Double Chocolate Banana Coconut Bread

banana chocolate bread

Today I’m going to reveal yet another crazy thing about me.

I don’t like weekends! Did I just hear you fall of your chair?! I kid you not. I dislike weekends. I always have. That part about it that is fun, unstructured, relaxed. Yes, that part. I dislike unstructured. I am deeply bonded to my routines and to being occupied. THAT relaxes me. So, when the weekend comes around and most people are lounging about, I am getting antsy. Now, I don’t have a full time job these days. I am a freelancer so work of my own schedule but it was hard getting to this point of being disciplined all by myself and in the time that it took me to get used to this, I did drive myself crazy. I still do sometimes. It’s hard, this self discipline business.

I like my own structure so much that it is hard for me to like anything else. Therefore the dislike for weekends. I mean I like how I take a shower every morning at the same time, or call a dear friend almost always precisely at the same time too. I like that. Offer this information and i get a stern finger and a lecture is not far away either! That its bad for me to isolate myself. But who’s to say they are right? Mondays are yay! days for me… :)

So yay today in honor of the much disliked Monday. You have one friend right here!

banana chocolate bread

This is an amazingly simple recipe and honestly who doesn’t have over ripe bananas at their house at any given time???

banana chocolate bread

banana chocolate bread

banana chocolate bread

adapted from smitten kitchen

3 medium very ripe bananas + some for decoration
115 grams butter, melted
155 grams brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup coconut flakes + 1 tbsp for decoration
1/4 tsp salt
125 grams all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
170 grams dark chocolate ( I used 70%)

to prepare
Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F. Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan and sprinkle with flour.

Mash bananas in the bottom of a large bowl. Whisk in melted butter, then brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Place baking soda, salt, cinnamon (if using), flour and cocoa powder in a fine-mesh strainer and sift over wet ingredients.  Stir dry and wet ingredients with a spoon until just combined. Last stir in the coconut.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate.

Pour the batter into a prepared pan. Pour on top the melted chocolate and swirl into the batter with the back of a spoon. Place sliced banana on top and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon coconut flakes. On top of it at all sprinkle with some cane sugar. Bake 55 to 65 minutes, until a tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out batter-free. Cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert it out onto a cooling rack. Serve at room temperature. Tastes fantastic with some vanilla ice cream. Oh yum!

The banana bread will keep for up to 4 days at room temperature. But as the talented Smitten Kitchen says, it will definitely not last that long and she is not wrong!


4th of July Meringue Cakes

meringue cakes

I am not American but I have this huge connection with it. From the time I can remember I have wanted to go there. I guess we grew up on some American shows but they weren’t all that American that I somehow subliminally and inexplicably got attracted to the country. Yet, I always wanted to go there. The land of opportunities and boundless freedom. I’m Indian and there were always rules on what I could and couldn’t do. My mom raised us fiercely so I grew up fierce too, but even within her you’re-no-different-than-boys sphere, there were rules. I couldn’t understand it back then because if I was no different than a boy why then were there such inequalities. It was confusing. But still I grew up confident with who I was and had that insatiable need to change the world. I was always the one that made people uncomfortable or annoyed with my endless rants of challenging the norm. Yes, I was a pain to be around. I think I am still am! I always, always have my soap box with me. :) All grown up I realise that I cannot change the world all by myself, but I sure as hell can try. You could compare me to a dog with a bone, I will just not let it go… It’s exhausting and I make myself sick often with the why’s but its that need I have to change perceptions for my little girl just as my mom did it for me.

And maybe its the liberties that America affords its citizens that made my heart so attached to it. Having lived there for several years, I know that it isn’t perfect. It doesn’t need to be either, but, it was, and is perfect for me. And, I have never felt free-er than when I was there.

And of course no one celebrates the way the Americans do. It’s always so over the top and fantastic! The fireworks are unlike I have ever seen or ever will. It’s a magical day, this day, the 4th of July and I wish all my readers a fantastic and loved day! <3

meringue cakes

I saw this recipe here and immediately fell in love with it. I have done nothing to change it because it was so perfect as is. And, like a lot of my own recipes it is highly adaptable. The best kind of recipe therefore! You can add any flavor or fruit and instead of whipped cream you could add yoghurt. Just go to town with it. :)

meringue cakes

meringue cakes

meringue cakes

meringue cakes

recipe from here

for the cake
4 eggs separated
1 cup sugar
1 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract (or any other of choice, e.g. almond or lemon)
pinch of salt

to prepare
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.

