Category Archives: Recipes

Substitutes for Eggs in Baking

 

Here are 3 reliable natural sources of egg replacements that can be used in most of baking recipes like in cakes, cookies or brownies. They are not suitable to be used in sponge  cakes, breads, custard or few others which might not give the desired results.

Each egg can be replaced with the below replacements

1. 1/4 cup of pureed silken tofu

2. 1 tablespoon of flaxseed powder soaked in 3 tablespoons of water for 5 minutes and then processed in small jar mixie for a minute until wobbly.

3. 1/4 cup thick hung curd

4. 1/4 cup pureed fully ripe banana

If any recipe calls for more than 1 egg, you can use combination of the above replacements. Also if a recipe calls for 2 eggs or more, using the hung curd replacement for both the eggs might make the batter too moist and results wont be as desired. Such cases, use flaxseed powder replacement for one egg and thick hung curd replacement for the other egg. Or you can stick to using flaxseed powder replacement for both the eggs. Silken tofu, though a bit expensive serves the purpose and gives better results.

* Not all recipes behave the same with natural egg replacers. You need to understand how much moisture each ingredient would bring to the batter and prepare your replacements accordingly

* There are certain ready egg replacers in market and they can also be used as per the manufacturers instructions

* These replacers CANNOT be used in recipes where eggs are separated and where whites are beaten up to stiff peaks

Bake Along #6 – Gingerbread House

 

 

 

Gingerbread house was on my wish list for more than a year and this year I feel so happy to have accomplished it. I tried to make the decoration all simple with royal icing and few piping. I also could not print out the template so I did some maths and cut out my templates. But I’m going to link other templates to make it easier for you to print and cut them out.

 

You can get creative while decorating the house. For those who want to avoid raw egg whites and skeptical about making royal icing for decoration, can melt some white chocolate and use it for glueing the parts together and also for the decorations.

 

Let me brief up process before we get started

1. Printing/preparing and cutting out templates.

2. Prepare cookie dough.

3. Roll out dough and cut them out according to template cutouts.

4. Bake the cutout cookie dough and let cool.

5. Stick the parts of house together using royal icing or white chocolate.

6. Decorate the house and finish with dusting icing sugar for snowy effect

 

Ingredients:

For cookie dough:

  • 100g butter, chopped
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup golden syrup, I used honey
  • 2 quantities Royal Icing
  • Icing sugar fordusting snow/decorating

** Double the cookie dough recipe, if you are looking at making a bigger house or in case 2 houses.

Royal Icing:

  • 1 Egg white
  • 1 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

 

 

Links to few templates – Template 1, Template 2, Template 3

Method:

1. Print out any one of template, and paste them onto a thick card board or atleast a chart paper. Cut it out neatly. If you could not print, draw your own template in a card board and cut it out.

Measurements I used were for a small ginger bread house, you can scale it out as per need.

 

2. Pre-heat oven to 175 degree C. Line up baking tray with aluminium foil or butter paper. Beat together butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add egg and beat for about a minute. Add vanilla extract and beat. Add honey/Golden syrup and beat until combined.

3. Sift together flour, baking powder, ginger powder and cinnamon powder. Add the flour into the butter mixture and mix well. Use your hands finally to knead and form a pliable dough

4. Flour your counter and roll out dough upto 5 mm thickness. Place the template cutouts on top of the rolled dough, use your knife or pizza cutter to cut them them exactly as each template. Make sure to cut 2 roofs, 2 sides, a front and a back.

5. Place each of the cutout dough on the baking tray which has been lined. Bake them for 15 minutes at 175 degree C and let cool completely. Store them in airtight container until ready to assemble and decorate.

6. Royal Icing: Beat the egg whites until frothy. Add lemon juice and beat for about a minute. Now add the icing sugar a little at a time and beat on high speed until soft peaks are formed.

7. In a piping bag fill up 3 tablespoons of royal icing and use a small round tip or cut open the piping bag. Pipe some royal icing to the bottom of the front part and stick it on the board. Hold for sometime giving it time to dry. Now pipe some royal icing to the back of the front part on one side and stick one of the side portion. Hold for sometime until it holds in place.

