October 2014 | Forks N Knives

Sunny Sunflower Spinach Pie | Spanakopita

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
I have no clue how to start, can we just admire the above beauty for  some time???

I wasn't thinking about preparing any spinach pie, i just opened my fridge for the nth time and saw a bunch of spinach staring straight at me. Bang on!! Within a few minutes i was all set to go. This pie,apart from being real pleasing to the eye, tastes pretty good too...my husband isnt much fond of sweet baked items but if its something like this,would be finished in a matter of few minutes..

Before we get baking, as beautiful and difficult it looks,it isnt,having some amount of patience will really help though...:D

Start by preparing the dough. This is like an all purpose dough, can be used for pizza, bread and anything which calls for it. I have used a mix of all purpose flour and whole wheat flour.

Place some flour in a bowl,create a well,add some olive oil,sugar,dry yeast,luke warm water and mix,should be little runny,cover and let it rise for 15 minutes. Make sure water is just warm and not hot,yeast gets killed and doesnt get activated.

This is how it will look after 15 minutes,now add the remaining flour and knead into a soft dough. It takes 10-15 minutes by hand.

Allow the dough to rise for an hour and knead it again. Leave it for a second rise, i left for an hour more.

Meanwhile steam or boil some spinach and squeeze the water, add ricotta cheese,spices,egg yolk,bread crumbs and mix well.

Divide the dough into two portions and start rolling it in a circle. Now i have tried capturing all steps,see if you guys can understand it. Start by placing the spinach as shown in the picture.

Place the second rolled circle on top and pinch at all sides with fork and cut extra uneven dough. Place either a coffe mug,a glass or a bowl at centre and apply little force to create a circle.


Cut sides with a sharp knife.


Now just pinch the cut edges.


Give the egg white wash. Sprinkle some poppy seeds and pine nuts at centre.



Bake for 30 minutes or till it turns brown.



Now who will not  be impressed with this??? I managed to shock to everyone!!


Ingredients:
For Dough:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 packet dry yeast
warm water
pinch of salt
2 tsps olive oil
1 tsp sugar

For filling:
A bunch of spinach
2 green chillies
ricotta cheese
seasonings
turmeric powder
cumin seeds
garam masala
bread crumbs 5 tsps
1 egg yolk

Method:

Mix all pupose flour with warm water,yeast ,salt ,sugar and olive oil. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Add whole wheat flour and knead the dough well by hands for atleast 12-15 minutes. Allow it to rise for 30-45 minutes or till it doubles. Knead the dough again and allow for second rise. Divide the dough into two circles. Steam or boil spinach,squeeze out the excess water,add ricotta cheese,seasonings, all masalas,egg yolk,bread crumbs and mix well. Place the mixture as shown in the picture and follow rest of the steps. At last give an egg wash. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for 30 minutes or until brown. 

Traditionally only spinach and cheese filling is used,but being an indian adding some masalas is my birth right!!

Enjoy!!







Swan Cream Puff

Sunday, October 5, 2014
I have been wanting to bake these from a very very long time. Frankly speaking, i had no guts to do this. Being a novice baker,this is like a far off dream for me. Nevertheless,am glad i tried this.

I make it a point to share all these pictures with my mom who is back in India and even for her , all of this is a schock!! So much so that she asks me ,"Is it really you or rakesh cooking them??" "Rakesh sirf khaata hain!!!"(He only eats),i almost yell back at her.





Trust me, this only looks difficult, anyone can make them and with just few basic ingredients. Baking something fancy looking is just not in my baking collection. I just feel i dont have the hands and fingers  required to make fancy looking goodies. I have tried my level best to click pictures while making them.

Start by melting butter along with water.



Add the flour and sugar.


Within 30 seconds,it starts coming together. After a minute turn off the flame and allow to cool for 5 minutes.


Add one egg and start mixing together. By now you will be pretty sure that you have messed it up,but please dont panic,keep mixing,it will come together in 5 minutes and resemble like baby food and some how i missed that pic!!


