Monday, November 29, 2010

APPLE & WALNUT CAKE

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This moist cake is perfect for brunch or dessert. The apple walnut combination makes it perfect for fall or a small gathering.

It is really easy and simple to bake, you need not use your mixer or your hand blender. It's just mix and bake, using just two bowls eliminating the washing up all those utensils. I'm always on the look out for such an easy recipe but producing great results and this one is one of them!

Apple can be replaced with pear and for the nuts, you have a wider choice, they are pecan, cashew, peanut or hazel nut, just pick whatever you prefer but now have added what is available in my kitchen, a few tablespoons of  ground walnut that is hardly seen in the cake.

Friday, November 26, 2010

SAMOSA


One of famous snack available in South East Asian countries,  Central Asian, Arabian Peninsula, North/South Africa and throughout  Mediterranean. It consists of two parts, the pastry and the filling. The filling is varies from country to country, it can be vegetables such as potato, peas or ground meat. The size and the consistency of the pastry vary considerably but although it is mostly triangular in shape either deep fried or baked.  Samosa often serves with chutney or ketchup.

While traditionally samosa is normally fried but more people prefer to bake them  and now switching to  ready made puff pastry, wanton skin or tortilla which is more convenient and healthier.  But by far I still prefer made from scratch pastry, very crispy and truly delicious.

SAMOSA
Yield  :   14 Samosa

PASTRY
1 C all  purpose flour
1/2 C warm water (not all)
1/2 tsp salt
3  T cooking oil

METHOD

* Place flour, salt and oil in a mixing bowl. Gradually add water to form a dough.

* Knead for 2-3 minutes, keep covered at least 15 minutes

FILLING

2 large potato boiled  and mashed
2 small carrot peeled and grated
1 Big onion chopped
2 green chili chopped
2  T curry powder
1 tsp ginger paste
2 T cooking oil
1/2 tsp cumin seed
salt to taste
lemon juice

METHOD

* Heat the oil, fry cumin seed until fragrant, add in onion, green chili and ginger, cook until light brown.

* Pour in curry powder and little water, fry for a minute, add the potato and carrot, stir well. Sprinkle some water, add in salt, cook until almost dry.

* Squeeze lemon juice, remove from heat and cool.

MAKING THE SAMOSA

* Divide the dough into 7 balls. Roll out dough into 7 inch circle and cut into two.

* Apply water around the edges and fold into cone shape. Stuff each cone with 2 tablespoons of filling and close and pinch the top to seal. Repeat the same with the rest of the dough.

* Heat about 1 1/2 in deep cooking oil, when it is fully heated slide in the samosa, a few at a time, fry until golden brown. Remove and place on absorbent paper.

* Serve with chutney or ketchup.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

CARROT & BANANA MUFFIN

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Another light and tasty muffin but also nutritious. I have cut down the sugar and fat used and make them eggless. These are such a delight to bite into and safely consumed without guilt.

Despite of all the changes, you would never know the difference since it turns out moist and surprisingly yummy. Next time, I will use a cup of whole wheat flour to turn them into much healthier snack.

CARROT & BANANA MUFFIN

2 C all purpose flour
1/2 C melted butter/oil
1 C low fat milk
3/4 C sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 medium carrot grated
2 banana mashed
1 tsp vanilla essence

METHOD

*  Preheat oven @ 180 C. Line muffin pan with paper muffin cases.

*  Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.

*  Combine together milk, melted butter, banana, vanilla and carrot in a separate bowl.

*  Now add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

* Pour into muffin cases about 3/4 full, bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

* Transfer onto rack to cool.

Monday, November 22, 2010

BAKED BANANA DONUTS

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This weekend my sons requested me to bake a donut. We used to purchase the fried version from a nearby bakery some time ago.

After seeing my fully riped bananas, I was thinking why not bake up something yummy with this fruit. Glad I did, these are fluffy and a big hit with my kids. At least I have served them what they wanted, they really enjoyed having this healthy and low calories donuts compared with the full fat one.

If you found the dough too sticky to work with, add a tablespoon or two flour. When creating the hole, make it bigger otherwise it shrinks at the time of baking. You can also use your donut cutter if you want.

BAKED BANANA DONUTS
Yield : 10 donuts

2 C  bread flour/ all purpose flour
2 T melted butter
1/4 C warm milk
2 tsp dry yeast
2 T sugar
2 mashed banana
1/2 tsp salt

COATING

3 T melted butter
1/4 cup sugar

METHOD

* In a small bowl, combine dry yeast, sugar and milk, leave for 10 minutes until frothy.

* Place flour, salt,  melted butter and mashed bananas in a mixing bowl, add in yeast mixture and forms into pliable dough.

* Transfer dough onto floured board, knead for 10 minutes until elastic. Place dough into oiled bowl, keep covered for 2 hours.

* Punch dough to release air, divide into 10 balls. Cut out the center of each dough round to make donuts and donut hole. Place them into pan and let rise for 60 minutes. Towards the end of raising time, preheat oven @ 190 C.

* Apply melted butter on top, bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

* Immediately after baking, brush again with butter and coat with fine sugar on top.

Linking to Yeastspotting 11-26-10
Linking to  Recipes using Flour

Friday, November 19, 2010

MOCHA BANANA CAKE

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I love this cake, it's quick ,easy and  delicious. It hardly takes a few minutes to prepare, doesn't require any mixer and the combinations  are endless. With just a basic recipe, you can create another interesting and exotic cake such as strawberry mocha, pineapple lemon,  pumpkin chocolate and many more.

But now I'm using instant coffee and mashed banana. These are moist and  tasty, you can't stop eating just a piece. You should bake your own cake since home made one is much healthier, free from preservatives and excessive sugar, can easily freeze them too.

MOCHA BANANA CAKE

2 1/4 C all purpose flour
1/4 C melted butter
3/4 C milk
1 C sugar
1 C banana mashed
4 tsp instant coffee
4 tsp water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

METHOD

* Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in sugar. Preheat oven @ 175 C, grease 8 x 8 pan.

* Mix coffee with warm water, add the milk, butter and mashed banana.

* Now add wet ingredients to the flour and mix until just combined.

* Pour onto prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

* Cool in pan for 10 minutes then transfer onto wire rack to cool.

* Slice to serve or apply your favorite frosting.