Woon mamuang


DSC_0200 These symmetrically gorgeous yellow and white pieces of soft squares are the stuff of dreams most soothing and calm. As lovely and mysterious as these are to look at, they taste almost as tranquil and smooth.

‘Woon mamuang’ as these are called in Thai are really mango mousse made with agar-agar, a sort of vegan gelatine so to say, that’s made of seaweed and thus vegan, vegetarian friendly. I first had them in Thailand and couldn’t get over the almost enigmatic texture of these tender squares. They’re not too wobbly, as one would expect regular jellies made of gelatine, yet softly yielding with a fresh fruity taste that almost feels like eating mangoes in a different form. There’s a sort of gentleness to their aspect that works really well as a light dessert, for it doesn’t fill you up, not to mention that their primary ingredients or rather the only ingredients are pureed mangoes and coconut milk, both of which form a kind of ethereal bond of mellow pleasantness.

I made these for the first time and learnt after a few errors the exact workings of agar agar, and will explain them in this post so you don’t make the same mistakes.

 

DSC_0146 copythe ingredients are mangoes, sugar, lime, strawberries, coconut milk, water and agar agar.

 

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peel the mangoes

 

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and chop/cube them to be made into a puree.

 

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add in a squirt of lime juice to add just another dimension of flavours

 

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and blend to form a puree, making sure there are no lumps.

 

 

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water in a pot, don’t turn on the heat yet, because unlike gelatine agar agar will turn into something of a mess if dumped into hot water.

 

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add in agar agar and slowly start heating the water.

 

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stir water constantly or else the agar agar might settle at the bottom and clump together.

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keep stirring until agar agar is completely dissolved.

 

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once that is done, add in the sugar and let is dissolve

 

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add in mango puree

 

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and whisk until it’s mixed well and there are no lumps

 

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there are various ways to go about making woon mamuang. You can either make individual pieces in moulds or one big piece in a tray. I went with the latter option.

 

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Now the the thing with agar agar is that it begins to set soon after it starts cooling down and can set at room temperature as well, so we have to be a bit quick about things, but don’t get yourself in a frenzy as I did. Pour half the mango mixture to form the bottom layer.

 

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Add in chopped strawberries. you can even add mango cubes or coconut meat or nothing. I love the reds of strawberries with the yellows of mango.

 

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they look like rose petals.

 

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while that sets, we can get on with making the coconut milk layer. Start heating a pot of water with agar agar until it completely dissolves

 

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add sugar and coconut milk

 

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and pour the hot coconut milk mixture over the now set layer of mango layer and pop all the air bubbles or rather most of them using a toothpick.

Error: here’s the mistake I made. I checked the mango layer in corners of the pan and thought it to be set, whereas the middle part of the layer had not set at all, which is why some part of the coconut milk layer has floating strawberries on it. Therefore check that the bottom layer has almost completely set. It should be a little tacky, but shouldn’t stick to your fingers.

 

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once the coconut layer has set pour over the remaining mango mixture and let set completely and refrigerate for at least a few hours before serving.

Note: keep the remaining mango mixture warm while the coconut milk layer sets, because once it cools down it will begin to congeal.

 

DSC_0195cut into squares and serve chilled.


Ingredients

For the mango layer

Mangoes: 430g (about 2 cups)

Water: 350 mls (1.5 cups)

Sugar: 100g (1/2 cup)

Agar agar: 2tsp

Lime juice: 1tsp

Strawberries: 80g (1/2 cup)

For the coconut milk layer

Coconut milk: 200mls (1 cup)

Water: 200 mls (3/4 cup)

Sugar: 4-5 tbsp

Agar agar: 1 tsp



Recipe instructions: Puree mangoes with lime juice, chop strawberries and keep aside.

Add agar agar to a pot of cold water and gently bring up to heat, stirring constantly until agar agar dissolves. Add sugar and pureed mangoes and whisk until sugar has dissolved and no lumps remain.

