No Bake | Dark Chocolate Nutella Kumquat Pudding … indulgent, addictive and gluten free. Eggless too!

“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

Dark Chocolate Nutella Kumquat Pudding {GF Eggless} Dark Chocolate Nutella Kumquat Pudding turned out bowl scraping good. It was just an experiment. The result was deeply, soul satisfying, smooth and beautiful texture; quite delightful for an eggless chocolate pudding. Using oats meant that it was gluten free too! Did I mention I put in some whole kumquats too? They added delightful citrus undertones! Hazelnuts and kumquatsLife has been busy as usual with annual exams on and the kids hungry ALL THE TIME! It’s a wonder they ever get anything else done because IMHO they are always eating! It’s also a wonder I get anything done at all because I am always in the kitchen.

Dark Chocolate Nutella Kumquat Pudding {GF Eggless} Chocolate is one thing that needs to be on hand all the time. Chocolate everyday, and the savoury nibbles too. Store bought anything is a huge NO with the daughter, so I am BUSY!! It’s a double edged sword though. I love being in the kitchen, I get to experiment {read LOTS} …  yet on the other hand  I have time for nothing else!

Whole foodI’ve been diving into bags of oats of late. When it’s not oats, it’s amaranth flour, peanut flour, walnut meal and barley flour. Adds new dimensions to what you can do … and often what you cannot too! In a larger perspective, it helps you push your boundaries, something which I currently enjoy! The failures are there of course.

Hazelnuts & Vintage NutcrackerSo the pudding was meant to be just a chocolate pudding, but then along came Ruchira visiting from Islamabad. Among bagfuls of exciting stuff, she also brought hazelnuts. That was inspiration enough. Suddenly a Dark Chocolate Nutella Kumquat Pudding made more sense! Kumquats because they are in season and hanging heavy on the branches of my tiny tree!

HazelnutsThe rest of the day just went in trying to save the pudding from the ‘forever hungry for dessert at anytime of the day‘ kids, and attempting to shoot the brown in a nice way. Well, brown isn’t easy to shoot! I tried!

Dark Chocolate Nutella Kumquat Pudding {GF Eggless} The Dark Chocolate Nutella Kumquat Pudding turned out heavenly good. Fuss free to make and eggless. I used oats instead of cornflour to thicken it and that paid off well. The texture was smooth yet had some viscosity maybe from the kumquats or possibly cooked oats.

Dark Chocolate Nutella Kumquat Pudding {GF Eggless} Everything about it was delightful. Scraping the bowl {or rather pottery mug} the lad asked several times if he could have more. “I can eat this forever,” he declared … and I rolled up my eyes! Thats how good it was!

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No Bake Dessert | Tropical Coconut Milk Rice Pudding … with dragon fruit & rambutans

“I like rice. Rice is great if you’re hungry and want 2000 of something. ”
Mich Ehrenborg

Tropical Coconut Milk Rice Pudding Tropical Coconut Milk Rice Pudding … with dragon fruit & rambutans, a welcome and wonderful change from the rice pudding I usually serve. As much as we love the Indian version, with saffron and pistachios, this version topped with Thai fruit was a riot of colours. Pretty … and pretty yummy too! The idea of serving it came from a Phirni Custard I had done while reviewing Everyone Can Cook by Vikas Khanna, the inspiration for the skewered fruit from a BBC recipe I had seen somwehere.

Tropical Coconut Milk Rice Pudding Mr PAB was on an official trip to Bangkok and enjoyed a whole slew of Thai fruit at the hotel there. I love Thai fruit, so bright and colourful, and full of flavour. It costs an arm and a leg to buy them here, so I was pleasantly surprised when he arrived laden with bags of fruit.

RambutansEnjoy them as is was pretty much how the plan was going. Some shots later, the daughter looked aghast that I ‘wasn’t doing anything’ with them! “Aren’t you going to make ‘something’ with them? How can we just eat them all?” I had no plans at the time, but soon after the head was buzzing!Strawberry Vanilla Macaron TrifleBaking wasn’t in my line of thought but something more fun certainly was. One of my most pinned images from the Vanilla & Strawberry Macaron Trifle was a contender. Yet we needed dessert the same night! The jelly would have to wait since it needed an overnight set. Rice pudding seemed plenty more tangible.

