Cardamom coffee cake


DSC_0663

It’s been sometime since I posted a cake recipe on this blog and what better to break the monotony than a coffee cake. The thing about coffee cakes is that apart from pairing ‘oh so beautifully’ with a strong cup of caffeine they are scrumptious just on their own for moments when you want to eat something sweet but not overwhelmingly so.

Cardamom is such a rich exotic spice with an almost romantic ring to it with curious undertones of mystery and an enticing allure of the East so rare in cakes and with a crispy crumb on top this cake is two layers of delicious, resonating with cardamom in each bite, hefty with flavours and yet symbiotically submitting when paired with a cup of coffee or even tea, because cardamom does go well with tea.

 

DSC_0581

these ingredients might seem like a lot but that’s only because there are two parts to this cake. A crispy nutty crumb and a base cake.

 

DSC_0584

first with the crumb topping. Into a bowl add flour (please excuse the lighting)

DSC_0587

walnuts

DSC_0589

brown sugar

DSC_0591

cardamom

DSC_0592

and mix with a fork until ingredients are equally dispersed.

DSC_0595

finally add room temperature butter to form the crumbs

DSC_0596

mix thoroughly

 

DSC_0597

until nice fat crumbs or rather buttery nutty lumps are formed. Set aside.

 

DSC_0602

for the dry ingredients in a separate bowl mix sugar, flour

DSC_0603

baking powder, baking soda

DSC_0604

and cardamom

DSC_0608

mix well and keep aside

 

DSC_0610

Now we get mixing to wet ingredients and also learn how exactly galaxies came to be formed. In a clean bowl add coconut oil

DSC_0611

vanilla extract and coffee

DSC_0613

milk and eggs

DSC_0614

check out your handywork at creating the universe

DSC_0615

now for some orange liquor

DSC_0617

and a quick whisk to disperse everything

DSC_0618

into a murky reality

 

DSC_0624

now it’s just a question of adding the wet to the dry, much like life.

 

DSC_0625

and stirring it all together to form a lovely terracotta mixture of cardamom flavoured dreams.

 

DSC_0627

pour into a well greased baking tin

 

DSC_0628

top with buttery crumbs

DSC_0629

take a moment to gaze at the beauty that is this cardamom crumb cake before plunging it into the depths of a furnace that is your oven to bake at 200º for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean

DSC_0633

after 45 minutes this is what you’ll be rewarded with.  beautifully bronzed looking slab of spiced haven.

DSC_0639

let it rest for at least ten minutes before taking it out of the tin. It’ll be a moist flavourful cake with a rather delicious, even crispy topping. It’s the crumb topping that offsets flavours of this cake, giving it texture that comes in with a surprising cardamom punch.

DSC_0655

serve warm with a strong cup of love.



Ingredients 

For the crumb topping:

Flour: 60g (1/2cup)

Walnuts: 60g (1/3cup)

Butter: 80g  (1/3cup)

Brown sugar: 80g (1/3cup)

Cardamom: 3/4 tsp

Note: I used regular cardamom pods and crushed the seeds to make a rough powdered texture

For the cake:

Flour: 150g (2cups)

Sugar: 145g (3/4cup)

Baking soda: 1/2 tsp

Baking powder: 1 heaped tsp

Eggs: 2

Cardamom: 1 tsp

Vanilla extract: 1tsp

Coconut oil: 120mls (1/2cup)

Coffee: 60mls (double shot)

Milk: 65mls (1/3cup)

Orange liqueur (optional): 30 mls (single shot)


Recipe instructions:

making crumbs: mix together walnuts, flour, brown sugar and cardamom. Add the butter and using either fingers or a fork mix everything together until it forms crumbs.

making cake: Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and cardamom and keep aside.

In a separate bowl whisk together coconut oil, vanilla, eggs, coffee and orange liqueur if using and once blended well pour into the dry ingredients and mix to form batter. Pour into a greased baking dish and top with crumb toppings. Bake at 200º for 40-45 minutes until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let it rest for an additional 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Spicy baked chicken and potatoes


DSC_0275When you can feel the carnivore inside of you bubbling with primal instincts to tear into something meaty, something delicious and spicy, this chicken recipe with potatoes is just the thing. Savagely inoculated with flavours on a loudspeaker, there is nothing remotely subtle about this dish. It’s deliciously loud with mouthwatering piquancy, tender, juicy of flesh and drool inducing. The balance of tastes rendered stupefyingly lush with succulent aromas is so heady that it’ll send your entire house warming with tempting incense of tantalizing proportions.

Cooking it with potatoes just makes it a more complete meal, and there’s nothing more you’d wish for a better lunch.

 

DSC_0213 copy

It doesn’t involve much in the way of fanfare, and most ingredients are easily available. Chicken drumsticks, olive oil, honey, crushed garlic, oregano, cumin powder, paprika, salt, black pepper, lemon juice and potatoes. I’ve used two different kinds of potatoes, but feel free to use whatever potatoes you like or have on hand.

 

DSC_0215

for tender, juicier results we want to marinade the chicken for which you begin by slashing said chicken down to the bone. This helps with even cooking, and lets the spices penetrate in deep.

 

DSC_0217

The marination is easy. Mix all the spices in a bowl

 

DSC_0220

along with lemon juice

 

DSC_0222

honey

 

DSC_0224

and olive oil

 

DSC_0225

mix it all together to form a sort of paste.