Gently pour half the mixture into moulds, making sure that no air bubbles are formed. Strew in chopped strawberries and allow this layer to set, while keeping the remaining mango mixture warm.

Make the coconut milk mixture by adding agar agar to water and slowly bringing to heat, stirring constantly until agar agar is completely dissolved. Add in coconut milk and sugar and once sugar is dissolved as well, pour the coconut milk mixture very gently over the now set mango mixture. To ensure that no air bubbles are formed you can even spoon this mixture.

In case any bubbles do get formed, pop them with a toothpick.

Once the coconut milk mixture had set gently pour the remaining mango puree over it and let it set completely and refrigerate before serving.


Few things to remember:  Do not let agar agar settle at the bottom of the pan while dissolving in water. Keep stirring constantly.

Check if the layers have set by gently tapping the middle area, it should be tacky to the touch but shouldn’t stick.

Do not let remainder mixture to cool down because it begins to set. Keep over low heat in case the temperatures are cool.


 

 

 

 

Lemon cake


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Just the kind of laid back cake that packs a punch while dressed most plainly in a sponge batter.

The tartness of lemons balances ever so perfectly with the sweetness of cake that it’s difficult to understand whether its complementing your palette or squeezing in your cheeks.

Even better, it tastes more delicious the next day, if it survives, that is.

The summeriness of lemons does wonders to uplift your spirits and this cake works perfectly as a midday sweet snack filler or lazy dessert. It’s not easy to say ‘no’ to this bronze slab of sour sweet zing, and if you can resist it then you ARE heartless.

 

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there are two stages to this cake. one is the batter and the other is syrup and both idiotically easy.

 

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begin by creaming butter and sugar

 

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once they’re satisfactorily creamed, add vanilla extract

 

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and lemon zest

 

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and eggs

 

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also mix the leavening agents into the flour for an even mix.

 

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add flour to the mix

 

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mix well.

 

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it’ll be a thick thick batter, and a bit of milk will soften its consistency without thinning it.

 

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nice dropping consistency

 

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line a baking tin of choice with baking paper. Scrape the batter in and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in comes out clean

 

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while the cake bakes we can get on with the syrup. It’s a simple syrup. With sugar and lemon juice.

 

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add sugar to a pot

 

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and the lemon juice

 

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and let it cook until the sugar begins to melt

 

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here the contents began boiling which meant the sugar was pretty much dissolved.Convey the pot to a cooler place and let it slowly cool. DO NOT be tempted to taste the boiling potion. You’ll come to regret it so.

 

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once the cake is baked and out of the oven, do not wait for it to cool down.

 

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start poking deep holes in it. Use a skewer or a toothpick.

 

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Drizzle lemon syrup all over, so that the top is sodden. Be brave. The cake won’t crumble under all that liquid. In fact it will absorb all the contents.

 

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The surface will be slick with the syrup. Let the cake continue cooling in its tin. If you try to pry it out at this stage it will tend to crumble and break apart.

 

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you might wonder why there’s a difference in picture of the said cake. I’d baked two cakes. The one baked in loaf tin was given away promptly and the one shown above was consumed by this blogger.

 

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Ingredients

For the cake

Butter: 120 g (3/4 cup)

Sugar: 170 g (1.5 cups)

Flour: 170g (1.5 cups)

Eggs: 2

Zest of 1 lemon

Milk: 4 tbsp

Baking powder: 1 tsp

Baking soda: 1/4 tsp

Vanilla extract: 1 tsp

For the lemon syrup

Juice of 2 lemons

80g (3/4 cup) sugar


Recipe instructions: cream together butter and sugar, and add lemon zest, vanilla extract and eggs. Beat them well. Add flour and leavening agents and fold all ingredients to form a batter. Add milk to thin the batter in spoonable consistency and bake in a well greased and paper lined baking tin at 180° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

While the cake bakes prepare the syrup. Heat gently the sugar and lemon juice until all sugar has dissolved.

Once the cake is baked and out of the oven, prick holes or puncture the top with a toothpick or cake testing skewer to form holes. Pour over the syrup and let the cake rest to absorb the syrup in its pan. Don’t take out the cake until it’s completely cooled.

