Saturday, June 23, 2012

Boiled Custard With Ripe Mangoes

Evolution of recipes is a fascinating thing. Recipe follow people and mingle with other recipes resulting in delightful consequences. Check any pastry shop in India and you would find a medley of products that are reminiscent of the bygone British era. Some recipes have even become extinct elsewhere but still continue with strong patronage here. Cream horns for instance. This article in Sunday's livemint tells tales of delicacies made out of pastry filled fresh cream and jam which were once popularized by the British in India. You can still find these in local pastry and bakery shops across India. I suspect pineapple pastry and black forest cake also belong to the same genre. Another dinosaur, the boiled custard, captured the imagination of Indians like no other. You can still find the yellow boxes of Brown and Polson vegetarian custard mix boxes which claim to be vegetarian custard are little more than yellow coloring, cornflour and vanilla essence in every grocery store.

Custard reminds me of summer vacations at my grandmother's. The yellow custord and the jiggling red rasperry jelly captured 5 year old me's imagination much like my ancestors. And if I was really good, I would get a mango pieces with it.

I didn't want the out-of-a-yellow-box version to satisfy today's craving. After hunting around a little, I came across one in The Kitchn. On one of these rare instances, I followed the recipe verbatim. I can now understand why people prefer the from-scratch version. The box version does not do it justice at all!

While the recipe was good, I would probably cut the sugar in half the next time to suit my tastes. I prefer custard to be vehicles of other goodies and not an end in itself.

I took some really bad pics this time. Will try to get some next time! Promise.

Vegetarian Chocolate Muffins

Some days are bad. Then there are days which only chocolate muffins and Adele can salvage. And on some days, those chocolate muffins are also dinner. Stop staring open-mouthed at me. What? I am just human. I will get to that Yoga class on Monday. Promise.

Now, back to those muffins. Baking without eggs has always kind of confounded me. I have tried to tackle this monster many times but I always ended up with a flat, fudgey mess. 

But, today, the urge to make chocolate muffins was too strong. I picked up the first chocolate muffin recipe Google offered and replaced eggs with flax seed concoction. With some other alterations of course! Mostly around removing some of the items from the original recipe. 

And I was rewarded with glossy, perfect muffins. My first victory of the day! 

Only later did I take time to read the rest of this. Life works in strange, mysterious ways to soothe you when everything seems lost. :) 

Vegetarian Chocolate Muffins

Inspired by one of those days. Adapted from Orangette's cake.

Makes about 12 muffins

1/2 cup hot brewed coffee
1 cup powdered sugar

1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (I used low fat)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 tsp ground flaxseed mixed with 8 tbsp warm water
1/2 cup sunflower oil (Can be reduced to 1/3. I added extra to make up for egg yolks)
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk

Sift together all the dry ingredients. Slowly add the liquids while making sure no lumps are formed.

Preheat the oven to 150 degree Celsius. Grease and dust the cupcake pan with flour. Pour batter into the cupcake till the top. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes till the toothpick comes out clean.

Make sure the pans are cooled somewhat before removing the muffins. Try to remove them when they are semi-warm, otherwise the bottoms tend to get soggy because of condensed moisture. You can also use cute muffin wrappers. That should help with the sogginess.