 

DSC_0226

Coat the drumsticks in the the marinade, making sure it’s seriously coated.

 

DSC_0227

cover with a cling wrap and let it marinade in the fridge for a couple hours. You can do this bit of activity sometime during breakfast if you want to make it for lunch.

 

DSC_0229

Prep your potatoes by cutting into bite sized cubes

 

DSC_0230

drizzle a bit of olive oil

 

DSC_0231

and a bit of salt. Nothing else needs be done to the potatoes.

 

DSC_0233

Be sure to take the chicken out of the fridge at least 15 minutes before baking, so as to allow them to come to room temperature.

 

DSC_0234

give it a final quick mix in the marinade before baking

 

DSC_0235

place drumsticks on a bed of potatoes and bake at 200° for 30-35 minutes

 

DSC_0249

about half way between baking time pull out the chicken and slather all the remaining marinade on top and under using tongs to rotate these pieces to get an even marination.

You won’t believe how good it smells.

 

DSC_0252

This is it! they’re done. Let them rest for a few minutes before chomping in. Tender, moist, juicy, succulent. They’re so delicious you’d have to find another word for delicious, and don’t even get me started on the potatoes that have soaked in the flavours from the marinade and turned into crispy pieces of delectable spuds. YUM!

 

DSC_0284



Ingredients

Chicken drumsticks: 3-4 in nos.

Potatoes: 2 in nos (1 sweet and 1 regular baking potato)

olive oil: 1 tsp

salt: 1/4 tsp

For the marinade

Crushed garlic: 1 Tbsp (2-3 garlic cloves)

Dried oregano: 1 Tbsp

Cumin powder: 1 Tbsp

Paprika: 1 Tbsp

Crushed black pepper: 1/2 Tbsp

Salt: 1 tsp

Lemon juice: 2 Tbsps

Honey: 1 tsp

Olive oil: 4 Tbsps (60 mls)


Recipe instructions

Make slashes on the chicken drumsticks to the bone, especially on its thickest parts, and make sure the meat has no water sticking to it or dry it with a paper towel. This helps the marinade cling better.

For the marinade, mix all the spices, salt and crushed garlic in a bowl along with lemon juice, honey and olive oil. (the addition of honey doesn’t sweeten anything except balance the tartness and spiciness of the marinade). Give it a good mix until everything is well incorporated and toss in the chicken. Use tongs for even coverage of the mixture on the meat.

Cover and let rest in the fridge for a few hours before baking.

Pull it out of the refrigerator at least 10-15 minutes before baking time to let it come to room temperature, thus ensuring even baking.

Chop potatoes into bite sized cubes and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt. Cover baking tray with aluminium foil and place the potatoes and chicken drumsticks. Bake in a preheated oven at 200° for 30-35 minutes.

Halfway between baking time pull the chicken out of the oven and drizzle all the remaining marinade to coat or rather smother it, using tongs to flip the chicken on all sides to soak up the marinade.

Bake it for remaining time and let rest for a few minutes before serving.

NOTE: To know whether the chicken is done, insert a knife in the thickest part of the drumstick, and if the juices run clear then it’s cooked. If the juices are still red then you need to put it back into the oven.

Serve on a warm plate.

DSC_0280

Enjoy!!

 

 

 

Wholewheat banana bread


dsc_0810Most beguiling, calling this a bread, when in essence, it actually is a cake. I guess it’s probably called a bread because it’s baked in a loaf tin. Ah, well.. ‘a rose by any other name’ and all that jazz. So indeed, this rather bashful, withdrawn looking cake/bread is exactly that. An air of polite modesty about its person, this cake doesn’t pretend to be a showstopper, or a stunner, gracing the high tables of a luxurious dinner party.

It’s in fact a quiet, simple and courteous nibble as opposed to the rich, opulent, cloying tastes of other thickly decadent cakes. This, in effect, is the anti thesis of sinful tastes, and bears such depth of resonant flavours that one slice or even two wouldn’t suffice. A perfect accompaniment for coffee, or as breakfast. This wholewheat banana cake  makes up in flavours, what it lacks in appearances, and isn’t that all that really matters?

Flecked with nuts, tinged with spices encasing a positively astounding banana soul. This wholewheat banana bread is moist with a nuttier wholewheat taste that totally trumps ones with made with regular flour..and if that wasn’t enough, it’s healthier too.

 

dsc_0770-copyThe ingredients are simple enough. mashed bananas, brown sugar, coconut oil, soy milk, eggs, wholewheat flour, vanilla, ground spices and nuts.

 

dsc_0773

dsc_0774

mix baking soda and baking powder in with wholewheat flour. (these ingredients were not pictured)

 

dsc_0776

In a clean mixing bowl, add in the oil and brown sugar

 

dsc_0778

Mix briefly and crack in the eggs, and beat again, until the eggs are evenly combined.

 

dsc_0779

add vanilla

 

dsc_0782

mashed bananas and mix

 

dsc_0785

once the ingredients are well combined, tip in the flour. As you can see I’ve traded my whisk for a spatula, and mix very briefly.

 

dsc_0786

add in the ground spices

 

dsc_0787

followed by nuts, and combine well, without over mixing the batter.

 

dsc_0790

scrape into a well greased and floured tin of choice, or loaf tin if you wish to call this a bread.

