Monday, December 22, 2014

Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta is an italian desert or I would like to think so as I only had it in Italian restaurants. I kind of liked the texture and taste especially whenn paired with a fresh raspberry sauce and some more berries thrown on it. Thus thought of giving it a shot.


  • 2 and 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup skimmed milk
  • 1 sachet plain gelatin
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • Mix gelatin with milk and keep aside
  • Bring sugar and heavy whipping cream to boil watching carefully so it's not burnt in the bottom
  • Add the milk and gelatin. Mix and turn the gas off
  • Add vanilla, let is settle down.
  • Pour in your serving dish, let it cool down to room temperature, then refrigerate it before serving.
Raspberry Sauce:
  • Boil water sugar and raspberry. 
  • Mix well till raspberry is completely blended and melted. Boil well. 
  • Strain and cool it down.
  • Drizzle on top before serving.  Chop some strawberry and serve with that

Bengali Sandesh

Ok I have been meaning to learn this recipe for a few years now from my aunts in New Jersey who are experts in bengali sweets. Finally this year during Thanksgiving break when I visited them I did learn it and tried it out. Needless to say this is the best we non resident bongs can do to make up for the gurer (jaggary) sandesh that we traditionally find in Kolkata in winter.


  • 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • few spoons of vinegar to make chin / paneer
  • 1/2 sachet of dry milk powder (substitue of maul milk powder found in India)
  • Jaggary or Gud / sugar / Succanat (my discovery replacement of jaggary - i used this)

  • Bring milk to boil
  • Turn of the gas and start adding white vinegar one spoon at a time only until the milk separates and curdles up to form chena
  • Let it cool and then strain in a muslin cloth. Was under running tap to rinse off any tartness form vinegar. Squueze excess water and then hang for few hours till all water's drained out
  • Now put it on a plate / bowl and add 1/2 sachet of dry milk powder and knead it well
  • Put it in a food processor and knee further more till it's smooth
  • Brush a little ghee in a nonstick pan and pour this. At this point add your sugar / jaggary / succanat and mix well in medium heat till it forms a lump and the sugar is melted.
  • Let it cool for 5 mins. Brush ghee on your palm and make round balls or shape it in any sort of mould you have and Njoy!!

A friend introduced me to this wonderful thing and ever since I discovered it I realized it's nothing but tastes like ground jaggary and it clicked. Trust me no one who tasted it figured out that I did not use jaggary at all. So all your jaggary lovers here is your substitute

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Peach Crumble Cake

Randomly made it for a warm summer party with fresh peaches that I found in our local farmers market. It was a super hit especially the flavor of peach and the crumble on top.

  • 1 packet white or yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cans peach or fresh peach


  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • In a baking dish first layer the dry cake mix powder
  • Drain syrup and dice and chop the peaches and layer them
  • Sprinkle some water
  • Spread 1 cup brown sugar on top
  • Cut butter in small pieces and pat on top as the final layer spreading evenly on the dish.
  • Bake for 45 mins or till top is brown. Sprinkle some additional warm water at this point if you think the cake powder still feels powdery in texture
  • Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream.

Christmas Fruit Cake

Christmas always reminds me of the fruit cake that my city's (Kolkata) then renowned bakery (Naoums) always made. Loads of fruits soaked in rum for months made into a cake. One word for it was YUM. This year I just decided to finally make it since in U.S.A. I have hardly come across that traditional fruit cake for christmas.

So here is to memories of Naoums my tribute to you:

  • Fruits (plums, raisins, apricots, crystalized ginger, apple, cherries, walnuts – optional)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup or 2 sticks butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • Real Plum Rum / Drak Rum / Rum artificial Flavor
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Eggs


  • Chop to bite size pieces and soak fruits in ½ cup orange juice / dark rum / plum rum at least overnight or longer (for rum I would prefer soaking for almost a month)
  • Preheat to oven to 350F and grease a baking pan and set aside
  • Sift together flours , baking powder
  • Blend together butter and sugar till soft and fluffy
  • Add ½ cup oranje juice, eggs (rum additional if you making it with rum) and mix well. For virgin add artificial rum flavor if required.
  • While letting the mixer run start adding flour slowly by a spoon and keep mixing till everything is mixed well and letting enough air to get in
  • Stop the mixer and now with a spatula add the soaked fruits and mix well till all in incorporated
  • Pour the mixture in a baking pan and bake for 2 hours or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Serve warm or stored.

Additional Steps for Rum Cakes:

  •  Once out of oven poke some holes on the cake and brush some rum and molasses all over.
  • Wrap is with a cheese cloth and then with a parchment paper and keep it for a day before serving.