CUPCAKE MASSACRE {Halloween Special}

Happy Halloween errybady!

It’s not that late to whip up a batch of these scary yet cute cupcakes.

Cupcake Massacre. This would make for a perfect centerpiece for a Halloween celebration!

 

Halloween or not, these cupcakes make for an adorable treat minus the blood splatters.

And they’re super easy too.

Cupcake Massacre. This would make for a perfect centerpiece for a Halloween celebration!

Here’s what you need to make this cupcake massacre for your Halloween party:

Cupcakes

I posted a recipe of my favorite chocolate cupcakes just a few days ago. You can find the recipe HERE. They’re super moist, fudgy and will make for the perfect base for all the spooky décor on top.

Frosting

I used my recipe for Buttercream frosting I posted years ago for all the cupcakes. Buttercream is light and creamy and holds its shape perfectly for piping.

Recipe: HERE and HERE

Owl Cupcakes

 

These wide eyed Owl Cupcakes make for an adorably gory Halloween treat!

You will need:

Chocolate Frosting

Red M&Ms

Chocolate chips or chocolate M&Ms

Oreos

Method:

  1. Spread chocolate frosting on top of the cupcake.

  2. Push two Oreo wedges into the top edge of the cupcake to make the ears.

  3. Top with two whole Oreo halves, icing side up for eyes. Dot the bottom of two chocolate chips or chocolate M&Ms with frosting and place on top of Oreo halves for eyeballs.

  4. Place a red M&M in the center for the nose.

Cookie Monster Cupcakes

 

Gashed up cookie monster cupcakes

You will need:

Blue tinted Frosting (using Americolor Sky Blue Food Coloring)

Plain White frosting

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mini Chocolate Chips

Multi-Opening Decorating Tip (Wilton Cake Decorating Tip 233)

Plain round piping tip

Disposable Piping Bag

Method:

  1. Spread a thin layer of blue frosting on top of the cupcake

  2. Fill a piping bag fitted with the multi-opening piping tip and fill it with the remaining blue frosting

  3. Make the Cookie Monster’s fur by applying even pressure to the piping bag and pulling directly up. (Watch this tutorial for a better idea) Cover the entire top of the Cookie Monster Cupcake with blue fur.

  4. Pipe small dots of plain white frosting as the two eyes. Place a mini chocolate chip on each as eyeballs.

  5. Stick one half of a chocolate chip cookie into the frosting to represent the Cookie Monsters’ mouth.

(on some cupcakes, I used the white part of an Oreo as the base of the eyes. But I think the white frosting looks better)

Bloody Broken Glass Cupcakes

*Inspired by the awesome Scran Line

Broken glass cupcakes with gashes and dribbles of blood.

You will need:

Grey tinted Frosting (using Wilton Black Food Coloring)

Edible Blood

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 M Wilton round Piping Tip

Disposable Piping Bag

Rice Crispies

Method:

  1. To prepare the sugar glass, melt the sugar in a pan over medium high heat till it starts changing color (do NOT stir). Pour onto a greased dish, throw on top some sugar crystals for a jaded effect and set aside to harden.

  2. Transfer the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a round piping tip. Pipe swirls of frosting onto the cupcake.

  3. Using a knife, make gashes into the piped frosting. Drizzle the edible blood on top and let it trickle down the gashes.

  4. Top with shards of the prepared sugar glass.

Bloody cupcakes with maggots and gashes.

Or throw on some maggots aka Rice Crispies.

Bloody cupcakes with maggots and gashes.

Group them together.

Drizzle spatters of blood on top and there you have it!

Your very own cupcake massacre.

Cupcake Massacre. This would make for a perfect centerpiece for a Halloween celebration!

 

This would make for a perfect centerpiece for a Halloween celebration!

It’s definitely an attention grabber.

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Super Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

I’ve made a lot of cupcakes in my time. Some using one egg, two eggs, some with no eggs. Some with butter, some with oil. Some with coffee, some without.

