Category: Cakes & Bakes

Brownie Muffins

Brownie…..isn’t that one word enough to make you reach out and grab a piece and then turn around the other way, all by yourself and not share with anyone! Mind you…grab a large or probably even the largest piece if possible. Happens with you?! A lot?! LoL😂 Then these Brownie Muffins are for you my friend. Err…not these ones though..you got to make your own!😜

Reason….because these were made just for my hubby..celebrating his birthday! 💖😘🎂 with these chocolaty, super fudgy and gooey brownies! Who says you must have a cake on a birthday with candles???! We have these brownies and a peck on the cheek😍

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He loves them! They are morish…slightly crisp on the top and soft within. I have just sprinkled them with some slivers of chocolate…..you can choose not to or maybe dust these with some cocoa instead. Or even keep them plain. This is kind of my go-to recipe for brownies, you can make a large brownie too, need not bother with making Muffins at all. But as I said you get a whole muffin to yourself, right 😜!

Anyways…let get started..

Yield: 6 large brownies

Equipment: a large saucepan, a heat resistant bowl, a sieve, a large mixing bowl, electric whisk (or manual), muffin tray, muffin liners, cooling rack, a rubber spatula, measuring cups/spoons (I have used a weighing scale to measure everything in grams)

Ingredients:

56 gms dark chopped cooking chocolate (I use Morde)

56 gms unsalted butter chopped roughly  (approximately 1/2 cup)

28 gms maida (all purpose flour)

18 gms unsweetened cocoa pwd

75 gms fine castor sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 nos. large egg

Method:

Pre-heat the oven @180’c for 10 mins.

Keep chopped chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl. Place water in the saucepan to boil. Once it comes to a boil, place the heat proof bowl with the chocolate and butter on top of the sauce pan. Let the chocolate and butter melt together, stir it a couple of times with a rubber spatula. Once it’s melted, set the bowl aside and let it cool.

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Next, beat the egg and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate and butter mixture into the eggs. Whisk once more. Then sieve in the cocoa powder and maida into the eggs. Add the vanilla extract too. Fold the mixture gently with a rubber spatula. Do not over mix the mixture.

Line the muffin tray with liners and fill each portion with the mixture upto 3/4 th capacity. Bake them at 180’c for 18-20 mins. Once baked, insert a toothpick in the centre of a brownie, it must come out with moist and gooey crumbs. That’s it, the Muffins are ready. Cool them on the cooling rack for a few minutes. Serve them warm with a scoop of ice cream or just enjoy them plain.

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Don’t these tempt you…😁 Also try my eggless nutties brownie.

Love,

Shreya💝

Eggless Wholewheat Cardamom Cookies | Elaichi Biscuits

Chai and biscuits…have become chai and cookies. The English biscuits have been taken over by chunky cookies all the way from the West! I am not complaining…I never have tea…so the cookies over biscuits dilemma has never haunted me🤗

But my hubby loves his tea…it’s no secret. Although he is not a biscuit or cookie loving kind of a guy…he does like them once in a blue moon…and on that lucky day, he can clean out the tin! 😂

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Store bought cookies are not his kind…he finds them too sweet and the Maida (all purpose flour) makes it way too heavy. I agree…these are precisely the reasons why even I don’t like indulging in them too often. Also, these cookies or biscuits are often made with Dalda (vegetable fat) which isn’t the healthiest choice. Though they are very crisp but definitely not our choice.

So these atta biscuits (wholewheat cookies) were one of the earliest things I learnt to bake for my hubby back when I got my oven! There were few hits and many more misses 😂😂😂😂 I had burned bases to rock solid cookies which wouldn’t come off from the tray…though they were lined with parchment paper! Sometimes, they’d spread so much and turn into a congealed mass…LOL! 😜

But you learn..make your own mistakes and then understand where you went wrong. I referred to so many recipes all over the place just to make a good wholewheat cookie. Finally, almost over a year ago I was able to stick to a recipe where I was happy with each aspect of the result…. It was crisp, perfectly cooked and did not spread much. Just the way I wanted.

It took me almost over an year to bring them to my blog for you as I always bake these at night and clicking pictures isn’t possible then or even if I bake them during weekends, my hubby starts eating them warm off the baking tray! There’s hardly any left for me…forget clicking them 😁

I am going to share a few tips here that I learnt in the process of learning to bake these atta cookies ..

* the very first trial with making these atta cookies was inspired by a recipe I saw in some magazine at my Mom’s place. It had used butter obviously, but I used oil to make it healthy. The result was a congealed mass on the tray even after baking for 25 mins. It simply spread.

* next, after a few hits and misses, I tried them using ghee (clarified butter). They tasted decent but felt a little heavy for our palates. They were crisp but became soggy on the second day. They too spread but not too much. Not satisfactory.

