April 28, 2015

Welsh Pecan Apple Cinnamon Wholewheat scones

Scones were on my to-do list for a long time, but somehow refined flour and sugar and butter put me off. I was looking around for a healthy recipe, when I chanced upon Harini’s recipe, which was a winner right from the word “go”.

I made a couple of modifications: altered the flour ratio and also needed a lil more butter and milk and added in a handful of chopped pecans. And voila ! We had a warm nice scone drizzled with some honey. Apple-cinnamon combo is a treat for those who love the spice.  

My family does and this is one of the few recipes that mom loved & kept talking about it a lot. We keep teasing her that having born around the Indian Independence , she has a lot of “British” culture left in her J Whatever your reason, this is one healthy scone that you cant afford to miss. 

And if you have a sweet tooth, it’s a pleasing after-dinner snack too . Stays on the countertop for upto a day, and you can freeze- microwave for the next few days.



Baking Marathon Day 24  : Welsh Pecan Apple Cinnamon Wholewheat scones
Recipe type : Quick snack / Dessert  
Course: Dessert  
Prep time: 10 mins | Bake time : 18-20 mins

Ingredients:
  • Whole wheat bread flour – 1.25 cups
  • All purpose flour – ½ cup
  • Sugar – 2 TBSP (adjust to taste)
  • Salt – 1/8 tsp
  • Cinnamon powder – 1.5 tsp
  • Baking powder – 1.5 tsp
  • Cold butter – 3 TBSP
  • Apple – 1/2 large (peeled and diced)
  • Pecans - about 8 (chopped) - this is optional
  • Yoghurt – ½ cup
  • Milk – 4 TBSP

Topping:
  • Cinnamon powder, honey – to glaze


Method:
  1. Sift the flours, cinnamon powder, salt, baking powder, sugar powder. Now added cubed cold butter (I grated cold butter as that’s easy to mix it in).  Rub the butter in till it resemebles bread crumbs. Mix in the chopped apple and chopped pecans . Whisk milk-yoghurt and leave for 2-3 mins. When the apples sweat a bit, add the milk-yoghurt mixture and make a firm dough.
  2. Oil your fingers a bit and pat this dough directly onto a baking sheet. Cut into wedges (adjust size acc to preferences – Mine made 8 largish sectors). Brush a little milk and some cinnamon powder and bake in a preheat oven for 18-20 mins,at 180 Deg C.
  3. Broil for 2 mins if you need a coloured top (I skipped this coz it naturally browned while baking)
  4. Cool for 4-5 mins and serve warm with honey drizzled over


April 27, 2015

Wholewheat Eggless Butterless Tutti Frutti Biscotti | Kids Treat

During this Baking Marathon, it gave me the courage to try out different kinds of cookies and biscuits like Custard powder Coconut cookies,  Carrom seed (Oma) biscuits, and the wonderful Baked Onion Crackers . So this biscotti looked like a natural extension. Biscotti is a doubly baked cookie - simply put it resembles our Indian rusk (popular in Indian Bakeries). Wholewheat,healthy and made with very little ingredients, these were much liked by both the kids. 

I didn't cut the biscotti the usual oblong oval shape , but nevertheless we liked them a lot. I would increase the sugar slightly the next time round as I wasnt sure if the tutti frutti would be overpowered. With a good shelf life, this can be a good car snack for those long drives.

Or if you are like me, make these and then ask the husband for a long drive with the kids in tow :)

Baking Marathon Day 23  : Tutti Frutti Biscotti
Recipe type : Quick snack
Course: snack
Prep time : 10 mins | Bake time : 25 mins


Ingredients:
  • Wheat flour - 1 cup
  • Sugar - 1/2 cup
  • Tutti Frutti - 1/4 cup
  • Oil / butter - 4 TBSP (I used oil)
  • Salt - a pinch
  • Milk - 1/3 cup (use almond milk if you want it vegan)
  • Baking powder - 1/2 tsp



Method:
  1. Sift the flour with salt and baking powder. Add tutti frutti and mix well. Now whisk the sugar and milk well, once dissolved, add oil and mix. Add the flour with tutti frutti to this wet mixture.
  2. Knead well. Cling wrap and refrigerate for 45 mins. Towards the end of this resting period, preheat oven to 180 C
  3. Once done, unwrap the dough, Bake for 12-15 mins on one size. Cool for 10-12 mins
  4. Now with a sharp knife cut into thick slices (shape doesnt matter). and with the cut side down, bake for further 4-5 mins till crisp and slightly browned at edges
  5. Cool on rack and serve with tea / milk.



