Tiramisu Cake

Getting real personal on the blog today, with a slice of this glorious Tiramisu Cake for company/comfort! ❤

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Fruit Trifle 2.0

An easy, layered, fruity summer dessert, fit to feed a crowd – that’s Fruit Trifle 2.0 for you! ❤

Fruit Trifle. Easy Layered Summer Dessert of Vanilla Cake, Cherry Jelly, Custard and Fruits. Not Rachel Green's Trifle. English Fruit Trifle Recipe. Food Photography

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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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Kahlua-Mocha Indulgence

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They say you can’t have all things nice at any given time and I do believe that’s true. Well, that should apply to dessert as well, shouldn’t it? What if I tell you that I know of the one dessert that defies this norm? What if I tell you that I can show you how to make a dessert that combines the goodness of vanilla sponge cake, the decadence of some velvety chocolate ganache, a boozy hit of Kahlua and that signature crunch of crackling crystal caramel? Isn’t that having all things wonderful at once? (To me, it is!) 😉

This dessert is simple, though it can take a while to put together. Where did I find the inspiration to create this Kahlua-Mocha Indulgence, you may ask? I am a huge fan of coffee (at a point in time, I was edging on addicted) and the idea of a dessert which is an amalgamation of any baker’s or confectioner’s favorite flavors was just too good to resist. Also, in spite of the fact that I am not a fan of alcohol, I do have a teeny thing for coffee liqueur. (It always makes me go – yayyyy Kahluaaa!) 😀

IMG_4284Without any further ado, here’s how you make this gorgeous-looking and fabulous-tasting Kahlua-Mocha Indulgence.

This is what you need:

For the Crystal Caramel:

  • Sugar – 150 g
  • Water – 2 tbsp

For the Vanilla Cake:

  • Unsalted Butter – 150 g
  • Sugar – 150 g
  • Eggs – 2
  • All Purpose Flour – 150 g
  • Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  • Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  • Heavy Whipping Cream (double cream) – 1 cup
  • Light Brown Sugar – 1 cup
  • Unsalted Butter – 2 tbsp
  • Golden Syrup – 2 tbsp
  • Milk – 1/2 cup
  • Semi-sweet Chocolate – 200 g

For assembling:

  • Kahlua or any kind of Coffee Liqueur – 1 and 1/2 cup
  • A few deep-edged dessert bowls

Here’s how you make the Kahlua-Mocha Indulgence:

The crystal caramel: 

  • Mix the sugar and water in a deep dish. Place the dish on the cooking range on low heat.
  • While the caramel is cooking, prepare the baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  • Once the sugar dissolves and the water has evaporated, the mixture will begin turning to a gold hue. When the mixture is of a light amber colour, take it off the heat.
  • Pour the caramel on to the prepared baking sheet so as to form a thin layer.
  • When the caramel cools completely and is hard to the touch, use the back of a spoon to crack it. Be careful while you’re at it, broken caramel can be as sharp as shattered glass.

The cake:

  • Pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
  • In a bowl, blend sugar and butter until creamy. Add in the eggs and whisk well until light and fluffy.
  • Add the flour and baking powder and fold in until well incorporated.
  • Pour in the vanilla essence and give the batter one final mix.
  • Pour the batter into a prepared 8-inch square baking tin and even out. Bake for about 17-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Once the cake is completely cooled through, cut it into 2-inch squares.

The Ganache:

  • Place the heavy whipping cream, milk, sugar, butter and golden syrup in a heavy-based saucepan.
  • Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has melted. Then bring to a boil. Boil, stirring continuously for about five minutes or until the sauce is thick.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, a little at a time, until it is completely melted and the ganache is smooth and velvety.

Here’s how you assemble the Kahlua-Mocha Indulgence 😀

  • In a dessert bowl, pour in a bit of Kahlua – about four teaspoons.
  • Place a vanilla cake square in the bowl and top it off with another square of vanilla cake.
  • Douse the cake in another two teaspoons of Kahlua.
  • Pour the warm chocolate ganache over the cake tower until it’s dripping over on all sides.
  • Sprinkle some crackling crystal caramel on the top and serve immediately.

