Sunday, 26 April 2015

Nutella Brioche Star bread!!!!

So you know that Nutella brioche star bread that was all over the Internet? I've made it already. A million times.
And you want to know something else? 
I made it so many times because everyone loved it so much and now we are taking a 'break' from it!

Maybe a break for one or two weeks then I'm so going to make it again!!! :-P

It is DELICIOUS!!! And it tastes of REAL brioche! Even better than the one you get in the supermarket- because not only is this homemade, but it has Nutella in it.

Nutella makes EVERYTHING taste like its descended from the heavens.
We all know that to be true!

In fact a couple of weeks ago, while I was busy preparing lunch in the kitchen I suddenly heard it.
Heard what?
You know how scary that is when you have a two year old Snugglebug lurking around the house? Silence is suspicious.

Panicking, I ran out of the kitchen calling his name but had no answer.
Then I saw him in the kitchen- the same room I was in all along- quietly crouched in a corner with his back to me. 
Relieved to have found him I went to give him a hug, only to find his entire hand inside the jar of Nutella that he had pulled out of the 'locked' cupboard. His entire face was covered in the chocolatey goodness and he had a look of pure delight on his face.

I couldn't even be mad at him. I mean we would all dig into the jar of Nutella and eat it all up if we could right?

Needless to say, the Nutella stays in a safer place in the kitchen now.

Anyway. Make this bread. It's super amazing and having some with a nice cup of tea is perfection!!!!
Also, it is SOOO pretty!!!
I got the recipe from here but eliminated the lemon zest. Here's a straightforward video on how to make the bread!

Take each to segments and twist away 360° and then 90°
and press together.

For the dough
  • 500 g (16 oz) bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 190 ml (6 fl oz) lukewarm milk
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 60 g (2 oz) melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • Grated zest of a lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
The rest of the stuff:

  • Nutella
  • 1 tbsp milk + 1 tbsp water for a glaze
  • Icing sugar

Mix the yeast and the sugar with the milk. Leave for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.

Beat the eggs in a separate bowl.

Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the butter, eggs and yeast/milk. Mix to a soft dough.

Knead the dough for 10 minutes then form into a ball and place in a bowl. 

Cover and leave it in a warm place until the dough has about doubled in size.

Cut out a circle of baking or greaseproof paper about 30 cm (12″) in diameter. You can use this as a guide on how big to roll out each dough quarter.

Once risen, turn the dough out onto a surface, knock it back knead for 3-4 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and form each piece into a ball.

Roll a ball of dough out into a circle measuring about 25 cm (10″) in diameter.

Place the dough onto the baking paper on a baking  and spread on a layer of Nutella, leaving a small gap at the edge. Don’t make the layer too thick so that it leaks out!

Roll out a second ball of dough, place it on the first layer and spread with Nutella. Repeat with the third and fourth balls of dough but do NOT spread Nutella on the final layer.

Place something round and circular in the centre of the dough. I usually use my smallest drinking glass.

Cut the brioche into 16 segments. Take a pair of adjacent segment, Lift and twist them away from each other through 180°. Lift and twist through 180° again, then twist through 90° so that the ends are vertical. Press the edges together firmly. Repeat this process for all pairs of segments.

Cover the bread on its baking tray  with lightly oiled cling film and leave in a warm place for 1-2 hours.

Brush with the glaze then bake at 160°C fan oven, 180°C  conventional oven for 20 minutes. 

Let it cool, then you can dust it lightly with icing sugar, but I skip this step because it's too pretty anyway!

This is such an easy recipe with super satisfying results and even the 'dough-making challenged' people such as myself can make it no problem :-)


Monday, 19 January 2015

Nutella and Ferrero Rocher cake

My Snugglebug is two years old!! These have definitely been two of the best and fastest years of my life alhamdulillah :-)
And for his second birthday? All I knew is that the birthday cake had to be epic! 

It's obvious I'm not all that talented in the cake decorating department but the taste had to be something else! After much thought I finally came to a decision! 

Nutella and Ferrero Rocher cake!!!! Now who won't go nuts for that?
I considered adapting my own recipe for it, but with such a short frame of time I had no room for error. I found the most popularly blogged recipe and gave it a shot!
The result?? A decadent, ultra rich, crazily chocolatey and delicious cake that can make you weak at the knees :-D
It was everything that I wanted his second birthday cake to be and it was wiped out super quickly!!

