Chocolate Caramel Cake


I had a container full of caramel left in the fridge from my previous caramel cake. I didn't know what to do with and didn't want to repeat the same caramel cake over again...That's when I saw the recipe for chocolate caramel cake on Nigella Lawson's site. And, voila here goes my version of the Chocolate Caramel Cake!!I have tweaked the original recipe here and there....


Ingredients:
Recipe Source: Nigella Lawson

Instant Coffee - 2 tsp
Cocoa - 2 tbsp
Boiling water - 2 tbsp
Butter, softened - 175 gms
Caster sugar - 175 gms
Eggs - 2, medium
Caramel syrup - 200 gms
Self-raising flour - 200 gms
Milk - 4 tbsp



Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Butter a cake tin. Mix the coffee and cocoa in a cup, add the hot water and mix to a paste.
  • Put the butter, sugar, eggs, syrup, flour, milk and cocoa paste into a bowl and beat until smooth. 
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top springs back when you press it lightly.
  • Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, and leave to cool. 

The cake tasted bitter-sweet and quite sticky too. Nevertheless, I was surprised as it was liked by everybody at home, even with it's bitter-sweet taste.




 

Mochaccino Brownies

I love anything that has coffee. Be it cakes, brownies, desserts anything under the sun that has coffee, I simply devour it! And, it's been quite some time since I've made anything with coffee... Found this brownie recipe in one of the books I have and sounded quite interesting!!! 

A Mochaccino Brownie, heard about it?? Me, no way!!Haven't come across any mochaccino brownies in my place!! A mochaccino is simply a cappuccino added with chocolate syrup... And the mochaccino brownies are rich, dense and moist chocolate brownies infused with rich espresso coffee flavour.


























Ingredients:
Recipe Adapted from: Coffee by Parragon Books

Unsalted butter- 115g
Plain chocolate - 115g
Espresso strong black coffee - 2 tbsp
Caster sugar - 250g
Cinnamon, ground - 1/4 tsp
Plain flour - 85g

Method:
  • Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease and line a square baking pan.
  • Place the butter, chocolate and coffee in a medium sized saucepan over a low heat and stir until just melted and smooth. Cool slightly.
  • Whisk in the sugar, cinnamon and eggs. Beat in the flour. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
  • Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until just firm but still moist inside. Cool in the pan and then cut into squares or bars.

You could add walnuts and chocolate chips, but I didn't as we are not walnut lovers and I was running out of chocolate chips. Also, you could serve the brownies with some white mocha sauce poured on the top, but again we love to have our brownies with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup, so skipped that part too! *smiles*




 

Caramel Cake


This time, I am deeply smitten with the vacation bug, and I still haven't recovered from it yet. A trip to The Capital was the main highlight of this year's vacation and we especially my kids thoroughly enjoyed it. It was their many firsts--first looong trip in the train (48 hrs), first trip to the North, first long trip with their grandparents and so on.....So you could imagine their excitement!!


Meanwhile, many special days like the Mother's day and Father's Day have come and gone, but I was never in a mood to at least make an effort to bake something for those special days.....Anyways, let me hope this Caramel Cake would compensate for all those lazy bygone days.....


Once again, when I have to make a come back, I normally depend on the Fondbites, Bake Along Recipes and this time too, didn't alter that routine!! No more blabbing, off to the recipe for the Caramel Cake (Fondbites, Bake Along # 18).


Ingredients:

For the Cake
Unsalted butter - 150 gm @ room temperature
Sugar - 1 1/4 cups
Salt - 1 tsp
Caramel syrup - 1/3 cup
Eggs - 2 @ room temperature
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
All purpose flour - 2 cups
Ground cardamom - 1 tsp
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Milk - 1 cup @ room temperature

For the Caramel Syrup
Sugar - 2 cups
Water - 1/2 cup
Cold water to stop crystallization - 1 cup


