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Category Archives: ice cream /frozen / cold dessert

Salted Caramel and Ganache Brownie Trifles

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Last week, I introduced a new class at the Studio. Try as I might, to juggle all the classes I run because they are popular and the ones I . want to do because I love teaching them, I fail to accommodate new ones as often as I would like to.

This week, I decided I would sacrifice one of the more popular ones for one that I have been wanting to do ever since everything stuffed into glass jars of all sizes and shapes became the rage. So anyway, I chose a few things that I had not taught before, because a large part of my students do come for multiple classes and I feel guilty if they’re learning something similar to what they’ve already done.

The Brownie trifle is fairly easy. One can make all the components well ahead of time and assemble them as and when needed. That’s the beauty of pre portioned desserts. Serving it up too is absolutely mess free.


There are four components to this dessert – the brownie (pick your favourite one or use the recipe below), salted caramel sauce, simple chocolate ganache and whipped cream. Add or remove any element you don’t have or don’t like and voila! God level dessert at your fingertips!

Chocolate Brownie (Makes a flat 9 inch brownie)

100 grams Dark chocolate (melted)

½ cup Butter

¾ cup Brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon Instant Coffee powder

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

1 cup Flour (maida)

½ teaspoon Baking powder

½ teaspoon Salt

2 tablespoons Cocoa powder

Sift the maida with baking powder, salt and cocoa powder and set aside.

Add the melted chocolate and butter to a bowl and microwave it for 1 minute or till melted.

Add the sugar and stir. When cooled off a bit, add the eggs and vanilla and beat really well.

Stir in the flour mixture, mix gently without over mixing to form a thick batter. Pour into a greased and lined 9 inch pan.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 25-26 minutes.

Cool before cutting into pieces for the dessert.

Salted Caramel Sauce (Makes 1 ½ cups)

1/3 cup salted butter

½ cup cream

1 cup fine castor sugar

2 tablespoons water

In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat the water and sugar till it comes to a bubble. Do this on low heat, do not stir. Shake the pan if needed. Keep cooking on the lowest heat till the sugar starts to caramelise a light golden colour. Take care not to burn the sugar.

Turn off the heat once it becomes golden and add the butter to it. Mix gently with a whisk to melt the butter. Then add the cream and mix. Return to the lowest heat and mix till it everything has mixed well. Take it off the heat and cool completely before using. It will become thicker as it cools.

Chocolate Ganache (Makes 1 cup)

1 cup Cream + ⅛ cup milk

1 cup Chopped Dark chocolate

Heat the cream till it bubbles, do not boil. Add the chopped chocolate to the cream, mix gently and set aside. The heat of the cream will melt the chocolate. Once it has come to room temperature, gently mix to make sure there are no lumps. Use as needed.

2 Cups Sweetened Whipped Cream

1 cup Heavy whipping cream

4-6 teaspoons confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon Vanilla essence

A pinch of salt

Chill the cream overnight. Chill a stainless steel bowl and the beaters of the hand whisk as well. Shake the cream in the unopened carton well and pour into the chilled bowl. Beat on medium speed till it begins to form soft peaks. Add the salt, sugar and vanilla and beat till it forms stiff peaks. Transfer to a piping bag with a star nozzle fitted (optional) and refrigerate until needed.

To assemble the dessert

Chop the brownie into bite sized pieces. Have all the ingredients ready. Add the whipped cream into a piping bag with a star nozzle.

Add one layer of brownie pieces to the glass jar, drizzle some chocolate ganache, Add 2 tablespoons of caramel sauce and top with whipped cream.

Repeat with another layer. Drizzle some more caramel sauce on the top for garnish.

Chill at least 30 minutes before serving.

