Friday, 13 April 2012

Boston Cream Pie

Wow. I didn't realize it's been a couple months since I've last posted! I guess I've been really busy lazing around and whiling away time, now that exams are over. :P Unfortunately, that means school is over too, and oddly enough, I'm actually missing it a lot! On the bright side, I've got 5 months to kill before college starts! That means, lots of baking! I'm also interning at the bakery at a restaurant near by called Crimson Chakra. It's a lot of fun, and now I've got something to do every day!
One thing I've been wanting to try out for a reaaaallly long time is Boston Cream Pie. I wonder why it's called a pie, since it's actually a cake! But honestly, who cares? It tastes amazing, and that's all that matters! The cream filling is absolutely delicious. I could eat it for the rest of my life. You may want to double the cake recipe, because it makes really thin layers. I didn't double the recipe, so my Boston Cream Pie wasn't very tall. The recipe below, is the original one (it's not doubled).


1 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour
2/3 cup sugar
1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup milk
1/4 vanilla bean (cut lengthwise, seeds scraped out) OR vanilla essence
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 cup cornstarch
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter

4 ounces chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit and grease a round 9 inch pan.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
3. Beat in milk, oil, egg yolks, and vanilla essence with an electric mixer.
4. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks are formed.
5. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites and mix thoroughly.
6. Pour the cake batter into the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

1. In a saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla to a boil. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
2. In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk in the cornstarch.
3. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture. Then whisk in the rest of the hot milk mixture.
4. Strain the mixture back into the saucepan and cook it until it thickens and slowly starts boiling, whisking constantly.
5. Remove from heat and stir in the butter.
6. Cool slightly, cover with cling wrap such that it touches the surface of the cream mixture, and cool for at least two hours.

1. Boil the cream.
2. Pour the boiling cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely melted.

1. Cut the cake in half horizontally. Alternatively, you could divide the batter in half and make two separate cakes.
2. Spread the bottom layer generously with the cream filling.
3. Place the second layer on top.
4. Pour the chocolate ganache over the top of the cake.
5. Refrigerate.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Banana Oats Muffins

Happy New Year everyone!! I know, I'm late. I've been pretty bad at posting on time these days. That'll all change soon once my exams are over :) Anyway, how's 2012 been treating you all so far? I know most people think the world is going to end this year, but frankly, I think that's pretty stupid. yeah, it's fun to go along with the hype, but I'm positive December 22, 2012 shall come. No matter what your opinion is, I guess it's best to focus on the present right? A lot of us have new year resolutions. A lot of us don't. Those of us who do, usually land up not following our resolutions after the first few days. Whatever the case may be, most people decide their resolution is going to be to lose weight. That's pretty much impossible, especially for those who have a major sweet tooth. Missing out on all those desserts is just unthinkable! Here's where the good news comes in. What if I told you it was possible to eat healthy, and still indulge in sweets? Nope, there's no catch. These banana oats muffins are DELICIOUS. I know it sounds gross and waaay too healthy to even be considered tasty, but I promise you, these are so good, you may not even miss the chocolate that much! I've been off chocolate myself for a month, and I'm planning on not eating it until the Board exams get over (March 26th!), so these muffins have been my quick fix. They're good for breakfast, snack, or just to satisfy those random hunger pangs. Also, it's ridiculously simple to make. This recipe makes 12 absolutely delicious muffins.


1  1/2 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sugar (You could substitute half of this with honey)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed bananas


1. Preheat the oven to about 400 degrees farenheit (200-210 degrees celcius).
2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. Combine the wet ingredients in another bowl and add the mashed bananas.
4. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.
5. Bake for 20-22 minutes.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Gingerbread Cookies

Merry Christmas everyone :) Sorry I haven't been updating my blog regularly. 12th really is hectic! I've barely had time to bake, let alone post recipes! It's probably going to be this way for the next few months until the Boards get over (can't wait for March 26th! :D) but I promise to post on this blog as much as I can, and I will definitely be posting a lot of recipes once my exams are over. Sooo, on a brighter note, it's Christmas!! That means lots of presents! But more importantly, lots of good food :D And yummy desserts. So, to celebrate Christmas, I decided to find time amidst the studying, and I baked cookies :) Not just any cookies. Gingerbread men :) Considering it's my first time making them, I think they came out really well! My mom ate quite a few, so I guess that means she enjoyed them too!! These are really easy to make and taste amazing. The only problem is that the dough has to be refrigerated for a few hours. I hate waiting. But I think in this case, it was worth the wait. Try these, you won't be disappointed! This recipe makes about 24 cookies. Have a merry Christmas :)


