Showing posts with label Secret recipe club. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Secret recipe club. Show all posts

Monday, February 18, 2013

Strawberry Lemon Curd

Strawberry Lemon Curd
Excuse the horrible picture, it's taken from my phone. Will try and update post later.

I feel like a broken record, each time I begin writing a post for this blog, the same words come to me 'sorry for being away for so long'! I don't know what it is or what to do, but somehow I just can't seem to find time to even bake, let alone blog. Must. Repair. Now. Hopefully you'll see a change soon.

Even when I do decide to make something, it doesn't go too well. It was time for this month's Secret Recipe Club post, and my assigned blog was A Teaspoon of Spice. This blog actually challenged me, since it's run by two dieticians! And everything I put on this blog is usually an indulgence, a dessert for when a person's down in the dumps, or just generally having a craving.

Strawberry Lemon Curd

It's strawberry season here in India, and I was looking for something to make with them. I've been meaning to bake these cupcakes, or a strawberry pie since forever, but as you can guess, never got around to doing it. I found the perfect recipe, that I knew would work for the new lack of time Avanika. It was shamefully easy, but I think the kitchen was annoyed at being ignored, I had quite a mishap with the blender, I ended up covered in burning hot strawberry sauce. Buttttt... You guys ought to be proud, instead of giving up, I sat down to chop all 3 cups of strawberries again and re-made the sauce. I'm hoping this means the laziness has finally gone away.

This sauce isn't as thick as a lemon curd, but is the perfect breakfast accompaniment, along with some toast, or drizzled over some sponge cake and cream. The lemon balances out the sweetness of the strawberries, and there's just a hint of puckeriness. But probably the sense that is tingled the most on eating a spoonful of this is the smell. It is just divine, it makes you want to jump into a pool of the curd and never come out!

Strawberry Lemon Curd
Adapted from Teaspoon of Spice
Yield : About 2.5 cups

3 cups [250 g] fresh chopped strawberries
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp [110 g] sugar - adjust depending on sweetness of strawberries
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 egg yolks
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter

Instructions - 
  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the chopped strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for about 7-8 minutes.
  2. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes [Important, in case you have a similar mishap]. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour back into saucepan. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and the egg yolks. Pour into the strawberry mixture, and cook on medium-low for about 1 minute, till it thickens and a finger swiped across the spoon leaves a clear path.
  4. Add the salt and butter. Allow to cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  Enjoy :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

DIY : Homemade Whatchamacallit Bars

Homemade Whatchamacallit Bars
(Update Dec 2012: Picture of a new batch)
 (Sorry about the crappy picture, clicked these in the night and finished them, I'll make some more soon and update the post)

Who else loves these bars? They were quite the nostalgic trip for me, I remember eating them as a child, before we moved to India, and absolutely loving them. They still aren't available in India, but I had ordered a box of them while I was in the UK, so up until a few months ago I was happily enjoying them, being reminded of their awesomeness.

Ofcourse, coming here I missed them a lot, but never considered looking up a recipe for a homemade knock-off, even though I have made or seen quite a few other candy bars. Until I got this month's Secret Recipe Club assignment that is. Chris's blog, Mele Cotte, has been on my reader for ages, and all the desserts she posts has made it one of my top blogs. I was super pumped to get her blog this month. I went to her recipe index, totally prepared to spend a day or two trying to decide what to make, as I usually do. And while a lot of recipes stood out to me, as soon as I saw these bars, I was sure. I couldn't believe my eyes, and cursed myself quite a bit when I realised I could have been making these bars for ages.

They are super easy to make, especially if you have butterscotch chips. I didn't, and made my own butterscotch sauce, which took all of 5 minutes and has already become a staple in my house. I want to play with that recipe just a bit more, and I'll post it after I'm done. The most difficult part is waiting for the chocolate to set, and the anticipation of knowing how close they reach to the real deal, which is a LOT. I am in love with these, they are so good, and I know the pan's going to be over in no time. Luckily, its an easy recipe to be addicted to!

Homemade Whatchamacallit Bars
(Update Dec 2012 : Picture of a new batch) Look at that luscious peanut buttery caramel oozing out. There goes the diet.

