Category Archives: Baking

Blackberry Bars

20160807_225640One of my favorite little activity for summer is to pick blackberries and then include it in baking.

Here is a recipe I recently tried. Its really tasty and easy to make. Try and enjoy.

Found it on pinterest.

Ingredients

For the filling

Blackberries – 4 to 5 cups

Cornstarch – 1 tbsp

Sugar – 3/4 cups

Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp

For the crust

All Purpose Flour – 3 cups

Sugar – 3/4 cups

Eggs – 3

Butter(cold) – 3/4 cup(cubed into small pieces)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

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  • Mix the flour, sugar in a bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter into the mixture really well.

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  • Stir in beaten eggs into the mixture with a fork.

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  • Press down half of this mixture into the baking pan so that it forms the bottom part of the crust. (Sorry, missed taking a picture)
  • Mix the blackberries, cornstarch, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl.

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  • Now add the blackberry mixture on top of the crust.

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  • Sprinkle the rest of the dough mixture on top of the blackberry mixture.

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  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or till lightly golden brown in color.

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  • Cut into squares and enjoy.

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Tres Leche Cake

20160425_094545This is one of the best cakes ever. Super rich but super good too. I served it to my friends and colleagues. They couldn’t stop with 1 piece and wanted me to post the recipe asap. So here it is my friends. . Try and Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • Yellow Cake – 1 (baked in a 9 x 13 inch pan):
  • Recipe Link for yellow cake –  http://cookwithvinu.com/?p=1463
  • Evaporated Milk- 1 can
  • Condensed Milk – 1 can
  • Whole Milk- 1 cup

Method

  • Free the edges of the cake from the pan and poke holes all through the cake evenly with a skewer.

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  • In a bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, condensed milk and whole milk.

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  • Pour the above mixture onto the cake.

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  • Let it sink in for a few hours.
  • Serve with whipped cream and cinnamon as a topping if you like. I served it just plain.

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Yellow Cake

DSC_0547Who doesn’t love moist and soft yellow cake.This cake is perfect for layering with icing, carving or just to devour as it is. Follow through the steps carefully to get a very moist cake.

Ingredients

  • Eggs – 4 (large)
  • Sugar – 1 3/4 cup
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Butter – 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 tbsp
  • All Purpose Flour – 1 cup
  • Cake Flour – 1 cup (For substitution: 1 cup all purpose flour – 2 tbsp all purpose flour + 2 tbsp cornstarch – sifted 3 times)
  • Baking Pw -2 tsp
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp (omit if using salted butter)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  • Dissolve the eggs and sugar over a double boiler till its warm(around 115 degrees F)

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  • Now whisk the above mixture at high speed for about 5 minutes till it triples in volume.

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  • In the meantime melt the butter and milk in a saucepan or microwave till its hot. Add vanilla extract to the mixture.
  • Sift the dry ingredients( all purpose flour, cake flour, baking pw and salt) together.

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  • Add the sifted ingredients to the eggs-sugar mixture and fold it in.

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  • Take out some of the batter and mix vigorously with the hot milk-butter mixture.

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  • Now fold it in with the rest of the mixture.

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  • Pour into prepared pans or cupcake liners.

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  • Bake till a toothpick inserted comes out clean (30-35 min).

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Simple Roasted Cauliflower

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As a kid, I never liked to eat my vegetables. Had I known this dish back then, I am sure I would have finished my veggies in no time.

Healthy, time friendly, kid friendly, this is a must try recipe.

Ingredients

Cauliflower – 1 (large, broken into florets)

Garlic – 6 Cloves

Salt – 1/2 tsp

Black pepper – 1 tsp

Crushed red chillies – 1/2 to 1 tsp

Lemon juice – 1 tbsp

Olive Oil – 4 tbsp

Parmesan Cheese – 2 tbsp

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
  • Spread the cauliflower florets and garlic in a baking tray lined with aluminium foil.

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  • Add salt, black pepper, crushed red chillies, lemon juice and olive oil. Give it a quick stir.

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  • Sprinkle with parmesan cheese on top.
  • Bake for 30 -40 minutes till it is golden brown in color. Give it a stir half way through so that it browns evenly.

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Coconut Baath Cake

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Born in Kerala, ‘the land of coconuts’, I love coconut but baath cake is not from Kerala. It is actually a Goan delicacy.

Try and enjoy!! Trust me, its yummy 🙂

Ingredients

Eggs – 3
Semolina/sooji/rava – 1 cup
Dessicated coconut(fresh if possible)- 2 cups
Sugar – 1 ½ cups
All purpose flour – 3 tbsp
Cornstarch – 1 tbsp
Salt – ½ tsp
Baking powder – 2 tsp
Butter (soft) – 3 tbsp
Vanilla essence – 1 tbsp
Warm water – ½ cup

Method

I had tripled the recipe for an event. Therefore the pictures shown below are of the tripled quantity.

