When Roshni from The Vanilla Bean asked me to do a guest-post on her blog, I wanted to bake something simple and quick for her readers. Yet something which look and taste like you’ve spent the whole morning working on it but in fact was just left in the oven to work its own magic.
Roshni has a special soft corner for cakes hence I decided to rustle up this breakfast loaf which is moist and crunchy at the same time. Each bite is filled with pineapple and coconut bits. It’s a tropical heaven! Perfect for the rushed up mornings. Just plonk it in the oven right before you had for the bath and it would be ready when you’re back!
The loaf is actually quite healthy with whole wheat flour, olive oil and brown sugar. Feel free to substitute the sugar in the recipe with date syrup, honey or liquid jaggery.
Drop by here to get my recipe of pineapple-coconut breakfast loaf and don’t forget to check out The Vanilla Bean blog for some delicious recipes. Thank you again, Roshni, for having me over!
Hello Oreo lovers! Hello M&M lovers! Let’s get united 🙂
These bars are heavenly for texture-lovers! Every bite is filled with crunchy chopped Oreos and M&M’s contrasted with soft, buttery, moist dough. They are dense, thick and biteful. I have used dark brown sugar in the recipe which gives a beautiful caramel-ish flavor mixed with chocolate Oreos.
These bars come together in 1-bowl, just under 5-minutes, and without using mixer! These are ready under half an hour. Perfect to satisfy those sudden sugar-cravings! It is so quick, easy and of course, no dough chilling required.
Another advantage is, this recipe is very accommodating. You can use anything you like as fillers. So bookmark this one as your base recipe for bars and blondies. Feel free to sub Oreos with any other left-over cookies, peanut butter cups, pretzels, chocolate chips. Do not shy away from experimenting. Instead of M&M’s, arrange the top with lots of mini marshmallows. It will be heavenly! I’m going to do marshmallow version soon! Till then enjoy this 🙂
M&M Oreo Cookie Bars
Yields: 9 to 12 squares | Prep Time: 5-10 minutes | Cook Time: 20-22 minutes | Total: 30 minutes
- 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup Graham cracker crumbs
- Pinch of salt
- 15 Oreo cookies, roughly chopped (I used chocolate Oreos)
- 1/2 cup M&M’s (Nestlé Smarties, Cadbury Gems or any other chopped candies can be used)
- Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with aluminium foil, grease with oil or spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large, microwave safe bowl, add butter and place in microwave for 1-minute on high power.
- Wait a minute before adding the egg so that it does not scramble. Add the egg, sugar, vanilla and whisk until smooth.
- Add the flour, Graham cracker crumbs and salt. Stir until just combined. Do not over-mix.
- Stir in the Oreo chunks.
- Turn the thick batter out into prepared baking pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula or back of the spoon.
- Evenly sprinkle the M&M’s over the top, lightly pressing them down with your finger, a spatula or back of the spoon.
- Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs. Allow to cool in pan for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Bars will keep for up to 1 week at room temperature stored in an airtight container, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
I mentioned in my previous posts that I’m surrounded by family from past few weeks. Last Friday, the 13th was husband’s birthday. His folks were in town for the celebration. Yaay! So as you must have already guessed, I was going to bake the birthday cake myself. I asked him what flavour he would like this year and without thinking much he said I want lemon… And I was like, lemon cake?! Really?!!
I was thinking more like my favorite chocolate cake
layered in a fancy tier-cake, filled with chocolate ganache and slathered with mocha frosting and he says he wants lemon this year?! Hmm… Even though I was a lil disappointed, I obliged to his wishes! I knoooww *best wife of the year* isn’t it! I had to add my own twist to the cake of course and hence this awesomeness happened. Less tart but tangy, zesty and supremely moist.. win-win for all! Of course, I didn’t tell him that it is sweet-lime until he ate a giant piece at midnight! He was indeed surprised and super-happy which made my whole-day’s effort totally worth it! 😀
I had made sort of a similar cake with lemons few months ago for my dear friend’s baby girl. It marked her 1st month on the earth. That cake was egg-less, used buttermilk and everyone loved it! So I just had to tweak my old recipe a bit and came up with this soft, springy and moist cake. Layered with cream cheese filling which is out-of-the-world but the hero here guys is, vanilla bean frosting… It is AWESOME! Trust me 🙂
I made every single element on this cake on same day. If you do not have such a luxury of time then I suggest you make cakes a day before and refrigerate them individually covered in clingfilm until you’re ready for assembly. Make filling and frosting just before assembling the layers. This will certainly cut down on waiting time as the cakes would be cool and ready for the assembly the next day. So let’s get on with the recipe!
