Citrus Ricotta Pancakes (sugar-free)

Citrus Ricotta Pancakes

It’s officially spring and I can now wander around outside without a jacket! …Who am I kidding, I live in SF, I wander around in Uggz, leggings, a sweatshirt and a jacket half the time. The weather is ridiculous here. But that doesn’t stop me from pretending that there are seasons in SF.

These citrus ricotta pancakes are sugar-free and in my world that means they’re healthy and I can have as many as I want. They taste like Froot Loops and need a nice drizzle of maple syrup to satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s a refreshing breakfast or brinner (don’t act like you don’t know what brinner is ) idea. I might have to say these are the best pancakes I’ve ever made! The pancakes turned out so fluffy and pillow-y!  The texture and flavor are so perfect for this spring! Seriously give them a shot :-)

Citrus Ricotta Pancakes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4-5 pancakes

Serving Size: 2-3 servings

Citrus Ricotta Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • juice from 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Crack egg into a medium sized bowl and beat. Stir in ricotta, sour cream, honey, milk, juice and zest.
  2. Stir in flour, baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Mix enough to moisten the flour. Lumps are ok!
  3. Heat skillet on medium heat. Add 1 tbsp of butter. When butter foam subsides add 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet. Spread the batter if necessary into whatever sized pancake you want. Cook until bottom is brown and bubbles appear on top on the pancake, about 2 minutes. Flip pancake, turn heat down to low, and cook until bottom is golden brown. Cook rest of pancakes on low heat.
  4. Sprinkle with additional citrus zest. Drizzle with honey or maple syrup and serve while warm.
http://www.prettypolymath.com/2015/04/29/citrus-ricotta-pancakes-sugar-free/

citrus ricotta pancakes

Share this Post! Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on TumblrPrint this pageEmail this to someone

Parle G Cookie Butter

Cookie Butter recipe

If you grew up in an Indian household you know Parle G biscuits as the go to snack for every mom. I’m pretty sure every Indian baby’s first cookie was a Parle G biscuit. Actually, I’m like 100 % sure of this. This Parle G obsession follows every Indian child into adulthood as they are perfect accompaniment to a nice cup of warm chai. The biscuits are crunchy, mildly sweet, nutty and caramel-y. So good! The idea of having chai without a Parle G biscuit was pretty much sacrilegious in my household.

Last week my lovely mother-in-law packed me a bunch of packets of Parle G biscuits. A few nights ago I was browsing the internet, late at night, looking at dessert recipes while snacking on my favorite glucose biscuit when it hit me. PARLE G COOKIE BUTTER! I quickly googled it because I can’t have been the first person to think of this, right? WRONG! So it is now my duty to share this delicious cookie butter recipe with you.

Cookie butter is perfect  for dessert toppings, stuffed inside a cookie, spread on toast or fruit, baked into brownies or cakes, added into frosting….the possibilities are truly endless!

You can find Parle G biscuits on Amazon or in your local Indian grocery store. I added a few spices typically found in masala chai to the recipe to give you the perfect “chai and Parle G” flavor. :-)

Parle G Cookie Butter

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1.5 cups

Parle G Cookie Butter

Ingredients

  • 6 oz (3 small packets) Parle G biscuits
  • 7 oz (1/2 of 1 can) condensed milk
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Blend cookies until the crumbs are very fine.
  2. Add condensed milk, salt and spices to a medium sized bowl and mix well. Add cookie crumbs and mix well. Add milk and melted butter and mix until combined.
  3. Spoon into a jar and refrigerate. This will keep for up to 2 weeks!
http://www.prettypolymath.com/2015/04/26/parle-g-cookie-butter/

Cookie Butter Recipe

Share this Post! Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on TumblrPrint this pageEmail this to someone

EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT!!

It’s official! I can finally share that I will be a contestant on‪ Season 6 of Masterchef!!

I’ve always been passionate about food and last year I decided to quit my job to pursue a career in the culinary industry. Following my happiness led me to one of the biggest opportunities in my life! See how I hold up against some of the best cooks in America starting May 20th on FOX!

Follow me on FB at Chef Hetal for updates!

Share this Post! Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on TumblrPrint this pageEmail this to someone

French Macarons

macaron (9)

French macarons are one of my most favorite things to make. They are so pretty and delicate. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing the feet grow in the oven telling you that your technique was perfect.

Seriously, doesn’t just looking at it feel good?

This recipe is a simple vanilla french macaron that you can color whatever you want.  Don’t use regular food coloring as the liquid messes with the delicate macaron batter. Gel  food coloring is better because it’s highly pigmented and a little bit goes a long  way.

I decorated my macarons with gold leaf as I made these for the same wedding where I made gold leafed cashew fudge. I wanted everything to be all matchy matchy.  

