Sunday, November 25, 2012

Red Bean Vegetarian Enchiladas

I love eating out but trying new or different item on a menu card is not my forte.

Mexican food came under that category. No matter how many recipes I read and drooled on, I was always skeptical about trying them. For me the best of Mexican used to start and end with Nachos and salsa in a movie theater.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Nutty Vanilla and Chocolate Cake

My first Love was my dad. He would take me out on dates, give me gifts, feed me chocolates and cakes and told me I'm the prettiest everyday.

Now when I see Ozzy with her dad, I start missing my dad.
Its weird how girls are so tuned in with their dads. I want Sid to share all those bonding methods that my dad shared with me, I still live in those moments.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Oreo Vanilla and Chocolate Ice-cream Cake

I am going to cheat a little bit.

I am going to post about an Ice-cream cake that was specially made for my dear friend visiting my cutie pie on a whim. Everybody comes knocking to see her and not us anymore...

Yeah so back to the cake. I promised Bhavana Oreo Ice-cream cake for her birthday once upon a time on facebook and sooo on her Birthday I post the pictures of the cake she and her hubby and my hubby ate without giving a melting drop to me.

Well I couldn't have it. My throat wasn't feeling good and believe me when I tell you that a cranky 4 month old Ojasvi is not what I was looking forward to. Oh! Yes my Little one is named Ojasvi...


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mango Pear and Chocolate Crumble

Just a minute more and today would have turned into non post day.

I saved my crumble from burning just about in time. My bad, I got carried away chatting with my dear hubby who is back from work after 15 days. And my sister who was feeling homesick and has extended her weekend.

So the foodies are back and my oven time has started.

It's a pain to bake for me alone. Specially when I am trying (not so much) to come back to my original self post pregnancy.

So last week to keep myself away from sweets and more sweets, I kept myself busy with window shopping for best of the Vegan and Egg-less recipes online and organizing and reorganizing my shopping list for the baking marathon this coming week.

chocolate crumble

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mint Lemonade Popsicles

Its a long month. Monsoons have decided to play Peek-a-boo with us and Sun is stronger than ever. In this heat lemonade has become a regular feature at home. And with repetiton of the same drink every day its on a verge of loosing its charm. 

We seriously can't have can we?


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Java Plum Frozen Yogurt

In passing during one of our tea time talks, I'd mentioned my love for Jamun and its soaring prices to Dad. Its sad to see that a fruit which used to color our roads Purple during season is hard to find anymore. 

I'd forgotten when was the last time I actually saw a Jamun tree on the sides of the road and the entire road colored Purple.

And then two days later I was mesmerized and holding this huge bag full of Jamun. It was a gift from his colleague who has a tree in his backyard...His backyard!!

We are a family of Fruitaholics. And it was becoming clear with every passing minute that this bag is going to be empty before I can even come up with an idea to what I want to do with it.


In this heat with uncertain power supply I was not going to let these Java plums go waste. So later that evening search for making an ice-cream started.

I don't have an ice cream maker so I went to Frozen Dessert expert's Blog and found out the way to make one without a machine.

It was a long process, but I took my chances. Anyways I wasn't getting much of the sleep with an infant and used every wake-up call to go churn the frozen yogurt until I was dead on my feet.

It tasted just like it was suppose to. Little sweet, tangy and sour and left amazing purple color on our tongues.    

The recipe was sourced from David Lebovitz

Recipe follows:

250g Java Plum/ Jamun
6 Tbsp Sugar
11/4 Cup Plain whole milk Yogurt
1/2 Tsp Fresh Lemon Juice


Carefully deseed java plums in a small bowl and mix with sugar until it dissolves. Keep them aside.

Transfer plums with yogurt and lemon juice to a blender and blend until its a smooth mixture.

Prepare an Ice bath and pour the mixture in a baking dish to chill.

Transfer the dish to the freezer. After an hour, check the dish.

As it starts to freeze, remove from the freezer and start stirring it with either a sturdy spatula or a hand mixer and break every frozen lump to the thick smooth mixture.

Keep repeating the procedure every hour until the ice cream is frozen. It should take about 3-4 hours.

Transfer the Ice cream to an air tight container. Ready for use.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Vanilla Pineapple Cake

If anything can prove that simple recipes are the most difficult ones to prepare. Pineapple cake is one of them.

