Baileys Salted Caramel (vegan)

If you have been reading my blog for a while now you would know my love for Caramel. Especially salted caramel, oh! There’s something VERY tempting about it. Maybe it’s about how luscious and rich it is. Not to forget, that beautiful color when you see the sugar melting. Sweet and salty is a great combination- there’s no denying that. Whoever thought of doing it with caramel must be a genius! Yeah, you would’ve probably guessed my love for it by now. Giving up dairy was both a choice and compulsion. I had to for medical reasons (I’m not lactose intolerant) plus I never liked what it did to my stomach. None the less, giving up dairy isn’t easy. I still struggle to completely eliminate it from my diet, but I’m getting there. Although it has given me some perspective on the kind of things we put in our stomachs since I have started checking the ingredients before buying anything. I must say, our bodies are pretty strong for all the crap we feed them. Anyhow, you’re not here to read about my rants on packaged foods. Getting to an exciting topic, salted caramel.

Vegan caramel.jpg

Salted caramel is hands down my favourite accompaniment. It’s quick, easy, and tastes bloody amazing with everything! How many of you agree? This one is so luscious and rich. The best part, it’s obviously vegannn! I like to add a splash of baileys in my caramel because what can I say, I’m an alcoholic! 😛 Haha, I’m kidding. It just tastes so goooodd! I like to make a big jar and store it because it’s just one of those things that come so handy. This one is quite a spontaneous post. You can see I’m already ¾ down the jar and I thought it would be a good idea to share the recipe with you all. Make a big jar because trust me, it’s definitely gonna come handy for you too! Pour it over your ice cream, waffles, serve it along with cake or better just make some caramel popcorn. They are hell addictive!

Vegan caramel top shot.jpg

vegan-baileys-caramel

Makes: 1 cup

INGREDIENTS

  • 200 gms granulated sugar
  • 60 ml coconut cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp Baileys

 

METHOD

  • In a medium saucepan, heat sugar on low heat and melt completely. It will form clumps and then melt to a dark amber colour. Stir continuously while the sugar is melting using a heat resistant spatula or a wooden spoon. This should take about 4-5 mins, however keep an eye on it as sugar burns very quickly.
  • Remove from heat. Add the coconut cream and mix rigorously to avoid forming clumps. The mixture will bubble as the cream is colder than the sugar. Once the cream is well incorporated, place it back on low heat and cook for a minute.
  • Add the vanilla extract and sea salt. Remove from heat. Lastly add the baileys and stir. Your caramel is ready!

 

Note:

  • You can store it in a jar and refrigerate for further use. It should last for a month or so.

 

 

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Brown Butter Lemon Thyme Pound Cake

To describe procrastination: this is it. I have been stuck on this draft for a week now. Lately I’ve been going through my ‘dry’ season in terms of writing. I just don’t get the flow to do it, and some odd day even if I do manage to get the flow going, it’s too short lived. That sucks right? Anyhow, here I am. I’ve just come back from a dinner, gobbled down a cup of green tea and I’m all set to finish this tonight. First of all, hi guys! I hope you all had a great week. ❤

So, pound cakes are quite versatile I feel. You can use the basic base for any flavour combination and it comes out great. I’m not a big fan of the regular pound cake as such but  pairing it with different flavours, yes please! A pound cake is basically a cake made of flour, sugar, eggs and butter with a pound of each ingredient or the same ratio for each of them. This one is for a friend who requested for something with lemon, blueberries and ‘not so healthy’, haha. Digressing from my usual ‘healthy’ track because it’s okay to indulge sometimes right? Especially when you have a burst of flavours like this. There are 3 flavours to look out for here. Brown butter, lemon and thyme. Brown butter adds the perfect nutty caramel notes to the cake, while thyme adds a very subtle earthy taste. You don’t wanna go overboard with thyme as it might taste  bitter. Adding it while browning the butter helps in infusing a lot of flavours because a) fat helps in better infusion and b) hotter the liquid/fat, better the infusion. Next is lemon. I have used both the zest and the juice here to add as much flavour.

