White Chocolate & Almond Biscotti

If you’re a biscotti person, then this recipe is for you. Why? Because this biscotti is deliciously sweet, studded with pieces of white chocolate and has the crunch of toasted almonds. It doesn’t break your teeth when you try to bite into it without dipping it into hot coffee first. And, it still hold its shape if you’re into the whole dunking cookies into tea thing.

This recipe has been adapted from ‘The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook’, the 1995 edition, which my aunt gifted me from her cookbook collection. Needless to say, I used Ghirardelli White Chocolate Chips which I hoarded back from Chicago earlier this year. January 2020, to be precise when the world still seemed travel and on the whole, more friendly.

My trip to Chicago was the last and only holiday I took this year. Had I known that this was it, I would have definitely bought half the Ghirardelli store and brought it back with me to Delhi. Not kidding. Also, perhaps a truckload of Cheetos Flaming Hot because they’re the best snack to munch on and as a responsible adult, I can make these healthy choices.

Anyway, my mantra this year is to keep reminding myself to “Make Lemonade”, in every little sense possible. I have become a “To-Do” list making fiend. I am not even close to ticking off every item on that list. This blog post is one of the items, and so here I am, making lemonade with a side of the best biscotti you’re going to make and feed yourself and/or your loved ones.

Without deviating from the topic at hand, the original recipe from the Cookbook features a ‘Double Chocolate-Hazelnut Biscotti’. I’m definitely a double chocolate person, but NOT a hazelnut person. Let’s just say I have borderline trust issues with those ordering sugary hazelnut coffee beverages. And, of course with the real devils, the ones who slather Nutella over EVERYTHING.

In my version of the White Chocolate & Almond Biscotti, you can switch out the white chocolate chips for milk or dark, but please don’t come at me about how white chocolate isn’t real chocolate to begin with. It tastes fabulous when used sparingly, so please. Meanwhile, once this biscotti converts you and your phobia that makes you stay away from the paler cousin of “real” chocolate, you might want to try out my White Chocolate & Raspberry Blondies – another FAB recipe.

Here’s what you need:

(The recipe makes about 2 Dozen Large Biscottis – Pshhh! American portions, am I right?)

  • 2 1/4 Cups of Flour
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • Nice pinch of salt
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Tsp Almond Extract (Vanilla works, if you don’t have almond extract handy)
  • 1 Cup Chopped Almonds
  • 3/4 Cup of White Chocolate Chips

Here’s what you need to do:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, sugar, baking power, baking soda, almonds and white chocolate chips. In a separate bowl, break in the eggs and trickle in the almond extract. Stir until well blended.

Start stirring the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture, little by little, making sure its well incorporated. Once the last bit of the egg mixture is incorporated in the mix, you want to stir until a rather wet dough comes together. (Don’t panic)

I divided the batter into two, which resulted in rather longish biscuits, but you can divide it into four too depending on how big your baking sheets are. So depending on how much dough you have and how big you want your biscuits (in this case, bigger is always better :P).

Once the dough is divided, on the prepared baking sheets, using lightly floured hands, shape each portion into 2x 10inch logs. When I was making it – I made one giant log which was more like 5x10inch . This in no way will effect your baking time or the way they taste. So again, depending on whether you’re making the whole recipe, or a half recipe – shape the biscotti logs.

The logs should be about 4 inches apart, so that they don’t come together into one massive mass.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the edges begin to turn golden. They are done when the logs are firm to touch. Remove the baking trays from the oven. Let the biscotti mass cool for 15 mins or until cool enough to handle.

Lower the oven temperature to 150 degrees.

Transfer one log to a cutting board and cut into 1 inch wide cookies. Repeat with the remaining logs. Place the biscottis (cut side up) for their ‘bi’ bake. Bake for 20 mins until crisp and golden. Once done, remove from the oven, let it cool and check for crispness.

Let them cook completely before consuming, or in my case, diet coke works wonders to aid a burned tongue.

You can store these in an air tight container for 3-4 days (if they haven’t been finished already)

I hope you like them!

