Saturday, 31 March 2018

Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Brownies (Eggless)


A jar of peanut butter always comes handy. Spread it on toasts, add it to your bakes or dessert, it always lends lovely taste and all the goodness that peanuts have to offer. If you love to make peanut butter at home like me, get the recipe here



I make it plain and with chocolate.


Last week, our daughter’s class went out for a picnic. She wanted to take chocolate brownies for her friends and teachers. We decided on baking Chocolate brownies with peanut butter.


Making swirls on the batter is an art and a fun activity. I created swirls with the back of a spoon. You may also use a toothpick for swirls. Some people make complicated swirls. I kept it really simple.


Peanut butter and chocolate is a combination made in heaven. The brownies turned out soft, moist, chocolaty with the mild saltiness of peanut butter swirls. Everyone loved the brownies. The brownies can be veganised easily. Use coconut milk, almond milk or soy milk in place of dairy milk

Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cocoa (sifted)
  • 1 cup unrefined sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup smooth peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and dust the sides of one 7x7 inch square cake pan  and line the bottom with a parchment sheet 
  2. Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In another deep bowl, take milk and add vinegar. Stir and keep covered for 10 minutes. The milk will curdle. Add oil and vanilla extract.
  4. Mix wet and dry ingredients till well combined.
  5. Stir in half chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Level with a spoon.
  7. Drop six teaspoons of peanut butter in the chocolate batter.
  8. With the back of a spoon, make a straight line running through the peanut butter and chocolate batter. This will create swirls.
  9. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top.
  10. Bake for 25 minutes. Do not over bake. We want fudgy brownies.
  11. Remove from the pan and cool on the rack.
  12. Slice when cold.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Orange Cranberry Muffins | Wholegrain and Vegan Orange Cranberry Muffins




We always looked forward to trying out new recipes on weekends. The kids love to assist in baking and there is always so much fun in baking together. This weekend we baked Orange cranberry muffins.  The muffins are vegan and packed with the goodness of whole wheat flour, oranges, walnuts, and cranberries.


While the muffins were baking, we kept food for the doves that wait for their share of millets in the Magnolia Tree. 



It is getting hotter and birds have been flocking the bird bath. Later in the day, we spotted a garden lizard drinking from the bird bath.


The Muffins were ready in 18 minutes and came soft and delicious. These are ideal for breakfast, for school tiffin, picnics and with tea. Orange cranberry muffins are soft, moist and flavourful. These are  guilt-free. You wouldn't mind eating an extra muffin.
 This recipe makes 14 medium size muffins. I baked them in silicone moulds.


Orange Cranberry Muffins – Wholegrain and Vegan

Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unrefined sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 ½ cups orange juice (fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup toasted and chopped walnuts

Glaze

  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Grease one standard size muffin pan or prepare silicone moulds.
  2. Whisk together first six ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In another bowl take oil, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Add more orange juice if the batter feels too thick or dry. Do not over mix.
  5. Stir in cranberries and walnuts.
  6. Pour into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Or until the muffins are well risen and browned around the edges.
  8. Transfer to the rack to cool.
  9. Mix the ingredients for glaze. It should be thick.
  10. Take glaze in a piping bag and drizzle over the muffins.


Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Garlic Chickpea Crackers (Vegan) | #BreadBakers





Spring has draped our hills in the brightest colours. Last week we walked through the orchards. The cobbled road was lined with peach trees in profuse blooms. The flowers had a deeper blush of pink. The plum trees in the peach orchard looked like a pattern of white polka dots.


A Blue-fronted Redstart chirruped and swooped down to settled on the lower branches of a tree still waiting to wear fresh leaves.


A wild tree was bedecked in soothing yellow. It is the rebirth of nature after winter.



 Every previously naked branch has buds sprouting. The meadows, the butterflies, the flowers the fragrances, the warmth are all celebrating life.
We sat on the stone wall bordering the fields. The Sun was sweet and mellow and the stones that we were perched on were warm. Our basket had some crackers and hot tea in the thermos.  Bird songs were mellifluous and so was the wind that passed through the oak trees.



We loved the crackers and tea in such divine company.


The crackers are crisp, mildly sweet, garlicky and very addictive. Recipe adapted from  www.kingarthurflour.com


Garlic  Chickpea Flour Crackers

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup chickpea flour (Besan)
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt (adjust according to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 6-7 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Line a baking tray with the parchment sheet.
  2. In a large bowl combine first six ingredients. Mix well.
  3. Add coconut oil. Mix well so that the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
  4. Knead the mixture by adding a little water at a time.
  5. Knead till the dough just comes together as a ball and is not sticky. Cover with a kitchen cloth and let rest for 15 minutes to relax the gluten.
  6. Divide dough into two equal pieces. Roll the first piece on your kitchen counter into 12-inch x 12 inch square of about 1/8 inch thickness.
  7. Place it gently on the lined baking sheet. With the help of a sharp knife or a pizza cutter cut into 1 ½ inch squares.
  8. Bake for 10 -12 minutes. Rotate the baking tray if required. Bake till the crackers are evenly browned.
  9. Cool and store in an airtight jar.
  10. My Notes:  Adjust salt according to taste. These are mildly sweet crackers and we do not want salt on the higher side. You may first cut the rolled dough and then transfer the crackers with a spatula to your baking sheet or place the rolled dough onto the sheet and then cut crackers, whichever method is convenient for you.


