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Individual Apple Pies

These individual pies are the perfect sized portion for one with oozy and softened apples bathed in brown sugar and cinnamon nestled in a crumbly and buttery pie crust and topped with more crust and sprinkled generously with crunchy brown Demerara sugar, baked to golden perfection and served with a decadent caramel sauce.

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Oh all you lovely people, I have missed you so much. This space was quiet for a while and that’s because I had some really interesting things being planned for this blog right here and I can’t wait to share all the amazing things that I hope you will be excited to hear as well.

But for now, we shall focus on these golden beauties that taste of all things heavenly.

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I’m sure that if you guys are anything like me then you’d never even THINK of sharing your desserts!

Yes, I’m possessive like that!

;)

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What makes these beauties special?

They are APPLE PIES! Period!

I think that is reason enough to make it stat! Especially since Fall has taken form in full swing and the weather has mellowed down from the scorching heat to a milder version. Trust me, you don’t want to step out of your home in Mumbai’s October heat unless you want to end up becoming burnt toast; in that case, you have my blessings! :D

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These apple pies have been portioned out so that everyone gets their own ramekin of Fall awesomeness.

The secret to making a really good apple pie is the crust really! It needs to be really short and crumbly. The base should never get soggy despite the moisture in the apples they must be crumbly and crisp. And the best way to make sure that your pie crust is short is by using the coldest possible ingredients like the butter and water. Besides, working really quick will make sure that you do not transfer too much heat from your fingers and melt the butter. You could use a food processor for this but I prefer working with my hands.

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The filling is simple yet packed with so many layers of flavour; it would be impossible to have a bite of this dessert and not fall in love with it. All you have to do is mix peeled and diced apples with cinnamon, brown sugar and caster sugar along with the juice of half a lime and mix well. The apple mix will start to secrete some exceptionally delicious juices that will enrich this pie and take it to 16378th level of awesomeness.

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You can then serve it with some delish caramel sauce which is not a necessity and purely optional but who would say no to an incredibly thick, amber buttery goodness?? Besides, this caramel sauce does not contain even a grain of refined sugar!?

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I just saw you gasp in astonishment! Yes, I am not lying or twisting and turning anything! This sauce is GENUINELY not made with sugar but by caramelizing honey. Trust me, it works like a charm! I will write up an individual post just to show you a step by step of making this caramel goodness that, believe it or not, is a much healthier version of your regular caramel sauce. In the mean time, you HAVE to use this lip smacking salted caramel sauce from Allie’s blog that I always end up drooling over!

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Let’s get down to the deets of the recipe so you can run to your kitchen and start making these stat! :D

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Individual Apple Pies

Ingredients

    For the pie crust:
  1. 267 grams all purpose flour
  2. ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  3. 126 grams salted butter {you can also use unsalted}
  4. 5-6 tablespoons of cold water
  5. For the Apple filling:
  6. 4 large apples peeled, cored and diced.
  7. ½ lime’s juice
  8. 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
  9. 75 grams brown sugar
  10. 50 grams caster sugar
  11. Before putting in the oven:
  12. 1 egg beaten for egg wash
  13. 4-5 tablespoons of brown demerara sugar

Instructions

  1. Sift flour and add cinnamon powder to the flour and mix well so that the cinnamon powder is well distributed throughout the flour.
  2. Cut cold butter into cubes and rub them into the flour using just the tips of your fingers. They will take a couple of minutes and resemble breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the cold water and form a rough dough.
  4. DO NOT KNEAD. You do not want to activate the gluten in the flour. As soon as the flour begins to come together, stop working on it and place it on a cling film, wrap it tightly and cool in the refrigerator for about an hour.
  5. Peel and core your apples and dice them. Add the lime juice, cinnamon powder and the brown and caster sugar.
  6. Leave it aside.
  7. Grease your ramekins with butter.
  8. Get your pie crust out of the fridge after an hour and roll them into approx 2 mm. Thin.
  9. Use an 8 cm diameter and 5.5 cm height ramekin for making these pies. You can use any ramekin you have and adjust the circles of pie crust accordingly. Just make sure you cut out one circle considerably larger for covering the insides of the ramekin and the other circle the size of the mouth of the ramekin. Make 6 such pieces.
  10. Line the insides of the ramekin with the larger circle of dough and add the apple mix until almost full and cover with the smaller circle of dough and refrigerate to avoid the dough from coming down to room temperature which will also melt the butter resulting in a less short pastry and a soggy bottom.
  11. Once all the pies are done, pop them in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes and preheat your oven so it gets plenty hot till then.
  12. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  13. After 30 minutes, get your pies out, slash a little of the top dough with a very sharp knife to allow to the steam to escape.
  14. Apply a coat of egg wash for a gorgeously tempting brown colour and sprinkle brown Demerara sugar for crunch and pop into the oven for about 30-40 minutes or until the tops have browned and the apple bubbles and boils leaving trails of cooked juices outside the ramekin
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Pistachio Butter Pancakes with Honey Cardamom syrup

These pistachio butter pancakes with honey cardamom syrup are light, airy and fluffy and are completely sugar-free; sweetened with dates and banana.

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Who loves pancakes????

RAISE YOUR HANDS!!!!

Yay!!!!!

Me too!!!!!

Seriously, who can say no these fluffy, flavourful, syrup doused pieces on air stacked one upon another?

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Okay, will it help if I tell you that these pancakes are absolutely sugar-free?

Yep!

Not even a grain of sugar goes into making these!

I see you starting to plan your breakfast around these pancakes now!

See, I told you! ;)

And who said you can eat these just for breakfast!

I ate a massive stack of these for lunch the other day and so can you; no one is going to judge here!

Hahaha ;)

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I sweetened the pancakes with a spoonful of thick date syrup. If, for some reason, this isn’t available in your region, you can totally use pitted dates. Just don’t forget to rehydrate the dates in 1-2 tbsp of hot water. And then make a paste out of it!

Next, I made pistachio butter and added the date syrup and some oil to make a lovely, smooth paste {also known as pistachio butter}

It needed a little more sweetness so in went a ripe banana mashed to a pulp with a fork.

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Although you could stop here, adding a bit of warmth is important now, isn’t it?

I’ve always loved how pistachios and cardamom pair together. Every Eid, my grandmother and mum make kheer in a massive saucepan patiently simmering away litres and litres of rich, creamy whole milk till it reduces to more than half the original quantity and then enrich it with lots of almonds, pistachios, raisins rehydrated in ghee {clarified butter} and lastly, lovely heaped tablespoons of cardamom powder. The magic that is created is indescribable and makes my mouth water every single time!

That is where I drew my inspiration from and decided to pair pistachio and cardamom and can I tell you, it was one of the best decisions ever made that day!

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Now, the pancakes need something sweet and syrupy to enjoy its real taste and that comes from this cardamom-honey syrup made from scratch and takes only 2 minutes to make! All you need is your honey and cardamom powder mix diluted with a little milk to make it easier to pour and a dahs of vanilla to take away the strong, intense honey flavour!

Viola! There you have it!

