No Bake | Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries … lighter & gluten free | dessert for someone you l♥v

“If music be the food of love, play on.”
Shakespeare

 Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Balsamic StrawberriesButtermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries … dessert for someone you l♥v, or dessert for someone who loves dessert! Panna cotta, or cooked cream, is one of the quickest Italian desserts you can make. Minimum fuss, quick to make, do ahead and divinely delicious, a winner every single time.

Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries The tempting option of going a teeny bit healthy on a cream dessert, yet keeping it indulgent, is perhaps worth the bait! I’ve done a Berries & Buttermilk Puddng in the past, so the idea of a buttermilk panna cotta was going to be worth every delicious spoonful! Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries 5 Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries Delightful tangy undertones, a gentle wobbly set cream, smooth vanilla overtures…what more can you ask for? Pretty darned good as it is, you can take it a step higher with luscious red strawberries as topping. Use any seasonal berries for that matter, or fruit like figs too. A salted butter caramel sauce would be really nice as well.

strawberriesIf you have the time, gently simmer strawberries to make a balsamic strawberry topping. And if time is not your friend that day, simply macerate the berries in castor sugar and a dash of lime juice, or maybe just toss them in honey. It adds a nice sweet touch to the fruit while making it shiny and attractive to top the panna cotta.

Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries The colour contrast weaves a magic spell. What’s not to love about red and white? And what’s not to love about strawberries and cream. AND what’s not to love about make ahead, fuss free dessert? Go on, take the plunge! Spoil those you love on V Day with this gorgeous Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries.

Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries Oh yes, and make sure you get them to do the dishes! Share some love!!

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

Baking | Wholewheat Plum Frangipane Galette … the last goodbye #stonefruitlove

“What is more mortifying than to feel that you have missed the plum for want of courage to shake the tree?”
Logan Pearsall Smith

Wholewheat Plum Frangipane GaletteWholewheat Plum Frangipane Galette … it is strange that when the season is bidding adieu, the palpitations grow. I tend to hang on to the last fruit like they are going to go out of fashion; trying to extend their shelf life beyond reasonable measure. Plums have sadly gone. I have been happy looking at the last lot in the fridge for past 2 weeks.

Wholewheat Plum Frangipane GaletteYes, indeed. That is how long I kept them, and interestingly, that is how long they stayed. Beautifully! Bidding goodbye to summer is never easy given my deep emotional bond with stone fruit. I still have one last batch of frozen plums. Thoughts of sorbet, granita, fro yo dance in my head!

PlumsI had this recent conversation with a friend where I mixed up my grey cells and gray cells. It was so funny, by the end of it nothing looked right. I knew I needed help! Good time to hand over to an online editor. I used Grammarly to grammar check this post. It took care of what they taught me at school. Grammarly carries out plagiarism checks too! So cool!!

Wholewheat Plum Frangipane Galette Did I mention my uber healthy baking spree of late? I have always attempted to keep my baking healthy. I went one baby step further with this Wholewheat Plum Frangipane Galette. I’ve never made a galette or pie with mainly whole wheat in the pastry. I am usually haunted with scary thoughts. What if it all falls apart; what if the pastry does not hold; and what if it does not taste good?

Wholewheat Plum Frangipane Galette Whole wheat is not what one might traditionally use in pie crusts, but trust me, it works well. You got to give it some extra TLC. Surprisingly, the crust was buttery, light, flaky and delicious! A bit fragile, but expected. Take baby steps from all purpose towards whole grain. There’s a whole new world out there!

Wholewheat Plum Frangipane Galette This pie crust is not a 100% wholewheat. I added a teeny bit of plain flour. Next time, I’ll be bolder. See baby steps? I’m doing it. You can too.

Plum lemonadeI made lemonade that day as well….plum lemonade to be precise. Not to be served with the moorish galette, but here anyway. Simple and a fun way to include more fruit in your diet. The kids gulped it down greedily asking for some everydayToo late! It’s goodby plums for now! We’re already staring fall in the face.

