Monthly Mingle

“The joys of the table belong equally to all ages, conditions, countries and times; they mix with all other pleasures, and remain the last to console us for their loss.”
Jean Antheleme Brillet-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste

I have had the ultimate pleasure of playing guest host to Meetas wonderful Monthly Mingle. Some months ago she tweeted for guest hosts for her brainchild, the Monthly Mingle, an event I knew I would love to host for my wonderfully talented spicy sistah! ‘Pick me’ I tweeted right back! When she asked for my choice of theme, I had no doubt in my mind. My current obsession still runs strong… yes, it was going to be FRUIT in BAKING.

Pear, Vanilla and Almond Frangipane TartI have been overwhelmed by the response and have received touching emails with the entries from many of you who chose to join our table this November. I also have a special guest I am bringing to the table this month, and it is this good man – Vinay Dheer! I shall not keep you in suspense! You see, when I added the set of rules for the mingle, I overwrote an older set of rules, overwrote the email address too, but a year older {yes, November is my birthday month}, and a year less wiser apparently, I forgot to change the to

A few nights ago, I got this urgent email from the other vindee, who first thought he was being spammed by ‘foodish‘ mail, and then when it became a bit much, he decided to investigate… and got to the Mingle! I apologised and felt like crawling under a rock, but he said,  “Deeba, it is not a problem. Seeing how much trouble these folks have gone through to prepare these postings, I felt I had to track this down.” Busy he must be, but thank you Vinay for sending me a flood of mails, and well in time. I am delighted to ask you to join my overladen table with the yummiest of fruity bakes from friends around the globe. As most of my friends on twitter know me as vindee, I was gobsmacked to see another one!

Right then, onto the laden party table we go. I’ve had MANY folk sending me their fruit bakes. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the time you took to bake, and also to send it to the Mingle. You are all gorgeous bakers, and you inspire me. Meeta & I are honoured to have you here. Here are the entries as they came in…

{If I have forgotten to add an entry, or have missed one, please do mail me at vindee {at} airtelmail{dot}in and I shall quickly add you to the round up}

White Chocolate Cranberry Coffee Cake from Amanda @ Amanda’s Cooking

Orange Bread and

Jaffa Drizzle Loaf Cake and

Tomato Tart from Suma @ Cakes and More

Caramelised Fig Tart and

Parmeson Mousse with Pears and Red Wine from Ananda Pinch of Love

Almond Financiers with Rosemary Scented Pears from Irina @ Pastry Pal

Noble Napolean from Veena @ Delishun

Honeyed Ginger Plum Crumble from Meeta @ What’s For Lunch Honey

Instant Microwave Banana Nut CakeInstant Microwave Banana Cake from Raaga @ The Singing Chef

Apple Coffee Cake from Jamie @ Lifes A Feast

Caramelized Apple Walnut Cinnamon RollsCaramelized Apple Walnut Cinnamon Rolls from Soma @ eCurry

Banana & Date Pudding …and Indian Spiced Baked Pears from Tanvi @ Sinfully Spicy

Fig Mochi Cupcakes from Su-yin @ Bread et Butter

Black Forest Gateaux from Shabs @ Shab’s Cuisine

Vanessa’s Chocolate & Apple Gluten Free Cake from Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

Eggless oatmeal, banana, raisin muffin from Nandita @ Paake Shaale

Mini Apple Croissants from Umm Mymoonah @ Taste of Pearl City

Apple Crumb PieApple Crumb Pie from Jaime @ Good Eats & Sweet Treats

Spiced Pumpkin Mini Loaves from Nisha @ Look Who’s Cooking Too

Black Raisin & Plum Compote with Baked Vanilla Bean Pudding from Anushruti @ My Divine Taste

Strawberry Tea Squares from Shaz @ Test With Skewer

Pear Apple Frangipane Galette from Cherine @ Chico’s Kitchen

Cherry Clafoutis, Marlene-Helens Apple Cake, Super Moist Soft Pumpkin Muffins, Cherry Apple Clafoutis Flan , Peachy Apple Crumble, Caramel Topped Semolina Cake from Mia @ Bright Morning Star

