Category Archives: Bake Along

Bake Along #140 – Magic Bars

 

DSC_0019Magic bars are something that I tried years back. When I was on a lookout for finding recipes for one of the workshops I had with kids, this sounded to be apt. Later I realized, not just for kids, but for us adults, sometimes effortless baking sounds like a breeze.

DSC_0022These bars are scrumptious and candy-ish. A wholesome snack which is really rich in flavor and goodness. The ingredients are layered one on top of the other on the baking tray. The name Magic Bars will sound apt at the end of baking, as just the layering would reveal the beautiful bake.

DSC_0029Layers include melted butter, crushed oreo biscuits, broken cornflakes, chocolate chips, toasted walnuts and to bind them all together, scrumptious condensed milk.

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Ingredients:

Recipe inspiration – Joy of Baking

  • Butter – 1/2 cup
  • Oreo biscuits – 1 1/2 cups, crushed
  • Cornflakes – 1 1/3 cup
  • Chocolate chips – 1 cup
  • Walnuts – 1 cup, toasted & broken
  • Condensed milk – 400 gms

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degree C. Line up an 8 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil with hangouts on both sides.DSC_0955

2. Melt the butter and pour into the pan.

DSC_09573. Add crushed oreo biscuits and spread it out evenly and press it down gently with your fingers.

DSC_09584. Spread out the broken cornflakes evenly by gently pressing it.

DSC_09595. Spread out chocolate chips evenly on top.

DSC_09606. Add walnuts over top of the chocolate chips.

DSC_09617. Pour condensed milk over all the ingredients on top.

DSC_09638. Tap it down twice and bake in pre-heated oven at 180 degree C for 30 to 35 minutes until the top is golden brown.

DSC_00019. Let cool on wire rack. Then lift the aluminum foil hangouts gently and peel the sides. Use a long knife or a bench scrapper and cut them into slices measured to desired sizes.

DSC_0002The original version had used, graham crakcers in place of oreo and coconut flakes in place of cornflakes. You can try different variations by changing the layer ingredients keeping in mind all the other ingredients are dry, except butter and condensed milk.

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Bake Along #139 – Twix Cake

 

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I have been longing for years to make this cake and I am mighty happy to have finished making it today. I am also in love with how the cake has turned out. Its is much more delicious than the original itself. The caramel here is divinely delicious. Simple components put together to mimic the famous Twix chocolate.

logoDSC_0905A simple vanilla cake is baked in a loaf pan. the height of the cake is kept minimum to mimic the original. Luscious caramel sauce is carefully made with a dash of salt that is layered on top of the vanilla cake. The whole thing is frozen and milk chocolate is used to cover and seal it up. Three simple steps to take a way to heaven and get back πŸ™‚

logoDSC_0903logoDSC_0920logoDSC_0928Ingredients:

Vanilla loaf:

  • Unsalted butter – 55 gms
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Egg – 1
  • All-purpose flour – 3/4 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/8 teaspoon
  • Milk – 1/4 cup

Caramel Sauce:

  • Sugar – 150 gms
  • Butter – 75 gms
  • Dairy fresh cream – 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Milk compound – 500 gms

Egg substitute – Flaxmeal replacement as in the link

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degree C. Butter a 9 by 3 inch loaf pan and line it up with butter paper.

DSC_08342. Sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

DSC_08273. Mix together milk and vanilla. Set aside.

DSC_08284. Add butter into the bowl ofΒ  your electric beater. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute until the butter becomes light and fluffy.

DSC_08235. Add the sugar to the fluffy butter and beat on medium high speed for 4 to 5 minutes until the mixture becomes creamy, pale and light.

DSC_0824

DSC_08256. Add the egg and beat on medium high speed for 1 minute until the egg is completely combined.

DSC_08267. Add flour in 3 parts and milk mixture in 2 parts, beating just until combined after each addition, starting and ending with the flour.

DSC_0831

DSC_0832

DSC_08338. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and level the top. Bake in the pre-heated oven at 170 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

DSC_08369. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Cling wrap the cake and freeze for few hours.

DSC_0851Caramel Sauce:

10. Add the sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan, preferably a non stick one.

DSC_083711. Keep the saucepan over medium flame. Do not use a spoon or spatula. Use the handle of the saucepan and keep swirling to avoid burning of sugar. Do not let it smoke. Keep removing it off the flame until sugar dissolves.

DSC_083812. Wait until the caramel colour becomes deep, but not burnt. Do not let the sugar to caramelize before all the sugar is melted. For this, you need to keep lifting the saucepan away from heat if it begins to smoke, continue swirling and let the heat get all the sugar melted, as the caramelization process continues to happen gradually.

