Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Princess Cake

I made this Barbie cake recently from scratch.I looked at many princess cake ideas and ended up doing this one.It was really fun to make.I was a little nervous about it, but it turned out Great.

At first I baked a dome shaped cake.After the cake was completely cooled .I sliced the cake in 3 layers to fill with buttercream and also crumb coated the cake.I made the fondant a day before and used it to make the princess skirt and top.. Also made flower using fondant a day before to decorate the dolls skirt.I used Petal dust for the flowers.I then inserted the dolls head on top of the cake and decorated using icing.Overall the cake was a big hit.

Atlast we had to cut the cake and this is how it looked.Poor Barbie....awww...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fruit tarts

Sweet Pastry Crust:

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Pastry Cream:

1 1/4 cups (300 ml) milk (whole or 2%)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons (20 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (20 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)
1/2 cup (120 grams) apricot jam or preserves
1 tablespoon water


3 cups (720 ml) fruit (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, kiwifruit, bananas, plums, pineapple, melon, etc.)


Sweet Pastry Crust:

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour with the salt. Place the butter in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, and beat until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg, beating just until incorporated. Add the flour mixture all at once and mix just until it forms a ball. Flatten the pastry into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes or just until firm (can place in freezer for about 10-15 minutes.)
Meanwhile lightly spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, 36 miniature muffin tins Set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C) Roll out dough between 2 pieces of waxed paper. Cut into rounds. Place inside mini muffin tins. Prick the bottom with fork to prevent puffing. Bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes or until firm and golden brown

Pastry Cream: In a medium-sized heatproof bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks together. (Do let the mixture sit too long or you will get pieces of egg forming.)

Sift the flour and corn flour together and then add to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the milk to a boil (just until milk starts to foam up.) Remove from heat and add slowly to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. (If you get a few pieces of egg (curdling) in the mixture, pour through a strainer.)

Then pour the egg mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, whisk mixture constantly for another 30 - 60 seconds until it becomes thick. Remove from heat and immediately Stir in vanilla extract.Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming.

Cool, then refrigerate until time to stuff pastry shells, then top with fruit garnish. To glaze, melt about 2 tbs apricot preserves with a tbs of water on the stove top and gently brush onto fruit.

serves about 6-8.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pesto Chicken and Spinach Spring rolls


1 pound ground chicken breast
½ pound baby spinach, washed and spun dried, chopped small,1 cup of whole spinach leaves reserved for plating
1 cup shredded carrots
1 pint pesto
1 package spring roll wrappers
1 egg and 1 tablespoons water for egg wash
Juice and zest of 1 lemon


Preheat a fryer or a stock pot with 3 inches of oil to 350. Fill a bowl with ice and place another bowl with the chicken on top of the ice. Add chopped spinach, carrots and ¾ of the pesto. Mix together. Season and cook a little spoonful to check for seasoning.Layout spring roll wrapper, top with chicken mixture, roll tightly and let rest seam side down. Fry springrolls until golden brown and delicious, about 6-8 minutes and remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Meanwhile, take 2 tablespoons pesto and mix with juice and zest of lemon and toss with 1 cup of spinach, season. To serve, plate a small mound of spinach salad and surround with springroll halves.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Veg briyani

There are many ways to prepare vegetable Briyani.This is one delicious and easy way of making it.The taste about this briayani is use of whole spices.Its very simple and elegant.


Whole spices(9-pepper corns,1-bay leaf,1 tsp-cumin seeds,1tsp-shahi jeera,2-cloves,2-cardamom and 1-cinnamon)
1 cup-Vegetables(carrot,beans,potato and peas)
1 tbsp-ginger garlic paste
1 hanful-mint leaves
1 handful-coriander leaves
few curry leaves
1 tbsp-ghee
1 tbsp-oil
2 cups-Basmati rice


Soak Basmati rice for atleast 30 mins.set aside
Heat a pan,add a tbsp of ghee and oil.Add the whole spices one by one followed by the curry leaves,coriander and mint.Add the vegetables, saute for 2 mins.
If using rice cooker,transfer the above mixture to the rice cooker along with the soaked bastmati rice.Add water and salt.(for 2 cups of Bastmati rice add 3 & 1/2 cups of water).serve with raita or egg curry.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Garlic Bread


2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 loaf Italian bread


Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mince garlic using a chef's knife. Stir together butter, oil, and garlic in a bowl until smooth, then stir in parsley.
Without cutting completely through bottom, cut bread diagonally into 1-inch-thick slices with a serrated knife, then spread garlic butter between slices.
Wrap loaf in foil and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes. Open foil and bake 5 minutes more.Serve with soup.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Flan or Caramel Custard

3/4 cup(150g)granulated sugar
1/4 cup(60 ml)plus 1/4 cup(60 ml)water
Pinch of cream of Tartar or few drops of lemon juice

3 cupss(750 ml)whole milk
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Set eight 4- to 6-ounce(125-to 180-ml)ramekins or custard cups in a roasting pan or deep baking dish.

To make the caramel, spread the 3/4(150g) cup sugar in an even layer in a medium heavy bottomed skillet or saucepan.Pour 1/4 cup(60 ml)water evenly over the sugar to dampen it,but dont stir.cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves,then add the cream of tartar or lemon juice.continue to cook without stirring,but swirl the pan if the sugar begins to brown unevenly.when the caramel turns dark amber color and begins to foam bit,remove from the heat and immediately add the remaining 1/4 cup water.the caramel will bubble up vigorously,then the bubbling will subside.stir with a heatproof untensil until any hardened bits of caramel completely dissolves.Divide the hot caramel evenly among the 8 ramekins,then carefully swirl each ramekin so that the caramel coats the sides halway up.Let cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 325 degree F(160 degree C).

To make the custard,in a medium saucepan.heat the milk until warm.In a medium bowl whisk together the egg and egg yolks.Gradually whisk the warm milk into the eggs,whisking constanly as your to prevent the eggs from cooking(Dont whisk to vigorously,which will create air bubbles)Add the sugar and vanilla extract and whisk until the sugar completely dissolves.Pour the mixture through a mesh strainer into a large measuring cup or pitcher.Divide the custard mixture evenly among the caramel lined ramekins.Fill the roasting pan or baking dish with warm water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.Cover the pan tightly with aluminium foil and bake until the perimeters of the custards are just set and the centers are slightly jiggly,25 to 35 mins.

Transfer the custards from the water bath to a wire rack and let cool completely.Cover with plastic wrapand refrigerate until chilled.

To unmold,run a sharp knife around the inside of each ramekin to loosen the custard,invert a serving plate or bowl over the ramekin,and then turn them over together.shake a few times to release the custard,then lift of the ramekin.Pour any caramel remaining over the flan.
Serve the flans cold.

The baked flans will keep for upto 3 days in the refrigerator.