Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Eggless Thandai Cake




We are heading towards winters. Mornings are breezy and cold. The top of the highest hills turns golden as the first rays of the Sun fall on the trees. The leaves glisten and turn pearl green. Lower hill is dark and cold. Some Langoors are huddled together in the trees.


Soon, the Sun comes up and spreads the mellow light and warmth in every nook and corner. The branches of the trees look like arms all spread out wide and holding the beauty, the colors and scents of the forest bestowed upon by the Autumn.


Wildflowers of every hue dot the landscape. Grasshoppers of every size hop around and flourish foraging on the rich juicy foliage.


 Butterflies abound. This is the best time of the year.


Having enjoyed the delicious Sun and having finished the routine chores, we baked a cake in the evening.  The cake has all the Indian flavours.  It has thandai powder, cardamom, and rose petals. A lot of chopped pistachios and unrefined cane sugar. To up the health quotient, we added powdered Oats.


 Rose petals are from our garden. We shade dried the petals for the cake.
The cake was sliced the next day. Flavours developed fully and it moist juicy and delicious. A perfect accompaniment to evening tea.


Thandai Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup powdered oats
  • 1 cup unrefined cane sugar
  • 1 cup thick curd
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup oil
  • 4 green cardamoms (seeds powdered)
  • ¼ cup thandai powder
  • ¼ cup chopped pistachios
  • ¼ cup dried rose petals
  • ¼ cup slivered pistachios


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Grease and line one 8 inch round cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours and cane sugar.
  3. In another large bowl, beat curd until smooth. Add milk, thandai powder, and cardamom powder. Beat well.
  4. Now add baking powder and baking soda. Mix and leave for 2-3 minutes. It will begin to turn frothy.
  5. Add oil. Mix well.
  6. Now add dry ingredients. Mix until well incorporated.
  7. Fold in chopped pistachios.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Add dried rose petals and slivered pistachios.
  10. Bake at 200 C degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 175 degrees C and bake for another 35-40 minutes or until the top turns brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  11. Remove from the oven after 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool in the rack. Slice the next day.





Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Kaak (Beirut Street Bread) | #BreadBakers



The colours of autumn are in full splendor. The warmth of the Sun, the cool breeze is all very mesmerizing, soothing and seeping through every pore and giving extreme ecstasy.  Nature is wearing shades of gold.


 There are chrysanthemums


There are marigolds


Yellow roses


And  yellow Jasmina, all clad in gold



There are pinks too and also hues of purple.



Fuschia dazzles against the blue sky.


Some daffodils are in bloom in the far end of the field.
We walked through the narrow trail in the oak forest.


We passed by a huge walnut tree. Among the dead leaves and thick grass, we found a walnut. It created excitement and children got into a competition to collect walnuts. Kids looked behind the clump of ferns, under the foliage, on the fields and in very bush. The Sun was pale and beginning to disappear behind Oak ridge. In the midst of clamour and clatter of cicadas and crickets and checkered sun, kids collected almost a dozen walnuts.
With the red nose and cold cheeks, the kids came back home happy and excited.




An early dinner of Kaak bread and soup was gratifying.



We loved the chewy Kaak super soft at the center.
Kaak is the Arabic word for cake. Kaak is also the name for a kind of flat bread in countries like Palestine, Syria, and Jordan. The bread has a hole in the middle and it is topped with sesame seeds.



In Lebanon, Kaak is a popular street bread. It has a   hole in it but the hole is off-center and the bread looks like a handbag. It is also called the handbag or the purse bread. It is covered with sesame seeds. Kaak is crispy on the outside and soft and a bit chewy when eating. It is sold through cart vendors in Beirut. It is a popular street food and an ideal snack on the go and is generally eaten with Za’atar or a local cheese spread.

Shaping Kaak is really interesting.



Kaak (Beirut Street Bread)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ - ¾ cup warm water
  • Milk wash  (boil 1/4 cup milk with 2 teaspoons sugar for 2 minutes. Add 1 tb butter and a pich of salt)
  • ¼ cup white sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Whisk together first three ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. In another bowl, add sugar to milk and stir to dissolve. Add yeast. Stir, cover and keep for 10 minutes.
  3. Add water oil to milk mixture. You may start with ¼ cup water and add remaining water while kneading.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture to flour mix.
  5. Stir to get a shaggy dough.  Now knead by hands on a lightly floured counter for around 8-10 minutes or until you get a very smooth and elastic dough.
  6. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Turn around once so that it is evenly coated with oil.
  7. Cover and keep for 45-60 minutes or until double.
  8. Deflate the puffy dough. At this point, and leave it to rise for a second rise for about 30-45 minutes or proceed to shape the dough.
  9. For shaping the dough, roll the dough into a ball. Flatten the ball and with a bench scraper, cut into 4 pieces (to get four large Kaak) and divide further into 8 pieces (to get eight small Kaak)
  10. Roll out each piece into a ball.  With the help of a rolling pin, roll out into a disc of about 4 inches in diameter. Use a cookie cutter or the cap of a bottle to make a hole and create the handle of a purse. You may also roll out dough into a thick log and wrap thinner edges around to get handles of a purse. I followed the first method.
  11. Place the shaped dough carefully in a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Keep some space between the “purses”. I could place 6 at a time in my baking tray.
  12. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave to rise for 30 -35 minutes or until visibly puffy.
  13. Preheat oven at 220 degrees C.
  14. Brush the prepared loaves with milk wash. Sprinkle sesame seeds.
  15. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden.


 Linking to Bread Bakers.
#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 for the event Bread Bakers this month, Karen, chose to bake Middle Eastern Breads. Karen is the Bread Queen for me. I am in awe of her baking skills and her blog Karen’s Kitchen Stories is my treasure house for breads. Since she is the host this month, I Chose to bake Kaak from her blog. She calls herself "a bread geek" and if you love baking breads, you'll fall in love with her blog.

You'll love the variety of Middle Eastern breads baked by other members.

·  Baked Pita Bread from A Day in the Life on the Farm
·  Eggless Challah Bread from Cook with Renu
·  Fatayer Jebneh (Arabic Cheese Pie) from Food Lust People Love
·  Garlic Butter Glazed Talami Bread from All That's Left Are The Crumbs
·  Jerusalem Bagels from Karen's Kitchen Stories
·  Kaak from Ambrosia
·  Kubaneh from Gayaythri's Cook Spot
·  Laffa from Sizzling Tastebuds 
·  Manakeesh from Mayuri's Jikoni
·  Maneesh from The Mad Scientist's Kitchen
·  Nan-e_Barbari from Anybody Can Bake
·  Omani Maldouf Date Bread from The Schizo Chef
·  Tahinli Ekmek | Turkish Tahini Bread from Bread and Dreams




If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to [email protected]

 


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