Mocha Layer Cake

After a substantial gap, I am back to what I love most in blogging, that is to post a new recipe on baking. Here comes the one called “Mocha Layer Cake”, a beautifully garnished cake with the falvour of both chocolate and coffee. As the name suggests, this is an assemblage of separate baked layers, in fact three, which come together drenched in coffee cream. With the grated chocolate giving the top terrain rather a rugged look, I must admit that the Mocha Cake is one of the most lovely looking cakes, I have come across. With a great taste, Mocha can be a smash hit for the coffee lovers who can not afford to miss their favourite flavour in a cake.

Mocha Layer Cake

Mocha Layer Cake

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Rich Chocolate Cake

Any form of chocolate cake is a pure fantasy to me where I like to immerse from time to time. In past, I have shared with you the recipe of Chocolate fudge cake which was much  appreciated. Here I come up with a cake which is even more richer in chocolate and thus regarded naturally as “rich” chocolate cake. Instead of using cocoa powder, in this recipe I have melted the chocolate and butter together which provided the silky richness. Even while baking the opulent aroma can be felt. I wish you to try this preparation to share this piece of joy.

Rich Chocolate Cake

Rich Chocolate Cake

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Thin Crust Veg Pizza with Mushroom, Bell pepper, Onion & Cheese

Many a fortnights back, I shared with you the recipe of home -made thick crust pizza with bell pepper, bacon and loads of cheese (link). Here I am back again with the story of another pizza, a bit different from its predecessor. This time it is a veg pizza with no meat, but with mushroom and onion as add on. It is a bit different in another aspect too being a thin crust which means the pizzza base is much thinner almost like a roti. Actually, if you really ask me, I must admit having a soft corner for the thin crust ones which gives a really light feeling with the bite. In fact in authentic pizzerias, across Europe and particularly in Italy, I found that they really mean Pizza by thin crust and prepare the base rolling and tossing the dough by hand. Another point to mention here regarding the cheese. I have always been skeptic about choosing the right kind of pizza cheese in India. However, I am pleasantly surprised by the Britannia cheese which is amazingly good and served as a great topping. So as the winter is in its fullest, make your own pizza with all the colours and play innovative with corns, broccoli, tomatoes and whatever you like.

Thin Crust Veg Pizza with Mushroom, Bell Pepper, Onion & Cheese

Thin Crust Veg Pizza with Mushroom, Bell Pepper, Onion & Cheese

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Pound Cake with Cherries, Currant & Walnut

Pound cake traditionally refers to a cake in which the main four ingredients (flour, butter, sugar & egg) are present in 1 pound each. However a cake with the said ingredients in 1:1:1:1 ratio can also be called a pound cake. It is a very simple recipe and an ideal one for beginners in the field of baking. Since it requires very few basic ingredients, mostly available at home, it can be prepared any time. I have used handful of cherries, nuts and currants for this recipe which are although completely optional. Go for this recipe of pound cake and I am sure you will be satisfied with the super soft and fluffy outcome.

Pound Cake with Cherries, Currant and Walnut

Pound Cake with Cherries, Currant and Walnut

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Love Bites (Heart shaped Red Velvet Cupcakes)

Love bites, the name given by me to these little heart shaped red velvet cupcakes, is sultry and serene. Don’t you think ? These super soft, spongy token of love can be a surprise for your loved ones on any special occasion, it may be your marriage anniversary, valentines day or any memorable day to cherish. I borrowed the recipe of Red Velvet muffins from Joy of Baking and moulded them into heart shaped cupcakes. Vibrant red colour can also be kids’ favourite, so just give it a try.

Love Bites (Heart shaped Red Velvet Cupcakes)

Love Bites (Heart shaped Red Velvet Cupcakes)

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Savoury Curried Bites

I just love to have cheeses without looking at my weight meter 😛 . While returning from Europe I brought a large chunk of Cheddar cheese which I bought from cheese factory in Netherlands. I utilize the cheese in many a dishes, one of my favourites among those is the ‘savoury curried bites’. These are basically savoury biscuits with richness of cheese and flavoured with spices. It highly satisfies ones need for tasty teatime snacks.

Savoury Curried Bites

Savoury Curried Bites

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Walnut & Cinnamon Blondies

Blondie, with a startling resemblence with chocolate brownie, is a rich, sweet desert bar. However, here the chocolate flavour of brownies is missing and which is often replaced by vanilla essence. The source of dark brown colour of blondie arises from the brown sugar used in its preparation. Mostly the rampant use of various nuts enhance the taste of blondies. Unlike brownies it can not be prepared without baking. No more information for now, rather lets go straight and direct to the recipe 🙂

Walnut & Cinnamon Blondies

Walnut & Cinnamon Blondies

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Marble Cake

When vanilla and chocolate blend playfully, swirl together and make a painting of white and brown, you know that marble cake is on its way to be born. Not often, what you bake, looks gorgeous. However, for marble cake, it does best. You slice the loaf and the true art is revealed with the curvy strikes of vanilla and chocolate. Taste is unbeatable too. Happy me to share with you.

