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Brownies for Weight-Watchers! This is How to Make Espresso Walnut Brownie at Home

Espresso Walnut Brownie

What does a good start of the day mean to you? It’s a perfect cup of coffee, isn’t it? or the tea lovers would say a perfect cup of tea! What if we accompany it with a yummy Sugar-free Espresso Walnut Brownie? Healthy treat!!

Here’s the Recipe for Espresso Walnut Brownie by Mark from MoreFlavour. This is a guest post. Scroll down to know more about Mark.

Is there anything better than a good cup of coffee? Well, maybe one thing. In fact, just about the only thing that could be better is good coffee accompanied by a delicious coffee dessert. I love having a snack around for when my friends come over for coffee or something I can pack up for a picnic or day at the beach. You might be like me or you could belooking for some ideas to add a little excitement to your coffee breaks. Maybe brighten your day a bit. Well, look no further.

Espresso Walnut Brownie
Espresso Walnut Brownie

I’m a sucker for brownies. There’s just something about the texture, the taste, which utterly overwhelms my senses and leaves me defenseless. Now I’m certain, most of you can relate and that’s why I just need to share this delicious espresso walnut brownie recipe. It’s easy, it’s quick and it is utterly delicious. Basically, it is the perfect partner for your perfect cup of coffee. It has the perfect mix of textures and flavors and did I mention that it was quick?

How to Make Espresso Walnut Brownie

Now did you know that brownies get better with age? So try to make them a day ahead. Allow them to cool completely in the pan. They tend to be quite soft when they’re still hot and can break apart easily. They also keep a long time (if you are able to resist them). You can store them in your fridge for at least two weeks and it will keep in your freezer for at least 2 months.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups raw walnuts, divided
  • 1 cup raw unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 – 3 cups (depending on size)DegletNour or Medjool dates, pitted
  • ¾ cup raw cacao, but if you don’t have it then use regular cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tsp espresso powder or finely ground coffee (if you prefer)
  • just a pinch of sea salt

Method

  1. Place 1 cup almonds and 1 cup walnuts in your food processor, process until finely ground
  2. Add the cocoa powder (or cacao), espresso powder (or finely ground coffee) and the sea salt to the food processor, pulse to combine
  3. Transfer to bowl and set aside for now
  4. Now place the dates in your food processor, process until only small bits remain.
  5. Remove from food processor and set aside.
  6. Add the nut/cocoa/coffee mixture back into the food processor and, while you’re busy processing, drop small handfuls of the date pieces into the food processor spout.
  7. Process until the mixture has a dough consistency, add more dates if the mixture doesn’t hold together when you squeeze it in your hands.
  8. Line a cake pan (or loaf pan) with parchment
  9. Add the brownie mixture to the cake pan and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts on the surface.
  10. Combine and evenly distribute the nuts in the mixture
  11. Press down with your hands until flat and firm
  12. Place cake pan in freezer or fridge to chill
  13. Cut into desired number of portions
  14. Store in an airtight container to keep fresh.

Who is Mark?

When Mark isn’t out cross-country running, cycling or hiking over the weekends he works at MoreFlavour where they are passionate about good coffee and coffee products. Their mission is to try to help individuals and organizations discover great coffee and their preferred way of enjoying it.

Do not forget to write on the comments below if you have made these brownies at home. We would love to hear from you.

— Images and Guest Post by Mark

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A Sinful Summer Delight! Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake Recipe

The very thought of ” Ice cream Cake” churns me back to my childhood days, scorching sun  never seemed to matter then. It was more of a ritual and a family tradition on a Sunday afternoon when my house was filled my with aunts, cousins – It was after a hearty meal that the much awaited “dessert” made its grand entry. I used to pedal the cycle at a max speed to the nearest ice cream outlet to fetch a family pack of “Ice cream Cake”. It was a time when many flavours were unknown and coming to look at the metamorphosis the food industry has gone through now, it seems enormous.

Here is an opportunity for you to recreate those wonderful childhood memories right in your kitchen.

Before I get started I need to prep you on one important aspect “Patience”. Patience is the Key 😉 Let’s play with some flavours and create a new version of your Summer story!

How to Make Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

The method for Chocolate Ice Cream Cake involves four steps:

  1. Bake the Chocolate Cake
  2. Make the Ice cream
  3. Assemble the Ice Cream Cake
  4. Make  the Ganache

How to Make Ice Cream

Starting with how to make the Ice Cream.

Ingredients for Ice Cream

  • 250 ml Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 3tbsp Condensed Milk
  • 1/2 a cup Nutella

Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

Method

Take the Whipping cream in a wide-mouthed bowl. Whip the cream until soft peaks are formed. You can hasten the whipping process by placing the bowl in an ice bath and then whipping. Once peaks start to appear add the condensed milk and nutella to the cream. Blend until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.

Once the mixture is whipped to form stiff peaks, transfer them into disposable piping bags.

Here is a simple technique you could follow when you do not have a helping hand. Take a tall glass, slide in the piping bag into the glass, tuck out the remaining portion over the rim of the glass. Place the glass on a stable surface and voila! ain’t it an easy trick? now start filling in the cone carefully.

Keep in mind not to fill the bag totally, since you need some space to hold it as well.

Once you have filled in the piping  bags, place them in an air-tight container and leave them inside the fridge until you prep up for the rest.