I’ve tried all kinds of variations in the hope of finding the perfectly moist, melt-in-your mouth chocolate cupcake.

And trust me when I tell you, I have finally found my favorite version to share with you.

This is it!

Moist chocolate cupcakes topped with a fudgy chocolate frosting

This ridiculously easy, no mixer-needed recipe takes literally minutes to put together. And the result you ask? Sheer perfection.

Rich, moist, indulgent, and deliciously chocolatey; the perfect base for a big swirl of frosting.

Moist chocolate cupcakes topped with a fudgy chocolate frosting

 

Moist chocolate cupcakes topped with a fudgy chocolate frosting

These cupcakes pair well with all kinds of different flavors;

  • Peanut butter

  • Oreos

  • Peppermint

  • Salted caramel!!

But chocolate on chocolate is my favorite way to go.

 

Moist chocolate cupcakes topped with a fudgy chocolate frosting

This frosting is a Chocolate Fudge Buttercream: rich, fudgy whipped buttery goodness. It’s making my mouth salivate just writing about it…

Its dark, creamy and o’so dreamy.

This frosting will BLOW. YOUR. MIND.

The chocolate cupcakes are made with cocoa. The flavor is very dark, but not bitter in the least.

Then the combination of oil, coffee & buttermilk makes these cupcakes super moist. The cupcakes in no way taste of coffee. The hot coffee just helps the cocoa “bloom” and develop the intense chocolate flavor making them darker and richer.

Moist chocolate cupcakes topped with a fudgy chocolate frosting

Important tip!!
Make sure you fill the cupcake liners only 2/3 of the way full. Not ½ or all the way to the top.

Cupcake conundrums

Overfilling will lead to overflowing of the batter and result in flat mushroom tops.

Underfilling will result in tiny cupcakes with an unappealing overhang of the cupcake liner

If you want the perfectly risen cupcake…2/3 is the way to go!

 

Moist chocolate cupcakes topped with a fudgy chocolate frosting

Everyone should have a classic chocolate cupcake recipe in their life.

This is mine.

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Hope you love it as much as I do.

If you do try it, post a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #spatulainmypocket

I love to see all your creations 🙂

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Prep Time: 5 minutes                                                                        Yields: 12 cupcakes
Cook Time: 15 to 18 minutes
Ingredients:
Chocolate Cupcakes
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cornflour, leveled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup buttermilk, at room temperature1
1/4 cup hot coffee2
3 Tablespoon oil
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Chocolate Frosting
6 tablespoons (90g)  butter, softened to room temperature
2 and 1/2 cup icing’ sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
4-6 Tablespoons milk

 

Directions:
For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Line a cupcake pan with liners.
In a large bowl; whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cornflour, and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the milk, coffee, oil, egg, and vanilla extract.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry while whisking vigorously; batter will be thin. (Pouring batter into a measuring jug makes it much easier to distribute into the cupcake pan.)
Portion out batter into cupcake tins.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, until springy to the touch.
Allow to cool completely.
For the frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy. Turn speed to low and slowly add the sugar, and the cocoa powder. Add tablespoons of milk in between. Beat until sugar/cocoa are absorbed into the butter, about 2 minutes. Turn mixer to medium speed and add the vanilla extract. Turn the mixer to high speed and beat till frosting is smooth and shiny. Add more milk if frosting is stiff. Add more sugar if frosting is too loose.
Pipe or spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Top with sprinkles if desired.
These cupcakes are best at room temperature and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Notes
1.      Homemade buttermilk: ¼ tsp vinegar + 1/3 cup whole milk.
2.    I use a ¼ cup boiling water mixed with a ¼ tsp of instant coffee granules.

 

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

The time has come when mangoes and peaches have made their final descent and hot sweaty days of slaving in the kitchen are officially a distant memory.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

 I may have found it hard saying goodbye to my summer desserts but I am loving fall and everything it has bought with it.

The cool crisp air. The warm brown orange hues. The piles of beautiful autumn leaves on the pavement.  The early sunsets. Halloween!