Profiteroles

A couple of months ago, I went on a quest to find an Eclair, or its younger, stubbier siblings – profiteroles on Zomato as our choice of dessert that evening. I don’t know if it was the diet that I was on, or if I just wasn’t interested in eating an Eclair that night, but I couldn’t find a single place delivering this cream filled dessert, so instead, we settled for tiny squares of Pineapple Pastry and Banana Bread.

I grew up with an unlimited sugar supply from the bakery of India International Center. There’s something about old school bakeries, the unapologetic thick layer of egg wash on every single thing – from bread sticks to hot cross buns accompanied by the intoxicating smell of fresh breads. I remember waiting outside the lounge and drooling at the sight of every single baked good on display by the stairs that led up to the Main Dining Room. The manager always recognised me (I am still the weirdo who asks for cheeni on the side with Indian food. More on this later, if at all :)) and helped me to my order of Eclairs. Many many years later, they did turn all posh and started offering Profiteroles with the most legendary vanilla ice cream in the Main Dining Hall – but it was the Eclairs, which were a cult classic.

I tried recreating that Eclair craving from a few months ago. Perhaps I tried recreating a childhood memory of comfort; when you didn’t have a watch reminding you that you’re behind on your workout today or when you didn’t have to back calculate every single calorie. Who am I?

The choux pasty recipe has been adapted from Dominique Ansel’s version. He’s one of my favourite pastry chefs and has recently released a book called ‘Everyone can bake’. Although the book is very informative about baking basics and techniques, I found it a little too simple for someone who bakes over the weekend not only to eat but also to improve her skill set. The choux pastry, once cooled completely, was filled with a lightly sweetened mascarpone cream and topped with a smear of dark chocolate.

For the uninitiated, Choux pastry is an enriched egg-based dough which is baked into, pardon my French, Golgappa like hollow rounds, and can be filled with anything from pastry cream to lemon curd. The next time I make this, I’m going to try making a lemon and coconut profiterole or raspberry cream cheese or tiramisu or maybe even a savoury one with ghee roast chicken.

This recipe is pretty foolproof, but read it thoroughly and don’t miss the important tips. The pastry was hollow from the inside and airy. Crisp on the outside with a good bite to it, if you know what I mean? The mascarpone cream is what my British dream of clotted cream is made of. The dark chocolate well, is classic. I wouldn’t recommend Milk because it’s too sweet and also because man you want dark chocolate. Milk chocolate is for Lays Magic Masala (yes).

To make the Profiteroles, here’s what you need:

Choux Pastry (Makes 25)

75g Water

70g Whole Milk

75g Butter (I use salted)

2gm Salt (About 1/2 Teaspoon, add this only if you’re using unsalted butter, else leave it out)

3gm Sugar (Heaped 1/2 Teaspoon will work)

100g Flour

3-4 Eggs (about 150g, whisked)

1 Egg + 1 Tbsp Cream for an Egg Wash

Mascarpone Cream

200g Mascarpone Cheese

200g Heavy Whipping Cream (chilled thoroughly)

2 Tbsp Icing Sugar

Dark Chocolate Ganache

75g Dark Chocolate (chopped)

50g Heavy Cream

You’ll also need a piping bag to pipe the dough rounds. You’ll need a whisk and a large bowl to combine the eggs with the dough. You’ll also need a lot of arm strength if you don’t have a hand / stand mixer (But hey, if Gordon Ramsay can do it, you can do it!). Yeah I think that’s about it. Easy right? Whisk you’ll have, and you can literally make a piping bag out of Ziplock. No excuses.

Here’s what you need to do:

For the Choux Pastry

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, top and bottom heating on. Line a baking tray with parchment. You want to pipe the choux pastry in 4cm wide rounds and about 3 cm apart. Draw circles if you’re OCD about these things.

In a saucepan, place water, milk, butter, sugar and salt (again, only if you’re using unsalted butter) and bring to a light simmer over medium heat. Once the mix begins to boil, tumble in the flour and stir with a spatula. The idea here is to cook out the flour and some of the moisture from the dough. As you stir, you’ll notice theres a film of dough beginning to form at the bottom of the pan. That’s a good thing. You want to stir until there is an even film at the bottom of the pan (Not burnt!, keep the heat on medium low). This entire process should take 5 minutes. The step by step pictures are on my Instagram highlights (@ananyagee). Take it off the heat.

