Orange Brownies with Orange Caramel
Brownies have been done to death, I know. But it’s a great base to add more flavours and change it up every once in a while. So, what I did this time was give it an orange touch. No adding orange juice or such liquids to ruin the batter. Instead, by simply grating some zest off an orange and sprinkling it all over the batter just before it hits the oven will give it that orange flavour. It also fills your kitchen with the fragrance of orange.
Butterscotch Self Saucing Pudding
The first time I ever heard of self saucing pudding was on Nigella Lawson’s show. It was fascinating to see how there was a ready sauce underneath a cake like pudding in the baking dish straight out of the oven. The initial shock was when Nigella poured boiling water on the cake batter before putting it in the oven to bake. I couldn’t wrap my head around how it worked. After a few years, which was yesterday, I tried my hands on this self saucing pudding myself. Most recipes online will have the chocolate kind, but I wanted something sweet and buttery. That’s why I made a butterscotch self saucing pudding from Taste.
Tea and coffee cakes are the best. They’re easy to make and easier to serve and eat. And they go great with a cup of tea or coffee without being overbearingly sweet. Simple homemade chocolate cakes are probably on top of everyone’s favourite cakes list. There are many variations and honestly, why not? The more, the merrier. Now, to take a simple chocolate cake up a notch pair it with a fruit and you wouldn’t believe how amazing it tastes. We do it with bananas, strawberries and cherries. This time I picked pear. Also because I stumbled on a unique recipe in Julia’s Album.
I have no reason to make eggless anything. But this one time last week I saw one of those Buzzfeed Tasty videos of an eggless brownie and wanted to try it. I did change the quantities and kinds of sugar. As I always say, an eggless variation of a classic will come nowhere close to the real deal. But my colleagues seemed to have loved it. I for one thought it was good. Maybe with a scoop of ice cream it’d taste even better!
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.