Getting real personal on the blog today, with a slice of this glorious Tiramisu Cake for company/comfort! ❤
I have always wanted to travel the world. As a little girl I harbored all those cliched dreams of having that magical kiss in front of the Eiffel Tower, having a picture of me taken while I (fake) tried to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and of course I wanted to visit the Colosseum and eat some creamy gelato, very a la Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in When in Rome.
As I grew older, and began taking my passion for food seriously, my need to get away from the norm and travel to strange, unknown places where every corner I turned would be unfamiliar took over my life. Simply because the more I fell in love with food, the more vivid it became that I was missing out on the flavours of these foreign corners.
When I enrolled into college, my one wish was that it would help me get a job that would cover my food and travel bills. About then, I was blessed with a man who wanted the same things in life – good food and to travel the world! And the rest is history… 🙂
It’s been just over a week since we returned from Thailand, our first of many trips around the world. I must tell you that every moment we spent there was amazing and will forever be etched in our travel-yearning hearts. And if you ask me what I miss most (yes, already!) about the Land of Smiles, I’ll tell you it’s the incredible food! (That, and the public transportation system. It’s so convenient that you almost forget you’re a tourist!) 😉
There is no such thing as a bad meal in Thailand. In the 10 days we spent there, every meal was top notch. Whether you’re cruising through a shopping street and break to eat some delicious street food, have dinner in a mall food-court or sit down in a pretty restaurant for some fancy grub, the food is always good; ALWAYS! Here’s a roundup of my foodie adventure in Thailand! 😀
A trip to Thailand is never complete without savouring some hot Thai Green Curry, sweet and spicy Seafood Pad Thai and Mango Sticky Rice for dessert. But the cuisine is by no way limited to these three beauties. With tonnes of noodle soup dishes, curries, crispy pork, fried rice, fresh seafood delicacies and grills to its credit, Thai food is easily one among the most flavourful, simple and comforting cuisines of the world.
Our first dinner in Bangkok was some spectacular Mixed Seafood Pad Thai at Food Factory in Siam Center. The food is cooked freshly before you and my, is it lip-smacking! Full of bold fresh flavours, an array of textures coming through in each bite and the well-complemented seafood and glass noodles left us full yet wanting for more.
We also enjoyed my all-time favourite Thai Green Curry on various occasions! Hot, aromatic and oozing with flavour, it is perfectly accompanied by a bowl of steamed Jasmine Rice. The best bit, you can find these Thai food classics just about anywhere in the city! 🙂
As the sun goes down, the streets of Bangkok come alive with tonnes of pop-up kiosks serving freshly grilled skewers of various kinds – chicken satay, pork balls, sausages, fish, squid, octopus, mushrooms, shrimp. You name it, they’ll cook it for you! And needless to say, it is all delicious. Several kiosks also sell fresh fruits. I had my good share of juicy mango slices and watermelon. Some of the best mangoes I’ve ever eaten!
For the first two nights of our holiday, we stayed in The Ambassador Hotel, Bangkok. Located on Soi 11 in Sukhumvit, this hotel is beautiful and the service is great. To say we loved the breakfast spread at The Ambassador is an understatement. They have a huge variety of Thai, Indian and European breakfast favourites, freshly made and waiting for guests at 6am.
Croissants, danishes, fresh bread, banana cake, ham, bacon, cheese, sausages, pancakes with syrup and chocolate, Thai soups and curries, Indian naan and vegetarian gravies, cereal, juices and fresh fruit are all served up, making sure that each guest is fueled up well for a day of sightseeing. If you’re staying at The Ambassador, make sure you wake up early to grab a bite at the AM Cafe breakfast buffet!
Without a thought or any prior planning, every time we were in Siam, we somehow found our way to Think Cafe. This cute cafe located in Siam Center is great for desserts, coffee, tea and fruity coolers. I had the Mixed Berry Italian Soda here on my first day in Thailand and I fell in love instantly. It is just what you need after a long journey – refreshing, cool and berrylicious!
On our last day in Thailand, we stopped here for dessert. The boyfriend had the Chocolate Pot which he said was super chocolaty and I had the Midnight Brownie. It was dark and gooey and the perfect comfort food for my holiday-ending blues. A must try! 🙂
I love Sushi and much to my delight, it is easily available anywhere in Thailand. You can find it sold by street-food vendors, served at several Japanese restaurants around town and even order in.
One of the highlights of my very-sushi (I must have eaten sushi on every alternate day!) holiday was the Naeki Sushi I found in Siam. Get this – it is sold in pretty take-out packaging at the Siam BTS Sky Train station! Sushi sold at a train station? That is genius! We really could use some of that awesomeness here in India. 😛
The boyfriend and I also experienced our first truly-Japanese meal on our last afternoon in Thailand. At one of the many Japanese restaurants in Siam Center, we sat down on bar stools and enjoyed some delicious make-it-yourself Tom Yum and Chicken soups. We popped into our soups just about every ingredient that was rolling by on the conveyor belt and ended up with yummies in our tummies. We then proceeded to the sushi counter where we chose our picks from 20 different kinds of sushi! Sweet Japanese cuisine heaven! 😀
The food at every corner in sunny Phuket is to-die-for! We stayed in Patong and we absolutely loved the large variety of street food options housed within the Malin Plaza. It was like a food festival open every day of the week! Here, we gorged on some delicious Nutella-Strawberry Crepes prepared by this lovely Thai couple, Vietnamese Spring Rolls, more Pad Thai and Sushi and of course some Mango and Sticky Rice served with Coconut milk – just divine!
