Sunday, February 26, 2012

Easy Vanilla Princess Minicakes

Today I am so proud to present Aishwarya's Vanilla Princess Mini cakes, which she baked all by herself. As a mom it is indeed a major milestone for me which sure would go into her baby book! I am sure all you mom's reading this would agree with me on the significance of this milestone.
Aishwayra was having her winter break and we were doing some shopping at Sur La Table for some bake ware. She spotted these min-cupcake molds and seized it and wanted to try it out immediately . Never thought she would want to bake a cake all by herself, but she surprised us by doing it all by herself, my only contribution being to point her to this recipe.
She named it Princess mini cakes, her logic being that princesses would prefer eating in small bites and these mini- cakes are perfect for that. It is so easy to make that any beginning baker, even a ten year old, can make it very easily.
Recipie Soure:Joy of baking
1/4 cup  unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup  granulated white sugar
1 and 1/2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1/2 large lemon (outer yellow skin)
3/4 cups  all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup  milk
For Chocolate frosting make 1/2 of this recipe
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and line 24 mini muffin cups with paper liners.
In the bowl  beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl whisk together the lemon zest, flour, baking powder, and salt.
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Evenly fill the muffin cups 3/4th full with the batter and bake for about 9 minutes or just until set and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. (Always check a few minutes before the stated baking time. Do not over bake or the cupcakes will be dry.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing.
Sending this mini cakes to  Anjali’s Cakes, Cookies & Desserts, Anzz’s Valentine Special , to Sangeetha’s Show me your HITS ,Valli's  Lets cook  for Valentine's,Vimitha's Love n Chocolate Fest and Radhika's Let’s Cook~Sweet Somethings .

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


In my good old younger days ( I am not saying that I am old now  ), whenever we went out to a restaurant, bathura was one of the hot favorites that I would order. But now, being wiser and being the responsible adult and parent, I try limiting fried food to special occasions or once in a month or so. Though fried, these bathuras retain very little oil and you can eat it almost guilt-free.
Recipe Source:Vahrehvah
All purpose flour - 2cups
Baking powder -1/2 tbs
Curd/butter milk -1/2 cup
Suji/semolina-1/2 cup
Sugar-1 tbs
Water as needed
In a bowl mix flour and suji well .  Mix salt, sugar,oil and baking powder with butter milk.Add this to the flour mix and using enough water  make a soft dough.Cover this with a wet towel.Rest atleast for 2 hours .Divide the dough into little balls  the size of a lemon ,roll them out and fry in hot vegetable oil.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Chocolate Wacky Depression Cake

Don't be turned off by the name of this cake - this cake sure won't make you wacky depressed. It got its name because it came from the time of the Great Depression when many of the ingredients for a normal chocalate cake like eggs or butter were hard to afford for many. Even without these ingredients, this is one hell of a cake, so moist and delicious. This being February, I thought of putting yet another chocolate dish. This is specially for my vegan friends and anyone out there with allergy to dairy.
Recipe Source:Savory Sweet Life
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa powder
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients except chocolate chips together by hand.  Add all the wet ingredients until well combined.  Pour into a 8×8 pan which has been prepared with non stick spray.If using chocolate chips top chocolate chips after 20 minutes of baking .

Bake for 30 until done.  Allow to completely cool before serving. Cake is even better if eaten the next day.
Sending this over to Kid's Delight-Eggless & Vegan Bakes at  Priya 's blog an event by Srivalli
and to I Love Baking #1 at Tickling palates

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

German Chocolate Cake

Time does fly, right? I can't believe its been two years since I started this food blog of mine. Thanks to this little space, I now have friends from all around the globe. Yet sometime I find it hard to believe. And it is you, my wonderful readers who kept me motivated to keep this little space going even on  those busy or bad days on a regular manner. Thank you all for all your support!
Yesterday for Valentine's day and for celebrating  Sugar 'N spice's b'day Jai and Aishwarya made this lovely and delicious chocolate cake. As they are amateurs in cake decoration they didn't go for piping the icing they went with more of a rustic look. Making this cake may sound  like a lot of work but mark my words its so worth it.
Dedicating this post to all my wonderful readers and my tasters (Jai and Aishwarya)

Recipe source:Annies Eats
For the cake:
2 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 tbsp. water
4 large eggs, separated
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
6 tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces
½ tsp.  salt
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted
 (used sweetened coconut and the filling tasted great)

For the icing:
8 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy cream

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.  Butter and flour the sides of the pans; set aside.

Using a double boiler (or the microwave in short bursts), melt the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate with the water, stirring until smooth.  Set aside until the mixture cools to room temperature.

In the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until they form soft droopy peaks.  Slowly add ¼ cup of the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.  Transfer the egg whites to a separate bowl and return the mixer bowl to the mixer base.

