Baking | Dark Chocolate Fresh Plum Wholewheat Meringue Tray Bake …. delicious mouthful!

“Some of us come on earth seeing.
Some of us come on earth seeing color.”
Louise Nevelson

Dark Chocolate Fresh Plum Wholewheat Meringue Tray Bake Dark Chocolate Fresh Plum Wholewheat Meringue Tray Bake … a bake that ended my bout of lack of inspiration. The heat and humidity is killing. Back from Leh, an exhausting trip that was messed up by the travel agent, didn’t seem to make life better. It was a trip I had waited for forever … then came the mail a few hours before we were due to leave about an error in bookings their end! Try that at 11000ft, tired teens, rarefied oxygen levels …. just didn’t work!

Leh, Kashmir 2015The past few months have seen my nose to the grinding stone, trying to make up for lost time. A project to be completed, the daughter to be packed off to uni, loads of emails in the things to do, a few small things in the pipeline … and then the everyday meals, laundry, grocery, dog etc. Of course hungry teens at home for summer vacation didn’t seem to make life easier.

PlumsThis was a few days before she left. They were hungry yet again. There is this time in the afternoon between 3 and 4 that some hunger goblins visit our home. I wish I could turn invisible at 3 o clock! Really do. Those goblins have surfaced without fail for the past month. I decided to beat them to it.

resh plums, summer stone fruitI had plums in the fridge… and thoughts of a whole wheat fresh plum cake I had made last year! It was time to work on those lines. A last minute thought made me save some whipped egg whites for the top; wanted to make a visually fun cake. Little did I know that when it would bake, it would endlessly remind me of our trip to Leh.Leh, Kashmir, IndiaWhy? Nothing could have prepared us for what we saw when we landed in Leh. To our mind, we were going into the mountains, at 11000 feet, the majestic Himalayas which would be GREEN and snow topped. 11000ft to me meant more snow that would exceed any we had seen when we visited Srinagar, Kashmir in March. Leh, Kashmir 2014Boy were we gobsmacked. I think we didn’t realise that Leh is a cold dessert. I could’ve never imagined those endless mountains of mud, rock and BROWN! Very National Geographic, very awe inspiring, very unlike what we expected.Leh, Kashmir 2015 That’s not to say the view wasn’t stunning. It certainly was. Still this cake reminded me so much of the vast rocky terrain. Mountains higher than one can imagine, and all made of mud, rocks, actually HUGE boulders, and in many places not a spot of vegetation…

Leh, Kashmir 2015… until we reached where we were booked to stay. On the way to the beautiful Nimmu House, which we eventually got to after the travel agent messed up our bookings, we even saw something like a Grand Canyon. Nature never fails to astound!

Leh, Kashmir 2015 Such a vast terrain, never ending mountains, beautiful wooden gates, doors I could pack and run away with, windows too.Leh, Kashmir 2015 Rustic outdoors that left you wanting for more, more than the eyes could capture. Fresh mountain air as clean and crisp as could be. The landscape was unreal at times, took my breath away …. yet left me with ‘brown’ stamped in my mind.

Dark Chocolate Fresh Plum Wholewheat Meringue Tray Bake And then the tray bake happened, just on the go. One look at it and it was an uncanny feeling. It reminded me of the Leh landscape in so many ways. Unexpected, rustically beautiful {in my eyes}, with unusual tones the brown sugar meringue picked up with the dark chocolate melting into it.

Dark Chocolate Fresh Plum Wholewheat Meringue Tray Bake One bite later and it was pure joy. Moist, deeply chocolaty, delightful plum undertones, what a fun bake this tuned out to be. Must have been the plums that created some berry like magic in there.

Dark Chocolate Fresh Plum Wholewheat Meringue Tray Bake There’s still some summer left here in the plains you are enamoured by stone fruit like me. Go grab some plums and begin experimenting. You never know how yummy life might get! Plums, peaches and cherries will soon be gone, and I will sadly miss them. We are looking at a long extended hot season though…sadly, the rains have failed to show up!

Dark Chocolate Fresh Plum Wholewheat Meringue Tray Bake Have you ever made a cake inspired by landscape or a vacation? Would love to hear about it!

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

Baking | GF Mango Almond Quark Roulade … & a Rs 6000 giveaway #inseason #mangoes #glutenfree #dessert #flipkart

“Marge, it’s 3 AM. Shouldn’t you be baking?”
Homer Simpson

GF Mango Almond Quark RouladeGF Mango Almond Quark Roulade … two of my most used and favourite combinations this summer – mango & quark. Add a third to it, almond meal, and there’s going to be some magic; in all possibility, deliciously gluten free too! Summer is the easiest time of the year to make quark, the wonderful creamy slightly tangy curd cheese. Once done, you got to move fast as it is perishable given temperatures hit 45C here through summer.

GF Mango Almond Quark Roulade That said, the record was recently broken at 46C and we might just be looking at 50c!!! The brighter side of course is that we are now into the peak of  stone fruit season, a season I love to love. I love doing Swiss Rolls with a mango filling, or for that matter, any seasonal fruit. Mangoes works really well in an ice cream roll too.

Mango Vanilla Bean Panna CottaMango Pastel de Tres Leches Can you tell that I am really enamoured by the king of fruit? You can find plenty of mango on PAB. The Mango Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta was a winner all the way, as also the memorable Mango Pastel de Tres Leches. Mango Quark MousseOh, and i whipped together a quick Mango Quark Mousse with some of the recent batch of quark and alphonsos. Was YUM! So it’s been mango all the way this past month.

