Oven Roasted Chili Honey Cashews

What do you do with loads of plain cashewnuts lying around in the pantry ( that you received as diwali gifts!), make some oven roasted  Chili Honey Cashews. They would go perfect as the munchies with a drink or even my 9yr olds mini snack box. The idea of course has been borrowed from my dear friend Sarani, who now lives in Mason, USA and authors the lovely blog Cocoawind.

chili honey cashewsI kept the flavours very simple, honey for sweetness, pepper and chili flakes for the punch and loads of himalayan pink salt ( yes, my current obsession). In the oven for 15 mins and the outcome, simply gorgeous!

chili honey cashews 1

Oven Roasted Chili Honey Cashews
Author: 
Recipe type: Snacks
Cuisine: World - Easy
 
Easy snack - roasted goodness
Ingredients
  • Plain Cashews - 2 cups
  • Olive oil - 1 tbsp
  • Honey - 2 tbsp
  • Freshly cracked black pepper - as per taste
  • Chili flakes - as per taste
  • Salt - to taste
  • Egg white - 1 egg
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, beat the egg whites till fluffy.
  2. Add olive oi, honey and the spices and mix well.
  3. Add the cashews and coat them well.
  4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  5. Put the coated cashews and bake for 15 mins at 200 deg C
  6. Let the cashews cool down before storing in air tight containers.
 

Banana Caramel Cake

The new year did not start on a very smooth note but it is on us to make it better. My resolution, rather effort from the start of the year has been to adopt a more healthy approach towards food habits and making a form of exercise a part of life. However once a while, little indulgences are allowed and hence this beautiful Banana Caramel Cake. Also needed a push to get back to blogging, hence the cake!

Fotor_148542381841150Also a great way to use up left over bananas or use them a bit differently. Served warm with some icecream or whipped cream, this could turn into a gourmet dessert.

Fotor_148542388535763

Banana Caramel Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: English
 
A decadent Cake with bananas and caramel sauce
Ingredients
  • Banana - 1 large - cut into thin slices
  • Butter - 1 cup + 2 tbps - melted
  • Brown Sugar - 2 tbsp
  • Flour - 1 cup
  • Eggs - 2 nos
  • Castor sugar - ¾th cup
  • Baking powder - 1 tsp
  • Warm milk - 2 tbsp
Instructions
  1. First of all , line a round baking tin with parchment paper.
  2. Line the sliced bananas evenly. Keep side.
  3. In a bowl, cream together 1 cup butter and the castor sugar.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Sift the flour and baking powder together.
  6. Add it to the egg butter mixtire.
  7. Mix in gently. Add 2 tbsp warm milk to thin the batter.
  8. Keep aside.
  9. In a pan , heat the 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp brown sugar together.
  10. Keep on low flame, the sugar will melt and turn into a rich caramel sauce.
  11. Pour this caramel sauce over the banana lined baking dish.
  12. Let it set for 2 mins.
  13. Now pour the cake batter on top.
  14. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 Deg C for 35-40 mins.
  15. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean it is done.
  16. Demould and serve warm.
 

Spiced Carrot Tealoaf – 100% wholewheat

Whenever I get down to baking a cake, my first instinct is to make those healthy robust warm cakes that we can enjoy with our cuppa and my boy can team them up with his glass of milk. As a mother and (also a wife)  to  very fussy eaters who squirm at the sight of vegetables, I also like camouflaging as much as I can in cakes and curries and soups and everything possible! Hence the idea to do this Spiced Carrot Tea Loaf. And the fact that its 100 % wholewheat adds to the value.

carrot tea loaf 1

While making these cakes, I usually stick to my 1 cup each measurement and that works in most cases. This one here is made with aata and brown sugar, spiced with cinnamon and raisins. Served with a dollop of icecream this can turn into a very wholesome dessert for kids and adults alike.

carrot tea loaf

Spiced Carrot Tealoaf - 100% wholewheat
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes - Dessert
Cuisine: Continetal
 
A rich wholesome cake made with carrots and raisins.
Ingredients
  • Whole wheat flour / atta - 1 cup - I used the fine ashirwaad variety
  • Brown Sugar - almost 1 cup - a little less
  • Carrots - 2 small - grated
  • Eggs - 2 nos
  • Olive oil - half a cup
  • Raisins - a handful
  • Cinnamon powder - 1 tsp
  • Baking powder - 1 tsp
  • Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Instructions
  1. Sift together, the flour, baking powder and cinnamon pwder. Keep aside.
  2. In a bowl , mix together the brown sugar and olive oil with 1 tsp vanilla.
  3. Add one eggs at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Add the grated carrot and raisins and mix well.
  5. Fold in the flour mixture gently.
  6. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 35-40 mins at 175 deg C
  7. Check for doneness after 25-30 mins and bake according depending on your oven.
 

