Friday 24 January 2014

Focaccia Caprese

Usually I am always late in posting for We Knead to Bake the bread baking group I am a part.
And Aparna did say in the fb group yesterday that 24 th will be the posting day as usual and in my mind I said to myself I was fast in baking the Focaccia in the begning of the month itself so I must post this time on time.

But as usual it was a very busy day today and now it is nine in the evneing and I am home alone ( Hans is gone for a rehersals and will be only back home late) so I said to myself instead of watching TV in the evneing I will sit and write the post for tommorow.

Ofcourse as always nothing goes that easy for me :-) I use laptop even though I like the desktop and when ever i use the laptop I use the mouse ( yeah yeah laugh at me) and ofcourse mouse was not working I changed the battery still not working so I took that small thinge which is plugged in to use the mouse and be my luck it just flew off while i was trying to pull it off and my luck be it I coudn't find it, so had to look around the sofa take all the pillows and mats away to see if it is in between and Voila there it is inbetween the sofa :-)

Anyway now to the Focaccia .

This month it was Focaccia Caprese Aparna choosed and one reason I made them fast was we love any kind of focaccia and this was indeed very delicious.
We ate with soup for dinner . Only minus point is that they are so good that you can't stop eating them :-)
Note from me:
I made the recipe exact just that i didn't use fresh basil leaves etc, so in the filling recipe i have not written them which was in the original recipe.

I also brushed the dough with the herb oil and also when I made the dimple shapes I slathered with the herb oil.

Focaccia Caprese
(Adapted from The Kitchen Whisperer)

For the Dough:

2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil (preferably olive oil)
1 to 1 1/2 cups warm water
A little more olive oil for brushing dough

For the Topping:

4-5 larg-ish tomatoes, sliced thin
1 6-7” round piece of fresh buffalo mozzarella, cut into1/4” slices**

For the Herbed Oil:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 to 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
1/2 tsp finely minced garlic/ paste
Salt to taste

* If you cannot find bread flour, you can add 1 tbsp of Vital Wheat Gluten to 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour and mix together well. Otherwise just use 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour.
**I don’t get fresh buffalo mozzarella where I live. So I used regular mozzarella instead, the kind we use on pizzas. I used the Kodai Diary brand of mozzarella but Amul should do as well. Otherwise, use any “melty/ stringy” kind of cheese you can find.

First make the herbed oil. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together. Keep aside till required.
The dough can be mixed and kneaded by hand or machine. Put the yeast, sugar flour, salt and oil in the bowl of the processor and pulse a couple of times to mix well. Then add 1 cup of warm water (and as much more as you need) and knead until you have a soft elastic dough that is just short of sticky.
Remove the dough from the processor bowl, shape into a round and place in a well oiled bowl turning the dough around so it is coated. Cover and let it rise till almost double in volume. This should take about an hour.
You can make this as 2 medium sized Focaccia or 4 smaller ones like I did. For the rectangular Focaccia, take two rectangular pans/ jelly or Swiss roll pans (I used an 11" by 7" tins) and oil them well. Then divide the dough into two equal portions and lightly roll them (or press out) out into approximately 11” by 7”. If making 4 Focaccia, then divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion out (or press out) evenly into approximately 5” by 7”. It alright if it’s an odd shape because Focaccia is really a “rustic” bread.

Transfer the dough to the baking tins. The dough will shrink a little. Use your fingers and push it out a bit making sure it’s evenly thick throughout. Let it rise for 20 minutes. Lightly oil your finger tips and press into the dough creating evenly spaced “dimples” in it. Generously brush the surface with oil.
Bake at 210C (410F) for about 18 to 20 minutes till it is almost done and is beginning to turn golden brown. Take the Focaccia out and turn up the heat of your oven to 230C (450F).

I am sending this Delicious bread to Yeast Spotting


Wednesday 22 January 2014

Tomato Brioche With Sun Dried Tomatoes

I am in a Bread making mood, it could be also I am trying to avoid making too much sweet bakes ( TRYING ) and now a days I bake sweet bakes for Sunday afternoon coffee.
Plus we do tend to eat lot of bread living in Belgium.

I must I have been trying to eat less carbs so these days we just eat soups on weekdays evenings but then I end up making these different kind of rolls and we eat them with bread :-)

In December I made this Delicious Savoury Brioch Rolls and we were totally hooked.
So then I thought why not use the same bread recip and use some other flavour and oh yeahhhh this combination was yummy too so I am sure I will be going to make some more different combination.
When i made them in December I made them with white bread flour but this time I used spelt flour so if you dodn't get or don't want to use spelt flour you can use white bread flour.

