Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Petit Fours with Fondant roses

I make a lot of cupcakes, so much so that friends call me The Cupcake Queen. So I have been trying out new techniques to get me out of a rut. And this was my first try with petit fours. 
I was to meet a few of my friends for brunch last week. We were doing a potluck, and I had volunteered to bring dessert. So I baked a plain eggless vanilla cake the day before, and also made some fondant decorations.
The next morning I quickly whipped up some chocolate butter-cream and put the petit fours together. I had to travel almost 1.5 hours to get to my friend's place, and my friends where very glad that my tiny little cakes survived the trip in hot sun! 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Chocolate Ganache Tart

A few years back my mom got me this tart pan from Chennai. I have been meaning to use it to bake a tart for almost 2 years, and have been researching for recipes! Which lead to the next issue of finding a good ganache recipe for the tart filling. After a bit of trial and error, I found a good chocolate ganache recipe and used it for hubby’s birthday cake. So here it is my final quest for tart! It makes for a versatile dessert to wow your guests!

Chocolate Ganache Tart:


For the tart shell:
All purpose flour – 1 ¼ cups
Egg yolk – 1
Ice Cold water – 2 tablespoons
Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon
Sugar – 1/3 cup
Salt – ¼ teaspoon
Cold Butter (unsalted) – 8 tablespoons

For the chocolate ganache filling:
Cooking chocolate (chopped) – 360 grams
Heavy Cream – 1 cup
Unsalted Butter – 3 tablespoons
Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon


To make the tart Shell:
  • In a bowl mix together the egg yolk, cold water and vanilla.
  • In a big bowl, add the sifted flour, sugar, salt and butter and beat on medium speed with an electric beater, until the mixture resembles a coarse texture.
  • Add the egg mixture and beat on low until the dough comes together.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough on a using a rolling pin on a light dusted surface (Use plain flour for dusting).
  • Roll out until the dough until the thickness is around 1/8th of an inch, and it should be big enough to cover the tart pan.
  • Carefully transfer the dough on to the tart pan. Press it to the sides using your fingers and trim out the excess dough.
  • Using a fork, score the base. Then cover the dough with a piece of baking paper, and fill it with rice. And bake the tart in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 5 minutes.  (I do this step to weigh down the dough and to prevent it from puffing up).
  • Remove the baking paper and rice, and continue baking for 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees, until the crust is golden brown.
  • Let it cool to room temperature, before adding the ganache filling.
To make the Chocolate Ganache Filling:
  • Add the chopped chocolate to a big bowl.
  • Heat the cream on the stove, and bring it to a boil.
  • Then pour half of the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for 30 seconds.
  • Using a spatula, very gently mix the cream and chocolate until the chocolate is dissolved.
  • Pour in the remaining cream and butter; blend it gently until everything is incorporated.
  • Let the ganache cool to room temperature.

To assemble the tart:
  • Both the tart and ganache has to cool to room temperature.
  • Pour the ganache over the tart. If the ganache has thickened and is no longer pourable, warm it for a few seconds in the microwave.
  • Cover the tart with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator, for at least 30 minutes for the ganache to set.
  • Take out the Tart a couple of hours before serving a top with fresh raspberries or strawberries along with a dollop of whipped cream.

  • I filled the baked tart with chocolate ganache and served it chilled with raspberries and whipped cream.
  • I also cut out small circles from the remaining dough and made mini tarts using my muffin pan.
  • You can replace the chocolate ganache with a white chocolate filling or a yummy caramel filling.
  • Add some chopped toasted nuts for a nice crunchy texture.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy New Year 2015

Dear friends, I wish you spend a great year ahead that starts with happiness and ends with that too!  
Happy New year 2015.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cranberry Jam

It's Christmas season, and I recently have been seeing cranberries all over the supermarkets here in Singapore. I have never tasted fresh cranberries before, so when I saw them in Mustafa (of all places)…I immediately grabbed a bag and headed home. I was expecting it to taste sweet. But they tasted so tart, and I couldn't really eat it on its own.

So the bag was lying in my fridge waiting to be baked into breakfast muffins. But I never got around to bake anything this week.  And a can of jam sounded like the yummiest way to use up these fresh berries.

This ruby red spread is so refreshing and delicious...slathered on a piece of toast, it makes a perfect breakfast! Moreover, Cranberries are powerhouse of Vitamin C and antioxidants. Now you don’t need any more excuse to try out this super quick, sugar-free preserve this Christmas season!

Cranberry Jam
Yields: About 1 ½ cups of jam

  • 3 ½ cups – Cranberries
  • ¾ cup – Honey
  • 2 tablespoons – Raw Sugar (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon – Vanilla essence

  • Heat all the ingredients in a pan and keep stirring.
  • Keep cooking for about 10 minutes until all the berries break down and the mixture thickens. Do not overcook.
  • Transfer the contents to a glass jar, and store it in the refrigerator for up to a month.

  • If you prefer a smooth texture for your jam, just blend the mixture in a blender, while the jam is still warm. And then store it in a glass jar.
  • I skipped this step, because we like coarse texture for our spreads.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Happy Deepavali!

Deepavali wishes to my dear readers! May the festival of light bring you joy and prosperity.

I made milk pedas, thenkuzhal and ribbon pakodas for this years celebration. (Recipes to be posted soon). Enjoy your day and the yummy sweets and snacks! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Chocolate Ganache Cake

This was the cake I baked for my hubby's birthday last week. He is a huge chocolate fan. So a cake smeared with chocolate ganache sounded like a good idea! 

I baked 3 plain vanilla cakes with a 6" pan. And layered it using chocolate ganache as filling and frosting. Making the chocolate ganache is as easy as eating it :) and it also holds well in the humidity.

Chocolate Ganache Recipe:
Directions :
Thickened Cream - 1 Cup
Baking chocolate/semisweet chocolate chips - 2 Cups
Unsalted Butter - 1 Tablespoon(Optional)
Vanilla Extract - 1/2 Tablespoon

  • Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. If using chocolate bar, chop into small pieces.
  • Heat the cream on stove until boiling.
  • Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and mix well. 
  • Make sure all the chocolate has melted without any lumps.
  • Add the softened butter and vanilla to the chocolate and  mix well. (If any lumps prevail, heat it for a few more seconds in the microwave, and mix well.)
  • Cool the ganache in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  • Whisk the thickened gaanche with a electric beater before use. 

  • The ratio of the cream can be increased to make a thinner ganache that can be poured over your cake to form a glossy finish.
  • I used Wilton 2M icing nozzle for the rosettes on the top of the cake, and used the back of a palette knife to make the stripes along the sides of the cake.