Saturday, December 29, 2018

Eggless Strawberry chocolate chip muffins

How come i not make a strawberry cake when it is in season! Every week when we go for vegetable shopping, these fresh berries, scream at us, asking us to pick few boxes home. My lil one loves the fresh jam i make with these berries. For that matter, this jam is very popular amongst our friends, last year i remember gifting them to many of them. 
This year the first batch i made, i gave it to my non-strawberry loving friend, who loved the jam, she took some lolo buns too with them, and she messaged me saying that she loved the combination. This is the second batch of jam i made and used it all up in this cake. 
The recipe is adapted from my Mango cake recipe, I just replaced the mango puree with strawberry jam. One can also use fresh strawberry puree in the recipe, if using fresh puree, kindly increase the sugar to 3/4 cup. Since the jam contains enough sugar, i have added only 1/4 cup of sugar to the muffins.
This recipe can be baked as a cake too, i baked a little batter in a bigger heart-shaped ramekin, the texture was pretty good, except it takes a lil longer time than the muffins. 
Enjoy these muffins bursting with fresh seasonal flavors for your breakfast or snack, these are great finger food for travels. If you love strawberry cakes, do check my Vegan strawberry mocha cake, Strawberry white chocolate cake, Strawberry cake with fresh strawberries
Ingredients
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar (see notes)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup homemade strawberry jam/fresh strawberry puree  (See notes)
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180C. Line 12-hole muffin pan with liners. I got around 12 usual muffins and baked one in a slightly bigger heart-shaped ramekin. if you want to bake it all muffinss then you might get 14 normal ones.
  • Take the strawberry jam in a wide bowl, add milk to it and whisk it smooth. Pass this mixture through a sieve, to remove the seeds of the strawberries. If you and your people at home, don't mind that crunchy texture of seeds in the muffins, then you can skip straining. My kids have micro sensors in their mouth, which can go 'beeeeeeppp" when they sense something unusual in their bakes. So i strained the liquid.
  • Now to this strawberry milk, add oil and whisk smooth. In another bowl, sieve together, flour, baking powder and baking soda. To this flour mix add chocolate chips and mix. 
  • Now slowly add the dry mix in to the wet mix in 3 batches. Using a spatuala mix it in. Take care not to mix vigourously, mix in single direction. 
  • Now using an ice-cream scoop, fill each hole of the muffin pan with the prepared batter. I used my small ladle. 
  • Bake the muffins in the preheated oven for  20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Once done, remove the muffin pan from the oven,  remove the muffins onto a wire rack, let it cool completely. Enjoy the muffins warm along with  your evening coffee or tea.


Notes
  • I have used my homemade strawberry jam, which already has enough sugar, so i have used only 1/4 cup sugar in this recipe.
  • If you are going to use fresh strawberry puree, kindly use 3/4 cup of sugar for the muffins. 
Bakeathon


Thursday, December 27, 2018

Eggless Chocolate Sheet cake with Chocolate cream frosting and Caramel drizzle

Sheet cake, a cake baked in a large rectangular tray and frosted to look very pretty! My original plan was to try a yule log. After i baked the cake, i found the cake too stiff to roll into a log. This is the second time i m trying to make a log and the log is turning into sheet cake. It is now Game on, Me Vs Yule log. I m not going to stop until i get to make a proper yule log, even if my family has to taste 100's of sheet cakes 😏
So, here i m presenting my second attempt on my yule log as a delicious sheet cake covered with finger licking chocolate cream frosting. I baked this yesterday and added a white cream frosting, but kids wanted a chocolate on top and i didnt want to do ganache. So today morning i made a chocolate whipped cream and slathered all over the sheet cake. In the mean time, the cake started losing its lower-half. The two lil monsters at home, used their fingers to dig out small squares from the sheet. Today Morning when i saw the pan, it was like some squirrel has nibbled my cake. I knew i couldn't wait for long, so quickly tried to click few decent shots. The moment they knew, i m done with the photos, they cleared half the tray. The cake has a perfect texture and the cream adds more to it. 
Sheet cakes are such a breeze, when you dont want to do any fancy decorations on your cake. Slap on that frosting, smoothen it and try adding some more accessories like crumbled oreo, chocolate syrup, M&M's , the options are endless.  A perfect bake for parties and get togethers.
Ingredients
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 can of condensed milk (400 grams tin)
1 cup warm water
3/4 cup oil
1.5 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting
1 & 1/4 cup of whipping cream
5 tbsp icing sugar
2-3 tbsp cocoa powder
100 grams cream cheese

  • Take together whipping cream and cream cheese in a wide bowl, using a electric whisk, whisk until you see soft peaks. Add cocoa powder and icing sugar and continue whipping until you get stiff peaks. Cover and refrigerate until use.

