Dalgona Coffee Vanilla Cupcakes have a delicious combination of coffee and vanilla. The cupcakes are moist and delish and make a great teatime treat. 

The Sun rises early in the hills. As it climbs up, the East part of the hill gets illuminated with its rays. Every tree wears gold and the Poplar tree becomes a giant chandelier as its leaves twist and twirl in the morning breeze. A great Barbet screams and dives down into the valley and disappears into the other side of the hill where the Sun has not yet reached and is dark, grey and cold.

Our morning walk comes to an end as we reach the outer periphery of our fields. A pair of Striated Laughing Thrush are huddled together on a branch of the pear tree.  The pair croons softly and sweetly.

Back home, daily chores begin. An energizing morning walk gives a good start to the day. In the second half, we made Dalgona coffee and vanilla cupcakes.

Dalgona coffee took the food world by storm last year. Our favourite beaten coffee got so much attention and popularity that every coffee lover made it hot or cold or used it in some avatar.

We used it in our favourite Eggless  Vanilla Cupcakes.

The cupcakes get a brown coffee top that goes very well with vanilla.

 Dalgona Coffee And Vanilla Cupcakes (Vegan)


  • 2 teaspoons coffee
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1-1 ½ teaspoons water
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup plant-based milk (room temperature) or milk for a non vegan version
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider / white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup neutral oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. In a large mug, take the coffee powder, sugar and add water. Beat till creamy, pale and thick. Keep aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Keep aside.
  3. In another large bowl, take milk, add vinegar. Stir and keep for 5-8 minutes.
  4. Add oil and vanilla extract to this mixture and mix well.
  5. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Oil one 12 cavity cupcake tray or line them with paper liners. Or, take 12 silicone cupcake moulds.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
  7. Fill up ½ of the prepared cupcake moulds with the batter.
  8. Now add beaten coffee to the remaining batter. Mix well to get a batter of uniform consistency.
  9. Add the coffee batter on top filling the mould to ¾ of its capacity. We have vanilla batter in the bottom and coffee batter on top.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  11. Cool in the rack. 

 Spicy Onion Buns are a perfect bake for cold rainy days. Warm garlicky buns with spicy tones taste heavenly with just butter. Spicy Onion Buns make a great accompaniment to a cup of hot soup

Our rendezvous with clouds, fog, rain and rainbow continues for the third consecutive month. Rain falling in a rhythm on soft grass, on green ferns, through leaves, on the forest, on the pond, on the roof feels like a lullaby. It is monotonous, sonorous and soothing. Rain is a balm for the soul.

Clouds of myriad hues look like blotches of paint on the sky, seeping into each other, creating shades and tints that are magical. Sometimes, the Sun peeps through the gaps in the clouds, filling up a patch of the forest in chequered light.  A huge rainbow after a downpour definitely becomes a show stopper making us run out with our cameras to capture its beauty. Monsoon is magical and mesmerizing.

On wet and cold days, the heart craves to have something, spicy and savoury that would compliment a cup of hot soup. 

Spicy Onion Buns are a perfect bake for rainy days. Warm buns with spicy tones taste heavenly with butter. The buns make a great snacking option too.

One can adjust the spiciness according to preference. The buns fill up the home with a heavenly aroma while baking.

Spicy Onion Buns (Vegan)


  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • ¼ cup minced onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 -2 tablespoons Italian spice mix
  • 1-2 teaspoons chilli flakes
  • 1 green chilli chopped finely (optional)
  • 1 ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons plant-based milk/milk (non-vegan version)
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds


  1. Heat oil in a wok. Add onions. Sauté until the onions turn translucent.
  2. Add minced garlic. Saut√© for another 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat.  Let the mixture cool.
  3. Whisk together flour, salt, spice mix, chilli flakes, chopped chillies in a large bowl.
  4. Add fried onions and garlic. Mix well.
  5. Add sugar to warm water. Stir. Add yeast. Stir. Cover and keep for 10 minutes or until frothy.
  6. Add this mixture to the bowl with flour mixture. Knead for 8-10 minutes to get a very smooth and soft dough. Add more water if the dough feels tight or hard.
  7. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Cover and keep in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
  8. Line a baking tray with a parchment sheet. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  9. Punch the dough and knead for 2-3 minutes. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.
  10. Pinch out small pieces of dough and shape them into buns.
  11. Place on the baking tray keeping enough distance as the buns will expand and rise.
  12. Cover and keep in a warm place for 30-45 minutes or until double.
  13. Brush the top with milk. Sprinkle poppy seeds.
  14. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top turns golden.
  15. Cool on the rack. Enjoy warm buns with butter.

We baked the same buns with Whole Wheat flour.

Whole Wheat Spicy buns are soft, fluffy, very flavoursome and delicious. It makes lovely snacks for kids. It is nutty, substantial and filling. It is tastier than the regular buns.

Whole Wheat Spicy Buns (Vegan)


  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • ¼ cup minced onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 -2 tablespoons Italian spice mix
  • 1-2 teaspoons chilli flakes
  • 1 green chilli chopped finely (optional)
  • 1 ½ - 1 ¾  cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons plant-based milk/milk (for non vegan version)
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds

If you want really soft buns, then I recommend that you go for overnight autolyse. Mix flour and salt mentioned in the recipe, add sugar to warm and make a dough that is neither too tight nor too soft. Cover and keep in the refrigerator overnight. Take it out in the morning and let it come to room temperature. Add some drops of water to yeast to get a paste. Add to the dough. knead for 2 minutes. Now add spice mix, chilli flakes, chopped chillies and fried onions and garlic. Knead to get a smooth dough.

If you find autolyse method cumbersome, you may avoid it.

Follow the instructions as above.

Linking to #Breadbakers


 #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 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.

This month's Bread Bakers theme is Spiced Savory Breads and our host is Renu of Cook with Renu


Hemp and Honey bread has a beautiful nutty taste and sweetness of honey. Slices are soft and delicate. Slather the slices with butter or cheese spread and you’ll love the amalgamation of sweet, nutty, and salty tastes.

 Rains in the hills are charming. The sky becomes a canvas for the clouds to play with colours. It is about dripping leaves, the smell of the Earth, muddy puddles, earthworms, mist rolling down the hills, croaking of the frogs, screeching of the cicadas, soggy biscuits, warm quilts, and endless cups of steaming ginger tea.

In the middle of all the drama, when the Sun manages to sneak out of the clouds, we run and place our dough on the rock slab to make it rise. The dough is heavy with hemp seeds but nevertheless, it does rise. Heavenly aroma suffuses the air as the loaf rises and turns golden. We thank the skies while slicing the bread.


A baker must experiment. Experiments give birth to new recipes. Baking is such an engaging activity. It knocks the creative faculty of the mind, making one think out of the box,  bringing together all the ingredients to create new edible goodness.

A packet of hemp seeds at home spurred me on to try using them in our bread. Hemp grows in the hills and hemp seeds are the seeds of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. Hemp seeds are small brown seeds rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fatty acids including omega-3s. Hemp seeds are rich in an array of vitamins and minerals.

Roast the hemp seeds until they splutter and crackle and a lovely aroma emanate. Let them cool. Grind to a fine powder. Sift to remove the hard shells. Remember, we are adding these to our whole wheat bread. Hard shells will cut the gluten network and not let the loaf rise high. Add to the dry flour.

Hemp and Honey bread has a beautiful nutty taste and sweetness of honey. Slices are soft and delicate. Slather the slices with butter or cheese spread and you’ll love the amalgamation of sweet, nutty, and salty tastes.



