Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Earl Grey Kulfi courtesy Aarti's Party

I adapted this recipe from Food Network show Aarti's Party hosted by Aarti Sequeira. First time I saw this recipe wasn't sure how would earl grey add flavor to our very own traditional kulfi. I was also skeptical about how well it would be recieved. But once you try it you know that Earl Grey is awesome and unbelievable.

Earl Grey not only adds flavor to the traditional kulfi it also adds this nice ligh color and aroma. However one thing that I missed was the falooda (red sewaiyan sweetened with rose syrup). I found the person who made the falooda at home and also inspired me to make it next time (the ever experimenting foodie Senda)

  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 4 Earl Grey tea bags
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Handful finely chopped pistachios, plus extra for garnish
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring evaporated milk to a simmer until small bubbles form around the circumference of the pot. Meanwhile, snip the tops of the tea bags and add to the milk. Whisk in cardamom. Once the milk is simmering, turn the heat off, cover and let sit and steep for 30 minutes.
  2. Strain the evaporated milk into a large bowl. Whisk in the condensed milk, heavy cream and pistachios. Either pour the mixture into ice pop molds, small bowls or a large bowl. Cover the bowls with a piece of plastic wrap to avoid freezer burn and the formation of a "skin". Pop them into the freezer and freeze overnight.
  3. When you're ready to serve, run the ice pop mold under hot water to loosen it. Ot hold the moulds in a bowl of hot water for a 1 or 2 seconds only. You can do the same thing for the smaller bowls if you'd like to serve it as a little kulfi half dome. Garnish with more nuts if you like, or sweeted rose syrup and serve.  
My in laws and hubby loved it and cleaned up 8 popsickles in 2 days flat. Though I don't have much of sweet tooth yet I it enjoyed it quite a bit.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Brwonie Cookies

These soft chunks keeps you wondering as to whether it's a cookie or a brownie and thus the name. I love the soft chunk cookies from SPecialitie's cafe in San Francisco that's called Mudslide. Infact those are the only cookies in the whole wide world that I like. Thus wanted to try something on my own which would be a cookie but will have the texture of a brownie.

Not bad these actually becaem quite a hit among my family and when I am asked to remake something that's always a great sign of acceptance.

  • 12 ounces (2 cups) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (or a combination)
  • In the top of a double boiler set over very hot water, melt the bittersweet chocolate and butter. Allow it to cool.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and vanilla in a mixing bowl until frothy. Slowly add the sugar and beat until the mixture ribbons off the beaters. Add the melted chocolate mixture. Stir to combine.
  • Sift the dry ingredients together. Add to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Fold in the chips and nuts. The dough will seem more like cake batter than cookie dough. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is well chilled (and more cookie-dough-like).
  • Set the oven to 350 degrees. Line several baking sheets with baking parchment.
  • Scoop up the chilled dough and roll with your hands into small balls the size of a whole walnut (in the shell). Place the cookies on the prepared pans, about 1 1/2 inches apart.
  • Bake about 12 minutes or a bit longer. The tops of the cookies should look dry and cracked. Allow to cool for a minute on the baking sheet, then remove to cake racks for further cooling.
  • Bake the cookies for only 9 or 10 mins if you want the extra brownie effect
  • Do not leave it inside the oven for too long after baking and do not leave it on the baking sheet as well. Move it to cooling rack.
  • Add pecan or walnut for added flavour and crunch.
  • Substitue semisweet chocolate bits with white chocolate bits if you like white chocolates.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Maria's Killer Kahlua Cookies

Maria my Argentinian classmate shares my passion for cooking and baking. Thus in one of our class that we took together and worked on a project together all we did was shared notes and recipes. Maria baked these cookies for one of our team meeting and we chomped them down like kids. Thus I had to absolutely steal the recipe from her and make them. I had to skip the Kahlua part as I was baking these for my tiny friends. But I did make a separate batch with Kahlua as well and oh boy these cookies are good. They have the right level of sweetness and the taste of cinnamon and Kahlua is so subtle but yet so amazing. Thanks to Maria for sharing this with me and now I get to share it with my friends.