DSC_083913. Take all precaution, until the caramel gets to the right colour and sugar is also all melted. If you have smoked up the caramel and if it tastes burnt, you might have to trash it and start over again.

DSC_084314. Remove the caramel from heat, and pour the cream gently in a slow stream, a little at a time. Keep stirring as you add the cream. If you add all the cream together, the caramel would crystallize. Care needs to be taken in this step.

DSC_0844DSC_084615. Add the butter and put the caramel back on low flame and keep stirring until butter is fully melted.

DSC_084716. Increase flame to medium and keep stirring for 4 to 6 minutes to thicken up the sauce. Let cool completely.DSC_0850Assembly:

17. Line up the loaf pan with butter paper hanging from either sides.

DSC_085318. Place the vanilla loaf into the prepared loaf pan.

DSC_085419. Pour over the caramel sauce on top of the cake.

DSC_085520. Use an offset spatula and level the top. Freeze it for 2 hours.

DSC_085621. Lift the set cake by pulling out the butter paper hang. Place the cake on top of a wire rack with a baking tray underneath.

DSC_085722. Melt the compound and while its not very hot, pour over the cake, making sure you cover top and all the sides of the cake.

(Here is where I made the mistake. I used dark chocolate, later realized twix has milk chocolate cover, later I had to wait until I got stock of milk chocolate and did a final finishing πŸ™‚ )

DSC_0862DSC_0871DSC_0878Worth all the efforts, just for something you are seeing below πŸ™‚

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logoDSC_0939Do you even have a reason to wait ?! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

 

 

Bake Along #138 – Cheesy Spice Bombs

 

logoDSC_0612I have been eying on these cheesy spice bombs for a while now and I was literally craving with just the thought of making them. These are versatile as you can flavor them with different spices. The texture of the bun by itself is very spongy and light, making it irresistible.

logoDSC_0613The dough is flattened into a small circle and cubes of cheese are kept inside. I also added chilly flakes along with the cheese cubes. You can as well add any sauce of your choice here, giving it more flavor.

logoDSC_0614I also made some spiced oil and brushed on top. To not let it get fried while baking, the oil is brushed during the last 5 minutes of baking. You can also mix the spices with the dough. That will deepen the flavor of the spices.

logoDSC_0620The tiniest bomb which will be added to your regular menu going forward πŸ™‚

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Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour – 1 1/2 cups
  • Instant dry yeast – 2 1/2 teaspoons
  • Sugar – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Egg – 2 tablespoon, beaten
  • Water – 1/3 cup
  • Milk – 1/4 cup
  • Butter – 1 tablespoon
  • Mozzarella cheese – 100 gms, cut into small cubes
  • Chilly flakes – 2 tablespoons
  • Olive oil – 1/4 cup
  • Mixed Italian spices – 2 teaspoons

Eggless substitute – Add 1 tablespoon of milk powder along with the flour. Increase milk by 1 tablespoon.

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degree C. Line up a baking tray with butter paper or silicon mat. Brush some oil on top of it.

Add olive oil and the mixed spices in a bowl with a pinch of salt and set it aside.

DSC_05492. Add all-purpose flour, yeast, sugar and salt into the bowl of your electric beater, using dough hook beat for 1 minute until the ingredients are combined well.

If going to knead it by hand, add the said ingredients in a bowl and mix well using hands.DSC_05413. Heat the water and milk together and bring it to lukewarm. You can test the heat by putting one of your fingers into the liquid and count till 5 and that is the maximum heat you should be able to tolerate. Any lesser will not activate the yeast. More heat will kill the yeast. Pour the milk into the flour mixture and continue to beat on medium high speed.

If using hands, knead well until well combined.

DSC_05424. Add the beaten egg and continue beating on high speed. Knead well, if using hands.

DSC_05435. If the dough is sticky, add a little flour at a time and beat/knead until the dough does not stick to the bowl/counter.DSC_05446. Add butter and continue beating on high speed for about 5 to 7 minutes in the electric beater and 15 minutes if kneading by hand.

DSC_05467. The dough will look shiny and smooth, that is when you will know the gluten is formed.

DSC_05478. Bring the dough together as a ball. Oil a bowl and coat the dough all over with oil in the bowl. Use a damp cloth and keep the bowl covered in a warm place for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. This will be the first proving.

DSC_05489. The dough will be doubled in volume after first proving.

DSC_055010. Punch the dough and release the air. Knead it lightly.

DSC_055111. Take a lemon sized ball of the dough, flatten it gently using your fingers. Place a cube of the cheese on top of the flattened dough.

DSC_055412. Add a pinch of chilly flakes. Adjust quantity as per taste.

