As someone who loves a good meal, cooking one, came to me as a natural passion. I belong to a family where meal times consisted of not just food, but also noisy conversation centered around the events of the day and discussing the menu for the next. (ah yes, we are a greedy lot! )

For the most part of my life so far, my contribution in the kitchen was assisting mom and my duties were limited, to chopping veggies and laying the table. Then along came the great Indian wedding, and I was suddenly the queen of my very own kingdom. My curiosity about this magical world, coupled with an enthusiastic sous-chef (my husband, Vineet), led me to take on the challenge of preparing meals on a daily basis, and not succumbing to the convenience of hiring a cook.

This blog is a product of my experiments with food (not all are life threatening :D) for my fellow culinary enthusiasts - especially the newly weds and hungry bachelors and is dedicated to the women who've inspired me in the kitchen;
Aji (s),Ma and Nigella Lawson.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cinnamon Grilled Peach with Ginger-Brandy Whipped Cream

Dessert unarguably is the high point of any party. It's rare to find someone who doesn't enjoy indulging in a light, sweet treat to conclude a scrumptious meal. Since Keya is now old enough for solids, I excitedly bought a huge box of super yummy and juicy Yellow Peaches for her only to realize, that they'd go all squishy at the rate she would consume them. 
So when we invited our friends Tuhin & Anushree over for Sunday lunch, I decided to use the Peaches to whip up a simple yet decadent dessert. 
My first thought was to make a Peach cobbler. I then recalled an episode from one of Bobby Flay's shows where he grilled peaches marinated in Cinnamon sugar. I also recalled falling head-over-heels in love with the gorgeous grill marks on the fruit when he served them up with mint leaves. The decision was made and out came my stove-top grill pan.
I wanted to dress these up a little more, so I created a whipped cream topping, spiked with Ginger and Brandy. As I went along, I also felt it could also use something extra in terms of the textures one would get in a single bite... so in went some toasted digestive biscuits and ginger snaps. The result, was a delicately sweet, delish dessert that is now one of my proudest creations :)

Ingredients: (Serves 6)
- 6 Peaches, ripe but firm, washed
- 2 tsp Olive oil
- 3-4 tsp super-fine Sugar
- 1 tsp powdered Cinnamon
- 1+1 tsp Ginger powder ( only 1tsp if using Ginger biscuits)
- 2 to 3 tbsp Brandy
- 1 cup double Cream
- 6 to 8 Ginger biscuits OR Digestive biscuits
- Mint leaves, to garnish

You will also need-
- A pastry brush
- 6 clear serving glasses (could use juice glasses) 
- An electric beater or balloon whisk to whip the cream.


1.) Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Turn down the heat and let the water simmer. Cut an X-mark on the Peach as shown in the photo. Drop the Peaches into the water. Ensure that the fruit is completely submerged in the water. Blanch the Peaches for about 45-50 seconds, till the skin wrinkles and appears to loosen.

Using a slotted spoon gently rescue the Peaches from the hot water and drop them into a bowl of cool water (this stops them from cooking). Drain the peaches and pat dry. Peel the cooled Peaches.

2.) Slice the Peaches in half and remove the stone/ seed. Then cut into thick-ish wedges. Set the wedges onto a plate. Using a pastry brush, coat the slices slightly with the Olive oil. 

3.) Heat the grill pan. Using a pair of tongs, gently arrange the Peach wedges and grill till the peaches take on a golden brown colour and dark brown grill marks. Carefully flip the wedges to form grill marks on the opposite side. Turn off the heat and transfer the grilled peaches to a chopping board and allow them to cool. Dice into smaller cubes. Sprinkle the powdered Cinnamon and gently toss to coat the Peaches evenly. Chill in the refrigerator till its time to use.

4.) In a bowl, whip the double cream along with the super-fine Sugar, 1 tsp Ginger powder and the Brandy. Allow the whipped cream to chill in the refrigerator for a few minutes.

5.) Using your fingers break the Ginger biscuits into chunks. If using Digestive biscuits, break into chunks and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tsp of Ginger powder. Toss to mix.

6.) Arrange the serving glasses. Place a couple of spoonfuls of diced Cinnamon-marinated Peaches in each. Add a dollop of the Ginger-Brandy Whipped cream, followed by the crumbled biscuits. Repeat the layers till desired portion sizes are achieved, allowing the topping layer to be that of diced peach and crumbled biscuit. 

Place the glasses in the refrigerator for atleast an hour or two to chill.

7.) Garnish with fresh mint right before you serve.