Chocolate Avocado Almond Cake

Chocolate avocado almond cakeHi 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. 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 cakeChocolate 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.

Chocolate avocado almond cake

Chocolate Avocado Almond Cake
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • Almond flour – 2 cups
  • Raw cocoa powder – ¼ cup
  • Baking soda – 1 tsp
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Cashew nuts, roughly chopped - ½ cup (or any nuts of your choice)
  • Avocado, medium – 1½ Cups
  • Melted coconut oil – 3 tbsp
  • Coconut cream, room temperature – 2 ½ tbsp
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Eggs, room temperature - 2
  • Raw honey – 3 tbsp
  • Chocolate chips – ⅓ cup + 2 tbsp
  • Sugar – 1 tbsp (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line the bottom and sides of the 8 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Sieve the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Add the nuts to the dry ingredients and mix well without any lumps.
  3. Remove the pit and pulse avocadoes in a blender. Add coconut oil, coconut cream, vanilla extract, eggs, and honey and blend together to a smooth paste.
  4. Add the ground paste to the dry ingredients and gently mix using rubber spatula. Do not over mix.
  5. Add the chocolate chips and fold the mixture.
  6. Spoon batter into the loaf pan and spread it evenly using rubber spatula. (The batter will be really thick)
  7. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the tooth pick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  8. Cool the bread over a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Vanilla Cake with Swiss Meringue Blueberry Lavender Frosting

Vanilla Cake with blueberry lavender frostingHello 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 🙂

Vanilla Cake with blueberry lavender frostingVanilla Cake with blueberry lavender frostingOne 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 blueberry lavender frostingVanilla Cake with blueberry lavender frostingVanilla 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
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 layer 6"round cake
For the cake:
  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • A generous pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 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:
  1. 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.
  2. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg and sugar in medium speed.
  4. Whisk in the butter until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
  5. Add in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix in medium speed until well combined- Do not mix too much.
  6. Finally add in the milk and vanilla extract and mix again.
  7. Divide the batter between cake pans
  8. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the tooth pick when inserted comes out clean.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  10. Wrap them tightly in polythene sheet and freeze them for couple of hours before frosting.
For the frosting:
  1. 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.
  2. Grind them in a blender. Strain out the pulp and extract the juice. Keep it aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Finally add in 1 ½ tbsp. of blueberry lavender concoction and gently mix together until well incorporated.
  7. 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.

Vanilla Cake with blueberry lavender frosting

Bread Halwa

bread halwaHappy Fathers day!!! For every son and daughter out there, Dad is their hero and role model and I am no different. I love my dad. As always, like any other special days, I wanted to make something sweet that personifies my dad. I also wanted it to be something that I haven’t made so far. So after some deliberation and searching, I made Bread Halwa. I have had bread halwa before, my mom’s (yummy!) and from this restaurant (Ananda’s) near (Rajapalayam) my home town in India which is famous for its Bread halwa.

bread halwabread halwaHalwa is a popular Indian sweet which literally means sweetness. There are so many varieties of Halwa, like, Wheat halwa (the original), muscut halwa, semolina halwa, carrot halwa, bread halwa, beetroot halwa, Asoka halwa etc. Halwa is the only sweet that I love to have hot (but not the bread halwa, though :)) Back home, there is this town in my state called Tirunelveli which is famous for its halwa (especially from one particular shop called Iruttukadai). Also, there is another restaurant (Nanban Mess) in Kuttralam, a popular tourist town in Tamilnadu famous for its waterfalls, that makes one of the most delicious halwa out there. Having a bath at the waterfalls and then breakfast and halwa at that restaurant is a ritual which we never forget to follow while there. I simply love it 🙂

bread halwaGenerally, I don’t like fried food or any dish that involves frying. That was one of the main reasons why I did not try making bread halwa for a long time. All the recipes that I came across involved frying the bread. But when I came across a recipe that did not involve frying I tried it at once and the result was extremely tasty :D. The Bread Halwa recipe I have posted here is extremely easy to make and it takes no time at all, infact you can make it in less than 15 minutes tops. Care should be taken while cooking as you don’t want to overcook the halwa else it will get harder because of the bread used. Try out this Bread Halwa and you won’t be disappointed, I guarantee!