Caramel sauce
8 nos fudgy caramel toffees, i used tiffany caramel fudge chocoaltes
2-3 tbsp milk/cream

  • Take the caramel toffee along with milk/cream in a microwave safe mug, microwave for a minute, remove and whisk it together into a smooth sryup, if the caramel is still lumpy, microwave again for 30 seconds and whisk it smooth. Make the syrup towards the end, as it thickens while resting.

Method

  • Preheat the oven 180C. Prepare a sheet pan with baking paper.
  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. In another bowl, add condensed milk, oil and vanilla extract, use a electric whisk and whisk them smooth. 
  • To this liquid add the flour in 3 batches, use a spatula to mix the flour into the wet ingredients. When you add the second batch, the batter would be very thick, add 1/2 cup warm water and mix.
  • Likewise when you add the final batch of flour, add another 1/2 cup of water and mix. Do not mix vigourously, mix in single direction. 
  • Pour the batter in the preared sheet pan. Spread using the spatuala. Smoothen the top, tap twice to release any air. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven, let it sit in the pan for 5 minutes. Then flip it on a wire rack and let it cool completely.
  • Once it cools down, return it to the sheet pan, level the cake by trimming the top, this is totally optional. Drizzle simple syrup all over the cake. Spread the chocolate whipping cream generously, smoothen it, drizzle caramel syrup. Slice into squares and enjoy.

Bakeathon

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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Eggless whole wheat banana and coconut cake with chocolate ganache

Banana and coconut cake with chocolate ganache. I really wanted to do a caramel and banana cake, but I wasn’t sure whether my kids would love the flavors. So I  stick to their favorite chocolate. 
The final cake has a beautiful flavor of coconut and people didn’t know it has bananas. I felt it a success, many don’t like the flavor of banana in cakes, my own kids are ok with banana muffins  and in quick breads which they enjoy for breakfast or a snack but when it comes to a dessert cake, they don’t want banana taste. I have few friends who cannot stand the taste of ripened bananas, when one of them tasted the cake, she was amazed to know it has  bananas, she even helped herself with another small slice. 
Nevertheless this is a delicious coconutty cake ,  Enjoy the tropical flavors of banana with toasty  coconut and delicious dark chocolate 

Ingredients
1.5 cups whole wheat flour 
1/2 cup dedicated coconut
1 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 nos ripened bananas 
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
1.5 tsp cinnamon powder 
2 pinches of nutmeg powder 
1/2 cup milk or warm water 
Method

  • Sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda in a wide bowl to this add desiccated coconut, cinnamon powder and nutmeg and whisk well.
  • In another bowl, take the roughly  chopped bananas along with brown sugar and oil and using a stick blender, blend it smooth.
  • To this now add dry flour mix in 3 batches. Using a spatula slowly mix the dry into the wet. Take care not to mix vigorously. 
  • If you feel the mixture is dry, add milk/water to this and mix. I added milk.
  • Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. 
  • Once done, remove the cakes from the oven and let it sit in the pan for 5 minutes. Then slowly remove them from the pan and let it cool on the wire rack completely.
  • If serving as such, serve it warm. I was planning to ganache it, so I cooled it well and cling wrapped and refrigerated it.
To ganache the cake
Ingredients
200 grams Lindt 70% dark chocolate 
200 grams whipping cream

  • Chop the chocolate roughly, heat the cream in a saucepan, do not boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
  • Use a spatula, whisk the chocolate and cream together.if the chocolate is at room temperature then it would have beautifully melted with cream, if you find small chunks of chocolate in your ganache, then, use the microwave and heat it for 10 seconds and whisk again to smooth silky chocolate ganache.
  • Cling wrap the ganache, let it rest until use. I usually make the ganache an hour ahead of filling/frosting the cake.
Frosting the cake.

  • Remove the cake from the refrigerator, torte  the cakes.
  • Put a blob of ganache in the  center if cake board/plate your decorating your cake 
  • Place a cake layer on the board, brush the cake with simple syrup, fill the layer with ganache.
  • Add the second layer of cake on top. Brush it again with syrup and fill in the ganache.
  •  Spread The ganache to the sides  of the cake. I tried by best to achieve a smooth texture. But then I making it for my folks at home, i know the flavors are great so didn’t worry much when I couldn’t get smooth  ganache!
  • Let the  cake sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Eggless Whole Wheat Mango and almond spiced cake with Whipped cream

The last week of Bake-a-thon, it is going to rain cakes here. The first cake is a luscious mango cake, spiced with cardamom,cloves and ginger. With some almonds for a crunch and beautifully topped with soft and fluffy whipped cream. My Mango muffins were such a hit with kids, i wanted to bake a cake for them. I used the same recipe, but added milk and some warm spices and crunchy almonds to the recipe.
The almonds added a nice toasty crunch to the cake and the spices made it more festive and warm. I baked 2 cakes, one cake went divided for my 2 friends, who enjoyed this cake warm for their breakfast next day. I frosted the other cake with simple cream which both my kids enjoyed!
I have made this cake with store-bought mango puree, will definitely try this when i get fresh mangoes next year. If i have to list my best 10 bakes this year, this cake would definitely amongst them. 

