Baking | Whole Wheat Lemon Tres Leches Cake … & Your Wish is My App #Indiblogger #Nokia #NDTV

“Sometimes things become possible if we want them bad enough.”
T.S. Eliot

Whole wheat Lemon Tres Leches Cake 1Whole Wheat Lemon Tres Leches Cake … a healthier, whole grain version of an international favourite. The cake was as delicious as it was simple and rather plain in appearance. A healthy makeover, a cake I was inspired to make a while ago with leftover ‘tres leches‘ or 3 milk syrup from a Daring Bakers challenge. Then I had made a much fancier layered Mango Pastel de Tres Leches or Mango Three Milk Cake.

Mango Pastel de Tres LechesI forgot to share the whole wheat version until the other day when I was trying to dream up some app ideas for an Indiblogger event I attended. One thought led to another, and also took me back to the Whole Wheat Lemon Tres Leches Cake which I had forgotten to share as promised.

Mango Pastel de Tres Leches But first a little introduction to the event that inspired me to ‘wish‘! It was an interesting evening which launched Season II of the Your Wish is My App meet with Indiblogger and Nokia Lumia. It promised to be an entertaining evening with a live wire bunch of folk on stage. The line up included New York based, Michelin starred celebrity chef Vikas Khanna, TV anchor and  super gadget guru Rajiv Makhni, and someone best known as the father of the Indian gaming industry, Vishal Gondal.

Your Wish is My App Indiblgger NoikaThat it would be entertaining was expected; that it would be side splitting funny, hysterical laughs and packed with madness and mayhem wasn’t. The trio kept us in splits, a 100% engaging and interactive. The crowds loved them, especially Vikas Khanna who wears his heart on his sleeve. The attendance crossed 300 and for a while the stage shuddered under the weight of almost everyone who wanted to be ‘there with the guys’!

Photo courtesy Vj Sharma @ Photo Journey

Photo courtesy Vj Sharma @ Photo Journey

With sound touching the ‘are you crazy‘ levels, it was an entertaining evening of ‘Apps and Blogging‘ alright. Have you ever thought to yourself “I wish there was an app for this! ” was the question asked.

Healthy food makeoverI did have some app-etising thoughts in my head, but very enthusiastic techies present in large numbers overtook my confidence pretty soon. Food bloggers were few, the techie majority hungry for bytes. My ideas just didn’t flow. On the drive back however I suddenly had a head full of possible ‘wishes’ ! Apps that would bring together a local farmer/produce community in touch with buyers … a farm to table app!

fresh pumpkin pureeApps that would encourage the use of local produce, suggest indigenous substitutes for international recipe, and also give a nutritional analysis of a recipe, maybe a possible calorie count too. An app that would make us think differently perhaps, support a local food and farmer community, encourage us to lean towards healthier food habits, and analyse our plates to see what we eat.

Roasted bell peppers
Roasted bell pepper pesto

Why apps? With over 2200 million mobile handsets being sold in India each year, the numbers are only set to grow. With mind boggling numbers of 130 million users who access the internet via smart phones, it only makes business sense to step into apps! Season I at Nokia saw 38000 app ideas being offered, out of which 1200 have already been converted into apps.

Here’s one that would be on top of my wishlist for a food community at large. Since all of us aren’t recipe developers and experimenters, how about an app that offers a healthy alternative to a normal recipe? Not sure if it’s achievable, or if it’s a hair brained non tech idea, but I love the very thought. While I have the time to experiment, substitute, indulge in my hobby / obsession, a lot of food lovers might not be on the same plate.

Healthy food

Maybe call it a Glocal Healthy Recipe App? It would need to offer healthier substitutes for recipes, locally available alternates, a calorie count, nutritional info if possible etc. The idea is to try and stay local even with global recipes, Glocal if you like. That in turn reduces out carbon footprint, makes us support the local farmer and producer community, encourages us to think out of the box; more than anything else, experiment!

Whole wheat Lemon Tres Leches Cake Here’s an example of a healthy makeover. This Whole Wheat Lemon Tres Leches Cake is a whole wheat version of the Tres Leches Cake {or a “three milks cake”}. Incidentally, the basic cake is also a healthier whole grain version of the pound cake. Whole wheat Lemon Tres Leches Cake The Tres Leches is a light cake, with many air bubbles. This distinct texture is why it does not have a soggy consistency, despite being soaked in a mixture of three types of milk. Enjoy it!

