Monday, May 14, 2018

Easy Eggless Butter Cookies with 50% Atta!


Egg-free, buttery, easy, 50% whole wheat and adaptable! What's not to love about these tender-crisp delicious cookies? The dough for these cookies is made in just 2 minutes in the KItchenAid stand mixer! 

I absolutely adore Alice Medrich's recipes and and have had success with so many. Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt in Your Mouth Cookies* is one of her books I use ever so often! With this book, you can fill your cookie jar with different cookies every time.

This recipe is from the section for melt-in-your-mouth cookies. One of the surprising revelations here is her method of making butter cookies. While most recipes call for creaming butter and sugar until light and fluffy, she tells you not to! So what according to her does it take to produce good cookies? 

Alice recommends mixing the butter and sugar only until  it is smooth and creamy as this will make the cookies crisp and tender. We do not want to beat the sugar and butter until fluffy as she says the cookies may turn out dry and coarse. Don't I love her even more as this makes the job easier for the baker!



This recipe for French butter cookies is from Alice Medrich, they are called Sable cookies or Sables as they have a delicate sandy texture.
This is an extremely simple recipe with just 3 ingredients, butter,sugar and flour. If you don’t count the salt and vanilla that is. In recipes like this,it is all the more important to use fresh good quality ingredients for best results. Again, details make all the difference,so please watch the video carefully.  




Please weigh the ingredients carefully and line them up on the counter before beginning the mixing process. 

Ingredients

Whole wheat flour / Atta - 112 grams
Plain flour / Maida - 126 grams
Unsalted butter, at room temperature - 198 grams 
Caster Sugar - 100 grams / 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
Pure vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon

Method: 

  • Fit your stand mixer* with the paddle attachment. 
  • Whisk together the whole wheat flour and plain flour thoroughly. Set aside.
  • Take the butter, salt , sugar and vanilla in the bowl of the stand mixer and beat them until smooth and creamy(not light and fluffy)You can also do this with a wooden spoon but making it in the stand mixer is easier and effortless. I mix on speed 4 for about a minute.
  • Add in the flours and mix just until incorporated. This is very important as over mixing will make the cookies tough instead of tender.
  • Scrape the dough on the counter, bring it together. If necessary knead lightly to make sure the flour is completely incorporated. 
  • Divide the dough into 2 parts,place on cling film and form into logs. 
  • Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or even better overnight. This rest is very important as the dough absorbs the moisture and flavors better. Do not skip this step.
  • The dough will firm up quite a bit after overnight refrigeration,it will be easier to slice.
  • When ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 180 C / 350 F.  Line two cookie sheets with aluminum foil, dull side facing up. Do not grease. 
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the cold dough into 1/4 inch thick slices. 
  • Place the cookies at least 1.5 inches apart.
  • Bake 12-14 minutes or until the edges turn a light golden brown.(If using an OTG, rotate trays half-way through)
  • Once done, lift the foil(with the cookies) and place on a cooling rack. Let the cookies cool completely before storing airtight. 
I love these cookies when they have just cooled. Alice says you can store the cookies for a month. 



Variations:

You can try different flavors, but I loved  the plain vanilla ones the best!

  • Add 1/3 cup(1.33 oz) roasted cacao nibs with or without 1 cup chopped raw or toasted nuts to the creamed butter and sugar
  • Add 1 teaspoon crushed saffron strands or powder and 1/2 teaspoon crushed cardamom, 1 cup toasted and chopped pistachios.
  • Get imaginative with the combinations of nuts,hazelnuts, walnuts, cashew,pecans,sesame seeds with your fav spices - nutmeg, cinnamon, anything!
Do absolutely try these cookies, this will be a great basic butter cookie dough to have in your repertoire!

DISCLAIMER:*This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and buy through the link, I will earn a tiny commission on the same. I recommend products which I have used and found good or products I would consider for myself based on recommendations from my trusted baker friends. There will not be any extra cost to you. This commission will help me with me costs of running the channel and bring out more videos for you. Your support will be greatly appreciated.


Friday, May 11, 2018

Gougères / French Cheese Puffs - KitchenAid Stand Mixer Series





Gougères or less fancily put, French Cheese Puffs are delicious little bites you could serve warm on their own or with wine. You could also split them and sandwich with your favorite filling. Either way, if cheesy, eggy is your kind of thing, you will love these! All the more, if you make these in the Kitchen Aid stand mixer as it takes care of the hard work for you!

