Saturday, July 9, 2011

All Things Mango!!

I remember mentioning in one of my posts about how we can replace some traditional ingredients from certain recipes and end up totally blown away by the results.Yes it is possible,only if we keep in mind what flavours could go with what in terms of taste and texture and yes,be appealing to the eyes too.I was just surfing through the internet for some desserts recipes when i found cranachan.A traditional scottish summer dessert that is usually served during harvest time or on special occasions is often assembled right at the serving table so as to suit to everyone's taste.I also read Anjum anand's Punjabi cranachan recipe,which is slightly more eloborate because it involves making custard as well.I'm adding her link for your reference.

I'm sure it tastes good too ,but what i like is my recipes to be simpler.May be some day i'll attempt at it,but for now..i'm going to stick to the simpler version.Here it is:

Mango Cranachan with Ginger syrup:


4 tbl spns of rolled oats
2 medium sized ripe mangoes
300 ml of whole milk
4 tbl sp sugar
200 ml double cream(whipped to soft peakes)
crushed almonds-1/2 cup and some to garnish
lemon juice-2 tspn
2 tspns ginger syrup/single malt whiskey


  • Dry roast the porridge oats slowly in a pan untill it begins to smell warm and nutty.
  • Boil the milk with sugar(reserve a spoon for later).
  • Peel and dice one of the mangoes into cubes and puree the other one with the reserve sugar and lemon juice.Mix the dices and the puree together.
  • Add the cooled oats(save some for garnish) to the boiling milk and cook for some time till it begins to thicken.Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.Cover with cling and keep it inside the refrigerator to chill.
  • At this stage,traditionally some whiskey is added to the whipped cream,but you can choose to add other flavours.I added two tspn of ginger syrup to the cream and it tasted great.To know how to make a ginger syrup check out
  • Add the crushed almonds to the oats mixture just before serving.
  • In a glass,spoon some mango mixture,then some porridge mixed with amonds and then cream mixed with ginger syrup/whiskey.Repeat for as many layers as you want.
  • Sprinkle some rolled oats on the top and some flaked almonds.I added a strawberry  and dusted the glass with coco powder to add color.Serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Eggless but not Mango-less!!

It is largely unfair for the whole vegetarian/vegan lot to be bombarded with yummy looking things they really can't eat.I'm neither a vegan/vegetarian myself,nor do i fancy eating meat everyday.I'm somewhere in the middle trying to balance the two.Most of the days we eat a normal homecooked vegetarian fare and to say the least;it is anything but boring.At the same time i love my indulgent meat/dairy days too.
Having said that and considering that i've to continue with  the "Mango Marathon" week,i'm here with a beautiful cocoa-mango cake with a bright yellow mango glaze that looks yummy and tastes even yummier.It is completely vegetarian and if you use vinegar instead of the buttermilk,it becomes a vegan cake.In the end i've also tried to compile different ways eggs can be replaced in different dishes.I hope it helps people who avaoid eggs in their food.Here it is:

Eggless Choco-Mango Cake with tangy  Mango Glaze 


(for cake)

1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3Tablespoons dark cocoa powder
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tblspns vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped mangoes
1 & 1/2 cups thick buttermilk
1 teaspoons vanilla extract

(for glaze)

250 ml/1 Cup of mango(pureed) about 2 small to medium, very ripe mangoes
2 tspn lemon juice
500 gms of  powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour the cake tin. Set aside.
  • Sift together all of the flour,cocoa,baking powder and baking soda and salt.
  • Mix the pureed mangoes with the oil,vanilla extract,buttermilk and sugar.In place of buttermilk you can use a tblspn of white vinegar/apple cider vinegar and add a cup of apple juice to adjust liquid content.I haven't used vinegar ever in my cakes but from what i learnt from some people is that it works.You may give it a try.
  • Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ones spoon by spoon using a flat spatula to fold them together.
  • Pour batter into a greased cake tins. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes (17 minutes for cupcakes), until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Mix together in a blender the mango puree,lemon juice and vanilla extract.Now keep adding the sifted sugar in small quantities till you get the desired consistency.If the mangoes that you have used  are juicier then you might consume a little extra sugar than the given quantities.This glaze can be kept inside the refrigerator in an airtight container without spoiling or discoloring for a few days.

