Hi everybody! I know, it has been a very long time since my last post. And what is better to post than a recipe from my favorite form of cooking, baking!!! I have a greater affinity to baking and this must be the umpteenth time that I had mentioned here in my site. Baking generally involves sugar, that too lots of sugar. With that being said, wouldn’t it be awesome to bake something that is sweet but does not have processed sugar and healthy as well? I recently found one such recipe and that too of a cake! It is called the Chocolate Avocado Almond cake. I came across the Chocolate Avocado Almond cake one afternoon when me and my HB were craving for something sweet but that doesn’t make us feel guilty after eating it 🙂 (thats one tough cookie!). Voila, I found this savior and was thoroughly satisfied afterwards. Chocolate Avocado Almond cake, as the name suggests, is made of avocado, coconut oil, coconut cream, almond flour, honey, chocolate chips and cocoa powder. It is very easy to make and is not time consuming at all. Chocolate Avocado Almond cake is one of those rare, too good to be true, kind of recipe. It is healthy, has no added sugar (honey and chocolate chips take care of the sweetness) and is an excellent breakfast item. It can also be had as a snack (which we did when baked the first time :). For those of you wondering about the lengthy name, I came up with it, just put together the ingredients and here is your tasty, yummy Chocolate Avocado Almond cake. Try it out, you won’t be disappointed.
Hello everyone! After a few weeks, here I am with a new recipe. I might have mentioned this already but I love baking. It is a passion of mine. Trying out different varieties of cakes and whatnot is something I do when I get free time. Today I have posted below one of the recent recipes that I tried out in honor of friends all over the world. Happy Friendship Day!!! It is the recipe for Vanilla cake with Swiss Meringue blueberry lavender buttercream frosting. I know, the name itself sounds exotic and trust me, the taste do justify the name 🙂
One of the joys of baking is, for almost all recipes that you try out, there is a definite recipe with set measurements for ingredients. That in itself will give you the confidence to try out new items. Coming back to our Vanilla Cake with Swiss Meringue blueberry lavender buttercream frosting, the recipe is that of a wedding cake i.e., the vanilla cake baked here is most commonly baked for weddings! Meringue in itself is a type of dessert made from egg whites and sugar. And Swiss Meringue is a type of meringue. There are three types of meringues, they are French, Swiss and Italian. The swiss variety is smoother and silkier than the other two and is the popular choice for making buttercream frosting. I have used a concoction of blueberry and lavender to flavor the buttercream in this recipe.
Vanilla cake with Swiss Meringue blueberry lavender buttercream frosting is the perfect recipe for joyous occasions like birthdays and parties but you can also have it on days when you just feel like eating cake :). One thing to remember is you need a little bit of patience to try out this recipe since making the meringue takes some time. However, you will not be disappointed when you taste the soft and smooth cake once baked and frosted 🙂
Vanilla Cake with Swiss Meringue Blueberry Lavender Frosting
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2 layer 6"round cake
For the cake:
1 ½ cup flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
A generous pinch of salt
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup whole milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
For the frosting:
1 ½ cup blueberry
1 tbsp dried lavender flowers
6 egg whites
1 cup + 3tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
1 cup + 4 tbsp (2 ½ sticks) butter, room temperature
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the two 6” round cake pans with butter (on the sides and bottom), dust the bottoms with flour and line them with parchment paper.
Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium mixing bowl.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg and sugar in medium speed.
Whisk in the butter until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
Add in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix in medium speed until well combined- Do not mix too much.
Finally add in the milk and vanilla extract and mix again.
Divide the batter between cake pans
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the tooth pick when inserted comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Wrap them tightly in polythene sheet and freeze them for couple of hours before frosting.
For the frosting:
Place blueberry, lavender and half cup of water in a small pan and cook on medium for 5 minutes until juices have released. Let it cool.
Grind them in a blender. Strain out the pulp and extract the juice. Keep it aside.
On a double boiler (or a medium sized bowl suspended over the pan of simmering water) combine the egg whites, sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Heat, stirring gently until the sugar is completely dissolved- check by rubbing a bit of mixture into your fingers. It should feel smooth.
Take the bowl off the heat and whip the egg whites using hand mixer until stiff peaks form. It takes around 15 to 20 minutes.
