Sunday, July 23, 2017

Strawberry Blueberry Ice-cream (Vegan)

What is the use of ice-cream toppings, without ice-creams!!! That too, after i posted the magic shell topping, some of my friends asked me the recipe for the yummilicious stick,  i posted with the topping!
I usually stock frozen fruits in my freezer, for a quick smoothie anytime. While sorting the freezer, i thought of making something interesting with the fruits for the boys. All i could think of was this ice-cream, luckily i had some coconut milk too. Just whipped them together and tada, delicious and healthy snack ready.
As i was blending, my lil one saw the beautiful color of it and almost licked a cup of fruit cream as such from the bowl, what ever was leftover, i just froze it in a ice-lolly mold. Even my not so fruit-friendly elder one, loved this ice-cream and enjoyed it with the chocolate topping.
This recipe, doesn't have any added sugar, it is naturally sweetened by the fruits, if you want, you can add little sugar while pureeing. The vanilla extract and coconut milk adds a nice flavor to the ice-cream. Some might not like the taste of frozen banana, that case feel free to reduce banana to 1 and add some more coconut milk for a rich creamy texture.
Ingredients (Makes 5 ice-cream lolly stick)
2 nos frozen bananas (Read Notes)
10 nos frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
a tsp of vanilla extract (optional)
1/3 cup of coconut milk (optional)
Ice-lolly molds
Magic shell ice-cream topping

  • Frozen fruits are preferred for this recipe. I usually have frozen berries in my freezer, for a quick smoothie for my breakfast. If making with fresh fruits, freeze them for atleast 3-4 hours prior to making this.
  • Take frozen banana and berries in a food processor, add coconut milk to this  and blitz together to form a nice smooth cream. Add a splash of vanilla extract, and blend again. Spoon the fruit puree into ice-lolly moulds and freeze atleast for 4 hours minimum.
  • While serving, run the ice-lolly mould for a second under tap water, remove the ice-cream and drizzle some delicious magic shell chocolate syrup and serve immediately.

  • The Ice-cream can be made just by simply pureeing the fruits alone without any milk or flavoring, some might not like the taste of frozen bananas,  in that case coconut milk and vanilla helps to mask that flavor well,  you can also reduce the banana to 1 and add some more coconut milk for a rich creamy texture.
  • If not vegan, you can use heavy cream instead of coconut milk. The ice-cream is naturally sweetened with the fruits, if u want it to be more sweet, add 1/4 cup of sugar while blending it to puree.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Salted Caramel Sauce

Caramel sauce, ever since i made the coconut caramel sauce, a vegan version of the original caramel sauce, i really wanted to make this version with cream! It is relatively simple recipe, i wonder what took me so long to try this delicious sauce. 
Thanks to the theme, i m loving these ice-cream toppings i made all this week, wet walnuts is still waiting its vanilla ice-cream, whereas we enjoyed the magic shell on our Blueberry strawberry ice-cream and Nice-cream stick! 
This caramel sauce will definitely finds its match in the coming days, may be yumm shake or on a cake, but it will never go waste!
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup heavy cream (35% fat)
a pinch of sea salt

  • In a deep sauce pan, take sugar and put it on medium heat. The sugar will start clamping together first and after few minutes, it will start melting. Make sure to keep the flame low and keep stirring occasionally. 
  • Once the sugar melts to a amber hue, add butter to it and whisk well. When you add butter to hot sugar, it will start foaming rapidly, so it is good to use a deep sauce pan, to avoid the spill and splatter. Keep whisking until the butter melts.
  • Next add cream in a thin stream to the hot sauce while whisking it. Be careful as the sauce might splatter, since i have used a deep pan, i didn't have any spill or splatter.
  • After the cream add salt to the sauce and allow it to boil for a minute, take it off the stove and let it come to room temperature, store it in an air-tight container in the fridge.
  • Refrigerated sauce will solidify, microwave it for 30 - 60 seconds to bring to pour-able consistency.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Magic shell - How to make magic shell ice-cream topping

