Thursday, June 10, 2010

punjabi rice pudding and c magazine...

check out this month's issue of "California style" magazine and try out my punjabi rice pudding!

a few months ago i had a major craving for indian rice pudding (remember in my last post i was working on it). i went to a few indian shops to satisfy my sweet tooth but nothing lived up to my memory of the indian rice pudding i had growing up. i know that sounds strange because as some of you know, i am not indian. every summer for as long as i could remember, i would go up north to san jose and stay with my cousins. as soon as i got there they would ask me where i wanted to go and what i wanted to do that summer. my top pick every summer was this little indian restaurant where they had the best rice pudding. it was sort of soupy, not thick like the american version, and scented with jaggery and cardamom and made with fragrant basmati rice. i absolutely HAD to have the rice pudding i remembered and so i decided to try to make it myself. (i was also on a major middle eastern and indian food kick during that time.) i consulted my good friend and trusted resource to all things indian aarti(check out her blog!)

her recipe had some ingredients that i didn't have available or didn't like too much (like rose water) so i added, subtracted and tweaked it to fit my memory of the rice pudding i had in my childhood years in san jose. the one thing that was a completely new addition was topping it with a dessert masala (this idea came from her recipe). p.s. i love the word masala! it means a paste or dry mixture of spices and other ingredients like ginger. the dessert masala for the rice pudding has pistachios, cashews, tangelo zest, cardamom and other fun surprises in it. a little bit really goes a long way with this stuff, but it adds so much depth of flavor. so, please try it out and let me know what you think.

one last thing....
check out my friend aarti sequeira on "the next food network star" on the food network! you can also show her some love by watching her online cooking show "quick bites" on youtube.

you can also check out my cousin's blog "my foggy brain" as she chronicles her daily highs and lows living with fibromyalgia.

Friday, March 12, 2010

things i'm working on...

this is just a teaser. a quick glimpse of what i've been working on the past few weeks. enjoy!

my version of a shaker lemon pie

meyer lemon done a la shaker with a caramelized puff pastry top.

pistachio and chocolate coupe

layers of pistachio ice cream, chocolate ice cream, olive oil sorbet, mascarpone and magical goodness.

black sesame cookies

they look kind of crazy but they taste amazing!

indian rice pudding with sweet masala

basmati rice pudding with crushed cardamom and tangelo zest topped with masala
(pistachios, cashews, pistachio oil and piloncillo syrup)

the beginnings of my spring garden cake

carrots, gourds, cabbage, spring onions, potatoes, cauliflower and strawberries...the turnips didn't make the picture.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

waiting for the results...

sarah and yvonne assembling cupcakes

1400 cupcakes have been filled, frosted and eaten. just waiting for the results of the cupcake challenge. the awards are for "best overall," "best original," and "best traditional." we submitted tahitian vanilla bean for "best traditional" and chocolate and salted caramel for "best original." you can view more pics on here or on my flickr page.

chocolate and salted caramel cupcakes

we had so much fun at the cupcake challenge! everyone was incredibly nice and it was great to see and taste all the mini cupcakes. the contestants went all out decorating their tables. some had giant custom cupcake towers, videos, and raffles. my favorite display was blue cupcake. it was absolutely adorable. our table was full of mini cupcakes resting on ruffled glass and white ceramic cake stands, stacks of my favorite pastry cookbooks and of course, suzanne's "sunday suppers" was tucked in there too. we made some larger versions of the cupcakes for display which proved to be a real hit with all the little kids that attended. who wants a mini cupcake when you can have a large one piled high with frosting and a cute little macaron hat?

...also nestled on our table

before we started packing up, after the competition was over yvonne, sarah and i celebrated with a little champagne. then we went to palate for an amazing dinner. octavio, jason and francois filled our bellies with foie gras, house-made pasta and more bubbly and vino. it was the perfect way to end our 14 hour day.

thank you so much for everyone who came to support us and cheered us on via twitter, facebook and text messages!

Friday, February 19, 2010

1400 cupcakes....

just a quick update: the cupcake batters are made, the frostings are being made and i'm just starting to bake off 1400 mini cupcakes! no typos here. sorry there are no pictures, its hard to take pictures with frosting on your fingers.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

valentine's is just around the corner...

valentine's day treats

before i get started on those cupcake challenge testers, i have some sweet treats for your valentine's day. i finally gave in and made red velvet cupcakes. i topped off my "queen of hearts" cupcakes with traditional cream cheese frosting and red heart sprinkles. the pinkies are tahitian vanilla cupcakes with strawberry frosting and aptly named "sweethearts." do you have a broken heart this valentine's? i have the perfect cookie! french butter cookies with vanilla frosting. the have been quite popular in the larder.

its sort of ironic, i recently stopped making cupcakes. then, about a month ago, i was asked to take part in a cupcake challenge. this week, i was asked to do a show based on cupcakes. it seems as though i will NEVER stop making cupcakes. i don't have anything against them. i just figured there were enough people doing cupcakes that i didn't need to make them. i have learned that there are never enough people making cupcakes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

cupcake fever!

carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

in a few weeks i will be competing in the nestle cupcake challenge. this will be my first competition....ever. i am full of self doubt and nervous energy...trying to make it go away. for the big day, i will be making a vanilla cupcake (in the "traditional" category) and salted caramel and chocolate ("non-traditional"). wish me luck and come out and support if you get a chance! i will keep you updated on the testing process. i also might submit my application for food network's "cupcake wars"....shhhh....

Friday, January 8, 2010

snowmen, snowflakes and luster dust...

i'm sorry it took me so long to write. the holidays were a bit insane at the restaurant! thankfully they are over and i can begin to get my life in order. here are some pics of what i did this holiday season. enjoy! my ghost cupcakes became snowmen, complete with marzipan carrot noses. my lemon meringue cupcakes grew up into a full cake with lemon tuiles. i made tons of holiday cookies: maple walnut snowflakes (pictured), almond snowballs, gingerbread men, pumpkin and pepita thumbprints (with sara's home-made pumpkin butter), cranberry pistachio sables, and thin mints "a la girl scouts." i became obsessed with peppermint and made peppermint meringue kisses (pictured) and little candy cane bites. check out this video to see more candy making. every time i watch a video from papabubble, i immediately want to make candy. lastly, i made dozens of mini marzipan pumpkins to go on top of our pumpkin and brown butter cupcakes...any excuse to use luster dust. note-the macarons on the top of the page, lots of luster dust are used in the making of those macarons.