Ingridients:For the bread

125 ml butter milk
4 gm yeast
1 large egg ( i weighed my egg and it was 70 gm) Add half the egg to the bread mix and keep the other half for brushing the buns.
1 tsp salt ( take care with the salt as there is salt in the pesto and my sundried tomatoes are also salted)
40 gm unsalted butter at roomtemperature
250 gm spelt flour ( you can use white bread flour too if you don't want to use spelt)
2 tbsp of almond flakes

For the filling: Make this first and leave it to cool

1 medium onion chopped fine
3 to 4 tbsp of chopped sundried tomatoes
3 tbsp of sundried tomato pesto
1 tbsp sundried pesto
2 tbsp of olive oil

Method for the filling :

Heat a non stick pan with 2 tbsp of oil add the onions fry for few minutes, if you think there is no oil in the pan then you can add the olive oil. Add the chopped sundried tomatoesn the pesto, stir and leave it to cool in a bowl or in the pan itself.

Method for the buns.

Make sure all the ingridients are in roomtemperature.
Slightly warm the butter milk add the yeast and keep for 5 minutes.
Whisk together flour, salt in the bowl of a standing mixer (or in a large mixing bowl if kneading by hand).
Make a well in the center of the flour and add half the egg and yeast buttermilk mix and the sundried tomato paste.
Whisk these together to form a slurry, pulling in a little flour from the sides of the bowl.

With a dough hook attachment, knead the dough on low speed for 6-8 minutes. (Alternatively, turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for about 10 minutes.)
If you want add a tbsp more butter milk but don't add to much as you still have to add the butter.

Now add the butter piece by piece and mix for further 6 minutes is you are using maching and 10 minutes if you are using our hands.
The dough will be elastic and supple.

Butter a big bown and keep the dough inside and leave in a warm place to rise (covered) for a hour.

After a hour take the dough out , sprinkle some flour on the work board and mix the cooled onione tomato mix. Make sure the mix is well divided into the dough.
Make a ball and keep it back in the butterd bowl covered and leave for resting for 1 more hour.

Now the dough will have doubled up.
Divide the dough into egual parts I got 8 buns and each was weighing 70 gm +/-
Shape them into a ball and keep in a butterd baking tray ( i used baking paper) cover loosely with a dry kitchen towle and keep again in a warm place for 40 minutes.

In the meantime Preaheat the oven to 180°c
Take the rested bun tray mix a little bit of milk with the left over egg yolk and brush it over the top of the buns, and sprinkle with the falked almonds and bake in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes.
Leave it to slightly cool and enjoy.
The buns will be soft and fluffy inside as it is a brioche dough.
Sending these rolls to YeastSpotting


Thursday 16 January 2014

Wholemeal Loaf

It is no secret that I love making bread if you see the bread Posts I have in my blog.
And I am sure if I had a bit more time I would make more breads. I do make seekly atleast 2 breads but they are the same spelt of Whole wheat bread .

Ok and another not so secret fact is that I love Paul Hollywoods recipe ( Ok I do love the fellow too like thousands of other women who knows about him :-) )
Every time I try a recipe from him it works PERFECT and this  Wholemeal Loaf is yet another recipe I tried from his Book How to Bake .

This is what he has written in the book about this loaf.
This simple whilemeal loaf includes a little white flour for lightness but is still full of nutty , wholegrain flavour.

Tip: I used my Banneton prrofin basket that is why I have a shape like you see.
I have wrote down the recipe like it is in the book, but I used machine to knead the dough.
If you don't want to use the steaming method you don't have to.


Makes 1 loaf :

400 gm Stone ground wholemeat  bread flour plus extra for dusting ( I used wholemeat bread flour)
100 gm strong white bread flour
10 gm salt
10 gm instant yeast
40 gm unsalted butter, softened
320 ml tepid water ( you might need a bit more depending on your flour)
Olive oil for kneading.

1. Tip the flours into a large mixing bowl and add salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other.
Add butter and three quaters of the water, and turn the mixture rpund with your fingers.
Continue to add water a little more - you want dough that is soft but not soggy.
Use the mixture to clean the inside of the bowl, folding the adges into the middle. Keep going untill the mixture formes a rough dough.

2. Coat the work surface with a little olive oil, then tip the doung onto it and begin to knead. Keep kneading for 5 - 10 minutes. Work through the initial wet stage intill the dough starts to form a soft, smooth skin.

3. When your dough feel smooth and silky, put into a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with a tea towle and leave it to rise untill atleast doubles in size - atleast 1 hour, but it is fine to leav eit for longer.

4. Line a baking tray with baking parchment or silicone paper.££5. Dust your work surface lightly with flour and tip your dough onto it.
Knock the air out of the dough byt folding inwards repetedly untill the dough is smooth.
Shape into a ball shape , cover with a tea towel and leave it to rise for 1 hour , untill the dough is atleast double in size.