DSC_055513. Bring all the sides of the dough to the top and pinch it well to secure it firmly. Turn it upside down and roll it gently to even out the shape.

DSC_055614. Place the finished ball in the prepared baking tray. Repeat the steps to the rest of the dough. Place all the balls with about 2 to 3 inches of space apart. Cover it with a damp cloth and leave it to rest in a warm place for 15 minutes. This is second proving. Do not let for long.

DSC_055915. It would have increased in size. By leaving it longer the top will shrink a bit, which you would want to avoid.

DSC_056016. Brush with some egg/milk wash on top and bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. Take it out after 10 minutes of baking, brush the spiced oil all over the top and then continue baking for the last 5 minutes.

DSC_0561DSC_056517. Let cool on wire rack until warm and soft. DSC_0610These bombs are ready to be served while warm. They are great after they are cooled completely as well. Serve with any dips of choice.

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Bake Along #137 – Almond Brownies

 

dsc_0212It is the start of the year 2017.Β  Change is the only constant. And any change is for a greater beginning. Bake along is becoming a monthly activity from this year and a lot of excitement following it. While I could have done a celebration cake with different components, I was skeptical if that would sound complicated for everyone to kick start the new beginning. So am keeping it very simple, so there can be quite a big bunch of brownies blooming the beautiful garden.

dsc_0203These brownies are loaded with both almond meal and slivered almonds. The flavor is so deep and the texture is fudgy and light both together at the same time. That might seem tricky, but that was how exactly these tasted.

dsc_0215Get your aprons on, roll up your sleeves and get the drum rolling!!

Ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter – 118 gms
  • Dark chocolate – 135 gms
  • Eggs – 2 large / 100 gms
  • Brown sugar – 95 gms
  • Brown sugar – 95 gms, powdered
  • Dairy cream – 68 gms
  • All-purpose flour – 75 gms
  • Almond meal – 68 gms
  • Slivered almonds – 1/2 cup, toasted

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degree C. Butter and flour a non stick brownie pan. If using a regular cake pan, line them with aluminum foil and butter the foil.
  2. Add Butter and dark chocolate in a heavy bottomed saucepan.

dsc_00963. Heat the saucepan on medium flame and keep stirring until the butter and chocolate are melted completely. Set aside.

dsc_00974. Add eggs, brown sugar and powdered brown sugar in the bowl of your electric beater.

dsc_00995. Beat on medium high speed for 5 minutes until the mixture becomes pale and thick. Falls back with ribbon consistency and gets frothy.

dsc_01026. Pour the butter-chocolate mixture slowly and gently, into the eggs mixture as the beater keeps running on slow speed. Beat for 1 minute until the mixture gets fully incorporated.

dsc_01037. Add the cream into the bowl and beat again for few seconds on medium speed until the cream gets incorporated.

dsc_01048. Add all-purpose flour, almond meal and the slivered almonds into the bowl and beat on slow speed just until incorporated. Do not over beat.

dsc_0105That is how your batter will look.

dsc_01079. Pour the batter in the prepared pans. Top them with some of the slivered almonds. Tap gently to release any major air pockets.

dsc_010810. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the brownies are springy back to the touch and a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

dsc_0185Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream or whipping cream.

dsc_0225Try changing the almond meal to any nut meal of choice. You will have some of the best brownies for life.

Wish you a year full of happiness.Β  Happy New Year 2017.

Bake Along #136 – Apple Crumb Pie

 

dsc_8590Apple pie was always on my wishlist. Though apple or any fruits for that matter is not my ideal choice, I had been postponing it. But the idea of adding streusel on to the pie made it very interesting and one of the best apple pie you will ever get to taste.

Ingredients:

Recipe inspiration – Pie crust – Joy of Baking

Filling & Streusel – Spendwiththepennies

Pie Crust –

  • All-purpose flour – 1 1/4 cups
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Granulated white sugar – 1/2 tablespoon
  • Butter – 1/2 cup / 100 gms (Cold, cut into small cubes)
  • Ice water – 1/4 cup, adjust

Streusel –

  • All-purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Packed brown sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Granulated white sugarΒ  1/2 cup
  • Cinnamon powder – 1 teaspoon, adjust
  • Butter – 1/2 cup
Filling –
  • Apples – 3, peeled, de-seeded, chopped into small pieces
  • Lime juice – 1 teaspoon, adjust
  • Granulated white sugar – 1/3 cup
  • All-purpose flour – 3 tablespoons
  • Cinnamon powder – 1/2 teaspoon, adjust

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 220 degree C. Brush melted butter in a 12 muffin pan. For the pie crust, sift together all-purpose and salt in a bowl. Add the sugar and butter cubes. Use the tip of your fingers and crumble them until they resemble bigger crumbs.

