Thursday, September 26, 2013

No Bake - Eggless Pineapple (Marie Biscuit ) pudding - Step by step - Celebrating my Blog's, third year anniversary !!!

 Today , " Savitha's Kitchen " is officially entering into its fourth year of blogging. I am happy to share this with all my friends, fellow bloggers and all my well wishers. Today I am going to share a very easy dessert "Pineapple ( Biscuit )  pudding ". Here, pineapple is preserved with sugar.I have shown how to prepare pineapple preserve in my previous post.Check the recipe here. It is added into whipped cream and spread it on biscuit layer.Its a quite easy pudding, but it will make our guests so happy. I bookmarked this at Cooking Easy 's   blog  2 years ago. Now only had a chance to post it. 
1.Marie biscuits          -        14 -16 pieces
2.Whipping cream      -        1 cup
3.Pineapple preserve -       1 cup
4.Chocolate shavings  -        1 tbsp.
5.Milk                          -        1/2 cup
6.Sugar                         -        1 tbsp

Servings                  : 6 - 8
Preparation time      : 15 - 20 minutes
Setting time             :  4 hours approx.

Method :
 Place a mixing bowl and whisk attachment of a hand mixer in the freezer for 20 minutes. This way, cream can be whipped safely. After 20 minutes, add 1 tbsp. of sugar whip the cream till stiff peaks. Place the whipped cream in the refrigerator, untill it is needed. When we are ready to assemble the pudding,mix the pineapple preserve with the whipped cream using a spoon. Reserve some pineapple pieces from the preserve for garnishing.

Take milk in a bowl. Select a pan ,it can be a circle or a square one. Take the marie biscuits and dip them in  milk. Arrange the biscuits in the pan. If we have some gaps, just fill it by breaking the biscuit into halves.
Scoop the pineapple preserve ,whipped cream mixture on the biscuit layer. 
Spread the mixture evenly on the biscuit layer. This way all the gaps will be filled between the biscuits. 
Again dip the bisuits in milk and arrange on top of the whipped cream , pineapple preserve mixture for a second layer.
Again spread the  pineapple mixture. Fill all the gaps properly.
Garnish the pudding with the pineapple pieces, which were taken from the preserve. If you want to make it colourfull, sprinkle some chocolate shavings. Cover the pudding using a cling wrap and refrigerate for atleast 4 hours. I refrigerated it over night. When you want to serve, take it out from the fridge, slice it using a knife and serve. We can also wet the knife, and slice it ,this way we will have a clean slice.
* We can also use an egg in the pudding for a stiffer consistency. Just whisk the egg and add it with the whipped cream and pineapple preserve.
* Adjust the sugar according to the sweetness of the pineapple.
* If we whip the cream more, then it will become flat. So whip it till stiff peak.
* We can also use some other biscuit like digestive biscuits. But I prefer marie for its texture.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Kumbakonam Degree Coffee - Filter Coffee - கும்பகோணம் டிகிரி காபி - step by step

