Deeba Rajpal is a compulsive baker, food stylist and photographer. She shares her creativity and food styling on her blog at passionateaboutbaking. For Deeba, visual appeal holds as much significance as healthy and delectable food. Any idea that grabs her fancy becomes a springboard for creativity. A ‘locavore’, a ‘bake-o-holic’, an ‘absolute’ baker–are synonymous with who she is, a reflection of the artisan baker in her. Deeba is India’s one of the most favored bakers with more than 44.4k followers on Instagram. Her mantra says, ‘bake from scratch and bake with whole foods’ as far as possible.
“I see the organic baking industry in India growing quite rapidly as consumer awareness increases. Also, with so many new players in the market, organic products are increasingly in reach of more people,” says Deeba Rajpal. She feels that organic ingredients have fewer pesticides, so it gives better nutrition, fresher produce due to no preservatives and it is better for the environment. But her only concern is the certification and reliability of the process.
She uses organic ingredients as far as possible in her baking. ghee, sugar, jaggery, flour, spices, honey, cereals, eggs are some the ingredients that go into her baking. Her little encounter with the young age people gave her the perspective of new age food habits. She says, “I have had little exposure to the choices made by people. Pastries are too limited an item and now increasingly people reach for healthier desserts other than pastries, etc.”
Deeba’s most preferred recipe is Ginger Jaggery Wholewheat Tea Cake. The recipe is as follows.
l 100 g unsalted butter, room temperature
l 135 g jaggery granules (or jaggery, chopped fine)
l 45 ml honey
l 30 ml water
l 1 tsp dried ginger powder (saunt)
l 1 tsp pie spice (or cinnamon or 1/2 tsp garam masala)
l Zest of 1 orange (or 1/2 tsp orange extract)
l 1 tsp baking powder
l 1/2 tsp baking soda
l 2 eggs
l 175g wholewheat flour (aata)
Dried orange crystals or demerera sugar for sprinkling over
Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking sheet with parchment and lightly grease five mini cake molds, (or line one 6-7″round baking tin)
Place the jaggery, butter, honey and water in a heatproof bowl. Heat it in microwave for a minute, until the butter has melted. Whisk well with a balloon whisk until the jaggery and butter have combined.
Add the ginger powder, pie spice, orange zest, vanilla extract, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk well to mix.
Whisk in the eggs one by one. Now fold in the whole-wheat flour gently.
Ladle into prepared tins, sprinkle over dried orange crystals. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes until risen and light golden brown (40-45 minutes for a larger cake). Use tester to check if done.
Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, and then gently loosen sides to demold. Serve warm as is, or with a drizzle of unsweetened single
(low fat) cream.