Homemade Whatchamacallit / Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Caramel Bars
Recipe from Mele Cotte

1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white corn syrup (I used honey)
1 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup butterscotch chips
6 cups Puffed Rice Cereal (like Rice Krispies) (for Indians, kurmura is about the same thing, though Iused Rice Krispies)
2 cups good-quality bittersweet chocolate

Instructions -
  1. Grease and line a sheet pan. Set aside. Place the Rice Krispies in a large bowl, that allows space for mixing.
  2. In a medium saucepan, mix together the sugar, corn syrup / honey, and peanut butter. Melt, remove from heat and add the butterscotch chips/sauce. Stir until melted completely
  3. Pour this mixture over the Rice Krispies, and stir/toss to coat evenly. Transfer into the prepared pan, and try to form a nice even layer. Refrigerate to set.
  4. Once the Rice Krispies are set (about 10 minutes), cut them into large bars.  Re-line the same pan, or use another large pan lined with foil.
  5. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler / microwave. Using a fork, dip each bar into the chocolate, ensuring it is coated on all sides, and lay onto the prepared foil lined pan. Allow the chocolate to set ; enjoy.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Oatmeal Raisin Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies.. or Cowboy Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies sure have a long name, don't they? I tend to like names that give you an idea of the food, but I think I'm pushing it with these, so Cowboy Cookies it is, though I'd love if anybody gave me the reason behind the name

Whatever they're called though, they are absolutely amazing. I made about 2 dozen, an hour ago, and with only 3 people in the house right now, there's about a dozen left. And these were the big bakery style ones, a little bigger than my palm. I totally love those more than the small cookies, because there's such a journey of texture from the outside, crunchy crisp to the chewy almost soft center.

Oatmeal Raisin Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
These are high up on the top cookies I've ever eaten, and I have eaten a LOT. From a lot of different parts of the world too, but I keep coming back to the classics, and the larger size. This was made for October's Secret Recipe Club post, from A Spoonful of Thyme. There were a lot of recipes that caught my eye, especially since I have now started cooking occasionally, for fun. But I'm still keeping the blog dessert focused, so I had to change my choices. Even still, there's no lack of options, it's been one of the best blogs I've had, with the kind of choices available.

Oatmeal Raisin Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Make these cookies. My top 10 has to be enough to make you want to try them!

Cowboy Cookies
Adapted from A Spoonful of Thyme
Makes about 15 large bakery sized, or 2 dozen smaller ones

2 sticks [8 oz / 226 g] unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup [150 g] granulated sugar
3/4 cup [140 g] light-brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups [240 g] all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt - omit if using salted butter
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups [150 g] old-fashioned oats
1 cup [6 oz / 170] semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup pecan halves - I left these out since I'm not a fan of nuts in cookies
1/2 cup [45 g] shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup raisins

Instructions -
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F [180 C]. Grease and line two cookie sheets
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the room temp butter and both sugars, until creamy and fluffy.
  3. Add in the eggs one a time, beating between each addition. Add the vanilla extract.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, if using. Add this into the butter. mixture, beating just until incorporated.
  5. Now beat in the oats, chocolate chips,raisins, nuts and coconut. Dollop about 1/4 cup onto the cookie sheets, and bake for 18-20 minutes, until edges are nicely browned and top is almost firm to touch.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunday Night Cake

Sunday Night Cake from Baked

Soo.. Anyone know how to get rid of small moths in the house? Since my room was virtually untouched for 6 months, it had a few moths when I got back, that didn't seem to be going away. I put out some naphthalene balls, and now, I'm super sick, with the parents slightly sick. I think I just had an almost-suicide attempt :P

Anyway.. With the sickness, I've been cooped up at home since a few days. I was of course, craving some dessert, and with Secret recipe club's reveal coming soon, I started to browse through my assignment for the month. I got super lucky this month, because Jamie is a part of Club Baked, which essentially is TWD, except with the Baked series of books, that I absolutely LOVE!. And with their new book Baked Elements recently out, they've taken over my mind even more than usual.

I knew immediately I'd make one from their books, and focused in on the Sunday Night Cake because of ingredient availability at home. It's got a weird name, but apparently it's to indicate that you can whip this up in an instant, for family, on a lazy Sunday. And that is exactly what the cake is. Hearty, comforting, and just perfect. The cake is robust, and has an interesting taste with the cinnamon, very right for fall. And the frosting / pudding is super rich and intense, and gives the perfect balance. As I've said countless times, I'm not a fan of the powdered sugar American buttercream, but this puddingy frosting is perfect. I actually have some leftover and hopefully I should be up to trying it with something else too.

