Friday, 15 June 2012

Eggless Date Cake (Butterless too)


Surprised by the title? You read it right...This cake has NO EGG AND NO BUTTER ( not even a drop) And the taste? It was soo soft, spongy and absolutely delicious that I couldn't believe that it was eggless.

This is my first post for Blog-Hop Wednesdays started by Radhika of Tickling Palates. And I was paired with Nagashree of Sattvaa. Actually this post was supposed to be posted on Wednesday, but sadly I couldn't. I got too busy past few days with my 5 month old baby being unwell with flu, guests visiting us and with packing and what not...Moving is always a big hassle (specially moving countries) and what with a naughty toddler and a24/7 attention seeking baby at home....things get even messier. We have just 2 more weeks left in UK :( I am sad because we are leaving Oxford and also because I have so much packing to do yet.

Anyways coming to today's post I was going through Nagashree's blog and found so many regional dishes and was wondering what to cook, and then our neighbor from Saudi Arabia gave us huge box of dates. And I knew I had to finish those dates within few weeks, before we leave and as I am too much in baking mood these days I decided to bake this Date Cake from her space, which she had followed from here. And I am really glad I baked this cake. My family just loved it. I will definitely bake it again and I am planning to bake in a loaf pan next time like this banana bread.




20-25 pitted Dates
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup All purpose flour/Maida
1 tsp baking soda and
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


Soak the pitted Dates in 1 cup of milk overnight or if you don't have time soak them in warm milk for 3-4 hours. Preheat oven to 350 F / 176 C . Grease and line the bottom of a cake pan and set aside.

In a blender blend together the dates, milk and sugar to a smooth paste.Sift the dry ingredients- Flour and baking soda and set aside. In a wide mouthed bowl add the smooth paste from the blender and now add the cooking oil/vegetable oil. Slowly add the dry ingredients to this and mix with a spatula/spoon until well incorporated or use a hand mixer for 1-2 minutes to mix everything well. Stir in the chopped nuts.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Once out of the oven, cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Serve it just plain with tea or you can serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream for dessert.


Sending this to Blog- Hop 18

Friday, 8 June 2012

Classic Victoria sandwich


After living in UK from last 4 years, I have seen the love and respect people have for the royal family. And I was have witnessed the celebrations among locals here and have seen how everyone is very enthusiastic about the royal celebrations of the country. Last summer, it was the royal wedding of prince William and Kate and very shop here sold souvenirs of many kinds. Every shop had something special for the celebrations and even at schools the kids got to celebrate it by having a royal wedding tea party. My toddler stills recalls those celebration because he adores the prince and his wife and what more..he was lucky enough to even meet the Duchess of Cambridge at his school :)

There he is lifting his hand and waving(second from left) Pic courtesy :BBC news

This Summer marked Queen Elizabeth II Diamond jubilee celebrations. The Diamond jubilee marked Queen Elizabeth's 60 years as queen and she is the second longest reigning monarch of United Kingdom after Queen Victoria. And it was so exciting to see people wear clothes that had red , blue and white, the street parties and the food with union jacks and crowns on it. It was a memorable event for everyone here and more for us because we will be leaving UK in couple of weeks. We will definitely miss this country and the lovely people we met here.

Coming to the recipe, I decided to bake the most iconic cake in Britain the 'Victoria sandwich' or 'Victoria sponge' which is named after Queen Victoria, which she loved having it with her afternoon tea. A classic Victoria sponge consists of jam and whipped cream or vanilla buttercream sandwiched between two sponges. Whenever I have bought this cake, I have found it containing the butter cream. Maybe because it will have a longer shelf life. But I opted for whipped cream filling as my son loved it. But I have also written the recipe for the vanilla cream.


Recipe source: BBC Good Food


For the cake:
200 grams /1 1/2 cup self raising flour
200 grams /1 cup caster sugar
200 grams softened butter- at room temperature
4 eggs- beaten
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp baking powder

For filling:
200 ml double cream
300 grams strawberry jam
icing sugar for dusting.


Pre-heat oven to 190 C / 375 F. Butter 2 sandwich tins and line it with a nonstick baking paper. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Now add the remaining ingredients and and beat till well incorporated and you get a smooth batter.

