Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Daring Bakers Doughnuts for Halloween

With Halloween round the corner, October's DB had to have the colour of the festival.....

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

Making these doughnuts was reliving childhood memories... we made doughnuts in school, 8th standard, in a meal planning class with Mrs Punia... I burnt my hand a bit as the hot oil spluttered while we dropped the doughnuts were fried. I never fried anything after that till the time this challenge came about. Deeba encouraged me on....

Way back then, I had come home n tried them again with my nani... we did really well.... I could never find that particular recipe again... anyone has it... pl send it accross....
Daksayani was over painting Diyas in preperation for Diwali..... We made lollipops with the doughnut centers.....

Simran loved her special pink heart doughnut which I had to try very hard to save from the boys....

Yeast Doughnuts

Preparation time:
Hands on prep time - 25 minutes
Rising time - 1.5 hours total
Cooking time - 12 minutes

Yield: 20 to 25 doughnuts & 20 to 25 doughnut holes, depending on size [I made half this quantity]
Milk 1.5 cup / 360 ml
Vegetable Shortening 1/3 cup / 80 ml / 70 gm / 2.5 oz (can substitute butter, margarine or lard)
Active Dry Yeast 4.5 teaspoon (2 pkgs.) / 22.5 ml / 14 gm / ½ oz
Warm Water 1/3 cup / 80 ml (95°F to 105°F / 35°C to 41°C)
Eggs, Large, beaten 2
White Granulated Sugar ¼ cup / 60 ml / 55 gm / 2 oz
Table Salt 1.5 teaspoon / 7.5 ml / 9 gm / 1/3 oz
Nutmeg, grated 1 tsp. / 5 ml / 6 gm / ¼ oz
All Purpose Flour 4 2/3 cup / 1,120 ml / 650 gm / 23 oz + extra for dusting surface
Canola Oil DEPENDS on size of vessel you are frying in – you want THREE (3) inches of oil (can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)
1. Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. (Make sure the shortening is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter.)
2. Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.
4. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.
5. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.
6. Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
7. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
8. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch (9 mm)thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).
9. Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch (22 mm) ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
10. Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.
11. Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown (my doughnuts only took about 30 seconds on each side at this temperature).
12. Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.

Old Fashioned Donuts
Adapted from Twisted Kitchen
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 t. baking soda
2 T. butter
1 t. baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. nutmeg
3 cups all purpose flour

In a bowl, combine sugar, eggs, buttermilk, butter, vanilla, milk, and nutmeg. Mix until well combined.
Add baking soda and baking powder and 2 cups flour.
Continue adding flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until mixture is a stiff dough, and no longer sticky.
Roll out on a floured board to 1/2" thick.
Cut into a donut shape, and let rest for 10 minutes.
Fry in 350 oil for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Why is it that i can't conform to form??????? Instead of rolling the doughnuts in cinnamon sugar after frying... I put the cinnamon n coffee into the batter....... results were amazing..... I loved the flavour they had....... n lesser work of rolling... from the frying pan to my mouth.... They were yummy....

Dunking the doughnuts in chocolate ganache, poking to fill jam in some n pouring sugar syrup on some for Daksayani....... She went bananas.... calling half a doughnut, an elephant's trunk n playing elephant across the lawn......
I baked some of the old fashioned dough..... came out like a wonderful bread... the coffee n cinnamon flavour were much deeper in the baked doughnut compared to the ones on fry....

That's my neighbour Armaan with his friends Arjun n Aman along with Armaan's sweet sister Simran..... The boys loved the though of Halloween treats a week in advance n Simrans such a sweet doll..... :)

The boys played music n just had a great time n were cracking in the usual way boys create a ruckus... Arjun's the cutest... took my heart away..... became conscious in a bit n totally refused to be photographed.....

Aman's happiness was the chocolate.... :) n mine too :) :) :)

The doughnuts were fun to make and would definately try them again after I can deal with my Yeast Ghost.... till then, it's the old fashioned doughtnuts for me...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Egg-less Coffee Walnut Cake Trifle ~ By my Guest Suma

This is my celebrations for reaching 200 blog posts.... A lot of you will wonder, why am I not making something fancy to celebrate it. Getting to the 200th post has been a journey full of wonderful people who walked with me in life and some joined me thru the blog world.

So I thought of having an event called 'Celebrations' where I would open out my blog to some of my friends who would share some parts of their journey with me as Guest Posts......

My guest today is Suma of Cakes and More. She says in her introduction that she is 'A hardcore foodie with an incorrigible sweet tooth - thatz me! Have started baking a couple of year's ago and am loving every moment of baking,learning by trial and error, researching on the net on cakes, baking and cake-decoration in particular' and let me tell you... every word is true.

What I really like about her is her willingness to share and grow as a community. She's even written a post about Baking Supplies, Baking Ingredients In Bangalore and another one on 'Institute Of Baking and Cake Art - A Discovery!!!'. It's rare to come across such nice people, and when I do... I cherish n treasure them :)

She has a knack for creating yummy 'Any Time Treats'. I loved her Fresh toast with a citrus twist.