* finally I thought of trying with unsalted cooking butter as per the original recipe but I changed the proportions as per my choice and used just the basic ingredients. By this time I’d already baked the exact same thing over 7-8 times. So I was able to judge the texture and the quantity on sight. Also, extensive research online made me understand the value of refrigerating the cookie/ biscuit dough. It helps. Big time! Using butter does make it crisper and the end result is what you see in the pictures here. The cookies/ biscuits do spread. It will. But it is minimal and gives you perfect looking cookies. These cookies stay fresh and crisp for upto 3 days in an airtight box. (My experience, it never lasts longer than that as I always make a small batch)

Hope you have gone through the tips above before we begin the actual recipe.

Yield: 12-14 small cookies

Equipment: (no fancy equipment is ever used for this, remember I was learning to bake with basic things at home) a wired whisk, a large mixing bowl, a small bowl, baking tray, parchment paper/ baking paper, a cooling rack, measuring cups/ spoons, as small pan, a weighing scale if you have one would be excellent.

Ingredients:

1 cup wholewheat atta (ashirwaad select atta)

75 gms unsalted butter (approximately 3/4th quantity of a 100gm. I used a weighing scale here)

6 tbsp powdered sugar (add more or less as per taste)

1/2 tsp cardamom pwd (Elaichi pwd)

1 small pinch baking soda

Method:

How to measure the atta – fill the cup with spoonfuls of atta. Do not dip the cup into the container with the atta. That way you will always end up with extra atta and the ratio will be wrong.

Seive the atta along with the baking soda once. Set it aside.

Take butter in the pan. Let it melt on very low flame. Once it’s melted, let it cool for 2 mins. Take the butter in a small bowl, then add the powdered sugar and cardamom pwd in the butter. Whisk well to make a smooth mixture.

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Now add this mixture to the sieved atta and baking pwd. Mix it gently and bring it together. This is not like Roti dough so it with crumbly. Let the dough rest for 5-7 mins to absorb the butter. Then gently shape the cookies (takes me 20 mins for just 12 cookies each time). Make sure the shape of cookies is evenly sized and smooth all over. (See the pic above). Place them apart on parchment lined baking tray.

I can make 12 cookies with this quantity, you may have 10 or 14 as well, depending on the size. Once you have shaped the dough, keep them in the refrigerator for 15 mins.

Preheat the oven at 150’c for 10 mins. (Every oven is different so work according to that for setting the temperature and duration for baking).

Take the baking tray out from the refrigerator and place it in the middle of the oven to bake at 150’c for 20-22 mins. They will turn golden on the top and slightly brown at the bottom. Do not bake at high temperatures else the cookies with burn at the base. Once the cookies are baked, keep the baking tray out of the oven for 10 mins on a cooling rack.

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Then transfer the cookies to the cooling rack for cooling them completely. They are soft at first then turn crisp as they cool.

Once completely cooled, store them in airtight box.

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Occasionally, I do like a cup of lemon tea with these cookies! Also, try sugar cookies by me.

Love,

Shreya💝

Slightly adapted.

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls are soft, fluffy, delicious and melt in the mouth good! They are eggless ad that makes no difference in the texture. They are buttery and have the most beautiful golden crust! 

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls need not take hours to make, my recipe here takes less than 2 hours to hit the table, warm and soft, to be enjoyed with some butter or as it is. I personally enjoy baking these beauties when I make Pav Bhaji or Misal Pav. Nothing like some fresh Pav/ dinner rolls with a spicy bhaji or Misal to mop up!! This pav tastes exactly like the pav we get with Vada Pav in Mumbai!!

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls are no rocket science. They just need some basic techniques and you’ll be sorted. The four major constituents are…

Yeast – I use active dry yeast which needs proving (that’s when you dissolve the yeast with warm liquid as mentioned in the recipe for 6-8 minutes). If you use instant yeast, then that can be added directly to the flour. Either of these ingredients are easily available and they both work just fine.

Flour – Bread flour is used in most recipes from the West, however I’ve not been able to find any around me so I simply use All Purpose Flour. Bread flour has more protein and hence churns out taller and chewier rolls/ breads. All Purpose Flour will give you slightly shorter and less chewy rolls/ breads but the taste will be excellent.

Hydration – The dough for any sort of rolls/ bread needs to be hydrated just enough to be slightly tacky (sticky), just barely though. Adding way too much flour can result in stiff dough which in turn make stiff, dry rolls/ breads.

Measurements – Just scoop out the flour with the measuring cup and level it flat. Always use some extra flour to knead th dough just incase if the dough becomes too sticky.

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls have the most beautiful crumb structure.

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls

Let us start baking some Pav/ dinner rolls.

Take 1/2 cup of warm milk in a glass or bowl, add the yeast & sugar. Stir it lightly. Set it aside for 10 minutes to let the yeast bloom. (Note that if the milk is too hot, the yeast won’t bloom. So be careful with the milk. If the yeast doesn’t bloom, start again).