Now dump your dough in a bowl (of your stand mixer if you have it). Whisk on low speed for 5 mins till some of the steam escapes for the hot mass of cooked out flour. Begin to add the eggs, one at a time. You want to make sure the eggs are fully incorporated after every addition. So only add the next egg once you’re ready.

You’ll add 150 grams of eggs (3 to 4 eggs). The outside of the bowl should be hot to the touch, but bearable. Once the dough comes together fully (if you lift a blob of dough with your whisk, it should fall down slowly in ribbons) transfer to a piping bag.

Holding the piping bag at a 90-degree angle about 1.25 cm above the prepared baking sheet, pipe rounds of choux dough about 4 cm in diameter, spacing them about 3 cm apart. Smooth/flatten the pointed tips of the rounds with your fingers.

Brush with egg wash and bake for 20-25 minutes. The top should be golden brown.

Let the Choux out and cool completely at room temperature.

For the Mascarpone Cream

In a bowl, whisk and soften the cheese for a few minutes. Add the icing sugar and stir until it’s well incorporated. Lastly, add in the heavy whipping cream, which should be super cold. If necessary, pop this entire bowl in the freezer for a couple of minutes before whisking it. Once cold, whisky it with a hand mixer till it comes together in a pipe-able mass which can hold its shape. Fill in a piping bag.

Chocolate Ganache

Place the chopped chocolate chunks in a bowl. Heat the cream on medium heat until it’s lightly simmering. Take it off the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute and stir till all the chocolate melts in the residual heat of the cream – you should have a spreadable ganache. If the consistency is too thin / thick add more chocolate / cream to fix it.

Assembly

Take a choux bun and with the help of a pointy object, like a knitting needle or even a sharp knife, make a hole / slit wide enough for your piping tip to fit through to fill the bun. Pipe the cream in till it Profiterole almost bursts 🙂

Once all the buns are filled, place them in the freezer for 15 mins, so that they become easier to handle. After 15 minutes, spread the chocolate ganache on the Profiteroles with the back of a spoon. Place it back in the fridge and eat cold 😀

Dan Dan Noodles

On today’s episode of Corona Cucina, we’re going to make Dan Dan Noodles.

It’s a family favorite, we had it in Chengdu (no surprises there), and is a dish that I have been craving ever since we got back home. I thought the process will be chaotic and I’ll never get it right, but when I got down actually making it, the dish came out really really well.

They’re so well rounded and yummy its unbelievable!

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All the Sichuan cooking I have been doing has been pretty close to the real thing – and this is without adding any MSG. I am a huge David Chang fan, and if he says MSG is okay to eat and the whole hate around MSG is western propaganda, and is in fact, filled with xenophobia – then I’ll buy it. So would I add a sprinkle of MSG if I had it handy? Absolutely!

These are the pictures of the OG Dan Dan Noodles I had in Chengdu at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant recommended by The Food Ranger in his Chengdu Food Guide Book – which is a life saver considering (in all honesty) it’s difficult for non-mandarin speaking tourists to navigate through must-eat spots and food menus in Chengdu. If and when you ever visit Chengdu, I highly recommend purchasing this book which totals to about INR 700.

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So, I began channeling my inner Po, used peanut butter instead of Tahini in this recipe, and, I think it tasted better than the original because of the added sesame oil which doesn’t make you miss that rounded sesame flavour.

I made a chicken version, but if you’re vegetarian you can make a mushroom / soya mince version. Just follow the same steps – make sure the mushrooms are diced finely to crisp them up faster, and please prepare the soya mince as per packet instructions – cause I have no clue how to do that. The chicken mince needs to get crispy in the wok – its more like this crispy topping (delicious, right?) than this filling protein.

