Fresh out of my oven! Delicious banana bread!

S and I went for tea to a friend’s place on Sunday. They live on this gorgeous farm, about 30 minutes away from the city, and right on the banks of the river Mahi. Its a gorgeous place, so quiet and peaceful. They do a lot of organic farming and even supply fresh milk which is completely untouched. I haven’t tried it yet but I am looking forward to it. In case you need more information about the farm and its products, the link is here.

His wife had made an absolutely delicious banana cake. It had no frosting but was so moist and delicious! I knew I had to make it.. She was gracious enough to share the recipe with me and I was super excited to try it out. It helps that I had extremely over ripe bananas which is exactly what I needed for this recipe. I decided  to make it in a loaf tin so that I can send it to Bombay easily. Here are some pictures of it fresh out of the oven! Recipe follows.
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Delicious Banana Cake

Recipe from a very gracious friend!

Ingredients

1 1/3rd cup of all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp salt

4 to 5 bananas, peeled and mashed

2/3rd cup melted butter (Use unsalted preferably)

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 tbsp honey

50 gms chopped walnuts (optional)

50gms cashew nut powder (optional)

1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

To Serve:

2 tbsp powdered sugar

1 tsp cinnamon powder

Method

Preheat an oven to 200 degrees celsius or 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a 8 1/2″ by 4 1/2″ loaf tin, with greaseproof paper and grease it lightly with some olive oil or butter

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and leave aside.

In another bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. If using, add the chopped walnuts and the cashew nut powder at this point. Add the honey and give the mixture a stir. I added 1 tsp of ground cinnamon to the batter to give it an extra cinnamon flavor.

Fold in the flour gently at this point until it is just moistened.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake it in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow the bread to cool in the loaf tin for 7 minutes and then turn out onto to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the bread is cooling, mix the powdered sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Before serving, ensure that the banana bread is completely cooled. Dust the bread with the sugar and cinnamon mixture and cut into slices to serve!

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This is an absolutely delicious accompaniment to tea and coffee and is very child-friendly. Since it doesn’t have any frosting, it is relatively lower in fat. You can add less sugar if you wish to cut back on calories and want to have a slightly less sweet bread. This bread will freeze well and can stay for up to a month in the freezer. If you wish to unfreeze it, allow it to sit out for about an hour and a half and pop it into an oven at the ‘warm’ setting at 100 degrees Celsius for about an hour. Cover the bread in foil before popping into the oven.

Happy baking everyone!

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The absolute best cupcakes EVER!!!

Aren’t cupcakes the best invention ever? They’re perfect when you want a little something sweet, they’re so cute to look at, you can dress them up in a million ways and best of all, you can order different flavors and don’t have to share. You won’t look like a glutton if you don’t share and if you do share, you will most certainly look like an angel! 😉

Baking cupcakes is so much fun! You can decorate them with all the cute sprinkles, frost them with bright colors and my favorite is that I can use these super cute liners! I made my little brother get me 500 different cupcake liners (all with something pink, obviously!) for me! Now before you go around feeling bad for him, 500 cupcake liners are barely 3 inches tall! Surprising something so cute and awesome can be in such a small package. I guess that proves the saying, ‘Big things come in small packages’ true, or does it? Hhhhmmm……

My boyfriend absolutely loves cupcakes and I always send some when I can for him. After experimenting with a few cupcake recipes, I have settled on this particular one. It is the easiest, the moistest and the most delicious cupcake recipe. My search for the perfect cupcake recipe stops right here. I was a little skeptical because it was a vegan recipe but then I had all the ingredients at home and I did have a half bottle of vinegar which I wanted to finish. Vinegar in a cupcake recipe?? Sounds odd, doesn’t it? But trust me, you wouldn’t even know these have vinegar. It seemed like the perfect reason to try this recipe and I am so glad I did. These are the best cupcakes ever! I don’t think my cupcakes with eggs and milk and butter taste this good! So since they’re healthier, I feel a little better about eating them! 🙂

The Best Cupcake Recipe Ever

Based on a recipe by kmdipaolo

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour (I always  prefer to use whole wheat flour)

1 cup granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup oil

1 cup water (you can add milk, I prefer to use water)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon vinegar

Method:

  • Mix all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl just until moist and well blended. Avoid over mixing
  • Pour the batter into cupcake lines or grease a muffin tray.
  • Bake in a pre heated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 175 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes.
  • Once cooled, you can frost it with your favorite frosting. But these, without any frosting, are perfect with coffee or on their own!

