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.

UPDATE! I tried baking this recipe with Aquafaba, which is basically water in which chickpeas have been cooked, with fantastic results. Just substitute the egg in this recipe with 3 tbsp of aquafaba and follow the recipe as is. It turns out perfect as you can see from these mini loaves

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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Double Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Biscotti has always been popular. With me. I found it puzzling then, that I had not bothered to dedicate even a single post to the perfect coffee companion. The situation had to be remedied.

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I intend to bake a batch every few weeks in the name of recipe testing and if I’m able to hold on to them long enough to take a few pictures, I intend to blog about them too!

I was so excited with the way this batch turned out that I immediately invited a couple of friends over for a session of coffee and taste testing. Huge success!

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When, after downing a couple of biscottis each, they showed no signs of slowing down I grew alarmed. I had to snatch the tray out of their hands and escort them to the door. HA! That saved the day and this blog post.

It’s super simple. Just cream butter and sugar together, add the eggs and whip until fluffy.

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Add the dry ingredients and the chocolate chips and mix just until combined. Shape into a log and bake.

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 Cool and then slice the log.

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Bake again till done. Don’t let the double baking scare you. It’s easier than it looks.

Make it but don’t invite any friends over. At least not the first time.

Ingredients

  • Salted butter at room temperature – 6 tbsp (If using unsalted butter add 3/4 tsp salt to the dry ingredients)
  • Granulated sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Large eggs – 2
  • Vanilla extract – 1/4 tsp
  • Instant coffee powder or strong brewed coffee – 1 tsp
  • All purpose flour – 1 and 1/4 cup
  • Almond flour – 3/4 cup
  • Cocoa powder – 1/2 cup
  • Baking soda – 1 tsp
  • Semi sweet chocolate chips – 3/4 cup

Yield – 20 cookies

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 F or 175 degree Celsius
  • Cream butter and sugar together with a mixer until light and fluffy
  • Add the eggs in one at a time and whip well after each addition
  • Mix the instant coffee powder with a teaspoon of water and add it to the sugar-butter-egg mixture along with the vanilla. Whip briefly to combine
  • In a separate bowl add the all purpose flour, almond flour, cocoa powder and baking soda and combine with a fork or whisk
  • Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in three batches mixing well after each addition
  • Fold in the chocolate chips using a spatula
  • Line a cookie tray with parchment paper or foil or a silpat mat. Dump the dough onto the tray and shape it into a log approximately 12×4 inches
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes. The log will develop cracks on top and should be firm to the touch
  • Cool the log on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Carefully slice the log at an angle into 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick slices. You’ll get approximately 20 slices. It is okay if the insides are still a little soft
  • Transfer the slices back to the cookie sheet carefully. Place them cut side down in rows and bake in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake again for another 5 minutes until the slices are firm
  • Transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container

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Recipe adapted from the chocolate biscotti recipe at Chocolate Chocolate and More

Single Serve Apple Crisp

This one is for you and only you. No sharing necessary. In fact it is best eaten in solitude, at the end of a long day, when you want to reward yourself for being the awesome superhero that you are.


Wait till the kids are sound asleep.  Tackle all your chores for the night. You really want this to be the absolute last thing you do before you hit the bed. Then spend just 20 minutes putting this together. It’s totally worth it. I have made it a gazillion times already and it never gets old!

As easy as 1-2-3. Tossed chopped apple in a butter sugar mixture.


Make the crumb topping.


Top apples and bake!


Soft, gooey apples in a sweet caramel sauce topped off with a buttery crumble. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you’re in dessert heaven. It’s a magical combination of comfort food and guilty pleasure.


If you must share, this recipe can be easily doubled.

Ingredients

  • Apple chopped into small pieces – 1/4 cup
  • Salted butter – 1/2 tbsp
  • All purpose flour – 1 tsp
  • Milk – 2 tsp
  • Vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp
  • Light brown sugar – 1 tbsp

For the crumb topping

  • All purpose flour – 2 tsp
  • Oats – 1 tbsp
  • Light brown sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Baking powder – a pinch (approx 1/8 tsp)
  • Cold salted butter – 1/2 tbsp

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 375 F or 190 degree C
  • First the topping – Mix all the dry topping ingredients in a small bowl and add the butter. Using a fork or your fingers gently mix the butter into the dry ingredients. It should all be evenly combined but you should still be able to see bits of butter. Refrigerate this mixture while you get the apples ready. This will make sure the butter in the crumble mix doesn’t melt
  • Chop apple into bite sized pieces and set aside. I like to peel the apple first
  • Melt butter in the microwave in a small ramekin or oven safe cup. This is what I have and I love them!
  • Add all purpose flour, milk, vanilla and sugar and mix until smooth. This turns into a delicious caramel sauce
  • Add the apples to this mixture and toss to combine
  • Top with the crumble mixture
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes
  • The apple crisp is done when the crumble topping is nice and golden and you can see the sauce gently bubbling near the surface
  • Allow it to cool for about 5 minutes. Top with ice-cream and dig in!

Almond Flour Cookies


My toddler is a cookie addict. If she could have her way she’d have cookies for breakfast every single day. Now, I could get behind that sentiment too but I’m sure I’m just one chocolate chip cookie away from busting out of my new pair of jeans. Sigh!

I’ve been looking high and low for a low cal cookie recipe that also tastes delicious. I wanted a light cookie but just didn’t want it to taste like it was diet friendly – you get me?


This cookie fits that job description perfectly! It’s light, delicate, sweet, crisp on the outside and soft and chewy inside. Gluten free. No butter. No oil. In other words – a dream come true!

Bonus – it’s unbelievably easy to make.