Slices of Marble Cake

Slices of Marble Cake

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Chocolate Chips Cookies

The aroma from the kitchen makes everyone, around you, curious and tempted about what you are baking :), that is the joy of baking :P. Freshly baked cookie, now, get preference over the market bought one since I started preparing them at my own. After getting success in my earlier few ventures, Chocolate TemptationsBuckwheat flakes & hazelnut bites, French Macaron filled with Chocolate Ganache, now I have become more confident :). Though this time tried much simpler and basic one, still I bet you guys will love this. Here is the recipe of very well known “chocolate chips cookies”. 🙂

Chocolate Chips Cookies

Chocolate Chips Cookies

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Pear Tarte Tatin

Sometimes the name of the dish sounds so soothing to your ears that you are drawn spontaneously to it. And then if you discover that the dish is even more fascinating than the name, it is literally called then ‘icing on the cake’. Tarte Tatin is however not a cake, but a delicious french tart which can be made of seasonal fruits. The french word ‘Tarte Tatin’ means an upside down pastry in which the fruit is caramelized in butter and sugar before the tart is baked. Here I have used Pears in the Tarte Tatin which can be replaced by any juicy fruit of your choice. However the traditional Tarte Tatin is made of apple, which you can try of course.

Pear Tarte Tatin

Pear Tarte Tatin

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Date & Walnut Loaf

Earlier I shared with you one of the loaf recipes with banana and chocolate as main ingredients (Banana & Chocolate Loaf). Today, I am absolutely delighted to present the recipe of loaf made with date and walnut, perhaps two of the most well known dry fruits. Those of you who are bored to have the same old American white bread or even the brown breads in breakfast, will love it. A couple of layers of date in the middle with the pieces of walnut all over the loaf slices is quite extra ordinary. A bite in the loaf with naughty walnuts playing between the teeth and sweet dates sticking to you tongue, makes your day !!!

Date & Walnut Loaf

Date & Walnut Loaf

Ingredients to serve 10 :

  1. Unsalted butter – 175 gm. + extra for greasing
  2. Pitted dates (chopped into small pieces) – 225 gm.
  3. Grated rind and juice of orange – 1
  4. Water – 50 ml.
  5. Brown sugar – 175 gm.
  6. Egg (beaten) – 3
  7. Wholemeal flour – 85 gm.
  8. Plain flour – 85 gm.
  9. Baking powder – 2 teaspoon
  10. Walnut (chopped) – 55 gm.
  11. Whole or half walnut – 8

Procedure :

Grease and line the bottom and end of a 900 gm./2 lb loaf tin.

Place the dated in a pan with the orange rind, juice and water and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring, or until a soft puree has formed.

Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, then sift in the flours and fold in with chopped walnuts. Spread one-third of the mixture over the bottom of the prepared loaf tin and spread half the date puree over the top.

Repeat the layers, ending with the cake mixture. Arrange whole/half walnuts on top.

Ready to go into the oven

Ready to go into the oven

Making the layers with date

Making the layers with date

Bake in a preheated oven, 160°C/325ºF, for 1-1¼ hours, or until well risen and firm to touch.

After Baking

After Baking

Cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Turn out, peel off the lining paper and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Serve in slices.

You can also decorate with orange zest.

Loaf slices are ready to be served

Loaf slices are ready to be served

Spiced Cocktail Bites

I have found in the cocktail parties people craving for appetizers with their drinks if they find them even a bit out of the usual. Sadly in most of the in-house parties, the snacks are the same age old ones, bought from the shops and heaped on the plate. It must have been very interesting if the appetizers are also home made like the food following, just out of the oven, light, less oily and devoid of any artificial flavour. Well well, the present recipe satisfies all of them and comes up with a mind blowing snack which fits in apt for the cocktail parties. If you are ready to put in the extra effort, having the extra amount of Cheddar cheese in your kitchen, no body cant stop you making your guests ga ga over these delicious bites.

Spicy Cocktail Bite

Spicy Cocktail Bite

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Pecan Chocolate Brownies

Perhaps we are all familiar with the name Brownies. They are flat, square shaped dessert blocks, brown in colour, hailing from USA. The texture of brownies is somewhere in between cakes and soft cookies and these fudgy or sometimes cakey brownies can be made with or even without baking. It is often enriched with different nuts, chocolate chips and other ingredients and served with ice cream, whipped cream or powdered sugar sprinkled atop.

Here I present  the baked version of brownies which is made with melted chocolate and pecan nuts. Enjoy the super delicious pecan chocolate brownies with a hot cup of tea.

