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.

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