I was invited recently for an all exclusive bloggers meet to learn the art of making flamboyant cocktails by Master mixologist Rohan Carvalho. This fun filled session promised to include an introduction to mixology, bar basics, 6 cocktails and methods, home bar set-up, cocktail equipment and glassware, alcoholic and non-alcoholic ingredients and a few bar tricks and entertainment to end with.

As I entered Troika located on the roof top, I was pleasantly surprised with the ambience. It is a combination of dark and light grey interiors giving a very elegant and calm look overall. They have a combination of bar, sofa and table seating. The place is very well lit during the day. Evenings the whole ambience changes and is a perfect place to unwind. The highlight of the place is that its very very airy. 
The session progressed with Rohan explaining the basics of bar tending, the different types of glasses used, the different bar equipments that one should have at home and some myths were also demystified. The one on one conversation helped us to understand the art of making delicious cocktails.

Three tables were set up for the participants to come and make the cocktails themselves.
We were taught 6 varieties of cocktails.

Azure Twist - A combination of vodka and hawaiian blue.
Awesome Threesome - A combination of rum and kiwi crush.
Bell Pepper Daiquiri - A unique mix of rum and crushed bell peppers.
Sangria - A fruity combination of red wine and chopped fruits.
Whisky Sour - A startling combination of whisky and egg white.
Caipiroska - A refreshing vodka based drink. 
All fellow bloggers and participants tried there hands at the various cocktails. We had so much fun while shaking and stirring these delicious cocktails. I would strongly recommend you to try the Bell Pepper Diaquiri, Sangria and Caipiroska.
I made the Sangria and I am sharing this recipe with you here.

90 ml red wine,
Finely chopped orange, peach, apple, and pineapple,
30 ml of each orange juice,
30 ml of pineapple juice,
30 ml of orange liqueur,
20 ml of brandy,
10 ml of lime juice,
60 ml of sparkling water,
Few ice cubes

  1. Put all the ingredients expect the chopped fruits together in a red wine glass and stir it will. 
  2. Add all the chopped fruits and mix well.
  3. Add 2-3 icecubes to chill the sangria and serve.

In the end of the session, Rohan Carvalho showed us some amazing tricks with the bottles and with live fire too. It was such a visual treat to watch him juggle up some bottles for us.

We were served tasters for all the cocktails made. And while the session was going on, we were flooded with a wide range of delicious starters to go with the cocktails.

Troika also has a Sunday Brunch Buffet. The menu on offer is an exciting mix of Oriental, Mediterranean and Coastal cuisines served from the LIVE interactive kitchens. Every Thursday is a Ladies Night where ladies are served free drinks from 7 pm to 10 pm.

For Reservations:
Phone: 080 61344890
Address: Above Zaica, 100 Feet Road, Indiranagar, Bangalore

Disclaimer: This is review is "By Invitation"
IFBM organizers are making us go crazy by luring us with beautiful gifts to be won. And this time its Freedom Tree bakewares to be won. Check out their website. Their products are droolworthy, so full of life and so damn colorful!!! I can give an arm to get these goodies. 

Their criteria was to bake some dish using corn. This is my entry to the Freedom Tree Baking Contest. I decided to make this delicious tart to compliment their gorgeous bakeware.

This tart is very easy to bake and takes very less time to assemble it all together. If you have your pie dough ready, you could bake this in a giffy. You could also turn them into small tarts which could become a great canape recipe for a party.
For the pastry:
375 gms plain flour, plus extra for dusting,
15 gms sugar,
225gms unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing,
1 egg,
4 tbsp ice-cold water,

For the filling:
1 medium sized tomato, thinly sliced,
1/4 cup fresh corn kernels,
1/4 cup cheese, grated, (I have used cheddar),
1/4 cup onion, thinly sliced, slightly sauted until translucent,
1/2 tsp rosemary, finely chopped,
1/2 tsp thyme, finely chopped,
2 eggs,
1/4 cup milk,
Salt as per taste,
Pepper as per taste,
For the pastry:

  1. Sieve the flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Tip the cubed butter into the bowl. Rub the butter and the flour between your thumb and fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the egg together with four tablespoons of ice-cold water. Pour into the flour mixture.
  3. Slowly bring the ingredients together with your hands to form a dough, being careful not to overwork it.
  4. Knead the dough lightly on a clean, floured work surface, then wrap it in cling film and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.