Just mix almond flour, sugar and zest in a bowl


Whip egg white and vanilla extract mixture to soft peaks


Fold egg white into flour mixture and scoop onto a cookie sheet. See those little orange flecks? Beautiful flavor!


Although these cookies are fantastic by themselves, something about their pointy ends made me want to dip them in dark chocolate. Yeah! That was a good move!

The cookies were gone in under 24 hours  You’ll definitely want to double this recipe.

Ingredients

  • Blanched Almond Flour – 1 cup
  • Granulated sugar – 3 tbsp
  • Orange zest – 1/4 tsp approx (zest of a small orange)
  • Large egg white – 1
  • Vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp
  • White distilled vinegar – 1/2 tsp
  • Chocolate chips – 1/3 cup (optional)
  • Unsalted butter – 1/2 tbsp (optional)

Yield – 18 small cookies

Method

  • Preheat oven to 325 F or 162 degree Celsius
  • In a mixing bowl combine almond flour, granulated sugar and orange zest and set aside
  • Take vinegar in a separate (clean!) bowl and with a paper towel wipe down the entire bowl with the vinegar. This makes sure your egg whites whip up well
  • Add the egg white to this bowl along with the vanilla extract and whip with a whisk or hand blender till you get soft peaks
  • Add this egg white mixture to the almond flour mixture and combine gently with a spatula. It will look crumbly initially but it will come together
  • Scoop a teaspoon of the dough and using a second teaspoon form a quenelle shaped cookie by going back and forth between the two spoons. I was not too successful, as you can see. You can just form small balls of the dough and flatten them slightly on the cookie sheet
  • Space the cookies about an inch apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes
  • The cookies will not spread. The cookies are done when they turn golden brown around the edges
  • Allow them to cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes and  then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely
  • Optional glaze – Melt the chocolate chips and butter over a double boiler or in the microvave. Stir until smooth. Dip each cookie into the chocolate and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet till the chocolate sets


These cookies are of course, best eaten fresh but you can store them at room temperature in an airtight container for a few days. Anything longer than 3 days, I would recommend storing them in the refrigerator as they tend to get soft.

Recipe adapted from Almond Cookies over at Taste Love and Nourish

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

The Best Oatmeal-Choc Chip Cookies Everrr!

So I sat down to (finally) begin my carrot cake blog post. You know the little adorable mini-loaves I posted on Instagram almost a month ago? I was so smitten that I promised on multiple social media platforms to post a recipe as soon as I could put the loaf down to take a breath. I mean, I meant well and truly wanted to share the recipe with the whole wide world (not that the world was missing a carrot cake recipe but one more definitely doesn’t hurt right?) I told all my friends about it and bragged and bragged…..

Yeah….about that. I had a complete and total brain-fart *sigh*

I couldn’t locate the original recipe. I looked and up and down my browser history and finally found something that was vaguely familiar but then I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember the tweaks that I had made. So I gave up the quest and turned instead to the mother of all comfort foods – COOKIES!


Now this is more of a review, or a tribute if you will, to the original recipe. I went completely out of character and followed the recipe without changing a thing! Okay confession – I did pulse the oats a little bit, just a tiny little bit to make it more toddler friendly but that’s it!

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Perfect distribution of chocolate chips!

It’s like this. When a recipe like has 90K re-pins on Pinterest you just don’t argue with it. You stop whatever it is that you’re doing or plan to do, prop your iPad up on its stand and follow every word of the recipe to a ‘t’ to whip up an insanely awesome batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

The only painful part of this recipe is the chilling time the dough needs. I always overcome this difficulty by making a batch at night, shoving it in the fridge and promptly going to bed. Waiting is much easier when you’re sleeping AND you get to eat cookies for breakfast!!

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Ready for some? Here goes

Ingredients

  • Old-fashioned rolled oats – 1 and 1/2 cups
  • All purpose flour – 3/4 cup
  • Baking soda -1/2 tsp
  • Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips – 1/2 cup You can up this to 1 cup for more chocolaty goodness!
  • Salted butter – 1/2 cup or 1 stick You can use unsalted butter. Just add a pinch of salt to the dry ingredients if you do
  • Light brown sugar – 1/2 cup packed
  • Granulated sugar – 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tbsp
  • Large egg – 1

Yield – About 24 to 30 depending on size

Method

  • Pulse oats in a food processor briefly just until the large grains have been broken down a bit. Be careful not to grind it to a flour. You want the cookies to have enough texture
  • Combine oats with the flour and baking soda in a bowl and whisk to mix
  • In another bowl beat the egg, sugars and vanilla extract with an electric mixture until it turns light and fluffy and increases in volume. This takes about 5 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl in between
  • Add the dry ingredients and beat briefly just until combined
  • Add the chocolate chips and beat on low speed for about half a minute. I used half a cup of mini chocolate chips because that’s all I had. I’m sure 1 whole cup of chips will be even more divine!
  • Using a tablespoon measure, measure out the cookie dough and roll it into a ball in your hands. Flatten it slightly and place it on a greased tray or cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Cover the cookies with a clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. I left a batch in for 6 days and they were just fine
  • When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit or  176 degree Celsius
  • Place chilled cookies about 2 inches apart (they do spread) and bake for 12 minutes until they begin to brown at the edges. You can bake them for a few minutes more if you want firmer cookies
  • Remove them from the oven and let them cool. They’ll firm up further after cooling.
  • Store in an airtight container or freeze

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All done! Now rejoice at the thought of having a jar full of these beauties on your counter 🙂

Adapted from http://www.averiecooks.com – http://www.averiecooks.com/2014/11/the-best-oatmeal-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

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 🙂