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fruit

Mango Smoothie Bowl #Foodventures #AxisBank #DiningDelights
“Fussing over food was important. It gave a shape to the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner; beginning, middle, end.”

Robert Hellenga

Summer Mango Smoothie Bowl, another thing off my bucket list, the most beautiful way to begin the morning. Colourful beginnings!! They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I say bring it on! This one was fun to make, thinking ingredients, plating {or rather bowling} it, adding bits and bobs to the top. So much went into it, near raw other than the yogurt, very in season, a  mélange of flavours and textures.For me, an edible pot potpourri, inspired and exciting. With the first one down, my call was, “This was fun, now can someone set me a bowl everyone morning please!!Summer Mango Smoothie Bowl The inspiration came from Ruchiras smoothie bowls each more delightful and colourful that the other. Inspiration really gets me going, food shared the best thing ever. Talk about breakfast and it’s amazing to see how different cultures wake up to the most important meal of the day. Granola, crepes, vadas, puris, kachoris, omelette, fruit bowls, smoothies, waffles, pancakes, overnight oats, avocado and egg on toast are some of the simpler everyday options.Overnight Thandai Oats with peaches and plumsMy recent overnight oats were a great experiment and now find a spot in the fridge every night. It’s a really convenient way to wake up to healthy ready made breakfast. Grab a spoon, dig in. I change the flavours with fruit in season and experiment as I go on. The main characters in the story remain the same – oats, milk/yogurt/coconut milk, honey, basil seeds, watermelon seeds. Peaches, cherries, stone fruitFruit in season breaks the monotony. Mango, peaches, apple, banana, strawberries rotate. Pie spice, cinnamon, thandai mix, pepper, nutmeg, saffron. You get the drift! It’s always fun to explore something new and different apart from the regular old breakfast choices we usually have.Thandai 1000Step out of home, travel a bit, within the city, country or overseas and new frontiers open up. Food and flavours begin to get magical, new and interesting. For someone who constantly cooks at home, hands that cook in other kitchens are fascinating. They offer exciting experiences, food adventures! Here are some breakfast stories, delicious bites mainly in pictures and in no particular order. Actually just as they tumbled out of my head when I read about #Foodventures by Axis Bank Dining Delights!

Vishwanath ki gali, Banaras 2016We sleepily got off the train in Benaras early one winter morning, a hungry foursome, and hit breakfast street quite soon. The city has a reputation and we knew where to head. Can there be anything better than fresh garam kachoris, sabzi and jalebis straight out of the pan? Perhaps not. Kachori with Sabzi, Banaras 2016

Jalebis being made, Banaras 2016Perhaps yes if you add some famous Pehelwaan ki lassi to wash down breakfast. Nirvana. Life accomplished. Pahalwaan Lassi Wala, Banaras 2016

Pahalwaan Lassi, Banaras 2016Ticked off list, but ‘will be back soon‘ recorded.

Switzerland, SwissMade GrandTours

Mandarin Oriental Geneva, Switzerland, SwissMade GrandTourFly across the globe. Switzerland, where I was last year at this time, a European breakfast will spoil you for choice. Every city we traveled to had a different layout, a regional offering, local produce shining through, breakfast an elaborate ceremony, fit for a king, something to sit and enjoy.SwissMade GrandTour PAB MeiringenTuck in. Cheese, yogurt, fresh baked breads, fruit, coffee, tea, eggs galore, cold cuts, fresh milk, best way to breakfast. Did you hear me say “Serve me breakfast and I shall be happy!” ?Tea, Pillaiyarpatti, Karaikudi, Chettinad, South India Swing back to India, a trip into the heart of the South, Karakudi held us mesmerised earlier this year. It was a trip of a lifetime. Same feeling – breakfast is a celebration. Breakfast, Chidambaram Vilas, Karaikudi, Chettinad, South IndiaSimple, flavourful, delicious and so much variety. Almost always ‘from the frying pan onto the plate‘, whether it was the elaborate ‘eat till you drop luxury at Chidambaram Vilas‘ or the street food at the temple at Pillaiyarpatti with the most refreshing filter coffee and finger licking good vadas. Memorable, satisfying and an absolute joy.

