May 22, 2012

My Birthday Cake in different shades of pink

It was my birthday last week and I had  planned to treat myself by making this pink layered cake. Even though it meant a lot of effort as I have a small oven and I had to bake each layer one at a time, I was super excited.  Now, buying a birthday cake has become a passe at my home, and my husband who hasn't ever baked  a cake before wanted to bake one for me. Little did he know how long I had been wanting to make this cake. He wanted me to have a relaxed birthday but I was so excited that I had forbade him to bake a cake for me. 

The recipe I have used is for a 6" cake for each of the 4 layers. On hindsight,I feel I should I have reduced the amount  or baked it in an 8" pan. I have used 2,4,8,12 units of rose pink liquid food color for the gradient layers. I first started with 4 and 12 units, and decided that depending on the outcome after baking, I would increase or decrease the amount of colour for the next layer. The cake design is inspired by Call me Cupcake, though the recipe did not work for me as I had to prepare the batter separately for each layer as my oven is small. Though,for my first layer I tried that recipe by reducing it proportionately, but the quantity was so less for one layer, that the outcome was bad. I had to discard it and start afresh with a different recipe of a vanilla cake from here.
For Frosting I used the whipped cream frosting recipe which I had earlier used for Tuxedo Cake. I used 1/3rd of the quantity  for frosting the 4 layer cake.

Pink Gradient Cake


For one layer of a 6" cake 

1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola or extra light olive oil)
1/2 cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
  2. Grease and flour the cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. 
  3.  In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir together with whisk, and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds.  Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds.  Add vanilla and oil, beat.
  5. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture.  Add half of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the buttermilk.  Add the food colour and Beat until just combined.  Scrape down the side of the bowl.  
  6. Pour batter into the cake pan
  7.  Bake for 30-40 minutes till the skewer comes clean.
  8. Let the cake cool completely. 
For making cake flour at home - Take one cup of all purpose flour and remove 2 tbsp from it. Replace the 2 tbsp flour with cornflour and sift together 2-3 times. Cake flour is ready to use.


  1. Once you have all the layers ready and cooled,  keep the darkest layer at bottom and apply the frosting and place the next layer.
  2. Cover the entire cake with crumb coating and let it refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 
  3. Apply the final coating of frosting with a design of your choice.

May 2, 2012

Outrageous Brownies

These delicious brownies by Ina Garten  are one of the most popular recipe available online. With 500 reviews and most of them positive , I had to make them. My friends were coming over this weekend , so I thought what better occasion than this .The brownie uses a lot of butter , so it can only be indulged in once in a long while. According to the reviews, these taste better when kept refrigerated overnight and should be served  after refrigeration only. Also, they cut better upon refrigeration. I have only made half the amount mentioned in the original recipe.

Outrageous Brownies


1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 pound  plus 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 extra-large eggs
1.5 tablespoons instant coffee powder (I used 1 tbsp and it was sufficient)
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1.5 cups diced walnut pieces (I used 1 cup)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 baking pan. (325 degrees if using a dark non-stick pan)
  2. Melt together the butter, chocolate chips[1/2 pound], and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler (I did this step in a glass dish in the microwave at 30 second intervals). Cool slightly.
  3.  Stir together [Do not beat] the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar.
  4.  Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.
  5. Stir together the 1/2 cup flour, baking powder and salt.
  6.  Add to cooled chocolate mixture. 
  7. Toss the walnuts and 6 ounces chocolate chips with 2 tbsp flour to coat.Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not overbake.
  9.  Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares. Cut only after refrigeration. 
Recipe Source:Original Recipe:(Source: Ina Garten)  Half recipe by Brown eyed baker[Brown eyed baker]
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