Saturday, 21 June 2014

Gulab Jamoon

The smooth, sweet jamoons soaked in sugar syrup. That invariably mouth-watering dessert in most Indian Buffets. Well I cannot think of anyone who would dislike this lovely dessert, except for calorific reasons ofcourse. But a celebration calls for some highly calorific dishes on the menu and we are sure to have practice sessions a couple of times atleast before the occasion to get the dish right. I am sure most of us have tried the packaged instant mix for gulab jamoon. The ingredients are anyone's guess.

Ingredients
Khova/dry evaporated milk - grated, 1 1/2 cups 
Maida/Corn Flour - 1/2 cup 
Water - just to blend

Sugar syrup
water - 1 1/2 cup
sugar - 1 1/2 cup
Cardamom - 2, crushed and powdered with the pestle
Rose essence - 3-4 drops
Lemon juice - a few drops

Method
Use your fingertips lightly  and mix the khova and maida to make a crumbly mix. Add just enough water to make a smooth dough very lightly with your fingers. Do not knead or the jamuns will turn out hard.

With this quantity of ingredients  you can make 40 medium sized jamuns. 

Place the balls of dough on a plate. 

Prepare the sugar syrup in the meanwhile. Heat the water and add the sugar, stirring slowly. Keep stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved for about 10 minutes. Do no overheat or the sugar will caramelize. 

Add the lemon juice to the syrup, to avoid the sugar from crystallizing after it cools down. Take the sugar syrup off the flame when it is of the right consistency (pourable but thick) and add the cardamom and rose essence. 

While the sugar syrup is still hot, start frying the jamun balls in oil. Keep tossing them around in medium flame, so all sides cook evenly and the jamuns do not crack. 




Drop the hot jamun balls directly into the sugar syrup.









Allow the jamuns to soak. The syrup will cool down in a couple of hours. You could serve the jamus warm or cold with a few spoons of syrup.


Verdict
Something incredibly satisfying about making something from scratch. This is one of those satisfying endeavours, to all senses including your palette ;)

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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Home-made Pizza

A simple home made pizza can be very satisfying especially on a Friday or Saturday night in the company of a movie. Kids would down it in no time and the movie in that case would be some Disney or Pixar animation movie.

Ingredients for 4 6-inch pizza base
1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water
2 1/4 tsp dry instant yeast
3 1/2 cups of bread flour (I usually mix 2 1/2 cups of maida (APF) and 1 cup of wheat flour)

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

I add the instant yeast directly to the dry ingredients and sift well. I then add the warm water mixed with olive oil and make the dough. 

If your yeast requires proofing, add it to the warm water and allow it to proof, and then add the rest of the ingredients in the following order - oil, sugar, salt and finally flour. 

Use the hand mixer for 10 mins and knead into a soft, smooth and elastic dough.

Place the ball in a bowl coated with olive oil and turn it over, so all sides of the ball are coated with oil. 

Cover with a plastic wrap and let it rise until double. 

Preheat the oven to 220 Degrees C.

Remove the plastic wrap and punch it down gently. Divide the dough into four balls and cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 mins.

Ingredients for the topping (covers 4 6-inch pizza bases)

Tomato -2 ,sliced
Onions - 1, sliced
Olives - 10 -12, pitted and sliced.

Tomato sauce - 1 cup
Grated mozzarella cheesse or pizza cheese - 1 1/2 cup

Simple topping choices always available on hand are tomatoe, onion and cucumber. You can optionally add olives, mushrooms and corn. 

I have added onions, olives and tomatoes.

Working with one ball, starting at the centre and working outwards, use your fingertips to make a 1/2 inch thick circle of diameter roughly 7 inches. Slightly raise the edges of the pizza base, so as to hold the topping. I have not done this and I found the cheese slipping down the slides during baking.

Brush the top with olive oil and let it rest for another 5 mins.

Place the pizza base in the pan and add a little sauce, cheese and toppings.

Bake each pizza base for 10-15 mins until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden. 


Cut into wedges and serve. 


Verdict
Small effort but big rewards. The kids just love it and since you know exactly what goes in, it is a far healthier option. 
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Monday, 16 June 2014

Mix Vegetable Gravy in Garlic Sauce - Chinese style


The simple vegetable gravy I promised with the Chinese Fried rice post. This is with garlic sauce base. I also make white sauce and add cooked chicken. More on that later.