Grease a large rimmed baking pan, line with baking paper, then grease the paper.

Whisk the egg whites, gradually adding in half the sugar until you get stiff peaks. Around 3-4 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and rest of the sugar until thick and pale.

Add the egg whites with the egg yolks and fold together gently until fully combined. Then sieve the rest of the ingredients and again fold in gently. Do not overwork.

Pour into the lined baking sheet, spread out evenly and bake for 15 minutes.

for the meringue
3 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
food coloring

to prepare
In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites, gradually adding the sugar until you get stiff peaks. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Keep aside.

to prepare cake with meringue
Spread the meringue onto the cooked cake evenly. To add a swirl of color, dip the end of a spoon into the food coloring and swirl into the meringue. Repeat the dipping and swirling until you’re happy with the pattern.

Turn the oven all the way down to 100°C/215°F and bake for an hour until the meringue is dry and crisp on the outside. Leave the cake in the oven to cool off. 3-4 hours or overnight.

Serve when completely cooled. To cut the cake with the meringue, dip knife in cold water.

 to decorate
After you have cut your cake (whatever shape!), top with some whipped cream (store bought is just fine if you don’t want to whip your own!) and fruit of choice. Sprinkle shaved almonds (or nut of choice) and/or coconut flakes.

Have fun making it your own!

TIP: only do the toppings (if at all) once ready to serve otherwise your cake will turn soggy.


Vegan Roasted Peach Curd Mini Tarts with Cardamom + Chili

peach curd tarts

The World Cup fever is at its all time pitch with Holland winning yet another match against Mexico. What a dramatic finish it was too. All sorts of controversies and emotions running high. The best kind of match.

This post of mine was going to be a 4th of July sort of post with the same mini tarts but with a different fruit. You guys can still go ahead and make your own red and blue tarts. But then I had these peaches just lying about and I thought now Holland deserves yet another orange post dedicated to it! These are not really orange but more yellow but hey its the same family… so…

So here we are with the most wonderful juicy peaches roasted in the oven and then made curd of. I’d never made any sort of curd before and I can tell you its super easy and super delicious.

AND, these cute wonderful tarts are vegan too! Life really doesn’t get better than this. :)

peach curd tarts

peach curd tarts

peach curd tarts

peach curd tarts

for the curd (yields 1 cup)
1 peach
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 tsp chili powder + some to decorate

to prepare
Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.

Wash and pit the peach and cut into half. Lay face down on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Roast for 10 minutes. Take out and let cool a little and then peel the skin. Blitz the roasted peach and set aside.

On a double boiler, add the sugar and peach and whisk till the sugar has dissolved. Then add the corn starch to thicken the mixture. Place in refrigerator to chill and thicken further.

(NOTE: if you don’t want a vegan option, you can add 2 egg yolks and 2 tablespoons butter instead of the corn starch)

for the crust
2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
2 tbsps brown sugar
3 1/2 tbsps coconut oil
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp ice water
pinch of salt

to prepare
Preheat oven to 175°C/395°F.

Combine the almond meal, coconut, vanilla, coconut oil and pinch of salt. Add the ice water and mix until it forms a dough.

Place almond dough in tart molds, and shape into form. Poke the bottom and refrigerate for about 10 minutes before placing in the oven.

Bake tarts for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Once they’re ready, remove from oven and let cool.

When they’re cold enough to handle, remove from the mold and get ready to scoop in your curd mix! Scoop the peach curd (might need a little stirring) in the almond crust and refrigerate for a couple hours to set further.






Donuts with a Saffron Glaze


So this is World Cup year! I am not a soccer fan but when world cup arrives and thanks to all the festive cheer, it is hard not to get caught up with all the excitement. And, since Holland is a big soccer playing nation, it would make me a bit of a drag to not cheer along.

Now I’m no expert but when I think of celebrating, healthy food doesn’t really come to mind. :) I’ve been meaning to make these simple donuts for a long time. Truth be told, I’ve been afraid to make them. Always seemed such a daunting task. I decided to dive, what the heck, right?!

These are simple donuts with a bit of flair with the saffron. I get the color for the Oranje team and I get the wonderful flavor and aroma too. I was surprised how simple they were to make and apart from being labor intense it really was a joy to create. So, if you are afraid like me, don’t be and just do it!

