Hasselback Potato

Hasselback Potato
Hasselback Potato

 

 

Potato in any form is always a favorite and baked potato can tempt you anytime. Hasselback potato can serve as a whole meal whether be for breakfast or dinner. Russet potato is ideal although it can be baked with other varieties too.

Hasselback Potato or Potato à la Hasselbacken (Swedish: Hasselbackspotatis) are a type of baked potato (Swedish), where the potatoes are about halfway cut through into thin slices; butter, breadcrumbs, and almonds are added on top of the potatoes. It was created in 1953 by Leif Elisson from Värmland, which was trainee chef at restaurant Hasselbacken on Djurgården in Stockholm  [Wikipedia].

Ingredients

  • Russet potatoes  2 or medium-sized potato 4
  • Unsalted butter (melted) 2 tbsp (optional and I preferred to use only oil)
  • Olive oil 2  tbsp
  • Sea salt  1 tsp
  • Freshly ground black pepper   ½ tsp or to taste
  • Chilli flajes 1 tsp
  • Fresh herbs or dried herbs 2 tsp
  • Shredded cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese 1 tbsp each
  • Sour cream   2 tbsp (optional)
  • Chopped chives   2 tsp

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 220ºC/200ºC  (400 or 420ºF).
  • Use a sharp knife to cut slits into the baking potatoes. These should be  about 1/8 to ¼”apart, stopping about ¼ inch from the bottom apart and go about two-thirds of the way through the potato. To ensure  that the slits do not go all the way through (otherwise the potato will fall apart) place the potato between two ladles or chopsticks as shown while slicing

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  • Take the oil and half the butter  in a bowl and add the pepper, chili flakes, chives, and salt. Mix to give a smooth suspension
  • Brush the bottom of a baking tray with the melted butter or oil and transfer the potatoes to the tray. Dribble the potatoes with the spiced oil and place the tray into the oven and cook for 1 hour (exact cooking time depends on the size of potatoes used). About every 20 minutes use a pastry brush to baste the potatoes in the butter and olive oil mix that they placed in. When basting,  the ends may get quite crispy. To stop this, after 40 minutes wrap the ends carefully in a small square of aluminium foil.
  • After 40 minutes baking drizzle the potatoes with the remaining butter. Return to the oven and bake for another 25 to 35 minutes, or until nicely browned. Sprinkle the cheese and some breadcrumbs and bake for another 5 minutes.
  • Check with a knife or fork to make sure they are soft in the center.
  • Remove from oven and serve with cream.

Chef’s Note

  • To prevent browning of potatoes keep them in a  bowl of water till all potatoes are ready.
  • It is fine to bake the potatoes in the skin but if they are too thick it will be a good idea to peel the potatoes.
  • Often slices of cheese or butter are placed between the slits in the potatoes to get droolicious bake

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Mango-Choco Eggless Cake

 

 

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With mango season on, there is an urge to try out mango in all forms and a cake is no exception. Browsing the Internet and a few food groups suggested I could go for a quick microwaved mug cake and I started off for a 2- or 3-minute cake. As I started with the process it took a different shape with change in ingredients and turned a mango cake with choco chips embedded in it. Of no regrets for it was so so spongy and yum is an understatement!

Some bakers suggested adding vanilla essence but I prefer to skip it so the mango flavor is just exclusive.

Ingredients

Wet ingredients

Mango pulp ½ cup (from a medium-sized mango)

Sugar ½ cup

Condensed milk 1 tbsp

Milk ¼ cup

Yogurt ¼ cup

Refined oil  2 tbsp

Dry Ingredients

All purpose flour (APF) ½ cup

Salt 1 pinch

Baking powder ½ tsp

Baking soda ½ tsp

Milk chocolate chips  1 tbsp

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Keep a sieve over a glass bowl and transfer the dry ingredients: maida (APF), salt, baking powder and baking soda  and sieve them into the bowl to get a smooth mix.
  • Take all the ingredients listed in wet group: pulp, milk, condensed milk, yogurt, oil, and add sugar too. Whisk them gently to get a smooth past.
  • Fold in the dry ingredients slowly into the bowl containing the wet fluid to get a thick batter of flowing consistency.
  • Take a well greased baking bowl and pour the batter and level the top.
  • Crush the choco chips and add to the batter.
  • Bake the mix at 180°C for 25 minutes or till a toothpick comes out clean. Wait for the cake to cool for 5 minutes before transferring it on to a wire rack.

