Macrons!!

Macrons are so tough to make. Every Recipe out there warns you how your first batch always fails. So I did make Macrons for the first time and guess what they came out so well. Now I did follow a few important steps.

Firstly I used old eggs to make my Meringue. And I washed my stand mixer whisk and bowl with Vinegar. This is to take out any oil sticking to them. Also I let my eggs rest at room temperature for more than 30 minutes. I also sifted almond and sugar three times. This is the most important step. I did this a day before and kept the mix out under s cling wrap. For Meringue I used 6 large eggs. Whisk them for a minute till they start to froth over. Sift in few three to four teaspoons of icing sugar. Add in 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar to stabilize your meringue. Once it has doubled add in the color at this stage. Use a good quality gel color and be generous since the color will fade on mixing and baking. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees.

Now gently fold in the meringue into one cup each of almond and sugar mix. This macronage stage is crucial. Do not over beat it and take your spatula from the sides and fold in till the mix can form ribbons. Please check videos out there that explain this step. Once you can form the figure 8 stop. Transfer into the piping bag and I used a silicon mat so I just piped the macrons into the given circles. Tap the tray a few times to knock the air bubbles out. Let the Macrons set for one hour. I let them set for 2 hours and since India has hot and humid climate I wanted them to dry out. Tap on the top to see if a layer has formed. That’s what we want. Bake them at preheated oven at 150 degrees for 12 minutes and in between once take the tray out and rotate it. This allows for even baking. Once baked take them out and let them rest for sometime. Pipe buttercream into the centers and voila enjoy the Macrons. Your

Chocolate Fudge Cake!!

Now this cake is what I call a lean cake. Yep you got it right. I was looking for ways to reduce the fat in the cake for once. I am still working on making a sponge cake with less fat. I love buttery cakes but I love staying a bit fit too. I mean all that butter and eggs not good for the heart. So yes a baker its a bit challenging when you think of making recipes without these two most important ingredients. But hey this recipe did come out well so no complaining here.

For the Cake:

  1. All purpose Flour: 2 cups
  2. Vegetable Oil: 3/4 cup
  3. Castor Sugar: 3/4 cup
  4. Brown Sugar: 3/4 cup
  5. Coffee Hot: 1 3/4 cup with 2 teaspoons of instant coffee powder
  6. Vinegar : 2 teaspoons
  7. Vanilla Extract: 1 teaspoon
  8. Baking Soda: 2 teaspoon
  9. Cocoa: 1/2 cup

This is a super simple cake recipe. All you need is to mix the elements together. Now sift all the dry ingredients twice but separately. Yes you heard me twice so that we got all the air incorporated here in this step. Bring your coffee to a boil and add in cocoa powder to it. Whisk with a hand whisk and add in brown sugar and whisk. Keep it aside. Mix castor sugar flour and baking soda. Add in White vinegar to the coffee mix that cooled down a bit and add the mix to the flour mix. At this stage just whisk in the liquid. It will be not that runny. Add in the vegetable oil in the end to get that gloss on the batter. Dust your pans with oil and put in parchment paper and flour the sides. Preheat your oven to 180 c and divide the batter into the pans. I used a measuring scale so it gave me two even layers. Since this cake doesn’t rise much it will be in even layers. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let them cool in the oven for less than 5 minutes and take out and let them cool down on the wire rack and add some chocolate ganache.

For Ganache:

Bring one cup of cream to a simmer add in your half cup of semi sweet and half cup of dark chocolate and whisk around with a spatula till they melt down and once its all incorporated add in a two to three small cubes of butter that is at room temperature. This to get that gloss on the ganache. I added in margarine here instead of butter. It gave it some salty pinch to it. Decorate with blueberries, dried cherries and edible flowers.

Vanilla Sponge Cake!

This was my first attempt at making a sponge cake. Now if you know a sponge cake is a cake that bounces back when you press your fingers to it. That is the test to see if your cake did indeed came out spongy. There are a lot of recipes for a sponge cake. What I did was make it to Sanjeev Kapoors recipe. But I did add in something to it. So here goes the recipe.

Now you need to get your eggs to room temperature. That’s very important. Break four eggs in a bowl and let them come to room temperature half hour before you start baking. Melt your butter too. This recipe requires melted butter. Now the sponge cake requires equal measurements of ingredients. So measure your flour, eggs, sugar to same quantity. I used 11/2 cups or roughly 354grams.

For the cake:

Baking powder 11/2 tsp
Butter unsalted 100gms

Vanilla essence 2tsp

Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Now you need to mix butter and sugar in a seperate bowl and you will need some sort of machine. Once it is mixed keep it aside. Now bring your eggs to a frothy consistency. I used my stand mixer and kept on whipping for atleast five minutes. Once they double in size add in butter and sugar and blend till it incorporates well. Do it one spoon at a time otherwise the butter and eggs mix will curdle. Add in the dry mix and whisk. We need to incorporate a lot of air here. Most recipes do not add in vegetable oil but I did at this stage half a cup. Now you can skip this step. Just ensure your vegetable oil is not strong flavoured one. The oil made the cake extra soft. Whisk for a few more minutes and then transfer to the baking tins. Make sure your oven is preheated to 180 degrees and your cake tins are well greased. I used cake strips on my tins for the first time and let me tell you they are worth every penny. They let the centre of the cakes bake evenly. Now a neat trick if you want your cake to bake well bake it at a lower temperature for longer. I baked my cakes at 150 degrees for 30 minutes and then extra ten minutes at 190 degrees. Slow cooking allows the cakes to rise evenly and keeps them super soft. Now you can bake them at 180 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Let them cool in the oven for ten minutes if you are baking at this temperature. And if you are following my recipe then take them out after 3 minutes.

Let them cool on the rack before you ice them. I used one cup of whipping cream and two tablespoons of Cream Cheese and half cup of icing sugar. Whisked them well with a hand whisk and put the frosting back in the fridge for ten minutes before icing my cakes. Decorate with fresh fruits and even frozen ones. Keep your cake in the fridge for 3 days in airtight container and let it come down to room temperature before eating. The cake will still be super soft inside and crumbly on the outside.

Scones!!

*This was my first attempt at baking these beauties. Now if you want to know whose +-recipe I incorporated; I have to tell you I went on YouTube and looked at a dozen or so videos before I made this out of my memory. Yes I love doing it. I don’t go through a recipe notebook because I do end up making changes every time I go through a recipe. So if you still want to know who all I looked up I will gladly provide a list here.

Now the next time I bake these I will definitely make the dough in a mixer. It is tough

++

on your fingers when you knead in the dough.

For the scones:

  1. Butter: 180 gm ( cold and cubed) Salted
  2. Flour: 3 cups
  3. Baking powder: 2 1/2 teaspoon
  4. Dates pitted : 1/2 cup
  5. Cherries diced: 1/2 cup
  6. Cocoa Nibs: 1/2 cup
  7. Castor Sugar: 1 cup
  8. Eggs cold: 2 large ones
  9. Milk cold: 1 cup

Now most recipes out there do not tell you well enough that all your ingredientsneed to be cold. Yes the cherries and dates and cocoa nibs were all coming out of the fridge. Lucky me I had already had them in fridge since its blazing hot in India. So if you don’t have your ingredients in the fridge I suggest you do that now, leave the flour and sugar out.

Now beat the eggs in the milk and put it back in the fridge. Since I used salted butter I skipped adding in salt. So you can add in half a teaspoon there. Also cube your butter beforehand and put it back in the fridge. Now I would recommend using a grinder mixer for mixing the flour and butter. But you can always use your fingers. Just the tips and make sure that you do not overwork the dough. Before you add in the butter add baking powder and sugar to the flour and whisk it. Do not forget to sift these dry ingredients. Once the butter is added it will look like a crumbly bread mix. Now is the time to mix in the dates, cherries and cocoa nibs. You cannot add them later. Make a well in the middle and add in the milk and egg wash. Keep a spoonful in the end. Here just use your hands and bring the dough together gently. Do not over knead it. Just press it the bottom of bowl till it looks like a ball. Dust the kitchen surface and transfer the dough and there is no need to roll the dough here using a rolling pin. Just flatten it out a bit using your fingers. Do keep the parchment paper ready on baking tray. Dip the cookie cutter in some flour and cut into the dough and gently using your palms transfer the scones on the parchment paper. Just bring the left over dough together and cut more scones till you have a last blob of dough left; use your cookie cutter and put the dough in it and it will take on the shape. Its a neat little trick. Brush your scones with the leftover milk and egg wash and put them back in the fridge for ten minutes. You can bake them at this stage but trust me those ten minutes will make them extra flaky.

Preheat your oven to 200 c and bake them for 12 to 15 minutes or till golden brown. I baked them for 25 minutes since I felt they needed to be more browned. Take them out nd cool them on cooling rack and add in strawberry jam and fresh cream and enjoy. I used my homemade strawberry jam and the I am going to bake them again.

 

 

Strawberry Jam!

If you are living in India you would notice that when you go out to buy jams the available brands in the market would be about 2 to 3 in number only. And the imported variety are very expensive. So how about we make our own jam at home with just two ingredients. Strawberry season is almost to an end here and the best way to preserve them is to make loads of jam that would remain good for 4 to 5 months if stored properly.

Now interesting fact is that strawberries contain Pectin, which is a natural preservative and so all you need to do is add in sugar to the strawberries and cook them for 30 minutes and your jam is ready.

I had roughly about 800gms of strawberries that I soaked in vinegar for 10 to 15 minutes. The reason for soaking them in Vinegar is to remove any harmful pesticides that have been sprayed on them. Wash them well and remove their stems or Dehul them.

