Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Eggless Stollen Bite With Toffee Candy

HOhoHo..... Santa.... is coming to town....lalala... MERRY CHRISTMAS to all my dearest readers! I'm sure you're all having a wonderful time right at this moment. Oh wow, Christmas is here already! Do you believe it? The weather is getting chilled over here immediately after the celebration of 'dongzhi' or winter solstice a few days ago and quite windy too. I know I have to bake something.....something warm for everyone at home. And I have finally put my hands together on this German traditional cake on this special day. This special cake is also called as Stollen or Christstollen or Weihnachtstollen which is usually eaten during Christmas. It is a bread-like fruity yeasted cake and is normally filled in with marzipan. Well, I have replaced marzipan with something even more exciting....toffee candies. Slurppp......

So, here's what I did.
Ingredients :
500gm  all purpose flour
2 TB  sugar
1 TB lemon zest
a pinch of salt
1/2 TB cinnamon powder

100ml    lukewarm milk
3 tspn    yeast
(combine and leave to rest for 10 mins)

200gm   butter, melted
80gm    sugar
50gm   almond meal
150ml  yogurt
(combined all ingredients & mix well)

100gm  dried cranberry, washed
50gm    candied nutmeg, washed
30gm    candied orange peeled, washed
4 TB  brandy
(stir brandy into mix fruit and let to rest for an hour before used)

For topping :  50gm  butter, melted & icing sugar for dusting
For filling  :  store bought toffee candy

Method :
(1) combine ingredients (A) into a big bowl & mix well.
(2) now, stir mixture (B) & (C) into ingredients (A) and mix to form a soft dough.
(3) finally, add ingredients (D) into soft dough and knead to combine.
(4) then let dough rest for 1-1/2 hour and again knead dough to smooth.
(5) divide dough into 4 portions and then cut each portion into 10 pcs.
(6) wrap each dough with toffee candies and arrange them on baking tray.
(7) again let dough rest for 30 mins.
(8) now, bake at preheated oven 195-200'C for about 15-20 mins or till brown.
(9) for final touch up, brush on melted butter and dust with icing sugar once cooled completely.

I've failed to take a perfect picture of the melting toffee center. Most of them came out quite blur and unable to focus properly. Other than that I am full. You know what I mean! hahaha.... Anyway, have lots of fun guys! God Blessed. ((hugs))...& more ((hugs)) from ME.
I'm sending this to Wild Yeast Blog @ Yeastspotting & Bake Your Own Bread.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Spicy Turmeric Chicken

Did you realize that X'mas is just a couple of days away? And then here comes 2013. Phewwww...... Guess, everyone already in the holiday mood and some even started planning their menu for the coming celebration weeks ago or even months ago. I'm not celebrating it but I can feel the joy like everyone else. So much fun, just like a little kid ! :o) However, the Chinese is too looking forward to the final celebration of the year which is called 'dongzhi' or winter solstice. And it's fall on the 21st of December this year. I think it also brings the meaning of new beginning and NOT the end of the world. So for the pre-celebration, I made my family a yummy delicious spicy chicken.

And here's what I did.
Ingredients :
1 whole chicken, chopped in pieces
2 tbsp turmeric powder
salt & pepper to taste

Blended Paste :
1 inch ginger
1 large onion
5 shallots
5 cloves garlic
1 inch fresh lengkuas/blue ginger
1 inch fresh turmeric
2 stalk lemongrass, 2 inches from the bottom part (sliced)
handful of bird eye chilies

Method :
(1) marinade chicken pieces with salt & pepper and turmeric powder, leave to rest for 1/2 hour.
(2) deep fried the chicken till brown, then set aside.
(3)  remove cooking oil from wok or pan and leave only about 1/2 cup of it.
(4)  on the heat and stir in the blended mixture, then saute till fragrant.
(5)  next add in fried chicken and simmer over low heat till everything well blended for about 15 mins. Stir constantly to prevent burnt.
(6) remove the chicken once the strong aroma of spices appeared & blended paste became dried, make sure you don't burnt it.

Kids missed their mom's home cook food a lot cause haven't been cooking much lately. haha.... Actually, I just got back from a short vacation. I went home to visit & spent a few days time with my parents. It was wonderful. I had so much fun enjoying the food back home and am now planning what else to take on my next visit home. :o)

Wishing all my readers a very Happy Holiday Season. Enjoy & have loads of fun !

Monday, December 10, 2012

Choreg / Chorak ~ The Armenian Brioche

After two Armenian recipes, I'm still in the mood of making more middle east baking. haha... Honestly, their bake goods are simply amazing. Mostly loaded of nuts & dates....special spices (mahlab) & blossom water! Emmmm...... I wonder where can I get those blossom water. I have rose water but not blossom water. Sounds like a mission impossible here ! :o) Don't worry. I am not going to stop right here.

