Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes and a sweet moment to remember


Time flies, and just like that I didn't realise how these last six months came and went. So many things happened during this little time. I remember the day very clearly when my mum was coming to be with me for sometime. I was so excited and happy when I saw her coming through the doors, I was jumping with joy and happiness. She was here for the most important event of my life. I was so glad that she came and was with me for the birth of my baby. With the baby, my mum and my better half, time passed by like a blur and now I feel so sad as she will be leaving this weekend.


Now that I have sat down to write this post I am reliving all those countless moments of pure joy and fun we had together. This post won’t finish if I try to pen down all of then but one such sweet moment was when we celebrated her birthday. It was always she who baked my birthday cake when I was growing up and this time I thought of baking one for her. I can’t tell you how nervous I was, especially because I was baking for her birthday. But she kept telling me keep it simple and gave me enough confidence so that I can finish my cupcakes. I made very simple chocolate cupcakes just like she wanted without the frosting on top and she loved it!



2 eggs

100 gm plain flour

100 gm brown sugar

100 gm butter

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

3 tbsp Cadbury's cocoa powder



Melt the butter and add the sugar to it and start beating it. Add the eggs and continue beating till the mixture turns pale yellow and smooth. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl then take one table spoon at a time and add into the wet mixture and keep beating. Continue this process till you have finished adding all the dry mix to the cake mix.


Preheat the oven to 180 degree C. Place the muffin cases in the the muffin tray and pour the cake mix on the muffin cases with a tablespoon. Bake for 20 minutes or till the cupcakes are done. Once done take them out of the oven and let them cool. you can do any frosting you like but I kept it simple and served it just like that.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine’s Day- Trio of Desserts


Every year on Valentine’s day I try to do something special. Last year it was chocolate. As you know that I am obsessed with chocolate and baking so this year it had to be baking. On top of that I got a chance to be one of the 15 bloggers who would take part in Baking Mad UK’s Valentine’s Day competition. Baking Mad UK had sent me a box full of baking goodies for this competition hence I had twice as many reasons to do some baking.


This year I thought of being brave and attempt to do not one, not two but a trio of desserts. Because I was making 3 different things I had to go for the low effort, high reward combination. After a brainstorm I decided to go for a shortbread biscuit, a cake and a combination of white and dark chocolate mousse.


Although it may seem like a lot but all of these are very easy to prepare desserts and the best part is you don’t need to make them all together. I made the chocolate mousse a day earlier and kept it chilled in fridge for overnight. Also the dough for the shortbread can be made in advance and kept in the fridge but I only kept it for couple of hours to set.


White and dark chocolate mousse

Let me begin with the white and dark chocolate mousse. Initially I thought of making white chocolate heart surrounded by the dark chocolate but wasn’t sure how will it turn out so as a back-up plan I went for the popular angular presentation. But when I finished making both the glasses, I couldn't decide which one to put forward. So here you go, both the glasses full of delicious white and dark chocolate mousse.


For white chocolate mousse I used:

100 gm Silver Spoon white chocolate

200 ml extra thick double cream

1tsp of Silver Spoon Vanilla Paste

Silver Spoon Sugar balls (optional)



Melt the white chocolate in the double boiler on a simmering heat. Keep stirring till it is a smooth mixture. Remove from the heat and keep it aside. Beat the double cream till it forms soft peak. Be careful while doing that as the cream become harder if you continue to beat. Now add the vanilla paste to the melted white chocolate and the add the cream to it and keep mixing until every thing is mixed properly and no lumps remaining.


For the angular presentation, I used a wine glass which I placed on one corner of an empty container and lean the glass on the other side of the container in a way that when the white chocolate is poured it covers the wine glass diagonally. Keep the whole arrangement, in the fridge and let it chill for 6-7 hours or even overnight.


When the white chocolate mousse is set, I started making the dark chocolate mousse. For this I used the recipe that I had made before only thing the I changed is the type of alcohol. This time it was cherry liquor, quantity was same.  Once ready pour the mousse on the wine glass by keeping the glass straight now the chill the glass in the fridge for another 6-7 hours or until set.


For the heart shape I simply placed a heart shape cookie cutter  in the glass and pour the white chocolate through it and filled it only half. Once set then pour the dark chocolate around the cutter and let it set. Once that is done then I took the cookie cutter slowly out and filled the heart shaped cavity with white chocolate mousse again. keep in the fridge till it is set.


For serving I used Silver Spoon Sugar balls and few orange peals on top. Trust me you wont be disappointed.