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See the first picture above, the yeast has bloomed really well. It almost overflowed on the kitchen top.
Next, see the second picture above. For making the dough add the flour in the bowl, season with salt.
Add the butter and slowly add the yeast mixture.
Do not add all the yeast mixture at one go as we may end up with a very gluey and wet dough.
Keep adding a little bit at a time and make a dough.
Add the rest of the warm milk too, slowly and keep kneading. We may not need all of the milk, so use it as and when you feel the dough drying up.
The dough needs to be tacky and not extremely sticky. remove the dough on the work surface.
Knead for about 8-10 minutes.
You can add some more flour if it’s the dough is still too sticky and again knead it well. The longer you knead it, the smoother and softer it will be.
Smoothen the dough with more butter.
Once the dough has become smooth, place it the bowl for it’s first rise/ prove. I gave it approximately 45 mins or so.
See the third picture above, the dough almost tripled after 45 minutes.
Then I gently punched down the dough and released the air within.
I, then greased my hands and divided the dough into 8 equal parts (used a weighing scale for this).
I greased the baking tin and placed the divided dough in it. Brushed each portion with butter.
Then I left them for the second rise/ prove for 30 mins.
Preheat the oven at 200’c for 10 mins. Place the tin on the middle rack and bake the Pav for 20 mins @ 200’c using both the upper and the lower heating coil/ rods/ elements.
Please note every oven works differently hence adjust the temperature and duration according to that.
This is what they looked like as they came out of the oven! Brush them with some melted butter if you like.

homemade-laadi-pav-egg-free-mumbai-style-dinner-rolls

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls
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Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls

Homemade Laadi Pav egg free | Mumbai Style Dinner Rolls are soft, delicious and so easy to make! 

Course Breakfast, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Indian
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 8 Pavs/ rolls
Author Shreya Ashish Tiwari

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour or bread flour
  • 3/4 tsp granulated sugar
  • 11/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast or instant dry
  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • oil to grease the baking tray

Instructions

  1. Take 1/2 cup of warm milk in a glass or bowl, add the yeast & sugar. Stir it lightly. Set it aside for 10 minutes to let the yeast bloom. (Note that if the milk is too hot, the yeast won't bloom. So be careful with the milk. If the yeast doesn't bloom, start again).

  2. See the first picture above, the yeast has bloomed really well. It almost overflowed on the kitchen top.

  3. Next, see the second picture above. For making the dough add the flour in the bowl, season with salt. 

  4. Add the butter and slowly add the yeast mixture. 

  5. Do not add all the yeast mixture at one go as we may end up with a very gluey and wet dough. 

  6. Keep adding a little bit at a time and make a dough.

  7. Add the rest of the warm milk too, slowly and keep kneading. We may not need all of the milk, so use it as and when you feel the dough drying up. 

  8. The dough needs to be tacky and not extremely sticky. remove the dough on the work surface.

  9. Knead for about 8-10 minutes. 

  10. You can add some more flour if it's the dough is still too sticky and again knead it well. The longer you knead it, the smoother and softer it will be. 

  11. Smoothen the dough with more butter.

  12. Once the dough has become smooth, place it the bowl for it's first rise/ prove. I gave it approximately 45 mins or so.

  13. See the third picture above, the dough almost tripled after 45 minutes. 

  14. Then I gently punched down the dough and released the air within. 

  15. I, then greased my hands and divided the dough into 8 equal parts (used a weighing scale for this). 

  16. I greased the baking tin and placed the divided dough in it. Brushed each portion with butter.


  17. Then I left them for the second rise/ prove for 30 mins.

  18. Preheat the oven at 200'c for 10 mins. Place the tin on the middle rack and bake the Pav for 20 mins @ 200'c using both the upper and the lower heating coil/ rods/ elements. 

  19. Please note every oven works differently hence adjust the temperature and duration according to that.

  20. This is what they looked like as they came out of the oven! Brush them with some melted butter if you like.

Recipe Notes

Please ensure that the yeast has bloomed well, if it hasn't, start over. 
If using instant yeast, just add it directly to the flour and follow the rest of the instructions. 

Love,
Shreya

Pin it here for later?!
homemade-laadi-pav-egg-free-mumbai-style-dinner-rolls

Peanut Butter & Choco Chip Cookies (eggless)

Today seems like such a cookie kinda day to me…all I want to do is grab a good book, some cookies and curl up on the couch! But I won’t, because I am a nice person (😉) and I chose to share a delicious recipe with you guys!! 

May I say I am choosy about my cookies?! I am sure there are many who’ll wholeheartedly agree with me on this. Don’t go putting anything that comes out of a pretty carton into your mouth. Most of those haven’t been made with all the loving that you’d put into a homemade cookie! Yes, love makes all the difference…it tastes better…melts in your mouth and your (my) hubby goes crazy for them! 😍

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Look wise, ahem…I’d say don’t pin your hopes on making every cookie look exactly the same or all perfect around the edges, still if can do that, great! For me homemade cookies should look the part…I don’t go trying to make each of them look even and all…!! Some are bigger than the rest…who cares, get a nibble or two extra😁

I love the bits of Choco chips in every bite and they compliment peanut butter just right. These are absolutely crisp and stay fresh for about 2-3 days in an airtight container, that’s the max they last in my home…maybe they’d keep fresh longer! Who’s to know?! 😂

My suggestion – bake a smaller batch, they taste great when fresh.

