Best Brownies Ever!

As the title says, these are actually the BEST brownies ever. They are rich, gooey and sinfully dark & delicious. If you’re looking for ways to pamper your tastebuds, you need to make these. NOW! 😀

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Choc Brownie

I cannot describe my love for them. It’s easy, quick and so effortless! And the best part is just how amazing it tastes! I personally love the depth of flavour. The subtle darkness to the brownies just make them even more drool-worthy. All I can say is, do yourself a favour and make them right NOW. You’re welcome! 😀

BrownieChoc

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If you’re done drooling, shall we start? 😛

Recipe adaptation : Nigella Lawson

MAKES: 15 brownies

INGREDIENTS

  • 190 gms best quality dark chocolate (I used 85% cocoa solids, but you can go for minimum 70% as well)
  • 160 gms unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 200 gms castor sugar
  • 110 gms plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

METHOD

  • Line an approximately 20X20X5 cm brownie pan with baking paper. Keep aside.
  • Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large bowl over a double boiler.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • In another large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla.
  • When the chocolate mixture has melted, let it cool a bit before pouring into the egg sugar mixture. Once you have added the chocolate, sift in the flour and salt. Mix well.
  • Pour the batter into the lined brownie pan, scraping using a spatula.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes or until the top has browned but the inside is still dense and gooey. As every oven differs, keep a check on the brownies starting 20 minutes as they continue to cook a little as they cool.
  • Let them cool completely before cutting. I dusted mine with a bit of cocoa powder on top and roughly drizzled some salted caramel sauce. They taste just as delicious plain.

 

Note: If you’re using 70% dark chocolate, you would want to reduce the sugar by 25 gms or it might end up being too sweet.

 

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Spiced Apple Almond Cake

Apple-cinnamon is my favourite combination and I couldn’t not do justice to it. It’s one of the most comforting desserts I feel, the one that you can never get tired of. And this is one of those cakes. It’s simple, super easy (probably the easiest) and oh, so yummy!

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#Favourite series continues….

My first recipe for the favourite series was the Blueberry Tart-two ways, which was more of a summery- classy sort of a recipe. Next up is this beautiful, ever so mouth-watering Spiced Apple Almond Cake, with a generous drizzle of warm salted caramel sauce & a big scoop of chilled vanilla ice cream. Decadent, isn’t it? I personally love this one a bit too much, more than I would accept, haha. Everything I love in one single dessert! I have used the same caramel recipe as the one before in Banana Cheesecake with Salted Caramel, so you can check it out here. Now an apple cake is more of a fall dessert, but I honestly make it all year round because I love it so much!

My sister has recently started following this diet plan, where she cannot eat flour or too much butter. Since she loves apple-cinnamon as much as I do, it was only unfair that she couldn’t have a piece of it. That’s when I came across this gluten free cake by obviously, Nigella Lawson. It’s not only gluten free, but also has no oil or butter. Can you imagine?! Her version is just an apple almond cake, but I had to do this little spicy twist. So glad I did! 😀

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(Excuse me for the melting ice cream. Delhi is just sickeningly hot :/ I have tried shooting it thrice already! )

I don’t think I can put it in words as to how amazing this cake is. Imagine, a slice of warm spiced apple cake with warm dripping salted caramel, topped with a spoonful of classic vanilla ice cream. Are you hungry? Yes? Stop reading and start baking! You will thank me later! 😀

 

MAKES: 8 slices (8″ springform tin) 

INGREDIENTS

For the spiced apples

  • 1 1/2 eating apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider
  • 1 tsp castor sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

 

For the cake

  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 165 gms almond meal
  • 120 gms castor sugar
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

 

For the salted caramel

  • 50 gms granulated sugar
  • 22 gms unsalted butter
  • 30 ml heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste

 

METHOD

For the spiced apples

  • Peel, core and chop the apples roughly. Put them in a saucepan with the lemon juice, apple cider and sugar and bring the pan to a bubble over a medium heat. Cover the pan and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes or until you can mash down the apples with the back of a wooden spoon or fork. I like it a bit chunky. Leave to cool.

 

For the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease an 8″ springform tin with oil and dust properly with flour.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until it forms soft peaks. Keep aside.
  • In another large bowl, beat together the egg yolks, almond meal, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon powder. Add the mashed spiced apples and mix well. Using a spatula, gently fold in the egg whites with the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake at 180 C for 40-45 mins, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. It’s more of a pudding sort of texture, so don’t overcook it. My oven takes a bit longer than usual so you might wanna check around 35-38  mins. Let it cool and then de-mould.

