Peanut Butter Blondies

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I’ve been addictive to these blondies and everyone at home just love it! These are made with real nuts and addition of choco chips makes these an heavenly treat.

Baking with nut butters negates the use of butter since nut butters contain their own fat/oil. You can use any nut butter as the main ingredient and these can be made vegan or gluten free or flour-less. Blondies are like brownies but contain less of cocoa or chocolate. As the name suggests, they are brown in colour. They are  great as a snack or you could have them as  dessert with some  ice-cream.

Ingredients 

500 gms nut butters like  peanut butter or almond butter

2 eggs or 30 gms flax seed powder lightly beaten with 6 tbs of water for egg-less version

1 tsp baking soda

120 gms raw sugar

25 gms choco chips

20 gms nuts or cocao nibs

Note: I usually prefer to add some crunch to my blondies by adding cocao nibs or nuts

Procedure

  1. Measure all the ingredients and keep aside.
  2. Lightly beat two eggs in a bowl.
  3. Mix the nut butter, raw sugar, soda , choco chips and nuts into the wet mixture very softly.
  4. Line 10×10 inch baking dish/pan with aluminium foil or parchment paper and spread the mixture evenly throughout.
  5. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree centigrade for about 18-20 minutes.
  6. Once done, allow it to cool before cutting them into desired shapes. Serve warm or at room temperature.  This recipe makes about 25 pieces.

 

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Amaranth Brownies (gluten-free)

Amaranth Brownie

I’ve been baking for a year now….I have realized that baking is like learning how to drive a car. You practice, gauge and finally become an expert. I bake not only to eat healthy but also to rejuvenate. I know, most of you will agree that baking is therapeutic and can really get you all pumped up! I prefer to follow or create recipes which are easy and most of my recipes are made using unrefined ingredients. If you are addicted to refined ingredients, it may take you a while to get used to unrefined ones.  However, these small changes do make a huge impact on your life and I can assure you that I’m experiencing it first hand.

Amaranth

I’ve been wanting to use amaranth flour in a lot of ways….I’ve used them in my choco chip cookies, combined with wheat flour. Amaranth or rajgiri flour has a very distinct taste. Amaranth comes in three forms – grain, flour and puffed. Puffed ones are commonly used in Maharashtra and are easily available. Amaranth flour can be used in baked goodies like cakes, cookies, cereals and if using it to make bread, it is advisable to mix it with another flour for bread to rise. Amaranth grain can be used as a substitute for rice or in cereals or baked goods and the puffed one can be used in making muesli, bars, laddoos or snacks. Flour and grain are not easily available and only a few keep them in stock. SOS is one such brand, which produces locally grown Himalayan amaranth.

Amaranth is one of the oldest grain. It is a  nutritional grain and contains only 4 grams of fat. Amaranth is also very high on proteins.  Amaranth contains four times the calcium found in wheat and two times the iron and magnesium.  Amaranth is very similar to quinoa when compared to it’s evolution and nutritional contents. However, amaranth contains slightly more protein compared to quinoa. Buckwheat is another gluten-free flour that I love baking with and it goes perfectly well with chocolate. Chocolate and amaranth are a good combination too! The earthiness of amaranth flour and the hint of dark chocolate can make this brownie your snack, breakfast or dessert. The addition of amaranth grain gives this brownie a good crunch and a texture. Feel free to add nuts or cocoa nibs. This brownies tastes better each day. I had refrigerated it for a week and found that it matures with age. This is my guilt-free version of  brownie and ofcourse, don’t tell anyone that you have added amaranth flour…Let your family and friends keep guessing 😉

Amaranth Brownie 1

Ingredients:

100 grams dark chocolate (65-70%)

75 grams amaranth flour

100 grams raw sugar (you can add 25 grams more for sweetness)

2 free range eggs

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp baking powder

50 grams butter

50 grams olive oil

25 grams raw amaranth grain or add nuts or chocolate chips

Procedure:

  1. Measure butter, olive oil & chocolate in a bowl and melt it on a double broiler. Keep this aside and allow it to come back to room temperature.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients.
  3. Once the wet mixture is cooled, add two eggs and beat it lightly until fluffy.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, including the amaranth grain and mix well.
  5. Pour this mixture in a pan, lined with parchment paper. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree centigrade for 18-25 minutes or depending on your oven settings.
  6. Allow the brownie to cool completely before cutting into squares. I got 15 pieces. Store these in an air tight container. This can be refrigerated up to a week.

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Keep calm and bake some chocolate cake….

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Running two startups is not easy! I’m tired and stressed. But I also enjoy the new learning. It’s a mixed bag of feelings, I tell you. On a positive note I’ve learnt to multi-task. Managing i2cook.com deliveries and dealing with day-to-day production. On the other hand I’m procuring and on the other I’m selling. For instance, right now,  I’m roasting peanuts and writing this post. Ain’t I cool! 😉

There are days when I’m down or just worked up! I don’t like monotonous work and I do take some productive (ahem) breaks. My logic is very simple, when the pressure at work is too much for me to handle, I just bake. Simple. Bake. Bake bread, cookies or just simple cake. I baked this chocolate cake like three times in less than two months! (God save me from the calories). Once I have like a big unit producing tons of peanut butter, I shall dedicate a room for me. I will have an oven and only bake whenever I feel like taking a productive break ;).

This chocolate cake is simple and gluten-free. I was inspired to make this cake by Smitten Kitchen but I’ve made some changes by trial and error. All the ingredients are meant to be with each other, buckwheat, almonds and dark chocolate is a marriage made in heaven. This cake asks you to bake. Trust me. That is why I ended up making it three times before posting the recipe.

Just bake this cake and you will find reasons like me to keep baking 🙂

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Ingredients

100 gms dark couverture chocolate (70%)

100 gms butter

100 gms organic raw sugar

3 free range eggs

30 gms organic buckwheat flour

35 gms almond meal (blend in silvered almonds in the grinder until you get a fine powder)

1 tsp baking powder

Procedure

  1. Mix the chocolate and butter in  bowl and place it on a double boiler. Allow it to melt completly and keep  aside.
  2. Measure raw sugar in a bowl and break three eggs. Beat it for atleast 10 minutes or till you get a thick and pale yellow mixture. This is the most important part of the cake and a little muscle work (or a fancy gadget) can give you that super crumbly texture.
  3. Gently fold in the melted chocolate mixture.
  4. Sprinkle the buckwheat and almond meal over the batter and fold gently to combine.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting  a toothpick in the center of the cake and it should come out dry.
  6. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan and invert onto the rack. Serve warm or at room temperature dusted with powdered sugar or  dolloped with lightly whipped cream or your favourite ice-cream.

I used organic raw sugar & cocoa beans for plating from i2cook.com.

Updates

“i2” series is a new intiative to network and encourage young entrepreneurs.The theme for this month is “i2write” with two awesome hosts! Please join us if you’re in Mumbai. I was invited by Rodinhoods to present my startup – “There but not there!” Read my post here to view the presentation and what i2cook has been upto 🙂

chocolate cake 2