Friday, March 27, 2015

Whole Wheat Spinach Bread and the Healthy Brigade !

Believe me when I tell you that raising a boy is so much easier than raising a girl . Reading this statement you might be confused as whether your visit was to a parenting blog or a food one. Please be assured that it is the latter . If you are still wondering as to what it has got to do with spinach bread , I have some explaining to do. You see, my firstborn is a boy and a perfect candidate for "whatever mama cooks, I will eat," but my daughter who followed him after 4 years is the opposite. Her first question every time she steps off the school bus is, "What  are you going to give me for lunch tomorrow?"  I might be the Gemini in the house, but she is the one who needs constant variety in her meal without any compromise in taste or quality.

Mama dearest has to worry about things being healthy too . That's when spinach paranthas get a makeover and become the even more healthy spinach bread. So, if daughter dearest refuses to take paranthas (more than once in a fortnight) , mama has it covered, Not to mention considerably less mess involved is highly appreciated by me. This particular spinach bread recipe has been loosely adapted from here . As always , I have taken the liberty of doing a lot of substitutions and omissions and the result (I believe) is an even better bake .

Loaf pan bakes are my personal favorites ..there is something so wholesome about them . This spinach bread is baked in one too and (as with any other loaf pan bake,) the temperature used is 325 degrees F, as opposed to 350 Degrees F .It is my personal belief that the bake comes out better that way with even texture, and far less cracks . But each oven is different with it own hot spots , so please take the time to figure out what works for you.

Ingredients -

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup oat flour (just give oats a quick run in the food processor)
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp black pepper powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup yogurt
3 tbsp flax meal
4 tbsp almond meal 
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cup finely chopped spinach.


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and grease a loaf pan for the bake.

In a bowl , add all the wet ingredients like eggs, yogurt, oil and mix them up well with the help of a whisk.

Now , add baking powder, baking soda, Italian seasoning, black pepper, flax meal, almond meal, and salt ,and give a quick mix.

Follow that by gently adding the oat flour and the sieved whole wheat flour. Do not over mix after adding flour.

Chopped spinach is added at the end, and given a quick fold . Transfer the mixture to the oven and bake for a good 40 -45 minutes, or till a tooth pick comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack and enjoy with a hot cup of tea/coffee, or have it as part of a meal .

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Eggless Chocolate Orange Brownies Finally !!

I am continuing with another egg less bake. If you were inclined to ask me why , I would probably reply that I like to do things in pairs . Sometimes I like to do them more than twice like bake brownies every week . I like to bake them in different flavors and as such  constantly experiment with new ingredients . In my pursuit of of the above mentioned, came across this recipe which immediately grabbed my attention .

Chocolate and orange we were talking . We all know that Mocha (chocolate + coffee) tastes divine so now it was it was time to give chocolate and orange a try . Of course, I had heard of this combination before but had never tried it for myself . I was itching to do so and so this bake seemed an apt choice considering it was egg less as well. Another factor that motivated me was that this recipe was completely butter/oil free. We all aspire for healthy eating so if a dessert can boast of it  then it surely becomes a guilt free indulgence.

Note : The original recipe calls for three tablespoons or freshly squeezed orange juice and I went along with that. The Roys loved the orangy flavor in the chocolatty brownies but Mr.Roy was of the opinion that more of the orange juice could be added. So , by all means add another tablespoon or two if you so desire.

Ingredients -

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup nuts
3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 tbsp orange peel
1 tsp ginger juice

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C .Also, grease and line your baking tray.
Melt the chocolate chips using the double boiler method or in a microwave remembering to stir it after every one minute if using the latter.

Once the chocolate has melted, add some of the liquid ingredients like orange juice, ginger juice, milk , sugar as well as the orange peel. Give it a good mix with the help of a spatula and now add the yogurt.

Now fold in the sieved flour, cocoa powder, baking powder , nuts and water. The correct manner to retain maximum air by lifting the spatula in the air before folding.

Transfer to the greased tray and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy !

Friday, March 20, 2015

Eggless Vanilla Custard Cake and Childhood Memories

The word "Custard" is like a time portal for me. Any mention of it and I am transported back to my childhood where I can see myself relishing the chilled fruit custard served at countless parties and formal dinners. It was my favorite dessert and I could gorge on it without feeling any remorse as to how many calories were consumed . Life was much simpler without the constant calorie watch . So, imagine my excitement when I came across this custard cake recipe . Of course, my excitement was doubled when I found it was eggless . Almost daily there are requests for eggless bakes and now was my chance to oblige.

This is a great recipe with minimum preparation time , handful of ingredients and a dump all in a bowl approach. Only a few things need to paid attention to .Just remember to have your milk and butter at room temperature. Sieve your flour and custard powder and do remember to grease the pan . I forgot to do so ..honestly..still was lucky enough that it consented to come out of the pan without crumbling on me. It is not a big cake so use a shorter pan .

1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar  ( I used 1/2 cup as shown in the pic..adjust according to taste)
1/2 cup vanilla custard powder 
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp butter

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C and grease a small cake pan.
In a bowl , beat the butter . Add the brown sugar and milk and beat till smooth.
Sieve the flour , baking powder and custard powder and mix it in the butter sugar milk mixture.
Now transfer the mixture in a small cake pan and bake for 20 -25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
Cool on a wire cooling rack . Decorate with raspberries , cut and enjoy !

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Beetroot Brownies and Virus Blues !

First let's talk about virus blues or in other words let me whine a little about how miserable I have feeling lately . Started with a cold and sore throat and progressed to chills and tension headaches. Yes, not a pretty picture..still suffering the ill effects so thought of fighting it off with some baking therapy. Nothing like the sight of batter sticking to the whisk to cheer oneself and fight those virus blues away ...right ??? Not to mention  cleaning the above mentioned batter from the whisk ...what a comforting chore that is .Try it out and if it appeals to you , you are more than welcome to help me with it !

Time to talk about the bake now . Beetroot brownies ..why ? because they were present right there on the kitchen counter and I had been planning to bake some beetroot chocolatty thing for quite some time now . If I have to give in in to any sort of guilt for eating chocolate ..might at the least soften it by adding something healthy with loads of nutritional value . Some of them being that beetroots are rich in folate and a good source of magnesium . What's even better ? A new study claims that they also help in lowering blood pressure . 

Ingredients -
200 gms or 7oz dark chocolate morsels
1 cup sugar
4 oz butter (room temperature)
3-4 medium beetroot (boiled and chopped)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
3 eggs (room temperature)

To a pan , add the roughly chopped beetroots and some water. Cook it on medium flame for 7-8 minutes till tender.
While the beetroot is being cooked, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C . Additionally also grease a rectangular pyrex dish for baking the brownies.

Drain off the cooked beetroot  and transfer it to a food processor or blender along with the chocolate , butter and vanilla. Blend it to get a smooth mixture.

Cream the sugar and eggs with the help of a hand mixer till it is foamy . The whole process should take about 2 minutes.

Now with the help of a spatula , add the blended beetroot mixture and with the help of a spatula or wooden spoon , gently fold it in. ( Do not use the hand mixer now).

Follow this by gently folding in the sieved flour and cocoa powder . Try to fold gently as to not deflate the batter.
Transfer to  the baking sheet and after giving it a gentle tap keep it to bake for 20 -25 minutes. Take care as to  not over bake the brownies.
Cool on a wire rack and decorate with stencil and powdered sugar as desired !

Recipe Source : BBC Good Food