8. Similarly pipe royal icing to every edge and place each portion until the structure is formed. Make sure to hold the roofs using your hands for sometime until they dry out and does not slide down.

9. I made 2 portions of royal icing as I decided to decorate the house by colouring royal icing. I made some red and white and finished the roof with basket weave tip. I did some dot piping on the top. Made the path for the house. I also made a wreath with some green and used leaf tip. Dusted icing sugar finally for a snowy effect. You can get very creative and use candys, pipe white chocolate, make trees, door, chimney etc and make your gingerbread house very special.

Gingerbread house is something I really panicked though I know its all about baking and decorating. I wondered if the house will stand with the structure or fall off or how difficult the whole process is. But I really enjoyed the whole process and every single step fell in place making it very easy like yet another peaceful baking process.

Get along and create your gingerbread house!

 

Bake Along #5 – Christmas Truffles

 

 

 

I see truffles in 2 different ways. One has the center made of icing sugar and cream flavoured as per choice, or a nicely set ganache. This one I am going to show you is made with cake. As much as we have to make christmas truffles, its ideal to make the truffle with fruit cake. You could, but make these truffles with any cake. To make them festive I have decorated them like a christmas pudding.

 

I have used white chocolate to decorate the truffles on top. You could also make royal icing for the same.

 

Ingredients:

Fruit cake ( or any flavoured cake) – 300 gms

Condensed milk – 2 tablespoons

Nuts ( Walnuts, Almonds, Cashews) – 1/3 cup, toasted and finely chopped

Orange Liquer/Rum – 2 tablespoons

Dark Chocolate – 100 gms

White Chocolate – 50 gms

 

Method:

1. Scramble the cake.

2. Place the scrambled cake on your food processor or your electric beater. Add condensed milk and liquer/alcohol and process until the mixture becomes like a pliable mass. Transfer them on to a plate, add the nuts and knead until they are combined. Make bite sized balls. Refrigerate until they are firm.

3. Meanwhile, chop the dark chocolate and melt in microwave or a double boiler.

4. Take the firmed cake balls carefully and drop them into the melted chocolate. Use a teaspoon to toss them all over and lift them using your teaspoon, letting the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Place them on truffle liners, or a butter paper and let set again at room temperature.

5. While the truffles are setting, melt some white chocolate and fill up a small piping cone. Once the truffles are set, pipe the top with some white chocolate giving it a christmas pudding look. Top with some cut cherries. I made some fondant balls 🙂

I also popped the truffles on lollipop sticks. Here is a video link, which shows in detail how to make the truffles in pop sticks. Christmas pudding cake pop video by learn cake decorating online

Bake Along #4 – Rich Fruit Cake

 

 

 

Baking fruit cakes is any bakers dream. I was aspiring to solve all the puzzles behind one rich and traditional fruit cake and I did accomplish to some extent one year back. And the whole year through my dream again was all about baking yet another rich, flavourful and one traditional style fruit cake. I unveiled all the mysteries behind and now I feel so complete as a baker. Rich fruit cake is no more a secret but all breeze.

 

Ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter – 250 gms
  • All-purpose flour – 250 gms
  • Powdered brown sugar – 1 1/2 cups
  • Eggs – 3
  • Baking Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon – 1/2 inch stick
  • Nutmeg – 1 broken roughly
  • Cloves – 5
  • Caraway Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Walnuts/Cashews/Almonds – 1 cup, mix of all nuts, or any one, depending on your choice
  • All-purpose flour for dusting the dry fruits – 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Caramel syrup – 1/2 cup
  • Raisins – 1 cup
  • Sultanas – 1 cup
  • Seedless dates – 1 Cup
  • Glaced red cherries – 1 cup
  • Citrus fruit peel – 1/2 cup
  • Apricots – 1/4 cup
  • Figs – 1/4 cup

Caramel Syrup:

  • Granulated white sugar – 2 cups
  • water – 1/2 cup
  • water – 1 cup (to “stop” the caramelization process)

 

What makes a fruit cake different from other cakes? Why would any new baker panic on fruit cakes ? Here is what I think about it

1. Soak fruits well in advance, we dont know how long before should we soak, and the whole process is a mystery until it is revealed. You can soak it just over night in case you are pressed for time and need an emergency fruit cake. Ideally fruits are soaked in september to bake the cake on first week of december so it has the time to mature before the festival. You can as well soak this year and use it for the following year. Yes you can soak it for one year. The more it soaks the richer your cakes would be.

