“Always keep a smile on your face, a rainbow in your heart, and some dark chocolate on hand!”

Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Brown Sugar Cake Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Brown Sugar Cake … seems like a load of dark chocolate and wholegrain happening on PAB of late. That’s where my heart lies. Whether it’s brownies, cookies or biscotti or then cake, wholegrain is the preferred choice, and often dark chocolate the perfect partner in crime!

Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Brown Sugar Cake I must confess that I begin with ‘no chocolate‘ in my intentions, but somewhere along the way cocoa and chocolate find their way into the mix or batter. It’s happened umpteen times, and now I wonder if I function on ‘auto chocolate’?

Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Brown Sugar Cake So this Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Brown Sugar Cake is inspired by the Muscavado Sugar Cake in a brilliant book ‘Good To The Grain‘. I bought the book a few years ago, and it continues to hold pride o f place on my book shelf. I might not bake out of it often, but its a constant source of inspiration alright. Just leafing through the pages gets my creativity going!'food-o-graphy' by Deeba Rajpal. A Food Styling workshop at the Indian Food Bloggers Meet 2014Talk about inspiration. So while I was making the cake, unsure of course whether it would work out fine or not, I thought I’d experiment with the styling.  I sometimes find chocolate challenging to shoot so figured I would experiment a little. You see I am headed off to the IFBM in Bangalore to host a food styling workshop. With just a clutch of days to go, the butterflies in my stomach flutter non stop.

Food Styling @ PABIt’s just an hours workshop and my first dedicated food styling one. I am super excited and want to cram everything I know into that one precious hour. That’s not going to happen of course, but I am trying. Food styling is so personal, it reflects a bit of you, yet it is so infinite.

food photographyThat’s the thing about food photography. Just keep experimenting with different, styles, different porps, changing light… it’s this practice that helps you grow. The possibilities are infinite. Much like the pleasure you get from seeing the results! So while the recipe is to feed the blog, the few different snapshots head off to the IFBM!

Wholegrain baking I enjoy using wholegrains in my recipes, and this one is a hearty and delicious one. Getting amaranth in there made it even better. You can experiment with different combinations, even skip the cocoa like in the original recipe from the book. Oh yes, and try and use unrefined mineral sugars. Make it a habit. I have!


Recipe: Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Brown Sugar Cake your picture

Summary: Dark, moist and divinely chocolaty, this Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Brown Sugar Cake is sure to be a crowd pleaser. A great tea tray bake, a picnic cake or a tiffin filler, this is sure to become a favourite soon.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • 45g amaranth flour
  • 80g wholewheat flour
  • 25g cocoa
  • 20g almond m
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 100g butter, chilled, cubed
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 175g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g dark chocolate chips {optional}


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line an 8 X 8″ square baking tin.
  2. In the jar of the food processor, place the amaranth, whole wheat, almond meal, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Pulse briefly to mix and lighten.
  3. Add the chilled butter and pulse briefly to get a breadcrumb like mix. Reserve.
  4. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Add 75g brown sugar and beat again until stiff. Place about a 1/4 cup in a piping bag {for marbling on top if desired}. Reserve rest
  5. Beat the egg yolks with remaining sugar in a large bowl until light and moussey, almost 5-7 minutes. Add vanilla an d beat again.
  6. Gently fold in dry mix, followed by the beaten egg whites. Fold lightly but uniformly. Add chocolate chips if using and gently mix again.
  7. Turn into prepared tin, pipe squiggles of reserved beaten egg white if desired.
  8. Bake for abut 25-30 minutes or until a tester comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
  9. Cool on rack for about 30 minutes. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.


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“Bake with love…”
Manuela Kjeilen

Wholegrain GF Amaranth Brownie Biscotti Wholegrain GF Amaranth Brownie Biscotti. Today I have one of my favourite recipes for you. I developed this for my better half who is trying to stay gluten free and loves biscotti. I shot it in a hurry as he was leaving for HKG and loves to carry ‘the taste of home’ with him.

Wholegrain GF Amaranth Brownie Biscotti I am super inspired with whole grain baking and still can’t figure out why plain flour formed my first few years of baking. It’s never too late to shift gear though. I did, and happily so. My baking now is mostly whole grain and I am LOVING it. You will find oats, amaranth, wholewheat, nut meals in my recipes.Whole foodMy other love, fruit, finds a lot of place in my blog too. I have also now shifted to using raw sugar, honey and brown mineral sugar in the kitchen, and sometimes natural fruit substitutes a part of the sugar. I hope I have inspired you to shift gears a little too. Do ‘think out of the box’, push your boundaries and always stay inspired!Chocolate Marquise

This post is headed for Bloggers Tuesday at Home Bakers Guild.


[print_this]Recipe:Wholegrain GF Amaranth Brownie Biscottiyour picture

Summary: Deep, dark, comforting … all the goodness that biscotti promises to be in this gluten free avatar. Wholegrain GF Amaranth Brownie Biscotti offers a gluten free alternative to this delicious twice baked Italian classic cookie.

