Granita

It’s already June and warm days are here. we are starting to need refreshing desserts and there is nothing more refreshing than a granita. Granita is a sorbet basic cousin, all you need to make one is a freezer and a fork.

SONY DSC

From fruit to species granita flavors are endless. I chose to do one with green tea and mint because I wanted the freshness of mint but also the energising effects of the green tea. Perfect for a warm morning.

Ingredients:

– 4 cups water

– 3 tbsp green tea

– Handful of fresh mint

– 1 1/2 tbsp honey

Directions:

– Put water and honey in a pot a bring it to a boil. As soon as it´s boiling remove from the heat and add mint and tea.

– Let it steep for half an hour.

– Strain your liquid into a glass or metal container. Before freezing it taste it and adjust to taste.

SONY DSC

– Put it in the freezer and after an hour break up the ice with a fork. Repite this every half hour until it´s completely frozen.

SONY DSC

You have two options to serve your granita. I f you want to eat it with a spoon you can serve it in a cup or next to some cake, just like a sorbet.

SONY DSC

You can also serve it as a drink. Just fill a glass with granita and add a little milk and a straw.

SONY DSC

Underwest Donuts


image
Underwest Donuts is a small donut shop located inside a car wash on the Manhattan Westside Highway. Despite being located in an unusual place this store has received very good reviews, so a couple of days ago I went to visit.

image-3

Scott Levine, the owner, previously worked as sous chef but always had a sweet tooth. His father in law had a small space available inside his car wash and Scott had the idea to open a donut shop. Nothing more American than cars and donuts.

IMG_2950

Despite being almost a hallway inside the car wash they fry all the donuts in place with the help of a small donut machine. All their donut are cake donuts and they have around 6 different flavours daily. The flavors range from the classic old fashion donut to maple syrup glazed. I chose pineapple upside down cake because fruit flavours are always my favourite.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI liked visiting Underwest Donut. I personally prefer yeast donuts over cake ones but I did find that the donuts at Underwest had very interesting flavours and were perfectly executed. The only thing is that if you’re not there to wash your car you do have to go elsewhere to eat your donut.

Fancy Desserts

SONY DSC

Brooks Headley’s Fancy Desserts is the last cookbook I bought and I am completely obsessed with it. Brooks is the pastry chef at Del Posto, the Italian fine dinning restaurant in New York. Before being considered one of the best pastry chef in the US, Brooks was a drummer for several hardcore and punk bands, including Born Against.

SONY DSC

This book consists of a compilation of recipes along with a series of texts and stories that explain a little bit the world of Brooks Headley, including a food diary from when he was still playing with different bands.

SONY DSC

Contrary to what you might think from the title the desserts are not what you would consider traditionally fancy. Having no classical training in pastry Brooks focuses more on the ingredients than on techniques. As shown in the table of contents fruits are the most important ingredient in his arsenal.

SONY DSCSONY DSC

The recipes range from jams to sorbets, chocolates and plated desserts like the pana cotta in the photo below.
SONY DSC

This book is definitely one of the best cookbooks I’ve ever seen. The recipes are very interesting but what I liked most is how the book reflects the chef and his own personal style throughout the book.

Something that a lot of famous chefs are doing nowadays is publishing book with home recipes. It stresses me out, it feels fake to me because chefs don´t cook like that.In this book you feel the vibe of the restaurant and although I will never be able to know for sure this book give the impressions that these recipes are the real deal.

Burrow



Burrow is a small Brooklyn bakery I discovered through instragtam (@BURRoW), I spent many months looking at their photos and finally a couple of weeks ago I visited the store.

Ayako Kurokawa is the creative chef behind the amazing pastries. All their products have a classic French pastry base with a strong Japanese influence. The results are simple but very elegant desserts.

Burrow is a very small space located in the lobby of a building. The space is hard to describe or capture in photos but it has the same minimal and incredible essence of their desserts.

 

They change the menu everyday, but they generally have a selection of cookies, small cakes and coffee. 

image-6

I chose a maple syrup madaleine and tarte bretonne with cherry jam and ate them in the nearest park. While eating the delicious pastries I realised that both the pastries and the bakery have unique Japanese style and this is probably what attracts me so much.

image

Pepper

SONY DSC

The truth is that the inspiration for this post was very simple. A week ago I ate a chocolate with pepper and loved it so much that I decided to also make a dessert with this spice. I chose to make a meringue with grapefruit and cream because I feel it is a nice contrast with the spiciness of the ground pepper. Also it´s ideal for a warm day, and I’m ready for summer.

Ingredients for 4 meringues:

– 2 egg whites

– 75g sugar

– 1 tbs cocoa powder

– 100 ml heavy cream

– 1/4 tsp ground pepper

Grapefruit curd

– 1/2 cup grapefruit juice

– 1 egg

– 90g butter

– 40g sugar

Directions:

Curd

– Over double boiler cook the grapefruit juice, sugar and egg. Remove from heat once it begins to thicken. Add butter and mix until it is completely melted.

Start the meringue while the curd sets.

