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walnuts

Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes “That is one good thing about this world
…there are always sure to be more springs.”
L.M. Montgomery

Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes, indulgent little treats for days when you want something to go from simple to simply delicious in a matter of minutes. These wholegrain cupcakes are just that and more. Easy to stir together with almost staple pantry ingredients, they are light, moist and full of chocolaty flavour. Have them as they are ‘naked’ if that’s your call, else spruce them up with a sinful dark chocolate ganache, some sprinkles if you like, and voila! You have magic {if I may say so myself}. That these are wholewheat, use jaggery as a sweetener and top of the milk cream or ‘malai’ make them worth the try!!

Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes These cupcakes are inspired by the very sweet Shikha of Cocoka, a friend for life, one I met at my very first food styling workshop with Darter. She’s been difficult to shake off, and has attended each one of the other workshops, the sweetheart that she is. So she baked these absolutely delicious cupcakes in these absolute stunning liners, with the most delicious ganache on top for our last food styling workshop at Lodi.Darter Food Styling Workshop, The Lodi, New Delhi

Food Styling Workshop Lodi 3

Food Styling Workshop Lodi She also gifted me some of those beautiful Spring like cupcake wrappers when I waxed eloquent about them. Non stop! I couldn’t believe how pretty they were. So here I was, armed with the prettiest ever cupcake wrappers and a need to bake that very day. Maybe something chocolate, possibly brownie cupcakes. With Spring here, the weather brilliant, these cases were all I wanted to use.

Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes Setting off to make home made butter in the KitchenAid Stand Mixer, which is a BREEZE by the way, I stole some cream just because. Just because I suddenly remembered this top of the milk cream {malai} cake, Dark Chocolate & Walnut Wholewheat Cake I had made a while ago, falling prey to a similar feeling then. So here you are, cupcakes adapted from that cake, cupcakes that came out really YUM. Wrappers like these must be the reason because they inspire you to excel!Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes Honestly, good aesthetics give me a spring in my step, a reason to enjoy what I do a little more. What I didn’t manage very well was the piping as I haven’t piped ganache onto cupcakes in eons. Guess that’s what I will be practicing next, in my dreams immediately if not on cupcakes. Shikha received several SOS calls and now I am a little better educated. Her tips – let the ganache rest a bit, then whisk it again before piping. Notes taken for next time! Oh and by the way, Shikha @ Cocoka has the most fun baking classes in Delhi. You can read more about that at NDTV Food.

Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Deeba Rajpal
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 cupcakes
These Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes are easy to stir together with almost staple pantry ingredients, they are light, moist and full of chocolaty flavour. Have them as they are ‘naked’ if that’s your call, else spruce them up with a sinful dark chocolate ganache, some sprinkles if you like, and voila! You have magic {if I may say so myself}. That these are wholewheat, use jaggery as a sweetener and top of the milk cream or ‘malai’ make them worth the try!!
Ingredients
  • Cupcakes
  • Wet Mix
  • 85ml top of the milk cream {malai}
  • 75g jaggery
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Dry Mix
  • 85g wholewheat flour
  • 30g Cocoa
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 50g walnuts, chopped
  • 50g butterscotch chips, optional
  • 75ml buttermilk
  • Ganache
  • 225g 52% dark couverture chocolate, chopped
  • 100ml low fat cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Place 6 cupcake wrappers on a baking tray {or line a 6 mold muffin tray}
  2. Place dry mix ingredients in a bowl, and stir well to mix
  3. Place the wet mix ingredients in bowl of stand mixer, and whisk at speed 4 for 2-3 minutes. Mixture might look slightly curdled but that’s OK.
  4. Gently fold in 1/3 of dry mix, followed by half buttermilk. Repeat ending with dry mix.
  5. Spoon into cupcake/muffin cases, 3/4 full. Bake for 35 minutes, until tester comes out moist with a few crumbs hanging. Cool on racks.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature if sans frosting. If you are frosting them, cool completely before piping the ganache on.
  7. Ganache
  8. Place chopped chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl and run at high in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir until smooth, then leave it to rest to cool and thicken. Whisk again before piping.
  9. Pipe onto cupcakes with a star nozzle.
Serving size: 6-8

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“I figure it’s a European thing to eat cheese and crackers before a meal – that’s my afternoon snack, or I do it before dinner.”
Andrew Luck

Oats Nut Crispbread Oats Nut Crispbread … some pleasures in life are simple. These are one of those. Nibble, nibble, nibble. This crispbread is just the right thing for healthy snacking. Also just right for the cheeseboard, with dips, fruit, crumbled over salad, layered into a savoury parfait … or then, the dough baked into bite sized canapes.