My dear husband for one, loves this cake and his logic to test a new bakery is to taste their pineapple pastry. If its good, then its worth trying something else. If not, anybody can make a chocolate cake!

So yeah, I had some big shoes to fill in because he never fails to remind me on that moist and soft pineapple pastry he had in Ooty or that super creamy and moist pineapple cake he had at his friends Birthday.

This summer has been grueling. In this summer heat, I was expecting too much from my fresh cream. Yes I blame it all on weather! 

If it wasn't for Martha Stewart's whipped frosting, well I was in no mood to write another disaster.
I still blame everything on this weather. And this also proved my theory 'Easiest recipes are the most difficult ones to recreate'.

So I did not pass my test but hey! this was my first try. And I'm sure you will be reading more of Pineapple cake recipes on this blog.

For one this has become a challenge now! I have to surpass Virtue Bake's Pineapple pastry.
And I want to win over the worst Pineapple cake critic.

The recipe was Adapted from Land O' Lakes

Recipe follows:

For the Cake:

3 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 Stick Unsalted Butter
1 Tsp Salt
4 Large Egg
2 Egg Yolk
1 Cup Granulated White Sugar
2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Milk

For the Frosting: 

3 Egg Whites
1/3 Cup Water
A pinch Salt
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tsp Vanilla

Pineapple Can


Preheat oven to 350 Degree F (180 degree C). Grease and line two 8 - inch cake pans.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl beat Butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add Sugar and beat for another 2 minutes until incorporated.
Then add Eggs one by one. Scrape down the sides, add yolk and vanilla beating for few more minutes.

Putting speed on low add half of the dry ingredients to the batter. Scraping down the sides add milk and then the rest of the dry ingredients until well incorporated.  

Divide the batter evenly into prepared pan and Bake for about 25 - 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool at the room temperature.

For the Frosting: On a double boiler, Cook egg whites with sugar, salt and water stirring continuously until sugar is dissolved. 

Transfer to a large bowl and beat until it becomes glossy with stiff peaks. Add vanilla and beat until just combined. Do not over-beat. 

For assembling: Place one cake layer on the serving plate and soak it with pineapple juice following with pineapple pieces. Spread about 1/2 a cup of frosting on the layer. Repeat this process with the second layer too. Smear the rest of the frosting on the sides of the cake.  

Cover and refrigerate the cake. Leave out in room temperature for a while before serving.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chocolate - Chocolate Cupcakes

I was looking for reassurance after one disaster and almost another one too. 
I wanted to make sure that I haven't lost my magical touch.
And my sister wanted something to treat her colleagues with...

At almost midnight after a long day with my little one, I set out to make the easiest and yummiest treat.

I was playing safe with Chocolate and even safer with Cupcakes.

Its a surprise that I am actually following my promise to Bake as much as I can from Dorie Greenspan's book. This book is becoming one of my favorites. I can close my eyes, follow the instructions and taddaaa...!

So I did just the same.

Already half asleep and half tense because I didn't want three disaster to write on my blog in two days time. I followed every step to the T.

Beautiful batch of twelve muffins got me back into high spirits and I went to bed late night with a smile on my face. But morning did come very early!

My first time working with chocolate glaze, turning these muffins to Cupcakes.
Some turned pretty, some didn't. But hey! It was Six in the morning and I could only catch 3 hours of sleep!

And at the last minute while things were getting packed, I ran to get some picture of one thing I got right this weekend. I will need lot of time to get over this one! *Sigh*

The recipe was sourced from Baking : From my home to Yours

Recipe follows:

For the Cake:

1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 Stick Unsalted Butter
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 Large Egg
1 Egg Yolk
3/4 Cup Granulated White Sugar
1/2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Buttermilk
50g Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped

For the Glaze: 

100g Chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp Confectioners Sugar
2 Tbsp Unsalted Cold Butter


Preheat oven to 350 Degree F (180 degree C) and ready Muffin pan.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt.

In a large bowl beat Butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add Sugar and beat for another 2 minutes until incorporated.
Then add Egg while beating. Scrape down the sides, add yolk and vanilla beating for few more minutes.

Putting speed on low add half of the dry ingredients to the batter. Scraping down the sides add buttermilk and then the rest of the dry ingredients until well incorporated.  

