Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas themed cupcakes

Hey .
I've been busy.
Busy would be putting it nicely:)

Hwever,these days I've also been extremely happy.
Don't really have much to say today,so I;m going to let the pictures do all the talking!!!

All the topper are thumb size or smaller!!!!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

There ain't no food here!!

If you're here to look at pretty pictures of baked stuff, You won't find anything here today.
I've had a bit of a disasterous day with the oven today and I really need something to pick me up.
Here is a list of 5 things that made me happy :)

This journal thingy:) I love love love stationary and as of now I'm in the middle of making one of my own!!!
This one is from Polka dot Robot

Chumbak is  my newest obsession :) I browse through their website almost every single day and look at the stuff over and over again. It just makes me happy! :)

 The stuff is so cute and ridiculously creative :)

Strawberry-ish things
Christmas Tequila Cocktail

Jack Johnson's -No Other Way
Selena Gomez- Who Says

Love the video.It reminds me of lazy evenings,and beaches.....And the dress is beau-ti-ful!!

Crazy dreams....

Chocolate macarons. Not quite there yet!

Today has been bittersweet.
Considering that it has been a really long time since I've had a whole weekend off and a lazy lazy sunday afternoon without having to worry about interviews or procrastinating studying ; spending all afternoon baking was nothing but pure bliss.

If good ol' chocolate chip cookies are like the girl next door, then french macarons are like the Diva that has an endless list of bossy demands.
Now I've made an attempted to make french macarons before,and I ended up with a flooded mess of macaron batter.Let me be honest here. I'm not really the kind to be called chicken.I mean,I can handle a few bumps and bruises and I've had my fair share of kitchen disasters.But french macarons scare the living daylights out of me.
Wait a second.

What exactly does it mean when people say "scares the living daylights " mean? Nothing in that phrase even makes sense.
I mean,what exactly happens after the living daylights have been scared out of you?Do you black out?
I googled it! here.  Knock yourself out!! (No pun intended!)

Anyway,as I was saying,it's pretty easy to be fooled by these gorgeous looking cookies.I mean ,how hard can it be right?
Just whip the egg whites,fold in the almond powder and sugar.Pipe.Rest .Bake.

Yup,I thought so too.
But apparently, life isn't that easy.
These little fellows turned out to be more moody than I expected..
When I piped them out they looked perfect.They spread just the right amount.They rested well.The shell formed.They got all shiny.And then I put them in the oven.
In less than two minutes,20 out of 25 macarons had cracked.
Luckily I had 3 more batches resting, and everytime I baked them there was some fault or the other.
They cracked,they didnt have 'feet' they stuck to the butterpaper and what not.
So all in all,everything that could go wrong,DID!!!
Oh,I also discovered that you could burn french macarons!! :|
Anyway,I managed to save these two and filled them up :)

I'm still pretty darn scared of making these again,but hey,Third time's a charm right?

Friday, December 02, 2011

Mini Banoffee Pie

"Make me something decadent" he said,"but not cupcakes,okay?"
It's easy to see that this boy was really pushing his luck.I mean,it really takes guts to demand that I bake you something and then add that they better not be cupcakes!! Hmphff!!
However,life is unfair and he managed to get away with it, ;) and right enough ,three days later,these mini banoffee pies were happily being gobbled up.

These banoffee pies introduced me to something so simple,so amazing,and so unbelieveably addictive:roasted,candied almonds
I first made a test batch of candied almonds the day before I made the banoffee pies,just to try them out.I left them to cool on the silpat and went to watch TV for a while and when I came back they were all gone and my mother was innocently (pretending?) to sleep !! :)
These are so easy to make (and kind of easy to burn too!! so be careful!)
Yes, I know random facts like that.
Anyway, Since Mr. Bake-me-something-decadent was asking I decided to make him something from the Jamie Oliver book he had picked up at a book fair.
I'll give you 3 reasons to make this pie:
1.Dulce de leche .check.
3.Those  you-want-to-eat-them-all-the-time almonds.check.

Mini Banoffee Pies
 Adapted from Jamies Kitchen-Jamie Oliver

Makes 6

150 gms Whole almonds(blanched or with the skin on)
180gms   Icing sugar

For the shortcrust pastry:
150gms   Flour
50gms     Powdered Sugar
100 gms  Butter

400gms   Dulce De Leche
6             Bananas
300 ml     Double Cream
 1 Tbsp     Instant Coffee Powder+ 1 Tsp Warm water

1.Preheat the oven to 180oC.Rinse the almonds,Drain them a little and mix them quickly with the icing su
 gar in a bowl until they are really sticky.
2.Place on a baking tray(I recommend you put them on a sheet of silver foil just to make the cleaning easier!!) and toast them for about 15 min, in the oven until they are golden and crispy,turning them every couple of minutes.Keep a close eye on them as they tend to burn pretty easily!!
3.Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Happily roasting in the oven.


Shortcrust pastry:

1.Sift the Flour and Powdered sugar together.
2.Make sure the butter is absolutely chilled.
3.Quickly pulse the flour mixture along with the butter in a blender,in short pulses. Do not allow the machine to heat at up
4.Once,the mixture resembles the texture of wet sand,empty it out onto a clean work surface and bring it together by adding the chilled water to form a dough. Do not knead it !!!
5. Wrap it in clingwrap and allow it to chill in the fridge for about 20 min.
6.Take out the shortcrust pastry and rool it out to about 1/4 inch thick. Line the mini silicon moulds or loose bottomed mini pie dishes(If the moulds are not silicone,make sure to grease them with a little butter!!).Blind bake the shorcrust cases at 150'C and allow them to cool.

Bring it all together!!!
1.Spread the Dulce de leche as thick as you like across the base of the pastry in each mini pie case.
2.Slice the Bananas and place it on top of the toffee.
3.Whip the chilled double cream,till soft peaks form,and swirl the coffe mixture through it.
4.Dallop the cream on top of the sliced bananas.
5.Finish it with the roasted almonds on top of the banoffee pie and serve immediately!!!

What I like about this,is that it's the perfect thing to make on days when you feel like just pottering around the kitchen. Except for the shortcrust pastry,nothing else in this banoffee pie really needs any measurement and you can add as much or as little or all the different components.
Don't chill the banoffee pie because the dulce de leche will harden and there is a risk of losing a few teeth in the process. :)

This is comfort food.I mean its gooey and its topped with a big dallop of whipped cream.
Plus,it makes people very very happy :)
Next time I think I'll substitue the banana slices with chocolate chunks,or even bits of chocolate chip cookies.