Monday, February 21, 2011

Fat Free Almond and Banana Bundt Cake flavoured with Cardamom

I've been baking with bananas so regularly these days that if I say it's banana bread my daughter say can't U make a regular cake like chocolate cake. So this time I baked it in regular size bundt pan & didn't forget "not to mention bananas anywhere", so..... it's cake with chocolate chips......served with some freshly whipped cream and did I mentioned it's cardamom flavor, again something NOT to be mentioned(to her) and yes, no mention of whole wheat flour either & wait there is more almond meal & flax seed.....let me give you the whole recipe but before that another look while cake is cooling down.

No!No!No! it didn't stick to the pan, but....
A Mouse in the House now the recipe.....
What I used :
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour(I use atta available at Indian grocery stores)
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal(grind almonds using a spice/coffee grinder)
  • 2 tablespoon ground flax seeds/flax meal
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 3 over ripe bananas
  • 4 green cardamoms/choti illachi (seeds taken out & crushed into powder,)
  • 2 tablespoon of dark brown sugar
  • handful of chocolate chips
See it didn't stick to the bottom
What I did :
  1. Grease 6 cup capacity bundt pan. & heat oven to 350 degree F.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients,including sugar & cardamon powder, making sure there are no lumps.
  3. Mash the bananas to smooth paste, add egg, mix it together.
  4. Mix dry ingredients to wet. Mix everything together & finally fold in handful of chocolate chips.
  5. Bake till toothpick comes out clear, mine was done in exact 30 minutes.
Note :
  1.  Don't throw the outer shell of green cardamons, use them for flavouring tea or rice.
  2. I used 6 cup capacity bundt pan as I wanted to test my new pan(yes I'm addicted to bundt pans now, first I got the baby ones then med. size & this is the new addition to the collection) but I believe this recipe would fit in the 8" or 9" square or round pan also.
  3. If  U don't like cardamom flavour replace it with vanilla.
  4. I tried same recipe egg less also by replacing egg with 1/4 cup buttermilk & increasing baking soda with around 1/4 of tsp. came out good.
  5. I'm not using any butter or oil in this recipe & believe me we didn't miss that, bananas work good as butter substitute also.
  6. Also it's not very sweet but sweetness from bananas & little brown sugar was perfect for our taste buds, but for those who love their cakes more sweet, quantity of sugar can be increased.
 And finally the Mouse is caught in action
did I mentioned she was born in the year of Rat as per Chinese basically she is just doing what she is suppose to do and not giving up any of her mousy tricks....and btw my little mouse had big serving of this cake as her lunch that it goes to Champa for her weekly bake-off.
For other recipes for baking with bananas like cake/biscotti/muffins/bread U can click here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Green Pepper Chutney/Dip and an Upcoming Review

Before writing recipe for today's post let me share the reason for making this deliciously tangy chutney. I had no plans of making it & I was about to throw this green pepper which froze so well in my refrigerator, that it made me think that do I need freezer? If U r confused so let me explain my situation here a little bit. Within first week of moving into my new apartment, first I found frozen milk bottle so I decreased the temp. of the fridge but after couple of days some of the veggies were frozen. I further changed the temp. to more low and used most of the vegetables BUT green pepper. Planned to use it in some soup as frozen peppers don't taste good in dry preparations so let it sit on the counter to thaw, but by the end of the day was so tired(all the unpacking after moving) so decided or I should say kind of convinced myself that it's O.k if for once I'm wasting food by simply throwing it, I don't do this usually, today I'm tired, there r many other things to do but was still guilty. So when he came home I told him about my decision(see I didn't had a heart to throw a veggie). What was I thinking, he gonna support me in this crime.......his one line and I was back into the kitchen.....he said "C'mon U can do better than that, make some sort of chutney out of it".  I usually make red bell pepper chutney so keeping that in mind I made this one. Here goes the recipe or I should say the guidelines.....

