Gingerbread Doughnuts

Recently I was one of the few chefs who was talked about it in the article by Mid-day regarding baking Christmas goodies. They wanted something revolving around Gingerbread and hence I told them about Gingerbread Doughnuts. While we were talking about Gingerbread, a very good question was asked and that was – What makes the dish – Gingerbread. I realized the concept was very simple – to anything if you add ginger powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice. Replace the castor sugar with brown sugar to add in a little bit of nutty flavor. And oh! you have a gingerbread dessert. It is pretty simple. Honey or molasses is also added to enhance the flavor.

I absolutely love anything Gingerbread, cause I love spiced up dishes. Gingerbread somehow brings out a different taste altogether. This year, I thought lets change things a bit and not bake the regular cookies that I make and go for Gingerbread Doughnuts. They are very easy and takes a little bit of time, as I am doing yeast – leavened doughnuts. But other than that they are a perfect treat for this festive season.

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Gingerbread Doughnuts

Makes at least 2 dozen of regular size doughnuts

Ingredients –

  • 2.5 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup castor sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 teaspoon all spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • 55 grams butter, room temperature
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Oil, for frying

Coating –

  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

Method –

  • In a stand mixer bowl – take the warm water, add 1 tablespoon of sugar and the yeast and mix until the yeast is dissolved. Keep it aside for 5 – 7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile in a bowl mix – flour, both the sugars, baking powder, salt, ginger powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice.
  • When the yeast is active, it will become foamy, add the yolks, butter, and vanilla. Mix with the paddle attachment for 1 minute.
  • Keeping the speed on low, keep adding the flour with a big spoon. After adding half of the flour, shift to hook/dough attachment and add the remaining flour. Mix for 3 – 5 minutes on medium high.
  • Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
  • After 1 hour, knead the dough and roll it to an 1/2 inch thick height.
  • If you want small bite size pieces, cut them with 1 inch round cookie cutter. If you want the original doughnut shape – cut it with one 3 inch cookie cutter and then 1 inch cookie cutter to cut the centers. If you have a doughnut cutter, then you know what to do.
  • You can re – roll the remaining dough and cut them.
  • Let the doughnuts rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • In a frying pan, heat the oil till its 180 C. Fry the doughnuts for 30 – 45 seconds on each side or until brown.
  • After removing, let them sit for 2 minutes on tissue papers and then coat them in cinnamon sugar.
  • Serve warm.

Notes –

  • You can add / delete the amount of spices in the dough according to your taste.
  • If you don’t like too much cinnamon in your dessert avoid the coating of cinnamon sugar and just coat them in plain sugar.
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Desi Apple Pie

Okay it has been a while since I posted anything. Well there are two reasons one I am just being plain lazy, second when I am not lazy I am busy baking. So it has been a nice week where I have just been in an almost hibernating state and then suddenly worked crazy for 24 hours. But before this week ends I want to post this yummy recipe which I happened to make two weeks back when the weather was amazing. But the weather is still not that bad. So before the winter totally leaves us I give you guys my recipe for Desi Apple Pie.

Desi Apple Pie… I know – what exactly is “desi” in the apple pie ? Well lets just say with just me and my sister in the house  – hungry and feeling cold from the lovely Mumbai winter. We were talking about food obviously and crying over how we were craving McDonald’s Apple Pie ( which I have no idea why they discontinued ). But anyways as the Apple Pie craving was set, we needed to eat Apple Pie. So hence I entered the kitchen with a new enthusiasm to cook something similar to an Apple Pie.

Ingredients –

2 Medium size Apples – peeled and chopped.

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 cup water

Juice of half a Lemon

Leftover Roti Dough

Oil for frying

Caster Sugar for garnishing.

Yes Roti Dough. Left over roti dough will be seen in all the Indian houses. This is my secret ingredient and this will make the apple pie “desi”

Method –

Apple Mixture

Apple Mixture

Take a saucepan and add the chopped and peeled apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, lemon juice and water. Cook it for 20 minutes or till the apples are soft and the water is evaporated.

