Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Chocolate Swirl Cake





I know, I am good at making Cakes.  but, definitely not good in (icing) decorations. After making the swimming pool theme cake, I got little confidence and good encouragement from my family and the co-bloggers.

So, decided to do one more experiment with Icing. I am glad, I am much better then beginning of this year and one day will do the perfect one.
 As usual bake a basic sponge cake and you may refer the recipe from my earlier post Swimming Pool Theme Cake.  Bake the cake in a circular shape.

  
Ingredients for Chocolate Ganache :  1 cup of cream    ;  110 gms of dark chocolate (75 % coco) chopped.

 Procedure : Heat the cream in a pan once it become hot (Do not Boil) pour the chopped chocolate and whisk till chocolate melts and become smooth. Allow it to cool to the room temperature.

Meanwhile, Cut the cake into two halves and coat / spread the Chocolate Ganache (CG)in one half and place the another half and again coat the top layer of the cake with CG. Transfer to refrigerator for about an hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the Chocolate Butter Cream for Swirl Frosting


Ingredients for Chocolate Butter Cream :  170 gms of melted dark chocolate (70 % coco)   ;            240 gms of soft butter      ;         1 cup of icing sugar       ;           1/4 cup cream       ;       1 tsp of vanilla essence        ;     A pinch of salt

Beat the soft butter with sugar, salt and vanilla essence till sugar well combined with butter. Add the melted chocolate and blend well. Finally add the cream and mix well.

Now the time for artistic work.  I mean the swirl work on the sides and top of the cake to decorate.

Fill the Chocolate Butter Cream on the piping bag with Open star nozzle attached. Twist the end of the piping bag to seal the frosting and gently squeeze the cream at the centre and make a circle around it.


You may try couple of test squeeze in a plate to gain confidence / practice.

As a final touch, White chocolate leaf on top (seen before in Fata feet Channel).  This is done by melting the white chocolate and spreading as a very thin layer on the wax paper by using the Fork and knife, shape as a leaf. 


Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Julekake (Norwegian Christmas Bread)





Julekake (Norwegian Christmas Bread) was made for We Knead To Bake #23. Thanks to Aparna, for introducing new bread recipe for this Christmas, called “Julekake”.

Julekake is cardamom-scented Norwegian Christmas bread baked with raisins.  This bread is not only having cake-like texture. But, also taste like.  


While baking, my kitchen was filled with the aroma of bread and cardamom. Oh…. it was an amazing feel.  As usual, I don’t want to go with 100% sugar and all purpose flour (AP). 
Instead, I go with Sugar & Honey and Whole wheat Flour & AP combination.


Ingredients: 1 ½  cup of whole wheat flour     ;      1 cup of all purpose flour   ;     50 gms of soft butter     ;      1/8 cup of Sugar     ;     1/8 cup of  Honey    ;      ¼ cup of Luke warm water      ;         ½ cup of Luke warm milk         ;       1 ½  tsp of instant yeast        ;      1 egg         ;         ½ tsp of salt       ;          1 tsp  of cardamom powdered      ;     ½ cup of Raisins      ;        1¼ cup of  chopped almond


Procedure :  Add the water, milk, yeast and 1 tsp sugar (from the ¼ cup) in a bowl, mix well and keep aside for 10 minutes.

In the large bowl, add egg, butter, sugar, the yeast mixture and mix well. Now add both the flour, the powdered cardamom and knead well until the dough is soft, smooth and elastic. (If required, you may add flour or water to get the right consistency)


Flatten the dough on the working stone, Sprinkle the fruit and raisins evenly and then roll it up like a Swiss roll. Again start kneads the dough gently by hand to form as a ball shape.

Place the ball shaped dough in an oiled bowl and cover with the damp cloth for about an hour or till the dough become double in volume.



Once again, knead the dough to deflate and shape it into a ball and place it on a lined or lightly greased baking sheet and allow it to rise for about 45 minutes.

Brush the ball shaped dough with milk and sprinkle the chopped almonds on top. 
Transfer to the pre-heated oven and bake at 180°C for about 30 minutes or till the bread is done.  (You may cover the bread with foil after 15 minutes to avoid over browning)

Transfer to the wired rack and allow it to cool completely.



Cool it on a rack. Let it cool completely

Julekake can be consumed directly (without any butter or jam) as it’s cardamom flavored sweet bread with raisins, almond.  imm……this combination makes this bread unique and special for for Christmas.


Thursday, 18 December 2014

Mixed Cookie Tray





Winter holidays began and the festival mood is in the air. Cookies are my choice to celebrate. Also, cookie tray would be a perfect to keep my son hunger low, as he is at home.

Instead of just one type of cookie thought to bake three different kinds for different moods.



The First cookie is Gluten-free chocolate cookies.  Gluten Free?...........In other words no flour.


What is Gluten ? Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat and other grains. Gluten is responsible for elasticity of dough. hence, also for chewiness of baked product.

But, these cookies are backed without flour (Gluten) is very different. I got this recipe from here.

Ingredients : 2 ½ cups of sugar    ;     1/2 cup of coco powder    ;         1/2 tsp cinnamon powder        ;      1/4 tsp of salt          ;        3 egg whites           ;          1 tsp vanilla essence        ;         2 ½ cups of semi sweet chocolate chips. 

Procedure:  In a bowl add powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt and mix with hand mixer.  Add egg whites and mix well until all combine well. 

Add vanilla extract and chocolate chips and mix them gently with wooden spoon.

Using the small spoon, scope the batter onto the baking tray and spread a bit.

Transfer the tray in to 180°C Preheat the oven to bake about 15 minutes or until the cracking on the top.

Allow it to cool and transfer them to an air tight container.


The second one is Thumbprint cookies. These are popularly known as holiday / picnic cookie. These are called thumbprint because, pressed with a thumb in the center and filled with jam.

You may refer my Coconut shortbread cookies Recipe. After brushing with milk, roll on the crushed mixed nuts instead of coconut. Press with thump in the center to make a dent and bake. Once, the cookies are cooled, fill the dent (at center) with Strawberry Jam.

  

The third one is sugar cookies. Refer my earlier post Button Cookies  prepare the cookie dough and just cut the dough with normal round cookie cutter and bake as directed.

 

Friday, 12 December 2014

Almond Praline Truffles




I had been resisting myself, but the Chill breeze stimulates my taste butts for hot coffee with dark chocolate.

But, this time wanted the bitter and sweet combination. Praline Truffles is pretty simple to make, but great to taste.


 Ingredients : ¼ cup of praline powder    ;    150 gms of Tempered chocolate (60 % Coco or above)     ;     1 tbsp of heavy cream     ;      1 tbsp of Chocolate spread (nutella)

 You may refer the praline making procedure from here.  Check here for Chocolate tampering procedure.



In the food processor, add praline powder, heavy cream, nutella to make a praline paste.  In a silicon/plastic mold using small spoon pour the tempered chocolate into each mold and spread it evenly and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove the mould from fridge and fill with ½ tsp of praline mixture and again refrigerate for about 30 min and close the molds with tempered chocolate.



Once again refrigerate for an hour.  Serve it with coffee or serve them at the end of dinner.

The hard bitter dark chocolate crust melts in the mouth and release the sweet praline…… Imm……Divine.