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Easy Desserts

Panna Cotta with Mixed Berry Compote a.k.a Simple Simon

Panna Cotta with Mixed Berry Compote a.k.a Simple Simon

Anjali Venugopal June 13, 2016 NO COMMENTS

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The boy and I have always been the biggest fans of all things milk. The gallons of milk and yoghurt I have quaffed in the 26 years of my existence is no joke. Mommy dearest still maintains that all that lactose and calcium are the primary reasons for my stature and that genes had little to do with it.

So here you go. Six simple ingredients will now drive you to the easiest dessert I have conjured so far. The consistency is apparently not too easy to nail and I will now give myself a pat on the back for nailing it on my first attempt. 😀 This is quite an opportunity to make yourself look like an Italian dessert chef extraordinaire but trust me, even a paralyzed turtle can pull this off. Hmm turtle, may be not.. but you know what I mean.

Things you will need: 

  1. Heavy cream (I used Amul. I do not have a cow in the backyard. If you do, please feel free to ask her.)- 1 litre
  2. Sugar- ¾ cup
  3. Gelatin- 4 ½ teaspoons
  4. Water- ¼ cup
  5. Vanilla extract- 1 teaspoon
  6. Mixed berries- 1 cup

How to go about it:

Step 1: The first step towards a fancy dessert is to transfer the cream to a saucepan along with the sugar and Vanilla extract. (“Cream and Sugar Mixture”)

Step 2: Bring the cream and sugar mixture to a boil while stirring continuously to ensure that the sugar is fully dissolved. Rather important to ensure that the sugar doesn’t caramelize. Keep the Cream and Sugar Mixture aside to cool.

Step 3: The next step would be to dissolve the gelatin in water. Mix the gelatin in the water in a small vessel. For that, boil some water in a saucepan. While the water is simmering, place the smaller vessel into the saucepan. This is to ensure that the gelatin is not directly heated. (I am told that mixing gelatin in boiling water is good enough, but I have always been a religious follower of indirectly heating gelatin for no real reason. :-/ If you do give the other method a shot, please do let me know.) Keep at the stirring to ensure the gelatin and water form a thin solution with the lumpiness kept at bay. (“Gelatin Solution”)

Step 4: Add the Gelatin Solution to the Cream and Sugar Mixture. Mix thoroughly. Let the mixture cool down to room temperature. DO NOT let it sit there and set. (“Panna Cotta Mixture”)

Step 5: Transfer the Panna Cotta Mixture to pretty little bowls and shove them into the freezer. You may want to grease them bowls with a butter cube. (I was such in a hurry to put my face in the Panna Cotta that I omitted this step. This will help the panna cotta ease out of the mould and look nice and pretty on fancy plate.) In the freezer, the Panna Cotta will set in approximately 40 minutes. As soon as it sets, transfer it to the lower part of your refrigerator. Leaving it in the freezer for longer than it takes to set is not advisable for obvious reasons.

Step 6: Mix Berry Compote: Okay, this just sounds uber fancy. This is achieved by boiling the berries in three to four tablespoons of water with a teaspoon of sugar and maybe half a lemon’s juice. You have the option of adding a tiny piece of ginger and/or a quarter teaspoon of finely ground cinnamon. On boiling, the berries will be mashed and this my friend, is the Mixed Berry Compote.

Step 7: Once the Panna Cotta is eased out of the mould on to a pretty plate, spread the Compote and dig in.

I am positive that not one of you expected Panna Cotta to be this easy. Next time, I’m gonna improvise on this recipe and maybe make it fancier and yummier with a few new hacks that just popped up in my head, but for which you’ll have to be patient. Try this simple Simon out and thank me later. 😀

My easy-peasy pancakes

My easy-peasy pancakes

Anjali Venugopal May 4, 2016 2 COMMENTS

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It is almost like the sun is trying to prove a point outside, which makes it next to impossible to even try and venture out. So here I am huddled up indoors jotting down the recipé for my pancakes as promised. Trust me, this unassuming pal is supremely easy going and quite a rockstar when it comes to your tastebuds.

Things you will need: 

  1. All purpose flour/ Maida- 1 ½ cups
  2. Sugar- ¾ cups (use the same cup as above. The sugar can be powdered or not. I leave that to you.)
  3. Eggs- 2
  4. Baking powder (Not soda. Those two are two very different things. Moving forward on the assumption that you are not here for a Chemistry lesson)- 2 teaspoons
  5. Salted butter- 50 grams (melted)
  6. Milk- 1 cup (the same cup. Duh!)
  7. Salt- 1 teaspoon
  8. Vanilla- ½ teaspoon
  9. Honey
  10. An electric beater if you have one. Otherwise a mixing spoon with your arm should be good enough.

How to go about it:

  1. Blend the flour and the baking powder using a sieve. This is to ensure the baking powder is spread out evenly. (“Dry Mixture”)
  2. Next, in a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar, melted butter and vanilla. (“Wet Mixture”). You don’t need to beat it too much. Beating the mixture till it achieves an even consistency and till it reaches a light yellow colour should be good.
  3. Now add the Dry Mixture to the Wet Mixture and and blend it well using the milk. Keep blending till you are sure that there are no lumps.
  4. Place a non-stick pan on your stove. Make sure you don’t over heat the pan. Medium heat is ideal.
  5. Grease the pan with a butter cube.
  6. Scoop up some of our batter (approximately ¼ cup for each pancake) and pour it on to the pan. You do not need to spread it because the idea is not to make a dosa.
  7. Once you start seeing bubbles on the top of the pancake and the edges reach a golden brown colour, flip it over with a spatula.
  8. As both the sides turn evenly golden brown, transfer it to a serving plate. Serve with a generous helping of honey and a dollop of salted butter on top.
  9. Dig in! 🙂

PS: Pardon the legal drafting tendencies that may have crept in (in re the definitions :P).