Toffee Pies Two Ways

 OHNOES. I have honestly discovered the best recipe for a toffee filling. It all started when I was trying to make a banoffee pie and then of course, I had to add chocolate to it. I thought I’d gone ahead ruined the natural order of the universe, but no. I HAD SUCCEEDED IN CREATING A PIE FILLING WORTHY OF THE GODS.

The biscuity crust holds together the rich toffee filling which you can do two ways to treat yourself and your guests to some more variety! I cheated with the crust though and got the store-bought pie shells. *shock, horror, gape!* my mum would probably kill me for this. Onto the recipe! There is a note right at the bottom for people who don’t have access to store-bought crusts.

Ingredients

  • 1 can condensed milk (395g)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 50 g approx butter
  • 2 tbsp sifted cocoa
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 5 sliced strawberries
  • Ready-made pie-shells. This quantity is good for 20 small pies

Mix condensed milk, brown sugar and butter in a heavy based pan and heat up till the mix is slightly stiff: This picture should explain:

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After getting this consistency, divide the filling into two parts. Fill half your pastry shells with this golden filling and with the remaining, add cocoa and mix well. Fill the rest of the shells with the chocolate mixture.

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Add sliced bananas and cream on top of the pies without cocoa. I added a bit of extra cocoa filling just to make them prettier and extra slices of strawberries but you can keep it strictly banana.

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Here’s the chocolate ones.

Top off with strawberries and cream if you so desire! These can also be topped with caramelized nuts and other berries if you have them on hand! The finished pies:

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Perfect for a summer tea party and Iftari in Ramzan! They go especially well with tea!

Note: for people who don’t have access to pre-made pie shells, You will need a round pie pan with a base you can separate.Mix 100g of melted butter and around 12 crushed digestive biscuits in a pan and mix well. Press this onto the bottom of your pan and place in the fridge to set. You can then use this base for a bigger pie!

 

 

 

 

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Brigadeiros

I’ve been meaning to try these since months since they were all over the internets. And I’m so happy they turned out exactly the way I hoped they would. I even got a fancy plate and cupcake liners to make them pretty for the photos! These are really easy to whip up with only four ingredients!

The result? Smooth rich intense dark balls of candy-like fudgy chocolate. Heavy so you can’t have more than one but that’s good because it’ll stop you binging on dessert and feeling guilty later! You can just tell yourself – oh but I just had ONE. hehehhee. 😉 it kinda works…almost. But hey, they are quite small and indulgent and I think I’ll make them again and again because you can stop at one portion!

Ingredients:

  • 1 x 395 can of condensed milk
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter + some extra for greasing hands and plate
  • Coating: you can choose between chocolate sprinkles, dessicated coconut or plain old cocoa. I used cocoa and coconut.

Method:

Plonk the condensed milk in a deep nonstick pan. The best way to make this is using a silicon spatula, it gets all the mix out from all the tiny annoying crevices. Slam the butter and the cocoa powder all in. No wait. Don’t slam the cocoa powder unless you want to snort it for the next twenty minutes – just be gentle with it. eh.

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Mix well and stir over medium heat until the mix reaches a fudge consistency and you start having some trouble with mixing. Also, the base of the pan will now start to show as you mix.

That’s your cue to take this off the heat.

Oil a plate and transfer the mix onto it and spread around till you’re happy its even. No chuck it in the fridge and forget about it for two hours.

After 2 hours or so, bring out the plate and grease your hands as well. Start by scooping out same sized bits of the fudge and shape them into balls. Coat them with desiccated coconut, chocolate sprinkles or cocoa and sit them pretty on a fancy plate. To be even more fancy, use small sized patty liners as cups for the balls. (I want to avoid calling them balls, but hey, that is what they are now)

Your balls..err.. Brigadeiros are ready!

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Perfect with your morning or evening cuppa!

 

Chocolate Brownies

What? Why hasn’t she used an appropriate adjective?! IS THE WORLD ENDING? No, as a matter of fact, I have searched high and low for the perfect brownie recipe and NOTHING has turned out this perfect. So I’m not going to complicate it by writing double chocolate brownies. Or decadent chocolate brownies. Or Sinful dark chocolate brownies. Let’s be honest, when you think of the word brownie. There’s only one specific taste that comes to mind. In our repository of sense and taste, brownie refers to a flaky crust with a dense chewy beginning, a soft middle and a deep rich chocolate satisfaction.

