Whole Wheat Chocolate Mug Cake & Happy New Year!

Chocolate Mug cake

Happy New Year!

I know its 11 days late ( or 12 depending on which side of the world you are on!) but it’s still January. Its first post of the year. And more than date its the intention that counts isn’t it? I sure hope so.

I debated what should the first post of the year be? Quick and Easy chocolate mug cake? Endive and Citrus Salad boats? Or our Christmas trip to Palm Springs? There were couple of soups and salad contenders. But then I thought of starting the new year on a sweeter note.

I have seen mug cake recipes floating around the blogosphere for couple of years now. I never believed that they worked. I thought this is one of those things that work on a blog or Pinterest board but FAIL in real life. I secretly hoped they failed in real life so temptation will not be minutes away.

So here I was last weekend, debating what to make and feed my rather hungry family at 4 pm. Varun wanted something “fun”. He thought about it and told me he would let me know what he wants once he thought about it some more. Vipul wanted something “tasty” but healthy. The only fresh things in our house were some tomatoes, milk and a lone banana.

I turned to my Pinterest recipes inspiration and felt worse. I literally had nothing in the house.

In such a state, cake usually does the trick. But I didn’t feel up to baking an entire cake and then eat it all up.

In that moment, I wondered if mug cakes truly work. Working quickly, I mixed flour, eggs, milk and sugar. A dash of baking powder whisked in and off the cup went into the microwave. First for 90 secs, then another 20 and then another 10. The cake eventually puffed u p over the top of the cup – kindda like a souffle. It collapsed back into the cup as it cooled.

Varun saw me get the cups out and didn’t pay any attention thinking it was tea.

When he saw me eat from the cup, he scrambled over. It cooked like soft chocolate cake. He couldn’t believe that I was eating cake out of a cup. He had a bite and you should have seen his eyes widen as he realized this is something he wants a separate cup of. No sharing business.

Vipul and I shared a cuppa while Varun had his share.

These mug cakes really do work.

It was fun and I fear will be addictive. Something that takes only minutes to “bake” and with endless possibilities. With nutella, vanilla, some cream cheese frosting, or caramel or hot fudge.

I am secretly thrilled at this quick dessert. Hopefully we keep up with salads and other healthy habits to indulge once in a while.

Chocolate Mug cake

Whole Wheat Chocolate Mug Cake Recipe

Makes 1 mug cake

  • 1/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Unsweetened Chocolate powder
  • 2.5 Tbps Sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. In a 14 oz mug, mix all the ingredients. Whisk well.

  2. Place a tissue in a microwave (to catch spills). Place the mug in the microwave and microwave for 100 secs to 2 minutes.

  3. Take it out carefully (it will be hot!)

  4. Let cool and enjoy!

Whole Wheat Bow Tie Pasta

BowTie Pasta

I really can’t start yet another post with ” Sorry for being absent and not posting frequently”.The “Sorry” itself will start a “Sorry, Not Sorry” debate in your mind 😉

Really, things have been chaotic in real life. Vipul’s travels for work, my job search, me exploring other things I want to do alongside (E-book, art portfolio and lot other ideas in works), debating whether to buy a house or NOT ( if so, where, how much etc), volunteering at Varun’s school, not to mention pinning ton’s of stuff for Varun’s party which is totally outsourced (the pins are just so I feel I contributed to it other than swiping my card).

Anyways, in amidst this, I found myself with orphaned egg yolks. Yet again. Pudding I salivated!

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Everyday Dinner: Skillet Grilled Cheesy Whole Wheat Quesadillas

Vegetable Dinner Quesadillas

Would you like a cheese paratha?

Varun’s aunt asked him during one of our visits to Mumbai. His default answer. No.

Knowing that this is something he would like, I asked her to make one for me instead.

And when he saw the crunchy, cheese oozing paratha, he wanted to have one too.

Recently we bought whole wheat tortillas and while preparing a salad for Vipul, I wondered about our dinner. It had to be quick and easy, since Varun wouldn’t allow me to tinker around in the kitchen for long.

A cheese paratha inspired whole wheat quesadillas were born.

Spring onion, cilantro and ginger were quickly sliced up and mixed with a bit of salt and paprika. Cheese was grated and added to the mix.

A tortilla roasted on the skillet. The mix spread out, tortilla folded and then grilled on other side.

Within minutes, we had a piping hot meal that was enjoyed by all ( Vipul had one wedge as the aroma of grilled cheese was hard to resist!)

Skillet Grilled Cheesy Whole Wheat Quesadillas Recipe

Makes 2 servings

  • 2- Ready made whole wheat tortillas or roti (from Indian stores)
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 spring onions sliced ( white and green parts)
  • 1/2 inch knob of ginger root peeled and minced
  • Handful of cilantro leaves finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika or red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon oil for grilling

1. Mix all the ingredients from cheese to salt in a bowl. Taste and adjust for seasonings.

2. In a skillet, heat a whole wheat tortilla. One heated, flip it over. Spoon the cheese mixture liberally and fold in half. Cook on each side for a minute or so till the cheese melts. Take care that the tortilla doesn’t burn.

