Happiest 3rd b'day to my Naughty Gal!!


My little girl turned 3 today!!! I just can't believe it.... *phew*.... Where is time flying to!! My search for her cake started few months back. I wanted to bake something special for her. I had a few criteria in my mind. I needed a strawberry cake (my gal's favorite fruit); a pink cake (her favorite color) and a 3 layer cake (as it was her 3rd b'day). My search landed up me in Sweetapolita.... I usually go for cakes that pleases my eyes...... And every cake in Sweetapolita pleased my eyes.... *winks*...... Next, I checked out the ingredients of each cake and finally landed upon the Neapolitan Cake..... It had everything that I was looking for - a strawberry cake (for the b'day girl), a chocolate cake (for the son and hubby), a vanilla cake (for the blogger) and of course it's a 3 layer cake......


However, I followed the recipe on Annie's Eats. So, to get the full recipe hop on to her Neapolitan Cake.


The frosting used is Swiss Meringue Strawberry Buttercream from Sweetapolita.



My 3 days of work, calculations, re-works, texting my friend in Dubai for tips, skipping out my regular activities, everything was paid off when I got what I wanted!!! In fact my daughter wanted to cut it the minute I finished the frosting, but somehow I managed to divert her attention....Kids!!



 

Happy B'day to JJ....

Yes! It's that month when I have two most important people celebrating their birthdays on two consecutive days...I have my better-half celebrating his birthday today..... And this is the first time I am actually doing something on his birthday since I usually concentrated more on the next one..... So, I wanted to make him something special this year, (not the usual cake) and I landed upon one of the most creamylicious, yummylicious dessert-The Tiramisu-one of his favorite too!!! 


Now, I have made a Tiramisu and a Tiramisu Cake some time back with sponge cakes but this is the first with Savoiardi...... Moreover, I needed a twist in the dessert, something different from the usual!! And so, I decided to make the Irish Cream Tiramisu by Nigella (one of my favorite baker)..... Nigella has never failed me when it comes to baking...... I tried her Devil's Food Cake last year (same day) and it was simply superb!



Irish Cream Tiramisu

Ingredients:
Recipe Source: Nigella 

Instant espresso powder - 9 tsps (dissolved in 350 ml of cool water)
Baileys - 250 ml
Savoiardi Biscuits - 400g
Eggs, large - 2
Caster Sugar - 75 g
Mascarpone Cheese - 500g
Cocoa powder - 2 1/2 tsp

Method:
  • Mix coffee with 175 ml of Baileys in a bowl. Dip the savoiardi into this liquid. Let them soak on each side enough to become damp but not soggy.
  • Line the bottom of a glass dish with a layer of the dipped biscuits.
  • Separate the eggs and keep only one of the whites.
  • Whisk the two yolks and sugar together until thick and a paler yellow. Fold in the remaining 75 ml of Baileys.
  • Add mascarpone cheese to make a moussy mixture.
  • Whisk the single egg white until thick and frothy. Fold the egg white into the mascarpone cheese mixture.
  • Spread half of this mixture on top of the layer of biscuits.
  • Repeat with another layer of soaked Savoiardi and then top with the remaining mascarpone mixture.
  • Cover the dish with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.
  • When ready to serve, dust cocoa powder on the top of the tiramisu with the help of a tea strainer.


We don't get Bailey's Irish Cream here, haven't seen anywhere...... But I didn't want that factor to hold me back from making the tiramisu...So, I googled and found out from the Brown Eyed Baker as to how to make a homemade Irish Cream!! Again, the recipe uses Irish Whisky which is not found in my place.... So, I substituted with another brand!!! 