Pecan Chocolate Brownies

Pecan Chocolate Brownies

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Fruit Tartlets

If you are looking for a sophisticated, impressive yet easy to make dessert then Fruit Tartlets can be one of your choices. As we know tartlets are the miniature form of tarts which consists of two parts, one is crunchy shortbread crust and the other is creamy savoury or sweet filling. Obviously fruit tartlets will be topped with any of our favourite fruits. I always got tempted to find those fruit tartlets topped with all the possible colourful fruits while passing by the bakery shops in Europe and apprehended that those should be very difficult to make. But I was wrong. After trying my hand on them, I can vouch that tartlets are very easy to make and taste absolutely yummy 🙂

Delicious Fruit Tartlets

Delicious Fruit Tartlets

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French Macaron filled with Chocolate Ganache : Valentine’s day special

Macarons are colourful and cute looking French sweets or cookies. The preparation of macarons is based on meringue (from egg whites and castor sugar), almond flour and powdered sugar. Different food colours or gels are often used to give them the attractive and pretty look. Various fillings like chocolate ganache, buttercream, lemon curd, jam etc., are used to sandwich two cookies together.

When I saw them for the first time, I was highly impressed and taken aback. In fact their look invited me more than their taste. Since then I often thought of preparing it but took a long time to try my hand. It is my first attempt to make the macarons and I try here to adapt a simplified approach. I don’t use any colour and choose the simple chocolate ganache for filling.

Though I prepared these cookies two month back, I choose today for posting its recipe as the day is very special for all of us. On the eve of Valentine’s day make these prettiest cookies for your loved one 🙂

Almond Macarons filled wit Chocolate Ganache

Almond Macarons filled with Chocolate Ganache

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Carrot Cake

I love to bake cakes with different fruits to blend their flavours in the cake. However to bring variety, this time I baked the cake with a vegetable, carrot, which is perhaps the most easy to find in winter. With the grated carrot, what I prepare is a butter less, wholewheat cake which is topped with lemon flavoured cream cheese. I am not exaggerating, but the outcome was truly lip-smacking.

Carrot cake

Carrot cake

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Sugar Cookies for Christmas

On the eve of Christmas the old Santa sneaks into our home secretly and drops beautiful gifts. When we wake up in the morning, we find them everywhere, a new day starts with surprise, joy and hope. It makes our life blissful. Hope this Christmas brings the gift of peace and tranquility in all of our lives.

On this occasion, I share a jar of sugar cookies with my friends. They are sweet, full of colours and made on cute little Chirstmas trees. Wish you all a merry Christmas !!!!

Sugar Cookies for Christmas

Sugar Cookies for Christmas

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Black Forest Gâteau

Christmas is around the corner, Santa Claus is knocking the door and Jingle bells started ringing. This is high time for baking to flourish in full fledged. I can’t also resist my self from this feeling. For long I had a wish to make a Black Forest cake. It is a traditional German dessert known as Schwarzwälder (means Black Forest)Kirschtorte, gets the name after the place where it was originated. We are all familiar with this multilayer chocolate cake filled with whipping cream and cherries. To prepare it I choose to follow the video of “Joyofbaking.com” from youtube. In fact it is my second attempt to bake the black forest cake and both the time I got success after following her video. So without spending many words, may I suggest to go through the recipe of this mouthwatering dessert.

Black Forest Gâteau

Black Forest Gâteau

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Fig & Almond Muffins (Eggless & Butterless)

I heard quite a few times from my blogger friends on baking without butter and egg. I always wondered how can one make cakes without these two key ingredients. This time I tried to find the answer myself by baking muffins without either butter or egg. To my surprise, they turned out to be quite satisfying, still having the fluffiness like normal muffins. Must admit, missed the flavour of butter in the muffins, which otherwise were pretty good. Hope the eggless bakes would be a nice option for vegetarians or vegans who do not want to remain deprived of the baking wonders.

Fig & Almond Muffins

Fig & Almond Muffins

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Blue Cheese & Walnut Tartlets

Miniature forms of anything around us are always attractive and win one’s heart quickly. The same applies for the food and I am not an exception here. When I first came to know about the miniature form of tarts, known as ‘tartlets’, it turned me on instantly and the adoration grew over the days. Among the various types of tartlets, the fruit tartlet could be a great dessert, while the savoury ones serve the purpose of tempting snacks. In fact in one of my earlier posts, I shared with you the recipe of Cherry tomato & poppy seed tartlets. No one on earth can dislike the cheesy filling of savoury tartlets. Although different cheese can be used for the filling, as the name reveals I used blue cheese in this recipe. Make these tartlets to surprise your guests and I bet they will enjoy it and end up licking their leaps 🙂

Blue Cheese & Walnut Tartlet

Blue Cheese & Walnut Tartlet

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