Street Breakfast, Chettinad, South IndiaAnd then there was the absolutely amazing breakfast with peacocks and neelgai as company at Lakshman Sagar in Rajasthan? Sunrise, Lakshman Sagar, RaipurBreakfast was an eye opener there. Breakfast at Lakshman SagarElaborate, each morsel served with love, truely regional and so much variety. Breakfast day 1 was something like this – fresh orange juice, maize dalia, googri {overnight soaked and cooked wheat kernels and horsegram}, sapota/cheeku jam, gum berry jam, fresh fruit, gur/jaggery, boora, honey, achaar, masala omelet, fire roasted tomato. Nothing refined or processed. Experiencing it was pure joy.Field breakfast, Lakshman SagarIf that wasn’t enough, one morning we trudged across the countryside for a breakfast in the fields! Field Breakfast, Lakshman Sagar 2Get closer home, one trip into Old Delhi and you’ll be cured of any breakfast woes. Nagori halwa puri, nimbu ka paraatha, sweet lassi, hot jalebis, garam chai, then begin again! Breakfast in Old Delhi, Delhi 6If you are stuck with the same old routine of toast and cheese, wake up and smell the coffee! Rustle up something fun and interesting {or bribe some willing soul to do it}. Better still, get out and explore. Make the mornings matter!

Oh, and did you know you can go beyond just egg and toast for breakfast? Here take a look at these #Foodventures by Axis Bank Dining Delights !


Mango Smoothie Bowl
Print Recipe
Colourful beginnings!! They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I say bring it on! This Mango Smoothie Bowl was fun to make, very in season, a mélange of flavours and textures. For me, an edible pot potpourri, inspired and exciting.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Mango Smoothie Bowl
Print Recipe
Colourful beginnings!! They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I say bring it on! This Mango Smoothie Bowl was fun to make, very in season, a mélange of flavours and textures. For me, an edible pot potpourri, inspired and exciting.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Stir the mango puree through the yogurt until uniformly mixed. Adjust sweetness if required.
  2. Ladle the mango yogurt into 2 breakfast bowls.
  3. Top with the remaining ingredients.
  4. You could always just mix everything through too, yet it makes the first meal of the day attractive this way, garnished with love!
  5. Use any seasonal fruit, berries, nuts etc.
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Oat Walnut Trifle Bowls with Roasted Stone Fruit

“I am starting to think that maybe memories are like this dessert. I eat it, and it becomes a part of me, whether I remember it later or not.”
Erica Bauermeister

Oat Walnut Trifles with Roasted Stone Fruit … one of those really interesting recipes that came together like it was just meant to be. Each element paired beautifully with the other. The oat walnut sponge offered great texture to ‘drink up‘ the juices of the vanilla roasted fruit, healthy as it was! The low fat cream whipped up beautifully with almond undertones, luxuriously settling down atop the soaked fruity sponge in pretty silky swirls. It was a dessert like poetry!

Oat Walnut Genoise SpongeSo much yumminess you might ask, such a divine dessert, yet why am I sharing it so late. Well this time the culprit was this huge scatter brain that jotted the Oat Walnut Genoise Sponge recipe down on that most ‘important scrap of paper, then promptly misplaced the darned thing. Oat Walnut Trifle Bowls with Roasted Stone FruitIt took me several days to try and locate it, then I just gave up. Bits of the recipe for the sponge stayed in my head. It was quite a delicious nibble on it’s own, and many ‘cubes’ fell to nimble fingers!Oat Walnut Genoise SpongeThen one day this dessert popped up on my insta feed with someone asking for the recipe. Spurred into action by the guilt of a failed promise, I set off once again to make the Oat Walnut Genoise Sponge. Of course I am a sucker for punishment yet I enjoy baking so much, so I recreated the base recipe from what I remembered, and happily it worked out just fine. Oat Walnut Genoise SpongeThis time I baked the dough/batter/dough differently, and for longer, in the form of tiny cookie pies with pretty dark chocolate ganached piped on top. They seemed an obvious choice as I was at the receiving end of some excellent KitchenAid bakeware.Oat & Walnut Cookie Pies with Dark Chocolate Ganache 1000

Oat & Walnut Cookie Pies with Dark Chocolate Ganache Being part of the Kitchen Aid Culinary Council, these are things I really enjoy and am eternally grateful for! The mini pie pan is the sweetest ever, great great quality, and so are the measuring spoons. Fortunately enough, the doughy batter was a great choice for these cookies too!

Oat Walnut Trifle Bowls with Roasted Stone Fruit

Oat Walnut Trifle Bowls with Roasted Stone FruitSo here we go, better late than never, Oat Walnut Trifle Bowls with Roasted Stone Fruit that were good to the last crumb! Feel free to use berries, fruit in season like mangoes etc. If you don’t have time for roasted fruit, make a simple sugar syrup to moisten the oat walnut sponge, and trifle on! Oat Walnut Trifle Bowls with Roasted Stone FruitTriflesare desserts with immense possibilities, great for failed bakes too as in these ‘Upcycled’ Butterscotch Blondie Puddings.

