Not many people I know are able to resist a piece of chocolate fudge, a scoop of ice cream or a bowl of payasam, especially after a meal and sometimes even before! And who needs festivals or special occasions to give one an excuse to indulge a sweet tooth! Any time is sweet time!
Bored ? Reach out for some Dried Fruit Chikki. An interview coming up? A bowl of Rice Kheer, will steady those nerves. Sprawled on the sofa watching TV? Dip into a box of Pista Burfi . New neighbours moving in? Welcome them with a delicious home-made Cardamom Cake. Whip up a Kulfi Falooda on a hot summer afternoon, or turn out a good old Badam Halwa on a cold winter’s day. Wow your kids with yummy treats like Peanut Raisin Bars and Choco-Coconut Laddoos just-like-that; a satiny Chocolate Mousse is just what the doctor ordered to lift your sagging spirits and nothing is as enchanting as sharing a platter of Chocolate-coated Strawberries with the one you love. So, go ahead and throw all caution to the winds, ignore the warning voices that whisper in your ear and give in wholeheartedly to the bewitching range of sweet delights I have laid out just for you. Giving in to temptation will never feel so good!
Here are some tips to make never-fail sweets and desserts:
• While making sweets, rinse the pan with ice-cold water immediately before adding the ingredients. This will help to prevent
the ingredients from sticking to the pan.
• Use non-stick pans to make halwas and sweets. The mixture will not stick and
will pour out easily.
• Use a double-boiler for melting chocolate to prevent chocolate from scorching or
burning. A double-boiler can easily be fashioned by placing a heat-proof bowl or pan over a pan of simmering water. Do
not allow the bottom of the pan to touch the hot water.
• To caramelise sugar, place it in a pan over
medium heat. Avoid stirring it until most of the sugar melts. Once all the sugar has melted, stir it occasionally until the
desired colour is reached.
• Be careful not to touch hot caramel. It can cause severe burns.
• To make sugar syrup, combine water
and sugar in a pan. Cook over low heat, stirring gently until the mixture is warm and the sugar has dissolved. Stop stirring as soon as the sugar has dissolved, or crystals may form. Brush down the sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent
crystals from forming.
• Use skimmed milk instead of regular milk for a low-calorie version of the dessert.
• To make perfect whipped cream, make sure that everything is cold: chill the cream, the bowl and the whisk or beater.
In summer it helps to whip the cream over a bowl of iced water. Do not overwhip cream it will turn into butter!
• To rescue whipped cream that begins to curdle, stir in a tablespoon or more of cream or milk till smooth once again.
• Use wooden spoons to stir halwas that require constant stirring as they will not get too hot to hold. A halwa is ready
when it leaves the sides of the pan.
• Add a teaspoon of water while melting jaggery to prevent it from burning.