Carrot chocolate chip cake with lemon cream cheese frosting
This delectable wintery cake is packed with a lot of cinnamon and ginger giving the carrots a festive feel. The brown sugar and chocolate chips give it a beautiful crumb.
What you will need:
- 350 gm carrots, grated
- 150 gm chocolate chips
- 200 gm flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
- 3 eggs
- 150 ml vegetable oil
- 150 gm brown sugar
- 60 gm curd hung to drain excess water
For frosting :
- 125 gm cream cheese, cold
- 50 gm unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 300 gm icing sugar, sifted
What to do:
- In a bowl sift together flour + baking powder + cinnamon.
- In another large bowl, whisk brown sugar and oil together.
- Add the eggs one at a time incorporating fully before adding the next one.
- To this mixture add the hung curd, vanilla essence and grated ginger. Mix well.
- Add flour mixture to it and mix it till you see no streaks of flour.
- Gently fold in grated carrots and chocolate chips.
- Line the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch pan with parchment paper and butter the sides.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170C for 40-45 minutes.
- For frosting, mix all the ingredients together til it forms a smooth paste. Refrigerate it for 2 hours before using.
- Once the cake cools down completely, frost it with the cream cheese frosting and decorate with chopped pistachios or rose petals.
- Instead of chocolate chips you can use chopped and toasted walnuts or pecans or even cashews.
- Carrot cakes are usually moist and denser because of the carrots. But to check if it is baked, insert a skewer and check if any batter sticks to it. If yes, bake a little more.
- Especially for this cake I felt that you should not skip the frosting. It gives a very delicate balanced flavour to the carrot cake.
There are countless number of times when people who I have known for a long time come and ask me if I have quit being a CA and turned into a baker. And as much as I like baking, being a CA and running our company is what pays the bills. Baking is a hobby, something that I love to spend my weekends doing. Trying to find out different flavour combinations, baking varied types of cakes, breads, mastering the art of making the elusive macarons and their feet – this is all very relaxing.
So here is one such no-bake eggless peanut butter tart. Very easy to make, looks festive and is rather nutritious. It just needs to set in the refrigerator for an hour, so it can even be made last minute as there is no baking involved. Perfect for making when little hands want to help you in the kitchen.
This recipe has been adapted from Epicurious.
No-bake Eggless Peanut Butter Tart
What you will need:
- 450 gram dry roasted unsalted peanuts, skin removed
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 1 and 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 500 gram chopped chocolate
- 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil
What to do :
- Firstly, dry roast the peanuts either in a big kadhai or in a microwave. Remove the skin and let the peanuts cool down.
- Meanwhile, melt the chopped chocolate with the oil over double boiler or in a microwave till it is fully melted without any clumps. let it cool slightly , about 10 minutes.
- Take one 10 inch or two 5 inch fluted pans with removable bottom and spray the inside lightly with a non-stick spray or butter it. Cover the bottom ring fully with a plastic saran wrap. Put it inside the fluted pan.
- Pour about half of the slightly cooled melted chocolate into the pan and let it coat evenly. Let it set at room temperature.
- In a mixer, pulse the roasted peanuts to a grainy powder.
- To this add powdered sugar + peanut butter and salt. Pulse till it all comes together to form a dough.
- Take it out on a surface and blend it with your hands to make a smooth dough.
- Transfer it onto a wax paper and roll it in a disk, slightly smaller than the pan.
- Transfer the peanut butter disk onto the fluted pan over the chocolate disk. Peel off the parchment paper.
- Pour remaining chocolate over the peanut butter disk and let it set in the refrigerator for an hour to set.
- Before service, remove sides of the tart pan and lift off the bottom ring. Slide it onto a serving plate from the plastic wrapped ring.
- Decorate with fruits before serving and keep it in the fridge while storing or the chocolate will start melting.
- This is a perfect make ahead dessert and can also be made into smaller cup sized tart pans.
- I use cocoa craft pure chocolate, but it also works very well with compound like Morde.
