Monday, July 21, 2014

Strawberry Fools, With Jordans Cereals And Edd Kimber Recipe

Anyone here a fan/follower of the BBC series The Great British Bake Off? If yes then you must surely remember Edd Kimber - the boy who bakes- the winner of 2010 series.  He became quite popular after winning the series and ofcourse because of his astounding baking adventures. So it happened 2 weeks back when I was approached to try any of the 3 recipes that Edd has created using Jordan Cereals and I said yes without giving any second thoughts.

Jordan Cereals as a part of their countryside celebration has teamed up with Edd to create food recipes inspired by the The Jordans Wildlife Garden. The range of three exiting new recipes included a tasty and easy to make Mixed Berry Traybake with Rosehip Syrup for a tangy finish and a Cherry Plum crumble With Cobnuts-warming, comforting and packed with wild cherry plums and the wonderfully nutty flavour of British cobnuts.

Even though the above choices were interesting and dashingly tasty, I chose to try -THE ALPINE STRAWBERRY FOOL- a simple, delicious and traditional English dessert. It is prepared using Jordans Country Crisp Strawberries which are crunchy baked cereal clusters of oats with a smattering of chopped hazelnuts and a generous handful of silky-smooth strawberries chucked in on top. Just mix it up with yogurt, milk or whipped cream, you are ought to enjoy it every time.

Coming back to the dessert-I totally prize the idea of serving it up into the individual glasses-so apt and perfect for barbeque parties and sleepovers. Edd explained the recipe and instructions so well that I understood it all just after one read. The pictures might intimidate you but trust me it is very simple and even a novice can make it to the perfection.   After cooking strawberries, its flavour profile intensifies and you are left with something so simple yet so elegant, you won’t believe your taste buds. The layer of creamy custard, velvety whipped cream and crunchy bits of cereals when sums up together as a dessert it is magical, luxurious and irresistible.

Recipe Halved from Here

For Custard
250ml whole milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
100g caster sugar
15g corn flour
For Strawberry Compote
400g alpine strawberries, hulled and diced
85g caster sugar
To finish
300ml double cream
Crystallised rose petals (optional)
70g Jordans Country Crisp Strawberries

For the custard
Place the milk and vanilla bean paste into a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Whilst coming to temperature, place the egg and yolks into a large bowl along with the caster sugar and the cornflour, whisking together until smooth. Pour the hot milk onto the eggs, whisking constantly. Pour this custard back into the pan and over medium heat, stir constantly until the custard has thickened (it should have the texture of custard made with powder, thicker than a crème analgise but still pourable). Pour back into the bowl and press a sheet of cling film onto the surface of the custard and refrigerate until cold.

For the strawberry compote
Place the strawberries and sugar into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until the fruit has released lots of juice. Continue to cook until the juice has reduced to syrup and the strawberries have just started to break down. Pour into a small bowl and refrigerate until chilled.

To assemble the fools
Divide half of the compote between six glasses and top with the custard. Sprinkle the Jordans Country Crisp Strawberries onto the custard and then set the glasses aside for the moment. In a large bowl whisk the cream until it holds soft peaks, add most of the remaining compote (reserving a little to decorate the desserts) and gently fold together, leaving it partially swirled in. Spoon the cream mixture into the glasses.

To finish the fool
Spoon the remaining compote on top of the cream and sprinkle a little extra Jordans Country Crisp Strawberries. If you want to make the decoration of the dessert extra special, add one or two crystallised rose petals to each glass. To make these, paint rose petals with a thin layer of egg white and dip into sugar, making sure everything is covered. Set the petals onto a parchment lined baking tray and allow drying out for at least two hours, but preferably overnight.

When folding in the compote, use a very light hand to ensure a pretty rippling effect.
Be sure to stop whipping the cream as soon it holds soft peaks as, if you are refrigerating, it will keep the mixture silky smooth.
You cannot make this dessert ahead of time, as the cereals will get soggy. 

Disclaimer: I was not paid or told to write positive review. The post is based on my experience and is unbiased. Thanking Jordans Cereals for sending Strawberry Country Crisp  for review.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Quinoa And Oats Dhokla, Indian Steamed Cake

There are some dishes, things and products that I tried or even heard off after coming to the UK. One such ingredient is quinoa- the new superstar of health. When I cooked it for the first time, I fell in love with those fluffy tiny bits and since then I use quinoa a lot in my kitchen, even though this is the first time I talking about it on my blog.

What is quinoa?
Quinoa, pronounced ‘keen-wa’ is a great wheat-free alternative to starchy grains. There are two types: red and creamy white. Both types are slightly bitter when cooked and open up to release little white curls (like a tail) as they soften. It is originally from South America (Peru, Chile and Bolivia) and is now becoming popular everywhere and specially in the UK.

Benefits of quinoa?
With twice the protein content of rice or barley, quinoa is also a very good source of calcium, magnesium and manganese. It also possesses good levels of several B vitamins, vitamin E and dietary fibre. Like buckwheat, quinoa has an excellent amino acid profile, as it contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete-protein source. Quinoa is therefore an excellent choice for vegans who may struggle to get enough protein in their diets. 

Cautions with quinoa?
Quinoa is coated with toxic chemical called saponin. It is therefore important to rinse quinoa thoroughly. And moderation is key -so it shouldn't be eaten every day. A few times a week is enough.

What I did with quinoa?
Well you can always prepare Quinoa like rice with veggies, but I went ahead and experimented and combined it with other super healthy thing-Oats to make dhokla. Dhokla is authentically made with rice, lentils, gram flour and is a specialty of Gujarat. Basically the batter needs to be fermented and then it is steamed like a cake, cut into squares and finally tadka of mustard seeds and green chillies is poured on it. Mr.Husband is a hard core gujrati food lover and I do prepare gujarati snacks a lot, you can see Spinach Muthiya, Khamman Dhokla, Ragda Patties, Sev Tamato Nu Shaak recipes on my blog.

Quinoa and oats dhokla is sooooo healthy and Oh! Did I tell you it is instant? Yes you just mix up everything and steam, no need to soak up things or ferment it. Chopped green chillies and ginger is added to the batter which makes it even more special and tasty. I never thought that the ingredient like Quinoa can be used in this Indian style. Anyone of you who love Guajarati food will surely, surely enjoy this nutrient packed snack. Great for evening, tea time snack, kids’ tiffin box or just as a meal over all.

1 cup Quinoa
1 cup oats (instant)
1 tablespoon yogurt/dahi
1 teaspoon eno (see notes)
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons oil
Water as needed
1 green chilli chopped
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 green chillies slitted
1 tablespoon mustard seeds

Fill the water in the steamer and preheat it. Grease the plate with oil.
In a grinder, grind Quinoa to fine powder, just like flour. Do the same with oats as well.
In a bowl, mix oats and Quinoa flour. Add in salt, chopped green chillies, 1 teaspoon oil, grated ginger and yogurt.
Keep adding little water at a time to make the batter. Remember the consistency should be like your regular dhokla batter-not too runny and not too thick.
Add in the eno. Mix lightly.
Pour the batter in the greased plate and steam for 20 minutes.
Cut the dhokla in the squares. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a pan; add in mustard seeds and silted green chillies and let it crackle. Pour this over the dhokla pieces.
Serve hot with chutney or ketchup.

Eno is like a fruit salt which is acidic and it can be available in any Indian grocery store. If not you can buy from amazon Here.
You can also add grated coconut, curry leaves and chopped coriander in the oil for tadka.
You can enjoy the dhokla just after steaming; it is not compulsory to do tadka.

I tried my best to see what Quinoa is called in hindi, but I could not find. If you know please comment below :)