World Baking Day: From Brownies to Ragi Chocolate Cake and Oatmeal Cookies, here are six recipes to try at home
Cookies, brownies, pastries, tea-cake, cupcakes, pudding... your mouth has started watering already, isn't? That's the magic of baking! Once upon a time, some folks decided to dedicate a day towards baking a cake, pie, cookies or anything sweet and bakeable for someone special in their lives and since then, we have been celebrating World Baking Day on May 17. And, since most of us have been confined to our homes, it is perhaps a good time to get together and bake something you love. If you need suggestions, we have six recipes from renowned chefs across the city of Mumbai.
1. Vanilla Pound Cake
(By Aditi Handa, co-founder and chief baker at The Baker’s Dozen)
Ingredients: Flour - 170 gms, eggs - 170 gms, baking powder - 4 gms, butter - 170 gms, caster sugar - 170 gms, vanilla - a few drops
1. Preheat the oven for five mins at 180° C
2. Keep the butter at room temperature for 15 mins or until it softens. Do not melt.
3. Cream the butter and sugar with a whisk until it doubles in volume and become pale yellow in colour
4. Add the eggs and whisk
5. Add the dry ingredients and vanilla. Whisk until evenly incorporated.
6. Pour into the mould and bake at 180° C for 30-40 mins
2. Chocolate Fudge Brownies
(By Guntas Sethi Bhasin, head chef and founder, Chef Guntas, Khar)
Ingredients: Unsalted butter - 150 grams, premium dark chocolate - 220 grams, castor sugar - 200 grams, eggs - 2, vanilla essence - 1 tsp, maida - 100 grams, cocoa powder - 15 grams, salt - 1 tsp
1. Preheat oven to 180° C.
2. Chop the dark chocolate into chunks.
3. Melt 120 grams of dark chocolate in the microwave.
4. Whisk the butter (at room temperature) and the castor sugar. Whisk in the eggs and the coffee shot until the mix becomes light and fluffy. Now, whisk in the melted chocolate.
5. Sieve the dry ingredients and with a spatula mix it into the butter mix. Do not over mix.
6. Fold in the chocolate chunks.
7. Transfer the batter into a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake at 180° C for 30 mins
3. Ragi Chocolate Cake
(By Chef Ranveer Brar)
Ingredients: 1 cup ragi flour, 1 cup wheat flour, ½ cup cocoa powder, ¾ cup sugar, 1 ½ tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 cups milk, 2 tsp vanilla essence, ¾ cup melted butter, a pinch of salt
For chocolate ganache: 200 ml fresh cream, 200 gms dark chocolate, cut into small pieces, ½ cup chocolate chips, ½ cup almonds, slivered
1. Take a bowl and add in all the dry ingredients. Mix well. Now pour in milk, vanilla essence and melted butter. Combine everything well, ensure there are no lumps in the batter. The batter should be of thick pouring consistency.
2. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius.
3. Line a cake tin with butter paper. Pour the cake batter in the lined tin. Tap it gently to remove air bubbles.
4. Bake for 35 minutes or until the knife comes out completely clean.
5. De-mould the cake and let it cool down to room temperature.
6. Meanwhile heat fresh cream in a heavy bottom pot. Stir continuously and let it come to a boil. Turn off the flame and add in the chopped chocolate pieces. Do not mix it. Let it rest for 2-3 minutes. Later, whisk it well and allow it to cool down a bit.
7. Once the cake cool downs completely, take a serrated knife and cut the top portion to even out the cakes top surface.
8. Pour the prepared ganache on top of the cake. Cover the entire cake with ganache. Garnish the cake with chocolate chips and slivered almonds.
