Mushroom Tart | Baking


What better way to welcome the monsoons than baking a tart !! Rains have started playing hide-n-seek in Delhi now, and we, the rain parched mortals leave no occasion to celebrate the high and mighty rains. 

While savoury tarts are perfect for cold winter nights, they are great company for the rain on your window sill ūüôā

This tart has a surprise element which adds a new dimension to the flavour. A layer of caramelized onions. The slight sweetness from the onions actually enhances the umami flavour of the mushrooms. 
This is now my new go-to veg tart for friends and family. ūüôā

Mushroom Tart

Ingredients

For the Pastry

225g All Purpose Flour

100g Butter

1 tsp Powdered Sugar

Ice Cold Water about 1/3 of a cup

For the Filling

5-6 Medium to Large sized Onions (for making caramelized onions)

1/2 cup of White Wine

400 g of Mushrooms

2-3 cloves of garlic

1/2 cup of Cream

2 tbsp of Processed Cheese

1 tsp Chilli Flakes

2 Onions 

2 tbsp of Olive Oil
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Black Pepper Powder

Cheese


Directions

For the Pastry

1. Cut the butter into 1cm cubes and freeze for about 30 minutes.
2. In a blender jar, put the flour and butter alternatingly.Blitz till you get a bread crumbly texture.
3. Transfer in a large bowl and with your hands, bring the dough together. Use cold water but keep it absolutely minimal. DO NOT OVER KNEAD THE DOUGH !! You have to just bind it together.
4. Wrap in a cling wrap and put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.


In the mean time let’s work on the filling.

1. Chop 5-6 onions into slices, take a pan, add some oil, once heated add the onions and set them to caramelise.
2. Now finely chop two more onions.
3. Wash and slice the mushrooms.
4. Keep an eye on those onions being caramelized. You don’t want them to burn.
4. Take another pan, heat the olive oil and add the finely chopped onions. Saute` till they sweat, add the garlic and saute` a little more till the garlicky aroma rises. Now add the sliced mushrooms and saute` till the mushrooms start to sweat. Add the chilli flakes, black pepper and salt. Give it a nice stir.
5. Now add the cheese and cream, give it a good mix and finally finish it off with the white wine. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
6. The mushroom filling should not be too dry but at the same time not too flowey.


Making the Tart Shell

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degree C.
2. Remove the pastry dough fro mthe refrigerator. 
3. Between two sheets of cling wrap start rolling the pastry dough.
4. Always remember to roll the pastry away from you and always in one direction. This helps in the pastry to not shrink while baking.
5. Carefully lift it, either on your rolling pin or with the cling wrap in which the dough was being rolled. Place it on your tart tin. Make sure you do not pull it. Gently press it down and trim the excess from the sides.
6 .Poke with the fork in a few places, so that it doesn’t puff up while baking.
7. Now cover it with butter paper and place either baking weights or just some beans from your kitchen.
8. Blind bake it for 20-25 minutes.
9. Remove from the oven. Remove the butter paper and the weights or the beans and let it cool down completely.

Assembly

1. Once the tart shell is completely cool, spread an even layer of the caramelized onions. 
2. Now add a layer of the mushrooms. Fill it in, nicely. Place thin strips of cheese on the top and bake at a 180 degree C for about 30 minutes.
3. Remove from the oven and serve hot.


Happy Baking !!

Irish Cream Cheesecake

“Coffee Solves Everything” –¬†Anonymous


Well almost and in all it’s forms…..
The Irish Cream Cheesecake is by far one of my favourite ‘coffee desserts’ which I finally attempted to try making and I was quite pleased…with myself and the dessert !!



Irish Cream Cheesecake

Ingredients

For the Base
20 Digestive Biscuits
10 Marie Biscuits
4 tbsp Melted Butter
8-9″ diameter loose bottom cake mould

For the Cheesecake
500 g Thick Cream (I used Amul cream)

1 cup Powdered Sugar
300 g Cream Cheese
5 tsp Gelatine soaked in 1/2 cup water
Coffee Solution (75 g coffee dissolved in warm water with 4 tbsp of brown sugar and cooled to room temperature)
4 tbsp of Whiskey or Rum ( I prefer whiskey Рit is closer to the original Irish cream)

