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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Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream

I know I haven’t posted in a while. The procrastinating me has been over thinking what to make and what not to make, and basically didn’t end up making anything. Anyhow, back to business –

I am one of those people who can’t start their day without coffee. Monday through Friday, before I can even bother checking my emails, its a cup of coffee that has come to my rescue over the past two years. Basically, I can’t be approached or spoken to until I have caffeine in my body.

Anyway, so I was going through ‘The Perfect Scoop’ by David Lebovitz, which happens to be my go to ice cream repository, I came across a deliciously sweetened Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream recipe. I had tried a Bubble Tea version of the Vietnamese Coffee earlier this month in Singapore, and that is when inspiration struck.

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While the temperature in Delhi soared to a solid 46 degrees celsius, I decided to make this frozen treat for my family, probably the only form of coffee cool enough this summer.

I made ice cream sandwiches. I baked chocolate sablé, a very short and crumbly biscuit which is super dark-chocolately and not very sweet, and goes very well with this ice cream.

Heres what you will need:

  • 600 gms condensed milk
  • 375 ml espresso
  • 125 ml light cream
  • and heap of instant coffee powder

All you need to do is:

  • In a large bowl whisk together the condensed milk, espresso and light cream until you have a cohesive liquid mixture in front of you. Chill in the refrigerator, preferably over night.
  • Next morning, sprinkle over the instant coffee power and place the liquid in the ice cream maker and churn as per manufacturers instructions.
  • Sandwich it between your favorite chocolate/ vanilla cookies and beat this heat!

Note: This recipe also works as a great no churn recipe. Just mix all the ingredients together and freeze for about 18 hours.

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Brown Butter & Salted Caramel Cake

I’ve been told birthday calories don’t count, especially since this was my 25th and I can sense an imminent quarter life crisis. And, since this was my birthday week, I decided to go all out and make the most decadent (and laborious) cake for myself :).

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This cake is  very close to my heart. I have wanted to make this amber delight for a really long time.

I was inspired by a similar version of this cake (except with a butterscotch sauce rather than the salted caramel) from Elma’s a very long time ago. Making it now, reminded me of very fond memories.

I must admit, when I was deciding on which cake to make, I was facing a lot of competition from a Yellow Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting. Eventually, I gave in and settled for what I didn’t know at the time, would be the best cake I have ever made, hands down.

Without further ado, I did my research and found recipes online that I felt comfortable with.

So this cake, this very special milestone cake for a milestone birthday is a Brown Butter Sponge and a Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting with a rather generous Salted Caramel Drizzle.

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Brown Butter Salted Caramel Cake
The ingredients listed below are for a multi-layer 9 inch cake. I made a 2 layer 6 inch cake, so all I did was halve the ingredient below. And somehow everything worked out.

What you will need:

For the brown butter sponge

  • 12 ounces salted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsps of baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 2/3 cups of sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean; split it down the centre and scrape the seeds
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups of milk

For the salted caramel sauce

  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 180 grams butter
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel
  • 1/2 cup water

For the salted caramel frosting

  • 12 ounces cream cheese; at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsps of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of icing sugar

Method:

Brown Butter Cake

First thing’s first, you need to make the brown butter. If you are making the 9inch recipe, please make sure you have a heavy bottom, large pot for melting the butter. When I found this recipe, the author did not issue a very important disclaimer about how much the butter foams up before it turns brown – imagine over boiled milk. So once you have placed the butter in the pot, and turned on the stove, get an ice bath with a bowl ready to go. You will be needing the ice bath to cool down the brown butter once its done, but it is also very handy in case the foaming gets slightly out of hand and you need it pour the hot butter out.

IMG_5198Okay, now, for the brown butter – place the butter in the pot and turn the stove on. You don’t have to keep stirring, but you have to keep an eye on it for a. the foaming (be cautious) and b. to smell the nutty aroma once the brown butter is ready. The whole process lasts about 10 minutes. The milk solids in the butter will start to turn brown and solidify at the bottom of the pan. The minute it starts releasing a butterscotchy aroma, you need to take it off the heat and pour the butter into the bowl in the ice bath.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and line two 9inch (6inch) pans with parchment paper and grease the sides generously.

IMG_5206Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Turn back to the brown butter, once it has cooled around the edges, place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and whisk them together until creamy and fluffy.

Add in the vanilla seeds, followed by the egg yolks, one at a time. Beat well after each addition. Beat in the whole eggs one by one until you the whole mix comes together and is well mixed with significant volume.

Fold in the flour dry mixture, and alternate with the milk, about three rounds of this process.

Once the mixture is folded in and there are no flour lumps, pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the centre is cooked.