Bread Halwa
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • White Bread slices – 6 (I used pepperidge sandwich bread)
  • Ghee – ¼ cup
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Rose water – ¼ tsp
  • Pistachios, chopped – for garnishing
  1. Boil milk and allow it to cool.
  2. Cut the soft crust on all four sides of the bread.
  3. Roughly chop the bread slices and soak them in milk. Mash the bread with clean hand without any lumps.
  4. Heat a thick nonstick pan and add ⅛ cup ghee and add the mashed bread.
  5. Cook in medium flame and stir constantly for few minutes until it doesn’t stick on the sides.
  6. Add sugar in low to medium flame and mix well. Add the remaining ghee at this stage. Stir constantly until the halwa consistency. It only takes a couple of minutes.
  7. Switch off the flame and serve hot or cold garnishing with pistachios. Enjoy! 🙂
1.Always make this bread halwa in low to medium flame.
2.This dish will be cooked real quick. So do not overcook otherwise you won’t get the desired consistency.
3.I used US measurements for this recipe.

bread halwa


IMG_0987cHappy Mother’s Day to all  Moms and Moms-would be :)! It is a very special day in honor of the most caring and sweetest person in our life, Mom. As with any other special day/festival, I made one of my favorite sweets for this Mother’s day, Jaangri. Jaangri is a version of another popular Indian sweet called the Jalebi. Jalebi is crispier, smaller and sweeter than Jaangri. Jaangri is also called as Amriti, Emarti, Oriti and Jhangri. Jaangri is a sweet made from urad dal batter, deep fried and then soaked in a sugar syrup. The closest pastry that resembles Jaangri is the funnel cake here.

IMG_0996cThe first thing you notice about Jaangri is its shape. That comes from the unique way the batter is poured in oil for frying. It has a geometric pattern that somewhat resembles a flower with a circle in the middle. The texture is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. This is because of the frying in oil and the subsequent soak up in sugar syrup. I had always wanted to prepare Jaangri, especially after coming here to the US since it is extremely difficult to buy it here and I am not a fan of Jalebi 🙂 I had tried it once before and this time was my next attempt and I am happy that it turned out very well 🙂

IMG_0994cIMG_0992cMaking Jaangri is simple but a bit time consuming process. Everything comes down to the batter and your skill in pouring it in the oil to get that unique flower pattern while frying. But trust me, it is worth all the trouble. Having a crunchy, soft Jaangri well soaked in the sugar syrup is a culinary delight that can only be experienced. And I would love for you all to experience this sweetness with your sweet ones at home 🙂

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30 Jaangris
  • Whole urad dal – ¾ cup
  • Rice flour – 1 tsp
  • Corn flour – ¼ tsp
  • Sugar – 2 cups
  • Rose essence – ¼ tsp
  • Orange food color – a pinch or two
  • Oil to fry the Jaangri
  1. Wash and soak urad dal with enough water for 2 hours. Drain the water completely and set aside.
  2. Grind the urad dal in grinder, sprinkling little water now and then – do not add too much water. The batter has to be thick in order to get good jangri shape. It took me like ¾ cup of water. Add or reduce according to your measurement. I ground the urad dal for 35 minutes to get a smooth batter.
  3. Meanwhile add 2 cups of sugar in a pan and add enough water to cover the sugar. I added ¾ cup water. Set aside until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  4. While grinding the batter I also prepared the piping bag. I used wilton piping bag with #10 tip.
  5. You could also use traditional jaangri making cloth or thick ziplock and make a hole.
  6. Make the sugar syrup when the sugar is completely dissolved. Do not stir the sugar syrup otherwise it forms crystals. Just heat the syrup and bring it to boil.
  7. Now reduce the flame and add essence and food color. Boil for another couple of minutes until single string consistency.
  8. Transfer the batter into a mixing bowl.
  9. Add rice flour,corn flour and food color (mixed with little water) to the batter and beat or fluff them well using your hand. (Like how you do for idli batter). The batter should be airy and thick.
  10. Add some of the batter to the piping bag.
  11. Heat a FLAT pan with enough oil in a medium flame. Do not add too much oil. Fill 1” of the pan with oil. Oil should not be too hot.
  12. You will know the oil is ready when you start to notice small bubbles rising from the bottom of the pan.
  13. Pipe the jaangri batter, pour it in oil and cook until one side is cooked. Carefully turn the jangri and cook the other side.
  14. Using skewers take out the fried jaangris.
  15. Dip them in the sugar syrup for couple of minutes and transfer to the plate. Serve hot. Enjoy! 🙂


