August Daring Baker Challenge- Chimney Cakes

Chimney Cakes Daring Baker

The August Daring Bakers’ Challenge took us for a spin! Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kitchen taught us to make rolled pastries inspired by Kurtoskalacs, a traditional Hungarian wedding pastry. These tasty yeasted delights gave us lots to celebrate!

chimney cake 

This month my husband and I are celebrating our 1 year anniversary! Over the year we learned that our favorite thing to do together is to just lay in bed and enjoy each other’s company and these chimney cakes looked like the perfect lazy Sunday dessert. The hubby and I LOVE lazy Sundays. We watch crappy reality shows ( I’m looking at  you Married at First Sight) sit in bed and just relax. When I first saw this month’s challenge I was like ” vertical cinnamon buns?” Whhhaaa! I actually wasn’t too far off. The yeasted bread has a very similar flavor and texture to the outside of a cinnamon bun.  I topped my cakes with cinnamon sugar,melted chocolate and walnuts. They look pretty difficult to make, but I promise you it’s actually super easy! Try it for yourself!

Cook time: 2 hours                                                           Makes: 4 small cakes

For the dough:
1 packet of active dry yeast
1/2 cup milk, (120-130 F)
1/2 tsp sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose (plain) flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, room temperature
3 tbsp melted butter

For baking:
melted butter
sugar

For the topping:
½ cup (3½ oz) (100 gm) sugar
1 cup (4 oz) (115 gm) ground walnuts
2 tbsp. melted chocolate
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (1/4 oz) (6 gm) cinnamon

chimney cake

1. Mix yeast, milk, 1/2 tsp of sugar in a small bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes or until foamy.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt and 2 tbsp of sugar. Add the dry mixture to the yeast mixture with the egg and melted butter. Mix the dough with a spoon until everything is incorporated. The dough will be VERY sticky. Don’t add any flour to it. Spoon the dough into a large greased bowl and cover. Let the dough rest in a warm area for 1 hour or until it doubles.

3. Take a rolling-pin or cardboard paper towel tube and cover with 3 layers of foil. Brush melted butter on to the rolling-pin/tube to prevent the dough from sticking.

chimney cakes

 

4. Pre-heat the oven to 375 F.

5. Split the dough into 4 equal portions ( ~4 oz each). Roll the dough out on a floured surface with a greased rolling-pin  until it is about 8 inches in diameter (1/6 inch thick).  Cut the dough with a sharp knife into a swirl pattern leaving the strip of dough at least 1/2 inch wide. Wrap the dough around the foiled rolling-pin/tube and roll over sugar lightly until the dough is pressed together.

6. If you are using a cardboard tube then just stand them up on a baking sheet. Otherwise, place the rolling-pin on to a roasting pan so that the pins rest on the edges of the pan. Bake for 21 minutes or until nice and brown. Make sure to turn the rolling-pin/tube halfway through the baking process.

chimney cake

 

7. One baked, brush melted butter on to the cake and top with whatever you like. I sprinkled cinnamon on one and rolled another in chocolate an walnuts. Tap the mold on to a plate until it released and cool vertically. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Mango, Peach and Strawberry Smoothie (Guest Post by Ellaphant Eats)

smoothi

Hi again Pretty Polymath readers! I’m back and this time have a tropical perfect-for-end-of-summer smoothie to share with you. I have been receiving a CSA every Tuesday all summer long from a local farm here in Pittsburgh. It includes so many farm-fresh fruits and veggies and this past week I received huge ripe peaches and beautiful strawberries. What better way to enjoy them than create a cold, delicious treat? (Ok confession I originally wanted to make a strawberry peach tart but shuddered at the thought of turning on my oven). Smoothies have been a staple in my diet for years now (i start every morning with a green one!) so it’s super refreshing to have one for dessert to avoid all of the refined sugar.

The best part of this smoothie is you can switch up the base to whatever you have on hand. I used almond milk but you can use coconut water, orange juice, or water if that’s all you have. Also fresh OR frozen fruits can be used – just be sure to cut down on the ice if all your fruits are frozen.

Enjoy!

Recipe:
Makes: 1 large or 2 small smoothies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk or water
  • 1 ripe peach, sliced into large chunks
  • 3/4 cup chopped mango (i used frozen because slicing a mango is a feat I don’t think I will ever manage)
  • 3/4 cup quartered strawberries
  • 2 tsp coconut oil (mine is in a constant liquid state due to the heat)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 – 1 cup ice

1. Place all ingredients in a blender, blend on high, serve, and enjoy!

Check out more healthy recipes and tips on Ella’s blog Ellaphant Eats. Also be sure to check out her :

Salted Caramel Smoothie (Guest Post by The Divine Hostess)

Salted Caramel Smoothie

Hi everyone! This week I have two AWESOME guest bloggers giving us delicious smoothie recipes. The first recipe this week is from Fifi aka The Divine Hostess . You guys might remember her from our Vegan Burgers an Fries collaboration on Youtube last year and my weekend visit with her vlog video! She came up with this DELICIOUS salted caramel smoothie recipe and I was lucky enough to be in LA when she was filming it and got to see her in action! Try it out for yourself :-)

August isn’t even over yet, but I can already feel summer ramping down. Soon there will be less time bumming around on the beach, and more time spent rushing to do important business, going back to school and just getting back into the groove of things. With an on-the-go lifestyle, it is easy to put healthy eating on the back-burner. This is why smoothies are so great! They are nutritious, yummy, and save you from standing in that long Starbucks line in the morning before work or school. One of the most delicious flavors at Starbucks is salted caramel– the bold sea salt and the sweet home flavor of caramel are just a match made in heaven!