Ingredients
Following Vegetables - 2 cups in total
Cleaned cauliflower flowerrettes - small
Capsicum - diced
Carrots - broad, thin slices
Green peas

Corn flour - 1 tbsp
Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Pepper - to taste
Tomato Sauce - 1/2 tbsp
Soy sauce -  few drops
Salt - if necessary.
Water - as required.

Oil for frying

Method
Heat some oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the vegetables and stir fry until almost soft. Add the garlic paste and mix well. Add a little salt and keep frying. 

Make a paste of cornflour with as much water as necessary and add it to the cooked vegetables. 

Add the sauces and keep stirring. Add pepper if necessary. Now let the corn flour paste cook and reach the desired consistency. 

Garnish with chopped spring onions and serve with fried rice. 

Verdict
Simple quick and easy side dish to fried rice.

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Saturday, 14 June 2014

Vegetable Fried Rice - Chinese Style

What is different about fried rice as compared to regular pulav. My little girl calls it while biryani rice. She is partly correct. The idea is that it is a little mildly flavoured compared to our pulav, unless ofcourse you are talking about Schezwan fried rice.

So here is a quick easy way to make Veg fried rice. I some times add egg scramble and convert it into egg fried rice.

Recipe
Ingredients Rice - 1 cup, cleaned and soaked

Following Vegetables - totaling to 1cup
Carrots - finely diced
green peas
Bean - thin slices
Finely sliced onions.

Spring onions for garnishing
Oil for frying
Salt and pepper to taste. 

Method Cook the rice with a little salt and oil and allow it to cool down. It is better to cook it in the pan instead of using the cooker. The rice grains will separate easily when cool. Separate the rice grains and keep aside.

Fry some oil in a large bottomed heavy pan. Add the vegetables, a little salt and pepper and stir fry until cooked. If you want to cook the vegetables in water you could do that and reduce the oil added. 

When the veggies are cooked, add the rice and mix well, tossing around every few seconds. Sprinkle some pepper to taste. 

If you wish to make egg fried rice, use the same procedure and add scrambled eggs to the rice while mixing with vegetables. 

Garnish with spring onions.

Serve hot with soy sauce, tomato sauce and Vinegar dressing.


Verdict Simple, quick and easy fried rice. You can make some chinese style vegetable gravy to go with this too. Watch out for the next recipe.

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Thursday, 12 June 2014

Conchas de Colores Naturales - Baking Eggless (May Challenge)

Is it already June 2014? It just seems like yesterday when we welcomed the new year... Phew! time flies, literally and I have missed 3 challenges... Sorry but work at office has been keeping me away from the blogosphere for the last 3-4 months. So when things eased out a little, I decided I will not skip this month's challenge and here it is :)

I admit it, it is a exasperating recipe. Too many different things come together for this, each with its own preparation time and rising time... But it is totally worth it...

Here is the original recipe... I have given the substitution tips below the original recipe.

Yields 16 rolls

Time:
Mix and ferment sponge: 2 hours

Mix final dough: 10 minutes

First fermentation : 30 minutes, then 8 – 16 hours in the refrigerator

Divide and shape: 20 minutes

Proof: 3 hours

Bake: 20 minutes

Sponge Ingredients:
113 g flour
3 g instant yeast
1 T. warm water
50 g (one large) egg, lightly beaten

Final Dough Ingredients:
450 g flour
180 g sugar
3 g (1/2 t. salt)
45 g unsalted butter, softened

220 g egg
57 g warm water
7 g instant yeast
all of the sponge

Topping Ingredients:
114 g all-purpose flour
114 g powdered sugar
91 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Colors/flavors as desired. The original recipe specifies, 2 T. cocoa powder for half, and 1 T. cinnamon for the other half. I divided the dough in quarters and used 1 T. coarsely ground cacao nibs, 3 g dehydrated raspberries, 3 g dehydrated blueberries (both berries finely ground in a spice mill with a bit of granulated sugar), and 1.5 t. acai powder.


What did I use? 1 Tbsp Cinnamon for the brown ones
1 Tbsp dried cranberries for the light pink hue. 

