Eats

5 Global Valentine’s Desserts

Persian-Cookies

Valentine’s Day is upon us! If you are tired of tradition, or bored of overdosing on chocolate, here are some global recipes to inspire your sweet tooth and get your creativity flowing in the kitchen!

 

Valentine’s Day is upon us! If you are tired of tradition, or bored of overdosing on chocolate, here are some global recipes to inspire your sweet tooth and get your creativity flowing in the kitchen!

1) Naan Berenji – Persian Rice Flour Cookies : Iran 


Ingredients:
Makes about 25 cookies

3 cups rice flour
3 egg yolks
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (use good quality real butter)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fine sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract *optional

For Topping:

2 tablespoons poppy seeds or crushed pistachios

For Syrup:

1 1/2  cup white sugar
1/2 cup of water
1 tablespoon rose water

Method:

 

  1. Combine the sugar and water in a small pot over medium heat, bring to a boil, stir well to dissolve the sugar for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for another 7-10 minutes or until the mixture thickens to one cup . Remove from heat, add the rose water and set aside to cool.
  2. In a bowl mix rice flour with powdered cardamom. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs with fine sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the butter and oil and beat well until fluffy.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and the flour. Gradually add in one cup of the sugar syrup and beat well with an electric mixer/hand mixer.
  5. Place the dough in a container, cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for about six hours.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with parchment papers.
  7. Take a tablespoon of the dough, flatten into round shapes into palm of your hand and shape the surface with a cookie stamp or a teaspoon. Sprinkle some poppy seeds on top of each cookie. Place on the cookie sheet and put it in the middle rack of the oven.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently place on the cooling racks.

Transfer the cookies on a serving platter and serve with tea or coffee.

Thanks to http://turmericsaffron.blogspot.com for this recipe

 

2)  Gulab Jamun: India 
Ingredients :
1 cup Whole Milk Powder
1/2 cup all purpose flour (Maida)
(Alternately you can use 2 packets of store bought ready made gulab jamun mix)
1/2 tsp baking soda
75 gms thickened cream
2 Tbsp Ghee
approx 1/3 Cup Whole warm milk to make the dough
Oil for deep frying
A pinch of salt

For the Sugar Syrup
2 cups Sugar
1 cup water
1/2 tsp Rose essence/extract
1 tsp cardamom powder
A few Saffron strands(Kesar) – optional

First prepare the sugar syrup :
Dissolve 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of water and bring to boil on meduim heat.
Add the rose essence, cardamom powder and saffron strands to the syrup.
Keep warm on stove to add the fried gulab jamun.

Making Jamuns:

Combine the milk powder, flour, baking powder, ghee and a pinch of salt
Add thickened cream to this.
Add enough milk to make a medium-hard dough.
Grease to your hands and make even size balls and place them on separate plate, taking care that the balls have smooth finish.
If the balls appear to be dry and crackled, see that your hands are greasy enough and add a bit more milk to the dough to moist and smooth.
Heat the oil on high and then lower the heat to medium.
Now slip one ball into the hot oil, it should rise to the surface slowly and not at once.
If the ball rises at once that means the temperature of the oil is too high which will burnthe balls and not cook them from inside.
If the first ball rises slowly, then add the remaining balls and fry till they turn brown.
The balls must be fried very slowly under medium temperature to ensure completely cooked inside and even browning outside.
The balls swell and become bigger in size and surface up as they fry and cook.
Once the jamuns are cooked drop them in the prepared warm sugar syrup.
Soak the gulab jamun in the sugar syrup for atleast 2 to 3 hours. You can soak overnight too for best results.
Serve them warm or at room temperature.

3) Trinidad Bread Pudding :Trinidad

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks, whole egg and sugar together in a bowl.
  3. Heat the cream to simmering point, then pour onto the eggs and sugar and whisk until combined. Pour the mixture back into the pan and heat gently, stirring, for about three minutes, being careful not to scramble the eggs.
  4. Place the slices of Trinidad sweet bread or cake into an ovenproof dish and pour over the custard. Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes, or until the top is just turning golden-brown.
  5. Serve in the dish, garnished with the sliced orange and a dusting of icing sugar.

    Malva Pudding: South Africa 

    The pudding

    For the sauce

    1. 1
      Preheat oven to 350 deg F/180 deg Celsius. (NOTE: I find my convection/fan oven very hot. I baked the pudding at 170 deg C and had to turn it down to 160 deg C/325 deg F for fear the pudding might burn. You know your oven — Adjust accordingly).
    2. 2
      Grease an oven dish. I used a 7 x 7 x 1 1/2 inch Pyrex dish. (18 x 18 x 4 1/2 cm)
    3. 3
      Beat or whip the sugar and eggs. It’s quickest in a food processor, or use electric beaters. Beat until thick and lemon coloured, then add the jelly (jam) and mix through.
    4. 4
      Melt the butter (don’t boil) and add the butter and vinegar to the wet mixture.
    5. 5
      Sieve, or simply mix together: the flour, soda and salt.
    6. 6
      Add this mixture with the milk to the egg mixture in the processor or mixing bowl. Beat well.
    7. 7
      Pour into an oven-proof dish and bake until pudding is brown and well-risen — depending on your oven and oven dish this will be between 30 – 45 minutes. (Mine was done in 30 minutes this time).
    8. 8
      In a pot, melt together the ingredients for the sauce, and stir well.
    9. 9
      Pour it over the pudding as soon as it comes out of the oven.
    10. 10
      Leave to stand awhile before serving. Serve warm. Because it’s rich it does not really need enhancement, but if you want, serve with vanilla ice cream.
         Kolaczki Recipe: Poland 

    Makes about 5 dozen Polish Cream Cheese Kolaczki

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook Time: 15 minutes

    Total Time: 45 minutes

    Ingredients:

    • Battter until light and fluffy. Add flour 1 cup at a time and mix well. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
    1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough 1/4-inch on a surface that has been dusted with equal parts confectioners’ and granulated sugars (not flour), because the granulated sugar will act as ball bearings and help keep the dough from sticking. Cut into 2-inch squares. Place 1/2 to 1 teaspoon filling on center of each square. Overlap opposite corners of dough to the center over filling.
    2. Bake for 15 minutes or when corners start to brown. Cool and dust with confectioners’ sugar. These tend to become soggy if held for several days, so store them tightly covered (or freeze) without the confectioners’ sugar. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just prior to service
    1. Makes about 5 dozen Polish Cream Cheese Kolaczki
    1. Prep Time: 30 minutes

      Cook Time: 15 minutes

      Total Time: 45 minutes

      Ingredients:

      • 1 (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
      • 12 ounces (3 sticks) butter, softened
      • 3 cups all-purpose flour
      • 2 (14-ounce) cans fillings of choice (apricot, prune, raspberry, etc.)
      • Confectioners’ sugar

      Preparation:

      1. Mix cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add flour 1 cup at a time and mix well. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
      2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough 1/4-inch on a surface that has been dusted with equal parts confectioners’ and granulated sugars (not flour), because the granulated sugar will act as ball bearings and help keep the dough from sticking. Cut into 2-inch squares. Place 1/2 to 1 teaspoon filling on center of each square. Overlap opposite corners of dough to the center over filling.
      3. Bake for 15 minutes or when corners start to brown. Cool and dust with confectioners’ sugar. These tend to become soggy if held for several days, so store them tightly covered (or freeze) without the confectioners’ sugar. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just prior to service.

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