Healthy homemade corn chips

Since I have made a batch of corn tortillas and we are just 2 adults and a baby, there was some leftovers which I kept in the freezer.

2 days ago, I have turned them into homemade “Doritos” which by the way is quite expensive in Germany especially one has an addiction towards nachos & co..

So here is the recipe for homemade corn tortillas if you want to get busy making your own (which taste way better than store-bought stuff)..

Let’s make corn chips (or crisp like the Brits call them) and have your favourite dip on the side.

Ingredients
9 corn chips for each medium-size tortilla
Prep: 5 min – baking: 5 to 10 min

  • Corn tortillas
  • Salt/sea salt, paprika, smoked paprika

Preparation 

Preheat the oven at 220-240 degrees C. In the meantime, cut the stall tortillas into wedges and sprinkle with salt (and paprika if you fancy, I used some mixed paprika, salt and ground pepper mix easily found in Germany).

Lay the wedges on a baking tray (do not overlap, ideally).

Turn off the oven, place the baking trayin the middle of the oven for 5 min or until they’re crispy.

Cool them before storing in an airtight container for 3 days (well I don’t know if it can last more because they’re finished before that).


Corn tortilla recipe vs flour tortilla: recipes and thoughts

I have finally made my first corn tortilla batch! I just got hold of the yellow cornmeal for the purpose. I was just at a local supermarket looking for curry powder and I saw it, it was the P.A.N. brand..

I opened all those files with tortilla recipes and went on to Youtube to look for video (nothing better than visual)..

So here is what I understood (correct me of I got it wrong): There are 2 main ways of making tortillas: We use shortening or we don’t, we add a hint of baking powder or we don’t..

I did both versions (even a hybrid version), and for first time tortilla makers, I got to say that shortening and baking powder enhance the dough and make it easier to work with. But that’s my opinion only..

So which one is better? corn tortilla or flour tortilla? I would say by taste, corn tortilla is nicer and works well for corn chips or tacos. The only thing is that it becomes chewy especially if you have wet ingredients in your wrap. But the flour tortilla will be fine for a wrap. It’s actually depending on how you want to use the tortillas.

I don’t have a tortilla press, I just used a rolling pin. I didn’t even need to roll the tortillas between 2 cling-films, I just rubbed my hands and the surface with shortening and it went fine.

 
Ingredients
Makes 10 medium-size tortillas for each recipe
Prep: 40 min – cooking 10 min

Corn tortilla Adapted from here (with video)

  • 2 cups of fine yellow corn flour
  • 1 1/3 cup of warm water
  • A good pinch of salt
  • Shortening to roll

Flour tortilla Adapted from here

  • 2 3/4 cups all Purpose Flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 5 tablespoons shortening (vegetable shortening for me)
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 cup Warm Water

Mixed flour tortilla (the best) Adapted from here

  • 1 1/2 cups of fine yellow corn flour
  • 1 cup of white wheat flour
  • A good pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable shortening or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup of warm water

Preparation

It’s better to mix salt with water first so it dissolves.

Combine the flour (s) with shortening or oil when the recipe calls for it and work with your fingers until it comes to a fine crumble.

Pour 2/3 of the water and  combine. Add water based on your need. You just have to get a sort of dough ball that looks combined, which should take about 1 min.

When the dough is firm enough to handle, transfer it into a flat surface and knead it a bit, I’d say 5 min for a corn tortilla and about 10 min for the other versions (just like bread).

Divide into small pieces to make a sort of golf ball later and cover with a cling film. Set aside for 30- 60 min at room temperature.

Shaping and cooking the tortillas

Heat a griddle/ cast iron skillet/ non stick pan over medium high heat.

You could just flatten the balls with a rolling pin, try to have a round shaped tortilla or just use a round plate and cut the excess. Then cover with a damp kitchen towel or place it straight into the skilled.

I found out that smearing the palm of my hands with shortening and “re-working” the dough balls, reshaping them and then flattening them gave me a malleable texture.

Flatten a ball while covering the others) until very thin (you could see through) and then cook on medium hight heat using a cast iron skillet. You need to transfer the tortilla from the work surface using the palm of your hands and flip it over the skillet. You’ll see bubbles appear and that’s cool!

Each tortilla will need to cook for 3-4 min. I flipped them each 10 seconds. You want to get some brown spots which give a nice taste. I found this stage a bit tricky because there is a fine line between cooking the tortillas properly and drying them out. So be careful to pull it out in the right time and not to overheat the pan.

Cover with a warm towel until ready to serve. Cooked tortillas have to stay covered with a slightly dampened, clean dish towel.

The tortillas will keep in the refrigerator for a few days in a sealed plastic bag, then they’ll begin to dry out (the right time to make homemade “Doritos”).

How to heat tortillas (or bring them to life again)?

In the Microwave – Put a few tortillas on a plate and cover them with a damp paper towel. Microwave for about 30-second until they are warmed through. Repeat in batches if you have a lot.