I have never come across a brownie recipe so good and so successful. Believe me, I’ve tried so many now, I’ve lost count. So here it is. In all its unadulterated glory. The recipe is adapted slightly from Mary Berry’s cookbook. It is not mine. I LOVE YOU MARY. I love you for giving me the happiness and joy of making a brownie in my own goddamn kitchen. Having it warm, washed down with milk. I love you.

Ingredients:

  • 275 g softened butter (not melted, just softened)
  • 375 g castor sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 75 g cocoa
  • 100 g chocolate chips (I used chopped up chocolate- because lazy)
  • 100 g flour minus 1 tsp (just take a tsp of flour out after measuring)
  • 1 + 1/4 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 180 C fan, 160 C gas. Line your baking tin with wax paper or if using newspaper, grease slightly.

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Measure all the ingredients except chocolate chips into a large bowl – sieve the flour, sugar and cocoa before use. Beat until evenly blended. Add chocolate chips and blend again. The mixture will be thick and sludgy.

Transfer to baking tin and spread evenly into the corners of the tin with a spatula. Arham Birthday 188

Bake for 40-45 minutes in the oven till a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. The brownies should have a wonderful crust and be soft and moist in the middle.

 

 

DON’T EAT THEM ALL BY YOURSELF.

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You’ll mess up 2016 in January, I tell ya.

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GLOMP – perfect with a glass of cold milk!

 

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Rustic Apple Crumble

Holiday Season is here! Which means gathering around the table and sharing stories and eating, of course! Warm desserts complete the mealtimes, and there is nothing better than this winter-loving apple crumble! The best part? It is such an easy breezy dessert and makes everyone so so happy! Serve with fresh cream or vanilla ice-cream, whatever floats your boat!

Start with prepping your apples and stewing them, you can make the crumble in the same pan and put it in the oven while you have your main course. I double and triple the recipe for my large family! If you stick to this, this happily serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cooking apples, cored and peeled. Cut into small quarters (refer to picture)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4-5 tbsps sugar (I used brown sugar, but you can stick with white)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • Separately raisins.

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Stew the apples in a heavy based pan until done.

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Them sugar crystals look smashing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what the stew should look like: Keep the raisins aside.

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For the Crumble:

  • 3 oz. Butter
  • 1 1/2 oz sugar
  • 3 oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 oz fine semolina
  • 1 level tsp cinnamon

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in sugar and flour and baking powder and the semolina and cinnamon.

Press half the crumble mix into a deep baking dish. Top with Apple mix and sprinkle the raisins on top. Top this generously with more crumb mixture.

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Bake in a moderately hot oven for 30-35 minutes, till well browned from the top.

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Serve hot or warm with cream!

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All the rustic goodness of classic apples and cinnamon with chewy raisins and a crumble so good you’ll run for seconds!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Golden Pancakes

These pancakes are easy to whip up on a sunday morning when everyone is going crazy for a fancy breakfast. I sometimes include chocolate chips in the batter to make them extra-special! drenched in golden syrup, these are a sure fire way to get everyone in the weekend mood!

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Oil for cooking

 

Beat the egg with a hand beater or fork until fluffy. Beat in remaining ingredients.

IMG_9111_FotorAdd around 2 tablespoons of oil on a hot griddle and spoon the batter, spreading it into rounds. Wait for the batter to bubble and then…

FLIP.

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Make sure you cook it on the other side and then flip it on the plate for serving.

Add a generous amount of syrup. YES.

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NEVER BUY PACKET MIX AGAIN.

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Mocha Syrup Cake

Im posting after quite a while, trying to eat healthy and lose some stubborn kgs which kind of left my blog hanging. but the weather is getting deliciously cool and fall is knocking at our doors. this calls for warm cozy comfort food which begs you to take it to bed and make sweet sweet love to.

Kind of got carried away with that. heh. Moving on, this recipe will not disappoint, its a tad difficult to pull off – my cake unfortunately got stuck to the pan but that gave it a rustic appeal which I liked! The ingredients, though, are very easy to put together, these are things that one already has in the pantry.

