Ultimate Chocolate Brownies

5ultimate_brownies

I have a tried and tested recipe for brownies. Its the one I always rely on and it was from my Hershey’s baking book. I have never had a failure from that book and so naturally, its been one of my favorite cookbooks. Unfortunately that book is in Chennai and I am here in US. So when I chanced upon another Hershey’s book at the library sale, I picked it up immediately and decided to trust the same way I trusted my first book. I have been trying some recipes from this book too, all with good results.

My main reason for liking Hershey’s books is that the recipe is almost always simple. I didn’t even have to take out my hand mixer for this recipe. All it needed was a whisk and a mixing bowl. I had to use one more bowl for melting the butter, but even with that, the effort was less and clean up was a breeze. So when my son said he wanted to do something special for his teacher for Teacher Appreciation week, this is the recipe I zeroed on.

4ultimate_brownies

The entire bake was done by the kid except for handling melted butter and hot water. He also helped heavily with sampling ;-). These brownies tasted excellent and I am just waiting for a reason to bake these again!

Read on for the recipe and step wise pictures.

3ultimate_brownies

Recipe source: Hershey’s Make it Chocolate

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted and divided
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Method:

Heat oven to 350F/180C. Grease and line a 9X13″ pan with parchment paper. In a bowl, sift cocoa and  baking soda together. Mix it well. Add 1/3 cup of melted butter and 1/2 cup boiling water. Stir until the mixture thickens.

Add 2 cups of sugar and mix it in. Now, add two eggs and the remaining 1/3 cup of melted butter. Stir until everything is well combined and smooth.

Add the flour, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk everything well. Add the chocolate chips and mix it in carefully.

Pour carefully into the prepared pan. Bake for about 35 minutes or so, until a skewer comes free of liquid when inserted in the middle of the brownies. Cool in the pan itself and cut into squares and eat!

IMG_1518

2ultimate_brownies

This goes to Cooking from Cookbook Challenge Group.
CCC-Logo

Advertisements

Briam – Greek OveRoasted Veggies

1Briam

BM # 76: Week 3, Day 3
Theme : Flavors of Greece
Recipe:  Briam, Greek Oven roasted vegetables

I love oven roasted veggies, but the only thing I don’t like about it is the cooking time. It takes an hour at least for the veggies to be done, but then the oven does all the work and not me. So I guess its okay. Even then I don’t roast veggies as much as I would like to do. Same with bread. I would love to make more bread, if some one else can take care of the kneading :D.

Coming to the recipe here, its Greek style oven roasted vegetables, Briam. The recipe is is also from the book Cooking with Loula where the author, Alexandra Stratou, mentions that its a must to serve feta cheese with Briam. I haven’t changed anything at all from the recipe mentioned in the book except for lowering the amount of oil a little less.

2Briam

This recipe is more of a vegetable medley and I am guessing you can add other veggies too as long as the taste doesn’t clash too much with what’s already in there.

Spice is coming only from pepper and chili flakes, so that needs to be adjusted according to your taste.

3Briam

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 large eggplant (I had Japanese eggplants)
  • one medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley leaves
  • Salt, pepper and red chili flakes to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F.
  2. Wash and clean the veggies. Peel the potatoes and onions.
  3. Dice potatoes, peppers,tomatoes and eggplant. Slice the onions, peel the garlic and chop the parsley leaves.
  4. Add everything to a baking tray (9 X 13 inch pan here) and season with salt, peper and red chili flakes. Add olive oil. Mix well. Spread them out so that there isn’t too much of layering.
  5. Add half cup water to the vegetables and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The water should have evaporated and the liquid should be only oil.
  6. Serve with a block of feta cheese.

4Briam

Briam is a main dish that needs to be served with feta cheese and maybe bread, but I served it as a side to my toast with my Greek style scrambled eggs, Strapatsada. It was a very simple, but a delicious meal for me.

5Briam

This goes to Cooking from Cookbook Challenge Group.
CCC-Logo

6Briam

BMLogo

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM

Cheesy corn Muffins

1corn_muffins

Bakes are usually sweet and that’s my favorite kind! But the man loves everything savory and so once in a while I bake things that’s not sweet. Corn muffins is one of those recipes. 

Most corn muffin recipes have a tablespoon or two of sugar in it, but I just skip it to make it completely savory. The fresh or frozen corn in the muffin do lend a sweetness, but the effect is not same as adding sugar. 