dsc_84402. Add the ice water a little at a time and gently bring them together. Do not knead.

dsc_84383. Even if some of the butter is not fully incorporated, do not over knead. Just bring them together with any extra water if the dough may need.

dsc_84414. Gently bring all of them together. Do not knead much.

dsc_84435. Cling wrap the dough and refrigerate it for upto 4 hours or overnight.

dsc_84476. For the streusel topping – Add all the ingredients in a bowl.

dsc_84357. Mix well with the tip of your fingers until combined well together. Set aside.

dsc_84378. For the topping – Add all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix them together and let it aside for 1 hour. Collect all the liquid that is drained at the bottom. Set aside for later use. Keep the coated apple slices aside as well.

dsc_84299. Take the refrigerated pie crust and use butter paper sprinkled with all-purpose flour and place the dough on top of it.

dsc_845910. Sprinkle some more all-purpose flour on top of the dough and place another layer of butter paper on top. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough.

dsc_846011. Roll the dough to a thickness of 2 mm. Remove the top layer of butter paper.

dsc_846712. Use a round cookie cutter and cut out circles of the dough.

dsc_847913. Gently place each dough circle in the prepared muffin pans. Press them down using the tip of your fingers. If they tear or break, gently press them and smooth out. Remove the excess from the top using a knife.

dsc_848414. Fill up all the cups with the dough circles. Freeze this for 30 minutes.

dsc_848915. Remove from the freezer and add the apple filling in the crust. Add about a teaspoon of the liquid on top of the filling in each cup, (the liquid which was drained from the filling and set aside).

dsc_849616. Add about 2 tablespoons of the streusel on top of the filling.

dsc_849817. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes at 220 degree C. Then bring the temperature to 180 degrees and bake it again for 30 to 40 more minutes until the pie becomes golden brown.

dsc_8499Serve it warm or at room temperature. Best served with a yummy scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Bake Along #135 – Ratatouille

 

logodsc_8535This dish had been fascinating me for years now, from the day I watched the movie, Ratatouille (pronounced rata-tooyee) and every time I think about it, I get overwhelmed and somehow I had been postponing to work on it. So I get the right people and right things at the exactly right time in my life πŸ™‚ . A passionate chef showed up as a student of mine. To add to that list of amazing things in my life, it’s another lovely addition !!

logodsc_8529So he was with me doing the whole process as I just went learning. The exciting part is, this is the secret recipe which was done as part of the movie itself. So its cracked up here for you all.

logodsc_8517But those times I have read the recipe long back, it used to overwhelm me. I now realized, its just the list of the ingredients and all the chopping as I watched the young chef do it for me. The recipe as such is very simple and the tricks worked beautifully and tasted delicious. This can be one of the main course meal with flavours bursting out each mouthful.

Ingredients:

  • Eggplant – 4 big
  • Zucchini, green – 3
  • Zucchini, yellow – 3
  • Bell peppers – 2
  • Tomatoes – 8 large, firm
  • Onions – 2
  • Garlic – 20 pods
  • Rosemary, fresh – 3 tablespoons
  • Olive oil – 3/4 cup
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon, adjust
  • Pepper powder – 1 teaspoon, adjust

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degree C. Have an 8 inch round baking dish. Wash up all the vegetables and wipe them dry.

dsc_84012. Use a knife to score each tomatoes on either ends. Make a cross score on one side and a single score on the other side. This is to help peel the skin of the tomatoes after its cooked.

dsc_8415dsc_84163. In a vessel, add some water and the ice cubes and keep ice cold water ready. (This is to put the boiled tomatoes in and stop it from cooking immediately). Set the ice water aside.

Heat enough water in a huge pan. You need to have the vessel big enough that your sieve could go in, immerse the tomatoes and also easy to pick up the tomatoes after boiling. Let the water come to a rolling boil.

dsc_84204. Use a timer. Put the tomatoes in the sieve and immerse it into the boiling water. Wait for 50 seconds.

