Tag: desserts

June Daring Bakers’: Battenberg Cake

Being Indian I hate wastage. Of any kind. One of the reasons why I gained weight when I came to US (besides, the cliched that I got married) was that I was so used to finish everything on my plate, whenever we went out to eat, I ended up finishing the ridiculously huge portions of food served in restaurants here. Since we stay 4 hours away from all restaurants, doggy pack or to-go was not an option,  and since I had the habit of not wasting, I ate everything. That’s why this month’s Daring Bakers’ challenged proved to be double the challenge it was.

Mandy of What The Fruitcake?! came to our rescue last minute to present us with the Battenberg Cake challenge! She highlighted Mary Berry’s techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease.

I have missed the last two challenges. Although I did a part of the April challenge, I could not get it posted because I was busy with my in-laws visit. Hopefully I should be able to post the recipe soon. ( I seriously have huge backlog!)

Now, I have been eyeing this cake- the Battenberg cake for a while now, ever since I was introduced to the Great British Bake Off cookbook. I don’t have it yet, but amazon’s site has a preview of the book and in that they show pictures of the cake. Since then it’s been on my mind. So when I saw this month’s Daring Bakers challenge, I knew come hay or sunshine, I would make it.

And make I did. Not one but two.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pudding à la Catastrophe

I am sure if you have been around the food blogging word, the Zebra cake is something you would have come across and ooh’ed and aah’ed over. (And at the same time thought, why could I have not thought of such a thing!)

A unique take on the marble effect, I got introduced to this cake via this site. And I just had to make it.

And I did.

And it turned out really well. I served it when I had coffee for my friends at my place, and everyone was impressed by how the cake looked and tasted. V too loved the cake, but by the time he got to eat it in the evening, only a piece of it was left. So, I made it again (because it really is that simple to make). Once again it came out wonderful. But I did not blog about the cake, because I was not too happy with the pictures. I knew I would make it again and that’s when I would share it with you all.

Read the rest of this entry »

First post of Twenty Twelve: Pumpkin Trifle with Caramelized Pecans

If it didn’t Bring you Joy,
Just Leave it Behind.

Let’s Ring in the New Year
With Good Things in Mind.

Let Every Bad Memory Go
That Brought Heartache and Pain.

And let’s Turn a New Leaf
With the Smell of New Rain.

Let’s Forget Past Mistakes
Making Amends for This Year.

Sending You These Greetings
To Bring you Hope and Cheer!

-Author unknown

A very, very happy new year! Hope you had a blast welcoming 2012 and wish it brings with it beautiful moments that you will cherish for years to come.

V and I had an amazing new year eve.

There was a small get together at home with friends.

There was dancing.

Laughter.

And, drinking- a lot of that actually.

There was also food- lots of that too (which I could not savour since ‘someone’ had a little too much to drink!).

Overall it was a good, good night!

Read the rest of this entry »

Red Wine Poached Pears

Read the rest of this entry »

August Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Candylicious!

I am warning you before you start reading- this post is going to be long and its going to be sweet- very sweet!

There’s going to be chocolate.

Lots of it.

There’s going to be tragedy.

Plenty of it too.

And there are going to be cavities!

You bet! A lot of that too!

This is the exact kind of post my dentist would disapprove of.

And that is exactly why, my friends, dentists and I could never be friends!

The August 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Lisa of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drive and Mandy of What the Fruitcake?!. These two sugar mavens challenged us to make sinfully delicious candies! This was a special challenge for the Daring Bakers because the good folks at http://www.chocoley.com offered an amazing prize for the winner of the most creative and delicious candy!

The challenge this month was to try our hand at bonbons, truffles, chocolate bark, pate de fruits, honeycomb and any other candy we would like to make.

Read the rest of this entry »

Chocolate cupcakes with Salted Caramel Chocolate Ganache

“Johnny, Johnny
Yes, papa,
Eating sugar?
No, papa
Telling lies?
No, papa
Open your mouth
Ha! ha! Ha!”

It’s my dad’s birthday today!

Yup, while the whole of America celebrates their Independence Day, we, the Chauhan family, celebrate my dad’s birthday.