Now add the butter 2 tbsp. at a time, until each tbsp. butter is well incorporated into the mixture. Once all the butter have been added, the resulting buttercream should be smooth and thick. This is called swiss meringue butter cream. If you think the frosting is runny you could add icing sugar to make it smooth and thick.
Finally add in 1 ½ tbsp. of blueberry lavender concoction and gently mix together until well incorporated.
Level the cake by cutting the top crust and frost them according to your taste.
1.To pasteurize the egg you could also clip on the liquid thermometer to the mixture to reach a temperature of 160 degree Fahrenheit, gently stirring continuously. 2.Butter that are added to the frosting should not be soft. It should be stable. 3.If the frosting is runny, refrigerate for 20 minutes and take out and mix in medium high speed until it becomes thick. 4. If the frosting have curdled, microwave for 10 seconds and then beat again until the frosting becomes thick.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I can hear the wheels turning in your head as to what to make for this special day so that your loved one will be blown away. I too had the same apprehension and I finally took a plunge in to a relatively unknown territory, Ice-cream cake. Yes, I finally made an ice-cream cake for my HB! It is the Mocha Ice-cream cake, entirely homemade 🙂 To be honest, I had had ice-cream cake only once before today, that too in my childhood. In fact I did not even know that it was an ice-cream cake then.
The Mocha Ice-cream cake is a pretty simple cake but extremely delicious and will particularly be enjoyed by coffee lovers, I believe, because my HB is one. The main thing to note while making the cake is the consistency of the mocha whipped cream. It should be beaten until you get a stiff peak. I have used homemade chocolate chunk cookies (for which I will post the recipe soon) as the base but you can also use store bought cookies. But make sure that you get good quality ones. Also, I personally prefer dark chocolate chunk cookies instead of the regular ones because they enhance the mocha flavor and the latter will make the cake too sweet. And I used a springform pan to shape the cake but you can also use a dessert bowl or any other small bowl to hold the ice-cream cake.
The Mocha Ice-cream Cake is pretty light and is not too sweet (because of the dark chocolate and brown sugar) and can be had for dessert or simply as is. My HB thoroughly enjoyed it 🙂 and hope your loved ones will too once you make this extremely delicious cake. So do try it out and let me know your experience 🙂
½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Dutch processed)
¼ tsp instant espresso
¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
5 Good quality thin crust chocolate chip cookies
10 Lindt toffee bites (optional)
1 Godiva dark chocolate truffle
I made homemade thin crust brown butter dark chocolate chunk cookies for this recipe. You could use any good quality thin crust chocolate chip cookies for this recipe.
First add all the above given ingredients except cookies in a medium mixing bowl.
Mix them in very low speed until combined.
Then move to medium speed until stiff peak forms. It takes around couple of minutes.
Then in a 4” spring form pan, line the cookies on the bottom.
Layer the cookies with mocha whipped cream on top.
And repeat by layering another cookie and mocha whipped cream layers.
Repeat and finish it off with mocha whipped cream layer. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Carefully scrape the sides using plastic knife before removing from the pan. Drizzle a tsp of cocoa powder on top using strainer and decorate with lindt toffee bites or anything of your choice. Enjoy!
I am always interested in trying out different recipes and am on the lookout for the same. That is how I found today’s recipe, an unique chicken gravy that is a sort of fusion dish (will elaborate on this shortly) I would say. It is called the Doodh Shahi Murg which means chicken cooked with milk. The main ingredients in this recipe, apart from milk are, koya and heavy cream.
Doodh Shahi Murgh is a rich gravy that makes you feel heavy even when had in small servings. The preparation of this dish is unique in the sense that the ingredients used are all Indian but the cooking method closely resembles continental style i.e., similar to pasta or cannelloni. In Doodh Shahi Murgh, the meat (chicken) is first cooked (shallow fried here), then a layering gravy made from milk, khoya and heavy cream is poured over the chicken and then baked. The resulting Doodh Shahi Murgh is a mouth watering, rich chicken gravy.
Doodh Shahi Murgh is an excellent accompaniment for naan, chappathi, parotta etc. It has a slight sweetness to it because of the milk and koya. I admit that the time taken to prepare Doodh Shahi Murgh is a bit longer than most other gravies but do believe me when I say that the taste is worth all the time spent. Try this exotic, rich Doodh Shahi Murgh in your kitchen and do let me know your favorite accompaniment to it.