Method:
In a medium, combine the sponge ingredients and mix until well incorporated. 
Cover and ferment until double in bulk, about 1.5 hours.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook, combine all of the final dough ingredients except 60 g of the sugar. 
Mix on medium-high speed (I used Kitchen Aid mixer speed 5) for 5 minutes.
Add the remaining sugar and continue to mix for another 3 minutes, until the dough more or less holds together around the dough hook. It should be soft and sticky and shiny.
Using a little flour around the sides of the bowl to help loosen the dough, turn the dough into a lightly buttered container. 
Cover and ferment in a warm place for 30 minutes, then place in the refrigerator overnight (8 – 16 hours).
Before removing the dough from the refrigerator, prepare the topping. 
Sift flour and powdered sugar together, then cut the butter into the mixture and work it together into a paste with your fingers. 
Divide the paste and add the colorings.
Turn the main dough into a lightly floured counter. Divide it into 16 pieces of approximately 60 grams each.
Shape each piece into a ball by cupping your hand over it loosely and rolling it around on the counter. 
Place the balls on two large parchment-lined baking sheets.
Divide the topping paste into 16 balls. Press each ball out into a 3-inch disc and place it on top of a ball of dough, using the palm of your hand to flatten it out a little.
Using the tip of a sharp knife, score through the topping paste in a shell pattern. (Don’t worry if the topping disc cracks at this point, or during baking; this is characteristic of conchas.)
Proof  in a warm place, uncovered, until they have increased in volume by about 50%, about 3 hours.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven, with racks on the middle and top thirds, to 375F.
Bake for the conchas for about 20 minutes, swapping the positions of the pans at about 12 minutes to ensure even baking. 
The topping should feel set and the rolls underneath should be slightly browned.
Cool on a wire rack. 
Now for the eggless recipe: 220g egg is about 4 large eggs (each egg is about 55 grams in weight and 1/4 cup by volume).

The eggs can be substituted with any of the following

1. 1 cup milk
2. 1 cup yoghurt
3. 1/2 cup cream + 1/2 cup milk
4. 1/2 cup dry evaporated milk + enough milk to make 1 cup in total

I used option 4. 

Why are there large cracks you ask? I delayed making the shell pattern by more than 20 minutes after fixing the topping. By then the bread had risen again and started cracking the topping paste.

I baked at 180 degrees C for about 20 minutes. Since I baked in a convection oven, I did not have to rearrange the buns midway. 

  • Verdict
  • I am sure the topping would have turned out picture perfect if the pattern was done on time. If you love to serve some fancy looking sweet buns say at a party or a get-together make mini version of these and they will be gone in a jiffy.
    priya's signature image at photobucket

    Wednesday, 12 February 2014

    Chocolate Cinnamon Bundt Cake


    Is there anything called over-indulgence with respect to bundt cakes? As the new owner of bundt pans it is indeed natural for one to try out various recipes. This is with a large bundt (12-cup) pan.



    I once again turned to Divya's blog for a chocolate-cinnamon-bundt cake.

    Ingredients
    Butter – ½ cup
    Water – 1 cup
    Vegetable oil – ½ cup
    Cocoa powder – 5 tbsps[I used Cadburys]
    Plain flour – 1 ½ cups
    Wholewheat flour – ½ cup
    Sugar – 1 1/2 cups
    Salt – ½ tsp
    Buttermilk – 1 cup (replaced 2 eggs with half a cup of buttermilk)
    Baking soda – 1 tsp
    Cinnamon – 1 ½ tsps
    Vanilla extract – 1 tsp

    Method
    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). I set it to 180 degrees C.
    Grease a large bundt pan with cooking spray.
    Put butter, water, oil, and cocoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.
    Meanwhile, whisk together both flours, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl.
    Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well.
    Then, add the buttermilk and baking soda.
    Add the cinnamon, and vanilla to the batter. Pour batter into prepared pan.
    Bake 35-40 minutes.[Mine took 10 minutes extra]. Allow cake to cool completely in the pan.
    Verdict: Wonderfully rich and moist cake. But I usually prefer cakes that do not use oil. That is just my taste I suppose. But for the glossy look and moisture in the cake, I loved the taste.

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    Thursday, 6 February 2014

    Eggless Hershey's Marble cake

    What does one do with a bottle of Hershey's chocolate syrup lying the pantry unopened and the little one refusing to have milk shakes made from it. Well there are a lot of things one can do with all that syrup, but the little one was more interested in having a marble cake... And as always the little one wins...

    Recipe adapted from Hershey's website

    Ingredients
    1 cup Hershey's syrup
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup buttermilk
    2 3/4 cups APF
    3 eggs - substituted with 3/4 cup whole milk for eggless 
    1 1/4 tsp baking soda, divided
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 1/4 cups sugar (the recipe says 2 cups sugar, but I reduced it)
    1 cup butter

    Method


    Preheat oven to 350 degress F or 180 degrees C. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan.
    Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until fluffy. Add the milk and beat well. Stir together flour, 1 tsp baking soda and salt and alternately with buttermilk to butter mixture, beating until well blended.

