Easy ‘No Bake’ Chocolate Coconut bars (Healthy Chocolate bars using coconut oil)

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Pumpkin and Carrot Walnut Muffin with cream cheese topping

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Banana Nut Bread

Banana Nut Bread

Banana Nut Bread

At the end of the week, I often end up with at least a couple overripe bananas and I usually make one of two things with them – ‘Unni appams’, which are steamed banana muffins or ‘banana nut bread’, which is a cake with bananas and walnuts.  Sometimes I also add other dried fruits to it like dried cherries or dried cranberries in addition to walnuts.  I have also tried replacing part of the flour with whole wheat flour and it still tastes pretty good.  Since I make this so often and my kids usually have this as a snack after-school , I have also reduced the quantity of sugar in this recipe from the original recipe that  I found in a magazine long ago.

You can also watch my video of this recipe – see link at the bottom

So for making this bread, you will need a 9 inch loaf pan or a 8 inch square baking tin.

Ingredients:
All purpose flour 1  1/2 cups
2 ripe medium size bananas
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp lime/lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped finely
1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries  chopped finely(optional)

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 350 deg C.  Grease the pan with butter and also dust with some flour and keep aside.

Take a bowl or a plate and mix the flour, baking powder and baking soda well.

In a medium size mixing bowl, take the butter (that has already been softened) and add the sugar.  With a hand mixer (or any other mixer) mix the butter and sugar well. Slowly add one egg at a time and again keep mixing.  Then add the bananas and again mix till its nicely mashed and blended. Then add the milk and the lime juice. Now slowly add the flour mix 1/2 a cup at a time and keep mixing.  Add the vanilla essence and mix again.

Lastly, add the chopped walnuts and the chopped cranberries or cherries(if adding) and mix by hand slowly. Now pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake in the oven at 350 deg C for about 35-40 minutes. Keep checking after 25 minutes (since oven times vary depending on the type of pan used etc.) When a knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, then you know its done. at this point, even the sides and top of the cake should look nice dark brown.

After taking the cake out of the oven, let cool for about 5 minutes and then just scrape the sides of the pan with a knife and turn the pan upside down onto a plate to get it out.  Slice it while warm and eat with a nice warm cup of tea or coffee.

Notes:

Make sure the walnuts are chopped fine but not too powdery. they should be a small size such that you are able to get nice slices of the cake.

Walnut Coffee Cake

 

Walnut Coffee Cake

Walnut Coffee Cake

I first learned how to bake a cake when I was in 10th grade as part of a Home Econ course.  I was so taken in by the process of baking that I started baking this sponge cake at home over and over . The rave reviews that family and friends gave me only furthered my interest in cooking and thus began my foray into the cooking world.  I really love to bake – there is something really fascinating about throwing things into the oven and waiting for them to come out fully transformed.! 🙂

Over the years I have modified that basic sponge cake recipe to come up with this one, and also adding walnuts for my husband (who is nuts over nuts) !  Whenever we travel to meet friends or family, folks just expect me to bring this with me.  This cake is really a very moist and nutty cake to be had over a cup of tea or coffee and of course, in the company of good friends:)

You will need a baking pan – a round 8 inch or a bread loaf pan will be good for this recipe.  I usually do a double batch in which case I use a 9 * 6 rectangular pan.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup and 1 tbsp cup All Purpose flour (Maida)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 and 1/4 stick (10 tbsp or 125 g) unsalted butter,
softened at room temperature
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar (granulated or powdered)*
1/4 cup sour cream (or thickened plain yoghurt)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 350 Deg F.  Grease your baking pan with butter on the base and sides and also dust with a sprinkling of flour.

Sieve the flour, salt and baking powder and keep it aside.

Take a large mixing bowl and add the butter and the sugar.  Next add the eggs one at a time and blend using a hand mixer.  Then next add half of the flour mixture slowly while continuing to whisk with the blender. Next add half of the sour cream and again blend. Then add the rest of the flour mixture and the sour cream and whisk till the batter is thick but smooth. Now add the vanilla essence.   Turn the hand mixer off and add the chopped walnuts and mix by hand (so that the walnut pieces are not crushed).

IMG_1698

Bake in the oven at 350F for about 25 – 30 minutes**.  Keep checking every 5 minutes after 20 minutes by doing the knife test(Insert a knife into the center of the cake and if it comes out clean then the cake is done).  Take out of the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Scrape the edges of the pan slightly and then invert the cake onto a plate.   Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee!

Walnut Coffee Cake

*: In US granulated sugar is the regular sugar which is a coarse powder. So if your sugar is crystalline, you need to powder it.

**: Baking times can vary depending upon the oven so you should check frequently after 20 minutes.