My dad’s name is Johnny. It’s actually Jasvinder. Johnny’s the name that his course mates gave him. I can totally imagine my dad as the boy in the rhyme. He was a chubby kid, lost weight during his NDA days, but then put it back on, later in his life and weighs quite a lot these days. (Don’t worry Papa, I am not telling anyone how much you weigh)

Its not that he doesn’t exercise. Oh! Poor thing! he exercises and tries so hard, but like me, he has this love affair with food that he just can’t break. Unlike me, though, he doesn’t snack, but, when he eats his meals, the portions are pretty big. The main damage though, happens when he is invited to someone’s house for dinner. He is every hostess’ dream- he will for sure be going for seconds and as a result ends up putting on weight!

He loves food. Loves trying out new stuff. If its raining outside, he will always tell my Mom, wishfully, to make pakodas (fried Indian goodness and of course,fattening!)

He also needs something sweet after every meal. Its his way to know that the meal is over.

This time when I was in India, I taught him how to use the bread machine. So, these days he loves making his own bread, and then eating it too!

I have never seen my dad sick (touch wood!)- barring this one time when he had a slight fever and cold (and of course when he had his ejection). Seeing him unwell I had tears- I guess one always thinks of their dad’s as invincible and don’t realize they too are normal human beings.

And of course, like any daughter, I think my dad is the best (no offense to everyone else’s dad). I’m of course, biased but had I been an outside spectator and a judge of my dad as a dad he would have got top marks for the job he does!

You tell my dad that something is to be done, even if you just mention it casually to him, and though you might forget, he for sure would remember and do it for you. Something he gets from his father. My grandfather is a really efficient man and so is my Dad. Every wish of ours has always been their command.

He has always given me whatever I have asked for, and remarkably, not making me a spoilt kid in the process. He, along with my mother, has kept both my brother and me grounded and I will always be thankful to them for that!

I am really proud of him. Hope one day I can give him the same feeling too- of being proud of me!

He is my guide, my mentor, and my hero.

Happy birthday, papa.

Wish you many many more healthy ones!

This one’s for you!


Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrating 100 posts with Avocado & Lemon cupcakes!

Hurrah!

Why, you ask?

Well, just because!

I haven’t used this word in ages and felt like using it today. I feel that “Hurrah” has been replaced by the shorter “Yay” or “hooray” (at least in my dictionary) and I hardly hear people saying “Hurrah!” like how Hurrah should be said! I feel bad for the word! So, I thought I would use it today.

Hmmm..

Ok, I am not that random!

Really! I am not.

Well, ok, sometimes I am. But not this time.

This time I actually have a reason to shout out Hurrah- because I am celebrating!

Celebrating what, you ask?

Well, I’m glad you asked!

(If you didn’t, I’ll just continue talking to myself and assume you are listening.)

I am celebrating three things!

Read the rest of this entry »

June Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Baklava!

Erica of Erica’s Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker’s June challenge.  Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.

Like always, I completed this challenge last minute. And since it was last minute, it was hurried, done with zero patience- thanks to the heat, and sans key ingredients that would have made a whole lot of difference to the end result.

By now, I am pretty sure you would have guessed that my challenge outcome wasn’t too great! I goofed up with the syrup as I was too lazy to measure anything for it and just made it with approximations resulting in less syrup to soak all the baklava. Also, I skimped on the butter – which I think resulted in slightly harder and drier sheet layers. The filling did not have pistachios (because I did not have any and forgot to pick them up on my last trip to the store), which I feel, would have definitely added to the flavors in the filling. The phyllo dough though was pretty easy to roll out thin, barring a few sheets that did get tears- but Erica said that’s ok as long as the top layer doesn’t have any holes.

It wasn’t too bad either. But, I don’t think I’ll be trying my hand at Baklava in the near future. This is my second not-so-great attempt at Baklava. The first one was almost a year back but that time I had used store bought phyllo. The Baklava then didn’t turn out too great. This time too the results were just average. Oh! How I crave for the baklavas I had during my Dubai trip!

Read the rest of this entry »

Daring Bakers’ May 2011 Challenge: Marquise on Meringue

Anything that can possibly go wrong, does!

-Murphy’s Law

Well, earlier it was just a feeling but after today, I am positive that I am jinxed.  Seriously, there’s no other explanation for what happened today or actually what happens every time there is something important.