April 25, 2015

Coconut kissed Chocochip Vegan bread

"Another banana recipe?",  asked my kid ..   She isnt allergic to banana based bakes, but still wanted to be sure. Wait and watch , said mamma. So, she watched me bake.

In went the bananas, the flour, oil and lastly the chocochips (I could hear her squealing with delight at the last ingredient)

She waited, smelt it while baking, and jumped in joy when I handed over the first piece. One of the few recipes I wished I could reserve some for myself to eat on the sly.

Adapted from Magpie's recipe , this was one of the best ever quick breads that all of them loved, and asked for seconds AND thirds .If you like coconut based bakes like me , trust me this would be a lovely healthy treat. This also makes for a great gift option during holiday season. 

So, lets go and make it then.

Baking Marathon Day 22 : Coconut kissed Chocochip Vegan bread
Recipe type : Quick breads
Course: snack
Prep time : 10 mins | Bake time : 25 mins
Makes a 9*5 loaf, stays for 1 day on the countertop. Refrigerate, and micro for 15 secs before slicing the next day 



Ingredients:
  • Wholewheat flour - 1 cup
  • Maida - 1/2 cup
  • Bananas (ripe) - 2 medium
  • Sunflower oil - 1/2 cup (used about 2 TBSP more)
  • Vegan Choco chips - a handful ( i was looking for a vegan recipe to use these, and they were so good :-))
  • Dessicated coconut - 1/2 cup
  • Brown sugar - 1/2 cup
  • Baking powder - 2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp
  • Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
  • Water - 4 TBSP
  • Banana / vanilla essence - 1/4 tsp
  • Grated nutmeg - 1/8 tsp




Method:
  1. Sieve the flours with baking powder , salt, nutmeg powder and soda. In another bowl, mash up the banana with a fork. Add sugar and oil and cream it well (I used a balloon whisk).
  2. Preheat oven to 180 C / 375 F.
  3. Add coconut to the flour and mix once . Now add this to the wet mixture, add water little by little to make a thickish but flowing batter. Add the chocochips at the end , reserving half for the topping. 
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking mould. 
  5. Bake for 25-30 mins till done (I generally increase the bake time by 5 mins for wholewheat flour, and reduce the temp by 5 deg towards the end to prevent burning).
  6. Cool ,cut and serve

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 51



April 24, 2015

Baked Samosa, and a reason to indulge :-)

Truth be told, am a sucker for recipe books and cookery shows. Although my phone scheduler said I needed to pick up my textbooks for an impending exam,the mind was wandering on something else. Bad student I know L

The worse thing was it was a relatively cold day in January and at 3:30 pm, the hunger pangs for something spicy (and fatty) had started to kick in..  (You know how these things go…. before you look, you are munching on something that your mind and heart both know is bad for you  - Has this ever happened to you ?? )

And to boot, the television wasn’t switched off and so I ended up watching , AND baking these yummy baked samosas.

Vikas Khanna is a relatively recent phenomenon on the Indian Cookery scene,but has mastered the art of getting the audience hooked with this Fit Foodie program that used to air on a Food based channel. So, it was yummy samosas for tea time . 

I had some of the filling left over from the stuffed Vegan buns, and it came in very handy for a quick and healthy samosa. No more leftovers ! yay!!! I made just a batch of 4, for which surprisingly the family waited patiently till I clicked J J  

So, go on and make these.  And satisfy a craving that can be pretty easily converted into a baked one.


