Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Green peas and Edamame parathas

I was in the mood for parathas..and not the regular potato kind..dont get me wrong...I love those..but I just felt like something different..and my fridge was noticeably low on veggies which I could think of..no mooli, no palak..hmm...what now..how about those green peas in the frozen compartment..and why not add some edamame to it..just for fun..Im sure it cant go wrong..
So take 1 cup of green peas and 1 cup of edamame and thaw them..Run them in a chopper for couple of minutes..I kept them coarsely chopped...
Heat a tbsp of oil and add minced green-chilli and ginger (abt a tbsp) along with 1 tbsp of besan and stir well. Add the peas mixture and some garam masala and salt to taste. I crumbled some blasamic vinaigriatte marineted-tofu slices in it and cook till the raw feel is gone. Form small balls and fill in the paratha dough and roll out the parathas. Cook on tawa with some olive oil.
I served this with some fusion green-onion/potato bhaji and raita.
The peas/edamame taste was distinct and nice and satisfied me for packing in a bunch of nutrients !

Monday, December 14, 2009

Vegetable en Croute daringly..

The 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Simone of Junglefrog Cooking. Simone chose Salmon en Croute (or alternative recipes for Beef Wellington or Vegetable en Croute) from Good Food Online.
I made my own puff pastry and filled with tofu sauteed in butter, spinach , mushroom , onion and cheese...and it was yummmmy...next time I need some more seasoning though..
As Im on road I just scheduled this to be on date..so without much ado..enjoy the beauties...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


A lit later in the fall, but all those butternut squash recipes I saw floating around had me very tempted to try something out..
I got this 2-pounder butternut squash, halved and de-seeded it and roasted in oven for an hour , scooped out the pulp and stashed in the refrigerator for use later..
Checked out some recipes and thought I would try the Butternut squash ravioli albeit with the wonton wrappers..which turned out to be a bad idea and a failed experiment..they dried for too long , or had cracks and some that I boiled turned out to be very egg-y..I was so disgusted they went straight to the bin..

Couple of days later and Im again thinking whats to be done of the leftover puree and thank heavens I didnt use the whole in the ravioli experiment..Google delivered these goodies at my doorsteps - Butternut squash lasagna..how yummy does that sounds!
Butternut squash lasagna 1
Butternut squash lasagna 2
Inspired by the above recipes ,I came up with :
Butternut squash puree, heated with salt , pepper and nutmeg added for taste.
Bechemal sauce with a desi twist:
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp AP flour
3 cups milk
1 whole green chilli , minced
1 inch ginger , minced
1 medium onion , chopped in small squares
Heat butter and saute onion till golden, add chilli + ginger and saute for another min.Add the flour till golden brown, add milk and stir till a thick sauce consistency.Add salt and pepper to taste.
Assorted cheese - Mozarella slices, shredded fried cheese (instead of parmesan which is used usually)
I used those lasagna sheet which do not need to be pre-cooked. Add a bechemal sauce layer to the bottom of a greased pan and lay the pasta sheets. Spread a layer of squash puree topped with breadcrumbs , cheese at hand ( I used mozarella slices ) and sprinkled some grated fried cheese on the top. Layer with the bechemal sauce and lay another set of pasta sheets and repeat the toppings for 3-4 layers or till your ingredients last. The last layer should be just the bechemal sauce and cheese layer over the lasagna sheets. Bake at 350F for about 30 mins covered by aluminium foil and another 20 mins without the cover.
The result was a delicious but not too heavy lasagna , with contrasting flavors of slightly sweet and aromatic squash to the mildly hot bechemal green chilli sauce .. definitely a keeper !

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

SnS makes Snow-flecked brownies, but I do not..

