Showing posts with label Dessert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dessert. Show all posts

Monday, June 1, 2015

Homemade Bounty Truffles / Coconut Truffles

I grew up in coastal Odisha where there are plenty of coconut trees and the use of coconut in cooking is also extensive. Especially sweet dishes called "Pitha". So I have a strong liking for coconut and use it liberally in my cooking. Because making Pitha needs patience and perfection I hardly venture into that area. I like things that are simple to make and where the scope of going wrong is minimal. Due to my love for coconut, I became a big fan of the Bounty chocolate the first time I tasted it. I can gobble half a dozen of it in a go. Kind of crazy, if you can say so. 

I don't think there would be anyone in this world who doesn't love chocolates.The richness of chocolate and the nutty coconut flavor makes me crave for it. I always wanted to replicate the same in my kitchen. And after a few experiments I nailed it.  The ingredients can be easily found in one's pantry and the process extremely simple. Even an amateur in the kitchen can make it. Making this with your kids is a great activity. And the best part, it can be done in no time.


Dessicated coconut (dry) - 2 cups
Condensed Milk - 1 cup (I use Amul)
Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp
Dark chocolate shredded - 1/2 cup (packed)
White Chocolate (Optional)

Method of Preparation

Dry roast the dessicated coconut in an open pan on minimum heat for a minute. Add condensed milk and vanilla essence. Mix well with a wooden spatula till condensed milk and the dessicated coconut get incorporated.
Remove from heat. Grease your hands with a little butter. Take a little of the mixture and roll it between your palms to make smooth balls.Once all the balls are done, cover and keep it in fridge for fifteen minutes.

Next, Take the shredded dark chocolate in a double boiler and melt it to a smooth liquid. Else you can melt it in microwave too.
Take the coconut balls out of the fridge. Dip in the chocolate to coat it on all sides. Remove and keep it on a parchment paper. Repeat till all are done. Again keep it back in the fridge till the chocolate becomes firm.
Next melt a little white chocolate and drizzle on the balls (optional)
Your home made Bounty is ready.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Rasmalai .... An Indian Delicacy !

I have not been in the best of health these days. The flu and fever have taken a toll on my health. There are many things that I want to do but the energy levels are so low that I hardly can. Like a ritual I logged into the social networking sites ...... and I could see posts on "Earth Day" and slogans like "Reduce Recycle Reuse .... blah blah blah". Earth Day .... Really !! Like I had the choice of going and living in another planet. It is not about one particular day, rather about what choices we make everyday. I am not against spreading awareness but it is about how much we practice the same.

So one day when the milkman left me few extra packets of milk I decided to make rasmalai from it. It was the first time that I was going to try it. Rasmalai is a very popular indian dessert made from soft cottage cheese and dunked in flavored saffron milk. These are easy to make that if you make it once you kind of get addicted. 


Milk - 3 liters
Vinegar - 3-4 tsp
Sugar - 1 cups (You can add more sugar to the milk syrup per taste) 
Saffron for garnishing 
Dry fruits for garnishing (Optional)

Method of Preparation 


Boil 2 liters of the milk in a heavy bottomed over medium-high heat, stirring frequently making sure that the milk does not burn on the bottom of the pan.
As the milk comes to a boil, add vinegar slowly and stir the milk gently. The cheese will start separating from the whey, turn off the heat.
Once the milk fat has separated from the whey, drain the whey using a strainer line with cheesecloth or muslin cloth.
Wrap the cheese  in a muslin cloth, rinse under cold water, and squeeze well. This process takes out the sourness from the vinegar. To take out the excess water squeeze the cloth, or press the wrapped paneer under a heavy pan for about one hour. Taking the right amount of water out of the paneer is the most important part of this recipe.
To check if enough water is out of the paneer, take a little piece of paneer on your palm and rub with your fingers. After rubbing the paneer for about 15-20 seconds, you should be able to make a firm but smooth ball.
If the paneer is too dry, add a few drops of water, using the water squeezed from the paneer.

Once the paneer is drained, place on a dry, clean surface and knead the paneer for 3-4 minutes until the paneer is almost rolls into smooth soft dough.

Knead the paneer by dragging the palm of your hand hard on the paneer. Keep scooping it back to together and knead more. Your palm will be little greasy.

