Thursday, March 17, 2016

Speckled Tropical Bundt Cake/Pomegranate & tutti frutti studded Pineapple & Coconut bundt cake - #BundtBakers

Our host for march The Mom Chef, gave us a wide theme : Tropical Vacation.  I have put everything tropical in this cake!! :) This bundt is inspired from here. It was an experiment, but we totally loved the final outcome. Though i named it speckled, the color of the cake ended up a bit dark, that we couldn't see the pomegranate pearls and tutti frutti in it. It was all together a flavor bursts in your mouth, a bite of pomegranate, taste of pineapple, a dash of coconut, divinely tropical.
2 cups All purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 & 2/3 cups of Pineapple juice,fresh 
1/2 cup grated jaggery/Palm sugar
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup pomegranate pearls
1/4 cup tutti frutti (candied raw papaya cubes)
1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
2 tbsp sweetened coconut flakes
2 tbsp fresh pomegranate pearls

  • Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. To this add coconut flakes,  pomegranate pearls, tutti frutti, mix well.
  • Add grated jaggery  and oil to pineapple juice and mix well.
  • Now add the wet ingredients to the dry. Using a spatuala,  carefully combine to form a homogeneous mixture.
  • I baked them as 1 small bundt and remaining batter into 12 mini muffins. Prepare the pans, by greasing them with oil and flour 
  • Preheat the oven to 190C. Pour the batter upto 3/4 of the pan. Smooth the top. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Take it out of the oven. Remove the cake on to a wire-rack to cool completely.
  • For the topping, melt the choco chips in a  microwave safe mug for a minute. Pour the chocolate on top of the budnt, garnish wtih coconut flakes and pomegranate pearls, serve warm.
#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving Bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme.  You can see all of our lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest Board. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers can be found on our homepage.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Strawberry & Grapes Smoothie with roasted poha - Breakfast Smoothie

Smoothies are my goto breakfast/snack anytime. Particularly, post workout, i definitely need a big glass of chilled smoothie, to get me back onto my toes and start my other chores.
So, these days, i always keep some fresh fruits, stashed in small ziploc pouches in my freezer. I just add some milk and some nuts to them while blending. It feels so refreshing and energizing and pushes me to be active until next meal.
Here is a simple smoothie, i had today using some fresh red grapes and strawberries which i stashed in my freezer last week. Along with these i added some black grapes and half a plum, which i was lying on the kitchen counter, after i packed the other half into my lil one's breakfast box. I loved the beautiful purple hue the smoothie had, as if it is made of blueberries.  
1/4 cup of black grapes, Fresh
1/2 a red plum, fresh, stone removed
4 nos plump strawberries (frozen)
1/2 cup red grapes (frozen)
1.5 cups of chill milk
1 tbsp roasted poha, powdered (optional)


  • Take together all the fruits and roasted poha in your blender jar, blitz to break them into chunks.
  • Add milk and blend smooth. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Eggless Chocolate Babka - #BreadBakers

It is my favorite ingredient for this month's #BreadBakers. Our host for March 2016, Shireen of Ruchik Randhap, challenged us to bake something delicious with Cocoa/Carob in any form, in short Death by Chocolate was this month's theme!! :) 
I immediately decided on the bread, it is in my to-do list for a long time now, Chocolate Babka.  A rich traditional Jewish bread, made of yeast-ed dough, that is filled with chocolate, twisted and baked in a high loaf pan and topped with streusel. Doesn't the description itself induce a food-coma!!!
There is also another version of babka in Central and Eastern Europe, a rich brioche dough, baked without any filling, glazed with chocolate and candied nuts. A festive bread, baked during Easter, Christmas and New Year.
While looking for a perfect recipe, i came across many variations of babka. Each one was delicious. My recipe is inspired from here, here and here.  One of the plus in this recipe is the dough. It can be made ahead, dumped in the fridge and just an hour before baking, remove it, fill and bake. I totally loved the idea. I made the dough in the morning, rested for almost a full day in the fridge, and baked at night around 10 pm. Loved the texture of the bread, soft, buttery rich and chocolate, chocolate and chocolate. 
For the dough
2 cups Bread flour, plus extra for dusting
2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
¼ cup granulated sugar
Grated zest of 1/2 an orange
¾ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
Any neutral oil, for greasing