Coming to the recipe here, it is very slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour’s book Whole grain baking. The book needs no introduction and I was lucky to stumble upon a brand new copy for $2 at the library sale. The book is a favorite of mine. 

I made this when we went for a long drive with two other families. This was our picnic food 😊 along with brownies and some apple sauce muffins. 

Read on for the recipe. 

2corn_muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour 
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 2-3 jalapeño, diced small (or 1 can diced green chilies)
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a muffin pan with papers. 
  2. Whisk the cornmeal, wheat flour, all purpose flour, salt, chili powder and baking powder in a medium bowl. 
  3. In another bowl, beat the egg with milk and oil. Add the thawed corn and most of the jalapeños. Keep aside a little to sprinkle on top of the muffins. 
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine well. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese. 
  5. Add 3-4 tablespoons of the batter to the prepared muffin pan and top each muffin with a little cheese and reserved jalapeños. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a skewer comes free of crumbs when inserted in the middle of the muffin. 
  6. Take off the oven when it’s baked and let it cool for ten minutes in the pan itself. 

3corn_muffins

Brownie cake

1brownie_cake

Thanks to my overstocked drafts folder, there is a post ready for almost any occasion. All I have to do is to pick and publish the post. The cake here has a good story to tell. Even without a story, its a cool cake – it has two layers of brownies filled with peanut butter pudding between them and frosted all around with a wonderful chocolate buttercream. On second thoughts, I would skip the pudding and the frosting the next time. Because the brownie underneath really doesn’t need anything to enhance it. Its the Hershey’s Best Brownies and it really is the best brownies I have ever had till now.

Coming back to the cake, it was made to celebrate one dozen years of our marriage in November. I never got around publishing the recipe on time. I also never got around making a cake for my blog’s sixth birthday/anniversary which was on March 31st. So my wedding anniversary cake is going to celebrate my blog anniversary as well. I  started the blog as a one year project and I can’t believe I am still actively doing it :-).

My family loves Peanut butter & Nutella sandwiches :D, so my thought for the cake was to fuse those flavors. But I could see that peanut butter in a cake is not everyone’s cup of tea. So I wouldn’t suggest this combination if you are not a fan of it.

The pudding is excellent in taste, but it is extremely rich. So if you are serving it directly as a dessert, I would suggest serving in small quantities. Maybe about 1/4 cup per person. You can always serve a second helping later. The quantity here will have some leftovers after filling the cake.

The recipe for the filling, frosting and the cake is all from cookbooks. The brownie is from one of the Hershey’s cookbooks I have. The frosting is from Joy the Baker’s cookbook (I got it from the library). And the peanut butter pudding is from Clio Goodman’s book, Puddin’. It is the perfect candidate for Cooking from Cookbook Challenge :-). Read on for the recipe.

3brownie_cake

Cake : Best Brownies

Decoration on top – The roses are made with ready made fondant using a silicon mold. I used melted chocolate as a glue for the roses. 

Best Buttercream recipe : Joy the Baker I got the recipe from her cookbook, not the site. But it seems to be the same, so I thought of linking it anyway.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup or 1.5 sticks (about 150 gms) butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • a good pinch of salt
  • 2.5 to 3 cups of confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • about 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup chocolate ovaltine

Method:

  1. Cream butter, sifted cocoa powder and salt in a big bowl for a few minutes using a stand or hand mixer.
  2. Add the sugar (2.5 cups first and then if needed, the rest half cup can be added) and mix it in using a rubber spatula. Beat it on low speed using the mixer. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Beat it in high speed until smooth. Stop the mixer in between to scrape the sides of the bowl for even distribution.
  3. Milk cream and ovaltine in a small cup. Pour this into the frosting and beat it again until it reaches creamy consistency.  Store in an airtight container and refrigerate until the time of use. Bring it to room temperature before using. You might have to beat again using the mixer to get a spreadable consistency. Once the cake is filled with the pudding, frost it using the buttercream. 

Peanut Butter Pudding

  • Whisk together in a thick saucepan – 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 1/2 cups milk, 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, 2 tablespoons corn starch and 6 tablespoons of sugar until everything is combined well.
  • Cook this over medium heat whisking all the time until the mixture starts to thicken – about 8-10 minutes or so. When you raise the whisk from the pudding and it leaves a shadow on the pudding, it is done. Let the pudding cool for 10 minutes. Press a layer of cling wrap on top of the pudding and refrigerate for at least two hours. To stabilize this as a filling for a cake, you can use gelatin if you wish. But I found this to be stable enough to be used as such.

