It's been 2 years of blogging at FH (on July 14th, 2006)!
I can't believe how time flies!! It seems like yesterday that I hesitantly opened Foodie's Hope blog and started posting. It's almost 2 years already! Phew!!
To fellow foodies,
I am grateful for all the good things and friends I have gained through blogging and prefer to ignore few nasty comments and petty behavior of very few. Life is like that, isn't it? Bitter sweet! Got to deal with both to make life sweeter!
Hopefully, I will continue to have your affection in future too. I never had a sister in my personal life but I can't really say that anymore! I do have hundreds of sisters now and have gained few brothers too thru' blogging! :) Please know that I always enjoy visiting all of you even though I blog 3 days and try to blog hop only 3-4 days a week to make some time for myself these days! :)
I say "thank you" to everyone,
who come to my blog to say hello to me every week! I appreciate your time, the effort you make to comment here. I will never take any of your comment for granted, hope you do the same! We are all busy in our own way, still make time to post and interact with other bloggers. To me personally, blogging is always been a two way relationship, encouraging and helping each other regardless of whether you are a brand new blogger or a 2yr old blogger like me!
Silent readers; you are most welcome to browse and try the dishes in my blogs. Do leave the feedbacks and say hello to me once in a while, so I can know you. Thanks to all of you who left feedbacks on the dishes you tried from here and at Aroma. Enjoy! :)
What makes me a bit sad is the fact that few websites are knowingly taking our photos without our permission claiming to be their own without giving us any credit or link and profiting by it too! Please be aware of the copy rights, ask for permission, link and give credits. We foodies/bloggers work too hard to do all these cooking, photographing and posting which are not easy at all. Please don't force us to make all our blogs private, it would be such great loss to many young readers who are still learning if all our blogs are not accessible to everybody easily!
Okay, I don't want to get all "emo"(emotional) as my daughter would say!:D
Few weeks ago, I posted a savory cheesy Gougère at my Aroma blog. These are similar but sweet with cream filling and Chocolate glazed with coconut topping. I made few sweet mini Éclairs last week specially for this post. Let me give you a yummy dessert before I take your leave. Hope you try!
YAY!! I remember eating these from Bangalore Iyengar bakeries stuffed with butter cream! I don't know whether these match that taste exactly but not bad at all, what with all that chocolate Ganache glaze on top, some with coconut and some with just cream, these might taste even better for chocolate lovers! :)
Éclairs are sweet puffs as you can describe them, are made of eggy, buttery pâte à choux pastry, stuffed with cream and dipped in Chocolate Ganache!! Sounds great already, huh? Eggs are a must for this recipe, there are no substitutions. In US, there is a egg substitution available like Egg beaters or Egg replacer but I don't know whether they give the same texture as real eggs since I haven't tried it. I am sorry that pure vegetarians cannot try these because of the eggs but Eggetarians can thoroughly enjoy!
I am sending these Éclairs, lightly flavored with Nutmeg to Aparna of "My diverse kitchen" blog, who is guest hosting "Think Spice..think Nutmeg" event this month. This event is started by Sunita from "Sunita's World" blog. Thanks to this event, we all get to savor different spice infused dishes every month. Glad I could send you one too Aparna. Have fun hosting!:))
Nutmeg/Jaiphal is usually added to sweet dishes and masala pd in India, also to cheese sauces and greens in moderation, too much of Nutmeg will taste bitter in the dishes.
To make these, you need:
1 cup milk or water,
(2% or fat free milk or just plain water is okay)
4 tbsp Butter, unsalted/ 1/4 cup or 1/2 stick,
1 cup Plain flour,
3 tbsp powdered sugar,
1/2 tsp Vanilla essence,
4 Medium sized Eggs.
1/4 tsp powdered or gratings of Nutmeg to mix in the soft dough for extra flavor. (Nutmeg is my non-traditional addition to Eclairs, skip it if you don't like Nutmeg, I do love the subtle aroma)
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped with 1 tbsp sugar pd, pinch of Nutmeg or can use store bought sweet cream or icing.
1/4 cup Chocolate chips+1 tbsp butter.
Sweet Coconut flakes to sprinkle,
A piping bag or large zip lock bag with 1" hole cut off in the corner of the bag to make bigger Éclairs and 1/2" hole for minis . Parchment paper and rack to cool them.
1. Heat milk or water and butter in a non-stick pan until it boils, take the pan off the heat when they dissolve,. Add Vanilla, mix. Now add all the flour at once and Nutmeg pd, stir vigorously with a wooden spoon or whisk to mix well.
2. Return to medium heat, keep stirring until it leaves the sides of the pan in a ball. Take the pan off the heat and let it cool for 5 mins. Eggs will curdle when added, if the pastry dough is too hot!
Turn on the oven to 375F to preheat and add a parchment paper on top of a large cookie sheet, use double layered baking sheet if you manage to have one to prevent burning the bottom of the delicate Éclairs.
