Thursday, January 27, 2011

Recipe: Honey Apple Cinnamon Rolls

There are some things that just sound delicious. As I write the title to this post, I'm eating a roll right now and I'm yet drooling at the sight of those words.
Careful, this recipe has enough sugar, butter and sweetness to... well... you need to join a gym.
This is not a recipe for a light Cinnamon Roll. This is going to be heavy, sugary, sweet and scrumptious.

Ingredients: (Makes about 12-14 rolls)

The Roll

4-5 cups Flour.
150 grams Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon Honey
100 grams Melted Butter
3-4 Teaspoons White Sugar
1/2 cup of warm water
1.5 Tablespoons of Salt
10 Grams of Instant Dried Yeast.
1 Teaspoon of sugar (for the yeast)

The Filling

500 grams Apples
4 Tablespoons Honey
1 Tablespoons Cinnamon
1/2 Tablespoon Nutmeg
100 grams Melted Butter
1 tablespoon Sugar
Salt (optional, up to you really)
1 teaspoon lemon juice

The Icing

250 grams Sweetened Condensed Milk
6 Tablespoons of Sugar
5 Tablespoons of Melted Butter
Cinnamon, nutmeg to taste
Milk to adjust the thickness.

For Coating the Flour

2 Cups of Flour
Lots of sugar (appox 10 Tablespoons)
Lots of Cinnamon (approx 15 Tablespoons)
2 Tablespoons nutmeg.
Lots of Melted Butter (approx 200 grams)
(If you don't know why I'm not giving exact quantities, wait for the pictures)

Lets COOK!!!

Starting with the dough for the rolls.You want to start with about 3- 3.5 cups initially. Sift through the flour and add in the dry ingredients like salt and sugar and mix it together.

Take the warm water and add the teaspoon of sugar and the yeast to it. Let it rest for a few minutes for the yeast to get activated.

In the meantime, break an egg into a bowl. Beat it with a fork till you get an even mixture. If you want your dough to be really light and fluffy, you can first beat the whites till they are stiff so you get more air into the dough. You can also increase the amount of eggs in it, removing either the condensed milk, or adding more flour.

Now a lot of recipes call for Milk to be used along with sugar. I prefer to make this with Sweetened Condensed Milk. I think it makes the dough a little bit creamier.

Yummm... a significant portion of that was consumed during the cooking process. Oh cmon, you cannot expect me to not lick the spoon clean, or make sure that the sweetness of the milk was right.....

Anyway, make a well in the center of the dough, and add in the wet ingredients.Knead it all together.
The remaining flour should be added in slowly till you achieve the desired texture. You are hoping to achieve a consistency where it is still oh so slightly moist, but if you press a finger tip into it, you don't want any flour stuck to your finger. A bit on the drier side is also alright.
Put the dough in a spacious bowl somewhere, cover it and let it rest for an hour. You want the size of the dough to almost double.

Right, now you can get onto making the filling. You start with your apples and peel them.

Grate them into small pieces. You can also dice them if you want solid apple chunks in your rolls.

Add in a decent helping of cinnamon.

Pour in the honey.

I added just a dash of nutmeg to this.

Pour in the melted butter, lemon, salt, sugar, everything else.

Take a fork and mix it all around. Make sure you coat the apples with the mixture completely. Cover it and let it rest and let the flavours mingle....mmm...that sounds so yummy when I say that.

Lets hope your dough is done by now, else go watch a TV show. I went and played with my dog who spent more time licking the remnants of apple and honey off my fingers.
When your dough has risen, get a large surface cleaned. Sprinkle on plenty of flour onto the surface. This will prevent the dough from sticking to it and will also get incorporated into the dough.

You can add baking powder and baking soda to your dough now if you want it to be lighter.
Roll out the dough into a nice large rectangle. Aim for it to be about 9-10 inches in width and between 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thick. This means you will get a length of anything upto 2 feet or more. (close to 2.5 in my case).

Remember the part where I said you are going to need lots of melted butter?

Start pouring and spreading !!!

Dont worry if you get too much on. I had little pools of butter on the dough at the end of it.

After this you want to sprinkle on the cinnamon. Be liberal. Add the nutmeg on top, sprinkle the sugar.

The reason I could not give an accurate measure is that there are times your dough will end up being longer. You might need more butter, you might need less. Also everyone has a different taste for how much sugar and cinnamon they would like. If you wanted standard tasting cinnamon rolls, go buy them, don't waste your time making them. The key here is to make it to YOUR taste.

Take the filling and layer it onto dough leaving about an inch on both sides (the longer ones).

