30 November 2010

100: Triple Caramel Cupcakes

Hi all!!! I am celebrating my 100th blog post!! Super happy...made these special triple salted caramel cupcakes today..... and boy... are they yum!!! I think this is by far the best cupcake I have made till date....

I got the recipe from Sprinkle Bakes. Followed the recipe to the 'T'...except for the candied caramel rounds part...I ended up taking a lot of pictures...

The salty caramel flavor is just soo good...this recipe is a must try....

For the cupcakes,

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 F. Line muffin pan with paper. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.  Add vanilla extract.  Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each. Place a tablespoon of batter into each cup, filling each about halfway full.  Bake for about 25 minutes. When done, turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.

For the Salted Caramel Filling,

½ cup sugar
3 Tbsp. salted butter
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature

Melt the sugar over medium  high heat in a large pot.  Whisk the sugar as it melts and cook until it becomes a deep amber color. Add the butter and stir it in until melted. Pour in the heavy cream (mixture will foam) and whisk until you get a smooth sauce. You may have some lumps but keep stirring until they have melted.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  

Cut a small round piece out of the tops of each cooled cupcake and pour in 1 teaspoon of caramel.  Replace the cake piece and set cupcakes aside.

For the Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting,

¼ cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. water
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tsp.vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter, @ room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, @ room temperature
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups icing sugar

In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color.  Remove from heat and slowly add in heavy cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth.  Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.

In a large bowl, beat butter and salt together until light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add icing sugar.  Mix until thoroughly combined. Add the caramel (make sure the caramel is cooled before adding).  Beat until light and airy, and completely mixed. If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny.  If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. Top caramel-filled cupcakes with frosting.

For the Candied Salted Caramel Rounds (decoration)

1 ¼ cups granulated sugar 

¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup water

Lay out a large piece of parchment paper on your work surface and spray with cooking oil (such as canola). Fill a large pan partially with ice water.

Put sugar, salt and cold water in a heavy pan; stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat and bring syrup to a boil.  Lower heat slightly and swirl the pan once or twice as the syrup caramelizes so it will color evenly; do not stir.  When the caramel is deep amber, plunge the base of the pan into ice water for about 2 seconds (just 2 seconds…no more than that) to stop further cooking. Quickly, dip a spoon in the caramel and let it fall onto the parchment paper in a drizzle.  Move the spoon in a circular motion as the syrup falls from the spoon. Repeat 15 times.  Remove from paper and adorn cupcakes.

So glad to be sharing this yummy recipe with y'all....

29 November 2010

99: Home Decor: Daybeds

I was recently asked what the favorite corner in my home was....and I instantly said my daybed (Divan)....I absolutely love lounging on it... a daybed with loads of cushions in bright colors somehow adds a sense of warmth and coziness to any room...

This is the favorite place in my home :)

Wanted to share some of my favorite daybed pics that I have collected over time.....

Passages Over
A Mindful Home
Luxury Home Design
Anne Sage
Country Living
I Like Design
Calypso Home
Do y'all have a favorite corner in you home....do share pics and ideas.. would love to hear from y'all....

98: Home Decor Inspiration: Home in Almhult Sweden

Loved the use of color and wallpaper and a fusion of different styles in this home of a freelance interior designer for IKEA in Sweden. Most of the furniture and decor in her home is from IKEA, garage sales and flea market bargains.

Images: Skona Hem

27 November 2010

97: Snapshots from N'awlins (New Orleans)!!

Spent Thanksgiving in the city of free spirited people, culture, art, history, historical architecture, music, lip smacking good Cajun food, street performers, Jazz, the 'Hurricanes', french coffee and beignets and fun galore....


Had so much fun, walking the streets of french quarter, drinking and eating....until we could walk no more....then sat at Howl at the Moon, a dueling piano bar and spent the rest of the evening listening to some fun music....The next day, we set out all refreshed embarking on another culinary journey...starting off with a brunch buffet at "The Court of Two Sisters"......had the most divine coffee and cornbread there...and ate everything that you can possibly imagine....from eggs, mashed potatoes, sausages, jambalaya, salads, shrimp cocktail, a wide variety of desserts... u get the picture... 2 hours of brunch (it was pouring outside... so we had no reason to step out) and we were ready to roll (pun intended) again....walked around some pretty art galleries, listened to some street performers... met this girl who played the most soulful violin I have heard....visited the French Market and we could not resist buying some french coffee and beignets from Cafe du Monde though we were stuffed... got them "to-go' :)

So pretty much in 2 days i have gained like a zillion pounds... and had a fabulous time....

You can find some more pictures from the trip here

24 November 2010

96: Painting Inspiration: Solid Frog

Love the paintings by Mia from Solid Frog. Love the use of colors...so vibrant and inspiring... hope to one day be able to make paintings like this...

21 November 2010

95: Baked Tandoori Pomfret (Fish)

Pomfret always holds a special place to my heart....my love for seafood started with fried Pomfret....the fish has such a good texture which I absolutely can not find in the Tilapias or salmons of the world....

