Empanadas


Last week's Bake Along #67 was Empanadas. These were the most delicious ones I have ever baked among the savoury bakes... Empanadas have a melt in mouth buttery tart base and the fillings can be made depending on one's taste. The original Empanadas have cheese added to the filling, but I skipped, not that we don't like cheese...I actually forgot that part!! *winks*



Ingredients:

For the Crust:
Butter - 75 gms, cold
All-purpose flour - 1 1/2 cups
Water - 4 tablespoons
Salt - 1/4 tsp

For the Filling:
Potato - 3 (boiled and mashed)
Frozen green peas and corn -  1/2 cups
Tofu - 200 gms
Onion - 1, finely chopped
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 3 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Milk - for milk wash


Method:
  • Preheat oven to 180 C. Line up a baking tray with butter paper. 
  • Grate cold butter into a bowl. Add flour, salt and water into it.
  • Use your fingertips to combine the butter and flour thoroughly. Do not knead. Once the butter has been incorporated completely, knead very briefly by adding a tablespoon of water at a time to make a soft dough. Do not over knead.
  • Pressure cook the potatoes, green peas and corn. Keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds. Add chopped onions and saute until they are light brown in colour.
  • Add garam masala powder, turmeric, salt and red chilli powder. 
  • Add the boiled corn and green peas and saute.
  • Now, add the crumbled tofu and combine everything and cook.
  • Add mashed potatoes and mix everything until they are blended well with the masala mixture.
  • Allow the mixture to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, roll out the dough to 1/2 cm thickness. Dust flour if it is sticky.
  • Using a round cutter of any size, cut out dough into circles. 
  • Add filling into each cut out dough. You could top it with grated cheddar cheese, but I skipped this part.
  • Fold each of them and seal well using a fork.
  • Arrange them on the baking tray space just an inch apart. Milk wash and bake for about 20-30 minutes at 180 C, until the top becomes golden brown.

And then, simply indulge!!




 

Karachi Biscuits


The Fondbites Bake Along # 59 was Karachi Biscuits, which were new to me.... However, Mr. Hubby said it was famous in Hyderabad and every bakeries sold these biscuits.... Anyways, I gave it a try with few changes in the original ingredients.....


Now, on to my tweaked recipe:


Ingredients:
Recipe Source: Fondbites
  • Butter – 350 gms, softened
  • Icing sugar – 1 1/2 cups
  • All purpose flour – 3 cups
  • Baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Orange zest – grated from 1 whole orange
  • Fresh orange juice – 1/4 cup
  • Pure vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Tutti Fruiti – 100 gms, orange coloured
  • Almonds – 1 cup, finely chopped

Method:
  • Whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, zest of orange in a big bowl.
  • Add tutti fruiti and chopped almonds and mix well using your hands until the flour mixture coats the tutti fruiti well. Keep aside.
  • Add butter into the bowl of your electric beater and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes until it becomes light and fluffy.
  • Add icing sugar to the butter.
  • Beat on medium high speed for 5 minutes until the mixture becomes creamy, light and fluffy.
  • Add pure vanilla extract and orange juice into the mixture and beat for about a minute on medium speed just until combined.
  • Add the flour mixture all at once and beat on slow speed until the flour has been incorporated. Do not over beat.
  • It is a soft and creamy dough.
  • Transfer the dough onto a cling wrap paper and wrap it completely and freeze it for 2 hours or even over night to completely firm up.
  • Shape the dough into a log which is approximately a cuboid so when you cut them down you will have square shaped cookies.
  • Pre-heat oven to 180 degree C. Line up your baking tray with butter paper. Cut the log using a sharp knife that is 1 cm thick each.
  • Carefully transfer them onto your prepared baking tray. Space them one inches apart.
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes until the bottom edges are light brown and the top is golden brown. Cool on wire rack to come down to room temperature. 





 

Black Forest Buns


Aparna chose the Black Forest Buns for the February month's We Knead to Bake #25, as a Valentine's day special. Whereas, the Black Forest cake is made with chocolate cake, cherry compote and kirsch and lots of cream; these Black Forest Buns are filled with chocolate sponge cake and cherry compote or jam.


