Friday 28 June 2013

Zucchini Cushions (Courgette Fritters)

Courgette Fritters or also known as Zucchini Cushions are a very famous and delicious snack from the Turkish Cuisine.
I usually buy them when I do my shopping at my Turkish shop, so this time I thought why not make it at home
They are actually very easy and fast to make with a really Great result
We can have it as a snack and at the same time it can be a complete meal if we make a nice sandwich of it in the Turkish Naan, lay it with some fresh salad leaves, olives, onion and some garlic sauce and there you have your Super Duper Lunch item
You can make it as an appetizer too, but I think you will not have lunch after that

I have made a step by step and have written the recipe under each picture this time, I liked this idea, what say you
We use very little and light spices in it but if you want you can add the hot red chili powder, the originals are only with the paprika powder.

Just take care to lay them on the kitchen paper after frying, as the Courgettes absorb a lot of oil!
This is the best for your family and kids who are not so fond of Vegetables; they will enjoy this taste for sure!



Saturday 22 June 2013

Mandarin/Custard Cake

(click on the picture for a larger image)

I think I should stop baking so often as it is giving me sleepless nights :(
The reason is this strange square thingy, where one can see many numbers which sway left and right and stop at some special dangerous numbers :I
But as my dear Friend was visiting me today I had to bake specially for her. I used my Cheese Cake recipe and reduced some ingredients in it and added mandarin in it.

You can call it a Cheese Cake or just a simple fruity creamy cake, I have named it the Mandarin/ Custard Cake because I have used my custard in it , here this mandarin Cheese cake is very liked and favoured, the only minus point is I don’t like the gelatine layer on it and I thought it can be baked without gelatine and so I made it my way.

After it is ready it need at least 4-5 hours to settle down so the cream is firm, but as I had less time I just cooled it first and then kept it in the freezer for like 45 minutes : )
It turned out to be very delicious and very creamy and yummm :)
I baked a small one this time and used a 6” round cake form for this and it was just perfect as I could make 8 large pieces easily out of it.
I made the base with :
1 cup plain flour
70gram sugar
70 gram soft butter
½ tsp baking powder
4-5 drops of milk or more accordingly

*sieve the flour with the baking powder
*in a bowl,mix butter and sugar and mix with hands till all seems crumbled and mixed up
*add the flour gradually and knead the dough with hands, if you think it feels dry add some more milk drops
*this will turn into a bit of sticky bit even dough
*now cover the bottom and the sides of the cake form with this dough, I do it with my hands and never roll it out, this way it covers all parts easily, you can roll out if you find is easy : )
Now the cream filling:
250 grams quark(Cheese curd)
200 gram custard
100 gram sugar
100gram tin of Mandarin (drain the juice in it)

*I made the custard a night before so that it settles well
* I use the Bird’s Custard powder and make according to directed, of course you can make any brand or even buy the readymade vanilla pudding in tubs if it is handy for you, but it should be thick and not too watery: )
*now mix the custard, quark and sugar with a hand beater on high speed till al turns into a nice creamy form
*fill the cake form with it and just mix in the mandarin with a spoon so it spreads all over also till the bottom
*decorate some on the top too.
*bake it on a low heat of a preheated oven on 160°C
*it takes around 60 minutes which is normal because if we bake on a high heat the cream will burn and the dough will stay uncooked
Such cream or Cheese cakes need a loving heat and a low temp to bake, so patience is the key :)
As you see a light brownish color on the top, turn off the oven and let the cake rest in the oven another 10 minutes, the fluffed cream sits sinks a bit and settles.
Take it out and loosen the sides very gently, then open the latch so the cake cools down
If you let stay too long the dough might stick to the form and break your lovely wall!
Allow this cake to settle and chill a good 4 -5 hours before you cut it so the cream gets firm and perfect, as I said I kept it in the freezer for a fast solution and it turned out super :)
Enjoy the baking fun!!

Thursday 20 June 2013

Mince Meat Buns…Soft and Delishhh….

                                                   (Click on the picture for a larger image)

We are suffering an extreme humid heat now a days, as we say “The Temperature is Rising” .Yesterday it was 31°C and today again 30°C phewwww we are not used to this weather so except some people rest are down on earth and I am one of them :/
 I know it is far more worst back in my home land but the humidity just kills : (  One cannot enjoy this any longer, any way I thought why not avail this heat in some positive manner and bake my bread : )

I have this very easy and fast recipe with which I make my breakfast buns, the only difference is I used dry yeast in these buns and the result is as you see just PERFECT!!!
I made the dough, covered it with a nylon bag and kept in my balcony, funny na but so true, the heat was so immense outside that i didn’t need to warm my oven for it. I kept it like for an hour and had the double and a bit more volume of it, I had planned to make like six big buns and ended up in making 12 normal buns plus a small loaf.

