Fruit and Nut chocolate Muffins

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The sweeter side-effect of Diwali is all the leftover mithai and chocolates. This time we had a box full of Dairy milk chocolates which we converted into these muffins. A Sunday baking with my son is the good way to relax, ableit you have to ignore all the mess those little hands make.
The Diary milk can easily be replaced with similar quantity chocolate chips or any other chopped chocolate . The texture of these muffins is slightly on the dry side which many people seem to prefer over the heavy moist cupcakes. I have dressed them up with plain chocolate melted over a double boiler, cooled and then spooned over the cupcakes.
 Dairy Milk Fruit and Nut muffins. 
Ingredients :
  • 300 gm all purpose flour (maida)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 125 gram salted butter, softened, I use Amul
  • 100 gm castor sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream (I use Tropolite)
  • 125-150 gram Dairymilk fruit and nut, chopped into small pieces.
  • 180 gm chocolate melted for frosting

What to do :

  1. In a small bowl, mix all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix it and sift it together.
  2. In another bowl, take the softened butter and castor sugar. Whisk it with an electric mixer for 3-4 minutes, till it becomes ribbonlike soft and combined.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time while mixing together.
  4. Then with a spatula fold in the dry ingredient mixture alongwith the heavy cream, alternately. Always start and end with the dry ingredients.
  5. Fold in the chopped chocolate.
  6. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
  7. Line the cupcake pan with cupcakes liners. Spoon the mixture into the liner, about 2/3rd cup full.
  8. Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 mins, till they are springy and soft to touch.
  9. Take the pan out of the oven and let it cool down in the pan for 15-20 mins and then invert it on a wire rack to let it cool down further.
  10. Melt the chocolate over double boiler for frosting the cupcakes, and frost it once the cupcakes completely cool down.

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Notes :

  1. I put the chopped chocolate in the fridge for 15 mins before putting them in the cupcake batter. This ensure that the chocolate doesn’t sink top the bottom while baking.
  2. The batter is quite thick as the ratio of flour to wet ingredients is high. Spoon it into the cupcake liners for baking.

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Velvety Cocoa Cake with Ganache

When in doubt always bake a chocolate cake. I don’t know who said this, but it is one of the most useful pieces of advice I have heard.

This velvety cocoa cake was baked for my dad’s 61st birthday. A soft and delicate cake it comes alive with each bite of ganache melting in your mouth. Its a simple recipe inspired from Martha Stewart.

Velvety cocoa cake

Velvety cocoa cake slice

Velvety Cocoa Cake with Ganache

What you will need:

  • 2 and 1/2 cup all purpose flour (maida)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 170 gram butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cup buttermilk

What to do:

  1. In a bowl, mix together flour + cocoa powder + baking soda. Then sift it with a sieve and keep aside.
  2. In another bigger bowl, whisk the butter with both the sugars until it is smooth and creamy. I generally use an electric mixer, but a whisk will also work.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, while whisking so as to make it a smooth batter.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and mix.
  5. Now to this butter mixture, add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately. Fold it in with a spatula. Always start and end with the dry ingredients.
  6. Prepare two 9 inch round baking pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper and generously butter the sides.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 160 C and bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes, till a skewer inserted in the centre of the pan comes out clean.
  8. Once the cakes are baked, run a butter knife through the sides of the cake to release it from the pan.
  9. Turn it over to a wire mesh and let it cool completely before frosting with ganache.
  10. For ganache recipe , see here.

TIPS:

  • To make a tiered cake, I bake this recipe in three 9 inch pans, so as to do 3 layers of ganache filling. But two layers also work fine.
  • After adding flour, always gently fold in with a spatula, refrain from using a whisk. It gives softer feel to the cake.

Cocoa Cake with pineapple

Cheers!

Rutvika

Eggless saffron cake with fruits and cream

 

Saffron cake with fruits

I saw a version of this cake on a blog I follow and I knew it was a perfect base for occasions which demand an eggless cake. I am not a fan of eggless baking, cakes with eggs taste way more creamier and richer than the eggless counterparts, but sometimes I give in for friends who don’t eat eggs. And this cake with a hint of saffron can be moulded into any number of variations.

I layered it with some canned fruits and whipped cream and kept it simple, rustic. Its a very easy to put together recipe and can also be baked into cupcakes instead of layered cake.

