Creamy Cold Coffee

What’s so different about this, you ask. Well, it’s creamier. Yep, the cream. It’s that one secret ingredient which adds density and character to your otherwise regular coffee.
Whoever I’ve served it to, I’ve always got an “ummmmm, it’s awesssomeee”… There can’t be a better welcome drink than this 🙂


Ingredients: (This will make one glass)
200 ml cold milk
40 ml fresh cream
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp instant coffee powder. Add more if you like it strong.

Method:
1. In a coffee shaker bottle, add all the above ingredients and give a good shake till dissolved.
2. Take a glass and pop in 4-5 ice cubes.
3. Now pour the above mixture over the cubes for a super-chilled frothy delight.

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Peach Melba

Is there anything as pretty as a Peach this season? I don’t think so. Sitting proudly in all the fruit stalls, this gorgeous, sunset-stained fruit looks as if it’s blushing whenever you pass by.
Coming to nutrition, this good-looking tangy fruit is packed with Vitamin C – a strong antioxidant, Iron and Zinc. Its Beta-carotene is important for healthy eyes and high dietary fiber aids digestion.
When applied tropically, it can reduce wrinkles, improve overall skin texture and help fighting skin damage caused by the sun and pollution.
Peach Melba is mandatory in my kitchen, whenever the fruit arrives in the markets.
Time to do a happy dance, because, making Peach Melba is a shamelessly simple.

Ingredients: 
8 peaches, halved and destoned
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
3 cardamoms (whack gently, just so the pods open up a little)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups sugar
3 cups water
2 tbsps lemon juice
Pinch of salt

Method:
1. Put all the ingredients (except peaches) into a wide sauce pan and heat on medium, stirring occasionally, till the sugar dissolves.
2. Bring the pan to boil and let it bubble away for about five minutes. Reduce the flame and let it simmer for another 3-4 minutes.
3. Now, gently slide the peaches into the pan, cut-side down and poach for 4-5 minutes each side on medium heat.
4. Test the cut side with a knife. It should be soft.
5. Poach in batches if all the halves do not fit at one go.
6. Take out the poached fruits with a slotted spoon and leave them on a plate.
7. Peel off their skins and let them cool.
8. Serve with Vanilla / Strawberry ice cream or Raspberry Sauce

P.S.:  Refrigerate the syrup in an air-tight jar for poaching later.

So, hurry up and get this beauty home before it makes its final appearance.

Philadelphia White Chocolate Cheesecake

Cheesecakes have always blown me away by their silky texture, super delectable flavors and the variety of eyeball grabbing, mouthwatering toppings the vendors use. My personal favorite is the blueberrytopping.

Easter was just around the corner and house party was on the cards.
Being my first time making a Cheesecake at home, I wanted to start off with a really simple recipe that would be a sure-shot success and loved by all. So, I went pillaging the net and bumped into this mind-blowing recipe by Lorraine Pascale. This was just the one I was looking out for…a no-bake cheesecake.
It’s undaunting, super easy and guaranteed to steal the show. And the best part is, you can have tonnes of fun with the decoration and toppings.


Serves: 15

Ingredients:
Base:

300 gm pack of chocolate digestive biscuits, blitzed to crumb texture
60 gm butter, melted and cooled

Filling:
4 x 180 gm packs of Philadelphia full-fat cream cheese
500 gm white chocolate
100 gm icing sugar

To decorate:
100 gm dark chocolate

Method:
1. Line the bottom and sides of a 23cm spring-form tin with baking parchment.
2. Put the blitzed biscuits in a bowl, add the butter and mix well. Tip into the tin and press it well with a wooden spoon. Using hands is the best. Pop into the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
3. Put the cream cheese and icing sugar in a bowl and mix gently.
4. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, set over a pan of simmering water. Add the cream cheese mixture into the melted chocolate, one dollop at a time, stirring well until the mixture begins to look uniform, smooth and silky. Tip it over the biscuit base and smooth the top.
5. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes,
6. Chop the chocolate into shavings or use a peeler to make chocolate curls.
7. Remove the cheesecake from the tin and peel away the parchment.
8. Place it on a plate and decorate with the chocolate shavings or toppings of your choice.

P.S.: If you feel Philadelphia Cream Cheese is going to burn a big round hole in your pocket, D’lecta Creme Cheese or any good quality cream cheese should serve the purpose.

If you are in a pursuit of happiness, this is happiness… a smooth, creamy, yummy mouthful of happiness 🙂

Banana Bread

This is the best Banana Bread recipe ever. Period. It’s kind of a Grandma’s recipe… vintage and long-standing. Its old-school simplicity is overwhelming and so is its super-soft texture and mind-blowing flavor.
When I baked it for the first time, I did it with white sugar. The second time, I used the light brown one. With both, results were amazing. Believe me, you’ll never go wrong with it. Try once and you will be baking it again and again, I promise.
banana-breadPreparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 50 minutes to 1 hour

Ingredients:
4 medium sized, very ripe bananas
1/2 cup butter
1 cup Sugar (white or brown). Adjust according to your desired sweetness.
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
11/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Method:
1. Grease and flour a loaf tin. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
2. Squidge the bananas with a masher. I prefer doing it with hand and leave little chunks, instead of making a paste. You feel them in your bites when you chomp on.
3. Cream together the butter and sugar.
4. Add the beaten eggs and crushed bananas.
5. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the creamed mixture.
6. Add vanilla, sprinkle the cinnamon powder and fold gently.
7. Tip the mixture in the loaf tin and bake for 50 mins or till done.
8. Enjoy as a tea-time cake or whenever you are in the mood for a dessert.

