Sunday, 6 April 2014

Olaf Cake

Because some people are worth melting for......

                                               By Olaf in Frozen

This post is dedicated to my adorable daughter who turned 10 yesterday! Sweetheart you are the apple of my eye. You always amaze me with your understanding, kindness and depth of caring for others. You are always there to offer me a hand when I m tired or feeling low. I love the way you pamper me with your sweet gestures, no matter his small they are! Sometimes I have to remind myself that you are only a kid even if you act like an adult by putting other's need before yours. But at the same time, You are always a fun and full of masti 'tai' for little Ira who loves to play 'ghar-ghar' with her and who let's Ira play with all her precious 'Barbie Collection'. Who go crazy at slides and while swimming. No wonder Ira always wants to be with her 'tai'! M really blessed to have a gem like you to call my daughter. Love you princess and that's why this cake is so apt for you coz, some people are worth melting for....



So, do you wanna build a snow man? :)...beautiful song, and one of my favourites from the movie..the song is extremely catchy, and in our household, we play Frozen atleast once a now I can recite the songs and dialogues fluently...even
Coming back to the cake, Here's a low down on how I constructed my cake. But first I apologize for the really bad pics, but I was working in the night, and this is the best I could do. Let's start with the internal structure, I used  8mm metal studs, which are  easily available in  any hardware stores and they will get it cut for you in your desired height. I screwed them to a 10" ply board. As I didn't want a big cake leftover, I used 10" cake dummies for the bottom.


Covered the dummies with fondant. Then placed the second tier, which is an 8" round Devil's Food Cake. I drilled holes for the studs to pass through on an 8" cardboard board and then ganached my cake on it. But before placing the second tier, don't forget to cling wrap the bottom as we don't want our fondant to stain. Also, cling wrap the studs as we don't want our cake to come in contact with metal.


Now cover the cake with fondant and again clin wrap the whole thing before starting work on Olaf's head.


For tha head, I used Rice Krispies Treat and a 7" cardboard board. Here's a click showing how I supported the head. Oh and I also used Royal icing to evenly cover the RKT after it was set.


Cover with fondant. Add eyes and carrot and details and your olaf is ready.



Hope you will find this tutorial helpful!

Monday, 24 March 2014

Gelatine Fun!

The following post was created as a part of Masterchef series organised by Home Bakers Guild, an online FaceBook group, of which m a proud member. Enjoy!!

Gelatine Fun!
Hello lovely peeps, starting the Masterchef Monday Season 3 with a big hug to you all and here's to a new, exciting and super delish season!
Today I m not going to share any baking recipe......but rather sharing an accompaniment or a garnish to our baking..I m going to share a 'technique' to make your own edible cling foil/plastic wrap/ plastic bag ( remember my Lettuce Cake?).

After I posted my Lettuce cake on the guild and my page, many of you asked me how does it taste? Well let's just say it doesn't taste like anything but it won't detract from the taste of the cake either. But you can always use sprite or 7 up or any other clear drink to soak your gelatine, if you want it to taste better.
Second question was, how to store it? It's fairly easy to store, just stack the sheets you have made on top of each other with news paper cuttings between them. And it will keep for months, provided the weather is dry.
Third question was, how to make it ? is it easy to make? Heck yeah...super duper easy!! And about the 'how to make part', well that's what I m here for

But first a few disclaimers, I m using regular gelatine powder available in market. Never tried it with agar-agar, pectin, veg gelatine or any other setting agent. So don't know the ratios for the above mentioned products. Secondly, there are tons of videos and posts out there for gelatine decorations and I urge you all to do your research and go through some of them to arrive at the one recipe most suitable for you with your weather conditions and working environment. The following recipe is the one which worked for me in hot, humid Mumbai weather conditions. Thirdly, I take no credit for the idea as I was inspired by Imaginarium Cakes' Baby Spinach cake. After seeing her cake, I immediately set out to work, as I so desperately wanted to achieve that clear transparent plastic look ( most of you will be familiar with this itch we get when we HAVE to try out something when struck by an idea). Since then, Imaginarium Cakes have also posted a video on youtube sharing her technique. Please check it out guys as that woman is brilliant. However, the following is the way I do it and I am so excited to share it with you guys.

One more thing, While gelatin plastic is easy and open-ended, one aspect which is not as flexible is the drying time. Plan on giving the gelatin plastic at least 8 hours or overnight to completely harden before using it in cake decorating projects. If not completely hardened, it can warp and melt, which we are pretty sure is not the look you’re going for.

Ok here's what you will need
a) 30 grams or 2 tablespoons gelatine
b) 150 ml water ( you can use sprite/7up) , room temperature
c) OHP sheets/ Acrylic sheets with 2 or 3 mm thickness/ or any other board with non stick surface
d) Scissors

Take the gelatin and put it in a bowl with water. Give it enough time to soak up the water completely, about five minutes. This step is called 'blooming'. Remember to use cold room temperature water and not warm or hot water.

