Triple Coconut Cake

Triple Coconut Cake

A deliciously light and moist coconut cake, lightly covered in coconut swiss meringue buttercream and drizzled with coconut caramel sauce. This Triple Coconut Cake is a delightful tropical party in your mouth. Triple Coconut Cake has been sitting on my list of things to bake for months now. However, I kept procrastinating because I felt that a cake so gloriously delicious (in my head) should be baked for a special occasion to feed many people. This week my sister suddenly decided to visit from New York and she loves cake almost as much as I do and what is a more special occasion to make a Triple Coconut Cake than when you are meeting your sister after 5 whole months! I did think of dedicating this to my dad since Father’s Day is around the corner, but a coconut cake is hardly what a Keralite man will be thrilled about! I mean, coconut is our staple food. The flesh, the milk, the water go into almost every dish we prepare at home. From our breakfasts to our desserts, everything has coconut. So much so that, when I was in school, I would hate being on coconut grating duty especially on […]

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Cardamom Coconut Cupcakes

Soft, fluffy, fragrant Cardamom Cupcakes topped with luscious Coconut Swiss Buttercream and crunchy Coconut bacon.               You know when you haven’t done squats in a million years, then you do 100 at a go only to have stiff legs for a week! And it hurts like hell. But it is also a kind of sweet pain because you know your muscles worked out so hard and your hurting hamstrings are like trophies you can show off while saying that you pulled off a 100 squats!! That’s exactly how I felt the last two weeks after marathon projects and assignments. After a year of vacationing filled with fun things like exploring Toronto, baking, blogging and occasional assignments from my Digital Marketing Course my brain has become slightly lazy I assume. But now my sabbatical is over (sob-sob) and job hunt has begun (which is not easy). So between, job applications, freelance marketing projects with real deliverables and deadlines and school assignments it feels like my brain is doing 100 squats and it aches!! My brain had to remember working out once again and tasks that would have taken 1 hour in my previous life, took […]

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Lemon Curd Cupcakes

Lemon Curd cupcakes

Soft, spongy, buttery, Lemon Curd Cupcakes are a perfect way to use up a bit of leftover lemon curd. What to do with lemon curd? After you have finished making lemon meringue pie, constructed a beautiful layer cake, topped it on your pancakes and oatmeal and sundaes, added to your fruit trifles, and licked it off a spoon. If there is still a tiny bit left and you feel you can’t eat anymore, put the last bit of it in a basic butter cake recipe and eat it as a cupcake. The best part of it is that, in this form it a subdued, subtle version of itself rather that a big, bold hit of tangy, lemony which is the main reason I personally cannot eat it off a spoon. It feels like a punch in my mouth that I don’t care for. But I do enjoy the lemony brightness when complimented with other balancing flavors. This post has started off as a SEO exercise and I promise I did not mean to do that. What to do with a small amount of leftover lemon curd was what I was searching for when I had 3tbsp of lemon curd sitting in […]

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Chocolate Stout Cake w Brown Butter Frosting