lemon-loaf-cake

I personally never order a lemon cake because I’ve only had two types of lemon cake ever. 1) An unbelievably sweet cake with barely any hints of lemon because sugar obviously has overpowered everything. 2) An unbelievably zingy cake which leaves a sour taste afterwards because well, I ordered a lemon cake. This one is neither. It’s perfectly sweetened yet you have enough zing to give you that lemony kick. Quite easy to put together and so moist! Perfect for your evening tea snack or just have it plain, I won’t tell. 😛 Essentially a pound cake requires the butter and the sugar to be beaten together. So I like to freeze my brown butter for about an hour and then just sort of dip it in warm water to soften it. It’s a very versatile recipe to follow and you can play around with flavours if you’re feeling a bit adventurous in the kitchen. I hope you like it. Enjoy! ❤

lemon-thyme-cake

lemon-thyme-cake-1

Recipe adaptation: Purple Foodie

Makes: 1 large loaf cake

INGREDIENTS

  • 225 gms unsalted butter
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 200 gms castor sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 220 gms flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 100 gms blueberries, fresh or frozen

METHOD

  • To prepare the brown butter, heat butter in a large saucepan on low-medium heat. Add the thyme sprigs. The butter will melt completely and begin to brown. This should take about 10 mins. Swirl occasionally to prevent the butter from burning. Once the butter has turned brown and starts to smell nutty, remove from heat and let it cool. (Keep an eye or it might burn) Discard the thyme sprigs. Freeze for about an hour or refrigerate until use.
  • Thaw the brown butter at room temperature to soften it or dip it slightly in warm water for a minute or two. In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth. Add the castor sugar and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy. It should take about 5-7 mins. This is a very important step as it keeps the cake moist and fluffy.
  • Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a loaf tin with butter and dust with flour. Tap out the excess flour. Keep aside.
  • Add eggs to the butter-sugar mixture one at a time and beat well in between each addition.
  • Add the flour and baking powder and mix well. Add the lemon juice and the zest and mix until incorporated properly. Fold in the blueberries.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 45-60 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. I like to rotate my tin midway for even baking. If the top is browning too much, loosely cover with a foil wrap. Serve warm with a cup of tea/coffee.

Note:

  • You can wrap it in cling film and store it at room temperature for 3-4 days, or refrigerate for up to a week.

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5 Ingredients Homemade Bounty Bars

Okay I made these a while ago and I still don’t know why I have not managed to write this post yet. Writing is not my forte putting me in this block every now and then, mostly now. That’s kind of ironic considering I’ve been preparing for an IELTS exam for the past few days. I’m clearly not ready, am I? Hopefully, this is going to be my last and a successful attempt at finally getting this post up. Let’s get to the exciting part. Maybe that can help build the flow. So, bounty bars, yes.

homemade-bounty

Growing up, coconut has been one of my favourite flavours. I remember my mum putting together a coconut pudding with ice cream every time we had guests over. It was like her go to dessert. I don’t blame her for it was effortlessly delicious and totally customisable. So that’s the trick. You won’t ever know you’re being served the same dessert twice 😛 Coconuts are a staple for an Indian household. Like Bounty was for me, haha. It would be only unfair to not make them at home, especially when they are SO simple and easy to make. I haven’t gotten to the best part yet. You get to enjoy the goodness of bounty bars, without all the processed foods and preservatives! That sounds amazing? Hell yeah! 😀

They only require 5 simple ingredients, with no hassles or drama. Well, drama is optional. I have used the Wild Forest flavoured honey from Under The Mango Tree here and believe me, their honey is the best ever! I don’t usually feel very comfortable using honey in desserts because of a weird after taste. It’s just not smooth you know. The honey flavour sort of stands out a bit too strongly than you would want. Until, I discovered them. They have the most amazing honey flavours and totally organic. Plus, it’s just so smooth and blends perfectly with literally anything! These bars are a testament to that. You will never figure that it has honey in it. Just pure goodness. I mean come on, coconut bars coated with chocolate! What’s not to love? Disclaimer: you are NOT going to stop at one, I’m telling ya. They are totally addictive! Don’t trust me? Go ahead and try it for yourself. I’ll be waiting with “I told you so!” haha.

