Blueberry Pancakes

Classic Blueberry Pancakes; could winter mornings get any better? ❤

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Fluffy Oatmeal Pancakes

This weekend, dig into these super Fluffy Oatmeal Pancakes – guilt free, gluten free, refined sugar free goodness in one meal! ❤

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Baked Strawberry Oatmeal

A breakfast/brunch like no other, this Baked Strawberry Oatmeal will make you want to jump up and dance to Ed Sheeran’s new track Bibia Be Ye Ye like there’s no tomorrow! (Yes, his new album’s out – FINALLY – and yes, this baked oatmeal deliciousness is THAT good!) 😀

Baked Strawberry Oatmeal

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The Perfect Brunch for Two

I love brunching. Whether you’re by the pool in a posh hotel or lazing in your pajamas at home, a hearty brunch is always a delight. Just thinking about it makes my heart sing… Quiches and pies laid out on lace doilies, tall pancake stacks drenched in syrup, fresh berries, hash browns, crispy maple bacon, sausages, eggs sunny side up, souffles and mousses, fruit cuts, muffins, fresh fruit juice and coffee or champagne and margaritas! (Oooohh… goosebumps! 😛) Waking up to a spread like that is definitely one of life’s finer pleasures!

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The Perfect Pancake

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Good breakfasts are a rarity in The Foodscape household. We either wake up just an hour before we need to leave the house in the morning, which means we grab a bowl of cereal before we head out, or on days when we’re home, we wake up very close to lunch time and grab a smaller bowl of cereal. I’m not kidding, the boyfriend and I give Kellogg’s Chocos some serious business! 😛

IMG_8282So when I woke up last morning, I was quite surprised with my extreme hankering for pancakes. I say ‘extreme’ because I forewent my ritual of lazing in bed for just a few more minutes, and almost instantly was up on my feet, whisking away in the kitchen. That positively never happens. Well, I guess for pancakes, anything, yeah?

In these pancakes, I decided to use baking powder instead of baking soda which is the usually recommended choice when it comes to a pancake recipe. I remember reading somewhere, a while ago, that using baking powder makes fluffier pancakes. So I thought, why not? The key to making these pancakes light, soft and fluffy is the way you beat the batter. You have to make sure that you beat it enough to incorporate air into the batter, but also not over-beat it that you end up knocking out the air from the batter. Tricky, yes; impossible, no! All you need to remember is, the airier the batter, the fluffier the pancakes turn out.

Here’s what you need for The Perfect Pancake:

  • All Purpose Flour – 1 and 1/2 cups
  • Castor Sugar – 3 tbsp
  • Baking powder – 1 tbsp
  • Eggs – 2
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Butter – 1/4 cup, melted
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of cinnamon powder
  • Vanilla Extract – 2 tsp
  • Nutella – 1 cup

And here’s how to make it…

Step 1: In a deep dish, mix the milk, eggs and melted butter.

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Step 2: Sift in the flour, and add baking powder and sugar and beat until just incorporated.

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Step 3: Add salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract and give it a final mix, but be sure not to over-beat.

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Step 4: On a low flame, heat a flat pan or griddle and grease it with butter.

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Step 5: Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the centre of the pan and let it cook. When bubbles begin popping on the surface of the pancake, flip it over and fry until the other side is light golden. When you’re happy with the colour of the pancake, take it off the heat and fry the next.

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Step 6: When you’ve fried the entire batch, stack them up, pull your cellphone out and take a drool-worthy picture of them to share on Instagram like I did. When the pancakes look this good, this is an essential step! 😉

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Step 7: Sandwich a teaspoon (or two, three, four!) of Nutella in between each pancake.

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Step 8: Pour the remaining Nutella over The Perfect Pancake stack, allowing it to flow over the edges. Top with strawberries or any fruit/sprinkle of your choice and eat right away.

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I’ve made pancakes before, always using baking soda, but they’ve never turned out like these. They’ve always been clumpy, flat and rubbery – the exact opposite of how you want your pancakes to be. I don’t know what the science behind it is, but baking powder works perfectly! I must tell you, it was incredibly hard to stick to clicking photographs of them when I so badly wanted to stick a forkful in my mouth! God bless the boyfriend for bearing with the incredibly long photoshoot on a hungry tummy, with only the occasional ‘How much longer?’ 😀

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These pancakes are subtly sweet, buttery and pillowy; just like the ones in dreams (that’s assuming you, like me, dream about pancakes). The cinnamon and vanilla give them a light fragrance; aromas you’ll enjoy as they melt in your mouth. And if you’re not a fan of Nutella, they go perfectly well with butter, maple syrup, sticky toffee sauce or just as. And it’s super easy to make them as well – 20 minutes, tops!

Whip up a batch of these perfect pancakes and eat up. Breakfast doesn’t get any better than this! 😀

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Potato Chops

Back when I was away at college in India, evening coffees were something of a ritual. My flatmates and I would get back around 4 pm and on our way home we would pick up samosasvada pav (buns stuffed with spicy chutney and potato fritters), chaat, or some biscuits and a pack of fresh milk. Tea and coffee ready and the snacks laid out, we would park ourselves in front of the TV watching Fabulous Cakes reruns or repeat telecasts of travel shows. Rainy days were the best. We would sit out on the balcony and watch as the rain poured over Manipal while we guzzled something piping hot and sipped on our coffees. Ahh, life’s simply pleasures! (How I wish I could rewind time!)

