Vegan Banana Bread – the only recipe you’ll ever need

This Vegan Banana Bread recipe is a simple, one bowl recipe which results in a moist, spongy and delicious Banana Bread.

I’ve always had a fondness for baking and it’s been this way ever since I can remember. However, when I decided to embrace more of a plant-based diet, a lot of my go-to baking recipes couldn’t be used and needed to be altered. You may have noticed that I haven’t shared very many plant-based cake or cookie recipes yet. I’ve been working on my recipes to make sure that they are just as good as the more conventional recipes, if not better.

So for the first of many, I’m going to share my Vegan Banana Bread recipe with you today. This is one EPIC recipe. And I’m not just saying that. Everything comes together in one bowl, no fancy equipment or gadgets needed and you end up with a loaf of banana bread that is ‘to-die-for’. My husband and I were totally amazed by this recipe.

In the past, I’ve tried a number of banana bread recipes (remember this one or this one), but I think this one beats them all. For a recipe that is so simple, the rewards are pretty great.


Start of by mashing the bananas really well.

Next, add the sugar and oil and mix thoroughly.

Now, add the flax egg and vanilla and mix through.

Add the dry ingredients and fold through.

Lastly, fold in the walnuts.

Pour the batter into your prepped loaf tin and bake.

That’s it. Now you’ve arrived at the hardest part of the recipe, the waiting. You sit back, wait for your banana bread to bake and then wait for it to cool completely before cutting into it.

So if you have a bunch of bananas on your kitchen counter, that have passed their prime, don’t let them go to waste. Make this delicious banana bread. If you’re buying bananas especially for this recipe, make sure they’ve ripened well. They should have a few black spots on the skin, it means they’ll be sweeter and add better flavour to your banana bread. If they haven’t reached that stage yet, I would highly recommend leaving them on the counter for a couple of days before making this recipe.

I really hope you try this recipe out. If you’re not a fan of walnuts, you can leave them out. If you’d like to add a little decadence to your banana bread, add some chocolate chips to it. Either way, I promise you, this is the only banana bread recipe you’ll ever need.

Even if you don’t necessarily follow a plant-based diet, you will love it. You wont miss the eggs and the butter one bit.

Let’s head on over to the recipe now, shall we?

Vegan Banana Bread

Recipe by Trisha Vaz
Prep time

20

minutes
Baking time

40

minutes
Total time

1

hour 

10

minutes

This Vegan Banana Bread recipe is a simple, one bowl recipe which results in a moist, spongy and delicious Banana Bread.

Ingredients

  • 3 large ripe Bananas

  • 1 tbsp flax meal

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup oil

  • 1 tsp Vanilla

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder

  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Directions

  • To make the flax egg, in a small bowl, mix 1 tbsp flax meal with 3 tbsp water at room temperature. Stir well. Refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 180ºC.
  • Line a loaf with with baking paper and lightly grease it.
  • In a large mixing bowl, peel and mash the bananas.
  • Add the sugar and oil to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Add the flax egg and the vanilla and mix well.
  • Add the dry ingredients (the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder and nutmeg powder). Lightly mix the dry ingredients and then incorporate it with the wet ingredients using the cut and fold technique. (Refer to the recipe video for a demonstration.)
  • Lastly, add the chopped walnuts and gently fold through till they have distributed evenly, taking care to not over-mix the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 40-50 minutes or till a skewer pierced through the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Cool completely before slicing.

    Enjoy!!!

Recipe Video

Christmas Fruit Cake – dark, rich and boozy

A good, rich, dark and sometimes boozy Christmas Fruit Cake is a must-have on every Christmas platter. Studded with dry fruit soaked in rum and spiced with beautiful holiday flavours, this recipe is sure to win you over.

Christmas Fruit Cake
Christmas Fruit Cake

In most Christian homes along the south west coast of India, a good Dark Fruit cake makes an appearance at Christmas and all special occasions like engagement parties, weddings, anniversaries, Communion celebrations and so on. It also holds a very prominent spot on a typical Christmas platter, or what is locally referred to as a Kuswar platter. (Kuswar=Christmas sweets)

Most people I know enjoy a good fruit cake, but very often, find it too tedious to make one at home. They settle for a commercially made cake, which very often has a number of additives including caramel colour to give it a deep, dark colour.

Today, I’m sharing with you, my favourite Fruit Cake recipe. This recipe is a little longer than most other cake recipes. However, I can assure you it is a fairly simple process and the end result is so good, it’s well worth all the extra effort. To help make the process easier, I’ve broken this recipe down into a few parts. Some of them can actually be done days before you’d like to bake this cake. The best part is, this cake tastes best if it’s allowed to rest for a couple of days, so it’s a perfect one to make ahead.

