Tag Archives: Family

Dessert Desires: Choco-Nut Fudge Balls

Hi friends, it’s great to be back after a break, writing for my very own space yet again.

This time I tried making this super quick and easy, and absolutely to-drool-over kind of dessert, the chewy and gooey choco-nut fudge balls.

My personal take on the fudge balls is that when these are had within hours of making, the texture is soft and chewy on the outside and crispy from the nuts inside. When stored for a couple of days, these taste no less than some exotic chocolates because the chewiness of the condensed milk is taken over by the crispness of a yummy nutty milk chocolate. 🙂

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It’s definitely a chocolaty treat for the kids, but age is just a number when it comes to the love for chocolate. 😉

Since these turned out absolutely delish, I wish to share the recipe with you all.

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Ingredients:

  • ½ cup – Condensed Milk
  • 2 tbsp – Cocoa Powder
  • ¼ cup – Butter
  • 1 tbsp – Powdered Sugar (as per taste/optional as sweetness from condensed milk is sufficient)
  • ½ tsp – Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup – Chopped Almonds and Walnuts (can be roasted for extra crispness)
  • 1 tbsp – Crushed and Roasted Almonds (for coating on the balls)

Method:

  • Heat a non-stick pan and add butter and condensed milk to it and mix well
  • Add cocoa powder, vanilla extract and powdered sugar
  • Cook the mixture on a low-medium flame for about 4-5 minutes
  • Keep stirring continuously until the mixture thickens and starts to leave the sides of the pan
  • Remove from flame, add the nuts and mix well
  • Let the fudge cool down for about ½ hour
  • Once cooled, make balls of equal size (This recipe makes 12-14 balls)
  • Roll each of the balls in the crushed roasted almonds

The Choco-Nut Fudge Balls are ready to eat immediately for the chewy-chocolaty feel, and best stored for 2-3 days for the exotic chocolate texture.

Hey, I even found these fudge balls perfect to decorate a Nutella Swirl Cake I recently made. The cake looked gorgeous! 🙂

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Hope you and your kids enjoy having these fudge balls.

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Art and Emotions in One Frame

A few days back, when I was busy completing yet another craft project, my mom came up to me and stretched out her hand to give me something and said, ‘Can you make something for this?’ On realizing what she was handing over to me, my eyes welled up with tears. It was mom and dad’s first photograph after marriage.

They had kept it preserved since 1965 and gleefully narrated the day they had gone to get the picture clicked at a famous studio in Connaught Place, Delhi (India). A few days after their wedding mom and dad went to get their first professionally clicked photograph as a couple. On that day, dad adorned his favorite black suit and mom wore a pretty orange sari, along with her wedding jewelry. I love this photograph of mom and dad and till date we tell mom that they made for the most charming couple we have ever seen.

After we had refurnished the house some years back, the photograph had been taken off the photo frame and kept safely in a plastic wrap to make space for new show pieces and other family photos.

Ever since we lost dad a few years back, mom had very rarely mentioned to us about dad and how much she missed her life partner. That day when mom handed me the photograph felt as if she was asking me to help her revive and relive her long forgotten moments and feel dad’s presence in her life.

I could not have let go of a chance to get some positive vibes to mom’s life and especially when she was the one keen on that. That’s when I decided to make a photo frame for the picture, rather than purchasing one.

Some online tutorials and my creativity helped me create a lovely cardboard photo frame to fit my favorite photograph. I added to its beauty by using quilling art and some Fevicryl Golden Glitter Glue to decorate it.

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I was the most satisfied when the best feedback for the picture frame came from mom when she said, ‘tune to char chand laga diye humari photo par’ (An idiom used in Hindi to tell that a thing looks prettier that before).

The Photo in its frame sits beautifully on a showcase in the living room of my house and usually gets an appreciative notice from the guests.

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Hope you like this.

Extending My Best Wishes via Hand Painted Gift Tags

I keep taking up a lot of art and craft projects to make something new and useful for my home and loved ones and most often use handmade paper as the base. Since the paper does not get used entirely, I am left with lots of pieces of handmade paper, big and small.

Handmade paper forms a raw yet colourful and ‘no-so-plain’ background for the art piece as well as gives sturdiness to the final product, making it last longer. Broadly, it makes for a perfect base to portray my creativity with colours and the paintbrush.

