Vanilla Chocolate-Chip Cupcakes

This was the first time I experimented with cupcakes. Call it beginner’s luck or blame it on the simple recipe, but they were awesome. One of my friends had shared it with me ages ago. All I needed were the cases, which I now finally have 😛 . Believe me you, they were shamelessly easy, menacingly gorgeous and outrageously flavorful. Flew off the plate within seconds.
Vanilla cupcakes
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 15 – 20 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:
125 g self-raising flour
125 g caster sugar
125 g soft unsalted butter
2 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsps milk
Chocolate chips to sprinkle

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 200C and line the tin with muffin cases
2. If you have a food processor, you can just tip in all the ingredients and blitz them all together till smooth. Later add milk to get a dropping consistency.
3. Second option is – in a bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Then spoon in the flour little at a time and fold.
4. Then add the vanilla extract and fold in the rest of the flour, adding the milk to get the dropping consistency as before.
5. Spoon the mixture in the 12 cases, trying to fill each case equally with your own judgement.
6. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the surface of the batter.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until these little cuties are cooked and golden on top.
8. When done, take the cases out and leave them on a wire rack to cool

P.S.: If you have a bigger crowd to serve, double the quantity of each ingredient.
I slipped a piece of dark chocolate in the center of the mixture before baking. So the end result was a molten chocolate lava in every bite.
Also, I sprinkled choco chips on the top. You can play around with colorful icing.

Whether it’s about glorifying your party or a humble companion to coffee, these little beauties are sure to get your taste-buds sing a happy tune 🙂

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Vanilla Strawberry Marble Cake In Cooker

“What” and “If” are two simple words which when put together can have an immensely powerful impact. “What if…”
I used to be petrified with the slightest thought of baking in a pressure cooker. What if the cooker bursts!!! I’d witnessed this horrifying incident with my aunt when I was a little kid. The cooker went woossshh and off went the rice flying to the roof leaving her burnt and my mind, bruised for life. Until last week when I finally decided to kill this fear.
I said to myself what if it doesn’t. What if I bake a real good cake. And so I did.
A simple Strawberry – Vanilla sponge was great to start off with. Doesn’t that look yummm…
Cooker Cake 2
Get Prepared With Your Cooker:
1. Use a cooker with a wider circumference and capacity of 3 – 5 litres, right enough to fit a 21 cm round bottom cake tin. Its advisable to use an aluminium cooker than a non-stick one.
2. Remove the gasket (The rubber ring inside of the cover) *****
3. Take the whistle off *****
4. Place a utensil stand inside the cooker. A stand with holes does a great job in distributing the heat evenly. Else, use a thick plate or a griddle. Intention is not to let the base of the cake tin touch the base of the cooker. It also acts as insulator and prevents the cake from burning *****
5. Do not pour water *****
We want to bake the cake and not steam it. There has to be an oven-like environment, which is why no water.
6. The cooker has to be pre-heated, the way we pre-heat the oven.
7. Close the lid and place the cooker (without gasket, without whistle, without water) first on high heat for 3 minutes and then on low for 2 minutes.

Get Prepared With Your Tin:
1. Line the inner side of the tin with butter and baking parchment.
2. When the baking parchment is in place, rub butter all over it and dust with flour.

Ingredients:
150 gms butter, plus extra for greasing
150 gms sugar
150 gms flour, plus extra for dusting
3 free range eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp strawberry essence
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsps milk
Colour – 3-4 drops (or as required)

Method:
1. Sift the flour and baking powder.
2. Cream the butter and sugar for one minute or till light and fluffy
3. Add eggs one by one, add essence and keep beating.
4. Fold in the flour and baking powder.
5. Add milk and beat till there are no lumps.
6. Divide the mixture in two halves.
7. Add colour in one of the halves and mix.
8. Spoon the mixture inside the prepared tin, alternating the vanilla and strawberry.
9. Take a toothpick and drawn a zig-zag pattern over the surface to create a marble effect.
Alternatively, you can pour the strawberry mixture above the vanilla or vice-versa.
10. Pat the tin to remove any extra air bubbles.
11. Gently place the tin over the stand in the cooker and close the lid. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes.
12. Do the fork test, first at the sides, then at the centre. It should come out clean when done.
13. Transfer it to the wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.

