Product Review | Classico ‘Espresso Coffee Machine’ from Tecnora #perfectcupofcoffee

“Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love.”
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand

Classico 'Espresso Coffee Machine' from TecnoraOur recent trip to Sydney was brought even more alive with good cups of coffee from the crack of dawn to late into the night. They know how to brew a good cup. Oh those flat whites, lattes, cappuccinos, short blacks. Never ending delight sitting at cafes just looking at the variety of choices on offer, and how much folk Down Under enjoy a good brew. For those who have known me for long, you know that coffee is my first love. For those who don’t know me, welcome to my world flavoured by coffee. Coffee and me are inseparable. The mere aroma of coffee in the air is uplifting, seeing a barista at work, invigorating. Add it to dessert, and it’s nirvana!

Coffee in desserts @ PABWell homecoming had a pleasant surprise waiting for me, an espresso coffee machine standing tall on the counter. I still remember a coffee maker that I had bought from the UK years ago. For some reason I never used it as it involved filters and a 1000 bits and bobs that made life more work, less coffee! Cut to now, I took a little while getting used to this new machine from Tecnora. I’m a bit lazy {read plenty} on reading small print and instructions. That I had to do eventually, and soon I was brewing perfect little cups of coffee.Classico 'Espresso Coffee Machine' from TechnoraThe Classico ‘Espresso Coffee Machine’ is a neat machine, the colours stylish in steel and black. Sleek with classic good looks, it blended seamlessly onto my kitchen counter with the Thermomix, the air fryer and the blender. It is lightweight, quick off its feet and quite simple to use. Switch it on, push a few buttons and it surprises you with how snappy it is. It’s also really simple to wash up, with a handy removable drip tray. Easy clean is what I love!Wholegrain peach and cherry tray bakeThe sweet guys from Tecnora also sent me a bag of fine ground coffee beans to get me going. I also have some stash of Coorgi coffee that I love, some vanilla flavoured coffee, and a few more sachets as a lot of people gift me coffee. I made a rather nice rustic bake the other day, a Wholegrain Fresh Peach and Cherry Tray Bake. It paired beautifully with a shot of espresso. Do keep an eye out for the recipe.

Wholegrain Peach and Cherry Tray Bake with  espresso from TecnoraThe same day, I was doing a product shoot for UnTied, and the classic espresso cuppa turned out to be the perfect missing piece to complete my shot! I loved the way the frames worked!!

UnTiedNow that I have about mastered the perfect espresso shot, I have a few plans for more coffee madness. In the pipeline are affagato, espresso panna cotta, espresso coffee cake, probably Vietnamese iced coffee. My mouth is already watering as I share my plans.  Do you guys like coffee? What is your best way to enjoy it? Coffee in desserts? Tell me, tell me, tell me!

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

Review | Coppre … Indian traditional copperware. Reviving old traditional skills, timeless designs

“There is no creation without tradition; the ‘new’ is an inflection on a preceding form; novelty is always a variation on the past.”
Carlos Fuentes

 Terracopper Jug, CoppreIt’s no secret that I love amassing kitchen collectibles, the incorrigible prop collector as it may be! It’s a passion I have stoked for years, even before the blog began, and I don’t see the passion diminishing. Glassware, ceramic, stoneware, metal ware all call my name, be it from India or overseas. It’s an obsession I try to tear myself away from, each piece has a story!

produce or props...anything newThe house now resembles a museum of sorts, with old kitchen collectibles dotting nearly every visible space, yet I march on greedily at times! Nothing seems to stop me, the better half still as accommodating and indulgent as ever. My favourite medium remains metal ware. So I was elated when the good folk from Coppre asked if they could send me something from their collection. Yes please I said, I would be honoured!

Coppre … inspired by creating beautiful things. Objects that are crafted by hand embody a unique identity. And convey a special sense of purpose. We look at objects from yesteryears and marvel at the craftsmanship. It never ceases to amaze us how every utilitarian object had an element of ornamentation. And vice versa. So many handcrafting traditions have ceased to be. There were game changers. The colonisers, the industries. And today, the dynamics of a market driven economy.

… the plan. To reinvigorate. And make old artisan traditions come alive. That’s what we love to do. To make beautiful things, that matter. Things that are owned, treasured, loved and then passed on. Things that make you feel good and do good. Because it gives us joy. And purpose.

Food props, food styling, food photograph,IndiayMy love for Indian metal ware dates back to my first little copper tumbler I bought from Vishwanath ki gali in Benaras, now Varanasi. It’s been decades since I’ve visited but the Coppre jug brought a flood of memories back.