With a spatula lightly mix melted Chocolate to the batter.

With an ice-cream scoop divide the batter evenly into prepared pan and Bake for about 25 - 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let the muffins cool at the room temperature.

For the glaze, on a double boiler melt Chocolate. Sift sugar into chocolate followed by cold butter. Let it stand for 5 minutes to cool and thicken.

In a piping bag attach your wanted tip (I used the one to create Rose) and glaze onto muffins.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Tiramisu Disaster

As excited as I was to spoil my foodie sister this weekend with her favorite French Dessert.
It did not go as planned.

Ladyfingers bought from INA market last month were spoiled and there was no way to find a new packet in Meerut. So I found a recipe online to make my own Tiramisu at home from scratch.

It was easy enough, right?


Those Egg whites refused to co-operate and at the third try I went ahead with soft peaks instead of stiff as the recipe called for.

Believe me I got a sweet base for Tiramisu, but it wasn't anything like ladyfingers I was working for. And it shrunk while left for cooling. So yeah a disaster!

Thanks to the 43 degree Celsius, the cheese and cream were also acting their best they could and still did not survive the blender heat.

In the end we had Tiramisu that night but it wasn't something worth clicking. It was just frozen cream on a sweet base which I have no name for, although it tasted like Tiramisu.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Homemade Vanilla Extract

From the very start I understood the importance of ingredients used while baking. But somethings were just out of my reach when I started.
I never failed to notice the use of term 'Pure Vanilla extract' in every recipe but I had this small artificial flavor in my drawer which always gave my cakes a bitter aftertaste.

And when I was researching to buy 'Pure Vanilla Extract' in Delhi, I found nothing.
But I did find out that India is a mass exporter of Vanilla and yet I was facing difficulty locating that one store which would give me my first Pure vanilla extract experience.

I was cribbing and bored and I was going through Zoe bakes blog for inspiration and found Home made vanilla extract entry. Now that had all my attention!

That's it?

That's all it was to get my own 'Pure Vanilla'.

Yes! I have my own Pure Vanilla now and I fall in love every time I open the bottle to see if its done on not.

The recipe was sourced from Zoe Bakes

Recipe follows:

3-4 Vanilla Beans
Vodka (enough to cover beans in a bottle)


Slit Vanilla lengthwise and add it to a bottle of Vodka.
Shake well. Store it in Dark and cool place for about 6-8 weeks. 
Extended period makes it even better.

* I used the same bottle of vodka and added beans to it - because I am lazy!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Caramel Peanut Topped Brownie Cake

I know I am on the right track when all the cakes in the pastry shop fail to appeal my husband for my Birthday.

And I know I am doing good when my husband asks me to bake my own birthday cake because nothing feels right at the pastry shop.

And the best part is when I have two new cookbooks from Dorie Greenspan waiting for me to get my hands on...

So on my Birthday I end up doing what I love to do...Bake a Cake!

Latest fascination to bake brownies met caramelized peanuts and I was sold to the idea.

Even if it was not a summery delight, it was caramel topped with salty peanuts. How can you say NO to that?

The recipe was sourced from Baking : From my Home to Yours

Recipe follows:

For the Cake:

1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Stick Unsalted Butter
1/4 Tsp Salt
150g Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
3 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Sugar
3 Tbsp Light Corn Syrup { I used light Honey instead}
1/2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

For the Topping: 

2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Water
1 1/2 Tbsp Light Corn Syrup { I used Honey instead}
2/3 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Salted Peanuts


Preheat oven to 350 Degree F (170 degree C) and grease eight inch springform pan, and line it with parchment paper.

Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a bowl, mix butter with chocolate over a double boiler until melted and smooth.

In another bowl whisk Eggs and Sugar until well blended followed by Honey and then Vanilla. Add Chocolate mixture to the eggs and mix well. Add dry ingredients slowly to the mixture and mix until just combined.

Pour the batter into prepared pan and Bake for about 40 - 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cake cool at the room temperature for about 15 minutes. When the cake is cool, remove it from the pan. Wash and dry the pan and refasten it to the cake for the topping.

For the Caramel Topping, heat Sugar, Water and Honey until just combined. Put the pan on medium flame and let it heat, without stirring until the caramel turns dark brown.

