Recipe Of The Week – Sticky Toffee Pudding

STICKY TOFFEEPUDDING Cover

This is a very popular British dessert and its really really yum! A date cake, with vanilla ice cream  and on top of it all, some warm, finger lingering good, Toffee Sauce!

The toffee sauce is soo soo good! I have been having the left over sauce with Vanilla ice cream and its addictive!

Its an online recipe that Naveen has been using and now sharing it with all of us.StickyToffee1

Sticky Toffee Pudding


Ingredients:

For Cake:

  • 200 gm Dates (pitted)
  • 250 ml Boiling Water
  • 50 gm Butter (unsalted – room temperature)
  • 1 tbsp.Golden Syrup
  • 2 tbsp. Black Treacle
  • 170 gm Demerara sugar (I have also used dark brown sugar and it still turns out great)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Essence
  • 2 Eggs (room temperature, if possible)
  • 200 gm Self Raising Flour
  • 1 tsp. Bicarbonate of Soda

For Sauce:

(The ingredients below are for double the quantity required, but trust me, when you try it once you would want this sauce lying around for any and everything!)

  • 200 ml Double Cream (I have also used cooking cream and it also works a treat)
  • 100 gm. Butter
  • 100 gm. Demerara sugar (you can use Muscavado Sugar if you have that available)
  • 2 tbsp. Black Treacle
  • 1 tbsp. Golden Syrup
  • Pinch of salt

Serving Accompaniments:

  • Vanilla Ice-cream or
  • Whipped Cream

 

Directions:

For Cake: 

  1. Pre heat the oven to 170 C/320 F/Gas mark 3-4.
  2. Line a baking dish with baking paper (I use 8×8 square pan, but you can use a round pan if that’s easily available to you)
  3. In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
  4. Once simmering, place the dates in it and turn the hob off. Cover and leave it for later use.Sticky1
  5. Now in a large mixing bowl place the butter, sugar, treacle and golden syrup together and beat until well combined, light and fluffy.Sticky2
  6. Now add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.
  7. Quickly add the flour and using a hand whisk, mix everything together.Sticky3
  8. Now to the dates and water (its essential that the its still quite warm), add vanilla essence and blitz to a paste, using a hand blender or in a standard blender.Sticky4
  9. Now add the bicarbonate of soda to the blended mixture, mix quickly and add it to the cake mixture.Sticky5
  10. The cooking process has already started due to the date mixture being warm so as quickly as you can place the mixture in the baking dish and place it in the oven.
  11. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. If a toothpick or knife inserted in the cake comes out clean, then the cake is done.
  12. Take the cake out and leave it to cool, while you make the sauce.

For Sauce:

  1. Add all the ingredients in a saucepan over low to medium heat.Toffeesauce1
  2. Once the butter is melted and the sugar all combined, bring to a quick boil and turn off the heat.Toffeesauce2
  3. The sauce is ready, easy-peasy!

 

Serving Ideas:

1. In individual shot glasses: (as seen in pictures)

  • Cut the cake in appropriately sized pieces.
  • Drop a spoonful of sauce at the bottom of the shot glass.
  • Place a piece of cake on top of the sauce.
  • Now put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of the cake.
  • Top it off with a spoon or two of warmed up sauce.344

2.  In a serving dish with Whipped Cream (great for serving as a pot luck dish)

  • Warm the sauce and make it a bit thinner by adding some extra cream, 100 ml or so would do.
  • In the serving dish layer the torn up or cut up pieces of cake at the bottom.
  • Now generously top/ drizzle the cake with the sauce.
  • Now whip the cream to soft peaks and pour it on top of the cake.
  • Drizzle the top with the sauce again (this is mostly for garnishing) Enjoy

3. Casual Serving

  • Cut the cake
  • Serve with the sauce and ice cream on the side.
  • Let people dive in as they wish!351

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Check my other recipes HERE

Recipe Of The Week -Pavlova

PavlovaWhat do I say about this.. perfectly sweet , meringue dessert with whipped cream and berries on top! I mean.. really.. I have NO words.. to explain how amazing this dessert .. made of egg whites (well mostly😉  )…. Its absolutely YUM!

Another of my favorites from Naveen’s desserts..and here she is sharing her recipe (and TIPS!!) to make this extraordinary dessert from just ordinary egg whites!  Enjoy!