If you don’t feel like doing the glaze you could alternately also just coat your donuts with sugar.






2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 tbsps lukewarm water
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
2 tbsps caster sugar, plus extra, if you go with the dusting option
50 grams unsalted butter, melted
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 eggs
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp saffron, left to dissolve in a tsp of water

to prepare
Place the yeast, water, milk and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a large bowl and set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface. Add the butter, flour, eggs and another 1 tablespoon sugar to the yeast mixture and mix until a sticky dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. The dough will be very sticky but that’s ok.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for around 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

To make glaze, mix the sugar and milk and add the saffron to get a rich orange color.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Roll out the dough to a 1 cm thickness and using a round shape to cut out the donuts. I used a glass and a bottle cap for the inner circle. If you have a donut cutter use that. Place rings on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and set aside for 30 minutes or until risen. You can also fry the left over dough you get when you punch a hole in the donut. They make for cute donut balls!

Place oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat until very hot. You can test the heat by throwing in one of the donut balls. Cook the doughnuts, in batches, for 1–2 minutes each side or until golden. Drain on absorbent paper. When cooled completely, dip in the saffron glaze or dust with the extra sugar and serve immediately.


French Toast with Raspberries, Almonds, Coconut and Rum

French Toast

It’s Fathers Day tomorrow and I had no idea! I have been caught up in this, I-don’t-know-what-time-of-the-month-or-year it is sort of mood. I honestly will look at you blankly if you ask me the date or what day it is. Just yesterday I wondered if we were in 2016! My mind is a muddle. BUT…

The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the very first time. - Friedrich Nietzche

And, it’s true. I have little memory of my life in India except for the bigger things. For this reason whenever I go somewhere or do something I may have previously done, I do it with a freshness of a first time. It’s almost always a bit new. Like my whole life is encapsulated in a day.

I do have an amazing memory when it comes to conversations with certain people or references that are important to me. Then my memory is suddenly razor sharp like as if it might have happened moments ago. Maybe it has to do with selection of memories and what I choose to remember.

And, Jean Giraudoux said, you can miss a single being, even though you are surrounded by countless others. Those people are like extras. They cloud your vision, they’re a meaningless crowd. They’re an unwelcome distraction. So you seek oblivion in solitude. But solitude only makes you wither.

I believe that too. And I think that is the reason I don’t have memories of most people. I don’t seem to have the capacity to remember them. Unless they come extremely close to me. Fascinating stuff. Yes?

These french toast hopefully will be memorable. I think they are. They are creamy and tangy all at once. Try them!

French Toast

French Toast

French Toast

French Toast

makes 2

4 slices brioche (or white bread)
1 egg yolk
40 grams fine sugar
25 ml cream
50 ml coconut milk
50 grams raspberries (I used frozen ones which work equally good)
40 grams almonds (chopped)
20 ml coconut rum (optional)
1 tbsp sugar
2 round pots 5″ and 2″ deep

to prepare
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F.

Whisk the egg yolk and the sugar till it turns a creamy light yellow mix. Then add the cream and the coconut milk and continue to whisk. Whisk till the sugar is completely dissolved. Finally add the rum if you like. I urge you to! :)
Cut the slices roughly to the shape of your pot. Dip in the egg mix and place on the bottom of the pots. Next add the almonds and then the raspberries on top, till the pots are more than half full. Dip the next 2 slices of of bread and place on top like a lid. Pour the remainder of the egg mixture equally in the 2 pots. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and bake for 20 minutes or till the top is light brown.

Serve immediately with some cream or even ice cream!


The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the very first time. —Friedrich Nietzsche – See more at:
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the very first time. —Friedrich Nietzsche – See more at:
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the very first time. —Friedrich Nietzsche – See more at:

Nutty Energy Bars

energy bars

I’m a bully against bullies.

I’m the shyest kind of girl. In real life I am an itty-bitty chit of a girl. Very tiny! On the outside anyway. I have the heart of a lion, foolishly some might say, since I clearly look like I cannot harm anything or anyone. :)

When someone  starts a fight without reason, I have that Popeye kind of transformation, where I turn into an eight foot tall, muscle bulging guy, with fire coming out of his nose. Then I’ll chase you and well since I may not have the physical strength to beat you up, I WILL give you a solid, caustic piece of my mind. The kind that will burn you into a cinder. Whoever said sticks and stones can hurt you but words don’t make a dent, didn’t know what they were talking about.

