Tag Archives: baking

Dried Cranberry & Blueberry Loaf

    Slices of Cranberry & Blueberry LoafSlices of Cranberry & Blueberry Loaf

By now, you all are aware of my fondness for home-baked cakes. Every couple of days and I have the urge to bake cake, this time I wanted to use the dried cranberries and blueberries that I had purchased with thoughts of adding them to make a loaf cake. Also, couple days back, my niece had requested me to share my recipe for a simple cake , which I already gave. I had promised her that I will put a cake post for her, this is an easy and delish recipe baked especially for my dear niece. All my nephews and nieces love eating cakes, a few of them are good at baking too. I feel they are part of my chain that spreads the happiness through the cakes they bake.

Baking is a joy, you will not know of until you try and bake your own first cake.

For those who know how to bake a cake it is not a big task. But for all the new beginners who wish to try out baking their first homemade cake it sure becomes an anxious time until the baked good is out of the oven. I would like to point out here to all the new/first time bakers to go ahead, it is not something that cannot be done, even the first attempt at baking would make it clear to you how pleasurably simple baking a cake is.

Go ahead and give yourself these happy moments.

NOTE:

  • Please note to use all ingredients at room temperature.
  • Weighing the ingredient quantity is the most important step to follow to get the perfectly baked goods.
  • Use good quality ingredients and check for the expiry of the baking powder or baking soda used.
  • Line the baking tin with butter paper or grease the tin with butter and dust with flour and shake off the excess flour. In this way keep the cake tin ready for use.
  • The oven should be preheated to the set temperature before inserting the cake tin for baking.

DRIED CRANBERRY & BLUEBERRY LOAF

Dried Cranberry & Blueberry Loaf
Dried Cranberry & Blueberry Loaf

INGREDIENTS:

Refined Flour: 250 gm

Sugar: 200 gm

Unsalted Butter: 170 gm

Milk: 50 ml

Orange: 1/2 (I used the Valencia variety)

Eggs: 3

Orange Essence: 1 Tsp

Baking Powder: 1 Tsp

Baking Soda: 1/4 Tsp

Dried Cranberries & Blueberries: 150 gm (More can also be added)

METHOD:

  1. Prepare the cake tin as explained above in Note paragraph. Preheat the fan-assisted oven to 150 deg C. Mix the bake powder and baking soda with refined flour and sieve the flour. This allows even mix of the ingredients.
  2. Beat the unsalted butter until soft and light. Add the powdered sugar and beat, then add the milk and beat mixture till light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beat till the mixture is smooth. Add the essence and juice of half orange and mix well.
  4. Taking a spoonful of the flour at a time, fold it into the cake batter. Folding the flour in cake is mixing flour using rubber spatula, moving hand in one direction, cut and fold, until flour disappears. Take care not to burst or make the air bubbles disappear from the batter, hence do not over mix.
  5. Finally add the dried berries into the cake batter and mix gently.  Pour the batter immediately into the prepared loaf tin and put it into the preheated oven to bake at 150 deg C for 45 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Finally mix the dried berries into the cake batter.

    Finally mix the dried berries into the cake batter.

Adding of the milk and orange juice makes it a slightly thin batter, so the loaf slice is light and fluffy. I have used a mixer pot to beat and mix the wet ingredients to make the batter, and folded the dried ingredients into this batter.

TIP: For a more orangey flavor, one can add 1-2 tsp of orange zest.  (Scrap out the orange outer cover to get the zest).

Dried Cranberry & Blueberry Loaf
Dried Cranberry & Blueberry Loaf

With the winter almost upon us, warm tea or coffee mugs with a delicious cake slice would make a perfect start of the day. One could also make this cake and give as home-baked gifts during this season of sharing, adding a personal touch to gifting. You would also help me by becoming the part of my chain and spread happiness through your baked cakes. 

Wishing you all Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy the day with family and friends.

ashu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogging 101 Day #1 Introducing the person behind the blog-”Me”

I created this blog site in December of 2013, and wrote the ‘About‘ page, a small detail for the  world to know when folks knocked or stumbled on the site and clicked on the about page of the site. I have just recently given a face to the author of the site, until then it was a picture of a slice of cake or my name.

