Friday, March 30, 2012

Biscuit Joconde Imprime–Chocolate genoise with bavarian cream filling

The whole credit of inspiring me to come up with this cake goes to Ria of Ria’s Collection.  I was just browsing through her blog and saw this cake. I had no clue what the name meant and just because of that I started researching more on this.A lot of pics and videos and write ups…  And finally came up with the below recipes; Of course I borrowed the whole idea from none other than Ria. Thanks a lot dear !!!!!!!!!!!!
Biscuit joconde 17
For the Sponge: (Recipe Courtesy:Ria)
All purpose flour -- 1 cup + 2 tbsp
Powdered sugar -- 1 cup + 2 tbsp
Chocolate               -- 125 gm / 4.5 oz
Unsalted butter -- 7 tbsp
Eggs -- 5 large
Baking powder -- 1 tsp
Vanilla extract -- 1 tsp

Biscuit joconde 18

For the Joconde Décor paste: (Recipe Courtesy: Deeba of PAB)
I reduced the quantity from the original recipe.
Unsalted butter      --   2 tbsp, at room temperature
Powdered sugar    --   ¼ cup
Egg white                 --   1 large egg
All purpose flour   --   3 tbsp
Cocoa powder        --   2 tsp
Food coloring gel, paste or liquid (optional)

For the Joconde: (Recipe Courtesy: Deeba of PAB)
I reduced the quantity and made some variations too.
Egg whites             --   2, large eggs
White granulated sugar --   1 tbsp
Ground almonds  --   3/8 cup
Icing sugar            --   2/3 cup
All purpose flour --   1/8 cup
Corn starch            --   1 tsp
Melted butter        --   1 tbsp
Large eggs             --   1

Biscuit joconde 20

For the Mocha Bavarian Cream: (Recipe Courtesy:Ria
Powdered gelatin       --   11gm
Cold water                     --   75 ml
Egg yolks                        --   2 large
Granulated sugar       --   5 tbsp
Milk                                   --   1 cup
Vanilla extract             --   1 tsp
Instant coffee powder  --   ¾ tbsp
Heavy whipping cream --   1 cup

For Chocolate Ganache:
Semisweet chocolate      --    4 oz ( 113gm)
Heavy whipping cream --    3 oz

For Soaking syrup:
White granulated sugar  --   1 cup
Warm water                         --   1 cup

Biscuit joconde 19
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.  Grease an 8" baking pan.  Line the base with parchment paper.
Melt the butter in a small bowl and leave it aside for sediments. Use the clarified butter from the top of the bowl ( you can use ghee instead). Make sure that it is at room temperature when adding to the mixture.
Add the chocolate to a heat proof bowl and add ¼ cup of water to it. Keep it over boiling water/microwave and melt it completely until you get a thick melted chocolate.

Biscuit joconde 1 Chocolate genoise steps

Sift the flour and baking powder twice. Separate the egg yolks and whites and keep in 2 bowls. Add sugar to the yolks and beat over a pan of hot water until thick and creamy. Add vanilla.
Sift the flour on to the egg mixture. Pour the melted butter slowly over the flour, around the sides. Pour the melted chocolate.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff.  Add 1/3rd of the whisked egg whites to the flour and mix gently until completely incorporated. Fold in the remaining whites carefully.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50 mins. The cake is cooked when it shrinks from the sides of the tin and springs back into shape when pressed.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool and  then invert on a cooling rack. When completely cooled, slice it horizontally into 3.

Biscuit joconde 12

Joconde Décor paste:
Sift the all purpose flour and cocoa powder.
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.Gradually add the egg white.Beat continuously.Fold in the sifted flour.
Add the coloring gel, if using. Mix well.
Prepare the parchment paper / silicone mat.Keep it on an inverted cookie sheet. Pipe the paste on the prepared paper. Another option is to spread the paste on the prepared paper and make designs on it, like vertical/horizontal lines or dots or ..... Your creativity works here.
I piped the design on the paper. Freeze this for approximately 15 to 20 min until hard.

Biscuit joconde 2

Start preparing the joconde batter once the décor paste is in the freezer.
Preheat the oven to 475 F.
Beat the egg whites along with the white granulated sugar to firm, glossy peeks. Keep aside.
Sift almond flour, icing sugar, all purpose flour and corn starch. Add the whole egg and mix well until smooth and light.
Divide the whipped egg whites into 3 and fold in to the almond mixture. Do not over mix. Fold in the melted butter.
Remove the décor from the freezer and quickly pour the joconde batter over it.Spread it evenly so that it completely covers the design pattern.

Biscuit joconde 3     Biscuit joconde 4

Bake for approximately 5 - 10 minutes (It took 8 minutes for me)  or until the cake springs back when touched gently. The baking times varies depending on the oven. So take that this is not over baked. Keep a close eye on it.
Let it cool to a touchable temperature. Invert it on to a board or a parchment paper. Apply powdered sugar on the board or parchment paper. This helps to prevent sticking. The cake should be with the right side up. You should be able to see the design.