 

dsc_0794

and bake at 170°C for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

 

dsc_0824and Voila!!

Note:  before baking I’d tasted the batter which didn’t taste as sweet as I’d have liked, so I added in two tablespoons of honey.


INGREDIENTS

Bananas: 2 large mashed (1 cup)

Coconut oil: 80 mls (1/3cup) (feel free to use any oil of choice, or even  melted butter)

Brown sugar: 100g (1/2 cup)

Honey: 2 tablespoons

Milk: 60 mls ( use soy milk or any milk or even water)

Wholewheat flour:  160g (roughly 1.5 cup)

Eggs: 2

Chopped nuts: 80g (1/2 cup)

Vanilla extract: 2 tsp

Baking powder: 1 tsp

Baking soda: 1/2tsp

Spice mix: 

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp crushed pepper

1/4 tsp crushed cloves


RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS

Mix the baking powder and baking soda into wholewheat flour.

In a clean mixing bowl beat together coconut oil, sugar, honey and eggs until evenly combined. Add in mashed bananas, vanilla and beat well. Stir in the flour and spice mixture and nuts and fold until just mixed.

Scrape into a baking tin and bake at 170°c for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let rest before unmoulding.

dsc_0818Enjoy

 

Butter coconut cookies


DSC_0634This artistically stacked hillock of brown jenga pieces is in fact an artistically stacked hillock of edible jenga pieces. Alright, it’s not artistically stacked, and these aren’t pieces from a game..these are cookies squares, or rectangles, for you geometrically fastidious lot. Butter coconut cookies to be more precise..the kinds that possess the power to transform your tea time into a festivity—they don’t even need tea as an excuse to be eaten. They have looks, texture and crunch; all the makings of cookie stardom, and yet they stay humble. Modestly unadorned, on your tea table, or your dining table, or your study table, where they’ll sit in quiet obeisance, patiently waiting to be chewed on..one after another.

You didn’t think you could stop after just one, did you? No! you cannot. Not only is it against cookie eating rules, but also because you sure as all hell couldn’t resist these tan little fellas, exuding coconut fragrance and tropical desires.

And would you believe it, despite their come-hither look,  they’re rather incomplex. You could tszuj up these coconutty babies in moments.

 

DSC_0565 copyThe usual suspects, only a lot lesser than usual. Butter, flour, brown sugar, desiccated coconut and coconut extract. If however you do not have coconut extract (and why should you), use vanilla extract.

 

DSC_0566

There’s a picture of a blender because I felt like making life difficult for me, by putting ingredients into a blender instead of creaming them the usual way. It’s more convenient to use a food processor, but I was not disappointed with the outcome of this contraption. Let me not speak in riddles any further.

 

DSC_0568

it puts the lotion into the basket, or cubed up cold butter along with flour into the blender, and whizz ’em mercilessly. Actually you gotta pulse it. a few second pulse a few times, and you’re there.

 

DSC_0569

the butter and flour will get mixed, and the flour will begin to clump.

 

DSC_0570

like so.. (you can also use the good old creaming method. You know, where you beat the butter and add in sugar, so on and so forth. This is just easier and less fussier and your muscles stay relaxed.

 

DSC_0572

add in the sugar and pulse again, a few times

 

DSC_0573

you will end up with the most fabulous sweet edible sand. But we’re yet to add a few more ingredients to the alchemy.

 

DSC_0575

so, in with the coconut

 

DSC_0577

a few drops of coconut extract, and a good mix.

 

DSC_0579

almost there, but it’s still a bit crumbly. Not quite together.

 

DSC_0582

nothing that a couple tablespoons of milk won’t rectify.

 

DSC_0584

mix it a bit together.

 

DSC_0585

and there you have it. Serious clumpage.

 

DSC_0586

using your hands, roll it into a ball.

 

DSC_0588

stick it in a cling film, and let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. Makes it easier to handle.

 

DSC_0589

generously flour your board. The point is to not let it stick when you roll. Don’t skimp on the flour.

 

DSC_0590

roll the dough out. It will break on the edges but that’s not a bad thing, nor difficult to manage. Just keep putting things in place and perspective using a spatula or palette knife. and keep running it under the dough as well, to ensure that it doesn’t stick to the board.

 

DSC_0591

like so.

 

DSC_0592

DSC_0593

once the dough is rolled out, sprinkle over some more desiccated coconut and white sugar. The top will retain the coconutty, sugary granules and look all the more alluring. It’s a vanity thing.

 

DSC_0594

you can cut these into any shape or form. The easiest would be into squares using your knife, just slice through the dough and form easy rustic squares..but I was itching to try out these Japanese cookie cutters that I’d recently bought in a fit of idle need, and proceeded to fall in love with them.

 

DSC_0595

oh so pretty did they look —their rectangular fluted edges with an air of serene uniformity.

 

DSC_0597

I couldn’t help but click them in different lights and angles.

 

DSC_0599

bake at 180°C for 18-20 minutes, for the desired crunch. Let them rest for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring on a cooling rack

 

DSC_0617

they get crunchier every sitting moment.

