Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Modhagam - மோதகம் - Moong dal stuffed rice dumplings - Vinayagar Chathurthi special

      Wishing my viewers, friends a very happy "Vinayagar Chathurthi". I was offline for almost 2 months. Was in a hibernation or a blog break. Thanks to everyone, who was keep on asking about my blog break. This motivated me to blog again. This vinayagar statue was gifted by my friend P.So happy to use it in my post.

       When I was in India vacation ,bought this cute little mould for makign modhagam. Was happy to use it today. It made the job easier and perfect. The filling has moong dhal, which is good for kids too. If you don't have a mould, you can also make it using free hand technique. Don't overcook the modhagam, if not it may turn hard.

Check my other kozhukattai recipes here.
1.Rice - 1 cup
2.Grated Jaggery - 3/4 cup
3.Cardamom pwr - a pinch
4.Moong dhal - 1/2 cup
5.Boiling water - as needed
6.Oil - for greasing
7.Turmeric powder - a pinch
8.Salt - a pinch

          * Let us prepare the rice flour as in my tutorial . I prefer to use home made rice flour compared  to the store bought ones. But you can also use store bought rice flour. While my rice was soaking, I prepared the filling.Cook the moong dhal ,with turmeric powder. When the pressure is released, mash it well.Take grated  jaggery in a pan and melt. 

 * When  jaggery is melted, add the cooked dhal and mix. Before adding  dhal, we can also sieve  jaggery to remove the impurities. 

* Mix the dhal with jaggery . Instead of moong dhal, we can use chana dhal. 

* At last add salt and cardamom powder to the mixture. Let the mixture cook, till it looses its moisture and forms as a mass. Let the filling get cooled well. Divide the mixture into equal sized balls. Cover and keep it ready.

* Roast the rice flour in a pan, till it gives out nice aroma. Make sure the flour doesn't burn. This will remove the excess moisture from the flour. 

* Take water in a bowl and bring it to rolling boil. Pour it little by little to the roasted rice flour. Mix with a spoon or wooden spatula to make it a soft and pilable dough . Cover it with a wet cloth.

 * Divide the rice dough equally . Now grease the mould with oil . Take a rice dough and press it on the mould evenly without any crack. Also prepare a disc of rice dough amd keep it ready. We are going to seal the modhagam at the bottom using this disc.
 * You can see how the dough is pressed on the mould. Remove excess and close the mould . You can see prepared modhagam seen along with the disc, which is going to seal the modhagam.

* Now take the filling and stuff it inside the modhagam. The filling should be more ,for a tasty modhagam. Now take the disc and seal it to the bottom of the modhagam. Slowl, open the mould and release the modhagam from the mould.

* Prepare the remaining modhagams similarly . Steam them in a idli pan for 10 minutes. Serve hot .

                                                          Modhagam is ready to serve.

* Preparing the rice flour at home makes the modhagam softer.
* We can also use chana dhal instead of moong dhal.
* Increase or decrease the amount of jaggery ,according to your taste.
* We can prepare modhaagam without the mould too.
* Adding little salt to the filling, makes it tastier.
* The outer covering should be bit thin, for the modhagam to be tastier.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Opera Cake - French Pastry - Baking Partners

       Swathi of "Zesty South Indian Kitchen" , asked us to throw some dishes to try out for our baking partner's challenge. I suggested this beautifull, still labour intensive opera cake for the challenge. Prepared this cake for my husband's birthday, as it is worth the effort. The cake came out super delicious.

      Opera Cake is a very famous French Pastry, where joconde or almond sponge is soaked in coffee syrup ,topped with french coffee buttercream and finally glazed with tempered chocolate. I wanted to make this cake for my H's birthday. As this cake is labour intensive , I prepared in 3 phases. First day I prepared the sponge,second day I prepared the butter cream and coffee syrup . Third day prepared ganache,chocolate glaze and assembled the cake. The taste was mind blowing. All enjoyed the luscious dessert. The key for a good opera cake is soaking the cake with coffee syrup and maintining the evenness of the cake. The taste was worth the effort.

