Friday 26 April 2013

Oatmeal Cookies with nuts and berries

My husband loves my oatmeal cookies. He can eat them by the dozen. A few weeks ago my Mom was visiting and she loved them too; ate over a dozen in 4 days. This was the first time I though the future may hold some tension between the two. The battle of the “Oatmeal Cookie”.

Though truly they are great as a snack or for breakfast with milk, they’re filled with all the healthy goodness of oats and dry fruit. You can pretty much use any dry fruit you like: walnuts, raisin, cranberries, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, I sometimes throw in some chocolate chips try dark or milk.

Once I made the batter ahead of time and left it in the refrigerator. Popped them in the oven and voila freshly baked cookies in 15 minutes.


1 cup (110 grams) walnuts/ almonds/ cashews toasted.
200 grams butter at room temperature
1 ¼ cup light brown or white sugar
1 large eggs 
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
3/4 cup all purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda  
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange zest
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries/cherries/ raisins or 1 cup white/dark chocolate chips

Lets get baking

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C and line baking tray with baking paper.
1. Beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth (about 2 - 3 minutes). Add egg, vanilla and orange zest. Beat till incorporated.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the egg and butter mixture and mix well.
3. Add nuts, oats, and cranberries, cherries and or chocolate chips. 
4. Shape cookies with your hand and place them on the baking tray. Make sure to keep a two-finger gap between each cookie. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes. The sides should turn brown.
5. Let the cookies cool on a wire rake. Once cool chomp away.

Sunday 3 March 2013

Chocolate Strawberry Layer Cake

Did you know that the first book devoted entirely to chocolate, “Libro en el cual se trata del chocolate” came from Mexico all the way back in 1609. Chocolate has been on everyone’s mind for even longer that, I read some where that chocolate was keeping the Mayans happy all the way back in the 6th century AD. They called it xocolātl. Nice huh? I love how what word roles off my tough xocolātl.
There is nothing like chocolate in the world is there? It’s my go to happy place. Thank you Aztecs, Mayans, Columbus and Briton John Cadbury and Rodolphe Lindt  for bringing this to my doorstep. Chocolate is amazing all by itself but add strawberries to it and you’re in heaven. Take deep red strawberries and dark satiny chocolate and you have a gift for the gods or any other person.

Lets get baking


1 ¾ flour
1-cup coco powder
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ salt
¾ or 188grams butter
¾ cup castor sugar (that’s just fine sugar)
2/3 cup Demerara sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups buttermilk (mix 3 tablespoons yogurt mixed water)

Chocolate frosting
113 unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup icing sugar sifted once
2 teaspoons good vanilla extract
200 grams dark chocolate melted and cooled a bit (to melt - cut into pieces add 1 ½ teaspoon water and microwave for 1 minute mix with a metal spoon if not melted completely microwave for another 30 seconds)
Chocolate chips (white, dark)

Let's bake Cake

-   Turn oven up to 170 F, butter and flour 2 round cake pans.
-   Sift dry ingredients- flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt onto a newspaper twice.
-   Cream the sugars and butter together with a hand mixer until it lightens (for about 5 minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla and continue to mix.
-   Fold in the dry ingredients alternating with the butter, milk and ending with the dry ingredients. Don’t over mix.
-   Divide the batter between the 2 cake tins. Pop in the oven for about 30 to 35 minutes till toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
-   Let the cake cool in the pan. Once cooled move to a rack and bring to room temperature            

Chocolate Frosting

-    Cream butter and sugar till it turns a pale shade of yellow. Add the vanilla and chocolate and beat until smooth.
-   Place one cake on a turntable; spread a little the frosting on top. Line with thinly cut strawberries, place the 2nd cake on top of the strawberries and smother with frosting. Decorate with lots of strawberries, either thinly cut or whole. Sprinkle with chocolate chip swirls.

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Cheeky Streaky Mango Muffin with Orange Zest

I am not sure where this recipe came from. I’ve had this basic muffin recipe for years. In fact this was the recipe I used to bake my 1st muffin ever. It so simple and easy and just one of those never fail recipes that I love.
I love mangoes. There is nothing like a good mango; sweet, ‘stick to my fingers and face’ juicy, taunt and fragrant. Most people favourite mango is the Alphonsos but my brother Varun and I love the Banganpalli. I like my mangoes best just as fresh fruit but since I can’t get my hands on fresh mangos through the year I compensate with mango milk shakes and mango pie’s, mango chutneys and now mango muffins.
I have had some mango puree sitting in my freezer just waiting to be used. This morning I woke up with the need to make muffins. Mango Muffins!!! How perfect! My need to bake, my need to use the mango puree and my need for something sweet all coming together in one beautiful amalgamation.