 

DSC_0619

Eat as many

______________________________________

Ingredients

Flour: 200g (1, 1/4 cup)

Brown sugar: 100g (1cup)

Butter: 100g (1/2 cup)

desiccated coconut: 50 gm (1/2 cup)+ 2 tbsp (for sprinkling)

coconut/vanilla extract: 1 tsp

milk: 2 tbsp (if needed)

granulated white sugar: 2 tbsp ( for sprinkling)


Recipe:

Pulse together the butter, flour and sugar in a food processor until it starts clumping together. Transfer into a bowl and add in desiccated coconut and extract and mix. If the dough doesn’t come together, add in the milk and mix.

forem into a ball, wrap in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll into a neat square on a generously floured board. make sure the dough doesn’t stick to the board. sprinkle coconut and granulated white sugar on top and cut into squares.

bake at 180°C for 18-20 minutes in a pre heated oven and let cool on a cooling rack.

Serve with tea, or just as is.

DSC_0632

stack em high and apply to face.

 

 

 

Date & nut cake


DSC_0515Oh this cake. I could sing songs, write sonnets and do a bit of dance and tell you how unbelievably heavenly this cake was. Instead I’m just going to do a bit of unhinged prose and explain with all the emphasis at my disposal about the fabulousness that is this Date & nut cake.  It’s appearance as humble as it might seem is most beguiling and hides the delectable reality of this exquisite cake.

You might be tempted to write off this cake at the merest first glance as any old fruit cake, but one bite and you’d be lost. You’d be lost and in a labyrinthine maze of cake heaven realize with each chewy/crunch/crumbly/flavoursome bite that this cake is indeed one of the most tasteful, scrumptious cake ever to have floated out of your oven.

It’s the orchestra of soft sweet dates contrasting with nut crunch and underlined with a medley of sublime spice flavours that makes this cake an addictive must.

DSC_0486 copyit’s a date & nut cake, so it has dates and nuts and milk, sugar, egg, flour, butter, vanilla extract, clove powder (ground cloves), orange zest, cinnamon, baking powder, crushed pepper.

 

DSC_0487start by adding baking powder to the flour and mixing it thoroughly. Keep it aside.

 

DSC_0488As with most cake recipes this one starts with creaming the butter and sugar in a bowl. Make sure the butter is at room temperature. Mine was not 😦

 

DSC_0490beat or cream the butter, add in the sugar

 

DSC_0491add the orange zest

 

DSC_0492beat until it sort of looks like this, or you can do a better job if the butter is room temperature.

 

DSC_0493crack in an egg

 

DSC_0495splash in some vanilla

 

DSC_0496and beat again until well mixed. My batter looks a bit curdled and that’s because I didn’t use room temperature butter. It’s too cold here for anything to be room temperature..but this curdling won’t matter..and you’ll see.

 

DSC_0497add in the flour

 

DSC_0498followed by spices..cinnamon, ground cloves

 

DSC_0499crushed black pepper

 

DSC_0501mix a bit and add milk

 

DSC_0503followed by chopped dates

 

DSC_0504chopped nuts

 

DSC_0506and mix until just barely mixed. Do Not overmix the batter.

 

DSC_0508scrape batter into a baking tin of choice. I’ve lined mine with some baking paper.

 

DSC_0509smoothen the top and bake at 180°C for 55-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out completely clean

 

DSC_0522let it cool. Slice and enjoy!

_______________________

Ingredients

Dates: 170g (1 overflowing cup)

Nuts: 130g (1 cup). I used a mix of pecans and walnuts, but you can use whatever is easily available.

Sugar: 100g (1/2 cup)

Flour: 120g (1 cup)

Butter: 100g (1/2 cup)

Milk: 50 mls (1/4cup)

Eggs: 1

Vanilla extract: 1 tsp

baking powder: 1.5 tsp

Orange zest: 1 tbsp

black pepper (crushed): 1/4 tsp

Cinnamon: 1/2 tsp

crushed cloves: 1/4 tsp

——————–

Recipe instructions: Chop the dates and soak in 1 cup of hot water to soften them and keep aside.

Add the baking powder into the flour and mix well and keep aside.

Cream the room temperature butter with the sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy. Crack in the egg, add vanilla extract and beat for another minute until well combined. Add in the flour, followed by spices. Mix roughly and add in the milk until just mixed.

Drain the dates and add into the batter, followed by nuts and do not over mix the batter.

Scrape the batter into a well greased baking tin and bake at 180°C for 55-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out completely clean.

Let cool before slicing.

Enjoy!

 

 

Venetian carrot cake


 

DSC_1379In case anyone was wondering about my exile and the painfully invisible void I’d left in the world of food blogs, then let me tell you, it was only temporary..and though I might not be back with a bang, I am back with a gluten free (gasp) venetian carrot cake, the credit for which as much as I’d like to take isn’t mine to take at all but Nigella Lawson’s, and it’s her recipe I’ve adapted to make this unbelievable sphere (albeit sort of flat) of damp richness.

This is a carrot cake and it’s unapologetically..umm carroty? and absolutely gluten free, which is to say it does not require any flour, and as hipster as it sounds, we can take some solace in that it’s not vegan..though I promise nothing. On days of rage, I’ve been known to torture myself with vegan food stuff. But that’s another story for another torture chamber, because right now let’s marvel in the blistering warmth of this buff coloured cake, which sings to your soul and pleases your senses with such luxurious notes, that you’re left wondering whether you should eat this cake or marry it.

