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Archive for April, 2012

I like sandwiches. My favourite would be ham and egg. What’s yours?

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Actually just plain egg is pretty awesome too. Heh :)

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Now, imagine a cake sandwich, with delicious buttercream filling inside and super shiny royal icing on top, covered in rainbow sprinkles.

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That’s a whoopie pie! :)

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Here’s one.

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This is the first time I’ve made these beauties, and I have the tell you- I love the texture. The two halves of the chocolate cake sandwich are fudgy, yet really moist. It happens because of the yogurt in the batter. The buttercream filling is, well, yummy. Altogether, it’s a pretty darn good sandwich.

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Here is a plateful. Don’t you want one? :)

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Chocolate Whoopie pies
Largely adapted from: Step by step Baking

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Prep time: 40 mins
Cook time: 12 mins
Makes: 10

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Ingredients:

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175 g unsalted butter, softened
150 g brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
225 g flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
75 g cocoa powder, sifted
150 ml milk
4 tbsp thick yogurt

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For the buttercream

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100 g unsalted butter
200 g icing sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp milk (if needed)

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For the royal icing

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1 egg white
150 g icing sugar, sifted
few drops of lemon juice
sprinkles (optional)

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Method:

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For the pies

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1. Preheat the oven to 180º C. Line two baking sheets/trays with parchment. Whisk together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well again.
2. In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa. Spoon this dry mixture into the sugar-butter mix a little at a time, alternating with the milk until you use up all the dry mixture and all the milk. Now add the yogurt and mix it all together.
3. Spoon tablespoons of the mixture onto the lined baking trays, leaving space in between for them to spread. With another spoon dipped in warm water, smoothen the tops and try to get a roughly round-ish shape. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12 minutes, remove and cool on a wire rack.

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For the buttercream

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In a bowl, mix together all the buttercream ingredients, except the milk. Whisk on high for about 3-5 minutes. If the mixture seems too thick add some milk to loosen it up a bit.

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For the royal icing

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Whisk the egg white with the sugar for about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and whisk on high for another two minutes. (This icing works really well on cupcakes too!)

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For the assembly

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Take the cooled whoopies and spread buttercream on the flat sides of half of them. Sandwich them with the other un-iced halves gently. You should be able to see some buttercream in the middle. Spoon some royal icing over each one, and spread gently with a spoon. Decorate if sprinkles if you like colour (like me!) :)

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So Whoopie pies and Truffles won the vote! I made both, but first- the Truffles.

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These are SO easy to make and SO good to eat, it’s dangerous.

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My friend ate one and told me it was the best thing I’ve ever made.

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If you have chocolate and cream and liqueur at home, make this NOW.

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(Also, if you have all those things at home I think we can be best friends. So say hi , won’t ya?) :)

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All you need to do is make a ganache. (Ganache is one of those words you want to keep saying, coz it makes you feel fancy :))

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Ganache= Chocolate + cream (+ Drambuie in this case)

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Please use the best chocolate you can find. I always use dark chocolate. The better the chocolate, the richer and more wonderful your truffles will turn out.

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The ganache is rolled out into small chocolate balls and coated with cocoa powder.

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And there you have it. Truffles.

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Make some now!

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Drambuie dark chocolate truffles

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Prep time: 20 mins, plus chilling
Cook time: 5 mins
Makes: 20

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Ingredients:

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225 g good quality dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
120 ml heavy cream
2 tbsp Drambuie
2-3 tbsp cocoa powder

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Method:

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1. Place the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan over a low heat. When it starts to simmer, add the Drambuie and stir well. Keep stirring and pushing the cream down the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts. This is your ganache. Leave to cool, and then refrigerate for two hours.
2. Line a plate with parchment paper. Scoop out one tablespoon of ganache at a time and roll into a ball between your palms. Place on the paper. You will have to work quickly here because the heat from your hands will melt the chocolate.
3. Chill again for 5-6 hours. Remove and roll in cocoa powder. Bite into one and tell me how good it is! :)

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Note: If you don’t have any liqueur at home, you could just use vanilla extract instead. All other liquers work really well: try Baileys or Kahlua also. If you don’t like the bitter taste of the cocoa on the outside, substitute with desiccated coconut or finely chopped almonds.

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Here’s a picture of my fuzzy, cuddly puppy before you leave. Don’t you want to just eat him up? :)

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Sundays are meant for laid-back, languorous brunches. It’s the perfect way to unwind with some chilled beer, great food, and fun conversation.
That’s exactly what happened at the Blogger’s brunch in Cafe on 3.

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A wide selection of food from multiple cuisines awaited us. If you decide on the buffet which I recommend, start with the salads and cheese like I did.

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I quite enjoyed the Squid and glass noodles salad.

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Cut yourself some cheese, to eat with olives and capers in oil.

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There is also a fresh veggie make-your-own salad section with an assortment of dressings.

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Next move on to the live counters outside by the pool. The shawarma was just spicy enough, with more meat than bread (just the way I like it ;))

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The warm appams with coconut chicken/veg curry are also rather good.

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Next, move on to the Continental section and fill up your plate. Here’s mine.

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The herby roasted baby potatoes with skin were delicious, as was the lemony grilled fish. Vegetarians- make sure you don’t miss the Polenta with tomato coulis.

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For those who prefer Oriental or Indian (or both!), there are lots of options available.

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Try the sun-coloured Alleppey fish curry with some rice. You won’t be disappointed.

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The dessert section won me over with one thing. Two words. Chocolate Fountain.

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I wish it was dark chocolate though, but with strawberries, baby meringues, biscuits and prunes to dip, I wasn’t complaining.

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If you’re a coconut fiend like me, try the foamy, light-as-a-cloud coconut mousse.

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There are also some exquisite items you can order a la carte. Like this roast chicken.

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The buffet brunch itself though, is well worth the money and allows you to sample a wide variety of delicious food.
It has all the makings for a fun Sunday :)

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Cafe on 3
DoubleTree by Hilton, Mayur Vihar
Sunday brunch @ 1100 INR plus taxes per person (without alcohol) and 1300 INR plus taxes per person (with alcohol)
Phone: 011 41105555

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This is a bit embarrassing to admit, but I’m not a fresh food person.

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I mean I like salads and stuff, but only if they’re accompaniments to a meaty meal.

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I can’t go on a fruit diet.

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And please don’t tell me that a bowl of raw veggies make a suitable dinner.

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This however, I can get on board with.

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Fresh, greeny-tomatoey goodness.

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The creamy texture of the avocado, with the bite of onion, and the pungency of lime.

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I love.

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Also, it’s so pretty!

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Next time you’re reaching for a bag of chips, make some guacamole instead.
(FYI- The chip-type things in the picture are baked) :D

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Guacamole

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Prep time: 5 mins
Serves: 2
Eat this with: Baked chips/nachos

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Ingredients:

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1 ripe-ish avocado cut in half, seed removed and pulp extracted
1 large tomato, chopped roughly
1 onion, chopped finely
a small handful of coriander, chopped roughly
juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste

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Method:

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1. Mash up the avocado pulp with a fork. Add everything else and mix together. You’re done!

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In other news, I’m going home for Easter! YAY :) Puppy love and Parent love are awaiting me! I do also plan to spend some quality time baking with my Dad, who by the way has become quite the cool baker. Here’s proof.

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Isn’t it lovely?

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So you guys get to vote for what Dad and I will bake together. We did this once before and Chocolate éclairs won. SO excited to see what you pick this time :)
Happy Easter readers! I love you all!

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