Saturday, June 29, 2013

Tomato Crumble | Crumbly Caprese Salad

Whats in a name? - said the Bard.

The name doesn't matter as long as the taste is good. Atleast that was the intention whenever I try out something different.

Normally whenever the items tomatoes, mozzarella and basil are there in my pantry the first thing that comes in my mind is a pizza or Caprese Salad. This time I went for the savory crumble with these  though.I had kept the recipe closer to a normal Caprese salad and we can call it a baked crumbly salad.

I had seen this savory crumble in several spaces and was wondering how it will turn out.I love fruit crumbles and have tried several whenever I see the  fruits sitting listlessly in the fridge. This time as well I was not disappointed. The crumble was quick to put together and was tasty. I had followed no specific recipe but went with items that I had in hand and feel free to add your own variations to make the crumble more interesting.


Tomatoes: 3-4 medium-big, sliced into rounds
Fresh Basil: chopped 2 tbsp+ more for garnish
Salt & Pepper : as per taste

BreadCrumbs: 1/2 cup (I used Italian seasoned breadcrumbs)
Mozzarella: 1/2 cup grated
Soft Butter: 1 tbsp (I left it out)


In a big bowl, mix together tomato slices, chopped basil and salt and pepper. Spread as a single layer in an appropriate baking dish. I used a 9.5 ' pie pan.

Mix together topping ingredients and spread over the tomato layer.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for about 15-20 minutes until the top starts browning and liquid bubbles on the sides.

Garnish with more basil and serve as an side dish.

The dish was super tasty -I told you I love tomatoes, didn't I? Only confusion was with which main to pair this dish with. In the end, I loved it wrapped within rotis and also as such.

I had slightly deviated from the classic or traditional crumble recipe. I had not mixed up any thickeners like cornstarch or even flour with the tomatoes. These are usually added to absorb excess liquid and prevent boiling over. This went okay for me as I had used breadcrumbs as topping which obviously absorbed whatever excess liquid was there.

Also I completely left out butter and went for just breadcrumbs and mozzarella. I didn't want to increase the fat content. Ofcourse 1 tbsp of butter might not make a big difference and feel free to go for it.You can top the tomatoes with butter crumbled/chopped and then go for the topping.Also fee free to try different flours -oat/wheat/all purpose instead of breadcrumbs.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Baked Doughnuts | We Knead to Bake #6

The month of June is usually a slow month for me. I would be just back from vacations, school reopening, books to be covered, getting up early to make lunchbox -I hate getting up early. I am a night owl. :D

Anyways I had decided that this will be a slow month for the blog as well. That doesn't mean I don't bake, I did bake though posted none except for gougeres. Texturally, they weren't gougeres, but savoury cheese cookies. That didn't discourage me from baking doughnuts for We Knead to Bake this month.

First Friday of June is celebrated as National Doughnut Day in US. For me and my daughter everyday can be a doughnut day. I love them and whenever I see Doughnut shop-there are many branded ones in every second street  and even in hypermarkets -my eyes do more than just lingering over.These days I prefer savoury as well as sweet ones and current favourite is a Mexican salsa doughnut. Only cons of doughnut is that is a deep fried snack! which takes away all the fun and adds the calories. :( !

But the yummy challenge was for yeasted baked doughnuts. I went for the sweet ones and was not disappointed as they were consumed in a jiffy.All Thanks to Aparna who had adapted the eggless recipe from Lara Ferroni's book Donuts.


Fine powdered Sugar: 4 tbsp
Warm Milk: 1 cup
Instant yeast: 3/4 tbsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Vanilla Extract: 2 tsp

Cake Flour: 1 cup
All Purpose Flour: 1.5-2.5 cups

Cubed Cold Butter:  100 gms or 8 tbsp

Strawberry or Chocolate ganache glaze 

Strawberry Jam

In a food processor, blend the sugar, milk, yeast salt and vanilla.