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Slice the cake to desirable shape and size and enjoy the lingering taste of mango!

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Chef’s Note

  1. I prefer to bake this cake without any additive flavor. However, if you prefer a tinge of citrus flavor you can add lemon zest to the batter.
  2.  I added chips to get the bite of the chocolate; but if you like the chocolate to blend in th cake, melt the chocolate in a double boiler and swirl the molten chocolate into the batter with a fork.
  3. DO NOT add excess pulp as the cake can turn soggy.
  4. Use odorless oil like sunflower oil or corn oil as olive oil is likely to leave its smell in the flavor of mango

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Check the spongy texture! Happy baking!

Orange-Lemon Eggless Cake

 

 

 

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The simple thought of citrus oil gets one ecstatic and if it were to combine with the juices and go into a cake  it can only be divine!

Ever since the Hall of Fame Contest was held in the Forum “HomeBakers Guild” I have been planning to bake orange cake as I saw some members post lovely eggless versions.  It took me so long to finally act and make my version based on the inputs from other bakers, to mention cookwithpriyankavarma being one such.  Where orange gives flavor the cake tends to be sweet and I wanted  a tangy kick too with the flavor of orange. I decided to added lemon juice and its zest and ended up with a cake that was simply bursting with flavors. While baking the aroma was so wonderful that I could not wait for the cake to rest after baking!!! Despite my haste the cake (though it lost its swelled look) was spongy, nice crust on the outside, and absolutely moist and soft inside.

 

Ingredients

Dry ingredients

All purpose flour  1¼ cups

Baking powder 1 tsp

Baking soda ½ tsp

Table salt 1 pinch

For the wet part

Sugar ¾ cup (preferably powdered)

Condensed milk 1 tbsp

Yogurt ¾ cup

Butter 2 tbsp (at room temperature)

Corn/Sunflower oil ¼ cup

Fresh Orange juice ½ cup

Fresh Lemon juice 2 tbsp

Orange zest ½ tsp

Lemon zest ¼ tsp

 

Method

  •  Sieve together the dry ingredients into a bowl to get a smooth mix, if needed a couple of times.
  • In a small bowl whisk the yogurt and condensed milk to get a smooth consistency. Mix orange and lemon juice as also the zest in another bowl and keep it ready.
  • Whisk the sugar, oil, and butter with a  spatula to get a smooth flowing consistency.  No need for heavy whisking; it is enough till the mix looks smooth. Add the milk-yogurt mix to the mix and blend well.
  • Fold in the dry mix gradually and gently  to get a smooth paste. Add the juice-zest mix  in portions and fold gently to get a smooth batter of flowing consistency.
  • Preheat the oven at 180°C while preparing the cake batter so the oven is ready for baking
  • Transfer the batter to a well greased loaf tin or a cake pan and bake for 30 minutes or till the toothpick comes out clean. Do check the cake after 20 minutes to ensure it is not overdone.
  • Wait for the cake to rest and cool before transferring on to a wire rack even if the aroma is overpowering and irresistible!! 🙂

 

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  • Slice as per your choice and store in airtight container if any slice remains!!

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Chef’s Note

If you like to get a stronger flavor of lemon add another pinch of zest to the juice but do not add add more lemon juice as it is likely to give a sour taste.

A sprinkle of sugar on the baked cake while it is cooling gives it a lovely glaze.

For those who need a tip on collecting zest: wash the orange and lemon before grating the fruit for the zest.. Hold the fruit in your hand and gently grate the orange part of the skin and yellow part of the lemon till you reach the white area. Ensure you do not grate the white part of the skin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upside-Down Cornmeal Muffins

Inspired by a post in Home Bakers Guild for a contest and my earlier browse through the blog  from Tadka Pasta I decided to bake this healthy muffin with tweaks to suit my need. The vibrant color from the tomatoes with chillies to contrast and flavored with bell pepper gives it an inviting appearence.