Coconut bars.jpg

Recipe adaptation: BBC Good Food

Makes: 9 bars

INGREDIENTS

  • 150 gms desiccated coconut
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 60 gms organic honey (I use the Wild Forest flavour from Under The Mango Tree)
  • 250 gms good quality organic dark chocolate (I use 65% vegan dark chocolate from Mason & Co.)

 

METHOD

  • Line a square tray with cling film wrap. Keep aside.
  • In a large saucepan, mix together the coconut, coconut milk, coconut oil and honey and place it over low heat. Let the mixture cook for about 3-6 mins, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Keep an eye on it so as to prevent the coconut from burning. Remove from heat and fill the lined tray with the mixture. Evenly spread out the mixture and press down to make it compact. Cover with cling film and freeze for 2-3 hours or overnight. (I usually like to make them in the evening and freeze overnight)
  • Cut them into slices and put them back in the freezer until you melt the chocolate for coating. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Spread a generous layer of chocolate on the bottom of the bars and let them cool until the chocolate hardens. This should take only 2 mins as the bars are freezing cold. Place the bounty bars on a wire rack and pour the remaining chocolate over the bars to coat properly. Even out with a palette knife, if required. Freeze for another hour or until use. There you go!

 

Note:

  • You can store them for up to a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator or the freezer. i would recommend making a large batch as they are hell addictive! 😀

 

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Brown Butter Apple Pie

When I have too much to do and instead I decide to bake. That happens with me ALL the time! Somehow, baking makes for the perfect procrastination saviour for me. 😛 I have quite a lot on my plate to handle and I seriously need to start focusing, starting with studying for my IELTS exam due this month. I’m gonna start tomorrow morning, I promise! (Let’s hope so) Anyhow, now that I’m done ranting and giving you guys an update on my not so interesting life, let’s get to the point. So, apple pie. Have I mentioned I love all things apple dessert? It’s like comfort food to me. Soulful and flavourful. I have been making this apple pie for a long time now and surprisingly I never got around to sharing the recipe. No idea why. Thankfully, I have a different and a healthier version for you guys, which does not involve putting on your jammies. Yes, skinny jeans would do, haha.

Apple pie 2.jpg

I have been obsessed with brown butter lately. It lends such a caramel-y flavour. Apples, cinnamon and caramel. I’m pretty much sold! This is a spin on my usual go to apple pie recipe with brown butter, multigrain flour and honey. Honey is a great sweetener for desserts, substituting all that processed sugar. The thing with honey is, if not used a good quality one, it tends to leave sort of a weird aftertaste. This one is different. I have used the Litchi flavoured organic honey from Under The Mango Tree and oh boy! I could lick some off right from the bottle. It lends a very smooth taste to the pie, and no one will ever know you’ve used honey. I also tried it with multigrain flour this time and I was surprised by the results. I was worried it might taste bitter but it was quite good honestly. So, here is it.

Making pies at home can be intimidating but it really isn’t. Two rules to getting that flaky crust is; one: handle your dough as least as possible, two: make sure you have chilled butter and iced cold water. We achieve the flaky crust when the fat melts into the flour while baking. Overworking your dough can melt the fat beforehand, hence giving you a tender crust. Always keep these two rules in mind, and you’re good to go! Chilling the dough helps in relaxing the gluten and stops the fat from melting. You’re gonna love this pie, especially with a big scoop of salted caramel ice cream. I have a hack for making salted ice cream without any effort. Just swirl some salted caramel sauce into softened vanilla ice cream and freeze for an hour or two. That’s it, let’s make some pies!

Apple pie 1.jpg

Recipe adaptation: Nigella Lawson

Makes: 3 mini pies

INGREDIENTS

For the pie crust

  • 200 gms multigrain flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 58 gms unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 3-4 tbsp iced cold water

For the filling

  • 3 medium apples, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder, or to taste
  • 65 gms unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp multigrain flour
  • 55 gms good quality honey (I used Litchi Honey from Under the Mango Tree)
  • 50 gms coconut sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 30 ml water, at room temperature
  • 1 eggwash or 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder mixed with 1/2 tbsp brown sugar

METHOD

For the pie crust

  • In a large bowl, mix the multigrain flour, salt and coconut sugar together. Add the chilled butter cubes and using a pastry cutter or a fork blend in the butter until it resembles wet sand. Pea sized butter pieces are okay. Bring the dough together using iced cold water, using just enough until the dough holds together. Divide into two pieces, one piece slightly bigger than the other and form round discs. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour. The less you work your dough, the better it is.

