monthly mingle

“Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot; others transform a yellow spot into the sun.”

Pablo Picasso

Mango Sorbet It’s raining summer desserts at home.  The mango crop has been fantastic {as has been the peach harvest}.  How better to celebrate this luscious fruit than with David Lebovitz!  The man is genius, and his Mango Sorbet an absolute  winner! The Perfect Scoop is a favorite on my shelf; indispensable for ice cream lovers. Remember the Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream? Droolicious stuff!Mango SorbetI’ve had this Mango Sorbet in my drafts for a bit. Then suddenly this week things took a turn for the worse … the power grid collapsed, not once but  twice! 12 hours without electricity, then back, then gone again for 4 hours! Just when we kind of resurrected, the second collapse came by, 14 hours this time! While newspapers and TV channels were crying themselves hoarse about the worlds biggest black out, 600 million folk without power, all I could think about was “my mango sorbet”!Mango SorbetIt was a good lesson in preparedness for the future that awaits the generations to come. As kids we’ve lived different times, a country traditionally having exposed its people to frequent power cuts, so it was no big deal as power would go off all the time. Add to it black outs during the Indo Pak war in 1971. Brown paper darkened the windows, jets flew low over the town, sirens echoed over the city, trenches were ready and waiting. No power and no back up … and it didn’t bother us!Mango SorbetCut to now! The power goes off and the inverter cuts in. Instant solution and the kids barely even notice. The grid failure was different however! They learnt a new lesson … when the national grip trips, NO ONE knows when the power will be back! And another yummy one … grid failure is time for smoothies, ice cream, loads of food cooked non stop by a mother who cannot see food wasted!Dark chocolate mousse Remember my frozen cherries I mentioned in the Fresh Cherry Quark Cheesecake Pie post? Ho hum… since they threatened not to be frozen for long, they were hurriedly cooked with balsamic vinegar and made to top a delicious dessert to fill these gorgeous Urban Dazzle glasses. Resulthappy family who didn’t complain about power cuts! Recipe to be posted next …Mango SorbetThe mango sorbet is light, refreshing, delicious and screams summer! It’s also my tribute to a beautiful lady – Barbara of Winos & Foodie who was diagnosed with cancer in 2004 and sadly lost her battle recently. I was fortunate to meet her virtually on and off over her Yellow events; she was a fighter all the way! Monthly Mingle is the brainchild of the lovely Meeta @ Whats For Lunch Honey, and this month it celebrates Barbara’s spirit at the wonderful Jeanne @ Cook Sister. So positive, so full of energy, great sense of humour, always ready to share her experiences, Barbara held the food blogger world in awe, her love touching a lot of us. For years she successfully ran the Taste of yellow blog event. Of late, I had met her over Thermomix recipes after I bought one. RIP sweet Barbara … you were and are an inspiration to all of us!

{I am linking a few other yellow posts I did recently to this months Monthly Mingle}

Macaron à la Peaches et Crème Rustic Peach ‘n Plum Summer Galette  Fresh Peach Brown Streusel Coffee Cake

[print_this]Recipe: Mango Sorbet

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Summary: The mango sorbet is light, refreshing, delicious and screams summer! Recipe adapted minimally from ‘The Perfect Scoop’, David Lebovitz.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes plus freezing time


  • 1kg 200g mango, chopped {net weight} {5-6 mangoes}
  • 160g powdered sugar {or normal sugar for Thermomix}
  • 170g water {equal weight of ice cubes for Thermomix}
  • Juice of 3 limes


  1. Thermomix recipe
  2. Cut and freeze mango.
  3. Place sugar in TM bowl and pulverize on speed 10 for 7 seconds.
  4. Add frozen mango, lime juice and ice cubes and process on speed 10 for 1 minute until smooth. Use TM spatula if necessary to scrape the sides.
  5. serve immediately or transfer to a bowl and freeze until required.
  6. Ice Cream Maker Recipe
  7. Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust sugar or lime juice if required.
  8. Chill the mixture and then place in your ice cream maker, according to manufacturer instructions.


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

“Blues is to jazz what yeast is to bread. Without it, it’s flat.”
Carmen McRae

German Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) With Ricotta & Fresh ThymeMy very last stash of plums found their way into this yeasted dough German Plum Cake {Pflaumenkuchen}. Twitter seems to have taken over as the menu planner for me and PAB! Such is the power of this addictive and inspiring social  networking site that I often bake in an auto mode.German Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) With Ricotta & Fresh Thyme These days, my passion for fruit in desserts / baking is fueled by tweets, be it this No Bake Upside-down Mango Quark Cheesecake for  #pieformikey or the Plum Ginger Summer Fruit Cake for #baketogether. This yeasted German Plum Cake {Pflaumenkuchen was no different. Even though I’ve been missing from twitter largely over the past few months, the tweets get delivered to my mailbox.