For assembling:

  1. Preheat the oven for 10 mins.
  2. In a bowl, mix corn, cheese, onion, and all the herbs. Add salt and pepper as per taste. 
  3. Add eggs and milk and adjust seasoning once again.
  4. In the lined pie tin, arrange the tomatoes.
  5. Pour the mixture on top of this. Fill it to the brim of the pie tin and even it out. 
  6. Bake in the center of the oven for 40-45 mins at 180 degrees.
  7. Allow it to cool. Cut into wedges and serve warm.   

So just 2 days to go for the big event and I am a little jittery right now. I am so looking forward to this event now though!!! 
Frangipane is a filling made from or flavored with almonds. This filling can be used in a variety of ways including cakes, tarts and other assorted pastries. Originally designated as a custard tart flavored by almonds or pistachios it came later to designate a filling that could be used in a variety of confections and baked goods. Frangipane is one of France's many traditional foods associated with Christmas celebration. These days it is normally made of butter, sugar, eggs, and ground almonds.

As you know that  KitchenAid India has announced the KitchenAid India Contest in the IFBM meet, where we need to create a recipe using plums, I decided to make this tart with the Frangipane filling.

For the pastry
375 gms plain flour, plus extra for dusting
15 gms sugar
225gms unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
1 egg
4 tbsp ice-cold water

For the Frangipane
200gms unsalted butter
200gms caster sugar
2 eggs
200g ground almonds

For the tart filling
8-10 ripe plums, each cut into eighths, stones removed
For the pastry:

  1. Sieve the flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Tip the cubed butter into the bowl. Rub the butter and the flour between your thumb and fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the egg together with four tablespoons of ice-cold water. Pour into the flour mixture.
  3. Slowly bring the ingredients together with your hands to form a dough, being careful not to overwork it.
  4. Knead the dough lightly on a clean, floured work surface, then wrap it in cling film and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.

For the Frangipane:
  1. Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy. 
  2. Crack the eggs into the bowl one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  3. Add the ground almonds and mix well until combined. Set aside.

Final Assembling:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Dust the work surface with flour and roll the chilled dough out thinly. 
  3. Use it to line one large 10-inch tart ring or 6-8 individual tartlet rings. Trim away any excess.
  4. Spoon the Frangipane into the tart case so that it comes about halfway up the sides.
  5. Smooth over the surface with a spatula and cover the Frangipane evenly with the plums.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes (15-25 minutes for the tartlets), or until the pastry is crisp and golden-brown and the fruit is tender.
I don't think I would have made this had I not been pushed to enter into the contest by my dear friends. More so using plums. I have never used plums in any of my bakes before. But this tart turned out to be so delicious. The plums I used were a tad bit sour. Had I allowed them to rippen a little more it would have added to the beautiful sweetness of the Frangipane. However, I think, the tartness just complemented it overall.

Enjoy :-)
The first ever Indian Food Bloggers Meet is just round the corner. The organizers Arundati, Revati, Aparna, & Nandita are working round the clock to leave no stone unturned to make this a mega successful event. Happening in Bangalore on Aug 1st and 2nd, this two day program covers a wide variety of topics right from blogging techniques to photography to food styling. The meet is supposed to be attended by enthusiastic food lovers who are good cooks, esteemed cook book writers, publishers, professional food photographers & stylists and social media activists from India and across the globe.

It is really getting hot in here now. There is so much of excitement all around and everyone is running to the kitchen to cook up a storm. Yes, the organizers ensure that we are on our toes during these last few days to grab some exciting goodies. KitchenAid India has announced the KitchenAid India Contest where we need to create a recipe using plums.

