Dan Dan Noodles

On today’s episode of Corona Cucina, we’re going to make Dan Dan Noodles.

It’s a family favorite, we had it in Chengdu (no surprises there), and is a dish that I have been craving ever since we got back home. I thought the process will be chaotic and I’ll never get it right, but when I got down actually making it, the dish came out really really well.

They’re so well rounded and yummy its unbelievable!

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All the Sichuan cooking I have been doing has been pretty close to the real thing – and this is without adding any MSG. I am a huge David Chang fan, and if he says MSG is okay to eat and the whole hate around MSG is western propaganda, and is in fact, filled with xenophobia – then I’ll buy it. So would I add a sprinkle of MSG if I had it handy? Absolutely!

These are the pictures of the OG Dan Dan Noodles I had in Chengdu at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant recommended by The Food Ranger in his Chengdu Food Guide Book – which is a life saver considering (in all honesty) it’s difficult for non-mandarin speaking tourists to navigate through must-eat spots and food menus in Chengdu. If and when you ever visit Chengdu, I highly recommend purchasing this book which totals to about INR 700.

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So, I began channeling my inner Po, used peanut butter instead of Tahini in this recipe, and, I think it tasted better than the original because of the added sesame oil which doesn’t make you miss that rounded sesame flavour.

I made a chicken version, but if you’re vegetarian you can make a mushroom / soya mince version. Just follow the same steps – make sure the mushrooms are diced finely to crisp them up faster, and please prepare the soya mince as per packet instructions – cause I have no clue how to do that. The chicken mince needs to get crispy in the wok – its more like this crispy topping (delicious, right?) than this filling protein.

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Here’s what you need: (for a portion of two)

  • 100g egg noodles
  • 1 – 2 teaspoon Chilli oil (depends on how hot you like your food)
  • 2-3 Scallions (green part only)
  • 4 Tbsp Crushed Peanuts
    • I personally didn’t think this needed any vegetables added and wanted to keep this as authentic and street style as possible. But if you’re OCD about having vegetables then you want to blanch your greens (in salted water) and add them to the bowl during assembly

For the chicken:

  • 250g chicken mince
  • 6 garlic cloves – chopped finely
  • 1/2 inch ginger – chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy
  • 1 tablespoon light soy
  • White pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon chilli oil
  • 3 tablespoons of oil – for cooking

Dressing:

  • 1 heaped tablespoon of Peanut Butter
  • 1 tablespoon light soy
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon black vinegar
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

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Here’s what you need to do:

The chicken came first.

Place the oil in a wok and add the garlic to cold oil. Bring the wok up to heat and let the garlic bubble away. Once the oil is sufficiently hot and the garlic is sizzling, add the ginger and cook it out for 30 seconds. Add the chicken mince – you want to cook this out till the water and juices evaporate – again, to reiterate, this is going to get crispy. Add salt and pepper to the chicken mince.

Keep breaking up any chunks which keep coming together while stirring ever so often. Once the chicken begins to dry, season with the sauces and continue to cook until the chicken and the oil begin to separate and the chicken is crispy. Simple.

Cook the noodles as per packet instructions (heavily salted), save the noodle water.

Mix all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. It might begin to coagulate, which is absolutely normal. At this point you spoon in two tablespoons of the hot noodle water and stir till you have a nice, smooth dressing which will easily coat the noodles and hold on like a clingy partner.

Spoon the dressing in the serving bowl, followed my the hot noodles, chicken mince, scallion greens and crushed peanuts! Drizzle the bowl with chilli oil. If you make it and you like it, you may reach out to me, bend in gratitude and repeat after me – “There is no secret ingredient” 😀

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Two Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

This recipe defied everything that I thought I knew about chocolate. I’m a food snob, having watched and re-watched every single episode of every single season of Masterchef Australia, I am a self proclaimed food encyclopaedia. I was under the impression that chocolate and water are enemies – especially while melting chocolate – I thought that if even a single droplet of water falls into melted chocolate – it will seize. Apparently not, well at least not in this science defying recipe.

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Two ingredients, that’s all its going to take for you to whip up a delicious tasting mousse , which you can top with flakey sea salt and any fresh berries – if you have them at the bottom of your fridge somewhere.

I saw this recipe first in New York Times Cooking – and thats when I knew I had to try it. It’s super simple and a brilliant lockdown recipe – because assuming you have water and are surviving – its actually a one ingredient mousse!

