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

Nutty Chocolaty Salted Butter cookies

I have baked fat chunky chocolate chip cookies after a real long time now. And the salted butter and toasted nuts give it a very rich texture. Arjun my little one loves making cookies and chomping on them between meals. By now he can do the entire baking himself and just needs me to give directions and put them in the oven. Which is great, but  if he grows up and says I want to be a chef, I will definitely say “Beta, pehle engineering / medical karo”.

Heehee. Kidding. (Not really.)

But never mind, for now I leave with the recipe of these cookies adapted from David Lebovitz

Nutty Chocolaty Salted Butter cookies

Ingredients

  • 115 gram salted butter at room temperature (I use Amul)
  • 110 gram light brown sugar
  • 100 gram granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • a pinch of salt
  • 200 gram chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup toasted nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 180 gram all purpose flour (maida)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

What to do :

  1. In a big bowl, take the butter + brown sugar + granulated sugar and whisk well.
  2. Add the egg , vanilla and a pinch of salt to it and further whisk.
  3. In another bowl sift together flour + baking soda
  4. Fold the flour mixture with the butter mixture in batches till it there are no streaks of flour.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips and chopped nuts till combined.
  6. It will be a sticky dough, put it on a plastic wrap, cover from all sides and let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours till it becomes firm.
  7. Line two baking trays with parchment paper. Make coin sized balls of the batter and put them on the tray. Gently tap them down with a spatula.
  8. Pre-heat over to 180C.
  9. Put the baking tray in the oven for 5 mins, then flip it around and bake for another 5 mins. After that, take them out, gently tap them with a spatula and put them back in for 2-5 mins till they are slightly browned.
  10. Remove and let them cool on lined trays.

Notes :

  1. I used a mixture of almonds, cashews and walnuts. Be sure to toast the nuts before chopping.
  2. If you are using unsalted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. The cookie batter can be kept in the fridge for upto a week and can be frozen for a month.

Bon Apetit! Enjoy.

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