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Category: Desserts

Whole wheat Banana bread with chocolate chips

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Are you guys much of a bread fan? Well I was a big fan of the bread and butter when I was a kid and we didn’t have much options other than the humble milk bread. Brown, multigrain whole wheat bread all came in the last decade into the picture. I am yet to discover an easy bread recipe to bake at home. Anyways, why all the talk about bread? Its because today I bring to you a recipe that gets all the ticks on the “health meter” if such a thing does exist. It is made with wholesome meal/ whole wheat flour, no sugar or any kind of artificial sweetener.

So bananas are kind of under-appreciated by me. I love the banana flavor in any ice cream or candy but as a fruit its never got my attention. But, besides me, the rest of my family are banana lovers. We get different varieties of bananas and everyone munches on it as a snack except me. But this all changed when I was pregnant, in fact the only snack and fruit which I could eat without having nausea was banana. So during my whole term I had bananas of all shapes and sizes!

My Aunt B had sent me recipes of many chefs when I had just got married. It all just got archived in my email until recently when I chanced upon them and struck gold. She has been kind enough to send me so many varieties of recipes and I have been trying them ever since. Its during one of these trials that I came across this banana bread and we love it! We love this banana bread as such but you could have it slathered with butter/chocolate spread/lemon curd with your cup of afternoon tea. The key point to be noted in this recipe is the use of overripe bananas (the blacker the better) which lend to the sweetness of the bread as we don’t add in any sweetener in the recipe. You could add cinnamon streusel to your banana bread or nuts/seeds for added crunch or chocolate chips as I did. Hope you love this recipe.

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Source: Catherine’s recipes

Makes: 1 loaf

Ingredients

115g / ½ cup butter, plus extra for greasing

5ml/ 1 tsp baking soda

225 g/ 2 cups whole meal (whole- wheat) flour

2 eggs, beaten

3 very ripe bananas

30 – 45ml / 2-3 tbsp. milk

½ cup dark chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and base line a 9*5in loaf tin. Cream the butter in a bowl until fluffy. Sift the baking soda and flour, then add to the creamed butter, alternating with the eggs.
  2. Peel the bananas and slice them into a bowl. Mash them well and stir into the cake mixture adding enough milk to get a dropping consistency. Add in the chocolate chips and give a stir.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and level the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake for 1 ¼ hours or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

 

 

Figs and almond chocolate truffles

 

img_20161205_1822402562So before I forget and get too busy with all celebrations I thought of posting this recipe as an usherer for the Christmas spirit. Have I told you that December is my favorite month? I must have…if I haven’t then there you go..now you know! Well what’s not to love about December rt? I mean I guess its everybody’s favorite month with all the Christmas festivities and the new year lurking just around the corner.

But for me its just not Christmas I have got lots of birthdays and anniversaries in this month so all in all you know I am in kind of a double festive mood! 😀 Well so for this festive season am sharing this quick and easy recipe for a chocolate truffle. Its quite healthy too and it can be gifted to your loved ones.! This recipe is a Rachel Khoo inspired chocolate truffle recipe.

Hope you like it.

Ingredients

Dried figs – 200gms

Almonds – 50 – 75gms

Dates – 5 -6nos

Goji berries – a handful (optional)

Dark chocolate/ Milk Chocolate – 250gms

Method

Check first if your figs are real hard to blend. If yes, then place the figs in a dish and pour over some boiling water to soften it. Keep aside for 30 minutes. You can even use any sort of liquor to soften the fig, thereby giving a liquorish touch to your chocolate. I opted for water well, because I was gifting it and there were kids too! Once you feel the figs have become soft and plump, put it in a food processor. Pulse it along with the rest of the ingredients till you can see them coming together. I added in goji berries because I had them in hand. Its totally optional. You can substitute almonds for pistachios as Rachel Khoo does! Portion out the mixture into bite size balls and start rolling them in the palm of your hand. Keep aside the rolled out balls in the fridge for around 30 minutes to an hour for them to firm up.

