Wednesday 27 July 2011

Fresh Fraisiers Daring Bakers July 2011

Hello! I'm , a twenty something currently living and baking in Washington, D.C. I’m very excited to be the host for this month’s challenge! I started writing my blog This month's Daring Baker was hosted by Jana from Cherry Tea Cakes
When I saw the challenge this month in the Forum I was excited as these cakes we can get from the pastry shops here and I have been wanting to make them for a while.
I made this and took to my inlaws place for a afternoon coffee and they all loved it, they even said that the pastry is as good as the one we get in the famous pastry shop.

The only this is next time when I make it i will add a bit more gelatine to the mix.
I didn't make the sugar syrup , I uesd strawberry liquor instead.
Basic Chiffon Cake:

1 cup + 2 tablespoons (270 ml) (5½ oz/155 gm) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (4 gm) baking powder
3/4 cups (180 ml) (6 oz /170 gm) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) (1½ gm) salt, preferably kosher
1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) vegetablre oil
3 large eggs
⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon (3.17 fl oz/95 ml) wate
3/4 teaspoon (3¾ ml) (3 gm) lemon zes
5 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1 gm) cream of tartar


1.Preheat the oven to moderate 325°F (160°C/gas mark 3).

2.Line the bottom of an 8-inch (20 cm) spring form pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the sides of the pan.

3.In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. Add in all but 3 tablespoons (45 ml.) of sugar, and all of the salt. Stir to combine.

4.In a small bowl combine the oil, egg yolks, water, vanilla and lemon zest. Whisk thoroughly.

5.Combine with the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly for about one minute, or until very smooth.

6.Put the egg whites into a stand mixer, and beat on medium speed using a whisk attachment on a medium speed, until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat on a medium speed until the whites hold soft peaks. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat on a medium-high speed until the whites hold firm and form shiny peaks.

7.Using a grease free rubber spatula, scoop about ⅓ of the whites into the yolk mixture and fold in gently. Gently fold in the remaining whites just until combined.

8.Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

9.Removed the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack.

10.To unmold, run a knife around the sides to loosen the cake from the pan and remove the spring form sides. Invert the cake and peel off the parchment paper. Refrigerate for up to four days.

Pastry Cream Filling:


1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) whole milk
1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon (1/2 ml) (¼ gm) salt, preferably kosher
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (10 gm)cornstarch
1/4 cup (60 ml) (2 oz/55 gm) sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (1 oz/30 gm) unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon (3¾ ml) (4 gm) gelatin
1/2 tablespoon (7½ ml) water
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) heavy cream

1.Pour the milk, vanilla, and salt into a heavy sauce pan. Place over medium-high heat and scald, bringing it to a near boiling point. Stir occasionally.

2.Meanwhile, in a stand mixer add the cornstarch and sugar. Whisk to combine

3.Add the eggs to the sugar and cornstarch and whisk until smooth.

4.When the milk is ready, gently and slowly while the stand mixer is whisking, pour the heated milk down the side of the bowl into the egg mixture.

5.Pour the mixture back into the warm pot and continue to cook over a medium heat until the custard is thick, just about to boil and coats the back of a spoon.

6.Remove from heat and pass through a fine mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool for ten minutes stirring occasionally.

7.Cut the butter into four pieces and whisk into the pastry cream a piece at a time until smooth.

8.Cover the cream with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap onto the top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for up to five days.

9.In a small dish, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for a few minutes to soften.

10.Put two inches (55 mm) of water into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.

11.Measure 1/4 cup (2 oz/60 ml) of the chilled pastry cream into a small stainless steel bowl that will sit across the sauce pan with the simmering water, without touching the water.

12.Heat the cream until it is 120 F (48.8 C). Add the gelatin and whisk until smooth. Remove from the water bath, and whisk the remaining cold pastry cream in to incorporate in two batches.

13.In a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until it holds medium-stiff peaks. Immediately fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream with a rubber spatula.

Simple Syrup:
You may choose to flavor the syrup. One way is to use flavored sugar (for example: apple cider sugar, orange sugar, or vanilla sugar) or to stir in 1-2 teaspoons of flavored extract. You may also infuse with herbs or spices, if desired or add four tablespoons (60 ml) of fruit juice or liqueur while the syrup is cooling.