2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon espresso powder
1 Tablespoon Kahlua
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed firmly
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted & then cooled a bit
1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.

3. In a small dish, dissolve espresso powder in Kahlua; set aside.

4. In a large bowl, use electric mixer to cream butter and sugars together. Add Kahlua mixture, eggs and vanilla; beat until thoroughly combined. Add cooled, melted chocolate and continue to beat until it’s mixed in. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until all flour is incorporated into the dough, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in chocolate chips.

5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls (or use a cookie scoop) 2-inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are golden brown and no longer look gooey in the middles. Cool completely on wire rack.

Tiramisu Cake

This is my version of the original Tiramisu. I love this particular Italian desert and this was infact my very first attempt at baking something other than a basic cake. I made this for my husban'd birthday in 2008 but unfortunately lost all the pictures courtesy a hard drive crash. Thus this recipe never made it to my blog when I started writing.

I like to present my deserts nicely and thus making the tiramisu in a cake format gives it a neat look. The recipe is definitely not that of an original tiramisu but when you taste it you don't feel that way. However for tiramisu lovers I'll post the original recipe as well sometime soon. Another reason why I love making it this way is because most of the time I find it difficult to find the lady finger cookies. Thus trying to avoid the cookie hunt I stick to this version.

As most of you might have realized by now that I do keep looking for methods to ease out my work and take shortcuts. When not necessary to follow a strict route I seldom take shortcuts like using pre packaged cake mix. I'll do the same in this recipe too.



1 pack package moist white cake mix
3/4 teaspoon instant coffee powder
3 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon coffee (diluted in hot water)
2-1/2 teaspoons coffee flavored liqueur (I use either Kahlua or original Baileys. Both taste equally good thus I am not too particular and use whatever I have at home of the two)


1 (8 ounce) container mascarpone cheese (I buy it from Trader Joes)
1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar or grind sugar at home till it turns into a fine powder
1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons coffee flavored liqueur


1-2/3 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar or grind sugar at home till it turns into a fine powder

1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons coffee flavored liqueur


1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Semisweet chocolate bar or squares


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 3 or 2 (9 inch) pans. I mostly use 2 or at times I even use the just pan and bake the whole cake together and then layer them
2.Prepare the cake mix according to package directions. Divide two thirds of batter between 2 pans. Stir instant coffee into remaining batter; pour into remaining pan. (Follow this direction only when you are using 3 pans. Otherwise put the two thirds white mix in one pan and mix coffee in the rest of the batter and put that in one pan)
3.Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a clean tray and cool completely. In a measuring cup, combine brewed coffee and 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur; set aside.
4.To make the filling: In a small bowl, using an electric mixer set on low speed, combine mascarpone, confectioners' sugar and coffee liqueur; beat just until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
5.To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the cream, confectioners' sugar and coffee liqueur until stiff. Fold 1/2 cup of cream mixture into filling mixture.
6.To assemble the cake: Place one plain cake layer on a serving plate. Using a thin skewer, poke holes in cake, about 1 inch apart. Pour one third of reserved coffee mixture over cake, then spread with half of the filling mixture. (My husband loves doing this part so mostly he is assigned to put the liquor on the cake and he makes sure he adds a lot of it thus the cake turns out to be very very moist. If you do not have toddlers eating this cake then you can be generous in this section).Top with coffee-flavored cake layer; poke holes in cake. Pour another third of the coffee mixture over the second layer and spread with the remaining filling. Top with remaining cake layer; poke holes in cake. Pour remaining coffee mixture on top. Spread sides and top of cake with frosting. Place cocoa in a sieve and lightly dust top of cake. Make chocolate curls by holding the chocolate bar in hand and using a vegetable peeler. Run the ppeler through one side of the chocolate to make the curls. Garnish with chocolate curls. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chocolate cake with Macaroon filling

