Thursday, 29 March 2012

Chocolate Cornets - March challenge on Eggless-baking

This months Eggless Baking challenge was Chocolate Cornets. I had tried bread baking only once and the yeast let me down so bad, that the buns tasted very weird :(. From then on, I was left with no courage to try baking with yeast. For this challenge, I was very apprehensive. I had bought two different brands of yeast from the supermarket, hoping atleast one will turn out good. I had a backup plan ready.
I carefully soaked the yeast in lukewarm water and mixed it with the dough. I did not make the chocolate custard while the dough was rising. I made the cornet molds from thick magazine paper coated with a layer of aluminum foil. Once I had ensured that the dough had risen and I could make balls to allow for a second rise, I made the cornets shape and then while they were rising for the second time, I made the custard.

I was so nervous by this time, that while making the custard, my little one was meddling with the sugar and sprinkled some over the kitchen top. I got jittery and took the sugar bowl away from her. I made a mental note to add sugar to the flour mix of the custard later. And if you have already guessed, I forgot to add sugar. So lo and behold! I made chocolate custard without any sugar :(. To add to that, I had used bitter dark chocolate in the custard. So on the whole, the custard tasted bitter. But since the cornets turned out well, I was very satisfied, despite this mishap :). The cornets got over in no time. My little girl took the custard apart and ate the plain cornets!.

So here goes the recipe.

 Original Recipe - Ingredients:
Brea Dough:

150g Bread Flour (5.29 oz) = 1.2 cups of bread flour
1 tbsp (Raw) Sugar
½ tsp Salt
½ tbsp Non-Fat Dry Milk Powder
1 tsp Instant Dry Yeast
1 tbsp Lukewarm Water
70ml Water (2.37 fl oz)
1 tbsp Beaten Egg
15g Butter (0.53 oz) = 1.5 tbsp 

Chocolate Custard:
2 Egg Yolks 
2½ tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Cake Flour
1 tbsp Corn Starch
1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
200ml Milk (6.76 fl oz)
10g Unsalted Butter (0.35 oz) = 1 tbsp
30g Chocolate (1.06 oz)

Bread Flour for dusting
1 tbsp Beaten Egg for glazing

6 Cream Horn Molds (30x135mm/1.2x5.3 inch)
Handmade Horn Molds:
6 sheets of Kraft Paper (125x125mm/4.9x4.9 inch)
6 sheets of Aluminum Foil (125×150mm/4.9x5.9 inch)

Egg Substitutions:
Bread Dough:

150g Bread Flour (5.29 oz) = 1.2 cups of bread flour (I used APF)
1 tbsp (Raw) Sugar
½ tsp Salt
½ tbsp Non-Fat Dry Milk Powder
1 tsp Instant Dry Yeast
1 tbsp Lukewarm Water
70ml Water (2.37 fl oz)
1 tbsp Oil <---- Substitute oil of the beaten egg
15g Butter (0.53 oz) = 1.5 tbsp

1. Pour the hot water (100 degrees F) into a glass. Add the dry yeast and 1/4 teaspoon sugar and mix them. Rest for 15 minutes.

2. Put the bread flour, salt,  sugar and mix well to combine. Add the yeast water and oil.

3. Using a dough hook with the hand-mixer or with a food processor, start making the dough for 30 seconds. 

4. Add the butter and continue kneading until the dough is silky smooth.

5. Put the dough in a container coated with a oil thinly. Turn the ball of dough over, so the top layer is coated with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 1 hour in a warm place. 

6. The dough will double in size. Poke a hole in the dough. If the hole closes quickly the dough can rise some more. If the hole remains in place, then the dough has risen enough. ake the dough out of the bowl. Flatten the dough with the palm of your hand
7. With a knife, divide the dough into 8 pieces.

8. Shape the dough into smooth balls.
9. Keep covered in a damp kitchen towel.

10. Flatten the dough with the palm of your hand. Roll up the dough and extend the dough into 20cm with your hands. Thin the strip on one side.

11. Coil the dough around the cornet case coated with butter. Place the dough with point under on a parchment paper

12. Put the dough on a parchment paper. After about 40 minutes, the dough will become roughly 1.5 times.    
13. Coat the surface with a milk/cream. 

14. Bake the dough at 190 degrees for 9 or 10 minutes. 

15. Let the cornets cool for 3-4 minutes and remove them from the cornet cases.

16. Stuff the chocolate custard cream into the breads.

Between steps 5 and 6, you can make the chocolate custard.