DSC_1328 copy

So without further ado, we’ve the ingredients. Sugar, olive oil, vanilla extract, beaten eggs, almond meal, shredded carrots, pine nuts, lemon, lemon zest, raisins and rum (not pictured)

Just because a cake’s got almond meal which sometimes you don’t readily get at your grocery store, does not mean you put off baking this amber coloured love disc. You’ve only to blitz almonds to get almond meal you know. It’s rocket science, but you can get around to it.

DSC_1331before we get started, put the raisins in with the rum and bring to a boil and let simmer gently for 3 minutes, after which turn off your heat and let the raisins plump up and cool.

 

DSC_1333 into a bowl of choice, add olive oil and sugar

 

DSC_1335and beat it for at least a couple of minutes. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable activity, I assure you.

 

DSC_1336beat until you’ve incorporated the sugar with the oil

 

DSC_1341mix in the eggs

 

DSC_1339followed closely by vanilla extract

 

DSC_1347and the zest

 

DSC_1348and lemon juice

 

DSC_1343mix well, until you’ve a summery ripple of golden ooze that speaks radiance in shiny ribbons.

 

DSC_1344tip in the now cooled swollen raisins along with any rum that’s it’s been standing in.

 

DSC_1349finally the almond meal

 

DSC_1350and the grated carrots

 

DSC_1354mix well, until everything’s incorporated and there’re no dry pockets.

 

DSC_1356scrape the mixture into a prepared cake tin. This is a springform pan

DSC_1330prepared simply means you’ve oiled the sides and the bottom and stuck a wax/butter/parchment paper on the base and oiled it as well.

DSC_1357now, with the careless abandon of abundance, strew the top with pine nuts

 

DSC_1358liberally or not..entirely up to you and bake at 180°C for 40 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out almost clean. As long as it’s sticky and not runny, you’re good.

 

DSC_1360once done, let it cool before you devour..always a good practice.

 

DSC_1383and behold! the answer to dreary winter months, the saviour of one too many dinnerless nights..or just a sponge to wipe your tears, while you wallow in the dull ache of loneliness in your bed. A cake of such splendour and sumptuous depths that you’d kick yourself for sharing it. It’ll light you up on the inside, and how can it not?

_________________

Ingredients

 

  • carrots-2 medium  (about 200g)

  • pine nuts -3 tbsp
  • raisins-75g (1/2 cup)

  • rum- 60ml

  • sugar- 150g (3/4cup)

  • olive oil (regular)- 125ml (1/2 cup)

  • eggs-3
  • vanilla extract- 1 tsp

  • almond meal- 250g (2.5 cup)

  • lemon- 1/2 (zest and juice)

______________________________________________

Preparation

In a saucepan bring to a boil the rum and raisins and let simmer gently. Turn off the heat and let them stand and cool.  Grate the carrots and absorb any excess liquid with a kitchen towel.

Into a bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until well mixed. add in the eggs, vanilla, lemon zest and juice and the now cooled rum and raisins, and mix well. Finally fold in the almond meal and grated carrots.

Scrape into a prepared cake tin, and cover the top with pine nuts. Bake 180°C for 40 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out almost clean. As long as it’s sticky and not runny, you’re good. Let it rest for at lest ten minutes before removing it from its cake pan. Let it cool completely and enjoy

DSC_1370

 

 

 

Blueberry muffin crumble cake


DSC_1502

Are you seeing this? are you feeling it? Behold the rocket science behind making a muffin batter, only to make a cake instead, and top it all off with a crumble. gasp!

Before I begin with the alchemy of innovation and the complicated discoveries of pouring a muffin batter into a cake pan, let me just tell you about the divinity of this blueberry muffin crumble cake.

The rustic golden top, splattered with the ooze of violent violet of tart sweet blueberries, has known to make grown men weep. It’s guaranteed to make a painter out of the most banal harsh hearts, and turn your cold cemented soul into a benevolent rasp of tenderness. It doesn’t masquerade as a sinful dessert, but rather bleeds of such hearty compassion, that you’d want nothing better than to cry your woes to this plate of cake, and promise to turn over a new leaf. It’s seriously that good!…Also it takes no more than mere moments to conjure up this holiness.

DSC_1441 copy

totally basic ingredients involving sugar, oil, lemon zest, baking soda, baking powder, salt, blueberries (obviously), yogurt, egg, vanilla extract, flour and crumble toppings that include flour, sugar & butter.

DSC_1444

so let’s just begin with the crumble topping and that’s one less thing to bother about. So, flour in a bowl

DSC_1447

and sugar

DSC_1448

and butter

DSC_1449

and mix with a fork

DSC_1450

until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Now refrigerate this and forget about it for a bit.

DSC_1454

now because this is a muffin cake, we go the basic dry ingredient+wet ingredients way. So this is our wet ingredients bit..lol wet! in a separate clean bowl, crack and egg.

DSC_1455

beat it with some vanilla

DSC_1456

add in the yogurt

DSC_1457

and the oil.

DSC_1458

and mix/beat/whip until it forms a real nice smooth batter..real smooth.

DSC_1460

now for the dry ingredients. In a separate larger bowl, add in the flour.

DSC_1463

and the sugar

DSC_1467

DSC_1466 DSC_1464

and the baking soda, baking powder and salt. and phew!

DSC_1468

in with the lemon zest

DSC_1471

and the blueberries that hardly ever look blue, but whatever!

