quarta-feira, 27 de outubro de 2010

Daring Bakers' Challenge - October 2010 - Doughnuts

Blog-checking lines: The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

Mandatory Items: we should use any of the recipes provided.

Variations allowed: we could use our creativity to take these recipes and tweak them to come up with new, delicious varieties of doughnuts. We could use any type of toppings and fillings, we could make any shape we’d like, and we could make any size we like. We could add ingredients to the batters to make flavored doughnuts. The possibilities were endless.

Ok, so there were at least four different recipes for the dough. I've chosen the first one. Just because, at the forum, everybody was commenting it was the best one. Especially if you choose to bake the doughnuts instead of frying them. And definitely I would bake mine.
Oh, don't forget to check the other recipes at The Daring Kitchen website.
 Yeast Doughnuts:

1 1/2cup milk
70g butter
4 ½ tspoon active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
2 large eggs, beaten
¼ cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 tsp nutmeg, grated.
4 2/3 cup all purpose flour + extra for dusting surface
Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. (Make sure the shortening is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter.) Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well. Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 9 mm thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).Cut out dough using a 65 mm doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 22 mm ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven at 220ºC. Place your doughnuts in a baking pan and bake it for 10-15 minutes, or until they get golden. Let it cool before icing.

Note: If you are going to fry your doughnuts, it is highly recommended to place your uncooked ones on your slotted spoon first and lowering it into the hot oil that way to reduce the chance of injury. Also, try to always turn the spoon away from you to reduce the chances of oil splashing back up.

As you can see at the pictures, I made some doughnut without a hole. Those ones I filled with a chocolate ganache. Recipes below: 

Powdered Sugar Glaze

2 cups powdered (Icing) Sugar
1 cup whipped cream
Whisk powdered sugar and whipped cream to blend and form medium thick glaze. Spread the glaze over the doughnut with a spoon. Arrange doughnuts, glazed side up, on racks. Let stand until glaze sets, at least 30 minutes.
Note: this glaze can be made up to 3 hours ahead.  

Chocolate Ganache
200g semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup whipping cream
Place the whipping cream in a saucepan and bring to boil in medium heat. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and mix well, until all the chocolate melts. Spread over the doughnuts with a spoon.

Filling Directions

Fit a pastry bag with a plain donut tip (6 mm tip) and fill with the ganache (you can also use a squeeze bottle). Poke the tip three-fourths of the way into the doughnut and squeeze in the preserves, pulling the tip out slightly as you squeeze to fill them as much as possible.

I also decided to make some savory doughnuts. I used the same dough of the sweet ones. I'd only added a little bit more salt and sprinkled dried basil and Himalayan pink salt on them.

Salmon and Cream Cheese Filling 
150g smoked salmon 
200g cream cheese
Scallion, chopped
Lime juice
Cut the salmon in small dices. Mix the cheese, the scallion and some drops of freshly squeezed lime juice. Add the salmon. Fill the doughnut and serve immediately.

I bought some Parma ham, some Spanish ham (Jamon Serrano), a delicious pepperoni filled with pistachios and some buffalo mozzarella. I made some "doughnut sandwiches"

Thanks very much Lori. I enjoyed a lot making my first ever doughnuts. My kids  and hubby loved them to. I'd baked them for a evening snack and we all had an amazing time that day.

Recipe Source: Check some other recipes.

The yeast doughnut is from Alton Brown:

The cake doughnut is a Nancy Silverton recipe:

The raspberry jam bomboloni recipe is a Kate Neumann recipe:

The pumpkin doughnuts are from Bon Appétit:

Additional Information:

Gluten-free recipe from Whole Living Daily:

Nancy Silverton’s instructions for doughnut making:

Alton Brown making the Yeast Doughnuts:

This video is adorable – it’s a girl who has never made doughnuts before. What’s great too is that she uses what she has and didn’t buy any extra equipment/gadgets. Oh and it’s funny.

A baked version of doughnuts and he shows how to make them in a bowl using a spoon + kneading:

Photos of doughnuts for inspiration on Flickr

Take a look at DK to check what other members have done. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

quinta-feira, 14 de outubro de 2010

Daring Cooks' Challenge - October 2010 - Stuffed Grape Leaves

Blog-checking lines: Our October 2010 hostess, Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged The Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.

Historical Note: Stuffed grape leaves are a part of many cultures including the Syrians, the Turks, the Greeks, the Lebanese, the Albanians, the Israeli's, the Iranians, the Iraqis and the Armenians (just to name a few). Generally speaking the stuffed part could be in zucchinis/courgette, eggplant, tomato or peppers. Really it also extends to stuffing certain types of fish as well. It is suggested that the origin of stuffed grape leaves goes back to the time when Alexander the Great besieged Thebes. It has also been suggested the Byzantines refined and spiced up the recipe and used the leaves of other vines such as hazelnuts and figs.

Mandatory Items: The challenge this month is to make a filling and roll it in grape leaves. If grape leaves are unavailable to us then we could use Swiss chard, kale, cabbage or some tough green.
The filling was totally up to us. We could do any meat filled filling or meatless, but it must include rice. We could add different nuts or dried fruits to our filling.