I filled mine with salted caramel buttercream as it’s my preferred filling. But you can fill it with jams, jellies, plain old caramel, or any other flavored buttercream you want. Just follow my super precise directions and I promise you’ll be on your way to dancing with happy feet :-)

French Macarons

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 30 macarons

French Macarons

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup almond flour
  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 oz egg whites, about 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • gel food coloring

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 300 F
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift the powdered sugar and almond meal.
  3. The egg whites should be room temperature. You can do this two ways: 1) Leave out your eggs during the day or overnight 2) Submerge the eggs in lukewarm water for 4-5 minutes, or until they aren’t cool to the touch. I like usuing the water method personally.
  4. Pour your egg whites into your mixer and mix on medium- low (setting 4 on my Kitchenaid) until it starts to foam. Once it’s foamy, add the cream of tartar. Let this mix for another 30 seconds, and then add sugar gradually in a smooth stream over the bowl as it is running. Once you add all the sugar- set that sucker to 10 and let it whip! At about 4 minutes- stop the mixture and check for stiff peaks. If it droops, then keep mixing and check in a minute.
  5. Sift half of the powdered sugar/almond meal mixture into the bowl with the meringue. Add vanilla and gel food coloring.
  6. Fold until you have incorporated all the dry ingredients and then sift in the other half the powdered sugar/almond meal mixture. Fold that in as well.
  7. Now you can either fill a piping bag or freezer bag with the meringue. I used a freezer bag with the corner snipped off and it worked great for me. Cover your baking sheets in parchment paper or a Silpat if you have one. Pipe 3/4 inch circles by piping at a 90 degree angle (straight above) the baking sheet with even pressure and then swirling the tip when you release to make sure you don’t have a peak. IF you do get peaks- don’t stress it- use a lightly wet finger to push them down. Once the all the macaron shells are piped, bang the sheet 5 times on the counter and rotate and bang 5 more time. This flattens the macarons and lets the air bubbles out.
  8. Now let them rest for about 15 minutes- 2 hours (depends on weather) to form a “skin”. The “skin” of the shells will firm up and prevent the macaron from cracking, so when trapped moisture wants to get out, it leaves through the bottom of the shell, creating the lovely “feet” of the macaron. You can tell they are ready when you touch the outside lightly and it doesn't stick to your finger. They will also look a little shiny too.
  9. Bake macarons one sheet at a time. Place rack on the very top level in your oven and bake for 13 minutes, rotating 180 degrees at 5 minutes. You’ll see the feet starting form if everything went right!
  10. Cool macaron shells completely. This will help the macarons release easily from the parchment paper or Silpat. Now you can fill them up with whatever filling you choose and enjoy! You can store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge, but make sure to let them sit out for 1 hour before eating them. Macarons straight out of the fridge are a funky texture that isn't so tasty.

Notes

Adapted from Beach House Kitchen

http://www.prettypolymath.com/2015/04/23/french-macarons/

french macarons

 

Share this Post! Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on TumblrPrint this pageEmail this to someone

Strawberry Pâte de Fruit

pâte de fruit recipePâte de fruit (pronounced pat-de-fwee) are beautiful flavor-packed fruit jellies. They are pretty much concentrated fruit gummies,but they have a frou-frou name. These gummies are vegetarian as they are set using pectin which is derived from plants. Pectin is usually used as a gelling agent in jams and jellies. The amount of pectin used is directly proportional to how set the jelly will be. More pectin = set gummies you can cut, less pectin = spreadable loose jellies/jams.

The first time I made these I didn’t use enough pectin and they never set. It was a  goopy mess. I re-melted the goopy mess and added more pectin when I hit 140F. They ended up setting perfectly!  If you do mess up a batch and the pâte de fruit don’t set, you can fix it by reheating it, adding more pectin and following through the rest of the recipe.

They are super easy to make as long as you follow the recipe and hit and hold all the temperature required. They taste amazing and are packed with fruit flavor. I actually like to think they’re healthy because they aren’t any preservative or sweeteners other than sugar. Try it out!

Strawberry Pâte de Fruit

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 8×8 inch = 64 pieces, if using mold it depends on size of mold

Strawberry Pâte de Fruit

Ingredients

  • 16 oz strawberries (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 16 oz granulated sugar (about 2 cups) + extra for dusting
  • 6 fl oz of liquid pectin (I used Certo

Instructions

  1. Line a 8×8 pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray. If you are using a silicone mold like I am, just make sure it’s clean.
  2. Blend the strawberries until smooth. Strain puree using a into a medium saucepan to remove the seeds.
  3. Stir lemon juice and 1/2 cup of sugar into the strawberry puree and place the pan on medium high heat. Make sure to place your candy thermometer high enough so that it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan.
  4. Continuously stir the mixture until it reaches 140F and add in liquid pectin and rest of the sugar. Lower the heat to medium.
  5. Keep stirring the mixture. When the mixture hits 200F, lower the heat so that it holds at 200F for 2-3 minutes and keep stirring.
  6. Bring heat up back to medium. Keep stirring and until it hits 230F. Lower the heat like before to hold the temperature at 230F for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Pour the strawberry mixture into your prepared pan or mold. Be quick because the mixture will start to set pretty quickly.
  8. Allow to cool to room temperature and set. DO NOT put it in the fridge. The humidity in the fridge will make these leaky and gross.
  9. Once set either pop out of your mold or cut your slab into small pieces. Roll the pâte de fruit in sugar. Place in sealed container until ready to serve.
http://www.prettypolymath.com/2015/04/21/strawberry-pate-de-fruit/

pâte de fruit strawberry

Share this Post! Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on TumblrPrint this pageEmail this to someone

