Saturday, 29 January 2022

Zucchini and Nut Loaf Cake

  Zucchini and Loaf cake 

Every recipe tells a story, this cake always amazes people and tends to become a conversation piece! The zucchini keeps it moist and its light soft fluffy and not very sweet. A perfect tea cake. If you must ice it, a cream cheese frosting makes the perfect match. My family eats it with a slice of cheddar. The one in the picture is a sage cheddar which pairs well. 





  • Bakes 1- 8 inch /20cm loaf pan

  • butter and flour the pan

  • Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C


  • 2 eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 cup light brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 1/3 cup yogurt

  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1 ½ cups + 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • ½ tsp. baking soda

  • ½ tsp. sea salt

  • 2 tsp. cinnamon powder

  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts

  • 1 ½ cups green zucchini, grated with skin



Whisk the eggs until light. Add the sugar and continue beating - drizzle the oil in a gentle stream. Add the yogurt, vanilla extract.
Lower the speed to stir and add a third of the dry ingredients - flour, baking soda and powder, salt and cinnamon mixed in with the walnuts.
Add all the zucchini and add the rest of the dry ingredients ensuring everything is combined but not over beaten. Pour into a prepared cake pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the tester comes out clean.

Tips

Check the cake at 35 minutes. If the centre is still not baked through, cover it lightly with a piece of foil to avoid getting darker. Reduce the heat to 350F/175C and bake another ten minutes.
Test the deepest part with a skewer to make sure its clean.

Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.





































Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Chocolate and Strawberry Tart

Strawberry and Chocolate Tart

My mum prepared this delicious delight to perfection. Lovingly placing each strawberry  to bring the flower to life. I shall cherish the memory of her gentle hands  working with passion as she created something she loved. 


 



Prepare a 9 inch tart pan
Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 165 C

Dry ingredients
1 cup flour - plain or almond
1 cup ground almond
3/4th cup sugar
pinch salt
1/3rd cup salted butter
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract

Using your finger tips or two butter knives, mix together all the dry ingredients - cut in pieces of butter until it resembles crumbs.

Mix the yolks and vanilla and pour it into the crumbs. Lightly bring it all together. It will resemble a dough. Do not overwork.

Alternately use a food processor, working with only the pulse button.  

Flatten the pastry onto the base of your prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes until a light shade of golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool.

Chocolate Ganache

4 oz /125 gm dark chocolate
1/2 tbsp butter
4 oz /125 ml  - 1/2 cup whipping cream 35 %
1/2 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cognac

24 strawberries, washed hulled and cut as desired to decorate.

In a pot, preferably a double boiler, melt the chocolate with the butter. Add the cream sugar and salt. When all of it comes together add the vanilla and cognac. 
Cool until it is the right consistency to pour over the pastry but not too thick to apply.
The chocolate must be set yet soft enough to place the strawberries into it if desired.


Serve immediately or chilled

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

Monday, 13 December 2021

Cheese Souffle

                                                   Cheese Souffle





Prepare the bowl and refrigerate it until ready to use.
A 1.6 litre soufflĂ© bowl, well buttered and sprinkled with bread crumbs or finely grated cheese like a parmesan. Or 12 smaller ramekins. 

In a pan melt
2 oz/ 57gm  unsalted butter
Add 
2 tbsp flour
½ tsp dry mustard powder

Stir to prepare a roux, cooking it for up to a minute and then pouring in 11 oz/ 325 ml warm milk -  stirring it constantly to keep smooth. 
Bring it to a boil and allow to bubble for 3 minutes, but continue to stir it all the time.

Remove from heat and add  ( while still warm),
5 egg yolks
2 spring onions green parts, very finely chopped.
Optionally other chopped herbs like chives or basil or tarragon.
5 oz/ 140 gm cheese- swiss gruyere, comte` or any strong cheddar
Season with ½ tsp salt, a pinch of sugar, freshly ground pepper or nutmeg and a  few drops of tabasco.

Preheat the oven to 400F 200C degrees

Once the mixture is ready
Whisk 5 egg whites (adding a pinch of salt) till soft peaks.
Fold in 1/3 of this into the hard roux breaking it up to soften.
Continue to gently fold in the rest keeping it nice and puffy and light.
Drop it into the soufflé bowl, run your thumb around the edges and sprinkle with some of the grated cheese.
Reduce heat to 375F 180C degrees after 7 minutes and bake further for 30 minutes. The top should be a nice golden brown.

Eat immediately.

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

Chicken and Corn Bake

 Bake Chicken and Corn


Growing up in Karachi this dish was a favourite with the Parsi community. it was often served at dinner parties as cheese and corn were both luxury items. While spicy food was always part of any meal, it was not common for people to serve western cuisine. This recipe is a take on that era. 





