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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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

Crisp Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a giant book borrowed from an aunt – The Taste of Home : Ultimate Cookie Collection, which has several hundred recipes and very useful directions to almost everything in the land of cookie making. How to store cookies, how to ship them, what if cookies spread too much while baking, what if they don’t, what to do if they are too tough/ too brown / too pale, etc etc. its a delight to read the book and experiment from there.

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And my baby Arjun has a book where the cartoon Elmo is making cookies. So he wants to make cookies every weekend. It’s fun to bake with him (only if you ignore all the mess that he does). 😛

Crisp Chocolate Chip Cookies

What you will need :

  • 1 and half cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 150 gram butter at room temperature (approx 10 tablespoons)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cup chocolate chips

What to do :

  1. In a bowl, stir in baking powder and baking soda in the flour and then sift it once. This ensures that the baking powder and soda get mixed evenly in the flour and it gets aerated once sieved.
  2. In another bowl, take butter at room temperature and whisk it with an electric beater. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat till it becomes light, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add lightly beaten eggs and vanilla extract and beat for another 2-3 minutes. Let it all get incorporated well.
  4. Now add the flour mixture into the butter and egg mixture and whisk till it all comes together. Do not over-mix.
  5. Remove the whisk and then fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.
  6. Take a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper.
  7. Now with a tablespoon, drop 12 heaps on the parchment paper, spaced well about 1 inch between two heaps.
  8. Put it int he fridge to chill for at-least 15 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 170 C.
  10. After 15 minutes chill time, put the tray in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, till the top gets slightly browned and the cookies get crisp on the outside. You can also rotate the pan once in between.
  11. Keep next batch ready for baking or if you have a bigger oven, you can bake two sheets at a time.

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Notes :

  • The cookies spread out once they go in the oven. So make small heaps and space them apart.
  • If you want very crisp cookies bake for a minute longer, if you want a chewy centre, bake for a minute or two less. Also individual ovens behave differently, keep a close watch while baking cookies.
  • You can also cut the cookies with a cookie cutter when they are fresh out of the oven. Like I did with a Christmas tree cutter in the picture above.

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Bon Apetit!

Rutvika

Chocolate Drip Cake

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

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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 :

  1. Sift all the dry ingredients : flour + baking powder + baking soda + cocoa powder + salt and keep it aside.
  2. In another bowl whisk the eggs. Add sugar, yoghurt, warm water and mix.
  3. Add the sifted dry ingredients and brewed coffee to this mixture and fold in with a spatula till it gets completely incorporated.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 170C.
  5. Grease the sides and line the bottom of two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  6. Pour the cake batter in the cake pans and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing.
  8. Let it cool completely on wire racks.
  9. For making strawberry buttercream, mix all ingredients with a whisk or a stand mixer.
  10. 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.
  11. Pour the cream on the chocolate and cover it for 2 minutes.
  12. Whisk it till all the chocolate melts and it becomes smooth. Let it cool down.

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Assembly:

  1. 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.
  2. Place another cake on top and cover all the sides and top with buttercream. Smoothen it with a spatula dipped in hot water.
  3. Put it in the refrigerator  for one hour and let it become cold.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Now pour more ganche in the centre and spread it lightly with a spatula.
  7. Put it in the fridge for 5 minutes to set.
  8. You can decorate it with some sprinkles and fresh flowers.
  9. Store it in the fridge if you live in a hot and humid place like Mumbai.

Notes :

  1. 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.
  2. The cake recipe is from a book called Chocolate by Cordon Bleu. The drip technique is taken from Stylesweetca.com.
  3. Yan use an eggless cake recipe from here and turn this into an eggless dessert.

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Cherry Cream Cheese Pound cake

Cherry Cream Cheese Pound cake!

 

Cream Cheese pound cake with cherries

Everything about this cake sounds dreamy. It is an indulgent affair and not for the whole-wheat-carrot-cake type of a day.

Pound Cakes are heavy. With so many eggs in them they can be filling. But so delicious and creamy. And add some cream cheese in the mix, you have a delectable buttery, cheesy cake. The mild tartness of the cherries goes very well with the cake and makes it very flavourful.

Cherries are in season right now, and I must have used about 40-50 un-pitted cherries on top of the cake I love how that looks. My little baby boy Arjun helped me make the decoration and gave me one cherry at a time while I placed it on the cake. Loved doing that.

This cake serves 8, has to be sliced thinly while serving. Perhaps with a cup of coffee, like the French.

Cherry Pound cake

Cherry Cream Cheese Pound Cake

What you will need:

  • 3 cups maida – all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 220 gram cream cheese, I use D’lecta
  • 2 and 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 large eggs

Cream Cheese Chocolate Frosting

  • 125 gram cream cheese, cold
  • 50 gram Amul butter
  • 300 grams icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • Fresh cherries for decoration

What to do :

  1. For the cake, sift the all purpose flour + baking powder + baking soda and keep it aside.
  2. In another bowl, whisk room temperature butter and cream cheese together, add vanilla extract.
  3. Now add granulated sugar and whisk.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking till it gets fully incorporated.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
  6. Line two 8 inch pans with a parchment paper at the bottom and butter and flour the sides.
  7. Pour the prepared batter in the pans and bake in a pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes till a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the pan and let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
  9. To make the frosting, take all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk till it comes together to form a smooth frosting.
  10. Place one cake on a plate or a wooden board, frost it lightly and then place the second cake on top. Again frost the sides lightly, scraping of any excess frosting.
  11. Put about 1/4 cup of frosting on top of the cake and spread evenly.
  12. Put the cake int he fridge for 10 minutes so that the frosting sets a bit before placing the cherries on top.

Cherry pound cake slice

Notes :

  • If you live in a hot humid place, it is better to keep the cake in the fridge. Bring it to room temperature for half hour before serving.
  • The mild cocoa flavour in the frosting helps balance the cheesy frosting.
  • The pound cake recipe is taken from Joy of Baking