    Measure 2 cups into a small bowl, stir in syrup and remaining 1/4 tsp baking soda. Pour chocolate batter over vanilla batter in pan. Use a wooden spoon and gently swirl the batters to create the marble pattern. Do not over mix. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. I omitted the glaze or frosting that the recipe suggests.


    Verdict: The cake was yummy. Need to say more? 

    priya's signature image at photobucket

    Monday, 3 February 2014

    One bowl Mocha bundt cake

    I did not believe it when fellow bloggers told about how addictive bundt pans are. As the new owner of a couple of bundt pans, I now see myself fascinated by them more than any other pan in my shelf.

    I did a quick search on my fellow bloggers recipes for bundt pans. I narrowed down on Divya's recipe and used it verbatim.

    One-bowl Mocha Bundt Cake

    Ingredients

    Brown Sugar - 1 cup
    Butter - 60 gms,at room temperature
    Egg - 1
    Milk - 1/3 cup
    All purpose flour - 1 cup
    Baking powder - 1 tsp
    Salt - 1/4 tsp
    Instant coffee powder - 1 tsp
    Cocoa powder - 1 tbsp
    Cinnamon powder - 1/4 tsp

    Method

    Preheat oven to 180 degress C and flour a 6-cup bundt pan. 

    In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and beat for 3-4 minutes. 


    Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

    Let the cake cool in the tin,on a wire rack for 30 minutes.Loosen the edges and center and invert the cake on to the wire rack and let it cool further.

    Slice and serve. 




    Verdict: Easy simple recipe for a great tasting coffee cake. Serve with evening tea/coffee and devour the heady combination of coffee, cinnamon and cocoa.

    priya's signature image at photobucket

    Saturday, 1 February 2014

    Baking Eggless January - Greek Simiti/Koulouri - Sesame Crusted Bread Rings


    Ever heard of diva tantrums? For instance, "I want exactly 10 sesame seeds on top of my burger bun, not more, not less". Well in that case, this one is not for you dearie!

    Eggless baking challenge for the month of January was Sesame crusted bread rings, a Greek Simiti.

    I planned to make only 3-4 of these bread rings. But I had measured out the full recipe for 10 bread rings. While wondering if I should make 10 or just 5 bread rings, I stuck to making just 5, since the diva tantrums I told you about, apply to my little girl too.

    So here goes the recipe from My little expat kitchen:


    Ingredients
    For the dough
    11 g (3 tsp) dried instant yeast
    220 ml plus 30 ml (2 Tbsp) lukewarm water
    30 g (2 Tbsp) caster sugar
    650 g all-purpose flour
    1 large egg - Refer to Egg substituion
    30 ml (2 Tbsp) olive oil plus extra for oiling the bowl
    100 ml lukewarm fresh whole milk
    8 g (1 tsp) salt 

    For the coating
    1½ cups sesame seeds
    ⅓ cup grape-must syrup (petimezi) diluted in ¼ cup water -- use Honey

    Special equipment: mixer with dough hook attachment (optional), one or two baking sheets, baking paper

    Egg substitution: Grind a tablespoon of flax seeds with a tablespoon of water and 3 tablespoons of milk

    Preparation

    In a large bowl add the yeast and the 2 Tbsp (30 ml) of lukewarm water. Massage the yeast with your fingertips into a paste and then add the sugar, the rest of the water, the flour, the egg, the olive oil, the milk and the salt, in that order.

    Attach the dough hook and knead for about 7 minutes, on the lowest speed, until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl and it is smooth and elastic. The dough should be soft, pliable, slightly moist but one that does not stick to your hands.

    If you're using a mixer for kneading the dough, turn out the dough onto a clean and lightly floured surface and shape it into a ball.

    Lightly grease a large bowl with olive oil and place the ball of dough inside. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm place, allowing the dough to proof and double in size. It takes about 30 minutes for Bangalore weather, when placed in the microwave oven. 

    In the meantime, toast the sesame seeds. In a large frying pan, add the sesame seeds and toast them over medium heat, stirring them around constantly with a spatula or wooden spoon, until they take on a light brown color and start releasing their aroma. Be careful not to burn them because they'll have a bitter taste.

