Monday, 31 January 2011

Ham Bacon and Cheese Pizza

I am someone who likes cooking and dont mind taking pictures but then to write a post and blog about it, well that is totally a different matter.
When I make something and if I think it will be a good food to post I click the pictures, download to my computer and it stays there without me touching it for months.
I even have things to post from last year.
I made this pizza and took a picture fast as the pizza was delicious. While hubby and daughter was enjoying their first piece I went to the kitchen with my plate and took some 3 pictures and came back to the table to enjoy the dinner with them.
I made two pizza one with tomato and mushrooms and one with Ham and bacon and you can imagine which one disapeared first the latter one.
The other day I was talking to my sis and telling her about the delicious pizza I made and the dough she was like you should post it so I can also make and that was two weeks back and I am only posting this because she was telling me yesterday she want to make this weekend, so here I am lazily writting a post about pizza.
The recipe for the dough is from Taste Italia Magazine I am always looking forward to get my Magazine in the post and I love the magazine, the recipes and pictures are so good.

 Pizza Dough
1 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp salt.
100 ml water, you may need extra
2 tsp olive oil, plus for greasing
160 gm white bread flour.

Put the yeast , salt and water into a small bowl and whisk intill combined.
Gradually whisk in olive oil, then leave in a warm place for 10 minutes, untill the mixture starts to bubble.

Add the flour and knead for 15 minutes ( if you have a machine use it ), untill the dough is ealstic..
Rub the inside od a bowl with oil, roll the dought around the bowl to coat, then place the bowl, cover and leave for 1- 1 1/2 hours, untill doubled size.

Punch down the dought to release any trapped air, then place on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper .
Cover and leave for 15 minute before using in a recipe.

Tomato sauce.
450 gm chopped tinned tomatoes
I onione finley slized
I garlic
Salt and peper to taste
Oregano and basil leaves a bit, I used dried
2 tbsp olive oil
Mozerall balls 2 or more if you want really cheesey
Few slices of boile ham cut in pieces
Few slices of English bacon in pieces
Few olives.

Heat a pan and add the olive oil, then add the onione and fry for few minutes add the finley chopped garlic, tinned tomatoes and a fill half tin water and pour into the pan. Add the herbs, salt and peper and simmer for 20 minutes. Mix everything using a hand blender or a mixer. Keep aside.
You can make this sauce earlier or a day befroe too.
Assembling the pizza.
Place a pizza stone or heavy based oven tray in the ove, then preaheat the oven to 250°c.
Lightyl dust a worksurface with semolina, then roll the gought into the shape you want, I rolled out in squares and very thing as thin as i coud as we all like here a thin crust pizza.
Place one a pizza trat prick on top of the doug with a fot, spread the tomato sauce add mozeralla pieces add boiled Ham and Bacon and scatter few more slices of mozerall scatter few olices on top and bake for 10 minutes ir untill it is browned.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Biscuit Joconde Imprime January Daring Baker 2011

I think this is one of the most Exciting and Elegant Daring Bakers I have done.
The moment I saw what the Challenge this month was I was in a total high, this pastry is really popular here and you see in all the bakers here and we buy it often but I never thought of making them myself, especially I always thought the design on the sponge was really difficult one.
And I was surprised how easy they were to make. And here my daughter and Husband loved it.
While I was making the design Shyama didnt understand what I was doing and when I explained it she still didnt get it , so I told her wait till it finish the the whole thing and then when she came to the kitchen what she told was WOW :-)
I am sure gonna make this much more oftne and wow my family and friends.
This months Daring bakers was hosted by Astheroshe from the Blog, accro.

Joconde Sponge

YIELD: Two ½ size sheet pans or a 13” x 18” (33 x 46 cm) jelly roll pan

¾ cup/ 180 ml/ 3oz/ 85g almond flour/meal - *You can also use hazelnut flour, just omit the butter
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons/ 150 ml/ 2⅔ oz/ 75g confectioners' (icing) sugar
¼ cup/ 60 ml/ 1 oz/ 25g cake flour *See note below
3 large eggs - about 5⅓ oz/ 150g
3 large egg whites - about 3 oz/ 90g
2½ teaspoons/ 12½ ml/ ⅓ oz/ 10g white granulated sugar or superfine (caster) sugar
2 tablespoons/ 30 ml/ 1oz / 30g unsalted butter, melted

1.In a clean mixing bowl whip the egg whites and white granulated sugar to firm, glossy peeks. Reserve in a separate clean bowl to use later.
2.Sift almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, cake flour. (This can be done into your dirty egg white bowl)

3.On medium speed, add the eggs a little at a time. Mix well after each addition. Mix until smooth and light. (If using a stand mixer use blade attachment. If hand held a whisk attachment is fine, or by hand. )

4.Fold in one third reserved whipped egg whites to almond mixture to lighten the batter. Fold in remaining whipped egg whites. Do not over mix.
5.Fold in melted butter.

