NO Egg NO Butter : Dates and Almond loaf

Dates and almond loaf

I am not a big believer in egg-less baking not just because I eat eggs and really don’t see a reason not to use them in my cakes.  But I know from my personal experience that the fluffiness and the taste that eggs add to cakes cannot be recreated using other ingredients.

Baking without eggs makes the list of ingredients longer with curds, milk, milk powder, oil, honey, soda bi carbonate and so on…

On the positive, one need not follow any mixing rules. Mix wet things together, mix dry things together and add the dry stuff to the wet stuff. Simple!

However, I make an exception for ‘Dates and Almond loaf’. So much so that I feel the addition of eggs or butter would actually spoil it.

Dates and Almond loaf

Ingredients;

1 cup flour (Maida)

¾ cup caster sugar

15 dates without seeds

1 cup milk

½ tsp soda bi carbonate

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp vanilla essence

¼ cup refined oil

¼ cup sliced almonds

Process:

  1. Preheat the oven at 180o C for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove seeds from the dates. Take a cup-full of warm milk and soak the dates in the milk for about 30 minutes. Alternately, you can add the dates to milk and warm it in the microwave for 1 min max. Whichever method you adopt, make sure that the milk is not too hot else it will curdle after adding dates.
  3. Grind milk and dates into a fine paste.
  4. In a bowl add the date and milk paste, oil and sugar and vanilla essence. Mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl sieve flour. Add soda bi carbonate and baking powder to the flour and mix.
  6. Add 5 to 4 and mix well. Fold in sliced almonds.
  7. Line up a baking mould. If you want to make cupcakes out of this, then line up cup cake moulds.
  8. Add the mixture to the mould and bake it for 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye on the loaf while it’s baking. Baking time usually differs for different ovens.

The colour of the dates you use will determine the colour of your loaf.

Date and Almond loaf is an ideal tea time snack. You can top it with a layer of icing of your choice but would advice against it. The cake tastes yum just the way it is!

Dates and Almond loaf

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Chelsea Buns for the champions

I had no idea what ‘Chelsea buns’ are till I stumbled upon this recipe sometime back while browsing . The name got me curious and I started gathering information.

What better reason to bake these goodies than Chelsea’s surprise victory in UEFA championship?

Chelsea buns are very British buns invented in London. They are made from dried spices and dried fruits and are ideal with afternoon tea (I loved them with black coffee though). The fragrance can sometimes be mistaken for cinnamon rolls.

Chelsea Buns taste somewhat like scones with a nice cinnamon flavor.

The tricky part in this whole recipe I would say is the dough.

 

Let’s get started;

For the DOUGH

2 ½ tsp of fresh yeast

250 ml fresh milk (at room temperature)

400 grams of plain flour

50 grams of granulated sugar

50 grams of melted butter (+ a little more for greasing the pan)

½ tsp of salt (I didn’t use salt. I used salted butter instead. It’s much easier to find in stores)

For the FILLING

50 grams granulated sugar

1 tbsp of cinnamon powder

50 grams mixed dried fruits (only fruits avoid nuts)

 

Preparation before you start

  1. Measure all ingredients
  2. Melt the butter
  3. Add fresh yeast to the milk and whisk till the yeast dissolves completely
  4. Mix cinnamon and sugar together
  5. Grease the tin with melted butter

 

 

Procedure

  1. In a large bowl / pan sieve flour and add sugar to the flour. Mix well.
  2. Add melted butter to the flour and start mixing slowly with hand.
  3. Start pouring milk with one hand and simultaneously start mixing the flour with the other hand.
  4. Knead the dough gently till it comes off the sides of the bowl.
  5. Cover with a cling film and let it rest for 1-2 hours. The dough will rise to double its size in that time.
  6. Once the dough is ready. Roll it on a flat surface.
  7. With a brush, apply generous amount of melted butter on the surface of the dough.
  8. Sprinkle ‘cinnamon-sugar mix’ and dried fruits all over the buttered surface.
  9. Gently, roll the dough along the edges (like a Swiss roll) till the end. Seal the edges.
  10. Turn the roll over so that the seal is underneath and divide the roll into 9 equal buns.
  11. Place the portions on the buttered tin. Cover with a cling film and leave it for 30-45 mins until they have doubled in size. The gaps between individual portions will vanish; it will look like a big bun muddle.

 

Baking

  1. Preheat the oven at 180C
  2. 18.   Bake the buns for 25-30 mins (mine is not a fast heating oven. Fast heating oven will take around 15-20 mins)
  3. Once baked, cool them on the wire rack.

Eat as soon as you can! If you like add a bit of cheese cream icing on the top.

 

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