2 months into this year and 2014 has been spectacular so far! In the beginning of the year, Amrita (most popular as a bacon jam lady!) & I decided to do a little food exchange. She being a queen of all things yummilicious, I had a hard time deciding what to send. Just around that time, I had re-made these (Fudgiest!) Chocolate Brownies and sneaked in some Oreo cookies in them. They were epic! Oreo + Chocolate lover’s dream. I decided this was it but was still a bit skeptic.
Photo Courtesy – Amrita Kaur
Imagine my relief when she said she totally loved it! She blogged about it too and thanks a ton to her, the recipe became so so popular. I got so many mails and messages from all you lovely people who tried and loved these beauties! I thank all of you beautiful readers who attempted the recipe and reported back. I lou you all. It definitely deserves a spot of its own on the blog so here it is!
Oreo Chocolate Brownies
Makes: 9-12 squares | Prep time: 15 minutes | Bake time: Approximately 35 minutes
- 250 gm / 9 oz dark chocolate, roughly sliced
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, roughly sliced (approximately 115 gm)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, cold
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp Rum
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
- 16 Oreo cookies, plus more for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 180ºF / 350ºC. Grease an 8×8-inch square pan; line base and sides with parchment paper (I use foil).
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate, butter and brown sugar in a microwave for 1-2 minute, stirring every 30 seconds. The mixture should be lump-free and glossy. Set aside and let cool for about 10 minutes.
- Once chocolate mixture is cooled down, stir white sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and rum into it.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt and cocoa powder and fold into chocolate mixture with wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Pour half the batter in a baking pan and arrange whole 16 Oreo cookies on it in a single layer (do not press them down). Pour rest of the batter and sprinkle few pieces of Oreo on top. Bake for 33-36 minutes, until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Let cool completely in pan over a cooling rack. (If you’re in a hurry, throw it in a refrigerator or freezer for a while for easy cutting.)
- Lift up the ends of parchment or foil liner, transfer the brownies to cutting board and cut into 9 or 12 squares. Store it in an air-tight container for 3-4 days at room temperature or refrigerate for a week.
For many of you, baking can be quite overwhelming at first. A lot of beginners will burn a few (or a lot) of cookies, flatten some cakes or over bake brownies. So when Elson asked me if I could do a post on baking basics, I was anxious (this kind of post is my first attempt!) and excited!!
I decided to post part of the guest post ~ ‘Baking 101′ for my readers here but for the recipe of Raspberry Banana Bread, hop onto The Tummy Tale. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out Elson’s fabulous recipes. Elson believes in using simple ingredients to create special dishes and his forte is Mangalorean cuisine. Also, do check out his ‘The world on my plate‘ series.
If you spend enough time in the kitchen baking, you quickly begin to pick up the dos and don’ts. I am far from a professional pastry chef or even an expert baker but with these tips and tricks, I’m hoping to make baking an easier, more enjoyable experience for you all. So, here it is – baker’s dozen tips & tricks!
- Take your time and read the recipe thoroughly from beginning to end before you start. Many baking failures come from not reading and understanding the recipe, not from poor recipes! Remember, cookbook authors and bloggers REALLY want to help you bake masterpieces. They know and understand the limitations of home kitchens. So have faith in the recipe and read the notes.
- Get your mise en place started. Measure out all the ingredients mentioned in the recipe to exact amounts first before you proceed further. There is nothing worse than reaching halfway and realizing you’re out of an important ingredient. Prepping is very very important.
- Unless otherwise stated, use room temperature ingredients. If something is meant to be used cold then a recipe should state that, otherwise make sure your eggs, butter, yogurt etc. are at room temperature.
- Buy salted butter for your toast but unsalted butter is what you need for all the baking you plan on doing. You want to control the amount of salt going in your baked goods. So unsalted is a way to go!
- Always preheat the oven. This might sound amusing to some of you but this step is of utmost importance.
- Preparing baking pan – Grease and/or line your baking tin. Use paper liners for muffin tins (unless stated otherwise). Always grease a Bundt pan with butter and dust the insides with flour. Do not grease the cookie sheet unless the recipe states you should; just line it with parchment paper.
- It is always better to sift the dry ingredients to avoid lumps. This step will ensure that baking powder, baking soda or salt are equally dispersed among flour. Also, measure the flour after it’s been fluffed up a bit with the help of a fork. Lightly spoon it into the measuring cup and level it off (weighing flour is of course more accurate but I’m more accustomed to cup-method).