Magic shell, a simple chocolate drizzle with coconut oil, that magically hardens when topped on your favorite ice-cream. The magic happens because of the coconut oil, which when touches the cold ice-cream/shakes hardens immediately. I totally love this toppings, as it contains very simple ingredients, nothing fancy. There are many recipes involving chocolate/cocoa powder, corn syrup/honey, i have used the one with cocoa powder and honey. You can even use simple chocolate and coconut oil to make this magic drizzle. 
As i was clicking the final picture of hard shell, i went into the kitchen to fetch something, and that gap my lil one started digging into the ice-cream bowl. I didnt have patience after that to click another bowl. Will post a new picture tomorrow of the magic shell coated stick or scooped ice-cream.(Pictures Updated)

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3 tbsp of honey
1 tbsp of vanilla extract (optional)
a pinch of sea salt. (optional)
  • In a sauce pan, take together, coconut oil, cocoa, honey and whisk well to combine. Keep this on a low heat and keep whisking.
  • Take it off  the stove after 3-5 minutes, when it is mildly hot. It should be hot to combine well. Take it off the heat.
  • I heated the mixture in Microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Take it out, stir in the vanilla and sea salt, if adding. Whisk well to combine.
  • Let it cool, drizzle it on top of your favorite ice-cream. Wait for 30 seconds for the magic to happen, the chocolate drizzle, dries and hardens well.
  • I couldn't capture it that well, the moment i drizzled and turned my back, my lil one came and started to dig into the ice-cream, will do another capture again and post a decent picture tomorrow.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Wet Walnuts - Ice cream toppings

Ice-cream toppings, when you think of it, first that pops in our mind is chocolate sauce. As a grown up, when we visited ice-cream parlous, that is when i came to know about the huge varieties of toppings available, chocolate sauce, blueberry sauce, hot fudge, caramel, nuts, candies, the list too long. 
While looking for some interesting toppings, i came across a list from Saveur magazine. Loved the variety and i chose this simple wet walnuts for today's post. It is pretty easy to make and it stays good for a month, when stored in the fridge. Since it is a topping and should be used little, i made just 1/2 cup of it. Now with the topping ready, i m planning to make some good old vanilla ice-cream this week to enjoy with this!
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup of milk
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
a pinch of salt (optional)

  • Take chopped walnuts in a bowl.  In a microwave-safe jug, take milk, corn syrup, butter, brown sugar and salt. Whisk well to combine.
  • Microwave high for 30 seconds, take it out whisk well and microwave for another 15 seconds. The liquid should be hot. Stir in the vanilla.
  • Take it out and pour it over the nuts. Mix well to combine. Let it sit on the counter and cool completely. 
  • Store in the refrigerator and use a generous amount on top of your favorite ice-creams. i personally prefer for vanilla ice-cream.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Microwave Carrot Peda/Instant Milk Powder Carrot Peda/Carrot Peda without Condensed milk

A simple and easy to make dessert in minutes. It took just 20 minutes to make this from start to finish. A perfect treat when you have surprise guests or a sudden sweet craving. My kiddos love desserts, my elder one hates carrot, he runs a mile actually, whereas my lil one loves carrot, he munches them raw. 
So this served a double purpose, delighting both. 
I have used milk and sugar instead of condensed milk, if using condensed milk, avoid milk and sugar and also reduce the cooking time. Do try this delicious treat and let me know how you liked it.
1 large carrot, finely grated, approximately 1 tight cup 1/2 cup milk, Full fat 1 cup milk powder 1/2 cup sugar 4 nos cardamom pods, skin removed and seeds crushed A generous pinch of saffron