Chocolate Custard:
4 tbsp Cream   < ---substitute the 2 egg yolks with heavy cream
2½ tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Cake Flour
1 tbsp Corn Starch
1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
200ml Milk (6.76 fl oz)
10g Unsalted Butter (0.35 oz) = 1 tbsp
30g Chocolate (1.06 oz)

In a small bowl, mix the cake four, corn start, cocoa powder and sugar. Add a little milk and make a thin paste. 
In a saucepan, heat the milk and cream. Slowly add the flour paste and keep stirring until the mixture thickens.
Once the mixture is thick, take the saucepan off the stove. While the custard is still hot, add the butter and chocolate. Stir them in and mix well. Transfer to another bowl.
Cover with a plastic wrap and let that bowl rest over ice cubes.

Assembling the cornets:
Fill the custard in a piping bag or a plastic cover, with the end cut in a small hole.
Pipe the custard deep into the cornet and fill up to the brim.                                                                   

Verdict: This is one delicious snack. I would love to have one in the evening and skip a roti at dinner time :). This goes to yeast spotting too.
priya's signature image at photobucket

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Chocolate-chip scones

I am sure all of us have these cravings once in a while. Sometimes I just crave chocolate (chocolate chips) and sometimes chocolate-coffee combination. Sometimes I just have to eat some baked good with these ingredients. Wait for a sometime... Divert my attention... but No, it will not go away! I just have to eat it.. That is what happened one day. I was craving a baked good, but nothing as elaborate as a cake. But I wanted something soft and quick... so I decided to bake a scone!

Chocolate Chip Scones: Recipe Source

2 cups all purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
1/2 cup milk or semi sweet chocolate chips or chunks
1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries (I omitted this)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). I preheated to 190 degrees C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. (The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.)  Stir in the chocolate chunks (or chips) and dried cherries (if using). In a small measuring cup whisk together the buttermilk and vanilla extract and then add to the flour mixture. Stir just until the dough comes together (add more buttermilk or flour as necessary). Do not over mix the dough.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times. The original recipe states that we need to make wedges (triangles). But I patted the dough flat and cut out 2 inch round scones. Place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk.

Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Makes 10 scones. Cut each scone in half and smear some jam. Serve with tea.

Verdict: The scones were just perfect for a quick evening snack and satisfied my craving :) It does not take too much effort or time and is delicious.
priya's signature image at photobucket

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Spinach Garlic Balls - Eggless

I made the Spinach-garlic balls a while back and it was relished so much, that I decided to try the eggless version.

Here is the recipe:
Spinach - 1 bunch
Garlic paste -  1 tbsp
Powdered bread crumbs - 1 cup
Mashed potatoes - 3 small potatoes (equivalent to 1 large potato)
Aloo mash - 1/2 cup (I had to use this as I had run out of potatoes)
Processed Cheese - 2 tbsp, Melted
Butter - 2 tbsp, Melted

Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1 tsp
salt - to taste
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Kasuri Methi - 1 tsp (optional)
Amchoor (dry Mango powder) - 1 pinch (optional)

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C (350 F).
Wash and clean the spinach leaves and chop into small pieces.
Boil and mash the potatoes. Add the aloo mash and make a paste.
In a large bowl, add the mashed potatoes and spices and whisk well. Add the melted butter, cheese and garlic paste and stir until combined.
Mix in the chopped spinach. Add the powdered bread crumbs and make a paste. The consistency should be such that you can make slightly firm, 1-inch balls of this paste.
Otherwise add in some more bread crumbs/aloo mash
Make small 1-inch balls of this paste and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

This recipe makes 16-18 such spinach-garlic balls.  
Verdict:  The spinach-garlic balls make and excellent starter item for elaborate meals. It also makes a good tea-time snack. Once you have the spinach washed and chopped and aloo mash in hand, it is a breeze to make this.
 priya's signature image at photobucket

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Eggless Strawberry cupcakes

Saturday afternoon at home... My little girl refusing to take her nap. That is a regular scenario on weekends. She postpones her naptime as much as possible and finally she gets so cranky and heavy-eyed, that she falls asleep at 8PM without having had dinner :). So I always try to put her to sleep before 4PM atleast. That way she gets some shut-eye and can start her non-stop chatter all the way through dinner and bed time!

When I try to put her to sleep, we both lie down singing rhymes, telling stories and talking in general about her school, her friends etc. Sometimes out the blue she would suddenly tell me "I want cake" or "I want lollipop". I have standard replies to most of these demands and I can postpone fulfilling these demands for a while. But sometimes she is persistent. Then I have to promise to have the cake ready when she wakes up from the nap. Such was a demand one Saturday afternoon, that I had to bake a cake to offer the little girl when she wakes up from her nap.