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Till then take the left over roti dough and roll it very thin. Take a round cookie cutter or a steel bowl with a sharp edge and cut circles.

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After the apples are cooked. Take a teaspoon or more of the apple mixture and put it on one side of the round cut dough. Turn the plain side over making it cover the apple mixture and turning it in to a semi circle pie. Press the edges with your hand.

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Heat a pan with oil in it. When the oil is hot enough put pies in the pan and fry till cooked.

In a plate sprinkle some caster sugar. When the pie is done put in on the sugar plate so the sugar can stick to the hot pie.

Serve immediately with some left over apple mixture or ice cream.

Desi Apple Pie

Desi Apple Pie

Apple Pie

Winter at Punjab Grill

Winter has arrived. Temperature is dropping and we Mumbaikars are enjoying every bit of it. Removing the old never used jackets and buying some new ones cause we never thought it will be this cold in Mumbai. But no ones complaining everyone is saying only one thing – The weather is so NICE !!!

As everyone is taking in the cold weather and enjoying it in various ways. One thing which is definitely a “to do” if you want to enjoy the winter is eating winter foods. The dishes that give you with the warm and pampered feeling which makes you enjoy the weather even more. So to make us enjoy the winter foods and also giving us the fine dining experience Punjab Grill which is at Phoenix Mills & Juhu has come up with a special winter menu.

Getting the invite and seeing the menu and reading about the whole thing got me really excited. But then I remembered my trip to Punjab Grill Juhu, a few weeks back when my nephew had returned to India for holidays and was craving Punjab Grill’s food ( yes he was specific about it). We both wanted to eat our hearts out so hence we went to Punjab Grill’s lunch buffet. Well lets just say I fell sick after that. And there weren’t even many dishes there to literally eat our hearts out. So I was really really skeptical to go back and eat.

But being a foodie that I was I couldn’t resist and I wanted Punjab Grill to stand there and prove that all the great reviews and word of mouth about the food being amazing is absolutely true. So then I went.

It was an outdoor event which was actually a plus seeing that the weather was perfect. One thing I have to mention here is that the event was fabulous in terms of management, service, ambiance and quality & quantity of food. Now I will be realistic here I haven’t been to many restaurant events but how many ever I have been this one takes the cake. The servers knew about all the dishes and how it was cooked. The quality and quantity of the dishes were amazing.

Coming to the food now –

The food was definitely rich. You could actually taste the richness in it. Some dishes I will say tasted really good but were heavy on the stomach. But then it is winter food and winter food is supposed to be heavy, specially North Indian dishes cause of the extreme winter there. The heavy food gets you through the winter. So probably for some Mumbaikars like me it will be a bit heavy on the stomach ( and by heavy I mean waking up at 5.30 am and having a acidity tablet).

Now the snaps here are a mix and match of what I have clicked ( very poor lighting) and what is given to us by the restaurant ( I must say they were smart to know that clicking pictures will be an issue).

Evening

drink

While I was enjoying my non bhaang Thandai which was yummy. Everybody was raving about this drink which I think had guava and vodka in it. So if you drink you can definitely try this.

Kaali Gajar Kaanji

Kaali Gajar Kaanji

As we got seated and pampered with a refreshing wet napkin. Then came this wonderful well seasoned Kaali Gajar “Kaanji”.

Chukandar ke kebab

Chukandar ke kebab

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I absolutely relished this delicious Chukandar ke kebab which was filled with beetroot and pine nuts. ( and I am not a beetroot person) but these were super tasty !!!

Kharode Ka Shorba

Kharode Ka Shorba

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Those small breads on the right were yummy and dipping it into this hot cup of super rich lamb trotter soup was absolutely perfect.

Shakarkandi Kamrakh Ki Chaat

Shakarkandi Kamrakh Ki Chaat

I liked the steaming potatoes on it but the starfruit was okay.

