Baked Banana Donuts & Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting ~ Healthier & Eggfree

Banana Donuts1
Wow… It’s been  3 weeks since my last blog-post! I’ve really missed you guys. If you follow me on Instagram then you know of my shenanigans. Past 3 weeks were spent vacationing leisurely in beautiful Goa and finishing some important paperwork back home. If you don’t follow me there then you’ve missed out on some amazing pics of sunsets and not-to-be-missed eateries in Goa so I’d suggest you tap that blue button right away! We had a fabulous time spending our 5th wedding anniversary, relaxing and lazying around on beach. It had been ages (more than a year!!) since we took our last vacation (just us) so this 10 days break was much appreciated. But my sun-burnt self is definitely glad to be back and you’re going to love this recipe I have for you!
After our holiday to the tropics, I recreated the scene in the comfort of our home and made these uh-mah-zing banana donuts. Oh and I didn’t serve them alone. Oh yeh! These are topped with fresh strawberry cream cheese frosting. Yes, it is 2 recipes in 1 blog-post kinda day today. Anyway I can compensate my absence on this space 😉
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These soft and fluffy whole wheat banana donuts are what dreams are made of! This is a healthier and eggfree version. Brown sugar has been used which used with bananas lends a caramelized depth of flavor. I prefer to use oil instead of butter in most of my cakes and cupcakes. Oil combined with yogurt gives moist and pillowy end product even when whole wheat flour is involved.
And what do I say about the frosting! It is super cool. Spread it on donuts or frost some vanilla or chocolate cupcakes with it. Yes, the recipe below will frost about 12 cupcakes and will frost 12 donuts even more generously with a spoonful or two extra for licking! The frosting naturally is pink without addition of any artificial color and it is flavored with real strawberries and just a bit of strawberry extract. Perfection indeed!
Happy Baking!
xx
Baked Banana Donuts with Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting ~ Healthier & Eggfree
Makes : 12 donuts | Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 13-14 minutes | Total time: under 30 minutes
Ingredients:

For donuts:
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 + 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 3 large)
  • 6 Tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For frosting:
  • 2 large strawberries
  • 4 ounce / 110 gm plain cream cheese spread, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp strawberry essence
  • 1/4 tsp strawberry essence
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted (or more as per preference)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 180ºC / 350ºF. Grease 12-count donut pan with oil. Set aside.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together oil and sugar until completely incorporated. Whisk in banana, yogurt and vanilla extract.
  4. Gently fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until no flour pockets remain. Do not over-mix. Divide the batter equally and fill the molds no more than 3/4th. Bake for 13-14 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Then carefully turn out doughnuts directly onto rack to cool.
  5. Preparing frosting: Wash, hull and pat dry 2 large strawberries. Cut them in small pieces and mash them using fork. Add cream cheese spread, butter and strawberry essence to the bowl and whisk using your electric mixer. Add sifted sugar to this mixture and whisk until completely incorporated and frosting is firm. On completely cooled donuts, spread a thick layer of this frosting. The donuts will keep well in refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Oreo Chocolate Brownies

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2 months into this year and 2014 has been spectacular so far! In the beginning of the year, Amrita (most popular as a bacon jam lady!) & I decided to do a little food exchange. She being a queen of all things yummilicious, I had a hard time deciding what to send. Just around that time, I had re-made these (Fudgiest!) Chocolate Brownies and sneaked in some Oreo cookies in them. They were epic! Oreo + Chocolate lover’s dream. I decided this was it but was still a bit skeptic.

 

or
Photo Courtesy – Amrita Kaur

 

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Imagine my relief when she said she totally loved it! She blogged about it too and thanks a ton to her, the recipe became so so popular. I got so many mails and messages from all you lovely people who tried and loved these beauties! I thank all of you beautiful readers who attempted the recipe and reported back. I lou you all. It definitely deserves a spot of its own on the blog so here it is!

