Loaf cake, with raisins and walnuts

A classic loaf cake is by far my favorite type of cake nice for breakfast, afternoon tea and easy to bake. I realize there are so many varieties out there but this one – with raisins and walnuts – is an extremely good combination and my recipe here makes a light and fluffy cake. I have tried a gluten-free version of this cake by replacing the regular flour with Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all-purpose flour. The cake did not get as fluffy but everything else was just about perfect! 

Ingredients Read the rest of this entry »

Baghlava for Norooz

Once again Norooz, “new day”, spring, the Persian New Year is upon us; so is the earth’s rejuvenation and the hope! Hope for more sun, more warmth, more kindness, more peace – hope for better days.  It is that time of the year we prepare for our new year by doing a lot of things including baking delicacies for our new year sofreh.

This year I decided to try my hands on a rather complicated homemade sweet, called baghlava, باقلوا in Persian – an extremely delicious walnut-almond rich layers brought together by fragrant honey-rosewater syrup.

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One-Bowl Vegan, GF Fruits-Nut Muffins

I ran into this gluten free, vegan recipe for carrot-banana-apple-walnuts muffins on Minimalist Baker and absolutely loved it.  The list of ingredients may look long, but the preparation is much easier than your average cake or muffin and the result is tender, fruity sweet muffins with the added chewiness of walnuts and oats.

I tried both non-vegan (with 1 egg) and vegan (with flax eggs) versions and both turned equally nice. Actually, I was very excited to have found a substitute for egg and quite impressed by how well flax eggs worked to stick everything together in these muffins. Read the rest of this entry »

Butternut Squash Cake

What do you do with your left over squashes after each Halloween? Leaving them out there for the squirrels to nibble at their leisure I guess, if they have been sitting there for too long!? Or perhaps, if the squashes are not too old, you would make a good use of them by turning them into puree, freezing them and using them in cakes, desserts and soups in the cold months ahead. Well, the latter is what I did this year.

Making squash puree is so easy I wonder why anyone should buy store cans! And of course, depending on the type of squash you use they make different tasting puree – from light yellow to dark orange in color. Below I will give a super easy way to make butternut puree – my favorite type of squash. Read the rest of this entry »

Sponge Cake with Strawberry & Cream

This is another tempting recipe I tried from my friend’s blog, Saloomeh’s Kitchen, when I suddenly tumbled over my own cake-baking passion last year! – Sponge Cake layered, cleverly, with strawberry jam and cream. I got it only at the third go, though as it proved to be a delicate cake requiring extra gentle care and attention.

It feels so good to get something you first thought oh-so-hard-for-me, isn’t it!? Plus, this cake has no butter or oil in it which makes you feel less guilty eating it; it is not too sweat which suites my tastes too; it definitely looks so professional, and tastes absolutely awesome, especially if you mix the jam with fresh strawberries. Read the rest of this entry »

Toot (Mulberry Sweet): A Norooz delicacy

Spring is around the corner, so is the Persian New Year, Norooz. Thanks to the Iranian Diaspora and their constant social activism, non-Iranians are probably more familiar with this tradition more than ever before. This year I am honored to have joined another collective effort by a group of Persian Food Bloggers to celebrate our beloved New Year by each one presenting the recipe for one type of Norooz-related sweet or food and the memories surrounding it. My contribution to this collaboration is “toot” or mulberry sweet. Please find, at the end of this post, links to all the recipes #PersianFoodBloggers #PFBNorooz

No element of Norooz, however, could be fully appreciated without being put in its proper context!  So, first, here you go again, my few introductory words coming from a passionately held belief in Spring, Norooz and all the hope and inspiration that come with it. Read the rest of this entry »

Vanilla-saffron Biscuit

The recipe below is great in that it could be used as a basis for a variety different tasting biscuits.  You could skip saffron and have purely vanilla tasting biscuit, add walnuts to the batter and have walnut-tasting ones or replace vanilla with orange or citrus zest to have the refreshing fruit tasting biscuits. And of course, you could use your creativity to add to the list!

I initially saw this recipe in a friend’s blog, Saloomeh’s Kitchen. Then I added saffron and pistachio component to her vanilla formula and felt it looked and tasted great!

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A Baking affair & two muffins

I have recently developed a taste and appetite for pastries and cake hence my new adventures in following sweet blogs and facebook pages and baking all week long! My kitchen cabinets are now equipped with a whole new set of baking ingredients and tools, and my ever busy oven now emanates wafts of cinnamon and vanilla, making me fall in love with my kitchen all over again.

 The learning process has been challenging and extremely fun. So I thought why not share my experience of this newly acquired skill. May other beginners find some insight into the baking ways and may the old timers enjoy my proudly presented new section: Cakes and Pastries! Read the rest of this entry »

Persian Rosette, “naan panjareh-i”

Do you know the deep fried cookie called Rosette which is made during Christmas time? Well, in Iran, we make a quite similar type of cookies during the Persian New year, Norooz.

Makes one wonder about the association, hummm…  Ours, when translated literally means “Window Bread”.  It is the first cookie I learned to make in a high school course when I was 14. Still following the same recipe.

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