Chocolate cake with caramalised salted peanuts and Ganache frosting


Here comes December when the weather gets crisp and chilly and now the snow is on its way for parts of the country with a cold snap taking hold!! It can be very dull and depressing as the days get very short and I spend most of our time laden with layers. This is the time when my oven is very busy as I get busy with Bakethon. This is my third year that I am particpating in Bakethon. Champa had started it . Earlier we baked for every day in December. However, this year I plan to do it twice a week. The reason being my other commitments both at work and home.

Last weekend, I baked a simple chocolate sponge, however decided to do a different frosting(kind of getting bored of buttercream and fondant icing). I loved the ganache I made for my son’s birthday in October. I thought of making it thicker by using extra thick double cream and whipping it.

To cut down the sweetness, I added in caramalised salted peanuts in caramel sauce made with extra thick cream. This coated my salted peanuts with toffee !! Loved it. This I sandwiched and topped in my sponge.

Ganache 1 Continue reading

Chocolate was in our mind for Junior’s birthday!


Last weekend we had a birthday celebration at our place. Junior Isingcakes, my son turned 15. Time just flies. I remember holding him in my arms packed in a little blanket. This tiny little bundle has grown much taller than me and next year he may demand the car keys!!! I had planned a chocolate cake for his birthday this year. If only I was not short of time. I had to a quick chocolate cake with ganache topping. Just to cut through the sweetness, I used caramelised salted peanuts. I had tasted this combination when Suchi of Kitchen Karma got this baked and frosted on her birthday and got it to our BBPC 1 session. Loved, loved the taste.

Birthday P2

To make the cake I used :

Bake a normal base cake/any flavour you like using the measures:

Plain flour 220g

Castor Sugar 220g

Butter 220g

Eggs 4

Baking powder 1.5 tsp

Cocoa powder 2 tbsp

Vanilla essence few drops

Sieve the flour with the raising agent and cocoa powder. Keep aside.

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat.

To this add the sieved flour mix spoonful at a time and fold.

To the finished mix add the essence.

Preheat oven at 180 degrees and bake the cake till done(My oven needs 40 mins to do the job)

When done, keep aside to cool for 20 mins. Normally the cake leaves the sides of the tin. If not, scrape the sides loose with a sharp knife and overturn. Let the cake cool completely. Slice the cake into two equal portions.

I also made 3 cupcakes to go along with the cake. Using cupcake cases, pour in the batter in the cases. Bake at 180 degrees for about 15-20 mins or until done in your preheated oven.

For the Ganache I used:

200 ml of double cream

200 gm of chocolate bar chopped

Mix the two ingredients in a saucepan and place on heat. Let the chocolate just melt in the warm double cream. Avoid the boiling of double cream. Once the chocolate melts, switch off the gas and whisk the mix with a whisk. This adds a shine to the ganache. Let this cool for couple of hours before using.

Birthday P3

To make the caramalised salted peanuts:

I used the ready made salted peanuts half a cup

Sugar 1 cup

Water 1/3 cup

Using sugar and water make the caramel read. When making the caramel, one needs to make sure that the sugar dissolves completely. Do not stir the sugar until a part melts. Once this stage is reached, just shake the pan gently to get the rest of the sugar into the dissolved part. In about 10 minutes, the mix gets a lovely golden colour. Add in the salted peanuts and mix. Pour the mix out on a greaseproof sheet and cool.

To assemble:

Use the ganache to cover the first slice of the cake. Sprinkle in the caramalised peanuts. Place the second layer of the cake on this. Use the rest of the ganache to cover the cake top. Finish with caramalised peanuts as a topping.

For the cupcakes,spoon the ganache on the cupcakes when they are cool. Top with the caramalised peanuts.

final bbpc 2

The cake was enjoyed at the birthday and the cupcake goes as an entry for BBPC 2 as a photography entry.

Chai Masala-Coffee drizzle cake


Remember Last year’s Bakethon? It was loads of fun with baking everyday/evening and posting in our blogs. I was very lucky to be associated with the like minds of Champa, Veena and Priya. This year Srivalli and Sumana have joined in too. The rules are the same, however, the pattern differs. Last year we posted each day, however, this year we are doing it thrice a week. So look out folks the days we post this month are 1st, 3rd,5th,7th,10th,12th,14th,17th,19th,21st,24th,26th,28th and 31st !!

Chai masala-coffee drizzle cake

My first contribution towards this Bakethon is Chai Masala-Coffee Drizzle cake which I baked last weekend.

To make the streusel:

Flour 175g

Butter 100g

Soft brown sugar 100g

Chai spices 1 tbsp(blend of  cinnamon, pepper, cloves, fennel, star anise, dried ginger)

Mix all these ingredients till coarse and crumbly. Set this aside.

