Few of My Favorite Things…..with @KingArthurFlour #Spicychat!

With Autumn and holidays at our heels, this week’s #spicychat theme is BAKING. It is with great pleasure I announce our guest for today’s #spicychat twitter party at 8 pm EDT – King Arthur Flour (the ONLY flour I use). After dabbling around a while with baking supplies, on my own I discovered KA Flour and since then I have been hooked. My summer trip to the Blog & Bake 2012 at KA Flour in VT validated the numerous reasons why I believe their products are not only superior, but the passionate pursuit of perfection displayed my the talented instructors/bakers is a rarity in today’s modern times.

King Arthur Flour is America’s oldest flour company and premier baking resource, offering ingredients, mixes, tools, recipes, educational opportunities, and inspiration to bakers worldwide. Online at kingarthurflour.com. King Arthur Flour is a 100% employee-owned company.

There is nothing quite like waking up to the mouth-watering aromas of freshly baked bread.  Needless to say that since my trip, King Arthur Flour has been stalking my dreams. Given that, I use King Arthur Flour exclusively and taking inspiration from the talented instructors of KAF, I chose to create some delicious treats with KA flours for #spicychat. By the way, did you know KAF has it’s very own Baking Hotline? We all are fully aware that baking can be a challenge. That’s why KAF has professionals standing by their Baking Hotline to offer free information and advice for home bakers. How cool is that? Test them – I am positive that you will be pleasantly surprised: phone: 800.827.6836.

Enough of my rants, let’s get down to actual baking now.

The BEST Biscuits Ever

With cooler temperatures coming our way, warm and hearty meals are much desired. Most breads I make usually demand at least 24 hrs preparation, not only are they time consuming, they are cumbersome to make. These biscuits are a refreshing change, since they are super easy to make an within the hour, you will have exceptionally buttery, tender, and  flaky biscuits. I strive to create new recipes constantly, that said baking is a science. And I choose to follow the professional bakers, since their recipes tend to be fool proof, yielding exceptional results each time.

There are no shocking bells and whistles to Peter Reinhardt’s recipe, just high-quality ingredients and loads of TLC. This recipe calls for butter rather than lard. I do enjoy lard biscuits too but they tend to have a waxy after taste and aroma.

King Arthur Flour recently added a new flour to its signature line for home bakers: King Arthur Self-Rising Flour. Naturally, I had to try this flour to make these flaky and butter biscuits. The flour is a soft, unbleached, U.S.-grown, Southern-milled flour combined with aluminum-free baking powder and salt. Lower protein flour produces tender baked goods and the pre-mix of dried ingredients is a time-saving convenience.Self rising flour can easily be used in any recipe that calls for AP flour and baking powder. Simply comp out the salt and baking powder in the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 cup cold cream
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup KA self-rising flour
  • 3/4 cup KA pastry flour (substitute with self-rising flour)
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

Directions:

  1. Stir the vinegar into the cream and refrigerate it. Place the butter in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to harden.
  2. Stir the flours, sugar, and baking powder in a bowl. Grate the frozen butter into the flour mix and gently toss the butter to combine.
  3. Add the cream mixture, stir with a spoon until the dough is hydrated. Transfer the dough to a well-floured counter.
  4. Press the dough into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. Using more flour, fold it over on itself like a letter in three folds. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat the procedure three more times.
  5. After the fourth folding, roll the dough into 1/2 inch thickness. Cut the biscuits to desired shape with well-floured cutter. Transfer the biscuits on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, loosely wrap, and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees. Transfer the biscuits into the oven and reduce the heat to 450 degrees. Bake for 8 minutes and rotate the pan. Bake for additional 4-8 minutes, until the bottom is a rich golden brown.
  7. Serve warm with chutney or preserve of your choice.

You can always add some fresh herbs like rosemary, basil, sage to the flour or even spices like fennel, paprika, oregano to spice things up.

Spiced Apricot Chutney

Now this is a #spicychat post, to accompany these delicious buttery goodness, I made peach chutney, kissed with all the flavors and aroma of Autumn. And if you were in a mood to serve something spicy, you can cook up some of my Indian fusion pineapple chutney (substitute the pineapple with seasonal fruits). This spicy chutney pairs beautifully with these butter biscuits.You can use any fruit in season, I made it with apricots. It also makes an elegant addition to a cheese plate and pairs especially well with a creamy St. André or a tangy goat cheese.

 Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 lb. apricots
  • 1 lb. apricots, plums or pluots, pitted and sliced
  • 1 tsp. whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. cardamom pods
  • 1 1/2 tsp. black peppercorns, crushed
  • 4 orange zest strips
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Directions:

  1. Blanch & peel the apricots.
  2. Stir vinegar and sugar in a medium bowl. Add all the fruits and stir in the vinegar mixture. Wrap all the spices in a cheesecloth and place in the bowl. Let this mixture rest at room temperature for 1 hr.
  3. After 1 hr, boil the mixture, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hr.
  4. Chill and eat or preserve in cans. (Recipe adapted from William Sonoma).

 

Roasted Beets & Goat Cheese Delectable Ravioli Bites

I adore beets, red or golden. I can eat roasted beets any time with a spoon. One of my all time favorite autumn salads is roasted beets,caramelized walnuts, goat cheese, arugula, & balsamic vinegar salad.

Did  you know King Arthur Flour also makes pizza and pasta flour. So I had the brilliant idea of combining my favorite salad into a ravioli. The jewel-colored beet filling is gorgeous in color and taste encased in these delicate and sublime ravioli pockets. Yes, it does require a bit of hard work and a gentle touch but the results are super gratifying. You can easily make lasagne from this flour recipe too.

Ingredients:

For PASTA:

  • 1 1/4 cups KA pasta flour
  • 5 egg yolks and 1 whole egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch of Kosher salt

For Filling:

  • 2 large red or golden beets
  • 2 tbs bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup fresh goat cheese
  • 3/4 stick butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sharp pecorina cheese to garnish
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Directions:

  1. Wrap beets individually in foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for 1 hr. Once they cool, peel, and grate. Squeeze out the excess water. Add goat cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and chill.
  2. In a wide shallow pan, make a well with the pasta flour. Add the eggs, milk, olive oil, and salt. With a fork going from inside the well, gently stir the flour into the wet ingredients while rotating the pan till the dough comes together. Knead it for a few minutes gently on a well floured surface to avoid sticking. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 – 45 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle some AP flour on the roller and counter top. Gently start rolling the dough, turning 90 degrees after each roll till the dough is very thin and uniform. Of course at this point if you have a pasta machine, feel free to use it. I don’t, so did it the old fashioned way.
  4. Spread egg wash on the dough, fill the sheets with 1 tsp of fillng spacing it every 2 inches. Fold the dough over to cover the filling and cut the pasta into desired shapes.
  5. Cook the pasta in boiling water for 4 minutes. Gently transfer into a bowl with warm melted butter. Stir to combine.
  6. Serve warm with sprinkling of Pecorina cheese. (recipe for pasta adapted from serious eats).

 

Chocolate Lava Cake with Spiced Raspberries

No meal is complete without a sweet ending ..Molten chocolate lava cakes – rich chocolate flavor, dense and moist texture, thick flow of dark lava, what’s there not to love? I am a big fan of creating treats from scratch. That said, when I discovered that KAF’s repertoire isn’t limited by flours only. I had to test one out myself. After all I stand by their superior quality. And since I had been slaving in the kitchen with the raviolis, this lava cake seemed befitting for the sweet finale.

By the way, I also conducted a blind taste testing for KA Chocolate cake mix in conjunction with other popular brands. And the results revealed some surprises to say the very least. Will publish the post shortly.

Now if you are time constrained, KAF cakes mixes are a fabulous and convenient way to create delectable delights to wow your dinner guests. Especially during the holidays, use the cake mix as a benchmark and concoct indulgent flavors. It does cut your time in half, if you take in consideration the dirty dishes and steps required to bake a cake from scratch. I served these beauties with spiced raspberries, a classic with #spicychat twist.

Ingredients:

  • KAF molten lava cake box
  • 1/2 lb raspberries
  • 1/2 cup port wine
  • 1 tsp pink peppercorns, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • whipped cream to serve

Directions:

  1. Boil wine, peppercorns, zest, and cinnamon. Add raspberries and remove from heat. Let steep for 1-2 hrs.
  2. Bake the cake as per instructions on the box.
  3. Serve immediately with whipped cream and spiced raspberries.

Now that I have got your salivating over baked goods, do share your favorite baking treats. I would love to hear from you….

For more delicious inspirations, join us tonight for a #SpicyChat BAKING Party at 8 PM EDT on Twitter with @KingArthurFlour.

Join Us Every Thursday at 8 PM EDT for #SpicyChat Twitter Chat to bring some spice in your lives! We Love to share ALL recipes. Simply add the #Spicychat hashtag to your link, we will RT and also add your recipes to our Pinterest Board. For more spicy inspirations, join our #SpicyChat FB Page.

 

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