Here's the recipe:
Cake Layers
  • 7 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cups sugar, granulated
  • 2 cups finely ground hazelnuts or hazelnut flour
  • 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 300 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2¼ cups chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
  • ½ cup Nutella
  • 1.5 cup wafers, crushed
  • 10 Ferrero Rochers
  • ¾ cups hazelnuts, chopped / or ¾ cups wafers, crushed


Cake Layers:

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter 2 – 8 inch round pans and line with greaseproof baking paper.

In a bowl, Sift flour, cocoa & baking powder. Stir in ground nuts.

In a separate bowl, Whip eggs on high speed, until frothy. Slowly add the sugar and continue whipping until tripled in volume, about 5 minutes.

Slowly, mix in the dry ingredients into the eggs.

Divide the batter evenly between the 2 – 8 inch pans and bake at 350F, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Once baked, leave in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Although I was super careful not to over bake the cake, I found it slightly dry once it had cooled from the oven. I think the next steps were really helpful in making this cake super moist and yummy.

In a small pan, I made a light sugar syrup using half parts sugar to half parts water. 
Heat 3/4 cup sugar with 3/4 cup water until it comes to a boil. Poke holes using a skewer around both the cake layers and spoon over the sugar syrup equally over the cake and leave for about an hour to absorb.

Make the Frosting:

Melt chocolate in microwave, on low heat, in short intervals, stirring each between each time. Bring to room temperature.

Whip chocolate, butter & Nutella until thoroughly combined.


Once the cakes are cool , you can start assembling it.

Firstly, crush wafers by putting in a ziplock bag, then going over them with a rolling pin or something heavy.
Place a dab of frosting onto a serving platter to secure the cake on to it and then place the first cake layer on it. Generously spread just over a third of the frosting on to the cake and then sprinkle over the crushed wafers.

Place the second cake layer on top of this and spread frosting generously. I also piped some of the frosting around the edge of the cake to neaten it up.

Pipe 8 stars on top of the cake.

Press the crushed wafers or chopped hazelnuts onto the sides of the cake. I used both :-)

Place a Ferrero Rocher on top of each piped star.
Refrigerate the cake but bring it to room temperature completely before serving.  

I got the recipe from here.

This cake was super super yummy and amazing. I do however want to create my own version of a Nutella and Ferrero cake that includes a lot more Nutella. 

Because really, there isn't ever anything like too much Nutella :-P

-S xx

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Hummingbird Cake

Recently after a couple of days away from home, I returned to find a surprise gift from my mum.
Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food book!! I literally screamed with excitement! Not only was it a lovely lovely surprise to come back to, but i am super obsessed with the new comfort food series!

Okay and I admit I am guilty of pretty much forcing my mum to watch the recorded series with me. While she is too polite to tell me that it's fine for me to watch it quietly on my own, she also lets me rewind, play, rewind again, play..  just so I get to listen to the recipe properly.

It's good I got the book now, so I won't be harassing her with that any more! The rewinding and pausing I mean, not the watching of the episodes- we're still going to do that! :-P

The good thing about these recipes are that even though they are a bit time consuming and super indulgent (comfort food being the key word here)- they are actually doable! It's totally possible to come up with an awesome result at the end!

The first recipe I tried out was the lovely Hummingbird cake! Packed with bananas and pineapple and pecans, this cake is amazingly delicious! The cream cheese frosting makes it very indulgent and the best bit? The pecan brittle on top that I admit to being super proud of!!

All these components together make the perfect combination of a sweet, indulgent, fruity cake topped with the perfect amount of crunch!

On a side note- not completely relevant but I shall add it anyway, My baby boy made us sing happy birthday to him three times while cutting the cake!..and it wasn't even his birthday cake! I guess it would be safest to just bring a ready sliced cake in front of him. I would- but seeing his face light up in delight EVERY SINGLE time is totally worth it :-D

I will be posting about his epic chocolatey Nutella cake soon!!

Anyway- the recipe for the Humminbird cake can be found here !

Make it!! not only is it fun to make but it is also going to make everyone very happy!!

