Cupcakes are everyone’s favourite and the best part is that they are bite sized (to make us less guilty). Cupcakes are every where! There are dedicated stores only doing cupcakes and you even have cupcake vending machines in America. Have you seen the cupcake wars on television? Originally these cakes where baked in small cups, hence the name cup cake.
If you have been reading my blog you will notice that the use of refined flour is very minimal. I use a lot of wheat flour in my baking and sometimes use ragi or amaranth flour to make brownies or chocolate cake. I use unrefined and sulphurless raw sugar or coconut sugar in my baking. I also keep a jar of vanilla sugar which comes handy every time I bake. Vanilla sugar can be made by adding few pods of vanilla into your jar of sugar. I always tend to forget to add vanilla in my baking but luckily the vanilla sugar always comes to my rescue.
These chocolate cupcakes are eggless and I’ve made them twice already before penning down the recipe here. These are very soft in texture. They seem so easy and seamless to make that your family or friends may not even know if you have added oat flour.
- Measure and mix all the dry ingredients like flour, soda, salt, cocoa powder, vanilla, sugar in a bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients to this dry mixture and mix well.
- Pour the cake mixture in the cupcake molds and bake at 160 degree centigrade for about 15-18 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack once done. Makes 24 nos. You could also frost your cupcakes with some chocolate ganache.
Polenta is a new ingredient that I have been exploring in different ways, a cake is what I came up with; different isnt it? It is also a gluten free ingredient. Gluten is a protein found in many grains like wheat, bulgur (dalia), couscous, oats etc. A lot of people these days are either being diagnosed as gluten intolerant or choose to go on a gluten free diet for various reasons. What I realized was that polenta is a great ingredient to work with! From savory to sweet, it knows how exactly to blend in with its fellow ingredients. Polenta is also a great substitute for mashed potatoes or you could also serve them as a side in your steaks or bakes.
Polenta cake has a nice moist, grainy and crumbly texture. The minute I saw the finished cake, I knew it has to be good! This cake can be served with your tea/coffee or as a dessert. I recently had some guests at home and served it with some poached peaches, infused with vanilla. You could also use mixed poached fruits to give it a nice colorful and fruitful appeal. I also served mine with some cream cheese. However, my friends on the second serving suggested that ice-cream would be a really good option.
100 gms fine polenta
100 gms ground almond or almond meal
100 gms butter at room temperature
100 gms raw sugar
5 gms baking powder
2 eggs at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or pure vanilla powder
- Sieve polenta and baking powder in a bowl. Add almond meal and mix. Keep this dry mix aside.
- Mix the butter and sugar in a separate bowl. Add eggs and mix until creamy in texture.
- Add vanilla and dry mix to this wet mixture. Mix until combined. Do not mix vigorously.
- Put this mixture in a round cake pan and bake at 180 degree centigrade in a pre heated oven for about 25 minutes or depending on your oven settings.
- Test the cake by inserting a tooth pick and checking if the center is cooked. Cool on a wire rack for at two hours and serve warm or cold with ice-cream or some poached fruits.
I’ve noticed that the cake tastes much better the next day or on a third day. You can store this cake at room temperature for 3 days in cold weather condition.
Ingredients like polenta & raw sugar are available at i2cook.com.
Like I said in my previous post, you will be seeing a lot more strawberry recipes this season. For starters, why not start the day with some delicious strawberry pancakes. I found this recipe on Chefinyou and instantly wanted to try them out.I do agree with DK’s recipe of strawberry pancake: Normal pancakes with some strawberry syrup drizzled on top! Naaah, not my thing at all! When I say Strawberry Pancake, I imagine biting into some berries inside my pancakes, not just outside and certainly not like a syrup alone! Wow! This really tempted me try the pancakes.
Chef Christian Faure, M.O.F (Master Craftsman of France), was recently in Mumbai and I happen to stumble upon a very handy tip for strawberries: he says that if strawberries are placed in the sun for 10 minutes; the warmth helps out to bring the flavour of the fruit. I haven’t tried it though but would love to hear from you if you noticed any change 🙂
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 egg whites
1 cup milk
1tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla extract
maple syrup/honey, powdered sugar & some strawberries to serve
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and keep it aside.
Take the wet ingredients in another bowl and mix well. Slice thin slices of strawberries.
Mix both the wet and the dry ingredients together slowly. Add the sliced strawberries and stir very gently.
Grease the skillet lightly, and drop about 1/4 cup of the mixture. Spread it lightly.You will see bubbles popping on the surface and will also see the edges done. It’s time for you to flip the pancakes with the help of a spatula and cook the other side as well.