Serves 6 to 8 

1 whole roasted flavourful chicken, shredded of the bone and cut into small pieces.  

3 oz /100 gm salted butter
3 oz/ 100 gm flour
1 /2 tsp salt or to taste
2 tbsp mustard
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese like gruyere, strong cheddar
A cupful of corn kernels 

Optionally add
12  chopped pickled peppadew peppers
A dash of tabasco 
Freshly cracked black pepper

 

In a large stock pot melt butter, add the flour, salt and (mustard if its powder) to make a roux. Let it 
bubble and cook for 3 minutes, stir it not to stick. Add chicken stock and mix well until it is all smooth.
 Add in the milk, bring it to a boil for a minute or two. Now add all the flavours of your choice. 
The cheese should melt through. Add the corn, bring this to a boil if the corn was uncooked. 
Add the chicken, mix well. Adjust salt and cheese. 

Pour into a flat baking dish about 13 x 9 inches. Sprinkle with grated cheese mixed with bread crumbs.
Bake on a preheated oven of 350F/170C degrees for 25 minutes until the top is golden brown.

You may need less time to bake if everything you pour into the dish is already hot just off the stove!
Chicken breast when shredded can be very stringy, its best to remove the whole piece off the bone and chop against the grain.

Tips
For a Vegetarian option

For a dish of about an 8 inch deep round dish you would use

3 oz butter 
3 oz flour
2 cups whole milk
6 ozs sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp mustard 
freshly cracked black pepper
340 gm cooked corn kernels
Add salt to taste

3 eggs, very well beaten

Melt the butter and add the flour, mix until it bubbles and boils. Pour in the milk little at a time keeping it smooth with the help of a whisk. Once the mixture has boiled for a minute or two turn the stove off. Add in the cheese and ensure it has melted before adding the mustard, pepper and finally the corn.
The mixture should be thick but not stiff and easy to turn, (Add a little milk if you need to.)
Add the eggs a little at a time, folding it all in until well mixed.
Pour it into your bowl. 
Bake to set in an oven 160C 300F for 30 minutes.
Turn it off when there is a jiggle in the middle.



My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.


Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Walnut Mocha Torte




Walnut Mocha Torte

Not everything has to look picture perfect or flawless. In fact in my opinion, it enhances the feeling of warmth and comfort in enjoying a homemade cake. 
This cake is absolutely delicious. It has a soft light walnut textured cake and its rich and luscious frosting is the mocha flavoured chocolate that is so luxurious with its sweetness and a tinge of bitter from the coffee to combine it. A steaming cup of coffee only enhances the absolute treat it brings to us mochaholics!

This cake is from my mothers recipe collection of over 60 years. She was a brilliant baker. 







The creamy texture of this frosting and the walnuts crumbled over it, gives this cake its homemade look. It is my personal favourite. 


Serves 10

Cake

3 cups walnut halves
6 tbsp plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

6 egg yolks
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp coffee granules
1 tsp vanilla

6 egg whites
2 tbsp sugar

Prepare two pans approximately 24 cm/ 9 1/2 inch. Line with a parchment in each and butter it well.


In a food processor pulse together the walnut, flour, baking powder and salt. The mixture should be like "crumbs" and not fine.

With an electric beater beat the egg yolks, sugar, coffee granules and vanilla . Whip for 10 minutes until light and fluffy. 

In another bowl beat the egg whites until light and foamy, slowly adding the sugar half way through. The egg whites should not be dry and beaten only until soft peaks are formed.

Now fold in 1/3rd of the egg white. Alternate by adding 1/2 the walnut crumbs. Repeat with egg white, walnut and finishing it off with egg whites.

Divide the batter in two, pouring it into the prepared pans.

Bake in a preheated oven of 350F/ 175C for 22 minutes.
The cakes should start to leave the sides of the pan. Run a knife immediately. Allow it to cool completely.


Frosting



1 1/2 cups cream  - whipping or 35%
2 tbsp corn syrup
1 tbsp coffee granules

8 oz/227 gm dark chocolate - broken in pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract


Combine the cream, corn syrup and coffee in a saucepan. Stir over a gentle heat and mix until it is completely dissolved. 
Remove from the heat and add in the chocolate.  Cover and let the residual heat melt the chocolate. You may shuffle the pan but avoid using a spoon until its almost melted. It will take about 5 minutes. 
Stir it gently to help it smoothen out and lastly add the vanilla extract. 

