Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

As a kid I could never say few things. I would use ‘tha’ for ‘kha’…na’ for ‘ra’ and made up my own language. I had difficulty in saying pumpkin and I always called it ‘umpkin’. I grew up in south India where pumpkin not only appeared during holidays but was pretty much a normal everyday vegetable. Mum made curries with it and also made a gorgeous sweet halwa with it. For a long time I made this too, but I changed. Last Year, I made pumpkin cupcakes.
Anyways, it’s time for thanksgiving and there are things that always re-appear on the holiday table. One such thing is this humble umpkin pumpkin pie. It’s like Marmite you either love it or hate it!
With holidays soon approaching and things to do, it must be crazy week for everyone. Some of you have travel plans to be with your family, some of you must be busy planning Christmas menu, some of you amidst madness in crowded stores shopping for loved ones. And then some of us have to finish work before the holidays begin. phew!
But, I am really insanely thankful for all things truly important: great friends, far-away but dear family, good food, job I love & a good life. I am thankful for meeting S who loves me immensely for what I am {and loves food ;-)}, I am thankful for meeting lovely friends who have become family and for their amazing support and unconditional love. I am thankful for meeting new friends through this blog who have become a part of my life now. 
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
This robust pie has a very gorgeous roasted pumpkin flavour, smokily intense sweetness from dark brown sugar and honey, heightened creaminess with the use of ricotta & cream, spiciness from the fresh ground spices & zestiness from fresh orange zest & booziness from brandy to remind us of holiday flavours.. 
Pumpkin Ricotta-Brandy Pie
For the pastry I used the recipe from here
For the filling:

800g of roasted pumpkin puree

4 eggs
100g dark brown sugar
120ml heavy cream
100g ricotta or mascarpone or cream cheese
3 tbsp brandy
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp acacia honey
1 tbsp pumkin spice mix (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg)
More whipped cream for piping on top.
Whizz everything in a processor & pour onto baked pie shell. Bake in a pre-heated 180C oven, for about 35-45 minutes or until it slightly wobbles. Allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for a few hours before slicing and pipe some cream on top.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

100 SoulCurry posts = Birth of WithAPinchOfSalt and a Gift

Hurray! I have written a jolly hundred posts. When I started this blog, I had absolutely no idea what was in store for me. But I think it’s one of the best things I have done in my life.  Through this blog, I have found so many wonderful, talented people and have learned & progressed so much. It has all been a very enriching experience. Thanks to each and every one of you!
So to celebrate this, S got me this gorgeous baby (flown all the way from US by a dear friend). 
Also, I have started a new blog WithAPinchOfSalt, where I will be posting everyday-simple-to-make-on-a-budget recipes. I hope to receive the same kind of love & audience for my new blog.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Triple chocolate espresso cake = Triple the fun

I am still here guyz and I promise to make something special blogwise soon! Just been very busy and I need to give you SOME NEWS soon! For now I have a cake recipe to share..The most sinful cake ever!
Last weekend was so much fun. It was a dear friends 30th and boy we had some serious fun..
 I made 2 cakes one a rich Triple Chocolate Espresso Pound Cake frosted with whipped Mocha Mousse and a Chocolate Espresso Cake layered with Mocha Mousse & covered in chocolate collar. If you think its chocolate-coffee excess, let me tell you we needed all of it!

How the Cake was Demolished in Minutes!
Easy Peasy Triple Chocolate Espresso Cake (adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Cake Bible)
125 gm Plain flour
35g cocoa powder
1tsp instant coffee
60ml cup freshly brewed coffee
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
175gm granulated sugar
½ tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
185gm unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup Dark chocolate +1/4 cup milk chocolate+1/4 cup peanut butter/white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 7inch pan (I have used a Giant cupcake form).Beat the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one by one and beat after each addition. Sieve the dry ingredients into one bowl and toss the chocolate chips in one tbsp. of the sieved flour. (This helps the chips to stay all through the batter rather than sink). Add the coffee along with the dry ingredients and fold carefully. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips.
Pour the into the form and for about 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

For the Whipped Mocha Mousse Icing I used the Mocha Mousse recipe from here  and just piped free-form using a large star tip.
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