  • Beat the eggs till they turn fluffy and add the butter to it, beat again for few minutes.

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  • Grind the grated coconut with warm water to make a thick coarse paste.

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  • In another bowl, take the semolina, all purpose flour, baking powder, cornstarch, salt, sugar and mix well.

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  • Now add the ground coarse coconut paste and beaten eggs gradually to the dry ingredients. Mix everything well with a spatula.

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  • Cover it and keep the above mixture for 8 hours in room temperature (if the climate is chilled) or over night for best results.
  • If the climate is hot, cover this cake batter and keep in fridge for 8 hours or overnight, remove an hour earlier to bring it at room temperature before baking. 

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  • Finally add the vanilla essence and give a stir.

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  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer the cake batter to a well greased round or square mold.

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  • Top it with dry fruits(optional). Bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

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  • Cut into little squares and serve.

Royal Icing

Royal Icing is easy to make and very useful to decorate cookies.

Sorry, I forgot to take pictures this time. I shall definitely add it next time.

Ingredients

Icing Sugar – 2 cups

Meringue pw – 1.5 tbsp

Vanilla or Lemon Extract – 1/4 tsp

Warm Water – 1/4 cup

Method

  • Whisk the icing sugar and meringue pw together in a bowl.
  • Add water as well as the extract and beat on high speed until glossy and stiff peaks have formed.
  • Add more water or icing sugar if needed to get to the right consistency.
  • I have used flood consistency which means that the icing falls of from the beater in the form of a ribbon.
  • Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container to prevent hardening.

Sugar Cookies

20151016_225336These sugar cookies are easy to make and highly pliable. They can be rolled over and over again and it won’t lose its texture. The recipe is from Gretchen at gretchensbakery.com. She is very kind to share her professional recipes with us. After trying numerous recipes for cookies, I have come to the conclusion that this is the best recipe for sugar cookies especially if you plan on decorating them.

Ingredients

All Purpose Flour – 6 cups

Baking pw = 1 tbsp

Salt – 1 tsp

Unsalted Butter – 2 cups

Sugar – 2 cups

Eggs – 2 (large)

Vanilla Extract – 2 tsp

Method

  • Cream butter and sugar for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and then eggs, one by one and beat well.Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.20151014_164642
  • In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking pw and salt. Add this to the above creamed mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Wrap this dough in a plastic wrap and chill it for at least 6 hours or overnight.20151014_171038
  • The dough can be stored safely in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for 2 months.
  • Roll out the dough and cut into desired shapes.20151016_213012
  • Transfer the cut outs onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.20151016_215700
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown in color20151016_225336

Breakfast in a Bread Cup

20150913_105605An easy breakfast to go that you can make ahead of time from Martha Stewart. I like the convenience of carrying it with me as I leave home in the morning. Also love the fact that its a make ahead though it definitely cannot offer the taste of fresh hot breakfast in the morning.

Ingredients

Bread Slices – 8

Eggs – 6

Bacon – 6

Salt

Pepper

Method

  • Use a dough roller to roll out the bread very thin.20150913_091427
  • Cut out the bread using a round cookie cutter. 20150913_092538
  • Slice the rounds in halves.20150913_092702
  • In the meantime, cook the bacon in a pan. Make sure that it does not get overcooked and it is going to get further cooked in the oven. 20150913_091352
  • Place the bread slices into the muffin tins as shown in the picture.20150913_09300720150913_093021
  • Also place a little pc in the middle to cover the bottom (The 2 extra slices are for that). 20150913_093049
  • Place the bacon in the middle with the edges hanging over. 20150913_094026
  • Add the egg in the middle.20150913_094403
  • Season with salt and pepper.20150913_094520
  • Now bake it for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Chinese Hot Dog Buns

 

20150601_224900I love how the hot dog buns in the Chinese bakery are so soft and fluffy. I decided to make it at home and tried out a few different shapes. If you are like me and want to make something different, then give this a try. Its perfect for a quick snack. Children would love it because of the different shapes especially the puppy shape. You could add some toppings like cheese, chopped green onions, sliced onions, sliced bell pepper to it just before baking. If you have any questions, please post it in the comment section and I shall make sure I reply. Do try and enjoy

Ingredients

Hot dogs – 8 (uncooked)

All purpose flour – 370 gms

Warm milk – 1 cup

Sugar – 3 tbsp

Quick Rise Yeast – 2 1/4 tsp

Baking Powder – 1 tsp

Sea Salt – 1 tsp

Melted Butter – 3 tbsp

Method

  • Mix the warm mix and sugar in a small bowl and then add the yeast to it. Let it sit for 5 minutes.20150601_182406
  • It will become frothy if the temperature of the milk is right. Make sure that the milk is not hot as it will kill the yeast and the dough will not rise. 20150601_183508
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix it well. 20150601_183428
  • Add the melted butter and beat it for couple of minutes. 20150601_183612
  • Add the yeast mixture and mix it to form a dough. Knead the dough for ten minutes till smooth and elastic. 20150601_185102
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Let it rise for an hour till it has doubled in size. 20150601_205228
  • Divide the dough into 10 equal and smooth pieces. I weighed mine to make sure they are equal in size. 20150601_210213
  • Follow the pictorial instructions to make the different shapes with the dough.