General guidelines for replacing eggs in different recipies:

The most common substitutes for eggs are:

Soy Milk/Milk:
As a thumb rule,use 150 ml of Milk/Soy milk for one egg in general.If you have soy powder instead you can use 1 heaped  tblspn in place of one egg.You can also use condensed milk in some cases(you will need to alter you sugar quantities though) keeping in mind that you can use a 100 ml for every two cups of flour used in the recipe.
In some cake recipies you can replace 1 egg by 2 tbsp flour+1/2 tbsp butter+1/2 tbsp baking powder.

This is one of the preferred substitute for eggs specially in eggless cake recipes.Add half a cup of buttermilk in place of one egg.Keep in mind to check on the quantity of other wet ingredients in the recipe.

Pureed fruits:
Although the resulting cake might be a little bit more crumbly,it is good idea to use it if you are allergic to eggs.Use three tblspn of pureed banana in place of one egg.Alternatively applesauce can be used too.

Grind 2 tblspoon of flaxseeds in a coffee grinder or take flax meal ready available in the market.Soak it in warm water for 10 mts and use it in place of 1 egg.In case you mind all the fibre from flaxseeds you can strain the liquid after soaking the flaxmeal and use it.

Vinegar/apple cider vinegar with baking powder:
Take a tblspn of vinegar and water each in a small bowl and mix it with a tspn of baking powder,mix it well to form a paste and use it in place of one egg.

Egg replacement powders:
Available in the market in health stores,they usually have some sort of gelatin and proteins derived from different sources.Sometimes they also contain egg whites so people with allergy issues should always read the labels.

Chilled Mango Delights!!

Mangoes...Mangoes & some more Mangoes ... I love mangoes & I am sure you all know this by now. I wasted so much of the precious mango time on shifting my house and all that comes with it(uuugh!! it still makes me mad @#$% !!) but i've to make sure that I make the best use of the rest of the mango season while it lasts.Well if you ask me,it wouldn't last very long because from here looking outside my windows all i can see is a dark cloudy skyline rendering a mysterious gloominess to the entire surrounding.This reminds me that i love rains.It is one of those things that can make you feel both sad and ecstatic at the same time.It comes as a relief after harsh summers,refreshing everything around with life and verve.I love how raindrops feel like little kisses of nature against the skin and fills the air with the wonderful fragrance of earth.The sound of raindrops on the rooftop and on the window panes has a lullaby sort of effect on people,atleast it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.Then like all good things,this romantic side is suddenly put  to offset by the not so flattering reality of the mud puddles,dripping, wet and smelly clothes,slippery pavements,smelly dogs,overflowing gutters and jammed roads.I suddenly crave to see fresh vibrant tropical summer colors that can uplift my spirits and make me ready to face the gloomy rainy season ahead.

Besides all the telltale signs of rains,the weather is still humid and occasionally hot too and that gives me a perfect chance to make a sorbet.I always saw sorbet as the ultimate frozen treat and gorged on it only to realize all the sugar had parked itself conveniently on my behind. Yes, it’s virtually fat free, but the amount of sugar added can sometimes be a little over the top .Of course, it doesn’t always have to be that way,unless you are eating the whole tub i mean.