Also, you can freeze the dough for upto a week. Portion them before freezing, spread the portioned dough on a plate and freeze. Once frozen, store them in ziplock bags. Later, thaw the number of cookies you want to bake at room temperature for about and hour or until they come to room temperature, then pop them in the refrigerator for 15 mins to set a bit else they will spread too much while baking. Bake them as per the instructions given below.

Anyways…if you are as enthusiastic as me about baking your own cookies, check these out too….. Karachi Biscuits/ Tutti Fruity CookiesBrookies – fudgy mocha flavoured, glutenfree Amaranth cookies (rajgira), Bourbons, Almond Shortbread Cookies, no bake Peanut Butter Cookies, Chewy Butter Biscuits, Sugar Cookies with icing. (Most of these too are eggless…perfect isn’t it!?)

Let’s bake some cookies….:)

Yield: 9-10 cookies (I make them slightly large, yield depends on how you portion them..maybe if you’d keep them smaller, you’ll make around 12-13 cookies)

Equipment: measuring cups/ spoons, baking tray, mixing bowl, fork, parchment paper, a whisk/ electric whisk, cooling rack.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Maida (all purpose flour)

1/4 cup brown sugar (I used Demerara sugar)

1/4 cup castor sugar

1 1/4 tsp milk

1/4 cup softened unsalted butter

5-6 drops vanilla extract/ essence

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup chocolate chips

2 tbsp peanut butter (I used smooth)

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together butter, both sugars, vanilla extract & milk until well combined and fluffy. (I used a manual whisk as it was a small quantity, but use a electric whisk if making double or triple the batch as they must be well combined)

Peanut Butter & Choco Chip Cookie Easy recipe for Peanut butter cookies Polkapuffs recipe

Next, add the flour, Choco chips & baking soda. Fold them in gently. Lastly add the peanut butter and fold again.

Peanut Butter & Choco Chip Cookie Easy recipe for Peanut butter cookies Polkapuffs recipePeanut Butter & Choco Chip Cookie Easy recipe for Peanut butter cookies Polkapuffs recipe

The dough is ready, rest it in the refrigerator for an hour to set the dough.

Once chilled, portion the cookie dough in equal sized balls, flatten them using a fork and place them an inch or two apart as they spread on a parchment paper lined baking tray. Chill the portioned dough balls again for 15 mins in the refrigerator.

Peanut Butter & Choco Chip Cookie Easy recipe for Peanut butter cookies Polkapuffs recipe

Preheat the oven at 180’c for 10 mins. Take the chilled portioned dough balls from the refrigerator and bake them at 180’c for 20-25 mins or until the cookies turn golden brown on all sides. (Bake using just the lower heating rods for first 20 mins, then turn on the upper rods too for the last 5-6 mins, please note every oven works differently so keep an eye on the cookies)

Once the cookies are baked, take them out of the oven, let the cookies first rest on the baking tray for 15 mins as they continue to crisp up further. Then transfer them on to the cooling rack for another 10 mins. Once they are completely cooled, store them in a parchment lined airtight container.

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Hope you bake these soon😀

Love,

Shreya💖

Adapted from Calorie count

Wholewheat Pizza Base | How to make Wholewheat Pizza Base

You like pizza, I know you do! It’s Friday night…you’re watching your favourite rom-com, you scarf down 5 slices of Pizza without pausing for a breath….and then the DOUGH hits you! Hits you hard 😶😶😶 it’s super chewy, hard and weighs you down. Not the best note to start your weekend on, right!?

We are all the same, I am just like you…love to have pizzas…watch movie marathons and hate getting off my couch on weekends! But not at the cost of feeling weighed down and missing the next two meals or so. Hence, my Wholewheat Pizza Base is perfect for satisfying all those pizza cravings in a healthy way 🤗

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They are extremely light, crisp on the outside, moist within and taste way better than the all purpose flour ones. And the toppings…well that’s a whole other topic! Play! Yes, simply play with the toppings…veg..non-veg..greens or just plain cheese and herbs! They all work well with this Wholewheat Pizza Base. Although, if you still feel good about a APF pizza base, click here for a detailed, step by step recipe. Also, learn to make your own homemade pizza sauce, absolutely lip smacking and the quickest recipe ever!

A few things to keep in mind when making your own Wholewheat Pizza Base..

1. Yeast – I have used Active Dry yeast. Keep in mind the manufacturing date and the expiration date. Mine is manufactured in June’16 and expires in February ’17. So that’s the window..but I won’t be using this packet after December ’16. The effectiveness of the yeast diminishes with time. So work according to the dates.

2. Wholewheat Flour – I have used Aashirwaad Select flour here. Also, I didn’t seive the flour before kneading the dough. Just measured it correctly by first fluffing the flour, then adding spoonfuls of the flour into the measuring cup and then levelling it off with a palette knife. This is very crucial, so be measure it right!

3. Hydration – Wholewheat flour based breads need slightly more hydration as opposed to the APF ones. I used olive oil and water to hydrate the dough. (You can use regular refined oil too).

Let’s get baking!

