Dessert

Pineapple Olive Oil Cake

 

I had made a cupcake version of Pineapple upside down cake may be over a year ago. I made a few changes and made a sheet cake and topped it with Broiled Pineapple. The results were amazing. Cake was not overly sweet so you can have it at tea time.

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Ingredients:

  • Self-rising flour 3/4 cup
  • Baking powder 1/2 tsp
  • Baking soda 1/4 tsp
  • Almond Flour ½ cup
  • Sugar ½ cup plus 2 tsp
  • Olive Oil ¾ cup
  • Eggs 1 plus 1 yolk
  • Sour cream 1/2 cup
  • Lemon zest 1/2 tsp
  • Vanilla extract 1/4 tsp

For Pineapple topping:

  • Pineapple rounds
  • Turbinado sugar 1/4 cup

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Directions:

  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Spray the sheet pan with non stick spray
  • In a bowl, mix Flour, Baking powder and  Baking soda and keep aside.
  • In a stand mixer, mix Olive oil and sugar and run it at medium speed for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add one egg at a time and keep mixing until feels well mixed and light.
  • Add Vanilla extract and Lemon zest.
  • Add dry ingredients and mix at medium speed until well mixed.
  • Finally add sour cream so the mixture even softer.
  • In a quarter sheet pan, pour the mixture and bake for 15-20 minutes
  • Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  • Cut fresh Pineapple in thin rounds. Top with Turbinado sugar and Broil in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Once the cake is cooled, cut in desired shape and top with these Pineapple rounds.

 Best served warm. Enjoy!!

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xoxo

Original recipe by Lauren Kapeluck.

 

Labneh and Fruit Tarts

I may have hit a writer’s block because I have been looking at this draft for days thinking of something to write but my mind simply draws a blank so here you go. Just the recipe and some pics.

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Ingredients:

  • Yogurt full fat 1 container
  • Vanilla Extract 1 tsp
  • Rose water 1 1/2 tsp
  • Brown Sugar 2 Tbsp or White Sugar 2 Tbsp or as much as you need per your taste
  • Apricots about 6 if using for all Tarts OR
  • Nectarine 2 if using for all 3 Tarts OR
  • Strawberries about 5 each if using for all Tarts OR
  • Alternatively, mix up the fruit and reduce quantities accordingly

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Directions:

Prepare the Tarts (recipe coming soon) or use premade Tart sheets from the store which will save you considerable time. I made 3 mini Tarts using mini Tart molds.

For the Tart filling:

I used Full fat yogurt for this recipe to make it creamy. Feel free to use Low fat if you would like but you may have to compromise on taste.

Option 1: Pour All the Yogurt in a large cheesecloth. Tie two of the opposite ends together and tie a tight knot. Then create a loose knot with remaining two ends and hang the cheesecloth bound Yogurt on a kitchen faucet. If this is not an option for you, use option 2 below.

Option 2:Tie both knots tightly, place the bundle in a large strainer and put the strainer in a large pot so as all the water from the yogurt will collect in the pot. Keep it this way for at least 12 hours in the refrigerator.

If you are using kitchen sink method, leave the yogurt out for 6 hours (unless it is super-hot where you live) and then move on to use option 2 for 6 hours.

Once the Yogurt looks thicker, add it to the Stand Mixer with whipping attachment and add Brown Sugar/Honey/White Sugar, Vanilla Essence and Rose Water and whip first at medium speed for 2 minutes and then at faster speed for 2-3 minutes. The Yogurt should feel smooth and harmonized.

To assemble:

Fill the Tarts with the Yogurt and top it with cut Fruit. You could use really fruit of your choice but I would try to use what is in season to get the best taste.

If the Fruit you are using is not sweet enough, make simple syrup using 1 part Sugar and 1 part water, bring to boil, let it cool and soak the fruit for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the syrup and assemble the Tart.

Recipe adapted from Mattersofthebbelly.com 

 

 

Almond Pineapple Bites

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After Anushka’s birthday and my birthday in the same month, we had a real sugar overload. Not to mention twice weekly trips to the Ice Cream shop only because its summer. I wanted to make something for those mid afternoon hunger pangs and after school snacks that was nutritious and not overly sweet. These Almond bites pass both the tests. Not only that but they are also very easy to make.

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I initially made these to take to a friend’s house as a Hostess gift and left it out before going to run some errands. When I came back half the stash was gone. Obviously, I had to figure out another gift but that’s how good these are.