Lower the heat to add Cream and Butter. Be careful to stand away from the pan as the caramel will splash and bubble. Stir to dissolve any lumps.

Add Peanuts to the caramel and pour the mixture onto the cake. Let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes for the topping to set.

Before serving, run a blunt knife to separate the cake from the pan.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Blessed with Little Pink Toes

An entire month passed by with no post and no apologies.

So lets start one by one...

I apologies for absconding from the scene. The kitchen was not very appealing in my last few weeks of pregnancy and with swollen hands and feet, I was confined to bed most of the time.

The wait was so worth it and the result was even better!

I was blessed with Little Pink toes  on 17th of April after hours and hours of waiting and then some more!

Everybody knows the recipe. So this time no recipe follows...


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Strawberry, Vanilla & Chocolate Panna Cotta

The countdown has begun...
And there is not much that I can do in kitchen without taking long breaks...
But I really wanted to make this, taste it and see if it is as good as it looks on David's blog.

I found this really simple, mouthwatering and healthier dessert (as my doctor has asked me) - Panna Cotta.
It is an Italian Desert made with Cream, Milk, Sugar and Gelatin mixed together and letting it set.

I could not stop myself to just Vanilla, so I added whatever I found in the refrigerator to add flavours to the creamier heaven. 

Out came the strawberries and Chocolate and Raspberry jelly...yumm~

The recipe was adapted from David Lebovitz

Recipe follows:

2 Cups Low Fat Cream
1/2 Cup Milk
2 Tbsp Condensed Milk
3 Tsp Gelatin
1/4 Cup Water

For the Vanilla version:
1 Tsp Vanilla extract

For the Chocolate version:
2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1/4 Cup Milk

For the Strawberry version:
2 Tbsp Strawberry Puree

Weikefeild Raspberry Jelly
Fresh Strawberry


Soak gelatin in 1/4 cup water and keep aside.
Simmer cream, milk and condensed milk together.

Pour warm creamy mixture over gelatin and stir until the gelatin dissolves.

Divide the mixture in 3 equal parts. Add vanilla extract, Strawberry puree and Cocoa mixture to each respectively and keep aside.

For the chocolate mixture, simmer 1/4 cup milk and add cocoa powder until it dissolves with no lumps.

Follow raspberry jelly instructions as per the packet.

Divide the mixture to the glasses in different order and let it set for a while before adding another layer.

After all the layers are done, cover the glasses with clear film and let it set for few hours.

Serve cold with fresh Strawberries. 


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Homemade Cream Cheese

I make my own Cream cheese.

Those Philly blocks at INA & Gourmet stores in Delhi are very expensive. And considering the number of times a cheesecake is made in my house, I find home made cream cheese not just economical but also lot healthier.

Cream cheese is a fresh cheese and  has a very short shelf life. Mild flavored with slight tang, it is very smooth and creamy textured.

There are lots of ways to make it at home, but following is the recipe to make the easiest cream cheese in no extra time.

The recipe was Adapted from Rajul
Recipe follows:

100gms Cottage Cheese / Paneer
3 Tbsp Cream
2 Tbsp Thick Curd
Milk (Optional : to smooth the mixture)


Blend all the ingredients together in a blender until smooth.
Add milk to the mixture if it is grainy until it reaches the creamy texture.

And Voila! 


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kinnow Marmalade

Do you wake up at 4am and feel like having peanut butter and marmalade sandwich?

I do! Everyday and imagine the day I discovered that my marmalade is just about over.

That gave me a reason to try something new for the week. Make my own marmalade.

The market is flooded with Kinnow (a variety of Mandarin fruit) this season and since me and my little one is on a healthy diet right now, the house is flooded as well.

After reading the recipe I realized that its a very simple process and doesn't require too much of time. But effort...yes!
I took about two kg of Kinnow and half the sugar to keep the bitterness intact. I also recycled honey jars and previous marmalade jars after sterilizing them.

The funny thing about all of it is that I never was a marmalade person. I used to find it bitter in comparison with jams that we have grown up with. But this pregnancy has brought too many additions to the taste palate. And I hope some stay forever. I guess you just develop the taste for it.