Homemade Irish Cream

Ingredients:
Recipe Source: Brown Eyed Baker

Irish whisky - 2 cups
Light/Heavy cream - 1 cup
Condensed Milk - 1 can
Chocolate Syrup - 2 tbsps
Vanilla extract - 2 tsp
Instant coffee - 1 tsp

Method:
  • Combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree on high speed for 30 seconds.
  • Transfer mixture to an airtight container and store in the fridge.
  • Shake well before using.
Sadly, I forgot to click a picture of the Irish cream. Maybe, next time!




 

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies



It's been ages since I have baked a cookie!! The last I had baked were the Chocolate cookies. So, decided to bake one. The original recipe adds chopped walnuts in the cookie..... Since we are not walnut lovers, I decided to skip that part....




Ingredients:
Recipe Adapted from: Chocolate by Parragon Books

Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup
Light brown sugar - 1/2 cup, generous
Castor sugar/Granulated sugar - 1/2 cup, scant
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Instant coffee granules - 1 tbsp, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
Egg - 1
All- purpose flour - 1 1/2 cups
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
White chocolate chips - 1/2 cup, scant

Method:
  • Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease the cookie sheets.
  • Put the butter, light brown sugar and castor sugar in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Then add the vanilla extract, coffee and egg one by one and beat until fluffy.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda into the mixture and fold in carefully.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Spoon heaping teaspoonfuls of the cookie dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, allowing room for the cookies to spread.
  • Bake for 10-15 mins, until crisp on the outside but still soft inside.
  • Let cool on the cookie sheets for some time and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.




 

Peanut Butter Milkshake



A rich and filling milkshake, which can be enjoyed once in a while. To make it more nutritious, I added a teaspoon of flax seed. And if you want to indulge, then add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or cream.

Ingredients:
Recipe Source: My own

Milk, chilled - 1 1/2 cups
Peanut butter - 1 -2 tbsp
Banana - 1
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Flax seed - 1 tsp

Method:
  • Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  • Serve the milkshake either chilled or with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or a dollop of cream.


Notes:
  • Though flax seeds have a sharp taste, adding them makes it more nutritious. So, this is completely optional depending on your taste buds.


 

Zebra Cake

Wishing All My Readers All Around The World
 "Eid Mubarak"


For the past few days my kids were constantly demanding for a cake and I was like "Now, which cake?". My son reminded me of the Zebra Cake which he had seen on a blog few weeks back while I was noting it down on my recipe book. So, off goes mamma bear to bake the cake for her little bears and papa bear ...*smiles*...


 Ingredients:
Recipe Source: AZ Cookbook

Eggs - 3 @ room temperature
Granulated sugar - 250g
Milk @ room temp - 250ml
Oil - 250 ml
All purpose flour - 300g
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp
Baking powder - 1 tbsp
Dark cocoa powder - 2 tbsp


Method:
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Using a hand mixer, beat until the mixture is creamy and light in color.
  • Add milk, vanilla essence and oil and continue beating until well blended.
  • In a separate bowl, combine and mix flour and baking powder.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredient and beat until the batter is smooth and the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
  • The batter should be neither thick or thin. If the mixture is too thin, add a little more flour.
  • Divide the mixture into 2 equal parts. Keep one portion plain.
  • Add cocoa powder into another and mix well.
  • Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • Lightly grease the cake tin with oil and line it with parchment paper.
  • For assembling the cake, pour the batter into the cake pan; scoop 3 heaped tbsps of the plain batter into the middle of the cake tin. Then scoop 3 tbsps of cocoa batter and pour it in the centre on top of the plain batter.
  • Do not stop and wait until the previous batter spreads. Keep going. Do not spread the batter or tilt the pan to distribute the mixture. It will spread by itself and fill the pan gradually. Continue alternating the batters until everything is finished.
  • Bake in the oven for about 40-45 mins. Insert a toothpick in the centre to see if the cake is baked.
  • Remove from oven and immediately run a knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake and invert onto a cooling rack. Cool completely and serve. 

My patterns haven't come out well though!! From this I have come to a conclusion that pattern cakes and I never go hand-in-hand...*winks*......