This recipe results in a light spongy mocha cake that is warmed with drenching hot syrup right off the stove. The coffee flavor doesn’t overpower and leaves your kitchen smelling like a tea party. I served the cake with vanilla icecream which created a warm and cold melting medley in my mouth. Absolute yum. On with it then!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tsp instant coffee
  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 150 g butter, melted

For the Syrup:

  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tsp coffee powder

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Preheat oven to 160 C fan assisted and grease your cake tin. I used a bundt pan for the first time here, which might be responsible for the stuck cake 😦

Combine the coffee and water until dissolved. Beat eggs in a large bowl with electric whisk for around 8 minutes until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beat until dissolved between each addition.

gajju 041_FotorFold in sifted flour and cocoa powder, then the butter and coffee mixture. Pour into cake tin.

Bake  for about 40 minutes. Wait until cake has cooled before transferring out of the tin. Pour 3/4 of the syrup over the cake, reserve some for drizzling later on. Serve warmed with vanilla ice cream or with a cup of your favorite coffee!

For the Syrup:

Combine everything in a small pan and warm over stove till sugar is dissolved, once the mix starts to boil, remove from heat.

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Perfect with icecream!

Pistachio-Rose and Almond Kulfi

I’ll be honest, I haven’t been cooking a lot these days because of the insane amount of humidity and the fact that I can’t breathe most of the time. but i tried out a recipe today that i felt should DEFINITELY be posted, i experimented, and it turned out to be a great success!

Kulfi is a traditional  Pakistani frozen dessert which usually is made from thickened cream and nuts. I’ve played around with a recipe I had on hand and the result was delicious! Cold, nutty, milky ice cream topped off with even more nuts promises the taste of the subcontinent in every spoonful – the addition of rose water made it taste royal, almost perfumery. Its easy to pull off and tastes spectacular! On we go to the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 x 390g sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 1/2 cup cream
  • 3 cups milk
  • 10 pods cardamom, split
  • 2 tbsp rose water
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 1/4 cup almonds

Grind the Pistachios and Almonds in a food processor until finely blitzed but not powdery. Set aside.

In a large heavy pan, bring the condensed milk, cream and milk to a boil, adding the split cardamom seeds. Simmer for ten minutes until mixture changes color, regulating, stirring with a spoon.

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Strain the mixture into a rectangular baking pan (If you use a round one, I promise I won’t judge you for it :P) and cool this till it reaches room temperatureFotorCreated2

Add the chopped up nuts and rose water and stir well making sure they are combined. Chuck this in the freezer for 3 hours until set.

After the ice cream is set, put it out till it softens for a bit and then blend the mixture. Now line your pan with clingfilm and re-pour your mixture in the pan. Set it in the freezer for two hours.

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And now, its ready to serve!

Add more crushed nuts if desired!

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So refreshing after a tiring day – and nuts, nuts, more nuts!

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Don’t forget to remember me when you make it!

Chocolate Topped Dream Puffs

I’m sorry but the cream puffs i’ve had lately from the local bakeries have been incomparable to what these taste like. Light pillowy puffs filled with whipped cream and topped off with a dollop of chocolate sauce – its the perfect dessert. Melt in your mouth, bite-sized and utterly blissful. Just imagine biting into one of these – the light baked dough gives way to a small gush of cream and the chocolate just brings all the flavors together. I can have five of these in one go. Seriously.

A word of caution though, this recipe is not for beginners – although I’ve tried to include all the steps with pictures, it still takes effort and time to put together. But the result is worth it. No one will believe that you made them, and they taste a thousand times better than the ones you buy. If you carefully follow all these steps and measurements – you’ll be good to go! Don’t let it daunt you!

Ingredients:
For the puffs:

  • 75 g butter, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup plain flour, sifted
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 200 ml cream, whipped until thick

For the chocolate sauce:

  • 100 g dark cooking chocolate
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2-3 tsp hot water

food 020Combine butter and water in a pan and melt over medium heat. Bring to a boil and add the sifted flour all at once, stirring with a spoon until a soft dough is formed and the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Convert to a mixing bowl.

 

 

Add in beaten egg slowly, mixing the dough with a beater on medium speed after each addition. The mixture should turn glossy.