Take the chocolate cake and cut them horizontally in two equal halves. If you are wondering how to make an easy and simple chocolate cake, click here to get the recipe.

How to Set the Ice Cream Cake

You will need a sturdy strip of plastic sheet, I have used an OHP sheet cut into strips and secured with a sellotape. A simpler and easy option would be using a round spring form pan, even in that case you will need to coat the sides  of the tin with a parchment paper. This is to ensure that the ice cream doesn’t get stuck to the mould. Take care that the circumference of the cake is smaller than that of the mould, so that the sides are well coated and have a fair share of ice cream.

Place the first layer of cake in the center of the mould. Once you do this , you will notice that there is enough space along the circumference of the cake to be filled with the ice cream.

Take out the piping bags filled with the mixture, make a cut at the tip. Squeeze out the cream and fill in the sides of the cake. Once the sides are filled, start filling the top portion of the cake too. With the help of a spoon or an off set spatula, level out the cream.

Place the second portion on the cake on top of the creamy layer and repeat the process. Give it a gentle tap, to ensure that there aren’t any air pockets.

Once this is done leave it in the freezer for 6 – 8hrs and let it freeze.

How to Make an Easy Ganache

It is extremely easy to put together this ‘no-mess’ ganache and once you have done this you will be thrilled to find out how handy this is. You’ll thank me for this:)

Ingredients

  • Cooking Chocolate ( Dark Chocolate) – 200 gms  ( chopped Coarsely)
  • Heavy Cream – 120 gms
  • Butter – 40gms

Method

Take a microwave safe bowl, throw in all the ingredients and microwave on high power for one minute. Pause in between after 40 seconds and stir to ensure that there aren’t any lumps. Microwave again until all the chocolate is thoroughly melted. A thick and rich glazy ganache is ready to be poured on your favourite dessert. If you want it poured on a dessert, ensure it is slightly warm, since it starts setting and turns thick when cooled.

Once the ganache is ready, take out the frozen ice cream cake from the freezer.Carefully demould the cake. Remove it from the spring form pan, and place it carefully on the dish you want to assemble it on. Take a hand full of choco chips and smear it on the sides of the cake. Now pour the ganache carefully all over the cake and let it dribble on the sides as well. Finish it by adding in some fun patterns or swirls with the whipped cream. Though you can eat the cake at this point, I advice you to leave it in the freezer for another couple of hours before you eat it.

Tips

If you intend to leave it in the freezer for later consumption, say, for a period of up to one month, it can be done. But in this case ensure you loosely cover it with a plastic sheet.

You can swap the flavour by making a basic vanilla sponge and experimenting with vanilla ice cream filled with nuts and dry fruits, it is just a matter of letting your imagination play!

The utterly sinful and delicious ice cream  chocolate cake is ready to be devoured!!

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake
Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

Enjoy and  don’t forget to create your own version of Summer Story, share it with us!!

— Recipe and Images Shared by Gayathri Iyer

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Fried Ice Cream,Open Faced Burger, Red Velvet Muffins – A Lavish Breakfast in Bed!

Recipes to make Her Day

Ain’t it an amazing feeling to wake up to the aroma of your most favourite breakfast? It’s not easy to be a woman, yet, we walk with our heads high, take pride in every stride and face challenges head on. Each of us is special in our own unique way!! After all we love to be pampered and yearn for that one moment when the day is “JUST ABOUT US”.

Breakfast Recipes

Why does it always have to be a cliched or stereotypical thought process saying “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”?, why can’t you just change it for a day??

Here’s to all those men folks who intend to surprise and make the most important woman in their life feel special. Now is payback time 😉 just sweep her off her feet by serving her breakfast in bed. I have managed to bring together a relatively simple and no-mess breakfast recipe. It’s okay if you mess it up the first time… because after all, it’s the thought that counts. At least give it a try, probably you’ll explore the hidden chef in you.

Open Faced Burger

Here is the first part from our breakfast menu – the open-faced burger.

Ingredients

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  • Capsicum – 2 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Peas – 1/4 cup
  • Onions – 2 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Carrots – 2tbsp (finely Chopped)
  • Baby Corn – 2tbsp (finely sliced)
  • Cottage Cheese – 150 grams (finely cubed)
  • Chilli powder – 1/2  tsp
  • Pepper – 1/2 tsp (crushed)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Cheese – 100 gms grated
  • Burger Buns  – 2 (halved)
  • Mixed Herbs – 1 tsp

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In a frying pan add a teaspoon of oil and let it heat.  Once heated just add in all the vegetables and saute till tender. Add chilli powder, crushed pepper and stir well. Now slide in the chopped cottage cheese and give it a good stir.

The topping that needs to go on the burger is ready. Now carefully halve the burger buns. Top the bun with the vegetable filling, sprinkle a generous amount of cheese, followed by mixed herbs. Bake them for about for 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 180 degrees centigrade.

A delicious, crunchy, aromatic open faced burger is all set to go on the plate.

Open Faced Burger Recipe
Open Faced Burger

Cucumber Cold Salad Recipe

Now the second from the menu – the cucumber cold salad.

Ingredients

  • Cucumber – 1 finely chopped
  • Carrot – 1 tbsp finely chopped
  • Capsicum – 1 tbsp finely chopped
  • Vinegar – 1/2 tsp
  • Pepper – 1 tsp (crushed)
  • Olive oil – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – To tast
  • Mint Mayonnaise – 1 tbsp

How to Make a Tangy Salad

Add all the finely-chopped vegetables. Combine vinegar, salt, olive oil, pepper along with the vegetables. Now add the mint mayonnaise and mix well.

