Thursday, April 30, 2015

Rainbow Cake

BM # 51
Week : 5, Day : 4
Theme : Baking
Theme of the week : Decorative Cakes

The rainbow is a beautiful natural phenomenon .While Nature has created this glorious natural phenomenon; philosophers have given a meaning to its colors.

Every rainbow has seven colors beginning with red and ending with violet or purple. To remember the order of these colors, people use the acronym VIBGYOR which stands for Red, Orange, Yellow ,Green ,Blue, Indigo and Violet.

We are on the last day of this baking marathon, and for today I have a Rainbow cake.
I had seen these cakes on lot of blogs but never dared to make one. My younger daughter who is in Japan is a lot into cakes and on her trip to India she too was keen on making this cake. It was a venture where we were four of us. My daughter, my DIL, my niece and me. 
We made cake with four cups and made two small cakes.
But let's talk of one cake .

Any vanilla cake recipe with two cups.
After making the batter divide it into 7 bowls.
I had all Wilton colors so I did not have to make these shades, but in case you don't have a particular color, then refer to a shade card and mix two colors to get the right shade.
We  baked two cakes in one go, so it surely took a while to bake all seven.
Once done let cool.
Trim off the tops a bit to get rid of the brown parts of the cake, inside we have absolutely fresh colors.
Sprinkle some sugar syrup.
Going with the VIBGYOUR order place the violet cake first.
Frost it with fresh whipped cream.
Place the indigo next.
Frost it .
Complete frosting all the cakes and the last one would be the red.
Refrigerate the cake for a while so the layers stick well .
After about 15 minutes frost the sides of the cake with fresh cream.
Refrigerate again for the frosting to set.
We divided the rest of the cream into two colors, pink and light pink.
We covered the cake with rosettes of these two colors.
I would have loved to show you step by step pics for this but with so much excitement completely forgot, don't get disheartened, you could check here for step by step pics.
Yes at Gayathris blog.
This is the last post for this Mega Marathon. The month has flown by and it has been such a beautiful journey with amazing learning process. Thank you Valli !! Thank you Friends!! Come back for the regular marathons from next month onwards and don't miss our next month long marathon in September!!
and yes the recap of this Baking Marathon will be up shortly !!!

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cup Cakes

BM # 51
Week : 5 Day : 3
Theme : Baking
Theme of the week: Decorative Cakes and Cup Cakes

The Month long marathon is coming to an end and for today I shall share some decorative cup cakes .
Diwali is a very hectic time and this is the time when we have loads and loads of sweets, chocolates to distribute.
Every year we try to do something different.
This year during Diwali we decided to distribute Cup cakes instead of Chocolates or the Kaju Mithai that we normally do. We had about 200 boxes to give , but we surely had helping hands. Just before we began baking, we made sure that we made loads of flowers with sugar paste.
For the cup cakes we used a basic vanilla and chocolate recipe .
Most of the cup cakes had ganache as their topping but we did a few with ganache as well as fondant.
We decorated them with the sugar paste flowers.
Each box contained 6 cup cakes.
Here are some of the cup cakes that we did.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

M & M Gravity Defying Cake

BM # 51
Week : 5 , Day : 2
Theme : Baking
Theme of the week: Decorative Cakes

Can you believe my 7 year old granddaughter introduced me to this cake. One fine day both my grandchildren came with loads and loads of gems packets and asked me to make a cake for them . Annaya quickly showed me a video on iPad and said..this is what I want. I promised to bake the cake for kids, but you think they could wait..right now...right now is all they went on. 

In we went in the kitchen and baked a basic small chocolate cake. We filled it up with ganache and frosted it with ganache too. Now was the time to open these packets of gems . Both the kids were excited and put these in a bowl. I was shocked that they did not pick even one to pop in . I kept teasing them...why don't you guys eat, but they just shook their heads , they wanted them all on that cake.

Once the cake was frosted we used a chopstick and poured melted chocolate on it , but very gradually.
Immediately start sticking the tiny gems.
The more hands the better.
I had many many hands though I had to make sure the chocolate coated chopstick does not droop or fall.
Once the stick is artistically coated with gems one needs to cover the cake too, but just a part of it.
Now comes the last bit, where we need to put that empty pack of M&M.
Ok let me be very frank, I used gems and got just one pack of M&M , since these are expensive in India.
The M&M pack should be cut at an angle , just a little bit.
I filled in a little bit of cotton in the pack and then stuck it to the coated chopstick.
Place it in the frig for a while , so that the stick does not fall off.
All set.
Can the kids lets get going.
In minutes the little hands were picking only gems, and I kept wondering why did I bake the cake if they had just to pick gems.

