Cakes n bakes

Strawberry cobbler

Strawberry Cobbler

Don’t let the strawberry season slip away from you without trying this strawberry cobbler recipe. Its my first time trying and absolutely loved it with a cup of vanilla ice-cream. It almost has a cookie like texture its soft and tender with fresh strawberries intermingling. This classic cobbler makes the most of the season’s best berries.

Ingredients:

3 cups strawberries diced

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 stick butter melted

Method:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl add diced strawberries and 3/4 cup sugar and mix well and keep aside. In another bowl add sifted flour, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup sugar, mix well. Add in milk, butter and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Grease a 9 inch casserole dish. Pour the batter evenly.

Strawberry cobbler

Spoon strawberries evenly on top of the batter, do not stir.

Strawberry cobbler

Bake on the top rack of the oven for 38-45 minutes or until the crust and sides turn golden. Serve when warm with a scoop of your favorite ice cream!

Strawberry Cobbler

 

 

 

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Cakes n bakes

Best Blueberry Muffins

 

BLUEBERRY MUFFIN

BLUEBERRY MUFFIN

Wow!! My search for perfect blueberry muffin end here…They came out like you would expect from a gourmet bakery. I have tried many blueberry muffin recipes only to be disappointed by the berries sinking to the bottom before it cooked all the way. This batter is like glue and really holds the blueberries in place.

The muffin turned out beautifully, with nice rounded tops and golden brown edges. Texture was perfect, with just right balance between muffin and blueberries. They got rave reviews from everyone who tried them! Definitely a keeper :)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 tsp Salt

2 tbsp Baking powder

1/3 cup Vegetable oil

1 Egg

1/3 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup fresh blueberries

For crumb topping:

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cubed butter

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line with muffin liners and keep it aside. combine all the dry ingredients first,  1 1/2 cup flour , 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Add vegetable oil into 1 cup measuring cup, add the egg, vanilla extract and enough milk to fill up the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in the blueberries.

blueberry muffin

Fill the muffin cups right to the top.

blueberry muffin

 

Sprinkle the crumb topping mixture.

BLUEBERRY MUFFIN

To make the crumb topping:

Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1/3 cup all purpose flour and 1/4 cup cubed butter. Mix with  fork and sprinkle over the muffins before baking.

CRUMB COATING

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the oven or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

blueberry muffin

 

BLUEBERRY MUFFIN

 

 

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Cakes n bakes

Cake Pops

Cake pops

Cake balls, cake pops or cakesicles are terribly cute and fun to make. The mixing of the cake crumb with frosting into rounds and then covering them with delightfully crisp outer shell of chocolate coating or any other candy coating makes a very sweet confection… What I love about cake pops is how creative you can be from using different dipping flavors to covering them with sparkling sugar, edible pearls, candy sprinkles or glitters….

Original recipe can be found here

I have baked a 9 inch vanilla cake, used fluffy white frosting for binding and plain milk chocolate for coating the crumbs. This was exclusively baked for my son :)

Cake popsCake pops

Used two different colors for cake crumbs

Cake pops 4-IMG_7856

Coated with plain milk chocolate and dipped them in sprinkles and sparkling sugar.

Cake popsCake pops

 

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Cakes n bakes

Chocolate mocha cake

A layered chocolate cake never goes out of style and having the mocha filling brings it a great flavor and taste.. Frosting with chocolate glaze completes the cake because I find that there is nothing better than a double dose of chocolate to make everyone feel better!

Chocolate mocha cake

Ingredients:

6 large eggs+1 additional egg white

2 cups sifted cake flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cup granulated white sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup flavorless oil (vegetable, canola or safflower)

3/4 cup freshly brewed coffee or water at room temperature

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

For chocolate glaze:

6oz semi sweet chocolate/dark chocolate chopped

4tbsp butter, diced

2 tbsp light corn syrup

Mocha filling:

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup white granulated sugar

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp instant coffee powder

1 cup (cold) heavy whipping cream

Method:

Separate the eggs while they are still cold. Place the egg yolks in one bowl and the whites (along with the extra egg white) in another. Cover with plastic wrap and bring to room temperature (about 30 minutes).

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). You will need two 10 inch pan.

