Baking partners · For Kids · Oven Delights...

Vegetable puff

Puffs is something that makes me go back to my old college days. When I was at college, I would regularly buy an egg puff and a small bottle of sprite to have along with it from a bakery near my bus stop. This was just the perfect snack that I could get with my pocket money. Even today I have a big craze for those egg puffs and a bottle of pepsi or sprite. My mom used to make these puffs using ready made puff sheets that she used to get from the supermarkets in Bahrain.
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I have always wondered how they could get those perfect flaky layers that were soo delicately thin and delicious. In fact I have a craze of eating them layer by layer and the innermost soft layer in my favourite.
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When I got the puff pastry as a challenge from baking partner this month I was soo damn nervous and had a doubt if I could even get anywhere close to the ones I eat at the bakeries. I had to browse videos to get the tips and tricks of it. I just followed the instructions and recipe given by Vah chef. The puffs came out really well. It was a big dream come true for me. Thank u soo much swathi and Sangeetha of Nitha’s kitchen for this wonderful opportunity.

Ingredients to make puff sheets:

200 gms flour
200 gms butter
About 100ml water
1/4 tsp salt
Extra flour for dusting while kneeding

For the filling:

Pressure cook 1/2 kg of skin peeled potatoes with 1 cup water, 1/4 tsp salt and a pinch of turmeric till about 2 whistles .

Release the pressure after about 5 mins and cool completely.

Heat 2 tsp oil in a heavy bottom broad vessel. Once the oil is hot add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds and let it splitter. Add one finely chopped onion and 2 finely chopped green chillies . Sauté till translucent.

Add a tsp each of cumin powder , pepper powder, garam masala powder and salt to taste

Add the mashed potatoes such that it mixes well with the spices and I added tinned green peas for an extra taste. Garnish with coriander leaves and cool the filling completely.

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Fill the puff sheets with the masala

Egg wash:

1 large egg
1/4 cup milk

Beat the egg and milk until well combined.

Method to make puff sheets :

Kneed a soft dough with flour, water and a tsp of melted butter.

Kneed the dough well on a flat surface for about 10 – 15 mins to develop the gluten in the dough. Add dry flour to prevent sticking to hands and surface.

Make the dough into a square and wrap it with cling wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hrs or even over night.

Now take the cold butter and using light pressure with the rolling pin slight press the butter between two butter sheets and form the same size square as the dough. Dust it with little flour just for a little firmness. Refrigerate it for about 2 hrs or over night.

Now this is a little long and time consuming process. So ,patience is what makes the end results simple awesome and u will not regret the time spent.

Step 1

Take the chilled dough and spread it light how we make chapathis or tortillas. Keep the chilled butter on the centre of the spread dough and seal the butter well from all four sides.

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You should work fast else your butter would melt.

Chilli it for about half an hour.

Step 2

Spread the dough with a rolling pin using light pressure.

Fold the spread dough into three folds

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Cover with cling wrap and chill the dough. This is the first set of folding .

Repeat the same process of spreading the dough and folding it for another 5-6 times and refrigerate after every fold. If You feel the dough is becoming sticky due to the melting butter, refrigerate it for about 10 mins till the butter has set.

Step 3

Now finally spread the chilled dough into a thin 1/2 inch layer cut into equal squares and chill it for another 15 mins.

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Step 4

Fill the small squares with small quantity of the vegetable masala filling and seal it with water.

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Step 5

Refrigerate for 15 mins .

Apply light egg wash to the top of the puffs before baking for about 15 – 20 mins at 250 degree Celsius or till the top and bottom crusts turn golden brown in colour.

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Desserts · For Kids · Oven Delights... · Uncategorized

White choco chip Banana strawberry muffins

Banana walnuts muffins are very famous and a delight to have with ice cream or even a warm glass of milk. I just gave a slight twist to it by adding in fresh strawberries. They were amazing and the smell of strawberries were just out of the world. My daughters loved them. I made a second batch of those the same day.

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Ingredients:

130 grams unsalted butter
225 gms brown sugar
225 gms all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
50gms fresh strawberries (smashed)
1/2 tsp dry ginger powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp salt
100 gms white choco chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 large bananas (smashed)

Method:

Step 1
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger powder, cinnamon powder twice and set aside.

Step 2
Whisk together butter, brown sugar and vanilla until thick and add eggs one at a time.

Step 3
Mix in the flour little at a time just until everything comes together. Donot over mix or the batter will be chewy.

Step 4
Mix the smashed strawberries and bananas. Stir in the choco chips finally.

Step 5
Line cupcakes tray with cupcake liners and fill the batter 2/3rd full and bake in a preheated oven for 15 – 20 mins.
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Desserts · For Kids · Oven Delights...