2. Spices. Spices are added for flavour is one thing. I also assume or it could be a fact that its added for digesting the enormous quantity of fruits thats going inside the cake. Major spices include cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. You can add to this, cardamom, caraway seeds, cumin and dry ginger. Store bought spice powders are not original flavour I assume adulteration. So I process the dry whole spices along with granulated white sugar and make my own fine spice powder.

3. Low temperature and slow baking. Unlike other cakes, fruits cakes cant be baked at 175 degrees. There are huge amount of fruits which might burn first before the batter cooks. So we have to bake at low temperature letting fruits and cake to cook at the same time. By doing this, we have to increase the time of baking. That way we also should take care of the sides and bottom of the cake. Lining the pan with double parchment, covering the sides of the pan with newspaper and lining the baking tray with newspaper and placing the cake pan over it and baking for long hours are something to be handled with fruit cakes.

4. Letting to mature. Rich fruit cakes are not eaten fresh. Once baked and cooled they are supposed to be brushed with alcohol and covered with double cling wrap and placed in airtight containers and let at room temperature for about a month. The alcohol acts as a preservative. If left for long you should unwrap every week and brush again with alcohol and wrap it up and store.

5. What alcohol. Alcohol could be brandy/whisky/rum. Wine can also be used. You can stick to only one variety. Or you can combine any of them. It is completely your choice. You can play around and stick to one which suits your taste buds. What brand of each variety also depends on your choice. The better the quality the better the flavour of your cake.

Once you are clear with the subject this is just like creaming butter and sugar of any other recipe!

Enough of basics, lets get into the recipe.

Method:

Soaking fruits:

Soaking fruits marks the begining of fruit cakes. I have a detailed post on how to soak fruits. Check it out here. To brief it up here, chop all the dry fruits finely as possible. Place them in a large bowl. Line your hands with dispossible gloves. Mash them nicely. Add caramel syrup and mash the fruits again. Add the spice powders and mash it well. Now add alcohol and mash again and transfer the fruits into an airtight jar and set aside to soak for days. It could soak starting from 1 week to 1 year. The more they soak the richer your fruit cake would be.

For the spice powders, I do not like the flavour of the powders available in market. I make my own. Get the dry whole spices listed in the ingredients, process them along with 2 teaspoons of granulated white sugar on high for about 3 to 5 minutes until it is finely powdered. Once after that, use a fine seive and mildly seive it and get the fine particles down. Store that and use it in place of spice powder for your fruit cake and soaking.

Caramel Syrup:

In a heavy bottomed vessel, add the sugar and 1/2 cup water and switch on stove on high flame. The sugar will melt and start boiling. Use a wooden spoon to mix until it comes to a rolling boil. Bring down flame to medium high. Have a pastry brush handy and a cup of water. Now do not stir anymore but use the pastry brush and brush some water and touch the sides of the pan which might tend to brown first. The colour of the sugar syrup will change from white to beige. Do not stir but shake the vessel slightly. Keep it back on fire. Colour will start changing now a little quickly from beige to brown. Once the whole caramel becomes brown in colour switch off stove and remove the vessel from stove. Wear your mittens and pour the additional 1 cup of water, standing at a distance. Pour the water slowly, a little at time. The caramel in the vessel will try to bubble up. Do not panic. Keep pouring the remaining water a little at a time, away from a distance until the whole water has been used up. Now mix the water to blend with the syrup completely and put it back on fire on high flame for a couple of minutes until it thickens a little bit. Do not leave it again for long, else you will have a very thick and sticky caramel. Cool it down completely and store in airtight container. This you can do few days ahead and refrigerate. Make sure you dont have your kids around doing this process.