Step 1 – Soaking the fruit

This recipe calls for 500gms of mixed dry fruit. In my assortment, I’ve used raisins, sultanas, currants, mixed peel, candied / glacéd cherries and candied ginger. You can use any dry fruits of your choosing, in the proportion you’d like them. It just needs to add up to about 500 grams all together.

Dry fruit assortment
Dry fruit assortment

Chop the larger pieces of fruit down to make slicing your finished cake easier. Doing this also makes for a better eating experience, in my opinion. Place all the fruit in an airtight glass jar, top it off with some rum and set it aside in a cool dark place. The fruit needs atleast 24 hours to soak and rehydrate. The longer is steeps in the rum, the better the results. This can be done upto a year in advance.

Soaking the fruit
Soaking the fruit

Step 2 – Making the caramel

The 2nd step is making the caramel. There are many ways to make a caramel. For this recipe, you’re looking for one that gives you a slightly more fluid consistency. I’m using a 2:1 ratio – 2 parts sugar to one part water and I find that this gives me the perfect results for this recipe. You can make this caramel even a few days before you want to bake your cake. Simply let it cool down completely and store in an airtight glass jar. If you’re making this the caramel, the day that you’re baking the fruit cake, make sure the caramel has cooled down completely before you add it to the batter.

Christmas Fruit Cake - Making the caramel
Making the caramel


Step 3 – Making the cake

Making the batter is a very simple process. It’s just like making any other cake. You need to ensure all your ingredients are at room temperature. In this recipe, I’m using dark brown sugar to help lend a darker colour to the cake. If you can’t find dark brown sugar, regular white sugar will work too. Just make sure you use a fine grain sugar or simply powder your regular white sugar before adding it to the batter.

Sometimes, you find that the fruit in a fruit cake like this one isn’t evenly distributed. Mix the fruit into the flour – baking powder mix to ensure that the fruit doesn’t sink to the bottom of the cake.

Also, in this recipe, I’m using treacle to darken my cake and give it an added boost of flavour. If you can’t find treacle, use some molasses instead. I’m not using any artificial colours. A lot of the commercially available dark fruit cakes use caramel colour. If you’d like to, you can add some to the batter.

Mixing the fruit and flour
Mixing the fruit and flour
Christmas Fruit Cake - Adding the fruit to the cake batter
Mixing the batter
ready for the oven
Ready for the oven

I’m going to feed this cake only once with some dark rum, just as it comes out of the oven. This will help the cake soak up all the rum.

Feeding the cake
Feeding the cake

While you can cut into the cake as soon as it cools dow, for best results, I recommend atleast letting it stand overnight before you cut into it.

Once all the Hard Yakka’s out of the way, sit back and enjoy your stunning Fruit Cake.


Christmas Fruit Cake - Sliced
Christmas Fruit Cake – Sliced

Christmas Fruit Cake

Recipe by Trisha VazCourse: Cakes, Cakes, Cookies & Desserts, RecipesDifficulty: Medium
Yields

1.8

kilos
Prep time

50

minutes
Cooking time

45

minutes
Soaking time

24

hours (min)

This rich, dark and boozy Christmas Fruit Cake is studded with dry fruit and is beautifully spiced to make it the perfect cake for the Holidays.

Ingredients

  • For soaking the dry fruit –
  • 100g sultanas

  • 100g raisins

  • 100g currants

  • 100g mixed citrus peel

  • 50g candied / glaced cherries

  • 50g candied ginger

  • 240ml dark rum

  • For the caramel –
  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup hot water, from a recently boiled kettle

  • For the cake –
  • 200g butter, at room temperature

  • 200g dark brown sugar

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 tsp Vanilla bean paste / vanilla extract

  • 2 tbsp Treacle

  • 120ml Caramel (recipe included)

  • Zest and juice of 1 orange

  • 250g all purpose flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves

  • Dry fruit, previously soaked as per directions below.