Yield: 4-5 pizza bases depending on the size and the thickness. (I made 5 bases of approximately 7″ diameter).

Equipment: a baking tray, measuring cups/ spoons, rolling board, rolling pin, a large mixing bowl, a small mixing bowl, cooling rack, a fork.

Ingredients:

2.5 cups wholewheat flour + some extra flour to dust the board while rolling the dough

125 ml warm water (you should be able to comfortably hold your finger in the water)

25-30 ml water @r.t.

3 tsp sugar

3 tsp active dry yeast

4 tbsp olive oil + 2 tsp extra to grease the dough

1.5 tsp sea salt

Method:

Activate the yeast – take 125 ml warm water and add the sugar & yeast. Mix well. Cover and set aside for 10 mins without disturbing it, to let the yeast bloom. If it doesn’t bloom, discard & start again. Don’t compromise this step.

Wholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipeWholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipe

To make the dough – take the flour in a bowl, add salt and oil. Next add all the bloomed yeast mixture in one go. Start mixing them altogether using your fingers. At first the dough will be sticky but it will come together with 3-5 mins of kneading. Add 25 ml of water and keep kneading until you have a smooth dough. The more you knead, the better the dough shall rise! Grease the dough with 2 tsp oil and knead again for a 2-3 mins. Totally, you need to knead for about 15-20 mins. Cover with a kitchen towel and place it in a warm place for 45-60 mins to rise.

Wholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipe

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Wholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipe

After 45 mins, this is what the dough looked like post the first rise. 

Wholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipe

Now, we punch the dough down and divide it into equals sized balls. Cover them again and let them rest for 30 mins for the second rise. The third picture below shows the size of the dough balls post the second rise.

Wholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipeWholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipeWholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipe

Preheat the oven for 10 mins at 200’c.

Now, dust the rolling board and the pin with some wholewheat flour and roll out the balls into a flatbread of about 3mm thickness and the diameter of about 6″-7″. Prick them well with fork as shown below.

imageWholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipe

Place the rolled dough on the baking tray and bake for 12-15 mins using both, upper & lower heating elements at 200’c to 210’c. (Please note every oven works differently so keep an eye on the pizza base, once it turns golden on the top side, take it out of the oven).

Once baked, cool the base on a cooling rack for 10 mins. Then apply pizza sauce & add other toppings and cheese and bake for another 10 mins or until the cheese melts. Enjoy!

If storing for future use, cool them completely, wrap them in cling wrap and refrigerate. Stays fresh for 2-3 days under refrigeration.

Wholewheat pizza base recipe Polkapuffs recipes Vegan pizza base recipe

Do try these out soon…you’ll love them!

Love,

Shreya💖

McDonald’s Style Pizza McPuffs | Bakery Style Vegetable Puffs

Vegetable Puff anyone?! You? And you?! Yes, I guess all of us would grab one the moment we’d set our eyes on these. They are so light, crisp…buttery, flaky…absolutely melt in the mouth yummy! The filling too an integral part…spicy veggies with a dash of tang is what made these Puffs to die for! Even the non-veg version was always so delicious…one Puff would never suffice! 😉

Bakery Style Vegetable Puffs recipe McDonalds Pizza McPuffs recipe Polkapuffs recipes

Hence, I will having 3 of them! Hahah! No, i didn’t, I shared these with my hubby…who couldn’t stop chomping on them. My hubby kept saying that they taste better than the bakery ones. The filling was very different he said, more like the one in a Pizza McPuff from McDonalds! I was like…yes, I did try to replicate the filling, he loved my version.😊

Bakery Style Vegetable Puffs recipe McDonalds Pizza McPuffs recipe Polkapuffs recipes

Why is the filling like Pizza McPuffs, you’d ask me…simply because I love the flavour bomb that is inside a McPuff. It’s so creamy and yet light, perfection in every bite! But I always wanted to make that in Puff Pastry version. So I did.

That filling, those buttery layers made this for the perfect snack…or if I may suggest, a light meal with some soup on the side on a winter night! Wow, sounds about right! 😍

Making the Puff pastry sheet at home is quite a task..trust me! The rolling, the folding, and repeating the steps at least 10-12 times is a challenge that may or may not give you perfect results. I have used ready to use sheets which I always keep in my freezer when I need to whisk quick snacks or pies even! They are handy and absolutely perfect. But there are few tips on using them that I will share here along with the recipe for the McPuffs filling.

Firstly, always buy a frozen pastry sheet which has a manufacturing date closer to the date you are buying it. Say for example, if you are shopping for this on 15 Jul 2016, the manufacturing date should nothing older than 01st June 2016. That way, you will get the freshest product.

They expire in 90 days, so do plan accordingly. Buy 1 or more packets depending on your consumption. (I always buy 2 at a time, because I know I will use it all in about 5-6 weeks.)

Thawing a frozen pastry sheet, it is crucial to know how you thaw (bring a frozen pastry sheet to room temperature) them. Every package once opened cannot be refrozen. To thaw, place the frozen pastry sheet roll at room temperature for about an hour. It also depends where you are, say if the climate is humid, it will soften faster and the same goes for the other way around too.