In a double boiler(bain-marie) start melting your chocolate (watch it like a hawk, don’t leave it and go). Usually you do need to use a candy thermometer but since I didn’t have one I just kept stirring till all of the chocolate melted and u get nice shiny liquid chocolate. After melting the chocolate, place each dried fruit mixture ball on a fork and drizzle the chocolate using a tablespoon over it seeing that it coats well. The fork helps the excess chocolate fall back into the bowl thereby saving chocolate (hurray!). Slowly slide the chocolate ball onto a baking paper lined sheet. Repeat the process for the rest of the balls. Whenever you feel that the melted chocolate is setting, put it back on the double boiler.

I did half of the dried fruit mixture balls in dark chocolate and half in milk chocolate. You could totally do as per your liking! Once the chocolate truffles are set, refrigerate for an hour or so and enjoy.

 

P.S.

  1. Keep in mind that while doing the bain-marie or double boiler method the boiling water shouldn’t touch the container (the one with the chocolate) placed on top as it could seize the chocolate.
  2. The bowl used to melt chocolate should be completely dry and any contact with water could eventually seize the chocolate again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Navel Orange and Lemon Curd

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For all those of you who think this is a curd or yogurt based recipe (like I had thought) well its not. Its more of a dessert spread, which you can spread on your toast or bagel or pipe into your doughnut or fill in your cakes. I tasted my first lemon curd when my Uncle brought us a jar from New Zealand. My husband and I fell in love with it in the first whiff and taste! I then itself wanted to give it a try but never got around to it, because we only get key limes here not the really sweet sour lemons you get abroad.

There are different types of curds ranging from the sour lime curd to the sweet orange curd. I didn’t want to go and try lime curd in my first try. So the inspiration of this curd recipe came from Masterchef Australia where Matt Sinclair fills his doughnuts with orange and lemon curd. So decided to tweak this recipe by adding lemon extract. I found the curd tad sweet, so maybe you can reduce the amount of sugar (by a couple of tbsp.) to suit your taste.

Dollop it on your ice creams or swirl in your yogurt and enjoy.

Source :Citrus curds

Ingredients

Juice from navel orange – 1 cup

Orange Zest – 1 orange

Egg – 1

Egg yolks – 2

Granulated sugar – ¼ cup

Unsalted butter – ¼ cup

Lemon extract – 1 tbsp

Salt – a pinch

Method

Pour the orange juice into a small saucepan over medium-high heat, then bring to a simmer and let it reduce down to about 3/4 cup.

Transfer the juice to a measuring cup to cool, and stir in the zest.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, yolks, and sugar. When the juice has cooled to room temperature, whisk it into the egg mixture in a steady stream.

Set a clean bowl with a strainer over the top next to the stove.

Pour the egg and juice mixture back into your small saucepan and set it over medium heat. Stir slowly but constantly until the mixture has thickened to a pudding-like consistency — about 6 to 8 minutes, or until the mixture is 180°F.

Strain the mixture into the clean bowl to remove the zest and any bits of cooked egg. Stir in the butter, lemon extract and the pinch of salt while the curd is still warm. Mix until smooth. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.

 

Chocolate and Hazelnut torte

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This  recipe came first to my attention when I caught an episode of the Hairy Bikers tour of Italy. What truly got me grasped, was that it had no flour added, and that my friends, is a true plus for me! I din’t quite catch the name of the recipe( or the episode as a matter of fact), so I researched for the Hairy Bikers, went through their list of shows, filtered and filtered, till I found it.

Torte, in definition terms, is a cake which has coarsely ground nuts added , instead of the flour. In layman terms, hmm lemme see.. if I can conjure a mental picture up for you. It is a melody of a meringue,a brownie, the look of a cake and as my brother in law termed it , the flavor of Ferrero rocher. I hope that has got your taste buds into gear! If that hasn’t, I don’t know what can :O

So for those of you chocolate lovers, Nutella freaks( I hereby testify myself to be one ) this is the dessert you might not want to share but still try to… 😉

Source : Harry Bikers Bakeation

Ingredients

Hazelnuts – 100g whole blanched + 50g for decoration

Unsalted butter – 100g

Dark chocolate – 100 g broken into pieces

Eggs – 3 separated

Caster sugar – 100g

Hazelnut liqueur/Orange juice/Curd – 2- 3 tbsp

Nutella – 3 – 4 tbsp

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Roast the hazelnuts in the oven for around 10 minutes, to golden brown. Keep an eye on them or they could burn. Remove and leave them to cool for few minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180C and line your springform cake tin.