1/3 cup (2⅔ fl oz/80 ml) (2⅔ oz/75 gm) of sugar, flavored or white

1/3 cup (2⅔ fl oz/80 ml) of water


1.Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan.

2.Bring the mixture to a boil and let the sugar dissolve. Stirring is not necessary, but will not harm the syrup.

3.Remove the syrup from the heat and cool slightly.

4.Transfer syrup to a lidded container or jar that can be stored in the refrigerator. Simple syrup can be stored for up to one month.

Fraisier Assembly:


1 baked 8 inch (20 cm) chiffon cake

1 recipe pastry cream filling

⅓ cup (80 ml) simple syrup or flavored syrup

2 lbs (900 g) strawberries

confectioners’ sugar for dusting

½ cup (120 ml) (5 oz/140 gm) almond paste


1.Line the sides of a 8-inch (20 cm) spring form pan with plastic wrap. Do not line the bottom of the pan.

2.Cut the cake in half horizontally to form two layers.

3.Fit the bottom layer into the prepared spring form pan. Moisten the layer evenly with the simple syrup. When the cake has absorbed enough syrup to resemble a squishy sponge, you have enough.

4.Hull and slice in half enough strawberries to arrange around the sides of the cake pan. Place the cut side of the strawberry against the sides of the pan, point side up forming a ring.

5.Pipe cream in-between strawberries and a thin layer across the top of the cake.

6.Hull and quarter your remaining strawberries and place them in the middle of the cake. Cover the strawberries and entirely with the all but 1 tbsp. (15 ml) of the pastry cream.

7.Place the second cake layer on top and moisten with the simple syrup.

8.Lightly dust a work surface with confectioners' sugar and roll out the almond paste to a 10-inch (25 cm) round 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) thick. Spread the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of pastry cream on the top of the cake and cover with the round of almond paste.

9.Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

10.To serve release the sides of the spring form pan and peel away the plastic wrap.

11.Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Cinamon Buns

From time I bought this book The Bread Baker's Apprentice which is a while ago, I have been in love with it. I have made plenty of recipes from it like this Greek Celebration bread , Cinamon pecan Raisin bread, and yet another bread, and it has always come out perfect till now. And I hae made again and again all the recipes I have made from the book as it is really yumm.
Like this Cinamonbuns, I made these for the firs time few weeks back adn from that time I have made at least four times again with the same recipe but with different filling.
And I am sure these buns will be made many more times in my kitchen.

Now the recipe said bake for 20 to 30 minutes, first time I made them mine was ready in 22 minutes, but what I found is the buns got a bit browner fast so what I do now when I bake them is after 10 minutes bake time I take a aluminium foil and loosely cover the whole pan and mine finishe bake in 22 minutes.
The timming could vaery according to the oven you have.
As we are just with three I have lot left after the day I bake them , so the next morning when we have breakfast I MW each buns for 15 seconds and they are back fluffy and yumm. I have kept these buns for 4 days.

6 1/2 table spoons granulated suagar
1 tsp salt
5 1/2 abelspoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 large egg, slightly beater
1 lemon extract or 1 tsp of grated zest of 1 lemon
3 1/2 cups un bleached bread flour or all purpose flour
2 tsp instant yeast ( I added half tsp more)
1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups whole milk or butter milk at room temperature
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar ( 6 1/2 tablespoons granulated suage plus 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinamon)

1. Cream together the sugar, salt and butter on medium high speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment ( or use a large metal spoon and mixing bowl and do it by hand).

Whip in the egg and the extract to your choice untill smooth.
Then add the flour, yeast and milk.
Mix on low speed ( or stir by hand) untill the dough forms a ball.

Switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixign approximatley 10 minutes ( or knead by hand for 12 to 15 minutes) or untill the dough is silky and suple, tacky but not sticky.

You may have to add little more water or flour to achieve this texture.

Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the gough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

2. Ferment at room temperature for approximatley 2 hours, or untill the dough is double the size.

3. Mist the counter with the spray oil and tranfer the dough to the counter.

Now to shape the cinamon buns.

A. Roll the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top of the dough with flour to keep it from sticking to the pin. Roll into a rectangle about 2/3 inch thick and 14 inched wide by 12 inches long for marger buns ir 18 inches wide by 9 inches long for smaller buns.

Don't roll the dough too thin , or the finished buns will be tough and chewy rather than soft and plump.

