May 31, 2011

How to Make Falafel with Tahini Lemon Sauce Recipe

When we eat out at a Middle Eastern place, Falafel is TH's vice. He loves anything fried and falafels are no exception. Considering how ridiculously easy they are to make at home, I have tried to deter him from ordering Falafels outside but once he very rightly pointed out that I say this all the time but never really made Falafels at home - ever! So here they are, a quick and easy snack recipe that's kid-friendly and you can make in bulk in advance if you are entertaining. They are hard to get wrong and taste fabulous with a simple hummus or tahini sauce (or even with our Indian chutneys).

DSC_6200

Of course I picked the theme fully intending to deep-fry, why do you ask? My initial idea was to go with cocktail samosas but had to ditch it for falafel because the shaping and filling of cocktail samosas is not exactly quick and this had to be a recipe that can easily be multiplied, leaving you time to make an effort to look good for your party.

DSC_6162

The Egyptian version of falafel is flatter,bigger, and greener because of the use of Lima beans. I know because I had that in Egypt. Sorry for showing off.

DSC_6178

My version however, is the kind you would get in your local Middle Eastern restaurant. Its flavourful, easy to make, and absolutely delicious, not to mention photogenic.

DSC_6245

Falafel Recipe
Makes 16 small-ish falafels (easily doubles or triples)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup dry chickpeas, soaked overnight or atleast 10 hours (will be about 1 cup when soaked through)
1 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
1/2 tsp coriander powder / dhania
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp minced or crushed garlic (about 4-5 cloves)
One bunch fresh coriander leaves / cilantro, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped fine
1-2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 tbsp plain flour (or crumbs from 2 slices of stale bread)
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry

How to Make Falafel

1. Drain the soaked chickpeas on kitchen towels or leave them in a colander with a suspended base. Its important to drain out as much moisture as possible.

2. Transfer the chickpeas with rest of the ingredients to a food processor or mixer jar and grind until smooth and dry. You should be able to shape them easily into small discs. If the mixture is too moist or sticky at this stage, which it shouldn't be, add more flour but don't be liberal.

3. Shape into small discs and deep fry on medium heat until dark brown on both sides. Make sure you regulate the flame, otherwise the outside will get burned or cooked too soon and the inside will be raw.

4. Drain on kitchen towels and serve with tahini lemon sauce (recipe below).

Tahini Lemon Sauce Recipe

I didn't use any particular recipe or measurement for this. I thought of making hummus to go with with the falafel but didn't remember to soak enough chickpeas. I had fresh tahini that my ex-boss, brought from his home town Lebanon so it would've been a sin not to use it in some way. Thank you Charif!

DSC_6189

How to Make Tahini Lemon Sauce for Falafel

Mix 3 tbsp of tahini, 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of paprika (or maybe pepper?), salt to taste and enough water to make a smooth paste. You can add some roasted garlic pieces to this but I didn't have the patience time patience.

Dip the falafels in and enjoy.

DSC_6234

Notes:

- canned and drained chickpeas should work as well but I read in many places that freshly soaked ones taste better. I have used canned chickpeas for hummus and liked it just fine so it should definitely work for falafels too

- if you plan to make this for a party, grind the ingredients and leave it in the fridge. You can take it out in advance the next day, shape up quickly (doesn't take more than 4 seconds per falafel, I timed myself) and fry up in batches.

- falafels taste just fine when gone cold too and the sauce can hold its own until a party winds down too. Just make sure you add water if the sauce thickens up on you.

DSC_6202


May 26, 2011

Kerala-Style Fish Moilee, Meen Moilee Recipe, Step by Step

Fish moilee or meen moilee, a mild Kerala-style fish stew recipe that's made with lightly fried fish, coconut milk, and spices.

As you guys probably know by now, I don't cook meat or fish in my kitchen. Although I reason I give is TH's vegetarianism, the actual truth is, he doesn't care what I cook as long as he gets his vegetarian dishes. So it's my laziness in cooking separate things for him and me that's the actual reason. There, I said it!

kerala fish molee stew meen molee recipe

Due to this self-imposed limitation, I asked my amma to be a guest contributor to Edible Garden. We live in Kerala, and although we don't eat fish every day like most Malayalis do, some fish does get cooked in her kitchen on and off. So expect posts from amma in this blog from now on, with pictures styled by her and taken by my dear uncle.