Biscuit joconde 5   Biscuit joconde 6

Mocha Bavarian Cream:
Soak the gelatin in cold water and let it rest for 5-6 minutes.
Meanwhile whip the yolks and sugar until light and thick. Heat the milk and slowly add it into the egg mixture.Make sure to beat continuously while adding the milk.
Keep this mixture over a water bath and cook until it start to thicken. Add vanilla extract and coffee powder and mix well to dissolve.

Biscuit joconde 8      Biscuit joconde 9

Melt the gelatin and add into the egg mixture. Let it cool until half set, I kept it in the refrigerator. Make sure you stir in every 5 - 10min to keep the mixture smooth.
Whip cream to soft peaks. Fold in the cream to the half set custard. The filling is ready

Place chocolate pieces in a large bowl. Heat heavy cream on medium high until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until completely mixed and glossy. Allow it to cool.

Dissolve a cup of granulated sugar in a cup of warm water to prepare the soaking syrup.
Cut the joconde to fit in spring foam pan(I had to use a 9” pan to fit in the joconde and the 8” cake). The pan should be completely covered with no gaps.

Biscuit joconde 7     Biscuit joconde 10

Place a layer of the sponge at the bottom. Generously soak it with the soaking syrup. Fill the next layer with half of the bavarian cream. Repeat with the next layers, the top layer being the sponge.
Biscuit joconde 13     Biscuit joconde 14
Spread  the ganache over it and smooth it with a spatula. Cover in a cling wrap and refrigerate until set. Decorate as per your wish.
Biscuit joconde 15
Serve Chilled.
Biscuit joconde 21

Recipe Courtesy: Ria 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Vellarikka curry / Lemon cucumber

Vellarikka Curry 1

Ingredients (Serves 3 to 4):
Vellarikka / Lemon cucumber --   1 small approx 250gm
Turmeric powder      --   ½ tsp
Chilly powder             --   1 tsp
Coconut                         --   ¼ cup
Cumin seeds                 --   ½ tsp
Buttermilk/Curd        --   ¼ cup
Curry leaves                --   2 - 3 springs
Shallots                          --   1
Mustard                         --   ½ tsp
Red Chilly                      --   3 to 4
Oil                                     --   1 tbsp
Salt                                   --   to taste
Vellarikka Curry 2
Peel of the skin, remove the seeds, clean and cut the cucumber into cubes.
In a pressure cooker, add the cut cucumber, turmeric powder, chilly powder and 1 cup water.
Vellarikka Curry 4     Vellarikka Curry 5
Cook until done. In my pressure cooker, it takes 2 whistles. You can also do it in a normal pan and it might take around 15 - 20 minutes to get it cooked.  Grind together coconut and cumin with a pinch of turmeric powder and buttermilk/curd . Add to the cooked vellari and let  it boil.
Vellarikka Curry 6      Vellarikka Curry 7
Heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds. Add the red chillies,shallots and curry leaves.Fry until the shallots are golden brown. And finally add this to the curry. Serve hot with rice.
Vellarikka Curry 3

Recipe Courtesy: Amma

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Condensed Milk Pound Cake

Condensed Milk Pound Cake 1
Plain flour             --    1 cup
Baking powder   --    ¾ tsp
Salt                           --    ¼ tsp
Butter                      --    ½ cup, for a more moist one increase it to ¾ cup  
Sugar                      --    ¼ cup
Vanilla extract   --    1 ½ tsp
Condensed milk  --   ½ cup
Eggs                        --    2
Condensed Milk Pound Cake 3
Preparation of the cake:
Preheat oven to 325F and generously butter a 9" pan.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt.
Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the vanilla extract. Pour in condensed milk and mix well. Add the sifted flour mixture spoon by spoon and continue to whisk on a low speed until the flour is well blended with no lumps. Add the eggs to the mixture one by one mixing well after each addition.
Bake in a preheated oven 325F for 50 to 55 minutes. The cake is done when toothpick/skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Condensed Milk Pound Cake 2
Recipe Courtesy: Nisha of LWCT

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Grape Squash–Let’s welcome the sunny days

I planned to make some wine and asked AJ to get some grapes. He got 2 kgs and the bottle I had for wine would fit only ½ kg of grapes. Both of us are not really fond of grapes and I wondered what to do. I knew google would help me out to find a solution and I was right -  grape squash.
But all the recipes called out for some preserving agents like sodium benzoate and citric acid. I did not want to use them and so came up with my own recipe. This tastes really great and I am not sure about the life of it. I stored it in my refrigerator and its about 3 – 4 weeks now – still great. I shall update about the life as much as I keep it J
You know what, It has been a year that I wrote the above and somehow missed to post this. Now I can tell you about the life of the syrup. Definitely a year plus if kept under refrigeration J
Ingredients(Yields 1.5 litres):
Red Ripe Grapes   --   1 kg
Sugar                       --   2 cups or more according to your taste
Lemon juice          --   ¼ cup
Water                      --   1 cup
Preparation of Squash/syrup:
Cook the grapes with one cup of water. Mash the grapes in between as much as you can. You can use a potato masher/pestle. Make sure that all the grapes are cooked.
If you are not able to mash it well, give a pulse in the mixer.
Strain the juice with a strainer with large holes so that you get some pulp too. Now add the sugar and let it boil again until it forms a thick syrup. Add the lemon juice and switch off the flame. let it cool, pour into clean and dry bottles and refrigerate.
To Serve:
Take ¼ glass of the syrup and then fill the glass with chilled water. Top with ice cubes and serve. Its simply refreshing in the summer.

