April 11, 2013

Paleo Lemon Pound Cake

     Before I start writing this blog, I would like to declare in public that I am NOT following  paleo diet ! I am too much of a foodie so far,  to do this :) But as saying goes 'never say never !' This was an experiment with a friend who is trying paleo and I was tempted to try something different after baking fatty sinful cakes for all these while.. Can't really deny the guilt trips most of us take after eating those yummy cakes...can we !?! Lemon is an all-time favorite and this one looked easily doable ! Turned out to be very tasty and exactly of the texture one would like pound cake to be ....here is the link for recipe we found but below is how we did it :) 
       We could not find all the ingredients we needed in the only grocery store we visited... Should not be hard to find if you at least try two stores may be ! We were lazy, but you are not  :P !!  So let's honestly call this a partial paleo cake :)

Prep Time : 20 minutes
Baking Time : 40-45 minutes
Serves : 5-10

Ingredients : 

Dry :

Almond flour - 2 cups                        
All-Purpose flour - 1/2 cup
Sea salt - 1/2 tsp
Baking soda - 1 heaping spoon

Wet :

Raw honey - 2/3 cup , warmed to a liquid state
Olive oil - 2/3 cup
Large eggs - 4
Full-fat coconut milk - 1/2 cup
Vanilla Extract - 2 tbsp
Lemon zest - 1 tbsp ( I mixed orange zest as well )

Glaze :

Freshly squeezed lemon juice : from 2 lemons ( Please strain it ) 
Lemon zest - from 1 lemon
Vanilla extract - 2 tsp
Raw honey - 4 tbsp

Preparation :
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Prepare a 9x9 baking pan by coating the interior lightly with olive oil. 
  3. Sift dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir with a whisk to combine.
  4. Place oil and honey and mix  for 1-2 minutes using electric blender. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add coconut milk, vanilla, and lemon zest, and continue to process until well combined.
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Use a wooden mixing spoon to thoroughly combine ingredients, pressing out any lumps. Use blender if needed and we did need :).
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top was supposed to be lightly browned and mine came out dark brown.
  7. Let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, run a butter knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake, and then turn it out onto a cake plate and let cool completely.
  8. While cake bakes, prepare the glaze by adding vanilla extract, lemon juice, zest, and honey to the pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
  9. Using the tines of a fork, perforate the top of the cake several times. Pour glaze over the cake, using a spatula to evenly distribute the glaze over the entire cake top. Let the cake rest for an hour to fully absorb the glaze. Serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator.

 It was a good combo with our evening Chai that day ! Totally non-paleo :P 

Have fun baking :)

Ajanta from Amherst

April 3, 2013

Easter bunny bread

This Easter, I wanted to tackle the dreaded bread monster. Armed with my lovely new (and red!) stand mixer, I decided to make some hot cross buns. The store-bought hot cross buns are a tad bit sweet for my liking.

So, on Good Friday, I baked the first batch of hot cross buns. I followed the Joy of Baking Hot Cross Buns recipe to the t, and they turned out to be wonderful. Thanks to my good friend Amrita of Sweet n Savory for being the inspiration. :)

Encouraged, I took on the basic white bread recipe from the book that came with my lovely new (and red!) stand mixer. Yes, I love my stand mixer that much!!! I wanted to make it look somewhat like this Easter Bunny Bread, but using fresh dough instead of the frozen. Here it goes -


Basic White Bread:
1/2 cup low fat milk (I used 1%)
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
2 packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 cup warm water
5-6 cups al purpose flour

Bunny shape:
2 raisins
2 sliced almonds
1 egg, lightly beaten


  1. In a small sauce pan, place heat milk, salt, sugar and butter in low heat until the butter melts. Let it cool to lukewarm. Meanwhile, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Let it 'activate' till foamy (about 10 minutes).
  2. In the mixer bowl, add the milk mixture and about 4-41/2 cups flour. Using the dough hook, mix it while adding the yeast mixture. Add the remaining flour and mix till the dough starts to come together in a ball. Knead till the dough is smooth. 
  3. Divide the dough into two equal parts and shape into loaves.
Now for the fun part - I almost relived my childhood days, playing with 'Play Doh' or ' Plasticine' as we called it then. 
  • Prepare a baking sheet - grease and line with parchment paper.
  • Cut a fourth off of one loaf and gently shape into a drop or pear shape to form the bunny's head. Flatten remaining portion into an oval shape and place on the sheet. Place head above body. I used a pair of kitchen shears to make cuts on each side of head for bunny's whiskers.
  • Divide the remaining loaf into four equal portions. I did that using a greased knife. For ears, shape two portions into 14-16 inches long ropes. Now, fold ropes in half and arrange them as the bunny's ears with open ends touching head. Gently tuck the open ends under the bunny's head, for a more clean look. I had to adjust the shape of the ears to fit my sheet tray.
  • Cut the third portion of dough into two and flatten them into ovals for paws. Cut two slits on the edge of each oval for bunny's tiny toes. Position on each side of the bunny's body. Now it should start to resemble a bunny.
  • Divide the fourth portion of dough into three balls.  Use two for front paws. Place paws on each side of body. You could make slits for its toes here as well. Cut the third ball into three, and shape them into two smaller (about 1 inch) balls for the cheeks and one 1/2-in. ball for nose. Place cheeks and nose on face. Add raisins for eyes and almonds for teeth.
Bunny bread as it sat on the counter to rise.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place, about 30-45 minutes. I sprayed the cling film with oil so that it does not stick into the bunny as it rises. 
  • Once it is doubled, brush dough with egg. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Fresh out of the oven
  • Place bread on a serving tray. Cut a 3-1/2-in. circle in center of body. Hollow out bread, leaving a 1/2-in. shell (discard removed bread or save for another use). Place a 1-cup shallow bowl in the hole and fill with dip. I used some lettuce leaves to cover the bowl before placing the dip. Serve with vegetables, cheese and crackers of your choice.

It was a huge crowd pleaser, and no one wanted to take the first bite off the cute Easter Bunny!! It made for a wonderful Easter spread centerpiece :)

Bon Appetit!
Hetal from Houston