frozen Yogurt … guilt free indulgence

“My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it’s on your plate. That’s my philosophy.”
Thornton Wilder

Mango Frozen YogurtThey don’t call the MANGO the king of fruits for nothing! We are well & truly into mango season here in North India, and this luscious, juicy fruit is keeping us happy! To keep in tune with the dieting divas low fat diet, this turned out to be a perfect fit … a Mango Frozen Yogurt which tasted every bit like an ice-cream, rich, smooth & divine, but was sans the cream!Mango Frozen Yogurt Maybe it was the magic of the Thermomix, or maybe this contraption I bought from Sydney recently. Whatever it was, maybe just good proportions, but this was a winner, a perfect fit for July, the National Ice Cream Month.SydneyWhile in Sydney last month, I couldn’t help a quick dash to Victoria’s Basement, a store I love to spend time at. Every nook & cranny is packed with tasteful and exciting things, be it kitchenware, cookware, ceramics, bakeware, small handy gadgets. I got just an hour in the store, and it was like a mad dash. I raced through the store at top speed, grabbing whatever I thought was on my list {and loads that wasn’t}.

One such buy was this Cuisipro – Greek Yoghurt/Yoghurt Cheese Maker. The cheese lover in me looked at it longingly for a precious 10 minutes, then put it back because it was for $20 and I thought it might not be worth it. Mr PAB literally forced me to take it, and that was my best buy this visit. { Disclaimer: I have not been paid to write about the product or the shop. I just love both and thought this worth sharing}.Mango Frozen Yogurt It’s just an innovative little box with a uniquely designed stainless steel strainer that fits within. You ladle your yogurt into it, shut it and leave it in the fridge overnight {or 3 days as in my case} … and voilà! Like magic I got this beautiful very think hung yogurt that I could cut into cubes too.Mango Frozen Yogurt One look at it and I knew there was mango fro yo in the very near future! I had planned on making mango ice cream {with the MacTweets Ice Cream Dreams theme in mind}, but eventually fatless my ice cream was going to be! {I made my hung yogurt with homemade fat free yogurt}.Mango Frozen Yogurt Turned out GREAT! I blitzed frozen diced mango & chilled hung yogurt in the Thermomix which is pure magic for stuff like this. The blades are S T R O N G and result in a mean puree! In the freezer for 3 hours and I was serving pretty yellow scoops! NICE!! I attempted making some pistachio macarons as well, but the high heat and humidity here had other plans … and my feet failed. Not sure if I’ll have time to try baking macarons again this month as our little pooch {Coco} is turning out to be quite a full time job. Look at her. She is the cutest but naughtiest little thing, and currently races around the house like a little rabbit!

Do you want to join us making MACARONS?

If you do, you are most welcome to join us. You can find all the information at our dedicated macaron blog MacTweets. We generally post the round-up by the end of every month, following which a new challenge is posted!

Before I go, I’d like to tell you that Chef Jeff is raffling off some free copies of his new e-book Dinner Revolution, and has offered a few copies for readers of PAB. Do head across to Dinner Revolution and enter his raffle to win a book he says will revolutionize how you cook dinner!The e-book has over 200 healthy and mouthwatering dinner recipes, which have less than 10 ingredients and take less than 30 minutes to prepare. An amazing variety of recipes including vegetarian and simple side dishes …
Caribbean Chicken Quesadilla
Lasagna Roll-Ups
Vegetarian Pad Thai
Shrimp Coconut Curry
Firecracker Shrimp Salad
Southwest Turkey Burgers
Moroccan Carrots
Thai Cucumber Salad
Hamburger Stroganoff
Blackened Red Snapper Soft Tacos

To win an attractive gift hamper of ADFs Ethnic Indian products, click HERE for a simple yet fun contest. 