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Serve it when still quite warm with a knob of butter atop the stack of pancakes! This recipe makes pancakes for one. {Ummm… yes, 10 pancakes on a stack is my deal… it should be yours too!}

You could double, triple or quadruple the recipe to feed a crowd or yourself. {I won’t judge}

Pistachio Butter Pancakes with Honey Cardamom syrup

Yield: Makes 10 medium sized pancakes

Ingredients

    For the Date- pistachio butter:
  1. ¼ cup pistachios, roughly chopped.
  2. 1 heaping tablespoon date syrup*
  3. 1 tsp oil
  4. ½ tsp cardamom powder
  5. For the Pancakes:
  6. 1 cup all purpose flour
  7. 1 tsp baking soda
  8. 1 tsp baking powder
  9. 1 egg {room temperature}
  10. 1 cup milk
  11. 3 tablespoons date-pistachio butter
  12. 2 tbsp oil
  13. 1 very ripe banana mashed
  14. For the Honey- Cardamom Syrup:
  15. ½ cup honey
  16. 2 tablespoon milk
  17. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  18. 1 tsp cardamom powder.
  19. Serving Suggestion:
  20. 1 small knob of butter
  21. A handful of roughly chopped pistachios

Instructions

  1. First, make the pistachio butter. Add all the ingredients for the pistachio butter in a blender and whiz until you get a smooth paste. It will be slightly sticky. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift and mix all the dry ingredients for your pancakes.
  3. In another bowl, add your eggs, milk, pistachio butter, oil and mash a banana into it and mix well.
  4. Pour these wet ingredients into the bowl containing the dry ingredients and mix well just until combined. DO NOT over-mix.
  5. Set aside your mix for about 10 minutes and in the meantime, heat up your non-stick griddle or pan. Use a pastry brush to give the pan a very light coating of oil.
  6. While the pan is heating up, make your Honey- Cardamom syrup.
  7. Mix together all the ingredients for the honey syrup : Honey, cardamom powder, milk and vanilla extracts and mix rigorously to incorporate the milk and honey. Refrigerate.
  8. When your pan or griddle has heated up at a medium-high, use your measuring cup that reads ¼ th cup for the perfect sized pancakes. For smaller pancakes, you could use 2 heaped tablespoons.
  9. Once you pour your batter, little bubbles will start to appear on the sides of the pancake facing upward. When you see several such bubbles {about 1-2 minutes later}, flip your pancake and let it cook for another 2 minutes.
  10. Take it off the heat and place it in a container that is lined with dry cloth or kitchen paper to keep them warm.
  11. Repeat till all your batter has been used.
  12. Stack them one top of another. Add the knob of butter and pour your honey-cardamom syrup and sprinkle some chopped pistachios.

Notes

If you can’t find date syrup where you live, you could easily make your own date syrup at home. For this, take 3-4 pitted dates and rehydrate them with 2-3 tablespoons of hot water and grind this in the blender for a smooth date paste.

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Thai Green Curry Pasta Bake

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LUNCH.

Something that we all crave but can’t stand the monotony of it!

I hope I am not alone when I say that I need fresh changes and rotation in the lunch menu a lot more often!

I mean, Spaghetti is good. Roasted chicken? Even better!

But every SINGLE DAY? Not so much! :D

So, I’m always on the lookout for new alternatives for lunch that will jazz up the afternoon hour but will still tick all the health boxes and this pasta bake does just that!

I love Thai curry!!!!

It’s the first thing I pour on my rice at a buffet table. It’s the first thing I order when I go to my fav restaurant and if I could, I would eat that green sea of awesomeness every single day!

I say that now but we all know what havoc monotony wreaks.

So, I spruced it up a little bit and decided to bring together the magic of Italian and Thai cuisines and boy was it a success!!!

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I know you get those premade Thai green curry pastes packed to the brim in bottles that promise authentic Thai flavours but we all know that is just a genius sentence devised by the smarty-pants copywriter who knows of just the right words to tempt you into making that purchase!

Great job, Smarty-pants! Great job!

But you and I won’t fall for it, k?

We’ll make our Thai curry paste from SCRATCH!

It isn’t rocket science, trust me! It just takes 5 minutes to gather all your ingredients and grind them into a lovely smooth paste.

Once that is done, all you need is another 10 – 15 minutes to get your curry going, a little longer if you want to bite into succulent chicken pieces. I opted for the vegetarian option and even if you are a hardcore meat eater, this beauty will sing to you. What I did was slice the button mushrooms in half as opposed to several thin slices, so every time you bite into a mushroom, it feels so chunky and meaty, almost like eating chicken!

While your Thai curry is simmering away to perfection, you boil your pasta but only till the point where it is slightly under-done! How do you guess that? You just boil the pasta for a couple of minutes lesser than what is mentioned on your pasta packet.

Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. You may think I’m bonkers for undercooking the pasta but it is going to be just PERFECTLY cooked when you pop it into the oven for the final stage of your pasta bake.

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What jazzes this Thai Curry pasta bake is that lovely herbed crumb topping that adds the crisp element and also stitches this dish into one seamless fusion extravaganza.

By now you must be aware of the fact that coriander is my absolute favourite herb! So I took 3 slices of stale bread and added a lovely handful of fresh coriander leaves and blitzed them in the blender till the bread resembled fine crumbs. Your leaves need to be absolutely dry for this otherwise, what you will get is a bread paste as opposed to crumbs.

Some oven magic happens and in less than an hour, you have the most magical pasta bake you will have eaten!

The green curry paste mentioned in the recipe makes quite a lot and you won’t need everything at once. So, all you do is take the required amount and freeze the remaining. It stays for up to 15 days so you can whip up a quick batch of Thai Green curry and say goodbye to the preservative-y packaged stuff!

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Thai Green Curry Pasta Bake

Yield: Makes enough for 4 people

Ingredients

    For the Thai Curry Paste:
  1. 1 large onion, quartered.
  2. 6 inch long lemon grass root, chopped.
  3. 5 cm long galangal, roughly chopped.
  4. 2 cm long ginger, roughly chopped.
  5. 3-4 large cloves of garlic.
  6. 4 medium sized green chillies, deveined.
  7. 1/4th cup Thai basil.
  8. 1 cup coriander leaves.
  9. 1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted
  10. 1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted
  11. 2 large lime leaves, roughly chopped.
  12. 2 tsp soy sauce.
  13. ½ lime, juiced.
  14. For the Thai Curry:
  15. 1 tbsp oil
  16. 100 grams Thai Curry Paste.
  17. 200 grams Coconut Milk.
  18. 1 tbsp jaggery or palm sugar
  19. 1 tsp salt or more as needed.
  20. 100 mls water
  21. 200 grams mushrooms, sliced in half.
  22. 100 gms capsicum, sliced finely.
  23. For the Pasta:
  24. 200 gms of your favourite pasta.
  25. 1 tbsp salt
  26. 3 slices of stale brown bread
  27. A handful of dry coriander leaves.

Instructions

  1. First make the green curry paste. Add all the ingredients of mentioned in the Thai Green Curry paste section and grind to a smooth paste.
  2. For the Thai green curry, heat the oil in a wok and take about 100 grams of the Thai green curry paste and add it to the hot oil and sauté for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Add the coconut milk to the paste and cook for about 4-5 minutes on medium – high heat.
  4. Add the salt and palm sugar.
  5. Add the water and bring to a boil and then let it simmer.
  6. Add in the mushrooms and cook for about 5 more minutes on medium – high heat.
  7. Towards the end, add your capsicum and cook for a minute and then turn off the heat. This will make sure that the capsicum does not get soggy but still has a crunchy bite to it.
  8. In a pot, bring water to a boil and add the salt.
  9. Add the pasta and cook a couple of minutes lesser than the package instructions. Once the pasta is done, take it off the heat, strain and run it under cold water and mix with the Thai green curry.
  10. In a blender, whiz the bread and coriander to form herbed breadcrumbs.
  11. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
  12. In an oven-safe dish, add your Thai Green curry pasta and sprinkle the breadcrumbs generously. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until the crumbs turn golden brown.
  13. Enjoy fresh out of the oven
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Peanut Butter and Chocolate Smoothie { 3 ingredients; Vegan}

This peanut butter and chocolate smoothie is the perfect start to your day or whenever you feel your battery run down. Made with just 3 ingredients, it is also vegan.