Here's a previous recipe cooked and clicked by the bro-sis team: chambakka pickle. For more fish recipes, check out chilli fish recipe, Kerala fish fry, Kerala red fish curry, meen peera.

Ok on to today's recipe: Fish Moilee or Meen Moilee, a very popular Kerala fish stew that's cooked in coconut milk and spices. The flavour is light, yet spicy with a good bit of green chillies in the mix. Each household in Kerala will have their own version of course, and this is amma's.

kerala fish molee stew meen molee recipe

Meet the fish. These big-eyed beauties are called Unnimary after the pretty actress of the 80s known for her large, beautiful eyes. So yeah, she was quiet a sexy addition to movies back in the day.

kerala fish molee stew meen molee recipe

I apologize to my vegetarian readers and friends for this picture. But I had to demonstrate what a quick learner amma is. I gave her some photography tips over phone about good light, background, plating, no flash, etc and she followed the "rules" beautifully.

You can use any firm fleshy fish for fish moilee. Cut into small pieces and proceed with the rest of the recipe. Admittedly, I don't have much experience handling fish so trust my mom on this, ok?

kerala fish molee stew meen molee recipe

Here are some of the ingredients we need. Lots of onions, fresh curry leaves and green chillies, and of course, coconut milk. Here's how to make coconut milk at home.

Kerala Fish Moilee / Meen Moilee Recipe

Serves 4
Recipe source: Amma

Ingredients:
500gm firm fleshy fish, cut into small pieces
2 large onions, sliced into long, thin pieces
8-10 green chillies, depending on heat level required
Thick coconut milk 1/2 cup (onnaam paal)
Thin coconut milk 1.5 cups (rendaam paal - if using store bought coconut milk, mix water with 1/2 cup coconut milk)
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp vinegar
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp pepper powder
2 1" pieces of cinnamon (don't use powder)
4 cloves
1/2 tsp maida/plain flour
2-3 sprigs of curry leaves
Salt to tate
(Coconut) Oil as needed

Instructions:

1. Clean the fish and add a pinch of turmeric powder, some salt, and 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (this is in addition to what is listed above under ingredients) to the pieces. Rub in well and leave aside for 30 minutes to an hour.

2. Heat about 1 cup oil in a small frying wok or pan and fry the fish until half done. The idea is to semi-cook the fish rather than fry it well. Drain and set aside.

kerala fish molee stew meen molee recipe

3. Heat about 1 tbsp oil in another pan and saute the onions until soft and pink. To this, add the flour, chilly powder, pepper powder, turmeric, and curry leaves. Fry for another minute or so.

kerala fish molee stew meen molee recipe

4. Next, add the thin coconut milk along with the ginger, green chillies, vinegar, cloves and cinnamon along with salt as needed. Cook closed on low heat for about 12-15 mins until all the spices come together in the mixture.

kerala fish molee stew meen molee recipe

5. At this stage, add the semi-fried fish. When the mixture comes to boil, add the thick coconut milk, mix well and remove from fire (don't bring to boil after adding the thick coconut milk).

kerala fish molee stew meen molee recipe

Notes:

- As I have mentioned, different parts of Kerala make fish molee in a different way. Another version I have seen is much milder and lighter in colour because all the heat comes from green chillies and no red chilli powder is added. Amma's version sometimes has an orange colour because she generally uses Kahsmiri chilli powder that has a deeper red colour but milder heat. Dishes cooked in my house are not very spicy, if at all.

- Fresh coconut milk works best for this dish. Store-bought coconut milk will lend a different flavour and may not exactly satisfy your cravings if you are hoping for this authentic fish molee for your meal

- Serve hot with rice and any stir-fried vegetable or mezhukkupuratti of choice.

kerala fish molee stew meen molee recipe

Huge thanks to Amma and Radha mama for the superb step by step pictures :)

May 24, 2011

Feast @East, Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel, Singapore

feast @east grand mercure hotel singapore restaurant review

If you follow my Project 365 blog, you would have seen this picture before. The vegetables are fake, the chef is not. Just saying.

feast @east grand mercure hotel singapore restaurant review

This is one of those restaurants where there's enough space for a family dinner but at the same time, the ambience is cosy enough for a dinner date or celebration for two.

feast @east grand mercure hotel singapore restaurant review

The placemats listed the history of some popular dishes in Singapore. Groovy idea, I say!