          Kumbakonam is famous for its brass vessels, Music, Kadappa ,Temples and Filter coffee . My H and me are coffee lovers. We strongly believe that that one cup of coffee makes our day brighter and gives a kick start to it. During our visit to India , we tasted Kumbakonam degree coffee in one of  the shops on the highway ,between "Chengalpet" and "Tambaram".( FYI , there are so many shops named "Kumbakonam degree coffee" in that highway. But I don't think all the shops provide quality coffee. This shop in particular gave us quality coffee. Sorry I forgot the name of the shop. ) The coffee was so aromatic and flavourfull, I couldn't resist myself from asking the lady at the shop ,about the speciality. She happily showed her boilers and told the secret.
        She told me two main reasons. One is high quality coffee powder ,which is less in chicory. They said, that they mill their own coffee powder in the milling machine. Also she said that when we grind 100 gm of coffee bean, we should get atleast 80 gm coffee powder , then its the high quality coffee bean. The second main thing is the fresh milk. She was telling that they have their own cows too. They boil the milk and heat it on a double boiler ,this way the milk will remain hot and also it won't get burnt at the bottom. Also they serve "kumbakonam degree coffee" only in brass "dabara tamblar". I loved the coffee ,so made my mind to grab all the ingredients to make a post out of it. and here is the detailed post about kumbakonam degree coffee.
1.Filter coffee powder (Narasus )  -  3 tsp
2.Hot water                                    -   3/4 cup
3.Whole milk                                 -   2 cups
4.Sugar                                           -   2 tsp or as required
* The first step involves preparing the decotion . There are several ways in preparing the decotion. We can either prepare the decotion in the early morning and use it for our morning coffee. It needs atleast half an hour for the decotion to completely collect in the cup. To make it simple, I prepared the decotion ,the night before.Because, I want my coffee in the early hours like 5.45 a.m. The coffee filter has two compartments, in the upper compartment, add the coffee powder . I always prefer Narasus coffee. But if you don't get that,you can also try good quality coffee powders ,with less chicory.
* Mean while ,heat a cup of water in the microwave for 2 minutes.We can also boil the water on a stove top and pour it in the coffee powder. Pour it in small quantities. I took me about 3/4 cup of water to get a thick decotion ,which can make up to 3 coffees.
* Just use a spoon to press the coffee powder,so that the hot water enters in. Close the coffee filter and keep it aside .It just need half an hour for the coffee to come out of the filter . Because the pores in the coffee filter are so minute.
* Now take a pan or bowl and add milk to it. Bring it to boil. Don't leave the milk unattended, then the milk will be  burnt at the bottom. I prefer to have whole milk for a thick coffee. But you can also use 2 % or fat free. Though you can heat the milk in microwave, but for filter coffee, I strongly suggest boil the milk on a stove top. This gives that unique taste to the coffee.
* Now take a bigger bowl of water. Place it on the stove top . Now place the milk pot inside the bowl of water .This gives a double boiler effect. From now on the milk will be heated at low ,till you are ready to make the coffee. Close the bowl with a lid. This way, the milk will not be burnt at the bottom and it still remains hot. If you want,you can can heat the coffee decotion this way. But I didn't do that .
Here is our aromatic coffee decotion ready for our coffee. Don't discard the coffee powder in the upper compartment. We can use that for brewing second  degree decotion.

* But I don't prefer using the second degree decotion for my coffee, as it won't be that thick and flavourfull. Some would prefer mixing both ,first and second degree decotion. Its upto our taste.

* Now take a dabara or a mixing bowl, add sugar according to our taste. 
* Pour the required amount of decotion into the dabara .I prefer to have a strong coffee ,so I have poured a bit larger quantity.
* Now , pour the boiled milk to the decotion. Froth it well .Since we have boiled the milk on a stove top,so it will not become cool, while frothing.

Now our flavourfull and aromatic Kumbakonam degree coffee is ready to be served !!! 

* Always use first degree coffee decotion for a good coffee.
* Always use fresh milk, which is boiled well on a stove top.
* Some also heat the coffee decotion on a double boiler and pour fresh cow's milk without heating.
But I don't prefer that way, as the bacteria's in the milk has to be killed for our safety.
* If you think that the coffee decotion is too thin, then just pour the decotion back to the upper compartment for the second brewing.
* Use fresh coffee powders ,which are sealed well. If the coffee powder looses its aroma ,then our coffee will not be aromatic.
Sending  this to "Tamizhar Samayal Tuesday "

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Easy Pineapple Preserve - step by step

 I had some pineapple chunks sitting on my counter. I was thinking  of some recipes to finish those chunks. Suddenly this recipe, which I saw  in Nisa Homey's Cooking is easy blog ,flashed for a second. I saw this recipe two years back. So prepared "No bake pineapple pudding " using this pineapple preserve as a layer. This pineapple preserve can also be used as spread for bread. We can prepare this pineapple preserve and refrigerate it. We can use it whenever we need. Linking this recipe to  Priya's Versatile Recipe's event ,"Lets brunch on sundays "
Ingredients :
1.Pineapple pieces                 -           1 cup
2.Sugar                                   -           1/2 cup
Chop the pineapple and take the skin away. Chop it into fine pieces. Take a bowl,add the pineapple pieces and sugar and let it rest in the counter for atleast an hour. This way ,sugar gets blended with the pineapple pieces and pineapple will let out its juices.  

Now transfer the pineapple pieces ,with its juices to another pan . Let it get cooked in medium flame. The mixture will become thick .
 After few minutes, the mixture will be sticky and when we take it with our fingures, it will almost form a string .This is the right consistency. Turn off the flame and let it get cooled completely.Store in airtight container and refrigerate.

