Fig Loaf

When your toddler refuses to get within 10 feet of anything that even remotely resembles a berry or dried fruit, you grumble a bit, blame it on her daddy's genes and then, if you're like me, you get baking. I find loaf cakes are excellent for camouflaging all kinds of those 'too healthy to eat' ingredients that your toddler and/or husband actively avoid. That's how this Fig Loaf came to be.

It's extremely easy to make. It goes excellently well with tea or coffee and it makes a great breakfast too! I like it lightly toasted with some chocolate spread and sprinkles on top. Now tell me that didn't entice you!

This recipe requires you to make a fig puree or 'jam'. You then add this puree to the batter which gives the loaf cake its pure fig-ey taste. It is a simple process that takes about 10 minutes start to finish.

If you want to forget about the loaf cake and just settle down with a bowl of this and a spoon, that's okay too. I won't mind.

Ingredients

  • All purpose flour – 1 and 1/2 cups
  • Baking soda – 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Egg – 1 large
  • Oil – 1/3 cup (Any neutral oil will do. No olive oil)
  • Granulated sugar – 3/4 cup (Can increase to 1 cup for more sweetness)
  • Buttermilk – 1/4 cup
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips – 1/3 cup
  • Chopped dried figs – 1 heaping cup
  • Brown sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp
  • Water – 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp

Method

First we make Fig Puree

  • In a small saucepan combine figs, brown sugar, lemon juice and vanilla essence and cook over medium low heat. Once the sugar has melted add the water to the figs and cook them down, stirring occasionally. Make sure the figs don't stick to the bottom of the pan and burn
  • Once the figs turn mushy and begin to break down, take the pan off the heat and allow to cool. Puree the fig mixture, using very little water if necessary, to form a chunky 'jam'. Set aside

Now onto the bread

  • Preheat oven to 350 F or 180 degree Celsius
  • Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside
  • In another bowl whip the egg using a hand blender till it turns frothy
  • Add the sugar to the egg and whip till the mixture becomes very pale and fluffy. This takes 2 to 3 minutes
  • Now add the oil and the fig puree to the egg-sugar mixture and whip till it is thoroughly combined
  • Next add half the flour mixture and whip briefly to combine
  • Add in all the buttermilk and whip again
  • Add the remaining half of the dry ingredients and whip till it is all incorporated
  • Using a spatula gently mix in the chocolate chips and make sure there are no streaks of flour in the batter
  • Pour the batter into a greased and floured loaf pan till it is 2/3 full
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes. At the 30 minute mark, check on the loaf cake. If the top is too dark, tent the loaf pan with foil and continue to bake till it is done. This ensures that the top doesn't burn while the cake bakes
  • The loaf cake is done when a tester inserted into it comes out clean or with very few crumbs attached.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes on a cooling rack
  • Gently invert the pan onto the cooling and let the cake slide out and then allow it to cool completely

NOTES – I used a 7.5×3.5×2.5 inches loaf pan and had a bit of batter left over that made 3 small cupcakes. Every oven is different. Keep an eye on your loaf cake after the 30 minute mark to make sure it doesn't over bake. Store the loaf cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Then store it in the fridge.

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 This recipe is based on the Fresh Fig Bread recipe over at thespruce.com

  

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Funfetti Doughnuts – Baked!


There’s no story to tell here this time. No fancy bursts of inspiration. No dreaming up of recipes. No late night baking experiments to talk about. The chain of events in this case was pretty straightforward.

Want doughnuts – Bake doughnuts – Eat doughnuts


Preferably in multiples of 2

Fortunately this batch makes just 9 doughnuts so I narrowly managed to avoid doughnut induced coma when I made these a couple of weeks ago. 

Has it really been that long? Nearly doughnut making time again, yikes!

I have a pretty good chocolate doughnut recipe – can’t believe I haven’t blogged about it yet. But my experiments with a vanilla version have been less than satisfactory. So I picked up a recipe online that made the most sense to me and went with it. So Good!!


Try it once and you’ll find yourself making this over and over again. I do think this makes a great base recipe. Substitute sprinkles with something else and it should work great!

