Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Another try..

I know that many of you have waited quite long for this blog post (and have never once said an unkind word) but trust me, its not that I had been delaying it deliberately. I dont think I have tried so many different recipes and variations of the same category before as I have in search of the so-called "store-bought dougnuts" recipe that you had asked me for, but after having been sorely disappointed in most of the proclaimed copycat recipes provided on the internet, I have now decided to bring a stop to wasting my husbands hardearned money and settle on what tastes like a good doughnut to me and my family - without comparing it with the ones from anywhere else. FULLSTOP.

I am sorry if my intro has brought you tons of disappointment, but trust me, better take it now than the one youll have on throwing your money and effort into the trash bin later. There is definitely some sort of additive or trick in the bakery-style doughnuts that I havent been able to find yet. So, instead of fretting my mind about duplicating the taste one gets at famous doughnut stores, I now try to enjoy what really pleases my doughnut cravings. And in case youre thinking that I am going to share a better recipe than my previous one, I am afraid but I have to disappoint you here as well. The potato-variant still is on the top of my favourite quick fixes for making softest doughnut at home but here is another one that too has managed to pass the test with flying colours lately (I do have some reservations regarding the "copycat claim" attached to it on most of the online pages but there is no doubt about their taste being sinfully great).

So here comes my second blogworthy attempt on making doughnuts:

Krispy Kreme Style Doughnuts
Inspired by:


1/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup warm milk (low-fat)
2 tbs soft butter
2 tbsp sugar (I took 3)
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 sachet (7 g) instant yeast
2 1/4 cups flour + 1/4 cup for dusting the counter
Vanilla essence

Melt butter with milk in a small sauce pan and allow to cool slightly.

Take water in a large bowl, add in sugar, salt, vanilla and sprinkle yeast on top. Stir. Pour in the buttered milk. Also add egg and mix until combined.

Start adding flour, half cup at a time.

Stir with a spoon or mix in the kitchen machine.

Stir in the remaining flour until a sticky dough is formed. Tip: DO NOT add too much flour, itll turn them hard later.
Tip: The flour quantity also depends on the weather as well as how cold/warm the liquid ingredients are! I try not to use extra flour even if the dough is too sticky. Let it sit in a warm place and itll automatically get a workable consistancy.

Make a ball, cut in the centre and set aside until double in size.

Tranfer the dough onto the dusted kitchen counter and knead lightly to incorporate the flour. Tip: The dough will be sticky at first, but will get better as you knead. Tip: Try not to overwork the dough - kneading for three four minutes is more than enough!

Roll out the dough to desired thickness.

Cut with floured doughnut cutter or with any round-shaped glass and bottle caps.

Cover and allow to proof until double in size.

Look at the difference!

Heat oil in a deep skillet or fryer to 350 F. Tip: Be careful about the temperature, it DOES matter: too low and they'll absorb oil turning soggy and oily in the end, too high and theyll turn brown very quickly but will remain uncooked from inside.

Slide down the doughnuts into the oil using a wide spatula.

Fry for about 1- 2 minutes and turn over.

Fry for a minute or two on the other side as well. Carefully remove from oil and drain.

Allow to cool and prepare the glaze meanwhile.

You can use any of your favourite frostings. Check the previous blog for ideas or try a new one:

Cocoa Glaze:

1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp corn syrup
1 tbsp milk

Melt butter with milk in a small sauce pan. Remove from heat, add syrup, cocoa powder, icing sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined and glossy.

Dip the cooled doughnuts in glaze and allow to rest on a wire rack to set.

My my...they were just amazing! Sweet, crispy, light, tall, chocolaty...absolutely delectable!!!!

What do you say???

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Making naan without tandoor....

Yes, its been over a week and I know, many of you have been waiting with bated breath for me to disclose the secret recipe for the delectable naans I served with the spicy creamy chicken in my post "The mistress of spices". Well, the recipe is actually no secret, I simply viewed various online recipes and videos on making naan bread, tried making them in my kitchen, added and substracted a few things until it reached the definition of what I call a plain naan. Thats it!!!

Now if youre thinking, whats then so special and unique about it if the recipe is adapted from the net. Hold on for a while, you have no idea how many recipes I and my friends here in Germany have already toiled over to get close to the taste and texture of the naans we get served in the restaurants or local tandoor hotels back in Pakistan. No wonder, most of the trials didnt come out well, not only because of the bogus recipes but mainly because you cant expect us to trasform our regular ovens into the special Tandoors - the traditional wooden-fired clay ovens where they slap the flattened bread dough against the side walls and then remove it using a hooked wire after getting crispy and slightly charred. Okay, there are few safe alternatives available in the market nowadays but trust me people, even the thought of investing in another kitchen gadget to clutter up my tiny kitchen makes me feel nauseatic now (The sexy Kendwood Chef Titanium is an exception though;), so once again I had to look for a space-saving substitute to emulate the traditional way. The hint came through reading up on a non-yeast naan recipe at Sailu´s blog. Sailaja has made her naan breads on the iron tawa and they also look absolutely gorgeous but since its not feasable for using on the flat ceramic top of my electric cooker, I had to try the alternative technique she had mentioned about. And worked!!!

I am soooooo glad not only to have found a safe and effective replacement to the clay oven but my "nearly-antique" pressure cooker has also got a residential permit in our kitchen now. Okay, enough of jibber-jabber, I know you youre mainly interested in getting to the recipe and method.

