Wholewheat (Atta) Pancakes with Homemade Berry Compote

Tis the season of berries.. tra la la laaaa!

I told you I love spring, right. Reason # 5001 in my I LOVE SPRING list is because this is the season when berries are a-plenty and a-cheap. And we buy them by the bushel. And then forget about them if they are lying around in the back of the fridge. Uh-oh. Mushy berry alert!

Sundays bring with them the most time for me to make a leisurely breakfast, and for both of us to sit together and be lazy and enjoy our way through the meal. Wanting to be healthy yet have an indulgent brekkie, I decided to make us some atta pancakes, wholewheat for y’all, topped with a homemade berry compote.

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Remember the secret formula that I shared that all of us pancake lovers should know by heart?  Well, i decided to test it with wholewheat flour and see if it still worked its magic. Well, I was using plain old atta, and it needed a bit more liquid actually, so tweaked the recipe by adding half a cup more.

To be honest, while I was cooking them, I was slightly put off by how boring they looked, and I was worried that they wouldn’t look pancake-y enough.

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But I was worrying needlessly. Once I made them all and stacked ’em up, look! Spot the difference, I dare you :)

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Ingredients

For the pancakes:

  1. Wholewheat flour: 2 cups
  2. Eggs: 1
  3. Buttermilk: 2.5 cups
  4. Unsalted butter, melted: 1/2 cup
  5. Powdered cinnamon: 1/2 tsp
  6. Baking soda: 1/2 tsp

For the compote:

  1. Mixed berries: 1 cup
  2. Water: 1/2 a cup
  3. Sugar, if needed: to taste

Method

For the compote:

  1. In a pan, mix the berries and water (and sugar, if using) and bring to a boil
  2. Simmer on medium heat and mash the berries in the bubbling water
  3. The consistency of the compote can be reduced to as much as you personally prefer; runny, or thick. The former should take about 20 minutes, while the latter should take about 30 minutes or so.

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For the pancake batter:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda) in a bowl and keep aside.
  2. In another bowl, mix your wet ingredients (egg, milk, butter).
  3. Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and voila, your pancake batter is ready, quick and easy. (Also, this batter can be stored in the fridge overnight, so you can actually make it a day in advance and quickly churn out pancakes in the morning, although with the extra fibre that wholewheat flour has, you might have to thin out the batter before making the pancakes)

For cooking the pancakes:

  1. Cover your serving plate with aluminium foil to store the pancakes in, in order to keep them warm while you make the entire batch.
  2. Heat up good quality non stick pan, to medium heat.
  3. Once the pan is nicely heated, take a ladle full of the batter, pour into pan, and using the base of the ladle spread out the batter to flatten it. If you want thicker pancakes (like I do), add on another ladle-full, and then spread out the mix in the pan. Otherwise for crispy, thin pancakes one ladle of batter should be enough.
  4. In about 2-3 minutes, the pancake should be ready to flip over to the other side. Cook both sides to your ideal consistency. If you like well cooked pancakes, keep on for 3-4 minutes each side, while browning both sides. If you don’t want browned pancakes, ensure you cook each side for less than 3 minutes.

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To serve:

Layer up your pancakes. Pour the fresh compote and maple syrup on it. Serve with or without fruits. And maybe some cream? :)

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Notes:

You can put on the compote before you start the pancakes. Saves time and it should be ready by the time you have made the pancakes.

The atta pancakes might have a slightly fibrous taste to them. If you think you might not be a fan of it, try masking it with some vanilla essence, or adding some dried fruits to the batter. I was brave enough and had them,with dollops of honey and compote :)

You don’t need to add butter or oil in the pan to cook the pancakes, as the batter already has butter incorporated in it. That is why the quality of a good non stick pan cannot be stressed enough.

Can you see bits of the butter bubbling away on the surface??
Can you see bits of the butter bubbling away on the surface??

These were an amazing alternative to the weekend fatty indulgence. 

If you try them let me know how it works out for you. Waiting to hear from y’all!

Homemade Nutty and Cinnamon Muesli

I had been wanting to do this for the longest while. Make a batch of  muesli at home. It sounded so simple. And thanks to the in-laws trips from India, I seemed to have every kind of dry fruit at home. So what was stopping me?

My inherent laziness. That’s all.

And also, the fact that at any given time we have 3 types of cereal lying at home. There’s the healthy bran flakes that Arjun Singh gets home, the Chocolate Pillows (from Aldi) that we both love, and the whatever-be-my-fancy-that-month batch of muesli/granola that I get from the supermarket (this month I am tripping over a dark chocolate and cranberry oat cluster pack from Carman’s Kitchen.. it’s supremely blissful).