3 slices of Pomfret (I used fillets, whole Pomfret can be used too)
1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
2 Tbsp. coriander powder
2 Tbsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. chili powder
Juice of 1 big lemon
Salt to taste

Wash the fish. Mix all the spices and the lemon juice into a thick paste in a bowl. Apply the paste over the fish coating each slice thickly. Marinate for over an hour in the refrigerator. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Grease a baking tray and place the fish slices on the tray. Bake for 30 mins. (if baking a lighter fish like Tilapia, lower baking time to 15 mins.). Serve hot with sliced onions marinated in lemon juice and lemon wedges with some warm rice.

94: Moist Chocolate Cake with Fluffy Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting

Hey all....have had a super busy week and have been down with the cold....must say baking has been my only solace.....baked some yum cupcakes and this delish cake.....a must try....

Here is the recipe,

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temp
2 ½ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream cheese icing (recipe here) minus the peppermint extract
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
8 – 10 whole pecans

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Beat the butter until it’s softened. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, which should take about 2 mins. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until well combined. Measure out the flour, baking powder, and soda, salt and cocoa powder and sift together. Measure out the milk and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup and stir to combine. Add about one third of the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and beat until only just mixed. Add about half of the milk/vanilla mixture and beat until just mixed. Keep doing this until all the wet and dry ingredients are combined. Gently fold the batter to make sure everything  is well mixed and the bottom isn’t un-mixed. Scoop the batter into a greased cake pan until the pan is 2/3 full. Bake for about 22-25 mins, or until the fork comes out clean.

Let cake cool on a cooling wire rack and the ice the cake as desired.

The chocolate and coconut combination is totally yum....

I used the same recipe to make some cupcakes.... and I think I have found my perfect moist chocolate cupcake recipe.... :)

16 November 2010

93: Caramel Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie

Hey peeps....made some caramel chocolate chip pecan pie today!! I know...Its a mouthful...but I just could not resist putting all the good stuff in there. Baked this for a pie contest I participating in :).


For a 9-inch pie crust,
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
8 Tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, grated with a cheese grater
3 Tbsp. very cold water

For the filling,
28 caramel candy
1 cup chocolate chips
¼ cup butter
¼ cup water
¾ cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, roasted

Combine and blend the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl.  Add in the cold grated butter and knead the mix. Mix in the cold water and continue kneading the dough, until the butter is completely worked into the flour. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 mins.  Remove from the refrigerator and roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 F. Roll out the dough gently into a 9-inch pie pan. Fold edges under, and crimp with fingers. Prick bottom and sides of pie crust with a fork. Bake the pie crust for 8 to 10 mins or until lightly browned; cool on wire rack.

Combine the caramels, butter, and water in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 5 to 7 mins. or until caramels and butter is completely melted. Remove from heat. Stir together the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and nutmeg. Stir this into the caramel mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in  the pecans. Pour this into the prepared crust.

Bake pie at 400 F for 10 mins. Reduce heat to 350 F, and bake for 20 more mins, Remove pie to a wire rack to cool.

I ended up making 2 pies....one for the contest and another one for home....I had to eat my own pie!

Hope y'all are having a good week so far....I am so looking forward to the weekend...having crazy busy days at work...

P.S.: (Nov 24 2010) I won the Pie Bake Off!!

I am so Happy!!! I win my first bake off...

14 November 2010

92: Shahi Pulao

1 Tbsp. black cumin (Shahi Jeera)
½ Onion, cut into thin long slices
½ cup chopped coriander
½ cup chopped mint
2 Tbsp. fried onion
1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
2-3 green chillies
2 cups Basmati rice
Salt to taste
1 tsp. sugar
½ cup fried dry fruits (cashews, chopped almonds)

Soak rice for 30 mins in double the amount of water (2 cups rice, 4 cups water). Heat oil in a wide pan. Add oil, shahi jeera and the sugar. Mix it well so that the sugar caramelizes and gives brown color. This is what gives the final rice a nice brown color. Add the onions and sauté the onions for 3-4 mins. Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté until the raw smell of the ginger garlic paste is gone. Add slit green chillies, chopped mint, coriander and salt. Sauté for 2-3 mins. Add the soaked rice along with the water. Cook rice until 90 percent cooked and most of the water has evaporated. Add the fried onions and the dry fruits. Cover the rice with a lid and cook on low heat for 5 mins.

91: Roasted Chicken

Made my first roasted chicken today!! Totally yum...Followed an Ina Garten recipe, you can find here. Added some baked potatoes and sweet potatoes on the side and served the chicken with some Shahi Pulao...

Me and mah sweetie had a romantic candlelit lunch :)

Had such a great Sunday....a lovely lunch followed by some Starbucks coffee and a pumpkin cream cheese muffin....bliss...Starbucks sure captures the holiday spirit so well....just did not want to leave there...
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