Double Chocolate Cake! Spring bake!

This recipe is my mine is simple ,easy and just perfect to welcome Spring. Go ahead and bake away.

Ingredients list:

  • All purpose flour: 2 cups
  • Baking powder : 2 tbsp
  • Baking soda: 1 tbsp
  • Cocoa: 1/2 cup
  • Super fine sugar: 2 cups
  • Dark chocolate 55% : 1/2 cup
  • Buttermilk: 1/2 cup
  • Unsalted butter: 100 gms melted
  • Eggs: 2 medium
  • Hot water: 4 tbsp
  • Coffee powder: 2 tbsp

Preheat your oven.

Beat melted butter and sugar till they double. Then add one egg at a time and beat for a few more minutes. Till it’s of frothy consistency. Sift dry ingredients.

Melt chocolate. Mix hot water and Cocoa. Add in melted chocolate and vanilla and butter milk together. Now add the butter and egg mix. Then add the buttermilk mix. Add hot water in the end. Use a spatula to fold in the batter. Stop when it all comes together. Please don’t overmix this batter or you will end up with a very dense cake. Transfer the batter into prepared 6 inch pans. Brush them with oil and dust some flour.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or till skewer comes clean. Remove the cakes from the oven when they are done. Let them cool down then wrap them in a cling wrap and keep them in the fridge. Let them rest for a night before you ice them. It’s always easy.

For the Ganache:

One cup of fresh cream and one slab of Amul dark chocolate. Break the chocolate down. Put the cream on a pan and let it come to a simmer. Remove from the heat and in chocolate to it and using a spoon keep whisking away till it melts completely. Add in 1/2 tbsp of butter to get that shine.

Add in 4 tbsp of your favourite jam. I used Blackcurrant jam in the middle of the cakes. Best way to keep the jam in the middle is to use a piping bag cut the tip and fill it up with Ganache. Use it to pipe the outlines of the cake at the bottom. Then place the jam in the middle. Cover it with cake on top and let it go back to the fridge for fifteen minutes to set. Then use an offset spatula to ice the cakes.

Decorate with strawberries and edible flowers like pansies.

Strawberry Tart!

This easy recipe requires you to make the dough in advance and then bake it the next day.

For the Crust

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

Make sure all the ingredients are cold like the butter and the milk. Mix it using a mixer and only till it comes together. Then use your hands to bring it together just enough. Don’t over knead it. Wrap it in a cling wrap and flatten it.

Next day take it out of the fridge and let it rest for 15 mins. Sprinkle some flour on the work surface and using a rolling pin flatten it to a 1 mm thickness. Grase the tart pan with olive oil lightly. Wrap it around the tart pan with removable bottom. Gently press it down with your fingers. Cut the excess dough from around the edges. Use a fork to make holes in the dough. Ensure its covering major part of your tart. Take some red beans and put them in the tart. That will ensure the tart doesn’t rise up while baking. Now bake it in a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or till it becomes golden brown. Remove it from the oven and let it cool down completely.

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup of yogurt
  • 100 gm of cream cheese
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • Vanilla essence

For the the Strawberry Compote:

  • 1 cup chopped Strawberries
  • 6 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Use a non stick pan. Add in chopped Strawberries, lemon juice and sugar and let it come to a boil. Keep stirring. And then lower the flame and let it thicken up. Remove it from the flame and strain the mix using a strainer. Do it while it’s hot and then let the Compote come down to room temperature. Put it in the fridge to thicken up some more.

To make the filling. Combine all the ingredients using an electric hand mixer. It’s easy to do it when the cream cheese is at room temperature. Use a spoon to fill the tart crust. Cut strawberries and place them in circles going from outside to inside. Then pour over the strawberry Compote over it. Tip make the tart crust and compote the day before. I usually cover the crust with a cake cover and leave it outside. I also make the compote the day before and just make the filling fresh and it’s fresh and delicious and so light. Place the tart in the fridge if you are expecting guests. Best to serve it cold.

Shortbread Cookies with Pansies

This recipe is so simple. All you need to do is make the dough a night before if you want to get that extra soft crinkle in your cookies.

Ingredients list!

  • All purpose flour: 1 1/2 cups
  • Usalted butter: 100 GM’s
  • Salt : a pinch optional
  • Vanilla essence: a few drops
  • Castor sugar: 1/2 cup

Just make sure that you have the butter out of the fridge atleast an hour before u start making these cookies. The right temperature of butter should be blood temperature. That is when you touch the butter it should be as the same temperature as your finger. It should hold its shape and yet it should be soft to touch. Mix all the ingredients using an electric hand mixer. Wrap it in a cling wrap and leave it in the fridge for the night.

Next day remove the cookie dough from the fridge and let it rest for atleast half hour . In the meantime wash the edible flowers thoroughly. And put them in between two sheets of baking paper. Use a heavy book to press them down. Throw some flour on the work station and using a rolling pin smooth out the dough into a flat disc of 1 mm thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut circles. Dab it in flour every time you cut the cookies. Line them at a distance on the parchment paper and pop them back in the fridge for atleast 15 mins. Preheat your oven to 190 degrees. Bake them for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the tray and transfer the cookies onto a cooling tray. Press the edible flowers onto the still hot cookies and sprinkle some superfine sugar on top. Let it cool down. The cookies are ready to eat. These cookies are so buttery and the scent of butter and pansies just lifts up your entire kitchen. You can bake the flowers in the cookies too but they don’t retain their original colour.

Lavender Cake with Buttercream Lavender flowers!

This is a very simple recipe and uses dried Lavender flowers. Only thing is use high quality flowers or else you will get a very soapy feel to the cake.

  • All purpose flour: 2 cups
  • Castor sugar: 2 cups
  • Milk: 1/ 2 cup but not filled to the brim
  • Lavender flowers: 2 tbsp
  • Olive oil: 1/2 cup
  • Eggs: 2 large
  • Butter melted: 2 tbsp
  • Salt: a pinch
  • Vanilla essence: a few drops
  • Baking soda: 1 tbsp
  • Baking powder: 2 tbsp
  • Food colouring: 2 tbsp orchid colour or purple colour.

Now I using food colouring is absolutely optional. I didn’t use it instead I used 4 tbsp of A. Powder but it didn’t give me a nice purple colour as I was going for instead it was very pale. And so I think of you want your cake to look pretty please go ahead with a food colour. It’s all upto you. This was an experiment and it came out tasting just the right amount of Lavender flavour. Use more than 2 tbsp and you will feel end up eating soap rather than a cake. Yes so please restrain. Now warm the milk nicely and add Lavender flowers to it. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

In the meantime get your oven ready. Preheat it to 180 degrees. Line your tin with olive oil and dust it with flour.

Start by sifting all the dry ingredients in one bowl. Add butter, olive oil and sugar to a separate bowl and mix using an electric hand mixer. Add one egg at a time and mix till incorporated. Then pour the wet mix to the dry mix. Strain the flowers and add the milk to the mix. Use a spatula to cut and fold . Add the colour of your choice. Stop when it comes together. Transfer it to the pan and bake it for 30 minutes at 180 degrees or till the skewer comes clean. Let it cool on the rack before icing it.

For Buttercream:

Take one cup of room temperature unsalted Butter and use a stand mixer to beat it till it becomes soft and add one cup of icing sugar one spoon at a time and beat. Add in a pinch of salt and two Tbsp of milk. Yes milk to make it more creamy with a few drops of Vanilla essence. Beat till it’s smooth. Use an offset spatula to spread it once neatly over the cake. Then use Wilton tip number 6 to pipe flowers. Use orchid colour, purple colour and blue colour to get the perfect shade.

Strawberry Cake!

This is a very simple elevated sponge cake recipe that includes strawberries. Please use fresh strawberries for this cake. No frozen ones. They will make your cake soggy.

Ingredients list:

  • All purpose flour: 2 cups
  • Butter: 1/2 cup
  • Eggs: 2
  • Vanilla: a few drops
  • Castor sugar: 2 cups
  • Baking soda: 1 tbsp
  • Baking powder: 2 tbsp
  • Strawberry halved : one mini box about a cup
  • Olive oil: 4 tbsp
  • Milk: 2 to 3 tbsp
  • Salt: a pinch

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Sift all your dry ingredients. Melt the butter and mix castor sugar in it. Then add one egg at a time and mix well. Add in vanilla essence and oil and mix for another 4 minutes. You can use a hand whisk also. I used my stand mixer for it. Grease a 9 inch removable bottom pan with olive oil and some flour. Now pour the wet ingredients into the dry one and use a spatula and fold. The mix will just come together. It won’t be runny. If you think your cake mix isn’t coming together just add one or two Tbsp of milk.

Use diced strawberries on top and bake at 180 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or till skewer comes clean. Remove from the oven after five minutes. Let it cool down on a rack. I used some Strawberries in the middle of the batter but a lot of my friends like the cake when it’s got strawberries only on the top so for them I skip that part.

Read More

Strawberry Banana Bread!

This usper easy Strawberry Banana Bread is my favourite because it takes no special skills. Just mix and bake.

