Delicious Berries Malabi Pudding

For me as a young girl growing up and spending much time outdoors with friends, it  wasn’t complete until we “stalked” the Malabi pudding stand around the corner and completely emptied the guy’s small glass refrigerator out of his delectable creamy Malabi dessert. Malabi pudding is one of the most popular dessert in the Middle East and especially in Israel. we wouldn’t let a week go by without having one. We grew up on this thing.

Almost every one in Israel knew how to make it except me because it looked complicated, yeah I sound like an infant now. But when I learned to make it I realized it’s super easy; so easy I’m laughing my head off and probably at myself.

Malabi is milky, silky and creamy and is as bright as snow-white. This dessert is all about delicacy and the taste is such a beautiful thing to experience, your juice buds will thank you. It’s like eating scented rose (no, it does not taste like perfume).

Malabi is usually served with sweet pomegranate syrup and chopped pistachio and sometimes shredded coconut, all in a glass bowl or a cup – delicious. But you know me – since I rather have lighter and more interesting version of this rich dessert, I came up with something just a bit different, in taste and presentation.

Every time when I go back to Israel – this becomes my breakfast. I’m bad I know.

Malabi is not only easy to make it looks drop dead gorgeous too.

delicious malabi pudding dessert

delicious malabi pudding dessert recipe

delicious malabi pudding dessert recipe

delicious malabi pudding dessert recipe

Once you taste it you’ll find gazillion reasons why you should have it all the time.

delicious malabi pudding recipeIsn’t she super cute? she played the Ukulele while I made one of her favorites…and to keep me entertained 😉

Berry Malabi Pudding

ingredients:
6 cups of skim milk (you can use low-fat if desired)
1/2 c. white sugar
1 tbsp light brown sugar (for garnish)
1/2 c. corn flour
3 tbsp rose-water
1 c. fresh mixed berries: blueberries and raspberries

for syrup:

3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp rose-water
1 c. water

*   *   *

Rose-water syrup: combine water and honey in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, reduce to medium and simmer until syrupy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in rose-water. Let cool.

In a large bowl combine corn flour with one cup of milk, stir well until corn flour has dissolved. Heat the remaining milk and the sugar in a medium sauce pan, stirring constantly and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add the corn flour mixture and rose-water. Stir until mixture is thick and smooth, about 6-7 minutes. Carefully pour Malabi mixture into pretty small bowls. Cool to room temperature. At this time drop a few berries in each bowl,  gently push berries to bottom of bowl but not touching it. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours.  Malabi should resemble jelly consistency.
To serve: Put a plate over each bowl, place your hands on the bottom of the bowl and invert it, turn the thing over. The smooth Malabi should slide down on to the plate. The way I did was: I tilted the bowl of Malabi and carefully and patiently let it slide to the other plate. It’s easy, simply find the way that works for you.

Drizzle Malabi with rose-water syrup and sprinkle light brown sugar on top. Gor.geous!

Silky Yogurt Mousse in Honey and Saffron syrup

saffronsyrup-yogurtmousse

Let’s face it – January simply flew by and February – well to me it’s almost the middle of the month. I find myself asking the same question over and over – where has time gone? There is so much I want and need to do but it seems that I’m always busy chasing time. There are to do notes scattered around to remind me to actually get to it, including cooking which is my therapeutic activity where I find myself being 100% me, even with all the other troubles that go with it, but again, short on time. Is that an excuse?silky yogurt mousse with saffron and honey

This week I kept things simple even in cooking. I wanted to make something sweet, breakfast/dessert style that contain simple basic ingredients, uncomplicated, quick and with a twist. A dish that reminds us that time is precious and even with the most basic ingredients we can still whip up a treat we’d love to share with those around us. I’m keeping things simple. period.

saffronhoneysyrup

So I called my biggest mentor – my mother, and asked her if in her childhood she ever had any mousse, anything fluffy and sweet as a dessert besides cookies. I’m saying this because my mom is an amazing cook but her focus was solely on cooking authentic Moroccan cuisine like beef, fish and poultry but not specialty desserts accept cookies on holidays. Then she said “…oh sure…” and she started naming ingredients and desserts in Moroccan I had no clue what she meant (I couldn’t stop laughing), but I did get two words: saffron, honey. Oh, that already triggered my creative side.

saffronhoneyyogurtmousseThe conversation went on about her mother’s cooking tradition and we had a lot of good laughs. After bouncing ideas with my mom I pulled my Greek Yogurt out of the fridge and my jar of saffron. and stared at it. A long minute later I was like “…o.k. I’m ready. whatever comes out of it…it must be really good”.

silky yogurt mousse with saffron and honey

saffronsyrup

The saffron honey syrup is such a treat. Its taste is surprisingly beautiful and I mean beautiful because honestly I don’t even know how to describe it in words, which is unusual to me. You have to make it to find descriptive words and if you do – please enlight me with your findings.

saffronyogurtmousse

The mousse is elegant, creamy, fluffy and not very sweet, which is how I like my desserts. The recipe is very flexible and you can adjust its sweetness or substitute the honey or agave with sugar, but I don’t recommend it. it’s simply wont be the same.

saffronyogurtmoussedessert

So, shall we:

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2 c. low fat Greek yogurt
1 tbsp white corn flour
2 tbsp water
Honey Saffron syrup* (recipe follows)

*Honey Saffron syrup:
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. light agave syrup
generous pinch of saffron

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Preparation:
Honey saffron syrup: In a small pan combine honey, agave and with your fingers crash/rub saffron, add to the pan. Low/medium heat stir ingredients until bubbly. Cook for about two minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Mousse: Combine corn flour and water, stir to remove lumps. Set a side. In a medium bowl place the yogurt. Whisk until fluffy. Slowly add half the amount of Honey Saffron syrup that you’ve prepared. Fold to combine ingredients. Again, slowly, fold in the corn flour mixture. The mousse will change color to a light orange from the saffron. Pour mousse into ramekins and chill for a few hours until set.