Lemon Pudding Cake #cookfromacookbookseries

So my dearest sis in law A made me a part of an online cookbook lovers group and I cant thank her enough. It was just what I needed to positively channel my love for cookbooks. Its a close knit group with some members owning more than 300+ food books  and that is so inspiring ! We are to choose one book every two months from the Piglet list and read, cook and discuss our way through it. The very first book we picked up is the wonderful ‘My Kitchen Year’ by Ruth Reichl. Ruth not only shares her favourite recipes but also her life story and how food became her anchor to overcome some difficult times. Food to me is something that comforts me, engulfs me in warm memories and take me closer to my family, to my mother, who has been a single point inspiration when it comes to cooking. She always fed with love and that reflected in her cooking, in the dishes she made .

lemon pudding newRuth Reichl’s recipes are easy and something that can be whipped up in your kitchen. Mostly staples but some with her interesting spins. It was quite hard for me to pick up one recipe and I ended up book marking quite a few. This one I am sharing here is something I made as an easy dessert and everyone at home loved it. Its a cross between a light cake and a fluffy pudding, with that lemony tang, quite refreshing .

lemon pudding

 

As a part of this book club, we will be picking up a lot of interesting books and I will be sharing some very interesting recipes with you all , so stay tuned and until them enjoy this recipe.

lemon pudding 2

Lemon Pudding Cake #cookfromacookbookseries
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
 
A light and fluffy lemon pudding.
Ingredients
  • Lemon - 2 large - I used 1 gondhoraj and 1 yellow lime
  • Eggs - 3 nos
  • Milk - 1½ cup
  • Sugar - ¾th cup
  • salt - a pinch
  • Flour - ¼th cup
Instructions
  1. First of all zest the lemon and squeeze the juice. Keep aside.
  2. Next carefully separate the eggs.
  3. Put the egg whites in a clean and dry bowl.
  4. Keep the yolks in another bowl. Add the lemon juice and zest to the yolks.
  5. Whisk the milk into the lemon mixture, and slowly add a half cup of sugar, pinch of salt and a quarter cup of the flour.
  6. Beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Beat in a quarter cup more sugar, continuing until the whites turn sleek and glossy.
  7. Whisk a quarter of the whites into the yolk mixture, then gently fold in the rest of the whites.
  8. Pour into a deep dish baking tray. You can also use ramekins like I did.
  9. Put the baking dish on another tray and pour some hot water on the tray.
  10. Bake for about 45 mins, in steam bath, until the cake is puffed and golden but still soft at the centre.
  11. Serve warm.
I am sending this recipe to Urmi’s event Bake Mania in association with KFB

urmi

Mozarella Stuffed Mini Buns

So the much elusive monsoon finally arrived in the city. Not sure this respite is for how long but atleast the temperatures have dipped a little and that makes us all feel better. With my little boy back in school, I am left with a lot of time to myself. My 8 yr old soccer fan has opted to join his school soccer club which means he gets back home only early evening. So the mother doesn’t know what to do with so much time! Ironical I would say, there was a time I would itch to get my time off from the toddler but now I miss him all the while he’s in school. Anyways, so the next best that I do is try out new things in my kitchen and I intend to dedicate a lot of my time to blogging.

These Mozarella Stuffed Mini Buns are a perfect accompaniment to your evening tea or even as a snack in your kids lunchbox. It stays well for a couple of days and you can serve them warm.

mozarella mini uns main

 

I don’t need to tell you again that baking is therapeutic but I do need to let you know that I find these adult colouring books extremely soothing too! They calm me down and helps me focus , which is a good thing considering how impatient I can get at times. So there, that’s is how I am trying to constructively put my time to good use.

moarella mini buns 1

Mozarella Stuffed Mini Buns
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
 
Bite size cheese stuffed buns
Ingredients
  • Plain flour - 2 cups + little for dusting
  • Dry yeast or Fast action yeast - 2 tsp
  • Sugar - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Dried herbs - 1 tbsp. - a mix of thyme, rosemary and dill
  • Milk - 1 cup at room temperature
  • Olive oil - 2 tbsp.
  • Mozarella cheese - cut into small cubes
  • Olives / Cherry tomatoes - for garnish
  • Egg - 1 - lightly beaten - for glaze
Instructions
  1. Making the dough:
  2. In a bowl add the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and the dried herbs. Make a little well and gradually add the milk and roll into a dough. Add the oil.
  3. Rest the dough for 10 mins.
  4. Take the dough on a dusted surface and knead into a small ball. This will take rouhly 8 to10 mins.
  5. Put in an oiled bowl, cover with a cling wrap and let it rise in a warm place. I usually rest it inside the oven or microwave.
  6. After an hour approx. , the dough would have risen in size.
  7. Take it out on a dusted surface again and knock the air out gently.
  8. Roll into a long log and divide into 10- 12 equal portions.
  9. Make each portion a little flat on your palm, stuff with a small piece of mozzarella and roll into a small round bun.
  10. Lay the little roundels on a lined and greased baking tray.
  11. Top with some olives and rest it again for 10- 15 mins.
  12. Brush with some beaten egg and bake the buns in a preheated oven at 200 deg C for 15 mins.
  13. Serve fresh and warm.
 