After going through lot of recipes,  I followed Billy Law's food blog and got the right combination with the answers that I needed. Did you know the seeds actually have Pectin which when heated with sugar causes the jelly to thicken...

The recipe was sourced from A table for two

Recipe follows:

2 Kg Kinnow (approx 10)
750 gms Sugar
5 Cups of Water
1 Lemon Juice


Peel the fruit carefully and try to keep it in large pieces.

Cut thin strips from half of the peels (around 4 -5 kinnow) and keep them aside.

Cut Kinnow half crosswise and remove all the seeds and pith and wrap them in a muslin cloth.

In a large pot, add water, sugar, Kinnow, lemon juice and muslin cloth bag. Stir constantly on a low heat until sugar is dissolved.

Once the sugar is dissolved, let it boil for an hour and a half until it reaches the jelly point.

To sterilize jars:

Wash the jars and preheat the oven to 160 degree C. Keep the jars in oven for about 20 minutes.
Pour hot marmalade in hot jars. Do Not pour hot marmalade in cold jars. the glass will shatter. Seal jars when they both reach room temperature.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chocolate and Walnut Brownies

I was searching for a book to help me grow my baking passion. 

And Purple foodie not only had an amazing review but also stunning pictures that I could not stop drooling over. 

I followed her steps and found myself an amazing batch of brownies. I feel happy and proud to announce that they were better than the bakery I frequent to for my cravings.

I am yet to buy the book but this recipe is definitely a regular feature in the household.

After about a dozen chocolate walnut brownie recipes that are stored in my folder, its a relief to find the combination for the perfect super chocolaty and rich brownies. 

These beauties with Vanilla Ice cream turned into heavenly post midnight snack for the night owls prevailing in the house. The entire batch got polished in a day and didn't even stay past 24 hours to test the theory that they taste best after a day.

Next time maybe!

The recipe was sourced from The Purple Foodie

Recipe follows:

1 1/4 Cup all Purpose Flour
2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1 Tsp Salt
310g Dark Chocolate
1 Cup Butter, room temperature
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
5 Eggs
1/2 Cup Walnuts
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips (Optional)


Preheat oven to 350 Degree F (170 degree C) and grease eight inch pan, or line it with parchment paper.

In a bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder and salt.

In another larger bowl, mix butter with chocolate over a double boiler until melted and smooth. Add Sugar and stir constantly until it dissolves.

Add 3 eggs first once the mixture turns at the room temperature and mix well. Add another 2 with Vanilla extract.

Lightly add dry ingredients to the chocolaty mixture and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.

Pour the batter into prepared pan and top it with Walnuts and Chocolate Chips.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let them cool completely before cutting into bars.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mini Hasselback Potatoes

Food gawking has become my new favourite hobby these days. I keep looking at beautiful plates and making mental notes on what should I bake next.

These potatoes look real fancy but surprisingly are very easy to make.

It did not take much time to decide my evening snack and came up with my own version after going through so many recipies.

I mixed few of my favorite flavors and voila!

To make these beautiful potatoes...

Recipe follows:

4 Mini Potatoes
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 Cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 Tsp Rosemary
1 Tsp Red Chili Flakes
Mozzarella Cheese, grated


Preheat oven to 400 degree F (Approx. 200 degree C).

Wash  and scrub the potatoes clean leaving the skin on.

Starting from one end of the potatoes, make slits for about 1/2 a centimeter apart but do not cut all the way through.

Mix Olive oil, salt, garlic, rosemary, chili flakes and grated Mozzarella in a small bowl.

Place potatoes on a baking sheet and rub the mixer in between the slits.

Bake them for about 40 minutes until they are crispy on outside and soft on inside.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Chocolate Devil's Food Cake with Espresso Swiss Meringue Buttercream

No study tells for sure why pregnant women has certain cravings. But I knew why I was having mines!
I was craving for coffee...

Being a coffee addict one minute and then totally give it up because I was pregnant was unexpectedly easy. I don't know why but it was like a switch was turn off and I didn't want it anymore.

That lasted for a few months actually! I was searching for 'The Perfect Birthday cake' for my hubby and came across this beauty. I wanted to have coffee since then. I tried other links thinking I shouldn't give in to this feeling or I wont be able to stop...but no! Cravings are cravings and I started craving for this cake!

