“The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”
Miguel de Cervantes

Upcycled Blondie Pudding‘Upcycled’ Butterscotch Blondie Puddingand whatta strange name might this be? It’s natural to wonder but you know, things happen. So I was baking YET ANOTHER BATCH {I can bake these in my sleep now} of the kids favourite blondies, and then there was an emergency. Not an emergency emergency, but one that required me to hurriedly nip out of the house to get some work done. I seldom leave while I am baking. The blondies were about done, like 5 minutes to go. I peeped in, and then thought, nah, not done. Should give them an extra 10 minutes!

Upcycled Blondie Pudding Well that’s the difference between Wholegrain Butterscotch Blondies and the‘Upcycled’ Butterscotch Blondie Pudding! Just ten minutes. TEN! Got back, they were done, cooled… and I thought, oh dear, slightly over done. The boy readied to sink his teeth into gooey, moist blondies, and was disappointed. “Ummm, NO. What did you do? You messed them up. Same taste, not gooey Mama.” It was a ‘shove the blondies down his throat now‘ sort of a moment, but I desisted.

Upcycled Blondie Pudding They sat there in the box for a few days. ‘He‘ didn’t even look at them. The dog did. Often. I was tempted to, but I couldn’t give sweet to the poor pooch. I debated what to do, then eventually ran out of patience, and thought, that’s it. Trash ’em! As luck would have it, just that day Ruchira swung by. We were in the kitchen and the box caught her eye. ‘What’s that?’ ‘Ruined batch of blondies.’ ‘Whatchya gonna do with them?’ ‘Chuck them. Overbaked.  Too dry!’

Upcycled Blondie Pudding She took a little nibble, eyes shining said, ‘Upcycle them!’ We both dissolved into puddles of giggles as we had spent all morning discussing up-cycling furniture.  Oooh whatta good great idea that was. And that is just what I did the next morning. Such fun. Just the very name ‘Upcycled’ Butterscotch Blondie Pudding gave me the energy and soon I had sweet little glasses of up-cycled dessert!

Upcycled Blondie PuddingThey were a HIT! A simple vanilla pastry cream brought together in the Thermomix in under 10 minutes. Crumbled blondies and butterscotch chips. The pastry cream smothered the dry blondies in it’s love, and the end result was love at every bite!addictive good. The spoon scraping the bottom of the glasses was the sweetest sound ever! Can’t wait for another over baked batch!

[print_this]Recipe:  ‘Upcycled’ Butterscotch Blondie Pudding
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Summary: Wholegrain butterscotch blondies are smothered in a luscious vanilla pastry cream to make this dessert. The ‘Upcycled’ Butterscotch Blondie Pudding’ is an addictive pudding to serve for dessert. Make ahead too. Serves 8-12 depending on portions.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

  • 1 batch Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies, cut into 16 squares
  • Vanilla Pastry Cream
  • 350ml milk, cold
  • 200g single cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 75g brown sugar
  • 20g cornflour
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 25g butterscotch chips to top if desired


  1. Vanilla Pastry Cream
  2. Place all ingredients in bowl of Thermomix. Stir for 20 seconds on speed 4 to mix.
  3. Cook for 7 minutes at 90C on speed 4. It should be thick enough now. If not, cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  4. Strain into a pouring jug.
  5. Note: Use the same proportions to make it the traditional stove way.
  6. Assembling pudding
  7. Crumble up 2-3 squares of blondies. Reserve for topping.
  8. Cut the rest up into cubes. Divide half between 6-8 serving glasses/dessert bowls {or a combination of glasses and one large pudding bowl}.
  9. Pour over half hot/warm pastry cream, and top with remaining cubes. Pour rest of the pastry cream over. Top the pudding with blondie crumbs and butterscotch bits. Chill for at least 2-3 hours to allow the flavours to marry.


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“The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight.”
M.F.K. Fischer

Wholegrain Xmas Stollen Wholegrain Christmas Stollen with dried peach + walnuts +orange peel… a healthier version of the German Tea Bread. I’ve been fascinated by the Stollen for long. Actually ever since I discovered homemade quark. Once I figured there was something as good as Austrian curd cheese, AND that I could easily make some at home, I naturally went around looking for ways to use it. Wasn’t long before I discovered the Dresden Stollen. Indulgent Italian holiday bread. I baked another recipe into a Stollen Bread Pudding.