Ingredients for dough :
550gm   all purpose flour
3-1/2 TB  sugar
1 TB   yeast
1/2 TB rose water
1/2 cup  milk
1/2 cup  water
5 egg yolk
50gm  butter, chopped
2 TB  corn oil

For fillings : Refer here.
*2 cups pitted whole date, with open face
*egg glazing : 1 egg yolk + 1/2 TB milk
& some poppy seeds for topping
(or recipe from here)

Method :
(1) combine all ingredients into a big bowl and stir to form a soft & smooth dough.
(2) leave to rest for an hour or till double in size, then punch to release air & knead to smooth. (rub your hands with oil when handling sticky dough, do not use flour)
(3) once it's ready, place dough to slightly floured working table and divide into 2 portions.
(4) dust extra flour over dough and roll out flat around 9x10" in size, cut into half.
(5) line pitted dates to both dough then cover with citrus sugar filling.
(6) wrap each filling dough and make sure everything is nicely sealed. (repeat the remaining dough as mention)
(7) now, cut each wrapped rolls into 6 portions and line them to baking tray.
(8) give it another 5-10 mins rest and then brush with egg glazing.
(9) finally, bake at preheated oven 190'C for about 13-15 mins or till nicely brown.

The origin Armenian filling  is mostly made with dates paste but I think I have to skip that. To make it simple, I used whole pitted dates. Yeap,  that sounds like a lazy baker! haha.... Reminder ~ never stress out when you tried to bake or cook something. Just be comfortable with what you have and use any other ingredients as substitute. Otherwise, nothing delicious will comes out of your oven. Just enjoy & have fun ! And also have a wonderful holiday season.
I'm sending this to Wild Yeast @ Yeastspotting & Bake Your Own Bread.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Armenian Nutmeg & Hazelnut Cake

Without wasting any time, I have too tried the Armenian cake which is another beautiful dessert other than the Nazook pastry. The Armenian cake often called for freshly grated nutmeg and brown sugar. And the cake is normally surrounded by a layer of sweet crust which produced such extraordinary crunchiness that I like about. So, here another piece of work I did.

Ingredients :
250ml   milk
1 tspn  baking soda
1 egg
1-1/2 tspn  nutmeg powder

200gm  all purpose flour
50gm  hazelnut meal
280gm  brown sugar
2 tspn  baking powder

150gm  cold butter, diced

30gm   hazelnut meal
1.2 cup  candied shredded nutmeg

Method :
(1) firstly, combine milk & baking soda and set aside.
(2) now, combine ingredients (B) into a big bowl and mix well and then rub in butter till everything well combined.
(3) press 1/2 portion of (B) mixture to a 8" spring foam pan and set aside.
(4) then combine the remaining 1/2 portion of (B) mixture together with ingredients (A) and beat well.
(5) pour the batter to the biscuit base pan and top with ingredients (D).
(6) finally, bake at preheated oven 175'C for about 60-70 mins or till the tester came out clean.
(7) cool the cake before demolding it.

Not to mention about the crust! The cake is so aromatic and moist. I even added in extra candied shredded nutmeg where I can easily get them from our local supermarket. It's simply irresistible. This cake is not overly sweet as well ~ just nice. I bet you wanna a bite tooooo, guys. :o)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Armenian Pastry ~ Nazook With Toasted Coconut

As I seldom have time to scroll around the site lately, I started checking out my list to do and suddenly reminded me this awesome piece of pastry. It was actually inspired by Barbara @ Barbara Bakes. She did quite a number of them with different fillings and I just couldn't resist without copying down the recipe. Nazook is one of many famous goodies of Lebanese or Armenian. It is a layered yeasted dough pastry with sweet filling and often they used mahlab on it. Mahlab is some kind of middle east spices which is very popular among the region.. And what I like about it is ~ it's not overly sweet.

And here's what I did.
Ingredients for Pastry Dough :
2-1/2 cups  all purpose flour
1 tspn  salt
2-1/4 tspn  yeast
1 cup  sour cream / yogurt
225gm   butter, at room temperature

Method :
(1) combine flour, salt & yeast into a big bowl then mix well.
(2) next, stir in sour cream & butter to form a soft dough, knead to smooth.
(3) then wrap with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated for about 3-5 hours or overnight.

Ingredients for Fillings :
1 cup  all purpose flour
170gm  soft butter
1 cup    sugar
1 grated lemon rind
1 grated orange rind

Method : beat butter & sugar till well mixed then stir in the rest ingredients and mix to combine. And set aside.

* 1 cup  toasted coconut & 1 beaten egg for glazing

(1) withdraw dough from fridge and let to rest for 15 mins.
(2) divide into 4 portions and roll each into a ball.
(3) flatten one dough at a time, by rolling out on a floured working table into rectangle shape.
(4) then simply spread the filling & toasted coconut on and roll it up starts from one of the long side.
(5) pat down the loaf a little bit and then cut into few portions.
(6) place pastry to baking pan line with grease proof paper and let to rest for 10 mins.
(7) finally brush the top with egg glazing and bake at preheated oven 175-180'C for about 30 mins or till crispy brown.

Gosh, this pastry is absolutely delicious. Every bite is simply heavenly. The crunchiness of the crust calling you for more. I ended up having a few. Can't wait to make another batch of it. I'm sure you guys will love it too.
I'm sending this to Wild Yeast @ Yeastspotting & Bake Your Own Bread.
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