Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Olive Oil Chocolate Banana Cake (Eggless)

 

Heat is showing the greatest effect on Bananas in our kitchen. They are ripening at a phenomenal speed. A day ago, half a dozen of the fruit was bought. The Same day, we went to a village in the periphery of the Jim Corbett Park. It was hot but serene. The breeze was cool. The forest was mesmerizing. The trees stood tall donning new leaves. The sound of the birds was soothing. Every time when there was a movement in the grass, we hoped to see some animal. But we had to be content with the distant sound of a barking deer and a peacock that we spotted by the side of the road.


We stopped by a village. There, an old man gave us a bunch of pahari bananas. The bananas were small, sweet and had a very distinct taste. We were hungry and ate up half the bunch. 


We returned home in the evening, exhausted and happy after a forest drive. The blackened bananas had to be salvaged. We decided on baking an Eggless Banana Chocolate Coffee Cake with olive oil. We also used the local bananas in the cake. The Cake was delicious. Soft, moist and chocolaty.



Olive Oil Chocolate Banana Cake (Eggless)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼  cup cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
  • ¾  teaspoon salt
  • 4 very ripe sweet bananas
  • ¾  cup warm milk
  • ¾  cup Caster Sugar
  • ¼  cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

Instruction

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Grease and line one 9 inch round cake pan.
  2. Whisk together all the dry ingredients (first six ingredients) in a large bowl.
  3. Puree the bananas in a blender.
  4. Add sugar, olive oil, vanilla extract and caster sugar and blend to get a smooth mixture.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange some banana slices on the top (optional)
  7. Bake for 55 minutes or till the cake shrinks from the sides and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven. Remove from the pan after 5 minutes. Cool in the rack. Slice when cold.






Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Orange Marmalade Rolls | #BreadBakers


 There was storm last night.  Our tiny lawn got covered with leaves of all shapes and sizes from the trees around. There were leaves floating in the fish pond too. The breeze, however, was cool and soothing. We sat under the Magnolia tree and loved the aroma of the buttery flowers above. We collected the fallen flowers while cleaning the lawn.


Later in the day, a bird call got our attention. It was a different call. We spotted an Asian Paradise   Flycatcher (female) in our birdbath. It was a great feeling to see a new visitor of the season.


After all the cleaning, bird watching, and a light lunch, we got down to baking Orange Marmalade Rolls or Malta Marmalade Rolls as I used homemade marmalade made from our local citrus Malta.


Malta is very juicy, and sweet. It grows in our hills and the best part is that it is not sprayed with any chemicals. One can use the peels without any doubts.
This recipe had been in my mind for quite some time. When our group #BreadBakers decided to bake for the mother's day, I got down to baking these rolls. Recipe is adapted minimally from www.thepioneerwoman.com


We loved the super soft cottony rolls wrapped around a thick layer of marmalade and butter.


We enjoyed with tea, we loved them plain and relished with banana and mango shape. Next day, the rolls tasted even better. Marmalade got soaked into the crumb and the rolls were juicy. My mom loved them with her hot tea.


Orange Marmalade Rolls  

Ingredients

Rolls

  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 4 tablespoons orange marmalade

Glaze

  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter

Instruction

  1. Take milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a deep pan. Heat till very hot. Turn off the heat just before it begins to boil. Let it cool till warm. Add yeast, stir and keep for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add 1 cup of flour and stir well. Cover and keep for 1 hour.
  3. After 1 hour, add baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add remaining 1 cup flour and stir really well to get a smooth wet dough.
  4. Keep the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour. It is easier to handle the dough when chilled. 
  5. Generously dust your counter with flour. Transfer dough to the counter. Roll out into a rectangle as thin as possible.
  6.  Spread 2 tablespoons of softened butter evenly on the rolled dough. Now spread marmalade.
  7.  Beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and keep the seam side down.
  8. Cut the log with a sharp knife. Cut ½ inch rolls. This log will give around 8 rolls
  9. Grease one 9 inches round cake pan. Use a non-stick pan for the rolls to come out easily.
  10. Arrange the rolls in the pan. Cover and keep for ½  hour to rise or until double.
  11. Bake in a preheated oven at 190 degrees C for 20 -25 minutes or till the top becomes golden.
  12. Remove from the pan after 10 minutes.
  13. In the meantime prepare glaze. Mix all the ingredients together to get a very smooth and pourable glaze. Adjust the quantity of icing sugar to get the right consistency.
  14. Drizzle glaze over warm rolls. Enjoy!
Linking to BreadBakers
This month's BreadBakers' theme is Mother’s Day or May Day inspired bread, hosted by Julie who blogs at Hostess at heart . Julie chose a lovely theme. It inspired us to bake beautiful breads. Thank You Julie for the beautiful theme. Do visit Julie's blog for the her bakes