Hemp and Honey Whole Wheat Bread


  • 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon hemp seeds / ¼ cup hemp flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 ½- ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • ¼ cup oil


  1. Roast hemp seeds on low flame until they crackle and splutter. Keep the roasted seeds on a plate to cool. Grind into a fine powder. Sift the powder. Throw the hard shell. Measure ¼ cup.
  2. If using store-bought hemp flour, there is no need to sift as it is a fine flour.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, hemp flour, and salt.
  4. Add honey to 1 cup warm water. Stir. Add to flour mixture. Mix with hands to get a slightly wet dough. Add additional ¼ - ½ cup water if the dough is dry. By the end of mixing, there should be no dry pockets.
  5. Cover and keep for 1-3 hours.  The dough will become smooth and soft.
  6.  Sprinkle yeast and add few drops of water and knead for 8 to 10 minutes till dough becomes soft and gluten is well developed. You may take a break in between kneading. It is very important that all the ingredients are uniformly incorporated and dough becomes smooth.
  7. Drizzle oil and knead further. Stretch the sides and pull it to the center. Repeat the stretch and fold method for another 5-6 minutes. By the end of kneading the dough should feel wet, sticky, and elastic.
  8. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Cover and keep in the warm corner of the kitchen to rise for 1-2 hours (depending upon the warmth of the kitchen) until double in volume, puffy, and light.
  9. Grease one 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan. Dust with flour.
  10. Punch the risen dough. Transfer the dough onto the kitchen counter generously dusted with flour. Roll out the dough into a rectangle no wider than the loaf pan you are using. Roll the dough towards you tightly. Pinch seams and sides to seal.
  11. Transfer the shaped loaf into the prepared pan. Cover and let it rise until double. Poke with finger, if the dough is firm and springs back immediately, it needs more time to rise. If the shallow impression remains, the dough is ready.
  12. By the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  13. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped at the bottom.
  14. Remove from the oven after 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool on the rack.
  15. Slice when cold.

Linking to #BreadBakers

Welcome to this month's Bread Bakers. Our host this month is Kelly, of A Messy Kitchen. 

She chose the theme, Favorite Breads.

Be sure to check out all the favourites baked this week!





 Chewy and moist on the inside and crisp on the outside, Seeds Nuts and Oat Cookies make a healthy snack option. You'll love to take them on journeys. It's a healthy indulgence!

We made Peanut Butter at home recently. Homemade peanut butter is pure and healthy, sans additives, hydrogenated fats and flavouring agents. We love to sweeten it with Jaggery. When there is a stock, of peanut butter at home, it opens up possibilities of endless bakes. 

Have you tried my Peanut Butter Brownies yet? These are scrumptious and addictive. Peanut and chocolate always make a winning combination. You will also love Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.

With the recent batch of peanut butter that was made, we baked Mixed Seeds Nuts Oat Cookies. There were a lot of seeds and nuts lying in the pantry. These cookies are such a delicious way of using them. Mildly sweet, chockablock with nutrition and taste, these cookies are a breeze to make. Just take out all the seeds and nuts that you have. Add them in. You can make them in different combinations of nuts and seeds retaining the measurements given.

Chewy and moist on the inside and crisp on the outside, Mixed Seeds Nuts and Oat Cookies are delicious, nutritious and substantial. Take them on journeys, picnics or enjoy them with your tea. Kids love them and it is such a healthy snacking option.

Mixed Seeds Nuts Oat Cookies (Gluten-Free)

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • 3 tablespoons amaranth flour / coconut flour / oatmeal / almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons unrefined sugar
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 2 tablespoons black currants
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cashews
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoon dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C
  2. Line a baking tray with a parchment sheet.
  3. In a bowl whisk all the dry ingredients.
  4. In another large bowl whisk all the wet ingredients.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix well with hands. Add all the seeds, nuts and chocolate chips. Mix well.
  6. Pinch walnut-size portions of dough. Roll into a ball and then flatten in your palm.
  7. Arrange the cookies on the tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Turn off the oven as soon as you see the edges browning.
  8. Transfer the cookies to the cooling rack. Enjoy!



