Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Tuscan Coffeecake | #BreadBakers



A trip to the hills happened last week. Hills give a sense of freedom, a sense of liberation. Nature is so majestic and magnanimous.



 The vastness of the valleys, the power of the springs, the agility of the streams, the beauty of the flowers, breeze whispering through the pines make you realise how puny you are and how insignificant are the issues that surround and stifle us.


Sitting on a cushion of pine leaves, we savoured the cool breeze, touched the wildflowers around a spring, heard the echo of bird calls across the valley and watched a white-browed fantail flitting in the branches of a peach tree.


Rhododendrons dotted the forests and painted the landscape red.  They looked magnificent against the blue sky.



We drove past some colourful houses in the village.


A day before embarking on the journey, we baked a Tuscan Coffeecake. We loved the sweet bread studded with walnuts and cranberries and raisins.


The recipe is adapted from www.kingarthurflour.com Few changes have been made to suit taste.  


Tuscan Coffeecake

Ingredients

Starter

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup water at room temperature
1/16 teaspoon instant dry yeast

Dough

  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • All the starter

Filling

  • 1 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup dry candied cranberries
  • 2 tablespoon candied peels cut into small pieces

Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons hot milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. To make the starter, mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and keep overnight at room temperature.
  2. To make the dough, take a deep bowl.  Whisk together flour, salt and yeast. Combine all the other ingredients. Mix till everything comes together. Let it rest for 10 minutes. With floured hands, knead till you get a smooth and supple dough.
  3. Transfer dough to a greased bowl. Cover and keep to rise for an hour or until almost double.
  4. Deflate the dough. Knead for 2-3 minutes. Knead walnuts, raisins, cranberries and chopped peels into it.
  5. Shape dough into a flat ball. Transfer to a greased 9 inch round cake pan. Press from the top. Cover and keep to rise for 1 hour or until double.
  6. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  7. For glaze, mix all the ingredients. Brush the top of the risen coffeecake gently with the glaze.
  8. Bake coffeecake on the lower rack for 50 -55 minutes. Tent with a foil if the top is browning too fast.
  9. Remove coffee cake from the pan after 5 minutes. 
  10. Cool on the rack. Slice when cold.
Linking to Breadbakers


BreadBakers


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
Our host this month is Anshie Dhar who blogs at SpiceRoots Do visit her space for some lovely recipes, great bakes and amazing photography. Anshie chose  Italian Breads as the theme for this month.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to [email protected]
        
·  Casatiello by A Shaggy Dough Story
               
·  Ciabatta Sandwich Rolls by Herbivore Cucina
               
·  Classic Italian Bread by Hostess At Heart
               
·  Cornetti by Gayathri's Cook Spot
               
·  Einkorn Parmesan Piadina by The Wimpy Vegetarian
               
·  Fingermillet and Rosemary Focaccia by Sizzling Tastebuds
               
·  Focaccia Caprese by Sneha's Recipe
               
               
·  Il Pane di Matera by Food Lust People Love
               
·  Italian BLT Focaccia by A Salad For All Seasons
               
·  Italian Easter Bread by Palatable Pastime
               
·  Italian Easter Cheese Bread by A Baker's House
               
·  Italian Herb and Garlic Focaccia by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
               
·  Italian Stuffed Pane Bianco by Cook's Hideout
               
·  Mini Panettone by Mayuri's Jikoni
               
·  Pane Bianco by Veenas Vegnation
               
·  Pane di Genzano by Spiceroots
               
·  Piadina by Passion Kneaded
               
·  Pizza alla Siciliana by Karen's Kitchen Stories
               
·  Rosemary and Cabernet Salt Focaccia by What Smells So Good?
               
·  Torta Salata Pasquale by A Day in the Life on the Farm
               
·  Tuscan Coffeecake by Ambrosia


Sunday, 9 April 2017

Whole Grain Fresh Strawberry Cake



Sunday mornings are slow paced and relaxing. After a long walk, a big glass of ginger tea is an elixir. We sat out with our glass of tea relishing the warmth of the Sun on our strained muscles, watching the magnificent colours of nature and feeling the gentle flow of breeze on our face. Mornings are heavenly and soothing. Butterflies are busy exploring the flowers. 


Caesalpinia is blooming profusely and enticing the butterflies.



An Oriental White Eye has been coming to the Aloe flowers for nectar

Sunday is also for some special cooking or baking. Some strawberries are lying in the fridge. We decide to bake a whole grain cake using the strawberries.


The cake comes out dense and delicious. The cake is sliced and enjoyed  with the evening tea and some is reserved for the kids’ tiffin box.


Whole Grain Strawberry Cake


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (atta)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) butter
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 6 to 8 strawberries hulled and cut into four slices each
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line one 7 inch round cake pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  3. Beat butter and caster sugar till fluffy and pale.
  4. Add egg and beat till well incorporated.
  5. Add vanilla extract.
  6. Add flour mix to the butter mix. Pour warm milk. Mix gently until the wet and dry ingredients are just incorporated. Do not overmix.
  7. Pour into the prepared pan.
  8. Arrange strawberry slices on top. Sprinkle granulated sugar.
  9. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or till the top turns brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the oven after 5 minutes.
  11. Invert on the rack. Slice when cold.
  12. Dust the slices with icing sugar and serve.

My Tip: You may use 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour for a lighter crumb.


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Date and Peanut Laddu | Date and Peanut Balls (vegan)




It is yet another weekend. We have decided to make some healthy snacks and store it for the week. Peanuts are being roasted and dates washed and chopped. I feel healthy eating is entirely in our hands. There are healthy options to satiate hunger pangs and sweet cravings. This recipe requires just three ingredients – Peanuts, dates and some ghee (clarified butter)
Peanuts are packed with all the essential nutrients good for health. Peanuts are rich in protein, carbohydrates, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, Vitamin E, VitaminB3 (niacin), VitaminB5 (pantothenic acid), VitaminB9 (folate) and essential dietary fiber. Peanuts contain anti-oxidants. The process of roasting peanuts increases its antioxidant content remarkably.
Dates are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Dates are high in natural sugars and a perfect energy boosting snack.


This is a sugar-free recipe. Laddus are mildly sweet and buttery and definitely addictive. I would love to take them along in journeys. These are guilt free and a  healthy way to satiate sweet cravings.

Date and Peanut Laddu | Date and Peanut Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shelled peanuts
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Take peanuts in a thick bottom wok.
  2. Roast on low flame till the nuts begin to crackle and the colour changes to golden brown.
  3. You can also toast the nuts in your oven. Set temperature to 150 degrees C and set the timer to 10 minutes.
  4. Leave the nuts to cool.
  5. Wash the dates and chop them into small pieces.
  6. Remove the skin of the nuts.
  7. Grind the nuts to a fine powder in your grinder.
  8. Transfer the dates to the wok. Add oil. Cook on low flame. Soon the dates will begin to soften. Mash the dates with the back of the ladle.
  9. Add peanut powder. mix well. Turn off the heat.
  10. When the mixture is warm enough to handle, mix with your hands and mash to get a mixture with dough like consistency.
  11. Make walnut size laddu.
  12. Store cold laddu in an airtight container.


My Tip - Use 1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts along with your 1/2 cup roasted peanuts to get a slightly salty taste in your Laddu.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...