RSS

Category Archives: Cakes and Brownies

Irresistible Brownies

Irresistible Brownies

My weekend has started with a sweet note.

Just finished baking a whole tray of these absolutely irresistible brownies. I couldn’t wait for them to even cool, they were absolutely yummilicious….

When I am baker shared cookies and cups recipe of the brownies, couldn’t resist the temptation to make them. After a week of just drooling over the picture, today was the day as I had nothing much to do and was craving a sweet. So voila…..

IMG_6372

Ingredients:

All purpose flour/ maida                                                                  –              2 cups

Butter (melted)                                                                               –              1 cup

Sugar                                                                                            –              1 ½ cups (original 2 cups)

Cocoa powder                                                                                –              ½ cup

Eggs                                                                                             –              4 nos

Vanilla extract                                                                                –              1 ½ tsps

IMG_6376

For the frosting:

Butter                                                                                              –              ¼ cup

Cocoa powder                                                                                  –              ¼ cup

Milk                                                                                                 –              ¼ cup

Powdered sugar                                                                                –              1 ½ cups (original 2 1/2 cups)

IMG_6383

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 170 deg centigrade.

Grease and line a 9 x 13 inch tray with wax paper. Keep ready.

Using an electric beater whisk the melted butter and sugar.

Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to incorporate the egg completely before adding the next.

Beat well till the mixture is pale yellow.

Add the cocoa powder and beat again till completely smooth.

Pour in the vanilla essence and beat well.

Now, slowly add the flour and mix only till combined. Do not over mix after adding the flour.

Spread the mixture on the prepared tray and bake for 20-22 minutes.

While the brownies are baking, we can make the frosting.

IMG_6386

Beat the butter, cocoa powder, milk and powdered sugar together till they are well combined. There should be lumps in the mixture. Keep aside.

Test the brownies to see if they are done. The skewer inserted will not come out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes.

Spread the frosting on the brownie when it is warm. This helps the frosting to spread better.

Allow it to cool completely before cutting.

(I became too..restless and cut before it set completely, you can see the cracks)

Serve and ENJOY!!!

IMG_6394

Note:

I reduced the quantity of sugar as I don’t like them too sweet. They were still yummy and fudgy.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on November 6, 2014 in Brownies, Cakes and Brownies

 

Tags: ,

Ricotta Cheesecake with Cherry Compote

Ricotta Cheesecake with Cherry Compote

Ricotta cheese is made from the whey got from making other cheeses. It is cooked to produce a mild, soft and granular cheese.

This ricotta cheesecake is both light and fluffy. It is wonderfully creamy because of the cream cheese and is light because of the ricotta. The cheese cake tastes very nice by itself but serving them with a sauce just cuts the creaminess and the cleanses the palate.

The process may seem long, but trust me, it’s very easy to make..

Enjoy your cheesecake with or without the sauce.

IMG_5627

Ingredients:

For the crust:

Digestive biscuits (crumbs)                                                             –              1 cup

Powdered sugar                                                                             –              2 tbsps

Unsalted butter (melted)                                                                 –              2-3 tbsps

For the filling:

Ricotta cheese (drained)                                                                 –             1 cup

Cream cheese                                                                                –            1/2 cup

Eggs                                                                                             –              2 nos

Sugar                                                                                            –              ¾ cup

Lemon (zest)                                                                                  –              1 no

Vanilla extract                                                                                –              1 tsp

For the cherry sauce:

Cherries (fresh and pitted)                                                                –              1 cup

Sugar                                                                                             –              ¼ cup

Cornstarch                                                                                     –              1 tbsp

Lemon juice                                                                                   –              1 tsp

IMG_5654

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees centigrade. Prepare a spring form pan or a pie tin with loose plate by coating it with a layer of oil inside. Wrap the spring form tin/ pie tin with two layers of the aluminium foil on the outside. This is to prevent any water from entering into the crust while baking it in the water bath.

For the crust:

In a food processor, blend the digestive biscuits, sugar and melted butter together. The crumbs would resemble wet sand.

Pour the crumbs into the prepared tin and press them evenly at the bottom.

Cover and cool them in the fridge for 15-20 minutes, till you make the filling.

For the filling:

In a large bowl, add the cream cheese. With an electric mixer beat the cream cheese till it is light and fluffy.

Add the ricotta cheese and sugar and beat till they are well combined. This should take approx 5-7 minutes.

Now, add the eggs, one at a time making sure to mix them well before each addition.

Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl, to make sure everything is incorporated into the mixture.

Finally add in the cornstarch and the lemon zest and mix well for 2 minutes.

IMG_5645

 

For assembling the cheesecake:

Remove the pie crust from the fridge and pour the prepared filling into it.

Place the tin in a large tray and pour enough hot water into the larger tray to come up to half way of the sides of the pie tin. The larger tray acts as a water bath for the pie-tin.

Bake for 40-50 minutes till the cheesecake has cooked well on the outer and has a slight wobble in the centre.

Remove the pie tin from the water bath and cool.

Refrigerate the cheesecake for 4-5 hours and serve with the sauce.

For the sauce:

In a medium sauce pan, combine all the ingredients for the sauce and cook on a medium heat.

Keep stirring till the sauce thickens and is bubbly.

Remove from heat and let it cool.

Serve with the cheesecake.

ENJOY!!!

IMG_5646

Note:

The cheese cake has to be done with all the ingredients at room temperature.

Beating the cream cheese and ricotta and after adding each egg makes the cake fluffy and light.

The water bath is used as the cheese cake is like a custard and cooks best in a water bath.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 20, 2014 in Cakes, Cakes and Brownies, Desserts

 

Tags: , , , ,

Garlic Knots

Garlic Knots

It’s been 2 weeks now since we’ve been having only south Indian food. Don’t know about you, but I can’t have any more, need something different now.

When I was thinking what I could make, dint want anything much, just a simple soup for myself and pasta for the kids. So, what would go along with this?

Yes, garlic knots….

These are absolutely easy to make and the kids love them ‘cos they are tiny and covered with garlic butter. The inner layer of the knots are soft and spongy and can soak up any soup.

IMG_5608

Ingredients:

For the dough:

All purpose flour                                                                  –              2 ½ cups

Olive oil                                                                              –              ¼ cup

Dry yeast                                                                           –              1 ½ tsp

Warm water                                                                        –              1 cup (almost)

Sugar                                                                                 –              ¾  tbsp

Salt                                                                                    –              ½ tsp

For the garlic coating:

Olive oil                                                                               –              2-3 tbsps

Unsalted butter                                                                    –              2 tbsps

Powdered garlic                                                                   –              2 tbsps

Parsley (finely chopped)                                                       –              2 tbsps

Salt to taste

IMG_5611

Method:

In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, sugar and the dry yeast with the warm water. Mix well for the yeast to dissolve and froth.

Leave it aside for 10 minutes.

In a slightly larger bowl, add the flour. Pour in the yeast mixture and knead well to form a dough.

The dough will not be a sticky dough, it will be soft to touch but will not stick to the hands.

Cover the dough and keep in a warm place for it to proof and double in volume. This process should take approx an hour or two.

Once the dough has doubled in volume, it is ready for knotting.

Divide the dough into smaller balls and with the help of a rolling-pin, roll them into ½” thick rectangles.

Now, with the help of a knife or a pizza cutter, cut them into strips 5” in length and 1/2” wide.

Sprinkle flour on the counter top and roll the cut strips into a rope.

Tie into a knot i.e. over the rope, then under and then through. (follow the picture)

buns

Place these knots on a tray lined with parchment paper. Place the knots 1” apart giving them enough space to double, again.

Continue making the remaining knots, making sure to cover the prepared knots with a tea-towel.

Place them in a warm place again for them to double. This would take around 20-25 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Bake the knots in the oven for 15-18 minutes, till they have a golden crust. Keep checking after 15 minutes as every oven has a different temperature setting.

While the knots are baking, we need to prepare the garlic butter.

In a pan, over medium heat warm the olive oil, butter, powdered garlic, salt and the chopped parsley. When all the butter has melted, remove from heat and set aside.

After the knots are done, remove from the oven and brush the garlic butter over them while they are still hot.

Serve with pasta or just soup.

Enjoy!!!

IMG_5607

Note:

For the amount of flour used, I got roughly 15 knots.

The dough after having doubled in volume, can be stored in the fridge for use later. Just wrap the dough with cling film or put it into a zip-lock pouch and store in a fridge. Before using, bring it back to room temperature and tie the knots.

IMG_5618

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Breads, Eggless baking

 

Tags: , , , ,

Ghee Biscuits

Ghee Biscuits

Having spent all my summer vacations, winter vacations and any other holiday in Pondicherry, I think I know a bit about the place.

