Cinnamon Sugar Coated Maple Apple Cakes

December 3, 2014 § 1 Comment

cinnamon sugar coated maple apple cakes

I had been longing for a comforting cinnamon flavored earthy bite of a cake from past few days. As I hadn’t baked cakes in past few days. I made rather healthier stuff like soups, breads and granola {will write about granola soon}. So I had been craving for the dessert. And with winters on, the desire grew all the more strong. Right when I had been thinking of baking a cake on weekend, I got to know that I have to travel to London for work. I was excited to go but I was sad to know that I’ll be away from baking from next three weeks.

cinnamon sugar coated maple apple cakes

So, I thought of baking the cakes before I leave. Despite having almost no time left for baking, I somehow managed to pull these up in a very short time. I got up pretty early in the morning, may be the clock was ticking 5 o’clock. I whipped the batter quickly and baked them in a hurry.

cinnamon sugar coated maple apple cakes

They came out wonderfully moist and amazingly flavored. The extra coat of cinnamon sugar made them perfect to suit winter and the coming holiday season. I took these shots hurriedly when the light was really low, which rather helped setting the mood right. Cold winter days with very little sunshine. A glass of hot simmering coffee is all that I needed to pair with them. 

cinnamon sugar coated maple apple cakes

cinnamon sugar coated maple apple cakes

Cinnamon Sugar Coated Maple Apple Cakes
Cinnamon Sugar Coated Maple Apple Cakes
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Ingredients
  1. 375 gm self-raising flour, sifted
  2. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  3. 200 gm butter, melted
  4. 175 gm brown sugar
  5. 175 gm maple syrup
  6. 4 eggs
  7. 6 red apples, peeled and grated
  8. 2 tsp ground cinnamon, extra
  9. 200 gm caster sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the flour and cinnamon in a bowl and mix to combine.
  2. Add the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs and apple and mix well to combine.
  3. Spoon into 12 x well greased 1 cup-capacity Bundt tins.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
  5. Turn out immediately. Place the extra cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and mix to combine.
  6. Coat the cakes in the sugar and cool.
Adapted from Donna Hay
Adapted from Donna Hay
The White Ramekins http://thewhiteramekins.com/

Wholewheat Olive Bread

November 19, 2014 § 8 Comments

wholewheat & olive bread @ The White Ramekins

Baking your own bread at home is way more gratifying than anything else, especially for a home baker like me, who generally tend towards baking more of cakes and other stuff. It is rarely that I bake bread. And it is not just science behind the baking of a bread, but the art that gets involved into how gentle you care about the rising dough. And it is more artistic in nature when it comes to baking rustic artisan breads. I love their irregular shapes and cuts. Their free form nature and the imperfectness is what makes them so special. And not just their body, the complex and deep flavors of a long rising dough makes them stand apart from your regular quick yeast breads. I have this wonderful book on fundamental of artisan bread and pizza making called Flour Water Salt Yeast, sitting on my bookshelf from a very long time now. It is amazing how the author and the recipe developer behind the book has devised ways to bake rustic breads and pizzas for a home baker. The passion and the honed craft of the author just reflects through the pages of this book. A dutch oven is what it needs to bake a bread which is crispy crusty on the outside and soft and supple on the inside. It helps retain the steam within the lidded dutch oven, which is really crucial for a lovely crust. There are multiple stages on baking this wonderful bread, which seem daunting at once. But if you plan well, and follow the instructions as mentioned, you shouldn’t worry about the lengthy process. The author has clearly mentioned timelines as well, as to how to plan your baking regime. I tried 75% wholewheat bread this time, with some black olives thrown in. I was really surprised when I opened the lid of the dutch oven, it had an amazing rustic crust which you’d find on the breads baked by an artisan bakery. The bite into a slice was really satisfying. I slathered it with a luscious feta dip and drizzled some chili garlic olive oil on top of it. It tasted heavenly, good enough to forget about the time that went into making this.  