Wholegrain Xmas Stollen I loved making it. Would love to make more batches but for the fact it 1s a 100% all purpose flour tea bread. The wholegrain bug I have been bitten by doesn’t allow me to go back that easily. The odd birthday cakes with APF are OK; they’re once in a while indulgent stuff. One look at Meeta’s Stollen the other day, and the craving set in. It was time for STOLLEN! More precisely, Wholegrain Christmas Stollen with dried peach + walnuts +orange peel… a healthier version of the German Tea Bread.Wholegrain Xmas Stollen’twas an experiment. Came out quite well. It’s inspired by Meeta’s favorite version, a Date Fig Quark Stollen. Mine is partially whole wheat, partially almond meal and partially APF. It’s not as light as my earlier APF Dresden Stollen, but we are certainly not complaining. This turned out yum if I may so so myself. Once you make your own quark { prep 2 days in advance}, or if you just buy it, it’s an easy bread to throw together.

Wholegrain Xmas Stollen dried peaches + walnuts +orange peelPacked with dried peaches that I picked up in Srinagar this summer, crystallised orange peel {that I made some time ago} and chopped walnuts, it’s a special Christmas bread. Couldn’t add raisins and such as the boy can’t stand them. I have an Xmas fruit cake to make too, and I think it’s gonna be a nut cake as things go. The nuts are still soaking….. que sera sera. Hope I get there in time!Wholegrain Xmas Stollen Either go Meeta’s  baking powder way, or my yeast route, both ways would work well. It’s been raining here in North India the past few days, so the dough didn’t get a chance to rise well. You might get a better ‘rise’ if the weather permits. Let me know if you make this. It’s delicious. Do wrap it and keep it for 2-3 days before slicing. It’s more moist once it matures for a couple of days. Mince sliced beautifully and was moist too.

[print_this]Recipe: Wholegrain Christmas Stollen
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Summary: Wholegrain Christmas Stollen with dried peach + walnuts +orange peel… a healthier version of the German Tea Bread.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes plus rising time

  • For the stollen
  • 100g all-purpose flour
  • 100g almond meal
  • 50-100g whole wheat flour
  • 1tsp yeast
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 150g dried peaches, chopped
  • 35g crystallised orange peel, chopped
  • 75g walnuts, chopped
  • 35g tutti fruity
  • 1tbsp Grand Marnier {or rum, or honey}
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 150g quark, well drained {homemade recipe here}
  • For the top
  • 25g butter, melted
  • 25g powdered sugar


  1. Place the flours, almond meal, yeast and sugar in bowl of food processor and whiz to mix
  2.  Add the chopped fruit, nuts in a bowl wit Grand Marnier and heat in microwave for 30 seconds. Leave to soften slightly while you do the rest.
  3. Place the all purpose flour, 50g of whole wheat flour and almond meal, yeast and sugar in bowl of food processor and whiz to mix.
  4. Add the chopped fruit and nuts, scraped vanilla bean, melted butter, egg and quark and knead to a soft dough. Add more wholewheat flour if the dough is still sticky. Mine was slightly so as I didn’t allow the quark to drain long enough. {You can do this by hand too.}
  5. Shape into a ball and place in a oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave in a warm place for about an hour to rise.
  6. Preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking tin with parchment.
  7. Divide the dough into 1 {or make just one broad loaf}. Shape into a long loaf each. 
  8. Place loaves on the prepared tray and bake for approximately 30 minutes, until light golden brown.
  9. Reduce temperature to 160C, and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes. Tent the top with aluminum foil if it tends to get too dark. {I placed mine on double trays}
  10. As soon as the Stollen is done brush melted butter onto the hot stollen and dust it with the powdered sugar.
  11. Cool then wrap in baking paper or clingwrap and store for a day or to to mature. You can have it warm too if you like, though it might be slightly crumbly.