Yield – 9 doughnuts

Special equipment – 6 cavity doughnut pan

Ingredients

Doughnuts

  • All purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Granulated sugar – 1/3 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – 1/4 tsp
  • Nutmeg powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Milk – 1/4 cup  (I used 2%)
  • Yogurt – 1/4 cup
  • Egg – 1 large
  • Butter – 2 tbsp melted and cooled
  • Vanilla extract – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Rainbow sprinkles – 3 tbsp

Glaze

  • Icing sugar – 2 cups
  • Milk – 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 F or 175 degree Celsius. Grease and flour your doughnut pan
  • Add all the dry ingredients, including the sugar, to a bowl and whisk to combine
  • In a separate bowl whisk milk, yogurt and the egg together till fully combined. I used a handheld mixer but a whisk will work just as well
  • Add the melted and cooled butter along with vanilla to this mixture and whisk thoroughly until combined and smooth
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Using a rubber spatula mix together gently until just combined. Do not over mix
  • Fold the sprinkles into the batter at the very last minute to avoid the colors bleeding
  • Using a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle pipe the batter into the moulds until they’re 3/4 full. You can use a ziplock bag with the end snipped off. You can even spoon it into the moulds carefully. However, I find the piping bag to be the fastest and most efficient way to go about it
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes till the tops are set and the edges start to turn golden brown. Make sure to check at the 8 minute mark. The difference between a soft doughnut and a hockey puck is just 30 seconds! You can insert a toothpick to check if it’s done. It should come out clean
  • Allow the doughnuts to cool in the pan for a couple of minutes then tip them out onto a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely
  • Glaze: Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan and warm over medium-low heat, whisking continuously until it is combined and smooth
  • Remove from heat
  • Dunk cooled doughnuts in the warm glaze. Swirl each doughnut around a bit to make sure it gets an even coat of glaze and return to the cooling rack set over a tray to catch all the spills. Once the glaze has set a bit dunk them in again. Yes, two layers of glaze. Makes all the difference!
  • Top with additional sprinkles


These doughnuts are best eaten fresh. You can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days. But you should refrigerate or freeze them if you intend to keep them longer. Though I can’t imagine why you’d want to do that  😉

 Recipe adapted from the wonderful blog: Sally’s Baking Addiction

Banana Bread with style!

Who doesn’t make banana bread, right? It’s almost the only thing that pops into your head when you spot over ripe bananas. But the thing is, it can get pretty boring pretty quickly. Frankly, I get bored just making it sometimes.

So when my toddler, who usually inhales anything with even a hint of sweetness about it, walked right past a slice of warm chocolate chip banana bread last week, I knew it was time to give this menu staple a makeover!

Loaf 1

Simply Recipes has a fantastic banana bread recipe that I use as a base for all my experiments. Turns out great every time! For this round, I replaced most of the APF with whole wheat flour and added pureed berries to the batter. Total yum!

Loaf 2

How good does that look! Here’s how it’s done

Ingredients

  • Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
  • All purpose flour – 1/2 cup
  • Baking soda – 1 tsp
  • Bananas – 2
  • Melted butter – 1/3 cup
  • Granulated sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Milk – 2 tbsp
  • Blueberries – 1/4 cup
  • Blackberries – 6
  • Maple syrup – 1 tbsp

Note 1: I used salted butter. If using unsalted butter add 1/2 tsp of salt to the dry ingredients.

Note 2: You could any combination of berries you like. I used what I had in my freezer. This recipe makes more than you need. Store the leftover puree in the fridge. You could even use a berry jam instead of making your own. 

Method

  • Make the berry puree first: Add the berries, maple syrup and a tsp of water to a small saucepan and cook it on medium low heat, stirring regularly, till the berries soften and disintegrate. Add another tsp of water if you see the berries beginning to stick to the bottom of the pan. Once cooked down, cool the berries and puree them in a blender. Set aside.

Berry puree

  • Preheat oven to 350 F or 180 degree Celsius. Grease and flour a loaf pan. I used an 8×4 inch pan
  • In a big mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork till they become smooth and creamy. You should get approximately 3/4 cup of puree
  • Add the baking soda and salt (if using) and whisk briefly
  • Add the egg, sugar and vanilla extract and whisk to combine
  • Add both the flours and whisk till there are no dry streaks. Do not over mix
  • Add about half of the batter to the loaf pan. Add two or three tsps of the berry puree at multiple spots on the batter and swirl with a toothpick. Make sure not to swirl too much or the berry streaks will disappear
  • Add the remaining batter to the pan and top with a few more tsps of berry puree and swirl with a toothpick

Loaf pre-bke

  • Bake in a preheated oven for 55 minutes.
  • Check the loaf about halfway through and turn the pan around to ensure even baking
  • At the 40 minute mark, once you see the top of the loaf has browned, cover the top with foil and continue to bake till done. This prevents the top from burning and helps it retain that lovely golden brown color
  • At the 55 minute minute mark insert a toothpick or cake tester into the loaf to check. It should come out clean with maybe a few moist crumbs attached. The sides of the loaf should begin to pull away from the pan
  • Cool the banana bread in the pan on a cooling rack for about half an hour
  • Carefully remove the loaf from the pan and place it back on the rack to cool completely
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days.

