Category Archives: Baked from Scratch

chocolate chip oatmeal cookies

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Ingredients:

125 gms soft butter

1 1/4 cup flour

3/th cup brown sugar

1/2 cup oats

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

Cream the butter,sugar and eggs together.Add the essence and then fold in flour and oats.Chill it in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Using a spoon,drop blobs of cookie dough(its a little sticky) on a cookie sheet and then,using a wet spoon squish the blob to make a flat cookie.
Bake at 160deg for 10-15 minutes.
Get ready to bite into warm soft cookies.
I have no idea if these turn crunchy on cooling,because they never last that long here!

 

Note the cookies do spread a fair bit,so if you are OCD about getting each cookie the same size/shape,then,this might not be your thing 😀

Of carrot cakes and truth about frostings… Day 5

Ms.Aadya was going to the zoo today and its sort of a tradition in this house that Mumma has to bake her something special for such occasions.I asked her what she wanted and she said,”Carrot Cake”..So,that’s what I baked. I have to tell you,it was quite an experience,cracking eggs,when I had my own cheer-leading team of midget sized people! With every egg that I cracked,the girls cheered..I whisked and they sang and danced..:) I had only just creamed the oil and sugar and Aadi wanted a taste.Nanhi didn’t like the look of the creamed brown sugar,but she threw a tantrum because only didi got to taste it!! Oh! the joys of sibling rivalry!
So,the recipe-this one calls for oil instead of butter.My mom was forever looking for ways to replace butter with low-cal options,so you can imagine her joy when a friend told her that she could replace butter with vegetable oil.Since then all the cakes in our house were made using vegetable oil.And every now and again,I play around with the basic recipe to add flavors.
Without further ado,I present :
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Ingredients :

Yields 1 Glad BBQ pan (29cm X 19cms X 5cms)

3 eggs
1 and 1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup chilled water
2.5 cup self raising flour
2.5 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped nuts(almonds,walnuts,cashews and pistachios)
1/2 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
1 tsp cinammon powder
1 tsp nutmeg powder

Method:

Pre-heat the oven at 180 degs (160 fan forced). Grease and sprinkle some flour on the cake pan.

Cream the oil and Sugar together,making sure that all the lumps are broken.Add one egg at a time.Add the flour,walnuts,carrots,salt,spices and the baking soda.Mix it together gently,adding little water at a time.

Pour the batter in the baking pan and bake for 30-40 minutes,till the fork comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and let it cool..

Once cool,you can frost the cake and garnish it.I used Philadelphia Frosting It was divine and for garnish I used chopped nuts(walnuts,almonds,cashews,pistachios)

If you want to make your frosting from scratch,I totally recommend this recipe from Taste.com

60 gm cream cheese
30 gm butter,softened
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 cup icing sugar.

Place cheese, butter and vanilla in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until pale. Gradually add icing sugar mixture, beating until combined.
So quick and it turns out so nice and fluffy..ohh yumm!

I still remember the first time I tasted a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting at starbucks in a Borders Book store in Delaware and my first reaction was..umm why cheese? But with every mouthful,I liked it a little better..and now I can’t think of any other frosting that will compliment a carrot cake as the Cream cheese.
That being said,I know my daughter and though Aadya insisted on the CC frosting,I knew it that she wouldn’t like it.I let her taste it,before I frosted the cake..she did and when I asked,she said..hmm not bad…I frosted the cake,she waited patiently and then worked her way through her piece slowly..very slowly..and then,she said,looking extremely shattered..’OK Mumma..I need to tell you the truth about the frosting..I don’t quite like it’
SD and I couldn’t stop laughing..I removed the frosting and she gobbled the cake up.
But she is like me.. she is warming up to the cream cheese.. every now and again,she wants to take a little lick of the frosting…
I heart this cake..because its so light and moist and not very sweet.Its just perfect to school snack or after-school snack or even great with the afternoon cuppa.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do..If you try the recipe,please leave me a comment tell me how you liked it:) and also send me pictures,so I can add them to my reader’s pictures page!