Choux pastry is one of those amazing versatile things you can play around with, sweet or savory like these Cream Puffs and Creamed Corn In Savory Choux PuffsThe baked puffs are best eaten fresh and warm from the oven, but you can re-crisp them if needed. You can also pipe the dough and then bake later when needed( I have not tried that yet) 




It is not really difficult to make choux pastry, but yes, needs to done carefully for best results. You can read a few pointers in my post for cream puffs. Though I have made choux pastry a few times,I would shy away from baking them as you need some muscle strength for it. But now, it is hardly any effort with my KitchenAid Stand Mixer



If you have been considering buying a stand mixer or have just got one, please do watch my video which includes a brief about various models you can buy and using KitchenAid Tilt Head Stand Mixer* stand mixer. You can also read my post here

This recipe is from one of my absolute favorite authors, David Lebovitz. I found this recipe more forgiving than the others I have tried. What's more, David also reassures that deflated puffs are fine too! I would say, go for it! Puffed up or deflated, you will forget all about the shape once you pop one warm puff in your mouth!


Gougères. Recipe from David Lebovitz

Yield: 30 bite-sized puffs
Time needed: 40 minutes, including baking time

Equipment needed

Baking sheet lined with parchment
Heavy saucepan with handle
Strong Wooden spoon
Silicone spatula
Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer with paddle attachment
Pastry bag fitted with a wide plain round tip


Ingredients.

Please weigh ingredients for best results, measure carefully. 

Water – ½ cup / 120 ml
Very soft unsalted butter, cut into pieces – 40 grams
Salt – heaping ¼ teaspoon
Freshly ground black pepper – ¼ teaspoon or to taste
Onion powder - ½ teaspoon
Flour – 70 grams
Eggs – 2 large / 100 grams (without shell)
plus more if needed
Extra beaten egg, 2 -3 tablespoons, keep this separately
4 sprigs of fresh thyme, minced
Sharp cheddar or Gruyère, grated – 75 grams plus 25 grams for sprinkling on top

Method

  • ·Preheat oven to 220C/425F.
  • ·Mise en place, this is very important.
  • Line your baking tray(s) with baking parchment. Alternatively, use a silicone mat.
  • On medium heat, heat the butter, salt, pepper and water in a heavy saucepan. Let the butter melt.
  • When the water comes to a boil, tip in all the flour and onion powder at once. You do not want the water to keep boiling or the liquid will be lost by evaporation.
  • · Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the saucepan and forms a smooth ball. 
  • · Take the pan off the heat, transfer the dough to the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment

  • Let it cool for a couple of minutes. Do not add the eggs when the dough is hot or the eggs may ‘cook’.
  • Starting the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time and then increase the speed to 2. The dough will appear lumpy at first, but it will soon become smooth, this may take a couple of minutes. (You will appreciate the stand mixer more, if you have ever tried doing this by hand, it is quite a workout!)
  • Add a tablespoon or two of the extra beaten egg if neededAt the right consistency, the dough is supposed to stay on the spatula and then fall in a thick ribbon.  I used almost 120 grams of egg.
  • Be careful as you add the egg, too much will cause the puffs to deflate (which is still fine, says the author, they will still taste good)
  • Remove the bowl and stir in the cheese and thyme.
  • Scrape the mixture into the pastry bag. Pipe into small mounds (about a large cherry tomato) spaced about an inch apart. Alternatively, use 2 spoons to drop the mixture. Top each puff with a little of the remaining cheese.
  • Bake at 220C for 5 minutes. Lower the temperature to 190C and bake for another 20-25 minutes or until golden brown all over. This is important to avoid deflated puffs, cautions David.
  • For extra crisp puffs, 5 minutes before they are done, poke each puff at the side with a sharp knife. That will release the steam.Bake them until crisp.

These taste best served warm. If necessary, the baked puffs can be re-warmed in a low oven for 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately.

