Yes, I know, I haven’t blogged in a while, its been a busy time for me. I’ve been in the process of completing my teaching diploma and was on my first practical, a six week placement in a year one class. It’s hard to run a household, a marriage and look after a child while having to be out of the house for 7 hours a day, alhumdulillah, the experience was great and extremely fulfilling, although I am relieved that it’s over (for now anyway).
For those of you that read my blog and remember, I took part in a Dilmah competition a few months ago where I entered these Chai Macarons (if not, you can read about it here and here). These macaron shells were flavoured with tea, cardamon, cinnamon and sandwiched with a chai white chocolate ganache. I’ve finally gotten the chance to post the recipe. Yippee!!
I’ve attached the recipe in .pdf format because that’s how it’s saved on my computer as I needed to give a copy to the Dilmah officials and figured it would be the easiest way to share it with all of you. This recipe is made using the Italian meringue method (pouring a hot sugar syrup into egg whites) instead of my usual French meringue, if you have a handle on the French meringue method, feel free to use that, just remember to add the spices to the almond/icing sugar mixture.
Give these a go, and if you’re not too afraid (and have a thermometer lying around) try the Italian method. Chai macarons with a pot of tea, perfect late night snack, enjoy!
My sister in law is visiting us at the moment and she comes with some unique dessert concepts from her time spent in the USA. When most people think of american desserts, images of syrup drowned layers of pancakes, face sized cookies and deep fried chocolate bars probably come to mind, but this is different. This cake is a Spanish inspired favourite. A cake soaked in a 3 milk mixture. This cake is amazing; a soft, moist cake topped with a layer of cream.
After putting our ideas together, we came up with the recipe below. This stays true to the original Spanish cake, but using our own recipe for the cake and adapting the milk mixture to suit.
Tres Leches cake
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp bicard soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
Pre heat oven to 180°c and grease a 9×13 inch pan. Beat together butter and sugar. Once creamed add in eggs 1 at a time, ensuring each addition is mixed well. Add in vanilla essence and mix. Combine baking powder, bicarb soda and salt with flour. Alternate between adding flour and milk until flour is your last addition. Once all mixed, pour into a baking tray and level. Bake for 40 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
*You can substitute this cake recipe for any light spongy cake recipe you already use or like.
3 milk mixture
1 can condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup full cream milk
Combine milks in a pouring jug. Once cake is cooled, turn upside down into a dish with high sides (this will ensure no milk spillage), poke cake all over with a fork. Slowly pour milk mixture slowly and evenly onto cake until mixture is finished, set aside to soak and absorb. Best served after a night of soaking.
1 1/2 cups cream
1 tblsp icing sugar (optional)
Whip cream and sugar till firm. Level onto soaked cake on the day of serving. Decorate with chocolate or fruit.
Hope you’ll enjoy this dessert as much as we have. Thank you to Aasiya for the inspiration for this Spanish Tres Leches Cake.
Just over six months ago we embarked on a journey to the subcontinent. My husband, son and I left in late December to make a few stops along the way. Phuket and Kuala Lumpur were on the cards before getting to India, a country neither of us had been to, despite our Indian heritage. This was not a holiday by any means, our sole purpose was to attend the wedding of Abdullah’s sister (my wonderful sister in law), Aasiya. What we never expected was to leave feeling humbled, grateful and renewed.
India is an amazing place with amazing people and beautiful sights. One of the most enjoyable parts of our trip was definitely the wedding and the functions that preceded it. And coming a close second was the food, there is honestly nothing like Indian food, so intricate in flavour and colour. My favourite dish in India was anything that had paneer (an Indian cheese, looks like a block of fetta, texture and taste of cottage cheese).
It’s something I always order in an Indian restaurant here and usually cook with the frozen bags at home. As in India has a high population of vegetarians, paneer is extremely popular, and depsite having over 20 paneer dishes while in India, not one of them was the same, there was paneer in different types of curries, paneer with marinates that were grilled, paneer balls, crumbed paneer, paneer stuffed in chillies and vegies, and too many more to mention. Even after all that, I wasn’t sick of the paneer, and forunately for me, on my last day in India I watched an Indian chef on TV make paneer from scratch, I couldn’t believe how easy it was.
Since our trip, I have made paneer countless times, and there’s nothing like the fresh stuff, I’ll never go back to frozen again. I will be doing a recipe on how to make paneer from scratch sometime in the near future. For now, here’s a recipe using paneer.
Paneer Malai** Tikka
1/2 bunch corriander
3/4 tsp salt1 tsp ground cumin
1 whole green chilli
1 tblsp lemon juice
1/2 cup cream (**malai is an Indian term for cream)
Cut the paneer into cubes and set aside in a bowl. Grind all ingredients except for cream in a blender, once blended into a paste mix in cream. Pour over paneer and leave to marinate. Cook off on a medium to high heat in a about 1 tblsp oil. Serve with naan bread.
Variation: This recipe works well with chicken, just substitute the 500g paneer with 500g chicken pieces.
India is a definite must see and it’s a place I’m sure we’ll be visiting again. For now, enjoy some photos from our trip.
Try out this paneer malai tikka recipe, great with chicken as well. Oh and Happy 6 month Anniversary Aasiya and Salim!
It’s the Wimbledon finals this weekend, and if you follow the tennis you’ll know that strawberries and cream is a big Wimbledon tradition. My sister in law is staying with us at the moment and she is a huge Federer fan, needless to say she is ecstatic that he is in the finals tomorrow. We’ve therefore decided to get all decked out and have strawberries and cream while watching, any excuse for a treat I say. Since I like to get creative with flavours and love macarons I figured I would just slap some strawberries and cream into a macaron. The flavour is subtle, light and fresh. So yummy!
I used the recipe in this post, with the addition of a tiny hint of red food colouring instead of the green.
Strawberries ‘n Cream filling
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tsp icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Place sugar, cream and vanilla essence in a bowl and whip till stiff, be careful not to over beat or your cream will curdle and turn into butter. Remove leafy end of strawberry. Finely chop strawberries and fold into cream. Use a piping bag or just spoon the cream filling into half the macaron shells, top with the other halves.
Make sure to add these to the menu for the finals tomorrow, it’ll take the ordinary strawberries ‘n cream to the extreme!