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



{Baking / Eggless Cake} VANILLA & CHOCOLATE and CHOCOLATE & WALNUT EGGLESS CAKE

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
John Wooden
It’s time for the Daring Bakers and this time I have to say I’m sorry I couldn’t keep a date with the challenge. My kitchen is ‘under attack‘ {read renovation}, and things are still in disarray. What should have been completed last week is yet to be done, dragging on frustratingly. That’s not to say I haven’t managed to sneak in a bake now and then, but I couldn’t manage the chocolate dipping stage etc of the challenge. I did have a LMP {last minute plan} with some clarified butter on hand. Thought I could manage the brown butter pound cake, but bad store-keeping meant that the jar was empty, and my plans fell through. Fate maybe?
I did however set up a personal challenge for myself, something I have always vehemently denied as possible, an EGGLESS CAKE! No es posible has been my standard response to the many mails I have received in the past. A cake sans eggs? You kidding me? How in the world would it get a crumb, find rise, be good to eat etc! Eventually ate my words with this beautiful cake from Sailu’s Kitchen. {Gear up dear readers for a longish post because I tried 2 versions, with butter and with olive oil, and both were wonderful!}
I tread the kitchen floor mildly, in mortal fear that the cake would not be a cake. Never baked one without eggs. The other surprise ingredient was home made yogurt. I set yogurt at home every other day, and bake with it often, but eggs always keep the yogurt company. I watched in childlike fascination when the cake began to rise, rejoicing wildly, thankfully in solitude! Who would be able to understand the sheer joy of an eggless cake rising? I {almost} followed each step religiously, something I don’t often do, but…
… expectedly had a last minute ‘moment of panic‘, and added butter instead of oil to make sure the guinea pigs wouldn’t reject it outright! Oil sans eggs was just not convincing at the time, and I thought the luxury of butter might rescue my cake from rejection. I needn’t have been so skeptical, and the next time I used my stash of Borges olive oil from here. The cake exceeded all expectations! It was moist, it was flavourful, and above all, it was an eggless cake with a beautiful crumb! Beautiful enough to disappear very fast, some stashed away by the daughter for friends who don’t eat eggs, the rest enjoyed on a rainy day!

Eggless Chocolate and Vanilla Cake with Cherries
Adapted minimally from Sailu’s Kitchen
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sieved
1 cup yogurt {home made}
3/4 cup vanilla sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted {or oil}
1/2 vanilla bean {optional}
1/2 cup frozen cherries {optional}
1 heaped tbsp cocoa {I used Valrhona}
1 sachet vanilla sugar
 

Method:
Preheat oven to 200 C for 10 minutes. Grease a 6″ round tin, and line the bottom.
Beat the vanilla sugar, scraped vanilla bean and yogurt for 5 minutes on high speed. Add baking powder and baking soda, beat in on low, and allow to stand for 3 minutes. You will find that bubbles appear.
Beat in the melted butter and vanilla essence. Next, slowly add the flour in 4 lots, blending in well after each addition.
Take 1/3 of the dough in a separate bowl and stir in the cocoa. {You can make just vanilla as well, in which case, omit this step}
Add 1/2 the vanilla batter to the bottom of the tin, smooth it out to spread across the whole surface. Add all the chocolate batter, and smoothen it out too. It might be pretty thick, as mine was. Top with the remaining vanilla batter to make a third layer. Top with frozen cherries if using, and sprinkle over the sachet of vanilla sugar.
Bake at 200C for 10 minutes, reduce temperature to 175C and bake for 40-45 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. {Original recipe uses a ring mold I think, and the baking time at 175C was 20-25 minutes. Mine took a lot longer, so test before taking it out of the o}.
Cool the cake for 20-30 minutes and then overturn onto a plate.
Wait for an hour or two before slicing it else it doesn’t slice neatly. {My kids couldn’t wait}. The cake was very good the next day too, and sliced beautifully!

I would suggest the use of a good quality dark cocoa, having recently discovered that it can make a huge difference. I used Valrhona that Shayma from The Spice Spoon sent for me, and after experiencing it’s virtues first hand in this Chocolate Almond Biscotti, I am totally sold on it! I added a scraped vanilla bean to the batter as I love the depth of flavour vanilla offers to baked goods, and some frozen cherries to give the cake a cheerful face-lift. Also a smattering of vanilla sugar on top, just because …

Small piece of advicemake sure you let the cake sit in the tin to cool for 30 minutes before turning it out. Also try and resist the temptation to slice it when warm. We couldn’t of course, but I found later that it sliced beautifully after 3-4 hours, or even the next day as it firmed up. This is a nice basic recipe to have on hand for folk who need an eggless cake for various reasons whether health, allergic, religious etc.

I had to get back to try the oil version soon enough as the Borges bottles on my shelf tempted me yet again. Time for eggless cake version 2, and this time around I enjoyed myself thoroughly, baking in careless abandon, knowing that things would work out well. I made the cake early in the morning, the minute the kids left for school, and then chilled it for a couple of hours after it had cooled down. Moist, deep, chocolaty and to die for! The walnuts scattered on top got nicely toasted, and added to the flavours.
The idea of making an eggless cake, without any compulsions, came to me whenever I looked at PAB’s search results on Lijit. Do you give your stats a second look? I’ve recently started looking at them for direction, inspiration, ideas etc and found several searches for an eggless cake. I was recently inspired from there to make a Mango Vanilla Bavarian Cream Cake. Todays view looks something like this -

Passionate About Baking

You have been searched 1498 times about chocolate sauce pudding, kebabs, strawberry bread, pie, tandoori roti
View your search stats.
and I can already feel a ‘kebab inspiration‘ coming in!!

The thought of an eggless cake crossed my mind often, but I never did come across a recipe that tempted me out of my ignorance. Until I saw this post. It intrigued me and I looked at it in disbelief … Was it possible that an eggless cake could look so good and picture perfect? I had to give it a go, and am darned glad I did! You will be too if you are looking for a good eggless cake recipe. This was fabulous, and gone in a day between the kids and their friends! Without further ado, here is the 2nd version, using olive oil!
Lesson learnt … ‘Anything is possible, and fear needs to be conquered!’

