Monday, December 31, 2012

Bake Fest #15 - Guest Hosting

Hello everyone! I am so happy to announce hosting bake fest on my blog again. Thanks Vardhini for the opportunity. If you are familiar with Vardhini's Cooks Joy, you will know how creative and fun her food is. I love her clicks. Her food comes through as though it's sitting in front of you, calling your name. Mmmm... Bake fest has been on the rounds for a while, so all of you must be familiar with the rules, still, here it is.

~ Send in any recipe which has been baked / broiled.
Only vegetarian or vegan recipes please. Eggs are allowed in baking.
~ Usage of logo is appreciated as it helps spread the word.
~ Linking back to my announcement page and to Vardhini's 
Bake Fest announcement is mandatory. If sending an old entry, it needs to be re-published with both links.
~ You can send in any number of new entries and a maximum of 2 old entries.

~ If you have any problem linking please send me an email @

Please use the link below to submit your entries.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Brownies with Sour Cream Chocolate Ganache

Happy and Prosperous New Year to all my beloved readers. Hope this year brings you new joy and hope. May you realize all your dreams and get to eat and savor what you would like! Last year I was in India enjoying this day with all the loved ones. It's a totally different atmosphere over there, or probably since we always visit and are on vacation it feels that way I don't know. But I always fondly remember all the new years spent back home.

So here you are at the doorstep of 2013, leave behind 2012 with these yummy brownies. You can choose to make these plain brownies or top it with ganache. This ganache made from sour cream adds touch of sourness to the sweet brownies.. Yummy treats! Have FUN filled day.. I leave you with these brownies to enjoy. Until next year... 

Prep Time: 15 min | Baking Time: 45 to 50 mins | Makes: 8 inch square brownie


For Brownie
All-purpose flour - 3/4 Cup
Salt - 1/4 tsp.
Unsalted butter - 3/4 cup 
Olive oil - 1/4 cup
Semisweet chocolate morsels - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Cocoa powder - 1/2 cup 
Sour Cream - 3/4 cup 
Large eggs, at room-temperature - 3
Vanilla extract - 2 tsp.

Ganache - 
Sour cream - 1/2 cup 
Semisweet chocolate morsels - 1 cup 

Method of Preparation:

~ Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray or butter a 8 inch cake pan.
~ Sift flour, salt and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. 
~ In a large mixing bowl keep the chocolate morsels or chopped chocolate ready. 
~ In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add Olive oil to it. Switch off the heat just before it boils.
~ Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate and let it stand for a minute.
~ Now stir it with wooden spoon, so that the chocolate is completely melted.
~ Beat in sugar, eggs and sour cream with vanilla essence at the end. Mix until it's smooth.
~ Gently fold in flour mixture into the batter.
~ Pour the batter into prepared pan and spread it evenly.
~ Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
~ Place the pan on cooling rack to cool the brownies. 

~ Now for preparing the ganache.
~ Place the chocolate in a microwave oven safe dish. Stick it into the microwave on high for a minute. Take out for every 20 seconds to mix once and put it back.
~ At the end of the minute, it should be melted.
~ Fold in sour cream and mix it thoroughly.
~ Spread it immediately over the cooled brownies and let it get set. Note that you have to do it quickly, otherwise ganache will harden and it will make it difficult to spread it on the brownie.
~ Cut them into square after the ganache has been set and enjoy the yummy goodness.

Sending this off to Bon Vivant#10 - Festive Feasts going on at my space. 

And to Cook's Joy - Bake Fest#14,
Roshni's Show me your Hits
FoodOMania's Christmas Cook-off

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Lemon Cookies

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you all are enjoying the festivities and goodies with your family and friends. I made these cookies yesterday for Santa Claus's visit, which combines all of my son's favorite things. Brown sugar, cinnamon and lemon flavor. :o). This was inspired by the recipe found here

Santa Claus in the picture is very special to my heart. It was a gift from my Mexican friend who is no more. Every time I see it, I remember her kind smile and the fun that we both used to have together. Her love for us was so unconditional. She must be singing and dancing to 'Feliz Navidad' up there in heaven. We miss you Julie. 

I have baked this few times and kiddos wanted me to make snow man with it yesterday. Since I didn't had much time to sit and cut through the dough, I made a snowman and snow-woman, asked them to dress them up and everything else around them was snow balls. :o). I could hardly get two pictures and the snowman and woman were perished by the kids.


