Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Rasmalai

I have already made rasmalai using a cooker but this method is more authentic and the result is mouth melting Rasmalai.
As the name suggests Rasmalai should be soft, tender and melt in mouth.

Ingredients for rabri or ras.
Full cream milk-1 litre,
Sugar-4 tbsp,
Saffron-a pinch(optional),
White caradamom pwd-1/4 tsp.


Ingredients for the paneer disc
Cow milk-1 litre,
Vinegar-2 tbsp,
Plain water-1/2 cup,
Ice cubes - 14 to 16 -medium size bowl,
Plain muslin cloth and a strainer to strain the paneer



Ingredients for boiling the paneer discs
Plain water-6 cups+1 cup,
Sugar-1 cup,
White cardamom pwd-1/4 tsp.


Note-The secret to soft rasmalai is soft paneer.If the paneer is hard then rasmalai will be hard and will break  while boiling.
Cow milk is used as it has less fat and is sweet and nutritous.

Method to make paneer or cottage cheese.
Take a heavy bottom pan and put 1 liter of cow milk to boil.

In another small bowl mix 2 tbsp of vinegar and 1/2 cup of water.

As the milk starts to boil,close gas and pour 1/2 cup of plain water.

Mix and add half of vinegar water mix.

Stir with laddle and you will see the milk separating
.
Add only half of what is left of the vinegar mix as now the milk is fully separated.

Once the milk is fully separated add the ice cubes to bring the temperature down to stop the process of cooking.

This process is important as at this point the texture of paneer is formed.

Keep ready a muslin cloth on a strainer on top of a saucepan.

Pour the paneer mixture on to the muslin cloth.

Discard the water collected in the saucepan.
Place the paneer under the running tap to remove any trace of vinegar.


Tie the muslin and leave it to hang for an hour so that all the water drips out.

Rabri or ras
Usually rabri is milk cooked on low heat to get a thick consistency but for rasmalai the consistency is not  thick as the paneer discs are soaked in it.
Boil full cream milk in a heavy bottom pan.



As the milk starts to boil ,lower the heat and let it simmer for 50 to 55 minutes.
Keep stirring so that milk does not  stick to the bottom.
After 20 minutes add a pinch of saffron to give the authentic yellow colour(optional)
Once the milk is reduced and the consistency is of pouring,close gas.
Add 4 tbsp of sugar and 1/4 tsp of cardamom pwd.


Mix and leave it to cool.

Making of paneer disc:
After the paneer has hung for an hour in a muslin cloth, hold the cloth from the top and squeeze out if there is any water left in it.
Place the muslin on a towel in the center and cover it from one side.







Lightly press and using the side of the palm press gently to remove any moisture in the paneer.
Flip side and likewise press to remove any moisture.
The towel helps in soaking the moisture.
Once the moisture is removed,remove the muslin cloth and place the paneer in a plate.


Using the edge of your palm,lightly knead the paneer to make it smooth for 5 minutes.
Do not knead it like a roti dough as it will remove all the fat from the paneer.
The paneer has to be pressed with a light hand.
After 5 minutes gather it to form a log and divide it into 10 equal parts.
Make rounds walnut size balls using both your palms.
It will be a little sticky but use the back of a knife to clean the mess.
Make smooth balls and then lightly press it to form small discs.
Once all the discs are formed,keep it aside.

Place a big size deep pan which has a lid on gas.
Pour 6 cups of water ,1 cup of sugar and 1/4 tsp of cardamom pwd.


Stir with a laddle to help the sugar mix quickly.
Once the sugar is dissolved,.cover with a lid and let it come to boil.
As it starts to boil,remove 1 and 1/3 cup of the water mixture in a medium size bowl.

Put 1 cup of water again in the pan to replace the water which we have taken out.
(The water which we have taken out will be used to soak the paneer disc once they are cooked)
Cover with lid and let it boil again.
As the water starts to boil,add the paneer disc one by one.
Cover with a lid and on high heat let it boil for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes close the gas.
The small disc have now doubled in size.Close gas. 

Remove the lid and using a flat spatula or a wide spoon remove the paneer discs to soak in the water syrup kept in the medium size bowl.

