Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Whole wheat Challah

This time for daring baker, we had to make Challah...

Challah is a bread of celebration in Jewish tradition. At a time when white flour was considered a luxury, its use was reserved for either the wealthy or for festive events. In Judaism, the Sabbath is a weekly holiday, and therefore is a festive occasion. It was around the 15th century when Jews in parts of Austria and Germany adopted an oval braided loaf from their neighbors to make the Sabbath special. These fancy shaped loaves made with white flour were seen as a fitting way to honor the Shabbat (Sabbath), symbolized in Jewish culture as a queen, therefore deserving of the finest one can achieve

May’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge was pretty twisted – Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to make challah! Using recipes from all over, and tips from “A Taste of Challah,” by Tamar Ansh, she encouraged us to bake beautifully braided breads.

I am a little late for the challenge , but I really wanted to create this beautiful lookin loaf, so never is late...The bread came out wonderful...While it was baking , the entire house smelled divine....It was so soft...I would never want to eat a store bought loaf again....

All you need is

  • Dry active yeast- 2 and 1\4 tsp
  • Warm water-1\2 cup
  • Brown sugar-1\4 cup
  • Unsalted butter-1\4 cup ( at room temperature )
  • Salt-1 tsp
  • Egg-1
  • Whole wheat flour-1 cup
  • All purpose flour-1 cup
  • 1 egg beaten with a 1tsp of water

Method of preparation

Add yeast to bowl of the stand mixer and add warm water to it
Let it rest for 5 minutes until frothy
Add egg, brown sugar, butter, salt, whole wheat flour and all purpose flour to the bowl and mix with a spatula
Put dough hook to the mixer and knead the dough for 5-8 minutes, until smooth and elastic
( If using hands , knead the dough on a working slab for 10-15 minutes )
Add more flour if required
Make a ball of the dough and keep it in a oiled bowl
Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise in warm place for 2 hours, until it doubles in size
Once the dough has doubled, punch down and again cover and keep it in a warm place for an hour
Punch the dough again and divide it into 2 parts
One part should be 1\3 rd of the dough and the other should be 2\3 rd
Divide each part into 3 equal balls and roll and braid two loaves
Keep the smaller braid on top of the bigger braid
Cover with a kitchen towel and keep aside for an hour
Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
Brush the loaf with egg wash mixture and sprinkle some sesame seeds
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped at the bottom
Transfer the loaf to the wire rack to cool

Friday, May 25, 2012

Blueberry crumb bars

Wonderful dessert with a very easy to do recipe....Eat it just by itself or serve it with a scoop of ice cream, it is definitely going to please your palate...So here is the recipe...Do give it a try...

All you need is ( adapted from )

  • Granulated sugar-1 cup and 1\2 cup
  • Baking powder-1 tsp
  • All purpose flour-3 cups
  • Unsalted butter-1 cup ( cut into small cubes )
  • Egg-1
  • Salt-1\4 tsp
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • Fresh blueberries-4 cups
  • Cornflour-1 and 1\2 tsp

Method of preparation

Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees
Grease a 9x13 inch pan
In a bowl, mix together 1 cup sugar, baking powder and all purpose flour
Add lemon zest and salt
Add butter and egg and with the help of a pastry cutter or fork, blend it into the flour
The dough will be crumbly
Pat half of the dough on to the prepared pan
In another bowl, mix together 1\2 cup sugar, lemon juice and cornflour
Fold in the blueberries
Spread the blueberries on top of the crust evenly
Sprinkle the remaining dough on top of the blueberries
Bake for 45 minutes, till the top is slightly browned
Cool completely
Cut into squares

I reheated it in a warm heated oven before serving....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pistachios and Cranberry Biscotti

I like to snack on something throughout the day and always look out for new munching options....These Biscotties are loaded with the goodness of pistachios and a little tang from the dried cranberries....This recipe is very easy and Biscotties came out wonderful...Do give it a try...So here is the recipe....