2 tbsp ghee
few broken cashew nuts or pistachios for garnish

  • In a wide and deep microwave-able glass bowl, take 1 tbsp of ghee, add carrots and Microwave it high for 3 minutes. Remove after every 1 minute, mix it well with a MW-safe spoon and cook again for another minute.
  • After 3 minutes, you can smell the carrots cooking in ghee. While the carrots are cooking, in a measuring jug, take milk, add milk powder to it and sugar. Mix it well to make thick liquid.
  • Once the carrots have nicely cooked, add the milk and sugar mixture to it, followed by saffron,remaining 1 tbsp ghee and pounded cardamoms. Give it a good stir.
  • Push it into the microwave and cook at high for 11-12 minutes. Stop the microwave after every 2 minutes, stir the mixture and continue.
  • By 10 minutes or so, all the liquid would be absorbed and it will coming together as a thick mass. Keep an watchful eye and nose after this stage, it might burn pretty fast. 
  • It took 11 minutes in my Microwave to reach this stage. Take it out of the microwave now, give it a good stir, and let it sit for another 8-10 minutes on the kitchen counter and cool.
  • Once it comes to touchable hot, grease your hands little bit and pinch ping-pong sized balls of the mixture and shape it into a peda. Garnish with cashew nuts on top and serve warm.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Cashewnut Murukku/Munthiri Murukku

The second day of festive recipes, i bring you a savory and irresistible snack, Murukku. We are a big fan of murukku, during this time, we normally be in Chennai, enjoying amma's delicious cooking. Appa would bring both Mullu Murukku and Thenkuzhal from Grand sweets for both the kids. Both the kiddos, enjoy this crunchy snack with their evening tiffen, or sometimes they nibble whenever they feel like eating something. 
So, today when i made a small batch, both the kiddos were excited, especially my elder one. I had hard time, keeping him away from the plate until i finish clicking.  This cashewnut murukku, is pretty easy to make as it needs just rice flour and cashew paste and no other dal powder to make it. 
In a way, i find it easy to make than the other varieties, you can call me lazy for that. The color of the muruku is half-white. Keep the flame medium, so the murukku doesn't overcook and loses that pretty white color.  
1 cup Rice flour, i used store-bought idiyappam flour
12-15 nos cashewnuts
1/2 cup of water
a pinch of ajwain seeds
2 pinches of asafoetida
1/2 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
1 tsp white sesame seeds
1 tsp ghee/clarified butter
1/2 tsp -3/4 tsp salt
Oil for deep frying
  • Soak cashew-nuts in water for  15 minutes. Drain and grind them to a fine paste along with a pinch of ajwain, using 1/4 cup of water. 
  • Take rice flour, salt, hing, white sesame seeds, cumin/jeera seeds in a wide bowl. Whisk well to combine.
  • To this bowl add ghee, followed by ground cashewnut paste. Add another 1/4 cup of water along with it and knead a soft, supple dough.
  • Heat a heavy bottom pan with oil for deep-frying the murukku. Use the muruku press, with round holes in the shape of triangle.
  • Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Press small muruku on a flat surface, in my case i used my silicon mat, which is easy to remove the muruku.
  • Once the oil is hot, drop 3 to 4 muruku's at a time and fry until the sizzle ceases. Keep the flame medium. Too high, will make the muruku dark brown and too low will not yield crispy muruku. 
  • So keep the flame in medium, do not crowd the pan, add 3 or 4 at a time, after 30 seconds, try to turn them usign a slotted spoon, let it cook until the sizzle ceases. Remove it using a slotted spoon and drain it on a paper towel. Once it cools, keep it in an air-tight container and enjoy it with your evening cup of coffee/tea.