6.Reserve batter to be used later.
Patterned Joconde-Décor Paste

YIELD: Two ½ size sheet pans or a 13” x 18” (33 x 46 cm) jelly roll pan

14 tablespoons/ 210ml/ 7oz/ 200g unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups plus1½ tablespoons/ 385ml/ 7oz/ 200g Confectioners' (icing) sugar
7 large egg whites - about 7 oz / 200g
1¾ cup/ 420ml/ 7¾ oz/ 220g cake flour

Food coloring gel, paste or liquid
1.Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (use stand mixer with blade, hand held mixer, or by hand)
2.Gradually add egg whites. Beat continuously.
3.Fold in sifted flour.
4.Tint batter with coloring to desired color, if not making cocoa variation.
Preparing the Joconde- How to make the pattern:

1.Spread a thin even layer of décor paste approximately 1/4 inch (5 millimeter) thick onto silicone baking mat with a spatula, or flat knife. Place mat on an upside down baking sheet. The upside down sheet makes spreading easier with no lip from the pan.

2.Pattern the décor paste – Here is where you can be creative. Make horizontal /vertical lines (you can use a knife, spatula, cake/pastry comb). Squiggles with your fingers, zig zags, wood grains. Be creative whatever you have at home to make a design can be used. OR use a piping bag. Pipe letters, or polka dots, or a piped design. If you do not have a piping bag. Fill a ziplock bag and snip off corner for a homemade version of one.
3.Slide the baking sheet with paste into the freezer. Freeze hard. Approx 15 minutes.

4.Remove from freezer. Quickly pour the Joconde batter over the design. Spread evenly to completely cover the pattern of the Décor paste.
5.Bake at 475ºF /250ºC until the joconde bounces back when slightly pressed, approx. 15 minutes. You can bake it as is on the upside down pan. Yes, it is a very quick bake, so watch carefully.
6.Cool. Do not leave too long, or you will have difficulty removing it from mat.

7.Flip cooled cake on to a powdered sugared parchment paper. Remove silpat. Cake should be right side up, and pattern showing! (The powdered sugar helps the cake from sticking when cutting.)
1.Start with a large piece of parchment paper laid on a very flat baking sheet. Then a large piece of cling wrap over the parchment paper. Place a spring form pan ring, with the base removed, over the cling wrap and pull the cling wrap tightly up on the outside of the mold. Line the inside of the ring with a curled piece of parchment paper overlapping top edge by ½ inch. CUT the parchment paper to the TOP OF THE MOLD. It will be easier to smooth the top of the cake.

2.A biscuit cutter/ cookie cutter- using cling wrap pulled tightly as the base and the cling covering the outside of the mold, placed on a parchment lined very flat baking sheet. Line the inside with a curled piece of parchment paper overlapping

1.Trim the cake of any dark crispy edges. You should have a nice rectangle shape.

2.Decide how thick you want your “Joconde wrapper”. Traditionally, it is ½ the height of your mold. This is done so more layers of the plated dessert can be shown. However, you can make it the full height.

3.Once your height is measured, then you can cut the cake into equal strips, of height and length. (Use a very sharp paring knife and ruler.)
4.Make sure your strips are cut cleanly and ends are cut perfectly straight. Press the cake strips inside of the mold, decorative side facing out. Once wrapped inside the mold, overlap your ends slightly. You want your Joconde to fit very tightly pressed up to the sides of the mold. Then gently push and press the ends to meet together to make a seamless cake. The cake is very flexible so you can push it into place. You can use more than one piece to “wrap “your mold, if one cut piece is not long enough.

5.The mold is done, and ready to fill
For the filling I made a raspberry mousse and I also added a round piece of cake in the bottom and then added the mousse, topped with raspberry jam .
 Want to see the other o DB friends have made  check out here

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Banana Chips

Having the aroma of frying something in coconut oil that brings me back to the smell of home, that is how i feel, now if you ask my husband he would say smell of coconut oil for him is like cookie smell it remind him of the coconut macarons they sell here ;-) when I add coconut oil to my hair he come and smell my hair and tell me it smells like cookies, thank God he doesnt eat my hair ;-)

Ok Now back to the cooking part that is how my kitchen was smelling when i was frying these banana chips.
If I close my eyes I would be back to Kerala or one of those Bus Stands or Railway stations were they sell freshly fried banana chips.

It is not like I get these Bananas in the local shops, last time when I went to the Asian store I saw them, and bought few and the next day itself I fried them and you can all guess who ate most of it , well I point the finger to myself.
These are easy to make actually there is no recipe.

