Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine’s day – Part 2


Although you can buy practically everything from the supermarket its always nice to have some personal touch to the food we cook or share. They don't have to be perfect and that’s the beauty of it.


I have got these beautiful bars of chocolate from Sainsbury, you can eat them just like that or you can use for your baking. I did. I noticed I don’t have any cupcake recipes here. Its Valentines day, another excuse to have chocolates and cakes. Not that I would like to bake a huge cake but a small one just for two of us or some cup cakes which we can finish in one go.



I had some beautiful little chocolate truffles which I thought I could use for decorating these chocolate muffins as my dear husband is not very fond of creamy icing.  After all, I was making these muffins for him only. BTW guess what I got in return, a trip to SFO and LA. Isn’t that great! Well it's our milestone anniversary weekend as well!

DSC_0325 DSC_0344

As usual I am referring to Nigella’s recipe. As you know if it involves chocolate and indulgence but is quick and easy, it has to be Nigella. For these little chocolate cupcakes I used her recipe from Nigella Feasts – Comfort Food. Here is a link to the video Choc Chip muffin.

 DSC_0313 Ingredients :

For the cupcakes:

First the list of dry ingredients:

100 gm of dark chocolate (melted)

1/4 th cup of dark chocolate chip (recipe suggested 3/4th cup but as I used 100 gm of dark chocolate so I reduced the chocolate chip amount )

1+ 3/4 th cup sugar

1 + 3/4 cup plain flour

2 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp of baking soda

List of wet ingredients:

1 cup of milk

1 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg


For the icing:

100 gm dark chocolate

100 gm white chocolate

100 gm melted butter

2 tbsp cherry Liquor (for the dark chocolate icing)

Sainsbury’s TTD Chocolate truffles



Pre heat the oven to 400 degree F. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and keep it aside. In a separate bowl add one by one all the wet ingredients and whisk it together so that the egg is mixed well. Now add the mixed wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix it well. Place the muffin cups on the baking tray and scope the cake mix in them. Bake them in the oven for 20 minutes.


For the icing melt the dark and white chocolates separately and add 50 gm of butter to each of the melting chocolate. keep stirring and then finally add the cherry liquor to the dark chocolate for little extra flavouring.Once the muffins are cooled down I put the icing on them and decorated them with the chocolate truffles.


I am sending this as an entry to Maison Cupcake’s event Forever Nigella #2 “Seduced by Chocolate”


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Recipe Testing : Meringue Fool

I have never ever made a meringue before. This was the very first time I was making it. Honestly I was a bit nervous, not knowing how will it turn out. When I saw the finished product I felt this is the easiest dessert I have ever made. I was following Vanessa Kimbell’s recipe. She is writing her cook book called Prepped.


The recipe is really very easy. It requires only six or seven ingredients to make this fabulous pudding. I loved it but I wanted to get more peoples’ opinion so I took the dessert to office for my colleagues to share. Believe it or not, couple of them had second helpings. I was so pleased to see their expression while they were having the pudding. Within minutes that huge pudding was demolished. Here is the recipe, please do try it out if you will not be disappointed if you have a sweet tooth. It is very light, low effort pudding and melts in your mouth in moments.



For the meringue:

6 egg whites

300 gm white caster sugar

For the Fool:

300 ml double cream

3 tbsp icing sugar

1/2 tsp Vanilla essence (This was my addition wasn’t there in Vanessa’ s recipe but she did say to use flavoured sugar which I didn't have so I added this)

For topping:

Rhubarb jam

Fresh berries



(I am using Vanessa’s version here as I followed them word by word and I recommend to do that too! )

Pre heat the oven at 150 degree / Gas mark 2. Before you begin, make sure your utensils are spotless. Don’t use a bowl that may harbour any grease (such as a plastic bowl), and make sure your utensils are dry. Meringues are sensitive and don’t get on with moisture or fat. To make the meringue base, whisk the egg whites until they are fluffy: 3–4 minutes should do. Once they are fluffy and white and form soft peaks, don’t stop the beating; just slowly add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until it is all dissolved. (approximately 10 minutes)


Tipping it all in at once knocks the air out of the eggs, and if you stop beating the eggs, you knock the air out when you restart beating. So a flow of continuous beating gets the best results. Draw a large dinner plate circle in Pencil on the back of some baking parchment and turn it over. Dollop the mixture onto the circle on the paper, turn the oven down to Gas 1./ 275F / 140C and bake for 2 hours. Turn the oven off and leave the meringue in the oven to cool.


To assemble, whip the cream and the icing sugar until thick. Not too thick, though: you need to drape it gently over the meringue. Then spoon the rhubarb jam (or stewed rhubarb) on top of the cream and serve. If you have any geranium petals of other edible flower petals you can use these to decorate.


You can pre order her book from Amazon here. Best of luck Vanessa! Looking forward to your book.