This decadent chocolate Guinness cake slathered with a speckled, deeply nutty brown butter Swiss buttercream and doused in a whiskey caramel sauce is truly a celebration cake that is sure to make you feel happy! 30 is not the birthday that launches you harshly into your middle age. 30 is the birthday where you celebrate the end of an era - the 20s – where mistakes were made (lots of ugly ones), lessons were learnt (mostly in a bad way), discovering who you are felt impossible and highs of first real job, first serious relationship, first real apartment, first independent foreign travel were only dimmed by the lows of those ‘firsts’ not living upto their expectations. But there is a delicious excitement in goofing up and blaming it on lack of experience and naiveté. There is mystery and intrigue and desperation in finding out how your life will turn out when you are a grown up. When I turned 30, I told everyone that next year I will celebrate 29 and subsequently keep moving the clock backwards. Well, I didn’t do that. Forgot to buy 2 and 9 numbered candles. So here I am 31! Anyhow, who wants to repeat the absurdities of the 20s. Sure it was fun and exciting times. 20s or any fun time is just that only because there is a limited period to it. Just as clearance sales are exciting because, they are on for only a week! So, I celebrated my 31st birthday, trying not to fight it too much, with a grown-up chocolate cake with brown butter frosting – a bit more elegant than chocolate on chocolate (which by the way is always my first choice of cake) If it is my birthday celebration cake, there had to be booze in it. So instead of making my most favorite chocolate cake, I went with a Stout Cake adapted from Epicurious only in the method. I used Nigella’s slightly easier method of adding everything into the same pan. The can of Guinness had been sitting in my pantry forever and I wouldn’t let Steve drink it because I was storing it for ‘baking purposes’. My cake tops cracked, I think because I baked it in 5inch pans and poured a lot of batter into them. So 6 inch would do the trick. Anyway, I simply chopped off the cracked tops, it did not affect the taste. These cakes are lip-smacking delicious. Earthy and intense and a dark chocolate lovers dream. A brown butter buttercream only seemed appropriate because it is my new love and I like to make beurre noisette just for the nutty fragrance it makes in my kitchen. There seems to be Whiskey caramel sitting in a jar in my refrigerator at all times so I was more than happy to add an additional boozy element to this cake. Finally the pile of crushed chocolate cookies on top because as a baking blogger there is always some cookies or cake leftovers in the fridge which you can throw on top of a cake for extra goodness and no one can stop me from eating pure indulgence in this form on my 31st birthday! Celebrate! Chocolate Stout Cake w Brown Butter Frosting Ingredients – Makes one 6 inch 4 layered cake For the Cake 1 cup stout 1 cup, 2 sticks unsalted butter – cut into pieces ¾ cup Dutch cocoa powder 2 cups flour 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar ½ tbsp. baking soda ¾ tsp salt 2 large eggs ½ + 2tbsp sour cream Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and line two 6” round pans with parchment paper. Make sure the parchment paper sticks out to form higher walls. Pour the stout into a large saucepan and place on medium heat. Add butter pieces and heat till melted. As soon as all the butter has melted, add in the sugar and cocoa powder and whisk till fully incorporated and smooth. In a measuring jug or small bowl, beat the eggs and sour cream thoroughly and add to the stout mixture. Mix well. Finally add the flour and baking soda and whisk till completely mixed. Pour into prepared pans and bake in the lower third of the oven for 35 – 40 minutes or till a skewer toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven. Let cool till safe to handle. Turn cakes onto a wire-rack and let cool completely. Stick in the freezer for atleast one hour before frosting. For the Brown Butter Swiss Buttercream 1 ½ cup butter 1 ½ cup fine granulated sugar 4 egg whites 1/4 tsp salt Heat butter in a small saucepan on high heat. Once it starts to bubble, stir intermittently with a rubber spatula and keep a eye. Once you see specks of dark brown and smell deliciousness in the air take it off the heat. As it cools, stir it once in a while so that it solidifies evenly or all the good brown bits will settle at the bottom. It should be completely cooled (slightly chilled) and solidified but still a little soft. Whisk sugar and egg whites together and set it on a double boiler over simmering water. Using a candy thermometer is recommended for accuracy. Whisk occasionally and heat the mixture to 140 – 160F. Test the mixture between your thumb and index finger to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture feels silky smooth between your fingers. As soon as it reaches this temperature, take it off the heat, transfer to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk on medium-high for a good 7 -8 minutes till peaks form and the mixture is cooled. Once this meringue mix is completely cool, replace the whisk attachment with the paddle attachment and run on medium high. Start adding the butter in pieces. Keep whisking till fully incorporated and the buttercream is smooth, glossy and stiff. Whiskey Caramel Sauce – ½ cup Assembly When the cakes are completely cooled, cut of the tops evenly with a serrated knife. Then cut both cakes into halves to make 4 pieces. Here is a great video showing how to cut a cake in layers. Place one layer on a cake stand. Spoon butter cream into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle and pipe a border on the cake layer. Spoon some Whiskey Caramel onto the cake within the piped barrier. With a offset spatula, spread some buttercream on top of the caramel and smooth it. Repeat two more times. Place the topmost layer of the cake. Spread some buttercream on the top and sides with the spatula to frost lightly. Spoon some caramel sauce on top and along the edges. IF you have some leftover chocolate cake or cookies, crush and pile on top for extra indulgence. Best enjoyed at room temperature in shockingly large pieces.

This decadent chocolate Guinness cake slathered with a speckled, deeply nutty brown butter Swiss buttercream and doused in a whiskey caramel sauce is truly a celebration cake that is sure to make you feel happy! 30 is not the birthday that launches you harshly into your middle age. 30 is the birthday where you celebrate the end of an era – the 20s – where mistakes were made (lots of ugly ones), lessons were learnt (mostly in a bad way), discovering who you are felt impossible and highs of first real job, first serious relationship, first real apartment, first independent foreign travel were only dimmed by the lows of those ‘firsts’ not living upto their expectations. But there is a delicious excitement in goofing up and blaming it on lack of experience and naiveté. There is mystery and intrigue and desperation in finding out how your life will turn out when you are a grown up. When I turned 30, I told everyone that next year I will celebrate 29 and subsequently keep moving the clock backwards. Well, I didn’t do that. Forgot to buy 2 and 9 numbered candles. So here I am 31! Anyhow, who wants to repeat […]

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Golden Milk Cake

Golden Milk Turmeric Cake

Golden Milk Cake is the ‘cake’ version of golden milk or turmeric spice milk. It is warming and cozy and light and fluffy and full of aromatic spices. The cardamom glaze is sweet and sticky with a heady fragrance. To be honest, I am feeling like I am going back to office after two weeks of fun, awesome, indulgent holidays. You know, like it is my very first day at my first job and I know nothing, I am clueless about what to do, how to do and so I switch on my assigned computer, grab a mouse and rotate it on the screen or click random folders frantically to look busy. I feel the pressure of 2017 on me! Especially for the blog, like I need to give it more validation by investing more time and energy into it. And often, with stress comes, turmoil, indecisiveness, nail biting, day-dreaming and total blanket blankness. I planned to work on my new calendar – nothing, I planned to do a couple of recipes in advance – blank, I planned to study and experiment with Pinterest – nada. From time to time I find myself in this state of blank immobility. I […]