2brownie_cake

 

Cardamom cake

3cardamom_cake

BM # 74: Week 4, Day 1
Theme : Swedish recipes
Recipe: Cardamom cake 

I didn’t rely only on the internet for this week’s theme (which is Swedish recipes, BTW), but I headed out to the library too to look for Scandinavian recipes. The first trip to the library had me coming home with two books for everyday recipes. Since Swedish vegetarian choices are pretty limited, I picked up two more books the next time I went back to the library. Baking books this time!

So for Fika last week during the snow storm(Fika is coffee time, but mostly with some baked goodies), we had this soft, spongy cardamom cake with a refreshing cup of coffee. I distributed most of this cake to my neighbors and friends and the feedback has been excellent. Baking during snow storms is fun and the house smelled amazing!!

This is one of those simple recipes that gives you amazing results. Its a keeper for sure! I didn’t make any change to the original recipe other than replacing almonds with cashew nuts. There are so many other recipes I want to try from that small book aptly named Swedish cakes and cookies, but I am resisting the call of butter and sugar for the sake of fat content inside my body :D.

I am struggling with my photography now (its a phase that comes and goes), so I have not been able to do justice to this soft and light sponge. So don’t judge the cake by the picture and give it a try for sure!

2cardamom_cake

Recipe source: Swedish cakes and cookies book

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 200gms/2 sticks/1 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • Pearl sugar/chopped almonds/nuts for decoration

Method:

  1. Grease and line a 9X13″ pan with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Melt the butter and let it cool to room temperature.
  3. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the sugar and eggs until it turns light yellow and thick. Add the baking powder and cardamom powder, beat again.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients (butter, milk and flour) and mix everything carefully. There shouldn’t be any dry lumps in the batter.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 55-65 minutes or until a skewer comes free of crumbs when inserted in the middle of the cake. Once its out of the pan, let the cake rest in the pan for about ten minutes. Slice and serve once its cool.

1cardamom_cake

BMLogo

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#74

Ricotta Lemon mini cupcakes

3lemon_ricotta_cupcakes

BM # 73: Week 1, Day 3
Theme : Mini baked treats 
Recipe: ricotta lemon mini cupcakes

When I am at the supermarket, my impulse wins over my common sense. I almost always buy things that I don’t need and then I would spend time and effort to finish up things I didn’t need in the first place. One of the regular culprits is Ricotta cheese. I just can’t resist it. The soft cheese always seem to be calling me when I pass that aisle.

After making a batch of instant rabdi using it, I still had some left over cheese that needed to be used up. A Google search led me to this recipe for soft, Madeline like cookies at Food.com. I didn’t realize that these cookies would have cake like texture when I started baking them. I should have guessed it when I made the batter itself since it was just like cake batter. After a couple of batch of making cookies, I used the same batter for making a batch of mini cupcakes.

2lemon_ricotta_cupcakes

I liked the cupcakes better because some of the cookies stuck to each other when stored inside a container. It wasn’t bad, but cupcakes with their wrappers has its own charm.

I liked these cookies for their lightness and lemony taste. Each cookie felt like a mini cake. This may not be my go to ricotta bake recipe, but still it deserves a mention in the blog for tempting me day after day until it all got over!

1lemon_ricotta_cookies

Recipe source: Food.com

Makes about 50 small cookies/ mini cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1  teaspoons baking powder
  • one pinch salt
  • 1 stick butter (113 gms) at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1  container ricotta cheese (15oz)
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • zest from one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 375F.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Beat butter and sugar until its light and fluffy using a hand or a stand mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat it in. Add the ricotta cheese next and beat using the mixer. Follow the cheese with lemon juice, extract and zest.
  4. Bring the mixer to low speed and fold in the flour mix carefully. You can use a spatula as well to do this. The batter will be similar to that of cakes than cookies.
  5. Take 1 tablespoon of batter and bake for about 15 -20 minutes as mini cupcakes or cookies in a lined baking pan. Remove from the oven and let the cookies or cupcakes sit undisturbed in the pan for ten minutes at least before moving them to a cooling rack.

4lemon_ricotta_cupcakes

This is for Srivalli’s Kid’s Delight event , guest hosted by Gayathri, themed on Mini Baked Goodies.

Mini Pizza and Coca cola cake

2coke_cake

BM # 73: Week 1, Day 2
Theme : Mini baked treats 
Recipe: Mini Pizza cake

Three days before my husband turned 40, my son turned 10. Their birthdays fall right after Christmas and three days apart from each other. So that means, the oven is quite busy during that time. I am either baking or decorating the cakes for their big days.

