2-Layer Rose Coconut Cake

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Spring is a time for rebirth and renewal, a time for change. I decided make a change this year with finally reviving this space of mine (yeah, not that profound I know) and in a world where we hardly have control over anything, changing up this little thing makes me super super happy. We have so much to catch up on and gazillion delicious recipes coming your way! But first, THIS! ☝

So end of last year, I bought myself a set of 6-inch cake pans and these are game changers (should have got them sooner!). Small batch baking has always been my thing (here, here and some more) so the smaller size pans were way overdue. I have baked at least 7 layer cakes in these not-so-new-pans-anymore this past 3 months (not hard to believe right?!). It’s just 2 of us in the house and I do like to eat everything I make (you bet it shows) hence small batch baking wins big time in my book so this was definitely long time coming. Not that we I need any occasion to eat cake around here but guys, these 6-inch layer cakes are so very perfect for small gatherings. Not to mention but they look so dang cute. If you are baking for more people then no problem. Just double the recipe and make 4-layers instead, tall cakes are in and they are here to stay! Well, you certainly don’t need to wait for any gathering to make this one right here. It can totally be you+couch+fork situation, demolishing the whole thing by yourself. Believe me, you would want to!

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So let’s talk about this particular cake here. This elegant looking, mildly flavoured, rose scented cake. The flavours will totally make you reminisce about the sweet smell of rose garden. The minimalist, semi-naked look is pristine for the spring season and is bound to make any brunch-table look chic and gorgeous. I have paired three different flavours for this cake but none overwhelms the other and are rather in complete harmony, even complimenting each other. Rose, coconut and cardamom seems to be a match made in spring heaven. So lush! I hope you enjoy this cake as much as we did!

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2-Layer Rose Coconut Cake

Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 20 minutes | Total active time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp rose extract or 1 Tbsp organic rose water
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, room temperature

Coconut Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 4 Tbsp coconut milk, refrigerated
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp rose extract
  • 1/4 tsp coconut extract (optional)

Directions:

  1. Grease 2 6-inch round cake pans with flavourless oil and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat the oven at 180°C/350°F.
  2. In a small bowl, sieve all purpose flour, baking powder, ground cardamom and pinch of salt. Give it a whisk.
  3. In another mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add vanilla extract, rose extract, egg and whisk very well until incorporated.
  4. Now whisk in dry ingredients to wet ingredients alternating with coconut milk in 3 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Be careful not to overmix.
  5. Divide the batter in to the cake pans and bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool on wire rack for about 5 minutes before demoulding. Let the cakes cool completely on wire rack and meanwhile get on the frosting.
  6. Coconut Buttercream Frosting: In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and coconut milk using electric mixer until smooth. With the mixer on low-speed, add confectioners sugar and salt and beat until just combined. Once incorporated, turn up the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy (about 5 minutes). Adjust the sugar until your desired consistency achieved. Briskly whisk in rose extract and coconut extract (for like 10 seconds).
  7. Assembly: Once the cakes are completely cool, place one layer of the cake onto the serving plate (bottom side up). Spread about 3 Tbsp of frosting on this layer, spread it uniformly and top it with the second layer (bottom side up). Spread about 2 Tbsp of frosting on top, spread uniformly and crumb coat the sides. Let the cake rest in refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes. Frost with the remaining buttercream frosting and decorate as desired. I topped mine with fresh figs and fresh strawberry slices. The cake stays fresh for 4 days, stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

 

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Guest Post on The Vanilla Bean: Pineapple~Coconut Breakfast Loaf

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When Roshni from The Vanilla Bean asked me to do a guest-post on her blog, I wanted to bake something simple and quick for her readers. Yet something which look and taste like you’ve spent the whole morning working on it but in fact was just left in the oven to work its own magic.

Roshni has a special soft corner for cakes hence I decided to rustle up this breakfast loaf which is moist and crunchy at the same time. Each bite is filled with pineapple and coconut bits. It’s a tropical heaven! Perfect for the rushed up mornings. Just plonk it in the oven right before you had for the bath and it would be ready when you’re back!

The loaf is actually quite healthy with whole wheat flour, olive oil and brown sugar. Feel free to substitute the sugar in the recipe with date syrup, honey or liquid jaggery.

Drop by here to get my recipe of pineapple-coconut breakfast loaf and don’t forget to check out The Vanilla Bean blog for some delicious recipes. Thank you again, Roshni, for having me over!