Source : Joe Pastry

For the Almond Sponge (Joconde) :
 1. Egg whites - 6 (room temperature)
2.Sugar - 1 oz
3.Blanched almonds - 8 oz
4.Powdered sugar- 8 oz (sieved )
5.Large eggs - 6
6.All purpose flour - 2.5 oz
7.Clarified butter - 1.5 oz (melted )
8.Vanilla - 11/2 tsp

For French Coffee Buttercream:
1.Coffee powder - 2 tbsp
2.Boiling water - 2 tsp
3.Egg yolks - 6
4.Sugar - 1 cup
5.Water - 1/4 cup
6.Butter - 1 pound
7.Vanilla - 2 tsp

For Ganache:
1.Bittersweet Chocolate - 10 oz
2.Cream - 8 oz

For Coffee flavoured syrup:
1.Sugar  - 1/2 cup
2.Water - 1 cup
3.Instant Coffee powder - 3 tbsp

For Tempered Chocolate :
1.Callebaut chocolate  - 6 oz
2.Butter  - 1 oz

Making of Joconde :
* Lets begin the process of making the almond sponge . I prepared 2 days before the birthday . We can powder the store bought  blanched almonds or we can prepare the blanched almonds at home. I bought 8 oz of almonds ,soaked it in hot water for 30 mins and then peeled the skin off. I dried the almonds on a paper towel. Once it became dry, I powdered in my blender. I kept all my ingredients handy as shown. We can also prepare the sponge 1 week ahead and freeze it.The eggs has to be at room temperature.Melt the butter in microwave. Let it cool. Sieve the powdered sugar well ,without any lumps.

* Pre heat the oven 425 F. Grease a half sheet pan with melted butter. Cut parchment paper exactly to the size of the pan. If it is too long , it may make the corners jagged.Now take a mixing bowl ad add the eggs. To the eggs, add sieved powdered sugar. Start whisking the eggs with the sugar ,till it becomes pale yellow colour . The sugar should have been incorporated well with the eggs. The mixture would have increased in volume.
* Now add the powered almonds and all purpose flour to the egg mixture. The mix should not have any lump. While this is happening, separate egg whites from the  yolk. The bowl has to be clean. Reserve the egg yolks for making buttercream. We can separate the egg whites ,while we are getting ready for the cake.
* While the almond mixture is incorporating , lets prepare the meringue. Beat the egg whites, till it reaches soft peak. Now add the granulted sugar and beat again, till it reaches stiff peak. Don't over beat the meringue ,then it may become flat. Now fold the meringue into the almond mixture. Take care not to flatten the mixture. At last add melted butter and vanilla to the batter. Now our batter is ready.

* Grease the parchment paper with melted butter again. Pour the batter into the pan and spread it using a spatula. Take care to spread the batter on the corners. Corners are the culprits for not getting even sized sponge. Bake the sponge for 5 - 7 mins ,or untill the sponge is springy to the touch. on't over bake  ,then the spong will become hard. Turn the sponge over a parchment paper and let it cool. Once one side is cooled, turn it over and peel the parchment paper and let the other side cool completely. If you are going to freeze, then wrap it using a cling wrap and freeze. If you are going to prepare the cake within 2 days, then it can be covered completely and stored at room temperature.

Day 2 : 
For making Coffee syrup:
Once the cake is made, let us make the simple coffee syrup for the cake. Take sugar and water in a pan aand let it get reduced to half the volume. Now add coffee powder and let it dissolve into the hot water. Turn off  and let it cool.

For making French Coffee Buttercream:
* Dissolve the coffee powder in hot water and set it aside. Take the reserved egg yolks in a mixing bowl . Beat it till it becomes foamy ,for atleast 3 mins. 
* While , the egg yolks are mixing, let us prepare the sugar syrup. Take sugar and water in a pan. Let it reach 238 degeree F. The mixture will be bubbling hot. Sorry I cannot take the picture ,as it was very hot.
* When the sugar is hot, immediately pour the syrup to the yolk little by little. Don't pour it in a hurry. It should not touch the walls of the mixer, if not the sugar will become crystal. So pour a tsp then mix and then pour again and mix. Let the beater ,whisk the egg yolk mixture ,till it becomes cold . This is very important for the butter cream. The egg ,sugar mixture has to be cooled down completely. Once it is cooled, remove the whisk attachment and insert the beater attachment  to the mixer. Drop the butter one cube at a time to the mixer. The butter has to get incorporated well into the egg mixture. Mix with the spatula, in between for the butter to get incorporated well. 
* Beat the butter at high speed for atleast 5 mins, till it becomes fluffy an pale .Now add the coffee and vanilla to the mixture and beat for a minute. This will make the buttercream rich in coffee flavour.