All you need is ( adopted from )
Yields 15-18 biscotties

  • Olive oil-2 tbsp
  • Granulated sugar-1\2 cup
  • Vanilla extract-1 tsp
  • Almond extract-1\4 tsp
  • Egg-1
  • All purpose flour-3\4 cup + 1 tbsp
  • Salt-a pinch
  • Baking powder-1\2 tsp
  • Roasted unsalted pistachios-3\4 cup
  • Dried cranberries-1\4 cup

Method of preparation

Pre heat the oven to 300 degrees
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Mix olive oil and sugar in a bowl
Add  egg, vanilla extract and almond extract and mix well
Add all purpose flour ,salt , baking powder, pistachios and cranberries
Mix with a spatula
The dough will be very sticky
Transfer it to the baking sheet and shape into a 10 inch by 2 inch log
Wet your hands while shaping the dough
Bake for 35 minutes at 300 degrees
Remove from the oven and let it cool  for 10 minutes
Reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees
Cut the log into 1\4 inch slices with a sharp knife
lay slices on sides on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until they are dry
Remove form the oven
Cool on a wire rack
Store in a airtight container when completely cooled

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Vanilla Pannacotta with Mango Mousse

Want to make a dessert that is really easy to make and would earn you lot of accolades.....Pannacotta it is then....I love mangoes and got a can of puree recently...So thought to pair a mango mousse with pannacotta....It came out delicious....I made it in shot glasses and it was perfect size for a single serving....So here is the recipe...

All you need is

For Pannacotta

  • Heavy cream-500 ml
  • Granulated sugar-5 tbsp
  • Vanilla extract-1 tsp
  • Gelatin powder-2 tsp
  • Cold water-6 tbsp

For Middle mango layer

  • Mango-1 ( cut into small pieces )
  • Mango puree-1 cup
  • Sugar-2 tbsp ( Add only if using unsweetened mango puree )
  • Gelatin-2 tsp
  • Cold water-6 tbsp

For mango mousse

  • Mango puree-1 cup
  • Sugar-5 tbsp (  use only if using unsweetened mango puree )
  • Whipped cream-2 cups
  • Gelatin-2 tsp
  • Cold water-6 tbsp

Method of preparation

For Pannacotta

Sprinkle the gelatin over cold water in a bowl and let it rest for 5 minutes
Heat sugar and cream until sugar is melted
Do not over heat the mixture
Remove from heat and mix vanilla extract
Pour the mixture over the gelatin and stir until gelatin is dissolved in the mixture
Let the mixture cool for 2-3 minutes
Pour in the desired glasses till 1\3 rd and refrigerate the glasses for 5-6 hours

Middle mango layer

Sprinkle the gelatin over cold water in a bowl and let it rest for 5 minutes
Add sugar in mango puree and heat till sugar is dissolved ( if using sweetened puree, just heat the puree a little bit )
Remove from heat and pour the mixture over the gelatin and stir until gelatin is dissolved in the mixture
Let the mixture cool for 2-3 minutes
Stir in the mango pieces
Pour on top of the pannacotta to next 1\3 rd of the glass and refrigerate for 5-6 hours
Cool for 5-6 hours

Mango mousse

Sprinkle the gelatin over cold water in a bowl and let it rest for 5 minutes
Heat mango puree and sugar till sugar is dissolved  ( if using sweetened puree, just heat the puree a little bit )
Pour over gelatin and stir until gelatin is dissolved in mixture
Fold in the whipped cream
Pour the mixture in a piping bag and fill the glasses till top
Cool for 5-6 hours

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chinese Cashew chicken

All three of us love Chinese food....It's very flavorful and comforting...Cashew chicken is one of our favorite...It's quick to make and is healthy to eat too...Do give this recipe a try...

