Lemon Tea Cake

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Some recipes you bookmark to try later and others tempt you so much that you rush to your kitchen, make it at the earliest and rest only after you have sunk your teeth in a slice. This dish is one of the latter. It was made by Valli earlier in this Bake-a-thon and I saw it and have been salivating ever since.

To add to it, my mother-in-law was due for a visit last weekend and I needed an eggless recipe to bake for her. So I picked this recipe immediately and she was also pleased that this one was a whole wheat flour cake. Needless to say, I scored some major brownie points with my mother-in-law in addition to stuffing my face with all the cake. What more to ask for?

Recipe from here.

Makes one 7″ loaf

WHAT WE NEED

Sugar                              3/4 cup

Curds                              3/4 cup

Oil                                    1/4 cup

Lemon juice                  2 tsp

Zest from one large lemon

Baking powder             3/4 tsp

Baking soda                   1/2 tsp

Whole wheat flour       1 cup

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 185C
  • Powder the sugar finely in a blender
  • Squeeze the juice from the lemon and grate the required lemon zest
  • In a medium bowl, add the sugar, curds, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, baking powder and baking soda and mix well
  • Set aside for 5 minutes and the mixture will froth a little
  • Grease the loaf pan and line it with parchment paper
  • Add the flour gradually to the mixture and combine well
  • Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 25-27 minutes or till the tester comes out clean
  • Cool completely before slicing
  • Enjoy it with some tea!

 

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This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016


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Simple Whole Wheat Crepes

  


For the third and final day, I wanted to do a desert / sweet dish and so I tried the French goey chocolate sponge cake from Priya’s blog but I managed to burn the top of the cake. Though it tasted good, it was in no condition to be clicked and so I switched to this simple crepe recipe which can be breakfast or a desert if teamed with an ice cream. So here goes –

Rexipe source – here

WHAT WE NEED

Eggs                                  3

Whole wheat flour       1 cup

Milk                                  1 cup

Water                               3/4 cup

Honey                               1 tbsp

Vanilla                              1 tsp

Salt                                     1/4 tsp

Butter, melted                 1 tbsp + extra for cooking
 WHAT TO DO

  • Put all ingredients in blender and mix well. 
  • Let stand about 15 minutes.
  • Melt and swirl around a small pat of butter in a pan over medium heat.
  • Angle pan and pour enough batter on one side to thinly and evenly cover the pan. 
  • Swirl the batter around quickly to cover the pan in one thin layer.
  • After about a minute (and once it is golden brown on the bottom) carefully flip it over without tearing the crepe.
  • Fry for another minute on the other side (until it is golden brown as well) and then roll up each crepe. 
  • Serve with maple syrup or honey
  • Enjoy!

   
 

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM. 

 

Whole wheat Pancakes

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I typically need instant breakfast ideas on a Monday morning. That’s the day we are most likely to oversleep, run around in circles trying to find stuff and that’s the day the daughter decides to wake up earlier than her usual time and demand a fifteen minute cuddle. So instant breakfast for me is what I can get ready between the time the husband wakes up and wears his shoes for going to work.

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This is the most wonderful pancake recipe I have ever seen or made. I have tried following the instructions to a T. I have tried all sorts of shortcuts. But the result is a consistent fluffy pancake every single time. Yes, it’s like invincible pancake recipe. It’s like Rajinikanth of Pancake Recipes! Need I say more. You got to try it. A salute to Joanne of Fifteen Spatulas for this recipe.
So here goes – (for 7-8 pancakes)

WHAT WE NEED

Milk                                        1 cup

Apple cider vinegar           1 tbsp

Whole wheat flour             1 cup

Sugar                                      1 tbsp

Baking powder                    1/2 tsp

Baking soda                          1/4 tsp

Salt                                          1/4 tsp

Egg                                           1

Melted butter                        2 tbsp

Butter for greasing the pan

WHAT TO DO

  • Add the apple cider vinegar to the milk and stir it in.
  • Leave it aside for 2-3 minutes till it curdles.
  • If you need to melt butter, put it in the microwave for 20- 30 seconds
  • In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda
  • Add the egg and melted butter to the curdled milk.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix. Small lumps are fine. Just ensure no part of the dough is dry

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  • Heat a griddle / pan and grease it with butter.
  • Pour a ladle full of pancake batter and keep the heat at medium-low.
  • Once you see small bubbles appear, (around 2 minutes) carefully flip the pancake with a spatula
  • Let it cook for 1-2 minutes on low and then take it off the heat.
  • Repeat the same process to make around 8 pancakes with the entire batter.
  • Enjoy with honey or preserve of your choice.

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NOTES

On to the ‘jugaad’ or shortcuts I have used with this recipe –

  1. I have tried it with pasteurised milk and boiled milk, with milk just out of the refrigerator and with milk at room temperature. Pancakes were awesome everytime.
  2. I have added all the dry ingredients to the wet ones one by one without premixing them together. Recipe still works
  3. White wine vinegar can be substituted for apple cider vinegar.
  4. When I was lazy, I omitted the salt but used salted butter instead. Still worked.
  5. I used 1 1/2 tbsp butter instead of 2 tbsp or sometimes even 2 1/2 tbsp. Works.

