Tea-parties

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
  • 3

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

White Chocolate Scones with Raspberry Sauce

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Anyone who knows me knows how hectic my daily schedule is just like a lot of you. Having two small kids with a full time and demanding job and a three hour daily commute takes its toll. Over the years I have learned how to deal with the hectic pace and each year it becomes easier because I learn new tricks and tips. One of the things I have learned that works for me is taking things at a slower pace on the week-ends. I try to take some time to spend just alone to recharge. The kids are usually playing somewhere around but I am alone with my thoughts. A lot of times the moments are happy and other times I realize the things I could have done better in the past. I take it for what it is, learn my lessons and move on. I find the solace in my thoughts and also the strength within me.

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Here is a recipe for White Chocolate Scones with Raspberry Sauce/Curd. I like to enjoy these on a week-end in my alone time, sipping a cup of tea and being alone in all the 3 year old’s constant chatter surrounding me.

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The scones are very hard to master. They are sometimes too hard and sometimes with too little sugar. This recipe seems to have worked. The White Chocolate bits are little surprises hidden in each bite and the Raspberry sauce adds the tangy bite and flavor to the Scones.

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The best part of this recipe is you don’t have to own a stand mixer. You could use a regular bowl and mix with a wooden spoon.5

Ingredients:

  • All Purpose Flour 1 3/4cup
  • Sugar ¼ cup
  • Baking Powder 2 tsp
  • Salt ¼ tsp
  • Butter 1/3 cup
  • Vanilla baking chips or White Chocolate chips 2/3 cup
  • Egg 1
  • Almond Milk vanilla scented unsweetened 2/3 cup
  • Raspberry Curd (recipe here) ½ cup or more as needed

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Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F
  • In a stand mixer, mix Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder and Salt on a very low speed. We are just mixing so low speed does the job in couple of minutes.
  • Add the Egg and mix again for couple of minutes.
  • Cut the butter in small pieces. Add Butter and Chocolate chips at the same time and mix. The mixture will form a dough as shown in the picture.
  • On a floured surface or on a parchment paper, knead the dough a few times to make it all come together.
  • Sprinkle some flour on the surface and using a rolling pin, make an 8 to 9 inch round. It would the size of a personal pizza.
  • Cut this round into 8 equal sizes just like you would cut a pizza.
  • The dough doesn’t spread much in baking so arrange the pieces on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Remove when you see the bottom turning brown.
  • The chocolate chips that are peeking out of the dough will melt and may even turn brown. They actually taste better that way, I think.
  • raspberry lemon curd fd

 

Wine cake

I remember the days when I was only around the adults all the time and I could drink Wine in a fancy wine glass instead of tea cup. Now, if any of the people who are less than 4 feet tall, take a look at the golden or red liquid in my hand, they keep a constant watch on me to see if I mistakenly put it down within their reach. A friend of mine requested couple of weeks ago that I make a cake for her first Marriage Anniversary. Since they are still in the mode of adult only parties, I was looking to see what kind of cake I should make. Something boozy perhaps?? That’s when I came across Champagne cake. This is just a slightly modified version of Champagne cake.

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Ingredients:

  • Cake Flour 3 cups
  • Baking powder 1 Tb
  • Salt 1/2 tsp
  • Egg whites 6
  • 1 cup Moscato wine
  • Vanilla essence 2 tsp
  • Vegetable oil 2 Tbsp
  • Sugar 2 cups
  • Unsalted butter 1 Cup or 2 sticks at room temperature

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For the Buttercream

  • Unsalted butter at room temperature 2 cups
  • Confectioners’ sugar 8 cups
  • Moscato or other sweet red wine 5 Tbsp
  • Vanilla 1 tsp

 

Directions:

The original version of the cake suggested using 3 pans of 8 inches. because of the particular buttercream design I wanted to use, I made 2, 6 inch cakes for stacking and 1, 8 inch cake for taste testing. As per your preference, use either 3 pans of 8 inch or whatever combination you like.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. spray the pans with non stick spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. I used to just spray and flour the pans originally but then I always worried if the bottom of the cake won’t come out properly. Parchment paper solves that problem.

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Mix the dry ingredients, Flour, baking powder and salt,  in a separate bowl and keep aside. In a stand mixer, using paddle attachment, start mixing the butter at a slow speed first and then at medium speed. After couple of minutes, add granulated sugar and mix at medium speed until fully mixed about 3 to 5 minutes. Make sure to scrape the bowl couple of times in between.

While butter and sugar are mixing, in a another separate bowl, mix Egg whites, Vanilla essence, Vegetable oil and Wine with a spoon and keep aside.

When Butter and Sugar are mixed together, add 1 cup of dry mixture and mix for 30 seconds. Then add 1/2 cup of wet mixture, mix for a minute. Repeat as many times as necessary until both mixtures are fully mixed in. Usually I make 3 batches.

