Monday, March 20, 2017

Baking | Coffee Custard Tart

Yes I could you a lot of explanations on what's happening with me and why I haven't been blogging. But I'll save that for later. 

The big news first though - because I have been on a low carb low sugar diet, I honestly haven't been baking that much, lest I am tempted to eat. I have to admit though, I don't crave so much sugar anymore and when I do, I feel like eating an Eclair from Big Chill and nothing more. Strange isn't it?

But nonetheless I have to get back into the groove, which means a lot more fun things coming your way. And a lot more delicious recipes for me to make and discover. 

This coffee custard tart honestly came because someone asked me to bake them something that wasn't a cake, wasn't chocolate and wasn't fruit. Quite a tall task eh? As I racked my brains, the flavour which popped out loud and clear in my head was coffee. A Vietnamese Iced Coffee was just perfect I felt.

The smoothness of the coffee against a crisp flakey shell just appealed to me and how! But because I am slightly averse to the egginess of custard, I needed to figure out a way to make it just set but without tasting eggy. Coffee, condensed milk and a bit of cream would just do the trick I thought. 

The tart turned out just as I imagined and with a topping of almonds it was just too good to be true. The coffee shone through and while the saltiness of the tart just balanced it out perfectly. My friend was just over the moon, because for her, this was just what the doctor ordered.

Coffee Custard Tart
Makes 6

For the tart shell

1/2 cup flour
1/4 icing sugar
1/3 cup cold butter
a pinch of salt
1 egg 
2 tsp cold water (optional)

For the filling

1/2 cup condensed milk
1 cup  low fat cream
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup strong coffee


1. Start with making strong coffee. I used good quality South Indian filter coffee in a french press. I brewed it and then let it cool.
2. Make the tart shell by sieving together flour and icing sugar. Mix in the butter until it is crumbly and resembles bread crumbs. 
3. Add the egg and pinch of salt and bring it together. Add cold water if the dough is not coming together. 
4. Pinch out the dough and press into the tart tin. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
5. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. And set aside to coo.
6. Make the filling with by whisking together condensed milk, low fat cream, egg yolks and the coffee. 
7. Pour the mix into the pre-baked tart shells and bake for 25 minutes or until the edges are brown and the custard is just about setting
8. Cool. Top with a bit of crushed almonds and serve at room temperature for best results. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Baking I Ghee Cake with Cowboys Desi

I love the name Cowboys Desi. It tickles me because I get where it's coming from. However for those who have no idea what I'm talking about this is a fabulous company dedicated to dairy activities and allied agriculture. It's these peeps who deliver some amazing cow milk, cooking oils, ghee, flour and honey right at your doorstep.

So when the good people at Cowboys Desi sent me a hamper with some amazing goodies, I was just itching to do something fun with it. I drank the milk (that was a no brainer), used the spices in the normal ghar ki subzis - of which the turmeric was my favourite and finally used the mustard oil in a spot of Kashmiri cooking.

But it was that large vat of ghee that had me puzzled. I wanted to do something fun with that ghee because it just smelt so wonderful. And while we aren't big parantha eaters, that would mean that the ghee would last forever and forever at home.

That was until the husband mentioned that the smell reminded him of this cake, he'd eaten off the streets in Cochin as a child. He said that the distinct smell of the ghee was making him hanker for a chunk of that cake and he looked at me rather longingly.

Fine, I said. Let me figure this out. As I started searching for recipes, I realised that the Ghee Cake was EXTREMELY popular and with good reason. First off, it made for one of the most moist cakes you've ever eaten. Secondly it preserves very well and thirdly, it just tastes delicious.

So armed with a idea in my head, I decided to experiment with a few flavours - lemon ofcourse was the easiest bet, followed by plain vanilla. As I flipped between the two, I settled to make an intensely vanilla ghee cake - with bourbon vanilla and vanilla bean. And what a good choice that was.

Such a fun cake this was. And the Cowboys Desi Ghee was just amazing. It was like silk and smelt so rich that I had to make this cake over and over. Plus this easy recipe was such a bonus that it really made my day.

So without much ado, here goes:

Cowboys Desi's Ghee Cake
Serves 6

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder1/2 tsp baking soda1/4 tsp salt1 cup ghee1 cup sugar2 whole eggs2 egg yolks1/4 cup milk1 tsp vanilla extract1 vanilla bean scrapped

1. In a bowl measure out the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
2. Cream ghee and sugar in a large bowl. And add in the egg yolks and vanilla extract. Beat well.
3. Add in the remaining eggs, milk and vanilla bean and mix for a minute.
4. Add in the dry ingredients and just bring it all together. Do not over mix.
5. Pour into greased pans and bake for 30 minutes at 180 degree centigrade or until a skewer comes out clean once inserted. 
6. Serve with a drizzle of icing sugar and milk.