By Sharmila Chand November 2000 Cakes and cookies can also be healthy, as in these low-fat recipes by Ratti and Nirvan Wondering where to go for low fat, ‘healthy’ cakes and cookies this festive season? ‘Healthy’ sounds strange if you are a chocoholic, but not if you opt for Ratti Sharma and Nirvan Shroff’s baked yummies. The two sisters vouch for their low-calorie healthy cookies and cakes. ‘We use an imported nondairy low fat cream, which does not get spoiled even if kept for long periods,’ says Ratti. Chips in Nirvan: ‘Our ‘knickknacks’ are ideal for health-conscious people as well as for kids’ lunch boxes.’ No wonder, their hands are full with round-the-clock orders of their popular Date & Nut Torte, Carrot Cake, Apple Pie, Chocolate Walnut Pie, Butter Cookies with Raisins among other wide assortment of goodies. Delicious! How did they start this baking venture? The desire to do something worthwhile and creative. ‘We had plenty of time at our disposal and we realized the need for reasonably priced, healthy cakes of good quality,’ inform the duo, daughters of C.R. Irani, editor-in-chief of The Statesman. It started with experiments on mom’s recipes and taking small orders from friends. Till one day, a popular American chain of restaurants liked their goodies and decided to make them their dessert caterers. And Pudding & Pie was born. All desserts, cakes and puddings are baked in hygienic conditions under the duo’s constant supervision. Here, they share some of their delicious recipes. CORNFLAKE CRUNCHES Ingredients: 175 gm Margarine 175 gm Flour (sifted)75 gm Castor sugar Gratedrind of 1 lemon110 gm Desiccated coconut Method: Preheat oven to 350º F/ 180º C/ Gas mark 4. Melt margarine and sugar in a pan on low heat. Let it cool. Mix together with the flour and the coconut. Fold in the cornflakes and the lemon rind. Place on a baking tray. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until light golden in color. Cool in tin. Cut in squares before serving. OAT COOKIESIngredients:110 gm Butter½ tsp Soda bicarbonate110 gm Demerara sugar110 gm Rolled oats50 gm Golden syrup25 gm Walnuts (finely chopped)110 gm Flour (sifted)Method: Put butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan and stir on low heat till all the ingredients blend. Let this mixture cool. Sift the flour with the soda bicarbonate and stir in the rolled oats and walnuts. Pour the melted butter mixture and make soft dough. Form about 30 small balls and place on greased baking trays, keeping space for them to spread. Bake for 15 minutes or until brown. Serve hot.BRAN SCONESIngredients:350 gm Whole meal flour (atta)75 gm Brown sugar75 gm Bran1 Egg (beaten)1 tbsp Baking powder300 ml Milk75 gm Butter or margarineMethod: Preheat oven to 220º C/ 425º F. Mix flour, bran and baking powder together. Rub in butter or margarine until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir in sugar. Add the egg and enough milk to make soft dough. Knead lightly, place on a floured surface and roll out a ¾ inch thick crust. Cut it into circles and place on a greased baking tray. Bake for 15 minutesTIPS FOR BAKING• To measure solid fat, fill a measuring cup with a certain amount of water, add fat till the cup is full. For instance, to measure ½ cup fat, fill half cup with water, then add fat till the cup is full. Pour off the water and there is only half cup fat left.• Roll out pastry between two sheets of butter paper lightly dusted with flour. It will be easier to roll.• If the sides of a fruitcake have burnt slightly, carefully rub off the burnt section with a knife. Sprinkle a little sherry and wrap in aluminum foil. The burnt smell and taste will disappear.• By refrigerating egg whites, you can reduce the time required to beat them.• Beat cream with 1 tsp of honey instead of sugar to get a firmer texture.• A few drops of lemon juice added while creaming butter and sugar would hasten the process.
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