Nimi's Culinary Ventures

A bite into an Apple Crostata for this months DB!

Baking, Breads, Snacks, veg | November 27, 2010 | By

Its been quite sometime since I had joined the Daring Bakers..but somethin or the other would pop up when I get ready to post .Well this time at least I wanted to complete my challenge.This months challenge was chosen by  Simona of “Briocle”..a challenge with an Italian touch.Her idea was to introduce Pasta frolla to make wonderful Crostatas.My choice was Apple and Pastry cream Crostata.
To make Pasta Frolla

1/2 cup. minus 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar

1 and 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1 stick [8 tablespoons ] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
grated zest of half a lemon 
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl


  1. Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.
  3. Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use).
  4. Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg mixture.
  5. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.
  6. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
  7. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.

To make Pastry Creme

500ml Milk
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
a vanilla pod
3 tbsp regular flour

 Pour milk into a pan add vanilla seeds and pod and warm to well below boiling point.In a bowl,beat eggs with sugar till mix is bubbly.Sift flour over the eggs and mix well.Pour the mix into a pan and set it to very low heat stirring every couple of minutes.When the froth on top dissapears, the creme starts getting thicker.Cook briefly for 1-2 mins and then remove the panfrom heat,remove the vanilla pod and let it cool in a water bath.Stir the creme to bring down the temperature and to prevent the forming of film over it.

For the Apple Topping

3 tbsp of Unsalted Butter
4-5 tbsp of granulated sugar
Apples sliced

In a pan heat the butter and stir in the sugar till it dissolves.Add the sliced apples and saute till they become soft.

Assembling the Crostata

  1. Heat the oven to 375ºF [190ºC/gas mark 5].
  2. Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap it and cut away ¼ of the dough. Reserve this dough to make the lattice top of the crostata. Refrigerate this dough while you work on the tart base.
  3. To help roll the crostata dough, keep the dough on top of the plastic wrap that you had it wrapped in. This can help rolling the dough and can also help when transferring the dough to your pan. You can also use parchment paper for this. However, you can also roll the dough directly on a work surface if you prefer.
  4. Lightly dust the top of the dough and your work surface (if you’re rolling directly on a work surface) with flour. Keep some flour handy to dust the dough as you go along.
  5. If the dough is very firm, start by pressing the dough with the rolling pin from the middle to each end, moving the rolling pin by a pin’s width each time; turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat; when it softens, start rolling.
  6. Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch (3 mm) thick.
  7. If you used the plastic wrap or parchment paper as rolling surface, flip dough over the pan, centering it, and delicately press it all around so the corners are well covered. Peel away the plastic wrap.
  8. Trim the excess dough hanging over the edges of the pan. Press the remaining dough around the border into the sides of the pan making sure the border is an even thickness all the way around.
  9. Prick the bottom of the dough in several places with a fork.
  10. Blind bake the dough in the oven for about 20- 25 minutes.
  11. Let the pasta frolla to cool completely.
  12. Spread the pastry creme on top of the dough and the apple toppings on top of it.
  13. You can use the reserved pasta frolla to decorate with strips or to cut out shapes on it.
  14. Now place the crostata in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes .

Let it cool before slicing.Serve with whipped cream.Hope u all be looking forth to try this out…:)




An Eggless Indulgence!

Desserts, veg | November 8, 2010 | By


Our “sweet punch ” for this month was with a  twist with three wonderful recipes to choose from and my choice was Nigella’s Eggless  Instant Chocolate Mousse!Well this is my second attempt on this choco indulgence..:)It was in every an instant dessert..  Thanks   Ria  !
If u r ready for a choco attack this is the best remedy!














Eggless Instant Chocolate Mousse:
Mini marshamallows – 150 g 
Butter-50 g, softened
Chocolate- 250 g 
Hot water-60 ml
Cream-284 ml
Vanilla extract- 1 tsp


In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the marshmallows,butter,chocolate and water together, stirring every now and then.

Meanwhile, whip the cream with vanilla until thick.

Fold it into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth mixture. 

Pour into individual ramekins and let it set in the fridge for about 1 hour.


THE GOOEY CHOCOLATE LAVA!

Appetizers, Baking, cakes | October 7, 2010 | By

This months challenge from the sweet punch team is “Molten Lava Chocolate Cake”.When I got my monthly recipe I was very much looking forth to try it out at the earliest…and there bingo!… we had a family get together.My parents and brother where comin over to our place for lunch.I have earlier made this drooling cake as cupcakes…the secret is that I couldnt actually find a nice set of ramekins here.Its hard to get these in Munnar…so I had to limit myself to glass bowls!The smell when u bake these gooey beauties..ahh..i still cant resist them.I’m glad that I chose this as a dessert with vanilla scoops for the get together.. i could see chocolaty smiles..the best smile was my little one’s..he simply loved it 🙂

Here’s the recipe..I’m sure you will all enjoy…:)

113gms of Semi sweet baking chocolate
113gm of butter
2 eggs
1/3 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
Butter for greasing the ramekins

  • Melt chocolate in a double boiler.
  • In a bowl ,beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Once chocolate melts,remove pan from heat and add in the butter and mix well till the butter melts and mixes well.
  • Add the chocolate butter mix into the eggs and add all purpose flour and mix well till it is well incorporated.
  • Butter bottom and sides of the ramekins and pour in the mix to about 3/4 full.
  • Place the ramekins on a baking tray and bake them for 10 -15 minutes.
  • If you dont like the gooey texture you can increase the baking time.
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. 

CUSTARD PUDDING

Desserts | April 12, 2010 | By

If you are a custard lover ,this pudding is really gonna boost your taste buds.
1/2 ltr milk
2 tbsp Vanilla custard powder
6tbsp  sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp gelatin
1 cup fresh cream

  • Soak the gelatin in 1/4 cup  of water
  • Separate 1/2 cup of milk with the custard powder.Mix  this with the rest of the milk and sugar stirring for a while ,till it thickens
  • Add the soaked gelatin to the custard,mixing well.
  • When this gets cooled stir in the fresh cream
  • Pour the mix into a dish and refrigerate it..

SNOW WHITE PUDDING

Desserts | April 9, 2010 | By

This was the dessert that I made for my kids today.Being a busy bee with the kitchen chores…this one was quite time saving….

1 1/2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of sugar
2tbsp Gelatin
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup fresh cream

  • Soak the gelatin 6tbsp of water for about 10 minutes.
  • Lightly heat the milk with sugar ,taking care not to boil it.Mix well the soaked gelatin to the hot milk.
  • When the milk is cooled, add the vanilla essence and fresh cream and beat the mix well.
  • Pour the mix to a bowl and keep it in the freezer for about 1 hour.
  • After 1 hour move it to the fridge
  • The pudding is ready to be served…
  • If you are wondering what is topped on the pudding…heat 1tbsp of mixed fruit jam with 2-3 tbsp of water.Pour it on the pudding on cooling..