Grape Leaves Stuffed with Ground Meat and Rice
Preserved grape leaves, stems trimmed, drained, rinsed and patted dry
1 tablespoon (15 ml) vegetable oil
¼ cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon salt

If using grape leaves preserved in brine, to remove salt put them in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Make sure that the water penetrates well between the layers, and leave them soaking for about twenty minutes, then change the water a time or two using fresh cold water.
If using fresh leaves, plunge a few at a time in boiling water for a few seconds only, until they become limp, and lift them out.

Cooked rice
Ground meat
1 onion, diced
2 garlic gloves, diced
½ cup tomato sauce
1 Tbspoom ground mustard
½ tspoom cinnamon
1 Tbspoom ground cumin
Peppermint leaves, chopped (that's what I call peppermint. Do you agree?)

Salt to taste
1Tbspoom olive oil
Mix the ground meat, ground mustard, cinnamon, ground cumin and salt. Set aside.
In a large pan, heat the olive oil. Stir-fry the onion and garlic. Add the ground meat until browned. Add the tomato sauce. In low heat, cook for 10-15 minutes. Add the cooked rice and mix well. Set aside.

The roll
Place a grape leaf on a flat surface, vein side up. You can trim the little stem if we would like. Place about two teaspoons (10 ml) of the filling in the center of the leaf, near the stem edge. Roll the leaf end to end, starting from the stem edge. As you roll, fold the sides of the leaf in toward the center. The leaf should resemble a small cigar, about 2 to 2 1/2 inches (50 mm to 65mm) long. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling (you can freeze the stuffed grape leaves at this point. Just line a baking sheet with wax paper. When firmly frozen, transfer to an airtight plastic bag place back in the freezer.)

In a medium saucepan put in the vegetable oil and then place the filled grape leaves in the pot. Cover and cook over low heat for 5- 8 minutes or until the grape leaves begin to sweat. Combine lemon juice, salt, and water then add to pan, filling it ¾ full. Weigh down the grape leaves with a heat proof plate or board to prevent them from unraveling. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes.

Spoon cooking liquid over the grape leaves occasionally. We will know they are done, when the grape leaves are neither soupy nor dry. Tilt pan sideways over serving platter, allowing the grape leaves to tumble out. Try not to handle them individually to reduce unraveling.

Ok, this was very good. But Audax Artifex had inspired me to make some cabbage rolls baked in a oven. All I have to say is: D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S!!!!

Stuffed Cabbage with Chicken, Pistachios and Arborio Rice
Cabbage leaves
Chicken or beef stock
Boil cabbage leaves in lightly stock until leaves become translucent, about 10 minutes. Make sure that the leaves are soft and all the leaves have the same degree of doneness. If the cabbage leaves aren't boiled enough they will never soften enough in the baking process. Shave off the protruding thick stem on the "outer" side of each leaf; this makes wrapping much easier.

1/3 cup Arborio rice, soaked in hot beef or chicken stock for 30 minutes
400g chicken breasts
20 semi-dried tomatoes packed in oil
¼ cup pistachios, toasted and chopped
1 lime zests
½ cup peppermint leaves, finely chopped,
½ cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
½ cup chives, finely chopped
½ cup tarragon, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 tablespoon sumac
2 teaspoons cinnamon, freshly ground
1½ teaspoon allspice

1 tablespoon molasses (or golden syrup or strong honey)
1-2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water

Place the chicken breasts, the dried tomatoes, the lime zests, garlic, the pomegranate molasses, the sumac, the cinnamon and the allspice in a bowl of a food processor. Beat until the chicken breasts are minced and everything gets mixed. Add the peppermint, parsley, chives, tarragon chopped leaves and the pistachios. Mix well. Add the Arborio rice and mix again.

The roll
To make each roll, place about 2-3 tablespoons of filling near the stem end, fold end on top, wrap the sides and roll. Make sure all the rolls are the same size. Preheat oven to very hot 480°F/250°C/gas mark 9¼ or as hot as the oven could go. Place the filled cabbage rolls seam side down in a tight even layer on a well greased shallow baking dish. Sprinkle rolls with salt and pour a thin lattice of molasses on top. Dot rolls with tiny lumps of butter. Pour the water into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 30 minutes (check occasionally during this time that the rolls are not burning on the bottom) then reduce the temperature to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4. Bake about 1½ to 2 hours check every 30 minutes the cabbage rolls will brown on top during this time. Spoon some pan juice atop the rolls every now and then; add more water or molasses if they dry up too much. In the last 30 minutes remove most of the excess liquid in the baking pan and reduce in a small saucepan until it coats the back of a spoon (like thin honey) ladle a tablespoon or so over the cabbage rolls a couple of times in the last 30 minutes. Constantly check the rolls at this stage since they could burn on the bottom if the pan juices dry out. The reduced pan juices (mainly molasses, butter and salt) are supposed to soak into the cabbage and turn the top of each roll a nice glistening dark brown. Do not confuse this with the cabbage drying out and burning. Turn off oven and let them sit there and soak up the pan juices for an hour or two.

Additional Information:


Thanks Lori for another amazing challenge. I think I would never make stuffed grape leaves if there wasn't this challenge. Now I'm sure I'll do that again and again.

Don't forget to check out what the other Daring Kitchen members had done.