Tag: lemon

January Recipe Swap: Crepes with Lemon Curd Whipped Cream

I actually forgot about this month’s swap. I do not know why, but I was under the impression that Christianna had said we will take a break for the month of January.

I guess it was the lazy-holiday bone in me that probably convinced my brain that we were on a break.

So when Christianna sent us a reminder last week, I was in panic.

I had nothing. As always.

And this time’s recipe swap asked us to do something I am really not comfortable with.

Use raw egg yolks!

Yech!

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Celebrating 100 posts with Avocado & Lemon cupcakes!

Hurrah!

Why, you ask?

Well, just because!

I haven’t used this word in ages and felt like using it today. I feel that “Hurrah” has been replaced by the shorter “Yay” or “hooray” (at least in my dictionary) and I hardly hear people saying “Hurrah!” like how Hurrah should be said! I feel bad for the word! So, I thought I would use it today.

Hmmm..

Ok, I am not that random!

Really! I am not.

Well, ok, sometimes I am. But not this time.

This time I actually have a reason to shout out Hurrah- because I am celebrating!

Celebrating what, you ask?

Well, I’m glad you asked!

(If you didn’t, I’ll just continue talking to myself and assume you are listening.)

I am celebrating three things!

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LEMON POUND CAKE

As far as I remember, Smitten Kitchen was the first blog site that I started following. I do not know how I stumbled on it, but once discovered it became my go-to site. That time I was not married, I had no blog of my own and I hardly cooked and on the rare ocassions that I did bake, it was Deb’s recipe more often than not that I would try. Even now, if I have to make something and I find a great recipe on one of the oh-so-many-beautiful blogs out there, I still check whether Deb has done a version of the recipe and if yes, how different is her technique from the one I am trying.

So when I decided to make this pound cake from her blog, I realised why I go back to her site so often. This cake is exactly how she decribes it- lighter and airier than most pound cakes. 

“Pound cake is generally fairly easy to make- by just mixing together a pound each of butter, sugar, flour and eggs. That’s how it gets its name. Rich, moist and buttery, pound cakes are the king among cakes.”

Though not the traditional way of making a pound cake, this recipe calls for separately folding in whipped egg whites, and sifting the flour three times, giving the cake a texture to die for; while the addition of lemon zest and cognac (anything with alcohol has my attention) gives it a flavor perfect for springtime treats!

The recipe is adapted from Jame Beard’s Beard on Food. The guy is a genius with all things edible. Everyone who had this cake could not stop raving about it. This one is definitely a keeper.

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LAVENDER & LEMON SOUFFLE

I have been so lazy the past few days- jet lag, catching up with my mom on family gossip, and just the sheer comfort of home where I don’t have to lift a finger for anything (seriously! there’s someone to cook, someone to clean the house, someone to do the laundry) – all of it has made me lazy to blog. The first few days back home, I did nothing- yes, jet lag was a primary reason- with the odd sleeping and waking hours – I was busy orienting myself to the change in time zones.

Thanks to the jet lag, though, I have been regular with my exercise. Up at 3.30 am , I was ready to exercise at 5 as there was nothing else to do. Now, of course the jetlag has more or less worn off, but I still sleep pretty early and am up at an hour which has always been a little early for me, but a good time for me to hit the gym. Since the day I arrived, my mom has been pointing out how much weight I have gained, and this just won’t do. So, I have been working hard and hope to continue doing so. I also resisted buying Nutties, a chocolate I haven’t eaten for over a year and which has always been one of my favorites. I also passed the opportunity for picking a packet of Bingo (a very popular chips packet in India), something that was a staple during my B-school days. Determination! Well, I really do need to get in shape!

I did indulge in a soufflé though. Well, a little leeway is allowed. The thing is- I had to make the soufflé. I had tried making one day before (a spicy dark chocolate one) but it was an utter failure. Mind you, when I made it the first time, I only made enough for my mom and dad and none for me- again determination! And what would you know, that was a flop, and one of the reasons for its failure was that I overfilled the ramekins, trying to avoid filling a third one for me!

I could have written about the other reasons for failing at soufflé making, but decided against sheltering under excuses, because I believe a good baker should be able to turn any kitchen environment to his/her advantage. So the next attempt had to be made to prove that I can bake not only at my own house (where I have the luxury of a big oven, the perfect temperature, the right temperature and ingredients) but just about anywhere!

So, I set off to make another soufflé yesterday. All soufflés are made by folding stiffly whipped egg whites into a richly seasoned base, either sweet or savoury, then baking until risen and feather-light. In my last attempt I tried Curtis Stone’s recipe which only uses egg whites and no yolks/cream/milk/flour/butter. This time I decided to try a version which started with a base of roux and lavender-lemon flavored cream folded into the egg whites.

Preparing the dish, some claim, enhances the chances of having a perfectly risen soufflé. Since rising wasn’t a problem in my first attempt, I decided to use Curtis Stone’s way of buttering and sugaring (is that a word?!) the ramekins. He adds melted butter to the bottom of the ramekins and with a brush and upward strokes, butters the sides of the ramekins. Then, he lets the buttered ramekins sit to cool in the refrigerator for 2-3 minutes. Once the butter hardens, he again brushes the sides with melted butter and sprinkles granulated sugar on the bottom and sides of the ramekins. (You can check the video here)

When I told one of my friends of my plans to make a Lavender soufflé, she called me lavender obsessed. As much as I don’t like to admit, but lately I have been on a lavender fetish. I just love the flavor lavender adds to any dish. And, well, lavender with lemon- that is what delish stuff is made of!

Attempt two at soufflés turned out not so bad. I did have one with a cracked top, but the other three rose just fine and behaved themselves for me to take a few pictures with their puffed tops (although, they did sink a bit by the time I got them ready for the shot).

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