Nothing gets me going like a good recipe and a new dish to bake. The planning, the excitement when the dish looks like its working out, the joy of seeing my family and friends gobble it up and eagerly looking forward to what I can bake next, everything about baking makes me happy (the messy kitchen counter top aside :p) Here's a peek into my kitchen, my cooking, my wonderland.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Santa's Belly Macarons

Santa Belly Macarons filled with dark chocolate ganache

"I wanna jiggle my belly like a bowl full of jelly."

Any die-hard F.R.I.E.N.D.S fans will know this dialogue and I need not say more. This line has been my inspiration for these desserts, along with my favourite brand Lush having a product named Santa's Belly for Christmas. 

Chandler Bing makes for an unusual Santa who didn't get to jiggle his belly like a bowl full of jelly when he was dressed as Santa thanks to Holiday Armadillo. For the uninitiated, this whole paragraph will make no sense and I suggest watching the episode. I know I am going to watch it again, cuz duh, a F.R.I.E.N.D.S marathon is always a good idea.

I have been AWOL for a long time now and I apologise for my absence. In the last couple of years, I have packed my life into 3 suitcases and moved continents. I am writing to you from sunny Australia where Christmas is a bloomin hot deal, literally. It is 38 degrees Celsius here and Santa would probably wear booty shorts rather than his heavy suit here.

But in the traditional sense of Christmas, I picture Santa wearing his big ol red suit and these berry red macarons with a fancy gold buckle, filled with delish dark chocolate ganache are my ode to Santa. This dessert had a lot of firsts for me. Baking in a new country with new ingredients and a new oven was a task in itself and lemme tell you, the oven is the last place you want to be close to when it is so hot outside. I even used lustre dust for the first time and mixing it with alcohol and painting it on was a fun task indeed. The recipe I used for the macarons is my no-fail, foolproof macarons that will give you a great batch of macarons. So do try it out and you won't be disappointed.

Overall, I am really glad that my vision for these macarons translated so well into reality and this is me, wishing you readers a very Merry Christmas and I do hope you try out these treats. So without further ado, here is the recipe. 

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Choco Mint Cannon balls

Choco mint cannon balls

A select few combinations evoke a sense of utter pleasure and chocolate and peppermint/mint is one of them. I’m a sucker for After Eights and back in university, all of my friends knew what to get me as goodies. Year after year, I’d get a big stash of them and I’d ration them so that they would last. When we started getting them in India, I was over the moon. But I still waited for my holiday stash (greedy me). Once, I found a box that had After Eight balls, not your usual square ones. I still remember, back then, that it was priced at Rs 400 bucks or more for a small box the size of your average mint box. Quite a lot to pay for a treat so tiny, back then, living on a meager stipend from my first job. Nevertheless, the love for chocolate and mint made me take the plunge and I don’t regret it one bit. Sadly, since then, I never found it.

I always looked out for it but in vain. When I rediscovered my joy of baking when I took a short break in my career, this was one of the first things I attempted. I remember whooping with joy when I made them and memories came flooding back of me buying that box at Landmark one evening and having that eternal debate in my head over whether I should be spending so much money on this, was it worth it, was I being wasteful, so on and so forth. We all have that voice in our head, don’t we? And boy am I glad I didn't listen to it. Biting into them balls of melting minty yummiliciousness is a memory that this very forgetful girl still remembers vividly.

This recipe is an oldie and one that’s very special to me and I hope it can be to you’ll as well.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Cheat's chocolate mousse

Easy peasy chocolate mousse

While I do like to occasionally slog it out in the kitchen when it comes to certain recipes and dishes, for the most part of it, I like my desserts to be simple and as less time consuming as possible. I'd rather spend that extra time gobbling up another portion rather than slaving away for it. Most of my cravings come unannounced and come with a sense of urgency that only quick fix recipes can fix and here's one such recipe. This time's craving was dark chocolate mousse and even without the craving I wouldn't go through the traditional route of a mousse under normal circumstances and that's when my bookmarked Nigella's recipe came out. I am a big Nigella fan and her show is one of the first cookery shows I started watching and this has been on my to do list for a while now. This truly is an instant mousse recipe and so intensely rich and delicious that your mousse cravings will be well and truly satiated, as was mine. The trick here is mini marshmallows and it gives you the airy mousse like texture without slogging over the dish for hours.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Valentine's Day Cookies

You are my Love bug
I loved the muah cookies so much that I went ahead and made a whole bunch of Valentine's Day Cookies that are on sale via my baking outfit - The Dessert Island. The response to my V-day cookies were so great that I thought why not share them here as well? As always, my designs are simple are something that anyone with an eye for cookie decorating can attempt. I always prefer cheeky and fun V'day cookies/msg's than the sappy ones, so my cookies reflect that, barring a few :) No tutorial this time on these, since this is a just drool post. But I do hope to get your feedback on them. 

So here goes, the one you see on the top is aptly titled you are my love bug and they remind me of the love bug/lady bird cupcakes I had made and shared on my blog a year ago. You can see that post here..

The next on the list is one that is my fav and I call him Mr Lova Lova. The Casanova of the pack, you can't resist falling in love with him... Perfect for those who want to take him home or to gift to your special someone... Side effects include swooning and Shaggy's song playing in your head on repeat. Say it with me, Mr lova lova ♪ ♫ ♩...
Mr Lova Lova
The next one was inspired by one of my favorite songs while growing up. "Though we gotta say goodbye for the summer, but darling I promise you this, I'll send you all my love, everyday in a letter, sealed with a kiss..." 

Friday, 31 January 2014

Muah cookies

Care for a kiss?
Long time no see and yes, it's all my fault. One of these days I'm gonna give myself a shelling over how I've been so irregular with my blog. For those of you who are still around, I am coming up with a project on the blog that will have me blogging more regularly and more importantly, share with you'll some great recipes/designs. So stay tuned and once again, I am so sorry for the long absence. I only hope the adage absence makes the heart fonder applies here :p  But for now, I am making up for that with a step by step tutorial of a cookie design that I fell in love with the minute I saw it. Valentine's Day is around the corner and I don't know about you, but I like cheeky ones rather than sappy valentines and this one has cheeky 'smacked' all over it. It's such a simple design that even someone with no cookie decorating experience can do it with ease and that's why this is the first tutorial of the year. Simple and fabulous, this one's a keeper and I take no credit to the design. Sweetambs is the original creator of this design (as far as I know) and I followed suit and I hope you do too.. 

For this project you'll need - 

  • Cookie dough (You can use shortbread or sugar cookie dough for this). Here are some popular links for both - here and here
  • A heart shaped cookie cutter.
  • Or go and buy a ready-made heart shaped cookie  if you are feeling lazy and use that.
  • Royal icing (in flood consistency/ten second consistency) - you can find my recipe and details here.
  • Red food colour (gel or powder based).
  • A toothpick, scribe tool or a long blunt needle.
  • Piping bags/parchment piping cones or just a ziplock.