Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My baby is a TWEEN!!!

Yes, she is 10 going on 11!!! I am unable to get over it, she's growing up.. or has she already?!!

We had a big family party to celebrate 3 birthdays that fall in August. So her actual birthday was a very low-key at home celebration.

I had a very adventurous experience baking her birthday cake. V's order was quite simple - a basic vanilla sponge with strawberry frosting. I had everything planned out perfectly and had the vision of a perfect looking cake. Now "Man proposes God disposes" right - so my perfect plan was not to be!! I started the baking quite early. A few minutes after the batter was in the oven I could smell something burning - of course it was my cake!! I realized only 25 minutes too late that I had started the baking in microwave mode and not in convection mode!!! Silly, stupid, **##@@** me!!!! So, I started from scratch all over again. This cake was just the perfect sponge
Next step - the frosting. My brother had got Wilton stamp set last year and I wanted to try that. But by this time I had run out of patience and did not work enough to get the smooth finish that is required for neat stamping. So, the stamping did not look neat. But all that matters is the taste - that's what I tell myself. My dad who's quite tough to please actually said "It is yummy and had 3 pieces" and V and her friend loved the cake too.

That's it from me today friends.. Till next time.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep crafting.. Au Revoir

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Oohh Caramel!!

That's right, I've been experimenting with various ways of using caramel

Last time you saw that I made some Dulce de Leche. Now we can't use everything up in one go. So, V was very curious to know how I plan to use the remaining

I found this yummy recipe to make brownies with Dulche de leche. Recipe can be found here. It was so irresistible that I could not wait for it to cool completely before unmoulding, resulting in a brownie crumble

There was some home made caramel from earlier, which I used as topping.

Enough of caramel, let's eat something healthy. I made Apple walnut custard tarts last weekend for dessert.

The tart shell was so soft and came out so well, I fell in love with it. Apple is not V's favorite, so it did not go down very well with her

Now as you know, seashells is progressing at snails pace, but yes I am making some progress there. I have decided my next picture will only be after I make some good progress

Till next time dear friends.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep stitching.. Au Revoir :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Trials 'n' Errors

I have been trying to get out of my comfort zone and try my hand at new things. Top most in my list is to make a perfect swiss roll. My best friend from college is an expert and she baked me a chocolate swiss roll for my birthday. Ever since then I have had this in my list, though I was not a very active baker then.

So, when I decided to break the shell, it had to be the swiss roll first. Of course, it was not a very successful attempt. The 'roll' broke, but fortunately into 4 symmetric logs

I made a faux roll out of it. I filled it with dulce de leche and topped with chocolate ganache. It turned out absolutely yummy. The cake was probably not moist enough causing it to crack. I am not giving up yet for sure

Next I tried a new recipe from my Eggless Cakes and muffins book by Nita Mehta - a spiced apple crumb cake.

My aunt visited us last weekend and she had requested me to bake something for her. I was extremely nervous baking for her, as she is an excellent baker. She is not one to flatter us with false praises, and gives very frank feedback too. I am happy to say that she just loved the taste and the texture of the cake. This is a whole wheat, no butter cake - so adds to the health factor too

Finally, dear friends, I have a picture to show you of my seashells progress

Do you see the little girl's bow shaping up? Isn't it a pleasure to watch things take shape as we progress

That's all from me today. Till next time.. Take care.. Be Happy.. Keep crafting.. Au Revoir

Monday, June 30, 2014

Cookies and Cheesecakes

I agree, I am definitely on a baking spree now. I found this super simple recipe for peanut butter cookies that I HAD to try in the BBC GoodFood magazine


It just calls for 3 ingredients -80g each of Peanut butter, butter, Icing sugar and 100g flour. Mix everything and bake.

I have been wanting to try a chocolate cheesecake for a long time and found this recipe on BHG.com

The only problem I had here was with the fresh cream I bought. I did not get the brand that whips up real fast (milky mist), so had to make do with Amul, which is less fat and takes ages to whip up. V and I took turns whipping it. Here's the link to the recipe.

I have made some progress on seashells as well. Promise to post a picture next time.

With that friends I will close today's quick post. Till next time.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep crafiting.. Au Revoir

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Sweet post

BAKING - yes, looks like that's what I've been doing of late!! So, this post is going to be a "sweet" one :)

The first one is Choco-peppermint choco-chunk cookies. I know it was a mouthful of chocolate.
I got this recipe from my Williams Sonoma book. I used chunks of chocolate rather than chocolate chips and for the first time got real bites of the chunks. Was sooo gooey, just loved it

Next - of course it has to be something with mango

A very simple Mango and dark chocolate mousse. So simple yet yummy. All we need is melted dark chocolate, mango pulp and whipped cream. The original recipe called for blending in all the 3. But I thought it would be better to layer them out. I also folded in some of the mango pulp into the dark chocolate

And finally - Whole wheat custard almond cake
This has no butter and just 2tbsp of oil. And it's whole wheat too. The recipe can be found here. It is best served warm and if you wish a dollop of butter

I picked up seashells again, after months I think, only yesterday!! Absolutely no stitching has been happening. But I am determined not to allow this to become a UFO. Well, there are 6 more months to this year and I am determined to catch up on all the stitching I missed the first 6 months

That's it from me today friends. Till next time.. Take care.. Be Happy.. Keep Crafting.. Au Revoir

Monday, June 2, 2014

Banana Choco-chunk cup cakes

As you are aware, I have been experimenting with egg replacers. So far I have got best results with curd and flax seed powder

I tried a recipe for Banana-choco chunk cup cakes from my Baking book


Here's the recipe I used:
1 1/2c flour (i used whole wheat), 3/4c sugar, 1 1/2tsp bkg soda, 1/4tsp salt, 2 ripe bananas, 1/2c melted butter (I used same qty oil), 1 egg (for eggless use 1tbsp flaxseed mixed in 3tbsp warm water), 3tbsp buttermilk, choc chunks

Method - sift flour,bkng soda and salt. Whisk together mashed banana, oil/butter, flaxseed mix/egg and buttermilk until well blended. Add flour mixture and fold in gently. Stir in choc chunks. Bake

V and her friend just loved it. The hubby is not a man of many words. But I was floored when he actually said "Those cakes you made yesterday are too good". And I was not surprised that he wolfed down 4 in one go!!!

So, I am one big delighted home baker ggrrriiinnn

Ok friends that's all I have from me today. Till next time - Take care, Be happy, Keep crafting, Au Revoir

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Back..

..After a short vacation. We had gone to Mysore for a few days. The day we left Chennai, there was a bomb blast at the Chennai central station about an hour after our train departed, killing a girl!! Wow, what a start to a vacation. Other than this shock, we had a great 3 days.
Even the weather was very kind to us and cooled down the temperature by sending down mild showers. We visited the Mysore zoo, palace, bird sanctuary, the temple atop Chamundi hills. My favorite was the sand sculpture museum. Here are a few pictures taken during in and around Mysore
Of course, no trip is complete without shopping. But I did not go on a spree, and did only sensible shopping (if there's something called that).

Summer is here, and with that MANGOES!!! Here's my first mango bake for the season - a mango cake.
As my experiment with various egg replacements continue, I used only curd this time. I am happy with the result, but thought it was slightly dense.

No stitchy updates this time friends. I have been in and out of the house the last few months and no time to put in any X's.

Till next time.. Take care.. Be happy.. Keep Stitching.. Au Revoir