The size of the frozen pastry sheets is just right to make about 4-5 of these vegetable puffs. But it also depends on how you have sized the puffs, you could even make 6-7 of them. (I usually make large ones)

Let’s get started..

Yield: 4-5 large McPuffs/ Vegetable Puffs

Equipment: a baking tray, cooling rack, a knife, a fork, a small pan, measuring cups/ spoons, pastry brush.

Ingredients:

1 nos. frozen pastry sheet

oil as needed to brush the puffs before baking

For the filling:

1 cup each boiled and chopped carrots & beans (you can add any veggies or meat)

salt to taste

1/4 tsp crushed black pepper

1/4 tsp turmeric pwd

1/2 tsp red chilly pwd

3/4 tsp mixed Italian herbs

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

3 tbsp Amul fresh cream

2 tsp oil

Method:

Heat oil in a pan, add the chopped veggies. Season with salt & pepper. Mix well & sauté for 3-4 mins.

Bakery Style Vegetable Puffs recipe McDonalds Pizza McPuffs recipe Polkapuffs recipesBakery Style Vegetable Puffs recipe McDonalds Pizza McPuffs recipe Polkapuffs recipesBakery Style Vegetable Puffs recipe McDonalds Pizza McPuffs recipe Polkapuffs recipes

Next, add ginger garlic paste, turmeric, red chilly pwd and Italian herbs. Mix well and cook for 5 mins. Now turn off the flame, add cream and ketchup. Mix well. Set the ready filling aside to cool for a few mins.

Assembling the Puffs:

Lay the thawed pastry sheet and cut the pastry into pieces as per your choice. Place the filling in the centre and close the pastry from the other side as shown below. Use a fork and press down the edges to secure the filling within the puff.

Bakery Style Vegetable Puffs recipe McDonalds Pizza McPuffs recipe Polkapuffs recipesBakery Style Vegetable Puffs recipe McDonalds Pizza McPuffs recipe Polkapuffs recipesBakery Style Vegetable Puffs recipe McDonalds Pizza McPuffs recipe Polkapuffs recipes

Make small incision on top of every puff and brush them with oil.

Bakery Style Vegetable Puffs recipe McDonalds Pizza McPuffs recipe Polkapuffs recipesBakery Style Vegetable Puffs recipe McDonalds Pizza McPuffs recipe Polkapuffs recipes

Place the ready to bake puffs in the refrigerator for 10 mins to firm up, that way they get perfect flaky layers once baked.

As they cool in the refrigerator, preheat the oven at 180’c for 10 mins. Now place the baking tray in the oven to bake the puffs for 20-25 mins @190’c using both the upper & lower rods. (Please note that every oven works differently and you may need to adjust the timing and the temperature too. These settings worked for me.)

They will start turning brown on the top as they puff up, so keep an eye on them as they bake. Once done, remove from the oven and place the them on the cooling rack for a few mins to cool them a bit. Serve warm/ hot with ketchup.

Bakery Style Vegetable Puffs recipe McDonalds Pizza McPuffs recipe Polkapuffs recipes

Hope you try these soon and don’t be intimidated by the pastry sheets! They are very simple to use. ☺️

Love,

Shreya💖

Vanilla Sponge Cake in Pressure Cooker

There are somethings which you learn unknowingly, just by watching it way too many times…although that’s just in your subconscious. You don’t really know whether you already have known it all your life until you’ve tried it – my Mom’s Vanilla Sponge in a Pressure Cooker is just that for me, with a slight variation of my own that I’ve perfected over the years 😘

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Ain’t this a beauty! Such an easy recipe, even easier is the technique which is I’ve learnt from my Mom, she’s an expert with cooker cakes…no, not because she doesn’t own an oven….(she has a very rare flame heated English oven, almost like Nigella’s, that’s over 3 decades old & has seen some of the best bakes in its time)….it’s merely a thing of convenience for her to bake in a pressure cooker and get done quickly! She’s my Mom after all, quick and easy is something that’s been passed on me by her…☺️

Pressure cooker cake recipe PolkaPuffs recipe Vanilla sponge cake in pressure cooker

The hand that held mine once, holds on a piece of cake made by the one she made. How ironical! My first time clicking with a model, my Mom💖…the best part, this cake was made in her kitchen…using her utensils & equipments…(the props are mine…I end up stocking up on them wherever I go!)…almost the traditional way. I beat the sugar with the eggs using a manual beater for the first time in my life! That’s how she still does and says that is the correct way to incorporate the air into the batter for a light and airy cake… the results are here for you to see. She has a point. I will follow this more from now…give my muscles a bit of a workout! 😂 Also, no parchment/ baking paper!

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So coming to the recipe, my Mom uses homemade white butter when she bakes a cake. I have used oil in place of the homemade white butter as she didn’t have that ready at home. Also, I have added some milk…it really does make the cake so much more moist, here she agrees with me! You learn some, you teach some!