Chop them up, keeping aside 1/4 th of the strawberries for later use to get the chunky effect. Put them in a non stick pan and cook them on low heat stirring continuously with a wooden spatula. Add in two cups of sugar. Best is to add in sugar one cup a time. Since the batch that I cooked were a bit on the tangy side I had to add in one cup more. So my suggestion is add in one cup and then do a taste test on the wooden spatula. Be careful not to burn your fingers while doing so. After ten to fifteen minutes you will see the juice oozing out. This is where it will get tricky, keep on stirring we don’t want to burn the jam right. It’s a bit of an excercise for your arms. When ten minutes are left on the stopwatch add in the rest of the strawberries that we had kept aside in the beginning. This is to get those hearty chunks in the jam.

Let it cool down and store it in a glass airtight container. Keep it in the fridge at all times.

Baked Chocolate Donuts and Donut Holes!!!

The recipe for these donuts is same as my previous posy on mini baked donuts one. But for your convenience I am posting it again.

For the Dough you can either make it and use it the same day or you can store in the fridge for a day or two. But there is a simple rule with Donuts you need to eat them within six to eight hours and after that just throw them away. Well now that gives you an incentive to start eating them straight out of the oven hot.

For the Dough:

  1. All Purpose Flour: 3 cups
  2. Salt: 2 tsp
  3. Castor Sugar: 2 tsp
  4. Butter: 3 tablespoon
  5. Yeast: 2 tsp
  6. Milk: 1 cup
  7. Water: 1/4 cup ( cold)
  8. Vanilla: 1 tsp

Sift the flour and mix the dry ingredients together in a stand mixer with a dough maker attachment. Add in melted butter into the milk and just ensure that the milk is at room temperature. Add in Vanilla and pour the mix slowly into the mix with the stand mixer at low. Add in water and increase the speed to high till the dough starts forming a ball and comes off the bowl. Take it out of the bowl on a flour surface and in a clean bowl brush some oil and put in the dough and cover it with cling wrap and store in a preheated oven at 100 degrees for 45 minutes or you can keep it in a hot place for 2 hours or more or till the dough doubles in size. You can keep it in the fridge overnight and bake the donuts the next day. Or you can take the dough and work it out by sprinkling some flour on the surface of your kitchen and pressing into the dough to take out all the air. Then make it into a ball. Using a rolling pin just press it into a 1 mm thickness.  Using a regular cookie cutter just cut into the dough. For the donut holes you can use an icing tip for on the left over dough. They make for perfect donut holes. Make sure you have a big icing tip like a star tip.

Use a parchment paper on the baking tray and line the donuts and cover them with tea towel and let them rise for 30 more minutes. They will double in size.  Brush them with some water. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes at 190 degrees and no more otherwise they will crack and become dry. You can rotate the baking tray once so there is even baking. remove them and dip them immediately into the glaze. The recipe for the Chocolate glaze are given below. Make sure to dip them when they are hot. Use spoons or forks for that so you do not end up burning your fingers.

Chocolate Glaze::

Melt semisweet Chocolate in microwave with ten second bursts. Once its melted dip the hot Donuts in them. Use a wide mouth bowl for it. Sprinkle some rainbow sprinkles on the big Donuts. For Donut holes I used some chocolate sprinkles and cubes on top of course the cubes did melt a bit but they tasted amazing. For sugar Cinnamon Donut holes I simply rolled them in the one portion sugar and two portions sugar cinnamon mix while they were hot.

How to set that Picture perfect Table!!

I have had a lot of my friends come over to my house and ask me how I manage to set my table for lunches and dinners with so much ease. The answer to that is simple. I love table settings and I have been doing it since I was kid. This was routine for me at my house. My parents entertained a lot of their friends and friends and friends and I was always given the task of setting up the table. Now you will need to invest in some basic cutlery and crockery and table mats.

I suggest that if bone china crockery is too highly priced for you, you can always switch to glass crockery. Buy a set of 12 plates big and small ones and a set of 24 bowls with two serving bowls. The small bowls are needed in double numbers since Indians always have one daal and curd that is served along with a dry vegetable. If you are only two members in the household then you can reduce the set to 6 and 12 each. I have used cut glasses from Luminarc. They have a wide range of juice and water glasses You can buy normal glasses too that will be cheaper on the pocket but stay away from coloured ones; they are new trending glasses for sure but if  you are going for a classy look try avoiding those. Lifestyle store and Hometown have a wide range of Crockery and Cutlery and you can choose from there since the individual stores in GK and Khan market are a bit pricey and even I ended up buying those beautiful lotus plates from Hometown.

You will need one table runner and 6 placed mats with six set of napkins. If you want to avoid napkin rings you can use your glasses to hold the napkins.

Place your forks on the left and your spoons on the right and your dessert spoons on the top. The glasses and quarter plates need to be placed on the left always. Do get back to me if you guys have any doubts. Always happy to help.

 

 

Freeze your own Berries!! At home without a hassle!!

A few days back I took a poll on my Instagram account asking if you guys wanted to learn how to freeze berries for the summer months. Strawberry season is almost coming to an end here in India. Now is the right time to get those really beautiful strawberries and freeze them. You can use them for making jams, smoothies or even use them in making some homemade icecream.
These are the steps you need to follow to freeze them.
Soak the strawberries in two tablespoons of white Vinegar for ten minutes. Then clean them thoroughly. Next dry them for a few minutes while you dehull them or . Take a baking tray and line it with parchment paper and spread the berries on it and put them in the fridge for at least four hours. Take a good quality Ziploc bag and transfer the strawberries into the bag and freeze them. The same method can be used to freeze blueberries also You can skip the washing part here since their water content is not high so you can wash them and use them immediately.

 

Mini Baked Donuts!!!

Who doesn’t love Donuts. I mean they are what dreams are made off. But if you are watching your calories and still want to indulge then this is the best compromise. They do taste like fried Donuts but hey I am not saying you can give up loving the fried versions. So for now we will try this baked version.

For the Dough you can either make it and use it the same day or you can store in the fridge for a day or two. But there is a simple rule with Donuts you need to eat them within six to eight hours and after that just throw them away. Well now that gives you an incentive to start eating them straight out of the oven hot.

For the Dough:

  1. All Purpose Flour: 3 cups
  2. Salt: 2 tsp
  3. Castor Sugar: 2 tsp
  4. Butter: 3 tablespoon
  5. Yeast: 2 tsp
  6. Milk: 1 cup
  7. Water: 1/4 cup ( cold)
  8. Vanilla: 1 tsp

Sift the flour and mix the dry ingredients together in a stand mixer with a dough maker attachment. Add in melted butter into the milk and just ensure that the milk is at room temperature. Add in Vanilla and pour the mix slowly into the mix with the stand mixer at low. Add in water and increase the speed to high till the dough starts forming a ball and comes off the bowl. Take it out of the bowl on a flour surface and in a clean bowl brush some oil and put in the dough and cover it with cling wrap and store in a preheated oven at 100 degrees for 45 minutes or you can keep it in a hot place for 2 hours or more or till the dough doubles in size. You can keep it in the fridge overnight and bake the donuts the next day. Or you can take the dough and work it out by sprinkling some flour on the surface of your kitchen and pressing into the dough to take out all the air. Then make it into a ball. Using a rolling pin just press it into a 1 mm thickness. To be very frank I missed this step but well that meant my donuts were a but skinny but they tasted the same. That happens when you have an over enthusiastic toddler who thinks mommy is supposed to take him out for a spin in his stroller. Now coming back, that given use a ruler and measure. Using a regular cookie cutter just cut into the dough. Keep working the dough till you are able to cut a few more donuts.

Use a parchment paper on the baking tray and line the donuts and cover them with tea towel and let them rise for 30 more minutes. They will double in size.  Brush them with some water. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes at 190 degrees and no more otherwise they will crack and become dry. You can rotate the baking tray once so there is even baking. remove them and dip them immediately into the glaze. The recipe for the glaze are given below. Make sure to double dip if the glaze doesn’t come out perfect the first time. Also we need to do that when the donuts are hot. Use spoons or forks for that so you do not end up burning your fingers. Make sure to dip them first in the white glaze covering them well so sticking in colours will be better. I dipped some pink ones in sugar and cinnamon mix just for the fun of it and trust me those tasted even better. Surprise!!!

Glaze::

  1.  Simple sugar white glaze: Take one cup of Icing Sugar and sift it and add in one teaspoon of water and a few drops of vanilla essence.
  2. Pink Glaze: Use the same recipe as above but cut the vanilla and add in pink colour. Use sprinkles when the glaze is wet.
  3. Dark Galaxy Glaze: Add in purple, pink, fluorescent peach, blue to the white glaze and using a toothpick just draw patterns and dip the donuts in it twice.

Eat them hot!!!

Strawberry Icecream!! No Churn!!

Now this recipe requires that you freeze your strawberries in the fridge. For that I will upload a post seperatly on how to preserve berries for the off season.

You will need to use whipping cream in this recipe and if you are in India you can skip the part of making whipping cream from scratch for I have tried that with Amul fresh cream and its always been a bit runny and doesn’t come out that well as in powdered whipped cream options that are available in the market. If you are unable to find them in Nestle Milkmaid and chill it overnight.

All the ingredients need to be chilled. Take the strawberries out of the freezer and thaw them. Now use a high power blender and blend them into a puree. Make your whipped cream and add in milkmaid into it. Remove the puree from the blender and do not worry about scraping in since we will add in the whipped cream and milkmaid into the blender and blend for 3 to 4 seconds. Add in the Puree a little by little and blend. squeeze in a whole lemon for that extra tangy taste. I used half cup of whipped cream and half cup of milkmaid and 20 to 30 strawberries. Blend well and put it in an airtight container and freeze it for at least 6 hours and voila your ice cream is ready. Garnish with fresh strawberries.

Peanut Butter Cookies!!

This is such a simple cookie recipe and the results are amazing. I mean who doesn’t love a peanut butter cookie right!!!