P.S.:
You can toss in a cup of chopped nuts, raisins, or chocolate chips if you want, or put the batter into muffin tins and make muffins instead.

BBJ – Grilled Banana Blueberry Jam Sandwich

Amazing, drool-worthy, yummilious! Crispy on the outside, warm and melty on the inside, my BBJ – grilled Banana Blueberry Jam sandwich makes for a superbly delicious and incredibly satisfying snack or dessert.
There isn’t a specific time to gobble on this really. Pack it up in your lunchbox, chomp on alongside milk or just dig your teeth into whenever you feel. Lifts up the mood immediately. Also, it’s the quickest snack you can make when you call your pals over for a coffee. They’ll be mighty impressed, I bet 🙂
Banana Bluberry jam sandwichPreparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Serves: 1 🙂

Ingredients:
2 slices whole-wheat, multigrain or white bread
Half just-ripe banana, sliced. Shouldn’t be too gooey
1 tbsp blueberry jam
1 tbsp butter

Method:
1. Heat a skillet or grill pan on medium.
2. Spread the jam on to one slice of bread and butter on the other
3. Arrange the banana slices on the jam and cover it up with the buttered slice.
4. Slightly press the sandwich so the entire thing is held in place.
5. Place it on the pan, give a little press and grill till golden-brown. This may take couple of minutes.
Lower the heat if you feel it’s browning too quickly.
6. Now flip it over and grill the other side.
7. Repeat until you achieve your desired crispiness.
8. Slice it in half and serve…immediately…before it goes soft and soggy.

P.S.:
Instead of Blueberry jam, you can also slather Nutella, strawberry jam or mix fruit jam.

Apple Pancakes

A fuss-free start to a fuss-free day! That’s a catchy one :).
My fluffy Apple Pancakes are just what you need to kick off your day. Mighty easy, super yummy and with a sprinkle of health. Have them with your cuppa and you’re good to go.
One is the rule of thumb here. All you need, is a cup. Yes, a cup or…even a mug 🙂
Apple Pancakes
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2 (depending on the size of pancakes)

Ingredients:
One cup plain flour
One cup milk
One egg, big size
One apple
One tsp sugar (optional)
One pinch salt
Butter for frying

Method:
1. Heat up a fry pan.
2. In a big size bowl, whisk together flour, milk, egg and salt.
3. Grate apple, tip it in the above mixture and combine.
4. Add butter to the pan and spoon the batter making pancakes of desired size and thickness. Keep the heat on medium.
5. If you have a larger pan, you can ladle in two to three at a time.
6. Fry for couple of minutes or until bubbles start to appear on the top; then flip them over and cook the other side.
7. Keep going until all the batter is used up.
8. Serve with a sprinkle of icing sugar and a generous drizzle of honey or maple syrup.

P.S.: 1. In place of apple, you can also use grated pear, blueberries or chopped strawberries.
2. Top them up with a dollop of curd or vanilla ice cream.
3. You can use sliced bananas, strawberries or fruits of your choice as sides.
4. Since there is no sugar added, you can make sweet or savory pancakes.
5. If the batter is extra, pack it up in an airtight container and leave it in the fridge for frying later. It stays for 1-2 days.

Have a nice day 🙂

Fruit And Nut Biscotti

“Some Biscotti with your Cappuccino, mam?”, asked the waiter of a newly opened bakery cum cafe. “Would love to”, I replied with a confident smile, in my mind wondering… “what’s that?” This was my introduction, rather, encounter with the much loved Italian delight, right here, in the by-lanes of Mumbai 🙂
Just so you know, Biscotti is the plural form of Biscotto, as opposed to how its usually referred. It means ‘baked twice’. This crunchy and more delicious cousin of Rusk, is indeed a wonderful companion to Cappuccino and has a very long shelf life.
BiscottiIngredients:
250gm plain flour
250 gm caster sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 tbsp baking powder
Fruit and Nuts as you like – hazelnuts, chopped dates, dried cherries, pistachios, etc.
I added:
50 gm whole almonds
50 gm black raisins
50 gm whole cashews
50 gm lightly chopped walnuts
Zest of 1 lemon

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line the baking trays with baking parchment.
2. Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl.
3. Add half the beaten eggs and mix well. Keep adding the eggs only till the dough takes shape, but isn’t too wet. You might not need all of the eggs.
4. Add the fruits, nuts, lemon zest and mix well.
5. Divide the dough into six parts. Roll each part into sausage shapes about 3cm in diameter. Place each roll at least 6 cm apart on on baking trays. This will give enough space for the cake to rise.
Tip: Dip your hands in water so the dough doesn’t stick to the hands while rolling.
6. Lightly flatten the rolls and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown.
7.  Remove from the oven and leave for 15 minutes to cool and firm up.
8. Now reduce the temperature of the oven to 140C.
9. With a serrated knife, cut out the biscotti from the rolls at an angle into 5mm slices and lay these on the baking trays.
10. Place the trays back in the oven and bake for around 10 minutes.
11. Pull the trays out, turn the biscotti over and slide the trays back in the oven. Now cook for another 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
12. When they look ready, remove from the oven and let them cool on the cake or wire racks.
13. Store in an airtight container.

Serve your Biscotti with coffee or tea. Just make sure you make a whole lot of them, because… 😉