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The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking | Wholegrain Chocolate Nutella Whoopie Pies … healthy sweet pies with promise

“Never doubt that a small, committed group of people with pies can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Subcommandante Tofutti

Wholegrain Chocolate Nutella Whoopie PiesWholegrain Chocolate Nutella Whoopie Pies …  come December and the Daring Bakers challenge to end 2013 was to bake whoopies. Given all the frenzied baking over Christmas, these were fun. Whoopies always are. Relaxed, super creative and ‘in sync with the holiday season‘, they were a wonderful pick to end the year!

Wholegrain Chocolate Nutella Whoopie Pies

The December Daring Bakers’ Challenge had us all cheering – the lovely and talented Bourbonnatrix of Bourbonnatrix Bakes was our hostess and challenged us to make fun, delicious and creative whoopie pies! Delicious little cake-like cookies sandwiching luscious filling in any flavors we chose… What else is there to say but “Whoopie!”

Wholegrain Chocolate Nutella Whoopie Pies I still remember my first whoopies, Oatmeal Nutella Whoopie Pies adapted minimally from a great recipe from Ree @ Pioneer Woman. Those were a big hit with the kids and adults alike. At the time Mr PAB did say they were oversweet. I reduced the sugar this time around. They were perfect!

Whoopie pies are a cross between a cookie and a cake (not a pie!), with two round, mound-shaped halves sandwiching a sweet creamy filling. According to Wikipedia, Whoopie pies are considered a New England phenomenon and a Pennsylvania Amish tradition. It is also Maine’s official state treat. The traditional Whoopie pie consists of a chocolate cake and a vanilla marshmallow filling, but pumpkin and gingerbread cake is also common enough. 

Wholegrain Chocolate Nutella Whoopie Pies Onto this challenge, I knew I was going to go wholegrain, so half my work was cut out. I based my recipe on the Oatmeal Nutella Whoopie Pies measurements, changing a few bits and bobs here and there. It worked quite well actually. The Wholegrain Chocolate Nutella Whoopie Pies began disappearing at an alarming rate!

Wholegrain Chocolate Nutella Whoopie Pies Of course they aren’t as light, cakey and airy as all purpose flour whoopies. These are heavier to bite, more earthy, more rustic and definitely more healthy. I was glad I did the challenge pretty early in the month with red and green firmly in place. Later, each day raced into the next, the month literally galloping towards the end.

Wholegrain Chocolate Nutella Whoopie Pies One look and bite into the whoopies and both kids {and Mr PAB} exclaimed, “You’ve made these before!” Bravo to good food memories! I had made my first whoopie pies back in May 2012 fresh from an invigorating trip into Old Delhi, one of my favourite places to be in. Time flies ….

It’s difficult to believe the year’s almost drawing to an end. December has almost vanished. It’s been a busy year. Being a Daring Baker is always a positive part of every year, though losing our co-founder Lis unexpectedly left us crestfallen. Knowing her, she would like the whisks in the kitchen to mix non-stop. Through these challenges, her spirit lives on.

Daring Bakers 2013 challengesThe challenges I have enjoyed through 2013 include Dark Chocolate Beetroot Cake with Peanut Butter FillingSwedish Prinsesstårta Cupcakes, Mango Pastel de Tres Leches or Three Milk CakeMomofukus {Infamous} Crack PieSavoury Phyllo Pot Pies and Rye Cheddar Crackers & Pizza Dough Crisps.

Do stop by here and check out some real cutie pies the talented Daring Bakers are whooping with! Thank you Bourbonnatrix for the fun challenge. Thank you too Ivonne of  Cream Puffs in Venice for hosting this fab kitchen!!