Add in the cake flour and 1 cup of  all purpose flour to this and process adding more flour as needed till the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.At this point will be slightly sticky. Add in the cubed butter and blend in to absorb the butter in the dough and no butter pieces are remaining at the bottom of the bowl.

Again the dough will be slightly sticky and if so, add in more flour in tablespoons and blend in till you get a soft, pliable, dough which is slightly sticky.

Turn out the dough into a lightly floured surface and knead gently till it no longer sticks to your hands. Shape it into a ball and let it sit covered in a greased bowl- rolling once to get coated with oil- until it doubles in volume which an hour away.

Punch down the down on a floured surface and roll it out into 1/2 inch thickness. Using a doughnut cutter cut out doughnuts and place on a lightly greased or lined baking sheet 1 inch apart and rest these for another 20 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200C /400F and once ready bake the dough for 5-10 minutes till they brown on the top. Do not overbake them.

Take them out and then glaze them with your choice of glaze. I went for jam filled ones

And also glazed the rest with chocolate ganache and strawberry glaze.

For the strawberry glaze, I simply mixed together few tbsp of powdered sugar with 2 tbsp of strawberry syrup and about 1 tbsp of milk. I wanted the thin glaze and this worked for me. I used this recipe on glazes as suggested by Aparna for both the glazes.

The jam filled one was also  a winner. I personally prefer the ganache one though. Warm doughnut right from oven on a Sunday is more than perfect.

Lets see how the challenge went off for others. Hop to Aparna's for a dekho!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Gougeres- Tasty Experiment | Baking Partners #12

Gougeres have always been in my bookmarks. Airy crispy and flaky gougeres warm from the oven definitely would have made my day except for the simple fact that they had eggs in them. 

Sometimes I think why am choosing eggless stuff. I can and am using eggs occasionally,but in my bakes I somehow don't prefer them. 

But when it comes to things like gougeres, macarons or even souffles and ofcourse certain cakes I am stumped. I blame myself for going eggless then. This time as well the excellent recipe given by Swathi turned out good but texturally its not a gougere but savoury cheese cookies. The cookies were over in now time but are they gougeres ..?!

Water: 10 tbsp
Butter: 2.2 oz or roughly 4.5 tbsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp
Pepper: fresh grated
All Purpose Flour: 1/2 cup + 2.5 tbsp
Eggs: 3 or Ener G egg = 4.5 packed tsp + 6 tbsp of water
Cheddar: grated scant 1 cup


Combine water,butter,salt.pepper and optionally a pinch of sugar in a saucepan, put on medium heat till butter melts and then increase it to high.As it starts simmering, remove from heat and with a wooden flour, stir in all the flour.You will get a past- like consistency.

For me, I had gone for an additional 1/2 tbsp of water and when I followed the recipe, it immediately started turning into a ball and pulled away from the sides of the pan.Still I continued with the next step as given in the recipe.
Once the flour is mixed in, place over medium heat and stir rapidly for a minute,until the dough pulls away from the side of the pan and the bottom looks clean.. The dough must look glossy but not dry.

Immediately transfer the dough to the mixer bowl and mix for about 30 seconds to release the moisture.
Add in the eggs one at a time, or 1/3rd quantity of the egg replacer, beating after each addition.

Blend until the dough pulls away from the sides but still tries to stick to it.Continue beating until everythings looks well blended and we get a creamy dough which holds itself. Atleast thats how mine looked like.

Add in the cheese and pulse for few more seconds to incorporate the cheese.

Transfer the batter into the pastry bag and pipe out free form balls onto a lined and greased baking sheet about 1.5 inches apart.Use wet finger tip to push down the tip left on top of each ball after piping.

Bake the gougeres for 18-20 minutes until they are golden brown (they can be lightly brown as well as seen in few sites) in a preheated oven at 350F.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Mine looked more like savoury cheese cookies and not the flaky light as expected. Mine were crisp at the bottom but puffy at the centre.They turned softer after a while. Upon breaking they had airholes within them but mushy at the centre.Still the taste was excellent and definitely I would try making them again.

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