Linking to Bread Bakers


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.
Our host this month is Sue Lau who blogs at Palatable Pastime. She chose to bake crackers this month. Do check out some great cracker recipes below.         

·         Coconut Cheese Crackers from Gayathri's Cook Spot
·         Crispy Homemade Cheddar Crackers from Palatable Pastime
·         Dried Fruit Crackers from Cook's Hideout
·         Easy Homemade Oyster Crackers from Food Lust People Love
·         Freshly Baked Methi Crackers from The Mad Scientist's Kitchen
·         Garlicky Chickpea Flour Crackers from Ambrosia
·         Parmesan Herb Crackers from Spill the Spices
·         Sourdough Crackers with Chilli and Garlic from Sonlicious
·         Sourdough Crackers with Gruy√®re and Thyme from Karen's Kitchen Stories
·         Spicy Popcorn Crisps from What Smells So Good?
·         Spicy Potato Crackers from Mayuri's Jikoni
·         Sweet & Savory Crackers from All That's Left Are The Crumbs
·         Vegan Herbed Crackers from Sizzling Tastebuds
·         Vegan Whole Wheat Crackers from Sneha's Recipe





Friday, 9 March 2018

Festive Nariyal Laddu - Pistachio Coconut Laddu | Strawberry Coconut Laddu | Chocolate Coconut Laddu





The festival of Holi spreads mirth and merriment.  It wakes up the child in you. We are sitting on our lawn and loving the warmth of the Sun after playing Holi. The Sun washes the garden with a golden glow. Bird songs permeate the air. A dove perches on the food table and begins to feed on the millets kept for her.
Kids squeal and scream running after each other with their water guns. They want to carry on the Holi fun while grown-ups are enjoying a chat in high decibels. Soon, mom appears with tea and everyone lunges for their cuppa. We take out our coconut laddus made especially for Holi. Coconut laddus along with hot tea taste heavenly.  
Making sweets at home is a happy experience. This Holi,  we made three variations of coconut laddu.  Pistachio and Coconut Laddu, Strawberry and Coconut Laddu and Chocolate and Coconut Laddu.
Three different colours and flavours of the laddu made a colorful plate going with the spirit of the festival. We loved all the flavours and colours.
These laddu are easy to make. You can get more creative and innovative with flavours and nuts. These will be a big hit in kids' birthday party and picnics.





 Pistachio and Coconut Laddu

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups desiccated coconut
  • 400 grams (1 tin) condensed milk
  • ¼ cup slivered pistachios
  • ½ teaspoon  ghee (clarified butter) or butter
  • 8-10 green cardamoms powdered
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut  

Instructions

  1. Empty condensed milk in a thick bottomed steel wok.
  2.  Add desiccated coconut and mix well. 
  3. Cook the mixture on low flame. Keep stirring continuously so that it is evenly cooked and does not burn at the sides and bottom.  
  4. The mixture will start leaving the sides and collect in the center as one big lump. Turn off the heat.
  5. Add cardamom powder and chopped pistachios. Mix well.
  6. When the mixture cools down a bit and is easy to handle, it is time to roll into laddu.
  7. Apply ghee or butter in your palms and roll out mixture into medium size laddus (balls).
  8. Roll the laddus (balls) in desiccated coconut. Cool and store in an airtight jar.



Strawberry Coconut Laddu

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup desiccated coconut
  • 200 grams ( ½ ) tin condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon beetroot puree (beets boiled chopped and pureed.)
  • ¼ cup chopped almonds
  • ½ teaspoon ghee or butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or strawberry essence
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut to roll laddu

Instructions

  1. Empty condensed milk in a thick bottomed steel wok. Add desiccated coconut.
  2. Mix well. Add beet puree.
  3. Cook the mixture on low flame. Keep stirring continuously so that it is evenly cooked.
  4. The mixture will start leaving the sides and collect in the center as one big lump. Turn off the heat.
  5. Add chopped almonds. Mix well. Add vanilla/strawberry essence
  6. Apply ghee or butter in your palms and roll out mixture into medium size laddus (balls).
  7. Roll the laddus (balls) in desiccated coconut. Cool and store in an airtight jar.



Chocolate Coconut Laddu

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup desiccated coconut
  • 200 grams ( ½ ) tin condensed milk
  • 75 grams dark chocolate
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted walnutts
  • ½ teaspoon ghee or butter
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut to roll laddu


Instructions

  1. Empty condensed milk in a thick bottomed steel wok. Add desiccated coconut.
  2. Mix well.  
  3. In a double boiler melt dark chocolate. Add to the mixture.
  4. Cook the mixture on low flame. Keep stirring continuously so that it is evenly cooked.
  5. The mixture will start leaving the sides and collect in the center as one big lump. Turn off the heat.
  6. Add chopped walnuts. Mix well.
  7. Apply ghee or butter in your palms and roll out mixture into medium size laddus (balls).
  8. Roll the laddus (balls) in desiccated coconut. Cool and store in an airtight jar.









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