So for the filling we will take one cup of Peanut butter or roughly 4 tbsp and add in some granulated sugar to it about 1/2 a cup. Take parchment paper and line a tray. Using your hands roll the peanut butter into small portions, it will make about 10 to 12 cookie filling. The portions should be like small ball shaped. Now pop this tray into the fridge for half an hour and let it rest.

Now for the cookie dough: Take 1 cup of all purpose flour and add in 5 to 6 tbsp of peanut butter and 3/4 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 cup of melted butter and mix. Add in some vanilla essence and 1 large egg into the batter. At this stage if the batter is too mushy add in more flour till it starts to come together. The recipe I used didn’t require any milk but I did add in one teaspoon and the result as you can see was amazing. I also added in

Let the batter rest in the fridge for a while like 10 to 15 minutes. I skipped this step since my kid was up and running around the house asking for his mommy.

Make small discs out of the batter and fill in the earlier filling of peanut butter we made. Try to fold in the batter around the filling. If you put the batter into the fridge it will be much easier. Just use your palms and roll the dough gently to form a round shape. In a bowl put in some granulated sugar and dust roll the dough and coat it with sugar. Place them slightly apart (since they will grow in size) on the parchment paper and bake at 190 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or till golden brown. Remove from the oven and using a tongs lift them from the parchment paper and let them cool on the rack.

PS: If you bake them for less amount of time you will find the filling intact. I didn’t dare do that since I was trying this recipe for the first time and didnt want to end up with inedible cookies. But do not worry the center of the cookie is very soft and moist and the outside is very crisp.

 

Eggless Chocolate Cake!

I baked this surprise birthday cake for my dads 66th birthday. This cake recipe requires no eggs and no butter. The cake is so moist and fluffy just by adding a secret ingredient ( Vinegar). Yep just add in two spoons of Vinegar and you have a moist cake coming right out of your kitchen.

For the cake :

  1. All Purpose Flour: 1 1/2 cups
  2. Castor Sugar: 1 cup
  3. Baking Soda: 1 tsp
  4. Cocoa Powder: 1/2 cup
  5. Vegetable Oil : 1/2 cup
  6. Water: 1 cup
  7. Salt: a pinch
  8. Vanilla Extract: 1 tsp
  9. Instant Coffee : 1 tsp

Sift all the dry ingredients together. Make a small hole in the middle of the mix and add in oil, Vinegar and Vanilla and Water and mix with a hand whisk. The batter should be runny. In a preheated oven heat your baking mould and pour the batter in and bake at 180 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not over bake this cake. If your skewer comes out clean its done and switch off the oven and let the cake rest in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes so that the middle of the cake doesn’t collapse.

I used a chocolate glaze to cover it and did some buttercream piping on it.

For chocolate glaze:

Heat one cup of heavy cream till it simmers but doesn’t come to a boil. Add in half a brick that’s been chopped into pieces of dark chocolate into the pan and using a wooden spoon keep stirring it. Once the chocolate has melted remove the pan from the heat and let it rest. You can store it in the fridge but for this cake I let it rest in my kitchen because I wanted to pour over it. You can add in butter for more shine but I skip that part since I find the fat from the butter too much.

For Buttercream:

Take one slab of salted butter and whisk it using an electric mixer or stand mixer. Add in Icing Sugar till it reaches a piping consistency. Add in Unsweetened Cocoa about 2 tbsp you can add in more if you want and your chocolate buttercream is ready.

For Decoration:

Cut Strawberries into half and stick them when you have poured the glaze over and its still drying up. You can use some fresh flowers and gold dust too like I did.

Banana Strawberry Smoothie Bowl

This smoothie recipe requires 2 to 3 ripe bananas that you thought no one would eat and were thinking of discarding. Just cut them into pieces and store them in the fridge a night before. For this smoothie bowl you will need to freeze strawberries too.

Thaw the bananas and strawberries and blend. There is no need for any artificial sweetener. You can add in toppings of your choice and you have a healthy breakfast meal ready.

Orange Cake with Orange Buttercream Icing !

This cake is the ultimate orange cake and if you are a fan of orange like me then this is the cake for you. The recipe requires freshly squeezed Orange Juice. But you can try the store bought ones too. I have used fresh juice of Kinos. These are the oranges that are cultivated in India and this season they were so much in bounty that you could see people every five minutes selling fresh juice; there were literally heaps of these oranges lying on the roadside.

For the Cake:

  1. Flour: 1 1/2 cup
  2. Castor Sugar: 1 cup
  3. Fresh Orange Juice: 2 cups
  4. Olive Oil: 1/2 cup
  5. Baking Soda: 1 tbsp
  6. Baking Powder:1 tbsp
  7. Orange Essence: Optional I didn’t use any and as per your requirement
  8. Eggs: 6 separate egg whites and yellows

Pre- Heat your oven at 180 degrees with your pans inside that have been previously oiled. Take all the dry ingredients and sift together. Take egg whites and beat them with a hand mixer add in castor sugar till the the mix becomes frothy. Add in egg yolk and orange juice to the dry mix and beat. Add in the egg whites and beat with a hand whisk.  The mix should be runny. Do not worry it will bake well. Bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes or till the skewer comes clean. Take it out and cool and decorate with Buttercream. I sliced off the edges to give it a rustic look and added strawberries for that extra punch.

For Buttercream:

In a stand mixer add in butter and beat it till it becomes soft. Add in icing sugar one spoon at a time till the butter and sugar consistency is up to your liking. Add in a few spoons of orange juice not much. We do not want the buttercream to be runny. Add a few drops of orange color you can use orange essence here, which I used here and not in the cake. I used Wilton Tip 1 M pipe a few upright flowers and add in diced strawberries and enjoy.

Chocolate Fudge Cake With Chocolate Ganache

So this Cake is like your any other Chocolate Fudge Cake but it has a surprise element and that is fresh strawberry buttercream filling. The tangy Strawberry buttercream goes so well against the chocolate Ganache.

The best way to make this cake is in three steps, bake the chocolate fudge cake, make the chocolate Ganache and the Fresh Strawberry Buttercream.

Chocolate Cake:

  1. Chocolate Bar: 1
  2. Butter: Half cube of unsalted butter small pack
  3. Eggs : 2 large ones
  4. Oil: 1/4 cup
  5. Sugar: 1 1/4 cups
  6. Flour: 1 1/4 cup
  7. Hot Water: 1 cup
  8. Baking Powder: 1 tsp
  9. Baking Soda: 1 tsp
  10. Cocoa: 1/4 cup
  11. Vanilla extract: 1 tsp

Sift all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. In a separate bowl microwave the butter and add in the chocolate cubes and mix gently using a fork. Use ten second bursts to melt the mix if the chocolate hasn’t melted properly. Keep it aside and let it cool. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs using the electric beater and add in sugar till the mix doubles in size. Add in the chocolate and butter mix make sure its at room temperature. Add in vanilla and oil. Add in the dry ingredients and whisk together. Line your baking tins with baking paper and butter the sides. Preheat the oven and the baking tins in it. Pour in the hot water about a cup into the batter. This batter will be of liquid consistency so do not worry. Just pour the batter into the tins and bake the cake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. I used two 6 inch tins for this. Just make sure that you do not overcook the cake here. After 30 minutes just take a skewer and if the batter is still a sticking to it do  not worry. It shouldn’t be liquid but it must stick since we do not want to dry this cake. It will cook in the oven for another ten minutes as it cools down. Also there will be cracks on the top of the cake.

For the strawberry buttercream:

Take two packets of Strawberries and hull them. We will now make strawberry reduction. Put the strawberries in a pan over low heat and add in a bit of lime juice and stir till they leave their juices. Mash the strawberries till they are just a pulp. Let it cool down and then blend the strawberry reduction. Take two unsalted butter packets and using a stand mixer or an electric mixer whisk the butter till it becomes soft add in the reduction. At this stage you can use a strainer but I used the whole reduction since I wanted to taste the strawberry seeds. Add in castor sugar one spoon at a time and beat. I used two and half cups of sugar to get the right consistency. You can keep doing it till it reaches the consistency to pipe. Also add in two tablespoons of heavy cream here to make it looks glossy.

For Chocolate Ganache:

I find making chocolate Ganache such a wow moment. Just use two cups of heavy cream and bring the cream to a simmer and add in dark chocolate cubes till they melt and whisk the mix. It will come out so glossy and yummy. I usually end up eating the mix before I can use it for decorating the cakes.

Trim the tops of the cake and use the strawberry buttercream using a spoon or a spatula butter the insides of the cake and the outside. We will have a naked layer of this butter cream on the sides also. This is just a surprise element under the ganache. Using a Spatula just put that goodness of a ganache from top to bottom. I used Wilton 2 D to make strawberry buttercream roses on top and used Cocoa numbs at the bottom to give it a crunch.

Blueberry Mascarpone Cheese Oreo Tart!

The most amazing combination of flavors is always chocolate and tangy Blueberries. Then there are Oreos; I mean who isn’t a fan of Oroes. You cannot go wrong with this combination. The best part we will not be using Gelatin in this recipe. Just keep it overnight in the fridge and you will find that it firms up well.

The recipe requires:

For tart base:

  • Oreo : 10
  • Butter: 2 cubes  (cold)

Blend the Oreo cookies in a blender add in the cold butter and press the mix in a mini tart pan. Refrigerate the base for 30 minutes.

For the filling:

  1. Mascarpone Cheese: 1/2 cup
  2. Yogurt: 4 teaspoons
  3. Honey: 2 teaspoons
  4. Fresh or Frozen Blueberries
  5. Sugar: 2 teaspoons

First put the blueberries in a pan on low heat and add in the sugar to prepare a glaze. Wait till the juices are oozing and remove it from the heat and let it cool down. Sieve the glaze and keep it aside. In a different bowl take the cream cheese and using a hand whisk it to remove lumps add in yogurt and whisk it once or twice.  Keep a few spoons aside. Then add in the blueberry glaze and whisk it once or twice. Add in honey and whisk using a hand whisk. Pour in the mix into the base and let it set overnight. I used Wilton tip 224 for  decorating the mascarpone cheese yogurt mix that was set aside. Add in blueberries and edible flowers.

