Monday, December 31, 2012

Espresso Grill. Review with the Blogger's Table

This post was meant to go up in November, but the last couple of months, I really haven't been a good blogger. That said, up this post goes before the year ends. :)


The first thing you notice about Espresso Grill is how things are so symmetrical. And how the open kitchen makes no noise. And that all the crockery is black.

No scratch that. The first thing you notice about Espresso Grill is the parking. Situated in the building that has Delhi's first proper multi-level parking, you know what your opening conversation is going to be in the restaurant. And then you take in the rest of the restaurant.


As the Blogger's Table met for lunch one Saturday - a cosy turnout though- since the holiday season was right around the corner and frankly quite liked the place a lot.

We started our meal with Gordon Ramsay's Roasted Cauliflower Soup with truffle oil. It had a nice wild mushroom crostini on it. Then came the Pan Asian Barbecue Pork ribs with Kimchee. While the kimchee was nothing to write home about the ribs were amazing. Falling off the bone with an almost teriyaki like sauce. 'twas lovely. Greek Salad with saganaki chicken was next. I loved the warm feta on top it just made it so much more delectable.


But for me, the piece de resistance and really the star of the evening was the Bruschetta. The tomatoes were roasted and then chilled with generous portion of Parmesan. The bread was warm, it was such an explosion of flavours, that a month later, when I went back with some friends, it was the first thing I recommended.


The main course came right along. Sushmita ordered the Forest Mushroom risotto, which turned out to be very generous and delicious. I got the Pan fried sole with fava bean puree with the saffron aioli ( I wish there was more of that aioli) , while my companion got the Lamb Shank with potato dauphoise. That was superb, meat falling off the bone, the leeks giving it an added depth. However when friends of mine went a week later the meat was undercooked and not up to the mark. Oh and a melange of roasted vegetables was also ordered.



You'd think none of us would have had any more space. But no we aren't like ordinary people, we are gluttons. A choice between baklava and creme brulee, all but one opted for the baklava. I didn't care for the baklava at all. It was too sweet (and I like sweet things) but it wasn't working for me. The creme brulee was nice. Not the best I had but nice. It had a nice crack and the Madagascar vanilla came through well. But when I went back the last time with my friends, I had the carrot cake, which I have to say was excellent.


I really enjoyed my meal at Espresso Grill and Aishwarya, whose first time it was with us brought us some of her brownies, which were really lovely.

In November when I went back, the liquor license had just come through. I'd like to go back in January for some of that bruschetta and the carrot cake. And of course the company, which is always always brilliant.

Find out what the rest of us had to say :)

Sushmita @ My Unfinished Life
Rituparna @ Chocolate and Dreams
Rekha @ My Tasty Curry
Aishwarya @ Aishwarya Eats

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sour cream and Blueberry Pancakes

Buttering up © Cookaroo
So I had a birthday this week. And the night before my birthday, I was a bit of an emotional mess. I'd slept in till as long as I could (read 8 pm) and then basically mooned around for a bit.

I'd my party you see, the week before. And I'd been celebrating for at least the whole week, so I don't know what it was, but I really caught the blues. I didn't want to talk to anybody, I didn't want to sleep anymore. I was just plain listless and sad. The husband couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, and when I told him, he looked absolutely surprised. A of minutes later he told me to hold my horses - he'd got me so many flowers - nearly 5 dozens - of lilies, roses, gerbaras. They were just beautiful. He even got me a cake. :)

(On another note, I cut three cakes this year - and none of them baked by me! Wheeee!!)

That totally upped my spirits and by midnight I was back to my cheery self. The next day was brilliant. My friends N and S sent singing balloons to my office, I  had lunch with three of my friends and dinner with the husband and parents. Quiet and just how I like it. And then off to mass we went.

Having said that, I craved something pampering on Christmas day. Pancakes seemed perfect. I'd made these pancakes for a brunch earlier this month and they were a big hit. Light, fluffy and absolutely perfect sized, I wanted to make them again. I think its the sour cream that makes it so awesome.