Pour the prepared mixture in cake pans and bake for 27 to 30 minutes. Insert a tooth pick in the center of the cake and if it comes out clean, cake is done. Immediately take it out and leave on the counter for 10 minutes to cool. Once cooled, take out the cake from cake pans and leave on cooling racks for about 20 minutes or so. Proceed to ice as per your usual method.

For the buttercream, cream the butter in a stand mixer. Add the sugar and mix at high speed for 5 to 7 minutes. Add Vanilla and Wine as per needed consistency. If you live in humid climate, you will need less Wine than if you live in dry climate. add color if desired and ice.

For icing, I created crumb coat for the cake first after layering. Then I used the closed star tip to create the design by going back and forth and still drawing the design upward. Once all the design was complete, I smoothed the top and placed 3 handmade sugar roses and some leaves.

Xoxo.

recipe adapted from The Cakeblog.

Another attempt at Petit Fours

I tried to make my ever elusive dessert bites called Petit Fours yet again. I used the same cake recipe that I had used last time. you can find it here. This time I didn’t use the glaze at all and that helped in making the Petit Fours less sweet. I covered some of them in White Milk Chocolate and then colored the Milk Chocolate in Pink. The added flowers are made from Royal icing. There are also White flowers on top of the Petit Fours. Those are Sugar paste flowers.P5

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xoxo

Peachy Strawberry cake for a girly Tea-Party

I have few girlfriends who like to get together once a month  We meet in a very casual atmosphere and just chat and catch up on what others are doing. No kids or hubbies are allowed so its just our quiet time. Obviously a lot of bite size snacks go very well along with chatting. Everyone brings a dish that want to share. Its a quiet time that all of us look forward to each month. For this month’s tea party, I made a Peach colored Strawberry Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream icing. The cake came out really well and felt very light when eating just like the summer afternoon. I hosted it out in the backyard so everyone could enjoy the late summer sun drinking Chai tea.

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The cake recipe is below. The decorations are made out of Sugar paste and Royal Icing.

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Ingredients:

Self Rising Flour 3 cups sifted

Sugar granulated 1 3/4 cups

Unsalted Butter 1/2 cup (1 stick)

Baking powder 1 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp

Salt 2 pinches

Eggs 4 large

Strawberry puree 1 1/2 cups

Vanilla extract 1 tsp

Canola oil 1/4 cup

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Directions:

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Prepare 3 8 x 2 pans or 2 6 x3 plus 1 8×2 pans with parchment paper or flour and oil.

Cut the butter in smaller pieces. Butter should be room temperature. Wash and puree strawberry in a blender.

In a bowl combine Eggs, Strawberry puree, Vanilla extract and set aside.

In a stand mixer bowl, add Flour, Sugar, Baking powder and Salt. Give it a couple of whirls at low speed. Watch out as the flour may spill.

With mixer still at low speed, slowly add butter one piece at a time. Then add the Oil. Scrape the bottom and sides and mix for another minutes to make sure the flour is not dry.

Gradually add the wet egg mixture in three separate batches and mix properly each time at medium speed. Scrape the bottom and sides each time. Beat for 20 -30 seconds after final addition. Do not overbeat. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 32-35 minutes.

If you are using 8 and 6 inch pans. Take out the 8 inch pan after 32 minutes and take out 6 inch pans after 35 minutes.

Decorate with your choice of icing/frosting and enjoy.

xoxoTP2

Mint Tea for catching up with an old friend

Can you think of a better way to spend an afternoon than chatting up with an old friend?

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One of my really good friend from India was visiting last week-end. She only had a couple of hours to stop by in her busy schedule so we decided on Saturday afternoon. I sent off my hubby with my older daughter for her French lessons, put the younger one down for her nap. We had a blissful couple of hours of catching up with all the news from India and about other friends from our group.

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Since it was in the middle of the afternoon, I decided to make some cooling Mint Tea with some fruits to eat. We sat outside in the backyard in a cooling breeze and sipped tea.

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Ingredients:

Makes two cups

Mint leaves about 8 fresh leaves

Water 2 to 2 ½ cups

Sugar 2 tsp

Rose water 1 drop

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Directions:

Keep the water for boiling in a kettle. Add sugar and let the water come to a boil. Turn off the heat. Add Mint leaves and let them seep for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the leaves, add the Rose water. Just before serving, add a fresh Mint leaf to the cup and serve.

If you do not like Rose scent, you can leave out the Rose water. There is a thought process that Rose ruins the freshness of Mint. You should decide which way you are inclined.

Try it out with your close friend before the summer is over and send me some pictures.

Enjoy!!

Xoxo.

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