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One thing is for sure – if you’ve dug your teeth into this oh-so-amazing dessert, you’ve surely visited sweet-sweet heaven! The soft vanilla cake with its moist crumb, paired with the incredibly rich bitter-sweet chocolate ganache and the crystal caramel that lends an extraordinary bite to the dessert – not to mention the added sweetness and the smokey flavor -, is just taken to another level of drop-dead-delicious by the warmth and coffee-licious goodness of the Kahlua. Oh! My! God! (My taste buds yearn as I type this!)

I made this dessert for a dinner-date with the boyfriend and my, were we pleased! Being the first time tasting something like this, the both of us were supremely surprised at how wonderful this Kahlua-Mocha Indulgence tasted, and for days after, we craved for more! (The weighing scale didn’t think we deserved to eat more though…)

Trust me when I say that some of the simplest ingredients and techniques go into making this amazing dessert that is worthy of being served in some of the best restaurants and patisseries around the world! There goes another way to show your family and friends that you’re a culinary genius!

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A little tip: If you’re not a fan of Kahlua or you don’t fancy alcohol, this dessert can be made without it as well. Just substitute Kahlua with some brewed strong black coffee (without sugar) and it will taste just as AWESOME!

 

 

Egg-less Marble Cake

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I’ve been baking for over seven years and I cannot believe that I’ve never baked a Marble Cake before. But gosh, am I proud of my very first attempt! This is my favorite snack-time cake ever! It beats all the chocolate cakes and coffee cakes I’ve baked till date.

Until a couple of months ago, I had never tried baking egg-less cakes, and I must admit, I’m still very shaky when it comes to trying out an egg-less recipe. But in the few times I have tried them, I’ve found that only once did my attempt at baking an egg-less cake completely flop – all the other times, I’ve been pretty successful. But this egg-less cake blew my mind. I did not expect it to come out this good. It was moist and crumbly and it was just my most perfect attempt at baking an egg-less cake.

I don’t normally advocate cake as being good for your health – it’s not. But I don’t recommend staying away from cake either. (How is that even possible?) However, for the health conscious people out there, I will say, this cake is on the healthier side. I know you’re probably thinking its got chocolate and its cake and its sweet, how could it possibly be remotely healthy? Well, here’s the thing – no butter is used in this cake, there are no eggs and the sugar is of a small quantity. All the really heavy, fatty things don’t go into this cake – hence I give you a healthier-than-other-cakes Marble Cake.

IMG_3071So here’s what you need:

  • All Purpose Flour – 210 g
  • Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking Soda – 1/2 tsp
  • Hot Water – 140 ml
  • Sugar – 180 g
  • Vegetable Oil – 125 ml
  • Yogurt (Curd) – 125 ml
  • Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp
  • Cocoa Powder – 25 g

This is how you make it:

  • In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients – the flour, baking powder and baking soda – thoroughly.
  • In a separate bowl, melt the sugar in the hot water, until completely dissolved. Add oil, yogurt, and the vanilla essence and whisk well.
  • Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and beat until a smooth batter is formed.
  • Divide the batter into two equal batches and add cocoa powder to one batch and beat until fully incorporated.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Grease the cake pan with butter.
  • Spoon the batter into the pan alternatively. Then use a knife to swirl up the batter. Make sure you don’t overdo it, or you’ll end up with a consistent chocolate cake.
  • Bake at 150 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

This cake is heaven to your taste buds. When I popped the first piece into my mouth, it melted in my mouth and it made me ridiculously happy. It was just the right amount of sweet, the two flavors – both vanilla and chocolate –  came through beautifully and the cake was decadent, moist and hearty. It was absolutely delicious. My mom loved the cake, she was pleased that it was not too sweet. My dad, who usually does not eat the cakes I bake, enjoyed this Marble cake. The boyfriend couldn’t get enough of it, and his family enjoyed it too. All those who tasted it, absolutely loved it and for those who didn’t try it, well, they really missed out!

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If you love a piece of cake with your tea or coffee, this is the perfect cake for you. Its not a lot of fuss to make either. Give it a try and you’ll be mighty pleased!

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