Fruity, flavourful, and mighty tasty, Peach Cobbler is the best bake that can be made with fresh ripe peaches.

With some rainy days that we had in the last weeks, summer is far from over, with some of the best weather still to come. Heaps and heaps of stone fruit from the orchard make it a delicious summer. Colourful, tasty, sweet, juicy, summer fruits get along great with sunny weather.

 Our Peaches are blushing. An early variety of peaches are ready to be harvested. A ripe peach is a treat in itself. Soft, juicy, and flavourful, Peaches make a great addition to the bakes.

We baked Peach Cobbler some time ago with the ripest peaches we could gather from the orchard. Peach cobbler has delicious fruity tones and warm notes of cinnamon. It is a great dessert. Serve it with ice cream or whipped cream. If you do not have these options, serve with warm custard. It is a burst of great taste and flavours.


Peach Cobbler



2 tablespoons granulated sugar / unrefined sugar

1 tablespoon corn flour

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 cups peeled and sliced peaches

1 pinch salt


  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • ¾ cup (149g) unrefined sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (43g) melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (scant) salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoon unrefined sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder for sprinkling on top


Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line the bottom and grease one 9 inch cake pan.


 Whisk together sugar and cornflour and salt. Add peach slices. Drizzle lemon juice. Toss well. Keep aside.


  1. Whisk together eggs, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Whisk until light and fluffy. These are wet ingredients.
  2. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. These are dry ingredients.
  3. Add  dry ingredients to wet in three rounds followed by milk, beginning with dry ingredients ending with milk and stirring thoroughly after each addition.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with sugar cinnamon mix.
  5. Arrange the peach slices and spoon the juice on top.
  6.  Bake the cobbler for 50 -55 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the cake is golden.
  7. Remove the cobbler from the oven after 5-6 minutes. Remove from the pan. Let it cool.
  8. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

 Note: I have used whole wheat flour. Feel free to swipe with 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour for a lighter crumb.

 Plum squash is tart-sweet and very fruity. It makes a refreshing summer drink

We are in Plum Heaven. Summer in the hills is about colours and flavors. It is this time of the year we desperately wait for. Our Plum trees are laden with fruit. Plums are beginning to ripen and we love to -make a daily visit to our orchard to collect the ripe ones.

Summer days tend to get quite hot in the hills. Especially the afternoons when the Sun is overhead.  Every year, when the plums ripen and it’s a hot day, we make a  big batch of Plum Squash to beat the heat. 

Plum squash is tart-sweet and very fruity. Make sure to use the ripe sweet plums for making squash. I have used unrefined sugar. You may use regular sugar. One can adjust the thickness to suit taste by adding more or less water.

Plum Squash (Vegan)


  • 7-8 ripe sweet plums
  • Water
  • Sugar (to taste)


  1. Take plums in a pressure cooker. Add a glass of water. Water should be enough to cover the fruit.
  2. Cook for a whistle. Open the lid and let it cool.
  3. The plums would have become mushy. At this stage, it is very easy to remove the stones and the skin.
  4. Use hands to remove skin and stone or use a strainer. Do not squeeze or press the skins and stones too hard because the skin and the seeds have the maximum tartness.
  5. Add sugar to taste.
  6. Add water to get the consistency of choice. Do not dilute it too much.
  7. Pour into the glasses. Add ice cubes (optional). Enjoy!

Note: if you want to spice up your squash, add ¼ tsp of roasted and powdered cumin seeds and a pinch of black salt per glass.


 Flax meal bread is soft, delicate, nutty, sweet and delicious. It is packed with the goodness of flax seeds. 


Forest has its own flavours. The scent of wet earth, the mossiness of the ground, the fragrance of wildflowers, the smell of leaf litter, of fungi waking up from summer slumber and many more, smells that intoxicate the senses. The smell of the forest is healing. 

