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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mock Choc Orange Burfi

Hari Haribol folks!! :-)

Just got done making a bunch of sweets and having fun experimenting in our local temple kitchen. :-)

Today I made a quick burfi which came out really yummy, just have to share it with you. Palaka Prabhu told me that this burfi tastes like tootsie rolls...I have never eaten them so I have no idea, but he liked them alot.:-)

Burfi is a very traditional Indian sweet made by cooking down milk til it becomes solid, and then adding sugar and flavor at the end. Its a delectable dessert but is also time consuming to make. So short-cut burfi is a good alternative when you are pressed for time and or patience! :-)

This burfi recipe of mine is lovely and chewy, yet still soft enough not to pull out your tooth fillings! The orange flavor melds so well with the carob, its quite delicious and though not chocolate, I'm happy to call it mock choc because it comes close enough! I'd love to put toasted hazelnuts into this sometime. :-)

Makes 60+ squares. Total cooking time is approx 20 mins.

5 sticks butter
Approx 51/2 - 6 cups brown sugar to taste
7 cups skim milk powder
1-2 cups pure carob powder to taste
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp pure orange essence
1/2 cup fresh zest from 2 large oranges and 1 lemon
1-2 cups dried cranberries or cherries
1-2 cups chopped walnuts/hazelnuts (optional - I didnt add them this time, but its a good combination flavor-wise)

Melt butter in a heavy bottomed, wide pot, on medium low heat.

Add in sugar and bring to a boil. (I like to boil it for a few mins to give a caramel flavor).

Add in milk, orange essence and orange and lemon zest. Mix, then whisk in the carob powder and cranberries.

After a few minutes whisk in the milk powder. The pot should be on a low flame at this point to avoid burning. You can turn the heat back up when everything is evenly mixed. Cook down and keep scraping the bottom of the pot with a wide spatula. It should be done after about 10 mins.

Pour onto a buttered tray. Smooth out with a stick of butter and a flat spatula or large knife (non serrated).

Mark the lines you want to cut it at. When a little firm cut into squares. Place in fridge for an hour to firm up. Then recut the llines you made earlier and mark any designs you want on the surface.

Offer with love and honor with joy!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lemon Glazed Valentines Day Donuts

It is such a beautiful day! The sky is blue, the sun is shining, the air is fragrant and the birds are singing and this pleasing atmosphere is giving fresh life to everything and everyone.

It is Vasant Panchami today - the first day of Spring - according to the Vedic calender. So on this day in our local ISKCON Krishna temple, Radha Krishna are dressed in yellow garments to celebrate the beginning of the spring season. :-)

It also happens to be valentines day! On an occasion such as this I wanted to make something special for Krishna. Oh Lord, wilt thou be my valentine?! ;-)

These lemon glazed donuts were my little offering to the Lord for His afternoon snack. I converted the basic batter recipe from a non-vegetarian version I found the on the back of the donut tray, and embellished upon it to make my own version of baked donuts. The creme is my own creation entirely with the inspiration of the Lord in my heart. I hope you enjoy making them. Makes 18 medium sized baked donuts.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup wholewheat flour
1 scant cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (optional - you can also use cinnamon or another sweet spice instead)
1 TBSP fresh lemon rind
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 - 1 cup plain yogurt
2 TBSP double cream
2 TBSP oil ( I use safflower usually)
Water as needed to make a medium thick batter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix all the dry ingredients. Add in the wet ones using a hand whisk to mix everything evenly.
Oil the donut tray cavities and spoon in the batter til 3/4 full.

Optional extra: Fill bottom of donut cavity 1/4 full with an oat crumble and fill the rest with the donut batter.

Bake briefly - 10 mins is enough - or til the donut springs back when you gently press it with you finger.
Allow to cool for a few minutes and then they should come out of the tray fairly easily - if not just upturn the tray and give it a little knock! :-)

Lemon glaze:
Juice of 2 big lemons and 1/2 a juicy orange
3 1/2 cups powder sugar
a pinch of yellow food coloring

Mix evenly til smooth. Dip the donut into the glaze and set on a tray. Re-coat with more glaze when dry.

Carob/Chocolate walnut butter creme filling:

3/4 cup double cream
Approx 1 1/2 cups carob/cocoa powder
Approx 2 1/2 cups powder sugar
1/4 tsp pure orange essence (or vanilla essence)
1 cup toasted walnuts, crushed small - keep 3 TBSP aside for garnishing
A handful of small strawberries, washed, trimmed. Cut a small V into the top so when sliced they look like hearts.

