Sunday, 10 July 2016

Fudge brownies and caramel mousse

I've taken quite a long break from blogging and the reasons are many. Been busy at work and at home. Second year of marriage has been really fun. My husband and I  take turns to cook every night.We did get terribly lazy in the middle and ordered in every night but there is a limit to that. I learnt it the had way by by contracting a terrible stomach bug which refused to leave! Ever since we've been trying to eat at home as often as possible. Fun way to get into cooking at home is hosting dinner parties. Menu is usually simple but we try to stick to three course meals. I usually make the desserts while he makes the entree and the appetisers . 

Cooking for crowds isn't necessarily easy. I, for one , love it!  Its funny how you learn so much as a kid. My mum has always been a fantastic hostess.Her motto is that there should never be any shortage of food or drinks at parties. I totally agree with that.Leftover food  serves as lunch for us the next day or a lot of guests even prefer to pack some for themselves. My husband hosted quite a few people over this Sunday for the big UFC 200 viewing. I was in charge of the desserts. Choosing the base flavour was not difficult. Chocolate. Then I had to consider the few who do not like chocolate (my husband for one ) so the other obvious choice was caramel. While making many desserts try to balance them out. Too many rich desserts don't work well together. I chose heavy brownies and light airy mousse which work well together and separately.

I went with Fudge chocolate brownies, chocolate sponge cake with ganache and frozen caramel mousse cups. 

Fudge Brownies-



Pre heat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
Melt together the butter and chocolate and let it cool.
Whisk the eggs and sugar for about 4-5 mins.
Ass the flour,cocoa ,melted butter and chocolate and essence into the egg mixture and slowly fold it in.
Bake at 160 degrees C for about 25-30 mins.
Cut after it is completely cooled.

Chocolate Ganache Cake-
 Recipe is in previous post

Frozen caramel mousse cups-


3/4 CUP OF CARAMEL SAUCE (recipe in previous post)

Soak the gelatin in the cold water.Whisk together the the cream and caramel with the sugar. Heat the gelatin mixture till it becomes translucent and cool it down.then fold it into the cream mixture. Refrigerate for five hours and serve with chocolate sauce.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Moist carrot cake and carrot halwa

Carrots are so versatile! I love using carrots in desserts . Be it carrot cake, carrot halwa, carrot custard or even carrot kheer, it compliments them all. The summer heat is already beginning to weigh me down. Baking in a hot kitchen with two ovens is really not what I prefer doing these days . I bake late at night or wake up early to bake (YES I admit I'm quite obsessed with baking)

I bought a ton of carrots the other day at the local market and I used only a portion of it for cooking.I used the rest to make desserts. I made carrot halwa and moist carrot cake with caramel buttercream frosting. YUM!

Carrot halwa is my favourite Indian sweet. I find the commercially available ones a bit too rich and sweet so I decided to make some at home .

Carrots in cakes is an EXCELLENT idea.It makes the cake so moist yet light.You can even add pineapples or apples along with carrots to cakes. Makes a fantastic combination!

Recipe for carrot cake-

You will need-

2 cups of flour
1 cup of brown sugar
3/4 of a cup of caster sugar
4 eggs
1.5 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1.5 teaspoons of baking soda
one cup of yoghurt
four cups of finely grated carrots
half a cup of nuts (optional)
1 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup of butter
pinch of salt
pinch of ground nutmeg

Directions-Pre heat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
Cream together the oil,butter,eggs and sugar. Once the mixture gets fluffy,sift in the dry ingredients and fold it in. Add the carrots and yoghurt and fold in the mixture. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for about 45 mins .

Caramel butter cream-

I've used the same recipe for butter cream as mentioned in the previous post and substituted some caramel sauce for honey(recipe for caramel sauce also posted earlier).

Carrot halwa-

You will need-

One kilogram of carrot ( finely grated)
One cup of sugar(you can add half a cup more if you prefer it very sweet)
Four cups of full fat milk
Three tablespoons of KHOVA( evaporated milk paste) (optional)
Three tablespoons of ghee(clarified butter)
Half a cup of cashew nuts
One teaspoon of ground cardamom

Cook the carrots in the milk till all of the milk has evaporated.
Then add the sugar and keep stirring.
Add the ghee,(continue to stir)
Add the khova
Add the cardamom.
Roast the nuts in some ghee and add it to the halwa.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Black tea cupcakes with cardamom and honey buttercream

Its been a busy week for me. My parents took off on their bike and have been gone for a week now and I'm solely managing the clinic ! I could get used to being my own boss I think! I love my job. I'm so happy that I do. I've always had hobbies on the side.I took up sewing not too long ago. Sadly I lost interest after a while but doesn't seem to be the same with baking. I absolutely love it.

