Plum Apple Crumble

If there’s one thing I could eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s this Plum Apple Crumble! And I urge you to do the same. 😛

Plum Apple Crumble Recipe. Easy Plum Apple Crumbles with crunchy, buttery streusel, and a gooey fruity filling. Perfect Fall Dessert. Perfect Summer Dessert. Summer Dessert Recipes. Fall Dessert Recipes. Food Photography. #food #dessert #recipe #dessertrecipes #foodphotography

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Orange Chocolate Marble Cake

This gorgeous Orange Chocolate Marble Cake celebrates the classic combination of citrus-y tart oranges and rich dark chocolate like no other! Don’t believe me? Try this recipe out! 😀

Orange Chocolate Marble Cake

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The Foodscape turns TWO!

Today, The Foodscape celebrates its Second Anniversary! I can’t believe it’s been two years since my first post on The Foodscape. Little did I know then that it would become my life. 🙂

The Foodscape Turns TWO!

The Foodscape has had a tremendous year indeed. It started out with the routine five working days and blogging over the weekends, survived a big move to another country, launched its logo, travelled to Thailand and had an incredible Christmas, filled with the season’s best. Then 2016 rolled in and I worked hard to put many wonderful recipes out for you. Happy Days!

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Mini Cherry Galettes

These Mini Cherry Galettes are the perfect treat for all you home chefs and bakers who’d rather cook up a storm raging with delicious flavours than spend hours having something look restaurant worthy! Don’t get me wrong, I love making desserts that look super pretty. But some days, I just want good ol’ sweet, fruity, pastry-perfect dessert that doesn’t require too much effort. Dessert that can be prepared relatively quickly; dessert that doesn’t leave a tonne of dishes for me to clean up later! 😛 And these Mini Cherry Galettes tick all those boxes! 🙂

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Choco-Strawberry Tart

There is something so elegant about tarts that takes my breath away. They are dainty and beautiful. In their pretty little way, they pack in so many different textures and flavours. And they are ALWAYS such a treat! ❤

Yeah, I’m talking about these Choco-Strawberry Tarts!

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Pink Lemonade Hearts

First off, Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Hope you’re surrounded with family, friends and loved ones on this day of love. 🙂 ❤

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Vanilla Yogurt Panna Cotta

A couple of days ago, when I was in conversation with my cousin about the tonnes of dessert pictures I upload to my Instagram handle (do follow me @thefoodscape!), she asked me, “Do you ever get anything wrong when you’re baking or making a dessert?” I didn’t need to think about my answer. “All the time,” I replied. 🙂

I have such crazy ideas for desserts, that more often than not they don’t work out. While some can be salvaged with go-to lifesavers like Nutella, Chocolate ganache or ice-cream, others turn out downright inedible. But hey, trial and error is everything! And sometimes if it doesn’t work out, well, that’s okay!

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This is exactly how I came about making this stunning Vanilla Yogurt Panna Cotta doused in Strawberry Compote. My brother was throwing a party for friends and dessert was my responsibility. I knew I wanted to do something with strawberries, and after giving it some thought, I decided to spin a dessert out of the wonderful combination of strawberries and Sunfeast’s Dark Fantasy Choco Fills. So I tried a couple variations of layered whipped cream, crushed cookies and strawberries. An adjustment here, some changes there; yet I just couldn’t get it right. Then I thought, with all that heavy cream lying in my kitchen, some Panna Cotta would be perfect! Out went the biscuits and into a pot on low heat to simmer went the cream… The rest is history. 😛

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Here’s what you need:

For the Vanilla Yogurt Panna Cotta:

  • Heavy Cream – 1 cup (if you’re in India, you can use 1 pack of Amul Whipping Cream)
  • Caster Sugar – 1/4 cup + more if you would prefer it sweeter
  • Vanilla Bean – 1 (alternatively, you could use 2-3 teaspoons of vanilla extract)
  • Yogurt – 1/4 cup
  • Powdered gelatin – 3/4 tsp
  • Milk – 1/4 cup

For the Strawberry Compote:

  • Fresh Strawberries – 500 g, hulled and cubed
  • Sugar – 2 to 3 tbsp
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • A couple drops of red food colouring (optional)

Here’s how you put this beautiful dessert together:

