Sunday, 30 March 2014

Strawberry Jam Crumb Cup Cake

My son reminded me that, I didn’t post any cake recipe for a long. The last one was a Zebra cake on women’s day.
To meet his demand, I decided to bake Strawberry Jam Crumb Cup Cake. I adopted this recipe from

I like this cake because, it’s just not a plain sponge cake at the same time, there is no Rich cream or Butter toppings. Instead, the crispy Crumbs are sprinkled on the top and strawberry jam as a middle layer. Sounds good ?

My husband always says, Cakes are meant for special occasions. But, I make an occasion every week by baking cakes.

To make the Crispy Crumbs topping, we need the following Ingredients :   1/4  cup  all-purpose flour     ;      1/4  cup  packed brown sugar    ;  1/4  teaspoon  ground cinnamon    ;    2  tablespoons  chilled butter.

To bake a cake we need :    1 1/4  cups  all-purpose flour    ;    1/2  teaspoon  baking powder    ;    1/4  teaspoon  baking soda     ;   1/8  teaspoon  salt    ;   2/3  cup  powdered sugar    ;    1/4  cup  butter, softened       ;    1/2  teaspoon  vanilla extract      ;  1  large egg  ;   6  tablespoons  fat-free milk    ;     2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice    ;    1/4  cup  semi sweetened  strawberry jam

First, let’s prepare crumb topping.   Combine  1/4 cup flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. And add 2 tablespoons butter and blend until the mixture is coarse meal. - set aside.

For the cake preparation, combine 1 1/4 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. This is called flour mixture

Combine powdered sugar and 1/4 cup butter in a bowl blend well with your kitchen aid at medium speed. Add vanilla and egg to the mixture and again blend about 2 minutes. Now, add milk and juice and blend further about 2 minutes. This is called sugar mixture.

Add half of flour mixture to sugar mixture; stir until smooth. Add remaining flour mixture, and stir just until combined.

Spoon the batter into prepared muffin pan (just half the volume of the muffin pan), spreading evenly. And add strawberry jam on top of the batter and spread evenly. Again Spoon the batter over strawberry layer, (now the muffin pan is completely filled to the top) spreading evenly.

Sprinkle the crumbs as a topping on the batter. (Top of muffins)

Bake at 350°C for 15 minutes on the Preheat oven.  Or until a wooden tooth pick comes out clean, if inserted at the center.  Allow it to cool about 10 minutes in the muffin pan and transfer to the wire rack for further cooling.

I like to eat the cupcake with Tea (Masala  Chai) . What about you ?

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Granola (Muesli) Bar

A Breakfast or Snack that is made of  rolled oats with dried fruits, nuts and honey or brown sugar is called a Granola Bar in US and Muesli Bar in rest of the world.

Granola / Muesli bar is favorite snack for, those who do sports, camping, hiking, because of its HIGH Calorie offering.

Granola / Muesli bar can be consumed with yogurt and fruits for a formal breakfast.

It’s my son’s favorite snack during the swimming meets. – To ensure he gets high calorie, without filling the stomach.

Believe me, the most simple recipe, I ever came across is Granola / Muesli bar.  Since, we have lots of nuts / seeds in a Granola / Muesli bar, it may take little longer to digest. Hence, we add flax seeds to fasten the digestion.

Here the ingredients list :  1/2 cup of Chopped Almond    ;    1  cup  of Oats    ;      1/4   cup of  Sunflower seed      ;      1/4 cup of  Pumpkin seed       ;     1/4  cup of Walnuts      ;       1/4 cup of  peanuts   ;    1/4 cup of  flax seed       ;      1/4 cup of  raisins      ;      1/3  to  1/2 cup  of  honey (up to you)     ;    1/2 cup of brown sugar     ;   1 egg, beaten (Optional)     ;    2/3 cup  of butter          ;      1 teaspoon of  Vanilla

Just combine almond, Oats, sunflower seed, Pumpkin seed, Walnuts, Peanuts, Flax seed, Raisins and honey. 