Oat Walnut Trifle Bowls with Roasted Stone Fruit I am beginning to enjoy the challenge of creating with oats more and more. There is so much and more you can do. If you are like me, a dessert needs to be celebrated. Find a nice bunch of stemmed glasses, or beautiful glassware like this, and assemble your trifle. For a lighter version top with vanilla Greek yogurt, maybe piped almond quark! Will make a fit bressert {dessert for breakfast=bressert}!

Oat Walnut Trifles with Roasted Stone Fruit
Print Recipe
Oat Walnut Trifles with Roasted Stone Fruit came together like they were just meant to be. Every element paired beautifully with the other. The oat walnut sponge offered great texture to 'drink up' the juices of the vanilla roasted fruit. The low fat cream whipped up beautifully with almond undertones luxuriously settling down atop the soaked fruity sponge in silky swirls.
Servings Prep Time
6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Oat Walnut Trifles with Roasted Stone Fruit
Print Recipe
Oat Walnut Trifles with Roasted Stone Fruit came together like they were just meant to be. Every element paired beautifully with the other. The oat walnut sponge offered great texture to 'drink up' the juices of the vanilla roasted fruit. The low fat cream whipped up beautifully with almond undertones luxuriously settling down atop the soaked fruity sponge in silky swirls.
Servings Prep Time
6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Oat Walnut Sponge
Vanilla Roasted Peaches & Plums
Servings: people
Instructions
Oat Walnut Sponge
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 8" X 8" square baking tin with parchment.
  2. Place oats, walnut halves, pinch of salt and 20g brown sugar in bowl of blender. Process briefly in short spurts until you get a fine grind. Don't over process else the nuts will leave oil.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the eggs, 100g brown sugar and vanilla extract. Beat on high speed until mousse like and doubled in volume, 5-7 minutes.
  4. Gently fold in half the oat nut mix, then the other half.
  5. Drizzle half the clarified butter over and fold in, then pour over the remaining.
  6. Turn into prepared tin, sprinkle over 1 tsp brown sugar. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Cool in tin completely. Then cut into cubes for the trifle.
Vanilla Roasted Peaches & Plums
  1. Place all ingredients in oven proof dish, stir well to mix and roast for 30 minutes. Discard vanilla bean. Reserve. Note: You can bake this alongside the sponge, or a day or two in advance.
Whipped Almond Cream
  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Whip with an electric hand blender on the highest speed until thick enough to pipe. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
Assemble
  1. Take 6 dessert bowls. Layer the bottom with cubes of oat walnut sponge, top with roasted fruit and juices. Repeat once again. Pipe whipped almond cream swirls on top.
  2. Keep chilled for a couple of hours, if not overnight, top with fresh cut fruit, walnut halves, some fresh herbs and serve.
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Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake ... Mooz Formaggio, local artisan cheese at its best“Dessert without cheese is like a beauty with only one eye”
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Triple Cheese Moozberry Cheesecake must be one of the best cheesecakes I have made. Ever. And I have made many over the years, almost all with homemade quark, and they’ve all been special. Yet this one turned out to be even better. It baked up perfectly, has a mix of 3 soft cheeses in it, and the most delicious topping of balsamic cherries infused with rosemary and vanilla. If it wasn’t good enough, I topped it with green almonds which are also in season these days. You can imagine, well almost, how wonderful this might have been.Cherries

Green almonds

Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake And of course  I need to explain why it’s called a Triple Cheese Moozberry Cheesecake. Well the guys from Mooz Formaggio were nice enough to send me a huge lot of their cheese range to sample.  Their range has been developed and designed by a fourth generation Italian cheesemaker. Delightfully enough, the Mooz folk are manufacturing all their cheese here locally and it matches up to admirably to imported cheese available.Mooz CheeseFor those who do know me, dairy is my weakness, and fresh cheese even more. For those who don’t know me, well now you do!! Fresh cheese has long held me fascinated. That it is not processed, that is has a million uses other than just eating out of a bowl or tub, that it is healthy as well as healthier than imported/processed cheese are huge pluses for me. I’ve explored and made fresh cheese – mascarpone, ricotta, quark, cottage cheese for really long, and in turn done several desserts with them.Cherries & green almondsSavoury stuff too, but what I really do enjoy is desserts using unripened f soft cheese. When I make quark myself, I just chuck it into a concoction, play around a little and then bake. When Mooz showed up, it was a new level of luxury. Imagine, I didn’t have to make my own cheese, so the mind went into overdrive. The plan was for a mascarpone galette with cherries. A nice batch of cherries recently pitted and frozen seemed just right for a wholegrain galette.Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake The mind is a strange place when creative ideas get buzzing. Just looking at the little tubs suddenly got me thinking further, and I knew it had to be a cheesecake. Time to experiment. I grabbed the ricotta, quark and cream cheese and turned the oven on. The recipe is simple, an experiment on a quark cheesecake I make often. This time I added zest of a Bitter Citron Lemon that Sanjeeta mailed me from Chennai, and also zest from a lime from the garden. They say lime zest cuts out any eggy aromas from a cake, and ‘they’ weren’t wrong!Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake Must admit to a million butterflies in my tummy as the cheesecake baked. I had my fingers crossed on this one. How I wished it would turn out well. It baked up beautifully, water bath and all, the tin size worked just perfect too, no cracks on top, didn’t sink like a crater. I was thrilled. An overnight rest in the fridge and I was up early next morning to do a topping, cherries of course. I infused them with some fresh rosemary, a few sprigs that have turned into a plant ex Switzerland, some bitter citron zest from down south, and some aged balsamic and brown sugar.

