” Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
George Eliot

Sweet Potato Pound Cake with salted butter caramel sauceSweet Potato Pound Cake with salted butter caramel sauce.  Autumns here. There’s a nip in the early morning air, and the nights are getting cooler each passing day. The weather’s changing and suddenly earthy, warm, spicy feels good. I love the way one season gives way to another, inspiring you to move from one ingredient to ingredient, light spices to moorish ones. Fall is in the air. With it cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, mace all dance in the air with heady aromas.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake with salted butter caramel sauce The tin of pumpkin pie spice calls my name come October. It’s a strange connect and a warm one too. Felt like a Pumpkin Pie Spice and Walnut Loaf Cake with Buttermilk Frosting was to be baked again. I did shift gears suddenly. All thanks to a rather late discovery over the past couple of years, the sweet potato. This very humble root vegetable, earthy, flavourful, unassuming, surprisingly sweet and quite delicious, offers immense possibilities.Old DelhiSweet potatoes are also a quintessential part of Old Delhi, especially in winter. Street carts piled high with sweet potatoes roasted in coal, that taste is quite unparalleled, best enjoyed then and there. Chopped up and tossed in lime juice and a typical chaat masala, or spice mix, I don’t bother recreating that at home. It’s the ambiance of the old city that adds to the flavour! So at home it is often a salad, tikkis, oven roasted fries {absolutely delicious}. Then 2 days ago, this cake happened. Sweet Potato Pound Cake with salted butter caramel sauceI tried to keep it a whole food cakesweet potato puree + brown sugar + whole wheat flour + homemade sweet butter. An experiment with fingers crossed. An experiment off an earlier wholegrain pound cake recipe. You will notice optional walnuts in the ingredients listed. I was never really sure how edible the cake would turn out to be, so I skipped them. It turned out unexpectedly delicious. Moist, full of flavour and even better the next day. Was even good cold out of the fridge. An earthy rustic treat!

Sweet Potato Pound Cake with salted butter caramel sauce The deep dark salted butter caramel sauce made a good experiment better! That I am addicted to it is all the fault of the Cookaroo. She swears by this sauce from Smitten Kitchen and is never far from deliciousness. It’s  fabulous to store in the fridge. Drizzle over just about anything to add to the oomph. Reminds me  of the chewy taffy that the nuns used to sell at the tuck shop at school in Bangalore. Also of the gooey insides of the 5 Star bars that fascinated and tempted the sweet tooth when young.  The salted edge is what makes this sauce a winner. Must warn you that it is very addictive, and can burn the greedy tasters tongue. Pairs beautifully with cakes and especially fall flavours – pears, apple, pumpkins,walnuts …

Wild figs goolar

Autumn produce - Sweet Potato, Wild figsDid I forget figs? With fall here, the produce is changing. Exciting times ahead as far as food goes. I am having a field day literally! With the camera my trusted companion, this cannot be a better time of the year for moody shooters like me. From buying up sweet potatoes like there’s no tomorrow, to foraging wild figs {goolar}, autumn is keeping me busy.Sweet Potato Pound Cake with salted butter caramel sauce

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“Chocolate is natures way of making up for Mondays”

Almost Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Cake Almost Flourless GF Bittersweet Chocolate Cake … just one of those thoughts you wake up with and possibly one of the easiest cakes to bake. One of the most indulgent as well, if you love intense, deep, dark chocolate that is. The cake tastes better the next day as it chills in the fridge, and the flavours mature.Almost Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate CakeSorry I keep going missing from the blog ever so often. Life seems to be on some kind of race track. Even though I don’t feel like I’m doing much, the months are galloping by. Bat an eye lid and you’re into the next month. I have dozens of unposted blogs in my drafts folder, all waiting in the sidelines for want of images to be processed. I promised myself in the beginning of the year that I would be better organized, blog more often, and what not.Almost Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Cake Clearly that didn’t happen! It’s simpler bakes like this that I feel the immediate need to share, like something that everyone should bake. It uses kitchen staples, minimal ingredients, is minimum fuss and quite delicious to serve up. If you don’t have ground oats, use normal ones. The texture might vary slightly. oats If you don’t have oats at all, think different flours. Wholewheat flour {aata} will work if GF is not your concern. Alternatively, you could use buckwheat flour {kuttu ka aata}, amaranth flour {rajgira}, even almond meal or walnut meal. If using different flours, please begin checking for doneness 45 minutes after you pop the cake in. Different flours, nut meals etc have different liquid absorption ratios. We wouldn’t want an over baked, or for that matter, an under baked cake, would we? Chocolate walnut gateauBaking with alternate grains and nut meals is always fun. Here’s a  Chocolate Walnut Gateau I baked with walnut meal and oats a short  while ago for Fit Foodie. It’s gluten free and quite moorish. You can find the recipe here. This Almost Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Cake is a twist on the first cake I ever baked for Saffola Oats at FitFoodie.in, one that was shot for Food Food channel too. Saffola recipes collageThe engagement was one of the best I had as it’s pushed me to experiment like never before. The collaboration continues and is a really enjoyable one.

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“Remember, there are cookies waiting here for you.”
Dean Koontz

Wholegrain brownie cookiesWholewheat & Oat Dark Chocolate Brownie Cookies. A new baking recipe. An easy baking recipe. A chocolate chip cookie recipe gone healthier, yet still deeply satisfying. This is not your everyday quintessential chocolate chip cookie. This one is better. Deep dark chocolatey + chewy + fudgy = pure comfort food! I’m quite glad I got pushed into making it!

Wholewheat & Oat Dark Chocolate Brownie CookiesI’ve had a busy few weeks. Getting back to routine after a vacation is never easy. So much and more needs to be done, everyone and everything needs ‘urgent’ attention for some silly reason. So the boy complained the other day that I don’t bake nice stuff often enough any more! It took me a while to figure out what the issue was because the baking never stops here. Ahem. Too much fruit in baking of late; he was cringing something chocolate! On prodding further, the words tumbled out. “Chocolate chip cookies or chocolate cake Mama please”!

Wholewheat & Oat Dark Chocolate Brownie Cookies Looked like it was cookie baking time again! I’ve done loads of chocolate cake recipes of late, and as always I was thinking of a new baking recipe for cookies. Not the trusted old wholegrain chocolate chip cookie recipe. That lives in my head; I’ve baked it SO OFTEN! That is what the kid asked for. I knew exactly the thing, Wholewheat & Oat Dark Chocolate Brownie Cookies. The idea has been sitting in my head for long. Just took a few words from the bitterly complainingcookie monster‘ to get it off the back burner and into the oven.

Wholewheat & Oat Dark Chocolate Brownie CookiesSo I brought the brownie into the cookie, made it a healthier version, trimmed the butter, cut an egg, skipped the APF. In went wholewheat and oats, loads of dark couverture chocolate … the result was a deep, chocolatey, and very delicious chocolate chip cookie. Soft and melt in the mouth! Next time I might go for a gluten free version, maybe try going eggless.

Wholewheat & Oat Dark Chocolate Brownie CookiesEasy to bake recipes are fun. This was just that. Not quite a single bowl recipe like I would have wanted it to be, but pretty close. You can hardly go wrong with staple ingredients, but playing around has sometimes led to disasters. This one worked well thankfully, and the monster was happy that day! A healthy baking recipe which turned out to be delicious too was spot on!

Chocolate on vintage weighing scaleWhen things go well, it leaves me motivated to shoot. Even though I find chocolate a little tough to shoot, I enjoyed doing it this time. A lot. Actually the main motivation was this old weighing scale that I recently added to my ever growing prop collection. I find it so charming, that I want to shoot it all the time!

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