Chocolate Mousse

Thanksgiving is all about pumpkin pie…. but when you aren’t fan of pumpkin pie and neither are your friends…. you end up making some other dessert for Thanksgiving dinner….That’s what I did….I decided to make some dessert other than pumpkin pie…. and made this Chocolate Mousse.

CM1

Yes another one of those single serve cup desserts (I love this style of serving dessert) So I found this video on You Tube. A simple, quick and easy recipe… which used Gelatin to make these. I have never worked with Gelatin… but gave it a shot this time…. They turned out delicious…. there is no sugar in the chocolate part of the mousse … some in the whipped topping on top and the oreo layer at the bottom! The original video I got the recipe from can be found HERE.

CM3

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Makes 7-8 servings.

(Original Recipe from Rajshri Foods)

1-1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate morsels (I used Ghiradelli brand) + 2 oz unsweetened chocolate (I used Baker’s Baking Bar for this)

2 cup of heavy whipping cream. (1 for chocolate and 1 cup for whipping)

1-1/2 tsp gelatin powder soaked in 4 tbsp of water for 5 mins.

1 tsp vanilla essence

8 oreo cookies (crushed)

3 tbsp melted butter

Whipped cream and oreo cookies for garnish.

Procedure:

1. Crush the oreo cookies and mix with melted butter. Layer in cups and put the cups in fridge for the cookies to set.

2. Melt the chocolate and 1 cup cream in a microwave safe bowl. I cooked it in 30 seconds interval. Stir between each cooking. Once its smooth, let it cool for 5-10 mins. Add the vanilla essence and soaked gelatin and mix well again.

3. Meanwhile whip up 1 cup heavy cream and make homemade whipped cream. Alternatively you could use store bought whipped cream (cool whip). 1 cup heavy cream will make approx 2 cups of whipped cream. Fold in the cream with the chocolate mixture. Remember to fold in and not stir crazy!

4. Pour the chocolate mix in each of your serving cups and put it in fridge for it to set. 20-30 minutes later it will be set and you can garnish with some whipped cream and oreo cookie. Store in fridge till ready to serve.

Note: I made the whipped cream for garnish by taking 3/4 cup cream and 1-2tsp of sugar (If you want a sweeter topping add sugar as per your taste).

 

CM2

It was a delicious recipe…. the mix of semi sweet and unsweetened made it really delicious. I definitely had to double the recipe and convert into imperial measurements. But it turned out delicious and I enjoyed every single bite of it!

Check out the original video (linked above) and try the recipe for sure.

Until next time,

Happy cooking,

Cheers =)

Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait

There is nothing like finding an easy cheesecake recipe to make….and eggless too πŸ™‚ Works for people (family and friends) I know who do not eat eggs πŸ˜‰ Parfait form makes it a perfect size dessert ….I’m liking these small cup desserts (just like found at PF Changs, Chillis etc) A while ago I made No Bake Nutella Cheesecake in plastic cups …they were a hit…. so I am hoping these are a hit too.

I found this recipe via Youtube, it is from Show Me the Curry and can be found HERE. They made 12 of 2 oz cups. I used bigger cups and doubled up the ingredients.

StrawberryCheesecakeparfait1

Strawberry Cheescake Parfaits

Makes 12 9 0z cups (filled 3/4way)

Ingredients

Graham Crackers (Chocolate)– 15 whole pieces
Butter – 7 Tbsp, melted
Sugar – 1 Tbsp
Strawberries – 1 lb, chopped
Sugar – 3/4Tbsp
Cream Cheese –16 oz, softened
Sour Cream – 2/3 cup
Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
Powdered Sugar – 3/4 cup
Whipped Cream – 3 cup (I used Cool Whip)

Method:

1. Place Graham Crackers in a food processor and pulse to make crumbs. Add melted Butter and 1 Tbsp Sugar and mix well. Keep aside.
2. Mix 3/4 Tbsp Sugar with chopped Strawberries and keep aside.
3. In a bowl, combine softened Cream Cheese, Sour Cream and Vanilla. Mix in Powdered Sugar and mix until no lumps are present. Fold in Whipped Cream.
4. To assemble parfaits, layer a small amount of Graham Cracker crumbs at the bottom of a parfait cup or mini shot glass. Press down to form a crust. Using a pastry bag or zipper bag, pipe in cream cheese mixture half way up the glass. Add a layer of Strawberries. Finish with an additional layer of Cream Cheese mixture.
5. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours to set.

