Happy 3, Flamenco Dancer Cake & Turning a New Leaf

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It’s been a while. I know. I’ve been doing some heavy lifting, literally! I’ve been turning away from a cupboard full of clothes that don’t fit me anymore for months. Last month, something inside me snapped. I realized, if I don’t go back into those clothes anytime soon, I’m never going to be able to enjoy food like the way I want to – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, there’s nothing as blasphemous as guilting over food. And lately, I’ve been feeling a rather painful sense of guilt. I’d eat a large piece of cake and then a voice in my head would go, “what are you doing?” I had really had it.
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Happy Holi Cake

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My first memory of Holi is etched in my brain like it was yesterday. I was 3 something years old and was visiting my aunt in Bombay. I was at the balcony, clenching the railings, trying to get as much of myself out, through the gap; I don’t know why that gave me so much comfort but it did. That was my usual haunt everyday until my mom would come to drag me inside.
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Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes for a very Special Birthday

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If you’ve been an ardent follower of my blog, you by now know that my husband (Pavan) is a BIG fan of chocolate. When we are at a restaurant ordering dessert, it is almost irritating how predictable he can be when it comes to choosing dessert – “I’ll have one chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream, thank you.” But I also like how honest and unaffected he can be about it, when I criticize him for being so predictable, he says, “I love chocolate, so be it.”
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Hazelnut Honey Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

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Many of us think that cooking is more instinctive than baking. And I was one of them too. But today, after experimenting and matchmaking (with ingredients), I’d say, “I agree to disagree.” It’s probably easier to throw ingredients on a whim into a wok, sure.  But what about that genius who thought of incorporating matcha green tea in desserts or that beautiful mind that thought of pairing chocolate and dark rum? I mean, if that’s not born out of instinctiveness, then what is?

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Crash Course on Egg Replacers

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I’ve been a strong proponent of eggs. I still am. I am just one of those people who happen to believe that macarons without eggs are not macarons. After a LOT of reading, experimenting and going back and forth, I’ll say one thing, if the right ingredients are used for the right recipes, omitting eggs may not be that big of a sin for a baker, a baker who is catering to a vegetarian/vegan audience or a baker who is vegetarian/vegan herself.

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Pistachio Ice Cream with Cacao Nibs

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I’m posting real time today. It is 2 minutes to 7 in the morning and I have a piping hot cup of coffee beside me and a TV in front of me. One of those rare days I wake up so early in the morning. Oh it also happens to be The Oscars. Watching Chris Rock killing it; so if I come across a little distracted, please forgive me, a sizeable portion of all the hot people in this world are in the Dolby Theater for god’s sake!
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Strawberry Banana Friands

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It was 2:30 pm in the afternoon. The sky was a mild yellow sparsely blemished with silvery blotches. I was reading a book and went into what some of us call a heavenly afternoon nap.  The last few words were blurry ants to me as my eyes were barely open. And so I slid the bookmark in and slept.
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Filed under Cakes, English Tea Time, French Desserts, French pastries

Baked Vendakkai Vathal/Ladies’ Finger (Okra) Chips

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I think every Indian will have some story to tell about the ubiquitous vendakkai (in Tamil) – bhindi in Hindi, ladies’ finger/Okra in English, you take your pick. I feel it’s the emblem for Indian vegetables, not your gobi, not even your aloo, but vendakkai for sure is. I probably think that because I grew up in a household where it was used more frequently in cooking than aloo.
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“I’m getting over you” Chocolate Cake

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What in the world would we do without chocolate? When I read these articles about how there’s going to be a chocolate crisis, I swear I feel there would be an apocalypse after the last piece is given away. A place without brownies and chocolate ice cream is unimaginable, let alone other things. I mean, there would be bereft souls wading their way through the streets without knowing what’s hit them.

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Bittersweet Meringue Sandwiches + a Simple Hack to remove Egg Yolk Droppings from Egg Whites

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I think I’m obsessed with meringue-based desserts. There is nothing more soul satisfying for a baker than watching those egg whites metamorphose into shiny white clouds. These cocoa meringues are definitely not kisses (see meringue kisses), they are giant bear sugary hugs that will remind you of cotton candy. Just when you find these cookies a bit too sugary, the dollop of dark chocolate ganache in between comes to the rescue! It’s bittersweet, much like love!
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