Points To Remember:
1. ***** is really really important.
2. Its advisable to use a regular aluminium cooker than a non-stick one.
3. Baking more than once a month in a pressure cooker is not recommended. Regular use might lead to deterioration.
4. Works well with tutti-frutti cake and chocolate sponge.
Cooker Cake 1

P.S.: Looks stunning, doesn’t it! On the other side of fear is victory. Well, in my case, it was this incredibly gorgeous, buttery-soft delight.
Its all about having the guts to create something really special. So go on. Kill your fear. And get coo-king 🙂

Chocolate Cake Layered With Whipped Cream And Truffle Icing

There’s nothing more rewarding than the faces beaming with smiles, sparkling eyes and dropping jaws after I open up the pack and unleash my creation. This one was for my gorgeous little niece, Susanna’s 4th birthday.
Pardon me with that decoration. I know its a little amateurish 😛
My affair with chocolate is world known by now. It has a huge fan-following in our family too.
So this time I thought of going simple with the cake and festooning it with the satiny layers of Whipped Cream and finger-licking Truffle Icing.

Layered Chocolate Cake

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Baking time: 50 minutes to an hour
Serves: 12-14

Ingredients:

For Cake:
240 g butter
250 g caster sugar
180 g plain flour
40 g cocoa powder
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

For Layers:
250 ml whipped cream

For Icing:
200 g dark chocolate
150 ml fresh cream

Method:
1.  Preheat the oven to 160C. Butter and dust the sides of a 8 inches or 21cm cake tin and keep aside.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.
3. Cream the butter and sugar with electric beater.
4. While beating, add eggs one by one and continue beating till fluffy .
5. Now add the dry sifted ingredients and fold.
6. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin.
8. Bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
For Icing:
9. In a bowl, break the chocolate into small pieces. This expedites the melting process.
10. In a separate bowl, heat the fresh cream till it comes to boil.
11. Now pour the hot cream over chocolate and swirl the bowl letting the chocolate melt on its own.
12. Add little butter for that extra glaze and stir lightly.

Decoration:
1. Slice the cake in 2 or 3 layers as per your wish.
2. Dollop the whipped cream over the last layer and spread evenly.
3. Repeat the process for the balance layers alternating with cake and cream.
4. Cover the layers with the balance cream and spread evenly all over.
5. Now pour the truffle icing over the cake and let it drizzle from the sides.

P.S.: In between the layers, sprinkle some choco chips / spread little blueberry or strawberry crush to up the ante.
You can also add the choco chips in the cake mix before leaving it to bake.

This one’s a marriage-made-in-heaven of flavor and texture. Try it. Your guys gonna get swooning over you. I promise 🙂

Chocolate Fudge Cake

My age-long affair with anything chocolate continues with this deep, dense and dark marvel. There’s really nothing fussy about this cake. But the end result is sure to amaze you and all.
Chocolate Fudge Cake
Preparation time: 20-25 minutes
Baking time: 50 minutes to an hour
Serves: 8 – 10

Ingredients:
For Cake:
225 g dark chocolate, in drops or broken into pieces
225 g butter, plus extra for greasing
325 g caster sugar
6 eggs, separated
200 g ground almonds
75 g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
Salt, a pinch

For Icing:
275 g icing sugar
100 g cocoa powder
125 g butter
175 g caster sugar
100 ml water

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Butter the sides of a 25cm spring-form or loose-bottomed cake tin with 6cm sides and line the base with a disc of baking parchment. If you’re using a spring-form tin, make sure the base is upside down, so there’s no lip and the cake can slide off easily when cooked.
2. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Leave just until melted, stirring occasionally, then set aside. With the help of wooden spoon or electric mixer using the paddle beater, cream the butter until soft.
3. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well between each addition. Mix in the ground almonds and the melted chocolate, followed by the flour, baking powder and vanilla extract. Be gentle, do not over-beat.
4. Tip the egg whites into a separate bowl, add a pinch of salt, and beat until stiff but still smooth in appearance – Again, do not over-beat. Fold the egg whites into the cake mixture and then pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
5. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean but moist. Let it stay in the tin for 20 minutes. Then loosen the edges of the cake using a small, sharp knife and remove the sides of the tin before carefully transferring to a serving plate to cool down fully.
For the icing:
6. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl. Place the butter, caster sugar and water in a saucepan and set over a medium heat.
7. Stir all the ingredients together until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved, then pour into the dry ingredients and mix together well.
8. When the cake has cooled, pour over the icing, allowing it to drizzle down the sides.

This cake is sheer indulgence on a plate! Cheating on calories is forgiven coz you are sure to go in for seconds or may be even thirds 🙂

Supersonic Butter Cake

Supersonic? Coz its the easiest, simplest and the fastest cake that’s made with least possible ingredients and labor. With its buttery yumminess and soft sponge, it makes a fabulous companion for tea and coffee.
Believe me, this one’s for the laziest bakers in the world 🙂
Supersonic Butter Cake

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 8 – 10

Ingredients:

  • 225g – plain flour, sifted
  • 225g – caster sugar
  • 225g – butter, softened. Plus extra for greasing
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 egg yolk for glazing