  • 50g cashew nuts, chopped

  • 45ml dark rum

Directions

  • Soaking the fruit –
  • Chop all the dry fruit into smaller pieces. I try and keep them evenly sized, like the size of the currants, which are the smallest in the assortment.
  • Place all the chopped fruit in an airtight glass jar. Top with rum. Mix well. Cover and steep for a minimum of 24 hours in a cool, dry place. You can leave this fruit to steep for upto a year. Shake the jar or stir the ingredients every once in a while.
  • For the caramel –
  • Place 1 cup sugar in a large vessel. Let it melt and caramelise on medium heat till all the sugar has dissolved. Do not stir the sugar. Swirl the pan, as needed.
  • Once all the sugar has completely dissolved and it caramelised, pour 1/2 cup hot water down the side of the vessel. It is important to do it in this manner to prevent the caramel splashing on you.
  • Let it heat through for about another 10 seconds or till both liquids have mixed well. Give it a light stir to ensure they have mixed through.
  • Set this aside and leave to cool completely before adding to the cake batter.
  • If you’re making the caramel ahead of time, after is had completely cooled, store in an airtight glass jar in a cool, dry place.
  • To make the cake –
  • Mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl to combine well.
  • In a larger bowl, place the soaked dry fruit after draining out any excess rum. Do not discard this rum. You can top the jar up with more fruit and rum and leave to steep for the next time you make this cake.
  • Add the cashewnuts to the fruit and mix well.
  • Add the flour and baking powder mix to the bowl and mix the flour and fruit thoroughly, and stir through to break up any larger clumps of fruit.
  • Preheat your oven to 170C and line a 9 inch square cake tin with baking paper and grease it.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, place the butter and brown sugar and beat till it is light and creamy and all the sugar has dissolved.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing between each addition.
  • Add the vanilla, orange zest and juice, caramel, treacle and all the ground spice powders. Mix well till combined.
  • Lastly, add the fruit – flour mix and fold it into the cake batter.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or till done.
  • Immediately, pour the rum all over the top surface of the cake.
  • Let the cake cool down in the cake pan itself.
  • When it has completely cooled, it is ready to serve or store. For best results, let it rest overnight before cutting. Store carefully wrapped in a couple of layers of baking paper.
  • When you’re ready to serve, cut into slices or bars and enjoy!

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.
  • The fruit should be soaked for a minimum of 24 hours or upto one year in an airtight glass jar. The longer they steep, the better.
  • Make sure the caramel has cooled down completely before adding to the batter. The caramel can be made a few days ahead. Simply let it cool down completely and store in an airtight glass jar till ready to use.
  • For best results, let the cake rest atleast overnight before cutting into it.

Rose Cookies – Kokkisan

With Christmas fast approaching, today I thought I’d share with you a recipe for Rose Cookies. Rose Cookies, Kokkisan or Achu Murukku – these are a few names these little treats go by in different parts of the South of India. If you’ve not had these before, imagine amazingly crisp, deep-fried, sweet cookies. They are so more-ish. Which is why it’s a good thing this batch yields quite a few cookies.

Rose Cookies
Rose Cookies

Let’s move on to the cookies themselves, shall we? While they’re not difficult to make, the batter can be very temperamental and finicky. This is one Kuswar treat I personally find the most trying. The most important part of this recipe is the batter. It takes a little patience and tweaking to get it to just the right consistency. But boy, once you do, churning these cookies out is a breeze.

The batter –

Are you ready to give these a try. Let me walk you though the process. Putting the batter together initially is a very simple process and it just a matter of whisking all of the ingredients together. The one thing you need to watch out for, is the amount of liquid that goes into it. You’re looking for a batter that isn’t too thick or too thin. It’s a Goldilocks kinda situation; you have to get it just right. A huge saving grace is that the batter is forgiving and can be easily fixed.

Rose Cookies - batter
Rose Cookies – batter

If its too thick, it wont cling to the cookie iron at all. When this happens, gradually add small amounts of coconut milk (if you’re out of coconut milk, you can use water) and whisk it in. On the other hand, if its too thin, it’ll stick to the iron and won’t release into the oil, even after you try to separate it using a fork or a skewer. To fix this, simply add a little all purpose flour to the batter, a little at a time and whisk it through and try frying it again.

The frying process –

Now that you have you’re batter sorted out, you need to keep a few things in mind while frying these cookies. Once the oil heats up, maintain it by using a medium to medium low heat. If the oil is too hot, the cookies will brown too quickly. The cookie iron needs to be heated well for it to release the cookies into the oil. The first few cookies are like a tester batch. You may have to sacrifice a couple of them while you figure out the right consistency.

Take the cookies out of the oil when they’re a little lighter than you’d like it. They tend to darken as they cool.

With these pointers in mind, you are now equipped to make a beautiful batch of these Rose Cookies.

Rose Cookies

Course: SnacksCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Difficult
Servings

500

grams (approx.)
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 

Rose Cookies are amazingly crisp, deep-fried, sweet cookies that make an appearance on a lot of Christmas Kuswar platters. They are so addictive, they can be enjoyed any time of the year.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg, at room temperature

  • 1/3 cup of sugar (fine grain or ground to a powder)