* Add sugar according to the sweetness of the pineapple. Mine was too sugary, so reduced the amount of sugar here.Becoz my pineapple was too sweet.
* Don't cook the pineapple to mushy.It should be thick, but still has to hold its shape.
* We can add some vanilla essence to this at last.
* This preserve can be kept in fridge for almost 15 days. We can use this as a spread for bread also.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tirunelveli Sodhi / திருநெல்வேலி சொதி - A traditional Tirunelveli curry- Step by step

 This is one of the dishes,which I enjoyed during my vacation at Tirunelveli. We have a cook ,who's name is "Murugan Anna". He is very talented and passionate cook. He was taking care of us very well. Rohith and Ashwath will always run around him and pesture him to prepare juice,food etc. He will always treat us royally.Whatever it is, he will always do the job religiously and do it professionally. He taught me this traditional dish of  "Tirunelveli". It is also called " Mapillai Sodhi", as it is served for marriage occasions. Sodhi goes very well with ginger thuvayal and potato curry (Urulai kaara kari) . I would also like to thank "Vanraj " anna for helping me to take pictures . Lovely peopleto be  around.


For the curry :
1. Moong dal                -      1/4 cup
2.Carrot                        -       1
3.Potato                        -        1(big)
4.Drumstick                 -        1
5.Beans                        -       5
5.a.Tomato                   -         1 (chopped)
6.First Coconut milk    -     1 cup
7.Second coconut milk - 1 1/2 cup
8.Salt                             -    to taste
For grinding:
1.Green chillies         -       3
2.Cumin seeds           -       1 tsp
For tempering:
1.Oil                         -        2 tsp
2.Mustard seeds       -        1/2 tsp
3.Cumin seeds         -         1/2 tsp
4.Curry leaves         -         a hand full
Wash and cut the veges as in the picture.Take coconut milk and keep in separate bowls. Take a pan, add washed moon dal and second coconut milk . Let the moong dal cook in medium flame, till it is mushy. Always use less moong dal ,as its just used to thicken the curry. Now add the veges in the pan and let it cook well.

After 5 - 10 minutes, all the veges would have cooked. Now add cubed tomato.Let the tomatoes get cooked.Meamwhile , take green chilly and cumin seeds in a blender and grind it well.

After the veges are cooked,dump in the grinded masala into the curry. Let the raw smell of the green chillies get eliminated. Adjust salt to taste.Now turn off the stove . Pour the first coconut milk into the curry .
Finally, take another pan,add oil and temper with mustard seeds,cumin seeds and curry leaves. Pour the tempering into the curry. Have it with steamed hot rice.
The curry will be bit runny only.But it is so flavourfull.Don't add first coconut milk, when the stove is on, if not the coconut milk will curdle. Moong dal ,has to be added very little.We can add veges of our choice, but traditionally, these are veges, which are used in the curry. We can alter the amount of green chillies according to our taste.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Kronuts - A combination of doughnuts and croissants - Baking Partner's Challenge

      When Swathi of "Zesty South Indian Kitchen" announced this month's challenge, I was so impressed with the recipe. Actually these kronuts was first introduced by "Cronut 101 " bakery in NY. People used to stand in big queue to have a bite.This is a cross over product of croissants and doughnuts. The use of pastry sheet and yeast is the result of these beautiful kronuts. These kronuts are prepared in 3 days. The first day , the dough is prepared.T he second day butter is incorporated in the dough. And the final day it is punched out and fried. The kronuts are then tossed in cinnamon sugar blend ,frosted with chocolate glaze and then filled with pastry cream. The process is bit lengthy ,but the outcome is so yumm.
 Recipe source  : Bootleg `cronut

Yield : 16 kronuts
For the dough:
1.All purpose flour - 510g / 3.75 cups ( more for dusting the work table)
2.salt                      -7g / 1teaspoon
3.sugar                   - 100g / 1/2cup
4.milk                      -150g /1/2 cup+2 tablespoon
5.Rapid rise yeast   - 1 packet / active dry yeast/ instant yeast/ 2 ¼ teaspoon
6.jumbo eggs          -  2 (If you are using large eggs use 3)
7.Unsalted butter     -  50g / 3.5 tablespoon

For butter layer :
1.unsalted butter 295g/1 1/4cup+1/2 tablespoon (2 sticks and little more than a ½ stick) (if you can find European style butter like plugra that will be good)