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“I have more healthy cravings than my normal eating habits, like I crave fruit and cold things like smoothies.”
Kourtney Kardashian

SmooothiesSmoothies … you gotta love them. As the years pass by, the head wins over the heart. You know that it’s easier to gulp down a smoothie than chew through a buncha green leaves! And you also know that however good or bad it tastes, a well balanced, seasonal smoothie is going to do you a load of good. Headed for SmoothiesIt’s pointless waiting for the new year to come and make resolutions, so I just got the ball rolling and made them before! Post the Jaipur trip, what with all the over the top indulgence and pampering, I had but one thing on my mind, get FIT!OatsI have begun taking tiny steps. I’m eating healthier, I’m not eating out a lot, fewer food reviews, some form of exercise … and of course smoothies. I’ve also been invited to join the Fit Foodie panel on Saffola, which just gives me more reason to work towards my goal! I’ve put together a small graphic to make things easier. Play around with these three groups {not an exhaustive list} , add some yogurt, milk, buttermilk, almond milk, fruit juice or maybe water as required. I also throw in  spoon or two of oats at times.Food groups for smoothiesDo you smoothie? Here’s a bunch of recipes to set you off if you want to join in. You can find some here too. I basically go through the fridge to find what I can use and pair. Smoothies I made three versions yesterday, and surprisingly enough the persimmon one was the best. The spinach, cuke and tender coconut water was nice too. The banana smoothie we have everyday, so that was quite normal, but normal good. Such fun. The processor is such a magic machine!

Persimmon smoothieThe processor is a blessing in disguise for soups too, though the immersion blender works really well in most cases. A while ago however someone asked me what the difference was between a food processor and blender. I have both in the kitchen, and it set me thinking. Thought I’d try and answer the query here just in case you had similar questions. Hope it helps…

Food processors and blenders, what are the differences between them?

If you only have a small kitchen then you may be wondering if you really need both a blender and a food processor. The fact is that although both gadgets have blades, and a reputation for dicing and slicing, they actually have quite different uses.
If you are going to be able to do all of the jobs you need to in a kitchen the chances are you are going to want to use a blender and a food processor at some point; especially if you regularly make smoothies or soups.
When does a blender come into its own?
The shape and blades of a blender are designed to cater for soft fruit and liquids. The name really says it all; these gadgets are excellent for blending ingredients into such delights as tasty smoothies. Depending on what fittings your blender has it may be able to cope with slicing ice for use in the smoothies; this can make them into an extra special treat on a hot summer day.
These tasty additions to any menu are a great way of getting fruit into a child’s diet. You can use the pulp produced when you are juicing to create imaginative and colorful smoothies that most children will love. The shape of a blender is slender and designed to accommodate soft and liquid products, and not usually more solid produce.
What about a food processor?
If you are using liquids then it’s a good idea to stick to using your blender, but for anything more solid you should switch to a food processor. Food processors have blades that are designed for chopping and slicing.
They also have a bowl that is larger and can accommodate more solid produce. If you have vegetables that you want to reduce in to small pieces to use in a soup then a food processor is the perfect gadget to use. It can cope with all sorts of vegetables and nuts, and in no time you will have all of the ingredients you need to make as much delicious soup as you want.
Which is the best to have, a blender or a food processor?
The answer to this question is really going to depend on what you need to do most. Is it more important to you to be able to blend together liquids, making drinks and smoothies; or is it more important to you to be able to slice vegetables for soups or stews?
It may be that you need to do both. There are blenders that have blades which provide a certain amount of chopping capacity, and food processors can deal with a very small amount of liquid, but generally if you want to be able to blend and chop you are going to have to make room in your kitchen for both a blender and a food processor.

Headed for smoothiesSo I guess it’s time to SMOOTHIE! Come join me. Grab a bunch of fresh seasonal produce, pair it with a medium you like, throw in some nuts, seeds, herbs and get going. Once you’re done, what’s next? Soup maybe?

[print_this]Recipe: Fruit & Vegetable Smoothies
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Summary: Time for SMOOTHIES! Come join me. Grab a bunch of fresh seasonal produce, pair it with a medium you like, throw in some nuts, seeds, herbs and get going. 3 recipes to get you going …

Persimmon Orange Strawberry Smoothie
Flesh of 2 fully ripe persimmons
5 strawberries {approx 50g}
Juice of 1 orange
1/2 cup water
Pinch rock salt
Place in jar of Thermomix, processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Add extra juice or water if desired.

Cucumber Spinach tender Coconut Water Smoothie
1 small English cucumber, with skin {approx 100g}
Small bunch fresh spinach leaves{approx 35g}
200ml tender coconut water
Pinch rock salt
Place in jar of Thermomix, processor or blender. Blend until smooth

Banana Chocolate Oats Smoothie
2 bananas {chopped, frozen in summer, normal in winter}
300ml low fat milk, soy milk, almond milk
1 tsp brown sugar{optional}
1 tbsp oats {or almonds}
2 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
Place in jar of Thermomix, processor or blender. Blend until smooth.


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