Mango Custard with Grapes

The summer brings forth the mango season and though I missed a good part of the season due to the lock down, I still managed to make a few dishes using this golden fruit. There’s nothing quite like the perfume of mangoes wafting through the kitchen. It’s just lovely!

I had this idea to make mango custard. It turned out to be a great success. Everybody loved it. I have used grapes, but you can use any fruit of your choice. It’s a light and refreshing end to a summer meal.

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You can serve this silky, smooth custard warm or chilled. Either way, it’s a refreshing and unusual dessert. Sponge fingers would be ideal to serve with this custard.

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 20 minutes

Ingredients

3 egg yolks

1 tsp cornflour

4 tbsp sugar

2 cups milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

A pinch of saffron

1 large mango, cubed

A few grapes, deseeded

Instructions

Mix the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour to a paste in a pan. Add the milk and saffron and cook over moderate heat, stirring continuously until the mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and let the custard cool. Add the vanilla extract.

Blend a cup of the custard with the mangoes until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Add the blended mixture back to the custard and mix well.

Place the grapes in the bottom of four individual glasses and spoon the custard over them. Serve warm or chilled with sponge fingers.

No-Bake Chocolate-Lemon Mini-Tarts

My first reaction to a chocolate flavoured with lime was disbelief. That was quite a while ago and since then I have come to love this combination. So, when I had some lemon filling left over from my cake (please refer my earlier post Lemon Cheese Cake), I decided to make these tarts.

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The original recipe for the chocolate shells are from Hershey’s. I just used lemon filling instead of their cream cheese filling. It tasted amazing! I just loved the sharpness of the lemon against the rich chocolatey tarts.

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You need to make only half the filling for the tarts. I already had some left over after using it as a filling for the cakes.

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If you decide to make these, please let me know. They’re really simple – just mix all the ingredients for the tart shells and refrigerate. This recipe makes around 20 tarts.

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PREP: 30 minutes

Ingredients

8 egg yolks, beaten

1 cup lemon juice

5 tbsp flour

21/2 cups sugar

115 gms butter (¼ lb)

½ cup hot water

Tart Shells

2 cups icing sugar

1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs

1 cup ground almonds

½ cup Hershey’s cocoa

¼ cup milk

Combine icing sugar, wafer crumbs, ground almonds and cocoa in a bowl. Sprinkle in milk, a little at a time, mixing until the ingredients are moistened and cling together. Shape into walnut sized pieces. Place in 20 paper-lined 11/4 inch muffin cups. Press the dough against the bottom and sides of each cup. Chill.

To make the filling, beat all the ingredients together with ½ cup hot water together. Cook in a double boiler, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and is of spreading consistency. Cool and fill the tart shells with the filling. Sprinkle some desiccated coconut on the top.

Lemon Cheese Cake

I have no idea why this cake is called Lemon Cheese Cake. It has nothing to do with Cheesecake. I guess it’s because the filling is like lemon cheese. The filling is really gorgeous – intensely lemony! I loved it.

I used 8 inch cake pans because I wanted the height, but you could also use 9 inch cake pans. It keeps very well in the fridge for up to a week but it didn’t last that long at my home. If you love lemons, then you will probably like to try this out. I am definitely going to make it again. It’s easy and delicious. Perfect for a summer afternoon.

This recipe is from American Cooking.

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 1 hour

Ingredients

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

31/3 cup flour, sifted

2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

8 egg whites

Filling

8 egg yolks, beaten

1 cup lemon juice

5 tbsp flour

21/2 cups sugar

115 gms butter (¼ lb)

½ cup hot water

Instructions

Preheat oven to 165 C. Grease and flour three 8 inch cake pans.

Beat the egg whites until they are stiff and stand in peaks.

Cream butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add a third of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternating with a third of the milk. Beat well. Repeat this process twice until all the flour and milk has been incorporated, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites. Spoon the batter into the tins and level the surface gently. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until the cake tests done. Cool the layers thoroughly and remove from the pans.

To make the filling, beat all the ingredients together with ½ cup hot water together. Cook in a double boiler, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and is of spreading consistency. Cool and spread between the layers of the cake. Dust with caster sugar on the top.

Apricot Passion Fruit Slice

A refreshing change, this unusual combination of dried apricots with Passion fruit makes it an extra special dish to serve for a festive breakfast. A sweet treat for your guests for the New year or for any occasion really! You could also serve this as a dessert – either way it’s delicious.

As you bite into it, the sweetness of the apricots mixed with the tangy flavour of the passion fruit is lovely.