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Berry Pavlova


Ingredients:

  • 4 Egg Whites*
  • 225 gm. Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Corn Flour
  • 1 tsp. White Vinegar
  • 250 to 300 ml Whipping Cream
  • Mixed Berries

* I normally make two desserts for a dinner/party, so whenever I make Pavlova, I try and pair it with Tiramisu so as to use up the egg yolks. However there are tips available online that tells you how to freeze egg yolks for later use.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 C/ 325 F/ gas mark 3-4. Place a baking paper on a cookie sheet or a half sheet and make an eight inch round mark for guidance.
  2. Place the egg whites into a freestanding mixer or a large bowl (if using hand mixer). Make sure the bowl is completely grease free before placing the egg whites into it. TIP: To ensure that the bowl is completely grease free, rub it with half a lemon or wipe the bowl with vinegar.
  3. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks are reached.Pavlova1
  4. Then gradually add the sugar a few spoons at a time. Make sure to thoroughly mix the sugar into the egg whites between each addition.
  5. Once all the sugar in combined, beat the mixture for another 3 to 4 minutes, wiping down the bowl a couple of times in between.
  6. Now add the corn flour and vinegar and beat the mixture further for another minute or so.Pavlova2
  7. Empty out the contents of the bowl onto the baking sheet lined with baking parchment inside the 8 inch circle. Spread it from the middle so that the edges are higher than the middle so that the cream can sit in the middle.Pavlova3
  8. Place it in the baking sheet into the oven, close the door and bring the temperature down to 100C/gas mark 1.
  9. Bake for one and a half hour. Then turn the oven off but leave the meringue in there to cool. (I make it the night before in order for it to cool down in the oven overnight.)
  10. When you are ready to serve, whip up the cream to soft peaks and pour in the middle part of the meringue.Pavlova4
  11. Now place the mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blue berries and black berries) like rubies. Pavlova5Enjoy!!

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221 Variations: 

  • A summer variation of Berry Pavlova is to replace the berries with mango and passion fruit. It also works a treat!
  • I have also used the same recipe to make mini meringues. You can also add food coloring to it to make it more fun. Just have to adjust the baking time.

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Check my other recipes HERE

Recipe Of The Week – Tiramisu

TIRAMISUAnother absolute favorite dessert of mine.. is the Tiramisu. If you love coffee, you would totally LOVE Tiramisu. This is yet another yummy dessert from Naveen.. and her recipe comes from her aunt (the sweet Crème Caramel one🙂 )

This time, when Naveen made it for the blog (and us;)), me and my youngest one finished ALL the leftover tiramisu! (I know..I know… I tried to give very little to him as it had coffee.. but he kept coming back for more! lol).

So here it is for you guys, the Tiramisu by Naveen.. with instructions and tips from her.Tiramisu11

Tiramisu


Ingredients:

  • 5 Eggs (Only the yolks are used in this recipe – I normally freeze the egg whites for other desserts like Pavlova or macaroons)
  • 5 tbsp. Sugar
  • 250 gm. Mascarpone Cheese
  • 250 ml Whipping cream
  • 300 gm. Italian Lady finger biscuits approximately (I use Vicenzovo brand)
  • 4 tsp. Coffee granules (I am partial to Nescafe Gold)
  • 150 ml Boiling Water
  • Cocoa for decoration

Directions:

  1. Make the espresso by adding boiling water to the coffee in a bowl. Put it aside to cool. You can also add some ice cubes to speed up the cooling process.032
  2. Separate the eggs and place the yolks into a free standing mixer bowl or a large bowl if using a hand mixer.
  3. Add the sugar and beat the mixture for about 8 to 10 minutes. The more you beat the yolk mixture the more set tiramisu will be.
  4. Now add the mascarpone cheese into the mixture and beat until all cheese is combined.Tiramisu1
  5. In a separate bowl whip up the whipping cream to stiff peaks.Tiramisu2
  6. Now fold it in the other mixture until just combined. If you over mix, it may become too runny.Tiramisu3
  7. The mixture is now ready, set it aside.
  8. Now take the ladyfingers and dip them individually in the espresso for no more than 2 to 3 seconds. Place them in a single layer in the serving dish (rectangular dish would work better). Make sure to place them very close to one another.Tiramisu4
  9. Cover the layer of biscuits with a layer of cream mixture.Tiramisu6
  10. Now repeat the process and place one more layer of coffee soaked biscuits.Tiramisu7
  11. Finally cover the biscuits with the remaining cream mixture and even it out. You can also do this two layer setting in individual shot glasses rather than one big serving dish.Tiramisu9
  12. Cover and place in the fridge for a couple of hours, preferably overnight.
  13. When ready, dust the top with cocoa and serve. (A simple technique for dusting is by using plastic forks and spoon is shown below. You can use any other design stencil you like. I used a coffee bean stencil for the individual servings).Tiramisu8186