Method:
  • Prepare the caramel syrup in the usual way and keep aside to cool.
  • Preheat oven to 160 C and line a cake pan with paper and butter it.
  • Sift together the flour, cardamom powder, salt and baking powder and set aside.
  • Add butter into a bowl and whip it with a beater until fluffy. 
  • Add sugar and beat on medium-high speed for 5 minutes until the mixture is light and creamy.
  • Add eggs one by one and beat well after each addition.
  • Add vanilla essence and beat again until well incorporated.
  • Next, add the cooled caramel syrup and beat well.
  • Add the sifted flour mixture and milk alternating both and beating until just incorporated after each addition. Do not overbeat.
  • Pour into the cake pan and tap to release the air.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

I would suggest you to wait patiently for 24 hrs before digging into it, so that the flavours would mature and you could finish it off in single day......




 

Chocolate Madeira Cake


This cake was baked a month back for my cousin on her birthday.....Somehow it got lost in the drafts....She wanted a chocolate cake and I needed something less fussy and easy to bake. I had bookmarked this madeira cake long back and finally got a chance to bake it.


Ingredients:
Recipe Source: Chocolate by Parragon Books

For Cake:
Oil - 1 tsp, for oiling
Self-rising flour - 1/2 cup
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Unsalted butter - 1/2 cup, softened
Superfine sugar - 1/2 cup
Eggs - 3, beaten
Ground almonds - 1/4 cup
Drinking chocolate powder - 1 cup

For frosting:
Confectioner's sugar - 2 cups
Unsweetened cocoa - 1 1/2 tbsp
Unsalted butter - 2 tbsp
Hot water - 3-4 tbsp


Method:
  • Preheat oven to 180 C. Lightly oil and line a cake tin with butter paper.
  • Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.
  • Cream the butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Then gradually beat in the eggs, adding a little of the flour after each addition.
  • When all the eggs have been added, stir in the remaining flour together with the ground almonds.
  • Sift the drinking chocolate powder into the mixture and stir lightly.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until the skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool before removing from the tin and discarding the butter paper. Leave until cooled.
  • For the frosting, sift the confectioner's sugar and unsweetened cocoa together into a mixing bowl and make a hollow in the centre.
  • Place the butter in the centre. Mix with sufficient hot water to form a smooth spreadable frosting.
  • Coat the top and sides of the cake with the frosting.




 

Cream Cheese Pound Cake


This Oven Cold Cream Cheese Pound Cake was Bake Along #11. And this had a speciality too!! You needn't preheat your oven like you do when baking normally. Just cream and mix the ingredients and pop it into your oven....simple! 


A pound cake is a type of cake traditionally baked with a pound of four main ingredients: flour, butter, eggs and sugar. You could add different flavours or dried fruits for a variation. In this pound cake, I added cream cheese too and guess what I got-- an utterly delicious and yummy yummy cake!!


Ingredients:
Cake flour- 115 gms
Butter - 115 gms, softened
Cream Cheese - 115 gms, softened
Eggs- 3
Baking powder - 3/4 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 1 cup
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp


Method:
  • NO PREHEATING the oven!! 
  • Butter and flour a loaf pan and line the bottom with butter paper.
  • Place softened butter and cream cheese in a bowl and beat using an electric beater until soft and mixed well.
  • Add sugar and then eat for about 5 minutes on medium high speed until pale and creamy.
  • Add the eggs one by one and beat well for about a minute, after each addition.
  • Add the vanilla essence and beat well until combined. 
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.
  • Add the flour mixture into the batter and beat for about 30 seconds until the flour is fully incorporated into the batter.
  • Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  • Bake in a COLD OVEN at 160C for about 60-65 mins or until the top is golden brown and a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.


We, at home, loved this pound cake even though it was heavy!! So, I intend to bake it as often as I can... *winks*.....