Oats Payasam

Oats PayasamHappy Tamil New Year, everyone! Missing home :(. It is a tradition all over the world to make special dishes on special occasions like festivals, celebrations etc and Tamilians are no exception to that. Though it is not a big occasion like Deepavali or Pongal, Tamil New Year is still celebrated widely back home. You get to watch lots of programmes in cable television, you get a Government holiday and get to eat scrumptious food:) Now lets concentrate a little bit more on that last word, after all this is a food blog and I am foodie (hope you are too :)) I make it a habit of preparing something new, usually a sweet dessert on all special occasions and holidays. And I try not to make the same dish for two different occasions. This year, I tried a new type of Payasam or Kheer made from oats called the Oats Payasam and am sharing the recipe for it here.

Oats PayasamOats PayasamOats, as you all might know is a popular breakfast food which is rich in nutrients. Most often, you might have had it in the form of porridge (both sweet and savory). We too got in to this breakfast routine of having oats and ended up with buying different varieties of them like steel cut, rolled etc. For Tamil new year, I decided to make use of the oats, come on, how much can you have it as breakfast only :). I came across this Oats Payasam recipe and decided that it is going to be my special dish this year. Oats Payasam is a very simple dish but extremely tasty. It is made using steel cut oats, jaggery, ghee and nuts like cashews, pistachios and almonds.

Oats PayasamOats PayasamThis is my first time making the Oats Payasam and I am very happy with the outcome. It is very tasty and I find it similar to Aravana Payasam in taste, especially that crunchiness, served as prasadham in Sabarimala Temple back home. Try this sweet Payasam in honor of an even sweeter language, Tamil, on this special day and enjoy it with your loved ones 🙂

Also check out my Paal Payasam recipe here

Oats Payasam
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • Steel cut oats – ½ cup
  • Water – 1 ½ cup
  • Milk – 3 cups ( I used 2% milk)
  • Jaggery – ½ to ¾th cup
  • Cashews – 7 nos
  • Pistachios and Almonds, roughly chopped, seperated – 1 tsp
  • Cardamom powder, freshly ground – 4 nos
  1. Heat 1 and ½ cups water in a pan and add oats. (1:3 ratio – for 1 cup of oats 3 cups water)
  2. Cook in a medium flame until the water dries out completely for 10 minutes and transfer to a bowl.
  3. Meanwhile boil milk in another vessel.
  4. Once the milk is boiled, simmer and add ½ tsp roughly crushed almonds, pistachios and few cashews. Simmer it for couple of minutes stirring occasionally.
  5. Now add in the cooked oats and mix well. Simmer it for another couple of minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, add jaggery with very little water (1 tbsp) in the same pan used to cook oats.
  7. Add cardamom powder to oats.
  8. Cook jaggery until it dissolves completely and forms a syrup.
  9. Switch of the flame and add jaggery syrup to the oats mixture. Mix well until the jaggery syrup is well incorporated to the oats payasam.
  10. Fry cashews with ¼ tsp ghee and add them to the oats payasam. Sprinkle the remaining chopped nuts on top and serve hot or cold according to your taste. Enjoy! 🙂

Oats Payasam

Mocha Ice-Cream Cake

Mocha Ice cream cakeHappy 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.

Mocha Ice cream cakeMocha Ice cream cakeThe 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.

Mocha Ice cream cakeMocha Ice cream cake060The 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 🙂

Mocha Ice-Cream Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • ½ cup cold heavy cream
  • 3 oz of Italian mascarpone cheese
  • 1 ¼ tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 1 tbsp filter coffee decoction
  • 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
for decorating:
  • 10 Lindt toffee bites (optional)
  • 1 Godiva dark chocolate truffle
  1. 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.
  2. First add all the above given ingredients except cookies in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Mix them in very low speed until combined.
  4. Then move to medium speed until stiff peak forms. It takes around couple of minutes.
  5. Then in a 4” spring form pan, line the cookies on the bottom.
  6. Layer the cookies with mocha whipped cream on top.
  7. And repeat by layering another cookie and mocha whipped cream layers.
  8. Repeat and finish it off with mocha whipped cream layer. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  9. 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! 