Oats Nut CrispbreadNeed I say more? It’s a recipe I developed for the Saffola Fit Foodie website, and it’s one I now make often. It’s amazing how versatile oats as an ingredients can be, and also how much you can push your boundaries if you think out of the box. This recipe is just a small beginning to get you going, to encourage you perhaps to get off the refined way of life. Oats Nuts Crispbread It’s not that I don’t used all purpose flour at all, but I’m happy to say it might be a mere 5% of my baking that sees it. The odd birthday cake, some in a pizza base, maybe in bread dough paired with wholewheat, yet it’s an achievement.

Oats Nuts Crispbread And one of the easiest ways to make the wholegrain transition is via crackers. They are easy, versatile, can be rolled into submission, heartlessly broken into shards or daintily cut into perfect shapes. They are also an absolute treat to eat. Grab some really nice cheese, a chilled glass of wine if you like, fresh fruit and dry, salad leaves, micro-greens, cold cuts, some good company {else a good book} … settle yourself in a heap and get nibbling!

Oats Nuts Crispbread For me these are good any time of the day, any day of the year. Of course I love putting them together more in winter when beet greens and rocket are flourishing. Yet summer is here, a dab of feta, some caramelised onions & garlic jam, balsamic mushrooms, olives, sun dried tomatoes …. you get the drift? Now all you need to do is to make these! You knead to roll!!

Recipe: Oats Nut Crispbread
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Summary: Delicious, light, addictive, versatile and simple to make, this Oats Nut Crispbread is very addictive and makes quite the perfect snack for a hungry nibble. If you are adventurous enough, you can even bake the dough into bite sized shells for canapes!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Ingredients:

  • 160 gm whole wheat flour
  • 115g oats {1 cup}
  • 40g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 20g white sesame seeds
  • 20g black sesame seeds
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp /30 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup / 175 ml water {approx}

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place the flour, oats, salt, garlic powder, baking powder and walnuts in bowl of food processor, and pulse for a few seconds to chop walnuts. Add seeds and oil. Pulse briefly to mix.
  3. Turn into a large bowl, add 1/2 a cup of water and knead into a smooth firm dough, adding more water as required.
  4. Knead for 2-3 minutes, and allow to rest, covered, on the counter for 15 minutes.
  5. Roll out on a lightly floured counter, and cut into desired shapes with a fluted pastry cutter, a pizza cutter or a knife
  6. Place on prepared baking sheets and bake for 15-18 minutes until lightly coloured and golden brown on the edges.
  7. Cool on racks. Store in an airtight container in a cool place.
    Serve with dips, on a cheese board etc.

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“The people who influence you are the people who believe in you.”
Henry Drummond

Wholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand PiesWholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand Pies … pies for a day like today that honours the humble pie. Handiwork of a genius foodie  who equated Pi Day to Pie day ….and the rest as they say is history. In taste terms these turned out to be quite delicious. I think they are a fab fit for Pie day which incidentally falls today on the 14th of March. {Read 3.14}

Wholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand Pies There was a time a couple of years ago when I never missed doing a pie for Pie Day. The whole concept had me enchanted. With a deep dislike {read  hatred} for math in school, the very concept of 22/7=3.14 being applied to mathematical problems flew over the top of my head. My poor father would break his head trying to drill some math intelligence into me. Never happened.

Wholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand Pies Then came food blogging, the Daring Bakers, and a LOT of new foodie friends. We had loads in common. We would wake up and hop into twitter from right across the globe, and break into a twitter chat! It was an obsession, and a load of good was born out of it too. It was in March one year when, much to our amazement, someone started a chain asking to make pies for Pi Day? Most of us crawled out from under the rock … it was a huge YES!

Pi Day is an American annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (or 3/14 in the month/day date format), 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of π in decimal form. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day.

