Baath Cake

baath cake for @Saveur | A Brown Table

Guys, I wrote my first article for Saveur! I baked my favorite Goan coconut cake and you can get the recipe on there. I've done a couple of other versions here on the blog but this one is much more traditional and as "coco-nutty" as I could get it while keeping the recipe as close as possible to the one I grew up with. Bake, eat and enjoy!

As most of you know, I've also been sharing more traditional Indian recipes over at my column Food52. I delve more into the basics that I've grown up with, I've spoken about stocking up your pantry for Indian cooking, making staples such as Garam masala, aloo gobi sweet and savory lassis and making your own homemade ghee. Head over there to get the recipes.

Indian Spices (Jaggery) for @Food52| A Brown Table
Homemade Garam Masala for @Food52| A Brown Table
Homemade Ghee for @Food52 | A Brown Table
Homemade Ghee for @Food52| A Brown Table
Lassi for @Food52| A Brown Table
Aloo Gobi for @Food52| A Brown Table

It's the last few weeks of summer and these are some of my favorite links that have been on my mind:

I'm in a mood to bake myself a big summer pie and Michelle's blueberry, peach and lavender pie might just happen tonight along with some vanilla ice cream.

Cynthia has written a lovely recipe for Mul Naengmyeon (Korean cold noodles).

I made these chocolate surprise cookies for a party and they were delicious!

Roasting a whole chicken is tricky but these tips make it easy.

Pretty Instagram styling tips from Bon Appétit

Creamy peach and honey popsicles to stay cool with.

 

 

avocado fries two ways

avocado fries two ways | A Brown Table

I first heard about avocado fries through my friend, Hannah of Nothing but Delicious! She's convinced me they might just be one of the best things to do with avocados, convinced me enough that I decided to make them at home and share the recipe here. She's right they're good!

Usually, I'll put a few slices of avocado on toast with sriracha or some cheese, make guacamole, or use it as a fat substitute in baking, among other things but fries are a new one for me. But thanks, to Hannah, about a year later after she introduced me to the idea, I decided to make avocado fries at home. A little late but I'm happy I did!

I've shared both techniques I used to cook the fries, baking and frying. Both methods will give crispy fries but each with their own unique taste. The seasonings, you can use breadcrumbs or semolina both will be nice and crispy to eat. Both semolina and breadcrumbs can be used interchangeably with either seasoning mentioned below but again feel free to explore. I use a wheat semolina here but there is a rice version too which might work (I haven't tested it) but if you're gluten-sensitive it might be worth trying out. 

For the dipping sauces, I think sour and tart savory types will be winners to go along with the fries. I used a very simple lemon flavored yogurt dip and some baba ganouj. A fresh salsa would also be a great dip to serve the fries with. If do end up with leftovers, store them in an airtight bag and refrigerate. You can microwave them for about 30-45 seconds to warm them up.

avocado fries two ways | A Brown Table
avocado fries two ways | A Brown Table
avocado fries two ways | A Brown Table
avocado fries two ways | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing these fries,

  • Buy firm yet ripe avocados, they hold their structure and shape well during coating and baking/frying.
  • Play around with seasonings and have fun! I'm sharing two flavors which are my favorites.
  • I'll be honest, the fried ones taste much more crispier than the baked ones. I mean anything fried is tasty but I'm giving you options on how to do it either way. One is less fattier than the other.
  • You can use panko breadcrumbs or semolina for the breading, both give a great crunchy texture to the fries.
  • I'm sharing two types of breading flavored mixes but you would use two avocados for either mix you decide to go with. 
  • Speaking of fats, you'll notice the serving size I've suggested. Avocados are pretty fatty so, technically the serving size is small but to be frank, I think this is one recipe where one fry, ain't gonna cut it! So use your own judgement here. 

Here are some other recipes you might like;

avocado fries two ways | A Brown Table

avocado fries - 2 ways

yields: 4 servings 

ingredients

2 large haas avocados, ripe but firm

1 large egg white 

3 tablespoons water, at room temperature

use either seasonings listed

Breading Mix 1 

1 cup panko bread crumbs or semolina

1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1 teaspoon garam masala 

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

1 tablespoon fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped 

Breading Mix 2

1 cup panko bread crumbs or semolina

1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt 

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

1 tablespoon fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped 

vegetable oil for frying (optional) 

1. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit and cut into wedges. Keep the wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

2. Using a fork, beat the egg white and water in a small bowl. Keep aside until ready to use.

3. To prepare the breading mix (1 or 2) place the ingredients in a medium-sized baking pan or bowl and mix to combine evenly. 

4. Dip each avocado wedge into the egg white to coat evenly. Drain excess egg white back into the bowl. Then coat the avocado wedge in the breading mix lightly on each side by pressing it gently. Prepare all the wedges in the same manner and keep on a sheet of parchment paper lined baking sheet until ready to cook.