Cheeky Streaky Mango Muffin with Orange zest

Butter to grease the muffin tin.
1 ¾ cup flour
1 cup powered sugar (if you don’t want it too sweet add less sugar)
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ spoon salt
1 egg
½ cup warm milk
1/3 -cup oil
1-cup mango puree
Zest of 2 oranges

Mango muffins bake orange recipe  ingredients

Let's Bake 

  • Turn oven up to 200 C
  • Grease muffin pans. If not using muffin liners to line the muffin tin then grease the tin with butter.
  • Put sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk to incorporate all 
  • Beat the egg; add in warm milk, oil, orange zest and ½ cup mango 
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a fork. The mixture should look lumpy. Don’t over mix or muffins will be hard.

Mango muffins bake orange recipe  ingredients

  • Half fill the muffin cups with the batter.
  • Using the left over half cup of mango puree spoon in a little into each muffin cup and cover with the remaining muffin batter.
  • Back till golden brown for about 20 -30 minutes.
You could omit the mango and throw in some raisins, pieces of pineapple, jam or just about anything else you are craving.

Mango muffins bake orange recipe

Saturday 26 January 2013

The Chocolate Saroea

Banana cake topped with smooth fudge

Chocolate Saroea cake

This is a delicious moist banana cake spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg topped with a rich velvety smooth chocolate layer. If you want to go light leave off the chocolate layer and just sprinkle some cinnamon sugar over the cooled cake.
Before I tell you more about the recipe I would like to tell you a bit about my lovely friend who inspired it. She is much like this cake, moist, sweet, and warm like a familiar hug with a pinch of spice an all around winner.
Like banana cake she has been a source of comfort and coziness, like banana and chocolate one conversation (and in the case of cake one bite) and your feeling better and warmer ready to crawl out of bed and into the world.
Anjali Saroea my tribute to you with all you favorites, banana, cream, butter of course and a big wallop of chocolate.

2 ¼ cups flour shifted
1 ½ baking powder
1 ½ baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 pinches of grated nutmeg or zested rind of 1 orange.
160gms butter at room temperature (this just means leave it out for a few hours till it is soft)
1 ½ cups castor sugar or any other sugar you have handy
3 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla essence or banana essence
¾ to 1 cup mashed over ripe bananas (about 3 big ones)
¼ cup cream
Confectioners sugar (powder sugar) to sprinkle if you don't want to use chocolate

Chocolate fudge icing
1 cup icing
100 gms dark chocolate
2 ½ tablespoons cream
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter

Lets get baking

1. The oven needs to be heated to 150 degrees C. Now grease you tin and dust it with flour. I like to use a tube but you can use a Bundt pan or a square even.

2. Mix the cream or yogurt into together in a bowl with a spoon. 
3. Spoon flour, baking powder and baking soda in bowl and mix to combine ingredients. Then sift this twice to have a lighter cake. I do this on a newspaper. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg to the sifted ingredients.
4. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer; add the eggs and vanilla beat till forms a thick creamy pale yellow consistency. This is to add air into the cake helps the cake retain moisture and rise.
5.Using your spatula fold in the some of the flour alternating with the banana cream mixture.
6. Pour into your prepared pan and pop it in your pre-heated oven. Leave to bake on the middle rake for 40minuties. Check to see if a toothpick come out clean if not put it in for another 15 minuties.
7. Let the cake cool for 30 minutes; run a knife around the edge turn it over onto a grill to cool completely.

Once cool time to lather on the chocolate icing or sprinkle with icing sugar.

Note -Remember each oven is different and you know how best your oven bakes

Chocolate fudge icing
This is so easy it does not even feel like a recipe.

1. Put the chocolate and butter into microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Mix with a steel spoon. If the chocolate has not completely melted put it in for another 30 seconds.

2. Then mix in the icing sugar and salt slowly. Add in the cream till the mixture is of a spreadable consistency. 

3. Pour over cake and spread with icing knife or if you don't have one a butter knife will work just fine. 

If you have the patience wait till the icing sets if you are severely lacking in patience like me just cut a thick slice and tuck into warm memories and smooth deliciousness.