The wheel of time moves on……from a pleasant and colourful spring, we have reached mid summers or almost the peak of it. If this is not the peak then the anticipation of what lies in store is worrying. Parched Earth, dead bushes, withered leaves hanging listlessly from the branches, dry and dreary afternoons. The Sun is unrelenting, sky- cloudless, gusts of hot dusty air sweep away the dead leaves that rustle and pile up in corners.

In the midst of all the dullness, a visit to a nursery filled our day with colours and alleviated our woes albeit temporarily. 

Pots of Ranunculus placed in one square and Osteospermum in another were a treat to eyes and senses.

 What a creative genius Almighty is! Lovely colours and patterns of the flowers were just spell binding.

On our way back we picked up a slab of ice cream of the flavour decided by our kids. 

We had it with Banana Walnut & Chocolate Cookie Cake that was baked in the morning.

Banana Walnut & Chocolate Cookie Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (or, 2 cups all-purpose flour if you want a softer crumb)
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar or muscovado sugar or white sugar
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 flax egg*
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ripe banana (mashed)
1 cup dark chocolate chunks
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

* To make one flax egg take 3 tablespoons water in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of raw flax meal. Whisk with a fork.  Refrigerate. This step is important. Refrigerate for about an hour. This gives it the consistency of an egg white. Add it to the recipe. It acts as a binder and makes the cake soft.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease line and dust one 8 inch round cake tin.
Whisk together first four ingredients in a large bowl.
Melt butter in a deep pan. Add sugar and mix well. When the mixture cools completely, add flax egg or an egg. Mix well till the mixture comes together. Add vanilla essence and mashed banana. Mix till the mixture becomes smooth and uniform.
Add flour mix in three shifts. Mix till you get a smooth batter.
Fold in chopped walnuts and chocolate chunks.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Level the top with a spoon.
Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes or till the top turns brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
Remove from oven. Remove from pan after 5 minutes. Cool in the rack.
Enjoy the slices with tea or serve with a dollop of ice cream.

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