Monday, September 01, 2014

Vanilla Tahini Ice Cream - Vegan MoFo 2014 Day 1

Vegan MoFo 2014 Banner

Woot!!! Vegan Month of Food 2014 has begun! :)

This is my 4th time participating in MoFo. Even though there's a lot going on in my life this time around, I couldn't help but sign up for the event yet again because I've really enjoyed it each and every year! Blogging on an almost daily basis is one part of the excitement, but also visiting the various participating blogs, drooling over the delicious foods and interacting with my fellow MoFo-ers is a truly delightful experience.

For Vegan MoFo 2013 I had chosen a Raw Foods theme. I created and shared a bunch of video tutorials using an app called HowDo and they were a big hit. Unfortunately HowDo closed. :( I'm going to miss that app terribly this year. But once the Vlogging bug has bitten, it's hard to let go. So I plan to shoot at least a few YouTube videos through MoFo this time around.

My theme for this time is ICE CREAMS!!! :D I'm expanding that to include other frozen desserts too so there's a lot more variety.

Vanilla Tahini Ice Cream

Today's recipe is a Vanilla Tahini Ice Cream. I made it at Carrots as soon as I signed up for MoFo. Everyone who tried it absolutely loved it. So now our bakery chef Kanchan makes it often. :)

This ice cream does not require an ice cream maker (but if you have one then feel free to use it). It melts quickly and has a light, soothing feel to it. The roasted sesame and pure vanilla flavours go together beautifully.

I've used Merry Whip (commercially available non-dairy whipping cream) in this ice cream. But if you'd like to avoid this, you could use whipped coconut cream in it if you like. However, it might takeaway from the flavour a bit.

I've also used whole vanilla pods as the flavouring because I can't stand the artificial vanilla essence that's available locally. Besides, we don't use any artificial colours or flavours at Carrots so I couldn't have used it in this recipe anyways.

Getting good, pure vanilla extract that's vegan isn't easy here. But if you have the patience and inclination, you could make your own extract at home by putting chopped vanilla beans into rum or vodka for about 6 months. I have tried this at home (again, not at Carrots because we're an alcohol-free restaurant) but compared to that, I am in *love* with the depth of flavour and texture that whole vanilla beans give. So I recommend using them.

Vanilla Tahini Ice Cream

Vanilla Tahini Ice Cream

40 g Cashews
20 g Toasted Sesame Seeds
150 g Commercial Vegan Whipped Cream (Rich's or Merry Whip)
1.5 pods Whole Vanilla Beans
200 g Sugar
1 litre Water

- Grind cashews, sesame seeds and broken vanilla pods into a fine powder
- Add a little water at a time and blend into a creamy paste
- Add the remaining water, sugar and whipped cream and blend well
- Freeze in an airtight box for 8-10 hours
- Re-blend this icy mixture
- Freeze again for 8-10 hours
- Scoop and enjoy! :)

Vanilla Tahini Ice Cream

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pan Baked Hazelnut Mocha Crunch Cookies aka Tava Biskut and Vegan MoFo 2014

Howdie howdie howdie! Hope all you awesome people are doing great!!! :)

I miss you all and I've been wanting to blog for a long time now. But as I've mentioned in my previous posts, I've been super duper busy ever since I became the Countess of Cuisine and Jollification at Carrots - the bestest, wonderfulest place to work ever!

I did something a few weeks ago in one moment of sheer madness...I signed up for Vegan MoFo!!! *gasp* Now as September is around the bend (tomorrow, to be precise), I'm beginning to freak out just a teeny tiny bit. I should probably be freaking out a lot more, but I think I'm still in denial. :P

What's more, I signed up for a theme. A verrrrry specific theme (thanks to hubby's bright idea *grumble grumble*)...Ice Creams! And guess how many new ice cream recipes I have ready and under my belt? Exactly ONE! *gaaaah*

So my master plan is keep making new ice creams and other frozen desserts on an almost daily basis. I'll make many of these at home yes, but also plenty at the restaurant, because that's where I have all my minions to help out. :D

Bangalore peeps, whenever you visit Carrots, remember to ask about the "special edition ice cream made by Susmitha". If you're lucky, some of the recipes you see on the blog here through September might just be available on the menu the day you visit. :)

Now on to today's recipe - Pan Baked Hazelnut Mocha Crunch Cookies, which I lovingly refer to as Tava Biskut. :D

Pan Baked Hazelnut Mocha Crunch Cookies aka Tava Biskut

These cookies can be baked in an oven at 200C/400F for 20 minutes, but they're special because they can be quickly made on a pan too. :)

Hazelnut Mocha Crunch Cookies

140 g / 1 C Hazelnuts
110 g / 1 C Quick Cooking Oats
5 g / 1/2 t Salt
140 g / 1/2 C Sugar
2 g / 1 t Instant Coffee Powder
10 g / 2 T Cocoa Powder
5 g / 1 T Flax Seed Powder
3 T Water

- Grind hazelnuts to a buttery consistency in a dry grinder jar and transfer to a mixing bowl
- Grind oats to a coarse meal and add to hazelnut butter
- Mix in the remaining ingredients with your hands
- Shape into flat cookies
- Cook on a pan on medium heat for a few minutes, press gently with a flat spoon
- Flip and cook the other side while gently pressing down again
- Cool on a rack
- Store in an airtight box
- Enjoy! :)

Monday, April 07, 2014

Raspberry Wasabi Tofu and how my work has taken over my life

Raspberry Wasabi Tofu

Most of my friends are probably sick of hearing this, but I love my job, I love my team and I love, love, love the fantastic food I get to eat at my super awesome workplace. :)

Before I joined the Carrots family, I insisted that I have a flexible work schedule so that I have plenty of time to pursue my existing passions - the primary ones being my blog here and my artwork. But a week into the start of my career as Countess of Cuisine and Jollification (yes, that's my real designation) my world started to revolve around my life at Carrots. On the days I was at home, I often found myself thinking, "oh it would be so nice to be at Carrots right now." I figured that once the novelty wore off I'd get back to being myself again. Four months down the line, I've begun to accept that nothing of that sort is about to happen. :P

Of course the downside to all of this is that certain other areas of my life have begun to suffer. I barely make jewellery anymore and I haven't touched my favourite toy, polymer clay, in forever. I don't spend time experimenting in the kitchen as often as I used to and as a result there's a lack in blog-able content.

I've been feeling a little more guilty about my fairly silent blog than any of the other stuff. So you can imagine my delight when I was going through some old food photographs and found this recipe that I had created long ago but missed sharing here. Two recipes within a span of one week. Yes! :D

Raspberry Wasabi Tofu

Raspberry Wasabi Tofu

1/2 block Silken Tofu
3 T Bread Crumbs

For the marinade:
3 T Raspberry Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp Wasabi Paste
1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/4 tsp Sugar or Liquid Jaggery

- Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a wide glass bowl
- Drain the tofu and slice it into large squares
- Place the tofu in the marinade and gently toss to coat
- Cover and keep in the fridge overnight (about 8-10 hours)

Raspberry Wasabi Tofu

- Heat a pan or skillet on medium heat
- Put the bread crumbs on a plate
- Dip the tofu into the bread crumbs and coat it on all sides
- Toast the tofu on the hot pan

Raspberry Wasabi Tofu

- Keep a close watch and flip carefully a few times during the toasting
process to ensure the bread crumbs don't stick to the pan
- Once the crumbs are browned to your liking, the tofu is ready
- Serve with your favourite hot sauce (you know it's Tabasco Chipotle for me) drizzled over the tofu
- Enjoy! :)

Raspberry Wasabi Tofu