Tag Archives: Cakes

Baking basics for Beginners | How to bake easily at home

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It has been long I have not blogged a recipe and the last one was this Chocolate sponge cake that I had posted on Feb 6th. It was a special cake close to my heart (many reasons that this page won’t be enough if I start writing about it πŸ˜„) and I had posted it with so much love. ❀️ How glad I am now that many of my readers have tried and loved it too. Thank you dear readers. Your feedbacks make all the efforts of blogging worthwhile. πŸ™

Along with the feedback messages that I keep receiving, if there is something I get regularly, it is doubts regarding baking. Since I have been baking for about a decade now, I can understand what went wrong when readers message me. So I try my maximum to help them as much as I can. Helping people gives me a kind of peace and happiness which nothing else can give (simple but precious joys of life). ❀️

So, no matter what doubt you have, even if you feel it’s a very silly one, Ask away.( I get that quite often that people think their doubt is very silly). I would not mind at all and will surely reply when I find time. No doubt is small and clearing it will ensure you get the recipes well and your ingredients/ time is not wasted.

Today, I got a baking doubt from my reader and after I replied, she asked me if I have written a blog regarding oven basics. That’s when I realized I had not blogged an article dedicated to it and how helpful it would be for all of you if I write a detailed one explaining what all I have learnt in these 10 years of baking. Have a long way to go and so much to learn but still will try to jot down whatever I know.

So, here goes the article. I will write as Q and A so that it’s easier for you all to read. Also, will keep updating whenever I get new doubts and I feel it will help you all.

My Oven –

Q : Which oven do you use?

A : This is the picture of the oven that I use. It is an OTG and I have not bought it. Since we live in a company provided accomodation, we were provided with all electronic appliances too and this came along with it. It is a INDESIT oven plus glass top cooking range. I have been using the same since 10 years now and very happy with it. I can say it is my best friend and my favorite appliance in the kitchen since I both cook and bake in it. 😍😍

Q : Which oven is better to buy? OTG or conventional oven?

A : As I mentioned above, I did not buy the oven. But I have always baked in this OTG only and love how evenly it bakes. My parents have a microwave with conventional mode oven and I love how user friendly it is. Yes, the space inside is less when compared to OTG which brings to the point that if you want to bake in large batches, OTG is for you while if you want to bake just for your family, microwave with conventional mode oven is very easy to use. Here is the inside picture of my OTG. Love how spacious it is.

Q – Which rack to use in my oven for baking? It has three racks.

A – I have always used only the center rack as shown above in the picture for all my bakes. This ensures even baking and I get good results with it. But it sometimes depends on your oven. Some readers say they only have two racks. In that case, place in the bottom rack and bake longer (it’s better than keeping in the top rack which can cause the cake to burn). Once you start baking, with experience you will know which rack of your oven works best for you. (For people owning microwave conventional oven, this is not for you as you have just one rack to place your bakes. In your case, just bake in conventional mode or with two rods on as per your type of oven.)

Q – How to preheat the oven?

A – Preheating the oven to the mentioned temperature is very important to get perfect bakes. Almost all of my recipes require pre heating to 180 C for 10 mins atleast. This ensures you are placing the cake batter or cookie/ bread dough in a hot oven which is the first important step in baking. So before you start making the batter or while making, don’t forget to preheat the oven. Most cake recipes need only sifting the dry ingredients, mixing the wet ingredients and then the batter is done which hardly takes 10 to 15 mins. So preheat the oven during that time. Here is the picture of the knobs from my oven.

My Baking accessories –

I am someone who believes in not hoarding stuffs unnecessarily and all my baking equipments are from the time I started baking. I am happy that these bake wares have lasted all these years inspite of me using them so often. Here is a picture of some of my most used ones.

The nonstick loaf pan and the colourful measuring cups were my first buys when I started baking.

Measuring cups are the most important when you bake as no matter what anyone says, baking is definitely a science. You can’t just add ingredients in any ratio blindly and expect perfect results unless you are that experienced a baker. As for me, I can’t imagine baking without measuring cups. I have also been getting requests from readers for measurements in grams and I am planning to buy a kitchen weighing scale soon for this purpose. Weighing scales gives even better results as measuring cups comes in various sizes. Mine is a 250 ml one but it also comes in 200 ml cups.

Nonstick loaf pan that I use measures 20 cm in length and 4 cm in width. I have baked all my cakes, bread and pav in it. I also don’t use parchment paper. I just grease it with oil or ghee and the bakes come out clean. One of the best baking buys ever!

Muffin pan is useful if you like baking cupcakes. I use it while making cupcakes for my kids.

Sieve is essential in baking for me as I bake without eggs and using whole wheat flour. So to make the batter airy and light, I sieve the dry ingredients using the sieve shown above.

Spatula – While mixing the dry and wet ingredients, a spatula is required as you can mix without the batter sticking on it and also ensures that you don’t over mix the batter.

If you are my regular reader, you must have noticed this baking plate on which I bake my cookies, pizzas and also my falafel bread. It has been 10 years I am using it and so it’s not as beautiful (πŸ˜¬πŸ˜…) but still I love how my bakes do not stick on it with very little greasing with ghee and bakes evenly. Can’t count the number of times I have baked on this plate. My best friend in baking for sure. 😍 It is a oven proof plate/ tray available in any bake ware stores.

Healthier Ingredients that I use –

Q – Which brand of wheat flour do you use?