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Cut into pieces and serve.

 

 

 

No woe brownies


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Brownies as a rule work as devilish little mood elevator charms, and although there never can be one perfect recipe, these chocolate sodden, nuts bejeweled diabolical squares are indeed moan inducing. The reason these are called no woe brownies is because they’re the perfect antidote to many a life’s sads. They will diminish most of your life worries, though these do tend to have a rather crack life after effect, and you might be swayed to do something absolutely indecorous..but that shouldn’t stop you from either committing to that act or making these exquisite squares of forbidden pleasures. Not only do these little babies lusciously gratify your most carnal cravings, they also do double duty as your sinning needs..so if you’re one of those straight-laced, down on your luck decent ones out there, baking and ingesting one of these is guaranteed to write you off as one dirty sinner, because these brownies are in fact the miscreant adulterers of all food groups.

Now these are called no woe brownies and they are but for the little side effect that these will make you fat, and what could be more woeful than that? on the other hand if you eat another one of these, you might not feel so bad after all, and they are the perfect remedy for an aching heart.

Let’s be absolutely clear that these are not the cakey brownie kinds, I mean what’s even the point of a cakey brownie when you might as well just eat a cake. No sir..these are dense, fudgey, and every bite is packed with chunks of sweet divinity, because these have three different kinds of chocolate components.

 

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bring on all the good stuff..chocolate chunks or chips separated into two heaps, eggs, vanilla extract, flour, cocoa powder, butter, chopped salted pistachios, sugar and coffee granules.

 

DSC_0313This is an easy easy recipe..all can me made into one bowl, and an oval bowl doesn’t really help much. So butter diced into chunks

 

DSC_0314and chunks of chocolate part-1. This one is meant for melting purposes with the butter. You can either melt the butter and chocolate over heating water in a heat proof bowl or melt in a microwave, in 30 second bursts.

 

DSC_0316add in the coffee granules. These make the chocolate more chocolatey.

 

DSC_0317this is what you get. satan’s swimming pool. Take a dip and salvation..or you can make brownies.

 

DSC_0319add in the sugar

 

DSC_0320mix well. You’ll see that the sugar doesn’t really dissolve and that’s alright, because everything will come together just fine.

 

DSC_0322crack in the eggs, one at a time and mix well before adding another.

 

DSC_0323make sure to incorporate the eggs well into the batter and you’ll end up with something like this.

 

DSC_0324add in the vanilla

 

DSC_0325and the cocoa powder and mix

 

DSC_0326add in the flour

 

DSC_0327chocolate chunks that are supposed to stay as chunks in here

 

DSC_0329and finally in with the salted nuts. It’s the salted nuts that add another dimension and elevate these brownies from fantastic to ecstatic.

 

DSC_0330mix it all in well. Ah, this marvelous mound of magnificence.

 

DSC_0331scrape the batter into a buttered baking tray

 

DSC_0332smooth well and bake at 180°C for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean

 

DSC_0340ah…sigh!!! cut into squares if you care to share, or just dive in with a fork.

 

DSC_0345here it is..in a rueful light..

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Ingredient amounts

Flour: 70g (1/2 cup)

Butter: 120g (1/2 cup)

Chocolate dark (for melting): 170g (1 heaped cup)

Chocolate chunks (milk or dark): 90g (1/2 cup)

Cocoa powder: 30g (1/4 cup)

Eggs: 3

Vanilla extract: 1 tsp

Coffee granules: 1 tablespoon

Salted pistachio: 70g (heaped 3/4cup)- you can use any salted nuts of your preference. salted peanuts would be great here too.

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Recipe instructions:  melt the butter, coffee granules and dark chocolate over a heat proof bowl or into a microwave. Add in sugar and mix briefly. Crack in the eggs, one at a time and mix thoroughly. (Let the mixture cool before adding in the eggs)

Add in the vanilla extract, cocoa powder, flour, chocolate chunks and salted nuts. Mix until well incorporated.

