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Friday, August 26, 2016

Blondies with White Chocolate and Sour Cherries

It's a little bite of fusion.
Some flavors from across the seas... and then it hits you. That's a familiar flavor.. desi ghee...(brown butter/clarified butter) just like mithai from a local halwai .
But how does that blend into an American Dessert?
And then a chunk of Caramalised white chocolate comes between your teeth. It's an overload.
Too sweet!
But that soft red thing is next... awesomeness. Its tart!
As in sour, tart!
But its that sultriness of all these flavors combined that help that Blondie into overdrive.
And when you alternate a bite of this with some vanilla ice cream or salted caramel sauce... it is another story altogether.
Tell me you crave a bite!
A teensy weensy bite!
Me too... especially the crust. And I'm now using dumbbells to try and take off some of that back fat. But all I can think off is that golden gumminess.
Maybe I should use a 2 inch square of my Blondie in each hand itself. Considering 1 square will be responsible for atleast 1 kg weight gain.
So I'll double the reps. And squats. And planks. :-(
Oddly enough, that doesn't sound too  exciting.

So the best way to just have a teensy bite.... Share the Calories!

So I shared these calories with three more ladies . And we shared some more Calories and gossip and chit chat too. That's coming up.
In the meanwhile, the directions to drown in some chocolate ecstasy are under.
I used sour cherries. Cranberries will taste amazing too. Maybe some salted ,toasted , crushed peanut...if you can handle the protein. These blondies are inspired by Rachel Allen's Peanut butter and white chocolate blondies. But my poor cavity ridden teeth couldn't handle the strain. So I since have made these changes.
I've mentioned many times...it's wise to invest in a small scale if you intend baking regularly.


For the

Blondies with white chocolate and Sour  Cherries

You need

100 gms butter-I used Amul salted butter
100 gms white chocolate
100 gms white chocolate chips
180 gms brown or raw sugar
2 eggs
110 gms flour or 1 cup maida
50 gms peanuts or toasted hazelnuts or dehydrated cherries or cranberries

Line a 9*5 tin with paper and grease sides.
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
Melt chocolate and butter over a double boiler and Cool.
Separately , beat eggs and sugar. Add in chocolate mix.
Sift flour over and fold in . Add the white chocolate chips or roughly chopped white chocolate chunks.
You may add a little less or more.
Pour into tin and scatter cherries/ cranberries. They'll sink on their own.
Bake for 35-40 minutes till toothpick inserted in the center is clean...  just sticky crumbs maybe .
Dont wait for the toothpick to be squeaky clean . A little fudgy blondie is yumm.
Cool and cut into squares.
If you're in too much of a hurry...the blondies will break. The baking process is still going on till the blondies are cool.
You can also sprinkle some sea salt before you put them to bake.
Sharing Calories with Amrita and Namrata


Try and use raw or brown sugar. If you can't find them, be sure to add some caramel sauce...there will be a different taste otherwise.

Just a small note.

A brownie and blondie has a high fat to flour ratio and almost no baking powder or baking soda. It's meant to just rise enough and not be spongy. Tastes best after a few hours and will almost always have eggs.
The fudgy brownies will have more butter and less flour and cakey ,soft brownies will have less butter and more flour.
So you can adjust to taste.

Go on. Get all that stuff together and turn on the oven.

So what are you baking today???

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Finally Macarons with Feet



Frustrating ,isn't it?
When you buy the best of books and watch the videos even more avidly than you care to acknowledge.
And try again and again.
And then they don't have feet.
I'm going on and on about them dainty little macarons.
That pleasure , when I saw those crinkly feet...
Oh yes, that happened to me at home. I finally managed to get them feet.
I've tried macarons before and they were iffy.
Once the entire lot burnt out, then once they just did'nt get off the parchment...
Then once they ran off and became unrecognizable shapes....
I have never known so much frustration.
And have never stomped my feet on taking something out off the oven.
Oh, and sweet dog Romeo...he left them untouched a few times...
And every time I had one from a patisserie ,I almost cried.
I just had to get them right.
So finally , I gave in and took instructions from the two chefs at Wisk by Cakesmiths  at Kalaghoda, Mumbai.

And get them right. Filling and all. So despite all the books I read, or youtube videos I watched (I attended a demo once too) , I needed that nudge in the right direction. And now they are so easy.
So I'll put all the instructions in, but just in case you don't get it right the first time...you know practise is the answer.
And these are French Macarons.
Italian Macarons are made with a sugar syrup. And we'll do those too.
And before you consider making macarons, you need to invest in a weighing scale and a box of parchment paper or silipat sheet. And an electric whisk.
This recipe will make about 50 macarons of 1 1/2 inch. You may halve the recipe the first time to try it out.

for the

French Macarons

you need

110 gms almond flour
110 gms icing or confectioners sugar
2 gms cream of tartare
78 gms egg whites left at room temperature at least an hour
100 gms caster sugar
2 pinches salt
food colour of your choice, pearl / lustre dust optional


Start by weighing out the ingredients. Absolutely accurately.
Place the egg whites in a squeaky clean bowl covered for atleast an ourto age them.
Place the almond meal and icing sugar in a mixie jar and run to grind out as fine as possible.
Then sift out onto a sheet of paper. Whatever the dregs are left of almond meal, if they areless than a spoon full, throw them out or eat them. if its more, grind it again. Almonds are expensive...

Start beating the egg whites on low speed. Once they become frothy, start adding the caster sugar a spoon at a time. Increasethe speed of the mixer to medium.
Once only a spoon of the sugar is left, add in the cream of tartare and salt too.
Now turn the speed of your mixer to high and beat , scraping the sides for approximately 10 minutes. You'll know when its done when you turn the bowl upside down and the egg whites stay in the bowl.
Now put two drops of GEL food colour in the egg whites and whisk 15 seconds.
Remove the whisk and pop in half the almond mix in. Use a spatula and mix it in counting strokes. Move the bowl and cut and fold the almonds into the egg whites.
The max number of strokes must be 45.
When you lift the spatula, your batter must fall in ribbons by now and disappear into the batter in 10 seconds. This process is called Macaronnage.
Check out the post on my experience in Wisk for more detailed pictures. I was making these alone, so I couldnt take pictures.
Now fill a disposable  piping bag with a third of the batter. Snip off the end to bet a hole 1/3 inch wide.
Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
Now with the bag at 90degrees to the parchment paper, push some batter out to form a circle an inch wide.
Next macaron atleast two inches away and repeat.
Fill the bag again and repeat.
Lift the cookie sheet 6 inches above the shelf and drop gently onto the shelf to let the air bubbles escape. do this three times.
You can try out whatever rapping way you want.
Sprinkle dust over right now.

And forget about them for two three hours. Leave under the fan , or in an air conditioned room so that a film forms. When you touch them, the batter must stay on the macaron.
Now turn the oven and preheat to 150C.
Place  tray in the center of the oven... 8- 10 minutes ...maybe 12 minutes. The macaron will not be sticky to the touch and will come off the paper.
Cool and fill with buttercream.

This was plain buttercream frosting and some sprinkles in honour of the 70th Indian Independence day.



















Layered and served with a cup of coffee,















Pretty??
The thrill of seeing the feet was awesome. And remember ,I made them in superbly high humidity. So when you make these... dont bother about storing them. Macaronnage, pipe , bake , fill ,eat repeat.


Like this .




Try these out. And if youre in 

Mumbai, check out the websites.

So what are you baking today???

Until the next

Until the next

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