All stacked up © Cookaroo
My husband, whos really not a pancake lover, ate three of these! Three that's three too many for him. So it was good to know that they worked well.

I am not really sure where I read this recipe. But it could have been Betty Crocker or on someones blog. But for now, I'm going to assume it was on Food.com

I think you can substitute just about any berry in this recipe. I however had a handful of blueberries left in my freezer, plus it reminds me of all the good things in life.



Sour Cream and Blueberry Pancakes
Makes 14 small pancakes

Ingredients
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oat bran flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
Water if needed

Directions 

1.In a bowl mix together the flour, oat bran flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar.

2. In another bowl  break the egg and then using a whisk break it down. Add the oil, milk and sour cream to it.

3. Pour it into the dry ingredients and stir in the blueberries. The batter should not be too thick but neither should it be runny,. Let it sit for 10 minutes before making the pancakes

4. On a non stick griddle, pour one soup ladle full, cook for two minutes on each side. Serve with butter and maple syrup.




I am sending this off to AlphaBakes as the letter this month is S for Sour cream and blueberry pancakes. It's hosted alternately by More than Occasional Baker and Caroline from Caroline Makes.



Monday, December 10, 2012

Pinterest Picks. For the most wonderful time of the year - Christmas

Those who know me, know how much I love Christmas. A. It's birthday time. B. Everyone is so happy. C. Presentss :)

Each year I try and think of doing fun things for my Christmas party, this year however, I have Pinterest for reference. Everything is so so pretty out there and Pinterest is filled with Christmas fun. Everything is so red white and green and you help but go  awww at all of them.

I've been looking at some of things that I'd like to replicate and so I've got a host of things that might interest everyone. I know cookies are the easiest things to do around Christmas but here are some of the things that I found awesome and just had to link up to.

Merry Christmas!

1. Mistletoes cupcakes


2. Reindeers cake pops


3. Snowman stirrers



4. Ginger Dead man (this really made me laugh, it might scar a child for life)



5. Eggnog cake



6. Snowflakes cookies


7. Candy train


8.  Pretty presents


9. Candy canes



10. Stocking cookies


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Not Rosey this. A revisit to Rose Cafe

I've been AWOL. I know. But that's a story for later. Meanwhile I have to talk about this horrid, horrid experience we had at Rose Cafe.

I'm not sure if you'd remember but in August, my friend N and I walked into this quaint and pretty place near Garden of Five Senses and were totally floored by how tastefully done up it was. No? That's ok, you can read this for reference.



So you can imagine how excited I was to share this discovery with everyone on the Blogger's Table. And so on a lovely Sunday in October, we guys landed there for a languid brunch.  We were our happy chatty selves, especially since the night before we'd all met up at Zanotta at the Leela Kempinski for a lovely formal sitdown dinner, so our spirits were high.  As we all turned up and looked around and made our exclamations, it was just the way things went that made it downhill from the beginning.

The food? The pizzas were brilliant as always. The beans in a bun lovely, shepherd's pie exceptional but that was that. Really that's were the odyssey ended.

 Photo Courtsey: Deeba Rajpal

 
Like Charis said, there were signs. We should have known. We really should have. Since we were seated in a long table, we couldn't really see what was going on at the other end. So what was going on? Apparently only one end of the table received any food. The service was sooo terrible, that it was obvious that they weren't equipped to served more than 3-4 people at a table at a time.
 
There was a point Sid, who'd ordered a soup decided he'd much rather eat a kathi roll from down the road than wait for another hour. It had been 40 minutes since he'd ordered. Rekha's Eggplant Parmigiana was undercooked and really quite terrible and then beat this, Sushmita's appetisers arrived with our desserts. Ofcourse, icing on the cake, as always (as my luck would have it) is to have found hair on my plate.
 