Wholewheat Plum Frangipane Galette I’ve made plenty of galettes. It is one of my favourite forms of pie. If you are lucky and still in plum season, then you could try making this rustic free form tart.  You could always substitute plums for peaches, nectarines, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, apples, figs, pears, or frozen fruit. A combination of fruit works equally well!

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

Baking | Chocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles … a coffee high!

“To me, the smell of fresh-made coffee is one of the greatest inventions.’
Hugh Jackman

Chocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream TriflesChocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles. The deep, sensual aroma of coffee steeping won me over! Are you devastated by the smell of fresh bread or cookies baking? Or onions in gently frying in butter? Roasting garam masala? Fruit stewing with vanilla beans? Or maybe coffee beans roasting? Fresh herbs? Freshly plucked tomatoes? I absolutely am. It’s an olfactory explosion of sorts.

smells 2When I was young I often woke up to the delicious smells of onions frying, a chocolate cake baking, a clarified butter/pure ghee dal tadka … but the most vivid memory was of the smell of wet earth after the first monsoon showers. To this day, the smell of wet earth takes me back to those childhood days when we used to race out to play in the rain. Pure nostalgia!Whole wheat coffee dark chocolate pound cakeNow more than ever before, my world is ruled by food aromas. Does your nose lead you to the kitchen? At home here, all day long, you’ll find folk following their nose into my kitchen. It’s the most happening place in the house. I baked a chocolate cake 2 days ago. Yet this coffee pound cake was on their mind. ‘Why didn’t you bake another coffee cake?’. The  teens pestered me! Annoying? Yes!Chocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles I’m an out-and-out coffee sort of person! The family is too. Fresh coffee beans roasting … nirvana. Takes me back to days down south. Every house would roast their own coffee. Ours did not, but the neighbours generously shared the aromas. What a beautiful heady feeling to wake up to. Instant upliftment.

Vanilla beans in bakingI’m also a vanilla sort of person, mostly paired with fruit. The fragrance of splitting a plump vanilla bean and scraping the insides makes my day. That morning was good! Once the thermomix got down to making the creme patisserie {7 minutes is all it takes}, I had ample time to sit and take in the fragrance. My hands smelt so good.

Balsamic Vanilla Basil StrawberriesTry reducing fresh strawberries and vanilla bean for a compote. The whole house smells beautiful. Seriously … never underestimate the power of smell. Walk into a good coffee shop and if you’re like me, you’ll fall into a trance! 
hocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles So to cut a long story short, I was MAD that my chocolate cake didn’t go down well. I counselled myself a little. I knew what went wrong. I had tweaked a good recipe and added more baking soda than necessary. Extra baking soda always plays spoil sport. Note to self : BEWARE in future!hocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles I almost trashed the cake yet knew the crumb was light. It was a good cake basically, so trifle was on my mind. I love it when cake obliges with neat little squares. Two minutes later, I was in coffee creme patisserie mode. Time to win the coffee lovers back! Pastry cream that smelt like heaven, felt smooth as silk. Asked the daughter to check for sweetness. She couldn’t wouldn’t stop spooning it into her mouth! Just one last spoon, she begged!

Chocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles Trifles are great make ahead desserts. Also a lovely way to use up leftover cake. We love fruit trifles and we loved these Chocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles too. Deep coffee flavours, great pairing with chocolate, nice play of textures. The cake cubes soaked in a coffee syrup. A swirl of whipped cream might have completed the trifle. CoffeeSo tell me dear reader, is your life is ruled by good food aromas? What are the smells that awaken your senses? Are you convinced that if something smells divine, it must taste even better? Do you eat with your eyes first? And do you believe, like me, that the sense of smell, sight and taste are all interlinked to make our world more delicious?

Smells of everyday

Food,  ingredients, aromas, the folk, the garden, the venue, memories, the ambiance … the entire connect weaves a delightful ‘spread’!
~For Indiblogger and Ambipur  … ‘Smelly To Smiley!’ ~

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

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