Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sticky Toffee Pudding

This is one of the best eggless cakes I have ever made. It was moist, rose beautifully and tasted delicious! The key ingredient in sticky toffee pudding is dates. Two cups of these dried fruits gives the cake a rich, sweet flavor.

The original recipe (from the book Piece of Cake by Camilla V. Saulsbury) calls for two eggs which I replaced with ground flax, my new favorite egg replacer. Here is the recipe:

2 cups pitted dates, chopped
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp ground flax
6 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

Toffee Sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

1. In a large bowl, add the chopped dates, boiling water and baking soda. Let sit for 30 minutes or until room temperature. (Optional: once cool, you could squeeze the dates to make a chunky paste.)
2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Mix ground flax with 6 tbsp water and microwave for one minute.
4. Add brown sugar, butter, flax mixture and vanilla to the date mixture and beat until well blended (about 2 minutes with an electric mixer). Add in flour and mix quickly to incorporate.
5. Prepare a square 8-inch baking pan with butter and sprinkled flour and evenly spread the batter.
6. Bake for 40 to 45-minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. While the cake is baking, heat together the brown sugar and whipping cream on medium heat on the stove. Once the mixture starts boiling, take off the stove. Add in vanilla and salt.
8. When the cake is ready, poke holes all over the top and pour half of the toffee sauce on top.
9. Let cool for 10 minutes, cut in to squares and serve warm with more toffee sauce.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Banana chocolate chip muffins

I found a great recipe for banana muffins. It's originally a banana pecan snack cake recipe from a book called Piece of Cake (thanks for the book Kasia!). I've made a few tweaks to it and it works perfectly for 12 muffins! I've tried this recipe with eggs and with ground flaxseed as an egg replacer and it's delicious either way. I've also tried it by swapping half the sugar for Splenda and that worked really well too.

I might try this again and swap half the oil for applesauce. This is an awesome recipe for those browning bananas that you don't want to eat.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar (or try 1/2 cup Spenda and 1/2 cup brown sugar)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chai tea masala powder (optional)
2 eggs (or 2 tbsp ground flaxseeds and 6 tbsp water, mix and microwave for 90 seconds or until it has an egg-like consistency)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup mashed banana (I used 2 medium bananas)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
3 tbsp chopped candied ginger (optional)
3 tbsp flaxseeds (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and chai tea masala.
3. Add in eggs (or flax egg replacer), oil and vanilla and mix together until combined.
4. Add in mashed banana, chocolate chips and candied ginger. Gently fold in to the batter. Don't over mix or the muffins will become rubbery.
5. Put in a greased muffin tin and bake for about 30 minutes. To check if it is cooked, insert a toothpick and see if it comes out clean.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Doodh Peda

This recipe for doodh peda (a milk sweet with nuts) is another great one from my Lalli Periamma (my aunt)! She taught me how to make this for my sister's baby shower last year. We even put it in a candy mold to get baby-themed shapes like rocking horses, rattles and safety pins. It looked really cute! The dough is very malleable when warm so you can get creative but the traditional shape is the circle. The secret ingredient in this sweet is ricotta cheese! It's really delicious. 

This batch pictured was made by my mom over the weekend. She called up my aunt to make sure she had the process down pat. As you can tell this treat is family favorite. It's actually my mom's birthday this week so happy early birthday Amma! Hope you have a very sweet year ahead:)

Here are the recipe details from my periamma:


1 small tub ricotta cheese (I think it's around 400g)
1 cup milk powder  
3/4 cup almond powder             
1/4 cup ghee (clarified butter)
1 cup sugar           
1 tsp cardamom                       
1 pinch saffron                          
1/2 cup chopped pistachios

Use a non-stick pan and mix all ingredients.  Cook on stovetop  in medium heat.  When it starts rolling freely on the non-stick pan, add cardamom powder and mix it well.  Remove the pan from the stove top and put the cooked doodh peda on a plate.  Roll it into small flattened balls and put the crushed pistas on the top 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dark chocolate chip and walnut blondies (eggless!)

 I found a wonderful recipe for blondies on Smitten Kitchen that is adapted from Mark Bittman's book How to Cook Everything. I was led to this blog from Nags' post on butterscotch blondies (which I tried and were a little too sweet for me but it could have been the variety of butterscotch chips I used). I tweaked this recipe and made it eggless with my new favorite replacement - ground flaxseed! It comes out great. I made this batch of dark chocolate chip (which I got at the Hershey headquarters store in Hershey, PA!), walnut blondies for my uncle's birthday. It was a great treat to take over, not too heavy and not overly sweet. And it's really easy to make.

Here is the super simple recipe:

1/2 cup butter (melted)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
3 tbsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup flour
pinch of coarse salt

*can swap flaxseed and water for 1 egg

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix melted butter and  brown sugar in a large bowl
3. In a small microwave-safe bowl, mix flaxseed and water together. Microwave for one minute or until it becomes a sticky, egg-like consistency. Add to butter and sugar mixture.
4. Add in vanilla and pinch of salt.
5. Sift in flour.
6. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
7. Put in a buttered 8x8 pan and bake for about 17-20 minutes (until it is golden brown).
8. Cool and serve!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Magic Squares

My aunt makes the best dessert bars called magic squares. They have a graham cracker base and are topped with chocolate chips, walnuts, desiccated coconut and the star of the dish, condensed milk. I have really wonderful memories of eating these treats as a child (thanks Lalli Periamma!). Once my aunt taught me how to make them, it quickly became one of my favourite kind of recipes because it's relatively foolproof and it's made in one pan (yay for easier clean up)!

You can get creative with your toppings. I've added dried apricots, candied ginger, almonds instead of walnuts, dark chocolate, milk chocolate...the possibilities are endless!

Here is the recipe:

1 1/4 cup of graham crumbs 
1/4 cup of butter 
1 cup semisweet choc. chips
1 cup pecans/walnuts or almonds
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1 cup condensed milk (I just use the whole container generally)

1/3 cup dried apricots
2-3 tbsp chopped candied ginger

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  

2. Add melted butter to graham crumbs in baking dish and mix. Tip: Add it slowly to the butter and stop when you feel it has come together to form a crust. 
3. Press into baking pan. 
4. Pour some condensed milk over it, add chocolate chips and nuts (and other optional toppings).
5. Sprinkle the coconut on top. 
6. Drizzle more condensed milk on top.
7. Bake until lightly golden brown, around 20 minutes. 
8. Let them cool slightly and then cut.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Caramel Oatmeal Bars (eggless!)

I made these caramel oatmeal bars with dark chocolate and almonds for my office holiday potluck. They were really yummy but a little goes a long way because they are quite dense.

I initially came across this recipe and it sounded pretty simple but I decided to check out to see if there were some recipes with feedback. I ended up using this one and adding some of my own tweaks to it. I've reduced the number of caramels because it was super-gooey, used milk instead of cream and added a dash of cinnamon because it's tasty!


25 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
5 tbsp milk
2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups oats
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cinnamon
1 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped almonds

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt together the caramels and milk, stirring occasionally until smooth. Keep a close eye on it or it will burn.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. 
  4. Stir in the melted butter until well blended. 
  5. In a foil-lined pan (makes it easier to remove) press half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Reserve the rest.
  6. Bake the crust for 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips and almonds. Pour the caramel mixture over the top and then crumble the remaining crust mixture on top.
  7. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 12 minutes, or until the top is lightly toasted. Cut into squares once cool.

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