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Oh dear, is it Monday already?

Sometimes, I really do wish that Sundays were 48 hours long, you know! It’s funny how the day arrives and disappears so quickly and all we’ve been left is craving for a few more hours the next *Monday* morning!

It’s like serving an incredibly delish tomato sauce laden pizza sprinkled with a several handfuls of extra mozzarella on a crisp wafer thin base in a really tiny portion and all you get is a nibble-sized bite!

See what I’m talking about??

But now that there is hardly anything that we can do about it, why not embrace it with something power – packed?

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Ummm… if you haven’t already guessed, I’m hinting at this smoothie!

*wink wink* ;)

I understand everyone is in the fall // autumn mode, but can we just take a day off and revel in the summer heat just so we can enjoy this smoothie!?

Thank you! ;)

This smoothie is so good for you and if you ask me, it is one of the PERFFF ways to start your day!

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And what’s not to like?

  1. It is hassle-free and takes less than 5 minutes to make.
  2. Contains absolutely no sugar.
  3. It is vegan.
  4. Requires only 3 ingredients.

D’you see what I’m trying to tell you here?

All you need are frozen bananas, creamy peanut butter and chocolate flavoured soy milk and there you go, your smoothie is ready!

How easy is that!!!!

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If you want a little extra chocolate kick, you can obviously add some chocolate chips and pop in a massive straw into your glass and slurp away the Monday blues.

{{ And if you’re like me, you’d want to drive away the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday blues as well }}

Just saying! :D hehehe

I cut the bananas into meaty chunks, about 3 inches long, wrapped them in cling film and froze the overnight.

The idea is to keep all your ingredients as cold as you possibly can to make a deliciously creamy and thick smoothie.

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The chocolate flavoured soy milk adds a lovely, rich chocolate taste to the smoothie without compromising on the health factor and makes this smoothie vegan, not to mention the fact that the addition of bananas and chocolate milk makes it instantly sweet without requiring you to add heaps of sugar to sweeten it up.

Peanut butter, oh you salty, creamy, delicious goodness in a jar; I could eat you with a spoon but I’m going to spoon you into the smoothie instead. Creamy, creamy, CREA-MAYYYY!

Getting the whole picture?

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I’ve been drinking this smoothie for breakfast sometimes but most of the days, this healthy beauty powers me up in the evenings when I have to attend college for my lectures. It keeps me full for a good 3-4 hours and that means I stay away from unnecessary street food bingeing!

See?

I told you, this smoothie will give you everything that a rich dessert could but minus all those greasy fingers and massive calories!

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Smoothie { 3 ingredients; Vegan}

Yield: Makes 3-4 glasses

Ingredients

  1. 2 large frozen bananas cut into chunks
  2. ½ cup peanut butter
  3. 400 mls chocolate flavoured soy milk.
  4. Serving Suggestion:
  5. A handful of chocolate Chips

Instructions

  1. In a high-power blender, add the frozen bananas, peanut butter and chocolate flavoured soy milk and whiz until all the banana chunks have been pulverized into a rich, thick smoothie.
  2. Serve in tall glasses or jam jars.
  3. Sprinkle a few chocolate chips if you like some crunch.
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Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

These chocolate chip cookies are simple, classic and are crisp on the outside and incredibly chewy on the inside.

Note:

My 21st Birthday giveaway is still open and everyone over the world can apply for this amazing prize pack. So if you haven’t entered already head over to the bottom of THIS post.

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Last week was one of the craziest ones EVER!

I celebrated my 21st birthday, had my graduation day and my college finally decided to begin with the lectures and it’s barely been a week and I already end up spending my evenings after the lectures at Marine Drive! That place, you guys, makes me feel so peaceful and calm; I could literally sit there all by myself for hours together without even realizing how long I may have sat there!

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In other news, I have been suffering from a terrible cold since Sunday and that makes 2 hour travels to and from Bombay all the more difficult but I wouldn’t miss it for anything! I’ve attended barely 3 lectures so far and I am already hooked! The professors are simplyyyyyyy incredible and it honestly seems like people are engrossed in conversations instead of a teacher-student relationship! It’s pretty much very interactive and I’m glad I chose this course!

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But, {yes, there is always a but} I do end up feeling quite groggy when it is 5 in the evening and I know I need to make a move to catch the train on time and reach on time and so coffee on its own can hardly keep me awake! I need something and if I have to be precise, I need something sugary! *wink wink*

Enter: Chocolate chip cookies!

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There is no catch here! It’s just plain-old chocolate chip cookies – No fluff no fancy ingredients!

Nothing can beat the comforting hug of a warm chocolate chip cookie that has freshly made its way out of the oven!

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These chocolate chip cookies are incredibly crisp on the outside and the minute you bite into them, they have a surprisingly chewy texture and OMG… it’s like entering a completely different world altogether! The chocolate chips are heavily loaded in these cookies so you can get a good few chips in every bite!

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I loaded up on these cookies and was surprisingly active throughout the lecture despite my terrible cold. You can’t eat these everyday (OBVI) but I’m trying to come up with healthier snacking options for the evening time that I’m also going to share very soon!

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I made these cookies with ingredients that were at room temperature and once the batter was ready, I chilled it for about 2 hours so that the butter firmed up slightly! You could put it into the oven straight after the batter’s ready but I always notice that the butter starts bubbling away at the bottom and the overall texture of the cookie is very different from that of the batter that has been chilled.

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You can even make this batter the previous night, scoop out the dough and pop them in the fridge overnight. Next morning, all you have to do is preheat your oven and bake these delicious beauties. In a matter of 10 minutes, you will have 20 of the most amazing cookies that will take you to food heaven and back!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 20 cookies

Ingredients

  1. 150 grams all purpose flour
  2. **100 grams salted butter {room temperature}
  3. 100 grams brown sugar
  4. 30 grams caster sugar
  5. 1 egg {room temperature}
  6. 100 grams chocolate chips {I used bittersweet}
  7. 1 tsp baking soda
  8. 1 tsp vanilla powder or vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Sift the flour, vanilla powder*** and baking soda in a bowl and give it a good whisk to combine all the ingredients.
  2. ***If you are not using vanilla powder then add only the flour and baking soda and the vanilla extract in the batter instead.
  3. Cream the butter and sugars using a hand mixer or stand mixer on very low speed just until combined.
  4. Add in the egg and again mix on very low speed just until it all comes together.
  5. Add the vanilla extract if not using vanilla powder at this stage.
  6. Add your flour and baking soda mix in small additions until it all comes together.
  7. Please make sure that you do not over mix otherwise, your cookies will have a cake-like texture.
  8. Add your chocolate chips and fold it into the batter well.
  9. These cookies spread massively so make sure you only use about 2 teaspoon sized cookie scoop. (Since I did not have one, I used my ice cream scoop, scooped the batter on sheets, chilled it for an hour, cut each cookie dough ball in half, made balls of these halves and chilled them for another rhour for perfect sized cookies.)
  10. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and bake these cookies for about 10 minutes or until the sides get a lovely golden brown colour.
  11. Take them out of the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Best enjoyed when eaten fresh from the oven about 30 minutes later.