All you need is

  • Chicken breast-2
  • Vegetable oil-3 tbsp
  • Ginger-1 inch piece ( finely chopped )
  • Garlic-4-5 cloves ( finely chopped )
  • Onion-1 cup ( cut into small squares )
  • Green capsicum-1 ( cut into small squares )
  • Red bell pepper-1\2 ( cut into small squares )
  • Cashew nuts-1 cup
  • Soya sauce-3 tsp
  • Tomato ketchup-2 tsp
  • Rice wine vinegar-2 tsp
  • Dry red chilies-3-4 ( soak in water for 5-6 minutes and blend in a blender to make a paste )
  • Black pepper powder-1\2 tsp
  • Sesame oil-1\4 tsp
  • Cornflour-1 tbsp
  • Salt-to taste

Method of preparation

Cut chicken breast into small cubes
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok and fry chicken pieces till the chicken is half cooked
remove from the wok and keep aside
In the same wok, add 1 tbsp oil
Add ginger and garlic and fry for 2 minutes
Add onion, red bell pepper and capsicum
Fry for 2 minutes
Add chicken
Add soya sauce, tomato ketchup, rice wine vinegar, red chili paste, black pepper and sesame oil to the wok
In a bowl, add little water and dissolve cornflour in it
Add it to the wok
Add salt
Cook on medium heat till chicken is cooked
Serve hot with some rice

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Double chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter mousse frosting

My sweet tooth was craving for something nice and sweet.....What better than a double chocolate cupcake...And the cherry on top was this very yummy peanut butter frosting...This recipe gives you 25-30 mini cupcakes....I halved the recipe and got 15 cupcakes.....They were very moist and soft....Do give it a try....

All you need is

For the cupcakes

  • Unsalted butter-115 gm
  • Semi sweet chocolate-60 gm
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder-1\2 cup
  • All purpose flour-3\4 cup
  • Baking powder-3\4 tsp
  • Baking soda-1\2 tsp
  • Eggs-2
  • Granulated sugar-3\4 cup
  • Vanilla extract-1 tsp
  • Salt-1\2 tsp
  • Sour cream or thick yogurt-1\2 cup

Peanut butter frosting

  • Peanut butter-1\2 cup
  • Confectioner's sugar-1 cup
  • Unsalted butter-5 tbsp ( softened )
  • Vanilla extract-3\4 tsp
  • Salt-1\4 tsp
  • Heavy cream-1\3 cup

Method of preparation

For the cupcakes

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
Line a mini cupcake tray with liners
Melt butter, chocolate and cocoa powder in a double boiler
Keep aside
Whisk flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl
Beat egg, sugar, salt and vanilla extract in a bowl, till light and fluffy ( approx 3-4 minutes )
Add the chocolate to the egg and whisk till mixed well
Add half of the flour and mix till combined
Add sour cream or yogurt and mix
Add the remaining flour and mix
Fill cupcake liners 2\3 rd full
Bake for 15-17 minutes till a toothpick comes out clean
Take out from the oven and cool on a cooling rack

For the frosting

Beat heavy cream until soft peaks forms
Keep aside
Beat the remaining ingredients in a bowl, until creamy
Fold the mixture into the cream until well combined

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cheesy egg roulade with red bell pepper and onion

I never thought that shifting a house would be so tiring and difficult...We were living in a serving apartment since last one year, where everything was taken care of...Now Mohit's project has extended and we have to shift to an apartment...So I am setting up my house from scratch....It's also fun , to shop for all the things and planning , how to arrange everything....This is the reason, I could not cook or bake anything to feed my blog....

Yesterday when I saw this very tempting recipe on, I could not resist myself from baking it...It was very easy and delicious...We had a wonderful Sunday breakfast.....So here it is....

All you need is

  • Milk-1 cup
  • All purpose flour-1\3 cup
  • Eggs-8
  • Salt-to taste
  • Black pepper powder-1\4 tsp
  • Tomato ketchup-2 tbsp
  • Red bell pepper-1\2 ( chopped )
  • Onion-1\2 ( chopped )
  • Green chili-2 ( chopped )
  • Cheddar cheese-1 cup

Method of preparation

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
Grease and line a 10 inch by 15 inch baking dish with parchment paper
Let the parchment overhang on the sides
In a bowl, mix together all purpose flour and milk
Add eggs, tomato ketchup, salt and pepper and whisk well
Pour the batter in the prepared pan
Sprinkle onion, green chili and bell pepper , evenly on top
Bake for 20 minutes, till the eggs are set
Sprinkle cheese on top and again bake for 6-8 minutes
Remove from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes
Lift the parchment paper from one of the shorter sides and roll the egg tightly, peeling back the parchment as you go
Cut into slices
Serve hot

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