Tag Archives: dessert

Baklava Cake

There are few treats as satisfying as a cup of Espresso and a piece of Baklava. Although I have shared a another easier version on the blog Baklava Bites Baklava Cake is just different take on traditional Baklava. It is certainly not as messy to eat. If you prefer a piece of cake with your afternoon Coffee, you should certainly try this. This Baklava Cake is not too sweet either so makes a perfect after lunch dessert. You just need a small piece to feel satisfied.

Baklava came from Assyrians in 8th Century B.C. The original recipe only had a Flatbread and a layer of nuts drizzled with Honey. Later on, different types of nuts were used. Arabian influence added Rose water. Some infuse flavors of Cinnamon and cloves to this amazingly chewy and crunchy and sweet with Honey piece of heaven. I have head about splashes of Rum in it but haven’t tried it yet. Soon..

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End of Summer Peach and Nectarine Galatte

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With the two back to back natural disasters hitting US, the last thing on anyone’s mind is reading a food blog and much less writing it. I was reading the news reports and heard about a Pizza restaurant opening its doors to the displaced Floridians where they can pay what they can or eat on the house. The owner is a National guard member who explained that “when disasters hit, most people want is to sit down in a safe place and a warm meal”. A warm meal can give you the strength and hope to deal with the eventualities. 

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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.

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

Lemon Crumb Bars

The highlight of last weekend was when my 2 year old finally decided that water wasn’t her eternal enemy after all and decided to play a bit in the water without me holding her. Yay!!

With my eternal love of Lemons, I have another recipe for you. Lemon Crumb Bars.  There is something about the combination of sweet and tart that I have fallen in love with. I have previously given the recipe that always use for Lemon curd and made these decadent lemony cheesecake parfaits. But no matter how good they are, they cannot be carried for an outdoor picnic in the hot summer. They just won’t be as good so I would leave them as a winter dessert by the fireside. You can instead make these super easy Lemon Crumb Bars. If you have leave them out in heat for couple of hours, no worries at all.

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I have made 3 different versions of these bars and although they were all well liked, this one is my favorite.

Ingredients:

Base

All purpose flour ½ Cup

Almond meal ½ Cup

Sugar ½ Cup

Egg Yolk 1

Butter 1 stick salted cold and diced in small pieces

Baking powder ½ tsp

Vanilla essence ½ tsp

Almond extract ½ tsp

Lemon curd 1 ¼ cup recipe is here or you can buy readymade in any regular grocery store

Crumb topping

Sugar preferably dark brown such as Turbinado ¼ cup

Butter cold 2 Tbsp

Almond meal 1/8 cup

All-purpose flour 1/8 cup

Walnuts or mixture of walnuts and pecans about ¼ cup and 1 Tbsp

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9 x 11 glass oven proof pan with parchment paper. If you do not have parchment paper, use cooking spray and flour lightly.

To make the base. Mix both the flours, sugar and baking powder in a food processor by pulsing lightly. Add the butter little bit at a time and keep pulsing. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and almond essence and keep pulsing until mixture comes together in a ball. Take it out and knead using your hands in a plate or on the kitchen counter. Keep aside.

Again the food processer, add the Flours from the Crumb mixture recipe and pulse. Add butter and pulse until mixture is wet. Remove from the food processor and add the nuts to it. Knead lightly. Keep aside.

Press the base mixture gently and evenly all across the prepared pan creating a thin layer. Spread lemon curd on top of the base layer and then finally equally distribute crumb topping mixture.

Bake for about 28 -30 minutes if you like the bars on the soft side. If you like the crust little hard and browned, keep it for another 2 to 3 minutes. If you know how your oven likes to behave, please do change these oven times to appease the oven God.

enjoy!!  xoxo.

Recipe adapted from Kitchen Confidant

Mango Tapioca Pudding

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This is one of the easiest desserts I have ever made. This is perfect dessert for any last minute guests or if you are planning a party for a large crowd.

Ingredients:
Mango Pulp 3/4 cup – preferably Alphonso mango. Can be found in Indian grocery stores.
Kiwi Fruit – peeled and cut up in small squares
Strawberries cleaned and cut in small squares
Kraft Quick Cooking Minute Tapioca Pudding mix
The recipe for pudding mix requires
2 cups Whole or 2% Milk
1/3 cup Sugar
Egg – 1 Beaten well
Vanilla extract 1 tbsp
Tapioca pudding mix 3 Tbsp

I used Kraft minute mix which is available on Amazon and should be available in most grocery stores as well

Directions :
Prepare the pudding as per directions on the box. When almost done, remove from heat and add the Mango Puree and mix well. Let it set in either the same container or separate cups/glasses that you are going to use for serving. Add cut up fruit on top.
The above recipe will make about 4 servings. One box of pudding mix should make about 30 servings but that is my guess.

Bon Appetit!!

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