DISCLAIMER:*This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and buy through the link, I will earn a tiny commission on the same. I recommend products which I have used and found good or products I would consider for myself based on recommendations from my trusted baker friends. There will not be any extra cost to you. This commission will help me with me costs of running the channel and bring out more videos for you. Your support will be greatly appreciated.



Monday, May 7, 2018

Eggless Jaggery Cake Recipe / Jaggery Cake Without Eggs




Jaggery coconut and cardamom cakes which will remind you of Indian sweets. A super easyand quick vegan cake recipe you will find very handy!

Vegan, super moist and very flavorful, these little cakes come together in a jiffy and bake in a flash! You can try the crispy crumb topping which is made very easily in the KitcenAid 
stand mixer. If you have just got your KitchenAid stand mixer, this is the perfect recipe for you to warm up to the machine. The quick and easy cakes allow you to experiment and try out variations. Please note: You can also try making these cakes using or hand mixer 

If you have been meaning to buy a stand mixer or just got a new KitchenAid stand mixer, do check out my previous post How To Use A KitchenAid stand mixer. You can also watch my 
video here.



The recipe for Jaggery, Coconut and Cardamom Cakes is based on Rose Beranbaum’s recipe for Molasses Crumb Cakelets from her Baking Bible. Since molasses is not so commonly available to us here and is also pretty expensive, I tried these with jaggery liquid and loved the results! You can find jaggery liquid at most organic food stores. But if you are lucky enough to find light molasses(Grandmas’s is the recommended brand), you absolutely must try. Do not forget to leave your comment for me!

Here is the recipe. Rose’s recipe makes 48 cakes baked in 4 mini muffin trays, I have halved the recipe. Try it once and double the recipe if you wish as the cakes keep well. You can also watch my video here. 




Ingredients 

All purpose flour / maida   130 grams /1 cup
Caster sugar (the crumb topping will not work well with powdered sugar) 100 grams/1/2 cup
Cardamom powder, freshly ground - 1 teaspoon
Salt - a pinch
Fresh grated coconut 1/4 cup 
Vegetable oil 60 ml/ 1/4 cup
Jaggery liquid or light molasses 60 ml / 1/4 cup
Boiling water 120 ml /1/2 cup
Baking soda 1/4 teaspoon



Method: 

Please note: I have used the stand mixer for making these. You can try making these using a pastry cutter or dough scraper(for step 5) and then use a hand mixer for the next steps.


1. Preheat oven to 180C / 350 F

2. Grease two 12-cavity mini muffin tins with baking spray.

3. Fit the Kitchen Aid with the paddle/flat beater attachment. 

4. In the mixing bowl, take the all-purpose flour, sugar, cardamom powder,salt and the oil.

5. Mix on low speed (speed 2) until the mixture is crumbly. This happens effortlessly in the stand mixer!

6. Weigh and reserve 40 grams of this crumbly mixture for the topping. Crumble it with your fingers and set aside. 

7. Now add the coconut, the boiling water and soda and mix on low speed for about a minute. The mixture will be smooth and quite thin. Run a spatula around the mixing bowl to be sure the ingredients are well mixed.

8. Take the mixture in a liquid measuring cup and fill the batter about 3/4 full in each cavity. You could also use a spoon, but pouring from the cup is easier and faster.

9. Sprinkle the crumb topping very lightly over the cakes. I find that the crumbs crisp up in my oven when the mixture is fine and sprinkled in a very thin layer. Read note below

10. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

11. Place the tins on a cooling rack and cool the cakes for 10 minutes. Unmold the cakes and place them on the cooling rack top side facing up. Cool completely before storing.

12. The cakes can be stored at room temperature for a couple of days (for a week if not for the coconut).You could also refrigerate them for a longer shelf life or freeze.

Please note: I find that the crumb topping crisps up in my oven only if it is really fine and sprinkled very lightly over the cakes. The topping will remain crisp for a while. But I loved the cakes even without the topping, in fact I prefer the cakes without the crumb topping. Do try and see what works best for you.

Do absolutely try these cakes, am sure you will love them!



DISCLAIMER:*This video contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and buy through the link, I will earn a tiny commission on the same. I recommend products which I have used and found good or products I would consider for myself based on recommendations from my trusted baker friends. There will not be any extra cost to you. This commission will help me with me costs of running the channel and bring out more videos for you. Your support will be greatly appreciated.