Pumpkin muffins. Warm tea. And apples. Lots and lots of beautiful apples and with it an endless list of things to make.

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel.  Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

 

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel. Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

I can’t think of a better way to welcome fall with open arms than with these warm cinnamon-ny apple pie bars.

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel.

The perfect fall dessert!

 

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel. Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

These bars struck me in the middle of a caramel cinnamon autumnal daydream.

I was craving apple pie but had neither the patience nor an audience to feed an entire pie. This recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction proved to be a Godsend!

A quick version of the classic apple pie without all the hassle.

These apple pie bars taste even better than the original and they’re much easier to make.

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel.  Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

They richness from the shortbread crust, the sweetness of the apples, the nuttiness from the crumble and the saltiness of the caramel together create magic in your mouth.

 

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel. Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

These nutty apple pie bars consist of 4 delicious components:

  1. The shortbread crust is flaky and buttery and takes literally seconds to put together

  2. The apples are warm and gooey and they make your entire house smell of cinnamon a smell so deliriously good, it makes me want to bottle it up and wear it as perfume.

  3. The crumble is made up of oats, brown sugar, walnuts and more cinnamon. It has to be my favorite part of these bars. This crumble topping has infact been featured on the blog before. Remember this beautiful peach pie from last summer? Yup that’s the same crumble on top. The same bits of crumbly buttery deliciousness.

  4. The salted caramel to balance the richness and sweetness. You can skip it out completely but I mean why would you? Its salted caramel!! Edible molten gold! *swoooon*

You may think that all these layers and components would take a lot of time to put together but trust me when I tell you, this recipe is super quick. There’s no chilling or blind baking involved. It takes no more than 20 minutes to put the whole dish together and bang it into the oven.

 

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel. Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

A note about the original recipe:

Sally‘s version calls for 115g of butter and ¼ cup of sugar for the crust. I found the crust too greasy and sweet the first time I made this recipe and so I used less butter and also reduced the sugar the second time around. This ratio works out perfectly.

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel. Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

 

Have it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and I guarantee they’ll become one of your favorite fall treats as soon as you take the first bite!

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel. Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel. Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

See you soon with some spooky treats. 😉

 

 

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

 

Ingredients:
Shortbread Crust
90g (6 Tablespoons) butter, melted
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
Apple Filling
2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced (1/4 inch thick, makes 3-4 cups)
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
Crumble
1/2 cup quick cooking or old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped *optional
60g butter, cold and cubed
Salted Caramel
I use this recipe.
 
Directions:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on all sides. Set aside.
For the crust: In a bowl, mix together the melted butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add in the flour and stir until everything is well combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes while you prepare the rest of the components.
For the apple filling: Combine everything in a large bowl, and mix until all of the apples are evenly coated. Set aside.
For the crumble: In a bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, and flour. Cut in the chilled butter using two forks or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
Assembling: Remove the crust from the oven. Evenly and tightly layer the apples on top of the warm crust. Press them down to make them fit. Sprinkle with the crumble topping and bake for 30–35 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown. Meanwhile prepare the salted caramel using this recipe.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20-30 minutes at room temperature before slicing. Lift the foil or parchment out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. I cut them into 8 large bars for the pictures but usually cut them into bite size pieces since they are quite rich. Once cut, salted caramel sauce. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy.
These apple pie bars are best served warm but they taste amazing cold too. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator.
Recipe adapted from: Sally’s Baking Addiction

 

Shortbread crust. Cinnamon apples. Crumb topping. Salted caramel. Apple pie bars...The perfect fall dessert!

Iced Lemon Pound Cake

October has begun and so has fall. The avalanche of pumpkins, apples and cinnamon has already hit us. And here I am…still hanging onto my summer desserts.

This super tender, delicious lemon pound cake makes for a perfect evening snack.

 

I’m not ashamed of it. Not one bit. I would gladly eat a slice of this moist, buttery lemon cake any day of the year.

