Monday, May 11, 2015

Vintage Apricot Pudding

Apricot Coconut Pudding

25 dried apricots; 1 tbsp unflavoured gelatin; 2 cups thick coconut milk- made yourself using 1 medium sized coconut, grated or instant coconut milk from the supermarket; 1/4 cup sugar; 1/2 tsp vanilla essence; a pich of salt.

Soak the apricots overnight in 300 ml hot water.  Next day stone them, crack the nuts and reserve kernels for use in the pudding.  Cook on medium heat in the soaked water until the water evaporates.  The apricots should be whole and not mushy.  Divide in half.

To Make the Coconut Milk:  Grind the grated coconut in 2 cups warm water.  Strain and keep aside.

If using Powder:  Mix two cups warm water with a 50 gm packet coconut powder.  Beat together with a whisk to avoid lumps.

If using ready made coconut milk, use two cups of 250 ml each.

Sprinkle gelatin over 1 cup of coconut milk and keep aside until the gelatin has bloomed.  This takes about 15 to 20 minutes or more.  

Simmer the sugar, salt, remaining cup of coconut milk
 on medium low heat for 5 minutes, gently stirring all the while.  Pour this over the gelatin mixture and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

Take a pyrex dish and put half the apricots in a layer on the bottom.  Pour half the gelatin mixture over the apricots and set in the refrigerator for 15 minutes until slightly set.  Place the second half of the apricots on the set pudding and add the remaining gelatin mixture on top. Scatter the reserved kernels over the gelatin mixture.  Return to the refrigerator and set overnight.  Next day un mould and serve or just dig in with a spoon and serve on elegant plates.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Red Tomato Bread

Red Tomato Bread

I have been madly baking bread and going through various sites and recipes ever since I learnt to use my bread maker.  It sat on the shelf for a long, long time until I plucked up the courage to unpack it, read the manual and install it in my kitchen.  The first loaf was a total disaster as I pressed all the wrong buttons.  I improved with practice, however and now all I do is measure the ingredients accurately, put it into the bread maker in the right order and relax or multi task while the bread maker does it's work and tap out the loaf when I hear the beep, beep beep.

NB:  The light loaf is a result of using fresh tomatoes whereas the bright red loaf came from tinned tomato puree.  Both tasted delicious though and it's up to you to choose what you want to use.

I used Tulsi leaves (Indian Basil) as I grow a few plants at home.  Basic Recipe from Bread Machine ( Now You're Cooking).  Thank you Sheela for the book.

The Recipe:

1 1/4 cups warm water; 1 tbsp olive oil; 1 tbsp chopped shallots; 1/2 tsp minced garlic; 2 tbsp chopped tulsi leaves;  4 tbsp tomato puree; 2 tsp brown sugar; 4 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour; 2 tsp instant yeast.

Place ingredients in the bread maker in the order listed.  Switch the machine on and press the required buttons.
Programme:  Basic

Size: Medium

Colour:  Medium

Relax and unwind and switch the machine off when the loaf is ready.  (  It will beep).  Take the loaf out and enjoy.

For those who do not have a bread machine:

Place the flour in a deep mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together.  Knead for 20 minutes until smooth and elastic.  If you happen to own a cake mixer use the dough hooks to knead the mixture for 10 minutes.   Cover with cling film and keep in warm place to rise until double in size.  This takes about 1 hour or so.  Punch it down and knead again for 5 minutes.  Shape into a round loaf and place 
  1. on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  2. With a sharp knife, cut a large "X" in top of loaf. Bake in a preheated oven at 375° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.  Slice and serve with garlic butter, mixed vegetables and cheese or Roast Chicken.