She started in Jan 2010, with a lovely cake for her daughter Aditi, saying "Having two hyper active kids,juggling part-time office work and school home work,a passion for food comes as a delicious respite. Cooking is something I find extremely satisfying - gastronomically and otherwise. I keep finding new excuses to call someone over for cold coffee and sandwiches, freeze a cake ice cream for a rainy-oops-sunny day:-)),make some extra cake just in case my kids( read I ) feel like having a cake fudge, give just one more try to get the chocolate cigars right. Food is on my mind 24/7,food is a big part of my life - You get the picture." We totally get the picture Suma and love the colours you've filled in it... :)

She's got 93 posts done in some 9 months.... that's over 10 posts in a month... totally awesome regularity :)

Wasn't able to write posts for a while due to some life situations..... n Suma was just so totally supportive throughout n very understanding..... Thanks for being there...

A small something for the Indian readers of Suma.... She will select 1 lucky commenter to win complimentary vouchers of Choko La(You can get your fill of chocolates at this place), in Vasant Vihar, New Delhi. So be sure to leave a note at the end of this post with your location. Readers in other countries can share the same with anyone in proximity of the restaurant.

Suma Writes.....

'A cheerful vivacious extrovert, fun to be with - this is how Nachiketa describes herself. A very apt description indeed!! Though I have never met her in person, this is exactly how she comes across as. The profusion of cheerful pictures on her blog and the number of smiling faces in them a testimony to the same. Her way of striking up an instant camaraderie with people makes them feel like they are speaking to a person they know since ages. I can imagine the infectious energy she would be bringing in anywhere she goes. I envy her colleagues who probably spend a lot of time with her and also get to feast on the desserts which she dishes up ever so often.

The kind of person who would dare the blues to hit her. Come blues and she would probably chase it away with yet another dessert. Who can think of making Sugar-free Brownies as 'prashad'. Lol!! Am sure the diabetic and weight-watching folks are not complaining :-) The fact that she is dessert crazy is one of things which make me relate to her, being the incorrigible dessert-loving person I am myself. The urge to keep on trying out new desserts, specially baked ones - yes that's all too familiar to me.

She wouldn't mind staying up till the wee hours of the morning baking a whopping 265 muffins and...neither.. would... I.. or would I?? Given that I would have to deal with 2 hyper active kids, work and a household to run when I wake up. Hahaha!! This footloose and fancy free girl is sure having her share of fun - baking, blogging and spreading the cheer around. What better way to do it than food and desserts at that!! Do you detect a trace of envy here?? You bet, I envy her and envy her and envy her!!!

Keep up the spirit Nachiketa!!

I got a call from Nachiketa a couple of weeks ago with regard to a guest post on her blog as a celebration of completing 200 posts. Thank you so very much for giving me this opportunity Nachiketa!

I was all game for it and it had to be a dessert of course. Here comes a simple, yet satisfying, quick and easy trifle just for you Nachiketa! Layers of coffee cake and cream with the crunch of walnuts thrown in for good measure.

Egg-less Coffee Walnut Cake Trifle

This easy- to- put- together dessert can of course be made with any cake, here I have used an egg-less cake adapted from a Tarla Dalal recipe. The recipe goes like this

Ingredients for the cake
Plain Flour -3/4 Cup
Sugar (powdered) 1/3 cup
Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
Instant coffee - 1 teaspoon dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water( keep the water hot). Use only hot water if you want a plain cake
Melted butter -1/4 cup
Sour curd - 2 Tbsp
Vanilla essence - 1/2 teaspoon
Walnuts, Chopped - 1/4 Cup

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade. Grease and line a 7'' diameter cake tin.

Sieve the flour. Keep aside. Mix the soda bicarb and curd in a bowl and keep aside. Combine the butter, sugar and hot water mixed with the coffee in a mixing bowl. Add the flour mixture, curds and vanilla essence and mix gently. Fold in the chopped walnuts. Pour the batter into the cake tin. Bake for 30 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the cake in the tin for 10 minutes, remove the cake and cool on a cooling rack.

Once completely cool, slice the cake horizontally into two slices. Cut small circles using a cookie cutter. Keep aside.

Sugar Syrup:
Water 1/4 cup with 1tsp sugar( you may need more syrup if using a dry sponge)
A drop of vanilla essence. Mix everything and refrigerate till needed.

Whipping Cream : 3/4 Cup(I have used sweetened whipping cream)
Grated Dark Chocolate for garnish.

Chill the cream, the bowl and the beaters for at least an hour. Whip the cream to a soft peak stage over a bowl of ice, for approximately 5-6 minutes. Fill the cream in a piping bag with a coupler, NO nozzle.

To Assemble:
Arrange the cake circles at the bottom of the glasses.(Push in gently to fit, with a spoon if needed). Brush the sugar syrup lightly over the cake. Pipe some cream over the cake. Repeat the process with more more cake circles, sugar syrup and cream ending with the cream. Garnish with grated dark chocolate and chill for at least 4-5 hours before serving.