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Here’s what you need:

  • 250gm of chocolate – chopped
  • 225ml of water
  • Flakey sea salt

Here’s what you need to do:

Prepare an ice bath – Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and chilled water. On top of the cold water, place another bowl (for you to make your mousse in).

On a medium flame, place a heavy bottomed pan and transfer the chopped chocolate in. Pour in the 225ml of water and begin stirring with a whisk. You don’t need to whisk furiously – just until everything is melted and comes together, 3 to 5 minutes.

Once both the ingredients have come together, transfer to the bowl floating in the ice bath and WHISK like you mean it. You’ll have to whisk for about 5 to 8 minutes. You want to quickly bring down the temperature of the chocolate mix and incorporate air into the soon to be chocolate cloud. When the chocolate begins to look mousse-like, transfer to a bowl and top with flakey salt. Simple. Now you may eat.

Intervention: In case your ice melts, and the bowl isn’t cold anymore and therefore, the chocolate is not becoming fluffy. Pop the chocolate bowl in the freezer for five minutes, refresh the ice bath with chilled water and more ice cubes and give it another go – it’s going to come together I promise.

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Dalgona Iced Coffee #달고나커피

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I have almost completed a week in self-isolation which wasn’t so bad considering on two days I had to rush to the office to use the Bloomberg Terminal. Pandemics imply market corrections which means growth stocks might be available for cheap in the short term.

So on Day 5 today, while mindlessly scrolling on Instagram, I came across Dalgona Coffee (trending on social media, FYI), which is nothing but a cold coffee- an unstirred version- of our phaeti hui coffee.

People stuck in quarantine in South Korea are now connecting with each other by making their versions of the Dalgona Iced Coffee and posting about it online.

2020 has been a tough TOUGH year for everybody. It’s been especially volatile for Delhiites. So, when I see people in the world coming together in times of uncertainty you can 110% count me in on participating in that viral trend, fad or not.


 

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From the quintessential ‘pick-me-up’ to the brewing of something romantic, coffee has played an extremely important role in all our lives. My love affair with coffee started out of necessity when I would make my not-so-accommodative sister drive me to the nearest coffeeshop for a double shot espresso during exam time. Eventually, when I started working, coffee came to my rescue every morning – if you can call it coffee that is, or maybe the poison extracted from earsplitting steam exhaling machines is a better description of what I have been drinking all these years.

At my new workplace, there’s no sign of a coffee machine, what there is though, is a kettle. So my lovely office boy comes up to me every morning and asks me “Aaj kaunsi coffee?”. He has seen me through my phases of keto, intermittent fasting and substituting coffee for dessert, so I really can’t blame him if he needs to know whether he’ll need to add milk powder in the boiled water and instant coffee mix, which he calls a cup of coffee or not.


This coffee is delicious though! It’s almost a dessert-like indulgence. The beaten coffee makes it feel much denser and richer than it actually is. This is the perfect drink for the coming blistering summer.

Its super easy to make and needs only four ingredients – Instant Coffee, Sugar, Water and Milk! (Well, ice too).



Here’s what you need:

  • 2 tbsp – Instant Coffee Powder
  • 2 tbsp – Caster Sugar
  • 2 tbsp – Boiling Water
  • 1/2 Glass of Milk
  • 3-4 Ice Cubes

Here’s what you need to do:

Set about half a cup of water on the stove to boil (you can scoop out two tablespoons of water from there).

To beat the coffee, I used a stand mixer (Dont @ me). When we Indian’s make beaten coffee, we usually just do it by hand in a cup – knock yourself out! But I was lazy and had a Power Point to get back to.

In a cup or a bowl, place the coffee power, sugar and hot water and start beating. You can use a stand mixer, a frother or even a spoon (arranged in ascending order for time taken 🙂 )

While the mix is beating, hum your favorite song, pile the ice cubes in a nice long glass and top it with milk.

Once the coffee mix resembles a thick meringue-like consistency and basically holds its shape – use a spoon to place the whipped – better than clouds – coffee goodness on top of the milk in a very hat like fashion, putting even the most accomplished Baristas to shame :D.

Do not stir. Be patient, pick a side of the glass and sip sip sip. The cold milk suddenly rushes through the coffee cloud and balances the whole thing out. You can thank me for this later. Stay home and Stay safe ♥

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Fudgey Brownies

All you need is love and a brownie ♥

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I never thought I’d be emotionally and mentally equipped to handle protests, riots, crashing stock indices and a pandemic – all at the same time. Growing up with an elder sibling meant watching movies not meant for a child of my age. So, I grew up scared of zombies, murderers, riots, and basically any kind of violence. I’m the kind of person that likes to avoid awkward confrontation and would run different arguments in my head before even asking for something. And now, here I am in 2020, picking fights with friends and family on the topics of NRC, CAA, nationalism, public healthcare, liberalism and capitalism.