Wash the chicken pieces and drain all the excess water. Add in ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, lemon juice and mix well.
Now add cumin powder, salt and garam masala powder. And again mix well.
Finally add the beaten hung yoghurt, mix well and leave it for at least 20 minutes.
Heat a wide pan with oil and add green chillies. Sauté well until the outer layer turn white.
Add in finely chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent or golden brown.
Meanwhile heat a flat skillet with 2 tbsp of oil and add marinated chicken one by one onto the skillet. Shallow fry the chicken pieces until one side is done.
Now in a low flame add in cashew paste and mix well. Cook until the raw smell disappears stirring constantly. Cashew paste tends to stick to the bottom. So constant stirring is required.
Meanwhile check if the chicken pieces are cooked on one side and flip them to cook on the other side.
Add in sweetened khoya when the raw smell of cashew disappears. Mix well.
Now add a cup of milk and mix well. Cook for a minute.
Add cumin powder, cardamom powder, pepper powder and salt. Mix well and cook until the sauce is semi thick and well cooked. Switch off the flame.
Add a tbsp of fresh cream to the sauce and mix it well.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit or 320 degrees Celsius.
By the time your chicken will be well cooked on both sides. Take out the chickens using tongs and place them on a oven safe flat bowl.
Pour the sauce on top of the chicken pieces and make a layer.
Grate the cheddar cheese on top of the sauce.
Place the bowl inside the oven and leave for 10 minutes or until you see the cheese melt and turns golden brown on top. Enjoy this creamy chicken dhoodh shahi murgh with parotta or romali roti!
To make hung yoghurt, place your strainer lined with muslin cloth or paper towel inside of a bowl. Pour enough amount of yoghurt in. place it in the refrigerator for an hour. Or just rotate the muslin cloth and gently squeeze the excess water (i.e. Whey) using your hand.
Today I am posting one of the most popular snack/dessert items in the US, the Chocolate Chip Cookie. The Chocolate Chip Cookie was first invented in the United States in Massachusetts. The original recipe consisted of dough composed of butter and both white and brown sugar. Since then there had been numerous variations of this iconic snack. I had already posted White Chocolate Cashew cookie here in my blog and this is my second cookie variety 🙂
I had been wanting to bake Chocolate Chip Cookie for some time but did not really pursue it. But today at the gym, I came to know that it was international chocolate day, (see the irony here, chocolate in gym 🙂 ) and what better day to bake Chocolate Chip cookie than today? Also, happy chocolate day to all chocolate lovers!:)
Chocolate Chip cookie is so decadent but there are certain nuances in its preparation. They are, use the right amount of flour, melt the butter completely before mixing it with the flour and do not over bake.
Chocolate Chip cookie has so many variants like I had mentioned above. You can customize according to your taste, like, substituting chocolate chips with macadamia nuts or M&Ms, add peanut butter to the dough etc. So, are you ready to try this amazing and delectable Chocolate Chip Cookie in your home? Do try and post your comments.
Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius. Melt the butter in the microwave oven for 40 seconds or until it reaches liquid form and bring it to room temperature.
Sieve flour, baking soda and salt together into a small bowl and set aside.
Bring the melted butter to the large bowl and add white and brown sugar. Beat well until creamy.
Add in vanilla extract and mix well.
Add the eggs and beat until well combined.
Add the dry ingredients, using spatula mix well until crumbles form or to the dough consistency.
Finally add the chocolate chips and carefully mix them.
Allow it to cool in the refrigerator for about 5 to 10 minutes. Bunch up the dough to 22 small balls and place the rolls on the cookie sheet.
Bake for about 9 to 11 minutes until the cookies are puffy and barely golden. Do not over bake the cookies.
Allow them to cool on the cooling rack for 30 minutes. Enjoy! 🙂
Few tips that I have learnt to bake the best chocolate chip cookie are 1.Melt the butter completely and bring it to room temperature. 2. Add enough flour such that dough doesn't stick to your hand while making bunches. 3. Use bunching up approach instead of rolling them out in the palm of your hand. This will get you a defined lumpy mounds of chocolate chips which looks more appealing. 4. Don't Over bake the cookies. Doing so you might loose the moist and soft texture of the cookies.
