Bhapa Pineapple Sandesh

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I love Pineapples! Add it to any dish, and I will polish it off within minutes. So of course, coming from the land of sweets, I had to experiment with this delicious fruit to make a lip smacking mithai. I combined pineapple with cottage cheese and steamed it to make this wonderful sweet dish. This Sandesh (a famous Kolkata sweet with a twist) is the easiest and the yummiest sweet I have made in a while. I served it to guests on our housewarming and it became such a hit that a friend requested I make a batch for her daughter’s birthday! Her guests loved it too! With pineapples being available in abundance these days, you can serve this Sandesh at the next party you host. Trust me, you will have everyone go gaga when they bite into these melt-in-the-mouth delights stuffed with chopped pineapples! Here’s how you can make it:

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup pineapple (canned or fresh) (chopped)
4-5 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon pineapple essence
2-3 drops edible yellow color

RECIPE:

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat milk and bring to a boil. Add lemon juice and allow milk to curdle.

Strain the cheese and wash well with water to remove the lemony flavor.

Tie in a muslin cloth and squeeze out all the excess whey.

On a flat surface, knead the cheese well with the heel of your palm, gathering the cheese from the sides together, till it becomes smooth and greasy.

Add pineapple essence, yellow color and sugar. Knead again to mix the ingredients well.

Make small balls out of the dough. Flatten each ball on your palms and stuff it with half a teaspoon of chopped pineapple. Seal the edges and shape into a ball again. Flatten the ball gently.

Repeat with the remaining balls.

Top the flattened cottage cheese balls with chopped pineapples and press down gently.

Steam in a steamer for 5 minutes. Once steamed, remove from steamer on to a plate and refrigerate.

Serve these Bhapa Pineapple Sandesh chilled.

Eat, drink and be merry! 🙂

NOTE: You can use skimmed milk and sugar substitute if you are a calorie conscious foodie!

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Brownie ‘n’ Ice Cream

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I have been feeling rather blue lately. Lazy too. And I don’t blame it entirely on the weather. The last month has kept me terribly overworked with little time to relax, forget about indulging in my passions and interests. Obviously, I have been cooking less too! And when I do, it is all about rustling up some quick fix comfort food. Foods that would make me feel good. Now among the foods that cheer me up instantly, the top two places are certainly reserved for chocolates and ice creams. And when I want some extra cheer, I combine the two. Like I did in this super yum Chocolate-Walnut Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream! A warm, gooey chocolate brownie with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream on the side and topped with hot chocolate sauce and loads of chopped nuts… Ah! Who wouldn’t get all happy and cheerful with that thing?! My mood is brightened for now, now I must brighten up yours! Go ahead, make this for dessert tonight. Here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

4 pieces chocolate-walnut brownie
4 scoops Vanilla ice cream (or Vanilla flavored whipped cream)
8 tablespoons chocolate sauce
4 tablespoons chopped walnuts/hazelnuts

RECIPE:

Warm the brownie pieces in a microwave for a minute. Transfer to a serving dish and put a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream or whipped cream on the side. Top with hot chocolate sauce and chopped nuts. Gobble up before the ice cream melts! 😉

Eat, drink and be merry! 🙂

NOTE: To make Hot Chocolate Sauce at home, take a bar of semisweet dark chocolate (250 grams), butter (50 grams) and 2 tablespoons sugar in a bowl and melt over a double boiler. When the chocolate starts melting, add half cup cream and 2 tablespoons of milk and stir well. Warm the sauce well over the double boiler or microwave for 30 seconds before using.

Tutti Frutti Cake (Eggless)

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I have been taking too many breaks from my blog these days! Sometimes, it is some work that keeps me occupied, sometimes I go on a long vacation, and sometimes, well, I am just plain lazy. And I know that’s not good! I have received mails and messages from friends and my readers asking if I am okay. Well yes, I am doing great and intend to make up for my absence by sharing with you some sweetness (read Orange Flavored Eggless Tutti Frutti Cake). After all, hellos after goodbyes should always be sweet! 🙂 Here’s the recipe of my sweet hello:

INGREDIENTS:

100 grams all purpose flour
75 grams powdered sugar
75 grams butter
75 ml condensed milk
1/4 cup tutti frutti
1 teaspoon orange essence
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
50 ml aerated orange drink (optional)
1 tablespoon cooking oil (for greasing)

RECIPE:

In a bowl, beat together butter and powdered sugar till light and fluffy. Add condensed milk and orange essence and beat till incorporated.

Sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda and add gradually to the butter mixture. Fold gently. Add aerated orange drink if the cake batter appears too thick. Now mix in the tutti frutti.

Grease a cake tin with cooking oil and dust with flour. Pour the prepared batter into the cake tin and bake in a pre-heated oven on 175 degrees for 25-30 mins. Insert a skewer in the centre of the cake to check if it is done. If the skewer comes out clean, your cake is ready. Remove the cake on a wire rack and allow it to cool. When cool, cut into slices and relish! Can be stored up to 3-4 days.

Eat, drink and be merry! 🙂