Pumpkin Goodness: Recipes That Go Beyond Pie

 

 

Fall is in the air and there is no better place to experience it, than here in Toronto.There are various shades of tinted amber, brilliant yellow and bright orange everywhere. I sit by my window and look out with a heart filled with gratitude as I admire nature’s canvas, painted ahead of me. The air is crisp and the falling leaves now bid adieu to summer.

 

And needless to say the colours resonate with “Pumpkin flavoured everything” I had stocked up on a few lovely field pumpkins that I came across at the fresh markets in our neighbourhood,with mental notes of umpteen recipes that leapt to my mind.

With Thanksgiving and Halloween around this time of the year, there seem to have Pumpkins galore everywhere. I have some wonderful memories of visiting pumpkin patches in New jersey and Toronto too, when my son was younger. The ones that I picked up recently were small in size and a bright orange in colour and the Pie Pumpkin variety. I quite enjoy cooking and baking with Pumpkin. This gourd takes a centre stage all through fall and into early winters and quite easily named as Autumn’s golden goodness.

My usual repertoire would consist of  stews, soups, pumpkin roasted in salads, cakes and some dips as I experimented last week. Infact I was just discussing a post festivity detox with a friends when I tested out a few of these recipes. Here is a roundup of some terrific ways of cooking Pumpkin and the best part is that these work well with both sweet and savoury. There really is no need to just stop at Pumpkin pie when you can go ahead and make up some of these delicious treats with Pumpkins!

1.Pumpkin Hummus:

Ingredients:

  • 1 small Field Pumpkin (cubed and roasted)
  • 2 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Chick pea Hummus (You may follow my recipe: wp.me/p2eASG-l0)
  • 1 pod garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh root turmeric or dry turmeric powder
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • Pinch of Sumac
  • 1 tablespoon feta cheese (crumbled)
  • Handful of walnuts (roasted)

Directions:

  1. Roast the cubed pumpkin in a pie dish along with a tablespoon of olive oil at about 180C for about 25 minutes.
  2. Cool it and lightly mash the roasted pumpkin.
  3. Add the hummus, balance olive oil, minced garlic and root turmeric and mix well.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Garnish with Sumac, crumbled feta and roasted walnut.

 

2. Roasted Pumpkin Soup: (Serves 4 portions)

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1  medium pumpkin
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cubed
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 50 grams cooked white cannellini beans
  • 2 cups (500ml) chicken stock, heated)
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Place all vegetables, garlic and onion in a medium baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, and roast till tender, about 30-40 minutes.
  2. In batches, blend roasted vegetables, chicken stock and pepper. Add some more stock as needed to reach desired consistency.
  3. Stir all batches of blended soup together in a bowl and serve immediately topped with a tablespoon of sour cream and freshly chopped parsley.

3. Pumpkin Spiced Cake:

Ingredients:

1 1/2  cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Almond flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg powder
3 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4th Cup pumpkin puree

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 175 C.
2.Grease a 9×13 non-stick baking pan or a 8 inch round baking tin.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: 2 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp cinnamon.
4.In a second medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: 3 large eggs, 1 cup oil and the pumpkin puree till all the ingredients are well combined.
5.Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Transfer to prepared baking dish and bake for 35-40 min or until the centre comes out clean.
6.Let cake cool completely and dust some icing sugar and serve with some whipped cream.
Are you fond of baking and cooking with Pumpkins? Do share some of your favourite ways in the comments below. You know I would love to hear back from you.
Happy Baking!

Vegan Almond & Raisin Cookies

My baking routine at the college has taken on a heightened frenzy, especially with kitchen exams just around the corner. This leaves me hardly any time to get on my experimental chef cap and try out any thing innovative.

However, recently our College played host to a fabulous Vegan Competition. While most of the menu’s were being provided by the organisers, the students were left to plan out the recipes for their bakery products.I must say I’ve hardly baked vegan, eggless yes and was drawing quite a blank on how to go about a recipe trial with no dairy.

I’ve been following numerous blogs that bake up great vegan delights, all though baking without butter was something that needed be de-mystified.Browsing on the internet amongst a dozen recipes I  came across an easy Vegan Chocolate Chip recipe on Allrecipes and have adapted the following Vegan Almond & Raisin one.

The recipe trial worked out out great and I was happy to share the same with my students. It was an instant hit with the Vegan contest organisers and the students were happy to learn a new recipe too.

This recipe is a keeper for me too!