 

 

Yogurt Cream Cheese Cups!

I am a big fan of yogurt and fruits and with the berry season in full swing I couldn’t resist making these tiny little yogurt cups. These cups are the best way to give your kids something fun to eat and definitely beats the store bought yogurts any day.

I am putting up the measurements for individual cups:

  1. Cream Cheese: 2 Teaspoons per cup
  2. Heavy Cream: 1 Teaspoon per cup
  3. Plain Yogurt: 2 Teaspoon per cup
  4. Oreo Biscuits: 1 small pack
  5. Butter: 1/2 cube ( cold)
  6. Berries: I used Raspberries, Blueberries & Strawberries roughly 20 grams each
  7. Brown Sugar: 1 Teaspoon for the glaze
  8. Honey: 1 Teaspoon

I made these cups using normal cupcake holders and I suggest you use a small round glass since I found the cupcake holders didn’t get soggy but were sure messy. Crush all the Oreo biscuits in your mixer and add in butter cubes. Take the mix out and if you are using a glass just settle in the base with your fingers and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

While the base is firming up move on to make the berry glaze. To make a glaze you need to put the berries in a pan over low heat and add in the brown sugar. Just a teaspoon will do. Keep stirring the berries until the juices start oozing out and the berries become soft. Let the  separate berry glaze mix cool down and using a strainer separate the pulp from the juice. Throw the pulp away and keep the glaze.

In a separate bowl take yogurt, cream cheese and heavy cream and gently fold in using a hand whisk till there are no lumps. Add in honey.  Now using a spoon add in the yogurt mix to the glaze and fold in one or twice. We need the swirl pattern so do not over mix it.

Take out the Oreo biscuit base and top with the yogurt mix and put it back in the fridge. I did add in some chopped strawberries at this point to the strawberry cup. Keep it for an hour in the fridge or till it sets can be overnight also. It will be a thick paste and will not set like a typical cheesecake that uses gelatin or a setting agent. Decorate with berries and edible flowers and you have a healthy dessert ready to eat. You can draw patterns on the top of the yogurt cups by keeping some of the glaze and using a toothpick just add in a few drops and draw in a pattern of 8.

Mini Berry Tarts!!

Mini Berry Tarts made from scratch that too in a microwave. It turned out to be a perfect recipe for a warm bright winter day where there was a cool breeze flowing and the sun was out in full glory and I had the chance to just relax with my family without a worry in the world.
I have made these tarts from scratch and that too in a microwave. You can make the tart base before and store them for 2 to 3 days.

For the crust:

  1. All purpose Flour: 2 cups
  2. Castor Sugar: 1/2 cup or to taste
  3. Vanilla Essence: 1 teaspoon
  4. Egg: 1 large egg ( Cold)
  5. White Butter: 1/4 slab cubed ( cold)
  6. Milk: 1/ 4 cup
  7. Pinch of salt

Make sure the egg and butter are cold for the pastry dough. Take the flour and sugar in a mixer and add in butter that is cubed and mix for 2 mins or till it looks like bread crumbs then add in the whole egg and mix for one more minute till it looks like a dough do not over mix.  Take it out and spread flour on your kitchen slab and using your fingers gently fold the dough into a ball. Transfer the dough into a Ziplock bag and using a rolling pin roll the dough into a disc. Do not make it thin. Put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat your microwave in convection mode. You will need mini tart pans for this. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and spread some flour on the kitchen slab and just use your rolling pin once or twice to even the dough. Lift it over the tart pan and press it down. Cut away the excess dough and store it for further use. Using a fork make holes in the dough now so that it doesn’t fluff up while baking. This recipe doesn’t require any leveling agents. You can weigh your dough down by using rice also but I didn’t do that. Take the milk and generously brush it over the dough. It will give that brown colour to your tart. Bake for 25 to 30 mins at 180 degrees in convection mode or till it is evenly golden brown. Store in airtight containers in your fridge.

For the Filling:

  1. Curd: 1/2 cup
  2. Cream Cheese: 2 Teaspoons
  3. Whipped Cream: 1/2 cup
  4. Vanilla Essence: 1/2 teaspoon
  5. Castor Sugar: 1/2 cup
  6. Fresh berries for topping

Since in India you can’t often find heavy cream for whipping cream, I use the powdered form and although it doesn’t taste that good as the original it does the work. Using a hand whisk beat in yogurt till its smooth. Do not over beat it just a few whisks. Add in Cream cheese and whisk till there are no lumps. Add in Castor Sugar. You can increase sugar as per your preference. I like the natural sweetness from the berries. Too much sugar and the combination will be like a sticky mess. Add in Vanilla essence and in the end whipped cream; it will bring about lightness to the mix. Do not over mix. Use the filling just before you are serving the tarts and decorate with berries of your choice. The crunchy base against the light filling and sweet and tangy taste of the berries is a perfect combination

Chocolate Mousse (Eggless)

Happy Valentine’s Day my lovelies. Hope you guys got to spend the day with your loved ones. Made this simple eggless Chocolate Mousse today. The recipe requires only six ingredients and it comes out tasting far better than the egg based mousse.
For the eggless Chocolate Mousse you will require :
🌷Milk 1 cup
🌷 Yogurt 1cup
🌷 Dark Chocolate slab ( more than 70 % cocoa )
🌷Vanilla essence
🌷Pinch of salt
🌷Fresh Strawberries
🌷 Whipped Cream
Bring the milk to a simmer. Make sure not to boil it. Add the milk to the chocolate slab and using a hand whisk gently let the chocolate melt into the hot milk. In case the temperature of the milk is low and you end up having little lumps of chocolate that haven’t melted down just put the bowl in the microwave and use only 10 seconds burst to melt the chocolate at a time.
Add in half a teaspoon of Vanilla essence and a pinch of salt and let the chocolate mix rest.
Once the chocolate mix comes down to room temperature gently fold in the yogurt one spoon at a time. Make sure that the yogurt is also at room temperature.
The mousse is ready and you can use long stem glasses like the Martini glasses I have used here to decorate your mousse with fresh strawberries. Top it up with Whipped Cream and lo and behold your dessert is ready.

Ginger Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting!!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas. Baked this ginger cake with Cream cheese frosting. And since it was my sons first Christmas it was even more memorable to share that moment with my loved ones.

For the Recipe:

  1. All purpose Flour: 2 cups
  2. Castor Sugar: 1 1/2 cup
  3. Vegetable Oil: 1/2 cup
  4. Eggs: 4
  5. Baking Powder: 1/2 teaspoon
  6. Baking Soda: 1/2 teaspoon
  7. Ginger Paste: 2 Teaspoon
  8. Ginger grated: 1/2 teaspoon
  9. Butter: 1 slab
  10. Salt: 1/4 teaspoon
  11. Cocoa: 1/2 cup
  12. Vanilla Essence: a few drops

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and put your greased pan in the oven. Sift all the dry ingredients. In a seperate bowl whisk your eggs and add in sugar one spoon at a time and using electric beater beat the mix. Add in Oil. In a seperate bowl beat your butter and add in the egg mix gently and beat. Add in Vanilla essence.

Fold in the dry ingredients and beat for 3 minutes. Add in Ginger paste and grated ginger and beat for a minute. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30 to 40  minutes or till skewer comes clean. Let it stay in the oven for next ten minutes. Take it out and let it cool on rack.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. Butter: 1 slab
  2. Cream Cheese: 1 tub
  3. Whipped Cream: 2 cups
  4. Icing Sugar: 2 cups or till the frosting becomes the right consistency
  5. Vanilla Essence: 1/2 teaspoon
  6. Fresh Strawberries: 3
  7. Red Fondant Berries: Add red colour to the Fondant and roll it in between your hands.

Beat Butter in a seperate bowl till it becomes fluffy. In a seperate bowl beat Cream cheese till it becomes smooth. Beat in Whipped cream in a seperate bowl till soft peaks form. Gently fold in Cream cheese to the butter mix and beat. Add in Icing sugar that is sifted before and beat add in Vanilla essence. Ensure to add in whipped cream in the end and just fold it in a few times. It will give you that white colour to your frosting. Make the first crumb coat and refrigerate the cake for 15 minutes. Use the rest of the frosting to coat the cake. I used a bit of that frosting to make leafs on the cake and red fondant dots were used to give the feel of red berries. I sprinkled some white sprinkles on the cake and using my hands coated the side of the cake. Finally decorate it with strawberries.

 

 

Oreo Chocolate Cheesecake!!

Oreo Chocolate Cheesecake just to get into the Christmas spirit. Isn’t this the most wonderful time of the year. This year we were blessed with an angel who has filled our lives with so much joy. Sometimes all you can do is look back at the year that’s gone by and can’t help but be in awe and feel humbled and grateful.

This is a no bake recipe that is very simple to make.

For the Recipe:

  1. Oreo Cookies: One packet
  2. Cream Cheese: Britannia Cream cheese 180 gm tub
  3. Dark Chocolate with more than 70 % Cocoa: 1 slab
  4. Whipping Cream: 1 cup
  5. Vanilla Essence: A few drops
  6. Fresh Strawberries
  7. White Butter: 1/2 slab
  8. Salt: A pinch
  9. Milk: 1/2 cup
  10. Cocoa: 1/4 cup
  11. Coffee: 1/4 teaspoon

Crush Oreo Cookies in a blender. Add in cold cubed butter and blend. Just make sure the mix is resembling bread crumbs. Take a springform pan and line the base and use one of the cold cubes of butter and just rub it over the pan. Spread in the Oreo cookies mix evenly and refrigerate for an hour.

