Monthly Archives: January 2018

Coffee Meringue, Hazelnut Mousse, Whipped Cream, Candied Hazelnuts

Coffee Meringue

That’s a mouthful right yeah and it was an amazing mouthful. There was a little crunch and a whole lot of yummmm. I cannot even begin to tell you how scrumptious this was. It all started out with everyone just trying a small piece and before you know it they all came back for more and it was gone barring a small piece which was kept for someone.

The thought for this came around as I wanted to make a cake for a friends birthday. I wanted to make something that had hazelnut and Nutella was an option. I had made a Nutella cake a little while back and did not want to repeat that – and I had egg whites sitting around (imagine that :-)). So I though ooh a Meringue would be nice and it could incorporate hazelnuts. I get my hazelnuts (called filberts) at Whole foods. I only buy what I need since I generally do not eat them unless they are mixed with chocolate. Its really easy to toast them and skin them and then use them.

Just making a meringue was not going to be enough, I had to incorporate Nutella into it. That is how the Nutella mousse got in there. I also wanted to lighten it up and so came the whipped cream in all its silky sweet glory. Now I did not just want to make a plain meringue and thought a coffee would go quite nicely with it and it shows off the color really well. When I normally make a meringue ‘cake’ I put it together just a little before I serve it. However, I was taking this to a friends so I made it well in advance, the interesting part is that is softened completely so you did not get the crunch of the meringue, but the flavors meshed together so well and as I said before it was gone in a minute.

Ingredients

Servers 10-12
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 1 1/2 hours

Prepare the hazelnuts

  • 150 gms raw filberts (Hazelnuts), roasted in a 350F oven for about 5-7 minutes. Take them out of the oven, put them into a clean kitchen town and let them cool for about 2 minutes and then rub them to get the skins off. Set aside.

For the meringue

  • 100 gms Hazelnuts (from above), coarsely chopped
  • 225 gms granulated sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee (Nescafé) dissolved in 1 tsp boiling water
  • 25 gms light brown sugar

For the Nutella mousse

  • 300 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons Nutella

For the Whipped cream

  • 300 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the candied hazelnuts

  • 50 gms Hazelnuts (from above)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Cocoa powder (optional)

Method

For the meringue

Preheat the oven to 375F. Draw 3 – 9 (23cm) inch circles on 3 parchment papers. Place them on your baking trays and set aside.

Microwave the granulated sugar for 3-5 minutes in the microwave – stirring so it is warm to the touch. Set it aside.

Using a stand mixer whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt, starting off on a slower speed and gradually increasing the speed to high. Whisk until the egg whites reach nearly stiff peaks. Add the hot sugar all in one go and continue whisking for about a minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the coffee and continue to whisk for another 3 minutes on high, until the meringue is glossy.

With the mixer on high, add the light brown sugar a spoon at a time, whisking until the sugar is incorporated, about 2 minutes.

Turn the oven down to 230F. Divide the meringue between the three circles, spread out to the edges of the circle. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts equally over each  meringue. Put the trays into the oven. I had one on the middle shelf and two on the lower shelf. Set your timer for 45 minutes. At 45 minutes, swap the lower and upper trays and bake for another 45 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the meringues stay in the oven until the oven is cool.

For the Nutella Mousse

Whisk the heavy cream in a clean bowl until it has started to thicken, add the sugar a spoonful at a time and continue to beat until you reach the soft peak stage. Put the Nutella into a large bowl. Take a heaping spoonful of the whipped cream and add it to the Nutella and stir to lighten the Nutella. Repeat this procedure twice so the Nutella is now light and fluffy and can be added to the rest of the whipped cream. Fold gently until it is all incorporated.

For the whipped cream

Whisk the heavy cream in a clean bowl until it has started to thicken, add the sugar a spoonful at a time and continue to beat until the soft peak state.

For the candied hazelnuts

Heat sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium high heat. The sugar will dissolve and start to caramelize. This takes a little time so just be patient. Once the sugar starts turning a medium amber add the salt and then the hazelnuts. Stir to coat and then place them on a silicone mat (or parchment paper). You want them to be in clusters of no more than 3 or they can be individual.

