All posts filed under: Pastry

Eggless Dark Chocolate, Almond and Roasted White Chocolate Tart

Eggless Dark Chocolate, Almond and Roasted White Chocolate Tart

I’m a sucker for something sweet after dinner. Like my dad, tell me you’ve got hot Gulab Jambu and ice cream for dessert and I’ll be like putty in your hands. This chocolate tart makes me feel that way too. A crumbly, sweet shortcrust pastry base (without eggs, might I add), ridiculously smooth and rich chocolate filling with the most incredible roasted white chocolate swirl which takes me back to the days of sitting on the steps of our family shop eating Caramacs… except there’s loads more chocolate involved. If you’ve never roasted your white chocolate, you’ve been missing out. Gone will be the days you insist dark chocolate is superior to white. This whole time you had forgotten one amazing detail… it is that white chocolate can be transformed into the most beautiful caramel you ever tasted.  Inspired by the baking guru that is David Lebovitz, I set to work making the roasted white chocolate, following his brilliant instructions to the letter – and you should too.     One tweak I made was that …

Tandoori Paneer Samosas

Tandoori Paneer Samosas

  Attention all paneer lovers! There’s nothing more satisfying than taking a big bite out of a crispy, spicy samosa with a fabulous filling. Whether it’s soft potato and pea, hearty mung daal or juicy tandoori paneer, these little triangles of heaven are an iconic element of Indian cuisine. Let’s be honest, making samosas from scratch is a labour of love and well worth the effort once you’re finally able to take a spicy bite. My advice? Enlist the help of a slave to help with the rolling and folding. I love nothing more than fresh samosa pastry made with chapatti dough. The hearty texture of homemade dough surpasses unsatisfying filo pastry samosas by a mile. Reminiscent of the samosas made by street vendors in the heart of Mumbai, and the kind Indian mothers make for their families, the roti dough pastry gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling inside. A good tandoori paste is deeply aromatic, hot and sour. The combination of Kashmiri chillies, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and peppercorns makes this paste intensely flavourful and …

Mombasa-style Kachori

Mombasa-style Daal Kachori

Spiced Daal and Green Mango in Flaky Pastry Deep fried starters; once you eat one, you’ll always go back for a second. Fact. Kachori are like the forgotten little sister of samosa – the underdog starter that accidently slipped through the fingers of Western restaurateurs. I cannot emphasise enough how good lentils are with sweet, hot and sour flavours. The addition of sour green mango cuts through the richness of the daal and spices and balances the deep heat of the chillies, ginger and cinnamon perfectly. These kachori are inspired by those sold at the famous Bhagwanjis sweet mart in Mombasa, Kenya. My entire family raves about Kenya-style kachori and these, along with Bateta Vada, are guaranteed to put a smile on my dad’s face. And I can vouch that he has great taste. Kachori come in all flavours, shapes and sizes. You can stuff the classic flaky pastry with crushed green peas, urad daal or even potatoes. They can be made into UFO-like patties and topped with yoghurt, chopped onions and tomatoes to make …

Mini Mushroom, Kalonji and Feta Pies Large

Mini Mushroom, Kalonji and Feta Pies

It’s safe to say that when it comes to pastry-making, I’m no professional. However, when I was challenged via Facebook, to come up with a hearty lunch idea, I was determined to deliver something good. And we all know pies are good. These mini pies (made in a muffin tin because as I’ve discovered, I’m rather ill-equipped) are stuffed with a mixture of sautéed Portobello and chestnut mushrooms, sharp feta cheese, kalonji seeds and lemon thyme. They’re perfectly portable so you won’t have any trouble taking a couple to work, and even though they’re small, they’ll fill your belly no matter what. Hot water crust pastry is usually made with lard because butter is seen to have too much of a rich flavour for the traditional pork pies it’s used to make. Obviously there’s no lard lurking in my fridge, but there is plenty of butter. I think the butter in my pastry can stand up to the vegetarian filling because of the robust mushrooms and sharp feta having enough flavour to balance it out. …

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Eggless Peach and Cardamom Bakewell Tarts

Peach and Cardamom Bakewell Tarts Like Beyoncé, who transforms into her alter-ego, the confident ‘Sasha Fierce’ on stage, I had to take on a new persona before I embarked upon making my first pastry for the latest Food Network UK recipe challenge using seasonal peaches. But a three-octave vocal range and bootylicious behind wasn’t going to help me in the kitchen – not today anyway. To make the perfect tart, I would need to become someone whose skills lay in the art of flour and butter, a pastry mastermind. And then it hit me – I needed to become Andy Bates. The recipe itself is a simple concept. It’s a pepped-up version of the very English Bakewell Tart, using traditional ground almonds in the tart shell, peach jam, an eggless almond sponge mix, fresh peach slices and a cardamom-spiked mascarpone cream to serve. Sounds adventurous but if I, the world’s worst pastry maker, can do it, you shouldn’t have any problems. Be sure to check out the blog post and recipe and please leave a …

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Mughlai Banquet Menu

  Saffron and Lemon Shrikhand Doughnuts – a recipe for my new Food Network UK chef page – they’re perfect for finishing off a grandiose banquet. After a good few weeks of cooking deliciously rich and decadent dinners (it’s been hell having to eat them all by myself, I tell you), I’m finally ready to compile a menu of the best Mughlai-inspired dishes from KO Rasoi. The aim of the game was to put together something truly majestic – something which will leave your guests speechless (partly because their mouths will be preoccupied devouring the meal). Mughlai cuisine is one of my new favourites, with its use of only the most aromatic spices, flowers and nuts. Indeed, it’s no wonder it was reserved for only kings and queens of the Mughal Empire. Shahi Paneer Stuffed Okra   By now you must know how I love contrasting flavours and textures, and if you do too, you need to try this. Juicy okra stuffed with homemade paneer which has been spiked with golden sultanas and heady fennel. …

eggless-quiche

Eggless Quiche with Sweet Potatoes, Caramelised Onions and Feta

Was it you who said egg-free quiches were as impossible to make as licking your own elbow? Well if it was, you couldn’t have been more wrong. You can stop trying to lick your elbow now. It’s never going to happen and plus, you look ridiculous. I wanted to create a quiche with strong flavours that cut through the creaminess of the dish while also making a small slice go a long way. This was imperative because if I didn’t, I’d have ended up squirming on the floor with a protruding belly and crumbs all over my face having eaten it all. And I promised myself that would never happen again. Sweet potatoes added just that – a strong velvety sweetness, caramelised onions gave the quiche some colour, texture and flavour, and the sharp, salty feta cheese cut through the rich filling. Perfecto. I’m quite pleased with myself for making my own pastry. I know shortcrust is the easiest pastry to make but lazy is the best way to describe me. There’s no excuse for …