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Showing posts from 2012

AOC Openfaced Sandwiches

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Apple Orange Cranberries :)

My baby (pre-schooler really) has not yet started pre-school, but the alphabet bug has bit me quite hard. 

The weather was rainy, the day was Sunday, my raison d'etre for proper sunday meals had left early to catch the termite killer, so I was just sitting around listlessly wondering what to cook, if at all.  Then a part of the Sanjeev Kapoor book set caught my baby's eyes and he asked for a sandwich from that book.

These are fancy-schmanzy sandwiches made on my baby's request, but, without troubling to read the recipe or find the ingredients to make the recipe. 


Soft paneer made with 1/2 litre milk and 1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup walnut dry roasted and coarsely pounded
2 - 4 oranges juiced, about 1.5 - 2 cups juice
2 tbsp sugar divided
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 apples
1 packet white/wheat bread  (need about 8 - 10 slices)

Mix the paneer, 1 tbsp sugar and the walnuts
Bring the orange juice, cranberries and the remaining sugar to a simmer.
Peel and thinly sl…

The Definitive Vegetarian Burger

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I have never eaten the authentic meat burger - beef or otherwise.  I am a vegetarian by birth and a eggetarian by choice.  So my recipe may not taste anything like "the authentic burger".
I have had a huge variety of vegetarian burgers though, greasy, subtle, in your face spicy, bucolic grass healthy... the works. At a wide variety of places McDs, Street Corners, Restaurants of varying starhood...
And that qualifies me to come up with my own version of how a veggie burger should be.
Even if it doesn't qualify me to claim the title definitive for it :)

The venture was inspired by my promise to Gau to make him a good burger for his lunch box.I went overboard and did everything from scratch, the bun, the sauce and the patties.

Burger Patti
300g potato, cooked, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup dry beans (I used Karamani, anything would work) soaked overnight, cooked and drained.
1 medium sized onion- finely chopped
1 medium sized capsicum - finely chopped.
2 green chillies - finely chop…

ABC Muffins

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Apple Beet and Chocolate.
Sounds Sacrilegious right?
Chocolate Yes.  And Apple? And BEETROOT?  Blech!

I had been thinking about baking with beets and suddenly I was bombarded with recipes - David Lebovitz, Fine Cooking..  I make beets poriyal every week and stuff it down my kids throat forcibly.  Despite gasps of horror, I finally decided to plunge into baking sweet muffins with it.
And it worked!  Surprisingly.  Shockingly.  It worked. 


Gau Feasted on it and we finished the entire batch of 24 Muffins in 1 Day!
We shared just 3 with our neighbours.  Gau, S, I and Ash finished the remaining 21.  In exponential order :)

I decided to get fancy and beat my beat my whites to soft peaks and yolks until lemony instead of simply folding the eggs with a beater.  It helped my muffins rise beautifully despite the lower levels of flour to fruit/veggie ratio,

1 cup whole wheat flour (atta) 1 cup pottukadalai (popped chana daal) 1/4 cup cocoa 1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup sugar 3 large eggs 1/3…

"Donut" Bread Pudding with a Meringue Topping

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When your oven throws flat donuts at you, make a donut pudding :)

The whole recipe simply fell in place without any thought.

Zoe at the Artisan Breads had reiterated the necessity of finishing the donuts, which are really just rather thin bread, within 2 hours of baking, I ignored her to clear out my fridge and ended up with about 8 donuts extra.  I stored them in the fridge overnight.  Gau found the donuts rather dull the next morning.
I was toying with the idea of warming it in the toaster when I noticed I had exactly 1 egg leftover and the 3 egg whites from making the dough were still sitting pretty, waiting to be useful.  I took it all out and put it on the counter.
I tore up the donuts and let it steep in a cup of milk for 30 minutes. I was sorely tempted to throw in a handful of cranberries and raisins, but I desisted.  Ash always picks out nuts and raisins.  He loves them on their own, not as part of a dessert.
I then beat the solitary egg with 2 teaspoons of sugar and mixed i…

Pear "Donuts" with Chocolate Cream Pattiserie and orange syrup

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I finally crashed with a artisan bread in 5 a day recipe.
I didn't burn, no. 
But I definitely crashed, making donuts. 
It could have been all the substitutions I made, it could have been the bad luck I brought on myself by savouring the pleasure of my past 2 weeks successes, I don't know. 
My donuts came out looking like a Frittata.  They tasted good, great even with the chocolate pastry cream, but they barely rose.  They had a tendency to spread out horizontally, enough to close the hole I had formed at the center even, but vertically? Barely 1/2 cm :(
My neighbour said they reminded her of a Keralite dessert - some variation of Elai Adai made with fruits and coconuts
I wanted to make a custard/pudding for the Aspiring bakers group's 24th challenge. This month's host is Charmaine of Mimi's Bakery house.
I tried to make a chai-flavoured custard first, using agar-agar instead of eggs or gelatine.  The agar-agar did not dissolve properly and the whole thing tasted…

Danish Chocolate Streusel-Swirled Coffee Cake

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I am in love with yeast baking since I discovered the artisan bread in 5 minutes a day book/website.  I have, magically, had no disasters since I started on their recipes.

