Pakashastra

Pakashastra

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Vanilla Stars

Yields: 25 cookies (approx) 


Ingredients:

All-Purpose Flour (Maida) - 3 cups
Baking Powder - 1 1/2 teaspoons
Butter - 300gms
White Sugar, fine granules - 1 1/2 cups
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Vanilla Extract - 2 teaspoons


Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
  2. Sift together all-purpose flour and baking powder twice together.
  3. Cut the butter through the sifted flour until it forms a crumbly mixture.
  4. Add sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Knead well until it forms a soft dough.
  5. Divide the dough into 4 dough balls of equal size.
  6. Roll each ball into 1cm thick disc.
  7. Using a cookie star shaped cookie cutter, stamp out the stars.
  8. Place the dough stars on the baking tray.
  9. Bake for about 10 -12 minutes until the base starts browning. 
  10. Remove the trays from the oven and place them on cooling rack for about 10 minutes. The cookies which are slightly soft on top will harden as they cool down.
  11. Serve and preserve the rest in an air tight container.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Refrigerated Strawberry Cake

Serves: 8 to 10




Ingredients:

For Layer 1:

Vanilla Sponge Cake (bake well in advance, click here for recipe)

For Layer 2:

Strawberries, hulled - 10 to 12
White Sugar - 1/2 cup

For Layer 3:

Milk - 2 cups + 1/2 cup
Custard Powder - 4 tablespoon
Sugar - 1/3 cup
Heavy Cream - 1/2 cup

For Topping:

Strawberries, sliced - 4 to 5
Tutti Frutti - 1/2 cup
Walnuts/Pecans/Almonds, chopped - 1/2 cup

To Serve

Stemmed Glass/Straight Glass - 8 to 10


Method:

  1. Bake the cake in a rectangle 12" x 8" baking tray. Allow it to cool down completely. It is best to bake 24 hours before you want to serve the cake.
  2. For layer 2, take strawberries in a blender. Pulse it a few times until they are reduced to small chunks.
  3. In a sauce pan, take blended strawberry and 1/2 cup sugar. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, until it thickens slightly. Let it cool down to room temperature. Strawberry Compote is now ready.
  4. Meanwhile, for layer 3, in a small bowl mix custard powder with 1/2 cup milk. Keep aside.
  5. In another saucepan, bring 2 cups of milk to boil, add sugar. When the sugar melts, turn off the flame.
  6. Now add custard powder + milk mixture.  Mix thoroughly.
  7. Place the sauce pan back on flame (low flame). Cook for a minute, stirring continuously. Due to thick consistency, it might get burnt very quickly at the base, so take care to stir continuously on low flame. Turn off the flame and let it cool down to room temperature. 
  8. Add heavy cream to the prepared custard. Whisk thoroughly until it is smooth and creamy.
Assembling the cake:
  1. Using the mouth of the stemmed/straight glass used for serving, stamp out the cake into 8 to 10 cylinders.
  2. Place each cake cylinder in each serving glass. Prick the top of the cake using a fork.
  3. Pour 3-4 tablespoons of strawberry compote on the cake in each glass. Spread it evenly.
  4. Layer it with 3-4 tablespoons of custard + cream mixture.
  5. Top it Strawberry slices, chopped walnuts/pecans/almonds and tutti frutti.
  6. Refrigerate the assembled cake for 5-6 hours before serving.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Roasted Asparagus

Serves: 2


Ingredients:

Fresh Asparagus - 20
Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
Lemon Juice - 2 teaspoons
Garlic, minced - 1 clove
Peppercorns, freshly ground - 1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Red Chilli Flakes - 1 teaspoon (optional)
Mozzarella Cheese, shredded - 3 tablespoons


Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F (~205C).
  2. Line a large rectangular baking tray with an aluminium foil or use a baking tray directly.
  3. Cut about 2" of the hard end of asparagus and wash them thoroughly. If the end is still hard and thick, peel it lightly at that end.
  4. Place the asparagus on the baking tray in a single layer with overlapping on another.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, freshly ground peppercorns and salt. Drizzle this on laid asparagus. Toss the asparagus or roll them such that the olive oil mixture coats them completely.
  6. Sprinkle red chilli flakes (if using) and mozzarella cheese shreds.
  7. Place then tray in the oven, roast the asparagus for about 15 minutes or until they are soft enough to insert a skewer but still firm and crisp.
  8. Serve.