There, your salad is ready in a jiffy!!

Chocolate Cookies Smoothie

Woohoo!! We’ve reached another phase – chocolate cookies smoothie!

Ingredients

  • Chocolate cookies – 3 nos
  • Frozen Milk – 1 1/2 cup
  • Sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Vanilla Ice cream – 1 scoop

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How to Make the Smoothie

Throw in all the ingredients, the chocolate cookies, frozen milk and sugar in to a blender and blend till all the ingredients are completely smoothed out. Take a glass of your choice, pour in the smoothie. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and top it up with a chocolate cookie. This is pretty easy – ” This shake seems to be no great shake”!!

Red Velvet Muffins Recipe

All this while it’s been a cake walk for you, now I’m going to rev up the degree of difficulty and see who can walk this extra mile. There is virtually no heart which doesn’t sink for this devilishly, sinful cake “Red Velvet Cupcake”.

Ingredients

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  • All Purpose Flour – 1 1/2 cup
  • Beetroot – 3/4 cup (pureed)
  • Refined Vegetable oil – 1/4 cup
  • Milk – 1/2 cup
  • Baking Powder – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Cocoa Powder – 2 tbsp
  • Vinegar – 1 tbsp
  • Sugar – 1 cup (measured and then powdered)

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Whip up oil and sugar together. In a separate bowl, combine beetroot puree, milk and vinegar. Rest this mixture for at least 5-7mts. Sieve flour, cocoa and baking powder, keep it aside. After resting the beetroot, milk and vinegar mixture, combine it to the oil and sugar mixture. Whisk lightly. Now finally add the dry ingredients slowly in batches to the wet ingredients and fold. Fill it in the prepared muffin moulds and bake them in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees centigrade for 20 mts.

If you want to make it in the microwave oven, fill around 7 moulds at a time and microwave on high power for about 2mts.

The drill to check if the cupcakes are “done or not”, is pretty much simple. All you need to do is just insert a tooth pick right at the center taking it all the way to the bottom, as you remove the tooth pick, if it comes out clean, indicates, cake is done. If it’s gooey, just bake it for another 5 minutes in case of an oven or  30 seconds in case of a microwave.

Red Velvet Muffin with Fried Icecream
Red Velvet Muffin with Fried Ice cream

Place them on a cooling rack and let them cool completely.

You can top the red velvet muffins with a butter cream frosting. Here’s a recipe for a basic “butter cream icing if you want to try your hand at icing too!!

Fried Ice Cream Recipe

The next one is the simplest of all, but will test your patience and if you nail this, I’m sure anybody will get floored. “Fried ice cream – it’s more like an oxymoron, sounds cool huh!!  With no further delay..let’s start making

Ingredients

  • Ice cream of your choice – 4 small scoops or depending on how many you intend to make)
  • Corn flakes – 7 tbsp  (crushed)
  • Biscuit/Cookies – 7 tbsp (crushed)
  • corn flour – 2tbsp
  • Water – 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Oil – For frying

How to Make Fried Ice Cream

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Scoop out four equal portions of ice cream, ensure it’s round from all sides. Put it in the freezer for 1 hour.

Combine the crushed corn flakes and cookies. Once the ice cream becomes rock hard, remove it from the freezer, roll and coat it with the crushed powder. Put it back in the freezer for an hour.

Mix corn flour and water and make a thick and flowy paste. After sitting in the freezer for a long time, it will be rock solid.

Dip it in the corn flour and again roll it over the crumbs. This will give an even and thick coating. Now put it back in the freezer for another 3 hrs.

After 3 hrs, heat oil in a girdle, once it is very hot drop the frozen ice cream in to the oil. Ensure to remove it within 5 seconds, otherwise the  ice cream will start to seep through. Serve immediately.

As you work your way through the crunchy outer coating, the ice cream starts oozing out, which is simply ethereal!!

Prepare the rest of the course first, set the plate and at last fry the ice cream. Serve immediately.

Breakfast in Bed Recipes
Breakfast is ready!!!

Hope you have a great time making these… have fun cooking!!

— Recipe and Images Shared by Gayathri Iyer

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Recipe of Homemade Cashew Butter Cookies

Cookies Recipe

There is simply no match to the scent of freshly baked cookies, at times it gets quite difficult to place if it is the vanilla or the butter or the nuts that give off this unmatched aroma. It’s pointless to strain the brain and figure it out!! In all, these cookies are a bliss just waiting to be devoured. Here is a recipe for making a good hearty Cashew butter cookie, whether you want to enjoy them all by yourself with a cup of tea or share it with your kids and friends or the special someone!!

Cookies Recipe
Cookies Recipe

These cookies are intoxicating with a crunchy, buttery, rich and superior flavour. Mind you these are almost addictive, you will end up like Winnie saying “I wasn’t going to eat it, I was just going to taste it”. On that note let’s whip up some cookies.

 

Ingredients

  • All purpose Flour – 200 gms
  • Butter – 125 gms
  • Sugar – 125 gms (powdered)
  • Baking Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Cashew nuts – 1/2 cup (chopped)
  • Vanilla Essence – 1/2 tsp
  • Water – 2 tbsp

How to Make Cashew Cookies

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Take a wide bowl, combine butter and sugar. Using an electric beater or a hand whisk cream the mixture well. Wondering what “creaming” is? It is a process where you mix sugar and butter using a spatula or a whisk, till the mixture doubles in size, gets fluffy and becomes pale-yellow.