What I used :
  • 1 frozen green pepper/capsicum/bell pepper fully thawed (U don't need frozen)
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 tomato
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 3-4  green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds(rai)
  • 8-10 curry leaves(curry patta)
  • lime/lemon juice as per taste
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
What I did :
Heat oil in the pan, add rai & curry leaves, once they start to splutter add roughly chopped garlic, followed by roughly chopped onion. Once it's translucent add chopped green pepper & finally tomato & green chillies. Sprinkle some salt. Once everything looks almost cooked add salt. It took me around 15 minutes or so. Let it cool a bit, puree it add some lime/lemon juice as per your taste. Serve it with crackers/pretzels/chips or plain rice, and I'm sure it'll taste very good with idli or dosas also.
Now coming to the review part, CSN is giving me another opportunity to do a product review, I'm sure most of the bloggers have already heard or read about CSN. It's a wonderful place to shop as they have 200 + online stores so without leaving the comfort of your home U can do all your shopping. As a food blogger first thing I think about is always kitchen but they have much more than that, for instance think travelling, it's already mid February spring break is not far & they have beautiful collection of luggage like Delsey luggage . What I'm trying to say here is that everyone can find something of their choice or need at CSN stores.

Now, to my blogger friends and readers as I mentioned in my previous post we moved to a new city and I'm still in the process of unpacking, so I'm not able to visit all of you or even when I sneak out from the kitchen & boxes to take a peak at all your wonderful blogs don't get much time to leave a comment, I hope U guys understand. I'm trying to set some routine, hopefully in few days it'll be better.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake.......and an excuse for missing from blogsphere

I've been off from the blog sphere from almost last 3 weeks or so, my last post was on auto schedule. Thanks to those of you who stopped at Spicebuds to write down some wonderful words and also sorry for missing all those wonderful posts out there. Now reason for not being active here, it's not me being lazy but we decided on a little road trip of  940 miles in two days.......many days went into packing before the trip & unpacking is still going on, two vehicles, two adults, two kids, two days, start to finish 7 states covered.......
excitement of thinking back & writing about all this adventure made me forgot to mention that one vehicle was a U-haul.......I know, I know what all you guys are saying Oh!!!!! "moving" now the story is clear...."How possibly some one would take a adventure trip amidst all the snow storms we are getting this season here in USA" right? that's what U guys were thinking??? But believe me if I ever start a travel blog I'll have many such adventure trips to share(not related to moving at all)......but really Thankful to GOD, No Complaints at all, the days we were in the process of moving(loading, travelling & unloading) skies were clear and sunny, it was colddddd but clear skies.
Now coming to the recipe, no I didn't baked it for our trip but it was baked back in dec. for Teacher Appreciation Day in my 3rd grader's school. When I asked the event Organiser about any suggestions what to bake, she simply said for some reason teachers like anything with chocolate in it. So I decided to make Orange Chocolate Cake because I had some good oranges on hand. Google to the help and instantly decided on this recipe which is originally from Nigella Lawson, but as the ingredients were weighed in this recipe so started to do some calculations of mine & somewhere between that time again googled and found this recipe which again is from Nigella Lawson(yes, it's basically same recipe) but this second link gave the ingredients measured in spoons & cups, making my work little bit more easy. I did tweaked the recipe a little bit acc. to what I had in my pantry at that time and also reduced the quantity of butter. I used 9x5x3 inch loaf pan, recipe given is for one loaf, here goes the recipe :
What I used :
For Cake/Loaf
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (used unbleached kind)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk at room temp.
  • 2 small oranges, zest of (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 small orange, juice of (3 tablespoons)
For Orange glaze :
  • 1/2 cup Confectioner sugar
  • 2 tablespoon Orange juice
What I did :
  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Grease 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the butter, honey, syrup and sugar until smooth. I used electric mixer.
  3. Add egg & mix in.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cocoa powder.
  5. Mix around 2-3 tablespoon of the dry ingredients into the liquid mixture.
  6. Add half of the buttermilk and mix it.
  7. Add few more spoonfuls of dry ingredients and another round of mixing.
  8. Add rest of the buttermilk.
  9. Mix in remaining dry ingredients, mix everything together and now it's time for orange zest add it and lightly mix it.
  10. Finally at the end, add the orange juice.Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  11. Bake for 45 minutes or so.
  12. Leave it in the pan for a while, take it out on the wire rack to cool completely.
  13. Once the cake is cooled, make the glaze by mixing both ingredients to pourable consistency & drizzle it over the cake. If needed adjust the quantity of sugar and juice to get the consistency and taste U like. 
Note : I did made the same recipe without egg & it turned out good just replace egg with 1/4 cup buttermilk. Also baked this in the med. size bundt pan(6"), above recipe was perfect for two med. bundts, they are not only cute but perfect size for a small family. Did used a little extra cocoa powder in this and also choco. glaze to suit kids taste buds.....