Serenity ~ Coconut Water Fruit Punch

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Its been ages since I last posted drink’s recipe here. In fact, its been long since I stirred up some new fancy-schmancy drink! I have been drinking my share of Iced teas and coffees but have not created any new combination worth sharing…
So here is what I made over this past weekend. And it involves something I’ve been drinking a lot lately! Cocojal.. It’s nothing but packaged tender coconut water.. It comes in pineapple and lime flavors too but I prefer it plain, unflavored one. I’m in so much love with it that I have almost 2 bottles a day. You can see I’m totally addicted!
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I know what you guys are thinking.. Every nook and corner of my part of world is bursting with vendors selling tender coconuts and still I drink packaged version! Shocked?! Don’t be.. I prefer the packaged version for several reasons. It’s convenient, I like it chilled and you know it is going to be sweet every single time! If you’re against packaged stuff then feel free to use fresh tender coconut water.
I have been craving for some vacation from quite sometime now. Situation has it that it’s not going to be possible for sometime. Hence I took control of the situation, made this, put my feet up and relaxed while sipping on these. And I envisioned myself at my favorite beach in Goa! If you are in more of a celebratory mood, add champagne/white wine to it!
There is no specific recipe for it as such as it is not exactly science. Feel free to make with whatever combination works for you. It is just that simple… No sugar added required!
I was feeling tropicalish so I added a drop of blue food-color to my drink and it turned in to perfect ocean blue! If you hate food-colors then add Curacao Bleu syrup to achieve the desired blue. Double or triple the recipe if serving a larger crowd as it is so perfect for parties. If making this for girls’ night or bridal shower, add a drop of pink/red food-color! Again you may add a splash of Grenadine syrup to achieve the desired pink. World is much better in PINK! 😉
Garnish with fruits like berries or pineapple and cheers!
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Serenity ~aka~ Coconut Fruit Punch (vegan, gluten free, soy free, no added sugar)
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
  • 3 bottles Cocojal, 600 ml (approx 20 oz)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 drop blue food colouring
  • Choice of frozen/fresh fruit cubes, for serving

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl or pitcher, stir and refrigerate till it is time to serve. Garnish with fruits on stick.

*Notes:

Do not add ice-cubes to the drink. It makes the drink more watery. If you want then freeze coconut water, pineapple juice or apple juice in an ice-cube tray in advance and add them to drink as “ice” cubes.
Liqueur lovers can stir-in champagne/white wine to the drink.

P.S. I have not been compensated by Cocojal in any way for writing this post. All the opinions expressed here are personal.

Pina~Colada Cake-Mix Cookies

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I have been known for my love of eating my drink! You must have seen this and this! (< These are must try! They are simply loved by friends and family and most viewed recipe on my blog till date!!)

So now I want to take a plunge and start drinking my cookies! 😉 Who is with me on this?

When you incorporate a drink in baked goods, the flavor gets enhanced and intensifies. In my opinion cupcakes/cakes are more forgiving in a way you can play with liquid as the consistency of batter is not much of a concern. While it is trickier to be able to incorporate a drink in cookie-dough as it has to be just right, not overly runny or sticky else it goes straight in to the trash.

I am a very guarded person.. I hate disasters in the kitchen more than any other person. Just can not handle them. I know it is part-and-parcel of the game but non-salvageable disasters just make me crazy! Yup.. still dealing with my failed attempt at Mountain Dew cookies.. But I have not lost on them yet! I am sure I’ll come up with a winner recipe 🙂

Hence for this second drink-cookies expedition, being an overly-cautious person that I am, I decided to use cake-mix. They are just convenient and I could focus on the liquid~cake-mix ratio completely rather than focusing on flour-sugar ratio first. These were success at first attempt so I will be more confident while baking my next Pina-colada cookies from scratch. I will definitely update the recipe when it happens in future but till then enjoy these cake-mix cookies as they were the best cake-mix cookies I have baked so far and I have baked many!!

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The batter comes together easily. In one bowl. With a spoon. No mixer required.

We are using cake-mix which virtually guarantees a success! They are soft, fluffy and yet chewy.

These are studded with the bits of dried pineapple and glazed cherries. And when we are talking Pina-colada how can we miss coconut so in goes shredded desiccated coconut. Feel free to add rum and adjust the liquid ratio accordingly if you are in cocktail-cookie mode!