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Here’s what you need: (for a portion of two)

  • 100g egg noodles
  • 1 – 2 teaspoon Chilli oil (depends on how hot you like your food)
  • 2-3 Scallions (green part only)
  • 4 Tbsp Crushed Peanuts
    • I personally didn’t think this needed any vegetables added and wanted to keep this as authentic and street style as possible. But if you’re OCD about having vegetables then you want to blanch your greens (in salted water) and add them to the bowl during assembly

For the chicken:

  • 250g chicken mince
  • 6 garlic cloves – chopped finely
  • 1/2 inch ginger – chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy
  • 1 tablespoon light soy
  • White pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon chilli oil
  • 3 tablespoons of oil – for cooking

Dressing:

  • 1 heaped tablespoon of Peanut Butter
  • 1 tablespoon light soy
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon black vinegar
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

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Here’s what you need to do:

The chicken came first.

Place the oil in a wok and add the garlic to cold oil. Bring the wok up to heat and let the garlic bubble away. Once the oil is sufficiently hot and the garlic is sizzling, add the ginger and cook it out for 30 seconds. Add the chicken mince – you want to cook this out till the water and juices evaporate – again, to reiterate, this is going to get crispy. Add salt and pepper to the chicken mince.

Keep breaking up any chunks which keep coming together while stirring ever so often. Once the chicken begins to dry, season with the sauces and continue to cook until the chicken and the oil begin to separate and the chicken is crispy. Simple.

Cook the noodles as per packet instructions (heavily salted), save the noodle water.

Mix all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. It might begin to coagulate, which is absolutely normal. At this point you spoon in two tablespoons of the hot noodle water and stir till you have a nice, smooth dressing which will easily coat the noodles and hold on like a clingy partner.

Spoon the dressing in the serving bowl, followed my the hot noodles, chicken mince, scallion greens and crushed peanuts! Drizzle the bowl with chilli oil. If you make it and you like it, you may reach out to me, bend in gratitude and repeat after me – “There is no secret ingredient” 😀

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Two Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

This recipe defied everything that I thought I knew about chocolate. I’m a food snob, having watched and re-watched every single episode of every single season of Masterchef Australia, I am a self proclaimed food encyclopaedia. I was under the impression that chocolate and water are enemies – especially while melting chocolate – I thought that if even a single droplet of water falls into melted chocolate – it will seize. Apparently not, well at least not in this science defying recipe.

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Two ingredients, that’s all its going to take for you to whip up a delicious tasting mousse , which you can top with flakey sea salt and any fresh berries – if you have them at the bottom of your fridge somewhere.

I saw this recipe first in New York Times Cooking – and thats when I knew I had to try it. It’s super simple and a brilliant lockdown recipe – because assuming you have water and are surviving – its actually a one ingredient mousse!

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Here’s what you need:

  • 250gm of chocolate – chopped
  • 225ml of water
  • Flakey sea salt

Here’s what you need to do:

Prepare an ice bath – Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and chilled water. On top of the cold water, place another bowl (for you to make your mousse in).

On a medium flame, place a heavy bottomed pan and transfer the chopped chocolate in. Pour in the 225ml of water and begin stirring with a whisk. You don’t need to whisk furiously – just until everything is melted and comes together, 3 to 5 minutes.

Once both the ingredients have come together, transfer to the bowl floating in the ice bath and WHISK like you mean it. You’ll have to whisk for about 5 to 8 minutes. You want to quickly bring down the temperature of the chocolate mix and incorporate air into the soon to be chocolate cloud. When the chocolate begins to look mousse-like, transfer to a bowl and top with flakey salt. Simple. Now you may eat.

Intervention: In case your ice melts, and the bowl isn’t cold anymore and therefore, the chocolate is not becoming fluffy. Pop the chocolate bowl in the freezer for five minutes, refresh the ice bath with chilled water and more ice cubes and give it another go – it’s going to come together I promise.

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Dalgona Iced Coffee #달고나커피

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I have almost completed a week in self-isolation which wasn’t so bad considering on two days I had to rush to the office to use the Bloomberg Terminal. Pandemics imply market corrections which means growth stocks might be available for cheap in the short term.

So on Day 5 today, while mindlessly scrolling on Instagram, I came across Dalgona Coffee (trending on social media, FYI), which is nothing but a cold coffee- an unstirred version- of our phaeti hui coffee.

People stuck in quarantine in South Korea are now connecting with each other by making their versions of the Dalgona Iced Coffee and posting about it online.