I wait all year round for these delicious mangoes which taste so good by themselves and better in a dessert! Over the last few years, I have tried different types of desserts with fruits, but this upside down cake is one of the simplest ones to make and very flavourful.
Mango upside down cake :
What you will need:
- 2 mangoes, peeled and cut into pieces
- softened butter for greasing the pan
- 2 tablespoon caster sugar
- 2 tablespoon mango custard powder, optional.
- 100 grams all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 100 grams butter at room temperature (I use Amul butter)
- 100 grams caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoon milk
What to do :
- Pre-heat oven to 200ºC / 400ºF.
- Generously grease a 8-9 inch cake pan with softened butter on the sides. Line the bottom with a parchment paper. Sprinkle 2 tbsp sugar on the parchment paper.
- Snugly arrange mango pieces on the pan to cover the bottom.
- In a bowl take flour, baking powder, baking soda and custard powder. Sieve it once to aerate it.
- In another bowl take softened butter, caster sugar and whisk. Add eggs and whisk or beat with an electric beater until the batter is smooth.
- Add 3 tbsp milk to the batter.
- Now add the flour mixture and fold it in with a spatula.
- Then pour this mixture over the mangoes in the cake tin and gently spread it evenly.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then ease a spatula around the edge of the tin, place a plate on top and, with one deft – ha! – move, turn it upside-down.
- You can use any eggless recipe of your choice as the base cake too. One eggless cake recipe is here.
- If you are using unsalted butter, add a little salt to the batter.
- You can replace the custard powder with corn flour or omit it. But adding a little mango flavoured custard powder gives it a beautiful flavour.
Other mango desserts to try :
Eclairs with mango pastry cream
Chocolate Mango Vacerin
New-york style Cherry Cheesecake
There is a lovely nip in the air and what better time to sit and enjoy a piece of indulgent cheesecake with freshly brewed coffee?! Top it with some fresh fruit of the season – cherries, strawberries or even chopped kiwi. This combination of a tart fruit, creamy cheese cake and a crumbly, buttery crust is very fulfilling.
See notes below for more information about cheesecakes.
For the crust and the cheesecake
What you will need :
- 160 gram digestive biscuits
- 40 grams melted butter (I use Amul)
- 400 grams cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest/ lemon zest
- 175 grams castor sugar
- 55 grams dairy cream (I use Amul 20% fat)
- 3 eggs
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
How to proceed :
- Powder the digestive biscuits in a mixture. Then add the melted butter and mix the crumble with your fingers to form a smooth dough like consistency.
- Pre-heat oven to 160C.
- Take a springform pan with detachable base and spread the crumb mixture on the pan at the bottom. Bake it for 10 minutes till firm.
- Take it out of the oven and let it completely cool.
- Meanwhile make the cheesecake filling. Beat the cream cheese well with a whisk or a hand-held blender and add the lemon juice and zest.
- Then add the castor sugar, cream, salt and vanilla essence. Beat well to combine all of it together.
- Add the eggs, one at a time and mixing well before each addition. Pour this mixture into the cooled crust and bake in a pre-heated oven at 160C for 40-45 minutes.
- The best way to check if a cream cheese is done is if it is jiggly in the centre. If yes, bake it for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven once done and let it cool down before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting :
- 125 grams cream cheese
- 50 grams Amul butter. at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon orange/lemon zest
- 300 grams icing sugar
How to proceed:
- Whisk the cream cheese. Add butter and zest.
- Gradually add the icing sugar, one cup at a time.
- Whisk well.
- Spread the frosting on top of the cheesecake once it cools and adorn it with drained glazed cherries.
- You can skip this frosting and just line the top with cherries or some jam. I prefer a softer, mushier frosting hence I poured it over the cheesecake. If you want a firm frosting, refrigerate it for 2 hours before frosting on top of the cake.