I love milk and cereal for breakfast. And especially cold cold milk and a crunchy bite to my cereal. So last week when we ran out of our truck load of cereal (gasp!) and I didn’t want to make a trip to the market JUST for cereal, I decided to make some at home.

And trust me, it’s one of the easiest things on the planet. Plus super healthy too.

You need good quality oats, your choice of dry fruits, seeds, and nuts, honey/maple syrup, sugar, cinnamon and you are good to go. And because you are making this at home, you can control what goes in, the amount of sugar level, the level of crispiness or smokiness you want the cereal to have. It’s all super easy and simple.

Oats:

The thing with making muesli at home is that there is no fixed ratio of ingredients. Obviously the oats are the most in quantity, and it is better if you make it with traditional rolled oats. You can always try making muesli with quick cooking oats but do remember that if you are aiming to make granola (muesli that is baked for longer and thus chewier) and/or granola clusters, then traditional oats get better results. They change texture which quick cooking oats don’t. That’s what gets the oats to bind together and form those yummy crunchy clusters.

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 The Add Ons

This is where you make up your muesli mix. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, dried figs, dried prunes, dried apricots, seeds, coconut flakes, raisins. Put them all. Or put none. Okay, put some of these at least. It’s not muesli if its just dried oats and milk!

Word of advice: If you plan on adding chocolate chips, fresh fruit etc, do so in the last 5-10 minutes of the bake. Not from the very beginning.

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The Sugar and Syrup

This is the part where you add the honey or maple syrup or both and mix up everything. I sprinkled some vanilla sugar and a touch of cinnamon.

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The Bake

After giving it a thorough mix, lay it out on a baking tray and put it in a pre-heated oven to bake at 180 C for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, take them out and swirl the mix around with a spatula and put it back in the oven to bake for a further 10 minutes. This is so that the entire mixture gets baked evenly.

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I baked this batch for about 25 minutes, mixing it up twice, and then taking it out of the oven to cool down. Once cool, store in an air tight jar. The smell of the nutty baked muesli will enliven the house.

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I can’t wait to make my next batch of breaky cereal. This one got over in 3 days. Hope you try it too. And hit me up with  a comment below if you have any questions, feedback, criticism or just want to say hi.

Happy munching!

:)

 

Strawberry Nutella French Toast Rollups

Love strawberries: Check

Love Nutella: Slurrp-check

Love french toast: Check check check!

So time to take it to another level, right?

I had a super big bag of strawberries (remember my visit to Prahran market and the bargain dollar deals?) and wanted to do something other than milk shakes, cakes , pancake toppings, etc etc, and I found this really yummy looking recipe for French Toast Rollups, by Christy at The Girl Who Ate Everything (I love that name, seems like we could be really good friends :D ). As complicated as it sounds, it actually takes like 15 minutes to assemble, prep, cook, and serve. Voila!

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The steps to get this delectable treat onto your table are quite simple:

  1. Take a few slices of bread (regular, wholemeal, brioche, challah, whatever you like), trim the crusts
  2. With a rolling pin, flatten out the bread slices so it’s easier to stuff and roll
  3. Spread on  Nutella on the slice
  4. Add the strawberries to one side of the slice
  5. Roll in the bread to form a roll up
  6. In a bowl, prepare the egg and milk mix to dunk the roll ups in, it is French toast after all
  7. Heat a pan with some butter
  8. Dip each roll in the egg and milk mix and fry in the pan, until is lightly browned
  9. To add onto the delectable-ness, you can also keep a bowl of powdered (not icing) sugar, or cinnmaon powder mixed with sugar, and roll the roll-ups immediately in them post cooking
  10. Pick ’em up with your hands, and nom nom nom….rollups6.jpg

 

Now I did pretty much everything above except for a few variations:

  1. I don’t like wasting food plus I really like the crust, so I did not trim the crust (that’s why my french roll ups look like a sausage roll, methinks)
  2. No dipping in sugar for the roll ups for me; Was happy with the end product just the same
  3. I used boring wholemeal bread so the roll ups are a little thicker and probably could have added tons more Nutella, but hey, to each his own. The plan was to use up the berries, not dunk myself in Nutella
Flatten out the bread with a rolling pin
Flatten out the bread with a rolling pin
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Spread Nutella. Stuff strawberries. Roll up bread. Ignore my scratched chopping board.
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Trimming the crusts would have definitely made for a prettier picture. But hey, I wanted to have my crust and eat it too ;)

So here a few links for this tasty TASTY treat, and a few variations that I got my eyes on (cream cheese and banana anyone, or is it just me?!)