2020 has been a tough TOUGH year for everybody. It’s been especially volatile for Delhiites. So, when I see people in the world coming together in times of uncertainty you can 110% count me in on participating in that viral trend, fad or not.


 

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From the quintessential ‘pick-me-up’ to the brewing of something romantic, coffee has played an extremely important role in all our lives. My love affair with coffee started out of necessity when I would make my not-so-accommodative sister drive me to the nearest coffeeshop for a double shot espresso during exam time. Eventually, when I started working, coffee came to my rescue every morning – if you can call it coffee that is, or maybe the poison extracted from earsplitting steam exhaling machines is a better description of what I have been drinking all these years.

At my new workplace, there’s no sign of a coffee machine, what there is though, is a kettle. So my lovely office boy comes up to me every morning and asks me “Aaj kaunsi coffee?”. He has seen me through my phases of keto, intermittent fasting and substituting coffee for dessert, so I really can’t blame him if he needs to know whether he’ll need to add milk powder in the boiled water and instant coffee mix, which he calls a cup of coffee or not.


This coffee is delicious though! It’s almost a dessert-like indulgence. The beaten coffee makes it feel much denser and richer than it actually is. This is the perfect drink for the coming blistering summer.

Its super easy to make and needs only four ingredients – Instant Coffee, Sugar, Water and Milk! (Well, ice too).



Here’s what you need:

  • 2 tbsp – Instant Coffee Powder
  • 2 tbsp – Caster Sugar
  • 2 tbsp – Boiling Water
  • 1/2 Glass of Milk
  • 3-4 Ice Cubes

Here’s what you need to do:

Set about half a cup of water on the stove to boil (you can scoop out two tablespoons of water from there).

To beat the coffee, I used a stand mixer (Dont @ me). When we Indian’s make beaten coffee, we usually just do it by hand in a cup – knock yourself out! But I was lazy and had a Power Point to get back to.

In a cup or a bowl, place the coffee power, sugar and hot water and start beating. You can use a stand mixer, a frother or even a spoon (arranged in ascending order for time taken 🙂 )

While the mix is beating, hum your favorite song, pile the ice cubes in a nice long glass and top it with milk.

Once the coffee mix resembles a thick meringue-like consistency and basically holds its shape – use a spoon to place the whipped – better than clouds – coffee goodness on top of the milk in a very hat like fashion, putting even the most accomplished Baristas to shame :D.

Do not stir. Be patient, pick a side of the glass and sip sip sip. The cold milk suddenly rushes through the coffee cloud and balances the whole thing out. You can thank me for this later. Stay home and Stay safe ♥

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Fudgey Brownies

All you need is love and a brownie ♥

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I never thought I’d be emotionally and mentally equipped to handle protests, riots, crashing stock indices and a pandemic – all at the same time. Growing up with an elder sibling meant watching movies not meant for a child of my age. So, I grew up scared of zombies, murderers, riots, and basically any kind of violence. I’m the kind of person that likes to avoid awkward confrontation and would run different arguments in my head before even asking for something. And now, here I am in 2020, picking fights with friends and family on the topics of NRC, CAA, nationalism, public healthcare, liberalism and capitalism.

I’m not a socialist. But I do try to be a responsible citizen and a decent human being. An empathetic human being. I can imagine your confusion – where do brownies fit into all of this?

Well, I’m on day 2 of my social isolation today and couldn’t get myself to binge watch junk on Netflix. So instead, I brought out my paint box (filled with dust bunnies),  unscrewed jammed acrylic paint tubes and began painting after what felt like years. But as with most creative things, you can’t rush the process so eventually after a couple of hours I had to stop, and focus on my next creative outlet – which is why I am here.

If you’re at home (which I am hoping most of you are), let’s make the most of this terrible confusing time and do something which makes us – all in all, better, happier people.

I don’t know about being better people, but whats going to make you happier? These fuuuuudgey brownies, which according to my boss,  who in between meetings paused to say were ‘F**KING BETTER THAN THEOBROMA!“.


I’m just a girl, sitting on her recliner, asking strangers on the internet to just add a little more sweetness to their lives and bake these brownies. Please?

