Butterscotch Self Saucing Pudding

butterscotch self saucing pudding

Butterscotch Self Saucing Pudding

The first time I ever heard of self saucing pudding was on Nigella Lawson’s show. It was fascinating to see how there was a ready sauce underneath a cake like pudding in the baking dish straight out of the oven. The initial shock was when Nigella poured boiling water on the cake batter before putting it in the oven to bake. I couldn’t wrap my head around how it worked. After a few years, which was yesterday, I tried my hands on this self saucing pudding myself. Most recipes online will have the chocolate kind, but I wanted something sweet and buttery. That’s why I made a butterscotch self saucing pudding from Taste.

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Classic Banana Bread Recipe

banana bread recipe

Classic Banana Bread Recipe

I still can’t believe I don’t have a post with a classic banana bread recipe. I have a few different kinds like chocolate crowned banana bread, dulce de leche and a couple of others. This one though has no frills as such, just extra walnuts. A simple butter and sugar creamed and then whisked with eggs and banana to be folded in with flour is what this recipe is. But make sure you use the ripest bananas you can get your hands on. It’s best served warm although with the magic of a microwave oven you can achieve that in 8 to 10 seconds.

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Easy Christmas Cake | Plum Cake | Fruit Cake

Christmas cake plum cake

No need to soak fruits and nuts for months in advance or take half a day to make this Christmas cake. Shortcuts are the way to go when you have missed the long route. I’ve been seeing many posts on my Twitter and Facebook timeline about soaking fruits in booze months ahead of Christmas. It looked quite lovely, I must say. But I didn’t think I wanted to bake the cake. Turns out, I did. What did I do then? Just cook out the fruit mixture in juice and simply add the booze!

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Cocoa Fudge Cake

I have been eating healthy for about a month and a half now, and that meant no sugar or desserts. Which by extension meant, no baking for me to avoid the temptation. But baking is more therapeutic than anything else. And I can always bake for friends and colleagues. That’s exactly what I did. The cake turned out pretty good from what it looked like and the reaction I got for it. Although, I wasn’t happy about the frosting at all.  I got this recipe from That Skinny Chick Can BakePhotoGrid_1461817033632 and as it turns out, you will need to alter the recipe for the frosting. I’d say go with the regular chocolate buttercream one, or even ganache. Also, this is quite a large cake. Use two 8 or 9 inch baking tins here.

Ingredients:

Flour (maida) – 1 and 2/3 cups

Sugar – 1 and 1/2 cups

Cocoa – 2/3 cup

Yoghurt – 1 and 1/2 cups

Butter – 1/2 cup at room temperature

Eggs – 2

Vanilla – 1 tsp

Baking soda – 1 and 1/2 tsp

Method:

Preheat oven at 180 C.

Mix dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

Make a well in the centre and add the wet ingredients one after the other.

With a whisk, mix it all together till it’s a smooth batter. Do not over mix.

Bake for 45 – 50 minutes.

Do check with a toothpick if the cake is cooked through. If not, bake for another 5 minutes.

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Frosting is optional. If you want to, just heat half a cup of cream with a tbsp of butter and pour it over roughly chopped dark chocolate in a bowl and leave it for 5 minutes before mixing it till smooth. Then frost the cake with it.

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Roasted strawberries swirled yoghurt

The last few boxes of strawberries called out to me at the grocer’s the other day. I picked up one. I would always use them on my French toast, pancakes or with muesli and yoghurt. But since I’m on a low carb diet, I skipped the muesli and stuck with the yoghurt bit. This time around I roasted the berries so they intensify in taste and colour. They turned out beautiful.

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Chocolate Tart

 I totally get it when celebrity chefs go on and on about using good quality chocolate while baking. A friend at work got me some from Australia. I wanted to showcase the quality of the chocolate by make a tart. I knew I struck gold when I saw how the chocolate melted under hot cream and milk, to form a puddle of luscious, silky and shiny bowl of heaven. Now I’ve been fairly unsuccessful when it comes to shortcrust pastry. Maybe it was the recipe or my skill of bringing the dough together, but it rarely came out right. This time it did. I was pleasantly surprised throughout the process till the blind baking bit. The dough came together easily, rolled out just fine and sat in the tart tin also pretty well. I hope I continue to stay this lucky at all times. But try this recipe out on a Sunday when you want your home to be filled with the aroma of chocolate. This is an instant crowd pleaser. Folks at work are going nuts!

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Ingredients for the shortcrust pastry:
2 cups flour
3/4 th cup cold salted butter cut into pieces
3 tbsp sugar
1 egg
Up to 1/4 cup ice cold water

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Method:
1. In a large bowl, put the flour, butter and sugar.
2. Add the butter and begin to crumble it in the flour till the mixture looks like bread crumbs.
3. Add the egg and mix it in the flour by hand.
4. Add the cold water, spoon by spoon till the dough begins to come together. If it comes together soon enough, don’t add the rest of the water.
5. Don’t knead it, but just turn it into a ball and cover it with cling film or parchment paper.
6. Chill in the fridge for 20 mins.
7. To roll it out, place the dough on parchment/butter paper and use a rolling pin. You can alternatively flour the surface of your kitchen counter and do the same. Roll it out enough to fit in your tart tin.
8. Press the sides well enough and use some left over dough to patch up any torn parts.
9. Line the dough with foil and fill it with rajma or channa, and bake it in your preheated oven at 180 C for 30 mins till it’s light brown in colour. Don’t leave it for long because you’re going to bake it again with the chocolate filling.
10. Take it out, and let it cool while you work on the filling.

Ingredients for the filling:
300 gms or 2 full cups of good chocolate – 70% cocoa, cut up into pieces
150 ml or one cup of full cream
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
A pinch of salt

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Method:
1. Heat the cream and milk in a saucepan till hot, but not scalding.
2. Pour it over the cup up chocolate in a bowl and gently run a whisk through it and watch how beautifully the chocolate solids surrender to the heat of the cream and milk.
3. Add salt and break the eggs into it and whisk it till everything is incorporated well.
4. Pour it into the cooled tart shell and bake for 20 mins till it’s set at 180 C.

Let the tart cool completely and then put it in the fridge for at least 30 mins before cutting it up. Dust some cocoa on it for garnish. Trust me, this is the best thing you can do to a bar of chocolate this good!

Recipe adapted from The Food Network

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Lemon Bars

Most of my baking recipes come from my favorite Joy of Baking. They work best for me. This time I happened to see a particular recipe for ‘lemon bars’. As I read though the recipe I realized these were pretty easy to make and I absolutely love anything lemony. I had to try this out. So I did, and I can say this rather confidently that it was a hit. I made them for a friend’s baby shower (lot of women to be pleased there!).

It has a crumbly buttery shortbread base topped with smooth, sweet and lemony goodness. Perfect for ones with or without a sweet tooth. Well, I’ll be damned if I said I didn’t have one!

Ingredients for shortbread crust:
½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
¼ cup icing sugar
1 cup flour
A pinch of salt

Ingredients for the lemon filling:
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp flour

Method:
Preheat your oven to 180C, grease and line an 8 inch baking pan with butter paper at the bottom.
Shortbread crust: Beat the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt. Combine till it all comes together. Press this into the baking pan and bake for 20 minutes. Let it cool while you get on with the lemon filing.

Lemon filling:
Whisk the sugar and eggs till smooth and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Fold in the flour. Pour this onto the cooled shortbread crust and bake for 30 minutes or till the filling has set. Let it completely cool down (please). Now cut them into bars and I’d suggest a generous dusting of icing sugar. Make it look like it snowed.

Serve whenever however!

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