 

This super tender, delicious lemon pound cake makes for a perfect evening snack.

 

I love my monstrous frosted layered cake creations but sometimes, just sometimes, I crave the comfort of a simple, homely, fresh out of the oven cake. A cake that doesn’t ask for planning or fancy detailing. A cake that can be whipped up in minutes.

This lemon pound cake is just that.

Simple, delicious, and ridiculously easy to make.

 

This super tender, delicious lemon pound cake makes for a perfect evening snack.

It has a soft, fluffy, moist texture with a bright lemon kick from the tangy glaze on top. It’s buttery and lemony and it literally melts in your mouth. And it couldn’t be easier to make.

This super tender, delicious lemon pound cake makes for a perfect evening snack.

Here are some tips to remember:

  1. A pound cake gets its fine, dense (not heavy) texture from the all the mixing. The mixing incorporates air, creating volume, which then levels the loaf. So make sure you beat the sugar and butter well and again after the addition of each egg.

  2. Buttermilk gives you a moist, flavorful cake. The acidity in the buttermilk reacts with the baking powder making the cake lighter in texture. To make homemade buttermilk; combine ½ cup whole milk with 1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice.

  3. The cake gets most of its flavor from the lemon zest so make sure you do not skimp on the zest. Only use the thin, yellow zest layer of the lemon, which contains the lemon oils, and avoid the white layer which tastes bitter.

  4. Grease your loaf pan very well. I like to oil the pan, line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper, and then coat the pan with flour. This ensures that the cake will pop right out of the pan in one piece.

Once the cake is slightly cooled, I like to top it off with a thick lemon glaze. The glaze gives the cake a burst of citrus flavor and takes on a beautiful almost matte finish once it hardens.

 

This super tender, delicious lemon pound cake makes for a perfect evening snack.

It has become go-to lemon pound cake recipe. Maybe it will become yours too. 🙂

Lemon Pound Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes                                                                        Yields: one 9 inch loaf
Cook Time: 45 to 55 minutes
Ingredients:
For the cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of 1 lemon (around 1 teaspoon)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature (see notes below)
For the glaze:
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon milk
Directions:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Dust with flour, shake off the excess.
In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, rub the lemon zest into the sugar. Add in the butter and beat with a hand mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla and lemon juice. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
With the mixer on low, add about one-third of the flour mixture and mix until almost combined, then add half the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Repeat with another third of flour mixture and then the last half of the buttermilk, ending with the last third of the flour. Beat until just incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 45 – 55 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for about 10 – 15 minutes. Then remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling before glazing.
Meanwhile make the glaze; combine all the glaze ingredients, start with 1 tbsp lemon juice and milk and add the remaining lemon juice as needed. The icing should be thick and smooth. Add more lemon juice or powdered sugar if needed to get the correct pouring consistency. Slowly pour the glaze over the top of the cake. Let it dry before slicing the cake.
Notes
1.       Homemade buttermilk: ½ cup milk + 1 tsp vinegar
2.       This cake will keep about 4 days at room temperature or upto one week in the refrigerator.

This super tender, delicious lemon pound cake makes for a perfect evening snack.

Fudgy Nutella Brownies

I have found a new favorite brownies recipe and it involves lots and lots of Nutella.

Fudgy on the inside, chewy around the edges. These brownies are the BEST brownies I’ve ever made.

My love for Nutella is nothing new on this blog. (Remember these Nutella cinnamon rolls? Nutella swirl muffins?!)

Fudgy on the inside, chewy around the edges. These brownies are the BEST brownies I’ve ever made.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…Nutella is one of man’s best gift to mankind.

Also, maybe the worst.

The eating straight-out-of-the jar habit has me looking like a beached whale. o.o

 

Fudgy on the inside, chewy around the edges. These brownies are the BEST brownies I’ve ever made.

I’m obsessed, and this obsession resulted in me adding lots and lots of Nutella to my brownies.

Because why not?

 

There’s no such thing as too much chocolate. Am I right or am I right?