 

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Here’s what you need:

  • 120g semi-sweet chocolate (melted) – 20 second intervals in the microwave
  • 100g semi-sweet chocolate – chopped into one inch sized chunks
  • 220g butter (also, melted) – 20 second intervals in the microwave
  • 175g white caster sugar
  • 75g brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 95g flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp flakey salt

Here’s what you need to do:

I highly recommend a hand mixer for this recipe. But since most gyms are closed, feel free to take out a hand whisk and get a workout in 🙂

Prepare a 9″ pan – line with parchment paper and grease with butter. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, pour the melted butter and top with the two sugars. Mix until light and pale, till you can’t see individual granules of sugar. Crack in the eggs, one at a time. Now, this is the time to really get that workout in, show off those arm muscles. You want to mix this till everything is glossy, very light in color and you can see an increase in volume. Why? Because want to mix the eggs till they almost double in  volume for that beautiful cracked top on brownies which make them look oh so attractive. Trickle in the vanilla extract and stir.

Pour in the melted chocolate in a single stream. Gently, using a whisk, stir the chocolate and mix until everything resembles something so chocolately and sweet that you want to put your face in it 😀

Topple the sifted dry mix on top of the eggy-melted chocolate goodness and mix until you don’t see any dry lumps of flour. You don’t want to over work the flour – it will activate the gluten and make the brownies cakey  – and we don’t want that. We want these to be gloriously fudgey and gooey.

Top the batter with the chopped chocolate chunks, mix just until folded through and transfer the batter to the prepared pan.

Bake for 25-30 mins until the top of the brownies is glossy and wrinkly, and you can’t see any uncooked batter from the top.

Wait for the brownies to cool before cutting them – I didn’t. But that’s also cause I have zero patience in life and I’m all about instant gratification. :/


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Coffee Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

This Coffee Cake with Chocolate Ganache is the latest addition to my list of comfort desserts.

It’s a guilt-free dessert (if such a thing exists!). It’s not guilt-free cause it has any less sugar or anything, but it’s just quite light and sinful yet doesn’t make you feel like you’ve committed one, plus, it has almonds and a chocolate frosting and coffee.

This cake came to me at a point in time when I was seriously craving a coffee cake, something on the lines of a tiramisu or a frosted coffee cake (something slightly more richer than this – more like a birthday cake).

A definite crowd pleaser this one!

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Now coming back to how I came across this – The recipe which started this coffee chocolate madness belongs to a lovely lady – Anita. The recipe can be found on her blog. Anita also taught me how to bake sourdoughs (more of this soon! – hopefully). And I knew, that coming from Anita, this recipe is gonna be a hit.

Her recipe can be found here. If you make it – let her know how you liked it!

I made just a couple of changes to her recipe. My slightly tweaked version can be found below.

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Here is what you need:

  1. For the Cake:
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup Butter
  • The original recipe calls for oil – but I really wanted a richer cake – so I used butter instead
  • 1 Tablespoon Coffee Powder (Instant)
  • 4 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Almonds

2. For the Ganache:

  • 150g Heavy Cream
  • 250g Semi-Sweet Chocolate (Chopped)

What you need to do:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180DegreesC
  2. Grease and prepare a cake pan – 9″ works but I baked it in a 7″ Bundt pan. In case you’re using a budnt pan – grease with butter and then dust with flour to make sure the cake comes out easily
  3. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder- set aside.
  4. Beat butter and sugar together in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until pale and fluffy.
  5. Add in the eggs – one after the other, beating well after each addition.
  6. Once the eggs are well incorporated add in the vanilla.
  7. Simultaneously – dissolve the instant coffee powder in the milk and add that in as well.
  8. Toss the chopped almond in the flour mix.
  9. Add the flour and almond mix to the egg batter and fold gently, without over mixing the batter.
  10. Bake for 30-35 Mins until a skewer inserted – comes out clean.

For the Ganache:

  • Heat the cream in a sauce pan just until it begins to simmer around the edges.
  • Pour over the chocolate – let sit for a minute or two and then whisk it till all the chocolate is melted and you have a ganache of spreadable consistency.

To assemble the cake – Slap and slather on the chocolate all over the curves of your bundt cake and eeeeat it guilt-free 🙂

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Strawberry Cake

This cake is all ❤ . Literally. This strawberry studded cake looks like a fleet of hearts.