For frying :
1.Canola oil  -  2-4 cup
2.Water         - 200 g for brushing on the top
3.Cinnamon sugar - (400g sugar and 100 g cinnamon)
For the Pastry cream
  1. Whole milk       - 3 cups
  2. Sugar              -  1/2 cup
  3. Salt                   -   1/4 teaspoon
  4. vanilla extract   -   2 teaspoons or Vanilla Crush; or 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise
  5. Cornstarch      -   1/4 cup
  6. King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour  - 1 tablespoon 
  7.  Egg yolks       -  4 large
  8.  Butter               -  1/4 cup (1/2 stick)
  9.  Heavy cream   -   1 cup  whipped to soft peaks

For chocolate glaze:
 1.semisweet chocolate chips - 1/2 cup
 2. butter                                   -  2 tablespoons
 3. light corn syrup                    - 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon
 4.vanilla extract                        - 1/4 teaspoon

The process is carried out over three days. irst day,we are preparing the dough, second day ,we incorporate the butter and third day the kronuts are fried.First day,start the process in the evening.Bring the eggs and  butter to room temperature. Take a microwave safe bowl, add milk and heat it for 30 seconds.Now add the butter to the milk.This way the butter is melted in the milk.Take a mixing bowl ,add flour,salt,rapid rise yeast and sugar.Mix them well.Now add the eggs( it shold be whisked)  to the mixing bowl.Now slowly add the milk- butter mixture to the mixing bowl.Start kneading the dough.At first,the dough will be sticky ( don't try to add anything like flour or oil now).Knead for atleast 15 minutes, by now the butter will be incorporated in the the dough and it will not be sticky now.It will be shiny. 
Now transfer the dough to a greased bowl and cover it with a cling wrap.Slit the cling wrap in the middle for the dough to breath.Let it rise for an hour in a warm place. Now it would have doubled in size. Refrigerate the dough covered overnight.

Second day :
 Now its time to prepare the pastry cream. In a pan, add 2 1/2 cups of  milk,sugar and salt.Bring it to simmer over medium heat untill the sugar is dissolved.In a separate bowl,add remaining 1/2 cup milk,cornstorch,flour and egg yolks.Whisk them to get a smooth batter.Now add some hot milk mixture to the bowl and mix it well.This prevents the egg from scraambling.Pour the egg mixture back to the simmering milk.Constantly stir ,untill it thickens like custard.Add vanilla extract to the mix.

Now grase a cling wrap with butter and cover the surface of the custard .This way ,the skin is not formed.Cool it completely.Now whisk the heavy cream to soft peak and whisk it to the cooled custard mixture.Now our pastry cream is ready for filling.We can keep it refrigerated,untill needed.
Preparing the butter layer:
The next day, cut the cold butter 295g lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slabs. Arrange the pieces on a piece of parchment or waxed paper to form a 5- to 6-inch square, cutting the butter crosswise as necessary to fit. Top with another piece of parchment or waxed paper. With a rolling pin, pound the butter with light, even strokes. As the pieces begin to adhere, use more force. Pound the butter until it’s about 4 x 6 inches square and then trim the edges of the butter. Put the trimmings on top of the square and pound them in lightly with the rolling pin. Place in refrigerator to cool for at least 2 hours.
Unwrap and lay the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a 10-1/2-inch square. Brush excess flour off the dough. Remove the butter from the refrigerator. If not, refrigerate a bit longer.
 Unwrap and place the butter on the dough so that the points of the butter square are centered along the sides of the dough. Fold one flap of dough over the butter toward you, stretching it slightly so that the point just reaches the center of the butter. Repeat with the other flaps. Then press the edges together to completely seal the butter inside the dough. (A complete seal ensures butter won’t escape.).
Now fold the dough from left to right till the centre. Again fold it like a book.Now similarly, fold the dough again for 4 turns ,for every turn, refigerate the dough for atleast for 1 hour. This way the butter is incorporated in the butter very well. While doing your turns, if the dough becomes sticky, then immediately refrigerate .Use lot of flour for dusting .The fourth or final turn will be difficult,as the dough will become too big.But don't skip it,because this is essential in getting flaky layers. When we are done with the 4 turns,wrap the dough on a clear wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Third day :
On the third day , Unwrap the dough and roll it into a rectangle of 1/2 inch thickness . If the dough starts to stick ,then refigerate it . Now take cookie cutter or a bottle cap and punch out a big circle of 3 1/2 inch thickness and punch a innercircle using a smaller cookie cutter of 1 1/2 inch and punch out the inner circle. I used  a pepper shaker's cap.
Now place the punched out doughnuts and doughnuts's holes on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Always punch the doughnuts ,when the dough is cold ,if not the kronuts will not fry straight.Brush the top of the kronuts with water.At this point, the original recipe calls for pasting 2 kronuts together ,one above the other.But I didn't do that.The kronuts should be thick,if not it will become too crisp while frying. The ultimate goal is to make thick kronuts. Now place the cookie sheet in a warm place for proofing for 30 minutes.Once the kronuts are proofed,pop it in the refrigerator for 1 hour or in freezer for 15 minutes.
Now take a pan and oil upto 3 inch.Bring the oil to high heat and now turn it to medium low.We can test the oil ,by throwing a pinch of dough ,it should foam now. Now slowly drop the kronuts 1 or 2 at a time. Cook slowly ,by truning around to get a evenly coloured kronut.Strain it on a hand towel ,untill it shreds all the excess oil. Let the kronuts cool completely. In a mixing bowl,add cinnamon powder and sugar and shake it. Once the kronuts are cooled completely, toss them in .