 

For the caramel

  • Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring using a heat resistant rubber spatula or a wooden spoon.
  • Sugar will start to form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown amber colored liquid as you keep stirring. Do not burn the sugar or you will have to restart the process. It only takes a few seconds for it to burn.
  • When the sugar has completely melted, immediately add the butter. Keep stirring. Be careful not to get your face too close to the heat as the sugar will bubble rapidly once butter is added. Stir until butter is completely melted, for about a minute.
  • Slowly pour in the heavy cream and vanilla extract into the caramel. Be very careful because the caramel will bubble or even splatter because of the cold cream.
  • Let the caramel boil for a minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the sea salt. Allow to cool down completely before using. Caramel is ready!

 

Assembling:

Drizzle a generous amount of warm salted caramel sauce over a warm slice of the cake and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Happy eating! 🙂

 

Note: Drizzle the caramel on the cake only at the time of serving or else the caramel will harden.

 

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Blueberry Tart- two ways

Do you love blueberries? If the answer is yes, you have come to the right place! Do you know the best part? You learn two blueberry tart recipes, with two different fillings! 😀

Blueberry lemon tart

Hi guys!

I feel so happy right now, as I write this post. This is such a special post for me, simply because I know I’m progressing and getting better. I feel I have really evolved as a baker from where I started to where I am now. And this makes me so happy. 🙂

So now, since I have expressed my elated state, let’s talk food, shall we? 😀 Soo, a lot of you who follow me on instagram might know that August is gonna be very happeningggg. I’m gonna post my all-time favourite recipes throughout the month. And, this is the very first one! I was kind of confused about this one because I love blueberries, but I also equally love lemons, AND I love blueberries and lemon together, haha. Hence, I ended up making this blueberry tart, with two different fillings. The first is a Blueberry-Vanilla tart, with a vanilla pastry cream filling, for true blueberry lovers. The second is a Lemon-Blueberry tart, with a lemon curd filling, or all you zing lovers.

Now that seems like a lot of work, doesn’t it? Even though this dessert is a bit time-consuming, it’s all so worth it. Especially when you have two incredibly delicious desserts for the work of one! Putting it simply, both the tarts have the same base, blueberry compote and greek yoghurt cream topping. The only difference is the two different fillings- vanilla cream pastry & lemon curd. Simple, isn’t it? Oh, there’s more! For all the calorie conscious sly dessert lovers, I have used greek yoghurt instead of cream cheese to lighten the palate. So basically, there’s something for everyone! 😀 Let’s get started?

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Blue-lemon tart

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Few important points:

  • If possible, use a cool room for making the shortcrust pastry as it’s easier to work with the dough.
  • You’ll have to be quick while making the lemon curd and the vanilla pastry cream. So make sure you have all the ingredients ready beforehand.
  • Making vanilla pastry cream can seem a bit intimidating but trust me, it’s not. You just really need to whisk the mixture well & quickly in order to prevent the eggs from curdling. You are good to go!

 

Recipe for the almond shortcrust pastry adapted from Melbourne Food Snob and lemon curd from BakeWithShivesh. 🙂

 

Blueberry-Vanilla Tart

MAKES: 8-10 mini tarts

INGREDIENTS

For the almond shortcrust pastry

  • 120 gms plain flour
  • 80 gms almond meal
  • 80 gms chilled cold butter, diced
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 30 gms icing sugar

For the blueberry compote

  • 6 tbsp water
  • 2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 85 gms castor sugar
  • 200 gms blueberries
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

For the pastry cream

  • 220 ml milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • few lemon rind stripes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 40 gms sugar
  • 15 gms cornstarch
  • 20 gms unsalted butter

For the greek yoghurt cream

  • 300 gms greek yoghurt, hung for minimum3 hours
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
  • blueberries to garnish
  • Lemon zest to garnish

 

METHOD

For the shortcrust pastry

  • Mix butter, flour, sugar, and almond meal together in a food processor until the mixture roughly resembles fine crumbs. Add egg yolk and process until combined. Remove from the processor and knead lightly into a dough. In case the mixture doesn’t come together, use a teaspoon of chilled water to bring it together.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and flatten like a disc. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for minimum an hour.
  • Roll out the dough on a flour dusted surface until it is 5 mm thick.
  • I’m using 6 cm tart tins here. So, cut out about 9 cm circles and transfer the circles to the fluted tart tins. Press pastry into tins and trim off any excess pastry. Refrigerate again for 30 minutes or until well chilled. (Be careful while handling the pastry as almond meal makes the pastry softer and more easily breakable)
  • Preheat oven to 200 C. Place baking paper over the pastries and fill with beans or baking weights. Bake at 200 C for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and bake again for about 5 minutes, or until it is just starting to brown in the middle.
  • Let the pastries cool and de-mould once cool.

