RSS

Tag Archives: baking

Homemade Brioche Loaf Recipe

Egg yolks.

Image via Wikipedia

I don’t think I’ve ever actually made homemade bread..well actually my parents used to way back in the day when we bought this toaster oven that was also a bread maker (yes, very clever invention). Other than that I usually buy my bread from a bakery or regular supermarket- I’m a little too lazy to sit there kneading dough and all that. But I was in DESPERATE need for a loaf of Brioche for my Herbed Fig & Walnut Brioche Stuffing, but apparently all the Italians on Staten Island (nor the Panera) don’t make Brioche!! I searched in multiple supermarkets, called various bakeries and stalked the Panera website to see if they have a loaf similar to brioche. But everything was either too complicated and fruity or it simply wasn’t available!

My mother was trying to persuade me to make another kind of stuffing, but I was too set on making this yummy Brioche stuffing to give up on my main ingredient! Then I decided, wait I cook, I bake, why don’t I just MAKE a loaf of Brioche? To my surprise, the recipe is SUPER simple, and literally contains ingredients that are staples in a household. Butter, milk, sugar and eggs (I had to buy the yeast, but no biggy!). It’s simple and really delicious- so good that I was tempted to eat it right then and there instead of making my stuffing with it! So, here we go!

Simple Brioche Recipe:

  • 1 2/3 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tbsp wet yeast, crumbled (or dry-bakers yeast is fine) I used wet because that’s all my deli had!
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp cut into pieces (yes, this obviously is not one of my healthy recipes)
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1/3 cup warm milk (I used Skim Plus)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk with a dash of sugar (for the glaze)
  • PAM baking flavor

Tempted yet?

No fancy tools here- I used my hands!! You can use a mixer attached with a dough hook. You DO need a loaf pan though.

1. In a large bowl add flour and yeast and mix well. Create a hole in the middle of the flour mixture.

2. Slowly dribble the warm milk into the middle, while mixing the dough in with your finger tips. It’ll form into rough dough pieces.

3. Add the salt and sugar and combine well. Add the soft butter piece by piece, mixing well after each addition with your fingers. At this point I started to knead the dough to make sure each piece of butter was incorporated well.

4. Once all the butter is incorporated, add each egg ONE AT A TIME, and knead into dough. Mix well before the 2nd egg, making sure all the white and yolk and combined into the dough. Dough will be very sticky and wet. Knead and mix until the dough becomes and elastic and pulls away from your fingers and bowl. Cover bowl tightly with plastic and set in a warm place to rise. I put mine in the oven (it was off obviously), so no drafts hit it.

After 2 hours..

5. By now it should have doubled in size. Mix and knead the dough for 10 minutes. Rip into 4 even sized balls. Spray loaf pan with PAM and place the 4 balls in a row. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise again.

After 1 hour..

6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

7. In a small bowl mix together yolk and sugar. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops on the rolls. Using a scissor, cut small vents on top of each roll.

8. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn the temperature down to 350 and bake for another 20-30 minutes until top is golden brown and shiny and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (I baked mine for 25 minutes). Remove and cool before slicing/serving.

Makes 1 standard size loaf

Advertisements
 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 25, 2011 in Baking, Chef Priyanka

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Roasted Garlic Smashed Potatoes with Rosemary, Chili & Chives

Russet potato with sprouts. Sliced (left) and ...

Image via Wikipedia

Here’s a great holiday side -dish for our next Christmas party! The title is self-explanatory, but this ain’t no typical Roasted Garlic Smashed Potatoes.

  • 4 medium Idaho potatoes– scrubbed
  • 2 heads of garlic– tops trimmed off
  • 4 dried cayenne chilies
  • 3-4 sprigs of rosemary– fresh
  • 1 cup fat free half&half (I use Land-o-Lakes Brand)
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 6-7 sprigs of chive- finely chopped
  • 1/3-1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano cheese
  • salt
  • coarse black pepper
  • PAM olive oil flavor

1. Preheat oven 425 degrees. In a sheet of foil place both garlic heads, chilies, rosemary sprigs, salt and pepper. Spray liberally with PAM and fold foil to create a packet. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes until cloves are soft and rosemary and crispy. Remove and cool.