Oh, before I start talking about the food, I should mention that I was offered an assignment by Women't Weekly Singapore to review this restaurant for their June 2011 edition.

feast @east grand mercure hotel singapore restaurant review

Please don't squint too much. You have the review coming up below anyway, and not a condensed version at that! :)

We were treated to a set menu and had 2 choices for drink, soup/salad, main course, and dessert.

feast @east grand mercure hotel singapore restaurant review

I picked pink guava juice and TH picked fruit punch. 

feast @east grand mercure hotel singapore restaurant review

Some rolls to start the meal. They were crusty and chewy and warm. With some salted butter at the beginning of a meal? Divine. 

feast @east grand mercure hotel singapore restaurant review

TH's chunky tomato soup. It was very different from any tomato soup we have ever tasted. There were chunks of tomato in the soup and lots of coriander. There wasn't any cream in it as far as I could tell. Quite a homely, wholesome bowl.

feast @east grand mercure hotel singapore restaurant review

My caesar salad with grilled prawns. This is hands down the best caesar salad I have tasted and I have tasted my fair share I must say. The dressing was spot on and not too heavy as some caesar salad dressings tend to be. The prawns were cooked perfect and didn't have any annoying pieces of shell or tail ends still on it. 

feast @east grand mercure hotel singapore restaurant review

TH's entre. He could pick between pizza and spaghetti and he picked spaghetti (and I almost fell off my chair in surprise). This is probably the homeliest spaghetti we've tasted. There were lots of vegetables, the sauce was mild and had the right amount of flavour. The portion was huge and can easily serve two. So I think its safe to say that the vegetarian fare in Feast @East is like home made food :)

feast @east grand mercure hotel singapore restaurant review

My entre. (btw, how do you make that small line thing appear over the 'e'? I don't know how to do that. Ok, so this is grilled salmon with some yummy sauce over it, served on creamy mashed potatoes. Again, the portion size was huge and after that salad, I couldn't even get through 1/3rd of it. So I packed the rest. It was the right thing to do.

feast @east grand mercure hotel singapore restaurant review

TH's fruit platter. It was kinda forced on him as dessert that comes with the vegetarian set menu. Its like in-flight meals. If you are vegetarian, you get a vegan (sometimes fully raw) meal while your neighbour is downing a yummy looking chocolate cake and you are telling yourself "but I don't mind eggs in hidden form"). Anyway, fruits, I don't need to review. 

feast @east grand mercure hotel singapore restaurant review

This right here is a plate of heaven. That mini apple die was to die for and paired with good quality vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce, it was perfect. We both fought over it (in a dignified way) and then polished off the fruits after that. I was glad I didn't try to finish the salmon. 

feast @east grand mercure hotel singapore restaurant review

The restaurant also had pretty interesting deco. They had huge jars of candy all over the place and I saw people helping themselves to it. Groovy idea, again. 

I would recommend this place if you wish to have a quiet dinner with your partner, a celebration dinner for your family, or even a work team dinner for a large group. The food is slightly pricey, especially some particular dishes, but our entire meal was very satisfactory.

The average price for a meal (like this, with all these courses) will be around SGD 80 but they do have a very popular buffet for SGD 44++. 

Feast @East
Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel
50 East Coast Road, Roxy Square
(Opposite Parkway Parade Shopping Centre)
Singapore 428769

Reservations
Ph: +65-63405665

**Disclaimer**

This is not a paid advertorial and I am under no obligation to Women's Weekly or Grand Mercure to write this review on this site. The assignment was for the food article that appeared in the Women's Weekly magazine. 

May 18, 2011

Eggless Chocolate Chip (or Chunk) Cookies Recipe

I love chocolate chip cookies. But you know what's better than chocolate chip cookies? Eggless Chocolate Chip or Chunk Cookies. The chunks melt while baking and stay gooey while you bite into the cookies - yum!

Eggless Chocolate Chunk Cookies Recipe

If you are a chocolate addict and love cookies, nothing should stop you from having what you like. That's why these eggless chocolate chunk cookies work really well, they can be eaten by anyone, especially those who don't eat eggs even in the "hidden" form.

Eggless Chocolate Chunk Cookies Recipe

Eggless Chocolate Chip (or Chunk) Cookies
Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies
Adapted from: A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp flax seed powdered (to replace 2 eggs)
2 cups + 4 tbsp all purpose flour or maida
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 to 1.5 cups chocolate chunks (I used Nestle chocolate chunks and love them! You can also use choc chips, but chunks are infinitely better)

How to make Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies:

1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line baking trays with parchment paper and baking sheets.

