Nov 28, 2012

Rosebud Madeleines

          I was first introduced to these treats in starbucks cafe where sugar bowl madeleines are sold. I wasn't too keen to taste these cakes, but one bit of these and I became a ife long fan of these french cookie cakes... they just melt in your mouth ..
How can I describe them ..... they are light and melt in your mouth bursting with flavours of butter and sugar... Trust me,,, you just gotta taste once and you will fall in love with these beautiful shell shaped french tea cakes...

               I was desperately waiting for madeleine pan.. I searched almost every shop in Mumbai n Bangalore for these pan, but could not find them. I was behind my sister's life when she was coming back from USA for good to find metal madeleine pan for me.. but all she found were too big to fit in my oven.. Finally my brother in law managed to get one silicon mold for us which we cut into two and are both thrilled to posses.. I dedicate this post to my dear elder sister Manshree, who is an amazing cook and has always been source of inspiration to my cooking... I have learnt so many cooking lessons from her... and bugged her so many doubts.. Thanks a lot for being der
   As much as I craved for madeleines, I always wanted to own a book by Nigella Lawson... I just love her attitude and way she makes food seem so desirable and sexy... Her style is so simple and casual and yet she manages to create miracles.... I love to watch her food shows and I finally laid hands on my own copy of How to be a domestic Goddess... Its an amazing addition to my collection. Wanted to try some Nigellisamian recipe.. I picked up Rosebud Madeleines. The madeleines were good in taste,,, But they werent the Melt in Mouth like those madeleines from Sugar bowl...

Rosebud Madeleines
Source: Nigella Lawson- How To Be A Domestic Goddess Art Of Comfort Cooking

  •  ¼ cup unsalted butter (50g), plus 1 tablespoon for greasing
  •  1 large egg
  •  2 tablespoons sugar (40g)
  •  pinch of salt
  •  ⅓ cup all-purpose flour (45g)
  •  1 tablespoon rosewater ( I added 4-5 drops of rose water essence)
  •  confectioners' sugar for dusting
  •  24 mini-madeleine tin ( I used regular madeleines silicon mould and made 10 madeleines)
  • Melt all the butter over a low heat, then leave to cool. Beat the egg, sugar and salt in a bowl for about 5 minutes, preferably with an electric mixer of some sort, until it’s as thick as mayonnaise.
  • Then sprinkle in the flour; I hold a sieve above the egg and sugar mixture, put the flour in and shake it through. 
  • Fold in the flour with a wooden spoon/ silicon spatula and then set aside a scant tablespoon of the cold, melted butter for greasing the tins and fold in the rest along with the rosewater. Mix well, but not too vigorously.
  • Leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour, then take out and leave at room temperature for half an hour. I left the batter in the fridge for about 2 hours and directly placed the batter onto the moulds. this helps in getting the characteristic madeleine hump  

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC). 
  • Generously brush the insides of the Madeleine tins if you are using metal ones, with the tablespoon of butter (melting more if you feel you need it) before filling them with half the cake mixture. About 1 teaspoonful in each should do for the mini madeleines. I filled the madeleine batter almost 3/4th the madeleine mould.don’t worry about covering the molded indentations; in the heat of the oven the mixture will spread before it rises.
  • I used silicon madeleines pan and to get the best out of the silicon pan, place the silicone mold directly on the oven grid and not on a metal tray for perfect heat convection, to allow for optimum heat circulation and even baking. The temperature for the silicone mold should be the same as a traditional metal pan. When using a traditional oven place the grid in the lower part of the oven for best results.
  • Bake for 5 minutes, though check after 3. (If you're making regular-sized madeleines, bake for 10 minutes) 
  • Turn out and let cool on a rack, then arrange on a plate and dust with icing sugar. Repeat with the remaining half of the mixture...

Nov 10, 2012

How to make Lightning Mcqueen cake

Lightning Mcqueen .....
If you have a boy of any age, you will surly know Lightening Mcqueen.. He is the adorable red car from the movie Cars n Cars 2. Neil had his 2nd birthday just few days back and when I asked him what cake does he want for his birthday, he very quickly answered "LIGHTNING MCQUEEN"
So it was decided by Neil Its gonna be Mcqueen for his birthday.. By the way he also asked for few more cakes of Holly shiftwell, Finn Mcmissile, Mater and "Franko loli" ( thats the way he used to call Francesco  Bernoulli ) We made a deal with him, the day you start saying Francesco bernoulli properly , he would get the all the racing cars from the movie..  and started practicing the name for a week and now he can say all the 10 names of the racing cars and is a proud owner of all the cars,,,

Lets get talking about the cake now... I googled about the cake and came up with many sites and videos on youtube  instructing how to make the car. But finally the car was made in our own way when we started carving the cake. Just kept the the lightning mcqueen car near and kept on getting the shape and design as much as possible.

I was handling the fondant for first time, so read lots of tips on many sites beforehand. I will share couple of tips along the way which could help a first timer like me.