A – This is the question I had been getting a lot of times. So I started mentioning the brand that I use which is Pillsbury Atta in my recent posts. I have used many brands of wheat flour but the flavours and texture that Pillsbury gives is the best. I get queries specially with whole wheat bread and whole wheat Pav that they did not get the desired taste nor softness even though they followed the recipe properly. When I ask them, I find they have used some other brand of Atta. So if you can find, use Pillsbury only as that is what gives the best results from my recipes.

Q – Which brand and kind of jaggery do you use? Also, can I use liquid jaggery?

A – I used to buy jaggery blocks, melt in water and then use in my initial baking recipes. After that, we started getting Jaggery powder from Goodness foods company ( here in Qatar) and my life changed. It is so easy to add to cakes and cookies. Apart from being healthier than refined sugar, it is also a lot more flavourful which gives amazing bakes.

About liquid jaggery, I have never used them in my bakes but you can add with wet ingredients a little lesser in quantity as liquid jaggery is more concentrated in taste.

Baking soda and Baking powder –

Do make sure of two points with these:

1. Make sure to check the expiry date as the bakes won’t come out as soft and spongy if the baking soda or powder is expired.

2. They usually form tiny lumps even if stored in a dry place. So do sieve before using in cakes and cookies. Else you will get those tiny lumps in the baked goodies which spoils the taste.

Same is the case with Cocoa powder too. I freeze my cocoa powder as it lasts well for many months that way. Sieve to remove any lumps that form.

Ghee or Butter instead of Oil –

I use Ghee or Butter in my bakes instead of Oil as I mostly bake for my kids and they need the fats since we are Vegetarians. Another reason why I don’t use oil is the flavour and aroma of the oil in the cakes which my kids don’t like. You can substitute with a neutral flavoured oil like Sunflower or Canola oil if you want to make the bakes free from Ghee or Butter. Using Olive oil or Coconut oil means the bakes will taste and smell of the oils as they have their own strong aroma and flavour.

I use Amul Ghee and Lurpak salted butter which are readily available here in Qatar.

Tips while Baking – Cakes

* Always preheat the oven at 180 C for atleast 10 mins (unless it is mentioned to preheat at a higher temperature).

* Sieve the dry ingredients to remove lumps and to ensure the flour mixture is airy and light.

* Always use all wet ingredients like milk and curd at room temperature unless otherwise mentioned like hot milk or hot water.

* Mix both the dry and wet ingredients using a spatula till the mixture is free from flour specks. But do NOT overmix as it leads to dense cakes. Just mix with light hands till the ingredients combine and you are done.

* You can use parchment paper to line your cake tin and cookie tray but I grease them with ghee or butter. It ensures that the cake comes out clean and cookies do not stick to the plate after baking.

* Do NOT open the oven door atleast till three fourth of the bake time. If you keep opening the door, the temperature varies drastically and it will lead to imperfect bakes. So if the bake time is 30 mins, open the door only after about 20 mins.

* Check for doneness using a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center of the cake. If it comes out clear or with little crumbs, the cake is done. If it comes out sticky and with batter in it, bake for 5 mins more and then check again.

* When you check and see that the top portion of the cake is done and turning dark brown but inside has to bake, cover the tin with aluminum foil during the last 5 to 10 mins of bake. This is ensure that the cake does not burn or turn black on surface and the inside with bake well too.

* Allow the cake to cool completely before running the knife along the sides and trying to unmold it. Best is to leave the cake covered at room temperature overnight. I have noted that cakes always taste best the next day.

* For easy frosting recipes without whipping cream, you can check my Ragi Chocolate Cake and Dates Chocolate Brownie recipes.

* You can keep the cake at room temperature for 24 hours and then leftovers can be refrigerated in a airtight container. Microwave before use and get the same softness when you eat each time.

Tips while Baking – Cookies

* Remember to refrigerate the cookie dough for atleast 10 mins so that the cookies can be shaped perfectly.

* Also, remember to grease the tray well with ghee or butter so that the cookies don’t stick on it.

* Don’t make the cookies very thick and pat them into thin discs. Else the insides of the cookies can remain underbaked.

* Space the cookies with some distance in between them as they increase in width after baking.

* Cookies get baked very quickly than cakes. Takes only about 15 mins. So keep an eye after 10 mins so that the cookies don’t burn.

* When the cookies get slightly brown streaks, it means they are done. If they turn too much brown on the surface, they turn very crispy. So if you want soft cookies, remove as soon as it starts turning dark brown. Else it turns crispy.

* Store in an airtight container at room temperature and the cookies last well for atleast 5 days.

Tips while Baking – Pizza and Falafel bread

* The main point to note while baking both the pizzas and Falafel bread is to grease the plate well and spread the dough as thinly as possible so that the dough cooks inside and bakes evenly.

* Here are all 4 recipes. I have mentioned the tips in detail with step by step pictures in all the four recipes.

** Whole wheat Vegetable Pizza

** Gluten Free Oats Pizza

** Whole wheat Cheesy Garlic bread

** Vegan, Gluten free Falafel flatbread

Tips while Baking – Whole wheat Pav and Breads

I have made a step by step pictorial with tips in notes in these posts below. You can check to make soft wheat Pav and assorted wheat breads at home easily.

** Whole wheat Pav

** Whole wheat Bread

** Whole wheat Tutti Frutti Bread

** Easy Semolina Bread

Also, here is the compilation of all my Healthy cakes and cookies recipes in one page.