I had a good streak going on with Sweet and Simple Bakes .. 4 back-to-back and I did intend to continue with that.. given the enticing prospect this time around..I mean who can resist sweet and gooey chocolate brownies ?? Turns out I can.. not for the lack of chocolate though.. which I bought at every turn last week, having the brownies in mind.. but I just couldn't find a good egg-less recipe and at last moment I backed out... Though all my fellow-bakers over at SnS did turn an amazing batch of brownies all around.. they all look yummy !!

Not that Im just going to talk about what I did not do.. I actually made something which I've been meaning to make since ages... Since maybe I heard this esoteric term 'gnocchi' .. I visualized something rustic , charming and very much like a comfort food.. and indeed it is.. and quite simple to make, once you get the hang of it..

My Sweet potato gnocchi was inspired by Cathy at Not Eating Out In NewYork but without the arugula and hazelnut, so here is the recipe with my variations:
2 sweet potatoes, steamed till tender but firm
About 1 cup AP flour
Salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
EVOO 2 tbsp
Grate the sweet potatoes with a grater, don't mash. Add half the flour and mix in. Add the seasonings and flour until a firm dough forms. See the process for forming the gnocchi in Cathy's post , she has explained it beautifully. Once the gnocchi is cooked, saute it with some EVOO , sage leaves and any handy nuts.
There was this subtle scent of nutmeg which I loved but the sauce needed some pep so I added some store-made pesto and it was amazing, more so the next day !

Friday, November 27, 2009

Back in time @ Daring Bakers..

The first ever time I had Cannoli was at Boston's North End, the Italian world within the city...We had inadvertently landed there on a week-long stay and how fortunate ! Those hot cuppa espressos which we would drink just standing , those intimidating Italian restaurant owners , the fresh baked breads and ohh, those small bakeries with amazing array of sweets all inviting us in....Daring Bakers took me back there with this amazing Daring Challenge -
The November 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. She chose the Italian Pastry, Cannolo (Cannoli is plural), using the cookbooks Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book.
Cannolli !! Thats what we made around the DB world this month and what a great challenge it was..

First the ingredients:
I didn't have the foresight to order for the cannoli forms in advance but fellow DBs came to help and I used Cannelloni shells and it turned out pretty great with it.
Marsala wine - 6.99 and 12.99 ...guess which one I picked :) .. last month I spent $20+ for sushi ingredients..neways
It is pretty simple to make once you have all the ingredients..
For Cannoli shells:
2 cup AP flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup + marsala wine
Mix all the dry ingredients and add the oil, vinegar and wine till a moist dough is formed. Cover and rest in freezer for couple of hours or more.
Roll into small round balls and wrap around the cannelloni shell and dab water where the ends meet. Deep-fry and let dry.

Cannoli filling:
1 can of ricotta cheese strained overnite
Confectionars sugar as required
Vanilla as required
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Whip everything up and fill in a ziploc bag with one end cut off. Squeeze into both sides of cannolo. Top with nuts or chocolates and enjoy....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A day well spent...

A mid-week holiday brings in lot of joy but also endless possibilities on what can and should be accomplished..The 'Veterans Day' holiday this mid-week had one thing on top of my list though..make 'Sushi' , for DaringCooks!!

The November 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was brought to you by Audax of Audax Artifex and Rose of The Bite Me Kitchen. They chose sushi as the challenge.

Sushi (寿司 or 鮨 or 鮓) is much appreciated for its delicate taste and exquisite appearance. Sushi actually means vinegar-ed rice, which is the essential ingredient in every sushi recipe. Sushi is simple and cheap to make at home, needs no special equipment and is an excellent way to use left overs. Although sushi in various forms has been around for fourteen centuries, the modern version was invented in Japan in the 1800’s where a 'hand-formed' sliced fresh fish and vinegared rice ball was eaten as a snack food. Nowadays, sushi is made with various seafood, meats and vegetables, raw and cooked.

The challenge is in four parts:-

Part 1: Making proper sushi rice – you will wash, rinse, drain, soak, cook, dress, and cool short grain rice until each grain is sticky enough to hold toppings or bind ingredients. Then you will use the cooked rice to form three types of sushi:

Part 2: Dragon /Caterpillar sushi roll – an avocado covered inside-out rice roll with a tasty surprise filling.