You could decorate it some whipped cream or some more berries.

My husband, I and our friends eat less sugar…. so I did not double on sugar amounts. I started with adding the amount in the original recipe (video link above) and added a little at a time to bring it to our taste level. So adjust the sugar levels as per your taste. I could not find 2 oz glasses like in the video. I used 9 oz cups (found in my local grocery store). So if you want to make big cups and fill them up to the top, you could make 2 layers of berries and 3 layers of cheesecake filling.

Strawberries are fresh and naturally sweet right now. So this is the perfect dessert to try… a nice summer dessert I think or like suggested in the original recipe…a good Mother’s Day Treat πŸ˜€

Happy Mother’s day to all the moms out there….. Moms make the world Awesome!

Until next time,

Cheers =)

Orange Cranberry Cupcakes

This Daylight Savings Time change really throws you off…I think they should do this on Saturday so we have Sat and Sun to get used to it πŸ˜‰ But with that extra hour I had to do something.. so I decided to bake some cupcakes =) The recipe I tried today…well I’ve been wanting to try it… but could not find 1 ingredient….I know what you are thinking… what is this ingredient that is so hard to find?? 

CRANBERRIES…. I know… its crazy…. you would think frozen cranberries would be easily available…apparently not!!! Maybe it might be me…. I went to just 2 grocery stores to check πŸ˜› I just think its insane running around looking for something…. there are some people who do that… they don’t think about gas they are wasting!!

Anyhow, so when I saw this recipe almost a month ago… and could not find the cranberries, I chuck the idea of making it and had tried something else that weekend. This recipe is from Miryam’s blog Eat Good 4 Life. After some 3 odd weeks I realized, I could just rehydrate some dried cranberries (easily available)…confirmed it with Miryam if it was okay. She replied yes and also said fresh cranberries would be okay. While she replied to this … I was at the grocery noticing fresh cranberries at Publix (my fav grocery store) and putting it in the cart =) So seeing Miryam’s reply I was all excited to make these. 

This was my first time tasting fresh cranberries…In the packet they look like grapes….I assumed they would be soft and sweet…. surprise surprise… they weren’t…. they were not at all sweet and little hard-crunchy to be specific.

So this recipe called for frozen cranberries thawed… but these were crunchy…so I decided to use just 1 cup (versus 2 it calls for) and chopped them into pieces–running my knife through them.

They do have seeds…but very very tiny… and when I tried a cranberry I could barely feel the seeds. Anyways, so onwards with the recipe for some nice yummy Orange cranberry Cupcakes.

Orange Cranberry Cupcakes with Orange Frosting
From: Eatgood4life
 
Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
3/4 cup orange juice plus 2 tablespoons (I squeezed the orange that I zested for some juice…gave me little less than 1/2 cup, then added bottled juice)
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 tablespoon orange extract
12 oz frozen cranberries, thawed, about 2 cups (I used 1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped)

Frosting   
4 tablespoons butter
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar (I used little less than 3- definitely affects the texture but my taste testers do not like sweet frosting)
2 teaspoon orange extract
2 teaspoon orange zest

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
2. In a bowl beat egg, oil, juice, orange extract, sugar and zest. 
3. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda. Fold in the the cranberries.
4. Spoon batter into cupcake liners 3/4 of the way.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and tester comes out clean. Remove immediately from pan after baking and let cool completely on a wire rack.
6. For the frosting, mix all of the ingredients and frost cupcakes. 

The little purple specks are popped cranberries… oh yeah… those cranberries got cooked well and add nice taste to the cupcakes…. of course when these were baking the smell of orange filled my house πŸ˜‰

Oh and that Orange Frosting… yummmeee….fingerlicious… no jokes..most delicious frosting… the orange zest and extract simply make it delicious and oh so fresh. Orange zest was easy to find in my grocery store…. I am glad because it sure makes a difference. 

I love the little specks of orange zest in the icing =) Since I used this stand alone liners… they are smaller than standard size liners… so I was able to make 16 (could have made more but only had 16 left ;)…need to get me some more πŸ˜€ ) But 16 medium size cupcakes…1 is perfect portion I think.

Yes of course I tasted it… and so did my husband…. 

