Peach Cobbler

I bought some beautiful peaches from the farmer’s market. I used some for salads and made a dessert with the rest. It is a really easy dessert to whip up. I don’t know why I never made this before. This recipe has no eggs, so a good dish to make if you want an egg-free recipe. I had this recipe in a recipe book which I wanted to try but never had peaches. When I got the peaches, my cook book was packed up. I remember the picture in the book, it was beautiful; peaches sliced perfectly and laid out perfectly. My dish is more rustic, may not be a great photograph, but really tasty. This recipe was inspired by tastesbetterfromscratch.com


Ingredients

3 peaches (I would try it with ripe mangoes too)

¼ cup sugar

1 tbsp brown sugar

A pinch of cinnamon

A pinch of salt

3 tbsp butter (could substitute a vegan butter)

For the batter

½ cup whole wheat flour

½ cup sugar (I used 1/3 cup brown sugar and the rest white sugar)

1 tsp baking powder

¼ cup milk (I used almond milk)

a pinch of salt

1 tsp cinnamon powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C)

Place peaches in a pan of boiling water for a minute. Immerse it in cold water and peel the peaches or use a peeler

Slice into wedges

Add it to sugar and cinnamon and salt in a pan and cook till sugar dissolves, 4-5 minutes

Chop butter and put in an 8 inch pan. Place in oven till butter melts

Take the pan out

Mix ingredients for the batter except the cinnamon. Add batter to the pan, over the melted butter and spread it

Spoon the peaches and the juice into the pan

Sprinkle with cinnamon on top and bake for 40 minutes. The batter rises to the top giving a rustic look

Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream or just as is.


Decadent Dark Chocolate Cake

This is one of the best chocolate cakes I have eaten. I have made this cake many many times, sometimes just sprinkled with powdered suagr and sometimes with a glaze. The recipe says that only dutch-process cake works. I have tried with both and they both work. This recipe is from a magazine Cooking Pleasures, January 2002 issue. My picture does not do justice to the cake. I cut a piece after people started tucking into it.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa (substitute regular cocoa powder and add 1/4 tsp baking soda)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 tsp instant espresso coffee powder (I sometimes use instant coffee powder)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
Directions
  • Heat oven to 350ºF (180ºC)
  • Grease an 8 inch deep pan. Line with parchment paper and grease. (If using non stick spray, you do not need parchment paper)
  • In a large bowl sift flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside
  • In a bowl combine buttermilk, coffee powder and vanilla. stir till coffee has dissolved
  • In a large bowl, beat butter till creamy. Add sugar and beat. Increase speed to medium high and beat for 4-5 minutes till light and fluffy
  • Add eggs and beat well for about 2 minutes
  • On low speed, add flour and buttermilk mixture alternating and ending with flour mixture. Do not overbeat, make sure all ingredients are incorporated
  • Pour batter into prepared pan
  • Bake for 45 to 55 minutes till a skewer comes out clean
  • Cool cake for 10 minutes and turn over and cool.

Glaze

  • Melt 3 tbsp butter in a saucepan
  • Add 1/3 cup cream, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup dutch process cocoa and a pinch of salt
  • Mix and cook over medium heat until smooth and hot but do not boil. Whisk constantly
  • Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Refrigerate until slightly thickened
  • Pour over cake
  • Stand until firm

Watermelon Slush

This summer has been oppressively hot and unbearable. The tendency to drink something cold has made me make fresh watermelon juice and have it in the fridge instead of store bought sugary ones. There are days when I long for ice cream, being lactose intolerant keeps me away from them. So here is a substitute, a healthy and tasty one, which will surely keep you cool and happy.

I also tried making granita/ watermelon ice. Once it was frozen, I scraped it with a spoon to form an ice. It does take a long time to do that and I prefer the slush, which takes much less time to do. It is super-easy to make with just 2 ingredients. I did not add the sugar but if you want it sweet, go ahead and add it.

Chakka Pradaman/ Jackfruit Payasam

Happy Vishu! Vishu is the beginning of the New Year in the state of Kerala. You can read more about Vishu here.