My sheer adoration for the paper makes me think of new ways to creatively utilize the leftover pieces.

The idea of making Gift Tags or Congratulatory Message Cards on Gifts popped up in my mind and I started my new craft DIY project. 🙂

Method:

  • Cut the paper into equal rectangular shapes, which forms the basic shape for the gift tag
    • You can take any shape you prefer, i.e. diamond, circular, oval or square, but make sure that there is enough space on the paper to decorate as well as write a congratulatory message 🙂
  • You can start by making a rough sketch/drawing of the design/shape you wish to put on the gift tag
    • If you are an expert artist, skip this step and straight away start making the desired design using colours, paintbrush and some marker pens
    • I prefer to draw with a pencil before starting to add colours 🙂
  • You could make occasion specific drawings/designs
    • For example, a pram for a baby shower gift tag; a bouquet for multiple occasions; conical caps, cakes and confetti for birthday gifts; and paisley prints for Indian occasions and other celebrations, Ganesha/Swastik/Lakshmi ji’s feet for Diwali gift tags

Here is a look at the first set of gift tags I painted and used these for conveying my best wishes to loved ones. There is no better feeling in the world than gifting something handmade. The recipient treasures it for a lifetime and you can’t imagine how carefully preserved your handmade gift will be kept. I have seen this in my family and always get encouraged for making more handmade stuff.

Handpainted Gift Tags

Handmade Gift Tags/Congratulatory Message Cards for Gifts

Gift Tag Ganesha

Ganesha Gift Tag for an Indian Celebration/Festival like Diwali/Marriage/Housewarming Gift

Alternately, just like many people use occasion based flags for inserting in cakes, I made a sort of miniature placard by pasting a toothpick at the back to make a ‘Happy Birthday Mummy’ card for placing on my mom’s birthday cake.

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Gift Tag Used as a Miniature Placard/Flag for Cake

Hope you like these 🙂

Photography Instincts: Melting Ice

This is the photograph of ‘frozen water’, which I captured almost three years back. This is ice in a metal container, just starting to melt at the sides. The melt down created arrays of air bubbles, a visual treat that urged me to capture this moment.

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Melting Ice

It felt as though the tiny air bubbles were waiting for the ice above them to melt away and be liberated to be a part of the fresh air all around.

Whenever I sit alone, trying to find some ‘me’ time, I find it relaxing to go through photos and albums, new and old. And this photograph of ‘Melting Ice’ always gathers my attention. It makes me stop and think. It brings two perspectives about life and relationships to my mind, and I must confess that my frame of thoughts and mood play a vital role in forming these perspectives.

After having gone through a difficult moment in life or in relationships, the ‘frozen’ water appears to me as hard feelings that the bitter moments leave behind and the bubbles appear as the daggers of regret, piercing through the hard of these feelings, making it even more painful to bear the moment.

Not at all positive, I know. This is just the first of the two perspectives though! 🙂

When I revisit this picture after a few hours or days, my mind and heart give way to the second perspective, an altogether new meaning to the pic.

This time I see the warmth of the air around the frozen water, helping the ice to melt and the bubbles to be freed , just like the warmth of strong relationships that flourish on the hope that the ice of hard feelings will melt away and the bubbles of bottled up emotions and regret will be freed.

Finally, we are just left with water, so transparent and moldable, a fine example and a wonderful basis for any healthy relationship.

Hope you like this.

Icing on the Cake, Literally!!

Hi there!

This is in continuation to my post yesterday, wherein I shared the recipe for making an Eggless Chocolate Cake and all my hard work paid off when the resulting cake was fabulously fluffed and spongy.

The whiff in the air that a freshly baked cake leaves is absolutely irresistible. I just always want to cut the warm cake into slices, put some Hershey’s chocolate sauce and roasted nuts and eat it to get that melt-in-the-mouth feeling….mmmmm..:)

But, I had different plans that required the entire cake to be ‘saved’ and put aside to be cooled down. Then I started making the frosting for the cake.

As some of us were discussing yesterday, patience is the key to the frosting part, be it waiting for the cake to cool down to giving the final touches while icing the cake (an attempt to make a neatly wrapped delicious looking cake :)).