In the meanwhile take the chocolate in a bowl and add in milk. Microwave at 10 seconds bursts at a time till the chocolate melts. Do not over heat the chocolate. Add in salt, coffee, Cocoa and vanilla essence and whisk. In a seperate bowls whisk your cream cheese and whipped cream till soft peaks form. Add in whipped cream to the cream cheese one spoon at a time and fold in with a spatula. Take half of the chocolate mix and fold in to the cream cheese and whipped cream mix. Take out the Springform pan with Oreo cookie base and add in the chocolate cream cheese mix. Let it set for thirty minutes. Take the rest of the chocolate mix and spread it over the cream cheese base. Using a peeler peel the back of the chocolate slab and sprinkle them generously. Decorate with  fresh Strawberries.

Raspberry Banana Smoothie with Oreo Cookies!!

How you start your day is going to determine not just the span of 24 hrs but also the span of your life on this planet. Live a little for once by letting go of judgement of others and of yourself. Spending time in the past and the future is like living in a mirage. You can never quite capture it. The best way to live a healthy and happy life is to let go. Being in the present will allow you to fully enjoy your own company and that of your loved ones.
People often ask me this : How can you be so happy in the mornings?
My answer to them is that I always choose to wake up with a single thought that today is going to be a superb day. And so it always is.
Folks the choice is up to you, do you want to have a superb day or a not so great day.

Kick start your day with Raspberry Banana Smoothie with Oreo cookies. Refrigerate two bananas overnight and blend them the next day. Add fresh Raspberries or you can use frozen Raspberries like I did in off season. Blend together and spread it in a bowl. Decorate with a dreamy Mermaid made from white chocolate, Blueberries and Dragon Fruit flowers and finally dust the smoothie bowl with dried Raspberries.

And finally cut your favourite Oreo cookies in two halves and your smoothie bowl is ready.

Unicorn Meringues!!

The first bite into a Meringue is always like floating on a cloud. I love Meringues, who doesn’t but they are a bit tricky to make and a lot of people tell me how their Meringues fall flat. So giving you some tips that will make it super easy for you to get your Meringues right the first time.

🌼The best way to get stiff peaks in Meringues is to use old eggs.
🌼 Always use eggs at room temperature.
🌼 Spoon in your Sugar one at a time while beating.
🌼Always use a metal or glass bowl for beating the eggs as grease in plastic bowls from your previous baking will flatten the egg whites.
🥀🥀Recipe:
4Egg Whites
1 cup Castor Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Gel Food colours
🌸 Separate your egg whites and make sure no egg yolk goes into the whites.
🌸Take an Electric beater or Stand Mixer with Paddle attachment and whisk your egg whites till they double in volume. Add in Cream of Tartar and beat.
🌸Put in Castor Sugar one spoon at a time and beat till the Mix is sticking to the handle when turned upside-down. Beat in your Vanilla essence in the end.
🌸Gently fold in the colours with a spoon in separate bowls and make sure that you don’t let the air out.
🌸Fill a piping bag and pipe them on a parchment paper. I used a Wilton 2D tip for the Meringues. Make sure you don’t let the mix sit out for long as it will go flat.
🌸Bake in preheated oven at 120 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Make sure to rotate the tray in between for equal baking of the Meringues.
If your Meringues take on moisture after a few hours don’t fret just put them back in the oven for 30 mins. Always put them in air tight containers.
Happy Baking and do let me know how yours turned out. You can ask me anything regarding the recipe in the comments section below.

Acai Berry Banana Smoothie!!

I must admit that I love making Smoothies for Breakfast or a mid day hunger pang. I have used Acai Berry Powder here since they are not available in India. Just look at that purple colour; Imagine starting your day on such a power packed breakfast.

If you want to make a smoothie bowl just refrigerate your bananas overnight. They become so creamy when you blend them the next day. Just added one teaspoon of Acai Berry powder to it and blend. Top it with half a Banana and Kiwi slices.

To get the purple swirls just put a few pinches of powder; just small drops and taking a toothpick draw swirls on your bowl.

Eggless Choco-Chip Cake with Buttercream Frosting!!!

Have I mentioned that I am a big Chocolate fan. Yup I can eat anything Chocolate and that’s why you will find a lot of Chocolate recipes on my blog. This is a very basic Chocolate cake and all you need is a loaf pan. I have posted some more recipes here where I have used Buttermilk instead of eggs and the end result is a very moist cake that doesn’t go dry for days if you store it well.

For the Recipe:

  1. All purpose flour: 1 cup
  2. Castor Surgar: 1/2 cup
  3. Baking Soda: 1/2 teaspoon
  4. Baking Powder: 1/2 teaspoon
  5. Vanilla Essence: 1/4 teaspoon
  6. Cocoa: 1/2 cup
  7. Buttermilk: 3/4 cup
  8. Vegetable oil: 1 teaspoons
  9. Choco-chips: 1 cup

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees with the pan inside. Make sure you have greased your pan well. I always put butter paper in the base of the pan. It makes taking out the cake so easy. Simply grease the butter paper. Sift all your dry ingredients together. Gently fold in the buttermilk in the dry mix using a hand whisk. Add in oil and vanilla essence in the end. Now pour only 1/4 of the batter and sprinkle icing sugar on the batter and lay down the choco-chips. Then pour the  remaining batter over and sprinkle more sugar and then sprinkle choco-chips generously. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let it cool.

For the Buttercream frosting I have used pink gel colour and Wilton tip 2 M.

 

Eggless Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting!

This was my first time baking without any eggs and let me tell you I was blown away by the use of a special ingredient. Can you guess which one?? Buttermilk!!! My Cupcakes were just so soft that I had people literally devouring them in one bite. Yup they ate the whole cupcake in one go. And that is the best compliment any cook can get. I am over the moon with this simple ingredient and now I want to go back and think why I haven’t used it till now.

Please do not be confused with the Raspberry Chocolate Cake recipe before this where I have again used Buttermilk for baking. Only the sequence of posting them on Instagram is the reason why you are able to see that recipe before this one.

Now coming back to the recipe; the ingredients are given below:

  1. All purpose Flour: 200 gm
  2. Castor Sugar: 150 gm
  3. Buttermilk: 100 ml
  4. Vegetable oil: 1/2 cup
  5. Baking Powder: 1/2 teaspoon
  6. Baking Soda: 1/2 teaspoon
  7. Unsweetened Cocoa: 1 cup ( I use Hershey’s)

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Now sift all the dry ingredients together. Add in Buttermilk slowly and keep whisking with a hand whisk. There is no need for electric beater. We do not want to over whisk the batter here. Add in Vegetable oil and if you want you can add in Vanilla essence just half a teaspoon or to your liking. Although I did not add Vanilla here but I did add a 1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee just to bring out the dense flavor of Cocoa. If you do not like the taste of coffee you can add the same amount of drinking chocolate but make sure you don’t over sweeten the batter, since drinking chocolate is very sweet. I have used these golden cupcake liners. The best part about these is that not only are they very glittery and look fancy; they also serve the purpose wherein they do not get soggy overtime. Place the liners in the cupcake moulds and using an ice-cream scoop in only 3/4 of the batter in each mould.

Bake for 25 minutes or till skewer comes clean. For the frosting you can go to my Buttercream Frosting recipe where in I have written in detail about the recipe and how to get the nice two tone colours.

 

Raspberry Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate glaze!

This is a simple Chocolate cake with crushed Frozen Raspberries in it. Since in India it’s hard to source fresh berries at times I often end up using the Frozen Berries. This recipe uses Buttermilk instead of eggs. I find that using Buttermilk in cakes often makes them more soft and gooey rather than hard and dry and they remain soft if stored properly for days. This is small cake and serves only four people. Just double the ingredients if you want to make a bigger cake.

For the Recipe:

  1. All Purpose Flour: 1 and 1/2 cup all purpose Flour
  2. Castor Sugar: 1 cup Sugar
  3. Cocoa: 1/2 cup
  4. Baking Powder: 1/2 teaspoon
  5. Baking Soda: 1/2 teaspoon
  6. Salt: pinch
  7. Vegetable Oil : 1/4 cup
  8. Buttermilk: 1/2 cup
  9. Vanilla Extract: 1/2 teaspoon
  10. Raspberry crushed : 1/2 cup

Take all the dry ingredients and sift them in a separate bowl except the dry Raspberries. Take Buttermilk and slowly add into the dry ingredients and using a hand whisk gently fold in. There is no need to over whisk it. Add in the oil and Vanilla in the end. Using a heart shaped pan lightly grease it and dust a bit of flour on it. Preheat the oven and the pan in it. Now use the dry raspberries and sprinkle them over the mix. They will sink a little. Just use a fork and cover them lightly. Don’t push them down the mix. We want them to be equally distributed in the center. Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes at 180 degrees or till skewer comes clean and let it cool inside the oven for a few minutes.

Take White chocolate and pour a bit of milk just to cover the cubes and using 10 seconds interval melt them in the microwave. Do not burn the chocolate just go easy on the glaze. Decorate your cake by using a spoon and spreading the glaze and sprinkle the Raspberries on top and you have your cake.

Mango Nutella Panna Cotta!

If you are a fan of mango like me then you need to really make this dish. The sweetness of the Mango against the flavour of Nutella is nothing you have ever tasted. Its a simple dish and I urge you not to distort the flavor of Nutella with Gelatin. Nutella in itself is dense and there is no need to over indulge it with heavy cream and Gelatin.

For the Recipe:

  1. 2 whole Mangoes
  2. Heavy Cream : 1 cup
  3. Milk: 1/2 cup
  4. Gelatin: 1/4 spoon
  5. Nutella: As per the glass or Jar you are using.

Panna Cotta is an Italian cold dish which is dairy thickened over. This version is just adding in Mango as a natural flavor to it.

This recipe doesn’t require any sugar. Since Mango in itself is sweet and tangy at the same time.In a bowl take 1/2 of the milk and add Gelatin to it and let it bloom for five minutes. Take the rest of the milk and add cream to it and and let it come to a simmer not a boil. Take it off the gas and let it cool down a bit just before it turns lukewarm. Now add in gelatin and whisk with a hand mixer and as you do and add the pulp of one mango that you have blitzed in the mixer. We do not want cook the Mango Puree as it will loose all its flavor and nutrition. Let it cool. Dice the other Mango into thin slices. Now take a glass and pour the Mango mix at the bottom and then add in Nutella. The best way to add Nutella is to put it in a piping bag and then add it. Now take only a spoon of the Mango Puree and just spread it over Nutella again. Then one more Layer of Nutella and finally fill the top with Mango mix and decorate with fresh Mango slices and refrigerate it. That one little spoon of Nutella in between can add a burst of flavor and acts as a surprise.

Rose and Cashew Saffron Tart!

This is my signature dish and it came out looking this beautiful in the very first attempt.

For the Tart base:

  • 1 & 1/2 cup Breakfast Oats with Saffron Flavour.
  • 1 cup Dates pitted
  • 1/2 cup Goji Berries
  • 1/2 cup Pecans
  • 1/2 cup Honey

Blend in all these ingredients till it starts to come together. You can add a bit more of honey if its not forming into crumbs. Take it out of blender and press into the 9 inch Tart pan till its even on all sides and refrigerate for one hour for it to set.

For the Filling:

Soak in 400 gms of cashews overnight in fridge. Take them out of the fridge the next day and throw the water away and rinse them. Blend them. In a pan take 1 cup of soy milk and on medium heat put in dry rose petals that are pesticide free. If you are using dry petals make sure they are more pink than brown.  Add in one cup of Honey. Add in 1 teaspoon of Cornflour. For it to set use Agar Agar. Take one spoon and dissolve in water. Then bring that water to boil. Add that boiled water into the milk mix.

As it cools down keep stirring so that lumps don’t form. Once all the steam has left the mix pour into blender in which you blended the cashews. Blend and pour into the Tart pan and using the back of a spoon level it and refrigerate. Decorate it with Rose buds and crushed Pista.

 

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting and Edible Butterflies!!

This Recipe will give you such a decadent melt in your mouth Chocolate Cake. For the frosting I have used simple American Buttercream Frosting and Edible Butterflies. These butterflies are available on Amazon in case you are wondering. Please use Gel colors for that smooth shine that you can see in the frosting.

For the Cake:

  1. 1&1/2 cup Flour
  2. 2 Eggs at room temp
  3. 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  4. 1/2 cup drinking chocolate
  5. 1 cup Castor Sugar
  6. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  7. 1 cup Buttermilk
  8. 1 tsp baking powder
  9. 1 tsp baking soda
  10. 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  11. pinch of salt

Preheat the oven at 360 degrees. In a separate bowl mix oil and sugar till the sugar blends in. Add in eggs one at at time and whisk. Add in Buttermilk and Vanilla.Sift all your dry ingredients in separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ones and using a spatula just fold it in and using a hand whisk it one last time. Pour into 6 inch pan that is lined with oil and flour. Bake at 180 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or till skewer comes clean.

Leave in the oven for 15 minutes then take it out and let it cool down on a rack.

For Frosting:

  • 2 slabs of butter.
  • 4 cups of Icing Sugar.
  • Vanilla Extract.

Using an electric beater beat in your butter and add in icing sugar one spoon at a time. If your icing is runny don’t worry just add in more sugar. I have used Green, Purple and Blue colors and used Wilton tips 1 M and 2 D.

 

 

 

Avocado Banana Kiwi Smoothie

This is my all time favorite smoothie. It almost tastes like an Ice cream. To make it even more thicker you can freeze bananas overnight and blend.

For the smoothie you will need:

  1.  Avocado 1
  2. Banana 2
  3. Kiwi 2

Add in pomegranate kernels , muskmelon seeds and apple slices and decorate with edible flowers. Enjoy and stay healthy and positive.

Apple Pie!

Most people I have met are scared of making Pies only for the simple reason, the pastry crust. But don’t you worry no more this is the most simple way to make a Pie crust and it just works well as any other recipe out there only difference is its more simplified.

For the Crust:

  1. 1 1/2 cup All Purpose flour
  2. Cold Butter cubed
  3. Pinch of Salt
  4. Ice Water 5 to 6 Tablespoons
  5. Sugar Optional

You can make the dough in your blender and that’s why this recipe is so easy. Put half the flour, salt and sugar that’s optional and mix in butter and blend at low speed. Increase the speed in a minute to coat the flour with butter. Then put in rest of the flour and mix just 4 to 5 times and make sure you don’t over blend it. We want the mix to be a bit crumbly at this stage. Take out the mix in a bowl and add in water and fold gently with a Spatula into a ball shape. Dust the work station with some flour and cut the dough into two separate balls and cling wrap them and freeze for 1 hour.

Preheat your oven at 220 degrees. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it on a dusted work bench. Best way to roll your dough is between two sheets of butter paper. The Pie crust needs to be a bit thick. Using your rolling pin gently fold it into the baking tray till it reaches 3/4 of the way on the sides. Cut off the excess. Brush it with butter.

For the Filling:

  1. Butter at room temp: 1 slab
  2. Brown Sugar: 1/2 cup
  3. Honey: 1/2 cup

Once you have lined your pie with the crust best to put it back in the fridge if your kitchen is hot and moist. Cut your Apples into thin slices and line your tray to your fancy. Make sure that your syrup is ready beforehand. For the syrup, melt in butter till it gets to liquid form and add in brown sugar and honey or white sugar if you want. You can add Cinnamon or ginger you want to spice it up. Some variety never hurts.

Cover your Pie with cutouts using fondant cutters. They work so well for Pies. You can use lattice cutouts also. Pour in the mix once its cooled down a bit. We don’t want to cook the apples before they go into the oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes till the juices start to bubble inside. Make sure to line your Pie dish with aluminium foil for even baking and to ensure that your crust doesn’t get browned too fast. Remove the foil last 15 minutes.  Also make sure there is always some gap in your upper covering of the pie to ensure the steam escapes out.

PS: I covered my Pie with lots of flowers and stars later. This was only for visual representation. I used cold water to stick the outer layer of hearts. Works better than butter.

Strawberry Beetroot Banana Smoothie!!

This is a very simple Smoothie Recipe. You don’t need to freeze your Bananas overnight if you are busy like me all you can do is pour in all the ingredients together and voila have this smoothie on the go. Simple and fast as I like it and on hot summer days just add in a few fruit Ice-cubes to add in more flavor.

For the Smoothie:

  1. 2 Bananas
  2. 1/2 cup Strawberry Powder in case it’s not the season
  3. 1 Beetroot
  4. Garnishes of your choice

Blend in all the ingredients and transfer them into the bowl. I used Muskmelon seeds that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Plus that’s the best way to incorporate Beetroot into your diet since they are packed with Iron, Potassium and Folate among others minerals.

Cinnamon Vanilla Cake with Buttercream Frosting!

Sometimes the most simple flavors when combined can give you such amazing results. For this recipe I used Cinnamon Powder  and Vanilla Pods that I had bought from a Spice Farm in Goa. So next time you are in Goa do explore these Spice Farms, you can get some exciting spices from there.

For the Cake Batter:

  1. All Purpose Flour: 2 cups
  2. Castor Sugar: 1 1/2 cups
  3. Eggs: 4 at room Temp
  4. Unsalted Butter: 1 slab
  5. Salt: 1/4 teaspoon
  6. Baking Powder: 1 tsp
  7. Baking Soda: 1 tsp
  8. Vanilla Pods: 2
  9. Cinnamon Powder: 1 1/2 tsp
  10.  Vegetable Oil: 2 tbsp

Sift all the dry ingredients together except the Cinnamon Powder. In a separate bowl beat your butter and mix in the sugar one spoon at a time. Add in eggs one egg at a time and beat. Add in Vanilla by scraping the pods with a sharp knife, you can use Vanilla extract just 2 teaspoon if you don’t have the pods. Add in Oil and beat.

Now add the dry ingredients into the wet mix. Add in Cinnamon in the end and adjust the flavor according to taste. If you want you can add in more for the extra kick. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes at 180 degrees. Take it out and let it cool before you start icing it.

For The Frosting:

Take two slabs of Butter from the fridge and microwave them at 10 seconds bursts till they become soft to touch but haven’t melted yet. Beat them with an electric beater and add in sifted icing sugar  about 2 to 3 cups depending upon the temperature in your kitchen till it becomes creamy. Put in separate bowls and add in colors of your choice. I used a Wilton tip 2 D for the roses. If your icing is too soft just add in more Sugar as you go. Enjoy and do let me know how your cake turned out. You can also follow me on Instagram by the same name for new updates.

 

Spirulina Pancakes with Maple Syrup!!

After gorging on some not so healthy dishes I wanted to make something that would taste amazing and at the same time be a healthy option. You can source Spirulina powder from Amazon. Its a bit tricky mind you to make these Pancakes; since combination of coconut oil and the Powder leaves you with a sticky mess that doesn’t spread easily. So the trick is to use a bowl to make them rather than a ladle.

For the Pancakes:

  • All Purpose Flour: 2 cups
  • Milk: 1 cup at room temperature
  • Baking Powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Coconut Oil ( Cold Pressed): 1/2 cup
  • Spirulina Powder: 2 tbsp
  • Vanilla Extract: 2 tsp ( optional)

Mix all the ingredients together and if need be keep adding in more milk in case your batter becomes sticky. Just warm up your pan and spread some oil on it. To check if the pan is heated enough just sprinkle a few drops of water, they should bubble up. Spread your pancake batter in one round motion without lifting up the ladle or bowl. Wait for the bubbles to form on the top then only flip onto the other side.