Bake a normal base cake using the measures:

Plain flour 220g

Soft Brown Sugar 220g

Butter 220g

Eggs3

Baking powder 1.5 tsp

Baking Soda 1/2 tsp

Greek Yoghurt 3/4 cup(I used Total Greek Yoghurt)

In this case I added coffee extract

Sieve the flour with the raising agent.Keep aside.

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat.

Add in a part of yoghurt followed by the sieved flour spoonful at a time and fold.

To the finished mix add the coffee extract.

Chai masala-coffee drizzle cake

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees.

In a greased pan, add in half of the batter. Top this with a part of streusel. Spread the rest of the batter on the streusel. Finally, spread the rest of the streusel and bake the cake at 180 degrees for an hour.

Cool on a cooling rack.

Brew a tablespoon of coffee and mix with 1/2 cup of icing sugar. Drizzle on the cooled cake. Enjoy it with any beverage you love….this cake with warm spices is apt for the subzero temperatures here in UK!!

DSC_1005Check out Sumana’s , Priya’s, Srivalli’s, Veena’s and Champa’s posts

I a linking this to Priya and Divya’s ongoing  event  too.

I would like make an announcement..we have a Blogger’s Event coming up soon in February 2013 in London. One of our sponsorer is no one other than Total Greek Yoghurt!!!Check out our Event Blog for more details about the event and the sponsorer:)

Fresh Cream Pineapple Cake


This is for a cute little boy who is celebrating his first birthday today. His parents wanted a fresh cream-pineapple cake…strictly no no to chocolates!! Which I believe is good. Guys, I am travelling now, so can’t post a long one here. I shall come back and write more about this in the evening.Till then enjoy the glimpse of my 27th post for Bake-A-thon.

Yes, I am back..enjoying my cuppa…and adding more to this post. We drove for 2 hours to celebrate T’s first birthday. He is the cutest of chap I have ever seen. His parents had dressed him in Indian attire and followed his granny’s instructions of dotting his forehead with a tika(red vermilion mark..usually marked on auspicious occasions) …he reminded us all of baby Krishna(Lord Krishna). I am awaiting more pictures from the family and will post them very soon. Till then, here is the bits and parts for the cake. For the details of the sponge and cream, please check my post on Anniversary cake.

It is a pineapple flavoured sponge. I used whipping cream to frost and sandwich.Also the sponge has pineapple chunks along with cream in the filling. The cherries you see are cocktail maraschino cherries. To add some colour to the cake, I made some gingerbread cookies and cut some fondant animals on each. The animals were painted with edible gel colours.

The cake survived the two hours journey..Phew!! I was worried about the fresh cream as the weather in UK has gone absolutely mild and would have taken toll of my fresh cream..!!

Check out other Bake-A-thon participants Veena, Champa,Priya.

Mini Christmas puds


Day 24 of Bake-a-thon and it’s Christmas Eve!! Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. I made some mini Christmas puds as a gift recently. These the cutest and simplest to make. All you need is a batch of baked cake. You may well do with any sponge or cupcake. I have used simple fruit cake for this one. You may follow either the spicy fruit cake or Christmas cake with pineapple for this.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Additionally you need:
Golden syrup to bind
Mixed spices
WHite chocolate..melt this on double boiler
Green and red cherries(I had some boiled sweets) chopped
Silver edible glitter(optional)


This is how you make it:
Crumble the cake in a bowl. Crumble it absolutely till it is fine in texture. Sprinkle some mixed spices. Mix in the golden syrup. Mix. The mix should come together. Roll this mixture into small balls and arrange each in a cupcake case. Place these in tray and refridgerate for 15 minutes.
One chilled,spoon a teaspoon of white chocolate on each of the cake balls. Arrange the chopped cherries/candies. Sprinkle some silver glitter on top.

Aren’t these the quickest and the simplest Christmas Puds’ Have a lovely Christmas, my dear friends!

Photographs by:JPRD

Check out my other blogger friends in Bakethon: Veena, Champa and Priya.

Spiced mixed fruit cupcakes


My Sunday has been busy baking in the kitchen. Made loads of handmade baked gifts for my son’s teachers.  I have baked spiced mixed fruit cupcakes and gingerbread biscuits and few more Ma’amouls. My lunch was a quick moong idlis’ with sambar and the dinner packed with prawn curry, rotis’, rice and the left over sambar..quite a busy churning in the kitchen it has been. Even though it has been busy for me today, what I love is a lovely smile on my sunshine’s(my son) face! He likes giving lovely gifts to his teachers…and likes prawns a lot.

I will be icing the cupcakes and the gingerbread biscuits tomorrow.  Here is the recipe for the spiced mixed fruit cupcakes…

75 g mixed fruit

150g chopped pitted dates

1 tsp soda bicarbonate

1 tea bag

200g self raising flour

200g soft brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter

2 eggs

1.5 tsp mixed spices

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Arrange the cupcake cases in the cupcake pan.

Soak the fruits in boiling water. Add in the soda bicarbonate and the tea bag in it.  Cover and keep aside.Tea adds more colour to the cupcakes.

