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sweet

Mascarpone Lime Curd Walnut Oat Tart“There is nothing in this world more motivating than cheese.”

Mascarpone Lime Curd Walnut Oat Tart. It was a tart that was meant to happen. For two reasons. One I had made a batch of cookies earlier and in my carelessness had forgotten to record the weight of clarified butter. Yes, clarified butter, my new favourite pantry ingredient. The second reason was of course that there was a cheese contest running on Better Butter, a website I love contributing to. Oh, and a third reason – WE ♥ CHEESE AT HOME!!

Lime Curd, Homemade, ThermomixSo I decided to get to work essentially to remake the cookie dough for the biscuit base. It’s not a lot to do actually because the biscuit base is a two step procedure, basically from the jar of one food processor into the bowl of the stand mixer. Loads to be thankful for. The Hamilton Beach Blender/Chopper is going strong and is great to have on my shelf. Tropical Mango Cooler Then of course there is the work-a-holic kitchen helper. Now I wonder what I did for all these years? It’s an absolute boon to have the KitchenAid Stand Mixer on my counter. From whipping a sponge, to churning out butter, to kneading bread dough to a one step cookie dough, that’s all  I use. What do I love most? That it keeps my hands free, and that the quality of the gadget is fab. Did I mention cold pressed juices? ♥♥♥. You can find my recipe for the Tropical Mango Cooler on the Kitchen Aid Blog.Lime Curd, Homemade, ThermomixTalk about my love for kitchen appliances. Last but not the least the Thermomix. Makes to coolest and most delicious lime curd. In goes everything and out comes lime curd! No standing, no stirring, nothing. You just need to turn the buzzer off once it’s ready, and transfer the lime curd into clean jars! I made a batch a couple of days ago, and that happily found its way into the Mascarpone Lime Curd Walnut Oat Tart.lies 1000Our lime tree has been quite productive of late and has amazed us with a full crop of limes. Beautiful organic, thin skinned, no seed beauties. There’s nothing like home grown produce, the joy unparalleled. While we had a constant flow of lemonade through summer, I always enjoy making lime curd. Lime Curd, Homemade, ThermomixI don’t enjoy the taste on its own because for me it’s a little too ‘eggy’ {not for some friends who happily eat it out of the jar}. Yet add some to whipped cream, an frosting/filling or buttercream and the taste comes alive. Beautiful, citrusy, zingy, clean, fresh, summery is how this tart turned out to be topped with mascarpone lime curd! Mascarpone Lime Curd Walnut Oat TartI had made a batch of walnut, lime rosemary,walnut shortbread this past winter, so I knew that lime and walnuts pair quite well. While the initial plan for the tart was chocolate, the Better Butter contest changed that a bit. I had mascarpone cheese in the fridge, so the easiest filling turned out to be this! Of course it helped that I had made the lime curd two days ago and it was well chilled.Dark Chocolate Walnut Oat TartAnd because the process was so simple, because the Mascarpone Lime Curd Walnut Oat Tart was so good, and because walnuts and oats are good for you, also because the tart turned out to be so popular, I made another one. Actually a half batch, and this time gave it a dark chocolate filling as per original plan. Addictive good stuff!  So for a 7″ tart shell I made a ganache with 150g 70% dark couverture chocolate, 85g single cream and 15ml full fat milk. Warmed the chocolate with the cream in the microwave, agitated it, added a splash of milk, agitated it a bit more {with a balloon whisk}. Once it chilled in the fridge for 30 minutes turned it into the baked shell, and let it set. Took about 2 hours and we had tart!