Usually I use a chocolate butter cream frosting for all my cakes because everyone at my home loves chocolate like mad ;). But this time I wished to make a contrasting frosting, as in white on chocolate brown, to make it look visually more appealing. I personally love the look of the white vanilla frosting placed neatly in the layers of the chocolate cake when sliced. 🙂

The final look of my vanilla butter cream frosting wrapped eggless chocolate cake (wow…sounds to tempting) is here for you. After wrapping this cake in the frosting, I dusted some grated Dairy Milk Chocolate on the top and sides of the cake and then to give a little colour to the too plain look of the cake, I decorated it with some Cadbury Gems on the circumference.

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Vanilla Buttercream Frosting on Eggless Chocolate Cake

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Vanilla Buttercream Frosting on Eggless Chocolate Cake

And for those of you who wished to see the sponginess of the cake from the inside, here’s the pic of the sliced cake. The contrasting frosting sits pretty in between the layers, making me happy with the final outcome.

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Yummy….Lip smacking 😉

Hope you like this.

For more visit my page Cakes with a Green Dot

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Cakes with a Green Dot: Chocolate Cake

My love for baking cakes keeps growing and I desperately wait for the next birthday or another celebratory day in my family, when I can bake my next cake.

I personally believe that eggless cakes when compared with the egg based ones are spongier, rise higher, and are absolutely scrumptious. My family drools over the cakes I bake, so I have lots of testimony vouching for Cakes with a Green Dot. 🙂

Today I am going to share with you my recipe for a basic eggless chocolate cake.

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Freshly Baked Chocolate Cake: Fabulously Risen, Spongy and Smells of Chocolate and Vanilla All Around

Ingredients:

  • 1 tin condensed milk
  • 2 ½ cups plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ or ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt

Initial Preparations:

  • Warm Water in a Vessel
  • Grease the baking tin and dust with plain flour
  • Preheat the oven at 180⁰ C

Method:

  • Put condensed milk, oil, sugar and vanilla essence in a pan
  • Mix/blend the ingredients to ensure all the ingredients are combined well
  • Sieve a mix of plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder a few times, to ensure all the dry ingredients are mixed well
  • Slowly put the dry ingredients in the condensed milk, sugar, oil and vanilla mix
  • Add a tbsp of warm water to allow the mixture to blend well
  • Use the conventional cut and fold method to ensure creation of vacuum in the batter
  • Add a pinch of salt and mix again
  • Pour the batter in the dusted tin pan and place in the preheated oven
  • This cake takes around 45 mins to 1 hour to bake
  • Insert a toothpick or knife to check, if it comes out completely clean the cake is baked. If not, bake for 5-10 more mins

The cake is ready. Let it cool in order to proceed to the icing part. 🙂

Dessert Desires: Carrot Fudge

Sweet cravings after a meal run in my family’s genes it seems (And no, thankfully it doesn’t translate into diabetes). Its not just my family, on asking some friends educated me of the fact that most people crave a sweet dish after meals. And specific to our home, we usually keep the Agra ka petha (the city of the Taj Mahal, Agra, is famous for this), a packet of Fox’s sweets, cream wafers, etc. as the after dinner saviors.

But this time I came across this yummy and nutritious recipe of Baby Carrot Burfi (Read: Carrot Fudge) by TasteBuds and decided to make these to satiate my family’s dessert desires for atleast a week.

These turned out to be absolutely sumptuous and I would certainly recommend this recipe. It’s easy to make and the results are in front of you!! 🙂

Baby Carrot Burfi

Its made with carrots, full cream milk, sugar, khoya (condensed milk, in the form of  tough milk block), ghee (clarified butter), cardamom powder and nuts for the garnish.

The milk is brought to a boil and grated carrot is added. The mixture of milk and carrot is cooked on a low-medium flame until the milk gets absorbed by the carrot. This step is followed by adding sugar and khoya. I used negligible amounts of ghee, to lower the fat intake and also because khoya on heating starts leaving ghee, enough to provide the required greasing. Finally, cardamom is added and the fudge is set in a tin box and garnished with nuts. I used almonds and cashews. Once cooled, the fudge is cut into squares to give the shape of Burfi. The sumptuous carrot burfis are ready to eat.

Thank you TasteBuds, this recipe will now be a constant on my favorite homemade desserts list.

P.S.: For complete recipe, you can visit Baby Carrot Burfi on TasteBuds.