Cherries and rosemaryDarned delicious if I may say so myself, and fabulous pairing with cheesecake. The cheesecake itself darned delicious too, and got a standing ovation. You should must try making it. To cut the calories, or maybe extra work, or both, you can even go crust-less. Maybe bake mini cheesecakes.

Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake The entire line from Mooz is really really good, including the sour cream. So many varieties, such great flavour. You are literally spoilt for choice as far as sour cream goes. Lemon, peri peri, jalapeno, chipotle {one of our favourites}, yes they have them all. I did a quick smoked chicken farelle with the chipotle sour cream, flavoured with loads of garlic, with fresh lime and rosemary from the garden. Turned out great. Even crumbed chicken with sour cream is yum!! And nachos of course!!Mooz Pasta Also really good  are the Chili Toasty and Plain Toasty, generous stringy cheese slices for grilled sandwiches. Quite addictive and great quality, your grilled toast might never be the same again. The Chili Toasty especially has a great chili flavour and kick. The only cheese that disappointed was the mozzarella which had a slight bitter aftertaste. Not sure why that happened as all the cheese was perfectly stored and from the same batch.Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake

 

Baking | Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake... local artisan cheese at its best!
Print Recipe
Triple Cheese Moozberry Cheesecake must be one of the best cheesecakes I have made. It baked up perfectly, has a mix of 3 soft cheeses in it, and the most delicious topping of balsamic cherries infused with rosemary and vanilla. If it wasn't good enough, I topped it with green almonds which are also in season these days. The best thing is that this uses locally produced artisan cheese from Mooz.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Baking | Triple Cheese 'Moozberry' Cheesecake... local artisan cheese at its best!
Print Recipe
Triple Cheese Moozberry Cheesecake must be one of the best cheesecakes I have made. It baked up perfectly, has a mix of 3 soft cheeses in it, and the most delicious topping of balsamic cherries infused with rosemary and vanilla. If it wasn't good enough, I topped it with green almonds which are also in season these days. The best thing is that this uses locally produced artisan cheese from Mooz.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Crust
Balsamic Rosemary Infused Cherries
Servings: people
Instructions
Crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Line the base of an 8″ loose bottomed tin with parchment, and lightly grease sides..
  2. Run the biscuits, chilled butter and whole almonds in food processor until ground and a moist crumb forms. {Thermomix: Speed 8, 10 seconds, repeat once}
  3. Turn into the baking tin and press the crumbs into the base, building up the sides a bit if desired. Chill while you preheat the oven, and make the filling.
Filling
  1. Place the quark, ricotta, cream cheese, egg yolks, cornflour, 40g sugar,vanilla, cream and lime zest if using into the bowl of your food processor and run on medium speed till smooth. {Thermomix: Speed 6, 10 seconds}
  2. Beat the whites with the remaining 90g sugar to firm peaks. Gently fold this through the quark cheese mixture and pour over the biscuit base.
  3. Bake at 200C for 15 minutes, and then at 180C for about 45 minutes until firm.
  4. Allow to cool completely in oven, leaving the door ajar.
  5. Cover well and chill before serving, preferably overnight. Serve topped with Balsamic Rosemary Infused Cherries.
Balsamic Rosemary Infused Cherries
  1. Place all ingredients in heavy bottom non reactive pan and simmer gently for 5-7 minutes, until cherries soften. Taste and adjust sweetness if required.
  2. Remove cherries to a bowl, and reduce syrup in pan until nice an thick. Strain over reserved cherries, discarding the vanilla bean and rosemary. Chill completely before topping cheesecake.
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