Blueberry & Lemon Scones from Nina @ Nina’s Kitchen

White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies from Rachel Tan @ Pleasure Monger

Apple Muffins from Trick and Treat

Orange Oatmeal Bread from Priya @ Priya’s Easy N Tasty Recipes

Liliko’i Bars / Passion Fruit Bars and

Dark Cherry Crumble Cake With Cinnamon from Swapna @ Swapna’s Cuisine

Orange Buttermilk Pound Cake from Sweatha @ Tasty Curry Leaf

Jelly Donut Muffins with a Ginger Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce Filling from Joanna @ Eats Well With Others

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from Akheela @ Torview Toronto

Cherry Chelsea Buns from Sarah @ Maison Cupcake

A Rustic Apple Tart from Sara @ One Tribe Gourmet

Raspberry Fruit Tart from Finla @ My Kitchen Treasures

Gluten Free Apple & Grape Cobbler from Asha @ Fork Spoon Knife

Pear and Ricotta Tart from Gloria @ Canela Kitchen

Navel Orange-Honey Eggless Cake from Sanjeetha @ Lite Bite

Blackberry & Pistachio Clafoutis from Jeanne @ Cook Sister

Spiced Cranberry Pecan Bread from Ann @ Split Pear-sonality

Healthy Whole Grain Apple Muffins from Sowmya @ Vegetarian Cultural Creatives

Healthy German Apple Cake (Versunkener Apfelkuchen) from T @ Honey & Soy

Apple Tarte Tatin from Elizabeth @ Duck & Cake

Caramel Cardamom Pumpkin Pie from Magpie @ Magpies Recipes

Carrot Pineapple Prune Cake from Denny @ Oh Taste N See

Banana Cake with Chocolate Icing from Sasa @ Sasasunakku

Apple Cake from Sheba @ Art, Food & Travel Chronicles

Chocolate Banana Swirl Cake from TBC @ The Budding Cook

Zucchini Pineapple Ginger Cup Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting from Swathi @ Zesty South Indian Kitchen

Gluten-free Coconut Mango Clafoutis from Ahn @ A Food Lover’s Journey

Tropical Fruit Bake from Bala @ A Life Journey Together

Pear & Apple Danishes from Bonnie @ Flavour Explosions

{She’s only 16, and should have been studying instead…but she got tempted into baking for the Mingle! Thanks a bunch Bonnie…}

French Apple Cobbler from Andy @ Food & More

Pear & Almond Cake from Sally @ My Custard Pie

Persimmon Cupcakes from Rara @ Soulful Creations

Baked Pomegranate Infused Yogurt Pudding from Sandhya @ Vegetarian Nirvana

Healthy Banana Bread from Honeybee @ Honeybee Cooks Jackfruit

Cinnamon Apple Braided Brioche Bread from Magpie @ Magpie’s Recipes

Coffee Chocolate Raisin Cake from Nachiketa @ Crazy Over Desserts

Apple Pie from Aqua @ Aquadaze

Free-Form Apple Tart from Casey @ Eating, Gardening & Living { in Bulgaria}

I’ve had a field day bookmarking!!

What I brought to the table…

Pear, Vanilla and Almond Frangipane Tart

Apple Cinnamon Walnut Parcels

Open Apple Pear Pie


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

“There’s nothing better than a good friend – except a good friend with chocolate!”
Linda Grayson