Add brown sugar, egg (if you like), melted butter with the nuts/seeds mixture and blend well.

Transfer the mixture to a pre-greased baking pan and press firmly, so that its sets well.

Transfer the pan into a pre-heated oven and bake at 350°F / 180°C for about 20 minutes. 

Allow it to cool and slice them into desired shape and size. Store it in an airtight container.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Melon Pan

Aparna asked to make Melon Pan, for this month challenge @ We Knead To Bake #15. 

Melon Pan (also known as melon pan, melon bun or melon bread) origin is Japan. It’s nothing but, a type of sweet bun. I mean, a soft bun (crust) covered with thin layer of crisp cookie dough. The cookie dough resembles a rock melon, hence, Melon Pan.

Melon Pan, Recipe source is from A Bread A Day 

The bread dough for these buns is usually left plain. However, you may add / fill with chocolate chips, cream, cheese, custard etc.

For PURE veggies, you may substitute a tablespoon of yogurt or milk for egg. Please refer my egg substitute page for more detail.

Let’s split the process in to two parts.  i.e. to make a bun and the crisp cookie dough to cover the bun crust.

Ingredients for bread dough:  1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (+ little extra)  ;   2 tbsp milk powder    ;     1 tsp instant yeast    ;  1/2 tsp salt    ;  1/3 cup cold water   ;  1 egg, beaten     ;    1 tbsp sugar   ;   25gm butter, at room temperature

Ingredients for cookie dough:  1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour  ;  3/4 teaspoon baking powder  ; A  large pinch of salt  ;  60gm butter, at room temperature   ;  1/4 cup castor sugar   ;   1 large egg  ;  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract  ;  1 teaspoon lemon zest   ;  Castor sugar for dusting

To make Bun :

Whisk together the flour, powdered milk, yeast, and salt in the bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg and cold water together with a fork till well blended. Add this to the flour mixture and Knead till it all come together as a dough and then until you have a somewhat stiff dough. Add the sugar and knead well.

Now add the butter and knead until the butter is completely blended into the dough. Now the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a round, and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let it rise till double in volume, may take about an hour.

Prepare the cookie dough :  In a bowl, add soft butter, sugar and blend  till fluffy. Add the egg, lemon zest and vanilla extract and beat till combined. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and add this to the bowl and beat together until just combined.

Shape the dough into a cylinder (this will make the dough easy to divide and flatten out later), and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate the dough until required.

By this time our bun dough must have doubled in volume, place it on a lightly floured surface and deflate the dough gently and divide it into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a smooth ball like for bread rolls. (keep the rest of the dough  covered so that  it don’t dry out).

Unwrap the cookie dough; It should be firm by now and easy to work with. Slice the cylinder shaped cookie dough into 8 equal portions. Place one slice of cookie dough on a piece of plastic sheet or cling film. Cover with another piece, and using a flat bottomed pan, press down on the dough to flatten it, until it is reasonably thin.

Place the thin (circle shaped) cookie dough on top the Bun / Pan and of it. Gently press the cookie dough edge to the bread dough ball so that it covers the top and sides of the bun, leaving the bottom open. Sprinkle some castor sugar on the cookie dough and gently press it.   

Then using a scraper or the blunt side of a knife make a diamond pattern. The pattern should be deep enough at the same time without cutting through the cookie dough layer.

Place the bun with cookie dough layer on the pre-greased baking sheet. Repeat this with the remaining cookie dough and bread dough balls and allow them rise for an hour.

Bake them at 180°C (350°F) for about 25 minutes, until the tops of the Melon Pan just start turning brown. (Excess heat or time may burn the underside of the bun). Later transfer to a wire rack to cool thoroughly and consume on the same day.