Beat the Heat series ~ Watermelon Mojito Popsicles

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Remember when as children, everyone strained their ears for the tinkle of the bell that the ice cream vendor would sound? Kids would rush out and pick their favourite frozen treat. Popsicles are by far one of the easiest things to make. It is as simple as making a fruit crush/ juice and freezing it and doesn’t need any specific recipe. They are also one of the best ways to beat the summer heat. I tried my hand at quite a few of them recently for an article I was writing and was quite happy at how simple it was to make them with whatever fruit is lying about at home. Devoid of artificial colour and excess sugar, these make for a nice treat.

Kulfi or ice cream moulds with the sticks are easily available in metal or plastic in supermarkets or any store selling utensils. They are also inexpensive to buy. Make sure the mould is filled right till the top for it to freeze better. If the moulds are unavailable, plastic disposable cups can be used with an ice cream stick stuck in the middle. These ice cream sticks are easily available in most grocery store.

I made a mint tea by boiling fresh mint leaves in a little bit of water as K does not like whole or crushed mint leaves except in a chutney. I think adding fresh mint leaves as they are will add a nice contrast to the popsicle, so do try it out if your family is less picky than mine!

Watermelon Mojito Popsicles

Watermelon Mojito Popsicles

Watermelon Mojito Popsicle (Makes 6 medium popsicles)

2 cups Watermelon chunks (deseeded)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons white rum

1/4 cup water boiled with 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves and 1/4 cup sugar to make a simple syrup, strain out the mint leaves and use the syrup.


Chop the watermelon and remove the seeds. Add all the ingredients in a blender jar and blend till it is smooth.

Pour this equally into the popsicle moulds and close with the lid. If not using the moulds, divide equally between 4 paper cups and place a wooden stick in the middle.

Freeze for at least 8 hours for best results. Rub the moulds between the palms to warm it slightly and pull the stick gently to unmould. Enjoy it immediately.

Beat the Heat Series ~ Rose Falooda

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Rose Falooda

Rose Falooda

This blogging is a dangerous activity, yes it brings you in touch with like minded people, you make friends, you connect offline, but it also means that you can get quite obsessed with making / cooking what someone else is eating because you are bombarded with pictures or descriptions!

R of Hungry and Excited blog, was talking nonstop for a couple of days about replacing her meals with Falooda that she made at home to combat the heat and I was insanely jealous. I usually make falooda at home. We love having it to beat the hot summers here in Hyderabad. There are also a lot of popular places where one can have falooda that people flock to. But it was past 10:30 PM and I didn’t have ice cream on hand so I made K drive me to the nearest place and slurped more than sipped this sickeningly sweet but yummy drink/ dessert.

kesar falooda

kesar falooda

We had the special kesar falooda with dry fruit. The other popular flavours are pista, khus and ofcourse kesar

Falooda is by no means a low calorie indulgence. It is sugar laden and very filling. No wonder R was replacing her meals with it.

Falooda (makes 2 servings)

2 cups chilled milk

4 teaspoons sabja seeds soaked in water for 10 minutes and drained (basil seeds)

1/2 cup falooda sev (if not use regular semia, cook in 1/2 cup water with 2 teaspoons sugar)

3 scoops butter scotch/ vanilla or pista icecream

1/4 cup rose syrup / rooh afza

Divide all the ingredient equally as you layer in the glasses first add the rose syrup next add the soaked and drained sabja seeds

Next add the cooked falooda semia and gently pour the chilled milk so that it doesn’t mix with the rose syrup

Top with icecream & drizzle some more rose syrup, serve immediately

Instead of rose syrup any other syrup like khus / pista or kesar syrup can be used.

The pairing of icecream is as follows khus/ pista syrup with pista icecream

kesar with butterscotch or vanilla icecream

rose syrup with vanilla or strawberry icecream

Eating with the Seasons ~ Custard Apple Icecream {No Cooking}

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Sitaphal Ice-cream

Sitaphal Ice-cream

One of the only fruits that I love but frustrates me is Sitaphal or Custard Apple. So much jaw work and while the fruit is tasty, the ones with a lot of seeds can leave you with a sore mouth! The season lasts just a few weeks and all over Hyderabad one can see vendors selling piles of this fruit.