After that’s done, put it in the microwave for about thirty to forty five seconds. Gelatin melts at really low temperatures, so that’s all you’ll need to liquify it. Let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes. If there is a layer of scum or foam floating around the surface, just spoon it out. Once cooler, it should look clear, even though a little yellowish in colour. That's ok. It won't matter once the gelatine is set and dried out.

Pour the mixture onto the non stick sheet or board. Pick the sheet and Spread it gently with a back and forth movement to both ensure even coverage and to discourage bubbles. A few tiny bubbles are inevitable, but try to break up cloudy patches or bubble clusters. Don’t fuss with it too much, as the gelatin will begin to set quite rapidly. I have posted a few clicks of me doing the back and forth thingy.

I am using a 2 mm thick acrylic sheet. Notice how I have marked out the approximate size of the plastic sheet I m aiming for. It will serve as a guide to spread my gelatine.

Now you wait. It will begin to harden up pretty quickly, but it takes about 8 hours to fully dry. You’ll know it’s dry because you’ll hear it popping off the board. Now that it’s all dry (and weirdly plastic like), slowly pull it off the board. It’s amazingly strong, so you don’t have to worry too much about ripping or cracking it.

Take out a pair of clean scissors (you could even use fancy craft scissors) and clean up the edges so it’s a nice rectangle. (See the pic).

Now it's time to play . You can use this sheet to make a goodie bag, like I have made mine. Just take a rectangular sheet and stick the ends together by some melted (leftover) gelatine to make a bag. Although I won't advice making the bags in a humid/rainy weather as the gelatine will stick to your fingers if you have sweaty hands....believe me wise words come through experience.

Or wrap around a food based cake, like a pretend cling foil.

Or make some gelatine flowers. Here I have made a ranunculus.

Or once melted, add any food grade colour to gelatine and make nice bows by cutting the rectangular sheet into strips.

Or make your own sparkles to sprinkle upon cupcakes or cakes by using the leftover or crumpled gelatine sheet.

Or you can just pour the melted gelatine in any of your chocolate moulds to make a nice cake topper. Like this glass slipper I made. The ratio of gelatine to water is 1:2 here. One part gelatine and two parts water.

The possibilities are endless, just let your imagination run wild.

A big thank you to KP for giving me this wonderful opportunity to share a few tips and tricks. I hope you all give it a try and don't forget to post your creations so that we all can appreciate your work. Go on now, have fun playing with gelatine!

link to the you tube video by Imaginarium's Cakes showing how she made her gelatine bag.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Rainbow Cake for Holi!

I know I know, I have been MIA for a long...loooooooong time, I really apologise guys for not updating my blog regularly! From now on, I will try to be as regular as possible, atleast once a week.
So, lets holi is just around the corner, m thinking of something colourful, something over the top, and what better that a rainbow cake...wait a minute, let me rephrase, what better than a "double barrel" rainbow cake!!

Actually I had made this beauty for my lovely friend "P's" babyshower long time back, sharing it now...what a good colourful way to start blogging again.
The cakes are pound cakes with gel colours added to them. I have used Americolors here, you are welcome to use any colours of your choice. Its really al right to use liquid colours also.

I had made 6x8" round cakes and sandwiched them with raspberry jam (Bon Maman) and the frosting is Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe source sweetopolita). Used a closed star tip ( 5 number, big one from Noor) to pipe the rosettes. Added a cute lil silhouette cut out of fondant and bam my cake is ready.

I did not use any dowels to support the structure and believe me, the cake was structurally sound....and the reason for boasting?? I travelled from Belapur to Andheri (nearly 1 1/2 hrs) for the delivery and NO MISHAPS...yay!! As I was using pound cakes, the structure was strong enough and the bottom tiers didnt squish. But if you are not comfortable or confident, go ahead and dowel it in the middle, and it will held everything together.

Pound Cake Recipe
Adapted from Joy of Baking
(used this recipe to make six individual 8" cakes)

3 eggs, room temperature
3 tablespoons (45 ml) milk, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
150 grams ( 1 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt, (omit salt if you are using salted butter like Amul)
150 grams (3/4 cup) caster sugar
185 grams (1/2+1/3 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
a few drops of desired gel colour or if using liquid colours, then add 1 tablespoon of the liquid colour