Sunday Night Cake
Recipe from Baked Elementsvia Cookin' with Moxie

1 3/4 cups cake flour - I used the substitute of AP flour + cornflour/cornstarch
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I used almost a whole teaspoon, I love cinnamon a little too much)
1 1/4 stick [5 oz /  140 g] unsalted butter - I used salted just fine, omit the salt of course
3/4 cup [150 g] granulated sugar
1/2 cup [110 g] packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream - I used hung/greek yoghurt

Instructions -
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 F [180 C]. Grease and line a 9 inch square pan. I couldn't find mine, so I used to 6 inch round pans instead.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and the sugars till light and fluffy. Add the eggs one a time, beating between each addition.
  4. Alternately add the flour mixture and the sour cream / yoghurt in a dry, wet, dry, wet, dry pattern. Don't over mix.
  5. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for at least half hour before frosting and serving.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Chocolate S'more Thumbprints

Chocolate S'more Thumbprints

Who saw the finale of Masterchef All Stars yesterday? I won't post any spoilers, but I was so so excited, that person is my absolute favorite, and my reason to watch the entire season! Technically, I shouldn't even be watching, since I'm approaching the deadline for my dissertation, and am hard at work, not leaving home for days sometimes. My laundry stack consists of only pyjamas and shorts -_-   Fun times, right? Hopefully though, this is my last post while working on the dissertation, I should be done by the next one. Then I'll finally have time to make the rounds of the blogosphere, something I've missed a lot.

So today's post is for this month's Secret Recipe Club, and I got Melissa's Cuisine as my assignment. This was one of my better assignments, I had a ton of options, and would probably have made a few more things if I wasn't so busy, especially the one recipe that's been doing rounds of the blogosphere, and one that I'll probably be making very soon.

But I chose these thumbprints for now, mainly because I was in the mood for something sweet and indulgent. I had to make the marshmallow fluff from scratch since I haven't seen it in stores here, and it was a lot of fun making it too. I'll post about it sometime, after perfecting the recipe.

These cookies are crumbly, chocolate-y but not too much, and the frosting on top gives a fantastic contrast. Plus, they're just so much fun to look at.

Chocolate S'more Thumbprints
From How Sweet Eats via Melissa's Cuisine
Yield : About 2 dozen

For the cookies -
1/2 cup [113 g / 1 stick] butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup [40 g] brown sugar
2 tbsp [44 g] sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup [90 g] flour
1/4 cup [22 g] cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 batch marshmallow frosting [recipe below]
Graham cracker crumbs, of about 2 crackers

Instructions -
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F [190 C]. Grease and line two cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars, till light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and yolk and beat till well incorporated.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Now add this to the butter mixture, and mix just until incorporated.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips. Put about inch sized balls onto the cookie sheet, and make an indentation in the centres using your thumb.
  5. Cook for 8-10 minutes, till the outsides seem firm. Cool on a wire rack till you prepare the frosting.
For the marshmallow frosting -
Recipe from How Sweet Eats

1 cup [226 g / 2 sticks] butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Instructions -
  1.  In the bowl of your mixer, beat the butter till it's creamy [about 5 minutes].
  2.  Add the vanilla and fluffy, and beat for another 3-4 minutes, till light and fluffy. Now add 2 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar and beat well. Add the remaining 1/2 cup in small additions, till it reaches desired consistency. 
  3. Using a tablespoon, or a piping bag if you wish, put a dollop on the cooled cookies. 
  4. Sprinkle on the graham cracker crumbs, and serve.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Granola Bars

Granola Bars

Hello hello hello! I am very excited today, I'm travelling through Europe for a month in a few hours of this post. My course is almost over, so I'll be heading back home after that, to do my dissertation. So I've been super busy packing up my room, feeling all crummy about leaving this place, and excited about travelling. My life has been all about bags and boxes since so long.

Even in the midst of this, though I was dreading removing some time to bake these, once I began baking, I felt absolutely relieved. Being in the kitchen (surprise surprise, even to cook!) really relaxes me.

