Peanut Butter & Cacao Energy Bites

So I’ve been really getting my sweet cravings lately. Like literally after every meal. That’s quite unusual for me since I don’t essentially have a sweet tooth. But I ALWAYS look at the dessert menu first lol. I’m one of those people who are excited about desserts from the start of a meal but by the time you actually come to the desserts portion, you are too full. Does it happen with any of you? Or maybe I’m the only weirdo haha 😛

Energy bites are definitely the best thing ever! They are light, yet filling and definitely do the trick of satisfying your sweet cravings without burdening your waistline. No extra 20 minutes on the treadmill for these guys, woohoo! I love how quick these are to put together and you don’t have to be a culinary mastermind to make them. Just throw everything into one bowl and give it a good stir. Tadaaa! Energy bites are super versatile and you can literally make them in any flavor. I went with the classic peanut butter-cacao combination because well, I was craving peanut butter. (Seeee you don’t have to deprive yourself of the food you like because of a healthy lifestyle). There is a lot of goodness packed into one bite here. You get your protein dose from peanut butter and oats. Oats are also a high source of fiber. Cacao are great anti-oxidants and flax seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Bottom line: they are damn good! 😀

Peanut butter cacao balls

Peanut butter energy bites

Peanut butter cacao bliss balls.jpg

 

Makes: 12 balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup flax seed meal
  • 3 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp coffee powder
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp honey / maple syrup if vegan

 

Method

  • In a medium bowl, add the oats, flax seed meal, cacao powder and coffee powder. Mix well.
  • Add the peanut butter and honey/ maple syrup and mix well until everything comes together. Form 1″ balls. You could also make bars out of them. Refrigerate until use.

 

 

 

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Classic Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding (vegan)

I know I have been away for a while now. I was taking a bit of a break from blogging because honestly, I wasn’t really feeling it. You know those phases in your life where you are damn confused and feeling uninspired and all you want to do is lay cozy in your bed, stuffing yourself with all kinds of junk possible. Well, let’s just say I was having one (or a few) of those days, coupled with a flu. However, I’m back and although I’m still struggling on the inspiration front, I’m sure it’s gonna pass. Moving on to happier topics, let’s talk butterscotch.

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Butterscotch pudding 2

Butterscotch and vegan don’t really go together in the same sentence, do they? This recipe has neither the butter, nor the scotch. How is it butterscotch, you ask? Traditionally a butterscotch pudding is made with dark brown sugar, butter, milk and vanilla. This one tastes just as good, or better even, with the added benefit of being dairy free. Woohoo! In all honesty, I was a bit skeptical about this, but I’m so glad I gave it a go nonetheless. I’m not a strict vegan but I do try to eliminate as much dairy as possible from my diet. Looking for easy vegan recipes is not easy, for there are so many ingredients that still aren’t readily available here in India. Also, the focus is easy here. No fancy stuff. This pudding is just that. It literally took me 5 mins to make this, start to end. I love how smooth it is with that depth of butterscotch flavor. To give it a little texture, I added crumbled biscuits at the base. The star that makes this pudding extra special are the butterscotch chips. OH MY GOD. If you haven’t tried them, I warn you. They are HELL addictive. I have used vegan butterscotch chips here which are available on amazon. If you are not vegan, you might find them at FoodHall or INA (if you’re from Delhi). Anyhow, I would just suggest to order them on Amazon. Coming back to the chips, yes. They add so much extra flavor to the pudding along with the much needed occasional crunch. So this pudding is creamy, smooth, occasionally crunchy, unbelievably easy and so ridiculously yum!

Why the bourbon? If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you would know I love working with alcohol. No, I’m not an alcoholic but I love the subtle depth of flavor they add to the desserts without being too overpowering. Bourbon here does the exact. It helps balance out the sweetness of the pudding and also adds a very subtle flavor. Plus butterscotch and bourbon are a match made in heaven! 😀 If you don’t want to add bourbon, you will have to reduce the sugar a bit but trust me, I wouldn’t recommend you skipping it. Using a good quality vanilla extract makes all the difference here. I’m a very strong believer of always using good quality ingredients because they are the real deal. I know they can be a bit expensive at times but they are definitely worth it! So go ahead and give it a go because you’re so not gonna regret it 😀

Butterscotch pudding top

Butterscotch pudding 4

Recipe adaptation: PeaceLoveQuinoa

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 8-10 crackers (I used oatmeal hobnobb cookies), roughly crumbled
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 110 gms dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 tsp good quality pure vanilla extract *
  • 60 gms vegan butterscotch chips + extra for garnish
  • Grated dark chocolate, for garnish