Now, this part is a bit harder than it looks , but easier than it sounds. Roll the dough over.

Take a sharp knife and start cutting the roll into little pieces. I went for most of them being about an inch thick, but I experimented to see how the different thickness go. I think about 1 inch is a good size.
I had buttered up and aluminium pan and put all the rolls in.

Now you want to allow the rolls to sit for a while. The dough should still rise a little and the rolls should get a bit thicker. Say about 10-15 minutes? In the mean time you can start the oven and get it to 180 degrees centigrade.
Pop them in the oven for about 18-25 minutes.

For the icing, I used the remaining (about 250 grams) of condensed milk. You can probably do with half the quantity. But I didnt have anything to use the milk in, so what the hell. You cannot go wrong with extra Icing.

Pour in the butter.

Add your sugar.

Add your cinnamon, nutmeg to taste and give it a good whisk.

If the consistency is too thick, you can add a little milk to get it where you want.
Anyway, by now the rolls should be done. You want the edges to be brown.

Get the rolls out onto a plate, pour the icing over the rolls and ENJOY.

If you want to send it to someone, you can even make it look really appetizing by putting it in a bowl and absolutely smothering it with icing.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Recipe: Garlic Cheesy Potatoes with Creamed Spinach and Spicy Sauteed Whole Mushrooms

This is a recipe that was inspired by something I once in Hannover, Germany. Do not ask me the name of the restaurant, do not ask me the name of the dish. All I remember is that it is diagonally opposite the Hannover Hauptbahnhof (main train station) and that it was a small restaurant on two levels.
Dad and I had a few meetings to attend and decided to grab a quick lunch before heading from one to the other. He recalled the restaurant from an earlier visit to Hannover (I think he said he ate there about 15 years earlier). There was only one vegetarian item on the menu (I was vegetarian back them) and it was this baked potato roll, served on a spinach base with a cheese sauce.
This is one of the attempts I made to replicate the taste. It didn't turn out the same, but was quite yummy so I'm leaving it as a recipe in its own right.

Ingredients (Serves 2):

Garlic Potatoes

5-6 Large Potatoes
Cheddar Cheese (100 grams)
3-4 Cloves of Garlic (Mashed)
3-4 Tablespoons of Flour
Salt, Black Pepper, Red chilli powder (to taste).

Cream Cheese Sauce

150 Grams of Cream Cheese
1/2 cup of fresh/heavy cream
1/2 cup of milk
50 grams Cheddar Cheese
4 Tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cloves of garlic (Mashed)
Salt, Black Pepper to taste.

Creamed Spinach

1/2 Kg Spinach
1/2 a medium onion, diced fine.
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3-4 spoons of the Cream Cheese sauce we made earlier.

Whole Mushrooms

Button Mushrooms 150 grams.
2 tablespoons olive oil.
1 mashed clove of garlic.
1 tablespoon lemon juice.
2 tablespoons of chilli garlic sauce.
1 teaspoon of red chilli.

Lets COOK!!!!

Lets start with the potatoes. Whilst these are being prepared you will usually have more than enough time to make the rest.

Clean them out and boil them (with a pinch of salt) till they are nice and soft. Peel the skins off them.

Now you can start to get the oven heated. Set the temperature for about 250 centigrade. Whilst it is heating mash the potatoes . Add in the Garlic, salt and pepper.

(If you are wondering how the colour slightly changed, I used baked garlic cloves. YUMMMM... will put up a post on that someday )
Spoon on the flour. This will help hold the potatoes together when you are rolling them.

Mix it all together. Mashing and mixing potatoes with your hands is highly therapeutic in my opinion. The mixture should feel like a dough that you can mold. If not, add a little more flour half a spoonful at a time.
If you want you can make a roll or mold it into any shape you want. I decided to stuff it with some cheddar which is optional. The cheddar makes the end dish quite heavy, but yummy.
Flatten it out into a rectangle. You should get one that is about 1/4 of an inch thick. You can make it as long or wide as you want.
Grate some Cheddar cheese and add some red chilli powder in it. Mix it together and layer it onto one half of the rectangle. Fold over the other half so it envelopes the cheese.

By now the oven should have come to temperature. Apply some olive oil onto the potato rolls. Place the potato rolls on an aluminum foil, onto a tray, and let it bake for about 30 minutes (or until the outside is nice and golden brown).

Mmmmm...they look and smell so nice and garlicy and cheesy when they come out. I'm telling you, baked garlic is simply divine.