Salted Caramel Sauce

IMG_5210So about the caramel, I absolutely loathe dry caramel. Not only does it have a horrible bitter after taste, its tricky to make, there is a high chance of the sugar crystalizing AND its far more temperamental than a wet caramel.

Note: Use a heavy bottom deep pot; the caramel will spit and foam.

Place the sugar and water in a pan. You don’t need to stir it, just swirl the pan once in a while, if needed. Keep an eye on the caramel. Now, many people have different preferences when it comes to the desired level of color/ burntness/ bitterness. I was very fortunate to get to the perfect color on my first attempt.

Keep the cream, butter and salt handy. Note: All the ingredients should be at room temperature; DO NOT add cold cream to hot caramel. IMG_5211

Once you get the perfect colour on the caramel, tip in the butter and stir till its melted through. Remove the pot from the flame and pour in the cream. Be delicate, you don’t want to splash hot caramel around. The mixture will foam and bubble furiously when you add both, the butter and the cream so be cautious.

Once the cream is mixed through, pour the caramel in a separate bowl and leave to cool.

 

Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

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For the frosting, all the ingredients must be at room temperature.
Start with whisking the cream cheese in a large bowl with the softened room temperature butter  and vanilla until smooth and creamy.

Whisk in the salted caramel sauce.

One everything is well combined, sift in the icing sugar, small tablespoons at a time. It isn’t necessary for you to use all the icing sugar, you can adjust the viscosity and the sweetness of the frosting with the sugar, and that’s that.

Whip it up until nice and stiff.

Assembly

Place Cake 1 on a cake board and lather the cream cheese frosting rather generously in the centre. Once its evenly spread, drizzle some salted caramel on top.

Place Cake 2 on top of Cake 1, and spread the frosting all over the cake. At this point, you may want to chill the cake in the fridge for an hour or so.

Decorate the cake with leftover salted caramel and some popcorn 🙂

Belt the cake with a nice cup of Ristretto Nespresso coffee. 🎂☕️

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Strawberry Shortcake

The handicap of clicking half decent food photographs is that you need natural light. Understandably, after stalking numerous blogs, I realised that the only time I can bake and get good quality pictures, is definitely during the day. Which means I can’t cook on weekdays, but this also gives me a schedule for my weekends. I have promised myself a post every weekend.

This week, its strawberry shortcake.

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My sister loves Shortcakes (butterier scones). And since I am constantly trying to suck up to her, this post is for her. I mean she does live across the country from me, and obviously didn’t get to try these which is a shame cause these shortcakes were G.O.O.D.

This recipe isn’t for those people who live in an outrageously hot city like I do. Unless they have a centrally air-conditioned kitchen, which I don’t. So if you’re really committed like I was, your gonna have to constantly dip your hands in ice cold water while making the dough AND chill  it a couple of times to make sure the butter remains cold and basically doesn’t become melted gloop.

Having issued the prerequisite warning, you can find the recipe below.

Oh, did I mention its from ‘How to be a domestic goddess’ by Nigella Lawson? This is the first recipe that I have tried from the book. Nigella more often that not, has her way with eggs, butter, cream and sugar.

Ingredients:

Strawberry Shortcake

  • 325 gms plain four
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 125 gms butter- FROZEN (Amul, why? because its utterly butterly delicious)
  • 1 large egg
  • 125 ml single cream (a small tetrapack works)

The ingredients listed above, are everything you need for the shortcakes. You can really experiment with the fillings. My mother is a strawberries and cream person. I had the leftover shortcakes with lemon curd and lingonberry preserve (my special find in Sweden).

Method:

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C; these shortcakes cook really fast.

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a large bowl.

Grate the frozen butter into the dry ingredients. I had to constantly dip my hands into ice cold water cause the butter would melt in my fingers while grating. If you are living in sweltering heat like I am, you should pop the bowl with the grated butter in the freezer for a few minutes before you rub it in the flour.

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Once the bowl is chilled, using your fingertips, start rubbing the butter into the flour mix till they resemble small crumbs.

 

 

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Crack the egg in the single cream and whisk well. This is the wet agent you add to the flour to make the dough. Start adding the liquid mix into the flour slowly. You don’t need all of it, so keep an eye out and only add the liquid sparingly until the dough comes together. Use a fork to bring the dough together until you can roll it out with a pin.

 

Once the dough comes together, turn  it onto a floured surface and roll it out to a thickness of about 1-2 cm. Dip a biscuit cutter in the flour and make as many shortcake rounds as possible. You should get 4-5 in the first batch. Rework the dough together, roll it out again, and repeat the process until all of the dough as been used up.

Brush the tops with milk and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Place the shortcakes on a silicon pad and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the tops are lovely and golden.

Allow them to cool slightly. Split them down the middle and eat with sweetened whipped cream and strawberries. Or with any other filling of your choice 🙂

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