 Here's what our creative bakers came up with.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to [email protected]

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Eggless Chocolate Coffee Cake (Wholegrain)



There was a birthday in our family last week. We decided to bake an eggless chocolate coffee cake. Helping hands got together, the pan was readied, batter beaten to a silky consistency and in went, a very chocolaty batter suffused with a deep coffee flavour.

While the cake was baking, we went out to enjoy the fresh air. It is a blessing to get some showers in the midst of summers. The breeze was soothing and the petrichor intoxicating. The showers were mild but it was a great relief from the scorching heat.


We sat on the dusty stairs, talking, enjoying the pleasantness of the weather.


We saw some White Cheeked Bulbuls in our bird bath enjoying a dip one after the other.


The timer chimed and a heavenly aroma of cake wafted through.

We love simple, no fuss cakes. Few ingredients, easy steps and a great outcome. This is one such cake.


We loved the taste, texture and the flavour.

Eggless Chocolate Coffee Cake (Wholegrain)

Ingredients

Cake     

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup sugar (powdered)
  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil or any vegetable oil
  • Vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
  • 4 teaspoons heaped instant coffee powder
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts chopped into small pieces

Chocolate Sauce

  • 75 grams dark chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon butter


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line one 8 inch round cake pan.
  2. Sift cocoa powder. Whisk together first six ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In another bowl, beat yogurt till smooth. Add sugar and beat well
  4. Add vanilla extract and oil and beat till you get a smooth and shiny mixture.
  5. Mix instant coffee powder and four tablespoons warm water. Stir to dissolve coffee granules. Add to yogurt mix.
  6. Now add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir till well incorporated. If the batter feels too dry, add more beaten curd to get the right consistency.
  7. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven. Remove from the pan after 5 minutes. Cool on the rack.
  9. To prepare chocolate sauce, melt chocolate in a double boiler. Add milk and butter. Stir briskly to get a smooth shiny sauce.
  10. Spread the sauce evenly over the cooled cake. Sprinkle toasted walnuts.
  11. Slice and serve.

My Tip:
If you want a lighter crumb, take all-purpose flour in place of whole wheat flour.


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Tuscan Coffeecake | #BreadBakers



A trip to the hills happened last week. Hills give a sense of freedom, a sense of liberation. Nature is so majestic and magnanimous.



 The vastness of the valleys, the power of the springs, the agility of the streams, the beauty of the flowers, breeze whispering through the pines make you realise how puny you are and how insignificant are the issues that surround and stifle us.


Sitting on a cushion of pine leaves, we savoured the cool breeze, touched the wildflowers around a spring, heard the echo of bird calls across the valley and watched a white-browed fantail flitting in the branches of a peach tree.


Rhododendrons dotted the forests and painted the landscape red.  They looked magnificent against the blue sky.



We drove past some colourful houses in the village.


A day before embarking on the journey, we baked a Tuscan Coffeecake. We loved the sweet bread studded with walnuts and cranberries and raisins.


The recipe is adapted from www.kingarthurflour.com Few changes have been made to suit taste.  


