Vegan Almond & Raisin Cookies

My baking routine at the college has taken on a heightened frenzy, especially with kitchen exams just around the corner. This leaves me hardly any time to get on my experimental chef cap and try out any thing innovative.

However, recently our College played host to a fabulous Vegan Competition. While most of the menu’s were being provided by the organisers, the students were left to plan out the recipes for their bakery products.I must say I’ve hardly baked vegan, eggless yes and was drawing quite a blank on how to go about a recipe trial with no dairy.

I’ve been following numerous blogs that bake up great vegan delights, all though baking without butter was something that needed be de-mystified.Browsing on the internet amongst a dozen recipes I  came across an easy Vegan Chocolate Chip recipe on Allrecipes and have adapted the following Vegan Almond & Raisin one.

The recipe trial worked out out great and I was happy to share the same with my students. It was an instant hit with the Vegan contest organisers and the students were happy to learn a new recipe too.

This recipe is a keeper for me too!

Ingredients:

Flour 92 grams
Coconut Oil 40 ml
Brown sugar 56 grams
Almond Milk 19 ml
Vanilla essence ¼ teaspoon
Baking soda ¼ teaspoon
Baking powder ¼ teaspoon
Salt ¼ teaspoon
Toasted Almonds & Raisins 40 grams

 

Method:

 

Ø Pre-heat oven to 175 C.

Ø Mix together the coconut oil & brown sugar, then add the almond milk & vanilla. The mixture will look a bit runny.

Ø In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Ø Combine the wet & dry ingredients (it WILL BE crumbly – this is OK), then fold in the toasted almonds and raisins.

Ø Roll into tablespoon sized balls & place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper., Then flatten them out a bit with your palm. The dough may be a little crumbly, but just assemble it it together and it will work fine!

Ø Bake for 15 -18 minutes till medium brown in colour.

 

 

Decadent & Delicious: Chocolate & Peanut Butter Truffles

Anything is good if it is made with Chocolate…

Chocolate & Peanut Truffles

 

Chocolate and Peanut butter lovers are in for a treat with these oh so delicious mini truffles.I have been experimenting with a couple of recipes now.The recipe below is one which has been adapted from deliciouslyyum.com. All though ,I have tweeked the recipe and added my own twist by coating them with some crushed peanuts and sprinkles.Die hard chocoholics may even choose to leave them with a smooth chocolate coating.

Well those of you who  have been following my blogging journey have probably seen me make these up for a kids at a no bake workshop a couple of years ago.They absolutely love getting their hands messy with chocolate and making up these truffles.The creamy peanut butter interior is perfectly paired with a delicious dark chocolate coating.I also like to use an alternative recipe that uses Cream cheese,Peanut butter and Melted Chocolate.Either ways they turn out great.The summer holidays are upon us,so do go  ahead and make these up with your kids.The flavours of Chocolate and peanut butter are sure to evoke some of your best childhood memories.The combination of these contrasting flavours are quite  similar to the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.Now that is probably my son’s childhood favorite treat while growing up in Toronto.

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Best Ever Chocolate Chip & Walnut Cookies

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It’s been baking mayhem in my kitchen these past few weeks.I’ve been testing out scores of recipes from breads, pastries,tarts and cookies of course.While  most of this has been work related,I decided that I would treat myself to  a nice,warm and gooey cookie.And the reason I say for myself is ,when I bake up stuff for the test kitchen,I barely ever land up eating the baked goods.Most often they are packed off to family and friends and a small sampler kept aside for the dear hubs who is ever willing to sample and indulge in my baking.

I had actually started off on another post which is related to a recent getaway to a vineyard located a couple of hours from  Mumbai.This post was written up in the middle of the baking mania as was just too excited to share one of my favourite cookie recipe’s with you.

Oh  I do have a soft spot for Cookies of course and especially these gorgeous one’s which are loaded with chocolate chips and some walnuts that add a nice bite to them.I love the addition of nuts  when baking cookies.I feel they make the cookie more complete and add a nice texture to it as well. These are fairly easy and quick to bake up.If at any time you feel that the cookie dough seems soft,just refrigerate the dough for about 2o minutes before laying them on a baking tray.These bake really fast so do keep an eye on them to prevent them from burning.

Happy Baking!

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Sundae Funday at Lakeview Cafe: Renaissance Mumbai

Hello Friends!

