Thursday, 27 February 2014

Chocolate Chantilly, dairy free

Kornelia's Kitchen with Chocolate Chantilly


Kornelia in Kitchen

Dear all,

I firmly believe in the healing powers of chocolate. Heartache, depression and disappointments seem a bit easier to digest with a solid injection of chocolate. One of my favourite forms of absorption is chocolate mousse.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find fresh cream in Goa – a basic component of a proper chocolate mousse. Another difficulty with the traditional recipe is the use of fresh eggs, which can be dangerous in this tropical climate.
In my quest for good living, I discovered Heston Blumenthal’s recipe for Chocolate Chantilly. This recipe is a fine example of molecular gastronomy, a branch of cooking, which is quite alien to me. However, the simplicity of the recipe convinced me. The trick is a temperature shock for the melted chocolate combined with constant whipping.

Naturally, a lot can go wrong. My first attempt ended in disaster with chocolate drops all over the counter, the walls and myself. My second attempt went so well, that I am happy to share it with you. I use less liquid than Heston and I have replaced the water in his recipe with a mixture of coconut milk and coffee.
Heston advises to take only best quality chocolate. Living on a budget, I have used normal dark cooking chocolate. Its taste does not compare to my favourite Lindt chocolate with 70 percent cocoa. Adding coffee however, masks the lack of depth of flavour sufficiently for my humble taste.
The original recipe deals with 200 grams of chocolate. This amount seemed ridiculously small considering my two chocoholics in the house. When I go to all the trouble of making Chocolate Chantilly, I want an amount that does not vanish in one go. For this reason I have used 500 grams, which gives you around eight decent servings.

Wishing you happy cooking, always!

Kornelia Santoro with family

Chocolate Chantilly

Chocolate Chantilly

Ingredients (for 8 servings):
  • 500 grams chocolate (either dark or milk chocolate)
  • 200 millilitres coconut milk
  • 150 millilitres strong coffee, best mocha or espresso
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
  • iceice water

  • To make this recipe work, you need a large amount of ice. I filled a stainless steel bowl with about 1.5 litres of water and stuck it in my freezer overnight. Before melting the chocolate, I dropped the ice into a bigger bowl and added another litre of water. I kept this in the fridge until needed.
  • Cut the chocolate into small pieces. This is easily done when the chocolate has room temperature. Place the chocolate into a pot and add the coconut milk, the vanilla essence and the coffee. Now put this pot into a bigger pot with some water in it. The water should just about touch the bottom of the smaller pot. Switch on the fire and melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally.
  • When the chocolate has melted, switch off the fire. Take out your bowl with the ice water from the fridge, pour the melted chocolate into a mixing bowl and place this bowl into the ice water. Now is the time to constantly whisk this mixture. If you don’t want a serious workout for your arm muscles, take an electric hand mixer. After a few minutes, the chocolate mix should start to thicken. When you have reached the consistency of a creamy mousse, you are done. This should not take longer than ten minutes and your mousse should look like the picture here.chocolate chantilly ready
  • If it did not work, try again. Maybe you have added too much liquid. Heston and other online chefs use at least as much fluid as chocolate. I did this in my first try, but it turned out far too runny.

You can read about the benefits of cocoa here:

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Bran muffins for healthy motions

Kornelia's Kitchen with Bran Muffins
Oat bran for healthy motions

Bran, the husk of grains, does not promise a tasty dish. Already the name sounds slightly off-putting, at least to my ears. I recall the first time I made contact with this stuff. It was in the late seventies, when research about nutrition was far less advanced than today. In these days, women magazines praised bran as the ultimate source for fibre and – as a natural consequence – a flat stomach.
I bought a packet of wheat bran and – blissful ignorance – tried to make muesli with it. I still can feel the taste of cardboard spreading in my mouth. Although I had soaked the bran with plenty of milk, it seemed to absorb every bit of humidity after it had passed my lips. One of my friends used to sprinkle the stuff over fruit salad, but I did not like this any better.
It took me years to try my hand in using bran again. Actually, during holidays in the USA I had noticed that bran muffins are sold everywhere. However, they are so sweet I don’t consider them healthy. When you look at the ingredients, you see that sugar and white flour is mixed with a bit of bran to justify the name.
Some years ago, I discovered oat bran at my local supermarket. I bought a packet and decided to develop my own kind of bran muffins – with a lot of bran. The following recipe is from my upcoming book about cooking for allergic persons. It does not include allergens like raisins, nuts or chocolate chips and is dairy free.
These oat bran muffins may not incorporate the peak of culinary accomplishment. But thanks to their really serious amount of fibre they take care of your intestines like few other foods – healthy motions guaranteed. Plain as they are, these muffins make a great start in the morning. I personally love the flavour of cinnamon and clove which infuses these muffins. Eat them with a bit of butter and some marmalade and they can make you happy.