2. Meanwhile, cut potatoes in half and boil in salted water with peel on until fork tender. In a small bowl squeeze in garlic cloves, add rosemary, chilies, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined and garlic is mushed. Add this mixture to the potatoes and combine thoroughly. In a slow stream, add half&half and light cream. Mash together until smooth and well combined. More or less milk can be used to achieve desired consistency. Then stir in the grated parmigiano. I like smashed potatoes a little chunky and smooth. Taste for salt.

3. Place on a pretty serving platter top with a sprig of rosemary and chopped chives and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil (if you want!) Dig in!

Serves 6


Nutrition:

I cut the fat by a pretty substantial amount by using light cream instead of heavy cream and fat free half&half. If you want to keep it completely healthy, use only fat free half&half. The consistency will still come out yummy. I also didn’t put any butter, which traditional mashed potatoes have (it’s really not necessary, because the strong rosemary and garlic flavors keep it yummy)! Plus this dish serves 6, so a little light cream won’t kill you ;)

Like Potatoes? Try these!

Spicy Cumin Potatoes with Green Chili Tofu

Baked Sweet & Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Peppermint Bark Lollipops

a girl with a lollipop

Image via Wikipedia

Do you like peppermint bark? Do you like lollipops? Then you’re going to love these sweet treats- Peppermint Bark Lollipops. So easy to make. Cheap, cute and did I mention they’re a show stopper. Yes. SHOW stopper. I made about 60 lollipops for a Christmas Eve party and everyone was talking about them! It’s just the right amount of chocolate and peppermint and they’re great for big parties, to hold and walk around and still look pretty :) .

Going for an NYE party? Make these and bring them! Plus I’ll show you how to turn these lollipops into a chocolate bouquet- it’s super easy and cheap! And impressive, might I add. Let’s get started:

Peppermint Bark Lollipops:

Holiday Bouquet Prep:

  • 1 small basket (I bought mine from Michael’s)
  • 1 small styrofoam ball (I bought mine from Michael’s)
  • ribbon- assorted colors
  • pine tree leaves- optional

Tools: cookie sheets, parchment paper

1. Break up the dark and 1 bar of the semisweet chocolate and place into a glass bowl. Microwave for 35 seconds. Remove, stir with a spatula. Microwave for another 35 seconds. Remove and stir. Microwave for another 35 seconds if chocolate is not melted. When it’s just melted add the remaining semisweet chocolate bar and stir until everything is smooth and melted. Add 1-1 1/2 tbsp peppermint extract and stir. Melt the white chocolate in a separate bowl and stir in 1 tbsp peppermint extract.

2. On a cookie sheet (I used 3 of them) line with 1-2 sheets of parchment paper. Using a tbsp pour 1 tbsp of dark chocolate into a circle on the cookie sheet. Take the cookie stick and swirl into the bottom of the circle. Decorate with cranberries/pearls/sprinkles or a drop of white chocolate in the center and swirl with a toothpick. Repeat until chocolate is finished. I made a few white chocolate lollipops. Place in the fridge until hard and cool.

3. To make the bouquet: Cut small pieces of ribbon and tie around each stick. Using a scissor curl ends. Place lollipops in the freezer an hour or 2 before placing in the basket before your party. Place styrofoam ball in the basket and if using pine tree leaves, cover the foam with the leaves. Once the chocolate lollipops are hard and slightly frozen, stick them into the styrofoam until the whole thing is covered like a bouquet.

Makes 60 chocolate lollipops


Like Chocolate? Like Dessert? Check these out!

Mini Chocolate-Pumpkin Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting

Snowy Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate-Pumpkin Spice Latte

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Walrus Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Devil's Food Cake With Vanilla Icing

Image by SimplyAvoir via Flickr

I recently was gifted the recipe book– ‘What’s New Cupcake?’ by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. Let me just say this is probably my new favorite cookbook! Every cupcake is like a cartoon! Bears, race cars, golf course- you name it, it’s a cupcake! The first one to catch my eye was the Walrus!

