Category Archives: Bakery

Banana Bread

This is the best Banana Bread recipe ever. Period. It’s kind of a Grandma’s recipe… vintage and long-standing. Its old-school simplicity is overwhelming and so is its super-soft texture and mind-blowing flavor.
When I baked it for the first time, I did it with white sugar. The second time, I used the light brown one. With both, results were amazing. Believe me, you’ll never go wrong with it. Try once and you will be baking it again and again, I promise.
banana-breadPreparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 50 minutes to 1 hour

Ingredients:
4 medium sized, very ripe bananas
1/2 cup butter
1 cup Sugar (white or brown). Adjust according to your desired sweetness.
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
11/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Method:
1. Grease and flour a loaf tin. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
2. Squidge the bananas with a masher. I prefer doing it with hand and leave little chunks, instead of making a paste. You feel them in your bites when you chomp on.
3. Cream together the butter and sugar.
4. Add the beaten eggs and crushed bananas.
5. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the creamed mixture.
6. Add vanilla, sprinkle the cinnamon powder and fold gently.
7. Tip the mixture in the loaf tin and bake for 50 mins or till done.
8. Enjoy as a tea-time cake or whenever you are in the mood for a dessert.

P.S.:
You can toss in a cup of chopped nuts, raisins, or chocolate chips if you want, or put the batter into muffin tins and make muffins instead.

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Fruit And Nut Biscotti

“Some Biscotti with your Cappuccino, mam?”, asked the waiter of a newly opened bakery cum cafe. “Would love to”, I replied with a confident smile, in my mind wondering… “what’s that?” This was my introduction, rather, encounter with the much loved Italian delight, right here, in the by-lanes of Mumbai 🙂
Just so you know, Biscotti is the plural form of Biscotto, as opposed to how its usually referred. It means ‘baked twice’. This crunchy and more delicious cousin of Rusk, is indeed a wonderful companion to Cappuccino and has a very long shelf life.
BiscottiIngredients:
250gm plain flour
250 gm caster sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 tbsp baking powder
Fruit and Nuts as you like – hazelnuts, chopped dates, dried cherries, pistachios, etc.
I added:
50 gm whole almonds
50 gm black raisins
50 gm whole cashews
50 gm lightly chopped walnuts
Zest of 1 lemon

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line the baking trays with baking parchment.
2. Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl.
3. Add half the beaten eggs and mix well. Keep adding the eggs only till the dough takes shape, but isn’t too wet. You might not need all of the eggs.
4. Add the fruits, nuts, lemon zest and mix well.
5. Divide the dough into six parts. Roll each part into sausage shapes about 3cm in diameter. Place each roll at least 6 cm apart on on baking trays. This will give enough space for the cake to rise.
Tip: Dip your hands in water so the dough doesn’t stick to the hands while rolling.
6. Lightly flatten the rolls and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown.
7.  Remove from the oven and leave for 15 minutes to cool and firm up.
8. Now reduce the temperature of the oven to 140C.
9. With a serrated knife, cut out the biscotti from the rolls at an angle into 5mm slices and lay these on the baking trays.
10. Place the trays back in the oven and bake for around 10 minutes.
11. Pull the trays out, turn the biscotti over and slide the trays back in the oven. Now cook for another 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
12. When they look ready, remove from the oven and let them cool on the cake or wire racks.
13. Store in an airtight container.

Serve your Biscotti with coffee or tea. Just make sure you make a whole lot of them, because… 😉

Honey and Oats Biscuits

I bumped into this recipe while flipping through one of the magazines. More than the biscuits, what intrigued me is their history that dates back to World War I. The army wives sent them to their husbands who fought on the front line. The recipe was such that the biscuits didn’t spoil easily even though they journeyed the sea for days together. Interesting!
Honey and Oats BiscuitsPreparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 8 – 10 minutes per batch
Makes: 25 – 30 biscuits

Ingredients:
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup flour
2/3 cup castor sugar
3/4 desiccated coconut
1/3 cup honey
125 gms unsalted butter
1 tsp soda bicarb
2 tbsp hot water

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 160 deg. Line the baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
2. Place the dry ingredients – oats, flour, sugar and coconut in a bowl. Mix them all thoroughly.
3. In a separate pan heat the butter and honey and cook, stirring, on low heat until melted.
4. Combine the soda bicarb and water and add it to the butter mixture.
5. Now add the step 4 mixture to the oats and mix thoroughly.
6. Place tablespoon fulls of this mixture on the lined baking tray. Flatten them into 7 cm rounds or shapes of your choice.
7. Leave enough space in between for the biscuits to expand while baking.
8. Bake for eight to ten minutes or until deep golden.
9. Cool on the tray for five minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Creamy Potato Gratin

Sometimes, many times, names of the dishes are so ornate and exotic, they just seem out-of-the-world, elusive and very very difficult to make. But really, they are not.
Like this one where potato rules. Originated in France and sounds so fancifully European, but with all the readily available shelf ingredients, it can be easily made back home.
Potato Gratin 1Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 45-50 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1 kg Potatoes
600 ml double cream
4 cloves of garlic
Knob of butter
Salt and Pepper for seasoning

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 190 deg.
2. Rub the baking tray with butter and leave aside.
3. Bruise the garlic cloves, just a bit, so they release their flavors. Don’t pound them.
4. Heat the cream and garlic and let it simmer (don’t boil). Remove from the heat and let the flavors infuse for 10 minutes.
5. Slice the potatoes 2 mm thick with a knife. Mandolin makes the job easier. Skin them if you wish. I prefer them with skin.
6. Now, layer the bottom of the tin with these slices. Season this layer with salt and pepper.
7. Similarly, use up all the slices to form layers, seasoning every layer each time you go.
8. After all the slices have been layered, pour the garlic infused cream on the top and let it run down all the nooks and crannies.
9. Bake for around 50 minutes. You’ll see the surface bubbling away and gorgeously golden.
10. Do the knife test. If, it goes through without resistance, your gratin is done.
Potato Gratin 2Such an intersection of simplicity and flavors! Long live the Potato!!!