I was confused at first, this cake had five layers and I have a very small oven which meant I needed to bake each layer separately and lets not forget butter cream and Icing the cake. All of this had to be done before midnight. It felt there was too much to do in too less a time frame.

And then I remembered that this is the only way I can have a tini mini coffee and the marathon started...

Since I was running out of time, I made this five layered cake to four only. When the last layer came out of the oven and I was arranging my ingredients to start with butter cream...poof! There comes a powercut!
Now I had only 3 hours to get it ready and no buttercream.

But I got this unwanted break and I stared fresh when power came back.

The buttercream was ready and I had to stop myself from licking it all from the blender. Controlling my temptation I placed it in refrigerator for a while to chill it out.

Since it was the first time I was making anything with cream, I did not have the right tools to get it smooth. I called in reinforcement in the form of my sister and we both started icing these layers with two offset spatulas trying our best to have the least amount of cake crumbs on our icing.

Ten minutes to midnight, my dear husband comes out to check our progress on his birthday cake and he was impressed that we were done with it and were cleaning our mess.

It was another mission accomplished and I was ready to crash after the cake cutting ceremony. 

The recipe was sourced from

Recipe Follows:

Chocolate Devil's Food Layer Cake

3 Cups All purpose Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
3/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
3 Sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
4 Eggs, room temperature
1/2 Cup Boiling Water
1 Cup Buttermilk, room temperature
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

Espresso Swiss Meringue Buttercream 

5 Large Egg Whites
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
4 Stick Unsalted Butter, softened 
1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup strong Espresso, cooled


1 Cup Roasted Almonds, sliced


Preheat oven to 350 Degree F (170 degree C) and grease eight inch pan, and line it with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, mix boiling water with cocoa powder until smooth.

On a medium speed, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. To the mixture add eggs, one by one. Beat in buttermilk and vanilla extract.

Turn to low speed and add in 1/3 of flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of chocolate mixture. Repeat with the remaining mixture until just incorporated.

Divide the batter (about 1 cup) and pour into the prepared pans, smoothing the surface. Bake for about 13 to 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Place the cakes on the wire rack to cool. Let them cool completely before frosting.

For the buttercream, put egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water. with an electric hand mixer, beat constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot. Remove from heat.

Continue whipping the mixture until thick, glossy and cool. While mixing on medium speed, keep adding softened butter chunks until incorporated and mix till it has reached a smooth texture. If curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth. Add Vanilla and Salt.

Before frosting the cake, add the espresso in the buttercream and beat for around 10 seconds. Reserve 1 cup of buttercream for piping on top.

For assembling the cake, place one cake layer on the serving plate and spread 1/3 of the buttercream. Repeat this process until all the layers are placed. Smear buttercream on top and sides of the cake. Garnish with sliced almonds.

Cover and refrigerate the cake. leave out in room temperature for a while before serving.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

French Apple Cake

It was a Huge Hit! I stumbled upon this fantastic breakfast cake by Sydney when everybody in my house was tired of eating cheesecakes and sweet cookies which were becoming a regular feature in my house every since I started.

I took this french apple cake as a challenge and did it. 

The worst critic of the house could not wait for it to come out of the oven. The strong aroma of the cake was so strong that when everyone was ohhs and ahhing over the new creation, I was keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that it turns out half as good as it looks on Sydney's blog. 

And it did. Mine was little fatter than Sydney's because of the smaller tin size...but I could not believe it!
It was looking amazing and nobody could wait for a piece. It was becoming harder to say no to insistent Dad who was like a kid. So we took pictures after a piece was gone and the cake was declared as a showstopper.

This cake made me realize that I can do it! Its not so difficult as it looks. I just have to follow my heart and give it a go.
I took more challenges thereafter and now have a list prepared to do more. I'll be posting them soon.

This recipe was adapted from Crepes of Wrath

Recipe Follows:

For the caramel:

3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Tbsp Water
1/2 a Lemon Juice
4 Apples, sliced thinly

For the Cake:

3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Cream Cheese, room temperature { I substituted Cream Cheese with Home made cream cheese
3 Eggs, room temperature
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract


Preheat oven to 350 degree F (170 degree C). Grease a 9 - inch spring form pan.

