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.