Pecan Brittle


For the cake:

250 ml olive oil, plus extra for greasing 
350 g self-raising flour 
1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon 
350 g golden caster sugar 
4 medium-sized very ripe bananas 
1 x 425 g tin of pineapple chunks 
2 large free-range eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
50 g pecans

For the icing:

400 g icing sugar 
150 g unsalted butter, (at room temperature) 
200 g cream cheese 
2 limes

For the Brittle:

100 g caster sugar 
50 g pecans


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Grease and line two 23cm round cake tins. 

Sift the flour and cinnamon into a mixing bowl, then add the sugar and a large pinch of sea salt. 

Peel the bananas and mash them up with a fork in another bowl.

 Drain and finely chop the pineapple and add to the bananas with the oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until combined, then fold into the dry mixture until smooth. Finely chop the pecans and gently fold in, then divide the batter evenly between your prepared tins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until risen, golden and the sponges spring back when touched lightly in the centre. 

For the icing, sift the icing sugar and add the butter and beat until the mixture is pale and creamy.

Add the cream cheese and finely grate in the zest of 1 lime and add a squeeze of juice.
Beat until smooth, but don't over mix it. keep it in the fridge while moving on to the next step.

To make a brittle topping, place the caster sugar in a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and shake flat. (Jamie adds a splash of water to this, but that doesn't work well for me- so do whatever suits you).

Swirl the pan occasionally until dissolved and lightly golden. Add the pecans and a pinch of salt.

Stir around to coat, and when its finally nicely golden, pour onto a sheet of oiled greaseproof paper to set. Once cool, smash up to a dust- or a bit chunkier the way I prefer it! You don't need to use all of this so you can set some aside for other desserts!

Assemble the cake by placing one sponge on a cake stand or a plate and spread with half the icing. Top with the other sponge and then spread over the rest of the icing.

Grate over the zest of the remaining lime and finally, sprinkle over the brittle.

This cake is absolute genius.. make it..then; 'serve in a bluebell wood on a fallen tree, as you do'-  ;-)


Friday, 29 August 2014

Hot Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough...

Eight years ago, which was around the time I got engaged, I was crazy in love with Pizza hut's cookie dough dessert. 
It was this thick, soft, gooey, chocolatey and hot cookie with crispy edges. 
Topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and hello heaven!!

Even though I would eat super super healthy (as all brides-to-be do :-P) and go to the gym four times a week, this was the one dessert that I would ALWAYS succumb to. A trip to Pizza Hut with the family meant me skipping my meal and eating a plain salad so I could indulge in the dessert. 

Yup I'm all about priorities!! :-P

I haven't had Hot cookie dough for years at Pizza Hut.

That's because I make it home!.. and may I just take a moment to say... It's bloody brilliant!!!.. And no I'm not being vain because it isn't my own recipe, I found it on another blog :-P

Sooooo yummy!!! 


125 grams butter
100 grams caster sugar
100 grams light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp salt
225 grams self raising flour
100 grams chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 200C.

In a large bowl, mix the butter, caster sugar and light brown sugar with a electric hand held mixer. Add the egg and vanilla and mix again. Finally, add the flour, salt and chocolate chunks.

Divide the batter in to however many portions you like. This makes about four generous servings.
I made a large portion for sharing with half the batter.

Place it in the preheated oven on 200C for eight minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 180C and leave inside for a another 7-8 minutes. It should then be golden brown but still soft.

Serve hot, straight from the oven with vanilla ice cream and drizzle with chocolate sauce or some warmed Nutella.

Go nuts!!! :-D

This is a super yummy, indulgent and amazing dessert!! So easy to make at home and a real crowd pleaser. 


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Strawberry tarts! :-)

First of all I want to take a minute to thank all of you who who have been messaging me and commenting on the blog! Thankyou!! :-)
It is such a lovely feeling when people tell me the blog has been coming handy to them or that they enjoy reading my ramblings. I really really appreciate it! And I'm really sorry for not posting for so long :-(

..Okay okay I admit it. This time it's been unacceptably long since I blogged. I wanted to. I HAVE been baking and cooking and stuff.. I've just had some sort of a mind block.
I don't know how to write anymore. Well maybe it's sleep deprivation.
Yes it WAS sleep deprivation.
And I have one kid! ONE!
May I take a moment to take my hat off to all those mummy's out there.. Especially those with more than one little kid!.. And if you mums manage to leave the house without wearing your clothes inside out.. I ADMIRE you!