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease a 25 cm cake tin with butter and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. Whisk the egg yolk with 2 teaspoons of water for the glaze and set aside.
  3. Either in a large bowl using a wooden spoon or in an electric food mixer using the paddle beater, mix together the flour and sugar completely. Then add the butter and egg yolks and beat together until the mixture resembles a stiff dough.
  4. Press into the prepared tin, and flatten with a spatula. Brush with the glaze, then decorate by drawing a fork or rear-end of the toothpick across the cake in a crisscross pattern of lines.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until it is a deep golden colour and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then loosen the edges using a small, sharp knife and carefully remove the cake from the tin before placing on a wire rack to cool down completely.
    Supersonic Butter cake slice

So go on, ring your folks. With this cake, the coffee is bound to flow… and so are the conversations…

Quadruple Layered Chocolate Mousse Cake

I’d run into this recipe in one of the cookbooks long time ago and have been waiting for an occasion ever since.
Christmas and my brother-in-law’s birthday…a double bonanza occasion for baking 🙂
Delicious, satiny, finger-licking mousse sandwiched between four layers of soft chocolatey sponge…this cake’s truely a work of art 🙂

Layered Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

For Cake:
100 g butter, plus extra for greasing
8 eggs
300 g caster sugar
200 g plain flour
75 g cocoa powder
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

For Mousse:
275 g dark chocolate
6 eggs (Yolks and whites separated)
175 g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

For the Cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Butter the sides of two 22cm cake tins with 6cm sides and dust with flour, then line the base of each tin with a disc of baking parchment.

2. Melt the butter and set aside for 5-10 minutes to cool until tepid. Place the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and using an electric whisk, whisk for 6-8 minutes or until the mixture is light and thick.

3. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and fold in gently but thoroughly, then pour in the vanilla extract and the melted butter and fold in again.

4. Quickly divide the batter between the prepared cake tins before it has a chance to lose any volume, then bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the mixture springs back when lightly pressed with a finger and a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean.

5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then loosen around the edges of each tin using a small, sharp knife and carefully remove the cake before transferring to a wire rack to cool down completely.

For the Mousse:
1. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water. Leave just until melted, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, then beat in the butter and vanilla extract and keep beating until smooth.

2. Set aside to cool while you whisk the egg whites. In a spotlessly clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold in a quarter of the chocolate mixture, then carefully fold in the rest just until mixed. Set aside and leave to cool at room temperature – not in the fridge, otherwise the mousse will harden and become difficult to spread.

3. To assemble the cake, first use a bread knife to carefully slice each cake in half horizontally. Place the bottom half of one of the cakes, cut side up, on a plate or cake stand. Spread over some of the mousse in a thick layer, then sandwich with the other half of the cake, placing it cut side down.

4. Spread over more of the mousse, just as thickly, then sandwich with the bottom half of the second cake, cut side up. Repeat for the next layer until you have four layers of cake sandwiched together with three layers of mousse. Cover the top and sides of the assembled cake with the remaining mousse, smoothing it over with a palette knife.

Compliments of the season…and happy baking 🙂

Black Beauty Chocolate Cake

I have made this cake at least half a dozen times and each time it has left all of us craving for more…all thanks to Nigella for her fabulous recipe. This undeniably is a red-carpet cake. With its deep black colour and velvetty texture, it almost melts in your mouth. Its my all-time companion – for celebrations, tea-time or mainly as a stress-buster. And its incredibly easy to make.

chocooliveoilcake
Ingredients:

  • 150ml regular olive oil, plus extra for greasing (I have also tried with virgin olive oil and its equally delicious)
  • 50g – cocoa powder, sifted
  • 125ml – boiling water (adding a little coffee to it enhances the flavour)
  • 2 tsp – vanilla extract
  • 150g ground almonds or 125g plain flour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 200g caster sugar (I always replace 50 gms of it with brown sugar)
  • 3 free-range eggs

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/325ºF. Grease a 22 or 23 cm/ 9inch springform tin with a little oil and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. Measure and sift the cocoa powder into a bowl or jug and whisk in the boiling water until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny (but only just) paste. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool a little.
  3. In another smallish bowl, combine the ground almonds (or flour) with the bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt.
  4. Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl. With an electric beater, beat together vigorously for about 3 minutes until you have a pale-primrose, aerated and thickened cream.
  5. Turn the speed down a little and pour in the cocoa mixture and continue beating. When all is scraped in, you can slowly add the ground almond (or flour) mixture.
  6. Stir the mixture a bit with a spatula to bring it all together, but don’t over beat it. Then pour this dark, liquid batter into the prepared tin.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre, on top, still looks slightly damp. A cake tester should come up mainly clean but with a few sticky chocolate crumbs clinging to it.
  8. Let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, still in its tin, and then ease the sides of the cake with a small metal spatula and spring it out of the tin.

P.S.: This cake can also be devoured warm with some ice cream, as a pudding.

Get baking ! 🙂