Chocolate Chip and Banana Muffins

 

Banana muffins

If you like banana bread, you’ll love these muffins. This is a Betty Crocker recipe and works perfectly well. You get the banana flavour as well as small bursts of chocolate. One of the best things about this recipe is the final touch you need to give the muffins. The cinnamon sugar with melted butter. It amplifies the the taste further more. The chocolate chips I used were Hershey’s milk chocolate ones. They’re bigger than the ones we get here and taste great. If you have anyone coming from the States or anywhere else, have them bring you these. I can’t wait to use these chips in cookies!

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Chewy Horlicks cookies recipe

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I won’t even blink twice before telling you we can’t be friends if you don’t like Horlicks. Full grown adults lose their mind when they see a bottle. Case in point, my friend who advised me to keep the jar of Horlicks away from him as soon as he saw it in my kitchen. It’s so comforting to cozy up under a quilt in the winters with hot cup of Horlicks and a book, or watch a movie.

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The Best Chocolate Layer Cake

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chocolate cake

Dark, rich and insanely chocolatey chocolate cake. Sandwiched with luscious, creamy, light and smooth buttercream frosting…. Don’t tell me you haven’t fantasized about a layered chocolate cake while at work or while watching TV with your mind wandering off to bakery land. I might have fallen in love with baking and baking with chocolate every since I watched Nigella Lawson (fell in love with her too) smoothed a cake with her finger and licked the frosting off it. I’m getting carried away over here. All I’m saying is, a good layered chocolate cake is the most indulgent and decadent dream that makes one incredibly happy. This cake though is just as easy as dreaming of it.

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Classic chocolate chip cookies

cookies

These are classic cookies. If you look at a Martha Stewart recipe or a Betty Crocker one, they’re all the same with one or two minor tweaks. I stuck to my basic cookie dough recipe and added a whole lot of chocolate chips to it. It’s the usual butter and sugar mixture with flour and baking soda. Sometimes it’s best to stick to the classics. But you can still alter the taste and texture with sugar. I mixed white and brown sugar. The brown sugar makes the cookie more chewy and gives it a caramel like flavour. I made some hot chocolate to go with it, and might I say it was the best decision. I can’t stop recommending the hot chocolate powder from Mason & Co. It’s incredibly luscious and rich.

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Chocolate, vanilla and coffee marble cake

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As an adult (at least some think so), I still love the patterns in a marble cake. The anticipation of cutting the first slice to see how the marbling has turned out is joy that makes me feel like a little girl again. A good marble cake for me has to be moist, with lovely chocolate and vanilla swirls where you can taste their flavours separetely  and not excruciatingly sweet. With this one however, I had a coffee swirl too. The flavour cushions of vanilla and chocolate ensures the coffee one is quite safe. As with any marble cake you simple divide the batter into two and mix cocoa into one half and then pour them into a baking tin before you swirl it with a knife or as in my case, a chopstick.

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Ginger cookies recipe

ginger

Growing up, summer holidays were spent in Mangalore. That also meant indulging in a whole lot of treats which included ginger biscuits from the local bakery. Among all the other sweet baked goodies like nan khatai, butter cookies, chocolate cream biscuits, cream puffs and others, ginger biscuits stood out. Sharp, spicy and they smelled divine. They were the grown up’s choice of biscuits. Us kids mostly went for the sweeter cookies. With time, the ginger biscuits grew on me and will always be a part of my childhood. At least, what it smells like.

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Pear and cinnamon cake recipe

I’ve recently warmed up to pears and what I usually do is cut them up, squeeze a lemon and chill them in the fridge before eating. There was one large pear sitting in my fridge and I figured I’d bake with it. I’ve always loved how sliced fruit is arranged on top of the cake in absolute symmetry looking nothing short of perfect. No, mine didn’t look like that. But it sure tasted pretty prefect. I have also realized how cream cheese can keep a dry cake moist and not add any of its strong flavour into it. I’ve only used yoghurt previously for the same purpose.

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Dulce de leche swirl banana bread

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I love banana bread. Pure and unadulterated love. I’ve made it multiple times with variations (recipes). It’s so easy to make and absolutely delicious. Legend has it that my banana hating friend also loved a slice of the good stuff. I rarely bake it the same way more than once. Mostly because there’s no limit to how you can alter the banana bread and give it a makeover every time. This time around I swirled some dulce de leche into the batter, didn’t use brown sugar, reduced the flour and omitted nuts. As always, it turned out great. It was more cake like than bread or muffin like in texture. I’m not complaining, though. The dulce de leche was the result of using them in my dulce de leche brownies. Leftovers are being used in various recipes and it’s pretty damn good.

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Dulce de leche brownies

brownies

Sounds really fancy, doesn’t it? It’s just brownies with thick luscious caramel swirled into it and drizzled on top. Dulce de leche is basically caramel made from condensed milk. Traditionally, condensed milk is cooked slowly till it becomes thick and brown in colour. It usually takes 8 hours to do this. Who has that kind of time today? Anyway, there’s a hack I learned years ago. Just pressure cook the can of condensed milk for 30-45 mins and ta-da! That’s about it. You can use this to make so many things. I just used a couple of table spoons of the stuff for these brownies. I’m going to be using the rest in a few other recipes, so watch this space in the coming days.

I did tweak the brownie recipe, too. I wanted a more gooey brownie. So gooey, it sticks to your fingers and the roof of your mouth. This recipe has chocolate as well as cocoa mixed with some coffee. You can omit the extras and stick to the basics.

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Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

cookies

I always thought oatmeal cookies needed old fashioned oats and that quick cooking oats were used only to make porridge. But I was glad to learn from Betty Crocker’s recipe that I was wrong. I halved the recipe and still had around 12 medium sized cookies. They were chewy on the inside and crisp on the out. Exactly how I love my cookies. I’ve also added some walnuts here along with chocolate chips. Makes for a perfect cookie to go with your cup of coffee.

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