Method 

  • Get everything together before starting since the pudding thickens very quickly.
  • Put the crumbled crackers into 4 medium glasses. Keep aside.
  • Meanwhile, mix cornflour, dark brown sugar and salt in a large saucepan. Add 50 ml of the coconut milk and place over low heat. Whisk continuously until the sugar has melted.
  • Add in the remaining coconut milk along with bourbon, stirring continuously so that no lumps form. The mixture will begin to thicken. Once the desired consistency has reached, remove from heat (approx 2-3 mins).
  • Stir in the vanilla. Let the pudding cool for a minute or two before folding in the butterscotch chips  or else they might melt into the pudding.
  • Pour into the prepared glasses and cover with cling film wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight for the pudding to set. (I like to refrigerate mine overnight. It helps the flavour to develop better.)
  • Garnish with grated dark chocolate and more butterscotch chips if you wish. Serve cold. Enjoy!

 

 

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Triple Chocolate Cake with Baileys Ganache

What is better than chocolate? Triple chocolate! What is better than triple chocolate? Guilt-free triple chocolate!! WHAAATT? Yes, you heard it right. There’s chocolate in the cake, chocolate ganache, and strawberries dipped in chocolate. Woohoo! This has to be the healthiest chocolate cake there can ever be (that I know of). It’s gluten free, refined sugar free, contains no butter and yet so good! Are you jumping in excitement already? I know I am. That’s not even the best part though. The best has to, has to be that smooth White Chocolate & Bailey’s Ganache! Oh my god, you absolutely CANNOT resist this. It’s the best frosting everrrr!

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I’m not really into Valentine’s Day but I sure do love the dessert shenanigans around it. Such a great excuse to get a little more indulgent in the kitchen, haha! What is more indulgent than chocolate anyway? Keeping it classic, here I have a super moist Chocolate Cake with the BEST white chocolate & Bailey’s ganache dripping all over, topped with loads of strawberries. To make it a little more decadent, I went a notch higher and dipped them in dark chocolate, oh yum! Now that sounds like a party! Let’s talk a little about individual elements.

The cake: This is probably the healthiest chocolate cake ever. It’s packed with tons of goodness and is naturally sweetened. I’ve used coconut flour instead of the regular flour here. Coconut flour is a great alternative as it high in fibre, protein & healthy fats, and at the same time has low sugar and carbs level. Cacao is known to be the highest antioxidant whole foods. It’s naturally sweetened as I’ve used date paste instead of refined sugar. If you haven’t been introduced to the world of date paste up until now, you’ve come to the right place. It’s by far the best alternative there is for sugar and so easy and quick to make. To cut a long story short, you can indulge as much as you like, without the guilt. Yay! 😀

Ganache: No cake will ever be the same after this. I love working with alcohol, particularly Baileys. Now I know white chocolate isn’t exactly ‘healthy’ but I’m sure we can let that go just once. After all, it’s Valentine’s Day! 😛 I can’t even begin to describe how good this is. It’s just one of those ‘finger licking good’ type of things. I would know! Guilty as charged, haha. It doesn’t have a very thick consistency as ganache usually does, but I prefer this consistency here.

Chocolate dipped strawberries: It’s not Valentine’s yet if there are no strawberries involved. Well dipping them in chocolate isn’t really necessary, but then again why wouldn’t you? 😀

Chocolate cake with baileys ganache.jpg

chocolate-cake-with-white-chocolate-ganacheRecipe adaptation: Naked Chocolate Cake by The Healthy Chef

Makes: 1 cake

INGREDIENTS

For the chocolate cake

  • 80 gms coconut flour
  • 80 gms good quality cacao powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 6 organic eggs
  • 240 gms date paste *
  • 130 gms extra virgin olive oil
  • 120 gms almond milk, or any other nut milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the white chocolate & Baileys ganache

  • 130 gms white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 50 gms coconut cream
  • 50 gms Baileys

For the chocolate coated strawberries

  • strawberries, around 8-10
  • 50 gms dark chocolate, melted

 

METHOD

For the chocolate cake

  • Grease two 6″ cake tins with butter and line with baking paper. Keep aside. Preheat oven to 160 C.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together coconut flour, cacao powder, baking powder, cinnamon powder and sea salt.
  • Add in the eggs, date paste, olive oil, almond milk and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  • Pour the batter equally into the prepared cake tins and bake for 35-40 mins or until a wooden skewer inserted comes out clean. It’s best to check at 30 mins since every oven varies. Let it cool completely.

