Category Archives: Sweets

Chai filled makecarons-3

A few weeks back I had the opportunity to try Francois Payard’s “MakeCaron™” box, which contained the ever so elusive macaron shells.

The third-generation pastry chef, Payard, is a very well respected French pastry chef with pastry shops all over the world. Francois Payard has made macarons all of his life, just as his father and grandfather did. He introduced them to NYC in 1993 and now he wants America to take over the flavors.

Chai filled makecarons-2

Payard’s creation, MakeCaron, which launched in November last year, is basically the base cookie of macarons. After watching dozens of “make your own” macaron videos and reading articles online, Francois realized that macaron shells are very temperamental in the regular kitchen (I can vouch for that- with my own set of failures at attempting macarons and the occasional successes). Plus he felt there are plenty of steps and small details to take into consideration to achieve perfect consistency which might not be everyone’s ball game.

Chef Payard thinks that “if you make burgers, you don’t bake the buns”. So, why not have the same concept for macarons.

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When Christianna had taken me into the Recipe Swap group (read more about the group here), one of the things she said in our initial correspondence was that she was excited to get an Indian perspective for the swap recipes. While all my swaps have not been with an Indian twist, I thought with the Indian festival season here, I would give this time’s recipe swap an Indian twist.

When I saw the swap recipe (for a carrot pie), my initial plan was to make this carrot souffle I saw in a magazine I had just bought. But then I am not much of a fan of pureed carrots. It reminds me of baby food, and even though the recipe sounded interesting, I wasn’t sure I would truly enjoy it.

So I thought of making something Indian. Now, I am not a big fan of Indian sweets. I like them but most of them I find too sweet. If I want something sweet I generally prefer a baked good over the traditional sweets. Though I don’t mind a piece of gulab jamun, or hot atte ka halwa now and then. And sometimes gajar ka halwa too makes the privileged list.

Gajar ka halwa (or Indian carrot pudding) is a dessert of creamy, thickened milk with softened carrots contrasting with the added crunch of nuts. Milk and grated carrots are cooked until they become a dryish homogeneous mass, and then cooked with a little clarified butter (or ghee) and sugar and subtly flavored with cardamom powder and sometimes saffron strands to make absolute deliciousness.

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By the time this post goes live, I will have finished my One Week Raw Diet and most definitely will be feasting on some hot, cooked food. I plan to make dhoklas for my breakfast and in all probability that is what I will be eating the time this post goes live.

It definitely was a difficult week, with the dinner time being the toughest but honestly not as difficult as I thought it would be. I was sure I would quit by Day 3 or Day 4, and my body would be really weak, and would have a constant headache. The last time I went on a diet (quite a few years back) was when I tried the GM diet. By Day 4 of the GM diet, I had a headache and decided it wasn’t worth it and quit with a bowl of Maggi in my hand.

This diet, though, has been different. I did not feel weak at all. My skin improved- I had my periods when I started so I had the occasional pimple before that but I could feel my skin more bright than usual. I have lost about 5 pounds since the start of this month- which includes the one week of the gluten free sugar free diet and then one week I went raw. It might not seem much, but I was never going for anything drastic. My goal is to lose about 5-6 kgs (10-12 pounds) by the end of this month. I will be continuing on my gluten and sugar free diet till end October, with Halloween being the day I quit. I will talk more about how my raw diet went and share any other information that could be helpful to someone planning to do the same. But all that will be in another post. Today I will be sharing this lemon yogurt cake, which is neither raw, nor gluten free, nor is it sugar free, but if what I have heard about it is true, its one cake recipe you would want to try.

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