Fudgy on the inside, chewy around the edges. These brownies are the BEST brownies I’ve ever made.

And these brownies… oh man.

Fudgy on the inside, chewy around the edges. These brownies are the BEST brownies I’ve ever made.

Chewy around the edges, fudgy on the inside. These brownies are the BEST brownies I’ve ever made.

Thick? ✓

Fudgy? ✓

Crispy, crackly top? ✓

Swirls of Nutella? ✓

Brownies to end all brownies? ✓ ✓

 

Fudgy on the inside, chewy around the edges. These brownies are the BEST brownies I’ve ever made.

If you’re looking for a rich indulgent treat, these are it. Make these today, tonight, right this moment! Trust me you won’t regret it.

Fudgy on the inside, chewy around the edges. These brownies are the BEST brownies I’ve ever made.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and hashtag any of your creations to #spatulainmypocket. I would love to see your creations! Also like my Facebook and other social media so we can keep in touch.

Fudgy Nutella Brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes                                                                        Yields: 20 squares
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients:
1 cup (200g) melted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup Nutella
Directions:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Grease a 13×9 baking dish.
In the bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the melted butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, and baking powder.
Add flour mixture gradually to the wet mixture. Mix intil fully incorporated.
Microwave the 1 cup of Nutella for about 30-60 seconds to soften. Mix the melted Nutella into the batter, saving a couple of tablespoons for the top.
Pour it into the prepared baking dish.
Spoon the remaining Nutella on top of the brownie batter. Drag a knife back and forth across the batter to create swirls.
Bake for 40-45 minutes.
Cool completely before cutting.
Notes:
1.       The key to the fudginess: DO NOT OVER-BAKE. Bake until just firm. The toothpick test doesn’t work on this as the center will be gooey when they first come out of the oven but will set as they cool down which brings me to my second point…
2.      Let them cool completely before slicing them up!! I cannot emphasize enough how fudgy these are. You have to let them cool to room temperature to get proper squares. If you’re impatient like I first was, you’ll end up with a gooey, albeit delicious, mess on your hands :p Trust me, they are worth every single minute of the tortuous wait.

 

Recipe source: Genius Kitchen 

 

Fudgy on the inside, chewy around the edges. These brownies are the BEST brownies I_ve ever made.

2nd BLOGIVERSAY + Favorites

Since I last posted over a month ago, Spatula in My Pocket’s 2nd blogiversary came and went– and with it, about a gazillion other things. I feel as if this year is just whizzing by. It’s been a summer of endings, pending beginnings and a whole lot of baking.

It’s still hard to believe this blog is two years old. When I first started out, I had no idea it would turn into a business, a career. With time, I feel I have deviated from why I first set out to blog.  With this post I hope to become regular again.

Here’s to a fresh comeback, sticking to promises and loads of love & happiness to everyone.

Below is a list of some cake trends and things that I have been obsessed with over the summer. Hope you enjoy!

Naked Cakes

The naked cake trend is by far my most favorite cake trend. I’ve always played for the more cake; less frosting team and when these cakes started trending last year, I was game!

 

 

The thin frosting layer with the slightly exposed cake underneath gives beautiful rustic look. Though I think a lot of people don’t appreciate the understated elegance of naked cakes. A simple naked cake adorned with fresh roses looks and tastes way better than the swirly ruffly over-frosted cakes people still opt for.

Tiered Cakes

Tiered cakes are another recent obsession. After the first disastrous attempt about a year ago I’d let go of all hope of ever stacking cakes and not having them look as if they are about to slide off. Fast forward to 10 months later and that fear has poofed away! Stacking cakes is so much fun!

 

I’ve made 4 (almost perfect) tiered cakes this past month alone. I wish every order is a tiered cake order from now on 😀

Russian Piping Tips

I’d seen Russian piping tips all over the internet, bought a set about a year ago, and promptly forgot about them. It wasn’t until I saw this tutorial by iambaker that I remembered I had a set lying forgotten in the kitchen drawer. They have become my newest favorite thing ever since!