I’m not a socialist. But I do try to be a responsible citizen and a decent human being. An empathetic human being. I can imagine your confusion – where do brownies fit into all of this?

Well, I’m on day 2 of my social isolation today and couldn’t get myself to binge watch junk on Netflix. So instead, I brought out my paint box (filled with dust bunnies),  unscrewed jammed acrylic paint tubes and began painting after what felt like years. But as with most creative things, you can’t rush the process so eventually after a couple of hours I had to stop, and focus on my next creative outlet – which is why I am here.

If you’re at home (which I am hoping most of you are), let’s make the most of this terrible confusing time and do something which makes us – all in all, better, happier people.

I don’t know about being better people, but whats going to make you happier? These fuuuuudgey brownies, which according to my boss,  who in between meetings paused to say were ‘F**KING BETTER THAN THEOBROMA!“.


I’m just a girl, sitting on her recliner, asking strangers on the internet to just add a little more sweetness to their lives and bake these brownies. Please?

 

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Here’s what you need:

  • 120g semi-sweet chocolate (melted) – 20 second intervals in the microwave
  • 100g semi-sweet chocolate – chopped into one inch sized chunks
  • 220g butter (also, melted) – 20 second intervals in the microwave
  • 175g white caster sugar
  • 75g brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 95g flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp flakey salt

Here’s what you need to do:

I highly recommend a hand mixer for this recipe. But since most gyms are closed, feel free to take out a hand whisk and get a workout in 🙂

Prepare a 9″ pan – line with parchment paper and grease with butter. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, pour the melted butter and top with the two sugars. Mix until light and pale, till you can’t see individual granules of sugar. Crack in the eggs, one at a time. Now, this is the time to really get that workout in, show off those arm muscles. You want to mix this till everything is glossy, very light in color and you can see an increase in volume. Why? Because want to mix the eggs till they almost double in  volume for that beautiful cracked top on brownies which make them look oh so attractive. Trickle in the vanilla extract and stir.

Pour in the melted chocolate in a single stream. Gently, using a whisk, stir the chocolate and mix until everything resembles something so chocolately and sweet that you want to put your face in it 😀

Topple the sifted dry mix on top of the eggy-melted chocolate goodness and mix until you don’t see any dry lumps of flour. You don’t want to over work the flour – it will activate the gluten and make the brownies cakey  – and we don’t want that. We want these to be gloriously fudgey and gooey.

Top the batter with the chopped chocolate chunks, mix just until folded through and transfer the batter to the prepared pan.

Bake for 25-30 mins until the top of the brownies is glossy and wrinkly, and you can’t see any uncooked batter from the top.

Wait for the brownies to cool before cutting them – I didn’t. But that’s also cause I have zero patience in life and I’m all about instant gratification. :/


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Coffee Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

This Coffee Cake with Chocolate Ganache is the latest addition to my list of comfort desserts.

It’s a guilt-free dessert (if such a thing exists!). It’s not guilt-free cause it has any less sugar or anything, but it’s just quite light and sinful yet doesn’t make you feel like you’ve committed one, plus, it has almonds and a chocolate frosting and coffee.

This cake came to me at a point in time when I was seriously craving a coffee cake, something on the lines of a tiramisu or a frosted coffee cake (something slightly more richer than this – more like a birthday cake).

A definite crowd pleaser this one!

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Now coming back to how I came across this – The recipe which started this coffee chocolate madness belongs to a lovely lady – Anita. The recipe can be found on her blog. Anita also taught me how to bake sourdoughs (more of this soon! – hopefully). And I knew, that coming from Anita, this recipe is gonna be a hit.

Her recipe can be found here. If you make it – let her know how you liked it!

I made just a couple of changes to her recipe. My slightly tweaked version can be found below.