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dsc_84235. Once it reaches 50 seconds on your timer, remove the tomatoes immediately and put them into the bowl of ice cold water.

dsc_84266. Once its completely cold, peel the skin of the tomatoes. Set aside.

dsc_84287. Use a slicer and cut 1 mm thickness of the vegetables. Eggplant, both the zucchini and the boiled and peeled tomatoes. Use a knife to cut the boiled tomatoes.

dsc_84088. Keep the sliced vegetables ready. Set aside these sliced vegetables, as you make the sauce for the dish.

dsc_84549. To make the sauce, chop 1/2 cup of each vegetable into fairly smaller pieces – onions, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers. Garlic pods also goes with the vegetables.

dsc_843110. Add the chopped vegetables in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add salt, pepper and rosemary. Also add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

dsc_843211. Bring the saucepan of vegetables on stove top on medium flame. Keep it covered with a lid as you occasionally keep stirring to make sure its not burnt on the bottom.

dsc_844212. Let the vegetables get cooked completely. This might take about 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce flame to low as you go. Let cool completely, add 5 tablespoons of olive oil and use a blender to make a paste. You can also use your food processor.

dsc_8445dsc_8446dsc_844913. In a round baking dish, spread about 1 cup of the sauce evenly to the entire dish.

dsc_8455dsc_845614. Start arranging the layers of the sliced vegetables in a particular order. Yellow and green zucchini, tomato, eggplant. Repeat the order. Place them vertically in the dish, on top of the sauce that is spread.

dsc_845716. Continue going around and finish one whole round of arranging the sliced vegetables.

dsc_846617. Finish one round and start arranging another layer within the outer one.

dsc_8470dsc_847418. Pour about 1/3 cup of olive oil all over the arranged vegetables.

dsc_848319. Cut out butter paper with a whole in the center and that is to the size of the baking dish. Place it over the vegetables covering it gently.

dsc_848120. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 45 to 60 minutes or until the vegetables are thoroughly done and soft.

dsc_850121. Remove from oven. Use tongs to plate them and serve it hot.

dsc_8503Use some extra sauce as you serve the dish in portions.

logodsc_8530Mission accomplished!

Bake Along #134 – Cardamom Pistachio Frankenstein Cake

 

dsc_8538When two different celebrations fall very close to each other, something like this happens. An ethnic flavored cake to suit our taste palette for the festival of lights, Diwali and decorated for Halloween as Frankenstein πŸ™‚

dsc_8564Pistachios and cardamom in a cake is one of the best things that can happen in the world.

I happen to talk cakes and more cakes during my absence here at Bake Along. Meet a lot of cakey friends, make more love on different kinds of desserts, to groom and get groomed as well. One such beautiful friend came up with this amazing flavor and I just couldn’t resist sharing it with you all.

dsc_8581So, every time I meet someone who discusses some amazing baking stuff with me and I know that is a treasured recipe, I request them to not share it with me. For a good cause that I really want them to treasure it, else it will be on Bake Along one day. Well, I can’t keep secrets πŸ™‚ .

Hop on to The Sugar BaseΒ  from where my friend operates her studio who has endless love to pastries and I sometimes get overwhelmed on how much she can talk desserts and food πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ . Shower some love for her sharing one of the best selling cake flavors from her studio !!

Ingredients:

  • Milk – 90 gms
  • Eggs – 6 Large
  • Pure vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • All purpose flour – 250Β  gms
  • Cornflour – 50 gms
  • Granulated white sugar – 300
  • Baking powder – 1 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Unsalted butter – 370 gms, softened
  • Whole Cardamom – 2 tablespoons
  • Granulated white sugar – 2 teaspoons
  • Pistachios – 1 1/2 cup
  • Cooking oil – 4 tablespoons

Cardamom American Buttercream –

  • Unsalted butter – 500 gms
  • Icing sugar – 1000 gms
  • Cardamom powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Milk – 2 tablespoons, adjust

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degree C. Butter four 7 inch round cake pans and line the bottom of the pan with butter paper. (Picture has only 3, but later I decided to use 4 pans). Set aside.

dsc_84172. Add the pistachios in the food processor. Pulse for a minute until it becomes a crumbly paste.

dsc_83963. Add the oil and again process for 2 to 3 more minutes until it becomes a paste. Doesn’t have to be very smooth. Set aside.

dsc_8397dsc_83984. Add the cardamom and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a clean, dry food processor.

dsc_83995. Process for 2 to 3 minutes until the cardamom and sugar becomes a smooth powder. Sieve it and store the fine powder.Set aside.

dsc_84026. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla in a bowl.

dsc_84067. Use a wire whisk or a fork to beat them lightly until combined. Set aside.

dsc_84078. Add all-purpose flour, cornflour, baking powder, salt and sugar in the bowl of your electric beater. Beat for 1 minute on medium speed until all the dry ingredients are combined well.

dsc_84049. Add butter in small cubes and beat on medium high speed for 3 minutes until it becomes creamy and pale.

dsc_8405dsc_840910. Add the egg-milk mixture in 2 parts into the batter. Beat on medium speed for a minute after the first addition. Once all the liquid mixture has been added, beat on medium high speed for 3 minutes.

dsc_841011. Add 3 teaspoons of the cardamom powder and all of the pistachio paste into the batter. Beat on medium high speed for 1 minute until all the ingredients are combined.

dsc_841312. Divide the batter into the 4 prepared cake pans. Use a knife to score over the batter. This will help the air escape while baking and give you an even top cake.

dsc_841813. Bake in the pre-heated oven at 150 degree C for about 40 to 50 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Transfer the cakes directly onto a cling wrap and freeze it for minimum 4 hours to over night.

