Tuesday, December 23, 2014


‘The way to a man's heart is through his stomach is an age old saying and I think it's true, feed anyone good food and they are happy. For me cooking is not only a hobby but also a passion and a profession. What could be a better combination as a table is a place to gather, be festive and celebrate, for me baking is to give and to be a reason for other's joy’ shares young aspiring pastry chef  Archana Mehra a 3rd Year Culinary Arts student from IHM – Aurangabad.
She shares this beautiful recipe made using the KitchenAid stand mixer with me, which took me back to my training days when we used to make in numerous Camembert souffles using the KitchenAid stand mixer, hers is a sweet one just like her!
Read on…
1 cup strawberries; 2 tbsp sugar; 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence; 4 egg whites;
1/2 cup water
1. Slice the strawberries and heat them with a little water and sugar till it forms a thick jam. Let it cool down.
2. Beat 4 egg whites in the KitchenAid stand mixer till u get a soft peak. Gently fold the strawberry puree into the egg whites.
3. Pour this mixture into 4 greased ramekins and wipe the mouth of the ramekins for the soufflé to rise easily.
4. Bake in a preheated oven at about 350F until it has risen and is golden brown on top.
To serve
Drizzle with some icing sugar and top with a sliced strawberry. 


A wine, beer or spirit gift is just the thing to make Christmas or New Year very special. That said, some wines and liquors have been dismissed off late for being ‘just a regular gift’, and growing appreciation of adding spice to them is giving them a reputation as quality quaffs. Handmade gifts are the best kind, particularly when they are delicious and daintily packaged and show the best sentiments of the season.
‘Mulled wine’ aka Red wine that has been heated, and flavoured with spices makes the perfect gift for someone who enjoys its warm, spicy undertones. A good idea is to choose a good Red and tie the spice sachet to the bottle, along with a gift label with instructions on how to Mull it. One kit should be enough to make around six glasses. ‘Limon cello’ another interesting drink can easily be made by putting lemon peels ( about 8 lemons) in a carafe, pouring vodka ( 2 litres) on it,  and letting it infuse over a week, of course remember to shake it well every day. A week later just adds the strained liquid into hot sugar (with 1 kg sugar) syrup carefully, cool it and pour into bottles and leave it aside in a cupboard for about 10 to 15 days, decant into smaller bottles and give away as gifts. Take about a quarter of any fruit flavour sugar boiled sweets, mash them up and leave them at the bottom of a jar. Top up with a litre of vodka, stir and keep it airtight. Keep shaking and stirring once in a while for a couple of days until the sweets have dissolved.
Pour it into bottles, create your own special label and gift it in a nice fancy wine bag. Since this drink is very sweet and already has a nice kick a great idea is to serve it with some lemony soda. 
If you are not the types to create a gift, a good idea is to pick up something unique like an ‘ice-wine’ which is a sweet dessert wine with a rich, golden colour. Picked while still frozen solid the sweetness of the grapes juices are held, creating the extra sweet flavoured wine. Another good buy is ‘Madeira’ as it’s so traditional and you would love its heady, smooth, nutty flavour. Nothing better to go with the Cake; uncork on Christmas Eve and it will be as fresh and zesty on New Year’s Eve. You can buy a good variety of wine from www.brindco.com or even www.boozzr.com.
For those who do not know, the shape of the glass is determined by the grape and the content commands the shape so you could even pair some ‘Riedel’ Crystal wine glasses with your hamper. The final icing on the cake comes with the mounting popularity of bar accessories. With most major Lifestyle stores now retailing and even online stores like www.shop.inonit.in the celebratory drinks are being served in style at high-end soirees everywhere. Christmas time there is no reason why you can’t drink a glass of wine amidst your gift planning and packing. It is also the time to indulge in some of the tastiest wines around. Drink and be Merry!