Friday, 3 May 2013

Maida Biscuits

This is probably the easiest biscuit recipe you are going to come across: butter, sugar and flour, and that's it I swear! But don't be fooled. Just because this recipe is simple, it doesn't mean that it is not delicious; quite the contrary. I made these biscuits on a whim, I had a craving for something sweet so whipped these up to fill the hole. These biscuits are quite popular in India, they can be found everywhere, and can often be found mixed with spices and nuts such as cardamon, pistachio and cashew. I guess they are the Indian equivalent to the good old British shortbread biscuits. This recipe is great for experimenting as it's soo easy to add anything you like from a bit of lemon zest to a touch of cocoa powder. I decided to simply add a bit of vanilla essence and top with nuts. If you want a richer flavour the secret is in the 'ghee', this is Indian clarified butter and can be bought in Asian supermarkets or in some grocery stores. 

Makes 8 good sized biscuits
Preparation time 40 mins



1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup melted butter/ clarified butter ('ghee')
1 cup self raising flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
nuts to decorate e.g. cashews halved, flaked almonds, chopped pistachios
icing sugar for dusting


1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. Add the icing sugar and flour to a bowl and mix. Then add the melted butter and mix well.
3. The dough should come together. It shouldn't be too crumbly or too  sticky. If you work the dough with your hand you'll know if the mixture is right; if it isn't simply add more butter or more flour.
4. Divide the mixture into 8. Then roll each piece into a ball using your hands and flatten. Be warned that the dough may crack, just try to stick it together if this happens or go for the rustic look if you know what I mean. Top each biscuit with half a cashew nut.
5. Bake in the oven for 12-15mins.
6. Don't eat them just yet, I know it's tempting! Wait for them to completely cool first and then dust them with a little icing sugar.
7. Now you can dig in! Go, go , go!

Adapted from Vahrevah

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Hidemi Sugino's Sicile

This is the first time that I have ever attempted to make a recipe by professional pastry chef, that too them being Hidemi Sugino. If you don't know who he is just google his name and drool at the pictures of his desserts and you will soon realise that his cakes aren't just 'cakes' they are art. Wouldn't it be amazing to eat gourmet dessert everyday? Well like most people I don't have that luxury of having a gourmet pastry shop near me especially no Hidemi Sugino so the only way to eat these state of the art desserts is to make it myself, or at least have a go.

Evan's kitchen is a lovely blog which inspired me to say the least, as I realised that anyone can create these master pieces of desserts at home, whilst I was browsing through the vast array of mouth watering recipes and pictures. It seems so simple when you have the know how, but of course there are a few special tools and ingredients you need to acquire. One piece of kit which I highly recommend you get for this recipe is metal dessert rings; I only had 2 and I ended up struggling a little as I had to assemble the dessert in batches whilst the pistachio custard was thickening before I could fill the rings again, disaster, so the more the better. This recipe also used some new ingredients to me/, for example kirsch, so I ended up substituting, in this case I used raspberry juice instead. I also made everything from scratch including the  pistachio paste and almond paste. I guess they're difficult to come across in the shops would be expensive to buy, on the other hand it's pretty time consuming to make it yourself and you'll definitely need patience.

This is no 'quick' dessert as it has quite a few components to it, so I recommend that you make it over 2 days. For me it was worth the effort, but I'm not sure that I'm going to make it again anytime soon just due to the amount of time involved. Why don't you try giving Sugino's masterpiece a go

Evan's Kitchen