Okay, so finally ending this post as I think I have finished noting all the points (had put up a huge thinking cap on πŸ˜‚). Though this turned out to be a very long one, I know it will very useful for beginners. Do let me know here in comments or on my Facebook page or Instagram if you still have any doubts. Happy and healthy baking! ❀️

On request from my readers, here is the post on Pinterest. Find the Pin here.

Chocolate Sponge Cake | Eggless, whole wheat, jaggery chocolate cake

As a kid, I was always excited about my birthday (was pampered a lot by my parents and my bday was celebrated the whole of December πŸ˜…). And now there is a “mini me” here, (everyone says she’s just like me – super hyper talkative πŸ˜‚) who’s even more excited about her birthday. So much that she’s been waiting for it since last year. Everyday I used to get the same question, how long for February, Amma? πŸ˜„

So now, when Mr Feb is finally here, I decided to announce it to her that her birthday month has finally arrived (much to my relief πŸ˜…) by baking her favorite chocolate sponge cake. Just like me, she too loves chocolate cake very much and this cake tastes as yummy as the McCafe ones here in Qatar (my fav chocolate cake is theirs and I go mmm yummm when I take each bite πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ When will I grow up? πŸ˜…). Baking a similar one at home was my goal but did not know I would get the exact same taste and texture even with wheat flour. One of the bakes that I am very happy about and the way my kids enjoy it, it increases my confidence in the recipe each time I bake it. ❀️❀️

My daughter loved this surprise cake and even took it in her snack box to school to show her friends. She’s now eagerly waiting for her birthday on Feb 15th (right after Valentine’s day😍) which she will celebrate with her small kiddo gang from our lane (her daily evening playmates, her source of joy ❀️). Now that Feb has arrived, her next question is when will 15th come (the never ending story 😁). My solution to that – I have made a small calendar and stuck it on the wall. Have asked her to strike off each day and countdown till her birthday. #momideas πŸ’‘πŸ˜„

Anyhow while I find solutions to her queries, hope you bake and enjoy this cake. Do let me know if you have any doubts. Will be a pleasure to help. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { 1 Cup = 250 ml }

Dry ingredients:

1 Cup Whole wheat flour or Atta

1/4 Cup unsweetened Cocoa powder

1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Baking soda

1/4 tsp Salt

Wet ingredients:

3/4 Cup Jaggery powder

1/2 Cup Hot water

1/2 Cup Milk

1/4 Cup Ghee

1/2 Tbsp Vinegar

Step by step recipe:

1. Preheat the oven at 180 C for 10 mins.

2. Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl using a sieve.

3. Keep it aside.

4. In another bowl, add jaggery powder, hot water, milk (at room temperature), ghee and vinegar. Mix using a spatula.

5. Now add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix only till you can’t see any dry flour specks. Do NOT over mix the batter as it can lead to dense cakes.

6. Add the batter to a greased cake pan (or lined with parchment paper). My rectangular loaf pan is 20 cm * 4 cm. Level the batter using a spatula.

7. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 30 to 35 mins in the center rack of your OTG or with both rods on or bake mode in conventional oven. In my oven it took exactly 30 mins. Might vary depending on your oven type. Once done, a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake must come out clear or with crumbs. Should not be wet.

8. Allow it to cool. Invert onto a plate. Frost with melted chocolate- milk mixture. Have shared the process to do it in this Chocolate brownie recipe. Then grate chocolate over it. Slice and serve.

I had cut it into two halves. This is one of the halve.

Notes:

* I use Pillsbury brand of wheat flour for all my bakes. It really comes well with Pillsbury. I have tried with other brands but the texture of cakes, bread, pav and cookies is best with this.

* Please use milk at room temperature and not cold.

* If you don’t have jaggery powder, you can also substitute with cane sugar or brown sugar. Else just grate and powder jaggery in a mixer.

* When you add vinegar to the mixture, it will curdle. Don’t worry about it as it will give very spongy cake.

* When the cake is hot, it will crumble easily on slicing. Allow it to cool well atleast for an hour and then slice for firm slices.

* If frosting, check this Dates Chocolate brownie for easy melted chocolate frosting recipe which I have shared at the end of the step by step pictorial.

* If you are new to baking, here are some tips:

# Always preheat your oven at 180 C for atleast 10 mins. Temperature might be 200 C also. It varies according to the recipe but for cake, it’s usually 180 C.

# For whole wheat cakes, do sift the dry ingredients using a sieve for a soft texture of the cake.

# Do NOT overmix the batter. Just mix till you don’t see dry flour specks. Over mixing can lead to dense cakes.

# Do NOT open the oven door atleast till 25 mins into the baking time. Opening the oven door in between can lead to temperature variations leading to uneven baking.

# Always insert the toothpick or skewer in the center of the cake for accuracy. It should come out clear or with crumbs. Wet means it’s not done yet.

I have tried to note down as much points as possible so that it’s easy for you all to follow but if you still have any doubts, either comment here or message me on my Facebook pageΒ Healthy cooking with mitha or on myΒ InstagramΒ handle and I would be happy to help.

You can also check my Healthy cakes and cookies recipe collection.

Update: I just baked chocolate cupcakes with this batter and it comes out perfect with flat top, super spongy, soft and delicious. It gets done in 20 mins at 180 C in my oven and yields 10 cupcakes with the measurement given above. Look at how excited my kids were to see their favorite cupcakes. They loved it a lot. ❀️❀️

Collection of my healthy cake and cookie recipes

It’s Christmas time and the official “bake at home” time too πŸ˜„. I have been seeing so many wonderful bakes on various Facebook food groups that I am part of and it is really amazing that now, everyone bakes so many varieties at home itself. So I thought I too should compile my healthy cakes and cookies in one page for those who want to bake guilt free goodies even for Xmas (if you are like me πŸ˜€).