5. Meanwhile heat your oven to 220° c and put a roasting tray in the bottom to heat up.

6. Gently rubb flour all over the prroved dough.
Put the loaf into the oven and fill the roasting tray with hot water. This will create stram in the oven, which helps to give the crust a lighter crust.
Bake the loaf for 30 to 35 minutes, then check if it is cooked by tapping the base - it should sound hollow.
Cook on a wire rack.
I am sending the Delicious bread to YeastSpotting

Monday 13 January 2014

Passion Fruit Cupcakes

I have been sitting here infront of my computer and looking to my phot files and I see so many delicious pictures and I am like now from were did I take the recipe for making this dish.

That is the problem when you download picture and you don't order it in a good way.
I know I will find it out after a while from few of them the rest I think will stay like that in my file as lot of other pictures of food.
I know I should do some way to be a bit orderly.

Ok this is a cupcake I made while ago, actually when I mde this super Delicious Passion fruit Curd which we all just loved it. I alse made with the same curd these cute littles Tartlettes which are absloutley Dinvine.
I would if I could make sure that I have this passion fruit curd at home always but they are a bit expensive and not always available but then like I say it is better to ahve them once in a while as you enjoy them more :-)
Make sue you are generous with the curd for the filling as that is the star of this cupcake.

Ingridients for Cupcakes:

125 gm Selfraising flour
1 tsp baking powder
75 gm almond powder
100 gm butter in room temperature
150 gm sugar ( I used only 90 gm)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp grated skin from lemon
2 eggs
75 ml youghurt

Ingridiengs for Meringue:
1 egg white
4 tbsp of sugar.
Plus you need 12 tbsp of passion fruit curd

Preheat the oven to 180°c.
Sieve the glour and the baking powder into a bowl. Add the almond powder and give it a mix.
Now add the butter , sugar and vanilla in a another bowl and using a hand mixer beat till they are light and fluffy.
Add the grated lemon .
Add the eggs one by one mixing till every thing is well incorporated.
Now add the flour mix and youghurt and beat till everything is mixed well.
Divide the mixture into the baking cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Leave it to cool.

When the cupcakes are cooled, scoop out a bit of the cake from the middle to make a hole and fill the whole with passion fruit curd.
Now make the meringue .
whisk the egg whites in a free-standing mixer until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Add the caster sugar a little at a time, still whisking until the meringue is stiff and glossy.
Add this into a pipping bag and pipe on top of the cup cakes and using a blow torch  to give them a caramalized effect.

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Bienenstich Kuchen (German Bee Sting Cake)

As usual I am late in posting the bread baking group I am part of called We Knead to Bake I did make them in December but didn't had time to write a post so here I am with the late post.
I love that I am in this group as i get to try new breads whch i really don't know, like this Bee sting bread.
I have given the recipe from the group.
For the bread I did exactly as the recipe but for the pastry cream I used recipe from Michel Roux book . As i love his pastry cream and I thought why not use that one.
And didn't use almond slices I used almond flakes and made the bread in small roud tins .


This recipe should serve 8 to 10.

Bienenstich Kuchen (German Bee Sting Cake)
For the Pastry Cream Filling:
250ml milk
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp vanilla flavoured custard powder
200ml cream
1 tbsp corn-starch

For the Dough:
1/4 cup milk (I used 2%)
100gm butter, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 egg
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast

For the Honey-Almond Topping:
50 gm butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup almonds, sliced* (see Note above)

Make the custard for the filling first. This can be made the previous day and refrigerated till required.
Keep aside 1/4 cup of milk, and put the remaining milk and the sugar in pan. Over medium heat, bring this to a boil while stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. In the meanwhile, dissolve the custard powder in the 1/4 cup of milk. Add this in a stream, to the boiling milk and keep whisking so that no lumps are formed.
Keep whisking until the custard becomes very thick. Take the pan off the heat and let the custard cool to room temperature. Whisk it on and off so it stays smooth. If it does become lumpy after cooling, use a hand blender to make it smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate.
Once you are ready to fill the Bienenstich, whip 200ml of cream till soft peaks form. Then add the corn-starch and whip till it forms stiff peaks. Whisk the custard to make sure it is smooth. Gently fold the cream into the custard. If you feel it is too soft, refrigerate for a couple of hours and then use.
To make the dough, heat the milk until it is quite hot but not boiling. Cut the butter into pieces and add to the milk, stirring it until the better melts completely. Let it cool a little.
In the meanwhile, put the flour, sugar, salt and the yeast in the bowl of your processor. Run a couple of times to mix well and then add the egg (leave the egg out if you don’t use it). Run again till the egg has also mixed well. Now add the butter-milk mixture (it should be warm, not hot) and the then knead till it forms a smooth and soft (loose) brioche-like dough that’s just short of sticky. It should come way from the sides of the bowl and be easy to handle.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a bowl. Cover loosely and let it rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. This dough will rise quite well but not to double or as much as your regular bread dough.