Divide the dough into 12 equal parts and roll them in smooth balls (It can be more or less depending on the size of the patties you make)
To make the balls apply some pressure at the first and then release when forming the balls, lightly press to make about 3/4″ patty shape. 
Mix half cup of sugar and water in a pressure cooker on medium high heat and bring to a boil.
Add the paneer balls and close the pressure cooker. After the pressure cooker starts steaming, turn the heat to medium and cook for about seven minutes.
Make sure the cooker is large enough to accommodate the finished rasgullas patties, as they will expand to about double in the volume while cooking in the syrup!
Close the heat and wait a few minutes before opening the pressure cooker. Pour cold water over the cooker before opening.
Take out the patties from the syrup and squeeze them lightly,and keep aside.
Boil the remaining 1 liter milk in a frying pan on medium heat until the milk reduce to half. 
Make sure to frequently stir the milk as the milk burns easily in bottom of the pan.
Add the saffron and remaining sugar to it. Stir well.
Add Rasmalai patties in milk. Let it cook for few minutes.
Garnish with sliced almonds and pistachios (Optional)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Caramel custard and a beautiful morning !

If you are one who regularly hops into my page or knows me in person, then you should know that I am a bona fide lazy person. You would also know that I am not an early riser. Although  I am a firm believer of the saying "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise". Mind it I said believer not practitioner ....... I have seen my grandparents and parents strictly following the regime of waking up early . But for me its a different ball game all together. I am more of a nocturnal species who goes to bed late and of course refuses to buzz before the maid comes and rings the bell at 8 am. For my older generation dawn is considered as early morning but for me 8 am is also early enough !

And I must also confess that I am no where close to perfect .... for me perfection is boring. When you are imperfect there is always room for improvement. That's my philosophy ...... nothing great !!
I don't have the perfect hair or skin, neither do I flaunt manicured nails. I only take an appointment from the beautician if and only if it's necessary. I have a messy wardrobe ....... I love to rediscover my own clothes which go hiding under the piles. Before you start judging me I must tell you that I arrange my stuff once in a while ...... may be once every month. The list of my imperfections are many and I am sure you don't want to go through them.

So sometime this week J had an early morning train to catch and I being the "good wife" thought of packing some food for him. Although I was not quite excited about the idea of waking up early but I don't regret it either. Contrary to my belief I enjoyed waking up early ........ I realized that there are simple joys of life that I had almost forgotten in my wayward life style.
The orange hue in the sky and the Sun rising
The cool morning breeze 
Birds Chirping and the Rooster crowing on the fence
Some sleepy street dogs on the pavement basking in the morning sunlight
Dew drops shining like jewels on the green grass
A spider busy weaving his web
Morning walkers in the public park exchanging glances and greeting each other
The busy newspaper hawker and the milkman
The smell of fresh brewed tea from the road side tea stall amalgamating with the morning mist
And definitely some sleepy heads waiting for their school bus
Oh how much I rejoiced that morning !!

The train started moving out of the platform and J stood at the door of the bogie as we exchanged glances and waved at each other. It was a new day and I was already in love with it.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries and Letter to Santa 2011

What ?? Yes I believe in Santa. Of course he lives in the North Pole with his elves. Now he is busy reading the wish list of kids ....... also people who refuse to grow up ... count me in that category !! I didn't want to be the last moment person. Last Christmas I had to FedEx it in the eleventh hour. So this year I did post my wish list to him much in advance ...... I am sure he would be reading my list now :-)

So, have you guys hung your stockings and sent Santa your wish list. NO !! Then hurry up. I know it is bad manners to read the letters of others .......... but I don't mind sharing my letter to Santa with you guys ! After all there should not be any secrets between friends, isn't it.

My Dearest Santa,

Thanks for dropping through my chimney last year. This year I promise to keep the front door open for you ....... that way it won't me much of an inconvenience to you. I know you had a very difficult time squeezing yourself through the chimneys last year and had sprained an ankle too.

I am glad you and your elves liked the milk and cookies I served last year. No, I didn't bake them ...... they were store bought. It's much cheaper and convenient to pick them up from the stores .So I kind of settled down with them. Let me know if you want to carry some back for Mrs Claus ....... I shall pack some for her.

I got to know that you were pretty bored with the cookies and milk ...... So this year I decided to make something different for you ...... "Chocolate Dipped Strawberries with some wine" I know you will love it. There will be enough for you and your elves. But you have to look for them inside the fridge ....... I can't leave them by the chimney else the chocolates will start dripping and the strawberries may go bad. Sure they are going to be home made. I will also leave the recipe for you ...... in case you want Mrs Claus to try it back home.

