Monday, January 17, 2011

Delicious Desserts - An Annoucement and Giveaway

"Dessert is probably the most important stage of the meal, since it will be the last thing your guests remember before they pass out all over the table.” William Powell

Yes, I'm playing hostess for a while to the theme 'Delicious Desserts' and the incentive for bloggers and non-bloggers to take part is the giveaway 'Wicked Desserts'. So what are you waiting for? Make those indulgent, sinful creations and send them happy cooking to you all!!

How do we work this out:

  • Cook any recipe(s) pertaining to the theme - it could be anything from cakes - souffles - puddings - pastries - ice-cream  - or even chocolate.
  • Post about the recipe from the date of the announcement until 15 Febaruary, 2011
  • Blog about the event and provide a Link back to What's Cooking today!!. Please feel free to use the logo in your blog. Multiple entries are allowed.
  • Send in your entries to with the subject Delicious Desserts, with your nameyour post URL and a picture.
  • Deadline date is 15 February, 2011 and the winner with the round up will be posted within a week.
  • Non-bloggers are more than welcome to participate. Simply e-mail me with your name, the recipe, a story if you have to share and a picture of the dish created.
  • The book will be shipped to any address within India.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Meringue Cake ~ A Sweet Punch

I haven't tried a meringue cake before. The Sweet punch team did give us options varying from cakes to cookies. I went in with the simple Meringue cake which is two layers of cake sandwiched together with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. Since I had some blueberries, I added a handful. My little one was the first to taste it, he simply couldn't resist it being rested. And in between mouthfuls he spurted out mama its very nice.......

[Serves 8 - 10]
Egg yolks - 4 large
Sifted cake flour - 1 cup (100 grams)
Baking powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt - 1/8 teaspoon
Unsalted butter - 1/2 cup (1 stick) (114 grams)
Granulated white sugar - 1/2 cup (100 grams)
Pure vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon
Milk - 1/4 cup (60 ml)
Meringue Layer:
Egg whites - 4 large
Cream of tartar - 1/4 teaspoon
Granulated white sugar - 1/3 cup (65 grams)
Vanilla extract - 1/2 teaspoon pure
Heavy whipping cream - 1 cup (240 ml)
Granulated white sugar - 1 - 2 tablespoons (14 - 28 grams)
Fresh strawberries - 1 pound (454 grams)  cut into bite sized pieces
Confectioners Sugar (powdered or icing) for dusting top of cake

Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Grease and flour two - 8 x 1 1/2  inches (20 x 3.75 cm) round cake pans. Set aside. Separate the eggs while they are still cold, placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another bowl. Cover the two bowls with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).In a mixing bowl sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans, smoothing the tops with an offset spatula. Set aside while you make the meringue layer.

Meringue: In a clean bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Beat in the vanilla extract. Divide the meringue between the two cake pans, gently smoothing the tops with an offset spatula. Bake for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. The meringue layers will have turned a light brown and will be crisp to the touch but soft inside. Place the pans on a wire rack to cool. When completely cooled, remove from pans.

Shortly before serving whip the cream with the sugar until soft peaks form. Cut the strawberries into bite sized pieces and, if necessary, add a little sugar to sweeten them. Place one of the cake layers, meringue side up, on a serving platter. Spread the whipping cream onto the cake and top with the strawberries/ raspberries or blueberries or a combination of berries. Gently place the second cake layer, cake side down so the meringue layer is facing up, onto the first layer. Dust with confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar. If not eating immediately, cover and place in the refrigerator until serving time. The assembled cake will hold in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Spanish Flan

I was sort of not well enough to make anything for the Husband's birthday. My heart did'nt let me get away with the day not making anything. Since Satish loves desserts I resorted to making this flan which is a much more heavier version than the usual creme caramel. A simple and indulgent dessert!
A third entry to Suma's event.

White granulated sugar - 1 cup
Eggs - 3
Sweetened condensed milk -  1 can (14 ounce)
Evaporated milk - 1 can (12 fluid ounce)
Vanilla extract - 1 tablespoon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt sugar until liquefied and golden in color. Carefully pour hot syrup into a 9 inch round glass baking dish, turning the dish to evenly coat the bottom and sides. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Beat in condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla until smooth. Pour egg mixture through a sieve into the baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 60 minutes in a water bath. To test the flan for doneness, insert a toothpick, if it comes out clean the flan is cooked. Let it cool completely. To serve, run a knife around the dish carefully invert on serving plate with edges when completely cool.

Tip: For those wanting to make it without the evaporated milk the measurements would be 4 eggs and 2cups of regular milk 
There will some hard sugar at the bottom of the dish/mould, do not attempt to scrape this and add it to the caramel sauce to be served.
The flan can be enhanced with honey, lemon zests, and crushed almonds depending on one's preference.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lemon Ricotta Cake for the New Year!!

It's a brand new year, and I'm already excited at knowing what's in store for the coming months. I say, the last week of December until January 2 is indeed a tight schedule for us - Church, celebrations, husband's birthday, new year's, and then our wedding anniversary. The lemon ricotta recipe is from my dear friend Lesa, I decided to use her recipe for distributing cakes to our all and near and dear. I trusted Lesa's verdict which in her words were "It's YUM". My verdict: "It's YUUUUUUMMMMMMYYYYYY" and it's the same verdict right from neighbors, to friends, to office friends, colleagues and family. I only made 7 of these to please some more people on the list that are yet to be pleased........which means more baking......
This is also my second entry to Suma Rowajee's event. I'm sending this to Champa too for her bake off

Caster sugar - 175gms
Butter - 175gms , plus extra for greasing
Zest of 4 unwaxed lemons
Eggs - 3, separated
Ricotta cheese - 250gms
Self-raising flour - 125gms , plus extra for dusting
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Icing sugar, to dust
To serve
Clotted cream

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Grease a 18cm cake tin with butter and dust with flour. Beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy - you can do this in an electric mixer or in a bowl using a wooden spoon. Beat in the lemon zest, add the egg yolks and ricotta and beat in until well combined.In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed from the bowl. Fold these into the main mixture and stir in the flour and baking powder.Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top. Bake for 35 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown in colour. Test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre – if the skewer comes out clean, the cake is cooked.Cool the cake on a wire rack and dust with icing sugar. Serve with fresh blackberries and clotted cream

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