In the evening after our compulsory siesta, we had to walk to the nearby bakery, either with our mami or take a rickshaw with our “papma” my grandmother to get our evening snack. It could range from cakes, stuffed buns or even biscuits.

Ghee biscuits are a very common sight in the bakeries. Though the bakeries use only maida for the cookies, I used almond meal also in my cookies, which made them extra tasty.

These cookies hardly take any time to make but are really tasty.

IMG_5556

Ingredients:

All purpose flour/ maida                                                                  –              100 gms

Almond meal                                                                                 –              100 gms

Powdered sugar                                                                             –              ½ cup

Powdered cardamoms                                                                    –              4-5 nos

Ghee (or unsalted butter)                                                                 –              ½ cup (melted)

Milk                                                                                               –              1-2 tbsps

Salt a pinch

IMG_5559

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees centigrade.

In a bowl, mix the all purpose flour, almond meal, powdered sugar, cardamom powder and pinch of salt and keep aside.

Melt the ghee and add to the flour mixture.

Mix the ghee into the dough with your fingers.

Add just a tablespoon of milk and knead the mixture to a stiff dough.

Roll out the dough and using a cookie cutter, cut into desired shapes and arrange on a baking sheet.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes till they are golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let them cool.

Dust the cookies with powdered sugar and serve.

IMG_5550

Note:

Ghee can be replaced by unsalted butter.

Almond meal is powdered almonds.

The cookies stay fresh in an airtight container for upto a week.

IMG_5553

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Eggless baking, Snack Time

 

Tags: , , , ,

Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

All of you following the blog must be thinking I can bake only with chocolate…

Well, I can bake other cakes as well and they taste equally good too.

This lemon cake is a light airy cake, with the fresh scent of lemons when eaten alone. But when you top this with the cream cheese icing, it takes it to another level.

The flavor of the cake just explodes in the mouth as you bite into it .. it’s yummy.

Try it.

IMG_5454

Ingredients:

Unsalted butter                                                                                   –              1 stick

All purpose flour/ maida                                                                       –              1 ½ cups

Sugar                                                                                                 –              1 ¼ cups (1 + ¼)

Lemon zest (from 5-6 lemons)                                                              –              ¼ cup

Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)                                                            –              ½ cup (¼ + ¼)

Baking powder                                                                                    –              ¼ tsp

Baking soda                                                                                        –              ¼ tsp

Buttermilk                                                                                           –              ½ cup

Vanilla extract                                                                                     –              1 tsp

Eggs                                                                                                  –              2 nos

IMG_5461

For cream Cheese Icing:

Cream Cheese                                                                                     –              4 oz

Confectioner’s sugar                                                                             –              1 cup

Milk                                                                                                     –              1 tbsp

Lemon juice                                                                                         –              1 tbsp

Vanilla extract                                                                                      –              ½ tsp

IMG_5462

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees centigrade. Grease and line an 8” cake pan. Keep aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and 1 cup sugar together, till it is light and fluffy.

Add the lemon zest and beat on medium speed for another 5 minutes.

Now, slowly add the eggs, one at a time, mixing them well before adding the next.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda together.

In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients together i.e. ¼ cup lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla extract.

Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the butter and sugar mixture, making sure to begin and end with the flour mixture.

Mix well for all the ingredients to have combined together, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smoothen the top.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Combine the remaining ¼ cup sugar with the remaining ¼ cup lemon juice in a small saucepan.

Cook on medium heat till all the sugar has dissolved and it has a syrupy consistency.

When the cakes are done, allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pans and set them on a metal rack. Now, pour the lemon syrup over the cake and allow them to cool completely.

IMG_5478

For the cream cheese icing:

Beat the cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar together till they are smooth.

Add the milk, lemon juice and vanilla extract and keep beating till they have a smooth consistency. It the mixture is too thick, add some more milk gradually a teaspoon at a time.

Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the cake and serve

ENJOY!!!

IMG_5464

Note:

The cake lasts up to 3-4 days in an airtight container at room temperature.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 7, 2014 in Cakes, Cakes and Brownies

 

Tags: , ,

Twix Brownies

Twix Brownies

I have got this serious addiction to brownies.

Came across these Twix brownies from another site and wanted to try them out. The caramel inside the Twix all melted with the chocolate and the fudgy soft centre of the brownies…O man!!! They were just awesome…

The brownies by themselves aren’t very sweet but when you take a bite with the centre, it explodes in the mouth covering the entire palate with the sweet sticky caramel. Mine went the extra distance with a topping of caramel sauce and vanilla ice-cream.

