Saturday, June 29, 2013

Baked Yeasted Doughnuts/Donuts

Yes there is something about doughnuts or as they call it Donuts…..soft spongy melt  in  the mouth amazing donuts…topped with chocolate or sprinkled with fine sugar ,baked or fried…..there is something about all of em


My husband will vouch for that…..for somebody who is not a food freak, rather for somebody who generally hates eating….he makes an exception with donuts. ok lets put it like that-he is also a doughnut lover.

 I got a chance to bake my donuts this time…thanks to Aparna’s We knead to bake-6.The donuts turned out well …..maybe not as soft as fried donuts….but good enough. But like most people I lov the fried doughnuts I made earlier, better.

Well donuts can be served as a tea time snack, for a bday party ,when friends meet or for a family get together…may be for no reason at all….just to munch a way…a perfect muncher’s delight.

Kids love them…. My son Aniket loved them too…well and that’s going to an excuse to bake some doughnuts again and again .Ready for the recipe…here goes-


Superfine sugar-1/4 cup
Warm Milk-1 cup(45c/115F)
Instant  yeast-3/4 tbsp(1 tbsp active dry  yeast)
Salt-1/2 tsp
Vanilla essence-2 tspcut into 1 inch cubes.
Cake flour- 1 cup (or 1tbsp cornstarch + enough all-purpose flour to make up to 1 cup)
All-purpose flour-1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups(1 cup initially and between  1 -11/2cup later  to be used only as required)
Butter-100gm  cut into 1 inch cubes


Using a processor to knead helps but you can do this by hand.Put the sugar, milk, yeast, salt and vanilla in the processor bowl and pulse to mix well. Add the cake flour and 1 cup of all-purpose flour and process, adding a little more of the flour as necessary till the dough is thick and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Now add the butter pieces one at a time and process till there no large chunks of butter are left in the bottom of the bowl. Now add a little more flour until you have a soft, pliable and elastic dough that is most but not overly sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently until the dough no longer sticks to your hands. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased large mixing bowl., turning it to coat well. Cover with a damp towel and let it rise till double in volume. This should take about an hour.

Punch down the dough and roll out to a thickness of 1/2" thickness. Cut out doughnuts using a doughnut cutter or whatever you have on hand to cut out 3” diameter with 1” diameter holes. If you’re making doughnuts to fill with jam, then do not cut out the holes. Place the doughnuts and the holes on parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheets, leaving at least 1” space between them.

Re-roll the scraps and cut out more doughnuts. I used the last left over scraps of dough by pinching of bits, rolling them into balls and baking them too. 

Let them rise for about 20 minutes or till almost double in size and then bake them at 200C (400F) for about 5 to 10 minutes till they’re done and golden brown. Do not over bake them.

This recipe makes about 12 to 14 doughnuts and holes.

Take them out of the oven and immediately brush them with the melted butter and then dip  them into the cinnamon sugar mixture. If filling the doughnuts with jam, let them cool.
Put the jam into a piping bag with a writing nozzle/ tip and press into the doughnut from the side and gently press out the jam into the doughnut till it starts oozing out. Jam doughnuts do not  need too much jam to fill them.

If glazing your doughnuts, let them cool completely and then dip one side of the doughnut in the glaze of your choice and let it set.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Torcettini Di St Vincent

 I finally decided to make the Torcettini today. Something I have wanted to make for a long long time Last three months were full of travel. Whatever I wanted to make I never got to make and my to do list piled up….but finally here I am ready to bake my Torcettini. Actually  torcettini project was a part of the We Knead to Bake March task…..A bread baking group started by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen. But I couldn’t keep to the time lines this time. I was supposed to make this post in March….But better late than never.

Like how Aparna mentions : They are yeasted dough cookies crunchy on the outside and have a somewhat bread-like texture on the inside. Torcettini are smaller versions of Torcetti (meaning small twists) and these pear/ teardrop shaped twists are made of a dough of flour, yeast and butter which are shaped and then rolled in sugar before being baked. Traditionally these biscuits/ cookies are shaped by rolling out bits of dough into “ropes” and then pinching the ends together to form a “teardrop” shape. These are shaped by crossing the rope of dough near the ends to pretty looking twists.

These biscuits/ cookies are synonymous with the town of Saint Vincent in Valle d'Aosta, a small mountainous region in North-Western Italy, even though they’re well known throughout the Piedmont region as well.

A detailed recipe is given below-:
Warm water-1/2 cup (45C/110F)
Active dry yeast-1 ¼ tsp or 1 tsp instant yeast
All purpose flour-1 ½ cup
Lemon zest/lime/ crushed anise seed -1 tsp 
Cold unsalted butter-40 gms plus 21/2 tbsp cut into small pieces
Granulated sugar-1/3 cup for rolling the cookies

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, in a small bowl and keep aside.
Put the flour and the salt in the food processor bowl (or a largish regular bowl if kneading by hand) and pulse a couple of times to mix. Add the butter . pieces and pulse until the butter is well mixed and the flour-butter mixture looks powdery.