2. In a bowl, either by hand or mixer, cream butter and both sugars well together until very smooth (about 3-5 mins). Add vanilla and flax seed powder and mix until well blended. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt to this mixture. Fold well until all ingredients are combined well (you don't need to mix or sift dry ingredients before adding to the wet mixture but you can if you want to).

3. Fold in the chocolate chunks finally. Scoop out using a tablespoon (adding 2 to 3 tbsp per cookie) or small ice cream scoop and place the cookies atleast 2 inches apart on the baking tray.

4. Bake for 12-15 mins until the cookies have flattened out and the edges brown nicely.

The warm cookies are heavenly. Chocolate chunks, unlike chips, melt in the cookies and remain gooey and yummy for as long as the cookies last.

Eggless Chocolate Chunk Cookies Recipe

Store Eggless Chocolate Chunk Cookies in an air-tight container for up to 4 days.


May 16, 2011

Crispy Fried Bitter Gourd Recipe

I can't believe I am posting a bitter gourd (karela, pavakka) recipe. TH and I avoid the vegetable like a plague and although those small, very green, very bitter variety is available here in Singapore, I hardly ever give it a second glance. In Kerala, bitter gourd, or pavakka, is fatter, a very light green, and significantly less bitter than the darker green ones we see everywhere else.

fried bitter gourd / pavakka / karela.jpg

But I've never seen bitter gourd like this before. It was white and very chubby. These are from Taiwan and they were so cute that I had to pick them up, even if its pavakka and TH was gasping at the idea!

fried bitter gourd / pavakka / karela.jpg

I used the same strategy on this bitter gourd that I do on another vegetable that we don't like much - okra. I fried it. It was delicious and for once I didn't mind the bitterness, although TH still didn't have more than one spoon.

fried bitter gourd / pavakka / karela.jpg

Crispy Fried Bitter Gourd Recipe
Serves 2
Adapted from my Arbi Fry Recipe

Ingredients:
1 medium-sized bitter gourd, cut into thin 2" pieces
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 tbsp rice flour
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
A generous pinch of hing/asafoetida/perungayam
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp pepper powder
Oil for deep frying

How to Make Bitter Gourd Fry

1. Rub salt into the cut bitter gourd pieces and set aside for an hour. Once the hour is up, squeeze all moisture from the bitter gourd pieces and transfer to another bowl.

2. Add rest of the ingredients to the pieces and stir well to dredge. There should be enough rice flour to coat all the pieces well (not too thickly) so if you feel you need more, adjust the quantity. The initial salt you added should be enough but add more to taste if you feel you require it.

3. Let the dredged bitter gourd pieces rest for 15 mins or so while you heat up the oil to deep fry. Fry in batches until dark brown and cooked through. Drain on kitchen towels. Its important that you make sure the pieces are thin, otherwise the inside won't be cooked.

fried bitter gourd / pavakka / karela.jpg

Serve hot with rice, rasam, and vadaam.

May 11, 2011

Chocolate Macarons: Notes from a first-time-macaron-baker

Let's be honest here. During the time there was a huge macaron craze going on in the food blog world, I was all "whatevs". Major reason for that is that it just seemed too complicated and I am more of a simple bakes type person. My motto is and always has been to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible but still make it seem awesome.

french chocolate macarons recipe

Then I actually tasted a macaron. That cost me 2.5 SGD a piece. And I said to myself, ok this is a challenge I need to take up. It can't be that hard, right? The idea went round and round in my mind for many months and finally, when I couldn't even grant myself the no-Kitchenaid excuse, I caved in and bought some almond meal. Before I knew it, egg whites were aging in the fridge and I was getting emotional support from some awesome people all over Facebook. There was no turning back.

french chocolate macarons recipe

There are tons of resources online for making macarons. Like experts would tell you, its not only about the recipe (although that definitely matters too), its more about the technique and the science behind it. My notes below combine the wisdom of all the sites and videos I referred. Hopefully you find it useful.

Chocolate Macarons Recipe
Adapted from David Lebovitz
Makes about 15-18 filled macarons

For Macaron Batter
1 cup (100 gr) powdered sugar
½ cup powdered almonds (about 2 ounces, 50gm)
3 tablespoons (25 gr) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
5 tablespoons (65 gr) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

For Filling:
I used store-bought hazelnut spread to fill my chocolate macarons because I didn't want to stress over making the filling too, but go ahead and Google up some macaron filling recipes, I am sure there are tons out there, some interesting flavour combinations too.