Slice 1

This loaf is not too sweet. A generous dollop of the berry puree slathered onto a slice of this banana bread just kicks it up a notch! You must try it!

Slice 2

If you do give this one a shot let me know how it turned out! Can’t wait to hear all about it 🙂

Microwave Brownie in a Mug

I’ve made multiple versions of this cake-in-a-mug dessert. And blogged about it once before. It can be found here. It’s truly quick, fast and satisfying. What’s not to love?

But why am I blogging about this again? Especially when there are millions of great recipes online?

It’s because this little brownie swept me off my feet! Quite literally. It is so rich and so gooey and so fudgy that the moment I dug into it I stopped, grabbed the nearest chair, took a deep breath and did what any blogger would do.

I clicked this picture. Then I posted it on whatsapp and Instagram and publicly declared my love for it on Facebook!

The magic ingredient here is the chocolate chunks. It elevates the brownie to a different level altogether. Try it for yourself. It’ll make you go ‘mmmmm!’

Note: The quality of your cocoa powder and chocolate will determine the quality of your outcome so do use the best you can lay your hands on

Ingredients

  • All purpose flour – 1/4 cup
  • Icing Sugar – 2 tbsp (you can use regular white sugar but I suggest you blend it to a coarse powder first. The crystals here in India are too large)
  • Cocoa Powder – 2 tbsp
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Water – 1/4 cup
  • Oil (anything but olive oil) – 2 tbsp
  • Brewed coffee – 1 tsp (you can add a 1/2 tsp vanilla extract instead)
  • Chocolate chunks – 1 tbsp plus a few more for the topping

Method

  • Add all the dry ingredients to a microwave safe mug and stir with a fork to combine.
  • Add all the liquid ingredients and stir to combine. There should be no lumps. At this point you will be excused for wanting to skip the next step and drink this straight out of the mug. I know I was tempted but hold on. You will not regret this
  • Add the chocolate chunks and stir. Do not leave this ingredient out. This is what makes the brownie so gooey and delectable
  • Sprinkle a few chocolate chunks on top and and microwave it for 1 minute.

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  • I have a 750W machine and my brownie was done in 1 minute. But check at the 45 second mark.
  • Since it’s a microwave we’re dealing with, the difference between a moist brownie and a lump of coal is literally a few seconds. So keep checking after the 45 second mark.
  • Forget the coffee – I know I can’t believe I’m saying this – but this brownie is best paired with vanilla ice cream

A (Not So) White Cake

This was our anniversary cake. I wanted to make something truly elegant. Something white.

So I embarked on an ambitious project. New recipe. New decorating technique. A very tight deadline.

Lesson learnt. Never attempt something new when you dont have time and/or you’re baking for a special occasion. Stick to what you do best. Leave the experimenting for another time. I think I should turn this into a poster and stick it above my oven.

But I digress. While the perfectionist in me can find a million flaws which are purely cosmetic, the cake itself is pretty good. It has a nice crumb and stacks well. I paired it with a vanilla custard filling and frosted it with vanilla buttercream. And the new technique I was talking about? A white chocolate lace collar.

Husband said “Very pretty!” and proceeded to demolish half the cake. I call that successful 🙂 The buttercream is baby approved too!

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I used this recipe and modified it just a teeny tiny bit. It yielded a 6 inch wide and 4 inch tall cake. Perfect for two people when one of them considers half a cake as a serving size.

I have not included the instructions for a chocolate collar here as I was not very successful with it. There are quite a few tutorials available online which could be useful if you want to attempt it.