Now sorbets are not a new concept to us(afterall who hasn't had those wonderfully colorfull ice-golas in their childhood!!  :-)).They are generally prepared from fruit juices with some simple sugar syrup and a small quantity of alcohol(which you can always opt out).Apparently alcohol keeps the ice in the sorbet from forming bigger chunks  and helps keep it on the creamier side.
Enough said, the recipe of a mango sorbet is very easily available over the internet and is fairly similar everywhere,however you don't need to stick to the exact measurements,because its all about the taste that you prefer.Here is a general recipe:

Mango and Strawberry Sorbet(A scoopfull of summer)


Frozen/fresh strawberries
Dices of mango
Simple syrup
Lime juice
Lime zest
alcohol(it can be vodka/tequila/rum) 3 tblspn for a pint of sorbet(optional)
small pinch of salt


  • You can either make a seperate sorbet for both mango and strawberries or mix them up into one.Its actually a personal preference.
  • Blend all the ingredients until smooth(if needed you can strain it too because strawberry seeds can make the sorbet grainy and so can some mangoes with a fibrous pulp).
  • Transfer it in a freezer safe bowl covered with a lid and keep inside freezer for 8 hrs or until set.Do not forget to take it out every two hrs to churn it in the blender(or use a fork) taking care to not allow it to melt so that the ice crystles break down very fine.Alternatively an icecream maker can be used which is also quicker than the conventional method.
  • Chill the serving bowl for ten minutes before serving time.Scoop out the sorbet and garnish with mint leaves or mango dices.
  • It is a great treat for a summer afternoon indulgence.It can be used in between courses to clean up the palate or as a refreshing dessert in the end.
# Note that there is hardly any aftertaste of alcohol in the sorbet firstly because the quantity is fairly insignificant and also because the ice in it numbs the taste buds much before the taste of alcohol can sink in.However for people who do not want it at all,it is completely fine because the mango pulp anyways keeps it on the creamier side.Have great fun devouring it :-).

Monday, July 4, 2011

Yeah its mango again!!

As i mentioned in my last post that i'll be doing a mango marathon wherein i'll post atleast ten interesting takes on mangoes over the entire i am with my second recipe in tow.Its fairly simple to do;just a few steps and complicated a simple cake can be anyway?
Now,there are endless ways to incorporate mangoes in different recipes,we just have to think "out of the box". Afterall who says if a particular ingredient isn't used in a recipe traditionally ,it cant be.This cake in particular is light,airy and has a wonderfull crunch at the top and somewhere in between the tongue will meet the mellowness of the wonderfully ripe mangoes rendered goey by baking .Its a delight to eat it,you will agree with me after you've  tasted it.So go on,make it.. eat is the recipe:

Light Mango Dimpled Cakes with Stresuel Topping


2 cups(appx.220 gms) all purpose flour
2 tsps. baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup(slighly over 100 gms) soft margarine or you can use 75 gms of butter with two tblspns of any vegetable oil

½ cup granulated sugar
2 medium eggs
3 tblspn(30 ml) clear sweet unflavoured syrup(it can be prepared by heating up equal ratios of sugar and water over gentle heat till it becomes slightly syrupy)

1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
2 Tbsps. brown sugar
2 tbl spn unsalted butter (in sticks)
1 large mango, sliced in wedges

note: What you see in the picture is quantities modified for half proportion. 


  • Grease and flour an 8''/8'' baking tin.Preheat the oven at 350°F / 180°C.
  • Cream the butter and oil together(or margarine) with granulated sugar till it pales in color and becomes fluffy.

  • Add both eggs,one at a time whisking continuosly till the mixture combines well and fluffs up considerably.Add vanila extract and syrup to this mixture.
  • Sieve the flour twice with baking powder and keep aside in a bowl.Reserve a spoon full of this mixture to be used in the end.
  • Take the flour spoon by spoon and add to the egg mixture folding gently(you can let your tiny enthusiastic cooks take over from here and indulge them in folding the mixture by teaching them cut and fold technique and they'll think they've really done a big job,mine was boasting all day long !! :-)), the resulting batter should be of dropping consistency. 
  • Pour it in the baking tin and tap the tin lightly so the batter settles well.Arrange the mango slices over the batter.

  • Mix the reserve flour with brown sugar(for additional flavours you can add a generous pinch of nutmeg/cinnamon powder) and sprinkle generously over the mango slices.This is important because the sugar in this is going to caramalise and render a crunchy texture to the top of the cake.
  • dice the unsalted butter stick and arrange all over at the top layer.
  • Bake it for appx 30 to 40 mts minutes depending on how big or small your oven is.Cool it over rack and dust with icing sugar just before serving.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mango Revisited !!