Blend the cream til it becomes butter. Drain off the liquid and add the other ingredients. Blend til evenly mixed. It should be thick. If not add a little more powder sugar and or carob powder.

Spoon the creme into the donut centers and sprinkle with some crushed walnut pieces. Stick a little strawberry heart into the creme, and voila, lemon glazed donuts are ready. :-)

Offer with love and honor with joy! Haribol! :-)

Sunset this evening..Isnt it glorious? Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita; "Know that all beautiful, glorious, and mighty creations spring from but a spark of My splendor," and this beautiful sunset is a reminder of the Lord who is the source of all creativity.

When we offer our talent and creativity in His service with love - that is the perfection of our life. Thank you to everyone who has enabled me to follow this path up to now. I am grateful for the opportunity I have been given to aspire to re-awaken that dormant loving connection - which we all have with the Lord - within my own heart. May we all find our original lover, our original perfect valentine within our own hearts. :-)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Savory Heartcakes

So this recipe is here by special request of my friend Devaki. I made it as part of a supper offering this week. Again, please remember the measurements are approximate since I used my hands to measure and made it up as I went along - according to the ingredients I had at hand.

These pancakes, or heartcakes - so called because I made them in heart shapes - are very versatile and can be made with all manner of veggies and spices. Sometimes I use pureed tomato's in place of water, chopped olives are great too.

Makes 12 medium small pancakes.

1 1/2 - 2 cups sprouted wheat pancake and waffle mix (Arrowhead mills)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery heart
1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped fine
2-3 small fresh green chilies chopped fine (optional)
a pinch of sea salt and blk salt (- you know, the pink salt that smells like sulpher)

A dash of the following spices, according to your taste:
turmeric powder
blk pepper
coriander powder

Oil or butter to pan fry.
Enough water to make a thick batter.

Mix all ingredients evenly. Heat a griddle on medium low heat, grease it and place small scoops of the batter on to cook. Turn with a pan knife after 3 minutes or so (should be nicely browned on the turned side). Add a knob of butter to the cooked side.

I made some of these in heart shapes by pouring a scoop of the batter into a heart shaped cookie cutter placed directly on the griddle. Gently remove the cookie cutter when its time to turn the pancake over. Its a little more time consuming and you have to clean the cookie cutter between pancakes. But it looks pretty and is worth it if you have the time to spare! :-)

Offer with love and honor with joy! :-) Great served hot with a little yoghurt.

Chocolate Cake Donuts

Hi folks!

Its been a loooong time, my life got too busy to blog, but finally some new recipes are going up. :-)

My new kitchen toy has been donut trays which I chanced upon in Michaels, and so, as you can probably guess, one of my latest experiment crazes has been making baked donuts. Its been a lot of fun playing around with recipes and ideas.

Today I made chocolate donuts with a strawberry rose icing. They came out lovely, moist and chocolaty ..mmmmm!! This recipe is still an evolving one, but I like it enough to share it with you! :-)

BTW, I really like using rosewater in my sweets, but if you aren't a fan, just leave it out.

Amounts of ingredients are all approximate since I eyeballed everything. Makes 15 donuts or so..

2 cups organic sprouted pancake and waffle mix (Arrowhead Mills)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 heaped cups of unsweetened organic cocoa powder ( I used Rapunzel)
1 tsp aluminum free baking powder

Mix the above evenly.

1/2 cup safflower oil
1 1/2 TBSP double cream
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/ 2 TBSP pure vanilla extract
Water - enough to make a thick batter.

Add the above to the dry ingredients. Mix well and spoon into an oiled donut pan. I fill the cavities approx 3/4 full otherwise they turn into little cakes instead of donuts.

Bake in a preheated oven at 415 degrees Fahrenheit for approx 10-12 mins - its done when the surface of the donut springs back up when gently pressed with a fingertip. If you bake them longer it they will become rather hard - I gave a batch of burnt ones to the squirrels - squirrelnuts, haha!

Remove from pan after it has cooled off for a few minutes. The donuts should just fall out easily when you give the up-ended pan a tap on the counter.

Dip in icing and arrange on a plate. I double dipped mine after the first coat had soaked in abit. And then, since I had extra icing I drizzled more on there you can see them drenched in 3 coats of strawberry icing. :-) You can also garnish them with sprinkles, toasted nuts, strawberry pieces or whatever you like.

Offer with love and honor with joy! :-)

1 1/2 cup organic big juicy strawberries, washed and beheaded
1 1/2 cups powder sugar
1 TBSP pure rosewater
1 tsp pure vanilla essence

Blend everything til smooth.

Lunch today! :-)