 

Empanadas


Last week's Bake Along #67 was Empanadas. These were the most delicious ones I have ever baked among the savoury bakes... Empanadas have a melt in mouth buttery tart base and the fillings can be made depending on one's taste. The original Empanadas have cheese added to the filling, but I skipped, not that we don't like cheese...I actually forgot that part!! *winks*



Ingredients:

For the Crust:
Butter - 75 gms, cold
All-purpose flour - 1 1/2 cups
Water - 4 tablespoons
Salt - 1/4 tsp

For the Filling:
Potato - 3 (boiled and mashed)
Frozen green peas and corn -  1/2 cups
Tofu - 200 gms
Onion - 1, finely chopped
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 3 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Milk - for milk wash


Method:
  • Preheat oven to 180 C. Line up a baking tray with butter paper. 
  • Grate cold butter into a bowl. Add flour, salt and water into it.
  • Use your fingertips to combine the butter and flour thoroughly. Do not knead. Once the butter has been incorporated completely, knead very briefly by adding a tablespoon of water at a time to make a soft dough. Do not over knead.
  • Pressure cook the potatoes, green peas and corn. Keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds. Add chopped onions and saute until they are light brown in colour.
  • Add garam masala powder, turmeric, salt and red chilli powder. 
  • Add the boiled corn and green peas and saute.
  • Now, add the crumbled tofu and combine everything and cook.
  • Add mashed potatoes and mix everything until they are blended well with the masala mixture.
  • Allow the mixture to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, roll out the dough to 1/2 cm thickness. Dust flour if it is sticky.
  • Using a round cutter of any size, cut out dough into circles. 
  • Add filling into each cut out dough. You could top it with grated cheddar cheese, but I skipped this part.
  • Fold each of them and seal well using a fork.
  • Arrange them on the baking tray space just an inch apart. Milk wash and bake for about 20-30 minutes at 180 C, until the top becomes golden brown.

And then, simply indulge!!




 

Karachi Biscuits


The Fondbites Bake Along # 59 was Karachi Biscuits, which were new to me.... However, Mr. Hubby said it was famous in Hyderabad and every bakeries sold these biscuits.... Anyways, I gave it a try with few changes in the original ingredients.....


Now, on to my tweaked recipe:


Ingredients:
Recipe Source: Fondbites
  • Butter – 350 gms, softened
  • Icing sugar – 1 1/2 cups
  • All purpose flour – 3 cups
  • Baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Orange zest – grated from 1 whole orange
  • Fresh orange juice – 1/4 cup
  • Pure vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Tutti Fruiti – 100 gms, orange coloured
  • Almonds – 1 cup, finely chopped

Method:
  • Whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, zest of orange in a big bowl.
  • Add tutti fruiti and chopped almonds and mix well using your hands until the flour mixture coats the tutti fruiti well. Keep aside.
  • Add butter into the bowl of your electric beater and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes until it becomes light and fluffy.
  • Add icing sugar to the butter.
  • Beat on medium high speed for 5 minutes until the mixture becomes creamy, light and fluffy.
  • Add pure vanilla extract and orange juice into the mixture and beat for about a minute on medium speed just until combined.
  • Add the flour mixture all at once and beat on slow speed until the flour has been incorporated. Do not over beat.
  • It is a soft and creamy dough.
  • Transfer the dough onto a cling wrap paper and wrap it completely and freeze it for 2 hours or even over night to completely firm up.
  • Shape the dough into a log which is approximately a cuboid so when you cut them down you will have square shaped cookies.
  • Pre-heat oven to 180 degree C. Line up your baking tray with butter paper. Cut the log using a sharp knife that is 1 cm thick each.
  • Carefully transfer them onto your prepared baking tray. Space them one inches apart.
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes until the bottom edges are light brown and the top is golden brown. Cool on wire rack to come down to room temperature. 





 

Black Forest Buns


Aparna chose the Black Forest Buns for the February month's We Knead to Bake #25, as a Valentine's day special. Whereas, the Black Forest cake is made with chocolate cake, cherry compote and kirsch and lots of cream; these Black Forest Buns are filled with chocolate sponge cake and cherry compote or jam.


These buns were new to me, since I haven't heard of them nor seen it sold in any bakeries.... And so was eager to bake and taste them and viola! it tasted yummy... It's a perfect snack for kids, you could use their favorite jam instead of the cherry compote. 