Preparing chocolate glaze:
Mean while,we can preapre the choclate glaze.Take a microwave safe bowl,add chocolate chip,butter and corn syrup.Pop it in the microwave and heat it for 30 seconds.Mix it well, to get a shiny glaze.If the chocolate is not melted, then we can heat it for another 10 seconds.
Now take the prepared pastry cream out of the fridge to attain room temperature.Arrange the fried kronuts on a tray.Dip the kronuts in the chocolate glaze and sprinkle coloured sprinklers.Now take a piping bag with round tip (wilton tip number 3), fill the pastry cream ,by poking holes around the kronuts.
Initially, the kronuts will be bit crisp after frying.But when we inject pastry cream,it will become soft.The inner will be chewy and the outer layer will be bit crispy.On the whole its worth the effort ,we put for preparing the kronuts.Rohith completely enjoyed the kronuts.

Check other partner's kronuts

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Whole Wheat Bread using Tangzhong method - Fluffy and moist.- step by step

Wheat bread is my family's favourite now. Initially, H was not comfortable, but as he started tasting it , he nodded his head ,as a signal to go ahead. We don't feel guilty ,as it with white bread. When Swathi of "Zesty south Indian kitchen" gave us a challenge using tangzong method. Prepared dil pasand with it.Had half the tangzhong paste with me.So didn't want to waste it,used it to prepare wheat bread ,which she gave us. It was perfect and moist.

(Adapted from Christine's Recipes)
Prep time: 10 mins 
 Cook time: 170 mins 
Yield: 1 loaf(one loaf tin sized 20.5cmx10.5cmx9.5cm)
* 110 gm milk 
* 45 gm whisked egg 
* 100 gm Tangzhong 
* 40 gm sugar 
* 5 gm salt 
* 200 gm bread flour 
* 150 gm whole wheat flour 
* 6 gm instant dry yeast 
* 40 gm unsalted butter, softened at room temperature 
 Whisk the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer (if you are using a bread maker, add the ingredients according to the instructions of your bread maker. Note: use your bread maker only for the mixing/kneading stage/first rise).  

 Add the milk, egg, and the tangzhong into the dry ingredients. 

Mix until the ingredients come together, and then knead until it forms dough. Add the butter and continue to knead and medium/high speed until the dough becomes smooth and elastic and no longer sticky. 
To test the dough, pull it until it forms sort of a thin membrane.  This could take up to 20 minutes.
4. Place the dough into an oiled bowl or dough rising bucket, cover with plastic wrap or a wet cloth , and let it rise until doubled. The original recipe said 40 minutes, but my first rise took 2 hours.  
 On a floured surface, deflate the dough . Cover with plastic wrap and allow it rest for 15 minutes

Take a piece and, using a rolling pin, roll out into an long oval shape. 

         Fold the dough from left to right 

Fold it again from the other side
Again fold it from the sides, so that ,we are folding all the edges.
Now the edges are completely covered.Now tuck the folded edges down.Let it rise again in a oiled bread pan for another 30 - 40 minutes.Now the dough would have rised to 3/4 of the tin's height.
Place the dough in a pan and brush it with some milk or egg.Keep the proofed dough in a pre heated oven at 350 defrees farenhiet.

Bake for 30 - 35 minutes , or until tooth pick comes out clean.Cool the bread completely on a wire rack and slice it.
Enjoy this wheat bread for your break fast,so nutritious and yummy.


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