Celebrations galore! New Years Eve, happy birthdays of niece and nephew, kids back from college for winter break and me just excited for the new year to begin on the right note! Anything good or auspicious is always invited by making something sweet! So here I share Date and Toffee pudding as a harbinger for peace, calmness and healthy new year that also lets you achieve your personal goals in life!
The chance to taste this exquisite pudding was at Rasika over anniversary celebrations! It was warm, sweet, with a bit of caramel and fruits, topped with ice cream! More interestingly it had the dates as a base, which made it even more delicious for me. Dates are something I enjoy,(pun intended)! The iron and fibre in dates pack some powerful nutrients in a colorful warm dry fruit, and hence are often used by soldiers on the front to get their instant shot of energy,
I enjoyed learning how to make caramel syrup, as had no clue about it earlier, and the brown liquid reminds me of rolling melted gold over a brown date pudding. I personally preferred this without the ice cream but with some fruits in it. Best would be to serve it with the ice cream on the side, so you can pick and choose what you want to taste.
The shape at the restaurant was simple muffin shape, however I wanted to make it more fancier, as well as try something new in the baking shape. Recently I came across this ice cream corn kind of moulds, which to a garden lover like me looked more like small flower pots! The fruits arranged in the center made it a more real flower pot. The recipe has been adjusted for making it egg less.
The taste is exquisite, so is the shape making this Date and Toffee pudding, one of a kind! With the sweetness of dates, gold of caramel, colors of fruits and coolness of ice cream, I wish all of you a very Happy New Year and a spectacular 2018!
Date and Toffee Pudding
A warm pudding with caramel syrup, fresh fruits and ice cream
Finely chop the dates in a grinder till it becomes a round ball.
Add baking soda and warm water and let it rest for 20 minutes.
Mix the all purpose flour, salt, and baking powder in a deep bowl.
With a whisk blade, fluff the butter for 5 minutes, till the butter is 3 shades lighter. Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar and mix in for a minute.
Pre heat the oven for 375 degrees at convection oven or 350 degrees regular oven.
Combine the soaked dates, butter sugar and flour mixed with all ingredients.Add apple sauce and water and blend well everything into a batter for about 4 minutes.
Great the muffin moulds or cone moulds thoroughly with ghee or butter. Fill the batter
If using a cone mould, layer the filled cups tray with the indent tray to make a cone shape
Bake on the second rack for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes,
Cover slightly so that warm air can escape.
Boil heavy cream, 1 stick of butter and 1/2 cup of sugar to make the toffee syrup.
Cool the toffee syrup for 5-7 minutes.
Prick with a fork all over the date pudding. Then pour 2-3 tbsp toffee syrup over each of them.
Soak the date pudding in the toffee syrup well, ensuring that they are well coated and let them cool for half an hour at the least.
Serving the Date and Toffee Pudding
When serving, microwave each pudding for about 30 seconds. Arrange the fruit/berries in the centre. Scoop an ice cream of your choice, and then either layer it on the top of pudding, or by the side.Serve immediately.
If the toffee syrup becomes thick, put to warm on low heat, so it is easily absorbed by the pudding.
Serving ice cream on the side, will avoid it from melting fast.
Check if the date and toffee pudding is properly baked by sticking a toothpick/fork in the middle.
A new shape for a pudding for the new year! if the pudding mix does not drop well, add another tbsp of water. Softness of the pudding will depend on how well the butter has been fluffed.
Ringing the new year 2018 with this warm fuzzy Date and Toffee Pudding !! The perfect warmth,, texture softness, and caramel sweetness, surrounded by the colorful berries and coated with an ice cream of your choice! A combination of hot and cold, in this delicious dessert. The sweetness of dates combined with the toffee syrup makes this pudding a one of kind and will certainly make your family and guests feel on top of the world! Here's to more sweet recipes in 2018!
An ice cream with Guava flavor? This was the question on my mind as I was presented this highly unique and refreshing flavor in Mumbai on my recent visit to India. Today I salute the spirit of Mumbai by posting this recipe of Guava Ice Cream made famous in Mumbai, by Apsara Ice Creams. Apsara is a chain that has been in existence for the past 50 years or more, and surprisingly I never encountered it during my younger days. Its first location was in Walkeshwar and it is believed that all the ice creams at Apsara are made in hand ice cream machine and hence has a rich texture and flavor. I am not too sure of this fact, but if it is true, it is truly worthy of respect for ensuring that the quality has not been compromised,
Mumbai is a town which really comes together in the face of disaster and shows what a humane spirit it has. Right from 1993 blasts to various calamities, it is the spirit of Mumbai that is indescribable, but one has to live there for a few months, to fall in love with the madness and chaos along with its gutsy, warm community.
Back to the Guava Ice cream, I had the privilege of having this on none other than the 75th birthday of my mother who is a BIG ice cream fan. The reason why this ice cream holds a special place in my heart, is because of its topping of red chili powder and salt. That combination, gives you the feeling of earring raw guavas topped with salt and red chili powder! Kind of like the Mexican chocolates which has cayenne peppers in it! That is true creativity at heart and a big salute to Apsara for retaining this flavor with its true taste.
When you eat this ice cream, you get the kick from not only the guava itself, but also from the spicy flavor on the top mixed with the sweetness of the cream and sugar. The challenge to a great flavor is having the guava ripened to the correct level. My initial try had been made with somewhat raw guavas that were more greener, and hence the taste did not compare with the one at Apsara. On later modifying it to more yellowish guava, I was able to recreate the taste to the one I had in Mumbai. Matching this to Apsara flavor brought big smiles on my daughter’s face!