For the chocolate filling
3 tbsp cocoa
3 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp roasted cocoa nibs
1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate
2 tsp instant cofee powder
2-3 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp cinnamon powder

For the Streusel topping
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp instant coffee
2-3 tbsp chopped walnuts

  • Take flour, sugar, yeast, salt and zest together in a food processor bowl. Run it for a minute for the ingredients to mix well.
  • To this mix, add butter and run it again. Now slowly add milk to this and knead a smooth dough. Knead about 4-5 minutes, until the dough pulls off the side of the processor bowl. 
  • Grease a bowl with oil, place the dough into it, cover well with a cling-wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight or alt east half a day.
  • An hour before baking the bread, pull the dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter. The dough wouldn't have doubled, it would have barely rised half its original amount. Do not worry, you will get a rich loaf.
  • Let us prepare the filling, Mix together all the ingredients except butter in a bowl and set aside until use.
  • To make the bread, dust your counter with little flour, Roll the dough into a 10 x 12 inches rectangle or simply double the size of the loaf pan. 
  • Brush the rolled dough with butter, ;leaving 1 inch of the sides. Sprinkle generously with the filling, again leaving 1 inch of the sides.
  • Now roll the dough into a tight log. pinch and seal the edges. Using a sharp serrated knife, slit the dough into lengthwise, keeping one end untouched. It should be like 2 ropes, with one end secured. 
  • Now twist the rolls one top of the other like you are braiding. Secure the end and snuggle it under the braid.
  • Carefully lift the babka on to a parchment-laid baking pan, i used a 9 inch loaf pan. Let it rest for another 45 minutes. While the dough is resting, prepare the streusel by mixing everything together.
  • Preheat the oven to 190C. Spread the streusel mix on top of the bread and bake it for about 35-40 minutes or until it is done.
  • Remove the bread onto a wire rack, let it cook completely. Slice and serve a little warm along with your evening cuppa.  
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to

Breads with Cocoa, Cacao or Carob in any form

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Mango-Musk Melon Chia Pudding, Zero Sugar Dessert

Mangoes are in season, oh yeah, who doesn't love mangoes! My lil one is super crazy for mangoes. I still remember when we went to Tirupathi in 2013, he was about an year old, he literally ran behind every raw-mango seller, to give him some slices, we bought from almost every seller sitting near the temple. 
Right now, i can see only mangoes when i open my rice bin. No, i m not complaining here, i m happy that he loves fresh fruits. Not only mangoes, he loves melon too, so in season, you can find both the fruits at home. 
Now coming to chia seeds, though i m using them for about an year now, never blogged about them here. I use them in chutney podi's and breads. For a long time now, i wanted to try them in smoothies or in dessert. Last week, while food-gawking, I came across this Chia pudding here, i got so inspired and wanted to try with mango and musk melon. I m glad that i did. We totally loved this pudding, absolutely no sugar, it is a great snack and yumm desert anytime. And also it is very easy to make, blend the fruits, add the chia and refrigerate. Tadaaa, you can enjoy desert for dinner. Try this and let me know how you liked them.
2 cups Musk melon pulp (1 normal musk melon)
2 Alphonso mangoes, pulp  (even the seed is scraped off flesh, :) )
1/2 cup Milk/Coconut milk/Any Non-dairy milk
2 tbsp honey/agave nectar/maple syrup (i didn't use any of these)
3-4 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp of pistachios
Banana slices, mango cubes and pistachios for garnish
  • Take mango flesh and musk melon pulp into a blender, add milk and the sweetener if using, blend until smooth. I got about 3 cups of smoothie, of which i burped 1 cup as my breakfast, the rest 2 cups i used to make this pudding.
  • Take the smoothie in a large bowl, add chia seeds and pistachios, whisk well to combine. Cling-wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours minimum. 
  • To serve, spoon the pudding in bowls, top it banana and mango slices, sprinkle pistachios, drizzle lil honey and serve.

  • If serving for kids, i recommend adding 2 tbsp of sugar to the pudding, mix and serve.
  • You can also layer them like parafait and serve for dessert, by adding more fruits, double whammy!!!!
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