Anyway, whilst they are being made you can get the rest of the stuff ready. Lets go for the sauce first. Its simple enough. Take a large sauce pan and heat up a little olive oil and some butter. Add in the garlic and let it sauté for a bit.

Bring it to medium heat. Add in the milk ,cream cheese, cream, and cheddar and stir till it becomes a nice smooth mixture.

The more you stir it around the smoother it will get. You really don't want any lumps of cheese in it. Add in the salt and black pepper to taste.

Keep it on the side and lets make the spinach.
Clean the spinach leaves, break off the stems.

We are going to blanch the spinach to preserve the taste. Keep the spinach ready in a strainer and put another pot of water to boil.

When the water comes to boil, put the strainer with the spinach into the pot. The boiling water should come through the pores in the strainer and submerge the spinach. Cook it for two minutes. The leaves should wilt, but they shouldn't lose their colour.
Once they are cooked immediately either submerge them in cold water, or put them under a tap to cool down. Spinach cooks even when removed from heat and thus you want to cool it down to stop the cooking process.

Squeeze out all the liquid you can by pressing the spinach. Take the leaves and shred/cut them.
Now in a sauce pan heat up the olive oil and sauté the diced onion. Once the onions caramelize add in the spinach leaves and stir them around a little bit. Now spoon in the cream cheese sauce that we have made and mix it all together. Let it cook for about a minute.

Last of all, lets make the mushrooms. This is really simple. Just add some olive oil to a pan and heat up some garlic and red chilli in it(This always makes me sneeze). Add in the cleaned mushrooms, cover and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Do not stir the mushrooms around yet.
Once you see the mushrooms caramelizing at the bottom where they are touching the pan, you can start stirring them. Recover them and let it cook for another couple of minutes.
By now they should have reduced in size. Add in lemon juice and chilli garlic paste and stir them around for a bit so it coats the outside of the mushrooms evenly.

Now just put everything together on a plate, garnish it with the sauce, and ENJOY!!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fun Times: Bombay Food Bloggers Dinner

What happens when you take a bunch of food bloggers and throw in a wine expert? You get the first Bombay Food Bloggers dinner of 2011. It was an event courtesy of the UB Group who wanted to introduce us to various wines, from their Four Seasons brand, that can be paired with the different parts of a full four course meal.

The next thing you get is a lot of people with a lot of very professional cameras pointed at their food. I know what people say, but size does matter, and I felt quite inadequate with my little point and clicky.

The star of the evening was Mr. Abhay who, along with the UB Group, was our host for the evening. He took us through a delightful evening of wines and answered all the questions we posed.

It was a full four course meal with our choice of vegetarian or non-vegetarian dishes. The starting course had a vegetarian choice of a Wine Cured Grape and Goat Cheese Salad.

My personal choice was the Smoked Salmon Salad.

This was paired along with a glass of Four Seasons Sauvignon Blanc, a white wine.

For the second course i chose a Baked Fillo - Wrapped Brie. (anyone know where I can get Fillo dough in Bombay?)

The runner up option (which I was hard pressed to resist) was a plate of Char Roasted Prawns.

Our wine pairing for this second course was another glass of white, the Four Seasons Viognier.

For the main course there were a number of options. I was rather engrossed in a conversation with
Vinda (From Lett'uce Eat) and Aneesh (from The Connoisseur) and I was not able to click the pictures of what others were eating, however I did manage to click my helping of Braised Lamb.

With our main courses we were given a chance to try two types of red wine. (A wine tip from Mr. Abhay, as the glasses go from left to right, the wine becomes more full-bodied).

On our left was a glass of Four Seasons Merlot.

And on our right we have a bottle of Four Seasons Barrique Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This is one of my favourite wines and therefore I do recommend you give it a try. (Also do read the disclaimer at the end of this post).

The desserts were the final course in this meal. We were given some Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee and a Wild Berry Cheesecake.

This was paired with a Wine Cocktail. Thats right, a cocktail with Four Seasons Blush, Cointreau, Strawberries, and sugar syrup.

It was a fantastic chance to meet a lot of bloggers in Bombay. These are people who are passionate about food of all types and a wonderful set of human beings. I am proud and honoured to be part of this community. I look forward to meeting them often in the coming years and exchanging ideas , recipes and concepts. Bon Appetit everyone.

I have not reviewed any of the food or wines on this post. As this was a PR event it would not be ethical of me to do so. This blog post is about the wonderful evening that we had and I offer no comment on the food, the wine or the pairings of the same. The Barrique Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is an exception as I personally have liked the wine well before this event took place and thus am willing to offer a positive recommendation for it. I thank UB Group for hosting the wonderful evening.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...