Happy Baking! 🙂

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Oreo Chocolate Brownies

Makes: 9-12 squares | Prep time: 15 minutes | Bake time: Approximately 35 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 250 gm / 9 oz dark chocolate, roughly sliced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, roughly sliced (approximately 115 gm)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, cold
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp Rum
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 16 Oreo cookies, plus more for sprinkling
Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºF / 350ºC. Grease an 8×8-inch square pan; line base and sides with parchment paper (I use foil).
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate, butter and brown sugar in a microwave for 1-2 minute, stirring every 30 seconds. The mixture should be lump-free and glossy. Set aside and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. Once chocolate mixture is cooled down, stir white sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and rum into it.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt and cocoa powder and fold into chocolate mixture with wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Pour half the batter in a baking pan and arrange whole 16 Oreo cookies on it in a single layer (do not press them down). Pour rest of the batter and sprinkle few pieces of Oreo on top. Bake for 33-36 minutes, until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Let cool completely in pan over a cooling rack. (If you’re in a hurry, throw it in a refrigerator or freezer for a while for easy cutting.)
  5. Lift up the ends of parchment or foil liner, transfer the brownies to cutting board and cut into 9 or 12 squares. Store it in an air-tight container for 3-4 days at room temperature or refrigerate for a week.

Baking 101 & Raspberry Banana Bread ~ A Guest Post on The Tummy Tale

Raspberry Banana Bread2

 

For many of you, baking can be quite overwhelming at first. A lot of beginners will burn a few (or a lot) of cookies, flatten some cakes or over bake brownies.  So when Elson asked me if I could do a post on baking basics, I was anxious (this kind of post is my first attempt!) and excited!!

I am reproducing that guest post ~ ‘Baking 101’ and the recipe of Raspberry Banana Bread for my readers here but hop onto The Tummy Tale blog for some good reading. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out Elson’s fabulous recipes. Elson believes in using simple ingredients to create special dishes and his forte is Mangalorean cuisine. Also, do check out his ‘The world on my plate‘ series.

If you spend enough time in the kitchen baking, you quickly begin to pick up the dos and don’ts. I am far from a professional pastry chef or even an expert baker but with these tips and tricks, I’m hoping to make baking an easier, more enjoyable experience for you all. So, here it is – baker’s dozen tips & tricks!

  1. Take your time and read the recipe thoroughly from beginning to end before you start. Many baking failures come from not reading and understanding the recipe, not from poor recipes! Remember, cookbook authors and bloggers REALLY want to help you bake masterpieces. They know and understand the limitations of home kitchens. So have faith in the recipe and read the notes.
  2. Get your mise en place started. Measure out all the ingredients mentioned in the recipe to exact amounts first before you proceed further. There is nothing worse than reaching halfway and realizing you’re out of an important ingredient. Prepping is very very important.
  3. Unless otherwise stated, use room temperature ingredients. If something is meant to be used cold then a recipe should state that, otherwise make sure your eggs, butter, yogurt etc. are at room temperature.
  4. Buy salted butter for your toast but unsalted butter is what you need for all the baking you plan on doing. You want to control the amount of salt going in your baked goods. So unsalted is a way to go!
  5. Always preheat the oven. This might sound amusing to some of you but this step is of utmost importance.
  6. Preparing baking pan – Grease and/or line your baking tin. Use paper liners for muffin tins (unless stated otherwise). Always grease a Bundt pan with butter and dust the insides with flour. Do not grease the cookie sheet unless the recipe states you should; just line it with parchment paper.
  7. It is always better to sift the dry ingredients to avoid lumps. This step will ensure that baking powder, baking soda or salt are equally dispersed among flour. Also, measure the flour after it’s been fluffed up a bit with the help of a fork. Lightly spoon it into the measuring cup and level it off (weighing flour is of course more accurate but I’m more accustomed to cup-method).
  8. Use baking powder and baking soda no more than 5-6 months old. Dud ingredients will make your recipe dud. Also, baking powder and baking soda are different ingredients and not interchangeable! So pay attention. They serve the same purpose but do not react the same way in baked goods. Read here for more info.
  9. When baking cakes, cupcakes and cookies, take your time creaming the butter. Beat/cream for at least 3-5 minutes (preferably with the electric mixer’s paddle attachment) to aerate the butter.
    Check if the recipe calls for any herb or fruit zest. If so then rub the herb/fruit zest into the sugar which will release the essential oils and then add this sugar to butter and beat/cream really well again. A trick I have learnt recently from Joy The Baker is beating the spices along with the butter and sugar to enhance the flavor much more.
  10. When mixing the batter, gently fold the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients – you don’t want to lose all the air. Over-mixing will especially ruin your muffins and make them tough and rubbery.
  11. Keep in mind that all ovens are different. Do not rely on the time in the recipe to work for your oven. It is usually provided by a time range which is just an estimate for you. Set your timer for several minutes before it says it will be done just to make sure you don’t overcook. Check the doneness by inserting toothpick in the center of the baked goods. Trust the process and trust yourself.
  12. Make it your own! Just because baking is all about science doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with the ingredients that only affect the flavor. Change up the extracts, spices, and other add-ins that only affect the flavor of the baked goods to make it your own. Have fun in the kitchen and it will all turn out amazing!

