Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fruit Cake Pops for the Season

The day started with measuring out all the ingredients carefully and then getting to bake, and so the preparations began to bake this awesome David Lebovitz cake. So the cakes come out perfect according to me and then I turn out onto the wire rack and the whole thing just crumbled onto the board. I was beyond shocked and screamed an instant "aiiiyyyoo"....Well I was not gonna let this disaster get to way, there was so much of good stuff into this cake my heart wouldn't bear it go for a waste. So after some hard thinking and consultation with Nithya another baking buddy and good friend I converted this cake mess to cake pops and asked Sunehra to get this beauties some boxes to make them complete and ready to be gifted to all my near and dear ones.

Chocolate Cherry Fruitcake - Recipe Courtesy David Lebovitz
Dried Cherries - 1 1/2 cups, finely chopped
Rum - 1/4 cup (60ml)
All Purpose Flour - 1 1/2 cups
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Chocolate Chips - 3/4 cup
Sugar - 2 cups
Unsalted Butter - 140gms
Eggs - 2
Egg Yolk - 1
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Milk or Buttermilk - 2/3 cup
Nuts - 1 cup, you could use walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts or pecans which are well toasted

To make the Cake Pops
Dark Chocolate - 250gms
Vegetable Oil - 2tbs
Whipping Cream - 1 cup
Skewers or Lollipop Sticks - 60 nos
Red Fondant Berries - 60 nos.
Green Fondant Holly Leaves - 60 nos.

A day or so before you make the cake, toss the cherries in ¼ cup of liquor. Cover, and let macerate. To bake the cakes, grease two 9-inch (23 cm) loaf pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper or dust with cocoa powder. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Stir together the eggs and yolk with the vanilla, then dribble them in while beating.Mix in one-third of the flour/cocoa mixture, then half of the yogurt or buttermilk. Then mix in another third of the dry ingredients, then the rest of the yogurt. Finally add the remaining dry ingredients, and gently stir in the nuts, chocolate chips and cherries. (Which should have absorbed all the liquid. If not, add that as well.). Divide and smooth the batter into the two prepared loaf pans and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let stand on the counter top for about 15 minutes. With a skewer, poke 50 holes in the cake and spoon 3 tablespoons of liquor over each cake. Turn over onto a wire rack and allow to cool for half hour.

Making the Cake Pops

Prepare two cake trays with wax paper. Crumble the cake mixture into a large bowl. Mix in the whipping cream into the crumbled cake. Take a lime ball sized amount of cake and see if the mixture holds together. If not add some more whipping cream to bind the cake mixture. Make 60 lime sized balls and place them onto the tray. Cling wrap the cake balls and place them in the refrigerator for about an hour to slightly firm. Meanwhile melt chocolate into a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Once the chocolate is all melted, add the oil to give the chocolate a glossy look. Take the cake balls out, dip a skewer into a little melted chocolate and insert into the cake pop 2/3rd way. Then dip the cake ball into the chocolate to coat and tap slightly to let the excess fall off. Use styrofoam to place the cake pops and once the chocolate is slightly set, place the holly leaf and berry for decoration. I had plenty of berries and leaves left from my Christmas Cupcakes that I  had made, but you could use whatever you want to decorate your cake pops. I used the below video as my guide to making my cake pops. Though the entire process is time consuming, the end results are worth your time and efforts and its not that difficult at all.

So give these a try and let me know how it goes for you. And let me also thank my girl friend Sunehra Koshy for the boxes and cards i got to adorn my cake pops with...they were a hit!!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Spiced Cookies

There are peppery cookies, meant to be as edible Christmas decorations, this is a classic Nigella Lawson recipe, pleases both the young and old alike. I limited the cookies to the designs of the angel and tree rending to the occasion you could go brighter and bolder to suit yourself.

