Jan 23, 2010

sticky lemon bars

My mother grows these amazing 'Limes ' in her farm that i cant get enough of. They are huge with dense flesh and are lusciously juicy and smells divine. Every time i get my share it becomes a big lemony feast at home. One becoz i don't get them very often, and two the batches come in plenty that i don't want to waste them.

So i have few tried and tested standard recipes like Lime Cordial, Cheesecake, Lemon Cake, Lemon pie and several other marinades. Oh how can i forget Lemon Pickle! Yes !. But this time i added something new to my list which is the 'Sticky Lemon Bars'!.
I am totally bowled over and in love with them.

It cant get simpler than his. Even a beginner can fix this without any hitch!.

It has got a soft crust base which is basically short bread , with a topping of silk smooth tangy lemon filling. mmm divine!

For the Crust
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1 tbsp lemon zest

For the Topping
1 cup Sugar
3 tablespoons unbleached white flour
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, strained

Preheat oven to 180 deg. Butter the inside of a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.

To make the crust: In a medium-sized bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, vanilla, lemon Zest and salt. Add the flour and mix until just incorporated. Spread the dough (it will be quite liquid) evenly in the bottom of the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is evenly browned.

While the crust is baking, make the topping: Stir together sugar and flour. Whisk in the eggs. Add lemon juice and zest and stir until combined.

When the crust is baked (and still hot), pour in filling, turn oven down to 300, and bake for 20-20 minutes or until center no longer jiggles. Let cool completely in pan before slicing. Dust it with powdered sugar.

Makes great teatime snack

Verdict : My Second twin who cant take any sourness in his food finished two bars!!

Jan 6, 2010

Mini Pavlovas with whipped cream and strawberries

Happy New year to all of u...

There are many dishes that i fancy and admire but never dared to make it ... I would have tried it , loved it but never made it myself. Like 'Tiramisu', Eggs Benedict, Hollandise sauce, Goulash are few such things that i can remember. But there is one special dream dish that i didn't even dare to eat it ... though i have seen it all the time. One it is too beautiful to look at that i didn't feel like cracking it and crumbling it and destroying it. To me this dish continued to be something to be admired.

Recently i was helping a friend who was looking for some dessert recipes. So together we shortlisted few and finally she spelt it and said "Hey lets make 'Pavlova'. I almost said "but that is not to be eaten" ...

Eventually when i cleared my head and made it, i couldn't believe how easy it was. This certainly is an express dish. Well at least the preparation time is less than 10 mins.

Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert which is named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. It is believed to have been created to honour the dancer after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920's. The dessert is popular dish and an important part of the national cuisine of both countries, and is frequently served during celebratory meals.

The first Pavlova that i tasted was what i made... Yippee!.

Well the verdict is it was crispy, crumbly, chewy and light like how a pavlova should be. The downside of my Pavlova was it didn't turn out milk white like the sorts that i have seen. Nevertheless it was tasty.

The toppings are generally mixture of berries or tropical fruits steeped in alcohol. I used strawberries and opted to soak it in Pomegranate juice and sugar.

This dessert along with whipped cream and berries just melts at first and gets interestingly chewy at the end.

Another thing that i liked about this dessert is u can make the meringues and store it for up to 3 to 5 days in airtight containers. It is an ideal party dessert !

When preparing pavlova or any meringue the most important thing to remember is to have scrupulously clean utensils free of grease or any wetness. Also it is important that the eggs are at room temperature.


4 large egg whites at room temperature
1 cup Castor sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tbsp of corn starch
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 cup whipping cream
fresh strawberries
sugar to taste
1/2 cup pomegranate juice


1. Preheat the oven to 140 deg and place the rack in middle of the oven.
2. Line a baking tray with parchment and draw a 7 inch circle and set aside.
3. In a dry and clean bowl put the egg whites and beat it with electric mixer on medium speed.Beat until the whites form soft peaks.
4. Now gently sprinkle the sugar, one tsp at a time while continuing to beat the egg. Keep going till you finish with the sugar.Your egg whites will now be glossy with stiff peaks like this...

5. Now sprinkle cornstarch, vinegar on the meringue and fold in gently. Add the vanilla and fold the mixture again with soft hands.
6. Now spread the meringues in the circle on the parchment to make the base. Gently spread and push the meringue to make the edges little higher and try to form little nests with slight well in the middle.

7. Bake the meringue at 140deg for 1/2 hr and reduce the oven to 120deg and bake on slow oven for another half hour. (Mine started turning pink too fast .. so i covered it with aluminium foil and continued to bake it for the next half hr).

8. Turn off the oven and leave the door open slightly and let the meringue cool completely.

9.Now take the meringue out of the oven and remove it gently from the parchment and place it on the plate.

Pavlovas tend to crack i understand but that is o.k... they still look beautiful

Prepare the topping:

10. Whip the cream with sugar until it forms soft peaks.

11. Cut and slice the strawberries and soak them in 1/2 cup of pomegranate juice and little sugar for one hour.

12. Spread the cream on top of the meringue and arrange the fruit on top. And enjoy!.

Delightful looking pavlovas ..