B. Sprinkle the cinamon sugar over the surface of the dough and

C. roll the dough up into cigar shaped log, creating a cinamon sugar spiral as you roll. With the seam side down cut the dough into 8 to 12 even pieces 1 3/4 inch thick for larger buns or 12 to 16 pieces each 1 1/4 inch thick for smaller buns.

4 For Cinamon buns, line 1 or more sheet pans with baking parchment. Place the buns approximatley 1/2 inch apart so that they aren't touching but are close to one another.

5. Proof at room temeperature for 75 to 90 minutes, or untill the pieces have grown into on another and heave nearly doubled the size.

You may also retard the shaped buns into refrigerator for upto 2 dys , pulling the pans out of the refregirator 3 to 4 hours before baking to allow the dough to proof.

6. Preheat the oven to 350° F with the oven rack in the middle.

7. Bake the cinamon buns for 20 to 30 minutes or untill golden brown.

First time I bakes they got a bit too brown. So now when I bake them after 10 minutes of baking I cover the tray with foil for the rest of the baking time. In my oven it only too 22 minutes to bake.

8. Cool the buns for 10 minutes and then streak the white fondant glaze across the buns while the buns are still warm but not too hot.
Remove the buns from teh pan and place them in a cooling rack.

White fondant glaze
Sift 4 cups of powdered sugar into a bowl.

Add 1 tsp of lemon or orange extract. and between 6 tablespoons to 1/2 cup of warm milk, briskly whisk untill all the sugar is disolved.

Add the milk slowly and only as much as is needed to make a thick, smooth paste.

When the buns have cooled but are still warm, streal the glaze over them by dipping a fork or a whisk into the flaze and waving over the tops or form the streaks by dipping it drip off as you wave them over the top of the buns.
Sending this bread to Yeastspotting.

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Grappa Cherry Preserve

Till now we have been having such a wonderful summer holidays.
Even though we live  8 minues by walk from the beach we didn't even go to have a swim even once, I don't think none of us are beach people, when Shyama was younger we used to go to the beach during the holidays as you know how kids are they love water, but now she is not that crazy for beeing on the beach.
I much more prefer to walk on the beach with my bare feet in water, than just lying and baking in the sand.
But I am sure we will go for swimming one of these days.
So we have been going for cycling most of the days. To different places, there are days when we cycled 25 km , well that is the longest we have been till now.
Have planned to go to a city which is 20 km from our place but then going and comming back it will be plus/minus 40 km so first we thought we will do a bit by bit and let our bumb get used to sitting on cycle :-)

Don't know if it is like that for you all, but sometime I see something new which I have never tried , I am like oh I want to try this soon and this Grappa Cherry Preserve was one of those new things which I had to try.
The minus point of trying this is tha I have to wait few months to know the result :-(

500 gm Cherries with stem
Couple of cinamon sticks
Few cloves
Lemon peel ( use a fruit peeler to peel then it is much easier) I used lime
150 ml water
150 gm sugar
300 ml Grappa

Wash the cherries. Dry carefully with a kitchen towel. Cut the stems using scissors so that the piece that remains is about 1 cm long. Put them into the jars.

Put lemon peel, a few cloves and a piece of cinnamon into jars with the cherries.

Put water and sugar into a pot. As soon as sugar melts, remove the pot from the stove, wait for a few minutes and stir in Grappa. Pour this over cherries.

Keep in a dark, cold place and wait for a few months before opening it. Well that is what she wrote in her place, but I was accidently watching a programme about making cocktails and in the show they said keep them in the fridge, and I have kept them in the fridge.

Sunday 3 July 2011

Chocolate Cups Filled With Strawberries and Cream

Remeber the excitment when I made these easy Chocolate Cups and in the end of the post I wrote I will share with you all what I did with the cups.
Well this is what I did really easy and simple. No recipe at all so you can imagine how easy they are to make.
You just need a bunch of strawberry and some whipped cream. Don't buy those pre whipped cream you van buy in the supermarket, just buy cream and whipp up with a bitof suage and vanilla extract.
Just fill alternative cream and strawberries. And serve them.
Well didn't I tell you it is a easy dessert.
Summer holidays has startedfor Shyama here and I am sure my posting here will be instead of once a week probably once in ten days.
Well that is if it is going to be a realy good weather whcih we all are hoping for.