M&M Illusion Cake

Well, school has opened. It’s been three weeks now. Kids are settled and everything is running smoothly. And I now I have some spare time for myself and for my blog which I was missing so much. It’s been two months since I had posted anything. However, during these two months ( kid’s summer vacation) I made tons of goodies and all my pictures and recipes are laying in my desktop. I will be posting them nearly soon.

Last week of August we celebrated our daughter’s birthday. Obviously her BFFs were with her to celebrate. Few days ago before her birthday she requested me to make an illusion cake for her. I normally bake cake for my kid’s special days. I feel satisfied when I cook for them.

I know all kids love M&Ms. So I had the basic idea to make three layers cake with butter icing and dropping the candies from the top layer but I was not sure how to make the wrapper suspend on the cake. So after some research I found a wonderful link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQkvBLu2aT4 .

It explains very clearly how to make the cake. To give my daughter a surprise, I made  a checkerboard with chocolate butter cream. The outer cake icing was made of white butter cream.

When I brought the cake out, my daughter’s friends were awestruck and everyone wanted the slice which was fully covered with M&Ms. My daughter delighted and said it was the best cake ever.
Illusion M&M cake


Baked Indian Classic Mathri (Delicious Salty ShortBread Cookies)

In most Indian homes, Mathri is the common snack especially during tea time. These are not sweet but a savory cookies. They are generally deep fried and taste good paired with sour mango pickle. Living in a big family, my mother and my grandmother used to make these cookies. We kids had the duty of pricking the cookies with a knife or fork. Sometimes we used to write our initials with the knife so that we could claim that particular cookie as ours. These fried cookies taste especially delicious fresh from the frying pan. Since they have good shelf-life, my mother used to make a kilogram or two of cookies at a time. She used to store them in an air tight steel container and kept them on the top self of our kitchen cabinet. All her yummy goodies used to be in the top self, safely away from our greedy hands. But we sometimes used to climb to the top self to get those goodies 😉 (only in afternoon when my mother used to take a nap). How precious were the days back then!
Instead of frying, I bake these mathris. Tastewise, they are equally as good and contain less oil. It’s difficulty level? None; it’s very easy to make.

1+1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
2 tbsp Semolina
1 tsp Sugar
1-1 1/2 tsp Ajwain seeds (carom seeds)
1 tsp Black Pepper Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
Salt to taste
1/2 Cup Oil or Melted warm Ghee (Clarified Butter)
*for vegans use unflavored oil instead of Ghee
1/2 Cup Warm Water

Preheat the oven at 375 Degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl mix all the ingredients except oil and water.
Add oil/ghee to the flour mixture and mix well to incorporate. Now gradually add warm water (little by little at a time) to bring the dough together. Do not knead just make a ball of the dough. If the dough becomes very hard add some water. The dough shouldn’t be either soft or too hard to roll.
Put the dough on a slightly floured surface and roll with a rolling pin. Roll the dough to the 1/8th inch or desired thickness and cut them into round shapes. Prick the cookies with the fork so that cookies doesn’t puff while cooking.
In a baking tray lay the cookies and bake them on the middle rack for about 12- 15 minutes, After 5-7 mins keep a close eye on these as they brown very quickly. When they are light golden brown then these cookies are done. Cool them in a cooling rack. These have a good self life if kept in an air tight container.
It tastes yum with mango or lemon pickle.
*oven temperature varies from oven to oven so the baking time may differ.

Artisan Bread- Boule

Whenever I pass any bakery the aromatic smell of baked good tempts me to buy them. But instead of buying, I make them. I got this wonderful book, The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. They have some wonderful simple recipes with which I have made numerous loaves. And the outcome is always as good as the bakeries (sometimes better!).Image

I am including the link. It has the master recipe which I have followed. The original recipe doesn’t have sugar but I always add a tablespoon of sweetener(honey/molasses) to my breads.