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Cardamom American Buttercream –

14. Add the butter in the bowl of your electric beater.

dsc_844815. Beat the butter on medium high speed for 3 minutes until the butter becomes soft, light and fluffy.

dsc_845016. Add the icing sugar and milk and start to beat on slow speed until the icing sugar gets incorporated. Then increase the speed to medium high and beat for about 4 minutes until the buttercream becomes fluffy and light.

dsc_845117. Add the cardamom powder and beat for about a minute on medium high speed to incorporate the flavor to the entire batch of the buttercream.

Assembly-

18. Thaw the frozen cake at the room temperature for 30 minutes while keeping the cling wrap on. Once the condensation gets over, remove the cling wrap. Fill the layers of the cake with theΒ  buttercream.

dsc_8471Adjust the amount of filling as per taste.

dsc_848019. To give it the frankenstein look, colour the buttercream green. Cover up the cake with buttercream. Smooth out using a metal scrapper around the sides of the cake. Freeze for 30 minutes.

dsc_848620. Add another thin layer of the buttercream over the frozen/set cake and smooth out. Decorate for the face of frankenstein using chocolate ganache.

dsc_8487Make a drip on top for the hair. Eyes using white buttercream. Eye brows, lips, stitches using the chocolate ganache. I used a paint brush for the stitches.

dsc_8581You can flavor any filling/frosting of choice using the cardamom. SMBC, IMBC, Mousseline buttercream, Creme diplomat, White chocolate ganache etc. You can as well add some pistachio paste into the buttercream to give you added pista flavour to the filling and frosting as well. But I felt this by itself is very subtle and amazing for quite a few slices on one go.

 

Bake Along #133 – Independence Day Cupcakes

 

DSC_0318And when the post falls exactly on the Independence Day, there is no way out. This is officially my first tricolor attempt. I had a lot of ideas but I just wanted to keep it simple and be plain about the flavors to the corresponding colours. So they are orange, vanilla and mint.

DSC_0321Personally I do not appreciate artificial flavorings. I would rather encourage natural extracts but most of which are not easily available in our country. Said that, I have been getting favorable feedback on FAB flavorings. I had ordered a dozen different flavors, rum, irish cream, mint, orange, whisky, chilly, raspberry and like so. It can’t be better to use the orange and mint on the special post.

DSC_0324There is another best thing to this. The base recipe is an amazing vanilla cupcake’s recipe which uses oil. The one that I have tagged as The Best Vanilla Cupcakes Ever is definitely the best, no doubts. But my fever for the never ending search with different textures using different ingredients is still alive. This one uses oil for fat and there is no way that I can miss out on this one. And this is by all means can again take the tag as the best ever. According to me, we are still open to options to choose our fat and yet make the best ever vanilla cupcakes.

Recipe Source: Glorious Treats

Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Cornflour – 1/4 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 1/4 teaspoon
  • Baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Eggs – 2
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Flavorless cooking oil – 1/2 cup
  • Butter milk – 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Orange extract – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Mint extract – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Food colours – Orange & Green, 5 drops each, adjust

** Egg substitute – Replace both eggs with flaxmeal replacement. Check out the link for the right measurements

Frosting:

  • Whipping cream – 1 cup
  • Food colours – Orange & Green, 5 drops each, adjust

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degree C. Line up a dozen cupcake pan with paper liners.

DSC_03002. Sift together all-purpose flour, cornflour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

DSC_02833. Add the eggs into the bowl of your electric beater. Start to beat on medium speed and continue to beat on medium high speed for about 2 to 3 minutes until the eggs become pale and light.

DSC_02844. Keep the beater running and add the sugar in a slow stream as you beat. After the addition of all of the sugar, continue to beat on medium high speed for 5 minutes until the mixture becomes pale, light and fluffy with a ribbon consistency.

DSC_02865. Add oil in a slow stream as the beater is running and again continue to beat on medium high speed for 3 to 4 minutes. Do not add the oil all at one go without the beater running.

DSC_02896. Add the dry flour mixture in 3 parts and buttermilk in 2 parts, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Beat in slow speed just until combined. Do not over beat.

DSC_0290DSC_02917. Divide the batter between 3 bowls. Add vanilla extract into one of the bowl and fold it gently until combined.

