With Jr taking an interest in everything we eat, I started experimenting with healthy recipes that are just as nutritious as they are inviting and delicious. Since it was only a matter of time before he showed signs of a sweet tooth (it’s in our family), my recent efforts have been directed towards perfecting baked goodies, which are secretly packed with the non-negotiable ingredients that are an integral part of his toddler diet. . Think of everything and everything from ghee made with milk produced by native cows to sprouts ragi (Millet finger plain flour).
The results were revealing, most recently manifested in a chocolate tea cake, so inviting our guests had to reach out for a second slice as well. As a person used to handling butter and maida generously enough in the kitchen, it is almost unfathomable to imagine that one could achieve a similar soft texture without relying on refined sugars. As they say, however, the proof is in the eating, so here we are with a recipe you should bookmark for your next baking project. In fact, if your little one is old enough, you might as well get them involved! Not only are actions a way to perfect fine motor skills, but the act of cooking can also facilitate an early understanding of mathematical concepts through the establishment, measuring the ingredients. And not to mention, an extra helping hand in the kitchen is always welcome.
Also Read: Easy Ideas To Turn Cooking Basics Into Exciting Meals For Toddlers
As always, provenance is the key to capitalizing on both the underlying health benefits and the natural flavors implicit in this recipe. Most of my ingredients come from Tillage, a Mumbai-based niche organization that champions local and seasonal produce, sustainably sourced from farmers.
The heroic ingredients in this recipe are those rich in iron ragi and khapli– a long grain wheat from Maharashtra, which is not only low on the glycemic index, but also low in gluten and much lighter on the stomach compared to regular whole wheat flour. Ghee replaces butter (and refined oil) with its many heart health benefits, while unprocessed jaggery lends its signature sweetness. If you really want to take it a step further, use pure cocoa powder rather than cocoa powder, as it has more of the antioxidants intact.
Also Read: How To Make Toys For Your Toddler Using Simple Kitchen Tools
Ragi chocolate cake without eggs
(American cup = 240 ml cup)
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons khapli wheat (alternatively use whole wheat flour)
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons ragi plain flour
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder (you can also use cocoa powder)
½ teaspoon of baking powder
¼ teaspoon of baking soda
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp jaggery powder (or use coconut sugar)
1/3 cup (80 mL) melted ghee
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp. (110 ml) milk
1 C. (5 ml) vinegar
2 tbsp. soup + 2 tbsp. (40 mL) thick yogurt
1 C. (5 ml) vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180 ° C.
Line a small 6-inch loaf pan or cake pan with parchment paper, greasing it well.
Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk well to combine. Then mix the jaggery powder.
Incorporate the vinegar into the milk then pour it into your dry ingredients, followed by the melted ghee and vanilla extract. Lightly whisk the yogurt separately before adding it as well.
Now gently fold the mixture until the dough comes together and there are no visible traces of flour left. Do not mix too much, as this may end up with a heavy, densely textured cake.
Pour the batter into your cake tin until it is three-quarters full. If you have any leftover batter, you can pour it into muffin tins and bake it too.
Smooth the surface of the dough with an angled spatula and squeeze a few chocolate chips over it (optional but recommended!).
Bake the cake for 18-22 minutes (baking time will vary depending on your oven). You can check by dipping a toothpick into the center of the cake – it should come out almost clean with just a few wet crumbs attached. Do not overcook this cake if you want a soft, spongy texture.
Let the cake cool on a wire rack then unmold it. Be careful when slicing it because it will be soft and delicate. Enjoy with a cup of tea (for you) and a glass of milk (for your toddler).
Ayushi Gupta-Mehra is an economist, F&B consultant, self-taught cook and founder of The Foodie Diaries®. Follow his adventures on Instagram @The_FoodieDiaries and @Mummylogues