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Weekend Baking: Try These Delicious (and Healthy) Recipes By Maria Goretti

Check out three delicious recipes that you can try your hand at this weekend, courtesy former MTV VJ, food blogger and cooking show host Maria Goretti .

Shantanu David |

Updated:February 3, 2018, 1:56 PM IST
Weekend Baking: Try These Delicious (and Healthy) Recipes By Maria Goretti
Representative Image. (Image: Reuters)
Who doesn't hate it when the maid or cook doesn't come or takes a long leave? Well, former MTV VJ Maria Goretti took on this domestic annoyance and not only ran with it, but made a career out of it. What started as a small food blog detailing her culinary feats while her cook was away caught the public's attention and soon Maria found herself inundated with offers of cooking shows and ambassadorial opportunities for various brands. Her latest show is ‘I Want To Bake Free’, in which she shows us how to make (and break) breads, cakes and other bakes, with an emphasis on healthy eating without giving up on indulgence. The best part is that you can rope in your family and or friends to be the sous to your master chef. Check out three delicious recipes that you can try your hand at this weekend.

Lentil Bread



1.5 cups urad dal (split and skinned black gram )
3 Tbsp corn starch or tapioca starch
1.5 tsp baking powder
2 tsp flaxmeal or psyllium husk
¼ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp oil


*Soak the urad dal overnight. Drain and add to a food processor. Process the dal until it is just slightly gritty. Process for 30 to 45 seconds then move the dal with a spatula. It will take 3 to 4 minutes to break the lentils down into a batter type consistency. Add just a little water (3 to 6 Tablespoons) to help with the processing. Add the rest of the ingredients and process for a minute to combine. Check the batter for aeration. (drop a half tsp of batter in a cup of water. The batter should float on the top). If not aerated well , transfer the thick batter to a bowl and whip with a large spoon a few times, then check again. the batter should be thick and pasty but also slightly bubbly.

*Drop batter into parchment lined bread pan. Spray oil on top and even it out using a light hand so the air in the batter is not pressed out.

*Preheat the oven to 395 degrees F. Bake for 45 minutes. Cover the bread with another parchment after first 15 to 20 minutes by placing the parchment on the loaf pan. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees F after 45 minutes, remove parchment and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped.

*Cool completely before slicing. (about an hour). The bread slices more easily the next day. Refrigerate the bread for up to 5 days in an airtight container. The bread crust is crusty the first day and gets softer as it sits because of moisture. Moisture in the storage container after a day is normal. I like to use to bread with chutney toppings or simple sandwiches.

Mini Veggie pizza



For the pizza dough

150g wholemeal spelt flour
350g strong white flour
1 ½ tsp dried fast action yeast
½ tsp salt
1 tbspolive oil

For the tomato sauce

1 can chopped tomatoes
1 small garlic clove
pinch of dried thyme

For the toppings

160g grated cheddar and mozzarella cheese
1 red pepper cut into strips
1 yellow pepper cut into strips
1 courgette cut into rounds or spiralized
1 small pack cherry tomatoes halved
1 handful pitted olives
1 can salt-free sweetcorn drained


*To make the dough, put both flours into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast and salt. Make a well, pour in 400ml warm water and the olive oil and mix with a wooden spoon until you have a soft, fairly wet dough. Bring together with a light knead in the bowl then turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth. Cover with a tea towel and set aside. Leave the dough to rise if you have time but it’s not essential for a thin crust.

*To make the sauce, blitz the tomatoes, garlic and thyme and a little seasoning, either in a food processor or using a hand blender.
*Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C/gas 8. Get the toppings ready in bowls so that your children can decorate their own.

*If the dough has had time to rise, give it a little knead in the bowl, then split into four balls. On a floured surface, roll out two of the balls into wide circles using a rolling pin. The dough needs to be very thin as it will rise in the oven. Lift these onto two floured baking sheets or pizza trays.

*Smooth sauce over bases with a spoon. Scatter with cheese, and then other toppings.

*Cook for around 10-15 mins until crisp. You’ll want to swap the pizzas to a lower shelf halfway through the cooking time.

*Repeat for the second two pizzas or freeze the balls of dough in two separate freezer bags, plus any remaining sauce in a sealed container.

Ghost Cake (strawberry buttercream frosting) (fondant)



For the sponges

450g/1lb butter or margarine, softened at room temperature
450g /1lb caster sugar
8 medium free-range eggs
4 tsp vanilla extract
450g/1lb self-rising flour
milk, to loosen

For the buttercream

280g/10oz butter, softened
560g/1lb 4oz icing sugar
2-4 tbsp milk

To decorate

1.2kg/2lb 12oz white fondant icing
apricot jam, sieved
black fondant icing
Hersheys strawberry flavoured syrup


*Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease and flour the hemisphere cake tin or bowl. Grease 3 x 18cm/7in cake tins and line with baking paper.

*Cream the butter and the sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and stir in the vanilla extract.

*Fold in the flour, adding a little extra milk if necessary, to create a batter with a soft dropping consistency. Divide the mixture between the cake tins and gently spread with a spatula.

*Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes, then remove from the tins and peel off the paper. Place onto a wire rack and leave to cool.

*Meanwhile for the buttercream, beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Add the remaining icing sugar and 2 tablespoons of the milk and beat the mixture until creamy and smooth. Beat in more milk, if necessary, to loosen the mixture.

*When the sponges have cooled assemble the cake. Place one of the regular sponges on a round cake board and spoon buttercream on top, top with another sponge and continue with layers of buttercream and the remaining sponges, finishing with the hemisphere sponge. Then carefully smooth the remaining buttercream over the whole cake (the white fondant will be draped over the cake so the buttercream does not have to look perfect!).

*Roll the white fondant into a large circle that is wide enough to drape over the whole cake. Place the white fondant over the cake, making sure it covers the cake evenly. Then press down on the fondant to hold it in place.

*Use the black fondant to make eyes and a mouth and stick them on the cake with a little apricot jam.

(All recipes courtesy: ‘I Want To Bake Free’ hosted by Maria Goretti on the Living Foodz channel.)

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