Thursday, 21 February 2013

SNEAK PEEK!

Yes, I know there has been a inexcusably huge delay in putting up the post, and I'm really sorry about that... I still have a lot of lessons to learn, especially where time management is concerned....
          So, before I put up the next post, i thought I'd give you a sneak peek :D


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Culinery Delights at Kala Ghoda...

The KalaGhoda Festival is one of the best things that happens in the year. Its that time of the year where Mumbai becomes the hub of art aficionados and people who are looking for inspiration. This years KalaGhoda festival is a little different with the introduction of Gourmet West.
Go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kala_Ghoda_Arts_Festival


A little about Gourmet West: 

                   The Westside chain of stores that is owned by the Tata Group, has come out with Gourmet West, a selection of gourmet food and well being products in their flagship store at Kala Ghoda, Mumbai.
The variety of food products they offer is astounding. I wouldn't stop short of calling it a foodies' paradise especially those who love experimenting with worldwide cuisines. It has aisles and aisles of excellent products like harissa, hoisin sauce, buckwheat noodles, all grades of olive oils, sushi rice etc.
                 One speciality of Gourmet West that I absolutely loved, is their concept 'Breakfast on the go', they have a station with multiple options of cereal and an array of available toppings. I loved the novelty of their idea, which is perfect for people who are stretched for time, but donot wish to compromise on their health.
Their cheese counter was another paradise, they stock everything!! You say Parmesan, Cheddar and Mozzarella?? Make way for Gouda, Brie, Gruyere, Chevre, Gorgonzola and Grana Padano....
                 I spent a good 25 minutes roaming around in the aisles, checking out the different products... I found them reasonably priced (for gourmet products).
               Their meat and cold storage products have a lot of variety. They specialise in fresh seafood...bringing out a sub- brand called pescafresh...  
              They also sell fresh packed salads, sandwiches, preserves, pickles, muffins bread, which are all sourced from the very popular Moshe's...

             Finally, the section that took my breath away... Their chocolate section which stocks all international brands... Godiva, Lindt, Nestle, Guylian, Merci as well as the best available in the Indian markets.. It was nothing short of paradise for a chocoholic like me :)


                 I was having a talk with Mr. Amit who is the Operations Manager for Gourmet West, and he told me that they were in the process of opening more of these in their outlets at Surat, Chandigarh and a few other locations in Mumbai itself..

 I find this a brilliant and genuine attempt at trying to bring the "organic" lifestyle to the Indian market, Kudos to Westside... 


<-----That is the cart where you can see the samples of new products that have been introduced. They also had a live counter that was serving samples of the frozen food variety for tasting...
 What you see on the extreme left of this photo ---> is the 'breakfast on the go' counter... you can see the immense variety of cereals and toppings that they have to offer.

<----The cheese counter....

The cheese counter is so huge that I had to take two pictures to accommodate it all...

<----A variety of pickles, sauces, dips ..

 
That is the utilities aisle, where you have organic shampoos, khadi products, natural soaps etc...












You can figure out from the pictures that Gourmet West is a hit already... it is especially popular with the tourists who can find products from their home country in a foreign land...




That's all for now..... Next in pipe is a post on the 'Demystifying Chocolate' workshop by Zeba Kohli, that was organised by Gourmet West...

Till then,
Cheers :)

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Birthday Surprises!

Hello,
        I am back after an extremely happy and busy birthday week... My birthday happened to be yesterday, and honestly, I had the time of my life. Wishes, Gifts, Presents and love poured in from everywhere.
Out of all the gifts i received, this huge baking hamper plus some goodies that my parents got me was the bestest ever!


I numbered the things so that it is easier.... This is basically a silicone baking kit that can be used in the microwave as well as the oven. They are excellent because they are very durable, can stand extreme heat and cold. They do not stick to the food even if it gets burnt. They do not imbibe the smell of anything you cook in them, hence your food will smell like it is supposed to :P
So here is the list with a bit of detail wherever needed: (clockwise)

  1.  Blue cupcake tray : I already had 6 individual silicone cupcake moulds, but a tray is always better. The size of individual cupcakes is pretty huge. hence i guess it should be called a muffin tray, not a cupcake tray.
  2. Heart shaped chocolate mould (plain) : It can be used for chocolates, heart shaped ice cubes, Jell-o/ jelly cubes and to bake mini cupcakelets :D Wouldn't that be cute?!
  3. Salad Cutter: That is nothing but a not-so-subtle hint from my parents that I should start losing  some weight :D. They will have to try still harder to convince me.
  4. Cheese grater with storage container:  Grating cheese can be a mess at times. This is a very smart kitchen utility which has a container attached to it, which can be removed once you are done grating and have collected as much cheese as you want :)
  5. Somethings Fishy: That's my blue - fishy baking container... I love it for one reason, that the patterns it has gives me a lot of scope to experiment with in terms of the icing.
  6. Heart shaped chocolate mould (designed):  It is almost the same as the product number 2 on the list, the only difference being is that it has a design that will get imprinted onto anything i set in it.
  7. and 8. Cake tins : These are two beautiful cake tins in the shape of a rose and sunflower respectively. These are the most intriguing ones for me. I want to see how cakes rise and turn out in them, hence i am going to be using them as soon as possible :D (once my birthday - cake hangover is over)    
And lastly at number 9 is the beautiful pizza cutter. Its usage is not limited to that what its name suggests, but one could use it for various things like fondant cutting, cutting chocolate sheets etc.

