Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Vegan Orange Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread | #BreadBakers

 Cinnamon Orange Pull-Apart Bread is citrusy sweet bread bursting with the flavours of Citrus and cinnamon. It has been kneaded with orange juice and has a tender crumb. The sugar at the base gets caramelised while baking, making the slices sweet and juicy.

Short days and long nights, dropping temperature and chilly winds whisper that the winters are here. The coils of smoke drift up from the nearby settlement. The night was starry but there were blotches of clouds as well. Surprisingly, it was a clear morning next day and nature treated us to a clear view of the Himalayas. 

 Far from our home and close to the river, we spotted a group of Blue bearded Bee-eater.

We watched them playing around.

Winter is the season of citrus and a variety of citruses have reached the market. Yesterday, we baked a Cinnamon Orange pull-apart bread. 

The dough was kneaded with orange juice. We stuffed it with homemade candied orange peels. Cinnamon and Orange make a great combination and the bread was heavenly.

 The dough was rolled out into a square of 20 x 12 inches.

A generous amount of mixture of cane sugar, cinnamon, and candied peels was sprinkled all over. It was sliced into five sections.

The sections were stacked on top of each other and further cut into six pieces.

The stacks of dough were placed end to end in a greased loaf pan and covered for the second rise.

The bread after the second rise was baked till golden.


Cinnamon sugar mixture dotted with juicy orange peels between the thin sheets of dough tastes heaven.

Vegan Cinnamon Orange Pull-Apart Bread



  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon orange zest
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ cup unrefined cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dry ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoons candied orange peels/orange zest


  1. In a large bowl, mix together first four ingredients. Keep aside.
  2. Add sugar to warm water, Mix stir in yeast, cover and keep for 10 minutes. It should turn frothy.
  3. Add orange juice and vanilla extract to the yeast mixture.
  4. Add to the flour mix. Knead for 5-7 minutes to get a very smooth, slightly sticky and satiny dough.
  5. Transfer to an oiled bowl. Turn around once to coat evenly with oil. Cover and keep for 1 ½ hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  6. Prepare filling while the dough is rising.
  7. Mix sugar, cinnamon and ginger powder. Add candied orange peels.
  8. Grease one 8 x 4 inches (preferably nonstick) bread pan. Line the bottom with a parchment paper. This helps the bread to come out clean.
  9. Remove dough from the bowl to a floured counter. Roll out dough into 20 x 12 inches rectangle. If the dough is very sticky while rolling, dust with flour and keep rolling.
  10. Brush the rolled dough with oil. Sprinkle the mixture evenly on rolled dough.
  11. Starting with the long end, cut the dough into 5 strips from top to bottom. Stack these strips on top of one another and then cut the stack of strips into 6 equal squares.
  12. Place all the stacks of dough squares together end to end in the greased loaf pan. Cover and allow to rise for another hour.
  13. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  14. Remove from the oven after 10 minutes. Remove from the pan.
  15. Cool on the rack. Serve warm.

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 theme this month is Breads with fresh fruit and no white sugar. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to [email protected]

This month, the Bread Bakers are making breads with fresh fruit and no white Sugar, a theme chosen by Renu of Cook With Renu.
Here are everyone's Bread with fresh fruit and no white sugar:

·  Apricot Sour Cream Bread from Karen's Kitchen Stories
·  Blackberry Blue Cheese Walnut Loaf from Food Lust People Love
·  Eggless Whole Wheat Pear Bread from I camp in my kitchen
·  Hawaiian Sweet Buns from Gayathri's Cook Spot
·  Honey Oatmeal Applesauce Bread from the Mad Scientist's Kitchen
·  Julekage from All That's Left Are The Crumbs
·  Sugar free Harvest Muffins from Cook's Hideout
·  Vegan Orange Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread from Ambrosia 

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Hedgehog Slice

During the recent school break, which has just ended, I was constantly looking for something quick to whip up.  Something delicious, decadent, easy for the kids to enjoy during their time off school.
Hedgehog slice (I believe Australian), has been on my to-do list for quite a while now and these past holidays seemed like the perfect time to make them. The recipe is easy and quite simple. Kids’ participation makes it all the more enjoyable.

“A hedgehog slice is an uncooked flat, square or bar-shaped chocolate snack/dessert, similar to a fudgy chocolate brownie but with alternating lighter and darker areas. The darker areas are chocolate flavoured. The lighter areas are crushed biscuits, rice puffs, or similar. (Wikipedia)”

Basically, it’s a super easy, fool-proof, no-bake fudgy bar that’s full of chocolate, crushed cookies, roasted chopped nuts, raisins and coated with a layer of pure chocolate. The biscuits are broken up and tossed through a chocolate mixture. It is then poured into a tin and refrigerated overnight.  It is chocolate heaven!

I used bitter chocolate for a deep intense taste. The recipe is customizable. You may add nuts and biscuits of choice. Raisins can be substituted with chopped apricots or figs.

