Red velvet Cake :

Hey, this is Anushree here and this is my first guest post on my mom’s blog! I have been home from college for a few days now and thought I’d make something special as Christmas is coming up and my sister is coming back from college in 2 days! So, I decided to make a Red velvet cake.

Yes! You heard it right. It is not deep red in colour but filled with healthy ingredients. It is No Artificial colour and No All-purpose flour recipe. And to pull this off, I obviously needed some assistance from an expert in healthy cooking, who happens to be my mom, so that worked out great for me!

In olden days, Red velvet cake was made with All-purpose flour and Beets. Here I have used Mixed healthy flour ( Amaranth , Red rice and Almond flour) with beetroot. So, it is not a white cake with red dye.

While frosting, instead of new age cream cheese, I have opted for an original Ermine icing , which is also known as boiled milk frosting. Here, instead of All-purpose flour I have used mixture of  Almond flour and Arrowroot powder with milk to attain a creamy and flowy texture.

Here is my recipe- Fits for 9” spring foam pan.

Ingredient:

For the Cake:

Beetroot – 1 (small,  to get 3 tablespoons of puree)

Amaranth flour – 1cup

Brown rice flour – 1cup

Almond flour – ½ cup

Cocoa powder – 1 tablespoon

Cooking soda – 1 tsp

Salt – ¼ tsp

Eggs – 2

Brown Sugar – 1 ½ cup

Butter – 200 grams

Vanilla – 1 tsp

Buttermilk – 1 ¼ cup

For the Frosting:

Milk – 1 cup

Almond flour – 5 tablespoons

Arrowroot powder – 1 tablespoon

Butter – 50 grams

Sugar – ½ cup

Vanilla – 1 tsp

Desiccated coconut – as needed

Slivered Almonds – As needed

Method:

To Bake the cake:

-Pre heat oven for 180° C . Line the baking tray and keep it ready.

-Cook Beetroot in a pressure pan for 2 to 3 whistles, peel the skin and grate.

-Measure every ingredient and keep it ready. Melt butter and keep aside.

-Take a mixer jar, make a paste of grated beet with ¼ cup of buttermilk ,which we have kept for the batter preparation.

-Take one glass bowl, beat eggs, then sugar, melted butter ,pureed beetroot, vanilla and lastly one cup of buttermilk.

-Beat everything until it is well mixed and keep aside.

-Now take one more bowl, put all the dry ingredients, all the three flours, cocoa powder, salt and cooking soda. Sieve couple of times or dry whisk and keep it ready.

–Pour the previously prepared wet mixture to dry ingredients and fold the batter by using any spatula.

-Pour the batter in lined baking tray and keep this for baking for 40 -50  minutes or until done.

-Before removing, check with a knife by inserting, in the baked cake. It should come out clean.

-Cool the cake completely before doing the frosting part.

Method for Frosting:

-Take milk ,Almond flour and Arrowroot powder in a saucepan. Boil the mixture until it is cooks and becomes creamy.

-Switch off the flame, add in butter ,sugar and Vanilla, mix well. Cool the mixture and keep it in the fridge to cool further making it more solid. ( I have not kept in the fridge)

-Now, slice the cake, make a 2-equal slice, Apply the frosting on first layer and cover it with the second slice.

-Now pour frosting on the top, as well as apply at the sides as well. Take desiccated coconut and dust at the top as well as at the sides.

-Decorate the cake with slivered almonds and serve and enjoy with the family <3

Note: 

For Egg less version, please use any egg replacer or 

Flax gel:The basic ratio is 2 ½ tsp of flax seed powder and three tablespoons of  hot water  and then you simply whisk in the mixture until it becomes gelatinous  to replace one egg.

Cranberry and White chocolate cookies:

It is an easy, eggless, one bowl recipe. No baking powder or soda in it. To increase the protein quotient, I have added little moong ( green gram dal) flour as well. These white chocolate cranberry soft, chewy , flavourful cookies are so simple and so addictive! 😀

Cranberries and white chocolate make the best Christmas coloured cookie. You can see one more green gram flour/ gluten free cookie over here .