Double chocolate choco chip muffins

Chocolate muffins…who is not a fan of these. My daughters love them. The moist and dense choco flavoured muffins are a good evening snacks for kids. Now let’s get started with making them.

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Ingredients:

2 eggs
200 gms flour
30 gms coco powder
200 gms sugar
2 tsp baking soda
100ml oil
200 gms curd
50ml water

Method:

1.Mix eggs, oil and sugar until well combined.

2.Sift flour, baking soda and coco powder.

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3.Mix the water and curd and set aside.

4.Combine the egg and oil mixture with the flour and mix the curd till everything is incorporated.

5.Line muffin tray with paper liners and fill the liner half full and bake in the preheated oven at 170 degree for 20 minute

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For Kids

Salted caramel chews

Salted caramel chews….who doesn’t like caramel….these soft chewy candies are an altime favourite among adults and children. It’s really really easy to make them.. Once u make these at home u would definitely never go back to the store-bought ones again.

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup granulated white sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon (13 grams) butter, diced

Materials needed:

8×8 baking dish
Aluminium Foil roll
candy thermometer
Spatula
Whisk
Wax paper
Pastry brush
Medium sized heavy-bottomed saucepan

Method :

Step 1

Prepare the caramel mold. Line an 8×8 baking tray with foil such that excess foil hangs over the edges. This is done so that we can easily lift the set caramel later. Butter the foil well.

Step 2

In a heavy medium sized saucepan, stir together the cream, sugars, and corn syrup. Place the saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Once the mixture boils, with a heatproof pastry brush dipped in warm water wash down the sides of the saucepan to remove any sugar crystals that are being formed during boiling.

Step 3

Clamp a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Boil the mixture over medium high heat without stirring until the temperature reaches 250 degrees F. Swirl the pan periodically. 

Step 4

Remove the pan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, salt, and butter. Pour the caramel into your prepared pan and let cool, undisturbed, until firm for atleast 2-3 hours.

Cut the caramels to small squares.

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Note:

Store in air-tight containers between wax papers at room temperature or refrigerated.

Brush the sugar crystals that form during boiling with a pastry brush dipped in hot water. If u don’t do so ur caramel will be grainy

Do not stir them after the sugar has melted. Just swirl then once a while.

Use a wooden spoon to prevent the caramel sauce from sticking.

The caramels can be wrapped with wax paper with either sides twisted exactly like how chocolates are wrapped in the wrapper.

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Baking partners · Desserts · For Kids · Oven Delights...

Chocolate babka muffins

Chocolate babka is an Jewish sweet bread that has raisins or cinnamon as their filling. Being a bread variant it has yeast. Our challenge for the months of April 2014 in baking partners was to make chocolate babka or carrot cake. I made both of them coz carrot cake are one of my favorites and chocolate babka muffin was something new I hadn’t even heard of.
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Now let’s get back to these delicious babka muffins. These are generally baked in the form of a loaf but we has to do these as muffins in a muffin tray. The chocolate finning inside these tasted heavenly. I add a bit of cinnamon for an extra tinge and also my favorite almonds slices. They were topped with streusel topping that was really yummy. Streusel is just a crumble mixture of the regular APF ( all purpose flour), butter and brown sugar.
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Ingredients:

Dough:

1/2 cup (120 ml) milk, ( I used whole milk)
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons (5 grams) active dry yeast
1 large room temperature egg
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus additional for bowl and muffin tins

Filling:

3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
225 grams semisweet chocolate ( I used morde)
Pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1tbsp chopped sliced almonds

In a food processor add in your roughly chopped chocolate with the salt, sugar, and cinnamon (if using) pulsing it until the chocolate is very finely chopped with some parts almost powdery. Add butter and pulse machine until it’s distributed throughout the mixture. Stir in the slices almonds and Set the mixture aside.
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Egg wash (optional)

1 egg
2 teaspoons (10 ml) heavy cream or milk

whisking together an egg and the cream until smooth

For streusel topping

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup APF
3 tbspn butter

Mix everything and refrigerate
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Method:

Dough preparation:

Step 1
Warm milk and a pinch of sugar to between 110 to 116°F. The milk must be warm but not hot to touch
Sprinkle yeast over milk and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Step 2
In a small bowl, whisk together egg and remaining 1/4 cup sugar, then slowly whisk in yeast mixture.

Step 3
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour and salt. Run mixer on low and add egg mixture, mixing until well combined. Add in the butter and mix until everything is incorporated.
Switch mixer to dough hook and knead the dough for 10 minutes on low speed for 10 minutes, it should be sticky and elastic but will firm up a bit after it rises.
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Butter a large bowl and place dough in it. Cover loosely plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled for about 2 hrs.
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Assembling the muffins:

Generously butter a standard 12-muffin tin and set aside.