MeetaWFLH MeetaWFLH: Ladies hope you will be there for #MONTHLYMINGLE this month. Yeasted Doughs @lifesafeast @vindee @cooksisterblog @Junglefrog @monawise
Aug 16, 1:55 PM via HootSuite

German Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) With Ricotta & Fresh ThymeThe tempting tweet from Meeta found me while I was knee deep in a baby food shoot and production for a client. So much baby food Mr PAB asked? I looked at him incongruously; didn’t he know? The pooch knew where it was headed; she is a baby after all! My kids never had the luxury of a risotto when they were babies … the pooch scored a big high five over them!German Plum Cake {Pflaumenkuchen} With Ricotta & Fresh Thyme Work wound up, and before I knew it I was happily looking at a bowl of rising yeasted dough. It’s so warm here these days, the dough doubled really quick. BLISS! I didn’t do any hard work for kneading the dough silky smooth … it was the Thermomix that turned out perfect looking dough in a couple of minutes. I have never loved working with dough this much!German Plum Cake {Pflaumenkuchen} With Ricotta & Fresh ThymeThe recipe is adapted from one I had bookmarked from the very talented Mowies blog quite a while ago. Maybe I was waiting for Kulsum to host the delightful Monthly Mingle this month; her call – Yeasted Doughs. Could I resist it? Niyet! No way! I made wonderful yeasted Nutella Walnut & Orange Rolls in Feb last year, and I was ready for yeasted dough again! German Plum Cake {Pflaumenkuchen} With Ricotta & Fresh Thyme Meetas tweet just pushed me out of my procrastination and had me scraping a vanilla bean! All thanks to addictive, inspiring twitter… and my fab foodie friends, the dough was patted into place when I contemplated adding some homemade ricotta onto it. To perk it up, I sweetened it with some deep muscavado sugar {thank you Sheetal}, and a little low fat cream for good measure. Worked a charm!German Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) With Ricotta & Fresh ThymeThis is my twist to the Pflaumenkuchen … and it’s certainly a yummy one. A dusting of castor or vanilla sugar and a drizzle of low fat unsweetened cream completes the magic of this cake. Both Mr PAB and the lad compared it to the Plum Ginger Summer Fruit Cakesomewhat similar flavours they said!German Plum Cake {Pflaumenkuchen} With Ricotta & Fresh Thyme

German Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) With Ricotta & Fresh ThymeThis German traditional cake tasted better with cream as the plums were rather tart. I think a drizzle of cream adds a certain indulgent feel to it … like it’s dressed to mingle!! German Plum Cake {Pflaumenkuchen} With Ricotta & Fresh Thyme And just in case you’re wondering where the fresh thyme is, look carefully and you shall see two small sprigs. Sadly, that is all left of my poor plant. This naughty cocker has been having a party outside and the garden, including the herb patch, is history. She chomps her way through all my plants while I try to work, and then sits and eyes my food settings in great hope that she will get a few crumbs! Not a chance!!

[print_this]Recipe: German Plum Cake (Pflaumenkuchen) With Ricotta & Fresh Thyme
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Summary: This is my twist to the Pflaumenkuchen, with some ricotta added to it as topping; it’s certainly a yummy one. A dusting of castor or vanilla sugar and a drizzle of low fat unsweetened cream completes the magic of this cake.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • 65g butter
  • 220ml milk
  • 400g plain flour
  • 1 packet (7g) dry yeast
  • 1 egg
  • A pinch of salt
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 65g sugar
  • Ricotta topping
  • 175gms ricotta {homemade recipe here}
  • 50ml low fat cream
  • 65gm muscavado sugar
  • 1kg plums, stones removed, quartered
  • 1 small bunch of thyme
  • Castor sugar for sprinkling


  1. Pour the milk into a pan, add the butter, place over a medium heat until the butter dissolves into the milk. Allow to cool slightly.
  2. Place flour, yeast, egg, pinch of salt, vanilla bean seeds and sugar int a bowl. Add the warm {not hot}  melted milk/butter mixture and mix by hand or with the hook attachment of your mixer until smooth. {Thermomix: Speed 6, 7 seconds, then Knead for 2 minutes. Do not leave machine unattended while kneading}
  3. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and allow the dough to double in size.
  4. Blend the ricotta with the muscavado sugar and cream until smooth and creamy. {Thermomix: Speed 8, 10 seconds. Scrape sides, repeat again}.
  5. Preheat the oven to 175˚C and line a baking tray {30cm x 40cm} with baking parchment.
  6. Dust a working area with flour, remove the dough from the bowl and knead again. Roll out onto the baking tray making sure to cover the whole surface including the corners. {I patted it into place}
  7. Spread the blended ricotta over the dough, and cover it with plum quarters, and a sprinkling of vanilla sugar if desired. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, allow to cool, then sprinkle with caster sugar and fresh thyme leaves.