Dairy free Bran Muffins
(for 12 muffins):Bran Muffins
  •    2 ½ cups oat bran
  •   1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
  •   1 cup ghee or coconut oil
  •   2 eggs
  •   1 ½ cups coconut milk
  •   1 cup sugar
  •   1 tablespoon vanilla essence
  •   1 tablespoon cinnamon
  •   1 teaspoon ground clove
  •   2 tablespoons baking powder

  • Grease your muffin moulds and line them with paper. I use silicone muffin moulds from an Italian company, which don’t need greasing and are very convenient.
  • Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
  • Break the egg into a mixing bowl and add sugar, the cinnamon, the cloves and/or the cardamom. Stir well together.
  • Add the coconut milk (also normal milk will do if you can eat dairy). Stir again.
  • Add the oat bran and mix. Let it sit for ten minutes. Even overnight would not hurt, if you want to make your muffins fresh in the morning and don’t feel like slaving away early. The oat bran will start to absorb most of the liquid. If the dough turns very thick, add ¼ cup more liquid.
  • Mix the flour with the baking powder and stir into the dough.
  • Fill the muffin moulds immediately and bake them in the oven for around 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.
  • Let them rest for ten minutes at least before removing them from the moulds.

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Homemade Jerky, Beef or Chicken

Jerky, a snack packed with proteins


Ingredients (for 8 servings):
  • 1 kilogram lean beef or chicken breasts
  • ½ cup soya sauce
  • ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 tablespoons honey

  • Cut the meat into thin stripes not thicker than 5 mm.
  • Mix the soya sauce, the Worcestershire sauce and the honey in an airtight container.
  • Add the meat stripes to the marinade.
  • Let it marinate for at least one day. Also two or three days in the marinade don’t hurt.
  • Now comes the tricky part: Cover a cookie sheet well with aluminum foil. Spread the meat stripes over a rack.
  • Place the rack into the oven with the aluminum covered cookie sheet under it. Marinade and meat juices will drop down and burn. Without the foil, you would have to clean up a really bad mess.
  • Turn on the heat as low as possible.
  • Keep the oven door ajar with the help of two wooden spoons. You just need it a slit open so the humidity can escape and the heat does not build up too much.
  • Dry the meat stripes for at least two hours. Don’t be alarmed by a burnt odor in the beginning. This is the marinade dripping down and burning off on the aluminum foil.
  • Let the jerky cool down and keep it in an airtight container.

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Tabbouleh, big vitamin bomb from the Middle East

Kornelia SantoroDear all,

I start my new blog with a super healthy recipe: Tabbouleh. This dish comes from the Middle East where it is one of the most common salads. In recent years, Tabbouleh has conquered the world with other Mediterranean delights like hummus, Baba Ganoush and falafel. During this voyage it has seen many transformations, similar to pizza that exists now in versions that have little to do with the original.

I like to prepare Tabbouleh in a way that resembles the original. That means my main ingredient is flat leaf parsley, followed by mint. You take about double the amount of parsley to mint. What I use sparingly (though more than in the Middle East) is the wheat. For the original Tabbouleh Lebanese and Syrian housewives use bulgur wheat. Although you can find this in India, where we live, it is quite expensive and not as fresh as the local cracked wheat that is called daliya.

In some western countries Tabbouleh has morphed into a salad whose main ingredient is bulgur. Although this can make quite a pleasant meal, it has little to do with the original. The seasoning of the salad differs widely. Please use anything you fancy. I like it with plenty of black pepper and Zatar powder, but people also add cinnamon or other spice mixtures.

Tabbouleh makes an excellent side dish for meat or fish. The downside of this dish is that you have to eat it preferably on the same day it is made. It is not a salad, which you can keep in the fridge for any length of time. I actually like Tabbouleh as a main course with a bit of bread and a piece of cheese. It makes a perfect light lunch on a hot day.

Wishing you happy cooking, always!

Kornelia Santoro with family


Ingredients (for 4 big servings):
  • 2 big bundles flat leaf parsley (about 200 grams or around 3 cups of uncut leaves)
  • 1 big bundle mint (about 100 grams)
  • ½ cup bulgur wheat (daliya)
  • 2 big spring onions or several tiny ones
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 – 3 lime
  • 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Zatar powder
tomatoes and daliya
Wash the tomatoes and dice them. Place them into a bowl and add the daliya. Some people recommend soaking the wheat in hot water, but I don’t think that is necessary. The moisture from the tomatoes and the herbs is enough to soften the cracked wheat when you let the tabbouleh sit for a bit before serving it. If you want to serve the salad immediately, you might want to mix the wheat with three tablespoons hot water.

Wash the herbs and drain them. Pluck the parsley leaves from the stems and cut them. You should not use the food processor for this job because it is damaging the structure of the leaves too much. For tabbouleh you have to cut the parsley by hand with a sharp knife. Take a handful of leaves, bundle them with one hand and cut them as finely as possible. Do the same with the mint leaves.
spring onions
Wash and clean the spring onions and slice them finely. Add them to the bowl.
Squeeze the lime over the salad; add the olive oil and season with salt, pepper and other spices. I like Zatar powder because it adds a bit of zest to the salad. Zatar is made from ground thyme, salt, sumac and sesame seeds.
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