Thursday, November 18, 2010

Triffle Any Style

I make this desert when I haven’t had time to think and plan a desert. I should rather call it a pity desert because the main focus of any of my party is desert and I feel ashamed to say when I don’t plan a desert.
We were hosting some friends at our new apt and that was one of those days when I was super lazy. Friends were arriving at 6 and I had not done grocery until 2 PM. Thus when all these errands were over it was almost 6 and I realized I have no desert. Started looking at my pantry to see what can I whip in the given short time. Woo hoo that’s it IT’S TRIFFLE TIME… This particular one is a Chocolate Triffle. But you can choose to make it in any flavor like berries, caramel or any other that your creativity suggests.

I was a little sad to begin with because all ingredients I had at home were sugar free and fat free (courtesy my health freak husband). But the end result wasn’t bad at all.
·    Cake mix or make a small cake from scratch. I made it from scratch but it’s further easier if you have cake mix. Choose cake mix based on the flavor of the triffle. Like moist yellow cake or chocolate cake for chocolate triffle or white cake for berry triffle. Use only half packet of cake mix.
·         Custard powder / Jello Pudding Mix. I made chocolate pudding. I also use custard a lot of times.
·         Heavy whipping cream (whipped with little sugar till stiff) or pre made Whipped cream box
·         Chocolate Sauce
·         Fruits (I used strawberries, raspberries and blueberries)
·         Candied toffee. (I had some coffee flavored chewy toffee lying at home)
Make cake as per direction and let is cool.
Take a triffle bowl and drizzle chocolate sauce around it and at the base of it
Crumble the cake or cut them into 1” cubes and spread it on the bottom. Layer with Custard then whipped cream, then fruits, chocolate sauce and crushed candied toffee. Repeat the layer and then finally decorate the top with fruits and toffee and drizzle sauce again.
That’s all pretty, tasty, simple easy and ready in total 15 minutes.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Easy Straweberry Short Cake

I made this cake once upon a time and ever since I have always wanted to repeat it. But that day never came. I also bought heart shaped baking pans to make this cake for some special ocassion. Found those pans only during my move again which remimded me of my intentions. Finally I was reminded of this cake when a friend wanted a recipe for a light non chocolaty cake. Ayesha made this cake the same weekend as I shared the recipe and I ams till waiting for the day when I'll remake this cake. Until then thought would share the recipe.


1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix (I usually use super moist cake)
1 pkg. (4 serving size) JELL-O Brand Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
2/3 cup Sour Cream
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 (8 ounce) tub COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed (found in freezer section)
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries (I always use fresh staawberries)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8- or 9-inch round or any shape cake pans or bake in a single pan and then cut it into half. (I usually bake in a single pan and then cut it in 2 layer - saves time and energy); set aside. Prepare cake batter as directed on package. Pour half of the batter into medium bowl. Add dry gelatin mix; stir until well blended. Spoon half of the white batter and half of the pink batter, side-by-side, into each prepared pan. Swirl batters together using a teaspoon or fork.
Bake 30 min. Cool 30 min. in pans. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. (never leave cake in the turned off oven for too long. It over bakes the cake)

Mix sour cream and powdered sugar in medium bowl until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Place one of the cake layers on serving plate; spread top with 1 cup of the whipped topping mixture. Top with 1 cup of the strawberries and remaining cake layer. Spread top and side of cake with remaining whipped topping mixture. Top with remaining 1/2 cup strawberries just before serving. Store any leftover cake in refrigerator. You can also use blueberries for the final decoration along with strawberries. Get creative and enjoy.
  • Never leave cake in open dish in the refrigerator for long as cakes tend to pic odors very fast which ruins the texture of the cake.
  • If you are planning to make this cake for a party and cannot make it on the day then bake the plain cake a night before. After cooling down completely wrap the cake in cling wrap tighly and then keep in the fridge. Next day make the frosting and finish the cake.
P.S. Photo coming soon

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


This Mexican desert is a simple and easy to make desert that never lets you down. I always liked this desert as a kid and remember making it with mom at home. However the one we made at home had a slightly different recipe than this and we called is caramel pudding. 