Sieve the all-purpose flour and baking powder and keep aside.

Now add the dry ingredients to butter and sugar mixture in batches. Fold it using a spatula. Then add the chopped cashew nuts. After they are well mixed, pinch out small portions, roll them and place it on a tray. Now flatten them  out by applying gentle pressure in the center either using your thumb or with the fork.

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If you want to give it a defined shape like I have done, take half the amount of the dough mixture, flatten it out on a clean work surface. Don’t forget to smear in some dry flour before you start rolling the cookie dough. Roll it to your desired thickness and cut it with a cookie cutter. Now assemble them on a tray, and place a cashew nut on top of each of the cookie and press lightly.

Now put the tray in a pre-heated oven and bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade. Keep checking in between, once the cookies turn golden brown take it out of the oven.

How to Make Cashew Cookies
Cookies

Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and let it cool completely. Once they are cooled totally shift them into air-tight containers.

There can be many variations made to this basic butter cookie batter. You can alternate the measure of cashew nut with choco chips in case of Choco chip cookies. If nuts are your favourite then alternate them with mixed nuts like almonds and walnuts. Saffron cookies can be a splendid choice if you want an authentic Indian touch, all you need to do is add in a dash of cardamom and saffron to the basic dough mixture. Finish them by sprinkling a few strands of saffron and pistachios and pressing them gently.

The aroma carrying the flavours of nuts and butter baking in the oven is so soothing that your palates are already impatient. The cookies are now ready to be enjoyed with your favourite beverage.

Cashew Cookies

When the Cashew nut cookies are ready with the given recipe just bundle them up and put them in your basket… there you have a thoughtful gift!! These homemade cookies carry a special message of love and care as you carry them along when you drop by at your friends or family.

 

— Recipe and Images Shared by Gayathri Iyer

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Recipe: How to Make Eggless Vanilla Cupcakes

Cupcake might have ideally got its name either because it was made in cups/ramekins or the ingredients were measured using cups as against weighed. These cakes were supposed to have created ripples in American kitchens during the 19th century. Since it saved time when compared to the traditional cakes and gave more scope for being imaginative, it became a vogue. A variety of flavours were experimented and it almost painted the baking world in colourful hues. It has undergone immense metamorphosis and has made its way right into almost every bakery and house across the world crossing geographical threshold. Cupcakes with those swirls of frosting, sprinkles and colours is not just a sight to see but a sinful delight ready to be devoured.

I came across this cute quote which said “A balanced diet is having cupcakes in both the hands”. Are you ready for the balanced diet 😉

Here’s the Recipe For Cupcakes

Let us make these cupcakes at home!

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Ingredients for Vanilla Cupcake

  • All purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup ( powdered)
  • Baking Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Baking Soda – 1/4 tsp
  • Milk – 1/2 cup
  • Vinegar – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Refined Vegetable oil or Butter – 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp

How to Make Cupcakes

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Take a wide bowl add powdered sugar, oil and Vanilla essence. Using a hand beater, whisk all the ingredients well for a minute until the oil and sugar clouds combine thoroughly.

In a separate cup combine vinegar along with milk, and rest it for a couple of minutes.

Sieve baking powder, baking soda with all-purpose flour for a couple of times and keep aside.

You’ll notice that the milk and vinegar mixture has slightly curdled. Add it to the sugar and oil mixture and whisk well.

Combine and gently fold in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Do not whisk vigorously at this stage.

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Meanwhile line the muffin moulds,  tin or silicone, (whichever you are using) with paper cases.

Drop the mixture either with a spoon or with an ice cream scoop and fill about 3/4th of the cup. This is to ensure there is enough space for the dough to rise.

Put the arranged tray in a preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade.

Once the top of the cupcakes have turned golden brown, insert a toothpick all the way to the bottom to check if they are done. Checking just one cupcake is proof enough for the rest. If the toothpick comes out clean it means they are cooked, in case it’s gooey put them back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

As soon as they are done, transfer them to a cooling rack and rest it for atleast an hour or until they are completely cooled.

Frosting a cupcake with vibrant colours, different flavours, adding those sprinkles is the most exciting part. This adds a whole new dimension to the cupcakes, you could just about top it with any of your favourite flavour. Ranging from a basic butter cream frosting, chocolate ganache, butter scotch sauce to jams, the scope seems endless. You could also scoop out the center portion of the cupcake and fill them with lemon curd, caramel or plain vanilla butter cream.

Butter Cream Frosting Recipe

I’m sharing a simple recipe for a Butter cream frosting, which I’d used to frost few of the cup cakes.