Oh and the desserts that I loved? Well, didn't quite live up to the hype. Yes, the waffles were fabulous. Yes, the espresso cake was delicious. Everything else was slip-shoddy. The macaroons were cold and eggy, the raspberry cake which was "made especially for us"was frozen and terrible. And the tiramisu I loved the last time, total total mediocre.
 
Such a disaster. Still we were us. We were fun. And then as if adding insult to injury, we were subjected to such a large dose of rudeness that it left most of us shaking with anger. Months later, I still don't get it. Isn't the first rule of being in hospitality industry being polite? Isn't the second rule that if you can't be polite, don't open your mouth?
 
Apparently at Rose Cafe they don't believe that exists. The owner was plenty apologetic. But damage done is damage done. I think it was a learning lesson for all us. It's true when they say don't judge a book by it's cover - because this - this was just unacceptable. This was pure ugliness.
 
We got an apology mail later the next day:
 
Please accept my sincere apology for yesterday's incident. It was not my
intention to make you feel small, cheap or insulted. I sincerely apologize
for my tone of voice and will make sure that I am courteous and polite to
women and not make them feel small.

Sincerely

Uxxxg
 
I showed this mail to friends of mine in the hospitality industry and also in the field of journalism.  I don't have words that can be penned down about what I feel about this mail.
 
What do you think?
 
Please read the rest of the table's experience at Rose Cafe and judge for yourself, if you'd really like to go there:
 
Deeba Rajpal @ Passionate about baking
Charis @ Culinary Storm
Sushmita @ My Unfinished life
Himanshu @ The White Ramekins
Sangeeta @ Banaras ka Khana
 
 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Salty caramel sweets. And meeting George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan





As a journalist, I have had the opportunity to meet many people. By people I also mean celebs, but I have never ever wanted to take a picture with them and then put them up for people to see.

When I went to interview Shah Rukh Khan, I wanted to dig a hole in the floor because my photographer really wanted a picture of him. I was so embarrassed he'd asked I ran into Salman Khan distributing money at a club and quickly went up to chat with him. Picture, he said. No, thank you I said. With A. R. Rahman, it was the same story. And with Abhishek Bachchan and with, oh well, you know what I mean.

Thing is, I am not star struck. And I quite pride myself for not caring about celebrities (other than gossiping a about them). Or so I thought until I heard that George and Gary were coming to India. Who that, you might ask. Masterchef Australia judges and fab fab chefs, that's who.

And imagine meeting them with fellow crazy-about-the-two. So. Totally. Fun.


  
So when Charis called asking me if I wanted to come for an event she was participating in, I had to say yes. Ok, she said, I'll put your name down for the Nature's Basket event. A couple of minutes later an invite landed in my mailbox - Breakfast with the two at Olive Beach. I didn't think anything of it till then, until later I called Charis to confirm if they were separate events. They were.

The good people of Olive and Fine Food India had invited us over. Breakfast, conversations and a lovely lovely morning. So totally worth waking up, and driving early to beat the traffic. And so totally worth sharing an experience with people who valued it as much as me.


And I keep wondering what would happen, if I accidentally bumped into say Heston Blumenthal or Rene Redzepi or Art Smith (who I love love love). Or if I ended up having breakfast with Thomas Keller or Yotam Ottolenghi. Oh my god. Heaven. H.E.A.V.E.N.

Yeah, so bottom line is, I'm totally star struck Come on, a girl's got to give sometimes.

Oh and also, I got their latest cookbook signed by both. Because later that evening I went for the book signing at Nature's Basket. This picture here, is just after the signing. And you know what, I really couldn't wipe that stupid smile off my face for the rest of the day.





And so from this signed cookbook, I knew I had to make something that would really mean sharing a piece of them. I made the salty caramel sweets.



I love love love salted caramels. They are just the best things ever. These reminded me of Sees candies, but the soft chewy ones and they tasted a cross between molten lava and ambrosia. Ha. I am kidding. They were really awesome. And what surprised me was that a little went a long way. And the addition of the chocolate gave it quite an unexpected depth.