These buns were new to me, since I haven't heard of them nor seen it sold in any bakeries.... And so was eager to bake and taste them and viola! it tasted yummy... It's a perfect snack for kids, you could use their favorite jam instead of the cherry compote. 


Now, on to Aparna's recipe:


Black Forest Buns

Ingredients:

For the Dough:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
50 gm butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg (at room temperature, optional)
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
3 to 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling:
3/4 cup cherry/ strawberry jam or compote
2 1/2 to 3 cups crumbled chocolate sponge cake

For drizzling:
1/2 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate


Method:
  • Pour the water and milk in a saucepan, and heat on the stove till quite hot but not boiling. Pour this liquid into a large bowl and add the butter. Stir till the butter is melted. Then add in the sugar and stir till the sugar dissolves. Let this mixture cool down till it is lukewarm, so that the yeast will proof. If it is too hot, it will kill the yeast and curdle the egg.
  • You may knead the dough by hand or in the processor. Pour the lukewarm mixture into the processor bowl (if using) and add the yeast and the egg. Pulse a couple of times to mix well. Then add about 1 cup of the flour and mix well. Add the salt and more flour, as much as is necessary, and knead the dough until it is smooth, elastic but not sticky.
  • Add in the salt and some more flour and mix. Once the mixture becomes difficult to mix, turn it out onto your work surface. Add more flour and continue to knead for about 10 minutes till the dough is not sticky and elastic.
  • Place the kneaded dough in an oiled bowl, turning the dough till lightly coated with oil. Cover loosely, and allow to double in volume, for about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
  • Now place the dough on a flat surface and roll it out into an approximately 18” by 12” rectangle (or 9" by 12" if using half the recipe).
  • Spread the cherry compote/ strawberry jam over the leaving a 1/2 inch all around. Sprinkle the chocolate cake crumbs on top of this. Roll the dough away from you, as snugly as possible, starting with the 18” edge like a jam/ jelly roll (as for cinnamon buns). Try to pinch the dough closed as best as possible, or dampen the edge with a little water to seal well.
  • It is important to roll up the dough as tightly as possible because this dough does swell up quite a bit while baking.
  • Cut the roll into 1 1/2" wide pieces with a very sharp knife/ dough scraper. You should have 12 pieces for the full recipe and 6 for half of it.  Place each piece in a mould (or make collars using foil or parchment paper to fit well around each piece) and then on a baking tray. Otherwise place them in a lightly greased rectangular baking tin with raised sides or a cake tin leaving enough space for them to expand.
  • A round cake tin will however not give you perfectly round buns but buns that are more triangular in shape. If you place them too far apart, they will spread rather rise in height. Cover loosely, and allow to rise, for about 1 hour or till almost double.
  • Bake at 180C (350F) for 25 - 30 minutes, until the buns are done and nice golden brown in colour. Remove from oven and cool completely. Drizzle with melted chocolate and serve.



This recipe makes 12 Black Forest Buns. However, I have halved the recipe.....








 

Carrot Cake

Hi folks....Long time!!


Blogging has taken a setback for the past few months due to various reasons.... Though I have been baking, nothing remarkable enough to post on the blog, it was either a repeated bake or a new one but of course, the flopped versions!! But, then on Valentine's Day, I managed to bake a Carrot Cake. This cake has been on my to-do list for quite sometime. You could frost the cake with a cream cheese frosting, but I preferred mine to be plain....


Ingredients:
Recipe Adapted from: Baking by Parragon Books

Eggs - 2
Brown sugar - 3/4 cup
Unsalted butter - 1 cup
Grated carrots - 1 1/3 cups
All purpose flour - 2 cups
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Ground cinnamon - 1 tsp
Ground cardamom - 1 tsp
Nutmeg, grated - 1 tsp
Almonds, roughly chopped - 1 cup


Method:
  • In a bowl, beat the eggs until well combined and add the sugar and butter. Mix well. Add the grated carrots, sift in the flour, baking soda and the spices. Then add the chopped almonds. Mix everything together until well incorporated.
  • Spread the mixture into a prepared cake pan and bake in a preheated oven, 190 C for 40-50 minutes, until the cake is nicely risen, firm to touch, and has begun to shrink away slightly from the edge of the pan. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan until just warm and then turn out onto a wire rack.