9. Let it set in the fridge for 2-3 hours and serve.
4. Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies
(By Neha Sethi, co-founder and head baker, Sweetish House Mafia)
Ingredients: 1/4 cup or 55gms butter (softened), 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup granulated sugar (4 tbsp), 1/4 cup dark brown sugar (4 tbsp), 1 large egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence, 1 1/2 cups oats, 3/4 teaspoons baking soda, 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 175° C
2. Beat together the butter and peanut butter. To that add the castor sugar and brown sugar until smooth.
3. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add the oats and baking soda and mix until just combined.
4. Stir in the chocolate chips (you can also add half a cup of nuts).
5. Scoop out a tablespoon of dough, round it into a ball and place on a butter paper-lined baking sheet (you can also use foil paper). Make sure the dough balls are placed approx 2 inches apart.
6. Bake cookies for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Brown Butter, Rose & Chai Cake
(From Rachel Goenka's debut book Adventures with Mithai)
Ingredients: Flour 228 g, baking powder 1/4 tsp, baking soda 1 tsp, salt 1 tsp, cardamom powder 1/2 tsp, yoghurt 160 g, castor sugar 200 g, oil 130 ml, rosewater 1 tsp, black tea leaves (use a brand like society) 2 1/2 tbsp, milk 165 ml
For the glaze: Unsalted butter 60 g, icing sugar 180 g, cardamom powder 1/2 tsp, rose essence 2 ml milk 2 tbsp
1. Preheat the oven to 170° C. Line and grease an 8.5x4.5 loaf pan.
2. Brew the tea with 165 ml milk first. Bring it to a boil, remove from the heat and keep it covered for 3 to 4 minutes to allow the tea to steep. Strain with a fine-mesh sieve and bring the milk tea to room temperature before using. You need around 2/3 cup of tea.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom powder together and set aside.
4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the yoghurt and sugar for a few minutes. Add the oil and rose water and whisk for another few minutes till the mixture is creamy.
5. Add the sifted dry ingredients and the milk tea to the batter. Gently fold in the dry ingredients with a spatula. Pour into the greased loaf tin and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
6. While the cake bakes, make the glaze. Sift the icing sugar and cardamom powder together and set aside.
7. Cook the butter in a saucepan over a low flame for 5 to 8 minutes till the butter browns. Be careful not to burn the butter. Strain the browned butter to remove any impurities.
8. Add the icing sugar, a little at a time, and whisk to combine. Add a few teaspoons of milk and rose essence to thin the glaze, so it’s a pourable consistency.
9. Remove the tea cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. Carefully run a knife around edge of the pan to loosen before unmoulding.
10. Once the cake is completely cooled, drizzle the glaze on top.
6. Vegan gluten-free Raw Cacao Sweet Potato Brownie:
(By Shweta Nagpal, founder of Mindfuleats, Mumbai)
Ingredients: 1 cup (~200g) diced sweet potato, 1 cup thick unsalted almond butter (preferably homemade), 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1/4 cup coconut sugar, 2/3 cup raw almonds blended to a meal, 4 tablespoons raw cacao powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/2 cup roughly chopped dairy-free chocolate pieces, a pinch coffee powder, 4-5 tablespoons water to adjust batter consistency
1. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper. Ensure to leave a little paper overhanging on the sides to allow for ease of removal later.
2. Cook the sweet potato in the microwave on the appropriate setting or steam it on the gas until well cooked. Blend it to puree once cooled. Place it in a large bowl, followed by the almond butter, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Whisk to combine.
3. Add the coconut sugar, almond meal, cacao powder, salt, coffee powder and baking soda. Mix thoroughly by using a spatula until evenly combined and incorporated. Since it is a gluten-free batter there is no worry of overmixing. Adjust the batter consistently by adding a little water. It is relatively a thick batter. Fold in the chocolate pieces.
4. Transfer batter to the prepared pan. Using a spatula spread and pat the batter into an even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. (24-25 minutes is about perfect for my oven.)
5. Allow it to cool down. Afterwards, carefully lift the overhanging paper to de-mould brownies and cut them into desired pieces. Garnish with chocolate sauce drizzle.