Baking Marathon Day 21 : Baked Samosa
Recipe type : Snack – Indian / Tea time snack
Course: snack or appetizer
Spice level : medium to high
Prep time : 10 mins | Bake time : 15 mins | wait time : 20 mins

Ingredients:
  • Wholewheat flour – 1/2 cup
  • Maida – 1/2 cup ( you could use 1 cup of entirely maida OR wholewheat, I was just trying to feel less guilty :D)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 4 TBSP (split use) + 1 TBSP for basting
  • Ajwain  carom seeds – ½ tsp (optional but recommended)
  • Baking powder – ½ tsp
  • Filling : mixed veggies / soaked and ground channa dal/ boiled potato and peas (pretty much anything you like) + spice powders (turmeric , salt, garam masala powders, amchur etc – all to taste).**


How to :
  1. In a bowl, add the flours, salt, ajwain half the oil and mix well . Rub the oil into the dough till it resembles bread crumbs. Now add warm water and rest of the oil till you get a semi soft dough. Cling wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 mins.
  2. Meanwhile prepare the filling. Saute the veggies in  1 tsp oil. Sauté till done, add spice powders , check for spice and cool (** I had a cup of leftover veggies so just sauted them in 1 tsp oil and cooled).
  3.  Pinch out a small roundel , roll into a small flat disc, add a tsp or two of the filling. Shape into samosa as shown, preheat the oven to 155 / 160 C. 
  4. Brush all the samosas with a film of oil, bake for 15-17 mins (keep an eye after 13 mins), flipping them once after 10 mins.
  5. Cool them a bit and indulge J



April 23, 2015

Eggless Norwegian Julekake - an Xmas treat too early :-))

The Xmas of 2014 is past by us. 2015 awaits us in 8 months. So do we need a reason to celebrate the joy of a Norwegian bread baked only around Xmas ? This is a Julekake a tad too early .. And we loved it :)

Based on Gayathri's recipe (which I think was suggested by Priya Sri ) & there on replicated in a few other blogs too, I tweaked the recipe - first by halving it, and then replaced the APF with bread flour, some of the butter with the olive oil and so on. What came out was a fantastic crusty looking bread with a soft interior. And was gone in minutes.


So Xmas or no Xmas, do enjoy this treat. This link has an interesting read on the origin of the name julekake and amongst pother things, tells us"The Norwegian word for Christmas is actually a pre-Christian Viking drinking festival: Jul. And holiday deserts are a big part of Norway's Christmas season: the local Christmas fruitcake called Julekake and a towering marzipan kransekaka...festooned with Norwegian flags and party poppers."



Baking Marathon Day 20 : Norwegian Julekake
Recipe type : Breads (Yeasted bread)
Course: Main course or as a snack
Prep time : 10 mins | Bake time : 25 mins | Standing time : 2 hours (both rise)


You would need:
  • Bread Flour / APF / Wholewheat flour - 1.25 cups ( i used bread flour)
  • Instant Yeast - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Candied fruit / Tutti Frutti - 1/4 cup
  • Sugar - Less than 1/4 cup (depends how sweet your candied fruits are)
  • Milk - 1 TBSP less than 1/4 cup
  • Warm water - 1/3 cup (adjust acc to flour)
  • Ground Cardamom - 1/2 tsp
  • Dry ginger - 1/4 tsp (optional.)
  • Oil - 1/3 cup


Method:
  1. Sieve flour with cardamom, salt, ginger powder.
  2. Proof yeast with warm water and sugar. Once it blooms, add to sieved flour mixture. Add milk , oil, powdered sugar as required and make a soft dough. 
  3. Once done, add the candied peel, and knead softly till it gets incorporated. Let it rise in a oiled bowl covered (about 60-90 mins). 
  4. Divide into 4 parts (or acc to your loaf pan). Cover and rise again.
  5. At the end of the 2nd rise, preheat oven to 180 c. Brush a lil milk / egg on top, and make till golden brown (mine took approx. 27 mins). 
  6. Cool on wire rack, and slice once cooled completely



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