wholewheat & olive bread @ The White Ramekinswholewheat & olive bread @ The White Ramekinswholewheat & olive bread @ The White Ramekinswholewheat & olive bread @ The White Ramekinswholewheat & olive bread @ The White Ramekins 

 

Wholewheat Olive Bread
Wholewheat Olive Bread with rustic chewy crust on the outside and soft and supple center inside.
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Ingredients
  1. 750 gm wholewheat flour
  2. 250 gm plain flour
  3. 800 gm water (32 degree C to 35 degree C)
  4. 22 gm salt
  5. 3 gm instant dried yeast
  6. 1 cup olives (pat dried, without any brine water)
Autolyse
  1. Mix both the flours by hand in a 5 liter capacity container. Add water and mix by hand until incorporated. Cover and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
Mix
  1. Sprinkle salt and yeast over top of dough. Mix by hand, wetting your hand before mixing, so the dough doesn't stick to you (it is ok to rewet your hand 3-4 times).
  2. Reach underneath and grab about one quarter of dough, gently stretch it and fold it over top of rest of the dough in container. Repeat this stretch and folding process 3 more times until salt and yeast are fully enclosed.
  3. Using your thumb and forefinger, make five or six cuts across the entire mass of dough and then fold the dough over itself a few times. Repeat this cutting, folding 3-4 more times until all the ingredients are fully integrated and the dough has some tension in it.
  4. Let the dough rest for a few minutes and then fold for another 30 seconds or until dough tightens up.
Fold
  1. Dough needs three folds, which need to be done during first 1 1/2 hours after mixing the dough, as described in above process.
  2. Add the olives to the dough and follow the steps to fold.
  3. For folding, dip your hand in some warm water to wet it, so that dough doesn't stick to you. Reach underneath the dough and pull about a quarter up to stretch it until you feel resistance, then fold it over top of rest of the dough. Repeat four five times, working around the dough, until it has tightened into a ball. Grab the entire ball and invert it so the seam side faces down.
  4. Let it rest covered for 30 minutes and repeat the folding process 2 more times, with a 30 minute gap between each folding process.
  5. Let cover and rest for about 5 hours, or until dough has tripled its original volume. It is now ready to be divided into loaves.
Divide
  1. Moderately flour a work surface. Flour your hands and sprinkle a bit of flour around the edges of the container having dough.
  2. Tip the container lightly and working your floured hands beneath the dough to loosen it from the bottom of container. Gently ease the dough out on the work surface without pulling it or tearing it.
  3. Cut the dough into two equal size pieces.
Shape
  1. Dust 2 kitchen towels with flour and place them inside two deep bowls, spreading them so as to cover the inner surface of the entire bowl. These are the proofing bowls.
  2. Take one piece of dough at a time and stretch and fold one quarter of dough over top of rest of the dough, repeating until you get a medium shaped ball, with a little tension in it. Then flip it over the work surface with seam side facing the surface. Place it inside the prepared proofing bowl with seam side facing down.
  3. Repeat the shaping process with the remaining piece of dough.
Proof
  1. Lightly flour the surface of the loaves. Cover with kitchen towels and let them rest for 1 1/4 hours, assuming the room temperature of about 21 degree C. Poke the rising loaves making an indentation about 1/2 inch deep, after the proofing time is over to test if the loaves have proofed perfectly. If the dough springs back slowly, the loaves have proofed perfectly. If the indentation spring back immediately, loaves need some more time to proof.
Preheat
  1. At least 45 minutes prior to baking, put two dutch ovens on the middle rack of oven with their lids on. Preheat at 245 degree C.
  2. If you have one dutch oven, put the second loaf in fridge about 20 minutes before baking the first loaf. Bake loaves sequentially, giving the dutch oven a 5 minutes reheat after removing the first loaf.
Bake
  1. Invert the proofed loaf onto a work surface lightly floured, keeping in mind that the top of the loaf will be the side that was facing down while it was proofing - the seam side.
  2. Use oven mitts to remove the preheated dutch oven from the oven. Remove the lid and carefully place the loaf into the hot dutch oven seam side up. Use mitts to replace the lid and put the dutch oven in the oven.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes and then carefully remove the lid and bake for another 20 minutes, until at least medium dark brown all around the bread.
  4. Remove the dutch oven and carefully tilt it to turn the loaf out. Let cool on a rack for 20 minutes before slicing into the bread.
Notes
  1. Schedule: Begin at 9:30 am, finish mixing at 10 am, shape into loaves at 3 pm, and bake at 4:15 pm.
Adapted from Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish
Adapted from Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish
The White Ramekins http://thewhiteramekins.com/