I think walruses are cute in generally- so lazy and blubbery and CUTE!! And these cupcakes looked just like that! I attempted to re-create them. They weren’t difficult to make, but I will say that you need to allocate a couple of hours for the whole process. The recipe called for boxed Devil’s food cake and canned frosting. But, the foodie in me decided to make everything from scratch!

Chocolate Cupcake:

I used my Snowy Chocolate Cupcake Recipe- just doubled all the ingredients (except increase 1/4 cup Buttermilk to 1 cup.)

Dark Chocolate Frosting:

I used my Dark Chocolate Frosting Recipe– can be doubled if you desire more frosting, but these measurements sufficed.

  • 2-3 cups of frosting

Topping:

  • thin chocolate wafers- i used 100 chocolate wafers (that’s the only thing they had at the grocery store!)
  • 12 glazed doughnut holes (I used Entemann’s Pop-Em’s)
  • white nonpareils
  • 4-6 marshmallows
  • chocolate covered black sunflower seeds (or mini brown m&m’s)
  • chocolate sprinkles (jimmies)

Process:

1. Using an off-set spatula mound about 2-3 tbsp of the frosting on each cooled cupcake. Spread evenly. Place the doughnut hole towards the edge of one side of the cupcake. Place the cupcakes in the freezer for about 20 minutes to set.

2. While the cupcakes are freezing cut the marshmallows in half diagonally, then cut again diagnally, to produce 4 corners. Cut each corner in half to produce spikey tusk. Shape as necessary in order to resemble tusks.

3. Cut each wafer in half- 2 halves for fins, and one for a tail. Take the remaining wafers and crush in a ziplock bag using a rolling pin, or pulse in a food processor until finely ground. Pour into a shallow bowl.

4. Using the off-set spatula use about a 1/3 of the remaining frosting to completely coat the donut hole and any gaps that remain. You want the cupcake to be nicely coated in frosting, with no gaps or bare donut showing.

Carefully dip the cupcake into the cookie crumbs, gently pressing the crumbs into the frosting to stick. You want it to completely coat the cupcakes and start to resemble the shape of a walrus.

5. Place the remaining frosting in a ziplock bag and cut the corner about 1/8 an inch. Pipe two small circles on the head portion for the snout. Carefully place the tusks, topping with a bit more frosting to stick. Dip your finger in water and then in the white nonpareils and place on the frosting snouts.

Place a black sunflower seed sideways in the middle of the frosting snout- this is the nose. Take one chocolate sprinkle, dip into a little bit of the frosting and place above the snout as the eyes. Place some frosting on the edge of the chocolate wafers and place as the flippers- 1 on each side and one horizontally on the back.

6. Refrigerate so the frosting sets. Before serving, remove form the fridge serve at room temperature.

Makes 12 Walruses

Like Chocolate Desserts? Check these Out!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate-Rasberry Frosting

Mini Spiced Apple Tartlets w. Chocolate

Rose Infused Red Velvet Cake Pops

Peppermint Bark


 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough Cake Pops

Don’t need much of an introduction for these yummy pops, besides mentioning that they’re CRAZY easy to make and I used a slightly ghetto cake-pop method. What! I wanted cake pops fast and I was tired! Jeez, a chef can take some shortcuts!

Anyways, I used Betty Crocker chocolate Chip Cookie mix and instead of using regular butter, I used Land-O-Lakes 50% less fat butter spread. The result was fluffy cake-like chocolate-chip goodness. Why you may ask did I use buttery spread? Well, since I’m just a little obsessed with being healthy, I decided to cut the fat and calories a bit by using the 50% less fat spread! It was amazing!

Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough Cake Pops:

  • 1 package Betty Crocker Chocolate-Chip Cookie Mix
  • 1/2 cup 50% less fat butter spread/margarine- at room temperature (I used Land-o-Lakes)
  • 1 egg- at room temperature
  • PAM Baking Flavor
  • 1 cup homemade vanilla frosting
  • 2-3 cups melted dark chocolate (I used Ghiradelli 70% Cacao)

Vanilla Frosting:

  • 2-3 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp milk (I used Skim Plus)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2-1 tbsp unsalted butter– at room temperature (Yes, I used real butter for this)

1. Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Spray a large cookie sheet with PAM. In a large bowl add cookie mix, egg and butter. Mix all together until incorporated well and forms into cookie-dough texture. Drop about 2 tbsp rounds onto the cookie sheet. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, until soft, and medium-brown on the bottom. Remove and cool.