FIFA Finals was the perfect excuse to make this and it indeed went well with the fabulous BBQ spread at Sen's place. Though the match did not turn out to be as exciting as a final should have been; neverthless we enojyed our day with some scrumptous spreads. Needless to say when bengalis get together no matter what the reason is, how happy or sad they are food is still the main focus. So here is the not so hush hush secret to this amazing desert.

8 eggs
1 can condensed milk,
Same amount of regular milk or same size can evaporated milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cup of sugar

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degree
  2. Caramelize sugar and pour it quickly on a baking pan and let it crystalize. To caramelize sugar pour 1 cup sugar in warm pan over medium heat. Constantly stir sugar until it is brown and becomes caramel.
  3. Mix eggs and half cup sugar with a beater. Add both condensed milk, regular / evaporated milk, and vanilla. Mix well with a beater or in the mixer.
  4. Pour on the Caramel and bake it for 45-50 minutes or until set. 
  5. Remove and let cool.
  6. Run a knive through the sides of the flan and refrigerate after cooling covered wih a cling wrap.
For a better result bake the flan with a water bath. To do so bake it by putting it on a bowl of hot water rather then baking it directly. This reduces the chances of the caramel  getting burned. Also I use anything between 5 - 12 eggs depending on the number of people I am making it for.

Let the flan cool in the refrigerator for an hour before serving. To serve turn the flan on the serving dish and let the caramel flow from top and enjoy.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fresh Strawberry Upside Down cake

I love berries and as I was thinking what quick desert to make for FIFA 2010 inaugral party and to celebrate a friends birthday this recipe came in my mind. Easy to make and extremely delicious. I particularly used strawberries for this one but it can be substituted with any other berry. The original idea comes from one of the most famous and widely made desert called Pineapple Upside down cake.

As I worked on this cake I discovered two very important parts of the recipe that you can *not* overlook:
1) Use fresh strawberries. It's a completely different taste and texture when you use fresh fruits.
2) MASH the strawberries. I used a potato masher and mashed the strawberries in a bowl to extract the juice out.

Now let's get down to the actual recipe


1-1/3 cups crushed fresh strawberries
2/3 (6 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin mix
2 cups miniature marshmallows
2/3 (18 ounce) package yellow cake mix, batter prepared as directed on package


Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Spread crushed strawberries on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. (I use bunt pan as I like the look of the cake that way)
Evenly sprinkle strawberries with the dry gelatin powder, and top with mini marshmallows.
Prepare the cake mix as directed on the package, and pour on top of the marshmallows. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the pan to loosen the sides, and turn the cake out onto a serving tray. Store cake in the refrigerator for few hours for the cake to set and then serve.

Tips and Learning:

Use a bigger serving tray than the actual size of the cake. This is because when you turn the cake upside down all the juices trickle down the side and if you don't have a bigger tray to hold it then it ends up in a mess which was the case with me. The cake is super moist and yummy with the juices trickling down the sides. If you like the cake warm with the juices flowing then you can serve it without refrigerating. However I cooled the cake down for the juices to set down.

You can also serve this cake with vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream or just get innovative. It's such an easy desert to make and yet so yummy that you would love making it time and time again. So Njoy!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Chocolate Ganache Cake

Also well known as the double chocolate layer cake this was a chocoholics demand for his birthday. My nephew (Anubhav) wanted a super moist chocolate cake with chocolate layering with chocolate icing, chocolate drizzle..... In short 'Nothing but Chocolate' for his special birthday - Thir-TEEN-th. Catering to his demand this was the result. The cake indeed turned out to be the way he wanted it and seeing his reaction about the cake made my day. He got high on chocolate and so did we. So as you must have guessed, one main ingredient that I focused on in this cake is the chocolate.