The challenge to make an Apple - Walnut Torte did not interest me at all , Jasline changed my mind with her elegant mini-muffin torte, despite this being  prime apple season here,  I leaped at the chance to bake the latest THB Challenge, Lou Seibert Pappas's Danish Chocolate Swirled Coffee Cake

I made half the recipe, enough for just 1 loaf.  But, I made enough streusel for 2 loaves, and found that I needed this amount for just 1 loaf!
Typically, I changed the recipe quite a bit, making it lighter and healthier. I suppose making twice the required filling negates all the effort :(
I substitute whole wheat for part of the all-purpose flour, never replace it completely.  I am not clear on whether yeast can rise in pure whole wheat.  Indian wheat tends to be soft, it might just work.  Waiting to try
We don't l…

World's Quickest Yeast Cake

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I try to make breakfast's special every Sunday; South Indian Iyer special, since my dad visits.  Unfortunately, my baby sitter was a no-show on saturday, Ash is sick with a high temperature and a cold. Id didnt step out Saturday, my weekly shopping day.
I had nothing in my fridge and no mood to fry up puris or paniyarams, my main stays when I haven't planned sunday breakfast.
Then my blog whispered, why not bake something for breakfast.  Now this is Mahalayapaksham, the fortnight were we honour our departed ancestors, so I had to go eggless.  Gayathri had set a Eggless Butter Cake Challenge for  the month of October.
After the refreshing success making Yeasted Biscottis as opposed to the cracks in my ENO biscotti, I was sure I wanted to go the Yeast route again.  I also had about 3 tbspoons of 1 week old fresh yeast sitting in my fridge which demanded to be used up before they simply quit
Coincidentally,  Zoe's Bake Along picked World's Quickest Yeasted Coffee Ca…

A thai high tea - Hibiscus biscotti, Sang Kaya Fuk Thong (Pumpkin Coconut custard)

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My PhD research, my cooking all seem to follow a similar pattern these days; I read something or come up with a solution for 1 problem then I realise this must be tried in another, existing problem and it would fix it beautifully.
I spend hours trying to adapt the new idea or technique to the pre-existing problem and sometimes miss the obvious reasons why the solution was never tried in the first place;  But, I always learn something new in the process, whether it is in research or it is in cooking.

I have fallen in love with the artisan bread in 5 minutes a day idea of late, baking breads everyday for the past week. This monday when I went over the generally cracked results of the eggless biscotti baking roundup, I realised I had never thought of making a yeasted version of biscotti.  All I had to do is make it thinner and bake it longer.
except.
Letting the sponge/yeast develop overnight would develop the gluten to an extent where it would be impossible to have a hard biscuit witho…

Pizza for breakfast lunch and dinner

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My Son won the third price in one of his sporting events, I told him just the joy of winning should suffice but offered to pack lunch of his choice for a whole week.  Predictably, first choice was pizza. I ditched my Peter Reinhardt recipe via 101cookbooks for a 5 minute Artisan bread recipe.   I just made it a tad healthier with 40% whole wheat flour and used fresh yeast.

I put out the dough as soon as I woke up today and got started on the quickest sauce possible, again from Heidi's 101 cook books. I unfortunately had to leave out the lemon zest, no lemon, no lime and no sweet lime :(

The dough was a tad too tacky and I had to dust with quite a bit of APF to get it to a point where I could roll it.  I started rolling the dough, it was resisting, so I left it alone  I went ahead and chopped onions, tomatoes, capsicums and olives for the pizza.   I fried the vegetables (except tomato, olives) in a tsp of oil until softened.  By now the dough was quite co-operative.  I rolled it i…

Danish braided pastry

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One of the perks of working in the US is the lovely pastries served for breakfast when you attend morning conferences.  Unhealthy but tasty.  I have always shied away from attempting such things at home after a disastrous pate-choux experience - they were lovely in the oven, all puffed up and golden, but flatened down to a spatula as they cooled!  All that butter and eggs just wasted!

Then I happened upon the Artisan bread in five minutes a day and they had a lovely recipe for a Brioche dough and a lot less butter and egg intensive than the memory of my previous pastry attempt.  Their Danish fruit pastry looked a lot less finicky than attempting the eclair and bought back happy memories of my days in the US.  I modified it a little and got started.

 Brioche Dough1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp honey
1 tbspoon fresh yeast

100g butter melted
3 eggs lightly beaten
A pinch of salt

2.5 cups maida (APF)

1/2 litre milk made into paneer
4 tbspoon good quality (Blackberry) jam

Dissolve honey and yeast i…