DSC_02938. To the second bowl add the orange extract.

DSC_02949. To the third bowl add mint extract.

DSC_029510. Add the corresponding colours into both the bowls.

DSC_029611. Gently fold the flavor and colour into the batter. Do not over mix.

DSC_0297DSC_029812. Fill 3 piping bags with each of the tricolored batter.

DSC_029913. Cut open the tip of the piping bags. Divide and pipe the green batter into the bottom of the prepared cupcake liners.

DSC_030114. Bake in the pre-heated oven at 180 degree C for about 5 minutes, the cupcake would still not be done. Let the oven keep running, as you take out the pan to continue to fill with the other two colors of batter.

DSC_030215. Fill white batter on top of the semi baked green. Bake in pre-heated oven at 180 degree C for 5 minutes.

DSC_030416. Remove from oven and pipe on top with orange batter. Bake in pre-heated oven at 180 degree C for 10 minutes.

DSC_030617. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the cupcake pan and let them come to room temperature on wire rack.

DSC_030818. Divide the whipping cream into the 3 bowls. Beat each on medium speed for upto 5 minutes. Add the food colours when the whipping cream is still in the liquid state. Do not over whip or you may dry out the frosting. Stop while it is still glossy, yet has stiff peaks.

DSC_030719. Fill each colour in different piping bags. Chop off the tip of each piping bag for about a cm thick.

DSC_030920. Fit another big piping bag with a star nozzle and fix it over a long tumbler.

DSC_031021. Place the tri-colored whipping cream piping bags inside this bigger piping bag, so they fit in all at equal heights.

DSC_031122. Close the piping bag and squish out the icing and flush out as much as it takes to let all the 3 colours to come out evenly. Begin piping over the cooled cupcakes. Keep changing the direction of the nozzle, a single given direction will give out the shades beautifully that you may like the most. Do not change after you have figured out your best composition of the shades.

DSC_0313Serve them right away. They are good to be eaten fresh. If refrigerating, they have to be thawed down to get back the texture of the cupcakes.

DSC_0334You can also make a saffron and pista flavored tricolor cupcakes. Add about 1/3 cup of pista meal into the 1/3rd of the batter. You can choose to add food colour for a brighter shade. Soak saffron strands in about 2 tablespoons of hot milk. Use the extract to mix with the 1/3 rd of the batter. Add colour if you prefer. For the orange flavour, you can add the zest of orange and about 2 tablespoons of orange juice. Also use cardamon flavor to the green and add green food colour.

DSC_0343Go wild about making up your flavors. The best thing is to use this recipe and finally enjoy the moist and delicious cupcakes which uses oil for fat.

Happy Independence Day!!

 

Bake Along #132 – Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cake

 

DSC_0222Brown butter was in my check list for almost a year. I was waiting for the perfect time to get my hands on it. I had my own insight about it and I was trying to feel and taste it virtually all these days. Nothing short of it, because it makes sense to trust our instincts πŸ˜€

DSC_0228DSC_0247DSC_0251DSC_0253The brown butter cake predominantly has a nutty flavor shifting the whole experience from being a basic pound cake to a deeper and sensational flavor. I wanted to incorporate chocolate chips into the batter and again cover the cake with chocolate ganache and deck it up with whole lot of chocolate chips. Because this is one other avatar of what was in my check list from years back.

DSC_0255DSC_0268DSC_0271This cake will be close to my heart, because this will be recreated to reach my brother on the day of Raksha Bandhan, but well he is many many miles away from me πŸ™‚

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Recipe inspired – Bonjoursucre

Ingredients:

  • Butter – 115 gms
  • Eggs – 4
  • Sugar – 250 gms
  • Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Dairy cream – 1/3 cup
  • All-purpose flour – 240 gms
  • Baking powder – 1 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Chocolate chips – 1 cup

Ganache –

  • Dark chocolate – 100 gms
  • Dairy cream – 100 gms

Topping –

  • Chocolate chips – 2 cups

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degree C. Line up an 8 inch round cake pan ( I have used 9 inch) with butter paper. Butter the sides of the pan and also on top of the butter paper.

DSC_01972. Sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

DSC_02053. Add butter in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.DSC_01884. Bring butter on medium flame and let it melt gently. Keep stirring.

DSC_01895. Continue to stir and keep it on medium flame. The bubbles may rise up and then settle down. While it is settling down, bring down flame to low and continue to stir. Watch the colour of the butter change to deep honey. Switch off stove and let it cool. Do not let it burn.

DSC_0190DSC_01966. Add the eggs in the bowl of your electric beater. Beat on medium high speed for 1 minute until the eggs become pale in colour.