Eggless Whole Wheat Zopf Bread - #BreadBakers

Its been a long time,since i baked a yeast bread. Even though my oven is busy baking cakes every week, baking bread was not   of baking one.iappening. Every time i see a bread post pop in my FB feed, i think of making one, but somehow it never happened.
This month's Bread Bakers event is hosted by our own +Gayathri Kumar of Gayathri's Cookspot, and  the theme is Braided Breads. A theme, which i don't want to miss. 
Zopf bread is a swiss bread made using flour, yeast,eggs and milk. I have used all except eggs and instead of white flour, i have used Whole wheat flour. Breads made using wheat flour are little dense, but i m baking with it for so long, we like that earthy dense taste of breads, which when toasted tastes great and with some cheesy toppings, it is out of the world.
I made a sponge with the flour first and then made the dough, it made a great difference in the texture of the bread. The taste of butter in the warm bread is so mesmerizing. Thanks +Gayathri Kumar for a lovely theme, waiting to see what all the other bakers have braided! :)

For the sponge
2 cups (280 grams)  Whole Wheat flour 
2 tbsp butter, @ room temperature
2 tsp instant yeast
1.5 cups (320 ml) warm milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

For the Dough
1.5 cups (218 grams) of whole wheat flour 
2 tbsp butter, @ room temperature

For brushing the bread
2 tbsp milk + 2 tsp oil or butter, mixed together
First make the Sponge
  • In to a wide bowl, measure the whole wheat flour, instant yeast, salt and sugar. Whisk together to combine. Take Milk in a mesuring jug, warm it in the micorwave for 45 seconds, remove and add buter to it and whisk well.
  • To this flour mix, slowly add warm milk and using a wooden spoon or a spatual, mix well for the flour to mix well with the liquid. There shouldn't be any dry floor in the bowl. 
  • Once mixed well, cover the bowl with a cling wrap and leave it in a warm place for an hour, for the sponge to double.
To Make the dough
  • After an hour, remove the cling wrap off the bowl, add the reamining 1.5 cups of flour to it. Divide the butter and add it to the flour mix in batches and start kneading a soft dough. The dough is pretty easy to knead. 
  • Once the flour mix comes together as a dough , remove it to a flat kneading surface, and knead it to a smooth dough for about 3-5 minutes.
  • Place the smooth dough back in the bowl, cover and leave it to rest for another 1 hour. Once it rises to double, punch back the dough, remove it to the kneading surface. Now, preheat the Oven to 180C, before we starting doing the braid.
Let us Braid & Bake
  • The kneaded dough weighs around 900 grams. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces, Roll it into long ropes, and braid them together. Brush the top of the braided bread with some butter and milk mix.
  • Let the bread sit for 15 minutes, then Bake the bread in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until the top turns golden brown. 
  • Remove the baked bread to a wire rack, let it cook well. Slice and serve it warm with a toppingof your choice.
  • I made 2 batches of dough and with one batch made 2 small braids and with the other batch one big braid. 

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to
This month's Bread Baker's theme is Braided Breads and is hosted by Gayathri Kumar of Gayathri's Cook Spot
Here is the collection of all the beautiful braided breads from our team.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Mango Millet Payasam/Foxtail millet Mango Kheer

We are in july and from August the festive season starts, First comes Varalaksmi Vratham, Sri Jayanthi, Chathurthi, Navrathri, the list is long, we need an entire post to talk about it.
Kheer is the first delicious treat, that happens in every Indian household, no matter what the festival is. We  actually don't need a reason to make one. Like for example, at amma's place, she makes kheer every friday, i make it whenever i have extra milk, which happens every week.  This mango season, i wanted to try kheer with king of fruits!!  So i made this yumm kheer with foxtail millet and mangoes. I know my people well, so made a large quantity which they relished warm on the day i made and chilled on the next day. In a way this kheer is way too healthy, with millets, mangoes and milk, never mind the little sugar that binds all the three together, just chill and enjoy.
3 cups of Full fat milk
1/4 cup of Foxtail Millet/Thinai
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup mango puree (fresh or canned) i used fresh mangoes,3 Kesar mangoes, pulp removed
a generous pinch of saffron
4 pods of cardamon,crushed
2 nos cloves, crushed
3 tbsp almonds, roughly pounded
3 tbsp cashewnuts, roughly pounded
2-3 tbsp pistachios for garnish
  • Dry roast the foxtail millet in a pan until blooms a little, When i say bloom, it will change color  to white. Take care while roasting, keep the flame simmer. Remove the roasted millet to a separate plate.
  • In a heavy bottom saucepan, take the milk, and let it boil in a medium heat. Once it starts to boil, simmer the flame, add crushed cardamom, cloves and saffron to the boiling milk and mix well.
  • Now slowly add roasted millet to the milk. Let it boil in a simmer flame and allow the millet to cook. It will take areound 12-15 minutes for the millet to cook. Once it cooks, add sugar to the kheer and mix well.
  • While the millet is cooking in the milk, wash the mangoes, remove the pulp and blend it smooth. Keep aside until use.
  • By this time, one quarter of the milk would have reduced. Let it sit on the stove for another 15 minutes in a simmer flame. Now add roughly pounded almonds and cashewnuts to the kheer and mix well. 
  • Remove it from the flame. Let it cool for 10 minutes. Now to this kheer, add mango puree and mix well. Let it sit for 15 minutes for the flavors to mingle well. Serve warm with a garnish of pistachios.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Faikakai Topai - Flour Dumplings in Sweet Coconut Caramel Sauce

