Cakes / Pastries / Cookies/ Bread/Muffins.

Fragrant Cinnamon Rolls.(Sweet Pastry rolled with sugar and cinnamon and baked to niceness!)

A cinnamon roll (also cinnamon bun, cinnamon swirl and cinnamon snail) is a sweet pastry served commonly in Northern Europe and North America. It consists of a rolled sheet of yeast dough onto which a cinnamon and sugar  mixture and raisins are  sprinkled over a thin coat of butter. The dough is then rolled, cut into individual portions, and baked. Cinnamon rolls are frequently topped with icing (often confectioner`s sugar based) or a thin milk based glaze of some sort, or nib sugar.

My first ever memory of these sweet and sticky buns was in Chicago airport at least ten years ago…When I landed completely exhausted after a grueling journey, and yearned for a hot cuppa, all I could see was the fresh and warm scent of Cinnamon from Cinnabon!! I could not bring myself to have  wam cinnamon roll early in the morning, so I let it pass. Somehow cinnamon was never a spice for me from the very beginning! Cardamom yes….Cinnamon no thank you.  It really took multiple years of Halloween and Christmas to even get used to cinnamon as a spice! This recipe was inspired by Ina Garten`s sticky buns as my very own Aipi`s version!

INGREDIENTS:

3 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour.

3/4 Tsp Active Dry Yeast.

1/4 Cup of Butter( 4 Tbsp) about 60 gms softened at room temperature.

1/3 Cup + 1/3 Cup  of Brown Sugar.

1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon or Cinnamon Powder.

1/2 Tsp Salt.

1 1/4 Cup Warm Milk.

1/4 Cup Pecans/ Almonds/ Mixed Nuts.

Handful of Raisins.

Handful of Sweetened Coconut Flakes.

FOR THE SWEET GLAZE:

1 Cup Icing Sugar.

1 Tsp Vanilla Essence.

1 Tsp  Butter.

4 Tbsp Warm Milk.

PREPARATION:

  • Measure out the all purpose flour and add salt. Set aside.
  • In the stand mixer cream the sugar and butter well until its light and creamy about 2-3 minutes. There is nothing better than tasting this mixture off your whisk and enjoying the creaminess of the butter and the crunchy sweetness of the sugar , all rolled in one and I had to hold myself really there or I would have lost the proportions permanently!
  • Add the yeast to the milk and allow it to sit for a couple minutes.
  • Add in the flour and the milk mixture to the mixing bowl and combine until its a smooth dough.
  • Take it out and put on the lightly floured surface and knead well with the hands. (I am guessing the whole process could be incorporated with your hands and some good kneading but thats something we have to keep for another day!)
  • Oil the entire surface of the dough and pop it back on to the bowl and cover with a wet kitchen towel. Allow 45 minutes to one hour for the dough to rise and double in volume.
  • Pull out the dough and gently punch it to remove the extra air. Knead for another couple seconds and spread on to a floured work surface.
  • Use a nice rolling pin and roll it in to a large rectangle.
Dough sprinkled with sugar, cinnamon, raisins and coconut flakes.
  • Use the softened butter and spread a thin layer all over the surface of the rectangle. This allows the sugar and nuts etc to stick on to the surface of the dough.
  • Now combine the brown sugar with the powdered cinnamon and spread it generously on the rectangular dough to fill it out as a thin layer covering the surface of the dough completely except the sides.
  • Add pecans, raisins and finally the coconut flakes.

  • Roll the dough tightly in to a log. Seal the edges with the butter and gingerly cut 1 inch pieces of the log and set on to a greased baking tray, 1 inch apart allowing some space between the swirls
  • I also added some to a greased muffin pan.
  • Cover both the trays with a wet kitchen towel and allow to sit for 45 minutes for the dough to rise again.

  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F and pop in the trays to bake for about 20 – 25 minutes until they are golden in color.
  • While the swirls are baking and your kitchen is filled with the aroma of cinnamon and sugar, prepare the easy sugar glaze.
  • Whisk together icing sugar, butter, vanilla essence and milk until it reaches a thin pouring consistency.
  • When the cinnamon rolls are fresh out of the oven set them up to cool for a few minutes else the glaze would melt away in the heat.
  • Spoon out the glaze as you want it to be… I dont like a lot, but my daughter loves to pour it on top until it drips all over the sides!
  • Enjoy warm Cinnamon Swirls with your favourite cuppa!
  • Makes around 16-18 Cinnamon Rolls.


Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Channa Masala (Garbanzo beans simmered in an aromatic tomato gravy redolent with spices)

Channa Masala.

Every home has their own way  of making Channa Masala  and there are so many different recipes for this favorite item out there! My special thoughts of this dish, are always when combined with Batura. TH always loves Channa Batura, steaming hot with a side of Channa Masala, doled up with sliced raw onions and a dash of lemon. I have at least 3 versions of this dish, but I can never really be satisfied. This gravy was inspired by Aipi`s Rajma Masala . I tweaked it around a little bit here and there and was very happy with the results. Somewhere along the line, as I was shooting this pic, I got tickled with the aromas wafting,  and was in danger of scooping a spoonful then and there but reasoning prevailed!!!