Eggless Chocolate Walnut Cake
Adapted minimally from Sailu’s Kitchen
1 cup all-purpose flour,
1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder {I used Valrhona}
1 cup yogurt {home made}
3/4 cup vanilla sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup olive oil {I used Borges from here}
1/2 vanilla bean {optional}
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 sachet vanilla sugar

Method:
Preheat oven to 200C. Grease a 6″ round tin, and line the bottom.
Beat the vanilla sugar, scraped vanilla bean and yogurt for 5 minutes on high speed. Add baking powder and baking soda, beat in on low, and allow to stand for 3 minutes. You will find that bubbles appear.
Sift the flour and cocoa 2-3 times. Reserve in bowl.
Beat in the olive oil. Slowly add the flour mix in 3-4 lots, blending in well after each addition.
Sprinkle the top with chopped walnuts, followed by a sprinkling of vanilla sugar from the sachet.
Bake at 200C for 10 minutes, reduce temperature to 175C and bake for 40-45 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. {The original recipe used a ring mold I think, and the baking time at 175C was 20-25 minutes. Mine took a lot longer}.
Cool the cake for 20-30 minutes and then overturn onto a plate.

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Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Pink Peppercorn Fro Yo … Here’s Spring!

“Oh, they’s so fresh an’ fine, an’ they’s jus’ off the vine.
Straw-ber-ry! Staw-ber-ry!”
Porgy and Bess
Yesterday was the first day of Spring in North India, ‘Basant’ as it’s locally called. It makes the end of winter here and is celebrated with the festival of colour, Holi. It’s quite surprising to see that year after year the Hindu calendar marks a different date for Holi, and this is always the first day of Spring. The weather magically changes, and the date is never wrong! It always marks the last day of winter, of warm clothes, and dispels the need for that warm, comforting bowl of soup.

There’s Spring in the air, fruits galore, colour in every frame, a freshness in the breeze and birds chirping incessantly. Yes, they know it too, as do the butterflies. I made this fruity fro yo to celebrate the arrival of Spring, and to use up certain ingredients in my fridge which were threatening me with dire consequences!!

My SIL in Pune told me about this beautiful hung curd like cheese she made the other day. She had used whole milk curd that she hung for extra long. She cut cubes out of it, tossed it into a salad, and got a taste pretty close to fresh feta. It sounded divine, creamy and delicious. I was hooked and 2 days later had a kilo of homemade whole milk curd hanging in the fridge.

For some reason life decided to chart it’s own tiresome course, and I eventually never got down to using it in my planned menu. Day 3 had the curd cheese weighing heavy, heavier than the whey it gave up, in my mind. Had to be used quick. I doused it in some olive oil to protect it. Another day went by and it was a now or never. A quick change in plans had me thinking frozen yogurt.

In went strawberries and cape gooseberries, the latter a tart and intriguing tropical fruit which is rather underrated here and probably doesn’t deserve the credit it deserves. When we were young, it was sold covered in it’s husky cover, in basketfuls. Here now we find it sold differently, with the covers pulled back and the inner berry exposed trying to attract your attention … maybe an attempt to get it to sell more. It’s even prettier when you slice it…

In also went some vanilla sugar which I make all the time, have jar fulls ready, and is one of my best discoveries through blogging. A quick look around the shelves had me reach out for some pretty pink peppercorns that Anushruti had send me from her mothers’ garden some time back. Pepper and strawberries, IMHO, are a nice combination; pink pepper with them, even better! I used the same combination in my Mac-a-Verrines just recently with amaxing results!

The result was a tangy, creamy, delicious frozen yogurt, just right for anytime, bursting with fresh fruity flavours. The pink peppercorn lent it a beautiful edgy kick, one that I love paired with strawberries. It’s mild and comes through with gentle sensuality. I served it with sliced fresh fruit, and it tasted slam dunk delicious.

 

Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Pink Peppercorn Fro Yo
Ingredients:
Curd cheese made from 1.5 litres full fat milk, hung for 2 days in fridge
2 tbsps olive oil
3/4 cup vanilla sugar
1 tbsp vodka, optional
300gms strawberries, hulled and quartered
100gms cape gooseberries, halved

Method:

Place the cut fruit in a glass bowl with the vanilla sugar and leave to stand for about an hour.
Puree the berries well with an immersion blender. (You can strain them if you don’t like the seeds, but I like to leave them in for texture)
Add the hung curd and break it up gently, then blend everything well with the immersion blender. Add the pink peppercorn and vodka, if using, and blend again. (Vodka helps to keep the ice-cream from getting frozen rock solid).
Turn it into a freezer suitable container, and place in the freezer. Whisk every hour to break and distribute crystals, or set according to the instructions of your ice cream maker. 
Leave it to set overnight. ENJOY!!
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