Ingredients:

All-purpose flour – 3/4cup

Green gram/ Moong dal flour – ¼ cup

Butter – 100 grams

Sugar – ½ cup (powdered)

Dried cranberry – ¼ cup

White chocolate chips – ¼ cup

Method:

-Mix All purpose flour and moong dal flour and keep it ready.

-Beat butter and sugar until fluffy and soft, either by using hand or food processor.

-Now add flour and mix until u gets uniform mass. Add in white chocolate chips and dried cranberries and make a dough.

-Now take one cling film sheet and keep this dough over it, on a flat surface and make squarish or round log, maintain uniform shape and cover with wrapping. Keep it under refrigeration for an hour.

-Now take your baking tray and line with a butter paper.

-After one hour, remove this dough from the fridge and unwrap the Clingfilm cover, make slices of ½” thickness and arrange these pieces in a lined baking tray.

-Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170°C for 14 to 18 minutes.

-Cool this on a wire rack and store this in an airtight container.

-My family just loved it and hope you also like it as much as we did.

Apple Jam:

Apple jam is an awesome spread ,which is mild in flavour as well as with soothing colour. Homemade jams are always rich in taste, due to the usage of fruits and natural colour. It is preservative free and non-synthetic . Here I have used fruit as a whole /with skin.

Normally Apple turns out sour when you cook /boil . To avoid the sour taste, first I used baking technique , pureed , sieved and proceeded to make jam with the added mild cinnamon flavour.

It was a real hit and tasted really good and texture also turned out great. Usage of fruit skin gave the pinkish hue to the end product.

How I did –

Ingredients:

Apple – 1 kg

 Sugar – ¾ kg

Cinnamon – 1 or 2 pinches

Lemon –  ½

-Wash Apples, dice ,remove seed part and arrange in a baking dish.

-Bake this in a 170°C pre-heated oven for 15 minutes at first.

-Remove, flip those apple pieces and continue further 15 minutes.

-After 30 minutes, check the doneness. If it is soft, well cooked ,remove it.

-If it is not done, bake for further 5 or 10 minutes.

-When it is cool, add a little water and churn in a juicer by adding 1 or 2 cups of water.

-Sieve ,discard the roughage ( fibre as well as outer skin remains)

-Put this pulp in a thick bottomed kadai, add sugar, cinnamon powder and cook until it is done.

-To check the doneness, take some water in a small bowl, drop the cooked mixture in it, immediately it should form a thick mass. If it dissolves, then you should proceed cooking.

-When it is done, add lemon juice and cook for 2 minutes

-Remove from the fire and cool completely and pour it into a glass bottles to set.

– Store this in a clean, dry bottle and refrigerate.

NOTE:

-If you prefer sweeter jam add 1 kg sugar and adjust the quantity of sugar according to your need.

 

Baked Cracker by using Ghee Residue:

By now, you would know about my love towards brown sediment which is known as ghee residue. Ghee residue is a moist, brown coloured by-product formed after preparing ghee from white butter.

Ghee residue is a rich source of essential fatty acids, natural antioxidants and proteins.

I have shared my experiments with ghee residue earlier. It all started by trying simple tea cake ,then chocolate cake  then apple -cinnamon cake and by trying chocolate chip cookies.

This time I did try some savoury version, and everyone liked it and it turned out pretty well.

You can use whole wheat flour and oats or a mixture of any flour of your choice.

Ingredients:

Ghee residue – 2 -3  tablespoons

Curd -2 tbl spoons

Water – 4 tbl spoons

Jaggery or sugar – Acc to the taste

Mixed spice powder – 1 tbl spoon (pepper-cinnamon-ginger)

Salt

Whole wheat flour – 1 cup

Powdered Oats – 2 tbl spoons

Rice flour – 2 tbl spoons

Kasuri methi – 1 tbl spoon

Turmeric – 1/2 tsp

White sesame seed – 1 tsp

Method:

 -Take the ghee -residue and all the dry ingredients and mix everything properly. Add curd and sufficient water to make a pliable dough. 