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

Baking | Wholewheat Doily Cookies & Chocolate Pretzels for the Great Cookie Swap 2013 #fbcookieswap

Gingerbread men,  Doily Cookies & Chocolate Pretzels for the Cookie Swap 2013Wholewheat Doily Cookies & Chocolate Pretzels … it’s the time of the year when the bells begin to jingle and there are hungry cookie monsters on the prowl. With the cookie season in full swing, this year I have literally abandoned plain flour for whole grains. This year, there was another reason to bake cookies – a fundraiser called the Great Cookie Swap 2013, which a bunch of us got roped into thanks to sweet Charis via Roshni!

Gingerbread men,  Doily Cookies & Chocolate Pretzels for the Cookie Swap 2013 I’ve been watching it take shape over the years, attempted to enroll once. We never did find enough folk to make a ‘team’ in India. This time was different and we made a beginning. With India now on the map, hopefully we get a whole bunch of food bloggers joining in next year. If you wish to be notified about the swap next year, do sign up here

Gingerbread menThe cookie baking experience was a whole lot different this year thanks to the event. The swap made it special. For a change I was baking for a cause, and guarding my loot from the cookie monsters! From a dozen that were normally available for them to munch, there were just a couple on offer!

Cookie Swap 2013We had to bake a dozen cookies for each of 3 surprise recipients, who wouldn’t know until the bell rang that cookies had arrived. I was fortunate to get my first secret batch from RiddhiCook By The Book. Her cookies were delicious! That set me in the mood and I headed straight for the kitchen.

Cookie Swap 2013I wanted to bake everything for everyone, but then got real. Couriering can prove to be harsh on cookies, the logistics a little dicey. I narrowed down to whole-wheat cinnamon ginger cookies and whole-wheat chocolate pretzel cookies. I had recently made dozens of whole-wheat gingerbread men for a home for homeless girls and really enjoyed that experience.

Gingerbread men,  Doily Cookies & Chocolate Pretzels for the Cookie Swap 2013 I decided to bake fluted cookies for the swap since gingerbread men are fragile. Then the daughter joined in, found some doily cookies on Pinterest and pestered me to make them. I did but with whole-wheat gingerbread cookie dough.

Doily Cookies for the Cookie Swap 2013She wasn’t a 100% impressed though as wanted finer lacier cookies. I was happy with whole-wheat deep flavoured ones. I think the doily idea is stunning, and would definitely work more beautifully on sugar cookie dough etc. This was something new learnt, and immensely enjoyed. It certainly was a WOW moment!

Gingerbread men,  Doily Cookies & Chocolate Pretzels for the Cookie Swap 2013 The chocolate pretzel cookies I used to make often when the kids were little. Haven’t made them in years. To my delight, the minute tray #1 popped out of the oven, the daughter whooped in delight, “Yay pretzels!! You haven’t made them in years. I love them“. The son reacted similarly!! Happily enough, there were plenty for the two of them too.

Gingerbread men,  Doily Cookies & Chocolate Pretzels for the Cookie Swap 2013 The pretzels too underwent a wholegrain makeover. The kids loved them like before. I still wonder why I didn’t think of these things earlier. They tasted crunchy good and chocolaty with whole wheat flour too.

Gingerbread men,  Doily Cookies & Chocolate Pretzels for the Cookie Swap 2013 I love the idea of a bakers dozen, and stuck in a cute gingerbread man to accompany the cookies. Each box had a special happy man in there too. I hope my cookies surprised my secret recipients.

The GREAT FOOD BLOGGER COOKIE SWAP brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things scrumptious. The premise is this: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers.

This year they have again partnered with COOKIES FOR KIDS’ CANCER, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease.

 I really enjoyed doing the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap‘. From deciding what to bake, to waiting impatiently for the surprises to arrive, to waiting for posting date, it was n enriching experience.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie SwapThank you Riddhi @ Cook by the Book for the wonderful Zesty Whole-wheat Pumpkin Seeds Oatmeal Cookies, Sangeeta @ Healthfood Desi Videshi for the addictive savoury GF Lentil Cookies {with loads of my favourite flavours}, and Roshni @ The Vanilla Bean for the delicious Lavender Crisps.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013My cookies to Sangeeta and Himanshu reached quite early, but Riddhi in Bangalore wan’t that lucky. Got a call just this afternoon from the courier that the package came back undelivered. Sangeeta’s cookies also apparently reached Riddhi very late. Will mail some later as she is travelling this month!

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

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