For the white chocolate & Baileys ganache

  • Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the coconut cream and Baileys in a medium saucepan over low heat until it just begins to boil. Do not boil.
  • Pour over the chopped chocolate and let it stand for 2 minutes before stirring. Stir well until all the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth ganache. Refrigerate for at least 30 mins or until use.

For the chocolate dipped strawberries

  • Dip the strawberries in melted chocolate and place on a wire rack or a plate. Refrigerate for 10 mins or until the chocolate has firmed.

Assembly

  • Place one of the two cakes on a plate. Generously spread a layer of the ganache. It’s okay if the ganache drips. We want that.
  • Place the other cake inverted on top so as to have a smooth top surface. Spread the remaining ganache, dripping on the sides. Refrigerate for 10 mins.
  • Garnish with the chocolate coated strawberries. Refrigerate until serving!

 

Note:

*- To make date paste (240 gms): Soak 200 gms of pitted and chopped dates in 120 ml boiling water for 5 minutes. Put the dates along with the soaking water into a blender and blend into a smooth paste. Use as required in the recipe.

 

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Cookies Coffee Parfait

iesYou know you’ve been slacking a lot when the recipe for a dessert you made two weeks ago is still not up. I want to apologise for being the lazy ass that I am! No more slacking from now on, I promise! Let’s talk dessert, shall we? Now that’s a happy topic I love 😀 This particular post is happier!

How many of you are coffee lovers here? I sure am! One of my favourite ingredients to work with has to be coffee. What can I say, it’s just so addictive! This one in particular has all my favourite things. Coffee, hints of cinnamon, chocolate (duh) and loads of biscuits to give you that crunch! What I love about parfaits is just how creative you can be! I tend to get a little carried away with flavours and highly recommend you doing so too (not too much of course). I feel it’s very important to experiment in the kitchen. One of the great things about blogging is that it has pushed me to really experiment and play around in the kitchen with flavours I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. I mean, how many of us think of making Zucchini Chocolate Cupcakes at the first instance? The whole point in being a food blogger is to help my readers get more confident about baking, by providing a basic recipe layout. So yeah guys, get adventurous. Play around with flavours that you might never think of and get a little carried. Trust me, not everything will work out. It sure doesn’t for me. I’m 20 and by no means a certified professional, so you can imagine how often my experiments fail. Nonetheless, you will hit a few, miss a few but you’re gonna have loads of fun doing so. Just enjoy the process. ❤

Biscuit Coffee Parfait.jpg

You see just HOW easily I get carried away, haha? Okay focus! Where were we? Parfaits. Yes. I’m gonna cut long story short. You need to try this to know how good this is! My sister and mum loved it so much that they wiped cleaned both the glasses. In a nutshell, it’s dark, luscious, crunchy, smooth and oh so delicious! The espresso ganache is the most decadent thing everrrr. Don’t worry about it being too indulgent (like if there’s even a thing called ‘too indulgent’! :P), the coconut whipped cream would balance it out. I have used the light roast espresso powder from Blue Tokai. If you’re from Delhi/ Bombay and haven’t visited this place yet, what are you waiting for?! I love brands which are solely built on their quality of product and Blue Tokai is definitely one of them. Their espresso powder has such a nutty, caramely flavour to it. Make sure to dig deep because you don’t wanna miss out on all the goodness in one bite. Although adding Baileys is optional, I would highly recommend you using it. It just elevates the parfait to another level! Too much talking? Okay go make them now. Happy baking ❤

biscuit-coffee-parfait-2

coffee-parfait

Makes: 2 servings

INGREDIENTS

For the espresso ganache

  • 85 gms good quality dark chocolate (I use 65% dark chocolate from Mason & Co.), chopped
  • 85 gms coconut cream
  • 1 1/4 tsp espresso powder (I use Blue Tokai)
  • 2 tbsp organic honey/ maple syrup (for vegan)

For the coconut whipped cream

  • 120 gms coconut cream, chilled
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

Assembly

  • 1 packet (10 pieces) Marigold biscuits or any cookies of your choice, crushed roughly
  • 1 tsp espresso powder + 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder, mixed together
  • Roasted hazelnuts or almonds
  • 4 tsp Baileys, optional

METHOD

For the espresso ganache

  • Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Heat the coconut cream on low heat until it just begins to boil. Do not boil. Remove from heat.
  • Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 5 mins before stirring. Stir until all the chocolate has completely melted. If need be, place over a double boiler for a minute.
  • Stir in the espresso powder and honey/maple syrup. Chill in the refrigerator until use.