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I can’t believe…

… that its been over two months since I wrote anything here…:(
So much to write,so much to share…I haven’t tried any exciting recipes lately,not baked a lot either..so much so that yesterday when I wanted to bake a cake,I realised I had run out of baking powder(gasp!) and my bicarb of soda had expired nearly 6 months back!:(
Anyway,Thank heavens for Self raising flour..I used that and added one extra egg and got the most amazing,soft,moist,melt-in-your-mouth chocolate cake.


I used this recipe and for the Frosting,this is what I did-
Take 50 gms of chocolate melts and 30 gms of unsalted butter in a bowl and melt in the microwave,for 1 minute. take out,stir,melt again for 1 min.
Add 1/4 cup of icing sugar and 1/4 cup of warm milk. blend well,using a whisk.. and then,pour over the cake.

The husband usually is not a chocolate fan and was grumbling,why I always prefer chocolate over Vanilla(like there is any comparison!!!) and how I have converted the daughter as well..But he tasted the cake and guess who had most of it!!! All I can tell you is,it wasn’t a girl!LOL!

In other news,on my needles is a garter stitch afghan.. dunno when I will finish it…seeing as the carpel tunnel has left my right hand,nearly useless,when it comes to writing or knitting…Also on the same needles is a stockinet stitch scarf for Ms.Aadya.. well,that I have to finish quickly.. come sun or rain..because she wants to wear it to Kindy,next week..so wish me luck!
I hope you have been well.. I will try and update,more and sooner!

Orange-Carrot Cake

Remember the pulp left over from this delicious juice?Take a look:

Isn’t it gorgeous??
I decided to turn it into a cake. And what a delicious cake it was. And it called for minimum sugar too.

To make this cake,I just twisted,my mom’s regular cake recipe,to accomodate the pulp.This recipe was a hand-me-down from one of my mom’s friends and it was the first cake I ever baked.It still is,my go-to recipe,for when I want to quickly whip up a cake for tea.
Here goes:

Ingredients :

3 eggs
3 cups Self Raising(whole wheat) flour
1 cup sugar
3/4th cup oil
1 and 1/2 cup orange carrot pulp
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp cinammon powder

Method:

Beat eggs and powdered sugar together.Add oil to the mix and slowly start adding the AP flour.Simulatenously,also add the fruit pulp.Finally add the ginger and cinammon and mix a final time. Pour into a pre-greased tin and bake at 180 deg C for 20-25 mins,or till the skewer,inserted in the center of the cake,comes out clean.

This would yield a 9″ square cake.
If you do try it,do leave a comment and let me know,if it was:)
Happy Baking !!

P.S. you can reduce the quantities of sugar.. I had to add this much for the resident sweet tooth!

Choco-chip muffins

I made these gorgeous muffins for Aadya’s school lunch tomorrow 🙂
The recipe is from here and my only changes to it are:
1)Used Whole wheat self raising flour instead of regular one.
2)replaced margarine with canola oil.

My take- The cupcakes are nice and moist.Only,next time I will add a little more than the 3/4 cup sugar recommended..even a cup or little more than that would be fine too. I made mini muffins and baked a 9″ round cake with the remaning batter.. pretty cool,eh? Oh!I would reduce the temperature by about 10 degrees too.. (atleast in my oven)
Hope you like enjoy making these too:)

Back with a Flan…

Yes,yes I know,I keep disappearing…:(
I have many WIPs and so many times,I think about blogging about those but,just don’t get around to. I was away on a vacation..and obviously no food posts!As in,I didn’t cook much.
Its been two weeks since I came back and things are just warming up in the kitchen. Last weekend,I had about 2kgs of pears at home..come on they were very cheap..about $3 for 2kgs..and I CANNOT miss a good deal..
So,I had to buy the pears..and all the time,I kept thinking of <a href="http://www.frillsinthehills.com/2010/04/in-season-pears-easy-pear-flan.html">this recipe</a>.I first saw it 2-3 months back and had booked marked it. And boy!!this one is a keeper.Everyone loved it.I am going to make it again,this week,to finish the remaining pears 🙂

Go on,feast your eyes:

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I am going publish this post now,before I drown in my own drool!!LOL!