Enjoy this addictively delicious dessert at your next dinner/party.Tiramisu10164

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Check out my other recipes HERE

Recipe Of The Week: Triple Chocolate Brownies

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Without any exaggeration.. these are the BEST BROWNIES EVER! Anyone who loves chocolate would love this! My kids love it! My youngest one(who btw, almost ate most of the last batch), saw me working on this blog post and remembered the brownies Naveen khala made.. and went in the kitchen looking for more… (lol, true story!)

One of my favorite from Naveen’s Desserts..  (and probably the easiest one to make too!). Here it is for you guys the recipe for this chewy, gooey, chocolaty brownies courtesy Naveen!Brownie6

Triple Chocolate Brownies


Ingredients:

  • 100 gm. Chocolate
    • In Middle east, US and Canada: 50 gm., Hershey’s semi sweet chocolate chips and 50 gm. Lindt 70% Chocolate bar
    • In UK: Tesco’s Plain chocolate bar or for more indulgence, Bournville’s plain chocolate bar.
  • 2 tbsp. Golden syrup (or light corn syrup)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Essence
  • 100 gm. Unsalted Butter
  • 150 gm. Icing Sugar
  • 100 gm. Self Raising Flour
  • 25 gm. Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 50 gm. (or more;)) White Chocolate Chips (or a Lindt White chocolate bar chopped into small pieces)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 C/ 300 F/ Gas mark 4.
  2. Prepare a 8” round pan or a square pan by lining it with baking paper/ grease proof paper (I prefer a square pan so that I can cut slices evenly.)
  3. Melt the chocolate, butter, syrup and vanilla essence together in a saucepan on a low set stovetop. Take it off the stove as soon as everything is melted and combined.Brownie1
  4. Sieve together flour, icing sugar and cocoa powder into the melted mixture and mix well. Don’t worry if u can still see some unmixed flour the eggs will fix that.Brownie2
  5. Mix in the eggs, one at a time and mix until virtually no lumps remain. Note that it will not be a very thin batter.Brownie3
  6. Now mix in the white chocolate chips and immediately pour into the prepared tin, lined with baking parchment.Brownie4Brownie5
  7. Bake for minimum 15 minutes or until you can see that it has formed a top layer and does not look raw.059

TIP: DO NOT over bake. There is nothing worse than an over-baked brownie. Under baked is still ok, as long as you bake it a couple of hours in advance, it will not be runny just gooey in the middle. Although, having said that, whenever I have served an under-baked hot brownie, the runny and lavalicious (yes, a word that should be in every baking dictionary) middle part has been the most sought after😉 062

Enjoy these yummy brownies…027

Do check out my other recipes HERE.

Recipe Of The Week: Creme Caramel

CREME CARAMEL4

A firm favorite with everyone.. I mean who doesn’t like Crème Caramel?? NO ONE! (at least no one , I know!).This is a very easy recipe, which my bestie, Naveen uses and it turns out just perfect every time! She got this recipe from her aunt (who btw is just as sweet as this dessert). It’s always a HIT at any dinner/party.

A special connection to Crème Caramel, is that it was my dad’s favorite dessert.. Whenever we visited my grandfather’s home.. this was always one of the desserts.. specially made for my abbo.

