Merry Christmas everyone! I always wanted to have pudding for Christmas. Indians enjoy having a sweet as dessert after a fine meal, so I wanted it to be a chocolate pudding and it also had to be a steamed pudding because most Indians do not have a baking oven at home. I combined features from various recipes to arrive at an easy-to-make pudding in an Indian kitchen. I serve it with Vanilla Ice Cream or gelato, but you can use any flavour of your choice. Combined with ice cream, this makes an ideal dessert to end an Indian Christmas feast, because we have a fairly warm December. You can also pour chocolate sauce over the pudding if you do not want to serve the pudding with ice cream.
In the food science laboratory of Women’s Christian College, I was taught and used to teach what is known as College Fudge, which is a traditional method of making cocoa fudge. It involved using candy thermometers to judge the stage of the sugar syrup and the cooling of the fudge. After removing from heat, the fudge would be cooled to 40° C and then beaten – a long and cumbersome process, and very difficult to judge the endpoint. Most of the time, it ended in a semi-solid or crumbling fudge. Though I had gained experience in making fudge myself, most students invariably made some error or the other when my back was turned 🙂 After I retired I had more time to experiment, and I arrived at this method, which does not need a thermometer to judge the stage or cooling, and I also ironed out many of the small errors that are likely to crop up when making fudge.
Happy Easter everyone! Though Easter eggs are given more importance than Easter cakes, I like to bake a cake for Easter. My daughter and I were browsing through a Jewish cookbook, which I had purchased a long time ago. We came across this recipe and felt that this marble cake was befit for a festival. Jewish recipes, in general, I find use less sugar, so we increased the amount to suit our palate. Though this cake looks complicated, it is fairly easy to make and tastes absolutely divine.
Advent rings the bell to start the Christmas baking season. These are ideal to serve guests or carolers who may drop in, since you can make around 50 cookies or more at one go with this recipe. They are also ideal to take with you when you go visiting. My daughter developed this recipe using cocoa powder instead of chocolate to arrive at these scrumptious dark chocolate cookies. They are also ideal for the Indian pocket as all chocolate is prohibitively expensive to use in cooking. The use of chocolate vermicelli in the recipe enhances the look and the taste.
I had always firmly believed that cakes should be made with butter and eggs. I found this recipe for an eggless butterless cocoa cake in Hershey’s Chocolate and Cocoa Cookbook which I bought in 1987. I decided to bake this cake for New Year 2014 and was greatly pleased by how moist and tasty it was, but my children complained that it was a bit rubbery. Still, it is a very good cake.