No frills cake


It was DH’s birthday on the 10th of June and he wanted a simple no frill cake.I tried to tempt him,”Black Forest??” He didn’t budge..So,I just did what he asked..:P
The Cake was Vanilla sponge ,made from this recipe.The filling was sweet light thickened cream and chocolate shavings.The frosting was buttercream..and the cake was garnished with chocolate shavings.
Last month,I baked about 35 cupcakes for a friend’s daughter’s 5th birthday celebrationg in school.She wanted chocolate cupcakes with white icing..I was looking for a buttercream recipe that worked..thats when I hopped across several blogs and a basic recipe for buttercream,stayed in my mind.I didn’t try it that time..but this time,I decided to give it a go..
Here’s the recipe for buttercream frosting-
Ingredients:
1 part salted butter(softened)
1 part unsalted butter (softened)
2 parts of icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence.
3-4 tsps milk.

Make sure the butter is soft and at room temperature.Cream the salted and unsalted butter..,add the vanilla essence.add the icing sugar slowly,adding milk ,one tsp at a time..And that’s it..you have the softest,fluffiest butter frosting ready!
I can’t find the link,that I am talking about,if anyone,has the link,for it..would you,please share it with me?

Whole wheat herb&cheese muffins


Weekend Brunches are back in our household-only difference,now its good home-cooked food,and not cafe/restaurant fare!
The deal is -hubby makes the tea and I dish out the goodies..fair enough?You think?? I have to grovel every other weekend..for that cuppa chai! but on those other weekends,when he makes it without the grovelling,its a bliss!So anyway,coming back to the weekend Brunch..on Saturday,I made this Spinach casserole,following Monu’s recipe,as it is..it turned out great..only I should have used more spinach.We had it with Papad and Boondi Raita.
On Sunday,I made these whole wheat herb and cheese muffins. I had been wanting to try savory muffins for a long time..but didn’t find any recipe,that I wanted to try.So,today,I decided to experiment..and it was a success.
Here you go:

Savory Whole Wheat Herb and Cheese Muffins

Ingredients
1.5 cups whole wheat flour(atta)
1/2 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup grated cheese(any cheese you like)
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup olive oil spread
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
2-3 tsp chopped mint
2-3 tsp chopped corriander
1 medium sized onion-fine chopped
2 green chilies chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Oil for greasing

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 200degF or 180 deg fan forced.
Sift the flours and baking powder in a bowl.
Add the cheese,herbs and salt and pepper to the flour mix.
Melt the olive oil spread in a pan and pour it into the flour bowl,reserving about 2 tsp melted butter for frying onions.Fry the onions till translucent.Let it cool.
Beat the egg and milk together.Slowly add this to the flour mixture,stirring simultaneously.Mix well to incorporate all the flour.Add more milk if required.
The batter will be lumpy.
Put the batter in a greased muffin tray,filling each cup about two-thirds full.
Bake it at 180deg fan forced for 15-20 minutes,till the tester comes out clean.
Serve hot with ketchup or dips of your choice.
We had ours with ketchup,hummus,garlic sauce and Chai!
I think it will go well with a mint chutney too.Next time,may be I’ll replace the chai with freshly squeezed orange juice!yummm..
If you happen to bake this,do let me know,how it was 🙂
Enjoy!

Eggless Date cake


This is one of my own recipes.Winter brings out the baker in me and I have to have warm,fresh from the oven treats in my kitchen.
I heart dates,for their moist texture and natural sweetness. They are also a great source of iron.But,for some reason,I can never get Aadi or DH to eat it . But they love cakes and baked goodies.So,I had to find some way to introduce these yummies to their tongues and tummies.
I looked for some recipes,but didn’t find one that I liked.I wanted to use whole wheat flour and minimum or no sugar.So,this is what I came up with:

Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat flour (you can also use all purpose flour)
1 cup chopped dates,soaked in 1/3 cup warm water
300 gms whipped cream
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped nuts(optional)
Preparation:
Puree the dates and keep aside.
Sift the flour and baking powder and put it in a mixing bowl.
Add the date puree,whipped cream, and oil and start creaming.The mix will be very dry and hard to beat,if required add 1-2 tsps of water. Keep beating till the batter becomes light and fluffy.
Pour in a pre-greased 9″ tin and bake at 160deg fan forced for 15-20 minutes or till the tester comes out clean.