Divide the mixture equally between the prepared tins, smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon, then bake for about 20 minutes until golden and the cake springs back when pressed. Turn onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.

For the filling, whip the cream till soft peaks and spread it over the bottom of one of the sponges, top it with strawberry jam and sandwich the second sponge on top. Dust with a little icing sugar before serving.



If you don't have sandwich tin, you can bake it in any round cake tin and slice it into layers to add the filling.

There are many other options for the filling like you can replace the whipped cream with buttercream or lemon curd. And also you can replace the strawberry jam with raspberry jam. Below is the recipe for the buttercream filling.

For the butter cream filling :

100g butter - softened
140g icing sugar - sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat the butter until smooth and creamy, then gradually beat in icing sugar and vanilla extract until you get a smooth cream.

Sending this celebration cake to Jagruti's event- Celebrate Diamond Jubilee.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Peanut Butter Cookies


While growing up in India, I had never heard or tasted peanut butter. But I am sure many people back home know about it now.The first time I saw it was in America. And I guess Americans love peanut butter..I used to see people rave about it and PBJ (Peanut Butter and Jelly) is a favorite sandwich among most children in USA. And even my son (and me too) love PBJ sandwich now. And if you are wondering how it is made, then let me tell explain -Its just a Layer of peanut butter on one slice topped with another slice and you spread a layer of strawberry jam on that second slice and lastly cover with another slice of bread. Doesn't it sound easy ? and Its Yummy too..when you bite a slice of this sandwich, you can taste the sweet jam and the nutty and salty peanut butter and all you will say is yummmm.

And also peanut butter cookies are very famous there. Like I said, people there love anything and everything with peanut butter in it. It had been a long time since I baked them, so baked these and also made some chocolate fudge few weeks back to take along while visiting our cousins here. And I was so glad to know that they loved it. If you are a peanut butter lover like me, then this is a must try recipe for you .


source - Joy of Baking


3/4 cup(170 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature,
1/2 cup granulated white sugar,
1/2 cup light brown sugar,
1 large egg,
1 tsp vanilla extract,
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter,
2 cups all purpose flour,
1/2 tsp baking soda and
1/4 tsp salt.



Using a hand mixer, beat the butter in a bowl until smooth and fluffy. To this add the granulated sugar and light brown sugar and beat for around 2-3 minutes. Now, add the smooth peanut butter to this and beat until incorporated. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat again to mix.

In a separate bowl, sieve together the dry ingredients - flour, salt and baking soda and add this to the above mixture and beat on low speed until everything in mixed well and forms into a dough. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F / 177 C and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough into small balls (around 1 inch) and place them on the baking sheet. Now dip the tines of a fork in granulated sugar or flour and make the criss-cross patterns on them.

Bake for 10- 12 minutes or until you see the cookies turning light brown on the edges. Once out of the oven, cool on an oven rack and store in an air tight container.



Keeping in refrigerator is not needed if you want crispy cookies. Because keeping the dough in the refrigerator will give you soft and chewy cookies. And by not refrigerating it, the dough will spread more and will yield you flat and crispy cookies.

If you want you can add finely chopped peanuts or chocolate chip cookies to the dough after adding the dry ingredients. Or you can use crunchy peanut butter instead of smooth.

And when you place them on the baking sheet place them 1-2 inches apart because they spread while baking.


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Eggless brownies


The first time I ever tasted a brownie was almost 5 years ago in USA and I had immediately fallen in love with its chocolaty goodness. But in those days, I was a newbie to baking and always hesitated to make it from scratch and thus bought Betty crocker brownie mix and baked them whenever I craved for it. But after moving to UK, when I started baking more frequently and learned more about baking, I had always wanted to bake brownies and it was on my 'to bake list' for a long time. Finally I managed to bake these eggless brownies which I found on LinkK.O Rasoi to send to India with MIL along with banana bread and some Moroccan cookies .

Brownies are of 2 kinds - 'Fudgy' and 'cakey'. Everyone has their own favorite choice and I personally like fudgy, chewy brownies. And my lil boy loved these cakey ones. And yup :) baking a fudgy brownie is on my list next .