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 1 cup rice flour, fine

  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract / Vanilla bean paste

  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup coconut milk

  • A pinch of salt

  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds

  • Oil, for deep frying

Directions

  • To make the batter –
  • Crack the egg into a large mixing bowl. Whisk lightly.
  • Add the sugar and whisk to combine.
  • Add the salt and vanilla and mix.
  • Add the all purpose flour and rice flour and mix lightly.
  • Add the coconut milk and whisk to form a batter. The batter shouldn’t be too thick or too thin. Use more coconut milk/water or all purpose flour to adjust the consistency as needed.
  • Stir in the sesame seeds.
  • To fry the cookies –
  • Heat the oil in a deep, heavy pan for deep frying.
  • Place the cookie iron in the hot oil for about 30 seconds or till it has heated.
  • Shake excess oil off the iron and insert in batter about 3/4 of the way. Immediately place the iron in the oil. In a few seconds, lightly shake the iron to release the cookie or use a fork to help take it off the iron. Please watch the video to see the technique in action.
  • When the cookie has lightly browned, carefully flip over to fry it on the other side. When golden brown, drain any excess oil and remove the cookies onto a tray lined with absorbent kitchen paper to drain the excess oil. Take the cookies out of the oil when it is still on the lighter side. They will continue to turn slightly darker once taken out of the oil.
  • Continue frying the rest of the cookies.
  • When the cookies have cooled down completely, serve up or store in an airtight container.

    Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Notes

  • The consistency of the batter is very important. You may need to adjust the consistency of the batter as you fry the first few cookies to hit the right consistency. If it is too thick, add a little water or coconut milk and whisk in. If it is too thin, add a little all purpose flour and whisk through.
  • We don’t like our sweets overly sweet. Feel free to add more sugar to suit your preferences. Fry off a couple of cookies and taste them, adjust sweetness, if needed.
  • Take the cookies out of the oil when it is still on the lighter side. They will continue to turn slightly darker once taken out of the oil.


If you’re looking for more Kuswar recipes to make this Christmas, here are a few of my favorite recipes you might enjoy too –
1) Kulkuls
2) Date Rolls
3) Baath / Badca
4) Coconut Toffee
5) Milk Cream
6) Coconut Ladoos
7) Guava Cheese / Perad
8) Nankatais (Eggless)
9) Marzipan (Eggless)
10) No-cook Almond Marzipan
11) Marzipan – My favorite recipe
12) Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge
13) Chana Doce

Gingerbread Fudge – a quick and easy recipe

Gingerbread Fudge
Gingerbread Fudge

Today’s Gingerbread Fudge is a great recipe to have on hand for Christmas. It is quick and easy, and results in a creamy fudge that is beautifully spiced with all the Christmas flavours. So if a combination of white chocolate and the flavours of a traditional gingerbread is your thing, stick around for the recipe.

With Christmas fast approaching, a lot of folks have started with all kinds of prep work. From deep cleaning and decorating their homes, shopping for the Holiday season and planning their social calendars, most houses see frenzied levels of activity at this time of the year. It’s because of this, one needs to have a few easy and delicious recipes to fall back on.

This gingerbread fudge recipe ticks all those boxes. With prep and cook time of mere minutes, the hardest part of this recipe is leaving the fudge alone, to cool and set. Sounds perfect, right? Well, it is. And you’re left with a nice batch of fudge that just melts in your mouth.

And if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere like I am, we’re headed straight for summer. And it gets really hot here in Sydney. So while everyone in the North is baking up a storm, these kind of recipes work out perfectly for us. This way we get to enjoy those beautiful flavours of Christmas without having to turn the oven on.

This fudge can be made a few days ahead. Store it in the fridge in an airtight container lined with baking / parchment paper. I suggest placing a piece of baking / parchment paper between layers as well, to prevent the pieces of fudge from potentially sticking to each other.

Now, if dark chocolate is more your thing, check out my Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Fudge recipe. It is absolutely divine.

The ingredients –

This list is an easy one to get a hold off. You will need condensed milk, white chocolate, vanilla, molasses, ground spices (ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg) and don’t forget the butter.

ingredients
Gingerbread Fudge ingredients
ingredients1
Gingerbread Fudge ingredients

Let’s get cooking –

Line a 9×9 inch cake pan with some foil, leaving a little overhang to help take the fudge out once it has set. Set this aside to use later.

Place the condensed milk and butter in a heavy bottomed pan on a medium low heat.

Add the molasses and vanilla. Mix through and add the white chocolate. Stir well to help the chocolate pieces melt.

Next, add the spice powders and stir well to incorporate.

Once all the chocolate has melted and the spice powders have been incorporated thoroughly, pour out onto the lined cake pan. Tap the pan gently a couple of times to get rid of any air bubbles.

Leave it on the kitchen counter and let it come to room temperature.

Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight to set completely.

Cut into squares and serve.

Gingerbread Fudge – a quick and easy recipe

Recipe by Trisha VazCourse: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

49

pieces
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

5

minutes
Cooling time

4-6

hours

This Gingerbread Fudge recipe is quick and easy, and results in a creamy fudge that is beautifully spiced with all the Christmas flavours.