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
5/8 cup (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 egg


1. Sift all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Set aside.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter for about a minute. Add the brown sugar and beat again until well combined.
3. Beat in the molasses and egg.
4. Gradually add in the flour and stir to form a dough.
5. Form a disk with the dough and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 3 hours.
6. After the dough has been refrigerated, let it come to room temperature.
7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit (about 200 degrees celcius).
8. Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it out to about 1/4 inch thickness. For softer cookies, roll the dough out slightly thicker.
9. Cut the cookies using a cookie cutter, cut the cookies and place them on a cookie tray.
10. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are crisp.
11. Decorate with icing if desired. I used a simple icing recipe. Scroll down for the recipe.

Icing Recipe:


1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence


Combine all the ingredients together and mix.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Jacques Torres' Chocolate Chip Cookies


 Diwali, one of the most awaited Indian festivals is in 2 days. It's associated with sweets, new clothes, firecrackers, oil lamps (diyas) and lots of fun and cheer. What have I been doing to usher in Diwali this year? I've been studying for midterms (they finally got over today! YAY!! :D), working on college applications, organizing the Commerce Culturals, and baking these scrumptious cookies. :) I've waited almost a year to bake these. No joke. You want to know why? Because we don't get cake flour and bread flour in India. So I had to ask my dad to buy some from the US. Even after he brought it here, it was just sitting in the pantry for a few months. FINALLY I got around to baking these amazing, heavenly cookies and in between stuffing my face with them, I've been kicking myself for waiting so long to bake them. These have got to be one of the best cookies I've had. No wonder this recipe is so famous. The cookies are crisp at the edges and chewy in the center, and utterly, sinfully delicious. I know it's weird that I don't like Indian sweets (yup, not even one), so this is my end-of-exams-beginning-of-Diwali treat for myself. And I've got to say, it's probably the best treat I could ever give myself. I can finally cross this off my ''to bake'' list. The 24-36 hours waiting period is torture, but it's most definitely worth it! So I wish you an amazing holiday season with lots of love, happiness, cheer, and chocolate chip cookies. :)


2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 2/3 cup bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1  1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate chips or cocoa nibs


1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. 
2. In another bowl, cream butter and sugars for about 5 minutes, until very light.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after the addition of each egg. 
4. Stir in vanilla essence.
5. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. 
6. Mix in chocolate chips/cocoa nibs.
7. Refrigerate cookie dough for 24-36 hours. Cookie dough can be refrigerated for unto 72 hours.
8. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit (about 180 degrees celcius). Line baking tray with parchment paper. 
9. Place mounds of cookie dough on the baking tray and sprinkle with sea salt.

10. Bake until golden brown and slightly set, about 15-20 minutes. 
11. Cool cookies completely and then eat. :D

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting


 Apparently it's fall. Fall is usually associated with a change in the weather, brown and yellow and red leaves, acorns, apples, Thanksgiving, pumpkins, scarves, Halloween, hot chocolate, pies and bonfires. Yet I don't see any of these. Why? Because I'm living in Chennai, where there is only one season - Summer. Yeah, there's the occasional month of ''monsoon''. But for the most part of it, it's just hot. I can't wait to go abroad for college, to a place that actually has 4 seasons. Don't get me wrong, Chennai isn't bad at all. It's just that sometimes I'd like to actually experience autumn and winter and bake a pumpkin pie and drink hot chocolate. Anyway, I decided not to let the lack of fall in the air stop me from baking something that screams ''Autumn''. As I was looking for something pumpkin-y to make, I stumbled across this recipe from one of my favorite blogs. I took one look at the name and was sold. This was definitely my next baking venture. :D I've got to say, my first baking experience with pumpkin turned out to be pretty darn amazing. The cupcake is to die for (literally). They're moist and packed with flavor. The frosting is sweet, but the cinnamon really shines through and tops these cupcakes off perfectly. I'd really urge you to take some time off to bake these. It'll be worth it! I made 6 standard size cupcakes and 12 mini cupcakes with this recipe. 