Persimmon Maple Upside Down Cake

November 11, 2014 § 5 Comments

persimmon maple upside down cake

While I got a little late in posting this recipe by few days, it is still not that late. As you’d still be able to find the last of persimmon fruit this season, somewhere tucked on the shelves of your local fruit merchant. Persimmon make their appearance although for a very short time during the months of fall season, them being the sturdy fruit with longer shelf life, they tend to stay for sometime. At least good enough for you to make something delicious out of them. Last year we enjoyed them with some yougurt and homemade granola, served in small tumblers, just as a healthy alternative to an indulgent parfait. I baked this indulgent persimmon maple upside down cake a couple of weeks back, but I couldn’t get time to publish this on the blog. Persimmons are not new to us. We’ve been enjoying these sweet pulpy fruit every year from a very long time now. On my recent trip to mountains, we enjoyed them a lot too. You’d find them in plenty on mountains, where they call it Ramphal in local language. The ones I bought were quite firm,which would be good to be baked in a cake or a pie. The recipe is from a book called Indulgent Cakes, which I bought recently. The beautiful pictures made me swoon over all the recipes in the book. While I found the pictures quite awe-inspiring, I found the recipe measurements slightly off. The proportions of butter and sugar to flour appeared way more indulgent to me, than I would generally prefer. So, I cut them down slightly and I found the final outcome perfectly sweet for my tastebuds. I would still like to try few more recipes from the book, before I come to any conclusion. To be honest, I really liked the combination of flavors which have been brought together. This has got maple syrup, persimmon, pistachios and semolina. Quite unusual pairings, yet very tasteful. 

persimmon maple upside down cake

persimmon maple upside down cake

persimmon maple upside down cake

persimmon maple upside down cake

persimmon maple upside down cake

Persimmon Maple Upside Down Cake
Persimmon Maple Upside Down Cake
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup maple syrup
  2. 150 gm butter
  3. 3 persimmons, sliced thinly
  4. 1 cup caster sugar
  5. 1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
  6. 3 eggs
  7. 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  8. 3/4 cup plain flour
  9. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  10. 3/4 cup milk
  11. 1 1/2 cup semolina
  12. 3/4 cup chopped pistachios
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degree C. Grease a 9 inch round cake pan and line its base with parchment paper.
  2. Stir maple syrup and 40 gm of butter in a small saucepan over low heat for 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium and bring to boil. Let it cook for 4 minutes until mixture thickens. Cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour half of the maple syrup over base of prepared cake pan. Arrange 2/3rd of persimmon slices on base, positioning them slightly up the side of the pan.
  4. Beat remaining butter with sugar and lemon rind in a medium bowl, until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla extract.
  5. Sift in flour, semolina and baking powder. Add the milk and mix to combine. Fold in the chopped pistachios.
  6. Carefully spread the cake batter over the persimmons in the cake pan. Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of cake comes out clean.
  7. Stand cake in pan for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake and then turn out on to the serving plate.
  8. Add remaining persimmon slices to the reserved syrup. Place pan over low heat and cook for 2 minutes. Top cake with syrupy persimmon slices and some chopped pistachios.
Adapted from Indulgent Cakes
Adapted from Indulgent Cakes
The White Ramekins http://thewhiteramekins.com/

 

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