This month's assignment was a real toughie, Thrifty Veggie Mama has mostly super healthy recipes, with tofu and stuff as ingredients in baked stuff too. It was a great challenge, and I finally found these granola bars that were super easy and amazing. I've never made granola bars before, but these were amazing. Perfectly chewy, not too sweet, and the chocolate on top is heaven.

Granola Bars

Granola Bars
Adapted from Thrifty Veggie Mama

3 cups oats {I used regular old fashioned not quick}
1/2 cup crispy rice cereal {Optional. You could just add more oats}
1/2 cup liquid sweetener {I used half butterscotch syrup and half maple syrup}
2 T peanut butter
1 banana, mashed
1/2 c oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/4-1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions -

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Line a 8x8 pan with parchment.
  2. Mix together all ingredients except the chocolate chips. (Tip - measure out the oil first, and then the liquid sweeteners, it will flow out much better out of the measuring cup).
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, and then sprinkle on the chocolate chips. Leave for a few minutes, then spread to form a layer. Allow to set for an hour in the fridge. Cut into bars and serve. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Chocolate Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

IMG_2863 2

I am just writing this post after submitting the last assignment of my life. I do have a dissertation due, but this is the last assignment ever. I'm pretty saturated with all the writing, so I'm going to keep this one short.

I was assigned Dancing Veggies blog, and had a lot of great options, but picked these bars, but forgot a step where I had to add the chips into the cookie layer. I made up for it by putting a chocolate layer on top, and these tasted amazing. I've changed up the proportions a bit, because I feel they need more of the cheesecake taste.

Chocolate Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
Inspired by Dancing Veggies

1 cup [120 g] flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 stick [113 g / 8 oz] butter
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup chocolate chips - or alternately, you can add a chocolate layer like I did, following this recipe
For the cheesecake layer.
16 oz cream cheese
4 tbsp white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Instructions -
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Grease and line a 9x9 pan, with overhang
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda.
  3. In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Now beat in the egg and mix well.
  4. Add the flours to the butter mixture, and mix until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips, if using. Lay this onto the pan.
  5. In a clean bowl, cream together the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla. Pour onto the cookie dough layer. Bake for 25 minutes, until the center is a little jiggly and the sides are set. 
  6. Cool, and if using a chocolate layer, pour on top. Cut into squares and serve.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Hello there :) I can't believe how much I've stayed away from this blog. My exams are up in week, term 1 is already set to end. It's been surprisingly hectic, so much work. I literally have had no time to bake, but on the bright side, have been learning to cook pretty well. Seems I actually have the ability. Who would have thought? My day's schedule has become like - wake up, shower, hurry for class, do some group work, come back for dinner, then go back to the business school and study late into the night. Sleep isn't even considered. I'd be quite near burnout, if not for the fact that exams will be over in 10 days :D

Anyway, the other day I decided I needed a break, and also with the Secret Recipe Club's deadline looming, decided to do some baking. I spotted pecans at the grocery store long ago, and picked them up for snacking. I'd wanted to make a pie with them for thanksgiving, but since that didn't pan out, I zoomed in on Kim's Chocolate Pecan Pie. This month's blog assignment for me was a very nice one, I reallly wanted to try her red velvet cupcakes, and probably will, soon.

I made this pie at 5 am a few days ago, when I got back home. And I was so glad I did. It made the home smell amazing, my flatmates were so pleased :) And did I tell you how much I love the weather here? Making pie crust is so easy, there's absolutely no worry about the butter melting! The chocolate layer is nice and dense, with the pecans providing a wonderful texture, and the crust is a perfect complement. I used my standard pie crust, and made the filling from Kim's site.
Chocolate Pecan Pie

Chocolate Pecan Pie.

For the pie crust -

Use half of my standard pie crust recipe.

For the filling

3 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 stick [113 g] butter
2 large eggs
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecan halves

Instructions  -
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a pie plate with a bottom crust. 
  2. Melt together the chocolate and butter and in a  medium saucepan. Set aside to come to room temperature.
  3. Whisk the eggs and add into the chocolate mixture.
  4. Now add the flour, and vanilla, stirring until just combined.
  5. Now stir in the pecan halves, and pour onto unbaked pie shell.
  6. Bake for 55-60 minutes, until the filling looks set.
  7. Serve along with cream or ice-cream for a decadent treat, or just as is .