In the bowl the electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with 1¼ cups of the sugar.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Beat in the melted chocolate.  Mix in the egg yolks one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture on low speed just until incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk and vanilla extract until combined.  Mix in the remaining dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold about a third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it.  Then fold in the remaining egg whites just until incorporated.

Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans and bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the cake pans for 10 minutes, then remove from the pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling, combine the cream, sugar and egg yolks in a medium saucepan.  Put the butter, pecans and coconut in a mixing bowl; set aside.  Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon (170-175° F.)  Pour the hot custard immediately into the pecan coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted.  Cool completely to room temperature.  The mixture will thicken as it cools.

To make the icing, place the chopped chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup and butter.  Heat the cream just until it begins to boil.  Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate.  Let stand for 1 minute, then stir until smooth.  Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator or freezer until firm enough for decorating.

To assemble the cake, cut the two cake layers in half horizontally to yield four layers.  Set the first layer on a cake circle, cut side up.  Spread ¾ cup of the coconut filling over the cake layer, making sure to reach the edges.  Set another cake layer on top of the filling.  Repeat, the same to the  top.  Ice the sides  and top of the cake with the chilled chocolate icing.  Pipe a decorative border around the top layer, encircling the coconut topping.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

It was three years ago that Jai got me a box of chocolate coated strawberries for the Valentines day. He thought that as I was a chocolate and strawberries person, I would love this. I did love the gift, until I realized how much it cost! For a box of 12, it cost more than $25; which I couldn't digest. I couldn't really understand what made this so expensive - considering it is only some chocolates and strawberries that is involved. So I had been trying to find out how to make these really decadent dessert and voila, here we are!
Wishing you all a happy Valentine's day!
Source: Food Network
16 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 pound strawberries with stems (about 20), washed and dried very well
Put the semisweet  chocolates into a heatproof medium bowls. Fill a medium saucepans with a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat; set the bowl of chocolate over the water to melt. Stir until smooth. (Alternatively, melt the chocolates in a microwave at half power, for 1 minute, stir and then heat for another 15 secsonds stir and repeat  until melted.)

Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, remove from the heat. Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper. Holding the strawberry by the stem, dip the fruit into the chocolate, lift and twist slightly, letting any excess chocolate fall back into the bowl. Set strawberries on the parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the strawberries. Dip a fork in the remaining chocolate and drizzle the chocolate over the dipped strawberries.

Set the strawberries aside until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

For this month's Blog Hop Wednesday by Radhika,  I am paired with Princy. This was a rather busy week for me so I was on the look out for an easy  dish to try out and when I saw this  I didn't have to think twice before trying it. As usual  I tweaked a bit and instead of the plain version I thought of going for the the roasted red pepper one as the weather was unusually chilly today and I wanted something to lift my spirits up.  The end product was this yummy and healthy dip.
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans,rinsed and drained
1 (4 ounce) jar roasted red peppers or home made
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
2 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoon sour cream
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
Puree the chickpeas, red peppers, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, cumin, cayenne, olive oil and salt in an electric blender or food processor.  Process, using long pulses, until the mixture is fairly smooth, and slightly fluffy. Make sure to scrape the mixture off the sides of the food processor or blender in between pulses. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Sprinkle the hummus with the chopped parsley before serving.
Sending this over to

and Priya's The Big Chutney Chow Down
Chutney event

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Curried Pumpkin Soup

In our family we love to have soups for lunch during the cold winter months and I am always on  the lookout for good recipes that would please my family's taste buds. We love spicy soups especially during winter and when I saw  the recipe for this curried soup I had to try this out immediately. We all  liked it as expected.
Recipe source:Simply Recipes
4 tbs  butter
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 tbs minced garlic
1/4tsp chilli powder
3 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)
6 cups of chopped roasted pumpkin*
5 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup brown sugar(optional)
1/2 cup heavy cream
*To make pumpkin purée, cut a sugar pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, lie face down on a tin-foil lined baking pan. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Freeze whatever you don't use for future use.

 Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add spices and stir for a minute more.
 Add pumpkin and 5 cups of chicken broth; blend well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.Blend the soup until  smooth using a hand blender or regular blender.
 add brown sugar and mix. Slowly add milk while stirring to incorporate. Add cream. Adjust seasonings to taste. If a little too spicy, add more cream to cool it down. You might want to add a teaspoon of salt.
Serve in individual bowls. Sprinkle the top of each with toasted pumpkin seeds.
Sending this over to Healthy Diet Event - Warm Soups~ an event by Priya

and to Show Me Your HITS - Healthy Delights an event by Sangeetha
Ongoing Event:Show Me Your HITS - Healthy Delights

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