Now, on to Aparna's recipe:


Black Forest Buns

Ingredients:

For the Dough:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
50 gm butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg (at room temperature, optional)
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
3 to 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling:
3/4 cup cherry/ strawberry jam or compote
2 1/2 to 3 cups crumbled chocolate sponge cake

For drizzling:
1/2 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate


Method:
  • Pour the water and milk in a saucepan, and heat on the stove till quite hot but not boiling. Pour this liquid into a large bowl and add the butter. Stir till the butter is melted. Then add in the sugar and stir till the sugar dissolves. Let this mixture cool down till it is lukewarm, so that the yeast will proof. If it is too hot, it will kill the yeast and curdle the egg.
  • You may knead the dough by hand or in the processor. Pour the lukewarm mixture into the processor bowl (if using) and add the yeast and the egg. Pulse a couple of times to mix well. Then add about 1 cup of the flour and mix well. Add the salt and more flour, as much as is necessary, and knead the dough until it is smooth, elastic but not sticky.
  • Add in the salt and some more flour and mix. Once the mixture becomes difficult to mix, turn it out onto your work surface. Add more flour and continue to knead for about 10 minutes till the dough is not sticky and elastic.
  • Place the kneaded dough in an oiled bowl, turning the dough till lightly coated with oil. Cover loosely, and allow to double in volume, for about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
  • Now place the dough on a flat surface and roll it out into an approximately 18” by 12” rectangle (or 9" by 12" if using half the recipe).
  • Spread the cherry compote/ strawberry jam over the leaving a 1/2 inch all around. Sprinkle the chocolate cake crumbs on top of this. Roll the dough away from you, as snugly as possible, starting with the 18” edge like a jam/ jelly roll (as for cinnamon buns). Try to pinch the dough closed as best as possible, or dampen the edge with a little water to seal well.
  • It is important to roll up the dough as tightly as possible because this dough does swell up quite a bit while baking.
  • Cut the roll into 1 1/2" wide pieces with a very sharp knife/ dough scraper. You should have 12 pieces for the full recipe and 6 for half of it.  Place each piece in a mould (or make collars using foil or parchment paper to fit well around each piece) and then on a baking tray. Otherwise place them in a lightly greased rectangular baking tin with raised sides or a cake tin leaving enough space for them to expand.
  • A round cake tin will however not give you perfectly round buns but buns that are more triangular in shape. If you place them too far apart, they will spread rather rise in height. Cover loosely, and allow to rise, for about 1 hour or till almost double.
  • Bake at 180C (350F) for 25 - 30 minutes, until the buns are done and nice golden brown in colour. Remove from oven and cool completely. Drizzle with melted chocolate and serve.



This recipe makes 12 Black Forest Buns. However, I have halved the recipe.....








 

Carrot Cake

Hi folks....Long time!!


Blogging has taken a setback for the past few months due to various reasons.... Though I have been baking, nothing remarkable enough to post on the blog, it was either a repeated bake or a new one but of course, the flopped versions!! But, then on Valentine's Day, I managed to bake a Carrot Cake. This cake has been on my to-do list for quite sometime. You could frost the cake with a cream cheese frosting, but I preferred mine to be plain....


Ingredients:
Recipe Adapted from: Baking by Parragon Books

Eggs - 2
Brown sugar - 3/4 cup
Unsalted butter - 1 cup
Grated carrots - 1 1/3 cups
All purpose flour - 2 cups
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Ground cinnamon - 1 tsp
Ground cardamom - 1 tsp
Nutmeg, grated - 1 tsp
Almonds, roughly chopped - 1 cup


Method:
  • In a bowl, beat the eggs until well combined and add the sugar and butter. Mix well. Add the grated carrots, sift in the flour, baking soda and the spices. Then add the chopped almonds. Mix everything together until well incorporated.
  • Spread the mixture into a prepared cake pan and bake in a preheated oven, 190 C for 40-50 minutes, until the cake is nicely risen, firm to touch, and has begun to shrink away slightly from the edge of the pan. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan until just warm and then turn out onto a wire rack.