Chef’s Basket – Chunky Arabbiata Pasta – Product Review

Ready to cook meals – sent to you in a box – with ingredients measured out as required is taking the world by storm. It is still in a nascent stage in India, but in countries like America, people swear by them and these meals are what they eat on a daily basis. I, being  a homemaker, might not be too fascinated by them, but there is no denying the fact that ready to cook meal boxes is the order of the day. And honestly speaking, a decade ago , when I was into a full time corporate job, this would have been ideal for me too. It makes a lot of sense , for people who don’t really have the time and (knack) for cooking a full course meal from scratch but would still want to cook at home, afterall, how much can one eat out or order in! Also there is money involved. Even for someone like me, who loves to cook from scratch, there are days when I don’t want to slog it out in the kitchen. So I was quite kicked to try out Chef’s Basket – Pasta in my kitchen. In their words “ We belive in the art of cooking. And we believe that with a little help anybody can cook. We put our all to create freshest and most authentic recipes from around the world. Our food is natural with no artificial preservatives or added color”

pastaI was sent a box of Chunky Arabbiata Pasta , that came along with packets of durum wheat pasta, pasta sauce and some herbs and salt. The process mentioned clearly and ingredients measured out exactly that would be required to create the dish. Making it is a child’s play if u ask me! Just follow the instructions and you are done!

pasta ingredients

chefs basket pasta

#Taste Quotient – The chunky tomato sauce is quite flavourful without being overtly tangy. The accompaniments like the herb mix and the chilli flakes add to the taste. I kept it simple with just a dash of parmesan on top.

#Quantity Quotient – I would say it would be enough for an adult if eating as a meal. For small eaters, two people could easily share!

#Price Quotient – Competitive and affordable pricing at below INR 100 per box. Also have a good range of variants in pasta and noodles.

#Availablity Quotient –  Easily available in  supermarkets and also online.

Disclaimer – The product was sent me by Chef’s Basket for review and the views are completely my own. No monetary compensation was involved.

Scone Biscuits

I set out to make some scones but mid way decided to turn them into biscuits instead! Scones are just another quick bread I would say. Easy to make, versatile and to quote Jamie Oliver ” They are so delicious, so British, even a 5 year old can make them” To me Scones, take me back to my Enid Blyton days, when the kids of Malory towers would just go off to a picnic with their hamper tucked with scones and ham sandwiches!

scone biscuits

This recipe has been adapted from Mary Berry’s 100 Cakes and Bakes, one of the first books on baking I had acquired and is full of easy doable recipes. To turn them into biscuits , I cut down on the baking powder and added some mashed potatoes for texture. These are neither too sweet nor salty , so serve it either with jam and cream or have them as it is with tea or milk.

Scone Biscuits
Author: 
Recipe type: Baked Goodies
Cuisine: British
 
Crispy scone biscuits
Ingredients
  • Plain flour - 1 cup ( approx.)
  • Baking powder - 1 tsp
  • Butter - ½ cup
  • Castor sugar - 2 tbsp.
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Mashed potato - ½ cup
  • Milk - 2 tbsp. ( approx.)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
  2. Measure the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
  3. Add the butter and rub with your finger tips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Stir in the sugar and mashed potato, mixing with a fork to prevent the potato from forming lumps.
  5. Add enough milk to form a soft but not sticky dough.
  6. Turn the mixture into a lightly floured surface and knead very lightly and roll out into a thickness of about 1 cm.
  7. Cut into small rounds using a cutter.
  8. Transfer to a baking tray.
  9. Bake for about 12 mins or till golden brown.
  10. Keeps well for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
 

Eggless Wholewheat Apple Muffins

When it comes to baking I would always stick to traditional methods and recipes and am not really confident how a cake would turn out without eggs. But of late I have been getting  a lot of requests from friends who follow my blog to share egg free recipes! So I scoured around and found this beautiful eggless recipe of muffins. Muffins are very forgiving and you don’t really need to break your back to make these.

apple muffins 1

You could skip the apples , if you don’t feel like it and just add raisins for the texture. Or even crispy pear or strawberries, the options are many. This recipe calls for buttermilk and I used the regular Amul buttermilk that you get in the market. Just strain it before using.