They were quite simple to make as well. I'd been collecting everything I'd need - liquid glucose, good quality chocolate and fleur de sel - so that I could make them whenever I'd find some time. I wasn't finding any. So when I came home last night close to midnight, totally tired after a crazy day at work, I figured  I had to make them like now.



From measuring, melting and mixing the ingredients, it took me a total of 15 minutes to get it ready. I had a meat thermometer and not a candy thermometer but really it didn't bother me because well, I kept a cold bowl of water to keep checking on the candy. Once I poured it into the baking tray, I left it overnight in the fridge and then cut it with a greased knives to get the shapes I wanted. Gary and George have also specified that these can be wrapped in cellophane and kept for about a week. As if they were going to last that long.

The book is really fabulous and I still have so many things I want to make from them. But for now, here's the recipe for these amazing candies.
 



Salty caramel sweets
Adapted  from Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris' Cook with Us. Available in India

Ingredients

4 grams sea salt
100 grams butter
50 grams dark chocolate, chopped
240 grams caster sugar
80 grams liquid glucose
2 tablespoons water
180 ml low fat cream

Method

1. In a saucepan place the sugar and glucose and water on medium heat. Do NOT stir but bring to a boil and let it cook till golden. Take off the heat immediately. (this takes about 6-8 minutes)

2. Add the cream and the butter and some salted flakes ad cook until the mixture reaches 118 centrigrade on a candy thermometer or when it makes a soft ball stage in a bowl of cold water. (this takes another 3-4 minutes)

3. Meanwhile line a baking tray with parchment paper and melt the chocolate in the microwave.

4. As soon as the sugar mix reaches the desired temperature, turn off the heat and add the chocolate till just combined. Pour into the prepared tin.

5. Let it rest and cool for one hour outside and for a couple hours in the refrigerator.

6. Cut the salted caramel into squares with a sharp well greased knife. Dot with more salted flakes and pop em in your mouth every two minutes.





Monday, November 5, 2012

Jam Doughnut muffins


 Blood bath © Cookaroo

Jam doughnut muffins. Say it with me. Jam. Doughtnut. Muffins. I read the name somewhere last week, and just kept saying it over and over in my head. Big bother. Because with that, I knew I had to bake them like asap.

Then on the weekend, I saw a picture of some doughnut muffins. And then I spied a half bottle of strawberry jam sitting at the back of my fridge. Oh and promptly after that I spilled my bottle of cinnamon powder. That did it. I knew I had to make them.

I remember I'd tried making these muffins a couple of years ago and they came out dense and hard. It was a Nigella Lawson recipe. Those who know me, know how much I love Nigella. So not only was I disappointed, I was totally surprised at not getting the recipe right.

Anyhoo, a quick search and I opted to do the first muffin recipe that appeared via Taste.com. It seemed super quick and super easy. And it was. I did some bare minimum substitutions and ended with some of the most superb muffins I've had in a while. Plus I made them gigantic so that I could use my silicon tray.

I think the best part was brushing them with melted butter and then rolling them in cinnamon sugar. Oh and ofcourse eating them warm. I suggest you let them cool all what you want, but just zap them in the microwave before the re run and serve with more butter and jam when required.

 Be mine © Cookaroo

Jam Doughnut Muffins
Adapted from Taste.com.au


Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup caster sugar, plus 1/2 cup extra to coat
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
175ml buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tsp good-quality strawberry jam
100g butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a 6-hole muffin pan.
  2. Sift the flour and baking soda into a medium bowl, then add a pinch of salt and the caster sugar. In a jug, combine the vegetable oil, egg, buttermilk and vanilla extract.
  3. Add to the dry mixture and stir to only just combine. Place a spoonful of the mixture in each muffin hole and make an indent in the centre. Fill each indent with a generous 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry jam. Cover the jam with the remaining muffin mixture and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter. Combine the extra sugar and the cinnamon in a large bowl.
  5. When the muffins are cool enough to handle, brush each muffin with the melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon sugar. Serve while still a little warm.


