Mantecadas/ Mexican Muffins

I was sure about making some thing from Mexico for the letter M of our blogging marathon. I had infact planned for chimichanga, mexican wedding soft cookies and so many other recipes from Mexico. But when I heard about these beautiful simple muffins, I knew instantaneously that I would be making them.

Mexico has so many beautiful bakes that if they were ever going to build a wall around them, they can easily build it with breads and cookies and cakes....

I also was tempted to make the pig shaped cookies which are made using molasses. But I was wary of using both molasses and the shape of the cookies being considered for consumption.

These muffins are very easy to make . It has the body of bread and sweetness of cake, so it is rightly called as a muffin, I had also made the eggless version of the muffin and found it at par with the egg based version. The eggless version had a better crust but was little greasy on top and dry within - but just being nit picky here.






Lavash

Lavash is a popular lebanese and middle eastern bread. It comes in the dry snacks form but also in many places made into a softer bread like format. Both are popularly eaten as snacks by accompanying it with various dips.

I often pick these off the rack from the bakery to be served alongside soups when you have the urge to bite into a bread stick or bread.

Personally I am not a great fan of this bread on its own. However, when served along with a bowl of hummus or harissa , I forget the count of sticks I end up eating. 

It is popularly made using sesame seeds as topping which looks very beautiful. However, with the amount of heat lashes we are facing, I did not dare to add more elements that are heat prone. I replaced it with some herbs and paprika 



Kenyan sponge cake

My affinity towards African bakes continues further with this recipe. It also re-validates my belief that good bakes need not be laden with fats and dairy products. 

This cake is made practically with 3 ingredients - but the tinee winee fourth ingredient is what makes the difference.

I stumbled upon this recipe here which I referred along with a few other videos before I made my own version.

This cake is mind you eggy, as there is no other leavening agent hence the role of cardamom is key. But the egginess settles after the cake cools down. This is a tea time cake but you may also dust it with some icing sugar or combine with a mango based icing.

The cakes sponginess leads me to believe that this will be a great cake for stacking up some carved cakes. I have a cross section view to show how much air is captured despite the attempt to release it before baking. The cake was still a lot sturdier than expected and also could hold it self well without crumbling down.

About the taste, it is slightly dry compared to the regular sponge cakes clearly asking for some butter but if you are having it with a cup of tea or coffee there is not much you would miss. 




Jamaican Patties - Vegetarian

I love the jerk spice from Jamaica. So for the alphabet J, I was searching for recipes that use Jerk spice. I landed on this jamaican beef patty recipe which seems to be a very popular street food option. It is essentially a beef filling in crunchy pastry filling, shaped like empanadas.The filling is what I understood something everyone raves about, considering that I had to really work hard towards replacing the right protein and fats. I do remember that while serving these to DH, I told him- have some Jamaican beef patty. He had a look on his face that went from shock to duh..I tried explaining this was not a planned joke but in my head this recipe had been playing out for such a long time that I had subconsciously recorded this as Jamaican beef patty.

I have an affinity towards towards the African baked recipes , these recipes are not extravagant or rich. Also they have intensive flavor coming from variety of spices which means they are close natives of Indian cooking. You can ofcourse play with the filling and its flavoring but sticking to the recipe is good idea considering it brings out the 

The Jamaican patty is also special for its pastry, the outer cover. It has a hint of turmeric which means with color you get some dose of good health. 

All in all - worth trying..



i Monaci/ Chocolate filled cookies

I Monaci means "The monks", these are christmas special cookies from Italy, which basically chocolate cookie dough filled with almond filling and later when baked, dunked into chocolate icing.  I could not find many recipes for this cookie except this one here, after a friend suggested this recipe. She did not tell me about using egg whites for the filling, hence I replaced it with cornflour slurry which worked very well for me 


These cookies are slightly soft on the outside , which I believe is due to the lack of excessive fats. My little one enjoyed it despite the chocolate which he is not a great fan of in biscuits






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