Hi guys, Today I finally decided to make something with the ripe bananas that has been on the counter for the past two days. So zeroed in on Banana bread, a favorite of us. Banana Bread is a type of bread that is often served as an after meal snack. According to Wikipedia, Banana bread became popular in US in the 1930s after the advent of baking soda 🙂 and February 23rd is National Banana Bread Day. Generally, I am a fan of banana and like food items that has banana as one of the ingredients. Banana bread is very easy to make and is very flavorful. In fact while I am writing this, Banana bread is getting baked in the oven and I could smell the divine smell of bananas and butter mixed together. Can’t wait to have a bite! If you have the ingredients sorted out, then baking the bread takes no time at all. There are different varieties to banana bread as well, like, chocolate chip banana bread, banana nut bread, banana raisin bread etc. Here I have given you the recipe for plain banana bread with cashews. Here comes the beep from the oven! Alright, enough of the stories. I guess its nom nom time and I am off to the kitchen. Hope you are too, to start making this wonderful, simple and flavorful dish, i.e. the Banana Bread 🙂
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Lightly grease a 9 X 5 inch loaf pan with butter on the sides and line the bottom with parchment sheet. Set aside.
Mash the bananas, chop the nuts and beat the eggs.
In a large bowl, sieve flour, baking soda and salt together.
In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
First add the sugar mixture into the flour mixture and mix well without any lumps. Then add in eggs and bananas and mix them with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the batter is thick and chunky (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. You do not want it smooth. Over mixing the batter will yield tough, rubbery bread).
Mix half of the chopped nuts to the batter. Lightly fold the batter. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan. Top it off with the remaining nuts.
Bake in oven (preferably in the middle rack) for 60 to 65 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick when inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack and allow them to cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature. This bread can be frozen.
Now, why did I bake a chocolate cake, that too with a diet conscious HB by my side? It is the ONE year anniversary of my website, guys!!! What started as a personal log of my favorite recipes is now well on its way to become a repository of recipes catering to all types of palate. Thank you all for your continuing support and well wishes! When we decided to commemorate the milestone, there was a lengthy debate on what to make. I was oscillating between a white chocolate truffle cup cake and a perfect chocolate cake and finally settled on a chocolate cake, much to my HB’s delight!
Chocolate cake is one of the most recognized cakes in the world. I am pretty sure that there is not even one bakery/pastry shop around the world that does not sell a chocolate cake! Though the name is generalized, there is multitude varieties of chocolate cake. Today, I am giving here a very simple but decadent recipe of chocolate cake which is my favorite as well. It is a three layered chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I have been wanting to bake a cake from scratch for a long time and now that I have done it, it turned out to be a job well done :). Baking a cake, in general gets a bit messy and doing it from scratch makes it even more messier, but trust me, it is all worth it.
I am a very big fan of cakes in general (it would be the only thing that won’t get me angry when I am woken up from my sleep and offered ;)) And after trying this chocolate cake, I have a profound respect for cakes 🙂 Do try this decadent recipe and post your comments.
7.5 oz (213 gr) unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
12 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
Scant 3 cups (425 gr) All purpose flour
3 cups (600 gr) sugar
1 cup + 2 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp salt
2 ¼ tspn baking powder
2 ¼ tspn baking soda
3 eggs, room temperature, beaten
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cup whole milk
1 ½ cup hot coffee decoction, filtered
Combine sugar and heavy cream into a sauce pan. Heat the pan and bring them to boil in a medium heat. Once they starts to boil, simmer it for another 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the chopped chocolates until completely melted.
Now add in the butter pieces and stir them again until completely melted.
Finally stir in the vanilla extract.
Let the frosting cool completely, whisking every now and then during cooling. (You can do this step in the refrigerator to speed up the process) Once completely cool at room temperature, the frosting will be spreadable.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C. Grease the three 8" round cake pans with butter or oil (on the sides and bottom), dust the bottoms with flour and line them with parchment paper. If desired, wrap the cake pans with bake-even strips.
Sieve sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a large mixing bowl. This is done to avoid lumps and even the mixing. Meanwhile make hot coffee decoction and keep it ready.
In a separate bowl, combine the beaten eggs, vegetable oil and milk. Stir to mix. Then, with the mixer on low, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix on low flame until evenly distributed.
Pour the hot coffee into the batter and mix on medium to low flame until smooth and creamy. .