2. To make the frosting, in a large bowl add the butter and beat with a hand mixer until creamy. With the mixer on low add in the sifted confectioner’s sugar, increasing the speed as you add more sugar. After you’ve added all the sugar, beat in about 2-3 tbsp milk and vanilla extract. Frosting should be thick and cream (as if you were to frost a cupcake). Pour more/less milk to achieve that consistency.

3. In a large bowl crumble about 3/4 of the batch of cookies. Add the frosting and mix until you’ve reached a crumbly, dough-like consistency. Roll into balls and place on the baking sheet to freeze for about 30 minutes. Before freezing, place a lollipop stick into the balls, so the stick hardens with the cake and stays put. Remove and dip one-by-one into the melted, cooled chocolate. stand up-right in a glass or stick into a styrofoam slab to dry. Eat! I liked mine with a glass of cold fat-free milk :)

 
14 Comments

Posted by on March 24, 2011 in Baking, Chef Priyanka, Chocolate

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chocolate and Almond Biscotti

A bowl of cocoa powder.

Image via Wikipedia

Chocolate BiscottiChocolate Biscotti

A work colleague once asked me if I order in restaurants the same way that I order coffee.  I thought his comment was pretty funny, especially since the weekend before my husband had said I was a waiter’s worst nightmare.

“What do you mean?” I asked my husband.

“Well, you like to change everything in the dish.  You want to order the steamed fish but have them fry it instead, and have the sauce on the side instead of pouring it over the fish – and if it comes with potatoes, you want rice instead!”  He said.

Surely he was exaggerating!

But I did have to concede to my work colleague that being finicky with my coffee never earned me any brownie points with the baristas.  One day I’m having a cappuccino with one sugar then the next I’m having it with one and a half sugars.  Then I learned that you get more milk with a latte so I switched to that (with one sugar).  Then I went off coffee and started having chai lattes – then soy chai lattes, then I missed my coffees and got back on to the lattes – but I wanted a weak latte, one and a half sugars and chocolate sprinkles on top…. oh and extra creamy.

And then I switched to tea – but that’s a whole different story altogether!

 

The one thing that remains constant though, is my love for a great biscotti.  Regardless of what drink I’m having, a perfectly made biscotti always goes well.  I simply love biscotti as it makes the perfect snack with tea (or coffee), especially since you can store it and bring it out when you have unexpected visitors.  This recipe keeps for up to a week in an airtight container.

I’m especially partial to this Chocolate and Almond Biscotti recipe.

When making this remember the dough is quite soft – so I used some cling wrap to shape the dough and then chilled it in the refrigerator which made handling much easier.

You’ll also want to make sure to have a sharp serrated knife so that when you cut the biscotti.  Remember, aim to cut the biscotti in one go – avoid a back and forth motion so you don’t shatter the loaf.

Chocolate BiscottiChocolate Biscotti

Chocolate and Almond Biscotti

  • 140 grams flour
  • 25 grams Lindt Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 60 grams butter
  • 50 grams Lindt Excellence 70% Chocolate, cut into pieces
  • 60 grams almond slivers
  1. In a bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, using a hand held whisk, beat the egg, egg yolk, salt and sugar. Melt the butter and allow to cool slightly. In a bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave for around 30 seconds (this will depend on the strength of your microwave)
  3. Add the butter and chocolate to the egg mixture and then add the flour mixture. Fold the mixture until smooth.
  4. Add the almond slivers evenly throughout the batter. The dough should be quite soft.
  5. Line a baking sheet with some cling wrap and place the dough onto the cling wrap and shape into a loaf, around 6 cm wide. Use the cling wrap to shape the loaf. Smooth and even the sides and cover with the cling wrap. Place the baking sheet with the biscotti load in the refrigerator and allow to chill for around 2 hours.
  6. Once chilled, remove the cling wrap and place the loaf in the center of a baking sheet. Pre-heat the oven to 175c (fan forced)
  7. Bake the biscotti for around 30 minutes until the loaf has spread and risen. The loaf should feel firm when pressed.
  8. Cool the load on the pan on a wire rack. When cooled, use a sharp serrated knife to slice the baked loaf, around 1 cm thick.
  9. Return the slices to the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Then turn the slices over and bake for another 8 minutes. Cool the biscotti completely.