Notes

** If you wish to use unsalted butter then add 1 tsp of salt to your flour and baking soda mix.

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Intense chocolate and Caramel cake + My 21st Birthday Giveaway

This cake is an explosion of flavors with an intensely chocolaty pudding cake sandwiched with the most decadent dark chocolate fudge frosting, covered in salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream and adorned with crushed jewels of almond praline.

Note:

I’m celebrating my 21st Birthday with a giveaway for all you lovely people. It’s open to everyone all over the world. Scroll to the bottom of the post for more details on what you can win and how to enter. :*

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I turn 21 today!!!!!!

YAY!!!!!

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I don’t particularly feel 21 for many reasons, some of them being:

  1. I’m really short for someone who claims she is 21 years old! Yes 5”1 is not really ‘tall’.
  2. I have a maturity level that would give any 6 year old a run for their money! {My motto: why grow up?}
  3. I want to remain blissfully ignorant and still pretend that I’m in my teens.
  4. I’m still studying! Surely, students can’t be that grown up, or can they?

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Anyways!!!!! I’d like to think that the only benefit of turning 21 is that I can legally have my vodka without having to worry about a fake ID, not that I ever did that! Pssst! ;)

Moving on to this cake!

Ummm… I know this might sound weird, but I baked my own cake!!!!!!!!! For my own birthday!

My mom was pretty much sure that I had lost my marbles! I mean, who bakes their own cake for their own birthday!?

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Umm, I know I do!

I know my local bakery is only going to give me a dark chocolate cake, a milk chocolate cake and a whipped cream cake with pineapples on it! I’ve eaten that for 20 years of my life already!

So what’s the harm in creating your own cake based on what you love! You know how much I love my Swiss meringue buttercream since these cupcakes were made!

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Let me break down the elements in this cake for you. There are 4 different elements in this cake:

  1. 3 chocolate pudding cake layers.
  2. Dark chocolate fudge frosting.
  3. Salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream.
  4. Almond praline.

I know this sounds really complicated but it is super simple and if you actually start making the elements the night before, your cake will be shiny and ready the next morning in no time!

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First you bake the layers of the cake. I made these the night before so they had ample time to cool down completely.

Whilst my cake layers were baking in the oven, I made the dark chocolate fudge sauce and the salted caramel sauce so they had enough time to cool down and thicken up over a period of 8 hours.

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The next day, all that was left to do was assembling the cake and make the Swiss meringue buttercream frosting and the almond praline {which quite honestly, is embarrassingly easy to make!!!!!}

chocolate caramel cake chocolate fudge sauce the cupcake confession

This cake is just SO PERFECT for any kind of celebration, especially if the person you are making this cake for is a crazy-ass lover of chocolate and caramel!

I hope you make this for your loved ones for their special days or make this for yourself to treat yourself like king//queen for a day! hehe

chocolate caramel cake slice the cupcake confession

Details on the giveaway after the recipe!

Intense chocolate and Caramel cake + My 21st Birthday Giveaway

Ingredients

    For the Chocolate Pudding cake layers:
  1. 250 grams all purpose flour
  2. 25 grams cocoa powder
  3. 2 tbsp instant chocolate pudding mix
  4. 2 tsp baking powder
  5. 250 grams caster sugar
  6. 250 grams butter (room temperature)
  7. 4 eggs
  8. 60 mls chocolate soy milk
  9. For Dark Chocolate Fudge frosting:
  10. 120 grams dark chocolate
  11. 50 grams double cream
  12. 25 grams butter (room temperature)
  13. 1 tbsp corn syrup.
  14. For the caramel sauce:
  15. 1 cup caster sugar
  16. 2 tbsp salted butter
  17. ½ cup double cream
  18. For the salted caramel swiss buttercream:
  19. 2 egg whites
  20. 110 grams caster sugar
  21. 1 tsp salt
  22. 170 grams salted butter
  23. 75 mls salted caramel sauce.
  24. For the praline:
  25. 100 grams almonds skin on
  26. 100 grams caster sugar

Instructions

    For the chocolate pudding cake layers:
  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a large metal bowl, cream butter and sugar using a hand blender or a stand mixer on medium speed.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and beating thoroughly between each addition.
  4. Add the chocolate soy milk to the butter, sugar and egg mix.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and add the instant chocolate pudding mix.
  6. Grease and line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper and fill equal amounts of cake batter in all the three pans.
  7. Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for about 40 minutes or until a skewer poked in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Let them sit outside the oven for about 10 minutes and cool slightly.
  9. Take them out of the pans and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
  10. If you are making this the night before, then let the cakes cool down completely to room temperature before keeping them in the refrigerator.
  11. For the dark chocolate fudge frosting:
  12. Chop the dark chocolate into chunks.
  13. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, add the cream, butter and corn syrup.
  14. Bring to a boil.
  15. Turn off the heat and pour over the chocolate, just like you would do for a ganache.
  16. Let it sit for about a minute and then mix it till it gets thick and chocolaty. This sauce will thicken considerably to reach the consistency of frosting once it has cooled down to room temperature or overnight.
  17. If making this the night before, let it cool down completely to room temp before popping in the fridge and you can simply reheat it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to loosen it up slightly, wait till it reaches room temperature (about 10 minutes) and you can use it for your cake fillings.
  18. For the Salted Caramel sauce:
  19. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add the sugar and use a wooden spoon to stir till all the sugar crystals have dissolved.
  20. Once the sugar crystals have dissolved, put your wooden spoon away and let it bubble on its own. Do not stir at this stage as the sugar will crystallize giving you a lumpy caramel sauce instead of a satiny smooth one.
  21. Once the sugar has reached a deep amber colour, turn off the heat and take it off the stove.
  22. Add the butter and whisk it quickly. It will start bubbling up.
  23. Once the butte has dissolved, add the cream and whisk more until it gets well incorporated. Pour it into a glass jar and let it get to room temperature before putting it in the refrigerator.
  24. For the Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting:
  25. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, fill water up to about an inch; let it come to a gentle simmer and use a large metal bowl atop the saucepan in a way that the water does not touch the bowl. Add your egg whites and caster sugar and whisk until all the sugar has dissolved and the mix does not feel gritty to the touch.
  26. Take it off the saucepan and using a hand blender or a stand mixer mix on medium high speed for about 7-9 minutes or until the sides of the bowl have cooled down AND the egg whites have achieved stiff peaks.
  27. Once that is done, gradually add your butter and mix well between each addition on a low speed.
  28. Once all your butter has been added, beat on medium speed for about 3-4 minutes.
  29. Add your caramel sauce in 2 additions, beating on low speed between each addition.
  30. Once everything has been incorporated, beat on medium high speed for about 3 minutes. The frosting is ready.
  31. Refrigerate until it is needed.
  32. For the praline:
  33. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  34. Lightly crush the almonds using the pestle of the mortar and pestle.
  35. Prepare the caramel just like mentioned above until it reaches a golden, amber colour. (Do not add butter and cream)
  36. Once it has reached the desired colour, pour it over the crushed almonds and let it sit for about 10 minutes or until it hardens.
  37. Use the pestle again to crush into chunky bits.
  38. For assembly:
  39. Level the cakes with a cake leveller or a sharp serrated knife.
  40. Use a cake board for your base.
  41. Add a spoon of frosting and using your small palette knife spread it across to make a glue to make your cake stay in place.
  42. Place the first layer.
  43. Add the dark chocolate fudge frosting.
  44. Place the second layer.
  45. Add the dark chocolate fudge frosting.
  46. Place the final layer upside down so that the bottom of the cake forms the top of the whole cake.
  47. For the crumb coat, lightly spread the swiss meringue buttercream all over the cake and place in the refrigerator for approx 1 hour so that the icing sets.
  48. Finally, add a generous scoop of the buttercream frosting on the cake and smoothen it out using a palette knife and scraper.
  49. Add the praline along the sides or as you desire and refrigerate until ready to serve.
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Now, for the giveaway:

giveaway collage final

I’ve turned 21 and I am SOOOO excited; I want to celebrate it with you by sending a lovely prize pack of some of my favorite goodies your way. Here’s what I’ve included in the package:

