Friday, September 24, 2021

Foolproof Chocolate Brownies


Every time I come across a Brownie recipe,I make a note in my head to try it.Having baked for a while now,I have tried a lot of brownie recipes,some successful and some not so much.One does tend to wonder though,what is the secret formula which ensures brownies come out perfect every single time you bake them?With that crinkle top,fudgy in the middle and delicious in every bite!


I had bookmarked this recipe in Facebook as well as Instagram and today I thought I'd finally try it out.There have been many reviews for this recipe and it was named Foolproof recipe so I couldn't wait to try it out myself.


The moment I opened the oven door to take the brownies out,I had a smile on my face because I was looking at the most pretty crinkle top there ever is! Though I was feeling impatient(as it smelled heavenly) I waited till it cooled down completely and that gave me pretty neat slices.

Arjun isn't fond of any nuts in the brownies so I kept it plain but I'm sure it would taste awesome with some toasted walnuts in it.


Foolproof Chocolate Brownies

Recipe Courtesy - Kruthi Bipin

Ingredients

Flour -130 gms (sifted)

Sugar - 180 gms (measure and then powder it)

Eggs - 2

Vanilla - a few drops

Dark chocolate - 140 gms

Unsalted butter - 100 gms

Method

Preheat oven to 180C.Grease and line n 8|8 inch brownie pan(square pan).

Melt together chocolate and butter and let it cool down to room temperature.

Beat together eggs,vanilla and sugar till pale and fluffy.

Mix in the cooled chocolate-butter and beat for a minute.

Add the sifted flour and beat just for a while,do not over beat.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-28 minutes.

Let it cool down completely and then cut into slices.


Step by Step Method

Preheat oven to 180C.Grease and line n 8|8 inch brownie pan(square pan).

Melt together chocolate and butter and 


let it cool down to room temperature.

Beat together


eggs,


vanilla and 


sugar till pale and fluffy.


Mix in the cooled chocolate-butter and 


beat for a minute.


Add the sifted flour and beat just for a while,


do not over beat.


Pour the batter into the prepared pan and 


bake for 25-28 minutes.


Let it cool down completely and then cut into slices.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Eggless Christmas Fruit Cake | Kerala Plum Cake Eggless


Every December I look forward to baking THE fruit cake of the year.I don't bake fruit cakes otherwise,only during Christmas time.That gives it a special charm no?I have been baking fruit cakes for the past few years and even though we do get good quality fruit cakes here and in Kerala,the joy of baking a home style fruit cake is something so special.Especially because we get to choose what to add in the cake and soak it according to our liking and then finally bake it and wait for it to mature a bit before consuming.Ah,the whole process is so fulfilling.


Personally we do not like the strong flavor of rum soaked fruits so I soak it for a shorter duration which gives me boozy fruits but not with the strong aftertaste.Last year I baked this cake and it was so good.Usually fruit cakes are slightly dense but the addition of beaten egg whites gives it the sponge texture.


I will be baking the same cake this year too,but wanted to post a new recipe here on the blog so zeroed in on this one as this recipe too is by
Lekshmi Nair,whose recipe is what I followed last year.I liked the simplicity of this cake,minimal ingredients and tastes absolutely delicious.If you do not like soaking fruits in alcohol,you could do the same in orange juice or grape juice.Make sure to keep the soaked fruits refrigerated though.Plus soak it for maximum 24 hours not more than that.



Though you can consume the cake straight away once cooled,I would strongly recommend storing it overnight(or at least 6-8 hours) before cutting as it would help the flavors settle.

I really hope you try this recipe :)

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year :)


Eggless Christmas Fruit Cake | Kerala Plum Cake Eggless

Ingredients

Maida - 1 1/4 cups
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Caramel syrup - 1/4 cup*
Milkmaid - 1/4 cup
Curd - 1/4 cup
Brown sugar - 1/4 cup
Oil - 1/4 cup
Soaked fruit and nuts - 1 1/4 cup**
Vanilla extract - a few drops
Almond/Orange extract - a few drops
Lemon juice - 1 1/2 tsp


*Caramel syrup

Sugar - 1/2 cup
Hot water - 1/2 cup

Heat sugar in a pan till it caramelizes well.Add hot water and let it cook for 3-5 minutes on low flame till it thickens.Remove from the pan and let it cool down completely.


**Soaked fruits and nuts

You can use any combination of fruits and nuts.I have used

*Black Currants
*Sultanas
*Dates
*Tutty Frooti
*Cranberries
*Dried Pineapple
*Mixed dry fruits
*Cashewnuts and Almonds

Soak all this together(exclude nuts if you are soaking for a longer period) along with some honey,spice powders(a combination of cardamom,clove and cinnamon),Orange marmalade and Strawberry Jam(or any jam).Use as required.

Method

Preheat oven to 180C.Grease and line a 7" round pan.
In a mixing bowl add milkmaid,curd,brown sugar and oil.
Beat well till it comes together.
Sift in flour,baking powder,baking soda and salt.
Mix well and add the cooled caramel syrup.
Fold in the dried fruits and nuts and give a good mix.
Add the extracts and lemon juice and pour the batter into the lined tin.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cake cool down completely.Cover it well using aluminium foil and let it rest for a few hours.
Slice and serve.

Step by Step Tutorial

Preheat oven to 180C.Grease and line a 7" round pan.
In a mixing bowl add milkmaid,curd,brown sugar and oil.
Beat well till it comes together.
Sift in flour,baking powder,baking soda and salt.
Mix well and 
add the cooled caramel syrup.
Fold in the dried fruits and nuts and give a good mix.