Hedgehog Slice


  • ¾ cup condensed milk (use standard 240 ml cup for measurement)
  • 60 grams Butter
  • 125 Grams dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips
  • 150 Grams plain sweet biscuits (digestive, glucose
  • 1/3 cup roasted Peanuts
  • 1/3 cup Raisins
  • 2 tablespoons candied orange peels or 1 tablespoon finely grated zest of an orange
  • 100 grams dark chocolate (for the topping)
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. Grease one 7x7 inch square cake pan. Line with parchment sheet extending 5 cms over one side.
  2. Break biscuits into small pieces.
  3. Combine condensed milk and butter in a thick bottom pan. Stir over low heat until butter melts.
  4. Add chocolate and stir until smooth. Add biscuits, peanuts, raisins, and candied peels. Stir.
  5. Pour mixture into the pan and spread evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 5 hours or until firm. You may refrigerate overnight also.
  6. In a double boiler, melt 100 grams dark chocolate. Add butter. Stir until smooth.
  7. Pour over the set mixture and spread evenly. Refrigerate for another 2 hours.
  8. Remove from the pan. Cut into slices. Serve.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Rice Crackers (Vegan and Gluten free)

Sometimes we are left with excess rice after meals. There are several recipes in our Indian kitchen to use the leftover rice. Most common is the fried rice. Onions are fried and in goes some beans, mushrooms and spring onions. This is a delicious recipe in itself.
We also make paranthas with the leftover rice. Sometimes leftover rice is added to the dough and a bread is baked and we love its soft crumb.
Last time when we had a good amount of leftover rice, we baked crackers. I read the recipe here and was very keen to try. The crackers turned out crisp.

Unbelievably easy to make, healthy, vegan, gluten-free rice crackers are crisp and delicious and make a great snack especially for those who love the simple bland taste. Rice crackers make a great tea time snack and kids love it.

 To make crisp crackers, ensure that the rice should be well cooked, fluffy, not mushy. The dough should not be wet and sticky.

 Press with the parchment sheet to get very thin crackers.

Thick crackers will not bake well and will be chewy. Salt should be on the lower side and one pinch is just enough.

Rice Crackers (Vegan and Gluten-Free)


  • 3 cups cooked Rice
  • 1 ½ tablespoon Coconut oil
  • 1 pinch Salt


  1. Take rice in a blender.
  2. Add coconut oil and salt.
  3. Blend the ingredients to get a mixture of dough like consistency.
  4. Take the mixture out on a plate. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  5. Line a baking tray with a parchment sheet. Cut another parchment sheet of the same measurement and keep aside. We will use this later.
  6. Scoop out half a teaspoon of the dough and roll into a ball. Place the rice balls on the baking tray keeping a little distance between each.
  7. Once all the balls are on the tray, carefully place the second parchment sheet on top, covering all the rice balls. Now flatten the rice balls with your hands or with a rolling pin
  8. Carefully remove the parchment paper.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or when the colour changes to golden.
  10. Cool on the tray and store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Baba-au-Rhum (egg less) | #BreadBakers

The evening is smiling in the brightest and sparkling shades. It is beautiful and transient like the life itself. Soon, it will begin to wear the shades of night. The night will end in the dazzling hues of morning promising another bright day ahead.

From late autumn to winters, we get to see the beautiful winter line once the Sun is down. The hues and colours of the sky are mesmerizing. Sometimes there are a million stars in the sky along with bright streaks and the symphony of shades and hues is just enchanting.

This month, our breadbakers group decided to bake yeasted cakes.
We baked Baba-au-rhum.

Baba-au-Rhum is a rich, flavourful yeasted cake studded with candied citrus peels and black currants and baked in a bundt form, soaked in hot rum syrup and coated with warmed apricot preserve.
In the eighteenth century, an exiled king of Poland soaked a dried cake in an alcoholic drink and thus Baba-au-Rhum originated. 

Now, a famous French yeasted cake, Baba-au-Rhum has complex flavours and is also served with whipped cream, and topped with chopped fruits.

Baba -au-Rhum (Eggless)

Ingredients (Dough)

  • 1 2/3 cup All-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon Salt 
  • 5 tablespoons Butter (softened)
  • 1/3 cup Blackcurrants
  • 1 tablespoon Dark Rum
  •  ½ cup Warm milk
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Yeast
  • 1 tablespoon Candied orange peels (chopped fine)
  • 1 tablespoon Candied Lemon peels (chopped fine)
  • ¼ cup Apricot preserve
  • 1 tablespoon Water 
  • ½ cup Rum syrup (recipe below)

 Filling (optional)

  • 1 cup Heavy Cream 
  • ¼ cup Castor Sugar 
  • ½ cup Strawberries (sliced)