Rains arrived a wee bit early this year. Waking up to the rain drumming on the roof, cupping hands around  a hot glass of tea, running out to enjoy the splashes of sunlight escaping from the monstrous clouds, the warmth and freshness, the sinking puddles, and a rainbow across the heavily clouded sky are the elixirs of the hill life.

Wild daisies have been lining the pathways, always laden with bees buzzing on them. 

The hardy Dandelions have decided to occupy every gap in the cobbled pathway and paint it yellow.

A pair of Spotted Grosbeak  comes every morning without fail for its share of wild cherries that are ripening slowly.

The cherries are turning red and attracting more and more birds.

Rains in the hills bring down the temperature. Baking bread gets fraught with difficulties. Electricity plays truant and the whole exercise of baking is a challenge.

I stole some warm moments from a sunny morning that made my dough rise. We baked a small breakfast loaf with flax meal. Sometimes a good loaf makes your heart sing and for me, it was this loaf that turned out soft, sweet and gorgeous. In fact, we did not feel the need to spread butter or jam or anything on the slices. The bread is simply delicious.

Isn't that crumb gorgeous?

Flax Meal Breakfast Bread


  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup flax meal (ground flaxseeds)
  • ¼ cup oil.


  1. Dissolve honey in half a cup of water. Add yeast. Cover and let rest for 7-8 minutes.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt and flax meal.
  3. Make well in the centre. Add yeast mixture and oil. Mix and knead. Add water little by little till you get a smooth and satiny dough that is a little sticky.
  4. Transfer dough to a greased bowl. Turn around once so that it is coated with oil all over. Cover and place the bowl in a warm place to rise for one hour or until almost double.
  5. Grease one 4 ½ x 8 inches loaf pan.
  6. Remove the dough with a dough scraper onto the floured counter. Roll out into a rectangle with the width same as the width of the pan you are using. Roll the dough to form a log. Transfer it to the pan. Press gently to level it. Cover and leave it to rise for another fifty minutes to an hour or unless it crests above the rim of the pan.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C during the last stages of rising. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Tent with a foil if the top is browning too fast.
  8. Remove from the pan after 5 minutes. Cool in the rack. Slice when cold.
  9. Enjoy.

 Linking to #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

bread bakers logo



Welcome to this month's Bread Bakers. This month’s event is Breakfast Bread hosted by Zesty South Indian Kitchen

·                Breakfast Garbage Bread Making Miracles

·                Danish Crisps A Messy Kitchen

·                English Muffins Culinary Adventures with Camilla

·                Flax Meal Breakfast Bread Ambrosia

·                Fresh Cherry Chocolate Sourdough Bread Zesty South Indian Kitchen

·                Multigrain Blueberry Bread What Smells So Good?

·                Montreal-Style Bagels Karen's Kitchen Stories

·                Rhubarb Strawberry Spiced Sourdough Bread Cook with Renu

·                Sausage Stuffed Sourdough Crescent Rolls Food Lust People Love

·                Spicy Masala Veggie Paratha Magical Ingredients

·                Sourdough Angel Biscuits Palatable Pastime

·                Sourdough Crepes A Day in the Life on the Farm

·                Sourdough Discard Pancakes Sneha’s Recipe

 Eggless Wholegrain Chocolate Fudge Cake is insanely chocolaty and delicious. The cake is dense and fudgy. It is s delicious dessert cake.

A whistling Thrush perched atop a sloping roof sings loud and clear. Her notes are sonorous and fresh like the Spring itself.   Spring is the new beginning, a symbol of rebirth and life. Buds blossom, grass grows and the brown shrubbery gives way to juicy green tender shoots. The forest drapes in all the shades of green and sway in mirth as the fragrant breeze pass by. Spring is about warmth, colours fragrances, flowers and butterflies.

Spring invokes many a sweet memory. Our garden in the foothills was a riot of colours in spring. Bougainvillaeas, calendulas,  aster, phlox, marigolds, dahlias, daisies and a dozen others made it an enchanted garden and the magician was our Dad who was blessed with green fingers. 