For me, Christmas brings back two memories of my childhood. One is my dad bringing me Plum cake from our nearby bakery and I used to wait so eagerly for it. The aroma and flavour of the cake is still in my taste buds that it brings so much nostalgia. 😍

Second memory is singing Christmas carol at school (yes, I used to sing too πŸ˜…). We all used to wear white top and black skirt, practice so much for weeks and finally when standing on the stage singing the choir together with friends, it felt so good. ❀️ Though I don’t have a picture of the carol singing, here is a picture of the dress, which was my favourite as a 12 year old. This is from Amma’s album which is a treasure trove of old memories (love looking at them remembering old times 😍).

A part of the album page for the memory of old style albums. Nothing can replace the pleasure of looking through those albums. ❀️

Though after school, I never sang on stage, I still sing bhajans and songs for my kids when putting them to sleep and record them to send Amma who loves to listen to them. 😍 The best part is I still remember the lyrics and tune of the Christmas carols, much to the amazement of my daughter (she loves Christmas πŸŽ„). So we have been singing carols together, making cards for her friends while baking some goodies to enjoy this season.

Hope you all try some of them too. Happy and healthy Baking! Merry Christmas to all of you in advance! ❀️

Click on the name or image for the recipe.

Healthy Cakes:

1. Chocolate Banana Cake ( using wheat flour and jaggery ) – A moist and delicious basic chocolate banana cake with easy frosting.

Recipe here – Chocolate Banana Cake ( using wheat flour and jaggery )

2. Ragi Chocolate Cake ( using ragi flour, wheat flour and jaggery ) – My kids and readers favorite cake. You can never say it has Ragi in it. With the frosting, it tastes heavenly.

Recipe here – Ragi Chocolate Cake ( using ragi flour, wheat flour and jaggery )

3. Dates and Oats Cake – My idea to sneak some oats in the cake as well. Because you can never say it has oats in it. Another of my readers’ favorite cakes. Tried and loved by so many.

Recipe here – Dates and Oats Cake

4. Mango Ghee Cake – A super soft, moist and oh so delicious cake. My mouth waters whenever I think of this cake 😍

Recipe here – Mango Ghee Cake

5. Dates and Carrot Cake – Sugar free cake – My personal favorite as it is free from sugar or even jaggery can be skipped. Beautifully combines the natural sweetness of dates and carrots. Another of my recipe tried a lot by my readers.

Recipe here – Dates and Carrot Cake – Sugar free cake

6. Dates Chocolate Brownie – Guilt free indulgence at its best! ❀️ You can also skip dates for plain chocolate brownies.

Recipe here – Dates Chocolate Brownie

7. Mango Rava cupcakes – Easy one bowl recipe to make delicious mango cupcakes which are enjoyed a lot by my kids.

Recipe here – Mango Rava cupcakes

8. Wheat Jaggery Cake – Basic cake to which you can add dried fruits to make a dry fruit cake. Also can make cupcakes with this. Have been making this cake for years now for my kids.

Recipe here – Wheat Jaggery Cake

Healthy Cookies:

1. Chocolate Chip Cookies ( using wheat flour and jaggery ) – Perfect cafe style cookies at home, only healthier and tastier 😍

Recipe here – Chocolate Chip Cookies

2. Almond Butter Cookies – With basic ingredients and uses no baking soda or powder, these cookies are still very soft and melt in the mouth.

Recipe here – Almond Butter Cookies

3. Ragi Butter Cookies – Another heavenly cookies with Ragi in it, yet tastes so good that you can’t stop devouring them. My favourite! ❀️

4. Wheat Jaggery Cookies: These easy to make cookies are not only loved by my kids but by their friends too. Comes out so tasty.

You can check all my other healthy bakes here. Enjoy Baking!!

Easy, Healthy Sweets (under 15 mins)

This is another easy, healthy sweet recipes collection that I made last time. You can find the recipes here. They are sweets that can be made under 15 mins.

Eggless Whole wheat Jaggery Cake | Tea time cake | Snack idea for kids

When I became a newbie mother in 2015, it was really overwhelming for me as I did not know most things (babies don’t come with manuals πŸ˜„). Though my mother helped me a lot with her experiences, I hardly got time to talk to her in detail then (from talking for hours together on the phone to just few minutes, motherhood changes everything 😬).

So most of the time when my daughter slept, I used to read about nutrition and how babies really don’t need separate purees and porridges. Hence, when she started her solids at 6 months, I gave her whatever we ate (minus sugar and salt till one year) which she accepted without any issues. That is the reason why even now, she accepts almost all kind of foods at 6 years of age and after that, I am now following the same with my 2 year old son too. No purees or baby foods.

When she turned a toddler, I saw how she loved store bought sponge cakes. But somehow, I did not want to give her the maida, oil based sugary ones. So that’s how I started baking wheat flour jaggery ghee cakes in 2016 and that cake has now become both kiddos’ favorite cake. I bake this when they crave for cakes and their happiness while enjoying the cake is worth watching. Here is my daughter presenting a piece of her favorite cake.

This recipe is exactly same as my Cherry Wheat Jaggery muffins recipe. Just skip cherry in it and bake in a cake pan. You get this cake. I am adding this as a separate post so that it is easier for my readers when they search for basic wheat cake.

I also thank my idols Asha Satish Philar mai and Sujatha Umesh mai for skipping cherries from the muffins recipe and baking beautiful cakes. Here are their pictures of the cake.

