Rose Inspired Recipes : Rose & Pistachio Lassi

Rose & Pistachio Lassi.jpg

Lassi is a popular Indian yoghurt drink, commonly served with meals and perfect for hot summer days . It’s traditionally made with just sugar but a common variation is making it with mango – which is absolutely yummy. Here, we’ve made it with rose syrup ,pistachio and a little honey which is a nice way to jazz it up if you’re having people over or if you just feel like putting  a little more effort into it. Chill well before serving!

Makes 2 small glasses

Ingredients

300g plain unsweetened yoghurt

3 tsp pistachio granules

6 cardamom pods

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tbsp honey

For the rose syrup :

1 and half tsp rosewater

4 tbsp water

3 tbsp sugar

To garnish:

A few rose petals

1/2 teaspoon pistachio granules

2 cinnamon sticks

Method

Grind the cardamom pods in a mortar , discard the green shells and grind the black seeds into a powder

Make the rose syrup; In a small saucepan, mix the rosewater, water and sugar just until the sugar melts.

Place the yoghurt, rose syrup, pistachio granules, honey, milk & cardamom pods in a blender and blend until smooth. 

Chill in the refrigerator and serve garnished with pistachio granules, rose petals and cinnamon stick as a stirrer. If you need to serve it immediately, pour it over crushed ice. 

x Anu & Suba

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Rose inspired recipes: Rose Meringue with Apricot Compote

rosemeringue

Next in the rose series is a dusky rose meringue with a gorgeous golden apricot compote. Meringue is not as difficult to make as it’s sometimes made out to be. The key thing is just allowing it to cool completely before taking it out of the oven, overnight even if you can afford the time.

The rose flavour suits meringue beautifully, mixing in with the sugar to create a really sweet and romantic smell. The apricot compote also means you can skip the cream with this meringue recipe, the compote keeps the dessert from being dry but is also light enough to serve after a heavy meal.

We’ve taken Nigella Lawson’s chocolate meringue recipe and modified it. Why totally re-invent the wheel when there’s already an excellent recipe to draw from!

Serves 8 (larger portions) and 10 (smaller portions)

Prep time: 20-25 minutes Cooking time: 1hr 20 mins  Rest time: At least 3 hrs

Ingredients

Meringue:

6 large egg whites

300 g caster sugar

2 tbsp rose water

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Apricot Compote:

400g apricots

60g caster sugar

150ml water

1 tbsp rose water

Caramelised apricots (for topping):

3 large apricots or 5 small ones, sliced

1 tbsp butter

4 tbsp caster sugar

Splash of orange juice

Method

Turn the oven on to 180 degrees celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper. We used a rectangular one as that’s all we had, you can use whatever you have!

Start with the topping first. So, on another baking tray, lay out the apricots you’ve sliced up for the caramelised apricot topping. Put aside for a few minutes. Next, put a pan on medium heat and let it get hot, add the butter and when it melts, add in the sugar and allow it to caramelise. Add the orange juice and stir well. Pour this over the apricots in the tray and toss and then pop in the oven for 8 minutes or until you get a lovely browning on the apricot. Set aside.

For the meringue now, beat the egg whites until they form smooth peaks. Now, add the sugar one tablespoon at a time and keep beating until the mix is stiff and satiny. Now add the rose water, one tablespoon at a time and then the vinegar. Gently scoop up the pillowy mixture and mound it  in a circle onto the baking sheet. Once you’ve piled everything up, smooth the sides and top down. 

Put it in the oven and immediately turn down the temperature to 150 degrees celsius. Bake for 1 to 1hour and 15 minutes or until the top and edges are properly crisp and dry but when you gently push it, you should feel it’s still soft inside. Turn the oven off and leave the door open for the meringue to cool completely. 

For the compote, put a pot on medium heat. Pour in the water, add the sugar and allow it to dissolve.  Add the chopped up apricots and cook over a gentle heat until it is soft and starts to look like it’s of jam consistency. Add the rosewater and stir it in. If you prefer it chunkier, that’s fine too, just cook for less time, till you get the consistency you want. if you end up with tart apricots, you might want to add more sugar. You can do this after you get the consistency you want, just taste and add accordingly, mix it in well and allow it to dissolve over low heat.

Once you’re ready to serve, carefully peel the meringue off the baking paper and spoon the compote over. Place the caramelised apricots on the top, browned side up and for a bit of a burst of colour, sprinkle some crushed pistachios over it. 

x Anu & Suba

Rose inspired recipes: Rosewater Pancakes with Orange and Cardamom Yoghurt

 

rosepancakes

We love pancakes and we eat a lot of them. So whenever we get together, like we did a few weeks ago in Venice for some sisterly catch-up, we make (and eat) pancakes.

venicesisters
Having snuck out for a cocktail and catch-up after putting baby A to bed, we thought we’d attempt to rival the teens and glamorous wefie-taking couples on the moodily-lit Piazza Ferretto.