Ingredients

  • 30g butter

  • 1 tin condensed milk (395g)

  • 350g White chocolate

  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract / Vanilla bean paste

  • 1 tbsp Molasses

  • 1 tsp ground ginger (powder)

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (powder)

  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves (powder)

  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (powder)

Directions

  • Line a 9×9 inch cake pan with foil, leaving a little overhang to help take the fudge out once it has set. Set this aside to use later.
  • Place the condensed milk and butter in a heavy bottomed pan on a medium low heat.
  • Add the molasses and vanilla. Mix through and add the white chocolate. Stir well to help the chocolate pieces melt.
  • Next, add the spice powders and stir well to incorporate.
  • Once all the chocolate has melted and the spice powders have been incorporated thoroughly, pour out onto the lined cake pan. Tap the pan gently a couple of times to get rid of any air bubbles.
  • Leave it on the kitchen counter and let it come to room temperature.
  • Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight to set completely.
  • Cut into pieces and serve.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Line the cake pan and assemble your ingredients before you start cooking the fudge.
  • If you don’t have access to molasses, you can use a little melted down Goan coconut jaggery.
  • Adjust the spice powder amounts to suit your liking.
  • Store it in the fridge in an airtight container lined with baking / parchment paper. I suggest placing a piece of baking / parchment paper between layers as well, to prevent the pieces of fudge from potentially sticking to each other.

Chana Doce

When you think of Chickpeas, a lot of people think of savory recipes. Have you tried making sweets with a chickpea base? If you haven’t, you really ought to. This Chana Doce is a Goan sweet served at Christmas time, weddings and special occasions. It is made with chana dal and coconut and mildly flavored with cardamom. There are heaps of Indian sweets that use some form of chickpeas as a base, like these Besan Laddoos or even these sweet flatbreads called Puran Poli. These two are just the tip of the ice berg and I hope to try and bring you some more Chickpea deliciousness in the future.

Today, I’m sharing with you a Goan sweet recipe. This Chana Doce is a Goan delicacy and makes an appearance at Christmas time, weddings and special occasions. The recipe calls for chana dal, which is hulled and split chickpeas. Everytime we visit Goa, we always bring some back home with us. A good Goan bakery is paradise if you have a sweet tooth. Our typical haul would include this Chana Doce and a Coconut variant, the ever popular Bebinca, Dodol, Baath, Bolinhas and Pinag. I think that about covers it. Our favorite place to buy these treats is a quaint little bakery in Mapusa called Simona’s. They also have outlets in Porvorim and Sinquerim. What’s your go-to place to buy your favourite Goan treats?

It’s hard for us to get back to Goa as often as we did when we were in Mumbai, so I’ve decided to try and make these delicacies at home. And after some experimenting, I’ve finally got a recipe for Chana Doce that I’m happy with. This is a softer version of the sweet and just melts in your mouth. The commercially available one is a little harder and has a slightly longer shelf life, but its slightly more difficult to make. We actually quite like this softer version and hope you do too.


Chana Doce

Recipe by Trisha VazCourse: DessertCuisine: GoanDifficulty: Medium
Yields

800

grams
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

45

minutes
Soaking time

3 hours

A melt in your mouth sweet made with chana dal and coconut and mildly flavored with cardamom.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Chana Dal (hulled and split chickpeas)

  • 1/8 tsp Salt, or to taste

  • 6-8 green cardamom pods

  • 1 coconut, grated (approx. 2 1/2 cups)

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp of ghee (clarified butter)

Directions

  • Wash the chana dal by passing it through some water at room temperature 3-4 times. Add enough water to cover the dal by about 2 inches and let it soak for 3 hours. After letting it soak, drain the water, pass it through some fresh water and drain again. Cook the chana dal with 1/8 tsp of salt and sufficient water till soft. Drain the dal and reserve the cooking water. Let the dal cool to room temperature.Chana Doce - Soaking dal
  • In the meanwhile, crack the cardamom pods open and grind the seeds to a powder.
  • Grease a large tray or board, the back of a large spoon or spatula, a rolling pin and a sharp knife with a little more ghee.
  • Grind the coconut to a smooth paste using just a little of the reserved cooking liquid from cooking the lentils. Use as little water as you can. Place the ground coconut in a large heavy bottomed pan.
  • Grind your chana dal with a little reserved cooking liquid to a smooth paste. Again, use as little liquid as possible. Add this to the pan. Chana Doce - Grinding dal
  • Add the sugar to the pan and stir well to combine. Chana Doce - Mixing Ingredients
  • Place the pan on a medium heat and cook till it thickens and starts leaving the sides of the vessel, stirring continuously. As it thickens, drop the heat to a medium low, add the cardamom and 1 tbsp ghee and continue cooking. This process takes around 30-45 minutes.Channa Doce - Add cardamom and ghee
  • Once the mix starts forming into a ball, take it off the heat and immediately transfer to the greased tray. Level it using the back of a spoon and tidy it off with the greased rolling pin. Set it aside to cool.Channa Doce - Flatten with spatulaChanna Doce - roll out
  • Using the greased knife, cut into the traditional diamond shapes or any other shape of your choosing. Channa Doce - Cut into diamonds
  • Leave the cut pieces on the kitchen counter to cool down completely and set. Your Chana Doce is now ready to serve or store. Store in an airtight container. This will keep refrigerated for a 6-8 days.

    Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Notes

  • You can cook the chana dal in the pressure cooker or in a pot on the stovetop. The pressure cooker will cut down cooking time drastically. Mine takes about 10 minutes to cook all the way through. Cooking time will differ among different brands of pressure cookers. Follow your manufacturers instructions to cook the lentils till well done.
  • Use as little water as possible to grind the coconut and the chana dal. The more water you add, the longer you’re cooking time will be.
  • Always use a heavy pan to cook this Chana Doce. It keeps it from burning easily. If possible, use a wide pan. A wide pan, increases surface area and decreases cooking time.
  • Cooking time will vary depending on a number of factors like amount of water used while griding, heat level used during cooking, size and thickness of the pan, width of the pan etc. It took me 32 minutes in total. Like most Goan sweets, its hard to time the cooking process. You need to go by what you see and feel. My step-by-step video will help with this.

Easy Mini Cheesecakes with a Strawberry Topping

Cheesecake is one of our favorite desserts at home. My last couple of birthday cakes have been cheesecakes. That alone should tell you how much I love it. But do you know whats even better than a cheesecake? Little mini cheesecakes, of course. Jokes aside, these are the perfect option for a party or even for the family. You can make them a day ahead of the party and keep them refrigerated. They are easy to serve and could serve to help portion control too. And they are super delicious as well. Now that’s a dessert that ticks all the boxes for me.





Easy Mini Cheesecakes with a Strawberry Topping
Makes 8 mini cheesecakes

For the base – 
120g Digestive biscuits
30g butter

For the cheesecake – 
250g cream cheese
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
100g double cream
2 eggs
A tiny pinch of salt

For the topping –
1/2 cup strawberry jam
Fresh strawberries

For the base


Melt the butter and keep aside.


Blitz the biscuits in a food processor till you get a coarse crumb texture. Add the melted butter and blitz again to combine. This should now resemble wet sand.

For the filling – 


Beat the cream cheese till its creamy.

Add the sugar and and mix till it is well combined.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Now add the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla and salt and mix till combined.

Lastly, add the cream and mix till it has incorporated with the rest of the ingredients.

To assemble – 


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Line a cupcake tray with paper cases.

Place about 1 tbsp. or so of the biscuit crumb in each case. Using the back of a spoon, pack it down and flatten it.

Top it with the cheesecake filling about 2/3 of the way.

Bake for 15-17 minutes or till the outside has set and the middle still has a little jiggle to it. (You may find some of them puff up a bit or develop a little crack. That is fine.)

Take it out of the oven and let it cool down completely.

Warm the jam over some medium heat, just to loosen it a bit. You don’t need to simmer or boil it. This took me about a minute.

Spoon a little jam over each of the mini cheesecakes.

Top with some fresh berries.

Refrigerate for 2-4 hours to set. You can leave it to set overnight as well.

Enjoy!!!

How to make Custard from scratch … and a layered custard and jelly dessert

Today’s post is a walk down memory lane for me. As a kid, this dessert made an appearance at a lot of parties and gatherings and on other special occasions too. My mum makes a version of this. However, back in the day, we always used custard powder to make our custard. And I used to love it. When we moved away from India, initially I found it a little hard to find the custard powder that we used. So I did the only other thing I could think of. I started working on a custard recipe. After a few attempts and tweaks, I came up with a recipe that I was happy with. It’s a simple, easy and super delicious one. Well, you don’t have to take my word for it. Try it out for yourself and see. And then come back and let me know what you thought of it.

Once you make the custard, there are so many ways you can use it. Make a thinner version and pour it over your favorite dessert. You can serve this custard with some fresh fruit or use it to make a fresh fruit tart (I’ll share how I make mine very soon). Or you can do what I did, I made a layered dessert and serve it with some jelly. It was my first attempt at serving it up this way.  If you don’t want to make individual servings, you can set your custard and jelly separately and let your guests help themselves to it.

Whichever way you decide to serve it up, you are going to love it.

Vanilla Custard 

4 egg yolks
3 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
A scant pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla till it is light and creamy.

Add the cornflour and whisk it in.

Next add the milk and whisk it in till it is well incorporated and is a uniform mix.

Place on a medium heat and cook, whisking continuously for about 15-18 minutes.

Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate to set.