Recipe Courtesy: Myself

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Key Lime Pie

Nowadays I come with the posts which I have been saving for a while J. The first time I tried this yummy dessert was from Red Lobster. We ordered for a combo along with which we had to choose a dessert. Just because our friends were NO chocolate lovers, we chose this one. Thanks to them that we had this yummy dessert and that taste gave me the motivation to browse for the recipe. I came across the well explained one at Joy of baking, by Stephanie and followed her steps closely.

Key Lime Pie 11


Graham Cracker Crust:

Graham cracker crumbs/digestive biscuits   --   1¼ cup
Granulated white sugar                                          --   2 tbsp
Unsalted butter                                                           --   5 - 6 tablespoons


Egg yolks                                                                       --   3 large
Sweetened condensed milk                                   --   1 can (14 oz)
Key lime juice                                                              --   ½ cup
Grated lime zest                                                          --   2 tsp


Heavy whipping cream                                          --   1 cup
Granulated white sugar                                         --   2 tbsp

Key Lime Pie 10

Preparation of the pie:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 inch pie pan and keep aside.

If using digestive biscuits, powder it to coarse crumbs. Mix together the crumbs, sugar, and melted butter with your hands. Press mixture on the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Remove from oven and keep aside.

Key Lime Pie 2Key Lime Pie 3Key Lime Pie 4


Beat the egg yolks until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the condensed milk and beat until light and fluffy. Then beat in the lime juice and zest.

 Key Lime Pie 1Key Lime Pie 5Key Lime Pie 6

Pour the filling over the crust and bake for 10 - 15 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. When completely cooled, cover and refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Key Lime Pie 7

Once the filling has chilled, prepare the topping. Beat the whipping cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Decorate the pie with the whipped cream.

Key Lime Pie 9


Recipe Courtesy : Joy of baking

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Puttum Payarum (Puttu with Moong dal curry)

A wonderful combo for breakfast…. Or a heavy dinner…
Puttu n Payar 5

Ingredients(Serves 2 -3):
Coarse Rice Flour (Puttu podi)      --   2 cups
Water                                                        --   ½ cup or to moisten the flour
Shredded Coconut                               --   ½ cup
Salt                                                             --   to taste
Mix the salt in water. Add this water little by little  or sprinkle on to the flour and mix it softly. The mixing should be done carefully, so that the flour does not turn into dough form. It should be in the powdered form but wet enough for steaming.
To test the correct wetness, you can hold tight a handful of flour and when released, it should hold its shape. Now when dropped back in to the vessel, it should get powdered again.

                    Puttu n Payar 2                           Puttu n Payar 3

Layer the puttukutty with grated coconut(around 2 tbsp for one layer) and rice flour, starting and ending with coconut. In a normal sized puttukutty, you should be able to make 3 equal layers of rice flour.
Take water in the puttu kudam/ pressure cooker - half full or 1/3rd full and let the water boil. Now place the filled puttukutty on the kudam and cook until steam comes out through the top – takes around 5 to 10 min.
Push the puttu out of the kutty  and serve hot.
Puttu n Payar 4
Make sure there is enough water in the kudam/cooker before you place the puttu maker with the next batch.

Puttu n Payar 7
Cherupayar/Whole Moong dal:
Ingredients(Serves 2 -3):
Whole moong dal        --    1 cup
Green chillies                 --   2 - 3
Turmeric powder        --   ¼ tsp
Coconut milk                 --   ½ cup
Pepper powder            --   ½ tsp
Curry leaves                  --   2 stems
Mustard seeds              --   ½ tsp
Red chillies                    --   2
Oil                                      --   2 tsp / as required for tadka
Salt                                    --   to taste

Soak the moong dal in water for 1 - 2 hours.This is purely optional. This helps to reduce the number of whistles from the pressure cooker.
In a pressure cooker, add the moong dal, slit green chillies, turmeric powder and water. Cook until done. It takes 2 to 3 whistles for my pressure cooker.
Puttu n Payar 1
Open the cooker when all the pressure is released.Keep it on a medium flame. If there is no water left in the cooker, add half a cup of water. Add the coconut milk and salt. Let it come to a boil. Add pepper powder and curry leaves and switch off the flame.
Heat oil in another pan. Splutter the mustard seeds and green chillies. Pour it over the prepared moongdal curry.
Serve hot with puttu and pappadam.
Puttu n Payar 6

Recipe Courtesy: Amma