I m loving this theme : Oceanic Cusines. We might say, because of the Internet and technology, the world has shrunk into a small village, but man, there is so much to explore in this tiny village! Even if i m talking with respect to food, which is one of the many aspects of a country, there are so  many cuisines, there might be similarities, but just to know how many such similar food exists, needs a life time!!!
Today, we are exploring Tongan Cuisne. Tonga, officially known as the Kingdom of Tonga, is a polynesian sovereign state and a group of extensive islands, of which some are inhabited.  The food is what excites me more. Every recipe, has a rich culture, tradition attached. The names of these recipes, excites me even more. For instance there is this Otai, it is a tropical smoothie, made with Mangoes, Watermelon and pineapple, refreshing isn't. Then there is Keke Isite, a doughnut made with yeasted dough. Then the famous Poke, not that poke some do on FB, this is a delicious dessert made with fruits. 
Amongst these divine delicacies, i chose to make Topai, a simple dough of flour and coconut milk, cooked in water and served with some delicious sauce made of coconut milk and sugar.
The ultimate of this recipe is that sauce, golden beauty. i would definitely make this sauce again, as this will pair greatly with many desserts that need caramel toppings.

2 cups whole wheat flour (Plain flour can be used)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup thick  coconut milk
1 cup water
2 tbsp sugar

For the Coconut caramel sauce
1 cup sugar
1 cup thick coconut milk

First let us make the sauce
  • Heat a wide pan, add sugar to it. Keep the flame medium. As the sugar melts, it will caramelize. When it does, add coconut 2 tbsp at a time, and whisk to combine. Keep adding the entire cup in batches and also whisking it into the caramel.
  • Once done, take it off the stove. You might feel some thick sugar settled in thebottom while whisking, but do no worry, it will melt and dissolve well in the residue heat. You will have rich, glossy, super yumm sauce ready. Now keep this aside, until our dumplings are ready.
  • Put a large pan with 4 cups of water to boil. While the water is geting ready, let us get the dough ready.
  • In a large bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. To this sifted mix, add coconut milk and using a spatula, combine. Once you get the milk mixed with flour, slowly add water and try to make a sticky dough. Add water in batches.
  • The dough will be sticky, do not add flour to make it pilable. By this time, the water must be rolling boiling now. 
  • Grease your hand with little water, pinch balls of the dough and drop it into the boiling water. Once you drop, the balls will submerge in, but once they are cooked they will float on top.
  • Add balls in batches, a quick 6-8 in a batch. Once they come on top, cover and cook for 30 seconds - 1 minute. Not more than this, remove the balls using a slotted spoon and drain on a separate plate.
  • To check whether a dough ball is cooked or not, cut open a cooked dough and check the middle, it will be porous. Repeat this for the entire batch of dough. 
  • To serve, cut the cooked doughball into two or you can also leave it as such, take them in a small serving bowl, pour some coconut caramel sauce on top and serve warm. 

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