I am so in love baking in my muffin forms, the shape is perfect, the tray Is clean, need no scrapping around, no greasing and it is simply handy.
For the filling I made a mixture of minced meat, potatoes and peas, some hot spices and some Tabasco and that’s it. It is such a nice feeling to see them fluff up while being baked : )
The buns are not filled form the bottom to the top as we like to eat more bread parts with chutney yummmz : )

They are so easy to make and keep for the next day, the taste even more when they are cold. You can warm them in the toaster just a little while but NOT in the Micro, that will make the soft bread hard!
I don’t use too much stuff in the dough preparation, here is what I did and I’d like to mention I always use a measuring cup, as using tea cups or mugs can spoil the ratio of things and you may not get the expected result. If your hand is set on a tea cup go ahead, even I use it for my sweet meats : )
So here we go:
1 ½ cup luke warm milk
1 tbs dry yeast (7gram)
1 tbs sugar
4 tsp butter
1 tsp salt
2 ½ cup plain flour

*Just heat the milk very slightly, pour in the bowl
*Mix in the sugar, butter salt and yeast
*Just hand whisk to mix all
*Now add the flour gradually and keep mixing with your fingers
*If you feel the flour is less, add bit more, and if the milk is less simply drop in more and mix
*The dough will be a bit sticky, that’s good!
*Just gather the dough with oily hands , make a big bun and cover it with a nylon bag and keep at a warm place
*In my case I had the natural heat the SUN but of course I usually keep it in a preheated BUT switched off oven on 50°C
*Let it stand around an hour till the volume is double
*Now punch it down dusting some flour on it and knead well
*Make small balls and place on a tray and let it stand for another 15 minutes
*Now you can fill in, or bake them as is in a bun form or any shape you like
*As you have prepared all the buns, mix in 1-2 tsp of butter in some milk, I used the carnation milk we take for tea, it is a bit thicker and gives a nice light brown color
*I don’t brush egg on it as I don’t like the smell of it :I
*Sprinkle some sesame on the top and bake on the middle rack
*A preheated oven on 160°c for around 25 minutes
* When you see all the buns puffed up, open the oven and sprinkle some water directly on the buns with a spray bottle, then spray some oil from a distance and close and let bake
*They turn out SO soft and yummy you don’t need to put them in any bag after taking them out!

I make my fillings very simply as we have to taste the bread and not only the spicy filling :) for thois I took:
 *200 gram lamb mince
*1 small onion
*2-3 green chilies chopped
*Salt and red chili flakes to taste
*2 pods of garlic
*1 large potato
*A hand full of peas
*Some drops of Tabasco
*i usually boil all things in a pot without frying anything separately
*put the mince in the pot, cut and add the onion cubes, chop and add the green chilies
*sprinkle the spices, grate the garlic on it
*add ½ glass of water and let it cook
*as it is half done, mix in the fine cubes potatoes and let cook
* after another 10 minutes add the peas and keep on the steam so the peas are cooked
*now dry the remaining water and sprinkle some garam masala and drops of Tabasco
*It’s ready for your buns filling : )
Make and enjoy the Chubby Yummy  Soft Buns : )



Saturday 15 June 2013

*Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte* (The Black Forest Cake)

(Click on the picture for a larger image)
The Black Forrest Cake is a very famous and most loved cake in Germany. Basically it comes from Schwarzwald , the Central German Upland, baked with a chocolate flavored biscuit sponge, sandwiched with sour cherries and cherry water, topped with heavy cream and dark chocolate shavings.
It is sinfully delicious till the last Bit.
My dearest Friend’s Sons Finn Marvin and Robin Daniel passed their Academic Education with flying notes and celebrated their success, so I baked this for them as a surprise gift.
Congratulations Finny und Roby :)

We are Proud of you dear Finny and Roby !!!

I have made it for the first time, but have a bond with this cake since my girlhood.

My Dearest Father used to order this cake on each of our birthdays and we were always excited to eat it as we knew when we open the box it will be “The Black Forrest” : )

Soooo many sweet memories along this, the white card board box, wrapped in a red tie…. The dining room door half closed so we cannot see what’s being decorated in there and then calling us to come in, the walls decorated and the table set with this gorgeous cake in the middle. At that time I did not know that it was a German cake : )

I have followed the steps shown in this video link given below and made the following changes

*I did not use the liquid chocolate; I took 3 tbs of baking coco powder
*I took 7 medium eggs
*I mixed 2 tbs of coffee (½ tsp of instant Nescafe in ¼ cup of water) in the cherry juice as there should be a slight tone of coffee in this cake to enhance the taste.
*I made shavings out of full milk Chocolate bar and mixed them with the dark ones
* I decorated with fresh and candied cherries
Do make it and you’ll really enjoy its delicious taste for sure: )
The icing lines are not perfectly straight but then exactly THIS is what differs it from a  ready made cake :) The fun of hand made can be uneven as self made is some thing very special I think, don't you think so :)
The recipe is written in German and English under the video.