Multi-grain flour/ all-purpose flour - 1 1/2 cups 

Ground cinnamon - 1 1/2 tsp. 
baking powder - 1 tsp.
salt - 1/4 tsp.
Brown sugar - 1 cup 
Butter - 1/2 cup  or 1 stick
Egg - 1
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp. 
Lemon Extract - 1 tsp.
Grated lemon & lime zest - 1/2 tsp.  
cinnamon & sugar mixture - 2 tbsp. to roll the cookies in.

Method of Preparation:

~ In a small bowl, sieve flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. 

~ In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until soft peaks form.
~ Beat in eggs, essences and lemon zest. 
~ Add the flour in batches. Mix well.
~ Cover and refrigerate for about an hour to firm the dough.
~ Preheat the oven to 350 deg Fahrenheit.
~ Shape into desired form and sprinkle top with cinnamon sugar mixture or roll it into the mix.
~ Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until slightly browned.
~ Wait for few minutes and transfer them to cooling rack.

Sending this off to Bon Vivant#10 - Festive Feasts going on at my space. 

And to Cook's Joy - Bake Fest#14,
Roshni's Show me your Hits
FoodOMania's Christmas Cook-off

Monday, December 17, 2012

Plum Cake/ Dry Fruits Cake

What is Christmas without a fruit cake isn't it? Bangalore bakeries have one of the best plum cakes I think. That sweet goodness always make me drool over even thinking about it. So this Christmas when my cravings got the best of me, I thought I will try to replicate that. And today being my anniversary, I thought I would bake it early and surprise my DH.

First step was to bring the tutti-fruity mix home. They were called Old English Fruit and Peel Mix. They had a recipe that I thought might do justice, but looked some more and found my inspiration everywhere. There are so many Youtube videos and recipes available online that it's unbelievable. So here is my version of the cake.

Prep Time: 15 min (plan ahead to soak the dry fruits) | Baking Time: 60 min | Makes : 8 inch round cake

Ingredients -

To soak -
Dry Fruits and nut mix - 2 cups (I used pineapple chunks, orange & lemon peel, citrons, cherry, dates, raisins)
Orange juice - 2 tbsp.
Chocolate Liquor - 2 tbsp.

Flour - 1-1/4 cup
salt - 1/2 tsp.
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp.
All Spice powder - 1 tsp. (it's a mix of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, dry ginger)
Olive oil / Butter - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/2 Cup
Eggs - 2
Dark Molasses - 1/2 cup
Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp.
Orange zest - 1 tbsp.

Method of Preparation:

~ I prepped all the dry fruits by cutting them really small, since my little one can go either way if she bites into big chunks. 
~ I soaked the dry fruits for couple of days in warm orange juice and chocolate liquor. Plum cakes are usually made with Rum and since we non-alcoholics never have that around the house, I just used chocolate liquor to see how it would turn out. 

Get to baking -
~ Spray the cake pan generously and keep it aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
~ Sieve, flour, salt, baking soda, all spice powder.
~ In a separate bowl, cream sugar and olive oil together. 
~ Beat eggs into the mix.
~ Add molasses, vanilla essence and the orange zest and mix well.
~ Mix the dry fruits into the flour mix. Coat them well.
~ Now gently fold in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. 
~ Pour into the prepared dish and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

It turned out really moist and tasty as I remember the plum cakes to be. Kiddos enjoyed it since there were no nuts in them and completely full of delicious fruits. They all asked for seconds and more than half of the cake of wiped out clean at one go.

Tip: You can cover the pan with foil after 45 minutes if don't want the dark color on the outside. 

Sending this off to Bon Vivant#10 - Festive Feasts going on at my space. 

And to Cook's Joy - Bake Fest#14,
Roshni's Show me your Hits
FoodOMania's Christmas Cook-off

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe comes with a warning. If you make these cookies, you wont be able to stop at one. It's addictive, makes you want to bake and eat any time or day of the week. Cookies just melt in the mouth. Kids might want to snatch away your share. So keep your share guarded. ;o)

I once had followed the recipe on the back on Nestle semi-sweet Morsels packet. And once I was browsing for any other chocolate chip cookie recipe and found that Joy of Baking has posted a recipe mentioning the same Nestle Toll house. So now I know I have been following fool proof recipe. :o) Here is a run down on the recipe.

Prep Time: 10 min | Baking Time: 10 ~ 15 min each batch | Makes: About 3 to 4 dozen.


All Purpose-Flour - 2 1/4 Cup
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp.
Salt - 1/2 tsp.
Unsalted Butter - 1 Cup
Brown Sugar - 1 Cup
White Sugar - 1/2 Cup
Vanilla extract - 1 tbsp.
Eggs - 2
Semisweet dark chocolate chips - 1 1/2 to 2 Cup
Walnut - 1 Cup (optional)

Yummy cookie dough!