Just can’t have enough of them…

.

Ingredients:

Unsweetened chocolate (chopped)                                                           –              4 oz

Unsalted butter (cubed)                                                                           –              ¾ cup

Sugar                                                                                                    –              1 ¼ cup

Eggs                                                                                                     –              3 nos

All purpose flour/ maida                                                                           –              1 cup

Vanilla extract                                                                                        –              1 tsp

Twix bars/ 5 star bars(chopped)                                                                –              12 bars

Salt a pinch

IMG_5413

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Line a Square brownie tray or a square cake tin 8” x 8” with foil and keep ready.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a microwave or use a double boiler.

When all the butter has melted, (this should take approx 3-4 minutes) stir till all the chocolate has also melted.

Whisk in the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and the pinch of salt.

Gradually add the flour a tablespoon at a time and mix till the flour has just combined. Do not overmix.

Spread half the batter into the prepared baking dish. Spread the chopped Twix chocolates evenly in a single layer. Pour the remaining batter over the chopped chocolate.

IMG_5419

Bake this for 20-25 minutes in the oven.

The brownie is a fudgy one and will be gooey in the centre. So when you insert a toothpick, it will be slightly wet inside.

Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting.

Cut into squares and serve with ice-cream or caramel sauce.

IMG_5431

ENJOY!!!

Note:

The brownies will stay in an air-tight container for upto two days.

When serving the brownies the next day, warm them in a microwave for 20-30 seconds.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Brownies, Cakes and Brownies

 

Tags: , , ,

Chocolate Chip Muffins

All of us at home are major chocolate addicts. There’s always someone in the house to get these chocolate cravings.

It’s when these urges occur that an ordinary chocolate won’t suffice. That’s when the brownies with ice-cream or the chocolate chip muffins come into play.

These dark chocolate chip muffins are incredible easy and are not too sweet. The instant coffee added to these muffins give them the dark color and the chocolate chips add the texture.

These chocolate chip muffins do not need any frosting for them, they are yummy as they are but in our house, we just need to push it over the top.

IMG_5335

Ingredients:

All purpose Flour/ Maida                                                                 –              1 ½ cups

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder                                                           –              3 tablespoons

Semi-sweet chocolate chips                                                            –              ½ cup + ¼ cup

Sugar                                                                                             –              ¾ cup

Vegetable oil                                                                                   –              1/3 cup

Milk                                                                                                –              1 cup

Egg(optional)                                                                                    –              1 no

Baking Powder                                                                                 –              2 tsp

Baking soda                                                                                     –              ½ tsp

Vanilla extract                                                                                   –              1 tsp

Instant coffee                                                                                     –              2 tsp

Hot water                                                                                          –              2 tablespoons

(Note: If you are not using the egg either add ¼ cup mashed banana or cream)

IMG_5333

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Arrange the muffin cases in the muffin tray and keep ready.

Combine the hot water and the instant coffee and mix well.

In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients together i.e. the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and also the half cup of chocolate chips. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix all the wet ingredients i.e. the egg, milk, oil, dissolved coffee and vanilla and beat together on medium speed or just use a whisk and mix well till all the ingredients are combined well.

Now, add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir till they are well combined.

The batter is a thick batter.

IMG_5353

 

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cases. The batter will give 12 muffins.

Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the muffins.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, till the muffins are risen and springy.

(it took me 17-18 minutes)

Remove from the oven and cool.

Serve the muffins as they are or with chocolate frosting.

IMG_5346

 

Chocolate butter-cream frosting:

Ingredients:

Cream)heavy/whipping)                                                                  –              1 cup

Semi-sweet chocolate chips                                                            –              ½ cup

Nutela                                                                                          –              ½ cup

Unsalted butter                                                                             –              ¼ cup

Method:

Using a double boiler, heat the cream. When the cream is just hot, add the chocolate chips and the nutela and swirl to mix the chocolate with the cream.

When they are well combined, remove from heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.

When the chocolate is cool enough beat the chocolate, using a beater till light and fluffy.

Add the butter a spoonful at a time, while beating continuously.

Once the required consistency is reached, transfer to piping bags fitted with nozzle and decorate the muffins.

IMG_5354

Note:

The muffins are best served on the same day, but can be stored in an air-tight container for a day or two.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 19, 2014 in Cakes and Brownies, Muffins

 

Tags: , , ,