Ingredients

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  • Butter – 50 gms
  • Icing Sugar – 1 cup
  • Milk – 1tsp
  • Vanilla Essence – A drop

How to make a simple butter cream icing

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Combine butter and icing sugar, mix with a spatula initially to avoid icing sugar from flying. Once it is combined well, using an electric beater and whisk the mixture till it becomes nice and creamy. Add milk and vanilla essence, whisk further for another minute, till it becomes glossy and smooth. If you want any colour, divide the cream into batches and add edible colours of your choice. Take out a piping bag, fill in the mixture and it is about time to give wings to your creativity.
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Voila, here you have those decadent sinful delights, just waiting to be gobbled!! What say you, about the balanced diet 😉

 

–Recipe and Images Shared by Gayathri Iyer

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Vegetable Lasagne Recipe – Step by Step Guide

Lasagna

Lasagne, an Italian delicacy, is a layered pasta dish filled with a perfect blend of textures and flavours. As  the pot unravels the different textures of vegetables, cheese, garlic, sauces and herbs leave you wanting for more. Making of Lasagna is more of an art, since it involves a variety of techniques and a careful construction, it can neither be too soggy nor too stiff. This flexible and satisfying dish can be virtually altered to cater to almost anyone’s liking. More often than may not get the lasagna sheets, fret not, making this is no great shakes. Here is an interesting recipe to get a “slice of Italy” on your plate!! Right from the scratch!!

And yes, lasagna is treated as plural… so don’t get confused! Let’s make lasagne!

How to Make Vegetarian Lasagne

Here is the recipe for vegetable lasagna

Ingredients

For the Red Sauce

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  • Tomatoes (Red and Ripe, Medium Sized) – 10 no.s
  • Garlic – 1 tbsp (Finely chopped )
  • Onion  – 1  Finely chopped
  • Salt – to taste
  • Sugar Italian Herbs – 1tsp
  • Olive oil – 1tbsp

How to make the Red sauce

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Blanch the tomatoes, peel and pulp them. In a pan add the oil, once heated, add the chopped garlic and onions. After it turns transparent, add the tomato pulp along with the salt, sugar and herbs. Let it cook for about five to eight minutes, till it thickens up. Once it thickens, cool and keep aside.

For the White Sauce

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  • Corn Flour – 2 tbsp
  • All purpose Flour – 1tbsp
  • Milk – 2 cups
  • Pepper – 1 tsp
  • Butter – 1 tbsp
  • Salt – To taste

How to make the White sauce

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In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add butter and let it melt, to this combine corn flour along with the all-purpose flour. Saute for a minute, ensure it does not change colour. Remove from heat, pour in the milk to this mixture, add salt and pepper. In a low flame keep stirring till the mixture starts thickening and coating the back of the spatula. The sauce becomes almost glossy at this stage; turn off the stove. Let the sauce cool. You will notice that the sauce thickens further on cooling.

For the Lasagna Filling

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  • Onions – 1 cup
  • Carrots – 1 cup
  • Capsicum – 1 cup
  • Mushroom – 2 cups
  • Baby Corn – 1 cup
  • Spinach – 3 cups
  • Chilli Flakes- 1tbsp
  • Salt –  To taste
  • Mozarella Cheese – 2 cups (grated)

How to Prepare the Lasagna Filling

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In a non stick pan add olive oil, add onions and saute; once it turns transparent, add finely diced carrots, capsicum and sliced corn. Saute for another 3 minutes. To this add sliced mushrooms, spinach, salt and chilli flakes. Cook till the mixture is dry and void of water content. Transfer contents and let it cool. You can add vegetables of your choice which may blend it with the Italian flavour. Few suggestions could be Zuchini, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, aubergine etc.

For the Lasagna Sheets

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  • Semolina  (Fine) – 2 cups
  • Olive Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Water (Hot) – 3tbsp
  • A pinch of Salt
  • All purpose flour to dust while making the sheets

How to Make Lasagna Sheets

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Combine semolina, olive oil and add hot water little at a time. When the mixture starts coming together, add water cautiously in case more is required. Knead for at least 20 minutes, till it starts stretching. Press well with the palm and extend outwards when you knead the dough. Wrap up the dough using a cling film and let it rest for about half an hour. After the resting period, take about half portion of the dough and knead well again. On a clean work area dust some all purpose flour and start rolling the dough. Roll it out extremely thin, till it’s almost transparent. Cut it in to strips, according to the size of your baking dish. Meanwhile boil water in a wide mouthed utensil.

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Once the water starts boiling add the strips four or five at a time. In about 40 to 50 seconds you’ll find that the sheets raise above and starts floating. This indicates that the sheet is cooked. Immediately remove from water and transfer to a bowl of ice cold water. Strain and keep aside. Ensure you leave the sheets stretched individually on a greased surface, so that they do not stick to each other. Keep in mind that once the sheets are done, do not leave them open or exposed to air for a long time, since they dry out too fast. Once you make the sheets, just start constructing the lasagna without much delay.

How to Make the Lasagna

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In a dish, smear olive oil. Arrange the first layer of lasagna sheets carefully. On top of this spread a liberal amount of the red sauce. To this add a layer of vegetable filling. Now carefully place the second layer of sheets. Over this layer goes the  white sauce, sprinkle a generous amount of mozarella cheese along with some herbs and chilli flakes. Seal this layer with another set of sheets. Now again cover with red sauce and vegetables. Time to conceal this layer with pasta sheets, add a copious amount of cheese to the top-most layer, along with some chilli flakes and herbs.

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Seal the dish  with an aluminium foil and place it in a preheated oven. Let it bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees, then unwrap the foil and bake for another 10 mts. Once it is baked, you will witness a glossy and crispy layer on top.