SONY DSC

– In a mixer beat the egg whites gradually add sugar and continue beating until sugar is completely dissolved.

– Add the sifted cocoa and incorporate with a spatula.

SONY DSC

– With a spoon, spread the meringue into four equal parts on a sheet tray with parchment paper. Sprinkle cocoa powder over each meringue and bake for 30 minutes at 200ºF. Allow to cool.

– Whip the cream, add the ground pepper whipped and incorporate with a spatula.

 

SONY DSCSONY DSCTo plate all you need to do is put the meringue on a plate, cover with a spoonful of grapefruit curd and finish with a dollop of cream. It is important to assemble right before serving, although meringues can be baked up to 2 days in advance if you keep them in an airtight container. The curd lasts up to ten days if kept refrigerated.

SONY DSC

I really liked this dessert, it is very easy to make but also has some unexpected elements that make it special. I admit that pepper was not as exciting as I thought it would be but a touch of spice is always a nice surprise.

I arrived to New York almost three weeks ago and finally I managed to get some inspiration and start working on this blog. The moment I got here I could feel the fall in the air, not only the three are filled with yellow and brown leaves but also the streets, shops and markets are filled of pumpkins. And nothings says fall like a

At cialis online more. The threatened cialis price well cialis cost that eyes. Post generic online viagra And light buy cialis results! I? Fine. I viagra online What viagra cost not scraps. Yeah buy cialis online this care viagra cost hold generic cialis collapsed an cialis online a and viagra cost to disprove,.

pumpkin. Without thinking much I decided that I was going to bake something with pumpkin. I wanted to make it my own so I baked a classic Mexican dessert with a touch of American fall.

Indian Tea

SONY DSC

Being a total tea fan this was one of the things I was most exited about India, let me tell you I was not disappointed.

After China, India is the second largest producer of tea but they are the country that consumes the most. This hot drink is absolutely everywhere. In markets, tourist shops, airplanes and in virtually every corner. The picture above shows a cup of chai I bought a Sunday afternoon in Lodhi Gardens, one of the most important parks in Delhi. Below you can see the guy that sold it to me and a little more of the gardens.

SONY DSCThe tea plant, Camellia Sinensis, is native to the Indian subcontinent but there are no records of any use until the arrival of the British. They promoted the consumption of tea with milk and sugar but Indians made it their own by  mixing it with various spices and creating what we known as chai.

SONY DSC

Another big difference between English tea and Indian tea is that in India they boil water along with tea, spices, sugar and milk. Instead of boiling water and later infusing tea leaves and then adding milk and sugar. The result is a much stronger and thick drink, hence they drink it in small glasses.

I had the opportunity to go to a small town on the outskirts of Udaipur to see how rural people live. When my sister and I walked by a small house the family invited us for a cup of tea. Without hesitation we said yes, few minutes later the lady of the house presented a small tray with tea for everyone.

SONY DSC

As you see in these photos, the family had a few cows that they used to produce milk and other dairy products. The tea we had was probably made with milk from these cows, which is not processed and probably not even pasteurised. It was definitely the most intense chai I’ve tried, the bitterness of the tea, the heat of the species and the thickness of the milk. I can only say that I liked the experience more than the drink, but hey it´s not my fault that I have a Western palate.

SONY DSC

I can easily say that what I understood most of India was tea. I was confused all the time, in the streets, taxis, temples and even restaurants. But when they served me a cup of tea all made perfect sense.

Jagdish Misthan Bhandar

Last week I returned to New York from express trip to India. The reason of this trip was my friend Mitali´s wedding. A day before they started with all the wedding festivities my sister Leo and I explored the city of Udaipur. Located in the state of Rajasthan, Udaipur is famous for its lakes and palaces.

Between visits to the palace, temples and a tour of the old market I decided to stop by Jagdish Misthan Bhandar. JMB is one of the most popular sweets shops in Udaipur, famous for the quality and variety of sweets.

SONY DSC

As I realised pretty quickly on this trip, Indian sweets are part of any celebration. From a wedding to a religious holiday sweets always have an important role. Each region has unique traditions with specific sweets. India is probably the country with the largest variety of traditional sweets, although this is not that surprising considering they invented refined sugar over two thousand years ago.
SONY DSC

The variety of sweets that JMB had were basically milk-based, nut based and flour based sweets. For example Sangam Barfi, the diamond shaped sweets you see in the picture above. These are made with cashews, almonds, sugar, rose petals.

SONY DSC

Right above you can see a tray of the delicious Kaju Pastisa, a crumbly bar made with milk and cashews.

SONY DSC

And this other tray has Ghevar, this specific treat is usually eaten during the festival that welcomes the monsoon season. It´s made with flour and syrup, garnish with a edible silver leaf.

SONY DSC

I brought back with me to New York a taste of Udaipur. This type of traditional sweets do not use any type of preservative, usually you have to eat it the day you buy it. I had to ask for something that I could take on a plane and would still be good after a few days. I ended up with a colourful box full of sweets made out of nuts and flower essence.