In a large bowl sift the flour with the cocoa powder, 3/4 cup granulated white sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks, oil, coffee (or water), and vanilla extract. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

In a separate bowl, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar (if using) until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar and beat until almost stiff peaks form. With a large rubber spatula or wire whisk, gently fold the egg whites (in three additions) into the batter just until blended (being careful not to deflate the batter).

Pour the batter into the two greased pan and run a metal spatula or knife through the batter to get rid of any air pockets.

Chocolate mocha cake

Smooth the top and bake in the preheated oven for about 55 to 58 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. To remove the cake from the pan, run a long metal spatula or knife around the inside of the pan. Invert onto a greased wire rack or cake circle and allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate mocha cake

Place the bottom layer on your serving plate and spread with about 3/4 cup of the mocha filling.

Chocolate mocha cake

Gently place the top layer on the filling. Next, pour the chocolate glaze over the top of the cake letting it flow down the sides. Then with a knife or spatula spread the glaze over the sides of the cake. Place the rest of the mocha filling in a piping bag and pipe a decorative border around the top of the cake.

(I was in a hurry to take this cake for a family party, so had no time to  spread the glaze neatly, also did a crappy job on decorating the border! wanted to have a bigger swirls, nevertheless cake texture and flavor covered up my mess) :)

Chocolate mocha cake

I like to refrigerate the cake overnight before serving (this allows time for the flavors to mingle). The cake can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for about 4 days.

Chocolate Glaze: Melt the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly.

Mocha Filling: Place your mixing bowl and wire whisk in the freezer for about 15-30 minutes. Then place all the ingredients, minus the cream, in the bowl. Stir about 2 tablespoons of the cream into the mixture. Add the rest of the cold cream and beat just until stiff peaks form.

Chocolate mocha cake

Chocolate mocha cake

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Cakes n bakes

Fruit cake

Light fruit cake

Light fruit cake

Writing a new post after having a break feels good. Thanks for all the messages that I received from my fellow bloggers while I was away from blogging. I was just enjoying my time with my family and friends. I have an exciting news to share with you all… My brother-in-law is getting married this august and I am very much looking forward to it.

Presenting a light fruit cake which is filled with flavors of different candied fruits and the almond flour gives it a perfect crumbly texture.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup candied mixed peel

1/3 cup raisins

1/2 cup candied red cherries

1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

3 large eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup almond meal/ flour or ground almonds

1 tsp- baking powder

1/4 tsp- salt

1/4 cup milk

zest of 1/2 orange or lemon

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F,  with the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, salt, and lemon/orange zest.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the extracts. Add the candied and dried fruits, along with any juices, and beat until incorporated. Beat in half the flour mixture just until incorporated. Then beat in the milk and then the remaining flour mixture.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and, if desired, decorate the top of the cake with sliced or flaked almonds. Bake for about 60 -70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (If you find the cake is browning too much, cover with a piece of aluminum foil.) Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing from pan. The cake tastes best when it’s stored for a day and then served as the curst would have softened and flavors of the fruit would have infused in the cake!

Light fruit cake

Light fruit cake Adapted from joy of baking

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Appetizers/Snacks

Vegetable cutlet

Vegetable cutlet

 

vegetable cutlet

The last two weeks had been crazy for me and I have not been able to blog nor visit any of my bloggers site. My husband was out-of-town for a week, well this is not new to me! But I had to drop my son and pick him up from the Montessori, which is my husband’s job as the montessori is very close his office. So dropping him off and driving to my workplace took me more than an hour and a half each way and  I was actually spending more than three hours on the road everyday, which was very tiring and exhausting after working for 8 hours (I know a lot of people who commute long distances for work and I bow to them!!!). Then coming home and spending some time with my kiddo, feeding and putting him to bed completed my day….Having guests at home the next week kept me even busier. All in all no time to BLOG!!!

Now that I am free of few things, I present here a delectable appetizer which is very popular in every Indian restaurants and chaat houses….

Ingredients:

Mixed vegetables- 1 cup chopped and boiled (I used beans, carrot and peas)

Potato- 1 cup (boiled)

Cilantro- 1/2 cup

Red chilli powder- 1 tsp (adjust the spice level according to your taste)

Coriander seeds- 1/2 tsp

Ginger garlic paste- 1/2 tsp

Turmeric- a pinch

Lemon- 1

All purpose flour- 4 tbsp

Bread crumbs- 1/2 cup

Salt

Oil for frying

Method:

Peel and grate boiled potatoes. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, once it splutter add turmeric, ginger garlic paste, sauté for few seconds and add grated potato, chilli powder, chopped cilantro and mix well. Squeeze as much as water as you can from the boiled vegetables and then add it to the potato mixture. Then squeeze some lemon for more taste. Sauté until the remaining water evaporates, for about 2-3 minutes.  Add salt and adjust the spice level at this point. The patties is the one which gives a great taste for the cutlet when fried. Allow the mixture to cool.