- Use baking powder and baking soda no more than 5-6 months old. Dud ingredients will make your recipe dud. Also, baking powder and baking soda are different ingredients and not interchangeable! So pay attention. They serve the same purpose but do not react the same way in baked goods. Read here for more info.
- When baking cakes, cupcakes and cookies, take your time creaming the butter. Beat/cream for at least 3-5 minutes (preferably with the electric mixer’s paddle attachment) to aerate the butter.
Check if the recipe calls for any herb or fruit zest. If so then rub the herb/fruit zest into the sugar which will release the essential oils and then add this sugar to butter and beat/cream really well again. A trick I have learnt recently from Joy The Baker is beating the spices along with the butter and sugar to enhance the flavor much more.
- When mixing the batter, gently fold the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients – you don’t want to lose all the air. Over-mixing will especially ruin your muffins and make them tough and rubbery.
- Keep in mind that all ovens are different. Do not rely on the time in the recipe to work for your oven. It is usually provided by a time range which is just an estimate for you. Set your timer for several minutes before it says it will be done just to make sure you don’t overcook. Check the doneness by inserting toothpick in the center of the baked goods. Trust the process and trust yourself.
- Make it your own! Just because baking is all about science doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with the ingredients that only affect the flavor. Change up the extracts, spices, and other add-ins that only affect the flavor of the baked goods to make it your own. Have fun in the kitchen and it will all turn out amazing!
The more you bake, the better you will become. But remember… “When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste.” – Laiko Bahrs J
Tomorrow is ‘Banana Bread Day’ and you might wanna bake one to celebrate! So for the kick-ass Raspberry Banana Bread recipe, hop onto The Tummy Tale.
All the vegetarians and vegans, you don’t want to miss out on this one as it is eggfree, oil/butterfree and can be made refined sugar-free! Whoa, right?!! Yes, your quest for that perfect banana bread ends here!
A melt in your mouth lemon cookies.. Ooh, how I love thee. I craved them one afternoon so bad that I had to bake them PRONTO! I LOVE lemon even more than chocolate. Please don’t hate me! If there is a choice between chocolate and fruit, I most certainly always choose the latter (umm..yess.. mostly!). Chocolate vs lemon tart? Absolutely lemon tart! Chocolate donuts or strawberry filled donuts? Undoubtedly strawberry! Are we still friends? Okay, great!
These cookies were SOOO GOOD that I might have tried eating 4 in a go. Don’t try to picture that! I found this fantastic recipe on White On Rice Couple blog and they looked so gorgeous that I had to make them. I slightly reduced the quantity of butter and sugar mentioned in the recipe to suit our taste and they were perfect for us.
This recipe does not use any lemon extract and if you are worried about the lemon quotient then worry not, my friends. They are plenty lemony. I was blown away by the flavor and texture would be an understatement! If you love lemon cookies and love snickerdoodles like I do, you will find yourself stuffing yourself silly with these lovely cookies. Soft interior with slightly crisp exterior achieved by rolling the dough in confectioners sugar before baking. Delicate and bright! What’s not to love?!
Can you tell I’m obsessed? Yeah, this recipe will be definitely made again & again & again.
Lemon Crinkle Melts
Recipe slightly adapted from White On Rice Couple
Yields: Around 24 cookies or more depending on size
Prep time: 10 minutes | Chill time: 30 minutes | Bake time: 9-11 minutes | Total time: 1 hour
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg (make it eggfree & use 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Line a couple cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda for at least 20 seconds. Set aside.
- In a bowl of your mixer, add lemon zest, brown sugar, white sugar and mix together with hand. Add butter to the bowl and beat butter and zesty sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract, egg and lemon juice until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again to make sure everything is incorporated.
- Stir in the flour mixture until just combined, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to get all of the flour. Cover the bowl with cling film and let the dough chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Sift the confectioners sugar onto a large plate. Form the dough into 1 inch sized balls. Roll the balls in the confectioners sugar then place 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies just begin to turn light golden and the tops of the cookies look matte (no longer shiny or wet looking). Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Note: To make these cookies vegan, replace butter with vegan margarine.
Good Morning & Happy Valentine’s Day ♥ Friends!
Roshni & I are back with our second installment of monthly cook-off. Keeping today’s lovey-dovey holiday in mind, the theme was a no-brainer – ‘Breakfast for Two’. So if you’ve still not thought of V-day breakfast for your sweetie then let us come to your rescue. I come bearing freshly baked savory German Pancake. Convenient without having to stand flipping pancakes on stove one by one and ready in 30 minutes! Slide it in the oven, go about your work (make coffee or arrange breakfast tray) and after 20 minutes, poof!, breakfast is served. No burnt sides too!
