DATE CAKE:

I must say, this cake is my Signature dish and very close to my heart. When I was trying my hand in baking, I experienced a lot of failures, but this recipe has uplifted my faith in trying and achieving my goal.

Whenever I made this, everyone liked it for its soft, moist texture. As a little treat to help you relax and settle into Christmas mood, I will share my very easy Date cake recipe with very minimal ingredients. If anyone wants to try their hand at baking, this is just the recipe for you. Just go ahead and try this, you will never regret it.

Now we will see how to make this,

Ingredients:

Dates – 1 cup

Butter /oil – 1 cup

Sugar – 1 cup

All purpose flour – 2 cups (you can mix whole wheat and all purpose too)

Eggs –  2 (beaten)

Water – 1 cup

Cooking soda – 1 tsp or little less.

Method:

– De-seed the dates and chop it either by using food processor or knife, keep aside.

-Grease the baking tray (you can use bread tin as well). Line this with butter paper, keep it ready.

– Take water in a small bowl and boil. When it starts boiling switch off the gas, add chopped dates, butter, sugar, and cooking soda to boiled water and keep aside at least for 20 min.

– After it cools, add beaten eggs and mix nicely.                          

-Now fold in All-purpose flour, mix gently and pour this batter to greased and lined baking vessel.                                              

-Bake this in a pre- heated oven for 35 -40 min or until done at 180 C.

-If you want to check its doneness, use tooth pick or knife. Insert this, if it comes out clean, remove the tin, keep it outside.

-After some time, remove butter paper and cool further.                  

-When it reaches room temperature, you can slice it or cut according to your wish and enjoy with cup of coffee or tea.

Note: For the Eggless Version, use 1/2 cup of flax gel and you can refer my earlier post for the preparation.

 

 

 

How to make Coconut Milk and Flour at Home:

If you are a person, who extracts coconut milk for kheer/ payasam like me, it is best suited for you.

Coconut flour is rich in fibre, low in calorie as well as carbohydrate, gluten free and very popular in flour less or grain free baking.

From past two years I am experimenting with various home made healthy flours and last week when I extracted milk from couple of fresh coconuts, I wanted to try this and proceeded.

Method:

First, we will see the Procedure for Coconut Milk Extraction:

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Ingredients:

Fresh coconut– 1 or 2

Water – 3 cups

Strainer – to extract the milk.

Procedure:

-Grate the coconut and collect the gratings. (If you are using some frozen fresh gratings, you can thaw and proceed).

-Next is a coconut milk extraction:

-Take fresh gratings, put one cup of water and grind into smooth paste and extract milk through sieve. This milk is a thick milk.

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-Now once again take roughage of the coconut, put one more cup of water and grind, sieve the paste and it is our second extraction of milk.

-Repeat the process and take out a third extraction as well and Collect the roughage and it is the Raw material what we need to make coconut flour.

 

Now we will see how to make coconut Flour:

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Now you will know, what is coconut flour?

It is nothing but dried form of this roughage that we have, after the extraction of coconut milk.

Take a dry towel, spread this roughage and air dry in a shaded place for a couple of days. That is it.

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Your coconut flour is ready to use. When it has dried, it will be very dry and airy. It will appear like small beads.

 

 

 

Oats cookies with kisses:

Wanted to use Hershey’s “Kisses” in baking from so many days, finally I did try out this and my kids liked it too. These are a real treat for kids and at the same time filled with high fiber and are healthy because of the usage of Whole wheat flour and oats. I like lemon flavor in my cookies, if you don’t want to use lemon you can add vanilla or cardamom too.

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Now we will see how I made this.

Ingredients:

Whole wheat flour -1 cup

Powdered oats – 1 cup

Sugar -1 cup

Baking soda -1 tsp.

Grated lemon zest- ½ to 1 tsp.

Ghee /Clarified butter – ½ cup

Milk – 3  to 4 table spoons (to bind)

Hershey’s Kisses chocolates for decoration.