So, this is how it goes:

Take out your moms old stainless steel pressure cooker or a simliar heavy based cooking pan. And make sure you have the following ingredients in the pantry.

Plain Naan (without yeast)


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbs rice flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1/2 cup milk (low fat)
Butter and sesame seeds (optional)

Sift both flours, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl.

Mix yoghurt and milk and microwave for a few seconds until warm (not hot). Tip: You can also use warm milk instead and mix it with yoghurt.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid.

Mix until a rough and sticky dough is formed. Tip: Depending on the climate, you may also need to use extra water but make sure the dough is very soft and sticky.

Tranfer the dough onto a floured surface and start kneading with your hands. Tip: Stretch and roll again and again.

Cover the dough and set aside for atleast 30 minutes.

Again knead for a while and then divide into 5-6 balls.

quick naan bread at home

making naan at home

Roll out one ball into a round flat circle. Now in case you are an over sensitive hygiene freak, use a fork to poke holes in the centre, otherwise watch this video clip to have a realistic feel to how naans are traditionally made;) Dont blame me, if you find it disgusting:p

Make sure your nails are clean (okayyyy, you may also wear gloves) and poke the dough circle to make a nice pattern.

Rotate to 90 degrees and poke again.

no yeast naan recipe

Stretch the dough a bit and youll get the desired pattern.

Heat the pressure cooker upside down for about 2 minutes.

Making naan without tandoor

Once its hot, turn over. Wet your fingers or a pastry brush with water and run along one side of the naan. This will help it stick properly to the surface.

Stick the naan to the bottom of the pressure cooker.

Brush the upper side with water and sprinkle some sesamse seeds. Tip: This step is optional!

naan in a pressure cooker

Invert the pressure cooker on direct heat again and let the naan cook for a minute or so. Can you see the smoke coming out the sides??

Lift one side of the pan to check if its done.

Note: I havent turned the heat off. My stupid cooking range has an automatic heat controlling system but that shouldnt make you feel reluctant about trying the technique on your gas or electric cookers.

Turn over the pressure cooker and allow the other side to cook as well.

Drizzle some butter on top (optional) and serve hot. This is how the pan looked after making 10 naan breads.

Tip: Another great way to make home-made naans is to use the broiling function of your oven. Prepare naans as described above, tansfer onto a regular cookie sheet and broil on each side for ca. 3 minutes. Below (the one on the plate) is an image of the broiled version:

Verdict: Both types, i.e. pressure-cooker as well as the broiled ones were fairly easy to make. Those from the pressure cooker were much quicker to cook and were light in texture, whereas, the broiled ones tasted pretty much like Roghni Naans.

Update: Here is an image of the ones I made last night. Have used hot water (instead of milk) and yogurt to knead the dough and didnt poke the centre. Result: The naans were more crispy and way too light in texture.

Best homemade naan recipe

My next target is a yeast-based Qeema wala naan. And yours???


Friday, 10 February 2012

When the heart craves a cake...

Valentine´s day is just a couple of days away and I was wondering how and if my lovely readers plan on celebrating it? For us, it is usually not too big of a deal - just another ordinary day where my husband would be at work all day and I might cook him something nice in the evening and then he would take me out for a brownie afterwards. No romantic date, exclusive gift exchanges, exaggerated and unachieveable promises or what so ever (we save that all for our anniversary, ofcourse:p).

But just in case you are planning on paying a tribute to the great Saint Valentines on the coming 14th, I have a sweet idea for you to celebrate it with your loved ones.

Just came across this brilliant technique on "Butter Hearts Sugar" a few weeks ago and decided to try it. Instead of following the Orange Coconut Cake recipe that Kara has used for her cake, I went for a new lemon pound which was a total disaster, so much so that even my darling Valentine couldnt resist saying, "Why do you have to test everything on me first?", from which I concluded that it would be wise to not share it here and save you the disappointment, money and time that I endured.

But since the idea of hearts inside the cake itself is so cute and worth trying, here are two of my favourite recipes that you might like to use or you can make any of your favourite plain cakes, just make sure that the batter is enough to make the hearts and cover them later.

Prepare the cake mixture as usual. Take out 1/3 of the batter into a smaller bowl.

Add in red food colouring to the smaller portion. Pour this mixture into a square or rectangular pan, (greased and lined, ofcourse).

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 15- 20 minutes or until the tooth pick comes out clean. Take out of the oven and allow to cool a bit in the pan. Then slide onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Cut out hearts using a cookie cutter (I am using a piece of my sons puzzle:p. There is nothing wrong in using your imagination at times, will save you not only money but also some space in your kitchen cabinets).

Pour half of the remaining cake batter into a loaf tin and arrange the cake hearts in the centre. Tip: This part was a bit tricky, dont give up in case the hearts start falling in where you dont want them to:)

Pour over rest of the batter carefully. Tip: Dont worry if it doesnt cover all the hearts. The cake will rise while baking (hopefully!!!).

Bake in preheated oven as per recipe directions.

Remove the lining and allow to cool completely. This looks ugly, I know. But wait until you see how Im going to cover it with the magic dust.

Icing sugar is so sweet and helping, no???

Let your heart finds its way to those who need it most....

P.S. In case you dont know how to melt someone´s heart with a cheese cake, click here!

May the love you show to others return to you multiplied, have a great day you all!!!!