Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cardamom Cream Cookies Recipe

Cardamom cream cookie
If you are familiar with Indian desserts you would have come across the cardamom and milk combination. Cardamom is used quite extensively in different milk based desserts. Cardamom is also used quite a bit in Scandinavian desserts, the most popular being cinnamon buns. I find the cardamom and milk combination to be absolutely divine. I can't think of the right words to describe it accurately and I am getting bored with calling it divine too many times! Lets just say its really nice and let the cookie do the talking.

The cardamom cookies are made with cream instead of butter, so the cookies are butter free. The cookies were crispy on the outside and cakey on the inside. It is almost like a crispy cake. The flavour and aroma certainly reminded me of some of the Indian milk based desserts. 

You can replace some or all of the cream with butter. The cookies may lose some of the divine aroma and it will certainly lose the 'butter free' claim! On the other hand the cookies will be a lot crispier, more cookie like. If you use butter you will have to mix the butter and sugar first and this adds another step. Using cream helps to keep it simple. 

Since the recipe uses cream instead of butter I presume these cannot be kept for too long. So please do eat them quickly, even if you have to!
1 cup flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup cream (I used whipping cream with 40% fat content)
Pinch of salt

1.       Combine all the dry ingredients
2.      Add cream and mix gently to form the dough. You may need more or less than ½ cup
3.      Shape dough and flatten until about ½ centimeter thick. You can make then thinner or thicker, if you wish. Chill the dough for 5-10 minutes if its difficult to work with
4.      Bake cookies in a 180 degree oven until golden brown and delicious, about 12 minutes. 

Cardamom cream cookie

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Crème Brûlée Recipe

Crème brûlée
Crème brûlée is such a sophisticated sounding but simple dessert. It is basically cold custard with a hard caramel top. Crème brûlée is also known as burnt cream, crema catalana, or trinity cream. 

The hard caramel is formed by sprinkling the top with sugar and caramelizing (burning) using a blowtorch or broiler. I don’t own a blowtorch so I used a broiler instead. It worked fine though it did not look very pretty. When using the broiler it is important that it is fully heated first otherwise the custard will start to get warm and cook. Also try to place the custard as close to the broiler as possible.

Most of the crème brûlée recipes require cooking in a water bath. The recipe that I have adopted from with a glass suggests cooking at a lower temperature without a water bath. It takes longer but it is simpler.

Recipe adopted from with a glass with slight modifications. Makes enough for 6 portions.

9 egg yolks
500 ml milk
500 ml liquid cream
¾ cup sugar
4 vanilla pods or 4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Bring to boil milk, cream and vanilla pod or vanilla extract in a saucepan and set aside for 30 minutes. Strain the mixture
2.    Mix yolks and sugar in a bowl. Add the warm milk mixture and mix well
3.    Pour the mixture into six ramekins
4.    Bake at 100 degrees until the custard is done, about 45 minutes. The custard is ready when it is slightly wobbly.
5.   Cool and refrigerate for at least 3 hours
6.   Just before serving, sprinkle the top with sugar and caramelize using blow torch or broiler
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