Mellifluous strains of Sitar melded with the scented air and wafted through early morning as he played his sitar for hours.  It was pure bliss, sheer magic, absolutely calming and rejuvenating!

It was one such beautiful day in Spring, the temple bells chimed in the distance, it was neither too cold nor hot, the garden was a slice of heaven, it was the New Year of the Hindu calendar, day of fasting and praying when dad quit his battle with his disease and decided to leave. We were never prepared for his adieu from the world. In spite of his waning health, we convinced ourselves that he would live on. The grief was maddening, a wrenching pain that shattered and changed our lives forever. A phenomenal father, husband, grandfather, a man of boundless compassion, our mentor, guide, forever friend was gone forever.

Dad made our lives richer with his bountiful love, generosity, and the gift of good values. The grief over a father’s death never ends. My daughter who has grown up in his arms,  tells me, “life goes on, so move on, he won’t come back”. Every journey comes to an end. The circle of life completes. One has to accept.

Memories don’t age, memories don’t fade and memories don’t erase. Memories like sunshine fill up the heart with warmth and joy. We celebrate his being in our life. And we celebrate his birthday with elan every year. And his favourite Eggless Chocolate Fudge Cake is baked and shared, songs sung, his memories lived and enjoyed sometimes in the veil of tears. “You may be gone from our sight but you are never gone from our heart”, we tell him.

Eggless Wholegrain Chocolate Fudge Cake is insanely chocolaty and delicious. Use a good quality dark chocolate. The cake is dense and fudgy. Do not bake it in a small size pan. I have used whole wheat flour for the recipe. You may use all-purpose flour for a lighter crumb.

Drizzle ganache on the cake if you are baking for some special occasion and decorate with chocolate barks or chocolate hearts. I have given instructions for making chocolate hearts at the end of the recipe.

Eggless Wholegrain Chocolate Fudge Cake


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup unrefined sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 stick butter (100 grams approx ½ cup)
  • 100 grams dark chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line one 7 inches round cake pan.
  2. Sift all the dry ingredients (the first four ingredients)  twice and keep aside.
  3. In a pan add water, sugar, and heat on medium flame. Stir till sugar dissolves.
  4. Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Mix to get smooth consistency.
  5. To this add warm sugar solution and mix well.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mix. Mix gently to get a smooth batter. Do not over mix.
  7. Pour into the prepared pan.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The cake should be firm and a toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean.
  9. Cool on the rack.  Enjoy plain or pour and spread some ganache on top and enjoy a fudgy chocolate cake.


Chocolate Hearts

To make chocolate hearts, take a broad strip of parchment paper. Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler. Pour it on the parchment paper. With a flat spatula, spread it evenly. The chocolate layer should be thick. Keep it in the refrigerator.  Once the chocolate hardens, press a heart-shaped cookie cutter and carefully remove the chocolate hearts. Keep the chocolate hearts on a plate and keep the plate in the refrigerator until you use them.


Giraffe Print bread is light bread with a hint of chocolate. It is a pleasure to slice the loaf and discover the patterns inside. It is best enjoyed with a chocolate spread or peanut butter. 

We are perpetually living in winters this year. Unexpected and unanticipated rain over the last fifteen days has plummeted the temperature. The brown blanket of the dry foliage has got replaced by green. Ferns have sprung up around the corners, under the big trees and in all the crevices. Nature has its own ways of healing. The dryness of winters has been compensated.

Sky laden with clouds seems to be melting and dripping causing heavy showers. A water hole made for the birds gets brimmed with fresh water. 

A jungle myna alights from a nearby tree, inspects around and dashes into the sparkling pool. 

A Grey Winged Blackbird removes leaves from the wet ground continuously till it reaches the wet mud and  is rewarded by a fat earthworm.

