Battenberg Cake – Daring Bakers July 2013

Battenberg Cake

If you are a given a chance to go back in time and do something you wanted to do, what would you do? With lots of tempting options, its difficult to choose one thing.

So when this month’s Daring Bakers’ challenge was to choose a recipe from DB archives, I searched high and low in the recipe section, but I knew from the beginning that its going to be the Battenberg Cake hosted by Mandy of What the Fruit Cake?!

Blog Checking Lines: In a “celebration” of past Daring Baker and Daring Cook challenges, Lisa challenged all of us to search through the Daring Kitchen archives and pick any one we’d like! The REAL challenge was picking which delicious recipe(s) to try!

I also tried the Decorated Sugar Cookies recipe, but the pictures aren’t that great to share here. The cookies were quite good, though :)

Battenberg Cake

 

This post is just going to be pictures, the recipe can be found here in this link.

Battenberg Cake

Things I learnt:

  • Cool the cake before you cut it. You get cleaner pieces. You can see the difference in the top two pictures.
  • I left the cake in the oven and went to pick my son from school. All unattended bakes at my place has been disasters and this one was no exception. The top was totally cracked by the time (I baked it at a higher temperature, didn’t check it :D) I was back and honestly I was considering making cake pops by crumbling the whole cake instead of going ahead with this recipe.Still I gave this a try and I am so glad I did!! This was a small cake in comparison to the original cake as I had to chop off quite a bit from the top to remove the cracked portion. 
  • I thought the cake looked dry initially, but it wasn’t. This truly is a keeper recipe.

Battenberg Cake

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Eggless Gingerbread Cookies and Chocolate Sable Cookies – DB Nov ’12

 

November 2012 Daring baker challenge was hosted by Peta of Peta Eats . Holiday season is the time for sharing and Peta shared a dozen cookies, some classics and some of her own, from all over the world with us.

Check out the challenge recipe here at The Daring Kitchen.

And here I am, posting the recipe four days late. I made the Gingerbread cookies, Double Chocolate Sables  and Pinwheel Cookies on 27th. But I couldn’t post them on time.

I baked these cookies along with a friend as a gift for a birthday party. It all came out really nice. The pin wheel cookies are from the book ‘The Essential Baking Cookbook’

 

The gingerbread cookie dough turned out to be a bit tricky and I was not able to cut it into any shape. I think I rolled the dough too thin. Anyway, I didn’t waste much time worrying about the shape, I made small balls out of the dough and flattened them with the bottom of a glass. My son wanted to add a design and he came up with the lines with the fork.

They tasted good, so I am happy :)

Eggless Gingerbread Cookies

Recipe Source: Art of Dessert

Ingredients:

  • Flour                                    :  2 1/2 cups
  • Ground Cinnamon            :  2 tsp (you can a tsp add more if you like)
  • Ground Ginger                   :  2 tbsp
  • Baking soda                        :  3/4 tsp
  • Butter                                   :  1/2 cup ( I used 100 gms)
  • Sugar                                   :    3/4 cup
  • Milk                                     :    1/4 cup
  • Honey                                  :   4 tbsp.

Method:

  1. Add the butter, milk, sugar and honey in a pan. Heat this in low heat till the butter is melted completely and the sugar is dissolved. Keep aside and let it cool down.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients (Flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, baking soda). Add it to the melted butter mix. Mix until combined. If the dough is very wet and sticky, add a bit more of flour, but not too much.
  3. Flatten the dough a bit between two sheets of parchment paper. Transfer to a baking tray and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
  4. The dough might get sticky at room temp., so take it out in batches from the fridge.
  5. When ready to make cookies, preheat the oven to 200 C/400F. Roll the dough between two parchment papers until its 1/4″ thick. Cut out shapes (or just make round shapes like I did and crisscross with a fork.
  6. Transfer to a baking tray, leaving a little space between the cookies so that they don’t fuse together while baking.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden.

The double chocolate sable cookies were really nice. They tasted better the next day than right out of the oven. I skipped the egg yolk in the recipe and added about two tablespoon of milk to moisten the dough. So crispy, so crunchy and so yummy – I will be making these again :)

Double Chocolate Sable Cookies

Recipe Source: Food Network

Ingredients:

  • Bittersweet chocolate       :   3 ounces (about 90gms), frozen for 10 minutes
  • Flour                                    :   1 1/4 cups
  • Cocoa powder                    :   1/3 cup
  • Baking soda                        :   1/4 tsp
  • Salt                                       :   1/4 tsp
  • Butter (unsalted)              :  11 tbsp. (about 150 gm), softened
  • Sugar                                   :  1 cup
  • Egg yolk (large)                 :  1

Method:

  1. Grate the chocolate and keep aside. In a big bowl, mix the dry ingredients(flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt).
  2. Using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until just combined. Add the yolk, beat again. Add the flour mix to the butter mix and beat until just combined. Don’t over mix.
  3. Fold the  grated chocolate to this with a spatula and bring the dough together with your hands. Again don’t overwork the dough.
  4. Divide the dough into two. Lay the dough in a parchment paper and shape it into a log. You can roll the paper around the log and refrigerate for at least one hour. Repeat for the other piece of dough. The dough can be frozen at this stage for about 2 weeks.
  5. If you keep the dough logs in an empty towel roll, it will maintain its shape, else it might flatten a bit on the base. I use a long round cookie box or a tall stainless steel vessel for keeping the log, instead of a towel roll.
  6. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
  7. Slice the chilled logs into 1/2″ thick cookies. Place them in the baking trays leaving about an inch between the cookies. Chill them again in the fridge for 15 – 20 minutes.
  8. Bake them for about 12 – 15 minutes, until set on the outside. Take out and let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.

