Thursday, 30 May 2013

Say CHEESEcake !!!!

So here are a few simple steps on how to bake an awesome blackberry cheesecake ! 
Serves 8-9 
Prep time - 80 min 

For the crust :
1.Graham cracker crumbs (or) any other biscuits- 2 cups (or) 454 g 
2.Unsalted butter - 1/3 cup (or) 76 g 
3.Sugar- 45 gms 
4. Salt - 5 g (optional)

For the filling:
1.Blackberry preserve- 1/2 cup (or) 113 g.
2. water - 1/4 cup (use as little as possible ) 
3.Philadelphia cream cheese - 8 oz (or) 227 g.
4. Sugar- 1 1/4 cup (or)283 g.
5.Sour cream - 1/2 cup (or) 113 g. 
5.Vanilla essence-2 tsp.
6. Eggs - 5.

1. Preheat the oven to 45o degrees. 

2. Create a water bath by placing a large pan filled with about 1/2 inch into the oven while it preheats. 

3. Combine the blackberry preserve with small amount of water ( start with one tbsp)  in a medium microwave safe bowl . Heat for 1 1/2 min on high in your microwave. Stir until smooth . Strain to remove the blackberry seeds, then let the strained preserve sit to the side to cool.  

4.Mix the cracker crumbs , butter , sugar and salt together . 

5. Press the mixture on to a bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumb mixture flat into the bottom of the pan and about 2/3 the way up the side. Refrigerate in the freezer till your filling is done.

6.Use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese,sour cream , sugar and vanilla.  Mix  until the mixture gets smooth and creamy.Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl and then add them to the cream cheese mixture.Blend the mixture just enough to incorporate the eggs.

7.Remove the crust from the freezer and pour half of the cream cheese mixture into the crust. drizzle the blackberry preserve over the entire surface of the filling and swirl the blackberry preserve using a butter knife .Pour the other half of the filling into the crust.

8.Carefully place the cheesecake into the water bath in the oven.Bake for 12 min at 450 degrees, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 45 min.After 45 min turn the heat down to 325 degrees and bake until cheese cake jiggles slightly in the middle and the top is golden brown. 

9.Remove the cheese cake from the oven to cool and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving .

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Homemade cream cheese

Cream cheese is easy to make at home . Traditionally , it is made from unskimmed milk enriched with additional cream. When made at home , it is much cheaper and making it is pretty much easy .

1.Whole fat milk- 1 litre 
2.Lemon juice - 1 1/2 tbspn (or) vinegar - 2 tbspn
3.Yogurt- 1 tbspn 

1.Boil milk and add the lemon juice and continue to stir until you find the whey separating from milk as shown below . Switch off.
2. Now pour this into a muslin cloth  and drain the water . Wash it at least twice in cold water to get rid of the lemon flavour.
3. Now add curd and mix well . Transfer this mixture into a food processor and grind it to get a smoth paste .

4. Again place this mixture in a muslin cloth. Tie the ends together to make a knot and hang it on hanger or a cupboard handle .Leave it aside for 5 - 6 hours to drain the liquid completely .
5. Now your cream cheese is ready to be used in your recipes !!

How to fold ingredients in baking ? - Cut and fold technique

What does it mean to "fold in" an ingredient into the mix?  

Well , folding is a more gentle mixing technique than "stirring" and "mixing. Folding is usually used for items where something has previously been whipped or where tenderness is required and thus less mixing is advisable. 

Here are 4 simple steps on how to fold ingredients :

1.You will need a metallic spoon or a rubber spatula . The thinness of the implement you are going to use is important for making it easier to fold correctly. 

2. Always add the delicate mixture to the heavy mixture.Never do it the other way round so as to avoid bursting of air bubble.

3.Use the spatula in a cutting action. Cut down to the centre of the two mixtures and bring the heavy one on top. Turn the bowl as you do this to ensure that the folding has been done evenly. 

4.Continue until both mixtures are combined fairly .


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

How to make buttermilk at home ?

Ever been happily making a recipe only to find that it needs buttermilk ? Your first thought is how the heck are you gonna make buttermilk at home ? well here is a very simple recipe on how to make buttermilk:

1. Place one cup (240 ml) of milk in a bowl.
2. Add 1 tbspn of white vinegar (or) a pinch of lemon juice. 
3. Allow the mixture to stand for 5 min. 
4. Now your buttermilk is ready to be used in your recipes !

