Monday, June 28, 2010

Bread and Butter Pudding - With Mangoes!!

Mango- the insanely delicious fruit.!!  I have been eying  luscious mangoes on roadside carts, the aisles in the supermarket and been wanting to make a dessert or cake with it. The season is zooming past and I haven't been able to make any desserts from my mango-based dessert wish list. Real life, with kids, work, maid troubles taking up a lot of my time and mind space. Yeah, I know I have been cribbing about this way too much, but hey, guys, have a heart!! Having food on the mind all the time and not being able to dish them up is hardly the perfect formula towards being a happy foodie..

I started taking pics of my desserts only after I started to blog. I was previously taking pics of only my cakes, to be put up on my Picasa album.  I have made the Bread and Butter pudding a few times earlier, but this time I tried it with mango and baked it in a Bain-Marie( a water- bath).Could not resist the addition of mangoes to this classic, making it  a Bread and Butter pudding- with Mangoes.

The result was a delicious, crispy - moist pudding with pieces of chopped mango in between the layers, topped with pistachio flakes. Though he did not hugely relish the mango pieces in the pudding, my son(not much of a fruit person) said 'It is good, no, better than good, its exceptional'. Lol! Hubby, a man of few words, gave a few murmurs of praise, took a second serving...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Zebra Cake

One of the most eye-catching cakes ever!! The dark and white stripes giving this famous cake its name is a visual treat. What makes this recipe all the more adorable is that it takes hardly ten minutes to put the cake together and what you have as the end product is a kid's fantasy. Easily one of the easiest and tastiest tea cakes ever. During my initial days of blogging, I first saw this on Ria's blog and from there hopped on to Farida's blog . I instantly wanted to try this out. I must mention that my mind first wandered to the possibility of making a Rainbow Cake along similar lines.  And that was what I made first, the Zebra Cake came next.

Yup, I have used this recipe for making Orange and Chocolate marble cake, the Rainbow cake and the Zebra cake. On an average I would have used this recipe at least once a month, I am in love with this recipe:-)). I find that this one is the easiest to make on short notice as it is ridiculously quick and tastes fabulous by itself. Its extremely light, just the right amount of sweetness. So I end up making this one for my son's class party, for my cousins in my hometown, a slice for a friend etc etc.

I must say, I made this a couple of times, before I got the stripes better, and I must also admit, the stripes could have come out a lot more prettier. (Guess anything more than 3 tablespoons will make the stripes thicker as in mine)Well, that just gives me an excuse to make this again, just to improvise on the stripes:-)). Here comes my Zebra cake, the relatively pretty one among my attempts. Am sure this is one cake you would find on a lot of baking blogs. If you haven't tried this one yet, you absolutely must!! You are sure to find yourself making this over and over again!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Healthy Whole Wheat,Oats and Sesame Crackers


Hot, frothy, filter coffee and crunchy, savory crackers on a rainy day evening. Sounds like bliss right?? Right!!! And if they are low fat, loaded with the goodness of whole wheat and oats, its a dieter's wish as well.

I am always wary of 'low-fat' or 'oil-free' or 'baked, not fried' category of snacks and desserts. Very few of these are truly fat- free or low calorie. They are usually, just relatively lower in fat or calories. So I try not to go overboard with the quantities of the low fat stuff, as the total calorie count would probably be more than the calories I would have consumed if the same snack was a regular, fat-laden snack. We then tend to restrict ourselves to a small quantity.   

Undoubtedly, low fat versions of any snack, most of the times are not on par in taste with the deep-fried versions. Its an acquired taste. And again it depends on how much you can compromise on a wee bit of taste for good health in the long run. Before you think I am turning a dietitian, lemme move on..:-))

I saw these crackers on Sharmilee's blog and instantly craved for them. Don't go by the very ordinary picture above, Sharmilee's crackers look super tempting. You can find the recipe on her blog here. Love her super recipes and drool worthy pics. I made these crackers and they turned out quite tasty. The flavor of garlic and the nuttiness of sesame seeds was a great combo and made the perfect accompaniment to my coffee.

Here comes the recipe
Ingredients :
  • Wheat flour (Atta) - 1 cup
  • Oats - ½ cup powdered coarsely( I used Quaker)
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Butter - 1 Tbsp (add more if you prefer crispy crackers)
  • Sesame seeds - ¼ cup
  • Garlic paste - 3 tsp
  • Salt per taste
  • Baking Powder - ½ tsp
  • Water - as required to knead the dough
  1. ln a bowl add the wheat flour, oats, baking powder, and salt. Add garlic paste, sesame seeds. Combine well.

  2. Add oil. Melt the butter and add at this stage. Add water little by little to form a thick chapathi like dough. Keep aside undisturbed for 30mins.

  3. Divide the dough into half. Roll each half thin and cut into squares or sticks. Combine the scrapings and repeat the same with the other half too.

  4. Preheat oven to 180C for 10 minutes. Place the squares on a greased baking sheet and bake for about 15-18 minutes or until the crackers are crisp. The baking time depends on the thickness of the squares and the oven settings
Store in a air tight container. It can be stored upto a week.I  strongly recommend adding atl east 1tbsp butter.
Hubby who usually doesn't ask for seconds of the baked variety of snacks actually wanted to know I still had any more of the crackers left. A friend of mine, again not so enthusiastic about low fat versions loved the snack.  I think these will also taste good with ajwain in place of the sesame seeds or hing, green chili -ginger paste. You bet I would be making these again!!

This is also my entry to Champa's weekly Bake Off.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Molten Centered Cakes

I have been itching to bake in ramekins since quite some time. Only I did not have them. I have hunted for them in so many places, but no luck. Then I read on Ria's famous blog that she got her ramekins at Arihanth Plaza, Commercial Street. Wonderful!!! With the kids at home during the summer break, an evening on Commercial Street and dinner at the much written about Booby's Dhaba near Ulsoor lake sounded very appealing. Before I forget to mention, Bobby's Dhaba is a very small, blink-and-u-miss kind of place near the Ulsoor lake, next to the Gurudwara. Found the food extremely lip smacking and compensated for the wait and the ambiance or lack of it. Surely a place you must must visit if you are OK with eating a small joints.

Back to Arihant Plaza. Well, I found the ramekins of Treo brand, priced extremely reasonably at Rs.25 per ramekin with a lid. Isn't that a super deal?? You bet I was pleased with my purchase of the multicolored ramekins. White ones weren't available, saved this one for the next expedition.

Found this recipe for Molten Centered Cakes on Aparna's  fabulous blog. She sure has a really diverse collection recipes on her blog, My Diverse Kitchen. I specially love her bakes and of course the superb pictures. Don't think there is anybody who hasn't visited her blog, but in case you haven't, you absolutely must.

Have seen plenty of recipes for the Choco--lava cakes, but this recipe has frozen ganache in the middle of the batter, which melts when you bake. Brilliant idea!!! Absolutely loved it. And you can flavor the ganache with cointreau, coffee or any thing else you fancy. Agree with Aparna when she says its not all that exciting to eat a cake which is partially cooked and hence the center runny. Makes me wrinkle my nose too .

These little, rich, buttery light cakes exploding with silky warm ganache was a hit!! Son wanted me to 'bake the cake a hundred times' and daughter said, 'Tumba Channagide, dinaa ide maadu' (means ' its very good, make it every day). Hubby, being a chocoholic, loved it.

Thanks for sharing this fantastic recipe Aparna!!!