I’ve had some great pie baking on my blog. I credit a lot of what I’ve learnt to the Daring Bakers. Without them I wouldn’t have been half the baker I currently am. Some pies were FUN all the way like this Pie Bird & A Strawberry Pie I made after watching the film Life of Pi. I loved it!Strawberry Pie ... & a pie bird Some pie baking memories are poignant like the time there was a call for International Pie Day in honour of Jennifer Perillo. Jenifer’s Mikey loved Peanut Butter Cream Pie and she kept postponing making it for him. Then suddenly one day it was too late. I couldn’t make peanut butter cream pie as I had no peanut butter or cream cheese at home, but I made a no-bake Upside Down Mango Quark Cheesecake Pie. Upside Down Mango Quark Cheese PieSo was talking to the Ruchira yesterday and she said she was making a yummy Cheese & Bacon Pie … and the first thing that came to my mind was Pie Day. She was like huh? There’s something like Pie Day? So the mathematical equation was duly explained. Was she excited or what.  She loved the very idea, and that in turn got me going. I would do pie too, hand pies!

ThymeWhat a memorable day today was. Just the motivation I needed! No time to do grocery so I had to work with what I had on hand. Apples & thyme. Walnuts and cheddar are pantry staples, so I knew just what to make. Not one for an APF pastry, I decided to challenge myself. Would do a wholewheat version … and surprise, surprise, it worked beautifully. Crisp and light. You wouldn’t miss the normal pastry at all!

Wholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand Pies Shortcrust pastry needs delicate handling; don’t overwork it. Make sure the cut in butter is pea sized. Add just enough liquid so that it comes together comfortably, little more than just staying together than pinched. Pull it together in a ball, don’t knead the dough. The pastry gets tough. Cling wrap it into a flat disk and chill for a couple of hours. Who doesn’t like a good rest?  The pastry does too. Mine got an overnight rest so I had little work for this morning. I did the filling last night too so basically I was just down to rolling and pinching today!

Eggs & ThymeI got the eggs out for a glaze. Then decided to keep it a 100% vegetarian. Someone on FB posted a honey glaze ages ago. Unfortunately I cant remember her name, but I remember honey! I love the the goldenish brown hue it gave my pastry.  It’s a great choice if you want to keep a bake a 100% egg free. I used to do a single cream wash in the past. Honey is my new wash to go!

Wholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand Pies The flavours are beautiful too. Apples and walnuts are good old friends, cinnamon ties them together. Thyme and cheddar stirred in some magic. What a pleasing bite these had. Sweet little hand pies, just perfect for Pie Day. Despite being tired to bits with renovation on at home, a little nudge from a friends is all it took. It’s difficult to be optimistic all day, every day; and sometimes we need a little nudge to get on track! That is the power of being #together!

Wholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand Pies So I manged to bake pie to mark the day. Something else good also happened today. I walked 10,000 steps with the GOQii fitness band. What’s that you might ask? More about that on my next post!

[print_this]Recipe: Wholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand Pies
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Summary: Wholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand Pies … these pies carry a tale of their own. In taste terms as well. They turned out to be quite delicious, a fab fit for Pie day which incidentally falls today on the 14th of March. Makes 8-10 small hand pies.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Ingredients:

  • Wholewheat Short Crust Pastry
  • 150g whole wheat flour
  • 25g all purpose flour
  • 85g unsalted butter, diced and chilled
  • pinch salt
  • 15g brown sugar
  • 75g yogurt
  • 1tsp lime juice
  • Filling
  • 300g apples {2 medium}
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 7g {1tsp} corn flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 30g walnuts, finely chopped
  • 30g brown sugar
  • Few sprigs thyme
  • 50g mature cheddar, crumbled
  • Honey wash
  • 15ml honey
  • 1/2 tsp water

Method:

  1. Wholewheat Short Crust Pastry
  2. Place both flours, salt and sugar in bowl of food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add chilled butter cubes and pulse for a few seconds until broken up but bigger than pea sized bits.
  3. Add the lime juice and 3/4 of the yogurt and pulse briefly on low speed until it begins to clump. See if it forms a doogh, else add a little more yogurt.
  4. Bring together into a flat disk, cling wrap and rest for an hour, or overnight.
  5. Filling
  6. Core, peel and dice the apple into tiny bits.
  7. Toss in a bowl with remaining ingredients. Leave to rest for about 30 minutes for the flavours to marry, or in the fridge overnight.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  9. Divide the dough into 8 or 10. {You will get approx 10 X 3″ circles of dough. Fewer if you do 4″ circles.}
  10. Roll out dough on a floured surface to 1/8″ thickness. Cut out circles about 3″ in diameter and lightly brush the edges with a finger dipped in water.
  11. Put a heaping tablespoon of apple mixture on center of dough circle and fold over, brush the edges with water, pinching ends shut or crimping with a fork.
  12. Place on prepared baking sheet, brush with honey wash, top with a sprig of thyme if you like, gently pressing it into place.
  13. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.

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