The cake comes out moist and golden .Cut it into pieces and store in an air-tight box.

Cream n’ Pineapple Cake


Last year,when we organised a party to celebrate my daughter’s birthday,we were very disappointed by the choice of cakes offered. Either the cake was too dry,or the design wasnt nice..or we didn’t want the frosting that they offered or they didn’t agree to do a frosting of our choice..OR..it was just TOOOOOO expensive.
We still ended up paying $$ and getting a cake that we didn’t like..Ok make that I didn’t like..DH doesnt care much anyway.That day,I decided that come what may,I will bake the cake for her b’day hence forth.
The cake in the picture is the one that I baked for her 3 rd birthday party,2 days back.
Its the first time I baked a sponge cake..and I can tell you,this recipe is a KEEPER!The recipe is a hand-me-down from my brother,who is an HM graduate.He made me try out a sample 1-egg cake..and I was hooked.I baked it in the nite,iced it.DH and Aadi loved the taste and I was happy with the result.
And my scientist brain works better,in stress!So,baking that one egg cake was a great help and made for easy calculations.
To make this cake,you need-
Ingredients-
For the Sponge Cake:
Self Raising flour- 200 gms
Corn Flour-1 tablespoon
Sugar- 200 gms( Sugar- can vary depending on your taste)
Eggs- 4
Baking Powder – 1 1/2 tspn
Vanilla extract- 1 tspn

For the filling-
400 gms whipped cream- thick and fluffy
1/2 can pineapple pieces(Do Not throw away the syrup,keep it aside.

For the final finishing-
700 gms whipped cream,thick and fluffy(I used ready to serve whipped cream,which came in 400 gms tub)-chilled
Pineapple rings
Halved strawberries.

Preparation:
Line and grease two 9″ round cake tins.Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C(160-fan forced).
Sift the flour,corn flour and baking powder and keep aside.
Separate the yolks and egg-whites.
Gradually add sugar,to the egg yolks and mix using a whisk.Add the vanilla extract and continue whisking,till the mixture turns to cream color and gets a buttery consistency.
Divide the flour mix in three part and slowly fold into the egg-sugar mix,using a spatula.
When the mix gets too dry and it gets difficult to move the spatula,then beat the egg white,till its frothy and add it to the mixture,little at a time.
The final batter shud be creamy and smooth and should fall in ribbons,when you lift the spatula..
Put the batter in the greased tins and bake for 15-20 mins.When you insert a knife in the cake and it comes out clean,turn off the oven immediately and remove the cake from the oven after 5-10 minutes.
Let it cool.

Puttin the cake together :
Put the cakes upside down.Prick the surface with a fork and spoon some pineapple syrup on to the cake,till all the surface is wet.Let the cake absorb the syrup.Repeat again after 10-15 mins.Let the syrup be absorbed once again.
Spread a thick layer of whipped cream on the base cake.
Put a layer of pineapple pieces on that and then,spread another thick layer of whipped cream.Keep the other cake on this,like a sandwich.
Cover the top of the cake with whipped cream.Cover the sides of the cake with whipped cream.Cover with cling wrap and let it sit overnight or atleast a couple of hours.
When the base coat is set,spread a fresh layer of whipped cream on top.Smooth out the top and sides.Garnish with pineapple rings and strawberry halves.
Let it chill for a few hours,before serving.

Here’s what my final cake looked like.My daughter wanted a Scooby Doo cake and so,I propped a Scooby Doo figurine in the middle.

I can’t wait to try it with other fruits…The cake was super soft and super moist-totally melt-in-your-mouth.When my brother suggested pineapple cake..the first one that popped in my mind was Monginis pineapple cake..and I so wanted to re-create that..And I am glad,this is the closest thing to it,that I have tasted in all the years that I have been away.
BTW,when I decided to bake this cake,I searched the blogs for Pineapple cream cake and stumbled upon Soma’s recipe..it is slightly different..but,her pics are very detailed.
Hope you enjoy baking it,as much as I did..:)
Happy Baking.