Baking | Orange Almond Cake {gluten free} … light, healthy, delicious and glutenfree {I’m ready for the new year}

“Celebrate what you want to see more of”
Thomas J. Peters

Orange Almond Cake {gluten free} Orange Almond Cake {gluten free} … wafts of sweet almond with citrusy notes of orange float through the kitchen, virtually transporting you to the Mediterranean. One bite and you will find it hard to believe that the cake is flourless with no added fat. It is delightfully moist and orange flavoured.  Almond meal adds interesting texture, and pairs beautifully with the choice of fruit.

Orange Almond Cake {gluten free} It’s the peak of winters here, cold as cold can be. Day before was the coldest at 2.6C, the lowest temperature recorded in December in the past so many years. The statistics don’t leave you, neither does the deep chill. It gets into your very bones. This is North Indian winter for you. In the background the TV plays endlessly; CNN telling you about the latest aviation disaster. Dreadful news at the end of the year. I’m ready for a new year. Bye bye 2014!

Fresh & local produce, mood photographyIt’s easier to immerse yourself in what comforts you most. I click. Loads. Moody shots mainly. Sometimes you crave good news. Sometimes you wish you could turn the clock back to simple living. For times like this, I head for the kitchen, get embraced by the warmth, lose myself in the aromas that warm the cockles of your heart!Orange Almond Cake {gluten free} 5

Orange Almond Cake {gluten free} Speaking to Cookaroo a couple of days ago, she mentioned she was off to make an Orange Almond Cake. Snapped me out of my somnambulent frozen state. I had an Orange Almond Cake sitting here in my drafts, one I had done for Travel & Leisure Asia a few months ago. I’ve remade it recently since oranges and back in season.

Orange Almond Cake {gluten free} With the market flooded with ripe, orange juicy fruit, it’s a great time to bake this cake. I’ve baked this a couple of times, both with oranges and with kumquats too. Always good. Made a couple of trifles as well. Orange Almond Cake, whipped cream with Grand Marnier, and some almond praline made the layers. Divine!Orange Almond Cake Trifles {gluten free}The recipe is inspired from passover cakes that find root in cuisine of the Sephardic Jews who originate from the countries of the Middle East. The cake is ‘leavened wheat free’ which is the diet that defines the passover holiday. Interestingly, ancient Greeks also savoured the combination of fruit, nuts and honey. Sugar only appeared later during the Ottoman times. The recipe first appeared in Travel & Leisure, Asia May 2014.

Bidding adieu to 2014…
Have a warm and wonderful 2015. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

A Fit Foodie recipe

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Baking | Whole Grain Apple Crumble … always room for dessert and #Fujihoro #dessert #wholegrain

“Sometimes you’ve just got to grab an apple – or grapes, or strawberries. Something that’s healthy but maybe a little bit more adventurous, if you can see fruit as adventurous.”
LL Cool J

wholegain apple crumble Whole Grain Apple Crumble. Always room for dessert as I limp back into normal everyday life after too much indulgence of late. That weekend trip to the Jaipur Marriott spoilt me silly. Then came a family wedding/reunion. With the holiday season now in full swing, I am taking a small ‘eating out‘ sabbatical. I have to knock off the pounds I’ve gained. Gotto get fit!
wholegain apple crumble And that certainly does not mean no good home eating. Or baking. Fruits and whole grains are always welcome as dessert. I love to bake with them, and the family loves to dig into them. There is something comforting about a fruit bake with apples, cinnamon, walnuts and brown sugar. A nice crisp topping and it promises to be a winner.

wholegain apple crumble I’ve been working with a publisher to style a cookbook and I took this along for the team one morning. Fresh from the oven, it smelt divine. We dug in later halfway through the shoot and everyone loved it. There was lots of other food I cooked and styled for the book that day, that we eventually devoured. Even though we were ready to burst, there was room for dessert! Always is!wholegain apple crumble 4I bake crumbles a lot through winter, with different permutations and combinations. Sometimes when I’m short of time, I do the fruit filling in advance, make the crumble and store it alongside. Pop it into the oven an hour or so before dinner. It holds sweet promise of a delicious end to the day. Serve it with a good quality vanilla ice cream for extra indulgence, or maybe just unsweetened single cream. For me, just a small serving as is works. Drat, those extra pounds!!
Fujihoro Porcelain Enamelled Kitchenware And in other news, something special again came my way a few days ago. After the beautiful Mauviel 1830 set I received from France, a sweet lady stopped by my place one morning. She brought for me this retro porcelain enamelware set from Fujihoro Japan. I fell in love with the colours, the quality and the workmanship. Incidentally, Fujihoro has recently been featured in India Today as one of the hottest new products!Fujihoro Porcelain Enamelled KitchenwareBright yellow really works with me, as also the fact that you can cook and serve in this beautiful cookware too. One of the recipes shot for the cookbook was a Kachi Mirch ka Gosht. An absolutely lip smacking recipe which I cannot divulge as the book is yet to go into print. I cooked a murgh {chicken} version of it at home a few days ago.