Now before I forget ........ here's my wish list. Unlike last year this time it's much simpler. I am not like that fussy kid next door who wants a hippopotamus for Christmas !

1. A solitaire diamond ring from Tiffany .... ( Grin )

2. A nice pair of sandal from Jimmy Choo, It's US size 36 to be specific.

3. Like you always know, I have been longing for a Louis Vuitton Clutch ..... In case you don't have time for hopping between places, pick one from Jimmy Choo. I will manage.

4. Well I would also like a nice black dress ........ well you and Mrs Claus can take a call where to buy that from. I am OK with it.
Last year my husband complained about not including his list ........ so I really can't afford to miss out his this year. Well, he has a much simpler list ...... in fact just one thing, An Omega watch.

You don't have to make all the efforts to go to the stores or send your elves either, It's much simpler these days ..... order them online.

By the way I forgot asking about Rudolph .... hope that guy is all geared up.

Looking forward to seeing you soon ...........


Here's the recipe that I would be sharing with Mrs Claus ...... it's super duper easy !

Preparation Time 40 minutes

Strawberries with leaves - 1 pound (about 20)
Semi Sweet Chocolate - 6 ounces

White Chocolate - 3 ounces

Method of Preparation

1. Wash and dry the strawberries very well. Make sure there is no moisture on it.
2. Put the semi sweet and white chocolates into two heat proof medium bowl.
3. Fill 2 medium saucepans with a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat; set the bowls of chocolate over the water to melt. Stir until smooth. (Alternatively, melt the chocolates in a microwave at half power, for 1 minute, stir and then heat for another minute or until melted.)
4. Once the chocolates are melted and smooth, remove from the heat.
5. Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper. Holding the strawberry by the stem, dip the fruit into the dark chocolate, lift and twist slightly, letting any excess chocolate fall back into the bowl. Set strawberries on the parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the strawberries
6. Dip a fork in the white chocolate and drizzle the white chocolate over the dipped strawberries.
7. Set the strawberries aside until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Plum Cobbler & Essence of two minutes

Of course this is the electronic, rather internet era. Everything is possible in a click. All we need is just move a finger. However I and my father had to visit the railway reservation counter to make a group reservation. Something that was not possible over the internet booking. After fulfilling the required formalities I stood in one of the queues waiting for my turn to reach the booking window. The queue moved in a snail pace and the only way for me to kill my time was observing the body language and dressing of people around me. Well I do it most of the time but make sure not to make the other person uncomfortable. The reservation clerk at my window probably was in his early forties …… I could tell that from his bifocal reading glasses. His hair was unkept and he had grown a stubble. After standing for about an hour I was finally at the reservation window. Even before I could put my reservation request, the clerk pulled out a board that read “CLOSED” in bold red capitals. The wall clock that hung behind the reservation counter showed 11.50 am. I requested the clerk to take up my form as I was standing in the queue for almost an hour. Officially the time for lunch break was between 12 noon and 12.30 pm. I had read it during my one hour wait.
I was getting impatient and annoyed at the reluctance of the clerk. I could not hold back but remind him about his work hours which was till noon and not 11.50 am. Well as expected this gentle man could not tolerate somebody questioning his work ……… especially when it came from a lady. As expected I was left at his mercy. I had no choice but to wait for his extended lunch break to get over so that I could get past with my reservation.

As I was walking back ……. I was reminded of another instance that took place couple of years ago.

We had to moved into this new town called Naugatuck ……….. a small yet beautiful valley in the State of Connecticut. It took us about two months to settle down in this country far away from my own. It was the month of November in the East Coat of the United States and if I may say it had turned into a winter wonderland. Something that I read in Fairy Tales as a kid.

Of the many things in my ‘To Do’ list ……. Applying for a library card at the Naugatuck Valley Library was one. And it had been getting postponed for longer than desired. As I took the last sip of my late evening tea I made up my mind to get past this library card. I looked at the clock and it was already 5 minutes past 7. I picked up the required documents needed for applying the card and we headed out of the house by 7.15 pm.

As we pulled out of the driveway, I was mesmerized by the glistening snow on the stark naked trees. It looked beautiful in the moon lit night. Some houses in the neighborhood had already decked their lawns and patios with Christmas lights. They looked fabulous and reminded me of the beautiful Durga Puja Pandals back home. The FM radio too played some old Christmas classics. I smelt Christmas !!