Preparing the ganache :
* I did not had time to take pictures, while preparing the ganache. Its so simple. Take the chocolate in a bowl. Hest cream, till it reaches boiling point. Pour immediately to the bowl. Let it stant for 5 minutes aand then mix the chocolate with a spoon , till it melts with the cream. Whisk the chocolate using a wire whisk. Leave the ganche for 5 mins .The ganache has to be spreadable consistancy. If not just heat it again on a double boiler or in a microwave.

Day 3 :
* Noe let us assemble the cake ,as we have all the basic components needed for the cake. Cut the sponge into 4 equal sized rectangles.  Apply the ganache a thin layer on top of the cake board. This will make sure that the cake comes out clean, when we cut it ,without sticking to the board .But this is completely optional.  Place the first rectangle on the board. Centre the cake so that we have enough space . The up side of the cake ,has to remain the upsie of the cake. As it has lot of pores,which will absorb the syrup.
* Soak the sponge completely with coffee syrup. Be liberal in soaking, as the cake has to be melt in mouth. We can also pierce the sponge with fork and soak it with coffee syrup. Now apply a thick layer of coffee buttercream on top of the sponge. 
*Place the second rectangle of the almond sponge on top of the buttercream.Soak it again with coffee syrup.Now spread the ganache on top of the butter cream. Use an angled spatula to cover all the corners.
 * Now place the 3rd sponge on top of the ganache and soak. Check for the evenness of the cake. If it is not even, press it using your palm. The ultimate goal is to make it flat. Apply buttercream on top of the sponge . Now place the 4 th sponge on top of the buttercream. Soak it again with coffee syrup. At last apply a thin layer of butter cream on the sponge. Now comes the glazing part. We can either glaze the cake with melted chocolate or we can temper the chocolate and pour it on top of the cake.I tempered the chocolate and poured it on top of the cake. Will show you how to temper now.
Tempering the chocolate:
* Prepare 2 bowls ,with ice water in one and cold water in the other. Take the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, melt it in microwave one minute at a time ,till it is melted completely. Now the chocolate would have reached little over 100 degree F. Leaving the thermometer in the bowl .Pace it on top of the cold water bowl. The temperature would have dropped to 84 degree F. Now take the bowl out and place it on top of the hot water bowl, the temperature would have hiked to 89 degree F. Immediately, mix the butter to the chocolate . Pour the tempered chocolate on top of the cake.
Chilling :
Let the chocolate set in room temperature for about 10 mins. Now trim the sides of the cake. We should have a neat rectangle part of the cake. Now mark the cake with a sharp knife with lines. These lines will help us to cut the cake after chilling, without breaking down the cake. Chill the cake for about 3 hrs or overnight. While serving, bring the cake to room temperature and cut it. Top the cake with chocolate garnishes and serve.

Friday, June 5, 2015

5 minute Banana Pancake - Four ingredients Fix - Step by step - Instant Breakfast Series

      For the last day of "Instant breakfast series", I chose pancake. As this is a kids favourite. This recipe is a keeper and whipped up in minutes.
      Banana pancake is a very easy pancake,which involves just 4 ingredients. Those ingredients are readily available in our pantry. I saw this recipe in a viedo and tried immediately. It was so soft and fluffy.This can be prepared by a beginner very easily. The key to get a fluffy pancake is ,beating the eggs well.The recipe called for cinnamon, but you can substitute it with vanilla or almond extract.Try this easy pancake and let me know the feedback.

Preparation time : 10 mins
Cooking time : 5 mins
Serves : 2

Ingredients :
1.Banana - 1 
2.Eggs - 2
3.All purpose flour - 2 tbsp
4.Cinnamon pwdr -  1/4 tsp

* Take the banana in a bowl. The banana has to be ripe. This banana ,gives the smooth texture to the pancake.
* Mash the banana using a hand blender . There should not be any lumps .

* Now add the eggs and beat it. whisk the eggs as fluffy as possible, this acts as a rising agent to the pancake.

* Once the eggs are whisked, add the flour and cinnamon powder to the bowl.Adding flour is purely optional. I liked to add ,to give the pancakes a structure. But you can also cook the pancake without the flour.
* Heat a pan and scoop a  laddle full of batter. It will spread automatically.Let it cook well .
* Now flip the pancake over and cook for another minute. But don't overcook the pancake, else it will become rubbery.