Add the extracts and 

lemon juice and 
pour the batter into the lined tin.
Top with some halved cashews or almonds or leave it plain.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cake cool down completely.Cover it well using aluminium foil and let it rest for a few hours.


Slice and serve.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Inalsa Kratos Stand Mixer Review | Product Review


As a baker,owning a good,sturdy stand mixer has always been on my bucket list.However,we did not get any sturdy mixers in India till a few years back and the ones available were imported ones and carried a heavy price tag.

In 2013,I got myself a basic stand mixer from abroad and even though it was just a hand held mixer with a bowl,I was quite happy with it.Only when it conked off and gave up on me completely did I seriously start looking out for a stand mixer.I had only a few requirements though - a good whisk for cake batter and for mixing frostings - buttercream,whipping ganache etc and a basic dough hook for kneading dough,though I wasn't very particular about dough hook as I knead my bread dough in my food processor.

When I held a poll in Instagram,majority of the votes came in for KitchenAid,no surprises there and many told me to go for it in spite of it's hefty price(it retails for 46k in their website).I wasn't ready to make an investment that big and looked for affordable alternatives.


After checking out a lot of reviews and videos,I zeroed in on Inalsa Kratos Stand 
mixer.It was priced reasonably and had all the attachments I was looking for with a 5 liter bowl and a dough hook as well.I decided to go for it and after using it for almost 2+ months,I'm quite happy with it.

So let's see the features of the mixer first -

  • Inalsa Kratos comes with a 1000W motor 
  • It has a 5 Liter Stainless steel bowl
  • 8 level speed controls with pulse function
  • LED indicator,dust proof splash guard,Safety lock protection,Anti-slip feet
  • Attachments include - Main unit with 5 Liter Stainless steel bowl,1 Whisking cone,1 dough hook,1 mixing beater,1 splash guard along with instruction manual.
  • Also includes a Inalsa certified 2 year warranty.
I put up a Q&A on Instagram asking people what they wanted to know about the mixer and received many queries.I will address that first before going into the review.


1.What is the price of the mixer ?

 I purchased it for 9k from Amazon and the price is more or less the same today when I checked too.

2.How sturdy is the mixer?

The mixer comes with an Anti slip feet and is quite sturdy.It stays firm while mixing cake batters,making buttercream or while making cookie dough.However it moves ever so lightly while kneading bread dough.I have read reviews on Amazon which said it walks on the counter etc and moves a lot but haven't faced anything of that sort.If we stick to the recommended speed for each requirements,the mixer does not move at all.

3.What is the purpose of the stand mixer,does it make a huge difference than the usual hand beater?

Having a stand mixer makes you go hand free while mixing cake batters or kneading dough for breads.It helps when the mixing process is long(buttercream) or beating eggs(for cake).Also,stand mixer is more powerful than the regular hand beater.

4.How many cups of flour can we knead at one go?

I started with 1 1/2 cups of flour and have made dough with 4 cups of flour as well and the mixer comfortably has space for more.The maximum amount to be used is 600 gms of flour.

5.Is the mixer sturdy,does it vibrate at high speed?

I have answered this but adding a few points more.The manual comes with very clear instructions on speeds to follow while using different attachments.If we follow this there is hardly any vibrations or movements.

6.Does the mixer heat up while mixing?

Like I said before,if we stick to the basic speeds according to the attachments,it doesn't heat up.I have kneaded dough for up to 10 minutes and the mixer did not vibrate or heat up.

7.What attachments do you use most often?

I use the paddle attachment/beater attachment for making cookie dough,making buttercream.Whisk attachment for making cake batters and whisking ganache.
However the one I use the most is the dough hook for kneading bread dough.

8.Do you find any difference in hand kneaded dough or mixer kneaded dough?

No difference except in the time and effort involved.



After going through the questions I understood the majority of them wanted to know about the dough hook attachment and how sturdy the mixer was while kneading bread dough.So I will mainly focus on that in this review.


The mixer,like I said,comes with a manual which clearly indicates the speeds to be used for each attachments.For the dough hook,the speed levels are 1-5 and the time is 3-5 minutes.

1 speed run for 30 seconds,3 speed run for 30 seconds and then 5 speed run for 2-4 minutes to form a cluster.It clearly indicates that the mixer will wobble if we go above speed 5.



Now after using it for a couple of times,I follow my own speed patterns.For instance,I run it on speed 4 for about 2 minutes and then switch off for a minute.Continue 2 minutes on speed 5 and then again switch off.Like this I do 2 minute runs in speed levels 4-5 and get my dough kneaded beautifully in under 10 minutes.

What this does is,the mixer does not heat up.The dough gets rested in between kneading and we get good windowpane in about 6-7 minutes.It does sound a bit confusing at first but once you start using it,you will understand the pattern and it will be so easy to operate the mixer without any wobbling or vibrating.

However I would suggest you use the mixer with a minimum of 2 cups of flour.Anything less than that and the hook struggles to reach the bottom.I have made dough with 1 1/2 cups and even though I did get a beautiful dough(and a good loaf of bread)I got better results while using more flour.



I am a happy customer and if you were considering to buy this mixer and were hesitant to do so after reading the reviews,take my word for it and go ahead.For the price it is truly a deal!



I purchased this mixer myself and this is my honest review :)

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