In the Oven – Wrap a few tortillas in a packet of aluminium foil or damped parchment paper and put it in a pre-heated oven at 200-180 degrees C for 15 min, until heated through. You could also heat the oven to maximum (about 250 degrees in my case), then place them in the oven and knock it off..

On a cooker ring (especially when they’re still fresh): on a dry pan, warm each tortilla for a few seconds on each side over medium heat. But I still prefer the first 2 methods.

If the tortillas look old or somehow dry, brush them with a bit of water before heating them.


Mini tartlets with caramelized apples and ginger

As promised, I’m carrying on with the serie of petits fours (see here and there) which I prepared for one of my friends on her birthday..

These are easy mini tartlets where the spices are optional but add a nice twist. You can replace the apples with pears or apricots if you fancy. It will be equally nice.

Homemade assorted petits fours
Ingredients

Makes 12 mini-tartlets using mini muffi tins
Prep : 30 min (not counting the chilling time)– cooking: 20 min
Sweet pastry
  • 200 g of flour
  • 110g of butter in cubes
  • 1 egg, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 20 g of almond powder
  • A good pinch of salt
  • 40 g of fine sugar
Spiced caramelized apples
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and cut into cubes (I used pink gala)
  • 3 tbsp of Demerara sugar
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tsp of caramelized ginger, grated
  • 2 pinches of cinnamon

Preparation

Sweet pastry

See here on how to make the sweet pastry. Bake blind for 10 min or until golden brown. Set aside to cool or store in airtight containers for a couple of days, unfilled.

Spiced caramelized apples

Over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the sugar and the apple cubes. Cook for about 5 min while stirring. Add the spices.
Cook until the apple cubes are cooked through and caramelized. Set aside to cool. I added 1 tbsp of water in case the apple cubes are sticking; just to loosen them a bit (just in case the preparation is gone too dry).
 
Assembly
 
Spoon about a heaped teaspoon of spiced apples in the pastry shell. Serve as as, cooled or at room temperature, or with whipped cream..

Stay tuned for more petits fours recipes…


Cream cheese brownies with berry jam as a petit four

There is something about the cream cheese brownie that makes me hooked to it. Not only the dark chocolate, maybe the texture. It’s a sort of muddy creamy texture that makes one feels good.

If you love cream cheese brownies as much as I do, how about serving them as “petits fours”?

This is what I have done, I just added my home made berry jam (raspberries, strawberries and blakcurrants) into the cream cheese and I swirled it. I topped it with homemade cherry preserves (these were supposed to end up in a German Donawelle recipe but got preserved instead)..

The cream cheese brownie can be frozen and thawed when needed. It came in handy to complete the petits fours tray I made for my friend’s birthday..

Cream cheese brownie petits fours in the middle between financiers and choco ganache and salted caramel tartlets

So let’s get started

Ingredients
Adapted from Joyofbaking.com
Makes 16 small squares or 20 mini petits fours
Pre: 10 min- baking: 30 min- freezing/cooling: overnight


Brownie Layer

  • 115 g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 110 g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 230 g granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 65 grams all purpose flour
  • A good pinch of salt

Cream Cheese Layer

  • 225 g full fat cream cheese, at room temperature (important
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Optional addition

  • Berry jam (made with 600g of berries and 200g of sugar, so it’s not too sweet)
  • Preserved cherries

Preparation

Brownies base
Preheat oven to 160 degrees C fan assisted oven or 180 degrees otherwise. Grease and cover a square baking pan (23 cm), I used a pyrex dish for that.
Melt butter and chocolate over a bain-marie (some do it in a microwave). Remove from heat, set aside.
Add in vanilla, salt, sugar and stir.
Add in the eggs while beating. I usually beat them lightly in a separate bowl and pour  them slowly. Beat all well to combine, just about 1 min.
Stir in the sifted flour until the batter is smooth and glossy, which should be for about a minute. 
Save the 1/3 of the mixture to use it for marbling later. Spread the rest evenly onto the bottom of the tin. 

Cream Cheese topping

In another bowl, make the cream cheese: beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla, and egg and beat until creamy and smooth then stop because you don’t want too much air in this. 

Assembly and baking

Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the brownie layer.

Spoon the rest of the brownie mix in form of dollops of the top of the cream cheese (3 or 4 each line for 3 or 4 rows).

I also added the thick berry jam (I made 6 dollops of that)
Run a knife or wooden skewer back and forth through the two batters until you have a marble effect. 
Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the brownies are set and the cream cheese is just beginning to brown. You can check by pricking the brownie part with a toothpick which should come out slightly clean with a bit of crumbs. 
Set aside to cool. Cover and refrigerate the brownies until they are firm enough to cut into squares (several hours or even overnight). 
Once chilled, remove the brownies from the pan ans start cutting or shaping the way you fancy. You need a damp cloth to clean the knife everytime you use it to keep the cuts clean. I had to do the same with the cookie cutter to make the petits fours.
If you are making petits fours brownies like I did, you might need to push them with your thumb from the bottom so the cut comes out clean. ideally, this step needs to be done once the brownie is still cold.
Serve cold or at room temperature, topped with a cherry preserve at the last minute (optional).