Ingredients:

Flour 92 grams
Coconut Oil 40 ml
Brown sugar 56 grams
Almond Milk 19 ml
Vanilla essence ¼ teaspoon
Baking soda ¼ teaspoon
Baking powder ¼ teaspoon
Salt ¼ teaspoon
Toasted Almonds & Raisins 40 grams

 

Method:

 

Ø Pre-heat oven to 175 C.

Ø Mix together the coconut oil & brown sugar, then add the almond milk & vanilla. The mixture will look a bit runny.

Ø In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Ø Combine the wet & dry ingredients (it WILL BE crumbly – this is OK), then fold in the toasted almonds and raisins.

Ø Roll into tablespoon sized balls & place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper., Then flatten them out a bit with your palm. The dough may be a little crumbly, but just assemble it it together and it will work fine!

Ø Bake for 15 -18 minutes till medium brown in colour.

 

 

Decadent & Delicious: Chocolate & Peanut Butter Truffles

Anything is good if it is made with Chocolate…

Chocolate & Peanut Truffles

 

Chocolate and Peanut butter lovers are in for a treat with these oh so delicious mini truffles.I have been experimenting with a couple of recipes now.The recipe below is one which has been adapted from deliciouslyyum.com. All though ,I have tweeked the recipe and added my own twist by coating them with some crushed peanuts and sprinkles.Die hard chocoholics may even choose to leave them with a smooth chocolate coating.

Well those of you who  have been following my blogging journey have probably seen me make these up for a kids at a no bake workshop a couple of years ago.They absolutely love getting their hands messy with chocolate and making up these truffles.The creamy peanut butter interior is perfectly paired with a delicious dark chocolate coating.I also like to use an alternative recipe that uses Cream cheese,Peanut butter and Melted Chocolate.Either ways they turn out great.The summer holidays are upon us,so do go  ahead and make these up with your kids.The flavours of Chocolate and peanut butter are sure to evoke some of your best childhood memories.The combination of these contrasting flavours are quite  similar to the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.Now that is probably my son’s childhood favorite treat while growing up in Toronto.

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Best Ever Chocolate Chip & Walnut Cookies

Watermark

 

It’s been baking mayhem in my kitchen these past few weeks.I’ve been testing out scores of recipes from breads, pastries,tarts and cookies of course.While  most of this has been work related,I decided that I would treat myself to  a nice,warm and gooey cookie.And the reason I say for myself is ,when I bake up stuff for the test kitchen,I barely ever land up eating the baked goods.Most often they are packed off to family and friends and a small sampler kept aside for the dear hubs who is ever willing to sample and indulge in my baking.

I had actually started off on another post which is related to a recent getaway to a vineyard located a couple of hours from  Mumbai.This post was written up in the middle of the baking mania as was just too excited to share one of my favourite cookie recipe’s with you.

Oh  I do have a soft spot for Cookies of course and especially these gorgeous one’s which are loaded with chocolate chips and some walnuts that add a nice bite to them.I love the addition of nuts  when baking cookies.I feel they make the cookie more complete and add a nice texture to it as well. These are fairly easy and quick to bake up.If at any time you feel that the cookie dough seems soft,just refrigerate the dough for about 2o minutes before laying them on a baking tray.These bake really fast so do keep an eye on them to prevent them from burning.

Happy Baking!

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Sundae Funday at Lakeview Cafe: Renaissance Mumbai

Hello Friends!

I was overjoyed to be invited into the kitchen’s of the Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre, yet once again.This time it was for the Valentine’s Day event at the Lake View Cafe.In keeping with the theme,I was asked to provide some of my favourite recipes for Sundae’s.The idea being,getting  diner’s at the restaurant to go ahead and make up their own creations for either themselves, their spouse or their friends. What a wonderful way of saying “Happy Valentines’s. Rhomesecrets is an initiative by the  Renaissance in collaboration with SecretIndianrecipe to bring traditional Indian home flavours to life in a five-star hotel kitchen.It was indeed a great experience to have participated in the home chefs event and I certainly look forward to many such opportunities.

Here is an image of the decadent Brownie A la Mode that I  whipped up..The event took place at the Hokey Pokey Ice-cream cart at the restaurant.The diner’s had a choice of making up Sundaes of their choice,pairing it with Brownie’s, assorted garnishes such as Blueberry Compote,Sour Cherries,Chocolate chips,Nuts and Fresh fruit too.Alternatively they could get their ice cream fix on the cold stone slab where multiple flavour’s could be  combined and topped off with sprinkles and sauce’s of their choice.

Brownie watermark

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