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baking

Caramel Custard
“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”
Henri Cartier-Bresson

A post about Caramel Custard, Mother’s Day and Sunday Stills! Also of high key photography. The recent trip down into the heart of South India opened up a new dimension to how I wanted to style and shoot food. Karaikudi meant loads more prop shopping, tons of enamelware included. Strange how it started off a domino effect. My downright dark and moody side opened up to a new love, a new light I have never chased so passionately! Kumquat LemonadeKumquat LemonadeLove for light food props, then love for white frames, and eventually a fascination with high key photography. Light tones, pastels, loads of whites, brighter hues, sometimes edging on overexposed. The technical sense still abysmal though! I am still experimenting, still trying to build a level of patience…Kumquat lemonadeThat was a drastic change from what I have always enjoyed shooting, dark, moody frames. Moody is still my first love, shadows, darkness, deep blacks, blocking light, all reflective of my personality, and definitely of my favourite colour, black!Wholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand Pies

Pomegranate Mojitos

Melons

Buckwheat Oat Walnut Chippers GF Caught between yin and yang, swinging between two extremes, my sweet friend Simi asked if I wanted to join her and Dolphia for Sunday Stills. Sunday Stills meant experimenting with testing new levels of photography. That basically meant different experiments with light and techniques, new ways to push our comfort levels. While she is a workhorse, with loads of planning and in-depth research, something that reflects in her stunning styling and images, I am quite the opposite.Caramel Custard 1000 3Often impatient, no time for research, technically pretty incompetent {read pathetic}, yet we share two things. Love for food styling and photography, and food props. We are the queens of procrastination too. Oh yes, and we share a single day between birthdays, Scorpions to the core we are!

pink flowers pink flowers

High key photographySo here we go this Sunday. With my #SundayStills, thanks to this hugely inspiring lady, I share with you a little of what I’ve been shooting lately {I have to admit I am also shooting low key, dark images on the side}. Also here for you a recipe for a Caramel Custard that I did for Kitchen Aid. I did another version soon after, the Caramel Flan. Caramel FlanHopefully someday that recipe too will see light of day! While I have baked the custard, you can always steam it the old fashioned way like my Mum used to do. 10-15 minutes in the pressure cooker, placed on a trivet submerged in water, lid on, no cap.

Pink Flowers, Mother's DayHave a great Sunday, and of course, Happy Mother’s Day!

And before I forget, grateful thanks to Manidipa for the include in her post this morning – 20 Top Female Food Bloggers of India: Mother’s Day Special

Caramel Custard
Print Recipe
My version of the quintessential ‘Caramel Custard’ that showed up on our frugal dessert table quite often when we were young. This one is slightly more luxurious than the wobbly one we had as kids from the armed forces. It's baked, not steamed, though if you are making one large pudding, steaming it in the pressure cooker is a breeze. Quick too!
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 3-4 hours
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 3-4 hours
Caramel Custard
Print Recipe
My version of the quintessential ‘Caramel Custard’ that showed up on our frugal dessert table quite often when we were young. This one is slightly more luxurious than the wobbly one we had as kids from the armed forces. It's baked, not steamed, though if you are making one large pudding, steaming it in the pressure cooker is a breeze. Quick too!
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 3-4 hours
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 3-4 hours
Ingredients
Caramel
Custard
Servings: people
Instructions
For the Caramel
  1. Keep 4 X 8oz ramekins ready and place sugar and water in a heavy bottom saucepan, and stir over medium heat until sugar melts.
  2. Increase heat to high, and allow to bubble away without stirring, until it reaches a deep amber colour. {This is the crucial part because the caramel can burn. Also please take extreme caution as caramel is very hot}.
  3. Take off heat immediately, and pour into ramekins, turning gently to coat bottoms. Allow to stand for 5 minutes, while you make the custard.
For the Caramel Custard
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Heat milk, cream and shell of vanilla bean in a pan over low heat until slight bubbles form on the edges. Take off heat.
  3. Place the eggs, scraped vanilla and sugar in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk on speed 2 for 2 minutes until sugar is almost dissolved.
  4. Reduce speed to lowest, put the splatter screen, and gently pour in the vanilla infused milk, whisking continuously for 30 seconds.
  5. Strain the custard into a jug/saucepan, and then pour into the prepared ramekins.
  6. Place ramekins in a 9′ X 9″ square pan. Gently pour in water into the tray to come up half around the ramekins. – –
  7. Bake for about 45 minutes until the custard begins to set, a bit wobbly in the middle.
  8. Allow to cool, then chill covered for a few hours, preferably overnight.
  9. To serve, run a butter knife gently around the tip to loosen it, place a platter over the ramekin, turn over swiftly, and then shake to release. Top with toasted walnuts if desired.
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Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies “Empty?! You took all the cookies!”
“They were crying to get out of the jar. Cookies get claustrophobia too, you know!”
Charles M. Schulz

Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies. These are cookies that spell “P U R E  C O M F O R T”. Cookies are often the best bites to happiness, the shortest route to instant gratification. Even better if you bake them at home. These were just that and more. Some afternoons, I want need to just steal into the kitchen and bake myself into oblivion. There are a few hits and misses on days like these.Curry tree blossomsDid I tell you that summer is practically here? Yes we’re on the border where spring meets summer. That means a few days of precious mulberries, curry tree blossoms, lime tree blossoms, kumquats too. Tomatoes that will hopefully ripen to a sun kissed red, then we look at notoriously high temperatures of 45C and above.

Spring

MulberriesMulberriesWith the summer heat increasing, and the mercury literally rising by a degree everyday, summer baking needs to be minimal, quick and very fuss free. These cookies were surprisingly all this and more. They turned out darned delicious too. Inspired and adapted from a popular cookie by Deb @ Smitten Kitchen, I made mine wholegrain.

Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies 4My obsession with the #makehalfyourgrainswhole often works well. With cookies, it’s a near 100% pass rate. I’ve really never understood why brownies or cookies should use refined flour since they taste really great with wholegrain. I recently made wholewheat shortbread too, a recipe I still have to share. That was another winner.Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies These are as simple as can be. Stir a dry mix, whip the wet mix, stir gently to mix the two and you’ve got great tasting cookie dough. If the eggs are pasteurised, you could eat the dough by itself!! It tastes that good! I know because I had a little helper who was stealing away bits of dough!

Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip CookiesSo here we go. Get the stand mixer going, and in 2 minutes you have cookie dough. I love the big handy bowl of the KitchenAid. Best design ever. If cookies are comfort food, the KitchenAid is equally comforting, magical too!

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


Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies that come together in a matter of minutes, fuss free and absolutely delicious. That they are 100% wholegrain makes them a winner. Swap the chocolate chips for raisins, maybe add some walnuts, or make them coffee chocolate chip cookies. Either way, these will disappear before you know it! This is pure comfort food.
Servings Prep Time
20-24 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15-20 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20-24 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15-20 minutes 5 minutes
Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies that come together in a matter of minutes, fuss free and absolutely delicious. That they are 100% wholegrain makes them a winner. Swap the chocolate chips for raisins, maybe add some walnuts, or make them coffee chocolate chip cookies. Either way, these will disappear before you know it! This is pure comfort food.
Servings Prep Time
20-24 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15-20 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20-24 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15-20 minutes 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to mix.
  2. Place all the wet mix ingredients in bowl of KitchenAid Stand Mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, and process for 2 minutes on speed 3.
  3. Add the dry mix and stir with paddle attachment on slowest speed for 30 seconds.
  4. Let the mixture stand/rest while you preheat the oven to 180C {15-20 minutes}
  5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  6. Place scoops of cookie dough on the parchment, 2 inches apart,12 on each sheet. Flatten gently with the tines of a fork. {Sprinkle over a few more chocolate chips if you are feeling particularly indulgent}
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges are done, light golden brown, and the centre is still a little soft. {Bake further 5 minutes if you like crisp cookies}.
  8. Remove tray from oven, allow to stand for 5 minutes, then cool the cookies completely on the rack.
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Savoury Granola - delicious,addictive,crisp & crunchy good!“Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated.”
Confucius