I am personally a big fan of Trader Joes for all my baking needs and I quite like the quality of their chocolate bars as well. I always get either the dark semi sweet chocolate bar or the chocolate chips. For ganache I got the chocolate chips packet. Well if you have any specific taste for chocolate then you can use Ghirardelli cooking chocolate or any such kind as well to get the desired result.

Now let's get down to making this cake:

For cake layers
  • 3 ounces finely chopped semi – sweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla

For ganache frosting
  • 1 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

  • two 10- by 2-inch round cake pans (I am mostly impatient so I bake one big cake in one single baking dish and then layer the cake with a cake cutter after it cools down)

 Make cake layers:
Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper.
Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. 

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. 

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature. 

Make frosting:
Finely chop chocolate. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth. 

Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable (depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency). 

Spread frosting between cake layers and over top and sides. Cake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.

This is surely one of the yummiest cake for any chocolate lover. This cake was wiped out and my nephew till date thinks that this was the best cake I ever made which makes me feel happy.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mango Mousse

When the French came up with the chocolate mousse did you all think the tropical countries would remain quite? Well no, they were quick enough to answer the french back with their seasonal delicacy the Mango Mousse. Mango is a summer fruit in a range of tropical countries. However this particular desert is not season dependent. You can in fact make it any time you wish to with canned mango puree or mango pulp. I love making this particular desert because it's easy, less effort is always a hit in parties. This one serves 10 - 12 people. Contrary to the chocolate mousse you might fall short of this one as people might take second helping so make it generously.

I had made this one for my husband's (Prateek's) undergrads reunion at our place. Apart from the reunion being a blast it was a weekend filled with great food, lots of laughter and some great companions.


A friend (Ayesha) made the same with a different serving style. This is an easy and awesome way to serve this great desert without worrying about having a spring-form pan.

•5 cups mango puree (about 7 mangoes the size of two fists)
•1 cup sugar (use less sugar if you do not have a sweet tooth. Mango pulp has enough sweetness so use sugar as per taste bud preference)
•1 1/2 cups whipping cream
•5 egg whites
•1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin (use a little more gelatin to create the firmness if you wish to)
•1/2 cup boiling water

1.Sprinkle gelatin over hot water in a small bowl.
2.Stir to dissolve.
3.Cool for 10 minutes.
4.Mix the mango puree and sugar.
5.Pour in the cooled gelatin.
6.Whisk cream until it is thick.
7.Pour in the mango mixture and fold through until evenly blended.
8.Whisk egg whites until stiff.
9.Fold gently through the mango mixture until completely combined.
10.Transfer to serving glasses or serving tray.
11.Leave to set in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
12.Decorate with the sliced mango and fresh flowers, or anything you want that goes well with mango if desired.

Serving Tips:

I have so far always made it in a cake style so I chilled it in a spring-form pan again. However as I mentioned earlier in the chocolate mousse recipe you can serve this one too the way you want. In a round glass bowl or separate bowls/cups. A great way to serve it for parties is to chill it in individual plastic cups and just lay them on the table well in time for deserts.

Get creative with toppings. Use any fruit you want that goes well with mango. In various occasions I have used strawberries, kiwi, blue berries et cetra. You can also use a little mango pulp to spread on top with an eating knife to get the glazed look on top. You can also use whipped cream as decoration.

To make it more like a cake well the procedure is same just bake a cake first in the spring form pan, cool it and then pour the mango mousse on top. For the cake use packaged moist white/yellow cake mix but only half of the packet.

Serve Chilled and enjoy!!

Chocolate Mousse Cake

This was yet another request by my husband for his 2009 birthday. This French born depicts its rich classy inheritance through the smooth texture and creaminess. This simple yet elegant desert requires very few ingredients and can be made anytime your heart desires. I personally prefer making it with 60% semi sweet dark chocolate. This gives the mousse a nice color and a foamy texture. But offcourse this could be made with any good chocolate that suits your taste bud.

