Banana and Walnut Loaf

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All of us have had to deal with overripe bananas with blackened peels at some point in our life or the other. Caught in the dilemma of throwing away the fruit or converting it into something edible, we have spent hours going through recipes and thinking hard what to do with these black beauties. I have been faced with this particular dilemma many times ever since I started cooking. From blending overripe bananas to make a milk shake or making a flour-milk-banana batter for pancakes, I have tried it all. So when yesterday I was faced with this dilemma, I decided I would make a Banana cake loaf with the four overripe bananas that were lying almost dead in my refrigerator. I added a handful of chopped walnuts to the batter and the result won many hearts!

This Banana Walnut Loaf is the perfect accompaniment to your evening cup of tea. And the best way to get your fussy kids to eat fruit. Needless to say, it is also the yummiest way to use up overripe bananas! And making this moist and super yum loaf is nothing more than a child’s play. Read on, and by the time you finish reading this post, you will have this strong urge to rush into the kitchen to bake this loaf. Here’s how you can make it:

INGREDIENTS:

4 overripe bananas (mashed)
2 cups refined flour
1/2 cup yogurt mixed with 1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup powdered sugar
100 grams butter (I used the yellow salted butter)
1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3-4 tablespoons hot milk

RECIPE:

Preheat oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, beat together sugar powder and butter till light and creamy.

Add yogurt and beat on high for another 2-3 minutes. (You can replace yogurt with eggs, adding 2 large eggs for this recipe)

Add the mashed bananas and beat for another minute.

Coat the chopped walnuts with a teaspoon of flour and set aside.

In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda.

Add flour gradually to the butter-sugar-yogurt mix, folding it in gently.

When all the flour has incorporated, add hot milk and walnuts and stir it in with a spatula. Do not beat the batter.

Grease a silicon loaf tray with butter.

Pour in the batter till the tray is 3/4th full.

Tap the tray on a platform a few times to remove the air bubbles.

Bake at 200 degrees for 40 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Also, your cake should have got a nice brown top.

After turning off the oven, let the loaf remain in the oven for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and turn it on to a wire rack.

Allow it to cool well before you remove it from the loaf tray.

Cool completely before cutting into slices. Microwave for 30 seconds and serve warm.

Eat, drink and be merry! 🙂

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By divyapathakupadhyay Posted in Desserts

Bhapa Pineapple Sandesh

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I love Pineapples! Add it to any dish, and I will polish it off within minutes. So of course, coming from the land of sweets, I had to experiment with this delicious fruit to make a lip smacking mithai. I combined pineapple with cottage cheese and steamed it to make this wonderful sweet dish. This Sandesh (a famous Kolkata sweet with a twist) is the easiest and the yummiest sweet I have made in a while. I served it to guests on our housewarming and it became such a hit that a friend requested I make a batch for her daughter’s birthday! Her guests loved it too! With pineapples being available in abundance these days, you can serve this Sandesh at the next party you host. Trust me, you will have everyone go gaga when they bite into these melt-in-the-mouth delights stuffed with chopped pineapples! Here’s how you can make it:

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup pineapple (canned or fresh) (chopped)
4-5 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon pineapple essence
2-3 drops edible yellow color

RECIPE:

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat milk and bring to a boil. Add lemon juice and allow milk to curdle.

Strain the cheese and wash well with water to remove the lemony flavor.

Tie in a muslin cloth and squeeze out all the excess whey.

On a flat surface, knead the cheese well with the heel of your palm, gathering the cheese from the sides together, till it becomes smooth and greasy.

Add pineapple essence, yellow color and sugar. Knead again to mix the ingredients well.

Make small balls out of the dough. Flatten each ball on your palms and stuff it with half a teaspoon of chopped pineapple. Seal the edges and shape into a ball again. Flatten the ball gently.

Repeat with the remaining balls.

Top the flattened cottage cheese balls with chopped pineapples and press down gently.

Steam in a steamer for 5 minutes. Once steamed, remove from steamer on to a plate and refrigerate.

Serve these Bhapa Pineapple Sandesh chilled.

Eat, drink and be merry! 🙂

NOTE: You can use skimmed milk and sugar substitute if you are a calorie conscious foodie!

Brownie ‘n’ Ice Cream

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I have been feeling rather blue lately. Lazy too. And I don’t blame it entirely on the weather. The last month has kept me terribly overworked with little time to relax, forget about indulging in my passions and interests. Obviously, I have been cooking less too! And when I do, it is all about rustling up some quick fix comfort food. Foods that would make me feel good. Now among the foods that cheer me up instantly, the top two places are certainly reserved for chocolates and ice creams. And when I want some extra cheer, I combine the two. Like I did in this super yum Chocolate-Walnut Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream! A warm, gooey chocolate brownie with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream on the side and topped with hot chocolate sauce and loads of chopped nuts… Ah! Who wouldn’t get all happy and cheerful with that thing?! My mood is brightened for now, now I must brighten up yours! Go ahead, make this for dessert tonight. Here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

4 pieces chocolate-walnut brownie
4 scoops Vanilla ice cream (or Vanilla flavored whipped cream)
8 tablespoons chocolate sauce
4 tablespoons chopped walnuts/hazelnuts

RECIPE:

Warm the brownie pieces in a microwave for a minute. Transfer to a serving dish and put a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream or whipped cream on the side. Top with hot chocolate sauce and chopped nuts. Gobble up before the ice cream melts! 😉

Eat, drink and be merry! 🙂

NOTE: To make Hot Chocolate Sauce at home, take a bar of semisweet dark chocolate (250 grams), butter (50 grams) and 2 tablespoons sugar in a bowl and melt over a double boiler. When the chocolate starts melting, add half cup cream and 2 tablespoons of milk and stir well. Warm the sauce well over the double boiler or microwave for 30 seconds before using.