*Please pardon the pictures as the only chance I got was couple minutes before the celebration!
Sweet~Lime Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Filling & Vanilla Bean Frosting
Makes: 1 6-inch 3-layered cake
For the cake:
- 2 and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 14 1-inch cubes of unsalted butter
- Zest of 3 sweet-limes
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sweet-lime juice, freshly squeezed (Around 3 sweet-limes needed)
- 100 gm/4 oz. cream cheese, cold
- Zest of 1 sweet-lime
- 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 1/2 cup medium-fat cream
For the frosting:
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
- Pinch of salt
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp medium-fat cream, whipped
For the garnish:
- Yellow and green colored sparkling sugar
- 1 sweet-lime slices
To make Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350° F. Butter and flour the edges of 3 6-inch round cake pans and shake out the excess. Set aside. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Add the butter to the large bowl and prepare electric hand-mixer or electric stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the lime zest to the bowl with the butter. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for another minute.
- Add the sugar to the butter mixture, ¼ cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Add eggs, one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- Combine yogurt, sweet-lime juice and vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.
- Divide the batter between the prepared baking pans. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-22 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Let cool in the pans about 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
To make Cream Cheese Filling:
- Combine the cream cheese and butter in a bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and well combined.
- Mix in icing sugar and beat on low speed until incorporated.
- Blend in lemon juice and sweet-lime zest. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and set aside.
- Wipe out the mixer bowl and fit with the whisk attachment. Add cream to the bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form, being careful not to overbeat. Mix about a third of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture to lighten. Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until no streaks remain and the mixture is evenly blended.
To make Vanilla Bean Frosting:
- Add butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Add icing sugar to the bowl and mix on medium-low speed just until incorporated.
- Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean pod into the bowl and add in the salt. Continue to beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- Mix in the vanilla extract and whipped cream on low speed just until incorporated. Increase the mixer speed and whip on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed, about 4 minutes.
- Level cake layers if necessary. To assemble the cake, place one of the layers on a serving platter. Top with half of the cream cheese filling and smooth in an even layer. Place a second cake layer on top of the filling and top with the remaining filling. Place the final cake layer on top.
- Frost the top and sides of the assembled cake with the vanilla bean frosting.
- Sprinkle some yellow and green colored sparkling sugar around the 1-inch border of the cake. Garnish the centre with the sweet-lime slices.
- To make the frosting look whiter, use white unsalted butter and clear vanilla extract.
- If you wish to decorate the top of the cake with piped frosting instead of fruit, double the frosting recipe. Use a pastry bag with a decorative tip to pipe accents on the cake. You may have some extra frosting which is always a good thing in my book! 😉
I know I went MIA AGAIN and you must think that I do not take the blog seriously but in my defense, life happened. It so happens that life loves to throw unlikely surprises my way! So what happened you ask… Well, my in-laws arrived in town 3 weeks back and due to the super-dramatic climate-change here, both caught Mono. Next in queue was my hubby dearest!
So in the midst of house-work and multiple visits to the clinic on daily-basis, I could squeeze in time to blog only 2 previous recipes. I was definitely active on social media. I did check-out what my other blogger friends were writing about but I did not have patience to write down a recipe or to edit pictures for the post. It’s not like I did not have recipes to post or I was not cooking. In fact, I was cooking more regularly than ever! At least 3 different meals were being prepared on a daily basis. And now that everyone is fit and fine, I’m going to take a little breather from home-cooking and going to eat-out little bit more and of course, start posting here regularly!
I bring you today another easy skinny pancake recipe. It is perfect for breakfast or Brinner, serves a small family perfectly that too without the hassle of flipping individual pancakes! You know I’m lazy and love quick-fixes more than anything right?! 😉
The Dutch Baby is another name for German pancake which is baked in a cast-iron skillet or a metal pan and its puff falls soon after being removed from the oven. This pancake is ready in a record time of 20-25 minutes from start-to-finish! Made with minimum ingredients, this is a perfect recipe for days when your refrigerator has scarce ingredients. You just need 2 eggs, little flour, some milk and 1 banana to be in business! Rest of the ingredients are your usual suspects.