Hope you all try this cake for your tea time or for your hungry kiddos this vacation. I just baked them yesterday again and the way my kids relish them makes me so happy. Happy and healthy Baking!

Important Note: I understand that wheat flour is also a refined flour but definitely more nutritive than maida/ all purpose flour. Also I know that jaggery has the same calorie count than refined sugar. But it has more nutrition than the bleached sugar and also the flavour is more delicious than sugar. Mainly my kids prefer jaggery than sugar. Finally it’s upto to you to read, be aware and decide.

Sharing the recipe with all of you..

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { 1 Cup = 250 ml }

1 and 1/2 Cups Wheat flour or Atta (I use Pillsbury brand)

1 tsp Baking soda

1/4 tsp Salt

Wet ingredients:

1 Cup Milk, at room temperature

1 Cup powdered Jaggery

1/4 Cup Ghee

1 tsp Vanilla essence

Step by step recipe:

1. Preheat the oven at 180 C for 10 mins.

2. Sieve together wheat flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

3. Now mix together milk and jaggery using a whisk till the jaggery melts in the milk. Add ghee and vanilla essence. Mix well using whisk.

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold both the ingredients using a spatula just till no flour specks are seen. Do NOT overmix the batter as it can lead to dense cakes.

5. Now add the batter to a greased (with oil or ghee) cake pan and level using spatula. { My loaf pan is of 20 cm in length and 4 cm in width}

6. Bake in the center rack of your OTG ( or if using a microwave conventional mode oven, just keep both rods on option) at 180 C for 25 to 30 mins till a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and not sticky. Mine gets done at 30 mins exactly.

7. Allow it to cool down completely. Loosen the sides using a knife. Invert, slice and serve.

Notes:

* This cake tastes best the next day. So I always bake at night, for the kids to enjoy the next day. Soon after it bakes, the crust with be slightly hard but as it stays at room temperature, the crust turns very soft.

* Ghee can be substituted with melted butter or oil but when using oil, always remember that the cake will have that aroma of the oil.

* Store in an air tight container free from moisture and the cake lasts well for two days at room temperature. After that, refrigerate and microwave before serving.

* If you don’t like eating cakes as it is, top a slice of this cake up with some fresh cream cheese spread. It tastes heavenly, trust me! {Tried and tested by yours truly! 😬}

* While mixing both dry and wet ingredients, make sure you just fold using spatula and don’t over mix the batter. It will lead to dense cakes. Just mix till you can’t see anymore flour specks.

* I get many questions about oven settings. I always bake in the center rack of my OTG with two rods option at the temperature and time varying according to each recipe.

* If you use a conventional microwave oven, just use bake option (or two rods option) at the temperature and time mentioned in the recipe.

* I have used my loaf pan of length 20 cm and width 4 cm. You can use round pan too.

* Timing varies according to each oven. So keep an eye after 20 mins into the baking time. But don’t keep opening the door before that as it will lead to uneven baking.

* You can also bake these as muffins like I did in my Cherry Jaggery Muffins recipe.

I have tried to note down as much points as possible so that it’s easy for you all to follow but if you still have any doubts, either comment here or message me on my Facebook pageΒ Healthy cooking with mitha or on myΒ InstagramΒ handle and I would be happy to help.

Desi Tiramisu | Easy, eggless, healthy using hung curd and jaggery

Twice a week when my husband is on his day shift, he eats his lunch at his company’s “restaurant”. He calls it canteen but I call it restaurant because of the wonderful spread they put out which sounds so scrumptious especially for me as I love buffets.

So he comes back home and gives details of what he ate there (much to my dismay πŸ˜…) which includes starters, variety salads, main course dishes and my favourite part – Desserts 😍. Tiramisu is one among them and my mouth waters when I hear it. If it was before, we would have gone out and enjoyed it, but now since everything is homemade, even the famous dessert had to made at home too.

And imagine my happiness when it turns out so delicious that all my cravings got satiated. I referred a lot of recipes online and understood that many had made Tiramisu using hung curd. So I made it even healthier by using jaggery and digestive biscuits.

Main point is all these ingredients are easily available as compared to the original Tiramisu where most are exotic ingredients.

So hope you all try and love it too. Happiness is definitely indulging in this delicious Tiramisu! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

3 Cups Hung Curd

2 Cups thick Custard

3/4 Cup powdered Jaggery or Cane sugar

For the biscuit layer:

Approx 12 Whole wheat Digestive biscuits

4 tsp Instant coffee powder mixed with 2 Tbsp water (or as needed)

For dusting: 2 tsp Cocoa powder or grated chocolate

Step by step recipe:

1. For making hung curd, follow the stepwise pictorial that I have shared here.

2. For making custard, follow the instructions given in the packet of custard powder. In my packet it said, take 500 ml of milk and boil it with 2 Tbsp of sugar. Mix 2 Tbsp Custard powder with 2 Tbsp Milk so that it is free from lumps. Then add the boiling milk to the custard paste while whisking well (off the flame). Then heat the mixture on low flame till the custard turns very thick. Cool it completely. This gave me 2 Cups of thick Custard.

3. For the Tiramisu, take hung curd, the cooled custard and sieved jaggery powder (remember to sieve) in a bowl.

Note: Check how thick I have made the custard. It should resemble hung curd texture. Only then you will get a perfect tiramisu.

4. Mix well using a spatula so that they are combined well. Keep aside.

5. Now mix together instant coffee powder with water to make a coffee solution. Dip the digestive biscuits one by one and arrange in a rectangular pan as shown.