In a few minutes we were at the Library. I had seen the clock at the hallway as soon I entered the building …….. it was already 7.25 pm and the closing time for the library was in the next 5 minutes.

I saw a fragile pale looking old lady sitting with a book at the counter. As I approached her with careful steps, she looked up from her book and greeted me with a smile. Since I was aware of the time when I entered the library I asked her with a lot of hesitation if I could manage to apply for a library card. ‘Sure you can as we have two more minutes left for the clock to strike 7.30 , she replied with a smile’. She looked beautiful and radiant with even a hundred wrinkles on her face.

I was taken aback by her reply and especially the way she respected time ... two minutes to be precise !

Makes about 6 ramekins

Preparation Time 60 minutes


All Purpose Flour – ¾ Cup

Butter at room temperature – ½ Cup

Sugar – ½ Cup

Salt – ½ tsp

Egg – 1

Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp

Milk ( Only needed to adjust consistency)

Fresh Plum Slices – ½ Cup

Baking Powder – ½ tsp

Method of Preparation

Mix sugar and Butter in a bowl. Stir well till sugar blends well. Add egg to this mixture and stir in again to make a uniform mixture. Also add Vanilla extract/ essence.

Mix all purpose flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Sieve the mixture so that they mix well uniformly.

Add little by little of the dry ingredients to the sugar butter egg mixture. Stir to blend them well. If required add a little milk to adjust the consistency.

Preheat the Oven at 350 degrees Farhenight. Grease the ramekins with little butter. Add sliced plums and batter in layers.

Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes or till done.

Remove and let it cool.

Serving Tips

Sprinkle some dusting sugar before serving.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jab we Met & a recipe for Raspberry - Ricotta Mousse

Jab we met ......

The day was hot and humid. I bunked office and rushed home. I was out of my comfy jeans and in a starched cotton lucknowi salwar kameez ...... yess the guy was coming from half way across the globe. Kohl laden eyes, lip gloss and Davidoff Cool Water ..... Nah I was not trying to impress him, that was over long time back when we chatted over the internet and interestingly many of the chats ended in an argument. We were poles apart .... and probably by the law of Physics or whatever we were attracted to each other !! And you only thought it happens in Hindi films, didn't you ?

Jab we met ......

We were officially engaged .... yes we lived in the cyber era. No distance was big enough ... we spoke, we chatted , we saw (on the web cam) and we decided. It only cost him his night sleep and few hundred American dollars !
Jab we met .....

I was holding a big bunch of roses and waiting for him at the airport with a hundred eyes staring at me to death. I wish someone told them that times have changed and it is no more that the guy has to bring you roses.

Jab we met ......

I made him squeeze into the auto rickshaw with his luggage coz that was my favorite mode of transport. I bargained and yelled at the auto wala for tampering with the meter and swore not to pay him a penny more. I frowned at J for paying the auto wala whatever he demanded. He smiled and put his arms around my shoulders as we walked down while I went on with my rants about the auto wala and his meter !

Jab we met ......

I made him walk up and down the street and from one shop to another in the hot summer sun ...... while I shopped and decided what he had to wear on the wedding day. And that it had to complement with my Benarasi saree ..... and he complied.

Jab we met ......

We had dinner at a dhabba ... nothing fancy. And the trend of me choosing what to eat had unintentionally began. We chatted more than we ate ..... and I was high on a breezer.

In all these years there have been rare flower surprises or surprise gifts.

But J, don't think that I have forgotten how you nursed me all night when I was not well, the surprise chicken biryani cooked by you, bed tea on weekends and mid night drives to the ice cream shop, eating the worst food I cooked with a smile to encouraging me for whatever I do.

It's five years but seems like yesterday that I said 'I do' ....... Happy Anniversary J !!

Preparation Time - 15 minutes
Serves - 4 to 6

Ricotta Cheese - 2 cups
Raspberry Jam - 1/2 cup
Whipped Cream - 1 cup
Powdered Sugar - 3 tbsp
Fresh Raspberries - 1 cup

Method of Preparation

1. In a food processor, blend the ricotta cheese until light and fluffy, about 20 seconds.Add the jam and pulse until combined. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream until thick. Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until the cream holds stiff peaks.
3. Working in batches, carefully fold the cream mixture into the ricotta mixture.
4. Spoon the mousse into serving bowls and refrigerate for 1 hour. Garnish with fresh raspberries and serve.


1. You can use Strawberry Jam if you do not have raspberry jam.
2. Substitute Ricotta cheese with cottage cheese