March 14, 2017

Irish buttermilk soda bread for #Breadbakers | Easy Quick breads

It's lovely to be back amongst the #breadbakers group. Having missed out on the previous editions, I was keen to bake bread for this month. St.patricks day bakes and breads is being celebrated this month as a theme , hosted by Wendy and I present this quick to make Irish soda buttermilk bread. Wiki tells me "Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (IrishLá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day of the Festival of Patrick"), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland." 

It uses bicarbonate of soda as a leavening agent and buttermilk is a welcome egg substitute. Altho traditionally shaped as a boule, I made it in a loaf pan and it came out pretty crumby. The only change I would make next time is use a smaller loaf pan so that the height of the loaf is better.

All in all, we loved it as a toast the next morning . I should also learn to wait for the loaf to cool down n get better slices ; guess baking after a really long break took the better of me :)) 

Let's see how to make it. Adapted from here, 

You would need 

Self raising flour - 170 g
maida / Plain flour - 170 g
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Soda (aka baking soda) - 1/2 tsp
around 250 - 270 ml of buttermilk (not too runny or too thick either)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C
  2. Tip the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and stir.
  3. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk, mixing quickly with a large fork to form a soft dough. (Depending upon the absorbency of the flour, you may need to add a little milk if the dough seems too stiff but it should not be too wet or sticky.) - I used a stand mixer n surprisingly the dough came together very quickly - probably in under 3-4 minutes. 
  4. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly.
  5. Form into a round and flatten the dough slightly before placing on a lightly floured baking sheet. This is where I turned the dough onto a loaf pan (the 9*5 pan was very large for this quantity so I would use a smaller pan next time) 
  6. Cut a cross on the top and bake for about 30-32 minutes ; (I made a few slashes on the top, but guess they weren't deep enough ) or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.


#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 foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.
BreadBakers

March 10, 2017

Ganpati Festival Maharashtrian Thali | Festival Thalis | Indian Thali Series

Well, as I sit down to write this post, so many changes have happened in my personal life in the past fortnight ; most of them are great, and I am anxious for some. But given that time is the greatest healer and God is overlooking every one of us , I am thankful for the bounty that He showers upon us. 

Nothing can soothe me like food - if its a well made Indian food Thali (I am very very partial to Indian Cuisine - much to the chagrin of my kids), its a treat. Considering we don't eat out very frequently, I take Sundays as an opportunity to present different thaalis (all home-cooked and healthy) at home, and all (well, most) of them are appreciated with gusto. Although am yet to adventure into the North Eastern cuisine for my thaalis, over the next three days, we shall see different thaalis from 3 states of India.

I love the diversity and balance that comes with Indian Thalis - something that will hopefully inspire researchers in the West to come and tell us how healthy we Indians eat (barring that odd indulgence of deep fried fats and sweet, which incidentally celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar holds a no-views barred of);  but having a well made Thali is something me and my family relish.  The balance of carbs, fats, proteins and sweet along with the sweet-sour-spicy-astringent properties of food is something most Thalis across India vouch for with their simple-to-elaborate spreads.

Ahh ! I digress. Writing, like eating good food - is cathartic to me :D



Today is a festival Thali made for the Ganpati festival with ample inputs from my blogger friend Pradnya (over whatsapp). I was keen to present a simple yet festive Maharashtrian Thali and everyone loved it a lot.  Thanks Pradnya for the same :-)

Do check out the Thali to see what was made.

March 5, 2017

Wholewheat Orange Choco chip Muffins | Eggless Baking

After the chocolate overdose in yesterday's Triple Chocolate Cupcakes, I needed something I could bite into :) So, one of my fav combos - Orange and chocolate (actually my best ever is Ginger OR chilli with chocolate), and this is a great healthy breakfast option.

No refined sugar or flour. Just plain everyday pantry essentials and you have a sumptuous muffin for snack or breakfast time. I am waiting for the summer vacation to make this again in larger quantities for the frequent hunger pangs that strike kids :)

Wholewheat Orange Choco chip Muffins - easy breakfast or snack option


Prep time : 10 mins, bake time : 18 mins (varies from oven to oven) ; makes : 6-7 medium sized muffins

Ingredients:

  • Wholewheat flour - 1.25 cups (1 cup = 200 ml)
  • organic powdered jaggery - 1/3 cup
  • Baking powder - 1/3 tsp
  • Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
  • Neutral oil - 1/3 cup
  • Yogurt - 1/4 cup
  • Fresh Orange Juice -  1/4 cup
  • Orange essence - few drops ( I didnt use)
  • Orange zest - 1/2 tsp (dont skip)
  • Choco chips - about 3 tbsp


Method:

  1. Sieve flour with Baking powder and baking soda. 
  2. Dissolve the jaggery in the yoghurt, beat well, add the oil, juice, essence if using, zest and mix well.
  3. Preheat oven to 170 C.
  4. Add the sieved flour in batches slowly to the liquid mixture. Mix slowly till there are no dry streaks.
  5. Slowly fold in half of the choco chips without melting them.
  6. spoon batter into prepared muffin liners and top with remaining choco chips
  7. Bake for 18-20 mins or till a skewer / tooth pick comes out clean.
  8. Retain them in the moulds for further 4-5 mins. Then serve warm or at room temperature. 