Ingredients list:

  • Bananas: 3 ripe medium sized
  • All purpose flour: 2 cups
  • Castor sugar: 2 cups
  • Baking powder: 2 tbsp
  • Baking soda: 1 tbsp
  • Buttermilk: 1/2 cup
  • Olive oil: 1/2 cup
  • Strawberries diced: 1 cup + 1/4 cup
  • Chocolate Buttons: A handful
  • Salt: a pinch
  • Egg: 1
  • Vanilla essence: a few drops

Mash Bananas using a fork and mix all wet ingredients ( olive oil. vanilla and egg) to it except the buttermilk.

Sift your dry ingredients. Now add the wet ingredients to it. Add in buttermilk now and use a rubber spatula and mix using cut and fold method. Just make sure to stop when it comes together. Take a 9 inch loaf pan and grease it with oil and dust it with olive oil. Use 1/4 th of the batter and spread it using the back of the spoon. Sprinkle 1/4th cup of strawberries. Use rest of the batter. Then press down 1 cup of strawberries and chocolate buttons. You can use chocolate chips. I was out of them so I had to make do with the buttons. Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. Yes it needs to bake a bit longer because strawberries will leave their juice and make it soggy. We don’t want that. And please use fresh strawberries. Wash them in Vinegar water. Rinse with a clean kitchen cloth and then dice to remove the excess water. Also don’t use them immediately after taking them out of the fridge. Let them come down to room temperature. I usually make it right after I get them fresh from the market. Take it out of the oven in 3 minutes. Don’t let it sit for long in the oven otherwise it will become dry. Enjoy it warm.

Strawberry Carrot Muffins!

This recipe makes 5 muffins. Just the perfect breakfast recipe.

  • All purpose flour: 11/2 cups
  • Baking powder: 2 tbsp
  • Olive oil: 1/2 cup
  • Hot water: 1/4 cup
  • Carrot grated: 1/2 cup
  • Strawberries cubed: 1/2 cup
  • Chocolate buttons: a handful
  • Buttermilk: 1/4 cup
  • Milk 1/4 cup
  • Egg: 1
  • Vanilla essence: a few drops

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Get muffin liners and line your cupcake tray. Sift in all the dry ingredients. Add oil ,vanilla, egg, buttermilk and sugar and mix. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Now add milk and water slowly. Stop when the mix comes together. Use a fork for this recipe. Fill the muffin liners with half batter then add in carrots and strawberries just press them down using the back of a spoon. Lastly add in the buttons where there is space. Bake the muffins at the Highest temperature of the oven for 6 minutes. Then get the temperature down to 180 degrees. Then bake for 20 to 25 minutes or till the skewer comes clean. Take them out of the oven and eat them warm. The cake like muffins are soft and moist and delicious. They are also so easy to make. Just mix everything and bake.

Dino Birthday Cake !

I baked this cake for my son’s second birthday. The cake is a two layer Marble cake with chocolate buttercream frosting in the middle and vanilla buttercream frosting on the outside. The eggs and Dinosaurs are made with fondant.

Ingredients for the cake:

  • All purpose flour: 2 cups
  • Castor sugar: 2 cups
  • Eggs: 4 large
  • Vanilla essence: a few drops
  • Salt: a pinch
  • Butter: 1/2 cup
  • Olive oil: 1/2 cup
  • Cocoa: 4 tbsp
  • Icing sugar: 4 tbsp
  • Baking powder: 2 tbsp
  • Baking soda: 1/2 tbsp

Cream the butter and sugar together. In a separate bowl bring the eggs to a frothy consistency. Now mix the eggs and butter together and add in the oil with the help of a spatula. Sift all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour all the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a spatula to do fold and cut. Don’t overmix. Now divide the batter into two halves. In one half add cocoa and icing sugar. Now pour the white batter first then Cocoa batter. Use the back of the spoon to press it down for the swirls. Then add white batter over it and press it down repeat the same process till all the batter is finished. I used two 6 inch pans. Fill only till half.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. Take it out and wrap them in cling wrap and put them in the fridge for 30 minutes. I baked this cake in the morning and decorated it by lunch time. It gave me enough time to make my Buttercream till the cakes were getting cooled down.

For the Buttercream:

  • Unsalted butter: 2 cups
  • Cocoa: 1/2 cup
  • Icing sugar: 1/2 cup
  • Milk : 4 tbsp
  • Vanilla essence: 2 tbsp

Whip the butter using a hand mixer or a stand mixer. I used my stand mixer for this. Whip it till it becomes super soft and creamy. Add in sugar and whip some more. Now add in vanilla essence and milk. Yes milk will give it just some more creamy consistency. It is truly a magic ingredient. Now take one cup of this buttercream and add in Cocoa. We will use it in the middle of the two layers of the cake.

Remove the cakes from the fridge and using a pastry brush take a half a cup of water and add in two tbsp of sugar. Use it to brush the cakes. It will keep them moist under the layers of buttercream frosting when it goes back in the fridge.

Use an offset spatula to ice your cake. For the fondant dinosaur I just watched a few videos on youtube and made it.

Nutella Chocolate Cupcakes

If you are a Nutella fan than these cupcakes are definitely worth the effort. Make sure that Nutella jar is at room temperature.

Ingredients list:

  • All purpose flour: 2 cups
  • Castor sugar: 2 cups
  • Nutella: 1 cup
  • Cocoa: 4 tbsp
  • Butter Milk: 1/2 cup
  • Olive oil: 1/2 cup
  • Eggs: 3 large ones
  • Baking powder: 2 tbsp
  • Baking soda: 1/4 tbsp
  • Salt: a pinch
  • Vanilla essence: a few drops

Mix oil and Nutella so that it becomes silky smooth and easy to pour into the batter. Beat eggs with a fork and add in castor sugar and beat a few minutes more. You can use a hand whisk for this. Sift in the dry ingredients. Now add in all the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula here. Then pour them in the cupcake tray lined with liners. Fill half of the cupcake liners. Bake at 180 degrees in a preheated oven for 20 minutes or till the skewer comes clean. Let them cool down completely before icing.

For icing you will need :

  • Nutella: 1/2 cup
  • Unsalted butter: 1/2 cup
  • Salt: a pinch
  • Icing sugar: 4 tbsp

Whip up the butter till it becomes frothy then add sugar and Nutella and the salt. Whip it for another few minutes till it becomes more smooth.

Use a Wilton 2 D tip for piping. Cut strawberries into thin slices and then add them on the top. Trick is to put the iced cupcakes in the fridge for the buttercream to set.

Walnut Coffee Cake!

This cake if baked without any oil can be used in a form of custard Christmas pudding the recipe of which I have uploaded earlier. The picture is of the cake baked without oil and yet it’s so fluffy and the reason for that is eggs. Beat your eggs to incorporate a lot of air.

Ingredients list:

  • All purpose flour: 2 cups
  • Castor sugar: 2 cups
  • Salt: a pinch
  • Eggs: 4 large
  • Baking powder: 2 tbsp
  • Baking soda: 1 tbsp
  • Vanilla: 2 tbsp
  • Walnuts: 1 cup chopped
  • Coffee: 2 tbsp
  • Hot water: 1/2 cup
  • Olive oil: 2/3 cup
  • Butter: 6 tbsp
  • Chocolate chips: a handful

Whip up eggs by using a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Start with medium speed and increase it to 10 the highest and whip the eggs till they double in size. Add in sugar and beat for another 3 minutes. Should take about 8 minutes for them to turn white and fluffy. Sift all the dry ingredients. Put 2 tbsp of instant coffee powder into hot water and stir. Keep it aside. Add the egg mix to the flour and fold. Add in olive oil and melted butter that’s at room temperature. Use a spatula to fold. In the end add in coffee water. Make sure it’s at room temperature now. Mix and fold till it’s incorporated. Stop when it’s done. Line a 9 inch removable bottom pan with oil and flour. Pour half the batter in it. Sprinkle half walnuts into it then pour the rest of the batter in it and sprinkle the rest of the walnuts and in the end just take a handful of chocolate chips and sprinkle them where there is space left. Bake it in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes or when the skewer comes clean. Remove it from the oven after 5 minutes if baking with oil and butter or immediately if it’s a Biscotti cake.

For the Christmas Pudding recipe that’s exactly like a bread pudding except it uses this Biscotti cake go to my previous blog Post.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Now this recipe was an experiment that came out well. I am planning on making these again but maybe tweak the recipe a bit more. Please use a good quality almond flour otherwise your cookies will taste raw and bitter.

Ingredients list:

  • Almond flour: 1/2 cup
  • Coconut Flour: 1 cup
  • Chickpea Flour: 1/2 cup but medium roasted.
  • Brown Sugar: 11/2 cups
  • Honey: 1/2 cup
  • Eggs: 2 large
  • Butter: 1/2 cup
  • Ghee or clarified butter: 1/2 cup
  • Salt : 1/2 tbsp
  • Ajwain : 1 tbsp

Sift the flours into a big mixing bowl. Now add in the rest of the ingredients. Use your palms to make balls and store them on parchment paper on tray. I put them in the fridge overt and then baked them the next day but you can bake them the same day just keep the cookie dough for atleast 2 hours in the fridge before baking. Use a spoon to flatten them a little and add Chocolate buttons and some granulated sugar to give that crunchy effect. Bake them in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 11 to 12 minutes or till golden brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and also from the parchment paper otherwise they will become hard. Put them on a cooling rack and then store them in an airtight container.

These cookies are super soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside.

Hot Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache!