Mocha Ice cream cake

Red Velvet Cupcake

Red Velvet Cupcake

I love cakes and pastries, period. Cake is one food that I can eat even when I am not in the mood to eat anything!:) So obviously, trying out different varieties of cakes is a favorite pastime of mine. Recently, we celebrated my HB’s birthday and this time I decided to make something that was in long time pending list and a favorite of mine (as for as cakes are concerned my HB’s choice comes in second :)), the red velvet cupcake!

Red Velvet Cupcake

Cupcakes are classic American delicacies that have been around as early as the late 18th century. There are numerous varieties of cupcakes. After the advent of boutique pastry shops, more and more interesting flavors are being baked. The earliest mention of Red velvet cupcakes was in the late I950s (courtesy Wikipedia). Also the distinct red color has its own titbit. Apparently, one businessman in Texas started baking red velvet cakes as a marketing ploy to sell more red dyes! It is quite hard to nail down the flavor of this cake. It is a mixture of mild chocolate, with a hint of buttermilk, enough vanilla and lots of butter taste. The major attribute of Red velvet cupcakes is the dense but soft,  moist crumb. The best part about Red velvet cupcakes are their cream cheese frosting. The slight tanginess of the cream cheese goes hand in hand with the soft moist crumb of the cake. There are certain things to be noted while baking Red velvet cupcakes. One is the use of cake flour. All purpose flour is a strong no-no. Cake flour gives the distinct softness associated with this cake. Another is the use of unsweetened cocoa powder. This gives you a mild chocolate flavor just enough to tease your tastebuds 🙂 For Red velvet cupcakes, there are two special ingredients that we use. One is buttermilk and the other is vinegar. Buttermilk gives you a slight tanginess and moistness to the cake. It also enables the baking soda to leaven the cake. Vinegar is used to enhance the red color. Trust me, you will not taste even a hint of vinegar once the cake is baked.

Red Velvet Cupcake

Red Velvet CupcakeRed velvet cupcake is a decadent dessert that is sure to make any party a memorable one, given its distinct taste and delightful appearance. So try it in your home and have your own party, tasting the awesome Red velvet cupcake!:)

Red Velvet Cupcake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 cupcakes
  • 1 ½ cups cake flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, separated,
  • ¾ tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 ¾ tbsp Gel or liquid or powder red food coloring
  • ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chip
for the cream cheese frosting
  • 5 oz. cream cheese, brick type
  • 3 ¼ tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar sifted
  • ½ vanilla bean paste +1 tsp vanilla extract or 2 tsp clear vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit or 180 degree Celsius. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. Sift the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt together into a medium mixing bowl and keep it aside.
  3. Separate the egg yolk and egg whites and set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter using hand mixer on high speed until smooth for about one minute.
  5. Add sugar and beat on high speed for another couple of minutes until creamy.
  6. Scrape the sides using spatula and add the oil and beat on high for another 2 minutes.
  7. Now add in the egg yolks and vanilla. Beat on medium high speed until well combined.
  8. Now beat in the vinegar and enough food coloring until you reach the desired color.
  9. Set the mixer on low speed and add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing each addition just until incorporated – do not over mix.
  10. Vigorously whisk the egg whites until thick and foamy for 3 minutes as shown in the picture.
  11. Fold the beaten egg whites into cake batter with a spatula. The batter will be silky and lightly thick.
  12. Add in white chocolate chip and gently mix the batter. Again, do not over mix the batter.
  13. Pour the batter into cupcake pans filling ⅔ of the way full and bake for 18 minutes or until the tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  14. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool them completely.
  15. Now for the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium mixing bowl and beat on medium to high speed for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  16. Add in the confectioners’ sugar and mix on low speed until well incorporated. Increase the speed to medium to high and beat for another 2 minutes.
  17. Blend in the vanilla.
  18. Add the frosting into a pipe bag. And refrigerate for one hour. Later cut the edge of the pipe bag and frost the cupcakes according to your own taste. Enjoy 🙂
1.Using cake flour is a must for making red velvet cake or red velvet cupcakes. Cake flour is much lighter than all-purpose flour and gives right texture.
2.Separate the egg white and egg yolk and then add to the cake batter to achieve the fluffiest texture possible.
3.Buttermilk is a must for this recipe to give tangy flavor and moisture to the cake and vinegar as well. Read that vinegar helps brighten the color.
4.You can make 6” red velvet cake using the same measurement or double the measurement for 2 layer red velvet cake.


