Monday, 20 May 2013

Braided Cinnamon Wreath Bread

Browsing through Cucumbertown one day,I chanced upon this beautiful looking bread. It was really stunning and I felt the process of making it would definitely be complicated. I then searched for the pictorial demo for this bread and found it. And to my joy it looked pretty doable. Its really easy,in fact super easy.. Thats the upside! The downside, the bread is a bit dry,if you compare it with Cinnamon Rolls. But this one is a treat for anyones eye!


Recipe Source - Ana Maria Ciolacu from Just Love Cookin

Yield: 1 Wreath 
 2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
17gms yeast
1/8 cup melted butter
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp sugar

1/4 cup softened butter
4-5 tbsp sugar
3 tsp cinnamon

Mix the yeast and sugar with the lukewarm milk and let it sit a few minutes while the yeast bubbles and foams up.

Add the egg yolk, the melted butter, the flour and the salt, then knead the dough and shape into a ball.

Place the dough in a large, greased bowl, then cover and place in a warm space and let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).

Preheat oven to about 200 degrees. Dust your work surface with flour, and roll the dough out to a thickness of 1cm.
Picture courtesy:Ana Maria Ciolacu
Spread the melted butter across all of the dough, then sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Roll up the dough, and using a knife, cut the log in half length-wise.

Twist the two halves together, keeping the open layers exposed as described in the photo tutorial. Give a round shape, then transfer to a baking tray (buttered or covered with cookie sheet).

Top the remaining butter and sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Reduce the oven temperature to 170 degrees after 5-10 minutes to stop it burning. Top with icing sugar mixed with water if you want, just sprinkle some sugar, or eat it like this.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Classic French Madeleines

The name Madeleine is quintessentially French. And the famous Petite Madeleine is a classic French tea cake. Its been a while since I've been coming across these small cute cakes on various sites and been wanting to try them out. But the lack of Madeleine pan was keeping me back and I didnt know where to get it from in Mumbai. So the idea of making Madeleines was put in the back burner. I was in Yemen for a couple of months as thats where my parents are , and there at the Tefal store I found my Madeleine pan!!! I was ecstatic as that was an unexpected find!

The Madeleine recipe seems easy and just involves a few steps,but trust me it does involve a lot of precision and technique. I followed the recipe by Dorie Greenspan and it was as expected, flawless! The technique of combining cold and hot really worked and yielded the perfect Madeleines with the humps,crispy edges,soft spongy and super tasty! If you don't have the Madeleine pans you can use your muffin pans or the whoopie pie pans,just that getting the crispy edges would be an issue. So lets get to the recipe :-)


Recipe source -

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup castor sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons; 3 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Confectioners sugar, for dusting

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and keep close at hand.
Rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant.  
Beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed until they are pale, thick and light, 2 to 3 minutes; beat in the vanilla.  Grab a large rubber spatula and very gently fold in the dry ingredients followed by the melted butter.  Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and chill the batter for at least 3 hours or, if you have the time, overnight. 
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 190 degrees.  Butter madeleine moulds  dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess.  If you have a nonstick madeleine mold, give it a light coating of vegetable cooking spray. 

Spoon the batter into the moulds, almost tablespoon would do.  Dont spread the batter. Bake the large madeleines for 11 to 13 minutes and the minis for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the madeleines are golden and the tops spring back when touched.  Remove the pan from the oven and release the madeleines from the molds by rapping the edge of the pan against the counter.
Dust the tops with confectioners sugar and serve the sweets with tea or espresso.