It taste really good… can not tell it is made of whole wheat pastry flour (color does I know :P) Nice and moist… a little dense… but the orange flavor with bits of cranberry yummmm….My husband found this icing a little sweet as well… my other taste testers will try it tomorrow…lets see what they have to say. But another experiment successful!!! Thanks Miryam for sharing the recipe =)
I was reading up about orange frosting and lot of websites talked about using it on carrot cake/cupcake… after tasting it I agree… Orange frosting on carrot cupcakes would be one heck of a frosting….one thing I will have to try…maybe around Easter =)
Until my next bake….
Cheers =)
 

Lemon Drop Martini Cupcakes

While searching for what dessert/cake I should try this week… I went through the pinned recipes on my dessert board on Pinterest… I found this 28 Drunken Cupcakes that I had pinned… I decided to try one with alcohol in it… Vodka is a liquor always found in my house. Lemon Drop Martini Cupcakes sounded nice. There is nothing like refreshing taste of Lemon…whether it is zested lemon or lemon juice… it just adds the right taste to anything it is added to and some vodka with it…yummmm!!!I do have to thank to the writer of Totally Pinteresting for gathering these recipes…I’ve tried 1-2 recipes from the list…most have turned out nice πŸ˜€ So I started this one hoping the same πŸ˜‰

Here is the recipe:
Β 
Lemon Drop Martini Cupcakes
From A Cup of Sugar…A Pinch of Salt
Makes 24 Cupcakes
Β 
Ingredients:
For the vanilla lemon cupcakes:
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream

For the vodka lemon frosting:
3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon vodka

I added yellow food coloring to have some color in the frosting.

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Line a standard sized muffin pan with liners.Β 
3. In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add lemon peel and vanilla; mix well.Β 
4. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream (batter will be thickI used mini ice-cream scooper tofill the liners, time to invest in a bigger scooper πŸ˜€)
5. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.Β 
6. Cool for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Since I used scooper I had to bang the liners on the counter for the batter to settle, still some of them did not settle well as you can see =)

7. To make the frosting, cream butter and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add lemon juice, vanilla, lemon peel and vodka; beat until smooth.Β 
8. Frost cupcakes and garnish.

Some lemon zest sprinkled on would look nice!

I used stand alone cupcake liners that I found in Marshall’s (they are a little smaller than the standard size. So I was able to get 30 Cupcakes from this recipe. Although the icing was just right for 24 of those cupcakes. I don’t put much icing anyways … so I was able to frost 24 of those. I had to make 1/2 of the frosting recipe again to be able to frost the rest.Β 

I do have to mention that I made the cupcakes on Friday evening and could not frost them last nightthanks to my husband and his eagerness to pick up his parcel from fedex-he got the 7th generation Ipod. I did not understand his eagerness considering he is working the weekend and won‘t get to it until Sunday evening!!!Β 

So after the cupcakes stayed in the fridge over night, got frosting this morning …. they taste yum…refreshing!!! I can’t taste the vodka really… but adding more would have definitely liquified the icing. Although I love how it just uses 3 tbsp of butter…the icing was perfect… and I could actually make the cupcakes look nice =)

My taste testers haven’t got the chance to eat them yet…tonight.. but I am thinking they are going to love the lemon-y-ness of the cupcakes πŸ˜‰

Enjoooy!!

Cheers =) Β  Β 

Eggless Mango Cupcake

Mango is a very dear fruit to “my” people… Mango is a very precious fruit in India-a seasonal fruit that is available from sometime in May until July/August (as soon as rains come…the harvest starts deteriorating). Cultivation of mango trees takes slot of patience and some caring. My in-laws have Mango Farm/garden in India….So I know how long it takes a tree to grow and bear fruit. First time I saw the farm, I remember my father-in-law mentioning how some of the trees were planted when my husband was a young child and the fruits have just started to come since last 2-3 years.  

Mangoes are eaten raw or ripe. Ripen mangoes are sucked on, sliced, cubed and pulped to get some nice juice called “aam-ras”-eated with some fried Indian bread called “puri’s”. Trust me Puri and Aam-Ras are a deadly combo!!

Top that off with this cake being eggless…. My friends mom does not eat eggs..and with all the baking trials I do… I always wanted to make something eggless so she could taste what I made… She was away for a while. But now she is back! So I had to make these Eggless Mango Cupcakes. So this is for my friends mom, my aunt-Shakuntala Kaki. 