 

The more you bake, the better you will become. But remember… “When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste.” – Laiko Bahrs J 🙂

 

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*Recipe*

This recipe is a no fuss, too easy even for beginners sort. So after reading the tips and tricks mentioned above, get your baking mojo on and try this basic, classic banana bread made a tad bit healthier. Vegetarians and vegans are going to be much much happy.

This recipe is eggfree and oil/butterfree. Yes! Can you believe?!! For sweetness, I have used date syrup in part which lends a beautiful depth of flavor to the bread. The other part comprises of brown sugar. Brown sugar + banana = a match made in heaven! Brown sugar gives a caramelized flavor but you can make the bread refined sugar-free too by using coconut sugar in place of the brown sugar. It would be wonderful too! The bread is light, airy and moist (in a good way). Yes! Not a crumb in sight, my friends. Perfect for toasting and if you’re not skinny-minny types then slathering it with some butter. If you are not into healthy baking then feel free to use all-purpose flour completely. Don’t have date syrup? Use liquid jaggery or maple syrup or honey. All works brilliantly. Don’t have raspberries? Use strawberries or may be toasted walnuts or chocolate chips! Change the ingredients as per your convenience and make the recipe yours. Add a dash of cinnamon if you like. Just have fun! So brew yourself a cup of coffee, preheat the oven and get baking. Your quest for that perfect banana bread ends here.

Enjoy!

Healthier Raspberry Banana Bread – Eggfree & Oil/Butterfree {can be made refined sugar-free too!}

Yields: 1 8×4-inch loaf, about 10 slices | Prep time: 10 minutes | Bake time: 60 minutes | Total time: 70 minutes

Ingredients:

• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• 1/2 cup all purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp salt
• 1/3 cup yogurt
• 1/3 cup date syrup (or liquid jaggery or maple syrup or honey)
• 1/3 cup brown sugar (to make it refined sugar-free use coconut sugar)
• 3 large over-ripe bananas, mashed (I used heaping 1 & 1/2 cups purée)
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 cup chopped raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven at 170°C/350°F. Grease the 8×4-inch loaf pan with oil and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, date syrup and brown sugar until completely incorporated. Whisk in banana purée and vanilla extract.
4. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and slowly stir in wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir until no flour pockets remain. Do not over-mix. Fold in chopped raspberries.
5. Pour the batter in your prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with few moist crumbs. Let the bread rest in the loaf pan for about 10 minutes before inverting it on a cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing. Serve warm as is or slathered with butter. You may toast the slices too. Store the bread in an airtight container up to 1 week in refrigerator. It freezes well for up to 3 months.

*For a more classic twist, substitute raspberries with toasted walnuts. For chocolate lovers, I would suggest replacing raspberries with dark chocolate chips. I’ve tried and it is dee-vine!

Tomorrow is ‘Banana Bread Day’ and you might wanna bake one to celebrate!

Lemon Crinkle Melts

Lemon Crinkle Melts1

A melt in your mouth lemon cookies.. Ooh, how I love thee. I craved them one afternoon so bad that I had to bake them PRONTO! I LOVE lemon even more than chocolate. Please don’t hate me! If there is a choice between chocolate and fruit, I most certainly always choose the latter (umm..yess.. mostly!). Chocolate vs lemon tart? Absolutely lemon tart! Chocolate donuts or strawberry filled donuts? Undoubtedly strawberry! Are we still friends? Okay, great! 🙂

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These cookies were SOOO GOOD that I might have tried eating 4 in a go. Don’t try to picture that! I found this fantastic recipe on White On Rice Couple blog and they looked so gorgeous that I had to make them. I slightly reduced the quantity of butter and sugar mentioned in the recipe to suit our taste and they were perfect for us.

