Cook with Hyatt Culinary Challenge

Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, one of the two celebrity chefs for the event, cooking his Gosht Badam Pasanda

Last weekend I got the opportunity to attend the Hyatt Culinary Challenge 2016 Grand Finale at Hyatt Regency, Chandigarh.

This is the third year of Hyatt Culinary Challenge, which started in 2014. To actively involve as well as encourage Hyatt’s patrons in the corporate world to explore their passions in the field of cooking, Hyatt India introduced this concept of a culinary challenge between senior representatives from the corporate world across 13 cities and its 24 hotels in India. Each of the participating hotels invited elite corporates to participate in a cook off in their respective cities and show off their cooking skills. A winner was selected from each city and on 19th November the 13 winners competed in the Finale for a chance to win the grand prize.

For the culinary challenge, Hyatt India partnered with SMILE foundation and a child from the foundation was paired with each guest participant for the cook-off, assisting them during the 90 minutes they had to prepare and plate their dish for the judges. The idea behind this is to expose these kids to various different professional options in the hope that for some it may lead them to discover and harness a skill they never thought of exploring before.

Cook with Hyatt Culinary Challenge

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Creamy, fresh and slightly tangy homemade passionfruit icecream

Homemade Passionfruit Icecream (eggless recipe)Homemade Passionfruit Icecream (eggless recipe)

A few years back I had a passionfruit and mango icecream at the Delhi Häagen-Dazs outlet. It was one of the best flavors I have ever tried and since then I have it in my mind to recreate a passionfruit and mango ice cream at home.

I had some frozen passionfruit pulp that has been lying in the freezer for a while now. I had bought it to use in a lemon curd, passionfruit buttercream and coconut cake, which turned out absolutely delicious. I somehow never got around to share the recipe, but hopefully will make it again and share on the blog soon.

Coming back to the ice cream, I have no idea why I waited this long to try the recipe, but oh my goodness, this ice cream is the bomb. Its not mango season any more in India so I couldn’t recreate the exact flavors, but I am not complaining. With a smooth and creamy texture and a slight tang from the passionfruit, this ice cream is a winner in my book.

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Pumpkin Maple Butter Swirled Donut Muffins

I love donuts but no longer eat them often. One of the first recipes I ever tried making on my own (back when I was in 7th grade) was a donut recipe and also have a great yeasted donut recipe that I have posted on the blog, but its been a while that I have made them at home, for the fear that I will end up eating a good portion of them.

For people who don’t want to take out their frying pans and indulge in donuts, I am sharing this recipe for Pumpkin Maple Butter Swirled Donut muffins today on the blog. Topped with melted butter and cinnamon sugar, they combine the taste of donuts, but in a baked muffin form. Its a win-win situation for donut lovers who are watching their weight, but still want the occasional carbs aka people like me!

I had developed this recipe in collaboration with Sprouts and their newly launched line of pumpkin products and you can also find the recipe along with other mouthwatering recipes on their website . Since it’s still pumpkin spice season I thought I will share it here on the blog, in case you missed it there.

Pumpkin Maple Butter Swirled Donut Muffins

If you have a Sprouts close to you, I highly recommend their maple pumpkin butter for these. Its just adds to the flavor of the donut muffins. The maple butter is also great on toast, or on these pumpkin maple butter cheesecake bars recipe that I shared a few weeks back. If you do not live close to a Sprouts,  despair not. You can still make these and skip using it. You can also get creative and use homemade preserve or nutella or any other flavored butter for the swirl. Share results if you do decide to substitute.

I adapted this recipe from here, but since I made quite a few changes it was only on the third attempt that I got it right. Thankfully, I had taste testers to get them off my hand each time I tried it and eventually developed a recipe I liked. Substituting half of the butter with applesauce and replacing half of the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour makes these donut muffins even better, since you can feel a tad less guilty eating them.

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