I had to do it and i was suppose to do this much earlier...i had planned last friday to do a marathon of 10 recipes using mangoes with atleat one recipe every day in order to make up for my absence over the past one month and a half.As usual i got caught up with things and then didn't feel upto it. Nevertheless i will begin afresh and try to stick to my plans over the coming week.It wouldn't be easy though;but i know with a little bit of motivation from here and there i'll be able to sail through.Its my first of the ten entries of the marathon and the second one in the mango series.At this point all i can do is admire fellow bloggers who diligently do one food marathon after other and none of their recipes look like they've been made in a hurry.All I can say is that they inspire me .
I had a lot of recipies in my mind but i wanted to begin with the one which had a few ingredients and was considerably easy to make.i wanted to do a mango pudding initially but later i decided that a mango flan was a better option ;much easier to make as well.
Now,lets talk a little about flan first.Quite similar to creme caramel/caramel custard,Flan  is a popular dessert in Latin America,with preparation changing a little as you move around the entire region.Traditionally cooked over Bain Marie or the Double Boiler,flans can be easily cooked in a water bath in the oven.They can also be cooked inside a pressure cooker(i have added instructions for this at the end).There are numerous recipes over the internet for flan,some of which really have great pictures and have good feedbacks from users but i just cannot attempt at something too complicated for a dish that has a history of failures.I have heard stories about flans that have gone runny or have remained undercooked or tasted too eggy.But trust me,this one given to me by a friend,which i tweaked to incorporate mangoes didn't dissapoint me so i am holding on to this one.Here it is:

Easy Mango Flan

Ingredients:(4 servings)

1/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2/3 cup mango puree(strained to remove any fibre if present)

300 ml reduced milk(begin with apx. 440 ml of milk-almost two glasses and keep reducing over medium heat till it has reduced to almost a glass and a quarter.It should still be a little warm while mixing but not hot.)Alternatively you can use a can of packaged condensed milk(Nestle/Amul)in which case you can completely omit the white sugar from the recipe.

2 teaspoons cornstarch

4 tblspn of any dark colored sugar(i used demarara).

2 large eggs at room temperature


  • Place  ramekins in a  baking pan.Place the demerara sugar with a tablespoon of water and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat, until the sugar melts and turns the color of honey.Distribute the caramel among the ramekins.Sprinkle 1 tablespoon diced mango in each ramekin(optional).Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350° F/180°C.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat mango puree with eggs and sugar on low speed to combine. Dissolve the cornstarch in a tablespoon or two of warm milk and add it to the egg mixture.Increase speed to medium high, and mix until incorporated. Add evaporated milk(luke warm) continuing the whisking on medium high for 2-3 minutes.
  • Ladle custard over caramel in the ramekins, filling them upto almost the rim. Place filled ramekins in a baking dish and pour enough hot water in it to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and place in the oven. Bake until flan is set, about 45 minutes (when you tap the edge of a ramekin the flan should still wobble a little in the center)or you can do the toothpick test.
  • Carefully remove baking dish from oven, remove foil, and let ramekins cool slightly. Let them chill in the refrigerator for least two hours before serving(better still let it chill overnight).Just before serving place the ramekins in a hot water bath for a minute or two in order to melt the caramel well.Run a thin knife around the inside edge of the ramekin to loosen flan, and then invert it onto the plate.  Add slices of mango and a sprig of mint for garnish.
# For cooking in a pressure cooker,first ensure that the dish in which the flan is to be set fits well inside the cooker and has a lid that closes well.Fill up the presure cooker with water that reaches almost halfway to the rim of the container.Cook at high heat till you begin to hear a faint whistle,reduce heat to medium high and cook for 15 to 20 mts.Turn off the heat and let the pressure in cooker release on its own.Remaining procedures are all same as above.Also make sure you fill up the dish leaving some room for expansion or else the flan will be bulged in places and will come out uneven.