          I've had a brilliant 2012, and I'm hoping that this year too is as wonderful and as amazing as the last one was. 
Next thing coming up is a fantastic post on Zeba Kolhi's (of the Fanastie Chocolates fame) "Demystifying Chocolate" workshop conducted by Gourmet West at KalaGhoda Mumbai. Honestly, it was one of the experiences I'm going to treasure forever... 

So, till the next time,
Cheers :) 

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Brilliant News!

Hey,
       The KalaGhoda festival is back again ! :) Its like the most exciting event of the year for people like me. And the best part is that I have managed to get passes for their Gourmet West event that will be happening! I am going to be attending Zeba Kohli's chocolate workshop and Pooja Dhingra's baking workshop ! How awesome is that?! I am already really excited. I'm going to try and blog about all these events in detail, so keep peeping in for the updates! :D


Cheers,

Friday, 1 February 2013

Eggless Chocolate Brownie

Hola,
     
       I have this little diary that i maintain, where i write down all the recipes that catch my fancy, some improvisations, tips etc... so I thought what better than to share a small recipe from it? :)

Today I'd like to share the first ever chocolate fudge brownie recipe I had. It is a great recipe for people who are vegetarian. Uses curds instead of eggs. The only thing is that this recipe can only make brownies of the fudgy kind. doesn't go well for the dry - brownies.
So here it is...

Time Required - Prep: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 to 45 minutes
Yields: Around a quarter of a kg to half.

Ingredients
Use Standard Measures, i.e, use the same cup to measure 1/2 of flour as well as 1/2 of curd.

Maida/ Flour: 1 cup
Sugar (Granulated) : 1 1/2 cup
Cocoa Powder: 3/4 cup
Baking soda: 1/2 teaspoon
Baking Powder: 1/4 teaspoon
Baking Chocolate (Dark): around 150 grams
Butter: (salted will do, but make sure it is softened at room temperature before use) : 1/2 cup
Yogurt/ Curds (should be drained and whipped till no lumps are there. Be doubly sure to see that the curds haven't turned sour, or the brownie will smell funny): 1/2 cup
Vanilla Essence: 1 tablespoon
Milk : 1 cup (should be at room temperature)
Salt: to taste.
Nuts : almonds/ walnuts/ hazelnuts/ cashews etc (optional)


Procedure


  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl with a spatula, slowly turning them without mushing out all the air. 
  • The important thing about the salt is that if you are using salted butter, you may not need any salt at all. It is a matter if taste and it can only come with time. 
  • Boil some water in a pot, place a smaller bowl on top of it, which covers the top of the pot completely. Place your baking chocolate in the top bowl. The chocolate will melt gradually as the water in the bottom pot boils and heats the bowl. This method of melting chocolate is called 'double - boiling' and is used for almost all the recipes that need chocolate. 
  • Once the chocolate has melted, in a separate bowl, mix the chocolate with all the wet ingredients.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients slowly. 
  • Use extra milk only if the batter is not upto the desired consistency.
  • Don't whisk the batter, just slowly turn the flour in till it is evenly mixed and no lumps remain. The batter should have the consistency that is pasty , not runny. It should form a thick coating on the back of your spoon. 
  • Grease your baking tray with butter. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees for 7 minutes. 
  • Pour the batter into the greased tray and place it in the oven.
  • Bake for 30 minutes then  keep checking every 5 minutes with a cake tester. (A cake tester is something you poke into a cake to check if it is cooked. The best home option is an uncooked strand of spaghetti. Poke into the tin. If it comes out clean and easily, your brownie is cooked. You could also use a toothpick)
  • Once it is baked completely, take it out of the oven and let it cool in the tin itself.
  • Cut it into the desired shapes, store it in airtight containers and refrigerate. You can heat them in the microwave before consumption
I find these brownies best eaten warm, accompanied by a bowl of vanilla ice cream :D.
You could try different versions of this brownie by adding chocolate chips, dried fruit like raisins and apricots etc.
If you find the brownie too rich, i suggest you reduce the size of the butter by a part. It will only change the texture a little, and the brownies wont be the melt - in -your -mouth kind.
You could also try a white chocolate brownie: Omit the cocoa powder and replace the dark chocolate with white chocolate :)

I hope you guys liked the recipe!
P.s: Apologies for no photographs with this one. Forgot to click some. >_<

Please feel free to give some feedback!
Till the next time,
Cheers :)






The First Milestone...


           I wont deny the fact that i am a tad bit nervous because I have never written a blog. But I guess I have realised that its high time i follow my heart, and my stomach. So please be generous with your suggestions. Constructive criticism is always welcome! :)

         My love for food is hereditary. Having grown up in a family where my mom is a Maharashtrian, and dad is a Gujarati, I grew up with mixed aromas wafting from the kitchen that made my tummy rumble.
         
         But it is the beauty of baking and confectionery that pushed me to spend hours in the kitchen since i was 12. In my opinion, watching  your cupcakes rise is one of the best feelings you can ever experience :) 

        So, through my blog, "Sugar Rushes", I wish to share with everyone my little kitchen episodes, failures, successes and the delightful recipes which will help everyone see why cooking is so cathartic! I really hope this is a step towards achieving what i want, my own little cafe.

Till i come up with a new post, which i promise will be really soon,
Cheers! :)