I started baking around a couple of years ago. I took it up as a challenge because I felt baking was one of my biggest culinary fears. I used to be fascinated seeing people baking all delicious desserts and I used to feel a bit inept. Another reason for not baking was me not having a sweet tooth. But my husband loves sweets and that really gave me an inspiration to try my hand at baking. I started with basic cakes and it was an absolute thrill to see myself baking them perfectly. Then I got introduced to tarts, courtesy MasterChef Australia and UK. They looked so picture perfect and delicious that I just had to try them. So, here is my first attempt at a tart and since I love almonds, I attempted making Frangipane Cherry Tart and it tasted D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S. I have already made it a few times now and it was a hit every time! Everyone loved eating it 🙂
For Frangipane Tart Filling
- Unsalted Butter, softened – 150 grams
- Caster Sugar – 100 grams
- Pure Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon
- Large Eggs – 2 at room temperature
- Ground Almonds – 200 grams
- Plain Flour – 85 grams
- Cherries, pitted – 400 grams
- Plain Flour – 160 grams
- Icing Sugar – 40 grams
- Ground Almonds – 25 grams
- Butter, chilles and chopped into cubes – 125 grams
- Egg yolk – 1
Steps for making Pastry
- Mix flour, icing sugar, ground almonds and chilled butter cubes in a food processor until it appears like fine breadcrumbs. It is important to use cold butter or else you won’t get a breadcrumb texture.
- Now add the egg yolk and mix it until dough just comes together.
- You can either add a little flour in the food processor and can knead until smooth or you can take it out on a lightly-floured surface and knead by your hands until smooth.
- Shape the kneaded dough int a flat-ish disc and wrap it with clingfilm refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (180 degrees C fan-forced). Grease a 3cm-deep, 24cm (base) round, fluted loose-based flan tin.
- You can also ready-made pastry (either a pastry block or a pre-rolled pastry sheet)
- Roll out pastry between 2 sheets of baking powder or on a flour-dusted work top to form a 32cm circle. Line the base and side of the prepared tin with pastry. Trim pastry. Trim excess. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Steps for baking the pastry
- Place tin on a baking tray. Line pastry with baking paper and fill it with ceramic baking beans/balls or uncooked rice. Bake for 10 minutes. This technique is called Blind-baking.
- Now remove weights or rice and paper. Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden. Cool. Be careful with the pastry once it has been cooled. Shortcrust pastry tends to be crumbly and anything other than gentle handling is likely to damage the pastry case that we have created thus far.
Steps for Frangipane Tart Filling and baking
- Reduce the oven temperature to 160 degrees C (140 degrees C fan-forced).
- Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Add the grounds almonds. Beat until just combined. Stir in the flour and mix well.
- Spread mixture into the pastry case which you have just cooled. Arrange cherries over mixture.
- Bake the tart for 40 minutes or until golden and firm. Let it cool in the tin.
- Dust with icing sugar and your Frangipane Cherry Tart is ready to serve 🙂
Do share the results of your attempts 🙂
Indore (a city in Central India and my hometown) is a food heaven. If you are an India-based foodie, Indore is a must-visit place for you, if only for its food. It has been more than a decade that I have left Indore but I always dream of visiting my hometown, especially since I now want to take my husband who will surely love the trip. Indore has a street called Chappan Dukaan (which literally translates to 56 Shops) and all these are food shops. You name it and you will find it here. Well, the reason that I am talking about Indore, and especially Chappan Dukaan, is because this is the place where I tasted the heavenly Baked Veggies (later on I got to know that it is also called Veg au Gratin). I vividly remember that my Dad’s office was near this place and I often used to ask him to get this dish as a take away only for me.
I tried Veg au Gratin in many other places after leaving Indore but nothing matched the taste. So I thought that why don’t I give it a try. The recipe is largely from my memory of the dish I used to love in Indore. For white sauce, I have adapted Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe that you can find here.
Ingredients for the White Sauce
- Onion, small or medium sized – 1
- Cloves – 4
- Bay Leaves – 2 or 3 (depending on the size of onion and the size of bay leaves)
- Milk – 2 1/2 cups
- Butter – 2 tablespoons
- Fine Flour – 2 tablespoons
- Salt and White Pepper – To taste
Ingredients for the baked vegetables
- Chopped french beans – 1 cup
- Chopped carrots – 1/2 cup
- Green peas – 1/2 cup
- Fresh Pineapple – 1 cup
- Chopped cauliflower – 1/2 cup
- Baby corn (optional) – 1 cup
- Salt – To taste
- Sugar – 1/4 teaspoon
- Grated cheddar cheese – To cover the dish
- Baking Tray
Steps for making White Sauce:
- Peel the onion and wrap it with bay leaves using cloves to pin the leaves onto the onion. This is called Onion Cloute.