-keep the dough covered, and rest for 30 minutes.

-After 30 minutes, take a small portion, make a ball and roll like thin roti /chapati, cut this by using a cookie cutter or pizza cutter.

-Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 -180 °C for 20 – 30 minutes.

-After cooling for some time, take out it would turn crispy and enjoy it with a cup of coffee or tea.

-Store it in an airtight container. It stays good for many days, and it is an excellent snack for growing up kids as well.

 

 

 

Whole wheat Jaggery Tea Cake:

It is a “Hot milk cake” which I have tried by adding Whole wheat, Jaggery powder, dried blackberries (optional) with added cardamom flavour. It turned out to be really soft, mild in sweet and was perfect with a hot cup of coffee or tea. It is a perfect choice for kids snack boxes or as a healthy eggless bake.

How I made-

Ingredients:

Whole wheat flour – 1 cup

Cardamom powder – ½ tsp

Baking powder – 1 tsp

Salt – ¼ tsp

Dried Black currant – 2 tablespoons (optional)

Milk – ½ litre

Jaggery powder – ¾ to 1 cup ( I have added ¾ cup)

Butter – 50 grams

Method:

-Heat milk and reduce into almost half by boiling it in a low flame.

-When it is done, remove from the flame, add in butter.

-When butter melts, add in jaggery powder and mix thoroughly and keep aside. It is our wet mixture.

-Now, take one dry bowl, mix all the dry ingredients- whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, cardamom powder, and dry whisk by using whisker or sieve couple of times.

-To this dry flour, add in dried black berries and mix. Add this dry ingredient to wet mixture and fold everything well and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 30 to 40 minutes or until done.

 

 

Apple – Banana Halwa (Microwave Method):

Traditionally halwa making takes a very long process and I have shared the recipe already.  You need a time and patience to attempt. When you make the same halwa with a less effort by using microwave, nothing like it. I do agree with the side effects of using microwave and personally I myself avoid using microwave many times.

This time, I wanted to finish off lot of over ripe bananas as well as tasteless apples and at the same time, I was pressed for time as well. That is how, I opted for this method and here is the procedure. I must tell you that, taste or texture wise there is no change or variation.

Here, I have not removed the outer skin of the apple and it was perfectly blended while cooking.

Ingredients:

Banana – ¾ kg (over ripe one)

Apple – ¾ kg (any variety)

Sugar – 2 cups

Ghee – 4 to 6 tsp

Cardamom – 1 tsp (powdered)

Cashew bits – optional

Method:

-Here I have used my LG Microwave and opted for Gajar halwa under Indian Cooking setting and proceeded. As I write the method, I would mention the timing, so that any one can make this halwa by using any Microwave.

-Chop Banana and apples (with skin) and put it in a glass bowl (microwave safe)

-In LG Microwave, when I opted for microwave IC1 = Gajar halwa and in one cycle it runs for 14 min.

-So, cook for 13 to 14 minutes at first. After first cycle, mix everything properly and keep it for 2nd cycle (again 13 to 14 minutes)

-Remove the bowl, add sugar and mix everything properly and keep it for 3rd cycle (again 13 to 14 Minutes)

-After taking out, add 4 tsp of ghee and mix everything and keep it for 4th cycle (again 13 to 14 minutes)

-Lastly add 2 tsp of ghee and keep it for 5th cycle (again 13 to 14min) and at this time, it appears as non-sticky and turns into a mass like structure.

-Over all it took me 1 hour and 10 minutes but in between my work, I did it whenever I pleased and finishes the work 😀

-Add in roasted cashew bits. If needed, please cook for some more minutes and spread the mixture in a ghee applied plate.

-After it cools down, maybe overnight, cut into pieces and store it in an air tight box. It stays good and shelf life is very long.

Note: You can use only banana as well.