Cashew Fudge (Kaju Katli)

Cashew Fudge

This weekend I’ll be going to my cousin’s wedding. Now if you’ve ever been to an Indian wedding you know it full of bright colors and LOTS of sweets. Kaju katli, or cashew fudge, is my favorite! I never actually made it before at home so I decided to give it a try. Traditionally kaju katli is made with a simple syrup that is simmered down until it hits one string consistency  and cashew powder. I initially tried making it this way and I epically failed. Like bad. The sugar crystallized while I was kneading the fudge and it got all crumbly and started to fall apart. It was a huge mess.

Plan B was to try this new way of making cashew fudge that I saw on Show me the Curry. It doesn’t involve a sugar syrup so that makes it pretty much 1,0000 times easier to make. You literally warm and mix the ingredients. In the beginning, kneading the fudge does look like it’s impossible, but it does come together and the cashews do eventually start releasing their own oil. So don’t give up!

I brushed on some gold leaf on top for decoration. Traditionally silver leaf is used, but this is for a wedding so I decided to go all out and make it super fancy! The fudge is perfectly sweet, nutty and so easy to make! Try it out :-) Don’t forget to take a picture and share it with me on social media!

Cashew Fudge (Kaju Katli)

Yield: 120 1-inch squares (depends on how thin you roll it and the size of your pieces)

Cashew Fudge (Kaju Katli)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups powdered cashews *
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup dry milk powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 3 tbsp warm water
  • gold or silver leaf (optional)

Instructions

  1. Set up a double boiler.
  2. In the top bowl, add powdered sugar and milk powder. Set the bowl on top of the pot of simmering water and continuously stir until the powders are nice and warm. This took about 5 minutes.
  3. Take the bowl off the double boiler and add cashew powder and cardamom powder. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Add water a few drops at a time an bring together into a dough. Knead for 7 minutes until the oils from the cashew is released. This took a bit of elbow grease but it will happen!
  5. Roll out with a greased rolling pin to your desired thickness. At this point you can add gold or silver leaf on top with a clean brush. Cut into whatever shape you like and enjoy! The fudge will keep well for 1 week in the fridge.

Notes

*blend cashews in a blender until very fine

Adapted from Show me the Curry

http://www.prettypolymath.com/2015/04/14/cashew-fudge-kaju-katli/

kaju katli

 

Share this Post! Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on TumblrPrint this pageEmail this to someone

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

Peanut butter chocolate chip cheesecake bars

I have a problem. I hoard cookie dough. Like a lot of cookie dough. Like I might have 4 lbs of cookie dough in the freezer. My problem stems from the fact that I only bake one sheet of any cookie dough I ever make. I’m too lazy to bake the rest of it, so I freeze it. Also it’s a weird form of portion control. Which usually fails because I end up eating chunks of raw cookie dough all the time.

I decided to finally rid myself of this excess cookie dough by making cheesecake bars with it. I ended up using about 3 cups of cookie dough total to make this dessert , but if you don’t have any on hand, or aren’t a hoarder like me, I included a recipe below.

These bars have the perfect cheesecake to cookie ratio. The soft and chewy cookie base with the creamy, sweet cheesecake layer tastes like HEAVEN! So if you’re a hoarder like me or just want to quell your sweet tooth then try this recipe out!

Also if you do happen to try some of the recipes I post please share them with me on my social media (links in top right hand corner) and tag them with #prettypolymath! I’d love to see your re-creations! 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: one 8 x 8 inch pan, about 16 servings

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients

Cookie Dough
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 egg
    • 1/4 cup peanut butter
    • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 cup chocolate chips
Cheesecake layer
  • 8 oz cream cheese,room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F
  2. Cream butter, white sugar, and brown sugar together for 3 minutes.
  3. Add in egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add peanut butter and mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until a all the flour is incorporated.
  5. Mix in chocolate chips and set dough aside.
  6. In another bowl, cream the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and egg together until nice and smooth.
  7. Grease a 8×8 inch pan with cooking spray or butter. Press half the cookie dough into the bottom of the pan in a nice even layer.
  8. Spread all of the cheesecake mixture on top evenly.
  9. Take the rest of the cookie dough and pat into flat pieces and place on top of the cheesecake layer gently until covered. It’s ok if you have a hole here or there, it doesn’t need to be completely covered.
  10. Bake for 35-40 minutes and cool. Refrigerate until ready to eat!

Notes

Adapted from Friday Cake Night

+

http://www.prettypolymath.com/2015/04/04/peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-cheesecake-bars/

peanut butter chocolate chip cheesecake bars

Share this Post! Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on TumblrPrint this pageEmail this to someone