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.

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