Monday, June 13, 2011

Kitchen Chemistry

I have been drafting posts for a while now. But nothing I write really agrees with my mood. So I have a stack of unpublished posts on blogger.
One thing that agrees with my current state of mind 100% is baking. It has been a delightful one month back home. I have been experimenting happily in the kitchen. So I thought I will share some of my happy monsoon-special recipes with my readers.

Banana-walnut cake

You need...

1 1/2 cups flour (you can also replace this with whole meal wheat flour for a healthier version)
2 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter (in India, you can use homemade butter too. No need to buy processed butter)
1/2 cup sugar (you can replace this with Kanak Gool. Talk about self-endorsement haha!)
1 cup mashed banana (it is a good idea to just mash the bananas by hand. It gives the cake that rustic feel)
1/2 cup crushed walnuts (crushing in a pestle and mortar instead of grinding in a blender also adds character to the cake)
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg/ nutmeg powder
1 tea spoon baking powder

How you do it...

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
2. Melt the butter and sugar in a glass bowl
3. Add eggs and whisk until everything mixes well
4. Slowly add flour and baking powder; maintaining the consistency of the mixture
5. Add mashed banana, nutmeg and crushed walnuts. If the mixture is too viscous, add some milk.
6. Cover a baking tin with a thin film of butter. And add the cake mix. Make sure that the cake mix does not occupy more than 3/4th of the baking tin to allow for the cake to rise.
7. Bake for about 40 minutes. Test whether it is cooked using a skewer (for beginners, if the skewer comes out clean, Bingo!)

I am actually crazy enough to sit in front of the oven and watch it rise. But I understand that not everyone has such an unhealthy attachment to their work of art. :)

How you serve it...

Goes well with tea, coffee and happy company.

Variation: Apple cinnamon cake
Instead of using Banana+walnut, you can replace the fruit element with apple+cinnamon. In this case, unfortunately, you can only use white sugar to maintain the aesthetics of the cake. :)
If you wish to make this variation, peel the apples and boil them until they are soft. Blend apple and cinnamon into a paste and add it after step 4 above.

Happy Baking!