DSC_1472

and mix! yes sir.

DSC_1477

mix until everything is..umm..mixed. That is to say the blueberries are coated with the flour mixture and all ingredients are evenly dispersed.

DSC_1478

dump in the wet ingredients..you remember..that egg, oil and yogurt batter

DSC_1480

and now you get a mixing..but remember DO NOT OVERMIX!

DSC_1483

mix only until it has just come together..just barely come together..

DSC_1485

scrape the muffin batter into a cake tin/pan/dish. make sure you’ve oiled it first. Even out the top as best as you can

DSC_1487

and sprinkle on the crumble topping that has been resting in the fridge

DSC_1490

like so..bake in a preheated oven at 190ºC for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

DSC_1492

Can you see the gorgeously golden cracked crumble top?

DSC_1495

see???

DSC_1499

see..sigh! flecked dangerously vivid with blueberries, this muffin cake is a joy to bake and a wonder to eat. Serve just as is, or with ice cream or cream or custard or tears.


Ingredients

egg: 1 large

yogurt: 240 mls (1 cup)

vegetable oil: 80 mls (1/3 cup)

flour: 250g (2 cups)

sugar: 100g (1/2 cup)

baking powder: 1 1/2 tsp

baking soda: 1/4tsp

salt: 1/4 tsp

lemon zest: 1 tsp

blueberries: 320g (about 1 1/4 cup)


for the crumble topping

sugar: 50g (1/4 cup)

butter: 30g (2 heaped tablespoons)

flour: 70g (1/2 cup)


 Blueberry muffin crumble cake: make the crumble topping by mixing in the flour and sugar and using a fork cut in the cold butter, until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. you can do this using just your finger tips as well.

wet ingredients: In a large bowl mix together egg, vanilla extract, yogurt and oil.

dry ingredients: In a separate bowl mix in the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest and blueberries. Mix until the blueberries are well coated with flour and all the ingredients are evenly mixed.

Now gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and do not over mix. The batter will be a bit thick, but desirably so. Scrape into a well greased baking dish and even out the top as best as you can.

Sprinkle the crumble topping thickly and bake at 190ºC for about 25-30 minutes in a pre heated oven or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Almost – fudge gateau


DSC_1109

 

 

In case you ever wondered what gateway to heaven was really made of, then please look no further. The gateway to heaven or even the stairway to one was/is most definitely made of this dense, moist disc of chocolate bliss. I’d love to say that this was something that came out of my kitchen in a moment of godlike inspiration, but sadly it isn’t. This is a recipe I adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s book (baking, from my home to yours), and the moment I made it I knew this would be that moment of magical sin, when I’d plunge headlong into this shiny matt dome of chocolate and wish for no rescue.

The real reason I’d made this cake was because I was in a celebratory mode, as I’d just become a part of this fantastic website put together by a bunch of serious food lovers called Gastronazi.com and that I was doing metaphysical somersaults and driving myself into a food frenzy would be a serious understatement. This website is exactly what it sounds like, and puts not only well researched, well thought food related articles but also comes up with excellent how to videos and recipes that you always thought belonged in a pricey French kitchen. So do check put this website and know more about how to kick it up a notch or two in your home kitchen.

Coming back to this gateau, here’s all you need.

DSC_1062 copy

sugar, good quality dark chocolate, eggs separated, flour, butter and salt.

DSC_1064start with prepping your springform pan by buttering the sides and bottom

DSC_1066lining with a parchment paper

DSC_1067buttering that as well

DSC_1068sprinkle in some flour to coat the entire pan and shake off the excess

DSC_1070something like this

DSC_1072add the butter to your chocolate and melt either using a double boiler or nuking in the microwave

DSC_1074this is what you should end up with. stir it all together to form a chocolate pool, then dive in and forget the world, or just continue making the cake.

DSC_1076to this add sugar

DSC_1077stir well to mix as well as you can

DSC_1078add in the egg yolks, one at a time and stir until all’s well combined.

DSC_1080add in the flour and mix well

DSC_1081to make it look like this.

DSC_1082in a separate, very clean bowl we have to whip up the egg whites to form firm peaks, they should be glossy and not dry

DSC_1083so add a pinch of salt to the egg whites

DSC_1085and whip like a maniac, until they kinda look like this

DSC_1086now the part where you exercise caution. First fold in about a third of the egg white mixture into the batter, to lighten it a bit. I generally do this step by cut and fold method too. Very gently fold in the egg whites to form a part of the batter. I do this by scraping the bottom of the batter and bringing it to the top of the egg whites and keep repeating this step 4-5 times until the egg whites become a part of the batter.

DSC_1087once you’ve lightened the batter, fold in the rest of the egg whites using the same method.

DSC_1088and the batter should look something like this.

DSC_1089scrape the batter into the pan and jiggle the sides just a bit to even the batter (I always use foil on my tray because my springform pan can be slightly dyslexic). Bake at 180°C for 35-45 minutes.  thin knife inserted will come slightly smeared with chocolate when its done.

DSC_1090the cake when done looks something like this. Let it rest for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. If you think the cake is sticking to the edges, just run a blunt knife around the edges and it will come out easily. The way we’ve buttered and floured the pan, it might be almost impossible to stick.

Let the cake cool completely before glazing it.