    Prepare your baking sheet by lining the bottom with a piece of baking paper. I baked 5 simitis in one baking sheet.
    Place the toasted sesame seeds and the honey that's been diluted in water in two separate, medium-sized and deep plates.

    Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius / 390 Fahrenheit.

    Once the dough has proofed, take it out of the bowl and knead it for a couple of seconds just to deflate it a bit. Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces (100-110 g each) and shape them into 5 balls. Take each ball of dough and roll it on a lightly floured surface into a 50-60 cm-long rope. 
    Note: Don't flour your work surface too much because you need friction in order to shape the balls into ropes.
    Bring the two ends of the rope together and braid the two strands. Then, form a ring and press the edges together to seal. You can use a little bit of water to make the ends stick. 

    Place the simiti on the baking sheet and continue rolling the other balls of dough.

    Once you have prepared all your simitia, take each one and first dip it in the honey and water mixture, coating it well on all sides and then immediately dip it in the sesame seeds, coating it thickly on all sides. Then return each simiti to your baking sheet. Continue doing the same with the rest. Place the simiti with enough space between them. They rise while baking. 

    Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake the simitia for about 20 minutes, until they take on a golden-brown color.

    Place the baked simitia on a wire rack and eat them while still warm or when they have completely cooled.

    If you would like to use Petimezi, it is grapes molasses and if you find it it would be great. If you love to make it at home here are two  links to the process.
    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-petimezi.htm
    http://greek.food.com/recipe/petimezi-greek-grape-syrup-262278


    Verdict: Honey was a wonderful choice. And the sesame seeds were beautifully roasted, but still I should say, there were way too many sesame seeds, not to my liking. But the bread was soft and wonderful.
    What did I do with the rest of the dough? I just made 16 balls, placed them on a 8x8 square pan and made pav-type of buns... As soon as the simitia was done, my little girl ate one whole, sans the sesame seeds, and I finished it for breakfast and snacks over the next couple of days. The pav-like buns were devoured by everyone at home as a side serve for tea :)
    priya's signature image at photobucket


    Sunday, 12 January 2014

    Dal Makhani

    Dal Makhani is a favourite in party food and restaurant orders. There is a reason this particular preparation is far ahead in its appeal compared to other dal preparations. The creamy texture and the slightly spicy taste with a hint of ginger is just irresistible and goes so well with the fried rice or pulao items.

    I always wanted to try this but was apprehensive about how well folks at home will take to having butter and cream mixed into their healthy dal. But I decided it wouldn't do us much harm to make this once a while.

    So here goes the recipe I used this afternoon for a yummy lunch.
    Ingredients:
    Black Urad Dal - 3/4 cup
    Asafoetida/Hing - 1/4 tsp
    Onion - 2 medium sized chopped fine
    Tomato - 2 medium sized diced
    Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
    Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
    Ginger Paste - 1 tsp
    Amti masala - 1/2 tsp
    Green Chillies - 2 (slit lengthwise)
    Chilli powder - 1 tsp
    Salt - to taste
    Butter - 1 tbsp
    Cream - 2 tbsp

    Method:
    Soak the urad dal in 3 cups of water over night.
    Boil the urad dal with asafoetida in the pressure cooker giving 7-8 whistles until soft.
    When the cooker cools down, mash the dal well. 
    In a kadai, heat some oil and fry the chopped onions until pink. Add the tomato and saute until soft. Add the green chillies, chilli powder, ginger paste, amti masala, coriander, cumin and salt and fry for a few seconds. Add the mashed dal and let boil for a few minutes. Add the butter and cream and allow to simmer for a minute or so. Serve hot and garnish with coriander leaves, with rice or rotis. 
    Verdict: Enjoy the creamy and mildly spiced dal makhani with your favourite pulav. A dish worth investing your time in.
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    Thursday, 9 January 2014

    Lemon Coriander Soup

    Anyone up for some soup? This never fails to elicit a positive response even from my little girl! Folks at home are always up for some steaming hot soup... So keeping up their interest is a bit challenging and I need to keep dishing out different varieties. I rarely take photographs of such quick dishes, as I am busy with dinner preparations at the same time, but I managed to photograph this Lemon-coriander soup as I served it alongside lunch one weekend.

    So here goes the bits and pieces that go into this delectable and soothing hot drink...