Can you imagine hot chocolate in a cake? Well I did and then I went about baking it. I had some hot chocolate lying around that I had made the previous day so I decided to have it in a cake.

Now you can see on of my previous posts on hot chocolate for the recipe.

Ingredients list:

  • All purpose flour: 2.5 cups
  • Castor sugar: 2 cups
  • Eggs: 3 large
  • Hot Chocolate: 1cups
  • Cream cheese: 1 packet of Amul Cream Cheese
  • Icing sugar to mix in cream cheese: 6 tbsp
  • Olive oil: 2/3 cups
  • Butter: 6 tbsp
  • Baking powder: 2 tbsp
  • Baking soda: 1 tbsp

Grease a Bundt pan with olive oil and dust it with flour. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

Beat eggs for 5 minutes at full speed using a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Till it doubles. Add in sugar and beat for 3 minutes till it becomes soft and doubles. Sift flour, baking powder and soda with a pinch of salt. Add the egg mix into the flour then add hot chocolate olive oil and butter. Mix only till combined with a spatula. Mix room temperature cream cheese with icing sugar using a fork and keep aside.

Pour half cake mix and then add the Cream Cheese in the middle and spread it using he back of the spoon. Pour the other half of the batter and bake it for 45 to 55 minutes or till the skewer comes clean. Take it out and let it cool down completely before you demould it. Take a Butter knife and use it gently to pull the sides of the cake aside. Then turn it on a plate and let it rest after tapping it a few times. Come back after ten minutes and lift the pan gently and the cake would just slide out. Cover it in a cling wrap and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes before icing it. Because at this stage it’s too soft.

For the Chocolate Ganache:

I used normal Cadbury dairy milk chocolate with 6 tbsp of fresh Amul cream over a pan. Let the cream come to a simmer and not a boil then add in the chocolate and mix. You can add one tbsp of butter for extra shine. Cover your cake in Ganache using an offset spatula and cover it with fresh berries. Sprinkle some icing sugar over the berries to get the complete look.

Orange Bundt Cake!

This is my recipe for a moist melt in your mouth cake that’s got the best of the Orange season. Ensure that you are using unsalted melted butter that’s at room temperature. And all your ingredients are also at room temperature. Preheat your oven as soon as you have assembled all your ingredients. Firstly prepare your pan. Use a pastry brush and olive oil to grease it and then dust it with flour.

  • Wheat flour: 1 cup
  • All purpose flour: 11/2 cups
  • Sugar: 2 cups
  • Banana: 1 ripe
  • Eggs: 3 large
  • Baking powder: 2 tbsp
  • Baking Soda: 1 tbsp
  • Milk: 1/2 cup
  • Olive oil: 1/2 cup
  • Butter: 1/2 cup unsalted
  • Vanilla essence: 1 tbsp
  • Fresh Orange Juice: 1 large orange
  • Lemon: juice if 1 lemon

Preheat your oven at 180 degrees. Mash Banana and keep aside. Whisk all the dry ingredients. Beat the eggs in a stand mixer or with an electric hand beater for 3 minutes at full speed. Add in sugar and beat for 5 more minutes till it doubles in size and becomes a thick mixture. Use a fine sieve to seperate the pulp from the orange juice. Add in lemon juice to this and pour it over your mashed banana and mix. Add in oil and vanilla to it. Use melted room temperature butter here and add in to this mix. Use a spatula to fold in the egg and sugar mixture into the dry ingredients. Finally add in the wet orange Banana mix to the batter. Always use big strokes of the spatula to fold in and stop when it’s fully incorporated or mixed. Please don’t keep working the batter. That will give you a very hard cake. Bake at 180 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes depending upon the temperature of your oven. Remove after 3 mins. Let it cool on a wire rack. Dust it with icing sugar using a seive. Decorate it with fresh orange slices and Chocolate covered Cranberries.

Hot Chocolate!

Okay this is my go to Recipe for hot chocolate all the time. It’s so simple and easy to prepare. Ofcourse I will list the ingredients especially the chocolates that I use in it for that extra thick richness and that perfect balance between sweet and dark cocoa. Now in no way I am getting paid to promote these products. I just found out that if I use these chocolates in just the right quantities then it will yield me that perfect Hot Chocolate.

Now this recipe yields about 2 cups of cocoa. What to do someone is always there to help me with it at home. I mean you can reduce down the ingredients if you want.

For the recipe:

  • Milk 1 1/2 cup: I use Amul toned milk
  • Cream 1/2 cup : Amul cream
  • Sugar: 2 tbsp
  • Cocoa : 1/2 cup Hershey’s Dark Cocoa
  • Morde Chocolate: 1/2 cup
  • Amul Dark Chocolate: 1/2 cup 90% cocoa.
  • Marshmallows: 3 for each cup. I don’t use a torch to burn them. I am not a fan of it.

Use a good pan for this recipe. Now take one cup of milk and half a cup of Cream and bring it to a simmer on low heat. Add in Cocoa at this stage and also finely chopped Chocolate half cup of Morde and Half cup of Amul Chocolate. Use a whisk to stir it. Add in sugar and the half cup of milk we will use to add in the end so as to ensure the consistency remains a bit liquidy and yet a bit thick. Now cover the pan and let it cook for a few minutes till it looks thick. You can also use one tbsp of Cornflour in this if you want to thicken it more. Just mix only 1 tbsp of Cornflour to the half cup milk you were adding in last. That will thicken the hot chocolate. I don’t use it but some of my friends love a thicker hot chocolate so I usually add in for them.

Take a cup and pour it till the top once done. Add in Marshmallows and you can always use Hershey’s sauce to top it up if you want. More chocolate will not harm anyone right! Enjoy it hot.

Christmas Cake Bread Pudding!

Now this is a bit complex recipe. Reason you will be substituting cake with bread so you need to bake this cake first. Don’t worry it’s a simple cake recipe and you will bake it within an hour.

For the Walnut Coffee Cake!

  • All purpose flour: 2 cups
  • Castor sugar: 2 cups
  • Salt: a pinch
  • Eggs: 4 large
  • Baking powder: 2 tbsp
  • Baking soda: 1 tbsp
  • Vanilla: 2 tbsp
  • Walnuts: 1 cup chopped
  • Coffee: 2 tbsp
  • Hot water: 1/2 cup
  • Chocolate chips: 1/2 cup

You will need an electric hand beater or a stand mixer for this. I used my kitchen aid stand mixer. Beat the eggs on high speed. Till it doubles, takes about five minutes. Then add sugar and beat for another 4 minutes. Till it becomes double in size and looks a glossy White mix. Put the coffee in the hot water and mix. Use instant coffee powder. Let it come to room temperature.

Sift your dry ingredients. Fold in the egg mix and coffee water into the dry mix and use a spatula. Do this gently and never overmix. Pour the mixture in a 9 inch springform pan that’s oiled and dusted with flour. Use half the batter. The sprinkle with half walnuts. Then pour half the batter and sprinkle half walnuts and Chocolate chips on top. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove after 3 mins. Let it cool down.

PUDDING RECIPE!

Cut your cake by cutting in large triangles. Then cut down the triangles into rectangles. Okay don’t be confused. Just cut the way you want to. Put the pieces into a deep dish. Prepare your custard now.

  • Milk toned: 1 cup
  • Cream: 1 cup
  • Icing sugar: 1 cup
  • Cinnamon: 1 tbsp
  • Butter: 1/4 cup
  • Raisins: 1/2 cup
  • Egg: 1
  • Honey: 4 tbsp

Whisk the egg and sugar together. Put milk and cream in a non stick pan and let it come to simmer. Just above blood temperature but do not let it come to a boil. Pour the milk and cream mix over the egg and sugar and whisk well till combined. Add in Cinnamon and whisk. Pour the mix over the cake and add in Raisins. Let it sit for half an hour so the cake gets completely soaked into it. Don’t skip this step. Melt the butter and pour it over the cake. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. Take it out and pour honey over it. Decorate it with a spoon of fresh cream and Pomegranates. Serve it hot with tea.

Tiramisu Chocolate Smoothie

Such a gorgeous dessert that takes only a few minutes to whip up and it’s absolutely healthy.

There is no better way to keep fit and still have a go at a dessert than this Tiramisu Smoothie. It has no added sugar just the richness of Bananas and unsweetened Cocoa. You will need to freeze 3 Bananas a day before. Slice them and keep them in a ziplock bag.

For the Recipe:

  • Frozen Bananas: 3
  • Cocoa: 2 tbsp
  • Marie Biscuits: 2
  • 90% Dark Chocolate: 1/4 cup
  • Musk Melon Seeds: 1 Tbsp
  • Chocolate covered Cranberries: 5
  • Cocoa powder: Unsweetened Cocoa powder
  • Half a slice of Orange

Defrost the Bananas and blend with Cocoa powder and dark chocolate. Take a glass and put Marie Biscuits in it by breaking them in half. Pour in the smoothie. Garnish it with chopped dark chocolate and Musk Melon Seeds. Have fresh.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache!

This recipe was originally done by Nita Mehta. Her book is amazing for beginners and even though I learnt a lot from her book I still go back to her recipes again and again. I did tweak the recipe and the result was a super soft and moist cake.

Ingredients list:

  1. All purpose flour: 1 1/2 cups
  2. Cocoa: 1/2 cup use dark unsweetened Cocoa by Hershey’s. It’s the best one in the market in India.
  3. Olive oil: 3/4 cup
  4. Baking soda: 1 tbsp
  5. Baking powder: 2 tbsp
  6. Castor sugar: 1 1/2 cups
  7. Yogurt: 1/2 cup
  8. Eggs: 3 large
  9. Vanilla extract: a few drops

Now the previous recipe was using refined oil. I am not a fan of refined oil. I love baking with olive oil. It gives you super rich moist cakes. Plus it didn’t have yogurt. Add this secret ingredient to your cakes to get them so moist. And it was beating eggs over doubler boiler. That is a very tedious process.

So this book is 20 years old and I think I just wanted to upgrade the recipe.

Beat the eggs with an electric hand beater for two to three minutes till it becomes light and fluffy. Then add in sugar one tbsp at a time and beat for another 3 minutes. Next sift your dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the oil and yogurt and vanilla extract to the egg mix and just fold in once or twice. Fold in your dry ingredients in this batter. Don’t overdo the batter. Just fold in with a spatula till it comes together and then stop. Pour it in prepared aluminium 6 inch tins that have been greased with oil and dusted with flour. I always use a scale to divide my batter. This way the layers are equal and I also use wet cake strips on the outside for even baking. Trust me you will stop using a knife to cut your cakes once you start using them. Just buy them online on Amazon. Soak them for good ten minutes before and then squeeze them and put them over the cake tins.

Bake the cake at 180 degrees in a preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or till the sides start to come unhinged from the tins. It’s the best way to know your cake is done when the sides start leaving the tin and there is a gap. Insert a toothpick and if it comes clean remove the cake from the oven. Too many people keep their cakes in for ten to fifteen minutes in the oven. What happens is it makes your cake that’s already cooked to perfection go dry. Let it cool down before you start icing it.

For the Chocolate Ganache!

I use only two ingredients for this quick and easy recipe.

  1. Amul plain chocolate: not silk or any flavour. Just plain one that costs 100 ruppes. Two of these chocolates.
  2. Amul fresh cream: Two mid sized cream bottles. Just use a scissor to cut the top then scoop out the fresh cream leaving the whey or water at the bottom.

Put the cream on a non stick pan and let it come to a simmer. Add in cubed chocolate chunks and after a minute remove from heat and stir. Let the chocolate melt down completely. Use a pallet knife to spread it in even layer as you stack your cakes. Then using the same knife add the layer on the sides and top. Just use a zig Zag motion of your hand to draw that pattern on the cake. Let it sit in the fridge before serving. Don’t want that Ganache to melt away.

Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping!

This is my version of the Streusel topping muffins that have a crunchy top and a soft melt in your mouth muffin underneath.

You can use fresh Blueberries or Frozen ones. Difference is that Frozen Blueberries dovakin’t bleed. Make sure to roll your Blueberries in flour before adding them. This way they will not sink to the bottom of the muffin.

Ingredients list:

  1. All purpose flour: 1 cup
  2. Baking powder: 2 tbsp
  3. Blueberries fresh: 2/3 cups
  4. Yogurt: 1/2 cup
  5. Olive oil: 1/2 cup
  6. Sugar: 1 cup
  7. Egg: 1 large
  8. Lemon juice: 1 tbsp
  9. Salt: a pinch

For Streusel Topping:

  1. Unsalted butter: 1/2 cup cold and cubed
  2. All purpose flour: 1/2 cup
  3. Granulated sugar: 4 tbsp
  4. Cinnamon powder: just a pinch

Now this will yield 6 large muffins. Make sure to use Muffin liners. They allow for muffins to grow in size. Cupcake liners are also good but you need Muffin for the topping.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Line your cupcake tray with muffin liners. Now remember to use cold butter for the topping. As we are going to make that first. Cut and cube your butter into a bowl and add in all the dry ingredients. Rub it in with your fingers and till it looks like a crumb mixture. Don’t worry about the butter not being mixed well. It will give you that extra crunchy flavour on top. Let this mix go back into the fridge and move on to making the muffin batter. It’s a very simple process.

The only thing you need to remember is never overmix your Muffin batter. Too much mixing will result in gluten formation. That will end up making your muffins super hard. For the wet ingredients make sure all are at room temperature.

Mix egg, sugar and yogurt and oil. I always use granulated sugar for muffins. It makes them super soft. Sift in your flour and baking powder. Add in dry ingredients to the wet ones and the lemon juice in last. Take a spatula and fold in the batter till it starts coming together. Stop midway. Add in blueberries at this stage. Leave a few roughly about six for last. So you may need only two or three strokes to bring the batter together. Stop when it’s mixed. Take an ice-cream scoop and put one scoop each in the muffin liners. Then press rest of the Blueberries on top of each muffin and finally add in the topping that’s resting in your fridge. Just one teaspoon enough to cover the muffins. Let them bake at 180 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes. Or when the toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove them immediately from the oven. So they remain soft. Dust them with powdered sugar and have them hot.

Plum Pie with Nuts!

This pie took ages for me to attempt simply because I had never made a braided pie before. And let me tell you it took me three attempts to get those braids right every time.

Now if you have read my previous recipes you already know how to make a pie dough. If not then I will write a basic recipe only on making a pie dough.

For the braids ensure your dough is very cold. Best to cut your dough into two parts when you put it in the fridge. If your dough is coming apart put it back for half an hour and then attempt the braids. For making braids it’s simple cut three equal strings of pie and then press them with cold water on the top and heb go one over the other and then the third lace comes over both. Now cutting flowers was easy you get these cutters on Amazon and they are pretty cheap. Just press and remove the flower from a circular pie dough that’s 1mm thick.

For the compote.

Cut five big plums and use 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar and 1 tbsp cornstarch and let them simmer on low heat on a saucepan. Once it comes to jam like consistency remove it from heat. Let it come down to room temperature. Take one half of the dough and flour the working surface and your rolling pin then press it into a 1 mm thickness. Use a scale for even baking. Make sure the dough is still cold and then put it over the tart tray with removable bottom. Press it down gently let it come out over the sides. Take a knife and cut the excess dough on the sides. Then fill it with compote and add in nuts of your choice. Now you can use roasted Nuts for extra flavour. I used pre packaged roasted nuts to get an extra crunchy flavour. Then use the other half of the dough to cover the top. Put flowers in last using cold water. Take a pastry brush and brush the top with egg wash make sure that the egg wash doesn’t go into the pie filling. Sprinkle some granulated sugar for extra crunch. Bake for 25 minutes with alluminium foil covering your pie.

Yes big news! Many recipes out there don’t tell you this. And what happens is you get a half baked pie with the bottom part of the pie being soggy and top part too brown. I learnt it the hard way. Now you can thank me later for letting you in on the secret most pastry chef use to get that extra crunchy bottom and even baked pies.

Bake the pie for 45 to 55 minutes in a preheated oven at 180 degrees. Turn the heat down when you remove the foil after 25 minutes to 150. That is the magic number. The slow heat will make sure that your pie is baked through without getting the top part burnt beyond saving.

Serve it hot.

Important point to note: please find your oven temperature. Always remember that no oven gives the same temperature as the manual says. It’s always 10 degrees higher or lower. Buy an oven thermometer to find out. My oven is on the lower side so 190 degrees actually gives me 180 degrees of baking. Now you can understand why your cakes and pies are not getting baked properly.

Double chocolate cake!

What happens when you bake in a new kitchen! You end up baking a cake without butter. That’s what happened here and yet the cake was super moist and fluffy as you can see from the pictures. Secret to that I suppose was use of milk and oil.

Try baking this double chocolate cake and see for yourself.

Ingredients list:

  1. All purpose flour: 2 cups
  2. Castor Sugar: 2 cups
  3. Salt: pinch
  4. Baking powder: 2 tbsp
  5. Baking soda: 1 tbsp
  6. Cocoa: 1/2 cup
  7. Dark chocolate bark: 80 gms
  8. Olive oil: 4 tbsp
  9. Milk: 4 tbsp
  10. Eggs: 4 large
  11. Vanilla: 1/2 tsp

Beat eggs with an electric beater or as I did in a stand mixer for five minutes. Yes that long because we will be getting all that air into the cake to make it rise and be fluffy. Then add in sugar and beat for another 3 minutes till it doubles in size.

Melt the chocolate in microwave for ten seconds bursts. Then add in oil and milk to eggs and sugar mix. At this step make sure you use a spatula and fold only twice. That way we don’t want to deflate the mix. Add a few drops of Vanilla and mix dry and wet ingredients. Add in dark chocolate at this stage. The batter will be thick but it will form a single ribbon. Pour it into two 6 inch pans. I used one cake for shoot and the other was gone in a matter of minutes. Bake it at 180 degrees for 30 minutes to 40 minutes in a preheated oven. Remove from the oven in three minutes. Let it cool down before dusting it with Cocoa and powdered sugar.

Chocolate Brownie!

This brownie recipe will give you that crackling top and soft chewy inside. That’s what a perfect brownie is for me.

The recipe requires these ingredients that are easily available in your pantry.

  1. All purpose flour:1 cup
  2. Cocoa: 1 cup dark
  3. Castor sugar: 2 cups
  4. Oil : 3/4 cup
  5. Eggs : 4 large
  6. Baking soda: 1/2 tbsp
  7. Baking powder : 3 tbsp
  8. Vanilla essence: 1 tbsp
  9. Coffee: 1 tbsp

Preheat your oven.

Just beat the eggs first for two minutes till it doubles in size. Then beat in sugar for three minutes. Add in Vanilla and oil and beat for a minute.

Sift all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk once using a spatula. Please don’t overdo the batter. Add in all the wet ingredients to the dry mix and bake at 180 degrees for 35 minutes or till the skewer comes clean. Serve it hot with milk.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting!

I think this is my favourite Pumpkin Cake. Okay not to brag but the recipe worked and it came out amazing in the first go. That said if you follow my instructions to the tee which are fairly simple; you will be in demand to bake this cake again.

Ingredients list:

  1. All purpose flour: 2 cups
  2. Buttermilk :1/2 cup
  3. Sugar: 2 cups
  4. Butter Unsalted : 1/2 cup
  5. Eggs: 3
  6. Baking powder: 2 tbsp
  7. Baking soda: 1 tbsp
  8. Cinnamon powder: 1 tbsp
  9. Olive oil: 2 tbsp

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Grease your Bundt Pan with olive oil and dust it with flour. Keep it aside.

Use room temperature butter. Beat it with electric hand mixer for two minutes then add in sifted sugar one cup at a time and beat for five whole minutes. That’s very important. Add in buttermilk and mix once and leave it aside.

Make this puree in advance. For Pumpkin Puree take half kg pumpkin and cut and slice it into small pieces removing the outer and inner layers. Put them in a non-stick pan add in 1/4 cup of water if they are too dry and cook them on medium heat for five to eight minutes till they start to soften up but are still holding their shape. Take them off the heat and let them come down to room temperature. Blend them till they are mushy. Make sure that there is no water remaining before you blend them.

Crack your eggs in a separate bowl and beat them till they are fluffy.

Now sift in flour baking soda and baking powder along with cinnamon powder in a seperate bowl. Add in the buttermilk mix and combine. Add in the eggs and then the pumpkin puree and gently fold it in with a spatula till the mix comes together. Don’t overdo the mixing stop when the ingredients are well combined. Pour it into your Bundt Pan and bake it for 35 minutes or till the skewer comes clean. Don’t keep it in the oven for more than 3 minutes or else the cake will become dry. Let the cake cool down before demoulding it.

For Cream Cheese Frosting. Just use half a cup of Cream Cheese and 4 tablespoons of yogurt. Make sure that they are at room temperature. Mix in 4 tablespoons of powdered sugar. If you want more sweetness just add according to taste. Just use a hand whisk and whisk it to a paste.

Use a spoon and drop it from top.

For the Halloween decorations I used Cadbury silk Dairy milk and next time maybe I will use baking chocolate. This was lying in my fridge so I went with it. Use a butter paper and draw bats and spiders. I used free hand drawing. You can totally trace on the paper. Melt the chocolate using double boiler method. This way it will stay melted for long. Then use a piping bag and make a very small cut and trace with chocolate from the outside and fill in the middle. Make sure to put the paper over a tray so you can transfer the tray into the freezer for half hour for them to set. Use gloves while transferring chocolate decorations. Sprinkle some MnMs and your cake is done.

Red Currant Cake with Almonds!

This summer I got a whole bunch of Red Currants and froze them for later use. I mean if you are in India it’s not easy to get them in big quantities here since it’s not a local berry. But I love them. I did use them for my morning toasts and what was left I decided to bake a cake. This cake is again one of my experiments. I can’t wait for you guys to bake it. Do let me know how it turned out. Send me your picture and I will showcase it on my Instagram account.

I used a bit of ingredients here but they are all readily available in your fridge.

  1. Eggs: 4 large ones
  2. Butter: 2/3 cup
  3. Clarified Butter (Ghee) :4 tbsp
  4. Buttermilk: 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp
  5. Castor sugar: 1 cup
  6. Milkmaid: 1/2 cup
  7. All purpose flour: 2 1/2 cups
  8. Baking powder: 2 tbsp
  9. Baking soda: 1/2 tbsp
  10. Lemon juice: 1 lemon small
  11. Almonds: 1 cup chopped
  12. Red Currants: 1 cup
  13. Flour: 1 tbsp for dusting

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Prepare a 9 inch springform pan by oiling it and dusting it with flour.

Beat butter and Ghee together for five minutes till smooth and add in sugar. Beat for another three minutes. Add in one egg a time and beat.

For fresh buttermilk take one cup of milk add in one tbsp of vinegar and let it sit for five minutes to curdle. I added milkmaid to the milk before adding in vinegar. It was only because at the last minute I decided to add in milkmaid and it was cold. But that made no difference at all. You can add in later.

Sift in all the dry ingredients and add in egg ad butter mix. Don’t over beat just take a hand whisk and fold in. Keep half cup of flour aside.

Then add in buttermilk and fold in gently. No you can add the last bit of flour. The batter will not be runny but will form ribbons. Pour only 1/4 th of it in the pan. Sprinkle a handful of red Currants over it. Then pour some more of the batter to cover them. Add in chopped almonds on top.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 180 degrees. Take it out of the oven in five minutes. Don’t keep it too long in the oven once it’s done that will make the cake dry. Dust some powdered sugar.

Garnish it with fresh red Currants and enjoy with your tea and coffee.

Cherry Cheesecake

This no bake Cheesecake is my favourite so far. I love how the Cherries tasted against the soft creamy layers. And that crisp base takes it to another level. Trick to get your biscuits base that high and stay that way is very simple. We will learn that along the way now.

For the the ingredients you will need

  1. Cream Cheese: 1 box
  2. Whipping cream: 100 gm
  3. Cherries : 100 gm roughly
  4. Castor sugar : 2 tbsp
  5. Lemon juice : 1 tbsp
  6. Marie Biscuits: 2 packets
  7. Water: 1/4 cup
  8. Butter: unsalted 1/4 cup

First thing you need is to remove the seeds from the Cherries. Then place them in a pan and add in Castor sugar and lemon juice and water. Let them come to a boil. Once the cherries become soft to touch remove them from the heat and keep the pan aside. Important note never blend the cherries at this stage. They will loose all that beautiful red colour and become a murky brown.

In a 6 inch springform pan rub some butter and keep aside. Crush Marie Biscuits in a blender add in the butter when they are in powder form and blend once more so that the butter is mixed properly. Make sure the butter is melted at this stage. Use the end of a glass to press the Biscuits into an even form along the base and on the sides. Now to help maintain the sides stay on top you need to bake it for ten minutes in a preheated oven at 120 degrees.

For the cheesecake filling!

Mix cream cheese and whipping cream and castor sugar together with a spatula. Don’t overmix, we don’t want to let the air out.

Now use half of the mix into the pan and add half of the cherry compote. Then use the rest of the cream cheese mix and add the rest of the cherry compote over the top. Let it sit in the fridge overnight for it to set. Demould it the next day using a hot towel around the springform pan and open it and serve it with the juices from the compote that was left behind. This is totally optional. In case you wanted to keep some of that juice aside while making the compote.

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!

Chocolate Brownie Cake with Peaches!

Oh this happens to be the best combination ever. Those Peaches in the end give it such a refreshing punch. Don’t believe me than go ahead and make this cake.

  1. All purpose flour :1 1/2 cups
  2. Sugar: brown 1/2 cup white 1 cup
  3. Peaches: 5 big ones cut into thin slices
  4. Baking powder: 1 tbsp
  5. Salt : pinch
  6. Butter:1/2 cup
  7. Olive oil:4 tbsp
  8. Eggs:3
  9. Vanilla extract: 2 tbsp
  10. Cocoa: 1/2 cup
  11. 4 tbsp warm milk

Sift the dry ingredients together. Mix butter,oil and sugar. Don’t overbeat. We don’t want too much air in the batter. Add in one egg at a time and just beat till smooth. Add in flour and use a spatula to fold in the batter. Add in milk. You can add more milk if your batter is not smooth,but ensure the batter is thick. Take a parchment paper and line the baking pan use a sheet pan for this. Place the Peaches in a line. Pour the batter over the peaches. It wont be much so spread it using a spatula.Bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. Don’t leave it in the oven for more than five minutes. Serve it with dollops of Vanilla ice cream. I used Amul Vanilla ice cream.

Snickers Chocolate Cake!

This is the most moist and decadent chocolate cake with rich American buttercream frosting.

For the cake you will need:

  1. All purpose flour: 2 cups
  2. Baking powder: 1 1/2 tbsp
  3. Baking soda: 1/2 tsp
  4. Olive oil: 2 tbsp
  5. Butter: 1/2 cup
  6. Eggs: 4 large
  7. Cocoa: 1/2 cup
  8. Salt: pinch
  9. Buttermilk: 1 cup
  10. Castor sugar: 2 cups

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

Beat eggs first then add in sugar one spoon at a time beat for three to five minutes till the sugar is incorporated. Add in butter and oil to the mix and beat. Add in Vanilla and beat for thirty seconds. Sift the dry ingredients. Now gently pour in the wet ingredients and fold using a whisk. Add on buttermilk slowly. Don’t put the whole batch at a time. Some of it will be left in the end. Just add till the ribbons form in the batter. How to tell that take your whisk over the mixing bowl and if your batter is falling smoothly back into the bowl in a ribbon shape then it’s done.

Pour the batter into the greased pans. I used two six inch pans. Bake for 35 minutes or till the skewer comes clean. Let it stay in the oven for five minutes then remove it. Put it in the fridge overnight when they cool down . Take a serrated knife and cut through the cakes to form equal layers.

For the American buttercream:

It requires equal parts butter and icing sugar. So I used 400 gms of butter and 400 gms of icing sugar. Yes that’s a bit much but you need it to cover a three layer cake. With half a cup of Cocoa. Beat in butter that’s at room temperature but still holds its shape add in sugar one at a time. The lastly add Cocoa. Take a piping bag with Wilton tip 2 D to pipe the cake.

For Caramel Sauce!

Take one cup of sugar. Half a cup of cream and 1 tbsp of salted butter. Put the cup of sugar in a pan. Add just enough water to cover it. Put it on stove to cook at low heat. Once all the sugar has dissolved add in half a lime. It will start to bubble up and as soon as it turns honey colour remove it from the stove. Add in butter and cream and whisk an transfer it immediately to a new bowl. This way your caramel won’t crystallise. Let it come to room temperature before you use it on the cake.

For Ganache. Take 50 gms of semi sweet chocolate and one tbsp of salted butter and melt it in microwave for 10 second bursts. Add in 2 tbsp of warm milk in the end to make it smooth. Pour it over the cocoa sticks.

Put layers of buttercream on top o the first cake layer. Then take atleast five Snickers and cut them down. Distribute them over the cake equally. Put the second layer of cake and repeat. The last layer of cake add in buttercream on top and start working it downwards. Smooth out the sides with additional buttercream. Take Waffy Cocoa sticks and put them on the buttercream frosting. They will stick to the fresh buttercream. Now make ribbons using tip 2 D on the top. Just on the sides. And a huge blob in the middle. Put 3 mini Snickers cut into pieces in the centre. Take roasted peanuts and sprinkle them in the middle of between the Snickers and the frosting.

Take a spoon and spread the chocolate ganache over the cocoa sticks. Add caramel sauce over the peanuts and your cake is ready.

Peach Galette!

I made this when the Peaches were in abundance in Himachal. I had neighbours gifting me peaches that were so juicy and soft. However the local variant of Peaches here are a bit on the tangy side so we will need to sweeten them a bit.I had made the crust for a Cherry Pie and some of it was left that I used here in the Galette. Just took out the remaining dough from the fridge unlocked the Ziploc bag and let it come down to room temperature.I will post the recipe for pie dough seperately so that you can make perfect pies everytime and use it for Galette and hand pies too. The recipe is the same. It’s super simple to make.One thing I did was use cubes of cold butter in my pie dough. So when I rolled out the dough I could see those beautiful butter cubes that would make the Galette super flaky.Now if your peaches are on the sweeter side add in some lemon juice to them. It makes them tangy and if they are on the tangy side you need some honey and brown sugar alongside castor sugar and it’s good to go.Take 3 large peaches. Cut them pit them and slice them into 1/2 inch slices. Take a large plate ,add in the Peaches, 1 tbsp of cornflour, 1/2 cup of castor sugar, 4 tbsp of honey, flecks of ginger only a pinch, lemon juice if the peaches are sweet. Let the mix sit for ten minutes. It’s just to get let the peaches leave their juices. Just rotate the peaches in a circle,laying one on top of other.

Some recipes ask for Vanilla essence but I think we are putting too much Vanilla in everything. Just let the peaches fragrance your kitchen for once. Now don’t throw away the juices. We will pour it over the Galette before baking.Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Roll out the dough into 1/2 inch thickness. Transfer the dough over a parchment paper and onto the baking tray. Pour over the juices and fold in the sides. Crack an egg in a bowl and use a brush over the sides and not on the top. Take some granulated sugar and sprinkle it over the Galette. Bake for 40 minutes. For the first 25 minutes bake it with alluminiam wrap over it. Remove it for the last 15 minutes. Take it out of the oven when it’s done. Transfer it to the cooling rack. Have it warm with scoops of ice cream.

Chocolate Sheet Cake with Chocolate Ganache!

Now this sheet cake was made because I had some left over liquid mix from other cake I was experimenting with.

Now I am giving you measurements here but I let me know how this cake turned out. They might be a bit off because I didn’t measure the liquid mix. But go ahead and live a little. I know baking is science but sometimes don’t we all use instincts in our cooking. And I love to do that from time to time.
🌺Eggs large: 2 can add an extra here if you want.

🌺Yogurt: 2/3 cup

🌺Butter: 1/2 cup

🌺Olive Oil: 2 tbsp

🌺Butter milk: 1 cup

🌺All purpose flour: 2 1/2 cups

🌺 Castor sugar: 2 cups

🌺Baking powder : 2 tsp
🌺Baking soda:1/2 tsp

🌺Cocoa: 1/2 cup

🌺Coffee: 1 tbsp

Now I had mixed all the liquid ingredients before. So best way to mix them is to beat the butter for five minutes. Add in sugar and beat for two more minutes. Add in eggs one at a time and beat. Pour in Vanilla extract, olive oil and buttermilk. Don’t worry if your liquid mix is curdled. It happens because you will add in vinegar to make fresh buttermilk. That’s all.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Grease 9 inch sheet pan.

Now best way to get flour out in your measuring cup is to spoon it out one tbsp a time into your cups. Beats making a dense cake right. Sift your dry ingredients together and using a spatula fold in the dry ingredients into the liquid mix using half portion at a time. Please be gentle here. Don’t overmix. Bake for 30 minutes or till the skewer comes clean.

Let it rest for five minutes in the oven then take it out. We don’t want the cake to dry.

The recipe for Ganache is in my earlier blog post. Only I added clarified butter instead of normal butter. Please note that my cake settled a bit in the middle. Only because I had baked a cake earlier and my oven temperature was very hot so the cake baked in 25 minutes and when I poked it all the air went out. Yay but still the cake came out soft.

No churn Kiwi Icecream!

What do you do when you have a whole lot of Kiwis lying in your fridge; you end up making Kiwi Icecream.

This is a quick fix recipe and I know not so healthy but sometimes all you need is a pint of ice-cream and maybe a series on Netflix to binge on.

Take One cup of sweet condensed milk and One cup of freshly whipped cream mix them together. I used five big Kiwis for this. Just blend them and using a spatula fold it into the whipping cream mix. Add 3 tablespoon of fresh cream into the mix for super soft creamy ice-cream. You can add vanilla essence to it. But I made it without any essence trust me it’s way better. Freeze it overnight with a cellophane wrap covering the top of the Icecream.

You can use dark chocolate chips to garnish the Icecream and some fresh cherries or any fresh fruit you have.

Lemon Bundt Cake!

I remember making this cake a lot some years back. At that time I used to copy the recipe from an old book of my mom’s. Now I got my new Bundt Cake pan from KitchenAid and I have been waiting for the right time to use it. Voila I had some guests coming over on the weekend and what better way to bake a Lemon cake in the new pan than now right?!So I went searching for the old recipe online and suddenly it struck me that I want to make my own recipe for the Lemon cake.This is the best cake I have baked so far and no I am not bragging. It’s just the most moist and spongy cake with enough lemon tang with sweetness. Reminds me of the Summer that’s about to end here. Staying at the foothills we are now experiencing chilly mornings with fog.Okay back to the cake now. Let’s get started!For the cake:

  1. All purpose flour: 2 cups
  2. Baking powder: 2 teaspoon
  3. Baking soda: 1/2 teaspoon
  4. Eggs whole: 4 large ones
  5. Milkmaid: 2/3 cups
  6. Yogurt plain: 2/3 cups
  7. Salt: a pinch
  8. Castor sugar: 1 1/2 cups
  9. Lemon juice: 3 small size lemons
  10. Essence: Strawberry essence a few drops! I know I was out of Vanilla but it just gave a whole new aroma. Use it and see for yourself!
  11. Butter: 1/2 cup
  12. Olive oil: 2 teaspoon and not more

Okay so you need to first prep your pan. Brush it with olive oil and dust it with flour and keep aside.Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Don’t skip this step.Use a electric hand mixer and cream butter and sugar for atleast 5 to 8 minutes. In a separate bowl sift flour, baking powder and baking soda.In a separate bowl mix Yogurt with milkmaid. Please make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. That is so important. Break your eggs in a separate bowl; makes it so easy to use. Also keep 3 lemons juice aside.Once the butter is creamed add one egg at a time and beat for a minute. Add in the Strawberry essence and the curd and milkmaid now to the butter and egg mix. Now this is the most important step. Don’t use a machine to mix the batter otherwise it will make your cake dense. Do now you know why your cakes are coming out dense. Plus if you use Yogurt and milkmaid it will give you that extra softness to the cake. Olive oil will ensure it remains soft for days.Now you need to bake this cake for 35 minutes to 40 depending on your oven. Remove the cake from oven immediately. Keeping your cake in the oven for long will dry it up.Lemon Glaze:Now this is the most simple yet most satisfying step. Take half a cup of icing sugar and add in juice of half a lemon. Add in one teaspoon of water and mix. Take a spoon and drizzle it over the cake when it cools down!

Balck Forest Cake

Now this was my first attempt at baking this cake and trust me there were some very anxious moments but in the end it all came through.