- Different brands of cream cheese are available in the market. Philadelphia and D’lecta are two brands I have most commonly seen. The Philadelphia cream cheese is costly (650 for 225 grams), but D’lecta cream cheese is also very good and costs Rs. 650-700 for 800 grams. In Mumbai it is available in Arife and a lot of stores having a cold storage facility.
- Cheesecakes tend to crack at the top after baking. To prevent this they are baked in a water bath. But to keep things simple, I have avoided a water bath and topped the baked cheesecake with a cream cheese frosting and some cherries.
- Cheesecakes are dense and continue to bake even when removed from the oven due to the latent heat. So to avoid over-baking it should be slightly moist at the centre when you stop baking.
- After removing cake from the oven, loosen the sides with a spatula or a knife. It allows it to cool without breaking.
I have been eyeing these drip cakes in gorgeous colors for a while on pinterest and Instagram now. Katherine Sabbath sort of invented them in 2015 and they have been a rage. They look deliciously pretty and leave people wondering how the drips were made.
Very easy. Just some runny ganache and a cold cake.
I have made it here with a classic chocolate cake, a strawberry buttercream and chocolate ganache dripping. Once you know the basics, you can play around with cake flavors and white chocolate + gel color drip. And ofcourse any variation of buttercream or meringue frosting.
Chocolate Drip Cake
What you will need :
For the sponge cake:
- 180 gram all purpose flour
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 60 gram cocoa powder
- a pinch of salt
- 275 gram castor sugar
- 100 gram yoghurt
- 40 ml warm water
- 130 ml strong brewed hot coffee
- 75 ml vegetable oil, I use groundnut oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the strawberry buttercream :
- 100 gram butter, at room temperature (I use Amul)
- 230 gram icing sugar
- 7-8 strawberries – pureed in a mixer with a tablepoon of granulated sugar
For the chocolate drip :
- 100 gram chopped dark chcolate
- 200 gram Amul cream
What to do :
- Sift all the dry ingredients : flour + baking powder + baking soda + cocoa powder + salt and keep it aside.
- In another bowl whisk the eggs. Add sugar, yoghurt, warm water and mix.
- Add the sifted dry ingredients and brewed coffee to this mixture and fold in with a spatula till it gets completely incorporated.
- Pre-heat oven to 170C.
- Grease the sides and line the bottom of two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper.
- Pour the cake batter in the cake pans and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing.
- Let it cool completely on wire racks.
- For making strawberry buttercream, mix all ingredients with a whisk or a stand mixer.
- For the chocolate drip, keep the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream till it starts to bubble around the edges. Do not let it come to a boil.
- Pour the cream on the chocolate and cover it for 2 minutes.
- Whisk it till all the chocolate melts and it becomes smooth. Let it cool down.
- Take a cake board or a wooden board and place one layer of the cake on it. Cover it with strawberry buttercream on the sides and top.
- Place another cake on top and cover all the sides and top with buttercream. Smoothen it with a spatula dipped in hot water.
- Put it in the refrigerator for one hour and let it become cold.
- Make the chcoolate drip 20 minutes before using it on the cake. If you make it in advance and it becomes thicker when you use it, heat it in microwave for 10-2o seconds till it becomes runny again. But ensure that it is not hot when you pour it on the cake.
- Now remove the cooled cake from the fridge. With a spoon start pouring the ganache on the edges of the cake. It will start dripping down. Within one or two drips you will realise how much to pour at one go. Cover the entire edge of the cake with such drips.
- Now pour more ganche in the centre and spread it lightly with a spatula.
- Put it in the fridge for 5 minutes to set.
- You can decorate it with some sprinkles and fresh flowers.
- Store it in the fridge if you live in a hot and humid place like Mumbai.
- You can add a teapoon of corn syrup to the ganache to get a smoother finish. But you can absolutely skip it like I did.
- The cake recipe is from a book called Chocolate by Cordon Bleu. The drip technique is taken from Stylesweetca.com.
- Yan use an eggless cake recipe from here and turn this into an eggless dessert.