Meanwhile.. in a frying pan, add enough oil to fry the patties and turn on the heat. Put all-purpose flour and breadcrumbs in two different dishes  mix water to all-purpose flour and make a thick batter and keep it ready. Divide the mixture into equal small portions and flatten them into desired shape with 1/4 inch thickness.

Vegetable patties

 

Dip the patty first in all purpose flour batter and then coat it completely with bread crumbs and fry in the heated oil until golden brown. Enjoy with ketchup  and mint chutney.

vegetable cutlet

vegetable cutlet

 

 

 

 

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Cakes n bakes

Carrot Cake

5-IMG_8304

Carrot Cake

I guess we really need no reason to bake such cakes.. Carrot cake being one of our favorites, I bake this every time with a little twist to satisfy my husband a little more, he prefers cakes and frosting with less sugar than overdosing it with sweetness. This recipe has a wonderful balance between sweet and fluffiness and leaves you with a great taste wanting you to have more.

I have always tried carrot cake with cream cheese frosting which I feel is the ultimate combination. But today I did frost the cake with regular confectioner’s frosting as I had some left over kept in the refrigerator and this did not disappoint my husband at all!

Ingredients:

For the cake:

All purpose flour- 2 cups (sifted)

Light/dark brown sugar- 1 cup

Vegetable oil- 3/4 cup

Yogurt- 1/4 cup

Large eggs- 3

Baking soda- 1 tsp

Cinnamon powder- 1 tsp

Nutmeg-1/4 tsp

Vanilla extract- 2tsp

Salt- 1/4 tsp

Grated carrot- 2 cups

Chopped walnut/ pecan- 3/4 cup+1/2 cup for decorating

Confectioner’s frosting:

confectioner’s sugar/ Icing sugar- 4 cups (sifted)

Unsalted butter- 1 cup

Vanilla extract -1 tsp

milk-2 to 4 tbsp

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350degree F. Spray a 9 inch pan with cooking spray. In a bowl of your electric mixer or stand mixer combine sugar and oil, beat in the yogurt until fully combined on medium speed. Add in the eggs and mix well after each addition and set aside.

In another bowl combine all the dry ingredients ie flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon powder and nutmeg powder. Now with a spatula mix the dry ingredients slowly into the wet ingredients until just combined. Add the grated carrot and walnut/pecan pieces, give it a quick stir. Do not over mix the batter. Pour it into the greased pan.

Carrot Cake

Bake for 32-38 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to completely cool before frosting.

Frosting:

In a bowl of your electric mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, mix in the vanilla extract. Slowly add the sifted sugar and beat in the sugar completely. Add around 2 tbsp of milk, scrape down the sides and mix well. On high-speed beat the mixture until smooth and fluffy. Add in a tablespoon of milk or sugar to get the right consistency ,if needed (the frosting should be of dropping consistency).

Frosting the cake:

Once the cake is completely cooled, add the frosting on top of the cake and spread it evenly over the cake, you can frost the cake completely, I just limited myself to the top of the cake. Decorate with chopped walnut/pecan pieces as you wish!

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Appetizers/Snacks

Cream Cheese Puffs

Cream cheese puffs

These are delicious melt in the mouth rolls. I found this amazing recipe from www.compulsivefoodie.com. Asmita has shown this recipe in a very simple and easy to follow video.  I will definitely make it again :) Original recipe can be found here http://www.compulsivefoodie.com/2012/08/06/cream-cheese-puffs-2/

Ingredients:

Pillsbury Crescent roll- 1 box

cream cheese, at room temperature-4 ounces

garlic powder-3/4 tsp

red chilly powder-1/4 tsp

 finely chopped cilantro-1 tbsp

Method:

In a bowl, mix cream cheese, garlic powder, red chilly powder and cilantro . Keep aside.

cream cheese puffs

Cut out a wax paper or parchment paper, open the crescent roll, split it into 2 halves and join the perforated lines together and apply the cream cheese liberally on one side.

cream cheese puffs

Roll this and close both ends. Roll this in parchment or wax paper and keep aside . Do the same with the remaining dough and take both the rolls and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

cream cheese puffs

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees, cut the rolls into 4 or 5 pieces, and place them on a cookie sheet or baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Remove and let it cool for 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with sauce of your choice. Enjoy!

cream cheese puffs

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Main Course

Methi mutter corn pulao (Fenugreek peas and sweetcorn rice)

Finally we get ample amount of rain in our bay area and its a great relief to everyone….