For the filling

  • In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat until it starts to brown and smell nutty, swirling occasionally. This will take about 4-5 minutes. Keep an eye or else it might burn. Add the multigrain flour and mix to remove any lumps, if any.
  • Add in the honey, coconut sugar, salt and water. Let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Meanwhile, peel, core and cut the apples into small cubes (about 1/2 inch cubes). Toss them with cinnamon powder. Add the brown butter sauce and mix just enough to coat all the apples with the sauce. Cover with cling film while you roll out your pie crust.

Assembly

  • Preheat oven to 220 C.
  • Take the bigger piece of dough and roll out into 2mm thin sheet. Cut out circles 3 cm bigger than your pie tin and place on the bottom of your tin, pressing gently. Fill with the apple filling slightly mounting in the centre.
  • Roll out the smaller piece of dough into 2mm thin sheet. Cut out circles slightly bigger than your pie tin and cover the apples with the top crust. Seal the edges using little water. Brush the top with a beaten egg or milk and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mix.
  • Bake for 15 mins. Reduce temperature to 180 C and bake for another 40-45 minutes. Serve warm with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream. Enjoy!

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Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s 2017 already! Happy new year you guys! ❤ I hope everybody had an amazing end to 2016. Let’s take a moment to reflect on this year that was. 2016 was especially special for me because after months of procrastinating, and self doubting, I finally found the courage to start this blog. It’s been one hell of a year, with loads of ups and downs. There were moments where I wasn’t sure of what I was really doing, or what I really wanted out of all of this. However, there’s always a silver lining. Not only have I become a better baker, learning something new every single day, but also I have discovered myself a little more. I am super excited for 2017. So many new opportunities and experiences to unravel. I’m most excited about going to Pastry School, yay! Anyway, I hope all of you have a wonderful year ahead, filled with loads of love and kindness for one another. It’s sad how being kind to one another just because you want to has become a rare thing. We definitely need more love and kindness in the world.

Speaking of love, I have something that you’ll love. Cookies! What is better than cookies? Double Chocolate Cookies! What is better than Double Chocolate Cookies? Healthy Double Chocolate Cookies! Okay, it’s getting annoying, haha. New year looks quite happy, doesn’t it? You see those chunks of dark chocolate? That’s the best part! The trick in making these cookies is to use loads of chocolate chips. I personally don’t like using chocolate chips so much because I’m not a fan of it’s quality. So I chop my favourite chocolate bar into small chunks and use that. I have used the 65% dark chocolate by Mason & Co. and it’s unbelievably good! These cookies are so quick to make and can be made in under 30 minutes. Plus need I say that double chocolate is never a bad idea? My new year resolution is to eat more cookies, because why not? 😛

double-chocolate-cookies

double-chocolate-chip-cookies

Recipe adaptation: Ambitious Kitchen

 

MAKES: 15 cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 140 gms multigrain flour
  • 30 gms cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 120 gms almond butter
  • 90 gms coconut sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coffee powder (I used espresso powder)
  • 100 gms good quality dark chocolate chips/bar (I chopped my favourite dark chocolate bar)

 

METHOD

  • Line a baking tray with silicon mat or baking paper. Set aside. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together multigrain flour, cacao powder, baking soda and salt. Keep aside.
  • In another large bowl, beat together almond butter, coconut sugar, egg, vanilla extract and coffee until smooth and well combined. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips/bar and loosely form a dough.
  • Roll the dough into small balls and place on the prepared baking tray. Flatten them with your palm to the size you want them to be since they hardly spread. I like to press down a chunk of dark chocolate in the centre for extra goodness. Although that’s optional, I highly recommend you doing that.
  • Bake for 9-12 minutes, depending on your oven. They will be soft when they are out. Let them cool for 10 minutes on the tray. Serve with a hot cuppa coffee. Enjoy!

 

 

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