A wholesome and healthy breakfast of two of these muffins baked the previous day, warmed in micro on a particularly busy morning, is good to keep one going till lunch time. Egg substituted by flax seed powder as a binder makes it quite a healthy bake, and for those who are not fond of corn meal or find it difficult to procure it in the market, wheat grit  should serve as a good substitute. As  I used equal measures of corn meal and all purpose flour, the muffins were soft but quite spongy.

cornmeal muffin

Makes 8 large muffins

Ingredients

To line the bottom of the muffin cups 

Finely diced tomatoes  1 cup (2 large tomatoes should work. Ensure they are firm)

Finely diced large green chilies (deseeded)  1 tsp

Dry mix

Corn meal 1 cup

All purpose flour 1 cup

Salt 1 tsp

Red chill powder 1 tsp

Baking powder  1½ tsp

Baking soda ½ tsp

Cumin powder 1 tsp

Black pepper powder ½ tsp (optional)

For the wet mix

Yogurt 1 cup

Cheddar cheese ½ cup

Melted butter  3 tbsp (app ¼ cup)

Fresh Corn kernels  ½ cup (frozen corn can also be thawed and used)

Diced green bell pepper ¼ cup

Flax seed powder in water  1½ tbsp

Water or milk ¼ cup

Method

  • Take the flax seed powder in a in a small bowl or cup and add 3 table spoons of water. Whisk well with a spoon or fork till it starts thickening. Leave the mix in the fridge for cooling for 15 minutes to 30 minutes. This process helps in giving a moist texture to the muffins.
  • Grease the cups of the muffin pan and line them with the diced tomatoes and chilli and keep them ready.
  • Set the oven at 180°C and preheat  for 10 minutes to reach the baking temperature.
  • Transfer the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix well with a spatula.
  • Take the ingredients mentioned under wet mix in another bowl except the corn and bell pepper. Add the flax mix from the fridge and whisk to get a smooth paste. Pour the mix into the bowl with dry ingredients and fold in gently. Add the corn and bell pepper and fold into the batter.
  • Ladle out the batter into the muffin cups up to two-thirds level and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Do a tooth-pick to ensure it is baked well. Leave in the oven for anther  5 minutes to rest.

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  • Detach the muffins from the tray with a thin wooden spatula (ice cream stick ideal)  and invert on a wire tray to cool down.
  • Eat hot or store in an airtight box for breakfast 🙂

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Chef’s Note

  • If you do not like the granular texture (actually it gives a lovely feel) you can make the corn grit less coarse by blitzing for a few seconds.
  • Ensure that you remove the muffins from the pan before it cools down totally to avoid the tomatoes from getting moist and soggy.
  • You can substitute corn kernels with fresh green peas for variation in taste.
  • Adding fresh coriander leaves will add loads of flavor.  For those who like a bit of experiment try flavoring with kasuri methi!
  • If you like it as bread loaf bake in a bread loaf tin and enjoy!

Penne Pasta in Marinara Sauce (2 servings)

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Ingredients

Penne  1 cup  (200 g)

Medium-sized onion 1 (smoked in skin)

garlic 2 cloves (crushed)

Tomato puree 1 cup ( from 3 medium-sized tomatos)

Olive oil 1 or 2 tbsp

Green bell pepper 1 (smoked in skin)

Mozarella cheese or Cheddar cheese  2 tbsp (grated)

Milk 1 cup

Butter  25 g ( 1 tbsp softened)

Corn flour/Maida  1 tbsp

Chilli flakes 2 tsp

Salt 1 tsp

Sugar ½ tsp

Pepper powder 1 tsp

Oregano  ½ tsp

Parsley  ½ tsp (dried)