Serve your hot pancakes with maple or honey or strawberry syrup, powdered sugar and some sliced or whole strawberries. I got about 4 pancakes.
My tastebuds: It definitely made my day and added a sweet fragrance to my morning.
This is my submission to Blog Bites 9:The Holiday Buffet, hosted by One Hot Stove.
Passion fruit juice has always been one of my favorite. I like the flavour and the sweet fragrance of the fruit. I recently visited my mother-in law and got to taste her freshly grown passion fruit. Strangely, not many people know about the fruit as it is rarely found in any super markets in India; at least I’ve never seen anyone selling it here. I’ve always tasted them fresh from the garden. I came back home excited with a basket-full of passion fruit and an urge to try something totally different.
Passion fruit is rich in vitamins A and C and a good source of potassium and iron. The seeds are high in fibre.I used to throw away the seeds, thinking that they may be bitter, without even tasting them. Only recently, I discovered that the seeds are not bitter and also have a nice crunchy taste.
If using the pulp and seeds simply cut in half and spoon out the flesh. To extract the juice, scrape the pulp and seeds against a sieve with a wooden spoon (if you want to omit the seeds). A lot of fruit are needed for a little juice, but a little juice goes a long way.A syrup made by boiling down the diluted juice with a little sugar further intensifies the flavor and makes a wonderful fruit salad dressing or cocktail ingredient.
I was inspired to try this recipe in one of the websites, taste.com and liked the entire blend of flavours. I have made some changes in comparison to the original and the result turned out to be tasty and visually appealing.
125ml mango juice
1 tbs caster sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds removed
4 large passion fruit, pulped
2 bananas, peeled and chopped
1 cup sweet cream
Extra cinnamon for sprinkling
In a small saucepan, heat mango juice, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla until simmering. Add couscous, cover and set aside. Stir with a fork to separate the grains.
Divide the couscous into 4 portions. Using 200ml glasses, place a layer of passion fruit and banana in the base of each glass followed by couscous then a layer of sweet cream. Repeat the layers finishing with a layer of sweet cream.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and allow it to set for 4-5 hours or overnight. Serve cold. Serves 4.
My tastebuds: Passion Fruit & Couscous trifle is a pleasant surprise. Every bite transforms you to a world of flavours.
This is my submission to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by A Food Lover’s Journey.
I like the simplest things of using just clay or ceramic diyas; they light up the house beautifully and dramatically or welcome your guests with simple rangoli and a diya at the entrance.
I also used some lights (mirchi lights) from the previous Diwali and managed to create a romantic atmosphere in my living room (I made used of the throw-away wine bottle). These lights are commonly seen in Mumbai for decorating balconies. One more item commonly seen are the colourful lanterns used outside everybody’s balconies. There are all kinds of Indian and Chinese lanterns widely available during this season.
It is also the time when you gift your special ones. One best thing would be to gift some really good gift hampers – an assortment of various products. Nature’s Basket has some really cool gift hampers this Diwali. You might want to check them out and get some ideas. You can also go to Crawford Market and buy your own assorted products and create you own basket. That sounds like really good fun and it’s a personalised way of gifting.
And of course a time to eat and share some good food. Every festival is celebrated with sweets and what a better way to start Diwali with Kheer.Kheer is everybody’s favourite and easy to make. It is a rice pudding which requires the right consistency. Kheer is not complete without cardamom and Kesar again is optional. Tri-flavoured kheer has a vanilla twist to it. Thats right..a vanilla, cardamom and kesar flavoured kheer. A beautiful blend of these flavours keeps you guessing on every bite, whether it’s vanilla or kesar or cardamon…..Enjoy the fun- filled flavours and Happy Diwali!!!
1 litre milk
1/2 cup Basamti rice
2tsp vanilla extract
2stp cardamon powder
2tsp kesar soaked in warm milk
1cup sugar ( you can add more for your liking)
Almonds for decoration
Wash and soak the rice for about an hour. Heat milk in a pot. Add vanilla extract before the milk comes to a boil and enjoy the vanilla fragrance taking over your kitchen. Add soaked rice (without any water) to the boiling milk. Let the milk and the rice cook on medium flame for about 20minutes. Add sugar and let it cook for 15minutes.You will see that the whole grain rice would have become half it’s size. It kheer is almost done and you will also notice the thick consistency. Add cardamon and turn off the gas.
Let it cool. Serve cold or at room temperature, garnished with kesar and chopped almonds.
This is my submission to this month’s event Celebrate Sweets – Kheer, hosted by Taste of Pearl City and Nivedita’s Kitchen, to Virtual Party Snacks hosted by Ruchika Cooks and From My Home Kitchen and to this week’s Blogadda Diwali Moments.