I am yet to upload my son’s 9th birthday cake. It was a Lego cake, but I wasn’t happy with the outcome. He doesn’t like fondant and I couldn’t get a finish I liked with buttercream. This year he wanted his favorite food – coke and pizza. It was my idea actually :D, but he agreed wholeheartedly.

The coke cake seems intimidating, but its actually not. I followed this particular video by How to Cook That for it. I used a different recipe for the cake, for everything else, I followed the video as such.

I didn’t want to put the candle on the coke cake, so I made a mini pizza cake to keep the candle. On hindsight, I should have made a much thinner cake for the pizza, but at that point, I wasn’t thinking much. The pizza cake is pretty straight forward to make. Fill and frost your cake layers and cover it with fondant. You need to color the fondant with a teeny bit of copper or brown color. Use bits of black, green and red fondants to use as toppings, teeny bit of red buttercream for tomato sauce and grated white chocolate (chips here) for the cheese.

3coke_cake

You have to use a 2L coke bottle as a mold for the coke cake. Cut the bottle into two carefully at the middle. Save the label, you will need it for masking the joint and to give an authentic look. Melt chocolate and coat the bottom and top half. I followed the video and used white chocolate near the bottle cap to give the illusion of bubbles. Now refrigerate this to harden a bit and its ready to be filled and layered with cake.

The layers inside are as follows:

  • Whipped cream infused with coke that is boiled down to the consistency of honey
  • Chocolate cake
  • A jelly layer made with coke and plain gelatine
  • Vanilla cake made with coca cola

If I make this again, I would skip the jelly and use whipped cream as such without any coke flavoring. The cake won’t suffer at all because of these deductions.

You will need a cutter of some sorts to cut the baked 4″ cakes and the jelly into smaller circles that can get inside the bottle. So layer the bottom half of the bottle with fresh cream, followed by chocolate cake cut to fit inside correctly, a jelly layer, some fresh cream again and then the vanilla cake. Once the layers are done till the top, refrigerate the cake. So now  you will have top and bottom of a Coca Cola shaped chocolate mold with cake layers inside it. The last step is to carefully cut the plastic off the cake. After that join the two parts using melting chocolate as a glue. Keep the label back to cover the joint. Make a small cap using fondant.

coke_cake

The best part of this was the vanilla cake. I had already baked the chocolate cake and wanted a vanilla cake for the color contrast. I also wanted some coke to be infused somehow in the cake.An internet search led me to this space and please check it out for some excellent food photography. I really loved those. The cake was very soft and tasted absolutely delicious. I couldn’t taste the soda in the final cake. I used the recipe below, which makes two 9″ cakes, to bake 2 tall 4″ cakes and 24 mini cupcakes. This recipe is a keeper.

1coke_cake

Recipe source: Local Milk Blog

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 sticks (226 gms) butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups coca cola

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180 C/ 350F. Grease and line two 9″ pans or in my case, two 4″ pans and line a mini cupcake pan with baking cups.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg) in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Beat butter for 3-4 minutes using a hand or stand mixer. Add the sugar carefully and beat it in until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time and beat it in. Add vanilla extract and let it combine well.
  5. In three batches, add the coca cola and the flour mix in, alternating between the two. So first add 1/2 cup coke and once its incorporated, add 1/3rd of the flour mix. Add the 2nd batch of coke only after the flour is mixed in well. Another half cup of coke, beat it in well. Next 1/3rd of the flour mix. One more round of alternate mixing like this and take the bowl out of the mixer and fold everything well with a silicone spatula to ensure that there aren’t any dry lumps.
  6. Pour the batter until its a little over half way  into the prepared pans. Bake until a skewer comes free when inserted in the middle of the cake, about 35- 40 minutes. For mini cupcakes, the time was around 20 minutes.
  7. Take the cake off the oven and let it rest for about ten minutes undisturbed. Carefully remove from the pan and frost and use once its completely cool.

5coke_cake 

This is for Srivalli’s Kid’s Delight event , guest hosted by Gayathri, themed on Mini Baked Goodies.

Emoji Mini cupcakes

7emojis

BM # 73: Week 1, Day 1
Theme : Mini baked treats 
Dish: Emoji mini cupcakes

This post is about expressing emotions. 13 kind of emotions, to be exact. Some expressions were ‘swallowed’ in the process of making these.