Monday, November 7, 2011

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

This little breakfast cake represents the first thing I ever baked in my new home. It was kind of a hit and miss, with no scale [I'm just so used to it now], weird measuring cups, a new oven etc. But I was still quite happy with it. It tasted perfectly fine, and was a wonderful accompaniment to my breakfast.

I've started cooking ever since I came here, stuff other than pancakes and eggs atleast [though I tried the BEST pancakes the other day, I'll try and post them on here soon]. It's a slow process, but I'm realising that I actually quite like cooking. I'm not doing so too regularly, but when I do, I go all out, put in an hour of effort at the least. This blog has always been about baking, and I don't think I'm ready to change that, but I might just talk about some cooking experiences sometimes. Oh and also, I would love some recipe recommendations for a beginner cook!

Anyway, back to the cake. It's for the Secret Recipe Club, and this time I got Stacy from Every Little Thing. She has the cutest blog, and it had a ton of stuff I wanted to make. Unfortunately, since I'm still setting up, my options were quite limited by ingredient / tool unavailibility. I had a few options, of which I really loved the blueberry breakfast cake, especially since I had some blueberries in the fridge [P.S - Did I tell you how much I love that I can now just say a statement like that like it's no big deal. I love how easy it is to get things here :)]. The cake was also really easy to make, I actually just used a hand whisk, since I haven't even bought a mixer yet. The cake turned out really well, so soft, and barely sweet, so it went perfectly with my morning coffee.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake
Recipe from Eat, Live, Run via Every Little Thing
For the streusel -
1 cup oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter, melted

For the cake -
2 cups whole grain pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt
1 stick butter, melted
2 cups fresh blueberries

Instructions -
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F [180 C]. Grease a 9x13 pan, or two smaller pans, which is what I had.
  2. Combine all streusel ingredients. Toss well. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs, yogurt, and butter until well combined. Gradually sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix until just combined.
  4. Now pour out about 3/4th of the batter into your prepared pan. Sprinkle blueberries on top. Pour the rest of the batter onto the blueberries. Now pat the streusel mixture on top.
  5. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until it feels springy to touch, and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Hello :)

I've been super super busy with something, so I thank all of you that have still stuck around for my infrequent posts. Hopefully everything should be sorted out soon. Anyway, it's time for another SRC post. And what a post at that. These cupcakes are just dreamy good. On my top 10 list for sure. Which reminds me.. I should do a top 10 post, shoudn't I?

This time I was assigned a lovely blog too [I've been very lucky with my assignments uptil now], and I had some great choices. It's owned by Jaida, someone who's food choices I really like, just by seeing what she posted. I leaned towards these cupcakes, I've been wanting to make some chocolate chip ones since forever, and also needed to finish my Callebaut chocolate chips stash. Plus, they are from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes, a book that I trust highly, they've all been winners for me. I chose a different frosting recipe, because I don't like the powdered sugar ones too much, and there's this other frosting from Martha, a cream cheese one, that I love, and make very frequently.

The cupcake went perfectly with the frosting, soft, dreamy moist cupcake, with a rich, buttery, high on chocolate frosting. What more could a girl ask for?

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
Makes 32

For the cupcakes -

3 ¼ cups plus 1 Tbsp sifted cake flour (not self-rising), divided use
4 ½ tsp baking powder 
¼ tsp salt 
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract 
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp milk 
½ cup plus 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature 
1 ¾ cups sugar 
5 large egg whites, room temperature 
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions - 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F [180 C]. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. In another bowl, combine the milk and vanilla.
  3. In your mixer bowl, cream the butter until smooth, then add the sugar and beat until light ans fluffy. Reduce the speed. Now add 1/3rd of the flour mixture, beat till incorporated, and add half the milk mixture, again mixing just till incorporate. Repeat, finishing with the last third of the flour mixture, making sure not to overbeat.
  4. In another clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Mix 1/3rd of the whites into the above batter to lighten it, then fold in the rest gently.
  5. Toss the chocolate chips with the 1 tbsp of flour, and fold them in.
  6. Fill muffins pans to 3/4th full, and bake for 20 mins, until tops feel springy.