Here is a video link to elaborate more on the caramel syrup process. Watch the wet caramel syrup starts at 4th minute of the video.

Video Link to Making Caramel Syrup – by Yellowsaffron

Fruit Cake:

1. Pre-heat oven to 140 degree C. Line your deep 9 inch cake pan with double layer parchment paper. Also tie up a thick news paper around the sides of the cake pan. I used one 6 inch cake pan and remaining batter I split between disposible paper liners.

2. Sift together spices, flour, baking powder and salt. Keep aside.

3. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy about 5 minutes on your electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time and beat well for about a minute after each addition.

4. Add vanilla extract and caramel syrup and beat well until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat just until combined. Do not over beat. Remove bowl from beater and fold in nuts and use a wooden spatula to mix using folding motion.

5. Measure 4 to 5 cups from the soaked fruits and place it in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup of flour and toss well all over the fruits. We do this so the fruits do not sink at the bottom of the cake.

6. Add the tossed fruits into the batter and fold again so the fruits are mixed thoroughly.

7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. I decided to bake in several small giveaway liners, so gifting becomes easy 🙂

8. Line up the baking tray with a folded newspaper and place the pans on top of the paper. This is done to prevent the bottom of the cake from burning. Bake in the pre-heated oven at 140 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the top is brown, firm and a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Baking fruit cakes should be done on low temperature, slow baking for long hours. So all measure is being taken not to burn the cake. Cool on wire rack.So did u notice one more loaf that went inside oven is missing here ?!??!

9. Truly speaking, you should have one smaller loaf like I did, to munch it up, but its not worth to eat it right away.. Come on, control yourself. They have to be soaked again and let to mature. Ridiculous aint it ?! :D. But we have to.

Once completely cooled, place the cake on plastic liners, and brush or spoon alcohol as much as the cake could take or depending on how boozy you want your cake. Wrap it up with the liner. Make a double cover. Place it in air-tight container and let mature for about a month.

Before the day of gifting or using it for family, you can unwrap the cover and drizzle some icing sugar on top as a simple make over. You can also decorate it with royal icing, cover the cake with marzipan and top with christmas edible accessories made with marzipan. I’m going to let it mature and show you all the inside of cake after a while. Till then, happy baking !

Soaking Fruits for Rich Fruit Cake

 

 

Soaking fruits marks the beginning of the festive season. I used to panic couple of years back about the very thought of rich fruit cake. Today it seems quite easy as breeze but it took me so many days to get aquainted with all the process which makes it more than any regular cake. I wanted to soak fruits the traditional way and I had to do a lot of study to hunt those old methods and am finally very happy about the way I have soaked my fruits this year. Theraupatic!

Ingredients:

Spices:

  • Cinnamon – 1 inch
  • Nutmeg – 1, break them roughly.
  • Caraway seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cloves – 6
  • Ginger powder – 1 tsp
  • 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar

Dry Fruits:

  • Raisins – 1 cup
  • Sultanas – 1 cup
  • Seedless dates – 1 Cup
  • Glaced red cherries – 1 cup
  • Citrus fruit peel – 1/2 cup
  • Apricots – 1/4 cup
  • Figs – 1/4 cup

* Combination of fruits are completely your choice. This adds upto 5 cups in total. You can adjust them between a 3 to 5 cup based on your taste.
Caramel Syrup:

  • Granulated white sugar – 2 cups
  • water – 1/2 cup
  • water – 1 cup (to “stop” the caramelization process)

Alcohol:

  • Rum/Brandy/Whisky – 1 cup ( or combine a pair of alcohol along with red wine)

* Use a total of 1/2 cup in case you want lesser alcohol

 

Method:

1. Chop the fruits finely. Keep aside

2. Process the spices in your small jar food processor along with granulated white sugar until it is fine powder. This might take 3 to 5 minutes on high speed. Use a seive to sift the mixture. Do not over sift, let the granule particles stay on top. Remove it and grind again if needed or store it for later. Use the fine powder that has been collected at the bottom.