Another interesting thing past weekend- I found this cupcake liners/holder in Marshall… you don’t need a cupcake pan!! So I had to try them. They come in pack of 25 and cost $3.99….. Infact they also had mini loaf liners… no pan required…just place them on flat cookie tray, pour your batter and voila…ready!!

Oh they work…. awesome!!! So I doubled the recipe-having some friends over this weekend… they might as well be my taste testers πŸ˜‰

So the recipe:

Eggless Mango Cupcake
from Holy Cow Vegan

Mango Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cardamom powder

Sift all the ingredients into a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, beat together until well-mixed:

1 1/2 cups mango puree(I used aam-ras available in Indian grocery stores-bought Nirav Brand Kesar Mango Ras. Although am sure defrosting frozen mangoes and pureeing them will work just fine)

1/3 cup canola oil

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk just until you have a smooth batter. Do not overmix or overbeat.

Divide the batter equally among 12 cups of a standard-sized muffin pan lined with cupcake liners. Smooth down the tops with the back of a spoon or spatula or you will have a lumpy top (it’ll still taste delicious, though :))

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven about 27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

How Yummy these look…could eat one just like that!!
The mango puree I used.Really good tasting!

Vegan Mango Buttercream Frosting

8 tbsp (1 stick) vegan butter like Earth Balance

8 tbsp vegetable shortening (I replaced it with 1 stick of butter instead)

2 cups confectioners’ sugar (I’ve seen recipes that use more than 3 cups of confectioners’ sugar for the same amount of butter and shortening and if you like a really sweet frosting, you might try adding more. But 2 cups, I found, was just perfect). (I used 3 cups of sugar…after 3 cups and putting it in the fridge for 30 minutes it was thick enough to handle)

1/4 cup mango puree

1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream together the butter and shortening until they are fluffy, about 1 minute.

Now add the mango puree and vanilla and half the sugar. Beat until mixed, then add the remaining sugar and beat until mixed. This should take no more than 2 minutes altogether.

Frost the cupcakes after they’ve cooled completely. 

Yayyy my frosting actually stayed good this time.. not melted lol… putting it in the fridge helped….Lesson learned today–handle icing in batches..fill bag, put rest back in fridge… frost, then take out the rest when need to refill. BTW no gadgets for this cake…just a whisk and bowls and some muscle power πŸ˜€

I feel proud of my icing skills today πŸ˜‰ Now let me tell you about the taste…OMG HEAVEN… the moistness of the cake is unbeatable…the taste of the mango puree and cardamom is absolutely pleasant for the taste buds! Husband and I shared 1 cupcake for taste test…but OMG it was awesome… the cake itself is not sweet so with 3 cups of powdered sugar in the icing…PERFECTNESS!!!
Thank you to Holy Cow Vegan’s author-Vaishali for sharing this recipe. 
Try this–you won’t be disappointed.  

Happy eating 
Enjoy!!

Cheers =)

Whole wheat pastry flour Strawberry Cupcakes

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour has always intrigued me. First time I saw Ellie Krieger (On Food Network) use it for some baking recipe. I tried looking for it in Publix, walmart, kroger-NO luck!!! Finally I find it in Atlanta, at a Whole Foods Store (did happy dance when I found it :D) 

So I got this recipe from PINTEREST again!! haha it never gets old…I am sorry but they have some fab recipes and blogs on Pinterest…. Awesome inspirational source πŸ˜‰ This recipe is from Eat Good 4 Life written by Mirayam (Blog author) who is a clinical dietician and hence all recipes are diet friendly. Totally love her recipes!

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour Strawberry Cupcakes

Yields 18  cupcakes


Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup unrefined sugar, if frosting 3/4 cup will be sufficient
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 1/2 cup diced strawberries, organic are better
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
1 cup low fat milk
2 teaspoons strawberry extract, try not to leave it out it makes a huge difference although you can still use vanilla extract if you prefer (I had to use Vanilla extract-could not find Strawberry extract)

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.


  • In a bowl beat egg, oil, milk, strawberry extract, and sugar. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda. Fold in the the strawberries.


  • Spoon batter into cupcake liners 3/4 of the way. Bake for 18-22 minutes until golden and tester comes out clean. Remove immediately from the pan after baking and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Frosting:

(I halved the frosting recipe as I am not a fan of too much frosting – small amount is just good)

8 tablespoons butter 
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
4-5 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped strawberries

For the frosting, mix all of the ingredients and frost cupcakes. 


