Showing posts with label bakes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bakes. Show all posts

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Home-made Pizza with a Tomato Pizza sauce

About two years ago, I would never ever have considered making a pizza base at home. Whenever we wanted a home-made pizza we would buy the ready-made bases, which in retrospect just seem tasteless.

My Uncle had come to India about 2 years ago and we made one at home with pretty crazy toppings. He called it "gourmet pizza" because it did have carmelised onions, goat cheese and pumpkin (Yes, Pumpkin on a pizza tastes dee-licious). I was fascinated with how the dough grows and is practically a living thing. I am still awed.

So, when my friends came over for lunch I made pizza for them with a simple tomato sauce base and with peppers as toppings.

Pizza Base:
1 cup water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/8cup olive oil
3 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast


  • In 1/2 cup of water add the sugar and the yeast and leave for 15-20 minutes till the yeast rises completely
  • Mix the above mixture in the flour, add rest of the ingredients and add water when necessary
  • Cover with a cloth and let it rise for about an hour or two
  • bake on 220C
This recipe makes around 10 inch bases. It can be refrigerated or frozen, but has to be thawed out completely before you use it. bake till the edges become golden. Cooking time varies with every oven. 

Pizza Sauce:
1/2 cup Tomato Paste
2-3 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
4-5 finely chopped pods of garlic
2-3 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp basil
4 tbsp water

  • Heat the olive oil and add garlic and basil and saute till fragrant
  • Add the tomato paste and ketchup and water to get the desired consistency
  • Let it simmer till it cooks
The sauce it pretty versatile. If you reduce the amount of oil it can also be used for spaghetti. 

Make sure that you put in the base for 2 minutes in the oven so it rises before you all the sauce and the toppings. 

If the sauce it oily enough then you don't need to coat the base with Olive Oil (so that the sauce doesn't soak through).

Go crazy with the toppings and the sauce!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Celebration: Devil's Food cakcupcakes with an Oreo icing

After an year of studying for and dreaming about my post-graduation I have finally managed to secure admission to MICA! I was am still ecstatic and can't believe I will be moving out in around 2 months.

I knew I had to celebrate, even though I am supposed to be studying for my exams. Celebration is equivalent to baking for me, and my new muffin tray was calling out to me to be used. Also the fact that Oreos are now cheaply available here, and have caught my recent fancy, meant that I just had to bake cupcakes with something Oreo.

I decided to bake a Devil's Food cake cupcake with a Butter Cream Oreo icing.

For my cupcakes I used my trusty-never-fail-go-to-guy, Sanjeev Kapoor. Here's the recipe from his site.

The baking time for cupcakes was around 20 minutes. It really depends on your oven. They were the softest cakes i have ever had/baked. they felt like cotton when I took them out. 

A good thing about them is that, post refrigeration they get your slightly dense cupcakes consistency. Also, I think if the cakes are so soft you can go ahead and add hidden surprises in the cupcakes, like mini-oreos, chocolates, chocolate chips without altering the recipe at all. 

I made the Butter Cream Oreo Icing myself. 

As you all can see I suck at icing. I couldn't find my piping bag and any ziplock bags, so had to be content with smearing icing onto them with a spatula. 

Here is the recipe:

7 oreos (or 1 small packet)
100 grams salted or unsalted butter (I used salted)
4 tbsps of icing sugar (I am sure normal powdered sugar will do just as well)

  • Cream the butter and sugar till they are creamy and light
  • powder oreos in your mixer/food processor/beat them by hand to desired crumbliness
  • Mix Oreo and butter mix 

It really is that simple. This icing is really rich. If you want a lighter one you can add egg whites to it. 

My family and friends gobbled them up in no time. 

I also got a big envelope (they couldn't find a bag) full of assorted chocolates from my friends. I guess they know what exams do to me. 

I can't wait for the farewell parties to begin. ;)

So, what are your recent food obsessions?

P.S: A shoutout to Siddhartha for the header. I will send a lot of cupcake love your way. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sugar and Spice cookies

Studying for exams is like preparing for an impending doom. Especially when it is the Mumbai University which turns all thinking students into rote-learning answer spewing automatons. So while I study the most boring aspects of finance, I knew I just had spice up my life. 

I had this recipe stashed in my one-note (pure awesome isn't it?) folder since long. I don't know who it is by, if you recognise it drop me a line I will link back to you. 

The recipe called for brown sugar, all the stores nearby happened to run out of it at the same time, so I just substituted with normal caster sugar and added two tablespoons of maple syrup for the wetness provided by the brown sugar. You can also sub maple syrup for honey. I was supposed to use molasses, which I doubt you will get in India, so just use maple syrup or honey instead. 