This recipe does not use any lemon extract and if you are worried about the lemon quotient then worry not, my friends. They are plenty lemony. I was blown away by the flavor and texture would be an understatement! If you love lemon cookies and love snickerdoodles like I do, you will find yourself stuffing yourself silly with these lovely cookies. Soft interior with slightly crisp exterior achieved by rolling the dough in confectioners sugar before baking. Delicate and bright! What’s not to love?!

Can you tell I’m obsessed? Yeah, this recipe will be definitely made again & again & again.
Enjoy!

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Lemon Crinkle Melts

Recipe slightly adapted from White On Rice Couple

Yields: Around 24 cookies or more depending on size

Prep time: 10 minutes | Chill time: 30 minutes | Bake time: 9-11 minutes | Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg (make it eggfree & use 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Line a couple cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda for at least 20 seconds. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl of your mixer, add lemon zest, brown sugar, white sugar and mix together with hand. Add butter to the bowl and beat butter and zesty sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract, egg and lemon juice until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again to make sure everything is incorporated.
  4. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to get all of the flour. Cover the bowl with cling film and let the dough chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Sift the confectioners sugar onto a large plate. Form the dough into 1 inch sized balls. Roll the balls in the confectioners sugar then place 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets.
  6. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies just begin to turn light golden and the tops of the cookies look matte (no longer shiny or wet looking). Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: To make these cookies vegan, replace butter with vegan margarine.

‘Breakfast For Two’ ~ Savory Pear & Apple Dutch Baby

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Good Morning & Happy Valentine’s Day ♥ Friends!

Roshni & I are back with our second installment of monthly cook-off. Keeping today’s lovey-dovey holiday in mind, the theme was a no-brainer – ‘Breakfast for Two’. So if you’ve still not thought of V-day breakfast for your sweetie then let us come to your rescue. I come bearing freshly baked savory German Pancake. Convenient without having to stand flipping pancakes on stove one by one and ready in 30 minutes! Slide it in the oven, go about your work (make coffee or arrange breakfast tray) and after 20 minutes, poof!, breakfast is served. No burnt sides too! 😉

Blogosphere is scattered with chocolates, berries and sprinkles for the occasion. Red and pink is so much in the air! I joined  the  bandwagon  too but if you’re not into sweet stuff then this recipe is just perfect for you.

 

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Pear, apple, some leeks and smoked Gouda… The fruit is cooked in a pan with some butter and thyme. Heavenly smell to wake up to, if you ask me! The fruit is then arranged in cast-iron skillet or baking pan. Egg and flour mixture is poured over the fruit followed by cheese. The prep requires mere 10 minutes of time and then whole business is taken care of by your beloved oven. It is baked until golden for about 20-25 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

This dutch baby is perfect as a Brunch/Brinner too and should be made on any day, not only on V-day. Make this NOW & thank me later. If you want to make a sweet dutch baby, then try this recipe of mine. And now go to Roshni‘s blog for a great ‘Breakfast For Two’ idea! Let’s check out what she has in store for us all! 🙂

Have a great day all you happy lovers out there! ♥ ♥ ♥

Savory Pear & Apple Dutch Baby

Serves: 2 | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 20-25 minutes | Total time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp butter (salted works too)
  • 2 Tbsp leeks, washed & thinly sliced
  • Half pear, peeled, cored & sliced
  • Half green apple, peeled, cored & sliced
  • few sprigs of thyme
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp lack pepper (or more)
  • 1/2 cup grated smoked Gouda cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 210ºC / 425ºF.
  2. Heat a small pan on a medium heat and add 1 Tbsp of butter to it. Once butter has melted, add leek, pear, apple slices and thyme leaves to the pan and let cook on a medium heat for about 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally. Set aside.
  3. Mix the eggs, flour, milk, salt and pepper in a blender on a medium speed until just blended, 5-10 seconds.
  4. Add rest of the 1 Tbsp butter in to a 9-inch cast-iron skillet/baking pan and put it in the oven. Wait until the butter has melted completely and sizzling then carefully take the pan out and swirl the butter around coating the pan completely.
  5. Spread the cooked mixture of leek, fruits and thyme to the bottom of the pan. Pour the egg mixture on top. Finally, sprinkle the cheese all over and slide it back into the oven to be baked for 20-25 minutes, until slightly browned on top. Cut the dutch baby into 4 or 6 wedges and serve immediately.
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