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The heartwarming smell of the freshly baked lasagna almost takes you into a trance. This delicious, hot, tangy and cheesy Lasagna is ready to be plated. Carefully cut a portion and scoop it from the bottom to get the fullness of flavours. Like I said, making a lasagna is almost an art and I’m sure you will be quite enthralled at the master piece you have just created. Dig in!! Bon appetit…

 

— Recipe and Images Shared by Gayathri Iyer

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Eggless Banana Bread With Choco Chips Recipe

 

Nothing gets more comforting than the  aroma of a banana bread spiralling  in the air.  This moist, delicious bread can be enjoyed with your favourite beverage or can be toasted and had for breakfast as well. The recipe is uncomplicated, tried, tested and kept easy to suit even the beginners. What are we waiting for.. let’s get started!

Recipe for Banana Bread

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Ingredients

  • All purpose Flour – 2 cups
  • Brown Sugar – 3/4 cups
  • Cinnamon Powder – 1tsp
  • Choco chips – 1/2 cup
  • Baking Powder 1/2tsp
  • Baking Soda – 1/2tsp
  • Ripe Bananas – 3 large
  • Refined Vegetable Oil – 1/2cup
  • Vanilla essence – 1tsp
  • Lemon Juice -1 1/2 tbsp

How to Make Banana Bread

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Peel the bananas, mash them using a fork and keep aside. The riper the bananas the better it is. In a wide bowl add oil, mashed bananas, brown sugar and whisk till the sugar melts.

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You will find that the mixture starts clouding and the colour gets a little lighter as you keep whisking. Add the vanilla essence.

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Sieve the flour, cinnamon powder, baking powder and baking soda. Once the dry ingredients are sieved, add it to the mixture of wet ingredients in batches. Mix the flour using a spatula, keep in mind not to mix vigorously. Add in the rest of the flour and fold.

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Now incorporate the choco chips, the mixture may be a little dry compared to the usual cake batter, if you feel it is too firm (only if you find it too difficult to fold in) add a couple of tea spoons of milk.

Next goes the “Lemon Juice” in to the mixture, fold in thoroughly.

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Smear oil or butter on a loaf tin or any cake tin of your choice and dust it with flour to prepare the mould. Now transfer the mixture into the tin and put it in a preheated oven at 180 degree for 25 minutes.

Once the cake is done, insert a skewer or tooth pick to check if it’s done. If the cake is done the tooth pick comes out clean. In case it comes out gooey, you need to bake for a little longer. Whenever you insert a toothpick to check, always insert it in the middle, because invariably the sides get done faster than the middle. It’s sensible to  ensure you stick the toothpick right till the bottom.

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After the bread is removed from the oven, let it cool and demould carefully by loosening the sides using a knife. Transfer to a cooling rack and let it rest for about half an hour.

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Slice them into thin pieces and enjoy them with a cup of cappuccino or hot chocolate. If you are planning to visit your friend or family, just wrap these banana breads in a beautiful basket, and there you have an amazing way to  surprise!!

Tip: If you need a variation you can add about half a cup of chopped walnuts, dry fruits or nuts of your choice to replace the choco chips. Also keep in mind that browner bananas make for the most of delicious bread. Now you know what you need to do in case a few bananas have been sitting on your fruit basket longer than they were supposed to.

If you intend on storing it for more than a day, cool them completely, transfer them into an air-tight container and refrigerate. These slices can be wrapped using a cling film individually and frozen, as and when you need it pull them out of the freezer and toast them for a sumptuous breakfast!!

— Recipe and Images Shared by Gayathri Iyer

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An Eggless Pancake With a Twist

An exhilarating way to start a day is by treating those taste buds with some perfect pancakes for breakfast. Did I say perfect? Well it’s a pancake with a twist.. so how could I call it perfect!! Let’s see. When this ultimate mix of flour, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and butter blend together to hit the hot girdle, a cloud of magical aroma fills in the space. I can see you already close your eyes trying to take a whiff of it. Well you don’t have to wait too long, here’s a quick way to make those aromatic and sizzling pancakes!!

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Ingredients required to make a pancake

Ingredients

  • All purpose plain flour – 1 cup
  • Brown Sugar – 2tbsp (if you do not have brown sugar, you may substitute it with white sugar)
  • Baking Powder  – 2tsp
  • Cinnamon powder – 1 1/2tsp
  • vanilla essence – 2tsp
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Refined vegetable oil – 2tbsp (use oil which does not have any pungent flavour)
  • Butter – 2tbsp

How to make a Pancake

Take a wide mixing bowl, add in all the following dry ingredients flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon powder and give it a quick whisk. The idea is to ensure that all of it is mixed well without any lumps.dbcee4c4-35ea-4be7-aac7-4f008aba2a8f

Now add in the wet ingredients – milk, oil, vanilla essence and whisk again till all the ingredients are well dissolved. Do not whisk it vigorously – mind you! we are not building any biceps here 😉 gentle motion will be well appreciated. Let it rest for about five minutes. Meanwhile heat a pan and throw in the butter and wait till it completely melts. Add this melted butter to the pancake mixture. Now your pancake mixture is good to go.

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Heat a deep bottomed nonstick fry pan instead of the usual pan you may use to make a regular pan cake. Here comes the so called “twist” – fill  the mixture in a piping bag. Once the pan is hot, pipe in the pancake mixture to form an intricate web. Add in a dash of butter or oil. Simmer the stove and wait till it becomes crisp and the edges start to loosen up. When it’s cooked it slides down almost magically without much nudging. Now you have a dome shaped pancake with interesting patterns.  Pipe in the rest of the mixture similarly in batches.