6. Keep two layers of biscuits in the bottom most layer so that it gives a good base while cutting the Tiramisu. Now layer with the hung curd mixture.

7. Again layer with biscuits dipped in coffee solution.

I did not waste the broken biscuit too πŸ˜…

8. Again layer with the hung curd mixture. Refrigerate overnight or for about 10 to 12 hours to get perfectly set Tiramisu.

9. After it sets, dust with cocoa powder using a sieve and serve. Too delicious for words! ❀️

Notes:

* Be careful to get the texture of the hung curd and Custard really thick. Else you won’t get perfect texture of Tiramisu.

* Although regular Tiramisu uses cream, sugar and mascarpone cheese, we found hung curd, custard and jaggery combination works superbly well and gives such a delicious Tiramisu which is a lot healthier too.

* Also substituting with digestive biscuits makes it so healthy and undoubtedly tasty too. Don’t forget to dip it in instant coffee solution.

* The layers are: Biscuit layer 1, Biscuit layer 2, Hung curd layer 1, Biscuit layer 3, Hung curd layer 2. After chilling cocoa powder dusting or chocolate gratings.

* I usually make this at night and it sets perfectly by next day afternoon.

* The slices are not super perfect but the taste and texture is. I can guarantee you will love it. We just could not have enough of it. So delicious! Just look at the layers. 😍

I have tried to note down as much points as possible so that it’s easy for you all to follow but if you still have any doubts, either comment here or message me on my Facebook pageΒ Healthy cooking with mitha or on myΒ InstagramΒ handle and I would be happy to help.

No bake Mango cheesecake bowls | Eggless , No Gelatin, No agar agar

Here is the easiest cheesecake ever and definitely the tastiest too since it has mango in it. How can anything with mango not taste delicious?

Btw did you notice those hands holding the cheesecake? It is my husband’s and it is his photography too. I am very bad at pictures such as this and he helps me by clicking such unique captures.

I make Chocolate cheesecake well and he wanted me to make a mango version of it to see how it will come out. Even though I was hesitant as I was unsure whether it will set or not but it set so beautifully and tasted so yummy that we had a great time enjoying it for our weekend dessert (though we could not move out of our couch after that πŸ˜‚).

But I guess some days are meant to be like that. To enjoy such sinful desserts just for a wonderful change from being health conscious always. Hope you all try and love it too. Happy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

For the biscuit base:

100 grams Digestive biscuits (I used 8 McVities biscuits)

2 Tbsp Butter

For the cheesecake layer:

225 grams Cream cheese (can be substituted with hung curd)*check notes

1 tin sweetened condensed milk (397 grams)

1/3 Cup Lemon juice

2/3 Cup Mango pulp (fresh or canned)

For the mango topping:

About 1/2 Cup Mango pulp, fresh mango pieces and mint leaves

Step by step recipe:

1. Powder the biscuits to a fine powder using a mixer or just add to a ziplock pouch and use a rolling pin to powder the biscuits. (My 5 year old daughter did this for me πŸ˜‰)

2. Melt butter in a bowl and add this biscuit powder to it. Mix well.

3. Put it in bowls to set as shown. Just a thin layer will do. Keep for refrigeration for 10 to 15 mins.

4. Meanwhile let us get the cheesecake layer ready. Whisk cream cheese till creamy just to remove lumps. No need to whisk a lot.

Note: You can also use hung curd instead of cream cheese. Whisk till smooth.

5. Add condensed milk. Whisk to mix well. Add lemon juice. Whisk again.

6. Now add mango pulp. Whisk again just to mix well.

7. Now remove the set biscuit mixture from the fridge. Add a layer of this cheesecake mixture evenly. Level using spatula.

8. Refrigerate for atleast 12 hours or overnight. (*Check notes) I usually set for one day or about 20 hours. See how well it sets then.

9. Now layer with mango pulp and serve chilled.

Notes:

* If you have time, refrigerate after adding the last mango pulp layer too. Else it’s okay as the last layer does not set anyhow.

* You can skip the last mango layer too if you don’t like cheesecakes very sweet.

* I usually make this a day ahead and refrigerate for 24 hours so that the cheesecake layer sets well. Then add mango pulp and refrigerate for another hour before serving.

* Lemon juice is an important ingredient for the cheesecake to set. So please don’t skip it.

* The benefit of serving in individual bowls is that you can save yourself the hassle of cutting into slices and enjoy your own cheesecake portion from a bowl.

* If you want to make a large cheesecake, double the measurements that I mentioned above, set it in a cheesecake pan and refrigerate for atleast 24 hours for the cheesecake to set. Remember that the mango pulp layer does not set. It’s just for flavour.

* My readers have successfully replaced cream cheese with hung curd in the Chocolate cheesecake recipe. So it definitely works if cream cheese is not available and you are setting in individual bowls or glasses.

* For making hung curd, just keep a clean handkerchief or muslin cloth over a large sieve and add curd over it. Tie the cloth tightly and remove excess water. Now keep a heavy weight over it and keep it to rest in the fridge overnight till the curd becomes thick and all water drips in the bowl beneath it. The water can be used in gravies or chapati dough and hung curd can be used to make this cheesecake.

* I have used Mother’s recipe sweetened mango pulp. You can use fresh mango pulp too. Just make sure you blend well and the strands of mango are not in the pulp.

I have tried to note down as much points as possible so that it’s easy for you all to follow but if you still have any doubts, either comment here or message me on my Facebook page Healthy cooking with mitha or on my Instagram handle and I would be happy to help.

