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Made with almond milk and dark Lindt chocolate, spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom, this hot chocolate from Sweet and Savory by Shinee is a indulgent warm drink you will be making again and again this winter as you pull on your favorite pair of patterned socks and reach for that faded patchwork quilt to keep you cozy all night.

SPICED ALMOND HOT CHOCOLATE

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoons ground cardamom

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

85g semi-sweet chocolate

Pinch of kitchen/ kosher salt

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon caster sugar

Method:

  • In a medium pot, simmer milk with spices over medium high heat for about 5 minutes.

  • Stir in the chocolate until it is melted. Remove from heat and add a small pinch of salt.

  • While the milk is simmering, whip the heavy cream with sugar using an electric mixer.

  • Whip cream until hard peaks form and set it aside in the refrigerator until serving time.

  • Pour the hot chocolate into a large mug. Top with dollops of prepared whipped cream.

  • Decorate with slivered almonds or chocolate curls or cinnamon and serve immediately.

Spiced Almond Hot Chocolate

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While garam masala is a much used spice blend in most gravies and curries in Indian cuisine, this recipe from My Food Story convincingly adds it to cake batter to give an unusual twist to your classic apple cake. Baked in a pretty Bundt pan, this dense spicy cake is good to serve on a cold winter afternoon and you do not even have to worry about making masala chai to go with it. The browned butter rum sauce is for those who dare to add a bit more sugar and complexity to the winter flavors of this warm and cozy tea time apple bake.

GARAM MASALA APPLE BUNDT CAKE

Ingredients:

For the Apple Bundt Cake

1 cup almond milk

1 teaspoon white vinegar

2 large apples, finely chopped

2 lemons, zested and juiced

2 1/8 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon garam masala powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 cup light muscovado sugar

1/2 cup mild vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Brown Butter Sauce

1/4 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3 tablespoons milk

Method:

  • In a bowl mix together almond milk and vinegar and set aside. Add lemon juice to chopped apples.
  • Grease a 4 cup Bundt cake pan well, making sure to get the crevices. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.

  • In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, garam masala, cinnamon, ginger and lemon zest.
  • In another bowl, whisk together almond milk-vinegar mixture, muscovado sugar, oil and vanilla.

  • Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix till combined, then fold in chopped apples.
  • Spread the mixture into the greased Bundt cake pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown.

  • A skewer inserted in the middle of the cake will come out clean. While cake is baking, make glaze.
  • Heat butter in a pan till it starts foaming and frothing and will start browning. Remove from heat.

  • Whisk in sugar, vanilla and milk till the mixture is smooth. Set aside until the cake finishes baking.
  • Once the cake is baked, invert it onto a plate or baking sheet. Drizzle the glaze over the warm cake.

Garam Masala Apple Cake

Farfalle or bow ties are among my favorite pasta shapes, not only because they look like dainty little butterflies on a plate, but also because they cling well to rich sauces like this creamy tomato sauce from BBC GoodFood.  A good bowl of al dente pasta soaking up the deliciousness of a simple, warm sauce will rate as the ultimate comfort food on any gloomy, rainy day. This specially holds true when you come back tired [or not] from work and have no energy to cook something fancy or drive yourself to a restaurant where pasta dishes are frightfully overpriced. It will take you all of 15 minutes to conjure this dinner-for-one from scratch although you can easily double, triple or quadruple the recipe to accommodate any family size you ought to feed. I promise that even your picky eaters will forget their temper tantrums and happily tuck in, hence providing more than one harried mother with a much needed break.

FARFALLE WITH CREAMY TOMATO SAUCE

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/4 cup tomato puree

1/4 cup pasta water

100g farfalle pasta

75 g roasted chicken

1/4 cup cooking cream

1 small bunch flat leaf parsley

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

2 tablespoons parmesan

Method:

  • Heat butter in a small saucepan and fry chopped garlic gently until golden. Stir in the tomato puree.

  • Season and simmer for 5 minutes. While the sauce is cooking, boil the pasta in a pan of salted water.

  • Cook until tender for 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a colander and drain, reserving pasta water for later.

  • Add the cream to tomato sauce, then throw in roasted chicken and cooked pasta and mix well to coat.

  • Cook for a few minutes until the sauce bubbles. Add a splash of pasta water to thin sauce, as desired.

  • Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley, ground pepper and dried basil over cooked pasta and stir to combine.

  • Serve it right away with shavings of parmesan cheese. Makes 1 large serving for a very hungry person.

Ultimate Comfort Food

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