Method of Preparation:

~ Preheat the oven to 350 deg Fahrenheit.
~ In a small bowl sieve flour, baking soda and salt and keep it aside.
~ In another bowl beat melted butter and sugar until combined.
~ Now add the eggs and vanilla extract, beat until it becomes fluffy.
~ Add the dry ingredients and mix them with a spatula. Do not over mix.
~ Fold in chocolate chips and nuts if using.
~ On a cookie sheet, set a parchment paper. Scoop out cookie dough and drop them onto it. Keep them about 2 to 3 inches apart.
~ Bake for 15 minutes, take out leave it for few minutes to cool and then place them on wire rack to cool them completely.

Sending this off to Bon Vivant#10 - Festive Feasts going on at my space. 

And to Cook's Joy - Bake Fest#14,
Roshni's Show me your Hits
FoodOMania's Christmas Cook-off

Friday, December 7, 2012

Multigrain eggless Banana Muffin/ bread

I usually end up with very ripe bananas which no one wants to touch. I constantly use them in my smoothies. But now with cold weather swooping in, it's not every day that I can have smoothies for breakfast. So I have been using up lot of bananas in the recipes. 

I have made these as muffins and also baked as bread. Personally I loved bread, probably because I had loaded them with walnuts. Kids loved muffins for their snack at school and home. 

Prep Time: 15 min | Baking Time: About 30 mins | Makes: 16

Recipe Source - Joy of Baking


Multi-grain flour - 2 cups
Baking powder - 1 tsp.
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp.
Cinnamon powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp.
Flax-seed meal - 2 tbsp. (or you can use 2 eggs)
Milk - 1/2 cup
Maple Syrup - 1/2 cup
Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup
Mashed Banana - 1 1/2 cup (About 3 or 4 very ripe banana)
Canola or Olive Oil - 1/4 Cup
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp.
Walnuts - 1/2 cup coarsely chopped or powdered.

Same batter different look!

Method of Preparation:

~ Soak flax-seed meal in milk and keep it aside.
~ Prepare the muffin pan with spray or line them and keep it ready.
~ Preheat the oven at 375 F.
~ Mix all the five dry ingredients listed at the beginning.
~ In a separate bowl, with a hand mixer at a very low speed mix all the wet ingredients, maple syrup, mashed banana, olive oil, vanilla extract, flax-seed mixture with brown sugar.
~ Now with a wooden spoon mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing enough to combine. Do not over mix.
~ Spoon out the mixture into prepared muffin tins.
~ Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until nice brown crust forms and inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Sending this off to Bon Vivant#10 - Festive Feasts going on at my space. 

And to Cook's Joy - Bake Fest#14,
Roshni's Show me your Hits
Spotlight - Healthy Baking @Recipe Junction,
FoodOMania's Christmas Cook-off
Priya's 60 Days to Christmas

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

White Chocolate Chunk - Oatmeal Cookies

With holidays just around the corner, I have been baking up lot of stuff to present it to you guys and to friends. Baking is really fun when kids get to do their part and you stick it in oven, set timer and forget. Voila, you have your beautiful creation at the end of it to enjoy. :o)
This is one my cookies recipe that I tweaked to use oatmeal rather than just flour. It turns out pretty soft and with chocolate chips in it, oh you will be wanting more.

Quick Oats - 1-1/2 cup
Flour - 1-1/2 cup (I used multigrain)
Baking Soda - 1 tsp.
Salt - 1/2 tsp.
Butter - 2/3 cup
Brown Sugar - 2/3 Cup
Eggs - 2 large
Yogurt - 1/3 cup
White Chocolate chunks or chips - 2/3 cup

 Method of Preparation:
~ Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
~ Line the cookies sheet with foil and spray with butter.
~ Mix first 4 dry ingredients in a small bowl
~ In another bigger bowl, combine melted butter and brown sugar with hand mixer until fluffy.
~ Add eggs one by one and then beaten yogurt
~ Once all are combined well, add dry ingredients in batches. Each time making sure it's all mixed properly.
~ Finally fold in the chocolate chips.
~ Scoop out tablespoon of cookie dough and place it on cookie sheet.
~ Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.
~ Take out and cool them on wire rack after 5 minutes.

Sending this off to Bon Vivant#10 - Festive Feasts going on at my space. Do check out the new concept attached to Bon Vivant at the above link. 

And to Cook's Joy - Bake Fest#14,
Roshni's Show me your Hits
Spotlight - Healthy Baking @Recipe Junction,
FoodOMania's Christmas Cook-off
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