Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Brazilian brigadeiro

Its time to say good - bye to Norway !! The memories of this beautiful place and its even more beautiful people will remain with me forever. Norway is even more special to me since I baked something for the first time here and of course, I began bogging here :) …reason enough to fall in love with this country.

Now that I am on a kitchen cleaning spree, I am finding so many ingredients to be used. I had some cocoa powder, a can of condensed milk and some chocolate sprinklers from my last baked cake. I made a mental note of combining all these and coming up with something ( I was confident that nothing could go wrong when you are using cocoa powder ). Little did I know that this “something” actually had a name and quite a fancy one at that ….”Brazilian brigadiers”..a name which is enough to intimidate anyone…But as fancy and difficult as it sounds, it is a breeze to make.

 The recipes of these chocolate bonbons spread all over the web are more or less the same with few variations. The authentic recipe uses chocolate sprinklers for decoration but you can use whatever you like…so get creative and get some colored sprinklers, desiccated coconut or also sliced nuts of your choice.

Ingredients :

Sweetened condensed milk - 1 can ( 397 gms approx)
Unsweetened cocoa powder ( I use Valrhona )  - 4 tbsp
Unsalted butter - 3 tbsp
Salt - a pinch
Chocolate sprinklers ( or any other toppings of your choice )

Method :

Heat the condensed milk, butter, cocoa powder and salt in a heavy bottom pan over medium flame. Stir the mixture continuously to avoid burning. Cook until you get a thick sticky mixture and you find it difficult to stir it anymore. This might take around 10 - 12 minutes. Let the mixture cool on a plate till just warm. Slightly damp your hands and make small balls from the mixture. Roll the balls in chocolate sprinklers so that they get coated with the sprinklers on all sides. DONE !! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rasgulla / Roshogulla

Rasgullas need no introduction. They are a sweet lover’s delight. Spongy balls of chenna soaked in sugar syrup are just what you need when you crave for something sweet and sinfully delicious at that !! The good news is that unlike most other sweets, there is not a drop of butter / oil in it so well... a tad bit more healthy than its vicious cousins ( Just thought of gulab jamuns…Yeah, yeah…my mind races fast when it comes to anything remotely sweet :) )

This was my first attempt at rasgullas and I had the guts to serve them to my Bengali friends ( Yeah… I do have bouts of unbelievable courage sometimes ). Heart racing and fingers crossed, I waited for their comments. They were all praises and found these rasgullas just perfect. My cheeks immediately turned a scarlet pink ( See…this is what happens when you are too overwhelmed to gracefully accept compliments with a smile and a thank you…I did neither  !! )

So here’s the recipe…Make some rasgullas today and get ready for those praises flowing in ( you know  what I mean :) )

Recipe credits : My friend, Ranjeeta

Ingredients :

Chenna from 1 1/2 litre milk
Sugar - 1 1/2 cups ( 300 gms )
Water - 4 cups
Cardamoms, crushed ( optional ) - 4 -5
You can also add kesar ( saffron ) or rose water to the sugar syrup as flavoring

Method :

1.  Keand the chenna into a smooth dough and pinch out small portions( See how to make chenna here ). Make small balls with smooth surface. Ensure that there are no cracks on the surface of the balls. Please bear in mind that the rasgullas will double in size on cooking so make smaller sized balls…a little smaller than small lemons .
2.  Boil water in a large wide mouthed pan and then add the sugar. Stir to dissolve all the sugar. Now add the crushed cardamoms to it.
3.  Add the small chenna balls into the boiling water and cover the lid. Do not add too many at a time since the rasgullas will expand , thereby crowding them a bit. Boil for about 10 - 15 minutes ( first 5 minutes on high flame and then lower the flame to medium ).
4. The rasgullas will increase in size and spring back when pressed. This is when you know they are done.
5. Remove from flame and cool completely and WAIT ( I know its tough !!! ) Chuck the rasgullas with the sugar syrup in the refrigerator for a few hours ( I would recommend waiting for about 8 - 10 hrs to get perfect sweet rasgullas ) so that the sugar syrup seeps into the rasgullas.  Serve chilled.