Sweetened Khoya or Paalkova


Sweetened KhoyaAfter quite sometime, I am posting an Indian sweet variety that is called as Paalkova or Sweetened Khoya. It is a milk based sweet which also serves as a base ingredient for many other sweet varieties. Back home, the town of Srivilliputtur, which also happens to be my dad’s hometown, is famous for Paalkova. In ancient period, Srivilliputtur was a settlement of Yadava people, who in turn are descendants of Lord Krishna. Yadavas were cow herders by occupation and their settlement was called as Ayarpadi. So it is only fitting that Paalkova originated in this town that is known for the abundance of milk and cows. You literally can find a Paalkova shop at every other corner in the town. Since 1970s, the co-operative milk producers society and other vendors in Srivilliputtur started the production of Paalkova in a large scale and they still serve as the whole sale producers for other retailers throughout Tamilnadu.

Sweetened KhoyaPaalkova reminds me of so many sweet memories from my childhood. When I was little, me and my cousins go to Srivilliputtur to visit my grandma for the holidays. And every time we return home, there will always be a big pack of Paalkova amongst the luggage. That continued well in to my college days too. I had a standing request from my friends to bring back Paalkova after every holiday break :).

Preparation of Paalkova is a time consuming process and requires your attention often throughout the process. But it is worth the time and money when considering the end result – a creamy, rich and sweet Paalkova.I would suggest you continue with cooking other dishes (if any) as well, with one eye on Paalkova preparation too or else you will easily get bored and distracted. Since milk is the main ingredient here and you add sugar as well, you get satisfied very easily. Paalkova can also be served as a dessert after lunch or dinner. Try this tasty treat from my home town and enjoy its sweetness with your near and dear.


Sweetened Khoya or Paalkova
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • Full fat milk – 3 cups
  • Sugar – ¾ cup
  1. Add milk in a wide open heavy bottomed pan (preferably non stick) and bring it to boil.
  2. Reduce the flame to medium-low and add sugar. Stir and scrape the sides.
  3. After 20 minutes, milk is reduced to half. Keep stiring and scraping the sides of the vessel from time to time.
  4. This is how the milk looks like after 30 minutes.
  5. Milk is now turned to rabdi consistency. You can serve it just like that by adding saffron to it. This rabdi can be used in many desserts like Shahi Tukda, Rasmalai, Malpua, Basunthi, and so on.
  6. After 50 minutes, milk has slowly evaporated and khoya is almost done. The color of the milk will be turned to slight yellow at this stage. Keep string and scraping in a low flame.
  7. After a good 60 to 65 minutes, milk evaporates all the moisture and start producing bubbles. Keep stirring and switch off the flame. Sweetened khoya or Paalkova is now ready. Transfer it to a container and bring it to room temperature. Khoya gets thicken when it reaches room temperature.
1.Always be very watchful while making khoya or Paalkova. And patience is required in making this dish.
2.Keep the flame in low once when the milk is reduced to half.
3.Keep stirring from time to time otherwise it will get burnt at the bottom.
4. You can also make unsweetened Khoya without adding sugar using the method described in the recipe.

Sweetened Khoya

Zucchini Bread


Zucchini breadToday, I have posted a kind of healthy dessert variety that you don’t find normally in restaurants or bakeries. It is called as the Zucchini bread. As the name suggests it is made from zucchini, a relative to pumpkins 🙂 Zucchini is also called as summer squash and is of European origin, mainly from Italy. You can make a number of dishes from zucchini like fritters, fries, as a topping in pizzas (it tastes yummy 🙂 ) etc.

Zucchini BreadZucchini breadZucchini bread is a very easy to make bread variety and can be had as snack and for breakfast as well. Zucchini, as with all vegetables, is rich in nutrients especially vitamin A and very low in calories. I first had zucchini bread in a vegan restaurant and liked the taste so much. Believe me, you cannot identify that it is zucchini bread unless someone tells you that 🙂

Zucchini breadZucchini bread, as said above, is a very good breakfast dish, especially for children who normally do not like to eat vegetables (which covers 95% of them :)). Try this tasty bread variety and let me know your comments.