This cake will pair well with any kind of filling and frosting. What I have described here is just one of the many combinations that you could try.
Ingredients
Cake

  • Salted butter – 1/4 cup (if using unsalted butter add 1/4 tsp salt to the dry ingredients)
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Egg whites – 2
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • All purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Corn flour – 2 tbsp
  • Baking powder – 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Buttermilk – 1/2 cup

Custard Filling

Buttercream

  • Salted butter – 1/2 cup
  • Unsalted butter – 1/2 cup
  • Whipping cream or milk – 2 tbsp
  • Icing sugar – 4 cups (approx.)
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp

Method

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 170 degree Celsius
  • Grease and flour a 6 inch round cake tin
  • In a bowl, sift together flour, corn flour, baking powder and salt (if using) and set it aside
  • In another bowl, cream butter and sugar together till very pale and fluffy. This takes 5 to 7 minutes in my stand mixer
  • Add the egg whites one at a time to this mixture and beat well after each addition
  • Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined
  • Add the flour mixture and buttermilk to this creamed mixture alternately – beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat briefly after each addition just till it is combined
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. Make sure it is not more than two thirds full
  • Bake until the top of the cake springs back when touched lightly and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out dry. This takes about 20 to 25 minutes depending on your oven
  • Rotate the tin once in between to ensure even heating. If you find that the top of the cake is turning too brown cover the top with aluminium foil and continue to bake
  • Once done, let the cake cool in the tin for about 10 minutes then carefully release it from the tin. Cover it in cling film and let it cool on a wire rack.

Buttercream

  • Beat both the butters in a large bowl until very pale and fluffy. This takes about 7 to 10 minutes
  • Add whipping cream or milk and beat again for a couple of minutes
  • Add the vanilla essence and beat until combined
  • Add the icing sugar one cup at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed
  • After the addition of 3 cups of icing sugar check the consistency and taste of the buttercream
  • If it’s runny then add more sugar. If it’s too stiff then add milk one tablespoon at a time.
  • Adjust the quantity of sugar and milk to suit your preferences

Assembly

  • Once the cake has cooled completely slice it carefully into two discs
  • Apply some buttercream to a cake board and place one disc on it
  • Pipe a buttercream dam using a round nozzle around the circumference of the cake to ensure that the custard doesn’t flow out when stacking and frosting the cake

 

  • Evenly spread the custard over the bottom layer and carefully stack the other half of the cake over the bottom layer
  • Frost the cake with the remaining buttercream

This cake tastes better the next day!

Eggless Red Velvet Bundt with Cream Cheese Glaze

Husband wants red velvet so husband gets red velvet. I am an obedient wife you see.

But more importantly, I needed an excuse to use up leftover cream cheese glaze. This bundt here is the perfect vehicle. And since mum was going to want some too….I made it eggless.

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It’s a super simple one bowl recipe. You can bake it in a regular cake tin or even a loaf tin if you don’t have a bundt pan. It will taste just as good.

Ingredients

Cake

  • All purpose flour – 1 & 3/4 cups + 2 tbsp
  • Sugar – 1 & 1/2 cups (I whizz the sugar briefly in a blender to break down the large sugar granules)
  • Cocoa powder – 2 & 1/2 tbsp
  • Baking soda – 1 & 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – 3/4 tsp
  • Oil – 3/4 cup
  • Milk – 1 & 1/2 cups
  • White vinegar – 2 tbsp
  • Vanilla extract – 2 tsp
  • Red food colouring – 2 tsp (I used Wilton Red-Red)

Cream cheese glaze

  • Cream cheese – 180 grams or 3/4 cup approx. ( I used one tub of salted Britannia cream cheese)
  • Whipping cream – 1/4 cup
  • Icing sugar sifted – 1 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp

Method

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 170 degree Celsius
  • Coat the bundt pan with a thin layer of oil and dust it with flour. This step is important as it ensures the cake slides out of the pan neatly and in one piece
  • Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and set it aside
  • In another bowl, whisk the oil, milk, vanilla extract and red food colouring till the mixture becomes frothy
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Do not over-mix.
  • Add the vinegar and stir to combine
  • Pour it out into the bundt pan. Smooth the top of the batter and bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
  • Rotate the pan once at the 10 minute mark. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean

Cream Cheese Glaze

  • Whip cream cheese and whipping cream till it becomes light and fluffy
  • Add icing sugar and whip thoroughly till it is combined
  • Add vanilla extract and whip for about 3 minutes
  • Glaze should be runny. If it becomes too thick you can thin it out by adding milk 1 tsp at a time. If it is too thin you can add icing sugar 1 tbsp at a time.
  • Leftover glaze can be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days

Pour glaze over the cake and enjoy!

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