 Jammed © Cookaroo

Sending this to Alphabakes (November Challenge) things beginning with J at Caroline Makes and The more than occasional baker


And to Bake Fest which is being guest hosted by Anu of Anu's Healthy Kitchen


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lemon thumbprint cookies with strawberry jam

Fore feet © Cookaroo 
Let me tell you a secret about thumbprint cookies. There are no thumbprints. You don't need to use your thumbs at all. Instead you need to use your fore fingers to make the indention. But I suppose no one would eat them if they were called forefinger cookies.

But the thing is. I love them. They remind me of my childhood. How my mother would buy us coconut macaroons and jam print cookies from this neighbourhood bakery every other weekend, to pack into our snack boxes for lunch.

I loved the stickiness of the jam that just totally complemented buttery cookies and then I loved dunking them in milk and having them at tea. 

I've made a lot of thumbprint cookies, I've made Espresso cookies with espresso jam, Lemon curd and vanilla thumbprints, chocolate with ganache, the list is really quite endless. But this is the first time, I've made lemon cookies. I wanted to do a batch before Diwali, a sort of dry run to figure out whether I want to give these cookies out as presents. 

I really liked them. Once the cookies and filled, baked and cooled, I dusted them with icing sugar and refilled the cookies with some more jam. I think I could have filled them with some plum jam as well. But yummers.

But I am still in a toss up. Lemon raspberry cupcakes or these cookies? One more trial run and life will be sorted



Lemon thumbprint cookies with strawberry jam
Adapted from Emril Lagasse's Christmas Cookies on Food Network

Ingredients
1/4 cup strawberry jam
1 tablespoon cherry brandy
11/8 cups flour
1/2 tsp  baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
100 grams butter  room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract


Directions


  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degree centigrade. Lightly butter 2 large baking sheets.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the jam and brandy. Stir to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk
  4. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks, lemon zest,  lemon juice, lemon extract and vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 2 additions and beat just until moist clumps form. Gather the dough together into a ball.
  5. Pinch off the dough to form 1-inch balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing 1-inch apart. Use your floured index finger or 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon to create depressions in the center of each ball. Fill each indentation with nearly 1/2 teaspoon of the jam mixture. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  6. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Sprinkle the icing sugar and then refill the cookies with jam

Cookieee © Cookaroo 

Sending this to Delicious Dish Tuesdays which is being hosted by Amanda of Coping with Frugality


Monday, October 29, 2012

Thai eggplant salad. And explaining the hiatus

So winey© Cookaroo
I've been a bad person. I know I have. I've been away for nearly two weeks now, and it's been so totally crazy for me that I hardly had the time to blog. But I feel I owe my blog an explanation. So here goes.

I wasn't sick. I was just plain busy. I have a full time job (which is ok) and I was doing a menu development project and the restaurant will be up and running in a day or so. So between writing stories, cooking, training and tastings I had no time to myself. I was sleeping some six hours and was working all the time.

Plus since I needed to maintain a sort of work life balance, I was still going out and meeting people. So while I haven't missed any bloggers meets, I just haven't had the time to pick up the camera and shoot. I haven't cooked at home either. And when I am at home, I've been eating eggs and toasts and milk. I've been baking (for other peeps) but not shooting. And now my Diwali rounds have to begin, which means lots of baking again because I am going home for Diwali. (yay).

Meanwhile in other news I met Gary and George of Masterchef Australia (that I will post about sometime soon) and went for F1, where I saw Sebastian Vettel win. And made some of the best cupcakes of my life.

But before that, some of us bloggers were sent a Diwali pack by Four Seasons which included a 350 ml bottle of Shiraz and another of the Chenin Blanc and a sweet wine glass. We decided to make something from it, and tossing between doing a risotto or a sangria, we just ended up doing what we felt like. I decided on doing this thai eggplant salad.