To make a layered dessert – 


You’ll need to whip up one portion of Jelly and a fruit salad

For the fruit salad –
1 pack of Raspberry Jelly
Assortment of fresh fruit, chopped into little pieces (Do NOT use pineapple, kiwi or papaya / pawpaw as your jelly will not set.)

Pour the jelly granules in a bowl.

Add 250ml boiling hot water. Stir to dissolve the Jelly granules.

Add 200ml cold water and stir through.

When the jelly has reached room temperature, add some chopped fruit.

Please note, every Jelly brand may have to be prepared differently. So, please follow the instructions on your box of jelly to achieve the best results.

Layer the custard and jelly in your servingware and keep refrigerated till you’re ready to serve.

Enjoy chilled!

No-cook Almond Marzipan Recipe

I’ve been making marzipan at home for a little over 12 years now. I must admit that in the past, I have only made marzipan using cashew nuts. This is mainly because they were more widely available in Mumbai and were more affordable than almonds. Last Christmas, when I shared my favorite marzipan recipe here and on YouTube, the video got a lot of love. I also got a lot of questions about making marzipan using almonds. There were also requests for an eggless version of marzipan. Now I have previously shared a different recipe for an eggless (cashew nuts) version. But I decided that this year, in time for Easter, I would try out an eggless almond marzipan recipe and share it with you. After a little experimenting, and more marzipan than I know what to do with, I have, what I consider a really good recipe to share with you.

How do they both compare? Well I found that the cashewnut marzipan is lighter while the almond one is a little on the denser side. That being said, the almond version is super delicious. I think even more than the cashewnut one. Then, there’s also the fact that the almond one is a no-cook recipe. So, to sum up, I will still make my cashewnut version as it is a little easier to work with, but the almond one will be absolutely perfect to use in so many different ways. I’d love for you to try it out and tell me what you think of it.



No-cook Almond Marzipan
(Yields 250-260gms approx.)

1 cup raw, natural almonds
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp rose water (you can add a little more if needed)
1/2 tsp almond extract (you can add a little more if needed)

Place the almonds in a heatproof bowl.

Pour water from a recently boiled kettle over the almonds to cover the nuts. Leave the almonds to soak for a couple of minutes.

Drain the almonds and peel them. Place them on some kitchen paper or a clean kitchen towel to dry up. Let the almonds cool down completely.

In a high powered blender / food processor, blitz the almonds to a fine powder.

Place the almond powder in a large bowl. Add in the icing sugar. Mix it thoroughly till combined.

Add the rose water and almond extract and knead to form a dough / log.

Your marzipan is now ready to be used.

If you don’t need to use it immediately, you can wrap it in cling film and refrigerate till needed. It keeps for a couple of months. (Personally, I would just make this when needed, probably a couple of days ahead.)

NOTE: This marzipan is not a very sweet version. When the marzipan is formed, taste some of it. If you want it sweeter, simply add some more icing sugar and knead it in. 

My favourite Marzipan recipe

This version of marzipan is made using cashew seeds and is shaped into little colorful bites. It is the crowning glory of every Indian Christmas platter.

Marzipan
Marzipan
 
Today, I want to take a minute, right at the onset, to say “Thank you” from the bottom of my heart for all your support on my YouTube Channel. I am overwhelmed that so many of you want to watch my videos and try my recipes. A lot of you lovely folks have asked me to share my Marzipan recipe. 
 
The recipe that I’m sharing with you today, is my absolute favourite. Typically, Marzipan is made using Almonds. But in Goa(and India, in general), Cashew nuts / Cashew seeds are more easily and abundantly available than Almonds. So the Goans / Indians have simply swapped one for another. And the results are pretty spectacular. I always make my version using cashew seeds. You can use this recipe to form little shapes like you will see me do today, you can cover a cake with it, and I’ve also made Marzipan tarts in the past. The possibilities are endless. 
 


Marzipan
Yields: 1/4 kilo or 250g Marzipan
 
125g Cashew Nuts 
200g Sugar
1 egg white
1/2 tsp Almond essence
1/4 cup water
Food colours, as required
 
Soak the cashew nuts in some (room temperature) water for about 10 minutes. Drain, run some fresh water through the nuts, and drain them again.
 
Grind the cashew nuts, egg white and water to a fine paste.
 
Pour the ground paste, the almond essence and sugar into a large heavy pan. Place the pan on low-medium heat and stir to combine.
 
Cook the paste on a medium low heat, stirring continuously till it thickens and starts coming away from the pan. 
 
Use the water test to check if it is ready. Place some ice cold water in a small bowl and drop a 1/2 teaspoon of the sweet on it. If it firms up on cooling it is done. If it is still soft or too sticky, it needs more cooking.
 
As soon as it has cooked, pour the marzipan on a large plate and spread it out a little and leave it to cool down a little. Knead it to a dough while it is still warm.
 