A Guava ice cream treat for my readers,who have really been engaging with the blog and coming back to it, even when there were no new posts for some time. Hope you enjoy this Guava Ice cream, as much as I fell in love with its sweetness and spicy tinge! My apologies to the readers for being quiet for almost three months, as got busy with high school graduation, summer break and college preparations, but now I look forward to sharing many interesting recipes with you all. Bon Appetit!
Guava Ice Cream
Eggless Guava Ice Cream
Chill the ice cream making container for at least 24 hours before making the ice cream.
Skin the Guavas, and de seed them. Chop them into small pieces.
Mix the sugar with chopped Guava and blend it into pulp.
Set the ice cream container into ice cream maker, and start the ice cream maker. Once it starts, pour the whole milk, essence, heavy cream, a pinch of salt, balance sugar and guava pulp. Let it mix for about 25-30 minutes, till it binds into a lump.
Remove the soft ice cream into a freezer container and let it set for about 10 hours minimum before serving.
Prepare the topping by mixing salt and red chili powder thoroughly, till no white salt crystals are visible.
Sprinkle this topping before serving and enjoy the multi flavored sweet and spicy Guava Ice Cream,
Ensure that the container is pre chilled for a long period of time, otherwise the ice cream will not bind well.Also ensure that the Guavas are ripe enough.
You can even try this with Pink Guavas, which apparently is a famous Italian Ice cream, where they also use some spicy toppings on it!
Re creating this flavor was possibly only as I relied on my tastebuds, memory and instinct! And the beauty of making ice cream is that even if you mess it up, you can adjust the quantities of sugar, essence, fruit pulp by thawing the original, mixing the added ingredients and re setting it in the freezer. It does not required to be churned again!
Second time lucky in getting the right flavor and right blend of spices to recreate the famous Guava Ice cream of Apsara at home! Partially it also depends on the freshness and in season guavas. I am grateful to the Indian Grocery stores for carrying this tropical fruit that reminds me of my days in India. Next season I will definitely try the pink guava ice cream! One has to taste this just once and I guarantee, the chances are very high, you will fall in love with this unique flavor of ice cream!
Grape Focaccia is a bread from Northwest Italy, where there is a tradition of having dolce focaccia, meaning sweet focaccia, topped with raisins, honey and sugar. Focaccia bread has lots of olive oil, herbs and salt and could be thick or thin. When I first heard about the word, Focaccia, I was quite intrigued by it. The traditional meaning is “hearth baked flat bread”. The first time I had focaccia bread, in New Zealand it was thick and soft version and had grapes inside it and we fell in love with it. The ingredients in terms of butter, olive, grains in New Zealand are in my opinion the world’s best, because of so little commercialization and population. It’s still very pristine, and our experience of having Focaccia was 18 years ago. Would love to go there, and eat this bread again in Wellington, hoping that bakery/deli shop still exists! Kind of taking a parallel from a current movie Lion, which runs on a similar theme, where a lost boy finds his way home in India, all the way from Australia. I would like to do the reverse to find this sandwich place in Wellington:)
Till then, I will just have to try out my version of the same. And interestingly enough, came across this recipe in Southern Living, and it immediately caught my attention. Though the size was flat, it had an interesting flavor and taste, with olive oil, salt, rosemary, thyme and lavender herbs and the sweetness of red grapes. Using organic and unbleached bread flour, will make the bread more light and flavorful The color and size makes it an attractive appetizer, side dish. Having this on a snowy evening, uplifts you with its sweet aroma and gives you a perfect accompaniment to celebrate the joy the nature provides you everyday!! Providing you this recipe in a new plugin which seems to provide all my needs as an author. Let me know if you like it, by commenting on the contact form!
Happy to be baking and celebrating the first snow of the season, with the warm,sweet, savory flavor of Grape Focaccia!!
Warm the water for 20 seconds in the microwave. Add the water and yeast to the bread maker bowl and leave it for 5 minutes.
Add bread flour, salt, 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1 tbsp of herbs to the yeast. Select the bread maker to dough and make the dough. The cycle should last about 1 1/2 hours, during which the dough should rise.
Alternatively, if you don't have a bread maker, mix everything in a blender bowl, and mix using a dough blade , mix on medium high for five minutes. Grease some olive oil in a bowl and put the sticky dough in it, and wrap it with plastic wrap and let it rise to double in size in a warm place( under the oven light) for about an hour or more.
Remove the dough after an hour, and transfer to the baking pan. Grease the baking pan lightly with oil, add another 1/4 cup of olive oil, and punch the dough with knuckles. Mix in about 1/3 quantity of grapes and cover again the dough and leave it to rise for another hour.
After an hour, flatter the dough further to the thickness you would like to have, add the balance grapes on top. Garnish it with sea salt, pepper, balance herbs and remaining 1/4 cup oil.
Pre heat convection oven to 425 degrees and bakes for 30 minutes till the top is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cool for couple of minutes. Slice into square shapes and serve.
Enjoy your bite of Grape Focaccia!
Feel free to explore with fresh olives, or raisins or any topping of your choice. Fresh Basil also will give a great flavor in the bread.
Normally the focaccia is served in square pieces, but even triangles shapes would look good, and give a pizza feel!
Warmth, love, happiness and joy from outdoors into the indoors! Love the red color of grapes on top, the orange glow of baking and crispiness of the bottom texture in the Grape Focaccia. The crunch mingled with softness of the inside and the fragrance of the herbs and olive and hint of sea salt! Wow baking bread is so so easy and satisfying and the house also warms up the bread aroma!! Bon Appetit!
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