Dessert / No bake | Bru Coffee Panna Cotta … for hectic days of endless work

“Only one thing is certain about coffee…. Wherever it is grown, sold, brewed, and consumed, there will be lively controversy, strong opinions, and good conversation.”
Mark Pendergrast

Bru Coffee Panna CottaI love the theme for the latest Femina. It’s an issue celebrating the art of slowing down. Rat races and deadlines threaten to burn us out. I screamed a big hearty YES in my head, and then decided to get the better of life! Of course it didn’t happen. The Bru Coffee Panna Cotta did though! It gave me an opportunity to use the beautiful mason jars that Finla sent.

Bru Coffee Panna Cotta

Bru Coffee Panna CottaIt was for a shoot for a magazine in China, they were doing a feature on fridges and lifestyles. Yours truly was contacted, and yours truly said YES! NEVER say yes to a fridge photoshoot! I was spring cleaning till kingdom came, discovering things I hadn’t seen in ages, scrub-a-dubbing forever … and cursing my poor foresight! At the time I really wished I hadn’t said yes!

Photoshoot On the brighter side, I have a sparkling clean fridge that looks almost as good as new, I now know every little crumb that lives in there. It’s so organised that it barely looks like mine! In there too was some Indian Coffee Panna Cotta that I made that day. I am on a coffee overdrive, what with the recent Coffee Vanilla Bean Layered Cake.

Wholewheat baking with chocolate.There’s been a chocolate overdrive of late too, but then, no one seems to be complaining! In the past few days I also made Whole-wheat Mocha Brownies for the kids. They were delicious. And on the trot yesterday, Whole-wheat Chocolate Lava Cakes in 4 and a half minutes in the Philips AirFryer. Some gadgets are such a blessing. 

Bru Coffee Panna CottaBru is my morning cup of coffee, my coffee connect! It’s instant, a mix of chicory and coffee, and I love its deep flavour. It’s been a favourite for years and years. Anything Bru works for me, the original Bru that is.  None of the new flavours appeal to me like the old rustic original!

Bru Coffee Panna Cotta A coffee panna cotta has been tempting me for long ever since Cookaroo posted one with an espresso syrup. What’s not to love about this quintessential Italian dessert of ‘cooked cream’? It’s one dessert where all flavours work magically and very few people would refuse a serving … the kids always want seconds and thirds!

Bru Coffee Panna CottaSo without further ado, here is one of my all time favourite desserts, a Bru Coffee Panna Cotta … make ahead, indulgent and deliciously coffee! For those who have known me over the years, sorry it’s coffee again. For those who don’t know me – nothing wins my palette over like coffee in dessert! My guilty pleasure, my relaxation. {And if coffee is not your thing, I have a whole string of other flavours ... Dark Chocolate & Orange, Saffron Caramel, Strawberry Tangerine Quark to tempt you with!} 

Coco, the cocker spanielOh, did I tell you that the sun is back? It is indeed. The horrid smog has finally cleared and ‘lazy creatures‘ are enjoying the morning sun!

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The Rabid Baker, The Times of India



Baking | Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered Cake …Happy Birthday to me!

“Coffee smells like freshly ground heaven.”
Jesse Lane Adams

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered Cake

A Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered Cake … this is what my dreams are made up of. Coffee in a birthday cake has become a quintessential part of my birthday, a flavour that inspires me like no other. A lot of friends express surprise, dismay and even chide me for baking on ‘my big day’ every year… yet this is what relaxes me the most – baking!

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered CakeThe teen did offer to bake for me the night before! She said she would begin baking after Grey’s Anatomy which continued late into the night. She offered to do a rainbow cake {her current obsession} but I wanted coffee. “How about rainbow coffee cake?” she asked. I was soon out cold after a hectic Diwali. She passed out soon too!

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered CakeI tiptoed into the kitchen the next morning to get a head-start while the teens snoozed. Throw coffee into the cake batter and I can climb the highest mountain, sail the roughest sea and still come out good! This is a cake I look forward to baking, one with no plan in particular.

