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sweet

Caramel Custard
“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”
Henri Cartier-Bresson

A post about Caramel Custard, Mother’s Day and Sunday Stills! Also of high key photography. The recent trip down into the heart of South India opened up a new dimension to how I wanted to style and shoot food. Karaikudi meant loads more prop shopping, tons of enamelware included. Strange how it started off a domino effect. My downright dark and moody side opened up to a new love, a new light I have never chased so passionately! Kumquat LemonadeKumquat LemonadeLove for light food props, then love for white frames, and eventually a fascination with high key photography. Light tones, pastels, loads of whites, brighter hues, sometimes edging on overexposed. The technical sense still abysmal though! I am still experimenting, still trying to build a level of patience…Kumquat lemonadeThat was a drastic change from what I have always enjoyed shooting, dark, moody frames. Moody is still my first love, shadows, darkness, deep blacks, blocking light, all reflective of my personality, and definitely of my favourite colour, black!Wholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand Pies

Pomegranate Mojitos

Melons

Buckwheat Oat Walnut Chippers GF Caught between yin and yang, swinging between two extremes, my sweet friend Simi asked if I wanted to join her and Dolphia for Sunday Stills. Sunday Stills meant experimenting with testing new levels of photography. That basically meant different experiments with light and techniques, new ways to push our comfort levels. While she is a workhorse, with loads of planning and in-depth research, something that reflects in her stunning styling and images, I am quite the opposite.Caramel Custard 1000 3Often impatient, no time for research, technically pretty incompetent {read pathetic}, yet we share two things. Love for food styling and photography, and food props. We are the queens of procrastination too. Oh yes, and we share a single day between birthdays, Scorpions to the core we are!

pink flowers pink flowers

High key photographySo here we go this Sunday. With my #SundayStills, thanks to this hugely inspiring lady, I share with you a little of what I’ve been shooting lately {I have to admit I am also shooting low key, dark images on the side}. Also here for you a recipe for a Caramel Custard that I did for Kitchen Aid. I did another version soon after, the Caramel Flan. Caramel FlanHopefully someday that recipe too will see light of day! While I have baked the custard, you can always steam it the old fashioned way like my Mum used to do. 10-15 minutes in the pressure cooker, placed on a trivet submerged in water, lid on, no cap.

Pink Flowers, Mother's DayHave a great Sunday, and of course, Happy Mother’s Day!

And before I forget, grateful thanks to Manidipa for the include in her post this morning – 20 Top Female Food Bloggers of India: Mother’s Day Special

Caramel Custard
Print Recipe
My version of the quintessential ‘Caramel Custard’ that showed up on our frugal dessert table quite often when we were young. This one is slightly more luxurious than the wobbly one we had as kids from the armed forces. It's baked, not steamed, though if you are making one large pudding, steaming it in the pressure cooker is a breeze. Quick too!
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 3-4 hours
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 3-4 hours
Caramel Custard
Print Recipe
My version of the quintessential ‘Caramel Custard’ that showed up on our frugal dessert table quite often when we were young. This one is slightly more luxurious than the wobbly one we had as kids from the armed forces. It's baked, not steamed, though if you are making one large pudding, steaming it in the pressure cooker is a breeze. Quick too!
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 3-4 hours
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 3-4 hours
Ingredients
Caramel
Custard
Servings: people
Instructions
For the Caramel
  1. Keep 4 X 8oz ramekins ready and place sugar and water in a heavy bottom saucepan, and stir over medium heat until sugar melts.
  2. Increase heat to high, and allow to bubble away without stirring, until it reaches a deep amber colour. {This is the crucial part because the caramel can burn. Also please take extreme caution as caramel is very hot}.
  3. Take off heat immediately, and pour into ramekins, turning gently to coat bottoms. Allow to stand for 5 minutes, while you make the custard.
For the Caramel Custard
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Heat milk, cream and shell of vanilla bean in a pan over low heat until slight bubbles form on the edges. Take off heat.
  3. Place the eggs, scraped vanilla and sugar in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk on speed 2 for 2 minutes until sugar is almost dissolved.
  4. Reduce speed to lowest, put the splatter screen, and gently pour in the vanilla infused milk, whisking continuously for 30 seconds.
  5. Strain the custard into a jug/saucepan, and then pour into the prepared ramekins.
  6. Place ramekins in a 9′ X 9″ square pan. Gently pour in water into the tray to come up half around the ramekins. – –
  7. Bake for about 45 minutes until the custard begins to set, a bit wobbly in the middle.
  8. Allow to cool, then chill covered for a few hours, preferably overnight.
  9. To serve, run a butter knife gently around the tip to loosen it, place a platter over the ramekin, turn over swiftly, and then shake to release. Top with toasted walnuts if desired.
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Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes “That is one good thing about this world
…there are always sure to be more springs.”
L.M. Montgomery

Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes, indulgent little treats for days when you want something to go from simple to simply delicious in a matter of minutes. These wholegrain cupcakes are just that and more. Easy to stir together with almost staple pantry ingredients, they are light, moist and full of chocolaty flavour. Have them as they are ‘naked’ if that’s your call, else spruce them up with a sinful dark chocolate ganache, some sprinkles if you like, and voila! You have magic {if I may say so myself}. That these are wholewheat, use jaggery as a sweetener and top of the milk cream or ‘malai’ make them worth the try!!

Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes These cupcakes are inspired by the very sweet Shikha of Cocoka, a friend for life, one I met at my very first food styling workshop with Darter. She’s been difficult to shake off, and has attended each one of the other workshops, the sweetheart that she is. So she baked these absolutely delicious cupcakes in these absolute stunning liners, with the most delicious ganache on top for our last food styling workshop at Lodi.Darter Food Styling Workshop, The Lodi, New Delhi

Food Styling Workshop Lodi 3

Food Styling Workshop Lodi She also gifted me some of those beautiful Spring like cupcake wrappers when I waxed eloquent about them. Non stop! I couldn’t believe how pretty they were. So here I was, armed with the prettiest ever cupcake wrappers and a need to bake that very day. Maybe something chocolate, possibly brownie cupcakes. With Spring here, the weather brilliant, these cases were all I wanted to use.

Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes Setting off to make home made butter in the KitchenAid Stand Mixer, which is a BREEZE by the way, I stole some cream just because. Just because I suddenly remembered this top of the milk cream {malai} cake, Dark Chocolate & Walnut Wholewheat Cake I had made a while ago, falling prey to a similar feeling then. So here you are, cupcakes adapted from that cake, cupcakes that came out really YUM. Wrappers like these must be the reason because they inspire you to excel!Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes Honestly, good aesthetics give me a spring in my step, a reason to enjoy what I do a little more. What I didn’t manage very well was the piping as I haven’t piped ganache onto cupcakes in eons. Guess that’s what I will be practicing next, in my dreams immediately if not on cupcakes. Shikha received several SOS calls and now I am a little better educated. Her tips – let the ganache rest a bit, then whisk it again before piping. Notes taken for next time! Oh and by the way, Shikha @ Cocoka has the most fun baking classes in Delhi. You can read more about that at NDTV Food.

Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Deeba Rajpal
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 cupcakes
These Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes are easy to stir together with almost staple pantry ingredients, they are light, moist and full of chocolaty flavour. Have them as they are ‘naked’ if that’s your call, else spruce them up with a sinful dark chocolate ganache, some sprinkles if you like, and voila! You have magic {if I may say so myself}. That these are wholewheat, use jaggery as a sweetener and top of the milk cream or ‘malai’ make them worth the try!!
Ingredients
  • Cupcakes
  • Wet Mix
  • 85ml top of the milk cream {malai}
  • 75g jaggery
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Dry Mix
  • 85g wholewheat flour
  • 30g Cocoa
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 50g walnuts, chopped
  • 50g butterscotch chips, optional
  • 75ml buttermilk
  • Ganache
  • 225g 52% dark couverture chocolate, chopped
  • 100ml low fat cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Place 6 cupcake wrappers on a baking tray {or line a 6 mold muffin tray}
  2. Place dry mix ingredients in a bowl, and stir well to mix
  3. Place the wet mix ingredients in bowl of stand mixer, and whisk at speed 4 for 2-3 minutes. Mixture might look slightly curdled but that’s OK.
  4. Gently fold in 1/3 of dry mix, followed by half buttermilk. Repeat ending with dry mix.
  5. Spoon into cupcake/muffin cases, 3/4 full. Bake for 35 minutes, until tester comes out moist with a few crumbs hanging. Cool on racks.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature if sans frosting. If you are frosting them, cool completely before piping the ganache on.
  7. Ganache
  8. Place chopped chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl and run at high in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir until smooth, then leave it to rest to cool and thicken. Whisk again before piping.
  9. Pipe onto cupcakes with a star nozzle.
Serving size: 6-8

