Friday, October 20, 2017

Chocolate Kugelhopf

This month, at The Cake Slice Bakers, the four recipes selected from the book World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey, which we are currently baking from are ;

Ginger Cake
Scandinavian Cardamom Coffee Cake
Chocolate Kugelhopf
Tarte aux Pommes

Members can choose any of these cakes to bake, and my choice is Chocolate Kugelhopf, since I am drawn to yeasty bakes!

This Chocolate Kugelhopf has a chocolate ganache swirls in it. It bakes into a soft and nice kugelhopf, but the process of making it is rather frustrating (to me!).

The recipe uses 1 whole egg and 2 egg yolks, but the instructions says to mix in the egg yolks without any mention of the whole egg, and I was wondering whether should I use the whole egg as well or was it a typo error in the instructions. I went ahead and add the whole egg, assuming that it has been left out in the instructions.  The dough is like very thick batter, and I have to add almost half a cup of extra flour so that it is a little doughy, and even then, the "dough" is still very soft and so, so, sticky. I thought of adding more flour but am afraid that the bread will be dry, as I've added about 30% extra to the original amount. Honestly I almost gave up and thought of dumping the dough. But I went ahead anyway and hope for the best! I left the dough to proof for the first rising, punch it down, and it was supposed to be rolled on a floured counter. No way I could roll the very soft, very sticky dough without it sticking onto the counter, and it would definitely stick to the rolling pin from the looks of it, even if I flour the top, I would need quite an amount of flour, and I am not confident that I could transfer the very soft dough onto a baking sheet, which is to be refrigerated for 30 minutes. I placed the dough on a large sheet of plastic, which I placed on an upturned baking sheet, then place another large sheet of plastic over the dough, and use a rolling pin to roll it into a large rectangle. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, keeping fingers crossed that it will be easier to work with later on. 

Remove from the refrigerator and immediately spread the ganache all over. Roll the dough, swiss roll style. Still too soft to roll, and with the help of a wide pastry cutter, I tried rolling it but it was difficult to roll as the dough was sticky. In the end, it looks like a misshapen lump of log, rather than a nice rolled up smooth log of a dough. I know definitely that there will not be any pretty swirls in there! Bring the two ends together into a ring, adjust the dough, by shaping it gently, with floured hands, so that it is more or less the same thickness all around. Gather the dough and place in the greased bundt pan, with a whole almond placed in each ridge at the bottom of the bundt pan. Cover with greased cling wrap and left to rise until doubled in size. It certainly rises well! Bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes, though I baked mine for an additional 5 minutes to get that really brown colour on the crust. It looks really huge after baking and I do hope that the kugelhopf will turn out good!

Let the kugelhopf rest for 10 minutes in the pan, then unmold onto a wire rack, glaze while still warm with some glaze, with a recipe provided for it. Since I have a container of apricot glaze, I used that instead. Allow the kugelhopf to cool. I could not wait to slice, to see the inside and taste it. But I was rather pleased with how it looks like from the outside!

Once it has cooled down, the glaze disappeared, no longer glossy! But I'm not concerned with that. I am eager to see the inside!

No pretty swirls! But the taste makes up for it! This Chocolate Kugelhopf is soft and fluffy. Tasted really good with the addition of chocolate ganache.  The kugelhopf was still soft the next day when we had it for breakfast, and we enjoyed slices of it with our morning coffee. That being said, I will not be making this again, but I was glad that I have given it a try.

Note : I've used 1 teaspoon instant yeast instead of the fresh yeast calls for in the recipe. For the ganache, I've used dark chocolate instead of semisweet chocolate. I baked in a 6-cup Nordic Ware bundt pan. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), the theme is How Easy Is That? We are cooking with Ina Garten@Barefoot Contessa. She has a book titled as such, How Easy Is That?. But we can cook any of her recipes which we deem easy, not necessarily from this book. And I've made her Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread, as I love cornbread! I got this recipe from her website but it can also be  found in another of her cookbook, Barefoot Contessa At Home. I have made quite a number of cornbread with different recipes over the years, and after making Ina's recipe, it is one of my top favourite, preferring her cornbread to Hugh-Fearnley Whittingstall's recipe which I've made here

Ina's recipe made quite a large tray, since there are only three of us, I have made only half, and baked in a 8"square baking pan. A very easy and quick cornbread to make. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, the wet ingredients in another bowl, then mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stir to combine but do not overmix. The batter is then left for 20 minutes at room temperature before it is poured into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until done. How easy is that?

I've used salted butter, so I have omitted the salt. I've used two whole jalapenos and added more scallions than the recipe calls for. For half a recipe, I've used only one extra-large egg. I did not scatter any Cheddar over the batter, I've sprinkled only with the chopped scallions. 

This cornbread is really, really, yummy! And I would add more jalapenos the next time. So moist, with soft crumbs and delicious, especially when eaten while still warm. A few slices is great for a simple lunch, and it is also really good for afternoon tea-time, with a mug of warm tea, which is how I enjoyed it!