Trust me, Melon Pans which were kept on the table, were consumed by my Husband and Son in a blink of an eye.! Leaving my heart filled. 

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Peanut Butter Cookies

After receiving a good number of requests for cookies, I am posting one of the best cookie recipe and by that, I really mean it.

My friends and family always request me for this Peanut Butter Cookies, it everyone’s favorite.  I am sure, you will also LOVE it.

The roasted oats, peanut butter and the brown sugar are the magic ingredients that make this cookie very special.

This cookie can delight you not only your taste buds, also your health too. It’s my son’s favorite pre workout snack. Just 2-3 cookie and cup of milk / juice is enough as a breakfast, for a busy day.

Here is the ingredients list  :  100 gms + few tbsp  of Unsalted butter @ room temp   ;   1 cup of Oats   ;   1 cup + few tbsp. of All Purpose flour    ;    1 tsp of Baking soda    ;     1 tsp of Salt     ;     1/3 cup of Sugar      ;    1/2 cup (packed) of Dark brown sugar     ;     1/2 cup of Peanut butter.

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium heat. Add oats and stir until it is roasted (about 5 minutes). I just love the roasted oats flavor.  Allow the Roasted oats to cool.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Blend butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add peanut butter and mix until well combined. Then add oats mixture and flour mixture blend with your kitchen aid at low speed until thoroughly combined.

Turn dough into cling wrap roll out as log shape. Refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes. Later, cut out cookies about 2’’ thick. Place cookies 1” apart on prepared baking sheets / tray.

Bake the cookies in preheat oven at 230°C for 10 min then reduce it to 180°C till the cookies become gold-brown in colour.  Allow it to cool and transfer in to air tight container.

As I mentioned earlier, Peanut Butter Cookies are very tempting kind. It’s difficult to resist just by one cookie…….!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Honey-Oatmeal Bread

It had been quite some time now, that I didn’t post any Bread Recipe! Baking Bread is always very special to me.  I just love the flavor around the kitchen, while baking. Also, I could offer a complete meal to my family.

I do not know, from where I got this recipe and couldn’t find any note on my hard-copy. But, this is one of my favorite. I used to bake at least thrice a month. Honey – Oatmeal combination is just perfect.

Honey, is a very special substance and there is a lot more then in it than a simple sugar. It’s Rich in minerals and also has some antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties that may aid in the healing process. That’s why in Asia and Arabia, Honey is widely used to treat humans. Also believed, very beneficial to health, provides Energy.

I will stop here, to talk further about Honey and list down the ingredients :  1¼ cups of boiling water   ;   1 cup of rolled oats   ;   2 tbsp of unsalted butter  cut into 3 pieces   ;   1½  tsp of sea salt   ;  ¼ cup of honey   ;   1 cup of whole wheat flour  ;  1-2/3 cups  of all-purpose flour   ;   ¼ cup nonfat dry milk (powder)  ;   2  tsp of instant yeast.

In a bowl boil the water, once water starts bubbling cut the flame and add oats, butter, salt and honey into it. Stir well. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm.

Add the remaining ingredients i.e.  Wheat flour, all purpose flour, milk powder, with the oat mixture and knead either by hand or kitchen aid / bread machine, until its soft and smooth dough.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with damp cloth in a warm place until dough is about double in volume.  It may take about 45 minutes, depends on the atmospheric temperature. Our friends yeast and bacteria, acts much faster in tropical conditions (around 100°F or 38°C).

Gently deflate the dough by hand. (Slightly oil your hand, to avoid mess. the dough will be sticky) and shape it into log.

Place it in the pre greased loaf pan. Cover it gently with greased plastic wrap (to avoid cracks on the bread), and allow it to rise over the rim of the pan and sprinkle with additional oats on the top.

Bake it in the preheated oven at 350º F about 45 minutes

Tenting it with aluminum foil prevent over-browning. Once the bread is golden brown, remove it from the oven and after a minute turn it out onto a rack and brush with melted butter.