This recipe is for serving size of 12 people. You can decrease or increase ingredients as you need. 


For The Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup hot, brewed coffee
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
For The Mousse 

  • 16 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 8 egg whites
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream


  • 4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 inch springform pan, or use parchment paper liner.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, 1 cup sugar, cocoa and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center and add the coffee, oil, 1 tablespoon vanilla and egg. Beat until combined, batter will be thin.
  3. Pour into springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. When cake is completely cool, remove from pan, cut top of cake level with a knife, and place back into springform pan.
  4. To make the mousse: Melt 16 ounces chocolate and 1/2 cup butter over double boiler, stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons vanilla, whisk in yolks. In a separate bowl, beat whites until foamy, gradually add sugar, and continue beating until stiff. Fold into chocolate mixture. Whip the 1 1/2 cup cream in a separate bowl and fold into chocolate mixture. Pour over leveled cake in springform pan and set for 1 to 2 days.
  5. To make the Chocolate Ganache: Chop the 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate. In the top of a double boiler, heat chocolate and 1/4 cup cream, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. When the cake is completely set, remove from pan and drizzle ganache over the top. Using your hand, gently press chopped nuts into the side of the mousse.

Serving Alternatives
  • If you desire to make it into a quick desert then skip the part of making cake. Just make the mousse and serve it in individual bowls or glasses and refrigerate. This looks good and also is easy for single serving.
  • Or you can also pour it in one big bowl and refrigerate and then your guests can help themselves  


  • I also use raspberry for decoration as I personally love the combination of dark chocolate and raspberry. But get creative and use whatever you want.
  • If you do not have a springform pan do not worry. Springform pan is not a necessity if you wish to serve it in either separate glasses/bowls or just make the mousse in a baking dish. Only difference it would make is that you cannot display it.
  • If using springform pan then you can also choose to make the bottom most layer of the cake with choclate cracker crushed, melted butter and granulated sugar added and then pasted in the bottom of the pan. Bake this for 10 minutes before putting the cake batter. However adding this to the cake makes it very very rich and not everyone might enjoy it.
  • For double broiler effect I take 1 big saucepan and fill it with water in the bottom. Put that on gas and let the water heat up. Them in a smaller saucepan put the chocolates and melt them. But make sure the water is not bubbling and getting into the chocolate. Keep whisking the chocolate while melting so that it doesn't form lumps.

My Learning:

It's a chocolate lovers desert which is extremely rich. So avoid making it if your guests are not that into chocolate. Serve it with coffee or a good wine to subdue the chocolate taste. This particular recipe though is for 12 people but can easily serve 16 people as the serving size gets smaller because of the richness of the desert. Last but not the least true title that suits this is "IT'S DEATH BY CHOCOLATE"

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Black Forest Cake

The word "Baking" sounds so complicated and difficult. But it's one of the most easily acquired skills if you have an appetite for it. As a kid I always assisted my mom in making our most awaited home made cakes during every vacation and I loved the process. But growing up I left it somewhere behind. Years later my senses got intrigued again when my cousin baked me a chocolate-orange cheesecake for my birthday and it just looked and tasted absolutely delicious. That's when I decided to start baking again. Living in the western part of the world makes easy availability of ingredients , hence the process more fun, enjoyable and cherish-able.

Baking is fun. It can be an amazing way to spend quality time with friends and family. I personally love the aroma of baking in house and it is a big stress buster for me. Hence, baking for me has become a way to make my family and friends feel special.

My husband and my best friend has been telling me for a while to put my recipes together but I never gave it a serious thought. But now with inflow of requests from friends for the recipe from my most recent baking expedition I finally decided to put the recipes together and spread the baking fever. Hereon I start this blog with the recipe in demand "Black Forest Cake"

I had made this cake for my husband's birthday this year. Every year I bake him a cake that he requests and this year it was the most famous German recipe the Black Forest but not the true German version. The one I made it is the way we get it back in India - moist chocolate cake with cherry and cream filling. I made it for 12 people but here I am downsizing the recipe for 4 people.

