Over the past few days, I’ve had some not-so-successful kitchen sessions. Edible; yummy even, but not exactly blog show offs. Nevertheless, I enjoyed making them and friends and family devoured them, so here they are!

Mango, raisin, and sweet paprika jam

I was particularly pleased with the color of this concoction. I started with a basic “moraamba” recipe; chopped up a large alphonso mango and dunked it in a thick, boiling sugar syrup. Then I thought I’d give it a twist and a quick dash to the refrigerator later, I threw in a handful of raisins and a tablespoonful of sweet paprika. Looks pretty and I think it will go very well on toast or plain parathas.

Butter cookies flavored with orange rind

I made these on Friday and they’re already gone. The reason I didn’t want to post them was the bad photography. But the empty cookie jar makes me think the recipe is well worth sharing!

This was a fabulously simple recipe—cream 125 gms of unsalted butter and 1 ½ cups of castor sugar until light and creamy. Beat in 2 egg yolks and add the grated rind of 1 orange. Work in about 2 cups (or more, if needed) of flour to get a smooth dough. Roll into balls, flatten slightly, and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees centigrade until fragrant and until the bottoms turn a light gold.

And with the naked orange, make this!

A simple yet refreshingly healthy juice made by simply processing the orange, an apple, and 2 amlas (Indian gooseberries) in a liquidizer.

A birthday cake

I was supremely embarrassed of the looks of this cake; I wanted to make a dainty little “5” shaped cake for my niece, Ananya, decorated with her favorite colors—pink and white. All was going fine until MK reminded me that Ananya had seen the bottle of multicolored star shaped sprinkles I had procured weeks ago. Before I knew it, my painstakingly sorted pink and white stars were brushed aside and the cake was lovingly dusted with a multicolored night sky. To make matters worse, the foil under the cake tore as I attempted to wipe away the extra chocolate frosting that that spilt over. I was ready to cry over the cake when birthday girl walked in and flashed one of her smiles:

She is known to have also devoured the cake. It can’t be too bad then, eh? By the way, I didn’t have a number shaped pan so I made this cake by sticking together a ring shaped and a cut-a-right-angle-from-a-square-shaped tin cake. The recipe was my basic chocolate cake recipe.

Chocolate chip and banana loaf

This one turned out slightly dense but it was the perfect antidote to a tired soul. I was tempted to eat it warmed with a little fresh cream, but the husband had his watchful eye open. Sigh.

Simple recipe, this one: Mash 6 small or 3 large over ripe bananas and blend with 3 beaten eggs. Pour this into a creamy mixture of 100 gms of unsalted butter and ¾ cup of demerara sugar. Fold in 2 cups of flour, a teaspoonful of soda bicarb, and ½ a cup of chocolate chips. Pour into greased and lined loaf tin and bake at 180 degrees centigrade for about an hour. I poured some chocolate sauce over the bread while it was still hot. Yum!

So then—imperfections are good, too.