While I love eating fruit fresh as they are, I am trying to use them in more ways that just bite into them. Any Hyderabadi worth his pride will tell you about the fabulously hand churned ice-cream that is made at a place called Famous Ice-creams. They use seasonal and fresh fruit in the ice-cream that is of soft serve consistency. Sitaphal Ice-cream is available only when it is in season, and it one of their most popular flavours.

Since I figured out an easy way to remove the seeds from the custard apple, this was the ice-cream I wanted to make. Removing the seeds has been my most excited accomplishment this past week! Earlier this used to be done by hand. However there is an easy way to do this if you have a blender.

Sitaphal (Custard Apple) Ice-cream (makes 4 medium servings)

Custard Apple Pulp                          2 cups with seeds, processed to remove the seeds, else use 1 cup seedless pulp

Condensed Milk                                  ½ cup

Cream                                                   1 cup (use low fat)

Milk                                                       1/4 cup

Vodka                                                   1 teaspoon (optional, helps reduce crystallisation)

Put the custard apple pulp and the milk into a blender and pulse for 1-2 second intervals a couple of times. Ensure you do not pulse for more than a second at a time.

Transfer the pulsed custard apple pulp to a soup strainer/ large sieve placed on a vessel and with the back of a rounded spoon, mix crush it in a circular movement to push the pulp through the sieve. In a while, the seeds will separate, scoop them out and discard. Use the pulp that remains.

Add the cream, condensed milk and seedless pulp and vodka (if using) to the same blender and whiz for 1-2 minutes till fully incorporated.

Remove into a container with a lid (preferably metal for faster freezing) place in the freezer and allow to set for 3-4 hours.

Remove the container from the freezer, with a fork, stir up the ice cream and freeze again for 2 hours. Repeat the stirring at least twice, this is to break up any icicles. This gives you a creamy texture.

When you are ready to serve, scoop into a bowl and serve with a mint leaf garnish. This is a soft serve ice-cream.

Valentine’s Day Trifle ~ Chocolate Cake and Strawberries

Chocolate Strawberry Trifle

Chocolate Strawberry Trifle

Yes I know that Chocolate and Strawberries are a Valentine’s day cliche…. but they are a cliche for a reason. They taste so bloody good together! So if you want a really quick to put together dessert to celebrate this day of love… or a quick and easy dessert to make ahead when you have guests… or better yet, make it and hoard it in the fridge to indulge at midnight when hunger pangs hit…. whatever the reason, make these bite sized desserts, do make it to spread the love.

Chocolate Strawberry Trifle

Chocolate Strawberry Trifle

Chocolate Strawberry Trifle – (Makes 4 servings)

Chocolate Cake                       100 grams (use store bought)

Vanilla Custard Powder      2 tablespoons

Fresh Strawberries               1 cup (hulled and sliced)

Sugar                                          2 tablespoons

Milk                                            1 cup

To make the custard

  1. Heat the milk with the sugar.
  2. Dissolve the custard powder in ½ cup of chilled water and mix till there are no lumps. Add this gently to the hot milk and sugar and stir continuously and cook till the custard begins to thicken.
  3. If you remove the spoon from the pan, the mixture should coat the back of the spoon thickly.
  4. Set aside and cool completely.
  5. Cut the chocolate cake into ½ inch slices to fit into the serving bowl.

To assemble the trifle

  1. Layer the bottom of the serving bowl with a slice of cake. Add a couple of tablespoons of custard over it. Layer it with the slices of fresh strawberry.
  2. Repeat the entire sequence once more. Chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before serving.

