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Thursday, July 18, 2019

The One Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

The other day I picked a mug cake online and decided to go with it based on good reviews the recipe had garnered. There were a couple of comments expressing their disappointment as well and I chose to ignore them thinking that how can one go wrong with a mug cake. Apparently one can and if I had to comment now, I would have ended up in the latter category. The mug cake was bitter to the core and rubbery and I had to trash the entire stuff. And besides, I had baked it in a bowl to suit my 'one bowl dishes' theme. 😞

And then I came across this small sized eggless treat which is just enough to satisfy one's sweet tooth without going overboard. This cake can be made in two minutes from scratch. It took a minute to bake in my oven but the time may vary (a few seconds extra) since microwave powers vary.  The cake is not overtly sweet which was perfect for me but one can add more sugar or throw in some chocolate chips if they prefer it sweeter. The original cake had peanut butter but I used Nutella. One can instead use almond butter / jam / caramel sauce and so on. Don't skip the Nutella or whatever you choose to add since it keeps the cake moist. Use non dairy milk if going the vegan way. The cake was moist with perfect texture and tasted good. My daughter threw in some sprinkles in her mug cake.

2 tbsp. all purpose flour
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. Nutella 

* Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt in a small bowl or directly in a small sized mug, making sure that there aren't any lumps.
* Stir in the milk and oil until the mixture is combined well. Go to next step if using a microwave safe bowl or else transfer the mixture to a mug.
* Drop a tablespoon of peanut butter / jam / Nutella at the center and push it down into the batter.
* Microwave for one minute on high. Remove and enjoy warm.

This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #102 under 'One Bowl Dishes' theme. Check what other marathoners are cooking, clicking at the link.


Thursday, July 4, 2019

Stawberrry Jam (No Pectin)

There is always a bottle of strawberry / grape jam in my refrigerator since they happen to be my favorites to pair with my toast though husband votes for orange marmalade. I thought of therefore including a jam recipe this week as part of my 'spreads' theme in the blogging marathon. I had tried preparing jams a few times before and decided to do a version without pectin this time. I saved a pack of strawberries for this purpose though I had a bottle of strawberry spread in the refrigerator staring at me. It would have given me an evil eye if it could emote. That's how ridiculous I become when it comes to blogging and luckily, my husband didn't notice that I spent time on cooking something, which is already lying in the refrigerator. 

This is one of the recipes to try when one has a bounty of berries or berries are selling cheaper. This home version jam contains only three ingredients and contains no pectin. Pectin is added in jam preparation for thickening and without pectin, this jam is slightly on the softer side. Sweet ripened berries, sugar and lemon juice are the only ingredients that went into this jam preparation. I didn't add the quantity of sugar mentioned in the recipe on purpose and made somewhat sweet - tart tasting jam. This makes a small quantity of jam and mine was gone in less than a week. 

2 cups strawberries (roughly a pound)
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar (or adjust to the desired sweetness)

* Freeze a couple of metal spoons.
* Wash the berries and chop the stems. Chop / blend the strawberries to your desired consistency. I pulsed them in a food processor to a coarse mush along with sugar.
* Add all the ingredients to a medium sized pan and stir to combine. Cook on medium flame until mixture comes to a boil. Lower the heat and continue cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
* To know whether the jam is done, dribble some hot jam onto a frozen spoon and wait for a few seconds for it to cool. If you run a finger through the jam and if it makes a clear path through the jam and doesn't fill in, it means the jam is set. Continue to cook if the jam is not yet set.
* Remove the jam from the heat when it is set and transfer to a clean jar. Refrigerate it when it completely cools down. 

This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #102 under 'Spreads' theme. Check what other marathoners are cooking, clicking at the link.


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Gulkand - Cream Cheese Spread

I chose to go with some 'spread ' recipes for this week's blogging marathon and was looking for some traditional recipes that are doable at home with minimum fuss. I had 2 packs of cream cheese lying in the refrigerator and so initially thought of preparing a savory spread to go with bagels. My daughter suggested to go the opposite way and requested to add some date puree to make it sweeter. My daughter is not a fan of 'sweet' stuff in general and so I knew that even if I obliged her request, I would end up eating all of it. I was lazy even to puree the dates as I was making it for myself 😉 and was looking for another alternative to sweeten the cheese spread until I found a bottle of unused gulkand lying in my refrigerator.

This 'no cook' spread has only two ingredients - cream cheese and gulkand and doesn't even require a recipe. For the uninitiated, gulkand is a preserve made with a special pink colored rose petals. I used low fat cream cheese and gulkand, that I had brought from a store in Coorg from India, who support local women in promoting their homemade products. Use the ingredients in equal parts and whisk them with a fork or puree them if you are patient enough and use it as a spread. I did not even whisk them properly and so you can see bits of cheese in my spread. It tastes good even if it looks somewhat rustic, if you like the rose flavor that is.

This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #102 under 'Spreads' theme. Check what other marathoners are cooking, clicking at the link.