Scrape into a buttered baking tray and bake at 180°C for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean

DSC_0369if this doesn’t push you into the kitchen with a slab of chocolate in hand..you don’t deserve to sin.

 

 

 

Apple Cobbler Crumble


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What what? a cobbler and a crumble together? Yes indeed.. for why just have a cobbler when you can also have a crumble and vice versa.

This idea happened not because I was feeling very inventive, well maybe I was.. I was greedy and the fat juicy apples sitting in front of me asked me how they’d like to be cooked.. now I’m just hallucinating. Actually I initially wanted to make a crumble but midway I started making a cobbler and then came back to crumble.. I’m confused that ways. But seriously, once you’ve had this divinity, you’d probably end up making this all the time.

Out of habit I always make a lot of crumble topping and freeze it for instant crumbles, so of course I had the crumble ready..  you never know there might be a surplus of fruits and you’d want to top them with crumble.. Be prepared in life I say.

Okay, so this is how I went with it..DSC02163

I know, I know.. I couldn’t resist another picture of the gorgeousness that was this crumble cobbler or vice versa.. yes it’s an ice cream atop that.. Yes it’s winters, and yes its French vanilla ice cream.. thank you.

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These are 3 apples. Peeled, cored and sliced. Use whichever ones you want. In your baking dish try to pile them evenly.. I did say TRY !!

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Sprinkle some sugar. I used about 3 tablespoons of granulated white sugar

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Sprinkle some cinnamon.. you can be a bit more generous.. I couldn’t because le huzbend don’t like no cinnamon very much (cry a little)

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Set the apples aside and start with the crumble topping. I have flour and salt (mixed), sugar, baking powder, butter, egg and vanilla.

Sift together the dry ingredients and in a separate bowl melt the butter, add the vanilla, and bet in the egg.. so basically a bowl of dry ingredients and a bowl of wet ingredients.

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Mix in the dry ingredients into the wet one or vice versa. and mix till all’s well mixed. It’ll be a thickish batter. If your batter doesn’t get to a dropping consistency then add 1 tablespoon of milk.

Spoon the batter over the apples.

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I spooned over the batter in 9 uneven albeit somewhat pretty dollops. Don’t laugh.

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Here’s another close up..

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Here’s the crumble part. I added a bit of rolled oats to the crumble. As I said I had this crumble ready in the freezer for any passing fruit might need it..

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Now sprinkle the crumble over the exposed apple parts. Honestly I didn’t mean for it to sound dirty. Sprinkle the crumble over the non cobbler parts and bake @ 180℃ for 20-25 minutes.

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the baked result.. Let it cool a bit.  Cut a generous slice, top with vanilla ice cream and please eat it already..

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Le another picture.. ok no more.. Enjoy !!!

 

Ingredients & Recipe

3 Apples

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

For the cobbler

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp butter melted

1 egg

1/2 tbsp vanilla

For the crumble 

1 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup almond flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup cold butter cut into cubes

2 tbsp rolled oats.

Recipe

Peel core and slice the apples and line into your baking tray. Try to make them even.

Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

For the cobbler, mix all the dry ingredients into a bowl. In a separate bowl mix the melted cooled butter with the vanilla and egg and mix.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and form a batter. If the batter is too thick add in 1 tbsp of milk. Spoon the batter over the apples.

For the crumble sift together the flour,sugar, almond flour and baking powder. Cut the cold cubes of butter. You can either use a food processor, pastry cutter or simply your fingers. Once your mixture reaches a porridge like consistency add in the oats. Let there be clumps of butter since these will brown and give your crumble a burnished look.

Sprinkle this crumble mixture over the apples which do not have any cobbler on them. Make sure your apples are mostly covered with either cobbler batter or crumble mixture.

Freeze the remaining crumble mixture and use them as and when needed..

Bake 180℃ for 20-25 minutes.