In Delhi, we only get strawberries for a few months during the winters, so I need to make the most of it. It’s almost stressful when my mother gets me boxes of these berries, and then I know I have to do justice to them or else I will end up feeling miserable.

This cake is a Martha Stewart jewel, as are most of my cakes, including my go-to banana bread recipe.

If you have friends and family who don’t like frosted cakes.  This is a great option! It gives you a fruity tartness from the berries and the ever comforting vanilla sponge cake at the bottom.

So without further ado, below is the recipe – inspired by Martha Stewart.

Strawberry Cake

Strawberry Cake

Here’s what you need (all ingredients need to be at room temperature):

  • 85g Salted Butter
  • 1 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1  Cup Sugar + 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Fresh Strawberries – halved

What you need to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, and line and butter an 8inch cake tin
  • Sift together the Flour, Baking Powder and Salt
  • Place the Butter and Sugar in a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for about 4 minutes until really pale and fluffy
  • Once the Butter and (1 Cup) Sugar is all fluffed up, crack in the Egg, followed by Vanilla Extract until its well incorporated
  • Now, in basically three steps we need to alternate and put in the Flour Mix and the Milk, in a way we end up adding the remaining flour at the end.
    • Add 1/3 of the flour mix – then  1/2 of the milk – 1/3 of the flour mix – then the remaining half of the milk – ending with the last 1/3 of the flour mix
    • Do not over mix  – just fold it will everything is incorporated and there are no dry lumps of flour
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared cake tin
  • Now, remember those halved strawberries? Arrange the strawberries on top of the batter with the cut sides facing up.
  • Once the strawberries are arranged – Sprinkle the reserved 2 Tablespoons of Sugar on top and bake till golden.
  • It takes about 10 mins at 180 degrees then lower the temperature to 170 for another 30-40 mins.

Eat it with a hot cup of coffee or in bed 🙂

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Raspberry & White Chocolate Blondies

You know whats equally delicious than the fabulous combination of dark chocolate and raspberry? It’s switching the dark chocolate out for it’s much controversial and love/hate pale sibling, white chocolate, which when combined with raspberries is the most glorious thing I have ever tried.

The last time I had posted something on this blog/ universe was a blueberry crumble cake after I had returned from my trip to Jordan. So, I thought it only made sense for me to post a recipe now, inspired by my trip to Paris earlier this year, where I had the most incredible, incredible, incredible ice cream at Berthillon. One scoop of the creamiest white chocolate ice cream, topped with a tart, smooth and bright raspberry sorbet.

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White Chocolate Ice Cream topped with Raspberry Sorbet

Coming back to those blondies, which, if you’ve been living under a rock, are essentially fudgey brownies minus the cocoa. These blondies are fudgey and subtly sweet with bursts of raspberry. The blondies when cooked and perfectly tanned taste so wonderfully caramelised.

Don’t be sceptical about working with white chocolate, buy good quality chocolate and since this isn’t really in your face sweet – it will work out well if its your first affair with white chocolate.

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So wait no more, and just scroll down for these fab fab fab blondies.

What you will need:

150 grams white chocolate – chopped

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup butter – at room temperature

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/3 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

This is what you need to do:

Preheat your oven at 180 degrees.

Butter and line an 8 inch square baking dish.

Melt the chopped white chocolate  in the microwave in bursts of 30 seconds. After every interval stir the chocolate with a spatula to make sure it melts evenly. Set aside to cool slightly.

If you’re using fresh raspberries – skip this step. Else, in a heavy bottom pot, place a cup of frozen berries, and turn the heat to medium. Cook this down until the mixture thickens – about 5 and remove from heat – let it cool.

Sift the flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Using a stand mixer or a hand held electric whisk, beat the butter and brown sugar together until well blended. It doesn’t have to be all whipped and fluffy, but just make sure its blended well and the butter begins to look creamy.

Next, add in the eggs one by one, making sure the first egg is well incorporated before adding the second one, beatttttt it.

Add in the extracts, mix for another 30 seconds, then drizzle in the white chocolate which we had melted. Once mixed, sift in the flour mix with a spatula until just combined.