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 40 minutes

Ingredients

140 g rolled oats

125 g brown sugar

125 g wholemeal self-raising flour

185 g butter, melted

2 tsp grated lemon rind

Filling

155 g dried apricots, chopped

125 ml (4 fl oz) water

60 ml (2 fl oz) passion fruit pulp

2 tbsp sugar

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Grease a shallow 7X11 inches cake tin.

Place the oats, sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Stir in the butter and lemon rind and mix together. Press half the mixture on the base of the tin.

To make the filling, combine all the ingredients in a small pan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the apricots are soft and all the liquid is absorbed. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Spread evenly over the oat mixture.

Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the filling and bake for 40 minutes or until browned and crisp. Cut into slices and serve warm with a dollop of cream or yogurt.

Gateaux De Riz Au Figues

Rice pudding exists in several countries in varied forms – please see the link below for a brief history on rice pudding.

http://writinginthekitchen.com/2017/10/08/a-brief-history-of-rice-pudding/

India itself has several forms of rice pudding, with each region having their own take on it. In South India, a form of rice pudding called ‘Pongal’ is made for the Harvest Festival which occurs in January each year. This is flavoured with jaggery and has nuts and raisins in it and is scented with ghee and cardamom. Another form of sugar, called rock candy or rock sugar can also be used to flavour rice. The flavour is really distinctive. An Indian rice pudding, called ‘kheer’ or ‘payasam’ is also very popular. It can be made with milk or coconut milk.

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I got this recipe from http://www.tarteletteblog.com/2011/08/recipe-gluten-free-fig-gateau-de-riz.html .

However, I used basmati rice. I think that it really makes a difference – the aroma of basmati rice is unique and so is the flavour. It elevates the dish and I used jaggery instead of brown sugar and added ghee and cardamom powder. I also served it with chocolate sauce. The figs looked superb and the dish tasted wonderful. This is so easy to make and it can be made in advance and heated up whenever you want to serve it. It’s also gluten free.

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 50 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup basmati rice

1 cup water

13/4 cups coconut milk

½ tsp salt

2/3 cup jaggery

6 large eggs

1/3 cup ghee/butter

1 tsp cardamom powder/vanilla essence

20 small figs, sliced thinly

Chocolate sauce/Sweetened cream

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line a 13×9 inch pan with parchment paper.

Soak the basmati rice in 1 cup of water and 1 cup of coconut milk for 15 minutes with the salt. Cook in a rice cooker until the rice is cooked. Do not overcook. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Combine the jaggery, eggs, ¾ cup coconut milk, ghee and cardamom powder. Add this mixture to the rice and mix until well combined. Spoon into the prepared baking dish and arrange the figs on top. Bake for 30-40 minutes until it is lightly browned on top. Serve hot with chocolate sauce or a dollop of sweetened cream.

Flapjack Brownies

Chocolate is always a crowd pleaser and brownies showcase it so beautifully. Whether you’re baking for a bake sale or for dessert, this recipe is a winner.

A gooey flapjack base, a fudgy chocolate brownie above it and the whole thing is blanketed with this delicious chocolate icing on top – this brownie is just so decadent. A bite of this deliciously moist and dense dessert is heavenly and you will understand why this recipe is a winner!

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I used milk chocolate for this recipe but you could also use dark chocolate.

It’s so easy to prepare and you will want to make this again and again. Just forget about counting calories for now – go ahead and indulge your sweet tooth.

This recipe makes around 16 brownies.

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 35 minutes

Ingredients

For the base

½ cup flour

¼ tsp soda

¼ tsp salt

1 cup oats

½ cup brown sugar

6 tbsp butter

For the second layer

4 tbsp butter

30 gms milk chocolate

2/3 cup flour

¾ cup sugar

¼ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 egg, beaten

¼ cup milk

½ tsp vanilla

½ cup chopped walnuts

For the topping

2 tbsp butter

30 gms milk chocolate

1 1/2 cups caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

Prepare a 10 inch baking square baking pan by lining it with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

For the base, sift the ½ cup flour, soda and salt together. Add the oats and brown sugar and mix well. Melt the 6 tablespoons butter and stir it into the oat mixture. Press the mixture into the baking pan and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.

For the next layer, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter and chocolate together over a very gentle heat or in a bain marie. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour the batter on the oat layer and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool.

Melt the butter for the topping together with the chocolate and add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until it is of spreading consistency, adding a small amount of warm water, a tablespoon at a time (I added about 4 tablespoons). Frost the brownies with this mixture, spreading the topping to the corners of the pan evenly. When the frosting is set, cut into squares.