Portion and colour the marzipan as desired. 
 
You can now shape it as needed or use it in any recipe that calls for it. 
 
If you making little shapes with the marzipan, once you de-mould it, place it on a plate and leave it to air dry for a while till it sets and is slightly firm to the touch. You can then place it in an airtight container and store. This should last you a couple of weeks if stored well. 
 
If the temperature is too high where you are, consider refrigerating it till needed.
 
Enjoy!!!

 

My favourite Marzipan recipe

Recipe by Trisha VazCourse: DessertCuisine: GoanDifficulty: Medium
Servings

250

grams
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes

This version of marzipan is made using cashew seeds and is shaped into little colorful bites. It is the crowning glory of every Indian Christmas platter.

Ingredients

  • 125g Cashew Nuts

  • 200g Sugar

  • 1 egg white

  • 1/2 tsp Almond essence

  • 1/4 cup water

  • Food colours, as required

Directions

  • Soak the cashew nuts in some (room temperature) water for about 10 minutes. Drain, run some fresh water through the nuts, and drain them again.
  • Grind the cashew nuts, egg white and water to a fine paste.
  • Pour the ground paste, the almond essence and sugar into a large heavy pan. Place the pan on low-medium heat and stir to combine.
  • Cook the paste on a medium low heat, stirring continuously till it thickens and starts coming away from the pan.
  • Use the water test to check if the Marzipan is ready. Place some ice cold water in a small bowl and drop a 1/2 teaspoon of the sweet on it. If it firms up on cooling it is done. If it is still soft or too sticky, it needs more cooking.
  • As soon as it has cooked, pour the marzipan on a large plate and spread it out a little and leave it to cool down a little. Knead it to a dough while it is still warm.
  • Portion and colour the marzipan as desired.
  • You can now shape the marzipan as needed or use it in any recipe that calls for it.
  • If you making little shapes with the marzipan, once you de-mould it, place it on a plate and leave it to air dry for a while till it sets and is slightly firm to the touch. You can then place it in an airtight container and store. This should last you a couple of weeks if stored well.
  • If the temperature is too high where you are, consider refrigerating it till needed.

    Enjoy!!!

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Cooking times can vary greatly. This depends on the size and thickness of the vessel used to cook the marzipan, the heat level used during the cooking process and the quantity being made. Please refer to the video, for my recommended water-test to check if your marzipan is ready.
  • The prep and cook time does not include the time required for this to cool down and mould into shapes. This time depends on your climate and the designs you are working with.
  • These marzipan can be served immediately after shaping. To store, please allow a couple of hours for the pieces to set after they are taken out of the moulds.

Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge

My Christmas Tree is up, the carols are playing and the air at home, especially in my kitchen is full of lovely aromas of Christmas sweets being made. This literally is the best time of the year. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I love all things Christmas. Christmas sweets in my house, like any other Goan household, includes all sorts of traditional Goan recipes. Over the last few years, I’ve found myself including a couple of recipes that are more ‘recent’ for lack of a better word. Like this little gem I’m sharing with you today.

Most Goan Sweet recipes are a labor of love and usually require either hours of stirring on the stovetop or take hours to shape and form. And while I love them all and make most of them every year, I love having recipes like this Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge on hand. This recipe is a great one to have on hand. It uses just 4 ingredients and the cooking time is just a few minutes. And, after leaving it to set in the fridge for a few hours, you end up with a super delicious, decadent chocolate fudge. This time around, I’m using hazelnuts in the fudge and I’m happy to report that this fudge tastes very similar to the Ferrero Rocher chocolates you find in the shops, albeit, without the wafer. You can customize this fudge to suit your liking by swapping hazelnuts for any nuts that you prefer.

Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge


350g dark chocolate
100g hazelnuts
1 tin condensed milk (we get 395g tins here)
30g butter

Line a 9 inch square baking tray with some foil, leaving a little overhang on the sides and set aside.

Lightly roast the hazelnuts. Carefully remove any pieces of skin / peel that may have been left on. Let the nuts cool down completely.

Roughly chop the nuts or place them in a ziplock back and crush the nuts with a rolling pin. You will be left with a rough chop.

Add the butter, condensed milk and chocolate pieces to a heavy bottomed pan. Stir over medium heat till the chocolate has melted and everything in the pan has combined to form a rich, luscious mix.

Add the hazelnuts and stir through to incorporate well. You will notice the mix starting to thicken.

Quickly pour into the foil lined tray. Leave it on the countertop to cool down a little. Once it comes to room temperature, pop the tray into the fridge and leave it to set for 4-6 hours or overnight.

Carefully peel back the foil. Cut the fudge into squares and serve.

If you’re not serving this up immediately, place in an airtight container and refrigerate till needed.

Enjoy!!!