For the Topping
Chocolate Ganache`
    230 g Dark Cooking Chocolate
    180 ml Cream
    2 tbsp Unsalted butter


Directions

  1. Pound the digestive and Marie biscuits to a rough crumbly powder. I pounded them with the rolling pin after putting them in a zip lock bag.
  2. Melt the butter and mix with the biscuits and now set this in the cake mould. Press it down well and make sure the base is evened out. Keep in the fridge for 1 hour to set well.
  3. Heat the soaked gelatine on low flame. Keep stirring continuously and make sure it doesn’t come to a boil. Once the gelatine is completely dissolved remove from fire and let it cool.
  4. Whip the cream to soft peaks or atleast a slight increase in volume.
  5. Whip the powdered sugar and cream cheese so they are smoothly blended. Add the coffee solution, the whipped cream, and now gelatine and lastly the whiskey.
  6. Mix everything together till all ingredients are blended in completely. Take the base out of the fridge and pour the mixture over the base.
  7. Let it set in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
  8. For the top glazing, prepare the ganache`. Heat the cream in a heavy bottom pan. Cut the chocolate into small equal size pieces and pour into the cream and keep stirring continuously till the cream and chocolate blend in completely. Add the butter and mix over low-medium heat. Turn of the heat and keep stirring for another 2 minutes. Once a little cool pour over the set cheesecake and return it to the refrigerator for another 2 hours.
  9. Demould and dust with icing sugar and decorate with strawberries just before serving.
Happy Baking !!




Varun’s 30th Birthday !!!

Happy Birthday Varun Sangal !!!

Varun and my friendship goes back to our school days, bonding over playing Dumb Charades and discussing cars and bikes sitting on the last seat of our school bus !!! From being good school friends we are today the best of buddies and our friendships have extended to our families too.

For his birthday this year I wanted to bake something for his party. With winters at their best in Delhi right now, nothing seemed better than a rich warm dessert ….and for once I was not thinking chocolate. Apples it was !!! The crumbly base, the sweet apple pulp with a hint of cinnamon and the crunchy walnuts – all good things in life !! Oh yes it was the Quintessential Apply Pie on my mind !!

The Crunchy Apple Pie


Short Crust Pastry
200g Flour
100 g Yellow butter – cut into small cubes and chilled (I used Amul)
2 tbsp Powdered Sugar
A Small pinch of Baking Soda
4-5 tbsp Ice cold Water to bind
A Flan dish of 9″-10″diameter (preferably loose bottom)

Apple Filling
5 Large apples – peeled and cut into thin small pieces
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 Cup Sugar
2-3 tbsp Walnuts – coarsely pounded
1/2 – 1 tsp Cinnamon Powder

Topping
1/2 cup Porridge Oats (I used Quaker)
2 tbsp Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Melted Butter
Honey to drizzle

Procedure
1. Cut cold butter into small similar sized cubes and refrigerate again.
2. Mix together the flour, baking powder and the powdered sugar.
3. Now blend the flour mixture with butter at low intermittent speed in a blender, till the mixture turns crumbly. Remove from the blender into a large plate and combine it with your hands to form a dough. DO NOT KNEAD the dough.
4. Wrap in cling film and keep in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. You can even leave it over night.
5. Mix the apples, lemon juice and sugar and cook on low flame till it becomes pulpy and dry. Add the nuts and cinnamon.
6. Keeping aside a little dough, roll out the rest into a round disk of 1/8th of an inch in thickness. Make sure it covers the base and the sides of the flan dish.
7. Grease a loose bottom flan dish. Spread the pastry in it. Press it down on the sides so that the dough takes the pattern of the mould. Prick lightly with a fork. Keep in the freezer for 10 minutes. Bake at 200 degree in a preheated oven for 20 minutes light golden.
8. Remove pie from the oven and let it cool. Arrange the filling over the pastry.
9. Mix all ingredients of the topping and crush roughly. Sprinkle on the apples.
10. Roll out the left over dough very thinly and cut into thin strips with a pastry wheel cutter. Arrange the strips in a criss-cross pattern on the pie.
10. Brush the strips with melted butter and finish by drizzling some honey. Sprinkle sugar and bake for 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 200 degrees centigrade till the top turns light brown and slightly crisp.
Serve hot or cold with ice-cream or whipped vanilla cream.