  1. 2 packs of Cornitos Nacho Crisps in Tikka Masala flavour: Oh la la I’m not a crisps fan but this one had me swooning! I can finish large bags of these crisps in a couple of minutes! THAT.GOOD!
  2. Cadbury Celebrations Pack: This includes
  • 2 x Cadbury 5 star
  • Cadbury Perk
  • Cadbury shots {Friends’ pack}

3.Haldiram’s All in one:

This is one of the best evening time snacks I can rely on. It’s an explosion of flavours and textures. You’ll find peanuts, crisp vermicelli, cashews, some lovely gram flour bites that are sweet and spicy and just plain delicious. Grab a spoon and I bet you will finish this pack in seconds!

  1. Animal Rush notebooks:

Whether you want to write down your recipes, make notes or simply own a beautiful looking book with satiny smooth pages, this is what you should be using. It’s a pack of three red coloured books with lion motifs on the cover page. It includes:

  1. One large sized notebook
  2. One medium sized notebook
  3. One notepad

5. Post-it prompts:

Flipping through every single page to find what you’re looking for is just plain annoying. Change that with these colorful prompts that will help you find exactly what you are looking for.

  1. Charlie Til {sesame} laddu:

These are my favourite and would you believe me if I said that they are 100% healthy? They’re made with jaggery and sesame seeds and snacking on them can be absolutely guilt free!

  1. Charlie Rajgira Chikki:

Popularly known as Amaranth, this is the best chikki or brittle that you will have ever eaten! Again, these are extremely healthy!

  1. Charlie Peanut Chikki:

These are made with jaggery too and taste like a piece of peanut heaven, not to mention, these are healthy as well.

One lucky winner will own these lovely goodies and that can be YOU!

Note: This giveaway is open TO EVERYONE ALL OVER THE PLANET! So, if you are reading this right now, you can enter right away!

All you have to do is tell me one of your favourite birthday memories and like my Facebook page to enter. You can enter every day to increase your chances of winning.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open now and will end on the 7th of September 2014 at 12:00 AM based on Mumbai time!

So, enter away!

Kindly Note:

None of the companies mentioned above have sponsored this giveaway. I have purchased these products myself and will be shipping it to the winner’s address at my own expense. These are simply the products that I absolutely love using and are my favorites.

All the best … byeeee, I’m off to celebrate my birthday with the fam and friends! Love each and every one of you!!!!! XXXX

Sticky Plum Chicken Sliders

These sticky plum chicken sliders are sandwiched between a sliced pretzel bun and loaded with creamy, sticky, delicious goodness that is bursting with flavors and textures.

sliders full view the cupcake confession

Remember these pretzel buns I made a few days ago?

Yes, I had actually made them with an ulterior motive in mind.

I wanted to eat homemade burgers!

What? Crazy girl, go to your nearest burger joint, I hear you say.

But trust me, when you make these beauties at home, I double dare you, one bite is all it takes for you to lose yourself in this black hole of flavours, textures and aromas!

It is hypnotising, it is like going into a trance. One bite, people; just one bite and you will suddenly find that you end up tuning out all the chaos from the outside world.

sliders full view close up three fourth the cupcake confession

Right in that moment, it’s just you and these sticky plum chicken sliders.

Let’s dissect all of the layers, shall we?

You already know the magic of pretzel buns, so bake a batch and watch the magic happen right before your eyes.

plums the cupcake confession

Next is the sticky plum chicken sauce. What can I say, you guys!!! It’s spicy, it’s sweet, and it’s got a pleasant plum taste humming in every bite but not overpowering to make you gag of the sickly sweetness. There’s the heat from all the ginger, garlic and spices and then as if to balance it out, there is a dash of acidity in the form of rice wine vinegar and a generous squeeze of one whole lime.  And when marinated overnight, the flavours just meld together and this marriage of flavours and textures is SOOOOO worth celebrating!

spicy plum sauce chicken the cupcake confession

Next is the garlic herb mayonnaise – It’s like glue; it brings all the flavours together. This is the kind of glue I’d happily eat everyday!

It’s the easiest sauce to make and literally takes 2 minutes. All you have to do is combine mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, garlic, lime juice and some herbs! I used coriander. You could replace it with mint or dill or even basil. Or better yet, you could combine all of them together!

Now, you should be warned; this is a messy dish!

sliders full view close up the cupcake confession

The sauces are going to ooze out, they will settle generously on your fingers and all over your mouth and trust me, that’s the best part about eating these sliders.

You will find it excruciatingly difficult to stop at just one.

Now, I have a few tips to make sure that you avoid the mess:

  1. Put just a micro amount of sauce and the sticky plum chicken filling in your sliders.
  2. Don’t wear fancy // new clothes when diving into it.

And if you’re like me, you’re just going to dive into it anyway, extra loaded with all the deliciousness and sauce all over your fingers and face!
That’s the way

Uh huh huh

I like it

Ih huh huh!

:D

Go on, make these sliders! I’m telling you, it’s going to be the best decision you’d have made that day! :D

sliders full view the cupcake confession

Also, just to give you a heads up, I’ll be hosting my first ever giveaway on Monday to celebrate my 21st birthday with all you lovely people! I’ve spent the past couple of days shopping around for some really super cool goodies that I think you will love and I am going to give it to one lucky reader!

This giveaway is open for people all over the world so do come back on Monday!

Sticky Plum Chicken Sliders

Ingredients

    For the buns:
  1. Use pretzel buns.
  2. For the Sticky Plum chicken sauce:
  3. 250 gms boneless chicken
  4. 7 medium sized plums
  5. 1 medium onion sliced
  6. 5 medium sized cloves of garlic finely chopped
  7. 1.5 inch piece of ginger finely chopped
  8. 6 cloves
  9. 1 tbsp + 1 tsp brown sugar
  10. 1/4th cup tomato ketchup
  11. 2 tsp soy sauce
  12. 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  13. 1 tbsp honey
  14. 1 tsp red chilli powder
  15. Juice of 1 lime
  16. 1 tsp pepper powder
  17. 1 tsp salt
  18. 2 tbsp oil
  19. ½ stick of cinnamon
  20. For the Garlic and Herb mayonnaise:
  21. ½ cup mayonnaise
  22. 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  23. 4 cloves of garlic minced or finely chopped
  24. 1/3rd cup fresh coriander chopped*
  25. Additional elements for the sliders:
  26. Tomatoes thinly sliced
  27. Raw onion rings
  28. Cheddar cheese slices

