Tag: apples

Mets la main à la pâte!(YEASTED MERINGUE COFFEE CAKE) My first at Daring Bakers!

For the past few days, ever since India beat Australia in the Quarter Finals World Cup Match cricket has been the talk of the town. From Facebook updates to my college chain mails to newspaper articles- wherever you go – the India Pakistan match is the topic of conversation. I can only imagine the excitement in my hometown Mohali, where the match is being played today. The advertisers, airlines, hotels, all are cashing in on the much anticipated match. Jokes on Afridi and his men are doing the rounds among Indians on social networking sites while the Pakistinis are doing the same on their pages for the team in blue. The mind games have begun on both sides. After long I have been excited about a match- I think there is something about playing Pakistan that triggers every Indian’s blood and the do or die spirit takes over. Defeating Pakistan is for most Indians like winning the world cup. Every Indian today is praying that India wins- I have no more nails left to bite!

Putting the excitement aside for a while, I completed my first Daring Bakers challenge, although a little late! *Victory clasp!*

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

Jamie found this recipe on a piece of yellowed paper in her dad’s collection of clipped out and hand-written recipes from the 1970’s, no source, no date, and she tried the recipe and it was brilliant!

This entry was supposed to be posted on the 27th but since I was busy packing, travelling, shopping, packing again and more travelling, only now I got the time to bake for the challenge. I enjoyed myself thoroughly in this challenge. The recipe yields two cakes and thought I would do one savory version and one sweet.

While the sweet dough kneaded to form a sexy (as Ria and Jamie put it)!, elastic and smooth dough, I had a tough time with the savory dough- I just could not get the elasticity called for in the dough. I used the bread maker’s dough cycle, then used my own muscle strength and boy how I used them! I’m sure tomorrow I’ll have sore muscles- yes I had to knead THAT much!

I also had trouble with the dough rising. It took longer than usual and did not rise as much as I hoped it would. One mistake I did with the sweet dough, which could be a reason for the not rising problem is that when heating the milk with water and butter- the milk almost boiled and it was still quite hot when I poured it in the flour mixture. But, that still does not explain why the savory dough did not rise. Maybe the yeast?! Hmmm…..Anyways the dough eventually did rise.

In the savory version I thought of putting cheddar cheese and have mentioned so in the recipe but when I got to rolling of the dough I realised that I had no grated cheese on hand. Pressed for time as the match had started (the long rising time changed my whole schedule- I was supposed to have been done with baking by the time the match was to start), I put parmesan cheese- but would still recommend the cheddar cheese.

I decorated the savory yeasted cakes by painting on it using a coffee-yolk mixture. (To see how to paint on your bread check this out!) For  painting I did not have a brush. I used an unused lipstick brush from my kit. Of course I washed it thoroughly. The things I do for baking!

The oven still gave me problems while baking- it does not heat evenly. So I had to make sure that I keep shifting the trays. It also took me longer than the stated time to bake the yeasted cakes as they were not getting brown from the top-nor was the hollow sound coming. As a result the sweet yeasted cake got burned from the bottom. I miss my own oven!!:(

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APPLE TURNOVERS

Puff Pastry dough completely amazes me- you know, how while rolling it’s just a single sheet, and while baking, voila! all the distinct layers puff up into a really flaky, buttery crust. Savory or sweet- the same dough can be used for both, and the results, in both cases, bake out perfect. Each round of rolling and folding results in a  thin layer of butter sticking to the dough- thus, creating hundreds of thin layers of dough separated by a film of butter.

With no leavener in the dough, the rise happens when the butter melts in the oven and boils, creating steam which lifts the successive layers higher and higher. At the same time, the heat is cooking the flour, hardening it around those minute air pockets, creating the puff.

A few days back, I had promised the recipe for Apple Turnovers I made for Office Thursdays. If the puff pastry and the filling is ready, these are a snap to make and perfect to serve with tea in the morning. I had sent these for V’s office colleagues and they were all devoured (V did not get any but I had saved one for him at home). I loved them and would definitely make them again.

Today morning, with the leftover puff pastry dough I made a savory vegetarian version. Will post that tomorrow!

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