Banana Chocochip Muffins

More than I love eating muffins, I love making them. Reason – they are the fruits of, well, totally no labor 😛
My Banana Chocochip muffins are notoriously dark, incredibly moist and ridiculously yum. Love the way the dark shiny inside peeks from the crevices. Banana gives that needed moistness and extra flavor, while the choc-chips just melt in your mouth with every bite.
Banana Chocochip MuffinsPreparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 15 – 20 minutes
Makes: 12 muffins

Ingredients:
3 ripe or overripe bananas
100 gms chocolate chips. Add more if you wish.
2 large or 3 small eggs
125 ml vegetable oil
100 gms granulated or castor sugar
225 gms plain flour
3 tbsps cocoa powder. sifted
1 tbsp soda bicarb
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line the muffin tin with cases. (Bake in 2 batches if you have a 6 case tin)
2. Mash the bananas by hand. I leave little lumps. You’ll feel the difference when you eat them.
3. Add the oil.
4. Add the eggs and sugar and mix.
5. In a seperate bowl, mix the dry ingredients – flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon powder, soda bicarb.
6. Now add this mixture, beating gently, to the banana mixture.
7. Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin cases.
8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or till they rise out of their cases and the surface looks cracked.
9. Let them sit in the tin for few minutes before resting them on to the wire rack to cool.

Bundt Christmas Cake

Shape of the tin does enhance the look of the cake; so this time I chose to bake my Christmas cake in a Bundt tin. And I was totally sanguine about the crowd loving it.
It amazes me how miraculous this humble looking tin can be. The cake looks incredibly impressive, more like a work of art. And the finale of sugar dust gives the look of powdery white snow atop the golden cakey mountain. A true Christmassy feeling!
Vanilla Bundt Cake
Preparation time: 25-30 mins
Baking time: 45 – 50 mins
Serves: 10

Ingredients:
225 gms butter. softened. plus extra for greasing (oil will work too)
300 gms caster or granulated sugar
6 large eggs
350 gms plain flour
½ tsp soda bicarb
250 gms plain fat-free yoghurt
4 tsps vanilla extract
2 tbsps icing sugar (for dusting)

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put a baking sheet or baking tray in at the same time.
2. Thoroughly butter or oil your large or regular bundt tin.
3. Cream together the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking each one in with a tablespoon of flour.
5. Fold in the rest of the flour and add the soda bicarb, yogurt and vanilla extract.
OR
Skip the steps – 3,4,5 by tipping all the ingredients except the icing sugar into the food processor and blitzing together.
6. Pour the mixture into your greased tin and spread evenly. Pat the tin a couple of times to remove any air bubbles.
7. Place the tin on the preheated baking tray in the oven and cook for 45–50 minutes until well risen and golden.
8. After 45 minutes, do the skewer test. Clean skewer means cake is done.
9. Let the tin sit for 15 minutes.
10. Then with your fingertips, gently pull away the edges of the cake from the tin and turn it topsy-turvy, holding your breath 🙂
11. The golden beauty should slide out.
12. After the cake is cool, dust it with icing sugar by passing it though a sieve… pristinely glorious!

P.S.: After the cake is completely cooled, wrap it in a cling film and you can store it in an airtight container for about 2 days.
Repeat the process and you can even freeze the cake for upto 2 months. Thaw it overnight and you are ready for the breakfast indulgence.
Cake and Coffee! Happy Days!!! 🙂

Bread And Chocolate Chips Baked Pudding

Planning to get rid of your stale loaf? Wait! Not after this recipe at least 🙂
This pud’s also a savior during those sunny, rainy or wintery days when you are overtaken by boredom and fancy dessert recipes are just not what you wanna do.
Cut, whisk, pour, bake. Easy peasy 🙂
Bread Chcoclate chips PuddingPreparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 50 – 60 mins
Serves: 10. Not if your guys go for seconds

Ingredients:
250 gm stale bread or loaf, roughly cut into 2 cm cubes. I ain’t that dexterous, nor patient. So I prefer tearing
100 gm chocolate chips
3 eggs
500 ml milk
135 ml cream
50 gms granulated sugar
2 tps castor sugar – for sprinkling

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease an ovenproof dish lightly with butter. Don’t worry if you forget greasing. I did 😛
2. Roughly mound the cut pieces of bread.
3. Toss in the chocolate chips so that they spread evenly among the bread cubes.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream and granulated sugar.
5. Pour this thick creamy mixture evenly over the bread and leave it to soak for 15-20 minutes
6. Sprinkle the castor sugar.
7. Leave it in the oven for 50-55 mins till you see it rising and the surface looks browned.
8. Sit the pudding for 10 mins before serving.

Now gobble and go bonkers. It’s one such crazily yummy pud, no 🙂