- Heat the milk in a pan and add the prepared Onion Cloute to it.
- Bring it to a boil then turn off the heat. Drain the milk in a bowl and keep aside to cool.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan.
- Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Take the pan off the heat and gradually stir in the prepared milk to get a smooth sauce.
- Simmer gently till it starts to thicken and season with salt and white pepper.
Steps for making Baked Veggies:
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
- Cook the veggies (except pineapple) half-way through in water with salt and sugar on a high heat or in the microwave. Drain the vegetables and allow it to cool for sometime.
- Add the pineapples in the drained vegetable and put all the vegetables in a baking dish.
- Pour the white sauce over it. Make sure that the vegetables are totally immersed in white sauce.
- Bake it for 10-15 minutes.
- Take it out and cover it with the grated cheese and bake until the cheese melts and serve hot 🙂
In terms of veggies, you can add/remove as per your taste. But, do keep the pineapple as it adds a lot of flavor 🙂
I hope you enjoyed making and eating my version of Baked Veggies 🙂
I would love to know your experience 🙂
In the almost 3 years that I have lived in the UK, I had never tried Profiteroles until this Christmas when I was on a vacation in Cornwall with my husband and brother. These guys picked up Profiteroles from the local store and oh boy, did I love them! I had not tasted anything quite as delicious and soft in a long, long time. From the moment I tasted them, I knew I had to make them myself. So when I searched for a suitable recipe, I was utterly surprised to know that they were fairly simple to make and tasted absolutely divine.
For the Choux Pastry
- Plain Flour – 115 gms
- Cold Water – 200 ml
- Caster Sugar – 4 teaspoons
- Unsalted Butter – 85gms, plus extra for greasing
- Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
- Large Eggs, beaten – 3
For Cream Filling
- Double Cream – 300 ml
- 1 Orange Zest
- Caster Sugar – 2 tablespoons
- Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon
For Chocolate Sauce
- Good quality Dark Chocolate (preferably with 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces – 100gms
- Water – 80 ml
- Milk – 1/2 to 1 cup
- Caster Sugar – 80gms
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°c/400°F/Gas 6. Place a small roasting tin in the bottom of the over to heat.
- For the Choux Pastry, place the water, sugar and butter into a large saucepan. Heat gently until the butter is melted.
- Turn up the heat, then quickly pour in the flour and salt all in one go.
- Remove from the heat and beat the mixture vigorously until a smooth paste is formed. Once the mixture comes away from the side of the pan, transfer to a large bowl and leave to cook for 10-15 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until the mixture is smooth and glossy and has a soft dropping consistency.
- Lightly grease a large baking sheet. Using a piping bag and plain 1cm/½in nozzle, pipe the mixture into small balls in lines across the baking sheet.
- Gently rub the top of each ball with a wet finger – this helps to make a crisper top.
- Place the baking sheet into the oven. Pour half cup of water in the roasting tin which we have already kept to heat. This helps to create more steam in the oven and make the pastry rise better.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden-brown. If the profiteroles are too pale, they will become soggy when cool.
- Remove from the oven and turn the oven off. Prick the base of each profiteroles with a skewer.
- Place back onto the baking sheet with the hole in the base facing upwards and return to the oven for 5-7 minutes. The warm air from the oven helps to dry out the middle of the profiteroles.
- For filling, lightly whip the cream with the orange zest, sugar and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. When the profiteroles are cold, use a piping bag to pipe the cream into the Profiteroles.
- For Chocolate Sauce, place the water and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to the boil to make a syrup.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl set over the pan. Heat, stirring occasionally, until melted.
- Take the pan off the heat, pur the syrup mixture and milk into the chocolate and stir until smooth and well combined. Note: You can keep the sauce refrigerated for later use. Add a little milk and heat the sauce in the microwave for 10 seconds and you are good to go 🙂
- To serve, place cream-filled profiteroles into a large serving dish and pour the chocolate sauce over the arranged profiteroles. You can serve it hot or cold 🙂
I hope you like them the way I did!
Your feedback is always welcome 🙂