INGREDIENTS:

2 Cups of White Channa cooked for 1 whistle in the pressure cooker.

1 Onion Chopped.

1 Cup Tomato Puree or 2 Large Hierloom Tomatoes.

11/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

2 Tsp Dhania Powder.

2 Tsp Ginger Garlic Paste.

1/2 Tsp Turmeric.

1 Tsp Garam Masala Powder.

2 Tsp Kasuri Methi.

1 Tsp Amchur.

2 Bay Leaves.

1 Tsp Cumin Seeds.

Hing.

Salt.

1 Tsp Butter.

PREPARATION:

  • Add 1 tsp of ghee in to a kadai and season with cumin seeds, bay leaves a pinch of asfoetida.  Stir in the chopped onions and allow to saute for a few minutes.
  • Add a pinch of turmeric and then pour out the measured quantity of tomato puree. You could use real tomatoes, but I prefer the tang in tomato purees as well as the colour.
  • Stir in the red chilli powder and ginger garlic paste and allow it to incorporate well n the gravy. Now add 1/2 a cup of water and stir and cook on cover. Allow occasional stirring and wait until the oil seperates from the onion mixture.
  • Dole out the measured spoonful of Dhania Powder (Corriander Powder) and Amchur (Mango Powder) and stir it for a few minutes allowing the raw smell of the spice powders to get cooked in the gravy.
  • Now add the cooked garbanzo beans (White Kabuli Channa) , 2  cups of water, the required salt and let it come to a boil. At this point add the garam masala, kasoori methi and a blob of butter and when you see the gravy coming together, switch off the flame and garnish with chopped cilantro.
  • Keep covered to allow all the flavours to mingle with each other and to be served strictly with sliced raw onions and a dash of lemon!!
  • Excellent accompaniment with batura, Pooris or Paranthas!

 

Nothing like a bowl of Channa Masala with piping hot Puris!!!
Cakes / Pastries / Cookies/ Bread/Muffins.

Moist Mahogany Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting – Celebrating Team India`s win!!!

 

Moist Mahogany Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.

This weekend has been resplendent with celebrations for the wonderful win by our own Men In Blue – The elusive World Cup which has come back home after 28 years!!!! This  has been a well deserved  victory for the Indian Team and one cannot describe in words the elation that was running through every Indian who was part of this cricket craze over the last 6 weeks. One could not help but get sucked in the vortex of this celebration…It almost feels as if every one of us have worked hard and won it along with the Team Blue! This called for a special celebration along with the fact that this post co-incides with my 250`th…Yes I have come a long way…I am a regular at Ria` s wonderful website and I am amazed at the way she presents a very complicated baking dish with elan. It almost seems as if baking was in her blood! I loved this particular post of hers and was convinced this one was fit for the occasion!

INGREDIENTS:

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/3 Cup All Purpose Flour.

2 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder.

1 Tsp Baking Soda.

1 Tsp Salt.

1 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar.

2 Tsp Folgers Instant Coffee Powder.( If its a brand like Bru tone down the coffee a bit as its very high in chicory content and slightly bitter)

Wet Ingredients:

2 Organic Eggs at room temperature.

3/4  Stick of Unsalted butter at room temperature. (Roughly 75 gms).

1 Tsp Vanilla Essence.

1/2 Cup Boiling Water.

1/2 Tsp Vinegar ( I ran out so never used it).

PREPARATION:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C and grease a 9 inch cake pan with some butter. Set aside.
  • Dissolve instant coffee powder to the boiling water and mix it well. Add the cocoa powder mix again and set aside.
  • Measure out the all purpose flour and add baking soda and salt , sieve and set aside.
  • In the mixing bowl add the butter which is at room temperature and using the whisk attachment, cream it well until light and white.
  • Now add the powdered sugar and beat well until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one by one and beat again until well combined.
  • Incorporate the vinegar and the vanilla essence (Please look for ones that dont have any alcohol content) and mix it well.
  • Now add the flour and the coffee-cocoa mixture alternatively , little by little combining it at low speeds in the stand mixer.

 

Cake Batter
  • At the end, you will see glossy cake batter which is well mixed and is very fragrant.
  • Pour in to prepared tin, smoothen and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Various ovens function differently based on capacity, size and wattage. Mine took approximately 32 minutes.
  • Gently ease out of the baking pan and allow to cool before frosting it.

EASY CHOCOLATE FROSTING:

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 Cup Butter softened and at room temperature.

1 cup Icing Sugar.

2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder.

2 Tsp Milk.

1 Tsp Vanilla Essence.

PREPARATION:

  • To your mixing bowl add butter and beat well until its soft and white. Now add icicing sugar, cocoa powder dissolved in milk, and the vanilla essence and beat well until its creamy and of a spreading consistency.
  • Using a spreader, frost the cake with the icing.
  • I piped little circles on the top and added a little hershey chocolate drop on the top!
  • Decorate with chocolate shavings.