Let it soak in the bowl till they are cool to room temperature.

Assemble:
Take a serving bowl and pour the rabri in it.
If the rabri is too thick add a little milk.
Take out each paneer disc from the water syrup and lightly squeeze out the excess water by placing it between both the palms.
Dip it in the rabri and let it soak for another half hour or keep in the fridge to cool.
If the rabri has become too thick,add little cold milk.
Best if made a day before.

Makes 10 rasmalai.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Yule Log

A chocolate yule log is a popular christmas dessert.

It is traditionally eaten in France and Belgium.
It is a chocolate sponge roll layered with cream.
The outside is covered with chocolate and decorated to look like a bark covered log!

Ingredients:sponge
Cake flour or all purpose flour-1/4 cup,
Cornflour-2 tbsp,
Cocoa pwd-2 tbsp,
White sugar-1/2 cup -divided-use 1 tbsp for the whipping cream,
Egg-2,
Egg yolk-3,
Egg white-2,
Vanilla essence-1 tsp,
Lemon jiuce -1/4 tsp.
Icing sugar for dusting the sponge cake.



Ganache frosting:
Chocolate-180 gms-coarsely chopped,
Milk chocolate-60 gms-coarsely chopped,
Whipping cream-3/4 cup,
Butter-2 tbsp.


Chocolate whipping cream:
Heavy whipping cream-1 cup,
White sugar-14 cup,
Cocoa pwd-2 tbsp,
Vanilla essence-1/2 tsp.


Method:
Separate the eggs white from yolk while the egg is still cold.
Cover  and leave it for half hour to come to room temperature.


Grease 10X14  baking sheet tray and layer the bottom with  butter paper.
Grease the butter paper and then dust the whole sheet with flour.
Remove the extra flour.


Pre heat oven to 230 C

Whisk flour,cocoa pwd  and cornflour in a bowl.


To beat egg whites,the blade of the beater and bowl should be fat free to get stiff peaks.

Take a bowl and pour the egg whites and beat for few seconds then add 1/4 tsp of lemon juice.
Beat until soft peaks form.




Increase the speed to high and gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks.

Keep aisde.
In another bowl,add 2 eggs,3 egg yolk along with the remaining sugar and vanilla essence.



Beat on high speed until pale yellow -5 minutes.

Sift the flour in three stages into the egg yolk batter.




Gently fold in the egg whites into the flour egg yolk batter in three stages.



Pour the batter into the sheet pan and even it with a spoon.


Bake for 10 minutes or until set.

Tooth pick inserted will come out clean and when you touch the surface it will not stick to your finger.
Keep a kitchen towel and some icing powder in a bowl.



Once the sponge is baked,take out and keep on the counter.
Loosen the sides with knife.
Using a sieve,dust the sponge cake with icing sugar.
Cover with a kitchen towel and place a wire rack and invert the sponge.
Remove the butter paper and again dust with icing sugar.

Gently roll the cake with towel and place it on wire rack to cool.




Chocolate ganache or frosting:
Place the chopped chocolate and butter in a bowl.


Heat cream in microwave for 1 minute.
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and leave it for 5 minute.
Gently whisk or spoon until smooth.
If there are still some chocolate which have not melted,then put the bowl in microwave for another 10 seconds.
Once the chocolate is smooth leave it for an hour to thicken-it can take less time depending on the room temperature.The chocolate has to spread on the sponge.


Chocolate whipping cream:
Place whipping cream,vanilla essence,cocoa pwd in a bowl and whisk till combined.




Beat with beater on high speed until stiff peaks form.

Assemble:
Once the sponge has cooled,then gently unroll it.

Spread the chocolate whipped cream.


Start to roll again without using your finger on the cake but roll it by unwrapping the kitchen towel from the sponge.


Transfer the log onto your serving plate.
Cut 1 and 1/2 inch diagonal slice and using a little frosting attach it to the side or top of the log.
If you like you can cut another slice from the other end and keep it side of the log.
Using a offset spatulla cover the whole log with the chocolate ganache.

Run a fork  to make bark marking on the log.
Keep the log in the fridge for few hours to set.
Decorate with meringue mushrooms and before serving dust with icing sugar.














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