Russian Piping Tips

Russian tips are piping tips with intricate cut outs resembling different flowers.

 

They result in beautiful delicate flowers that look like they might have taken you hours of work but instead take you just seconds. You do need a lot of practice and patience and gobs of frosting.

Wilton Burgundy Gel Food Color

This tiny bottle of food color yields the most exquisite shades of pink; bubblegum pink, to my favorite Barbie pink, to the hottest color of the year, ‘millennial pink’.

 

It is stronger and works way better than normal pink food color. I’ve been sneaking it onto cakes in the form of flowers, swirls, blobs..any way I can 😉

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

reeses-peanut-butter-cups-copycat-recipe

 

Picture credits: https://topsecretrecipes.com/reeses-peanut-butter-cups-copycat-recipe.html

 

I blame Always Hungry for this obsession -.-

She-Wolves: England’s Early Queens

A few months back, I stumbled upon an Instagram account featuring Princess Diana’s most iconic looks and that was it. I was hooked.

I have since then seen every video there is about her on Youtube, every documentary on Netflix. I’ve made my sisters sit through her funeral show twice, sobbing the entire way through.

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Credits: http://princessdiana-legacy.tumblr.com/

 

And when it seemed like I’d researched everything there is about Diana, I moved onto the other British Royals. First the Crown (second season come quick!) and now Helen Castor’s miniseries, She-Wolves: England’s Early Queens.

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I’m halfway through the second episode and, guys, I am seriously considering taking up British History as a major for Masters studies next year o.o

Jojo

This one here is a forever favorite of mine but gets a special mention because she is 6000 miles away and I MISS HER MORE THAN EVER.

Summer wasn’t summer without our Vigo rides, peach iced teas, stalking and Community sessions.

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Love you, Jojesmojes! 😥 ❤

And thats it!

What have you been loving this summer? Let me know in the comments down below, I’d love to know!

KULFA: The Cheat’s Version

This past week has been all about surviving the heat of summer.

Despite the short outbursts of rain here and there, it’s been SO hot.

The kind of hot where all you feel like doing is blasting on the air conditioner, putting Netflix on, and devouring mint chocolate chip ice cream (recipe coming soon!).

Kulfa: rich and creamy. Chuck-everything-into-the-blender easy!

It was on one particularly hot day that I was craving something cold, something creamy when I decided to hunt down a recipe that didn’t require much of my energy or time. Going through my huge recipe stash, I found this magical recipe. A Shireen Anwer classic I remember jotting down in my journal years ago.

Kulfa: rich and creamy. Chuck-everything-into-the-blender easy!

 

Kulfa or kulfi is a popular street food here in Pakistan. Its a frozen milk based dessert, perfect for a hot summer day. The authentic recipe calls for cooking down milk and sugar for hours and hours till its reduced to half. It’s a slow and tiresome process. The cheat version, however, is so much quicker and so much better!

Kulfa: rich and creamy. Chuck-everything-into-the-blender easy!

It’s rich, creamy, and sweet…not to mention delicious. And it is SOOO Easy to make. Chuck-everything-into-the-blender easy!

Try this cheats version, you won’t be disappointed.

Kulfa

Ingredients:
2 slices of white bread, soaked in some milk
1 teaspoon cardamom powder1, leveled
2 Tablespoon almonds, roughly chopped
2 Tablespoon pistachios, roughly chopped
1 pack (200 ml) heavy cream, chilled
½ a tin (200 g) of condensed milk, chilled
1 small tin (210 g) evaporated milk, chilled
Directions:
Blend all the ingredients in a blender till well combined. Pour the contents into an airtight container.2 Seal the top and place in the freezer overnight.
When ready to serve, wrap a warm kitchen towel around the container for a few seconds. Run a knife around the sides. Overturn the container onto your serving platter. Cut into slices. Sprinkle some chopped pistachios and almonds on top and enjoy.
Notes
1.       I made my own cardamom powder by grinding just the seeds of some cardamom pods. Wasn’t very fine, but I liked that it was a bit coarse.
2.      You can use ice cream or ‘kulfi’ molds.
Recipe source: Shireen Anwer

Kulfa: rich and creamy. Chuck-everything-into-the-blender easy!