3. For caramel syrup: In a heavy bottomed vessel, add the sugar and 1/2 cup water and switch on stove on high flame. The sugar will melt and start boiling. Use a wooden spoon to mix until it comes to a rolling boil. Bring down flame to medium high. Have a pastry brush handy and a cup of water. Now do not stir anymore but use the pastry brush and brush some water and touch the sides of the pan which might tend to brown first. The colour of the sugar syrup will change from white to beige. Do not stir but shake the vessel slightly. Keep it back on fire. Colour will start changing now a little quickly from beige to brown. Once the whole caramel becomes brown in colour switch off stove and remove the vessel from stove. Wear your mittens and pour the additional 1 cup of water, standing at a distance. Pour the water slowly, a little at time. The caramel in the vessel will try to bubble up. Do not panic. Keep pouring the remaining water a little at a time, away from a distance until the whole water has been used up. Now mix the water to blend with the syrup completely and put it back on fire on high flame for a couple of minutes until it thickens a little bit. Do not leave it again for long, else you will have a very thick and sticky caramel. Cool it down completely and store in airtight container. This you can do few days ahead and refrigerate. Make sure you dont have your kids around doing this process.

Here is a video link to elaborate more on the caramel syrup process. Watch the wet caramel syrup starts at 4th minute of the video.

Video Link to Making Caramel Syrup – by Yellowsaffron

4. In a wide vessel add all the chopped fruits. Use a dispossible gloves and start kneading the fruits trying to mash the fruits thoroughly. Now add the caramel syrup and mash again so the syrup blends completely. Now add the spice powder and mash again. Finally add alcohol and mash again.

5. Transfer the prepared fruits in a porcelain jar/any airtight container and close it. Place the container safely until use.

6. Turn over the container, if using airtight plastic jars, every two days so the flavour mingles thoroughly all over. If using porcelain jar, give it a shake every 2 days and put it back in place. Do not open it regularly to visit. Let it be closed until use. Do not use your hands to pick up fruits from the jar.

7. If steps properly followed you can soak this method for a year. Make sure you add alcohol every month or two if soaking for  more than couple of months.

8. This batch will make one recipe or 1.5 times a recipe. You can soak as many batches with different combination of fruits/alcohol.

 

Bake Along #2 – Dulce De Leche Brownies / Caramel Brownies

 
 

Brownies are fudge like cakes, with a gooey center and a crusty top. There are quite a few varieties of brownies that one could make, starting from rich chocolate brownies, mocha brownies, pecan brownies, white chocolate brownies, cream cheese brownies, caramel brownies and the list goes on. Brownies have naturally become very common, a sure to pick for any chocoholic. But here our idea is to bake a normal brownie with some details added to it making it more scrumptious, decadent and give it an extra factor wanting to ask for more. Caramel brownies we can call it, but an easier version so originally it is called, ‘Dulce de Leche Brownies’.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • Walnuts – 1/2 cup, or any nuts of your choice. Its also optional,
  • Dulce de leche – 1 cup ( Check this for the method of making DDL, Divya’s Cookbook – How to prepare dulce de leche )

 * Egg-free bakers can use one of the 2 options given below

1. For each egg, puree 1/4 cup of silken tofu and use in place of eggs in the recipe.

2. For each egg, soak 1 tablespoon of flaxseed powder in 3 tablespoons of water for 5 minutes and process in small mixie jar for one minute until the mixture gets wobbly. Use in place of eggs in the recipe.

 

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven to 175 degree C. Place oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line up an 8 inch square cake pan with aluminium foil. Lining pan for brownies should be handled differently than a cake.  Here is how. Take a foil much larger than the size of the pan. Invert the pan upside down. Place the foil on top of the inverted pan and try to gently fold the sides of the foil upon the pan trying to give foil the shape of the pan. Now carefully lift the foil without changing its shape and put back the pan right side up. Now place the foil carefully inside the pan. Make sure you gently push it down and let the sides adhere to the pan and the 2 long sides have enough of tail outside, which would be useful to pull the brownies out of the pan once baked. Brush or apply some butter on the foil.