Dates & Carrot cake | Sugar free

I love baking during my free time. Especially healthy bakes without sugar and using wheat flour instead of maida. My kids have been eating these cakes since they were babies and love them a lot. So I keep experimenting with different proportions and ingredients.

Dates and carrot cake is a commonly found cake in bakeries specially in Cochin where I have spent 13 years of my life. I used to ask my Aanu (my dad) to bring it for me when he went out to buy groceries. I never thought then that I would bake this cake at home and it would turn out exactly the same taste and texture.

Also this cake uses dates paste as main sweetening agent. So does not need sugar at all. Jaggery can also be skipped if you don’t have an extra sweet tooth. Hence best for people who don’t want any form of refined sugar in their diet.

I feel happy to share my bakes as I am really proud of them. Hope you all try and love it too. Happy and healthy baking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { 1 Cup = 240 ml}

Dry ingredients:

1 Cup whole wheat flour/ Gehun ka Atta (I use Pillsbury brand)

1 tsp Baking powder

1 tsp Baking soda

1/2 tsp Salt

Wet ingredients:

1 Cup peeled and grated Carrots

1 Cup Milk (Use 1/2 Cup to soak the dates and 1/2 Cup to add to the mixture)

3/4 Cup Dates (after removing seeds)

1/4 Cup Ghee

1/4 Cup Jaggery powder (Optional)* check notes

Step by step recipe:

1. Soak dates in 1/2 Cup milk for about 30 mins to an hour till it turns soft. Grind the soaked dates and the milk to a smooth paste. After that preheat the oven at 180 C for 10 mins.

2. Sieve together wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Keep aside.

3. In another bowl, take the dates paste, grated carrots, ghee and jaggery (if using).

4. Mix well using spatula. Now add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and fold well. Do NOT overmix. Just mix once so that the flour specks are not seen.

5. Now add the rest of the 1/2 Cup milk and mix once.

6. Grease the loaf pan with ghee and pour the batter into the pan. Level using spatula.

7. Bake at 180 C for 30 to 35 mins or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Note: Every oven is different. So keep an eye after 25 mins so that the surface doesn’t turn black.

8. Allow it to cool completely. The top surface may be hard when you touch. It will be super soft as it cools down. Invert, slice and serve.

Notes:

* This cake tastes sweet even without jaggery as it has dates paste and carrots but since my kids have an extra sweet tooth, I add 1/4 Cup Jaggery. You can reduce or completely skip it if you don’t like cakes extra sweet.

* Please see that you divide the 1 Cup milk into two halves. 1/2 Cup milk to soak the dates and 1/2 Cup milk to add to the mixture as last step.

* Grind the dates in the soaked milk itself. Don’t add extra milk or water while grinding.

* My cake takes exactly 30 mins at 180 C. Every oven is different. So keep an eye after 25 mins so that the surface doesn’t turn black.

*Allow the cake to cool completely. The top surface may be hard when you touch. It will be super soft as it cools down.

* Lasts well for couple of days at room temperature if kept in an airtight container and handled well. Tastes even better the next day and the texture turns even softer.

No bake Chocolate cheesecake | Easy recipe

I love desserts that are easy to make and get ready quickly. After Easy Mango mousse, here is another super easy dessert which tastes so delicious that you will keep licking till the last drop.

It hardly takes 30 mins to make and involves no hard work. Just mix and refrigerate. You are done! Also it looks very beautiful.

Here’s sharing the step by step recipe. Hope you all make and enjoy it as much as we do. Happy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients: ( Makes around 4 servings)

For the biscuit base:

100 grams Digestive biscuits (you can also use milk bikis)

2 Tbsp melted butter

For the cheesecake layer:

225 grams Cream cheese ( I use Puck or Kiri brand)

1 tin sweetened condensed milk (397 grams)

1/3 Cup Lemon juice

For the chocolate layer:

1 Cup full fat milk

1/4 Cup Sugar

2 Tbsp Cocoa powder

1 tsp Vanilla essence

Step by step recipe:

1. Take the biscuits and powder it either in a mixer or put it in a ziplock like this and crush it using a chapati roller.

2. Take it in a bowl and add melted butter.

3. Mix well and add into individual glasses or bowls as shown.

4. Refrigerate the glasses for 10 mins so that they set.

5. Now take cream cheese at room temperature. Whisk it well for a minute so that it turns creamy.

6. Now add sweetened condensed milk and whisk again till they blend well.

7. Add lemon juice and whisk again till the mixture is combined well.

8. Add into the glasses till three fourth of the rim.

9. For the chocolate layer, combine milk, cocoa powder, sugar and vanilla essence in a non stick pan. Whisk well. Cook on medium flame till it thickens as shown.

Note: In a non stick pan, it thickens very easily compared to steel vessel.

10. Pour into the glasses as shown.

11. Refrigerate for about 4 hours till the layers set well. You can also refrigerate overnight. Done!

Notes:

* If you don’t have cream cheese, you could try substituting with hung curd. Since the texture of both cream cheese and hung curd is same, it will do the work though the cheese flavour might be missing.

* I don’t use the biscuit layer most times as my kids don’t like it. I make only the cheese layer and chocolate layer.

* This cheesecake is very easy to make and hardly takes 30 mins to get things ready.

* The chocolate layer is my frosting for Eggless chocolate banana cake and works very well for this too.

* Garnish with more chocolate shavings if needed. Enjoy!