Serve them with some fresh Blueberries and a generous amount of Maple syrup over them.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins!

I got two boxes of Blueberries and the first thing that popped into my head was Blueberry Muffins. I added Lemon to give them the extra kick and believe me Blueberry Lemon combination is pure heaven. Now Muffins are always accompanied by Coffee but this time around I made a Cranberry Lemonade. I will post both the recipes below.

For the Muffins:

  • All Purpose Flour: 1 1/2 cups
  •  Lemon Juice: 2 tsp
  • Baking Powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Baking Soda: 1/2 tsp
  • Fresh Blueberries or Dried Ones : 1 cup
  • Eggs: 3
  • Castor Sugar: 1 cup
  • Butter: 1 Slab
  • Butter Milk: 1/2 cup

I often use milk in making my Muffins, but this time around I used Buttermilk and my muffins turned out so soft. The trick to keep your blueberries on the top is to roll them into your castor sugar and put them in the last. They wont sink and go to the bottom. Now sift your dry ingredients and keep them aside. Now on low speed beat butter and add sugar: beat for a 5 seconds or till well combined. Add eggs one at a time. Add your dry ingredients and sprinkle lemon juice. Add in Buttermilk at last. You can use a spatula to fold in the dry ingredients. Now sprinkle your sugar coated blueberries on top.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your tray with muffin papers and using an ice cream scoop pour in 3/4 of the cups. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 mins. Lower your oven temperature if you feel they are getting crisp on the outside.

For Cranberry Lemonade:

  • Cranberry Juice: 1 glass
  • Lemonade: 1/ 2 glass
  • Mint leaves
  • Soda optional
  • Ice Cubes

Since Cranberry Juice is a bit tangy you can add Sugar to your lemonade and that will balance out the acidity.

 

Lavender Whoopie Pies with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting!!

This is the most aromatic dish I have ever made. The moment those Whoopie Pies go into the oven your whole house will start smelling of Lavender. I wish one day I can get to visit the Lavender Fields in France. If you are based in India and thinking of where to source your Lavender from then all you have to do is use your Amazon app.

For the Whoopie Pies:

  • All Purpose Flour: 2 cups
  • Baking Powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Baking Soda: 1/4 tsp
  • Butter Unsalted: 1/4 cup at room temp
  • Vegetable Oil: 1/ tsp
  • Eggs: 1
  • Milk: 1/4 cup or to consistency
  • Granulated Sugar: 1 cup
  • Lavender Leaves Dried: 2 tsp
  • Purple Food Coloring optional
  • Vanilla Essence: 1/4 tsp

Take the Lavender flowers and boil them in the milk at low heat. Till the flowers start to leave their essence. Take the milk off from the heat and let it come to room temperature. In a separate bowl take the dry ingredients and sift them as we don’t want any lumps forming later. Take the butter and on low speed beat it with a hand mixer or stand mixer. Add sugar and eggs gradually and Vanilla essence gradually. Now sieve the lavender milk by pressing the flowers into the mesh. I doubled sieved it for their essence to come out. Then add the flour to your butter and egg mix and slowly fold in the milk mixture. Take care to use spatula here. We don’t want to incorporate any air bubbles now. I used some purple color to give it a nice summery look. Too much use of Lavender flowers will end up tasting like a soap dish so don’t worry on the color. Use a good quality gel coloring. Use a drop at a time so you don’t get dark purple as a color. I have made a separate page for Buttercream Frosting if you want to know how to make that. It’s a simple American Buttercream that requires only three ingredients. Only addition I did to that recipe was I added Strawberry powder to give it more flavor.

For Piping:

Use a Piping bag to make circles of Whoopie Pies. Use a parchment paper and ensure there is a minimum of  2 cm gap between the circles. It was my first time so a few of my Pies did bleed onto each other. I suggest you can draw precise circles to avoid that. Pop your tray into the preheated oven and bake them at 350 degrees for 6 to 8 mins. I dusted my Pies with some icing sugar and topped them with some chopped Cherries.

Do let me know how your Pies turned out.

 

Vanilla Blueberry Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

This weekend I got a surprise call from an old School friend of mine, wanting to meet up. I was elated beyond words and knowing that she is a Vegan I had this perfect cupcakes recipe on my mind. So over some Lavender infused tea and Cupcakes we reminisced how time has gone by and of course we ended up having tummy aches laughing over our silly antics all those years ago on our not so fortunate teachers. Let me tell you my son was enamored with her. He is such a friendly no fuss baby and these days his favourite activity is to interrupt when two adults are conversing. Its so funny. He has his own language which is mostly dada…

Coming back I still have to improve my piping game; but thankfully the cupcakes were a hit so we can always let it slide.

For the Cupcakes:

  1. Soy Milk: 1 1/2 cup
  2. All purpose flour: 2 cups
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar: 1 Teaspoon
  4. Baking Soda: 1 teaspoon
  5. Baking Powder: 1 Teaspoon
  6. Castor Sugar: 1 cup
  7. Blueberries: 1 cup
  8. Vanilla Essence: 1 teaspoon
  9. Olive Oil: 1/2 cup

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line your cupcake tray with cupcake Liners. You can find a variety of them on Amazon.

Mix Apple cider vinegar into the soy milk and set it aside. Let it curdle for a few minutes as you sieve in the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Mix sugar olive oil and vanilla essence on a low speed. Then add the soy milk and apple cider vinegar potion and slowly incorporate the dry mix. Don’t worry if the mixture is runny. Use an ice-cream scoop to fill the parchments. Roll the blueberries into sugar if you want them to stay on the top. For this recipe I let them sink into the bottom so they could add a bit of crunch at the end.

Since my friend isn’t a hardcore Vegan and loves her butter. I did a buttercream Frosting for her.

For Buttercream Frosting:

  1. Salted Butter: 2 large cubes
  2. Icing Sugar: 1 1/2 cups
  3. Vanilla Essence: 1 Teaspoon
  4. Milk: 1/2 cup or to measure

For Buttercream Frosting it is very important that your milk and butter are at the same temperature. Usually you need to take out the butter a few hours before you start making the frosting. But if you are like me super busy and have forgotten to take out the butter from the fridge don’t worry. I always give the butter a burst of 10 seconds twice in a microwave or till it becomes soft but is not melting. But your Milk should also be at room temperature otherwise your frosting will split. Take an electric beater and on low speed churn the butter till it forms soft peaks. Now add vanilla essence and icing sugar. Please ensure you have sifted the icing sugar before adding to the butter so as not to find any small lumps in it. Now slowly add milk and keep beating at a low speed. Add the colour of your choice just a few drops if you are using gel based colours, which are my preference. Pipe in the frosting into the bag and ahoy you have a nice buttercream frosting ready.

 

Chocolate Almond Loaf Cake

Past few days the weather has been acting up. But finally it rained cats and dogs and with the pouring rains, I don’t know about you but give me a cozy rug and a few fluffy cushions to cuddle up in my favourite corner with a steaming cup of coffee and a good read to drown my thoughts in. Sigh!! So I baked this simple Chocolate loaf cake with the goodness of Almonds to go with my tenth coffee of the day. Have to warn you this recipe does require eggs.

For the Cake mix:

  1. Butter at room temperature: 1 cup
  2. Sugar: 2 cups
  3. All Purpose Flour: 1 cup
  4. Eggs: 2
  5. Milk: 1/2 cup
  6. Almonds: 1 cup finely chopped
  7. Vegetable Oil: 1 tablespoon
  8. Cocoa: 2 tablespoon
  9. Drinking Chocolate: 2 tablespoon
  10. Bicarb Soda: 1 teaspoon
  11. Baking Powder: 1 teaspoon

 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Mix all the dry ingredients together and sieve them, we don’t want any lumps to form in the batter. Now take the butter and blend it with an electric mixer at low speed add sugar to it and eggs one by one. Then add vanilla essence and milk beat well. Then add the flour and the rest of the dry ingredients. Add Vegetable oil to the mix, you can use any oil of your choice. I prefer to use Olive oil.  Line your tin with butter paper and oil the sides. Pour the batter into the tin half of it. Spread the chopped almonds into the middle and then pour the rest of the batter over it. Bake for 30 minutes or when skewer comes out clean. Let it cool completely and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

The Chocolate loaf cake is so soft that it literally melts in your mouth.

Oreo Peanut Butter Tart

 

So last week was a bit hectic; with my bub starting to crawl. Any new parent can tell you that its a major leap in the growth of a bub, but at the same time its a nightmare too  so what better way of beating the stress than a Oreo peanut butter tart.

It is a simple no bake egg-less recipe. It takes two hours to set and its definitely not for diet watchers. But the creamy texture of the peanut butter combined with the crunchy Oreo bits is added bonus.

For the Base:

  1. Oreo’s Dark chocolate : 1 Packet
  2. Butter softened: 1 cup

Mix the crushed Oreo’s into the butter with your hands and line a 9 inch tart pan to the sides and refrigerate for thirty minutes.

For the Filling:

  1. Peanut Butter : 1 cup
  2. Crushed Oreo’s: 1 cup
  3. Softened Butter: 1/2 cup
  4. Milk at room temperature: 20 ml

Mix the Peanut butter and milk with an electric beater at low setting. Add butter and crushed Oreo alternately and beat only for a few seconds. Don’t over-beat it since we want the crushed Oreo’s to give a bit of crunch. If you want more crunch then u can add any digestive biscuits slightly crushed. Just add them with a spatula. Take out the tart pan with base and check if its set. Fill the center with the filling and add Oreo’s on top. Sprinkle some Hershey’s sauce, for extra chocolate kick and a few berries of your choice. Refrigerate the tart for another 1.5 hours to set. And voila your Oreo Peanut butter tart is ready.