I made this cake for my cousin who was paying us a sudden visit. This cake has a tunnel of coconut macaroon filling. Bengalis will associate well with this filling -narkeler nadu (coconut ladoo). I had seen this cake at my office once and had this combination in mind to remake it. I have of course tampered with the original macaroon filling recipe and made the filling my way which gave it the more gooey consistency. It came out pretty well; just my cake became a little dry as I used a packet of pre-mixed cake batter instead of making it from scratch. Blame it on my laziness for which I of course felt quite bad later on. The picture did not come out too well with our cell phone camera but yet sharing it.

  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
 Coconut Macaroon Filling:
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut / grated coconut
 Vanilla Glaze:
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk, or as needed
OR Chocolate Ganache Glaze

  • 2 OR 4 OZ dark chocolate bites
  • 2 tablespoon heavy cream / half and half


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, blend together the shortening, white sugar, egg yolk and vanilla until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time using an electric mixer. Combine 1 cups flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the egg mixture alternately with the sour cream and water. Pour half batter into the prepared Bundt pan.
  3. In a separate bowl mix in coconut and condensed mil. Mix well and then microwave for 5 minutes stopping and mixing in between. Drop this mixture by teaspoonfuls over the chocolate batter in the pan. Be careful not to let the filling touch the sides of the pan. 
  4. Pour in rest of the cake batter.
  5. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a wire rack to allow the cake to cool completely. Remove cake from pan, and drizzle with vanilla glaze.
  6. To make vanilla glaze, mix together the confectioners' sugar, butter and milk in a small bowl, gradually adding milk until the mixture is thick but pourable. Drizzle over cooled cake. 
  7. To make the chocolate ganache glaze pour the chocolate bits in a sauce pan with 2 table spoons of cream / half and half and then melt by placing the pan on broiler with boiling water. Drizzle of cooled cake.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Very Berry Cobbler

I made this cobbler for my teams holiday party. I was quite skeptical while making it as I wasn't sure if people would like it or not but it was infact quite well accepted and enjoyed by both my team and my aunt, uncle and nephew who were visiting us. The reason for my skepticism was because someone told me that cobblers are eaten mostly in summer and here I was making it for winter holiday party. But make it the right way and pair it with ice cream I think any desert can do wonders in any season.

So here is the recipe for this very berry cobbler. Needless to say I love berries for not only their tangy taste but for their anti oxidant nutritional values as well. I also like them especially because I do not have a sweet tooth and thus I find any berry desert to be much milder to deal with.

This recipe would serve 6 people so adjust accordingly. 



  • 3 cups fresh mixed berries (frozen or fresh)
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In an 8 inch square baking dish, mix blueberries, 3 tablespoons sugar, and orange juice and 1 tablespoon of flour. Set aside. In a small bowl, thoroughly mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring just until ingredients are combined. If the batter is too dry then add few drops of milk to mix it well. The batter should not be runny or too dry.
  4. Drop batter by rounded tablespoons over blueberry mixture. Try to cover as much of filling as possible.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chocolate Orange Cheescake

For a dinner party that I was hosting I really wanted to make a desert with dark chocolate and orange flavor combined. I had never made cheese cake before as cheese cake not something everyone appreciates. For this evening I just decided to go for it but I used all fat free ingredients in order to make a little less sinful.


1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (I got low fat cream cheese)
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
8 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
1 and 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur
1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter one 9 or 10 inch springform pan.

2. Combine the chocolate wafer crumbs, softened butter, 2 tablespoons white sugar, and the cinnamon. Mix well and press mixture into the buttered springform pan, set aside.

3. In a medium sized bowl beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add 1 cup white sugar mixing until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat at low speed until very smooth.

4. Melt the 8 ounces semisweet chocolate with 2 tablespoons whipping cream in a pan or bowl set over boiling water, stir until smooth.