Look at the little bits of berries in the cake and frosting….simply delicious!!! The cream cheese frosting is awesome. I like this better than Buttercream frosting for sure =) 

So how is whole wheat pastry flour….. wheaty πŸ˜‰ I tasted the raw batter and could taste the raw wheat flavor. While the cake baked, could smell the wheat getting cooked…. Taste it…you can tell it is made of wheat flour… But it tastes delicious..the cake is as moist and soft as one made from all purpose flour. The strawberry bits do add some sweetness and little tartness (my berries were sweet and tart) While it cooked it smelled like Indian dessert called “Seera”-made with combo of wheat flour and semolina flour πŸ˜‰

So this is definitely OMG cupcakes…I am a fan of Whole Wheat Pastry Flour and definitely am going to try more recipes with it. I mean how can you let go of this ooey goodness. Although this recipe calls for Whole Wheat Pastry flour, I am sure all purpose flour would do just fine. But I say, try it with whole wheat pastry flour!!


Oh and did you guys see… the recipe is not at all hard…mix, bake for 20 mins, frost and enjoy =) easy and awesome tasting!


Try it!!

Enjooy!

Cheers =)


Peach Bellini Cupcake

Coming back to cupcakes =) I had decided to try cupcakes from this list I had found on pinterest…. It has all cupcakes made from some alcohol… Interesting I know πŸ˜‰ So after making chocolate and coffee flavored cupcakes…I decided to make something different. Peach Bellini just attracted me, I have had this drink at Olive Garden once or twice…I am not a fan of Champagne…but the Peach Schnapp makes this drink nice, add some peach slices….Perfect!!

That is the exact taste of the cupcake as well–basic cake batter with some Champagne, Peach Schnapp, and fresh diced peaches. This recipe is from Java Cupcakes. I am so thankful to Betsy (Java cupcake blog writer) for sharing this recipe… although my cupcakes look no way near Betsy’s pretty decor…. But I am trying =) Still learning … only if Augusta had some place where they taught cupcake decorating skills hahaha- think about it now– have never searched…will do that =)

This recipe makes 24 cupcakes…. while trying to loose weight there is no way I could have so many cupcakes around the house haha… so I halved the recipe. It was not that difficult πŸ˜€

The recipe now:

 Peach Bellini Cupcakes (Recipe Source: Sing For Your Supper)


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 egg whites
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup champagne or prosecco
  • 1/4 cup peach schnapps
  • 1 medium peach, peeled and diced
Yield: 24 cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line 2 muffin pans with paper liners. In a medium sized bowl whisk flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a standing bowl mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the champagne and peach schnapps.
  4. With the mixer on low alternate adding the flour mixture and the champagne/peach schnapps in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until combined.
  5. Gently fold in the diced peaches.
  6. Scoop batter into liners and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Peach & Champagne Buttercream
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup champagne or prosecco
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon peach schnapps
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 drops red food coloring (for a pretty pink color)
  • Pearl Nonpareils (for garnish)
  1. Combine the butter and the vanilla in a standing bowl mixer and beat until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the powdered sugar to the standing bowl mixer 1 cup a time, with the mixer on low.
  3. Combine champagne or prosecco and peach schnapps in a small bowl and add to the mixer after the powdered sugar has been incorporated.
  4. Add milk and red food coloring and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Pipe with a large star tip and add nonpareils as a garnish.

So while making the frosting, keeping in mind I halved everything-I should have added 2 cups of powdered sugar… I just added 1-1/2 due the sweetness… now realizing adding all the liquids with just that much sugar might make it runny (boo boo)-did not realize till I started frosting. Too late by then…so second time I have a little runny icing!! Like I said I AM LEARNING :p Also the original recipe calls for few drops of red to make a pink frosting, I added some yellow too to make it orange-peach like πŸ˜‰ After all it is PEACH Bellini

So here are my Peach Bellini Cupcakes…no way close to how Betsy has decorated them. But they taste just fabulous… it was like an actual sip of Peach Bellini, and the bite of the fresh peach just adds to the awesomeness. If I made 24 I a sure I would eat one everyday πŸ˜€ For now 12 will do… after eating 1-2, it will be sharing with everyone possible (read my husband’s co-workers-they are my trusted tasters :D)

ooo Besty also has a recipe for actual Peach Bellini drink as well… do go over to Java Cupcake and check out the Peach Bellini Cupcake

Enjoooy!!

Cheers =)