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Ingredients:

  • Almonds Plain 2 cups
  • Pineapple dried 1 1/2 cups chopped small
  • Salt 1 pinch
  • Maple Syrup 1 Tbsp
  • Coconut flakes for rolling Unsweetened
  • Water 2 Tbsp
  • Ghee or clarified butter for rolling about 2 tbsp

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Directions:

  • If you like, you can roast the Almonds otherwise leave as is.
  • In a food processor, chop the Almonds into chunky bits. Not too small and not too large. 
  • Chop dried Pineapple into small pieces.
  • Mix Almond, Pineapple and Salt. If you are not using Candied Pineapple, add Maple Syrup. Mix well.
  • Pour the Coconut flakes in to a plate and keep aside.
  • Add 2 Tbsp of water and try to roll the mixture into small bite size rounds. If you need more water, add but only 1 Tbsp at a time.
  • Once you feel the mixture is right consistency, apply a little bit of Ghee on your hands and roll the mixture. Then finally roll it in in the Coconut flakes.
  • If you do not like Coconut, you can omit the step.
  • Substitute with any dried fruit of your choice like Apricots, Mango or Oranges. 

Enjoy

xo

Amita

Fancy Marshmallows

Have you ever met someone from your past and suddenly felt like some missing pieces of puzzle fell into place? Or have you ever went to a new place, a place you have never ever been before and thought you belonged? Have you ever wondered why things happen in a certain way and why we meet certain people and not the others? Do you ever wonder about how many secrets the Universe is holding.

The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing – Socrates

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This 5 minutes recipe is pretty much the best I have in my arsenal when I am faced with hungry kids and little time. I am sure almost every Mom knows this recipe but I was thinking if I could just bring a smile to one Mom’s face with this recipe, it’s going to be worth it.

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Ingredients:

  • Marshmallows 1 dozen
  • Candy Melt 1 package (I used Wilton)
  • Cookie Sticks about a dozen
  • Sprinkles 1 tbsp each stick
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Directions:

  • A handful of Candy Melt makes about 8 sticks.
  • In a microwave proof bowl, pour the Candy melts and microwave at 50% of power. First about 2 minutes and then add 45 second intervals. Between each interval, mix and check consistency. It should be pour-able consistency.
  • If the consistency is thicker than desired, you can add 1 tsp of Canola oil or Grape seed oil for each handful of Candy Melts.
  • In the meanwhile, push the Cookie stick through one Marshmallow each about half way through. Make sure it holds the S’more.
  • Once Candy melt is ready, hold each Marshmallow with the end of the stick over the Candy Melt bowl. With a Tablespoon, pour the Candy Melt over each S’more until all sides are coated properly.
  • Once coated, sprinkle the Sprinkles on top as desired. This is totally optional. If you are using pretty colored Candy melt, forgo this step or you can use colored sugar too.
  • Dry the marshmallows either on a rack or making it stand upright in a glass, stick end down.
  • You can also place it in the fridge for fast drying.

Enjoy.

Xoxo

Amita

Banana and Pineapple Cake

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Summer is not yet here and Spring seems to be hiding. Temps are so down that we had to get our winter coats out again. I wanted to get at least bit of tropic in our lives. Here is a Banana Pineapple Cake.

The cake is going to give almost equal Pineapple Banana flavors. If you like more Banana flavor than Pineapple, reduce Pineapple to 8 oz and increase Bananas to 5.

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Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour 3 cups
  • Granulated Sugar 2 cups
  • Salt 1 tsp
  • Baking Soda 1 tsp
  • Eggs 3
  • Bananas ripe 3
  • Pineapple crushed 12 oz.
  • Canola Oil 1 cup
  • Vanilla extract 1 tsp
  • Garnishes – Walnuts, Coconut, Powdered Sugar
  • Optional ingredients – Coconut or Walnuts ½ cup. Do not use both together.

 

cake cooling vibran folidge

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 .
  • Spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray. I used a large one and also made six small ones. It does taste better when made just into a larger pan because it holds the moisture better. The smaller ones dried out a bit within a few hours.
  • In a stand mixer, mix Flour, Sugar, salt and Baking soda.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs first. Then add the Pineapple and mix.
  • Add Bananas and mix.
  • Finally, add walnuts or coconut flakes (optional – see note)
  • Add this mixture to the dry ingredients slowly while mixing with spatula. Run the stand mixer at its lowest speed just for a couple of minutes and if the mixture is not blended, mix with spatula.
  • Pour the batter into the Bundt pan and bake for 55 minutes. Check to see if tooth pick comes out clean. If not, bake for another 5 minutes. For me, 55 minutes were enough.
  • Wait for 10 minutes before turning out.
  • Let cool before adding garnishes.

Note: If you would like you could add only ½ cup of either Walnuts or Coconut flakes. And mix as noted above.

