I have been lagging behind on book reviews of late. The main reason has been I have been extremely lazy to cook my normal meals, forget about cooking from the cookbooks I have. I would really like to get back on track but I am in no hurry. I want to give myself my own time and get slowly onto my schedule as my routine eases out and things look better, InShaAllah…
However, this is one book review I have been wanting to work on from the beginning of the year. There is one reason for it. When a fellow blogger launches her own cookbook, then it is up to us as her little circle to support her for the same. Moreover if she hands over the privilege of the first sale, then I guess it becomes an even bigger excitement. 🙂 As I do this post, the Sharjah Book Fair is set to begin by the end of this week and I have very good memories of how many of us got together to celebrate this book launch. I have already shared an insight about the event in this post. I can’t believe it has become one year and I am doing a review only now… Talk about laziness! I had initially planned to do this post in July, but then in the hassle of going on vacation, I decided to move it. Moreover, I wanted to give some time to do this post, so maybe better late… Hehe…
Fajee is already well known through her blog and now as a reviewer as well. Her book is self published. It has around 50 recipes that are easy to make and follow, in case you need to horn your skills. Have I told you that she is one of my first cooking teachers? When I had started cooking on my own, hers was one of the first blogs I landed on, and since it had all basic recipes that you need to know, I was hooked onto her page. I would highly recommend her blog in case you are a new cook and want to start of with some form of cooking. 🙂 OK, coming back to the book, it has a glossy finish and thick pages, which ensure that it will stay good for quite a long time. It actually becomes its disadvantage as well, unfortunately. It doesn’t stay open if you need to use the book in your kitchen, so I ended up taking a click of the recipe to try.
All the recipes come with a picture so you have an idea how your end product will look like. The pictures have been shot by Fajee itself. She has covered almost all areas like drinks, starters, mains and desserts in her book, and that too simple yet exotic dishes that is very likely to get you compliments. She is truly an amazing cook too. I have had the privilege of eating her food a few times and even something simple like pakodas were so good that we couldn’t stop munching. Hehe… so I do recommend if you are in UAE, try getting in touch with her for this book through her IG handle… 🙂
While browsing through her book, the first recipe I folded were these banana muffins. No points for guessing why! Hehe… Even though my girls aren’t very fond of banana bakes, I love them, but I was waiting for an opportunity to bake them so that I could enjoy them as well as end up distributing some. My opportunity came in the form of a door bell late one night, when I found somebody at the door who gave a pack of mutton, and mentioned it as the wudhiya for their new born baby. This was the first time in all these years that I have received meat that belongs to somebody else’s child. Instantly my mind to these muffins and I got to making them.
I am not a fan of caramel as such, but of late, I am slowly getting acquainted and quite liking the taste. The muffins are sweetened by home made caramel sauce, which can be replaced by store bought ones, but I always feel that homemade is the best. Those who are making the first time, may get slightly confused about making the caramel, but reading through the process a couple of times in the book will help. The butter, eggs and the caramel makes the muffins so moreish and absolutely soft. You can see the texture below! I packed majority for them, gobbled up two on the spot and saved one each for HD and B. If you are thinking why not for the girls, that’s because they don’t eat banana bakes and I care no less. 😕 Not being a “bad” mom, but just keeping my sanity… hehe… Off to this simple must try recipe…
- FOR SUGAR SYRUP:
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ½ cup water
- FOR MUFFINS:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 200 gm butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 large bananas, mashed
- 1 tsp vanilla
- First make the sugar syrup. Add the sugar in a flat pan. Sprinkle little water over it. Keep on a low flame and cook the sugar till it caramelizes. Do not use any spatula, just swirl the pan as it caramelizes.
- Heat the water meanwhile and keep ready. As soon as the sugar turns amber color, add the hot water and stand away, it will splutter. Once the spluttering ceases, give it a good whisk to make it a homogenous mixture. Just simmer for a couple of minutes and switch off. Allow it to cool.
- Preheat oven to 200 dgrees. Line a 12 mould cupcake pan.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar together till fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat with each addition.
- Add the mashed banana and vanilla and beat.
- Add half the flour mixture and caramel syrup and fold in the mixture. Add the remaining and fold till all are mixed well - do not overmix.
- Divide equally into the liners.
- Reduce the temperature to 180 degrees and bake for 15 to 20 minutes till a tester comes out clean.
- Cool on the rack or enjoy as is! So yum...