* my measurements listed in blue for half a recipe, baked in a 8"square baking pan
Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
3 cups all-purpose flour (1-1/2 cups)
1 cup yellow cornmeal (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup sugar (2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons baking powder (1 tablespoon)
2 teaspoons kosher salt (omitted)
2 cups milk (1 cup)
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten (1 extra-large)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan (125gm, salted)
8 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated, divided (1 cup)
1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish (3 scallions) (1/2 cup, total)
3 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers (2 to 3 peppers) (2 jalapenos)

Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don't overmix! Mix in 2 cups of the grated Cheddar, the scallions and jalapenos, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13x2-inch baking pan.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
How Easy Is That?

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Pork Vindaloo

It has been sometime since I've tried any new meat curry recipes from Madhur Jafrrey because I keep going back to the few favourite recipes that I've made before. Among my top MJ's favourite meat curry dishes are Meatball Curry, Kerala-Style Bhuna Pork, Pork In A Mustard Spice Mix, Goan Pork Vindaloo with Potatoes, and our top favourite in my house, Red Pork Curry. I have cooked this many times since then.

Last week I've made Ina Garten's Scallion Basmati Rice, Madhur Jaffrey's Cabbage with Garlic and Shallots, and to complete the menu, this Pork Vindaloo, another one of MJ delicious curry.

This recipe has very few ingredients, and if you love cooking curries at home, like I do, you would probably have the spices needed, ground cumin, ground turmeric and chilli powder. Yup only three spices! The surprise ingredient here is grainy French mustard. In Madhur Jaffrey own words, "Most recipes for vindaloo involve grinding mustard seeds in vinegar. To save this step, I have used grainy French Pommery mustard (Moutarde de Meaux) which already contains vinegar. It works beautifully." And I totally agree with her, it works deliciously!

And in a vindaloo recipe, garlic is one of the essential ingredient. Along with the onions used, this is my third post for this week's IHCC theme, October Monthly Featured Ingredient Challenge : Alliums !

I've doubled the recipe, as always, for curries like this, as a single recipe is never enough. I would suggest you do the same if you are cooking for 4-6 people. Leftovers is always a good thing for curries like this. The only changes I've made is to use 2-1/2 times more of the spices. For the chilli powder, MJ says that more can be added if you prefer a spicy dish. Of course we do! I have used 2 tablespoons, as the one I used is medium-hot. Use less if the chilli powder is extra hot.  I have however reduced the amount of coconut milk, as I have always prefer to use less coconut milk for curries like this. I want the flavour and taste of the spices to stand out boldly, and not to be tone down by the creaminess of the coconut milk. So for double recipe, I have used only about 150ml of coconut milk, with 350 ml water. 

Using French grainy mustard is indeed a great idea of MJ! The grainy mustard is mixed with the three spices, salt and vinegar in a small bowl. Slice the onions into half rings and crash the garlic into a pulp. Fry the onions in some oil until medium brown, then add the garlic, stir for 30 seconds, then add the mustard mixture. Stir and fry for about 1 minute, then add in the meat, stir fry for 3 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and water. Cook for about an hour, stirring now and then, until the meat is tender. You may need to add a few tablespoons of water if the curry appear dry during cooking. 

Delicious Pork Vindaloo! Tender meat, infused with the flavours of the spices and vinegar. And we love the gravy. This delicious dish is so good with the Scallion Basmati Rice and the Cabbage. Looks like this is one more curry that will be repeated in my kitchen! 

Pork or Lamb Vindaloo
(adapted from 100 Essential Curries, Madhur Jaffrey)
serves 3-4
1-1/2 tablespoons grainy French mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 - 1 tsp chilli powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
100gm (4oz) onions, peeled
6 large garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
550gm (1-1/4 lb) boned hand of pork or shoulder of lamb, cut into 2.5cm (1 in) cubes
150ml (5 fl oz) tinned coconut milk, well stirred

Step One
Combine the mustard, cumin powder, turmeric, chilli powder, salt and vinegar in a cup. Mix well.

Step Two
Slice the onions into fine half-rings and crush the garlic to a pulp. Put the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions. Stir and fry until they are medium brown. Add the garlic. Stir and fry for 30 seconds. Add the paste from the cup. Stir and fry for a minute, then add the meat. Stir and fro for about 3 minutes.

Step Three
Now add in the coconut milk and 150ml (5fl oz) water if you are going to cook in a pressure cooker and 250ml (8fl oz) water if you are going to continue to cook in the frying pan. (Transfer to a pressure cooker at this state if that is your intention). Cover and either bring up to pressure, or to a boil if you are using the frying pan. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes in a pressure cooker and 60-70 minutes in the frying pan.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week,
October Monthly Featured Ingredient Challenge : Alliums


 I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #22 hosted by 


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