March 4, 2017

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes | Easy cupcake recipes

When there’s chocolate, the chocolate lovers go absolutely overboard. But for a person like me, any excess chocolate (or even a tiny bit, unless its Lindt) puts me off. The kids had been asking for a decadent chocolate cupcake - bakery style, especially after the elder one saw I was making a post on hosting chocolate delights ! 

So, adapted Gayatri’s recipe with some changes, halved it (or should I say made 1/4 of the recipe), made exactly 4 cupcakes, and voila, kids were super happy. The only other grumpy person was the husband who asked why I couldn’t have made just ONE more for him ! ha ha :)

so, here they are “ Triple Chocolate Cupcakes” - I think I used every form of chocolate I had at home that day and the kids had no qualms about gobbling it down - the mom in me was super happy and for once I relaxed although it was a chocolate overload ! 

Happy faces, happy mom :))


To make 4 cupcakes , you would need:
  • Whole wheat flour - 1/4 cup
  • APF / Maida - 2 TBSP
  • Oil - 1/4 cup (original recipe used butter)
  • Brown sugar - 1/3 cup
  • Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
  • hung Yoghurt - 1/3 cup
  • Dark Cocoa powder - 2 tsp
  • Vanilla Essence - few drops
  • Hot water - 3 TBSP (use as needed)

Frosting:
  • Real dark chocolate - 2 TBSP
  • Milk - 1/4 cup
  • Chocochips - 2tsp
  • Icing sugar - 1 tsp

Topping:
Glazed Chocolate sprinkles a.k.a Chocolate Vermicelli

Method:
For the Cupcakes--
Sieve the flours with baking soda and cocoa powder. whisk the yoghurt & sugar well. Add oil, vanilla essence and 1 TBSP of hot water. Now add the dry mix and fold in gently. If there are any dry streaks of flour, add 1 tsp of how water at a time and get a flowing batter (it would be slightly thick)
Pour into prepared muffin moulds with liners and bake at 180 C for 15-20 mins (mine were done at 18 mins). Cool a bit. 

Frosting--
While the cupcakes bake, prepare the frosting. Melt the chocochips and chocolate over a double boiler or in a microwave. Once slightly melted, add in the milk and icing sugar, take off heat and mix gently to a thick ganache / frosting (spoonable) consistency

Spoon the ganache while still warm over the slightly cooled cupcakes over a wire rack (lick the rest of the ganache / frosting that drips down :p), top with chocolate sprinkles.

Set for 5 mins in the fridge and see them disappear :)

Sending to my own event Kids Delight - Chocolate Dishes and BM 74 



March 3, 2017

Vegan Chilli Chocolate Mousse | Easy Desserts

This was an absolute treat and surprise that my elder one put together all by herself. I am mighty proud that she has a foodie gene in her, but she truly outdid herself here - this was a welcome treat once me and the husband returned from a luncheon one afternoon. Even the styling & clicks are by her :-)

Its vegan, its chocolatey, its delicious and its got some heat ! what’s more - its got LOADS of love !! thank you my dear girl - may you shine like a star always :)

So, lets see what all went to this absolutely decadent dessert thats sure to be a party hit in you house too :)

Prep time: 10 mins ; no cook ; chilling time : 15-30 mins ; serves : 2 


Ingredients:
  • Dark chocolate - she used cocoa bars
  • Ripe banana - 2 medium
  • sugar - 2 TBSP
  • cinnamon powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Red chilli powder-  a pinch (spicy variety)
  • Ginger - 1/4 inch
  • Ice Cubes - few
  • vegan Choco chips & Nuts - to top 
method (as she made it) ...
  • Blend banana,ginger ,ice cubes, and dark chocolate to a super creamy texture. Now add the sugar and mix well. Add half of the chilli powder and mix well.
  • Chill & Set for 30 mins.
  • Top with rest of chilli powder, cinnamon powder, nuts and choco chips

Sending to my own event Kids Delight - Chocolate Dishes and BM 74 


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