Brown butter is nothing fancy. It is simply butter that left home but was taken off the train before it reached the ghee station. After watching so many cooks and bakers talk and write about it, I thought I’d give it a shot. Using my old chocolate chip cookie recipe, I halved the butter and made brown butter. Another thing I altered was the brown sugar content. Instead of 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar, I switched the quantities of the two sugars for a more dark and caramel flavour.
There are plums everywhere in the shops and how can I just walk past them? I picked up a box and I knew I wanted to put them in cake. I had bookmarked a recipe a while ago and tried my hands on it last night. It’s very simple but I did replace one ingredient and alter the method of making the batter. It has turned out moist, gooey and the presence of plum is quite prominent. Give it a go and you’ll have another go-to recipe for another chocolate cake.
Java plums, or jamun as we call it, takes me back to my classroom in 10th std. (it’s standard, not grade. Why do Indians call it ‘grade’? Unless they’ve changed it now). This was in Mangalore and it rained everyday during monsoons. I’d sit by the window and look out because day dreaming was a part of my own personal curriculum. There it was. A tall jamun tree studded with several bunches of the ripe plums. That’s it. That’s the image I have plastered in my mind of this fruit and what it reminds me of. A simpler time. A simpler place. I baked the cheesecake last evening and it rained this morning to make it all seem perfect. Last year I’d made cake with it and this time I wanted to use it in a cheesecake.
Muffin Mondays are back. Last time it was tutti frutti muffins and this time it’s whole wheat banana chocolate chip ones. Relatively better than the regular ones I suppose. I’m not one to tell you that these are guilt-free muffins and you can keep knocking back one after the other. These don’t have added refined sugar but some honey and jaggery molasses (melted and cooked down jaggery). You can skip the molasses and go all honey too. There’s also no butter or refined flour. Why they aren’t ‘guilt-free’ is because they’ve still got carbs and do have sugar in the form of honey. But one harmless muffin is alright on a Monday, right?
I’ve never gotten the point of cupcakes beyond the fact that they make for easy and cute gifts to be delivered to someone. But I get the hype I guess. They do look cute. Basically I’m trying to tell you that I made a batch of cupcakes last evening. And they turned out to be more delicious than I’d expected them to be. I digressed from my original idea of making red velvet ones without the gross food colouring and use beetroot juice instead. But instead, I added cocoa and ground roasted beets to the batter to make chocolate and beetroot cupcakes. They were simply superb. You can’t taste the beets as much but I think it’s a good thing. They probably kept the cake moist and gave it a little texture.
It’s a gloomy and foggy Monday morning and I have a vanilla muffin by my side as I do this post. In December I made a Christmas cake/plum cake/fruit cake or whatever you want to call it. And I bought a couple of packets of tutti frutti. There was a bunch of it leftover and I quite honestly didn’t want to simply throw it all away. That’s why these muffins happened. A simple vanilla muffin batter which borderlines on cake batter because I did the butter and sugar creaming base. Either way, they’re pretty delicious and super easy to make.
I love loaves (and loaves love me. My hips to be precise). After my recent banana bread, which I wasn’t too thrilled about, I wanted more. Apples and cinnamon are my go to duo for most baking try outs. Plus, the added bonus of the house smelling like an American bakery. I didn’t look up recipes for this one. I just winged it because by now I know how to bake a quick bread. Some apples and cinnamon in the mix and I’d have to try to get it wrong. What’s new though is that I added a couple of things in hopes of the loaf turning out softer and more moist than all my previous ones. It worked!
I still can’t believe I don’t have a post with a classic banana bread recipe. I have a few different kinds like chocolate crowned banana bread, dulce de leche and a couple of others. This one though has no frills as such, just extra walnuts. A simple butter and sugar creamed and then whisked with eggs and banana to be folded in with flour is what this recipe is. But make sure you use the ripest bananas you can get your hands on. It’s best served warm although with the magic of a microwave oven you can achieve that in 8 to 10 seconds.
No need to soak fruits and nuts for months in advance or take half a day to make this Christmas cake. Shortcuts are the way to go when you have missed the long route. I’ve been seeing many posts on my Twitter and Facebook timeline about soaking fruits in booze months ahead of Christmas. It looked quite lovely, I must say. But I didn’t think I wanted to bake the cake. Turns out, I did. What did I do then? Just cook out the fruit mixture in juice and simply add the booze!
French toast ✓
Cream cheese ✓
All of the above came together for a fantastic Sunday breakfast. Strawberries are in season and I got myself a box of these ruby beauties. I have baked with strawberries before, but prefer them ‘un-baked’. Why lose them in cake batter when you can eat them fresh? So I just whipped some cream cheese with fresh cream and folded some berries into it. Then cut open a bun half way and spread the cream cheese mixture into it. A dip in eggy milk and on to the pan to become French toast. Simple!