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Ganesh Chaturthi always inspires me to get ‘creative’ with a new ladoo recipe as there is nothing like a delicious homemade ladoo to please Ganpati on his birthday. This year I followed Shibani’s recipe from Pearls of East and came to the inevitable conclusion that these whole wheat almond [atta badam] ladoos are way better than the traditional besan ones. The steps are so basic that it is just not possible to go wrong here, plus you will be spared the headache of facing a messy kitchen afterwards. Do not skimp on the ghee even if you initially feel that it is way too much; the roasted flour will gradually absorb all the fat, resulting in an incredibly pleasant melt-in-the-mouth feeling – to be enjoyed by all except those watching their waistlines and sugar/cholesterol levels!

ATTA BADAM LADOO

1 cup atta/ whole wheat flour

1/2 cup ghee/ clarified butter

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup fine almond meal

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 tablespoon chopped almonds

1 tablespoon chopped pistachios

Chopped nuts, to garnish

Method:

  • Melt ghee in a heavy bottom pan and add atta to it. Lower heat and keep stirring for 15 to 20 minutes.

  • This is the most important step in making the ladoos. This requires patience and results are rewarding.

  • Sauté it until you get a nice aroma from the atta. Remove from fire and spread it on a plate. Let it cool.

  • Add almond meal, ground cardamom, chopped almonds, pistachios and powdered sugar and mix well.

  • Roll the mixture into small ping pong sized balls. Store them in an air tight containers. Makes 12 pieces.

Ganpati Bappa Morya!

Here goes one more blueberry recipe on the blog which proves that I have yet to get over my craze for the plump and juicy purple berry. This classic breakfast item has been revamped by Pam from For the Love of Cooking to include a pint of fresh blueberries and though I have never tried French toast on its own [shame!] I could not resist the berry version. Especially not when I had just bought tons of fresh berries on a Buy1 Get1 Free deal! Personally, I found the leftovers of this baked fresh toast better tasting than it was right out of the oven but then, I might have been biased as my second serving had the benefit of being topped with vanilla ice cream, maple syrup and toasted almonds.

BAKED BLUEBERRY FRENCH TOAST

Ingredients:

For the Casserole

1 loaf brioche bread, cubed

1 cup fresh blueberries, divided

8 large eggs, room temperature

2 1/4 cups whole milk

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Streusel Topping

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoon butter, cold

Method:

  • Grease a 9″ x 13″ pan with cooking spray. Cut the brioche bread into cubes, about 1 inch in size.

  • Spread half of the cubes into the prepared baking pan and top evenly with half of the blueberries.

  • Add the remaining bread cubes followed by remaining blueberries. Set aside and prepare sauce.

  • Whisk the eggs, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla together in a bowl until well combined.

  • Pour evenly over bread. Cover the pan very tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.

  • Chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 350oF. Remove pan from the refrigerator.

  • Prepare topping by whisking the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl.

  • Cut in the cubed butter with a pastry blender until crumbly. Sprinkle topping evenly over bread.

  • Bake it for 50 to 60 minutes until golden brown on top. Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream.

  • Cover the cooled leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Makes 8-10 servings.

Baked Blueberry French Toast

Here’s a cute gluten-free recipe for all my friends who cannot tolerate this particular protein in their diet. Cookies are loved by one and all and there is no reason anyone should miss out on them. These ‘healthy’ almond chocolate chip cookies from King Arthur Flour use coarse almond meal instead of wheat flour making them 100% gluten free. I would recommend making an extra batch and storing it in the freezer for ’emergencies’!

ALMOND FLOUR CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients:

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kitchen salt

1/8 cup butter, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 large egg, room temperature

2 cups almond flour, lightly roasted

1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper.

  • Combine brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and butter in a large bowl and mix until smooth.

  • Mix in vanilla, egg, and almond flour. Stir to combine scraping bottom and sides of bowl.

  • Mix for 1 minute at medium speed. Stir in chocolate chips so that they are well distributed.

  • Scoop the dough with a scoop one level tablespoon at a time onto prepared baking sheet.

  • Gently flatten to about 3/8″ thick. Bake the cookies for 9 to 12 minutes, until golden brown.

  • Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the pan for some 2 minutes.

  • Transfer them to a rack to cool completely and store in an airtight jar. Yields 14 cookies.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

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