Place the toasted hazelnuts in your food processor and grind them till it is finely ground. We are looking for a breadcrumb texture but a few coarsely ground hazelnuts in between will enhance the torte texture.

Next get your water to a simmer in a pan. Place a bowl with the butter and chopped chocolate above this simmering water. Stir occasionally till the chocolate has almost melted. Remove from the heat and let the remaining chocolate melt in the residual heat.

Stir in the ground hazelnuts into the cooled chocolate butter mixture. Meanwhile beat the egg yolks and sugar to a light, cream like consistency. Stir the hazelnut chocolate mixture into the egg sugar mixture till combined.

Clean your mixer and let it dry. [When whisking egg whites see that the dish and mixer you use is dry and clean. Water can prevent the egg whites from forming stiff peaks]. Whip the egg whites in a separate bowl. Whip it till stiff peaks form and the whole mixture should not slide out when you tilt the bowl.

Now, lets hurry! Add in hazelnut liqueur or orange juice to loosen the batter; I used curd . Now gently fold in the egg whites, in batches, stirring till well combined.

Now spoon the mixture to your cake tin and bake it for 35 – 40 minutes in your preheated oven, till it is risen and firm. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool. Once it is cooled, spread Nutella over the torte to form a thin layer. You can decorate it with toasted hazelnuts if you’d like.

 

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Quadruple chocolate loaf

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So how would you like a cake which has all the yumminess of a brownie and a chocolate cake? All you got to do is blend the ingredients in a processor or blender, pour it into a loaf tin and bake. This cake can be served as a dessert for a party or to welcome your new neighbours or better yet you can just enjoy a slice of it with your cup of coffee and favourite book in hand.

This is a Nigella Lawson recipe, need I say more? You can serve it with crème fraiche, whipped cream or as I had, with vanilla ice cream.  Without further ado, here is the recipe.

Ingredients

Source : Nigella Lawson Quadruple Chocolate Loaf

For the cake

All-purpose flour – 1 2/3 cup

Baking soda – ½ tsp

Cocoa powder – ½ cup

Caster sugar – 1 1/3 cups

Unsalted butter – 175 gms ( 1 ½ sticks)

Eggs – 2

Vanilla extract – 1 tbsp

Sour cream/ yogurt – 1/3 cup

Boiling water – ½ cup

Dark chocolate chips – 1 cup

For the syrup

Cocoa powder – 1 tsp

Water – ½ cup

Caster sugar – ½ cup

Garnish

Dark chocolate from a bar – 25 gm

Method

Bring all the ingredients to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 170°C/325ºF. Line a loaf tin with greased foil  and leave an overhang all round. Or use a silicon tin.

Blitz the flour, bicarb, cocoa, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and yogurt in a processor. Process it while pouring the hot water down the funnel. Switch it off,remove the blade and fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.

Pour this batter into the prepared loaf tin and slide into the oven, cooking for about 1 hour. When its ready , there should be a nice crack right in the middle and a skewer pierced in might not come out perfectly clean but with a little crumb. That’s the texture you are looking for a brownie cake.

When the cake is around 40-45 minutes in the oven, put the cocoa,sugar and water to boil in a saucepan. Boil it down to a nice thick caramelized chocolatey syrup.

Take the cake out of the oven,cool and while in tin pierce with a skewer around.Then pour the syrup as evenly as possible over the cake. It will run to the sides of the tin, but some will have been absorbed in the middle.

Let the cake become completely cold and then slip out of its tin, removing the foil as you do so, onto a plate. Now take the bar of chocolate and grate over the cake. There is no measure to the amount of grated chocolate, go overboard with it or just enough to cover the top. Cut into a slice and serve with your choice of side.

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Note: I have used dark chocolate chips, you can replace it with bittersweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips. If you don’t get chocolate chips around, you can just chop up some good quality chocolate and use that instead. Try not to avoid it because that’s what gives it the brownie texture.

For the garnish also any good quality (dark/milk/white) chocolate can be used.