Add the yeast-water mixture and pulse till it all comes together as a ball. Do not over process or knead. Place the ball of dough in an oiled bowl, turning it so it is well coated with the oil. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise quite a bit. This dough does not really double in volume, but it should look “puffy” after about an hour or so. When you pinch off a bit from the top you can see the interior looking a bit like honeycomb. Press down the dough and deflate. it, wrap it in cling warp and refrigerate it for at least one hour or up to 24 hours.

When ready to make the cookies, take the dough out and lightly roll it out into an approximately 6” square. If the dough feels sticky, scatter a little  sugar on it. Using a pizza wheel cut the dough into four strips of equal width. Cut each strip into 6 equal pieces, by cutting across, making a total of 24 pieces. The measurements are not very critical in this part because this just makes it easier to have 24 equal sized bits of dough, as compared to pinching of bits of the dough.

Roll each piece into a pencil thick “rope” about 5” long. Sprinkle a little sugar on your work surface and roll the “rope” in it so the sugar crusts the dough uniformly. Form the “rope” into a loop crossing it over before the ends.

Place the Torcettini on parchment lined baking sheets, leaving 1 1/2" between them. Leave them for about 20 minutes or so till they rise/ puff up slightly. They will not “puff up” much, like bread, but the “puff” will be visible.

Bake them at 160C (325F) for about 25 minutes till they’re a nice golden brown. Cool the cookies completely, on a rack. Store them in an air-tight container at room temperature.. This recipe makes 24 cookies.

Some tips

For a variation on these biscuits, you can make them chocolate flavoured.  If making chocolate Torcettini, remove 2 tbsp all-purpose flour and add 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder.  Also add 2 tbsp powdered sugar and replace the lemon zest with orange zest while making the dough.

Once your Torcettini have been shaped, don’t let them rise for longer than 20 minutes. If you do, your Torcettini will more bread-like on the inside due to the extra “rise”.
To make sure the Torcettini dough does not rise for more than 20 minutes, it’s a good idea to work on shaping the 2nd batch while the first batch is in the oven.

 If you do not want to use parchment paper, you can grease you cookie sheets and place the shaped Torcettini dough on them directly. Just remember to take them off the sheets while they’re still hot. You will need a spatula to the dislodge them, and do so carefully so they don’t break. Once they’re cool, the caramelised sugar on the Torcettini make them stick to cookie sheets and they become difficult to dislodge without breaking them

Monday, June 10, 2013

Cream Au Caramel-Caramel Pudding

This dessert tasted like a very creamy version of butterscotch icecream to my Mom and she loved it…To my surprise. May be because of the taste of caramelized sugar she says. You see my mom dislikes milk and milk related dishes. So it came as a surprise when she tasted my newly made dessert and a smile flashed across her face… I was overjoyed when she tagged the milky dessert ‘’nice’’

Well like how my mom said it’s the taste of caramelized sugar that gives this dish its unique rich taste. You can even caramelize some cashewnuts into praline and add it to the dessert to enhance its flavour.

While my mother and I tasted our first scoop of the dessert Aniket was busy with something else. When he realised we were happily tasting something in his absence he tiptoed to my side and tugged at my dress. I fed him a little of the caramel pudding and there u go again….when I  saw the glee on his face I knew one more Caramel pudding fan will be added to the list-LIL Aniket.

Another wonderful dessert for you then. Yes by the end of the day we had our fill of the dessert. I'm not going to save it for tomorrow also. Never mind I told myself. I’m making some more again tomorrow.

Inspired by: Cook eat and Move Fast

Milk-1 ½ cups
Cream-1/2 cup
White chocholate-100gms
Corn starch-25 gms
Sugar-40 gms
Butter-30 gms


Chop white chocolate and melt it.

Dissolve corn starch in 3 tbsp of milk and keep aside .Make sure there are no lumps

In a non-stick pan add sugar and sprinkle a few drops of water over it. Cook over low - medium heat stirring continuously till it becomes golden brown and caramelizes.

Switch off flame. Add butter and mix well.

Switch on the flame and pour milk over the caramelized sugar and boil at medium flame/heat.

Caramelized sugar crystallizes but will eventually melt with the heat, so keeps stirring till it dissolves in the milk completely.

Add corn flour milk mixture to the above and cook till it thickens. Keep stirring.

In the meantime melt the chocolate and add mix it to the milk sugar corn flour mixture.

Take off flame and mix till chocolate dissolves completely.

Add cream and whip lightly.

Refrigerate for 2 hrs at least.

Serve cold