Last week was really easy-going, work as well as house wise, as I had to work only four days since there was a major electrical shutdown in our building on friday, and we had to take a mandatory off. We knew this before so I had asked my husband to take a day off too and we planned for a day out starting with a nice lunch at a restaurant called dish dash (Mediterranean food) the food was heavenly and we enjoyed it thoroughly followed by watching a movie in the theatre. We watched “The grand budapest hotel”  which recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend… its a comedy drama and all the casts have played their role wonderfully…..I recommend it to all who have not watched it yet. Having a relaxed friday, I was all refreshed to cook at home over the weekend and planned to make “Methi mutter corn pulao”. This is a very simple yet delicious recipe with flavorful spices and rice.

Methi Mutter sweet corn pulao

Ingredients:

Cooked green peas- 1/2 cup

Cooked sweet corn kernels- 1/4 cup

Chopped fenugreek (methi) leaves- 1 cup

Oil-3 tbsp

Cooked white long grain rice- 1  1/2 cups

Thinly sliced onion- 1/4 cup

Ginger paste- 3/4 tsp

Green chilli paste- 3/4 tsp

Peppercorns-4

Cloves- 2

Cardamom- 2

Cinnamon – 1/2 inch

turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp

Salt to taste

Method:

Heat oil in a non stick pan, add pepper corns, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and sliced onions, sauté on a medium flame for 1-2 minutes. Add  turmeric powder, ginger and chilli paste and sauté for 30 seconds.

Methi Mutter sweetcorn pulao

Add cooked green peas, sweet corn kernels and chopped fenugreek leaves. Sauté again for 3-4 minutes. Add 2 tbsp of water if it becomes very dry.  Add salt according to your taste. Once everything is cooked. Add the cooked rice, mix well. Adjust salt to your taste and serve hot with yogurt or just plain.

Methi Mutter sweetcorn pulao

P.S. I  soaked the rice in water for about 10 minutes then drained the water completely. I added 2 cups of water to 1 1/2 cups of rice and cooked in a rice cooker.

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Salads

Kale and apple salad

 

Kale salad

Having determined to post every week since the beginning 2014, I need to excuse myself this time, as I am already two days behind my schedule. My aunt and uncle visited us from India last week and was pretty excited about their arrival, so I was busy cleaning the house which is nearly impossible having a toddler at home but tried my best. Thought I would enjoy completely with them as I was going to see them after a year and thought to start my blog work on sunday, which is a day ahead of my schedule, but still felt okay with the plan…Well I had a wonderful time with them and they returned back to their son’s place by saturday evening.. I just spent sunday morning doing nothing but play with my son… and evening went in planning which recipe to post first :) So, here I am with no further delay in posting a refreshing salad which was actually hated by my toddler “naturally” but my husband and I loved it and will be making it again!

Ingredients:

Fresh lime juice- 3 tbsp

Extra virgin olive oil- 2 tbsp

1 bunch kale, ribs removed- leaves thinly sliced

Soft dates- 1/4 cup sliced

Cranberries- 1/8 cup

Honey crisp apples- 1, sliced thin and long

Carrots- 1/2 cut into match stick size strips

Purple cabbage- 1/4 cup chopped (optional)

Roasted pumpkin seeds- 1/4 cup

Freshly ground pepper

Kosher salt

Method:

Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil and salt.  Toss kale in this mixture, allow to stand for 10 minutes. Massage the kale in between, which helps it to soften….

Kale salad

Then mix with dates, sliced apples, carrots, pumpkin seeds and cranberries. I also added some chopped purple cabbage which I had in hand. Add pepper and salt according to your taste, mix well and serve!

A very refreshing salad and having massaged the kale removed the bitter taste and eating with apples and dates gave the perfect sweetness to the salad!

Kale salad

 

 

 

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