Recipe for Sugar and Spice cookies, as adapted from the net

1 cup caster sugar (or brown sugar)
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup (not needed if using brown sugar)
1/2 cup butter (i used a mixture of unsalted and salted butter)
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 cups flour (maida)
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp ground cloves (or nutmeg, I used cloves)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (not needed if using salted butter)

1. Sift all the dry ingredients except the sugar
2. Beat the butter sugar and vanilla till light and fluffy 
3. beat in the egg till it is creamy
4. Beat in the dry ingredients till combined
5. Refrigerate the cookie dough after covering it for a while before rolling it out on a floured surface and then cutting it

6. Bake in a 180C oven for 15-20 mins or till the bottom of the cookies become golden in colour

Let the cookies cool before you eat them. My home is full or dough eating monsters. Cookie dough is heavenly, but don't eat too much. 

You can also sprinkle the cookies with sugar and cinnamon before baking them. You can easily make around 3 dozen cookies with this recipe. 

The cloves add the right amount of spicy hit which makes this cookie amazing. My finance blues are gone!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A lesson learnt

A belated Happy Holi to all!

Holi is essentially a North-Indian festival. We South Indians don't have any dish that we make on Holi like gujiya. So, when I came to know that we were having a family do at my grandmother's and everyone was bringing something, I decided to bake brownies. I was a bit apprehensive when My mother informed me that they had to be eggless. I shy away from eggless baking, but I gathered my courage and recipe books and decided to venture on.

The recipe I chose was from Sanjeev Kapoor's Cakes and Bakes. He has never failed me ever.

What failed me was my 2 hours spent dancing in the water under the hot sun and very tired head. So I had processing problems and when I was to beat the sugar into the chocolate and butter mixture i didn't. A tiny part of my head kept insisting I should, but the sleepy part won. So, i am sure you know what happened. for those of you who don't I have pictures.

A tiny part of me dies inside. The brownies were crumbly. They did taste good though! 

Here is a picture of what we had to eat last night. 

 Here is the menu:
Semiya bagalabhaat - that is just roasted vermicelli soaked in milk then mixed with curd and diced cucumber.
Bisibella bhaat - Made by my grandmother. It is rice cooked with yellow lentil (tur daal) and with vegetables. My personal favourite.
Apple Sheera - roasted rava cooked with lots of ghee and dry fruits.
Pav Bhaji - mashed potato with other vegetables cooked in a tomato base. Served with Indian bun
Brownies - Do i need to describe them? They were served with ice cream so weren't seen. they did taste good though.

So it was evening well spent with family and good South Indian food. So what are your favourite home dishes? And what culinary disaster's have you come across?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"life needs frosting" - Cinnabon

I love Cinnamon. I love the texture of the bark, the colour, the smell and spicy after-taste, in short everything.

I secretly wish my future boyfriend smells of cinnamon, because the last time I baked a Cinnamon cake, I didn't wash my hands well because I loved the lingering smell of Cinnamon. So one can only imagine what will happen if I come across someone who actually does smell of cinnamon.

So now that everyone knows how loco I am about Cinnamon, I just lost it when I saw Cinnabon on the way to our PUKAR meeting. On our way back I made the autowallah stop while I went in and bought my very first Cinnamon roll from the very famous Cinnabon. 

I have had Cinnamon buns before. But at Theos (Theobroma) there wasn't any frosting (I know!) and I had heard so much about Cinnabon. So, I was very excited when she went all happy on the frosting.

Source: internet. For representational purposes only.

I wasn't let down at all. It wasn't overtly sweet. It was very spicy at times. So yes, it was perfect!

Now all I need is that cinnamon perfume I have been looking for and a guy who smells of Cinnamon.

So what spice or smell of food turns you on the most?

Friday, February 18, 2011

I read, I bake!

I am a recipe book whore! There I said it.

I know that someday, when I have the money, I will own a huge recipe book collection. I cook from them often. There is no denying that, but some of them just speak to you. Some appeal to you with their pictures and some with some never-fail recipes.

These are my go-to for when I bake:

The first from L-R is Great Cakes by Womans day and White wings. The book starts with familiarising you with the equipment, then teaching you how to do make some frosting and cake decorations. The cakes are divided by category into classic, seasonal, novelty etc. Most of the recipes call for the use of White Wings self raising flour, but the regular ones you get at any store would do. I must confess I have never used any recipes from this book, no particular reason, but it has the prettiest pictures. No book with pretty picture of cakes can be bad right?

The next sans it's red cover is Favourite Cake Recipes by Family Circle. I couldn't find this book for over two years and I thought I had lost it forever. The first cake I baked was from this, chocolate fudge cake, I remember how sinfully awesome it was and how Aditi and I had distributed it to everyone in the society for Christmas. Sigh!

The third and a birthday gift is Sanjeev Kapoor's Cakes and Bakes everyone in India knows of this always smiling and amazing chef who taught India how to cook with Khana Khazana. His recipes are fail-proof! Just follow them to the T and even if you think you have screwed up (unless you have forgotten to add something crucial like flour) his cakes will always, always turn out to be amazing. It also helps that there is a smiley at the bottom of every recipe stating the difficulty level - Easy, Moderate and Hard.

I do have a list of book I would love to have. Nigella tops the list. Her book is like a person, breathing, alive and even though a lot of her recipes have meat, I love the way she writes.