For the coconut whipped cream

  • Pour the chilled coconut cream in a large bowl. Beat until fluffy and begins to hold it’s shape. Stir in the vanilla, espresso powder and cinnamon powder. * Chill in the refrigerator until use.

Assembly

  • To assemble the parfait, line two serving glasses with some espresso ganache.
  • Add the crushed biscuits.If using Baileys, spoon a tsp in each glass over the biscuits. Sprinkle the espresso-cinnamon mixture.
  • Pipe a generous layer of the espresso ganache.
  • Repeat with the crushed biscuits, baileys and espresso-cinnamon mixture.
  • Finish it off with a generous layer of the coconut whipped cream.
  • Garnish with roasted hazelnuts and crushed biscuits. Chill until serving!

Note:

  • They don’t stay very well for long. Store covered in a refrigerator for up to 2 days. Although they are TOO good to resist. Happy indulging! 😀

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Christmas Crack (Holiday Edition)

Another one of the festive recipes, yay! How’s the festive baking going? You know you’re on the right track when your kitchen smells just irresistible, haha. It’s been a very hectic week, and I’m still trying to strike a balance amongst everything. Hopefully next week will be more sorted. Speaking of good news, I have another recipe for you guys. This one is SO easy to make that it can hardly be called a recipe. Presenting to you guys, my version of the Christmas Crack 😀 It’s got everything to love. Crackers, toffee, peanut butter and chocolate. Need I say more?

I like making mine with gingerbread crackers instead of saltine crackers and do they taste aaamazing?! Gingerbread crackers elevate these simple treats to such a more flavourful level, combining subtle tones of ginger with peanut butter and chocolatey goodness. And oh so Christmasssyy! If my mum gave me these as a kid, I would be the best kid ever 😛 Sometimes I feel like a 10 year old trapped in a 20 year old body, haha. So, the recipe is fairly simple, and I have tried keeping it as healthy as I could. Because, guilt free desserts are the best! I love this recipe because it’s maximum pleasure with minimum effort. They are super quick to make and definitely a treat for your tastebuds. I topped half with chopped almonds and half with dried cranberries, but you can top them with just about anything you like. Sprinkles, M&Ms, candies, mini marshmallows, nuts, chocolate chips, literally anything!  You need to give these a try right now and you will know exactly what I’m talking about. Happy baking! ❤

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Christmas crack aerial.jpg

Christmas crack 2.jpg

Recipe adaptation: Sally’s baking addiction

 

MAKES: About 12 crack slabs

INGREDIENTS 

  • 10 gingerbread crackers
  • 70 gms salted butter, softened
  • 55 gms coconut palm sugar
  • 3 heaped tbsp natural organic peanut butter
  • 60 gms chocolate chips
  • almonds to garnish, roughly chopped
  • dried cranberries to garnish (optional), or any other toppings of your choice

 

METHOD

  • Preheat oven to 200 C. Line a 20x20x5 cm baking tray with a baking paper.
  • Line the gingerbread crackers on the baking tray leaving a bit of space between each of them. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, stir together butter and palm sugar. Put it on low heat, stirring lightly until the sugar has melted. Let the mixture boil for a minute or two without stirring. Keep an eye so that it doesn’t burn.
  • Pour the bubbling toffee sauce evenly over the lined crackers. Bake for 5 minutes.
  • While the crackers are in the oven, melt peanut butter over low heat or in a microwave. Once the crackers are done, spread the melted peanut butter evenly over the toffee. Cover with chocolate chips and bake for another minute so that the chocolate melts. Using a knife, gently even out the chocolate. Sprinkle the chopped almonds or any other topping of your choice. Refrigerate for 4 hours at least.
  • Remove the baking paper and break into pieces. Refrigerate until use.

 

Tip:

  • The flavour develops overnight, so they taste even better the next day. Store in an  airtight container and refrigerate.
  • You can adjust the amount of peanut butter as per your taste. This recipe is very forgiving.

 

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Almond Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe has been requested by so many of you, and I’ve finally sat down to really write it. I’m sorry for that little delay there, blame it on exams! We can all hate it together now, haha. First of all, hi guys! How have all of you been? I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, with all the gorgeous, flavourful food. We don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving here in India, but I’m so thankful to all of you for constant love and support. Thank youu xx.