Method:

-In a mixer jar, powder oats, measure and keep aside.

-powder sugar and keep aside.

-Now take one mixing bowl, take all the dry ingredients like whole wheat flour, oats powder ,sugar powder ,baking soda ,lemon rind and mix it thoroughly by using hand ,so that flavor will spread uniformly.

-Now mix in melted ghee and bind it together. If it is a little dry, add one to two table spoons of milk, if it binds and holds a shape well and good. Otherwise add one more table spoon of milk and make a ball like Chapati dough.

-Now pre-heat your oven in 180C.

-Line your cookie tray with butter paper or aluminum foil and keep it ready.

-Take one small cookie scoop or a Table spoon to shape the dough into semi-circle balls, and place them on a parchment covered baking/cookie tray.

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-Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until base becomes light brown in colour.

-While baking process is going on, keep kisses chocolate ready by removing its cover.

-When it is done, take out the tray and immediately press a chocolate into the center of each cookie.

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-Base of this chocolate will melt a little, so it holds firmly after it cools down. Cookie will crack around the edges.

-Now don’t disturb these beauties and allow them to cool completely. It will take anywhere between one to two hours to cool completely.

-Because of the heat, chocolate will become very soft and after some time it will hold its shape and become firm.

-Then you can store this in an airtight container.

 

Choco Almond Biscuits:

These are melt- in- the -mouth and loved by all, kind of cookies or biscuits. Added to all that, it is rich with all the healthy stuff. I got an opportunity to taste this goodie at “RAGA” Mangalore and it was prepared by Nalini akka who is a super talented and down to earth person. Our acquaintance started in 2012 through a Facebook group named “FOODIE” and I got to know her through her hubby Sadashiva Rao Mailankodi, who started our group and has shared this recipe on the group long ago. It was in my “to try” list and after tasting these cookies at their residence, I couldn’t wait much and prepared it immediately. I am posting it over here by thanking Nalini akka for this wonderful recipe.

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Ingredient:

Whole wheat flour – 3 cups

Almond – ½ cup

Cocoa powder – ¼ cup

Powdered sugar – 3 cups

Ghee – 1 ½ cup

Butter – 3 table spoons

Cooking soda – ½ tea spoon

Salt – a pinch

Method:

-Roughly Crush almonds.

-Mix all the dry ingredients like flour, cocoa powder, cooking soda and salt.

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-Sieve couple of times or use dry wire whisk to combine uniformly.

-Now beat ghee, butter and sugar by hand or food processor.

-When it becomes like a cream, add flour and make a dough.

-Add in crushed almonds, mix well. Dough will be little crumbly and will not be like a smooth dough.

-Now shape these dough into whichever shape you like.

-Keep in a lined cookie tray and bake in a pre-heated oven at 170°C for 10 to 12 minutes.

– I have exactly followed her method to give shape by using bigger steel spoon. It was a cute oblong shape.

-After baking, cool and store it in an air tight container.

 

Eggless Carrot cake:

This flavourful cake happened by chance. I usually make carrot milkshake paste with almonds in the summer. This year I tried this paste by adding pine nuts instead of almonds and it didn’t go very well with my family. To finish off this paste, I tried this by making cake and it was a super-duper hit and it tastes really moist and soft.

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Ingredient:

Whole wheat flour – 1 cup

All-purpose flour – ½ cup

Fine rawa- ½ cup

Baking powder – 1 tsp

Baking soda -1 tsp

Sugar – 1 ½ cup

Desiccated coconut – ½ cup

Carrot milkshake paste – 2 cups

Clarified butter/ghee – ½ cup

Cardamom powder – 1 tsp

Salt- ¼ tsp

Method:

-Sieve all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, fine rawa and baking powder for 2 to three times and keep aside. This is our dry ingredient mixture.

-Beat the wet ingredient like carrot milk shake paste, ghee, sugar.

-Mix in baking soda, salt and desiccated coconut, cardamom powder and beat.

