Monday, 24 August 2009

Checkerboard biscuits

Very tasty, and a bit tricky to make. Have added a video at the end, which is around 20 minutes in duration.. So check the recipe below and if you need some more help, have a look at the vid.

This is what you need:

150 grms COLD butter, cut in small pieces
150 grms sugar - measure and then grind
300 grms flour
3 tbls cocoa powder
1 egg
1 egg white
Flour to dust

This is what you should do:

1- put the flour, sugar, butter and egg in the bowl of the processor, or, mix them together carefully with cool hands on a cold surface

2- wrap in foil and put it in the fridge for at least half an hour

3- take it out, flour your work top. Break off around a small third of the whole and set aside

4- halve the rest, set aside one ball and add the cocoa powder to the other one, so that you have two balls, one light and the other dark

5- roll both out, on a floured surface, to approximately the same size, trying to get as good a square as you can manage

6- brush the light sheet with egg white, and place the dark one atop it

7- mark and cut off strips of around 1 and half cm width

8- roll out the separated sheet of dough, thinner than the first two ones

9- brush with egg white, and place the strips, starting with brown, then white, brown, white, next to each other. Just use four at a time

10- layer them like this, to make three layers, brushing with egg white between each layer

11- fold the sheet over this log, to close it in, place the log wrapped in foil to cool for half an hour

12- mark thin slices and cut off with a sharp knife

13- bake for between 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool... and enjoy :)

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Lemon cake

I was dying for lemon cake.. and the icing just made it perfect..

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 and 1/4 cup sugar - see note
2 and 1/2 tblsp salted butter, softened
1 teaspoon lemon extract
Juice from two medium lemons
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Do this:

- Sift and mix together the dry things - flour, baking powder and soda

- Cream butter - add a pinch of salt if you dont have salted butter- Add sugar, eggs, lemon extract, lemon juice and oil until mixed well

Mix the two together - just blend in, dont beat it

Bake about 30 to 40 mins, depending on your oven

Let cake cool before icing..

For icing blend powdered sugar and lemon juice until creamy. Ice, and enjoy :)

Note about sugar:
I made vanilla sugar with a 3 cms bit of vanilla pod ground with 1 cup of sugar in a mixer. To that I added another 2 cups of sugar and mixed it all together. The aroma is out of this world..

So I used 1/2 cup of that sugar and the rest normal sugar. In case you dont have that, or dont want to make it, normal vanilla essence will do just fine. But for me, I'm never going back to the store bought vanilla sugar or essence.. :)

Saturday, 1 August 2009

My Naans

You need:

4 mugs of flour - (around 170 grms is one mug of mine)
352 ml milk
1 tblsp yeast
1 and 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tblsp ghee
3 tblsp yoghurt

Do this:

- warm the milk to finger-bearable hot

- in a bowl, put 1 mug of the flour, add the yeast and sugar and pour the milk over it.

- mix well with a fork and cover it and let it stand covered for at least 15 minutes

- it should be frothy and puffed up after that time

- add the remaining flour, the ghee, yoghurt, salt, baking powder and soda

- if you have a processor, set the machine in motion and let the dough get made

- otherwise, start mixing and kneading and get to that dough like consistency

- the dough should feel soft and almost silky

- if u think its too dry, just oil ur hands with some oil and continue, never add water!

- let the dough rise at least an hour and half

- punch it down and let it rise once more before using. Then tip it on the table and knead well

The next steps you can see on the videos - Zara thought that would make it all the more easy to follow..

- if making plain naans, just form and bake, keeping the heat high and spraying the naans with water once/ twice in between

- if making roghni or naans with filling, make a regular 'pera' like paratha, with ghee and roll out before u fill anything.. or just leave as is

- spray with oil and bake...

- if using the grill, turn it on once the bottom is baked. Switch the lower heat off and then turn on the grill to brown them from above

keep some things in mind:

- the oven must be HOT when u put them in. Cold ovens kill yeast

- for simple naans, u must spray some water off and on otherwise they will not have that texture that a naan should have

- the pre-dough MUST stand for at least 15 mins

- dont use the rolling pin too much. Best is, flatten it a bit with the pin and then spread it out with ur hands, that will keep the naans soft

- once baked, cover them with plastic bag/foil and a cloth on top. That will also keep them soft.

- the dough, to rise, should be in a plastic bag or covered with foil. Dont cover with a cloth, that takes the moisture away and yeast dough needs moist heat!