Cake with layers and frosting

Eggless saffron cake with fruits and cream

What you will need :

For the cake

  • 180 ml whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
  •  200 gram brown sugar
  • 100 gram butter, melted
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 200 gram all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • a pinch of salt

For the frosting

  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • Canned or fresh fruits for layering and decoration

What to do :

  1. Bring the whole milk to a boil and add the crushed saffron to it. Take it off the stove and let it infuse and cool down for 10 mins.
  2. In a bowl, melt butter and brown sugar to it. Whisk it well till the sugar dissolves and makes it creamy.
  3. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  4. In another bowl sift together all purpose flour + baking soda + salt.
  5. Then fold in the flour mixture into the butter and sugar in three batches alternately with the saffron milk. Always start and end with the dry ingredients i.e flour. Fold in with a rubber spatula till it gets fully incorporated.
  6. Line two bottom of two 8 inch pans with parchment paper and butter the sides. Preheat the oven to 160C.
  7. Pour the batter into prepared tins and bake for about 20-25 mins till a skewer inserted in the centre comes clean.
  8. Take it out from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 5 mins.
  9. Run a skewer or a spatula on the side of the cake to release it from the pan.
  10. Let it cool down completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  11. Take the cream in a bowl and whisk it till it forms soft peaks. Slowly add the icing sugar while continuing to whisk it till it forms stiff peaks.
  12. Layer the cake on a cake board and frost it with the cream. Add canned cut fruits in the centre. Place the second cake layer on top and finish the frosting. Your cake is ready!

Piece of cake

Notes :

  • You can add regular castor sugar in place of the brown sugar to get a better color of the saffron if you want a white-ish cake. But I felt brown sugar gives it a more caramel flavour which goes well with the fruits.
  • You can also add some cinnamon or cardamom to the cake batter and skip the fruits in the frosting. Saffron and spices go quite well in the cake.
  • The recipe has been adapted from here https://www.pinkovendaily.com/bake.

Another note :

All pictures have been taken straight from he iPhone X and uploaded. Fuss free life.

Cheers, enjoy!

Rutvika

Carrot chocolate chip cake with lemon cream cheese frosting

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.

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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:

  1. In a bowl sift together flour + baking powder + cinnamon.
  2. In another large bowl, whisk brown sugar and oil together.
  3. Add the eggs one at a  time incorporating fully before adding the next one.
  4. To this mixture add the hung curd, vanilla essence and grated ginger. Mix well.
  5. Add flour mixture to it and mix it till you see no streaks of flour.
  6. Gently fold in grated carrots and chocolate chips.
  7. Line the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch pan with parchment paper and butter the sides.
  8. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170C for 40-45 minutes.
  9. For frosting, mix all the ingredients together til it forms a smooth paste. Refrigerate it for 2 hours before using.
  10. Once the cake cools down completely, frost it with the cream cheese frosting and decorate with chopped pistachios or rose petals.

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Notes:

  1. Instead of chocolate chips you can use chopped and toasted walnuts or pecans or even cashews.
  2.  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.
  3. Especially for this cake I felt that you should not skip the frosting. It gives a very delicate balanced flavour to the carrot cake.

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Cheers!

Rutvika

No-bake Eggless Peanut butter Tart

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

tart coming out from pan

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

Making of peanut butter tart

What to do :

  1. Firstly, dry roast the peanuts either in a big kadhai or in a microwave. Remove the skin and let the peanuts cool down.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Pour about half of the slightly cooled melted chocolate into the pan and let it coat evenly. Let it set at room temperature.
  5. In a mixer, pulse the roasted peanuts to a grainy powder.
  6. To this add powdered sugar + peanut butter and salt. Pulse till it all comes together to form a dough.
  7. Take it out on a surface and blend it with your hands to make a smooth dough.
  8. Transfer it onto a wax paper and roll it in a disk, slightly smaller than the pan.
  9. Transfer the peanut butter disk onto the fluted pan over the chocolate disk. Peel off the parchment paper.
  10. Pour remaining chocolate over the peanut butter disk and let it set in the refrigerator for an hour to set.
  11. 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.
  12. Decorate with fruits before serving and keep it in the fridge while storing or the chocolate will start melting.

Chocolate top of tart

Notes :

  • 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.

Slice of tart

Cheers!

RC