Friday, August 10, 2012

Smoked Cheese and seed crackers.

Join me! © Cookaroo 
I meant to send this to Daring Bakers. I did. I really did. But since the challenge meant sending off two crackers, I was a. Very lazy c. Had just too much cooking to do. b. Too caught up with the backlog of blogging to be able to. Nonetheless these crackers turned out amazing. Crisp flavourful and really bursting with cheese. So I had to share.

I love cheese, I know I shouldn't really say this over and over but I really truly do. My fridge is never cheese-less and you'll find at least 3 varieties at any given point, if not more. I'm very pleased when my friend Eye-Ra gets me cheese from her trips to Germany. I am even more pleased when my friend P gets me cheese from his trip to Ladakh. I am thrilled when I my aunt tells me she's got some local cheese from Australia, so I better come to Chennai to try it out.

My husband though, doesn't really get my obsession with it. He doesn't understand what all the fuss is all about. But thankfully he now knows where you should be using Parmesan vs Mozzarella vs Blue cheese. And for that I am thankful to God.

My Taurean brother on the other hand, has a rather discerning palate. Last year, when I took a whole bunch of cheese from Delhi to Chennai to have a small wine and cheese dinner, he was the happiest digging into all of them and promptly declared the Smoked Cheese was his favourite. And frankly, I can understand why. It's my favourite too.

In fact in any cheese platter, I'll always recommend that a Smoked cheese. It's an ice-breaking cheese and is bound to be liked by almost everyone.

So when I set out to make these crackers, I figured I could do them with four kinds of cheese. There was some Parmesan, Gouda, yak cheese and bits of smoked cheese (which were kind was drying up). The smoked cheese wasn't enough to be eaten plain, but in a souffle or crackers they would have worked  just fine.

Rolled up © Cookaroo 
It was a good call. The smoked cheese brought out an earthiness that I actually haven't ever eaten in any sort of a cracker. And frankly, now that I've made these, I think it's going to be impossible for me to serve store-bought crackers anymore, umm like ever.

There wasn't a doubt in my mind that Popina's recipe wouldn't turn out excellent. After all I've made so many of  her things, and not a single has ever let me down. I halved the recipe and still ended up with 22 (I've given the whole recipe here). And I used white poppy seeds and black sesame seeds as against the opposite she'd recommended. Would these taste good with soup? You betcha. With cheese yahaaaaaaa, as a snack with some apple - totally. This is a cracker which is going on my cheese board for keeps. I'd serve it with some cream cheese, some cheese jam and some olive. It's a total cracker of a recipe :)

Smothered © Cookaroo 
Smoked Cheese and Seed crackers
Adapted from Isidora Popovic’s Popina Book of Baking. Available in India, US and UK

Makes about 40

Ingredients:
220g plain flour
80g Smoked cheese cheese, finely grated
1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder (or 1/4 teaspoon salt)
A very small pinch of paprika powder
80gm butter, chilled and cubed
50ml water

To coat the crackers:
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 egg, beaten
1-2 baking trays, lined with grease proof paper

Method:
1. Put the flour, cheese, salt, stock powder and paprika in a bowl. Put in the butter and break down till the  resembles crumbs. 
2. Add the water and let it come together as a dough.
3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Roll into a log about 4cm in diameter, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
4. Remove the dough from the fridge and unwrap it. To coat the crackers, sprinkle the sesame seeds and poppy seeds over a clean tray. Brush the log with the egg and roll in the mixed seeds until evenly coated. Wrap the log in clingfilm again and refrigerate for another 30 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees centigrade. Remove the dough from the fridge and unwrap it. Cut into discs about 1/4 inch thick. Arrange the discs on the prepared baking tray(s), spacing them slightly apart as they may spread when they are baking.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until pale gold. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
 7. Serve with cream cheese, cheese jam and olive and a cold glass of wine.

I'm linking this to two places (only because I think it was awesome). To Radhika of Tickling Palates  Let's Cook Starters and Appetizers 


And to My Cookbook's Let's Party - Go Bake it 


Now who's seedy? © Cookaroo 

2 comments:

  1. Lovely pictures ans I am loving your header.
    I love baking cracker just because they are ready in a snap. Loved this seed coated margin.
    And what is this with Taureans huh..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm married to one. My father-in-law is one. My brother, aunt. God I could go on! That's why! I take it you are one as well.

      Delete

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