-You will see a frothy texture. This is our ready wet ingredient mixture.

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-Pour wet ingredient to dry ingredient, lightly mix without over doing.

-Bake this in a pre-heated oven at 180 C for 40 to 50 minutes.

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-After checking its doneness, remove from the oven, cool and serve.

Cornmeal-Cranberry Scones:

These are very soft, crumbly and melt- in- the -mouth kind of delicacies. It has rich corn meal flavour and it is neither a cookie nor a cake and is very mildly sweet. It does not need any side dishes like butter or jam and one can enjoy it as it is with a cup of tea or coffee.

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Ingredients:

All-purpose flour- 1 cup

Cornmeal- ¾ cup

Butter- 100 grams

Dried cranberries- ½ cup

Baking powder – ¾ teaspoon

Baking soda- ¾ teaspoon

Salt – ¼ teaspoon

Sugar – ½ cup

Butter milk – ½ cup (chilled)

Topping – Sugar crystals

Method:

  • Pre heat oven at 170 C
  • Take one mixer jar or food processor. Put all the dry ingredients like flour, corn meal, salt, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Dry grind all these for a couple of rounds.
  • Chop the butter into bite size pieces and add. Again dry grind until flour becomes crumbly and wet.
  • Add buttermilk and run the food processor. Dough will become a little sticky.
  • Line the cookie tray with butter paper.
  • Drop the dough into lined cookie tray either by using spoon or ice cream scoop.

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  • Sprinkle some sugar on top and bake this in a pre-heated oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

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  • It yielded 15 scones for me and I have used small ice cream scoop to scoop out the dough.

 

Gingerbread cookies:

My daughter wanted to bake gingerbread man cookies for this Christmas and she was asking for the recipe of the same. I finally gave her a recipe with the ingredients which were available in our pantry.Now I will handover this post to my daughter, who is 15 year old 🙂

Hi all, I am Vinushree. I really wanted some gingerbread cookies this year, and we made this unique version of gingerbread man cookies- but as women. I just wanted to bring out women empowerment. Just kidding, we didn’t have the cookie cutter for a man ;).  This was very fun to make and an easy process. Please enjoy.

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Ingredient:

All-purpose flour – 3 ½ cup

Cinnamon powder – 1 ½ tsp

Ginger powder – 1 ½ tsp

Salt – ½ tsp

Baking soda- ¾ tsp

Egg -1

Jaggery syrup – ½ cup

Light brown sugar – ½ cup

Cooking Butter – ¾ cup

For Icing:

Cooking chocolate – 4 squares

Nutella – 2 tbl sp

Icing sugar – ½ cup

Vanilla essence – ½ tsp

Milk – 2 tbl sp.

Method:

  • Mix all the dry ingredients by using wire whisk, like flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, baking soda and keep aside.
  • Beat butter and sugar by using stand mixer. When it is done, add in egg, jaggery syrup and beat nicely.
  • Add dry ingredient and make dough into 3 parts and keep this in a fridge by wrapping in a cling film cover or in a zip lock separately.
  • Keep this for one hour and remove one of the dough parts from the fridge and keep this outside for 5 minutes.
  • At the same time, pre heat the oven at 170 degree C and line a cookie tray with butter paper.
  • Now roll the dough by using Chapati roller, by dusting some flour into ¼ inch thickness and by using cookie cutter and bake this for 12 to 14 minutes.

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  • After it cools down, make the icing.
  • Take one microwave safe glass bowl, put icing sugar, chocolate, Nutella, milk and vanilla. Microwave for 1 minute and mix nicely. If it is melted and perfectly blends, start dipping those cookies into it and decorate with any sprinkles. Otherwise heat chocolate mixture for some more time and proceed.

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  • Dry them in air for one to two hours, and then store them in an airtight container.

Christmas Fruit cake:

Day before yesterday, my daughter V was asking, ‘amma, everywhere I can feel the Christmassy atmosphere, why haven’t you made anything?  Please make plum cake.”