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Brown Butter Skillet Cake

Brown Butter Coffee Cake

Brown butter gives this cake a nutty aroma and a buttery crumb. Baked in a cast iron skillet, it has wonderfully chewy, caramelized edges.   OMG, can you believe all the amazing things popping up on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest in prep for Christmas?? Since I am only a few months into blogging – following a thousand food bloggers and watching all the social media platforms – I am mostly filled with awe at the effort that all the awesome bloggers take, the abundance of creativity, the hard work that shines through. I spend most of the time with my mouth open in amazement and pools of saliva forming over the awesome creations. I want to be invited over to everyone’s house to share their meals and be on all the cookie-exchange lists so I can sample everything! Does everyone feel the same way? Even the seasoned bloggers? What I have here is not a Christmas-sy cookie, a festive cake, a spiced libation, a rich fancy dessert to feed a crowd or a cute house made of cookie! It is a ‘slow-down’ cake – a simple, quick to make cake, ideal for all those who work so hard to make Christmas […]

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Spiced Chocolate German Buttercream

Chocolate German Buttercream

The spiced chocolate German buttercream inspired by cozy fall evenings and Mexican hot chocolate, takes these moist and decadent chocolate cupcakes to new level of indulgence. Did I mention there will be some spicing up going on here? Here comes another one – for cozy, rainy, chilly or somber days when you feel like cuddling up with a spiced warm chocolate-y beverage but the craving does not stop there and you also need a decadent frosting-y cake but then you are terrified of your uptight self who will judge you for your weakness. Well it happens to the best of us! I am in one of those moods, not because of the weather – luckily we have been having gorgeous, sunshiny, crisp days here in Toronto, but because I have been thinking about concepts of happiness and reaching for more or reaching within yourself to find more, and transformation and courage and beauty and basically giving life a big hug! No, I am not having a mid-life crisis. And no, I usually don’t sit around with these thoughts for fun. I read this beautiful article on experiencing happiness by my very good friend and sister-in-law and it makes me smile […]

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Spices in Desserts – a revelation

Spiced Brownies

I think there will be a lot of spicing up going on here. A bit of heat is called for in the chilly months. Right? It is so strange my relationship with spices in desserts. When I was a kid, I hated it when I found whole cardamom pods or little pieces of nutmeg in Gajar Halwa or Rice Puddings or Mango pulp (Aamras) or Gulab Jamuns. It would put me off completely. I suppose that is how my love for chocolate and cakes began. There was no threat of hidden spice ‘landmines’ waiting to explode with every other bite! It was safe. Chocolate, vanilla and black-forest pastries along-with jam rolls fashioned after lamingtons was my idea of what comprised of western desserts. And that was good. They were all safe. Ofcourse as I grew older and especially once I moved out of India, the scope of ‘western desserts’ started to broaden and to my utter dismay I found out that spices (read Cinnamon) are extensively used. There were pies, and crumbles and fruit crisps, muffins, carrot cake (!)and what not and I ran away from them as soon as the scent of cinnamon hit my nostrils. I remember in my […]

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Vanilla Cake with Apple Pie Filling and Vanilla Italian Buttercream

Vanilla Cake with Apple Pie filling and Vanilla Italian Meringue Buttercream

A fall cake because there are apples everywhere and you’ve got to buy bags of apples and put them in everything. So I sandwiched a classic apple pie filling in between layers of simple vanilla cake and covered it up with a rich silky vanilla Italian meringue buttercream. If I have not sufficiently expressed my love for fall on Instagram with ‘lovingfall’ hashtags, I will say it again here! I am totally #lovingfall. It is now officially my most favorite season and I can’t get over how pretty the trees look and how many shades between yellow and red can be seen. Are there North Americans who have grown up with all the fall colours and still find it breathtaking? Toronto trees have been slow on the colour update and seeing how excited it made me to see an occasional fashion forward tree in its full blazing glory, Steve took me to Gatineau Park for a hike during our stay in Ottawa for the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. And it was stunning! Although fall seems to be late everywhere and the leaves were still turning, the park offered some beautiful views and some very red leaves. And while I was taking […]

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A Super Moist Banana and Chocolate Layer Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Banana Chocolate layer cake with peanut butter frosting

All my favorite flavors – banana, peanut butter, chocolate – in my most favorite form ever – A Cake! Moving into a new house is such a special thing. You slowly get to make this strange new place your own. Find the corners and nooks you love the most. Pick that one thing you dislike the most and can’t wait to change. Listen to its unique creaks and sounds at night. Arrange and rearrange the furniture and then rearrange some more. Get used to your new oven and cooking range! Figure out if your cast iron skillet can be used on an electric stove. (oh it can! Just read it here) I have been experimenting taking pictures in different nooks, on different surfaces. I guess it will get better with time and better equipment and props. For now, here is my first layered cake in my new house. PS – OMG do my frosting skills need work or what!! Practice Practice Practice I made two 5” layers of this Banana Cake . I must say it is extremely moist and it takes a long time to cook. If your oven does not seem to heat up to the said temperature […]

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