Have been struggling to get some good plums becuase of a hectic work schedule but somehow managed it in the nth hour. Thats so me, by the way :-)
8-10 firm but ripe red plums, cut into 1/4-inch wedges,
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped,
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander & mint,
1 tbsp fresh lime juice, plus more if needed,
1 tbsp sugar, plus more if needed,
1 tsp minced garlic,
1 tsp finely grated peeled fresh ginger,
1-2 green chillies,
Salt and pepper to taste
Stir together plums, cucumber, cilantro, lime juice, sugar, garlic, ginger, green chillies, salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Adjust flavor with lime juice and sugar if needed. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

I am so looking forward to meeting all the bloggers in person who have inspired me over the years. Ahhh....just 7 more days to go :-D
Its not everyday that you get to taste the best ice creams in the world, but I am one lucky girl. I was invited for a unique tasting experience hosted exclusively for the bloggers before the official launch Mövenpick Ice Cream Boutique in Lavelle Road, Bangalore. This is their third outlet in India, with one being in Delhi and another one in Chennai. 
Mövenpick Ice Creams was founded in 1948, starting off as a restaurant with a vision to serve only the best. Now "Mövenpick" is a well known brand worldwide. Started by Ueli Prager, with a philosophy that - “We are not doing anything extraordinary, we are just doing simple things in an extraordinary way”. Originally, in the 1960s, the ice cream was produced for restaurant sales only. The plant in Bursins was built in 1972, however production later was shifted to a larger state of the art unit in Rorschach, Switzerland. Mövenpick is now available in over 40 countries and has more than 300 boutiques worldwide.
Going with the tagline "The Art Of Swiss Ice Cream"Mövenpick stands its business on three strong pillars;

  1. BORN OF A PASSION FOR GASTRONOMY - Mövenpick Ice Creams are made for the menus of ‘Haute Cuisine’. Each flavour is a masterpiece of culinary inspiration, a work of gastronomic art, sure to delight any discerning gourmet and the most demanding chefs.
  2. ONLY THE BEST THAT NATURE CAN PROVIDE - All Mövenpick flavours, textures and colours are sourced from the very best, searched out with great care from the best sources that the world can offer. No artificial flavours or colours. The reward is a subtlety that no ordinary ingredients can match.
  3. FASHIONED WITH SWISS PERFECTION - It takes special care to bring forth the subtle delicacy in a Mövenpick recipe - more time in the making and extra attention to detail. Mövenpick Ice Creams are a tribute to the loving carefulness for which the Swiss are famous.
Check out more store and staff pictures on my Facebook Page.

We started off the exclusive tasting evening with some hot coffee. I chose to try out their most recommended Spiced Viennese Coffee. With a strong hint of cinnamon, it's surely is a spice lover's favorite.
Another fellow blogger tried out Affogato - Shot of espresso served with a scoop of Movenpick Ice Cream of your choice. He chose vanilla. I digged into the vanilla ice cream. It looked so pretty as you could see the tiny vanilla beans. 
 Next came in a series of ice cream desserts. Caramelita - Two scoops of Caramelita Ice Cream on the base with caramel sauce topped with caramel pieces garnished with wafer biscuit and whipped cream.
We then tried out Peach Melba - Vanilla ice cream placed on poached peaches drizzled with raspberry sauce garnished with whipped cream and peaches.
If you are a chocoholic like me, you have to try out their Swiss Chocolate Obsession - Freshly baked hot Belgian waffles served with Movenpick Swiss Chocolate Ice Cream and Stracciatella ice cream garnished with chocolate sauce and shavings. The chocolate ice creams are out of the world. Must try!!!!
Gourmet Chocolate Addiction - Piccolo hot chocolate served with three tasting scoops of Chocolate flavoured ice creams: Swiss Chocolate, White Chocolate and Stracciatella, sprinkled with rich chocolate shavings.
 With a choice of over 20 delicious shakes, there is something for every taste bud. Strawberry Shake & Iced Mocha below.
You can also relish some delicious refreshments which are 99% Fat Free. I tried their Raspberry Sparkling Sorbet. It was a little tart, since they use fresh Raspberries. I loved it!!! 
There is a reason why it’s the best and the most expensive ice cream in the world. Mövenpick Ice Cream applied a ‘Natural Policy’ to its range of ice creams. As a consequence, all Mövenpick products are made without artificial additives, artificial flavourings or artificial colours.

Head over to the boutique for this rich experience. 
4/1-1 Lavelle Road, 
Lavelle Heights, 
Near corner of Vittal Mallya Road,
Bangalore, India 560001
Contact - 080-41679720, 080-41612589

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/movenpickicecreamblr

Disclaimer: This review is "By Invitation"