Rambutans SUCH FUN! In line with Thai fruit, I added some coconut milk to the rice pudding, and lemongrass and ginger juice for flavours. Beautiful undertones of a tropical rice pudding teased the palette in every spoonful … mild, gentle, addictive!

Tropical Coconut Milk Rice Pudding 4If you love the gentle flavours of coconut milk, this creamy make ahead rice pudding is for you. If you have time, then maybe infuse the milk with lemon grass and ginger the night before. Strain and use. Or if you haven’t had time to think and plan like me, make a tight little bundle of lemon grass, grate and squeeze out the ginger juice…Tropical Coconut Milk Rice Pudding 5The Indian rice pudding is traditionally a vegetarian, eggless dessert option. It’s creamy with beautiful texture. Gluten free too. This version, the Tropical Coconut Milk Rice Pudding is a wonderful make ahead dessert option. Can be set in pudding bowls or serving glasses a day or two in advanceTop it with fruit the same day else the fruit tends to lose its shine and appeal!

Tropical Coconut Milk Rice Pudding 7The basic recipe is pretty generic. For Indian flavours, you could skip the lemongrass and ginger. Use cardamom powder and saffron instead. The latter reminds me of a stunning Saffron Caramel Panna Cotta I made a while ago. That’s another great make ahead dessert option.

Tropical Coconut Milk Rice Pudding Rambutans are similar to the Indian litchi, just a little firmer. The outer covering of course grabs your eyeballs. Amazing colours! The dragon fruit is another story altogether. I could stare at it all day long. The fruit of a cactus plant, in many ways it seems unreal!

Tropical Coconut Milk Rice Pudding If the outer appearance is mesmerising, just cut through the fruit and be ready for magic! For me, it was a trip back to 101 Dalmatians! I fell in love with the black and white interiors, and the pretty pink contrasting inner membrane. An explosion of colours, nature that mesmerises, black and white that pleases! Wow!!

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Baking| STOLLEN PUDDING … a Daring Bakers Stollen in Bread Pudding

“The Sky is the daily bread of the imagination.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Daring Bakers Christmas Stollen {Pudding}Hello there. It’s time for the Daring Bakers to strut their bakes! {Before you panic that I’m posting the challenge early, because of the holidays you can post any time between December 23 through December 27, 2010}. This is the most exciting Daring Bakers month of the year, a month where I eagerly await a Christmas bake. My first year with the DB’s had a Yule Log hosted by the talented duo – Hilda of Saffron & BlueBerry and Marion of Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux. That was quite the mother of all challenges. I still have a picture  in my mind of the beautiful log Hilda presented that year. Gorgeous! Last year was Gingerbread Houses … and I loved it so. Such a canvas for creativity and so many special houses. This year has been wonderful too …

Daring Bakers Christmas Stollen

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book………and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