  1.  When the cake is supposed to be covered with fondant, the cake needs to be able to bear the weight of fondant, so its better if you make dense cake. Its also easier to carve dense cake better than crumbly cake. I made chocolate and vanilla marble cake which turned out to be quite good for this adventure. I guess, if you are in hurry, you could also used cake box mixes. I made two cakes, One 10 inch round cake with i covered with chocolate custard and made 8 inch square cake which ahd depth of 2 inches for the mcqueen car. You need to remember larger the cake pan, larger will be you car, so adjust as per your requirements.
  2.  Now the cake is cake and cooled to room temperature, its time to carve and shape the cake. I used a carving knife, but and sharp and serrated knife should do. Just mark the outline of the cake and cut along the markings, the front is smaller in dimensions.
  3. Now it is this time when having an engineer husband helps. He measured the car and     proportionately help me carve the cake.
  4.  Place the carved middle portion on the cake board on which you plan to place your cake finally. I was too scared to assemble the cake and then move it to cake board.
  5.  Now we have two pieces left which we will use to make rest of the car. Cut a small piece and make the hood of the car and trim it looking at the curvatures and inclinations on the mcqueen. We decided to make the spoiler of the car using cake as well.
  6. Here in this cake, we cut the middle front portion to make the ridges on the side in the front portion of car, you may need to add or cut depending on the cake.
  7. I used the Pillsbury vanilla frosting to coat the entire cake and also used it to stick all the cake pieces together. Finally the entire cake was crumb coated (covered with frosting) and kept in the fridge for 30 min. So that all firms up and its easier to make further adjustments to car shape. I am sorry , i was too worried my cake is not going to turn out as expected, that I forgot to click picture. I spent next 30 min worrying about all the possibilities how my cake will turn out bad.
  8. I used store bought fondant. I was lucky to get fondant in Institute of baking and cake art Bangalore at 250 rs per kg. I cut the fondant into balls of required quantity and wrapped all teh fondant balls in saran wrap and packed them in ziplock bag and sealed in air tight bag. ITS VERY VERY IMPORTANT TO KEEP THE FONDANT COVERED IN CLING WRAP ALL THE TIME YOU ARE NOT USING IT , TO AVOID IT FROM BEING DRIED UP.  
  9. I unwrapped the fondant I wanted to color and heated the fondant for 8 sec in microwave to soften it a bit and then kneaded it using some shortening.  I colored the fondant almost of the size of cricket ball into colour red. I used wilton gel colors and I almost finished more than half of my colour. It takes lots and lots of red colour to get red.. I was adding on colour and it was still PINK,, I was afraid, once Neil grows up and sees I made Pink Mcqueen Cake for him, he is not going to be a very happy kid.;). 
  10. I also colored a little more than golf ball sized fondant to get black. Getting the fondant to color black also is a tiring task.. Now wash your hands really really well, as even a tiny speck of black in you nails of on your work surface can mess up the yellow color fondant you now need. I again used almost a tennis ball sized fondant to make yellow fondant.
  11. Now, its time to drape car form with red fondant. Sprinkle the work surface with icing sugar or coat it with shortening and start rolling the red fondant into almost 2 mm thickness uniform sheet. Then I rolled the fondant on my rolling pin and placed it on the cake.
  12. Allow the fondant to rest for a while so that it can stretch gently to the curves of the car.  You can lift it up, pull it and stretch it gently in places as required.  Once you are happy with it, rub your hands  greased with shortening or cornstarch all over the car to fully press the fondant into the contours of the car.  Then use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to trim away the excess.
  13. In order to make tyres. make four balls of equal size and use ball tool to make indentation in the disc. use the back of knife to make tyre marks on the wheel. Lastly add round ball of fondant in the indentation and make marks of the wheel cap. Brush a small amount of water using paint brush to the back of the fondant to help it stick and gently press into position.  
  14.  Roll out the yellow fondant on  greased work surface. My hubby drew the flame design and the design of piston cup on a piece of paper and the cut the shapes using sharp pointed knife.Brush a small amount of water using paint brush to the back of the fondant to help it stick and gently press into position.                                                                                                                          
  15. Similarly roll out the rest of black fondant and make window panes and black stripes to resemble the rear window pane of the car. Brush a small amount of water using paint brush to the back of the fondant to help it stick and gently press into position.
  16. Next, roll out some white fondant and cut out in the shape of the windscreen.  Use the original toy as a guide to the shape you need to cut.  Brush a small amount of water using paint brush to the back of the fondant to help it stick and gently press into position. Use some more white fondant triangles to shape out the headlights. And for the mouth, using knife cut of red fondant to expose frosting and place small sausage of white fondant in that depression and shape it to make beautiful smile.Paint some blue color on the windscreen to make his eyes.Now add small black circles and again small white dots to complete the eyes.
  17. Finally, my hubby cut out the letter NEIL freehand on white fondant and attached it to the spoiler.
The cake was ready and Neil was very very happy and dancing the whole day telling everyone who called to wish him. My mom made Mcqueen cake for me,,, Happy birthday to me