 

Chiffon cake


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This is a cake I had made a few days back when I was asked to make a proper cake with a lot of icing. Yes, my husband is a sucker for filled or iced cakes.  Considering the layers of creamy icing I’d have to slather onto the cake, I decided to bake a cake which in itself isn’t heavy at all.

This chiffon cake I think is perfect for a thick icing, since it’s not heavy on its own whatsoever. Also spongy, airy and light, and in fact tastes like one of those store bought cakes which we usually get to eat at kids birthday parties. However this was all fresh, nothing store brought except the ingredients.

The other good thing about this cake is that it only needs a very few ingredients. One can make a fairly large cake out of it too and it’s perfect for gatherings.

I have no step by step pictures this time, but it’s so easy really.

Ingredients

5 large eggs- separated

170 gms sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

90 gms flour.

For icing

Whipped cream

This is it. These are all the ingredients. No need for any baking powder, butter, nothing. It;s a very light cake.

Okay, first we have to divide the sugar into three parts.

Sift 50 gms sugar with the flour,and keep aside. 50 gms sugar for the egg yolks, and the rest 70 gms if for the egg whites, so keep aside.

Starting with the egg yolks first.

Beat the sugar and the egg yolks till they take on a pale yellow hue. I had to beat mine for about 15 minutes- I was using a hand mixer. You can by all means use whatever you feel necessary. Once you have reached that stage wherein the sugar and eggs are completely mixed and pale eggy yellow, mix in the vanilla and beat until its all incorporated. Into this mixture sieve in the flour and sugar and keep aside. Don’ mix anything right now.

Now we start beating the egg whites. Beat until they form soft white peaks. This is the time we start adding in the sugar, a teaspoon at a time. This is to ensure that the sugar is completely incorporated and that there aren’t any undissolved sugar crystal. The beating has to be vigorous. Beat until all the sugar has been mixed, the eggs are shining white in fact a bit matte by now, and forming stiff peaks when you lift your beater.

For the final folding of the batter. Take 1/3rd of the egg white mixture and gently fold in with the flour and egg yolk mixture. You have to ensure that you fold it well, instead of mixing like a maniac, because it’s the folding that ensures a very risen cake. When the batter gets well mixed, fold in the remaining egg whites.

The Chiffon cake batter will look very very pale yellow, in fact sort of creamy, like the wall pain on my kitchen.

I used a springform pan. It was easy to just take off the sides, but really, use whatever shaped mold you like.

Bake at 160℃ for 45-50 minutes. The cake will rise to extraordinary proportions. It was a joy to just watch it rise every minute.

Let the cake cool before you slather the icing. You can either bake the cake into 2 molds, or be lazy like me and bake into one and divide it into two by using a clumsy hand and a serrated knife.

Enjoy !!!

Coffee chocolate cupcake


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Dark, crumbly and sinful. These cupcakes, which can be easily turned into a cake if you increase the recipe are one of my favourites. Not too sweet, gorgeously dark with a strong hint of coffee. The best way to curl up and read a book while scarfing down an entire batch.

The thing is that I usually make cupcakes, since I’m only baking for 2 people, and I hate the sight of cakes or food just transferring from table to fridge. This is a recipe for a cake, which  I adapted to make into cupcakes. I made 8 of these, and you can easily decrease or increase the ingredients to suit your needs.

This is what the innards of this astounding cupcake look like. No comments on the size of the bite though.. see- moist and crumbly and oh my god WOW !!

Ingredients

110 gms flour

4 tbsp sugar

1 egg

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp buttermilk

150 mls hot coffee ( I used instant coffee)

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp cocoa powder

4 tbsp veg oil.

For this recipe, you need a bowl an a whisk. if you so wish you can use a mixer, but really this is all you need.

Sift in all the dry ingredients together. Gradually add in the egg, vanilla, oil and yogurt and mix well. Now gently tip in the hot coffee, all the while mixing you batter. The resulting batter will be liquidy and this is actually what gives it the springiness.

Bake at 170℃ for about 20-25 mins.

These cupcakes are a wonder. So easy, so tasty and so very dark and moist.

Enjoy !!