Blackberry sponge cake

So heres what you need to bake an amazing and scrumptious blackberry cake ! :
Prep time - 40 min  Ingredients:

For the sponge 

1. Unsalted butter- 170 gms
2.Sugar - 230 gms
3.Eggs- 4 
4. All purpose flour (Maida) - 200 gms
5. Vanilla essence - 1/2 teaspn
6.Baking powder - 2 teaspn
7. Buttermilk - 50 ml(optional) 

For the filling :
Blackberries - 200 gms
(You can also use blackberry or any other fruit  preserves which can be found at any super market )

Procedure :

1.Take a large bowl and place the butter in it . Now grind the sugar into fine powder .

 2. Add the sugar into the bowl with the butter .Mix the sugar and butter to get a creamy texture as shown below. 

 3.Fold the eggs and the flour into the mixture.
4.Add vanilla essence, baking powder and buttermilk and mix well . 

 5. Your batter should look quite runny as shown below.

6. Grease a baking tray( here i have used a cake mould) and sprinkle it with some flour so that the cake doesn't get stuck to the bottom. Pour the batter into the tray such that only a quarter of the tray gets filled.

12. Now place a layer of the blackberry preserve on top  and cover it with some more batter and swirl it with a spoon to have an appealing look as shown below. Make sure the tray is 3/4 filled (not more than that) with the batter.

 13. Pre heat the oven at 200 c  . Now place the tray in the centre rack and bake at 150 c for 30 - 35 min.

14.When the cake leaves the sides of the tray, it is ready to be served !!

A.  Buttermilk brings a pleasant tang to cakes while adding very little fat. It gives baked goods a softer texture and more body. If you use buttermilk  as a substitute for milk in baking , you'll need to change the amount of baking powder due to higher acidic content in buttermilk. For every 50 ml of buttermilk used instead of milk you will want to use 1 teaspn less baking powder . Here in the above recipe , you can use 50 ml of buttermilk with only 1teaspn baking powder.

It is important in baking that the ingredients are placed in the order on the recipe. 

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Yummy caramel custard :)

It's simple and of course yum ! This easy-to-make pudding is popular all over India . You go to a restaurant and order this pudding and realise how mouth watering this dessert is ! Imagine you making that custard at home !! This is how :

Serves 6-8 people 
Prep time- 45 min 
Ingredients :
1.Eggs- 3 
2.Milk - 500 ml 
3.Sugar( for caramelising) - 3 tbspn 
4.Condensed milk-1 tin 
5.Corn flour- 1 tbspn 
6.Vanilla essence- 3 drops 

Procedure :
1.Boil the milk and keep it aside 
2. In a container beat the eggs . Next mix in the condensed milk .
3. In a smal bowl take some(2 tbspns)of the boiled  milk and mix in the corn flour . Make sure that there are no lumps . 
4.Stir the corn flour mix into the egg mixture .
5. Now mix the remaining milk to the above mixture.
6. Add the vanilla essence .
7.Take a medium sized bowl and keep it aside . Now caramelise the sugar and spread it on the bottom of the medium sized vessel .
8. Pour the above mixture into the bowl covered with the caramelised sugar. 
9. Now cover the the bowl containing the mixture with a lid and put it in a water bath . Make sure the water is not too much or too little .  
10. Place this arrangement in a pressure cooker without the whistle and cook for 30 minutes approx. 
11. You can also place it in an oven and bake at 140ÂșC  for 25-30 min. 
12.Chill the pudding for at least 3 hours before serving .
13. Just before serving cover the mouth of the bowl with a plate. Quickly turn the bowl over on to the plate and remove the bowl .With the caramelised top serve immediately !


.If you want to add a touch of coffee flavour to your pudding , heres what you should do:
1.Take 75 ml of water and heat it until boiling hot . 
2. Mix 2 tablespoons of instant coffee powder( it could be of any company) into the boiling hot water .
3. Now mix 4 tablespoons of the above solution into the mixture of eggs , condensed milk , and milk.
4. Repeat the above procedure as it is.