Serve the pancake with maple syrup or honey.

* We can skip the addition of addition of all purpose flour to make it fluten free.
* Adding eggs make the pancake fluffy.
* It also replaces the addition of baking soda and baking powder.
* We can also top the pancakes with some chopped fruits.
* Instead of cinnamon ,we can add vanilla extract.
* We can make the pancakes in batches and freeze it.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Kaman Dhokla - Instant Breakfast Series - Step by step

  For the 4 th day of "Instant breakfast Series" , I chose to prepare Dhokla. Its a very easy snck or breakfast.
      Dhokla is a very famous Gujarati Snack.It can also be treated as a breakfast,as it is very filling. It is made up of besan flour. Baking soda and baking powder are used to make it rise. But some use fruit salt to make it rise.When I was browisng, this particular video caught my eyes, as the dhoklas were so soft and fluffy.Immediately, I decided to make it as all the ingredients are readily available. In my first try, I forgot to add tuermeric powder and I steamed in a rectangular pan. Since the steamer was not as tight as the idli cooker, the dhoklas too so much time to cook. So for the second try, I prepared the batter with turmeric powder. Also I steamed the dhoklas in a tight idli cooker. It made the dhokla to cook faster. Then I made the tempering. First time ,I poured the tempering on the dhoklas,when it was hot. So  dhoklas become soggy. Second time, I poured the tempering ,when the dhoklas were cold. The right time to pour the tempering is ,while serving.

Recipe Source : Here
Preparartio time : 10 mins
Cooking time : 20 - 25 mins
Serves : 2

For the dhokla:

  1. Besan - 1 cup
  2. salt -1 tsp
  3. Lemon juice - 1 tsp
  4. Baking Soda - 1/4 tsp
  5. Baking Powder - 1 tsp
  6. Water - as needed
  7. Turmeric powder - a pinch (optional)
  8. Fresh Coconut - 2 tbsp (to garnish)
  9. Fresh Cilantro - to garnish

For tempering:

  1. Oil - 1 tbsp
  2. Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  3. Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
  4. Curry leaves - few
  5. Green chilli - 1
  6. Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  7. Hing - a pinch
  8. Water - 1/4 cup
  9. Sugar - 1 tbsp                

* Take a bowl,add besan,salt,baking power and baking soda. Mix the dry ingredients well.At last add turmeric powder. I forgot to add it to my dhokla. So I prepared again another batch ,with turmeric powder. When we add turmeric powder, it reacts with the baking soda and gives a orange tint to the dhokla. So you can add tuermeric powder or skip it.

 * Add water little by little to form a smooth flowing batter. Whisk it to form a smooth batter,without any lumps. Now add lemon juice to the batter. We can increase the lemon juice or decrease it, depending on your taste.

* Grease a bowl with oil. We can use any kind of bowl,which is flat.I used my 6 inch cake pan.Pour the batter to the bowl. Tap the bowl, so the trapped air bubbles get released.

* Take a idli cooker and pour water. Place the dhokla pan inside the idli cooker and steam it for 20 - 25 minutes or untill the tooth pick comes out clean.

* While the dhokla is steaming, lets prepare the tepering. Take a pan, add oil.Temper with mustard seeds,urad dal,cumin seeds and hing.
*When they splutter add curry leaves,and slit green chilli.
* Add water an bring it to boil. At last add sugar . Now we can also add lemon juice .But I skipped that.Turn off the stove and let this syrup cool ,till the dhoklas are steamed.

*After 24 minutes, the dhoklas would have steamed well.You can see the oraange tint, which formed due to the turmeric powder. Let the dhoklas cool inside the pan for 5 minutes.

* Invert a plate on top of the pan and flip the dhokla over to the plate. Let it cool for some time.

* Now cut the dhoklas to your desired shape. See how the dhokla is soft with pores. 

* While serving, place the dhokla in a plate. This was my first batch of dhokla,which was made without turmeric powder.It has no tint of orange .
* Pour the tempering over the dhokla.Garnish with fresh coconut and cilantro . Serve with green chutney.

* Always use fresh besan for a better taste.
* If you are going to use turmeric powder, then add little.
* Don't pour the tempering on the dhokla,when it is hot. If not it will become soggy.
* Steam the dhokla in a tight steamer, if not it will not cook properly.
* The sugar can be increased or decreased according to your taste.
* We can skip the coconut ,if you don't like.

You might also like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...