Mascarpone Lime Curd Walnut Oat Tart
Print Recipe
Beautiful, citrusy, zingy, clean, fresh,summery is how this tart turned out to be topped with mascarpone lime curd! A healthy biscuit base makes the Mascarpone Lime Curd Walnut Oat Tart even better. You can make cookies with the same dough, as also use different fillings to top the tart.
Servings Prep Time
2 7" tarts 1 hour
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 7" tarts 1 hour
Cook Time
20 minutes
Mascarpone Lime Curd Walnut Oat Tart
Print Recipe
Beautiful, citrusy, zingy, clean, fresh,summery is how this tart turned out to be topped with mascarpone lime curd! A healthy biscuit base makes the Mascarpone Lime Curd Walnut Oat Tart even better. You can make cookies with the same dough, as also use different fillings to top the tart.
Servings Prep Time
2 7" tarts 1 hour
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 7" tarts 1 hour
Cook Time
20 minutes
Instructions
Oat Walnut Cookie Base
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Place oats, walnut halves, brown sugar and baking soda in jar of chopper. Blend in short bursts until you get a uniform brown sugar like consistency, just until it feels like moist breadcrumbs. Don't overwork or the walnuts will release their oil.
  3. Transfer to bowl of stand mixer, flat mixer attachment, add the clarified butter/ghee and mix at speed 4 until it comes together like cookie dough.
  4. Line the base of the tart tins with parchment paper. Divide the cookie dough between the two. Work up t the edges, and then flatten the base.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes, then cool completely on cookie rack.
Mascarpone Lime Curd Topping
  1. Whisk the mascarpone with a balloon whisk until light and smooth. Whisk in the lemon curd. Don't over mix else the topping will lose volume. Pipe into the pie shell
  2. Using a microplane zester, grate over some lime zest. Garnish with fresh mint leaves. Chill until ready to serve.
Thermomix Lime Curd
  1. Place sugar into TM bowl, mill for 15 seconds on speed 10.
  2. Add zest, mill for 20 seconds on speed 10.
  3. Scrape down jug, add butter, eggs and lime juice. Cook for 20 minutes at 90°C on speed 2, without measuring cup.
  4. Insert measuring cup and mix for 25 seconds at speed 6. Pour into 2 hot washed jam jars with twist-off lids and close immediately. Cool completely before storing in the fridge.
  5. Note: You can use the same measurements to make a stove top version. Cooking times might differ.
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Overnight Thandai Oats wth peaches and plums“Fussing over food was important. It gave a shape to the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner; beginning, middle, end.”
Robert Hellenga, Philosophy Made Simple

Overnight Thandai Oats with Peaches & Plums, a no brainer at best. A recipe that took far too long to come, one that is the easiest and has a nice gentle touch. The home made Thandai Nut Mix adds a delightful touch, tying in well with the almond milk, sabja/basil seeeds and melon seeds. Of course, feel free to use chia seeds as they are super foods too, though imported. I use basil because they are locally available and swell up so beautifully. My sweet friend Madhuli @ My Food Court makes sure my supply of basil seeds is never ending.PeachesPeaches and almonds make for great pairing. What’s not to love about a breakfast that offers everything in a bowl? Oats, nuts and seasonal fruit? The nut factor comes in from this Thandai mix. Holi collageThandai, or sardai, is a cold drink prepared with a mixture of almonds, fennel seeds, magaztari seeds, rose petals, pepper, vetiver seeds, cardamom, saffron, milk and sugar. It’s a traditional cooler from the Indian subcontinent, one that is very popular around Holi, the festival of colour. 3 Rose Sabja Thandai Thandai 2 1000 Thandai 1000The recipe for my Thandai Nut Mix is here on the KitchenAid India blog. There are hundreds of versions of the mix online, some more complex than others, yet most customisable to taste. Feel free to use your own, or a store bought variety, else add almond meal or chopped walnuts. If nuts are not your thing, maybe just skip them but do try this once. It’s quite gentle on the palette and ties in well with the stone fruit.Oat Walnut Trifles with Vanilla Roasted Peaches & PlumsTalking about stone fruit, this is the best time of the year to enjoy them to the maximum. I use them as much as I can these days. In bakes like crumbles, or trifles {as above}, just simply much through them, or then like this lemonade below. Elevate your simple everyday lemonade or nimbu paani to a Peach and Cherry Lemonade. Peach & Cherry Lemonade 2 1000Allow peach slices, pitted cherries and fresh mint leaves to sit in the lemonade for about an hour in the fridge. You’ll be delighted with the change in colour and gentle flavour.