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Here is what you need:

  1. For the Cake:
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup Butter
  • The original recipe calls for oil – but I really wanted a richer cake – so I used butter instead
  • 1 Tablespoon Coffee Powder (Instant)
  • 4 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Almonds

2. For the Ganache:

  • 150g Heavy Cream
  • 250g Semi-Sweet Chocolate (Chopped)

What you need to do:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180DegreesC
  2. Grease and prepare a cake pan – 9″ works but I baked it in a 7″ Bundt pan. In case you’re using a budnt pan – grease with butter and then dust with flour to make sure the cake comes out easily
  3. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder- set aside.
  4. Beat butter and sugar together in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until pale and fluffy.
  5. Add in the eggs – one after the other, beating well after each addition.
  6. Once the eggs are well incorporated add in the vanilla.
  7. Simultaneously – dissolve the instant coffee powder in the milk and add that in as well.
  8. Toss the chopped almond in the flour mix.
  9. Add the flour and almond mix to the egg batter and fold gently, without over mixing the batter.
  10. Bake for 30-35 Mins until a skewer inserted – comes out clean.

For the Ganache:

  • Heat the cream in a sauce pan just until it begins to simmer around the edges.
  • Pour over the chocolate – let sit for a minute or two and then whisk it till all the chocolate is melted and you have a ganache of spreadable consistency.

To assemble the cake – Slap and slather on the chocolate all over the curves of your bundt cake and eeeeat it guilt-free 🙂

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Breton Butter Cake with Strawberries

If the title of a dessert has ‘Butter’ in it, I’m sold.

This Breton Butter Cake is essentially like a softer shortbread and can be a great base for tall tarts. I made a syrup out of fresh orange juice (which tastes so good, btw!), and I lightly brushed the surface of the cake with it. I also macerated the strawberries in this thiiiiick orange juice syrup – which just sort of made them so much more vibrant without losing their charm.

I’ve been wanting to make this dessert for some time, and this week – I finally did. Somehow, I don’t know if it was the lighting, the red from the strawberries or the pop of green from the micro basil – but shooting this dessert just made me to happy and feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

I baked it in a pie case, but you can go ahead and bake it in a regular round or square pan, with a removable bottom.

Next time when I make this dessert, I’d probably pipe dollops of vanilla creme patisserie or something of the sorts to make it even more decadent 🙂

This recipe made one 7″ cake, one 2″ and one 3″. I have a lot of pie cases. Or, if you aren’t as insane as I am, you can just make a 9″ cake.

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Here’s what you need:

For the Cake:

  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg + 6 egg yolks
  • 2 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the strawberries and the orange glaze:

  • 2 cups of strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 cup orange juice – freshly squeezed

What you need to do:

For the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 180DegreesC
  • Prep and line pie cases with parchment paper and butter for greasing
  • With the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, beat the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy (this is pretty much how every recipe starts :)). Do this for about 5-6 minutes
  • Beat in the vanilla extract, followed by the eggs, adding it one at a time until the egg, and each egg yolk is well incorporated
  • Once the eggs are incorporated, sift in the flour and salt. Gently fold it in. Make sure not to over mix cause then it will activate the gluten in the flour and the texture of the cake will harden
  • Transfer the batter to pie cases and smooth the top with an offset spatula
  • With a fork, make a “criss-cross” design on top and bake for 45 minutes – until golden.

For the strawberries

  • While the cake is baking, wash, hull and halve the strawberries.
  • Place the orange juice in a pan and bring it to heat. Simmer the orange juice on medium heat until it reduces in half and is sticky. Remove from heat.
  • Put half of the orange glaze in with the strawberries and use the remaining half to brush on the cake once its done and while its still hot

Assembling:

  • Once the cake is cooked, brush the orange glaze on top – be generous
  • Remove the the cake from the case once it has cooled and pile on the strawberries on top
  • Eat with whipped cream!

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Strawberry Cake

This cake is all ❤ . Literally. This strawberry studded cake looks like a fleet of hearts.

In Delhi, we only get strawberries for a few months during the winters, so I need to make the most of it. It’s almost stressful when my mother gets me boxes of these berries, and then I know I have to do justice to them or else I will end up feeling miserable.

This cake is a Martha Stewart jewel, as are most of my cakes, including my go-to banana bread recipe.

If you have friends and family who don’t like frosted cakes.  This is a great option! It gives you a fruity tartness from the berries and the ever comforting vanilla sponge cake at the bottom.

So without further ado, below is the recipe – inspired by Martha Stewart.