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food 023Drop heaped teaspoons of the mixture on greased baking trays, leaving space apart (the puffs will almost double in size) Its great to keep the trays lined because the puffs are delicate and its tough to separate them from the trays after baking.

 

food 025Bake in hot oven for around 15 minutes, take them out and make a small slit on the sides to allow steam to escape. Return to oven for five minutes until tops are browned and puffs are dry. Cut these sideways and wait to cool. Carefully pull out any residual soft mixture from the center.

Chocolate sauce:

food 027Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler (if you’re feeling adventurous use the microwave – but honestly, I don’t trust microwaves) and stir until well melted and fluid. Add 2 tsp of water to make a spreadable sauce.

 

 

You’ll be sad at how easy these babies finish! Now all you have to do is, fill the puffs in the middle with whipped cream. Tip: Refrigerate your cream for an hour or two before whipping.

And top them off with the chocolate sauce!

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DIVINE!

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Perfectly Dense Moist Chocolate Cake

This is my go-to recipe for almost every birthday that we have at home, this cake produces excellent results and never fails me. Its a combination of the recipe printed on Hershey’s cocoa tin and another recipe that I found in a bake book. If you want to omit the coffee, you can safely just use hot water instead, but adding coffee gives this cake a dark soul which teases your own conscience. The recipe is simple to follow and anyone who owns measuring cups can go ahead and make it.

Before I disclose this recipe, just a note of caution – a good cake needs all the ingredients at room temperature, eggs, butter, whatever the recipe calls for. And they need to be measured/weighed precisely. I used to crack cold eggs into my cake batter when I started baking and cried when my cake didn’t rise. Anyhow! Onto the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups castor sugar sifted
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa and baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the oil, coffee and milk and beat at medium for 2 minutes, Add eggs and vanilla and beat 2 minutes again.

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Pour into a greased and lined pan  – I use a large round pan, but you can use two 9 inch ones as well. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes ( I find that using an electric oven exceeds the baking time to 45 minutes or more depending on how well the cake has risen) Cool for ten minutes before removing from pan.

Cool completely before icing.

Note: I use an electric oven and I have to give it around 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. And I bake it at around 280 on the electric.

The cake picture has been frosted with Betty Crocker fudge icing which is available in most stores but I have a killer frosting recipe that I will post some time again!

Happy baking!

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Cheesecake Pineapple Delight

Layers of creamy cheesecakey goodness with refreshing pineapple to amp it all up – this dessert screams summer. Its so easy to whip up and has the perfect balance of richness coupled with the fresh fruitiness of the pineapple. Its the perfect dessert to offset a meaty main course.

This recipe, as with most of my recipes, makes enough to feed a large family. Its something that everyone loves and I’ve used the base layers with peaches and mango as well. I personally feel that this works best with canned fruit because its always firmer in texture, but even if your’e using the fresh kind, there’s no real harm in experimenting. Since the cheesecake layer is slightly tangy – I wouldn’t recommend pairing this with chocolate. You won’t believe how simple this is!

Ingredients:

  • 3 packets of cream (I used Milkpack)
  • 1 large can of condensed milk (I used Polac)
  • 1 large packet Marie or Digestive Biscuits Crushed into crumbs
  • 1 Can Pineapple chunks, drained
  • 2 packets Pineapple Jelly – made as instructed. (you can use orange if pineapple isn’t available)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

Empty the contents of the cream packets and the condensed milk and chill in the freezer for about an hour.IMG_5879

Meanwhile crush the biscuits and arrange in a deep serving dish as the first layer and make the Jelly as directed – putting this into the fridge to chill

Taking the chilled cream mixture out of the freezer, beat this with an electric beater on slow till well combined. Add the lemon juice and beat on slow for half a minute. You should feel the mixture thicken and leave a significant trail, that’s when you’ll know this is done.

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Spread the cream mixture onto the biscuit layer.

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Top this with pineapple chunks and Jelly. You can make jelly and cut it up and use it here, what I did to achieve this even layer is to set it halfway and ease it onto the cream mix so that it ultimately sets as a layer.

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Repeat with more cream and top off with pineapple chunks and more jelly as decoration!

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Can you believe how easy this is? I still can’t. Chill for two hours before serving and don’t freak if this gets downed in five minutes straight.

Oh God i’m drowning in a sea of delicious pineappley goodness.

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