For the chocolate frosting - 
[I halved and had more than enough, I put on as much as you can see in the pictures]

14 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
9 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups (12 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream

Instructions -
  1. Melt the chocolate whichever way you feel comfortable. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, beat together the softened butter and cream cheese till light and fluffy. Sift the confectioner's sugar into the bowl, along with the cocoa powder and salt. Mix to combine.
  3. Beat in the room temperature chocolate, and the sour cream. Frost immediately.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Strawberry Iced Tea

Strawberry Iced Tea

Happy Independence Day to all my Indian readers :)

It's another month for the Secret Recipe Club, which now has it's own site, and a TON of new members, so many so, that posting has been divided into 3 different days. I feel like I've only been posting for the SRC, but it's been a crazy time for me, with joining and quitting a job, my brother getting married, and my preparing for something big in life [not food related], that I'm hoping will happen. Things are almost back to normal now, so I hope to be posting more regularly.

Anyway, this month I was assigned the blog Heavenly Treats and Treasures, which also had a ton of great options for me. I've been very lucky with the assignments, I must say. I loved her Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes, I really wanted to make those, but it didn't work out. With the sudden heat wave here, I was in no mood to turn on the oven, and I wanted something cool. Her Sweet Blackberry Tea seemed perfect. I love Iced Teas, had some frozen strawberries I needed to use up, and it'd be perfect for the weather.

And.. this is the first time I've ever made anything this easy. I was surprised when I was done and sipping the drink within 10 minutes of looking at the recipe. I really need to make more drinks, I always thought they'd be more involved. All you have to do is make a simple syrup [1:1 ratio of sugar and water], infuse with whatever flavor you want, and add to prepared tea! I know this might be fundamental to all of you, but I'm quite fascinated by the ease of it all.

Strawberry Iced Tea

Strawberry Iced Tea
Adapted from Heavenly Treats and Treasures

2 quarts prepared tea, green or black [I used green]
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
10 oz frozen fruit of your choice.

Instructions -
  1. Allow the prepared tea to cool.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine together the sugar, water, and frozen fruit. I roughly chopped the fruit before adding, because I don't like pieces in my drink. Most will get mashed anyway with the heat and stirring.
  3. Cook on high until sugar dissolves, and the mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Don't thicken it to a paste, it won't mix into the tea well. Allow to cool slightly
  4. In a nice, tall glass, pour out the prepared tea about halfway to the top. Add about 1/4 cup of the strawberry syrup [adjust according to taste], stir,and add some crushed ice on top. Garnish with a fresh strawberry, some mint leaves, and serve.

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    Creamy Lemon Squares

    Creamy Lemon Squares

    It's time for the Secret Recipe Club again. I'm the biggest procrastinator ever, and have never, ever been able to schedule a post. This group is slowly changing that in me!! This post, and last month's have both been scheduled. Can you believe it? Who knew blogging would bring about such life changes too, I've actually began doing things on time, instead of beginning a few hours after due date. Thank you, Amanda :) You should sign up too!

    This time I was assigned Cara's blog, the Boys Made Me Do it. I was really happy with this assignment, she had a lot of great choices, and I was torn between these bars that she made from the Pioneer Woman, or Joy the Baker's super famous Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread. I finally chose the lemon bars, since the were so absolutely easy to make, and yeast is something I have yet to conquer. Plus, lemon is something I love baking with, but somehow I haven't done as much. Turns out it was the perfect pick, these bars, though easy and not true lemon bars, were absolutely delicious. The creaminess of the filling just went perfectly with the oat-sy crust, the and puckeriness of the lemons was just wonderful. This took like 10 minutes to prepare too, so there really shouldn't be anything stopping you from making these.

    Creamy Lemon Squares
    Adapted from the Boys Made Me Do It via the Pioneer Woman

    1 1/2 cup [180g ] flour
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 stick [113 g] butter, softened
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 cup oats - I used quick cooking
    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    1/2 cup fresh lemon juice - This can be varied according to taste
    zest of 1 lemon

    Instructions -
    1. Preheat oven to 350 F [180 C]. Grease a 8 x 11 pan.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together the softened butter and brown sugar. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add this to the butter mixture, stir till incorporated. Now dump in the oats, and mix as best you can.
    3. Line about 3/4th of this mixture at the bottom of your pan, and press it in using your fingers, or a measuring cup.
    4. In a medium bowl, pour in the can of sweetened condensed milk. Add the lemon juice and zest. You can taste this mixture as you go, and vary lemon accordingly. It should be really quite puckery, the taste mutes a little because of the crust. Mix well, and pour over the layer of oats. Slightly level with a spatula.
    5. Now sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the lemon layer, and lightly flatten with fingers, don't pack it in.
    6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, till the crumb in golden brown. Cool for about 30 minutes, cut into bars, and serve.