3. Add the dough to the stand mixer with a flat beater (or in a bowl with a wooden spoon or whisk), turn on low, add 1 egg at a time, mixing very well after each egg until all 4 eggs are used. Beat the mixture on medium speed until it's shiny, glossy, thick and smooth. When you stick a spoon into the dough, it should stand up without falling as in the picture, keep beating until then.
4. Add all the pastry dough to the pasty bag, squeeze out the dough on to the sheet about 1"wide and 4" long, pipe in 2" apart from each other for large ones and 3" long for mini Éclairs until you use up all the pastry.
I can't tell you how many you get exactly, probably about 12 large ones. I made mini Éclairs about 3" long, got about 20! Large Éclairs are better for filling than filling the minis! :)
5. When the oven is hot, put the sheet in and bake for 25-30mins or until they are golden on top. DO NOT overbake them!
DO NOT open oven while they are baking. When done, take the sheet out, put a skewer through the sides of each Éclair to release the air to prevent softening in the center as you can see in the collage, cool on the rack or slice across as halfway, so the inside dries faster without getting soggy inside.
Cream: You can add a pinch or two Nutmeg pd to the whipped cream too if you like, just whip cream with nutmeg and sugar until thick and fluffy.
For chocolate Ganache: Heat chocolate chips and butter in the Microwave for few seconds until they melt, mix well. Whip the cream with sugar until thick or use ready made cream. Keep the coconut handy and Walnuts if you like too.
You can eat just plain mini Éclairs without any filling or topping, just sprinkled with just plain powdered sugar or mixed with pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon powder!
6. When they are cold, fill the middle with whipped cream, gently dip the top in chocolate to coat or use a spoon to coat. Dip or sprinkle the coconut flakes on top. Variations are up to you.
One more look: Hope you make these at home. Cheesy spicy ones great too. These may not be as perfect as Iyengar Bakery Eclairs but good enough for homemade! Can't believe I forgot to take a close up photo of a single Eclair! :P
Now a savory to with the sweet dessert!
I am sending these Cheese and Garlic Biscuits to Aparna of My diverse kitchen", who is hosting my favorite event of all "Bread Baking day #12", an event started by Zorra at 1x umrühren bitte this month with a theme of "Small Breads". Thanks for Aparna, I had to post these for you before I disappear!!:)
Cheese and Garlic Biscuits:
I made these lovely biscuits last week with Cham's (of "Spice-club" blog) yummy recipe. I made few changes in the recipe, so I will give you that version here, enjoy and thank you again Cham, we loved these! :)
You need: 1 1/2 cup self-raising flour, 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/4 cup margarine,3/4 cup +2 tbsp Buttermilk, homemade or store bought or use buttermilk pd +water, 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese or pepper jack cheese and 1 tsp Garlic powder.
Preheat the oven for 450 F. Add a parchment paper on the baking sheet.
Mix the dry ingredients first and add the margarine and mix well until crumbly. Add in the cheese, mix and add liquid ingredients. It will looks sticky which is okay. Take a large cookie or Ice cream scoop, scoop the dough and drop them on the parchment paper. Bake for 12-14 mins or until puffed and golden. Take them out and cool on the rack.
Enjoy the delicate and delicious eclairs and biscuits!:)
I didn't cook too many dishes from other blogs last week to avoid any leftovers while we are gone from home but couldn't stop myself from trying this most popular "No knead Bread" recipe from Jim Lahey in New York Times I had to try last weekend!:D
Followed his recipe to bake this bread mostly except I didn't shape the dough after the first 18hrs of rising, did not use floured towel etc, just popped in the whole dough after the second rising in to my red HOT Le Crueset and after baking covered and uncovered about 85-90 mins, a perfect hard crusted and chewy bread! Thank you Mr. Lahey! :)
"No knead bread":
Inside story; very crusty outside, soft and chewy inside, slightly sour tasting bread, great with soup or with fruit preserves for breakfast!
Look what I couldn't resist making yesterday and taking these to vacation with us!!:D
Kodubale from A&N' s blog!! Thank you guys for posting this yummy classic Karnataka snack, they were wonderful, easy and different from what I usually make!:)
Here are my own Kodubales I have made before, enjoy; One-Two-Three!
I will resume cooking from your blogs when I am back home from vacation and will list a HUGE collage in September of course! :D
While I am MIA (missing in action), if you are looking for any recipes in this blog or from Aroma, type in the name of the dish in the search button you see on the side bar in both blogs or go to my "Recipe Index" to find them easily.
If all the above fails, I will still be moderating the comments here and at Aroma atleast once a day and will be updating the events list on the side bar as they are announced, so you can ask me leaving a comment here to help you to find the recipes as well any time!
Awards: A big hug to each one of my blogger friends who showered me with many many awards last week, I appreciate them all and have listed all of you in my side bar. Thank you!
See you all in September! Be safe and have a peaceful Summer.
July 09, 2008
It's been 2 years of blogging at FH (on July 14th, 2006)!