Instructions

  1. Marinate the chicken overnight for a burst of flavours.
  2. For the plum sauce, bring a pot of water to boil. Once the water is bubbling, add the plums and leave them in the water for not more than 60 seconds.
  3. Take them out and run them under cold water.
  4. The skin will come off easily. Placing a plum in your palms, squeeze over the marinade bowl so that all the juices fall straight in and all you are left with is the seed. Do this for the rest of your plums, it will take a lot lesser time than de-seeding and popping them into the blender.
  5. Mix the rest of the ingredients for the sticky plum chicken sauce and mix together with your hands. Cover with a cling film and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Once it has marinated, heat some oil in a pan and add the chicken along with the sauces into the hot pan and let it cook.
  7. At this stage, it is probably going to look too watery but over a period of 10 – 15 minutes of medium high heat, the sauce will start thickening up.
  8. After about 10 minutes, pay attention to the pan and stir quite often, otherwise, the sauce will stick to the pan and burn.
  9. Turn off the heat when the sauce has thickened considerably and let it cool.
  10. Make the mayonnaise sauce. Combine all the ingredients for the garlic-herb mayonnaise and mix well.
  11. For assembling the burger:
  12. Slice the pretzel bun in half.
  13. You can grill the pretzel buns on a grill pan to get them nice and crisp.
  14. Place a few tomato slices on the base of the bun.
  15. Add the sticky plum chicken sauce.
  16. Place a slice of cheddar cheese on top and pop it into the oven for about 3-4 minutes at 210 degrees C.
  17. Once it is out of the oven, add the onion rings.
  18. Top with the garlic herb mayonnaise and cover with the other half of the pretzel bun.

Notes

* You could use just about any herb you like, like fresh mint, dill, basil or even a combination of all.

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Pretzel Buns

These pretzel buns are deliciously fluffy and soft and can be the perfect body for any sandwich, burger or sliders.

pretzel buns close up 01 the cupcake confession

So, the upcoming week is going to be full of activities and there is just so much happening, it is taking me forever to wrap my head around it!

For starters, I turn 21 in about 4 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know I should be excited and planning a great day // night out with my girl pals or family but I just can’t seem to get myself pumped up about it. I have nothing planned out and I haven’t even picked out my dress for the day.

What I do know is that I want to celebrate the day with you too; I mean, this past year has been so AMAZING and 90% of the credit goes out to you lovely people in this virtual space where I spend so much of my time ogling at the mind-blowing recipes and photos by my blogger friends here and I don’t say this enough but I just LOVE you beautiful people out there who read through my posts and support me so much with your kind words and comments! :) :* xxxxxxx :)

pretzel buns full shot 02 the cupcake confession

I was also thinking of hosting my first ever giveaway for my birthday this Monday, so do let me know your thoughts on that as well. Would you be interested in something like that ‘cause I’m dying to send some tangible love your way! ;) :*

Now, let’s direct all our energies to this gorgeous looking and incredible tasting pretzel buns.

Basically, I wanted to make burgers. I know I can pop in the nearest *very popular* burger joint which is like a 5 minute walk from where I live but I also know that this particular *very popular* burger joint will only give me what they want and I’ll have to settle for the same burger that I have been eating forever.

But this time, I was craving something that was fresh out of the oven, deliciously browned on the outside and soft, air pocket-y and fluffy on the inside and these pretzel buns, my friends, are just that!

pretzel buns full shot the cupcake confession

I know this will sound like I’m exaggerating a bit but the soft insides of this bun are reminiscent of a trampoline made out of clouds. It feels light as air and springy to the touch.

The process is just so easy, the actual amount of work involved in making these buns is literally less than 20 minutes. It just takes a good 3-4 hours in total for rising and baking combined, so whilst the dough does its thing, you can do yours – read a book, watch a good movie or a just take a nap! Ohhhh, naps sound delicious, especially since I haven’t been getting enough of those, thanks to the incessant honking of cars outside my building during the afternoons! Booo!!! :(

Anyways, back to these beauties.

pretzel buns vertical three the cupcake confession

Basically, all you have to do is:

–          Knead the dough

–          Let it rise

–          Shape the dough

–          Let it rise

Now, you can pop them into the oven after they have had their second rise, but where’s the fun in that? Besides, you can’t call them pretzel buns then, can you.

Enter: a massive pot of boiling water with a couple of tablespoons of baking soda thrown in, bubbling away and begging for these buns to bathe in them.

Pop a couple at a time into this pot, poach for not more than 60 seconds and then place them back on the baking sheet.

Swipe this magnificent glaze of egg and honey, sprinkle some sesame seeds and bake them.

17 minutes later, you will have the softest, fluffiest bun that your teeth will ever bite into.

pretzel buns vertical three top the cupcake confession

Pretzel Buns

Ingredients

    For the Buns:
  1. 500 grams all purpose flour
  2. 1 tbsp salt
  3. 2 tbsp caster sugar
  4. 1 tbsp yeast
  5. 320 mls lukewarm water
  6. 2 tbsp butter (measure when at room temperature and then melt)
  7. 1 egg See Notes
  8. For the poaching:
  9. A large, deep vessel filled with water up to about 2 inches
  10. 1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking soda.
  11. For the glaze:
  12. 1 tbsp beaten egg
  13. 1 tbsp honey
  14. Additional:
  15. A sprinkle of sesame seeds for the buns.

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, add the sugar and yeast and mix well.
  2. Add lukewarm water and lightly whisk the mixture until all the sugar and yeast has been mixed well in the water; leave it aside for about 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
  3. In the meantime, take a large bowl and add the flour and salt and mix well so that the salt is well distributed throughout the flour.
  4. Melt your butter and beat your egg.
  5. Measure out 1 tbsp of this beaten egg and keep it in a separate bowl for making the glaze later.
  6. Once your yeast has become frothy and foamy, make a well in the centre of your flour mix and add the yeast, melted butter and egg and mix well.
  7. If you are using the dough hook attachment of your stand mixer, mix at low speed for 3 minutes and then at very high speed for 2 minutes.
  8. If kneading by hand, then work the dough for 10 minutes.
  9. You will know that the dough is ready when it is still tacky but does not stick to your hands when you touch it. It will look sticky and when you try to get it off your hand, it will stretch but won’t leave any dough on your hand. That is when you know that your dough is ready.
  10. Put it into a clean bowl and wrap the mouth of the bowl tightly with cling film and place it in a dark, warm place to rise for about 2 hours. (I put it in my microwave, which was turned off)
  11. After 2 hours, the dough will have risen. Take it out gently and knock off the air with a gentle hand.
  12. Divide the dough in 3 parts and then divide each part into 4 portions.
  13. Knead them into balls and place them on a baking tray lined with baking parchment that has either been floured or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  14. Loosely cover with cling film and pop it back into the dark, warm place as before for an hour.
  15. Once they have had their second rise, take them out of the warm place and start bringing your water to a boil.
  16. While the water is coming to a boil, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and make your glaze.
  17. For the glaze, use the beaten egg you had saved from earlier and add honey to it and mix well.
  18. Once the water has come to a boil, add the baking soda and give it a gentle stir to make it bubbly.
  19. Pop 2 dough balls at a time and poach them for only 60 seconds.
  20. Take them out and place them back onto the baking tray while you do the same for the rest of the balls.
  21. Once all of them have been poached, Use a pastry brush to brush the dough balls with the glaze.
  22. Top with sesame seeds and pop into the oven for 15-17 minutes or until they have achieved a lovely golden brown colour.
  23. Take them out and let them cool to room temperature.
  24. Use as desired.