#Update by my reader Sonali Baindur:

She doubled the measurements that I had given and set the cheesecake in a springform pan for almost 24 hours. It set beautifully and look how perfect it looks.

Mango Rava Cupcakes | Easy one bowl recipe

I am so happy to be able to share this amazing recipe finally. A soft mango cake with heavenly cardamom flavour and the aroma of ghee. A delicious package altogether. And it’s so easy to make. Just mix few ingredients in a bowl and bake. The easiest cake ever!

I also love this recipe for the fact that it uses very less and easily available ingredients. Also, it gets ready in about 30 mins in total. What else do we need? Easy, quick, no fuss recipe. Do try and you are sure to love it. Happy Baking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1 Cup Wheat Rava/ Sooji/ Semolina (use the finest variety available)

1 Cup Mango pulp( fresh/ canned)

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/4 Cup Ghee

1 tsp Baking powder

1/4 tsp Cardamom powder

1/8 tsp Salt

Step by step recipe:

1. Preheat the oven at 180 C for 10 mins.

2. Take 1 Cup semolina/ rava in a large mixing bowl.

3. Add 1 Cup mango pulp, 1/4 Cup ghee, 1/2 Cup sugar, 1/8 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp cardamom powder. Mix well with a spatula.

4. Grease the muffin pan with ghee or line them with cupcake liners. Add a spoon of the batter into each mould. It won’t rise much. So you can add 3/4th of the muffin mould.

5. Bake at 180 C by keeping the pan at the center rack of the oven for 20 to 30 mins or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clear. In my OTG, it took exactly 30 mins.

6. Allow it to cool slightly. Remove and enjoy!

Notes:

* I have also used Mother’s recipe sweetened Alphonso mango pulp for this recipe when it was not mango season and it was perfect too.

* Please make sure the mango pulp is thick and not watery. If watery, then rest the batter for about 15 mins till the rava absorbs the mango pulp.

* Ghee gives a wonderful flavour to this cake so don’t substitute it with oil. I have tried this cupcake with both oil and ghee and ghee ones are really heavenly.

* I have used regular upma rava for this cake.

* Don’t skip cardamom powder if you can. It is the soul of this cake.

* This cake does not brown much at top. So don’t wait for it. Check at 5 min intervals after 20 mins into baking time. DO NOT open oven door before 20 mins.

Eggless Chocolate Banana cake, using wheat flour and Jaggery

Baking a cake is very easy. Hardly takes 15 mins to make the batter and then you just have to keep it in the oven to see magic happen. But those 15 mins while making the batter needs to be done precisely. Else the whole recipe can turn a disaster. In my case, post two kids, getting alone time for even 5 mins is difficult, leave 15 mins. Hence baking becomes a rare occasion when the husband is at home.

During Christmas holidays, I got some free time and decided to bake my favourite banana chocolate cake. It really gives me immense pleasure to bake and my free time was spent well. The family loved it and it made me happy to see them devour the cake.

You can never say this is a wheat jaggery cake. I have tasted many chocolate cakes from renowned bakers and this one really matches them in all levels. The cocoa powder and bananas mask the wheat taste very well.

I have used the same frosting that I used for Ragi Chocolate cake and it really takes the cake to another level. Hope you all try the cake and love it. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:

2 Cups Whole wheat flour

1 1/4 Cup powdered Jaggery/ Cane sugar

2/3 Cup unsweetened Cocoa powder

1 tsp Baking soda

Wet ingredients:

1 1/2 Cup hot water

1/2 Cup fully mashed Bananas (ripe ones)

1/2 Cup melted Butter [1 stick or 100 grams] (salted/ unsalted)

1 Tbsp Lemon juice

1 Tbsp Vanilla extract/ 2 tsp Sugared vanilla

For the frosting:

1 Cup full fat Milk

1/4 Cup Sugar

2 Tbsp Cocoa powder

1 tsp Vanilla extract

Step by step recipe:

1. Preheat the oven at 180 C for 10 mins.

2. Meanwhile, sieve wheat flour, cocoa powder and baking soda in a bowl. Add powdered jaggery and mix well. Keep aside.

3. Add mashed bananas, melted butter, lemon juice and vanilla extract in another bowl. Add 1 1/2 Cup hot water and whisk.

4. Now add in dry ingredients to wet ingredient mixture. Mix so that both are combined well and you can’t see any flour specks. Do not over mix.

5. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or with oil/ butter. Pour the mixture evenly into it.

6. Bake at 180 C for 20 to 30 mins. My oven took exactly 30 mins.

7. Remove and check with a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If it comes out wet or sticky, it still needs some more baking time.

8. Allow it to cool. Invert and remove the parchment paper.

9. For frosting, combine together milk, cocoa powder, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk well first and then keep on flame.

10. On medium flame, keep whisking continually while allowing it to get thicker (usually takes about 5 mins). Once it gets thick, remove from flame and pour over the cake and spread evenly.

11. Allow the frosting to set for atleast 30 mins before you slice and serve.

Notes:

* This cake lasts well for a day without refrigerating. After that stays well for atleast 4 days if handled properly.

* Ensure that you use over ripe bananas and mash them well with fork before adding into the cake.

* The cake tastes amazing with the frosting. So don’t skip it unless you want just a plain banana bread for tea time.

* Since it is made of wheat flour, it takes time to bake. So give the cake atleast 20 mins of baking time before checking. Don’t open the oven door before that to ensure even bake.

If any doubts, do message me on my Facebook page Healthy cooking with mitha or on my Instagram handle and I would be happy to help. Happy cooking!