1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tbsp cooking oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp instant coffee
1 tbsp hot water
1/2 cup walnuts



In a pan, toast the walnuts on low heat for 5-10 minutes and chop them. Dissolve the instant coffee powder in the water and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350°F /180°C. Grease and flour a square baking pan.

Sift all the dry ingredients- Flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, sugar and salt. To this, add the wet ingredients - Cooking oil, the diluted coffee and the buttermilk . Mix thoroughly until well combined, add the roughly chopped walnuts and pour into the prepared tin.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then turn onto a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature with yummy ice cream. YUMMMMM....



Toasting walnuts is optional. I prefer it toasted because it makes it crunchy.

Also you can use any nuts instead of walnuts, like almonds or pecans .And you can use melted unsalted butter instead of cooking oil.

If you don't have buttermilk, you can substitute it with 2 tsp yogurt dissolved in 1 cup water with 1 tbsp lemon juice mixed into it. Also for vegan recipe use 1 cup soy milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice.


Sending these to Jagruti's event celebrate- Diamond jubilee .

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Creamy Raspberry dessert (No cook / no bake)

Who doesn't love easy-peasy recipes..I absolutely love such recipe, which have less ingredients, is ready in a jiffy and tastes yummm. This is one such recipe, which needs just 3 ingredients and is a no bake/no cook recipe.And it will definitely flatter your guests. Had seen this recipe in one of baby magazines a long time back and just fell in love with this delicious dessert. So, let me keep it short and sweet just like this recipe and move on to the recipe.

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80 grams of Cadbury's crunchie bar,
200 ml fresh double cream and
200 grams fresh raspberries

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With a rolling pin, bash the Crunchie chocolate bars into pieces with the wrappers still on. In a bowl, whip the cream with a hand whisk or with an electric beater until you have soft peaks. Open the crunchie packs and add to the whipped cream and stir to combine well.

Spoon into the serving glass or bowl and leave overnight in the fridge to allow the honeycomb in the chocolate to mix with the cream or atleast let rest in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours. And lastly, just before serving, top it with fresh Raspberry and serve. YUMMMMY !!

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The crunchie chocolate bar is the main ingredient which blends withe the cream and gives a creamy, chocolaty taste. And as far as I know, its available in almost many countries. If you can't find it, you can replace it with any other chocolate bar containing honeycomb.

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Sending this over to Radhika's event 'Fruit recipes'.

More similar desserts:

Strawberry Pannacotta

Blueberry Trifle

Instant Eggless Chocolate Mousse

Friday, 4 May 2012

Banana Bread

bread 4

I was so much looking forward to spring this year after the dark cold winters and also because this will be our last spring in UK but except for just a few days of sunshine and a few daffodils and tulips here and there the spring has has vanished. Its so grey, gloomy and cold again, the temperature is still in single digits and the winter jackets are still being used :(

On such boring and gloomy days, whenever I need to boost up my mood and my day I love to bake something sweet or I love to indulge myself with some hot fried Indian snack. And banana bread is one such thing which I bake again and again during these days, because I love to eat it warm and I feel it tastes best when its warm. And also because whenever I bake this bread my whole house is filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread and the heavenly aroma of cinnamon.

bread 1

Though I always have a hard time hiding bananas for baking this .Yes ! I have to hide them you know, because everyone in my house including me are banana lovers.So, they vanish in no time. So, I hide a few till they ripen and wait eagerly to bake this Bread.

I found this recipe at Joy of Baking and have baked this many times and believe me it just turns out perfect everytime I bake it and my whole family loves it. So, go ahead and see (taste) for yourselves :)

bread 5

Recipe source: Joy Of Baking


1 3/4 cup(230 grams) All purpose flour,
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar,
1 tsp baking powder,
1/4 tsp baking soda,
1 tsp cinnamon powder,
1/4 tsp salt,
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter,
2 large eggs,
3 large ripe bananas (1 1/2 cups)-mashed,
1 cup coarsely chopped Walnuts and
1 tsp vanilla extract.

bread 3


Lightly toast the walnuts in a non stick pan on low flame for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside to cool. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F (180 C) and butter and flour the bottom and sides of a loaf pan. Melt the unsalted butter and let it cool.