Ingredient For Cake:
  • 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (or self raising flour or Indian Maida)
  • 3 tablespoons and 1-3/4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons shortening (shortening is a form of fat most commonly known as vegetable shortening. Famous brand in US is Crisco)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (you can make it by taking 1TBSP of yogurt and add water to it in a cup and whisk it)
For inside icing layer:
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons kirschwasser (you can find kirshwasser in cocktail mix section in grocery stores. It is a cherry liquor)
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 cup and 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon strong brewed coffee
  • 2/3 (14 ounce) can Marschino cherries / pitted bing cherries, drained and chopped(or any red color sweet/tangy canned or fresh cherry that is easily available)
For top layer icing:
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kirschwasser
  • 1/3 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease the bottom of the baking pan and sprinkle some flour and dust away. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, until combined. Pour into round 8 inch pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool completely. Remove paper from the cakes. Cut each layer in half, horizontally, making 3 layers total. Sprinkle layers with the 1/2 cup kirshwasser.
  4. In a medium bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add confectioners sugar, pinch of salt, and coffee; beat until smooth. If the consistency is too thick, add a couple teaspoons of cherry juice or milk or heavy cream. Spread first layer of cake with 1/3 of the filling. Top with 1/3 of the chopped cherries. Repeat with the remaining layers.
  5. In a separate bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon kirshwasser. Frost top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with chocolate curls made by using a potato peeler on semisweet baking chocolate. 
  6. Save some cherries for garnishing later. Once you are done with icing the cake make circles on top of the cake with the remaining whipped cream. Place the cherries on top of the circles for a grand look


  1. For cake you can also buy pre mixed ready to make moist chocolate cake mix (like Betty Crockers / Pillsbury). This will make the process further easier.
  2. I always bake the cake a night before. It makes it easier to cut and layer it later also helps the cake to cool down completely. But after baking do remember to take it out of the oven, cover with a foil so that the cake does not pick up odors or become hard.
  3. I also soak the cherries in kirshwasser a night before to get the strong flavor. In case you don't want to use any alcoholic content or if your are making it for kids then simply skip using kirshwasser wherever it is mentioned.
  4. Make the cake in one baking dish then cool it completely. After cooling turn it out of the baking dish on a plate. To cut layers if you don't have a cake cutter then simply take a thread and wrap it around the cake exactly on the portion from where you wish to cut the layer and then slowly pull the thread towards yourself.
  5. Cut the cake in 3 layers


Every baking expedition is a new experience. Do not get demotivated or thrown off by the mishaps. They are infact the fun part. How you do damage control shows of your skills of managing a bad situation I guess or rather I would say trains me that way. So this time after I baked the cake (which was a night before) I went out partying LOL. Partied all night, next morning went out again forgetting all about the cake (thankfully I had taken it out of the oven and covered it). Finally next day evening I remembered that I had to finish making the cake before guests came in. Now when I turned the cake out of the baking dish OMG it was too late and the cake had started to stick to the baking dish. Oops that's a bad sign specially when you know you have to cut the cake. Thankfully I had baked it in a spring form pan so I could open it up and started cutting the layers. The first two layers were fine and eeks here comes the last layer which is at the bottom. It was a nightmare. Taking it out of the sticky bottom and then putting it carefully on the serving dish for icing was a torture.

Statuary Warnings:

  1. Take the cake out of the baking dish as soon as it cools down. Don't leave it for too long especially the ones you know you have to layer.
  2. Get more cherries than required. Good amount of cherries feels good in the cake.
  3. Use as less sugar as possible for the inside icing or it may become too sweet. 
  4. Uuse either confectioners sugar or grind sugar to get the fine powder.
  5. Last but not the least alway keep your cakes covered as they tend to pick up odor and air very fast which ruins it completely.