Mar 10, 2014

Spiced Whoopie Pies


It is with absolute pleasure that I write this post. I am hosting the Feb '14 episode of the Home Bakers Challenge, another brain child of the ever so creative Priya Suresh.
In keeping with the occurence of Valentine's day I presented a variety of "to-bake" items to all those who were willing to participate. The underlying theme was to bake stuff which were different from the regular V-day fare including
1) French Macaroons
2)  Whoopie Pies
3) Neapolitan Cakes
4) Cheesecake Cupcakes
The main reason for choosing the list above were because I wanted to try out eggless versions of all of these. For various reasons my baking has become few and far between, therefore I managed to concoct only one bake. I had to choose the easiest recipe, for reasons strong, and since I cannot eat cheese at the moment I chose Whoopie Pies!


Before I ventured out to make a red velvet whoopie pie or any other sweet whoopie pie, I took a vote and my family unanimously chose a spicy fare. So I twisted the ingredients around to get a spicy cookie halves and even used onion-chive cream cheese filling for one. It turned out delicious. This was really a rare case of having only a few minutes before all the cookies and whoopie pies were cleaned off the plate! My joy knew no bounds! The aroma of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg is exactly what you need in your house on a cold winter's day and mine was snowing to boot.


Spiced Whoopie Pies

Servings: 20 cookies or 10 Whoopie pies
Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 12 mins

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
3/4 cup Cane Sugar  (Or 1/2 cup Cane Sugar and 1/2 cup dark molasses)
3 tsp grated fresh Ginger (or 2 tsp Ground ginger)
1 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 tsp Salt
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
1/4 cup Yogurt
1/3 cup Boiling water

Instructions


  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  3. Combine flour, sugar, (molasses if used), ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking soda in a bowl
  4. Mix in oil, yogurt until well combined
  5. Pour in boiling water and mix until smooth
  6. Drop dough in balls on prepared cookie sheet with 1 inch space between each
  7. Bake in oven for about 12 mins untill slightly puffy and golden
  8. The cookies will be soft when removed from the oven and will continue to harden a bit. 
  9. Cool on the cookie sheet for 5-7 mins before cooling completely on a rack
  10. Once the cookies have cooled completely apply filling on the bottom of a cookie and place another similar sized cookie on top of the filling. 
  11. Chill it for 10 mins in the fridge if its gets a little runny or is a warm day
  12. I used store bought cream cheese and Nutella for the filling. The sweet of the chocolate and then tang of the cream cheese blended perfectly with the spiced cookies!

Mar 1, 2014

CWS Event - Cooking with Seeds - Avarekaalu/Hyacinth Bean

I am excited to announce my first event as a guest host! I am hosting the CWS (Cooking with Seeds) event for the month of March '14. This event, or should I call it tradition, was started by Priya Suresh of Priya's Versatile Recipes and anyone who looks for recipes online knows this website only too well. As the name suggests she has the most versatile spread of delectables on her blog!
The seed I choose for the event is the "Avarekalu". Also known as the Hyacinth Bean, it is one of the tastiest seeds and can be incorporated into a variety of everyday recipes. The seeds can be used as is or the skin can be removed to use the soft flesh parts inside. The most common recipes include Sambhar, Upma, Pongal, Curry, Masala. All we need to do is cook using the seed and our imagination and link your entry to this post.
                                                    (Thanks to Priya Suresh for the logo)
The event rules are as follows…
  • The event runs from 1 to 31 March 2014. 
  • You can cook anything from. It can be a starter, main dish, side dish, dessert or any other recipes.
  • Bloggers, please link your recipes using the linky tool below.
  • Usage of logo is appreciated for all entries as it would help spread the word. 
  • I would request linking Vegetarian recipes only since my blog is strictly vegetarian.
  • You can submit as many recipes as you wish.
  • Archived recipes can also be submitted when updated with the event details.
  • Not mandatory, but will be highly appreciated if you can like us on Facebook for updates and recipes.
  • Non bloggers can send in their recipes to my email siriroop@gmail.com with following details: your name, recipe name and details.                       

Dec 15, 2013

Vegan Jewish Apple Cake


Home Bakers Challenge presented a very interesting recipe of apple cake and it was to be Jewish. At the outset, the recipe did not present anything "different" to classify it as Jewish and I was intrigued. After going through a lot of forums, I gleaned that one of the rules of Kashrut (Jewish Dietary law) upon which Kosher foods are based, is that Meat and Dairy should not be mixed at a meal. This might explain why this cake is called so because it uses oil instead of butter and does not use any milk in it.

In my drive to make it Egg free, I have substituted the eggs simply with Ener-G replacer.
I have also substituted half the fat with applesauce making this a very healthy recipe. The cake keeps well in the refridgerator, in an air tight container, for atleast a week from personal experience.
I was overstocked with apples left over from a fruit salad made for a pot-luck, languishing in the fridge till this challenge came along to rescue them!

Vegan Jewish Apple Cake

Servings: 1 9-inch cake
Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time:

Ingredients

3-4 Medium sized Apples (I used Jonathan but granny smith or honey crisp should work very well too)
3 cups All Purpose Flour
2 tbsp Ener-G replacer + 8 tbs Warm Water (replaces 4 eggs)
1 1/2 cup Sugar (I used 1 cup since the apples were sweet)
2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder (If double acting baking powder use half the quantity)
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Oil
1/2 Cup Applesauce
1/4 tsp Cup Orange Juice (Tropicana works fine)
2 tsp Vanilla Essence

2 tsp Cinnamon
3 tbsp Confectioner's (Fine) Sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
  2. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment
  3. Combine 2 tsp cinnamon and 3 tbsp of fine Sugar and keep aside
  4. Peel, core and cut the apples into 1-inch pieces. I made the pieces smaller because my family wouldnt enjoy biting into soft big pieces of apple. 
  5. If cutting the apple before hand, drizzle 2 tsp of Lemon juice on coat the pieces with it. This will prevent browning.
  6. Prepare the egg replacer as per instructions on the product. If using Ener-G then pour the powder in the warm water and stir till well combined. It should become creamy after mixing. Keep aside

  7. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a container.
  8. Mix together the oil, applesauce. orange juice, egg replacer mix and vanilla essence.
  9. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix till just combined. 
  10. Pour half the batter into the prepared cake pan. Top with 1/2 the apple pieces and sprinkle half the cinnamon-sugar mixture on it.
  11. Pour the rest of the batter into the pan and top with the remaining apple pieces and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture on it.
  12. Bake at 350 F for 60-80 minutes.
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