1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I didn't have it, so I left it out)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
7.5 ounces pumpkin puree


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit (about 180 degrees celcius). Line cupcake tray with liners, or grease the tray.
2. In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and the pumpkin pie spice. 
3. In another bowl, whisk together the butter, brown sugar and granulated white sugar. 
4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. 
5. Mix in the pumpkin puree. 
6. Pour batter into the cupcake tray and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. 
7. Cool, then frost with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:


5 ounces cream cheese
1/6 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup icing sugar
1/2-1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract


1. Use a mixer to mix the cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
2. Slowly add the icing sugar until completely incorporated.
3. Add the cinnamon and vanilla extract. 

Friday, 30 September 2011

The World's Best Brownies

 With all the stress of SATs and College Apps, I needed something extremely chocolatey and sinful to drown my anxiety in. Something easy to make, but still delicious. I came across this recipe and was so happy with the results. Seriously, I don't think anyone could not like these brownies. I know everyone has their ''best brownie'' recipe, and I did too, until I tried this one. Now, this is my go-to brownie recipe. I've made these at least 4 times in the past two weeks. I first made these brownies for the excursion my class went on, to Ooty and Masanagudi, and they were a big hit. I promise you won't be disappointed. I'm writing my SAT tomorrow, and I'm super nervous. So obviously, I baked to ease the nerves. And what did I bake? These brownies! And how many did I eat? Let's not even go there. :P These brownies are to die for!! Rich, decadent, chocolatey goodness...That's what these brownies are. I'm kind of on this brownie craze right now, so I apologize for the number of brownie recipes I've been posting. I'll post something new next time :D But until then, enjoy these sinfully rich brownies. :) This recipe, from the King Arthur Flour website, makes about 24 brownies.


1 cup unsalted butter
2  1/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1  1/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1  1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chocolate chips (optional, but I highly recommend adding them!)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit (about 180 degrees celcius). Line or grease a 9x13 inch pan.
2. In a microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat, and then add the sugar to it, stirring to combine. Alternatively, combine the butter and sugar and stir on low heat until butter is melted. If you want a shiny crackly crust, reheat the butter and sugar mixture until the mixture is hot, but not bubbling. This dissolves the sugar even more and yields a shiny crust.

3. In a separate bowl, stir together the eggs, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, espresso powder and vanilla extract.
4. Add the butter-sugar mixture, stirring continuously.

5. Stir in the flour until smooth, and then stir in the chocolate chips. If you do not want the chocolate chips to melt while baking, let the batter cool for 15-20 minutes before stirring them in. 
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool before cutting. 

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Cocoa Brownies

     The cakey brownies vs fudgey brownies battle is ongoing. I don't think it will ever end. As long as people have different tastes, opinions and preferences, the ''Brownie War'' will always exist. Personally, I prefer fudgey brownies. If I wanted cakey brownies, I would just eat cake. One can argue and say ''But if you want fudgey brownies, why not just eat fudge?'', which is true, but I think the most notable feature of a brownie is its deep, rich, fudgey-ness. My favorite brownies are those with the thin, shiny, crackly crust. These brownies don't have that crust I love so much, but the taste makes up for that. I'm actually not quite sure whether to call these brownies or fudge. The batter is so thick, it's almost like cookie dough. The 'brownie dough' itself is sure to be an indication of how fudgey these brownies are! This recipe has been circulating the internet, jumping from blog to blog, for quite some time now, so I figured it must be worth trying out. Yes, these brownies are made from cocoa, not chocolate, but I assure you, it does not compromise on taste at all! These brownies aren't my favorite, but they are super easy to whip up, and taste pretty darn good! I'm sorry I don't have any photos of the brownies. They were devoured before I could take pictures of them!!


10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1  1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 cup all purpose flour


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Farenheit (160 degrees Celcius). Grease an 8x8 inch baking pan, or line with foil or parchment paper.
2. Combine butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in a heatproof bowl and melt over a pan of simmering water. Alternatively, microwave butter sugar cocoa and salt until butter is melted and mixture is smooth and warm.
3. Stir in the vanilla essence.
4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after the addition of each egg.
5. Mix in flour into the batter/brownie dough.

6. Pour batter/brownie dough into the pan.

7. Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out moist with a few crumbs.
8. Cool completely before cutting.