 

Ginger Molasses Cookies:

Molasses cookies are chewy compared to any normal cookies. If it is made with wholesome flour with added ginger flavour, there’s nothing like it. It finally transforms into an absolute delicious wholesome snack for small kids or elders. Here is my Healthy, no all-purpose flour Ginger Molasses Cookies.

It is easy to make, with no rolling or freezing. Make the dough, scoop it out, roll this in crystal sugar and bake. That is, it. Stays good for a week or more.

If you want to make a huge batch, follow as it is. Otherwise, please make it half and proceed. Here I have taken multi millet flour (morning porridge powder) and whole wheat powder. You can play with the flour or straight away use All purpose flour or whole wheat flour according to your choice.

Ingredients:

Flour quantity – 4 ½ cup (porridge powder + whole wheat)

Butter – 300 grams (softened)

Brown sugar – 2 cups

Molasses / Jaggery syrup – ½ cup

Eggs – 2

Cooking soda – 4 tsps.

Ginger powder – 1 table spoon

Cinnamon powder – 1 tsp

Chocolate chunks/ chips – as needed (optional)

Salt – 1 tsp

Sugar – to coat

Method:

-Whisk all the dry ingredients (flour, cooking soda, ginger powder, Cinnamon powder, salt, chocolate chips.

-Take a big bowl or a processor, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one by one and beat.

– Add molasses and beat one more time. Pour mixture of dry ingredients and prepare a dough.

-Place this dough (little sticky dough) in a fridge by closing a cling wrap, for one or two hours.

-Pre heat oven at 170 °C.

-Take out the dough, scoop out, roll the top part in crystal sugar and place it on the butter paper lined cookie tray.

-Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove, cool and store it in an air tight bottle.

Note:

-If you don’t have Molasses, please melt half cup of jaggery powder in little water and boil until it is  thick and use it.

You can mix sugar crystals with half tsp of ginger and cinnamon powder to get more flavour.

I have made plain cookies as well as with chocolate chunk and both tastes equally good and stays good for many days.

Baked Vada by using Leftover upma/ Uppittu:

When we have left over Uppittu/ upma, it is a wonderful opportunity to turn it into evening tea time snack, that too lip smacking good Nippattu /vade. Which is a perfect pair with Hot tea or coffee.

Normally, left overs would sit idle in the corner of dining table and will not attract any one’s attention. For this reason, I normally make it a point to give some modification and present it as a new dish 😉 😀

Here I have taken Lima beans added Avarekai Uppittu. You can take any Uppittu/ upma of your choice.

How I made this-

Ingredients:

Left over Upma – one bowl

Onion – 1 big

Green chillies – 2

Curry leaves – 1 spring

Coriander leaves – 2 table spoons (chopped)

Crushed peanuts – little

Rice flour – to bind.

Salt

Method:

-Chop onion, curry leaves, green chillies, coriander leaves.

-Mix in all the chopped items, salt, peanuts into left over upma and mix nicely.Add required amount of rice flour, bind and make a small roundel, pat a flat disc . 

– Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180° C for 15 to 20 minutes or until done.

-Upma already has oil or ghee content in it. So, no need to put any oil. If at all needed, you can add couple of tea spoons of oil while binding.

-Serve with Coffee or tea as a evening snack.

 

 

Lemon Bread Roll:

Homemade lemon curd is pretty much going with anything. It is perfect for cookies, tarts, bread or bun, or topping with any dessert.

These sweet lemon rolls are packed with delicious flavours with a lemony tinge that pairs well with tea or coffee as a snack option.

If you are a lemon fan like me, this is for you. It is an alternative to the cinnamon roll, a lemon roll!!

The recipe which I follow is easy to make.