I had strawberries in the fridge and I had to use them up. I was planning on making another jar of strawberry jam. But I finally decided to bake some strawberry cupcakes. I borrowed the recipe from Anshruti's blog.

1 1/2 cup - plain flour
1 1/2  tsp - baking powder
1 tsp  - baking soda
1 cup - milk powder (I used sweetened milk powder. I increased the quantity from 3/4 cup to 1 cup, since I used sweetened milk powder, I then reduced the sugar quantity)
1/4 cup - packed powdered sugar or fine sugar (I reduced the sugar from the original 3/4 cup, as I used sweetened milk powder)
1/2 cup - butter
250 g - strawberries, sliced
1 cup - milk
1 tsp - vanilla extract
A few drops of lemon juice plus 2 tsp sugar for the strawberries

Line the tin with cupcake liners.

Clean and slice the strawberries. Mix in the lemon juice and the sugar and keep aside for about 15 minutes to half an hour.
This helps to bring out the flavour of the strawberries.

Sieve the flour, baking powder and baking soda.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and the vanilla with a hand blender or with a wire whisk, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Mix in the sugar and the milk powder and beat until soft. Stir in half the flour, add half the milk and beat until soft, for about 2 minutes.
Put in the remaining flour and milk and beat again until soft for 2 minutes.
Mix in the strawberries with their juices.
Pour the batter into cup cake liners and bake at (160C/325F/Gas Mark 3) for 25 to 30 minutes or till done (until a skewer comes clean).

Verdict: This cake was a great hit. It was super fluffy and soft. This is one of the best Eggless recipes that I have tried. So did my little girl love it or not. Well it turns out that her desire to eat a cake had died down post her nap. But we sure did savor the cake :)
priya's signature image at photobucket

Coconut Cake - February Challenge on Eggless Baking

The recipe for Coconut cake was chosen for the February Challenge on Eggless Baking group.
You can refer to the original recipe here on the blog.The challenge was to substitute the egg in the recipe and bake it. Refer to this link for suggestions on how to make the substitution.

Original Recipe Source: indobase
Unsweetened Dessicated Coconut-1 1/2cups
Unsalted Butter-1cup
All Purpose Flour-2cups
Baking Powder-1tsp
Vanilla Essence-1tsp
Sugar-1 1/3cups

1. Preheat oven to 175C.
2. Line, grease and dust a 10" round cake tin.
3. Cream butter until fluffy.
4. Beat in the sugar until creamy.
5. Add eggs one by one and beat together.
6. Mix flour, salt and baking powder.
7. Add milk and flour alternately in three batches and mix well.
8. Add the essence and coconut and mix.
9. Spoon the batter into the tin and bake for 45-50minutes or until the cake passes the tooth pick test.
10. Cool cake in pan for one hour and then invert onto a wire rack. Remove the butter paper.
11. Serve.


I scaled the recipe down to 1/3 from the original.
That brought the number of eggs down to 1. Instead of the Egg, I used 1/4 cup yoghurt.
I used Whole-wheat flour instead of All-purpose flour.
I baked the cake at 150 degrees for 40 mins in a small (11 cm diameter) silicone flower mould, and 4 cupcake moulds for 25 mins.

Here is the modified recipe:


Scale down to 1/3rd from the original.
Unsweetened Dessicated Coconut - 1/2cup (I used fresh shredded coconut)
Unsalted Butter - 1/3cup
Wheat Flour - 2/3cups
Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
Vanilla Essence - 1/2tsp
Sugar - 1/3 cups
Milk - 1/3cup
Salt - a pinch
Egg - 1 ----- substitute with 1/4 cup yoghurt and a pinch of baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C.
2. Dust a 4-5" small cake mould or some cupcake moulds.
3. Cream butter until fluffy.
4. Beat in the sugar until creamy.
5. Add eggs one by one and beat together.
6. Mix flour, salt and baking powder.
7. Add milk and flour alternately in three batches and mix well.
8. Add the essence and coconut and mix.
9. Spoon the batter into the tin and bake for 40 minutes (for the 5" cake mould) or for 20-25 mins (for cupcake moulds) until the cake passes the tooth pick test.
10. Cool cake in pan for one hour and then invert onto a wire rack. Slice when completely cool.
11. Serve.


Verdict: The cake was super soft and delicious. I was apprehensive about using wheat flour, but the results were good.

Excellent for a quick evening snack, when you have all ingredients on hand.

priya's signature image at photobucket