Why make pancakes when you can get pancake mix and even already made and packed pancakes in most supermarkets? Because they are easy to make from scratch and from scratch means you can avoid that baking powder after-taste you get with some pancake mixes, and you can ensure quality control when it comes to all your ingredients. We’d say those are two pretty good reasons!

We used only egg yolks for this pancake recipe and it gave them such a decadent richness and a lovely yellow-gold hue.

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients

Pancake

1 cup self raising flour or if you can’t find self-raising, use 1 cup plain flour sifted with 1 tsp baking powder

1 cup fresh milk

2 egg yolks

2 tbsps sugar

2 tbsps rosewater

Sauce/Topping

200g thick Greek yoghurt

1 tsp orange extract (if you don’t have orange extract, use 1 tbsp good quality orange juice)

the grated rind of 1 orange

3 cardamom pods (de-shelled and crushed finely and then put through a sieve)

1 tbsp honey (for mixing in) and more for pouring over the pancakes

Method

Make the yoghurt topping first and pop it in the fridge while you make the pancakes. Mix the yoghurt with the orange extract/juice, the rind, the cardamom and honey. Add the honey last if you’re using juice instead of extract. This way if you’ve not managed to get a good thick yoghurt to start with, and your mixture looks like it’ll be too runny once you add the orange juice,  you can just use the honey as a drizzle afterwards instead of mixing it in. Cover and set aside in the fridge.

For the pancakes, start by sifting the flour into a large bowl and then add the sugar and mix it all in. Then, make a well in the middle and pour in the milk, the rosewater and the two egg yolks. Whisk from the centre but don’t overbeat the batter. Lumps are fine. If you over-whisk, trying to break all the lumps, you’ll get a chewy consistency instead of a light and fluffy one.

Use a heavy bottomed pan or a griddle. If you only have a thin base pan, that’s fine, just use the first pancake as a tester to help you decide how to adjust the heat. Put the pan on medium heat and pour in some vegetable or sunflower oil. If you want to use butter, use clarified butter. Otherwise, the milk solids in regular butter will burn quickly. If you absolutely must use regular butter, that’s fine, just wipe the pan after each pancake to avoid burning.

Pour  and cook one pancake at a time, as tempting as it might be to do more. This just helps you control the heat and ensures all the pancakes are cooked evenly (and unless you’re a juggler, believe us, you won’t be able to flip more than one pancake at once!) We like to transfer our batter to a jug and pour out from that, but you can also use a ladle. Pour out as much batter as you want (depending how large or small you want the pancakes) into the centre of the pan so it spreads out evenly.

You should only flip the pancakes  (or turn them using a flat wide spatula) when you see bubbles forming across the batter in the pan. If your pan starts smoking, it means it’s too hot so lift it off the heat for a few seconds and let it cool down while you re-adjust the heat.

Once you’ve made all the pancakes, you can either sandwich them with the yoghurt mix in between two or even three stacked ones and top with more honey or serve the yoghurt on the side with more honey for drizzling on top.

 

x Anu & Suba

 

Rose Inspired Recipes : Rose, Coconut & Raspberry Panna Cotta

Rose & Coconut Panna Cotta 2

Panna Cotta is versatile so it was perfect for experimenting with. My biggest worry with Panna Cotta is that it doesn’t set, so I kept to a ratio of 2 cups of liquid to 4 sheets of Gelatin and it turned out fine. I find that anything more than 2 tablespoons of rose-water is a little too strong for me ,but I suppose you could experiment with that yourself and adjust it to your taste. I was lucky enough to take a 6 week dessert course at the Culinary Institute in Dubai and one of the tips I picked up is to always use a whisk to stir any dairy (milk, cream, cheese etc.) you put on the stove, so do use a whisk to stir the cream to prevent it from becoming lumpy.

I’ve used fresh raspberries to keep it light and to counter the sweetness of the Panna Cotta, but you could make a raspberry sauce or include raspberries in the cream after cooking and before setting it in the fridge – like I said, Panna Cotta is versatile, so happy experimenting!

 

Makes 6 cups (depending on the size of the mould)

Ingredients

1 1/8 cup Whipping cream (or 1 cup + 2 tablespoons)

3/4 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)

1/8 cup rose water (or 2 tablespoons)

1/2 cup white sugar

3-4 raspberries to top

Rose petals to decorate

Method

Submerge the Gelatin sheets in a bowl of cold water for about 10 minutes.

In a saucepan, combine the cream, coconut milk and sugar. 