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If you want to make regular pancakes, heat a flat pan and spoon in about a half a cup of the mixture. Pour it in the center and  wait till its cooked, once it is cooked flip it on to the other side with a spatula. you may try to toss the pancake…come on!!don’t blame me if it doesn’t land where it’s supposed to.d32a6655-74d8-4859-b80e-32a6aeb2899b

The pancakes can be teamed with a horde of accompaniments. Here are a few suggestions, a Pancake tastes divine with a liberal amount of maple syrup doused over it. It can be kept simple by dusting powdered sugar and cinnamon. If you are looking for some rich textures, a nice butterscotch sauce or chocolate sauce will be a brilliant choice. Last but not the least pancake served with honey and a dollop of whipped cream is almost orgasmic.

It’s about time for you to mix and stir the pancake… let’s whip it up 😉

 

— Recipe and Images Shared by Gayathri Iyer

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Eggless Black Forest Cake Recipe

Black Forest Cake Recipe

Let’s whip it up. Now that you have learnt how to make a basic eggless chocolate sponge cake, it’s time to transform it in to wackalicious German dessert -“schwarzwalderkirchtorte” or the better known version “Black Forest Cake”. How and where did this cake get its name from? While few believe that it comes from the cherry liquor used to moisten the different layers of cake which is abundantly available in  Germany, others say that it signifies the beautiful black and white dress teamed up with a hat exhibiting red pom poms like the cherries adorned by the women folk in the black forest. I can see your patience waning out, so here we go!

Recipe for Eggless Black Forest Cake

Ingredients

  •  Eggless chocolate sponge cake – 1 (Read Here how to make Chocolate Sponge Cake)
  • A small tin of cherries
  • 1 and a 1/2 cup of whipped cream, (I always use a non-dairy heavy whipping cream)
  • chocolate shavings 1 cup

How to make a Black Forest Cake

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Place the chocolate sponge cake on the turn table and cut it horizontally into three equal parts. If you are a first timer mark the cake along its circumference and then make the cut using a sharp serrated knife. Once this is done start working with the lower most layer keeping the other two aside. Drain the cherries and retain the syrup. Brush the cherry syrup liberally over the bottom layer of the cake till it stops soaking anymore. Take a big dollop of the whipped cream and spread it on the cake using an offset spatula, work from the center and take it along the edges.

Chop the cherries into thin pieces add it on top of the cream and also sprinkle some chocolate shavings. Also bear in mind not to spread too much cream on the sides, as, when you place the other layer it will start oozing out on the sides. Now place the next layer and repeat the same process. Add the third layer on top, moisten this layer as well with the syrup and crumb coat the cake. Crumb coat is nothing but sealing the  crumbs by applying a thin coat of cream and leaving it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

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When you remove the cake from the refrigerator you will find that the crumb coat has firmed up and is easy to work with. Coat it again well with the whipped cream on top taking it all the way to the sides. Smoothen  out the cream  by dipping the offset spatula in hot water and wipe off the water from the spatula with a clean cloth. A certain amount of heat retained by the spatula helps in achieving an even and glossy layer of the cream as you run it over the cake.

Scoop out the rest of the cream and fill it inside a piping bag. Using a star nozzle lace the corners with a shell pattern. Place whole cherries carefully removing the pip. Drizzle a copious amount of chocolate shavings on the sides of the cake and top as well. Refrigerate the cake for at least  a couple of hours before serving. I’m sure you will enjoy every bit of this dessert, which sings nothing but a tune of chocolate entwined with cherry’s schnappy notes.

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A slight variation could be using cherry brandy instead of the cherry syrup to soak the different layers of the cake, which gives a better flavour and more authenticity to the dessert.

Enjoy this irresistible decadent dessert, which will leave you yearning for more!!

— Recipe and Images Shared by Gayathri Iyer

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Easy Eggless Chocolate Cake Recipe

Chocolate Cake Recipe

Wondering what could be more delicious than a home-baked Chocolate Cake? Each time you visit a bakery or a cake boutique you simply cannot stop drooling over each and every piece of that rich, moist-sinful delight. This simple recipe is dedicated to all those beginners who fret and fear the very prospect of stepping into the arena of baking.   The basic eggless chocolate sponge can be virtually turned into many exquisite cakes with a little tweak. It can be simply had along with a cup of coffee or transformed into a rich Black forest and many others, all you need to do is shed the inhibition and put on your apron. Happy baking!!

Chocolate Cake Utensils
You need these to bake the cake

The passion for baking  and cooking is the only permanent fire that keeps glowing and growing in me. Here’s an amazing egg less chocolate cake recipe which will satiate those sweet tooth of yours!!  Aimed at all those first timers who do not have most of the gadgets or fancy contraptions a baker generally has around – never mind you can still whip-up a decent cake with things available in your kitchen.

Here’s How to Make An Eggless Chocolate Cake 

Ingredients

  • Plain Flour – 1 1/2 cup
  • Cocoa powder – 3tbsp
  • Baking Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Baking Soda – 1/4 tsp
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Refined Vegetable Oil – 3tbsp (any vegetable oil which doesn’t have a strong or pungent flavour is recommended)
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Lemon Juice –  1tbsp

Method

The key in getting any cake right is the “measurement” – just stick to it. As a basic thumb rule whenever you start baking, measure each  ingredient and keep it ready on the work station. Let’s get started -Measure sugar, give it a quick grind in the mixer, powder it and keep aside.