Tools and Equipment:
- Piping bag with 1/2" or 2cm plain tip (I used a large ziplock bag and cut out a small corner). I was a piping virgin and this was my first attempt at it, although I must say that I have done a lot of henna designing and fabric painting back in the day.
- Egg separator (slightly optional, read notes below)
- Electric beater
- Silicon or wooden spatula
- Large, dry steel mixing bowl
- Baking sheet/parchment paper

A few notes on the ingredients:

- almost all websites I saw recommend aging the egg whites. If you live in a cold place, leave it out on your kitchen counter for a day or two. If you live in a warm place, let them age in the refrigerator, just remember to take them out and bring them to room temperature before proceeding. Some sites said microwaving the egg whites for 20 seconds in medium-high will do the trick but that idea freaked me out so I took the safe way out and aged them the old-fashioned way.

- use an egg separator to separate the yolks and whites. I know some people are experts at using their fingertips to do a juggling act with the egg to remove the whites from yolks, but this will add moisture to the egg whites and we don't want that. Make sure that all equipment you use is completely dry and this includes the egg separator, the bowl you are transferring the whites to, and even your hands.

- although many seem to prefer blanching their almonds and powdering it to make their own almond meal, I would highly recommend beginners to buy almond meal. Buy the finest you can find or atleast slivers if you can't find ground ones. That makes the process much easier and less prone to failure.

- although coloured macarons are definitely more fun, there are recommendations around what sort of food colour you should buy (powdered or gel colours vs oil-based or water-based ones, etc). I found the entire decision on what colour and what type too stressful so I took the easy way out and made chocolate macarons. I would recommend this highly for beginners.

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 300º F (150º C). This was the optimum temperature for my oven but I suspect the actuals were much higher. Don't take it up beyond 180 C though.

2. Line a baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat and have a pastry bag with a plain tip about 1/2-inch, 2 cm ready. (Or take the ziplock route I took)

3. Grind together the powdered sugar with the almond powder and cocoa so there are no lumps.  You can use your blender, food processor or mixie, just make sure that you don't grind the almonds to a pulp. Its important that you process these three together and not just the almonds.

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they begin to foam. At this stage, add the granulated sugar and continue beating until very stiff and firm. When you invert the bowl, the egg whites to stay put. That's how you know when to stop. It took me about 2-3 mins to get there.

5. Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in 5 batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula (ideally). Also add the vanilla essence at this stage. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding (it helps to set a limit, like no more than 50 strokes to incorporate the dry mixture into the egg whites) and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).

6. Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch (3 cm) circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.

7. Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons, then leave them alone for atleast an hour and up to a maximum of 3 hours. This is so that the top dries up and you get a smooth surface for the macarons but leaving them out too much will give you crunchy macarons and you don't want that. This step is important and if you skip it, you get non-macarons like in the picture below. Bake for 15-18 mins and let cool completely before removing from baking sheet.

french chocolate macarons recipe

Above: I didn't let the piped macarons rest before baking.

Below: I let them rest for an hour and they turned out perfect.

french chocolate macarons recipe

Some more notes and resources:
0. This is probably the best resource you will refer to, over at MisoHungry. She has a table on outcomes and possible reasons. When my macarons cracked on top the first time, I did a frantic Google search and found her site. She said two possible reasons for this - first is, the batter is too runny in which case I can do nothing except start again. Second is, the tops are not dried out enough. I crossed my fingers and let the macarons sit out before baking and that did the trick.

1. This video is super useful to observe the technique of folding the dry ingredients into the beaten egg whites. It's short and sweet too.