To make 8- 10 rolls

For the Dough:

Milk – 1 cup ( I usually take skimmed milk)

Butter – ¼ cup ( 50 grams)

Sugar – ¼ cup

Active dry yeast – ¾  tsp

Flour – 2 ½ cup ( I took a mixture of oats flour + brown rice flour + whole wheat flour, and All-purpose little flour )

Baking powder – ½ tsp

Salt – 1 tsp

Lemon cream cheese filling:

cream cheese or paneer – 1/3 cup

sugar – 2 tbl spoons

hung curd – 2 tbl spoons

fresh lemon juice – 1tsp

all-purpose flour /fine semolina – 2 tbl spoons

homemade lemon curd – 1/4 cup

Method:

First: Bloom the yeast:  In a large glass bowl, add warm milk, sugar, melted butter, and mix. Sprinkle yeast, stir well, close the lid, set aside for 10 minutes or until yeast starts to bloom. (Milk should barely be warm while touching. Otherwise, the yeast would not bloom; instead, it will die)

Second: Prepare a dough: Take whatever flour you are using, combine everything, add to the bloomed yeast and milk mixture. Fold everything together, keep it covered, let it rise in a warm place for another one hr or more until it nearly doubled in size.

Third: Prepare the filling: In a small mixer jar, at first, churn paneer pieces, sugar, hung curd, then add the remaining ingredients and, whip once or twice and keep it ready.

Line your baking tray or grease your muffin tray and keep it ready.

Fourth: Kneading the dough for good 10 minutes: Dust the clean kitchen counter with the flour, Remove the dough from the bowl, start kneading. If needed, add little flour, and adjust the consistency. Until dough does not stick to your hand or surface. Now start kneading the dough by hand until it reaches a silky smooth texture and springs back when poked.

Fifth: Now it is ready to Roll: Roll the dough into a large rectangle using the hand and the roller. It should be around ½ inch in thickness, roughly 12” by 16” long. Fix the shape of all the corners.

Sixth: Spreading: Drop the filling here and there over the rectangle, spread evenly using a spatula or spoon.

Seventh: Make a log: Start rolling from one end ( longest side); roll up the dough slowly by sealing correctly and tightly. At the other end, seal the edge correctly, place seam side down.

Eighth: Cutting: Cut the log into even pieces using dental floss, twine, or knife. Take a long enough string, keep it at the bottom of the rolled log and pull upwards to get uniform pieces. Place all these pieces in a baking tray. Close the tray with the kitchen towel and leave it to rise. ( mine took hardly 5 minutes)

Ninth: Baking: Preheat the oven to 180°C; if it has risen/ second proof, apply the milk wash and keep it in the pre-heated range. ( I have baked in a mid rack of my oven ) It took me around 35 minutes. Keep an eye after 30 minutes, and when its upper surface turns brown, remove it from the oven.

After taking it out, apply butter over hot rolls to retain moisture. After it cools down, break one by one and serve. I have not used any glaze or cream cheese. It was delicious as it is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baked Carrot Halwa:

Baked halwa is an experiment to attempt halwa in an easy manner.   This halwa is not a grainy textured one, it is very smooth and flavourful.

I was thinking of trying out carrot halwa by baking and felt like using my regular carrot halwa ratio in this as well to maintain nice colour and flavour by using Delhi Red carrot which is available only during the winter months as well as the regular orange one.

In this recipe, at first, I have cooked the carrot, then pureed and baked. The recipe goes like this –

Ingredients:

Red carrot – 1 kg

Regular carrot – ½ kg

Milk – ½ cup

Sugar – 2 to 3 cups (according to your taste)

Cardamom – 1 tsp

Saffron – 8 – 10 strings (optional)

Salt – one pinch (it really helps in balancing the taste)

Ghee – ½ cup

Slivered almonds – (roasted)

Method:

-Wash, slice the carrots. Take one pressure cooker and cook carrot by adding milk and saffron until 2 to 3 whistles.

-When cooked carrot comes to room temperature, churn it into a puree by adding sugar or you can do it like me.

-Now take this puree, mix in sugar, cook until sugar dissolves and add ghee, salt and cardamom. check the sugar and if needed adjust according to your taste.

-Transfer this mixture into a baking dish and bake this in a pre-heated oven at 180 °C for 40 to 60 minutes or until top layer becomes dark and bubbly.

-Remove from the oven and spread the almond slivers at the top and you can proceed to enjoy as it is or with a scoop of ice cream.