Savoury Granola … I’m not really sure why it took me so long to get going. Granola is something I’ve been making forever, actually until the folk at home get a little tired of it, then I stop. It happens on and off. Although I might bake a load of sweet stuff, in reality my heart and taste buds are ‘savoury’. Wholewheat Garlic Oat Soda BreadGiven half a chance, savoury is what I like to bake, like this Wholewheat Oat Soda Bread. This was the best!!

Savoury Granola - delicious,addictive,crisp & crunchy good!Savoury Granola 3 1000As you can see, say S A V O U R Y and my eyes light up. It’s strange but coffee, maybe bitter chocolate are the only 2 sweet things that entice me toward a dessert. I’m quite the happy savoury camper otherwise, anything not too spice laden works for me. So when Saffola Masala Oats launched their two new variants, Italian and Chinese, as panel members of Fit Foodie, we flew down to Mumbai for a blind tasting of the new variant. Turned out to be a very pleasant surprise!Savoury Granola - delicious,addictive,crisp & crunchy good!It’s an exciting new change from the other popular Indian inspired flavours in the market, and interestingly, they’ve managed to pull off a change in texture too. I would encourage you to try a bowl, or rather dive into a bowl or two. At the blind tasting, all you could hear in a matter of minutes was ‘scrape, scrape, scrape’ as we got to the end of the delicious bowls! Once you’re hooked onto the same, I am certain your next step could be this exciting and fun savoury granola. Savoury Granola - delicious,addictive,crisp & crunchy good!Savoury Granola 3 1000Granola is always simple and fun to make at home. Savoury granola turned out to be a winner; even simpler, and even more fun. Gorgeous colour too! The oats are already spiced and in handy little pouches. Snip off the tops, turn into a bowl, toss with a spoon, stir in the wet mix. Pop into the oven! Quite the hardest thing is waiting for the granola to cool down to get to the crunchy nibble! Gave me enough time to play around with the camera ….Savoury GranolaLater, I made a quick bhel puri like mix too. YUMM! Quite an ideal, healthy and delicious snack.Savoury Granola - delicious,addictive,crisp & crunchy good!

Savoury Granola
Print Recipe
Savoury granola is delicious, addictive, crisp & crunchy good! Good for breakfast, as a snack, over salads etc. This quick healthy bake is also great as a part of a trail mix, or an Indian bhel puri fusion mix. Toss it up with chopped tomatoes, peppers and onions, some fresh herbs, maybe throw in some sweet corn and enjoy!
Servings Prep Time
1 500g jar 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 500g jar 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Savoury Granola
Print Recipe
Savoury granola is delicious, addictive, crisp & crunchy good! Good for breakfast, as a snack, over salads etc. This quick healthy bake is also great as a part of a trail mix, or an Indian bhel puri fusion mix. Toss it up with chopped tomatoes, peppers and onions, some fresh herbs, maybe throw in some sweet corn and enjoy!
Servings Prep Time
1 500g jar 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 500g jar 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: 500g jar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Place oats and seeds in a large bowl. Stir to mix.
  3. Place olive oil, egg white and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl, and whisk lightly with a fork to mix.
  4. Pour wet mix into bowl of dry mix, and stir well to coat dry ingredients. Break any large clumps, leaving the smaller ones if you like.
  5. Turn onto a rimmed heavy baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes, stir well, then for another 15 minutes until golden and crisp.
  6. Cool completely, and then store in an airtight jar in a cool place.
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