 

2. In a sauce pan, add butter and melt it. Now add brown sugar and whisk until mixed. It does not have to dissolve completely. Add the eggs one by one whisking well after each addition. In a separate bowl, sift or whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add the dry mixture into the butter and whisk until flour has been completely incorporated. Do not over beat.

 

3. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and spread all over the pan using a rubber spatula. Now use teaspoon to scoop out dulce de leche and spread them randomly on top of the brownie batter. Use a toothpick to swirl around. Now add the remaining batter on top and spread evenly using the spatula. Add the remaining dulce de leche on top and use toothpick to swirl over again. I just did some playing around with the swirling part here. You don’t have to do that. Swirling can be random.

 

4. Bake in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes until the top is crusted. Remove and cool on wire rack for 30 minutes. Use the tail of the foil to pull the brownies out carefully. Place them on the counter and try to remove the foil from the sides of the brownie. Use a shape knife, I use my dough cutter to cut them into squares of desired size. Carefully peel them off the foil. And now they are ready to be packed except one square! Yeah the maker deserves one right away!! 🙂

 

5. You can cling wrap the brownies and store in airtight container. They are good at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. Refrigerated for a week and can be frozen for about a month. Here are a couple of ideas for packaging. Several other ways are available though. They make a nice gift and ofcourse a best seller!

 

They make a great treat at any bake sale, kids parties, snacks for guests, kids school snack box and the list goes. I made these and they were some untiring after meal dessert for about 3 days 🙂

 

 

 

 

Bake Along #1 – Vanilla Fantasise

 

 

Fondbites Bake Along is a series of baking marathon, where a group of enthusiastic bakers join together to bake a similar recipe every week and share their results and discuss the outcome and scope of improvement. Bake Along #1, is an attempt to make a simple vanilla cake richer by adding a custard filling and frost it with whipped white ganache and decorate with chantily cream.

Ingredients:

For cake:

  • Butter – 150 gms
  • Sugar – 150 gms
  • Eggs – 3
  • Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • All-purpose flour – 150 gms
  • Baking powder – 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon

For custard:

  • Milk – 150 ml
  • Vanilla extract – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Eggs Yolks – 2
  • Sugar – 25 gms
  • All-purpose flour – 10 gms
  • Cornflour – 10 gms

For Whipped White Ganache:

  • White Chocolate – 150 gms
  • Diary fresh cream – 150 gms
  • Vanilla extract – 1/2 teaspoon

For Chantily cream:

  • Non-diary whipping cream – 1 cup, chilled
  • Granulated white sugar – 1 teaspoon
  • Vanilla extract – 1/2 teaspoon

 

Method:

Cake –

Preheat oven to 160 degree C. Place oven rack in the middle of the oven. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Butter and flour an 8 inch cake pan. Cream together butter and sugar on medium high speed for about 5 minutes until the mixture is creamy, fluffy, pale and light. Add the eggs one by one, beating well for atleast a minute after each addition. Add pure vanilla extract and beat well. Now fold in the flour mixture using a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula until flour has been incorporated and smooth. Do not over mix. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake in pre-heated oven for 30 to 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Cling wrap and store in freezer until need. If you are baking the same day of decorating, you can cling wrap and pop in refrigerator.

I wanted to show, its easily made with a spoon and no beater too.

 

For Custard –

Add egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and all-purpose flour into a sauce pan and mix well until smooth. In another sauce pan, heat up milk and vanilla until the sides start to bubble. Switch off stove and pour the milk into the eggs mixture in a slow stream while you constantly mix the mixture using a wire whisk. This way, the egg yolks are not cooked right away and no lumps are formed. Once milk has been added , mix well completely without any lumps. If you find any cooked scrambled eggs, use a strainer and get rid of the lumps. Place the mixture back on stove on medium low heat and keep stirring constantly. The mixture might thicken within few minutes and once you see custard forming, switch off stove and give it a nice mix until the custard is smooth. Transfer into a bowl immediately and cover with cling wrap, such that the wrap touches the top of the custard, this way we are preventing a film that would form on the top of the custard. Refrigerate until use.