Notes:

  • This recipe makes rich dark chocolate cupcakes. If you prefer to make them without chocolate, omit the 1/3 cup of cocoa and replace with 1/3 cup of flour to make a plain vanilla batter.
  • I make tutti fruiti cupcakes by mixing about 1/2 cup of tutti fruiti pieces in the vanilla batter.
  • To make chocolate chocolate chip muffins, add 1/2 cup (or more!) chocolate chips in the chocolate batter.
  • There are endless mix ins you can add! Feel free to experiment and let me know what combinations turned out best for you!
  • The original author of the post suggests that you can make a layer cake by doubling the recipe and putting it in 2 round pans. Increase the baking time to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the centre.
It’s so easy to make these and so quick! Maybe thats what I love the most about this recipe. Put everything in one bowl, mix it a little and in less than half an hour, you have these hot to eat! Wait, isn’t that a bit dangerous though? Something so good, so quick?? I wonder…..

Anyway, I have no doubt that this recipe will be a hit with you. Just remember not to over mix the batter! A big thank you to my friend Amri for sending me these über cute, animal cupcake liners! I have totally fallen in love with them! Look at those super awesome cupcakes! How can you resist them when they look like that?? 🙂

Happy baking everyone!

A family pleaser! Apple Cinnamon Upside Down Cake

  I’ve always loved spices. I love the way a small pinch fills the house with this absolutely delicious aroma that makes you feel hungry even though you really aren’t. It’s almost magical and for me, the most ‘magical’ of … Continue reading

Cinammony and sugary breakfast muffins

I can’t believe I did not post one post all of October. It just seems wrong! If I want to make excuses then I could say that I have been going to what seems like a million classes (!) dancing, sitar (an Indian string musical instrument), spinning, circuit training. It’s an exciting life for me right now and I am loving it! Next on my list are singing, painting and belly dancing classes (seems super interesting!)

But I don’t think that’s a good enough excuse to not post! 😛 What have I been cooking all of October? Not much! I have a wedding to attend on the 1st of January, 2012 (I find it fascinating that my friends are getting married on the 1st day of the new year! I’m sure he is never going to forget their anniversary! :)) and  I have tried very hard to not make anything that I love and I can finish the whole thing! 😛 I did make a wonderful upside down cinnamon and apple cake (delish) a few times and I also made these absolutely heavenly Cinnamon and sugar muffins, with some variations as well, a few times.

I found this recipe one afternoon when I was ‘stumbling upon’ a few websites and the ingredients are so simple and fresh, I had to make these muffins. They’re so easy and delicious, they’re dangerous! This is my new favorite ‘go to recipe’ when I have friends and family coming over. The wonderful blend of Cinnamon and vanilla creates this aroma that just makes my whole house smell wonderful and sends across this happy vibe.

Cinnamon and Sugar Muffins

(Adapted from http://www.simpledailyrecipes.com)

Ingredients

For the muffins:

3/4th cup of milk

1/2 cup melted butter/applesauce/oil

1 fresh egg

2 cups of flour

2/3rd cups of white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cinnamon-sugar topping:

1/2 cup of melted butter in a bowl

1/2 cup powdered sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon mixed into it in a separate bowl

Method:

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees centigrade). Butter the bottoms of a 12 muffin cup pan and set aside
  • Beat the milk, butter and egg in a medium bowl. Once well mixed, add the vanilla to the mixture and beat lightly.
  • Add in flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon powder and salt all at once into the milk-egg-butter mix all at once. Stir just until flour is moistened.
  • The batter will be lumpy, but do not over stir it.
  • Using a large cookie dough scooper, fill muffin cups until about 3/4th full.
  • Bake until golden brown. (16-20 minutes)
  • Once muffins are done, immediately remove them from a pan and carefully roll the hot muffin tops in melted butter first and then in the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
  • Your delicious cinnamon and sugar muffins are ready to be eaten. They taste best when eaten hot and will stay good for about a week outside.

These are my mom’s absolute favorites! She makes me make some for her at 11 in the night sometimes since they’re ready to eat in about 30 minutes! The adults and the kids all love these simple, yet delicious muffins. I keep the basic recipe the same and try some small variations like lemon muffins, lemon and orange muffins, chocolate chip muffins. They always come out well!

Happy baking!