Rum Syrup

  • ½ cup Sugar 
  • 1/3 cup Dark Rum
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add softened butter and mix with hands until well incorporated. Keep aside.
  2. In another bowl. Soak black currants in rum.
  3. Heat milk in a saucepan. Add sugar. Stir to dissolve. Add yeast. Stir. Cover and keep for 10 minutes.
  4. Add this yeasted milk in the bowl that has flour.  Stir with a ladle to get a very smooth and soft dough. This is a no-knead dough. Keep mixing with the ladle till you get a smooth dough.
  5. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and keep in a dry warm place for 1/2 an hour
  6. In the meantime, generously grease one 5 cup bundt pan with butter. Be sure to coat every crevice of the pan. Or, use a tube pan and grease it with butter.
  7. Drain the currants.
  8. Stir the risen dough and fold in black currants and chopped citrus peels.
  9. Spoon the dough into the prepared pan.
  10. Cover and keep in a warm place for 1 ½  to 2 hours or until double.
  11. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes till golden or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  12. Let the cake rest in the pan for 10 minutes before taking out on the cooling rack.
  13. In the meantime, prepare rum syrup.
  14. Take sugar and water in a saucepan and boil till sugar dissolves. Bring it to a rolling boil and turn off the heat.
  15. Take the mixture in a glass jar. Add rum and vanilla extract. Keep aside.
  16. With a spoon, gently pour hot syrup over the cake. Pour half syrup and let the cake absorb before pouring the remaining syrup.
  17. Mix 1/4  cup apricot preserves with 1 tablespoon water and stir over medium heat till slightly runny.
  18. Brush over the cake, and let it trickle down the edges.
  19. Whip the cream till light and fluffy. Stir in caster sugar and whip till peaks form.
  20. To serve, slice the baba, serve with whipped cream and strawberries.

My Tip:

The dough will take longer to rise. Let it rise until double. Add more citrus peels for a greater flavour. You may add golden raisins also.

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.
This month, the Bread Bakers are making yeasted cakes, a theme chosen by Archana of The Mad Scientist's Kitchen

Here are everyone's yeasted cakes:

·  Almond Stollen from Baking Sense
·  Baba-au-Rhum from Ambrosia
·  Chocolate Babka from Sneha's Recipes
·  Cranberry Lardy Cake from Food Lust People Love
·  Drozdzowe from A Day in the Life on the Farm
·  Hartford Election Cake from All That's Left are the Crumbs
·  Orange Yeast Cake from Cooking with Renu
·  Yeasted Lemon Cake from Gayathri's Cookspot
·  Yeasted Orange Cake from The Mad Scientist Kitchen
·  Yeasted Pound Cake from Karen's Kitchen Stories
·  Yeasted Transylvanian Cinnamon Sugar Cake from Sizzling Tastebuds

Monday, 5 November 2018

Akhrot Khajoor Burfi | Walnut Date Fudge (Sugarfree and Vegan)

Autumn is melting into winter. A shift of seasons is perceptible in everything.  Morning mists, winter flowers, chilly winds, and the beautiful winter line are all harbingers of the cold weather.

Yesterday, there was a great commotion in the Golden Trumpet tree. Birds kept swooping in and out of its flower-laden branches. There must be a cat, or a mongoose or a snake or an owl we presumed. The commotion became louder as more birds joined in.  Soon, we spotted a jungle owlet hidden in the clump of leaves.

Diwali is around the corner and preparations are in full swing. Daughter is soaking clay diyas in water. These will be kept in the Sun to dry. She will then prepare wicks with cotton. On Diwali, oil will be filled in the lamps and the lamps will be lit and arranged in a pattern. Kids love to participate in the celebrations and this also involves them and helps them to learn about their culture.

The last batch of sugar-free Diwali sweets is being prepared. Beautiful nutty aroma wafts through as walnuts are being toasted in the oven. Dates have been washed, pitted and chopped fine. We are preparing Walnut Date Burfi.
Walnuts provide healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Walnuts are rich in antioxidants. Walnuts are good for the brain and support healthy aging. Walnuts are an exceptionally nutritious nut. Dates are an excellent natural sweetener and full of goodness. Roasted walnuts give this burfi a great taste. The burfi makes a guilt-free festive sweet and dessert.

Akhrot Khajoor Burfi |Walnut Date Fudge (Sugarfree and Vegan)


  • 1 cup dates
  • ¾ cup walnut kernels
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil (vegan version)


  1. Take one 7x7 inch square cake pan. Line it with parchment paper. Ensure that the parchment paper extends over the sides. Grease the parchment paper.
  2. Wash the dates and soak in hot water for 5 minutes. Remove the seeds. Chop into small pieces.
  3. Toast the walnut kernels in the oven. Set the temperature to 150 degrees C and set the timer to 10 minutes. Or, toast them in a thick bottom steel wok. Walnuts should turn fragrant and change colour slightly.
  4. Chop toasted walnuts into small pieces.
  5. Take ghee/coconut oil in a nonstick pan or a thick bottom steel wok. Add dates. Cook on low flame.
  6. The dates will begin to soften. Mash them with a ladle and cook till the colour becomes dark and mixture collects in the center as one ball.
  7. Add chopped walnuts and mix till evenly distributed.
  8. Empty the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
  9. Keep to cool. Transfer to the refrigerator and keep for 3-4 hours. It will set.
  10. Cut into square slices with a sharp knife. Store in an airtight container.

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