Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Let's go nuts for Doughnuts - My Mini Baked Version!

Time for yet another exciting Daring Bakers Challenge and the lovely Lori of Butter Me Up has challenged us to make  her country, Canada's favourite - Doughnuts. Lori's recipe sources included Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.I decided to stick to the cake doughnuts recipe, but turned the volume up by adding saffron & cardamom in the batter. I baked them in my mini doughnut maker instead of frying them (Gotto think about the poor waistline, at least when you have paid 150 quid for PT sessions at the gym). I did go a bit over-the-top with the toppings though! I slathered the baked doughnuts with melted white/dark chocolate, sprinkled the dark (chocolate) ones in edible gold dust and the white (chocolate) ones in colourful 100s & 1000s.
Baked Saffron-Cardamom Buttermilk Cake Doughnuts
Sour Cream - 1/4 cup
Flour  - 31/4 cup + more for dusting
Buttermilk - 3/4 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Egg - 1
Egg Yolk - 2
Saffron - 1/2 tsp
Milk - 2 tsp
Cardamom Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1tsp
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Instant Yeast -  1 tsp
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
In a pan warm up the sour cream & milk and add the saffron & cardamom, let it infuse for 10 min. Warm up the cream mixture again. Meanwhile place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl except buttermilk and eggs . Add the warm cream to this and pour the buttermilk, egg, yolks. Knead till everything comes together to a sticky dough.  Using enough plain flour, shape them into mini doughnuts. Pre-heat the mini doughnut maker and slightly grease the moulds with oil. Place the dough into the mould, cover the lid and let them bake for 5-8 min or until done. Repeat until you have finished all the dough. Place them on a wire rack to cool.
For white chocolate topping: Melt 50 gms of chocolate in a microwave for 30sec-1 min. Using the back of spoon smear the chocolate and sprinkle liberally with 100s and 1000s.
For Dark Chocolate Topping: Melt 50 gms of dark chocolate in a microwave for 30s- 1min. Using the back of a spoon smear the chocolate and sprinkle edible gold dust.
Verdict: It was such a fun challenge and thanks to Lori I have managed to make doughnuts at home! The batter itself is a very simple recipe with much scope to add pretty much whatever flavour you fancy. I loved the subtle taste of cardamom and the colour the saffron gave the batter.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Raspberry Pinkarons for Pinktober

It's MacTweets time again and this month officially being the Breast Cancer Awareness month, Jamie and Deeba the MacTweets Duo asked us to create Macarons in vivid shades of pink. So here it is, my Pink Raspberry Creation aptly called "Pinkarons".
Apparently, one in nine women develop breast cancer at some point in their life. Finding breast cancer at an early stage can make a difference and so it is important for women to be aware and lookout for the changes.
Raspberry Pinkarons
Egg whites - 30gms(aged for 2 days)
Caster Sugar - 20 gms
Powdered Sugar - 55gms
Ground Almonds - 30gms
Freeze dries Rapsberries powder - 1/2 tsp
Cream of Tartar - a pinch
Egg Whites Powder - a pinch
Salt - a pinch
Pink food colour - a few drops
Prepare the stencil for macarons on a parchment paper and place it on a baking tray. Place another sheet of greaseproof paper on top of this. In a processor, process the almonds along with the colour and freeze dried raspberries until fine. Sieve this and powdered sugar into a bowl. Whisk the egg whites until frothy, adding the whites powder, salt and cream of tartar. Gradually, adding the caster sugar a tbsp at a time, whip them until they form peaks.The texture should be similar to hair mousse, not too dry. Dot some of this onto the sides of parchment so that they stay intact.Slowly add the whites to the almond mixture in two to three addition, gently folding the mixture. The mixture when lifted should fall back in ribbons. Fill a pastry bag with this mixture and pipe them onto the grease-proof paper. Leave them to form a skin for about 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile pre-heat the oven at 150C. Bake the shells for about 12-15 minutes depending on the size. Gently lift the baked shells and transfer them to cooling rack. Pipe the cooled shells with a filling of your choice and sandwich them. 
Pink Raspberry White Chocolate Ganache
White chocolate - 50 gms
Double Cream - 1/4 cup
Vanilla Icing Sugar - 1 tbsp
Freeze dried Raspberry Powder - 1/2 tsp
Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or microwave until smooth and glossy. Whip the cream with vanilla sugar and freeze dried raspberry powder until soft peaks are formed. Pour the cooled melted chocolate and whisk until smooth. Fill a pastry bag with this and pipe onto cooled macaroon shells.
Verdict: Although I did play around a bit with the recipe, the Macs turned out perfect with perfect feet. I was just praying and standing next to the oven for the first few minutes and the moment I saw happy feet, tweeted  Deeba & Jamie about it, my Mac Experts. Going with the pink theme, I made a white chocolate ganache the unusual way to cut standing time and added raspberry powder to it. This is probably the best ever chocolate ganache and couldn't help licking it as I was piping the shells ;-). Thanks to mactweets blog for a wonderful theme and I so enjoyed making these babies!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Very-Berry-Cruncy-Nutty Granola

It has been a very busy and eventful past few weeks. My kid sister has started work at a big firm and I couldn't be happier. I still remember my little sister wearing her school uniform, carrying a big bag on her shoulders unaware of what the corporate world is, while I was all grown up with my head buried inside my comp, occasionally looking at her feeling jealous of her carefree life. I'm glad that she has decided to still keep updating and studying whilst working which is one thing I failed to do and regret till date.
I made this granola a while back but didn't get around to post it! This has made my life easier and I love snacking on it while watching tele, reading a book or simply enjoying it with my cuppa. I always have a jar of this at home and at 'S's workplace. I have used freeze dried berries, loads of nuts, oats, barley, millet, rye flakes and some indulgence through chocolate.
300-400 gms Mixed Flakes
200 gms Mixed Freeze-dried Berries (strawberries,pineapple,blueberries,blackberries,redcurrants,blackcurrants)
200 gms Mixed Nuts (flaked almonds,pistachios,pecans)
1 tsp Cinnamon
30 gms Dessicated Coconut
100 gms Mixed Seeds (sunflower,pumpkin,flaxseed, sesame)
100 gms Orange Blossom Honey
100 gms Maple Syrup (You could use all honey)
3-4 Tbsp Oil
100 gms Mixed dry fruits (golden raisins, chilean flame raisins, cranberries, sweet morello & bing  cherries, golden inca berries,goji berries)
Vanilla Bean scrapped from a pod
Pinch Sea Salt
150 gms Dark Chocolate (70%) I have used Lindt with Sea Salt & Lint Orange
Mix all the ingredients except chocolate and freeze dried berries in a bowl. Melt oil, honey, maple syrup along with vanilla bean and pour over the the granola mixture. Bake for about 1 hour at 150C in a pre-heated oven. Remove the mixture and stir in the chopped chocolate and freeze dried berries. Allow to cool completely before storing in jars. Keeps well for a month if it lasts that long!
Design © 2011 Laura Jane Designs