Are you excited for the festive season? I surely am! We decorated our tiny Christmas tree today, and it’s definitely kicking in now. Yay! This is our first Christmas of the blog and I am going to do a lot of festive baking once exams are overrrr! 4 down, 1 to go. Be ready for all that yumminess coming your way 😀 Coming back to our cookies, oh aren’t they just perfect! I made these as a healthy snack (yes, cookies are my snack!) to munch on while studying. Turns out, before I could reach for the second one, my dad had already finished them all! He loved it so much. He couldn’t believe that they were gluten free, and are only sweetened with honey and a bit of brown sugar. Oh, did I mention they are eggless? I guess we are all happy now!

Due to my recent diet changes, I sort of refrained myself from eating all things dessert. That’s quite a task when you’re a baker yourself. However, that’s also the advantage. I have always liked eating healthy, but I was kind of hesitant to explore the healthier alternatives for desserts, mainly because I had never had a good experience with them. A lot of the places where I tried ‘healthier’ desserts tasted like soap or nowhere close to being called desserts for that matter. Trying out options myself, I have realised that healthy can be just as delicious and satisfying. Why not satisfy your cravings without the guilt? These cookies are the perfect example for that. They are so wholesome yet unbelievably delicious, with all the good things. Perfect with a cup of tea, or coffee. Hope you enjoy. Happy baking! 🙂

Almond cookies.jpg

Almond cookies 2.jpg

Almond and oats cookies.jpg

Just a few points to remember:

  • Do not forget to lower your temperature (like I did). They are extremely sensitive and can burn within minutes.
  • I like to line my baking tray twice just to ensure the bottoms don’t turn black. First with a foil paper and then a parchment/baking paper.
  • Chill the cookie dough for at least an hour to reduce spreading. They will still spread a bit.

 

Recipe adaptation: Passionate about baking

MAKES: 18-20 cookies

INGREDIENTS 

  • 100 gms salted butter, at room temperature
  • 80 gms honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 30 gms brown sugar
  • 200 gms almond meal
  • 100 gms rolled oats
  • 50 gms dark chocolate chips

 

METHOD

  • Line a baking tray with a baking paper. (I like to line twice) Keep aside.
  • In a small bowl, heat butter, honey and vanilla extract over low heat until the butter melts. Mix well. You can use a microwave as well.
  • Whisk in the baking soda and brown sugar. Add the oats, almond meal and chocolate chips to form a cookie dough. It will be a bit sticky. Cover with a clingfilm wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 140 C.
  • Make small balls out of the cookie dough and press lightly with your palm (They will spread and flatten out in the oven so don’t have to press too much). Keep sufficient gap between them, about an inch or so. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. You might want to keep an eye on them just to make sure they don’t burn.
  • Let it cool on the tray for 5 minutes as they are very tender when straight out of the oven. Enjoy with your cup of tea/coffee.

 

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Apple Cinnamon Ice-Cream Sandwich

Hi guys!

I’m super happy right now. It’s been a happy weekend, with so many celebrations going on. Don’t you all agree? So, I have got you a happy recipe. Yay! Now, I’m not a big fan of ice cream honestly. I have never been. I’m a weird kid that way. But I definitely love indulging in it every now and then. I’m back home in Nepal, and the weather here is so nice and chilly, mainly on the colder side. I love having ice creams in cold cold weather, mostly because I like how it freezes my nose, and the tip goes red haha.

We have a lot of family over today, which is why I made a batch of these Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal cookies using Sally’s recipe, with obviously some modifications of my own. I have linked the original recipe, just in case you want to have a look. These are so good! For those of you who have been following me for a while might know that I love apple-cinnamon desserts. So duh, when I saw this recipe, I couldn’t control myself. Moreover, I love oatmeal cookies. They are sort of healthy and have such a nice crunch to them. I had been wanting to make ice cream sandwiches for a while now, so today seemed like the perfect day. Everybody wins. 😀

Ice cream sandwich.jpg

ice-cream-sandwich2

Sorry about the ice cream melting. I’m such a disorganised person when it comes to shooting. Had to run back and forth to get everything in place, hence resulting in ice cream soup. Thank god the temperature is kind of low here. Okay, coming back to the cookies, they are so good and chewy even without the ice cream. So feel free to munch on them if you’re too impatient (like I am) to wait for them to freeze. 😛 Drizzle some caramel sauce (I’m obsessed with caramel) and there you go! I have used store bought ice cream here because I seriously haven’t had any luck with homemade ice creams as of now, and plus I’m too impatient to wait for 12 hours. So basically, any good quality store bought ice cream works. Okay, too much talking, you need to make these now!

