Friday, 31 August 2007

Pizza Flan

Just felt like tyring something new, something which we (Dad, Mom and I, we are compulsive tea drinkers) could wash down with a cup of tea. Skimming through the McDougall's Better Baking handbook, I settled for this. Mostly because Dad is an (intermittent) health freak and would any day be glad to replace any flour with wheatmeal flour in anything. Well I didn't have to do that here. The recipe itself called for wheatmeal flour.

The recipe is rather simple. For the base, rub in around 100gm fat into 200gm (I prefer more, between 250-300gm since I like a thicker crust) wheatmeal flour which has a pinch of salt int it, next add water just enough to bind the mixture into a pliable dough. Roll out according to your flan tin size (preferably around 9 inches). Blind bake, 15 minutes, maybe 20, at 150C should be fine. This makes a nice crispy crust. And if you too like a thicker crust, then don't forget to increase the other ingredients proportionally.

For the topping, heat around 6 tablespoons of oil, and according the recipe fry 1kg of sliced onions until soft, add a clove of garlic, 400gm canned tomatoes and 15ml of tomato puree. Let simmer for about 20 minutes.

According to me do no such thing. I mean atleast don't follow these proportions unless you like a strong onion flavour. As you can see, it's far too much onion. In this picture below, I have used around 700gm, and still its just too much. Though it was good, the taste of the onions dominates. Next time round am going to reduce it further to maybe around 400gm, and take an equal amount of tomatoes, if not slightly more.

Next add the seasonings, pepper and salt and a pinch of herbs. Now spread it out on the blind baked crust.

Top with some cheese, 100gms should be fine. Here I used only cheddar, again, though it was good, but I'd like to try it gooey, so next time I'll take one part mozzarella and two parts cheddar. Then put it back in the oven till the cheese melts (of course cheddar doesn't melt!).

Take a bite and wash it down with a sip o' tea!


Monday, 20 August 2007

sweet disaster...

Well I set out to make the Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie (though dunno why it says fat, its anything but), specially after reading the reviews here. And also on other blogs, the cookie looked just the way it was supposed to (Cooking for Engineers and Smitten Kitchen), you know how often things don't turn out the way the way recipes say they will! Anyway it wasn't to be that wimme. It was fat (unlike what the pictures say, though the name does suggest that) and chewy. These were my only two successes.

First the batter was too dark. Hmm.. I've decided to blame that on the too brown sugar. But that's the only one you get here!

Then it was too dry (dunno what to blame that on :() By the way, don't you think the choc drops are somewhat too much, two cups of drops for two cups flour... I ended up taking a little less than that...

And the cookies looked like this, they didn't spread the way they were supposed to during baking.

So I decided add a bit of milk (going against the recipe)...

And then the cookies looked like this... (bad picture)...

Well so it was a sweet disaster. And am lucky to have a family which doesn't mind such things as long as the outcome is tasty, which it was! I think I liked the dry batter cookies better. They were slightly crispy, along with being chewy. Though I found it a tad bit too sweet, so next time (if there is one) am going to cut down the sugars a bit!


Wednesday, 15 August 2007

spidey widey...

No, this is not some picture of some fantastic specimen of arachnids floating in some preserving liquid I took by sneaking in a camera to my biology lab! And no weekend trips to the museum either. No. This is our house and that is our dish washing soap solution! What is that spider in there doing anyway... swimming around... err... floating dead... ewe!


Sunday, 5 August 2007

Coffee & Walnut Ring

Coffee and Walnut Ring
Whitworth's Cookery Handbook

125gm (4oz) butter or margarine
175gm (6oz) dark soft brown or dark muscovado sugar
2 eggs, beaten
45ml (3 tbsp) instant coffee powder
45ml (3 tbsp) hot water
125gm (4 oz) self raising flour, sifted
40gm (1.5 oz) chopped walnuts
75ml (3 fl oz) milk

Glace Icing
5ml (1 tsp) instant coffee powder
15ml (1 tbsp) hot water
50gm (2 oz) finest icing sugar

Lightly grease a 1.25 litre (2pt) ring mould.
Cream the butter or margarine with the sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs. Mix the coffee powder and hot water and beat into the mixture.

(This is what happens to the batter when you add the hot water and coffee, it curdles big time, but doesn't lose volume)

Fold in the flour and chopped walnuts, then stir in the milk. Spoon into the prepared mould and smooth the surface.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 40 minutes, until well risen and firm to the touch. Cool slightly before carefully turning out of the mould onto a wire rack.

To make the Glace icing, mix the coffee powder with the hot water. Add to the icing sugar, mixing well. Carefully pour over the ring, allowing some icing to trickle over the side. Decorate with walnut halves.

And as you can see, instead of glace icing I used melted chocolate. I've tried both, and though am not one of those people who believe chocolate makes everything better, but chocolate definitely does make Coffee and Walnut Ring better!



of course you want to keep an eye on what goes into the oven... (sorry Aapa) :(


Wednesday, 1 August 2007

a tip and a toast!

If while creaming sugar and butter your batter appears more runny than fluffy, that is, a little like in the first picture, then, experience tells me, you should put it in the freezer for around ten minutes. After that take it out and cream as usual, the effect is quite apparent (the second picture).

Also using fresh cream, after separating the buttermilk makes a hell lot of difference to the batter, making it way lighter and giving it a lot of volume. Even after adding the eggs it remains nice and light (pictures third and fourth).

and the toast... to kenwood! Which has been in our family for the past three decades! And the only time it gave way was when Dad, curious to know what happened when you don't follow instructions, turned the knob so that it operated speed 8 when Mom was kneading dough, when the instructions clearly stated that dough should not be kneaded at a speed of more than 3! But nothing that the guys at the repairs centre couldn't fix.