My salted caramel smoothie has all the delicious flavor, but without refined sugar and get this– no animal products. This makes it great for lactose intolerant people and ensures the smoothie can last a couple hours without spoiling!

You will need:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 12 ounces (1.5 cups) of almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 6-8 dates
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut shreds
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

If you do not have a powerful blender, soak the dates in a 1/4 cup of warm water for at least 2 hours before blending. Add all contents into blender and blend until smooth. Top the smoothie with additional sea salt for extra flare. Enjoy!

Check out more healthy recipes and tips on Fifi’s blog The Divine Hostess. Also be sure to check out her:

Youtube Channel

Twitter

Facebook Page

Also Fifi will be releasing a video for this smoothie this Friday on her Youtube channel so be sure to check it out! 

 
Behind the scenes of Fifi's video!

Behind the scenes of Fifi’s video!

Dudhi No Halwo (Bottle Gourd Halwa)

dudhi no halwo halwa

I’m currently in Jersey visiting my family and along with my food goals of stuffing my face with as many jersey bagels as I can, I also wanted to take advantage of my family’s garden. As long as I can remember, my family has grown hoards vegetables. Eggplants, long beans, okra,tomatoes, various herbs, you name it we grew it. One of my favorite veggies we grow is  bottle gourd. They grow to be super long and my sister and I would pretend they were baseball bats and try to beat each other. We had a violent way of showing we loved each other when we were little :-) .

My mom happily harvesting the sacrificial bottle gourd for our dudhi no halwo

Anywho, luckily this year we had a surplus of bottle gourd! In past years, my mom would shove bottle gourd in everything. Bread, dumplings, curries,juices (yes, my sister and I don’t like to talk about this torture juice) and sweets. Dudhi no halwo is actually a sweet. Halwa or halwo is a dense, oatmeal-like dessert that can be made with carrots, bottle gourd and various nuts and flours. It’s a dessert that is pretty typical all across the middle east and there are SO many versions of halwa. This recipe is a Gujarati version. It’s super easy to make and delicious with carmel-y flavor to it. If you don’t have bottle gourd near you, try this with carrots and add some walnuts and cinnamon to it and you have guilt free carrot cake halwa! Enjoy!

Cook time: 30 minutes                                             Serves: 4-6 people

1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
2 cups shredded bottle gourd
3  tbsp of sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp crushed pistachio
1 tsp ground cardamom

1. Melt the ghee in a thick bottomed saucepan. Add the shredded gourd and let it cook for roughly ten minutes on medium heat until the gourd is translucent and soft.

2. Once the gourd is cooked stir in the sugar and let it cook until the water from the gourd has evaporated. Now pour in your heavy cream and continuously stir. Make sure to keep stirring or else it will burn.  Keep mixing until the majority of the heavy cream has evaporated and the ghee separates from the gourd.

3. Remove from heat and sprinkle the halwo with crushed pistachios and cardamom. Enjoy while warm or cold. This will keep in the fridge for up to four days.

dudhi no halwo

Mango Ice Cream (No Machine)

mango ice cream no machine

My mom recently got a shipment of mango puree (rus) from her sister’s farm in India. My mom couldn’t wait for me to try it now that I’m in New Jersey visiting home for a bit. Indian mangoes are amazingly fragrant with a floral aftertaste. It’s unlike any other mango I’ve ever had. They aren’t fibrous either, which means no using mangoes as floss. Because of this the pulp is super smooth. Once I tasted the rus, I knew I had to use it in an ice cream recipe. If you don’t have access to an Indian grocery store where you can buy a can of rus then just blend the pulp of two mangoes really well. The ice cream came out super creamy and light. This recipe is SO easy and you don’t need a ice cream machine/churner!

Cook time: 10 minutes, but lots of waiting                                                   Makes: 4-6 servings

1.5 cups mango puree
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp granulated sugar
juice of 1/2 lime
crushed pistachios (optional)

mango ice cream no machine

1. In a large bowl, whip up the heavy cream and sugar  with a whisk until you have stiff peaks. Don’t go too crazy, otherwise you’ll have butter.  I mixed mine with a stand mixer with the whisk attachment on medium for 1 minute and high to 2 more minutes.

2. In a separate large bowl, mix together the mango puree and lime juice.  Add 2 dollops of the whipped cream into the mango puree and mix in well. Add the rest of the whipped cream and fold in gently until all the whipped cream is mixed in. Don’t go nuts mixing this otherwise you’ll lose the fluffiness of the whipped cream.

3. Pour the mixture into a pan and give the pan a few taps on the table to let out the air bubbles. Sprinkle with crushed pistachios and cover with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap should touch the top of the ice cream. Freeze for at least 4 hours.

4. After 4 hours are up take the ice cream and put it in a blender. Blend until it’s creamy and pour into you’re final container and cover with plastic wrap, making sure the top of the ice cream is touching the plastic wrap. Blending helps make the ice crystals smaller which leaves you with a smooth and creamy ice cream. Freeze for 2 hours and enjoy!

TIPS:

  • You can use any type of fruit puree to make this into whatever flavor you want! Peach puree will be my next attempt. What flavor would you do?
  • You can add spices to the whipped cream to add a little more flavor to the ice cream. Next time I plan on adding saffron and cardamom to it. 

Visiting LA and Vlogging with The Divine Hostess and Simply Bakings!

This weekend I got to hang out with my favorite Youtubers, Fifi (The Divine Hostess) and Lainey (Simply Bakings). Check out Fifi’s vlog where we navigate the labyrinth that is Whole Foods, eat yummy food, and I get schooled on how food vloggers work!