Blogosphere is scattered with chocolates, berries and sprinkles for the occasion. Red and pink is so much in the air! I joined the bandwagon too but if you’re not into sweet stuff then this recipe is just perfect for you.
Pear, apple, some leeks and smoked Gouda… The fruit is cooked in a pan with some butter and thyme. Heavenly smell to wake up to, if you ask me! The fruit is then arranged in cast-iron skillet or baking pan. Egg and flour mixture is poured over the fruit followed by cheese. The prep requires mere 10 minutes of time and then whole business is taken care of by your beloved oven. It is baked until golden for about 20-25 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.
This dutch baby is perfect as a Brunch/Brinner too and should be made on any day, not only on V-day. Make this NOW & thank me later. If you want to make a sweet dutch baby, then try this recipe of mine. And now go to Roshni‘s blog for a great ‘Breakfast For Two’ idea! Let’s check out what she has in store for us all!
Have a great day all you happy lovers out there! ♥ ♥ ♥
Savory Pear & Apple Dutch Baby
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 20-25 minutes | Total time: 30-35 minutes
- 2 Tbsp butter (salted works too)
- 2 Tbsp leeks, washed & thinly sliced
- Half pear, peeled, cored & sliced
- Half green apple, peeled, cored & sliced
- few sprigs of thyme
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- Salt, to taste
- 1/4 tsp lack pepper (or more)
- 1/2 cup grated smoked Gouda cheese
- Preheat the oven to 210ºC / 425ºF.
- Heat a small pan on a medium heat and add 1 Tbsp of butter to it. Once butter has melted, add leek, pear, apple slices and thyme leaves to the pan and let cook on a medium heat for about 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally. Set aside.
- Mix the eggs, flour, milk, salt and pepper in a blender on a medium speed until just blended, 5-10 seconds.
- Add rest of the 1 Tbsp butter in to a 9-inch cast-iron skillet/baking pan and put it in the oven. Wait until the butter has melted completely and sizzling then carefully take the pan out and swirl the butter around coating the pan completely.
- Spread the cooked mixture of leek, fruits and thyme to the bottom of the pan. Pour the egg mixture on top. Finally, sprinkle the cheese all over and slide it back into the oven to be baked for 20-25 minutes, until slightly browned on top. Cut the dutch baby into 4 or 6 wedges and serve immediately.
Hello! Meet the perfect Valentine’s day dessert!
Everyone loves a good brownie and when your regular brownies got a makeover, red velvet brownies were born. They become a thing of out-of-this-world! And they do not come from a box-mix! Yes, these are made 100% from scratch. So earn some extra brownie-points and make them for your Valentine!
These brownies turned out so dang awesome that they were demolished FAST. It’s only 2 of us and with some self-control we made them last 48 hours! Every single piece and each last crumb was devoured with so much happiness. 9 pieces had to be equally divided among the 2 of us, such a difficult task! It was natural that I get an extra piece which I had happily consumed anyway while photographing these beauties. I mean who could resist?
These brownies were supremely moist, fudgy and soft. Browned butter gives a unique depth of flavor. I like to use both white and brown sugar for a perfect brownie. Brown sugar attributes to a caramelized flavor while white sugar contributes to a crisp, shiny top! I’m a plain brownie person so I went plain with mine but you may fold in white chocolate chips and sprinkle some on top before baking for that extra chocolate-kick.
You may decorate these in many ways. I had them plain, with some powdered sugar sprinkling, with Nutella frosting and warm brownie topped with Double Chocolate Ice-cream. You bet I was completely ruining my healthy diet those 2 days and it was absolutely worth it! Sorry to all my Instagram followers for torturing them with all that #foodporn. Now you’ve got the recipe, time to treat yourselves!
Browned Butter Red Velvet Brownies ~ from Scratch
Yields: 9 pieces | Prep time: 15 minutes | Bake time: 20 minutes | Total time: 35 minutes
- 2/3 cup butter
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 + 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup buttermilk (or 3 Tbsp milk + 1 Tbsp vinegar)
- Red food color
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven at 180ºC / 350ºF. Line 8×8 inch square baking pan with an aluminium foil and grease it with oil. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Stir constantly until butter has reached a light brown color and little bits have formed. It will be difficult to see the color of the butter as it foams a bit, so I go by smell– it will be very fragrant.