I made two batches of mini cup cakes for my husband’s 40th birthday. One batch was an eggless mango cake and the other was a coke based vanilla cake. I will be sharing the recipe tomorrow.

The theme I had in my mind was ‘range of emotions’ for turning 40. Happiness, love, tears, kiss, wink, astonishment…My friend put it in a nutshell for me, she said that’s quite an emotional baggage there ;-D.

3Emojis.jpg

Of the 48 mini cupcakes, 8 cakes were sacrificed for the delicate art of taste testing. The rest 40 formed the number 40 to greet my husband and his friend who shares his birthday. So 40 mini cakes for 40th birthday, in shape of the number 40.

For the Coca cola cake, this is the same recipe used for making the mini pizza cake in the next post.

Recipe source: Local Milk Blog

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 sticks (226 gms) butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups coca cola

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180 C/ 350F. Grease and line two 9″ pans or in my case, two 4″ pans and line a mini cupcake pan with baking cups.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg) in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Beat butter for 3-4 minutes using a hand or stand mixer. Add the sugar carefully and beat it in until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time and beat it in. Add vanilla extract and let it combine well.
  5. In three batches, add the coca cola and the flour mix in, alternating between the two. So first add 1/2 cup coke and once its incorporated, add 1/3rd of the flour mix. Add the 2nd batch of coke only after the flour is mixed in well. Another half cup of coke, beat it in well. Next 1/3rd of the flour mix. One more round of alternate mixing like this and take the bowl out of the mixer and fold everything well with a silicone spatula to ensure that there aren’t any dry lumps.
  6. Pour the batter until its a little over half way  into the prepared pans. Bake until a skewer comes free when inserted in the middle of the cake, about 35- 40 minutes. For mini cupcakes, the time was around 20 minutes.
  7. Take the cake off the oven and let it rest for about ten minutes undisturbed. Carefully remove from the pan and frost and use once its completely cool

0emojis

I looked at the internet for making these. A google search for emoji cupcakes gave a lot of ideas. Yellow fondant with a bit of red, white, blue and black fondant is what you need here. I used an edible black marker for the emoji eyes. That made the work a lot lighter than it would have been otherwise. The emoji has to be made separately and then kept on top of a frosted cupcake.

To make the work easier, I made three cupcakes for each emoji. Forty different emojis would have been extremely tough otherwise. I used a piping tip for cutting out the mouth for most part. The smaller end of writing tip for making the eyes. I also used a flower mold and used the petal as eyes for the winking emojis.

4emojis

This goes to Blogging Marathon #73 under the theme mini bakes. Check out the link to know more about the event and to see the other participants posts. 

6emojis

2emojis

This is for Srivalli’s Kid’s Delight event , guest hosted by Gayathri, themed on Mini Baked Goodies.

Tiramisu Mousse Cake with mirror glaze

1mousse_cake

Bakeathon 2016, Day 8

The Russian baker Olga took the baking world by storm with her stunning mirror cakes this summer. The baking world followed her steps and soon it rained mirror cakes and entremets all over the Internet. I too jumped into the wagon and this cake was my trial. It’s not much compared to the talent out there, but I was really happy with this cake. It’s one of the best cakes I have made so far.

This cake has multiple layers. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the inside layers. I wish I had taken the step wise pictures at least, so that its easier to explain. Its a tiramisu cake with mousse layers on top. The layers are inspired from this site.

Each layer of mousse need to be set completely before adding the next layer on top. That’s the most time consuming part. The waiting!!  Each step in itself is easy to make, but as the setting time is more, this cake needs to be started at least 2 days beforehand. A spring form pan or a pastry collar would make this a lot more easier, but I had to use my ordinary 9″ pan and line it with clingwrap and then with another layer of parchment paper. Its a good idea to freeze the cake for a couple of hours before trying to take it out of the pan.

Base is a 9″ sponge cake, cut into three layers with coffee syrup to soak the cake. I don’t remember the sources for any of the recipes. Sorry about that.

The layers go like this from bottom to top:

  • Sponge cake with coffee syrup
  • Tiramisu mousse
  • Sponge cake with coffee syrup
  • Chocolate mousse
  • Sponge cake with coffee syrup
  • White chocolate vanilla mousee
  • Chocolate mirror glaze
  • Chocolate collar to cover the sides

2mousse_cake

Line a 9″ pan with clingwrap and then with parchment paper. Keep the first layer of cake. Sprinkle with coffee syrup.