A drongo is nesting on the tallest Pear Tree. She sits on her tiny cup-like nest and drives away all those who perch on the nearby branches. This policing continues all day.

In our baking studio, it’s a hectic day. A Giraffe Print Bread is being baked. For bakers, the dough becomes a medium to play with and to unleash creativity. This bread is special as it requires a lot of precision. It is important to have a weighing scale.

To make the pattern, we need one plain dough and one cocoa dough.  Both the dough will be divided into four pieces. One piece of each dough will be larger than the other three. The weight of the dough may differ slightly from that mentioned in this recipe. So weigh the total dough and divide accordingly. A few adjustments in dough weight will work fine.

The pictorial steps will help to shape the bread.

Giraffe Print Bread

Ingredients for the plain dough

  • 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup warm milk (1 -2 tablespoons extra)
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined sugar/brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast

Ingredients for the cocoa dough

  • 330 grams plain dough
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3-4 teaspoons water/milk


  1. To prepare the plain dough, mix sugar and yeast to warm milk. When sugar dissolves, add all the remaining ingredients and knead for 6-7 minutes. If the dough feels hard, add 1 tablespoon of the extra milk and another if the dough is tight.  Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove 330 grams of the plain dough. Shape the remaining dough into a ball and transfer it to a greased bowl. Cover and keep in the refrigerator.
  3. Make a paste with cocoa powder and water/milk. Knead into the 330 grams of the plain dough until well combined. Shape into a ball and transfer to a greased bowl and cover with a cling wrap.
  4. Remove plain dough from the refrigerator and keep both the bowls, one with plain dough and the one with the cocoa dough in a warm spot to rise for 45-50 minutes or until double.
  5. Divide the cocoa dough into 4 pieces.  1x90 grams (one piece)   3x80 grams (3 pieces).
  6. Divide plain dough into 4 pieces. 1x50 grams (one piece)      3x40 grams (3 pieces)
  7. Roll the dough into balls.
  8. Now we have one large piece and three small pieces for each dough.
  9. Roll out the largest piece of cocoa dough into a rectangle as long as the baking tin you are using. Working on the long side of the rectangle, roll up. Pinch to seal all the open ends of the roll.  Similarly, make rolls with the remaining cocoa dough balls. 
  10. Roll out the largest piece of plain dough into a rectangle as long as the largest cocoa roll. Place the cocoa roll on the white rectangular dough. Pull up the sides of the plain dough, over the cocoa roll. Seal all the edges.  Repeat with the remaining pieces, until you get 4 rolls.
  11. Cut all the rolls into half. You will have 8 pieces. With one sharper and one open end.
  12. Grease one 8x4 inch loaf pan. Place three small rolls in the bottom, two big rolls in the middle and three small rolls on top.  Place the rolls in such a way that the ends are alternating. Cover and keep in a warm spot to rise until double. (after placing the rolls, there will be a lot of empty space in the pan on either side).
  13. Bake in a preheated oven at 175 degrees C  for 20-25 minutes.
  14. Let cool down in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove and cool in the rack.
  15. Slice when cold.
Recipe adapted from - www.foodieyuki.com

Linking to #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 Kelly. She chose to bake bread with surprises inside. It is a very interesting theme.

Check out the bread with surprises here-

·                Broccoli Bread from A Day in the Life on the Farm

·                Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Bread from Making Miracles

·                Cinnamon Apple Surprise Bread from Food Lust People Love

·                Giraffe Print Bread from Ambrosia

·                Leopard Print Milk Bread from Karen's Kitchen Stories

·                Paw Print Bread from Passion Kneaded

·                Peek-a-boo Panda Bread from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

·                Picasso Floral Surprise Loaf from A Messy Kitchen

·                Swirl Bread from Zesty South Indian Kitchen

·                Swirl Sourdough Whole Wheat Bread (Chocolate, Garlic & Herbs) from Cook with Renu

·                Whey Watermelon Bread from Sneha's Recipe


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