  • In a pot on low heat, bring heavy cream, sugar and vanilla to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally.
  • While the cream is cooking, pour gelatin into the milk and allow it to dissolve for about 10 minutes.
  • When the cream comes to a boil, take it off the heat, pull out the vanilla bean and preserve for another use. Gently mix in the milk and gelatin. Then fold in the yogurt, making sure not to incorporate too much air into the mixture.
  • Then pour the cream mixture into cups, dessert bowls or fancy glasses and refrigerate for about eight hours (or overnight) to set.
  • While the Panna Cotta is left to set, bring strawberries, sugar and lemon juice to a boil. When the sugar has dissolved and the strawberries turn mushy, take it off the heat and add some red food colouring. Leave to cool. Once cooled, you can either serve it as is, or run the compote through a fine sieve, and serve just the saucy bit while leaving out the strawberry chunks.
  • When the Panna Cotta has set, pour the compote over it and eat!
  • If you would like to serve your Panna Cotta free-standing (like in the pictures), dip the dessert bowl or ramekin into warm water for about 20 seconds or until the panna cotta pulls away from the mould, then carefully overturn it onto a plate. Pour strawberry compote over it and serve immediately.

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As you can tell, this is one super easy recipe. All it takes is a couple of minutes to put together. The ingredients are easily available, the technique involved is hassle free and it’s just the perfect recipe for when things don’t go your way in the kitchen. All you need is to spare a half-hour ahead of time, pop it into the fridge and then you can forget all about it until it’s time for dessert!

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All of my brother’s guests were blown away by this Vanilla Yogurt Panna Cotta. And when they called it a night and left, the brother, cousin, boyfriend and I went back for some seconds, thirds and fourths! 😉

I love how the sweetness in this dessert is subtle, the tang coming from the yogurt and berries is deliberate and yet it is all perfectly balanced out by the wonderful aroma of vanilla. It is light, packed with flavour and just stunning to look at; what more could you possibly want from dessert? Oh, and it’s the perfect snack too. (Don’t judge me!) 😛

Give this recipe a try right away, maybe as dessert for this Valentine’s Day? It is red and romantic after all! 😉

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Mango-Strawberry Tart

Summer. It’s the season most people around the world love. It’s that time of year when the blue waters of the sea beckon us; when we enjoy the refreshing flavours of summery delights; when the days are long and productive; and the world is off on holiday. Yes, that’s what summer should be; but where I live, it’s everything but.

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Out here in the Middle East, Summers are scorching, and while that may seem appealing to some, most of us living here can’t tolerate it. When the world seems to be getting some sun, we are busy hiding from it indoors with the air conditioner turned up full blast. No amount of summery refreshments can possibly quench our thirst for relief from the heat, and we are most certainly not chilling on the beach; well, not until later in the night at least.

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In my world, the summer’s only saving grace is the large array of beautiful, colourful fruits adorning supermarket racks; so fresh, you can barely resist gobbling them up right there right then! Don’t you just love when the greens, yellows, reds, purples, pinks and oranges all come together? I always feel like I’m shopping for little pieces of the rainbow! To me, summers are all about sipping on fresh fruit juice and milkshakes and gorging on berries, watermelon, chikoos, plums, oranges and of course, MANGOES! I love fruits. And fruity desserts, well, God knows I can live on those!

So the past weekend, I decided to bake something fruity after quite a while. The primary reason for this baking experiment was my not-so-little-anymore cousin who has been bugging me to bake him a tart non-stop ever since my post on the ridiculously delicious Strawberry Custard Tart. Also, I had a bunch of bright yellow, juicy mangoes and gorgeous blood-red strawberries lying around the house. So, I decided to bake a Shortbread Tart filled with Custard and topped with Mangoes and Strawberries! (At this point, I was already imagining those gorgeous flavours dancing a summery samba in my mouth!) *SLUUURPPP* 😛

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Tarts can be tricky. The consistency of the filling should be smooth and stiff, yet melt-in-the-mouth. The tart shell should be of even thickness all through and the sweetness and flavours of the shell, filling and topping need to be carefully balanced. But trust me, the precision involved and the care that is taken when baking a tart is all well worth the hassle when the tart ends up looking impeccably irresistible!

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Without further ado, here’s the recipe for The Foodscape’s awesome Mango-Strawberry Tart!

Here’s what you need: 

For the Shortbread Tart Shell:

  • All Purpose Flour – 1 and 1/2 cups
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Icing Sugar – 45 g
  • Unsalted Butter – 170 g, cold, cut into small chunks

For the Custard filling: 

  • Milk – 1 litre + 5 tbsp
  • Sugar – 4 tbsp
  • Custard Powder – 5 and 1/2 tbsp

For the topping:

  • Mangoes – 2, fresh, sliced or cubed
  • Strawberries – 500 g, washed and halved

This is how you make it:

