Tea and coffee cakes are the best. They’re easy to make and easier to serve and eat. And they go great with a cup of tea or coffee without being overbearingly sweet. Simple homemade chocolate cakes are probably on top of everyone’s favourite cakes list. There are many variations and honestly, why not? The more, the merrier. Now, to take a simple chocolate cake up a notch pair it with a fruit and you wouldn’t believe how amazing it tastes. We do it with bananas, strawberries and cherries. This time I picked pear. Also because I stumbled on a unique recipe in Julia’s Album.
Sriracha Honey Chicken Wings
Sriracha is one of my absolute favourite condiments. It’s spicy, yet not so hot that fire alarms are set off. I got my hands on a bottle recently and wanted to put it on everything. Well, I almost did. Who doesn’t like hot wings? We all love a good nibbling on some succulent wings. I made some with just 4 ingredients and boy were they delicious. Sriracha, chilli powder, ginger garlic paste and honey. Minimum effort and maximum flavour.
Brown butter is nothing fancy. It is simply butter that left home but was taken off the train before it reached the ghee station. After watching so many cooks and bakers talk and write about it, I thought I’d give it a shot. Using my old chocolate chip cookie recipe, I halved the butter and made brown butter. Another thing I altered was the brown sugar content. Instead of 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar, I switched the quantities of the two sugars for a more dark and caramel flavour.
Whenever I’ve looked up ‘coffee cake’ on Google, the results are almost always about cake you eat with coffee. So what’d I do? I just made one with coffee in it. It’s pretty basic and hard to get wrong. It did turn out a little stronger than I’d thought, but I’m not complaining. This isn’t the cake you have with your coffee. This IS your coffee!
Ingredients: Flour - 1 cup Butter at room temperature - 1/2 cup Sugar - 3/4 cup (I ran out of brown sugar so I used regular white) Eggs - 2 Baking powder - 1.5 tsp Instant coffee powder (I used Bru) - 2 tbsp mixed in 2 tbsp hot water Vanilla - 1 tsp Salt - 1/4 tsp (only if you're using unsalted butter)
Method: Preheat oven at 180C. Whisk butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs and whisk some more. Add vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the coffee and water mixture to the egg mixture and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and gently fold. Don't beat or over mix, else the cake will turn out hard. Grease and line your baking tin with butter paper. Pour the batter in and bake for 35 mins. Do the toothpick test to see if it comes out clean. If not, bake for another 5 mins. Let the cake cool before you top with salted caramel and ganache. They're optional though. You could simply dust it with icing sugar and serve.
To be honest, Dominos had spoilt this little treat of a cake for me years ago. But since I’m just back from a week long Diwali break, I needed to continue the food coma I was already in. It isn’t winter yet, but summer seems long gone. A warm chocolate cake with a molten centre oozing liquid chocolate goodness seemed just about right. I looked up a few recipes online and settled with the one from Food and Wine. Instead of caramel, it’s chocolate filled.
3/4 cup dark chocolate
1/4 cup salted butter
1/4 cup sugar (I used brown, you could stick to regular)
2 small eggs
1 small block/cube dark chocolate (1 inch approx)
Grease 2 ramekins (10 oz each) with butter and dust with a mix of 1 tsp cocoa and 1 tsp flour, and keep aside.
Melt chocolate and butter in microwave for 1 min. Stir any bits of chocolate. Don’t keep it in the microwave for long, else the chocolate will burn.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar for 3 – 4 mins till light and pale.
Add the chocolate mixture into this egg and sugar mixture and mix till blended.
Tip the 1/4 cup flour and gently fold it in.
Pour the batter 1/4 way through the ramekins, place the chocolate block and pour the remaining batter to cover.
In a preheated oven of 200 C, place the ramekins and bake for 20 mins. The top should be slightly cracked and centre should be wobbly.
Let it sit for 10 mins before you take them out of the ramekins. Use a butter knife on the sides so the cake doesn’t stick to the ramekin walls. Turn it upside down and pat on the bottom so the cake falls out on your palm. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
So I’m alone at work and it’s almost time to get home. I suddenly crave for something sweet and something tangy. Figured I could bake something myself since it’s been God knows how long since I’ve fallen off the baking wagon. Hopped on to my favorite baking recipes’ website, Joy of Baking. Lemon Bars came to mind but, but I let it pass. Next best thing, Lemon Cake; a spongy, buttery, tangy and delicious lemon cake. Fills your home with a zesty lemony aroma, you can’t help but feel lifted instantly.
Ingredients: 2 cups flour 1 cup butter at room temperature 1 cup powdered sugar ¼ cup lemon juice 4 eggs 1 tsp vanilla Zest of 2 lemons 1 tsp baking powder ¼ tsp salt (if you're using salted butter, then omit the extra salt here)
Method: First whisk the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Use a balloon whisk for this or an electric whisk to make life easy. Now add the eggs, one at a time, whisking continuously. Add the zest, lemon juice and vanilla at this point. Tip in the flour, salt and baking powder and bring together all ingredients to form a thick batter. Pour it into a 9 inch greased baking tin, or a non-stick one like I did. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 30 minutes or till done (do the toothpick test). Let it cool completely before slicing it up. For a sugar glaze, simply add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to 1 cup of icing sugar, add more lemon juice or water to make it runnier and pour it over the cake. For a cream cheese frosting, add 3 tbsp powdered sugar to 1/2 cup cream cheese and whisk till fluffy. Add a dash of fresh cream to loosen it up. Frost on cake. Summer on a plate is what this is.