Shortbread Biscuit (makes 12 biscuits)

To go with this creamy mousse I made these shortbread biscuit which will provide the change in texture to the dish. I didn’t know making shortbread biscuit will be this easy. All I needed was four ingredients listed below.


130 gm plain flour

115 gm Butter (at room temperature)

30 gm Icing Sugar (I used the lemon flavoured Icing sugar from Silver Spoon)

1 tsp of Silver Spoon Vanilla Paste



Beat the butter (I used an electric mixer) till smooth and creamy then add the sugar and vanilla paste and keep beating. Now add the flour and keep mixing till it forms a dough like consistency. Take it out of the bowl to make a round dough, cover it with cling film and chill in the fridge for couple of hours. This is also something you can make in advance. When you are ready to make the biscuits, take the dough out of the fridge and keep it in room temperature for 15 –20 minutes or until the dough is soft enough to roll and cut cookies out of it. Place the dough between two cling film and start rolling till the dough is quarter of an inch thick. Using the cookie cutter of your choice cut the cookies from the flattened dough.


Line a baking sheet on a baking tray and pre heat the oven to 180 degree. Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are lightly brown on the side. Cool them in a wire rack and they are ready to eat. I drizzled some melted dark chocolate from Silver Spoon which you can melt on bag and cut a small corner to drizzle on them but that is purely optional.


Coffee cake with Nuts and Chocolate Ganache

Finally to complete the trio of dessert I made this cake. Can’t think of celebrating Valentine’s Day without a cake and not just any cake, a coffee cake.


2 eggs

75 gm flour

75 gm butter

75 gm lemon flavoured Icing sugar from Silver Spoon

1 tsp of Silver Spoon Vanilla Paste

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda


For decorating the cake, I used:

Handful of mixed nuts pieces

Coffee and walnut cake Icing

50 gm Silver Spoon easy melt dark chocolate

25 gms butter

2 tbsp cherry liquor



Beat the eggs first until light and fluffy, to that add the melted butter and sugar and continue beating. Once you have a well combined homogeneous mixture add the flour slowly, little by little to the mixture while continuing to beat. Add the baking powder, baking soda and the vanilla paste to the cake mix and continue to beat. Pre heat the oven to 180 degree C, grease a cake tin/loaf tin and pour the cake mix in. Bake for 25 minutes, insert a thin skewer in the cake to check if it has baked properly. if the skewers come out clean then its done else if it comes out sticky then bring the oven temperature down a bit and bake for some more time until its done.


For building the cake I used a ring cutter to cut a round portion of the cake then slice in horizontally. Make the coffee cream icing then spread between the cake layers and sides.Now on a plate spread the nuts and roll the cake on it to cover the sides of the cake. Make the chocolate ganache by melting the chocolate with the butter and the cherry and pour on top of the cake and serve. Sending this to English Mum’s ‘baked with love’ Bakeoff and Teenz’ Yummy Delights Valentine’s Day Event.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rocco’s - Restaurant Review

I love Italian food. Whenever I get a chance, I try to make some at home, but last night we went to a family-run Italian restaurant and with the first bite I could feel the authenticity. After the meal I came back home with a warm feeling and desire to return as soon as possible.


Rocco’s, the Italian restaurant is located on Gloucester Road in Bristol, near the Arches and next to a Sainsbury store. Although the  restaurant is right on the main road but it’s easy to miss if you don’t look for it. We went in on a weekday evening so parking wasn’t so bad otherwise getting parking on Gloucester road can be challenging on weekends.


As I walked in through the doors, the first thing that I felt is the cosiness and the warmth of the little place which has lots of character to it. A warm and affable elderly lady, who I think is the owner of the Restaurant came and greeted us in person and showed us to our seat. The interior of the restaurant is decorated with lots of copper pots and pans placed on the wall. There were some hand drawn pictures of Venice on the wall and a huge wooden pepper crusher.  The restaurant could hold around 40 people at a time and the kitchen is visible from most parts of the restaurant.


The stained and not-so-perfect hand-written menu card made me feel like I am in some village pizzeria, in Sicilian countryside. For starters we ordered king prawns on crostini which was served with fresh leaves salad and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. The prawns were also mixed with olive oil drenched sundried tomato's which added extra flavour and dimension to the dish.


For mains we ordered braised beef tortellini in cream sauce and  wild mushroom risotto with truffle oil.The owner offered us with extra parmesan cheese on top and Sicilian chilli oil to go with both the dish. Trust me when I say it was good. Even while writing this I can actually feel the taste of those lovely flavours. Our check was way under £30 for two people but we came out fully satiated and now I can’t wait to go back again.