Monthly Archives: March 2013

Mango macarons

Mango Macarons

Mango Macarons

As part of the March Mango Madness and having a lot of desserts mango style, I decided to add mango macarons to the list. I used my previous method to make macarons but I added three drops of food coloring just after I had mixed in the almond meal/confectioners sugar into the whisked egg whites. The common thought here is that you should always use food paste coloring so that you do not upset the macaronage. I did not have yellow food paste coloring so I did with what I had. A step that I skipped was to sift the icing sugar and almond mixture. This gets the tops of the macarons very smooth with no bumps. I also bought ready-made almond flour so I did not blanch the almonds and grind them – makes life a little easier.

Ingredients

Meringue

  • 90g egg whites
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 110g ground almonds
  • 200g powdered sugar
  • 3 drops yellow food coloring

Mango Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 13 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup mango purée

Method

Line 2 cookie trays with parchment paper or use silicone sheets.

Whisk the powdered sugar and almonds together in a bowl. Sift it to get out all the bigger pieces.

Beat the egg whites until foamy. Then slowly start adding the granulated sugar. Continue to beat until you have a glossy meringue.  The meringue should gently fall over when you lift the beaters.

Pour the almond sugar mix over the meringue and fold into the meringue. It will take you about 50 strokes. You know the batter is well blended by lifting the spatula up and letting a blob drop back in, it should gently dissolve into the batter without leaving a trace. Put in the food coloring and continue to fold until the color is incorporated. This took me about 10 more strokes.

Put the batter into your piping bag fitted with a round opening nozzle. Pipe 1/2 inch rounds on the parchment lined tray leaving about a 1/2 inch between each round. Let them now stand for about an hour. You know they are ready when the tops are dry to the touch.

Turn your oven to 300F. Bake each tray for 18-20 minutes. You will see the little feet come on your macarons.

Take out the tray out of the oven and let it cool before peels off the macarons from the parchment paper.

Mango Buttercream

Bring the water to a gentle simmer. Put your egg whites and sugar in a metal bowl. Place the bowl over the simmering water and start whisking gently. After about 5 mins start to test to see if all the sugar has dissolved. If you rub a little between your fingers you should not feel any sugar granules. Once you have no more granules you are ready to proceed.

Transfer mixture to your kitchenaid mixer (or your automated mixer)  and whip until it turns white and about doubles in size. (Make sure you wipe the condensation off the bottom of the bowl before pouring so that no water gets into the egg whites).

Add the butter into two batches whipping until the 1st batch is incorporated before adding the second. Once both batches are incorporated add the mango purée and continue to whip until blended. Blending of the mango purée should not take long. You can refrigerate it for about 10 minutes before you use it.

Sandwich each of the meringues with the buttercream and then refrigerate overnight before serving so that the flavors can meld.


Portuguese (Mango Flavoured) Custard Tarts

Portuguese custard tarts

Portuguese custard tarts

The first time I had these was in Portugal and they are called ‘Pasteis de nata’. Little did I know that the Portuguese apparently bought them to Goa as well because you can get them there. I just found out because a friend of mine who ate them told me so 🙂 and he is from Goa. You can get these little nuggets of deliciousness at every store along with the very very potent shots of coffee. Well I gave the coffee a wide berth but not these little tarts.
This method I think is one my sister sent me for the pie shells. The real method involves a bit more of work so this one suited me just fine. I decided to try a mango flavored one deviating from the simple custard filled ones you get in the stores.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup single cream
  • 4 tablespoons mango puree
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 sheet puff pastry (defrosted)

Method

Whisk the egg yolks, milk and cream in a saucepan. Add the sugar and cornflour and continue to whisk till incorporated. Put the saucepan on medium heat.
Split a vanilla bean and drop it into the mixture. Stir until mixture begins to simmer and thickens. Do not let it come to a boil. Strain the custard into a jug. Cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and let it cool.
Grease a 24 hole mini muffin pan. Preheat the oven to 350F.
Cut the pastry sheet in half. Place the two halves on top of each other. Roll up the pastry tightly from the longer end into a log. Cut the log into rounds. Roll out each of the rounds into circles and then press the circles into the muffin holes. You want the circles to reach up the sides of the muffin holes.
Pour the custard into each tart, but not completely filling it.
Bake the tarts for about 12 minutes or until the pastry starts to brown slightly.
Remove from the oven and let it cool on a rack completely. Pop the tarts out of the pan and pour an even layer of sugar on each and brulee with a torch.

You can always reheat them in the oven if you want to serve them hot.


Corn Kebab

Corn Kebabs

Corn Kebabs

We had invited one of our good friends over for dinner and I love making something different when she comes over. She is an amazing cook and always treats us to an amazing meal followed by the most scrumptious desserts. Having just eaten at our wonderful Kerala restaurant (Cardamom Hills) here in Atlanta, I decided I was going to attempt to make Appams (recipe to follow). It is a sort of flat bread made in Kerala. I then decided to go a little north and make cauliflower kofta curry (again recipe to follow) and then looked around for something more to add and found this recipe. I had never thought of making a vegetarian kebab before (being a meatarian myself! ). It was simply delicious and was happily wolfed down by everybody.

My next try will be to see what other vegetables I can use along with corn.

Ingredients

Adapted from here

  • 2 cups frozen sweet Corn (defrosted)
  • 3 medium white Potatoes
  • 3 slices bread
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoon coriander chopped fine
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder (I used kashmiri chilli powder which is slightly sweeter)
  • 1 cup fine semolina (you can use bread crumbs)
  • olive oil to brush
  • salt to taste

Method

Wash the potatoes, boil them till a knife pierced through them slides in easily. I do mine in the pressure cooker and just let it pressure cook till the first whistle. Let the pressure release. Take them out of the water, let them cool. Peel them and then mash them.

Soak the bread in water. Then squeeze the water out of the bread and add to the potatoes. Add all the rest of the ingredients (except the semolina and olive oil) and mix together with your hands. The consistency of the mixture should allow you to roll out balls without them falling apart. If the mixture is too wet add either stone ground oatmeal or dried potato flakes.

Pour some of the fine semolina either a cutting board or a surface of your choice. Take about half a tennis ball size of the mixture. Roll it in the semolina. Then roll it out into a log and set aside on another plate that has been lightly dusted with the fine semolina.  Repeat the process until you have used up all the mixture.

Now on to cooking them. I used my Cuisineart griddle. Set the heat to medium-high. When the griddle is hot brush with olive oil. Then place the kebabs on it leaving a bit of space between them. You will need to turn them in about 5-7 minutes. You can do this using a spatula and a fork.  They will have started to brown. Prior to turning them brush the side on top with olive oil. You know they are done when the side that faces down has turned brown.

Serve warm/hot with your favorite condiment – Ketchup or a spicy ketchup.