Right before serving drizzle mousse with saffron syrup, serve.

Now deep your spoon in this creamy sweetened mousse and fill your mouth with goodness. Can it get any better than this?

And yes…why wait for a special dinner? it’s perfect for breakfast too.

Perfect pears baked with rosemary sprig in white balsamic reduction

baked pears with rosemary and white balsamic reduction

Believe me when I say that I will bath myself in a rosemary water-bath, covered with real rosemary sprigs until my nose can no longer function. There is nothing more sensual and aromatic than having rosemary (sprig or anything that smells like one), laid around the house somewhere. I have one in my linen spray bottle, in my olive oil, oil message bottles, my aroma therapy plug-ins, laundry room, drawer liners, shoe closet…you get the idea. And no, it doesn’t overpower. It’s a beautiful herb, relaxing and oh so calming…

A bit of history – remember my Perfect pear recipe I posted a while back? it’s one of our favorite dessert and I make it quite often, but lately I’ve experimented with pears and came up with another delicious and simple to make recipe you are going to love (i hope). So the story goes that Friday  was a beautiful sunny day. But everything else was a big mess in my house. Pieces of bricks laid around the first floor, a heavy reminder that my mini project remodel is became super mini. Living room walls peeled off of an expensive wallpaper only to have them finished with yet another expensive look. My dusty new furniture covered with a cheap dustier plastic sheet, walls poked with large holes a reminiscent of where the T.V. used to hang and where a new one is going to be. It felt half depressing (the other half kept whispering in my ears to stay calm, this too shall be over soon.) I wanted to leave everything and get a hotel room. But then, when i turned around and looked into my messy kitchen the thought of baking something sweet, even in a middle of a mess, comforted me. So I made it. The house smelled amazing. The first bite of a warm sweet fruit made me forget what i had felt before. The closer the following bites got to my lips and right under my nose, the more I fell in love with life’s simple luxuries, even in a middle of a chaos. Chaos that inspired me to create and bring a moment of joy not only to myself but to my family that night.

You don’t have to have a reason to feel that sweet sense of comfort. Feeling down or up and want to make someone else happy too? treat that person or yourself to this beautiful heart warming dessert. My mom’s motto is that good food solves many of life’s issues. I believe her. After all, with such a vast life experience like she has – who am I to argue.

pears baked in white balsamic reduction

baked pears with rosemary and white balsamic reduction

If you love pears and I’m hoping that you do, then this is one of the best perfect pears recipe you will ever make. And if you love the beautiful aroma of a simple rosemary sprig and how it can enhance this dish in contrast to the sweetness of the sugar and the white balsamic syrup – I salute you.

it’s super easy….super comfort….few ingredients you can customize to your liking…super flavorful and beautiful………you don’t need another reason do you?

baked pears with white balsamic reduction

delicious baked pears in white balsamic reductionHow did rosemary sprig fit in the picture? just before baking the pears i popped my head in the fridge looking for something interesting to add. I found a couple of rosemary sprigs i almost forgot about and threw one in. It became the star.

I served the pears warm with vanilla ice-cream and here is what I heard them saying: “…mmm what is it?…wow, oh…this is so good what did you say it was again?…oh man this is delicious i don’t care what you put in it… oh Sigal it’s delicious what’s that name again…it has this…what’s in there?…” – I told you – rosemary.

Ingredients:

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5 nicely ripe pears, peeled and cored
1/4 c. dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
5 cardamom cloves
1 rosemary sprig
**1/2 c. white balsamic reduction (see recipe)
juice of one lemon

for the balsamic reduction:
1 part water
1 part white balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp white sugar
** i use 1 cup ratio of water and vinegar

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Preheat oven to 350. Cut pears in half and place in a large bowl with lemon juice. Set aside.
Prepare the white balsamic reduction – this is the moment when you need to watch the syrup with both eyes (yes both), because it cooks quickly: in a medium sauce pan on medium heat combine water, white balsamic and white sugar. Just when starting to boil reduce heat to medium/low, gently stir and simmer uncovered until syrup becomes thick and about 75% of the vinegar is evaporated. You are your best judge so keep a watchful eye, it will tell you when the syrup is ready. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a medium baking dish (i prefer to use glass) arrange the pears cut side down. Pour the balsamic syrup over the pears and sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon. Tuck the rosemary sprig between the pears and throw in the cardamon cloves. Give a gentle shake, cover with foil and bake about 35 minutes.Make sure there is still liquid left when done. Optional: While baking I uncovered the pan and with a large spoon drizzled some of the syrup from the pan on the pears. Covered and baked until it was ready.

perfect baked pears with rosemary and balsamic reduction

It was a mind-blowing flavorful experience honestly…but that didn’t stop me from taking a hotel room that night 😉

bon appetit