 

Makes: 10 ice cream sandwiches / 20 cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 170 gms rolled oats
  • 95 gms plain flour (measured correctly)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 60 gms salted butter, melted and cooled
  • 90 gms unsweetened applesauce
  • 120 gms dark or light brown sugar, (I used light)
  • 100 gms castor sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and diced
  • 10 scoops of good quality vanilla ice cream

 

METHOD

  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicon sheet. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, flour, baking soda and cinnamon powder. Keep aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, applesauce, brown sugar and castor sugar until combined. Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk again. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well until combined. Add the diced apples and mix. The cookie dough will be thick and sticky.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for minimum 30 minutes. This will prevent excessive spreading of cookies.
  • Preheat oven to 180 C. Make medium sized balls and place them on the prepared tray. Press gently to flatten the surface. Bake for 14-15 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Let it cool for 10 minutes or so.
  • This might get messy so get ready to get your hands dirty. Place a good scoop of vanilla ice cream on a cookie and press the other cookie to make a sandwich. Do not press too hard or the cookie might break. Add more ice cream if needed. Flatten the ice cream from the sides to give a symmetrical look. Freeze for an hour or two before serving. You can drizzle sauce caramel sauce on top for extra deliciousness.

 

Note:

  • I like to use salted butter and omit the salt in the recipe. You can use unsalted butter and add 1/2 tsp salt as well.
  • Use thick unsweetened applesauce or else it will make the dough too liquidy.

 

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Pear Raspberry Crumb Donut Cake

It’s been quite here for a while now. Let me start with apologizing for not being so active. I’m sorry. October has been crazy. I have literally not had a minute to breathe and just chill. Don’t get me wrong here, I love October. It’s my favorite month for a couple of reasons. Well, mostly because it’s my birthday month, haha. I’m a big birthday person. Actually, I love all celebrations, big or small. There’s something so cozy about them. It’s like you have something to look forward to. I hate not having anything to look forward to. I mean, isn’t that too dull a life? Okay, coming back to the point (see how easily I get distracted), I finally have time to write this.

One of the reasons I started blogging was because I wanted to be in practice. Now I can bake without blogging, but I guess it just keeps you more involved, you know. You sort of build this community where you want to share your stuff with people, which keeps you on your toes. Well, it keeps me on mine. I have started experimenting with ingredients and flavors which I would have been hesitant to do otherwise. For instance, this pear raspberry crumb cake. I had never worked with pear before. So, I wasn’t sure what to really expect. We don’t have a lot of pear cakes or desserts here in India. Surprisingly, I really liked it. There is such a different dark subtle taste to it. And oh, does it make your cakes moist! The juicier the pear, the moister your cake is. That is why, when you grate the pear, make sure to use the juice released. Do not throw that away. Although too much of anything is never good. So we might wanna have to put a limit there.

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To be honest, I intended for nice pear raspberry crumb donuts. But the cake is so moist and delicate that donut cakes seem like a better idea 😛 You will be surprised to know that it is eggless. I was. Thanks to pears. Let’s talk flavours. This is a dessert that screams autumn. Certainly my pictures don’t. I need to stop obsessing with flowers and plants, lol. Now pear and cardamom is a match made in heaven. They go so well together. But that’s not it, the crumb is flavoured with cinnamon, nothing overpowering though. Moreover, I absolutely the textures. There’s a soft delicate cake at the bottom and a slight crunch crumb top, with some hidden squished raspberries. Are we drooling or what?! It is super easy to make. The best part? It is sweetened with only brown sugar and honey! By the way, I have realized flights are the best place to write. I’m flying back home as I write this.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the recipe and happy baking! ❤

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Recipe adapted: Sally’s baking addiction

 

MAKES: 8 mini donut cakes

INGREDIENTS

For the crumb topping

  • 45 gms plain flour
  • 45 gms dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 30 gms cold unsalted butter

 

For the cake

  • 120 gms plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • seeds from 2 small cardamom, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 124 gms grated pear, peeled (use the juice released)
  • 40 gms dark brown sugar
  • 40 gms honey
  • 30 ml vegetable oil
  • 30 ml milk
  • 30 gms frozen raspberries

 

METHOD

For the crumb

  • In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar and cinnamon powder. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and add to the flour mix. Using a fork, press down the butter until it forms clumps and crumbs. Do not overwork the butter as it will begin to get softer. Set aside.