I have made this refrigerator mocha-cocoa spiral cookies many times. This time we rolled them from the wrong side and the dough log was too thick by mistake. We got bigger cookies and lesser numbers. But then, who is complaining? They tasted absolutely great!

I always end up with some burnt cookies in the first batch. That is because  I am not sure about the time or will be busy getting the next batch ready that I will forget about the batch in the oven. This time too, the tradition was upheld, but thankfully the numbers were minimal :D

I will update the recipes here later. This is the click of the gift hamper.

Check out some of the cookie recipes in this space :

Thanks Peta for a fun challenge :) I loved baking these cookies. I am planning to try some of the other recipes later!

Grrr…Where is the Tiger? DB Mar 2012 Challenge

This is it! I am quitting bread making – officially! And this time I mean it, not like the past hundred times when I quit and  the yeast beckoned me back.

I have tried and tried and tried, but every single time I bake bread, I break my teeth.

I follow the steps meticulously. Yeast is given as much of care as to a new born. Once the yeast bubbles up, I knead the dough, I let it rise and all this happens as it should. But once I bake them, the result is always the same. Rock hard buns (or bread). Sigh…

If you are smiling at this abysmal failure of mine, be warned. I have a weapon with me – yes, these can double up as great self defense products. One throw with this bread and it might do you some serious injury!!

Sara and Erica of Baking JDs were our March 2012 Daring Baker hostesses! Sara & Erica challenged us to make Dutch Crunch bread, a delicious sandwich bread with a unique, crunchy topping. Sara and Erica also challenged us to create a one of a kind sandwich with our bread!

I really wish I could have completed the challenge the way it was meant to be! Soft, white rolls with beautiful tiger/giraffe patterns. Hell, I would have settled even for a pattern of a hare! But this is what I got and after thinking over whether I should post this or not, I decided to go ahead and let the world know about ‘How NOT to make (Tiger) Bread’.

Check out the Daring Kitchen for real tiger, giraffe and even a cute turtle shell pattern.

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Quick Breads – DB Feb 2012 Challenge

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

Here is my take for this month – savory Pizza Muffins which hubby loved a lot and a sweet Papaya bread which had me sniffing around the oven, waiting for the bread to finish baking.

Of course, all this happened on 27th evening and the bread got finished baking at around 10.30 PM. But at least, I had the satisfaction of finishing the challenge on time, though posting it in the blog is a different matter.

The pizza muffins were soft, fluffy and just perfect. I wish I had  made some pizza sauce to dunk these, but hubby was happy with ketch up itself. Though they are called Pizza Muffins, they don’t taste like pizza (not without the sauce anyway), but they were good and they got over in a matter of minutes.

Ingredients:

  • Onion                                 :        1 medium, chopped fine
  • Tomatoes                         :        1-2, chopped
  • Capsicum                         :        1 small, chopped
  • AP Flour                           :        2 cups
  • Cheese                               :        1 cup
  • Salt                                      :        1/2 tsp
  • Baking Powder               :        1 tbsp
  • Dried Italian Herbs      :        1 tsp
  • Olive Oil                            :        1 -2 tbsp
  • Egg                                      :        1, beaten
  • Water                                 :        1 cup

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C. Grease a 12 cup muffin tray.
  2. Finely chop the onions, tomatoes and capsicum. I added 1 tbsp of fresh fenugreek leaves too.
  3. Fry onion and capsicum till they are a bit soft. Take of the heat, add tomatoes, salt and herbs.
  4. Mix flour, baking powder and whisk. Add the cheese, veggies, egg and one cup of water. Mix everything until just combined.
  5. Spoon into the muffin pan and bake for about 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Serve with pizza sauce or ketch up.

The papaya bread tasted very much like a banana bread, I couldn’t taste or smell papaya in it. I loved it a lot and so did my son. It was more like a sweet cake than a bread. Thanks Janet for sharing this wonderful recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Sugar                               :       1 cup
  • Butter                              :       1/4 cup (I had only about 50 gms)
  • Eggs                                  :       2
  • Mashed Papaya           :       1 1/2 cups ( 3/4 th of a small papaya)
  • Walnuts                           :      1/4 cup
  • Raisins                             :      1/2 cup
  • AP Flour                         :      1 1/2 cups
  • Baking Powder             :      1/4 tsp
  • Baking Soda                   :      1 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon Powder      :      1/2 tsp
  • Ground Ginger             :      1/2 tsp
  • All Spice Powder         :      1/2 tsp
  • Salt                                    :      1/4 tsp

Method: 

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F/160C. Grease a loaf pan.
  2. Cream sugar and butter together, I used a wooden spoon for this. Add the eggs and beat until fluffy. Add the mashed papaya and mix.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a separate bowl and whisk together. Add the raisins and walnuts to this and mix.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet and mix until everything is combined and there aren’t any dry lumps.
  5.  Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for an hour and ten minutes or until a skewer comes clean. I would suggest keeping an eye on the bread after it reaches the 50 minute mark.
  6. Slice and serve. Warm or cold, they taste fantastic.

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