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered Cake It’s a good relaxed feeling when you are bake for yourself. No disappointments, no one judges your slips and you get to enjoy the fruits of your own ‘labour‘! Therapy at your own pace, in your own time, in your own space!

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered CakeCoffee is my favourite flavour in dessert, so my birthday cake is predictable. The tiramisu we did for the Daring Bakers sang to me. The tiramisu variants that the Olive churns out call my name. I thrive on cold coffee even in the winter.

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered CakeI use generous doses of Bru instant coffee to get depth of flavour. Bru is one of India’s best known and oldest chicory coffee powders. We love that first mug every morning! It’s a blend we grew up on, the green packaging a nostalgic bit of our teenage years.

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered CakeWhen we were young, coffee was forbidden. As teens, we took our first steps into the delicious world of coffee. Both our kids are true lovers of everything coffee, often the first flavour they reach for. Sometimes, chocolate comes second. 

Coffeestudy from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences found that a daily dose of caffeine may block the disruptive effects of high cholesterol that scientists have linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Coffee is now listed as one of many brain foods.

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered CakeI am not advocating the benefits of coffee. Just saying that if you are a coffee lover, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a cake like this. Use your best loved coffee brand; indulge your palette!! This Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered Cake is testament to it.

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered CakeThe flavours developed deeply and nicely. Alternate layers of vanilla bean and coffee sponge sandwiched with a light whipped coffee cream. I did contemplate a chocolate filling but the clock grew wings. Time flew away!  So I grabbed a huge bowl of chilled low fat cream and beat the daylights out of it. 2 tbsps of coffee later, junior teen dug a spoon in …. “Yummm. Can I finish whats left?”

Coffee & Vanilla Bean Layered CakeI asked him to take a teeny video of me assembling the cake if he wanted the cream! Bribery works. Little hands, sometimes shaky, sometimes distracted, tired easily, we did get something on camera. Will process and post it soon. It was shot basically for the chocolate lace collar as I get a lot of mails asking me how I make it.


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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!!

Chocolate Quark MousseTartlets in Almond Pastry {eggless/vegetarian}

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Prep Time: 40 minutes

Bake Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4-5 3\\\" tartlets

Chocolate Quark MousseTartlets in Almond Pastry {eggless/vegetarian}

Ingredients

For the crust:

125g whole almonds {with skin}

60g digestive biscuits

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/8tsp baking soda

30g corn syrup

40g melted clarified butter/ghee {or melted butter}

For the filling:

100g dark chocolate {60%}

1tsp corn syrup

100g quark cheese, well drained

100ml low fat cream

Cocoa powder for sifting over

Instructions

  1. Grease 4 to 5 small tartlet pans.
  2. Place the almonds and digestive biscuits in bowl of food processor and pulse till you get fine crumbs {Thermomix: Speed 10, 7-8 seconds, scrape and repeat}
  3. Add the salt and baking soda and pulse briefly to mix.
  4. With the motor running on low speed, {Thermomix Speed 2, reverse}, slowly pour in the corn syrup, followed by the melted clarified butter, and process till the dough just begins to come together.
  5. It will stick together when pinched.
  6. Divide the dough between 4-5 loose bottom tart pans, and press to build up sides and base.
  7. Chill the prepared shells for about 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180C, and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden but not dark. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.
  9. Filling:
  10. Place the dark chocolate and corn syrup in a microwave safe bowl, and melt the chocolate, a minute at a time on high power. Stir after every minute. {You can even do this over a double boiler if you like}. Leave to cool.
  11. Whip the quark until smooth, and then blend in the melted chocolate at low speed.
  12. Whip the cream to soft/medium peaks and fold in gently to complete the chocolate quark mousse.
  13. When the tartlet shells have cooled, divide the quark filling equally amongst them..
  14. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.Dust with cocoa powder if desired, top with flaked almonds and serve.
  15. NOTES: The tartlet shells can be made ahead of time. The finished chocolate quark mousse tartlets can be refrigerated overnight.
http://www.passionateaboutbaking.com/2011/10/baking-chocolate-quark-mousse-tartlets-in-almond-pastry-eggless-inspired-by-friends.html

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




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