Excellent videos on making Dragon Rolls

>> Fillings : cucumber + carrots + avocado

Part 3: Decorative sushi – a nori-coated rice roll which reveals a decorative pattern when cut
>> Fillings : avocado, green beans, asparagus

Part 4: Nigiri sushi – hand-shaped rice rolls with toppings

>> Toppings : Sweet potato, pineapple, asparagus.
God know what I was thinking , but when adding that wasabi strip/spot for the topping I went a bit overboard and boy, it hit me!! real bad !! all the way from my nose to my head and spreading through my ears!! I could not have it again..though DH did..and though he was shaking like 'Kramer' he finished all of them :)

Also, any other suggestions for sushi rice, Ive got half the packet left..

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Anti-procrastination brigade...

To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing -- Eva Young

And thats what kept happening to me , month after month, one good intention after another.. The link goes into my bookmarks, reminders, right panel to glare at me, then out as the date goes by... the 1st of the month bright with intentions , 15th bringing a bit of anxiety about things yet unaccomplished and then full blown panic as the end of the month approach... decision time - what to pick , what to throw .. which challenge to love and which to step over.. Im talking about all the culinary challenges floating around in this amazing culinary-blog-world ! It would be a full-time job to keep track of all those event and participate in..

Ones I've managed to stick to are the Daring Cooks and Sweet and Simple Bakes - and come to think about it, is it because they tell you exactly what to make, with a full recipe and instructions attached ? Hmm... maybe Im just a follow-the-recipe kinda cook.. unlike those natural ones who concoct delicacies out of nothing and gourmet meals out of everyday pantry stuff ..

One of these event which I would very much like to be part of but keep managing not to is IAVW started by Vaishali of Holy Cow .. She is hosting it this month and I saw her announcement on Its a Vegan World - Chinese and decided to take things in hand aka make do something chinese asap .. no procrastination .. no 'Perfect is the enemy of good' .. no scouring for recipes for days and for ingredients some more..I decided to go ahead with the recipe I had and the ingredients at hand..

I cannot believe I have never tried the much-loved and ubiquitous chinese fried rice as yet .. innumerable pulaos , rice variations but somehow never got around to making the fried rice.. though basic and simple , I think its an authentic indo-chinese recipe and if I sneak it in early enough I may claim my dibs on it [grin]


1 cup brown rice cooked yesterday

chopped spring onions

Steamed broccoli nd mushroom - 1 cup

handful of coarsely grated carrot

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp chopped ginger

1 tsp chopped garlic

salt nd pepper to taste


Heat oil and add the spring onions , stir for 2-3 mins and add ginger + garlic .. add the carrots and stir for another couple of mins. Add the steamed veggies and salt and pepper. Add the rice and soy sauce and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

To go with it I made this Sweet and sour Tofu with vegetable with the vegetables that I had in hand - Some steamed radishes (Im really glad on how I used radishes in varied ways this week - one, this stir fry and other was with mung dal - both turned out very well-adjusted and not out-of-the-place additions) , some cubed tofu and some peppers..

There goes my entry to IAVW and if this month chooses to bring some more chinese in my kitchen, so be it!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cookies come home..

Sweet nd Simple bake this month came up up with another sweet and simple recipe - baking cookies ! With chocolate and Orange.. what else does a girl wants ! Recipe found here , I followed it to the T except for the egg part, I just substituted a tbsp of oil for that which it could've done without too..
The cookies turned out to be amazingly soft and chewy and chocolate-orange-y !
The whole trial did made me realize something I've never consciously done before - that cookies are made entirely in butter... as in NO milk , or cream or water .. ENTIRELY BUTTER...
I actually took them all to work the next day and shared with my colleagues, saving some calorie-overload on my end and earning some cookie-points in turn !