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

“You are the creative type. We all are – even if we don’t know it yet.”

Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry Hearts I’m late and I’m racing. It’s World Nutella Day today, the 5th of February. Though I had 2 jars of Nutella in the larder, I kind of got the dates all wrong. A tweet from the wonderful Michelle @ Bleeding Espresso, one of the WND co-hosts, caught my eye … and she said ‘You still have time. It isn’t until tomorrow’. Sara @ Ms Adventures in Italy is the other host of this delicious event.Tomorrow is already here, and I have battled to get this post rolling after an afternoon of baking with yummy Nutella.

Nutella is the brand name of a hazelnut flavored sweet spread registered by the Italian company Ferrero at the end of 1963. It is a tasty hazelnut spread that contains quality ingredients such as skim milk and a hint of cocoa. Nutella contains no artificial colors or preservatives.

Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry Hearts

Nutella® spread, in its earliest form, was created in the 1940s by Mr. Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker and founder of the Ferrero company. At the time, there was very little chocolate because cocoa was in short supply due to World War II rationing. So Mr. Ferrero used hazelnuts, which are plentiful in the Piedmont region of Italy (northwest), to extend the chocolate supply.

Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry HeartsI thought I’d just do a rectangular puff pastry tart with Nutella and strawberries, but then the inner passion took over. My sweet & spicy friend Meeta’s Monthly Mingle was on my mind. The theme  – Small Bites – Soul Food for your Loved Ones, hosted this month by the lovely food blogger, Astrid @Paulchen’s Food Blog. February is Astrid’s birthday month, and she says “I’d be more than happy if you surprise me for my Birthday with lots of suggestions for a luscious and seductive Valentine’s Day Dinner”! Nutella and strawberries offer quintessential seductive pairing; serve them in crisp puff pastry hearts, and I think you’d hit bulls eye!Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry Hearts The morning was a race to the finish as Saturday is an early morning soccer league match for junior. We made it to the game in time, and thankfully the lads team won. I drove back, dirty soccer kleats and boy. It was laundry time again! Oh the mundanities of life. Got back to find the teen had finished all the granola and asked if I could make more. {That post is coming soon… it’s a granola that changed my life!}. ‘LATER, I boomed!!  Nutella was the only thing on my mind.Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry Hearts Kebabs for lunch √. Happily polished off by the troops. Finally time for me and my Nutella. A creative streak kicked in while rolling the puff pastry, and out came heart cookie cutters. I have PLENTY of those in every size and avatar possible! Don’t even ask me why! I’m not a mushy person, and would never think of baking hearts for Mr PAB. Practical, level headed, creative and pretty stubborn am I, baking is my guilty pleasure. I baked hearts to feed the blog in honour of World Nutella Day!Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry Hearts I managed to make sweet little bites and tick it off my list-to-do for the day. Are you like me? Before I sleep every night, I have a list of things to do in my mind for the next day. Often it’s a fight to the finish as I try to get them  ticked off before the ‘dwarves’ come home from school. And often, they find me running breathless and tired to the bone, but I almost always achieve my targets.Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry Hearts I ran a small heart past the mister to check if it was fine to post. He ♥’d it… crisp buttery pastry, slightly tart strawberries and luxuriant chocolate cream! “Indulgent“, he declared … and so they are! I think these are fabulous served for tea, or would make for great V Day dessert served with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream for dessert! Happy Nutella Day!

Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry HeartsNutella Strawberry Puff Pastry Hearts
250gm rough puff pastry
1/2 cup Nutella
100gms strawberries, slice
2 tbsp apricot glaze
Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry HeartsMethod:
Roll out the puff pastry to 1/4″ height. Neatly stamp out 6 3″ heart shapes. {Reroll the pastry gently if required for the 6th shape}.
Take a slightly smaller heart shaped cookie cutter and mark a border about 1/2″ inside, not cutting the pastry right through.
With a offset spatula, or butter knife, spread about 1 tbsp of Nutella over the inner heart. Top with 5-6 slices of strawberries, overlapping slightly. Brush the sides with low fat cream {or egg glaze if you like}
Heat the apricot glaze till runny. Bake at 220C for 30-40 minutes till risen and puffed up.
Remove to a cooling tray. Paint over the strawberries as soon as the tarts come out. Garnish with chopped or slivered pistachios.

Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry Hearts♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

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