Death by Chocolate Cake + World Chocolate Day!

4 years of college. Over and done with.
More on that later…

LET’S HAVE CAKE TO CELEBRATE.

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

It is World Chocolate Day after all. And it’d be rude not to indulge in chocolate (not that I do it everyday? Those last 4 jars of Nutella. Nop. Not me.)

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

This is hands down the best chocolate cake you will ever taste.

It is super easy to make; no fancy equipment, no complicated ingredients needed. Just two bowls and a whisk (a mixer, if you’re me).

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

I went for the naked cake look because my family isn’t too big on frosting. Also, I think naked cakes look prettier.

I used my rusty 6-inch cake pan for a taller cake. And topped it all off with some of these beautiful flowers from the garden.

Some tips to make sure your cake turns out perfect every single time:

  • Make sure the eggs and milk are at room temperature. Makes a world of difference! Trust me

  • DIY Buttermilk: 1 cup whole milk (at room temperature) + 1 Tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice

  • Butter at room temperature for a smooth, cream frosting is a MUST. It should be soft but not too soft that’s its melting and has an oily sheen to it

  • No, sugar crushed in a grinder will not work for the frosting

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.

Try this cake for the next birthday party, anniversary, World Chocolate Day — it’s a show-stopper!

Death by Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:
Chocolate Cake
·         1 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
·         1 and 3/4 cup granulated sugar
·         3/4 cup cocoa powder
·         1 tsp baking powder
·         2 tsp baking soda
·         1/2 tsp salt
·         1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature1
·         1/2 cup vegetable oil
·         2 large eggs, at room temperature
·         1 tsp vanilla extract
·         1 cup freshly made strong hot coffee2
 
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
  • 250g butter
  • 3-4 cups icing sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3-5 Tbsp. whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Ganache for the drip
·         1/2 cup  cream
·         1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Fresh flowers for the top

 

Directions:
1.       Preheat oven to 180C degrees. Grease & flour three 6 inch round cake pans3, and line them with parchment paper.
2.      For the cake: In a bowl, whisk together hot coffee and cocoa till a thick mix forms. Set aside to cool.
3.      Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
4.      In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar till a bit pale in color. Mix in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low. Add the coffee cocoa mixture. Mix until combined.
5.      Divide the batter into prepared baking pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
6.      For the frosting: In a large bowl, sift together the icing sugar and cocoa powder.
7.      In another bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and pale in color. With the speed on low, add in half of the sugar and the cocoa powder. Beat till combined. Then add in the rest of the sugar/cocoa mix. Turn mixer to medium speed and add the vanilla, cream and milk tablespoon by tablespoon. Turn the mixer to high speed and beat for 1 minute. Add more icing sugar if too lose or add more milk if too thick.
8.     For the ganache: In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a simmer (or microwave till hot). Remove from heat and add chocolate. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Allow ganache to cool and thicken for about 30 minutes.
9.      Assemble the cake: Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a plate. With a palette knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, spread with frosting. Place the third layer on top, plain side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Scrape off the excess frosting for the ‘naked cake’ look I went for. Place cake in the fridge till cool to the touch. Then, pour over the top the chocolate ganache, let it drip round the edges. Top with fresh flowers, and enjoy!
Notes
1.       DIY Buttermilk: 1 cup whole milk (at room temperature) + 1 Tbsp. white vinegar or lemon juice
2.      I use 1 cup boiling water + 1 tsp instant coffee
3.      You can use two 8-inch or two 9-inch cake pans instead too

 

 

3 layers of rich moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with a dreamy creamy chocolate fudge frosting, and topped with drizzles of smooth lush chocolate ganache.