My grandmother was an excellent cook. When we were young we used to enthusiastically wait for her visit to our home, and relish her immensely tasty desserts. On one of her visits she prepared a big pot of Bengali pudding (puli pithe), and kept it in the refrigerator to cool. Next morning, when she took out the pot to serve the pudding, there was just a small portion of it left in the pot. When she asked my mum, my mum told her that there was a big cat in the house who ate all the sweets. Grandma was confused, but suddenly realized it was my dad, my mum was referring to! She couldn't stop laughing. My love of all things sweet, in fact my addiction for sweets and desserts is definitely hereditary. Life without desserts would be so boring indeed.

My dessert recipes below are dedicated to my grandma whose exotic sweet dishes I miss to this day!

Yoghurt Pudding

Easy Apple Pie
This dessert is an absolute favorite for those rainy evenings when you want to enjoy a dessert and tea at home, while watching your favorite television show. You can have it hot or cold, and both ways it is delicious! A crossover between a pie and a cake, it is crumbly and moist at the same time.

What you need:
1 egg beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1 pinch of salt
1/2 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
1/2 cup semolina
1 teaspoon milk(optional)
2 apples peeled & chopped into small squares
1/2 cup sugar
(2)1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 handful of raisins
1 handful of cashew nuts

How to make:
Mix the dry ingredients (flour, semolina, baking powder, salt and 1 spoon cinnamon) in a bowl.
In another bowl mix the beaten egg, vanilla, sugar, and apple and butter.
Add  the flour mixture to the egg & apple mix. Stir to a very thick batter. If it is really thick add a teaspoon of mil to bring it to a runny dough consistency. Note: the cake mix should be of an almost dough like consistency, and unlike cakes, should not be batter like.
Pour the dough into a cake tin, and sprinkle with raisins and cashew nuts. Sprinkle with the rest of the cinnamon powder.
Bake at 175 C for 35 to 40 minutes.

Healthy Yoghurt Dessert
Yummy and super healthy, this sweet yoghurt recipe is often a staple in east Indian homes.

What you need:
1 tin low fat condensed milk 250 g
1 tub natural yoghurt 350 g
1 pinch saffron strands

How to prepare:
Mix the yoghurt and condensed milk thoroughly.
Add the saffron, and steam it in a bowl for 20 minutes.
Let it cool down. The refrigerate it for an hour.
Garnish with sliced strawberries or cherries(optional).
Serve cold!

Raspberry Sponge
This delightful dessert can be served with a handful of mixed berries on the side or an irresistible raspberry sauce poured over the cake.

What you need:
Sponge Cake vanilla*                                 : 1
Mascarpone Cheese or any Cream cheese : 200 gm
Icing sugar                                                  : 3 tablespoon
Fresh Raspberries                                       : 2 cups
Castor Sugar                                               : 2 tablespoon
Lemon Juice                                               : 1 tablespoon
Water                                                          : 1 cup
Coffee powder                                            : 1 tablespoon
Chocolate cubes                                          : 50 gms

*You can either get a sponge cake from the supermarket, or prepare it at home based on the directions below. Both work equally great, so if you are short of time, this dessert allows you to make that compromise.

How to Cook:
1. Cut the sponge cake from the middle into two parts using a sharp knife such that they are now two sponge cakes.
2. Mix coffee powder into half cup of hot water, and pour it over a large plate.
3. Dip the sponge cakes one side only over the coffee.
4. Melt the chocolate and pour it over one of the sponge cake,one side only.
5. Beat mascarpone cheese with icing sugar in a bowl till it becomes smooth and fluffy in texture.
6. Pour the beaten mixture into the same sponge over the chocolate, and top with half of the raspberries.
7. Place the other sponge over it slowly and carefully, so that it sits right above the other one.
8. Your raspberry sponge cake is ready. Decorate it with some more raspberries and leftover cheese at the top.
9. Put water, raspberries, castor sugar, lemon juice in a pan, and bring to a boil over high heat.
10. Reduce the heat and let the raspberry sauce thicken to a syrup like consistency.
11. Put the cake and the sauce in the refrigerator, and serve when cold.
12. To serve the cake, cut a piece and place on a plate and pour a spoonful of the raspberry sauce over the cake. Enjoy :))

Kheer Kamla(Milk and Orange Pudding)

Thanks to my dear friend for re-introducing me to this yummy dessert. The combination of milk with orange is so flavorful, it will always leave your palette with a sweet and exotic taste.
What you need:
2 sweet oranges peeled and deseeded(sliced if large)
Orange zest of 1 orange
500 ml of full cream milk
1/2 cup sugar
How to cook:
Boil milk in a pan.
Add sugar, orange zest and then keep stirring until the milk thickens and the cream starts to solidify into small lumps. The milk should ideally reduce to half in volume.
Turn off the heat, and let the milk be cooled.
Add the sliced oranges to the cold milk.
Refrigerate for an hour.
Serve cold.  Enjoy!

Note: the key to the taste of this dish is to make sure the oranges are very sweet, so do taste your orange before adding them to the dish. If you buy very ripe oranges, which have a strong and sweet fruity smell, you will not go wrong.

For more dessert recipes click on the links below:

Moist Chocolate Cake