DSC_1092for the glaze we need heavy cream, dark chocolate and honey

DSC_1097start by heating the chocolate on low flame until it’s just nearly boiling but not boiling. Turn off the heat and add in the chocolate and let them sit without stirring for a couple of minutes.

DSC_1098after a few minutes, stir together to combine

DSC_1099add in the honey and stir again. Wait for a few minutes until it’s just cool because it has to be pourable, for you to do

DSC_1103this. Yes! slather that cake with that glaze baby..ooh yeah.

DSC_1116cut yourself a piece and watch yourself melt into a pool of luxurious indulgence

Ingredients

Eggs- 5 (separated)

bittersweet chocolate- 250g

sugar- 150g (1 cup)

butter- 70g (5 tbsp)

flour-50g (1/3cup)

salt- pinch

For the glaze

Dark chocolate-100g

heavy cream- 90 mls (about 1/2 cup)

Honey- 2 tsp

Baking instructions

Butter a sprinform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper, dust with flour to ensure the pan is evenly coated on all sides and shake off the excess.

Melt the chocolate and butter and mix in sugar, then add in the egg yolks, one at a time and mix well. Add flour and mix to form a smooth batter.

Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and whip to form firm peaks. Stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter and fold in to lighten, then gently fold the rest of the egg whites, cautiously. Scrape the batter into the pan and jiggle a bit to even out. Bake at 180°C for 35-45 minutes. A thin knife inserted will come slightly smeared with chocolate when its done.

Let the cake cool for at least 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. Once out of the pan and let it cool completely.

For the chocolate glaze: heat the cream to a point when it’s just about boiling, don’t let it come to a boil. Add in the chocolate to the saucepan and let it sit without stirring for a couple of minutes. Stir the mixture after a couple of minutes until smooth and add the honey and keep mixing until it’s shiny. Let it cool a bit before pouting over the cake. Let the glaze set at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before cutting into the cake.

DSC_1108enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Onion focaccia


DSC_0384As a lover of all things carbohydrate and more specifically bread, flavourful focaccia is probably among the top five things I want to be seen dead with. There’s an almost borderline obscene love that I treasure for this bread. I mean honestly, it’s flat, chic, flavoured, reeking of olive oil and begs to be torn mercilessly into choicest shards, to be shovelled into your mouth with absolutely no regrets.

This to me works as an appetizer, a full meal, a snack, a towel to wipe my tears, a snug bed that doesn’t judge me, a mop for gravies, a lover, a husband…..

This blog already has a garlic basil focaccia recipe, and the premises for this wonder are no different. Onion somehow lends a sublime sweetness and when it’s caramelized dark with crispy edges, it makes this bread go places…Basically my kitchen to my bed where I spend all night fighting my body image issues with this lovely bread.

So here it is.

DSC_0334nregular bread stuff; flower, olive oil, warm water,  yeast, salt, sugar, dried rosemary and sliced onions. I’m using dried rosemary because I have no fresh ones available, but if you do please go ahead and up the quantity a bit.

DSC_0335let’s get bread making first. Sugar into warm water

DSC_0336followed by yeast. followed by a ten minute wait to let the yeast foam up.

DSC_0339in the meantime dump your flour in a big bowl

DSC_0340followed by salt

DSC_0341and a blurry picture of rosemary

DSC_0342followed by the foamy water.

DSC_0344and our star of this show.. the studly extra virgin olive oil ( about half of the total quantity), that shies from rough handling. Knead to make a smooth dough.

DSC_0345something like this. I kneaded the dough for at least 10 minutes, but in case you have a mixer of sorts go ahead and make your work easier, only you won’t love this bread as much.

DSC_0347We have to let the bread rest to puff up and become more bread like. So back into the bowl smeared lovingly with some more olive oil. Cover well and let it rest for at least an hour or until the bread has doubled in size. Mine almost took two hours. It’s cold here.

DSC_0348in the meantime, let’s get cracking with the onions. a frying pan on medium heat and a tablespoon of regular olive oil, just to get the onions sweating.

DSC_0351in with the onions.

DSC_0352slick well with oil

DSC_0353a pinch of salt, just to get them nice and soft

DSC_0355Now we’re talking. This is after about five minutes of cooking. They’re perfect like this but I like them a bit more caramelized.

DSC_0356something like this.

DSC_0357Reserve until the dough is ready.

DSC_0359which might look something like this. It’s aromatic and gorgeously flecked with rosemary. Punch it down and knead for a minute.

DSC_0361some more olive oil on your baking tray

DSC_0363to have the kneaded dough sit on.

DSC_0364Now to turn this bread dough into focaccia. Flatten it down

DSC_0365like so, without making it too thin. Spread some more olive oil and..

DSC_0367give it that characteristic focaccia dimpled look, by simply pushing in your fingers deep to make pretty little dents and have the oil pool in them. so pretty!

DSC_0368like so. If at this stage you feel that there isn’t enough oil on top and that it looks dry, just pour in some more. This looked perfect, so onions now.

DSC_0369like so. Make sure to push them in, or else they won’t stick.

DSC_0370cover and let rise for another 45 minutes.

DSC_0371Now for some wonderful smattering of crunchy sea salt, for what is focaccia without a smear of sea salt?

DSC_0373It’s risen a bit more after the second rising, and you’ve to simply sprinkle the salt on top and bake at 200℃ for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and the onions caramelized to a devious crispy dark

DSC_0375like so,  but wait!

