Thursday, 31 January 2013

Honey and Oatmeal Cookie


Cafe Coffee Day is an awesome place for coffee, obviously, and their snacks. We frequent CCD and when we sit down to eat Vibhaa, as usual, throws a tantrum. Then one day we gave her the Honey and Oatmeal cookie they have and surprisingly she loved it and demanded another one! So I bought an entire tin of cookies for her and she enjoyed having them. But I was a bit skeptical because at the end of the day its processed food, and giving that to her frequently was not something that was making me comfotable. 

I Googled recipes for Honey and Oatmeal cookies and found many recipes with choco chips, almonds and the like. Since Vibhaa haven’t started chewing nuts proper I went for a recipe without nuts or choco chips. So here’s the recipe for the Honey and Oatmeal cookie and trust me, it was yum! Chandru even asked whether it was store bought!!!   

Honey and Oatmeal Cookie


 Recipe source - food.com

3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (aka oatmeal)


Method
Preheat the oven to 170 degree

Cream the butter on a slow speed blender



Blend in the brown sugar and beat on slow,till there are no lumps.



  Blend in honey,egg and water and beat till smooth.



Sift together the dry ingredients then stir in the oats. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix. Add any additional ingredients you've chosen.




Drop a tablespoonful of the mix into the bakeware you are using and spread out a little bit



Bake for 12-15 minutes.Cool on a wire rack.



"Thats the way the cookie crumbles!" :-)


Monday, 28 January 2013

Chicken Puffs


An evening tea with puffs has always been bliss! In my hometown,Kannur, there are many confectioneries selling puffs, many variations of it - Chicken puffs, egg puffs, mushroom puffs, vegetable puffs etc.. We used buy ones from a confectionery called Sheen as they had the most flaky puffs and the tastiest too.

While browsing through my friend Rias blog I saw a recipe for chicken puffs. But then I thought its going to be a humongous task and whether I would ever be able complete it. Then one day I finally decided to give it a try. The video tutorial by Michel Richard was the best part,as he explains the rolling process so well so as to get "a thousand layers" as said by Julia Child. Watching the video by itself is a pleasure as it features two people I admire Julia Child and Michel Richard. So following the recipe and rolling to the T I finally got my dough done. Put in some of the Kuttanadan chicken filling and baked. I was standing next to my oven the whole time to see how its going,whether its going wrong or whether its going right! And after baking I cooled them well before cutting the puffs into halves... and.... there were.... A Thousand Layers!!

My husband and I had a good evening snack and the whole time I had a gleeful smile :-)

Recipe Source - riascollection.blogspot.com
Puff Pastry
3 1⁄2 Cups     All Purpose Flour
1⁄4 Cup         Corn Flour
1⁄2 Tbsp        Salt
1 1⁄4 Cups     Ice Water
454 Grams     Cold Butter

Kuttanadan Chicken Roast
1 Kilogram    Chicken
2 Tbsp          Red Chilli Powder
1⁄2 Tsp        Turmeric Powder
5-6              Onions,Sliced
2                 Tomatoes,Chopped
1 Tbsp          Garam Masala
2 Tbsp          Ginger Garlic Paste
1 1⁄2 Cups    Water
1⁄2 Cup        Ghee
Curry Leaves

Method:  

Puff Pastry

Whisk the all purpose flour,corn flour and salt together.


Watch Michel Richard in action, making the puff pastry

Add all the water at once and mix till it forms a ball. You can use a food processor for these steps. The dough will be very moist and pliable and will hold together when squeezed between your fingers.

Remove the dough from the machine,form into a ball,and, with a small sharp knife, slash the top in a tic-tac-toe pattern.Wrap the dough in a damp towel and refrigerate for 5 minutes

Meanwhile place the butter between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and beat it with a rolling pin until it flattens into a square that's about 1" thick.Take care that the butter remains cool and firm; if it has softened or become oily, chill it before continuing.

Unwrap the dough and place it on a work surface dusted with all purpose flour.With the rolling pin,press on the dough to flatten it and then roll into a 10" square.Keep the top and bottom of the dough well floured to prevent sticking and lift the dough and move it around frequently.

Starting from the center of the square, roll out over each corner to create a thick center pad with "ears" or flaps. Place the cold butter in the middle of the dough and fold the ears over the butter, stretching them as needed so that they overlap slightly and encase the butter completely

The dough must be cold at all times. If your room is warm and you feel that the butter has softened,wrap the dough with a plastic wrap and chill it.

Flaten the dough with the roller pin into an elongated rectangle,then fold it 1/3. Turn it again roll into an elongated rectangle fold by 1/3 and chill for 30 minutes. Do the same for three times. So that you have rolled the dough 6 times and chilled it thrice.

Pre-heat the oven to 425F/220C and position the rack in the middle.

Dust your work surface with flour, lightly.Cut out a small portion of the puff pastry and roll it out into 1/4" thickness, evenly. Try to keep it in a rectangular or square shape to avoid wastage.

Divide them further into squares using a sharp knife.Keep the filling in the center ,fold over and seal the edges using water. Place the filled pastry on a parchment/butter paper lined baking sheet.

Beat a whole egg and brush lightly on top of the filled pastry and bake for 25-30 mins or till the top is nice and golden. Let it cool slightly as it gets crunchy when it cools.







Kuttanadan Chicken Roast
Put chicken pieces, powders,salt and ginger garlic paste,onions,tomatoes and 3-4 tbsp of oil/ghee into the cooker and give it a mix.
Cook on medium flame for 1 whistle.
Remove the pieces. Reserve the gravy.
Fry the pieces in oil/ghee till lightly browned.Keep aside.
To the reseved gravy,add water and saute till it's dark maroonish brown in colour. Add oil/ghee if necessary.
Add the fried chicken pieces and mix till well coated.