I love eggplant. But you know this. I've made the chilled soba salad, grilled eggplant salad and roasted aubergine sandwich, but this salad has been a favourite ever since I ate it 5 years ago. I love how the tomatoes and eggplant seem like such a natural fit. I love how the basil is a definite must. And I love how quick and uncomplicated it is. Oh and it's a warm salad. Perfect for winters




Thai Eggplant Salad
Adapted from a memory about five years old

Ingredients
2 tblsp vegetable oil
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 medium sized eggplants, diced
1 medium-sized onion, diced
2 tomatoes diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped (
2 tblsp white wine (I used Four Seasons Chenin Blanc)
1 tbslp red wine vinegar
3 tblsp dark soy sauce,
 2 tblsp brown sugar
20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn
A pinch of salt
Handful pine nuts

Method

<!--[if !supportLists]-->1.       <!--[endif]-->Make the dressing with the ½ chopped garlic, white wine, red wine vinegar, two tbslp soya sauce, 4 basil leaves, 1 tblsp of brown sugar and salt. Toss the tomatoes in it. Keep aside
<!--[if !supportLists]-->2.       <!--[endif]-->Meanwhile heat a deep saucepan and add oil to it. Add red chilli flakes Let it sizzle for 10 seconds. Add the eggplant and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add onions and garlic and stir fry for three more minutes.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->3.       <!--[endif]-->Once the eggplant has softened, add the remaining soya sauce and brown sugar and toss well. Remove for heat. Let it cool for a couple of seconds and add to the tomato and dressing mixture.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->4.       <!--[endif]-->Toss well. Check for salt. Add the basil leaves and finally top with pine nuts 


So nuts © Cookaroo

Sending this to Patty's Weekly Story 99 at Colours Dekor

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Zanotta at Leela Kempinski with the Blogger's Table



Photo courtesy: Arvind Khanna
This picture warms my heart through and through. You can see how people are mid-conversation, how food is always centre-stage and how someone somewhere is always having a giggle fit.

For capturing a moment that is so Blogger's Table , I thank you Arvind Khanna, the taker of this picture.

Most of the evening was a blur for me, a good kind of a blur. Firstly I was running late (as always) and Sangeeta I think had to literally chase me down to figure out where I was. Anyhoo, by the time I got there, I'd obviously missed the first course - which I believe was quite fabulous -  Pan seared Scallops with grilled Zucchini salsa. 

I got a bowl of Minestrone Soup instead - Minestrone alla Zanotta with pumpkin and rice, as the second course and I was poured the wine for both the course almost simultaneously - Craggy Range, Chardonnay, New Zealand and Albert Bichot Cote de Rhone, Chardonnay, France. I loved the Craggy Range. So much so, that before I knew it, I was on my second glass. Ofcourse Deeba who was sitting across from me noticed and I was given a rap on my knuckles. 

Thing was, I was tired. And not very hungry. But I wanted to hang with everybody. And the problem being seated in a long table is that you get to only chat up with either people sitting across from you or next to you. And then you can sort of eavesdrop and try and catch snatches of conversation at the end of the table. Or if you are feeling slightly garrulous shout across the table - like Sid and me.

I was seated next to Vinay Narang, PR of Leela who was wearing a gorgeous sari and across from the very polite general manager Roger Wright. And I asked her if Chef Kunal was around and she called him. The rest of the evening, I spent gossiping with him.And unfortunately didn't pay as much attention to Antara, who was our special guest for the evening.

Back to the soup. I really really liked the Minestrone. It had such the right amount of tomatoes and warm vegetables like pumpkin which made for a beautiful complement. The flavours were really really rich. 

The Mushroom Ravioli came up next. And it was shaped like a tortellini. I love hand rolled pasta. I love ravioli and this was no exception. I loved the meaty mushroom mix inside, it was just bursting with flavours and left you wanting more. Except you really couldn't eat so much more

Photo courtesy: Deeba Rajpal
And then the Crespelle arrived. Stuffed with spinach and  ricotta, served with tomato and parmesan, this was totally my favourite course (or did I speak too soon! ) It was cheesy, it had greens and it was just lovellllllly.