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

Blueberry Frangipane Wholegrain Tray Bake “I’ll be back before you can say Blueberry pie.”
Bruce Willis {Pulp Fiction}

Blueberry Frangipane Wholegrain Tray Bake, a tray that happened just because the galette failed. A friend recently got me some blueberries and they were a source  of constant inspiration. The pretty little deep blue berries had me fascinated. All day long I thought of how best to use them. Muffins, galettes, cheesecake, trifle, ice cream and so much more. Finally settled for a wholewheat galette!

Blueberries, food styling, rawWhat I ended up with was obviously far from it. While I was really pleased with the galette when it went into the oven, ten minutes later, I stared at a virtual meltdown. Disaster had struck. Like the rivers of Babylon, how the dough spread. The pastry spread to make a base, while everything else merrily leveled above it. Heartbroken, I left the disaster to bake, slamming the oven door shut in horror.Blueberries 3 1000I let it be for quite a bit, sitting to cool in the oven because I was heartbroken. Nothing much I could do I figured, and set out to make a trifle. Upcycle as Ruchira had cleverly suggested at my overbaked batch of Wholegrain Butterscotch Blondies. It made the most fab UpcycledButterscotch Blondie Pudding not so long ago. Clearly the more often I bake, the higher the chances of upcycling! Blueberry Frangipane Wholegrain Tray Bake Yet one look at the now settled tray seemed to suggest that all wasn’t lost. I stamped out shapes to salvage a few decent round cut outs while happy hungry mouths nibbled the left over edges away. No chance for trifles!! Turned out pretty delicious, and hence the Blueberry Frangipane Wholegrain Tray Bake was born. I’ve scaled the ingredients to match the tray bake, just the base has been reduced, while the rest remains pretty much the same. I did a test run with strawberries yesterday and that came out just as good too!

Recipe: Blueberry Frangipane Wholegrain Tray Bake your picture

Summary: Moist, full of wholesome almond and fruit flavour, here’s a tray bake that you might enjoy. The Blueberry Frangipane Wholegrain Tray Bake is a quick and fuss free bake for times when berries are in plenty. Makes one 8″ X 8″ tray.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Ingredients:

  • Wholewheat biscuit base
  • 110g wholewheat flour
  • 60g unsalted butter, chilled, chopped
  • 15g brown sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 10ml apple cider vinegar
  • 40-50ml water
  • Frangipane
  • 75g butter
  • 75g brown sugar
  • 75g almond meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped
  • 150g Blueberries {or strawberries, cherries, peaches etc}
  • Almond flakes for garnishing

Method:

  1. Wholewheat biscuit base
  2. Place wholewheat flour, butter, brown sugar and salt in bowl of food processor and process briefly until you have a coarse mix. The butter should be pea sized.
  3. Add the vinegar and process briefly, then gently pour in enough water until it just about begins to come together when you pinch it between your fingertips. Don’t over work, else the pastry will become tough.
  4. Line the base of an 8″ X 8″ baking tin {or 7″ X 11″} with parchment paper. Lightly grease sides.
  5. Press the biscuit it evenly to line the bottom.
  6. Chill for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven, and make the frangipane.
  7. Frangipane
  8. Place butter, almond meal and brown sugar in same bowl of food processor and blend to mix.
  9. Add remaining ingredients and briefly process to mix. { Can be stirred together in a big bowl too.}
  10. Assemble
  11. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  12. Spread the frangipane over the chilled biscuit base, and scatter the blueberries over.
  13. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the frangipane feels set.
  14. Allow to cool for 30 minutes, then cut into squares or bars.
  15. Serve with unsweetened cream and extra berries if desired.

Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India