Archive for Baking

Banana Bread Pudding

Bread puddings are so yum. I made bread pudding for the first time around 2-3 years ago. Unfortunately back then I would follow recipes exactly as they were written without making any obvious adjustments to our tastes. That’s how I ended up with an extremely sweet bread pudding. After all these years I tried my hand at it again. This time i decided to add some fruit to it and the ripening banans just seemed fit for the task. I was so careful with the sugar this time I think I would have been better off with a tablespoon more. But the chocolate syrup comes in handy ūüėõ Heres the recipe I used:

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices of bread cut into cubes
  • 2 T¬†butter, melted¬†
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 T granulated white sugar
  • 1 t vanilla essence
  • 1 ripe banana
  • A pinch of cinamon (optional)
  • 3 cardamoms (optional)
  • 2 T grated coconut (optional)
  1. Drizzle butter over the bread cubes and toss them around. Put them in a baking dish. (Use a dish that can handle 3 cups of liquid. I used an 8 x 3)
  2. In a mixing bowl beat the eggs. Slowly add the milk while whisking. Mix in the sugar.
  3. Peel the banana and mash it up with a fork. Add about 1/4th cup of the egg mixture to the mashed banana and continue mashing with a fork to a fine consistancy. Now add the banana mixture to the egg-milk mixture followed by the cardamom seeds, cinamon, vanilla essence and coconut. Whisk throughly and pour immeduately over the bread pieces to ensure that the dry ingredients dont settle down.
  4. Use the fork to press down the bread pieces so that they are soaked thoroughly in the mixture. While the bread is soaking up in the mixture preheat the oven to 175C (10 minutes).
  5. It took 35 minutes to bake through but might take up to 45 minutes too depending on your baking dish. IT is done when the bread pieces start to go brown on top and the pudding rises up. You can always use a toothpick to test.

Since I used only¬†3T of sugar it came out a bit bland for my taste. But I served it with chocolate syrup and that made up for it. I’ll make it with 4 T next time. Also, most recipes ask for 4 eggs but I find that it tastes too eggy with 4 so I prefer 3.

And the end result:

Banana Bread Pudding 

Enjoy!

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Pizza!!

I tried my hand at home-made pizza today… right from scratch. Ive tried making pizza dough once, it was some weird quikie recipe where the dough was actually batter that was spread into the pan, topped with your preferred toppings¬†and¬† then baked. It used baking powder. It never rose and never cooked through.¬† Bad experience.

¬†TODAY… since I have been having a lucky streak lately with cooking and baking everything non desi, I decided to try my hand at pizza dough again. More obviously, I tried to overcome my fear of meeting with failure if I used yeast. The results were so good I am totally in love with using yeast and will try any recipe that requires yeast now without any hesitancy. Yeast, is not my friend. ūüôā Mine had only 2 months left to expire. When I mixed it up with warm water (warmed up in an electric kettle) and sugar it didn’t froth much in the suggested 10 minutes. I worried if I had killed the yeast with hot water or that it was actually too old. After 10 mins there was little froth in a corner. I mixed it up again. And again after another 10 mins. This is when I could hear the beautiful sizzling sound of yeast respiring. I let it sit for another 10 minutes and it finally had a frothy top. I knew this time it was going to work out!

 I used the classic crust dough recipe from Pizzaware.com and also read through their entire pizza making tutorial.

I only had mozzarella cheese on me and some cheddar cheese slices. So i chopped up the chedder cheese slices. I also chopped up a chicken breast and marinated it for about an hour in salt, black pepper, lemon juice and some sugar. Then i sauted it on a high flame for about 5-6 minutes… don’t wanna overcook them or they will become dry. I also had some pitted olives which I sliced up, cut up some onion rings and sliced some canned button mushrooms. I used my pasta sauce recipe for the tomato base. I only had to bake it for around 10 minutes and then turned off the oven but let the pizza sit in there for another 15-20 minutes. (I just didnt want an uncooked crust like last time… the trauma! hehe)

 It turned out great!

The recipe for the dough makes for two pizzas. Kneading it was a paaaaain. I tried to recall how I’ve seenthem do it on TV and that made things a lot easier, altho still strenous. Quite an exercise I tell you. But fun and well worth it. I was soooo elated to see the risen up dough after an hour I coulda literally cried. Punch! Punch! And down it went. Rolling it out using a rolling pin was the easiest part. It shaped it self out so well. Very easy to handle.

I only made one pizza and packed up the other half of the dough. I’ll make it again with a different set of toppings. And will try some of the other dough recipes from the site. Since, now I know these recipes are real.

The corners did come out a bit dry though. More thickness and some olive oil should do the trick.

¬†If you’re looking for a pizza dough recipe… Pizzaware.com is the place!

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Baked Feta Chicken

I got this recipe off allrecipes.com and it makes for such a succulent baked chicken. I’m posting my version of the recipe as this is how I made it. You can find the original which is almost the same here

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts – boned and skinned
  • Feta Cheese
  • Half a medium tomato, deseeded, chopped finely
  • 1 medium green chilly chopped finely
  • Italian style bread crumbs (I made my own; recipe follows)
  1. Preheat the over to 175degrees celsius and grease a baking tray 
  2. Pound the chicken breasts with a mallet until they are about 1/4th incc thick. Don’t pound to hard or you might end up with holes!
  3. Crumble the feta cheese and toss in the tomatos and green chilly
  4. Place the bread crumbs in a fat dish and place a chicken breast (skin side up) on the bread crumbs. Put the breast skin side down on a flat surface and fill in with feta cheese. Don’t go too generous with the cheese as you are not stuffing a pie here! Remember feta cheese has a very strong flavour! Now roll thie breast side ways and seal with tooth picks (this can be a litle messy). Put the breat back into the bread crumb dish and roll it around to cover it. Place the stuffed breast into the baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil or butter. Repeat the same for all the breasts.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes in the oven until pinkishness is gone and juices run clear. The bread crumbs on the top will have browned.

Seasoned bread crumbs:

  • 4 slices of stale bread
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t oregano

I toasted about 4 pieces of bread on a grill until they were lightly browned. Then I tore them up and put about 1 torn bread piece a time into the chopper for about a minute (the bread crumbs tend to get stuk so you will need to open up and dislodge them from time to time). You’ve seen bread crumbs, you want these to be of the same consistency. When all the bread has been chopped into crumbs put around a quarter cup of it back into the chopper and add the salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano and run the chopper for 30 seconds. Put the seasoned crumbs with the rest and mix with a fork.

This makes enough to coat 8 chicken breasts.

 Enjoy!

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