Notes

* when you beat the egg, take out 1 tbsp of the beaten egg for preparing the glaze to brush on the poached dough balls just before popping them into the oven.

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Raspberry Custard Cupcakes with Chocolate Swiss Buttercream Frosting

 

These raspberry custard cupcakes with chocolate swiss buttercream frosting is decadent, fruit and chocolaty and perfect when the sugar craving kicks in. raspberry custard cupcakes with chocolate swiss buttercream frosting swirl three cupcakes the cupcake confession

Hello lovely people :*

I know it looks like I have abandoned my blog but that is so not true! I also know that it is so wrong to give excuses and reasons but Ramadan had kept me on my toes. There was always something or the other that needed to be done, lots of running around and too much chaos! And if you have been a regular reader here, you’ll know how much I love my peace and quiet! I function better in silence! :D

Ramadan is over and so is Eid and in those few days between my today’s post and Eid, I had LOTS going on! For starters, I bought a new lens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I spent months saving all my money and finally got to purchase that one thing that I have been eyeing for as long as I can remember.

raspberry custard cupcakes with chocolate swiss buttercream frosting swirl three cupcakes horizontal the cupcake confession

 

I gifted myself a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM and I am soooooo stunned at the results! It makes me wonder how I used to use my previous lens to begin with. The images are so much sharper and the whole thing just makes my heart sing! I know my photos don’t look as good as I’d hoped they would but I’ve only just started using it and learning how to go about it!!! But whatever, I GOT A NEW LENS!!! Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s BFF certainly never bought themselves a shiny new camera lens! :D

Anyways, moving on…. ;)

I made raspberry custard cupcakes with a chocolate swiss buttercream frosting.

raspberry custard cupcakes with chocolate swiss buttercream frosting swirl top view the cupcake confession

You guys, I made this frosting for the first time ever and I am telling you that this is the only frosting that I will ever make from this point on!

You have to make this frosting at home to understand what I am trying to say. It’s so incredibly fluffy without being greasy. It is surprisingly light and the shape that it holds; I was shocked!

raspberry custard cupcakes with chocolate swiss buttercream frosting swirl cut open the cupcake confession

Everyone knows that Mumbai is one of the most humid places on the planet! I dare you to not sweat even when it is winter time! {Gross, I know, but I had to use sweat as an example! }

I had taken these cupcakes out of the fridge for at least an hour while I was taking my own sweet time trying to get used to the new lens {eeeeeeeeeepppp} and clicking photos and the frosting did not melt AT ALL! It kept its shape throughout! How cool is that! <3.

raspberry custard cupcakes with chocolate swiss buttercream frosting filling the cupcake confession

Most of the credit goes to the fact that it is made from meringue so a stiff meringue will obviously hold well. I’ve explained the process in the recipe section, so you can scroll down OR you could continue reading to know what the cupcake is made of.

Errrm, I know the title says raspeberry custard, but don’t be fooled! I did not ACTUALLY make any custard! I used custard powder in Raspberry flavour!

:D

It just makes the cupcakes so soft, fluffy and pudding like, it is raspberry magic {at least that’s the only way I can ever taste a raspberry}

I could have stopped there, but where’s the fun in that!!!! :D

raspberry custard cupcakes with chocolate swiss buttercream frosting filling top view the cupcake confession

I scooped out the centre of the cupcakes with a sharp knife and filled it with some warmed raspberry jam and then sneakily put the cut tops back! *evil smile*

Okay, I think my work here is done! I came here with the intention of making you salivate and hopefully I’ve done that. So I’m going to stop blabbering and let you read the recipe! :D

raspberry custard cupcakes with chocolate swiss buttercream frosting swirl cut open close up the cupcake confession

Enjoy !

Samina xx

Raspberry Custard Cupcakes with Chocolate Swiss Buttercream Frosting

Yield: Makes 12 medium sized cupcakes

Ingredients

    For the Cupcakes
  1. 125 grams all purpose flour
  2. 1 tsp baking powder
  3. 100 grams salted butter {room temperature}
  4. 100 grams caster sugar
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 1 tsp Vanilla extracts
  7. 2 tbsp Instant Raspberry Custard Powder {I used Blue Bird}
  8. 2 tbsp whole milk
  9. For the Frosting:
  10. 1 egg white {room temperature}
  11. 60 grams caster sugar
  12. 90 grams unsalted butter {room temperature}
  13. 1 heaped tbsp cocoa powder {I use Hershey’s natural unsweetened}
  14. For Assembly:
  15. 12 Cupcakes
  16. Chocolate Swiss Buttercream frosting
  17. 3 heaped tbsp raspberry jam or any flavoured jam of your choice slightly warmed.

Instructions

    For the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
  2. Sift the all purpose flour and baking powder in a bowl.
  3. In a clean metal bowl, cream together the butter and sugar on a medium speed until pale, light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time beating for about 30 seconds on medium speed between each addition.
  5. Add in the vanilla extract.
  6. Add the Instant raspberry custard powder and mix well for about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the flour and baking powder mix and using your spatula or a metal spoon, fold in the flour into the cake batter, making sure that you are gentle and not knocking the air off.
  8. Pour into your cupcake cases about ½ way through and pop it into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until a skewer or a knife poked in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Leave them to cool, preferably overnight. If you leave it to cool overnight, first let the cakes cool down to room temperature and then pop them into the refrigerator.
  10. When the cupcakes have cooled, take a sharp knife and run along the top making a circular motion and take the top off. Make sure you do not slice too deep into the cupcake.
  11. Warm the jam in the microwave and use a small spoon to fill into the well that has been created. Use the cut off tops and put them back on the cupcake and put the cupcakes back in the refrigerator to chill.
  12. For the frosting:
  13. Use a heavy bottomed vessel and full it with about 1 inch of water and bring to a gentle simmer.
  14. In a larger clean metal bowl, add your sugar and egg white and whisk lightly keeping the bowl over the heavy bottomed vessel making sure that the water does not touch the vessel.
  15. The heat will pasteurize the egg white and you will know that the work is done when rubbing the mix between two of your fingers does not feel gritty.
  16. Take the bowl off the vessel and start whisking with a hand mixer or stand blender at very high speed for about 5 minutes.
  17. The mixture will go opaque and marshmallow-y. When stiff peaks have formed, reduce your speed to slow and add small knobs of your butter one at a time until the previous knob has completely disappeared and mixed well.
  18. Once all your butter has been added, increase the speed to high and whisk for 1 minute.
  19. Add your cocoa powder and whisk again for 3 minutes on very high speed until it all comes together.
  20. Once the frosting is made, use your favourite nozzle and fill the frosting in a piping bag and pipe swirls on the cupcakes.
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Mushroom Masala Naan Pizza

This Mushroom Masala Naan Pizza is a complete Indian meal on a slice.

mushroom masala naan pizza full shot with yogurt raita backlit viewthe cupcake confession

Okay lovelies, so I’ll be going to my old college {can’t believe I spent 5 years in this college and won’t be seeing the campus anymore; PS: How did 5 years pass by so quickly? } Anywho, the point is, I’ll be getting my graduation marksheet on Monday, which means my convocation is just around the corner!

I’m so excited, more because I want to wear the black coat and the black graduation cap and then click LOADSSS of photos with my 2 bffs that made 3 years of my graduation a breeze and the most fun experience of my life! :D And more so because I will get to dress up!