Heat 3/4 cup of granulated sugar and 2 tablespoon of water over medium heat, stirring constantly, until golden. Add lemon juice when it starts to bubble and remove from heat.

Pour into bottom of a spring form pan. Arrange apple slices on top of caramel in a circular pattern. Set aside.

Beat together 3/4 cup of granulated sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add in the eggs, one by one beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. 

Combine the flour and baking soda in a small bowl, then add to the batter gradually, beating until just moistened.

Gently spread the batter over the apples and caramel.

Bake at 350 degree F ( 170 Degree C) for about 40 - 45 minutes. when ready remove from oven and set to cool for another 30 minutes. Serve warm.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Strawberry Cheesecake

It all started with love and hate relationship I have with Strawberry from past few years.
Earlier anything served pink or with strawberry flavor was looked down upon and later it changed with one trip to Strawberry fields.

So for few years still shy about experimenting, I was introduced to the creamy heaven. Lot of desserts thereafter were strawberry based but this one still holds a special place.

With low availability of Cream cheese in India, this cheesecake was made with available substitutes and the cream cheese was made at home for this cake.

Recipe follows:
Source: Rajul

For the Base:
1 Packet Digestive Biscuits
2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
3 Tbsp Melted Butter

For the Cake:
125gms Cottage Cheese / Cream cheese
3 Tbsp Thick curd
1 Tbsp Whipped or Any cream
3/4 Cup Strawberry Crush
1 1/2 Tbsp Gelatin
1/8 Cup Condensed Milk or Desired Sweetness
1/2 cup Milk
200 gms Vanilla Ice cream


Crush digestive biscuits to fine crumbs, add sugar and melted butter to it. Press down the crumbs to a greased spring form dish. Chill in refrigerator to set.

Add crumble cottage cheese, cream, curd and strawberry crush in a mixer and churn till smooth.

Soak Gelatin in enough water for 2 minutes and melt on double boiler.

Bring Ice cream out and left it to soften. Meanwhile bring Milk to boil with condensed milk or desired sweetness until thickens.

Mix cheese mixture with thickened milk and beat till smooth. Add gelatin and mix.
Fold cheese mixture to ice cream until smooth texture is achieved.

Pour this mixture to the biscuit base and refrigerate until firm.

Serve with fresh fruits strawberries or crush.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chocolate Muffins

Muffins have always been a match for evening coffees whenever we were in a cafe.
So after cookies, muffins were the next big thing I wanted to try.

After searching the right recipe on internet for ages which had fairly good reviews ( I was a newbie and didn't follow any food bloggers then) I decided on a generic recipe found at

After spoiling 2 batches of Chocolate muffin and adjusting my new oven settings, I got through them finally!
The third and the fourth batch came out perfect. Soft and moist - heavenly treat with our evening coffee.

Sending 2 batches in trash were very disheartening for a muffin fan and I thought maybe I wont get any to eat today. I checked everything twice and since I am a new baker, I followed everything to the point written in that recipe.

While sending the third batch I decided to follow my instinct and changed settings accordingly. This time I changed the temperature, pulled them out before time and saved my muffins from burning again.
Voila...I got them out just in time and they were perfect.

I wish I had added some chocolate chips on my own...


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Coconut Cookies

Almost an year ago a friend of mine from Singapore was explaining me the reason why she was sleepy during office hours. She stayed up all night baking breads & cookies for her family before holidays.

I asked “But we always buy these things, why didn't you?”
She laughed and said I bet you've never had home baked cookies before!

When I returned back home from that contract, the first thing I wanted to try baking were the cookies.

The first blog post is dedicated to the first baking experience which encouraged me to go ahead and bake more.

Following recipe was learnt from Rajul - Guide, mentor and a good friend.

Coconut Cookies


170 gms All Purpose Flour
115 gms Unsalted Butter
60 gms Granulated White Sugar
60 gms Condensed Milk
1 cup Desiccated Coconut
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/4tsp Baking Powder


Sieve the flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Cream the butter, sugar and condensed milk together until light and fluffy. Add Vanilla extract, flour and desiccated coconut mix lightly with hands until dough binds. Chill in fridge for few minutes.

On a lined baking tray, place small balls of dough and press down with a fork.

Bake at 350 degree F ( approx 170 degree C) till light brown in color. Remove and cool on wire rack.

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