 

For the blueberry compote

  • Heat 5 tbsp water, lemon juice & sugar over medium heat. Add blueberries and mix well. Cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and 1 tbsp of water until well combined. Add to the blueberry compote and mix. Cook for a minute or two, until the compote has thickened a bit. You’re not looking for a very thick compote, thinner than jam.  Remove from heat. Taste for adjusting lemon juice. I like it a bit tangy.

 

For the vanilla pastry cream

  • In a medium saucepan, heat 200 ml milk along with lemon rind stripes until just before boiling. Turn off heat. Add the vanilla extract and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • In another saucepan, beat egg yolk and sugar together, until pale in colour.
  • Dissolve cornstarch in 20 ml milk and mix with the egg mixture until well combined.
  • Sieve the earlier heated milk into the egg mixture and mix well. Cook the mixture on low heat, whisking vigorously continuously, to avoid any lumps, until it thickens.
  • Once the pastry cream is free of lumps, add butter and mix well until smooth. Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl and cover with cling film & refrigerate until use.
  • You can fill it in a piping bag for easier use.

 

For the greek yoghurt cream

  • In a large bowl, whisk lightly hung yoghurt with icing sugar until mixed. Add vanilla extract and mix. Cover with cling film and refrigerate until use.

 

Assembling the tart

  • Place the shortcrust pastry on a plate. Layer it with a generous spoonful of blueberry compote. Cover with a layer of fresh blueberries. Pipe a generous layer of the vanilla cream pastry. Let it cool in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  • Pipe a layer of the greek yoghurt cream. Throw in some blueberries, if any. Sprinkle lemon zest. Voila!

 

Note:

  • One batch of recipe makes 8-10 tarts only. If you wish to make both the types of tarts together, halve the recipes for vanilla pastry cream and lemon curd to give you 4-5 tarts of both the types each.

 


Lemon-Blueberry Tart

MAKES: 8-10 mini tarts

INGREDIENTS

  • Almond shortcrust pastry (same as above)

  • Blueberry compote (same as above)

  •  For Lemon curd

  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 45 gms butter
  • 5-6 tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • Greek Yoghurt cream (same as above) 

  • Blueberries and lemon zest for garnish

 

METHOD

  • Follow steps for shortcrust pastry, blueberry compote and greek yoghurt cream from above.

For the lemon curd

  • In a medium bowl, whisk egg, egg yolks and sugar together.
  • In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the egg mixture once the butter has melted and mix well. Add the lemon juice and zest. Whisk continuously until the curd has thickened to prevent formation of lumps.
  • Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl. Place a layer of cling film on the surface of lemon curd in order to prevent formation of a thick layer on top. Cool before use.

Assembling the tart

  • Place the shortcrust pastry on a plate. Layer it with a generous spoonful of blueberry compote. Pipe a generous layer of the lemon curd. Let it cool in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  • Pipe a layer of the greek yoghurt cream. Throw in some blueberries. Sprinkle lemon zest. Voila!

 

 

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Drunken Chocolate Bundt Cake (Eggless)

This super- moist eggless chocolate cake with all the chocolaty goodness, combined with drunken whiskey caramelised bananas is definitely one of my favourite ways of eating chocolate! It’s rich, super-moist and heavenly! Oh, the best part? It’s eggless!

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Since my mother is a vegetarian, which means no eggs in the house, it’s quite a task for me to bake when I’m back home in Nepal. I have to really search through recipes which are eggless and then try them at home. I never had a go-to eggless chocolate cake recipe until I stumbled upon this Dark Chocolate Cake by Nigella Lawson. I’m so glad that I did. It’s probably the easiest and the simplest chocolate cake EVER. This has definitely become my go-to recipe now, with obviously a bit of my variations.

I have always liked elevating simple desserts just to perk things up. And I absolutely love this version with Whiskey Caramelised Bananas! I have used Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Whiskey here, but you can use any other high quality bourbon-whiskey liqueurs. The best part is, this whiskey caramel sauce is so versatile. Drizzle it over a scoop of ice cream or two, or in your iced coffee. It works perfectly, adding a bit of twist.

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I made this cake as a birthday gift for a friend of mine, and she loved it! Definitely give this one a try. It’s time to pamper your tastebuds a little. Happy Baking y’all!

Points to note:

  • Use a good quality cocoa powder, preferably hershey’s. It makes quite a difference.
  • I would recommend using only bourbon-whiskey, or Irish whiskey. You can use scotch-whiskey but that’s going to give you a stronger taste.
  • I like making the chocolate glaze and the caramel sauce simultaneously. Slice the bananas into 1/2 cm thin slices before starting the glaze.