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A holidays 'Sandesh' ..

I know Im a bit late with the 'Sandesh' but as they say ..yada yada yada..or MY blog and I put stuff up when my mood strikes..meaning rarely these days.. neways,
This Diwali was very low profile in terms of cooking for one reason or the other , but this was something I had seen around and wanted to try my hand at so when the opportunity presented itself i.e. the milk went bad , instead of throwing it off(pardon me ! but I just cant take that smell!!) I heated it up and squeezed some lime into it and voila ! Some instant paneer !!
Squeezed all the water out and kneaded it till all smooth.. added some sugar and heated till it lost that raw feel.. about 5-7 mins..let cool a bit and form small rounds and press on some powdered nuts..and thats your 'Sandesh' - an easy, fresh, light, melt-in-the-mouth Bengali sweet !

Friday, October 16, 2009

Diwali Wishes

May the divine *light* of diwali spread into your Life peace, prosperity, happiness and good health...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vietnamese Pho

The October 2009 Daring Cooks’ challenge was brought to us by Jaden of the blog Steamy Kitchen. The recipes are from her new cookbook, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook.

So what is Vietnamese Pho? Well, it’s like the most insanely delicious noodle soup popular in Vietnam. The broth is simmered for hours and hours . Other accompaniments include ribbons of rice noodles, fresh herbs like cilantro or basil, a wedge of lime or lemon, fresh bean sprouts and fresh sliced chilies if desired. I think I had a version of it in a vietnamese restaurant on a recent trip to Vegas and really liked the clean and pure taste of the Pho.

What makes Pho so different than any other type of noodle soup is the spices that go into the simmering broth. Warm spices like coriander, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fresh ginger transform an ordinary broth into a very authentic Vietnamese Pho.

I did make the long version i.e making home made stock albeit the vegetarian version including onion , celery and carrot in olive oil with the spices mentioned above.
Sauteed small pieces of tofu and mushrooms in a little oil and added to the broth. Served with rice noodles,coriander,lime and chilli sauce. A warmth-inducing evening meal !
I didn't try the wantons as we are getting a bit too frequent on desserts around our part of the world.. keeping for a later day..

Monday, October 5, 2009

Another sweet and simple Vaishnav recipe

As I mentioned before, the recipes from the book 'The art of Indian Vegetarian cooking' by Yamuna Devi are very simple but delicious preparations. Being an American she has also incorporated use of many vegetables found here in very unusual combinations ..One such I found was Green Beans and Water-chestnuts and it is so simple but tasty combo that Ive already made it twice and permanently added the water-chestnuts cans in my grocery list..
2.5 cups green beans cut 1 inch long
1 can water chestnuts cubed
1 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
salt to taste
Add some water and steam the cut green beans for about 10 mins in microwave. Heat the oil and add mustard and cumin seeds till they splatter. Add the beans and remaining spices and stir on high heat for 5 mins. Add the water chestnuts and mix well for 5 mins. Turn off the heat. Serve with hot chapati or accompaniment to dal-rice.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Restaurant style Malai Kofta

Since it was festival ( Dashehra ) time last week, we came up with a special lunch menu:
Hara bhara kebab
Malai kofta
Ajwaini parathas
Fruit custard
Sounds scrumptious..doesn't it ?

My cousin made the delicious Hara bhara kebabs and I'm wondering how I've missed them till now..they seem to be everywhere on the blogging world and definitely go in my list too...future safekeeping :)
For my part, I thought I will use the Gulab Jamun packet that's in my pantry for a while now..to make the kofta..(not an original idea, I had read it around and thought it was a nice concept and would turn out well) and try my hand at Malai kofta aka Rich Dumplings in cream gravy..
1 packet gulab jamun mix
a pinch of salt
water as required
1 potato - boiled,peeled nd mashed
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala/chat masala
1 tbsp cashew nuts small pieces
pinch of turmeric
salt as per taste

Mix the Gulab Jamun mix with salt and add water to form a firm but pliable dough. Keep aside covered for 5 mins.
Mix all the filling ingredients together. Form small balls (gulab jamun size) and add small filling inside each. Cover with the dough so it wont fly out in frying.
Fry the balls till golden brown and keep aside.

