Enjoy Winter Nights the Italian Way

Mmmmmmm…!!!

I just had a cup of the BEST hot chocolate this planet has to offer.

I’m still drooling. Forgive me.

*shakes head to get out of dreamworld* This is the bestest hot chocolate I’ve come across in my whole life! Steaming hot, almost as thick as pudding, great with or without marshmallows/whipped cream: I’ve finally discovered the true taste of Love. One sip –> Addiction!

Sadly, I drunk it as soon as I poured it into the cup, and so, I’m left with a burnt tongue and no pictures. But, this is just proof of how fantastic this Italian delight is! I must say, Italians are geniuses ^_^

Without boring you guys any further, here goes this MARVELLOUS recipe:

Ingredients (for one cup):

4 tablespoons roughly chopped chocolate (I used Hershey’s milk chocolate chips but a bittersweet chocolate like Cadbury Bournville would definitely be much better)

3/4 cup milk

1 tsp cornflour

1/2 tbsp sugar (if using milk chocolate chips but use 1 if using bittersweet chocolate)

a pinch of salt

Method:

Heat the chocolate along with a tablespoon of the milk in a saucepan, until the chocolate has just melted. Keep stirring with a silicon/rubber/wooden spoon/spatula throughout the cooking process. Slowly, pour in the remaining milk. Add the sugar. After the sugar has dissolved, quickly add the cornflour and keep stirring so no lumps form. Now keep cooking (and stirring) over low heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and pour into a cup. You may drink it immediately, and get your tongue burnt 😉 Or, you may wait a minute or so, but then, a thick coating forms on the surface, so you have to stir it before drinking. Needless to say, you’ll enjoy it! 😀

I’d love to hear about your first experience with this so please…comment below! 🙂

Floating Islands

I made this totally amazing dish for Eid this year (Technically, by the Islamic lunar calendar, it was last year.) And well, I loved it. My mother didn’t. But I did receive compliments from a few other people as well. Although, I do suspect most of them were just to keep me happy. So I want you all to try it and give me some REAL feedback. Please. 🙂

Floating Islands are basically poached meringues floating on a pool of liquid. In most recipes, the liquid has the thin consistency of milk (somewhat like it), but in this recipe, it’s more custard-ish.

So here goes:

Ingredients:
500 ml milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 eggs, separated
A pinch of salt
70 grams caster sugar
100 ml cream
Caramel syrup, to serve

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You are gonna need at least (The recipe called for even less. But it began finishing so I added more and it turned out perfect.) 500 ml of milk (I used normal, full-fat, pasteurized milk that comes in the box, like the Tetra-Pak packaging.) Add 1 tsp of vanilla essence and heat the mixture on a stove for at least 3-4 minutes. Keep aside.

Whisk the whites of 3 eggs (like MAD) until fully frothy (you know what it looks like). Now add a pinch of salt and approximately, half (or a little less) of 70 grams of caster sugar. Whisk like mad again.

Now for the tough part! Put the milk on the stove again at low heat. Using a rounded tablespoon, spoon 3-4 balls of the egg white mixture onto the milk, gently. Cook for around a minute. Turn over using a silicon/plastic spatula (rubber is too flexible for easy handling and metal destroys everything). Cook for around a minute more. You’ll know when it’s done, because the colour changes slightly and it becomes ‘solid’ (You’ll understand when you see it.) Take the meringues out on a paper towel to dry. Repeat until all the egg whites have been used up.

Strain the milk.

Beat the yolks of the three eggs and the remaining sugar.

Simmer the milk and the sugar-yolk mixture. STIR CONSTANTLY AND DO NOT LEAVE FOR EVEN A FEW SECONDS. That is the only mistake I made, and I ended up with a very lumpy custard. It almost totally destroyed the look. *sniff* 😥 But it made no difference to the taste, thank God!

Remove it from a heat after sometime (4-5 minutes). Let it cool until it’s totally at room temperature. Add 100 ml of cream and mix well.

Pour the custardish liquid out into the glass serving bowl. Put the meringues on the top. Pour caramel syrup on the top (Just heat 150 grams of sugar+100 ml of water until very very light golden, and pour immediately). Serve, Enjoy! Oh…and give me honest feedback please 😛

 

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Beat the Heat!

This summer is so hot! One longs to relax, possibly with a glass of chilled homemade juice, maybe a store-bought can of cold drink (but that’s not healthy, is it?), lemon slush, or a perfect smoothie. Well, read on, and I’ll teach you a few, quick ways to beat the heat 🙂

Yummilicious Oreo Smoothie (personally my favourite)

Oreo Smoothie

I know this doesn’t look very appealing. I’m not really into decoration and garnishing. But it sure tastes awesome 😀

You will need for four glasses:
4 tsp. chocolate syrup (Or you can add more, this recipe doesn’t necessarily require ingredients in a fixed amount)
8 (or more) Oreo cookies
1 and a 1/2 cups of milk
2 cups Vanilla Ice-Cream (that’s roughly around 4-5 scoops)

How to make this heavenly delight:
SPOON 1 tsp. syrup into each of 4 glasses. Roll each glass to coat bottom and inside of glass. Finely chop (or crumble) 2-3 cookies; set aside. QUARTER remaining cookies; place in blender. Add milk and ice cream; blend until smooth. POUR into prepared glasses; top with chopped cookies. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

 

Cold Coffee

You will need (for approx. two glasses of this cold, creamy wonder) :
8 oz (1 cup) milk
1 tbsp. dark roasted instant coffee (Nescafe will do)
3 tbsp. sugar
2 cups ice

Method:
Blend the coffee, sugar and milk together for about 30 seconds until the sugar and coffee are mixed well with milk. Add ice and blend at a high speed for a minute until coffee becomes frothy. Serve in tall glasses and sprinkle with dry coffee powder or garnish with chocolate syrup.

Mango Milkshake

My mother makes this and she’s a total expert on cooking, so she doesn’t require measurements and she never uses ingredients in a fixed ratio so I really don’t know the amounts of the ingredients, however I took the following recipe from the internet. Hope it works for you 🙂

You need: 3 small ripe mangoes (or use 1 large mango. You can use frozen mangoes for this recipe. You can vary the amount of mangoes/puree depending on how strong you prefer the taste of mangoes in your milk shake. Canned Mango puree will also work. Just make sure to add sugar only after tasting since canned mango purees already have sugar added to them.)

 Peel the mangoes (if using fresh). Cut them into small pieces. Put into the blender. Add 1 cup chilled milk. Blend it well. Add ice-cubes. Blend until frothy. Taste and add sugar if necessary and blend it again for a few seconds. Pour into tall glasses. Serve with a dollop of ice-cream. Enjoy your delicious treat.

Lassi

Same case with the above (i.e my mom makes it without a specific ratio).

Deliciousness

In Pakistan and India, Lassi is a special treat. It’s very easy to make and absolutely delicious! Some people prefer sweet lassi and some like salty lassi. For me, sweet lassi is my favourite. Following are recipes for both, sweet and salty lassi. Please try them out and let me know if you liked it.

For SWEET LASSI, you need:
1 cup of yogurt
½ a cup of water
½ a cup of ice cubes
3 to 5 teaspoons of sugar (It depends on whether the yogurt you use is sweet or salty)
A pinch of salt

For SALTY LASSI, you need:
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup chilled milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 to 1 tsp salt
1/2 cup of ice cubes

Just blend all the ingredients at high speed till frothy. If you want to then add a dollop of fresh yogurt on top before serving. Enjoy!
(Makes two to three glasses)