Yield: a 6″ square cake

Equipment: a mixing bowl, measuring cups/ spoons, baking tin, a large pressure cooker, a spare steel bowl, a cooling rack.

Ingredients:

1+ 1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 eggs at room temperature

1+ 1/4 cup all purpose flour (Maida, sieved once)

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup refined oil

1 + 1/2 tsp baking pwd

3/4 tsp vanilla extract/ essence

Method:

Prepare the tin with some oil and dust maida (APF) all over. Set aside.

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In a bowl, beat together the sugar & eggs until light and frothy.

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Then add the sieved flour, milk & oil. Beat again & add the baking powder with vanilla extract. Beat well, set aside.

Heat the pressure cooker on high flame for 10 mins. Place a bowl or plate inside at the bottom. DONT ADD WATER IN THE COOKER.

image Pressure cooker cake recipe PolkaPuffs recipe Vanilla sponge cake in pressure cookerPressure cooker cake recipe PolkaPuffs recipe Vanilla sponge cake in pressure cooker

Fill the batter in the ready tin upto half its capacity and place the tin in the heated pressure cooker on the bowl kept at the base. Cover the pressure cooker with it lid but remove its gasket and weight. Bake on medium flame for 40-45 mins.

Do a toothpick test and check if the cake is ready after 40 mins, it should come out with a few moist crumbs, if your cake is ready then remove from the cooker using kitchen tongs and cool the tin on cooling rack for 10 mins before unmoulding the cake.

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If the cake in undercooked, then let it cook for another 10 mins. It should be ready by then. Slice and serve.

This cake keeps well in an airtight box for 3-4 days.

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I am in love with it’s texture and airiness!!

Love,

Shreya ❤️

My variation adapted from here.

Fudge Bars

These are my absolutely weakness! I can never say no to a Chocolate Fudge 😁 They are so gooey and a teeny bit chewy, not to forget the chocolate! I’d say perfect for your 4th of July celebrations too 🌭🍺

Fudge Bars How to make chocolate fudge Walnut fudge PolkaPuffs recipe

In my experience, this is the yummiest personalised gift you can make for your loved ones. Besides, you can easily play with the flavours too.

If not for gifting, just make these for yourself, curl up on the couch with your favourite novel and have some ‘fudge’!! Trust me, you’ll be making them so very often, simply because they are super addictive & get done in a breeze😉😉

Yield: 10 bars or 20 squares (depending on how your cut them)
Equipment: a heavy bottom wok, measuring cups & spoons, a wired whisk, baking/ parchment, paper or aluminium foil sheet, a sharp knife.

Ingredients :
200 ml condensed milk
3+1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
5 tbsp castor sugar
1-2 drops vanilla extract/ essence
50 gms butter
1 tbsp APF (Maida)
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts (replace the walnuts with pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, dried cranberries or prunes, etc.)

Method:
Line the any container or a plate with the baking paper/ parchment paper/ aluminium foil.

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In a wok, add all the ingredients except the vanilla extract & chopped walnuts.
Heat them on low flame and keep whisking simultaneously so that the mixture doesn’t burn or has any lumps.

image Fudge Bars How to make chocolate fudge Walnut fudge PolkaPuffs recipe

Keep cooking and stirring until the mixture comes together and form a thick mass that moves with the whisk. Add the vanilla extract & walnuts at this stage and mix well.

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Immediately pour the mixture on the prepared container or plate. Spread it with the help of a spatula.

Fudge Bars How to make chocolate fudge Walnut fudge PolkaPuffs recipe

Keep it in the refrigerator to set for a minimum of 2 hours. Once set, slice it into bars or squares & serve.
They last for 3-4 days under refrigeration.

Fudge Bars How to make chocolate fudge Walnut fudge PolkaPuffs recipe

Aren’t you tempted yet?! 😜
Love,
Shreya ❤️

Adapted from here.

Tortilla Pizza Cups

I am game for a pizza at any hour of the day! Sounds familiar….obviously! Most of us are…I can’t imagine someone who isn’t, literally. The gooey cheese oozing with every bite is just too tempting to deny. Calories.??😱😱 Well, give it a rest…indulge your tastebuds…and they don’t matter much when pizza can fit in a cup! 😉😉Portion control! 

Tortilla pizza cups by PolkaPuffs

Remember my Pizza Pinwheels…they were super hit! I mean…I have made them so often. They make for a great finger food just like the Bread Pizza I’d shared.

Tortilla pizza cups by PolkaPuffs

Coming to these Cups, well they are made using readymade Tortillas (someday, I will share how to make Tortillas at home😀) and can be put together in a jiffy. One can add veg or non-veg filling or just keep it simple with some cheese & pizza sauce (kid friendly). In fact, involve your kids…they’ll be so excited.

I will let you in on a quick tip here, these are perfect for portion control as I have said above too and if you do not have Tortillas then simply use Parathas and follow my recipe! They will taste just as good!