Nutella, Walnut & Orange Rolls …
Bonjour. Welcome February, the month of love. And when there’s World Nutella Day (5th Feb) just around the corner, there can be nothing better than chocolate. At the end of the day, it’s all about chocolate! I got a mail the other day from a sweet lady by the name of Amy telling me that she had added my blog to this list – 80 Great sites for those who love to bake… I was elated! So I went across to take a look, and found a huge treasure of baking resources. Found some of my favourites, and there were still many more I hadn’t discovered. That took care of the rest of the evening… I explored voraciously.
I stopped by this lovely blog called The Baking Pan…and chanced by breads. At the same time I was tweeting with Jamie who yelled out that she was hosting the months Monthly Mingle…and I said ‘What’s your call for MM Jamie ? She said ‘Chocolate and bread…what else? Just like Jamie, the first two foodie loves of her life, chocolate and bread!
Visit her blog Lifes A Feast and you will see the yeastly love spilling out from a blog smothered in delicious chocolate! This lovely bread baking chic has mastered every yeastly devil in breads, and her head is full of breaded tips! I was discussing my rolls with her, and she said I‘ve heard cutting these with dental floss gives them a great neat edge“. How cool is that!! Great tip and one I shall definitely use in future.
Should have guessed that it would be something chocolate et pain!! I went into the sweet breads section of Baking Pan and found these rolls. Something I’ve always dreamt of making but never quite gotten there. I am actually a bit challenged when it comes to following roll instructions. The trouble begins when I have to begin rolling from the long length? Which way should I go?? Along the long length, or across it? Once again it was the same dilemma and I couldn’t figure out which way to roll, so just followed my common sense…If I rolled the dough thin then I would get many smaller rolls…
Which is what I did and got plenty of little rolls. Really should have read the recipe to the very end  to see that they needed only 12 in the end. Oh well…I got lots of smaller ones, but they rose beautifully and fitted the tin right through. At this time there was a power outage, so I wrapped the tin in clingwrap and allowed it to rest in the fridge overnight. I popped it into a preheated oven the next morning, and they were as good as gold!
The original recipe had no chocolate, hence it was time to adapt. I used a slathering of Nutella to get eligible for the Mingle, and loads of orange zest because it’s orange season here these days. The bazaars are bursting with oranges, and well, chocolate and orange make for a fine marriage. Because three’s company, I had to use walnuts too. I love the added texture that nuts lend to yeasted breads. NICE!!

This delicious sweet bread is off for the Monthly Mingle to Lifes A Feast, a monthly event which is brain child of fabulous Meeta @ What’s For Lunch Honey. Jamie says, ‘So join us, won’t you, and bring along something from your kitchen, create something homey, something elegant or something exotic’. There you go Jamie, chocolat et pain, pour vous!

Nutella Orange Walnut Rolls
Adapted from Baking Pan
¾ cup warm orange juice (110 to 115 degrees)
2 tbsps fresh yeast (or 1 package active dry yeast)
1/3 cup granulated orange sugar
1 large egg, beaten
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
3 to 3½ cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)
1 vanilla bean, scraped (optional)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated orange sugar
1/2 chopped walnuts
1/2 cup Nutella
Orange Icing: 
1/2 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar (original recipe has 1 cup)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice

Tip: Use a citrus zester and citrus juicer for fresh zest and freshly squeezed juice.


In a large mixing bowl, combine warm orange juice and yeast; stir and let sit until yeast is dissolved, about 10 minutes.
Add sugar, egg, melted butter, salt, and orange zest; beat until mixture is smooth. Add 2 cups flour and 1/4 chup finely chopped walnuts; stir until well mixed. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured pastry mat or pastry board; knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, adding additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time if dough is too sticky.
Place dough in a well greased bowl; turn dough over once to grease the top. Cover bowl with a small kitchen towel and let dough rise is a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
Prepare one 13x9x2 inch oblong pan; lightly grease the pan with shortening (I lined it with wax paper too).
Punch dough down then turn onto a lightly floured pastry mat or pastry board; knead dough briefly, 4 to 5 times. Roll the dough into an 18 inch by 9 inch rectangle
Using an offset spatual or flat knife, gently but firmly spread Nutella all over leaving a 1/2 inch border. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the Nutella with melted butter.
In a small bowl, stir together sugar and walnuts. Sprinkle sugar walnut mixture evenly over buttered dough to within ½ inch of the edges. Roll-up dough jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch the seams together to seal. Slice dough into 1½ inch pieces and place about ½ inch apart in baking pan.
Cover and let rolls rise is a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 190C.
Bake rolls 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove rolls from oven. Place pan on a wire cooling rack to cool.