Friday 14 June 2013

**Cinnabon Rolls**

**Click on the pictures for a larger image** 
These irresistible rolls are a famous Swedish breakfast item.
The aroma of Cinnamon being baked is to die for :)  It is simply so very extra ordinarily heavenly that one can’t move from the point and that is, from in front of the oven :D
Here in Germany they are known as the “Zimt Schnecken” (translated: Cinnamon snails), they are in different variations with raisins, Walnuts and hazel nuts. I did not add any to these as I wanted them simple, they smell a lot like the famous “Hamburger Franzbrötchen” which I love above all, only that these are in a bun form

 I wanted to make them since quite a while but then a Friend asked for them and I thought this is the time to get my hands on it. Sana Hasan dearie  I hope you will try and enjoy them soon :D

They are made in a big tray or a baking sheet but I wanted to make them differently so I had the idea of placing them in the Muffin form, so they come out neat and tidy and easy to pick and eat.
I must say it was a very good idea :) You will see them baking so perfectly, they were so beautiful in size and shape and taste!

I made the dough and let it rest for 40 minutes and then started to work with it
The dough is ultra soft and easy to handle and form. Just one thing that these are REAL Calories Bomb as I really used nearly 250 gram butter in the whole process, but so what, eat drink  and be happy :D 
I used Honey to make it real sticky and I must say Super Duper and extreme tasty!!
I have adopted the recipe from a Ladies magazine named “Tina” but as always I made some changes according to what I thought would go good, like adding honey* in it or using a muffin tray instead a baking sheet tray, adding brown sugar* in the dough , and i used dry yeast* instead of fresh because I didn’t have that at home .
The good thing is that the dry yeast I buy is organic and they always write on the back of the pack how much of it is equal to how much fresh yeast and I find this so super and easy. If anyone making this resides in Germany then you can buy the “Alnatura Backhefe” it makes the dough so light and fine!
This is what I did:
So for the dough:

320 gram plain flour (add more if you feel the dough is sticky, I added like 2-3 tbs extra while it was being kneaded)
2 ½ tsp dry yeast or 21 gram fresh yeast cake
 40 gram white sugar
3-4 tbs brown sugar
100 ml luke warm milk
1 egg
1tsp vanilla essence
120 gram soft butter

*Just put all together and knead till you have a soft round ball of it, cover it with a cloth or a bag and let it rest in a warm corner, usually we do not give a rest time to the dry yeast products but I still do that to get a really soft airy dough : ) It mustn’t be for hours I left it like 40 minutes and did the other work in between.
Keep the filling ready aside so you can sprinkle that immediately as you have rolled the dough out, don’t make any paste of them, just sprinkle all one by one that is much better and then just merge all with your hands later.
 100 gram sugar
50 gram brown sugar
2 tbs cinnamon powder
130 gram soft butter
3-4 tbs honey
So now you can follow these pictures step by step,
*knead the dough slightly on a good floured base, roll out around a ½ cm thick
*First of all spread the soft butter till all corners evenly.
*Sprinkle the white sugar first, then brown sugar, cinnamon
*Top with zigzag honey
*Sprinkle nuts if you like to
Now start rolling with gentle hands
 Cut around 1 ½ inch thick rounds and press the edges softly and place in the muffin tray
Let it stay another 10 minutes and then bake in a preheated oven on 170°C for 25 minutes.
Keep checking do not over bake, I inserted a shashlik stick to check it off and on
My Cinnabons are a bit browner as usually because I used the brown sugar in the dough , you can omit if you want light but brown sugar has its own taste : )
Once ready, take them out and place on a plate, as when the honey melts and gets cold they may stick to the bottom but wow indescribable the taste of melted honey and sugar Ummmmmm : )

Make a cream and drizzle it as they are still warm, I made my frosting with cream like I make for my Carrot cake as that tastes toooooooo good .
150 gram Philadelphia or any brand
2-3 tbs soft butter
½ cup castor sugar
½ tsp Vanila essence
Mix well and drop ….drop…
Viola the ultra delish  Cinni Minnies are ready to gobble : )