Gingerbread Man

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Chicken Steak and Cous Cous

Red Velvet Cake


Chandrus birthday was fast approaching and that left me wondering what kind of cake do I bake??!! Not a chocolate one as he is not fond of a chocolate overdose.. Then what Vanilla? Nayyyyy.... Too simple... Something dramatic? Then its Red Velvet,hands down :-) So yes I decided do go with the Red Velvet cake with Creamcheese frosting.

I had made vegan red velvet cupcakes but never a full cake. So I started reading about them. All the descriptions were like soft,moist,tender crumb and etc etc... I was wondering should I ,shouldnt I? But then I thought let me anyways give it a try. I got a good recipe from the Joy of Baking site. And I followed the golden rule of baking, "Measure the Quantities Correctly"! So slowly and steadily I started; measured,sifted,mixed,poured,baked,cooled and cut horizontally into halves.... And I attained Nirvana... There was the soft,tender crumb Red Velvet cake. It was a pleasure even visually. Baked one more set and halved. Made the cream cheese frosting. Frosted the cake. The cake was cut and Chandru loved it! Yippee!!! He took it to his office the next day and they loved it too... This is a perfect recipe that yields a perfect cake. And I can vouch for that!

RED VELVET CAKE
Recipe source - joyofbaking.com

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups (250 grams) sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (15 grams) regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream Cheese Frosting:
250 gm Cream cheese
500 gm Icing sugar
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract

Method for cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter two - 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
In bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter. 

Working quickly, divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 -30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan. Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the refrigerator for at least an hour

Method for frosting
In a medium bowl cream the cream cheese and icing sugar on slow speed. Mix in the vanilla extract gradually.


And thats a virtual slice for you!!! :-)

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Croissants


My first ever post about a recipe and I was wondering which one! And I finally decided upon Croissants! As this was one thing I made and felt immensely happy. Whenever I used to see people bake and create art forms (thats the word that comes to my mind when I see beautifully baked stuff) I used wonder whether anytime in my life I can make anything that would remotely look like them. So one day when my baby slept and I had absolutely nothing to do I set myself on a journey into the mysterious world of baking!


I would say a different world because till then baking for me was just cakes. I didnt even think of anything like puff pastries or cookies or croissants. So I searched for the recipe of Croissants and found this one on allrecipes.com. I followed the measurements and instructions of rolling to the T and baked them and waited and waited for the end result. And the result was flaky,soft and aromatic Croissants! I had made them in two ways. One, small without any filling and two, medium with a little bit of chicken filling . My husband and I had a super snack along with our evening tea. Do try it as its simple,easy and yummy!!!




CROISSANTS

Recipe source - allrecipes.com

Original recipe make 1 dozen

Ingredients:

1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoon warm water
1 teaspoon white sugar
13/4 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoon white sugar
11/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup warm milk
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1 egg
1 tablespoon water

Method:

Combine yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Allow to stand until creamy and frothy.


Measure flour into a mixing bowl. Dissolve 2 teaspoons sugar and salt in warm milk. Blend into flour along with yeast and oil.


Mix well; knead until smooth. 


Cover, and let rise until over triple in volume.


Deflate gently, and let rise again until doubled. Deflate and chill 20 minutes.


Massage butter until pliable, but not soft and oily. 


Pat dough into a 14 x 8 inch rectangle. 


Smear butter over top two thirds.


Leaving 1/4 inch margin all around. 


Fold unbuttered third over middle third, and buttered top third down over that. 



Turn 90 degrees, so that folds are to left and right. 


Roll out to a 14 x 6 inch rectangle. Fold in three again. 


Sprinkle lightly with flour, and put dough in a plastic bag. Refrigerate 2 hours.


Unwrap, sprinkle with flour, and deflate gently. Roll to a 14 x 6 inch rectangle, and fold again. Turn 90 degrees, and repeat. Wrap, and chill 2 hours. To shape the croissants cut the dough in half,chill half while shaping the other half. 


You can see the butter incorporated into the layers.


Roll out to a  rectangle. Cut into two squares. Cut each square in half diagonally. 



This is how I had rolled out the croissants previously to make smaller croissants.


Roll each triangle lightly to elongate the point, and make it 7 inches long. Grab the other 2 points, and stretch them out slightly as you roll it up. Place on a baking sheet, curving slightly. Let shaped croissants rise until puffy and light. In a small bowl, beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Glaze croissants with egg wash.


Bake in a preheated 475 degrees F (245 degrees C) oven for 12 to 15 minutes.



And you get your yummy Croissants,totally home made!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Blogging.... And me!!!!

Hi there... my dear friends...,

This is because of you all! This blog is because of you all!! Im happy that Im finally starting up a blog.. For me a blog have always been or still is associated with patience,labour and a looooot of typing. Three qualities Im not good at all :-) So Im embarking on this blog journey with the hope and trust that you all, my dear friends, would support me and guide me and criticise me when needed.

When the thought came about starting up a blog,I wondered what do I do in it. What am I majorly going to use it for? Then I thought why dont I record or preserve what I do,what interests me and what would be of some help to others. Hence, here it is... "Oorga of Randomness"! 

Oorga is what they call a pickle in Tamil. Basically Im pickling or preserving my thoughts that occur randomly in this blog;wishing that the readers find the pickle good enough!!

So let me make you some Oorga!!!