- Pour the butter in your mixing bowl(no need to cool). Add the sugars and cocoa powder and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in between each addition until almost creamy.
- Add the salt, buttermilk, red food coloring and vanilla extract.
- Add the flour and mix well. Batter will be of cupcake consistency.
- Spread the batter in baking pan and bake for 19-22 minutes (mine were done in exactly 20 minutes) o until toothpick inserted in a center comes out clean. Let cool completely before cutting into pieces. Serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, Nutella frosting or warm with a scoop of ice-cream.
It’s been ages since I posted any recipe for a drink. When I had a refrigerator full of sweetest, fresh strawberries last week, I had to oblige and make you(essentially I mean, me & hubby) this lovely spritzer. It is such a simple concoction that I am sort of embarrassed to even post it as a recipe. But it was so refreshing, I knew it had to make an appearance here!
It being a month of LOVE, this seemed just perfect for the celebration! Make your evening special with this recipe scaled down for just the TWO of you! Quick to make and oh-so-delicious to taste. Sparkling water lends such a delicate touch but you may use club soda as well. Not over the top yet an elegant, low-cal, non-alcoholic drink. It is just great for unannounced guests/friends and you may use frozen berries for such emergencies. You’re sure to impress everyone!
Orange Strawberry Spritzer For Two
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 10 minutes
- 7-8 fresh strawberries, hulled (You may use frozen)
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 medium orange, juice squeezed
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Sparkling water/club soda
- Strawberry slices, for garnish (optional)
In a blender jar, add strawberries and sugar and purée smooth. Pass it through fine cotton mesh or sieve to get rid of the seeds(totally optional!).
Stir in orange and lemon juice to it. Pour sparkling water/club soda on top. Add 3-4 ice-cubes to each serving glasses and pour spritzer to it. Garnish with strawberry slices.
After being on a month long health-kick, I think it is time to introduce a little indulgence. After all, it is last day of January.Valentine’s day is just round the corner so today’s post was definitely called for. I’m giving you a gorgeous sweet something for the occasion.
I have already professed my love for donut pan to you before. Ooh, how much I adore it. I want to bake everything into donut now, yes, obsessed is the word! But come on, how cute are these baked donuts?! You’re definitely going to have hard time deciding, eat them for breakfast or dessert! Or may be have them for both
These baked donuts are smothered with cream cheese frosting. Purr..fection! They are soft, tender and fluffy. They come together quickly and uses just a bowl. Baking is done in 8 minutes flat! Takes about 20-25 minutes start to finish. Of course, you will need to wait for donuts to cool completely before applying the frosting. I know which is quite difficult! So you may make them a day in advance, frost them and sprinkle sanding sugar just before serving. No more waiting, problem solved!
I made a small batch of 6 which is perfect if you’re still dieting. They are not obnoxiously fattening. I counted calories to be sure and each donut has 210 calories with frosting. Not so bad, right? Perfect for a cheat day with minimal cheating which means, yes, go ahead and have two!
So make them for Valentine’s or make them now. Bake them as donuts or as cupcakes. Just make them!
Red Velvet Cake Donuts
Yields: 6 | Prep time: 15 minutes | Bake time: 8 minutes | Total time: About 25 minutes
- 2/3 cup + 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 3 Tbsp oil
- 5 Tbsp yogurt/buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Red food coloring
- 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
For cream cheese frosting:
- 3 Tbsp plain cream cheese, at room temperature (I used plain spreadable cream cheese)
- 3 Tbsp icing sugar, sifted
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Splash of milk, only if needed
- Red sanding sugar, to decorate
- For donuts: Preheat oven at 180ºC / 350ºF. Spray the 6-count donut pan with oil. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a another mixing bowl, whisk together egg and sugar till nicely incorporated. Whisk in oil, yogurt/buttermilk and vanilla extract. Slowly mix in dry ingredients to wet ingredients with the help on spoon or rubber spatula. Mix until just combined. Do not over-mix.
- Add red food coloring as required stirring minimally. Finish with whisking in vinegar to the batter. Divide the batter equally and fill the mold no more than 3/4th. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool in pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Then carefully turn out doughnuts directly onto rack to cool.
- Cream cheese frosting: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together cream cheese, sifted icing sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. If the consistency is too thick, add a dash of milk. Spread the frosting on completely cooled donuts. Sprinkle with red sanding sugar just before serving as the colors will bleed. Doughnuts will keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days stored in a refrigerator.