I don’t really dress fancy every day, so yeah, that’s that! I am planning to buy something on these lines to wear for the convocation ceremony.

Do you like it??????? Please say yes! :D

mushroom masala naan pizza full shot backlit viewthe cupcake confession

I’m also on a carb loading fest this week! I literally CANNOT keep my hands off anything loaded with gluten!

I have also gained back every little gram of weight that I had lost, which means chubby whole body! Need to start cutting back … I’ve got a dress to wear! :D

mushroom masala naan pizza full shot three fourth viewthe cupcake confession

But then, my theory is:

Carbs > dress

#sorrynotsorry

#totallygoogledthegreaterthansymbol  #justtoconfirm

:D

And let me tell you, once you make this mushroom masala naan pizza, you and I are going to be bingeing on this on an hourly basis and we are going to do that without any shame!

It’s partially healthy, if that’s any consolation.

mushroom masala naan pizza mushroom masala top view the cupcake confession

 

The topping is a delicious mushroom masala made from SCRATCH. I’ve used button mushrooms because that is all you get here. You do get the fancy oyster mushroom and the shitake but they are pricey!

I’m not spending my monthly allowance buying mushroom.

Hint Hint : I have a dress to save for ! ;)

But you can totally spend your savings on pricey mushroom if you want to indulge.

mushroom masala naan pizza collage mushrooms the cupcake confession

The dough..

OH MY GOD the dough!!!! It is outright delicious and you HAVE to make it! I wanted my vegetarian friends to make the most of this recipe so I used yogurt instead of egg and boy does that make a HUGE difference.

I also used ghee instead of butter since, you know, we were in full on Indian mode. You can always use melted butter but please please pretty please, if you can get your hands on Ghee, please use that!

Oh, and I also added some spices to the dough!

mushroom masala naan pizza full shot top viewthe cupcake confession

And for the main event, you don’t need no ketchup or tobacco to dunk your slice into, there is a from scratch yogurt raita that you spoon over the slices.

See, I told you, this recipe is partially {actually, more than just partially} healthy.

What you taste is the pillow-y soft naan bread {Trust me, if I could, I would totally sleep on this naan and then eat it – minimum wastage}, then you move onto the hot mushroom masala topping and may find some pleasant crunch as you bite into some random raw onion rings and then, my friends, is the creamy yogurt raita that takes this pizza to the next level.

mushroom masala naan pizza full shot with yogurt raita close upthe cupcake confession

You know, basically, this mushroom masala naan pizza is an entire Indian meal stuffed into a slice. It’s basically a slice of Indian heaven, if that even exists :D

There’s the naan, there’s a gravy and a raita! All that is missing is some pappadam.

No worries, you can totally bake or fry a couple of pappadams and break them into little shards and sprinkle them generously over the baked pizza. Don’t put it before baking because there is a pretty good chance that it will burn!

mushroom masala naan pizza full shot with yogurt raita close up part2 the cupcake confession

In short, PLEASE MAKE THIS NOW NOW NOW!

mushroom masala naan pizza full shot side viewthe cupcake confession

 

Mushroom Masala Naan Pizza

Yield: Makes 8 individual naan pizzas or 4 family size ones

Ingredients

    For the naan dough:
  1. 500 gms flour
  2. 1 tsp salt
  3. 1 tbsp + 2 tsp yeast
  4. 2 tbsp caster sugar
  5. 4 tbsp milk
  6. 7 tbsp yogurt at room temperature
  7. 2 tbsp + 1 tsp ghee / melted butter
  8. 1 tsp cumin powder
  9. ½ tsp pepper powder
  10. 1/4th cup water
  11. For the Mushroom Masala:
  12. 200 gms button mushrooms sliced
  13. 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  14. 6 medium sized cloves of garlic
  15. 1 large green chilli
  16. 1 medium onion
  17. 4 medium sized dried red chillies
  18. 1 tsp coriander powder
  19. ½ cup tomato paste
  20. 1 medium sized capsicum diced
  21. 1 tsp cumin powder
  22. ¼th tsp garam masala
  23. ½ cup + 2 tsp water for making the chilli paste
  24. 2/3 cup water for the gravy.
  25. For the Yogurt Raita:
  26. 4 tbsp yogurt
  27. 1 medium sized cucumber chopped
  28. 1 medium sized clove of garlic
  29. ½ tsp cumin powder
  30. ½ tsp red chilli powder
  31. ½ tsp salt
  32. 1/4th wedge of lime juice
  33. A handful of coriander leaves finely chopped
  34. Serving Suggestions:
  35. Raw Onion rings
  36. Sprigs of coriander

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, add the yeast and sugar and mix well.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the milk until it gets lukewarm. Test this by dipping your finger in the milk; it should be warm enough to not burn your finger.
  3. Pour it into the dried yeast, mix it well and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes for it to activate.
  4. In the meantime, sift the flour in a large metal bowl.
  5. Add the salt, cumin powder and pepper powder and mix well so that the spices and salt are evenly distributed throughout the flour.
  6. Add the activated yeast mix into the flour, the yogurt and the ghee and mix well.
  7. Add the water and form smooth, soft dough.
  8. Tip the dough onto a well floured surface and knead it for about 5 minutes until the dough gets nice and soft and stretchy.
  9. Make a ball of the dough and place it in a lightly floured metal bowl.
  10. Cover it with cling film or a damp tea towel and let it sit and prove in a dark, warm place for about an hour.
  11. In the meantime, make the Mushroom Masala.
  12. Soak the dried red chillies in hot water and let them sit for about 5-10 minutes till they rehydrate and are softened.
  13. Chop the garlic and the chillies and add to a saucepan with hot oil.
  14. Once they have been sautéed, add the onion and let it soften and then brown them. This will take about 10 minutes on a medium high heat.
  15. Take the red chillies, add the coriander powder, cumin powder and the tomato paste and blend it in the blender until a smooth paste forms. Add the water to the paste to make it smoother.
  16. Once the onions have browned, add the chill paste and let that cook for about 5 minutes. You can add 1/3rd of the 2/3rd cup of water first to avoid the chilli paste from burning.
  17. Once the chilli paste has cooked, add the garam masala and cook for about 1 minute.
  18. Add the capsicum and the mushrooms and the rest of the 1/3rd cup of water and cook for about 2-3 minutes until the gravy is bubbling.
  19. Take it off the heat and let it cool.
  20. Once cooled, you can place it in the refrigerator to chill.
  21. After an hour has passed, take the risen dough out of the metal bowl and gently knock back the air.
  22. Knead for a minute and divide the dough into portions.
  23. You can divide it into 4 portions to make 4 large naans of 10 inches in length each or you could make 8 divisions to make 8 individual naans of 6 inches in length each.
  24. Make balls from this dough and place it on a floured baking tray, cover with cling film or a damp tea towel and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
  25. In the meantime, you can make your raita.
  26. In a bowl, add the chopped/ minced garlic, cucumber and the spices and salt.
  27. Add the yogurt, squeeze the lime juice and mix well.
  28. Right at the end, add the chopped coriander and pop it into the fridge to chill.
  29. Preheat the oven to 240 degrees C.
  30. Take the balls of dough after 30 minutes, roll them lengthwise to make a rough oval/ rectangle shape.
  31. Slather the mushroom masala on the rolled dough. Add some onion rings and bake in the oven at 240 degrees C for about 12 minutes.
  32. When the naan pizza has been baked, top it with some raw onion rings and few sprigs of coriander scattered randomly and serve with the yogurt raita.
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