Phew! I guess I needed to get that out of my system. :) I rarely have such energy nowadays. The truth also is that when I perceive having done something wrong myself, I start sweating profusely and look guilty as hell! Like yesterday when I was on the train and when the ticket conductor came to check my ticket, I realised I was not carrying my discount card. Traveling on a discount ticket but nothing to prove I was entitled is a sure shot way to make me go tomato red in the face. At a moment like that yesterday I could’ve done with an energy bar for instant energy and courage!!! Lucky for me the guy was a sweetheart.

These are extremely easy to make and open to much interpretation. I have used three kinds of nuts. But you can just about use any kind of combination to tickle your fancy… So get your own Popeye moment with these crunchy, extremely delicious nutty bars!

energy bars

energy bars

energy bars

1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup hazelnuts
2 tbsps hazelnut (finely ground)
3 cups puffed rice
3 tbsps sugar
1 cup grated unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup creamed honey
1/4 cup water
a generous pinch of salt

to prepare
Preheat oven to 320°F/160°C.

Heat the honey with the water and salt on medium high till it boils. Leave on the fire for another 15 minutes. Stir regularly.

In the meantime toast the dry ingredients till the coconut is slightly light brown and fragrant. Transfer to a big mixing bowl and mix in the puffed rice.

Once the honey mixture is off the gas, immediately mix in with the dry ingredients. It will seem a little dry but that’s okay.

In a rectangular baking pan, lined with parchment paper, pour in the prepared nut mixture. Level evenly throughout pan. With another piece of parchment on top press down the mixture so it becomes somewhat of a solid mass. Remove the parchment from on top and bake in oven for around 20 minutes or till the top is nicely browned.

Replace the parchment on top and press down again with something heavy till it cools down.

Leave to cool for around 15 minutes and then cut in bars.

note: you can replace the puffed rice with rolled oats. You can add all sorts of berries or dates etc.


Chili Corn Cob with Feta + Ginger Lime Ice Tea


Bhutta (corn on the cob) season is nearly here. In fact I saw a few vendors selling it street side while I was in India. I just love this extremely simple recipe. In India, you’ll find, nearly at every corner, people setting up shop with some firewood and stacks of corn on the cob. You stop when you see one whenever you get that urge to eat some corn. You then haggle over the price (integral part of buying anything in India!) and get to pick your own cob. You want the kernels to be super soft.

It’s the conversations that are also such a huge part of buying or doing almost anything in India. The sort of dance that both parties so thoroughly enjoy. The most important part, as Ma tells me is to be able to walk away. If you show that you really want it, the seller will smell it out! No haggling then, he will stick to his price.

The bhutta guy will then proceed to roast it over an open fire. That’s the wonderful smokiness you get to taste when you sink your teeth in. Once all roasted, he asks me if I want the lime and salt. I furiously nod and tell him, “bhaiya achchi tehre se laga do (put it on nicely brother).” The next ten minutes are spent walking happily and if I am lucky, in a light rain, with my corn. And, those are some good ten minutes. The salty, lime-y with the sharp bite of the chili, mixed with the wonderful smokey corn. Those are the moments of joy. And if you don’t feel like eating it off the corn you can always take it off and add it to a salad.



I altered the original bhutta with throwing on some more spices and added some fresh feta. I can tell you if you make this at your next barbecue you might just have guests that may not want to leave! So, make at your own risk because these are that delicious. :)


for the ice tea
2 + 3 cups of water
1 inch ginger, cut into strips
3 tbsps honey
2 bags of tea (use any kind)
juice of 1 lime

to prepare
Place honey, 2 cups water and ginger in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Let mixture steep for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour, then strain out solids.

In a pitcher combine strained liquid with 3 cups water and lemon juice. Chill in refrigerator.

for the corn
4 corn on the cob
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 lime, cut into half

to prepare
Cook the corn cobs in boiling water for ten minutes. Take out and pat dry. If you are barbecuing, put the cobs on the grill and grill on all sides till you get them beautifully charred ever so lightly. Break the cob in half and dip your lime in all the spices and rub on the corn. Whichever spice you like best rub more on. I love it spicy so I had a lot of red chili going on! Sprinkle with feta and serve immediately with a glass of chilled ice tea.