5. Add chocolate mixture to cream cheese mixture and blend well. Stir in sour cream, salt, coffee, orange extract and vanilla; beat until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

6. Bake in the center of oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Center will be soft but will firm up when chilled. Do not over bake. Leave cake in oven with the heat turned off and the door ajar for 45 minutes. Remove cake from oven and chill for 12 hours. Just before serving top cake with mounds of flavored whipped cream or drizzle chocolate sauce on top. Yields 16 servings.

7. To Make Flavored Whipped Cream: Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form, then beat in confectioner's sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur.


Always bake cheesecake with water bath. To bake the cheese cake with water bath cover the bottom of the springform pan with foil so that there is no water soaking the inside of the cake. Never bake cheesecake for too long otherwise the texture is lost.

Lemon Pie Bars

I just wanted to make these. No reason. Had this recipe in mind for a while and wanted to make it for the holiday season. But since we were out during the holiday season I just made it for my husban'd surprise birthday bash. This recipe makes 32 bars. It is unbelievable how soon this thing gets made with such simple ingredients.


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Mix 2 cups of flour and confectioner's sugar together. Cut in the butter or margarine. Mix well until the dough resembles pie dough consistency. Press the dough into a 9x13 inch baking pan.
3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
4. Beat together eggs, sugar, 4 tablespoons flour, lemon juice and lemon rind for at least 1 minute. Pour the mixture over the baked crust.
5. Bake the bars another 20 minutes, or until the lemon topping has set. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar when cooled.

Rum Mocha Chocolate Cake

This recipe was inspired by my dear hubby's wish for his special year's birthday cake. He wanted a cake that had rum and coffee flavor in it. He offcourse wanted a super coffee flavored cake. After thinking for a while this was the best I could get. He surely loved it and so did my guests. Overall his surprise birthday party was such a hit that no matter how the cake turned out we all had a blast. Thanks to all my dear family and friends who made the day so much more memorable.

Somehow my last few baking expeditions were not as pleasant as they used to be. There has been some or the other mishap with either my cakes or my frostings. This time it was my frosting that just did not want to set. Not sure what I did to mess up the frosting but it was too runny in the beginning. Finally I had more cream cheese to get the right consistency.

The picture did not come out well as we all were too busy having fun and almost forgot to take a picture. But the cake surely received some rave compliments.


3 cups and 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 tablespoon and 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-3/4 pinches salt
2 tablespoons and 1-1/4 teaspoons instant coffee granules
3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/3 cups boiling water
3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon butter or margarine, softened
1-3/4 cups and 1 tablespoon white sugar
5-1/2 eggs
2-3/4 teaspoons rum
1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons milk

5-1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon and 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons boiling water
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon rum


This recipe yields 15 servings

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 2 - 8 inch pans. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Mix together instant coffee, cocoa powder, and boiling water; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in rum. Mix the milk into cooled cocoa mixture, then beat into the batter alternately with the flour mixture. Pour batter into prepared pans. (alternate or easy way is to bake a super moist chocolate cake. Just add rum and coffee granules to the cake batter for the flavor)

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

4. To make Mocha Chocolate Frosting: Sift together confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder; set aside. Dissolve instant coffee with boiling water; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream butter until smooth. Beat in sugar/cocoa mixture and coffee misture (add the coffee misture little at a time to make the frosting). Mix in the vanilla extract and rum. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add the cream cheese and beat until you reach the spreadable consistency. Chill in refregerator if required for stiffening the frosting. Spread between layers of cooled cake.


  • Add more dry coffee granules if you intend to get a more coffeeish kich out of it. I had addeed 3 extra spoons of dry instant coffee granules to get the taste.
  • I had also used imitation rum instead of real rum as I had kids attending the birthday party.
  • Add less sugar first and check the frosting taste and then add more sugar as needed. You don't want the frosting to be too sweet.
  • Finally the most important ingredient in baking in precision. In making every measurement and instructions should be precisely followed in order to achieve the perfect result.