3. Cut into wedges and serve warm with fresh fruits and salad.

A Yellow Whole Wheat Egg Yolk Pasta

Egg yolk whole wheat pasta

Sorry for the almost weeklong absence. This was the week when most of the pre-school applications for Varun were due. And we had not even toured some of the schools; which is mandatory in some cases before applying.

With Vipul at work, the task was on me and I was driving all over the town to attend the last few tours that the schools had. I joked one evening that we need a SCRUM board to just track the schools and their process (plus other things we had to do like pick up house keys, find a pediatrician closer to new house, possibly look for an interim preschool closer to our new apartment etc).

Egg yolk whole wheat pasta

To be out and about, I used to have a heavy breakfast (fried eggs and cereal) so it would tide me over till lunch.

I don’t like yellows in my eggs. Its been the case since I was young and before the low-fat/carb diet etc were even part of my vocabulary. I can’t stand their smell unless it is poached or baked.

Egg yolk whole wheat pasta

So, what do you do with the yellows? They are actually rich in vitamin A and D, folic acid, potassium and selenium – not to mention protein and omega-3 fatty acids. The bulk of nutrition in an egg is in the yolk.

Instead of discarding them as I previously used to do, I used a recipe that I read in Jamie Oliver’s cookbook to make a pasta dough with  flour and egg yolks. Knead this with a little water like nobody’s business. And you have a dough that can be rolled, filled or shaped.

You will have a naturally yellow whole wheat pasta that is rich in nutrients and then can be made into anything you like. I don’t have a pasta making machine, but it can easily be rolled thin and cut up to make fettucine.

Egg yolk whole wheat pasta

I gave a small dough to Varun and he rolled and played with it while I made the rest for us. This pasta cooks in a couple of minutes and topped with olive oil, parsley and pepper was one the yummiest meals in a while.

Am in love with making fresh pasta. Next time, I plan to add some chopped spinach or kale to sneak in some veggies!

Egg yolk whole wheat pasta

Whole Wheat Egg Yolk Pasta Recipe

  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups whole wheat flour + 1/4 cup for rolling
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil ( for greasing)
  • 7-8 cups water (to boil pasta)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley chopped
  • Olive oil, parmesan cheese to top and serve per taste

1. Take the flour on  the counter and form a well in the center.  Add egg yolks. And a little bit of water.

2. Oil your hands. Mix a little bit of yolk and flour, in circular motions, incorporating more and more flour on each pass. The mix does get hard, dry and crumbly. Don’t give up. Use a little bit of water if it’s too dry. Keep kneading.

Using the heel of your hand, massage and knead the dough till it comes together and eventually becomes soft and pliable. This took me about 15 – 20 minutes.

3. Set the dough aside for 30 mins to rest.

4. Set water for pasta to boil.

Flour the counter and then roll the pasta into largish ovals/circles and cut up using a knife. Or use a pasta making machine if you have one.

5. When the water has a rolling boil, add the pasta. Cook for about 2 minutes till the pasta floats to the top.

6. Season with salt and pepper. Top with some olive oil, parsley and cheese.

Serve warm!

 

 

Crumbly Whole Wheat Pineapple Bread

Slice of Pineapple Bread

We moved offices last week at work and a couple of folks asked me when I would bring in sweets to inaugurate my new office. I didn’t really plan on any such thing but do  I really need an excuse to bake?

I had a fresh pineapple at home, Vipul was working over the weekend, Varun was asleep – so it was meant to be. A quick search led to many recipes on Pineapple cake but I wanted a bread or a loaf recipe. Some tweaks led me to recipes that needed coconut milk, bananas or sour cream – none of which I had on my hand. I only had pineapple, eggs, whole wheat flour and bit of desiccated coconut.

I was about to give up when I found one recipe which had these ingredients and then I followed it. The bread came out to be lightly pineapple-y and crumbly but tasty nonetheless.

I let it cool overnight before bringing it to work. It was a perfect start to a Monday morning meeting. Totally unexpected, low in sugar and with a crumbly texture. Low efforts and high returns! Make sure you have enough napkins on hand to avoid crumbs all over your office floor!

Pineapple bread

Excuse the poor mobile camera photos – I didn’t realize that the loaf would be gone before I could take any decent pictures.

Crumbly Whole Wheat Pineapple Bread Recipe

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks ( drained if canned)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Butter a loaf pan and set aside.

2. Sift and mix all the dry ingredients from whole wheat flour through cinnamon and set aside.

3. Beat the eggs with butter till pale yellow. Then add sugar and beat till smooth. Mix in the vanilla.

4. Fold in the egg mixture with the flour mix. Add pineapples and mix well.

5. Pour the mix into loaf pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top.

6. Bake for 45 – 55 minutes till a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool completely before slicing. Serve with coffee or tea as the perfect afternoon snack!