All posts tagged: rose

Pistachio and Rose Bombay Halwa

Pistachio and Rose Bombay Halwa

I used to love going into Indian sweet shops as a little nipper, especially around Diwali. Wide-eyed and full of wonder, the shop keepers would see me peering through their glass cases at the majestic displays of endless halwa, burfi, penda, jalebi, kaju katli, mohanthal gulab jambu, rasmalai and everything in between. I very quickly became an expert at getting free samples. My dad would always ask me what I’d like in my special box of sweets. I’d think long and hard about which ones would make the cut – it was a very important decision. To this day, he still buys me my own box of sweets and even if I’m not there to choose them, he somehow always picks my favourites. The one that always stood out was the Bombay Halwa. It’s one of the only sweet that comes in lots of different colours – and they’re SO bright. Rows of translucent pink, yellow, green and orange jellies studded with jewel-like pistachios and cashews. They were bright and beautiful and I was a …

Cardamom Wreath with Rose Drizzle and Candied Lemon Peel

Cardamom Wreath with Rose Drizzle and Candied Lemon Peel

I’ve been craving cinnamon rolls all week. Soft, buttery bread with crispy edges, heaps of spice and the best part – lashings of sweet icing. Whenever I make Lotte Duncan’s version with maple icing, they fill the house with the most mouth-watering scent of fresh bread.   In fact, I love Lotte’s buttery cinnamon roll recipe so much, I used it as the basis for my Indian-inspired wreath here. The basic white dough is rolled with a shameless amount of butter, ground cardamom and cinnamon, twisted into a Finnish bakery-style wreath and placed in a hot oven. Once baked, I couldn’t help but drizzle it with icing made with rose syrup (the kind I use to make my Strawberry Cheesecake Falooda), and then scattered with homemade candied lemon peel and pistachios. Need I say more? Okay, let me explain the beauty of these flavours together… The spicy cardamom and cinnamon combined with sugar and butter create the most amazing, rich flavour once baked inside the dough. The fluffy bread mops up the buttery juices and …

Rose Custard Creams

Eggless Rose Custard Creams

I remember the days my brother and I would raid the biscuit selection box, grabbing our favourites before the other one could get their paws on them. In our house, it was always the jammy dodgers, bourbons and custard creams that went first. I first spotted this recipe on The Boy Who Bakes, Edd Kimber’s website whilst doing some last-minute baking for a party. Short, delicate butter biscuits with a hint of vanilla sandwiched with that sweet custard flavour I’ve loved since I was a kid. To say Edd’s recipe is heavenly would be an understatement. For me, milk and cookies has always evoked memories of ice cold rose milk and shortbread in the summer sun at my aunt’s house. My brother would complain and demand chocolate Nesquik, meaning I got to guzzle down his share of bright-pink rose milk too. Winner. Combining the two flavours of my childhood was a no brainer – adding a hint of lemon thyme was a last-minute addition which worked a treat. These make lovely gifts for Christmas (they …

strawberry cheesecake falooda

Strawberry Cheesecake Falooda

  Don’t you just love the feeling you get when you’re in a restaurant and your waiter or waitress appears from the kitchen with your order? And also hate it when you think it’s yours but it’s really for the table next to you? I guess it just affirms that we’re all big kids just waiting to be fed at heart. When I think of Falooda I think of my dad and the big smile that emerges on his face whenever he rumbles the fact there’s something sweet on the menu. We’re two peas in a pod. When I was little he used to take the whole family to a favourite restaurant in either Leicester or Bradford on a Sunday afternoon and we’d have the most memorable family meals. Mum would order something classy and simple, Dad would get the thali and my brother and I would squabble over whether they put coriander in the daal or not. Regardless of what Ravi and I were arguing about, Dad would always diffuse the situation by asking …

rose-cupcakes

Eggless Chocolate and Rose Cupcakes

 Eggless Chocolate and Rose Cupcake recipe   I’ll always hold eggless baking close to my heart. The level of science involved in baking, eggless baking in particular, is beyond me.  These eggless Chocolate and Rose Cupcakes were made especially for Food Network UK’s month of cupcakes – the most delicious tribute imaginable.   They’re light, airy and not to sweet. I added a little bit of plain yogurt to keep them moist inside because dry chocolate cupcakes are a big no no in my book. This eggless cupcake recipe has never failed me and the addition of rose syrup gives it that exotic twist I crave so often. You however, can use any flavours to like.   My frosting is chocolate cream cheese and rose cream cheese, swirled together using a piping bag filled with both flavours. It’s super simple and give you a perfectly pretty finish. Get the recipe    >> Get my top tips for eggless baking  So how have you been? The new site is coming along nicely and I’m hoping to …