5. To Bake: Place a wire rack at midlevel in the oven and preheat to 450F. Bake one sheet of avocado wedges for 8 to 10 minutes until they turn golden brown and are crispy. Serve immediately.

To Fry: Heat enough vegetable oil in deep pan. When the oil reaches around 350F, the avocados are ready to be cooked. Deep fry the wedges. Fry around 4 pieces at a time if you're using a small pan to fry. The fries are cooked when they are golden brown around 3 to 4 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon, drain excess oil  and place them on a tray lined with absorbent kitchen paper towels to remove any extra oil. Serve immediately. 

Dipping sauce: 

lemon yogurt dip

yields: about 1 cup

ingredients

1 cup plain yogurt (not Greek)

1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, fresh

1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground

1/2 teaspoon sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce)

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, chopped 

1. Mix all the ingredients from the yogurt to the sriracha in a small bowl. Transfer to a serving bowl/dish and garnish with the cilantro. Serve with fries. 

 

 

sesame tahini baath cake (Goan coconut cake)

Sesame Tahini Baath (Goan Coconut Cake) Cake |A Brown Table
  • I had a little interview at Food and Wine magazine this week, talking about my blog and food. Please do check it out! 
  • My sweet and wonderful friend Alanna shares some of the fun moments she captured when we made Masala Chai this past weekend. Her photography and recipes are a treat, you won't be disappointed! 
Sesame Tahini Baath (Goan Coconut Cake) Cake | A Brown Table

Here's a little twist to one of my favorite coconut cakes, the Baath, it's a delicious, rustic Goan coconut cake made with semolina that has a little bit of rose water. I've shared a lightened version of the regular Baath cake before but I've been aching to make it again and wanted to try something new this time. This version uses nutty tahini and toasty black sesame seeds, imagine all of that nestled in a semolina cake with the light fragrance of rose water and a gentle hint of vanilla. 

Sesame Tahini Baath (Goan Coconut Cake) Cake | A Brown Table

I cut back on the sugar in this version but you can certainly increase the amount of sugar (as suggested in the recipe instructions below). This cake would be perfect with that cup of masala chai or coffee. 

Here are some of my tips for working with semolina cakes and this cake in particular,

  • The trick to a good moist and soft semolina cake, soak it in the batter for a few hours to overnight and then bake it. 
  • I prefer to store this cake wrapped in the refrigerator (or freeze the excess in airtight bags). I'm always worried that the coconut could get rancid and the cake keeps well. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving. Refrigeration also helps to lock in the aromatic floral scents in this cake.
Sesame Tahini Baath (Goan Coconut Cake) Cake | A Brown Table

sesame tahini baath (Goan Coconut Cake) Cake

yields: one 9 inch cake

ingredients 

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature + a little more for greasing a 9 inch circular pan

1 1/2 cups brown sugar (if you like it sweeter, you can go up to 2 cups)

1 tablespoon tahini

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon madagascar bourbon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon coconut flavored rum (optional)

1/4 cup rose water

3 cups (1 lb + 1 2/4 ounces) semolina

1 cup (2 3/4 ounces) shredded unsweetened coconut (I used the Bob's Red Mill brand, I was really pleased with its scent and taste)

1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups reduced fat coconut milk 

1/4 cup black sesame seeds 

1. Line the base of springform or regular circular 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease the sides with butter and keep aside until ready to use.

2. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and using the paddle attachment cream until light and fluffy on medium high speed for about 5 minutes. Add the tahini and beat for another minute until combined.

3. Add one egg at a time to the creamed butter and sugar mixture and mix on medium-high speed until completely combined. 

4. Add the vanilla extract and coconut rum (if using). Beat for 30 seconds until completely mixed. 

5. In a large mixing bowl, lightly whisk, the semolina, coconut, salt, baking powder and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the black sesame seeds. Pour half of this mixture into the creamed butter-sugar-egg mixture and combine using the paddle attachment. Pour in the rose water and coconut milk. Add the rest of the semolina mixture and combine on medium speed until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the surface with an offset spatula (wet the spatula with a little cold water, to prevent the batter from sticking). Sprinkle the rest of the sesame seeds on the surface of the cake batter. Cover the cake with cling film and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to overnight before baking.

6. To bake the cake, place a wire rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F. Remove the cling film and bake for 45-50 minutes turning the cake half way through baking. The cake is done with the top is slightly golden and the center is firm to touch or when a knife or skewer when passed through the center of the cake comes out clean from the center. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 30 minutes in the cake pan. Run a knife around the edges of the baked cake, remove and allow to cool to room temperature before serving. To store, I recommend refrigerating in an airtight container or freezing the extra (bring to room temperature before serving).