Daring Bakers Christmas Stollen {Pudding}I stole the stollen and made pudding! This time around, we were enticed by the sweet Penny from Sweet Sadie’s Baking to make Christmas Stollen. Stollen is a bread-like fruitcake made with yeast, water and flour, and usually with zest added to the dough. Candied orange peel and candied citrus is often also added. Over the centuries, the cake changed from being a simple, fairly tasteless “bread” to a sweeter cake with richer ingredients. The recipe is a combination of recipes put together by Penny, and includes a bit of a recipe from her German friend who bakes Stollen every year, from a Peter Reinhart recipe, and the wreath concept from Martha Stewart. I was tempted to bake my Christmas Stollen {Dresden Stollen} that I made last year. It had quark as an ingredient, and was certainly the best Christmas bread we’ve had to date. I hope to make it once again this winter, hopefully in January. Daring Bakers Christmas StollenIn a last minute daring change of mind and spirit, I decided to go with Daring Bakers recipe. Am I glad I did! It’s always a challenge and an adventure to try a new recipe, something that holds intrigue and a surprise in the end. That said, once baked, the stollen was H U G E. It was like a football field … don’t know why I said that, but that was precisely the thought racing through my head. Whatever would I do with so much stollen? Should have listened to my head, not my heart, and made half the recipe! Then again, we had a few slices of warm stollen each. Daring Bakers Christmas StollenMmmm…wonderful warm straight from the oven. The crumb was soft and well risen, quite delicious. Next morning, I sliced up some more. Toasted it for breakfast. Slathered with slightly salted butter, it was luxury in every bite. For once too much was too good, and the morning seemed very delicious. I still had a lot to mull over though. Daring Bakers Christmas Stollen Still so much stollen left… after all 770gms makes a lot. I had to put it to more creative use. Contemplated freezing some, but then had a better idea. Bread pudding! STOLLEN PUDDING! Yes, that was a good idea. If brioche could make a fab bread pudding, then stollen couldn’t be far behind. I began with adding a scraped vanilla bean to 2 cups of milk, simmered it, and then thought some low fat cream might make it better. So in went cream, simmered again. Left it awhile for the vanilla flavours to mingle…mmm … this was beginning to feel like fun.Daring Bakers Christmas Stollen Pastry creams, custards, pot de cremes … all need eggs to set, and my pud was going to be no different. Milk, cream, sugar, eggs…and of course, vanilla bean! The sugar and the eggs, yolks & are all whisked immediately;  if you don’t then the yolk gets stringy and lumpy…beware! The recipe is much like a pastry cream. Warm simmered vanilla milk poured over the yolk mixture, whisked and then strained over the sliced bread, dressed with dried tart cherries {I do love those}, and slivered almonds. Into the oven it went, in a bain marie. The aromas were enticing. I was like an expectant father, pacing the ground outside my oven to see if it would work, and my pud would set!Daring Bakers Christmas Stollen Get set it did! YAY! If you daring kinda folk, like me, made a HUGE stollen, then you MUST try this pudding. WE LOVED IT!! The dried tart cherries, the now roasted slivered almonds, the wonderful vanilla flavours …  a sifting of sugar later. It was ever so good,  just perfect for a cold winter day. Another great satisfying dessert, another favourite added to my list. I still have a hunk of stollen saved up, and I have an idea for that too. Though I still do prefer the stollen I had made last year with quark as a slice and eat Christmas bread, I do love the versatility of this one. Will make this again, even if it’s just for a bread pudding, well half of it anyway!Daring Bakers Christmas Stollen

Thank you Penny for the fun, festive and fulfilling challenge, and thank you as always Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice for hosting this fab kitchen!!