In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients - Flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon powder and add the toasted walnuts and keep aside. In another bowl beat two egg lightly with a whisk, add vanilla extract, mashed banana and lastly the melted and cooled butter. With a spatula, lightly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Pour this batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 50- 60 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.Place on a wire rack to cool for around 15 minutes and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

bread 2


Use big yellow bananas which should be ripe. Their skin should be black and they should be soft and sweet inside.

Don't over mix the batter as it will make the bread tough and rubbery. Just lightly fold the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until you see a thoroughly moist batter.

Sending this over to Radhika's event 'Fruit recipes'.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Green Apple Pickle/ Chutney

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Its peak summer in India and I am missing my homeland so much. Nooo....Not the sun and scorching heat, but I miss all those yummy juicy mangoes and also those tangy and sour green ones. Whenever my mom bought green mangoes for pickle, I used to eat sliced raw mangoes with a dash of salt and red chilli powder...YUMMMM.

Summer was the time for mango pickles.And I am sure many of you love pickles like I do. My love for yummy, spicy pickles started right from my childhood when mom used to make different kinds of pickles throughout the year. Among them my most favourite ones were mango pickle,carrot pickle and nellika (gooseberry) pickle. and now its like 'Like mommy, like Son' . My 5 year old loves pickles.Though he doesn't eat very spicy food, he won't let go of any opportunity to eat pickles.

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And after getting married, I used to see my mother in law making grated mango chutney and I just fell in love with the taste, . And then, when we moved to USA I started missing that yummy pickle. But finally found a substitute to it while living here in UK thanks to mom in law who while visiting us one summer, saw the Green Apple tree on our premises and after tasting those sour apples, suggested about trying a grated pickle with them. And it turned out so yummy and tasted exactly(well... almost) like the mango chutney. And there has been no looking back from that day, every year I wait for summer to pluck those Apples and turn them into pickle. And when its not summer what do I do? I go ahead and buy some Granny smith apples from the supermarket to satisfy my craving :) So, here goes the recipe for it.this same recipe can be used for both -Green mangoes or Green apples.

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4 granny smith apples-grated,
1/2 cup vegetable oil,
1 pod of Garlic-crushed,
1 tbsp black peppercorns-crushed,
1 sprig of fresh curry leaves,
5-6 dried whole red chillies,
1/2 tsp mustard seeds,
1 1/2 tbsp red chilli powder,
1 tsp turmeric powder,
1 tsp mustard powder- dry roasted and powdered,
1 1/2 tsp methi(fenugreek) powder- dry roasted and powdered,
1 tbsp salt or per taste.

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Heat oil in a kadai/wok. Add mustard seeds, when they splutter, add curry leaves, dry red chilles, crushed or coarsely chopped garlic, crushed peppercorns and saute for 1-2 minutes.

Now add all the dry powders - red chilli powder, turmeric powder, mustard powder and fenugreek powder and salt and switch off the stove. Now add the grated apple to this and mix well. Add more salt if needed.

And after it cools store in a sterilized, clean air tight bottle in refrigerator.

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Make sure to remove all the excess moisture from the grated Apples. Also make sure you don't grate and leave the apples for a long time, as it will oxidise and changes to brown colour. Grate just before adding it to the spices.

This pickle stays in the refrigerator for at least 2 months.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Hi !

Hello Everyone,

I am back again ! I know..I have been saying this on every other post of mine. But this time, I am very keen on getting back to by blog and post regularly (please wish me good luck) as I have missed blogging and have missed all my friends and readers out here, who visit my blog regularly and leave wonderful and encouraging comments. But I had a reason for being away from my blog- A Wonderful reason. The birth of our baby boy. I had been busy with him, but as he has turned 1 month old today things are settling down slowly and I am getting back to my old routine. Hopefully I will try to be regular in my blog posts and will catchup will all the yummy posts on your blogs . Will be back soon with another post (with a recipe). :)


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