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In India, come rain, hail or sunshine, there will always be little clusters of people gathered around street food kiosks, munching on savoury delicacies. And that’s one of things I loved most about living in India. Street food! Easy on the wallet, yet delicious! 🙂

When I first decided to make Potato Chops (the Indian version of Croquettes) as part of my ‘Masterclass with Winola Peris’ series in The Woman magazine, I couldn’t help wishing I had known how to make them back when I was in college. How awesome it would have been! 😀 Potato Chops are a street food classic much loved in Goa and Maharashtra; and I recently found out that they are a savoury favourite among the people across the border in Pakistan as well!

Without further ado, here’s what you need to make these lip-smacking Potato Chops!

  • Potatoes – 1 kg, boiled and mashed
  • Beef Mince – 500 g
  • Onion – 1, finely diced
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
  • A handful of coriander leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli Powder – 1 tsp (plus more if you prefer spicy food)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil – 5 tbsp for frying
  • Egg – 1, roughly beaten
  • Bread Crumbs – 300 g

This is how you whip up a batch of these delicious munchies.

Step 1: In a shallow pan placed on low flame, sauté onion, beef mince, ginger-garlic paste and coriander leaves until the mince is cooked through and the mixture becomes dry. Add salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli powders and sauté for five minutes. Then take it off the heat and keep aside.

Step 1

Step 2: Roll the mashed potatoes into little rounds with the palms of your hand. Make a hollow in the round with your thumb and fill it with the minced meat mixture. Then with a small amount of mashed potato, make a flap to cover the hollow, set it in place and lightly press it to seal it. Make sure that the edges of the Potato Chops are not cracked.

Step 2

Step 3: Heat oil in a shallow skillet. Dip each Potato Chop into the beaten egg, coating it well; then roll it in the bread crumbs to coat it further. Place it in the hot oil and fry on each side for about 30 seconds or until golden brown. Serve hot.

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These Potato Chops are little fried pockets of yumminess – mashed potatoes filled with spicy minced meat and fried until just golden brown and crispy on the outside. The many textures and flavours that you experience when you take a bite will leave you craving for more!

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Everyone at home thoroughly enjoyed these little pouches of deliciousness. Mom and Dad gorged on them happily. And the boyfriend, though he prefers not to eat beef, gobbled up a Potato Chop with a huge smile plastered across his face! If you ask me what I thought, I would have to say that Potato Chops are my favourite among the many Indian snacks that I enjoy and I eagerly await the next rainy day to cook up a batch and indulge in these beauties! 😀

Trust me, once these Potato Chops make their way to your plate, it won’t be long before they disappear and you end up with a happy tummy! Happy Cooking! 🙂

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Tips: Potato Chops are normally deep fried, but I prefer this shallow fried version because the bread crumbs soak in a lot less oil compared to the deep fried version. Also, Potato Chops can be filled with just about anything you prefer. Crumbled paneer (cottage cheese), mint chutney, crushed peas and shredded chicken make for delicious fillings.

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Tangy Raspberry Cake

As you can tell, I’ve been having a very berry summer! And I’m enjoying it to the fullest. While I’ve been mostly cooped up indoors – much to my dismay – due to the unbearable heat, my tummy has been one happy fellow, gorging on lots of berries, mangoes and pineapple. I think it’s safe to say that my obsession with fruits is being well-fuelled. 🙂

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What makes me happier is that my passion for baking is flourishing, thanks to this berry mania! First I baked those Petit Fours that were just delish, then the Lemon-Blueberry cake that is out-of-the-world, the Mango-Strawberry tart that needs no description and now this fabulous Tangy Raspberry Cake that will blow your mind. The baker in me is very pleased.

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Here’s what you need to make The Foodscape’s Tangy Raspberry Cake in your home.

  • All Purpose Flour – 1 and 1/2 cups
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Baking Powder – 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Eggs – 2
  • Vegetable Oil – 1/2 cup
  • Juice of 1 Orange, freshly squeezed
  • Rind of 1 Lemon, grated
  • Fresh Raspberries – 200 g

Here’s how you make it:

  • Preheat your oven at 160 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.
  • In a bowl, beat the eggs until fluffy, then add in the oil and orange juice and mix well.
  • In another bowl, lightly sift together flour, salt, sugar and baking powder.
  • Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and blend until it forms a smooth batter.
  • Add in lemon rind and give it a final mix.
  • Grease and line a loaf-tin with parchment paper. Pour in half of the batter, then place a few fresh raspberries on top and finish off with the remaining batter. Once all the batter is poured in, sprinkle a few more raspberries on the top and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

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This is one of those cakes that everyone loves serving at breakfasts, brunches, tea parties and the like. It’s that perfect breath of fresh air from all those heavy chocolatey treats that your guests and family will love you for. It’s also the perfect cake to savour while you enjoy a cup of coffee. It’s that homely cake that puts you at ease, helps you relax and gives you the warm fuzzies!

It’s tangy, sweet and zesty and sweet some more. It is oozing with flavour, hearty and delicious. The citrus-y tartness from the orange juice and lemon rind are well complimented by the sharp flavour of the raspberries and the buttery sweetness of the cake. It’s truly a cake made in heaven!

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This is the kind of cake I love baking – moist, airy and filled with the goodness of berries; the kind of cake that I eat a little too much of on my cheat day. Trust me, it’s that good! 😀

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