Ingredients
1.5 cups Whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 baking soda
1/2 cup milk
1 cup mango puree
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup almond flakes
1 tsp cinnamon
4-5 nos cloves, pounded
6-7 nos cardamom, only seeds, pounded
1/2 tsp dry ginger powder
For the frosting 
125ml Whipping cream
3 tbsp cream cheese
1/4 cup icing sugar

Take together cream cheese, whipping cream in a bowl, using an electric beater, whip until you see soft peaks, add icing sugar to this and whip until you see stiff peaks. Refrigerate until use.
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 170C. Prepare the baking pan, grease and line it with parchment paper. I used 2 5 inch pans for this. 
  • In a large bowl, take together flour, baking powder, baking soda together. Using a baloon whisk, whisk it all together. You can also use a sifter and sift them into a large bowl.
  • To this flour mix add almonds, cinnamon powder, ginger powder, pounded cardamom, pounded cloves. Whisk this well.
  • In another bowl, take mango puree, add sugar, oil and milk to it. Use an electric beater or whisk,whisk the contents together into a uniform liquid.
  • To this liquid add the dry ingredients in 3 batches. Use a spatuala to mix the flour into the liquid in single direction. Do not mix vigorously. 
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, bake the cake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven, let it sit in the pan for 5 minutes. Then slowly remove the cake onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  • If serving without any icing, serve it warm. If planning to frost the cakes. let it cool completely. Cling wrap and refrigerate until you are planning to frost it. I baked 2 5 inch cakes, but 1 cake got over even before i could frost and click them. 

  • I simply dumped the whipped cream frosting on top of the cake, tried to level it and cover the entire cake. Sprinkled some toasted almonds and served.


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Eggless Lolo Buns - Fijian Coconut buns

Fijian coconut buns, i have been eyeing since i saw my fellow blogger Sowmya and Priya suresh posted them. Deliciously soft buns baked with coconut milk, i immediately wanted to include them in my bake-a-thon bakes. This week i was cooking from capital cities around the world. I made Pan de coco and Tres leches Cake, in that line, i decided to make these buns as the final dish for this week's bake-a-thon.
I have used coconut milk to knead the dough, you can also use normal milk. When i was making the dough, i actually ran out of milk, so i used coconut milk to make the dough. It rendered a beautiful texture and flavor to the buns. The buns are drowned in coconut milk, before pushing them into the hot oven. The milk bubbles and boils when the bun is rising and baking in the oven. Your whole kitchen will be filled with a sweet aroma of coconut milk. My buns got a little caramalized at the bottom, thank god i removed them at the right time, so keep an eye on your buns around 20 minutes. 
I served the buns with freshly made strawberry jam and labneh to my kids. My lil one loved it with the jam. A perfect bake to warm your breakfast table. 

Ingredients
2.5 cups Whole Wheat flour
2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 tsp instant yeast
4 tbsp sugar
300ml milk/coconut milk
60 grams butter
150 ml coconut milk
Method
  • Take flour, sugar, yeast and gluten in a big bowl, whisk them well to combine.  Take milk in a microwave safe jug, warm it for 45 seconds, add butter to it.
  • Add this warm milk to the flour mix and using a wooden spoon, mix it well. When the mix comes together as a dough, use your hands, to knead it to soft dough.
  • If you feel the dough is dry, try adding 1 tbsp of milk at time and knead. The dough comes out pretty easily, easy to handle, knead and shape.
  • Let the dough rest for an hour or until it doubles up in size. I left it for 90 minutes. Once the dough doubles up, punch it down, deflate it and knead it again.
  • Divide the dough into 10 portions, roll them into buns and arrange it in a baking tray, i used two trays to bake. Let the buns sit for another 30 minutes.
  • While the buns are resting for the second time, preheat the oven to 200C, Pour the coconut milk on top of the buns covering all. Bake the coconut milk soaking buns in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the top turn golden brown.
  • Remove the buns out of the oven, let it sit for 5 minutes in the tray, then remove it on to a wire rack. 
  • Let the buns cool, serve them warm with a blob of butter/cheese or your favorite jam.

Bakeathon


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