Boiling water plumps up the fruits.

Sieve the self raising flour and mixed spices. Keep aside.

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and mix.

Fold in the flour to make a batter. Drain the fruits and add to the batter and fold.

Spoon into the cupcake cases and bake for 15–20 minutes (the tops should spring back when pressed with a finger). Remove and leave to cool.

 

Check out Champa, Veena, Priya on the 11th day of Bakethon. Unfortunately, one of fellow bloggers had to drop out because of unavoidable circumstances. Will miss you Susan:(

Anniversary fresh fruit cake-Bake-A-thon day 4


My baby's creation

Hello friends…Weekends are a bit like rainbows; they look good from a distance but disappear when you get up close to them. I thought I could bake loads during the weekend in comparison to the week days, you know what, I was incorrect!! Where in the world did the time fly away….I had in plans to soak fruits and bake some cookies and biscottis. But no, I could not.  So I am posting my two week old cake which I had baked for a friend on the 20112011(which happened to be our anniversary as well). I baked a tiny one for us but for this couple..it was this colourful and quite adventurous for me. Check out mu anniversary cake which my son(13 yrs) helped cover and decorate..yes he did everything under my instructions..with a little assistance!! Continue reading

Light spicy fruit cake


It started with a burning feeling in the throat.. next comes sneezing, a runny nose, and the feeling of being tired and unwell….a day off…makes me all the more sad:((….a fruit cake baking in the oven..cheers me up!!:)) Yes, I had a day off work last day and spent most of my time with vicks, warm water,steam and of course my buddy…laptop!! I chanced upon a lovely kitchen, Sams Kitchen..a lovely blog and her first recipe that I came across was Spicy Fruit cake soaked in wine. I could smell the aroma immediately as I read the post. I wanted to avoid the wine(not that I wouldn’t have liked, but my son is allergic to any liquor) Sam suggested using any fruit juice, hence I tweaked it slightly and used pomegranate juice instead.   

This is what Sam suggests with the ingredients:

225g self raising flour

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp baking powder

115g soft brown sugar

115g soft butter 

Any fruit juice(I used pomegranate juice)

Cinnamon stick 1 piece

Cloves 4-5 crushed cloves

225g dried fruit (I used mixed dried fruit)

2 medium eggs

2 tbsp milk

I wanted a soft crust, hence avoided the crusty topping suggested as well. But if you like, you may try that. I am sure it tastes amazing.

Method: You need to begin this cake the night before you want to bake it. But I was so desperate, I gave the fruits 6-7 hours.  Place the fruits in a large bowl. Add a piece of cinnamon and 4-5 cloves(crushed_ and mix in the juice. Cover the bowl with a clean tea cloth and leave overnight, or for 12 hours, for the fruit to plump up and absorb the juice. Disard the cinnamon and cloves after the soaking time.

Mix in the dry ingredients and sieve together. Keep aside.

Mix in butter and sugar till light. Add in the eggs one at a time and whisk.

Fold in the dry ingredients into the egg-butter and sugar mix.

Fold in the soaked fruits in this mixture next.

Grease a 8 inch pan and dust with flour. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.

Pour in the cake mix into the greased pan and bake for 45 min-1 hour. Mine took another 10 minutes to bake completely.

 

You will start enjoying this bake in just 10 minutes time after you place it in the oven, because your kitchen starts filling in with the aroma of the spices !!  Cool for 10-15 minutes( please resist yourself..I know it is difficult, but you must). Once it cools down, cut a slice for yourself and enjoy!!

Chelsea Cake..blue is the colour, Football is the game!


My son turned 13 last month!! Son, you outgrew my lap, but never my heart.  ~Author Unknown.  Mum of a teenager..just can not believe it!! I have watched my son make his little movements, had sleepless nights changing his diapers or when he was unwell and watched him stand up on his legs for the first time and walk holding my finger take his tender steps!! But hey, the years did fly!! My little bundle of joy, whom I could hold in my arms has shot up taller than me now:) He is a lovely lad, very kind and caring. I have seen him speak kind words always and is gentle with every creature. I am glad God has given me the strength to nurture him to a good human being. I wish I could capture these lovely moments for ever…let him be little and cute baby for me. Reminds me of the song…“let them be little”  

Continue reading

Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair!!


I enjoyed baking Rapunzel cake very much. As I decorated this sweet piece ..all I thought and wished was …Ah for a house made of bread, and the roof made of cake and the windows of sparkling sugar.My niece who is in India loves fairy tales. During her visit to UK, all she would babble all day was Peter Pan and Rapunzel!! How much I missed her when I decorated this cake.  The cake is a regular vanilla sponge with vanilla buttercream filling. Rapunzel is handpainted and her braid piped with buttercream to give it a finished look.

Baking and decorating this cake was absolute magical!! I will let the pictures do the communication rather me posting anything..please let me know what you think.

Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace.

Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.