Immediately, daughter A said “No need to do that grrrrrrrrrrr, It has raisins, I don’t like raisins in any baked goodies. Make Red velvet instead of plum cake.”

Finally, mamma came up with this win -win cake for both –

This cake has no booze or fruit juice or raisins.

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Ingredients:

Dry fruits to soak – 1 cup (dried cranberries, tutti-frutti)

For the Caramel:

Light brown sugar – ½ cup

Water – 1 cup

Butter – 1 tsp

For the Cake:

All-purpose flour – 1 ½ cup

Baking powder – ¾ tsp

Baking soda – ¾ tsp

Dry ginger powder – ¼ tsp

Cinnamon powder – ¼ tsp

Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp

Pinch of salt

Eggs – 2

Light brown sugar – 1 cup

Melted Butter – ¾ cup

Grapovin essence – ½ tsp

Orange essence – ½ tsp

Caramel – ½ cup

Dry Nuts – ½ to 1 cup (cashew and almonds)

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Method:

  • Make caramel in a thick bottomed vessel. Heat sugar and butter until it melts, lower the heat and add water, mix nicely and boil this liquid for 2 to 3 minutes and cool.
  • Take dry fruits of your choice for soaking. Here I took dried cranberries and tutti-frutti.

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  • When caramel cools down, add in dry fruits, for soaking and keep aside for at least for 10 -12 hours.
  • When you are ready to bake the cake, drain these soaked fruits, separate caramel and fruits and keep aside.This caramel can be used while mixing cake batter.

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  • Next step is preparation of the cake batter –
  • First we will mix all the dry ingredients starting from flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger powder, cinnamon powder, cardamom powder, salt in one bowl and dry mix by using wire whisk.
  • Now drop all the dry fruits like soaked and drained fruits, chopped cashews and almonds.

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  • Once again mix the flour nicely and keep it aside.
  • This is the dry ingredient mixture.
  • Next step is- preheat the oven at 180 degree centigrade.
  • Line the cake tin in which you want to bake. I have used bread tin over here.
  • Here I have used Grapovin and orange essence, instead of fresh fruit juice.

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  • Next we should make wet ingredient mixture. Break the eggs, beat properly, and mix in butter, caramel, sugar and both the essences. Beat all these together until sugar dissolves.

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  • Now wet ingredient mixture is ready.
  • Usage of beater is over. Take one wooden spatula and fold in dry mixture and make a uniform batter of wet and dry ingredients by using very light hand.
  • Don’t over mix this.

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  • Now pour this ready batter to lined cake tin and bake this for 40 to 45 minutes or until done at  180* C.

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Enjoy this fruit cake in this festive season!!!

Choco chip cookie with M&M:

Who can resist Choco chips and m&m? My kids just love this combination and it works really well as a birthday party treat too.

If u have leftover m&m’s at home which you totally forgot about? This is a yummy way to use them up! Every crumb tastes so delicious; you wouldn’t want to put it down!

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Ingredients:

Whole wheat flour -1 cup

All-purpose flour – 1 ½ cup

Baking powder – ¾ tea spoon

Cooking soda – ¾ tsp

Demerara sugar – 1 cup

White sugar – ½ cup

Butter – 200 Grams (I have used 100 gms butter + 100 gms sunflower oil)

Eggs – 2

Vanilla essence – 1 tsp

Choco chip – ¾ cup

m&m chocolates – to decorate.

Method:

–  Pre heat oven to 170º C, grease cookie tray and line with butter paper.

-Add all the dry ingredients (flours + baking powder + cooking soda).

-Take a bowl, put butter and beat nicely. Add both the sugars, vanilla essence and once again beat until it becomes soft and airy. Now add eggs and beat. Add all the dry ingredients and mix using a spatula .While mixing add Choco chip. Now using an ice cream scooper, drop the dough into the cookie tray .

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-If you have m&m s, you can press it on to the center.

–  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

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When it’s done, take it out and cool. After it cools completely store it in an air tight container.