Indian mangoes, Alphonso My earlier Strawberry Almond Roulade {Gluten free} came out beautifully. The minute I lay my eyes on these delicious alphonsos that Harini brought for me from Mumbai, I knew it was time to give the almond roulade another shot. I added some baking powder to the sponge as a last minute thought, separating the eggs, and adding a dash of cream of tartar too. GF Mango Almond Quark Roulade The roulade ‘rolled’ out FAB! The lad who doesn’t like mangoes came and asked me for another helping, commenting that ‘this mango dessert was good stuff’! Baking is fun, a science in many ways where experimenting teaches you  a lot! Baking powder, baking soda or no leavening, to use a regular flour , mixed grain or bake gluten free… so many choices!

PABWhat do I love about desserts, baking & food?  Textures, colours, fruit, seasons, pantry staples … everything inspires me. Adding a handful of a healthy almond meal to a dessert, swapping butter for olive oil, using a fruit to decrease the sugar, you’ll see all of this in my recipes. I’ve been obsessed with using fruit in desserts for a long time; the options are infinite and fun!

Do you like to bake? If yes, then I have a little contest and giveaway for you today…-

Giveaway – Win a Rs.6000 FlipkartVoucher

Giveaway headerI have exciting news for you, dear readers. You stand the chance to win a Rs.6000 Flipkart voucher and order all the little kitchen goodies you have always wanted! I whipped up a little competition for you and participating is as easy as making pancakes. Below you will find 5 easy questions that need to be answered. Post your answers in the comments below to be part of the Quiz-Giveaway. FYI, comments will be moderated so your answers are not visible to others.

Rules of the contest:
-You may only enter once
-The winner will be chosen at random
-The winner will recieve a Rs. 6000 Flipkart voucher
-All 5 answers must be correct in order to win the prize.
-You must be a resident of India.

Giveaway flipkartThe voucher is sponsored by couponspy.in, a website where you can find all of the latest coupons and deals online. Here is what they have to say about this exciting competition:

“We are extremely excited and honoured to have our giveaway featured on such a prominent blog. Everyone in the food industry knows who Deeba is, so we are very grateful that she chose to work with us. To the readers, we hope you have fun participating in this quiz, we had fun creating it and also learnt a few important things about baking in the process.”

But now enough talk, it’s time to Quiz up! Here are the 5 questions. Please remember to leave your answers in the comments box at then end. Also, do make sure you leave a valid email address! Good Luck!!

1) What is a good substitute to use in place of baking powder?

2) What fruit puree is often used as a substitute for fat?

3) True or False: frosting and icing are the same thing?

4) Which flour forms the most gluten?

5) Name a pitted fruit that can be baked into a pie.

 

Other Swiss rolls / roulades at PAB

Red Velvet Swiss Roll
Mango Ice Cream Swiss Roll
Star Anise Roll with Marmalade Sauce
Raspberry Pistachio Roulade

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

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Baking | Wholewheat Almond Buttermilk Pound Cake … delicious topped with almond cream & fresh strawberries

“The great thing about cake is it doesn’t feel like work. You forget about work. Kids, adults, they all get the same look in their eye when they’re decorating cakes… That’s the magic right there.”
Duff Goldman

 Wholewheat Almond Buttermilk Pound Cake Wholewheat Almond Buttermilk Pound Cake … made on the trot the other day before dashing off to Bangalore. There was a young, enthusiastic photographer coming over to shoot my profile for a newspaper feature on The New Indian ExpressIt’s a Feast For the Eyes. How could I not bake a cake?

Photoshoot for New Indian Express There was plenty of stuff baked as I was going to be away for 2 days. Some Coffee Shortbread Cookies which I quickly turned into Coffee Shortbread Nutella Sandwich Cookies {absolutely divine}. Also on hand some recently baked Amaranth Oat Walnut Ginger Cookies {gluten free and eggless}, and a batch of Wholewheat Dark Chocolate Walnut Brownies. Of course, there is  always GF Multigrain Granola at home too …Photoshoot for New Indian ExpressYet, what’s a food porn photo-shoot sans cake? It was a mad rush that day so I had to keep it simple. Short on time, I reached for one of my most trusted recipes, a buttermilk pound cake which has evolved over the years. It’s a basic recipe that works with infinite combinations; a recipe never short on ideas!

Whole Wheat Pound CakeI’ve made a buttermilk pound cake a million times in many avatars, my to-go recipe that lives in my head! Some of my favourites versions are the Buttermilk Chocolate Pound Cake, Whole Wheat Coffee Dark Chocolate Pound Cake and the Tres Leches Wholewheat Lemon Pound Cake.

Wholewheat Almond Buttermilk Pound Cake This one turned out to be a hit too. Light, full of flavour with a silky almond whipped cream topping. Fresh sweet strawberries added the right oomph to it; a burst of colour too. You can use any seasonal berries, actually any seasonal fruit for that matter. Mangoes, litchi, kiwi, oranges, plums … all fruit pair well with almond and vanilla!

Photography is sacrosanct and as vital as the written content for Deeba Rajpal, a celebrated food blogger from Gurgaon, who churns out scrumptious recipes and snaps their exquisite replicas for her website Passionate About Baking.

“We eat with our eyes first cannot be understated in today’s increasingly visual and dynamic world. The photographs should complement the recipe and build a food connect with the reader,” says Deeba, who banks on her aesthetic sense, eye for detail and Canon camera for desired captures. read the rest of the feature on TNIE

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

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