  • Sift together the all purpose flour, salt and icing sugar until airy.
  • Using a hand mixer, or a food processor, blend together the the flour and icing sugar mixture with the cold butter until it forms clumps.
  • Knead the clumps by hand until it forms into a dough.
  • Press the dough into the tart tin and make sure it’s of even thickness throughout.
  • Prick the dough with a fork and cover it. Cover it with cling wrap and pop into the freezer for 15 minutes. The dough should be pricked so that it doesn’t puff up while baking.
  • In the meantime, preheat the oven at 220 degree Celsius for 10 minutes.
  • Pop the shortbread tart shell into the oven and bake for 13 minutes or until it is golden brown.
  • Take it out of the oven and leave to cool.
  • As the shell cools, make the custard. Boil 1 litre of milk along with the sugar. In a small bowl, mix the custard powder with the rest of the milk and pour slowly into the boiling milk while stirring continuously. Once it thicken, take it off the heat and leave the custard to set.
  • Once both the shell and custard are cooled through and set, pour the custard into the tart shell until it fills the tart. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • Take the tart out of the fridge and decorate it with fresh mangoes and strawberries.

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If you love summer fruits as much as I do, I’m sure you’ll be able to imagine just what this dessert tastes like! The crisp crust, creamy, subtley flavoured custard, and the hits of fruityness and delicious coming from the mangoes and strawberries are just extremely refreshing and rejuvenating. Eat it cold, and it will be an experience you’ll cherish forever. And you’ll surely be coming back from more. You just can’t stop, and before you know it, the entire tart will be gone! Don’t believe me? Here’s what my cousin had to say… 😛

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So there you have it – the perfect summertime dessert to share with your loved ones! Oh, Happy Days! 😀

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P.S: It was during the course of making the shortbread dough that I decided I wanted to bake mini tarts as well. So all I did was put little rounds of dough into cupcake moulds and pressed them in to make a shell. Then I baked them till they were golden brown – about 10 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius. 🙂

Photography credits: Winola Peris

The Ultimate Lemon-Blueberry Cake

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Chocolate and I are on a break. We’ve had a wonderful relationship in the past and we will renew our tryst soon, but for now, we need a little space. All that baking with dark and semi-sweet chocolate, Nutella, Ganache and sugar sprinkles has rendered me bored (and has me carrying around quite a few extra pounds, if you know what I mean), so I’ve decided it’s time to experiment with different flavours and techniques. Spring is here and the market is flooded with gorgeous fruits – berries, melons, nectarines and mangoes! I can’t wait to bake with them all!

For my first attempt down the fruity-baking lane, I baked this enchanting Lemon-Blueberry Cake topped with Coconut Crumble. I say enchanting, because the whole experience of baking this cake is truly so. From the gorgeous ivory hued batter speckled with bright yellow lemon rind and striking blueberries, to watching the cake take form while in the oven, the coconut crumble turning a stunning golden, to cutting a slice to reveal the burst berries leave deep purple blots where they were, and taking a bite only to have the array of flavours tickling your taste buds, this cake is beyond delightful!

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I wouldn’t say that this cake is easy to make; there are several parts to this recipe and each require a certain amount of precision and careful attention. But that doesn’t mean this recipe is too hard to try out either. Though time consuming, this cake is worth all the hard work you put into baking it. Don’t believe me? Try this recipe out and see for yourself!

IMG_5365What you need:

For the Lemon Curd:

  • Egg – 1, large
  • Granulated White Sugar – 75g
  • Fresh Lemon Juice – 40ml
  • Unsalted Butter – 2 tbsp
  • Lemon Zest – 1 tbsp, finely shredded

For the Cake:

  • Unsalted Butter – 250 g
  • Caster Sugar – 220 g
  • Zest of two lemons
  • Eggs – 4
  • All Purpose Flour – 250 g
  • Baking Powder – 3 tsp
  • Blueberries – 300 g

For the Coconut Crumble topping:

  • Butter – 50 g, melted
  • Desiccated Coconut – 150 g
  • Egg – 1
  • Sugar – 160 g

Here’s how you make it:

  • Lemon Curd: Place a stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Whisk together the butter, egg, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir it continuously while it cooks, until it attains a thick consistency, like that of mayonnaise. Take it off the heat, pour it through a strainer, cover the lemon curd and keep aside.
  • Coconut Crumble: In a bowl mix the melted butter, egg and sugar. Add in the coconut and give it one final mix.
  • The Cake: Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs; then add them to the butter-sugar mixture and beat until fluffy. Add the lemon zest and mix. Fold in the flour and 2/3rd the quantity of blueberries. Pour the batter into a greased cake pan. Once the batter has been smoothed out, sprinkle the rest of the blueberries over the top and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the top is set. Pull out of the oven; brush the top-crust generously with lemon curd and they spread the coconut mixture over it. Pop back into the oven for another 20-24 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Take the cake out of the oven and leave it to cool.