Slowly bring this to a boil, stirring the whole time with a whisk, until the mixture starts to boil. Turn it off and leave it on the heat for a few seconds. 

Take the saucepan off the heat , drain & squeeze the Gelatin sheets (try to get out as much water as you can) and then add it to the cream mixture. 

Stir until the Gelatin is fully melted into the cream.
Pour the mixture into the moulds, you can pretty much use any shape or size.

Leave the moulds in the fridge for at least 3 hours. 

Rose & Coconut Panna Cotta

To de-mould :

Run a sharp knife along the edge of the Panna Cotta, separating it from the mould. 

Place the mould almost to the top in a bowl of hot water (be careful it’s not boiling as the top of the Panna Cotta may melt). 

Then turn it over onto a plate and tap the bottom of the mould to get the Panna Cotta out. Top with raspberries and rose petals.

I picked up this great tip from thekitchn.com – dampen the plate before turning the Panna Cotta out onto it, so you can adjust its’ position before serving. It’s difficult to move the Panna Cotta around on a dry plate. 

Alternatively, you could garnish it beautifully and serve it up directly in the mould, for a small twist on the traditional way of serving it. 

Davidlebovitz.com has a lot of information on working with Gelatin, so do take a look if you want to try this with powdered Gelatin instead.

x Anu & Suba

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Persian Love Cake

persianlovecake2

Summer is here and roses are blooming everywhere and so we couldn’t resist the opportunity to put the flavour of roses in pretty much everything we are cooking these days. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some of our favourite rose inspired concoctions, both sweet & savoury, so do drop by if you feel like filling your kitchens with the scent of roses.

The first of our recipes is a Persian Love Cake. The story goes that this magical cake was first made by a Persian woman for a Prince she was in love with. And what’s not to love about this intently moist, sweet, rich almond cake with hints of rosewater, cardamom & lemon. This is hands down my favourite almond cake and a great one  to make for a party because it keeps well, is  yummy and looks impressive but is so easy to make. This recipe is from Yasmin Khan’s The Saffron Tales and I’ve never found the need to change anything  because I love it as it is, but replacing the lemons with oranges , using hazelnuts instead of pistachios or making little Persian love cupcakes (especially for Valentine’s Day) could be nice twists.

persianlovecake1

I’ve made this cake 2 days in advance and it has always tasted better that way. You could take the traditional route and make the lemon icing in this recipe or you could whip up some lemon cream , rose buttercream or even mix store-bought pistachio cream with freshly whipped cream to top this cake. The variations are endless . If you want to make a 2 layer cake like I have here, just remember to double the portions for the lemon icing so you can top each layer.Handle the cake with care when layering, it’s so soft that it cracks easy. 

Serves 8

Ingredients

The Cake

200 g unsalted butter

150 g caster sugar

4 medium eggs

12 cardamom pods

100 g plain flour, sifted

275 g ground almonds

1 unwaxed lemon, zested and juiced

1 tablespoon rose water

1 teaspoon baking powder

a generous pinch fine sea salt

The Syrup

2 tablespoon caster sugar

1/2 lemon, Juiced

1/2 tablespoon rose water

The icing

150 g icing sugar

3/4 lemon, Juiced

2 teaspoon cold water

To Decorate

2 teaspoons sliced pistachios or pistachio granules

2 teaspoons dried or fresh rose petals, roses or rosebuds

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C. Grease a 22 cm cake tin and line it with baking parchment.

Grind the whole cardamom pods in a pestle & mortar, discard the green shells and pound the little black seeds until they become a powder. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together until just combined , don’t over-beat. Then add the eggs one at a time and beat until combined.

Add the cardamom seeds to the mixture. Then add the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, lemon juice and rose water.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin , even out the top and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.

Check the cake close to the end of the baking time by sticking a fork in the middle. It should come out clean. Place the cake on a  wire rack to cool.

While waiting for the cake to bake, make the syrup. Using a small pan over low heat, combine the caster sugar, rose water and lemon juice and stir until the sugar melts completely. While the cake is still warm, use a toothpick or fork to poke holes all over the top and then drizzle the syrup over the cake,making sure you cover the whole top of the cake.

Let the cake cool completely.

To make the icing combine the icing sugar, lemon juice and a 3-4 teaspoons of cold water  and stir well until the icing is smooth and thick. Make the icing just before you want to use it or it will harden. Spoon the icing over the cake and let it drip down the sides. Decorate with the roses and pistachio.

If you want to make a double layer cake, use a serrated knife or cake slicer to slice the cake. Spoon half the icing over the bottom layer, place the top layer over that with the top (rounded part of the cake) facing down ,

=[then spoon the rest of the icing over that. This video from ZoeBakes will explain how to do that better than I can with words.

x Anu & Suba