A Crowd Pleaser ~ Oreo Cookie Shake

Oreo Cookie Shake

Oreo Cookie Shake

As a child,  I loved Goldspot so much, that I braved the unpleasant burps after drinking it. Am not much of a drinker… I don’t crave hot or cold drinks although my morning cup of freshly filtered coffee is sacred. I savour it in the silence of the morning and it gives me the energy to go about my day. Tea in the evenings, and most of the times, I skip it. Sometimes, late at night, if K and I are still up and a bit hungry, we share a hot chocolate. yet, I try and experiment with drinks both hot and cold. some of them are here… like this orange scented spiced tea ~ very soothing. Or this Kairi ka panna which kept me sane through the summers.

I make this Oreo shake regularly. Am not too fond of the cookie, neither am i a big chocolate fan, however, K loves it. So does everyone who has tasted it. I posted this picture to my instagram feed and a few friends asked me for the recipe. There is not much by way of one… but here goes…

Oreo Cookie Shake (Serves 1)

5 Oreo Cookies (or any other rich biscuit like dark fantasy or bourbon)

1 scoop of vanilla icecrea

1 cup of chilled milk

4-5 cubes of ice

1/4 cup water

Reserve one cookie for the garnish, place everything else in the jar of a blender and whizz on high for 30-40 seconds. Pour into a tall glass, crumble the reserved cookie on top, serve immediately with a straw.

I cant believe I am still on the NaBloPoMo bandwagon! yay!

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Recipe for White Chocolate Panna Cotta {Gelatin Free} with Raspberry Sauce

Pictures in this post taken by my friend A who blogs here

Panna Cotta has been a dessert that has captured my imagination for a while now. All those lovely creations accross the blogosphere have not helped either. The very thought of spooning “cooked cream” into my mouth sometimes had me salivating. But you really have to wait for good things to happen sometimes. And I had to make this for myself. I chose low fat cream. Yes I am a wuss that way, but you can go ahead and use full fat if you are feeling indulgent.

I bought a bag of frozen raspberries. I had all these beautiful raspberry filled dreams, till i cut open the bag and found that they had become large lumps of frozen squashed raspberries! Lumps of frozen raspberries are better than no raspberries and so I used them to make a sauce to be poured over the Panna Cotta. You can use any berries of choice, I think strawberries will work great here. as will any fruit preserve. Just thin it down with a little water and heat.

White Chocolate Panna Cotta  {Gelatin Free} with Raspberry Sauce  (makes 3 regular or 6 shotglass (60 ml) servings)

200 ml – fresh cream (I used i small carton amul low fat cream)

150 grams – chopped white chocolate

2 tablespoons – agar agar vanilla flavoured

1/2 cup milk (I used full cream)

In a saucepan, add the cream, milk and chopped chocolate. heat gently on a low flame and bring it to a gentle boil, stirring continuously to help the chopped pieces of chocolate melt. this will take about 3-4 minutes. Add the powdered agar agar to the heated mixture and stir till it has melted into the cream mixture and is thoroughly combined. Take the saucepan off the heat and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. the mixture will begin to start getting thicker, mix it a couple of times to prevent a skin from forming. pour this into small shot glasses or small bowls. cool completely and cover each one with clingfilm.  chill it in the fridge for a minimum of 4-5 hours or overnight. This stays in the fridge for a few days, so is a good make ahead dessert.

Raspberry Sauce

In a saucepan, add 2 cups of raspberries (I used frozen), 3-4 tablespoons of sugar and 1/3 cup of cold water. Heat it on low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring now and then to make sure the raspberries are cooking through. the colour will begin to darken and the mixture will vigorously bubble over, take it off the heat and mash thoroughly with the back of a ladle to smash everything together. Cool this mixture for about 15 minutes and then pass it through a soup strainer to remove the seeds. These quantities will make you about 2/3 cup of raspberry sauce. Chill till needed.

To serve the pannacotta, spoon a few teaspoons of the raspberry sauce over the set pannacotta, garnish with mint or basil leaves and serve.


If you do not have berries of anykind, use 1/4 cup of fruit preserve or jam of choice. Add 1/4 cup of water and heat gently, stirring it to get a thick sauce.

p.s: Pictures used in this post taken by my friend A who blogs here

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