 

For the cake

  • Grease a donut tray with butter and dust with flour. Set aside. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger powder, nutmeg and salt until combined.
  • In another large bowl, whisk the grated pear, brown sugar, honey, oil and milk until combined. Mix in the dry ingredients. Do not overwork the batter.
  • Spoon the batter into the donut tray. Fill only till 1/2 of the tray as we are going to push in the raspberries and add crumbs as well. Push few raspberries pieces into the batter and pour the crumb topping on top and gently press. You might wanna be generous with the crumbs because they are the best part! Bake for 25 mins or until the skewer inserted comes out clean. Few moist crumbs might stick which is okay.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature and enjoy with a cup of coffee!

 

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Coffee & Brown Sugar Tea Cake

Hi guys!

So it’s been a while since I last posted. This recipe was supposed to be up a long time ago, but I have just been procrastinating. I guess it’s just one of those ‘artist’ moments of finding some motivation. To be honest, I’m still struggling. It’s not like I’m not baking, I am. I just feel kinda stuck. Do you know what I mean? If you all have any tips, please do share. Thank you, xx.

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Anyway, let’s move on to a more fun topic. Cake, haha. So, I made this cake a while ago, celebrating my baby nephew. Yes, he’s 15 days old. How cute is that?! I haven’t got a chance to meet him yet, but I will soon. Now I love vanilla cakes, mostly because that’s how I got to baking, and they are so effortlessly delicious! This cake literally has everything I love- vanilla, coffee and just a teasing hint of cinnamon. You’re not going to believe just how simple this cake is and how amazing it tastes! It’s so moist and packed with all the right flavours, perfect to enjoy with a cup of your favourite coffee/tea. The best part is that it’s so well balanced with all the flavours that it hits all your right spots. This has become my go-to recipe whenever I want something quick yet effortlessly delicious. You can use the batter as a plain vanilla cake for other recipes as well.

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I would recommend using vanilla pods in this recipe, because you want that rich vanilla flavour, but if you are too lazy to go out and buy some, vanilla extract does the work too. The trick to getting a nice fluffy moist cake is the kind of fat used. No doubt oil cakes are much more moist than butter cakes, but I would not recommend using oil in this recipe because butter really enhances the vanilla flavour, which is very important. However, it is very essential to use softened butter at room temperature to get that moist fluffiness. I have recently started using parchment paper, and does it make your job simpler?! I always used the dusting flour method to prepare my baking tins but I strongly recommend using parchment paper. It’s super simple and you never have to worry about that cake breaking while de-moulding. Just brush the baking tin with some butter and line the parchment paper. However, if you haven’t got any parchment paper in hand, dusting flour method works just fine as well. That’s it, we are good to go!

Recipe adaptation: Donna Hay

Makes- One 5″ cake

INGREDIENTS

  • 30 gms dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 120 gms castor sugar
  • 100 gms unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 120 ml milk, at room temperature
  • 165 gms plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp instant coffee powder/granules
  • 30 gms unsalted butter, extra, melted

 

METHOD

  • Line a 5″ round tin with parchment paper. Set aside. Preheat oven to 160 C.
  • In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and vanilla beans/extract for a minute. Add eggs, milk, flour & baking powder and mix until well combined. Do not over beat the batter.
  • Pour half the batter into the prepared tin. Sprinkle the coffee granules and half of sugar-cinnamon mixture. Pour over the remaining cake batter and spread evenly. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar-cinnamon mixture and spoon over the extra melted butter.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Serve warm with a cup of coffee/tea.

 

Note: 

  • Double the ingredients to make a 9″ cake. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

 

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Carrot Cupcakes with Ginger Caramel

I’m not much of a reader but I have been reading this book lately, Life, on the line, by Grant Achatz & Nick Kokonas. I feel that the book has had such a profound influence on me and it has inspired me in so many ways that I couldn’t have imagined. Being at an age, where half the people don’t know what they want to do in life, I feel so lucky to have found something I truly love and want to pursue my career in it. Since the time I realised what passion truly is, I have always wanted to be a chef. It’s only in the recent years that this idea has really started to grow on me. I always tell myself that I’m gonna do something extraordinary, with no clear picture of what this ‘extraordinary’ actually is. But I guess I’m beginning to realise. The more I read the book, the more I can relate to Chef Grant. For anybody looking for inspiration, please do give it a read. When I started my blog, I was an average baker. Some would even say bad. I’m not good yet but I know I’m getting better. And I guess this is what really keeps me going. I want to thank everybody who takes out time to read my blog and share this with me. I’m so happy for that. 🙂