 

For White Whipped Ganache –

Chop white chocolate into fine pieces and add it into a microwave safe bowl, pour cream and vanilla extract into it and microwave for 1 minute. Take it out stir well and make sure the chocolate has been fully melted. If you find lumps, pop it back in microwave for 30 seconds interval and stir it out until it is smooth. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours until very cold. Use electric beater and beat on medium high speed until the ganache whips and forms soft peeks.

 

Chantily Cream –

Chantily cream is a fancy word I consider for a whipped cream :). Add chilled whipping cream into your bowl and beat on medium speed until you see beater marks. Now add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat on medium high speed for about 5 minutes until you see stiff peaks. Save a 1/4 cup of the cream and transfer the remaining whipped cream gently into a piping bag fitted with any favorite star nozzle. Keep in refrigerator until need.

 

Assembly –

Place the cake on the serving plate/cake board. Torte/cut them horizontally into half. Place a toothpick mark on either side of the layers, just in case the cutting is not straight. Beat the custard that has been placed in the fridge until it becomes light and spreadable consistency. Spread it over the bottom layer of the cake. Place the top layer making sure the tooth pick marks fall in same line. Spread on top the whipped white ganache and smooth out roughly. Now use a spatula and start crumb coating the sides of the cake with the chantily cream. A very mild coating should do, since we will pipe over it. Its fine if the cake is seen. Now go over the top and cover the top also roughly. Smooth out as much possible that gives it some neat finish. Now use the frosting that has been filled in the piping bag. I decided to stick to the star piping straight lines from the bottom of the cake to the top with a rugged finish. Complete the entire sides of the cake. Make some swirls on top and add some colourful sprinkles or cherries/strawberries of your choice and finish up the cake.

 

Voila we did it !

 

 

Links to the completed project of Fondbites, Bake Along #1 will be added below using the linky tool.

Recipe source of pastry cream – Joy of Baking

 

Nutella Topped Choco Filled Vanilla Cupcakes

 

 

Traditional bakes are evergreen with their age old techniques producing amazing results. One such is the victoria sponge cake. A sturdy cake to me, yet it is named ‘sponge’. Airy and buttery, delicious on its own. I mildly wanted to make some twist to it to add some pep.

I put inside the batter, bits of home made chocolate pieces and topped the batter with a teaspoon of nutella and swirled it using a tooth pick. Whatta creation!! :D. The nutella top was a crust, the airy vanilla cake within and the chocolate finally.

I did this mainly to insist on ‘Go creative!’. As much as we do not alter the structure of the batter we are ready to create our own flavour. So whats your pick? 🙂

 

Ingredients:

  • Unsalted Butter – 150 gms
  • Granulated white sugar – 150 gms
  • Eggs – 3
  • Vanilla extract – 1 1/2 teaspoon
  • All-purpose flour – 150 gms
  • Baking powder – 1 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Nutella – 1/2 cup
  • Dark chocolate – 50 gms, chopped into pieces

Method:

Makes 12 medium sized cupcakes

1. Pre-heat oven to 175 degree C. Place oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line or butter muffin cups.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Keep aside.

3. Beat butter until light and fluffly. Add the sugar and beat on medium high speed until the mixture becomes creamy, fluffly and airy. This process takes atleast 5 minutes.

4. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg for atleast a minute. If the mixture starts to curdle, add a teaspoon of the measured flour and beat along with eggs.

5. Add pure vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.

6. Remove bowl from the beater and fold in the flour using a wooden spoon of a rubber spatula. Do not over mix, as it might alter the structure of the batter, trying to deflate the air that has been incorporated.

7. Scoop out batter into each muffin tray. Push into it about 5 gms of chocolate piece into the center of the batter of each cup.

8. Add one teaspoon of nutella to the top of each cup of batter. Now use a toothpick to swirl the top.

9. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 15 to 17 minutes until the top crusts and a tooth pick inserted into the center of one cupcake comes out clean.