 

 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Chocolate

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Carrot Cake Balls, perfect for Easter Treats

Carrot cake in pan

Image via Wikipedia

Carrot Cake Ball

I bake desserts all the time. I try to make sure we have something home-baked and sweet in our refrigerator for every week. It’s comforting after a long day at work, I can come home, whip up a quick dinner, and still have a home-baked dessert to finish the meal.

One of Hubby’s favorite desserts is carrot cake. Carrot cake is something I rarely make from scratch. Why? Because I hate grating the carrots. If I had a food processor, I’d use that, but despite how much I bake and cook, I don’t own a food processor. Or a heavy duty mixer. I either hand-knead bread, use a whisk to whip cake batter, or sometimes a very old, somewhat functioning hand mixer. Someday, I’ll have a shiny new food processor and mixer, but I’m not counting the days since it may not be until I’m too old and weak to hand-knead bread ;-)

Back to the cake balls. I found a Duncan Hines carrot cake mix that has dehydrated carrots and raisins that you rehydrate, not “carrot flavored pieces” like other cake mixes. So, I bought a box and carrot cake balls were quick to follow.

CARROT CAKE BALLS:

  • Preheat oven according to cake package directions.
  • Line a baking pan with foil leaving some hang over, grease and flour, and set aside.
  • Make 1 box Duncan Hines Classic Carrot Cake Mix according to package directions and bake according to package directions depending on the type of pan you are using. – FYI, this is one of the best cake mixes I’ve ever tasted, which means I may never even consider making carrot cake from scratch. A little sweeter than I’m used to for a cake, but so moist and flavorful.
  • Once cooked through, use foil to remove cake from pan and cool on wire rack.
  • Once completely cooled, use your hands or a food processor to break the cake into fine crumbs.
  • Slowly add cream cheese frosting to the crumbs and mix thoroughly until the crumbs stick together. I never measure the frosting, just use however much it takes to form a “dough” with the crumbs. I had leftover homemade cream cheese frosting (recipe below) that I used.
  • Pinch about a tablespoon-sized portion of the crumb/frosting mixture and roll between palms of hands to form a ball; place on parchment paper, and repeat until all crumb/frosting mixture has been used. I got about 65 cake balls from one box of cake mix.
  • Melt 1 package of Ambrosia brand white candy coating, or any white coating chocolate.
  • Dip cake balls one at a time into the candy coating, cover completely, set on parchment paper to dry, and top with desired sprinkles.
  • Once the coating is cooled, use a fine-tipped knife to cut away any excess coating that spread away from the cake ball to form a clean ball shape.
  • I store mine in gallon-sized plastic bags in the refrigerator. To serve to guests, place in mini cupcake papers.

TIP: I melt half the package of candy coating at a time so that it doesn’t cool too much and become stiff before I get to all the cake balls. I only had green sprinkles, though I wished I had orange for the carrot cake.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

  • Mix 1 8-ounce package lower fat cream cheese with 1/4 cup Earth Balance Margarine with a hand mixer until soft and combined.
  • Add 2 cups powdered sugar and mix thoroughly, adding more sugar as needed.
  • Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and mix until combined.

Cut Carrot Cake Ball

YUM, YUM, YUM! I took some to work and passed one out to each of my immediate co-workers to share a little carrot goodness. You should definitely make these for Easter and find some fancy sprinkles to dress them up.

~Ingredients to nourish the body put together in ways to nourish the soul to share with family and friends to nourish the heart~

Source: http://gourmetmemoirs.com/2011/03/22/carrot-cake-balls-perfect-for-easter-treats/

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Candy, Sweets

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: