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 milmaid 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.