Ofcourse this course was paired with another wine - Valpolicella 'Classico' Allegrini, Corvina Italy - with Deeba and Sangeeta watching me, I took a rain check and opted to drink a diet soda. 

Photo courtesy: Deeba Rajpal
But then the piece de resistance arrived. In shapes of igloos. Beautiful ice structure that housed a lovely surprise. And no it wasn't dessert, it was the palate cleanser. With a tea-light candle flickering inside, and a tea towel keeping the ramekin from sticking - a lovely berry sorbet helped us steer towards the grand finale of this lovely, formal yet languid evening. 

Photo courtesy Himanshu Taneja
The dessert arrived - bitter chocolate semifreddo - that was served with candied apricots, blueberry and pear coulis and a teeny bit of mango pannacota and some orange feel. In an odd sort of way it was quite a DIY dessert, since you could pair your flavours as you liked them. Chocolate blueberry, good. Chocolate apricot, even better. Chocolate mango, yum. And then plain chocolate - even better!

And with that the foodgasm came to an end. Downing a glass of water (remember the eyes, they were still watching me), we managed to pull ourselves out the chairs. Only to realise how late it had gotten. But what a lovely lovely night.  

The service superb, the people humble and an experience quite unlike any other, this was a meal truly fit for a  king, let alone bloggers. 

On the table that night:

Sid @ Chef at Large
Rekha @ My Tasty Curry
Himanshu @ White Ramekins
Charis @ Culinary Storm
Parul @ Shirazine
Sangeeta Khanna @ Banaras Khana
Deeba @ Passionate about Baking
Antara @ Antypasti





Monday, October 8, 2012

Orange Juice Cake with Orange blossom water

 OJ not Simpson © Cookaroo 

Hey you, man sitting at the end of the table, I'm talking to you.

Just because I smiled at you politely and made some conversation, doesn't mean I want to be friends with you.

Just because you were in the same room with me, breathing the same air, doesn't mean you can send me a friendship request on social networking sites.

Just because you and I have similar interests and can talk about food, doesn't mean that you can ask for my number.

Don't stalk me on Facebook, don't send me messages, don't talk to me.

But hey, since you're stalking me anyways, here's cake you can bake

-----------------------

This cake was an experiment. But it turned out sooo good that I was totally surprised. It had a lovely wafting citrus smell, the rind gave it a brillaint punch and the juice added moisture making it really light, despite having whole wheat in it.

It tasted like an orange creamiscle and had a pound cake-like texture. This measurement made me two small cakes and I was happy with that because I could give one away. Also the husband loved this cake. He loves a vanilla sponge and loves citrus - this just made total sense to him.

You can omit the orange blossom water, I added it because I have a huge bottle that the husband brought back for me from his trip last month and in any case have been looking for recipes to use it in. This just made sense. If you don't have it, use some more juice and perhaps a bit of lemon extract.


 More Orangey © Cookaroo 

Orange Juice Cake with Orange Blossom water

Ingredients


1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat
2 tblsp corn flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp orange blossom water

2 tsp orange blossom water for soaking

For the glaze
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp orange blossom water
2 tsp orange juice


Directions:

1 Sift flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda together.
2 In a separate bowl, cream butter, orange blossom water and orange rind together.
3 Gradually add sugar, creaming together until light and fluffy.
4 Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
5 Then add flour mixture, alternating first with the milk; then with the orange juice, beating until smooth.
6 Pour batter into a parchment papered pan and bake for 30 minutes at 180 degree centigrade.
7 Once done, remove and poke holes through the cake and splash it with more orange blossom water
8 Let it cool while you make the glaze by combining juice, icing sugar and more orange blossom water. Drizzle over the cake. Serve.



Pound intended © Cookaroo 

Sending this to Bake Fest 12 by Mansi at Fun and Food Cafe which she is guest hosting for Vardhini of Cook's Joy


And to Patty's Weekly Story 96  at Colours Dekor


Printfriendly