Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Birthday!!!!

I have been working on the cake for the last couple of days... 'coz I have the tiniest oven ever and to just get some great sponges out took me two days - baby calling every time I start beating the egg whites and sugar, once the cake turned out half baked 'coz I took it out in panic as it was getting charred on the top but all in all I was pleased with what I got.

My husband really likes the taste of fresh fruit, some cream and mascarpone with the fruit. I couldn't think of a winter fruit that I would put into a cake at this time of the year so first I got two butterless sponges  out of the way - to save on the calories. Sandwiched three layers of cake with whipped cream, mascarpone cheese and a tin of strawberries from the strawberry filling sans the syrup - I used to the syrup to brush the sponges and soak in it. Topped it with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and chocolate squiggles!

Since I couldn't lay my hand on any fresh strawberries  there aren;t any on the top but they would have completed the look... I am going to soon put up a piece of cake to show all the layers! This is the first time I have been able to decorate a cake without feeling awfully bad about it... so here are the pics I have already.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The most sinful Chocolate Cupcakes Ever...

My son's best friend turned a year older and to celebrate her b'day in school I did a batch of chocolate cupcakes - but the school teachers didn't want them frosted! So for the last few days I have been looking for a recipe for a cupcake that would remain moist without any frosting and thinking up ideas to decorate it without adding a ton of extra sugar to it...

I luckily chanced upon the Cupcake Project at the nth hour and it was a boon! I found the best cupcake recipe ever and it worked out well!

So here goes - the order was for 20 cupcakes and so I made two batches of batter and got about 24 cupcakes from it. The recipe calls for filling the muffin liners about 2/3 full but I wanted a puffed up top and filled it almost to the top. The result was gorgeous peaked cupcakes that melted in the mouth and gave an extra bite of chocolate chips in every mouthful... absolutely sinful for the children!


1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/3 cup mini milk chocolate chips

The only thing I omitted here is the salt since my butter was salted and I added a 1/4 cup of brown sugar to make this more moist and give it a deeper flavor.

Beat the butter till softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating till well combined and you seemed to get a wonderful mousse like batter. Combine all the dry ingredients into a separate bowl. Stir the milk and vanilla together in another bowl.  Now add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar-egg batter and combine. Now add the milk-vanilla to this and beat. Keep alternating till all the dry and wet ingredients have been incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula till just combined. Now scoop it into muffin liners till almost full. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree Celsius for 20 minutes.

Since the cupcakes have to be delivered at 8am, and I wanted them to be as fresh as possible - I have just finished baking and decorating them. And since the pictures were taken around 11pm the pictures are very dark and grainy but for now they will have to do and maybe I can try and get some more pics in the morning?

Also, since I couldn't do any frosting I just decorated the cupcakes with smiles made of sparkles and silver sugar balls and heart sugar candy.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pictures from my kitchen....

I have been really caught up with Diwali, celebrating my son's second birthday and travelling a bit with my hubby - so blogging has been on the back burner and though the cooking and baking is happening there hasn't been time for quality pictures. There have been a few dinners and kiddie parties that I managed to get pictures from that I thought I would share with you...

The first one is from a kiddie party - Burgers and Yummy Garlicky Mashed Potatoes - except for the bun the burgers were homemade from vegetables, potatoes, soy chunks and the kids loved it! The masked potatoes were boiled with garlic and herbs, milk and cream added to the mash to make the potatoes really soft and creamy.

The next one is Nachos with refried beans, cheese and spring onions.

The third one is a trifle again done for a kiddie party that's why the somewhat garish colors - it was filled with custard, home made spongecake and fruits - topped off with a low fat cream whipped with icing sugar and decorated with fresh cherries and sparklers - all in all a pretty healthy dessert.

Lastly, there is some corn on the cob in the background and individual no bake blueberry mousse cups!

Hopefully, I should be back with some more fun stuff soon!