DSC_01957. Let the beater run and add the sugar in a slow stream into the eggs.

DSC_01988. Continue to beat on medium high speed for about 5 minutes until the mixture becomes thick and pale with a ribbon consistency

DSC_02009. Add vanilla extract and beat for about 1 minute until its well incorporated.

DSC_020110. Add the dairy cream and beat on medium high speed for about 1 minute.

DSC_020411. Add the flour mixture in 2 parts and beat on slow speed just until incorporated. Do not over beat.

DSC_0207

DSC_020812. Add about a cup of the prepared batter into the browned butter.

DSC_020913. Mix the cup of batter and brown butter thoroughly.

DSC_021014. Add the mixture back into the rest of the batter. Cut and fold gently and incorporate everything together without deflating the batter.

DSC_021115. Add the chocolate chips and again cut and fold until its incorporated evenly

DSC_021216. Transfer batter into the prepared cake pan and tap it gently once or twice. Bake in pre-heated oven for 35 to 40 minutes at 160 degree C or until the top is golden brown and a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

DSC_021317. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert cake pan and remove the cake and let it cool on the wire rack and let it come down to the room temperature.

DSC_021418. Add chocolate and cream in a microwave safe bowl for making the ganache.

DSC_021519. Microwave for 1 minute and gently stir until chocolate melts completely and combines with the cream. Let it cool down for few minutes, but still has a flowy consistency.

DSC_021720. Add the chocolate ganache on top of the cooled cake.

DSC_021821. Spread out the ganache to the edge of the cake and also let it drip a bit on the sides. (The swirl on top, what I have done, makes no sense through πŸ˜€ )

DSC_021922. Add the 2 cups of chocolate chips on top of the ganache and press it down to make it look even.

DSC_0220You can set this in fridge for about 1 hour, but they need to be thawed down to room temperature before serving.

You can also add your variations with toasted chopped nuts, zest of citrus fruits etc. You can also top the cake with pralines to add to the crunchiness.

DSC_0264DSC_0265

 

Bake Along #131 – Brookies

 

DSC_0181Love for brownies and I was hunting to chance upon another brilliant brownie recipe. Though I am all happy with the brownies that I make and there can’t be anything better than that πŸ™‚ , So how do we twist it and also satiate the hunt for yet another best brownie.

Brookies come to the rescue πŸ™‚

DSC_0180Most delicious brownie and a sensational cookie that you can call it. The edges are just soft yet have a mild crunch to call it a cookie and it gets soft and fudgy as you get inside to the middle of the brookie.

DSC_0177The quality of the cocoa powder speaks over the flavor. Addition of the best quality chocolate chips and nuts add to it. I have used a locally available cocoa powder which has the best flavor. Callebaut dark chocolate chips and hazelnuts. Just can’t get any better.

Recipe Inspiration: ihearteating

Ingredients:

  • Dark chocolate – 320 gms
  • Butter – 100 gms
  • Eggs – 3
  • Granulated sugar – 1 cup
  • Brown sugar – 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tablespoon
  • Baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • All-purpose flour – 3/4 cup
  • Cocoa powder – 1/4 cup
  • Nuts of choice – 1 cup
  • Semi-sweet / milk chocolate chips – 1/2 cup

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degree C. Line up a baking tray with butter paper/silicon mat. Sift together all-purpose flour and cocoa powder.

DSC_01422. Add chocolate and butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring it on medium flame and keep stirring constantly until completely melted.

DSC_01383. Set aside the chocolate sauce to cool down.DSC_01414. Add eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder, salt in the bowl of your electric beater.

DSC_01395. Start to beat on medium high speed for 5 minutes until the mixture becomes pale and thick with a ribbon consistency.

DSC_01436. Add the cooled down chocolate mixture into the batter and beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes until the mixture is combined thoroughly.

DSC_01487. Add the sifted flour mixture along with the nuts and chocolate chips into the batter and beat on slow speed just until all of them are incorporated. Do not over beat.

DSC_01498. Transfer the batter into a cling wrap and refrigerate it for 4 hours or over night to firm up.

DSC_01509. Scoop out just about 1 tablespoon of the firm batter and make balls and place them spaced well apart on the prepared baking tray.

DSC_015410. Bake them at 180 degree C for 10 minutes just until the brookies are well spread and have firm edge. They will look gooey in the center. Do not over bake. Cool them on wire rack.

DSC_0155They are ready to be eaten warm, if its easy to handle. They are fragile when they are warm. Use a bench scrapper or a broad offset metal spatula to pick them from the baking tray. Store them in airtight containers. If going to store them stacked, place a layer of butter paper in between. Stores in refrigerator for about a week.

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