Strawberry Cake

Strawberry Cake

Here’s what you need (all ingredients need to be at room temperature):

  • 85g Salted Butter
  • 1 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1  Cup Sugar + 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Fresh Strawberries – halved

What you need to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, and line and butter an 8inch cake tin
  • Sift together the Flour, Baking Powder and Salt
  • Place the Butter and Sugar in a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for about 4 minutes until really pale and fluffy
  • Once the Butter and (1 Cup) Sugar is all fluffed up, crack in the Egg, followed by Vanilla Extract until its well incorporated
  • Now, in basically three steps we need to alternate and put in the Flour Mix and the Milk, in a way we end up adding the remaining flour at the end.
    • Add 1/3 of the flour mix – then  1/2 of the milk – 1/3 of the flour mix – then the remaining half of the milk – ending with the last 1/3 of the flour mix
    • Do not over mix  – just fold it will everything is incorporated and there are no dry lumps of flour
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared cake tin
  • Now, remember those halved strawberries? Arrange the strawberries on top of the batter with the cut sides facing up.
  • Once the strawberries are arranged – Sprinkle the reserved 2 Tablespoons of Sugar on top and bake till golden.
  • It takes about 10 mins at 180 degrees then lower the temperature to 170 for another 30-40 mins.

Eat it with a hot cup of coffee or in bed 🙂

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Raspberry & White Chocolate Blondies

You know whats equally delicious than the fabulous combination of dark chocolate and raspberry? It’s switching the dark chocolate out for it’s much controversial and love/hate pale sibling, white chocolate, which when combined with raspberries is the most glorious thing I have ever tried.

The last time I had posted something on this blog/ universe was a blueberry crumble cake after I had returned from my trip to Jordan. So, I thought it only made sense for me to post a recipe now, inspired by my trip to Paris earlier this year, where I had the most incredible, incredible, incredible ice cream at Berthillon. One scoop of the creamiest white chocolate ice cream, topped with a tart, smooth and bright raspberry sorbet.

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White Chocolate Ice Cream topped with Raspberry Sorbet

Coming back to those blondies, which, if you’ve been living under a rock, are essentially fudgey brownies minus the cocoa. These blondies are fudgey and subtly sweet with bursts of raspberry. The blondies when cooked and perfectly tanned taste so wonderfully caramelised.

Don’t be sceptical about working with white chocolate, buy good quality chocolate and since this isn’t really in your face sweet – it will work out well if its your first affair with white chocolate.

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So wait no more, and just scroll down for these fab fab fab blondies.

What you will need:

150 grams white chocolate – chopped

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup butter – at room temperature

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/3 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

This is what you need to do:

Preheat your oven at 180 degrees.

Butter and line an 8 inch square baking dish.

Melt the chopped white chocolate  in the microwave in bursts of 30 seconds. After every interval stir the chocolate with a spatula to make sure it melts evenly. Set aside to cool slightly.

If you’re using fresh raspberries – skip this step. Else, in a heavy bottom pot, place a cup of frozen berries, and turn the heat to medium. Cook this down until the mixture thickens – about 5 and remove from heat – let it cool.

Sift the flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Using a stand mixer or a hand held electric whisk, beat the butter and brown sugar together until well blended. It doesn’t have to be all whipped and fluffy, but just make sure its blended well and the butter begins to look creamy.

Next, add in the eggs one by one, making sure the first egg is well incorporated before adding the second one, beatttttt it.

Add in the extracts, mix for another 30 seconds, then drizzle in the white chocolate which we had melted. Once mixed, sift in the flour mix with a spatula until just combined.

Toss in the white chocolate chips (and, the fresh raspberries, if you have them!). And transfer the batter to the prepared tin. If you’re using frozen raspberries like me, put the blondie batter in the tin, and then, using a spoon, put blobs of the raspberry compote about one inch a part, and swirl it with a toothpick (or in my case, a stick of uncooked spaghetti :))

Bake it in the oven for about 30 mins – keep an eye on it – once it started to brown slightly from the top, you want to remove it from the oven.

Cool to room temperature, eat it, and then thank me.

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Blueberry Crumble Cake

I haven’t been inside my kitchen to bake ever since I have gotten back from Jordan.

All of us went on the most mesmerising trip to this hidden jewel in the Middle East. That country is like none other. I think I may have to write a blog post on my trip with all our quirky experiences and top travel tips for the country, and, also to share the amazing photos of the different landscapes that all of us clicked. Yup, adding this to my to-do list.

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Temple of Artemis – Jerash, Jordan
So, the only thing on the trip which was slightly underwhelming was the variety of food on offer. On a ten day trip with 30 meals to eat, we felt exhausted by all the hummus, labneh, fuul, kebab, Mansaf and pita breads on display. Also, since the parents travelling with us were vegetarians, Jordanian food didn’t offer much so in came the average Italian food.