(Nope I Haven't left the house with some part of my outfit inside out. I'm totally put together and with it!) :-P

Okay, so I've been obsessed with trying to get pastry shells for tarts rights. I've tried a couple of recipes..and made mistakes. Plus I really need to make a trip to the shops to invest in some baking beans. I think they will do a world of good!

Today I finally made strawberry tarts that I was pleased with!! Yay!!!
The strawberries are simply gorgeous right now and I devoured a large amount while cutting and washing them.

At least they are healthy!

I got the recipe for the sweet short crust tart from JoyofBaking who makes totally awesome videos for all her recipes. The recipe yields five small pie shells or one large one.

My pastry shells :-D

Ingredients for the short crust base:

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) plain flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg, beaten


In a separate bowl, whisk your flour and salt.

Place your butter in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer until softened. Add in the sugar and beat till light and fluffy.
Gradually add the beaten egg till just incorporated.
Add the flour mixture all in one go and mix until just combined.
Flatten the pastry in to a disk and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes or place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

Lightly butter your tart pans or spray with a cooking spray.

Once the pastry has chilled sufficiently, evenly pat it onto the bottom and sides of the tart pans. If rolling it is easier for you instead, then go for it! When that is done, cover it in plastic wrap again and  place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 205 degrees C and place the rack in the centre of the oven.

You may either place a sheet of baking paper on your pie crust and weigh it with baking beans or prick the bottom of the pastry crust with a fork to prevent it from rising.
Bake the shells for five minutes and then reduce the oven to 180C.  Remove the baking beans if you have used them and continue to bake for another twenty minutes until the crust is golden and baked.

Since we will be filling the crust with a creamy mixture, seal it by glazing the baked crust with an egg white glaze. You may wish to put it back in to the oven for a minute or so.

Whilst the tarts are baking in the oven, I sliced some large strawberries and left some whole. I placed them on a large plate and sprinkled them generously with caster sugar and placed it in the fridge so the strawberries would sweeten and produce a syrup.

For the cream base I went for a quick and easy cheesecake style base that I filled my short crust case with.

Ingredients for filling:

150grams cream cheese
4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Some vanilla essence

Place all the ingredients except the lemon juice in a bowl and stir. Gradually add the lemon juice while stirring thoroughly.
Taste the mixture and add more lemon juice if needed. You don't want it to be too too sweet!
The mixture should be slightly runny but will firm up when refrigerated in the tart shells.

For the top of the shells:

A 375ml tub of double cream whipped to stiff peaks with about two tablespoons caster sugar.

Finally assemble the tarts once the short crust case is cooled.

Pour in the cream mixture at the bottom of the tarts. Pipe on the sweetened double cream on top generously and then place the strawberries on top!

You may wish to pour a little of the strawberry syrup on top of the tarts to make them extra yummy :-)

These were totally awesome and I can't wait to make them again!! They're super easy to make and SO good!

 Totally worth it :-)


Monday, 16 June 2014

Naan khatai biscuits

Sometimes I just want a quick recipe that I can whip up in no time and that still produces great results.
A while back I had posted a naan khatai (better than shortbread) recipe that produced AMAZING buttery, crunchy cookies. These are literally large golden coins of crumbly, buttery goodness.

The only downside is the entire process that is a bit time consuming as well as the time set aside for refrigeration, which frankly speaking I don't have much of anymore.
With a curious little Snugglebug always up to something or the other, I constantly have to have my eyes on him!!

These cookies that I recently got the recipe of are perfect!
Not only are they ridiculously easy to make, but they require the simplest of ingredients that are pantry staples.

While they are baking in the oven, the most gorgeous buttery aroma will fill your house and.. I do not exaggerate: when you bite in to these gorgeous little biscuits, they literally melt and disappear in your mouth!!
They are divine!! Not to mention, Snugglebug is addicted to them!!
Nothing better than treating my baby to homemade goodies made with love and knowing exactly what has gone in to them!!

This recipe yields about thirty gorgeous little biscuits.