Make a morning ritual of drinking copper-charged water with the Terracopper Jug. With a combination of handbeaten etches and plain surface, the jug reveals the innate sheen of copper. The silhouette is inspired by the simplicity of earthern water jugs. Terracopper Jug, Coppre

I used to religiously keep the little copper glass full of water every night and glug it down the copper-charged water first thing next morning. It was a ritual and held a deep connect with Benaras, where we spent most of our childhood summers. My daughter was there on a college trip last year; her sketches of Varanasi below captured some of my favourite memories….Varanasi, ink sketches, Meher Rajpal 2014…and that resonates with what Coppre has done. It’s brought alive an age old tradition, breathed new life into a dying art, and they’ve done it with class. It’s the craftsmanship they have resurrected, hammered metal now so popular in the West, is available here. The possibilities are immense. Copper is a beautiful metal, artistic, long lasting and has great medicinal properties.Indian copperware, CoppreTo reconstitute and revive is the Coppre promise. To breathe new life into our heritage. What a beautiful journey they’ve undertaken. It’s no small task but look at how brilliant the beginning is.  Because this is what they do best – design | craft | propagate. This will bring the spotlight back on our artisans, our craft, and our heritage. Do stop by and look at their range – everyday use, corporate gifting, wedding souveniers. It’s uplifting, it’s inspiring and it celebrates the revival of an almost lost art…

Terracopper Jug, Coppre… and they do it in style. Beautiful craftsmanship, stunning finish, great packaging, thoughtful bag of polish, cloth bags to protect, useful instructions, international shipping. What more can one want ask for ….

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

Baking | Oats Nut Crispbread … delicious, light, addictive. Simple too #wholegrain #healthy

“I figure it’s a European thing to eat cheese and crackers before a meal – that’s my afternoon snack, or I do it before dinner.”
Andrew Luck

Oats Nut Crispbread Oats Nut Crispbread … some pleasures in life are simple. These are one of those. Nibble, nibble, nibble. This crispbread is just the right thing for healthy snacking. Also just right for the cheeseboard, with dips, fruit, crumbled over salad, layered into a savoury parfait … or then, the dough baked into bite sized canapes.

Oats Nut CrispbreadNeed I say more? It’s a recipe I developed for the Saffola Fit Foodie website, and it’s one I now make often. It’s amazing how versatile oats as an ingredients can be, and also how much you can push your boundaries if you think out of the box. This recipe is just a small beginning to get you going, to encourage you perhaps to get off the refined way of life. Oats Nuts Crispbread It’s not that I don’t used all purpose flour at all, but I’m happy to say it might be a mere 5% of my baking that sees it. The odd birthday cake, some in a pizza base, maybe in bread dough paired with wholewheat, yet it’s an achievement.

Oats Nuts Crispbread And one of the easiest ways to make the wholegrain transition is via crackers. They are easy, versatile, can be rolled into submission, heartlessly broken into shards or daintily cut into perfect shapes. They are also an absolute treat to eat. Grab some really nice cheese, a chilled glass of wine if you like, fresh fruit and dry, salad leaves, micro-greens, cold cuts, some good company {else a good book} … settle yourself in a heap and get nibbling!

Oats Nuts Crispbread For me these are good any time of the day, any day of the year. Of course I love putting them together more in winter when beet greens and rocket are flourishing. Yet summer is here, a dab of feta, some caramelised onions & garlic jam, balsamic mushrooms, olives, sun dried tomatoes …. you get the drift? Now all you need to do is to make these! You knead to roll!!

Recipe: Oats Nut Crispbread
your picture

Summary: Delicious, light, addictive, versatile and simple to make, this Oats Nut Crispbread is very addictive and makes quite the perfect snack for a hungry nibble. If you are adventurous enough, you can even bake the dough into bite sized shells for canapes!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Ingredients:

  • 160 gm whole wheat flour
  • 115g oats {1 cup}
  • 40g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 20g white sesame seeds
  • 20g black sesame seeds
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp /30 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup / 175 ml water {approx}

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place the flour, oats, salt, garlic powder, baking powder and walnuts in bowl of food processor, and pulse for a few seconds to chop walnuts. Add seeds and oil. Pulse briefly to mix.
  3. Turn into a large bowl, add 1/2 a cup of water and knead into a smooth firm dough, adding more water as required.
  4. Knead for 2-3 minutes, and allow to rest, covered, on the counter for 15 minutes.
  5. Roll out on a lightly floured counter, and cut into desired shapes with a fluted pastry cutter, a pizza cutter or a knife
  6. Place on prepared baking sheets and bake for 15-18 minutes until lightly coloured and golden brown on the edges.
  7. Cool on racks. Store in an airtight container in a cool place.
    Serve with dips, on a cheese board etc.

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