I'm a coffee person.person. I'm addicted. I have close to eight cups of coffee everyday.  I've used coffee in a lot of desserts. I love pairing coffee with chocolate. Tea,on the other hand,I'm not too fond of. Well there are days I like to experiment and today is one such day. I've made black tea orange cake before and that turned out great. Today I decided to make black tea cupcakes.  I love my tea with some cardamom so I added some to the cupcakes as well. For the frosting, I added honey to good old buttercream.

For the cupcakes-

You will need-

Half a cup of butter
One and half cup of flour
Two eggs
Three quarters of a  cup of caster sugar
One and a half teaspoons of baking powder
One teaspoon of vanilla essence
Three black tea bags
Half a cup of milk
One teaspoon of ground cardamom

Pre heat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Place the cupcake liner in the baking tin and keep it ready.

Bring the milk to a boil and then place the tea bags in it for about three minutes.Add the cardamom to it. Let the mixture cool down and strain it and keep it aside.

Cream together the butter ad sugar for about two minutes.Add the eggs,one at a time and continue to whisk.

Add the sifted dry ingredients and fold it in.Add the tea mixture and vanilla. Bake for about 15 minutes.

For the Honey Buttercream-

You will need-
Half a cup of unsalted butter at room temperature
Two cups of icing sugar
Two tablespoons of heavy cream
One and half tablespoon of honey


Cream the butter with an electric whisk for about two minutes .Add the sugar half a cup at a time and continue to whisk.Add the honey and cream and fill the piping bags.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Apple pie cake

Who doesn't love a good apple pie? To be honest I could do with just the apple pie filling.Crusts are not my thing,to make or to eat .  Last September i visited Denmark with my husband and I still cant get over the danish apple cake (aeblekage). Its less of a cake and more like apple pudding with whipped cream and crispy meringue pieces in between.YUM! I loved the simplicity of the dessert and how it was all about the apples.No other seasoning but vanilla . This dessert however, has a bit more. I've combined two recipes- The German apple cake and the traditional apple pie. I had some more filling left so I went on to make apple crumble as well.

Its a fairly simple dessert to make but takes a bit of time. Can be done in stages .

First stage-

  Apple pie filling
Ratio depends on how "appley" you want it to me.

What you need-
2 kilograms of apple
1.5 cups of sugar ( depends on how sweet the apples are)
1tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon of freshly ground cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
half cup of water
1 teaspoon of cornflour (optional)(to be added at the end)

Mix all the ingredients and place it in a large saucepan with the lid and let it simmer for about half an hour .I like it when the apples are are squishy.Add the cornflour at the end and let it boil for about two more mins. Let the mix cool.

For the cake-

What you need-

3 cups of all purpose flour
3/4 cup of vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder
1 tablespoon of baking powder
2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
A quarter portion of the apple pie filling

Pre heat the oven -160 degrees Celsius

Cream the sugar and oil.Slowly add the eggs one at a time and continue to whisk till all the eggs are added.Sift together the dry ingredients and fold it in.Add the vanilla essence and the pie filling. Bake at 150 degrees Celsius for about 45-55 mins .

Next stage-Assembly

After the cake has completely cooled down, take about one cup of the apple pie filling and spread it on top of the cake (you can use more or less) . To make it more decadent, I poured some salted caramel sauce over it (recipe in previous post).

So i still had about2cups of the apple pie filling remaining. I used it the next day to make apple crumble. I divided the filling into six equal portions and placed it in six ramekin bowls . Topped it with the crumble mixture and baked it at 160 degree Celsius for about30mins (till the crumble turns brown).
For the crumble mixture-
half a cup of butter
half a cup of sugar
one cup of flour
mix all the three ingredients with your fingers till it turns into a crumbly lumpy mix. Pour this over the apple filling and bake.Cool for ten minutes before serving .Tastes best with some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Ladybird cake and cupcakes!

Last week was very interesting! Back from a brief holiday at our beautiful coffee estate, it was time to get back to the grind. Yes, I mean drilling teeth and baking :-) Our little cousin Aarya was turning one and I was making her birthday cake. She is one amazing baby. I can spend an entire page describing her but it wouldn't do justice. Too cute to handle. The theme for her birthday was "Ladybird". How cute!

Coming to the cake. It was easy in a way because her mum had told me exactly what she wanted. She had shown me pictures of the cake she liked. Then came the execution of the cake! Birthday parties for kids are all about the cake. It has to be good and more importantly, fun! Everything on the cake has to be edible when its a cake for kids! I'm really not a big fan of fondant cakes... the ones I've had so far at least. To be honest, I hate the taste of fondant. No doubt you can make cakes look AMAZING with it, but I usually prefer working with buttercream and ganache. But this cake had to be decorated with fondant. I usually make fondant from scratch but since a lot of black fondant had to be used, I bought some since I find it impossible to get the black color just right.