Orange Icing:

In a small bowl, combine confectioners sugar, butter, vanilla, orange zest, and enough orange juice to make a good spreading consistency. Spread icing onto still warm rolls.
Should make 12 rolls

Note: I made them upto the second rise, cut them, put them into the tin, and clingwrapped the whole baking tin and left it in the fridge overnight. Baked straight from the fridge into the oven the next morning.
♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥
This bread is off to  Susan @ Wild Yeast for Yeastspotting!

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“And When You Least Expect It, You Will See the Mountain Move…”

… lines from my little red book

All through my university days, and even while I worked, I had this little red book with a checked Scottish cover, in which I penned down quotes and poems I liked. I’d always had this thing for ‘words‘, and I still do. The quote, which formed part of a poem I’d saved, seemed an instant click with my battle of making the kids eat their veggies.
As they grow up, it’s becoming an uphill task. They are increasingly fussy about not eating their ‘greens‘, their vegetables and the outright ‘healthy’ stuff! The rebellion is quite strong, but Mum’s resolve is stronger, and we often find ourselves back at the bargaining table. No veggies = No dessert! Have now decided to make sure that the veggies get into them by gently coaxing them, and am on the look out for appealing and fun recipes!

Look no further shouted the gorgeous Ottolenghi cookbook … a cookbook which Hilda presented to me in London. It is my current firm favourite. I love Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s style of narrative, love the pictures, love the stories, love the way they credit the recipe when needed … and love the refreshing flavours they present. It’s a happy mix of cultures, of childhood influences, of sharing with each other, of evolving tastes, and yet at times, touching roots! Passionate book!

The chargrilled broccoli is one such interesting recipe from this beautiful book. It’s as simple as it is good looking. My kids enjoy eating food that looks good! Judge a book by the cover, or rather, a dish by it’s looks? Yes, fortunately or unfortunately, that is what they do! So the chargrilling ensured half the battle won. The flavours of garlic won the rest, and now I don’t have to cajole them into finishing the broccoli. Least expected to see this mountain move, but they will eat about 6-8 florets happily. Then the adults fight to finish the rest of this finger licking good salad!
My only addition to the recipe is a squeeze of lime juice to the garlic & oil as I enjoy the twang of citrus! The good thing about this salad is that you just need to blanch the broccoli for ONLY 2 MINUTES, and then leave it to drain. I do this much earlier, and then chargrill it just before serving. On a hot grill this takes just 5-7 minutes, and offers a fun and flavourful addition to the table. As the authors say, “In all honesty, broccoli is a boring vegetable and you need a magic touch to bring it to life.”

This magic is en route to Sudeshna of Cook Like A Bong who is the guest host for this months Monthly Mingle. She has chosen a great seasonal theme for the new year – Winter Vegetables and Fruit, and this fits in perfectly with my Ten in 10 plans!!

Chargrilled Broccoli with Chilli and Garlic
Minimally adapted from Ottolenghi – the Cookbook
About 500gms of broccoli, broken into florets
4tbsp olive oil
4-6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 mild red chillies, thinly sliced
Coarse sea salt and black pepper
Juice of 1 lime

Bring a large saucepan of mildly salted water to a boil, and blanch the florets for only 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and quickly transfer to a bowl of ice cold water to stop cooking. Drain and allow to dry completely.
Toss with 3 tbsp of olive oil. Season with coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Heat a grill pan till extremely hot. Grill the broccoli for a few minutes till they get chargrill marks, turn over and repeat for the other side. Don’t cramp the pan, and do it in several batches if need be.
In a small pan, heat the remaining olive oil with the garlic and chillies, and keep over medium hat until the garlic begins to turn golden brown. Take off heat, add juice of 1 lime.
Pour the flavoured oil over the hot broccoli and toss together well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: You can garnish it with toasted flaked almonds or thinly sliced lime just before serving, if you like.
♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

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