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Pistachio Almond Financier

Does the name sound weird to you? It did to me at first. This French delicacy was known as Visitandine until it became popular in Paris Financial Stock Exchange as it was easy to store in coat pockets without being damaged. Another story says that the traditional shape resembles a bar of gold hence the name. The second story won’t go with my cakes because I used a Tea cake mold instead of the original financier mold.1

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Ingredients:

  • All purpose Flour 1/2 cup
  • Almond meal ( flour) 1/2 cup
  • Ground roasted Pistachio 1/2 cup
  • Pistachio roasted and chopped 2 Tbsp
  • Butter 1 stick or 8 Tbsp
  • Granulated Sugar 1 cup
  • Salt Himalayan 2 pinches
  • Egg whites 4 plus 1 yolk
  • Baking Powder 1 tsp

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Directions:

  • Roast and grind pistachios to a fine powder. If you do not have shelled pistachios, it takes a while to shell them so plan accordingly.
  • In a small sauce pan or a butter warmer, heat butter on low to medium heat. Do not stir. The butter will begin to brown. Remove from heat and let cool
  • While the butter is heating, spray Financier mold or Tea cake mold. I used this pan.
  • Either in a stand mixer or in a large bowl, whisk Egg whites. Add Salt and Sugar and whisk. If using stand mixer, use medium to high speed. Set aside.
  • Pour the butter through a strainer and set aside. I simply used a tea strainer since I do not have a dedicated one for baking.
  • Add Pistachio flour, Almond meal, All purpose flour and Baking powder to the Egg mixture. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate for about 4 hours.
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 °F.
  • Pour about 1 tsp of batter in each mold. Batter is slightly sticky so use two spoons.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them become slightly warm so that they are not hot anymore.
  • Remove the cakes from the cake pan and sprinkle with powdered sugar and chopped Pistachios.

Enjoy.

 

 

Persian Love Cake

This beautiful creation has an equally enchanting story behind it. A girl fell in love with a Prince and she made this cake to charm the Prince. This Cake now serves as a symbol of undying love. The cake is filled with aromatic Persian flavors. It is infused with Cardamom and delicate Rose scented Frosting. 

The cake itself appears to have two separate versions. One is Almond meal based and another is Angel food cake. I went with Angel food cake variety as I like the lightness of it.

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I made this cake for one of our Valentine’s themed parties. In February, all the parties seem to have the same Valentine’s theme so our Valentine’s day stretches a whole month long.

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Ingredients:

Cake:
  • Cake Flour 1 cup
  • Granulated Sugar 14 Tbsp or little less than a cup
  • Baking Powder 1 1/2 tsp
  • Salt 1 pinch
  • Eggs 3 separated yolk and whites
  • Canola Oil 1/4 cup
  • Water 6 Tbsp
  • Cardamom seeds whole from 5 cardamoms
  • Lemon zest from 2 large Lemons
Frosting
  • Whipping cream 2 cups
  • Powdered Sugar 2/3 cup
  • Rose Water 1 1/2 tsp
  • Saffron Threads 2 pinches
Candied Rose Petals
  • Petals from Roses about 20 small
  • 1/2 cup powered Sugar
  • Egg white from 1 large egg

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Photograph by: Abhijit Bhatwadekar

Directions:

Make the Candied Rose Petals the night before making the cake.

Beat the egg whites in a bowl. Using pastry brush, brush the petals on each side with egg whites. Sprinkle the sugar on each side and let dry overnight on a drying rack.

To make the Cake,
  • Preheat the oven to 325ºF. 
  • Cover the bottoms of 2 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper and spray the sides with cooking spray
  • In a large bowl, mix Cake flour, Baking powder, Salt and 1/2 of granulated Sugar. Keep aside.
  • In a different bowl, whisk Egg yolks, water, Canola Oil, Lemon zest and Cardamom Seeds.
  • Add Egg yolk mixture to the dry flour mixture and mix thoroughly. Do not over mix. Do not use stand mixer.
  • In a stand mixer, beat Egg whites until soft peaks form. Start at a medium speed and then turn to faster speed.
  • Mix Egg whites into the Flour mixture. Again, mix it with spatula and do not use Stand mixer.
  • Divide the mixture into 2 Cake pans and bake for 22 to 25 minutes.
  • When done, take out and let them cool in the pans for at least half hour before turning out on cooling rack.
  • Let cool completely. Wrap in the plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator for couple of hours to make frosting easier.
Frosting
  • Divide the Heavy cream. Take 1/2 cup in a microwavable bowl. Add Saffron and microwave for 40 seconds. Mix and keep in the refrigerator to cool.
  • In a stand mixer. beat remaining cream, Powdered Sugar and Rose Water until soft peaks form.
  • Add the cream with Saffron once chilled and beat thoroughly.
To Assemble,

Place first cake on a platter, spread Whipped cream in a smooth layer. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining Whipped cream on the top and cover the sides. Top with Candied Rose Petals and Pistachios if desired.

Enjoy.

xo.

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Recipe adapted from Epicurious.com

 

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