 

Makes: 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

For the cake:

  • 225 gms plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coffee powder
  • 25 gms cocoa powder
  • 225 gms light brown sugar
  • 300 ml boiling water
  • 90 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 50 gms dark chocolate, minimum 60% cocoa

 

For the chocolate glaze:

  • 100 gms dark chocolate, min. 70% cocoa
  • 30 gms butter
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar

 

For the whiskey caramelised bananas:

  • 70 gms butter
  • 50 gms brown sugar
  • 80 ml bourbon-whiskey
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large banana, peeled,halved & sliced into 1/2 cm thin stripes

 

METHOD

For the cake: 

  • Line the bottom of a 9″ bundt tin with butter paper. Grease the rest of the tin with butter and dust it with flour. Keep aside.
  • In a large bowl, sieve together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add coffee powder and mix well.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  • Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Be careful to not let any drop of water into the chocolate or else the chocolate will seize.
  • In another large bowl, mix together the sugar, hot water, oil and vinegar, until no sugar lumps remain. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in the melted chocolate and mix until combined. It’s going to be a very wet batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake at 180 C for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. It’s a slight fudgy cake so make sure not to overcook it.
  • Once the cake is cooled, remove the tin and let the cake cool further.

 

For the chocolate glaze:

  • Melt the chocolate & butter over a double boiler. Sift in the icing sugar and vanilla extract and mix well, until no lumps remain (if any). Keep aside.

 

For the caramel sauce:

  • Melt butter in a deep pan over medium heat. Add the sugar once the butter is completely melted. Stir until no sugar lumps remain.
  • Stir in the whiskey, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and let it simmer until the sauce has thickened. Gently add the bananas and simmer until the bananas are warmed through and glazed with the sauce. Turn off heat. You might have extra sauce left, but caramel didn’t hurt anybody, did it?

 

Assembling the cake:

  • Make tiny holes with a thick toothpick on the cake surface and pour a few spoons of the caramel sauce on the cake to let the cake soak it.
  • Now pour the chocolate glaze on the cake, letting some of it drip onto the sides.
  • Using a pair of tongs, places the bananas on the cake, however you like, and put it in the refrigerator for 15 mins to let it cool.
  • Once it’s cooled, generously drizzle the leftover caramel sauce all over the cake. If you wish, pipe a few dollops of whipped cream . Your cake is ready! 😀
  • I recommend serving the cake warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for best experience. Enjoy!

 

 

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No-churn Pineapple Slush Sorbet

HI GUYS!!!

I’m so excited to be writing this post! 😀 I know it’s been very long since I last posted, but I’m finally back home and out of my ‘Croatia’ zone, haha. I had such a great time traveling all around Croatia. It is a beautifullll country with even more beautiful people. I had the pleasure of tasting some really good food. I was expecting a bit more on the dessert front, but it’s okay I guess. Anyway, Croatia stories are for some other day, or else I’m never gonna finish this post 😛

So as you all know, summers in India are wayyyy too hot. The only way to survive it is to overdose on all things cold, especially ice creams. However, I always prefer sorbets over ice creams because they are just so refreshing and obviously yummyyy! It’s lighter, and the gorgeous bright colours just pop me up. I had never tasted a pineapple sorbet before and I absolutely love pineapples, and I love sorbets! So obviously I HAD to combine the two. And the result was SO good!

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It’s more of a slush sorbet, with a much softer texture than a regular sorbet. It’s super easy to make and does not require an ice cream maker. I have used lemon flavoured vodka here, but you can use regular vodka or any other liqueur as well. I would love to see a variation with Malibu or Tequila. You might want to increase the lemon juice content a bit in that case. You can also do away with alcohol completely and simply add water. The texture is gonna vary a little since alcohol never freezes and hence avoids ice crystals to form to give you a much smoother texture. But you can substitute water in this recipe as the amount is very minimal.

Pineapple sorbet

Recipe adaptation from Nigella Lawson. Let’s get started, shall we?

 

Makes: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 350 gms fresh pineapple, peeled and diced
  • 175 gms castor sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 25 ml citron vodka

 

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put the pineapples into an ovenproof dish and add the sugar and zest and juice of the lemon. Cover with foil and put in the oven for about 5-7 mins (depending on how soft your pineapples are), just to make the fruit soft and pulpy.
  • Let the pineapples cool for a bit before pureeing it in a blender. Puree the pineapples, making sure no fruit chunks are left. Pass through a sieve to remove all pippy bits.
  • Once you have your juicy pineapple puree, stir in the vodka. I always like tasting my mixture at this point to adjust lemon juice or something.
  • Pour the sorbet mixture into an air tight plastic container and put it in the freezer. Whip the mixture every hour with either an electric whisk or with your hand for 3 hours as it freezes. Keep in the freezer until the actual time of serving. Happy sorbeting! 🙂

 

 

I would love to see your versions of this simple pineapple slush sorbet. Share your pictures on instagram and tag me: @myyummyspatula

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