Plain Flour - 300gms
Salt - a pinch
Baking Powder - 1tsp
Mixed Ground All Spice - 1tsp
Black Pepper - 1tsp
Unsalted Butter - 100gms
Dark Brown Sugar - 100gms
Eggs - 2, lightly beaten
Honey - 4 runny tbs,

Monday, December 24, 2012

Irish Cream~ Homemade Baileys

This season I tried my hand at making baileys and gifted a bottle to my dear friend Sunehra for hosting us at her gala Christmas party, easy to whip up and take it for someone for a party just like I did!!

Whipping Cream - 1 cup
Sweetened Condensed Milk - 1 can (14oz)
Instant Coffee - 2 tsp
Chocolate Sauce - 1 tbs
Whiskey - 1 cup (I used just about a cup or slightly less)
Vanilla - 1 tsp

Combine all the ingredients into a blender and and blitz for about a minute. Bottle into a seal-able container and refrigerate. Shake before serving. This will keep for about 2 months in the refrigerator.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Holly Cupcakes

While my friend crafts till the crack of dawn, I was busy baking for the IBMer's for their Christmas get together till the crack of dawn. No doubt, I was sleep deprived in the morning but I was proud of my creation this year. Vanilla Cupcakes with Holly 'n Berry Toppers.

Flour - 1 1/2 cups
Butter - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 2/3 cup
Baking Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Eggs - 3
Milk - 1/4 cup
Zest of One Lime
Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp

Royal Icing:
Icing Sugar - 450gms
Meringue Powder - 3tbs
Water - 5-6 tbs depending on the consistency (I used about alot more tablespoons of water to make the runny consistency to cover the cupcakes)

Preheat oven to 160 C and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl whisk together the lemon zest, flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 17 - 20 minutes or just until set and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. (Always check a few minutes before the stated baking time. Do not over bake or the cupcakes will be dry.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing. 

To make the holly leaves, I used the Wilton Gumpaste Mix and tinted half with Wilton Christmas Red and the other half with Wilton Leaf Green.

Using the rose leaf cutter, cut the required number of leaves and using the veining tool made the veins. I used the following Video as a guide.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Chocolate Sugar Heart Cookies

Chocolate hearts are a favorite anytime of the day really, they serve as snacks for my son's tiffin, cheat snacks for the strictly dieting types (well actually for me) and for the husband who looks rumbles about kitchen looking for something/ anything to munch.....

All Purpose Flour - 2 3/4 cup
Cocoa Powder - 3/4 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Unsalted Butter - 1 cup, room temperature
Granulated Sugar - 1 3/4 cups
Eggs - 2 large eggs
Vanilla Extract - 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. In another bowl,beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using an electric mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll. Preheat the oven to 170C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (1 cm). Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking. Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes depending on the size until they are firm around the edges. Remove them from the oven and let them cool onto a baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack. Frost with royal icing if desired or do some creativity with some ready made sprinkles using a little corn syrup. Frosted cookies will keep several days in an airtight container. Store between layers of parchment paper or wax paper and store in between layers of wax paper.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Oriental Delight "New Menu Launch" at OKO The Lalit Ashok

The city's select foodie lot headed over to OKO Lalit Ashok at the launch of their new menu. And for the curtain raiser dinner menu the dexterous Chef's put together dishes that featured the Sushi, Teppanyaki Cuisine, Oriental Grills and much more.

Commenting on the new menu launch at OKO, Mr. Amit Samson, GM, The Lalit Ashok said " Off late the food and beverage Industry has been witnessing a huge demand which leads to increased competition. It's imperative to build the top of mind recall among the target audience. As a trend setter in offering high end F&B experiences. It gives us immense pleasure to introduce the new shade to OKO. With this new menu launch, I'm very much certain about positioning ourselves as a top notch offering oriental cuisines with high quality, creativity, originality and reasonable price int his fiercely competitive market". 

For a try at their eclectic and specialized twists on everything from starters to desserts along with a stunning view of Bangalore and the golf course, its only at the OKO for that great dining experience.

OKO, The Lalit Ashok
Kumara Krupa High Grounds Bangalore - 560001
Tel - 080-30527777

Valet Parking Available

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