It's remarkable how such amazing results can be achieved by such little effort!


250 grams butter salted
150 grams sugar
400 grams plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg


Cream butter and sugar till fluffy.
Beat egg and gradually add the flour and baking powder. Finally, shape the dough in to little balls and place them on your lined baking tray.
For reasons unknown to mankind (or maybe they are known but I'm too lazy to find out), these cookies traditionally have tiny stamp of food colouring on top. You can add or omit this step because it doesn't make any difference to the taste!!

Bake on 150 degrees for 35mins- they carry on cooking once you remove them from the oven but when they are cooled and if the center is still soft, put them back in the oven for another 15 minutes.

Make a piping hot cup of sweet Desi tea, settle down comfortably with your favourite book or movie and enjoy nibbling on these crazy yummy cookies :-)


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

New York Cheesecake

New York Cheesecake

For a couple of years while growing up, I didn't have a normal cake for my birthday. As per my request, I had strawberry cheesecake :-D
Yup!!! Now THAT was worth the calories!
A quick, fifteen minute recipe for cheesecake has always been my go to for dessert when we entertain guests but a baked cheesecake? Now I wanted to try that!!

What better incentive than my lovely sister who had come to visit? We all love desserts and I was going to make the perfect New York Cheesecake for her!!
After looking through hundreds of recipes I finally came across this one!
Not too difficult and AMAZING results!!! Creamy and gorgeous with a perfect hint of lemon!
I made a strawberry sauce to accompany it though.. Because everyone knows my relationship with strawberries :-) 

The only thing to bear in mind is that you must prepare this dessert a day before serving so that it has enough time to sit in the refrigerator.

I'm looking forward to making it again..mmm :-)



85g butter melted, plus extra for tin
140g digestive biscuits , made into fine crumbs
1 tbsp sugar , granulated or golden caster


3 x 300g/11oz pack Philadelphia cheese , or other full-fat soft cheese
250g golden caster sugar
3 tbsp plain flour
1½ tsp vanilla extract
finely grated zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tsp)
1½ tsp lemon juice
3 large eggs , plus 1 yolk
284ml carton soured cream


142ml carton soured cream
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
2 tsp lemon juice


Position an oven shelf in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to fan 160C/conventional 180C/gas 4. Line the base of a 23cm springform cake tin with parchment paper. 

For the crust, melt the butter in a medium pan. Stir in the biscuit crumbs and sugar so the mixture is evenly moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while preparing the filling.

For the filling, increase the oven temperature to fan 200C/conventional 240C/gas 9. In a table top mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the soft cheese at medium-low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. 
With the mixer on low, gradually add the sugar, then the flour and a pinch of salt, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle twice.
Swap the paddle attachment for the whisk. Continue by adding the vanilla, lemon zest and juice. Whisk in the eggs and yolk, one at a time, scraping the bowl and whisk at least twice. Stir the 284ml carton of soured cream until smooth, then measure 200ml/7fl oz (just over 3⁄4 of the carton). 
Continue on low speed as you add the measured soured cream (reserve the rest). Whisk to blend, but don't over-beat. The batter should be smooth, light and somewhat airy.

Brush the sides of the springform tin with melted butter and put on a baking sheet. 
Pour in the filling - if there are any lumps, sink them using a knife - the top should be as smooth as possible. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to fan 90C/conventional 110C/gas 1⁄4 and bake for 25 minutes more. If you gently shake the tin, the filling should have a slight wobble. 
Turn off the oven and open the oven door for a cheesecake that's creamy in the centre, or leave it closed if you prefer a drier texture. 
Let cool in the oven for 2 hours. The cheesecake may get a slight crack on top as it cools.
Combine the reserved soured cream with the 142ml carton, the sugar and lemon juice for the topping. Spread over the cheesecake right to the edges. Cover loosely with foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Run a round-bladed knife around the sides of the tin to loosen any stuck edges. Unlock the side, slide the cheesecake off the bottom of the tin onto a plate, then slide the parchment paper out from underneath.

For the strawberry sauce, I boiled some strawberries with sugar, a little water and some corn starch mixed with water.
I let it boil for about 10 minutes and crushed the strawberries slightly.
Let it cool and serve.