Now you need to make a cherry compote beforehand so that it cools down when you are going to put it in between the cake layers.

Now most cakes ask for using of Cherry liqueur. But if you don’t have one like me you can use the compote. Take two and half cups of cherry’s and remove the seeds. Put the pitted cherries in a non stick pan and put in two cups of sugar over low heat. Keep stirring using a wooden spatula till juices thicken up. Now put in those half cup of cherries stir for a minute and then remove from the stove. Let it cool.

For the cake:

  1. 2 cups of all purpose flour
  2. 2 cups of sugar
  3. 3/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa powder
  4. 2 tspBaking powder
  5. 1 tsp Baking soda
  6. 1 cup buttermilk
  7. 1 cup hot water
  8. 1/2 cup olive oil
  9. 2 tbsp Vanilla essence
  10. 2 eggs

For the recipe:

Sift all the dry ingredients. Preheat your oven at 180 degrees. This is the most important step.

Grease 6 inch pans and dust them with flour. Keep your cake strips in a water to wet them, that is if you are using cake strips for even baking.

In a seperate bowl mix eggs, vanilla ,oil buttermilk. Pour that hot water slowly so it doesn’t cook the eggs. This part made me literally sweat. Just beat it slowly and then pour it into the dry mix. Don’t worry the batter will be liquid. Pour it into the pans and bake for 50 minutes. That’s how long it took in my oven. Keep a lookout after 35 minutes for the cake to start leaving the sides of the pan. Don’t open the oven sooner or the cake will collapse in the middle.

I do suggest that you buy cake strips of you are baking often.

They are amazing when it comes to baking flat cake tops. No need to cut your cakes for icing.

Now for the icing: I used powdered whipped Cream since I don’t get whipping cream in cream form in Himachal. So I use Bakers Whip brand of powdered Whipped Cream. It tastes great. So go ahead if you want to use this. I kept the water ratio less for icing than the recommended one. This was on purpose to get a thick whipped cream for icing.

Now I got such fluffy cakes from two tins that I simply halved them using a serrated knife and made them into a four layers.

In each layer I did one round of Whipped Cream and on top I did one big spoon of Cherry Compote that I did earlier.

Now for the chocolate barks on the side. That is one thing even I need to perfect. I used Amul dark chocolate with 70 percent Cocoa. I melted it over a double boiler. Take a water filled pan and let the water come to a boil. Remove it from the stove. Place a smaller bowl over the pan; make sure that the bowl is not touching the water. Break the chocolate into tiny pieces and put it in the bowl. Keep stirring with a spatula till the chocolate melts. Take your baking tray and line it with butter paper. Keep it in the fridge for ten minutes before use.

Use a pallet knife and spread it over the butter paper in equal lengths. The chocolate will start to set and just fold the paper over from both ends into a log and place it in the freezer for half hour to set.

Please use gloves or else the chocolate will simply melt from your hands. Remove the barks and using some left over whipped cream paste them onto the cake.

At this stage I realised that I should have used more chocolate and made thicker barks for stability.

Use whipped cream to set the cherries on top and using a grater grate in milk chocolate over the top.

How to make a perfect Ganache every time!

I often get asked how do I get a perfect Ganache every single time. Do you want you to know the secret? It’s all about heating that cream. Yes I know right?

I have tried the microwave method and the stove method. And now I am an ardent fan of the stove. It’s faster and better. The ganache stays at a spreadable consistency.

Take one packet of Amul fresh cream. Cut it with scissors and spoon out the cream and not the liquid part onto a pan. Break one Dairy milk silk and break it into small cubes. Heat the cream on the stove till it starts to bubble on the corners. Remove from the stove immediately, we do not want to overheat the cream. Put in the chocolate cubes and taking a spatula just mix it. The chocolate will melt into the cream. You can add one or two teaspoon of butter for extra sheen. I avoid that since it makes the ganache a bit heavy.

Now let it cool down for atleast 45 minutes. If you want to store it overnight in the fridge just put a cling wrap over the Ganache and press it down gently. This way no cracks will form on the surface. Take it out of the fridge and let it come down to room temperature before using it. You can always use 50/50 ratio of cream to chocolate also. It’s the most simple yet most decadent topping for cakes.

I have put up a picture above where you can see how the cream has started to bubble at the corners. This is the perfect time to add chopped chocolate to it and remove it from the heat.

Cherry Pie 🍒

This cherry pie is rustic and so oozing with juices. All you need is lots of cherries that have been pitted. I know that was the hardest part about making this pie. But the effort was so worth it.

I made the pie crust from scratch.

For the pie crust:

🌺 This pie crust requires cold ingredients. Now what I do beforehand is cube my butter aFornd keep it back in the fridge. That way the butter is super cold and ready to make that dough super flaky. Takes about half a cup and 3 tbsp of butter.

🌺 Take 1 cup of ice cold water and 2 tbsp of white vinegar mix it and put it in th

e fridge.

🌺 Sift your flour. I used 2 cups and 2 tbsp of flour. I didn’t add any cornstarch as some recipes ask for it. You can try that also. Some people substitute vinegar with vodka. Will try it for next pie recipe.

🌺 You can use a food processor for bringing your dough together. Use your fingertips to combine butter and flour together first. Don’t need to break all the cubes. Add in cold water one tbsp a time. That way you won’t end up with a runny dough. Your dough should come to a crumbs consistency. Take a cling wrap and just press down the dough into a ball. Wrap it up and then press down with your palms and make it a square shape. Divide the dough into two parts when you are doing this. You will need two pie crusts, one for the bottom and one for the top.

🍒🍒For the cherry Pie filling:

Now the cherries I sourced were local Himachal cherries that are called raineer cherries. They are a bit tart. So I added in 2 cups of sugar.

Take 2 cups of cherries that are pitted and add in sugar according to taste in pan. Add 2 tablespoon of cornflour and bring the mix to a boil. Take it off the gas otherwise the mix will be very dry. Let it cool down.

🌺🌼How to make that pie!

🍒 Take out one portion of the dough. Let it sit for ten minutes. Too cold and the dough will crack.
Flour your surface area and roll the dough to a circular shape. Keep rotating it for even layer. Now your dough should cover your pan on the sides. So roll it evenly by bringing together the broken edges with your fingers. Don’t worry if you see big cubes of butter in the dough. They will give it such a gorgeous flaky crust.

🍒Mind not to let your dough sit out for long. We don’t want it coming to room temperature. It should feel cold to touch. The dough should be 1/4 in thickness. Now you can lift the dough with a rolling pin but I did with my hands since the dough was still cold. Make sure your pan is well greased. I used a tart tin for the ease of removing the pie. Simply put the dough over the pan and gently very gently push it in with your fingers. Let the edges remain in the outside hanging out but not touching the floor. Remove those. Those edges are essential for the top part of the crust to sit in.
🍒Now take a fork and make holes. This is to ensure that the dough doesn’t rise up. Very important step so don’t miss out on it. Let the dough sit for another ten minutes in the fridge. This to ensure that the dough is cold when it goes into the oven.

🍒Take the second portion of the dough and roll it to the same 1/4 inch thickness. Take a cutter and cut length wise into strips. Take out the dough that’s sitting in the fridge. Put the cherry filling inside it. Make sure to put a bit of juice too. Not much though. Then take two strips of the lace and put them side by side. Take one strip at 90 degress and take it under one strip and over the second one. Repeat the same with a gap. Take some water and use it to pinch the sides.

Some recipes call for putting butter in the pie filling. I didn’t but you can go ahead and let me know if its a better version of the pie.

🍒Take one large egg. Beat it and use a brush to spread it over the top part of the pie. Then take some granulated sugar and sprinkle it on top. That way it will brown so beautifully.

🌼Tip for baking the pie. Cover it with alluminiam wrap and bake for the first 30 minutes. This is to ensure the base of the pie cooks too. I found it the hard way. Not many recipes will let you in on the secret.

🌼Now I baked this pie for about an hour at 180 degrees. Slow cooking is the best. Also place your pie over a baking sheet on the tray. The juices will bubble over and spill for sure. How to know the pie is baked? When the juices start to bubble over and the pie crust is golden brown. Remove it and let it cool down for an hour and half. How to serve it hot? Just put it back in the preheated oven for a few minutes. There your cherry pie is ready.

Strawberry Cake

This three layered cake is filled with strawberry reduction in the middle. You can’t have a more strawberry cake than this.For the cake base you will need the following ingredients:🍓 3 cups of flour🍓2 cups of castor sugar🍓4 eggs🍓1/2 cup of vegetable oil🍓1/2 cup or 60gms of butter🍓 1/2 cup of buttermilk🍓2 tbsp Baking powder🍓1 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda🍓1/2 cup of strawberry puree🍓 One teaspoon of Strawberry essenceSift all the dry ingredients together. Mix butter and sugar together and beat for a minute. Add in oil and beat for another minute. Add in one egg at a time and beat till the mix doubles. Add in all the dry ingredients and fold in. No need to over beat. Add in strawberry essence and pulp and fold. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Pour the mix in your greased pans and bake for 35 minutes or till the skewer comes clean.Let the cakes come to room temperature. Take a serrated knife and cut the cake into 3 parts. Brush some sugar syrup over the cake.For the strawberry reduction. Take 2 cups of chopped strawberries and add in one cup of sugar and let them come to a boil. Wait for the excess water to evaporate. When the mix gets thick remove it from the stove and let it cool down. Spread the reduction using a spoon in each cake layer.For buttercream frosting:Take 2 cups of butter and one cup of icing sugar and cream it together. Add in one teaspoon of fresh cream for extra gloss. Make three parts of this cream. Add pink, blue and purple gel colours. Spread pink colour first then blue then purple last. Pro tip: For second layer pipe from the middle and then spread. For third layer pipe from the top and spread using a pallet knife. That way you can see all the layers. Decorate with fresh strawberries dusted with golden colour and fresh flowers.