Refrigerate and allow to chill for up to 2 hours. It should be creamy and thick but not hard nor set. 
With a whisk or a spoon or an electric mixer, beat it until light, The colour will change from dark to light and the texture will change from creamy to buttery. 

Use all of it to frost the cake above.

Tips

Lindt 55 % gives me the perfect sweetness. Use your favourite dark chocolate.




My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.



Monday, 8 November 2021

Roasted Chicken

Roasted Chicken

An easy recipe that will always be successful.

The key to it is the fresh whole chicken. Get a free range one, get it with the skin, get it organic if you like - increase the cooking time for the organic one. 

A Sunday roast prepared at the very last minute, improvised with "something in the fridge" - a wheel of soft cheese, Boursin. This cheese is made up with ingredients that flavour the meal -  garlic, herbs and cream, salt, pepper and soft cheese. What more can one wish for on a simple roast chicken? Subtle enough to serve it with sides, yet tasty enough to eat by itself.

I served this delicious chicken with a mushroom gravy, tartiflette, some roasted caulilini and a salad. It worked well, as I placed the chicken in the preheated oven, and then calculated the timing to place the potatoes and caulilini at the right times.






Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F

Serves 6

1.5 kg/3.3 lb free range chicken - whole with skin on

1 wheel of 150 gm/5.29 oz Boursin garlic and herbs soft French gournay cheese


Pat dry the whole chicken. Place the chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment. 

Gently loosen the skin all over as best as you can, being careful not to tear it apart. Starting with the breast side, generously apply the cheese under the skin , and place the remaining in the cavity of the chicken. Place the chicken breast side down.

Cook the chicken for 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, loosely cover this with some foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Serve.


Tips

The free range chicken should be cooked for approximately 20 minutes per lb. But it is important to note that organic chickens need more time to cook. 

To achieve the right balance, increase the ratio of cheese to match the larger bird. 

Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala



Sunday, 7 November 2021

Caulilini

Caulilini

Caulilini is the new vegetable that is both pretty and delicious. It is a tender variety of the cauliflower. It looks like broccolini but stems from the cauliflower. It cooks rather quickly and needs little dressing to serve it.

Caulilini is also known as sweet sprouting cauliflower.


                                                      Raw prepped Caulilini

                                                                   

                                                        Cooked Caulilini



Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F

 3/4 lb/ 350 gm Caulilini  or Sweet Sprouting Cauliflower


Mix together

2 tbsp olive oil
a generous pinch of allepo chilli saffron
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup orange juice 

Place the caulilini on a baking tray lined with parchment and pour the marinade over the vegetable. 
Cook in a preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Tips

If you do not have allepochillisaffron - simply mix a pinch of saffron and a generous pinch of chilli flakes.

Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Fish in a Thai Sauce

 Grilled Fish in a Thai Sauce


A favourite of the family, we often prepared this rather simple dish to serve as a side with Thai curry or noodles. Traditionally in Eastern culture whole fish is always used. It is the head, skin and bone that gives the fish its flavour and prevents it from drying. You could also use large filleted sides if you prefer.

While I prepared this in the oven, you may use your grill or even deep fry it whole, especially if you like the fish skin crisp. Either way its delicious. 

Sea bass, red snapper, ramus, sea bream, pomfret are some of the fish we generally used. Fresh fish is recommended. 

                                       

      Whole Sea bass with leeks, green onions, fresh ginger and kaffir lime leaves, oven grilled .

                                  

 

 Serves 4                                             

Wash and pat dry a 2lb whole fish of choice. Slit on both sides, rub with salt and sesame or peanut oil and keep aside for 10 minutes.

  

The Marinade; In a bowl mix together

8 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

6 tbsp  fish sauce

2-4 red Thai birds eye chillies - finely chopped

1 tsp tamarind paste

4 tsp palm sugar

1 tsp fresh ginger - crushed

 1 tsp fresh galangal - crushed

 

Rub half the marinade generously ( about half of the quantity ) on to the fish and cook in a preheated 350 F/180 C oven for 20-30 minutes till done. This can be done on a grill too. 

In a pan heat a teaspoon of sesame or peanut oil. Saute` on a high flame very quickly, the thinly sliced vegetables of choice - red and yellow peppers, leeks and green onions. Keeping it crisp. Pile onto serving plate. 

Boil down the remaining half of the marinade until it is a sticky sauce, pour over the fish and serve immediately.

 Alternatively - as in the picture above

Toss the rest into the prepared vegetables and top the fish with it. Cook this together with the fish. The skin of the fish will not be crisp using this method.

 

 Tips

Tamarind, galangal and lemon grass are all available in pre-packaged sachets and tubes. 

Adding a kaffir lime leaf and or lemon grass gives added flavour. 