1 large onion ,chopped coarsely
1 medium tomato ,chopped coarsely
5-6 cashew nuts ,chopped coarsely
1 bay leaf
8 whole black peppercorns
3 cloves
2 dried red chillies
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cut ginger
1/2 potato ,mashed
1/2 cup cream or milk
Heat some oil and add all the dry spices and stir. Add cashew nuts and stir for another 30 seconds and add onion. Cook till golden , then add ginger and tomatoes. Let cook till the tomatoes soften. Let it cool and grind into a paste. Heat another tbsp of oil and add the mashed potatoes. Stir around for a minute and add the paste and cream/milk. Add salt to taste and bring to boil. While serving , arrange the koftas in the serving bowl and pour the gravy over it.
I don't mean to brag, but this turned out to very well and got a lot of compliments , one being 'ekdum restaurant style' !!
P.S : Excuse the poor photo, and definitely do not judge the recipe per the photo..try it once! (Awaiting a better photo)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

SnS makes Drizzle cakes..

Sweet and Simple bakes decided to make St Clement's drizzle cake , to enjoy along the lake, the rich and crumbly flakes.. wish I could rhyme more..maybe not :)
Its an English tea cake [love the quaintness of it] seemingly quite common, though I have never heard of it before..the English seems to be the masters of cakes all around!
The original recipe is here but I reproduce here as I made changes to make it eggless and also the measurements, since Im not used to measure in grams anymore.. Actually, I got a bit confused about the egg replacement and all that orange/lemon proportions so I decided I will make the basic eggless sponge that always works for me and just add on the lemon/orange variations to it..
1 cup AP flour
1 cup Whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp milk powder

1 cup fine sugar
Zest of 1 big lemon
1 cup milk
4 oz/1/2 stick butter melted

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Whip up the butter and sugar and add the lemon zest. Add the flour and milk and mix to form cake batter. Pour into a loaf pan and bake @ 375F for 50 mins.

juice of 1 lemon
same amount of orange juice ( I didn't have a fresh orange)
3 tbsp granulated sugar

Simmer both juices till reduced to about 3 tbsp. Let it cool and add sugar. As soon as the cake is out , poke with skewers and pour the 'drizzle' on it.
There is no picture around but it looked like this after pouring and I wasn't sure if my drizzle was too much:

After cooling, it turned out to be just about right..a moist cake with a dense sweet flavor and pockets of orange/lemony bursts in between !
A bit of googling also shows that there are many variations on this 'drizzle' and Im sure to try some more..soon...

Sunday, September 27, 2009


and huffing and puffing, I actually managed to turn out the Voul-au-vent aka puff pastry with filling on the reveal date for Daring Bakers!

The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

Puff pastries are those mouth-melting wonders that I never thought I would try to make myself..the Daring Bakers really do challenge us to dare try these previously only wondered about things..
Once I read the instructions and saw the video link provided, I was more confident to tackle this and once I started it did turn out to be pretty straightforward but follow the instruction to T kind of experiment...

For Dough:(I halved the recipe)
1 nd 1/4 cup AP flour
1/2 cup cake flour ( substituted 1/2 cup AP flour + 1 tbsp cornstarch)
salt, as desired
1/2 + cup ice water

Mix the dry ingredients, add ice water and knead the dough. Cover and refrigerate. Beat 2 sticks of butter to form a rectangle 1/4 inch thick. Roll the dough to bigger than the butter rectangle and wrap the butter in it. Turn the dough as seen in the video. Chilling between each stages is highly recommended.

