Sunday, 27 December 2015

Vanocka - Christmas special Bread


  Hi all :)  With The Pink Table handy, it took  an long gap to get back to blogging.  Baking has become an real stress-buster and I have been enjoying doing both, for orders and for  blog  as well.  Getting back to our post, Vanocka is an sweetened braided bread, with full of flavours from Czech Republic and Slovakia.  Apart from sugar, this bread also has loads of almonds and raisin to give an strong sweet hint and also flavor hint, derived from nutmeg and lemon zest. 




This bread involves braiding in three batches, and stacking them all up.  They have to be pinned through toothpicks or grill sticks so that the layer don't collapse.  The real trick is to equally divide the dough into nine counterparts for braiding, which can be efficiently done through weighing machine. 



After baking this yeast-raised bread, there was an strong hint of aroma around my home, this aroma had  resemblance to the plum cake. Each slice was an bit dense yet sweetened with lot of lemony flavor.   We ended up devouring this beautiful braided bread.  Merry Christmas to all, and thanks to Swathi Iyer for suggesting such an exotic bake. 

 

Friday, 16 October 2015

Mushroom Quiche

Quiche is an open faced savoury pie.  The filling of quiche is savoury custard and cheese along with meat, seafood and vegetables filling.  The flavour is derived from the filling and the type of cheese used.   They can be had both cold or warm, though I found them best when warmed. 


  Pie pan is first lined with pastry crust, that is blind-baked,  and then  followed by cheese, filling, custard and finally topped by cheese.  The custard filling is heavy cream whisked with eggs.  Ratio of cream and eggs is 2:1 (ie for every ½ cup of cream, you should add ¼ cup of whisked egg).  After baking, quiche gives out an aromatic smell throughout the place and  was very light and fluffy when tasted. 

My second filling, was vegetarian choice.   I used mushroom along with spring onions.  You can use mushroom with palak or spinach with corn.  Any vegetarian filling is fine, as long as it gets cooked well before stuffing into quiche. 


 I tried yellow(mature)  cheddar cheese in this quiche.  This yellow cheddar had an dominating aroma, and quiche was like an cheesy explosion J  You can also try other varieties like gouda, mozzarella etc.  All thanks to Swathi Iyer from Baking partners group, for initiating this wonderful challenge.  

For making 8-inch Pastry crust and Blind baking, please refer  here

For the  Mushroom and Spring onion filling:

You will be needing

For the filling
  •         1 tbspn butter
  •          ¼ cup of sliced shallots
  •          ¼ cup of sliced spring onion bulbs
  •          1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  •          1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  •          Salt, to taste
  •          Pinch of haldi/turmeric powder
  •          ½ tsp chilly powder
  •          1 tsp dhanya powder
  •          175 gm of finely sliced mushrooms
  •          1 cup finely chopped spring onions (green part alone)

For the custard
  •          ½ cup Amul fresh cream
  •          1 large egg
  •          ½ tsp of chilly powder
  •          ½ tsp of pepper
  •          Salt, to taste

Others
  •          75 grams of cheddar cheese

Add butter to the pre-heated tawa, this is followed by adding shallots and spring onion bulbs.  Saute them for an minute, add finely chopped ginger and garlic.  Add all the spices.  



Add our sliced mushrooms and sauté till they coat the spices.  Add the spring onion greens , simmer the flame and cover the pan, cooking for 20 more minutes till the mushrooms are perfectly cooked and the filling becomes dry.  


Cool the filling, keep aside. 
Grate the cheddar cheese, keep aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius. 
For the custard, open the amul fresh cream pack.  Do not shake.  Separate the liquid contents from the pack and use the cream part.  This is done because we need an heavy cream for quiche and amul has an low fat content, so separating its cream would enhance the fat content and hence is done.  The liquid part can be used in cooking purpose, like you can add them in curry, kheer etc.  

In an large bowl,  add ½ cup of cream part (from amul cream), one large egg, chilly powder and salt.  Whisk them, till they are completely dissolved.  



Final Assembly:

Take the blind-baked pie crust and sprinkle them with cheddar cheese at the bottom.  



This is followed by our prepared filling.  


Pour in the custard and top with  the remaining cheese.




Bake them for 35 minutes or till the filling is firm.  



Mushroom quiche was dominated by cheddar cheese aroma, and tasted delecious.




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Chicken quiche

Quiche is an open faced savoury pie.  The filling of quiche is savoury custard and cheese along with meat, seafood and vegetables filling.  The flavour is derived from the filling and the type of cheese used.   They can be had both cold or warm, though I found them best when warmed. 

  Pie pan is first lined with pastry crust, that is blind-baked,  and then  followed by cheese, filling, custard and finally topped by cheese.  The custard filling is heavy cream whisked with eggs.  Ratio of cream and eggs is 2:1 (ie for every ½ cup of cream, you should add ¼ cup of whisked egg).  After baking, quiche gives out an aromatic smell throughout the place and  was very light and fluffy when tasted.




The first filling I tried, was chicken with parmesan cheese.  The chicken quiche, thus baked out was soft, fluffy with an delicate cheesy aroma.  All thanks to Swathi Iyer, who initiated this month's challenge.


To make an 8-inch Pastry Crust:

Let’s start by making crust.  This buttery dough needs to be refrigerated for atleast two hours or overnight, so better to prepare them the day before baking.  

You will be needing
  •         150 grams of all purpose flour
  •          ½ tsp of salt
  •          85 grams of unsalted butter, cut into tiny cubes
  •          1 to 11/2 tbspn of cold water

First, cut the butter into tiny cubes and refrigerate them.   In an dry bowl, combine flour and salt.  