I was overjoyed to be invited into the kitchen’s of the Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre, yet once again.This time it was for the Valentine’s Day event at the Lake View Cafe.In keeping with the theme,I was asked to provide some of my favourite recipes for Sundae’s.The idea being,getting  diner’s at the restaurant to go ahead and make up their own creations for either themselves, their spouse or their friends. What a wonderful way of saying “Happy Valentines’s. Rhomesecrets is an initiative by the  Renaissance in collaboration with SecretIndianrecipe to bring traditional Indian home flavours to life in a five-star hotel kitchen.It was indeed a great experience to have participated in the home chefs event and I certainly look forward to many such opportunities.

Here is an image of the decadent Brownie A la Mode that I  whipped up..The event took place at the Hokey Pokey Ice-cream cart at the restaurant.The diner’s had a choice of making up Sundaes of their choice,pairing it with Brownie’s, assorted garnishes such as Blueberry Compote,Sour Cherries,Chocolate chips,Nuts and Fresh fruit too.Alternatively they could get their ice cream fix on the cold stone slab where multiple flavour’s could be  combined and topped off with sprinkles and sauce’s of their choice.

Brownie watermark

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Merry Christmas From My Kitchen to Yours…Boozy Christmas Cake

 

 

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Deck the halls  with boughs of holly

Fa La La La La, La La La La

Tis the season to be Jolly

Fa La La La La, La La La La

Oh yes,it’s that time of the year again! It’s Christmas time.Lets get this festive season started with some baking. Christmas baking over the years meant lots of sugar cookies,gingerbread men,puddings,mince pies and Christmas cake of of course. The key to a good Christmas cake starts perhaps days,months or even a year in advance.It’s all about pre soaking the mixture of Raisins,Sultanas,Cranberries and the mixed Peel in some alcohol which lends a wonderful and delicious moistness to this fruit cake.Now if you are pressed for time like I was whilst baking this cake,ensure that the mixture is soaked at least 24 hours before baking the cake. A good Dark rum works great or perhaps even some Brandy,Sherry or some Orange liqueuer.I landed up using some Cuban spiced rum in my pre soak and gosh the house smells boozy!

Well here it is my recipe for a rich,moist and boozy Christmas Cake.I’ve actually followed the basics of the original recipe from Joy Of Baking and have tweaked it around a bit. This cake is a huge hit every year. Each one in the family wanted their own cake this year,with no one compromising to share at all.The possessive husband wanted it all to himself, the impatient Sister couldn’t wait to get her share,and of course there was the Bro in law who said would like two please…I also had my Mum,Mum in law and endless friends that were on the list too.And least I forget to pack some for my darling son who I plan to meet in Spain over the holidays!

So I’ve had a busy past week in my kitchen baking up these cakes for everyone….

It’s still nine sleeps to Christmas,so go ahead and soak some fruit up and bake this cake.

Merry Christmas dear readers and hope you have a wonderful time with your families and loved ones!

Ingredients:

1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter (softened)

1 cup (210 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar

3 large eggs

50-70 ml Dark Rum

Juice and zest of one orange

50 grams grams almonds roughly chopped

800 grams assortment of dried fruit ie raisins, sultanas, dried cranberries, Marschino cherries  and mixed Peel

50 grams chopped whole Almonds

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (75 grams) finely ground almonds

1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon powder

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt

Pre soak all the dried fruit in the Rum or Brandy at least 24-48 hours before making the cake. If you have time even a week or month ahead.

Method:

1.Preheat oven to 160 C.

2.Grease an 8 inch (20 cm) spring form pan with butter or oil. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Also line the sides of the pan with a strip of parchment paper.

3.In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds, salt, and baking powder.

4.In another bowl beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well.Try not hoover beat else the mixture will curdle. Scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl as needed. Now add in the orange juice.

5.Now  fold in the chopped nuts and all the dried and candied fruits.Mix well.

7.Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Place the spring form pan on a larger baking sheet.

8.Bake in your preheated oven for 1 hour. Reduce the oven temperature to 150 degrees and continue to bake the cake for about 80-90 minutes. Insert a toothpick to check for doneness.

8.Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for 20 minutes.Now loosen the cake from the spring form pan and leave on a wire rack to cool completely.

9.Prick some holes all over the cake with a toothpick and spoon some rum or orange liquor over the cake.

10.Cling wrap the cake and store in an airtight container.