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Cherry Clafoutis

    Cherry Clafoutis

    It's time for the Secret Recipe Club again :) This time I was assigned Shumaila's great blog. I was very happy with the assignment, coz she had a lot of great stuff to pick from. I had originally planned on making the black forest cake, something that's in every bakery here, but really bad quality, so an amped up, good quality ingredients black forest cake was just calling my name.

    But life gets in the way, with some personal troubles going on, I just didn't feel like it, and opted to make a simple clafoutis instead, which I remember eating on my trip to Europe, and loving! I love custard-y stuff, so it was right up my alley. And having just eaten a slice before writing this post up, I can vouch for how lovely it is. It took me right back to my trip last year. It's warm, soft, sweet and just all over wonderful.

    Cherry Clafoutis
    Adapted from Classic Home Desserts via The Novice Housewife
    Serves about 8

    2 1/2 cups [about 1 pound) cherries
    1 1/4 cups milk
    1/4 cup [60 g] sugar
    1 tbsp pure vanilla extract /cognac/kirsch
    pinch salt
    1/2 cup [60 g] sifted all-purpose flour
    Powdered sugar, for sprinkling

    Instructions -

    1. Preheat oven to 350 F [180 C]. Grease a 9 inch tart pan. I couldn't find mine, so I used a springform
    2. Clean, steam and pit the cherries in a bowl. Reserve the juices
    3. In a large bowl, mix together the milk, sugar, vanilla, salt, and cherry juices. Now stir in the flour until barely combined, a few lumps are alright.
    4. Lay out the cherries in a single layer on the bottom of your pan, and then pour the batter over it. I recommend putting the pan on a baking sheet, the batter is pretty liquid and some of it might just get out.
    5. Bake for about 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes clean. Serve warm, dusted with powdered sugar


    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Uma's Orange Cake

    Orange Cake

    Soo... How did everyone get through the Great Blogger Crash of 2011? Were you frustrated, or were you happy to stay away for a bit? I was pretty bugged about not being able to comment on blogs, and some not opening at all, but luckily, my blog got through unharmed, and I was away for the weekend to an awesome beach retreat, so I didn't feel too much of it.

    It's Secret Recipe Club time again, and I got an awesome blog - Cooking Rookie. I was planning on making this last week, but her blog was down, atleast for me. So I kept waiting, and finally managed to make it on the last day, with the super helpful Amanda's help - she copied the entire post for me so I could bake the cake! I just got back like an hour ago, and am quickly typing this post up, I just hope I can finish it before my eyes shut and I crash.

    The cake was gorgeously soft and fluffy, mildly flavored, and basically one that I can get away with at breakfast too :) The instructions on her blog weren't too clear, so I did it as I thought correct, came out wonderful.

    Orange Cake Batter

    Uma's Orange Cake
    Adapted from Cooking Rookie

    1 1/2 cups [180 g] flour
    1/4 cup yogurt
    1/3 stick [57 g] butter
    1/2 cup orange juice
    2/3 cup [160 g] sugar
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 egg + 2 egg whites
    1 tbsp orange zest
    1 tsp lemon juice
    1 tsp salt

    For the glaze -
    3 tsp icing sugar (45 cal)
    1 tsp vanilla essence (5 cal)
    2 tsp water

    Instructions -
    1. Preheat oven to 350 F [180 C]. Grease and line a 9 inch round pan.
    2. Rub in the zest with the sugar for added flavor and fragrance.
    3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the whole egg, and beat. Now pour in both the juices.
    4. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add 1/3rd of this flour mixture to the above butter mixture. Then add in half the yoghurt. In the same way, add the second 1/3rd of flour, the last bit of yoghurt, and the last bit of flour mixing between each addition, only till incorporated.
    5. In a clean bowl, beat together the two whites till stiff peaks form. Fold them into the above mixture, and pour this batter into the prepared pan.
    6. Bake for 30 mins, until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
    7. Mix together all the ingredients for the glaze, and pour it over the cake while it's still hot.

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