Things went pretty smooth till the dough stage , it was the forming stage that almost undid me.. I couldn't find the round shaped cookie cutters, so I got the flowery kind one..It had those pointed edges , my layering didnt turn out so well...I filled it with mushroom-goat cheese filling and I stop here for now, but I have lot of pastry dough frozen and I shall try with more combinations and update here..

Technically, Im still a daring baker ;)
Off I go to visit our blogroll members, who Im sure have out-done themselves with this challenge !!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Theme of the month...

Theme of the month seems to be tardiness :( .. not intentional..but I just don't know where the time is flying .. Summer is over already ?? September is more than half gone too ?? Did I skip some days or weeks in between a-la time-traveller's-wife ?

Neway,last couple of months I've been part of this wonderful group which combines my love for books and food together - This book makes me cook , but for some reason or the other I have not able to contribute to it.. Last month, they announced reading 'Pomegranate soup' , which I promptly ordered from my library, got it and read in an easy read - very light but heart warming book about 3 sisters all the way from Iran to Europe on their culinary journey...and all other filmy elements within - like the necessary villain, a beautifully vague hero , a cause-bearer...but all in good fun..

I also managed to make this simple but delicious soup from the recipe in the book, but never got around to posting it..so without further ado:

This is a simple soup made of olive-oil fried onions cooked with red masoor daal for about an hour or so with simple spices....you think Ive forgotten them ? Actually I have .. maybe I will get the book back and check and update..maybe not..but the soup was good! I havnt forgotten that :D

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sometimes I'm confused..

Sometimes I'm confused by what I think is really obvious. But what I think is really obvious obviously isn't obvious...

So yesterday I thought that it was one of the challenge reveal dates, but thought it was the Daring Bakers which I havn't tried in the busy and frantic days that Ive had the past weeks..
I didnt check if it was Daring kitchen which had Indian Dosa this time which in fact I'd tried immediately after the challenge was revealed...and had a nice picture all taken and uploaded too...
One of my feeds actually brought me out of the fog today and late, but not never..here it is..Lovely Dosa...this is how it was packaged and eaten around my place and I cannot forget the numbers of lovely dosas we used to devour during those early evening , after college..with friends..on our 2 wheels...aah...

Neways...Debyi from The Healthy Vegan Kitchen hosted the event this time around and I would like to try an alternative recipe some time, I made this lovely dosa with the recipe handed over by my ma-in-law - the traditional south indian dosa recipe :

1 cup rice
1/3 cup urad dal
1 tsp fenugreek seeds

Soak 5-6 hours and grind with little water. Let ferment overnight. Add some more water and salt to make batter consistency when ready to make dosa.

Filling :
5-6 potatoes
1 medium onion
1 tsp chat masala
1 tsp oil

Boil the potatoes, peel and mash them. Heat the oil, saute onions and mix potatoes and chat masala in it.

Heat the pan/tawa and spray some oil and some drops of water and wipe it off the hot pan. Spread the batter into a pancake. Take the filling and spread it layered over the dosa. Once the cooked side is crispy fold the dosa like a wrap and cut into pieces Serve with chutney and/or sambar.
Thank you Debyi for bringing this amazing and ubiqiutous Indian Dosa to the DaringKitchen !!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sat morning Jammy muffins for S nd S

With all that I have started baking , I still havn't tried any muffins so when Sweet and Simple Bakes announced this Jammy Doughnut Muffins I was quite excited !

For the jam, I used the fresh and abundant farmers market peaches as follows :
4 peaches, square cut
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
Prep : Let the peach and sugar stew for about 30-35 mins..Dissolve the cornstarch in little water and mix it in the thickened jam. Let cool and store in fridge.
The muffin recipe with my variations for making it eggless :
275g (10 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
3 tsp baking powder
(I made it 2 tsp of baking powder + 1/2 tsp baking soda)
Pinch salt
100g (4 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
2 eggs
( I substituted 3/4 cup of applesauce )
200ml (7 fl oz) milk
75g (3 oz) unsalted (sweet) butter, melted and cooled
( I was running out , so used ghee - clarified butter)
1 tsp vanilla extract
(Forgot :( )
12 tsp strawberry or raspberry jam
For The Toping
100g (4 oz) unsalted (sweet) butter
150g (5 oz) granulated sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