DSC_0377some more extra virgin olive oil for the top to gleam and glow.

DSC_0382apply to face. This bread is a breeze to make and a delight to eat. Dunk in more olive oil, or sauce of your choice and make a meal of it.

Ingredients

Bread flour: 300g (around 2 cups)

Warm water: 200ml ( a little less than a cup)

Yeast: 1 teaspoon

Sugar: 1 tablespoon

Salt: 1 teaspoon

Rosemary: 3/4th teaspoon

Extra virgin olive oil: 80ml (1/4 cup)

Onion: 1 medium sliced thin

sea salt: 1 teaspoon

Preparation Instructions: Dissolve the sugar and yeast in warm water and leave for 10 minutes to activate and foam.

In a large bowl mix flour, rosemary and salt. Once the yeast water has foamed, add into the mix along with half the quantity of extra virgin olive oil. Knead to form a smooth dough (if the dough is too dry add more water, if it’s sticky add some flour) and let it rise for at least an hour or until it’s doubled in size.

Cook onions on medium flame in some regular olive oil until soft and translucent. Reserve.

Once the dough has risen, knead it for another two minutes and flatten out on a well oiled tray (use a tablespoon of the remaining oil), making dimples with your fingers and add some more oil to the top.

Spread the cooked onions on the top evenly and push them in so they stick. Wrap and let rest and rise for another 45 minutes.

After the second rising sprinkle top with some sea salt and bake at 200℃ for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned. Brush the remainder of the olive oil on top and let it rest for at least ten minutes before you dig in.

DSC_0387Enjoy!

 

Double chocolate chunk cookies


DSC_1022

This isn’t the first chocolate chip/chunk cookie post on this blog, and most certainly not the last. But before you roll your eyes and dismiss these sweet little discs of joy, at least stare at them for a while, and notice that there are two kinds of demonic babies in there. I meant dark chocolate and white chocolate; a pairing made in gluttonous heaven of sweet sin.

These golden halos of chewy rapture are sweet, rich, and sometimes responsible for stealthily increasing your waistline..but that’s a different story for a boring day. Make a big batch and freeze some for later I say.

These need no heavy machinery, or special equipments or even muscle power. The ingredients are few and it takes moments to conjure these lovers

DSC_098h2

 

just butter (softened to room temperature), dark brown sugar, white sugar, flour, an egg, salt, baking soda, vanilla extract, and of course chocolate chunks both dark and white. Feel free to use chocolate chips instead (only they won’t be as awesome)

DSC_0983add the softened butter to a bowl of choice. Ahem! notice my gorgeous new pink spatula?

DSC_0984rain in the white sugar

DSC_0985and the brown sugar and simply beat it together. It shouldn’t take long if the butter is nicely soft.

DSC_0987a minute of creaming together and it comes to look like this.

DSC_0996crack in the egg

DSC_0997splash in the vanilla

DSC_0998and beat again, until it looks something like this.

DSC_0990in a separate bowl, add in the flour and salt

DSC_0991and the baking soda

DSC_0992and mix to combine

DSC_1000and stir it into the butter sugar mixture.

DSC_1001mix until it just about comes together.

DSC_1002clatter in the chunks..the white

DSC_1003and the dark,  and mix until just barely there. Do not over-mix the cookie dough. Please!

DSC_1004this is how it comes together. Now cover with a cling film and let it sit in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.

DSC_1006in the meantime, line your baking tray with parchment or butter paper, ignore that this is full of creases.

DSC_1007after 45 minutes, we’re ready to bake. It’s easiest with an ice cream scoop.

DSC_1008like so

DSC_1009like so.. bake at 180℃ for 12-14 minutes, until the edges just start to slightly brown

DSC_1011tadaa!! do not attempt to transfer the hot cookies immediately onto a cooling rack, they will all too easily tear. let them rest for at least 2-3 minutes.

DSC_1021

and finally this!

Dunk into milk, crumble over ice cream or just apply to face as is, they’re fantastic either way..and..and oh so gorgeous. The sides are slightly crispy, the center chewy, the chocolate chunks absolutely blowing these darlings into another dimension.

Ingredients

butter:  110g

white sugar: 70g (about 1/3rd cup)

brown sugar: 80g (a little less than 1/4 cup)

egg: 1

vanilla: 1 tsp

flour: 150g (1 and 1/4 cup)

baking soda: 1/2 tsp

salt: 1/4 tsp

dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa): 70g (1/2 cup)

white chocolate : 70g (1/2 cup)

Preparation instructions:

Mix the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda) into a separate bowl and set aside.

In a clean bowl, add in the softened butter and the sugar and cream until they’re light and fluffy. Crack in the egg and add in the vanilla extract and beat again for about a minute.

Add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Tumble in the chocolate chunks and stir again until all chunks are just incorporated into the mixture.

Cover with a cling film and let it sit in the fridge for at least 30-45 minutes.

layer your baking tray with parchment paper, and using an ice cream scoop place them at least an inch apart, since these cookies will spread.

bake at 180℃ for 12-14 minutes, until the edges just start to slightly brown.

Let them rest for a few minutes before you transfer them to cool on a cooling rack.

Store in an airtight container and they should disappear by the end of day.

DSC_1024now you seriously gotta make these. Enjoy!