If you’re travelling to Phuket, you really mustn’t miss a quick visit to Bangla Road. This short street lined with night clubs, bars, pubs and lots of live entertainment (both family-friendly and naughty) is colourful, lively and the hub of nightlife in Phuket. We stopped for some rum and coke at the Tiger Bar before we proceeded to the Pizza Company for dinner. Good fun! 😛
We had a great lunch at Gram Cafe, located in the Tamaharaj open air mall on the Maharaj Pier in Bangkok. Long before we set out on our vacation, we had looked at pictures of meaty burgers sandwiched between black burger buns and had longed to have an opportunity to taste them. We were delighted when we found these intriguing black burgers at Gram Cafe and just had to try them!
I had the Pulled BBQ Pork Burger and the boyfriend had the Soft-Shell Crab Burger. Both were succulent, meaty, juicy and messy – but dribbling with gorgeous flavours! We also shared the Mixed Berry Soda which was so very refreshing!
To take a break from all the Asian food we were trying out, one afternoon we decided to resort to some good ol’ Italian comfort food at Pomodoro, Bangkok. Located right outside The Ambassador Hotel Bangkok, this chic little place is cozy, and offers both indoor and al fresco seating options. And the food is exceptionally good. We ordered the classic Margherita Pizza and Pan Fried Sea Bass Risotto and were pleasantly mind-blown by how delicious it was.
The pizza base was thin and crispy, topped with just the right amount of cheese and pizza sauce and finished with basil. Yum yum and more yummm! The risotto was creamy, the rice glossy and pearly and the sea bass was seasoned well and cooked to perfection. A seafood-lover’s dream come true!
For dessert, we had the Tiramisu and I believe this deserves a special mention. We have had plenty of Tiramisu at various restaurants in Oman and India but have always been disappointed by the flavours and textures. The boyfriend always complains that I’ve ruined all Tiramisu served in restaurants with my mean homemade version. But not this one. The Tiramisu at Pomodoro knocked mine right outside the park! My mouth waters at the memory. It was, quite simply put, perfect! ❤
Our vacation in Thailand was as much a gastronomical extravaganza as it was a cultural and architectural treat. Thai food is comfort, flavour and homey-ness all wrapped into one. And once you fall in love with it, it’s going to keep you coming back for more.
I already can’t wait for my next trip to Thailand, and I hope I’ve made you hungry enough to pack your bags and go on vacation to this beautiful country! 😀
Tiramisu – the name of the dessert sounds Oh-so-Exotic, but in truth it is what the Italians call ‘semplice’, meaning simple. I first heard the word Tiramisu when I was about 11. The priest’s chef at the church we go to would make batches of Tiramisu for visitors and guests and when we were lucky, us kids playing in the church premises would get a chance to taste some. It was a rare opportunity, but one we pounced upon eagerly. And man, was it delicious! Luscious and creamy with hits of coffee; gosh, my mouth waters at the memory. Eleven years down the line, I’m extremely proud to say that I make a pretty mean Tiramisu myself! 😉
Over the years, I’ve come across many very distorted versions of the Italian classic. When I was studying in Mangalore, India, a famous ice-cream parlour served a Tiramisu Ice-Cream – a parfait of coffee ice-cream and chocolate cake layers topped with whipped cream. I cringe when I think of how not-so-Tiramisu-ish it tasted. I have also found many department store and bakery versions which are actually just layered whipped cream and chocolate cake parfaits. It is beyond annoying, because the classic Tiramisu doesn’t have ANY chocolate cake in it!
Nevertheless, I’m glad I know how make it myself. I mean can you imagine missing out on this beautiful dessert just because no one really knows what it is and how to make it? I cannot fathom how much joy I would be missing out on if I had never eaten an authentic Tiramisu. It is too amazing a pleasure to be deprived of! 🙂
This recipe is for a cheat Tiramisu. I say cheat because it does not entail half the hard work that normally goes into making a good Tiramisu, yet it tastes just as good and authentic. The original recipe of this fabulous Italian dessert requires you to whip up egg whites until they form stiff peaks or egg yolks until they are creamy and then blend the eggs with mascarpone cheese and sugar to form the creamy mixture. While I have tried this method and though time-consuming it tastes rich and lovely, I figured out a short cut. I don’t really like eggs, and much less raw eggs in my dessert, so I decided to substitute them with heavy whipping cream. This lets me avoid the hassle of beating away at the eggs with my hand mixer and the cream turns out just as rich and lush. Win-win, isn’t it? 😀
So, here’s what you need:
This is the procedure involved:
Take this as a guarantee; if you are a coffee-lover or even remotely like the taste of coffee, you will fall in love with this dessert! It is the kind of dessert that makes you feel blessed that you had a chance to eat it and also urges you to say a little prayer for the person who first came up with the recipe centuries ago.
My entire household are big fans of Tiramisu. The brother can’t get enough of it and many a time when he heads over to a friend’s place for dinner, he asks me to make a bowl-full for them. Mom loves to indulge her taste buds in a small serving of Tiramisu, not that she would refuse if you served her a nice big piece. 😛 The cousins ask for some every time they come over. And the boyfriend says that with my homemade Tiramisu, I’ve ruined all store-bought and restaurant versions for him! 😉
I’m certain that the luscious creaminess of the whipping cream and Mascarpone coupled with the soft, moist finger biscuits oozing with bursts of coffee and hints of bitter chocolate (from the cocoa) will have you believing that you’re floating in paradise! 😀 Go ahead, try this recipe. You can thank me later! 😉
Tip: You’re probably wondering why this dessert needs to be chilled for 24 hours. In truth, Tiramisu can be eaten just after a couple of hours of refrigeration. But it takes at least 24 hours for all the flavours to fuse together and make it the splendid dessert that it is. So, make it a day in advance and try to resist eating it before the guests arrive! 🙂