Tuscan Coffeecake

Ingredients

Starter

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup water at room temperature
1/16 teaspoon instant dry yeast

Dough

  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • All the starter

Filling

  • 1 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup dry candied cranberries
  • 2 tablespoon candied peels cut into small pieces

Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons hot milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. To make the starter, mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and keep overnight at room temperature.
  2. To make the dough, take a deep bowl.  Whisk together flour, salt and yeast. Combine all the other ingredients. Mix till everything comes together. Let it rest for 10 minutes. With floured hands, knead till you get a smooth and supple dough.
  3. Transfer dough to a greased bowl. Cover and keep to rise for an hour or until almost double.
  4. Deflate the dough. Knead for 2-3 minutes. Knead walnuts, raisins, cranberries and chopped peels into it.
  5. Shape dough into a flat ball. Transfer to a greased 9 inch round cake pan. Press from the top. Cover and keep to rise for 1 hour or until double.
  6. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  7. For glaze, mix all the ingredients. Brush the top of the risen coffeecake gently with the glaze.
  8. Bake coffeecake on the lower rack for 50 -55 minutes. Tent with a foil if the top is browning too fast.
  9. Remove coffee cake from the pan after 5 minutes. 
  10. Cool on the rack. Slice when cold.
Linking to Breadbakers


BreadBakers


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
Our host this month is Anshie Dhar who blogs at SpiceRoots Do visit her space for some lovely recipes, great bakes and amazing photography. Anshie chose  Italian Breads as the theme for this month.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to [email protected]
        
·  Casatiello by A Shaggy Dough Story
               
·  Ciabatta Sandwich Rolls by Herbivore Cucina
               
·  Classic Italian Bread by Hostess At Heart
               
·  Cornetti by Gayathri's Cook Spot
               
·  Einkorn Parmesan Piadina by The Wimpy Vegetarian
               
·  Fingermillet and Rosemary Focaccia by Sizzling Tastebuds
               
·  Focaccia Caprese by Sneha's Recipe
               
               
·  Il Pane di Matera by Food Lust People Love
               
·  Italian BLT Focaccia by A Salad For All Seasons
               
·  Italian Easter Bread by Palatable Pastime
               
·  Italian Easter Cheese Bread by A Baker's House
               
·  Italian Herb and Garlic Focaccia by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
               
·  Italian Stuffed Pane Bianco by Cook's Hideout
               
·  Mini Panettone by Mayuri's Jikoni
               
·  Pane Bianco by Veenas Vegnation
               
·  Pane di Genzano by Spiceroots
               
·  Piadina by Passion Kneaded
               
·  Pizza alla Siciliana by Karen's Kitchen Stories
               
·  Rosemary and Cabernet Salt Focaccia by What Smells So Good?
               
·  Torta Salata Pasquale by A Day in the Life on the Farm
               
·  Tuscan Coffeecake by Ambrosia


Sunday, 9 April 2017

Whole Grain Fresh Strawberry Cake



Sunday mornings are slow paced and relaxing. After a long walk, a big glass of ginger tea is an elixir. We sat out with our glass of tea relishing the warmth of the Sun on our strained muscles, watching the magnificent colours of nature and feeling the gentle flow of breeze on our face. Mornings are heavenly and soothing. Butterflies are busy exploring the flowers. 


Caesalpinia is blooming profusely and enticing the butterflies.



An Oriental White Eye has been coming to the Aloe flowers for nectar

Sunday is also for some special cooking or baking. Some strawberries are lying in the fridge. We decide to bake a whole grain cake using the strawberries.


The cake comes out dense and delicious. The cake is sliced and enjoyed  with the evening tea and some is reserved for the kids’ tiffin box.


Whole Grain Strawberry Cake


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (atta)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) butter
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 6 to 8 strawberries hulled and cut into four slices each
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line one 7 inch round cake pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  3. Beat butter and caster sugar till fluffy and pale.
  4. Add egg and beat till well incorporated.
  5. Add vanilla extract.
  6. Add flour mix to the butter mix. Pour warm milk. Mix gently until the wet and dry ingredients are just incorporated. Do not overmix.
  7. Pour into the prepared pan.
  8. Arrange strawberry slices on top. Sprinkle granulated sugar.
  9. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or till the top turns brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the oven after 5 minutes.
  11. Invert on the rack. Slice when cold.
  12. Dust the slices with icing sugar and serve.

My Tip: You may use 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour for a lighter crumb.


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