    Ingredients:
    Coriander - 12-15 stalks 
    Curry leaves - 5-8 
    Carrots - 2 small shredded
    Green Peas - 1/4 cup (optional)

    Spices:
    Cumin powder - 1 tsp
    Coriander powder - 1 tsp
    Thyme - 1/2 tsp
    Ginger paste - 1 tsp
    Pepper - 1 tsp
    Salt - to taste

    Water - approximately 600 ml

    Corn flour paste - 1 tbsp cornflour + 1 tsbp water

    Juice of 2 small lemons or 1 large lemon, about 2 tablespoons.
    Coriander leaves and some spring onions for garnishing 

    Method:
    Puree the coriander and curry leaves into a smooth paste. Boil the water and in a saucepan and add the coriander-curry leaves paste to it. Add the spices and let it come to a boil. Add the shredded carrots and green peas, if adding. Boil until the vegetables are almost cooked and the raw smell of coriander disappears. 
    Add the corn-flour paste and mix quickly, so no lumps are formed. Keep boiling until the soup thickens a bit. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice. 

    Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

    Verdict:
    It is a breezy easy soup to prepare on a cold winter evening... urge you to try it!
    priya's signature image at photobucket



    Sunday, 5 January 2014

    Eggless Baking Challenge - Creme Brulee (No-bake)


    It has been a while since I participated in the Eggless Baking Challenge. I decided I would not miss it this time. But the hectic work schedules leaves me exhausted on weekends to venture into unknown territories... And Creme Brule was one such recipe. Curiosity however won the trepidation, and one attempt later I was very happy with the outcome, albeit a bit late for the challenge ;)

    Here is the original recipe (Source: Sanjeev Kapoor)

     Ingredients:
    Cream - 500 ml
    Egg Yolks - 4
    Egg - 1
    Sugar - 1 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp
    Vanilla Essence - 1/2 tsp
    Demerara Sugar  6 tbsp

    Method:

    Heat the cream in a pan till it reaches the boiling point. Set aside to cool. Place the egg yolks and whole egg in a bowl, add all the sugar and mix. Cook over a double boiler, or in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, till the sugar dissolves, making sure that the eggs do not scramble. Add the egg mixture to the cream and mix well. Preheat oven to 180°C/350ยบ F/Gas Mark 4. Add the vanilla essence to the cream mixture and mix well. Strain the entire mixture into another bowl. Pour the cream mixture into four ramekin moulds. Cover each mould with aluminum foil and pierce to allow steam to escape. Pour some water into a deep baking tray. Place the moulds in the water bath and place the tray in the oven. Bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes. Remove from the oven, take the moulds out of the water bath and allow them to cool completely. Chill in the refrigerator. Just before serving sprinkle a tablespoon of Demerara sugar over the set custard in each of the moulds and caramelise the sugar with the torch. Serve immediately.

    To caramelize the sugar without using a blowtorch, there is a method to heat the spoon on the flame and place it on top of the sugar. 

    First of all I scaled the recipe down, altered some proportions and finally came up with the following:

    Ingredients:
    Cream - 200 ml
    Custard Powder - 3 tbsp
    Sugar - 4 tbsp
    Milk - 3 tbsp

    Demerara sugar -  2 tbsp

    Gelatine - 1/4 tsp 
    Water - 1/2 tbsp

    Method:
    Mix the milk and custard powder into a smooth paste. Heat the cream and sugar in a saucepan, until the sugar dissolves. Mix the custard paste into the cream and bring it to a boil, stirring continously so that there no lumps. When the custard thickens remove it from the heat and allow it to cool down. 

    Mix the gelatine crystals in water in a shallow saucepan and gently place it over the flame, until the gelatine dissolves in the water. 

    Beat the cooled down custard with the gelatine for a few seconds in the blender. Strain the mixture into a bowl. Spoon the smooth custard into the ramekins moulds. I used 1-ounce small ramekins and was able to fill up 5 of those with the custard.

    Allow to set in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. 

    Sprinkle some demerara sugar on top of the set cream custard. Heat a ladle in the flame and place it on top of the sugar. The heat from the ladle should caramelize the sugar. In my case, the sugar stuck to the base of the ladle when I lifted it up and made a few hollows. So I caramelized the sugar on only one ramekin. I skipped the rest. I was guessing placing the hot ladle on the sugar and heating the top with a lighter would work as well. But since I did not have a lighter at home I could not try it.


    Verdict: The creaminess of the custard was awesome... But I am a little doubtful if it qualifies as panna cotta instead of creme-brulee given that it has gelatine and it is a no-bake recipe. I leave it to the experts to comment on it.
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