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This cake was all kinds of yummy! My mum is a huge fan of Lemon Cake and to see her face light up as she took her first bite of this cake was crazy! She smiled and smiled as she savoured every bite, then reached out for another piece. Dad is not a very ‘cake person’, nevertheless, he enjoyed having slices of this cake with tea. The boyfriend was ecstatic when he took his first bite. He isn’t a fan of lemon cake, but this one had him craving more. He almost didn’t leave any cake for my parents to have the next day!

This cake was big compared to the ones I usually bake at home. While cutting it up, I thought to myself, ‘this cake will be around for quite a few days.’ Boy, was I wrong! Within two days, there was none remaining.

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Tangy, sweet, the crunchy-crispy top, melt-in-the-mouth are the words that come to mind when I reminisce about the joy of eating this cake. This Lemon-Blueberry cake is the kind of cake which you can’t get enough of; with just one bite, you’re addicted and no matter what you’re doing, it can wait until you have another piece of cake.

I simply loved this cake, and I’m sure you will too! And for mums who wish to get their little ones to eat fruit, you should bake this cake for them!

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Vanilla Petit Fours topped with Tropical Fruits

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It can get quite weird when an absolute chocolate fanatic pesters you for some soft vanilla cake. I cannot begin to explain just how stunned I was when the boyfriend – a person who can live on chocolate all his life – first began badgering for some vanilla cake. “Remember that cake you baked for my grandparents’ anniversary,” he would say, “I want that!” The playful torment continued for weeks, often with, “When are you going to bake vanilla cake for me?” “It’s been so long since you baked for me! I’ve been asking you for days.” Whenever I had orders for cakes, it would be, “You’re only baking for others nowadays.” And when I would promise to bake him something vanilla, and wouldn’t keep to it, it would be a defeated “You’re always promising, but it never happens. I see what our relationship has come to,” accompanied with a really cute upset expression. 😛

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It was only after I had had a week-long binge on anything chocolaty and needed a refreshing dessert myself that I got around to quenching his craving. Hence, this past weekend, I baked these fabulous Vanilla Petit Fours topped with Tropical Fruits, and my, was I glad I did!

IMG_4900Here’s what you need

For the base Cake:

  • Unsalted Butter – 150g, brought to room temperature
  • Sugar – 125g
  • Eggs – 2
  • All Purpose Flour – 150g
  • Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  • Vanilla Essence – 1 and a half tsp
  • Water – to soften the batter if too dry

For the Vanilla Buttercream:

  • Unsalted Butter – 200g
  • Icing Sugar – 130g (this can vary depending on the sweetness you desire), sifted
  • Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp
  • Salt – a tiny pinch

For the Topping:

  • Tropical Fruits – strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, kiwis, mangoes (any other you can think of)

Here’s how you make these beauties

  • Preheat oven at 170 degrees Celsius.
  • In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar until soft. Add the eggs and blend for two minutes or until fluffy.
  • Fold in the flour and baking powder and bake for another minute. Add vanilla essence and give it a mix.
  • If the batter seems too dry and dense, pour in a little water at a time until the batter comes to a smooth and light consistency.
  • Pour the batter into a prepared 8-inch square tin and pop it into the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • While the cake is baking, blend together butter and sifted icing sugar until the mixture is soft and creamy. Add in the vanilla, give it a final mix and set the buttercream aside.
  • Once the cake is done, take it out of the oven and leave it to cool completely. When cooled through, cut it into about 1 and 1/2 inch squares.
  • Top each square with a thin layer of vanilla buttercream frosting.
  • Arrange the tropical fruits on top of the frosting in any which way you like.
  • Serve slightly chilled.

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These Petit Fours are really amazing! Have you every had a craving for something sweet with a fruity feel; not something too tart, yet something that tickles your palate with fresh light flavors? These Petit Fours are just what you need if that’s what you have a hankering for! The moist cake which is not too sweet, topped with just the right amount of fragrant vanilla frosting, finished with strawberries and blueberries that are sweet and sour, kiwis that lend an invigorating tartness and delicious pineapple is just what you need to brighten up your day while not making you feel too stuffy.

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Apart from all else, this recipe is a lot healthier that most other desserts – the cake includes a small amount of sugar, just a thin layer of frosting is slopped on there and it is topped with fruits! (How on earth can something with fruits be unhealthy? Right? RIGHT?)

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These  little squares of lip-smacking goodness are a treat to both the tummy and the soul and definitely features on my list of pick-me-up foods. Bake these and you’ll be in loveeee 🙂

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