It was a three tier cake and I decided to go with red velvet moist cake with chocolate ganache and buttercream. The cupcakes were vanilla-strawberry cupcakes with buttercream frosting. All the other decorations were made using fondant. It was so much fun to make these cakes. I made the fondant decorations a week earlier and stored them in an airtight container. Everything else was made the day before the party. A cake of this sort takes about a day to a day and half to make. I took about a day and I had assistance from my good friend Jaya. I made the cakes a night in advance and let it rest overnight in the fridge (covered in cling wrap) to completely settle down. Keep the cake out for about two hours before frosting (that works best for me).

 Few tips while dealing with fondant:

  • Keep cornflour, shortening and icing sugar around. If the fondant is too dry, use shortening. If it is too sticky, use cornflour.
  • Keep the workspace clean and dry.
  • Use gloves while handling the fondant.
  • Make sure the climate is not too humid.
  • While covering the cake, make sure the cake is not too cold.
  • Do not forget to crumb coat the cake with ganache or buttercream.
  • Use the appropriate tools (Fondant tools are available) 
  • I use a silicon mat for rolling and kneading the fondant.
  • Use a clean brush.
  • Make sure the cake is leveled.
  • While colouring fondant, use colour gel rather than liquid colouring.
  • For gluing fondant, I used water. Buttercream can also be used.
  • Always measure your cake and calculate the amount of fondant needed to be rolled out to cover the cake.
  • To make fondant glossy, I used a vodka/corn syrup mixture and painted it onto the cake.
I'm sure I've forgotten a few other tips but these are the important ones.

This is a recipe for a six inch red velvet round cake. For the tiers, you need to adjust the ingredients accordingly.

150g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
150g caster sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla essence
pinch salt
125g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tbsp red food colouring (please use good quality colouring)

For the ganache

200g dark chocolate (chopped into small pieces)
1 cup sugar
1.5 cups cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp unsalted butter

Cupcake recipe
220g unsalted butter
2 eggs (at room temperature)
200g sugar
200g cake flour
1 tbsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup strawberry syrup
1.5 tsp baking powder

Buttercream for cupcakes
1 cup softened unsalted butter
3.5 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 tbsp  cream


For the cake

Preheat the oven to 160 degree Celsius.
Line the tray and set aside. 
Whisk the butter and sugar together and then add in the eggs one at a time. Sift the dry ingredients and fold it into the egg mixture. Add the colouring and vanilla. 
Pour the mixture into the tray and let it bake for 35 mins.

To make the cake moist, I poured some strawberry syrup over it.

Similar instructions for the cupcakes as well.


Heat the cream, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan and let it simmer. Pour the cream over it. Add the butter and stir (butter is added to provide a sheen).


Sieve the icing sugar to remove any lumps.

Whisk the butter for 45 secs or so at a medium speed and add the icing sugar one cup at a time followed by the cream. Add the necessary colour as required. Set aside for crumb coating and frosting.

The party was fabulous. Aarya was a star. She was playful and so happy! The cutest ladybird ever and she seemed to love her cake :-)

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Chocolate syrup cake with fresh cream mango frosting.

It's been a while since I put anything up. There has been a lot going on in my life. Well firstly, we adopted a dog named Argo! He's amazing. Sadly, he has a weak heart and a displaced hip but his energy levels are through the roof (all day, everyday)! The poor thing is on a strict diet but he is FOREVER hungry! He eats ANYTHING! It's horrible for me to bake with him around. He does not leave my side! Not for one second. And manages to get every last crumb that I drop. He is a total brat but we are so in love with him already.

I had a major baking disaster yesterday. I was making a cupcake bouquet, finished it and the entire bouquet toppled over. It was horrible :-( Well, at least my dog was happy. He managed to run away with one of the cupcakes. Now coming to the good part of my week - my friend Jaya is finally done with her medical exams. She's officially a dermatologist now! Well almost... but still, the worst part is over. She's moving back to Delhi and so I had to make something special for her.

This cake is moist and fresh! It's a sure hit and so easy to make.


Chocolate sponge cake - recipe mentioned earlier.

For the syrup
Half a cup strawberry coulis - recipe mentioned earlier.
Half a cup water

1 cup double cream
Strained juice of two ripe mangoes
Icing sugar (quantity depends on the sweetness of the mango)


I used a nine inch round cake and sliced it to get two layers. Make holes in the cake using a fork or toothpick and then pour half the syrup over the lower layer.

For the frosting, whip the cream till you reach the "soft peak" stage. Then add the mango juice. Whisk it for another minute and let it chill in the fridge for ten mins.

Frost the lower tier of the cake. Then, place the top layer, make holes as mentioned above, pour the syrup over it and frost the entire cake with the cream. Chill for an hour before serving.