Now transfer it to a piping bag or a plastic bag and make a nozzle at the end. Start by making the body of the swan. Appy full pressure and squeeze out some dough tapering towards the end.


Make the neck by squeezing out 'S'.


As always,i forgot to tell you guys to preheat your oven at 425F. Start by baking the body first and halfway put the neck inside the oven. As soon as they went inside the oven i kept on staring at them. Nothing happened for the first 5 minutes and i was damn sure,this is going to be a disaster. I went away from kitchen just to be back 5 minutes later and booom,the body had puffed up and was changing color. While there were 12 more minutes for it to be done ,i put the neck inside the oven.

Take the neck out after 12 minutes and allow the body to cool further with the oven door ajar.(I know,one of the neck got burnt!!!). Once the body cools,after - minutes,cut of the top part,it will be hollow inside.


Further cut the top part from center into two. These will be our wings.

Now since this is a cream puff,am gonna fill it with some cream and also some chocolate surprise. Some people even fill with custard.




Insert the neck at the center of the cream and place wings at side.

And boom....Its ready..how simple was that?? Please make sure you present this with lot of drama to your beloved ones and also make them feel it was a rocket science mission,atleast i did so.....

This is best served chilled. Do the filling after the body cools down and refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.


Ingredients:

Cream Puff Dough(enough for about 3 swans)

1/4th cup water
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
pinch salt
1/4th cup flour
1 egg
Whipped cream
Chocolate syrup(optional)

Method:

Start by melting butter and water. Add sugar,flour and make a dough like structure. Add an egg and mix well,dough will become sticky,transfer it to a piping bag. Start preheating your oven at 425F. Squeeze out the bodies and bake them for 25 minutes. Squeeze the neck and put them inside the oven while 12 minutes are remaining. Take the neck out afetr 12 minutes and leave half door open for the body to cool further. Cut off the top part,further cut the top part into two for wings. Once it cools for 10 minutes gill the body with whipped cream and chocolate,place the neck and wings and Boom...Edible swans are ready!!






Egg less Chocolate Mud Cake

Friday, October 3, 2014

That i love chocolate is such an old story and when its a mud cake ......(please understand my emotions!!!)

I have been observing navrati fast for 9 days and tried many new stuffs without eggs. This is the latest. It is moist,rich ,unbelievably sinful and made with very few minimal ingredients. For a moment i felt i have recreated my lava cake...

Start by melting butter and chocolate. I have used dark chocolate. And by dark i mean 85% dark,yes unbelievably bitter and intense,but this when combined with sugar is heaven.




Add sugar,and stir till the sugar melts. Switch off the flame and add some hot water.



Add all purpose flour and full fat yogurt. Mix well. Mean while preheat your oven at 375F.


Pour half the mixture into the baking pan. Add some chocolate syrup(Optional).

Pour remaining batter and bake for 20 minutes(or till a toothpick inserted comes clean).


Let it cool completely and serve with some syrup and cream.




Ingredients:

Dark Chocolate- 4 slabs
Unsalted Butter -3 tsp
Sugar- 5-6 tsp(check if more needed)
All purpose flour- 1/2 cup
Yogurt- 3 tbsp
Water- 1/2 cup
Chocolate syrup- as needed
Cream- for topping

Method:

Start by preheating your oven at 375F. Melt chocolate,butter,sugar in a pan. Add hot water. Turn off the flame. Add flour and yogurt. Mix well. Pour into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let it cool off completely. Top it with whatever you like.

Notes:

Isnt this the easiest chocolate cake ever??? I have used a mini spring foam pan. I & my husband ate 3-4 pieces each out of it. Adjust the recipe for an average cake tin. If dark chocolate isnt your thing,mix semi sweet,sweet and dark chocolate and when you are done come back from heaven!!

Boom!! Enjoy!!
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