Preheat oven to 175 degree Celsius and place the rack in the center of the oven.
Butter and line with butter paper or parchment paper an 8" round cake tin. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla extract.
In another bowl, using your electric mixer (paddle attachment) or with a hand mixer, place the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and sugar) and mix on low speed. Add the butter and half of the egg mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the speed and beat for about one minute to aerate and develop cake's structure. Gradually add the remaining egg mixture in two instalments, beating about 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the egg and strengthen the cake's structure. Add the desired colour and beat in to incorporate.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Bake for about 55 to 60 minutes or until the cake is golden brown in colour and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. if you find the cake browning too much as it bakes, cover with a piece of aluminium foil after about 30 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Happy Holi and Happy Baking!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Nigella's Marmalade Pudding Cake

This marmalade pudding cake was screaming for my attention ever since I got Nigella's Kitchen in my (ever growing) 'Kitchen Library'. But somehow I never got around to make it. Although every time I used to browse thought the book (mostly at bed time....yeah I m one of those weirdos who read cookery/bakery books/ magazines at bedtime....but be warned all of Nigella's books are pretty much on the heavier side to hold while trying to read on bed) I ended up salivating while looking at the picture and the recipe. Cook Like A Star gave me perfect excuse to try this one. I also did the baked egg custard to pair with this ( as suggested by Nigella) but that's for next post :).
                                         Come take a closer look :)      

It's one of the most gloriously tender cake (see Nigella's word-spinning is rubbing off on me) with a light texture like steamed sponge and taste wise, I must say, it ticked all the right boxes for me. It is tangy, not bitter, it has delicious caramalised sweetness owing to the use of light brown sugar but at the same time it's not overly tooth achingly sweet. Surely it's on my 'Will Bake Again' list.
Marmalade Pudding Cake
Adapted from Nigella Lawson's Kitchen

  • 250 grams soft unsalted butter (plus some for greasing)
  • 75 grams caster sugar
  • 75 grams light brown muscovado sugar
  • 225 grams marmalade (75g of which for the glaze)
  • 225 grams plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • large eggs
  • zest and juice of orange ( reserve juice of ½ orange for glaze)

Preheat the oven to 180°C and butter an 8inch square ovenproof dish ( i made it in my 8 inch round cake tin). Put the 75g marmalade and juice of ½ orange into a small pan and set aside to make a glaze later.
Put all the other ingredients for the pudding batter into a food processor, process them and then pour and scrape the batter into the buttered dish, smoothing the top. If you’re not using a processor, cream the butter and both sugars by hand or in a freestanding mixer, beat in the marmalade followed by the dry ingredients, then the eggs and finally the orange zest and juice.
Put in the oven and cook for about 40 minutes – though give a first check after ½ hour – by which time the sponge mixture will have risen and a cake tester will come out cleanish. Remove from the oven and leave in the dish.
Warm the glaze mixture in the pan until melted together, then paint the top of the sponge, letting the chunks or slivers of peel be your sole, unglinting decoration on top of the mutely gleaming pudding-cake. Use a large spoon or cake slice (or both) to serve, and put a jug of custard or cream on the table to eat with.

This post is linked to Cook Like A Star, organised by Zoe @Bake For Happy Kids and co-hosted by Joyce@Kitcen Flavours and me@ Simple-Baking. If you want to join in the event, simply cook or bake one of Nigella Lawson's recipe, from her website or books, and link with us for the whole month of August 2013. For more details please visit here.
                                                           Aug 20131.jpg

This  post is also linked to the event Little Thumbs Up hosted by Yen@Eat Your Heart Out and organised by Zoe@Bake For Happy Kids and Doreen @My Little Favourite DIY.


Happy Baking!!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Nigella's Chocolate Cupcakes

It has been raining incessantly from the past one month or so, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to keep the children busy indoors. Particularly when I m having my niece  and nephew visiting from the USA, ages 9 and 6 respectively, as their summer vacations are on, and combined with my own 9 and 2 1/2 year old, its complete mayhem at our household. To channelize their bursting energy and sky rocketing enthusiasm for baking, we decided to make some cupcakes for tea on a wet rainy afternoon. We didn't do the icing part as by the time the whole process was finished, the kids had no patience for making the icing and then frosting the cupcakes. They were eager to start on the cupcakes as soon as the oven went 'bing'. We had absolutely fab time making and then demolishing these cuppies. The kids were satiated.......for 5 minutes or so, and immediately wanted to dive into the next baking project on their list. You see, in their minds all of them are accomplished bakers already.....oh well who m I to burst their bubble. But that's a story for another day :)

Nigella's Chocolate Cupcakes

110 grams unsealed butter (I used Amul butter)
200 grams dark muscavado sugar 
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
50 grams dark chocolate, melted and cooled
100 grams all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
125 ml boiling water

Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius. Line a muffin tin or cupcake tin with paper liners.
Cream the butter and sugar together, either with a wooden spoon or with an electric hand held mixer. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Next, fold in the melted chocolate, taking care to blend well but being careful not to overheat. Then  gently add the flour to which you have already added the baking soda, alternately spoon by spoon with the boiling water until you have a smooth and fairly liquid batter. Fill the 12 muffin paper cases. Bake for 30 minutes, remove from the tin and cool on a rack.