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This is my post for Blogging Marathon for the theme – Instant Breakfast

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for other marathoners doing this BM.

 

 

Whole wheat orange muffins

   
This is a recipe I am very sentimental about. This was the first recipe I baked. I started baking around two years ago and was pretty nervous. I had read up a lot on baking and everyone spoke about how important precise measurements are and how necessary it is to choose the right way to measure – cups versus weight. The line that gave me the most nightmares was – Mix but don’t overmix. Actually this line still scares me. 

  

It was at such a time a friend came to my rescue and told me – think but don’t overthink. I was on the verge of strangling her when she handed me this recipe and said – try it out. You’ll learn only if you attempt. Wiser words were not spoken since.

So here it is –

WHAT WE NEED

Plain yogurt                               1/2 cup

Milk                                              1/4 cup

Oil                                                 1/4 cup

Orange juice                              2 tbsp

Whole wheat flour                   1 cup

Sugar                                             1/2 cup

Baking powder                           1/2 tsp

Baking soda                                 1/4 tsp

Orange zest                                  4 tbsp

Raisins                                           6 tbsp

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Mix the wet ingredients – oil, yogurt, milk and orange juice.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients
  • Mix them well till there is no fry flour visible.
  • Add the orange zest and raisins and mix
  • Pour the batter into a greased muffin tray or lined with muffin liners.
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Cool for 10 minutes 
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. I use freshly squeezed orange juice. If you re using store bought juice then add 6 tbsp sugar, taste the batter and add an additional 1 or 2 tbsp sugar later.
  2. If your orange juice is light in colour then replace 2-3 tbsp of sugar with brown sugar to get a darker colour. 

This is my post for the Cooking from Cookbook challenge hosted by Srivalli.

  

Whole wheat carrot walnut date cake disaster

Ever since I started this blog, luckily I have been having a string of successes – not only when I was trying new recipes, even when I tried altering some of them to suit my ingredient availability and weight reduction needs. I have documented quite a few of them and have been patting myself on the back far too many times.

But this morning I had an epiphany of sorts. I realized that I did not even think about documenting my not so successful / failed recipes ever. Somehow I had internalized that only the good ones were to be put up to the world. So it struck me this morning that I was defeating the very purpose of this blog which was to document my journey into bakersville and that obviously entailed documenting the failures as much as the successes. So here goes –

I had quite a few carrots left in my fridge and also the pitted dates and chopped walnuts which I forgot to add in my previous recipe. So I googled and found this wonderful recipe for whole wheat carrot walnut dates cake. It looked and sounded simple and I did not have too many doubts about it turning out well.

Since I was confident about it, I decided to try out some modifications which would not mess with the taste but reduce the calorie intake sizably. So I reduced the amount of sugar by half and replaced it with honey. In order to not make it too liquid-y, I reduced the water in the recipe to maintain the form and structure. I also included 1/4 tsp of additional baking powder because sugar would also help leavening. Then when the batter was mixed, it seemed too thick and the possibility of it being dry seemed very high. So I added the rest of the water which I had discarded in favor of the honey. Yet I was kind of proud with this and reasonably confident of getting a good tasting cake.

But that was not to be. The pros of the cake were that it did come out of the pan in one piece without creating a mess. It did not sink and had risen evenly all over instead of a mountain shaped cake. That’s about it. I can’t create any more pros to this dish. The cons, on the other hand, were few but significant. The cake was very dense. There was no flavor of the carrots or walnuts. There were portions in which you could taste just salt and wheat, which was like a soggy roti and totally disastrous. The husband did not like it at all and neither did my daughter. But we did manage to finish it up.

Carrot walnut dates cake

Lessons learnt

1. Mix the batter well. By fearing overmixing, do not undermix it

2. Don’t make too many or large changes in a recipe. Try replacing 20-25% of ingredients before making a huge cut.

3. Be more careful with whole wheat cakes as compared to plain flour cakes because of its additional density.

But as I am writing this, my next cake is fast sinking. Guess, another post is in order soon!

Whole wheat orange muffin

There is more than one reason for me to be watching and reducing my weight. I can’t stop baking though, hence my efforts are towards healthier recipes without sacrificing taste.

I combined two or three recipes that I saw online and came up with this one. I was to add dates and walnuts to these muffins but I forgot. Yet they turned out really good. So, why dates?

Wheat orange muffin

Ingredients

130 gms (1 cup)  whole wheat

35 gms (2 1/2 tbsp + 1/2 tsp) brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp orange zest

2 1/2 tbsp + 1/2 tsp orange juice

3 tbsp buttermilk

1 egg beaten

3 tbsp honey

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

2 tbsp butter melted

Directions

1. Preheat the oven at 205C

2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and orange zest

3. Mix orange juice, egg, buttermilk, vanilla essence, butter and honey

4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture

5. Grease a muffin tray or use muffin cups

6. Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to divide the batter equally in the muffin tray and bake for 20 minutes

Notes

1. This batter could make 9 medium sized muffins.

Wheat orange muffin tray