10. Cool on wire racks. Store in air tight container. Stays good for 3 to 4 days in room temperature. Good for a week in refrigerator. Cling wrap them and freeze for longer time.

11. You can make frosting of your choice to serve for parties/kids.

Vanilla Malted Cookies

 

Piped cookies, always something that was on my wish list for a real long time. Another reason was a hunt on those melt in mouth biscuits/cookies of bakeries. Vanilla Malted Cookies is one version of such cookies but its not the exact indian bakery biscuits. I say because these cookies have cream cheese!!, malted milk powder!!!, butter!!!! :D. Am sure bakery biscuits are made with vegetable shortening.. Hunt will still go on, will keep you all posted on my next successful recipe

 

These cookies were melt in mouth, really soft centers and a very thin outer crunchy layer. They are good to be stored in airtight containers immediately after cooling it down and stored in refrigerators to retain the crispiness. I have used Wilton 1M to pipe half of the dough and another star nozzle for the rest. One batch I let to bake just right, which were overly soft, and the next batch I let bake a little longer which had a real nice brown base.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 120 gms cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

 

 

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 175 degree C. Line up a baking sheet with parchment paper or I used a silicon mat to line my baking tray.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Keep aside.
  3. Cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar for about 5 minutes on high speed until pale and fluffly. Add egg and beat for about a minute, then add vanilla extract and beat again until combined.
  4. Add flour and fold in just until the dough combines well.
  5. Prepare a piping with a big open star nozzle and fill 1/4 of the batter. Pipe rosettes or stars in your baking tray leaving 1 inch gap between each cookie.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven for 12 to 14 minutes until the base of the cookie is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  7. Once completely cool, transfer them into air-tight container.

 

Recipe inspired by: thelittleepicurean

 

Whole Wheat Choco Beet Cake

 

While I was brain-storming whats next on the whole wheat series, I wanted wheat not to create a big impact on the flavour and texture. So I thought if there was another ingredient that would help the situation, ‘Whole wheat chocolate beets cake’ sounded a best bet. The original recipe uses all plain flour. I digged in to make it the best out of the recipe, with right amount of wheat.

 

I didn’t want the cake to be totally fudgy, and so I decided to add part of flour with ‘cornflour’. Also I wanted the batter making process simple and made it using ‘Single bowl method’, it worked like charm.

I also decided to change my leavening agent to baking powder instead of soda. Am not sure if only I have the problem of sizzling tongue if I get to eat dishes containing soda :). But to me baking powder did a perfect job.

I also wanted to consume less time cooking beets. I peeled off the skin, cut them into pieces, pressure cooked them with quarter cup of water on high for about a minute or 2, until you get the pressure out of vent twice. Switch off stove and wait for the entire pressure to release by itself. Open and discard any water. Puree the cooked beets in your processor. Do not add water while pureeing.

But any plain chocolate cake, goes best with ganache – a made for each other. So I decided to have a dollop of ganache on it to make it more special.

Now enough of stories and pictures here :), get on to the recipe.

Ingredients:

Dark chocolate – 100 gms

Eggs – 3

Brown Sugar – 300 gms

Olive oil/ any cooking oil – 240 ml

Cooked beetroot – 300 gms

Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon

Cocoa powder – 30 gms

Whole wheat flour – 100 gms

All-purpose flour – 75 gms

Cornflour – 25 gms

Instant coffee powder – 2 tablespoons

Baking powder – 1 1/2 teaspoon

Salt – 1/4 teaspoon

 

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degree C. Line up 10 inch round cake pan, or two 7 inch pans.

2. Cook beets as given above and puree them smooth.

3. Melt chocolate and cool.

4. Add all the ingredients into a bowl and beat them on low speed for 3 minutes until the batter is smooth.

5. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake in oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

 

 

For Ganache:

Melt together 100 gms dark chocolate and 50 gms fresh dairy cream using double boiler or microwave for few seconds at a time until both combine smooth. Let cool for a while and pour ganache on top of the cake and spread using back of spoon to cover the top.