paan-ice-cream

Paan Ice Cream

Paan Ice Cream One of my most magical childhood memories is sitting in the back seat of my parents’ red VW Golf during the mid-nineties, slowly peeling back the red-stained paper from a little bundle of ‘Special Meetha Paan’: Areca nuts, fennel seeds, shredded coconut and rose paste, smothered in a ‘secret’ syrup, then tightly wrapped in a peppery betel leaf.   Freshly prepared Sweet Paan from R. P. Barot and Sons ‘Pan Ghar’, Leicester   My last trip to everyone’s favourite paan house got me thinking; I was missing a trick. I’ve always loved the fresh flavours, but all that chewing can be terribly hard work. Then suddenly it dawned on me, why had I never made my own Paan Ice Cream? It’s swelteringly hot over here (in comparison to last week’s pesky rain) and so I let myself go, forgot the diet for an evening and decided to finally give it a go. The first batch curdled on me because the milk I had steeped betel leaves in was too hot to add …

turkish-delight-lamingtons

Eggless Turkish Delight Lamingtons

This time last year I won the Re-Inventing the Lamington competition hosted by Mr P of the thoroughly delicious Delicious Delicious Delicious. Not bragging or anything. My Shrikhand Spice Lamingtons consisted of a traditional Shrikhand sandwiched between eggless honey-flavoured sponge, coated in milk chocolate and pistachio splinters. There were some amazing entries and it was fantastic to see such a great deal of thought go in to the competition. I was lucky enough to walk away with an utterly cute Welsh dragon cookie cutter which I ended up making Holi cookies with. In a desperate attempt to uphold my prized title, I present to you, my first entry into Mr P’s Re-Inventing the Lamington competition 2011 – Eggless Turkish Delight Lamingtons. For those of you who don’t know, a lamington is essentially an Australian filled and covered cake. Simple as that. I love cooking with flowers, as long as the final product isn’t too strong and perfumed. Sounds like a contradiction in itself, but rose jelly and rose cream with lemon scented sponge and white …

rose-baklava

Rose & Pistachio Baklava

Fresh baklava has to be one of the most famous sweets across the globe. Throughout the Middle East and across Mediterranean lands it is king. Boy, do those people have good taste. Nutty, chewy and ultimately calorific, baklava sticks to your teeth and your thighs. My philosophy is to enjoy devilishly sweet treats in moderation and occasionally in excess.* This take on one of my favourite sweets was inspired by baklava I ate at an odd little Turkish cafe I visited in London not so long ago. It was very dark and very greasy. The cafe, not the baklava. In fact, the baklava was amazing. It had all of the super flavours of traditional baklava with a wonderfully textured twist. I love me some twists. Sweet rice and the traditional spiced nuts were enveloped in thin, crisp filo pastry layers, then drenched in sugar syrup and left to absorb until chewy and divine. Pouring the hot sugar syrup on when the baklava is fresh from the oven makes it easier for it to absorb into the …

rose-agaragar

Rose, Milk and Honey Agar-Agar

Enjoying the beautiful sights, smells and sounds Spring-time brings? I’ve been admiring the swift emergence of cherry blossoms, marigolds and daffodils scattered about everywhere I look. I’ve been detecting the scent of invigorating freshly cut grass through the gentle breeze, and waking up to birdsongs. Okay, I admit that the birdsongs can get really annoying when I’m recovering from a long night of studying and writing, or worrying about studying and writing. I love cooking with flowers and this has to be one of the easiest flower desserts ever. Layers of rosewater and milk and honey are set together with agar-agar concealing real rose petals. Striking and delicious you say? Agar-Agar is a flavourless product derived from seaweed and is usually used in Japanese kanten. It sets much firmer than your average vegetarian gelling agent (such as vegetarian gelatine), and thus has a denser texture. Spring is the perfect season to experiment with floral cuisine, so keep your eyes peeled for any edible flowers you can cook up a storm with (obviously not a real …