Daring Bakers Christmas Stollen Stollen Wreath
Makes one large wreath or two traditional shaped Stollen loaves. Serves 10-12 people
¼ cup lukewarm water
28gms fresh yeast {or 14 grams active dry yeast}
1 cup milk
140gm unsalted butter
5½ cups {770 grams} all-purpose flour ,  plus extra for dusting
½ cup{130gm}  vanilla sugar {I added an extra 15gm in error}
¾ teaspoon  salt {if using salted butter there is no need to alter this salt measurement}
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Grated zest of 2 oranges
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 cup currants
1 cup firmly packed raisins
3 tablespoons rum
12 red glacé cherries {roughly chopped} for the color and the taste.
1 cup almonds, chopped
Melted unsalted butter for coating the wreath
Powdered sugar for dusting wreath
Note: If you don’t want to use alcohol, double the lemon or orange extract or you could use the juice from the zested orange.
Daring Bakers Christmas Stollen MakingMethod:
In a small bowl, soak the raisins and currants in the rum {or in the orange juice from the zested orange} and set aside.
Whisk together the eggs, vanilla and orange extract, and scraped vanilla bean. Reserve.
Melt the milk and butter gently in a pan. Stand until lukewarm. {I warmed the milk and poured it over the butter, and gently stirred it over low heat to hasten the process}
Pour ¼ cup warm water into a small bowl, add fresh yeast and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast completely.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, orange zest.
Then stir in {or mix on low speed with the dough hooks} the yeast/water mixture, eggs and the lukewarm milk/butter mixture. This should take about 2 minutes. It should be a soft, but not sticky ball. When the dough comes together, cover the bowl with either plastic or a tea cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.
Add in the soaked fruit and almonds and mix with your hands or on low speed to incorporate. Here is where you can add the cherries if you would like. Be delicate with the cherries or all your dough will turn red!
Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading {or mixing with the dough hook} to distribute the fruit evenly, adding additional flour if needed. The dough should be soft and satiny, tacky but not sticky. Knead for approximately 8 minutes. The full six minutes of kneading is needed to distribute the dried fruit and other ingredients and to make the dough have a reasonable bread-dough consistency. You can tell when the dough is kneaded enough – a few raisins will start to fall off the dough onto the counter because at the beginning of the kneading process the dough is very sticky and the raisins will be held into the dough but when the dough is done it is tacky which isn’t enough to bind the outside raisins onto the dough ball.
Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling around to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Put it in the fridge overnight. The dough becomes very firm in the fridge {since the butter goes firm} but it does rise slowly… the raw dough can be kept in the refrigerator up to a week and then baked on the day you want.Daring Bakers Christmas Stollen MakingShaping the Dough
Let the dough rest for 2 hours after taking out of the fridge in order to warm slightly.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Preheat oven to moderate 180°C with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
Punch dough down, roll into a rectangle about 16 x 24 inches (40 x 61 cms) and ¼ inch (6 mm) thick.
Forming and Baking the Wreath
Starting with a long side, roll up tightly, forming a long, thin cylinder.
Transfer the cylinder roll to the sheet pan. Join the ends together, trying to overlap the layers to make the seam stronger and pinch with your fingers to make it stick, forming a large circle. You can form it around a bowl to keep the shape.
Using kitchen scissors, make cuts along outside of circle, in 2-inch (5 cm) intervals, cutting 2/3 of the way through the dough.
Twist each segment outward, forming a wreath shape. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
Proof for approximately 2 hours at room temperature, or until about 1½ times its original size.
Bake the stollen for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue to bake for 20 to 30 minutes. The bread will bake to a dark mahogany color, should register 190°F/88°C in the center of the loaf, and should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.
Transfer to a cooling rack and brush the top with melted butter while still hot.
Immediately tap a layer of powdered sugar over the top through a sieve or sifter.
Wait for 1 minute, then tap another layer over the first.
The bread should be coated generously with the powdered sugar.
Let cool at least an hour before serving. Coat the stollen in butter and icing sugar three times, since this many coatings helps keeps the stollen fresh – especially if you intend on sending it in the mail as Christmas presents!
When completely cool, store in a plastic bag. Or leave it out uncovered overnight to dry out slightly, German style.
Stollen PuddingStollen Pudding
350gms Stollen, sliced
200ml milk
200ml low fat cream
1 vanilla bean, scraped
2 yolks
1 egg
1/2 cup vanilla sugar {or plain sugar}
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup dried tart cherries, snipped
Powdered sugar for sifting
Stollen Pudding MakingMethod:
Preheat oven to 180C.
Place sliced bread in 9″ baking dish, slightly overlapping each slice as in pictures.
Put milk, cream and scraped vanilla bean in a saucepan and simmer till bubbles appear around edges. Take off heat and let the flavours seep for 20-30 minutes.
Place egg, yolks and vanilla sugar in a largish bowl, and whisk immediately to mix.
Bring the milk mixture back to a simmering boil, take off heat, and slowly pour over egg mixture whisking all the time to prevent lumps getting formed.
Strain this over the bread slices in baking dish, sprinkle over dried cherries and almonds. Bake in a bain marie for 30-40 minutes/ until the edges of the custard appear to be firm and set If the top browns too soon, loosely place a sheet of foil over it.
Remove from oven, and then from bain marie as soon as it’s warm enough to handle. Sift with powdered sugar. Allow to stand for 20-30 minutes. Serve hot or warm.Stollen Pudding
♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

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