Divide the batter between the cake pans.
Bake for 40-45 minutes. When a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out cleanly, the cakes are done. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Refrigerate the cakes for at least 2 hours or place it n the freezer for one hour. Level the cakes by cutting the excess top bump.
Stack the cakes, spreading a layer of frosting in between each cake layer. Frost the outside of the cake for a smoother finish.
1.I would strongly recommend to line the parchment paper as this cake is so soft and gooey. You could also use cold wet cloth to tie around the pans instead of bake-even strips. 2.The recipe I have given here is for the big batch. You can reduce the ingredients by half for a smaller batch. 3.This recipe also works for a 3-layer 9" cake, with slightly shorter layers.
Stuffed chicken breast is not my usual cup of milk (I hate tea :)). For a long time, I had wanted to cook something different than the run-of-mill cuisines like Indian or Chinese (they are the best though). After much deliberation I decided to make stuffed chicken breast with lemon butter sauce. I was hooked right away with this recipe as soon as I saw the lemon butter sauce.
Stuffed chicken breast is a healthy dish. You don’t use that much oil and the little that you use is olive oil. Also, you can customize this recipe with your own stuffing – can be an Indian stuffing made of potato and green peas, or stuffing made of nuts or your own stuffing recipe.
Stuffed chicken breast literally gets you stuffed 🙂 It is a rich and satisfying dish good for dinners. Try this wonderful, healthy dish in your home and let me know your thoughts.
Biriyani masala powder – 1 tbsp (I used Sakthi brand)
Broccoli, blanched, finely chopped – ½ cup
Paneer, grated – 2 tbsp
Cashews, roughly chopped, roasted– 5 nos
To powder the chicken:
Cayenne pepper – 1 tbsp
Onion powder – 1 tbsp
Garlic powder – ½ tbsp
Black pepper powder – 1 tsp
Lemon butter sauce:
White cooking wine – ½ cup
Lemon juice – from 1 ½ lemon
Shallots, finely chopped – 1 tbsp
Garlic, finely chopped – 1 tbsp
Salt – ¼th tsp
Black pepper powder – 1 tsp
Worcestershire sauce – a dash
Hot pepper sauce – a dash
Fresh cream – ½ cup
Butter, unsalted – ½ stick
Parsley, finely chopped – 1 tbsp
Parsley, finely chopped – ½ tbsp
Pistachio, finely chopped – 1 tbsp
Start by slicing the chicken into two thinner slices each. Wrap the plastic wrap over the chicken breast, flatten the chicken using meat hammer, one at a time. Keep it to one side.
Marinate the chicken with the above given ingredients and refrigerate overnight.
Heat butter in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they start to splutter, add chopped onions and sauté until they turn brown. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté until the raw smell disappears. Add salt, coriander and biriyani masala powder. Give a quick stir. Add a tbsp of water at this stage to avoid the masalas from getting burnt. Add the blanched and finely chopped broccoli to the masalas and sauté well. Cook for a minute or two. Finally add grated paneer and fried cashews and mix well.
Repeat step 1 only if you want to flatten the chicken even more (completely optional).
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dust the chicken with the above given seasonings on both sides.
Spoon some of the broccoli stuff in the corner.
Roll the chicken into a tight roll and secure it with some tooth picks or strings (To keep the chicken from unrolling).
Heat an iron skillet (Or any oven proof skillet) smearing some butter. Place the rolled chicken and cook for a minute until they change to white color, flipping in between. And then pop the pan in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes – Do not overcook the chicken breast as it tends to get harder when overcooked.
Heat a skillet until it gives smoke. Take out and add wine, lemon juice, garlic and shallots. Place it again on the burner and cook for a minute stirring or whisking continuously. Make sure to take the skillet away from the flame while adding wine since wine is combustible.
Add salt, pepper, and the sauces. Stir and cook for 3 minutes until the sauce comes to a syrupy consistency.
Finally add cream and butter. Stir well and cook for 2 minutes. Strain the sauce and garnish with parsley.
Drizzle the sauce on top of the sliced chicken breast and garnish with pistachios and parsley.
1.Make sure your lemon butter sauce is still warm while serving. 2.Do not overcook the chicken breast as it tends to get harder when overcooked. 3.Make sure to take the skillet away from the flame while adding wine for lemon butter sauce, because wine is combustible.