apple muffins

Eggless Wholewheat Apple Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Baked Goodies
Cuisine: Continental
 
An eggless wholewheat healthy muffin
Ingredients
  • Wheat flour / Atta - 1½ cup
  • Plain flour - ½ cup
  • Baking soda - 1 tsp
  • Brown Sugar - 1 cup
  • Cinnamon powder - 1 tsp
  • Olive oil - ½ cup
  • Buttermilk - 1 cup
  • Yogurt - 2 tbsp.
  • Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
  • Apple - 1 medium - cored and chopped
Instructions
  1. In a bowl add all the dry ingredients together - wheat flour , plain flour , baking soda, cinnamon powder and the brown sugar.
  2. In another bowl , mix together the oil, buttermilk, yogurt and vanilla essence. Whisk everything together.
  3. Now mix the dry ingredients gradually in batches and mix well . Make sure there are no lumps.
  4. Lastly add the chopped apples.
  5. Fill your muffin cups with the batter.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 mins at 180 degree C.
 

Potato Chocolate Cake

Ye. ye. You read that right! Potato in a chocolate cake. It so happened that one evening I dug out many of my old recipe books and scoured around for some interesting recipes. This particular book has and entire section dedicated to potatoes, savoury as well as sweet items. I was so intrigued by this one, potato in a chocolate cake, just didn’t make too much sense. But now that I have tried it, I would highly recommend it and see it made it to the blog.

potato chocolate cake

In my endeavour to stick to  ‘clean eating’ I substituted half of plain flour with whole wheat flour and used olive oil instead of butter. Also replaced castor sugar with brown sugar. The result was fabulous, dense and moist chocolate cake minus the guilt. I think its the mashed potatoes that works wonder. Now that I checked the internet is flooding with recipes with potatoes in chocolate cake and I thought I was the only one. Nevertheless, it was a pleasant discovery as far as chocolate cake goes. Do try it guys!

potato chocolate cake 1

Potato Chocolate Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Baked Goodies - Cakes
Cuisine: Continental
 
A rich, dense and moist chocolate cake.
Ingredients
  • Whole wheat flour - half a cup
  • Plain flour - half a cup
  • Cocoa powder - 2 tbsp
  • Baking powder - 1 tsp
  • Milk - 3 tbsp
  • Mashed potato - 1 small potato - boiled and mashed
  • Olive oil - 1 cup
  • Brown sugar - 1 cup
  • Choco chips - a handful - optional
  • Eggs - 2 large
Instructions
  1. Sift the plain flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.
  2. In a bowl, cream together the sugar and olive oil till light and creamy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Now add the sifted flour in two batches and fold into the oil - egg mixture.
  5. The batter will be quite thick at this point. Add the milk and mix well.
  6. Fold in the mashed potato and the choco chips.
  7. Pour the mixture into a 8" pan and bake in a preheated oven for 25- 30 mins.
  8. Baking time might vary depending on the open.
  9. You can frost the cake with simple butter cream and top with some grated chocolate.
 

Strawberry Tea Cake

Make hay while the sun shines! Make strawberry cake while you still get them here! Bad bad Pj but this cake is everything gorgeous. The baker in me loves using fresh seasonal fruits, the Apple & Raisin Tea Cake and now this, it turned out perfect for our tea time soiree.

strawberry tea cake

 

Strawberries are available in abundance, every traffic signal has these guys selling them. But be careful when u pick up a box, there are always a few stale ones hidden under the plump luscious on top. Try and ask your local fruit seller for the Mahabaleshwar variety coz they are the real sweeter ones. This particular tea cake is made with oven roasted strawberries, the process is very simple, find out the recipe below. Enjoy the cake with your loved ones.

strawberry cake

5.0 from 2 reviews
Strawberry Tea Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Cakes
Cuisine: Continental
 
A perfect cake for your tea time fun
Ingredients
  • Flour - 1½ cup
  • Sugar - 1 cup
  • Butter - 100 gms pack - I used Amul butter
  • Baking powder - 1 tsp
  • Eggs - 3 large - at room temp
  • Strawberry essence - a few drops - optional
  • Strawberries - 1 cup - diced
  • Brown / demerera sugar - 1 tbsp
Instructions
  1. First lets prepare the strawberries.
  2. In an oven proof dish , mix the diced strawberries with brown sugar.
  3. Bake in a hot oven for 15- 20 mins - pref at 180 deg C.
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder, keep aside.
  5. In a bowl , cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
  6. Add the strawberry essence if using.
  7. Add the eggs, once at the time, mixing well after each addition.
  8. Now fold in the flour/baking powder mixture. Don't mix too vigorously.
  9. Lastly add the oven baked strawberries, along with all its juices.
  10. Fold in.
  11. pour into prepared tin and bake in a preheated oven for 40 mins or till done at 180deg c.