Toss in the white chocolate chips (and, the fresh raspberries, if you have them!). And transfer the batter to the prepared tin. If you’re using frozen raspberries like me, put the blondie batter in the tin, and then, using a spoon, put blobs of the raspberry compote about one inch a part, and swirl it with a toothpick (or in my case, a stick of uncooked spaghetti :))

Bake it in the oven for about 30 mins – keep an eye on it – once it started to brown slightly from the top, you want to remove it from the oven.

Cool to room temperature, eat it, and then thank me.

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Blueberry Crumble Cake

I haven’t been inside my kitchen to bake ever since I have gotten back from Jordan.

All of us went on the most mesmerising trip to this hidden jewel in the Middle East. That country is like none other. I think I may have to write a blog post on my trip with all our quirky experiences and top travel tips for the country, and, also to share the amazing photos of the different landscapes that all of us clicked. Yup, adding this to my to-do list.

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Temple of Artemis – Jerash, Jordan
So, the only thing on the trip which was slightly underwhelming was the variety of food on offer. On a ten day trip with 30 meals to eat, we felt exhausted by all the hummus, labneh, fuul, kebab, Mansaf and pita breads on display. Also, since the parents travelling with us were vegetarians, Jordanian food didn’t offer much so in came the average Italian food.

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Blueberry Jewelled Cake with a Golden Toasted Crumble on top!
Anyway, by the fifth or the sixth day of the trip, I was dreaming about this delicious fruit cake I had whipped up just a few days before leaving. So this post is long over due.

My amazing neighbour and one of the official tasters of everything I bake, gifted me a box of blueberries to play around with. I had all sorts of ideas like pies, cobblers, cakes, muffins and jams that I wanted to pull out of my hat. But since I just had this one box, I settled on a Crumble Cake which is a sort of muffin-meets-cobbler cake hybrid. And boy oh boy did this cake vanish in 45 mins after baking and clicking pictures.

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This cake is deal for afternoon tea time, or in my case even breakfast! This is the ultimate fruit cake/non-icing cake to enjoy with a cuppa joe.

The recipe I used is adapted from Laura Vitale’s version of her Blueberry cake.

I basically ditched the sour cream and used greek yoghurt instead, worked a treat! And, I definitely prefer more crumble for that toasted crumbly crunchy texture on top of the cake which just tastes divine without or with (definitely with)  heavy cream!

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You can find my recipe below:

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup greek yoghurt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 butter
  • 2 cups of fresh blueberries

For the crumble:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter

Here’s what you need to do:

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees celsius and place the wire rack in the centre. Line and grease a 9inch spring form pan. Make sure you have a springform pan, you don’t want to turn a crumble cake upside down.

For the crumble:

Dump in all the ingredients of the crumble in a bowl then using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, cut or break the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside and start the cake stuff.

For the cake:

Before you begin, take two tablespoons of the flour (from the cake batch) and sprinkle on top of the blueberries and toss it until the flour is evenly distributed. This process makes sure that the blueberries don’t sink to the bottom of the cake while baking. Moving on…

In a bowl, sift together the dry ingredients; flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together.

In another larger mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until pale and well incorporated. Add in the eggs one by one, and beat thoroughly until well combined. If you rush the addition of the eggs and don’t mix it well, the batter would split. Not that this will affect your end product, since once you add the dry ingredients at a later stage everything will come together. Nonetheless, whisk it up!

Once both the eggs are mixed in, add in the yoghurt, milk and vanilla extract and mix until the mixture is smooth.

Throw in the dry mix, and fold the batter until smooth and there are no lumps of flour. Tumble in the blueberries and stir well. Don’t stir too much or the blueberries will break.

Transfer the batter into the prepared cake pan. Sprinkle the crumble on top of the cake evenly and pop the pan into the oven and bake for about 45-50 mins.

Now the thing with fruit cakes, is that you cant really prick the centre and tell when its done, because since this contains fresh fruit, it releases water and juice which will moisten the surrounding cake crumbs. So prick around without structurally damaging the cake, and once a few inserts come out clean, or slightly moist (and are visibly blue from bluerries), you are good to go and your tea cake is ready!

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