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Blueberry Jewelled Cake with a Golden Toasted Crumble on top!
Anyway, by the fifth or the sixth day of the trip, I was dreaming about this delicious fruit cake I had whipped up just a few days before leaving. So this post is long over due.

My amazing neighbour and one of the official tasters of everything I bake, gifted me a box of blueberries to play around with. I had all sorts of ideas like pies, cobblers, cakes, muffins and jams that I wanted to pull out of my hat. But since I just had this one box, I settled on a Crumble Cake which is a sort of muffin-meets-cobbler cake hybrid. And boy oh boy did this cake vanish in 45 mins after baking and clicking pictures.

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This cake is deal for afternoon tea time, or in my case even breakfast! This is the ultimate fruit cake/non-icing cake to enjoy with a cuppa joe.

The recipe I used is adapted from Laura Vitale’s version of her Blueberry cake.

I basically ditched the sour cream and used greek yoghurt instead, worked a treat! And, I definitely prefer more crumble for that toasted crumbly crunchy texture on top of the cake which just tastes divine without or with (definitely with)  heavy cream!

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You can find my recipe below:

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup greek yoghurt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 butter
  • 2 cups of fresh blueberries

For the crumble:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter

Here’s what you need to do:

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees celsius and place the wire rack in the centre. Line and grease a 9inch spring form pan. Make sure you have a springform pan, you don’t want to turn a crumble cake upside down.

For the crumble:

Dump in all the ingredients of the crumble in a bowl then using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, cut or break the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside and start the cake stuff.

For the cake:

Before you begin, take two tablespoons of the flour (from the cake batch) and sprinkle on top of the blueberries and toss it until the flour is evenly distributed. This process makes sure that the blueberries don’t sink to the bottom of the cake while baking. Moving on…

In a bowl, sift together the dry ingredients; flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together.

In another larger mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until pale and well incorporated. Add in the eggs one by one, and beat thoroughly until well combined. If you rush the addition of the eggs and don’t mix it well, the batter would split. Not that this will affect your end product, since once you add the dry ingredients at a later stage everything will come together. Nonetheless, whisk it up!

Once both the eggs are mixed in, add in the yoghurt, milk and vanilla extract and mix until the mixture is smooth.

Throw in the dry mix, and fold the batter until smooth and there are no lumps of flour. Tumble in the blueberries and stir well. Don’t stir too much or the blueberries will break.

Transfer the batter into the prepared cake pan. Sprinkle the crumble on top of the cake evenly and pop the pan into the oven and bake for about 45-50 mins.

Now the thing with fruit cakes, is that you cant really prick the centre and tell when its done, because since this contains fresh fruit, it releases water and juice which will moisten the surrounding cake crumbs. So prick around without structurally damaging the cake, and once a few inserts come out clean, or slightly moist (and are visibly blue from bluerries), you are good to go and your tea cake is ready!

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Thai Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango

Thai Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango is a classic and one of the good asian desserts. Is fried ice cream Asian? Or an American invention? What about those crispy wanton noodles with honey and vanilla ice cream?

Being a complete dessert person myself, I was convinced that desserts didn’t really exist in Thai, Japanese and Korean cuisines. Boyyyy oh boy was I wrong.

On my trip to Bangkok last month, I discovered Sulbing, a korean dessert cafe, which serves a magical bowl that has shaved milk ice with condense milk, fresh fruit, whipped cream and cheese, which is by far the best iced dessert I have had in south east Asia.

Then came the Bake Cheese Tart, a Japanese cheese tart from Hokkaido, Japan which kicks every cheesecake I have ever had’s butt.

Then comes the most soothing coconut sticky rice with mango, which I actually learnt how to make when I went for a cooking class in Bangkok. This dessert gives a great opportunity to celebrate the Indian mango season.

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You can find the recipe that Chef Leez taught me below.

Here’s what you need:

  • 60 gm sticky rice
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream – freshly made goes best with this recipe! Watch a youtube tutorial on how to make coconut cream with a shredder
  • 3/4 tbsp coconut sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 ripe mango

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Soak the sticky rice in room temperature water for 3-4 hours before steaming it. (Read package instructions – The best way to cook sticky rice is by steaming it!)
  • Heat coconut cream over medium heat, add sugar, salt and warm the cream will its steaming hot  – don’t let it boil.
  • Remove from heat, add the stick rice to the bowl of hot cream, cover and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Place sticky rice in a bowl, top it with sliced mango, and top it up with fried moong dal!

Enjoy it with cold mango and hot sticky rice!

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