  1. Christy’s version from the Girl Who Ate Everything: She alternated stuffing with strawberries and nutella,  and strawberries and cream cheese, yum yum yum.

Like I always say, make it, and make it NOW

Spring Sangria

Spring is passing us by super quick and a hot HOT summer is around the corner.  The good thing about these seasons is that it’s the time to Disco.. NOT.. but to guzzle cold smoothies, chilled coffee shakes, and best of all, sparkling sangrias. Plus, I am one of those weirdos on the planet who is NOT a fan of red wine as is, but give me a glass of red wine sangria and I guzzle it by the gallon. I kid you not.

I love the color, the fizz, the fruit. I wanted a refreshing glass of sangria filled to the brim with berries, no apples or pears or crunch, and topped off with sparkling soda and ice. And I went and made me some.

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Norms dictate I give out a recipe, and some ingredients with measurements and servings yada yada yada. But I say, it’s a sangria; don’t think too much. Just drink up.

A little bit of everything sweet, and a lot of wine makes a happy girl. And I am sure you agree. I am linking this post to the #bitofthisandlotofthat weekly challenge being hosted by my dear friend Pooja on her blog 

Blueberry Crumble Cake

As any self-respecting food blogger will tell you, and even if I am a newbie I can tell you, that you just have to subscribe to tons of amazing food blogs out there. It’s all for the glorious love of food, for gazing lovingly at those yummy food photos, for sharing recipes, for finding more food-obsessed people out there and realising you are far from being alone in this gluttonous world, for that slightly envious twinge when you see a brilliant food shot and wonder how they pulled it off, for that aha moment when you realise that all the ingredients for this particular recipe are in your kitchen right now.

The last is what I had been experiencing quite a few weeks going now. Must be all those random grocery trips. I made this one-pot pasta wonder thanks to Joy the baker (joythebaker.com)

Joy Baker

Then this home-made satay sauce for a quick weeknight noodle dinner courtesy Averie from averiecooks.com

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So when this blueberry crumble cake recipe, from the Smitten Kitchen, popped up in my email feed, and I quickly ticked off all the ingredients on the list as being PRESENT in my kitchen, I was so SO happy. I love the smittenkitchen blog. Deb Perelman, author/creator/owner of the smittenkitchen.com, has this super gorgeous food blog, with such decadent food photography. Yet her recipes are ones which you and I can create, with no added stress,  using basic and fuss-free ingredients from our kitchen.

Sample this blueberry cakey beauty.

Blueberry Bliss
Blueberry Crumb Cake baked by me

You would think a cake with the words crumb, and blueberry, taken from an award-winning food-blog means 30 ingredients, 10 hours prep-time, 20 steps, yada yada yada. But nahhh. No triple-milled flour, or thrice-processed granulated sugar, or .. you get the drift. Her recipe calls for basic baking ingredients (flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla essence) which I can vouch for being present in every bakers kitchen. And the method to make the cake itself, as simple as fudge.  Trust me.

In her own words:

What I’m wary of is: Excessively fussy foods and/or pretentious ingredients. I don’t do truffle oil, Himalayan pink salt at $10 per quarter-ounce or single-origin chocolate that can only be found through Posh Nosh-approved purveyors. I think food should be accessible, and am certain that you don’t need any of these things to cook fantastically.

I followed her instructions bit by bit…..

The Crumbly Layer
The Crumbly Layer

The basics are simple. Leave all your ingredients out to get them to room temeprature. Make the crumb layer first. Set aside. Make the batter. Pour batter into tin. Top with crumb layer. Bake. Serve. Store.

(I can’t take any credit for the recipe this time around. All steps and ingredients were as listed by Deb in her recipe; so I shall be sharing the link for the same throughout the blog; and just showing off pictures of my attempt at baking it :) )

You follow her instructions to the T and get this
You follow her instructions to the T and get this

God! The husband and I gorged on this blueberry brilliance for days. It got over a few days ago and I miss it so bad already. :(

Give me more
Give me more

For those of you reading this and are raring to replicate this in your kitchen, here’s the recipe and blog post from Smitten Kitchen:

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/07/blueberry-crumb-cake/

If you do make it, do let me know if it worked out as well for you as it did for me. Meanwhile, I have my eyes set on this yummazing Strawberries and Graham cracker crumb with cream recipe Deb shared on her blog a few days back. nom nom nom