Basil (dried) 1 tsp

Method

  • Boil the pasta in adequate water to al dente point. Drop in cold water and drain the water.
  • Smoke the onion in skin and after peeling puree the onion.
  • Brush the bell pepper with oil and smoke over fire, remove the skin and dice into thin slivers.
  • To make Marinara Sauce: Saute  the crushed garlic in olive oil and when the raw smell is gone, saute the onion, add the tomato puree an let it boil for a few minutes ti thicken. Add salt, chilli flakes, sugar and basil.
  • Add the sauce to the cooked pasta and mix well.
  • White sauce: Melt butter in a pan and stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Add milk and when it thickens, add the herbs (parsley, oregano), pepper, slivered bell pepper and keep aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 200° C. Grease a baking dish and layer the pasta in the dish and top with white sauce.
  • Bake for 20 minutes till the top layer is caramelized.
  • Serve hot 🙂

Greek Yogurt Cake (8 servings)

I wondered what could be baked for Ar-As wedding anniversary when Ar told me she will be coming home on work about her anniversary time. She was planning to fly out from work; therefore rich cake with icing  was ruled out. Yogurt cake can stand warm weather up to a day and I ended up making this dellliciiious cake that they both simply loved! 🙂

I followed my old recipe for proportions and baked based on a procedure I picked up from yummly.com. Earlier, the mixing was all manual and I decided to use a blender this time 😀

Ingredients

1½ cups plain flour(maida)

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup (60 g) softened butter

3 eggs (separated)

²/³ cup plain yogurt

1¹⁄³ cups granulated sugar

1 tsp grated lemon zest

1 tbsp lemon juice

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180º C.
  • Grease a 9″ cake tin and  line the base with greased butter paper.
  • Sift flour, salt and soda together.
  • Separate the yolk and white and beat the white in a bowl until soft peaks are formed. Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar to the beaten egg white and whisk till glossy stiff peaks form.
  • Cream the butter until very soft and further after adding remaining sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest and lemon juice until the mix looks fluffy. Add flour mix and yogurt to this creamy mix alternately and fold in gently.
  • Fold in the stiff peaks of egg white into the mix and pour into the prepared cake tin.
  • Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until the top turns golden brown and insert a toothpick to confirm it comes out smooth.
  • Leave in the tin for a few minutes before turning out on a wire rack.

        

    Chef’s Note: This cake improves in taste when left uncut for a day! 🙂

Spinach Pie Shells

We were actually planning a spinach filo pie and went to buy filo sheets. The sheets we found were narrow and long and then S spotted a pack of pie shells. looking at the image on the cover I settled for it believing that the shells were reasonably big for me to make mini pies. When I opened the pack I was utterly disappointed to see micro shells. However, I had to figure out something to bake as I had promised Ad to bake a pie.

I worked on the recipe for filo pie by Catherine Atkinson and came up with my version. End of the day we were thrilled with the outcome and realized that this dish could make a wonderful starter/entree! :)And in no time did  the pie shells disappear!

Ingredients

1″ wide prebaked filo pastry shells

Destalked spinach leaves  1½ cups

Onion (medium-sized) 1  chopped or scallions (spring onion) 4 chopped

Shelled green peas 3 tbsp

Crumbled Feta Cheese 50 g

Egg 1

Olive oil  1½ tbsp

Ground black pepper 1 tsp

Fresh Cilantro finely chopped  2 tbsp

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (195° C) while getting the mix ready.
  2. Blanch the destalked and washed spinach leaves in a small amount of hot water for a minute or two until the leaves look slightly wilted. Remove from water and refresh under cold water. Remove the leave and chop them roughly to small pieces.
  3. Place the spinach leaves in a bowl and add chopped onions/scallion, cheese,  peas, 1 tbsp oil, egg and stir well. Add the chopped cilantro leaves and also pepper.
  4. Arrange the pastry shells neatly on a baking dish and spoon the filling into each shell to form a heaped scoop.
  5. Brush the filling with the remaining oil and bake for about 35 minutes till golden and crisp.
  6. Cool for about 10 minutes  before serving.

Chef’s Note

Any other crumbly cheese such as cheddar cheese can be used in place of feta. No salt was added to the mix as the cheese by itself is quite salty.