Sticky Cinnamon Buns with Pecans!

This is the best way to start your day. Especially on a cold morning who could resist pulling apart these hot goeey buns and biting into them.

As before I have always stood by having a great active dry yeast at hand. There is simply no substitute for this.

You will need the following ingredients:

🌷One cup of lukewarm milk.

🌷2 eggs

🌷Active dry yeast 2 tbsp.

🌷1/2 cup honey

🌷 1/2 cup butter unsalted

🌷 Pinch of salt

🌷4 cups flour for dusting too

🌷1 1/2 cup brown sugar

🌷1 cup pecans

🌷1/2 cup cocoa nibs

🌷1 teaspoon Cinnamon powder

🌷 1 teaspoon of baking powder

Now I made my own caramel sauce. It’s super easy to make.

For sauce

🌼11/2 cup brown sugar

🌼1 cup water

In pan take one cup of water and add in one and half cup of brown sugar. Let it come to a boil and once it starts to stick to the sides of your spatula take it off the gas and let it cool. Should make the sauce when your dough is ready to go into the oven.

For the dough.

You need to add dry yeast to the milk and let it sit for five to eight minutes to get the yeast activated. In a bowl add in three and half cups of flour and baking powder ; make a well in the middle. Add in eggs to the milk and beat for a minute. Pour the mix into the batter and let it mix on low speed using a hook dough. Add in liquid slowly to get the mix going. Add in melted butter and salt and honey. Once the dough has left the sides. Take it out and brush a bowl with oil and put the dough in it to rise. Let it rise for five to six hours. Take it out and dust some flour on the work surface and knead the dough. Make a square disc with a thickness of an inch. Now for filling take a bowl and add in half a cup of melted butter and honey and cinnamon and microwave it for ten seconds. Spread it over the dough with a spoon. Add in Cocoa nibs and start rolling it from one end gently. Cut it using a scale into 2 inch thick discs. Use a serrated knife for cutting through. In a 6 inch cake tin spread the caramel and cover it with Pecans. Put the discs inside it. You will need two cake tins for this recipe. Let them rest for half hour to rise. Cover them with a tea towel.

In the meantime preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Use a parchment paper to line the baking tray incase the caramel bubbles over. Bake for 40 minutes or till it becomes golden brown. Neat trick, cover the buns with an aluminium foil for the first 25 minutes for thorough baking. Remove it and bake for 15 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let them cool down a bit before inverting them over a plate. Have them hot.

Peach and Blueberry Tea Cake

Guys this recipe is from Laura Vitale. Please go to her YouTube channel and see it. It’s a really great recipe. Taking no credits for it.

Mango and Cherry Yogurt Popsicles!

These are my favourite guys. So refreshing especially on a hot summer day. The recipe calls for Popsicle moulds. They do come with wooden sticks. How good is that? Really just order them on Amazon.

The recipe is as follows:

🥭 Pulp of 3 large Mangoes.

🍒1 cup of Cherry Puree. I used fresh cherries. That’s why they look like Cola Popsicles.

🌷2 cups of plain Yogurt.

🍯1 cup of Honey.

Just mix honey into the plain Yogurt. Now you can add more of honey if you want.

Add Yogurt first two tablespoons then two tablespoons of Mango puree. Take the stick and make swirls if you want. Do the same with Cherry Popsicles. Let them set for an hour and have them fresh.

Chocolate filled Donuts!

This recipe will make such pillowy soft Donuts that you won’t be able to stop at one. Ofcourse I did a recipe previously of baked Donuts but I had to make some fried ones too.

Now some things to keep in mind. You need to use a good brand of dry active yeast. It’s all about activating that yeast. If you get that right then your dough will rise and you will get those beautiful air pockets.

The recipe is as follows:

🌺 Take one cup of blood temperature milk. Now that means when you dip your finger in it should not burn or feel cold. It should feel at your body temperature. Add in 2 tbsp of castor sugar in it and 2 tbsp of active dry yeast. It will take a few minutes for the yeast to activate. How to tell it’s activated? It will start to bubble and you will be able to get that beautiful scent of the yeast.

🌺Now I would prefer if you are a using stand mixer only working the dough. It’s easy and gets that dough worked up so well. But no worries if you don’t have one. Just use your hands. It might take some nice elbow grease to work that dough.

🌺Add in 2 room temperature egg yolks into the yeast mix. Take a fork and mix in the eggs.

🌺 Add in 50gms of melted room temperature butter to the liquid mix and keep aside.

🌺 Sift in 4 cups of flour and 2 tbsp of baking powder and a pinch of salt in a bowl and make a centre in the middle. Now do take half of the flour mix aside to adjust the liquid and dry ratio later. Add in some liquid and put the bowl on the stand mixer. You will need to use the dough hook. Do the same thing if using your hands. Mix in the liquid to form a soft dough. You will need to adjust the ratio and if your dough is coming in too sloppy don’t worry just add in some more flour. Not many recipes ask you to add in oil to the dough. I did add one small teaspoon and it made the doughnuts super soft. You can skip this part if you want.

🌺 Take a seperate bigger bowl and brush it well with oil. Keep the dough in it and cover it with a cling wrap and cover it with a tea towel. You need to keep the dough in a warm room for the dough to double up. So if your kitchen is not warm enough there is a neat trick. Just preheat your oven and warm it up. Switch off the oven and keep the dough bowl in it for half hour. Mind you the temperature of the oven should not be less. The dough needs a warm environment to rise.

🌺In half hour the dough will rise up and become double. I waited till two hours. Ofcourse you don’t need to. Just take out the dough and flour your working surface. Take the dough out and work it with your hands to release the gluten. Work it for 5 minutes.

🌺 Take rolling pin and dust it with flour. The dough needs to be an inch thick before you can cut it. Take a cookie cutter and cut circles. You can use a glass if you don’t have these. Spread the circles on a baking tray lined up with parchment paper. Cover these with a tea towel and let them rise again for atleast 30 mins.

🌺 Once they double in size you can fry them. Now the temperature of your oil should be at 150 degrees. It’s too technical and I didn’t take any temperature. Just used my instinct. Took a small dough that was left over from cutting circles. Rub it into a tiny ball in your hand. Then drop it in the oil. If it floats up and browns it means your oil is ready. Neat trick right. Just add one doughnut to fry at a time. Tap the top of the doughnut to know of it’s cooked from within. If a hollow sound comes it means its done. Remove it on a tissue paper to soak in the excess oil.

🌺Keep some Castor sugar aside. I did add one teaspoon of cinnamon powder to it.

🌺 Take a pair of tongs and roll your doughnut while it’s still hot in castor sugar. That way the sugar will stick to your doughnuts. Pro tip: You can do this step twice, once when you are done with all the doughnuts. That’s how I got so much sugar on my doughnuts.

🌺For the chocolate filling. Melt 2 cups

of dark chocolate and put it in a sturdy piping bag fitted with a round tip. Just make a small incision in the bottom of the doughnut and pipe it. You will get the hang of how much to fill after a doughnut or two.

🌺 I did make a small incision in the front to get that goeey look of chocolate coming out. A small one will do. Eat them hot! 😀

Also never keep your doughnuts for more than 8 hrs. They are to be had immediately guys. 😀😄

Nutella KitKat Oreo Cheesecake!

This by far is the best Cheesecake recipe of mine. I am saying this because it combines all three of my favourite things in the world : KitKat, Oreo’s and Nutella. What more can you ask for right?

Recipe is as follows:

🌺 Crush 15 Oreo’s. Add 2 tbsp of butter and press it into a springform pan. Let it set in the fridge for ten minutes.

🌺Add one cup of room temperature Nutella to one cup of room temperature Cream Cheese and mix with an electric mixer till it’s glossy. Add in one cup of whipped cream. Whisk for a minute only or till it incorporates into the mix. Don’t over blend it.

🌺 Take out the pan from the fridge and fold in half of the mix. Sprinkle KitKat’s all over it. I used about five KitKat’s for this. You can use as many as you want. Chop them into tiny little cubes beforehand. Then add in the rest of the mix.
🌺 Take the pan and put it back in the fridge for the mix to set while you make the chocolate topping.

🌺In a pan take one cup of cream and let it come to a simmer and add in half cup of semi sweet chocolate and half a cup of dark chocolate and mix well. Take it off the gas and let it come down to room temperature.

🌺 Spread it over the Cheesecake and then the pan goes back into the fridge to set. Best is to leave it overnight but it does set up in half hour too depending upon your fridge temperature.
🌺 For decorating it use some of the mix you made earlier. Just remove some and store it in a piping bag. I used some Cocoa in the mix to give it an extra punch. You can skip this part if you want. Add some broken Kitkat’s on top and your Cheesecake is ready.

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.