2 to 3 green banana.
Coconut oil for frying ( if you dont like coconut oil, you can use any oil)
1 tsp of salt mixes witg few tbsp of water,

Peel the skin of the raw banana.
Heat the oil in a deep pan or wok,  when the oil is hot slice the banana using a mandolin ( I slice them straight to the pan) if you dont want to do that you can slice them in plate and then add to the hot oil carefully)
I slices them very thin.
Stir now and then it only takes few or less minutes to fry them.
Now if you like salty chips you sprinkle a bit of salt water mix to the wok, I would suggest be very carefull as there will be full noise and splattering from the wok.
Stir few minutes and drain to a kitchen paper.
I fried them in few batches as if you fry them all together they wont get crispes they will be soggy.

It is after taking the pics and then writting the post I realized that I have this Banana chips in my blog, it was one of the earliest post I have years ago there is step by step picutures there only difference is that I sliced the banana much thinner in this nec chips post
Sending these delicious Banana Chips to Kerala Kitchen

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Meat balls with Mushrooms

This is one of the dish we all love here , when Shyama was in school and when she came home for lunch and saw that it was Meat balls she was really happy, she would say yumm or somtimes she ask before she go to school what are we eating for lunch and I would say Meat balls and then in the play time she would tell to her friends what she is going to eat for lunch and all the kids who are staying at school for eating would start drooling.
Now that she is in college and staying there the whole week, I make for her and put them in a tupperware so she can eat them there too.
I make and give her so much food that her friends there call her Microwave Queen as she just have to heat the food in the MW.
We eat this mostly with potato mash or potato croquettes.
I have meat balls here with step by step pictures and in that post I served with pasta.
I made this meat balls exactly as the earlier one but as I serve with potato instead of tomato passata I add a tin of ( 450 gm ) crush tomatoes which I mix into a puree before adding to the pan.
Also add 250 gm mushrrooms halved, I add the mushrooms 10 minutes  before the cooking time ends.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Devil's Food Cake

I have to say the cake is absloutley delicious. I am a chocolate person, but even I have to say if you make this make sure you have plenty of people to share this with as it is a really rich cake.
And if you share you wont feel guilty of eating this super moist delicous cake and if you are not a chocolate lover don't even go there.

When I read about the event I remember telling to myself I might fir sure join in.
I watch all her cooking Shows the moment they show in BBC.
If I don't jave the time I record the programme and then watch it later.
There are times when I watch together with my teenage daughter and every time she sees a chocolate dish Nigella Makes , she will ask Mama would you make that etc......
So While I was watching her recent TV show in BBC 2, we both saw her making this and I had promised I will make this for her.
Sarah at Maison Cupcake has started this new event

The theme of this month was , If you are thinking Christmassy, you can look for inspiration in the Christmas chapters in How to Eat, How to be a Domestic Goddess, Feast and of course – Nigella Christmas.

 And I have to say you cant have a party without something chocolarey according to me and this Devils Food Cake.

You want to join in the fun and try to be Nigella of course you cant be her not that may people can be sexy and cook like her ;-) you will find all the details hereHere.
Want to make this cake you can find the recipe here in BBC food only chqnge I made is adding less sugar to the cake batter.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Stollen Daring Baker Challenge Decemeber 2010

Hope all of you had a wonderfull holiday celebrations.
Here we had a wonderful time.
For my New years present, Shyama gave me this cutest gift. She gave me a cookie cutter  ,a Garden Gnome I am in love with it ;-) then a Cake carrier and Cutter for Baking a Ginger bread House.
According to her it is too difficult to buy presents for me as I have everything and she had to look and look in the shop and she was telling me that too when she had free time in college.
I did tell her I don't have a Kitchen Aid to that she replied dream on ;-)

I am really late in posting my Daring Bakers Challenge.
I knew I woudn't post the DB in time even though I had made them long before the deadline, just that I didn't had any time to write the post.
When I read in the foroum that it was stollen I was excited but then as it was every were christmas market and that I had received two Stolle as gift almost put me off in making them.
But I didnt want to miss the challenge so I made them and I thought if I made them in a small shape like this nobody would complain that it is Stollen again, but alas that was a huge mistake from my side as It didnt turn out good.
They look good but they were a bit too heavy, I am sure if I made them in a loaf shape and sliced it as usaual it would have been good but I had to go and change and play with the ingridients so I ended up putting all of then in the dirt bag then next day :-(Have to say when I tried them just agter baking they were good.

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.
Book I won.
 You should go and check out what the other DB friends made here.
Before I forget I should sqy I receive the book which I won in Aparna's Place My Diverse Kitchen.
She had this giveaway for celebrating her 3 rd Blog Anniversary Celebration and I won this book Leftover Makeovers by Victoria Shearer.