2 numbers tortilla sheets
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (red, yellow & green)
1/4 cup sweet corn
1/2 cup pizza sauce (I used homemade)
to taste Salt & Pepper
Oil to grease the muffin pan

Preheat the oven @180’c. Grease the muffin pan. Set that aside
Cut circles from the tortilla sheets using a round cookie cutter or any object with a sharp edge. You will get 4 rounds from 1 sheet.
Place the cut rounds in the muffin tray and apply the pizza sauce.

Tortilla pizza cups by PolkaPuffs Tortilla pizza cups by PolkaPuffs
Add the veggies and cheese next, season with salt & pepper.
Bake them @180’c for 7-8 mins or until the cheese melts and the tortilla cups turn a bit crisp from the edges.
Serve them hot with some ketchup.
Don’t they look so tempting!?
Tortilla pizza cups by PolkaPuffs

Love,
Shreya❤️

Idea taken from Pinterest.

Homemade Sandwich Bread | Basic White Bread

How many mornings have you had just a slice of toast with a cup of tea/ coffee…or juice and left for work or an early class?! Many, right?  Almost everyone loves their toast..some with butter…some with honey…or plain…me? I like it with my Homemade No Pectin Strawberry Jam 😬 

All these plus an warm, sweet & fresh loaf of bread makes for a beautiful weekend brunch. The aroma of a freshly baked bread can make you so, so hungry!! Yes…this loaf was baked by me for Sunday brunch…and was devoured by my hubby & me in about 15 mins! He, with some honey and me…jam!

Basic white bread recipe How to make a sandwich bread Polkapuffs recipe

Perfectly moist and light loaf of bread was a dream for me when I started baking breads about more than a year ago..but I kept trying and it’s been a little over six months that I make good breads..though not wholewheat…not yet. I am yet to try those.

Basic white bread recipe How to make a sandwich bread Polkapuffs recipe

The recipe that I use for this bread is the same as the one I use to make pizza base. It’s pretty easy, but do follow there simple steps to ensure a good loaf. They are all tried and tested by me.

Always fluff the flour and add spoonfuls of it into the measuring cup then level it off with a knife. As simple as that. Measurement is crucial.

Do not try to press down the flour into the cup to add more flour OR Never dip the measuring cup into the bag of flour. Doing these, will always leave you with a lot more flour than necessary and you will positively end up with a very dry and heavy loaf

I have used instant active yeast, never tried baking with fresh yeast. Check the box for the expiry date thoroughly before starting the recipe, make sure you don’t use the yeast if it’s less than two months away from the expiry date.

If your yeast doesn’t bloom or activate, discard and start again.

The water used for activating the yeast must be tepid. That is when you can comfortably hold your finger in the water but it must not be on the cooler side.

Do not try to make this “healthy” by skimping on the fat/ oil/ butter content. Follow the recipe and you will have a moist loaf.

Let’s get baking..

Yield: a small loaf/ 6-7 slices of bread

Equipment: 1 large mixing bowl, a small bowl, measuring cups/ spoons, baking tin, cooling rack.

Ingredients:

2 cups plain flour (Maida/ APF, 1 cup is approx 130 grams)

some extra flour to dust

2+1/2 tsp dry active yeast (1 tsp is approx 3.5/ 4 grams)

2 + 1/4 tsp sugar

3/4 cup warm water (you should be able to dip your finger comfortably)

4 Tbsp oil + extra for greasing

1 tsp salt

Method:

Take warm water in a bowl, add the sugar and yeast to it. Cover it and leave to prove & froth for 10 mins in a warm place.

Next, in a large mixing bowl, add the flour, 2 1/2 tbsp oil, salt to taste. Now add the entire proved yeast mixture & using a fork mix everything together to make a sticky dough. It will be very sticky but should not be falling apart at all. Now, sprinkle some flour on a work surface, and drop the dough on it,sprinkle some more flour over the dough. Using your palms, start kneading the dough well. Add more flour if the dough feels too sticky or some water if it feels very dry.

Keep kneading well for 10 mins. You will have a neat, non-sticky ball of dough. Knead it for a couple of mins more. It should all look like this.

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Now, grease the mixing bowl which you have kept aside & place the dough in it, cover with a lid or cling film & set aside in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours to prove. It should be double or more than double in size after proving. It will look like this.

Basic white bread recipe How to make a sandwich bread Polkapuffs recipe

Gently, punch the air out of the dough. Next, grease the baking tin with oil. Set that aside.

Roll out the dough in an squarish shape and flatten it out a bit. Start rolling from one side like a Swiss roll. Pinch to close the ends. Keeping the pinched side down, place this roll into the greased tin. Make deep incisions using a serrated knife if you like. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and place it in a warm place for 30 mins for second proving.

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This is how it should look after the second proving.

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Preheat the oven @180’c for 10 mins. Brush some oil over the top of the proved dough. Bake for about 20-25 mins @ 180’c using both, top & bottom heating elements. (Every oven works differently so pls set the temperature and the timing accordingly)

Once done, remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack for about 15 mins before slicing the loaf as it needs to set well. That’s it, your bread is ready. Keeps well for a day or two wrapped in a parchment paper in a bread box or any container.

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Besides, waking up to a freshly baked bread can be therapeutic!😉

Love,

Shreya❤️

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