Starting today I am taking part in the Blogging 101 course, and task for Day#1 is Introduce yourself to the World. I am happy to write this post, the Ash who wrote the About page has since then traveled with the blog through many interesting food, photography, and travel destinations, met and connected with some like-minded folks, and I have enjoyed the journey so far. I find it is a good time to introduce the ”me”! The blog is the journey of that ”me” that lies within, who wants to explore, connect and experience her different interests-cuisines, countries,  nature, different landscapes, photography and read good writings and get a rich experience for this learner within.

As a child, summertime was when we would be sleeping outdoors in the courtyard of our bungalow, under the sky that would be illuminated with innumerable twinkling stars, with tales for the many stars being narrated by my grannies. I distinctly remember lying on the outdoor bed on those evenings and marveling at the wide blue sky above, the flocks of different birds returning home, the Aeroplanes that flew so high above leaving a trail of white line in the sky, and kites flying high, and I would imagine being with those lives zooming above me, be it the people sitting in the aircraft or the birds that flew past. I never had a camera with me then, but seeing the birds returning to their nests on the trees surrounding our house always made me happy and I always wished to click those snaps. This was the young ”me” then and her thoughts. Now it is the age of cell phones and SLR’s & DSLR cameras, and with the cell camera always handy one can capture images at the click of the button. I do still see myself clicking these pictures, some of them are used in the Weekly Photo Challenges.

Life zipped through schooling and college. The dreamer was always alive somewhere within. The end of college saw a different role of life. It was a new journey with new folks, new responsibilities, new vision, and new priorities. The new journey saw the ”me” in different roles, from being the daughter and younger sibling to becoming the wife of an awesome person my hubby, as the daughter-in-law  of the new family, as the mother of two most adorable kids, and also at the same time adjusting, growing and accommodating to all these different roles. This span of post marriage has seen me travel to different places within India and abroad. My love or hobby for trying out, learning, and cooking Indian food dishes of the different states of India that I have lived in was always with me all these years.

Having moved to the Middle East, away from family and siblings and relatives and with kids growing up, the need to inculcate the importance of home cooked food was always on the mind. I grew up eating home cooked food with restaurant outings as being rare occasions. Changing times and fast food craze of this generation requires a more balanced approach to eating, and the Dietitian in me do not approve of frequent junk food intake by my kids. I emphasize the home cooked healthy eating, and hence try to give the family a different variety of dishes that are healthily prepared using best ingredients and cooking methods. I like the meal times to be fun, sharing, and happy times for the whole family with the table displaying food that is appealing. As a mother I feel I am responsible for the good eating habits of my kids, and healthy eating starts at home with the right balance of all types of foods.

As I see it, today’s kids are global citizens, they too would move from one place to another be it for education or work related. The food habits too would evolve for them as they have happened for me. I strongly wished to keep a diary of all my best recipes for my kids, but somehow the seed of writing a blog had started growing in the mind. Sharing with others gives eminence happiness and gratification. I have experienced the joy of sharing my cakes and other dishes with friends and neighbors in each and every place that I have resided so far since marriage. Baking has always made me happy. Hence, I want to continue to spread this happiness to as many folks as I can, the blog is one of my medium for that, another of the reason I am blogging.

Technology keeps changing, new things are introduced regularly, and to keep on learning and growing with the change is another of the reason for blogging. Currently this vast network is mind-boggling for me, and to wade or swim through without proper know how becomes a bit hindrance and slows down the journey. My new year goals/wishes are to reach out to many folks and like-minded people who might like to connect and try out the recipes, to learn from other bloggers, travel to different lands through the writings and photographs and explore places and culture that are unknown to me. Life, its experiences and the people we meet along the life path make an impact or a change in our lives with their actions, thoughts, and deeds. It is a continuous walk that is molding or shaping our personality and thoughts, and inspiring us to keep moving on. I have met and connected with some wonderful people who have inspired me and each post of mine is my attempt to encourage, inspire my readers, friends and family to eat healthy, wholesome home cooked food and make each mealtime at home the happy time for the entire family.

ashu