These are perfect holiday cookies. I haven’t been able to take vacation this summer but drinking these cookies definitely felt like sipping a drink on a beach. So go ahead and bake these golden nuggets of sunshine to brighten up you day!

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Before going to the oven

Pina~Colada Cake-Mix Cookies

Yields: 2-dozen regular-sized cookies or 1-dozen large cookies (Needless to say I baked mine large)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3 and 1/2 Tbsp Pina-colada squash/cocktail-mix
  • 250 gm Vanilla cake-mix (I used Pillsbury)
  • 3-4 Tbsp all-purpose flour (or less)
  • 1/2 heaping cup grated desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dried pineapple
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped glazed cherries (dried cherries or cranberries would work too)

*If want boozy cookies, add 1 Tbsp rum and reduce Pina-colada squash/cocktail-mix ratio to 2 and 1/2 Tbsp.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 350ºF. Line baking sheet with a parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine butter and Pina-colada squash/cocktail mix and stir by hand or with an electric mixer till combined.
  2. Add the cake-mix and stir until the batter is smooth. Add the flour one spoon at a time, as needed to solidify the dough. Add as little as possible to get chewy cookies. Adding more flour will make it cakey so add little-by-little.
  3. Fold in the coconut, pineapple and cherries and put the mixing bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes. Do not skip this step as chilled dough spreads less during baking.
  4. Using a Tablespoon or ice-cream scoop, drop 1-inch dough-balls on prepared cookie-sheet, allowing for adequate spacing. These cookies do not spread much and retain its puffier shape. Bake for 10 minutes or until cookies are barely browned on the bottom. The tops will look undone but they will continue to set on the cookie-sheet even after out of the oven. They will firm up as they cool so do not over-bake. Allow the cookies to cool on cookie sheet before attempting to move them. Store them in an air-tight container for up to a week at room-temperature.

Fresh Mint & mango Creamsicle Ice-cream

You do not think that ice-cream week on blog will go by without the addition of an ice-cream whipped with our fave seasonal fruit to my repertoire? Of course not… I wouldn’t let that happen! And yes.. You have guessed it right… You know how much I love my mango and they taste best chilled..  So while deciding on 7 flavors to be included in this week-long marathon I am participating alone in (!sigh!), mango unquestionably topped the list!

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But just the plain mango ice-cream wouldn’t do the justice to the ‘ice-cream week’ as the idea is to create something really special in the comfort of your home and without the use of ice-cream maker. Plus, perhaps there are zillion versions of plain mango ice-cream already doing rounds on the internet. So why do another version just like what is already there!

The hunt for that perfect combination started… What do we know and what have we learnt? Mangoes are sweet, juicy and succulent fruit which goes really well with fresh mint. Remember this? Toasted coconut and mango chunks would add a bit of a texture to the otherwise perfectly creamy smooth ice-cream.. And a dash of lemon juice to cut that sweetness.. Done deal!

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Bringing the flavor of fresh mint to the cream was an easy thing. I used the method which worked perfectly for me here. I added mint leaves to the cream and let it sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Trust me the flavor kick was there without adding even a drop of mint extract! I toasted the desiccated coconut using gas stove itself though you can use oven, I am more comfortable with this method as I am scared of getting burnt coconut in the oven. Let’s get started then!

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Fresh Mint & Mango Creamsicle Ice-cream

Yields: around 8 scoops

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh medium fat cream (40% fat)
  • 1 handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (more if mango used is not sweet enough)
  • 1 mango, peeled, pureed
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut
  • 1 mango, peeled, finely diced

Directions:

For toasted coconut:

Toast the desiccated coconut in a pan over a medium heat on gas stove.

For oven: Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 170 C. Put the desiccated coconut in baking tray and bake for 3-5 minutes. Keep a close watch as you do not want burnt coconut.

For making ice-cream:

Mix cream and mint leaves in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to extract the flavors from mint to cream. Use sieve to separate mint leaves from cream.

Add sugar to cream and whip till you get soft and fluffy consistency. Gently fold in pureed mango, lemon juice, toasted coconut and diced mangoes to the cream and spoon the mix in airtight container. Let it freeze for 4-5 hours and serve it.

*For any left-overs, let the ice-cream thaw for 15 minutes before serving. Run hot water on the ice-cream scoop before scooping the ice-cream out.