So what all is required

One basic cake
Ganache to frost
One chopstick
Cooking chocolate
One empty pack of M&M
Some cotton
And a few helping hands.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Kit Kat Cake - Olaf --Frozen Theme

BM # 51
Week : 5, Day  :1
Theme : Baking
Theme of the week : Decorative Cakes

Once November ends the search for a birthday cake starts...well it's my grand daughter's birthday in November, and as soon as her birthday finishes she starts looking for a birthday cake which she wants next year. She comes up with a new one every now and then but for her last birthday she knew she wanted one with Frozen theme. I was very keen on making a treasure box for her, but it is the frozen theme that she finalized. My DIL is good with making sugar paste characters so we decided to do Olaf.

We baked two small chocolate cakes and filled them with ganache. 
Frosted it with fresh whipped cream and added a wee bit of blue to the cream.
Kids favorite kit kat surrounded the cake ,melted chocolate was used to glue the kit kat.
 Next tied  a ribbon around the cake for extra support.
We covered the cake board with a thin layer of fondant, and used sugar paste alphabets to wish the little girl.
Olaf was made with sugar paste.

The cake was an inspiration from this video.It is a quick video, but gives you the brief idea that is needed.

So what you need is..
Two cakes , flavor of your choice
Ganache for filling
Cream for frosting
Kit kat slabs
A ribbon
Some melted chocolate
Sugar paste for Olaf character.
 Food colors in blue, black and orange

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Cake Trouble shooting

BM # 51
Day : 26
Theme : Baking

While baking cakes many a times we ask ourselves....
Where did I go wrong?

Cracked surface or holes
The batter may have been over mixed.
Too much flour may have been used.
Too little baking powder or baking soda.
Oven may be very hot.

Sinked center
The batter may have been over mixed.
There may be too much fat, sugar or leavening agents.
There may not have been enough liquid.
Oven temperature may have been low.

Cake didn't rise
The batter may not have been mixed evenly.
Too much or too little fat.
Old baking powder may have been used
Not enough leavening agents.

Hard top crust
Long baking
Wrong oven temperature.
Extra sugar, baking powder or baking soda.

Cake falls apart
Too much baking powder, baking soda, sugar or fat.
Improper mixing of batter.
Low oven temperature.

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Orange and Dulce de leche Brownies

BM # 51
Week 3, Day : 6
Theme : Baking
Theme of the week: Muffins and Brownies

Since a very long time I have been wanting to make Dulce de leche. I remember Rajani making it and then my daughter, I was constantly being reminded but somehow never got down to making . The Baking marathon was my chance to work on it and I made sure that I make something interesting with it. The recipe for Dulce de leche shall follow soon, for now I have a Brownie with it.

Again I wanted to add another flavor to my chocolate brownies, and what else could I add but for orange. I added the orange cream biscuits and truly the aroma of these brownies filled the house. The only blunder I made was preheated the oven at full which made the Dulce de leche dark on top. The minute I realized I immediately tented it with a foil, so that I could save them from that ugly burnt black.

I was lucky they were saved and I have to admit these are one of the best brownies I have had till date. My daughter loved them and I was glad to pack half of these for her.

I wonder how I am going to do my bakes in daughter is shifting to Chennai and she and the kids have always appreciated and enjoyed these bakes. So many times I bake solely for her. I will really miss her , but I guess that's life.
Coming to todays recipe...

Orange and Dulce de leche Brownies

140 gms APF
115 gms butter
225 gms sugar
170 gms semi sweet chocolate
25 gms Cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
10 orange cream biscuits
3/4 cup dulce de leche
Grease a loaf tin and line it with parchment paper.
Melt the butter and add chocolate pieces.
Stir till smooth.
Let cool.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
Whisk lightly.
In another bowl whisk the curd and vanilla extract.
Add the flour gradually.
The batter will become thick.
Spread half the batter in the prepared pan.
Arrange the biscuits in a neat row.
Spread rest of the batter.
Spread the dulce de leche and swirl it with a fork.
Bake for 30 minutes.

Once again let me remind you that tomorrow is Sunday !..and I have a special post tomorrow too !!