Honey-Oatmeal Bread toasted with butter and chocolate spread is “Divine”

Tip : When measuring honey, first coat the measuring utensil with a small amount of oil so the honey will not stick.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Almond Praline with Chocolate

Being a Chocolate fan, I didn’t post any Chocolate / Candy recipe yet. Want to post very simple but, Great Praline. I’m left with only, “Almond Praline”.

Several times, I mentioned my passion towards chocolate. Always I want to work in place where the chocolates are produced. But, I didn’t get an opportunity. Hence, I started melting and making chocolates at my kitchen.

Praline is nothing but slightly bigger size candy made from nuts, sugar syrup. But I added to it Chocolate, as my version.

Praline is very popular in India too. Can you name the North Indian and South Indian version of it?  (Answer at the end of this post)

All the ingredients of the recipe is direct from shelf nature :  1 cup of Almond  ;  2 tbsp of Sugar   ;   2 tsp of Butter   ;  200 gms of  semi sweet chocolate.

Roast the Almonds in the oven at 150°c for 10 - 12 min and allow it to cool.

In a thick bottom pan add sugar and almond in low flame. Once sugar start to caramelize (caramelize is a process where water content of sugar will be released while heating)

During the caramelizing process, the sugar color changes to light brown (1st stage). At this point add butter (butter gives smooth crunchiness to the almond) make sure the almonds are well coated and take the pan from the heat.

Immediately spread the almond to greased parchment paper. Make sure the almonds are not sticking to each other and allow it to cool.

In a double boiler melt the chocolate and Mix the almond in the chocolate mixture till almonds coated well with chocolate and spread on the parchment paper and refrigerate for an hour.

Answer to the Quiz : Chikki (चिक्की) in North (by Sugar syrup) and kadalai mittai (கடலை மிட்டாய் ) in south. (by Jaggary syrup)

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Almond Rolled Sugar Cookies

After posting my first cookie recipe, it’s not my intention to post one more. Since, my son is at home (Preparatory holiday for exam!!) and always searching something to bite. I was forced to make something quick, to save my brain! (Otherwise he will eat mine) – This was the real story behind the making.

To be honest, it’s a normal cookie, but the sides (outer rings) are coated with finely chopped almonds. Then it becomes an Almond rolled sugar cookies.

Such variations are quite common in Indian milk sweets, the edges of the milk sweets are coated with dry fruits, etc.

Okay, Please make sure the following ingredients are in place   :  150 gms of  Butter   ;  1/3 cup of Sugar   ;   ¼ cup of Almond  (grind with 1tsp of sugar to coarsely )   ;  ½ cup of  Wheat flour    ;  ½ cup of  All purpose flour   ;    ½ cup of corn flour  ;  ¼ cup of  Vanilla  custard powder – ¼ cup  ;  Egg white – 1  ;  pinch of salt.   

With the help of kitchen aid, whisk / mix all the dry ingredient wheat, AP flour, corn, custard flour and salt keep aside.

Beat butter with sugar till pale in color. Add 2tbsp dry ingredient to the butter mixture beat it well and then add 2 more tbsp of flour mixture and mix it and so on, till all the all dry Ingredient are done.

Cover the dough with cling wrap and keep it in fridge for about 30 min. Then take dough roll it in to log shape (like snake) for about 8 inch’s length then brush egg white all sides then rolled it on the almond mixture. Make sure it is well coated all over the dough.

For my PURE veggie friends, instead of egg white you may use full fat milk. But make sure to use very little. Otherwise, the dough will become soggy.

Cover it again with cling wrap and keep it in fridge for 2 hour.

Cut it into about 1.5 to 2 cm thickness arrange it in baking tray and keep it again in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking.

Then, keep the baking tray in the preheated oven for about 180°c till it becomes light brown in color. Once cooled,  keep it in the air tight container.
 It’s an anytime healthy snack .