Make sure to serve it directly from the fridge to your guests; since the tart has a lot of butter in terms of peanut butter and everyday use white butter it will start to melt int he heat if kept outside for too long. It will taste like a reach creamy ice-cream at the right temperature.

 

Banana Bread with Pecans, Raisins and Chocolate Chips!

This is the best Banana bread recipe that is if you follow up with the instructions.

Ingredients list:

  1. Ripe Bananas: 4 use ones at room temperature. I prefer not to use frozen Bananas because they leave a lot of moisture and that makes the bread extra soggy.
  2. Castor sugar:1/2 cup
  3. Brown sugar:1/2 cup
  4. Cinnamon powder: 2 tbsp
  5. Baking powder: 2 tbsp
  6. Baking soda: 1 tbsp
  7. Salt: a pinch
  8. All purpose flour: 2 cup
  9. Raisins: 1/4 cup
  10. Pecans: 1/2 cup
  11. Chocolate chips: 1/2 cup
  12. Eggs: 3
  13. Olive oil: 1/2 cup
  14. Buttermilk: 1/2 cup
  15. Vanilla essence: 1 tbsp

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Grease your loaf pan with oil and dust it with flour. Keep aside.

Sift all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mash the Bananas and mix one egg at a time. Mix well. Add in oil and buttermilk, Vanilla and mix. Use a spatula and fold in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Don’t overmix. In the end add in Pecans and Raisins, Chocolate chips and mix. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees or till skewer comes clean.

Coconut Trifle Pudding in Martini Glasses!

This was the last of my Diwali desserts for a reason. You can make these glasses in a jiffy. Just get the required ingredients that are available at all major stores and online apps. This recipe will make two glasses.

Ingredients list:

  1. Coconut Cream: 1 can
  2. Banana Bread: five loafs. You can use a store bought dry cake. Recipe for the Banana bread is up on the blog. You can bake this in advance and store it in airtight container.
  3. Raspberry preserve: 1/2 cup you can use a good quality jam too.
  4. Chocolate chips: white 1/2 cup
  5. Mint leaves: 4
  6. Mango preserve.
  7. Fresh Peaches and cherries. You can replace it with fresh fruit of your choice like Kiwis and fresh berries.

Take clear glasses if you don’t have Martini Glasses at home. Fill them up 1/4 th with Coconut cream then layer the banana bread. Then spread 2 tbsp raspberry preserve over it in the middle and on the outside perimeter use a spoon and generously spoon in Mango preserve. Again Fill coconut cream and repeat the process. On top layer sprinkle chocolate chips over the banana bread and just use one tbsp of coconut cream to cover the cake leaving some visible on the top. Same with raspberry and Mango preserve. Lastly decorate it with mint leaves.

Plum and Peach Hand Pies!

If you are an Indian then you know them as Gujiyas. Only these Gujiyas are filled with fruit and baked not fried.The best way to make these Hand Pies is to make the dough from scratch.For the dough:

  1. All purpose flour: 1 1/2 cups
  2. Cold butter cubed: 1/2 cup
  3. Cold water with ice cubes: 1 cup
  4. Vinegar: 1 tbsp

Take the flour and butter and blend them in a mixer. Leave some lumps of butter in there. They will melt and give it a flaky texture. Add in water two tbsp a time and use only the tips of your fingers to get the dough together. Once it starts taking shape add in vinegar. It will make it extra flaky.Don’t overdo the doughJust fold it into a ball and wrap it up in a cling film. Keep it in the fridge overnight. That is the best way to make these pies. Make the dough a night before and you will have less work to do the next day.For the filling:Take one cup of Plum and cut them into tiny pieces. Take a non stick pan and add in one cup of sugar to the plums and keep stirring till they leave their juices. Take two big peaches and cut them into thin slices. We will bake them inside the pie. Once the juices have dried

Eggless Chocolate Marble Cake with chocolate chips!

This is s new recipe that I tested only once in my kitchen. But I think it’s come out well. If you think it needs some rendition do ping me and let me know.

  1. Nestle Milmaid: 1 can
  2. Cadbury dairy milk chocolate: 120 gms
  3. Morde Chocolate chip: dark chocolate and white chocolate
  4. All purpose flour: 2 1/2 cups
  5. Sugar: 2tbsp
  6. Milk: lukewarm 1/2 cup
  7. Yogurt: 1/4 cup
  8. Vinegar 2 tbsp
  9. Vanilla essence: 1 tbsp
  10. Cocoa : 4 tbsp
  11. Olive oil: 3/4 cup

Now this is an olive oil cake and let me tell you all my cakes have olive oil. That’s why my cakes are super soft even two days later.Ensure all your ingredients are at room temperature.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Mix milkmaid, olive oil and vanilla essence. Sift all the dry ingredients together. Add in sugar to the wet mix and then add in the dry ingredients with milk and Yogurt. In the end add in Vinegar to the mix. Take a seperate bowl and take out half the mix add in Cocoa to the other half. Take a 9 inch removable bottom pan grease it with oil and dust it with flour. Pour the white batter on one side and Cocoa batter on the other end. Take a spoon and make swirls. Now add in Cadbury chocolate but we need two cubes each and spread them over the batter and the using a spoon push them in. Sprinkle white and dark chocolate chips and bake it for 35 minutes or till the skewer comes clean. Don’t keep it in the oven for more than five minutes. That will make the cake dry.

Serve it with caramel sauce or chocolate ganache.

Coconut Ladoos!

I think this is the easiest recipe for making Ladoos. You will be done making them in fifteen minutes. How good is that. And best part they are so fresh and melt in your mouth Ladoos made with just three ingredients.

Pro tip- get coconut whose husk has been removed. It’s tough doing it at home. I asked my local fruit vendor who was kind enough to do that for me.

Removing the outer shell is a bit tricky. All you need to do is keep hitting it with a small hammer that will loosen up the coconut inside. Then just use a knife and push the coconut out.

Ingredients:

  1. Coconut: 1 makes 9 Ladoos
  2. Milkmaid: 1 can
  3. Cardamom pods: 3
  4. Coconut dry powder: 1 cup

Remove the cardamom seeds from the pods and gently using a rolling pin make rough powder. Store the unused cardamom pods for use in your tea. Goes so well with these Ladoos.

Use a mixer to make grind the coconut. Cut it into tiny pieces that way it will be very easy to blend them. Don’t overdo the blending. We want it in powder form. Too much and it will go mush.

Remove it from the blender and transfer it to a deep pan. Add in 1/4th cup milkmaid. You can add according to taste. Add the powdered cardamom seeds. Put the pan on the stove at low heat and keep stirring till the mix starts to gather into a shape.

It will take 5 minutes. After that it will take another 3 minutes to get the water to dry. Don’t overdo the mix. Keep some moisture in it. The Ladoos will become dry if you overcook the mix. Test it in between your fingers. If no water comes out on pressing bu it still feels sticky then it’s done. Remove the pan from the heat.

Take some of the still hot mix in between your palm and gently roll it into a ball shape. Then roll it in the dry coconut powder. That’s easily available in grocery stores. Decorate it with cashew or nuts of your choice. Don’t store it in the fridge otherwise it will become hard. Store it at room temperature. Finish them in a day or two.

Eggless Chocolate Cake!

This recipe is very simple and doesn’t require much of beating the batter. Just using simple ingredients you can prepare the cake batter in ten minutes.

Ingredients for the cake

  1. Yogurt: 1 1/2 cup
  2. All purpose flour: 1 1/2 cups
  3. Castor Sugar: 3/4 cup
  4. Olive oil: 1/2 cup
  5. Baking powder: 1 tsp
  6. Baking soda: 1/2 tsp
  7. Vanilla essence: 1 tsp
  8. Cocoa: 1/2 cup

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Mix sugar and Yogurt and beat till the sugar is dissolved. Add in Baking powder and soda to the mix and let it sit for 4 minutes. The bubbles will start forming. Add in oil, vanilla essence and mix. Sieve in flour and cocoa and use a spatula to fold in the dry ingredients. Don’t overmix. If your mix is a bit thick and not of dropping consistency the add in a few tbsp of Yogurt to it. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or till skewer comes clean. Keep in oven for five minutes and then remove.

Semolina Halwa aka Suji ka Halwa!

If you are an Indian my bet is that you have had some version of this Halwa cooked by your mother’s and grandmothers when you were small. This Halwa is rich in Iron and a very good source of energy for kids and elders alike.

The best way to cook this dessert is to keep in roasted Semolina handy. That is if you like the dish and want to keep making it in winter months the best way would be to store some dry roasted Semolina in an air tight container.

Ingredients for the Halwa!

  1. Suji aka Semolina of a fine variety ( smaller granules) : 1 cup
  2. Clarified butter or Ghee: 5 to 6 tbsp
  3. Bura ( in case you can’t get Bura use Normal sugar) : 1/2 cup reduce or increase as per taste.
  4. Cardamom powder: 1/2 teaspoon
  5. Saffron: A pinch
  6. Nuts : Almonds , Cashews , Kishmish
  7. Water : 1 glass

Roast the Semolina in a non-stick kadai or deep pan for 15 to 20 minutes on medium heat till it turns golden brown. Reduce the heat and add in ghee. Roast for a minute or two. Add in sugar and immediately add in water. Keep a bit away from the stove as the mix will bubble. Increase the heat to medium and keep a lookout the Halwa will start to come together. Take it off the flame when you think it’s holding its shape as you stir it around. Don’t overcook it otherwise it will become dry. If you want to serve like I did just grease a bowl with ghee and fill it up with hot Halwa. Then take a plate and keep it on top of the bowl and slowly invert the plate. Now the bowl will be on top. Tap it a few times and gently lift it up. I decorated it with fresh rose petals from my garden, some Kishmish and saffron on top. On the bottom I used Chironji that’s easily available in any supermarket. Serve it hot!