So here is the recipe step by step for you guys.caramelcollage

Crème Caramel


Ingredients:

For Caramel:

  • 100 – 150 gm. Sugar for Caramel (depending on the size of the dish you will be using for baking the pudding) 

For Crème:

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk (approx. 395 gm.)
  • Whole Milk – exactly the same amount as the condensed milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla essence

Directions: 

For Caramel: 

  1. Put a pan on medium heat and place the sugar in the pan.
  2. Gently caramelize the sugar to a dark amber color. Do not use any utensil for stirring as it may crystalize the sugar and you will have to start the process again. Just keep shaking the pan gently until all solid clumps of sugar have dissolved.caramel
  3. Pour the now dark amber caramel into the baking dish. I normally use a 1.7 liter oval glass Pyrex dish and fill it nearly to the rim, however, you can use other shaped dishes of approximately the same size.Set aside.016

 For Crème: 

  1. Pre heat the oven to 160 C/320 F/ 3-4 gas mark.
  2. Place the eggs in a free standing mixer bowl or a large bowl, if using hand mixer.
  3. Beat the eggs for about 5 to 8 minutes or until the eggs become pale, light and fluffy.CremeCaramel1
  4. Add the condensed milk and vanilla essence.
  5. Now fill the empty condensed milk can with milk and pour it into the mixing bowl.
  6. Gently beat the egg mix again till everything is fully combined.CremeCaramel2
  7. Now pour the crème mixture into the dish containing, now slightly cooled, caramel.CremeCaramel3
  8. Carefully place the crème caramel dish into a larger baking dish and place on the middle rack of the oven. Fill the large dish with kettle boiled water for slower and even cooking (aka bain-marie).TIP: it is easier to fill the dish with boiling water while it’s resting on the oven rack.030
  9. Bake in the oven for approximately an hour. However, since every oven varies in temperature, check after 40 minutes. Pierce a knife into the middle of the dish, if it comes out with all liquid then check again after 10 to 15 minutes. TIP: If the top is getting dark then you can cover it with a foil to avoid further browning. However, since the dessert is served upside down, you can get away with it bring slightly in the darker side.
  10. When the knife comes our mostly clean i.e. the knife does not have to be completely clean of residue just not liquid crème, the pudding is ready. There should still be some wobble in the middle because as the pudding cools it will set more.
  11. Take the small dish out of Bain-marie as soon as you can manage using over gloves or cloth.
  12. Once the dish is cool enough to handle, release the edges of the crème caramel with a knife. CremeCaramel5
  13. Turn it over in a serving dish.CremeCaramel4
  14. Cool it in the fridge for a couple of hours, preferably overnight. Enjoy!!080

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And It’s Vacation Time!

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Yippee!!! I am going (finally!) on a holiday and escaping the Doha heat and humidity! (YAAAAAAYYYYYYY!). I am off with my family to USA to my sister’s place! There are big family reunion plans, photography plans and of course a lot of retail therapy plans.

So what happens on the blog.. I’ll be here and posting the Desserts by Naveen in the “Recipe Of The Week” section. Other than that, I’ll keep in touch with random pictures and shopping updates!😀

So basically, I’ll be here but a little less active on the blog… Have a lovely summer you all!

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Photo taken on a holiday in Seychelles in 2015🙂

A Sweet Surprise…. Coming Soon!

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Photo credit – Omar Mohatarem

This Eid, we stayed in Doha and my bestie Naveen and her family visited us (they used to live here in Doha and we had a homemade cake business.. read my blogpost “Behind the Scenes of Homemade Cakes, Doha”, if you want to know more about our sweet history ). We had a great time together… But what might interest you guys, is that we did something for YOU..   (YES! keep reading..🙂 ).

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Friends on Eid… Photo credit- Omar Mohatarem

People who know her, know that very well about her.. that she is the “Queen of Desserts” and I am not saying that in any pressure whatsoever! (LOL.. No, she is not around while I write this and I am under no THREAT! LOL). On a serious note…Not because she is my friend … but honestly, she makes the MOST amazing desserts! I never used to eat desserts (as I don’t have a sweet tooth).. and prefer my savory stuff more.. but she changed that!! TOTALLY!

And since she moved to Doha, I stopped making / worrying about desserts for any dinner/party. Naveen would make them for me… I can’t tell you guys how much I miss that now!😦 So I finally asked her for her recipes because I am addicted to her desserts and because she doesn’t live here anymore to make them for me..  *sigh*

So this trip, she made 5 (yes, FIVE!) of my most favorite of her desserts for me and my blog! Yippeee!!! Basically she made while I took pictures, and then we ate them all! It was a very Sweet (in every way) holiday!DessertsbyNaveenCover

So watch out for some amazing desserts recipes, with easy step by step instructions (from Naveen) and pictures , coming your way!