Zucchini Bread
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 9x5x3 inch loaf
  • 1 ½ cups bread flour or all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (or any nuts of your choice)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Grease a loaf pan (9 x 5 x 3 inches) with butter or oil on the bottom and all four sides and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  3. Sieve all the dry ingredients together into a small bowl.
  4. Combine oil and sugars to the large bowl. Mix well until well combined.
  5. Add in the eggs and beat well until creamy consistency.
  6. Add and beat the vanilla extract.
  7. Now combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix well without any lumps.
  8. Finally add in the grated zucchini and chopped walnuts into the mixture and mix well.
  9. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Shake the pan and even the batter on top using spatula.
  10. Bake in oven (preferably in the middle rack) for 55 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean – I covered the pan with aluminum foil after 35 minutes when it starts to brown on top.
  11. Turn out onto a wire rack and allow them to cool. Serve the yummy zucchini bread as hot or cold for a breakfast or brunch or as evening snack. Enjoy! 

Zucchini Bread



BadushaBadushah/Balushahi is a traditional dessert item popular in Indian, Nepali and Bangladeshi cuisines. I don’t have the historical facts but I do believe Badushah is an imported dessert variety, probably from the Mughal period. The name itself is not Indian since it has this Persian touch to it, Shahi which literally means royal. My own theory is that the original name was derived from the word Badshah which means King. Since it was found in royal menu eaten by kings, the sweet came to be known as Badushah. Sometimes, it is also referred to as India doughnuts but I don’t agree with that. The only commonality between doughnuts and Badushah are the ingredients. Both are made from all purpose flour (maida). But for doughnut we use butter and for Badushah we use ghee (clarified butter).

BadushaBadushaBadushah/Balushahi has an appearance that resembles stacked flakes. It is golden brown in color on the outside and very light brown in the inside (after the syrup is absorbed). It is not too sweet but becomes sweeter when you add the sugar syrup at the end of the preparation. Though it is a dessert from the royal menu :), it is not that hard to make except for certain pointers. For instance, like the addition of yoghurt when preparing the dough to make it soft and making sure that the syrup has a single string consistency (dont make it thick). Also, I would suggest using a somewhat deep bottomed vessel so that Badushahs get absorbed in the the sugar syrup easily.

Badusha041So, are you ready to try this awesome recipe in your kitchen? Do try it and experience the royal dessert right in your home.

Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 badushahs
Badushah/Balushahi is a traditional dessert item made using maida or all purpose flour and very popular in Indian, Nepali and Bangladeshi cuisines.
  • All purpose flour or maida - 2 cups
  • Baking soda - ¼ tsp
  • Salt - ¼ tsp
  • Ghee - ¼ cup
  • Yogurt – 2 tbsp
  • Oil – for deep frying
  • Almonds – 5 nos
for sugar syrup:
  • Sugar – 1 ½ cup
  • Water - 1 cup
  • Saffron strands – a pinch
  • Lemon juice – ¼ tsp
  1. Sieve the flour, baking soda and salt together into a large bowl.
  2. Next add in the ghee and combine the flour and ghee to coarse crumbs using your hand.
  3. Add in the yogurt, knead just enough until all the ingredients come together.
  4. Cover the dough with a wet muslin cloth or in airtight container and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions of large lemon size balls. Gently make a dent in the center with the thumb. Cover the dough portions with a wet cloth or airtight container and allow them to rest for another 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile combine sugar and water in a small sauce pan. Allow it to boil and add the saffron strands. Allow the mixture to simmer until you get a single thread consistency.
  7. Next, heat the oil for deep frying and add few balls at a time into the oil. Fry them on medium heat - The medium heat helps the Badushahs to cook evenly from the inside.
  8. When they start to float up to the surface flip over and fry until the bottom half is golden brown. Once both sides are browned well, drain and continue the same with the remaining dough portions and add them to the sugar syrup.
  9. Allow the Badushahs to rest in the sugar syrup until it gets well absorbed and coated all around. Leave it to rest for atleast fifteen minutes and then continue the same step for the rest of the Badushahs.
  10. Garnish the Badushahs with chopped almonds and serve them. Enjoy! 
1.You will know that the sugar syrup has reached the single thread when you touch the syrup between your fingers and you find it sticky.
2.Remember to fry the dough on medium heat and not high heat so it gets evenly cooked from the inside.