This post is linked to Cook Like A Star, organised by Zoe @Bake For Happy Kids, Joyce@Kitcen Flavours and me@ Simple-Baking. If you want to join in the event, simply cook or bake one of Nigella Lawson's recipe, from her website or books, and link with us for the whole month of August 2013. For more details please visit here.

                                                  Aug 20131.jpg

This post is also linked to the event Little Thumbs Up hosted by Yen@Eat Your Heart Out and organised by Zoe@Bake For Happy Kids and Doreen @My Little Favourite DIY.


Happy Baking!!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Nigella's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who doesn't like a good chocolate chip cookie with a glass of cold milk? It's one of my favourite comfort food. So when Zoe (her blog is brilliant...guys you are missing out SO MUCH if you havent visited yet) of Bake for Happy Kids asked me to co-host Cook Like A Star  'Nigella' with her and the wonderful Joyce of KitchenFlavours (go visit NOW for your dose of scrumptious recipes), this was the first recipe that came to my mind. The reason being, this is the first recipe I tried out from Niglla's book 'Kitchen' which was gifted by my in laws. The resulting cookie was how a chocolate chip cookie should be..... tender, fudgy chewiness but an edge of crisp bite too. So without further ado, my baking friends, I present Nigella's to-die-for Chocolate Chip Cookies.....

Chocolate chip cookies
Adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
150grams soft butter (I used Amul butter)
125 grams soft light brown sugar (you can use Demerara sugar which is easily and widely available in India)
100 grams caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg, fridge cold
1 egg yolk, fridge cold
300 grams all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
326 grams chocolate chips or chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 170 degree Celsius. Line a baking sheet with parchment or butter paper.
Melt the butter and let it cool a bit. Put the brown and caster sugars into a bowl, pour the slightly cooled, melted butter over them and beat together.
Beat in the vanilla, the cold egg and cold egg yolk until your mixture is light and creamy.
Slowly mix in the flour and baking soda until just blended, then fold in the chocolate chips.
Scoop the cookie dough into an ice cream scoop and drop Ono the prepared baking sheet, popping the cookies down about 8 cms apart. Make the cookie in two or three batches depending upon the size of your oven. Keep the cookie dough in fridge between batches.
Bake for 15-17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Here are some of my baking buddies who have joined me for this 5 star event. Please visit their blogs and gorge on the delightful spread inspired by Nigella...or shall I say ready your senses for the onslaught of food porn :)

Friday, 14 June 2013

Lemon Lime Mousse

Hi all my bloggoworld friends! I know I have been MIA for far too long but.....what can I say...I just didn't feel like writing! I hope you all understand what m trying to say here. It doesn't mean I stopped baking, oh no siree, I baked, and believe me, a lot. It's just that I stopped writing about it. Every time I thought of uploading a post, I couldn't summon energy or shall I say couldn't force myself to sit down and right. But I think m over it now...that means m back to blogging :). I missed you all and really looking forward to reconnect with you guys.

Let me start with this wonderfully light and tangy mousse which I had made for one of my friend's wedding anniversary. The mousse is tangy, just a touch sweet, and it is so light, it melts on your tongue. The fresh strawberries lend a perfect balance of flavor and texture to the dessert. I put the mousse in transparent jars because the lemon-yellow mousse and lipstick-red strawberries are so pretty together I wanted to be able so see them.

Lemon-Lime Mousse:
6 large eggs
225 grams (1 cup) caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup juice and all the zest from the lemons and/or limes
180 ml (3/4 cup)  heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For topping:
120 ml (1/2 cup) heavy whipping cream ( I used Rich's cream which is non-dairy and already sweetened)
250 grams fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
2-3 oranges, thinly sliced

In a non-reactive saucepan whisk together 3 eggs, 3 yolks (reserve the 3 egg whites), 3/4 cup sugar, salt, juice, and zest. Cook over medium heat while stirring constantly, until it thickens, about 10 minutes.The lemon curd is done when it is as thick as pudding and coats the back of a spoon or spatula.Press through a fine mesh strainer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the lemon curd is cool. Can be made a day or two ahead.
Whip the egg whites and remaining sugar until they reach stiff peaks. Add 1/3 of the whites to the chilled lemon curd and mix to lighted the texture of the curd. Gently fold the remaining whites in.
Whip the heavy cream (180 ml) with the vanilla extract, until stiff peaks.
Fold the whipped cream gently into the lemon mousse. Fold just until the cream is smoothly incorporated.
Place the mousse into a piping bag and fill the jars evenly. Whip the heavy cream (120 ml) and pipe a rosette of whipped cream on top of the mousse.
Decorate with strawberries and oranges.
Chill before serving.

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