Kachchi mirch ka murgh and Fujihoro

Kachchi mirch ka murgh and Fujihoro With a heavy tight fitting lid and great insulating properties to allow a low simmer, the pan delivered an absolutely delicious curry. The enamelware surface has a non-porous hardened vitreous coating which does not absorb any residue from previously cooked food and is stain resistant, odourless and bacteria free once cleaned. The pan can go into the oven too {sans the lid which has a really really nice fitted wooden knob on top}. I think I just might bake the fruit crumble in the next time!

Recipe: Whole Grain Apple Crumble your picture

Summary: The Whole Grain Apple Crumble is an autumn / winter dessert which is pure comfort food. Here’s a version of the apple crumble gone healthy. Serve with some good quality vanilla ice cream, or some unsweetened cream, or just as is.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients:

  • Apple mix
  • 5-6 apples, cored, peeled, diced
  • 30g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Topping
  • 75g oats
  • 25g whole wheat flour
  • 30g whole almonds
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 75g unsalted butter, chilled, cubed or grated {I grate frozen butter}

Method:

  1. Apple mix
  2. Preheat oven to 180C
  3. Toss all ingredients for apple mix in a bowl to oat fruit well. Can add raisins and walnuts if desired. Turn into 1 litre pie dish, and make topping
  4. Topping
  5. Run oats, whole almonds and wheat flour {aata} in blender. Add in brown sugar and mix. Reserve. Gratein  frozen butter and toss lightly together to get a bread crumb like mix {I normally pulse in processor, short and quick to evenly distribute}
  6. Cover the fruit with the topping, pressing down gently to make sure the fruit is sealed in.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes until light golden brown on top.
  8. {Tent with aluminum foil if the top is over-browning.}

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Baking | Peaches & Cream Cake … light summer cake. Trifles too #stonefruitlove #dessert # cake #summer

“Cake is happiness! If you know the way of the cake, you know the way of happiness! If you have a cake in front of you, you should not look any further for joy!”
C. JoyBell C.

Peaches & Cream CakeIt was a Peaches & Cream Cake for my father’s birthday last week. Everything was going according to plan,and I toyed around with summer cake ideas in my head. Summer is for stone fruit, and the cake would most certainly have some! Peaches! I had a kilo of them in the fridge. Cream? Yes of course; there’s always some on hand. Time for peaches and cream!!

Peaches & Cream Cake Despite knowing that whipping cream in miserable summer heat is sure to fail, I marched ahead. At 43C, life was never going to be a cake walk in the record breaking heat and humidity we have had this summer. That the rains failed added to my misery. 75% humidity and everything looks like it’s condensing! Not the best weather to work with cream cakes in …… Peaches & Cream Cake 4…and then it was time for a power breakdown. It had been assembled but a cake needs chilling you know. I stuck the cake into the fridge and we finally left for dinner. The cake survived as power was back when we returned. I thanked my lucky stars that it held together until we cut it, well almost. It was YUM! Oh, did I tell you I never got to my kilo of peaches? Peaches & Cream Cake 3Yes that happened too. With all the unnecessary drama of no power, I just reached out for a tin of canned peaches; probably my best idea that day. Another good idea was the  Crème patisserie I made for the frosting … finger licking good.

Peaches & Cream Trifles

Peaches & Cream TriflesI saved some cream and peaches; enough to make a few trifles. Layered the same way as the cake, they were fun to assemble … and eat of course! The goblets are one of my favourites from Urban Dazzle. I use them often for different stuff like Dark Chocolate Mousse, Peach Lime Coolers & Stone Fruit Salads.

Peaches & Cream Trifles

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