Once dough is doubled, turn it out onto a well-floured surface and gently deflate it with floured hands. Let it rest for another 5 minutes. Once rested, roll dough into a large rectangle. The short sides should be about 11 to 12 inches. The other side can be as long as you can roll it.
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Sprinkle the filling evenly all over the dough’s surface. Tightly roll the dough back over the filling from one short end to the other. With a sharp serrated knife or dental floss gently cut 1-inch segments off the log and place each in a prepared muffin cup. Loosely cover buns with plastic wrap and let them rise for another 30 minutes.
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Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).

Brush the buns with egg wash and top it with some streusel topping before baking them. I found the buns I brushed with the wash shinier but otherwise virtually indistinguishable from the un-brushed buns in color. Bake buns for 15 to 20 minutes, until puffed and brown.
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Baking partners · Celebrations · Desserts · Oven Delights...

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Carrot cakes are very rich and moist cake that I make quite often in the form of cupcakes. It’s can be made in the form on cupcakes, layers or even in loaf. Normally walnuts, pineapple chunks are added to enhance the flavor and taste. It’s usually topped with cream cheese frosting or just dusted with icing sugar.
This month my challenge from baking partners was to bake either chocolate babka muffins or carrot cake. I did both. Thanks to Swathi Iyer and Tammy for these beautiful recipes

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For the cake:

300 grams self-raising flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg (grated)
1 pinch of salt
4 eggs
335 ml sunflower oil
450 grams sugar
125 grams carrots (grated)
140 grams walnuts (chopped)
2 tablespoons boiling water

For the icing:

175 grams unsalted butter
200 grams cream cheese (full fat, softened)
215 grams icing sugar (sifted)
Method

Method:

Step 1

Sift the dry indredients and set aside. Separate the egg whites and yolks. Grate the carrots.

Step 2

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks in a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat the egg yolks and sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy and till the ribbon stage has been attained. Beat in the oil until well mixed.

Step 3

Add the dry ingredients and mix just until well mixed. Don’t over mix the batter.
Mix the egg whites into the batter with a spatula using cut and fold method. Do not over mix as the batter will deflate.
Stir in the nuts, pineapple chunks and shredded carrots

Step 4

Bake in a pre heated oven at 180 degree using two 6′ round cake tins For about 30 mins or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Step 5

Make the cream cheese frosting by beating in the cream cheese , butter and powdered sugar and finally vanilla and decorate it to your choice.

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Note:

This cake must be refrigerated as it’s frosted with cream cheese.
U can use either brown sugar or normal caster sugar to make the batter. It’s up to once choice.
I used Swiss meringue butter cream to decorate the outer of my cake.

Indian gravies

Mutton kozhambu

Mutton kozhambu is a gravy that is very famous in the southern parts of India. This is one dish that I would prepare atleast once a week. I add drumsticks and potatoes for added taste and flavour.

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Ingredients:

1/2 kg mutton cleaned and cut into small 2 inch pieces
Onions – 2 medium
Tomatoes – 3 medium
Curry leaves – few
Drumstick –  2 (cut to 3′ pieces)
Potatoes –  1 medium cut 1′ squares
Coconut – 1/2 cup
Cashew – 4 – 5
Chilli powder ( kozhambu melagai thool) – 3 1/2 tsp

Method:

Step 1

Wash the mutton well with running tap water for atleast 4 – 5 times with little turmeric and salt. Drain and set aside.

Step 2

Cut the onion, potatoes and drumstick. Puree the tomatoes. Grind the coconut and cashews with water such that we get about 1 cup of coconut milk after extracted

Step 3

I’m a pressure, add 2tbsp of oil. Once it heats add in the onions and Curry leaves and sauté till they turn translucent. Add the tomato puree and sauté till the oil separates from the gravy. Add the chilli powder mixture and 1tsp water to prevent it from getting burnt and sauté till the raw smell of the chilli powder disappears.

Step 4

Add in the mutton and potatoes and add about 1 and 1/2 cups water and close the pressure cooker. After a whistle turn off the cooker.

Step 5

Once the pressure settles open the cooker and add the drumstick and cook the gravy at low flame for another 5 – 10mins. Finally add in the coconut milk and cook till the gravy thickens.

Step 6

Garnish with coriander leaves and close the cooker till ready to serve.

Note:

1.Salt and spiciness can be adjusted to your
taste.

2.Don’t stir the gravy often as the drumstick will break and scatter all over the gravy.

3. A little more oil can be added for better taste.

4.A small piece of papaya can be added along with the mutton as papaya helps to cook  mutton more soft and tender.

5. This gravitas be eaten with steamed rice, chapathi, idli or dosa

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