Mix them.  Add in butter cubes and rub through the butter so that it is dispersed in flour.  Alternatively, you can do this in food processer also 




Now add in cold water, little by little.  Slowly, start combining the dough along with water


An soft dough should be formed.  There might be few clumps around here and there



But each clump, should hold its shape when pressed, and not fall together.  This is an passing test for an crust dough


Cling wrap and refrigerate for minimum of two hours or overnight.  This will help in moisture getting evenly distributed throughout the dough.  If kept frozen, they can be used till an month.  


Blind baking with pie crust:

Next day, remove the dough from refrigerator and let them sit under room temperature for 15-20 minutes


Either you can roll them by dusting the surface with flour, or by sandwiching them in between two baking sheets.  I sandwiched them with my silicon mat and baking sheet and rolled into an 9 inch circle.  



After rolling, remove the baking sheet and turn the silicon mat upside down over the greased pie pan.




Adjust the dough and press them down the pie pan, so that they cover the base and sides.  


Prick them throughout the base and sides with an fork.  Pricking will help in non-raising of the dough during baking.   Refrigerate this set up for fifteen to twenty minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven for 200 degree Celsius.  



After refrigeration , cover them with baking sheet and add some dried pulses, I used an combination of what I had at home, double beans and rajma.  These weights push down the crust and prevents uneven rising.    You can use raw rice as weight also, but these baking weights are inedible after blind bake, since they are exposed to such an higher temperature.   But, of course you can stock them up and reuse for blind baking. 



Bake these for twenty minutes, lateron remove the beans and sheet and bake for another fifteen minutes till the base turns brown.  You should be able to see the crust has left the edges of the ring.  


Now our crust is ready for filling to go J



The Filling, Chicken with Parmesan:

You can add greens also, but make sure you cook them well before adding to quiche.  The reason for cooking beforehand is to get an dry filling, if we use uncooked filling, they may leak out their stock during baking, leaving an soggy quiche. 

You will be needing

For the filling
  •       1 tbspn of oil
  •          ½ cup sliced shallots
  •          200 grams chicken mince
  •          1 tbspn of finely chopped garlic
  •          1 tsp of finely chopped ginger
  •          ½ tsp of chilly powder
  •          1 tsp of dhanya powder
  •          Pinch of haldi/turmeric powder
  •          Salt, to taste

For the custard
  •          ½ cup amul fresh cream
  •          1 large egg
  •          ½ tsp of chilly powder
  •          ½ tsp of pepper
  •          Salt,  to taste

Others
  •          55 grams of parmesan cheese

In an preheated tawa, add oil.  Saute onions till they turn brown.  Add ginger and garlic.  Saute for another two minutes.  Finally add chicken mince. 



The mince will sweat out its stock.  Saute and cook till the water content is evaporated.  Add all the spices.  Be careful not to add too much of salt, since we are also going to add cheese here.  So, add salt, according to the content of the fillings.  


Keep the filling aside to cool.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius. 
For the custard, open the amul fresh cream pack.  Do not shake.  Separate the liquid contents from the pack and use the cream part.  This is done because we need an heavy cream for quiche and amul has an low fat content, so separating its cream would enhance the fat content and hence is done.  The liquid part can be used in cooking purpose, like you can add them in curry, kheer etc. 

In an large bowl,  add ½ cup of cream part (from amul cream), one large egg, chilly powder and salt.  Whisk them, till they are completely dissolved.  



Grate the parmesan cheese, keep aside. 

Quiche Assembly:

For assembling quiche, take the baked pie crust, spread the base with few grated cheese.  



Spread the chicken kheema filling throughout the surface.  


Now pour our custard into the quiche.


Finally, sprinkle rest of the quiche into the cheese.


Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or till the filling is firm.


And, VOILA, there you have your own chicken quiche.  


I, served them warm.  Quiche was like an dairy- explosion.  My entire home was filled with cream and cheese smell with an hint of chicken.



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Monday, 28 September 2015

Pineapple rasam

   With few pineapple slices, left over, I settled at this recipe , found at Chef Damodharan's cookbook.  The recipe was very simple, though I twisted the rasam masala with few curry leaves and green chillies addition.  The result was delicate, sweet and sour peppery rasam.  Kids would love it because of an different, 'sweet' quotient into them.  And, elders would welcome an new change.


So, do try and let us know.  Moving on to the recipe.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time : 10 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients required

For the rasam masala
  • 21/2 tsp whole cumin seeds/ jeera
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorn
  • 6-8 tiny garlic pods
  • 3/4 tsp finely chopped green chillies
  • 8-10 whole curry leaves

Others
  • 1 tbspn of oil
  • 3/4 tsp of mustard seeds
  • Pinch of hing/asafoetida
  • Pinch of haldi/turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped pineapple 
  • 1/4 cup of finley chopped tomatos
  •  1/4 cup of tuvar dal
  • Salt, to taste

Method

Coarsely grind all, under rasam masala, without adding water, keep aside.  Soak tuvar dal for atleast twenty minutes and pressure cook them for two whistles with half cup of water.  Blend them , and keep aside.   

Heat oil.  Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.




Now, add in hing and turmeric.  Finally add corase paste of rasam masala.  Saute them for an minute.  


Add in pineapple and tomato pieces.  Saute for five to ten minutes, till they turn soft.  


Finally add in mashed tuvar dal, and add salt to taste.  


Let the rasam froth towards the edges.  Switch off the flame and serve hot.  



Enjoy with hot rice  :)


Happy cooking :)

Linking this to Srivalli's CCC Challenge

Cooking from Cookbook Challenge



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