Coffee syrup:

  • 1 cup coffee
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Add the sugar to the hot coffee, let it melt. Cool and keep aside.

Tiramisu mousse :

  • 1.5 cups mascarpone cheese
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup melted and chilled  white chocolate
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (about 2 1/2 teaspoons)
  • Bloom gelatin in cold water per the package instructions. When ready to use, microwave it to melt it. Mix mascarpone cheese with sugar, vanilla, melted gelatin and white chocolate. Fold in the whipped cream. Layer this on top of the cake sprinkled with coffee syrup. Refrigerate to set completely, 4 to 6 hours. Once its set, top with another layer of cake. Sprinkle with coffee syrup. 

Chocolate mousse:

  • 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin + 2 tablespoon cool water
  • Bloom gelatin in cool water. Heat the chocolate chips with 1/2 cup cream in 30 sec bursts in microwave, stirring after each burst to melt the chips completely. Melt the gelatin in low power in MW and add it to the melted chocolate. Let it come to room temparature. Whip the remaining one cup of heavy cream and fold it into the chocolate mix.  Pour over the cake, refrigerate until it sets. Once it sets, add the third layer of cake on top.

Vanilla or White chocolate mousse:

  • 2 cups melted white chocolate
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
  • Melt the white chocolate in microwave in 30 sec bursts, stirring to ensure that it melts completely and evenly. Add the honey and mix well. Let it come to room temperature. Whip the heavy cream and slowly fold in the white chocolate mix. Pour this over the third layer of cake and refrigerate to set. 

Chocolate mirror glaze, follow the link for the instructions. Pour the glaze on top of the cake.

Follow is link for the chocolate collar. 

NOTE: You can freeze the mousse layers separately to set and then assemble the cake and return to the fridge. But I took the hard route :D.

3mousse_cake

This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016

Oreo chocolate cake

3oreo_cake  

Bakeathon 2016, Day 7 

I have a few basic cakes that I repeat again and again for all my baking needs. I use this eggless chocolate cake as my base for a lot of recipes. The best part of this recipe is that it is kid friendly. That means if you are planning on a baking session with your kids or their friends, its the perfect recipe. This cake here, a small variation of the base cake, was baked by a 6 year old.

You don’t need any fancy equipment for this cake. A big bowl to mix everything in, a whisk and a sifter is all you need. Since the recipe calls for yogurt instead of eggs, its a lot easier on the kids. But the best part is the oreos of course. We have to taste test it multiple times to ensure good quality  ;-).

For decorations, we went with a small batch of buttercream. We made some zigzag lines on top by adding some buttercream in a ziploc bag and cutting a small opening to pipe it out. Some fondant decorations and oreos also went in to make it colorful.

Read on for the recipe.

2oreo_cake 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (or 1/4 cup each of milk and yogurt)
  • 1/3 cup hot coffee (1 tsp instant coffee pwd+1/3 cup hot water)
  • 4 oreo cookies, crumbled roughly with hands
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Buttercream recipe(small batch):

  • 1/2 stick or 50 gms butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Method: 

  1. Pre heat the oven to 350F/ 180C. Grease a 6″ pan with oil or butter and line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a big bowl to get rid of any lumps. Whisk well.
  3. Add the oil, yogurt (and milk if you are using yogurt and milk combination) , vanilla and hot coffee. Mix using a wire whisk so that no lumps remain. If the batter is too thick, add a couple of tablespoons of milk to thin it out.
  4. Crush 4 oreo cookies roughly with your hands. Add it to the batter and whisk it in carefully.
  5. Transfer the batter to the greased and lined pan. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out free of crumbs when inserted in the middle of the cake. Take the cake out of the oven, let it rest in the pan for about 5-10 minutes. Carefully, flip it over, take off the parchment paper. Cover it with 2 rounds of cling wrap. Return the wrapped cake back into the pan and let it sit undisturbed until its completely cool.
  6. If you wish, make a small batch of buttercream and decorate it with some cookies and candies. I have used fondant here for some color.
  7. For the buttercream, add the softened butter and cocoa powder in a bowl. Using a spoon, mix the butter and cocoa powder to get a smooth paste, adding 1-2 teaspoons of hot water. Now add 1 cup sifted powdered sugar and mix it in using the spoon, again using the hot water to help mix it. The buttercream should be smooth when you are done. Taste test and add half cup more if you need it. You can check out step wise pictures in this post. The recipe here is halved.

1oreo_cake

This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016