Chocolate Cake Ingredients
Chocolate Cake Ingredients

In a wide-mouthed bowl, add all the dry ingredients – powdered sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and give it quick whisk to ensure that all are mixed up well without any lumps. It’s time to incorporate all the wet ingredients, add oil and milk, using a hand whisk (if you don’t have one, it’s ok! don’t panic- just flex your palm and make a cat’s paw) start giving the mixture a brisk whisk – either way it will work out equally fine 🙂

How to make Eggless Chocolate Cake
Add flour slowly

Once all the ingredients are well combined, add flour slowly in batches, combining the mixture each time you add using a spatula. Do not over whisk the mixture. The idea is to retain whatever little air that was incorporated at the previous stage. Keep the mixture light and fluffy. Now is the time to add the most important ingredient to our basic mixture, “Lemon juice”.

Eggless Chocolate Cake Recipe
Whisk the Cake batter

Once you add this, give it a nice swirl and immediately transfer it to a prepared cake mould (If you are wondering how a cake tin is prepared, this is no rocket science, all you got to do is, just line the cake tin with a parchment paper and smear it with some butter or oil). Lemon juice reacts with the baking soda which helps to bind the mixture and makes it spongy. Do not rest the cake after adding the lemon juice.

Eggless Chocolate Cake Recipe Microwave
Transfer the batter to mould

Transfer contents in to the tin, and give a light tap to release air pockets, if any. Put the cake tin in a preheated oven for 15 minutes, at 180 degrees. After 15 minutes, insert a tooth pick or a skewer into the middle portion to check if the cake is cooked well, if so the tooth pick comes out clean. In case it’s gooey, you need to bake it a little longer.

How to Make Chocolate Cake in Microwave

If you want to make the cake using the microwave, you need to pour the batter into a microwave safe container, put it on high power mode and cook for 4 minutes. Check with the skewer, if not done, cook for a minute more.

Once the cake is cooked, let it cool, unmould and transfer it to a cooling rack.

Voila! there is your moist warm Chocolate cake filling the air around with a great aroma!

You can either dust some fine sugar on the cake or dribble a generous amount of chocolate sauce, if you do not have patience for either of it, just slice it and indulge with a hot cup of coffee.

 

— Recipe Written By Gayathri Iyer

 

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Eggless Pomegranate Cake Recipe

Pomegranate Cake Egless

Wow! This season is full of celebrations! Festival of colours, Holi, is next; Valentine’s Day and so many anniversaries are on 🙂 So this recipe is dedicated to the celebrations. Cheers, with a piece of cake! I made a cake on our first date anniversary, recently, and again today – there was a slight variation in the components – this cake was a hit. Well, this isn’t just a cake, it’s a healthy cake, made of fresh fruit juices of kiwi and oranges. The one I made today was made from the juices of kiwi and pomegranate. You can bake it any day and any time. I made in morning to surprise my better half. And that was a hit!

The main ingredients of this cake are pomegranate, kiwi, gur (jaggery) and wheat flour. No milk, no condensed milk and no sugar; you can even take a low-fat butter. My concentration on this cake was just to make it a healthy one, so that I can include it in my breakfast or snacks list. I baked this cake in microwave but you can try it in cooker too. Earlier, I had made chocolate cake in pressure cooker. I’ll soon share its recipe. Coming back to this eggless pomegranate cake, I made it in a rose-shaped mould.

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Here is the Recipe of Pomegranate Cake

Cake Ingredients
Cake Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 big sized pomegranates
  • 2 kiwis
  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 1 cup gur (jaggery)
  • 4 tsp butter
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 10 drops of vanilla essence or you can take 1/2 tsp of vanilla custard powder
  • 1 melted chocolate/chocolate syrup

How to Bake the Eggless Pomegranate Cake

Take gur in a small pan. Add three teaspoon of butter to it and heat for 3-4 minutes, so that gur melts and mixes well. Let it cool for 5 minutes. Pour it in a big bowl. By the time you can take the seeds out of pomegranates. Peel kiwi with a spoon. This is the easiest way to peel Kiwi. Cut in 2 halves. In a juicer, put 3/4 pomegranate seeds and 3/4 of kiwi. The juice should be upto 2 cups. You can also use canned juice to skip this method.

Mix this juice with jaggery and butter. Place a filter/strainer over the bowl and put wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, cornflour, salt. Mix well. Add vanilla essence and cooking oil and whisk the batter till a smooth paste. The batter shouldn’t be too thick, nor too liquidish.

Pour the cake in mould and tap to remove air
Pour the cake in mould and tap to remove air

Now add some pomegranate seeds we had saved; just add around 20-30 seeds. Apply butter on the mould and then pour the batter in it. Tap it 3-4 times. I used a rose mould.

Bake it for 5 minutes or according to your microwave’s settings, and there you are! Ready with the cake. Take out the cake from the mould on a wired-rack.

Pomegranate Cake
Pomegranate Cake

For dressing

Since I used this rose mould, for dressing the cake I used thick chocolate syrup, pomegranate seeds and small pieces of Kiwi; remember we had saved 1/2 portion of kiwi while making juice?

Pour the chocolate syrup on the cake, sprinkle pomegranate seeds over the cake as well as on the sides too. Sprinkle kiwi too. Ta-daaa Pomegranate Cake is ready!

Eggless Pomegranate Cake is Ready
Eggless Pomegranate Cake is Ready