This is a creamy sweet dessert which can be eaten hot or cold. With pieces of fried crunchy coconut, this is heaven! Try it! You can make this vegan by leaving out ghee and adding non dairy butter instead.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chakka varatti (jackfruit jam)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped dried coconut or 1 tbsp cashew nuts

Directions

  • Take one cup of jam in a heavy bottomed pan
  • Add 1 cup of coconut milk and 1 cup of water and cook on a low flame
  • Make sure the jam is mixed well into the coconut milk. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the ginger and cardamom powders
  • Add another cup of coconut milk and cook for another few minutes
  • In a small pan, heat ghee. Add chopped coconut or cashews and fry till golden brown
  • Add to payasam
  • Serve hot or cold

Chakka Varatti (Jackfruit Jam)

Jackfruit is a fruit one either loves or hates. It looks like durian and is sometimes mistaken for one. It can be eaten both raw and ripe. You can prepare side dishes with the young raw jackfuit as they are not sweet. This is considered as the new super food and is called the new vegan sensation. There are recipes calling it a meat substitute. We would never think of it as a meat substitute. There are traditional recipes which taste really well. The fruit is high in fibre.

Jackfruits are grown extensively in the south of India, especially in Kerala. You will therefore find multitude of recipes with both the raw and sweet varieties. Even the seeds of the ripe jackfruit is roasted or added in curries. Cutting the fruit is quite a task. Remember to oil the knife and hand while cutting the whole fruit. It is time consuming but worth the effort. You can even find just the fruit pieces now in stores. When we get the whole fruit my husband cuts it for me. This time, my brother-in-law got the fruit and the family sat together to cut the fruit, while I sat and ate it as it was cut. The ripe jackfruit is sweet almost like honey. Here is a recipe for a jam. You can freeze this jam for upto a year. Whenever required, take a portion to make payasam which will be posted next.

Chakka Varatti (Jam)

Ingredients
  • 4 cups ripe jackfruit pieces
  • 2 cups natural brown sugar (jaggery)
  • 4 tbsp ghee (You can make this vegan by leaving out ghee and adding non dairy butter instead)
Directions
  • Chop up the jackfruit pieces
  • Place in a pan with 1/2 cup water and cook till soft. Or, pressure cook till soft. Cool
  • Blend to a fine paste
  • In a heavy bottomed pan or uruli, add brown sugar, 1/2 cup water and jackfruit paste
  • Keep stirring and cooking
  • Add ghee and continue to cook. Keep stirring till the paste amalgamates to form a thick jam. Cool and store in the fridge. I store it in the freezer for upto a year.

Cinnamon Coffee Crumb Coffee Cake

I have my usual quick dessert recipes which I make often. But at times, I get bored of making the same. This is a new recipe which had some raving reviews from my friends. This recipe has been adapted from Trisha Yearwood’s recipe on Food Network. Though there is quite a large amount of coffee added, the distinct taste is of cinnamon with an after taste of coffee. You could reduce the cinnamon by half if you do not like the taste of cinnamon. This cake was really soft almost like a sponge cake. I made a yogurt honey sauce to go with it, but it was good without the sauce too.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or yogurt
  • 225 grams (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Coffee Crumb Topping

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (maida)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 4 tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • a pinch of salt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC)
  • Prepare a 9 by 9-inch baking pan. Line it with parchment paper and butter it.
  • For the cake: Beat sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat till well mixed.
  • Sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda, and baking powder.
  • In a small bowl whisk sour cream (or yogurt) and coffee until smooth.
  • Add sour cream mixture and dry ingredients to the sugar-butter mixture and mix well.
  • Pour the batter into the pan.
  • For the crumb: Mix all ingredients except butter. Add melted butter. Mix.
  • Top the cake batter evenly with the crumb topping
  • Bake for 45 minutes till a skewer comes out clean
  • Cool for 30 minutes before serving
  • Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee

Yogurt Honey Sauce

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • Mix ingredients till smooth and serve with cake.