Assembly

Have your cake plate ready. Put a little of the whipped cream onto the plate. Place the first meringue on the plate. Spread a third of the Nutella on the meringue, then a third of the whipped cream. Top with the next meringue and repeat with Nutella and whipped cream. Repeat with the last meringue. Just before you are ready to serve top with the candied hazelnuts. Use a strainer and sprinkle with cocoa powder. Do not assemble too much in advance as you want the crispiness of the meringue to come through.

I do hope you enjoy this and would love to hear from you if you did make it.

 

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Appam; South Indian Rice Pancake

Appam

Have you ever had an Appam? They are absolutely delicious when had with Indian curries. I tried my first one at a restaurant here run by Chef Asha Gomez. She had it paired with a pork dish that is common in both Kerala as well as Goa. The puffy center and lace crispy edges is absolutely amazing. I was hooked.

It would be a little while before I tried to make them myself. I did try them by searching for recipes on the web but the problem was that I did not have an ‘Appam Chatty’ or Appam pan. Here are a variety of pans to make single Appam’s or the mini ones. I also got a ready made Appam powder. Which I figured out later was just rice powder.

Then I was the proud recipient of Asha Gomez cookbook ‘My Two Souths’. I tried her recipe for Appams and they came out really well. She uses semolina and that gives the Appams a lovely flavor.

The recipe here is just a simple one with only rice flour so if you are gluten intolerant you can certainly have this.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (just warm to the touch not hot) + 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Rice batter: 1/4 cup rice flour + 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (canned thick milk)
  • 1/3 cup fresh/frozen (defrosted) grated coconut

Method

Preparing the batter

Combine warm water + sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the yeast stir and let it sit for about 5-8 minutes till it foams.

Prepare the rice batter by combining the 1/4 cup of rice flour, 1/2 cup of water in a pot. Place the pot on medium heat and stir until the batter is thickened and becomes a thick paste.

Combine the remaining ingredients, rice flour, sugar, salt, ‘rice batter’, yeast solution, grated coconut, coconut milk. Stir well to combine. Add about 1/4-1/2 cup of water to get the consistency to a thick pancake batter.

Leave the batter to rise for 8 hours or overnight. Make sure the bowl that you have it in is large as your batter will rise. Its best to put the bowl into another larger container so if your batter spills it will not make a mess.

Preparing the Appam

Add enough of water to thin out the batter so it now becomes a thin pancake batter. Stir the batter well.

Heat your Appam Chatti or Kadai. Pour about 3/4 cup of batter into the heated pan. Swivel the pan so the batter coats the sides of the pan. Swirl in one direction. Cover the pan, lower the heat and cook for about 2-3 minutes. The edges of the appam will leave the sides of the pan and the center will be puffy.

Slide the Appam off the pan and let it cool off. Start on the next one. Once the Appam is cool you can start stacking them.

Egg Hopper

To make an egg hopper. Once you have swirled the appam batter in the pan. Crack an egg in the center and close and cook. When the egg edges are done. Slide the appam off the pan, add salt and pepper and serve.

You can store the rest of the Appam batter in the refrigerator and use as needed. It should keep for up to 4 days without getting sour.

 

 

 


Roasted Purple Potatoes

IMG-20171123-WA0011-03

Here is one more that graced the table at thanksgiving, again in my mind a healthier option and a colorful one to match. Going with my theme of spicing it up I added purple potatoes to the mix. If you do not get purple potatoes, sweet potatoes are always an option. I cut these into circles but you can even make these as chips or wedges.

Ingredients

  • 5 potatoes, peeled, washed and cut into circles
  • 1 tablespoon jerk paste (Walkerswood Jamaican jerk paste)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Mix the jerk paste, brown sugar, olive oil together. Toss the potatoes in the mixture and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt. Put the sheet in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring the potatoes once in between. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool a bit before serving.

 


Sugarpaste flowers

WeddingFlowers

This is not really a recipe but I just wanted to share the sugar paste flowers I had made for a friends wedding. I was so excited when they asked me to make the flowers for the wedding. I used a technique from Petalsweet for the buds and her coloring scheme as well. She has classes on Craftsy as well.