Also linking it to Valli's Anniversary Mela

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Eggless Nutella and Coffee Brownies

BM # 51
Week 3, Day : 5
Theme : Baking, 
Theme of the week: Muffins and Brownies

I love Nutella, it is a form of chocolate right so no reason not to like. The only hitch is I do not eat it, keep it in a shelf away from my eyes, and remove it only when the grand kids come in. I simply love the flavor and texture of this spread and thought of brownies with them. The coffee enhances the flavor, but don't use a very strong one.let it not dominate . Walnuts definitely taste good but if you want to skip them, no issues. To give these a different look I baked these in a terrine mould and cut slices.

Nutella and Coffee Brownies 
3/4 cup Nutella
1 cup oats, grind to a coarse powder
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp instant coffee
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup eyogurt
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
3 tbsp sugar
Vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
In a mixing bowl combine oats, cocoa powder, coffee powder and baking powder.
Mix well.
Melt the Nutella in a microwave or on a double boiler.
Mix Nutella ,yogurt, oil, milk, sugar and vanilla extract.
Slowly mix the dry and wet ingredients.
Add chopped walnuts .
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 deg for about 20 minutes or till done.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Eggless Oreo Cookie Brownies

BM # 51
Week 4 , Day : 4
Theme : Baking
Theme of the week: Muffins and Brownies

For Day 4 this week, I made these Brownies with kids favorite Oreo .These are the brownies which fascinated me a lot and I craved to bake them. To be frank these were baked about a year back with Nandini giving me the recipe.I wonder how they hid in my camera. 

Anyway these brownies taste awesome, very crunchy and moist at the same time. The Oreo cookie gives it a wonderful color, besides the super delicious taste.

Oreo Cookie Brownies
Cookie Dough
Layer 1
175 gms APF
1 tsp baking powder
125 gms butter
85 gms brown sugar
55 gms castor sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp flax seed powder + 3 tbsp water
1/4 cup chocolate chips
Place all ingredients for the cookie dough in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.

10 Oreo Cookies

Brownie Batter
Layer 2
50 gms butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp flax seed powder + 2tbsp water
1/3 cup buttermilk +1 tbsp
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup APF
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa
Pour all the ingredients into a bowl in the same order as listed.
Beat till well-blended.

Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
Spread the cookie dough in a greased pan.
Arrange a layer of Oreo cookies.
Pour the brownie batter.
Bake at 180 for about 30 -35 minutes.
Let cool , before removing from pan.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Eggless Chocolate Brownie Muffin

BM # 51
Week : 4, Day : 3
Theme : Baking
Theme of the week: Muffins and Brownies

These brownie muffins are a recipe from the treasure of Tarla Dalal. While going through one of her magazines I spotted these and found the recipe quite interesting. It is a fusion of brownie and muffin. This was one brownie muffin which was loved by my daughter a lot , though I found it a little buttery but could not resist had an amazing taste.

Chocolate Brownie Muffins
1 1/2 cups (200 grams) chopped dark chcolate
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup condensed milk
3/4 cup APF
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla essence
Butter for greasing
Melt the chocolate and butter with 2 tablespoons of water over gentle heat and mix well so that no lumps remain.
Remove from the fire, add the condensed milk and mix well. Cool to room temperature.
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, walnuts and vanilla essence and mix gently.
Spoon 2 tablespoons of the mixture into 8 greased and dusted muffin moulds.
I baked them in these takeaway containers.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°c (360°f) for 20 to 25 minutes or until a knife or skewer inserted into the brownie comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack and unmould each muffin.
Serve warm.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Eggless Lemon Bluberry Muffins

BM # 51
Week : 4 Day : 2
Theme : Baking
Theme of the week: Muffins and Brownies

Next in the muffin series is Lemon and Blueberry muffins. The recipe is from a very old book which has vegan recipes. It called for fresh berries, but since it's difficult to get these I used dried ones. Unfortunately I did not have the amount required , so I used what I had. I understand that the fresh ones would have given a much better taste to the muffins, but all the same the combo of lemon and blueberry is one universal one and tastes real good.

I served these with some sugar glazing, as I had cut down the sugar ,realizing later that they need to be more sweet .

Lemon and Blueberry muffins
2 cups whole wheat flour
11/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Zest of 2 lemons
3/4- 1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tbsp white distilled vinegar
1 cup blue berries
Pre heat oven to 180 deg.
Grease the muffin moulds.
In a bowl, mix flour,baking soda, salt and lemon zest.
In another bowl combine sugar, milk, oil , lemon extract and vinegar.
Mix well.
Add the flour mix to it , mix well till well blended.
Mix in the blue berries.
Fill in the greased moulds, just about two thirds.
Bake for about 20 minutes or till done.
After removing let stand for 5 minutes.
De mould.

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