2. If you are interested in the science behind macarons, check this site out.

4. Confession: I had never piped anything before I baked these macarons. Actually, my very first attempt can be seen on these cupcakes and it looked so dreadful that I stopped after one cupcake

french chocolate macarons recipe

Go ahead, take the plunge. It will be worth it :)


May 5, 2011

Vegetable Dalia (Broken Wheat) Upma Recipe

This is one of those recipes I can't believe I haven't posted yet. Its true that I mostly make it for dinner and I do prefer dalia upma over vegetable rava upma anyday!

vegetable dalia broken wheat upma recipe

This is one of those healthy dishes that don't taste healthy, atleast to me. Its delicious piping hot with some steaming sambar and chutney. I didn't grow up eating this but I definitely make sure we have this for dinner atleast once every 2 weeks. Its perfect for weeknights if you use frozen cut vegetables to jazz it up. You can also check out my instant rava idli and quick rava dosa recipe for easy South Indian breakfast ideas. Looking for a more unique breakfast idea? Then check out this kanchipuram idli recipe

vegetable dalia broken wheat upma recipe

Vegetable Dalia (Broken Wheat) Upma Recipe
Source: Amma
Total cooking time: 25-30 mins
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
1.5 cups broken wheat or dalia
3 cups water
1 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup mixed vegetables (I use frozen peas, corn, carrots and French beans)
1 tsp powdered ginger or 1/2" grated fresh ginger
2-3 green chillies
Salt to taste

Instructions:

1. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the onions and green chillies and saute until the onions turn transparent (about 2-3 mins). 

2. Add the ginger powder or grated ginger, whichever you are using, and fry for another 20 seconds. Next, add the vegetables and 3 cups water. Bring to boil and cook closed until the vegetables are soft (about 5-6 mins). 

3. Add salt and the broken wheat in a slow trickle, stirring as you do this. Once you have added all the broken wheat, there should be enough water to cover it completely. If not, add more. Stir frequently and cook until all the water has been absorbed and the upma comes together, soft and fluffy. Pop some of the wheat in your mouth to see if its soft. If not, add more water and keep stirring until its fully done. Also adjust salt at this stage. 

vegetable dalia broken wheat upma recipe

Serve hot with sambar and/or chutney. 

May 3, 2011

Eggless Chocolate Banana Pound Cake Recipe-Eggless Chocolate Cake Recipe

How to make Eggless Chocolate Cake (Using Bananas)

I love banana cakes. I love chocolate. So this eggless banana chocolate pound cake is love squared.

I am sorry if you are a banana-hater and can't stand the thought of it but really, you don't know what you are missing. And God help you if you are a chocolate-hater. You really shouldn't be here at all, right? But wait, I need to tell you about a new project I am on with 8 other amazing food bloggers. We are the Free Spirit Bloggers. Read on!

eggless banana chocolate pound cake

Mads of Cook-Curry Nook came up with this idea and this month, we experimented in our baking labs with egg substitutes in cakes. The idea was to use the same basic chocolate pound cake recipe and use different egg substitutes. We each worked with 2 and decided to post the one that worked better.

I chose to work with banana. To substitute one egg in the recipe, you need 1/4 cup ripe banana puree + 1/2  tsp baking powder. This is in addition to baking powder already mentioned in the recipe.

eggless banana chocolate pound cake

Eggless Chocolate Banana Pound Cake Recipe (Eggless Chocolate Cake Recipe)
Makes 36 small pieces

Ingredients:
All purpose flour or Maida – 250 gms (2 ½ cups)
Sugar – 250 gms (1 1/4 cups)
Butter – 250 gms
Cocoa powder – 50 gms (~4 tbsp or 1/4 cup)
To replace 4 eggs - 1 cup pureed ripe banana + 2 tsp baking powder
Baking Soda – 1 tsp
Baking Powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
Milk – as required, to adjust batter to dropping consistency - max ½ cup (I used about 1/4 cup)

How to make Eggless Chocolate Cake:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F).

2. Line the base of a square pan (8″x8″) with butter paper, or grease the base with butter and dust with
flour till well coated and set aside.

3. Beat the pureed banana with the baking powder and set aside.

4. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Do this thrice for best results, and set aside.

5. Cream the butter and sugar well together for about 3-4 mins. Add the vanilla essence and beat well.

6. Add the beaten banana mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and beat well till it has been incorporated.

7. Now, add the sifted flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture little by little and beat well till
blended smoothly.

8. Add adequate milk to achieve a batter of dropping consistency.

9. Pour batter into the readied pan, and bake at 180 deg C for 45-50 minutes or till done.

My chocolate cake formed a nice crust and was super soft and spongy. It was a bit hard to get clean pieces because it was that soft. Throughly enjoyed making the eggless version but if you want to avoid the banana flavour, just use eggs and follow the rest of the recipe as mentioned. Do let me know if you try it!

So, what's your favourite egg replacement?