Monday, 2 March 2009
The last name i tried was foolproof foodie, which i liked very much. It was easy to remember and rolled off the tongue nicely. But i wanted a name that related more to me and that's when i thought of Anglo-Indian Cook. I think it describes me and my style of cooking perfectly.
Being of Indian descent and being brought up in England has resulted in an often weird but wonderful concoction of Indian and English flavours amalgamated into one. I think most Indians would agree with me that we just can't help adding Indian flavours into English dishes.
The combinations however don't stop there. We continue this obsession with almost every dish, whether that be an Italian or Chinese dish.
I have found that sometimes it's not too wise to meddle too much, but most times the flavours work really well.
I know i havn't posted any Indian dishes yet, but i shall do very soon so keep posted :)
I love both eating and making savoury food. I can do it with ease, breath normally and do it quickly. I like to think I can do the same with desserts. Unfortunately when it came to baking, my skills and knowledge of cooking savoury dishes just didn’t seem to cut it. I used to get so stressed out, hyperventilate in-between and then end up chucking whatever I made in the bin. One year for my brothers birthday (I apologise if you’re reading this) I even resorted to buying a ready made cake mix, and passing it off as my own, it looked good, tasted ok and nobody was none the wiser.
Not being able to bake really stressed me out. Instead of giving up, I decided to work out the root of my problem. Through a little bit of research and self assessment I worked out a few of those problems.
My problems: Being impatient, being heavy handed and trying to cut too many corners.
I’ve always been an impatient person. I like things being done quickly, be that cooking, walking or talking, it just needs to be done quickly. Now this can often be an advantage, unfortunately for me being fast whilst baking is not always a good skill to have. Baking requires patience; things need to be done slowly. Vigorously folding flour will never help a cake to rise.
Cutting corners also links to being impatient and I think so does the heavy handedness.
So after working out the root of the problem I decided to confront my problem, not eradicate, as my problem can be quite useful sometimes.
And guess what? It worked. I wouldn’t say I’ve perfected the art of baking because art is what it is, I still have a long way to go, but I’m getting there. Slowly.
My three favourite things to bake so far are: cheesecake, profiteroles and coconut sponge. Don’t get me wrong I have attempted many other things but these three always turn out well.
I’ve baked the coconut Victoria sponge quite a few times now, but always for other people. My mums been wanting to eat for a while, I think it gives her a feeling of nostalgia, buying a Victoria sponge for our birthdays. Every year, for all our birthdays and cousins birthdays we’d have a 99p Victoria sponge from Iceland’s or Kwiksave. Fortunately we can be a little more extravagant these days.
I had a few people round yesterday so decided to bake one to have with some custard.
The cake was a hit, I had a few problems but all turned out well in the end. Everybody loved the cake, well, at least they told me they did and the empty bowls also suggested they did.
If you've had problems in the past like me i advise you to start with this simple sponge cake. It doesn't take too much skill just a little patience, love and care.
175g/6oz Golden caster sugar
175g/6oz Self-raising four
1 1/2 Tspn baking powder
50g/2oz dessicated coconut
2 Tbsp coconut cream- You can use single cream if you have no coconut cream
Buttercream & Filling
280g/10oz Icing sugar
3 Tbsp Coconut cream- Again you can use single cream if you prefer.
4-5 Tbsp Raspberry or Strawberry jelly.
1. preheat the over to gas mark 4/180c.
2. Butter two 8inch sandwich tins and line them with greaseproof paper.
3. Mix together butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and eggs- This can be done using your hands, food processor, electric whisk or a freestanding mixer.
4. Divide the mixture between the two sandwich tins - Give it a little shake to make sure it's nice and even.
5. bake for 25mins until golden brown and firm. To be sure it's cooked all the way through , put a skewer through the middle if it comes out clean then your done, if not leave it in the oven till it does.
6. Leave in tins for 5-10 mins. loosen the edges and take out tins and place on wire rack. let the cakes cool completely.
7. Make the buttercream: beat together icing sugar, butter and coconut cream until smooth.
8. Spread jam on one of the cakes and a quarter of the butter cream on the other cake.
9. Sandwich together and spread the remaining buttercream on top.
I don’t know about you, but I have this weird habit, that when I go out to eat or eat something which I am not able to obtain the recipe for I sit there and try to dissect what has gone into the food so I can recreate it when I get home.
I don’t always get it right, but on some occasions I do. Lemon chilli sweet corn is one of the simpler ideas I’ve picked up. I wouldn’t call it a dish, more a snack. It’s so simple to put together, within minutes you’ll have a nice yummy snack. I’m warning you though this really has a kick to it, so if you don’t like spicy food then please omit the cayenne pepper or use less of it.
250g Frozen Sweetcorn – You can use tinned if you like or fresh from a cob if in season.
1 heaped Tbsn Cayenne Pepper
¼ Tspn Salt
1 heaped Tspn Mixed ground coriander and cumin (Dhana Jeeru) – If you don’t have mixed just mix half Tspn of each.
1 Tbsn Fresh coriander.
1. Boil Sweet corn for 3-4 mins until tender all the way through. Try not to do it for longer as the sweetcorn often becomes hard and chewy.
2. Strain water.
3.Whilst still hot toss in the rest of the ingredients. Make sure all the spices are well incorporated.
4. Let the sweetcorn stand for a min, so the flavours can amalgamate with each other.
5. Sprinkle with coriander.
I realise I haven’t posted anything substantial yet. Like I said before, a little difficult with the lighting. And going through everybody else’s amazing blog’s I’m a little bit intimidated. But I shall post soon (hopefully).