Deflate the dough, and shape again to a smooth ball. Place it in a 8” spring form cake tin lined with parchment. It is important to do this otherwise the topping will make the bread/ cake sticky and difficult to unmould. Flatten the dough a little, pressing down lightly so that the dough fits the cake tin. It doesn’t matter if its not touching the sides like batter does. Let it rise for about 30 to 45 minutes. It will not rise very much and look a little puffy.
Prepare the topping while the dough rises. Melt the butter, sugar, honey and vanilla in a small pan, over medium heat. Keep stirring frequently and it will start bubbling up. Let it cook for about 3 minutes or so until it turns to a light beige colour. Add the sliced almonds, and stir well till the almonds are well coated. Take the pan off the heat and let it cool a bit. The mixture will become quite thick.
Now get ready to bake the bread/ cake. Once the dough has risen, use a spoon take bits if the topping (it will be quite thick, like a sticky fudge) and distribute it uniformly over the surface. If there are small gaps they will get covered once the bread/ cake is baking.
Bake at 180C (350F) for about 25 to 35 minutes until the top is golden brown and bubbling. A ckae tester through the centre should come out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for abpout 15 minutes. Then gently loosen the sides with a spatula and unmould. Let it cool completely on a rack.
When it has cooled completely, slice the cake into two equal layers carefully, using a very sharp knife. Spread the pastry cream on the lower layer and top with the upper layer and refrigerate till ready to serve.

Monday 6 January 2014

Chestnut , Whisky and Chocolate yule log or bûche de Noël

Wishing all my readers a Very Happy New year.
I do hope you all had a good Christmas Celebration and New Years Celebration.

We celebrated both with a bang eeven though 2013 was not such a good year for us, we all decided at home that we should celebrate christmas and also had a good party on New years eve in my FIL's home.
I know I am a bit late in posting the cake, but as usual during this period I rarley have time to write a post.
Now I do love a traditional Christmas cake soaked with rum etc... but other than me no one like a cake like that.

So I opted for make a christmas yule log or bûche de Noël .
The recipe I took from a french food magazine, Ok I don't know french other thanfew words except I can understand most of the food names as here in the shops we have labeling in dutch and french plus I keep on buying all these french food magzines so ofcourse i understand now the ingrdient list just I have to ask Hans to translate the recipe how to make them :-)

I do have step by step picture how to make the cake. I will add them when I have a bit time to edit the pictures.


250 gm chestnut cream
75 gm flour
100 gm sugar
25 gm cacao powder + 2 tbsp for sprinkling
4 to 5 tbsp whisky for sprinkling on to your cake
3 tbsp whisky for adding into the chestnut cream
250 gm heavy cream
3 tbsp of cream extra for adding the soaked gelatine.
4 eggs yolk and whites seperated
40 gm soft unslated butter
2 1/2 gelatine leafs
Few table spoon of grated dark chocolate for decoration
Preheat the oven to 220°c.
Whisk the egg whites and keep it aside.
Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar till it is pale and fluffy ( till you see the ribbon stage when you lift the whisk)
Add the sieved flour and cacao powder and fold in.
Then fold in the whisked egg whites carfully making sure you don't sestroy to much of the air bubbles.
Pour the mix into a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

When it is baked cover it immidietly with a tea towel and remove from the baking tray to a rack.
Remove the baking paper carefully and cool for 5 minutes
Sprinkle on a clean kitchen towel some sugar and when the cake is baked dump the cake to the tea towel and remove the baking tray, leave it to cool for few minutes and then pull of the baking paper. ( it doesn't matter if it stick and you have to pull a bit as it will get covered up when you spread the cream mix and roll )
In the mean time make the chestnut cream mix.
Soak the gelatine leaves in plenty of cold water for 5 minutes.  Squeeze out the excess water and add the gelatine into the hot cream ( 3 tbsp of extra cream, heat this up in a small bowl in the MW)
Leave it to cool slightly this mix.
In a another bowl whisk the chestnut cream,whisky and butter into a creamy mix.
Whisk the 250 ml of heavy cream together with the gelatine mix ( pour the gelatine mix slowly while you whipp the heavy cream)
Fold the heavy cream into the chestnut mix .
When the cake is cool ( it might take some 10 to 15 minutes for the cake to cool) sprinkle the whisky on the cake.
And spread the chestnut cream mix evenly and roll it up.
And spread the rest of the cream mix on the top and all the sides .
Sprinkls the grated chocolate.
Leave in the fridge for atleast 3 hours before you slice and serve it.