1. Roll out the dough in a rectangle. Place the hot dog inside and cover it up with the dough. 20150601_21062220150601_210724

2. From the top, make cuts on it up to 3/4 the way as shown in the picture. Now place each slice on either side till all the way through. 20150601_21081020150601_21150320150601_21153120150601_211638

3. For the next one, roll the dough into a circle. Make two small slits on the sides and spread it out. These are the doggy ears. Now slice the mouth part in half using scissors. It was tricky to do that but possible. Now place half a hot dog in the mouth part and then seal it up. Then use black kidney bean or coffee bean for the eyes and nose. 20150601_21180820150601_21184320150601_21240520150601_212622

4. Roll up the dough into a rectangle and place the hot dog in the center. Now makes small slits on each side. Now braid the dough over the hot dog as seen in the picture. 20150601_21062220150601_21332820150601_21341120150601_213628

5. Roll out the dough using your hands like a rope/ string. Wind the hotdog using this rolled out rope for the next design.20150601_21514220150601_215241

6. Roll out the dough into a circle. Make slits in the dough as shown in the picture. Slice the hot dogs into 6 pieces and insert the pieces into the six petals of the dough.20150601_21180820150601_214229

  • Place all the prepared hot dog buns onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let it rest for 40 to 60 minutes.20150601_215336
  • In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Beat one egg in a small bowl and use a brush to egg wash the rested dough. Bake it for 10 to 15 minutes or till golden brown in color. 20150601_225229

Custard Cake

20150601_215926This is a combination of deliciousness. Caramel custard and sponge cake merge so well together that it melts in your mouth. In my childhood, my grandpa used to buy me sponge cake from the bakery. I loved its texture. My grandma used to make caramel pudding at home which I absolutely loved.  This is even better as I get the best of both worlds. The sweetness of the custard is balanced off with the airy texture of the sponge cake. Its a must try!

Never thought that a cake and pudding could be combined. This is a classic Filipino recipe and I got the recipe from a youtube recipe video of Sweet Ambitions. Do check the video in case of doubt.

For the Caramel
Sugar – 1 cup

For the Caramel Custard (The Base)
Eggs – 6
Condensed milk – 1 can
Evaporated milk – 1 can
Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1/4 cup

For the Cake (Sponge Cake)
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Water – 1/4 cup
Whole Milk – 1/4 cup
Egg yolk – 6
Sugar – 1/2 cup
Cake flour – 1.5 cups

Cake Flour – Take out 2 tbsp of flour from 1 cup of all purpose flour and add 2 tbsp of cornstarch to it to get 1 cup of cake flour. Sieve it 3 to 4 times

For the Meringue:
Egg whites – 6
Cream of tartar – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1/2 cup

Method

  • Make the caramel: Heat sugar in a pan and stir it occasionally with a spoon. Let it dissolve and turn amber colored. This will take around 5 to 10 minutes. 20150601_18474020150601_185519
  • Pour into the baking pans. I used two 9 inch baking pans. It tends to harden quickly. So make sure that you spread it quickly around the pan with a spoon before it hardens. 20150601_185849
  • Make the Flan:   In a bowl, add the eggs and sugar and whisk it well. Add the vanilla extract, evaporated milk and condensed milk and whisk well. Add it into the two baking pans on top of the caramel.20150601_19060620150601_19100120150601_191457
  • Prepare the cake batter:
  1. Mix the water and milk together.Set aside.
  2. Mix the cake flour and baking powder together with a whisk or fork. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks and the sugar. 20150601_193006
  4. Add the milk-water mixture to it and beat well.20150601_193103
  5. Now add the above flour mixture little by little to it and beat well.20150601_193412
  6. Set this mixture aside as the meringue will be folded into this.
  • For the meringue: In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk or in a large bowl, using an electric mixer beat egg whites with cream of tartar. When it gets frothy, add sugar to it and continue whisking till it forms firm peaks. 20150601_19431820150601_19414120150601_194838
  • Add the meringue little by little to the set aside cake batter and fold it in.20150601_194956
  • Make sure that you fold it and not beat it in as we are trying to incorporate air into the mixture. 20150601_195649
  • Once ready, pour over the flan into the two pans. 20150601_195856
  • Set a baking tray with water in it on the bottom rack. This would help produce steam in the oven. 20150601_200007
  • Now place the baking pans carefully on the rack above it and bake it at 350 degrees F for an hour. 20150601_200123
  • Once cooled, run the knife around the edges and then turn it upside down onto a plate. Cut and enjoy.20150601_21575320150601_215926