 

Overnight Thandai Oats with peaches and plums
Print Recipe
What can be better than waking up to a chilled healthy and delicious breakfast on a warm summer morning. These Overnight Thandai Oats with peaches and plums are the best thing to wake up to. A no cook, beautifully balanced breakfast for a great start to the day! Oats + nuts + seeds + fruit herbs all share space in a make ahead jar. Use any seasonal fruit you like. Berries, mango, kiwi, pineapple, sapota etc.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 8 hours
Overnight Thandai Oats with peaches and plums
Print Recipe
What can be better than waking up to a chilled healthy and delicious breakfast on a warm summer morning. These Overnight Thandai Oats with peaches and plums are the best thing to wake up to. A no cook, beautifully balanced breakfast for a great start to the day! Oats + nuts + seeds + fruit herbs all share space in a make ahead jar. Use any seasonal fruit you like. Berries, mango, kiwi, pineapple, sapota etc.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 8 hours
Ingredients
Overnight Thandai Oats
Topping
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Overnight Thandai Oats
  2. Divide the oats, Thandai mix, melon seeds, basil/sabja seeds and brown sugar between 2 lidded glass jars. Top with just enough milk to soak the mix.
  3. Stir gently, cover and leave to stand in the fridge overnight.
  4. Topping
  5. Next morning top with sliced fresh peaces and plums, scatter over with melon seeds and fresh mint
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Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping “Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate.”
Jo Brand

Moist, dark and absolutely delicious are words enough to describe this Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping. The base is a simple chocolate genoise sponge, layered with a low fat whipped cream. The top is a brown sugar meringue topped with slivered almonds, quite optional if you are torn for time, but it does add a lovely touch to the final look. The secret to the moist cake and whipping up low fat cream is melted, cooled clarified butter/ghee. This is my new favourite sponge recipe and my new favourite light buttercream.Eggs and chocolateIt’s been a busy last few months and I stare at a hungry blog. We’ve had a great food styling workshop just recently, packed to the gills, on one of the hottest days of the season. It was a LOT of work and planning, but it was all so worth it. The venue {Lodi – The Garden Restaurant, New Delhi}, the folk who attended, the food we ate and shot, was all great fun. A great learning experience too.Food Styling Workshop, The Lodi, New DelhiThen of course there is obsessive everyday shooting, something that keeps me so engrossed, I often lose track of time. Some work for others, some for myself, yet all a learning process. Add to that Sunday Stills where I join Simi as she shoots stills. Pitcher #sundaystillsAmaltasThe Masala Dabba with Dolphia has fallen prey to procrastination but I will get back there soon since spices is what I enjoy shooting a lot! Gundu Chilies from Karaikudi