Methi chicken tikka

Methi chicken tikka

I loved the marination and tenderness in this dish. This is the only item after the beetroot kebabs that I finished it full.

Tabak maas.

Tabak maas.

Tabak Maas is a Kashmiri delicacy which I have already tasted it at the Kashmiri food festival at The Trident BKC, Mumbai. I remember the steward  (if that is the right word) told me that this is a very tricky item either you will love it or hate it. She was right. I am the person who hates it. So you could be either one.

Sarson Da Saag with Makkai ki Roti

Sarson Da Saag with Makkai ki Roti

I wish I wasn’t so full when this was served. I loved the Dal Makhani which also I couldn’t eat much.

Bread Basket

Bread Basket

Bread Basket

Bread Basket

These bread basket with kashmiri naan, bajre ki roti and makkai ki roti were just outright delicious and soft. I want to go back and just order these and keep eating and eating !!!

Punjab Grill Deg “HOT POT”

Punjab Grill Deg “HOT POT”

Gurh Wale Chawal

Gurh Wale Chawal

Bajre ki Choori

Bajre ki Choori

I missed all these dishes as I was too full and had to leave early. But as I was leaving they made me taste a dessert by saying that it was the “lightest dessert in the world” –

This is milk froth sprinkled with sugar. Well they were true and this was the lightest dessert but I can’t comment if it was lightest dessert in the world or no. But I like fancy desserts so just giving me milk froth with sprinkled sugar is just not enough.

Probably/Hoping there were more desserts but I couldn’t stay for them. I left but wait there was more –

Winter Food Hamper

Winter Food Hamper

They gave me this wonderful winter food hamper with yummy items like mutton ka achar (pickle), vegetable achar (pickle), Till Patti ( sesame seed brittle ), masala tea, kaanji and many more delicious items. I had a feeling I was being bribed. I mean I got this wonderful basket as a give away.

On the whole it was a fun night with good food and meeting new and fellow foodies all courtesy FBAI – Food Bloggers Association India. So as much as we hope the winter in Mumbai to continue for a long time to enjoy it fully I would suggest go and try the winter food menu at Punjab Grill.

Strawberry & Nutella Trifle

Strawberries are in the season. And as much as I can hog down all the possible strawberries in the house in one sitting. The baker aka pastry chef in me awakens and wants to try and make a dessert. Strawberry is the best fruit for desserts according to me. You can make anything and give it that fruit touch by adding strawberry on top or layering it in from mousses to cakes to trifles even chocolate !!!

So I tried something yesterday with three basic and very yummy ingredients. I really dont know what to call this dessert its more of a trifle than a strawberry and cream cup. But instead of cream I have used cream cheese to give it a rich and yummy taste. None the less as it was done and served it got over in 2 minutes !!!

Strawberry & Nutella Trifle

Strawberry & Nutella Trifle

Strawberry & Nutella Trifle

Makes 4 medium size Dessert Glass

Ingredients –

Minimum 500g Strawberries

1 packet Philadelphia Cream Cheese

4-5 tablespoon Icing Sugar

5-6 slices of Rusk

Nutella

Dessert Glasses

Method –

Mix the icing sugar with the cream cheese generously until full pasty. For easier mixing let the cream cheese get a bit soft before. If you want your cream cheese filling to be more sweet you can always add more sugar. As the cream cheese will be a bit runny after mixing you can put in the refrigerator for 1 hour or the freezer for 20 minutes.

Apply generous amount of Nutella on the rusk on all the sides. Break the rusk into 4-6 small pieces.

Chop the strawberries and save some whole strawberries for the topping later.

In the dessert glasses put the Nutella covered pieces of rusk. Then layer it with chopped strawberries and a tablespoon or more of cream cheese filling. Repeat it one more time. Keep tapping the glass a bit after every addition.

As the cream cheese filling should be on top. You can slice the saved strawberries and garnish it or else just put whole. Refrigerate till serving minimum 30 mins.