I do not own a cast-iron skillet so I baked this in a 10-inch metal pan I have. Brown sugar, banana and cinnamon is a match made in heaven. The result is perfectly caramelized banana topped pancake topped with chocolate-chips. Your house is going to smell delicious for next few hours! Whattay way to start mornings or end work-laden days! Enjoy! 🙂
Skinny Banana Chocolate-chip Dutch Baby
Makes: 1 big Dutch Baby | Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 15 to 20 minutes
- 1 banana thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk (skim milk, soy milk or almond milk)
- 2 or 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 2-3 Tbsp dark chocolate chips (Use more as per your liking)
- Preheat the oven to 425 F.
- Prepare a 9-inch oven-safe skillet by spraying with cooking spray or greasing it. Place butter in the skillet. Put skillet in the oven to melt the butter. You can do this while oven is still in preheating mode. Once butter has melted, in about 2-3 minutes, remove the skillet from the oven and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour, cinnamon, salt and whisk until smooth and free from lumps.
- Pour the batter on to the skillet and evenly top with banana slices. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and puffy. Mine was ready in 15 minutes.
- Slice and serve optionally with a dusting of powdered sugar or a pour from maple syrup.
I was retrospecting and I had a simple realization… I do not have a single recipe for a chocolate cake on my blog yet! Very shocking for a chocoholic like me! This
simply does not qualify. I’m a strong believer of “A chocolate a day keeps a doctor away!”
And this is how this ultimate chocolate cake I’m posting today was born.
The universe conspired and the stars aligned!
It was not as dramatic but you can imagine how delighted I must be after I nailed the recipe.
It is made with simplest of ingredients. You will have everything required in your pantry at any given day or time. Except pears. And you can substitute them depending upon what you have at hand. Substitutes are mentioned at the end of this post.
As the name suggests this cake is studded with pears. And they are not alone! Cinnamon sprinkled pears! Cinnamon enhances the pears’ sweetness and this combo is truly heavenly. You can smell the magic of Fall in your kitchen! The weather here has been just perfect for this. I used Red Anjou pears as that is what I had at the moment and they went perfectly with this cake. Comice pears would be excellent choice too!
I chose to call this cake Life By Chocolate Cake. You gotta eat it to know why but I’ll try telling you in words why?! First of all it is not one of those overly rich, heavy, cocoa powderish death by chocolaty cakes you’re so accustomed to seeing/eating around. Nope… This tastes nothing like those which makes you stop eating half-way because it is just too-over-the-top-chocolaty. THIS is a stark opposite of it. This cake is moist, light yet chocolicious, silky, melt in the mouth, perfect piece of chocolate cake ever produced in my kitchen! No one can eat just one slice of it. Chocolate heaven! And if you get a chance to make this, i can guarantee that this will be the best chocolate cake you’ll ever make! Trust me on this one…
So wait no longer… You NEED this chocolate cake in your life, like RIGHT NOW!!
Pear Studded Life By Chocolate Cake
Yields: 6-8 slices
- 1/3 cup butter
- 100 gm dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 + 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 4 Red Anjou/Comice pears, peeled, halved and cored
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- icing sugar, for dusting
- To grease the tin: 1 Tbsp melted butter and 2 Tbsp caster sugar
- Cut a circle of baking parchment to fit the base of 9-inch round spring-form tin. Melt 1 Tbsp butter and brush the base and sides of the tin, then line the base with the parchment and brush again with more butter. Dust 2 Tbsp of caster sugar to coat the base and sides, then tip out any excess.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Take roughly chopped chocolate and butter together in a heat-proof bowl and microwave it for about 1 minute or less till the chocolate has melted completely, stirring in between at the interval of 30 seconds. Whisk in vanilla extract and set aside to cool a little.
- In another smallish bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
- Put the eggs and brown sugar together in a bowl and using electric mixer’s paddle attachment, beat together vigorously for about 3 minutes until you achieve a pale, aerated and thickened cream-like consistency.
- Turn the speed down a little and pour in the butter-chocolate mixture, beating continuously. Then slowly tip in the dry ingredients. Scrape down the bowl, gently fold in with a spatula and pour the batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile prepare the pears. Sprinkle the peeled, halved and cored pears with cinnamon and gently arrange on top of the cake in a circular fashion (as shown in photograph). Bake for another 23-25 minutes till the skewer inserted in the center comes out clean or with a very few chocolate crumbs clinging to it. Do not overcook.
- Let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, still in its tin, and then ease the sides of the cake with a spatula and spring it out of the tin. Leave to cool completely or eat while it is still warm with dusting of icing sugar and a dollop of ice-cream.
Notes: Feel free to substitute pears for any other fruit of your choice like raspberries, strawberries, oranges or peaches. Tastes amazing even without adding any fruit to it.
HAPPY RAKHI Everyone!