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On a happier note, for those who follow me on instagram might know that I went for the WorldWide InstaMeet 14 on Sunday. The theme was a Dessert Potluck ❤ and it was so much fun! The decor was so pretty and colorful, and so many desserts to try (Now I know why I’m not losing weight). I’m gonna share the pictures with you guys once I get them. Which brings me to this new #favourite post. Tadaaa! I made these for the event as everybody had to get something for everybody to share. Since autumn has just started, I thought it would be a good idea to make these. Plus, I absolutely love Carrot Cake/Cupcakes! I paired them with a simple cream cheese frosting and drizzled some ginger caramel sauce, just to give it an extra kick. I make caramel sauce all the time but it was my first time infusing ginger into it and oh boy! I know I’m going to be obsessed with it for a while now. 😛

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Carrot cakes can be a bit of work, because they have a lot of ingredients to assemble. But trust me, they are super easy to make once you have all your ingredients in place. And the results are just so good! They are so moist and packed with tons of flavour. The trick with them is to use brown sugar to really enhance the depth of flavour, and oil & applesauce help in moistening the cake. I like making my own applesauce because I don’t really like store bought stuff. If you want to make your own, you can use my applesauce recipe. It’s super quick and easy. Or, if you’re too lazy to make some, store bought works fine as well. Just make sure it’s unsweetened. This cream cheese frosting is amaaaazing! It is light, yet rich and so smooth. Honestly, you need to try them right now. They are divine!

Recipe adapted from Sally’s baking addiction.

MAKES: 20-22 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

For the cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts + some for garnish
  • 200 gms packed dark brown sugar
  • 60 gms castor sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/ cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp black tea
  • 4 large eggs
  • 135 gms (3/4 cup) applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300 gms plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 260 gms grated carrot (about 4 large)

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 250 gms cream cheese
  • 80 gm heavy cream/ whipping cream
  • 50 gms icing sugar
  • few drops of vanilla extract

For the ginger caramel sauce

  • 50 gms granulated sugar
  • 23 gms salted butter
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

 

METHOD

For the cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 150 C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Spread the chopped walnuts and toast for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • Turn up the oven to 180 C. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
  • Place black tea in a small bowl and pour boiling water over it. Let it stand for 10 minutes. Sieve and discard the black tea leaves. Reserve the black tea concentrate.
  • In a large bowl, sieve the flour, baking powder and baking soda together. Add cinnamon powder, ginger powder, nutmeg powder & salt and whisk until combined.
  • In another large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, castor sugar, oil, tea concentrate, eggs, applesauce and vanilla extract until combined and no sugar lumps remain. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well using a spatula until just combined. Do not beat the batter.
  • Fold in the grated carrots and toasted walnuts. Pour the batter evenly into the cupcake liners (fill up to 2/3 of the liner) and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and let it cool.

For the cream cheese frosting

  • In a medium bowl, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form, and holds it’s shape.
  • In another bowl, beat the cream cheese for about 2 minutes just to lighten the texture. Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract and beat until no sugar lumps remain, if any. Gently fold in the whipped cream using a spatula. Cover with a cling film wrap and chill in the refrigerator until use.

For the ginger caramel sauce

  • In a small saucepan, simmer together the heavy cream and grated ginger over low heat. Do not bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let the ginger infuse into the cream for 20-30 minutes. If you want a stronger ginger taste, leave it for longer.
  • Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring using a heat resistant rubber spatula or a wooden spoon.
  • Sugar will start to form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown amber colored liquid as you keep stirring. Do not burn the sugar or you will have to restart the process. It only takes a few seconds for it to burn.
  • When the sugar has completely melted, immediately add the butter. Keep stirring. Be careful not to get your face too close to the heat as the sugar will bubble rapidly once butter is added. Stir until butter is completely melted, for about a minute.
  • Slowly pour in the ginger infused heavy cream and vanilla extract into the caramel.
  • Let the caramel boil for a few seconds.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the sea salt. Allow to cool down a bit before using.

Assembling

  • Pour the cream cheese frosting into a piping bag, with a thick nozzle. Frost the carrot cupcakes generously and drizzle the ginger caramel sauce over it. You can sprinkle chopped walnuts on top. Refrigerate until use.

 

Note:

  • You can try this recipe as a cake too! It’s gonna give you two layers of 9″ cake. Bake at 180 C for 30-35 mins. Happy Baking! 😀

 

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