Do you have that feeling sometimes? You are on a racing track and suddenly you just want to stop everything and get on the sidewalk, pause and take a breather and just let the world go past?
I am experiencing that right now! Till my parents came I was on the runner's track. On the day they came I climbed on the sidewalk and thought I would pause for a breather. Little did I know that I might end up on the sidewalk for such a long time!! Since they have come we have been chatting and catching up on news at Bangalore. So much seems to have happened there in between Diwali (November) when I last visited and now. I feel a little sad to have missed out on the good times like not witnessing my nephew's first birthday ('andinarav'), or the various stages of his growth, but I know I am lucky to be with them at least once a year. I know that the short span we spend together with my cousins and friends there may be short in terms of time but in terms of span the good times we had will last long as time only makes them sweeter and everlasting!
These days we start early, finish cooking and talk about books and friends. Sometimes we go out all the way to Colaba and Crawford Market as my mother is an avid shopper. Some evenings we go for a spin in and around Thane, and I get my niece to sample the local delicacies she won't find at her place.
In between my mother managed to tell 'tales of my naughtiness' to the kids, to have a tooth extracted and a cavity filled too!! When confronted that evening with "it seems you did this......,Chitti!", I tried feigning innocence and suggested that Amma was suffering from a temporary form of amnesia so she had interchanged my name with that of my sister's, but it did not seem to work. The kids manage a good pillow fight while listening to Alysee's version of 'La Isla Bonita', playing games, and 'the girls ganging up on the little boy' routine and I really have no heart to access the net or sit down to blog.......and so you know why I am absent these days (besides the viral infection the computer at home has caught)! I wish I could hold on to memories and what better way than to write about it?? Oh! I managed to meet Aparna and her bubbly daughter Akshaya (Akshaya, I read 'curtain' again) from 'My Diverse Kitchen
', and Simran
- quite a jam packed session it was with all of us having so much to share and hardly any time! We were literally wagging our tongues - chomping and chatting!! Aparna baked a delicious vegan chocolate cake which was a pleasant surprise, and Simran pampered the kids with another batch of her tasty short bread cookies
:). Thanks to them for the wonderful evening we spent at Pizzahut, Powai!!
Hey people - I must thank you all for the joy you have given me during the past year with your virtual visits and some of you with your real visits. It has added a few more layers (the goodies you gave me during the real visits) and a new dimension to my personality that I wasn't aware of till then!!OOPS......
I am sorry about a huge huge mistake I made - thanks to Madhuram for bringing it to my notice!! You may know that I was the April host for 'recipes for the rest of us - starters'
, and unfortunately I have not been able to contribute anything because I jumped on the sidewalk for a breather and watched the world go by:):)........till today!!
Those of you who sent me entries - I appreciate it a lot - please divert your mails to 'sunshinemomsblog(at)gmail(dot)com'
instead of 'sunshinemom(at)gmail(dot)com
' as was given in the announcement!! My apologies to all entrants and to the person who has such an id - if you are here and reading, do me a huge favour and just forward those mails to me pleeeeeaseee!!!
The round up will be posted within the next weekend!Now for today's tart:
My Amma or Appa are not really fond of cakes, and my niece S is really choosy so I decided on a simple and seductive tart rather than an elaborate cake. This one is so easy I recommend all you people who think baking as 'difficult' to start with this. It will give you the satisfaction of creating a perfect bake that looks good, tastes great and does not require any special equipments except an oven! Ssshhh......another reason was that I had baked a fruit tart with this dough a week before they arrived and I had enough left for an 8" tart tin;)!
The tart base is my own concoction in terms of the flour as I like the healthy alternative and the nutty flavor imparted by roasted besan (roasted chana dal/bengal gram ground fine). Do try it - I am sure you will love the base so much you might want to skip the filling....but don't! It is not an overly sweet base and I use up bits to make little cookies for my son as he just loves them.Chocolate Tart:(Crust recipe is my own)Tart base inredients:
The tart base yielded enough dough for two 8" tart tin and 1 3" tart tin. The thickness was about 2mm - I like a thin base but you could make it slightly thicker if you like.
1 cup Aashirwaad atta + 0.5 cup besan + 1/4 cup APF
6 level tsp. - caster sugar
1/2 cup vegan butter spread or butter - semisolid and cut into cubes
3-4 tsp of ice cold waterMethod for tart base:
Mix the flours togther and sieve to get a homogeneous flour. Stir in the sugar. Mix the butter with your fingertips to get a crumbly texture. Add a tsp of the ice cold water at a time till you are able to gather the dough into a ball. Do not knead - just gather and hold the ball and repeat till it is a soft dough.
Chill for at least 15minutes to 1/2 an hour.
Pinch out enough to cover your tart tin and roll out the dough between two sheets of plastic into a flat disc about 2 to 3mm thick. Carefully pick it up and line an 8" tart tin, pushing the dough into the flutes of the tin with the help of your knuckles. Trim along the fluted edges. Being a mixture of whole wheat flour with chickpea flour, this seems to break easily so please be gentle. I have done this before with only refined flour (APF) and found it better to handle.
Prick the base randomly with a sharp fork and let chill till firm.
Bake the base with some weight such as pebbles or any beans for 15minutes in a pre-heated oven at 150 deg. C. till brown at the rims. (This is known as 'blind baking'.)
1/2 cup thick cream whipped into soft peaks
1/2 cup plain chocolate melted in a double boiler or in spurts of 10seconds in a microwave at 450 power till melted.
Fold the cream into the melted chocolate and add walnuts if desired. Pour the filling into the prepared base and refrigerate till the time of serving or at least half an hour to let the filling set. I arranged walnuts on top as my niece and kids did not want any nuts.
Cut into wedges and dig in! I did not have this as it is not vegan:(, and there was no dough left over to make another vegan one!
Next to come on this blog:
A book review, a getaway from Mumbai and an interview!
Labels: Amma, Baking - Tarts, Beginner's cooking, Colour - brown, Cuisine - English, Ing. - Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans, Ing. - Chocolate, Vegetarian - Dessert