Palm sugar can be alternated with brown sugar.

 

 

Friday, 22 October 2021

Chicken with a fondue top

Chicken with fondue sauce


Inspired by the series on cheese of the world I prepared this amazing chicken breast with a dripping cheese similar in consistency to a fondue - a Franco Suisse speciality. It was simple and elegant. 

While it may not be perfect for a warm summers day - it would work really well for days in cold winters. Served with a nice salad like Panzanella or a warm ratatouille and a glass of wine the meal could be embraced with warmth and a foodie fervor.





        Caramelised chicken breast on a cheese sauce and grilled with a topping of cheese to serve


Serves 6

6 chicken breasts with bone and skin on
2 oz salted butter
3 large cloves of garlic sliced in halves
6 rashers smoked bacon or any meat with little fat attached and not streaky
1 1/2 tbsp strong dijon mustard
1 cup sweet muscato wine
3/4th cup full cream

salt and pepper to season

200-250gm grated Comte` cheese

In a large skillet melt the butter and add the garlic. Add the smoked bacon and cook until soft. Remove and keep aside. 

Turn the flame on high, once it is hot and sizzling add the chicken skin side down.

Continue to cook on a high heat for 3 to 5 minutes until the skin is brown and crisped up. Sprinkle with salt. Turn over and continue to cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Lower the heat and remove the chicken on a board to rest for 5 minutes. 

Slit the breast through the middle just enough for it to open like a book. Sprinkle with pepper. Put the raw side down and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove to the board. Check how long more the chicken needs to be further cooked. Put each slice of the bacon in the center of the chicken. Close the chicken firmly and use toothpicks if necessary. Let it rest. 

Prepare the sauce while the chicken is resting. Add the wine to the  pan to deglaze. Add the mustard and cream, whisk until smooth. 

On a low heat, return the chicken to the pan. Cook until its just cooked through - tender and juicy. Generously place the Comte` cheese on each piece of chicken breast. Broil this until it melts under the broiler or by covering the lid of the pan on a very low simmer. 

Serve immediately.

Tips

Chicken breasts must be similar in size for an even cook.

If they are too thick the cooking time will increase. Do not over cook your chicken it will be dry and tasteless. 

Using a mix of green, pink, white and black peppercorns gives it a delightful taste.

The prepared Dijon mustard is best to use.

Adding the leftover rinds of the Comte` cheese gives an additional creamy texture and flavour to the sauce. 


Photography courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala

 

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.




Tartiflette

Tartiflette is typically a dish from Savoy in the French Alps and from the surrounding Aosta Valley. It is made with thickly sliced potatoes, reblochon cheese, small cubed lardons/lardoons and sliced white onions. A splash of white wine can be added to the dish.

The tv series I love Cheese inspired me to prepare baked potatoes this way.

It was one of the best baked potatoes I have ever eaten!




Green onions and chives added instead of garlic scrapes and onions.








Serves 6

Preheat the oven to 350F/180 c degree 


1.5lb/650gm baby potatoes, scrubbed and washed in warm water

2/3 lb / 300 gm lardons or pancetta cubes 

12 roughly chopped green onions

3 garlic scrapes if in season - or a clove of garlic

3/4 cup whole milk OR sweet white wine like muscato

2/3 lb /300 gm reblochon, chopped into cubes

salt pepper to taste

3 oz / 85 gm salted butter

Smashed potatoes

In a baking tray lined with parchment, roast the baby potatoes in oven for 45 minutes until they are tender. Remove and 'smash' adding little bits of butter all over. Very lightly salt these.

Tartiflette

In a pan saute` the bacon on a low so the bacon releases the fat and still remains soft. Add the green onions and the finely chopped garlic scrapes adding a dash of butter continue to saute` for a few minutes. 

Remove into a 13 x 9 baking dish. Rub this with a clove of garlic all over. 

Place half the reblochon cheese all over. Sprinkle it with freshly ground melange of peppercorns - pink, green, white and black. Place all the prepared smashed potatoes  Place the remaining reblochon cheese. Pour the milk over. 

Bake for 35 minutes until golden and crusty on top. Serve immediately. 

Tips 

Substitute a sweet white wine like Muscato instead of the milk if you prefer.

While traditionally bacon is used in France it can be substituted with duck, or smoked turkey bacon or a smoked sausage as a variation. 

Garlic scrapes are these tube like garlic which grow before the bulbs. They are fairly hard, hold their shape when cooked and pungent to the taste. The tips both at the top and the bottom are tough and can be discarded.

in season fresh green garlic can be substituted. Alternatively simply rub a clove of garlic all over the serving dish before adding the rest of the ingredients.


My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.