Masala Dabba, spices

The Masala Dabba #2Getting back to baking and this wonderful cake, here’s something I recently discovered. I often find a lot of folk these days baking out of a box and frosting the cake with ready made cream,  ingredients loaded with preservatives, enhancers, emulsifiers and what not. Read the label and you’ll figure out. Baking  or cooking ‘from scratch’ conjures up images of cooking with fresh ingredients and lovingly preparing meals. Boxed meals emphasize just the convenience. Add a few ingredients and then you’re done. Making a cake from scratch gives you control over the quality of the ingredients, also allowing for a bit more creativity. Wholewheat Dark Chocolate Fudgy Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting 3 1000 1Creativity and experimenting go hand in hand. The revelation that I could use clarified butter / ghee instead of normal butter has made life really simple for me. The recipes need to be adapted a little here and there, but the huge plus is that clarified butter stays good on the shelf for long. You don’t need to melt and cool in summer as it doesn’t set hard at warm temperatures. The convenience of use is indescribable in weather like we have here these days at 45C! That’s how I got the low fat 20%  cream to whip up so I could pipe it.  Wholewheat Dark Chocolate Fudgy Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting 2 1000 1Worked each time but once when it was really really hot and humid. Whip chilled low fat cream to medium soft peaks at a high speed. Then drizzle in about a teaspoon of cool melted clarified butter / ghee for every 100ml of cream and continue to whip at high speed, you will notice the cream gradually firming up and holding shape. This is because you’re putting the fat back into low fat cream. I have also seen this works better with the ‘Go’ brand of fresh cream as compared to ‘Amul’ {in India}. Do let me know if it works for you!Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping Well everyone can’t ‘do it from scratch’, and even though additives etc are often considered part of the package when it comes to boxed meals, it really doesn’t have to be. Interestingly enough, at least one company thought that way. San Francisco-based food tech company Hampton Creek offers a new take on shelf-ready foods, striving to take out additives and other unnatural ingredients from common, off-the-shelf goods. For eg, their premade cookie dough doesn’t contain common additives, is an eggless dough mix that is also dairy-free. Baking from a box or a premade mix can be as mouth-watering as a meal made from scratch; guess you need to know what to look for.

Until then, here’s my Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping Cake!

Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping
Print Recipe
Moist, dark and absolutely delicious are words enough to describe this Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping. The base is a simple chocolate genoise sponge, layered with a low fat whipped cream. The top is a brown sugar meringue topped with slivered almonds, quite optional if you are torn for time, but it does add a lovely touch to the final look. The secret to the moist cake and whipping up the cream is melted, cooled clarified butter/ghee. This is my new favourite sponge recipe.
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping
Print Recipe
Moist, dark and absolutely delicious are words enough to describe this Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping. The base is a simple chocolate genoise sponge, layered with a low fat whipped cream. The top is a brown sugar meringue topped with slivered almonds, quite optional if you are torn for time, but it does add a lovely touch to the final look. The secret to the moist cake and whipping up the cream is melted, cooled clarified butter/ghee. This is my new favourite sponge recipe.
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Ingredients
Chocolate Genoise Sponge 1
Meringue topping
Servings: people
Instructions
Chocolate Genoise Sponge 1
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line the sides and bottom of 2 8" spring-form round tin with parchment. {I have just 1 tin and an oven that fits only 1 cake at a time. I kept the parchment ready while the first sponge baked}
  2. Place 4 eggs and 1 egg yolk in the bowl of the stand mixer with 125g brown sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk on high speed until light, very mousse like and tripled in volume, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt 2 times. Reserve.
  4. Place cooled clarified butter in a medium sized bowl. reserve.
  5. Once the eggs are whisked and mousse like, sift over 1/3 of the flour/cocoa mix and gently stir in in figure 8 moves so that the beaten air doesn't escape. Repeat 2 more times.
  6. Take about a cup of this batter and fold into bowl with melted ghee to loosed the mixture. Now turn this batter back into main batter and gently mix through taking care not to release the beaten air.
  7. Turn into prepared tin and bake for approximately 40 minutes, untl a pick inserted comes out clean.
Chocolate Genoise Sponge 2
  1. Repeat as above, turn into prepared tin and top with brown sugar meringue spreading gently and uniformly with an offset spatula. Scatter slivered almonds over and bake for approximately 40 minutes, until a pick inserted comes out clean.
Brown sugar meringue
  1. Whisk the egg whites with brown sugar on high speed to stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.
Frosting and filling
  1. Place chilled cream, icing sugar, clarified butter in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk at highest speed for 7-9 minutes until stiff peaks form. Adjust sweetness if required.
Assemble
  1. Gently cut each cake into two horizontal layers. They will be very moist and delicate.
  2. Place one layer on the cake platter, top with about 1 cup of whipped cream, spread evenly. Repeat with remaining 3 layers. Frost the sides of the cake with remaining frosting, maybe pipe a border around.
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