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

  • 70g amaranth flour
  • 25g rice flour
  • 40g almond meal
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 75g dark chocolate chips
  • 50g walnuts, roasted, chopped
  • 2eggs
  • 100g butter
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the amaranth flour, rice flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and nuts and toss well to mix. Reserve.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients from the reserved bowl and bring together with your hands to make a firm dough.
  4. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly oiled surface, pat one half together firmly and roll into a log. Flatten gently. Repeat with the other half.
  5. Transfer the logs gently onto the baking sheet, evenly spaced apart, brush with the reserved egg white, and sprinkle with sugar.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, until the dough feels firm to the touch. {Keep a close eye as the oven is quite hot and the chocolate can burn}
  7. Remove pan from the oven and cool 5 minutes. On a cutting board, use a serrated knife to diagonally cut the cookies into 1/2-inches slices.
  8. Reduce heat to 150C. Lay the cookies cut side down on baking sheets and return to the oven for 35 minutes {or more if you like your biscotti crisper}, turning the baking sheet midway during baking, until the cookies feel mostly firm.


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“Cookies are made of butter and love.”
Norwegian Proverb

Amaranth Oat Walnut Ginger CookiesAmaranth Oat Walnut Ginger Cookies were an experiment, yet another happy one!. Strangely enough, ever since I claimed I hardly ever bake cookies, that’s just what I have been doing of late. Eggless Honey Almond Cookies Eggless Almond Honey Wholegrain Cookies … then Coffee Shortbread which still has to see light of day on my blog. We’ve got some happy cookie monsters on the prowl this end!!

Coffee Shortbread Cookies Did you notice something? They’re all eggless cookies, or lacto vegetarian as they call them. Like the ‘Not Quite Anzac Cookie Pops’ below I woke up early one morning and had fun making on Anzac Day last week. I did a Not Quite Anzac Cookie Cake too! No Quite Anzac Cookie Cake and PopsOn this eggless trail, I also recently stirred up Dark Chocolate Nutella Kumquat Pudding … sinfully addictive!  Hmmmm … maybe it’s a trend? Certainly feels like one!Dark Chocolate Nutella Kumquat Pudding {GF Eggless} Then the other day Ruchira & I popped by at Sangeeta’s and were treated to these fab GF Ginger & Jaggery Energy Bars. The taste of the bars lingered on for long, flavours dancing in my head. That they were just 5 ingredient bars and had amaranth flour and oats was intriguing enough!

Amaranth Oat Walnut Ginger Cookies I had to come home and recreate ‘something‘. Her recipe inspired me. I’d do cookies. Nice plump whole grain bites. Cookies are always handy to have at home, gluten free more so for Mr PAB. I didn’t have jaggery on hand, so changes happened. Many changes.

Amaranth Oat Walnut Ginger Cookies Eventually ended up with these and they packed a nice punch. The subtle undertones on ginger and honey teased the palette. The walnut taste didn’t come through, but upped the ante on the ‘healthy nuts’ factor. I ran the Amaranth Oat Walnut Ginger Cookies past the ‘inspirer‘ at the Food Freak Awards Gurgaon later that evening. She gave them a huge thumbs up, so here you are.

Amaranth Oat Walnut Ginger Cookies These possibly aren’t going to be huge kiddie favourite cookies as they aren’t very sweet. Slightly crumbly, reminiscent of the quintessential Indian nan khatai that we used to bake in our childhood, I found the Amaranth Oat Walnut Ginger Cookies quite addictive. They grow on you. For eggless, gluten free cookies, they are fabulous! I shall experiment some more with the recipe, maybe crack an egg or two in the days to come. Until then, these eggless cookies might please you like they did Sangeeta and me!

[print_this]Recipe: Amaranth Oat Walnut Ginger Cookies
your picture

Summary: For eggless, gluten free baking, these Amaranth Oat Walnut Ginger Cookies are fabulous! Slightly crumbly, reminiscent of the quintessential Indian nan khatai that we used to bake in our childhood, I found them quite addictive.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • 100g + 50g oats
  • 50g amaranth flour
  • 50g walnuts
  • 100g butter, chilled, cubed
  • 1″ piece ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 50g honey
  • 1-2 tbsp brown sugar for sprinkling


  1. Place 100g oats, amaranth flour, walnuts, chilled butter and ginger in bowl of food processor and blend to a fine meal.
  2. Add the baking soda, brown sugar and remaining oats and pulse al low speed to mix.
  3. With the motor running on slow, pour in the honey until mixed and the cookie dough comes together.
  4. Heat oven to 150C.
  5. Scoop out walnut sized bits of cookie dough and place on a parchment lined cookie tray. Gently press down with the tines of a fork. Sprinkle over with brown sugar.
  6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until light golden brown and firm to touch.
  7. Cool completely on the rack.
  8. Note: For a GF diet, make sure your oats are GF.


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