I have been using my kitchen for the past one year without ever encountering any problem. Everything has always worked out smoothly. Everything was working smoothly even yesterday.But the day before I am going to have 9 people (make that 11 including me and Vikram), not only do I have a sprained ankle to deal with (which makes it difficult for me to stand for more then 10 minutes at stretch), a dog to sit for, lunch and dinner to cook for 11 people, besides cleaning and getting the house ready for them, but amidst all this I also land myself a broken stove.

Well actually it did not break, but at the time it sure seemed to me that it did. Our kitchen’s power got cut off and that’s why none of the appliances in the kitchen were working- including the refrigerator- which shutting off in this heat is a disaster in making. To top it all, our housing people could not do anything as it was a problem with the city’s lines- some problem with their transformer. And just when I thought things could get no worse, the whole house’s power decides to go. Now this kind of stuff happens in India and had I been there I wouldn’t be like Why me!Why me! But….

…But this is America and the power never goes off here! So yes, you can’t blame me to think that I am jinxed. Seriously there is no other explanation. And trouble doesn’t happen to me in single folds- I was ok with the dog sitting- I love dogs, so it wasn’t any trouble for me. I was also ok with the sprained ankle- it hurts but its manageable- I would probably get it checked if it doesn’t improve. But, no way am I ok with no power in the kitchen. That’s too much for me deal with when I have so many people coming to my house. Two days before the least of my worries was how are we going to manage with one bathroom for 11 people and today I just couldn’t stop counting my problems.

Anyway, such is my life! Things got on track after a few hours of turmoil. I am late again for posting this month’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge (though I had almost finished writing about the challenge yesterday and would have posted it had things gone more smoothly). Out of three challenges that I have completed, two have been posted late! I am one of the worst members ever! But each time I had valid reasons. Once I was traveling and this time, well you all know the story! The fact that I was able to complete this month’s Daring Baker’s challenge is good enough for me. And am so glad I did. V loved it. In his exact words: “I like this DB thing you have got going. I get to eat such wonderful things – names of which I have never even heard before!”

 The May 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrow and Jenny of Purple House Dirt. They chose to challenge everyone to make a Chocolate Marquise. The inspiration for this recipe comes from a dessert they prepared at a restaurant in Seattle.

The compulsory components for this challenge were the Marquise and the meringue. The tequila caramel and spiced nuts were optional. While I could do the caramel (thank god I did because it tastes great!), I did not have time nor the energy to make the spiced almonds as well. I left the challenge for the last minute as I could not find dutch-processed cocoa any where, and finally used normal cocoa- which according to me worked out fine, though I have nothing to compare it to. Plus, I had too much on my cards to complete each optional component. But I will be trying this dessert again and will be trying all the components to make it the outrageously decadent dessert its supposed to be.

Note: I have given the ingredients for half and quarter recipe as well which were given to us by by Audax Artifex. I made only a quarter of the recipe. Read the rest of this entry »

Carrot cake Truffles or Life’s lessons from a failed recipe

“I beg your pardon,
I never promised you a rose garden.
Along with the sunshine,
There’s gotta be a little rain sometimes.”

So I screwed up! Who doesn’t, I say! I think mistakes are important to not only learn but to accidentally tread onto something you might have overlooked. This is my story of how my mistake turned into something really good!

I had planned to make cupcakes for this week’s Office Thursdays.  Since we were out of town on V’s birthday (which was on the 9th), I wasn’t able to bake a birthday cake for him. For the uninitiated V loves carrot cake (carrot cake and my mango kulfi are the only two desserts I have seen him asking me to make). So, I thought I’ll make carrot cake cupcakes – V would also get to eat them plus he can take some for his office!

Now, when I was in India, my mom had made these whole wheat carrot cupcakes. My mom always made an amazing carrot cake but she got this equally good recipe for whole wheat carrot cake from a sweet lady named Sanu. I loved the whole wheat versions- more so because they were whole wheat! So I decided to give this new recipe a try.

I do not know what went wrong- was it too much baking soda, or was it too much oil or did I fill the pans too much- but the cupcakes fell and then they crumbled when I tried taking them out. Some survived, but most didn’t.

Now, I could have sat there- mourned the disaster. I could have wondered, sitting with my cake crumbs and could have analyzed what I did wrong. But I didn’t. Instead, I made these- White and Dark Chocolate Dipped Carrot Cake truffles! And, boy, were they a treat! While making them, this is what I realized and here I am sharing life’s lessons learned from a failed recipe! 🙂 Read the rest of this entry »