You will need 12 hole muffin tin lined with paper cases.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl, and stir through the sugar. In large jug, lightly beat the eggs then add the milk, cooled butter and vanilla extract and beat together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients stir gently until just combined. (Do not over mix, its fine to have a few lumps in the mixture.) Spoon half the muffin mixture into the base of each paper case. Top each muffin with a teaspoon of jam. Now equally between each paper case, top with the remaining muffin mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes until well risen, golden and firm to the touch.

For The Topping: melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Spread the granulated sugar in a wide, shallow bowl with the cinnamon if using. When the muffins are baked, leave in the tin for 5 minutes. Dip the tops of the muffins in the melted butter and then roll in the sugar. You can serve these muffins warm or cold; however, I do prefer to eat them whilst warm.

These turned out to be great li'l muffins, not too sweet with a nice sweet-sour gooey jammy interior...and very simple to make...on a saturday morning it didnt take me more than 30 mins to whip this up for a warm breakfast !
Thanks Sweet nd Simple bakes for this nice recipe..

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Daring Bakers, Dobos Tortas anyone ?

This month we had Dobos Torta, a Hungarian speciality as our Daring Bakers challenge ..
The August 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers' cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite
Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.
The Dobos Torta is a five-layer sponge cake, filled with a rich chocolate buttercream and topped with thin wedges of caramel.

The recipe follows :

Sponge cake layers

  • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups (162g) confectioner's (icing) sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (112g) sifted cake flour (SUBSTITUTE 95g plain flour + 17g cornflour (cornstarch) sifted together)
  • pinch of salt

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) caster (ultrafine or superfine white) sugar
  • 4oz (110g) bakers chocolate or your favourite dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (250g) unsalted butter, at room temperature.

Caramel topping

  • 1 cup (200g) caster (superfine or ultrafine white) sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (180 ml) water
  • 8 teaspoons (40 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil (e.g. grapeseed, rice bran, sunflower)

Finishing touches

  • a 7” cardboard round
  • 12 whole hazelnuts, peeled and toasted
  • ½ cup (50g) peeled and finely chopped hazelnuts

Directions for the sponge layers:

NB. The sponge layers can be prepared in advance and stored interleaved with parchment and well-wrapped in the fridge overnight.

1.Position the racks in the top and centre thirds of the oven and heat to 400F (200C).
2.Cut six pieces of parchment paper to fit the baking sheets. Using the bottom of a 9" (23cm) springform tin as a template and a dark pencil or a pen, trace a circle on each of the papers, and turn them over (the circle should be visible from the other side, so that the graphite or ink doesn't touch the cake batter.)
3.Beat the egg yolks, 2/3 cup (81g) of the confectioner's (icing) sugar, and the vanilla in a medium bowl with a mixer on high speed until the mixture is thick, pale yellow and forms a thick ribbon when the beaters are lifted a few inches above the batter, about 3 minutes. (You can do this step with a balloon whisk if you don't have a mixer.)

The first thing I had to look at was the Vegatarian-ising the sponge cake from , I tried this recipe - it has too much soda though, so increased flour by 1 cup...still more than a hint of bitterness in the sponge and that sort of spoiled the cake for me :(

I did go ahead with it just for the sake of trying it out fully..some more notes..

Butter Chocolate - melt semi-sweet chocolate, beat in room temp butter...seems like a lot but balanced...I tried this Biscuit cake with the leftover chocolate buttercream and it was amazing !

Caramel - be patient , that white sugar syrup does turns to a dark golden orange caramel toffee mixture..

Overall, this was kinda mixed experiment to me and the first one where most of it went into the garbage (sigh)